Mr. Monday Night (4/26 Impact Recap)

Mr. Monday Night (4/26 Impact Recap)

A video package highlighting Rob Van Dam’s huge week last Monday is aired which ended with him defeating AJ Styles for the TNA World Championship.  The Impact intro then hits as we are welcomed to this week’s show that will feature AJ Styles & Sting going up against Jeff Jarrett & Jeff Hardy, plus Ric Flair will take on Abyss for the Hall of Fame rings.

Hulk Hogan’s music hits and he comes out to the ring and says that things are really changing around TNA.  Hogan again puts over the TNA World Champion and brings up the new rating system that Eric Bischoff is going to reveal before saying that the fans will also have input on the system.  Hogan puts over AJ Styles for being a fighting champion, but he knew it was over once RVD hit the five star frog splash.  Hogan then introduces the new champion as he comes out to the ring.

RVD comes out and tells Hogan that he can now be called “Mr. TNA.”  RVD then talks about how TNA gave him the opportunity to be himself and now he is the World Champion.  RVD then says that he is one of the toughest guys anyone will see and will continue to be one of the greatest champions TNA has ever had.  RVD is then cut off by AJ Styles’ music.

AJ Styles and Ric Flair begin walking down to the ring and hurls a few insults at RVD and his lifestyle and says nobody understands him and his hippie way of life.  Styles is upset about being stuck in a BS tag team match instead of getting a rematch for title TNA World Title.  Styles says he will get his rematch and will get it on his own terms.

Flair steps in and tells Hogan that he is going to put an end to Abyss and the mockery that Hogan has made of the both of them.  Flair talks about stylin’ and profilin’ tonight and says that he made his life out of specializing against big guys.

The Beautiful People are backstage where Velvet Sky is going on about how TNA has already put Madison Rayne in a title match.  Madison says that she has to go up against two former champions and doesn’t even need to be pinned to lose the title.  They call it Beautiful People discrimination but Madison says she is going to step back and let Tara and Angelina Love tear each other apart before sliding in for the win.

A video package focusing on the issues between Tara and Angelina Love is aired.  The two will be fighting for the TNA Knockouts Championship in a three-way match and that match is up next.

Match 1: Angelina Love vs. Tara vs. Madison Rayne (TNA Knockouts Championship)
Slick Johnson sends both Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich to the back prior to the match starting.  The bell rings and Madison runs around and is leveled by a clothesline from Tara before she rolls out of the ring.  Angelina and Tara then face off and go back and forth with Madison coming in and trying to pick up the victory at opportune moments.  We then head into a commercial break as Madison tosses Tara out to the floor.

We return to the match to see Angelina in control with Tara still out on the floor.  Angelina wears Madison down as she continues to retreat out to the floor.  Tara is able to recover and sends Angelina into the ring post and out to the floor before putting Madison in a submission choke hold.  Angelina is able to recover and comes in the ring and takes both of the opponents out but Madison shoves Angelina into Tara and rolls Angelina up for the pin fall.

Madison leaves with the Knockouts Championship as Angelina and Tara get into a brawl in the middle of the ring.  Security pulls them apart and Angelina is seen favoring her right arm.  Tara begins to apologize to Angelina but nails her from behind when Angelina turns around.

Match 2: Shannon Moore vs. Kazarian (X Division Championship)
Kazarian is still without the title as Douglas Williams still has it.  Mike Tenay says Williams will be on Impact next week and wonders if he will give it up.  The bell rings as Moore and Kazarian go back and forth before Moore takes control with a hurricanrana and a leg drop which earns a two count.  Kaz turns the tide of the match in his favor with a hip toss and a neckbreaker, but Moore is able to kick out of a pin attempt.

Kazarian then tries for his reverse piledriver but Moore squirms out but Kaz pushes him into the referee.  Kazarian then tries to go for a top rope hurricanrana but Moore blocks it and shoves Kazarian down to the ring.  Matt Morgan then runs to the ringside area and pushes Moore off the turnbuckle and onto the floor.  Morgan says nobody says no to them as Kazarian hits the reverse piledriver to pick up the pin fall victory.

Samoa Joe’s music then hits as he comes down to the ring and stares down Kazarian.  Joe then connects with a kick to the face and begins beating the champion down before taking him out with the muscle buster.

Abyss is in the back talking about Hogan giving him the ring, which gave him confidence.  Abyss says he knows it doesn’t hold any special powers but with it he feels he can do anything with it.  Abyss goes on to say that he may lose the ring tonight but he won’t lose what it gave him.

Matt Morgan is backstage with Jesse Neal and is trying to recruit him as a tag team partner.  Neal is buying it and says he knows what happened to Amazing Red two weeks ago.  Morgan brings up the promise that he made to his late Navy buddy about being a world champion.  Morgan says they are done asking around for partners and want to have him as part of the team.  Morgan leaves after he tells Neal to listen to his heart.

We see AJ Styles walking in the back on the way towards the ring and says he is going to take care of business tonight and right now as we head into a commercial break.

