1/3 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: X-Division Tourney, Sting returns, TNA Wrestler of the Year, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on Spike TV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] Jeremy Borash introduced the nominees for Wrestler of the Year. Bully Ray, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Jeff Hardy all made their entrances.
Roode an Aries argued over which one of them would win but Hardy was announced as the winner. Aries and Roode were not pleased. Hardy thanked the fans and said the award meant just as much as winning the TNA Title. Roode took umbrage with that notion and he talked about how when he was the champ the title was all that mattered to him.
Aries said that the vote was obviously rigged. He mentioned that he averaged over four stars per PPV match and thus he deserved the award more. Hardy then interjected and said he would face both men at Genesis for the TNA Title. He declared 2013 the year of the Enigma.
Aries and Roode told what they thought about that with their boots. It didn't take long for them to turn on each other, though, and the three men brawled. Aries struck Roode with the trophy and Hardy took out Aries…
The announcers ran through the card for the evening and hyped Sting's return...
James Storm was walking backstage when he ran into Bad Influence. They mocked him for a bit but Storm quickly said that he is going to be the TNA Champion in 2013 and he threatened to take out both men. Storm headed back to the ring and told one of them to meet him out there…
Ryan's Reaction: Simple, quick, and effective opener. They could have built up the award reveal a bit more and kept the title match announcement from being a throwaway comment, but that's just picking nits.
[Q2] [C] 1. Kazarian (w/ Christopher Daniels) vs. James Storm. Kazarian caught storm off guard early, and the two men battled to the floor. Kazarian controlled the pace until Storm hit Closing Time.
Storm hit a flying elbow drop for a near fall. Kazarian answers with a fireman's cutter. Storm hit Closing Time again and set up for the Last Call Daniels interfered, but Storm took him out. Kazarian jumped to the second rope and dove towards Storm, but he landed in the Last call from Storm, who covered Kazarian for the 1-2-3…
James Storm defeated Kazarian in 3:48
Devon met with Mr. Anderson backstage and offered him a place in Aces and Eights. They were both surrounded by women. DOV showed up and gave Anderson an ultimatum. Mr. Anderson said he was in and he offered DOC his hammer. Devon then looked for his bat but no one saw it.
Ryan's Reaction: Good, brief match that went right to the signature moves It worked well for me. I didn't care about Anderson until the end of that segment. He dropped the over-the-top Austin imitation voice and just spoke, and that was the most compelling he's been in years. I'd be all for Anderson just being his own badass and not being a deluded version of an older act.
[Q3] [C] Kenny King spoke with Kid Kash backstage and he said he looked forward to facing Kash in the finals, even though the two men need to get past Christian York and Zema Ion before they get to that point…
A video package recapping the Aces and Eights attacks aired…
DOC made his entrance. DOC grabbed a mic and called out Sting. A bat fell into the ring and DOC lost his mind telling Sting to come out before the show cut to commercial… [C]
Brooke Hogan was walking with the Hervey cam backstage. Hervey wanted to know if she talked to her father. Brooke said no and said she's likely do so on TV like they always do.
2. Christian York vs. Kid Kash. Kash took the early advantage and worked on York's midsection. York regained control after blocking a moonsault and hit a quick flurry of offense.
York hit the Mood Swing out of nowhere and secured the pinfall victory…
Christian York defeated Kid Kash in 3:39.
[Q4] The camera immediately cut back to Chavo Guererro and Hernandez. Chavo said he and Hernandez are not worried about Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: TNA is in frantic mode again, flittering between segments and stories without letting the last sink in whatsoever. It's nights like this where they do a lot and accomplish a little because simple promos like that are given just as much attention as their big moments.
Hernandez and Chavo made their entrance. Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan came out and Morgan's arm was in a sling. Morgan said Ryan would take the fight to them.
3. Hernandez vs. Joey Ryan. The match barely got underway before Morgan attacked and took out both Hernandez and Chavo… [C]
Hernandez defeated Joey Ryan in 0:51 via DQ.
Ryan's Reaction: Not much to do with there. Morgan is more feuding with Hogan than this tag group but Hogan is busty with the Ray storyline. On top of that, TNA hasn't done enough with these teams for me to care about their feud or the titles they're supposed to be feuding over.
