6/2/11 Impact Wrestling Recap
Impact Wrestling opens with Eric Bischoff arriving to the Impact Wrestling Zone and he is given papers by a lawyer as he is being served papers from the network. We then head into the backstage area where ODB is attacking Velvet Sky and a photographer in the back. Velvet and ODB then go at it some more as ODB gets the best of her as she tosses Velvet into the wall a few times.
The two make their way into the arena where Velvet is able to get in some offense before ODB security comes in to stop the brawl. ODB kicks the security guard between the legs as the two continue to brawl towards the ring. ODB rolls Velvet into the ring and strips Velvet down to her bra and panties before choking Velvet with her own shirt. ODB then covers Velvet and makes her own three count before leaving her lying in the ring.
Miss Tessmacher comes out to Velvet’s aid as we join the announce team who hype tonight’s show that will feature Miss Tessmacher going up against Angelina Love, Jeff Jarrett & Scott Steiner will take on Kurt Angle & Matt Morgan, and Bully Ray will confront AJ Styles. Sting’s music then cuts them off as Mr. Anderson comes down to the ring wearing old school Sting makeup and gear.
Mr. Anderson says he has something special lined up tonight as he will take on one of Sting’s most storied competitors. Anderson tells us to stay tuned as we cut to the backstage area where Brian Kendrick catches up with Eric Bischoff, who thanks him for the opportunity they gave him last week. Kendrick says he didn’t accomplish what he wanted last week and wants another shot at Abyss. Bischoff says Kazarian already has a title shot lined up with Abyss at Slammiversary, but suggests that he and Kazarian face each other and wrestle their X Division butts off as we head into a commercial break.
Footage is aired of what happened during the break as Eric Bischoff is seen in the back talking on the phone with Hulk Hogan. Bischoff tells him that he was served papers from the network and says it’s not a TNA thing but a Spike TV thing. Bischoff tells Hogan to get here quick.
We then see Bischoff in the ring as he calls Beer Money down to the ring. Beer Money comes out and Bischoff tells him that he has contracts signed and an event promoted, but since Bobby Roode can’t compete, he tells them to hand over the TNA Tag Team Championship. Roode calls Bischoff a son of a bitch and says they earned the titles and says he will compete at Slammiversary even if he’s hurt.
The Motorcity Machine Guns music hits as Alex Shelley makes his way towards the ring. Shelley says his partner, Chris Sabin, tore his ACL and MCL, so he will be out for the rest of the year. Shelley then talks about a series of matches between the Machine Guns and Beer Money and that he learned to respect Beer Money after it. Shelley then offers to take Roode’s spot for one night only. Bischoff doesn’t like the idea but Shelley says the network is letting him take Roode’s spot. Shelley then shakes Beer Money’s hands as Bischoff says Shelley just went on his hit list as we head into a commercial break.
About 25 minutes into the program we get our first match.
Match 1: Matt Hardy vs. Crimson
The bell rings and Crimson is able to take Hardy down with a clothesline as Hardy retreats to the floor. Hardy returns to the ring as Crimson continues to wear him down and picks up a near fall. Hardy again goes out to the floor after a suplex but is able to hang up Crimson on the ropes to take control of the match. Hardy hits Crimson with a neckbreaker before heading to the middle rope to hit a leg drop, which gives Hardy a near fall.
Crimson is able to fight his way back into the match and picks up another near fall after hitting a DDT. Hardy mounts a comeback and goes for the Twist of Hate but Crimson is able to counter and connect with the Sky High to pick up the pin fall. After the match, Samoa Joe runs out to the ring but Crimson hits him with a spear. Joe rolls out to the ring and yells at Crimson as we head into a commercial break.
Mr. Anderson is backstage and meets up with Eric Young. Anderson talks about his epic battle with Gunner last week and talks about an epic battle between Sting and the Great Muta back in 1989. Anderson says he wants to recreate history and says he wants to entertain the fans. EY agrees to Anderson’s idea and winks as he walks out.
Winter is backstage with Angelina Love and tells her it’s time to defend her honor by defeating Miss Tessmacher. Angelina speaks and talks about going back to a time where they were royalty and going back to a time where it was just the two of them. Angelina says she will do it in her honor.
Eric Bischoff is in the locker room talking with Immortal and says he didn’t know it was going to end like this. Bischoff tells them he knows the politics of wrestling and tells them that he will never forget what they have done. Bischoff then walks out as Immortal is confused as to what will happen to them.
Match 2: Miss Tessmacher vs. Angelina Love
The bell rings and Tessmacher rolls up Angelina a couple of times for some quick pin attempts. Angelina then takes Tessmacher down with a shoulder block before tossing her across the ring. Angelina then knocks Tessmacher out to the floor and continues beating her down on the floor. Back to the ring, Tessmacher is able to fight her way back into the match but Angelina is able to counter her victory roll and puts her away with a back cracker for the pin fall. After the match, Angelina begins to choke out Tessmacher as Winter encourages her. Winter then holds Angelina’s arm in the air as we head into a commercial break.
