TNA Impact KEMP'S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 1/19: Debut alt. perspective review of Hardy-Storm, Knockouts cage match
Jan 21, 2012 - 5:56:36 PM
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TNA Impact Wrestling Results
January 19, 2012
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Impact Zone
Aired on Spike TV
Report by Nicholas Kemp, PWTorch contributor
TNA Impact began with a video package recapping the Bobby Roode-Jeff Hardy feud over the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The clip showed Roode costing Hardy the title at the recent Genesis pay-per-view and then Sting announcing the re-match on last week's Impact. During the match, heel standout Bully Ray interfered, causing the match to spin out of control and result in a non-finish.
The show went to the Impact Zone, where James Storm made his entrance, carrying his signature beer and wearing his trademark sunglasses.
In the ring, the crowd got behind Storm with a decent 'Cowboy' chant. Storm removed his sunglasses and said he's glad to be back in the Impact Zone, knowing he's the number one contender for the TNA World Championship. Storm said he did exactly what he was going to do. He talked up Kurt Angle's greatness, before commenting that he was "just a little bit better."
Storm said Roode is going to have to look him "eye to eye, man to man, and prove he's the better man." Storm then delivered his "Sorry about your damn luck" line, but Jeff Hardy's music interrupted. Hardy made his way to the ring. He received a good reaction from the Impact Zone as an audible "Hardy" chant coursed throughout the arena.
Jeff said he was screwed at the pay-per-view, he was screwed last week on Impact, and that he and his "Creatures" keep getting screwed. Hardy said nobody is getting a title shot against Roode until he gets his "final encounter." Storm fired back saying Roode screwed him a few months ago and that, "You'd think with all this screwing he's (Roode) doing, he'd have a lot of child support to pay."
Roode's music hit. He emerged from the back, microphone in hand and TNA World Title belt slung over his shoulder, looking like a champion. As he approached the ring, Roode said he is flattered that Hardy and Storm are arguing for a shot at his title. He then claimed that Storm's #1 contendership is null and void because there was not a finish between Roode and Hardy the previous week. Roode used the word "finish," too. Roode made the case saying that Hardy failed in his last two title shots, so neither of them deserves it.
Sting's music hit, and he made his way to the ring,clad in sunglasses and a "Sting" brand t-shirt and black jeans. Pretty casual for an authority figure. Sting said he's going to fix the issue with a #1 contendership, right here in the ring. The crowd chanted "Hardy" before the announcement. Sting asked the crowd who opponent number two should be, and the audience responded with a "Cowboy" chant. Sting made the match of Storm vs. Hardy before closing, "Ta-ta for now."
Kemp's Reax: I like Sting as an authority figure. It's refreshing opposed to what is typical for wrestling. The corporate crony in the gray suit is tired at this point.
Tenay and Taz hyped Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne in a cage match for later tonight.
[Q2] The show resumed with Angelina Love backstage. Love complained about Eric Young putting his hands on her, and she challenged him to a match.
Kemp's Reax: Angelina looks more and more like a zombie each week. It's strange. It works so well with the Winter "brainwashed" gimmick, but I can't get past the personal health factor. Anyway, I don't like a man versus a woman in the ring on paper, but we'll see how it goes.
Impact Zone: Gunner made his entrance with Ric Flair right behind him. A.J. Styles then made his entrance.
Kemp's Reax: It's strange to see Flair at this level, pretty much as a non-factor. I like the pyro in Styles's entrance, as it makes him stand out a bit. Styles should be presented as "special."
1 -- GUNNER vs. A.J. STYLES
After the bell, there was back and forth offense between the two, ending with A.J.'s trademark leapfrog, drop down, and dropkick. Gunner went to the outside and regrouped with Flair. After Gunner got back into the ring, Flair grabbed A.J.'s foot, allowing Gunner to take control. Gunner worked him over before applying a grounded rear waistlock. A.J. fought back, but Gunner took control again with a high knee.
