Welcome to the 4-26-12 edition of Impact Wrestling. Tonight is the debut of “Open Fight Night”, and if you read my column earlier this week, you know it should just be phenomenal, a smashing success that will last for years to come.
We see some footage at the beginning from OVW, TNA’s “developmental system” that they’ve used to develop approximately zero new stars thus far. Hulk Hogan is in the back, talking to all of the current champions, reminding them again of what exactly this stupid night is about. He refers to Samoa Joe and Magnus as the greatest tag team of all time. Once again, the Knockouts Tag Team Champions are absent, as is Television Champion Devon. He singles out each competitor, complimenting them for various reasons. He tells Joe and Magnus they need to “shut up or put up”. The problem is there are too many teams wanting to challenge the tag champs. He’s going to be listening to a lot of whining and crying about who deserves a spot. That’s why the tag champs need to step it up and prove themselves. Hogan is completely incoherent tonight.
We get a zazzy new video and theme song for “Open Fight Night” to attempt to make it seem much more important than it actually is. Devon is out for the opening match, with Mike Tenay reminding us the TV title will now be defended each week from now on (until someone in the company forgets and they scrap it with no explanation). Devon reminds us of what Hogan said about the company champions last week, then tells us again that his belt must be defended every week. We see some of the locker room looking on in the back as Devon tells us who he is calling out for his title defense tonight. He calls out the guy everybody hates and needs an ass-kicking worse than anyone, Bully Ray.
MATCH 1-World Television Championship: Champion Devon vs. Bully Ray
Devon continues decking Ray before hitting him with a bottle of water. That only works for R-Truth. They finally get into the ring, where Ray begs off. Love how neither of these guys will agree to wear normal ring gear. Ray offers a handshake, which Devon accepts and turns into a short-arm clothesline. Devon hits a horrible Thesz Press, then knocks Ray down again with an uppercut. Devon goes up top, but Ray crotches him as we go to commercials.
I’m beginning to think the people behind 5-Hour Energy have never seen how actual people operate in their real day-to-day lives.
Back from the break, Ray drops an elbow. He has a little cut above his left eye. Ray spits a loogie in the air, then catches it in his mouth. Now that’s classy. Ray with a bodyslam and a running splash for 2 before locking in a Trapezius claw. Devon catches Ray with a spear off the ropes. There are bunch of really cool guys in the front row with their faces painted. Ray and Devon trade a bunch of punches before Devon hits a spinning back elbow off the ropes, followed by the Miz’s Reality Check, only in slow-motion. Ray gets his foot up on a corner charge, then nails a clothesline for 2. Ray sets up for the Bully Bomb. Devon counters out, but Ray counters again into the Bubba Cutter for 2. Ray charges out of the corner, but runs right into Devon’s standing spinebuster, which is enough for the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Devon.
Austin Aries is in the back, talking to Anonymous Interviewer about how Bully Ray can’t win a match when he doesn’t cheat. He wants to get his hands on Ray.
Ric Flair is elsewhere in the back, talking to Anonymous Interviewer #2 about his party for Eric Bischoff (which is sans-bleep tonight. See what I mean about TNA forgetting things quickly?). Flair says we are going to “rock and Randall”. I don’t know, either. He just continues to verbally fellate Bischoff before giving out a “Woo”.
We will find out later who Hulk Hogan is picking for the tag champs’ opponents tonight. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Hogan picking the opponents for that match pretty much go against everything he talked about in regards to Open Fight Night last week?
In the locker room, we Christopher Daniels and Kazarian walk in on Kurt Angle. Kaz is rambling on about how pathetic AJ Styles is. Angle says he never asked for their help last week, and if they ever get involved in his matches again, they’ll see a side of him they never want to see. Daniels calls Angle and ungrateful ass. Angle hears it, so Daniels plays it off like he’s on the phone. So, Angle’s a face now? Great.
We see wrestlers looking on in the back as Jeremy Borash makes his way out for some reason. Borash reminds us of what night it is. He thanks Hogan for this, as this gives all employees the opportunity to air a grievance or possibly call someone out. He’s not here to call out a wrestler, but he’s here to call out another employee. He’s been here longer than anyone on the current roster, and it’s universally known that there hasn’t been a bigger prick in the last three years to come into the company than Eric Bischoff. If this is going to be Bischoff’s last night here, instead of getting liquored up and demeaning employees on his Facebook page, he’d like to call Bischoff into the ring face-to-face and shove his fist down Bischoff’s throat. So, this is what it’s come to, folks-announcers calling out managers. Because this equals ratings.
