11/21 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Impact returns to Universal Studios, Turning Point themed show, Bobby Roode vs. James Storm in a bull rope match, Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The show opened cold with Mike Tenay and Taz setting up a video of Bobby Roode attacking James Storm at a bar last night…The opening video hyped the TNA Championship tournament, the wheel of Dixie, and the Anderson vs. Bully Ray match as it hyped the Turning Point theme…
Backstage, Dixie walked up to Samoa Joe and told him she watched her segment last week over and over and said she was outstanding but he was terrible. She said if he ever gave her that tone again he would find himself in a third world country wrestling for pesos. She added if he does win the title he won't wrestle AJ Styles because AJ would never be back in the company again. She said the people wanted to see her first instead of him and walked off to make her ring entrance.
Dixie made her entrance and we got to see our first look of the new studio. The bleachers were there and the space looked pretty good. Small, but good. Dixie thanked Sports Illustrated for doing the bug article on her. She said she had to address Styles, who was wrestling around the world for no pay. She said she felt disdain for Styles because he had taken her intellectual property and she had lawyers all over the world to prevent another company from making a Yen off her again.
James Storm cut her off and came to the ring with the bull rope in hand. Storm said he knew Dixie had seen what happened to him last night. Dixie gave him the "And?" treatment. Storm held up the rope and said the wheel picked that match but he wanted more. He said he wanted chairs, tables, barbwire, "that woman's dentures and that man's false leg," in other words, he wanted a Florida Death Match.
Dixie said no and Storm said he refused to press charges last night on Roode, but if she didn’t grant him his match he would call the police back and tell them he changed his mind and she wouldn't have a match. She told him not to take that tone with her. Storm calmed down and asked her nicely for the match and he would make the cops go away. Dixie said since he asked nicely he had his match. Storm dropped his mic and left…
Tenay and Taz hyped Joseph Park vs. Abyss for later and the "Club vs. Career" match… Magnus made his ring entrance.
[Q2] Samoa Joe was introduced next, but he didn't come out. He appeared on the big screen and said he came to fight so Magnus should join him in the back, Magnus left the ring and headed to the back and the bell rang just as they were going to commercial…[C]
Shore's Slant: Good hot opening to the show. Dixie was missable but Storm's energy covered for her well. The set does look very good. It is definitely smaller than the old Impact Zone, or at least looks that way on TV, but I also think it looks better too. It's darker and feels more like a small arena than a soundstage. But where the hell is Creepy Sting Guy? I didn’t see him.
1. Magnus vs. Samoa Joe in a Falls Count Anywhere match in the TNA Championship Tournament. Backstage, Joe beat up Magnus as a video showed him tossing Magnus all over the area during the break. The men had fought back to the stage where Magnus was suddenly in control. They fought down to the ring and traded blows before finally getting in the ring.
Both men traded powerslams with Magnus getting the second one and hitting a snap suplex to follow. Taz put over Magnus big, which should give away the suspected heel turn. Magnus hit the top rope elbow for two. He tried for the cloverleaf but Joe kicked away and hit one armed slam. Magnus rolled to the floor and Joe dove on him and it looked rough.
Joe mouthed off to the camera and Magnus drove him into the apron. Magnus stuck a chair between the second and bottom rope but Joe grabbed him and hooked the rear naked choke. Magnus slammed him back into the apron and staggered over to the corner with the chair. Joe charged and Magnus moved. Joe took the worst chair bump in history and fell down for Magnus to pin him…
Magnus defeated Samoa Joe to advance in the TNA Championship Tournament at 11:14.
Backstage, Joseph Park talked himself up for his match against Abyss for next…
Shore's Slant: A mediocre garbage match that finished with a terrible spot. I don't know if it was the camera angle or what, but it really looked bad. I also get that they protected Joe here, but why not have Magnus go over clean if they are as high on him as they seem to be? This is a mediocre win at best.
[Q3][C] Bad Influence finished their entrance in street clothes and Kazarian put them over and said they were going to watch Park vs. Abyss from ringside. The left the ring and Park made his entrance. He took the mic and told Bad Influence to sit down and shut the hell up. Park said he's been loking for his brother for 18 months and tonight he would face him in the ring. He said he was going to prove he wasn't a loser, even if that meant he had to get his butt beat by his brother.
