1/5 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Jeff Hardy, James Storm, and Abyss vs. Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, and Bully Ray, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James and Traci Brooks, and A.J. Styles and Kazarian vs. Samoa Joe and Magnus
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The show opened with the same old video package about how Bobby Roode is selfish; now with some sound bites from Bully Ray that are in support of Roode's actions.
Sting entered the arena and made his way to the ring. Once there, he requested the presence of Jeff hardy, and Hardy immediately obliged. Hardy had half of his face covered in his paint mask. Sting told hardy he was impressed with the progress he has made and the work he has done to regain the trust of the locker room. Sting spoke candidly about his own demons and he said that he too had a second chance, and he's been running with his ever since.
Sting talked about how Hardy's rebirth was causing the creatures to come out of the woodwork. Sting said that he was giving Hardy his one-hundred percent endorsement.
Bobby Roode is so off the chain that he had to make his appearance. Roode came to the ring with Bully Ray and Kurt Angle at his side. Roode said he was about to puke and he mocked Sting for his biased officiating. Roode asked why he wasn't getting Sting's endorsement. He ran through his buzz words before asking why Sting wasn't endorsing his fellows.
Roode put over the Kurt Angle bar beatdown and Bully Ray's legs. Roode said that Sting picks his favorites. Roode then asked Hardy if he was staring at his belt. Roode said he doesn't care about Hardy's creatures, and he asked him what he was going to do.
James Storm's music played and he came to the ring with Abyss by his side. Storm told Roode to shut his mouth. He asked Angle if the reason he wasn't talking was because he had his jaw wired shut by the Last Call he received last week. Storm recalled looking in Angle's eyes a few months ago and seeing a man that new no fear, but now he was looking at a man he knew was scared.
Storm said that since Angle likes to beat up on his buddies, he brought another one. Storm indicated Abyss, and Storm and Abyss shared a bear. Angle tried to talk, but Abyss stole a mic. Uh oh.
Abyss told Bully Ray that Immortal disrespected and abused him for months but now they need him. Abyss, however, said that he does not need Immortal anymore. He just needs Bully Ray in a Monster's ball match. He promised to make Bully ray suffer for the sins of Immortal.
[Q2] Sting took control again and made a six-man tag team main event for the evening… [C]
Ryan's Rant: That got long in the tooth very quickly. They tried to pack so much in fifteen little minutes. They set up the main event well, but I worry that this segment is a sign that TNA is going to take the standard approach of trying to hype every single storyline on the go-home show and giving little focus to any of them rather than hyping the main storylines and relying on their previous shows to serve as hype for the undercard.
Back from commercial, Madison Rayne was showing off a new Bikini and I was jealous of the warm weather. Rayne then noticed Traci Brooks in the pool. Rayne and Brooks started to fight, and Gail Kim set the camera down and jumped in to help. Rayne and Kim attempted to drown Brooks until Mickie James showed up and chased the heels off.
1. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne defeated Mickie James and Traci Brooks to retain the TNA Knockouts Tag Titles in 10:29. The match broke down at the start with Brooks and Kim battling on the floor while James and Rayne fought in the ring.
Kim ended up alone in the ring with the babyfaces, and the pair double-teamed her. Kim was deposited on the floor with her tag partner, and the show went to break... [C]
James continued her assault on Madison Rayne while Kim and Brooks remained on the ring apron. Kim caused a distraction that allowed Rayne to gain control.
[Q3] Rayne worked James over with a series of kicks and chokes. James eventually got the hot tag to Brooks, who hit a quick flurry on Kim. Kim hit Eat Defeat out of nowhere and Rayne held onto James to prevent her from breaking the count.
Backstage Ric Flair put over Gunner and said that pretty soon, no one would want to face Gunner and they could spend every day in the bar. Sting showed up and told Gunner and Flair that Flair would be banned from ringside. In fact, Sting said that Flair would watch the match with him. Flair told Gunner to kill RVD tonight.
