2/23 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: James Storm and Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle and Bully Ray, Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. Matt Morgan and Crimson, Zema Ion vs. Alex Shelley, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] A quick video recapped Bobby Roode's feud with Sting.
Bobby Roode's music filled the Impact Zone and the TNA Champion made his way to the ring. Tenay and Taz talked about Sting's "I'm done" tweet and they showed the reaction of several TNA officials. Once Roode finally entered the ring, he was greeted with a "you suck" chant from the crowd.
Roode discussed Sting's tweet and he celebrated Sting being done. The crowd chanted for Sting. Roode said Sting would be there later to tell the world that he is, in fact, done. Roode then changed course and began to put himself over.
Roode spoke about his TNA title reign, but he said ending Sting's career would not only be the greatest accomplishment in his career, but in his life. Roode ran through a list of Sting's previous opponents and said that he is the only man that can lay claim to ending Sting's career.
Roode called from a truce tonight and he told Sting to remember one thing when he says his goodbye tonight, "Don't let the door hit you on the [insert censored word here] on the way out…"
Matt Morgan and Crimson bickered backstage abut who lost them their tag team championships. Morgan talked about how they are the two most dominant men in TNA and tonight they needed to win their titles back. Crimson said he was in…
1. Samoa Joe and Magnus defeated Matt Morgan and Crimson to retain the TNA Tag Team Championships in 8:50. Morgan and Crimson attacked early and began to work over Joe. Samoa Joe got a tag to Magnus, but Crimson was able to gain control of the fresh man quickly.
Crimson hit a tilt-o-whirl inverted STO on Magnus, but Magnus tagged Joe in at 2:05 as the show went to break…
At 6:02, the show returned with Samoa Joe firmly in control of Crimson, who the announcers are still referring to as undefeated. Morgan got the hot tag and he quickly took out both of his opponents.
Crimson and Morgan set Samoa Joe up for a double-team move, but Joe dove out of the way and Morgan ate a clothesline from Crimson. Joe disposed of Crimson, and Samoa Joe and Magnus hit their snapmare-into-elbow drop combination on Morgan to pick up the victory…
The announcers hyped Brandon Jacobs' return to Impact Wrestling after the break… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Great opening promo from Roode. He's really beginning to find his heel rhythm. Likewise, the opening tag match was done well and was a hot way to kick off Impact. The show is moving at a frantic pace so far.
New York Giants' Brandon Jacobs made his way to the ring. Once there, he told everyone who he is and why he's relevant. He said the one thing to do after you win the Super Bowl is to go to Impact. Jacobs said he was there last week with his drinking buddy James Storm.
Jacobs said he may have overstepped his bounds last week and caused what happened between him and Bully Ray. He said that didn't excuse Bully Ray spitting in his face. Jacobs said he was back one more time and he had some unfinished business. Jacobs called out Bully Ray.
[Q3] Bully Ray quickly obliged. Ray told "Brenda" to settle down. Ray put over his calves briefly before comparing championship careers with Jacobs. This led to a Brandon Jacobs chant.
Bully Ray said he'd love to beat the crap out of a Super Bowl champion, except he had a match later on in the evening. Jacobs said if Ray wasn't coming to him, he would go to Bully Ray. Jacobs chased Bully Ray into the back… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Jacobs did a good job here for someone that doesn't cut promos for a living. Yes, I would prefer precious Impact time to be devoted to actual wrestling storylines or wrestling matches. But if you're going to bring in a celebrity, at least TA found one that can hold his own. I do not want this to become a frequent occurrence in TNA, but this round was relatively painless.
Back from the break, Brandon Jacobs was talking into the camera. James Storm and Jeff hardy found him and the trio walked away together…
2. Zema Ion defeated Alex Shelley in 3:58. Ion attacked Shelley before the bell. Ion rolled Shelley into the ring and started to target his midsection. Ion took a break to spray his hair and Austin Aries made his way to ringside with some popcorn.
Shelley used Aries' distraction to gain control. Shelley went up top and hit a missile dropkick. Ion regained control and locked in an armbar. Shelley made the ropes.
Shelley hit Ion with a series of kicks and knocked him to the floor. Shelley followed with a suicide dive. Ion grabbed his hairspray can and played possum in the ring.
Shelley went to attack Ion and got a face full of hairspray. Ion hit a tilt-o-whirl facebuster followed by a running double knee for the pinfall victory…
Ryan's Rant: They managed to pack of a lot of action in the four minutes they were given. This has been an entertaining show thus far, but TNA needs to slow down a bit at some point. They are working a frantic pace and if they aren't really taking time to let anything digest. This is a recurring problem in TNA, and I hope they rectify it by the end of the show.
A video package covering the Gunner/Garett Bischoff feud aired…
Backstage, Garett Bischoff spoke with the camera about how he will not be deterred by his father's actions. He said no matter what anyone says or does, eh will be in the Impact Zone doing his thing. Hulk Hogan showed up and put over Garett's DNA. Hulk Hogan said Garett has nothing to prove. Garett says he knows, and he appreciates everything Hogan has done for him. Hogan said someone is going to try and screw Garett up…
Elsewhere, Madison Rayne discussed her number one contendership and she said she was just being a good friend by providing Gail Kim with competition… [C]
3. Gail Kim defeated ODB (w/ Eric Young) in 5:54. Kim and ODB jawed back and forth to start. Taz and Tenay talked about Chris Brown. Ugh.
