Footage of Sacrifice is aired in which RVD retained the TNA World Championship, Tara was forced to leave TNA, Abyss won Chelsea and Jeff Jarrett was brutally beaten by Sting. We then head to the Impact Zone where the pyro is going off as we are told that the Top 10 rankings will be announced tonight. Kurt Angle will also make his return to TNA.
Eric Bischoff’s music hits as he comes down to the ring with Ms. Tessmacher. Bischoff says that the Top 10 rankings has been gathered by the TNA Championship Committee of Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter and himself, which consists of the fan polls, career win/loss record and title reigns, and TNA win/loss record with title reigns.
Without further ado, here is the Top 10 Contenders list from number ten to number one: Samoa Joe, Rob Terry, Desmond Wolfe, D’Angelo Dinero, Abyss, Mr. Anderson, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle and Sting is sitting at the top. Each wrestler walks out when announced with the exception of Kurt Angle.
Sting walks down to the ring after being announced and Eric Bischoff announces that Sting will get a shot at the TNA World Championship against Rob Van Dam at Slammiversary. Bischoff also announces that to prove that Sting will be a fighting challenger, Bischoff books Sting in a match against Jeff Hardy.
Sting answers back by saying everyone is talking about change and says he will give it to them before hitting Bischoff with a baseball bat. Hulk Hogan is watching from the back and heads towards the ring as Abyss comes into the ring and Sting also nails him with the bat.
Jeff Hardy then sneaks in and steals the bat from Sting and slaps him across the face. Sting comes back and nails Hardy in the midsection as RVD’s music hits and begins walking towards the ring. The distraction allows Hardy to take out Sting from behind and Hardy heads to the top rope but Sting rolls out to the floor.
After a commercial break the docu-cam catches Eric Bischoff wincing in pain in the back and is sitting with Hulk Hogan. Matt Morgan comes walking in and wants to know when he will get a rematch for the tag team championship. Hogan says he will get a rematch but wishes him luck in finding a partner.
Match 1: Roxxi vs. Madison Rayne
Roxxi’s absence from TNA is explained as a replay of her ankle injury is aired which put her on the shelf. Madison comes out to the ring by herself in the non-title matchup. The bell rings and Roxxi goes for a few quick pin attempts but Madison easily kicks out of every attempt. Roxxi then misses with a boot and Madison begins to work over and wear down Roxxi. Madison picks up a near fall after connecting with a well placed boot but Roxxi is able to recover and hits the Voodoo Drop to pick up the pin fall.
The docu-cam catches Chelsea crying in the back about having to be with Abyss for 30 days. Desmond Wolfe says that she may have to stand with him but she will always be his girl. Another docu-cam catches up with Kurt Angle who is just arriving and they ask why he didn’t come out when he was announced earlier as Angle just keeps on walking by.
A video package highlighting Kurt Angle and his past in TNA is aired. Angle talks about having an addiction to performing in front of an audience and that he’d rather hear 3,000 fans chant “TNA” instead of having 12,000 people sitting on their hands. Kurt Angle’s music then hits as he comes out to the ring.
Angle says he noticed a lot of changes in TNA since he first started almost four years ago. Angle says when he first arrived he was the very best but with the recent roster additions and the established stars that have elevated themselves, Angle is no longer part of the elite and is just another name on the roster.
He continues by saying that he is at a crossroads in his career as he has done it all. Angle says he wants to start from scratch and take himself out of the Top 10 contenders and go through each and every one of them one by one until he defeats number one. By doing so he promises that they will be some of the greatest matches of all time.
Christy Hemme is with Ric Flair and Beer Money and Flair says that Jay Lethal insulted him two weeks ago and again at Sacrifice by interering in AJ Styles’ match. He says he doesn’t care who Jay Lethal has to pick as Beer Money is going to pull him apart. Kazarian then comes in and wants to talk to Ric Flair and Flair agrees to meet with him as the interview is over.
The docu-cam is with Rob Terry who says he was just told by the doctors that he knee is injured in four different places but that won’t stop him fighting Orlando Jordan. Terry says it doesn’t matter that he is in pain because he will knock OJ’s teeth down his throat.
Match 2: Orlando Jordan vs. Rob Terry
Footage of Jordan’s brutal attack after Terry defeated him at Sacrifice is aired in which OJ injured Terry’s knee. The match starts and Jordan goes right after Terry’s knee but Terry fights him off and sends him crashing to the match with a high back body drop. Jordan is able to come back after kicking Terry in the knee and continues to focus his attack on it. OJ tears off the knee brace and the bandages off Terry’s leg and locks in a leg bar until the referee finally calls for the bell to end the match.
