1/10 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: The debut of the new Gut Check, Kenny King vs. Zema Ion, fallout from Hulk Hogan suspending Bully Ray, and Jeff Hardy and James Storm vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on Spike TV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] Ryan's Reaction: I'm either experiencing some effects of inclement weather, or Spike is transmitting an odd signal tonight. The show is extremely choppy for me, so if I don't update for a spell, please assume my satellite went out. In that event, I will return as soon as possible. I apologize now for any potential inconveniences this may cause you.
Sting made his entrance with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Sting said he was just getting started and at Genesis he was coming for DOC. He referred to Angle and Joe as "Shooter" and "Killer," respectively. He asked Aces and Eights to come get some and the crowd chanted for Joe.
Joe took the mic and said that he may have been out-manned last week, but he wasn't out-gunned. Joe promised to choke them out. Angle took his turn and reaffirmed his promise to unmask all of Aces and Eights. Angle said he wanted to expose someone else tonight. Angle said that man is Mr. Anderson, and he demanded Anderson come out and declare whose side he is on.
Anderson obliged. Anderson asked where the men in the ring where when Aces and Eights put him out of action. Angle interrupted and said Anderson is either with them or they were going to fight. Anderson entered the ring. Anderson got in Angle's face and told him he doesn't have to answer to him. Anderson told Angle he never liked him.
Angle struck Anderson and Anderson rolled out of the ring. Anderson lowered his head and returned the way he came while Angle yelled "this is not over!"
The announcers hyped for the card for the evening…
A video package for Jay Bradley, one of the night's Gut Check participants aired…
Brooke Hogan was walking through the back. If she said anything, I was unable to tell as my signal fell briefly…
Ryan's Reaction: Again, I apologize for the portions of tonight that I miss. The opening was solid enough. I feel like Anderson will turn out good in the end as a swerve for swerve's sake, but for now he's doing a decent job in the heel role. He still does the cartoonish voice too much for my liking, but I would so much rather see him be a straight heel and the tweener he played for so long.
[Q2] [C] 1. Kenny King vs. Zema Ion. The two men went right at it and traded a flurry of offense early. Ion got a DDT for a near fall. Ion followed with a belly-to back piledriver for a great near fall.
King came right back and hit the Royal Flush to put Ion away.
Kenny King defeated Zema Ion in 2:49
Robbie E complained to Miss Tessmacher about how he's been treated the last few weeks. Robbie wanted Tessmacher to team with him to take on Jesse and Tara. She agreed on the condition that she gets to tag with a winner. She then walked off with Robbie T… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Decent match, but far too short. I like King's act and the push he's receiving, but they really need to find him some new music. It doesn't fit his character well at all.
Joseph Park was shown walking backstage. He said tonight he wasn't walking into the arena as an attorney; he was walking in as a wrestler.
2. Robbie T and Miss Tessmacher (w/ Robbie E) vs. Tara and Jesse. Jesse attacked Robbie T early, but Robbie T no sold. Robbie tossed Jesse around for a bit. Tara tagged Jesse and the women began to wrestle.
Tessmacher got in her butt offense and Tara got the tag to Jesse. Robbie T hit an elevated powerbomb and put Jesse away easily.
Robbie T and Miss Tessmacher defeated Tara and Jesse in 1:44.
[Q3] After the match, Robbie T got caught up in the music and began to dance again. Tessmacher joined him. And the two kissed…
The video package for Brian Cage, the other Gut Check participant for tonight, aired… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: That was some simple and dumb comedy, but it was quick and relatively harmless. It's not my cup of tea, but the live crowd enjoyed it and the segment didn't overstay its welcome. I am excited to see if the Gut Check gets a bit more time now they have two potential signees facing one another.
3. Brian Cage vs. Jay Bradley in a Gut Check match. The two men worked some chain wrestling, and Bradley worked a heel style with intermittent shoves and slaps. Bradley gained the upper hand off of a big boot.
Bradley began to work over Cage's midsection, but Cage managed to land a dropkick that knocked Bradley to the floor. Cage brought Bradley back into the ring with a suplex. After a short scuffle, Bradley landed a JBL-esque clothesline he calls the "Boomstick" for the 1-2-3.
Jay Bradley defeated Brian Cage in 3:17
Backstage, Anderson interrupted the Aces and Eights party. Bane called a meeting and told everyone to come to the table. The group gathered around and Bane chastised Mike Knox for losing his mask. Bane told him that he either earns his place in the group back tonight, like DOC did when he lost his mask, or he was gone…
Park was shown walking backstage…
Ryan's Reaction: I like Bradley's in-ring style. He doe s a lot of old-fashioned heel work and his finisher is simple, brutal, and can be hit out of nowhere. If he can be as good on the mic as he just performed in the ring, then TNA has a new solid heel on their hands.
[Q4] [C] Park stood in the ring and called out Hulk Hogan. Hogan came out and did his full entrance. Hogan congratulated Park on his "short stint" in wrestling school. Hogan asked if Park knew what was going on in the back. Park said he did not.
Park thanked Hogan and his trainers for helping him get to this point. Park said he stands there as a wrestler and he wants a match. Hogan said he can have any match he wants as long as he "gives him a break." Park was giddy with excitement but Hogan seemed rather concerned.
Brooke Hogan appeared on the big screen. She said she can't believe Hogan wants to handle this in public and she told him not to move as she'd be right out… [C]
Brooke Hogan made her entrance. She reminded Hogan that he was hard to reach recently. Brooke said she had a question. She asked if Hogan would reinstate "Mark." Hogan said no, he would not reinstate Bully Ray.
