A brand new Impact intro hits complete with new music, which sounds a lot less generic than there last theme. The pyro goes off in the Impact Zone and we are welcomed to this week’s show as the announce team hypes tonight’s big tag team match that will be happening sooner than we think.
Hulk Hogan’s music hits as him and Abyss come down to the ring. Hogan is wearing his trademark red and yellow tights and says that it is time to get down to business in TNA. He says there is no need to sit and wait around and says that today it is TNA’s day of reckoning. He then tells AJ Styles and Ric Flair to come down to the ring to get the match started as Dixie Carter is seen nodding her head in approval.
Match 1: Hulk Hogan & Abyss vs. AJ Styles & Ric Flair
Abyss and AJ Styles start the match for their teams to get this tag team match started. Abyss starts off by slamming Styles down to the mat and Styles crawls to his corner to tag in Flair, who comes in and delivers a few chops before Abyss sends some back his way and takes him down with a back body drop. Flair comes back with a low blow as the ref is distracted and this match quickly breaks down. Styles takes Hogan down with a Pele kick and Flair works over Abyss as the lights go out in the Impact Zone.
Sting’s music hits as he appears in the ring with a baseball bat and is staring down Flair and Styles. Sting then uses the bat to take out both Hogan and Abyss and has a sly smile on his face. Styles goes out to retrieve a chair as they take out Hogan and Abyss with chair shots that busts Hogan wide open. Sting leaves the ring as security come out to break up the situation in the ring.
As Styles and Flair leave the ring, Hogan gets on the microphone and says it isn’t over between the two and the match will be settled once and for all and it will be no disqualification match.
A recap of what just happened with Sting is aired before we head backstage to see Sting walking around. Dixie Carter stops him and wants an explanation who just pushes her up against the wall and says he owes her nothing.
Jeremy Borash is with AJ Styles and Ric Flair and wants to know where Sting fits in all of this. Flair says Sting has finally come to his senses and says that if he is going to come out of retirement, he is going to make a statement and finish the job on Hogan. Flair promises that Hogan and Abyss will be leaving in an ambulance.
Abyss is seen in the back wiping off the blood and screaming to himself questioning why Sting attacked him as we head into another commercial break.
Brooke Hogan is being consoled by Hogan’s new girlfriend and she is concerned about her dad’s well being.
Kazarian is in the ring and said he chose to walk away from TNA two years ago because he had a lot of doubt about himself. He says the doubt is now gone and he is here to reignite the flame of the X Division, which gets the crowd started on an “X Division” chant. Kaz then states that if they are going into war, to let the warriors of the X Division lead them into battle.
Daniels comes out and interrupts and says if anyone is going to lead them into battle, it is going to be the longest reigning X Division Champion of all time, Christopher Daniels. He goes on to say that he alone will carry the division to new heights because he is X.
X Division Champion, Doug Williams, walks down to the ring and assures them that the X Division is alive and well as he is the X Division Champion. Kaz acknowledges that he is champion, but asks where he was seven years ago when both he and Daniels were pioneers. Daniels steps in and asks Kaz what exactly he has done as they are cut off by Eric Bischoff’s music.
Bischoff says he was excited to come to TNA because of the X Division and calls it the adrenaline of TNA. He then announces that Kazarian’s title match at Destionation X will happen tonight in a triple threat match between the three that starts right now.
Match 2: Doug Williams vs. Kazarian vs. Daniels (X Division Championship)
The three start off trying to get quick pin falls on one another but to no avail. Kaz gets a nice near fall on both at the same time with an northern lights suplex on Daniels while having Williams pinned but both kick out. Kaz is able to send both of his opponents out to the floor and dives out on top of them to take them both out.
Kaz sends Daniels into the ring post but Williams is able to gain control of the match after Kaz enters back into the ring. Williams is able to get a pin attempt on Kaz as we are told that Dixie Carter will have an announcement to make concerning Sting that will happen after this match. Daniels gets back into the match and takes out both of his opponents and nearly puts Kaz away after landing a moonsault.
Daniels and Williams start trading blows as Kaz climbs the ropes and takes them both out with a double dropkick. Kaz takes control of the match and hits a springboard leg drop on Daniels but he is able to kick out of a pin attempt. Daniels is able to comeback and slams Kaz down to the mat and goes for a BME but Kaz rolls out of the way. Willaims then sneaks in from behind and hits his Chaos Theroy suplex on Daniels for the pin fall to retain the X Division Championship.
