Impact Wrestling opens with the rivalry between Roode, Aries, and Jeff Hardy; the awful Hogan drama; and the return of Sting.
Welcome to the only wrestling show that’s actually live this week….Impact Wrestling! Jeremy Borash kicks off the show by announcing the 2012 Wrestler of the Year award and introduces the selections. First a man who has reinvented himself and made himself one of the biggest singles stars in TNA:Bully Ray. The Man who had the most points in the 2012 Bound for Glory Series: James Storm. The man who parlayed the X Division Championship into winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X: Austin Aries The man who in 2012 was the longest reigning TNA Heavyweight Champion in company history: Bobby Roode. And the World Champ Jeff Hardy. The five gather on the stage as Jeremy Borash announces that the winner, as voted by the fans….Austin Aries and Bobby Roode argue that they won and walk half way down the ramp before JB reveals that the fans voted Hardy.
Hardy comes into the ring to claim his trophy as all the teenage girls in the crowd chant his name and says that winning this award means as much as being the World Champion. Roode comes in and tells him to cut the crap because when he was the World Champion, there was nothing more important than that title and he didn’t give a damn what any of the morons in the crowd thought. Roode made history by becoming the longest reigning World Champion in company history, and the fact that he’s not the Wrestler of the Year is a bunch of bullshit. Aries interrupts Roode and says this is obviously rigged because he was the longest reigning X Division Champion and beat Roode for the title. He averaged over four stars for every match and deserves to be Wrestler of the Year. Hardy says they both get their wish and that he’ll defend against both of them at Genesis, then says that when they think of 2012, to remember it as the Year of the Enigma. Hardy rightly winds up on the receiving of an ass beating for being such a smug jerk, but he grabs the trophy and hits Roode in the groin so hard with it that he breaks the little man off the top of the trophy, which he then uses to knock Aries out.
((Jarrett’s Jab – How stupid have wrestling fans been at voting this month? In both companies, the fans picked superstar of the year, and both times they picked the worst person of the lineup. Never underestimate the power of thousands of clueless morons. What a way to make the world title look really prestigious. That was almost as bad as Hogan stating that he’d give the company to Dixie Carter if he lost at Bound for Glory.))
James Storm is asked how he felt about not winning Wrestler of the Year. Daniels and Kazarian come in and cut him off. Bad Influence decide to hold their own interview and Daniels gives a hilarious Storm impression including whining about not winning the world title and embarrassing his family. Storm says they ought to be comedians because, even though he didn’t win the World Title, he’s going to win it in 2013. He tells Daniels to stop drinking piss water, spits in the appletini, and tells them to figure out which one is going to come out and get his ass kicked next. ((Jarrett’s Jab – If you know someone that hate TNA, I dare them to watch any of Daniels and Kazarian’s recent segments and not crack a smile. Most entertaining act in professional wrestling. Period.))
James Storm vs. Kazarian
Daniels takes off his ring jacket and fakes going in the ring but Kazarian comes in and jumps Storm from behind, still sporting his ‘Kazamania’ shirt. Storm hits a Thesz Press, then dumps Kazarian over the top rope to the floor. Slingshot crossbody by Storm takes out Kazarian before Storm chases Daniels around ringside. Kazarian clothslines him at the pass and now the advantage is back with the Kazamaniac. Kazarian heads back in the ring and distracts the referee so Daniels can get a few cheapshots in on Storm before bringing him back inside. Two count by Kaz before Storm hits a lungblower out of nowhere and follows up with a side Russian legsweep. Storm gets two and takes a swipe at Daniels at ringside, which distracts him long enough to get nailed with a TKO for two. Storm connects with another lungblower and he goes for the Last Call, but stops when he sees Daniels on the apron and superkicks him instead. Kazarian springboards off the middle rope and gets nailed with a Last Call Superkick. Like I need to say what happened next.
Winner by Pinfall: James Storm
Inside the Aces & Eights clubhouse where Devon tells Ken Anderson that time is running out as to whether he wants to join the gang. Anderson says he wants to chill and have a good time since he enjoys Devon’s recruitment process so much. Doc walks up and asks him what the **** it’s going to be, because Sting is coming back tonight and they need to know right now. Anderson says that if this is how it’s going to be, then none of them should show Sting even an ounce of fear. He hands Doc his hammer, and Devon says they should go find out what Sting has to offer. He asks the big guy if he’s seen his bat around anywhere, but big guy hasn’t seen it.
Kenny King sees Kid Kash backstage and says he’s a legend who he used to watch on VHS. They’ve got this tournament tonight for a shot at the X Division Title, and after they get done winning their first round matches tonight, it’s going to be the two of them going at it for a shot at Rob Van Dam.
Doc comes out from the Aces & Eights entranceway and gets in the ring with the ballpeen hammer. He asks where Sting is and tells him to come down and join the party because it’s 1-3-13, and Sting’s been telling everyone who will listen that DOC is a marked man. He doesn’t feel like a marked man, so he again tells Sting to come out and face him. He’s wasting Aces & Eights’ time, and Sting should come out and face the man who’s going to cripple him because he wants it, the fans in the Impact Zone want it, and he wants Sting to get his ass out here RIGHT NOW. A baseball bat falls from the ceiling, and Doc acts freaked while he says he’s not afraid of Sting and tells him to come on out. For some reason there is an abrupt cut to commercial.
