This week’s edition of iMPACT WRESTLING opened up with a video package chronicling Bobby Roode’s recent actions and reactions to his criticisms.
To open up the show to the Orlando Audience is the “Man in Charge” Sting, while Tenay hypes Jeff Hardy’s upcoming title match against Bobby Roode at Genesis. Sting asks Jeff Hardy to come to the ring and he does to a modest reaction and a ton of whistling before his music faded and the iMPACT fateful started a short “Hardy” chant. Sting said that Hardy wasn’t accepted widely and he has built the bridge of trust back one brick at a time and lets him know that they have more in common than face paint and professional wrestling. Sting mentions that he’s had his own demons and he got his second chance and ran with it. Sting said for what it’s worth, he has his full one hundred percent endorsement. Before this segment could continue, we are interrupted by TNA Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, and Kurt Angle. Roode said he almost threw up listening to this in the back, and talks about him being fair and square, but endorsing an embarrassment like Jeff Hardy. Roode questions why Sting won’t endorse the face of TNA, himself, Bobby Roode. Roode also questions why he won’t endorse Kurt Angle, a former Olympic gold medalist, a former multiple-time world champion. Roode mentions about how Sting told Angle to ‘cowboy up,’ and he went to Storm’s hometown and beat up a bunch of rednecks and came to work the next week only to be punished ‘by having to face RVD.’ Roode also questions why Sting won’t endorse Bully Ray, and mentions he has never received a TNA World Title shot and Roode quickly points out because Sting picks his favorites. Out comes ‘Cowboy’ James Storm and trailing behind him is Abyss. Storm tells Angle it’s fine if he makes fun of him since people have been doing it since day one, but if he wants to go to Storm’s hometown and beat up his friends, he wants to say that he looked into Angle’s eyes a few weeks ago and saw a man who wasn’t intimidated by anything, but now he looks into Angle’s eyes and sees that he’s scared because it only takes one Last Call superkick to knock him out. Abyss likes beer too apparently, and he snatches the microphone out of Angle’s hand and tells Angle and especially Bubba to shut up because he and the rest of Immortal took advantage of him and now they realize they need him, but he doesn’t need Immortal anymore because all he needs is Bubba in the ring at Genesis. He’s got Bubba in a Monster’s Ball match and he’s going to make him pay and suffer for all the sins of Immortal.
Sting announces a six-man tag main event and does his catchphrase to end the long opening segment for tonight.
Mike Tenay and Taz hype up tonight’s card which includes the Wild Card Tournament finals, Rob Van Dam taking on Gunner, and the Knockouts Tag Team Championships being defended when Gail Kim and Madison Rayne defending against Mickie James and Traci Brooks.
((Jarrett’s Jab –I loved the segment after Roode and company interrupted because they managed to make themselves look like legitimate threats. Storm and Abyss also looked good and no one came out of it looking bad. Bonus points for Roode talking about almost throwing up listening to Hardy.))
Footage is shown from earlier today with Gail Kim and Madison Rayne by the pool. The Knockout Tag Team Champions spot Tracy Brooks relaxing in the pool and decide to haze her. Rayne gets in the water and asks Traci “Shouldn’t you be learning how to wrestle?” Traci jumps Madison in the pool, and Kim comes after, trying to drown Brooks until Mickie James makes the save.
Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne (c) vs. Mickie James and Traci Brooks
The challengers jump the champions at the bell and Brooks spars off with Gail Kim outside while Mickie and Madison go back and forth in the ring. Mickie hits a big neckbreaker to Rayne and Brooks throws Gail Kim in the ring. The two ping-pong the Knockout Champion around before Madison gets in the ring, and Mickie throws Rayne into Gail, sending them to the outside to take us to commercial.
Mickie James is putting the boots to Rayne in the corner and monkeyflips her to the other side of the ring. Madison is able to knee Mickie’s abdomen to get the advantage for the moment, but Kim getting a cheapshot solidified it. Brooks goes after Gail Kim on the outside while Madison Rayne cinches in a headlock. Madison goes for some kind of kick, but Mickie catches her foot and yanks her down into a split. Gail runs in to try and make the save, but Traci spears her out of her boots and Mickie gets an O’Connor roll for a two count. Madison shuts Mickie down with a rear chinlock and Mickie tries to escape, but Madison takes her out with a bulldog and tags out to Gail, who comes in and cheapshots Traci off the apron, but Mickie slips past Gail and makes a hot tag. Traci comes in like a house of fire and throws Gail across the ring by the hair, then nails a series of clotheslines and flattens Gail with a clothesline for 2. Madison comes in to interfere, so Mickie comes off the top rope and takes her out with the flying crotch to the face as Gail hits Eat Da Feet on Traci for the win.
Winners by Pinfall and STILL TNA Knockout Tag Team Champions: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
((Jarrett’s Jab – It’s ironic that the last match on iMPACT WRESTLING in 2011 was Gail Kim defending the Knockouts Championship against Mickie James, and the first match on iMPACT WRESTLING in 2012 was for the Knockouts Championship))
Ric Flair is backstage with Gunner hyping up Gunner as the Impact Player. He says that a month from now, no one will want to face him and he’ll be paid to do nothing. Sting pops up from behind and says that RVD is going out to the ring alone and tells Flair he can’t go out with Gunner. Flair says Sting’s pushing his buttons, so Sting says that’s what he’s trying to do and they can watch the match together from the back. Flair tells Gunner to kill RVD tonight.
