1/3 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Live shows return, So does Sting, X Division tourney, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe vs. Devon and Aces and 8s member, Will Dadamania run wild on Bully Ray?
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Live from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The opening recap video covered the title picture, Hogan seeing Bully Ray and Brooke making out, and the return of Sting…Mass pyro popped and Todd Keneley, Tazz, and Mike Tenay checked in on commentary. In the ring, Jeremy Borash stood beside a trophy and introduced the nominees for 2012 Wrestler of the Year as the crowd chanted for Hardy. The nominees, Bully Ray, James Storm, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Jeff Hardy, made entrances to the stage and stood there.
JB started the drum roll and Roode and Aries both started down the ramp. They argued that the other should head to the back because it was their award. JB announced Jeff Hardy as the winner and the crowd went nuts. Roode and Aries stood there in shock as Hardy headed to the ring and the other guys headed to the back.
Hardy got in the ring and said the award meant as much to him as the World Title. Roode jumped in and ran him down for disrespecting the title. He pointed out he had been the longest reigning champion and said he should have been wrestler of the year, and the fact that he wasn't was "Bullsh-" Aries cut him off and said the voting was rigged because he was the longest reigning X Division champion and said he should be wrestler of the year.
Hardy jumped in and said it had already been decided and announced a triple threat at Genesis for the title. He said for them remember every time they hear the year 2012 that it was the year of the enigma. Aries attacked him and the two teamed together to beat up Hardy. Roode held him for Aries to hit with the trophy, but Hardy moved. Roode went down, and Hardy hit the Twist of Fate on Aries…
The announcers hyped the return of Sting and Hogan…The invisible question guy asked Storm about not winning the award. Storm started to answer, but Christopher Daniels and Kazarian cut him off and spoofed him answering. Daniels was hilarious. Storm started laughing and then went off on them,. He cut a promo about kicking them in their Twitter and punching them in their Facebook. He spit in Daniels's drink and said he was headed back to the ring and dared them to figure out who wanted their ass kicked…
Shore's Slant: Hardy was way over the top there, but otherwise that was an effective segment. Jeff looks a little silly for his challenge, but not terribly. It was completely overshadowed by Daniels, Kaz, and Storm though. Home run talking segment from those three guys. Can't wait to see this match after that.
[Q2][C] Storm was in the ring. Daniels and Kaz were out next. Daniels took his shirt off and acted like he was getting in the ring, but Kaz slid in the ring and attacked Storm…
1. James Storm vs. Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels). Storm recovered quickly and knocked Kaz to the floor. Storm dove on Kaz, but Daniels attacked him from behind to allow Kaz to take control. Storm hit Closing Time and started a comeback, but Daniels again attacked. Storm hit another surprise Closing Time and set up for the kick. Daniels tried to interfere again, but Storm hit an enziguri on him. Storm ducked a corner attack from Kazarian, and hit the Last Call when Kaz popped out of the corner…
James Storm defeated Kazarian at 4:09.
At the Aces and Eights hideout, Devon was still coaxing Mr. Anderson to join. Ken was still stalling. One of the women gave his bottle of beer a handjob. Seriously. Anderson even rolled his eyes back in his head. Doc walked up and demanded an answer. Anderson said if they did it, they couldn't show Sting any fear. Devon got excited and Anderson handed Doc the hammer…[C]
Shore's Slant: Great match to start 2013 with! Storm and Kazarian were just awesome for four minutes and you should go out of your way to see this if you missed it. Miss the Anderson segment though. The handjob was so gratuitous and over the top that it shattered the whole scene. Just terrible.
[Q3] A video recapped the Aces and Eights storyline, concentrating on Sting. Doc made his ring entrance as the announce team put over Kennedy joining the group. Doc stood in the ring and held up his hammer. He said, "Stinger? Where are you?" in a sing song voice. He said it was 1.3.13 and Sting had been telling everyone he was a marked man.
