Friday, 1 June 2012

Impact Wrestling - 20th May 2012

The show opened with clips of what had happened previously on Impact Wrestling. Highlights being: Abyss going missing, AJ’s secret, the question of ‘who is up as leader of the Selfish Generation?’ and the road to Slammiversary X.

Roode, our World Heavyweight Champion, was out first in to the Impact Zone. As he made his way to the ring Tenay said that Roode had done it again at the Sacrifice Pay per View and Taz said that “he pulled it off someway somehow” to retain his title. Speaking about the PPV Roode addressed the crowd and said that time after time people have stacked the odds against him but he overcomes them each time and proved it against RVD in a match which is RVD’s forte.

Showing respect for RVD, Roode said that RVD proved that he is Mr. PPV and put him through hell but he still proved everyone wrong as he climbed the ladder for his belt. The champion said “Chant my name, say it loud say it proud” before telling us that he is going to throw the biggest party in history, the “IT Factor’s celebration of domination”, if he becomes the longest reigning champion in 7 days. He said that he needs to call out one person for the party to go without a hitch and told Hogan to get his ass out.

The Hulkster made his entrance and thanked the crowd for their applause. He confirmed that in one week Roode could become the longest reigning champion in company history before Roode stated that he has demands for his party. He began to read from a list. He wants his private dressing room redecorated, 5 bottles of chilled champagne, green M&M’s and golden confetti. Not just any old golden confetti, it has to be golden confetti which has been flown in from Canada, the place “where real champions come from.”

Hogan wanted to see the list but Roode wasn’t done. The crowd chanted “Rip it up” but Hogan refrained and said that Roode gave everyone on the roster direction as they are now after him and thanked him for that. He then took the list of demands and did as the crowd suggested and tore it up saying that Roode has not broken any records yet.

It’s Open Fight Night next week and it looks like Hogan is going to make Roode defend as he reminded him that someone has to put their belt on the line at the event. Roode said “No! It’s my party” so Hogan asked him to suggest another belt that could be put up. Roode said that he doesn’t care, just not his belt.
Hogan said that he’d taken a poll in the back to see who’d step out to face Roode before calling out a few of his friends who said that they would accept the challenge. Pretty much the whole of the male roster came out along with ODB. Hogan said that he needs to narrow it down to just four people and so pitched RVD vs. Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe and a Wild Card Battle Royal between the rest of the talent to decide the fourth person. To end the segment, Hogan said to Roode “if you wanna party you better fight.”

SoCal Val and Anderson gave information about the TNA UK and Ireland tour which can be found here.

Next we had a recap of Abyss’ return, including the message which he had for his brother, Joseph Park Esq, “You’re getting too close to the fire. Back off before you get burned.”

Bully Ray vs. Rob Van Dam – Open Fight Night Qualification Match
Ref: Brian Stiffler

Tenay said “Here we go first of 4 OFN qualifying matches” as we were introduced to this match and we were shown images of the Sacrifice ladder match as Taz told of RVD’s injuries. As RVD made his way to the ring it was clear that he was favouring injuries and he had his elbow strapped up.

RVD applied a Side Head Lock on Ray as soon as they approached each other. Once free Bully immediately went after RVD’s left arm. RVD kicked back and with a Rolling Thunder he got a near fall. Ray retaliated soon after with an Elbow Drop and applied a Leg Grapevine on RVD’s left leg, focusing on his injured knee whilst shouting “Look as Rob Van Dam now!”

Bully continued his domination and bounced RVD’s head off the mat but then went on to miss a splash. RVD came back with Clotheslines and a Superkick to the chin but he too missed a move as an attempted Thrust Kick off the top rope ruined his momentum. Bully quickly hit RVD with a Cutter for the win. Tenay called it a “Single man 3D”.

Kazarian and Christopher Daniels were on a high after the PPV. Taking a dig at AJ, Kaz said that it is about being back on track and not sucking face. Daniels took a swipe too and said “We did it the old fashioned way” before asking what’s next for the tag team. Kaz said that he’s going to shove the gold up AJ’s ass.
Next we cut to Angle who had an ice pack on his neck. He bigged up AJ and said that he may be the best wrestler around at the moment. AJ then joined him on camera and Angle continued by telling him that he loves him and that Kaz and Daniels are now his business too. Angle wanted to know if it was true that when the terrible twosome intercepted during their match at Sacrifice, Daniels took out AJ’s legs. AJ told him that it wasn’t important and Angle told him that he believes that the Phenomenal One is better than he is.

