10.3 Impact Wrestling
The Big News: Hulk Hogan quit TNA in an angle that just left you shaking your head. If anything, it made a forgettable show memorable. I guess in the same way that the Griswolds trip to WallyWorld was memorable. In fact, that should be a new term for any show that has one hour and 45 minutes of nothing, and culminates in a lemon of an angle. "The program was moving steady enough, but then turned into a real Griswold Show."
A.J. Styles came out and said he appreciated Hulk Hogan offering him a new deal, but it was typical Dixie Carter to show her true colors. He cut a promo on Bully Ray, saying he was the man he was going through to get what he wants. He said he hadn't seen a world heavyweight title in over a year. Actually, he hasn't held it in over three years. Ray and Brooke Tessmacher came out, with Ray saying that Carter was in Styles' head. Ray said he wanted to take Styles away from the fans, because he was sick of hearing fans chanting "A.J." Styles said Ray was no different than Carter, totally ruthless. Ray claimed he was a millionaire in his ensuing rant. Something about Ray living in a mansion made for a hilarious mental image. Styles said that Ray would have a match tonight, arranged by Hogan, against Samoa Joe.
Styles confronted Carter backstage. Carter said Styles had one final obligation to Impact Wrestling, and that was his final match. Carter started to have security remove Styles from the building, but Styles left on his own accord because he didn't want to breathe the same air that she does.
Jeff Hardy and Manik defeated Chris Sabin and Kenny King in 7:07. Austin Aries was on commentary. Mike Tenay tried to play up Velvet Sky being unhappy with Chris Sabin's recent actions, but Sky didn't act differently from how she's acted recently. Kenny King's hardway forehead blood from his match with Aries opened up again after a bump. Jeff Hardy got the hot tag and pinned King after a Swanton that was set up by Manik's double chicken wing dropped into a gutbuster. **1/4
Postmatch, Sabin jumped Manik and Hardy until Aries ran in for the save. Aries then challenged Sabin, Manik and Hardy to a four-way at Bound for Glory. Hardy stepped in and said he wanted an Ultimate X match, with the X Division title on the line.
Sting met with Hogan backstage for what could very well be the final segment ever with the two men. Sting said the last time they found themselves in a situation like this was when Eric Bischoff went on a power trip, and now Carter has the same problem. Hogan said "When you get drunk with power, it doesn't end well." I'll bet Bobby Roode and James Storm will say the same thing. Hogan said Dixie was worse than Bischoff. Sting said, no matter what, Sting had his back. Someone dropped in and gave Hogan a present from Dixie. It was a gold watch. Sting said it was the same watch that Sting received last year, I assume for his Hall of Fame induction. Hogan thought it was Dixie telling him to retire.
Footage from last week aired where Magnus was nursing his injury after EGO threw him off the top rope to the floor. Sting wanted to know what happened, and Magnus sort of laid into Sting saying he was going to go to Hogan and challenge EGO to a match this week, and Sting couldn't talk him out of it.
2. Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian defeated Magnus in a gauntlet match after Roode made Magnus tap out in 20:51. The story with Magnus is that he's struggling with his confidence after losing the Bound for Glory championship match to Styles, and EGO constantly beating him, as well. Christopher Daniels choked Magnus with his wrist tape with the referee looking right at him. Referee did nothing. Daniels attempted the Angel's Wings, but Magnus escaped and hit a series of clotheslines. Magnus went to the top rope, but Daniels hit a downward spiral into the Koji Clutch. Magnus made the ropes and tried the Best Moonsault Ever, but Magnus got a boot up and pinned Daniels after a Michinoku Driver at 3:54. Kazarian came out next. Magnus attempted a press slam but Kazarian got out the back door and caught a scissor kick. Magnus caught Kazarian with a Randy Savage Elbow, but Kazarian got a foot on the ropes to break the pin. Magnus went to the second rope, but Kazarian caught him and tried the Fade to Black. But Magnus escaped and clamped on the Texas Cloverleaf. Kazarian tapped at 8:43. Bobby Roode came out, but as Magnus waited for him, Kazarian clipped Magnus and took out his left leg. Roode did spinning toe holds, stomps and chop blocks on Magnus' left leg. Magnus made a comeback with another Michinoku Driver and sunk in the cloverleaf again, but Roode tripped Magnus's left leg to break the hold. Mangus went to the top rope, but missed the elbow. Roode put on the crossface, and just as Magnus was about to reach the ropes, Roode pulled Magnus back to the center of the ring and clamped on the ankle lock. Magnus tapped out at 12:08. **1/2
Postmatch, Magnus was furious despite some fans applauding his effort. Sting came out to console him, but Magnus refused to listen. Sting grabbed the mic and said let's just go to the back to talk. Magnus told him no, he had had enough. Magnus said that even though Sting, Joe and Kurt Angle believed otherwise, he realized he doesn't have it in him. Sting, Joe and Angle always managed to get the job done whenever they had the opportunity. Magnus said it was a results driven business, and he always came up short. Sting said it was a results driven business, and it was Ric Flair who put him on the map. Magnus was left wondering who was going to put him on the map. Sting said it would be him. Sting, in a supportive manner, challenged him to a match at Bound for Glory. Fans really didn't know what to make of it, and neither did Magnus.
