We open iMPACT with a recap of the Foley/Anderson/Morgan segment and the later tag match where Morgan accidentally hit the back of Anderson’s head.
In the Impact Zone, Immortal and Fortune are making their way into the ring for the opening promo. Eric wishes everyone a Happy New Year, and Genesis is in three days, and it’s not the end of anything, but the beginning of everything for Immortal and everyone else associated with TNA. He has put a bounty on every TNA title they don’t have and put a lot of pressure on the members of Immortal to get them, but that’s because he’s a competitive person and he’s not doing anything that wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of a judge in Texas or a group of lawyers. Tonight is a night of champions, so right now he’s going to introduce some important champions. The first one introduced is X-Division Champion Jay Lethal. Lethal looks hesitant, but Bischoff assures him that, with judges and attorneys watching, he’ll be fine if he gets in the ring. Next up are the TNA World Tag Team Champions, the Motor City Machine Guns. Last up is TV Champion Douglas Williams. Bischoff thanks them for coming out here and tells that that they may have differences, but all of them earned those titles and he respects that. At Genesis, everyone is looking for nothing less than five star matches, and they want to make this one of the greatest PPVs ever because they all have what it takes to have great matches. In the interest of fairness, he’s going to give them each the opportunity to sharpen their skills to ensure that they’re at the top of their game come Genesis, so he’s going to make some matches for them. Jay Lethal will take on Abyss, and he’ll get to the Guns in a minute, but Williams is going to face Rob Terry. He gets back to the Guns, and they’re going to face AJ Styles and Kazarian tonight. In the spirit of sportsmanship, he asks that everyone shake hands. The babyfaces go for it and then Immortal beats them up while Bischoff half-heartedly tells them that this is not what they had in mind as Abyss and Jeff Jarrett clap behind him Biscoff yells that there will be fines. RVD’s music hits and he runs out and clears the heels out of the ring. He gets a mic and tells Bischoff that he’s just delaying the inevitable. He’s ready to quit playing games once Bischoff is ready to put his champion in the ring with him, and then demands to know who his opponent will be at Genesis. Bischoff says he’ll tell him when he’s damn good and ready, but RVD says he’s going to find out tonight even if he has to beat it out of Bischoff’s manipulative ass. Bischoff threatens to send Abyss after him because he tore RVD apart once and he can do it again.
We go backstage to Bully Ray, who says he knows how bad Brother Devon wants to get his hands on him. Devon has been his lackey for 15 years, and he challenges Devon to meet him outside and settle it if he’s man enough.
We go to a video package detailing the history of the Double J MMA Challenge leading into Red bringing his “little brother” to Impact last week to challenge Jarrett.
Double J MMA Challenge
Jarrett says that after last week, he’s had to make some changes to the Double J MMA Challenge because of the TNA legal department. If someone’s going to take the challenge, they have to be his height or shorter because he doesn’t want anyone to get seriously hurt. Also, the challenge is now just an exhibition, so no more real competitions because he doesn’t want anyone to get seriously hurt. He has a contract in his hand and all someone has to do is come out and sign it, and then asks if there are any takers. He sees Bo Bo Stewart ((Jarrett’s Jab – He’s Seth Clearwater in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and columnist on TNAWrestling.com)) out in the audience and asks if he’d like to take the challenge. Jarrett goes out to the floor and has Jeremy Borash check to see if he’s taller than him, and indeed he meets the height requirement. Jarrett says he heard that he’s in the junior black belt hall of fame, but then asks his dad, who is sitting next to Twilight Boy, to stand up. He does and Jarrett sees that he’s taller than him and says that Twilight Boy will be taller than Jarrett one day so he’s disqualified. Instead Jarrett picks a skinny guy from out of the crowd to come down and accept the challenge. His name is Jonathan Cruz from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jarrett starts to say something and instead catches him unawares with a series of kneestrikes to the chest, and Mr Cruz goes down. Jarrett rams fists into the back of Jonathan’s head and then hooks in the anklelock and Cruz hangs on way longer than she probably should of before tapping out.