By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling on Spike TV
Taped in Manchester, England
[Q1] Impact opened with a recap video that focussed on the Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Brooke Hogan, and Aces & 8's saga, Hulk setting up this week's main event tables match, and Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco revealing themselves as Aces & 8's... Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz checked in on commentary...
Aces & 8's members Devon, DOC, Mr. Anderson, Garett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, and one masked man headed to the ring. Devon took the mic and recalled saying the group would dominate 2013. He said they are kicking in the front door of TNA. Video footage was shown of the Bischoff and Brisco attack on Kurt Angle last week.
Devon got the "What?" treatment as he introduced Bischoff and Brisco as the newest members of the group. Garett acknowledged the fan jeers by saying he received complete disrespect. "To hell with all of you," Bischoff said before adding that Aces & 8's is his new family.
Brisco said Hulk Hogan didn't answer his phone calls for two years and then told him that he had to start at the bottom and work his way to the top. "A Brisco at the bottom?" he asked. Wes said his father gave Angle his first pair of wrestling boots. There were loud chants of "You can't wrestle."
Devon said that Kurt Angle shouldn't even think about coming back to TNA. He said it was fine that Hogan put them in the tables match main event because Aces & 8's always has backup. "We will always have an ace under our sleeve," Devon concluded...
Backstage, Tara and Jessie entered Brooke Hogan's office and complained that it was too cold and they deserve first class treatment. Brooke said they sound so petty and selfish. Tara said she hasn't even had a massage yet. Brooke said Tara would face Miss Tessmacher and Jessie was banned from ringside. Brooke told Jessie to get her a coffee... [C]
Powell's POV: The reaction to Aces & 8's felt more mocking than legitimate heat at times. They kept the explanations of Bischoff and Brisco short and sweet. Their explanations were fine since they are something you could see their characters actually believing. Devon still isn't the right mouthpiece for the group. Isn't that Taz's job now? Meanwhile, Brooke did a good job of showing frustration during her backstage segment. She's not the best talker, but she's improving.
[Q2] 1. Rob Van Dam Zema Ion vs. Kenny King for the X Division Title. King had the first offensive flurry and hit a corkscrew dive onto Van Dam a ringside. Ion followed up with a flip over the top rope onto both opponents. During the match, Toddy Keneley noted that Dixie Carter would appear on Bellator (after Impact) and would have "more huge news about taking Impact on the road."
Later, King and Ion worked a good portion of the match while Van Dam sold at ringside. King executed a Northern Lights suplex on Ion. However, Van Dam recovered and hit a Five Star Frogsplash on King. Van Dam quickly covered Ion and got the pin...
Rob Van Dam defeated Zema Ion and Kenny King in 6:00 to retain the X Division Title.
Backstage, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode agreed they are unstoppable when they put their egos aside. They still had quick jabs such as Roode noting that they were both former TNA Champions, though he was the longest running champion... [C]
Powell's POV: It was nice to see Ion and King get a good portion of the match, but there personalities didn't really shine as much as they should. The division is in a rough spot right now as Van Dam has burned through the top contenders. I continue to question the logic of Van Dam being in the division since he just looks like a heavyweight star plowing through the young cruiserweights.
[Q3] Tenay set up a video recap of the TNA British Bootcamp reality show that aired in the UK... A video recapped the Bischoff and Brisco segment...
Backstage, Bruce Prichard and D-Lo Brown spoke about Bischoff and Brisco. Prichard said they bent over backwards to make Bischoff feel welcome despite his last name. He also said he's known Wes his entire life and he's the last person he would have expected to do what he did. He concluded that he and D-Lo can look at themselves in the mirror to see who is responsible for Brisco being in TNA...
Powell's POV: The backstage segment with Prichard and D-Lo was so worthless that I assume it actually served a purpose in some story they are telling. Did Brisco actually say "Hawk Hogan" during his earlier promo?
Jessie stood in the ring and announced that Brooke banned him from ringside during Tara's match. He said he was going to give them a chance to see a true Hollywood star. He posed for the fans and told them he was giving them a photo opportunity. James Storm's music played.
Storm said the people didn't pay to take his picture, they paid to see someone get beat up. He recalled Tara saving him from a Last Call superkick last week. He said he was going to kick the crap out of him, drink some beer, and pick up Jessie so the people could see him without teeth in his mouth...