Jordan won’t release the hold and referees have to storm the ring to get Jordan to break the hold. A trainer comes down to look at Terry and Jordan comes back into the ring and locks in the leg bar again. Referees have to pull him off of Terry once more but the damage may already be done.
The docu-cam is with Jay Lethal who says Ric Flair took everything wrong as he was trying to honor him, not disrespect him. RVD then walks in and offers to be his tag team partner against Beer Money since he had his back at Sacrifice.
The docu-cam is backstage with Jeff Hardy who says he idolized Sting when he was a child and was inspired by him to paint his face. Hardy goes on to say that he always wanted a match with Sting but never thought it was going to happen.
A camera catches up with Ink Inc. as Jesse Neal busts into Team 3D’s locker room. Neal gets into Brother Ray’s face and Ray said he gave Neal a much needed attitude adjustment last week. Brother Devon and Shannon Moore try to calm the two down but the two get into a brawl and need to be pulled apart.
Match 3: Beer Money vs. Jay Lethal & Rob Van Dam
Lethal comes out with his own music and own gear as he points out that it says Lethal on his boots. Looks like the Black Machismo character is finally gone and the announce team even say it’s nice to see the real Jay Lethal for a change. The new look doesn’t change his luck in the ring, though, as Beer Money picks him apart in the beginning moments of the match.
During the match, Mike Tenay says that everyone has moved up a spot in the Top 10 Contenders list and the final spot will be decided in an 8-man X Division Battle Royal later on tonight. Back to the action, Lethal finally hits handspring back elbow on Storm and tags in RVD as Storm tags in Roode. RVD comes in and takes out both members of Beer Money as Lethal tags himself back into the match.
Lethal hits a missile dropkick on Roode and follows with the Lethal Combination. RVD then hits Rolling Thunder and flies out to the floor onto Storm. Lethal then locks in the figure four leg lock on Roode and makes him tap out to win the match by submission. Ric Flair then storms out towards the ring as he and Lethal get into a fight on the ramp.
The two fight their way towards the back as RVD celebrates the victory with the fans. While greeting the fans, RVD is attacked by Sting who was hiding in the crowd wearing a Sting mask… yes, a Sting mask over his face paint. Sting hits RVD with a chair before walking towards the back.
After a commercial break, Jeff Hardy is in the ring and says he grew up idolizing Sting when he was growing up and dares Sting to try to figure Hardy out as he plans on taking Sting beyond his wildest imagination.
We then head to the back where security is escorting Chelsea to Abyss as Desmond Wolfe is berating them the whole time. We then hear Abyss’ music as he is coming down to the ring to call out Wolfe and Chelsea. Security is then seen walking Chelsea to the ring.
Once they are in the ring, Abyss says that he made Desmond Wolfe his bitch at Sacrifice and now he is talking his. Wolfe says he can take Chelsea over his dead body before punting Abyss between the legs. Wolfe then takes out the security before breaking a bottle and cutting Abyss in the arm with it. Chelsea tries to stop Wolfe which gives Abyss an opening to take Wolfe out with a Black Hole Slam. Abyss then leaves the ring with Chelsea draped over his shoulder.
After a break, the Band is in the ring with the TNA Tag Team Championship belts. Eric Young says that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash are the only people in TNA that he has anything in common with. Young says he is the newest member of the Band and they are there to make the big bucks and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can do about it.
Match 4: Eric Young vs. Shannon Moore
Shannon Moore goes on the offensive in the early parts of this match and picks up a couple of near falls. Young then turns the tide of the match into his favor and locks Moore in an arm bar until Moore fights his way out and regains control with a bulldog and follows with a series of clotheslines.
With Moore in control, Brother Ray comes out as Jesse Neal charges out after him. The distraction allows Scott Hall to nail Moore with the title belt from behind and Young takes Moore out with a piledriver to pick up the pin fall. Back on the ramp, Brother Ray has been laid out as Neal walks into the ring to check on his partner. Ray, though, runs into the ring and attacks Neal from behind as Brother Devon tries to get him to calm down.
After a break the ring is full of X Division wrestlers as the battle royal is up next for a spot in the Top 10 Contenders list.
Match 5: X Division Battle Royal
Amazing Red, Kazarian, Homicide, Brian Kendrick, Generation Me, and the Motorcity Machine Guns are all participants in the match. Kazarian quickly eliminates Red from the match as Kendrick is nowhere to be found. The Guns eliminate Max Buck and Jeremy Buck comes back and eliminates Alex Shelley. Jeremy Buck is the next one out and Sabin is kicked out by Kazarian as he is going for a springboard.
