TNA Impact KELLER'S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 12/22: Hardy & Sting team against Roode & Ray, plus Angle visits Storm's favorite bar
Dec 27, 2011 - 8:17:54 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
DECEMBER 22, 2011
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-The show opened with a recap of the Bobby Roode vs. A.J. Styles overtime period last week, plus the Sting getting involved as the show progressed ending with Roode and Bully Ray attacking him.
(WK Reax: Roode continues to find his voice as a heel. The segment centered around the value of the TNA World Title belt, which is always good.)
-Mike Tenay and Taz introduced the show as Roode and Ray walked to the ring. Ray wore a Santa's hat. Roode said he loves the holidays and he wished everyone a Merry Christmas. He said he hoped the fans enjoyed the early gifts he and Bully Ray gave to them last week at the end of Impact. He said they know giving is better than receiving. He said all they failed to do was wrap a bow around Sting and Jeff Hardy, their heroes. Ray said he gives and gives all year long. He said he gives his extra chicken bones to homeless people, he gives his extra ones to strippers, and he gives his extra whiskey to his little kitty cat Pumpkin. He said what he likes to give more than anything is beatings. He said last week he delivered "seasons beatings" to Sting and Hardy.
Roode said they've proven to Sting that for every action there is a consequence. He said he is a very bad man and is probably on Sting's naughty list. He dared Sting to come out and look him in the eyes and tell him he is suspended and show his authority. "It is Christmas time, and I could use the time off," he said. Instead, out came Hardy, looking as weird as he ever has. Half Goldust, half Boogeyman.
Hardy said Roode won't get suspended because in three weeks at Genesis he's taking his World Title. He said he's ending his Selfish Generation and he is his armageddon. He said Ray & Roode are scheduled to face him and a partner of his choice later. Ray and Roode laughed at that news. Ray said Hardy has no friends. Hardy pointed to a woman in the crowd screaming as evidence that he has friends. Ray said Hardy isn't loved all over the world like he is. Sting's music interrupted. He walked out wearing a Hardy t-shirt. Sting said Hardy is loved all over the world. Ray and Roode threw a fit. Sting said he loves Hardy and he would be honored to be his partner tonight. Ray yelled, "You can't do that!"
(WK Reax: So Sting, the special attraction main evener at Bound for Glory, TNA's WrestleMania, who hasn't wrestled since, announces he's coming out of unannounced retirement after switching to being an authority figure on 90 minute's notice? TNA isn't getting as much out of that as they would if they ran this segment last week and hyped it all show last week that it was happening this week. TNA seems to assume they have the same fans each week and no amount of build-up will change that, yet every time they do plan ahead and build to a climax episode after weeks of hype, ratings go up. Why not take that approach all the time and have something on every TV show that they've been building up and hyping for 2-3 weeks?) [c…]
-Tenay and Taz announced the main event would be a street fight.
(WK Reax: Of course it is. Why isn't a straight up tag match enough? Not because a street fight in this instance isn't 3 percent more exciting to most fans, but because by throwing the street fight stip out there for no reason with no notice, it strips them of the stip meaning a ton to a match that is built up for weeks sometime in the future.)
1 -- A.J. STYLES & KAZ vs. ROB VAN DAM & DANIELS - Wildcard Tag Tournament
Daniels was mouthing off to RVD early in this odd-couple tag team as part of the random teaming tournament they have going. RVD started against Kaz.
(WK Reax: Viewers would have benefited from a segment showing RVD and Daniels backstage trying to devise a gameplan to establish that they don't get along.)
Styles tagged in against RVD at 1:00. RVD offered to tag Daniels in, but Daniels refused and told RVD to show him what he can do out there. RVD and Styles battled for a couple minutes, but Daniels refused to tag in. Kaz rallied against RVD after tagging in and scored a two count. RVD came back against Styles, but Daniels then blind-tagged himself in and said, "I got it!" Daniels and RVD arguing gave Styles time to tag in Kaz. Kaz finished Daniels within a minute.
WINNERS: Styles & Kaz in 5:00. [c]
-A video feature aired on Anthony Neese, a new X Division contender who seems like a short Chris Masters. He said he can "stand with the X Division guys and the big guys at the top." Zema Ion then cut a heel promo about how he's tired of sitting at home, so now it's al about "me, myself, and Ion."
