Written by: Bob Colling
Total Non-Stop Action presents Impact
From: Orlando, FL
This is TNA’s return to Thursday nights after the failed experiment on Monday’s against RAW.
A video package highlighting the recent issues between Sting and Hogan is highlighted. Hogan has claimed that Sting has changed and asks what is up with him. The video highlights what was seen last week, as well.
Eric Bischoff makes his way out to begin the program to cut a promo in the ring. Bischoff says it’s been too long since he’s been in the ring and loves the TNA fans. Bischoff wants to introduce the champion and brings out TNA World Champion Rob Van Dam to join him. Bischoff says that half a million people voted about the top ten poll. Bischoff says that Jeff Hardy is a top name on the poll. Bischoff wants to book a match between RVD and Jeff Hardy. The fans love that idea, but there’s a problem. Bischoff can’t get ahold of Hardy and decides to give RVD the night off. RVD is enjoying being the champion and wants to defend the title to prove that he’s the best. RVD doesn’t want a day off and wants to pop ratings for the company.
AJ Styles makes his way out to join the segment. Styles enters the ring and tells RVD to watch his mouth since there are children in the crowd and needs to be a role model like himself. Styles suggests Bischoff not say a word. Styles is in the mood to hurt somebody tonight. Styles dismisses the thought that the fans came to see RVD. Styles believes the crowd came to see him. Styles is TNA and the fans didn’t come to see a Cheech and Chong sideshow like RVD. Styles wants a singles match with RVD tonight. Styles mentions that he has RVD at Sacrifice in three days, but Styles wants to break RVD’s legs tonight and at the PPV not break a sweat to win the title.
Jeff Hardy makes his way out and joins the segment proving that he’s not that hard to find. Hardy apologies for being late and is trying to get the 8pm call time figured out. Hardy is ready for his match tonight, but Styles doesn’t like the sound of that. Styles tells Hardy to paint a picture because a match has been made already. Hardy suggests they make it a three way match. Styles says no, but RVD says sure and the match is made by Bischoff for tonight. Styles grabs Bischoff by his jacket, but backs off after a brief argument.
Backstage, Jermey Borash is with TNA Knockout Champion Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich. Rayne says that Tara needs to accept that she’s the champion now. Rayne wants to run with the ball and she’s going to prove she deserves the title. Sky chimes in saying all the gold will stay with them. Sky says that Tara will be another victim of them. Lacey runs off because she has to pee.
Opening Contest: Taylor Wilde vs. Tara: Wilde takes Tara down with right hands on the mat causing Tara to bail to the floor. Wilde leaps off the apron onto Tara on the floor. Tara misses a strike in the ring and Wilde hits a heel kick. Tara sends Wilde through the middle rope to the ramp. Tara slams Wilde face first onto the ramp, but misses a somersault leg drop into the ring. Wilde misses a springboard crossbody and is kicked in the gut. Tara covers and wins the match. (1/2*. That seemed like an abrupt finish.) After the match, Tara beats on Wilde with her knee brace with strikes to the ribs. Sarita runs into the ring to make the save.
Backstage, security and Desmond Wolfe are comforting Chelsea, who is emotional. Wolfe claims that Chelsea was assaulted. After a break, Christy Hemme is revealing that Chelsea is claiming to have been attacked in an unknown location.
Prior to the next match, Douglas Williams tells Kendrick that their match is a non-title match. Williams isn’t the X-Division Champion.
Second Contest: Doug Williams vs. Brian Kendrick: Williams shoves off Kendrick and delivers a few uppercuts a knee strike in the corner. Williams takes Kendrick over with a snap suplex. Williams elbows Kendrick coming off the ropes followed by a knee drop. Kendrick kicks Williams a few times followed by a forearm smash for a two count. Williams pulls Kendrick down from the floor and works over the left knee with a DDT to the leg. Williams puts a half Boston Crab on Kendrick. Kazarian leaves the commentary table to regain his championship. Kendrick manages to get a rollup from behind and wins the match. (*. For the most part there was nothing going on here. It’s basic angle advancement for the match between Williams and Kazarian at the PPV.)
Backstage, Hemme walks up to Pat Kenney to get some information. Kenney isn’t going to say anything, but does say he can’t believe what he heard. After a commercial, Hemme has the name, but won’t release the name until the person is in custody. This news will send shockwaves through the business, according to Hemme.
Third Contest: TNA Tag Team Champion Matt Morgan vs. Generation Me in a handicap match: Generation Me go after Morgan, but they are taken down with a double clothesline by Morgan. Morgan plants Max with a swinging slam and a big boot to Jeremy. Morgan gets a microphone and asks if it looks like he’s playing. Morgan wants to know who his partner at Sacrifice will be. Morgan sends Jeremy to the floor and goes for a boot against the post. Instead, Samoa Joe makes his way out. Joe jabs Morgan a few times. Morgan misses a big boot and Joe kicks Morgan from behind. Joe sits Morgan on the top rope hitting the Muscle Buster.
