This episode of TNA Wrestling’s Impact Wrestling opened with general manager Hulk Hogan. He was out there to announce the No. 1 contender for Jeff Hardy’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Lockdown.
He chose Bully Ray, and the Bully soon proposed a main event featuring the Aces & Eights taking on him, Sting and Hulk Hogan. Hogan agreed and, the match was made official.
Last week, Hogan said that one of the eight guys competing would be the No. 1 contender, and he chooses Bully Ray? Looks like his daughter Brooke got to him. I said last week that Bully Ray was using Brooke to get to Hulk. Bully has wanted a title shot for quite a while now, and what better way to get it than to convince daddy’s little girl to talk to daddy about it?
Everything is starting to become clear when it comes to Bully Ray. I can see him winning the World title at Lockdown and then turning on the Hogans to reveal that he’s a member of the Aces & Eights. At the very least, he’ll just revert back to his heel ways.
As for Hulk getting back into the ring, I really hope that doesn’t happen. His last match was at Bound for Glory 2011 against Sting, which was an event I was at live. The match was well done and it was a fitting end to Hulk’s in-ring career. He should let it be and stay out of the ring.
Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and Bad Influence vs. Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez, James Storm and Joseph Park
Before the match, Bad Influence approached Austin Aries and Bobby Roode backstage. They congratulated them on winning the Tag Team Championship, but told them to follow their lead in the upcoming match.
Those four wrestlers on the same side? This is going to be some entertaining stuff. All four of them have massive egos, so it’ll be great to see them all clash at the same time.
The babyface team then picked up the victory after all of them hit their finishing maneuvers on Kazarian, which was after Aries and Roode left Bad Influence high and dry. This was an entertaining match that saw a lot of good action from all eight wrestlers.
The interactions between the heels were well done, and I’d love to see more from them. Even though both teams are heel, a feud between the champions and Bad Influence could be great. I’ll just have to settle with Aries and Roode taking care of Guerrero and Hernandez first.
James Storm continues to be one of TNA’s top talents with zero direction. Seriously, TNA has to figure something out for Storm—and fast.
I’m still awaiting the return of Abyss, but I am enjoying the work he does as Joseph Park. He deserves a lot of credit for adopting a whole different arsenal of moves, but a part of me just wants the Monster back.
Robbie E vs. Rockstar Spud
After Rob Terry wouldn’t give Robbie E the clipboard, Rockstar Spud rolled Robbie up for the win. This was a fun match to watch. This would be the first time I’ve ever seen Rockstar compete, and I think he’s great.
If “earning a TNA contract” really means that he earned a TNA contract, I really hope they actually use him outside of the United Kingdom. He would make a great addition to the X-Division and is somebody, along with Kenny King, that could really revive the division.
Robbie continues to be an entertaining performer, but his backup may be gone for good. Post-match, Robbie yelled at, and eventually slapped, Rob Terry. Terry became enraged, took off his shirt and flexed. That scared Robbie off, who quickly exited the ring.
If a guy Terry’s size was staring at me angrily, I think I’d run away too. Looks like the breakup of the Robbies has officially happened. I have to wonder, though, if TNA is going to continue it when the show returns to the United States.
I would imagine they would, but you never know. A feud between them could be very entertaining. It probably wouldn’t last too long, but that’s fine. The main purpose would be to get Terry over as a monster, which shouldn’t be too hard to do and shouldn’t take that long.
Tara vs. Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher: Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match for the TNA Knockouts Championship
Before the match, Jessie Godderz was talking to Tara on the way to the ring. He assured her that at the end of the night, she would still be champion and he would still be her boyfriend. Well that’s an interesting comment. He basically said he’d be with her as long as she’s champion. What happens when she loses the title?
Back in the arena, Brooke Hogan had referee Taryn Terrell kick Godderz away from ringside, and without backup, Tara was the first eliminated from the match. In the end, Velvet Sky pinned Gail Kim to win the Knockouts Championship.
These four Knockouts had a very good match here. Throughout the contest, the four women delivered constant action and gave fans the best match of the night. I especially liked the Tower of Doom from Velvet, Gail and Miss Tessmacher. You don’t see women wrestlers do something like that very often.