2 -- ANTHONY NEESE vs. ZEMA ION
This was the second match in a best of three match series between these two. Zema won the first one.
(WK Reax: Zema here was having "a bad hair day" or gave himself a makeover, but either way it was much more heelish and worked. He even hair-sprayed himself during intros and is projecting arrogance in a heelish way really well.)
Zema attacked Neese at ringside during ruing intros. He showboated well. Neese came back with a quick head scissors roll-up for a surprise two count inside the ring. Tenay talked up the "rebranding and rebirth" of the X Division and the new 220 pound weight limit.
(WK Reax: That 220 pound weight limit is so 1980s. I mean, they've set their weight limit for their "little guys" division at UFC's heavyweight division level. There's no shame in billing someone at 185 in a world in which Anderson Silva is Middleweight Champ or even 170 in a world where Georges St. Pierre is Welterweight Champion. Heck, they've set the weight limit ahead of Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida's 205 weight limit. It just sounds fake to set it at 220.)
Zema got cocky late in the match and played to the crowd, so Neese surprised him with a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Neese in 5:00.
(WK Reax: Zema reminds me of the unlikely undersized heel character that Sean Waltman played back in the early 1990s on ESPN's Global Wrestling Federation at Lightning Kid. I wouldn't even be surprised if watched some old Lightning Kid matches on YouTube. His mannerisms and personality aren't that far off.)
-Backstage Madison Rayne the told the roving reporter that from now on Impact Wrestling will never be the same because Karen appointed her the new Vice President of the Knockouts Division. She wore a referee shirt.
(WK Reax: So Sting let Karen appoint a heel wrestler the new leader of the Knockouts Division after firing her? That makes no sense. Shouldn't TNA at least try to make sense of this type of thing? Shouldn't Tenay comment on how it makes no sense that Sting and Dixie Carter would let Karen appoint her replacement?) [c]
-The Pope cut promo backstage talking about Devon. He said he was a better father to his kids than Devon was, and he's a role model and father-figure for the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless. He said Devon's boys have realized that Pope is pippin' harder than he ever has. He said Devon shouldn't hate him because he's tight, because he dresses so well, because he carries himself like he does. Instead, he should aspire to reach his level of Pope-ness. He said he will show him in their one-on-one match at Genesis what he's all about. Devon interrupted. Pope begged off a little as Devon got in his face and called him out for trying to turn his family against him. When Devon began to choke Pope, one of his sons hit Devon across his back from behind. Pope then said that's just a sample of what he and his boys are going to do to him at Genesis.
-They showed Eric Young and ODB eating at a restaurant with a fish tank in the background. ODB asked for a beer instead of water. Young called it a date. ODB said it's not a date. ODB grabbed her boobs and yelled at a lady, "What, you've never seen a pair of these before? Mind your business." Young knocked the tray out of the waiter's hands and tried to pick a fight for some reason. ODB then asked if she thinks this is actually a date. She said if it were a date, wouldn't he have brought her an expensive gift or flowers? Young said of course he would have done that, and then he said he had to go to the bathroom and he'd be right back.
-Tenay said Rayne "claims she's in charge of the Knockouts and she's up next." They showed her backstage heading toward the entrance tunnel. [c]
-Rayne made her ring entrance and then called Miss Tessmacher and Tara to the ring. She screeched as she said it. Tara and Tessmacher came out. When Tara said Karen appointed her executive V.P. of the Knockouts, Tenay said, "Oh, another memo I didn't get." She told Tara and Tessmacher that the matching outfits and cute little nicknames are making her want to throw up. She said, "This little TNT love affair of yours, I'm about to make it go away." She said they are wrestling each other one-on-one. She said she appointed herself special ref.
(WK Reax: So is she in charge of the Knockouts or not? Is anyone going to question Rayne's word?)
