This week’s TNA Impact begins with a video package highlighting last week’s show, beginning with Jeff Jarrett being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, then highlights Mickie James and Magnus vs. James Storm and Serena. Also, Matt Hardy became the #1 Contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Josh Mathews welcomes us to Wednesday’s hottest show, but he says it so bland and matter of fact that I’m finding myself already doubting him. He’s with The Pope. Big night, or something.
Austin Aries starts off the show with a promo complaining about how he wasn’t in the #1 Contendership match last week. He says there’s noone better than him in pro-wrestling and calls out Bully Ray. Bully tells him his opinion doesn’t matter, but the fans opinion does, and plays to the crowd. Ray puts Aries over here, but shoots him down when Aries asks for both a World Title and Tag Team Title match, citing recent losses to Kurt Angle and The Wolves respectively. So, as a consolation, Ray offers Aries a shot at the X-Division title.
Here’s where I get a little pissed. Aries basically buries the X-Division Title, saying he’s been there and done that more times than he can count. He starts to bury Rockstar Spud, says he’s a guy that will never be in the main event.
So, Rockstar Spud’s music hits, because you know, he was just waiting for Aries to say something stupid.
Spud cuts a promo on Aries, and says he looks up to him, so to hear him say that about him hurts. He calls him the most decorated champ in TNA, and talks about him creating Option C, giving people like him a reason to believe they had a chance at all. Aries says he created Option C for himself, not others, and runs down Spud, and says he’s got nothing to show for his hard work. Spud says he’s made a career out of showing people he deserves to be there, and says he can beat him.
Aries laughs at him, and says if he can’t beat a guy like Rockstar Spud, he doesn’t belong in Impact Wrestling. Ray chimes in and says he has to give “this kid” credit because he’s got balls. Ray tells Aries to put his money where his mouth is, and if he can’t beat him, he’ll never wrestle in this ring again. Aries wants something in return – if he wins, he wants Spud’s name… Rockstar Austin Aries. What???
Aries nails Spud with the mic and walks away.
A decent segment for what it was. Spud is so brilliant on the mic, he saves an otherwise mess. Aries and Ray are fine on the mic, but running down the X Division really does noone any good. And yes, I realize where this is going, but there’s a way to do it without burying others.
Kurt Angle gives Chris Melendez a pep talk for helping him against Eric Young. Angle warns him about EY. Angle tells Melendez he can beat him, but he’s gotta go after him.
More plugs for Tigre Uno addressing Donald Trump. I guess he didn’t respond to last week’s challenge.
Chris Melendez and Kurt Angle walk out to the ring. Melendez cuts a promo and says Eric Young keeps getting the better of him, and that’s cool because he’s newer in the business and needs more experience. He says when he was overseas, he never quit, and he fought and fought. He wants his rematch now.
Eric Young comes out and is announced as his opponent. He says he dropped Melendez on his head. He did him a favor. He tells him to quit while he’s still breathing. Melendez still wants him, so he gets him.
Chris Melendez (w/ Kurt Angle) vs. Chris Melendez
Slow start to the match. Young takes out the legs of Melendez early on. Melendez fights back with a flurry of elbows in the corner. Young rakes the eyes and hits the piledriver for the win.
Winner: Eric Young
I’m not sure this match did anything for Melendez. He got one hope spot, but it was basically a squash.
A highlight package puts over Sting’s history with the company, and reminds us he’s in the TNA Hall of Fame.
Jeremy Borash asks Matt Hardy what his stipulation will be against EC3. He says “We” aren’t sure yet, and everyone will find out at the same time. Who’s “we?” Well, probably Jeff, since they announced his return at the start of the show.
The Dollhouse come down to the ring, and apparently Marti Bell is getting a shot for the Knockouts Championship. What?
Brooke (c) vs. Marti Bell for the TNA Knockouts Championship
Brooke attacks Jade immediately, trying to keep her out of the equation. Marti tries to break it up. Finally the match begins proper. Bell has control early. Brooke counters with a neckbreaker for a 2-count. Bell talks trash and slams her face into the mat repeatedly.