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett won’t release the anklelock even though the bell keeps ringing and ringing. Suddenly, Kurt Angle comes out of the crowd and rushes the ring and Jarrett heads for the hills. Jarrett yells at him and says that he’s got no business being here, but Angle says that they’re around the same height and since it’s an exhibition, nobody’s going to get hurt, right? And all Angle has to do is sign the contract and it’s official for Genesis. Jarrett tells him he said he’d never wrestle again and to stick to his word. Angle said that’s fine and he’ll never wrestle again…only this isn’t a wrestling match, it’s an exhibition, right? So Angle does sign the contract and he’ll see Jarrett at Genesis. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Win or Lose at Genesis, this is a great gimmick and Jarrett plays it well. I think this should continue, but that’s just me))
We look back at moments ago when Angle signed the contract for an exhibition match with Jarrett at Genesis, and then we head to the ring for our next match…
TNA World Tag Team Champions Motor City Machine Guns vs AJ Styles & Frankie Kazarian
They start fighting before the bell and the Guns toss Fortune to the floor and hit stereo dives to wipe Styles and Kazarian out. Shelley rams AJ into the ringpost and the apron and then tosses him back in the ring where the Guns hit a chain of double teams and Sabin gets a one count on AJ. AJ goes to the eyes and hotshots Sabin off the top rope and goes after Shelley, and while the referee is distracted keeping Shelley out of the ring, Fortune hits a double team and AJ covers Sabin for two. AJ charges Sabin and Sabin gets his boot up, Sabin tries to make the tag but AJ cuts him off and holds him in a side suplex for a slingshot legdrop by Kazarian. Kazarian sets Sabin in the corner and charges in with a splash and then goes for a second charge but runs into Sabin’s boot and then Sabin lays him out with a charging clothesline. Sabin makes the hot tag and Shelley comes in and unloads on AJ, hitting an enziguiri and then slinging himself over the top rope onto Kazarian on the floor. AJ goes for the Chaos Theory on Shlley but Shelley blocks and goes for the Sliced Bread #2, AJ blocks that and goes for the moonsault/inverted DDT and Shelley blocks that and hits a brainbuster and goes for the cover but Kazarian saves. Kazarian charges Shelley and gets backdropped to the floor, and AJ grabs one of the title belts and swings at Shelley and Shelley ducks and Sabin slips right in with an enziguiri, setting Shelley up to hit Sliced Bread #2 and pin AJ.
Winners: Motor City Machine Guns
Eric Bischoff walks out from the entrance way to distract the Guns while Beer Money comes out of the crowd and attack the Guns from behind. Bischoff continues staring angrily down the ramp at AJ Styles, who again failed him by losing the fall in this match.
We go backstage to the Pope, who says that tonight he’s going to call out whoever it is who’s been following Pope around because after being falsely accused last week, he’s going to demand an apology from whoever it may be. ((Jarrett’s Jab: Ok…this makes no sense))
In Bischoff’s office, Bischoff says he’s really tried to be patient with AJ, but with 72 hours until the PPV and AJ’s job being so simple because all he had to do was soften up the Guns. AJ cuts him off and says they’re the champions and it’s not that simple. Flair plays peacemaker and says that all Bischoff wants is for AJ to is be his best, and AJ says that Bischoff wants him to go out there and win every match, and then asks Flair if he, the greatest wrestler who ever lived, won every match, to which Flair says no. Bischoff cuts Flair off now, and he says it’s not about Flair, it’s about AJ and what he needs to get done and he has three days to get the job done, or else. AJ asks or else what, and Bischoff says he doesn’t want to find out. Flair motions to AJ to let it go as AJ storms out of the office.
