5/12/11 TNA Impact Recap (The Network’s Revenge)

May 13, 2011 - by Jason Graening

Hulk Hogan is in the parking lot pacing around with a lead pipe and is waiting for the network representative to show up. Eric Bischoff walks up to him and tells him there is a time and a place for this, but they need to play the game and play to win as they walk into the Impact Zone.

A video package is aired that recaps the happenings with Kurt Angle’s mistress and the network representative that will be showing up to meet Hulk Hogan face-to-face. Jeff Jarrett’s music then hits as Jeff and Karen walk down to the ring and we are welcomed to this revealing edition of Impact.

Jeff Jarrett says the two of them have given a lot of thought to this over the past week and they want to make a truce with Kurt Angle. Jarrett says his offer is sincere and doesn’t want to put his wife in harms way at Sacrifice. Karen grabs the microphone and says she has been nothing more than a caring ex-wife to Angle and says everything that has happened between them the past few months was all a misunderstanding.

Kurt Angle’s music hits as he comes to the ring and says the two of them have been pressing all of the right buttons over the last six months. Angle warns Jarrett that Karen will eventually take him for everything that he has, but first he wants to get his just due. Angle says both sides will meet in a mixed tag team match at Sacrifice, with the two of them taking on Angle and his business partner. Angle goes on that the network wanted to give her a proper introduction, so she will come out later. Angle says he can’t wait to see the looks on their faces and tells Jarrett that he knows who she is before leaving the ring.

Match 1: Tara & Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher
Tara and Mickie start in the ring against each other and go back and forth for a few moments before the two shake hands in the middle of the ring. Tara then tags Madison into the match and Mickie takes her down with a Lou Thesz press but Madison is able to take control with a boot to the head. Miss Tessmacher is tagged in and quickly pins Madison with a victory roll off the top rope. After the match, Madison screams at Tara as she just leaves Madison in the ring.

Ric Flair is seen walking backstage as he walks into the office. Hulk Hogan is in there and yells at Flair for being the network mole. Flair says he was laid up with a shoulder injury from Lockdown as Eric Bischoff gets in between them and tells them to settle down. Hogan apologizes for calling him out and says the network has him rattled. Flair accepts the apology as the two shake hands and get on the same page.

A limousine is seen arriving in the backstage area and the announce team wonders if it is the network representative as we head into a commercial break.

Tara is backstage and is talking about how she sick of tired of Madison Rayne. Tara says she wants to be free from the little brat as Madison walks up behind her. Madison tells her that when she wins back the Knockouts Championship at Sacrifice, she is going to make Tara’s life a living hell.

Tommy Dreamer is seen walking in the parking lot and says there is a lot of things that goes on after the show airs and says little else. AJ Styles comes out of a trailer and wants answers from Dreamer but he just says that Styles is too young and innocent to understand. Styles tries to get Dreamer to talk and challenges him to a fight at Sacrifice. Dreamer backs away and tells Styles to walk a mile in his shoes before walking away.

Sting is backstage and puts over Rob Van Dam and says he is going to be fighting for his life at Sacrifice. As for the network, the representative will be here tonight and it will be showtime before walking away.

A video package highlighting Beer Money is aired. It runs down their past accomplishments and the tag teams they have defeated. This Sunday, the will put the TNA Tag Team Championship on the line against Matt Hardy and a mystery partner.

Beer Money’s music then hits as the two of them come out to the ring. Bobby Roode calls out Matt Hardy and says they know who his partner is. Roode tells them to come out so they can accept their challenge face-to-face. Hardy comes out by himself and tells Roode that he was impressed with his promo last week and say he became a man in front of everyone.

Hardy then talks about James Storm and calls him a drunk that is full of hot air. Hardy says he can say that because he is part of one of the best tag teams ever. Storm says Hardy is wasting his breath by telling the fans what they already know. Beer Money begin to walk towards Hardy as Storm gets in Hardy’s face and tells him to get his brother out here to see how great they really are.

Hardy says it will happen, but at Sacrifice, not tonight. Hardy says the fans will have to see the greatest tag team compete, before telling Storm that his partner is not his brother, but someone who knows Storm real well and about his weaknesses. Chris Harris’ music then hits as he comes out of the tunnel as he stares down his former AMW partner and we head into a commercial break.

