It's Thursday! You know what that means! If you say the new season of Jersey Shore started, I think it's best if you just leave now.
Anyway, welcome to my first review, and first article, of the new year.
Let me rephrase that: Welcome to my first Bleacher Report article of the new year.
There is one article I wrote prior to this review and it can be found exclusively on the new and improved Enigmatic Wrestling website.
The article is all about Rob Van Dam and how his returning to WWE would benefit both WWE and TNA. Check it out!
How will IMPACT kick off 2012? Let's find out.
The General Manager, Sting comes out to start the show. He asks for Jeff Hardy to come out.
He talks about his new-found love for Jeff Hardy and how second chances are cool and all that. Sting says he and Hardy aren't too different and that he fully backs Jeff going into Genesis this Sunday.
Thankfully, Bobby Roode comes out with Bully Ray and Kurt Angle to end this love-fest.
Roode tells Sting to stop talking because it's making him sick. He asks why The Stinger doesn't support himself (Roode), Bully Ray and/or Kurt Angle.
Roode says that Sting clearly plays favorites and begins cutting into Jeff Hardy.
"The Cowboy" James Storm comes out with Abyss.
Storm tells Roode to shut up and starts talking with Kurt. He says Kurt is scared of him and his Last Call. Since Angle beat up Storm's buddies a few weeks ago, why doesn't he do it now?
Meet Storm's friend, Abyss.
Storm and Abyss knock back a beer and Kurt grabs a mic to say something. Abyss grabs the mic from Kurt's hand, tells him to shut up and yells at Bully Ray about not getting enough respect while in Immortal.
All three guys are facing off and the easy button goes of in Sting's head.
Let's make a main event: Hardy, Storm and Abyss vs. Roode, Angle and Bully.
Notice, I said easy button going off rather than a light bulb. At this point, the main event was too easy to make. C'mon, Sting.
Knockouts Pool Party!
After some commercials, a clip airs from earlier today.
Madison Rayne is with the luckiest cameraman on Earth and is modeling a bikini for him...more specifically, the camera.
Madison points out Traci who's catching up on some R-and-R in the pool.
Madison gets in the pool and starts splashing at Traci and mocking her. Traci attacks Madison in the pool and, out of nowhere, Knockouts Champ Gail Kim dives in!
Is the pool party over? Yes. Unfortunately. More Sandlot references in 2012? You're welcome.
Knockouts Tag Team Championships
Mickie James and Traci Brooks vs. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
That previous clip was supposed to make me excited for this match, but it made me more excited for an IMPACT Wrestling pool party this summer.
The Knockouts get a good amount of time, and they make it count. They put on a good showing and, hey, there was even a commercial during their match! Take that, Divas!
Mickie and Madison took the fight outside the ring as Traci was forced to Eat Defeat by Gail in the ring.
Good match. I liked it.
Winners and Still Champions: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
The IMPACT Players
Backstage, we're with Gunner and Ric Flair.
Flair says that Gunner is becoming famous for kicking ass and hurting people the past few weeks. Flair says that he's Gunner's partner for tonight.
Flair also calls Gunner an "IMPACT Player." Cool.
GM, Sting shows up and says that it's a singles match between Gunner and RVD. Flair can't be Gunner's partner; RVD doesn't have one.
Flair says that he's not a tag partner, he's Gunner's manager. Sting says that's good, then invites Flair to watch the match with him. He bans Flair from ringside, the polite way.
That last line was a bit of a lie. Flair is banned from ringside, though...
Backstage, Magnus is excited about being in the tag team finals. He hypes it up and tells Joe this is their moment. No more being overshadowed after tonight.
Magnus starts to walk off when Joe pulls him back. Joe says let's do it.
They're on the same page.
AJ and Kazarian are in their locker room. They've come this far because, well, they're actually friends unlike most teams in the tournament. They have chemistry and they'll win.
Bischoff is Back
Here's the good news: It's not Eric.
(For some people) Here's the bad news: It's Garett.
I like Garett, I just know of people who don't.
Garett is putting his black-and-white stripes on when Sting shows up. Garett says he's back in IMPACT no matter what his dad, Gunner or anyone says or does.
Sting asks why he's sporting the stripes and Garett tells him he's going to ref the next match.
Sting tells Garett to take his shirt off, which can be sexual harassment, but Garett doesn't want to upset since it's his boss and all...
Garett takes the ref shirt off and Sting holds up some boots and tells him that he's a wrestler now. Garett is happy.
EY in search of ODB
Eric Young is looking for his girl, ODB. I know, it just sounds weird.
EY goes into the Knockouts dressing room as Gail Kim and Madison are in there. They're fully clothed (how anti-climatic) and freak out about EY.
Madison jumps on his back and screams at him to get out, but EY pulls her off and shoves her in a locker.
Good stuff, EY.
Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
With rumors of RVD wanting to return to WWE and Gunner's recent path of destruction, I'm thinking (and hoping) that this is the last we see of Van Dam in TNA.
The match is going all fine and dandy until it spills to the outside and Gunner reveals the concrete. The ref throws the match out as Gunner sets up for a pile driver.
DO IT! Sorry, I try not to play favorites. My fandom for Gunner overcame me...
RVD reverses the pile driver and Gunner lands—SPLAT!—on his back. RVD puts him against the guard rail and leaps off the ring apron the only way RVD would.
Gunner moves, RVD slams into the rail and Gunner gets a second chance at breaking RVD's neck, face, skull and other stuff.
As Gunner is setting up, Al Snow and other fellas come to save RVD.
