TNA Impact Wrestling, Jan. 24: Jeff Hardy Retains, the Higher Power and More

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 25, 2013

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TNA Wrestling’s Impact Wrestling opened Thursday's episode with footage from after the attack on the wedding. It showed TNA wrestlers helping Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray to the back, but that gets me wondering: Where were they when the attack was taking place? Why not come out and at least try to help?

TNA then cut to the Aces & Eights clapping up a storm while one member drove around in a circle on a motorcycle. That is certainly a strange way to celebrate. I’m not really sure what to make of what was going on there. It was kind of weird.

Opening Segment

Taz then made his way out with the Aces & Eights. The group was a machine that had an agenda for revenge. They took direction from a higher power, and he just couldn’t pass that up. He then declared that his contract stated that if anyone touched him, then he could sue TNA and end up owning the company.

A higher power with an agenda for revenge? Now we’re getting somewhere! TNA has finally revealed why the Aces & Eight are around, which is good. It’s been seven months since the group’s debut, so it was about time they mentioned their intentions.

I’ve been saying since day one that the leader was Jeff Jarrett, and to me, a higher power looking for revenge fits him perfectly. Jarrett is the founder of TNA Wrestling, who had his company taken away by Hulk Hogan. The founder could be seen as a “higher power,” and revenge is something he would certainly want.

The clause in Taz’s contract is pretty lame, though. He can’t wrestle anymore, so they invented a clause that says he can’t be touched. I wasn’t expecting him to get into the ring and fight or anything like that, but seeing a few punches thrown would have been nice.

As for the promo itself, Taz was pretty solid on the mic here. I like him better when he’s cutting a promo over him on commentary. After this, Taz would actually return to the announce table, which is giving me flashbacks of nWo member Eric Bischoff on commentary in WCW.

Heading Backstage

Tara was then seen backstage getting ready for her title defense against Velvet Sky. Jessie Godderz soon pulled out a Velvet action figure and motivated her and himself with constant praise.

I would like to see Godderz in the ring more and not as Tara’s boyfriend/sidekick. He had a match this week on Xplosion that wasn’t too bad. He’s developing into a solid wrestler. At the same time, his partnership with Tara works right now. They have become an entertaining duo, especially in their backstage segments.

Back from a commercial break, and the camera man was with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Kaz declared that he was a licensed manager now, while Daniels said that TNA needed him. He was a feature, not a creature, and would be winning the title later on.

Both Daniels and Kazarian are such great talkers. When they’re together, the entertainment value goes through the roof. Their chemistry with one another gives them ability to work off of what the other does. That’s what makes their team so great, both inside and outside the ring.

Tara vs. Velvet Sky: TNA Knockouts Championship

Tara would retain her title here after Jessie tripped Velvet, and Tara had her feet on the ropes. This was an enjoyable match that saw both Knockouts perform well. It wasn’t the best Knockouts contest, but it got the job done in terms of storylines.

Since winning the title, Tara has been able to keep it due to the help from Godderz. This definitely won’t be the last time fans see Velvet in the title picture, so it could lead to her bringing in some backup to counter him. If this route is taken, perhaps it could be a way for Chris Sabin to return. That will, of course, depend on if he’s ready to return come the next title match.

The ending of this match also continues referee Taryn Terrell missing calls. She didn’t see Gail’s foot under the ropes at Genesis, and she missed Tara having both feet on the ropes here. Whether that actually turns into something remains to be seen, though.

Either way, Velvet is in no way done with Tara. I suspect a title match at Lockdown to be the next showdown for the title.

Going Backstage

Sting would then arrive to the Impact Zone. The talking camera tried to ask him questions, but Sting would only say that he would do his talking in the ring. Nobody seems to like this magically talking camera. Every time it talks, they just tell it to go away.

All joking aside, Sting should stop talking and start planning. He’s done a lot of talking about the Aces & Eights and not much taking care of business. With this being the Road to Lockdown, I would hope he and everyone else starts making a game plan to deal with the biker gang.

Kenny King then appeared in front of a mirror in his locker. He was talking to himself as Zema Ion approached him. They agreed that their match later was about looking good, but King said to let him do the heavy lifting.

These two guys have similar personalities. They’re both cocky, they both think they’re the best and they both think they deserve to be the X-Division champion. Their personalities are going to eventually clash in a big way.

Court is Adjourned

Joseph Park soon made his way out to actual entrance music. It’s about time he got some, too! He said that his place was no longer in the courtroom; it was in TNA on the Impact Wrestling roster.

He wanted to be the best that he could be and declared that he would be calling someone out on Open Fight Night next week from England. Whom he would call out, though, is something he hadn’t figured out yet.

This was a pretty decent segment. Abyss has really settled into the Joseph Park character and has made it his own. As much as I would like to see Abyss come back, I have come to really enjoy the character. He can deliver a good promo as Park, and he deserves a lot of credit for adopting a whole new style of wrestling and arsenal of moves. He may do the occasional Black Hole Slam, but for the most part, he’s got a completely different move set.

It’ll be interesting to see who he calls out next week. I would think it would be a member of the Aces & Eights, but I have a feeling that it won’t be.

Kenny King and Zema Ion vs. Rob Van Dam and Christian York

The heels picked up the win here after Kenny King hit an impressive springboard Blockbuster on Christian York and Zema Ion got the pin. This was a fun match to watch, thanks mainly to King, York and Ion.

They were all impressive in this match, while the King/Ion team ended up working out quite well. The teamwork really didn’t kick in until the end, but they do make a good team. King, Ion and York are truly the future of the X-Division. Their matches are always solid, and sometimes exciting.

Then there is Rob Van Dam, who just seems to go through the motions nowadays. He looks like he’s there to hit his usual moves, and then leave. Van Dam as champion really isn’t doing anything for the division. TNA needs to get the title off of him as soon as possible.

