1.16 Impact Wrestling
The Big News: On the Genesis PPV for free TV, Sting lost to Ethan Carter the Third amidst tons of interference in the main event. A furious Sting challenged Magnus to a world title match next week, which Magnus acknowledged Sting shouldn't be able to do since he lost any chance to win a world title last year. Nonetheless, Magnus granted Sting the title shot next week as long as Sting puts his career on the line. Also, Madison Rayne won the TNA Knockouts title from Gail Kim.
Mike Tenay and Taz did a cold opening from the commentator's table paying tribute to the memory of Mae Young. Tenay pointed out her 70+ years in the industry, and Taz said she was probably raising hell in heaven. Another classy move by the company.
Rockstar Spud was out getting lots of heat to introduce Dixie Carter. He asked for decorum, dialogue straight from Bad News Barrett's mouth. Dixie cut a promo on A.J. Styles that made it sound like he would eventually return. Crowd chanted for A.J., so if he doesn't return it will really be dumb because he's as over as he's ever been. Dixie called down Magnus, who did a promo saying tonight would be the first night of the "Reign of Magnus." Magnus wore two belts into the ring, and gave one of them to Dixie because he considered her a champion of their hearts. Dixie called down all the heels who helped Magnus beat Styles last week, and Bro Mans, DJ Zema, Bad Influence, Gail Kim, Lai'd Tapa, and Bobby Roode came out. Dixie singled out Roode for praise, which teases a potential Styles-Roode program. Dixie said her nephew, Ethan Carter the Third, would have to take out the lone man who stands in the way of the company being unified, Sting. EC3 came down, but before he could talk, Sting's music played. Sting was in the concourse of the building pointing a baseball bat at the ring.
After a commercial, Sting cut a promo from the stands saying there were a whole bunch of people in the back who couldn't be bought and had loyalty. Sting accused Dixie of messing with Kurt Angle's family and called Magnus a paper champion. Sting said "we" were going to fight tonight. Dixie wondered who was going to side with Sting, and James Storm, Gunner, Samoa Joe, Joseph Park, Eric Young, and ODB hit the ring for a brawl. The faces cleared the ring until it was just Sting alone with EC3, where Sting hit him in the stomach with his bat. Crowd was lively and this got the free PPV off to a good start.
This spilled into a third segment, where Spud brought out referee Brian Hebner. Spud announced a 12-man mixed tag match that would start immediately.
1. Samoa Joe, James Storm, Gunner, Eric Young, Joseph Park and ODB defeated Bro Mans, Bad Influence, Lai'd Tapa and DJ Zema at 7:32. Each of the faces did spots in the ring while everyone else brawled at ringside,including Gunner pressing Kazarian to the floor. ODB delivered a fallaway slam on Zema, only to get blindsided by Tapa with a crushing shoulder block that would have gotten her fined in the NFL. Joe delivered an elbow suicidia on Robbie E. and Jessie Godderz. Kazarian drop kicked Park in the mouth, and Park started bleeding and turned into Abyss. Park gave Zema a choke slam and gave Kazarian a Black Hole Slam. Gunner and Storm tried to calm Park down, but Park clotheslined both of them since Park can't be controlled when he becomes Abyss. Joe forced Daniels to tap out after the Kokina Clutch. ***
Velvet Sky talked with Austin Aries about something when Chris Sabin walked in. Sabin wanted to know what was going on, and Sky wasn't talking. So Sabin demanded they discuss this in the ring. Yeah, that should make everything better.
Angle stormed backstage looking for Dixie and Al Snow.
In the ring, Sabin accused Sky of being selfish and demanded to know what she talked with Aries about. Aries came down and said Sabin was the Worst Boyfriend that Ever Lived. Aries admitted he was a vegan, but he was wiling to make an exception for a piece of Pigeon Pie. Sabin said Aries wasn't stealing his girlfriend from him and she was fine with doing exactly what he told her to do. Sky didn't look happy. Aries said he told Sky she should focus on herself and not Sabin. Finally, Aries challenged Sabin to a match next week for the X Division title with Sky in a cage. Sabin said Sky would never did that. Sky grabbed the microphone and said he would do it, and cut a promo on her boyfriend saying she wanted someone who would stand up for her, not use her. Sky teased hooking up with Aries if Sabin lost. I just hope this doesn't end with a swerve where Sky turns on Aries, because if so, it will kill Aries deader than dead. Plus, it will come off as such a cheap copy of Mike Bennett and Maria.
In just a horrible segment, Pat Kenney played the role of an agent. That's odd enough without admitting the whole show is fake, but we crossed that rubicon long ago. Kenney stopped Samuel Shaw and told him he looked good in his match against Norv Fernum a few weeks ago. Kenney told Shaw not to worry about Christy Hemme. Shaw snapped and attacked Kenney from behind. He then beat Kenney with a yellow sneaker. Kenney's did this wheezing after the attack what was some of the most comic selling in history. Too bad they're trying to get Shaw over as a unbalanced lunatic. Two minutes later, where everyone saw Shaw attack his superior because of Hemme, there was Hemme in the ring announcing like nothing had happened.
EC3 was backstage telling himself he could beat Sting. Magnus walked in and thought EC3 was doubting himself. EC3 seemed jealous of Magnus, who reminded Carter that he beat Sting at Bound for Glory by submission. Magnus wished EC3 luck because he didn't want to see him let the family down.
