3/1 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Bobby Roode responds to Sting's declaration, Kurt Angle addresses Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a gauntlet match, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped 2/27/11 in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] A video package opened the show covering Bobby Roode and Sting's confrontation from last week…
Earlier today, Kurt Angle was laughing his head off because tonight he will tell us why he hates Jeff Hardy. He pointed out that he had cue cards to help him…
An updated TNA opening video aired…
Kurt Angle made his entrance, cue cards in hand. When he was in the ring, he made mention of the fact that he's been quiet the past few weeks. He started to list the reasons he hates Hardy. Number one, he has hair and Angle does not. He said having hair does not make you a champion.
Number two, Hardy dresses weird and uses face paint. He said it's embarrassing, and he put over his own sense of style.
Number three, Angle said he is always on time, Hardy is always late, yet fans flock to Hardy.
Number four, girls like Hardy. Angle said he also gets screaming women, but he's a one woman guy.
Number one again, Kurt Angle said he has over 100 different actions figures, posters, and t-shirts, yet the only thing in his son's room is Jeff Hardy paraphernalia. He also said he has purple hair and wears socks on his arms.
Angle said he's an Olympic medalist yet Hardy is his son's hero. Angle said he could not get away from Hardy, and the crowd chanted Hardy's name. Angle said there was only one solution for him. He called out Hardy, and Hardy quickly obliged.
Jeff Hardy was dressed relatively normal and was devoid of face paint. Angle told Hardy that he thinks he's cool, but he had a list of reasons why Hardy wasn't TNA champion. Angle challenged Hardy to a match at Victory Road, and he said that was where he would destroy Jeff Hardy.
Hardy responded by slapping the mic out of Hardy's hand. Hardy tackled Angle, tackling him, and punching until TNA officials pulled Angle out of the ring. Hardy grabbed the mic and said, "On behalf of all the Creatures, Kurt Angle, you're on…"
Backstage, Bobby Roode ran through his catch phrases and said that what Sting did last week was a disgrace, unprofessional, and bad for business He said the authority figure of Impact Wrestling shouldn't book himself in the main event. Roode said Sting was past his prime, and he was the future of the business.
Austin Aries showed up and told Roode that they are a lot alike, and that Sting was holding Aries back. Aries said the X-Division is never near the main event. Roode asked if Aries had five minutes, and Aries said he'd give him ten…
Ryan's Rant: Solid opening segment. Angle was a bit hokey for my tastes, but it rounded out nicely. It's nice to see TNA recognize that Aries has been a main-event level talent, and I look forward to seeing where they go with his pairing with Roode.
[Q2] Before the following match, AJ Styles grabbed a mic and he told his opponents when he beats both of them, the two have to tell everyone why they are working together. Christopher Daniels grabbed a mic and said that they don't have to capitulate to Styles' demands, but Kazarian took his mic and accepted AJ's terms.
1. Kazarian defeated AJ Styles in a gauntlet match in 9:36.Styles attacked Daniels and rolled him in the ring. Styles went right to work on Daniels' midsection.
Styles hit a delayed suplex for a near fall as the show went to break at 2:03… [C]
The show returned at 5:32 with Styles still in control of Daniels. Styles jawed with Kazarian and rolled to the floor, which allowed Daniels to attack him from behind. Daniels rolled Styles back into the ring and started going after Styles' lower back.
Styles hit a Pele kick out of nowhere and began running through his move set. Styles hit a beautiful fireman's carry backbreaker and set up for Styles Clash. Daniels fought him off and hit an STO to regain control. Kazarian ran in and hit Ride the Lightning on Styles.
AJ Styles defeated Christopher Daniels at 9:19 via DQ.
Kazarian covered Styles and the referee reluctantly counted the pinfall. Kazarian left with a smirk on his face while Daniels looked confused…
[Q3] Backstage Gail Kim and Madison Rayne played nice and Kim offered to take Rayne to a spa tomorrow. She then told Rayne that she also set up a warm-up match for Rayne tonight against ODB. Rayne did not appreciate the gesture… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Good work from Daniels and Styles. I haven’t really been able to predict what TNA is doing with Kazarian thus far, but I have consistently wanted to see where it is going. Tonight's added wrinkle is no different.
Taz freaked out about Christy Hemme and took a jab at WWE's sports entertainment. I groaned in response.
2. ODB defeated Madison Rayne in 2:56. ODB tore Madison Rayne apart in the early going, but when ODB ran for the Bronco Buster, Rayne got her boot up and shoved her away.
ODB was not on the defensive for long before she took control of Rayne. ODB hit the Bronco Buster as Eric Young played on the apron. Gail Kim ran down but didn't help Rayne when she needed her. ODB hit her fireman's carry cutter for the victory.