Gunner took it to A.J. as Taz explained that there is no one better than Flair to mentor Gunner in a match against A.J., playing off the history between the two. A.J. made a comeback after Gunner made a mistake in the corner. A.J. fired back with a springboard forearm, before Christopher Daniels and Kazarian made their way down the ramp. Gunner took full advantage, but A.J. fired back with a kick to the head. Flair distracted the referee, allowing Kazarian to drop Styles with a clothesline. Gunner then hit A.J. with a DDT for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Gunner at 4:30.
Post-Match: Gunner attempted to take out A.J. the same way he did Rob Van Dam and others, but A.J. got out of harm's way as Daniels talked to Kazarian on the ramp.
Backstage: Magnus and Samoa Joe were shown in their ring gear. Magnus said he is ready to "take it to that meathead, Crimson." Crimson and Matt Morgan showed up, and Crimson was shown getting in Magnus's face. Morgan advised Crimson to wait for the match, so they backed off. Joe remained silent in the background.
Kemp Reax: Why isn't Joe the focal point of this? He is easily the most entertaining of the four, though, Magnus shows some potential.
Backstage: Bully Ray was shown backstage with Sting. Ray tried to "bully" Sting into giving him a World Title match, making the claim that he has not lost a match since he became a singles wrestler. Sting reminded him he is the boss, and Ray doesn't tell him what to do. Sting told Ray to make an appointment the next time he wants to talk to him, which furthered Ray's frustration. Sting slapped him on the chest, and Ray backed down which made him look like a wimp. Sting left as Ray scowled.
2 -- MAGNUS vs. CRIMSON
Magnus made his entrance, then Crimson came out to a good crowd reception. Magnus attacked Crimson before the bell and took advantage. Magnus got some decent offense in, before charging Crimson and getting caught on the rebound with a Red Sky sit-out spinebuster. Crimson scored a quick pin.
WINNER: Crimson in 1:30.
Kemp's Reax: I wish TNA would invest in some real entrance music, as it all sounds kind of the same. Whether Crimson's crowd reaction was manufactured or not, he came across as a rising star here to me.
Post-Match: Samoa Joe rolled into the ring and attacked Crimson from behind. Joe then hit the referee and beat Crimson down. Magnus joined in, until Matt Morgan ran in to make the save. Morgan fought them off for a bit, but eventually succumbed to the numbers game. Joe and Magnus took down Crimson with a double-team maneuver, then took Morgan down with one as well.
Kemp's Reax: I didn't like Magnus losing so quickly to Crimson, but I thought the post-match was effective. It put Magnus and Joe over as a dominant unit.
Backstage: Eric Young was shown in front of a Bellator Fighting Championship poster, alluding to the relationship TNA has with the MMA promotion that Spike is using to replace the UFC. He talked about how he wouldn't do well in the cage. A caterer came up, and Eric acted like she was a Bellator fighter. Young let people know he doesn't fight women, and then ODB entered the scene. ODB told Young to stop "hiding underneath your momma's skirt," then said if he does a number on Angelina tonight, she might do a number on him later. Young took it as they're going to hold hands.
Kemp's Reax: I do like Young's innocence combined with ODB's vulgarity. It makes for a great comedic chemistry, even if it does reek of Vince Russo's writing. I'm still not crazy about Love vs. Young, but I'll be interested to see how they handle it.
The show returned with a recap of the Eric and Garett Bischoff situation. They replayed the scene where Garett told Eric about his trainer and then segued into an emotional training montage. Next was impressive footage of Garett flicking ropes, hitting a punching bag, and beating up other wrestling trainees. Garett told his "old man" that he can't wait to get back to the Impact Zone, and referenced his trainer again, brother. I wonder who it could be?
[Q4] A video recap aired on the Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Madison Rayne storyline. Rayne was shown helping Gail Kim from her shark cage at the Genesis PPV before Sting booked the steel cage match for this week, pitting Madison against Mickie James.
