The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 08.16.12
I haven’t watched Hardcore Justice yet, although I have two weeks’ vacation starting this Saturday, so I’m sure I’ll have time to squeeze it in there somewhere. Hopefully no wrestlers die while I’m off work.
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz
Austin Aries is out to tell us that he’s not a placeholder champion, and those who thought he was a fluke can drop the E and go fluk themselves. And that goes to the Aces & Eights, too. This brings out Jeff Hardy, and he’s got problems with the Aces as well, given that they cost him 20 points last week. Bully Ray answers instead (hmm…) and he’s talking really slowly so even Jeff can understand it: James Storm is behind the Aces & Eights. Even his brother is smarter than he is! OUCH. Austin pokes Bully in the CALF (because that’s where all the blood is flowing away from his brain, see) because he’s obviously crazy if he thinks that he’s getting the World title off him. Don’t poke Calfzilla! The Aces interrupt and the head guy promises to make themselves felt in a very big way. I’m really wondering if that might actually end up being Joseph Park’s evil secret ID.
Meanwhile, Magnus knows everything about Joe and how to beat him.
Bound For Glory Series: Samoa Joe v. Magnus
Joe boots him down, but Magnus gets a rollup, and Joe quickly reverses that into a crossface, before Magnus escapes to the floor. Back in, Joe beats him up in the corner, but Magnus puts him down for two. Clothesline gets two. Snow Plow gets two. Joe comes back with a corner splash and an enzuigiri, but Magnus knees out of the Muscle Buster, before missing a flying elbow. Joe blocks a charge with an awesome uranage and goes for the choke, but Magnus does the Bret roll-through, and Joe rolls through THAT to finish at 3:14. Fun little match! **1/2 Joe is gracious in victory, but Magnus seems pissed. And in fact, he lays Joe out with a chair on the way back to the dressing room. Um, I wouldn’t want to anger the big scary guy.
Meanwhile, Madison talks about her glorious title victory, but Brooke Hogan calls her out to the ring. After the break, Madison comes out for her celebration and presumed cake, but much like Portal, THERE IS NO CAKE. Earl Hebner joins Madison to celebrate, but Brooke bars him from refereeing any more Knockouts matches. And it’s Madison v. Tessmacher II tonight. Madison accuses Brooke of riding off the Hogan name (perish the thought) and invites her into the ring, but then runs away when Brooke accepts. And here’s Aces & Eights in a nice twist, but the TNA locker room chases them off. Thus proving they are smarter than the entirety of WCW from 1996-2000.
After the break, Sting cuts a promo on the Aces, offering up Angle, Aries, Hardy and himself for a match NEXT WEEK on Open Fight Night. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Meanwhile, Daniels & Kazarian namedrop Dan Slott and point out that they’re in the letters page of Amazing Spider-Man 691, which I hadn’t actually gotten around to reading yet. So I pause the DVR to check my copy, and sure enough it’s a letter from Christopher Daniels, plugging Impact. Cross-promotion! By the way, Amazing Spider-Man has been awesome for a long time now and is generally near the top of my reading list every month. But then we knew that Daniels is a man of exquisite taste already.
Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles v. Christopher Daniels
AJ puts Daniels down and drops a knee, so Daniels takes a powder and AJ chases him back in. Daniels calls for a truce, but AJ puts him down with a clothesline for two. I guess that’s a no. We take a break and return with Daniels working a headlock. Apparently he wouldn’t be able to work on Saturday Morning Slam if he was doing that. Too violent, you see. AJ escapes and gets a bridged Indian deathlock, and then a half-crab, but Daniels escapes and runs him into the corner. Daniels punts the ribs and celebrates the field goal, then follows with a beautiful backdrop suplex for two. Neckbreaker gets two. He tosses AJ, but AJ slingshots back in and tries the Clash, which Daniels escapes. They slug it out and Daniels hooks a crazy Koji Klutch in mid-air and takes AJ down with it. Styles actually has to bite the arm to escape. Daniels suplexes him for two. He pounds away in the corner, but stops to cut a promo and gets powerbombed as a result. Daniels misses a charge and AJ springboards with the forearm and makes the fired up comeback. Gutbuster into a clothesline gets two. What a great sequence that is. Neckbreaker gets two. Daniels dodges a charge and AJ hits the floor, and Daniels is man enough to take a countout win if he can get it. They fight on the floor, however, and AJ hits him with a flip dive. We’re well past the 15 minute time limit, by the way. However, Kazarian is hiding under the ring, and he tells Daniels to let AJ suplex him, and then hooks the leg for the pin. The ref sees Kaz, however, waves it off, and AJ hits the Pele kick for the real win at 16:30. I guess we’re just ignoring the time limits now. AJ gives him the Clash for good measure afterwards. Took a while for the crowd to get into it, but by the big comeback it was a hot match. ***1/2
Meanwhile, Sting talks to Hogan on the phone, and we learn that Hulk will be there to have his back next week.
Meanwhile, Jeff confronts Storm, full of accusations again. Storm will be at ringside later tonight to make sure Aces & Eights don’t mess with anyone.
Bobby Roode joins us, impeccably dressed as always. He proved that he could beat Aries at the PPV, and only bad refereeing kept him from the title. There’s only one person to blame for all this: Austin Aries. And Sting. And the referees. And the audience. OK, well, math might not be his strongest point. So what’s next? We don’t know, as he drops the mic and leaves.
Next week: The Gut Check returns, and the contender has got one hell of a babyface sympathy video to hype him up.
Knockouts title: Madison Rayne v. Miss Tessmacher
The special, non-Hebner referee is some actress/model who I’ve never heard of. Neither has the crowd, apparently. However, she is attractive and subscribes to the Shawn Michaels school of tiny pants while refereeing, so that’s a plus. Apparently she used to be Tiffany in WWE, which means nothing to me either outside of being the crazy chick who nearly ended Drew McIntyre’s WWE career. Rayne chokes Tess out in the corner, but gets small packaged for two. Madison gets a handful of tights for two, but Tess spears her and fucks up a rolling cradle for two. Oh this is not good. Madison hits boot on a charge, but Tessmacher misses a bodypress. Madison uses the ropes for two, but Taryn (what kind of a silly name is Taryn? I mean really now) pulls her off, and Tessmacher hits her finisher to win the title back at 4:01. Kind of silly to do the weeks-long buildup for Madison’s title win and then just change it back like that. DUD
Bound For Glory Series: Jeff Hardy v. Bully Ray
Bully is injured so this probably won’t go long. James Storm comes out as promised, so Bully takes out his anger on Hardy before getting distracted and going after Storm. Hardy hits Bully with a dive and we take a break. Back with Bully hitting a corner clothesline and dropping an elbow for two, then locking in a headscissors while yelling “TAP TO MY CALVES!” You have to add an extra * just for that. Suplex gets two. Hardy makes the comeback and dodges a Bully splash and they slug it out. Hardy comes back with elbows and a seated dropkick for two. Bully chokeslam gets two. Jeff escapes the Bubbabomb and goes up with the swanton for two. Bully rolls out to escape and Jeff follows with a dive, but hits Storm by mistake. Back in, Hardy gets the Whisper, but the Aces run in, and immediately get chased off by the babyfaces again. So we continue, and Hardy hits the Twist of Fate for the pin at 11:15. **1/2 This once again has Bully yelling accusations at Storm, which results in an accidental superkick for Hardy. Bully leaves, and the Aces return to finally beat up James Storm.
Crappy women’s match aside, this continues to be the best-paced and best-written wrestling show around right now, as they’re cleverly laying out the suspects and building suspense in the Aces storyline. Plus the Bound For Glory series produces good-great matches on a consistent basis, and you can’t ask for more than that these days.