3/29 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Hulk Hogan responds to the general manager offer. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan, Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] A video package aired covering Sting's retirement from the GM position and his attempted appointment of "The Real" Hulk Hogan…
Dixie Carter was shown briefly backstage and she said if Sting trusts Hogan, so does she…
Bobby Roode made his way to the ring flanked by cops. Roode said that those that contacted TNA offices asking for him to be fired can kiss his world championship's ass. Roode said without him, Impact Wrestling is nothing.
Roode bragged about his dominance of Sting, both physically and mentally, at Victory Road. Roode said Sting's abdication of the GM position solidified his winning of their war. Roode then shifted gears and talk about Dixie Carter. He said she got hers and she should keep her nose out of his business. The fans chanted "We want Dixie."
Roode said he didn't even need to be in the building. He said all he had to do was compete at Lockdown. Roode said that Impact Wrestling had become a hostile work environment, so he had some of Orlando's finest at his disposal. Roode said the cops were there to protect Storm, not him.
Roode referred to himself as the It factor of professional wrestling, and she said he would prove that at Lockdown. Roode looked into a camera and told Storm that when you're the world heavyweight champion, you do not need luck.
Considering that an invitation to the party, James Storm joined Roode in the ring. The cops formed a barricade between Storm and Roode. Storm emasculated Roode and he said he proved what happens last week when Roode brings in an idiot to do a man's job. Storm declared that he was there to kick the crap out of Roode.
Bully Ray ran down and attacked Storm from behind. Storm quickly chases Ray off, and Roode ran for the hills as his cop posse held Storm back. Storm grabbed a mic and told Roode that if he wants some, he should come get some. Storm challenged the two man to a handicap match and Roode accepted…
Backstage, Madison Rayne and Gail Kim had a heart-to-heart. Kim got Rayne a tiara, and the two patched up their differences. Kim said that Rayne will always be her queen. Kim said she knew that Rayne would beat the crap out of Velvet Sky tonight… [C]
Ryan's Rant: I'm not crazy about seeing the Bobby Roode and James Storm feud continue to utilize extra figures as I feel the added personalities take away from what would otherwise be a very intense feud. Still, I was glad to see the focus shift from the authority figure drama and onto the Lockdown main event match, and it's good to see Kim and Rayne squash their feud. The Knockouts division is short on heels, so I'm glad that neither woman turned.
[Q2] 1. Velvet Sky defeated Madison Rayne in 2:59. Rayne took and early advantage and focused her assault on Sky's neck. Velvet attempted a comeback with a flurry of knees and clotheslines, but Rayne quickly regained control.
Rayne connected with a running faceplant and she set up for her neckbreaker finisher. Sky shoved her off and hit a spear, followed by a bulldog. Sky hit her butterfly facebuster for the pinfall victory.
Post-match, velvet Sky said she's still owed a rematch for her Knockouts Championship. She told Gail Kim that she's coming for her.
Ryan's Rant: Sky was better tonight than she has been in recent weeks, but she still needs to work on her timing. They covered up some of the botches with well-timed camera cuts, but Rayne had to do a lot of work to cover for her. I like the simple storytelling they are going with here, though, as Sky's promo was all about the Knockouts Championship.
Backstage, Bully Ray lectured Bobby Roode about his lackadaisical attitude towards James Storm. Ray said that tonight they needed to take Storm out. Roode got fired up and Ray called him stupid…
Dixie carter and Hulk Hogan met in the park and Dixie said she was surprised to be asking Hogan to consider taking the position. Hogan apologized for his role I Immortal and he dismissed some of Eric Bischoff's blame. Carter said him walking away from Bischoff told her everything.
[Q3] Dixie said she trusts Sting implicitly and she needs Hulk Hogan. Hogan said that he made peace with himself after he walked away. Dixie said she didn't leave her peace, however, so Hogan needed to make things right. Hogan said he's had his day, but he doesn’t know how to fix things. Dixie said Sting is walking away, so she is out of options. She begged Hogan to think about it.
