TNA iMPACT! 3/10/11
March 10th, 2011
Cumberland County Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina
"The Return of the Icon"
March 10th, 2011
Cumberland County Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina
"The Return of the Icon"
Last week on iMPACT! we saw the return of the Icon, Sting who promptly defeated Jeff Hardy to become the NEW TNA World champion. What will Sting have to say tonight? Let's tune in and see. Tonight's show has also been taped in Fayetteville, North Carolina in front of over 3500 fans just like last week's show, so at the very least things should look good aesthetically tonight.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We open the show with our new TNA World champion, Sting, making his way down to ringside. He grabs the mic and says he feels like he's accomplished a lot in his life, but that he couldn't have done it without the fans. He says he hopes that one day Jeff Hardy will give back to the fans what they've given to him, and without another word being said Immortal's music hits and out come Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Hogan grabs a mic and talks about the history between him and Sting. He says the TNA fans don't need him to be their hero, because they have Hogan. Sting responds by saying he's not going anywhere, and suddenly Mr. Anderson's music hits. Anderson makes his way down to the ring now and grabs a mic and starts whining again for his title rematch. Anderson just sounds like a whining asshole at this point, roughly the exact opposite of the Austin-esque tweener they're trying to book him as. Anderson literally sounds like a child here, yelling "ME ME ME MINE MINE MINE" like an autistic child unwilling to share his toys. Before he can get far though Jeff Hardy's music hits and he makes his way out to the ring now. And of course before Jeff can say more than a couple of words, RVD's music hits and now HE comes down to the ring. RVD reminds everyone that he never lost the title, but was stripped of it because of the whole Immortal conspiracy. Nice to see you remember your hunt for the title Rob. So of course Bischoff books Sting vs. Hardy for the title at Victory Road as well as a tag team match for our main vent pitting Sting and RVD against Hardy and Anderson
Backstage we see Angelina from Jersey Shore with Cookie and Sarita, who confronts the Beautifl People and Winter. Winter scares them off and we cut to commercial.
Samoa Joe vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero
Why again do we have to see these two wrestle almost every single week? Usually you save the blowoff for the PPV, but these two wrestle almost every week it seems. Pope sneaks up on Joe from behind and we're off. Joe starts laying big chops into Pope in the corner. Pope tries to escape but eats more big right hands from Joe. Pope comes back with a bigright hand of his own and then starts laying in shots. Big powerslam from Joe gets a quick two count. Pope begs for mercy but just gets slapped in the face anyways. Big clothesline gets Pope a quick two count of his own though. Pope exposes one of the metal turnbuckles in the corner now and then tries to send Joe into it, but Joe reverses with a beautiful over-the-head belly to belly suplex. He tries for the muscle buster to finish but Pope hits him with a chain while the ref is trying to fix the turnbuckle, and Pope gets the cheap win at 3:24. Not bad actually, this was pretty fast-paced for such a short match and could have actually been pretty decent if given some time. *½
Backstage we see Bully Ray who threatens the camera man and then starts talking trash about Tommy Dreamer sticking his nose in Team 3D's business. Ray tells the cameraman to tell Dreamer to meet him out in the parking lot, presumably for a fight.
When we return from the commercial break Madison Rayne and Tara make their way out to the ring, both looking damn fine if I do say so myself. Madison grabs a mic and throws out another open challenge, which is promptly answered by...Roxxi? We haven't seen her in what, a year? Who knows, let's get to the matchj.