Match 3: Mr. Anderson (as Sting) vs. Eric Young (as the Great Muta)
Anderson starts off by intentionally missing a few Stinger Splashes in the corners. EY doesn’t seem to like that he is making fun of Sting and begins to leave as Anderson stops him and hits a couple of shoulder blocks in the corner. Anderson continues to work over EY with a series of elbow drops before missing with a Stinger Splash. Young gets in some offense and picks up a couple of quick near falls before Anderson hits a spinning neck breaker for a near fall. Young is able to take Anderson out with a jawbreaker and hits a Muta Moonsault as Gunner comes out and distracts the referee. With the referee distracted EY spits green mist into Anderson’s face and picks up the pin fall.
Gunner then enters the ring and begins to beat down Young as Anderson joins in. Sting’s music then hits as the real Sting comes down to the ring. Anderson leaves the ring and Sting clotheslines Gunner over the top rope. Sting then checks on Young as we head into a commercial break.
Match 4: Brian Kendrick vs. Kazarian (#1 Contender for X Division Championship)
The two shake hands before locking up and the two go back and forth in the opening moments. Kazarian then takes control after a flurry of quick maneuvers and picks up a near fall in the process. Kendrick tries to mount a comeback but misses with a suicide dive through the ropes and hits the floor. Back in the ring, Kazarian hits Kendrick with a back breaker and a suplex to pick up a couple of near falls but Kendrick continues to kick out.
The two then trade blows in the middle of the ring as Kendrick takes Kazarian down with a boot to the face. Kendrick then hits a missile dropkick for a near fall before taking Kazarian with an enziguri. Kendrick tries to put Kendrick away with Sliced Bread #2 but Kazarian counters with a neckbreaker. Kendrick, though, is able to counter Kazarian’s next move and connects with a boot to Kazarian’s face. Kendrick then tries for a frog splash but Kazarian rolls out of the way. Kazarian then comes back and hits Kendrick with the Shining Wizard that sends him out to the floor.
Back in the ring, the two try to put each other away with quick pin attempts but neither of them can put each away. Suddenly the bell rings as we are told that they have fought to a draw as time has expired. Earl Hebner then puts on a pair of headphones and talks to Christy Hemme as she announces that Eric Bischoff has given this match five more minutes.
The match restarts as the two begin to trade blows and take each other out with cross body blocks. Abyss then makes his way to the ring and goes after Kazarian but Kendrick jumps on his back. Abyss tosses him down and hits Kendrick with the Shock Treatment. Abyss then turns his attention to Kazarian and takes him down with the Black Hole Slam. Abyss then begins to quote The Art of War and says the X Division is dead as we head into a commercial break.
AJ Styles’ music hits as he comes out to the ring as we are treated to a recap of the history between Styles and Bully Ray. Styles says he heard Bully Ray was going to call him out but says no one calls him out in his house. Bully Ray’s music hits as he comes out and says it must be his house since it’s full of inbreed rednecks. Ray says Styles didn’t beat him last week in a street fight, he beat Tommy Dreamer, who is almost a bigger piece of crap than Devon.
Ray goes on to say that Styles is nothing more than a punk and he is a pro wrestler. Ray says he can see the fear in his eyes because he put it there. Styles fires back and rips Ray about his penis size before saying that a bully is nothing more than a balloon that will go away once you pop it just once. Styles then challenges Ray to a Last Man Standing match at Slammiversary as Ray questions if he is out of his mind. Ray asks if he knows what he is getting himself in to as Styles asks Ray if he knows what he is getting in to. The two stare each other down in the ring as we head into a commercial break.
Match 5: Jeff Jarrett & Scott Steiner vs. Kurt Angle & Matt Morgan
Prior to the match, Earl Hebner sends Karen Jarrett to the back so she can not interfere with the match. The bell rings as Matt Morgan wants in the match to face Scott Steiner, but Steiner tags in Jeff Jarrett. Morgan then tags in Angle as Jarrett tags Steiner back into the match to get this match finally started. Angle takes Steiner down with a belly-to-belly but he comes back and knees Angle in the midsection as he tags in Jarrett.
Angle quickly takes Jarrett down and goes for an ankle lock but Jarrett kicks Angle off as Morgan tags himself in. Morgan tosses Jarrett around and Jarrett tries to make the tag to Steiner but he backs off and leaves Jarrett in the ring. Angle is tagged back in as we see a split screen as Hulk Hogan has arrived to the Impact Wrestling Zone and Eric Bischoff hangs him the envelope delivered by the network. Back to the match, Steiner is back in and is working over Angle and takes him down with a belly-to-belly for a two count.
Jarrett is tagged back into the match and tries to go for the Stroke but Angle counters and puts Jarrett in the ankle lock. Jarrett rolls out of it and both Angle and Jarrett take each other out with clotheslines. Steiner and Morgan are tagged into the match as Morgan takes both Steiner and Jarrett down with a series of clotheslines. Morgan then slams Jarrett down to the mat and drives Steiner down with a side slam to pick up a near fall. The match begins to break down as Angle and Jarrett fight up the ramp and Angle puts Jarrett in the ankle lock as Karen Jarrett rusn out and helps her husband. They disappear in the back and we see that Karen has fallen down the steps.
