Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray, a Jarrett gets fired, and a Wild Card Tag Team Tournament to determine the new number one contenders to the TNA Tag Titles
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] A video aired covering what occurred at Final Resolution and hyped the fallout for the rest of the show.
1. Bobby Roode defeated AJ Styles in a five minute overtime match for the TNA Title in 5:24. Styles gained control early and went for a pinfall in the opening minute.
Roode eventually gained control and he targeted Styles' knee. In the final minute, Styles managed to get some momentum, but Roode saw the clock and he avoided Styles. Styles caught Roode with a Pele kick and went for a 450 splash, but he completely overshot and time ran out.
The crowd begged for five more minutes and Sting made his way to the stage. He granted the crowd's wish, and Roode pounced on Styles. Roode locked in a single-leg Boston crab and Styles submitted… [C]
Ryan's Rant: It was refreshing to see the show start off with a match, but this really should have taken place at the PPV. TNA did their paying fans a disservice by turning the PPV into a hype machine for their normal show. It really didn't make a lot of sense for this match to have a time limit considering it was several days removed from the match that it was technically overtime for.
[Q2] Bobby Roode and Styles cut separate promos about their performance in the previous match.
Scott Steiner pumped up Abyss before they headed to the ring for their match.
2. Scott Steiner and Abyss defeated Rob Terry and Hernandez in a Wild Card Tag Team Tournament match in 4:08. Steiner took control early and dominated both Hernandez and Terry.
Steiner tried to tag in Abyss, who refused. Hernandez choked Steiner with his shirt, but Hebner apparently didn't see it despite looking at the choking from several different angles.
Eventually, Abyss tagged in and tore apart both of his opponents. Abyss hit Terry with a Black Hole Slam. Abyss tagged in Steiner to allow him to get the pin.
Backstage, Kurt Angle told the camera he was tired of Sting, and he was going to do something about that… [C]
Ryan's Rant: I don't think the solution to making the tag team division meaningful again is to literally make teams out of thin air and have the entire division consist of strange bedfellows. That team type works well when it happens rarely and once at a time. Literally every team in the division is a strange bedfellows team now, and that just makes it look bush league. I give TNA props for trying something different, but I disagree with the idea they are going with.
[Q3] Kurt Angle made his way to the ring and called out Sting. Sting obliged.
In the ring, Angle complained about his recent losses and claimed Storm cheated and used a loaded boot to knock him out. Angle demanded a rematch with Storm. Sting said Storm needs to move on to Roode.
Angle threatened to beat up Storm's hometown until Storm accepted his challenge. Angle then used Sting's catch phrase and left the ring… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Short and sweet talking segment. Neither man is a really a standout on the mic, but they are great in small doses, which is exactly what we got here.
3. Zema Ion defeated Anthony Neese in a best-of-three series match in 3:54. The two worked some chain wrestling to start. Neese hit a running knee that sent Ion to the floor. He followed with a springboard forearm for a near fall.
Ion battled back and hit a missile dropkick. Ion followed with a monkey flip transitioned into a double upkick for a two count that he lifted Neese for. Ion then hit a tilt-o-whirl facebuster and pulled the same stunt. Ion hit a 450 splash and finally put Neese away.
[Q4] Backstage, Jeff and Karen Jarrett argued over who would give up their career.
Zema Ion talked about how he was the prettiest wrestler in the company. He said "It's all about me, myself, and Ion."… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Very fun match and Ion has a lot of potential. "Prettiest" is an adjective I'd expect to hear from a Gorgeous George type rather than Ion, but at least the X-Division is getting another good heal that can go.
Backstage, Ric Flair told Gunner to take out Jesse Neal.
4. Jesse Neal defeated Gunner via DQ at 1:33. Gunner beat on Neal for a while before Hebner tried to stop him. Gunner shoved Hebner and got DQed.
After the match, Gunner hit Neal with a DDT on exposed concrete.
Jeff Hardy was shown walking backstage and looking angsty… [C]
Ryan's Rant: They had to write Neal off TV somehow, so it might as well go towards getting some heat back on Gunner.
[Q5] Backstage, Karen Jarrett shamelessly flirted with Sting and then begged him to let her stay.
Jeff Hardy made his way to the ring. Hardy talked about the fact that he was the number one contender and he said at genesis he would become the TNA champion. Bully Ray came out and mocked Hardy before telling him that they would be fighting tonight.
