3/8 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: The build for Bobby Roode vs. Sting continues, Bully Ray declares himself the number-one contender, and Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion for the X Division Championship
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The show opened with a video package covering the Garett Bischoff feud…
Earlier today, Garett showed up in a jeep. A cameraman asked him why he didn't heed Ric Flair's warning, and Garett said he's his own man and he isn't going anywhere…
Ric Flair, Gunner, and Eric Bischoff made their way to the ring. Once there, Eric said that his entrance music warms his heart. He turned his attention to his son and he said he feels it's unfortunate that he had to continue to air his family matters on live TV. Eric said that he asked Sting to make a match for this night, Gunner vs. Garrett Bischoff with each man getting a tag partner of their choosing.
Eric thanked Flair for warning Garett last week and he referred to him as a true professional. Eric said that no one in their right mind would team with Garett. Eric said there had to be a locker room full of people that would team with Gunner. Kurt Angle's music hit, and Eric feigned excited ignorance.
Kurt Angle took a mic and said that he is happy to team with Gunner tonight against Garett and a partner of his choice. The crowd chanted for Hardy. Angle said he hates Garett because he doesn’t respect his father. Angle said he respected his dad, and he became an Olympic Gold Medalist.
Angle said that he would make Garett tap tonight, and he said that was real. He said that was damned real…
Backstage, Sting was talking to himself in the mirror. He said he feels alive. Eric Young showed up and told Sting that he was going to ask ODB and important question tonight, and he wanted Sting's Permission. Sting called Eric Bobby and made a match with Eric Young and ODB vs. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne for the Knockout tag team championships. When Eric left, Sting went back to talking to himself in the mirror and calling himself Bobby… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Still not a fan of the Garett Bischoff push. Sting and Young were entertaining, but I don't think Eric and ODB going after the Knockout Tag Titles is the greatest idea. The belts certainly mean little at this point, but TNA does not need another belt being used as a comedy prop.
[Q2] 1. ODB and Eric Young defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne for the Knockouts Tag team Championships in 5:48. Kim and Young started, but ODB quickly tagged into the match. ODB hit Kim with the Bronco Buster and a fallaway slam.
Kim managed to pull ODB into a turnbuckle and she tagged in Rayne. The heels took control and worked over ODB as Young tried to interfere from the outside.
Eventually, ODB caught Rayne with a spear and she got the hot tag to Young. Young got both Rayne and Kim on his shoulders and did a double airplane spin. The ladies quickly attacked Young but ODB ran in and hit a double-clothesline on Kim and Rayne.
Kim slapped Young and he removed his trunks. Rayne hit Young from behind with a title belt and Young fell on Kim. Kim flailed underneath Young as Hebner made the three count.
Post-match, Young grabbed ODB's hand, got down on one knee, and presented ODB with a ring. The crowd chanted for ODB to take the ring as the show cut to break... [C]
Ryan's Rant: There's a good energy in the air of the Impact Zone tonight, and that made for an effective hook going into the break. I still say that Young and ODB really shouldn't be holding a women's division championship, but it's hard to get too worked up over the switch with the titles meaning so little.
Back from the break, Young told ODB that they have a lot of momentum on their side. He said they are in love and just got that studio department they wanted. He asked ODB to marry him. OD tried to catch her breath for a moment before dropping down on one knee and presenting Young with a ring.
[Q3] Young said yes and he started running around the ring in celebration…
A heavy-set gentlemen going by Joseph Park showed up saying he wished to talk to TNA officials…
Bully Ray was backstage declaring that James Storm would not make it to Lockdown as the number one contender…
Austin Aries got an email from Sting. Aries mocked him for giving away their PPV match on free TV. Aries said that he wasn't going to be on the PPV and Sting was doing bad business… [C]
2. Zema Ion defeated Austin Aries via DQ for the X-Division Championship in 3:47. The two men traded control in the early going before taking their turns playing to the crowd. Aries received some cheers, Ion got booed.
Aries sent Ion to the floor and jumped from the top turnbuckle, but Ion got out of the way and Aries crashed into the steel barricade.
Ion rolled Aries in the ring and went for the 450, but Aries moved and Ion crashed into the mat. Ion grabbed a can of hairspray and hid it in his trunks.
Aries took control briefly. Ion pulled out the can when the referee was distracted. Aries ducked the spray, took the can, and sprayed Ion in the face. The referee turned back in time to see Aries do the deed, and Aries was disqualified…
Backstage, Mr. Park found Velvet Sky. Park revealed himself as Abyss's brother and said he had been looking for him…
Ryan's Rant: Aries and Ion had a good, brief match that told a good story. This was a good taste of what we can expect from these two at the PPV.
Bully Ray stood in the ring and put over his calves. He talked about how he took out James Storm and said that he deserves to become the number one contender. Sting's music hit and he made his way to the ring.
Sting said he feels alive. Sting told Bully Ray that he can't just make a match because he injured someone. Sting asked if Bully Ray wants Bobby Roode. Ray insisted that he did. Sting played with him a bit more before giving Ray his wish.
Ray was ecstatic and Sting left the ring. When he made it to the ramp, however, Sting told Ray that Ray would get Bobby Roode right after the break… [C]
Backstage, Bobby Roode was freaking out about an impromptu title match. Sting told Roode that he would be defending the TNA title match at Lockdown, and would be facing him at Victory Road…
[Q5] 3. Bobby Roode and Bully Ray fought to an apparent no-contest in a non-title match in 6:45. Bobby Roode tried to beg Bully Ray off in the early going, but Ray just stared at Roode intensely. Ray attacked Roode, and Roode used the ropes to break.