Backstage: Madison was backstage with Gail selling nervousness over her cage match against Mickie, but Gail assured her that things will be fine. Madison wasn't convinced, but Gail assured her again, then led her out of the locker room. Gail was far more confident then Madison here, likely because she doesn't have to fight an upset Mickie James in a cage, while Rayne does.
3 -- MICKIE JAMES vs. MADISON RAYNE (w/Gail Kim) -- steel cage match
Gail had to talk Rayne into the cage, and Kim didn't look nearly as worried as Rayne was. I liked the dichotomy here. Gail was perfectly content with throwing Rayne "to the wolves" so to speak. Mickie took it to Rayne right off the bat, beating her into a corner. Rayne attempted to climb up the corner and out of the cage, but Mickie scooped her up into a sit-out powerbomb. Mickie beat Rayne around the cage, then hit a nice snapmare/dropkick combo for a two count.
James kept control of the bout, locking in a rest hold as the crowd got solidly behind her. Rayne fought out of the half nelson, then Mickie pushed her off the ropes and attempted a back body drop, but Rayne hit a hard kick. Rayne attempts to make a comeback, but Mickie quickly thwarted her, before they cut to a break.
They returned with Rayne in control, and Mickie made a small comeback, but Madison quickly cut her off. The crowd got behind James with a "Let's go Mickie" chant.
[Q5] Rayne grated James's face against the mesh of the cage, then snapped off a nice suplex/neckbreaker combo for a quick two. Rayne wore Mickie down, capped off by her trademark pelvic thrust faceslam. Mickie tried to fight back, but Rayne kept the advantage.
Mickie came back against Rayne with a desperation neckbreaker. The two threw fists from their knees, then got to their feet, and Mickie gained the advantage. Mickie rocked Rayne with multiple flying forearms, but Rayne countered a flapjack with a smart eye rake. Good facial expressions from Mickie off a close two count. Mickie fought back, throwing Rayne into the cage multiple times. James showed some real fire before hitting her big jumping DDT and scoring the pin.
WINNER: Mickie James in 12:00.
Backstage: Austin Aries, clad in a dress shirt with TNA X Division Championship slung over his shoulder, was shown. Aries said something that was hard to describe, but awesome to hear, before they cut to a graphic hyping Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm for later tonight.
Backstage: Tara and Velvet Sky congratulated Mickie James on her win. Mickie said she feels amazing, but she has one more person her list - Gail Kim. James said the Knockouts Title is coming home to Hardcore Country land. Mickie brought up Madison dedicating their cage match to Gail and Gail ditching Rayne so quickly before the match when the referee ordered it. Mickie said she's a fighter and she's tough. Tara suggested they get champagne, which was met with a collective 'Yay!'
Backstage: They cut to Jeff Hardy, who said he's been screwed by Bobby Roode twice. Hardy said he wants his "payoff," either referencing Roode's finisher or continuing the insider phrase trend. Hardy said life isn't fair, but what would be fair is to fight Roode in a No DQ match, though he knows he has to get through James Storm. He said he hopedshis final encounter with Roode will be what he wants it to be.
Kemp's Reax: I liked Hardy building up the idea that his dream match is to get Roode in the ring with a No DQ stipulation. It feels like the stipulation is growing organically, since Roode retained the belt by DQ at Genesis, rather than just being thrown out for no reason.
Video: Austin Aries was highlighted. It was a Jason Hervey-style Aries promo intertwined with some good match highlights. Aries eventually came to the conclusion that he might have to retire because he's dominated the X Division.
Kemp's Reax: This gave Aries a good platform to make his voice heard, showed off his flashier moves, and had good production quality. It's something they need to take advantage of more.