Back in the ring, Pope says that someone has been following him around with a video camera while he’s been tending to his business on his own time, and he doesn’t know what this person has been doing, but Pope’s Congregation stands strong behind him and trusts him with their lives and hard earned money because they respect their Pope. Pope says that whoever it is that’s been videotaping Pope, he demands they come out and face Pope face to face. Samoa Joe’s music hits, and he comes out to the ring as Pope stands there with his jaw on the floor. Joe says that too many people come out here and lie and pretend to be something they’re not, and Pope tells the people that he’s a street saint, but from what Joe’s seen, he’s a scumbag because he tells people that he’s out there helping the people when he’s not wrestling, but we saw him in a strip club in the nipple booth, and then he asks the boys backstage for money for the needy, but he checked all the local charities and none of them got their money, so he wonders what kinds of goods Pope was really buying. And finally, he goes to the local shelter and gets puppies for the children, but none of the orphanages have puppies and Pope’s has 37 noise complaints at his house. so Joe wants to know, is Pope really a street saint or a scumbag? Crowd chants scumbag at Pope, but Pope asks Joe how dare he come out here and pass judgment on him, because he’s been judged all his life and he doesn’t need some Samoan coming out here to judge him. He went to the strip clubs to tell the girls that they don’t need to be up there to make a buck and get themselves through college, and when he went to the orphanage they had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree and he needed to give them hope, and he rescued those dogs because they’re great company and he wanted to save them from the killers at the kennel. Pope’s not new to this game, but Pope wants Joe to know that next time he comes out and makes accusations about Pope, he’d better check himself before he wrecks himself because the next time he does, they’re going to have a problem. Pope has spoken, and he drops the mic and leaves the ring. ((Jarrett’s Jab – With Jeff Hardy entering a plea bargain, it makes me wonder about Pope becoming a big part of Immortal. TNA surprised us on Hardy after all.))
Mickie James and Velvet Sky are walking backstage.
Backstage, Brother Devon who says that if Bubba challenged him to a fight in the parking lot, that’s fine because he got suckered in by Bubba’s retirement angle and then Bubba turned on him. Now excuse him, because he’s got some ass kicking to do.
TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne & Sarita vs Mickie James & Velvet Sky
Velvet shoves Sarita down and hits a diving dropkick to the face and then goes to whip Sarita into the ropes. Sarita reverses and Velvet hits a flying headscissors into a schoolgirl roll-up for two. Velvet with a clothesline and starts ramming Sarita’s head into the mat over and over. Madison grabs Velvet’s hair from the outside and snaps her down on the top rope and Sarita covers for two. Mickie goes around the ring and tries to get at Madison, but referee Jackson James sends her back to her own corner as Madison and Sarita work Velvet over in the corner. Madison chokes Velvet with her boot and then distracts the referee as Sarita chokes Velvet behind his back. Madison covers and only gets two, so Sarita tags in and starts slapping Velvet around and then goes and tags right back out to Madison, who comes in and does that move where she scissors Velvet’s head and humps her head into the mat. Madison spits at Mickie to draw her into the ring and then tags in Sarita, but Velvet gets a DDT out of nowhere and goes for the cover and Madison breaks it up, so Mickie comes in with a Thesz Press and damn near leaps over Madison’s head, but barely catches her and then gets a neckbreaker. JoJo puts Mickie out of the ring as Tara hits Velvet with her elbow brace from the outside and Sarita covers Velvet and gets the win.
Winners: Madison Rayne & Sarita
We go to Eric Bischoff’s office as Rob Van Dam is complaining to Bischoff that Jeff Hardy is walking around with HIS title, and tells him to sign the match for Genesis. Bischoff tells RVD to forget about the title for now because his moment is tonight and he needs to focus on that. This is news to RVD, who wants to know who he’s wrestling tonight, and Bischoff says he’s still figuring that out. RVD says he’s managed to avoid mindgames for his entire career, but now he’s got to deal with Bischoff. He’s going to kick this guy’s ass, then kick Jeff Hardy’s ass, and then Bischoff will see what happens next.
TV Champion Douglas Williams vs Rob Terry
Terry tries to tie up with Williams, but Williams ducks under him a couple of times to frustrate Terry, then unloads with headbutts to the chest and European uppercuts, but came off the ropes and Terry ran him over with a shoulderblock that sent him tumbling to the outside. Suddenly, AJ Styles comes out of nowhere and attacks Williams from behind and viciously beats him down.
Winner: Douglas Williams by DQ
AJ tosses Williams into the ring and he and Terry beat him down and then Terry holds Doug’s arm down while AJ comes off the second rope and stomps on his hand, trying to injure it ahead of Genesis.
Bully Ray is backstage walking with security around him, preparing for his street fight with Brother Devon.