Back in the ring, Steiner connects with a low blow on Morgan and picks up the pin fall, although, most of the ending is missed, due to the commotion backstage. We return to the back and see Jarrett call out for help as Angle says she should have never got involved and Angle begins to call out for paramedics. Angle then yells at Jarrett and says her blood is on his hands as the paramedics arrive with a stretcher and we head into a commercial break.
We return to see Karen Jarrett being wheeled into the ambulance. We then head to the announce team as they break down what just happened as they hope that she is okay. Hulk Hogan’s music then cuts them off as he comes out to the ring with Eric Bischoff.
Bischoff says he doesn’t want to open the envelope and says he has a few things he has to say since it may be the last time the two of them are on television. Bischoff talks about how he knew Mick Foley from his days in WCW and how he did nothing in his career except for chasing people around with a sock. Bischoff says he doesn’t know how Foley got through to the network and convinced them that he has some sort of grasp of the wrestling business. Bischoff says he has achieved more in his worst week of his career than Foley will ever achieve.
Hulk Hogan takes the microphone and says the two of them have made history together and the piece of paper from the network puts no fear in him at all. Hogan opens the envelope and reads through it and says that the network has optioned to terminate Mick Foley’s position. Bischoff has a look of shock on his face and says it’s the happiest day of his life as Impact Wrestling comes to a close.
– Crimson defeated Matt Hardy by pin fall.
– Angelina Love defeated Miss Tessmacher by pin fall.
– Eric Young (as the Great Muta) defeated Mr. Anderson (as Sting) by pin fall.
– Brian Kendrick and Kazarian fought to a no contest.
– Jeff Jarrett & Scott Steiner defeated Kurt Angle & Matt Morgan by pin fall.
Tonight was the first time since the change to Impact Wrestling did it come across that wrestling matters. However, even though the matches were given a lot of time to develop, it still seemed to me to be the same overbooked mess that TNA was delivering for the past few years.
Mr. Anderson is still walking around in old school Sting gear and this time he promised to recreate history by facing someone from Sting’s past. Instead of bringing in a wrestler for a one off apperance that Anderson could destroy, they opted to dress Eric Young up as the Great Muta. To make matters worse, it was booked as a comedy match that Anderson lost. Glad to see that EY packed his green mist capsules along with his ring gear. I guess this was used to set up a tag team match for next week, but having Anderson lose in a singles comedy match isn’t the best way to set up the main event for Slammiversary in my mind.
TNA did a good job setting up the main event and promoted it heavily throughout the show, it’s just too bad they didn’t deliver the goods. The match was fine itself, however, the ending with Karen Jarrett falling down the stairs overshadowed everything. The ending itself was barely seen as all that was shown was Scott Steiner pinning Matt Morgan. Why promote a match so heavily during the broadcast if the ending of the match barely matters?
I was really enjoying the X Division match between Brian Kendrick and Kazarian and was glad to see that the match was being extended. These two put on a great television match, yet again, TNA decided that they should end it with Abyss coming out and destroying both wrestlers in a matter of seconds. This does put over Abyss as a force to be reckoned with, but the same could have been done after finishing the match. It’s a shame that a match this good had to end on such a bad note.
The opening match took place about 25 minutes into the program and was good for what it was. TNA really is trying to put over Crimson’s undefeated streak and it was good to see him pick up a clean win over Matt Hardy. Hardy hasn’t amounted to much in his time in TNA, but he is a bigger name and was a quality opponent for Crimson to face and continue the streak.
Angelina Love picked up a win over Miss Tessmacher in Knockouts action to give her some momentum heading into Slammiversary to challenge Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship. This match accomplished what it needed to do, but I think it would have meant a little more had Mickie made some sort of appearance at the end of the match to help out Miss Tessmacher. These two were tag team partners a few weeks ago and would have given a little more attention to the title match at the upcoming pay-per-view.
I’m usually not a big fan of a wrestler stepping up and defending a title that isn’t theirs, but in the case of Beer Money, I have to agree with the move. The Motorcity Machine Guns have been put on the shelf due to Chris Sabin’s injury and this gives Alex Shelley something to work with. Plus, the history between these two teams is well known, so it does make sense. I’m all for this as long as it means that the titles aren’t stripped from Beer Money in some sort of convoluted manner.
The confrontation between AJ Styles and Bully Ray was pretty good, however, did we really need the penis jokes in there? I really could have done without that, but the rest of it worked well and set up a Last Man Standing match between the two. I know I have said this a few times before, but the Bully Ray character is growing on me and I feel that Ray is finally becoming a legitimate singles wrestler. This, for me, is odd since WWE went down that road before with less than stellar results. What amazes me even more is that all of this is being done so late in Ray’s career. I don’t foresee Ray winning any World Championships but he is solidifying his spot as an upper tier player.
Finally, since wrestling matters, the ending of the show was all about a group of non-wrestlers and a letter from the network. The letter revealed that the network is terminating Mick Foley’s position and it appears that Immortal is back in control of TNA. Thus, the power struggle continues. I’m not sure where this is all going to lead to, but I really can’t wait until it’s over.