3 -- TARA vs. MISS TESSMACHER
Tenay said Rayne was now in charge as if it were a given now, so apparently Sting and Dixie Carter let Karen, after being fired, appoint her replacement. Rayne didn't like that Tara and Tessmacher were engaging in a friendly test of strength. She said it's not funny. They went into a tumbling exhibition of leverage pin attempts for two counts. Rayne got so frustrated as Tara and Tessmacher laughed as they rolled around the ring. Rayne got in Tessmacher's face and told her she can fire them if they don't fight for real. Rayne tricked Tara into thinking Tessmacher slapped her on the back of her head. She then threatened to DQ Tessmacher if she "did that again." Then Tessmacher and Tara locked up again and Rayne slapped Tessmacher, then accused Tara of doing it in retaliation. Tara said, "Are you serious?" Tenay said it was a "sneaky move" to "try to light a fire underneath these competitors." The match had slowed to a crawl and Tenay and Taz didn't even have much to say. Rayne got so frustrated that at 5:00 she screeched, "Will somebody please hit somebody!!!" In response, Tara and Tessmacher turned and hit Rayne, knocking her out of the ring. Then then kneeled like Tim Tebow. Their music played and that was apparently the end of the "match."
WINNER: No decision in 6:00.
-Backstage Sting told Hardy he was flattered to hear that Hardy got into wrestling because of him. Sting said, "I'm a mark for you, man." Sting said he'd put his full endorsement behind Hardy and he endorses second chances because he's been given so many in his life. The off-camera interviewer asked Hardy about his second chance. Hardy said it's a dream to team with Sting. Hardy said some of the things Ray and Roode say it outrageous. Sting said, "Do you know what the sphincter muscle is? It's tight on both of them right now." [c]
-They cut to Young panicking in the kitchen of the restaurant looking frantically for a gift. He considered a jug, spoons, Tabasco sauce, and other items. A cook saw Young and said he's calling security. He grabbed a fan and said, "She's so hot, she needs a fan to cool down."
-James Storm made his way to the ring. He said if Kurt Angle is looking for him, he's not a hard man to find. He said he's either in the ring in front of these rowdy fans or he's at the local bar. He told Angle to put it in his GPS so that voice can say his butt-whippin' is waiting for him on his left. Storm said he's not scared of him, and he's not.
Storm said for three quarters, he couldn't even get a first down against him, but in the fourth down, "you got Tim Tebow'd." The crowd had a mixed reaction to the Tebow reference. They cut to Angle sitting at a table in a bar wearing a cowboy hat. They were in Peipers Fork, Tenn. Angle was interviewing the locals about Storm. Angle asked the server if his drink was exactly what Storm normally drinks. It was moonshine. He told the woman at the table that she reminds him of the horse she rode in on. He then sprayed moonshine in her face. She got up and said, "Screw you." Angle said the moonshine tasted like piss-water. Angle looked at the camera and said he sees a full house in the bar, and all he has to say is "sorry about their damn luck." They cut away.
-Shannon Moore said backstage he has no strategy. He said he's going in there to fight. He said he and Anarcia don't get along and they have a past. He said he doesn't like that he has to fight a woman tonight, either, because he respects women, but he doesn't respect Anarcia. Moore said he's going to do what he's been known to do - fight and win.
-Tenay plugged ODB & Young vs. Moore & Anarcia. Taz hyped the main event street fight. [c]
-Backstage Ray said they're facing two of the best performers in the history of the business in the main event. He said by "they" he means Sting & Hardy are facing two of the biggest stars ever, he and Roode. Ray said he's the baddest mo-fo walking in the business today, and Roode is the future of TNA. Roode said he's got Sting exactly where he wants him. He's game for a street fight. He said Hardy will get just a little taste of what he's going to give him at Genesis. Ray said Sting is going through a table.
4 -- ANARCHIA (w/Sarita, Rosita) & SHANNON MOORE vs. ERIC YOUNG & ODB
Young, of course, was shocked by the pryo. Young tried to imitate ODB by slapping his ass and gyrating before the match. Young then did a cartwheel at the bell, then led the crowd by clapping. Anarcia had enough and called for him to fight. Taz said, "Eric Young, bless his heart, he's so confused." Young hiptossed Anarchia, then tagged in Moore. Young bailed out to ringside and tried collar and elbow hook-ups with Sarita and Rosita in comedy spotters. Young then dropped his shorts and stripped to his bikini trunks. Anarcia and Moore continued to squabble. ODB hot-tagged in at 3:00. Anarcia bodyslammed her. Moore entered the ring and shoved him and said, "What are you doing? She's a woman!" He walked out on the match. ODB then got up and chopped Anarcia in the chest a few times. She knocked Rosita and Sarita off the ring apron, then slammed Anarchia to the mat. Young hit a top rope eblow, then did a collar and elbow hook-up with ref earl Hebner. ODB then kicked Anarcia between his legs and scored the pin. Young, ODB, and Hebner did some comedy posturing during the post-match arm-raising ceremony.