[Q5] Kim controlled the match until she jumped or a running cross body and ODB caught her. ODB. Hit a fallaway slam. Kim managed to maintain control, however, and she worked over ODB as Young worked up the crowd.
Kim locked in an octopus stretch, but ODB hit a sidewalk slam to break the hold. ODB charged at Kim, but Kim managed to catch her with a clothesline. Madison Rayne walked down the ramp while Young gave ODB some whiskey.
ODB began tearing Kim apart and hit a thez press for a near fall. Moments later, Kim hit ODB with Eat Defeat for the win…
AJ Styles spoke with the camera and he said he needs to shift gears and focus on the TNA title. He said that is what's important to him.
Ryan's Rant: That match was a bit all over the place. Kim got a lot of offense in, but ODB's comedy offense did not mesh well with Kim's current style.
A video package covering Jesse Sorensen's injury, complete with testimonials form Sorensen and his mother aired. The announcers hyped a get well Jesse hash tag.
4. AJ Styles defeated Robbie E ( w/ Robbie T) in a TV Title match via DQ in 4:49. Styles wasted no time in tearing apart Robbie E. Styles hit a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker before locking in an inverted STF.
[Q6] Styles released the hold and Robbie E ran and hid behind Robbie T. Robbie E managed to gain control as he climbed back into the ring.
Robbie E ran through his move set and he hit a flying forearm drop form the second rope for a near fall. Styles did not like that, and he made Robbie E pay with a series of chops and dropkicks. Styles hit a backbreaker that caught Robbie E on the ribs.
Styles set up for the Styles Clash and Robbie T jumped on the apron. Styles managed to catch Robbie E with a Pele kick. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian walked down the ramp and Kazarian attacked Styles, causing the disqualification… [C]
Ryan's Rant: It's uninvolved participant night in TNA. Four matches so far, and the past three featured someone walking down the ramp to cause a distraction. Less is more, TNA. The match itself was relatively inoffensive, but Robbie E hasn't meant enough for so long that it was difficult for me to really get invested in this match.
[Q7] 5. James Storm and Jeff Hardy (w/ Brandon Jacobs) defeated Bully Ray and Kurt Angle in a no disqualification tag team match in 13:21. Angle and Storm started the match and traded control several times back and forth. Both men tagged out and the show went to break at 1:98... [C]
Back at 6:20, Jeff hardy hit Bully Ray with Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Kurt Angle grabbed Hardy's leg from the outside and pulled his crotch into the steel post. Bully Ray and Angle took turns attacking Hardy.
Eventually, Hardy got the hot tag to Storm, who quickly turned the match in his favor. Storm hit Ray with several knees, but Angle ran in and took him out with a belly-to-belly suplex. Hardy took out Angle, only to eat a big boot from Ray.
Angle and Ray went for a table, but Hardy dropkicked the table into their faces. The teams battled over who would set the table up in the ring. Storm caught Angle with a Last Call. Bully Ray attacked Storm, and Brandon Jacobs entered the ring.
Ray and Jacobs got in a three point stance, but Storm slapped Bully Ray. Ray turned and walked right into a chokeslam from Jacobs through the table. Storm covered Ray for the pinfall victory.
[Q8] Jacobs and Storm celebrated with a few beers. Jacobs grabbed a microphone and told Bully Ray "Sorry about your damned luck." [C]
Ryan's Rant: Ok, that exhausted a lot of my good will for Jacobs from earlier in the evening. I am fine with celebrity spots, but not when they become the focus of a show's main event. TNA went overkill with Jacobs tonight. The match itself was very well wrestled and was entertaining, but nothing was accomplished here because the entire focus was for TNA to celebrate that they got an NFL champion on their show.
Sting's music played and he quickly made his way to the ring. Once he accomplished that task, he grabbed a mic and he said it was obvious, he made it public that he was done. Sting said he lost control and it was simply too much for him to handle. Sting said he was pushed over the edge and he was done.
Bobby Roode thought this would be a brilliant time to make his presence known, and he quickly joined Sting in the ring. Roode faked wiping tears from his eyes.
Roode apologized and he said he felt the need to be by Sting's side at the time when Sting tells the world that Bobby Roode is the better man. Sting said Bobby's name several times and he told Roode that he didn't win the war, let only a battle. Sting said that Roode helped Sting to wake up. Sting removed his glasses and put on some face paint.
Sting went full Joker as he told Roode that he wasn't going halfway anymore. Sting said he was going to put on his boots, his tights, and his war paint. Sting said at Victory Road he was going to kick the living crap out of Roode. Sting dropped the Joker act for the last line and Roode looked mortified.
Roode tried to kick Sting but Sting caught his foot and kicked him in the crotch. Roode writhed in pain and Sting told Roode to follow the yellow brick road to Victory Road.
Ryan's Rant: Good work here from Sting. I'm not a fan of the Joker shtick anymore than I was before, but the way he dropped the act for the line about how he would kick the crap out of Roode worked very well. Overall, this was a very solid show. I didn't care for the focus on Brandon Jacobs in the main event or the repeated walk-in spots, but that's picking nits. I will say that TNA needs to pull back the pace just a bit and give the announcers time to reflect on what's going on with the show. With how quick they moved from segment to segment, it's easy for things to get lost in the shuffle.
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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