4/5 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Hulk Hogan addresses the locker room, The Motor City Machine Guns return, Eric Young has his bachelor party, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The show opened with a video recap of Hulk Hogan's acceptance of his new position as General Manager.
Sting and Dixie Carter were waiting in the ring with every member of the locker room standing at ringside.
Carter welcomed us to the show and introduced Hulk Hogan, who made his full entrance. Hogan took the mic from Carter and he said it's great to be back in the saddle on Impact. Hogan said it was all thanks to Sting, and he thanked Carter for giving him a second chance. Hogan said the company is on a fast track. He mentioned talking to creative and he said we're on the road to Lockdown.
Hogan made a few matches for the PPV. Matt Morgan vs. Crimson in a steel cage, and he said tonight there would be a Knockouts Challenge to determine who would face Gail Kim at Lockdown.
Hogan said the next order of business was to get Eric Bischoff out. Hogan ordered Bischoff to the ring, and Ric Flair piped up at ringside saying Bischoff wasn't in the building. The two bickered back and forth and Bobby Roode's music began to play.
Roode stayed on the ramp with his bodyguards and he told Hogan he does what he wants when he wants and how he wants. Roode said there is no one that would stop him from being the most dominant TNA champion in history. He said if Hogan doesn’t believe him, just ask Dixie carter. Roode guaranteed to embarrass Storm at Lockdown and retain his TNA title.
Roode tried to leave but Hogan cut him off. He said things are changing, brother. Hogan called Mr. Anderson into the ring, brother. He said the fans want, brother, for Mr. Anderson to go against Bobby Roode, brother. Hogan said it was going down tonight, brother.
Roode was irate, but he left without incident. Hogan turned his attention to Kurt Angle. Hogan said Angle wasn't going to wrestle Hardy at Lockdown, but he would tonight, brother. Right now, brother… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Busy opening segment, brother. Sorry, that can become habit forming after a while. I still think that Hogan's presence, and the type of focus he is getting, puts him over more than it does any active wrestler in the company, but this is something I am going to have to simply accept. It's a mistake on TNA's part that will not help them grow, but it's their mistake to make.
[Q2] 1. Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle. The two men worked some back-and-forth chain wrestling to start. Hardy tossed Angle to the floor and dropkicked him into the barricade.
Angle regained control and began working over hardy with suplexes and rest holds… [C]
Back from the break, Hardy hit Whisper in the Wind. The two men sold, and Angle made it to his feet first. Angle hit some rolling German suplexes for a near fall. Angle set up for the Angle Slam, but Hardy was able to hit Twist of Fate.
Hardy ascended the ropes but Angle followed and hit a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Angle locked in the ankle lock and Hardy reached for the ropes. Angle dragged him back and Hardy kicked him off. Hardy went up top again, but Angle dragged the referee on top of him to block the Swanton Bomb.
For some reason this didn't result in a disqualification, so Angle attempted to low blow Hardy. Hardy blocked, so Angle walked to the back…
Jeff hardy defeated Kurt Angle via countout in 12:44
Backstage, Hogan confronted Kurt Angle, and he said Kurt Angle would be locked in a cage with Hardy at Lockdown…
Ric Flair spoke to Eric Bischoff on the phone and Flair told Bischoff that he needed to get to the building tonight…
[Q3] Backstage, Bully Ray made Hervey call him calvezilla before he said that he had a message for Austin Aries that he would share after the break… [C]
Ryan's Rant: I like the little hooks that TNA uses to get through its show. The match was good up until the end. I am fine with the occasional cheap finish, but there was so much happening towards the end that it crossed the line into overbooking. Less is more when it comes to shenanigans.
Bully Ray was in the ring and he reminded everyone who he is. Ray said he cannot understand why a small dude like Aries would want to piss off a big bad man like himself. He continued for a moment when Austin Aries interrupted and joined him in the ring.
Aries shushed the crowd before attacking, and Ray quickly hit him with an elevated running powerbomb. Afterwards, Ray asked Aries if he knows he is repeatedly...
Earlier today, Joseph Park was looking for Abyss in catering dishes. He left the caterer with his business card… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Brief but effective segment that put some heat on Bully ray. Aries took that powerbomb like a champ and he did his part in making Ray look like a beast.
Backstage, AJ Styles gave his prediction from the Lockdown main event. He said he was picking Storm, and Storm materialized to his right. Storm said he wanted to prepare for Lockdown, and he wanted Styles to do it. Styles agreed…
[Q4] 2. Mickie James vs. Winter vs. Tara vs. Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky in a Knockouts Challenge to determine the Number-One Contender for the TNA Knockouts Championship. The show went to break immediately after the women made their entrances… [C]
The show returned with Tara and Winter facing off while the remaining women remained on the apron. All four women dove into the ring at the first sign of a pin attempt.
Mickie James and Angelina wrestled for most of the match with various women breaking up each of their pins.
James tagged in Velvet Sky, and Sky quickly hit her move set. Love got fed up and she tagged in Rayne. After a quick flurry of tags in and out of the match, Rayne began to work over Velvet Sky.
Rayne hit Sky with her neckbreaker finisher. Love hit Rayne with the Botox Injection. Tara hit her with Widow's Peak. Winter attacked her with her tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. James hit her with a Jumping DDT. Sky finally hit James with her butterfly facebuster and she covered James for the 1-2-3…
Velvet Sky won the Knockouts Challenge in 7:01
[Q5] Mr. Anderson talked big backstage about how he was going to beat Bobby Roode. Roode showed up and he gave Anderson a chance to forfeit their match. Anderson started yelling and Roode's security got between the two. They yelled back and forth some more… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Well, that was waste of time,. Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining waste of time, but it was already established that Sky was chasing Kim, so the outcome of this match was never really in question. I hope Sky is ready to go at the PPV because her in-ring work was kept brief and filled with camera cuts and I worry that she is still as green as ever.
