5/26 Impact Wrestling Recap (Anderson Center Stage)
A tribute to Randy Savage is shown. A quick video package is then aired that highlights what has gone down between Sting and Mr. Anderson over the past week. The new Impact Wrestling intro then hits as we head into the Impact Wrestling Zone and into the first match of the night.
Match 1: Tommy Dreamer & Bully Ray vs. Christopher Daniels & AJ Styles (Street Fight)
AJ Styles is still wearing a neckbrace and is wrestling against doctor’s orders. The bell rings and the two sides battle around the ring. Styles and Dreamer begin to fight their way through the crowd as Styles dumps Dreamer over the side of the bleachers before diving down on top of him. Back in the ring, Daniels tosses garbage cans and kendo sticks into the ring before nailing Ray with some trash can lids.
Daniels then goes for a BME but Ray is able to hold up a boot and block the moonsault. Styles then comes in the ring and hits Ray with a Pele kick but Dreamer takes Styles’ neckbrace off and begins to focus on his neck. Ray and Dreamer both hit Styles with neckbreakers before Daniels comes in and helps his partner. Styles nails Ray with a kendo stick before Styles and Daniels double team Dreamer and take him out with a spike piledriver. Styles then covers Dreamer to pick up the pin fall.
We see Hulk Hogan arriving to the Impact Wrestling Zone as the announce team hype tonight’s main event that will feature the first ever meeting between Kurt Angle and RVD as well as the debut of the Scorpion Sitdown with Sting as we head into a commercial break.
Sting’s music hits as Christy Hemme welcomes us to the Scorpion Sitdown. Mr. Anderson comes out wearing classic Sting gear and facepaint as he welcomes his first guest, Disco Inferno. Disco comes out to the ring and does a short dance routine before sitting down with Anderson. Disco says Anderson really is an asshole as Anderson keeps on cutting him off.
Disco says Sting commands respect but Anderson says he flew him in from Las Vegas to bury Sting, not to sing praises about Sting. Disco says he isn’t going to bury Sting and calls Anderson a dick as Anderson nails him with a microphone. Anderson continues to beat on Disco with the microphone, which busts him open as the real Sting comes out to the ring. Anderson takes off and runs through the crowd as Sting checks on Disco.
Velvet Sky is seen walking backstage as the announce team wonders what was up with the attack from ODB last week. They tell us that she is on her way to the ring and she will be out next as we head into a commercial break.
Eric Young is seen walking in the bathroom as Gunner confronts him about getting his title back. Young says there was a misunderstanding and says that he didn’t win the title during the battle royal. Young then proposes a way to make Gunner second in command of Immortal by elevating him. EY says they remake the classic Hogan/Nash finger poke of doom match and he will let Gunner pin him. Gunner says he better go down or else he will put him down as EY leaves the bathroom.
Velvet Sky’s music hits as we see footage of what happened between Velvet and ODB. Velvet comes down to the ring and calls out ODB so she can tell her what her problem is. ODB comes down to the ring and tells Velvet that a year ago ODB got a call from management and was told that she wasn’t needed anymore. ODB says Velvet was the reason she was fired as Velvet says she worked her ass off to get where she was is and has nothing to do with it. ODB pushes Velvet down to the ground and begins to choke her while nailing her with a series of blows. Security finally runs out and separates the two as Velvet escapes from the ring.
A video package highlights the RVD/Kurt Angle match in which both of them talk about how wrestling matters to them. The voiceover guy talks about this being a wrestling dream match because wrestling matters again.
A recap of the confrontation between Bobby Roode and Immortal is aired. Roode is seen standing with James Storm in Eric Bischoff’s office. Bischoff says the doctor says Roode’s arm is iffy for their title defense at Slammiversary. Bischoff talks about having to defend the titles or else they will be stripped and tells them that he has to know by the end of next week if they can compete. Bischoff says he is sorry about their damn luck.
Video of a recent edition of Xplosion is aired where D’Angelo Dinero got a little too close to Devon’s wife and family. The Pope says he has no idea what is going on with Devon and wonders what better role model there is than the Pope and tells Devon to settle down.
Kurt Angle is backstage talking with Matt Morgan and tells him he hand picked Morgan to face Jeff Jarrett tonight and gives him some advice on how to take care of Jarrett. Angle says Karen Jarrett will be ringside in a wheelchair and tells him to just focus on Jarrett in the ring as their match is up next.
