3/17 TNA Impact Recap
Impact kicks off with Sting’s music as the TNA World Champion comes out with a brand new TNA World Championship slung over his shoulder. Sting is carrying Jeff Hardy’s custom belt in his hand as he makes his way to the ring. Sting says he wants to get something off his chest and calls out Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.
Immortal’s music hits as Hogan and Bischoff make their way down to the ring. Sting hands over Hardy’s belt to Hogan as he tosses it out on the floor. Sting asks how it feels for Hogan to have destroyed Jeff Hardy’s career and how he was once excited about his future in TNA but he has went down a road that led him to a dead end, which was influenced by both Hogan and Bischoff.
Hogan says Hardy let Immortal down, not the other way around, and even on his best day, Hardy couldn’t live in Hogan’s shadow. Hogan then reiterates that Immortal is in control and Sting better watch his ass. Hogan says everyone is replaceable in TNA, even Sting, and he could turn into just another body that needs to be replaced.
Bully Ray’s music then hits as he comes down to the ring and says he has been waiting for this opportunity all of his life. Ray says there would be no wrestling business if it wasn’t for Hulk Hogan and Sting is jealous that he could never be as great as Hogan. Ray says it would be an honor to be a part of Immortal and he would like to take out the dinosaur known as Sting and win the TNA World Championship. Hogan says not to waste his time on Sting as they are cut off by Fortune’s music.
Fortune comes out and walks down to the ring as we head into a commercial break. We return to see Fortune in the ring and AJ Styles and tells Sting that Fortune has his back. As for Bully Ray, Styles says he always wished to be a singles wrestler, but it didn’t happen that way. Styles says Devon carried him since Ray couldn’t make it on his own. Ray says Styles is a small man in the ring with giants as Styles slaps Ray across the face. Hogan steps in between them as they are interrupted by Mr. Anderson’s music.
Anderson comes down to the ring and wants to know where his rematch is. Hogan says he couldn’t beat RVD so he is out of the mix since he couldn’t get the job done. Anderson says RVD couldn’t get the job done either as Bischoff steps in and says that since everyone is here, he suggests that they have a 4-way match with Anderson going up against RVD, Bully Ray and AJ Styles with the winner getting a shot at Sting at Lockdown. Anderson disagrees with it and says he wants his rematch instead but Hogan says it’s too late as the match is already made.
Kurt Angle is seen in the backstage area and is carrying a wrapped gift for the newlyweds. The camera man asks what it is but Angle says it’s a surprise as we head into a commercial break.
AJ Styles is seen walking into the locker room and tells RVD about the match that was just made. Styles says the two of them should watch each others backs but RVD says he is going to win the match on his own since he will get back his title that he never lost in the first place. RVD then walks away and leaves the locker room.
Match 1: Alissa Flash vs. Madison Rayne vs. (TNA Knockouts Championship)
Madison attacks Alissa on the entrance ramp and brings her towards the ring. Madison then hits her finisher to pick up the quick pin fall to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship. Madison continues to work over Alissa after the match until Mickie James comes out and chases her out of the ring.
Mickie then gets on the microphone and says that she prides herself for being a fighting champion and wants her to step up and fight her. Madison asks why she should give Mickie multiple title shots and says that unless she makes it worth her while, she is out of chances. Madison says she wants her hair and to humiliate her in front of everyone by shaving her head at Lockdown. Mickie agrees to the stipulation as the two stare off.
The Pope is backstage and is talking with a few people and is telling them their roles. The people are acting as a blind man, an overweight woman and a man in a wheel chair. Pope tells them their roles and says they only have one chance to make this work right.
Mr. Anderson is in Hulk Hogan’s office and wants Hogan to explain why he has to wrestle for a title shot that he already owns. Hogan says he doesn’t own anything and since Hogan runs this place he can do whatever he wants. Anderson then chases the camera man out of the office as they continue their conversation behind closed doors.
The Pope is in the ring with the three people he was meeting with backstage. D’Angelo Dinero says he is going to perform some miracles by making a blind man see, a wheelchair man walk, and shed the pounds off the overweight woman. The Pope performs his miracles on the first two but says even Jesus himself can’t help the woman.
Samoa Joe’s music then hits as he comes out with Okato as the Pope questions why he always has to come out during his business. Pope then runs out of the ring and drags Okato out to the floor as he holds a knife to his throat. Pope says he is going to take it to the street as he tosses Okato to the floor and reveals that the knife he had was just a prop.
After a commercial break we see that Dinero has Okato tied up in the back and says he is going to take him to the streets for filming him. Pope takes Okato’s mask off before whipping him a few times and says to not take it personal, but it is personal. Samoa Joe then runs in to help his partner as Pope runs off.
RVD meets up with Mr. Anderson and accuses him of joining Immortal to get what he wants. Anderson asks why he is being accused and says that maybe RVD is joining Immortal after the way he blew off AJ Styles. RVD says everyone will know who side everyone is on after tonight.