Match 2: Sangriento vs. Suicide
The match starts and Suicide goes on the offensive until Sangriento uses his quickness to turn the match into his favor. Suicide is then dumped to the outside and Sangriento hits a corkscrew dive before rolling Suicide back into the ring and hitting a missile dropkick. Suicide stops Sangriento’s momentum with a big boot and picks up a near fall in the process. Sangriento fires back with an enziguri and drives Suicide down to the mat with a tornado DDT for a near fall. Sangriento heads to the top rope but Suicide rolls out of the way and picks up another near fall after slamming Sangriento down to the mat. Sangriento then connects with a kick to the midsection before hitting a springboard neckbreaker to pick up the pin fall and defeat Suicide once again.

Immortal’s music hits to cut off Sangriento’s post-match celebration as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff make their way to the ring. Flair kicks Suicide between the legs before kicking him out to the floor as Hogan grabs a microphone. Hogan says he runs TNA and demands that the network representative come out and show themselves as we head into a commercial break.

We return from the break and see Jeff and Karen Jarrett in the ring with Immortal. Hogan again calls out the network representative as Mick Foley’s music hits. Foley comes down to the ring and says Hogan’s plan started to unravel on March 3rd and that someone who got the ball rolling was him. Foley gets in Hogan’s face and says that he has the power to remove them all from TNA. Foley says the show is not about them, but it is about wrestling.

Foley talks about wrestling’s historic past and says from now on this show is about wrestling. Foley continues to say that the show is no longer TNA Wrestling, it’s Impact Wrestling. Foley then books tonight’s main event, which will be a 25-man battle royal to determine who will be the number one contender for the TNA World Championship. Foley then announces who Kurt Angle’s partner will be at Sacrifice as Chyna comes out of the entrance tunnel. Karen Jarrett goes down to her knees in fear as we head into a commercial break.

We are treated to a video package of what just happened and Mike Tenay says Spike needed to do something after Hulk Hogan gained control of TNA and they brought Mick Foley step in to be the eyes and ears for the network. Tenay talks about the show’s name change from TNA Impact to Impact Wrestling and revealing Chyna as Kurt Angle’s business partner.

Mick Foley is backstage with Chyna and says that he is glad to back on Impact Wrestling and back on a show where wrestling matters. Foley says he wanted to fire Hogan, Bischoff and Flair, but they stood their ground and are still a part of the company. Foley then says that Jeff Jarrett will be part of the battle royal and he tells Chyna that he wants her to be where Karen Jarrett is.

Mr. Anderson is backstage and says he has been saying wrestling matters all along. Anderson can’t believe that it was Mick Foley holding him back for such a long time and says he will enjoy tossing 24 other guys over the top rope to get a shot at Sting or RVD.

The announce team then runs down the Sacrifice card before heading into the next match of the night.

Match 3: Abyss vs. Crimson vs. Samoa Joe
The bell rings as Crimson and Abyss go at it while Joe stands back and watches. Joe waits for a moment to step in and takes both Crimson and Abyss down. Crimson is able to recover and takes Joe down and goes back after Abyss. Crimson takes Abyss down with a neckbreaker before he and Joe begin to trade blows. Joe takes Crimson down with a snap slam and Abyss catches Joe from behind with the Black Hole Slam. Crimson then hits Abyss with a spear and covers Joe for the pin fall.

Crimson celebrates his victory but Joe rises behind him but Abyss runs in and blindsides Crimson. Joe then wipes his hands and leaves the ring as Abyss continues to beat down Crimson in the middle of the ring. Abyss delivers a Black Hole Slam to Crimson as Joe walks up the ramp.

The TNA roster is lined up in the backstage area as the 25-man battle royal is coming up next.

Rob Van Dam is backstage and says he has a front row seat for the battle royal that is coming up. RVD says he wants to know who he will defend the TNA World Championship against in his first title match.

Wrestlers are already standing in the ring as Fortune’s music hits as the five of them make their way to the ring. Immortal’s music also hits as Jeff Jarrett, Bully Ray, Gunner and Matt Hardy come out for the battle royal. Karen Jarrett also comes out and has a look of concern on her face. Mr. Anderson and Kurt Angle also get special entrances into the battle royal.

Match 4: 25-Man Battle Royal
The bell sounds to get this battle royal started as a mass of people go at it. Matt Morgan quickly eliminates both Douglas Williams and Magnus from the ring and we are down to 23. Morgan then makes quick work of Orlando Jordan and Anarquia and looks like a force to be reckoned with. Jesse Neal is almost eliminated but he is able to get back into the ring.

Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray work together to try to eliminate Kurt Angle but he is able to stay in the ring. Hernandez eliminates both members of Ink Inc. by himself and Morgan sends Robbie E. out to the floor for his fifth elimination. Eric Young eliminates Gunner before eliminating himself from the match. EY then grabs Gunner’s Television Championship and runs up the ramp as we head into a commercial break.

We return to the battle royal and Jeff Jarrett eliminates Kazarian by suplexing him over the top rope and onto the floor. James Storm and Matt Hardy begin to fight on the ring apron and both of them fall down to the floor to be eliminated. The two continue to fight around the ring and has to be separated by referees. While the referee has their hands full, Hardy pulls Bobby Roode out to the floor and the referees say he is eliminated.

Mick Foley joins the announce team as the battle royal continues as Daniels is eliminated by Bully Ray. Morgan works over Hernandez and dumps him out to the floor and is immediately tossed over the top rope by Scott Steiner. Morgan and Steiner trade a few words as Bully Ray tosses Steiner out to the floor. Eight wrestlers remain as Morgan and Steiner continue to fight up the entrance ramp.

In the ring, Ray nails Styles with a kick to the face and Ray gets in Dreamer’s face. Ray and Dreamer then double team Anderson for a moment as Devon and D’Angelo Dinero go back and forth in the middle of the ring. The Pope eliminates Devon from the battle royal and is quickly eliminated by Kurt Angle with a clothesline that sends him out to the floor as we head into another commercial break.

We return once again as we are down to the final six, which are Bully Ray, Tommy Dreamer, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, and Mr. Anderson. Dreamer and Jarrett double team AJ Styles as Angle puts Ray in an ankle lock. Dreamer helps Ray out and he is almost eliminated by AJ Styles but Ray holds on to the ropes. Dreamer then eliminates Styles and Ray gives Dreamer a high five before tossing Dreamer over the top rope.

We are down to the final four and Ray nearly eliminates Anderson as Angle and Jarrett battle in the opposite corner. Ray helps Jarrett out but Ray finds himself on the wrong end of Anderson’s offensive flurry. Ray retreats to the floor and Angle knocks Anderson through the ropes, thus the two are still legal participants in the battle royal.

Meanwhile, Angle has Jarrett alone in the ring and tries for an Angle Slam but Karen distracts Kurt and Jarrett dumps him over the top rope. Karen runs into the ring a celebrates with her husband as he thinks he is the winner, however, Chyna comes out and dumps Jarrett out to the floor and the referees say he has been eliminated. Chyna then grabs Karen by the neck but Jarrett pulls her wife out of the ring and run up the ramp.

Angle and Chyna walk off as Ray and Anderson crawl back into the ring to continue the battle royal. The two trade blows in the middle of the ring and Ray levels Anderson with a clothesline. Ray tries to toss Anderson over the top rope but Anderson is able to hold on and get back into the ring. Anderson misses with a high risk move and Ray tries to elimiate him once again but Anderson is still able hold on. While on the ring apron, Anderson pulls Ray over the top rope and dumps him out to the floor to win the battle royal.

Mr. Anderson stands in the ring and has his arm raised in victory as the announce team talk about how he will finally get his one-on-one shot for the TNA World Championship. Anderson has his microphone down and says he has defyed the odds once again and will be to Sting as to what the US Navy SEALs where to Osama bin Laden. Anderson says he is locked and ready to go as the announce team wonders if he will meet Sting or Rob Van Dam for the TNA World Championship.

Backstage, Sting is backstage and he says he is happy that wrestling matters and will be happy to shut Mr. Anderson’s mouth. RVD steps in and says he has to defeat him first to go up against Anderson and wonders if Sting is too confident about his match on Sunday. Anderson walks in and says he doesn’t care who he has to face as come Slammiversary he will be in rare form before walking away as the show comes to a close.

Quick Results
– Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher defeated Madison Rayne & Tara by pin fall.
– Sangriento defeated Suicide by pin fall.
– Crimson defeated Samoa Joe and Abyss by pin fall.
– Mr. Anderson won a 25-man battle royal to become the #1 contender to the TNA World Championship.