The announcers recapped Brandon Jacobs chokeslamming Bully Ray through a table.
Backstage, Bully Ray bullied some crew member and Ray talked about how pissed off he was at Storm. Aries and Roode showed up to convince Bully Ray that Sting was to blame for Ray's woes. Roode said tonight they were going to put an end to it, and there was room for one more.
A preview of Velvet Sky fighting Angelina Love after the break aired... [C]
Ryan's Rant: Taz and Tenay did all they could to kill my enjoyment of the Knockouts match. I am fine with female wrestlers being eye candy, but that needs to be icing to the announcers talking about their talent. There was none of that during the entire match, when they should have been doing their best to build up the number one contender to the TNA Knockouts Championship. Russo may be gone from this company, but several of their problems continue to persist.
[Q4] Earlier today, Velvet Sky was complaining about losing the battle royal in London. Sky said it was her time. Angelina Love and I believe Sarita showed up and started brawling with Sky. They threw her into a wall. Mickie James showed up wearing Pocahontas' track outfit and she chased off the heels…
Ric Flair was backstage with Eric Bischoff and Gunner. Flair was talking to Garret Bischoff and he warned him that he shouldn't show up next week. Garett thanked Flair with for the warning but told him he was his own man. Garett then walked away…
Elsewhere, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Bully Ray were shown walking through the locker room… [C]
Roode, Aries, and Ray entered the Impact Zone and made their way to the ring. Roode said he was the reason why all the fans were in the arena and everyone was watching him back at home. He called himself the most dominant champion in wrestling history. Roode said that Sting is nothing more than an authority figure. He said Sting should not have laid his hands on him or booked himself in the main event of Victory Road. Roode said he is done.
Bully Ray made the camera get a shot of his calves. Good stuff. Bully Ray said that it was Sting's fault for what happened to him last week. Ray said Sting caused him the biggest embarrassment of his career, and he showed a video replay of him going through a table. Ray said he and his calves are done.
Aries was up next, the crowd booed, and he shushed them. Aries said he kept quiet for too long, and it was crystal clear that Sting was just another wrestler that didn't know when to step out of the spotlight. Aries said Sting is jealous of them all. Aries said that two things have always followed hi in his career, pissed off people and championship belts. "Oops, I did it again," he said. Aries said he was done.
[Q5] All three men sat cross-leg in the ring. Ray said they were staying right there and they weren't moving. The light went out and then Sting was in the ring with all three men. Sting said he was just playing mind games with Twitter. He said if they were all doing the same thing here, then that was wrestling, but if they were serious, they needed to talk.
Sting then asked Roode how he would kick the crap out of him if he didn't have a job. Sting asked Aries how he would have a title if he didn't have a job. Sting asked Ray how he would get paid if he didn't have a job. Sting asked the men again if they were done.
Sting told Aries that Aries is right, he hasn't been in any main events, but tonight he would be. Sting booked Aries, Ray, and Roode against Storm, Samoa Joe, and Magnus for tonight's main event. The lights went out, and Sting was gone again… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Tonight is really feeling like storyline reset night on Impact Wrestling, which is to be somewhat expected. Still, things are moving at a frantic pace and I hope that settles down a bit in the second hour. Solid promo segment from all four men, and as I said before it's nice to see Aries get a bit of focus from TNA creative. This was long overdue. It looks like TNA is also finally accepting that the crowd is going to just cheer Samoa Joe and Magnus, so they might as well let them be babyfaces. Bit of a weak turn, but they were never really treated like heels anyway.
A list of TNA live event listings aired…
Another video package update on Jesse Sorenson aired. This one heavily focused on Sorensen getting better and getting back in the ring…
Earlier today, Zema Ion said he felt no remorse for hurting Sorensen. Ion said he turns heads and breaks necks, anything he has to do to get noticed. This just jumped the shark for me…
[Q6] Taz and Tenay spoke at length talking about how what Ion said was unacceptable. That makes things a bit better, but it's still over the line in my book.
3. Zema Ion defeated Shannon Moore in 3:07. Shannon Moore took control briefly, but Ion quickly took control. Ion hit a missile dropkick. Ion hit a neckbreaker, went to the top rope. Moore cut him off and hit a huracarana. Moore went for a moonsault but Ion avoided the hit. Ion hit a tilt-o-whirl facebuster for the three count…
Ryan's Rant: I realize this may well just be me getting worked, but I am not uneasy with Zema Ion at the moment, I am disappointed in TNA. Neck injuries, especially anything involving the C-1 through C-4 vertebrae are serious as hell, and it's disappointing to see that turned into storyline fodder. I am not even mad about this; I just flat-out don't feel comfortable with this idea being used as entertainment. As far as the match goes, it was a solid and brief match that gave Ion a chance to show off his skill, and he took full advantage of that opportunity.