The Beautiful People are backstage as Velvet Sky says she is excited for their street fight tonight. Winter appears and tells Velvet that she is not teaming up with Angelina Love as Winter is taking part in the street fight. Angelina finds herself in the middle of it as Velvet defends her actions at Victory Road and claims that she didn’t cost them the tag team titles. Angelina doesn’t say anything and slowly walks away with Winter.
Jeff Jarrett’s music hits as the Jeff and Karen Jarrett make their way towards the ring. Jarrett grabs a microphone and says he has nothing left to prove as he has beaten and embarrassed Kurt Angle. Jarrett says that for the good of their children, he is going to offer a truce between Angle and himself so they can stop the misery. Jarrett says the two of them have to coexist for their kids and calls Angle out to the ring so they can move on.
Kurt Angle comes down to the ring with the gift in his hands. Angle calls Jarrett the better man and has brought them a gift to show a symbol of forgiveness so they can move on with their lives. Jarrett opens the gift in the ring as Jarrett has a huge smile on his face. Jarrett pulls out a guitar that has the American flag painted on it. The three hold each others arms up in celebration before Angle grabs the guitar and smashes it over Jarrett’s head. Karen then tries to give Angle a low blow but he laughs it off as he pulls out a cup from in his paints. Jarrett is bleeding from the head as Angle says it’s time for him to get medieval on someone’s ass and wants to take on Jarrett at Lockdown or else he will hunt him down every day of his life.
Eric Bischoff is seen talking with Rob Terry, Gunner and Murphy and talks about capturing each and every title in TNA. Bischoff says Abyss put himself on the line to win the Television Title but since he can no longer compete, the title is being put up for grabs. Bischoff says one of the three will win the title by fighting each other in a 3-way match. Bischoff tells them to put feelings aside and to leave it all in the ring.
Karen Jarrett is backstage on the phone and wants the police to come to the Impact Zone since Kurt Angle attacked her husband. Jarrett says it didn’t have to happen this way and says that Angle pushed him too far.
A video package highlights tonight’s 3-way match for the TNA Television Championship as we finally get into the second match of the night.
Match 2: Gunner vs. Murphy vs. Rob Terry (TNA Television Championship)
Gunner and Murphy try to show each other up during their ring entrance as Mike Tenay talks about Immortal’s power showing as three members of their faction have been put into this match. The match starts as Gunner and Murphy double team Terry as we see a shot of the police arriving at the Impact Zone. Terry begins to mount a comeback as he trades blows with Murphy until Gunner spears Terry and sends him out to the floor. Gunner then slams Murphy down to the mat and picks up the pin fall to become the new TNA Television Champion. Eric Bischoff then comes out and claps as Gunner poses in the ring with the belt hanging out of his mouth.
AJ Styles is backstage and says he is fine that there are no allies in this 4-way match and says he can take care of himself. Styles says he needs to get back in the drivers seat and take care of business as he is interrupted by Ric Flair and tells him to not take his eyes off of him. Styles then lays Flair out with one punch and Styles says that it felt good to do that as we head into a commercial break.
Karen Jarrett is seen backstage frantically telling the police to arrest Kurt Angle. The police tell her to calm down as they take her statement and Jarrett steps in and wants to know what they need to do to take care of this for her as Jarrett says he knows what he needs to do to handle the situation.
Match 3: Hernandez/Sarita/Rosita vs. Matt Morgan/Angelina Love/Winter (Mixed Street Fight)
Prior to the match, Hernandez gets on the microphone and talks about the Hispanics taking America over. The street fight starts as soon as Morgan, Angelina and Winter come in to the ring as all six go at it. The Knockouts fight around the ring as Morgan and Hernandez trade blows in the ring. Morgan takes Hernandez down with a clothesline as Sarita and Rosita jump on Morgan to stall his momentum but Morgan just tosses them aside. Winter then comes in and hits a back breaker on Rosita to pick up the pin fall.
After the match, the same fan that jumped in the ring comes out and starts attacking Morgan from behind. Hernandez joins in and the two then turn their attention to Angelina and Winter but Morgan recovers and chases them out of the ring. The four then leave the ring as they talk trash on the way up the entrance ramp.
We are treated to a video package of the match between Mr. Anderson and RVD at Victory Road before heading into the 4-way main event.
Match 4: AJ Styles vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson (#1 Contenders Match)
The bell rings as all four start to go at it with Ray up against Styles and Anderson against RVD. Styles takes Ray down with a hurricanrana. Anderson goes at Ray but ends up being clotheslined over the top rope and onto the floor. RVD and Ray then square off and RVD takes him down with a spin kick and picks up a near fall after hitting a Rolling Thunder. Anderson pulls RVD out to the floor and takes him out with a clothesline before entering the ring to go up against Styles.
Styles takes Anderson down with a dropkick but Styles is quickly leveled by a clothesline from Ray. Ray then hits a side slam on Styles and picks up a couple near falls but Styles is able to kick out. Ray starts laying blows on everyone until RVD takes Ray out with a spin kick. RVD tosses Styles out to the floor but misses with a Five Star Frog Splash as Anderson moves out of the way. Ray then gets up and slams Anderson down to the mat for another near fall and Styles follows by hitting Ray with a flying forearm for a near fall of his own.
