5/19 Impact Wrestling Recap (Back from the Dead)

May 20, 2011 - by Jason Graening

Impact Wrestling opens with footage of the Sacrifice pay-per-view that highlights the Angle/Jarrett mixed tag team match, Sting going over RVD to retain the TNA World Championship and Mr. Anderson saying that he plans to take the title away from him next month.

A new intro and music kicks off as we head into the Impact Wrestling Zone, which is now decked out in blue lights and blue ring ropes. Immortal’s music hits as they come out to the ring to open the show. Eric Bischoff takes credit for changing up the Impact Wrestling Zone before saying that Hulk Hogan is up in New York meeting with Mick Foley and network executives. Since they are both absent, Bischoff and Immortal are in charge tonight and they plan to take care of some business.

Brian Kendrick’s music interrupts Bischoff as he comes down towards the ring with Generation Me and Amazing Red. Kendrick calls Bischoff a non-wrestler that has slithered his way to power, which has left the X Division out in the cold. Bischoff walks up to Kendrick and says he is going to make history tonight by wiping out the X Division once and for all. Bischoff book Kazarian in a match against Abyss and puts Amazing Red up against Samoa Joe. As for Generation Me, they will be taking on Matt Hardy and himself.

Kendrick wonders about himself and Bischoff slaps him across the face before Immortal swarms around the X Division wrestlers and begin to pound on them. Immortal powers the four around before Fortune’s music hits and they come out, without AJ Styles, to even the score. Fortune clears the ring and continue the battle up the entrance ramp and around the ringside area as the X Division wrestlers join in. Ric Flair finally gets on the microphone and says he needs to talk to Bobby Roode and wants him to come out when he calls him out.

Match 1: Sarita/Rosita/Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James/Tara/Miss Tessmacher
Mexican America come out and join the announce team for this match. The bell rings and Mickie works over Madison for a bit before tagging in Tara. Madison rolls out of the ring and Sarita is tagged in and Tara takes her down with a clothesline. Miss Tessmacher is tagged in and continues to work over Sarita and picks up a near fall before being distracted by Rosita. The three then work over Tessmacher in the corner as Madison is tagged back into the match.

Tessmacher is able to make it back to her corner and tags Tara into the match as Madison quickly tags Rosita into the match. Tara slams Rosita down to the mat and picks up a near fall before the match breaks down. Tara turns around and stares down Madison but she pushes Rosita into her and Tara as she slams her down to the mat to pick up the pin fall. Madison quickly heads up the ramp and waves at Tara and backs away.

An old school signature pair of Sting’s boots and tights are seen walking in the backstage area as Mike Tenay says Sting will be coming out shortly. Eric Bischoff is then seen backstage talking to Abyss and tells Abyss to destroy Kazarian.

Match 2: Abyss vs. Kazarian (X Division Championship)
Kazarian starts out strong against Abyss but Abyss is able to come back and power the champion around. Abyss continues to wear Kazarian down but misses with a corner splash. Kazarian fires back and takes Abyss down with a missile dropkick and follows up with a hurricanrana. Kazarian continues with a couple more quick moves and picks up a near fall.

Abyss is able to turn the momentum into his favor and takes Kazarian out with the Shock Treatment but misses with a splash from the middle rope. Abyss favors his right knee as Kazarian begins to focus on the injury. The referee holds Kazarian back for a moment but Abyss is able to kick Kazarian in the midsection and put him away with the Black Hole Slam to pick up the victory and become the new X Division Champion. Abyss then celebrates with the title as Kazarian has a look of shock on his face.

Gunner is seen walking backstage and is talking about tracking down Eric Young for stealing his property.

Match 3: Amazing Red vs. Samoa Joe
A video package highlights Joe’s 18 month long undefeated streak before this match starts. The bell rings and Joe quickly catches Red and slams him down to the mat. Joe then connects with a kick to Red’s head before hitting the muscle buster to pick up the pin fall. After the match, Joe continues beating down Amazing Red until Crimson runs out to the ring and locks up with Joe. The two brawl in the ring until Crimson takes Joe out with a t-bone suplex and Joe rolls out to the floor. Crimson tends to his big brother as Joe and Crimson share a few words.

After a commercial break, AJ Styles is standing in the ring and is wearing a neck brace. Styles calls out Tommy Dreamer and says the two need to talk. Dreamer comes out and makes his way to the ring and Styles says that he will be in a neck brace for a few weeks since Dreamer piledrived him through a table at Sacrifice. Styles says he got a glimpse of the bigger picture at Sacrifice and says Dreamer’s contract would cease to exist if he wasn’t working with Immortal. Styles says he would have done the same thing if he were in the same position and says he knows wrestling matters to him.

Dreamer takes Styles’ words the wrong way and wonders if Styles is trying to say that he is better than him. Dreamer talks about building a wrestling company and wrestling hurt while not getting paid to do it. Dreamer continues by saying that he gave Styles a piledriver the first time because he was forced to do it, however, he does what he wants now because he wants to do it. Dreamer then strikes Styles with the microphone and runs down the fans for turning their backs on him.