Hogan said Carter is a gorgeous lady in her heart and soul, but for him to step in now would be inappropriate. He said the ship has sailed, but out of respect for Carter, he will think about it. Tenay and Taz hyped that we'd hear from Hogan tonight…
Ryan's Rant: I could not care less. This segment got no wrestler over and it's just another sign that TNA is wasting its time and energy on something that will not help it grow. They are doing a good job telling the story they are telling, but it's a story that does not need to be told.
A video package covering the history between Crimson and mat Morgan aired… [C]
Backstage, Kurt Angle cut a promo talking about how Hardy is a crybaby. Angle said if Hardy beats ken Anderson, then he will accept Hardy's challenge for Lockdown.
Christy Hemme attempted to introduce the next match when Austin Aries interrupted her. Once in the ring, Aries said he has a problem. Aries said he has ran out of competition, but he does have a problem. He said that problem's name is Bully ray. Aries called Ray a prick.
Aries said Ray took his anger out on him last week, but Ra apparently forgot who he was. Aries ran through his nicknames, and he said Ray and him now have a problem. Aries said his balls are as big as ray's calves. Aries compared himself to James Storm, and he said he respects Storm. Aries offered to join Storm and to fight by his side in the main event.
Matt Morgan made his entrance for his match against Crimson…
Ryan's Rant: Greta promo from Aries. I'm not sure why he referred to the audience as pricks before seemingly turning babyface, but perhaps TNA is attempting to make him a tweener. Honestly. If they are going to have him feud with Bully ray, I would much rather simply have a full turn rather than a shades of grey character that confuses the crowd.
2. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan ended in a double-countout in 4:14. The show returned with the match in progress and Matt Morgan attacking crimson on the floor. They rolled into the ring and traded control back and forth.
Crimson eventually settled into control and he hit a spear for a near fall. Crimson continued his offense and he targeted Morgan's neck and spine.
Crimson charged Morgan in the corner and went for a spear but Morgan moved and Crimson went shoulder-first into the steel post. Morgan gained control and the match spilled to the floor. The two men brawled at ringside to a double-countout.
The two men fought to the back as Tenay declared that nothing has been settled… [C]
Ryan's Rant: fast-paced match that was entertaining while it lasted. It's irksome to see a cheap finish, but it's understandable considering they didn't want to completely give this match away on free TV.
Joseph Parks found his way into the production room and he said he was still looking for his brother, Abyss. He left the production guys his card…
Tenay and Taz hyped the remaining events of the evening…
[Q5] 3. Mr. Anderson defeated Jeff Hardy in 4:24. The two traded control with some basic chain wrestling to start, but Anderson gained control after kicked a down Hardy in the gut. Anderson locked in a rest hold, and the crowd chanted Hardy to his feet.
Hardy hit a flurry of offense and he hit a double-legdrop into a dropkick for a near fall. Anderson fought back and caught hardy with a series of elbow drops. Anderson set up for the Mic Check, and hardy countered into a Twist of fate attempt. Anderson shoved Hardy off and the two collided heads.
The referee checked on Anderson when Angle ran down and low-blowed hardy. When Anderson recovered, he hit the Mic Check and put Hardy away…
The music video for James Storm's theme song aired…
Dixie Carter emerged from a limousine and Eric Bischoff was shown walking backstage with an angry face… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Kind of an odd shift between the Angle heat and the music video, but the music video was fun. Good for Storm. Alright, I don't have a problem with the Angle interference here, but I do hope we get another clean finish on this show. These cheap finishes lose their impact when they happen in the majority of the matches.
ODB and Eric Young were shown planning their wedding. ODB declared that they would get married in a steel cage three days before Lockdown…
[Q6] Eric Bischoff made his way to the ring. Bischoff put over himself for a few moments and bragged about having a clause in his contract that guaranteed him camera time whenever he wanted it.
