2/28 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Hulk Hogan's health update, Jeff Hardy returns, and Sting and Devon reveal their teams for the Lethal Lockdown match
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The show opened with Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan avoiding questions on their way into the arena. Brooke briefly said that he's healing but Ray cut her off and they entered the building…
Bully Ray made his entrance and said it's cool to be back in the Impact Zone. He was pissed, however, and he listed Aces and Eights' sins before declaring that he wanted to get his hands on Devon. Ray turned his attention to Jeff Hardy, and he called the champion to the ring.
Hardy quickly obliged. Ray detailed their history together and Ray said that he didn't feel right about getting a title shot. Ray said he got his shot for being Hogan's son-in-law and he said he wasn't positive if that's how he wanted to face Hardy.
Hardy took his turn and said it's good to be back. Hardy recalled their history as well, and he said at Lockdown they'd reinvent their history and may the best man win. Bad Influence interrupted the conversation and Kazarian agreed with Ray that he did not earn his title shot.
Kazarian referenced the pictures of Hogan rubbing lotion on Brooke's back and drew good heat from the crowd. Daniels took his turn and blamed an allergic reaction to Hardy's face paint for why he lost their last encounter. Daniels demanded that Ray and Hardy leave the ring. He launched into his catch phrase and Ray stole his mike and martini.
Ray drank and spit out the martini before tossing it back in Daniels' face. They brawled briefly before Ray channeled Bad Influence to face Hardy and him later in the evening in a tag match…
The announcers hyped the return of the Gut Check and Velvet Sky was shown walking through the back…
Ryan's Reaction: Decent opening segment that really came alive once Bad Influence showed up. I wasn't feeling the love fest between Hardy and Ray, so I am glad TNA found a way to move on from it quick enough. If the plan is to turn Ray down the line, TNA isn't giving that away. Ray was a complete babyface here.
[Q2] [C] Back from the break, Magnus made his case for why Sting should pick him for his team at Lockdown. Magnus said Sting mentored him and he needs to pay him back. Sting was pensive as Magnus left…
Gail Kim joined the announce team for the following match…
1. Velvet Sky vs. Tara (w/ Jesse) for the Knockouts' Championship. Tara controlled the early action, but Jesse interfered too much and Taryn Terrell freaked out and sent him away. Tara was distracted and turned around into Sky's finisher. Gail Kim complained that Terrell was favoring Sky.
Velvet Sky defeated Tara in 2:03 to retain the Knockouts' Championship.
Austin Aries was on the phone with Bobby Roode and he complained that the man hadn't arrived yet for their photo shoot. Aries found out that they had a three-way match at Lockdown between him and Roode, Bad Influence, and Chavo and Hernandez.
Chavo and Hernandez showed up and Chavo challenged Aries to a match, but he then had Hernandez step into his place…
Ryan's Reaction: That was an ok match, but it was more about Kim's impending feud with Terrell than it was about either woman wrestling. Chavo was bad backstage. I'm not sure what's going on with him, but his talking segments have really declined as of late.
[Q3] [C] Kenny King was brought a camera into RVD's locker room and he demanded that RVD call him the best in the X Division. RVD gave him one more title shot on the condition that if King lost, he was out of the division…
Taz returned to the announce table…
2. Hernandez vs. Austin Aries. Hernandez manhandled Aries for the majority of the match, but Aries managed to sneak a shot in with a steel chain that knocked Hernandez out cold…
Austin Aries defeated Hernandez in 4:24.
Joseph Park was eating ribs backstage as he asked Sting to add him to the Lockdown match. Sting blew him off to corner Matt Morgan and ask Morgan to join his team. Morgan said no because Sting was close to Hulk Hogan…
Ryan's Reaction: Good lord, Morgan's beard is becoming impressive. Solid match; it made Hernandez look like a beast and gave Aries some heat for getting a cheap win. I'm still not sold on the current tag team division in TNA, but they did well enough here.
[Q4] [C] 3. Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King for the X Division Championship. The two man battled back and forth and RVD hit a German suplex that looked like it took more out of RVD than it did out of King.
RVD caught King with a flying kick on the outside and the two men brawled on the floor briefly. RVD hit his spinning leg drop and both men sold as the show went to commercial... [C]
Back from the break, King was firmly in control. King continued to control RVD for the majority of the match, but RVD came back with a flurry and went for his Five Star Frog Splash. RVD did his thumb routine, however, and King rolled out of the way. The two botched a near fall and King had to hit an awkward Royal Flush to put RVD away.
Kenny King defeated RVD for the X Division Championship in 9:07
Backstage, Angle reviewed Sting's list backstage. Angle questioned one of Sting's decisions before the two parted ways…
Ryan's Reaction: The match was good right up until the end. I'm not sure what caused the miscommunication, but Hebner hit what looked like a four count before RVD did a half-hearted kickout. They never really got their composure back.
[Q5] [C] The announcers recapped last week's attack on Hulk Hogan. Taz denied Aces and Eights' involvement….
