4/18 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Mickie James vs. Miss Tessmacher, Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff, and AJ Styles vs. James Storm
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped on 4/11 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
[Q1] A graphic sent thoughts and prayers to the people of Boston…The recap video aired then Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz checked in on commentary, just to show ANOTHER recap video that hyped Jeff Hardy going to the hospital…
Backstage, Devon asked Garett and Wes if they were ready and they replied arrogantly. Devon admonished them and said they better get the job done. They made their entrance as another video recapped the history. Angle was out next…
1. Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco vs. Kurt Angle in a handicap match. Angle beat up Brisco and then tossed him into the corner so Garett could tag in. Garett fared no better, and Angle sent both to the floor…[C]
Shore's Slant: Too much video to start the show. The Hardy stuff should have been in the opening recap video, not a separate video, followed by yet another recap video. It took too much juice out of the start of the match.
[Q2] Wes hit a low blow while Garett had the ref distracted and the heels took over. Angle came storming back and hit tons of rolling German's on each man, and then tried to hit a German on Wes while Wes held Garett. Garett grabbed the rope, but the ref did the "kick the hands" gimmick and Angle hit the double German. D-Lo ran out and tossed a chain to Garett, who hit Angle in the back of the head while Anderson had the ref distracted and Angle had Wes in the ankle lock. He covered for the win…
Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco defeated Kurt Angle at 11:03.
Anderson cut a promo about how things were going bad for TNA. He said if you weren't wearing a cut tonight, you were in a bad way. He added that they were rooting for Styles and then the four men posed…Petey Williams and Xema Ion cut promos about their match for the X Division title…[C]
Shore's Slant: Well, at least Garett and Wes got the win. Not a terrible match, but it just feels like more of the same. Other than Bully Ray, the rest of the Aces and Eights are directionless. Anderson's kind of in the Styles storyline, and Wes and Garett have a weak story with Angle, but those aren't compelling. AJ Styles is compelling right now, but Anderson's involvement feels tertiary at best.
[Q3] 2. Xema Ion vs. Petey Williams vs. Kenny King for the X Division Championship. King sported new entrance music. He also attacked both men before the bell. The ref what looked like a beret with the camera in it. It was better than I feared, but not exactly something cool either. Williams hit the Canadian Destroyer on King after one minute, but Ion broke up the count and worked over Williams while King took a powder.
Williams twisted out of a backbreaker into a side Russian leg sweep and hooked a crucifix pin on Ion for two. Ion hit a jawbreaker and whipped Williams. Williams dove on King, knocking him back down just as King made his feet. Ion hit a diving tornado DDT from the apron and went for a moonsault, but Williams got the knees up. Williams locked in a sharpshooter, but King ran in and hit a running knee of Williams and pinned Ion for the win…
Kenny King retained his X Division Championship at 5:46. Xema Ion is eliminated from title contention.
Backstage, Magnus cut a promo and said Aces and Eights were talking about taking things, but the only person taking anything was him when he took the title from Devon tonight…[C]
Shore's Slant: First reaction to "X Cam" is: meh. I'm underwhelmed. This triple threat thing can work, but they need to start building stories around the new rules. The gimmick alone isn't going to be enough to keep people interested.
Backstage, Brooke Hogan congratulated Christy Hemme on how good the Knockouts photo shoot looks. Hemme left and Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher came in. Brooke wished them both luck and Mickie left. Tessmacher told Brooke how much she felt for her and said any of the Knockouts would be there for her. They hugged and Tessmacher left…
Shore's Slant: DON'T FALL FOR IT TESSMACHER! SHE'S A LIAR LIKE HER HUSBAND!
Devon made his ring entrance. Magnus started to make his, but Aces and Eights attacked him from behind. He held his own for a moment, but the numbers game got to him and Devon hit him several times with a chained fist.
[Q4] Knux and Doc double chokeslammed Magnus on the ramp and Samoa Joe ran out to make the save…[C]
Shore's Slant: So the three guys can take Magnus but not Samoa Joe, did I get the right?
A video recapped what just happened and then Joe cut a raging promo backstage. He called them all cowards and said their transgressions would be paid in blood. He said he would see Devon in the ring later tonight, and heavily implied it was a title match…
A video recapped the AJ Styles storyline…Another video recapped Velvet Sky hurting her knee two weeks ago. Tessmacher made her entrance, followed by Mickie James…[C]
3. Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James to become the number one contender to the Knockouts Championship. Both women worked a collar and elbow all over the ring. ODB broke them up and they started to turn on her, but she told them to fight.
[Q5] The fight spilled to the floor and once again ODB had to break it up and get them back in the ring. Tessmacher dumped Mickie in the corner and put on the booty pop pretty heavy. The crowd barely got up for that, pun not intended, but was otherwise dead. Mickie hit the one man flapjack and then the Thesz press off the top rope for two.
ODB told Mickie to stop using closed fists and they argued. That let Tessmacher run over and both women hit clotheslines on each other. ODB started a 10 count but they fought to their feet. James slammed Tessmacher face first into the turnbuckle and then hooked a very suggestive rollup for the win…
Mickie James became the number one contender at 7:39.