Bischoff talked about how he has made himself successful and he said it's with the use of checklists. Sting no longer GM? Check. A terrible replacement for Sting? Check. Increasing his personal wealth? Check.
Eric said he had one thing left to do, one more problem to check off of his list. He invited Garett Bischoff to the ring, and Garett quickly obliged. Eric gave his son one last chance to walk away or he would get hurt. Eric said if he didn't, Garett had to do was face Gunner in a cage at Lockdown.
Garett grabbed his dad's mic and called him a jackass. Garett said he's not going anywhere and his dad is dumber than everyone thinks he is. Garett accepted the challenge to face Gunner at Lockdown… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Garett's words were intense, but he was stifling a smirk the entire time, which quickly killed the segment. Honestly, I keep trying to find something redeemable about this push, but Garett simply is not ready for the push he is getting and it shows.
[Q7] A video package showcasing James Storm training for Lockdown aired. Good stuff...
Hulk Hogan got out of his own limousine…
5. James Storm and Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode and Bully Ray in 12:24. Aries and Ray started, but Ray tagged in Roode. Aries went to tag Storm and Roode attacked Aries from behind.
Aries managed to avoid a bit of Roode's offense and Aries caught Roode with a kick. Aries yelled at Roode to get in the ring and the show went to break at 2:31... [C]
Back at 7:06, Aries wrestled Bully Ray to the mat. Aries continued to outpace Ray for a spell, but Ray eventually caught Aries with a big boot. Ray dragged Aries to his corner and the heels went to work wearing him down.
[Q8] Aries battled back and caught Ray with a missile dropkick. Aries finally got the hot tag to Storm, who charged Bully ray and hit a series of swift clotheslines. Storm turned to attack Roode, but Ray attacked him from behind. Storm hit Ray with Closing Time.
Roode attempted to spit beer in Storm's eyes, but Storm ducked and Roode caught ray instead. Storm hit Last call on Ray and covered him for the 1-2-3.
Hulk Hogan was shown walking backstage… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Good match that allowed every man to shine at on point or another. I simply wish it wasn't being glossed over in favor of the Hulk Hogan GM decision.
Dixie Carter stood in the ring and she asked Hulk Hogan to join her in the ring. Hogan quickly obliged, and the fans erupted with cheers. Carter said she understands Hogan's hesitancy, but she believes in Hogan. Carter said she needed a decision.
Hogan said he needed to thank Sting. Hogan recalled their earlier conversation and he said he didn't wan to be the guy he was. Hogan said he closed the book on this part of his life. Sting's music hit and he joined Carter and Hogan in the ring. Sting was flanked by the babyfaces on TNA's roster.
Sting said they were all out there to support him and Sting told Hogan to say yes or no. Hogan said TNA has a dark cloud hanging over it. He said he needed to make sure that Sting would continue to watch his back. Sting yes and then asked if Hogan would run the company or not. Hogan agreed to become the new GM, brother.
Hogan looked into the camera and said, "Whatcha gonna do when the new GM runs wild on you?" to close the show.
Ryan's Rant: That was almost insufferable. Look, I understand Hogan is popular and he can work a crowd. I understand he can add a spark to an act and he can give rub to an up and comer. However, he should not be the entire focus of a show, and the entire ending segment was nothing more than a love fest for Hogan. That is simply ridiculous. TNA has a Lockdown PPV to sell, yet they have put every ounce of effort possible in getting over Hogan.
TNA has taken several steps back, but despite my dislike of the focus on Hogan, this show was an improvement over last week. The main event was solid. Aries turned and fit right into the main event, and TNA got out of the Kim and Rayne feud without turning either woman. Even the Hogan role can work in the long run, but he needs to be ancillary to the main storylines. We do not need another show devoted to people fawning over the man.
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 email@example.com, or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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