The cameraman finds Brooke Hogan on her way into the building and asks if she’s talked to her dad and she said no. The cameraman asks when she’ll talk to him, and she said she’ll find out on Live TV like everyone else does.
X Division Contender’s Tournament: Kid Kash vs. Christian York
Kash jumps York on his way into the ring, but York starts firing back and drives Kash from the ring. The two fight on the floor and York nails Kash on his way back into the ring, drills Kash with a big boot, and folds Kash in half with a half nelson suplex. Kash reverses a suplex and chokes York over the middle rope while ramming crossfaces across his nose, which Taz calls Tazzfaces for some reason. Kash tries a moonsault and comes down on York’s knees. York hits a handspring enziguiri and covers for two, then a swinging Flatliner for two. Kash gets a small package for two, then ducks a kick and goes for the Moneymaker. York escapes so Kash goes for a backslide, York nails the Moodswing for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Christian York
Chavo Guerrero Jr and Hernandez are backstage. Chavo they say they’re the World Tag Team Champions and they’re not afraid Joey Ryan or his big man Matt Morgan because he’s got a big man of his own and his name is Hernandez. Hernandez did the whistle that starts his music and we head to commercial.
Hernandez comes out to the ring for his match with Matt Morgan, but Morgan comes out with Joey Ryan and his right arm in a sling. He says these things happen when you throw around 700 pounds like it’s your job, and his partner Joey Ryan is going to come down the aisle and kick his ass. Ryan freaks out, but gets in the ring anyways. Gee, you didn’t notice you were the only one in ring gear coming out?
Joey Ryan vs. Hernandez
Hernandez unloads on Ryan with right hands and nails an over-the-shoulder backbreaker. Morgan tries slowing him down by grabbing his ankle from the floor, but Hernandez shoves him off and hits a Pounce that sends Joey back to Hollywood. Morgan comes in the ring and flattens Hernandez with the Carbon Footprint to end the match.
Winner by Disqualification: Hernandez
Joey beats Chavo down in the corner as Morgan stares into the camera. Tenay states that Morgan told him earlier that when he does that, he’s looking at Hogan.
Hulk Hogan is backstage, and he’s…WALKING!
Kurt Angle is backstage thanking Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff for their help, but telling them to sit this one out. Garett says he’d rather be out there helping, but Joe tells them to shut up. Angle tells Joe to calm down because they’re just being respectful, then sends his young boys on their way and tells Joe that he wants to take the masks of these sons of bitches tonight! Or something to that effect.
We see a video package looking at the history of the Bully Ray-Brook Hogan-Hulk Hogan situation.
Hulk comes out to the ring to get down to business. First, he wants to apologize to everyone in the Impact Zone for not showing up last week. He was caught off guard by seeing his daughter making out with Bully Ray, but he wants to take care of business and do it in the public eye once again. He asks Bully Ray and Brooke to come out to the ring right, which they do. Hulk says Bully Ray’s been trying to get his respect for weeks, but something didn’t seem right and he’s been trying to figure out what his story is. There’s a bro code and a code of the road, so now that he knows where they’re at, he wants to know why. They take a real long time to answer, but Ray finally tells Hulk that he’s right: they are brothers, he should have come clean and told him about his thing with Brooke, and all the heat is on him. Hulk says he’s been telling everyone in the locker room from day one that he’s no good, and when Ray breaks the code, he doesn’t even belong in the business. He tells Brooke to stay out of this, and tells Ray that if this was 20 years ago they’d have already gone at it, but since it’s today then they’ll play the game with lawyers and General Managers. Hogan tells Ray that he’s suspended indefinitely without pay and to get the hell out of his ring. Brooke protests and Hulk said that Brooke made her decision and now she’ll have to live with it, and tells her to “get the hell out of my ring too.” Brooke and Ray look sharked and they argue up the ramp. Hogan looks satisfied as I look confused.
We have to suffer another replay of the Hulk Hogan segment we just saw before heading down to OVW to see how Joseph Park’s training is doing. Danny Davis says he’s been trying to get rid of him for weeks, but the fact that he keeps coming back says he has a passion for this and now he sees something in him. Park has been watching tapes and realizes how much more he has to learn, but also how much potential he has. He’s going to become a student of the game, and Davis thinks he could be a game changer in this industry. We see Davis telling Park how much he sees in him and thanks him for everything he did here, so I guess that means he’s graduated.
Knockouts Champion Tara & Gail Kim vs. Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher
Gail and Tessmacher start off the match, with Tessmacher taking Gail out with a flying clothesline and a crossbody. Tara cheapshots Tessmacher from the outside and then tags in so she can grind her face across the top rope. Tessmacher makes a blind tag and snapmares Tara so Mickie can come charging in with a running knee before dropkicking Gail out to the floor. Tara and Gail try to escape to the floor, but Mickie and Tessmacher go outside and the heels have a meeting of the minds. Taryn Terrell blocks Tessmacher from coming back inside and pays no attention to Tara and Gail beating Mickie up as we head to break.