Christy Hemme introduced Abyss, twice, but no one came out. Bad Influence got back in the ring and Kaz told Park to do the truffle shuffle to entertain the people. Daniels took the mic and said Park's story should be uplifting but it wasn't because he wasn't a man, he was a bag of mayonnaise with a law degree. Daniels continued to cut him down and dared Park to do something.
Daniels said he knew what Park needed and that was blood. Kazarian dumped a bucket of fake blood on Park and Park just stood there. Daniels said nothing was going to happen because Park was a loser. He berated him until Park left the ring and sulked to the back while Daniels continued to hurl insults…[C]
Shore's Slant: Well, at least TNA stopped ripping off WWE and started ripping off Stephen King! Seriously, I'm not really sure what that accomplished, if anything. I assume there's more to this tonight so I'll withhold my thoughts for now, but I'm very confused by what I just saw.
[Q4] Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa stood in the ring and Kim called out her challenger…
2. Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa) vs. Candice Larae. Lerae got in a few shots but Kim won with Eat Defeat…
Gail Kim defeated Candice Lerae at 1:51.
Storm was shown backstage gathering weapons for his match…[C]
Shore's Slant: Lerae has worked for CHIKARA and PWG where she managed recently released NXT wrestler Chris Hero. I'm already bored with this storyline and just want to see who is going to come after Kim for real.
The friends of AJ commercial showed AJ in Japan… Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Mr. Anderson who said Bully tried to take away his family and life but tonight he was going to take away from Bully. He said he was going to end Aces and Eights tonight and stormed off…
Backstage, Gunner checked on Storm and asked if he was OK. He said Storm didn't need those weapons to beat Roode's ass. Storm agreed and said he wanted to use those weapons for what Storm did to him. He thanked Gunner for being the partner Roode never was. Gunner said he had Storm's back tonight and every night. They shook hands and Storm went to make his entrance, but not before a video recapped his history with Roode…[C]
Shore's Slant: Good, simple, and short promo from Anderson. Well done. The Gunner thing worries me. I don't need to see another turn here on Storm or even an accidental interference gimmick. Just let these two fight it out.
[Q5] As soon as Roode's music hit Storm ran up the ramp and hit him with a kendo stick to start the match…
3. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode in a Florida Death match in the TNA Championship Tournament. Storm hit Roode with the stick a few more time until Roode shoved Storm into the post and he came up bleeding. They rolled in the ring, which was covered in weapons, and continued to beat each other with various instruments of destruction.
Storm put a trash can between Roode's legs and hit it with the stick. Not sure how that hurt Roode's nuts but he sold it like it did. That led to the first ten count so now we know it's a last man standing match. Storm threw a trash can at Roode and barely made contact so they did the spot again for a near fall.
Storm setup for Eye of the Storm on a trashcan, but Roode escaped and hit the spinebuster on the can. Both men hit each other in the face and head with trashcan lids and both sold. Roode made his feet and tried to hit Storm with a crutch but Storm hit the last call in a cool looking spot. Roode rolled to the floor and pulled a beer bottle out from under the ring and hit Storm with it when he came over to get Roode.
Storm made his feet at nine and Roode hit an AA across two chairs for another nine count. Roode hit him with a crutch and screamed for him to stay down. He pulled a board from under the ring with coils of barbed wire on it and lifted Storm. Gunner ran out and threw in the towel to prevent Roode from hitting the move…[C]
Bobby Roode defeated James Storm to advance in the TNA Championship Tournament at 12:01.
Shore's Slant: Terrible finish. We don’t need to see Gunner and Storm feud here and this was nothing more than a weak way to setup that feud. This was a very entertaining match and I was really hoping for Gunner to stay in the back. What a shame.
[Q6] Storm was still in the ring and yelled at Gunner. He shoved him away and went to the floor. Gunner followed and tried to plead his case but Storm wasn't hearing it. Gunner said he was looking out for Storm and stopped Roode from ending his career. Strom stomped off with Gunner in tow…
A video had Christy Hemme interviewing Sam Shaw, who now wants to go by Samuel, in his home. He showed her some artwork in a sketch pad and when they cut, he asked Christy out for dinner and she agreed. She wrote her number on a pad on a table and left. Shaw looked pissed a little and put the notepad and pen back in their original spot…
Shore's Slant: So he's OCD? That'll draw HUGE.