Starman’s Thoughts
This was an odd go-home show for Sacrifice. I’m not sure why a #1 contender was decided just days before a TNA World Championship match. While the battle royal was fun to watch, it overshadowed the Sting/RVD match, which really got very little hype whatsoever. Not a very good sell for the main event of Sacrifice.

As I said before, the battle royal was fun to watch and was probably one of the better battle royals I have seen in a long time. Most battle royals are messy to watch, and I was expected this to be that way once I saw all of the people in the ring, but this one was given some time to develop (nearly 30 minutes) and was used to further some feuds as we head into the pay-per-view. A couple of new feuds could also come out of this battle royal and it also did a great job at making Matt Morgan regain some momentum by looking dominant.

Aside from the battle royal, tonight’s show was all about revealing a few surprises to the fans. While three of these surprises on one show was a bit much all at once, especially considering it was a go-home show, but I feel that they all work in their own ways.

For starters, Mick Foley was revealed to be the inside person working with the network. This was a slight curveball considering that Sting said last week that it was female that was working with the network. This must have been some mind games with Sting, either that, or I have been wrong about Mick Foley all along. When Sting mentioned that it was a woman, I immediately thought that it was going to be Dixie Carter, however, I feel that Foley will perform much better in this role considering that he is way more comfortable on the microphone and has an actual wrestling background.

Foley also announced that a focus would be put on wrestling, since this is a wrestling show, and the name would be changed from TNA Impact to Impact Wrestling. Not a huge change from what it was before, but I will give TNA some credit for not being shy by using the term “wrestling,” since that is really what it is once you boil down to it. I know it doesn’t bother a lot of people that WWE has banned that term from the vocabulary, but it does bother me. I like the fact that TNA is embracing the word – now, if they follow through and focus more on wrestling remains to be seen. Having a near 30 minute main event at least started them on the right track.

The second big reveal was Kurt Angle’s business partner being Chyna. I was really hoping that TNA would use this angle to bring in a new face, most notably NXT’s Aloisa, but Chyna isn’t a huge disappointment. Chyna at least has a history with Jeff Jarrett as she defeated Jarrett for the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the eve of Jarrett jumping over to WCW, whereas Alosia would just be a huge imposing figure. Both would have been decent choices, but Chyna at least has some name recognition.

I was also surprised on how good Chyna looked. She was noticeably less muscular than she once was, but I was expecting to see something along the lines of how she looked during her time on the Surreal Life. Hopefully this means that she has gotten her life back on track after being in a near decade-long tailspin.

The final surprise of the night came when Matt Hardy announced that his tag team partner for this Sunday’s title match is not his brother, but is Wildcat Chris Harris. I guess the suddenly dropped angle between Hardy and Braden Walker in ECW was finally continued in TNA years later. While this doesn’t make a lot of sense, it does have a bit of history with the former America’s Most Wanted partners being on opposite sides of the ring. Also, unlike Chyna, Harris doesn’t appear to be in better shape and looked to have a little extra fat around his face.

As I said before, three surprises like this on one show is a bit much, however, I will at least give TNA a bit of credit for not pulling the “mystery opponent” to be revealed at the pay-per-view. TNA does this much too often, so it was a nice change of pace. Plus, I believe people will be more apt to spend money on a card where they know all of the participants instead of not knowing and feeling let down once the mystery opponent is revealed.

With all of the reveals going on, the X Division was lost in the shuffle. After demanding to know why they were being held down and messing with Hulk Hogan’s head with a can of spraypaint, none of them were seen from this week. Not even in the 25-man battle royal. I guess you could count the opening match between Sangriento and Suicide, but with the amount of talent in the X Division, why would you want to feature two thrown together masked wrestlers instead of the talent they already have? I’m not sure what the reasoning behind that is.

Another thing that made me scratch my head was the teaming of Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher. Last week they were taking each other on in an undeserved title match, this week they are teaming up to take on Madison Rayne and Tara. Not only that, but Miss Tessmacher picked up the clean pin fall over Madison Rayne, the same Knockout that will be challenging for the Knockouts Championship on Sunday. Nothing like taking away whatever momentum she had going in to Sacrifice.

As I stated before, this was an odd go-home show. There were a few good parts to the show, however, it didn’t do too much to get me interested in Sacrifice. It seems that more was done to set the stage is set already to head into Slammiversary, which takes place in June. At any rate, I will return this weekend to preview the Sacrifice pay-per-view and give my predictions.

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