12/27 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage review: Final edition of 2012, Open Fight Night, Austin Aries calls out Bobby Roode, Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray make out session followup
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Live from Orlando, Fla.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap of last week's show... There was a pyro display above the ring and on the stage. Todd Keneley introduced the show and was joined on commentary by Mike Tenay and Taz...
Bully Ray walked to the ring in street clothes for a promo. He said it was very obvious over "the last couple of months, the last couple of weeks" that he and Hulk Hogan can't get along. Ray said he doesn't know what he has to do to prove to Hogan that he is trustworthy.
Powell's POV: Call me crazy, but sticking your tongue down the throat of a guy's daughter who is 17 years younger than you is probably not the best way to gain trust. Don't get me wrong, I really wish it was. I'd set out to be the most trustworthy man alive.
Bully Ray called out Hulk Hogan, but said it was to talk, not to fight. Hulk's music played, but he did not come out. After a long delay, Brooke Hogan walked out instead. Ray asked where her father was. Brooke said Hulk knows about "us."
Ray questioned how he knew and said there was nothing to know. Neither one of them could figure out how Hulk knew about their relationship. Bully left the ring and told Brooke there's nothing for Hulk to know since there's nothing to know. She chased after him and they both went backstage...
Powell's POV: Bully and Brooke are having so much sex that they don't have time to watch Impact these days. I just hope this all leads to a "They Don't Know About Us" remix with Bully Ray replacing that Paul Wall guy on vocals.
Austin Aries headed to the ring dressed in his ring gear. He said he should be the TNA Champion and will always be the main event. He recalled having Jeff Hardy pinned only to have Bobby Roode screw him. He said he can't be mad at Roode because he screwed him first.
Aries said they were going to find out which one of them should be challenging Jeff Hardy for the TNA Title. He said they were going to take the two best wrestlers in the universe and put them in the main event where they belong... [C]
Powell's POV: I'm not sure who fans are supposed to cheer for in this Roode vs. Aries feud. Are they setting up a three-way TNA Title match for Genesis? If so, then I suppose it's best to establish the Roode and Aries issues now during a holiday week when ratings are likely to be lower than usual. They work well together, so it should be a good main event if they get enough time.
[Q2] Samoa Joe headed to the ring wearing ring gear and said he was there to pick a fight on Open Fight Night. Joe challenged one of the masked me from Aces & 8's. Joe said he was going to take off the mask so the world could see what a "cowardly little moped riding bitch you are"...
1. Samoa Joe vs. Masked Aces & 8's Member. Joe applied the rear naked choke and got the win. After the match, Joe went for the mask, but the other Aces & 8's members came out and chased Joe away...
Samoa Joe defeated as masked member of Aces & 8's in 3:00.
Backstage, Robbie E and Robbie T were talking when Jesse walked into the picture. Robbie E and Jesse bickered. Robbie challenged Jesse to a Bro-Off... [C]
Powell's POV: Call me crazy, but Joe should have just ripped the mask off rather than tell the world he was about to do it. TNA just keeps sending the message that the Aces & 8's guys can't hang in singles matches. Their frequent losses have done some serious damage to the act. Here's hoping they finally kick this story into gear next week.
Backstage, Kenny King and Christian York talked. King was condescending as he told York to watch him wrestle Rob Van Dam. He assumed he would be facing RVD because RVD is going to call out someone he respects. "Where do they find these guys?" York asked...
Robbie E and Robbie T came to the ring. Robbie E said it was Open Bro Night. He called Jesse a fake Robbie E.
[Q3] Jesse and Tara came out. Jesse said his name is Mr. Pec-tacular. Robbie E said there were three rules to a Bro-Off. One, it's every bro for himself. Two, everything must end with a bro. Three, well, there was not a three. Robbie E called for his music and then danced to it. "Top that, bro," Robbie said.
Jesse's music played and he posed while Tara looked on adoringly. Jesse concluded by pressing Tara over his head several times. "That's how you bro-off, dude," Jesse said. Robbie E said it wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be. Robbie said there were problems. He said it's "bro's not ho's" in a Bro-Off. He said Jesse was disqualified for saying dude rather than bro.
