Written by: Bob Colling
Total Non-Stop Action presents Impact
From: Orlando, FL
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with Brother Runt to cut a promo. Runt says that Abyss messed up by allowing him to live. Runt wants Abyss in a 10,000 thumbtack match. Runt slams his head against a truck and looks up to see Raven laughing.
Shane Douglas is in the ring and says he told TNA that he’d take the Naturals back to the top of the mountain and accomplished that. Douglas says that Chase Stevens proved that they showed they could get the job done. Douglas asks if the fans think it is time for the Naturals to win the tag titles. Douglas introduces the newly franchised Naturals.
Opening Contest: The Naturals vs. Alex Shelley & Johnny Devine: Stevens punches Devine and Devine acts like he got knocked out. All four men are in the ring brawling in the opening moments. Naturals holds onto the ropes to avoid being sent to the floor and double team Shelley sending Shelley to the floor. Douglas drives Devine down onto Stevens knee as the show goes to commercial. Devine has managed to gain control on Douglas with strikes in the corner. Shelley sends Douglas into the guard railing back first. Devine decks Douglas with a few strikes. Douglas tries to fight out of the corner, but Shelley stops him. Devine continues to uppercut Douglas in the corner followed by a snap suplex. Devine misses a top rope moonsault. Douglas tags in Stevens and Stevens cleans house with strikes. Stevens backdrops Devine followed by a forearm smash. Devine is met with a leaping shoulder block by the Naturals. Stevens tries to powerbomb Devine, but is kicked by Shelley. Devine manages to get a rollup on Stevens and wins the match! (*1/4. Well, that is quite the upset and interesting booking decision for the Naturals. They just became the number one contenders and now suffer a clean loss to a lower level tag team. I’m wondering if TNA has gotten cold feet in pushing the Naturals. It seems as if the Naturals aren’t getting a strong face reaction. It does seem they may be miscast with Douglas in face roles instead of a heel role.) After the match, Douglas berates the Naturals. Douglas tells them they don’t deserve a tag title match and says they are going back to the bottom. So, they are not the number one contenders anymore?
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with America’s Most Wanted. Chris Harris says they need to get their stuff together and figure out if they are on the same page. Harris tells Storm that if he wants to end it then end it right now. Storm doesn’t like what’s going on right now either. Harris is not going to settle for being at the bottom. Harris wants to know if Storm wants to do it and they share a beer to show unity.
Christian Cage makes his way down to the ring to cut a promo regarding his recent actions at Hard Justice. Cage has a chair in the ring and sits down as the fans let Cage know how they feel. Cage says that Sting lied to all the fans when he said he’d be the NWA World Champion. Cage notes that Sting is a man of faith and God. Cage believes that he is God. Cage is cutoff by Rhino and Rhino runs into the ring to confront Cage. Rhino says that Cage has only been talking and he’s sick of the talking. Rhino wants an answer to his question at Hard Justice. Cage mocks the idea that Rhino and Sting are best friends. Cage reminds Rhino about the time when Rhino nearly ended his career due to a neck injury. Cage was the guy that was there for Rhino during the process to come back from his neck injury. Cage reminds Rhino about the time when Rhino’s wife threatened to leave and go back to Germany with their child. Cage says he was there for Rhino and not Sting. Cage gives Rhino a chair and will turn his back to allow Rhino the opportunity to hit him over the back. Cage turns around and Rhino seems like he’s about to do it. Cage asks Rhino if this is about Sting or is this because Cage has a better lifestyle than Rhino. Cage wonders if Rhino is mad that he’s a bigger star. Rhino spins Cage around and throws the chair down. Cage knew that Rhino wouldn’t do it and says he’s the only one with a set of balls. Rhino tells Cage he doesn’t need a chair to kick Cage’s ass. Rhino pummels Cage with right hands and backdrops Cage! Rhino waits in the corner and loos for the Gore, but Cage smashes Rhino with the chair. Rhino has been busted wide open. Cage whacks Rhino over the head with another chair shot. Cage goes to the crowd and grabs another chair. Cage continues his attack by laying Rhino’s head onto the chair and smashes Rhino’s head with another chair! Cage stands over Rhino holding the chair into the air.