2. James Storm vs. Jessie. Storm suffered a bloody nose early on. He dominated the match and finished off Jessie with the Eye of the Storm followed by the Last Call superkick, just as he promised. After the match, he sat Jessie up and asked him what he said. "Sorry about my damn luck, Cowboy," Storm said in a high-pitched voice...
The announced hyped the tag title match for after the break...
Powell's POV: Jessie seemed at ease performing on the mic in front of the biggest live crowd he's worked in front of. Storm's promo was well received and the crowd rallied behind him when he sold early on. That said, Storm seems lost in no man's land right now as he doesn't really have a program going into the second of the four TNA pay-per-views this year.
[Q4] [C] 3. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries for the TNA Tag Titles. Aries gloated and tried to get Roode to high-five him, but Roode clapped to avoid tagging in because Hernandez was in the ring. Later, Roode pulled Chavo from the ring and held him while Aries performed a suicide dive, but Chavo broke free and Aries crashed into Roode. [C] After the break, Chavo worked over Aries as the crowd chanted Austin's name.
[Q5] The announcers joked about the British dessert called spotted dick. The champions used quick tags to maintain control, but they lost it when the heels worked over Chavo. There were dueling chants for Aries and Chavo. Hernandez eventually took the hot tag and used power moves on both opponents. Chavo tagged in and delivered two of the Three Amigos, but Aries cut off the third and went for the Brainbuster.
Chavo avoided the move by shoving Aries into Roode. Roode got upset and said they were finished and walked off. Hernandez set up for the Border Toss as Chavo went to the ropes, but Roode returned and broke it up by shoving Chavo down. Roode threw Hernandez to the floor. Aries hit a dropkick on Chavo in the corner. Roode performed a spinebuster on Chavo and then Aries delivered a 450 splash on Chavo for the win...
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode defeated Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez to win the TNA Tag Titles in 17:45.
Powell's POV: Good action down the stretch. The Roode walkout seemed like an unnecessary swerve. Austin using the 450 splash as a heel is questionable since it's naturally going to get a babyface reaction. The announcing is a mess. Taz said he loved it when Aries and Roode won. He's essentially become a heel color commentator. I'm not sure why he had to join Aces & 8's to do that, but now I just find myself questioning why he likes the TNA heels when he's an Aces & 8's member.
Backstage, Sting and Brooke Hogan left the room and allowed Hulk and Bully Ray to speak. Hogan said the tables match is right up Bully's alley. He said he wanted it to end tonight and it's on Ray to prove to everyone how wrong he was. Hulk said nothing would make him happier than Ray showing the world that he's the good guy he says he is.
Ray said he's not a good guy. "Just because I'm good to your daughter doesn't make me a good guy," Ray said. He said he hasn't forgotten what Aces & 8's did to Hulk, Sting, or him and Brooke. Ray asked Hogan if he knows who he is. "I'm Bully Ray and I ain't no good guy," he said. "I'm a very bad one." Hogan said that if Ray is family, this match is right up his alley. He told him this ends tonight. "Consider it done, dad," Ray said. "Perfect," Hogan said with a devious grin after Ray left the room...
[Q6] [C] Local scenery was shown and then a video recapped A.J. Styles's rough 2012...
4. Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher in a non-title match. Tara looked depressed as she looked to the back because Jessie wasn't allowed to accompany her. Taryn Terrell was the referee. Late in the match, Tessmacher shook her crotch in Tara's face on the rope. "Interesting offense," Taz said. Tara pushed her off and then caught her running back toward her and dropped her on the turnbuckle. Tessmacher hit her finisher and pinned Tara clean... [C]
Miss Tessmacher defeated Tara in a non-title match in 6:25.
Powell's POV: Not the best match we've seen from Tara and Tessmacher. The live crowd was happy to see women. The announcers were happy to tell variations of their spotted dick joke.
[Q7] Jeremy Borash stood in the ring and introduced British Bootcamp winner Rockstar Spud, who received a good reaction from his fellow countrymen. Spud started to rave about being where he wanted to be when he was quickly interrupted by Robbie E's music. Robbie E and Robbie T came out and confronted Spud.
Robbie E said it's a travesty that Jessie won unless they are hiring midgets. "There's no place for short people in this business," Taz quipped. Robbie continued insulting Spud until Spud went face to face with him. Robbie E hid behind Robbie T and said T would knock out Spud if he told him to.