Robbie E was just about to declare himself the winner when Robbie T cut him off and said there was one more bro. Robbie T posed to Jesse's music, then pressed Robbie E over his head. The music changed and he eventually did pelvic thrusts on the mat and then pumped his fist into the air before closing with "Bro." Robbie E and Jesse were speechless... [C]
Powell's POV: If this somehow leads to a three-way match then it was worth every second of airtime. Wait, no it wasn't. Was York's line questioning where they find these guys a shot at some of the former ROH wrestlers that management has perceived had big heads over the years?
X Division Champion Rob Van Dam came to the ring and built up his opponent. Backstage, Kenny King assumed it was him. RVD called out Christian York, who told King maybe next time...
2. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian York in a non-title match. York scored plenty of offense early.
[Q4] York hit a missile dropkick to the back of RVD's head and caught him with a double foot stomp to the back for a two count. Taz mocked Keneley for knowing the names of York's moves again. RVD came back with a split-legged moonsault for a two count of his own. In the end, Van Dam hit the Frogsplash for the win...
Rob Van Dam pinned Christian York in 4:00.
Powell's POV: York loses so many matches that the Gut Check judges should be questioning their decision. Anyway, why doesn't Taz mock Tenay, who was known as The Professor back in the WCW days? Apparently, it's because they've both become too complacent to learn those pesky little things like the names of moves. Keneley is far from perfect, but I can't believe Taz is mocking him for knowing the names of moves. Was he one of those guys in grade school who beat up the kids who dared to answer the teacher's questions too? Shame on them for learnin' and stuff.
Backstage, Devon was talking to other members of the club. He said there was someone who was a little difficult and a little arrogant, but they could have him if they just made him feel like he's part of the club. Devon called in DOC, who had two women with him. Devon asked if it would work. DOC said it would...
Powell's POV: Okay, fine, leave the strippers with me for a couple hours and I'll join your silly little club. In all seriousness, what is the goal of Aces & 8's these days? Did they ever have one?
Footage aired from Joseph Park's ongoing training at Ohio Valley Wrestling. Danny Davis said Park snapped in a good way when he had his nose bloodied last week. Davis said that whoever or whoever Park became got his attention. Davis said you have to live wrestling 24 hours per day. He questioned whether Park was doing that and said he hadn't shown that yet...
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were at a merch stand "just making sure our merchandise still isn't here." Daniels said Christmas has come and gone, but there's one last present from everyone's favorite tag team. Kazarian threw A.J. Styles shirts in the trash... [C]
Highlights aired of Hulk Hogan's promo from last week about how TNA became a monster in 2012 and how great the pay-per-views were...
[Q5] Backstage, Bobby Roode said he knew Austin Aries would call him out because he's so predictable... A video aired to hype Sting's 1,745,352nd return, which takes place next week. DOC is first on his list...
Christopher Daniels strutted to the ring. He said he's not just the face of Impact Wrestling, he's a ring general and a national treasure and the man with the rear who makes the girls cheer. Daniels said he and A.J. Styles really meant "one last time until the next time." He called out A.J. Styles.
Kazarian came out dressed in A.J.'s gear while and to his full entrance. Kazarian impersonated Styles while saying he couldn't beat Daniels. He said he was going to find Claire Lynch. Daniels stopped him and said no one wants to see that. Daniels said the fans have permission to "worship us now."
Powell's POV: Kazarian's impersonation of Styles was hilariously spot on. Awesome.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez walked out and complained that Daniels and Kazarian were having fun at the expense of others. Chavo said they were going to end 2012 for Daniels and Kazarian "with a foot right up your rear." Good lord...
3. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a non-title match. Keneley referred to Daniels and Kazarian as Bad Intentions. Taz called him on the error and Keneley noted that they are called Bad Influence. Keneley called Taz a goddamn nerd for knowing things and then gave him a swirly. Okay, I just made up the last sentence. The show cut to break with Daniels begging off from Hernandez. [C]
[Q6] After the break, Daniels and Kazarian regained control and isolated Hernandez in their corner. Chavo tagged in eventually and had a good run of offense. Kazarian tried to impersonate Styles with a springboard forearm, but it backfired. Chavo frogsplashed Kazarian for the win...
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a non-title match in 14:00.
Powell's POV: Not a bad match, but not the best we've seen from these teams. It seemed like the main goal of the match was to fill a lot of television time.