Dreamer continues to beat down and focuses on Styles’ neck before Christopher Daniels runs out and saves his friend. Daniels and Dreamer then begin to go at it as Bully Ray comes into the ring and nails Styles in the neck with a chain and takes Daniels out with a boot to the face. The fans begin a “you sold out!” chant as Dreamer delivers another piledriver to Styles as we head into a commercial break.

A random wrestling fan talks about being a wrestling fan his whole life and how it always seems like one big party and there is nothing else like it.

Sting is backstage and talks about not losing his focus on taking power away from Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and says he has a lot to say as the night goes on. What appears to be Sting is then seen walking backstage in classic gear as the announce team wonders how he can be in two places at the same time.

Kurt Angle’s music hits as he comes out to the ring with a microphone. Angle says that the big, throbbing, pain in his ass is finally gone and gives all of the credit to Chyna. Angle then personally thanks Chyna for what she did to Karen and says he can finally get what he wants, and that is Jeff Jarrett one-on-one at Slammiversary. Angle says he talked to Mick Foley and the stipulation was added that the winner between the two is going to become the #1 contender to the TNA World Championship.

Jeff Jarrett’s music hits as he makes his way towards the ring and wonders why he deserves one more match against him. Jarrett says he has continually defeated Angle in the ring and says he stayed focus while Angle was distracted by Karen Jarrett. Jarrett continues by saying that he is better than Angle before saying that he is up to one more match, however, Jarrett adds a stipulation of putting Angle’s Olympic gold medal on the line. Angle shakes on stipulation to seal the deal and they are cut off by Jarrett’s music.

Karen Jarrett comes up through Angle’s special ramp in a wheel chair and says that Jarrett will not be alone at Slammiversary. Velvet Sky walks up from behind and pushes he r wheel chair down the ramp and towards the ring. Jarrett runs out and blocks his wife from hitting the ring as the chair crashes in to him. Angle then leaves the ring and hugs Velvet as Jarrett tends to his wife.

Generation Me is backstage and are talking about their rocky past few weeks and say that it is time to put it all past them for the good of the X Division. Max Buck says they will figure things out and want to show Matt Hardy and Eric Bischoff that blood is thicker than water.

Eric Bischoff is talking on the phone with Hulk Hogan and is happy about what he hears with the meeting. Bischoff says he has everything under control and tells him that he will call him back once the show is over as we head into a commercial break.

Jeff and Karen Jarrett are seen backstage and Jeff is talking on the phone. Jeff gets off the phone and says that they will never have problems with Velvet Sky again as she has been booked in a match against Angelina Love and Winter.

Match 4: Generation Me vs. Eric Bischoff & Matt Hardy
The match starts as Jeremy Buck and Matt Hardy go back and forth in the ring before Generation Me begin to double team Hardy. Hardy is finally able to turn things around by hitting Jeremy with the Side Effect and softening him up for Bischoff. Before Bischoff can be tagged in, though, Generation Me is able to turn the tide and even hits Hardy with Poetry in Motion. Hardy again turns the tide and begins to crawl to his corner but Bischoff wants him to work over them some more. Hardy then puts Max in the Ice Pick and finally tags Bischoff into the match. Hardy holds up Max as Bischoff hits him with some karate kicks and covers to pick up the pin fall.

Winter and Angelina Love are backstage and Winter tells her that tonight is the night that they finally get rid of Velvet Sky so they can return to the happy place that they once were some time ago. Winter then kisses Angelina on the lips before leading her out of the room as we head into a commercial break.

Another random fan talks about how wrestling is in his veins and that he has been watching it since he was a young boy.

Match 5: Winter & Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky (Handicap Match)
Winter and Angelina quickly work over Velvet in the early going of the match until Velvet takes them both out with a double clothesline. Velvet then puts Angelina in a headlock but Winter’s interference turns the tide of the match. The two then work over Velvet and utilize quick tags and wear her down in the corner of the ring. Winter takes Velvet out with a backbreaker before tagging Angelina back into the match. As Angelina tries to pick up Velvet, she rolls Angelina up with a small package to pick up the surprise victory. After the match, ODB runs out and attacks Velvet in the ringside area. ODB says that she is back and tells Velvet to kiss her ass.

Miss Tessmacher is backstage with Eric Young who talks to her with a bullhorn and tells her how to see sex. Young strips down to his underwear as Gunner walks up. EY tells him that he defeated him fair and square last week and now he has his belt. Gunner takes him down and and pounds on him for a bit before taking the old TNA World Championship away from EY.

Ric Flair’s music hits as he makes his way down to the ring to call out Bobby Roode. Roode comes out by himself and joins Flair in the ring as we are treated to footage of the Lethal Lockdown match from Lockdown. Flair tells Roode that he hasn’t been able to sleep since he tapped out to Roode at Lockdown and wants to know what makes him think he can jump on Ric Flair like that. Roode says Flair took him under his wing and he saw an opportunity and took it. Roode says it’s time to move on as it was just business.