Bully Ray thanked Hardy because with Hardy's drug problems, he left a void in Immortal that Ray was allowed to build. Ray said he was no stepping stone but was instead a freight train and Hardy was on his tracks.
Backstage, Samoa Joe got in Magnus's face and the two seemed to get on the same page that they needed to take advantage of this opportunity.
The announcers set up a graphic for the next match that literally lasted half a second. It's like they wanted to pretend that it didn't even exist… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Thank you, Ray for saving that segment. Hardy does not have the mic chops for a babyface promo and Ray is one of the best promos in TNA.
5. Samoa Joe and Magnus defeated Robbie E and Douglas Williams in a Wild Card Tag Team Tournament match in 3:49. British Invasion stared off against each other and worked some chain wrestling.
[Q6] Robbie and Williams took control of Magnus and worked quick tags to wear him down. Magnus got the hot tag to Samoa Joe and Joe wasted no time in eating Williams alive. Joe and Magnus worked together to take out Robbie and Joe hit the Muscle Buster on Williams to pick up the win.
Backstage, Jeff Jarrett talked to Sting and Jeff asked Sting to let Karen down early... [C]
Ryan's Rant: That ending flurry went too quick to transcribe, but it was a brilliant string of moves that made Joe and Magnus looks like monsters. I do not like this tournament, but I like the idea of Magnus and Joe teaming together. I am enjoying the humor between the Jarretts and Sting.
Eric Young talked about teaming with a mystery partner tonight. He mentioned shoot fighting. ODB showed up and told Young she was his tag partner.
Devon made his way to the ring. Devon called out Pope, who made his way to the ring with Devon's sons in tow. Devon claimed his sons and told Pope to stay away from them.
[Q7] Devon tried to leave with his boys and Pope lost it. Pope told Devon that the boys wanted a cool dad. Pope told Devon that he would never be as fly and as pimpin' as him. Devon tried to leave and Pope told Devon not to leave like his wife left him. He said he should have been the boy's father, but he said not to worry, he was working on that.
Devon attacked the Pope but his sons attacked him. Devon's sons held up Devon for Pope to slap him… [C]
Ryan's Rant: This angle jumped the shark for me a long time ago, and I find myself unable to stand anything Pope has done in the past year. I'm just completely sick of this feud and I am so ready for it to just go away.
Backstage, Karen and Jeff lied to each other about what they told Sting. A crew member showed up to tell the Jarretts that Sting wanted to see them. Good stuff.
6. Madison Rayne defeated Traci Brooks in 3:49. Traci attacked Madison before the match. Brooks choked Rayne in the corner. Rayne fought back and returned the favor.
[Q8] Brooks gathered a head of steam and managed to knock Rayne off of her feet. Rayne quickly regained the advantage and she kicked Brooks in the skull for the win… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Very clunky match. Rayne did her best, but Brooks is just so slow and clumsy in the ring.
Backstage, Sting was talking to the Jarretts, who completely reneged on their previous stories. When Sting pointed this out, the Jarretts tried to deny it but Sting showed them footage of their comments. They freaked out. Sting interrupted and fired them both.
Bobby Roode joined the announce team.
[Overrun] 7. Jeff Hardy defeated Bully Ray in 4:39. Bully ray attacked Hardy from behind and went right to work attacking his midsection. Ray put Hardy in the tree of woe and punched his gut. On commentary, Roode incessantly referred to Tenay as The Professor.
Ray locked in a bear hug and followed with a back body drop. Ray missed a vader bomb and Hardy started gathering momentum. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate for a great near fall. Hardy quickly followed with a second Twist of fate to pick up the victory.
After the match, Ray tried to attack Hardy but hardy gained the upper hand. Roode ran down and hit Hardy from behind. Ray grabbed a table and set it up in the ring. Ray powerbombed Hardy through the table. Sting ran down to the ring and got in Roode's face. Roode hit Sting with his title and the show ended with Roode mocking Hardy. Luckily, they elected not to sue the overly dramatic music.
Ryan's Rant: Good match that was somewhat hindered by Roode's commentary. When he first turned, Roode sounded great but his character is quickly becoming something that just feels forced and makes a lot of his efforts to gather heat lose effect.
Overall, this was a very solid edition of impact. We got plenty of wrestling and the talking segments were short and to the point. My only real complaint was the Devon family drama segment, but otherwise this was a very entertaining show. The past two hours felt like they went by very quickly without leaving me drained and exhausted.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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