Robbie T dropped the list he carries around with him and slowly bent over to pick it up. Spud punched Robbie E in the face. Robbie E rolled out of the ring. Robbie T stood up and brushed off his clipboard and played dumb as Robbie E threw a fit at ringside. Spud moved Robbie T's arm to the beat of the music then made the devil horn side. The fans cheered...
Powell's POV: I was hoping to hear more from Spud, who showed natural charisma on Bootcamp. Robbie E did a good job of cutting into him and heeling it up. The post punch antics were fun for the UK fans, not so much for this viewer watching in the U.S.
Backstage, Sting and Bully Ray were talking backstage. Ray said he wouldn't let Sting down and he vowed to put Aces & 8's through tables. Brooke asked if they were ready. Sting told Ray to get his game face on. Ray said he might put on the warpaint. Sting said it was showtime then. Ray yelled it was showtime. Brooke yelled too and then said, "Go get 'em, tiger," and squealed... [C]
Powell's POV: Don't show viewers Brooke being annoying moments before Ray is about to wrestle. Fans seem to have accepted the silliness of their relationship, but tolerating her there is a lot to ask of viewers. I don't like the way the Aces & 8's members feel interchangeable. Sting and Ray have history with Devon and DOC, but they could just as easily be facing the masked guy and Wes Brisco given the way they speak generically about facing Aces & 8's.
A recap of Jeff Hardy being attacked by Aces & 8's with a hammer aired. Tenay said the update on Hardy is that an MRI showed no damage and he will be back on Impact. Taz acted disappointed...
Ring announcer Christy Hemme introduced the main event wrestlers...
[Q8] 5. Sting and Bully Ray vs. Devon and DOC in a tables match. Sting and Ray both wore face paint and were on the offensive early. Taz took a more serious approach while calling the main event and seemed like his character was invested in the match. All four men brawled, no tag team rules. Sting and Ray were in control when the show went to break. [C]
After the break, Aces & 8's were in control. DOC choked Ray with a studded collar. Ray got the collar and Sting turned the tide in the ring. Sting held Devon's legs out. Ray performed the Devon mannerisms of the old Team 3D move before hitting a second rope headbutt into Devon's groin. Ray then shoved Sting on the chest for the tables and Sting did the same. They led the crowd in a "get the tables" call.
Sting and Ray brought the table into the ring, but Devon and DOC recovered and regained control. Sting caught DOC on the ropes and went for a superplex with a table set up in the ring. Mike Knox (who still needs a TNA name) ran through the crowd and moved the table. Devon accidentally punched Knox. Sting and DOC fought to ringside.
Devon punched Ray, who no-sold his shots and gave him the bulging eye look and then Hulked up. "Are you kidding me, what the hell is going on?" Taz asked. Ray did the Hulk routine, including the big boot, and then slammed Devon through the table to win the match for his team...
Bully Ray and Sting defeated Devon and DOC in a tables match in 14:05.
After the match, Hulk and Brooke walked to the ring together and clapped for Sting and Ray. Hulk raised the hands of everyone in the ring and the crowd cheered. Hogan played to the crowd by cupping his ears. Hogan and Ray hugged. Tenay said Taz walked away in disgust so he had to handle the replay call...
Powell's POV: Another loss for Aces & 8's. It's hard to take the heel faction seriously when they always lose. The live crowd was definitely into the match and they created a good atmosphere throughout the show. There next two shows were taped in London so that good atmosphere should continue.
Overall, this felt like a house show with a tag title change. It didn't feel like most of the stories were forwarded and I'm not sure how Ray and Sting winning the tables match was supposed to be the end of Aces & 8's as Hogan and Ray kept implying it would be. Well, unless they meant that the latest Aces & 8's loss would be the one that ruined the group once and for all. They didn't do a very good job of hyping Dixie Carter's announcement for Bellator consistently enough to make it seem like a big deal. I thought they would have edited something into the final call so they could have teased her announcement to close the show. We'll have the details later tonight. Thanks for watching along with me.
Check back on Friday for an All Access Audio review of TNA Impact from Will Pruett, as well as his TNA Pause review and Ryan Kester's TNA Rundown.
2/7 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage review: Bully Ray and Sting vs. DOC and Devon in a tables match, Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Hernandez vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries for the TNA Tag Titles
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:00 PM
Feb 7, 2013 - 07:00 PM
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