12/12 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Feast or Fired match, Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries for the X Division Title, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Joseph Park and Eric Young
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] Impact opened with a recap of the A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter drama from the end of last week's show. Styles was shown saying that if Dixie wants the TNA Title, she'll need to go to Gainesville, Georgia to take it from him... Rockstar Spud was shown driving a car and talking on his cell phone. He left a message for Dixie Carter in which he said he was headed to Gainesville...
Jeremy Borash stood in the ring and set up the Feast or Fired match. Borash pointed to the four briefcases that were set up on the table and noted that a TNA Title shot, an X Division Title shot, a TNA Tag Title shot, and a pink slip were inside the briefcases. He turned to the Wheel of Dixie.
Kurt Angle's music interrupted Borash. Angle headed to the ring, took the mic from Borash, and told him to get out of the ring. Angle kicked over the table with the briefcases and knocked over the wheel. Angle called out Bobby Roode, whose music immediately played.
Roode walked onto the stage and questioned whether Angle wanted to fight him. "Too bad, it's not going to happen," Roode said. He said he is the one who should be upset because he was eliminated from the title tournament because he slipped and fell through a table.
Roode and Angle bickered on the mic a bit, then brawled at ringside. Roode rolled inside the ring and Angle followed him and speared him. Angle threw punches at Roode until referees and security interfered. Agents Pat Kenney and Al Snow ran out to help keep them apart. They failed, as Roode broke free and kicked Angle right square in the nuts. Roode challenged Angle to a best of three falls match for next week's Final Resolution themed show...
Powell's POV: I've enjoyed the Angle and Roode feud, but I felt like we've been there and done that when it comes to their latest brawl. The live crowd seemed to feel the same way, as they weren't all that hot for it. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the best of three falls next week. They brawl well, but the best of three falls match should let them do what they do best.
A video package recapped the Joseph Park, Eric Young, and Bad Influence drama... Backstage, Young asked Park if he is ready for their tag match with Bad Influence. Park said he wasn't sure whether he is or not. Young said this is Park's chance and asked Park to trust him... [C]
Mike Tenay plugged upcoming events. Taz was on color commentary...
1. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Joseph Park and Eric Young. Bad Influence got the better of Park early on. Kazarian held Park while Daniels slapped him. Young cleared Bad Influence from the ring, then yelled at Park to get up. Young placed his own tag partner in a headlock and said, "I'm sorry." Young punched Park a few times.
Park came up bleeding. Park stood up bloody confused. Young wiped the the blood on his hand and showed Park, who went into Abyss mode as Bad Influence hit him from behind. Park chokeslammed Kazarian, then performed a backbreaker on Daniels. A short time later, Park performed the Black Hole Slam on Kazarian for the win...
Joseph Park and Eric Young defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in 5:45.
After the match, Young said Park has been looking for Abyss for 18 months. Young said the reason he can't find Abyss is because "you are Abyss." Park shook his head no. Young patted him on the shoulder and left the ring. Park looked to the crowd, which started chanting "you're Abyss" at him...
Powell's POV: You have to laugh that after 18 months, Eric Young is the guy that figured out the mystery that most viewers figured out about 17 months and two weeks ago (at the latest). No complaints, though, I'm just happy to be moving forward after all this time.
A Youtube clip aired of Ethan Carter III getting a massage. He said he had to take out another legend last week, and this week he is going to have a moment that will make social media explode... Tenay hyped the Feast or Fired match... [C]
Powell's POV: Is there a reason to keep up with Impact 365 if they're going to air the relevant footage on television?
EC3 made his entrance while Taz gushed about how creative he is and labeled him a "must see competitor."
[Q3] EC3 told Brian Hebner, who was also in the ring, that he didn't have to worry. The crowd chanted "Shut your mouth." EC3 announced that he would face TNA's "social media guru" Jeremy Borash. EC3 said he's a Carter and ordered the shocked Borash to get in the ring now.
Sting's music played and he headed to the ring. Sting said EC3 has done "absolutely nothing in this business." Sting said that the Feast or Fired competitors will compete and take chances. He asked EC3 to man up and "enroll yourself" in Feast or Fired "or you can just fight me right now." The crowd chanted for Sting.
EC3 accepted the challenge. He acted like they were going to fight, then announced, "Tonight I will compete in Feast or Fired." The crowd booed...
Powell's POV: Well played by EC3 and a crowd rallying promo by Sting. The fans wanted to see EC3 get his ass handed to him, and he got heat when he bowed out and said he would be in the Feast or Fired match later in the show.
Rockstar Spud went to a gas station and asked a guy where he could find A.J. Styles. The man told Spud that he and his friends usually hang out at a bar a mile up the road... [C]
Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa were in the ring. Kim said it was another week of her open challenge. She said the competition has been a little below average. She asked Tapa if she agrees. Tapa stood silently while holding the Knockouts Title belt. Kim asked for her challenger to come out.