Match 3: AJ Styles & Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jeff Hardy (Falls Count Anywhere)
The match gets right underway with Hardy and Styles fighting on the ramp and Jarrett and Sting in the crowd.  Hardy suplexes Styles on the ramp and gets a two count as Jarrett picks up a near fall after hitting Sting with a chair across the back.  There are two referees for this match in a move that is applauded by the announce team.

The four finally make it to the ring and Hardy is tossed to the floor and Styles turns his attention to Styles.  I guess they are going by tag team rules now as Hardy is pushed back into the corner by the referee, which even confuses Taz.  Sting is tagged into the match and wears Jarrett down but Jarrett is able to tag Hardy into the match and begins wearing down Styles and Sting walks away from the ring.

Hardy heads to the top rope but Styles springs up and pushes him down as Jarrett is looking around for Sting.  Hardy and Styles begin to fight around the ring once again as Jarrett finds Sting behind the curtain and they are heading up the stairs towards the rafters.  Back on the floor, Styles has been placed on a table as Hardy sets up a ladder on the stage.  Sting is then seen nailing Jarrett with a bat on the steps before Hardy can fly off the ladder.

Jesse Neal is seen talking to Team 3D about Matt Morgan’s offer as they tell him that he is just going to use him like he did Amazing Red.  Neal wants their blessing to become a tag team champion against the two of them.  They say he can do what he wants but warns him not to put all of his trust in Morgan.

The Pope’s music hits as he makes his way down to the ring with his right arm in a sling and a patch over his left eye. We see highlights of his match at Lockdown and Dinero wants to know who AJ Styles thinks he is as he tried to take away his career by jabbing a pen in his eye.  Dinero says Styles is no longer champion, but he hasn’t forgotten about him and he is watching him as the Pope is not through with Styles.

The Pope is then interrupted by Mr. Anderson who comes down to the ring and grabs his special microphone.  Anderson runs down Dinero a bit before saying that he looks to be a bit injured and says that Kurt Angle is also injured and he is at home licking his wounds.  Anderson asks the Pope if he is going to go and nurse his injuries or get in the ring against Anderson at Sacrifice.  The Pope then says his one arm is in a sling but his pimp slap still works before slapping Anderson across the face.  Anderson then goes off and attacks Dinero and sticks his finger in Dinero’s eye before security runs down and breaks it up.

Match 4: Team 3D vs. Matt Morgan & Jesse Neal
Prior to the match we see Sean Waltman has been laid out in the parking lot and has been put through a table.  Team 3D is standing over him and says that they took care of his boys at Lockdown and tells him to stay at home.  Waltman is laying in a puddle of blood and is unconscious.

Team 3D finally gets to the ring and this match gets underway as Team 3D works over Jesse Neal for a few moments before the Band’s music interrupts the match.  Hall and Nash begin walking down the ramp and Team 3D meets them in the middle.  As the two teams battle it out, Matt Morgan attacks Jesse Neal from behind and drives him down to the mat with a choke slam.  Morgan then holds both titles over Neal as we head into a commercial break.

After the break, Jesse Neal is standing in the ring with Team 3D and is calling out Matt Morgan.  Christy catches up with Morgan in the back and tells him what is going on but Morgan says they already forgot about that kid’s name and they are off the clock.  Hulk Hogan then walks up and says he better deal with Neal or he has to deal with Hogan.  Morgan decides to go deal with Neal.

Neal meets up with Morgan on the entrance ramp and nails Morgan with a head butt.  Neal then picks up a tag team belt but Morgan nails him with a low blow before nailing him across the head with the title.  Morgan then again celebrates with the belt but Shannon Moore comes running out and takes Morgan down with a missile dropkick.  Morgan goes out to the floor and says they are going take them both out as the two mohawked wrestlers shake hands in the ring.

Eric Bischoff is in the office and says that he has been working with consultants both inside and outside of TNA and has decided to let the fans help them decide the top 10 wrestlers for a shot at the TNA World Championship and voting can be done on tnawrestling.com.  He tells the fans to vote early and vote often as Jay Lethal walks in.  Lethal gives his thoughts on the rankings and tosses out names like Andre, Koko B. Ware, Red Rooster and One Man Gang before he is cut off with a commercial break.

Orlando Jordan is seen standing in the back wearing a colorful skirt and says his art represents his body, soul and passion.  He goes on to say that he has witnessed Rob Terry destroy everything that has come before him and next week he will be the guest on his new show the O-Zone.

Ric Flair is seen in the back talking about coming out of retirement tonight and feels like he is Doc Holliday or Bill Hickok going to teach a young kid something.  He says Abyss wearing the ring offends him as it is something that Flair had to work 38 years to achieve.

Kevin Nash and Scott Hall is seen in the back as the camera man asks what’s next with the Band.  Nash says they realize they are a man down but the first item is to check on their friend Syxx-Pac.  Nash warns Team 3D that there will be a next time and there will be a third person.

A video package highlighting Abyss receiving Hulk Hogan’s Hall of Fame ring and what Ric Flair has gone through to get to this point with Abyss is aired as we head into the main event.