Bischoff makes his way down. Honestly, does anyone care about any of this? Borash is about as entertaining or viable as Eric’s worthless son, Garett. The crowd is doing the “Na na na na” chant. Eric takes a picture of Borash. Borash says there needs to be a breathalyzer on Eric’s phone, then asks about apps involving drunk tweets. Eric says he hopes Borash enjoys his 15 seconds of fame here, because he knows he will. He corrects Borash that his phone is an iPhone and not a Blackberry, because we all give a damn. Eric starts to say something else, when Bully Ray comes in from behind and gives Borash a low blow. Eric calls Borash an idiot as Ray films him with his phone. Eric asks a referee to come into the ring, since it’s Open Fight Night.
MATCH 2: Jeremy Borash vs. Eric Bischoff
The referee gets down and counts a 3, making Eric Bischoff the winner of this “match”.
WINNER: Eric Bischoff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even though Eric is here tonight, he lost his job as an employee in the Lethal Lockdown match, meaning Borash calling him out and him “getting the win” were both even more pointless. Yeah, this concept is going to last a really long time.
Mr. Anderson is in the back, talking to Anonymous Interviewer now. He’s rambling on about respect for Eric Bischoff, as Eric is the one who brought him in the company. He more or less calls Eric two-faced. He says everyone thinks Bischoff is an asshole, but that’s not true because Anderson is an asshole; it’s a term of indearment. God, I hate you so much, Anderson. He then calls Bischoff a “frickin’ douchebag, and that douchebag needs to go BUH-BYE.” So much hate for this man.
Mexican America is in the ring. Speaking of wrestlers I hate, Anarquia has been given a microphone. He’s screaming about not being considered for the Tag Team title match. Nobody can beat them at all. Except, you know, everyone on the roster since they haven’t won a match in months. Kurt Angle is apparently going to do so. Anarquia keeps spewing nonsense with fake Spanish peppered in. He makes it look like Hernandez is going to take the match, but attacks Angle from behind as he’s looking at Hernandez.
MATCH 2: Anarquia (w/Hernandez, Rosita and Sarita) vs. Kurt Angle.
Again, when did Angle become a face? Anarquia is punching Angle in the corner, followed by a corner whip. Remember when Angle was the most hated guy in the company? Neither doe these fans. Angle sidesteps a corner charge, hits a release German Suplex, follows up with the Angle Slam and the ankle lock for the submission.
WINNER: Kurt Angle. You know your show is bad when the best match of the night so far has been Bully Ray vs. Devon.
We get a video package for Alex Silva, who will get a chance at a TNA contract tonight in the first Open Fight Night “Gut Check”. Alex Silva makes his way into the Impact Zone, flanked by Al Snow, who has a microphone. Guess we have to wait until after the commercial to hear what Snow has to say.
Back from the break, Snow and Silva are in the ring. Snow is telling us he is the lead judge for these “Gut Checks”. He describes what the Gut Check is, with these guys basically attempting to earn a spot on the roster when facing a TNA star. He then tells all independent stars to sign up for the Gut Check if they want a shot in the future. Tens of independent stars are signing up right now as we speak.
MATCH 4: Alex Silva vs. Robbie E (w/Robbie T)
Al Snow is taking over for Mike Tenay on commentary for this match. E slaps Silva. Silva slaps E. Silva looks like a monkey. He throws a few really weak punches and a clothesline for a 0-count. E hits a clothesline and a bunch of weak kicks. This could headline flea markets all over the country. E with a double axe handle and a back elbow. E with a bodyslam, a knee lift and another bodyslam. E goes to the middle rope, but misses the elbow drop. Silva hits a pair of back elbows and a powerslam. He goes to the middle, but E moves out of the way, kicks him in the gut and hits a punch. The camera awkwardly cuts to a shot of some fans who look terribly bored. E hits a weak implant DDT and gets the 3.
WINNER: Robbie E. Al Snow tells us to email TNA and let them know what we think of Alex Silva. I think I can speak for the other 9 people watching this show when I say that, Silva, you are only embarrassing yourself.
Dixie Carter is telling Anonymous Interviewer about what she’ll miss about Eric Bischoff. Basically, she sarcastically says she’ll miss everything about him, before saying “Pretty much nothing.” Ha! That was so clever.
We see Hulk Hogan in his office, talking to the possible challengers for the Tag Team titles. He lists off the “so many great teams” on the roster, which consist of the Motor City Machine Guns, the mash-up team of Anderson & Jeff Hardy, Kazarian & Christopher Daniels (who have barely teamed since this angle started) and ODB & Eric Young. This is your TNA tag team division, folks. Hogan asks Daniels why his team deserves the shot. Daniels points out the Guns lost at Lockdown. He says in ODB, one of them is a man, and the other has a bad beard. He calls Anderson a “potty mouth”, saying he and Hardy hate each other. Chris Sabin points out the Guns’ accolades, saying they want it more than anyone else. Hogan then calls Hardy and Anderson two of the greatest pieces of talent in history. Anderson kisses Hardy and say he loves him. Apparently, that’s his reason for deserving a shot. As Hogan is asking ODB and Young if they’re ready, you can see that he’s stoned out of his mind. Young says they’re undefeated, and they’re already champions. Hogan tells the Guns they are out of the competition due to Shelley’s knee being bad after Lockdown, but he’ll make his final decision later tonight. Makes sense-eliminate the best team on the roster and one of the best in the world. Good decision.