A video highlighting Earl Hebner getting fired by since then attacking Slick Johnson. Hebner is acting as if he’s homeless. Hebner has said that he’s going to take Jarrett and Zbyszko down with him.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with Larry Zbyszko. Zbyszko says that Hebner has flipped because he doesn’t have a job. Zbyszko denies any involvement with any of the rumors. Zbyszko tells Borash that Slick Johnson should be fired and Eric Young enters the scene. Zbyszko says that Young has a match next week and if he loses then he might as well get ready to leave.
Second Contest: Abyss vs. Cassidy Riley: As you’d expect, Abyss has zero issue with Riley. Abyss tosses Riley overhead with a suplex. James Mitchell dumps tacks on the announcers table while taunting Brother Runt. Abyss gets the signal from Mitchell and finishes Riley off with the Black Hole Slam for the win. After the match, Abyss punches tacks on the mat.
A vignette promoting “A Starr Is Born” is shown.
Sting accepts the offer to put his career on the line against Jeff Jarrett’s NWA World Championship. It’s interesting that Sting did this with a pre-tape promo.
NWA World Champion Jeff Jarrett comes down to the announcers table. Jarrett asks if he heard Mike Tenay correctly. Jarrett says all he has to do is sign the contract for Bound For Glory. Jarrett says they are going to do a public execution next week and takes the contract.
Main Event: NWA Tag Team Champions Christopher Daniels & AJ Styles vs. LAX in a Border Brawl: Styles and Daniels are wrestling in street clothes and they go right after LAX. Styles and Homicide go to the floor and Daniels sends Hernandez into the railing. Styles plants Homicide with a spinebuster on the ramp. Daniels chokes Hernandez with a chain. Hernandez sends Daniels into the wall. Styles drops Homicide over the guard railing chest first. Daniels leaps off the balcony and hits a crossbody on Hernandez. Daniels jabs Hernandez with a chair to the midsection. Styles kicks Homicide and Daniels heel kicks Hernandez. Styles sends Homicide into the railing again. Daniels chokes Hernandez over the middle rope. Hernandez plants Daniels with an over the shoulder backbreaker. Homicide works over Daniels in the corner with right hands. Styles has been busted open on the floor as Homicide continues to beat on Styles. Daniels connects with a tilt a whirl backbreaker on Homicide and jabs Hernandez with a chair shot. Daniels leaps off a chair and is dropped face first onto the chair by Hernandez. Homicide knee drops Daniels and Hernandez slides a table into the ring. Daniels has had his cut reopen at this point, as well. Homicide smashes Styles with a chair. Styles fires back with strikes on Homicide and clotheslines Hernandez. Styles kicks Hernandez over the top to the floor. Homicide tosses Styles with a t-bone suplex. Daniels plants Homicide with an STO. Styles takes Hernandez out with a somersault dive to the floor. Homicide stops Daniels on the top rope with right hands. Homicide sits Daniels on the top rope, but Daniels fights Homicide off. Daniels is hit by Konnan with a slapjack. Homicide puts Daniels through the table with a ace cutter off the middle rope to win the titles! (***1/2. There was some good intensity between these two teams and it’s the right call to put the titles on LAX. I understand there weren’t any rules, but I would have loved if Konnan didn’t get involved leading to the finish. If LAX were just more ruthless to win it would have gone over a lot better than needing help by their manager. I’m looking forward to more matches between these two teams.)
A good episode of Impact this week as there was a focus on Cage/Rhino feud that is clearly been setup for the next PPV. LAX as the new tag champs made for a really good main event. I’d imagine there’s a rematch at the next PPV. I’m not sure who could be the next challenging team with the Naturals shifting down the card. Impact’s run of good shows continue.
Thanks for reading.