Ryan's Rant: I like Flair being paired with Gunner, but I am growing to despise the storyline they have for them. As for the Knockouts tag, everything was going well until Brooks entered the ring. She's simply too green to be out there and she took away from what had been a pretty good Knockout tag match.
Eric Young was running around backstage looking for ODB. He was convinced they were in love and still in the Wild Card Tag Team Tournament.
Tenay narrated a video recap of the tournament thus far.
Backstage, Magnus gave Samoa Joe a pep talk and Joe seemed to be on the same page. Elsewhere, Kazarian and AJ Styles were talking about how they are faster than their opponents and they plan to use that to their advantage.
Garret Bischoff was shown backstage putting on his referee shirt. Sting showed up and told Eric that he wasn't going to ref the next match. He told him to take his shirt off and then he gave him a pair of boots. Sting told garret he's not a referee, he's a wrestler.
Eric Young walked into the Knockout's locker room. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne screamed at him. He responded by locking up with them both and then locking Rayne in one of the lockers.
2. RVD beat Gunner via DQ in 9:45. The two men traded control several times in the early going without either man gaining any real advantage… [C]
Back from commercial, Gunner was firmly in control of RVD. Gunner choked RVD on the ropes and set up for an F5.
[Q5] RVD fought back with a step over enziguri and a standing moonsault. RVD hit Rolling Thunder and Gunner rolled to the floor.
RVD tried to follow but Gunner cut him off and exposed the concrete floor, causing the DQ. Gunner tried to piledrive RVD in the concrete, but RVD reversed it into a back body drop. RVD tried to set Gunner upon the guard rail for the flying leg drop, but Gunner moved and RVD crashed into the steel.
Gunner again set up for the piledriver but the TNA agents ran out to stop him.
Backstage, the babyface team for the main event was talking. Storm said they were not scared. Hardy said that tonight was a warm-up match for Genesis. Abyss said he does not need Immortal, he only needs Bully Ray.
Then it was the heel team's turn. Roode said there would be no friends for Hardy at Genesis. Angle said that tonight, he's going to snap Storm's ankle. Bully Ray told Abyss "screw you, and screw your Monster's Ball match."… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Where were those agents when Gunner was destroying everyone else? This is definitely one of those nights where it feels like TNA is cramming everything they can into one show. We've had only two matches so far, and the majority of both of their times was spent on commercial breaks.
3. Zema Ion and Jesse Sorensen defeated Kid Kash and Austin Aries in 7:06. Sorensen started against Kash and when Sorensen gained control, Ion tagged into the match.
This proved foolish, and Kash and Aries immediately took control of Ion and worked quick tags to wear him down.
[Q6] Ion got the tag to Sorensen, who quickly took Aries off of his feet with a dropkick. Sorensen set up for his neckbreaker, but Kash ran in and attacked him from behind. Aries and Kash returned to their double-teaming onslaught.
Ion blind tagged back into the match and hit a springboard DDT on Aries. Sorensen returned the blind-tag favor and he quickly took out both Aries and Kash. Sorensen set up to fly, and Ion bling tagged for the umpteenth time. Ion ascended the ropes and missed his 450 splash.
Sorensen blind tagged Ion. Aries didn't see the tag and went to hit Ion with a brainbuster, but Sorensen snuck up on him and hit his neckbreaker for the win.
Backstage, AJ Styles called for Kazarian to join him for their match. After they left, Christopher Daniels was shown leaving the room that Kazarian came from… [C]
Ryan's Rant: That's more like it. This didn't make a lot of storyline sense, but it was a unique tag team match that had plenty of good action.
Eric Young found ODB taking pictures of some dude. The two ended up rolling around on the floor before ODB gave Young a big kiss.
4. Magnus and Samoa Joe defeated AJ Styles and Kazarian in 6:14. Joe and Magnus took control first, and they worked rapid tags while they wore down Styles.