[Q6] In-ring: Back in the arena, Austin Aries made his entrance. Aries told the people to keep it down because he has something to say. A-Double claimed there is no one in the X Division who is in his league. Aries then responded to a "You Suck" chant by saying, if he sucks so bad, why is he still holding the X Division Title? Aries said he knows he's the greatest man who ever lived, and nobody in the back can take him on. He said might have to hop on his yacht and find some competition elsewhere, because it's obviously not in Impact Wrestling.
The Motor City Machineguns's music hit and Alex Shelley makes his triumphant return! Shelley was clad in all-black, a leather jacket over jeans, and a strange blonde hairstyle. Shelley said he missed the Impact Zone and missed being in the ring, but didn't miss Aries that much. Shelley compared dislocating his shoulder last year to dropping a box of Rice Krispies on the ground and stepping on them. Ouch. Shelley said the day he came back, Sabin got injured, depriving fans of the Machineguns.
Shelley defines his life as "wrestling, wrestling, wrestling, and punk rock...wrestling, wrestling, wrestling, and video games." Shelley told Aries he couldn't "beat the piss out of a urine-soaked sponge." Aries fired back, asking if there are any men back there who can challenge him because he's sick of little boys stepping up. Shelley said he's sick of having a d-bag for a champion in his division. Shelley said Sabin had no problem with Shelley coming back without him.
Shelley brought up Aries hitting him in the crotch the last time they fought, and Aries said there's nothing there to hit. Aries said it's too bad Sabin isn't here since Shelley's been riding his coattails for years. He said Shelley should stay home and wait for Sabin to get healthy because he has no chance against him. Shelley said if he's no good, then Aries should have no problem putting the belt up against him. Aries doesn't like people putting words in A-Double's mouth; he's not scared of Shelley, but he wants him to earn it.
Aries told Shelley to pick any X Division wrestler he wants - if he can beat them, he can get a shot. Shelley said he'll let Aries pick the challenger, and after he beats Aries's "little boyfriend," he's coming after Aries's belt at Against All Odds.
Kemp's Reax: I thought this was a great segment. Aries and Shelley played their parts so well, and it made me very excited to see them fight one-on-one.
Backstage: ODB said she wants Eric Young to rip Angelina Love apart, in harsher, far more derogatory terms. Winter attacked ODB from behind, but ODB stood her ground. They wrestled around on the ground until Winter hit her with a tire iron. Winter took it to ODB with a whip, then choked her out, asking where her "boyfriend" is now.
4 -- ANGELINA LOVE (w/Winter) vs. ERIC YOUNG
Angelina Love made her entrance accompanied by Winter, followed by Eric Young. Tenay and Taz played up that Eric's in an unwinnable situation. If he didn't answer Love's challenge, he'd be labeled a wimp, but if he did, he'd be fighting a girl. It seemed odd they were explaining the flaws of booking this match altogether.
Once the match started, Young tied up with the referee, performed a cartwheel, and then called for a time-out. Love challenged Young to hit her on the chin, but Young acted shy. The crowd got behind Young with "Eric" chants, but Young tied up with the referee again. Eric got out of the ring and tied up with an audience member, then fooled around on the apron. Love wanted Eric to fight her, but he merely tied up with the referee again. Love tried to grab Eric, but he pushed the referee into her, and they ended up against the corner. Young played to the crowd, so Angelina got mad and hit him in the crotch, prompting a DQ.
WINNER: Eric Young via DQ at 2:00.
Post-match: Winter and Angelina beat Eric down after the bell, and ODB ran down to make the save. ODB beat on Winter, but Angelina cut her off. Angelina and Winter beat ODB down, but Eric made the save. Young tossed Love and Winter out of the ring, then helped ODB to her feet. Eric and ODB locked lips, Eric acted shocked, and Winter and Love acted appalled. ODB smirked, then the two left the ring arm-in-arm.