Roode locked up with Ray but Ray shoved him off. Roode slapped Ray and Bully became infuriated. Bully charged, but Roode beat him back. Bully Ray tried to gain control several times, but Roode kept one step ahead of him.
Ray caught Roode with an urinagi and got a near fall. Roode stood up and hit Ray with a spear for a near fall of his own. Ray grabbed his chain and set up to strike Roode, but James Storm ran in the ring and chased off Ray. Storm then blasted Roode with a Last Call superkick and he left the TNA Title across Roode's waist.
Backstage, Garett talked about how he's faced Gunner before, but Kurt Angle is a whole other league. He said he would reveal his tag partner later in the evening… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Roode continues to look weak. He took the pin last week and he was made to look like a fool tonight. They really need to start building him up because his TNA Title reign has felt like a joke thus far. The match itself was well-wrestled, but I am not high on the way Roode is being pushed.
Joseph Park showed up again and was asking for his brother, Abyss, who he said was named Chris. This time he asked Matt Morgan and Crimson. When he left, Crimson said it doesn’t matter who lost them the titles, but tonight they would go out and beat Robbie E and Robbie T and capture their TNA titles again...
[Q6] 4. Crimson and Matt Morgan defeated Robbie E and Robbie T in 4:02. Crimson hit Robbie E with a suplex early and Robbie E tagged in Robbie T. Robbie T quickly took control.
Robbie E managed to hit Crimson with a clipboard out of nowhere. The two Robbie's worked quick tags to wear down Crimson.
Crimson got the hot tag to Morgan. Morgan quickly took out Robbie E and Robbie T. Morgan hit the Carbon Footprint on Robbie E. Crimson blind-tagged back into the match and covered Robbie to pick up the win.
Earlier today, AJ Styles said that he had a surprise for Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. A graphic hyped his surprise for after the break... [C]
Ryan's Rant: The match was well-wrestled, but it's difficult for me to invest in the Crimson and matt Morgan rivalry. They simply haven’t given me anything to really get me excited in some time, and Crimson's undefeated streak feels like it is holding him back.
Backstage, Gunner put over Kurt Angle as a machine. Kurt Angle said that tonight Garett and his partner will both be going to the hospital…
A video package covering the Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Styles feud aired…
Styles entered the ring and hyped the tenth anniversary of TNA. Styles thanked the fans and the crowd chanted "TNA." Styles talked about the great matches that he's had. He talked about the friends and foes he has made.
Styles said that these are memories Styles wished he could forget. Daniels and Kazarian walked out and Daniels told Styles to wait. Daniels said he returned to TNA to be by Styles side. Daniels said that his friendship gave Styles fortune and fame, but Styles' friendship had gotten him fired.
[Q7] Kazarian took the mic and asked Styles if he wanted to know why everyone turned their back on him. Kazarian said the problem does not lie with the people who turn on them, the problem lies on Styles.
Kazarian said he hates how Styles is never the one to blame. Styles said that is why he never has any friends. Styles called them lying back-stabbing pricks and Styles said this is why he won't associate with friends anymore, He said he would only associate with...
Mr. Anderson's "Assholes!" rang through the arena. Anderson and Styles attacked Daniels and Kazarian and they quickly cleared the ring...
Backstage, Garett peaked into a locker room door and asked if his mystery partner was ready… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Any heat that was gained from Anderson's return quickly evaporated when TNA cut away from it. There has been far too much emphasis placed on Garrett this evening and it's coming at the expense of the other segments. TNA is trying to cram too much onto one show.
A video package showcasing a few TNA fans aired…
Gunner and Kurt Angle made their way to the ring. Gunner followed, waited, and then Jeff Hardy was revealed to be his mystery tag-team partner.
[Q8] 5. Jeff Hardy and Garett Bischoff defeated Gunner and Kurt Angle in 14:23. Gunner and Angle attacked Bischoff and Hardy as the bell rang. Gunner and Angle worked a series of quick tags and worked over Hardy as the show went to break… [C]
Back from the break, Angle continued to work over Hardy with a rest hold that he transitioned into a belly-to-belly suplex. Tenay announced that Mr. Anderson will return next week to face Christopher Daniels.
Angle applied the ankle lock, but Hardy was able to make the ropes. Hardy was able to great roll-up and had the visual three-count, but Gunner and Garett jawed on the apron and distracted the referee.
Gunner tagged in and took his turn attacking Hardy. Hardy managed to catch Gunner with Whisper in the Wind, but Angle dropped to the floor and tricked Garett into engaging with him.
Hardy caught Angle with an enziguri and got the hot tag to Garett. Garett stormed the ring and attacked both Angle and Gunner. Garett hit an inverted DDT on Angle, and Gunner had to break the pin.
The three men stumbled over each other a bit before Garett hit a double shoulder block on Angle and Gunner. Garett tagged in Hardy, who quickly hit a Swanton Bomb on Angle and he picked up the victory.
Angle and Gunner left as Hardy and Garett celebrated in the ring to close the show.
Ryan's Rant: Gunner and Angle did all they could to cover for Garett in the finishing sequence, but the guy is still green as grass. The match was very well wrestled but I felt like the entire spotlight was on Garett, when he is not a money draw for the company. In fact, that's my biggest problem with this edition of Impact; TNA is in a state where they are trying to shift creatively, but Garett is simply not ready for the monster push he has been getting.
Tonight's impact featured some good wrestling and some decent promo segments, but they fell into the old trap of trying to cram too many stories onto one show, and the end result presented a lack of focus. I like some of the stories that TNA is trying to showcase here, but they need to find a better rhythm to deliver those stories if they want their hard work to pay off in the long run.
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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