Bully Ray is pissed at the Kardashian’s as they have jumped on the anti-bullying campaign bandwagon. His speech was interrupted as Joseph Park showed up. Ray got his chain ready to fight the lawyer but Joe told him to calm down as he just wanted to apologise. He thinks that Ray is the fire which his brother, Chris, you know, Abyss had warned him about.

King Mo has signed to TNA…and Bellator

One of the biggest names in mixed martial arts, “King Mo” Lawal is going to split his time between TNA and Bellator. Craig Carton, the MMA Uncensored Live presenter led the interview which we saw as Impact introduced us to the former Light Heavyweight Champion and asked why the fighter has decided to do both at the same time. King Mo said that it has been a dream of his and is a great opportunity, “One door closed, two doors opened”.

Carton turned his attention to Bellator Chairman and CEO, Bjorn Rebney and asked if Bellator is expecting any backlash from MMA purist fans. Rebney said that he doesn’t think that MMA fans will mind as they are bright and will understand that Mo is joining two different sports and although he is a world class mixed martial artist Rebney feels that Mo will make the transition to become a world class wrestler too.

Carton asked Dixie Carter whose idea it was to get King Mo involved in TNA. Dixie said that she has wanted to do something like this for years but met resistance whilst trying to find the head of a company that saw the potential in the idea. She said that she clicked with Rebney right away when he joined the Spike team and they had a meeting set up for them. Dixie hopes that the idea will prove to be successful.

Next we saw Gail Kim rambling on to Madison Rayne as she does and once again Rayne wasn’t paying a blind bit of attention as she still has the mystery man on her mind.

Brooke Tessmacher and Velvet Sky discussed Kim’s cheating ways and Sky said that one thing is for sure and that is that one of them is going to beat her.

Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles vs. Gunner vs. Robbie T vs. Robbie E vs. Magnus vs. Crimson vs. ODB vs. Eric Young vs. Garett Bischoff - Battle Royal Wildcard
Ref: Brian Hebner

We saw that Aries still had marks on his back from hitting the barriers in his match against Bully Ray at Sacrifice before we cut to a break. When we returned all of the competitors except for AJ, OBD and EY were already in the ring.

Crimson was eliminated first along with ODB and EY. Magnus was almost eliminated but managed to skin the cat to save himself. His efforts were in vain though as he was drop kicked off the apron before he managed to get back in.

Rayne was stood at the top of the ramp watching the match; her fancy man must be in there.

Robbie T tried to get Garett out of the ring but struggled. Robbie E booted Aries and then eliminated Robbie T; I’m not sure that he’ll be so forgiving this time. Big Rob wasn’t even able to give his ‘friend’ time to calm down as he was launched out of the ring after him by Devon.

When we returned from a break AJ was attacking Gunner and Devon had turned his attention to Garett. Garett fought back with a Right Hand and Devon responded with a Flying Shoulder. Their battle was over when Garett tossed Devon out of the ring. Taz was impressed with Garett hurling the TV Champ over the top rope and said “Wow, the Vet got outsmarted by the Rook". Showing his lack of experience Garett seemed to forget that there was still a battle going on behind him and was met with a kick from AJ as he celebrated.

AJ set his sights on Aries who was dealing with Gunner and was met with a nasty sounding Back Elbow. The pair faced each other and after a brief exchange of moves, AJ soon tried to eliminate the X Division Champ. Aries however, managed to arch his shoulders on to the ropes to keep himself in.
Gunner stayed out of the way as AJ and Aries threw everything at each other. After each failing to execute big moves and several switches, Aries lifted AJ was over the ropes but he managed to land on the apron.
Gunner who seemed to stay in so long by using the avoidance tactic eliminated Aries by being in the right place at the right time before being lifted up on to the shoulders of AJ and dumped out of the ring. AJ Styles and Bully Ray how now filled two out of the four spots for a chance to face Roode at OFN.

A recap showed AJ Style’s secret and the story surrounding it with Daniels saying that people thought it was about Kaz and Kaz and Daniels going ringside with the envelope for AJ. We also saw clips from ‘Revelation Night’ and AJ get his legs taken out from underneath him at Sacrifice when Kaz and Daniels intercepted in yet another of AJ’s matches against Kurt Angle.

AJ Speaks about his ‘Secret’

AJ got in the ring and said that Roode is on the verge of being the longest reigning champ and if it were up to him he’d be the one to end his reign. He asked Hogan to put him in the ring.

Talking about the pictures which were revealed by Kaz and Daniels of AJ and Dixie together, AJ said that things aren’t as they seem; they are both happily married. AJ said that Dixie is a beautiful, wealthy woman and didn’t get the chance to carry on with his explanation as Kaz and Daniels walked down the ramp.

