I’ve finally gotten a copy of TNA iMPACT from last night. Sadly, I could’ve gotten a copy of RAW 3 times over before getting this, so maybe next week I’ll cover TNA live and WWE afterward. Before I begin though, I figured I’d share with you what I just experienced over on another wrestling website. I actually just had two people try to tell me that WCW went out of business because Ted Turner decided to get out of the wrestling business, that WCW’s ratings were strong and still beating WWE’s when they went out of business, and that television executives didn’t have anything to do with Nitro and Thunder getting canned and the company going out of business. Kids. *Shakes head.*
Anyways, let’s Cross The Line, shall we?
Note: I was going to use tweets during this review like I do for RAW, but because it took me 10 hours to actually get a copy of the show, that plan is out the window. Next week I have a plan to get tweets into both, but thanks to @robbyfischer @enigmaticbryce @PrettySlimMont @Rage_Grenade @TKeep123 and @GrappleFanPudge for trying to contribute with the #BWF and #BWFTNA tags on twitter!
Hulk Hogan and Abyss make their way out to kick off this brand new era in TNA Wrestling. This show actually kinda feels special watching it. You can tell it’s a small arena (the Impact Zone in Orlando), but that gives it a really cool feel as opposed to the huge arenas WWE plays to. Anyways, Hogan says that it’s time to cut the clowning. We’re live, and it’s time to take care of business. For Ric Flair and AJ Styles, Hogan and Abyss are judge, jury, and executioner. Hogan’s planning on taking TNA to infinity and beyond (Yay for Disney references!). They left Hogan and Abyss in pools of their own blood, and that makes this TNA’s reckoning day (Hey, isn’t that the name of the ESW show I just attended last weekend?). So Flair and Styles, bring your asses down to the ring, and let’s get this over with.
Get ready to fly…
AJ Styles has a Flair inspired robe, complete with Styles’ trademark hood. Flair is wearing the robe he wore the last time he wrestled in Buffalo. The second Ric Flair steps in that ring as part of this match, I’m going to lose all respect for him, particularly since I was there when he faced Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 in what should have been his last match.
Hulk Hogan & Abyss vs. Ric Flair and AJ Styles
Abyss is rocking a red and yellow anarchy symbol on his back as he kicks things off with AJ Styles. Flair tags into the match and locks up with Abyss – and I totally lose every last bit of respect I have for the man Ric Flair. Flair nails a low blow on Abyss, and Styles uses his robe to choke out The Monster. Hogan gets involved and gets a Pele kick for his trouble. The heels start stomping away on team Red and Yellow, but then the lights go out. Sting has arrived. The Icon looks across the ring at Flair and Styles, then turns around to nail Abyss and Hogan with his trademark black bat. AJ retrieves a chair from ringside and nails Abyss with it after another shot with the bat. Flair nails Hogan with the chair. Flair and Styles continue the assault, leaving Hogan a bloody mess in the ring when security finally arrives to break things up. Hogan grabs a mic and says that this ain’t over. They’ll finish this before the night’s over. Flair keeps changing the rules, Hogan’s going to keep changing the game – later tonight it’s no disqualification, brother!
Brother Count from @BrotherMeter on Twitter: 6
To The Back!: Dixie Carter questions Sting, who grabs her by the throat and pushes her up against the wall, telling her that he owes her nothing.
To The Back!: Jeremy Borash is standing by with AJ Styles and Ric Flair. Styles says there’s no do-overs in pro wrestling, but they’ll beat up Hogan and Abyss again. Flair says Sting has finally seen the light. He hasn’t even started yet. If he’s coming out of retirement, he’s going to make a statement. Wanna restart? Flair and Styles will finish the job.
To The Back!: Abyss wants to know “WHY STING? WHY!?”
To The Back!: Brooke Hogan and Hulk’s girlfriend Jennifer are taking up TV time for some reason.
Kaz is in the ring, and he says that he had a lot of doubt two years ago when he left TNA, but after a lot of soul searching, that doubt is gone. The reason he came back is to re-ignite the flame of the X-Division. The way he sees it, if TNA is going to war, then let the warriors of the X-Division lead them into battle.