Backstage, the camera guy asked Jeff Hardy about Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. He said they are both great inside the ring, but he doesn't like them outside the ring. He said their selfishness and arrogance doesn't fly with him. He said revenge is on it's way... [C]
Powell's POV: The seventh season of Dexter ended and we didn't hear Jeff's inner thoughts. Coincidence? It actually would have been great if we heard Jeff's thoughts after the interview. "Why is the brother from Wonder Years asking me questions? I must be having an acid flashback. Was Wayne gay? If not, why didn't he try to steal Winnie Cooper from his brother Kevin?"
An Aces & 8's video aired... Backstage, the Vice President told Devon that the person he was referring to would bring a certain level of asshole to the club. The camera showed Mr. Anderson in the room. Anderson said Devon assured him that he'd be safe so he was all ears.
[Q7] The two girls went to the bearded Anderson's side. Devon said the club has business to attend to that might be physical and then even more physical. Anderson said he doesn't know if this pertains to him. The girls whispered to him. He said it would be rude not to think about it. He told Aces & 8's to give him some time to think about it...
Powell's POV: Won't Anderson be pissed when he finds out he's having DOC's sloppy seconds?
Gail Kim came to the ring and called her title loss a fluke. She said she wanted to erase all the bad memories before heading into 2013. She called out Miss Tessmacher...
4. Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher. Taryn Terrell was the referee for the Knockouts match. Tessmacher did pelvic thrusts in Kim's face before performing a facebuster off the ropes. Taz said it was an amazing Knockouts match and wished it would go 60 minutes. Funny. Later, Tessmacher missed a top rope elbow drop. Kim followed up with Eat Defeat for the win...
Gail Kim defeated Miss Tessmacher in 5:20.
Separate shots aired of Bobby Roode and Austin Aries backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: Good action in the Knockouts match. The decision to book her as a heel in her return to the company has been a flop. She just hasn't shown the charisma she had when she was the babyface of the company and was feuding with Awesome Kong back in the day.
The Sting video aired again. He wants his bat and he's going after Aces & 8's starting with DOC... The announcers hyped the unveiling of the TNA Wrestler of the Year for next week, and Devon and the masked Aces & 8's wrestler vs. Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle in a cage match for next week's show...
[Q8] 5. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode. The match was even through the first few minutes of the match. A pre-taped shot aired of Jeff Hardy. He said Roode and Aries do not deserve to be champion and something has to be done.
Powell's POV: That was an improvement on the Hardy inner thoughts. It was simply a pre-taped segment and it wasn't like we were supposed to think it was live and we could hear his thoughts for some odd reason. During the commercial break, an ad aired for the January 17 block of Impact Wrestling and the debut of Bellator MMA.
The announcers continued to play up that Roode and Aries are mirror images of one another. Aries caught Roode in Last Chancery at 9:10, but Roode gouged the eyes to break out of it. Roode came back with a crossface. Aries also raked the eyes to break the hold.
Roode had Aries pinned while using the ropes for leverage, but referee Earl Hebner caught him. Aries returned the favor by going for a pin while holding Roode's tights. Roode hit the spinebuster for a two count. Roode went to ringside and grabbed a chair, but Hebner took it away. Aries caught Roode with a spinning forearm shot for a two count.
Aries went to ringside and grabbed a chair, but Hebner stopped him from using it. Hebner got fired up and said he was sick of both of them. Roode and Aries simultaneously kicked Hebner and then teamed up to throw him out of the ring. They stood in the ring and smiled, then raced for the chair that was lying in the ring. They fought over the chair, but dropped it when Jeff Hardy's music played.
Aries and Roode stared at the entrance area. Hardy entered the ring behind them and got the better of both men. Hardy clotheslined Aries to the floor. Hardy dropped Roode with the Twist of Fate and then celebrated with the crowd to close the show...
Austin Aries fought Bobby Roode to a non-contest.
Powell's POV: The main event was comical and clever at times. I enjoyed the heel antics, but I don't think it's a good idea to get viewers laughing at the top two heels based on their heel tactics and then leave them laughing even more when Jeff Hardy got the better of them afterward. There's no money in seeing Hardy work with guys he outsmarts and physically dominates in two-on-one situations, so hopefully they will set that straight next week.
Overall, this had a little more going on than I expected from TNA during a holiday week, yet they didn't forward the storylines in major ways. They could have done more to set up next week's big show with angles rather than the Sting video package and the main event announcement. I suspect TNA will come out firing next week, yet I don't think the average viewer will come away thinking January 3 is an important show unless they are really into Sting. Thanks for watching along with me.
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