WINNERS: Young & ODB in 4:00.
-Matt Morgan and Crimson talked backstage about the tag team division since they've become champions. They listed that Samoa Joe & Magnus, Abyss & Steiner, and EY & ODB have advanced. Crimson wondered why any of them would want to face them given their dominance. Morgan said they will face anyone from any company or any country. "We're equal opportunity ass-kickers, so how about that?"
-A guy in the Tenneessee bar tried to attack Angle, but he easily fended them of. He then beat down other guests. He even threw a Christmas tree on a pile of patrons he beat up.
(WK Reax: The whole thing was very slapstick, but didn't work as comedy or serious. It's hard to take anything serious on the show when something this corny is in the mix. It's been something that's followed Angle throughout his career, attempting to do comedy that undercuts his credibility. There's a tone-deaf aspect to a lot of his choices.)
5 -- JEFF HARDY & STING vs. ROBERT ROODE & BULLY RAY
(WK Reax: They totally undersold Sting returning to the ring for a match. They could have gotten a lot more out of it, but by treating his return as so happenstance it really undercuts his legendary stature.)
The match began 41 minutes into the second hour, so plenty of time for a full-fledged main event match. Sting went after Ray with an eye rake in the corner early as Hardy drove his shoulder into Roode in another corner. Sting and Ray - no surprise - did a stand-up brawl at ringside. Sting wore the triple-XL loose t-shirt for this match. Sting and Hardy each did slingshot dives over the top rope onto the heel duo at ringside at 3:00. They cut to a break shortly thereafter.
Sting hit Ray over the head with a trash can at ringside as Hardy threw Roode into the ringside steps. Roode and Ray took control with a pair of kendo sticks. At 11:00 Sting superplexed Ray off the top rope. At 13:00 Sting went for a Stinger Splash on Roode, but Roode moved. Ray suplexed Sting onto a trash can. Sting's legs hit the can, not his back. Ray dropped an elbow for a two count. Ray clotheslined Roode by mistake, and then Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop. Roode then gave Sting a Double-R Spinebuster. Hardy entered the ring and kicked Roode in the face. Ray then caught Hardy with a big boot of his own. Ray was the only one standing after that rapid-fire sequence at 15:00. Ray and Roode set up a table mid-ring and suplexed Hardy toward it. Sting tried to move the table, but didn't move it completely out of the way in time. Hardy's legs hit the table, but Tenay and Taz said Sting saved the day. Apparently moving a table isn't as easy as it looks. Sting beat up Roode and knocked him out of the ring, then gave Ray the Scorpion Deathlock. Ray yelled in pain. Roode entered the ring with a trash can. Sting released the hold and gave Roode a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting and Hardy tried to set up the table that Sting didn't move successfully, but it was broken from Hardy's feet landing on it. It was apparent Stimng was a little frustrated. Hardy looked for a new table and found one under the ring. Good improvising. Sting moved the broken table and Hardy set up a new one. Roode and Ray had to play dead this whole time. Hardy, who has more experience with tables than Sting, set it up and put Roode on top of it face down. Hardy then climbed to the top rope as Sting held Roode down. Hardy then splashed on it for the win.
WINNERS: Sting & Hardy in 18:00. (**1/2)
(WK Reax: For this type of match, it was lackluster most of the way, but it picked up near the end and was a satisfactory main event to the show that was given time to tell a story. The table mess-up by Sting was a little clunky and embarrassing for him, but no big deal. I'm not a fan of this type of match as the abundance of weapons shots and big spots tends to numb the viewer to them by the end of the match.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, it was an okay episode. Some highs, some lows (Angle at the bar, the Tara-Tessmacher match), and some in between. Not a disaster, though.
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