2. Bully Ray defeated Mr. Anderson in a no DQ match in 9:34. Mr. Anderson attacked Bully Ray during his ring entrance and they brawled around ringside during an entire commercial break. Anderson wore the hospital bands from his twin daughters being born. Ray and Anderson did the old dueling chairs spot from ECW where Ray took a shot to the back. Ray went on to spear Anderson, then whipped him with his chain. Ray tried to hit Anderson with the chair, but Anderson grabbed his own chair and hit Ray's chair, but Ray kicked out. Anderson brought in a guard rail from under the ring, but Ray got his boot up and slammed Anderson on it. Ray tried a splash, but Anderson moved and Ray got nothing but rail. Anderson attempted a Swanton, but he missed and also hit the rail. Ray tried a clothesline, but Anderson caught him with the Mic Check into the rail, but Ray kicked out of the finisher. Crowd chanted for tables, and Anderson brought one out. Then the crowd started chanting "Yes!" Anderson hit Ray low, then gave him the Lambeau Leap through the table, but Ray again kicked out. Anderson brought in a second table, but Ray hit a uranague. Ray brought out some lighter fluid. Ray said this was for Anderson's wife and two bastard children. Anderson rose up and hit a Mic Check, then grabbed the lighter fluid and poured it on the table and tried to light it on fire. But Ray snuck up from behind and gave Anderson a low blow, then hit a pile driver and got the clean pin. Ray came off strong in winning kicking out of two of Anderson's finishers. These two have good brawls. ***
Angle found Snow in catering, crossfaced him against the wall and demanded to know who told him that he had a family emergency to get him out of the building. Snow only said he had a family to feed. Angle hit him with a snug punch and left.
Angle went to the ring and demanded that Dixie come out because he wanted answers. Dixie said this wasn't seven years ago. Angle said the Dixie Carter of seven years ago wouldn't have faked an emergency with his family. Dixie said she was trying to protect Angle from himself. Dixie said that Angle wasn't smart enough to make a decision on his own, and he would have gotten himself hurt. Angle said as soon as he got finished with Roode tonight in a steel cage, he was going to be at ringside for Sting's match with EC3. Carter said she was going to have to make another move in Angle's best interest. First, she postponed Angle's cage match with Roode, saying they would do it next week. Then she ordered security to remove Angle from the building. Carter added than anyone who interfered in the Sting-Carter match would face severe consequences. Angle relented, allowing Roode to clothesline Angle from behind. Roode then hit his new finisher, the Attitude Adjustment, which is now called the Roode Bomb. With Angle laid out, Dixie ordered security to remove him from the building.
Madison Rayne was interviewed by Jeremy Borash, but she was attacked by Kim and Tapa.
The Dixie show continued with Dixie telling referee Earl Hebner he wasn't going to referee the main event tonight after Earl refused to count after all the interference in the main event last week. Earl wanted to know who was going to be the referee for the main event, but Dixie wouldn't say.
3. Madison Rayne defeated Gail Kim to win the TNA Knockouts Championship in 4:05. Rayne sold her ribs the entire way. So let's keep score. Rayne sold her ribs from one kick by Kim. Earlier, EC3 got hit with a baseball bat by Sting in the midsection, and was shown 30 minutes later not selling it. Does anyone understand the fundamentals of this business anymore? Tapa interfered at one point right in front of referee Brian Stiffler, who ordered her to the back. Rayne beat the count back into the ring, Kim missed a drop kick, and Rayne won the championship for the 5th time with the Rayne Drop. *1/4
Sting cut a promo in the back saying he wanted to face EC3 one-on-one tonight, even though there are plenty of guys in the back willing to help him.
Dixie welcomed "The Wolves," Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards for their tryout match. Richards and Edwards told them they signed their contracts this morning and they are full-fledged members of the company. They handed her a manilla envelope which contained the contract, as well as language that contained "a new TNA investor." Dixie got on her phone immediately.
4. Ethan Carter the Third defeated Sting in 4:53. Spud came out as the referee, which made the match a farce. Spud blocked a Stinger Splash at one point. Sting clamped on the Scorpion Death Lock, and Spud had to jump on Sting's back in order to break it up. Then Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop, but Spud refused to count. Magnus then pulled Spud out of the ring, and took off his jacket, revealing his own referee's shirt. As Sting was distracted, EC3 snuck up and pinned him with a schoolboy cradle. 1/2*
Sting got on the microphone and said he would give anything to fight Magnus tonight. Sting asked for one more shot at the world title. Magnus reminded Sting that he lost any chance to fight for the world title last year and he owes Sting nothing. Sting shot back that a champion is a man and boys wear belts. He asked Magnus if he was going to be a man or a little boy. Magnus said he knew Dixie was considering extending Sting's contract in TNA Wrestling. So Magnus said he would put the belt on the line, but if he wins, then that contract would be torn up. So the match is next week.
SUMMARY: It appears Sting will be the next TNA departure, which is really for the best because his best payday would be to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania. I can think of better ways to Sting to put over Ethan Carter the Third than what unfolded tonight. Hopefully, Magnus will receive a better finish next week. Show was fine for the first hour, but I liked wrestling much better when they were interested in getting wrestlers over instead of front office heel figures. Next week will be as loaded a show as TNA has had in quite sometime, including Bound for Glory.