A bunch of fans talked about TNA's live events and the wrestling they get to see that you don't get anywhere else, and another said TNA provides some good family content…
4. Velvet Sky defeated Angelina Love and Sarita in 5:36. The women brawled to start the match, and Sky and Love eventually settled in as the starting participants. James and Sarita tagged into the match, and James took control briefly.
Love pulled the rope down as James ran the ropes, causing her to spill to the floor. The heels took over and began working over James.
Sarita locked in a cross between a Boston crap and a surfboard stretch. James managed to battle out and hit a wheelbarrow slam on Sarita.
James and Sarita tagged out and Sky quickly ran through her move set on Love. James fell to the floor as Sky battled both of the heels. James returned with a thez press on Sarita, Love attempted to hit the Botox injection on Sky, but Sky was able to reverse it into a butterfly facebuster for the pinfall victory…
[Q7] Backstage, James Storm was fired up and he said he was tired of being the number one contender while Roode was the TNA Champion. Magnus took over and said they may not be a natural team, being from three completely different parts of the world, but tonight they were uniting for Sting to take on The TNA Champion, the X-Division Champion, and a bully… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Much, much better. Taz and Tenay still come off as horn dogs, but the Knockouts worked hard in their match, and Velvet Sky seems better since the last time she wrestled on TNA TV. Solid hype from Magnus and Storm, and I am looking forward to the main event.
Tenay said TNA received a letter from Abyss' family asking if they knew anything about his whereabouts. A video package aired chronicling where Abyss was last seen, January's Genesis PPV…
5. James Storm, Samoa Joe, and Magnus defeated Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Bully Ray in 16:48. Aries and Magnus started the match and the two worked some chain wrestling to start. Aries called for a test of strength, and Magnus displayed his height advantage. Aries began to take the fight to Magnus but Magnus managed to catch him with a stiff shot.
Storm and Roode tagged into the match and the show went to break at 2:36…
The show returned at 7:30 with Bully Ray getting the better of James Storm. Storm managed to wrench Ray's arm and stomped on his wrist before tagging Samoa Joe into the match. Samoa Joe hit a series of chops and a beautiful leg lariat. Aries tagged in, got taken down by Joe, and Joe tagged in Magnus.
Roode tagged in and Magnus tagged in Storm and Roode ran for the hills. Aries tagged back in and Storm tagged in Joe. Joe punched Aries into the mat. Joe faked fatigue, Aries charged, and Joe casually walked away as Aries dropkicked the turnbuckle.
Aries managed to hit Joe with a forearm and he tagged in Ray. Ray went right to work attacking Joe's neck. The heels worked a series of quick tags to keep Joe grounded and in their corner.
Roode mocked Storm, who charge into the ring and spit as Roode again ran away. The ref put him back in his corner and the heels continued going to work on Joe.
Finally, Joe caught Roode with an urinagi and crawled all the way to Storm o get the hot tag. Storm made quick work of his opponents, and he hit Rode with a series of running forearms. Bully Ray attacked Storm and punched him down in the corner as Aries ascended the ropes.
Aries accidentally hit Ray and Magnus and Joe hit their snapmare into elbow combo. Roode charged in and hit his spinebuster on Magnus as Ray struck Joe with his chain.
James Storm hit Closing Time on Roode and followed with Last Call. Storm covered Roode for the 1-2-3.
Bully Ray interrupted the celebration and he threw a steel chair at James Storm. Storm caught it, and Ray hit a big boot on the chair to knock Storm out. Ray stood over Roode and declared that Storm would not make it into Lockdown because Ray was going to make himself the number-one contender and Ray was going to take his "good friend's title."
Ryan's Rant: That was, hands-down, the best main event I have seen in recent TNA history. Great work from all men, they did a great job of keeping the crowd involved in what they were doing, and it set up both Storm's ability to defeat Bobby Roode and the interim feud Storm will need while Roode deals with Sting.
There was plenty on this show that I simply did not care for, and the frantic pace I spoke of last week was present again, but TNA did a better job of establishing the main event and keeping the focus around this match the entire show. Even better, they actually gave us a clean main event win without the number one contender looking weak. Bobby Roode is still in desperate need of a legitimate victory, but I was left satisfied with where the booking is at the end of the show. I will have more to say in my Rundown of this show tomorrow. Thanks for following along; take care.
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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