[Q7] Styles caught Joe with a head scissors and tagged in Kazarian. The babyfaces took their turn controlling the action with rapid tags.
Magnus managed to tag in Joe, and the two worked a quick flurry of moves on Kazarian to turn the tide in their favor. Joe and Magnus again worked quick tags to tear apart their opponent. Kazarian got the hot tag to Styles.
Styles attacked Magnus and hit the Pele Kick. Kazarian begged to get into the match as Christopher Daniels made his way onto the ramp. When Styles went to make the tag, Kazarian jumped off the apron.
Joe pounced on Styles and hit a snapmare on Styles that set Magnus up to hit a flying elbow drop. Joe covered Styles for the pin… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Interesting development. I question why this waited until a go-home show to take place, but it still has me intrigued. Unfortunately, Joe and Magnus winning the Tournament was overshadowed by the Styles and Kazarian story.
Backstage, Crimson and Matt Morgan were talking about how Joe and Magnus had signed their death certificate. Joe and Magnus showed up and a brawl broke out. Luckily those trusty TNA agents were just off camera to pull them apart.
Tenay and Taz ran down the Genesis card.
[Q8] Jeff Hardy, James Storm, and Abyss vs. Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, and Bully Ray ended in a no-contest in 12:21. Ray and Strom started, and the two worked each other over with punches and chops. Abyss tagged in for his team and Roode tagged in for his. The heels managed to get Abyss in their corner, and they started to wear him down as the show went to break… [C]
The show returned to Kurt Angle kicking Abyss' legs out from underneath him. Roode tagged in but Abyss fought back and hit a double clothesline. Storm tagged in and he took out Roode and Angle.
Ray managed to halt Storm's momentum by kicking Storm when he ran the ropes. Ray tagged in and hit a handful of power moves on Storm. Angle tagged in and tried for a clothesline, but Storm kick Angle's arm and hit a side Russian legsweep. Cool spot.
Storm got the hot tag to hardy, who took out all three heels quickly. Hardy ran through his move set on Roode and hit the Twist of fate. The match broke down and the referee called for the bell. Boo.
[Overrun] The men continued to brawl. Hardy hit Roode with another Twist of Fate. Hardy went for the Swanton Bomb but Ray stopped him. Storm pulled ay off of the apron, got in the ring and hit Roode with a Codebreaker.
Storm set up for the Last call on Roode but Kurt Angle dove in the ring and hit a Last Call of his own on Storm. Abyss lumbered into the ring and set Angle up for Shock treatment. Ray hit Abyss from behind with a gold chain. The heels each stomped on their Genesis opponents. Bully Ray choked Abyss with his chain.
The show went off of the air with Bobby Roode locking Jeff Hardy in the crossface, Kurt Angle locking James Storm in the ankle lock, and Bully ray torqueing on the choke chain of Abyss.
Ryan's Rant: The match was pretty good, but it got overshadowed by the brawl after the match, which simply went on way too long. The DQ finish didn't help matters much for my enjoyment.
Alright, here is the problem I have with these types of go-home shows. TNA does their best to cram as many storylines into the go-homes as possible, which leads to tag matches that don't make sense and a wealth of disjointed backstage segments. The show loses its flow fast and no angle gets any real deep focus or progression. I find myself unable to absorb anything that happened before they are already moving on to the next story. By the end of the show, I am left exhausted and unentertained and have no idea what TNA wants me to be investing my energy in. What hard sell should I be talking with my buddies around the water cooler with?
Things get lost in the shuffle easily on shows like this. It's not a good sign when I have to go back and reread my report just to recall what happened when I just finished watching the show. Please don't get me wrong, there was plenty to enjoy on this week's edition of Impact when the segments are compartmentalized and kept in a vacuum. As a whole, however, the show was its own worst enemy and some of the entertaining aspects got left in the dust. I'll have more to say tomorrow in my Rundown and when I join Will Pruett on the Member's Exclusive Audio Review of this show. Have a lovely evening.
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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