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Madison Rayne (C) vs. Roxxi
Madison dominates to start with big knees to Roxxi's face. Roxxi tries the comeback with big forearms but gets knocked into the ropes and slammed back to the mat by Rayne. Quick rollup gets Roxxi a two count. Rayne then hits the Rayne Drop and Roxxi's done at 1:33. After the match Rayne continues the beatdown but Mickie James comes out and makes the save in all of her jiggling glory. Pretty much the same match we've seen 20 times with Rayne now where she quickly buries some KO division veteran. ¼*
We cut to backstage where Tommy Dreamer answers Bully Ray's challenge and makes his way out to the parking lot. He waits for Ray as we take a commercial break. When we return Ray is waiting in the parking lot for Dreamer, but instead it's Brother Devon who attacks him. This goes on for an absurd amount of time, Devon screaming nonsensically about his children all the while. Devon pulls out a fucking SLEDGEHAMMER and finally Dreamer comes over to stop the fight, telling Devon he'll go to jail if he does this. I may hate this feud with all of my being, but atleast they've booked it well thus far. Kind of sad when your best booked feud on the show involves two guys as irrelevant and past their prime as Team 3D. A security guard goes to check up on Ray and he beats the shit out of him, slamming a freaking guardrail on him. Remind me not to try and ever open the door or something for Ray if I ever meet him.
Sarita/Cookie/Angelina vs. Angelina Love/Velvet Sky/Winter
Oh great, it's time for the Jersey Shore bitch to waste more TV time. Glad to know TNA gives this chick 7 grand per appearance while the rest of the KO Division are lucky to get a few hundred bucks per appearance, really lets your employees know how much their valued. Let's make this quick ladies, please. Velvet and Angelina start us off. The sad thing here is that Angelina doesn't even look worse in the ring than alot of the current Knockouts do. Things break down and all 6 women start fighting. I try to pass the time by staring at Velvet's ass, but then here comes Robbie E to ruin that. He holds Velvet while Cookie and Angelina argue about who gets the cheap shot, but Winter makes the save and BITES Robbie E's hand. Well Winter just got over with me. Velvet rolls up Angelina and thats enough for the pin to end it at 1:52. After the match Velvet spanks her own barely-covered ass to try and make up for the abomination we just saw. That was beyond awful, that match may have actually shortened my life expectancy infact. I wish there was a lower rating for me to give that other than DUD.
After a quick commercial break we recap the events on iMPACT! last week where Bart Scott of the New York Jets attacked Kurt Angle. This actually got them some decent publicity, so it's nowhere near as bad as the Jersey Shore shit atleast. Afterwards we cut to Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy in Bischoff and Hogan's office, where they argue like children about how they don't like eachother. My, how ever will they work together in our main event?!
Ric Flair and Matt Hardy come out now, as apparently we're going to have both Flair and Matt against AJ in a street fight? That's what's been announced atleast. They call out Styles and he comes out in street clothes, ready to fight. So this is apparently either a handicap match or a triple threat, don't ask me which because they haven't made that clear at all. We'll just call it a handicap match.
Street Fight Match
AJ Styles vs. Ric Flair vs. Matt Hardy
So how long do you reckon before Flair blades? 2, 3 minutes? AJ dominates to start, beating down Matt around the ring while Flair hangs out at ringside. Okay so Tenay confirms this is a triple threat match, but that it's "virtually" a handicap match because Flair and Hardy are stablemates. Why the fuck not just make it a handicap match then? Hardy gets a cheapshot and Flair comes in and tries to drop an elbow but misses. AJ sends Matt outside and then hits Flair with a big enziguri and then locks on the figure four on Flair. Matt breaks it up with a big legdrop off the top though and gets a quick two count. The action spills to the outside now as all three men brawl around the ring and YEP, Flair has bladed already! Look at that, exactly 2-3 minutes into the match and Flair blades, exactly as I predicted. It's just depressing watching what Flair has become at this point. Hardy sends Styles into the ring steps and then throws him back in the ring and pulls out a ladder to a big pop. Matt slams the ladder into AJ's sternum while a bloody Flair screams on the ring apron, blood pouring down his shirt in grotesque fashion. Matt tries for the Twist of Hate but Styles tosses him into the ladder. Flair comes back in and starts laying in a few weak chops. Matt hits the Side Effect, but Styles kicks out at two. Styles fights both men off and hits Matt with the pele kick. Flair comes up from behind and gives him a low blow though and Matt hits the Twist of Hate on a steel chair, letting Flair get the pin to end it at 5:56 (shown). This was pretty bad, but they got a few decent looking parts in and watching Flair blade and stumble around like a drunken vagabond is always entertaining in it's own sick kind of way. *½