Hulk left Brooke in the ring, and Brooke did her best to work up some tears.
[Q5] Austin Aries and Bobby Roode argued backstage about who was going to wear flashy entrance gear or who was going to wear their new shirts. They finally agreed that they both deserved to be TNA Champion more than their opponents. Aries referred to them as a "wet dream team" and they needed to take care of business tonight. They then went back to arguing about entrance attire…
A video package hyping the triple-threat title match at Genesis aired. It focused on the motivations of Austin Aries…
4. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy and James Storm. Hardy and Roode started in the ring. Hardy gained the upper hand, so Roode tagged in Aries. Hardy got the better of him as well.
Hardy tagged in Storm, and Storm sent Aries to the floor. Aries and Roode argued on the outside as the show went to commercial…
[Q6] [C] Back from the break, Roode knocked Hardy off of the top turnbuckle. The heels began to work over Hardy, despite the two men constantly arguing. Aries and Roode made frequent tags and tried to play a game of one-upmanship.
Hardy eventually got the hot tag to James Storm, who quickly took out his opponents. Storm ran through his offense, and hit Closing Time on Aries. Roode set up for a Last Call, but Christopher Daniels and Kazarian ran down and distracted Storm. Storm went to fight the two men and Aries attacked Hardy with the TNA Title belt to cause the disqualification….
Jeff Hardy and James Storm defeated Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in 13:29 via DQ.
Roode and Aries argued over the title belt after the match…
Brooke Hogan was on the phone with Ray and she told him to stay away, but she eventually agreed to be picked up by the man… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: That match was overbooked. The focus was far too much on Aries and Roode not getting along, and on top of that they tried to throw in hype for the Storm vs. Bad Influence feud, when Storm hadn't even been a factor in the match since the break. I'm not high on how much TNA is focusing on the two heels feuding, as it gives viewers little incentive to order the PPV and see if Hardy will retain. If they feel like they can't build a story that revolves around Hardy as their champion, then he really shouldn't be the guy they have holding the belt.
Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan were mid-promo for their match at Genesis when Hernandez and Chavo showed up. The four men had themselves a little brawl…
The announcers ran through the Genesis card, and they announced Joseph Park vs. Devon and James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels…
[Q7] A second video hyping the triple-threat match aired. This one focused on Jeff Hardy…
Mr. Anderson and Kurt Angle made their entrances. Anderson avoided Angle, but Mike Knox snuck up on Angle and attacked him with a hammer. Garett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, and Samoa Joe ran out to chase off Aces and Eights.
Sting's music played as Angle was being stretchered out, and he entered the ring. Sting told everyone to call off their troops, but Sting wanted a shot at Knox now. Knox made his way towards the ring as the show went to break…
Ryan's Reaction: Ugh. TNA did their best to sell the attack, but this was merely a repeat of what we got from the DOC story. I already can't shake the feeling that Aces and Eights is just treading water at this point, and this didn't help that at all.
[Q8] [C] 5. Sting vs. Mike Knox Knox wasted no time in manhandling Sting. Know worked over Sting's neck and he wore him down for the early match.
The two men brawled briefly on the floor, and Sting managed to throw Knox into the steps. Sting took control at that point, and he took his turn on offense. Sting hit his signature spots, and put Knox away with a Scorpion Death Drop.
Sting defeated Mike Knox in 3:26.
Sting grabbed the hammer after the match and attacked Knox with it. Devon told Sting to stop, and he revealed that the group had a hold of Brooke Hogan.
Bully Ray appeared and he rescued Brooke from Aces and Eights with his chain. Hulk Hogan calmly made his appearance and rubbed his beard pensively… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: So another Aces and Eights man loses his match and afterwards loses the heat he gained when Sting instantly gets some revenge. Then the group tries to get some cheap heat only to instantly lose it when Bully ray makes the save. Why is TNA keeping this group around if they don't plan on presenting them as an actual threat?
Hulk Hogan mocked Ray after the final break and he blamed Ray for Hogan getting caught by Aces and Eights. Hogan said he thinks Ray is a fake and isn't the man for his daughter. Ray said Hogan had it all wrong. Ray said all he's ever cared about was being a professional wrestler. He said he always wanted to be as good as Sting or as great as Hulk. He said he never felt he would love anything as much as he did wrestling, until he met Brooke.
Ray said that Brooke came into his life when she apologized for Hulk's attitude towards Ray. Ray said he knows this has happened too quick and Hulk Hogan threw his mic to the floor. Ray got Brooke in front of him and said he is not good at expressing himself, but Brooke makes him laugh and not be such a hardass.
Ray got on one knee and presented Brooke with a ring. Hulk was incensed. Ray told Brooke he loves her and he asked her to marry him. Brooke said yes and kissed him. Ray said he wanted to get married next week and Hulk fumed all the way to the back.
Ryan's Reaction: This story has jumped the shark. I can see the two getting married and Ray turning heel right after, but damn if this isn't painful to watch. If it was anyone else in Ray's role, I wouldn't care as much, but they took him off of one of the best runs of his career to play the part in this story, and they're not going to get him as hot as he was without considerable work.
I did not enjoy Impact tonight. I enjoyed the new Gut Check match, but I didn't care for the way the title picture is being built around the two heel challengers, the way Aces and Eights continues to be handled poorly, and the way Ray is being damaged with this story. This show did not sell me on the Genesis PPV. I'm hoping that show will shake things up enough to get me excited for TNA again, but for now the product has me shaking my head more than anything.
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.
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