Match 2: Jeff Jarrett vs. Matt Morgan
Karen Jarrett comes out on crutches and Jarrett sets up a chair for her ringside but Earl Hebner makes her sit closer to the ramp away from the ring. The bell rings as Jarrett hangs Morgan up on the top rope but Morgan quickly takes control of the match and hits Jarrett with a series of elbows. Morgan picks up a near fall after hitting a side slam. Morgan then misses with a big boot but picks up another near fall after taking Jarrett down with a fallaway slam.
Jarrett is able to use Karen’s crutch while the referee isn’t looking and hits Morgan with the Stroke but Morgan is able to kick out. Morgan then connects with an atomic drop followed by the Carbon Footprint but Karen distracts Earl Hebner while Morgan is covering Jarrett. Scott Steiner then sneaks into the ring and takes Morgan out before putting Jarrett on top to pick up the pin fall.
Hulk Hogan is seen walking backstage and we are told that he is heading towards the ring as we head into a commercial break.
A video package highlighting the power struggle between Hulk Hogan and Mick Foley. It also covers last weeks burial of the X Division that took place last week. We then head into the ring where Eric Bischoff who says he has a lot to be happy about. Bischoff then introduces the “leader of Impact Wrestling” to the ring, Hulk Hogan.
Hogan’s music hits as he comes down to the ring as the announce team wonders if Immortal is back in control. Hogan says all it took was a good old fashioned sitdown with the higher ups from the network and it was decided that Hogan would be in control of the ship. Hogan said they picked his brain and the realized how smart he was.
Hogan then compliments Bischoff on the way he handled the X Division last week as Mick Foley’s music cuts him off. Foley comes down to the ring and tells Hogan that all he did last week was piss the network off. Foley says the X Division is what put the company on the map and that the division will go to bigger and better things as he searches the globe for the best talent to put on a show at Destination X.
Bischoff chimes in and says that while Foley may be a network executive, he has nothing to do with pay-per-view. Foley says he is right, however, it is the network that promotes the pay-per-view. Hogan gives Foley a chance to do something for the X Division and challenge Abyss for the X Division Championship.
Brian Kendrick’s music cuts them off as he comes out with Amazing Red and Generation Me. Kendrick says God is talking through him and talks in rhyming mumbo jumbo and says he is there to eradicate the reptilians from power. Kendrick steps in and wants to take Foley’s spot against Abyss and says it is his destiny. Hogan agrees to the match and says his blood will be on Foley’s hands.
Winter is seen giving Angelina Love a massage in the back as she talks about how the world will soon see them for what they are and how things are about to change as they will fulfill their promise they made a lifetime ago.
Match 3: Winter vs. Mickie James
Winter starts out strong against Mickie and works her over for a moment before picking up a couple of pin attempts. Mickie fights her way back into the match and takes Winter down with a hurricanrana. Mickie then takes Winter out with a DDT to pick up the pin fall to win the match. Blood is seen coming out of Winter’s mouth as Angelina Love comes into the ring and attacks Mickie from behind. Angelina beats Mickie down in the ringside area before finally sending her into the steel steps. Angelina then runs to Winter’s aid as she stares at Mickie.
Abyss is backstage and says he has been given orders to exterminate Brian Kendrick and the X Division. He then begins reading Sun Su’s book for inspiration before picking up Janice and heading towards the ring. He is then attacked by Kazarian as he takes his weapon away and tells Abyss that he will never use it again.
Match 4: Brian Kendrick vs. Abyss (X Division Championship)
Kendrick attacks Abyss in the ringside area and rolls him into the ring to get this match started. Abyss tries to take Kendrick out with a chokeslam but Kendrick bites his hand to get out of his grip. Abyss, though, continues to power Kendrick around and locks him in a bear hug. Kendrick fights his way out of it but Abyss quickly takes him down with a big boot. Abyss then tries for a press slam but Kendrick counters and takes Abyss down with a series of dropkicks. Kendrick goes to the top rope as referee Jackson James is in the way and Abyss knocks Kendrick off the ropes. Abyss then connects with the Black Hole Slam to pick up the pin fall to retain the X Division Championship.
Kurt Angle is backstage and puts over RVD and says he is a good opponent to have to get ready for Jeff Jarrett at Slammiversary.
Match 5: Eric Young vs. Gunner (Television Championship)
The two stand facing each other in the rings as EY gets reaedy for the finger poke. Gunner pokes EY and he falls to the mat. As Gunner goes to cover, EY rolls Gunner up to pick up the pin fall and win the Television Championship. After the match, Gunner chases Young around the ring as he leaves with the Television Championship and the old TNA World Championship.
After a commercial break, Jeff and Karen Jarrett join the announce team and Jeremy Borash handles the formal introductions for the main event.
