Written by: Bob Colling
National Wrestling Alliance/Total Non-Stop Action presents Impact
From: Orlando, FL
AJ Styles makes his way out to the ring to cut a promo to begin the program. Styles climbs the steel structure that is Elevation X, which Tenay mentions is Styles creation. Styles walks the platform and cuts his promo up there. Styles reminds everyone who he is. Styles says he’s the most decorated wrestler in TNA history and made Ultimate X famous. Styles introduces Elevation X as his new creation. Two men climb, but there’s only room for one at the top. The other man will fall to the ring. Rhino’s music hits and Rhino makes his way out. Rhino climbs the structure to meet Styles at the top. Styles climbs down the other side to get away. Rhino grabs the microphone and says Styles has ran from him for the last time. Rhino says that the Elevation X will be responsible for the end of Styles career. Rhino accepts the challenge.
Backstage, Team 3D cut a promo about being in a Belting Pot match, which they’ve never been involved in before. Brother Ray knows that they can count on each other and wonders if LAX can count on each other. Steve chimes in and says his father always told him to stick with family. Brother Devon finishes off with his catchphrase.
Opening Contest: NWA Tag Team Champions Homicide & Hernandez vs. Team 3D in a non-title lumberjack match with belts: Homicide and Devon start the match with Devon hammering away on Homicide after a Thez Press. Devon backdrops Homicide to the floor where he’s hit with belts. Devon decks Homicide with a right hand and a scoop slam. Devon elbow drops Homicide for a two count. Hernandez dumps Devon to the floor and is met with belts to the back. Hernandez chokes Devon with his shirt. Devon chops Hernandez and tosses him to the floor where he is met with belt shots to the back. Homicide clotheslines a seated Devon for a two count. Homicide tries for a tornado DDT, but is shoved away. Devon nails Homicide with a leaping shoulder block and tags in Brother Ray. Ray jabs Hernandez several times followed by chops and a hip toss. Ray backdrops Homicide and plants Hernandez with a Samoan Drop. Homicide is sent to the floor and slams Hernandez for a two count. 3D hit an elevated neckbreaker for a near fall. Devon is sent to the floor and there is a standoff on the floor. All the lumberjacks begin to brawl with each other. Ray clotheslines Homicide and Steve enters the ring to help with the What’s Up. Devon hits the flying headbutt to Homicide’s groin. Hernandez misses a clothesline on Steve and is met with a 3D leading to a pin for Team 3D. (*1/4. Considering the celebrity involvement, it was not a surprise that Team 3D won the match. LAX has been able to retain against Team 3D whenever the titles are on the line. With a non-title victory this allows Team 3D to continue the chase and not look like dopes in the fans eyes. I’m not really sure who else LAX could feud with since the face tag teams seem really weak.)
A video package of Sting cutting a promo laying down on the Last Rites death bed. Sting asks what it is like to die and he says he’s going to continue to believe in Abyss. Sting is going to strap Abyss on the death bed. Sting says Abyss has a choice to make because he doesn’t have a devil in his ear any longer.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash is trying to get a reaction from Abyss, who is screaming and rocking. Borash asks if James Mitchell is around, but Abyss doesn’t respond. Abyss gets up and grab Borash by the neck. Abyss lifts Borash up against a steel fence and lets go before walking off.
Second Contest: James Storm, Robert Roode & Eric Young vs. BG James, Kip James & Lance Hoyt: BG and Young kickoff the match. BG tricks Young into clotheslining Storm and Roode slaps Young. BG jabs Roode several times, but Storm delivers a strike from the apron. Roode clotheslines BG and keeps control in the corner. Storm tags into the match hammering away on BG. Storm plants BG with a double under hook twisting slam. Hoyt tags in and flapjacks Storm. Hoyt heads to the top rope, but is crotched by Roode. Storm covers Hoyt and wins the match. (1/2*. They got basically zero time, which is fine since I have no interest in the James Gang in-ring at this point.) After the match, Chris Harris arrives through the crowd and chases after Storm.