Backstage, EC3 walked in on Furnum and Barnes and said he flew them down to tell them they sucked and said his legacy continues tonight… JB started to interview Bully Ray but Knux ran him off and Brooke did it instead. Ray said he had never met a man more ungrateful than Anderson. He said TNA left him high and dry but he brought Anderson in and brought him back, but tonight he would be the guy to take him out. He told Anderson not to worry because he would take care of his pregnant wife…
Shore's Slant: Another good promo to hype Ray vs. Ken. So simple and yet apparently so complex considering how little of it we see on wrestling TV today.
Backstage, Kurt Angle started cutting a promo about having to face Magnus when a someone came up and said Dixie wanted to see him immediately…
[Q7] EC3 made his entrance and said he was facing a returning legend tonight. Shark Boy made his entrance to a big pop…
4. Ethan Carter III vs. Shark Boy. Shark Boy hit some quick offense, but Carter hit the 1 percenter for the win…
Ethan Carter III defeated Shark Boy at 2:04.
Shore's Slant: Eh, at least it wasn't Furnum and Barnes again. I guess there's that.
A video recapped the Anderson vs. Bully Ray feud…[C]
Backstage, Angle and Roode were in each other's faces and started to argue as Dixie Carter walked up. She said next week they were going to have an eight man elimination tag match on Thanksgiving day and they were the captains of the teams…
Shore's Slant: Wait, wait, wait. Eight man elimination matches on Thanksgiving? I thought that was called Survivor Series. I cannot believe they are being this transparent. So stupid.
Anderson and Ray made their entrance but before JB could do ring introductions, the Impact theme played and the locker room emptied onto the stage to watch. OK, it was only like five guys. JB held old school ring introductions, but Anderson attacked before he could finish…
[Q8] 5. Bully Ray (w/Brooke) vs. Ken Anderson in a no disqualification match. If Anderson wins Aces and Eights must disband; if Ray wins Anderson is done in TNA. Anderson hit two low blows and did his own introduction to start. Ray rolled to the floor to escape and used Brooke as a shield which allowed him to attack Anderson. Ray pulled out a table and slid it into the ring…[C]
The table was setup in the corner as Ray continued to beat on Anderson. Ray ripped Anderson's t-shirt off and chopped him. Ray mouthed off to Anderson and Anderson slapped the shit out of him. Ray hit a corner splash and then whipped Anderson with the chain. Ray wrapped the chain around his elbow and went for the elbow drop. Anderson moved and took the chain. He whipped Ray with the chain and went for a punch with it wrapped around his hand, but Ray hit a Rock Bottom for two.
Anderson went to the floor. Ray followed and pulled the padding up. He setup for the piledriver, but Anderson reversed into a backdrop. Anderson tried for a piledriver but Knux made the save. For some reason, no one came down to stop Knux, so Anderson whipped him into the stairs. Anderson pulled up the padding and piledrove Knux on the exposed concrete. He pulled the cut off Knux and celebrated, allowing Ray to attack from behind.
They rolled into the ring and Anderson hit another low blow on Ray. He hit the Finlay roll on the chain and went for the mic check. Ray escaped and drove Anderson into the table for a near fall. Brooke ran over to Taz who handed her the hammer. She went to toss it to Ray but overshot him and Anderson caught it. He hit Ray with the hammer and followed with the mic check for the win…
Mr. Anderson defeated Bully Ray to end the Aces and Eights at 13:02.
Post-match, Anderson ripped the cut off Bully and had the guys on the stage collect Taz's. He held both in the ring to close the show. A video package hyped the Survivor Ser…er, eight man elimination match next week and Anderson's funeral for Aces and Eights…
Shore's Slant: A good main event that had a predictable ending, but guess what. NO REF BUMP! I can't believe it! Putting that aside, you could see this finish coming the second Brooke got the hammer, but that's OK. Aces and Eights had a good run that started to drag in too long and they got out before any major damage was done. There were ways to do it better, there almost always are, but I think this is a good ending to the story.
All in all a very good Impact show that far exceeded anything I have seen from WWE in the past few weeks. The show was far from perfect, but another giant step in the right direction that I hope they continued to build on. The new space is well designed and I don’t think they look near as bush league as they did in the old Impact Zone. On the whole, things are looking up for TNA right now. Let's hope they can keep the momentum. Jason Powell and Will Pruett will have more tomorrow. Thanks for watching along 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.
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