After the match, Shannon Moore comes running out to the ring and takes Willaims down with a hurricanrana and knocks him out of the ring. Eric Bischoff comes out and introduces Doug Williams to his new opponent at Destination X.
Jeremy Borash is with Dixie Carter who says that she is thrilled that Steve signed his TNA contract as he will be in a match tonight. Borash questions who it will be against and she says that Sting will find out when everyone else does.
Match 3: Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. the Beautiful People vs. Tara & Angelina Love (Knockout Tag Team Championship)
Mike Tenay announces that Awesome Kong & Hamada have failed to defend the Knockout Tag Team Titles within 30 days and the titles have been vacated and are up for grabs in this 3-way tag team match.
Sarita is able to take Tara down in the early going as Velvet Sky tags herself into the match and tries to pick up the easy pin but Tara kicks out. The Beautiful People then isolate Tara into their corner and works Tara over as the former champs enter the ring and they are dumped out to the ring. While the referee has his hands full with Angelina Love, Daffney comes in and nails Tara with the Knockout Championship and Madison covers for the pin fall to win the Knockout Tag Team Championship.
Christy is backstage with D’Angelo Dinero who says he is going up against Desmond Wolfe once again before Wolfe attacks him from behind. Wolfe focuses on the Pope’s ankle and smashes it with a chain before leaving him lying on the floor.
Sting is then seen walking around in the backstage area as Taz asks Mike Tenay what he was doing around 4:20 this afternoon as we head into a commercial break.
Jeremy Borash is with the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions who say they are finally the Knockouts Tag Team Champions and it is now time to celebrate, BP style. Borash asks a crew member to bring in some champagne as Velvet Sky dumps it all over JB.
Footage of the start of tonight’s show is recapped as Mike Tenay and Taz question Sting’s motives. Both of them are shocked at his actions and say what he did with Dixie Carter went too far. Sting’s music then hits as his match is up right now.
Match 4: Sting vs. Rob Van Dam
Three letters appear on the big screen to announce Sting’s opponent “RVD,” who comes through the crowd and attacks Sting from behind. RVD then hits his rolling thunder and picks up the quick pin fall on a surprised Sting. RVD then celebrates on the ring ropes and Sting nails him with his baseball bat. Sting continues on his attack and leaves RVD lying in the ring.
Sting leaves the ring for a moment before coming back into the ring and again hitting RVD with the bat. Sting again leaves the ring as the crowd gives him a loud “you suck” chant. Referees come out and try to get Sting to the back but Sting also takes some swings at them with the bat before once again going back to hit RVD.
Hulk Hogan’s music hits as he comes out to confront Sting as Bubba the Love Sponge and security try to get Hogan to stop heading into the ring. Hogan and Sting stare each other down before going after RVD with the bat some more. Hogan finally pushes his way to the ring before Sting nails him in the midsection with the bat.
As security help Hogan to the back, Sting makes his way up the ramp and nails Hogan with the bat once more before finally leaving. Mike Tenay and Taz then question what is going through Sting’s mind.
Kevin Nash’s music hits as both he and Eric Young make their way to the ring and Nash is carrying a sheet of paper. Nash says that Scott Hall and Sean Waltman have been trying to find their way into the Impact Zone for the last month. Nash says he has talked to Hogan and gotten a one-night contract for them to have a match at Destination X. He then says he knows they are out there somewhere and tells them to come out to the ring and accept their challenge as we head into a commercial break.
We return to see that Hall and Waltman have yet to arrive and the crowd starts up a loud “Hall is wasted” chant. The Band finally makes their way into the arena as security fills the ring. Hall is given a microphone and says that after what Sting did to Hogan, he isn’t running the show. Hall goes on to say that wants some fat money contracts after beating them around at Destination X.
Eric Bischoff appears on the big screen and says that if they accept the match and beat Nash and Young, they will get their contracts. However, if they don’t get it done they will be barred from TNA. Hall and Waltman agree on the terms as Nash and Hall shake hands. Waltman slaps EY across the face and a brawl ensues between the two which is broken up by security.
Bischoff says he is tired for paying the security overtime and wants Hall and Nash taken away from ringside and he gives EY the authority to beat the hell out of Syxx-Pac. The ring is cleared and the match starts.
Match 5: Eric Young vs. Syxx-Pac
The brawl between the two starts with EY landing a flurry of offense before Pac takes him down with a roundhouse kick but misses with a bronco buster follow up. Eric Young sees the opening and drives Pac down with a piledriver and picks up the pin fall in this impromptu matchup.