Daniels said that AJ is a great athlete, but last week (on ‘Revelation Night’) the world saw the type of moves that got him to where he is today. Kaz said that the revelation wasn’t about embarrassing AJ; it was about exposing how he left people behind. Kaz just wants the truth.

Daniels said that they may have misconstrued one photo but they have a video. The video showed AJ and Dixie at a hotel looking “a bit chummy for a business relationship” as Daniels put it. Daniels started to speak again and said “There’s affection and passion…” but AJ shoved him and told him to shut up before he could finish what he was saying and then walked away. Daniels asked AJ if he wanted to explain what happened.

Angle and Samoa Joe spoke backstage. We were reminded that the two have history as Angle ended Joe’s winning streak back in 2006 before Joe said that it is a shame that he has to walk through Angle to get his belt back. Angle said that it’s all about business and asked if Joe remembers the time they connected with a head butt. Joe head-butted Angle there and then to signify that he remembered and the pair began to fight. Officials and some of the roster stepped in to break up the brawl.

Mr. Anderson was watching recaps from several different camera angles of Hardy lifting out of the pin which gained him a win during their match last week It was controversial and Anderson is not sure if Hardy lifted or not but said that either way he won. Being the professional that he is; Anderson said that he will give Hardy another chance tonight but he feels that he will win again and walk away as champion on Open Fight Night.

Slammiversary X Countdown

We have reached number seven in the countdown and the clip which we were shown took us back to Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles on September 7th 2005 at Unbreakable. We saw AJ pin Daniels for the X Division belt.

Mr Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy - Open Fight Night Qualification Match
Ref: Earl Hebner

Tenay spoke about the “Controversial conclusion” which Anderson spoke about earlier and Taz said that they have also looked at the replay a lot and still cannot tell if Hardy lifted up in time. Taz still maintains that Earl did the right thing in calling it as he saw it however and said that if this match is half as exhilarating as the one we saw last week then we are in for a treat. Tenay also gave props to Hogan for giving them another go and for setting up four matches in the way that he did.

The wrestler’s Tied Up briefly and we saw a few Go Behinds as they got a feel for each other before tagging hands out of respect. Anderson went for the attack first and Shoulder Barged Hardy hard in to the corner, breaking free Hardy then did the same to Anderson and added in a boot to the abdomen for good measure.

Hardy continued with the offense and strung together a series of ‘below the belt’ moves and followed up with a Dropkick for two. Seeing that Anderson was dazed, Hardy Clotheslined him over the top rope and then tried to Dropkick the Asshole through the middle ropes. Anderson moved out of the way and then snapped his opponent’s legs up against the ropes with Hardy’s upper body being whiplashed from the force. Anderson regrouped before getting back in the ring and stacking Hardy up for two.

The tables have now turned from the start of the match and Anderson took control as he stamped repeatedly on Hardy’s head and Elbow Dropped him. Anderson applied a Headlock on Hardy and held it for a short while as Hardy tried to fight his way out. He succeeded but Anderson remained on top as he Clotheslined Hardy for two.

Hardy rolled out on to the apron but never made it on to the arena floor as Anderson went after him to beat on him. Hardy managed to thrust his shoulder in to Anderson to block the attack and shoved him back in to the centre of the ring before leaping back in himself with a Dropkick which connected for a close near fall. Anderson responded with a fluid Neck Breaker but couldn’t put Hardy away.

Anderson waited until Hardy got to his feet before making his next move. He went for a kick but Hardy reacted quickly and dropped back to the mat to block and took Anderson’s legs out to stop him in his stride. With both men down, Earl began to count.

Back on their feet the men were blow for blow until Hardy stepped up with a Back Body Drop and floored Anderson with a Clothesline and a Back Elbow in quick succession. Anderson tried to whip Hardy off the ropes but Hardy decked his opponent once more for a two count.

Hardy kept on at Anderson and took him down with a Russian Leg Sweep for another pin attempt but Anderson countered and rolled Hardy up for two. Hardy still wasn’t giving up and quickly climbed the ropes for a Whisper in the Wind and another two count. Removing his top, Hardy motioned to the crowd for support. Taz said that he smells a Twist of Fate and he was right, that was the next move on Hardy’s agenda but Anderson countered and lifted Hardy to his shoulders for a roll through that he thought would see him defeat the Charismatic Enigma again. Hardy reversed the pin attempt and with a Crucifix Pin he took the win. As with last week the pair hugged to show no hard feelings.

After a break we were shown a stripped down version of the promo which we saw at Sacrifice where Roode says that he is still the ‘IT factor’ etc. and RVD questioned whether Roode has made as big an impact as he has in the sport. Roode said that he has sacrificed everything and RVD just sees himself when he looks at others.

