Total Non-Stop Action presents Impact
From: Orlando, FL
A video package highlighting Abyss and his relationship with Hulk Hogan and the HOF ring. Abyss credited the ring to give him confidence. Of course, Abyss has since snapped and turned heel. Hogan has perhaps created a monster.
Abyss starts the show throwing chairs into the ring from the ramp and goes to the floor to stalk So Cal Val around ringside. Abyss scares a few fans at ringside and tosses more chairs into the ring. Abyss goes back to stalking Val, and she falls down crying. Hulk Hogan’s music hits and makes his way down to the ring while Abyss remains on the floor. Eric Bischoff comes out and tries to talk sense into Hogan. Hogan tells Bischoff that Abyss is a cancer. Bischoff has a microphone clipped on him so we can hear them talking. Security gets in the ring to keep them apart. Bischoff calls Abyss an ungrateful SOB and slaps Abyss. Abyss proceeds to punch security and backs Bischoff into a corner. Hogan grabs a chair and hits Abyss a few times. Abyss chokes Hogan, but Jeff Hardy comes out and hits the Twist of Fate on Abyss to save Hogan and Bischoff. Hardy goes to the top rope hitting the Swanton Bomb to leave Abyss laying in the middle of the ring. Abyss gets up and it’s going to be them in a singles match tonight.
Abyss goes to the commentary table and points at Taz. Abyss punches out more security and stares at Taz, who isn’t backing down. The show goes to commercial.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan are talking about getting rid of the cancer that is Abyss. Jeff Hardy chimes in and says he has Abyss tonight. Bischoff promises to have Hardy’s back tonight. Hardy proclaims that Abyss is going down tonight.
Opening Contest: Ink Inc. vs. Motor City Machine Guns: Moore and Shelley kickoff the tag match with Moore getting wrist control early on. Moore takes Shelley down to the mat and kicks Shelley on the knee. Moore continues with an arm drag before tagging in Neal. Shelley is met with a double hip toss and Moore hip tosses Neal onto Shelley for a near fall. Moore returns with a sunset flip for a two count. Moore wheelbarrow arm drags Shelley to the floor and head scissors Sabin through the ropes to the floor. Moore takes the Guns out with a somersault dive to the floor. Brother Devon has joined the commentary table to watch the match. Guns hit a series of moves with Sabin hitting a dropkick and kicks Neal off the apron. Moore is sent into Shelley’s boots face first. Sabin tags into the match and axe handles Moore after leaping over Shelley for a two count. Moore elbows Sabin and hits a springboard moonsault. Moore tags in Neal as Shelley returns. Neal cleans house hitting a crossbody on Sabin. Neal spears Shelley, but Sabin makes the save. Moore is tossed to the floor by Sabin to counter a head scissors. Neal plants Sabin with a swinging side slam. Neal sits Shelley on the top rope, but Devon leaves the table to stop Brother Ray from getting involved. Guns hit a Slice Bread/powerbomb combo on Neal out of the corner to win the match. (**. The finish protecting Neal of all people continues to baffle me. The Guns are in a tag title match at the PPV and should win matches without the need of a distraction. I’m really not interested in Devon being thrown into the Ray/Neal feud.)
Eric Bischoff comes out to the stage and announces that Abyss will compete in the main event against Jeff Hardy. Bischoff also announces that TNA World Champion Rob Van Dam will be the special referee.
Backstage, Dixie Carter has arrived and is on the phone. The cameraman tries to talk to her, but she doesn’t say a word.
Second Contest: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe: Styles chops Joe in the corner, but Joe slaps Styles to send Styles reeling to the floor. Joe sends Styles into a corner and delivers a few jabs and strikes to the body. Joe splashes Styles in the corner followed by a kick to the head. Joe drops Styles with a chop to the mat. Joe chops Styles followed by a knee drop. Joe elbow strikes Styles followed by a slap to the face. Styles eye rakes Joe and nails Joe with a dropkick. AJ chokes Joe over the middle rope before connecting with more strikes. Styles scoop slams Joe and sells his lower back. Styles shoulder rams Joe in the corner several times. Styles hooks Joe for a suplex, but Joe counters with a front suplex. Styles dropkicks Joe on the knee and stomps on Joe before putting a chin lock on Joe. Joe elbows Styles, but is met with a forearm strike. Joe nails Styles with a strike and a clothesline. Joe atomic drops Styles on a springboard attempt and hits a senton after a big boot for a two count. Joe sits Styles on the top turnbuckle and looks for the Muscle Buster, but Styles breaks free. Joe kicks Styles, but Styles counters with a dragon screw leg whip. Styles tries for the figure four, but Joe counters with a chokehold in the middle of the ring for the clean submission victory. (*1/2. Obviously these two have had some great matches with each other, but that was not the goal here. The match is just a way to continue the dissension between Styles and Flair. It never felt like it got out of first gear to me. I do like the clean finish for Joe as I think he’s going to get a shot at RVD sometime soon.) After the match, Flair gets in the ring to check on Styles with Kazarian. Styles seems to be explaining himself, but Flair just walks off. Kazarian had a smirk on his face seemingly enjoying the encounter. Styles is bleeding from the mouth. Styles gets on a microphone and asks Kazarian if he thinks this is funny. Styles tells Kazarian that he’d beat him in the ring like a crying little girl. Styles challenges Kazarian to a match next week on Impact. Flair approves of the match.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan are having a sit down meeting with Dixie Carter regarding Sting. Dixie says that this isn’t the Sting she knows and thinks something is up with him. Kevin Nash enters the room, but Hogan dismisses him for later. Hogan tells Dixie that Sting is jealous and can’t handle success. Bischoff reminds Dixie all the people that Sting has assaulted. Dixie continues to defend Sting. They want Dixie to fire Sting or suspend him. They think that wrestlers will jump off the ship. Dixie promises to do something about Sting tonight. Dixie needs to do this by herself without their help.