ODB came out and Taz immediately said this has to be a mistake. "What is this whack job doing out here?" he asked. Once ODB was in the ring, Kim said she was looking for better competition. She said she's defeated ODB over and over again and told her to get out. ODB said she wasn't there to kick Kim's butt, she was there to kick Tapa's.
ODB took a shot at Tapa, then clotheslined Kim. ODB picked up Tapa for a slam, but Kim recovered and clipped her knee. Tapa put the boots to ODB in the corner. Madison Rayne appeared out of nowhere and speared Kim. Madison tossed Kim to ringside, then fired a shot at Tapa, who no-sold it and knocked her down. ODB and Madison teamed up to clear Tapa from the ring...
Powell's POV: It's nice to see Momma Madison back. She doesn't look like a woman who had a baby in August. Madison is a welcome addition to a depleted Knockouts roster.
[Q4] Spud entered a bar and asked the female bartender if she knows "a Mr. Allen Jones." Spud bought a "lady boy chaser" in hopes that the bartender would give him info. She gave him a beer with lemon in it and then walked off... [C]
Powell's POV: Spud has been too over the top in past weeks to the point that I questioned whether he was getting go away heat. He's turned it down a notch for these segments. I can't say these clips have held my interest, but at least he's been watchable.
At the bar, Spud used the band's mic and told the bar that he's looking for Allen Jones. He said the fans may know him as A.J. Styles. A man told Spud that the mic is for singing, so he should sing a song. Spud said he is a rockstar, so he agreed. Spud sang "God Save the Queen" until he was ushered out of the bar...
Powell's POV: Will TNA ever be a true alternative instead of the cheap sports entertainment knockoff promotion? We know the WWE creative team is writing for an audience of one, but why is TNA writing a show that feels like it's written for Vince McMahon?
Backstage, James Storm and Gunner spoke about their recent problems. Storm said they have a chance to write the wrongs in the Feast or Fired match. Storm said Gunner could grab the tag title contract while he grabbed the TNA Title contract and they could have all the gold. Gunner said one of them could be fired. Storm delivered his "sorry about your damn luck" catchphrase and walked away...
Tenay hyped Feast or Fired, and said Jeff Hardy and Magnus would be face to face in the ring after the break... [C]
Spud left his car after saying Styles' house was three doors down...
[Q5] Dixie Carter headed to the ring for a promo. She conformed the Roode vs. Angle match will be a best of three falls match. She complained about A.J. Styles and said he is making a mockery of her and her title. She said next week she will have a real world heavyweight champion and it will be "my world heavyweight champion."
Magnus was out first, then Jeff Hardy made his entrance as Tenay plugged Hardy's record and next week's tournament finals. Dixie said either man would make a great champion for her and her company. She asked if they had any final words before their match.
Hardy recalled winning the Bound For Glory Series and the TNA Championship. He said 2012 was "our year." Hardy said one week from now he and the creatures will win the TNA Title again. Hardy led the fans in chanting his name. Magnus said he may be the youngest man in the tournament, but he's not stupid. He said he knows the fans are Hardy's people.
Magnus said Hardy is the top guy and he thanked him for putting food on his table. However, he said Hardy won't be a top guy or anything to him other than the final obstacle when they enter the ring. Magnus said that if he's going to be the number one guy then he has to beat the number one guy. "Make no mistake about it, in our industry, I look at you as the number one guy." Magnus said that means he has to beat Hardy and he has every intention of doing that. Hardy and Magnus shook hands.
Dixie said that the Wheel of Dixie has been destroyed, but there was one match left on the wheel. She said they would compete in a Dixie Land match. A video package played that set up the match. The goal is to escape a cage and then go the stage and climb a ladder to retrieve the hanging title belt.
Dixie said the winner will travel with her on her corporate jet and represent the company on every corporate endeavor. She said it will lead to late nights, but it will be worth it. She said her VIP table will be open to them tonight. She said if either one of them is smart enough to take her up on it, they both know where to find her and her favorite bottle of cabernet...
Backstage, Chris Sabin talked about how great he was while talking with Velvet Sky. He asked her if she changed her hair. She said no....
Spud used a small light while trying to find Styles' house. He tried to use a card to open a door and actually got inside a house. He got scared by a deer head, then accidentally made noise with a guitar that was seated nearby. Spud took a seat on the couch and happened to find the TNA Title belt inside its case.
A.J. Styles walked down the stairs and asked Spud if he found what he was looking for. Styles asked him if he really thought he could come to his town, throw his name around, and he wouldn't find out. He said he left the door open because he knew he was coming. Styles said they could call the police or friends. He asked if Spud ever saw Pulp Fiction. Styles took the title back and Spud ran off...