A video package covering Jeff Hardy and James Storm at the ACMAs aired…
Eric Young had a bachelor party that ODB interrupted…
James Storm made his entrance and he said hello to Montgomery Gentry, who were in attendance. AJ Styles quickly followed.
3. James Storm vs. AJ Styles. The two worked some chain wrestling and Storm went for the Last Call early. Styles managed to avoid the strike and he started going after Storm's injured ankle. The two continued to work a chain-and-break style.
[Q6] The two continued to trade control. Storm managed to catch Styles with Eye of the Storm. Styles locked in the figure-four leglock. He released the hold and locked in a single-leg Boston crab. Storm fought out and Styles hit the Pele kick.
Moments later, Storm hit the Last Call superkick for the win.
James Storm defeated AJ Styles in 6:33.
Storm cut a brief promo after the match and he called out Bobby Roode for next week's Impact Wrestling…
Backstage, Hulk Hogan spoke with Sting and Hogan told Sting to get healthy because he needs him… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Great match with plenty of back-and-forth action. TNA has done a great job of getting the Last call superkick over. I annoyed with how TNA moved right on from Storm, the guy that needs to get over, to focus on Hogan and Sting, an authority figure and a semi-retired wrestler. This is not helping sell the crow don Storm, TNA.
Backstage, James Storm celebrated with Montgomery Gentry. Storm ran off to shower and Bobby Roode and his security showed up to jaw with them. Roode spat water in their faces and then ran for the hills…
[Q7] 4. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Mexican America. Sabin and Shelley worked a quick series of tags and managed to keep Mexican America off of their feet.
Sabin put Anarquia in the tree of woe and hit a running dropkick. Hernandez ran in and interfered, but Shelley helped Sabin chase him off. Sabin and Shelley hit a neckbreaker, flying splash combo for the victory.
Motor City Machine Guns defeated Mexican America in 3:39
After the match, Sabin grabbed a mic and said MCMG were coming after the TNA tag Team Championships…
Backstage, Ric Flair found Eric Bischoff and he told Bischoff about how they need to regain control. Bischoff told him not to worry and said he had a plan. Tenay hyped their confrontation for after the break... [C]
Ryan's Rant: That hook did nothing for me, but it was nice to see the MCMG back in action and looking great. It was odd seeing Sabin working with Anarquia again considering that pairing led to his long layoff.
Hogan was back in the ring and he said that the boys were ready for Lockdown, brother. He called Bischoff to the ring, brother.
Bischoff obliged, but he stayed on the ramp. Bischoff said no one would have guessed that in 2012 they would be on opposite ends of an arena trying to undermine each other. Bischoff said it made sense, though, considering their differences. He said the one key difference was that Hogan isn't a leader and he is.
Hogan said Bischoff was the leader of blowing hot air, brother. Hogan said that instead of Gunner vs. Garett Bischoff in a steel cage, Eric would lead his team and Garett would lead his in a Lethal Lockdown match, brother. Hogan said if Eric's team wins, Garett would not wrestle again in TNA but if Garett wins, then Eric would leave TNA and be unable to use the Bischoff name again.
Eric agreed to the match and Hogan said it was official, brother, and that it ends at Lockdown…
Ryan's Rant: I can officially say that this is the match I am looking forward to the least at Lockdown. I've railed against Garett's push for months and I have been consistently against Hogan and Bischoff taking up so much airtime, so at least one of TNA's issues should end at Lockdown. That's a selling point, right?
A video package covering the Bobby Roode and James Storm's feud aired that featured testimony from Storm's family…
5. Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson in a non-title match. The referee threw out Roode's security and Mr. Anderson attacked Roode from behind. Anderson threw Roode in the ring and began working whim over.
Roode battled back and quickly ran through his move set. Roode began to slap Anderson, and Anderson battled back.
Anderson went for the Green Bay Plunge but Roode was able to roll off of his shoulders. Roode pushed Anderson into the referee. Anderson hit the Plunge on Roode but he referee was down. Roode stole a fan's beer and smashed it on Anderson's head.
The referee had to crawl across beer debris before counting the 1-2-3.
James Storm ran down and chased off Bobby Roode. Hulk Hogan joined him in the ring and reversed the decision.
Mr. Anderson defeated Bobby Roode via reversed decision in 4:57.
Ryan's Rant: Alright, I am getting fed up with seeing Hogan. They plugged him in every segment possible and he even had to be involved in the stare down between Storm and Roode. Every time TNA cuts to him, they are cutting away form a wrestler they are trying to get over, and every time he's involved in a segment, he is being treated as the most over man in the group. I'm all for using veterans to get guys over and to give them rub, but the way TNA is going about using Hogan, they are treating him as a bigger deal than anything else they have going.
Tonight featured some good action and had a much better flow than the show has had in recent weeks. I still can't shake the feeling that a reset button has been hit as a lot of the show feels like a rehash of last year's stories, but that doesn't take away from the segments individually. I am enjoying the individual segments even if TNA is failing to make me excited about their overall product. It's a shame as it wasn't that long ago that I was excited about almost everything TNA was doing.
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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