Eric Young is frantically searching around for ODB because they’re in the Wild Card Tournament tonight and they’re two crazy kids in love. The Mystery Cameraman says they’re out of the tournament, but EY just runs off looking for ODB again.
Speaking of the tournament, the finals to determine Matt Morgan & Crimson‘s challengers at Genesis is up next, and Magnus is backstage firing Joe up by saying that there’s no more being overlooked because they’re going to go out there and win tonight. AJ and Kazarian say that unlike all the other teams in the tournament, they like each other and will have each other’s backs and that’s how you win tag team titles.
Garett Bischoff is backstage telling Sting how much it means to him to be in the same ring with the TNA wrestlers and he’ll make Sting proud tonight. Sting asks him why he’s wearing a referee shirt and he says because he’s going to referee the next match. Sting tears the shirt off him and asks what he’s thinking, and he says Garett’s not a referee…he’s a wrestler. He hands Garett a pair of boots and welcomes him to the roster.
Eric Young is still backstage looking for ODB and wanders into Gail Kim and Madison Rayne’s locker room. They yell at and eventually attack him, so Young stuffs Madison into a locker and runs off.
Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
A tie up between RVD and Gunner ends when Gunner whips RVD into the ropes and sholderblocks him to the outside. Gunner kicks RVD in the gut and then sends him into the turnbuckle. RVD rebounds quickly with a kick to the head and a moonsault for two. Gunner kicks and right hands RVD, but RVD psyches Gunner and rolls to the outside. RVD poses with the fans as Tenay leads us into a commercial break.
Gunner covers RVD after a back elbow for two. Gunner hits a uppercut from a headlock position (which Tenay keeps calling a ‘crossface’ for some weird incorrect reason) RVD is able to reverse an Irish Whip and hit the top-rope kick and RVD is able to get up at a count of four and cover Gunner for a two count. Gunner runs through RVD with a clothesline for two and uses the ropes to choke RVD and uses the entire four count twice before covering, but only getting two. Gunner lifts RVD up for the F5, but RVD hits another kick. After a count of four, both men get on their feet, and RVD comes at Gunner with several right hands a kicks. A standing moonsault gains RVD two, but RVD hits a quick spin kick and Rolling Thunder. RVD goes for a pin, but Gunner rolls to the outside. RVD goes for the baseball slide and connects, but a springboard move turns into RVD eating a face full of apron. Gunner pulls back the mat and the bell is rung.
The match has been ruled a Count Out
Gunner goes for a piledriver on the exposed cement, but RVD back body drops him into it. Gunner gets knocked into the audience and RVD misses a 360 legdrop when his right leg connected with the steel guardrail. Gunner goes for the piledriver again on the concrete, but the TNA agents and referees stop Gunner.
James Storm, Abyss, and Jeff Hardy are backstage and Storm says they have the advantage tonight because they’re not scared of Angle, Bubba, or Roode. Hardy says that tonight’s going to be a great warm-up for Genesis, and Abyss says he’s gladly out of Immortal and will take care of them tonight.
In the parking lot, Roode, Angle, and Bubba talk about how they have the advantage and will take out the competition tonight. Bully Ray tells the camera that tomorrow night in Westbury (New York) he’s going to smoke RVD’s ass. ((Jarrett’s Jab – TNA always has a way of making their house shows more important, and hyping them on TV is one of them.))
Ion and Sorensen argue until Kash jumps Sorensen from behind and unloads on him, picking for them. Sorensen comes back with a forearm off the ropes, a high knee, and a dropkick, but Ion tags himself in and gets beaten up by Kash. Aries tags in and hits a double foot sweep and then decides to just punch Ion like he owes him money. Ion gets up and yanks Aries down before stomping on his face, but Aries pops up and launches Ion out to the floor and takes him out with a dropkick. He jogs around the ring with his hand raised in victory as Kash hits a somersault dive and sends him back to the inside where Aries hits the pendulum elbow for a two count. Ion scoots over to his corner and tags out to Sorensen, who takes Aries out with a high knee and dropkick. Kash comes in and nails Sorensen from behind, then tags in and puts the boots to Sorensen in the corner and hits a release vertical suplex for two. Sorensen ducks a double clothesline and causes a meeting of the minds before Ion hot tags himself back in. Ion comes over the top rope with a tornado DDT on Aries. Ion then hits a twisting crossbody out of the corner for two, and then Sorensen tags himself in and takes Aries and Kash out with a double crossbody off the top. Sorensen nails a neckbreaker for each man, sends Kash out to the floor, and then misses a slingshot crossbody, but regains control before hitting Kash and then comes back in and lays Aries out. He goes up top, but Ion tags himself in yet again and misses a 450 splash, so Sorensen tags himself in. Aries didn’t see the tag and goes for the brainbuster on Ion, but Sorensen comes in with the twisting cutter and pins Aries.