Ink Inc. vs. Generation Me
Hey, look, the Young Bucks/Gen Me are still employed! Glad to see them using one of the best heel tag teams in the business today so well (note my sarcasm). Ink Inc have actually been improving as a team though, so this should be pretty good. Beer Money comes out to join the commentary table and we're off. Jesse and Jeremy start us off, trading armdrags. Shannon tags in and hits a big quebrada. Jeremy comes back with a slingshot facebuster and then tags his brother Max in. He tries a cover and only gets 2, so he tags Jeremy back in who hits a springboard dropkick for another two count. Gen Me are trading quick tags here, trying to isolate Shannon. Eventually Shannon gets the hot tag to Jesse who cleans house quickly. Nice cross-body from the second rope gets Jesse a two count, but Jeremy breaks it up. He eats a unique facebuster from Jesse but this gives Max enough time to get a cheap shot on Jesse. Max tries to catapult his brother Jeremy up to Jesse who's sitting on the top turnbuckle, but Jesse just spears him in mid-air! That's a neat little spot. Shannon tosses Max to the outside and Ink Inc finishes Jeremy off with a double-team Death Valley Driver combo at 4:16. Now that's more like it, this was short and fun and gives Ink Inc some momentum for their title match at the PPV. Good stuff, give them a few more minutes and this could have been great even. **¼
After the match we cut backstage to Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy in the locker room. Jeff wants to know if Anderson is going to turn on him tonight. After a quick commercial break we return to see The Pope backstage, saying he's sick of fighting Joe. So sick infact that he challenges Joe to a match at Victory Road.
We recap last week's wedding vows debacle, which ended with the hilarious image of an axe-wielding Kurt Angle smiling in the ring like he just saw his child take his/her's first steps. Backstage Jeff and Karen discuss their honeymoon and afterwards we get a nice little promo for the X Division and Kazarian. I sincerely hope they're serious about making the X-Division important again, but I don't believe for a damn second they actually are. We rundown the lineup for this Sunday's PPV and then cut backstage to Jeremy Borash and Sting. Sting says it's showtime, and then Anderson attacks him from behind, yelling about his title shot still.
Sting/Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy/Mr. Anderson
So Cal Val does the ring intros for some reason, which just sounds weird. Anderson attacks RVD to start while Sting is nowhere to be found, thanks to Anderson. I'm sorry, I know Anderson is supposed to be a tweener, but having him take out Sting, one of the most over guys on the roster, does nothing good for his character at all. "We Want Sting!" chants start as RVD gets a quick near fall on Anderson. He tries for the monkey flip but Anderson counters and "tags" Jeff Hardy in by slapping him across the face. RVD uses his legs to rollup Jeff for a quick pin attempt but Hardy kicks out at two and "tags" Anderson in with a right hand of his own. Jeff hits the Twist of Hate suddenly out of nowhere, but before he can make the pin attempt Anderson knocks Hardy down. The lights go out and Sting's music hits and when they come back on Sting is in the ring. He gives Anderson the Scorpion Death Drop and then RVD hits Anderson with the Five Star Frog Splash and gets the pin on him at 4:28. Not awful for a quick main event, but I have no idea why they're doing everything in their power to bury Anderson with the fans and in the ring. *
We go off the air with RVD and Sting facing off. Just a reminder, these two guys are not facing each other this Sunday.
Bottom Line: Much better show this week than the last two, as they tried to just focus on building up for this Sunday's PPV, and they did a decent job at that. Well, aside from waiting until 3 days before your PPV to announce half the card and main event. We cut down on the painful soap opera-esque segments though and the wrestling was better overall than last week, even with that abomination of a six woman's tag match. There's nothing here that you necessarily need to see, but for a go-home show I've seen worse. If we had a match break the *** range I'd give the show the Thumbs Up pretty easily, but again without any matches worth checking out I can't rightfully recommend the show, so we'll go with a Thumbs in the Middle. Definitely an improvement over the last few shows though.