Devon and the rest of the unmasked Aces and Eights members made their entrance. Devon mocked the idea that Sting could find a team to take his group on at Lockdown. Devon reaffirmed that Aces and Eights will dominate TNA in 2013. Devon announced that the men in the ring, Mike Knox, DOC, Mr. Anderson, and Garett Bischoff, would be facing Sting's team at Lockdown. Devon said Sting is leading his team to the slaughter and he can testify to that.
Sting made his entrance and announced his team: Samoa Joe, James Storm, Magnus, and Eric Young. Young made his entrance behind Aces and Eights, and the two groups had a little brawl. Aces and Eights were chased off quickly and the TNA group celebrated.
A video package for the Gut Check participant, Ivelise Felez aired…
Ryan's Reaction: Good video package for Felez, I am looking forward to seeing what she does in the ring. I'm not crazy about another Gut Check sob story, but it's nice to see Felez get some exposure after her promising showing on Tough Enough.
[Q6] [C] Devon and the rest of Aces and Eights fumed in the parking lot. Kurt Angle was shown stalking them…
The second Gut Check participant, Lei'D Tapa had her video package shown…
5. Ivelise Felez vs. Lei'D Tapa. Tapa towers over Felez. Tapa lifted Felez by her throat and with one hand, but Felez fought out and locked in a guillotine choke. She was shrugged off but she quickly found a rear naked choke.
Tapa fought out again and floored Felez with a big boot. Tapa went to work manhandling Felez. Felez battled back and hit a springboard DDT for a near fall. Felez followed with a huge huracarana. Tapa was unfazed, however, and she scored a Samoan Drop for a near fall of her own.
Felez locked in another guillotine and Tapa was forced to tap.
Ivelise Felez defeated Lei'D Tapa in 4:15
Austin Aries approached Jeff Hardy backstage and told Hardy that he was pulling for Hardy because Ray is the new golden boy in TNA and he wants Hardy to do what he wasn't able to; retain the TNA Championship… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: That last segment was just odd. I'm sure they're planning to have ti go somewhere, but the initial setup was weird. The women's match was great and I enjoyed what both ladies brought to the match. Tapa is a bit clunky at times, but her size and strength is rare in the division. I really enjoyed Felez' MMA-inspired style. I hope TNA finds some storyline reason to bring both women on the roster.
[Q7] Members of AJ Styles' family spoke about how much Styles has changed and how he is ignoring his sons. Styles showed up halfway through the video and he raced away from the cameras on his bike…
A recap of the Robbie E and T falling out aired…
Robbie E stood in the ring and said that he had to come to the realization that there is a bigger and better bro than him. He called out "Rob Terry" and Terry quickly obliged. Robbie E opened the VIP entrance for Terry.
Robbie E said he crossed the line last week and he recognized that he risked their friendship with his actions. Robbie said he was going to show Terry how much he meant to him and he was going to show the world how he was the better bro. Robbie asked for one more bro-off.
Robbie E did his bit and he noted how he got Terry to smile. Robbie gave Terry the spotlight and he left the ring for Terry to do his thing. Robbie waited for Terry to turn around before sliding back into the ring and blasting him with the VIP sign.
Terry wasn't fazed by cardboard, however, and he quickly chased off Robbie. Terry went to attack the sign and the show cut to the back…
Austin Aries told Bully Ray backstage that he was pulling for him. Ray put Aries over for a spell before telling him that he wasn't going to be TNA Champion again anytime soon…. [C]
Ryan's Reaction: TNA needs to get their pacing back. Tonight's entire show has gone by at a frantic pace and there are announcements that should be important being buried in throwaway segments. This isn't a new problem with TNA, but it hasn't been this bad for a while.
Angle was shown entering the Aces and Eights clubhouse…
[Q8] 6. Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray vs. Bad Influence. Bully Ray took the fight to Bad Influence and managed to take out both men. Bad Influence sold on the floor as the show went to commercial… [C]
Back from the break, Hardy and Ray continued to overwhelm Bad Influence. Kazarian caught Hardy with a shot from behind and the heels took control. Bad Influence continued to work over Hardy.
Hardy came back with Whisper in the Wind and got the hot tag to Bully Ray. Ray hit the ring and took out Daniels and Kazarian with quick clotheslines. Ray set Hardy up to hit the Swanton Bomb but Kazarian swept his legs and the heels took control again.
Hardy made a quick comeback, however, and he hit the Swanton Bomb on Daniels to get the 1-2-3….
Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray defeated Bad Influence in 10:51
Kurt Angle tore through the Aces and Eights clubhouse, and he unmasked the final Aces and Eights member, but the man was concealed by a table. The rest of Aces and Eights attacked Angle to close the show…
Ryan's Reaction: Good match, but it was undermined significantly by the unnecessary story shift to Angle in the Aces and Eights clubhouse. Considering no reveal was made, I have no idea why that had to be shoved into an already over-packed show. TNA really needs to get their pacing back under control as the build for Lockdown tonight was lost in the shuffle of simply trying to do too much.
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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