Match 5: Ric Flair vs. Abyss (Ring vs. Ring Match)
Both Flair and Abyss are wearing the rings as this match gets underway.  Flair starts this match off by corning Abyss and hitting him with a series of punches and chops.  Abyss, though, uses his strength to his advantage and takes Flair down with a back body drop.  The fight goes out to the floor and Abyss sends Flair into the guard railing before reopening Flair’s wounds.

The match goes back into the ring and Flair pokes Abyss in the eyes but Abyss manages to take Flair down with a huge power slam before taking him down with a big boot to the face.  Abyss continues to power Flair around until Flair connects with a mule kick that nails both Abyss and the referee.  Flair then puts on a pair of brass knuckles and cracks Abyss across the head, but Abyss doesn’t flinch.  Flair then nails Abyss below the belt with the knuckles and picks up the pin fall victory.

Earl Hebner awards the match to Flair but sees the brass knuckles fall out of Flair’s hand.  Hebner then decides to restart the match.  Flair comes at Abyss with a series of chops but Abyss doesn’t move and hits the Black Hole Slam to pick up the pin fall victory.

Hulk Hogan comes out to the ring and congratulates Abyss before taking the Hall of Fame ring off of Flair’s finger.  Hogan puts the ring on his pinky and he tells he knows exactly who he is going to present Flair’s ring to next week on Impact.

Quick Results
- Madison Rayne defeated Angelina Love and Tara in a three-way match to retain the Knockouts Championship.
- Kazarian defeated Shannon Moore by pin fall to retain the X Division Championship.
- AJ Styles & Sting defeated Jeff Jarrett & Jeff Hardy by pin fall in a falls count anywhere match.
- Team 3D fought Matt Morgan & Jesse Neal to a no contest.
- Abyss defeated Ric Flair by pin fall to win his Hall of Fame ring.

Starman’s Thoughts
Tonight’s show was called “Mr. Monday Night” but aside from the opening segment, Rob Van Dam was nowhere to be seen.  Sure, he had a long few days wrestling two matches at Lockdown and two matches the following night on Impact, but you’d think a little more attention would be given to the new champion.

I will give TNA credit once again for putting over the importance of the title, but I could have lived without hearing all of the marijuana references.  Yes, we all know what kind of activities RVD likes to partake in, but it doesn’t need to be brought to our attention at every single moment.  Especially considering his is booked as a face champion.  He can still be the same cool, calm and collected person he always has been without all of the drug references.

At any rate, it sounds like RVD’s next opponent at Sacrifice will be decided by the fans voting on the new ranking system.  I was hoping for a little more than what was given with the new system, but at least they kept it simple.  It will be interesting to see who the fans choose to go up against RVD and how the ranking system all works out.

Was it just me or was there a lot of title matches on tonight’s show?  They really seem to be putting over the TNA World Championship, but they constantly give out meaningless title matches on television.  Okay, they all weren’t entirely meaningless, but giving a title shot to anyone at anytime seems to lessen its value.  What ever happened to earning a title shot?

Since I am on the topic of title shots, I will say that I liked Samoa Joe’s new (old) demeanor.  It is the no nonsense Joe of old – come to the ring, beat people up and walk away.  No huge knives, no Samoan war paint, no tribal shorts, just an ass kicker that lets his actions do the talking.  Maybe his abduction wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

I also think the pairing of Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal could work.  It didn’t even come to mind that there were two people in TNA with tattoos and Mohawks, so they do look like they belong together.  Moore also seems to be over with the fans and could give Neal a little more exposure.  I’d like to see Moore in the X Division some more, but with Joe entering the picture this gives him something else to work with and sets up a logical feud with Matt Morgan.

I didn’t like the fact that both D’Angelo Dinero and Mr. Anderson were kept off of television last week, especially since they both lost in two of the bigger matches that came out of Lockdown.  They were both featured on tonight’s show, though, and more than made up for it.  I feel that the Pope gave out some of his best mic work since coming to TNA while in the ring tonight.  He looked banged up but he said that wasn’t going to stop him.  Anderson, on the other hand, also got all of his heat back by coming out and doing what he does best… running his mouth.

This is another logical battle as the Pope defeated Anderson for a shot at the title in the first place.  Also with Angle out of the picture and Styles possibly setting his sights on RVD, it starts up a fresh new feud between two great talents.  Both are pretty decent on the microphone so it will be interesting to see what comes out of the both of them in the upcoming weeks.

I’m really glad that there was at least a little mention of the fact that Abyss knows there is no actual power that comes from Hogan’s Hall of Fame ring.  It was a small mention, but it was at least there.  Too bad I really have no interest in seeing who Hogan picks to give Flair’s Hall of Fame ring to next week.

Did I really see a falls count anywhere tag team match with regulated tag team rules?  That doesn’t even make any sense.  Feel free to beat the hell out of your opponent with baseball bats and chairs, but you have to tag your partner in and out of the match.  No wonder AJ Styles had to foresight to call it a BS tag team match.

Judging by their track record, I shouldn’t expect for TNA to get everything right, but one thing I really am enjoying right now is the small segments with the talent talking candidly about their upcoming matches.  Styles, Hall & Nash, and especially Flair was short yet effective.  It really beats the standard backstage interview and gives the show a little bit of a raw, anything goes, edge to it.