Daniels interrupts, and he wants to make one thing clear – he does not like Julia Roberts movies. Oh no, that’s not it. It’s that if anybody leads TNA into battle, it’s the guy who was X-Division for 10 years before it even meant anything, the longest reigning X-Division Champion of all time, Christopher Daniels. Tonight, he’ll tell the world that he’ll carry the X-Division to the highest of heights, because he is X.
Doug Williams calls them two geezers, spouting off like two Super Heroes come to save the X-Division. The funny part of that? Both Daniels and Kazarian have portrayed Suicide. Anyways, Williams feels as though the X-Division doesn’t need saving, because he’s the X-Division Champion. Kazarian wants to know where Williams was when he and Daniels were building up the X-Division. Daniels says Kaz didn’t do anything. Kaz says Daniels is just a selfish prick.
Eric Bischoff interrupts the proceedings. He was excited to join TNA because of the X-Division. He says he’ll make it run bigger, faster, and stronger. We can only imagine what that’ll mean. Anyways, Kazarian is going to get his X-Division Championship match. It’s going to be a Triple-Threat match with Daniels involved as well. Oh, and it starts… RIGHTNOW!
Doug Williams def. Kazarian & Daniels to retain the TNA X-Division Championship
This match is a series of near falls and awesome spots that really define the no-limits X-Division. It’s one of those matches that you just have to kick back and watch, mostly for Daniels and Kazarian, but Williams is no slouch in here either. Kaz moves out of the way of a BME from Daniels, but gets squashed in the corner when Williams nailed Daniels with the Chaos Theory for the victory!
After the match, Shannon Moore shows up and attacks Williams, motioning that he’s coming for the title. Eric Bischoff confirms as much – Moore vs. Williams is booked for Destination X
To The Back!: JB is standing by with Dixie Carter. She’s glad Sting resigned with TNA Wrestling, and as such, he’s in a match tonight. JB asks who his opponent is. Dixie says Sting will find out when everybody else does.
We come back to see the seldom seen combination of Taylor Wilde and Sarita. Awesome Kong and Hamata have been stripped of the Knockouts Tag Team Championships for not defending the titles within 30 days. They’ll be in a Triple Thread match for the titles. Their first set of opponents are Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne, The Beautiful People. The others are Tara and Angelina Love…
The Beautiful People def. Taylor Wilde & Sarita and Tara & Angelina Love to win the vacant TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championships
Sarita and Wilde try to steal one right away when Love goes straight after The Beautiful People. It’s a clusterf**k of a match, but Daffney interfered, hitting Tara with the Knockouts Championship belt to allow The Beautiful People to pick up the victory.
To The Back!: Pope tells Christy Hemme he’d like to be the pendant hanging from her chain. He starts talking about Desmond Wolfe, who comes in and attacks his injured leg with a chain.
Sting is heading down the stairs. Taz asks Tenay what he was doing at 4:20 today.
To The Back!: JB celebrates with The Beautiful People.
Taz and Tenay are shocked at Sting’s actions from earlier tonight. Speaking of The Icon, he’s on his way to the ring and set for action – but against who (*points to shoulders three times*)? Some music that doesn’t quite fit the guy hits, and the screen reads “RVD.”
Rob Van Dam def. Sting
RVD came out from the crowd, hit a kick off the top rope followed by a Rolling Thunder, and picks up the extremely quick victory in his TNA debut.
Following the match, Sting assaults Van Dam with his baseball bat. Referees come out to reprimand Sting, but he shoves one of them down, then attacks Van Dam again. More referees try to calm Sting down, and a pair of them get dropped with the baseball bat. Sting heads back down to the ring, and Van Dam tries to come after him, but can’t. Hulk Hogan’s music hits, and he comes out. Bubba The Love Sponge, who is still employed here for some reason, tries to hold Hogan back, but Hogan won’t have any of it. Sting nails Van Dam with the bat a couple more times, enraging Hogan, but security is holding him back. Hogan finally gets to the ring, but Security won’t let him in. Sting nails Van Dam again, and then nails Hogan. Security helps Hogan back up the ramp. Sting follows, and decks Hogan with the bat again.