Matt Morgan is backstage and says he’s never won a World Title, but for three seconds, all he’s got to do is hold the champion’s shoulders down for three seconds, and his friends who have done it said it’s the greatest feeling in the world. He’s not just a pro wrestler, he’s a keynote speaker for DARE, adults with ADD, and does it to give back, and when he’s the champion, he’s not going to change a thing. We then go to Jeff Hardy, who says that Ken Anderson is an asshole and Morgan is the Greenprint and he doesn’t think they have what it takes to beat him and he’s just going to stick to his guns. Anderson says it’s a given that Immortal is going to get involved. It’s been time for a change in direction for a long time, and he’s sick and tired of seeing those guys and he’s going to do something about it, and it might not be anytime soon, but he promises that he’s going to take care of it. Morgan says a rematch with Hardy would mean a new World Champion and that would mean everything to him because he beat Jeff fair and square twice, and he knows Hardy fears him, but the thing he’s learned is that Jeff will hit the Twist Of Hate anywhere at anytime, so he needs to look out for that because Jeff’s at a totally different level and Morgan needs to expect the unexpected. Hogan and Bischoff may be the puppeteers, but Jeff’s doing stuff on his own here. Jeff lulls people into a false sense of confidence and will take a beating for ten minutes if he needs to just to set someone up for that Twist Of Hate out of nowhere. Anderson says he doesn’t know if he’s be a good champ and doesn’t care because he just wants to be A champ. He didn’t come here to make friends of be the face of the company, he did it to make money, win championships, and travel the world, and every so often you meet someone you become great friends with, but that doesn’t always have a fairytale ending.
In the parking lot, where Brother Ray is going face to face with Brother Ray…or he would be if it weren’t for the ten or so security guys standing between them and holding Devon back as Bubba eggs him on. Bubba calls Devon his lackey and his bitch and tells him to go home. Devon calls him a coward and starts to walk away, and Bubba says that his problem is that he used to be tough but now he’s a coward and a (bleep). Not sure what he said but it was enough to make Devon come at him again. Security holds him back, so Bubba gets a cheap kick and Devon goes down like a ton of bricks. Bubba tells him that he could kick him in the back of the head right now, but will settle for just warning Devon not to show up to Genesis and to just go home to his wife and five kids.
Back to Bischoff’s office, as Jeff Jarrett is telling him that he’s got a game plan for Genesis and he’s going to go train. Bischoff says before he goes, he has a problem Jarrett can solve: he needs to get rid of RVD. Jarrett says that after this Sunday, he’ll take care of him, but Bischoff says he needs him to do it tonight. Jarrett says he’s happy to do double duty, but Angle is out there somewhere. Bischoff says Angle got his exhibition match and he should be happy, so just go out there and take care of RVD.
X-Division champion Jay Lethal vs Abyss
Lethal ducks behind Abyss and gets a waistlock, but Abyss just shrugs him off and stares him down. Lethal tries a single leg, but Abyss just picks him up and tosses him across the ring. Lethal circles Abyss and gets another waistlock, and Abyss spins around to nail him and Lethal just punches him in the face, then ducks another shot and hits a chop. Abyss grabs him by the head and shoves him into the corner, but Lethal dodges out of the way and goes for a springboard crossbody and Abyss catches him. Lethal slips out of Abyss’ grip and kicks the leg, hits a leaping enziguiri, and starts firing away with punches and hits the handspring elbow to stagger Abyss, then a missile dropkick finally sends him down and Lethal covers for two. Lethal goes to the top rope but Abyss catches him and slams him completely across the ring. Abyss waits for Lethal to get up and tries a charge in the corner, Lethal ducks under and comes off the ropes and Abyss catches him with a big Black Hole Slam. Abyss hesitates before covering and pulls Lethal up at two, then puts him in the corner and just beats him down with right after right and then chokes him out with his boot. Jackson James counts Abyss and reaches five and disqualifies Abyss.