Brooke Tessmacher makes her way down, calling for a microphone on the way. The former notch on Batista’s bedpost says the entire wrestling world is talking about how she pinned Gail Kim last week. Except no one is talking about that. At all. People are saying it was a fluke (bingo). She’s here to prove that was no fluke, that she’s no fluke, and she’s not a pair of ASS-ets. Oh, that was so good. It may not be a championship match, but she’s calling out Gail Kim’s “high maintenance…self…” out here now.
MATCH 4: Brooke Tessmacher vs. Knockouts Champion Gail Kim (non-title)
Tessy tries to charge in before the bell, but referee Earl Hebner keeps them separated. He then rings the bell after Kim decks Tessy in the back of the head. Kim throws her into the corners a couple of times before whipping her face-first into the mat. Kim botches a running clothesline for 2. Kim slaps her in the face and kicks her in the ribs. Another corner whip, followed by a corner clothesline? I guess? I don’t know. It looked bad. Kim’s off her game tonight. Tessy moves out of the way of a second charge, and fires off some punches. Corner whip by Tessy, but Kim counters with a running clothesline. That one looked better. Kim slams Tessy’s head into the mat before stomping on her. She gets Tessy up in a fireman’s carry, and just releases her face-first. Tessy fights back from her knees, hitting some forearms and a pair of running clotheslines. She hits the Eve Torres Dropsh*t, but Kim sidesteps her on a charge, sending her throat-first into the ropes. Kim gets her in the corner and applies a foot choke. She grabs the title belt and shoves it in Tessy’s face before calling her a “piece of sh*t”. Kim hits the running shoulder in the corner, then goes up top for a seated dropkick. Tessy moves and hits a back suplex into a facebuster for 3.
WINNER: Brooke Tessmacher. Guess she finally upgraded her finisher from the small package.
Up next, Hogan eliminates the second team for the Tag Team title match tonight. I’m on the edge of my seat here.
Anonymous Interviewer is asking Daniels and Kazarian if they’ll get the title match tonight. Daniels says of course. Kazarian makes reference to “a disturbance in the force”, saying AJ Styles isn’t here tonight, but he better show up next week, or they let the “kitty out of the bag”. Kazarian, quit trying to be a nerd. You’re a total dork and a tool, and it’s time you accepted that.
We get video from last week, when RVD became the new #1 contender for the World title, despite really not having done anything at all for months. Just like last year! Hooray for fresh ideas!
We see Al Snow talking to Alex Silva. He hopes Silva realizes the chance he got, and he’ll talk to the other judges and get back to Silva next week with their decision. World Champion Bobby Roode walks in. He calls Silva the “Gut Check kid” before introducing himself. Silva had a chance at a contract tonight. Does he know how long it took Roode to get a contract, to even get seen in this company? He wishes Silva luck before telling him he always has to be ready for the unexpected. Roode then punches him in the stomach.
We’re now back in Hogan’s office with the title contenders. He singles out ODB and Eric Young, saying they’ve “over-trained”. Okay. They’re out of the running for tonight. As Young walks away, his bacne is more prevalent than ever. Hogan tells the two remaining teams to head to the ring, as he’ll make his decision there.
Great. We’ve got Garett Bischoff talking to Anonymous Interviewer now. He’s putting in his two cents about Eric Bischoff now. I’m sure you can guess everything that the face son will say about the heel dad, so I’m not recapping it. I’ve had enough of this asshat.
We see Bully Ray in the back, talking on his cellphone to his girlfriend or whatever. Joseph Abyss walks in and introduces himself. He says it’s a pleasure to meet Ray. Ray responds with, “Of course it is.” Abyss says Ray might know the whereabouts of himself. Ray doesn’t know anything, but if he didn’t, he wouldn’t say anything. Abyss hands him his card, asking him if he knows any information on the whereabouts of himself, Ray should give him a call. Ray tells him to “shove it”. Abyss laughs.
The World Tag Team Champions Magnus and Samoa Joe make their way out to the ring, as it’s time to find out who their opponents are for the night. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian make their way out next, followed by Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson. And, because he has to be out last, Hulk Hogan finally makes his way out. As everyone else is in the ring, he stays on the stage to make his announcement. He wants everyone to know that the atmosphere for Open Fight Night is even wilder in the back than it has been for everyone out here, brother. This decision for the title match has been his toughest decision of the night. Basically, he says he doesn’t like Kazarian and Daniels, but at the same time, Anderson and Hardy can’t work together. Much like Kurt Angle turning face, since when? Anyway, because of this, um, logic?, Hogan says that Anderson and Hardy get the title match. Oh, and in case you weren’t sure it was Open Fight Night, Hogan has said it about 812 times during this broadcast.