Winners: Jesse Sorensen & Zema Ion
AJ and Kazarian are backstage getting ready for the match and Kazarian looks nervous, but AJ tells him it’s time and they leave. After they leave, Christopher Daniels come out from where Kazarian was and smirks
Wildcard Tag Team Tournament Finals: Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. Fortune (AJ Styles and Kazarian)
AJ and Joe start us off and Joe easily backs AJ to the corner and opens up with straight right hands and puts the boots to him as well. Joe tags out to Magnus, who comes in with right hands of his own and then a side backbreaker for a two count. Joe back in and lays in a hard chop, kneestrikes to the ribs, and twists AJ into the abdominal stretch. AJ escapes and tags out to Kazarian, but Joe lays Kazarian out and tags Magnus in. Kazarian and AJ hit a double team leg lariat and AJ covers for two, then comes off the ropes with the leaping kneedrop for another two count. Kazarian in with a textbook dropkick for two, then AJ in again and hits a snapmare and indy kick to the back, then Kazarian in again and he gets caught as Joe hits an inverted atomic drop, Magnus with a big boot, and Joe with a back senton for a two count. Joe unloads with more right hands and does the snapmare, chop to the back, kick to the chest, and leaping kneedrop for two. Magnus in and whips Kazarian hard to the corner, but misses a charge and Kazarian manages to tag out to Magnus. He hits a series of clotheslines and the springboard forearm, Magnus blocks the Styles Clash but AJ hits the Pelle Kick as Daniels comes out to the top of the ramp. AJ goes to make the tag, but Kazarian drops off the ring apron and Joe immediately charges in and hits AJ with a leaping kneestrike in the corner, then snapmares AJ for a top rope elbowdrop from Magnus and covers AJ for three.
Winners by Pinfall: Samoa Joe and Magnus
A very conflicted looking Kazarian goes back up the apron and walks off with Daniels as AJ lays at ringside staring after them in disbelief.
The TNA Tag Team Champions Matt Morgan and Crimson are interviewed backstage about knowing their challengers this Sunday, Magnus and Joe face off with them and there is a brawl. That was pretty much it.
Taz and Tenay run down the card for this Sunday’s Genesis Pay-Per-View and announced that Gunner facing RVD has been officially signed as a rematch from their outing earlier.
TNA World Champion Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, and Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy, Abyss, and ‘Cowboy’James Storm
Bully Ray and James Storm start off the match and Ray runs into the turnbuckle to get Storm to back up. Ray pushes Abyss and the ref has to admonish him. Finally the two tie up and Ray backs up Storm in a corner. Ray misses a right hand and hits a cheapshot. Storm stomps on the foot and whips him back before tagging in Abyss. After a bit of stalling by Ray, he tags in Roode, who hesitates before he kicks Abyss in the gut and hits a few right hands. Abyss reverses an Irish Whip attempt and flattens Roode with a kick and Ray distracts Abyss so Roode can spear him into the corner and Ray gets several cheapshots and chokes in before Roode starts to stomp a mudhole in the monster and the referee yells at Bully Ray.
Abyss and Kurt Angle are the legal men as Angle takes Abyss down with right hands and kicks to the left knee. Roode tags in and Abyss counters a double suplex and attempts a double chokeslam. Abyss flattens the two with a double clothesline and tags in James Storm. Storm runs through both Angle and Roode with right hands and clotheslines before Angle gets knocked to the outside and Roode catches him off guard with a few right hands and starts to choke him on the bottom rope. Ray tags in and nails a delayed vertical suplex for a two count before trying to slow down Storm with a knee to the back. Ray drops an elbow and tags in Angle, who gets a right hand before Storm kicks the arm and hits a side russian legsweep, and Angle tags in Roode. Storm tags in Jeff Hardy, and Hardy runs through Roode with clotheslines and legs to the groin. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate Stunner and Ray breaks up the pin attempt. The referee Brian Heber tries to stop the in ring brawl and eventually gives up and rings the bell.
The match has been ruled a No Contest.
The crowd starts a “Let them fight” chant when the six are clearly fighthing and Roode eats a Twist of Fate and goes for the Swanton Bomb, but Ray shoves him. Storm charges in the ring and hits Roode with the Codebreaker. Storm goes for the Last Call superkick, but Angle turns him around and flattens Storm with it. Abyss gets in the fray and tries Shock Treatment, but Ray hits Abyss in the back of the knee with his chain and the heels get the advantage on the respective opponents at Genesis. Bully Ray uses his chain to hang Abyss on the top rope, while Roode has Hardy locked in the Crossface and Angle has the Ankle lock applied on Storm to end the show. ((Jarrett’s Jab – It’s the standard go-home show brawl, but it’s still effective. I love that the heels came out on top, as they could all use that. Roode is going into the match of his career at Genesis, but not for the reason you think. Genesis is the test, if he loses that means that TNA has given up on Roode and that truly makes me scared. That’s it for tonight’s edition of iMPACT. Be sure to watch the first wrestling pay-per-view of the new year this Sunday with TNA Genesis.))