Match 6: Rob Van Dam vs. Kurt Angle
The bell rings as Jeff Jarrett talks about picking RVD to face Angle since the two have never faced each other on this program. RVD quickly takes down Angle and hits Rolling Thunder as Angle retreats to the floor. Angle regroups and takes down RVD with a head lock before hitting him with a belly-to-belly suplex.
Angle continues to wear down RVD in the middle of the ring until RVD connects with a kick to Angle’s head. RVD then hits Angle with a kick off the top rope to pick up a near fall. Angle is able to stop RVD’s momentum and picks up a near fall of his own after hitting a suplex. Angle sets up for the Angle Slam but RVD is able to counter and plants Angle with a DDT.
RVD heads to the top rope to set up for the Five Star Frog Splash, however, Angle recovers and hits RVD with a suplex off the middle rope for another near fall. Angle then puts RVD in an ankle lock but he refuses to tap out and is able to kick Angle off of him. RVD takes Angle down and tries for another Five Star Frog Splash but Angle rolls out of the way. Angle then connects with an Angle Slam to pick up the pin fall.
After the match, Angle stares down Jeff Jarrett as Karen says that Angle may be able to defeat her husband in a one-on-one match, but Jarrett won’t be alone at Slammiversary as Impact Wrestling comes to a close.
– Christopher Daniels & AJ Styles defeated Tommy Dreamer & Bully Ray by pin fall in a street fight.
– Jeff Jarrett defeated Matt Morgan by pin fall.
– Mickie James defeated Winter by pin fall.
– Abyss defeated Brian Kendrick by pin fall to retain the X Division Championship.
– Eric Young defeated Gunner by pin fall to win the Television Championship.
– Kurt Angle defeated Rob Van Dam by pin fall.
We are in the second week of the “Wrestling Matters” era and this week’s show kicked off in a way last week’s show should have – with an actual wrestling match. While the match was a garbage street fight, it still was a lively way to kick off the show and set tonight’s episode off on the right foot. Too bad it didn’t continue down that path.
For wrestling to actually matter you have to deliver wrestling matches, however, there were a total of two matches during the first hour that amounted to roughly seven actual minutes of wrestling. The second hour featured more matches, but two were pretty short and one, which took a page out of one of the worst moments in WCW history, and lasted about 15 seconds. On top of that, a title changed hands in the process.
If you are all about bringing wrestling back as the main focus, why would they choose to recreate the infamous finger poke of doom? Sure, it wasn’t done in a way to make the World Championship change hands, but the Television Championship is already viewed as a worthless championship, why try to sink it any more lower than it already is?
In between all of short matches, there were way too many segments that featured non-wrestlers talking and taking up valuable time. I know there is no chance of this happening any time soon, but I would really like to see this whole power struggle for control of the company come to an end. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t already done so many times before and beaten to death. I’m all for having some sort of non-wrestling authority figure that calls the shots and books the matches, but what is being done on Impact Wrestling is enough to make your head spin.
Because of this struggle for power and control, the main program between Sting and Mr. Anderson has been pushed so far back into the background that it barely got any screen time whatsoever. Obviously, control of the company is more important than a match between two actual wrestlers that are fighting for the highest prize the company has to offer. If wrestling truly does matter, this should not be the case.
I was glad to see the X Division still has a faint pulse after being buried last week, but I won’t hold my breath to see if it actually can come back to life. Mick Foley did his best to put over the division, but we’ll have to wait and see if his promise actually turns into reality. As much as I would love to see the division restored to what it once was, I have little faith in that happening.
Maybe they would be more successful if they spent some time in developing defined personas for the X Division stars. Tonight, for example, Brian Kendrick came out pretty much speaking in riddles before finally clearly getting his point across by talking normally. Yes, Kendrick is a little out there, but either keep him like that all of the time or make him talk like a regular human being. Going back and forth isn’t help him getting over, especially if nobody knows what the hell he is talking about.
It is sad to see how far the Pope has fallen in recent months. It wasn’t too long ago when D’Angelo Dinero seemed to be on the outer edge of the main event picture. Now he is getting into a feud with Devon on Xplosion. I didn’t think that the Pope could be in a more meaningless feud than the one he was in with Samoa Joe, but I guess I was wrong. I still think that Dinero could be a major player, but these past few feuds isn’t helping his case.
Usually I turn into a mark for a moment when I see a wrestler from the past return. This wasn’t the case when Disco Inferno came out.
I will at least end this recap on a good note and say that it was a classy move to open the show with a tribute to the late Randy Savage. Savage wrestled briefly in TNA back in 2004, and even though it was for a short time, it was good to see TNA give recognition to a fallen star.
Now, let’s hope that they finally deliver on the “Wrestling Matters” end of things.