Brooke hits a flying clothesline from the second rope. Brooke picks things up, hits a Russian leg sweep for two. Out of nowhere, the lights go out, and Gail Kim’s music hits. Bell is distracted, Terrell flips out, and Brooke hits her finisher to pick up the win.
This isn’t about Brooke at all. It’s about Kim and Terrell. Bell getting the title shot here is confusing at best by the way.
Another video package for the Hall of Fame, this time for Kurt Angle. Nice package.
Mathews and Pope plug Bound for Glory, then kick it to a package about Tigre Uno calling out Donald Trump. He talks about fatherhood, and what it’s like to be a dad. He speaks in Spanish the entire time, which I applaud, because this is a great way to try to get the Hispanic audience, but I feel like the majority of the target demographic of Destination America is not going to enjoy this type of package for a number of reasons I disagree with. A shame, really. Anyhow, he talks about being a Lucha and being X Division champ.
In the arena, Uno calls out Trump once more, and wonders where he is. He says he’s not afraid of him or people like him.
EC3 cuts a backstage promo saying he’s unbeatable, undefeated. “Matt Hardy, hit me with your best shot.”
We see Jeff Jarrett chatting up Billy Corgan, then go to the arena. EC3 comes out, Tyrus in tow. He says he was duped into Bully Ray allowing Matt Hardy to pick the stipulation. He says he can’t trust Ray. “Yeah I said it Bully – ya suck eggs!” He calls the Hardy’s an institution in pro-wrestling, but really, they’re hillbilles from North Carolina. He continues to rip on Jeff Hardy, and then says Matt Hardy isn’t championship material.
Jeff Hardy comes out to the arena with new music. Huge pop for Jeff. He says he’s been home and did a little crying, in the hospital, and at home, because the pain was so intense. He says EC3’s overconfidence will kill him, and says “he is feeling the healing.” He conquers fears, and says he’s afraid he may never wrestle the same, but he’s riding a bicycle every day. Soon he’ll be jogging, then running, and he’ll be wrestling, then he’ll be World Champ. He asks the audience if anyone thinks he’s a good champion. He says it needs to change, and Matt Hardy will change it.
Matt comes out to the ring. He says their entire lives people have told them they can’t, but then they do. Tonight will be no different, and next week it will be no different in their match for the TNA World Title. He says it’s never been a competition between the brothers – they love each other and support each other. They’re gonna put their heads together and come up with a great stipulation. Matt gives Jeff the mic and says there’s something under the ring to make it more interesting. Matt yanks out a table. Then a chair. Then a ladder. They talk about the stairs and everything in the ring. They’re gonna have a “Full Metal Mayhem” match. Another stip? Noone allowed at ringside.
Hardy’s music hits as EC3 and Tyrus leave the ring.
After the break, Magnus and Mickie James cut a promo about their match with James Storm and Serena. Magnus calls the match a fight. “Tonight, we fight you for the last time. We bring this to an end.” Mickie says the people helped her agree to one last match, and she can’t think of a better man on the planet to help her whip their butts. She can’t believe that Serena let Storm brainwash her. Friendship aside, family comes first.
James Storm & Serena vs. Magnus & Mickie James
Magnus immediately attacks Storm and they roll out of the ring. Magnus rolls Storm back in, and gets distracted long enough for Storm to take control. Serena sneaks in a knee to the back, helping keep the advantage as we go to break.
We return to Mickie James chasing Serena, but can’t get her hands on her. Storm still has control of Magnus. Magnus gets a hope spot, but Storm cuts him off with a pair of knees to the face. Double cross body brings both men to the ground. Mickie wants the tag.
