TNA Impact TV report



10.25 Impact Wrestling
by Jeff Hamlin ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) Twitter: @hamlin37

The Big News: Austin Aries will face Jeff Hardy for the TNA Heavyweight title at the Turning Point PPV. Bully Ray faces Devon next week for Open Fight Night after an excellent in-ring interview confrontation that might just give this Aces and Eights angle hope yet. And Hardy main evented against Kurt Angle in possibly the best Impact match of the year. Aside from that, it wasn't much of a show. The program also featured the debut of new play-by-play announcer Todd Keneley, who replaced Mike Tenay in the first hour. Jeremy Borash did color, as well, before Taz replaced him in the second hour.

Hulk Hogan thanked Jeff Hardy for taking Impact Wrestling to a different level after Bound for Glory. He told Hardy that he would throw a difficult challenge his way tonight for the championship. Then Hardy stepped outside, where Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle and James Storm were all waiting to determine who would get the title shot. Then it get absurd. The scene somehow turned to slow motion, and we heard Hardy's inner thoughts on live television, saying that Anderson was still an asshole, Ray was preoccupied (presumably with Aces and Eights), and Angle was a machine. He said that they all had a weakness and he just had to find it. Well, it was different, but it didn't work.

Jeremy Borash handled commentary for the first hour with Todd Keneley, while Mike Tenay and Taz took their standard place in hour two. Borash was doing color, which he excels at. Keneley is clearly educated as a wrestling announcer and went out of his way to call matches move-for-move, as opposed to the WWE "whattta maneuver" mindset.

1. Rob Van Dam defeated Xema Ion in 4:32 to retain the X Division title. Rob Van Dam gorilla pressed Zema Ion, and gave him a standing moonsault that missed which was supposed to hit. So he followed with another moonsault from the second rope that did land. Van Dam missed a crossbody and took a bump over the top rope, and Ion followed with a somersault tope. Ion missed a Mary Lou Retton Splash, and Van Dam scored the pin after a Five Star Frog Splash. Afterwards, Matt Morgan ran down and gave Van Dam a Carbon Footprint, and said that Hogan was going to regret telling him that he wanted to see a more aggressive side from him. Joey Ryan was also alongside, teasing a X Division program with Van Dam. **1/2

Austin Aries was outside Hogan's office eavesdropping on the contenders meeting. He was going to stand ground outside the room and tell each man who got dismissed what he felt about them after they left.

Christopher Daniels and Kazarian came down to the ring and said they were victims of a conspiracy. Kazarian, who called Hogan "Mr. Nanny," claimed Hogan arranged not to bring him to the Impact Zone last week. Then they lost the tag team titles to two men who probably aren't in the United States legally. Daniels got the mic and addressed "Suburban Commando," saying Ion got a rematch, Miss Tessmacher got a rematch tonight, but they weren't tonight. Daniels claimed that Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez earned their tag team title shots because Dixie Carter wanted to court the Latino audience. I was afraid he was going to bring up the Hector Garza push from 2005, but thankfully he didn't go there. So Daniels said he was going to have Kazarian start a petition drive amongst all of their fans so they could get a rematch. Kazarian went outside and found two fans all set to sign. It was hilarious. Hernandez and Guerrero came out. Guerrero said they didn't need a petition to earn a rematch, and laid both men out. Guerrero signed the petition and said they could take a title shot anytime. Daniels and Kazarian have become the most entertaining part of Impact.
Hogan held his contenders meeting with the four men. Storm said he proved himself against Bobby Roode at Bound for Glory. Ray said he was still upset over what happened with Devon joining Aces and 8's. Angle said if he didn't get injured, he would still be champion. Anderson basically said he was tired of having meetings. So Hogan dismissed him. Aries showed up to taunt Anderson, and claimed he was going to give Anderson a title shot if he had been champion. Aries said he was a better wrestler than Anderson, a better dresser and a bigger asshole. Aries threw his drink to Anderson's face, and they had a brawl. Anderson looked like he was fighting his little brother. Aries, after getting hit with a framed picture, challenged Anderson to a match tonight.