A vignette promoting Christopher Daniels is shown. Daniels is promoting change and says he has finally realized that he needs to sacrifice what he is for the sake of what he will become.
Don West is in the ring with NFL great Andre Rison and they promote Pros vs. Joes show on Spike TV. Rison enjoyed the show and thanks SpikeTV for having the show. Rison gets cutoff by Abyss. West asks if there is something Abyss needs to say. Rison tries to shake hands with Abyss. Abyss pulls Rison in and hits the Black Hole Slam!
Ron Killings fake movie poster mocking Rambo is briefly shown.
Paparazzi Productions is back yet again. Lethal does the Macho Man impression again. Nash tries to relate to Lethal saying they white people are trying to hold them down. Lethal notes that Nash isn’t black, but Nash says he’s blacker than Lethal. It looks like Lethal is transforming into the Macho Man character.
Mike Tenay and Jim Cornette are in the ring promoting the Destination X show. Cornette says they have a contract signing between Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle. Cornette wants them to act like gentleman while signing the contract. They sit at opposite ends of the table. Steiner grabs the microphone and guarantees that he’ll beat Angle and then sell his gold medal to see how much money he can get. Angle responds by saying he’ll keep this simple for Steiner to understand. Angle didn’t come here for money, unlike Steiner. Angle came here to make it bigger and better. Angle believes that Steiner came to TNA to rape the company for everything it has. Angle is going to prove that the company doesn’t need whiny, greedy guys like Steiner. They both sign the contract. Angle flips the table over and they have a standoff. Steiner nails Angle with a headbutt, but Angle takes Steiner down and delivers right hands. Angle is busted open. Tomko and Christian Cage get involved, but Angle fights them off. Steiner decks Angle from behind. Steiner hits a belly to belly suplex on Angle. Christian nails Angle with the NWA World Championship. Steiner shoves the contract into Angle’s mouth.
A video package focusing on Samoa Joe is shown. Joe talks about what he’s learned after wrestling Kurt Angle. Joe is ready for his match with Christian Cage. Joe has been ignored for twenty months. Joe promises that Cage will learn who he is and why he has the nickname that he has, the Samoan Submission Machine.
Main Event: Austin Starr vs. Jay Lethal vs. Senshi vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Sonjay Dutt in a ladder match: All five men are going at it to start as the show has less than five minutes left. Dutt and Lethal double team Lynn with stereo splashes on the mat. Lynn head scissors Lethal and plants Dutt with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Senshi grabs a ladder as Lynn slides another ladder in from the other side. Dutt rams the ladder into Lynn in the corner and delivers a kick to the face. Lethal and Dutt baseball slide the ladder into Starr and Senshi on the floor. They also hit stereo crossbody blocks to the floor as the show goes to commercial. Bob Backlund walked out.
Lynn blocks a cartwheel by Senshi, but Senshi still hits a double stomp. Starr dropkicks Lethal in the corner with a ladder in front of him. Starr sets a ladder up in the corner, but Lynn and Senshi set another two ladders up making three ladders in the middle of the ring. Everyone but Lynn begin to climb the ladders and trade punches. Lynn powerbombs Dutt and Lethal off the ladders. Starr and Senshi trade strikes. Lynn punches Senshi and Starr knocking them both off the ladders. Lynn gains footing and manages to unhook the X to win the match. (*1/4. There’s not much they could do considering they had to rush a match in a less than four minute timeframe. Lynn winning is obvious since he has a feud actively going with Sabin. I don’t think a ladder stipulation was needed here and they just did it for the sake of adding a ladder.) After the match, Starr confronts Backlund for shaking Lynn’s hand. Backlund offers a handshake, but Starr flicks his sweat at Backlund. Starr tries to attack form behind, but Backlund locks in the Crossface Chickenwing submission to end the show.
There were a couple of solid angle advancements with the Steiner/Angle segment being the most entertaining. I had no recollection of Abyss attacking Andre Rison, so that was kind of surprising. It was a subpar episode for in-ring, but the segments balanced it out for being an average show this week.
Thanks for reading.