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Eric Young make their way down to the ring with their briefcase. Nash has a TNA World Tag Team Championship match he can cash in. Morgan has been laid out from the Muscle Buster.
Fourth Contest: TNA Tag Team Champion Matt Morgan vs. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash: Nash makes the cover on Morgan and gets the three count to win the tag titles.
Backstage, Shannon Moore is talking to Jesse Neal about Sacrifice and they need to be ready for Hall and Nash. It’s their time now.
Fifth Contest: Team 3D (Ray & Devon) vs. Motor City Machine Guns (Shelley & Sabin) vs. Beer Money Inc. (Roode & Storm) vs. Ink Inc. (Moore & Neal): Shelley and Storm kickoff the four way tag match with Shelley delivering several forearms. Shelley tags in Sabin and Sabin sends Storm to the floor. Sabin takes Storm out with a suicide dive to the floor. Sabin rolls Storm into the ring for a near fall. Storm eye rakes Sabin and Devon tags in while Roode enters. Devon trades punches with Roode until a knee lift by Roode stops that. Roode kicks Devon, but runs into a powerslam for a near fall. Ray tags in and Roode is driven down with a double flapjack. Moore hits a crossbody off the top on Roode for a two count. Roode tosses Moore to the floor where Storm beats on Moore for a few moments. Storm nails Moore with a Codebreaker with help from Roode, but Ray makes the save on the pin attempt. Roode keeps a chin lock on Moore, but doesn’t get a submission. Moore sunset flips Roode for a two count, but Roode comes back with a clothesline for a near fall. Moore hits a wheelbarrow bulldog on Storm and both men are down. Moore kicks Storm away and tags in Neal. Neal knocks Roode down several times followed by a backdrop. Neal plants Roode face first to the mat for a near fall. Ray tags in and clotheslines Beer Money. Neal almost pins Ray with a rollup. Ray is kicked by the Guns. Devon is double teamed by the Guns. Sabin kicks Storm off the apron, but Storm pulls Sabin off the apron to the floor. Shelley takes Storm out on the floor. Ray has Neal on his shoulders allowing Devon to hit a clothesline, but Moore makes the save. Neal prevents the 3D happening to Moore. Moore hits a blockbuster on Ray and Neal spears Ray for the clean win. (*1/2. I’m shocked that Neal got a clean win over Ray. I was not expecting that. The match was okay once the action broke down and there were no tags taking place. I think Ink Inc. is the least likely team to win out of the four going into it. So, naturally they win.)
Backstage, Ric Flair cuts a promo about the three way main event taking place. Flair gives the edge to AJ Styles and notes that he’s been barred from ringside. RVD will limp to Sacrifice because Flair promises that to happen.
Backstage, Rob Van Dam meets with Jeff Hardy in his locker room. Hardy thanks RVD for adding him to the match tonight. RVD says they are doing this for the fans and it’s all about the fans. They are clearly on the same page with mutual respect.
TNA Global Champion Rob Terry is in the ring for the next match, but Abyss doesn’t come out for the match. Instead, we see that Abyss is being arrested backstage. Christy Hemme runs over asking what the charges are. Abyss wants some answers to some questions. Abyss promises that he didn’t assault anyone. Chelsea is clearly accusing Abyss of the assault. Desmond Wolfe runs into the scene and attacks Abyss briefly before security keeps Wolfe away. Hulk Hogan comes over and tells Abyss that everything is okay. Abyss doesn’t want to take his mask off. Hogan removes the mask for Abyss and puts his hood over his head to hide his face. Abyss is put into the back of the cop car and they drive off.
Rob Terry remained in the ring and is attacked by Orlando Jordan from behind. Jordan low blows Terry. Jordan grabs a steel pipe and whacks Terry over the back with it. Jordan puts a wild card on the back of Terry to end the segment.
Orlando Jordan remains in the ring and says it is time to cut the foreplay. Jordan does whatever he wants to do and does that because he’s the wild card of TNA. Jordan issues an open challenge for anyone in the backstage area.
Sixth Contest: Orlando Jordan vs. Tyson Tomko: Tomko drives Jordan into the corner and hits a spinebuster out of the corner. Jordan takes Tomko down to the mat and delivers right hands. Jordan misses a splash in the corner and Tomko hits a fallaway slam out of a press slam position. Tomko is sent chest first into the corner and Jordan hits a dropkick. Jordan keeps control with a headlock on the mat. Tomko elbows free and decks Jordan with a clothesline for a two count. Jordan punches Tomko to hit a backstabber for a two count. Jordan gets a choke on Tomko and wins the match. (1/2*. That was a weird finish that again came out of nowhere. I can get behind a push for Jordan since his character is easily dislikable. Tomko may not have the same body that he did in his first run, but I don’t think he looked too bad here.)