Devon chaired a meeting of A&8s, where he said he spoke to the President. Devon said he didn't want any of the masks to come off any of the member's faces because he didn't want anyone to "lose their cut." Well, that and the fact that they would reveal themselves as an lineup of WWE midcarders from the past 8 years. Devon said he wanted to introduce them to some ladies to entertain them, but in order to do that, they would have to take someone out tonight. The biggest member, who I think was Mike Knox, got up and picked up a dart, and threw it at a board covered by TNA wrestlers. He threw the dart, and exactly who he hit wasn't shown, but they had their man. The biggest problem with Devon as a lieutenant in a heel group is he just doesn't have that presence necessary to set him apart. And he comes across as a guy that's hard to dislike.

2. Samoa Joe defeated Robbie T. in 2:17 to retain the TNA TV title. Robbie T., fresh from Lance Armstrong's going out of business sale, tried a spin kick, and, was better than Nathan Jones. Aside from that, his just delivered stationary offense. Samoa Joe kept trying the Kokina Clutch, but Robbie E distracted the referee. Finally, after four cracks at it, Joe got the tap. 1/2*

Tessmacher did an interview about Tara that sounded like she was reading.

Hogan continued his meeting with the contenders. Angle thought Ray wasn't focused on a title shot and more concerned with Devon. Storm felt the same way. Ray said maybe he wasn't focused on the title, and if he didn't get the shot at the title, he was going to confront Devon tonight and get answers. Hogan said if that's the case, Ray should get answers. Ray was dismissed without incident.

3. Austin Aries defeated Mr. Anderson via referee stoppage at 12:39. They had a moment minutes into the match where Anderson, who was the babyface, pulled out a pair of brass knuckles. For some reason, referee Brian Hebner found them but didn't disqualify him, ruling Anderson didn't use them so he couldn't be DQ'd. Borash later explained that Aries had planted the knux on Anderson. Punch and kick match until Aries hit a tope. Anderson made his comeback with the swinging neckbreaker and attempted the Lambeau Leap, but Aries escaped, only to get hit with an enzuigiri. Aries rolled to the floor, where Anderson caught a pescado. Anderson tried the Lambeau Leap, but Aries grabbed referee Hebner and pulled out the Knux. Aries tried to use the knux, but Anderson beat him to the punch. Anderson picked up the knux, and Hebner turned around to find him with it. Hebner scolded Anderson but didn't disqualify him. Then Aries pulled out his own knux and hit Anderson with them. Then Aries pulled Anderson on top of him, for reasons I can't comprehend. Aries kicked out. Anderson was "knocked out." So Aries used the Last Chancery on a unconscious Anderson for the referee stoppage. Just a completely overbooked match. *1/2

Tara and Jesse met with Brooke Hogan. Tara was mad about ODB beating her last week. Jesse claimed he had to take 12 tomato baths just to get the smell of ODB's odor off of him. Brooke ordered Tara to wrestle Tessmacher tonight. Then Brooke told Jesse that ODB was interested in him.

Tenay and Taz joined the broadcast at this point, thanking Keneley and Borash. The way it came off, it was almost like somebody was going heel out of this, but maybe I'm overthinking. For once.

4. Tara defeated Miss Tessmacher to retain the TNA Knockouts title in 3:52. Tara constantly was kissing Jesse, who's well on his way to becoming the next Jenna Morasca in terms of charisma. And that's not a good thing. Crowd was dead for this. Finish came after Tessmacher hit a facebuster out of the corner. Tara distracted referee Taryn Terrell, and Jesse low-bridged Tessmacher by holding down the second rope. Tara got the pin after the Widow's Peak. 1/2*

Tara and Jesse made out some more when Brooke came out and said that ODB would challenge Jesse next week for Open Fight Night.