Aries walked into Hogan's office and handed him some Vegan Vitamins, saying maybe that and a prayer or two would help him make the right decision. Aries said he faced a black and white decision tonight, and he hoped he did the right thing.
There was a video of Hogan's four years in the company. They showed his first appearance on January 4, 2010, which was almost certainly the most-watched show in company history. And after that, Hogan slowly went from an icon down the tubes and became just another TNA personality. Really, no different than Sting, Mick Foley, Flair, Randy Savage and countless others.
Sabin said he wasn't going to accompany Sky for her match with Brooke Tessmacher, now simply known as Brooke. Instead, he would be doing Tai Chi. yoga and sitting Indian Style in a corner. Part of the problem with Sabin as a heel is that he just isn't as funny as Daniels and Kazarian, and he comes across as a wanna-be.
Daniels and Kazarian celebrated with Roode in the locker room. Daniels and Kazarian then told Roode he was the first inductee into the Hall of Fame---the Extraordinary Gentlemen's Organization Hall of Fame, that is. Daniels claimed they were breaking ground on a physical Hall of Fame in Yuca Valley, California in two months. Next week, they would hold a Hall of Fame ceremony for Roode. Daniels and Kazarian kept singing a Jonas Brothers song "Off the Chain," which was hysterical.
Instead of the Brooke-Sky match, Lei'd Tapa came out. Brooke hauled ass, which I'm sure all ringside observers would've preferred anyway. Tapa destroyed Sky with a Samoan Drop. They're trying to make Tapa into the next Knockouts monster heel, but she just doesn't have Awesome Kong's natural charisma and power.
Another vignette of "Ethan" aired. We got a look at the back of Ethan's head, as he got out of a Maserati sports car into what appeared to be a movie star's dressing room, where he snubbed a super model and threw his sports coat over a production assistant's head.
There was a video profile of Gun Storm, with James Storm and Gunner putting over each other. Storm said he was the sinner of the group, while Gunner was the saint. Gunner's background as a marine was highlighted. On the BFG pregame show, there will be a tag team gauntlet match with the winners facing Storm and Gunner.
3. Samoa Joe defeated Bully Ray by DQ in 10:26. A nothing match. Ray gave Joe a low blow. Earl Hebner got bumped when Joe got whipped into the corner. Ray pulled out a chain earlier in the match, but Hebner stopped him from using it. As Joe tried a musclebuster while Hebner was still down, Ray grabbed the chain again and hit Joe with it. Hebner got up to see it and called for the DQ. *
Afterwards, Ray hit Hebner with the chain again and teased giving Joe a pile driver on the floor. Styles ran out of the crowd and stopped Ray from doing the pile driver. I know the Main Event Mafia is down to three members, but shouldn't one of them have saved Joe?
Carter came out for her showdown with Hogan. Carter asked if Hogan was ready to take a ride on the Dixie Train, I guess trying to sell her body and paint herself as a whore. If I'm Dixie's husband, Serge, watching this, I'm thinking he wants this company sold ASAP. Dixie said either Hogan could join her, or make a decision he was going to regret. Hogan said after 35 years in the business, he dreamed of being involved in a power couple. But it was an offer for somebody else, because "I quit." Hogan walked out of the ring and up the ramp, and Dixie tried to stop him. Dixie grabed Hogan's leg to stop him, but he pushed him off. Carter screamed he was fired and she didn't want him anyway.
SUMMARY: The final angle was cringe inducing. I can't imagine a better way for Dixie to solidify her new heel character than by firing someone who has been the most popular figure in the company over the past year. Instead, all her heat is gone courtesy of a person who currently isn't under contract. Which is precisely why TNA should move on from Hogan. When Hogan joined TNA in 2010, it was under the pretense that he would create new stars because he was physically unable to perform. It's four years later. What stars have been created? With or without Hogan, the knock against TNA will continue to be it's identity suicide for anyone who arrives, regardless of talent. I'd like to think that can change, but it may be too late.