Homicide and Kaz fight in the corner and Kendrick slides in and sends Homicide out to the floor as the final two fight in the ring. Kazarian finally tosses Kendrick out to the floor as Ric Flair looks on from the entrance ramp and shows his sign of approval by clapping his hands. The win gave Kazarian the tenth spot in the Top 10 Contenders rankings.
Match 6: Sting vs. Jeff Hardy
The bell rings as these two lock up and Jeff Hardy connects with a couple of blows and kicks before Sting rolls out to the floor. Hardy flies out to the floor but Sting ducks out of the way and Hardy catches nothing but floor. Sting then focuses on Hardy’s legs and begins to slam them into the ring entrance.
Sting tosses Hardy back into the ring and continues on the attack and hits a Stinger Splash but misses with a second attempt. Hardy begins to mount a comeback but misses with a high risk move. Sting then puts Hardy in a Scorpion Death Lock but Hardy fights his way to the ropes.
Referee Slick Johnson then finds himself in the way and is dumped out to the floor. Sting then sets up for a Scorpion Death Drop but Mr. Anderson runs into the ring and gives Sting a Scorpion Death Drop. Anderson then heads out to the floor as Hardy covers for the pin fall.
Anderson then enters the ring and raises Hardy’s arm in victory and Hardy doesn’t know what to do. Anderson then calls for his microphone but is attacked by Sting with a baseball bat before it comes down. Sting then knocks down Hardy as Impact comes to a close.
- Roxxi defeated Madison Rayne by pin fall in a non-title match.
- Orlando Jordan defeated Rob Terry by submission.
- Jay Lethal & Rob Van Dam defeated Beer Money by submission.
- Eric Young defeated Shannon Moore by pin fall.
- Kazarian won an 8-man battle royal to earn the tenth spot in the Top 10 Contenders list.
- Jeff Hardy defeated Sting by pin fall.
Tonight’s episode was all about revealing the rankings for the Top 10 Contenders. The list was revealed at the top of the show, one person dropped out midway and a new one was added towards the end. The list itself held very few surprises with the exception of Rob Terry. I mean, really, Rob Terry?
Eric Bischoff stated that the criteria for the rankings was based on fan voting, win/loss records and championship reigns in and out of TNA. Just in TNA alone, Joe was undefeated for nearly two years and held the TNA World Championship for six months, not to mention his other title reigns. Rob Terry has done what – held a title that nobody really cares about? I’d rather see someone like Jeff Jarrett or even Rhino on the list before Terry.
To make matters worse, Terry moved up a notch after Kurt Angle withdrew from the rankings. I applaud his idea at fighting his way to the top, which means the fans should be in for some real treats judging by most of the names on the list. I fully expect, though, that his match against Rob Terry will be a huge clunker. Seriously, though… Rob Terry? Why exactly is TNA so high on this guy?
Aside from the rankings, Eric Bischoff also announced that Sting will challenge Rob Van Dam for the TNA World Championship at Slammiversary. I am not looking forward to this match in the least, but at least they seem to be giving Sting some television time and trying to put over his heel persona. Sting not only took out Eric Bischoff in the opening segment, but he also attacked RVD, Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson. The one thing that I do enjoy about the Slammiversary main event is that it is NOT a King of the Mountain match. I have seen enough of those in my lifetime already.
The end to tonight’s show was intriguing as well with Mr. Anderson coming out to help Jeff Hardy. Anderson seemed to be getting a good heel reaction from the fans so this is a strange time to change his persona, but I can’t help but wonder where they are going with this. It sure has gotten my attention, though.
After what seems to have been years and years of pleading in my recaps, it finally seems that Jay Lethal has dropped the Black Machismo gimmick and has returned to being himself. This change was long overdue and I hope he is able to get over with the fans without having to resort to impersonations, no matter how good they are. Lethal seems to be getting a push, so at least it seems that they are trying to get him over and isn’t just another face in the crowd.
Not only was it good to see Lethal back to his former self, but it was also great to see Roxxi again. Much like the last time she returned after a long absence, she came out a pinned the Knockouts Champion in a non-title match by pinning Madison Rayne. Last December she did the same by defeating then champion, ODB. I’m not sure if she is working on a per appearance deal, but a talent such as her is sorely needed in the Knockouts Division.
It looks like Kazarian is also aligning himself with Ric Flair. I like that Flair seems to be working with younger TNA talent, but Kazarian doesn’t quite fit the mold of AJ Styles, Beer Money or Desmond Wolfe. Maybe Flair will work wonders with Kazarian but I think there is more than enough people in Flair’s little stable as it is.
Finally, this is a small thing, but I am enjoying Jeremy Borash as the ring announcer. He is good at it and seems to show a little more life on the mic than David Penzer. I do think Borash should be doing more in TNA than that, but at least he is working well with what he was given.