A US Army Hummer pulls up in the parking lot with a handful of soldiers getting out and heading to the Impact Zone as we head into a commercial break. The soldiers come out after the break and line the entrance ramp before Kurt Angle’s music hits. Kurt Angle walks between the soldiers on his way to the ring and the soldiers circle the ring once Angle is in it.
Angle says he has brought out some of his friends tonight as the crowd erupts in a “USA” chant. Angle introduces the soldiers to Mr. Anderson as the people who stand up for their country and die for people like them. They are also the people who Mr. Anderson spit on two weeks ago. Angle says you don’t mess with an American soldier and Anderson will find out why at Destination X.
Mr. Anderson appears on the big screen and begins to run his mouth but Angle runs to the back and attacks him before he can say much. The fight comes back out to the ring where Anderson fights back and nails Angle with his dog tag and tries to walk off before he runs into a wall of soldiers. Angle then grabs Anderson and tosses him to the floor where the soldiers beat down on Anderson like it is a lumberjack match.
Angle then hits an Angle Slam when he is rolled back into the ring and spits in his face while holding an American flag high above his head. The soldiers then enter the ring and hold Angle up and celebrate as we head into a commercial break.
Bubba the Love Sponge is backstage with Hulk Hogan and says that he needs to stop everything. Hogan says this is his last shot and he needs to do this for TNA. Earl Hebner walks in and asks for a second chance and Hogan says he is up to his neck with everything tonight as Bubba steps in and says everyone deserves a second chance. Hogan says Hebner needs to do him one favor and if things get out of control, he needs to stop the match. Hebner agrees to do so and leaves the office.
The announce team run down the Destination X card that will feature an Ultimate X match between the Motorcity Machine Guns and Generation Me, Kurt Angle against Mr. Anderson, and Abyss challenges AJ Styles for the TNA World Championship.
Jeff Jarrett is with Mick Foley who stops James Storm and wants to know if they were forced into their match tonight by Eric Bischoff. Storm says they volunteered for it which gets under Jarrett’s skin and Storm says it’s about what’s best for him. The two come to blows as Robert Roode jumps in and joins in as Mick Foley breaks it up and tells them to save it for the ring as we head to a commercial.
Match 6: Beer Money vs. Jeff Jarrett (Handicap Match)
We return from a commercial break to see Beer Money beating up on Jeff Jarrett in the ringside area in this handicap match with Mick Foley as the special guest referee. Jarrett is finally rolled into the ring as the bell rings to officially start this match. Beer Money continues on the assault and Storm sends Jarrett crashing down to the mat with the Eye of the Storm. Storm then tries to spit beer into Jarrett’s eyes but he ducks and Storm spits it in Roode’s eyes.
Jarrett gains some momentum and starts getting in some offense before the numbers game catches up with him once again. Mick Foley decides to step in and gives Jarrett a barbed wire bat that is under the ring but Slick Johnson runs out and takes it away. Foley runs after Johnson as Beer Money hits a double team move and Johnson slides in to make the three count.
After the match, James Storm yells into the camera and says that they did their job and that they better have been watching.
Hogan and Abyss are talking in the office as Brooke Hogan comes in and is all concerned about her dad. Hogan says he has to go out there for his second chance and that he will be okay since Abyss has his back. Brooke makes Hogan promise that it will be the last time in the ring and Hogan makes the promise that it is his last time.
Match 7: Ric Flair & AJ Styles vs. Hulk Hogan & Abyss (No Disqualification)
Flair and Hogan start this match out and the fight goes out to the floor where Hogan busts Flair wide open. Flair is wearing the proverbial crimson mask as the two trade off with some chops and Hogan continues to brutalize Flair. Abyss then goes out and drives a series of punches to Flair’s forehead before rolling him back into the ring where Hogan is waiting to lace into him with his weight belt.
Styles is seen backing off from the ring as he doesn’t want any part to do with the brutality before Flair finally stops Hogan in his tracks with a low blow. Flair tags Styles into the match who begins to beat down Hogan and sends him out to the floor. Styles yells at Brooke Hogan, who is sitting ringside, before sending Hogan into the ring post. Styles then rolls Hogan into the ring before turning it over to Flair.
Flair methodically kicks at Hogan for a bit before Styles comes back in and continues on the assault and Hogan is busted wide open. Flair again comes in and heads for the top rope but Hogan is able to get up and toss Flair down to the mat. Abyss and Styles are then tagged in and Abyss takes both Styles and Flair down with clotheslines before driving them both down with choke slams.