Brother Count from @BrotherMeter: Hulk Hogan said “brother” 3 times in that segment (off mic). 9 total “brothers” so far.
Kevin Nash is here with Eric Young, and he’s pissed (to borrow a line from another review I read, and with apologies to the writer, whom is also a writer on this site, Nash and Young are here, but where are Crosby and Stills?). Hulk Hogan gave him something earlier today – it’s a contract that says that Hall and Waltman will be allowed in the building to face Nash and Young at Destination X. Nash knows they’re here tonight. Come on out.
Nash and Young are still waiting. Nash wants to know where they are, and the fans tell him in chant form that “Hall is Wasted!” Hall and Waltman finally make their way through the crowd and into the ring as it fills with security. Hall says “Hey Yo.” He calls Nash a sellout. He says that Hogan ain’t running the “shizzow.” He and Pac wanted into TNA because it was starting to get cool. Their lawyer tells them that if they do Destination X, they’ll be helping make money for all the boys on the show. They want in on the big bucks. Hall tells Nash that they need big money contracts if they’re going to be wrestling. Nash says he can’t do that. Hall asks what Eric Bischoff thinks. Eric Bischoff appears on the big screen and says that if Hall and Waltman can beat Nash and Young at Destination X, they get the big money contracts. If they lose, they ride off into the sunset, do whatever it is they do, but do it somewhere else. Syxx Pac tells him it’s a deal. Hall says it’s a Dealdo. Nash says he’ll see them at the PPV. Hall says he’ll be the one who looks like Elvis. Nash asks “alive or dead?” Syxx slaps Young. Young attacks Syxx. Hall and Nash stand in opposite corners while Pac and Young brawl. Eric Bischoff says for security to get Nash and Hall away from ringside, we’ve got a match between Young and Pac. Young’s got a license to kill, and Bischoff wants him to slap the hell out of Waltman’s bitch ass.
Eric Young def. Syxx Pac
Young picks up the win in a quick match, nailing Syxx with the piledriver for the pinfall.
A U.S. Army Humvee shows up backstage and a number of soldiers step out.
The Army soldiers invade the iMPACT! Zone, and line both sides of the aisle. Kurt Angle is dressed to the nines and he walks to the ring between the two rows of soldiers. The soldiers surround the ring, and Angle says that he’s brought a few of his closest friends with him tonight. Mr. Anderson, these are the men and woman who sacrifice everything to fight for our country. Mr. Anderson, these are the men and women who choose to leave their families and loved ones behind to stand up for what we believe in. Mr. Anderson no longer exists -our enemy now is the one called Neo. Angle says that winning a gold medal is nothing compared to what these soldiers do for our company. It’s his duty to serve and protect these soldiers when bitches like Mr. Anderson degrade them. Angle’s learned that you don’t mess with an American soldier, and Anderson will find out why at Destination X, when Angle kicks his ass all over the iMPACT Zone.
Mr. Anderson is backstage in the interview area. He says it’s not about Angle or the high school dropouts out there with him. Angle attacks him backstage, and beats him all the way to the ring. Anderson nails Angle with the tag he stole from Angle a couple weeks ago, and I realize that Anderson is wearing the EXACT SAME SHIRT I AM. The troops stop his escape, and Angle gets ahold of him. He tosses them out to the soldiers and let them get some licks in. Angle nails an Angle slam, then stands over Mr. Anderson with an American flag in hand. The soldiers rush the ring and hold Angle up on their soldiers. This was an AWESOME segment to watch.
To The Back!: Bubba The Love Sponge is trying to talk Hogan out of his match later tonight. Hogan is having none of it. Earl Hebner comes in and asks for a second chance. Hogan doesn’t want to hear it, but Bubba The Love Sponge talks Hogan into it. Hogan tells Bubba to let it go and leave things be. He tells Hebner that if things get out of control to stop the match tonight.