Winner: Jay Lethal by DQ
James tries to get Abyss off of Lethal and Abyss shoves him out of the way. Frankie Kazarian slowly walks down to the ring with a big smile of his face, he’s got a mic and tells Abyss to stop for the love of God because he’s hurting Lethal. He tells Abyss to leave some for him, since he can’t beat Lethal at Genesis if he doesn’t have a pulse. This was designed to be a highly competitive warm-up match and that’s what they delivered. Kazarian asks Lethal to please stand up, and of course Lethal is still out cold on the mat. Abyss hauls Lethal’s limp form to his feet, and Kazarian says it’ll be a pleasure getting in the ring with him at Genesis and he would like to shake his hand. Abyss grabs Lethal’s arm and places his hand in Kazarian’s, they shake and Abyss drops Lethal as they walk away.
Sit down interview with Ken Anderson and Matt Morgan is next.
Mike Tenay and Taz send us to a video package running down the card for Genesis this weekend, and then we go to a sitdown interview earlier today with Mike Tenay talking to Matt Morgan and Ken Anderson. Tenay talks about how Morgan threw away a lifetime opportunity with Fortune for him, and Anderson says he thanked him and wonders how much longer he’s going to have to hear about it. Tenay says that if Anderson doesn’t compete in the match this weekend, he’s out of the title picture entirely, and Morgan says that Bischoff’s enjoying playing games, but Anderson’s got a family to feed and he understands why Anderson’s doing what he’s doing. Tenay starts to ask Anderson about his family, but Anderson says that he’s not going to talk about his family, and if he were in Morgan’s shoes he’d mind his own business. Anderson says he took two months off and if the doctor has cleared him, he’s ready to get back in the ring. Morgan says we haven’t seen any doctor’s clearance and asks who has seen it. Tenay says he’s interviewed every big name in the business, but Anderson is the one guy he can’t get a read on, and asks if he’s working everyone. Anderson says maybe, but they’ll never know until he steps in the ring at Genesis because he IS going to get in the ring at Genesis and assholes always finish first. Morgan says if Anderson goes through with this, the gloves are off because Morgan has no choice, and Anderson can look forward to two things this weekend: Red Cross Hospital, Carbon Footprint, and graveyard.
Rob Van Dam and Jeff Jarrett are both shown walking on a split-screen.
No DQ Match: Jeff Jarrett vs Rob Van Dam
Mike Tenay points out that this is the first ever Jarrett-Van Dam match, and also that it’s no DQ. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Great to put emphasis on it since Jarrett’s MMA gimmick and style may make people forget that.)) Jarrett circles Van Dam several times before he stops and backs into a corner. He circles some more and then tries to kick Van Dam’s leg and RVD catches the foot and hits the stepover spinkick. Jarrett backs off to the ropes and then circles some more before going to the eyes. Jarrett tries a kick but RVD blocks and hits a spinkick then unloads on Jarrett in the corner and hits the springboard jumpkick and goes for Rolling Thunder, but Jarrett rolls out of the ring and jogs several laps around ringside. Murphy grabs RVD’s ankle from ringside and allows Jarrett an opening to come into the ring and nail RVD from behind. RVD fires back and whips Jarrett to the ropes, but Jarrett reverses and catches a sleeper. RVD starts to fade out and the ref checks the arms, but the arm doesn’t drop and RVD gets back to his feet. He fights his way out of the hold and then fires repeated punches, a pair of clotheslines, and a superkick. One of the Team Jarrett guys tries to run in and RVD tosses him, then goes and grabs a chair from ringside. The rest of Team Jarrett runs in and RVD lays them out, but Gunner and Muffin run in and beat RVD down, then hold him so Jarrett can take some free shots. RVD goes down, but pops back to his feet and lays out all three guys. Jeff Hardy runs down the ramp and nails RVD and gives him the Twist Of Hate. Jarrett covers RVD as both the referee and Hardy make the count.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Jarrett and Hardy continue to beat RVD down after the match until Matt Morgan runs out to make the save. He takes out both Jarrett and Hardy and hits the inverted chokeslam on Jarrett into the corner. Hardy gets RVD’s chair and goes to swing it at Morgan, but Anderson runs in and grabs the chair away and goes to swing it at Hardy, but Hardy ducks and Anderson nails Morgan instead. Jarrett and Hardy run, and Anderson just coldly looks down at Morgan before dropping the chair and walking off.