RVD then gets in on the action and hits Styles with a single leg dropkick kick from the top rope for another near fall. Anderson then hits RVD with a spinning neckbreaker for another near fall. Styles recovers and leaps over the top rope but Ray sidesteps him and Styles crashes onto the ground. Ray then grabs a chair but referee Earl Hebner takes it away from him. Anderson then backdrops RVD onto the chair as both of their arms cover each other and the referee makes the three count.
Amid all of the confusion, Earl Hebner is about to tell Jeremy Borash who the winner is but Ray knocks him out and takes Borash out in the process. Styles then connects with an enziguri to Ray’s head as the two continue to brawl around the ring entrance. The two make their way towards the top of the ramp and Styles is about to use a chair on Ray but Ric Flair comes out and nails Styles with a low blow. Ray then picks up Styles and jumps off the stage to powerbomb Styles through a table. Referees come out to check on them as one of them makes the X mark with his hands as security and trainers run out as we head into a commercial break.
We return to the scene to see medics checking on Styles and Ray. Ray is moving around but Styles is still laid out. Ray then begins to push the paramedics around and we are treated to a replay of what just went down. Paramedics are putting a neck brace on Styles as Mr. Anderson looks on with concern on his face. Ray is up by the announce table and is being held back by TNA agents as he yells at Styles and says he hopes he never wrestles again. Fortune is out among the medics and are looking on as Styles is put on to a stretcher. Styles gets a smattering of applause as he is wheeled out and the docu-cam gets in Kazarian’s face as he tries to call Styles’ wife. Styles is then carted off in an ambulance as Impact comes to a close.
– Madison Rayne defeated Alissa Flash by pin fall to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
– Gunner defeated Murphy and Rob Terry to win the vacated TNA Television Championship.
– Matt Morgan/Angelina Love/Winter defeated Hernandez/Sarita/Rosita in a mixed street fight by pin fall.
– AJ Styles/Rob Van Dam/Bully Ray/Mr. Anderson ended without an official decision being announced.
In a televised wrestling show, there should be a delicate balance between in-ring action and setting up storylines and angles via backstage segments and confrontations. This show had a lot of one and not too much of the other, and unfortunately for fans, this show was way too over the top with nonstop talking. I give TNA a little credit for going straight into the Lockdown hype and setting up some matches, but a total of 20 seconds of wrestling in the first hour and 15 minutes of the program is uncalled for.
Up until the main event, there were a total of three matches that lasted maybe five total minutes, and I am probably being generous in that estimation. I won’t say the main event made up for it – why would a match that was never given an official result make up for it – but the action was solid up until the lame finish. While I don’t condone the risky powerbomb that Bully Ray did to AJ Styles, it did make for an interesting final 15 minutes of the show and put over Ray and him doing anything it takes to become a member of Immortal.
In a rare move on commentary, I was glad to hear – or not hear – Mike Tenay and Taz ramble on during the conclusion of tonight’s show. They spoke when needed but really let the video do all the talking. With the announce team cutting out, it added an extra element to what all went down. The one thing that I didn’t particulary like was the fact that the final decision of the match was never revealed. Sure, it became secondary to what happened after the match, but any mention of the outcome would have been appreciated. Maybe I just missed it, but I didn’t hear anything.
On to other things – I am glad that they are ditching Jeff Hardy’s custom title belt for a new TNA World Championship. Usually an unveiling like this is done with some sort of emphasis, however, this was barely given a passing mention. This didn’t set right with me, especially considering it is the most valuable title in the company. I will say, though, that I did like the little bit I was able to see on television.
The opening was a little long winded, and pretty much set the tone for the entire night, but at least it was bearable as it seemed everyone, including Sting, was on top of their game on the microphone. It did serve a purpose and set up the main event to set the stage for all that went down tonight, but TNA needs to learn to trim up these opening segments a bit. You know it’s long when it is interrupted by a commercial break and it still hasn’t finished.
It’s great to see that TNA isn’t waiting until the last minute to book matches for Lockdown. Kurt Angle got the best of Jeff Jarrett tonight and set up their cage match nicely, while Mickie James challenged Madison Rayne for another shot at the Knockouts Championship. I’m glad that Madison didn’t agree to yet another title match and made Mickie put something on the line. While I would rather have something more meaningful than her hair up on the chopping block, it does make sense that Mickie would have to sacrifice something of her own to get another shot at Madison and her championship.
While I am on the topic of Madison Rayne, it was nice to see Alissa Flash in the ring once again, even if it was for only 20 seconds. Seeing Alissa, along with Roxxi and ODB, really makes my heart yearn for a time with the Knockouts Division was stacked to the rafters with top talent. It really is a shell of its former self.
What exactly was the point of D’Angelo Dinero’s “healing” segment. Instead of getting more match time, we were subjected to this garbage. It didn’t do anything but waste precious television time and almost put me to sleep. When is TNA going to finally realize that this angle is going nowhere fast, cut their losses and move on already? Both Samoa Joe and Dinero deserve more than this. Enough is enough.
Finally, Gunner is the new Television Champion. Does anyone care? Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.