MATCH 5-World Tag Team Championship: Champions Magnus and Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson
Taz just referred to this as “Crash TV”. I thought Vince Russo left? Joe starts off with Anderson, backs him into the corner and punches him down. Anderson returns the favor before tripping Joe for 2. Anderson with an arm wringer as Hardy asks for a tag. Anderson ignores it, allowing Joe to tag in Magnus. Anderson tags in Hardy by shoving him. Magnus with a punch and some corner kicks. Hardy catches a headscissors out of the corner and a reverse enziguri for 2. Hardy with an arm wringer as he tags in Anderson. The challengers try a double-team, but Magnus fights them both off and tags in Joe. Joe comes in and runs into a back elbow from Anderson as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Joe is back in control. He throws Anderson to his corner and tags in Magnus. Magnus runs into a trip by Anderson, who turns it into a side headlock. Hardy tags in, hits an inverted atomic drop, a double legdrop and a seated dropkick. Magnus rolls to the outside, and Hardy follows. Joe manages to level Hardy with a clothesline on the outside as Magnus rolls back in the ring. Joe rolls Hardy into the ring for a 2 by Magnus. Joe tags in, and the champions hit the inverted atomic drop/bit boot/running senton series for 2. Joe with a headbutt before throwing Hardy to the corner. Hardy gets his elbow up on a charge, then blows Whisper in the Wind (as always), taking Joe down. Anderson and Magnus both tag in. Anderson hits a clothesline, a back elbow and a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Anderson goes for the rolling fireman’s carry, but Joe charges at him. Anderson drops Magnus and hits Joe with a clothesline. Anderson charges in at Magnus, but Magnus sidesteps, sending Anderson to the floor. Hardy sends Magnus to the floor. Joe hits Hardy with a powerslam for 2, even though neither are legal. Joe picks Hardy up, but Hardy hits a sit-out jawbreaker and the Twist of Fate. Outside the ring, Magnus sends Anderson into the stairs. Hardy gets distracted and nails Magnus with a running clothesline from the apron. Anderson slides back in the ring and goes for the Mic Check. Joe reverses, but Anderson reverses as well into a roll-up. Joe turns the roll-up into the Kokina Clutch, and Anderson taps out.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Magnus and Samoa Joe. At least the right team went over here. Considering what company this is, it wouldn’t have surprised me if Hardy and Anderson won the belts and then held them for the next two years. As the champs are making their way back up the ramp, they’re attacked by Daniels and Kazarian.
Ric Flair’s going-away party for Eric Bischoff is up next. Because it would be stupid to have a match close the show when a Flair/Bischoff party has been promised. Ratings!
They’ve laid out the red canvas in the ring, and filled it with a random fancy chair, a podium and a picture of Eric Bischoff on an easel. Ric Flair comes out, flanked by Bully Ray, Gunner, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. The camera zooms in on Ray’s face for some reason, and he’s starting to look really old. Flair says we’re here tonight not to mourn, but to celebrate, and no one alive knows how to celebrate more than him. Google him. That’s his wife’s favorite line, apparently. We’re celebrating Eric Bischoff tonight. If you have any knowledge of this sport, Eric has been a major impact player, no pun intended. More stupid “na na na na” chants. And people wonder why Flair doesn’t like wrestling fans. They are the rudest people he’s ever met. And now, a man who has impacted TNA Wrestling more than anyone, Mr. Eric Bischoff. As Eric comes out, I notice that his name on his entrance “video” has been blurred, despite the fact that they’ve been saying and showing his name uncensored Ad nauseum all night.
Eric takes his seat in the fancy chair. Flair says he needs to tell Eric what Eric has meant to him, as well as to the other men in the ring and the hundreds who have worked for him. Dixie Carter should be on her knees thanking Eric for the day he came to him. Even though Flair doesn’t like Hogan, Eric is the reason Hogan is here, and more importantly, he’s the reason Flair’s here. These gentlemen here all know what Eric’s done for them as individuals. Flair asks if there are any women in the audience who want to go home and sleep with Eric tonight, meaning he wants to give one of them the poster. Flair then thanks everyone, and hopes everyone knows and appreciates what Eric has done in this business. Gunner then grabs the microphone. He says it’s a sad day for all of us. Eric’s been like a father figure to him and has given him nothing but opportunities. Flair then presents Eric with a gift on behalf of everyone in the ring. It’s a Rolex watch. Bully Ray says he’s never admitted this to another man before, but Eric is the wind beneath his wings. Ray then hugs Eric as Daniels fake cries.
End of show.
What’s left to say, Mama Walton?
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