Hot tags to the women, and James is on fire. She goes up top and hits a flying Lou Thesz press. Storm comes in and grabs her hair. She slaps the taste out of his mouth. Serena grabs her and hits a gut buster. Magnus hits a spear on James Storm. Serena calls for Khoya, then slams James into the steps. Khoya comes out with his stick and hits Storm by accident. Magnus hits a powerbomb on Storm. Serena attacks him and he tosses her. Mickie hits her DDT for the win.
Winner: Mickie James & Magnus
After the match, James hits Storm with the same DDT. She and Magnus kiss in victory.
Not a bad match at all, really. You can tell all four had pride in the feud, and it showed. Glad to see it come to an end, however, even if it is because most of them are leaving the company.
We see a recap of Mr. Anderson’s promo from last week. Bram challenges him to a match next week. Bram talks about Anderson’s children, and suggests he tells them he loves them, and goodbye. Bram says it’s personal and there’s no way Anderson is going home.
Next week is a “No Surrender” edition of Impact. Pope and Mathews plug the matches.
Time for a look at Jeff Jarrett in detail. It’s a typical TNA video package. Well done overall, but I think it paints Jarrett in a god-like light, which is a bit too heavy handed for my tastes.
Mike Tenay welcomes us to the TNA Hall of Fame Ceremony, then welcomes Dixie Carter to the ring. She says she is very honored to induct a “very worthy individual” and calls Jarrett the TNA Original. She talks about his heritage and says wrestling is literally in his DNA. She tells a story about the first time she met him, and then fast forwards to 2002, when they crossed paths again. She says noone would be there today if it weren’t for him. She is incredibly proud of Jarrett starting the company, and every wrestling fan feels the same way. She introduces Jeff Jarrett as the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee.
Jeff and Karen Jarrett walk out to the ring, dressed up all fancy. We go to break before he begins his speech.
When we return, Dixie formally inducts Jarrett into the Hall of Fame, and hands him a Rolex Watch. Jeff says he’s gonna be there a long time if he thanks everyone and he’ll likely forget people, so he makes some blanket statements instead. “If you have ever purchased a ticket, a piece of merchandise, a pay-per-view, ever been a TNA consumer or customer, thank you very much. On the flip side of that, if you’ve ever received a paycheck from TNA Entertainment, I cannot than you enough.” He thanks everyone for the very hard work everyone has put in. He puts out some very specific names – Bob & Janice Carter, who took a chance on a young business man. He gets a little choked up. Names Andy Barton, an executive. Talks about the folks that worked for Ring Ka King, the camera men and production crew. Ron and Don Harris, and others.
Then he turns to Mike Tenay, and gets choked up. Says Tenay kept the train on the tracks, and talks about the time pyro set the roof on fire. He gives a shoutout to Don West and ribs him a bit. Then he talks about the talent and puts over the X-Division, then the Knockouts, and the Tag Team Division, saying that Tag Teams get kicked to the curb sometimes in any company. Talks about AMW, XXX, Team 3D, etc. Then the heavyweights – Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Booker T, and others, including AJ Styles. He turns to Dixie Carter and thanks her, saying they’ve had their ups and downs, but without her Jarrett wouldn’t be in the ring tonight.
“And then you gotta bring it home to family.” He talks about seven years ago having a falling out with his father about TNA, but six weeks ago they reconciled. “Dad, you know better than anybody that you made me the man I am today.” He says he loves him and thanks him. He thanks his daughters and son. He thanks them for his love and support, and says they may drive him crazy sometimes, but they’re there for him. He turns to Karen and says love conquers all. She’s had more mixed emotions over the past months, but she loves him and it conquered everything. “You are my rock.”
He thanks the audience as they chant “Thank you Jeff.” The locker room empties out to the ramp to congratulate him as he and Karen head up to the ramp.
I have mixed emotions on this episode – it felt restless in a lot of ways. Bill Wentz said it best – they’re treading water.
Good to see the end of the Magnus/Storm feud, but otherwise? Not much to see here, especially since there were only three matches. In two hours.
Anyhow, let’s see how things go next week. It’s a stacked show, so hopefully, it will be much better!