Powell's POV: The Dixie Land match sounds like a Vince Russo abomination. Is it just me or does it make all of the babyfaces in the title tournament look bad when they are competing for a title that actually belongs to another babyface? The babyface vs. babyface dynamic of the Hardy vs. Magnus match feels flat, and Dixie's weird offer was just plain awkward. It's pretty easy to see where this is going, but I'll refrain to avoid spoilers since next week's show has already been taped. Did Styles also leave the stuffed dear head in a chair because he knew Spud was coming or is that just a normal thing at his house?
[Q6] [C] Tenay ran through upcoming live events... Backstage, Mr. Anderson said he had fun at the Aces & 8's funeral, but now it's time to get serious and focus on regaining the TNA Title...
Powell's POV: Let the record show that Total Nonstop Action gave viewers less than six minutes of wrestling in 85 minutes of television time.
2. Chris Sabin (w/Velvet Sky) vs. Austin Aries for the X Division Title. Sabin had an offensive run, but Aries came back with crowd pleasing offense, including a double ax-handle off the top rope and down to the floor. Aries followed up with a missile dropkick back inside the ring.
Sabin came back briefly, but Aries caught him with a running dropkick. Sabin nearly ran into Velvet, who was standing on the apron. Sabin stopped and when he turned around, Aries performed the brainbuster and pinned him clean...
Austin Aries defeated Chris Sabin to win the X Division Title in 6:15.
Tenay hyped Feast or Fired for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: That felt very random. They didn't dedicate any real time to building up the match because they were apparently too busy showing Rockstar Spud as a fish out of water. The title change should feel important, but it was presented so poorly that it didn't help Aries or the X Division Title.
[Q7] Backstage, Sabin vented to Velvet about losing and then stopped Aries as he was walking through with the title match. Sabin accused Aries of using Velvet to win the title. Sabin said he's lucky that he has a rematch. He said he's entering himself in Feast or Fired. Sabin said he may win the X Division Title or bypass him for a TNA Title shot. Aries said he's going to steal Sabin's idea and enter Feast or Fired. Sabin questioned if Aries intends to steal his girlfriend next. Aries said he keeps giving him good ideas...
Powell's POV: Chris Sabin doesn't care all that much about losing the title. Austin Aries doesn't care all that much about winning it. Why should viewers at home care about it?
Backstage, Magnus said he can't be concerned about Dixie Land matches or having a cocktail. He took a phone call and dismissed the camera guys... The announcers ran through the Final Destination lineup for next week's Impact...
Mr. Anderson introduced himself on the stage for the Feast or Fired match. Bully Ray walked out behind him and struck him from behind. Ray gave Anderson a piledriver. Taz spoke about how it's a different Bully Ray and that you could see it in his face. Ray took the mic and then read the lyrics to Motley Crue's "In The Beginning." Ray then said Anderson's wife is pregnant with twins. Ray said he will see to it that he is responsible for their future... [C]
Sixx's POV: "He's the wolf screaming lonely in the night, he's the blood stain on the stage, he's the tear in your eye, been tempted by his lie, he's the night in your back, he's rage... Shout! Shout! Shout! Shout at the devil!
After the break, trainers were shown tending to a twitching Anderson on the stage... The announcers hyped the Final Resolution matches again. ODB and Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa was added...
Samoa Joe made his entrance for the Feast or Fired match. Chris Sabin, Curry Man, Dewey Barnes, Norv Fernum, Zema Ion, Hernandez, and Chavo Guerrero were already in the ring. James Storm and Gunner were out next. Austin Aries made his entrance. EC3 made his entrance.
[Q8] 3. Feast or Fired. Curry Man immediately left the ring and headed backstage. The announcers explained that it's a game of Russian roulette in that one of the four briefcases hanging above the ring contains a pink slip. There were a bunch of crowd pleasing dives over the top rope onto groups of wrestlers on the floor. EC3 pulled down briefcase No. 3. [C]
After the break, Zema Ion grabbed briefcase No. 2 and left the ring. Aries performed a 450 splash on Fernum and Barnes, who Taz referred to as "The Nerds." Chavo ended up pulling down briefcase No. 4 after getting help from Hernandez. Late in the match, Storm was about to pull a briefcase down when Gunner tripped him up and took briefcase No. 1 for himself.
EC3, Zema Ion, Chavo Guerrero, and Gunner won briefcases.
After the match, Tenay told viewers they could find out the fate of the briefcase winners next week...
Dixie Carter was at a restaurant when Jeff Hardy joined her. She said she didn't expect to see him, then lowered the blinds so the camera couldn't pick up their conversation...
Powell's POV: What a stupid concept. The wrestlers tried hard and there were a lot of big spots to keep the crowd engaged, but the concept is a joke and the ending is anticlimactic. It does present a nice cliffhanger for next week, which will hopefully feature more in-ring action since it's a pay-per-view themed edition. Overall, this show was filled with bad sports entertainment. When Dave Lagana was leading the "I Want Wrestling" charge, little did we know that his idea of wrestling is actually bad sports entertainment skits and gimmick matches.
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