Styles begins to fight back as Flair and Hogan battle on the floor as this match is breaking down. Hogan takes Flair out with a big boot and then feeds Styles to Abyss who takes him down with a Black Hole Slam for the pin fall.
Hogan and Abyss then celebrate in the ring as Desmond Wolfe comes out and takes Abyss out with a chair. Wolfe goes after Hogan but he is able to block the chair shot but Flair takes Hogan down at the knees. The Pope comes out to help but Styles takes him down at the legs.
Music hits as Jeff Hardy comes running down to the ring and takes Wolfe down with a suplex and takes Styles down with a Twist of Fate before climbing to the top rope as Impact comes to a close.
- Doug Williams defeated Daniels and Kaz to retain the X Division Championship.
- The Beautiful People defeated Taylor Wilde & Sarita/Tara & Angelina Love to win the Knockout Tag Team Championship.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Sting by pin fall.
- Eric Young defeated Syxx-Pac by pin fall.
- Beer Money defeated Jeff Jarrett in a handicap match by pin fall.
- Hulk Hogan & Abyss defeated AJ Styles & Ric Flair in a no disqualification match by pin fall.
Tonight’s show broke from Impact’s usual format as TNA gave us an “anything goes” show and I think it worked. There wasn’t several office segments with wrestlers demanding to talk to Hogan or Bischoff, there was no lame etiquette school segments, we didn’t have to see Jeff Jarrett flip burgers or clean toilets – none of that. Tonight was all about action and energy, both of which TNA supplied in massive quantities.
There wasn’t nearly as many surprises on this live edition of Impact as there was with the huge show in January, but I feel that TNA still came through. It really is amazing to see what kind of difference a live show can bring to the table, even if most of the surprises were spoiled ahead of time.
Take for example, the return of Sting. Yes, we all knew he was coming back tonight as Dixie Carter herself posted a message about it on Twitter. What I didn’t expect, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, was Sting turning on Hogan and Abyss. That was a nice surprise and it almost seemed like Sting was comfortable in the role, something that didn’t seem right with him as a part of the Main Event Mafia.
Rob Van Dam made a return to the ring tonight and defeated Sting in a quick 10-second match. That is one way to make an impact, but one can only imagine, though, on how much more impact his debut would have been had his signing not been leaked last week. After beating Sting, RVD proceeded to be demolished by Sting via his baseball bat and killed all of his momentum in a segment that, in my mind, took a little too long.
I wasn’t able to switch the channel during my live recap, but I’m guessing that Raw had something big going on at the time, I mean, how much punishment does RVD need to take before someone comes out to help him? I hope the competition watching is kept to a minimum in the future as it really seemed to bring in a lull during what was a high energy show.
Since I am on the topic of RVD, I was assuming that he was going to be the big surprise that was going to happen within the first five minutes of the show, however, it was the huge tag team match between Abyss & Hogan against Styles & Flair. The match didn’t last long before Sting interfered and I thought the fans were going to be in for a big disappointment as the tag team match was cut short. Thankfully, TNA kept their promise and had the match take place later in the night. A good move in their part, by the way, to keep fans tuned in to their show.
The match wasn’t anything to write home about, but it opened up several new possibilities to work from. I love that Desmond Wolfe is being brought into the fold and it was great to see Jeff Hardy end the show. Just from this angle alone, TNA has plenty of options to work with in the coming weeks and months. Let’s just hope that there isn’t a two month time span in between the next Jeff Hardy sighting.
The X Division seems to be getting some of the spotlight once again. I won’t hold my breath on it just yet as I’ll wait to see how TNA follows up on it, but I have to say that the 3-way X Division match was the best match on the show. What made it even more enjoyable as it wasn’t just a random X Division match with no purpose.
All three of the competitors – Williams, Daniels, and Kaz – were out there to prove themselves and give some meaning back to the X Division in the title match. Of course, it will take more than one match to repair the damage brought on by a lack of focus and being buried by the likes of Team 3D and Kevin Nash, but this was a step in the right direction.
Finally, as I said earlier, Impact really broke out of its usual mold and put out an “anything goes” feel. I hope this continues in the future, but I did notice that some old habits are hard to break out of. It seems that Beer Money has turned heel for some unknown reason. It just wouldn’t be Impact with an unexplained turn of some type.
Even so, I like where TNA seems to be heading and I would love to hear other thoughts on tonight’s show. Feel free to post your thoughts below in the comments section.