Backstage: James Storm was somewhere outside of the arena. He said he's all in, he's busted his butt to get to the top of the company, and Jeff Hardy isn't going to stand in his way. Storm was asked if he's watched Roode's matches against Hardy, and James said of course he has; anyone who doesn't study his opponent is a fool. Storm said its time to show the world and the people that he's going to be World champion of this company. A graphic hyping Storm vs. Hardy aired next, then TNA cut to a break.
5 -- JAMES STORM vs. JEFF HARDY -- #1 contender's match
James Storm entered first, beer in hand, followed by Jeff Hardy. Tenay and Taz talked up Storm and Hardy not having a problem with each other outside of the #1 contendership. Jeremy Borash did his usual excellent job of making a formal main event introduction. Storm got a good reaction, but Hardy got an even better one. It's clear the Impact Zone views him as the star here.
The bell rang and the two men slapped hands. A "Let's Go Cowboy / Let's Go Hardy" dueling chant fired up. There was a bit of sloppy basic wrestling to start the match.
[Q8] They went back and forth with some traditional wrestling before Hardy took advantage and hit his trademark leg drop to the crotch. Storm dodged an attempted Hardy attack in the corner, and they cut to commercial.
TNA returned with Hardy countering an attempted Storm attack in the corner, then tossing him to the outside. Hardy dove to the floor and took Storm down, rolled him back in, and scored a two count. Storm fires back with a slingshot suplex on Hardy for a close two count. Taz said it's "shades of the great Tully Blanchard." Nice. Storm wore Hardy down with a chinlock. The crowd rallied behind Hardy, who countered out of it, scoring a two count with a unique roll-up.
Hardy hit a Whisper in the Wind on Storm for another close two count. Jeff grounded Storm with a chinlock of his own (it seems they've been watching some Randy Orton tape). Storm fought out of it, though the crowd wasn't as fired up as they were the first time. Storm called for the Eye of the Storm, but Hardy slid off his shoulders. Storm took advantage anyway and hits a swinging Celtic Cross-type maneuver for a close two count.
Storm measured Jeff Hardy for the Last Call superkick, but Jeff caught it, and hit a Twist of Fate on Storm. Storm took it like a stunner, which looked great. Hardy went for a Swanton, but Storm got up quickly and cut Hardy off. Hardy countered Storm's attempted superplex, but Storm fired back with a slingshot kick. Storm hit the superplex he was looking for, and both men were down.
The referee began a ten count, leading to multiple replays of the superplex to buy time. Bully Ray slid in the ring and he smashed referee Brian Hebner from behind. Ray beat on Storm and Hardy with his metal chain. He continued this assault until Earl Hebner ran down the ramp, though Ray merely slid out of the ring and took him down as well. Ray took a swig of Storm's beer, spit in his face, and then whipped Storm and Hardy with his chain some more.
Ray knocked another referee off the ring apron and whipped Hardy and Storm again, before playing to the crowd. Sting came down to the ring, baseball bat in hand, and then smashed Ray in the gut. He beat Ray out of the ring and up the ramp with the bat, as Storm pulled himself to his feet in the ring. Bobby Roode got into the ring, then smashed Storm with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship before doing the same to Hardy.
WINNER: No Contest in 15:00.
Roode stood over Hardy and Storm, smirking, then asked for a microphone. Roode said, "Ladies and gentlemen, with the power invested in me, as the most dominant World Heavyweight champion in the history of Impact Wrestling, I declare this match a No Contest...and, still, your World Heavyweight Champion... Bobby Roode!"
Roode's theme song blared throughout the arena as he got pelted with piped-in boos. Tenay quickly plugged next week's show, asking what Sting is going to do about Bobby Roode.
Kemp's Reax: I don't agree with once again ending a big match with a non-finish, but since it's on TV, I thought it made more sense. Ending the show with Roode on top was a great move, in my opinion, as he needs all the shine and all the heat he can possibly get. The guy has a great look, a great voice, and is a great wrestler. TNA just needs to keep booking him in a position to look strong; I think laying out the two top babyfaces at the end of the show was a good way to do that.
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