He continued to sing for Sting and then stared at his hammer. Doc got angry and said it was bullshit. He said he was tired of Sting wasting their time. He demanded Sting come out to get crippled. A black bat fell from the sky. Doc freaked out and dared Sting to come while saying he wasn't scared. He was still freaking out as the show went to commercial…[C]
Shore's Slant: I want to see if this continues after the break before making a call here. I don't understand the break there, but maybe I will once it plays out.
Backstage, invisible question guy asked Brooke if she had talked to her father. She said no. They didn't talk at all over the holidays? He asked when she would talk to him and she said she would find out on live TV like she always does…
The announce team hyped Kenny King vs. Xema Ion for next week…
2. Kid Kash vs. Christian York in a X Division Tournament match. Kash didn't get a ring entrance, but he did get in a ton of offense. They traded several pin attempts and York hit his neckbreaker finisher for the win.
Christian York advanced to the finals of the X Division tournament at 3:46.
Chavo and Hernandez cut a promo backstage about not being afraid of Matt Morgan or Joey Ryan. Hernandez closed by doing some weird whistle thing that cracked me up. Somehow I don't think that was the point…
Shore's Slant: Well, now that I know there was no follow-up, I didn't like the Doc segment. His part was fine, but the bat was goofy. Kash vs. York was a blur. I couldn't find my rhythm watching. It seemed like they tried to squeeze an eight minute match into a three minute one.
[Q4][C] Chavo and Hernandez made their ring entrance. Ryan and Morgan came out with Morgan in a sling. He said he was injured and couldn't compete, but Ryan was taking his place. Ryan didn't seem happy about it, but went anyway…
3. Hernandez (w/Chavo Guerrero) vs. Joey Ryan (w/Matt Morgan). Hernandez hit a big shoulder tackle and Morgan slid into the ring. He hit Hernandez with his "hurt" arm to cause a DQ.
Hernandez defeated Joey Ryan by disqualification at 0:57.
Post-match, Chavo attacked Ryan, but took a Carbon Footprint for his troubles…[C]
Shore's Slant: Eh, it was what it was. I'm not thrilled about either team so it's hard to think too much about this.
Backstage, Kurt Angle told Wes Brisco and Garret Bischoff to stay in the back tonight because it was a cage match. They protested and Samoa Joe told them to shut up. Angle said they were just being respectful. He told them they would be fine and they left. Angle told Joe he wanted to unmask whoever was with Devon tonight and Joe agreed…
[Q5] A video recapped the Bully Ray/Brooke/Hulk angle. Hulk made his ring entrance and apologized for not being there last week. He said he saw his daughter and Bully making out in public so he took a week off. He said since they wanted it to be in public, he thought they should deal with it in public. He asked for both of them to come out. They did, together.
Hogan said Ray has been asking for respect for months, but there was a code for people in the business and Ray broke it. He wanted to know why. Ray said Hogan was right, they were brothers and he should have come clean. He said all the heat as on him.
Hogan went nuts and said Ray didn't even deserve to be in the business. He said if this was old school they would have already been to war, but he would use Ray's rules instead. He said GMs have to do what GMs have to do and suspended Ray without pay indefinitely. He told Brooke if she wanted to be with him she should go too. Ray stood dumbfounded for a moment and then grabbed Brooke's arm. They left with Ray still complaining to Brooke…[C]
Shore's Slant: Well, that took a turn I didn't expect. I figured Hogan would give them his blessing after Ray said all the heat was on him. I have no idea where this is going now. I admit, I am intrigued, but it's more out of confusion than sincere love of the story. They have a core of a good story here, but I don't get Ray as the babyface.