Backstage, Hulk Hogan is sitting at a table saying that Abyss isn’t the kind of guy to do what he’s accused of doing. Lacey Von Erich hands Hogan a phone with footage and waits for a reaction.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff tells Tara she’s wrestling again tonight. Bischoff doesn’t like her attitude. Tara doesn’t seem thrilled about this but heads to the ring anyway.
Seventh Contest: Tara vs. Sarita: Sarita goes after Tara on the ramp and kicks Tara to the floor off the ramp. Sarita tosses Tara into the ring, but Tara rolls to the floor. Sarita sends Tara face first into the ring steps. Sarita dropkicks Tara on the floor before returning to the ring. Sarita clotheslines Tara followed by an elbow strike and a suplex throw. Tara kicks Sarita over the top, but Sarita hits a slingshot splash. Sarita takes off Tara’s knee brace and accidentally elbows the referee. Tara hits Sarita with the knee brace to win the match. (1/2*. I didn’t need to watch Tara wrestle a second time. There wasn’t much going on here at all.) After the match, Tara hits Sarita with her brace a few times.
Main Event: TNA World Champion Rob Van Dam vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy in a non-title match: RVD spin kicks Styles to the mat and Hardy delivers a clothesline. Styles is hip tossed by both men and Hardy scoop slams Styles. RVD hits a spinning leg drop and Hardy gets a two count. Hardy nails RVD with a spinning mule kick to send RVD to the floor. Styles chops Hardy a few times to gain control. Hardy backdrops Styles coming off the ropes for a near fall. RVD kicks Hardy followed by a kick to the jaw. RVD kicks Styles in the corner and takes Hardy over with a vertical suplex. RVD hits a vertical suplex on Styles for a near fall. Hardy plants RVD with a front suplex. Hardy connects with a sit out suplex on Styles followed by a cutter on RVD. Hardy drives Styles down with a neckbreaker to get a near fall on RVD. Styles sends Hardy into corner and dragon screw leg whips RVD. Styles splashes Hardy in the corner. Styles chop blocks RVD coming out of the corner. Styles puts the figure four on RVD, but doesn’t get a submission. Hardy breaks it up with a leg drop on Styles. Hardy heads to the top rope, but Styles crotches Hardy and knocks Hardy to the floor. RVD monkey flips Styles out of the corner. Mr. Anderson appears at ringside and clotheslines Hardy. RVD accidentally kicks the referee and goes to the floor to attack Anderson. Styles takes everyone out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. Styles plants RVD with a DDT on the floor. Styles rolls RVD into the ring and has his feet on the ropes to earn the win. (**. When the match started there was twenty minutes left in the show and I was excited that these guys would get that much time on free TV. Clearly, that was not the case. They went around eight minutes and gave Styles some momentum heading into the PPV, so that’s probably a successful main event. Plus, Anderson and Hardy get some more build. I was just disappointed that I thought this was gonna get twenty minutes.)
Mr. Anderson is quite happy with himself on the ramp while Jeff Hardy has grabbed a microphone. Hardy calls Anderson a circus clown without the makeup and wants a match right now. Anderson decides against getting into the ring.
Hulk Hogan makes his way out and confront Anderson from behind. Hogan blocks a punch and nails Anderson with a right hand. Hardy clotheslines Anderson on the ramp and sends Anderson into the railing. After a commercial, they are still brawling around ringside. Hardy sends Anderson into the railing back first again. Hardy sets a table up by the elevated commentary table area. Hardy goes to the commentary table and leaps off to Swanton bomb Anderson through the table. Anderson has been laid out.
We see footage from a bathroom that Lacey herself recorded on her phone. Desmond Wolfe is seen staging the assault on Chelsea. Wolfe rips Chelsea’s dress and splashes water on her. Chelsea rehearses her lines, but Wolfe helps her with the story.
The show ends with a five minute promo video for Sacrifice.
I’m feeling really indifferent about this show, but I’m leaning towards a thumbs down since it’s the go-home show for a PPV. I do like that Styles pinned RVD to give him that momentum, and the Hardy/Anderson stuff was enjoyable, too. However, outside of that, I didn’t find myself invested in anything. I didn’t like the Abyss/Chelsea/Wolfe assault angle. They should have done that further away from the PPV so they didn’t need blow it off so quickly to assure the PPV match wasn’t in danger. Some poorly timed booking decisions left this a lackluster overall Impact.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.