Kurt Angle spoke with Wes and Garett backstage. He told them to stay backstage while he and Samoa Joe took care of business. They left and Angle told Joe that his new Year's resolution was to unmask the Aces and Eights members and he would start tonight…
The Knockouts were shown preparing backstage for a match. It was like a creeper montage with all of those snooping camera men watching the women stretch…
A video package with dramatic music aired that recapped the Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan storyline…
Hogan explained that he was gone last week because he was cooling off from seeing his daughter making out with Ray. Hogan called out Bully Ray and his daughter. They obliged.
Ray tried to take the blame for the problem. Hogan told Ray that he's no good and doesn't belong in wrestling. Hogan said he can't fight ray any longer, but he can suspend him. Hogan told Ray to get out of his ring. He then booted his daughter as well. They reluctantly did as they were told and Hogan turned his back on them… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: That was just odd. They're doing better than the early parts of this story, but it's still so absurd that it takes me out of the action. This is a story that may have worked if they played up the Brooke dating a wrestler aspect or the age gap aspect more. Instead it just paints Hogan as an overprotective ass when his daughter is no longer under his roof and a woman grown.
Back from the break, a recap of the previous segment aired…
The latest OVW bit with Joseph Park aired…
[Q6] 4. Tara (w/ Jesse) and Gail Kim vs. Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher.James and Tessmacher got in some early offense and did a comedy spot on the outside. Tara and James locked up as the show went to commercial… [C]
Back from the break, Tessmacher got a hot tag and ran through her pelvis-based offense. Kim used a distraction to attack Tessmacher from behind and the heels took control.
[Q7] Tessmacher eventually got the hot tag to James and she stormed the ring. Tessmacher took out Tara and Jesse while James focused on Kim. Mickie put Kim away with a jumping DDT…
Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher defeated Tara and Gail Kim in 13:06.
DOC and the rest of Aces and Eights spoke backstage about their plans to keep the group members covered. One of them opened a switch blade… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Good match. Tessmacher had several botches that hurt the flow, but the rest made up for her quickly and the result was an enjoyable and lengthy women's wrestling match.
ODB spoke about EY backstage saying that he is recovering. ODB promised that he would return to Impact…
A recap of the opening segment aired…
Roode and Aries argued with Hogan backstage. Hogan said that their triple threat match would be elimination at the PPV. Hogan then announced that the two heels would team up to take on Hardy and a partner of his choice next week. Hogan kicked the men out of his office…
[Q8] 5. Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe vs. Aces and Eights in a steel cage match. DOC ran out and took out Angle before he made it into the cage, leaving Joe trapped with Devon and a masked A&8 member in the cage.
Joe took the fight to the two men for a while, but the numbers quickly caught up to him. The two men beat Joe down as the show went to commercial… [C]
Back from the break, Angle was up and fought his way back into the cage. Angle took out both of his opponents. Angle went for the masked man's mask but DOC distracted Angle and laid him out with the cage door. Angle bladed.
Angle hit a flurry of offense on his opponents and threw Devon into the cage. Angle hit the masked man with an Angle Slam and covered him for the win.
Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe defeated Aces and Eights in 11:45.
Angle went right after the mask and Aces and Eights flooded the ring. They attacked both men for a spell but Sting walked out without music. Sting took out every Aces and Eights member with his bat. The masked member that wrestled was all that was left, so Angle unmasked him.
Tenay identified him as "Mike Knox from the WWE." Knox unfortunately had a tiny beard again. The faces celebrated to close the show.
Ryan's Reaction: More or less what I expected from the final segment considering the hype that was done during the evening. I am glad that TNS stepped up and had a name ready for the latest unmasking. I'm not sure if Knox will keep his name or not, but there was no harm in referencing his history here. I was surprised to hear WWE mentioned by name, but for once it was just a mention and not TNA trying to rib the bigger company so I appreciated the move.
Overall, this show was alright. I was fairly entertained, but TNA really needs to work on their pacing and how they lay out each segment. They've fallen back into old habits with frantic switches and lack of focus, and it's one of my biggest complaints about TNA's current product. They undercut themselves by now allowing their audience a chance to breathe and absorb the bigger moments.
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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