Backstage, AJ Styles looked at Bad Influence and then walked off. They followed and claimed that AJ was with them again before walking off singing…Joseph Park was in the bathroom on the phone talking about the annulment when Devon walked in and said Park just couldn't listen. Park said he was doing it for Brooke. Bully Ray hit Park from behind and Devon choked him with the chain. Ray repeated the order to stay out of family business and then they tossed him into a shower stall and cut it on…[C]
Shore's Slant: Dreadfully slow Knockouts match that had zero punch. And look, yet another Knockouts referee getting involved in matches. Lather, rinse, repeat. I did like the attack on Park though. I have a feeling he's going to reveal Brooke's deception. That could be a neat way to use him.
[Q6] Mickie James cut a promo about being excited over her win tonight…James Storm said he was going to knock some sense into AJ with his superkick…Yet another video recapped the tag title change last week…
Bad Influence made their ring entrance. Daniels started by plugging their new shirts and then said they were close to getting AJ to join them again. OK, I thought they said he was with them earlier. Fortunately, they transitioned to Kazarian challenging the new tag champions.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode cut them off and said they had bad news. Roode said he was sorry to inform them, but they were not the number one contenders. He said Aries and he were. Daniels said because Roode was Canadian, his opinion only meant three quarters of an opinion. Aries said his opinion represented his 1.25 quarters and so they equaled two parts.
Shore's Slant: I was told there would be no math.
The argument degraded from there. Kazarian called Aries a "dirty began," and Aries said they could put the meat in their mouths if they wanted, but not him. That woke Corpus Christi up a little. Chavo and Hernandez snuck out behind Aries and Roode so Bad Influence backed out of the ring. Mexican America 3.5 beat up Bad Influence 1.25 and posed with the titles…[C]
Shore's Slant: I think somewhere in there they announced the tag title return match for next week. This is becoming like Team Hell No vs. The Primetime Players.
Bobby Roode talked seriously in a pre-tape about Hardy being sent to the hospital and Aces and Eights running roughshod…Another video recapped the attack on Magnus and Matt Morgan cut a pre-tape promo and mentioned all of Hogan's mistakes and said it all could have been avoided if Hogan had simply made the right choice…
Shore's Slant: I like Morgan's general position and his intensity, but it just seems…off, somehow. I'm not sure heeling on Hogan about Aces and Eights makes a lot of sense unless they are turning him babyface, but that feels like a retread of Bully Ray's story. I don't know. I want to like this story a lot but I just don't.
[Q7] 4 Samoa Joe vs. Devon for the TV Championship. Joe had Devon setup for the Muscle Buster, but Aces and Eights distracted Earl Hebner and Anderson ran in and hit Joe with brass knucks. Anderson dove out right in front of Earl Hebner and Devon covered for the win…
Devon retained the TV Championship at 3:35.
Post-match, the gang held Joe while Anderson hit him in the face with the knucks. For some reason, this one did much more damage and Joe sold it like a broke face…[C]
Shore's Slant: I was with them right up until the second brass knucks shot. That was a little silly because he already hit him in the face once. I like these beat downs better than the previous nine months because these are leading to actual wins in the ring. The general gang storyline is still flat, but they are at least keeping the gang strong for now.
James Storm and AJ Styles made their ring entrances. AJ stood outside the ring for a moment and then walked away. Storm gave chase and they battled on the ramp. Storm knocked him in the ring and the match finally started…
[Q8] 5. James Storm vs. AJ Styles. Both men got in some quick offense and Styles tripped Storm to go to break at just over 1:00…[C] Back from commercial, Styles was still in control. Storm started his comeback. They almost botched a back drop but recovered into a reverse atomic drop and then got the spot right.
Storm set Styles on the top. The battled and Storm ended up tied upside down. Styles hit a dropkick for two as Bad Influence came out to cheer on AJ. Storm and AJ spilled to the floor. They fought back into the ring and Storm went for the superkick. Styles grabbed Storm's leg and rolled him into a new submission lock for the win…
AJ Styles defeated James Storm at 10:54.
Post-match, Bad Influence tried to celebrate with Styles, but he took them both out. He stared at Storm and then calmly left the ring as Aces and Eights hit to beat down the other three men. Bully Ray did his, "Do you know who I am?" gimmick and said they were responsible for destroying all our heroes. He said he was the man responsible for taking out Hardy and his brothers were responsible for taking out these three pieces of trash.
Ray said there were no heroes left and you could blame the whole thing on Hulk Hogan. He closed the show by saying next week he is calling out Hogan so he can look him in the eye and tell him all the heroes are just victims. He closed with their catchphrase…
Shore's Slant: An OK match with Styles and Storm, but you could tell they were holding back. The beat down at the end was good, and Ray continues to be great, but they also buried the Styles story in the process. Overall, a mediocre edition of Impact that had way too many video segments and was once again, paced poorly. Jason Powell and Will Pruett will add their thoughts tomorrow. Thanks for watching along tonight and a big Happy Birthday to daddy's "punkin pie."
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