Third Contest: Desmond Wolfe vs. Brian Kendrick in a submission match: Kendrick forearms Wolfe in the corner followed by a kick to the head. Kendrick heel kicks Wolfe to the mat and goes for the chicken wing, but Wolfe gets to the ropes. Douglas Williams as arrived to the commentary table. Wolfe sends Kendrick through the ropes to the floor. Wolfe uppercuts Kendrick and taunts Chelsea at ringside before decking Kendrick with a forearm. Kendrick arm drags Wolfe, but is sent to the floor with a knee lift from behind. Wolfe uppercuts Kendrick several times and continues to taunt Chelsea for some reason. Kendrick tackles Wolfe with right hands on the mat. Wolfe puts an arm bar on Kendrick as Chelsea walks up the ramp leaving Wolfe. Kendrick takes advantage with the chicken wing and manages to get a submission. (*1/4. I really don’t understand putting Wolfe in this spot to lose to Kendrick. There’s a lot of other guys that could have been used here instead of Wolfe.)
Tuesday in Yonkers, a cameraman asked Tommy Dreamer why he’s in TNA> Dreamer responded by saying it’s his personal time and didn’t give an answer.
D’Angelo Dinero makes his way down to the ring as tonight marks his return to TNA. Dinero has been out of action due to a shoulder injury. Dinero thanks the fans of the positive reception. Dinero says it is moments like this that help him realize his hard work in the ring is worth it. Dinero is at 80% and says it is his responsibility to be the Pope. Dinero hasn’t forgotten about Mr. Anderson, who caused his injury. Dinero is true to the game and he’s in it to win it. Dinero is the Cadillac of professional wrestling. Dinero wants to earn his way back to the number one spot and make history in TNA.
Kurt Angle makes his way out to join the segment. Angle welcomes Dinero back to the company saying they all missed him. Angle says that Dinero has been making a lot of noise upon his return. Angle sees the future in Dinero and the future is bright. Angle reminds Dinero that he’s also looking to climb the ranks for a title match. Angle tells Dinero they are wrestling at Victory Road. Angle has everything to lose and says that his first loss could be his last match. Angle shakes Dinero hand and says may the best man win. Angle tells Dinero that he must be victorious and walks off.
Jay Lethal cuts a promo in the ring saying that he no longer respects Flair for attacking his brother last week. Lethal is not leaving the ring until Flair or Styles come out to the ring. Instead, Matt Morgan makes his way down to the ring for a match. Morgan says that Flair recalls Flair forming a group called Fortune. Morgan says that Flair asked him to join and was the first person asked to be part of the group. Morgan hasn’t made his mind up on what he’s going to do. Morgan decks Lethal from the ramp to start.
Fourth Contest: Jay Lethal vs. Matt Morgan: Morgan clotheslines Lethal and delivers a series of back elbows in the corner. Morgan splashes Lethal and drives Lethal down to the mat with a side slam. Morgan chokes Lethal over the middle rope. Morgan presses his boot into Lethal’s lower back and pulls back on the ropes. Lethal chops Morgan a few times, but Morgan catches Lethal on a crossbody hitting a fallaway slam. Morgan headbutts Lethal to the mat and steps on Lethal to keep the advantage. Morgan chokes Lethal in the corner some more and taunts the referee. Morgan splashes onto Lethal over the top rope and gets a two count. Morgan misses a bicycle kick and crotches himself on the ropes. Lethal battles back with strikes and kicks to the leg. Morgan tries for a chokeslam, but Lethal kicks Morgan and hits a shoulder block. Lethal dropkicks a kneeling Morgan for a two count. Lethal goes to the apron and is caught on a springboard. Morgan tosses Lethal over the top to the floor. Hernandez comes out and low blows Morgan. Lethal connects with a springboard missile dropkick and pins Morgan. (*. I’d like to sit here and say that Lethal winning here is beneficial, but using interference doesn’t do anything for Lethal, really. It just makes it look like Lethal needs help to defeat Morgan. Lethal is on the rise and Morgan is clearly a midcard act. Why not just have Lethal win to continue his momentum?)