This match is the perfect example of why the Knockouts division is one of the best in wrestling. To me, the best is without a doubt Shimmer Women’s Athlete’s, but TNA ranks up there. It’s just a shame that TNA doesn’t let their women shine like this all the time like they used to.
I am incredibly happy to see Velvet with the title once again. Her last reign was cut way too short thanks to the return of Gail Kim in 2011, but TNA now has the opportunity to make up for it. I hope she gets a lengthy reign, at least lasting until the summer months.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan asked Sting to have his back and the Icon said that he would. Sting left Hogan’s office and Bully Ray was standing there. Bully said how it was an honor to be teaming with him and Hogan, while Sting just declared that the war could end before Lockdown.
I really hope something happens to Hogan before the match. He should not be in the ring at his age, and after all the surgeries he’s had over the past year or two. As for the war ending before Lockdown, there’s not even a slim chance of that happening. Lethal Lockdown is the perfect place to settle a feud, and that’s where the Aces & Eights will end.
Samoa Joe vs. Garett Bischoff
The match ended in a no-contest after Wes Brisco came out and targeted Samoa Joe. Before the premature ending, this was actually a solid match. Samoa Joe and Garett Bischoff were working quite well with one another and were delivering some good action.
Bischoff has improved a lot since his debut, and I give him a lot of credit for hanging in the ring with someone like Samoa Joe. I was never too much of a fan of Bischoff, but I’m slowly starting to get on board. He’s more than just scoop slam and a dropkick now. My liking of him is a slow process for sure, though. If he keeps up the good work, he could become quite the wrestler.
Post-match, Kurt Angle made the save for Samoa Joe. He then announced that he’d be facing Brisco at Lockdown inside the steel cage.
There were rumors that only the top matches at Lockdown would be inside a steel cage, but perhaps that has changed. I wouldn’t consider Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco as a top match, so since it’s inside the cage, it seems like TNA is sticking with Lockdown staying completely inside the cage. Anything can happen, though.
Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King: TNA X-Division Championship
Rob van Dam retained his X-Division Championship in this match after hitting the Five-Star Frog Splash. I actually thought that this was a solid matchup. Van Dam seemed to step up his game more than usual, so it didn’t look like he was just going through the motions like he always does.
Kenny King was impressive like he usually is. King truly is the future of the X-Division. TNA needs to get the belt on him now. Van Dam has served his purpose as champion, but is ultimately not doing anything for the division.
King is not only a great in-ring performer, but he’s a fresh face in a division that needs a fresh start. With him losing to Van Dam again, though, I worry that he’s out of the title picture.
Maybe he loses the belt at that One Night Only event highlighting the X-Division that was taped last month. That would mean he’ll keep the belt until April, which is when it airs. Either way, if he had the belt with him at the tapings, then he’ll keep the title until then anyway.
Sting and Bully Ray vs. Devon, Mr. Anderson and D.O.C.: Handicap Match
Before the match, Hulk was convincing his daughter that Sting and Bully Ray had his back before he left the building for some reason. At least it looked like the outside when he opened the door. No matter where he went, if he’s not with Sting and Bully Ray, then I think it’s a safe bet that the Aces & Eights are going to take him out.
Taken out is exactly what happened, as towards the end of the match, the gang showed up holding a beaten Hulk and a scared Brooke. Bully went running for them, which left Sting to get kicked in the face and pinned by D.O.C.
The match wasn’t too exciting, but I thought that it was well done. With his injury, Bully Ray played the face in peril, while Sting cleaned house with the hot tag. The Aces & Eights worked quite well with one another and made a good team.
Throughout the storyline, the biker gang has lost quite a bit. They would sometimes end the night with attacking somebody, but they would rarely win a match. Not only did they win a match here, but they took out two legends and the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
They accomplished quite a bit in one fell swoop. It’s about time, too.
Overall, I thought that this episode of Impact Wrestling was very good. TNA Wrestling did a good job with the layout of this show and featured a lot of matches tonight.
With six matches on the card and only one in-ring segment, this was the most action Impact Wrestling has featured in a while. All of the matches delivered in their own ways, too, so it really added to the show. The crowd in London gave the episode a good feel on television as well.
For me, this was the best episode of Impact Wrestling so far this year, and the best show so far this week!
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