Whether it’s Kenny King, Christian York, Zema Ion or somebody else entirely, a new, and fresh, face should be champion.

The Return to Backstage

Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan then arrived, and the camera was waiting for them. Bully said that they’d address things in the ring and told the camera to go away. People really don’t like that camera, do they?

I’m starting to not really like all of these short backstage segments. They all end up the same, which is a wrestler or wrestlers arriving and saying they’d talk in the ring, not to the camera. A little variety would be nice once in a while. Maybe somebody actually stops and talks next time!

Elsewhere, Samoa Joe told Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco that he was tired of them following him around. Kurt Angle then appeared to say that he wasn’t 100 percent after the attack by Aces & Eights a few weeks ago, but that he was ready to fight.

I think Samoa Joe suspects something in Bischoff and Brisco. Since he started to align himself with Angle, he has been cold towards the two young stars. I don’t think he trusts them, and that could create a rift between him and Angle.

Bully Ray Addresses Taz and the Aces & Eights

Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan soon appeared in the ring to address what happened last week. Bully expected it from Devon, but not Taz. Taz hurt the people around him, which meant that he wouldn’t sleep until he took out every member of the Aces & Eights.

To do so, though, Hulk Hogan needed to lift his suspension. That brought out Sting, who just asked Hulk to do so next week in England.

Bully Ray was strong on the mic here, but the promo was decent at best. What he said was nothing new. Every time someone is attacked by the biker gang, they always come back and say the same thing, or something along those lines. Everyone that has been attacked that vowed to take them all out upon return has practically done nothing.
They may unmask a member, but that’s not really too productive in taking out a group that size. Hopefully Bully Ray will be the first to actually stay true to his word.

As for Sting, his presence wasn’t really needed here. Earlier, he sounded like he had a whole lot more to say, but all he did was beg Hogan, which he seems to do a lot of these days.

Bobby Roode vs. Hernandez

Before this match, Bobby Roode and Austin were trying to decide who should face Hernandez. They put each other over, but Aries ultimately admitted that his victory over Roode might have been a fluke, which got Roode to agree to this match.

This was a great backstage segment for two reasons. The first is that it continued the partnership of Roode and Aries. They weren’t arguing here, but that didn’t change the fact that they are pure gold together. Even when they’re talking seriously, their chemistry is great!

The second reason is that by putting each over in an attempt to get the other to face Hernandez, they were putting SuperMex over as well. They talked about him like he was a great talent, which he is, and that he was a force to be reckoned with. They hyped him up in a big way here!

As for the match, Roode ended up defeating Hernandez with a surprise bulldog. The ending was kind of lame since a simple bulldog took out big Hernandez, but the overall match was quite good. They delivered a solid back and forth match as both of them performed great here.

Hernandez looked like a star in the ring with the longest reigning TNA World champion in history. This may be a tag team feud, but it’s going to do wonders for him as a singles competitor in the future. If he can deliver in the ring with Roode, and maybe Aries down the road, he’ll show fans that he’s more than just a tag team wrestler.

The Cage is Heading to England

Kurt Angle then made his way out to declare that he was looking for some revenge on Mr. Anderson. On Open Fight Night next week, he planned to call out Anderson. That brought out TNA’s resident A-hole, who said he wanted to fight right then and there.

He sucker punched Angle, but the Olympic gold medalist ultimately chased him off. After Anderson ran, though, Angle said that their match would be inside the steel cage.

I thought this was a good segment, but mainly because of Anderson and the short brawl. Anderson’s cockiness came out in the segment, and it’s been a while since he’s really done anything like that in TNA. Being a member of the Aces & Eights is giving him the chance to be the A-hole that his character has the potential to be.

Angle seemed off here to me, so this segment was saved by Anderson and his sucker punch.

Later on, Anderson was back in the Aces & Eights clubhouse, and he wasn’t too happy. Devon told him that they’d make a game plan, but to relax and enjoy himself for now.

While I think being a member of the group is great for Anderson, I don’t think he’s going to be a member for long. He was never really much of a team player, and things will eventually explode. He won’t necessarily join Sting and Bully Ray in fighting the Aces & Eights, he’ll just be out for himself.

Jeff Hardy vs. Christopher Daniels: TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Hardy retained the title here after the Swanton Bomb in a good match. The contest featured a lot of solid action as Hardy and Daniels worked quite well together. They really clicked here, which made for a good showing.

This match just proved that Daniels really does deserve a run with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He’s been having main event caliber matches for the past year now, and he just took the champion to the limit. If he doesn’t win the title this year, then TNA will be missing out on a huge opportunity.

Hardy can still go, but you can tell he’s in a lot of pain. Every time he lands on his back, the look on his face just screams pain. His style of wrestling is unfortunately starting to catch up with him. The man needs to take a break, and it looks like he’s going to get one.

After the match, Taz asked Hardy what he would after the Aces & Eights destroyed everything. That led to a member hitting Hardy once in the knee with the hammer.

I was expecting a full beat down here, so one blow with the hammer was disappointing. It’s actually pretty lame. The guy with the weapon could have at least hit him a few more times with it before running away. At least Hardy is getting the chance to rest up, though, so there’s that.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable episode of Impact Wrestling, but it certainly wasn’t their best. There were a few good matches, with the main event being the highlight, while the others were decent at best. They were enjoyable and fun to watch, but they weren’t the best matches.

A few of the segments were good as well, but the majority of them left more to be desired.

I hope TNA can pick things back up in England, which I’m sure they will. Their shows last year in the UK were very good, so I’m looking forward to them!

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! If your bio doesn’t say you’re a wrestling fan, please tweet me so I know.


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