Brother Count from our brother @BrotherMeter on twitter: 5 “Brothers” in that segment, bringing our total to 14 so far tonight.
We get a rundown of the Destination X card.
To The Back!: Jeff Jarrett asks James Storm if Beer Money were forced into the handicapped match they have coming up. Storm says they volunteered. Jarret protests, and Storm tells him “Sorry about your damned luck.” Jarrett shoves Storm, but Roode attacks him from behind.
Beer Money are beating Jarrett down on the outside when we come back. They get him in the ring and the bell rings.
Beer Money def. Jeff Jarrett (Mick Foley, guest referee)
It’s all Beer Money Inc. in the early going, but when Storm tries to spit beer in Jarrett’s face, Jarrett ducks and Roode takes the Alcoholic Mist instead. Jarrett takes control of this match for a little bit, but Storm prevents him from getting too much momentum. Foley stops them from attacking Jarrett, then hands Jarrett a barbed wire baseball bat. Referee Slick Johnson runs down and stops him from using it. Foley chases Johnson, Roode hits a low blow on Jarrett, and Beer Money hit the Drinking While Investing for the victory.
To The Back!: Abyss is trying to convince Hogan to let him start the match when Brooke Hogan comes in, and she tries to convince him not to go out and wrestle. He tells her he’ll be ok. She pleads with him to not wrestle again after this. He promises this is the last one.
Brother Count from our brother @BrotherMeter on twitter – two “Brothers” in that segment, bringing the total to 16.
Our main event of the evening is sponsored by Rent A Center.
Ric Flair and AJ Styles make their way back to the ring first, once again dressed in their fancy robes. Hogan and Abyss come down, and we’re set for no disqualification tag team main event action!
Hulk Hogan & Abyss def. AJ Styles & Ric Flair
Hogan and Flair kick things off, and Hogan gets to the advantage, bloodying Flair on the outside. Flair tries to fight back with chops, but Hogan no sells them. Brooke is excited that her dad is beating the crap out of a guy even older than he is. Abyss attacks Flair on the outside, then tosses him in to Hogan, who whips Flair with his belt. That’s what I tuned in for – a 56 year old man whipping a 61 year old man with a belt. Flair hits a low blow to finally cause some separation, and gets the tag in to Styles. Styles works over Hogan, much to the disappointment of Brooke. Flair is tagged back in, and he gets a few shots in on a re-bloodied Hogan before tagging AJ Styles back in. Flair and Styles utilize frequent tags and keep Hogan in their half of the ring – but when Flair goes to the top rope, Hogan catches him and tosses him down. Flair gets the tag to Styles, then Hogan gets the hot tag to Abyss, who turns the tide. He goes for a double chokeslam, but Styles and Flair fight out. It doesn’t make a difference though, Abyss overpowers both of them, then delivers individual chokeslams to each of his opponents. Things go crazy, and Hogan winds up outside of the ring with Flair, and Abyss with Styles inside. All four men quickly wind up in the ring, and Abyss and Hogan Hulk Up simultaneously. They both nail big boots, and Hogan whips Styles into Abyss, who delivers a black hole slam to the TNA Champion before pinning him.
Desmond Wolfe attacks Hogan and Abyss from behind after the match. The Pope runs in to make the save, and does a decent job before Styles goes after the leg of Pope. Jeff Hardy rushes the ring, and he takes out all three heels. He nails a Twist of Fate on Styles and climbs to the top rope – and TNA fades to black.
Brother Count: @BrotherMeter heard one “Brother” during the match. The official total for the night is 17.
My thoughts: Ok, ok, it wasn’t a terrible show. I actually kind of enjoyed it, but it didn’t feel like TNA to me. It felt like – and I’m not knocking the product or being cynical here, I honestly believe this – it felt like Nitro. Hell, we even went off the air when shit was still going on. I’m sure that was to get people to head over to the website and catch the post-show, but still. I think they put on a pretty good show, but I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
I’ll see you guys later tonight for WWE NXT!
Like this post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed today and never miss another!