TNA Impact Wrestling opened with Sting making his way to the ring with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Sting was just getting started, and at Genesis, he was targeting DOC. He then invited the Aces and Eights to “come get some,” while Joe put them on notice that he was going to choke them out.
Angle wanted to talk to Mr. Anderson, and that brought out TNA’s resident A-hole. Anderson questioned their loyalty when he was getting attacked in October and declared that he didn’t have to answer to Angle and never liked him. Angle then attacked Anderson to end the segment.
I thought this was a good opening segment. Everyone was strong on the mic, and the mystery that is Mr. Anderson keeps getting more mysterious. His actions suggest that he is a member of the Aces and Eights, but I’m not so sure.
I still think that he’s a mole sent in their by Sting. Are Angle and Samoa Joe in on it? I don’t think so. The less people that know the better.
One thing I really liked about this segment is that the Aces and Eights didn’t even show up. It was a nice change of pace to not see them, though I’m sure they’ll show up later on in the show.
A video of Gut Check contestant Jay Bradley then aired. He said that only one could win and that it would be him. The video wasn’t anything too special. The other Gut Check vignettes were more in depth on the contestant’s life and career. I hope Brian Cage’s is better.
Backstage, Brooke Hogan was heading to talk to poppa Hulk. Yes, Brooke, please talk to your father. Get him to stay out of storylines! I’m fine with Hogan as the general manager, but he really shouldn’t have his own storyline.
Kenny King vs. Zema Ion
Kenny King advanced in the tournament after hitting Zema Ion with the Royal Flush. I thought this was an entertaining match, but it was way too short. Both King and Ion performed great here and gave the fans some nice back-and-forth action, but they could have given a lot more if they had more time.
King is definitely the future of the X-Division. He has the skills in the ring that just screams X-Division, and he can cut a good promo. I feel that he’ll be defeating Christian York and then Rob Van Dam for the X-Division Championship at Genesis.
Post-match, King declared that Christy Hemme could be announcing him as the new champion at the pay-per-view, and I agree 100 percent.
Backstage, Robbie E was disappointed that the Jersey Shore was cancelled and wanted Miss Tessmacher to team with him against Tara and Jesse. Tessmacher then agreed, but only if she teamed with Rob Terry.
Seems to me like TNA is planting the seeds for the breakup of Robbie E and Rob Terry. It’ll be interesting to see how the TNA goes about it.
Remaining backstage, Joe Park was excited for his opportunity as a wrestler, but the door was locked—nice little bit of humor there with the locked door.
I’m glad Park is back, as it will hopefully lead to the return of Abyss. The Abyss character would be a much bigger help against the Aces and Eights than Park, but at the same time, I’m going to wait to see where it all goes first.
Tara and Jesse vs. Rob Terry and Miss Tessmacher
Rob Terry and Miss Tessmacher picked up the win after Terry hit quite the powerbomb on Jesse. This was a decent match that saw some good action from the Knockouts. I’m disappointed that this was the only Knockouts action on the show, but it was pretty good.
The action between Terry and Jesse pretty much saw the British wrestler beat up the former reality television star. Terry was impressive in doing so, though.
Post-match, Terry and Tessmacher danced before finishing with the move from Dirty Dancing and a kiss. All of this was much to the dismay of Robbie E. I think breaking up the duo of the Robbie’s is looking more likely now.
Robbie E is growing jealous of Terry, and jealously is a classic way to break up a team. As for the dancing, it was a bit entertaining.
A video then aired of Brian Cage. He talked about opportunity and about how he had to have a contract. I thought it was better than Bradley’s vignette. Cage at least talked about how gaining the contract was the only thing right now. He seemed to have more passion in his video then Bradley did.
Jay Bradley vs. Brian Cage
Jay Bradley picked up the win with the Boom Lariat. I thought this was an overall good match. Both Bradley and Cage exhibited great skill in the ring and gave the fans some nice back-and-forth action.
Out of the two, I liked Brian Cage the most. He impressed me more than Bradley did, especially with a few cool moves he pulled off. With only one of these guys getting a contract, I personally hope that it’s Cage who gets it.
If Bradley ends up getting it, I’ll be fine with the decision, since he was good. If it were up to me, though, I would choose Cage.
With Gut Check taking place on this episode, it gets me wondering what the status of Open Fight Night is. The Gut Check matches always took place on Open Fight Night, so does this mean that the concept is gone?
Backstage, Anderson told the Aces and Eights that they had business to take care of, and the vice president brought everyone to the table. The first order was Mike Knox losing his mask. He had to prove himself to remain in the group.
The last time that happened, DOC beat Sting with a hammer. I have the feeling that someone else will be getting taken out by that rubber hammer later.
Joe Park then appeared in ring and wanted to talk to Hulk Hogan. After Hogan acted annoyed the whole time, he finally agreed to give Park a match against the Aces and Eights. Brooke then appeared on the screen and said she wanted to talk before it cut to commercial.