Joseph Park met with Hogan about facing a member of Aces and 8's. Hogan was reluctant to arrange the match because he didn't want to be liable for any injuries that Park would suffer against guys who were gangsters. So Park pulled out a waiver drafted by his firm, Park, Park & Park. It would resolve TNA, Hogan and Carter of any responsibilities should Park get injured in a match. Hogan said he would think about it.

Ray came out and thanked Sting for allowing him to be his partner at Bound for Glory. He said he had been in the business for 20 years, and not many things shocked him anymore. But when he found that Devon was involved with A&8s, he was stunned. He called down Devon for a face-to-face meeting. Six members of A&8s, including Devon, came out. Devon stood behind them in the ring, and said he doesn't owe Ray an explanation. He said that he and Ray weren't a family anymore, and this had nothing to do with Ray. It had to do with Hogan, who Devon said got rid of him. He said when he was sitting at home, it was Aces and Eights who took him in and accepted him. He brought up Ray turning on him two years ago after losing to the Motor City Machine Guns. Ray said that he remembered losing to the Machine Guns two years ago. He remembered when Chris Sabin kicked out of the 3-D, the first time anyone had ever kicked out of their finisher. Ray was devastated after the loss, but he remembered what Devon said after the match. He said "Screw the fans. We're rich." Devon didn't deny saying it, and said it was the truth. Ray wanted to fight him then and there, but Devon said he was doing this on his own time. Ray shot back that he was challenging him next week for Open Fight Night, and he better grow a set of balls between now and then. Ray's mic work was the highlight of the show.

The backstage interviewer wanted to know why Morgan jumped Van Dam earlier. Ryan said the rules didn't apply to them, and teased a match with Van Dam. Morgan cut a promo on Hogan saying he wouldn't be held down any longer, and he would do what he wants whenever he wants.

Next week's Gut Check opponent is Christian York. Yes, that Christian York, who competed in the early days of TNA and the final months of ECW. York cut a promo saying after 16 years, this might be his last chance.

Hogan gave Angle the title shot. Storm looked unhappy, but Hogan told him he had something huge in store for him.

5. Jeff Hardy defeated Kurt Angle to retain the TNA Heavyweight title in 13:59. Hardy hit the Hardy'c Arrest and attempted Flying Head Scissors, but Angle crotched him against the ropes. Hardy landed badly on the floor. They had a double knockdown spot, where Hardy made a fiery comeback with flying head scissors and a flying clothesline off the apron. Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Angle blocked a Twist of Fate, and then it was a visit to German Suplex city. Three, in fact. Angle missed an Olympic Slam attempt, and Hardy responded with the Twist of Fate. Hardy went for the Swanton, but Angle climbed up for the Belly-to-Belly Superplex for a near fall. Angle used a rare power bomb, and tried to turn it into an ankle lock,  but Hardy kicked him away. Hardy went for the Swanton but missed. Angle caught the Olympic Slam, but got only two. Angle went for another Olympic Slam, but Hardy caught two more Twists of Fate, followed by the Swanton, but Angle kicked out. And the "This is Awesome" chants were in full throttle. Angle backdropped Hardy over the top rope. Angle was spitting out blood at this point. Angle put Hardy back in the ring and tried another Olympic slam, but Hardy turned it into a Sunset Flip for the pin. ***3/4

Postmach, Aries jumped Hardy with a belt shot, I think. The cameras missed it. Aries announced he wanted his rematch at Turning Point. Aries took the TNA Heavyweight title with him for safe keeping, as opposed to Hardy's personal title with his insignia on it.

In the back, Aces and 8's jumped Angle before Wes Brisco ran in for the save.

SUMMARY: The show was run of the mill before the last 45 minutes, which really saved it. It was overbooked in spots, and the Aces and 8's cameo at the end seemed excessive. Hardy-Angle was among the best Impact matches this year. And Ray is such a talented performer, he's transformed into a babyface effortlessly after being the top heel in the company for the past two years.