[Q6] A video recapped what just happened with Ray and Hogan…A video hyped Joseph Parks getting better in OVW, replete with uplifting music…
4. Gail Kim and Tara (w/Jesse) vs. Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher. The match broke down quickly and the heels were dumped to the floor. When they climbed back in the ring, the ref blocked Tessmacher for some reason, allowing the heels to double team Mickie James…[C]
Back from commercial, Tessmacher got the hot tag and drove Tara into the corner. She started the booty pop move, but Tara escaped to the floor. Kim attacked from behind to allow the heels to work over Tessmacher. Tara hit a scary looking leg drop with the leg that has the brace on Tessmacher, but she seemed OK.
[Q7] Mickie got the hot tag and cleared the heels. The match broke down with all four women in the ring again. Jesse pulled Tara from the ring and waved a towel at her. Tessmacher took them both out with a dive from the top rope. Micke dodged Kim, sending her to the post, and followed with the DDT for the win…
Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher defeated Gail Kim and Tara at 13:09.
Back at the hideout, Doc said they needed to keep their masks on even if Angle was trying to take them off. The VP agreed…[C]
Shore's Slant: I like women's wrestling. I really do. But was it the best business to have a meaningless Knockouts match go 13 minutes yet keep Kazarian and Storm to less than five? Odd choice. And could they be any more transparent that a guy is getting unmasked tonight?
Backstage, ODB said EY won't be back soon because he's rehabbing, but he will walk back into the Impact Zone again…A video recapped the opening segment. Roode and Aries complained to Hulk Hogan and Hogan said it was already decided and it would be an elimination match. He booked Roode and Aries vs. Hardy and whoever Hardy wanted for next week…
Aces and Eights made their ring entrance. Samoa Joe was out next. Angle was out next. As he started to climb in the ring, Doc ran out and hit Angle with the door. He pulled Angle from the ring, and then took 45 minutes to lock Joe in the ring with Devon and friend…
[Q8] 5. Aces and Eights vs. Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle in a steel cage match. Joe held his own while Doc continued to beat up Angle on the floor. Doc slammed Angle on the stairs and finally left. Devon distracted Joe, allowing the other guy to knock him down. The crowd chanted for Angle…[C]
Back from commercial, Angel tried to climb the cage. Doc ran out and pulled him down, but Angle slugged him and took the key. Angle let himself in and cleaned house. Angle tried to pull the mask off the one guy, but Doc opened the cage door, distracting Angle. Angle charged at Doc, but Doc slammed the door in his face and Angle bladed. Joe slammed the door back on Doc, but both Aces and Eights attacked Joe.
Angle rolled awy from a Devon leg drop and Joe hit a kick on the other guy. Angle hit German suplexes on both men. Angle and Joe slammed Devon on the cage and then Angle hit the Angle Slam on the masked guy for the win.
Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle defeated Aces and Eights at 11:44.
Post-match, Angle tried to take the mask off. Devon broke it up and held on long enough for Doc, and then the rest of Aces and Eights, to run out. They held Joe down as they choked Angle out. Sting slowly walked down to the ring with the bat and climbed in the ring. He killed everyone with the bat, and they all escaped except for the masked man in the match. Sting beat up that guy again, and then Angle unmasked him to reveal a shaved head shorter beard wearing Mike Knox. Tenay and Tazz even referred to him as such. Aces and Eights beat a retreat to close the show…
Shore's Slant: Have you ever seen a lamer return that has been set up this much? I mean, there might have been some bad ideas that were as bad, but not one I can think of were the guy just calmly walked to the ring. What a farce! And once again, Aces and Eights loses. I realize there was going to be an unmasking, but why not put the bikers over, have the lights go out and Sting make his return, then left Angle get his heat back with the unmasking? Why completely bury them here? Not a good decision in my opinion.
Overall I thought the show delivered outside of some strange decision making. Going live did not fix 75 percent of TNA's problems as Hogan claimed it would, but they are significantly better when they are live. Jason Powell will have his thoughts tomorrow in the Impact Hitlist. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
And read my first work of fiction: The Following Contest is a Dark Match available exclusively on ebook for all eReaders, smartphones, tablets, and PCs for only 99 cents.
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