WHAT?! They save the ex-WWE guy but not Douglas Williams?
Match gets Canceled...
This match will take place at Genesis this Sunday.
Main Event Thoughts
The camera guys get everybody's main event thoughts; everybody being the participants in the match.
The faces say they'll win tonight and at Genesis.
The heels say they'll win tonight and at Genesis.
The end of that segment.
Kid Kash and Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion and Jesse Sorensen
All four guys will compete in a four-way title match at Genesis.
During the entrances, Sorensen does his pose with his football and Ion snatches it and continues down the ramp. Nobody, I mean nobody, screws with the football! Ion, you'll learn the hard way. Oh, you'll learn.
Aries and Kash work as the better team; meanwhile Ion just tries to show off every chance he gets.
There's some good, X-Division action from all four men.
Sorensen takes Kash outside the ring and knocks him out. In the ring, he slams Aries and heads to the top rope (in his corner). Ion begs for the tag, comes in and goes for a 450 Splash.
Aries dodges the 450 and Ion slowly gets to his feet with help from the ropes. Sorensen smacks him on the back for a blind tag, but Aries didn't notice.
Aries sets Ion up for a Brain Buster but the ref tells "A Double" that Zema isn't the legal guy. As Aries yells, "What?!" Sorensen hits his finisher.
Winners: Jesse Sorensen and Zema Ion
With TNA's past in four-way X Division matches, this should be good come Genesis.
*Cough Aries vs. Low Ki vs. Ion vs. Evans at Destination X. 2011 Match of the year voted for during the 2011 IMPACT Awards hosted by me. Cough, cough*
You think Zema learned not to mess with Sorensen's football in this match? I did.
EY finds ODB doing a photo shoot. ODB is actually taking pictures of Lee South...
EY tells ODB to get ready for their match. Their Wild Card Tournament match. ODB says they were eliminated and that they're done.
EY says they're not done and does his typical lock-up. The two fall to the ground, roll around then ODB starts to make out with EY. Ew.
Imagine the kids that they would have? Yeah, try sleeping tonight.
Hey, at least ODB is getting on TV nowadays.
Wild Card Tag Team Tournament Finals
Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. AJ Styles and Kazarian
Before the match, Kazarian looks worried in his locker room. AJ walks in and tells him it's game time. They leave and Christopher Daniels steps into Kaz's doorway and watches them walk away.
Joe and Magnus do their typical good tag team work that has been making me a fan of their team since their first match.
Daniels arrives during the match and brainwashes Kazarian to walk out on AJ Styles.
AJ watches Kazarian walk out with Daniels and is confused as hell. Samoa Joe takes AJ down, Magnus hits an elbow drop, Joe brings him to the corner, kicks him in the head and pins him.
AJ was murdered towards the end by Joe and Magnus.
Winners: NEW Number One Contenders, Samoa Joe and Magnus
Joe and Magnus get more TV time, a title shot and a pay-per-view match all while AJ/Daniels/Kazarian starts to be in the works.
Champion, meet Challengers
Crimson and Matt Morgan are backstage saying it's great to finally know who their opponents are for this Sunday.
Joe and Magnus show up and Joe tells Morgan to bring a case on Sunday because he doesn't want his title getting scratched.
The teams brawl until they're separated.
Jeff Hardy, James Storm and Abyss vs. Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle and Bully Ray
This match goes back and forth until, you saw this coming, all hell breaks loose.
Everybody starts brawling with their Genesis opponent and the ref is so confused, he ends the match! The fighting continues and Bully Ray grabs a huge chain from somewhere.
He helps beat up the faces, then puts it around Abyss' throat and throws him over the ropes. He strangles Abyss as Angle has Storm in an Ankle Lock and Roode has Hardy in a cross-face.
Heels kicking ass is the final image on IMPACT before this Sunday's Genesis pay-per-view event.
- Opening Segment. I liked the segment AFTER the love-fest between Sting ad Hardy broke up. Good mic work by all involved.
- Knockouts Pool Party. Beautiful women, bikinis and a pool. What's not to like?
- Knockouts Tag title match. They looked hot in the pool and threw down in the ring. It was some good Knockouts action prior to Sunday.
- Ric Flair. Highly entertained by the Nature Boy in his backstage segment. Also, way to step up and become an official manager for a younger guy. Nobody wants to see you wrestle, but keep doing what you did tonight and you're awesome.
- The X-Division. I cannot wait to see all four guys go at it on Sunday. Sorensen was the big "IMPACT Player" in this match.
- Joe/Magnus vs. AJ/Kazarian. The right team won, they're getting more TV time and AJ, Kaz and Daniels are also getting something done. I like it.
- The main event. The match was fun while it lasted...
- Gunner vs. RVD. I was highly anticipating a DDT or pile driver on the concrete. Damn you, Al Snow and the other TNA agents.
- The main event though was a dumb waste of time. Of course, they think they're going to win. You don't go into a fight saying, "Damn. I'm gonna lose."
- EY/ODB angle. The whole thing, though entertaining, felt like a waste. ODB should be in line for a Knockouts title match but at this point, I'm glad to see her on TV in any angle.
- Main event. I wanted to see a clear-cut winner. The heels kicking ass to end the show was cool, but why not have them win THEN attack the faces?
I'd say this episode of IMPACT was definitely above average and pretty enjoyable. I liked it and, damn right I'm looking forward to Genesis this Sunday.
Didn't know there was a pay-per-view this Sunday? I've heard that dozens of times. Maybe if you watched weekly and paid a bit more attention, you'd know. It's kind of obvious.
Before I leave, I need to get one thing straight:
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