Backstage, Abyss is building his “new toy” and is saying that with each nail they are taking more and more control. Until they will control TNA. Abyss has nails on a piece of wood.
Fifth Contest: TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne vs. Taylor Wilde: Wilde takes Rayne down to the mat with a leg sweep and a headlock. Rayne breaks free and spears Wilde. Rayne rams Wilde’s head onto the mat a few times. Rayne chokes Wilde over the middle rope and continues with chops. Wilde head scissors Rayne and tries for a side slam, but Rayne avoids it. Wilde forearms Rayne a few times against the ropes. Rayne yanks Wilde down by her hair. Wilde goes to the apron and they clothesline each other. We see Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, Stevie Richards and Raven in the crowd. Wilde rams Rayne into the corner and goes to the top rope missing a crossbody. Rayne gouges Wilde’s face and hits a neckbreaker for the clean win. (1/2*. I really wish they’d do something more with Wilde.) After the match, Angelina Love attacks Rayne with a steel chair. Rayne escapes to the floor to avoid a DDT onto a steel chair.
Backstage, Sarita and Taylor Wilde are brawling with Sarita getting the better of the exchange. Wilde fights back with forearms, but Sarita takes Wilde down and they continue to trade strikes. Sarita sends Wilde into some fencing. Security gets involved, but Sarita gets one last shot in on Wilde.
Backstage, Dixie Carter meets with Sting. Sting hopes that Dixie has finally seen what is going on. Dixie says that Hogan and Bischoff have made her see that Sting is a cancer. Dixie tells Sting that effective right now Sting is suspended for thirty days without pay. Sting yells asking if she thinks is all about money. Sting tells Dixie that she has been conned. Sting keeps telling her, but she doesn’t listen. Bischoff enters the scene and security comes over. Sting tells Dixie she might as well make this indefinite. Bischoff tells Dixie that he’s dangerous and Dixie needs a security guard at all time.
Main Event: Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss in a no disqualification match: Hardy starts off with forearms and gets rid of the board with nails on it. Hardy continues with strikes in the corner. Hardy knocks Abyss through the ropes to the floor and delivers a baseball slide dropkick. Hardy takes Abyss out with a slingshot crossbody to the outside. RVD, the special referee, continues to move the board out of the way. Abyss sends Hardy into the ring post face first. Abyss sends Hardy face first into the ring steps. Abyss sends Hardy back first into the corner and Hardy drops to the mat. Hardy fires back with right hands, but runs into a side slam for a two count. Abyss grabs a steel chair, but RVD yanks it away. Hardy gets a rollup on Abyss for a two count. Hardy clotheslines Abyss and delivers a double leg drop to the lower midsection. Hardy slides a chair into the ring and sets it up near the corner. Hardy leaps off the chair to splash Abyss in the corner. Hardy hits the Whisper In The Wind, but Abyss kicks out at two. Abyss stops Hardy with a big boot and a splash off the ropes for a two count. Hardy counters the Shock Treatment by hitting the Twist of Fate. Abyss crotches Hardy on the top rope. Abyss grabs Hardy by the throat, but Hardy elbows free and punches Abyss off the middle rope. Hardy gains footing to hit the Swanton Bomb for the clean win. (*1/2. I’m a little baffled by a lot from this match. First off, it’s a no disqualification match, so why is RVD preventing weapons from being used? Secondly, if the attempts here is to push Abyss as an unstoppable monster, this match did not help that, at all. To have Abyss lose this match cleanly is mind blowing. If Hardy is so valuable that you don’t want him to be losing to Abyss on TV, then don’t book him in this spot. Abyss winning here would have been beneficial for his character and it would have not hurt Hardy at all.) After the match, Abyss attacks Hardy. Abyss plants RVD with the Black Hole Slam. Abyss grabs his nailed covered board. Mr. Anderson runs down to the ring with a steel chair. Anderson jabs Abyss with the chair a few times, but misses a chair shot and whacks Hardy over the back. Anderson doesn’t have a look of regret hitting Hardy with it on accident. Abyss leaves Anderson laying with the Shock Treatment.
I don’t like the booking of Abyss in the main event. Sure, he gets his heat back to some extent, but there’s no reason for him to be doing clean jobs on TV right after a huge heel turn. I do like the advancement of Sting/Hogan/Bischoff story. It was really made obvious that Hogan and Bischoff are manipulating Dixie and that Sting is aware of it. So, I do like that storyline progression. I feel like this was an overall average episode of Impact, which is a successful week compared to most recent weeks.
Thanks for reading.