We’re back, and Mickie takes out both Gail and Tara and Tessmacher gets the hot tag. Tessmacher comes in and dominates Tara before and setting up for the stinkface. Tara goes out to the floor so Gail can come in and nail Tessmacher from behind. Tara comes back in and chokes Tessmacher before grabbing her hair. Tessmacher gets double teamed in the corner while Mickie distracts Terrell, and Gail hits a modified GTS for two. Gail hits a running clothesline for two, but misses a charge and hits the post. Gail falls out to the floor and now Tessmacher is crawling to make a tag, but Gail pulls Mickie off the apron just before Tessmacher gets to her corner. Mickie inadvertently distracts the referee while Tara tags in with a slingshot legdrop and covers for another two count. Looks like Tara accidentally popped her on that one. Tara goes to a surfboard and then tries for the ass-shaking moonsault, but Tessmacher gets her knees up and then bulldogs Tara before finally making it to the corner and tagging in Mickie. Mickie takes Gail out with a Thesz Press and dropkicks Tara to the floor. Mickie connects with the swinging headscissors out of the corner and gets a neckbreaker for two. Tessmacher takes Tara out, Tara rolls out to the floor to be comforted by Jesse, but Tessmacher takes them both out with a dive off the top rope. Mickie hits the implant DDT on Gail and gets the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher
Back to the Aces & Eights clubhouse, where Doc says that it’s BS that Kurt Angle is after them, and he says there’s no way they can let Angle take their masks off. The VP says Doc is right, and that anyone who still has a mask can’t lose it. Another member of the group pulls out a switchblade and stabs it into the table as we go to commercial.
ODB is backstage saying that Aces & Eights have caused a lot of damage and Sting is back tonight to take care of them, but her husband Eric Young just got out of the hospital and is home recovering. She promises that he will be back in the Impact Zone one day. ((Jarrett’s Jab – For my sanity, I hope it’s not one day soon.))
After looking back at the confrontation between Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode from earlier tonight, we see Aries and Roode bothering Hogan about the match Hardy wanted to make. Hogan said it’s already official and it’s going to be an elimination match so nobody will have anything to complain about, and that next week they’re going to team up to face Hardy and whoever he wants as a partner.
Doc runs out and attacks Kurt Angle on his way into the cage and locks the cage shut with Joe in there by himself.
Cage Match: Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle vs Devon & Big Masked Guy
Doc keeps beating Angle up on the floor while Joe tries to hold his own against Devon and the big guy. Joe manages to keep things in his favor into Devon blindsides Joe with a running forearm, and now Joe’s in trouble. Joe tries to comeback, but takes a beating as we go to commercial.
Joe attempts another comeback as we come back from the break, connecting with jabs to and takes him out with a flying boot before t-bone suplexing the big guy. Angle tries to climb the cage, Doc pulls him down but Kurt kicks him DOWNTOWN in Chinatown, steals the key to the door, and lets himself Angle is a house of fire as he beats up both Devon and the big guy, taking out the big guy with a missile dropkick and then tries to take his mask off. Doc tries to get in the cage and Angle goes after him, but Doc slams the door in his face, taking him out again. Angle rolls out of the way of a top rope headbutt from Devon as Joe takes out the big guy with a running boot, and Angle is busted wide open as he hits a series of rolling German suplexes on Devon before ramming him back and forth into the cage walls. The big guy is on his own and now he takes a 2-on-1 beating until Angle gives him the Angle Slam for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe
Joe and Angle go for the mask again, but Devon and Doc swoop in and then the rest of the gang floods out of the back and comes in the cage. You would have thought that official would lock that. Ken Anderson is standing in front of the Aces and Eights entrance in a black shirt and ballcap, watching the beatdown. Sting comes down the ramp to no music and no visual cue and takes out everyone with the bat singlehandedly. Doc smiles at Sting, but runs for his life when Sting goes after him with his bat. The big guy is the only one left in the cage as Joe guards the door and Sting stands closeby with the baseball bat so Angle can pull the mask off. It’s Mike Knox, it surprised me they used that name on commentary and refrenced he’s from the WWE. He hightails to to the back as the rest of the gang tries to cover up his face. Devon looks really pissed off as Sting, Angle, and Joe celebrate in the ring to close the show.
((Jarrett’s Jab – An ok show, but my expectations were low considering the Superstar of the Year voting. I figured they would make more shenanigans about that than they did. I really hope we have a new TNA Champion at Genesis because the belt just isn’t prestigious like it was this time last year. Hardy doesn’t seem to be taking the belt seriously and cutting some awful promos. Daniels and Kaz continue to be the MVPs by a country mile on Impact every week. And Bully Ray suspended, the only way that makes sense is if Hogan turns heel…again. I’d rather him disappear again. And I’ve never seen a lamer return than that one for Sting. No music, no wild Don West yelling “IT’S STING!” No lights going out, nothing at all. He walked to the ring. That’s it. Anderson could have cut him off at the pass. Very anticlimactic return this year for the Icon.))