Flair cuts him off and tells him to prove that he is a man and challenges Roode to break his arm again. After some goading, Roode takes Flair down with an armbar until Immortal runs down to the ring and begin taking him out. Bully Ray begins whipping Roode with a chain before ordering Abyss to grab two chairs. Abyss slides a couple of chairs into the ring and Ray begins directing traffic as Matt Hardy smashes Roode’s arm with a chair. Ray then says to never disrespect Ric Flair.

Two Sting’s are seen walking in the background as we head into a commercial break.

Sting’s music hits as he makes his way down to the ring with the World Championship. Sting gets on the microphone and gives Rob Van Dam credit for taking him to the limit at Sacrifice. Sting again talks about taking the power away from Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and says he knows he is a target as the World Champion as no longer than 60 seconds after defeating RVD, Ken Anderson was in his face.

Sting’s music hits one more time as the lights go out. Once the lights return, an old version of Sting is standing in the ring and takes Sting out with a Scorpion Death Drop. It is revealed to be Mr. Anderson as he gets in Sting’s face as Impact Wrestling comes to a close.

Quick Results
– Mickie James/Tara/Miss Tessmacher defeated Sarita/Rosita/Madison Rayne by pin fall.
– Abyss defeated Kazarian by pin fall to become the new X Division Champion.
– Samoa Joe defeated Amazing Red by pin fall.
– Eric Bischoff & Matt Hardy defeated Generation Me by pin fall.
– Velvet Sky defeated Winter & Angelina Love by pin fall in a handicap match.

Starman’s Thoughts
The Impact Wrestling era has officially begun and there seems to have been a little more focus put on in-ring competition. However, was it all great? That’s debatable. There was more wrestling on this show than there has been over the past few months, but when you break it down, I really didn’t enjoy what they accomplished. In a nutshell, they buried an entire division, had a non-wrestler pick up a pin fall, and didn’t even bother to book a main event. I am optimistic to the overall change, but they didn’t seem to start off on the right foot.

As for the cosmetic changes, I thought they were well done. It was time to freshen things up a bit and it was good to see they decided to go all out and give the Impact Wrestling Zone a makeover. One thing I would like to know, though, is if they are still using the TNA name or not. Aside from commercials, I don’t recall hearing anyone mention TNA by name, so I am not sure it that name is being phased out or what. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the talent know what is in store for the name either.

One has to wonder with the cosmetic changes, though, if Smackdown will switch to white ring ropes now that Impact Wrestling is using blue ropes. I’m sure a lot of fans are going to complain that the new set looks too much like Smackdown, but I have to ask what color would they switch to? Orange? Green? Probably not. Black might work, but some color is needed.

The meeting between Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett was decent and got me interested in seeing at least one more match between these two, however, what is the point of putting Angle’s Olympic gold medals on the line? I can see a point of having Jarrett take everything that is important to Angle away from him, but wasn’t a shot at the World Championship reason enough for the match?

Unlike the X Division, the Knockouts were put in the spotlight this week with a couple of matches. I really enjoyed how Madison Rayne kept away from Tara during their tag team match. This is a logical progression, but I have to wonder what is in store for Mickie James. With Madison Rayne going up against Tara, and Velvet Sky seeming to be involved with everyone else – Winter, Angelina Love, Karen Jarrett, and a returning ODB – who is left for Mickie James?

Speaking of ODB, it was good to see her back and hope that it is for a longer stay than her last time in TNA. I think the Knockouts Division needs at least one good, big, woman to mix it up with the others, and ODB fits this role nicely. Why she is going up against Velvet Sky upon her return is beyond me, though.

I enjoyed the confrontation between Ric Flair and Bobby Roode. Roode held his own with the Nature Boy on the microphone, however, what I didn’t like was the beat down from Immortal. Sure, Fortune was banged up throughout the night, but where was James Storm in all of this? You would think that Roode’s own tag team partner would come out to assist him during a beatdown, but Storm was nowhere to be found.

It was good to see that the past friction between Generation Me was finally acknowledged, I just wished it was done before tonight’s show. Seeing them together a couple of weeks ago was a source for some confusion, especially since they had been at odds as of late. While the reasoning was a little lame – fighting for the good of the X Division – at least there was some sort of reasoning revealed.

Mr. Anderson dressing as a classic version of Sting really did nothing for me. I have to give Anderson credit as he did pull it off, but this did nothing for making me want to see these two go at it in the ring. Not only that, the segment was over in a matter of moments, thus making the whole Anderson dressing as Sting seem almost pointless. It wasn’t needed in my mind if it was just going to come down to Anderson attacking Sting before the show ended.

Finally, where was RVD tonight? How can he go from competing on the main event at Sacrifice to not showing up on the follow up show? At least let him give some thoughts on his match.

Overall, I think Impact Wrestling is heading in the right direction with more focus put on wrestling. How long this will last before reverted into old habits remains to be seen, but I hope to see more quality matches, actual main events, and non-wrestlers not competing in the ring in the future. I also hope it is cleared up whether or not the TNA brand is still in use or if it is being dropped.

I was hoping for a bigger show to kick off a new era, but I have to say that it failed in that aspect. Change is good, though, as what they were doing wasn’t working.

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