I liked Park’s promo, but I was kind of annoyed with Hogan here. Sure, he’s supposed to have things on his mind, but those things shouldn’t get in the way of his job no matter how personal the problems may be.
If Hogan wants to have his own storyline, then he really shouldn’t be the general manager. It just doesn’t work with him.
Back from commercial and Brooke wanted poppa Hulk to reinstate Bully Ray. Hulk denied her request and walked out, leaving Brooke trying to cry. I really do not like this storyline.
I especially don’t like that it’s taking up so much television time. The time this is taking up could have been given to Kenny King and Zema Ion for their match earlier, or another match could have been given more time. I really hope this ends soon.
Backstage, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries argued over their t-shirts and over what the other was wearing out to the ring.
These two are very entertaining together. They have a chemistry that you don’t even see in some tag teams today. In fact, if they were to actually form a team, they could give Bad Influence a run for their money for the title of most entertaining team.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy and James Storm
Jeff Hardy and James Storm won the match by disqualification when Austin Aries hit Hardy in the back of the head with the title. James Storm was busy with Bad Influence, who came out to distract the Cowboy.
I thought this was an overall good match. Roode and Aries moved that chemistry backstage to the ring and proved to be quite the cohesive unit. They really make a great team!
Hardy played the face in peril here and sold for his Genesis challengers very well. While Hardy was getting beat up most of the time, the overall chemistry between the three of them is great. I can’t wait for the match this Sunday!
When Storm got the hot tag, things got quite intense. He was taking out both Roode and Aries at the same time, which was impressive. The involvement of Christopher Daniels and Kazarian was good, since it advances their feud and hypes the Storm/Daniels match at Genesis.
I would have liked to see Daniels and Kazarian in action, but I’ll take what I can get.
Backstage, Brooke was on phone with Bully Ray, and she told him to pick her up later. I think that confirms that the Bully will be showing up on screen by the end of the night. Good to see Bully Ray go from big, bad bully to Brooke’s chauffeur.
Remaining backstage, Joey Ryan said that he and Matt Morgan will win the titles on Sunday. That brought in Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez to attack them. They brawled a bit before the champions walked away.
It was good hype for their Tag Team Championship match this Sunday at Genesis. The feud itself hasn’t been that great, so that’s why I consider a short brawl good hype at this point.
Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson didn't actually happen, as Mike Knox attacked Angle with the dreaded rubber hammer. I was disappointed that the match didn’t happen, since Angle and Anderson have had some great matches in the past, but at the same time, I’m glad Angle got taken out.
The Aces and Eights have been trying to take out the Olympic gold medalist for a month to no avail. It was about time they got the job done. Being the machine that he is, Angle will probably pop up at Genesis or return next week, but the Aces and Eights finally got him onto a stretcher.
The save was made by Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco with Sting coming out later. The Icon would soon challenge Knox and the match was made.
I’m still waiting for the reveal of Bischoff and Brisco as members of the group. My guess is that it will be happening before Lockdown.
Sting vs. Mike Knox
Sting picked up the victory with the Scorpion Death Drop in a decent match, which saw Sting beat up the bigger Knox and Knox get in some offense before the finish. Knox did look good in the ring with Sting; I just wish he got more of a chance to wrestle.
I wonder if losing to Sting means that Knox is out of the Aces and Eights. I sure hope not, as I would like to see more of him in TNA.
This would mark Sting’s first match since November, and he looked good. For being 53 years old, the Icon can still go in the ring. Should he still be involved in main storylines? That’s something for debate, but he can still put on a match.
Post-match, Sting started to beat Knox with the hammer when the Aces and Eights showed up with Brooke Hogan. The situation would be remedied when Bully Ray showed up and they let her go.
That was a little anti-climactic, I thought. Why not just run off with her? Who would make a better hostage then the boss’s daughter?
That would have forced Hulk to trust Bully Ray in getting her back, but what we got was something stupid.
After Hulk blamed Bully for everything, Bully Ray proposed to Brooke and she said, “Yes.” Hogan left mad, and Sting was in the ring like, “Are we really doing this?”
The wedding itself will be taking place next week on Impact Wrestling.
I can’t believe this is how TNA is ringing in the New Year. The only thing that will get me interested in this whole thing is a huge swerve. I’m talking the Big Show, Andre the Giant and Yokozuna combined huge!
Overall, I have to say that this episode of Impact Wrestling was a decent one. The first hour was kind of slow, though there were some entertaining moments, but the second hour picked up big time thanks to the tag team match. Then the ending happened and killed the show for me.
It takes a lot for one segment to kill an entire wrestling show for me, but this Hulk Hogan/Bully Ray/Brooke storyline taking precedence over the World Heavyweight Championship feud is just ridiculous. I hope this wedding is the end of the storyline so TNA can get back to the wrestling.
The hype for Genesis did its job, so I’m looking forward to the event. Hopefully it’ll be good enough to get the bad taste out of my mouth that this ending left.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter, where I always follow back fellow wrestling fans and usually tweet during the shows!