Next up was a clip from Lockdown on April 13th 2008 where Joe defeated Angle to take the World Title.

Velvet Sky vs. Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim - Knockouts Championship
Ref: Brian Stiffler

Tenay said that the two challengers are confident in the lead up to this match and Taz said “gotta love a three way” before saying that he had second rope envy as Sky ‘let the pigeons loose’. Tessmacher was in her new ring attire again and Taz loves it saying she’s like a hot Avenger. Tenay questioned how much Tessmacher and Sky would work together in an attempt to take the title away from Kim as Tessmacher made her entrance. As the champion made her entrance Taz said “We’ve got a Wonder Woman here” and that she has a very ambitious task ahead of her. Tenay said that Kim claims to be the most dominant Knockouts Champion “but we saw earlier that she’s the most concerned and PO’d Knockouts Champion” as Hogan put her in this three way title match.

The challengers went after Kim as soon as the bell rang and Kim tried to escape from the ring but it wasn’t happening as Sky and Tessmacher Pinballed her between them. She tried to escape again but was cut off by Sky.

Sky dropped Kim’s head to her knee twice before allowing Tessmacher to fly at the champion. Tenay said he asked the question about Sky and Tessmacher working together at the start and “that’s exactly what we are going to get”. Kim rolled herself out of the ring and Sky and Tessmacher looked as if they were going to celebrate until they remembered that they are against each other.

After a quick Tie Up we saw a two count from Tessmacher on Sky and then another straight afterwards from Sky on Tessmacher. Sky applied a Side Headlock on Tessmacher and then bounced off the ropes and booted her once she broke free. Sky then went to come off the ropes again but Kim pulled her legs from the outside of the ring and dragged her out.

Kim got back in to the ring and went straight after Tessmacher with a Clothesline and then strangled her over the second rope to continue the domination. Sky tried to get back in the ring but was thrown off the apron by Kim who then went on to issue Tessmacher with a Back breaker before standing on her throat. Stiffler chastised her and counted but she wasn’t bothered and blew a kiss to the crowd.

Kim got Tessmacher in a Boston Crab and Sky joined in by getting Kim with a Dragon Sleeper as she held on to Tessmacher’s legs. We had “Submission Holds R Us here” according to Taz until Kim dropped one of Tessmacher’s legs and shoved Sky away. She continued to hold the Single Leg Crab but the hold was broken when Sky booted Kim. Sky continued her attack on Kim and flung her in to the turnbuckle before throwing herself at her. Kim had moved out of the way and Sky ended up face planting herself hard on to the top turnbuckle.

Kim wrapped herself around Tessmacher for an Octopus style submission until Sky came back in to weigh in on Kim’s move by ducking through Tessmacher’s legs and stacking the girls up for a pin attempt. It was Kim’s shoulders that were down for two. Kim capitalised the hold which she had on Tessmacher and straight from her near defeat she managed to push Tessmacher down on to the mat for a near fall until Sky kicked her in the back, forcing her to let go.

Kim rolled herself out on to the apron and Sky tried to go after her but Tessmacher grabbed hold of her foot and pulled her towards her. Sky signalled to the crowd that she was going to end the match and pin Tessmacher but Tessmacher blocked the attack. Both challengers tried to execute some kind of move with the hopes of putting their opponent away but neither could get anything started.

Meanwhile Kim was climbing to the top of the ropes ready to go high risk. She jumped with a Dual Missile Dropkick which took them all down. Stiffler put in the count and Kim was the first to her feet. Kim went for her finisher on Tessmacher but the manoeuvre was blocked. Sky then grabbed Tessmacher with a Double Underhook and it was ‘in your face’ for the challenger.

Kim ran over to her opponents and chucked Sky out through the middle ropes and rolled Tessmacher up for the win. Tenay said that she cleverly took the scraps from Sky to get that victory as Kim wearily headed out of the ring and headed quickly back up the ramp having retained her title.

After another break we saw a promo for 10 years of TNA ahead of Slammiversary X. With clips of many unforgettable moments we were reminded that after doubts from when the company started it is now the talk of the world and we have seen, amongst other things, 10 years of, celebrations, heartache, heroes and Total Nonstop Action. We were told that TNA continues to redefine history today “in an arena where careers are born and a proving ground where champions reign”.  

Taz and Tenay recapped on the events which we have seen tonight to take us in to the final Open Fight Night Qualifier. Tenay asked “Who will join Bully Ray, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy at Open Fight Night” before saying that stakes could not be any higher.

Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle - Open Fight Night Qualification Match
Ref: Brian Hebner

Commentary said that they have been looking forward to this match with Tenay saying that the Joe and Angle have had memorable matches together in the past. Joe’s 18 month streak was ended by his opponent and the smile which Angle had on his face as he made his way to the ring tells us that he remembers everything about the rivalry according to Tenay.

Joe got the early advantage in the match as he beat down on the Olympic Gold Medallist in the corner of the ring. Angle rolled himself out to regroup after the flurry of fists he had just received. He was trying to dictate the pace as Hebner began to count him out.

Back in the ring Angle and Joe squared off. Joe tried to get in some more strikes but was taken down by Angle who then returned some of the punches he had received before applying a Side Headlock soon after. Joe came back and floored Angle three times before booting him in the back and chopping him across the chest. With Angle still down, Joe used his weight with a Knee Drop to the chest for two.

Angle still couldn’t get to his feet and pushed himself to the corner. Joe washed his face with the sole of his boot twice before dragging him to the centre of the ring and punching him in the face. Joe went to run the ropes but Angle stopped him in his tracks and launched him with a Belly to Belly Suplex.

Bobby Roode made an appearance at the top of the ramp and headed towards the commentary desk just before we went in to another break. He wanted to watch the match. Angle kept the offense and was seen to put the boot in to Joe several times as he lay slumped in the corner.

Tenay questioned Roode about the ‘Celebration of Domination’ which he proposed and said that it looked like Hogan had other plans. Roode said that Hogan is taking his party away from him. We saw another Suplex from Angle as Roode explained that next week he has to go out in to the ring and defend his title against one of four men.

Taz named the people who have advanced for a chance to face the champion as Angle held Joe in a Choke Hold which he managed to elbow his way out of. Taz asked Roode who he would prefer to face. Roode said that he has beaten everyone before and is not afraid. He’s confident that he will retain. Kurt got a count of one from a Back Elbow and reapplied the Choke Hold as Tenay spoke about the history that Roode has which each of the wrestlers who will potentially face him.

Roode reiterated that he is not afraid and said that he will go down in history as the longest reigning champion ever. Taz said that nobody in the world can question Roode’s ability as Joe fought his way out once more. Taz continued to say that it has got to be tough with people going after him left and right. Joe was met by Angle’s boot but then managed to block a move as Angle dropped on him from the top ropes as Roode said that he understands why everyone is after him. They all want to be the champion, he wanted to be the champion too and after years of trying, he is.

Joe got himself a two count and went on Snap Slam Angle to the mat for another near fall. The Samoan Submission Machine tried for a Suplex as Tenay reminded Roode that Joe currently has the longest reigning champion title but Angle slid down his back and got him with a German Suplex followed by another, and another. Roode said that he has been in the ring with Angle when he hooks his arms around you and he is a machine but he will be ready for him if he is to face him next week. He said the results will be different to how they were at Bound for Glory.

Angle went for another Suplex but Joe defended and applied a rear Naked Choke. Angle dropped down to the mat and applied an Angle Lock. Joe countered and booted Angle in to the corner and threw himself in to him before issuing him with a nasty Round Kick to the face. Roode said that “Joe will knock you absolutely loopy, Joe is a huge man” and a great athlete but not as great as he is.

Joe dropped Angle on to his knee, right in the yam bags before Angle picked him up and dropped him with an Angle Slam for a two count. Angle was the first to his feet and the pair began to exchange blows. Joe came out on top and sent Angle crashing back down to the mat with a swift kick. He went for another kick but Angle caught his leg and got him in a Grapevine. Roode felt that this could be the end of the match. Joe tried to break out but Angle held on. Angle wasn’t letting go even though Joe managed to kick at him with his free leg. Joe eventually managed to roll out of the hold and knocked Angle in to the turnbuckle.

Taz wondered if Joe would be able to follow up with anything as he limped over to the opposite corner. Angle ran at Joe and was met with an Urinogi. Joe set Angle up for a Muscle Buster but failed to execute the move twice. The pair exchanged and Angle gave Joe another head butt to remember.

With Angle still sat on the top ropes, Joe went back towards him. Angle slid over his back and with a Sunset Flip he won the match. Roode said “OK, OK” and left the desk. Taz said that Roode knows that he is a marked man for Open Fight Night.

Kurt is ready and he told Roode so. Hardy was seen walking through the crowd towards the ring, he is also ready for a shot at the title and Bully Ray walked out behind Roode on the ramp. With AJ standing in the arena too, Roode was surrounded. We’ll find out next week who Hogan has picked to face Roode in a World Heavyweight Championship Match.