The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 08.23.12
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz
Sting and his crew of ACEBUSTERS (OK, I made that one up) come out to call out the Aces & Eights and show graphic footage of everyone who got beat up. Sting brings out James Storm to welcome him to the good people, and they call out the Aces, which results in a couple of geeks coming out on their behalf and getting their ass handed to them. One gets unmasked but he isn’t anybody, and he says we’re all in for a long and painful night. Why, is Russo booking again?
Miss Tessmacher is out to thank Brooke Hogan for righting the wrongs of her title loss, but she’s also there to call out Tara.
Miss Tessmacher v. Tara
Once again, your special referee is Taryn. They trade armdrags and it’s looking REALLY sloppy for some reason, and Tara gets a powerslam for two. Tess comes back with clotheslines and pounds away in the corner, then goes up after some booty-shaking. Tara brings her down with a superplex for the pin at 2:46. So I guess they’re picking up the thread again from a few weeks ago and starting a new program. * I’m still wondering what the point of the Madison Rayne storyline was, since she won the title and then dropped it days later and now it’s seemingly over with.
Bound For Glory Series: Robbie E v. Rob Van Dam v. AJ Styles
This is to make up for the loss of the Pope due to injury. AJ and Rob trade rollup spots and then decide to team up on Robbie and get rid of him. RVD works a headlock on AJ and gets dropkicked out of the ring, but Robbie lays out AJ from behind. AJ comes back with a corner clothesline and we take a break. Back with Robbie knocking RVD off the apron and chinlocking Styles. RVD pulls Robbie out of the ring and beats on him, but AJ hits them both with a dive. Back in, AJ with a backbreaker on Robbie, but RVD hits him with a dropkick and Rolling Thunder. Leg lariat for Robbie and a standing moonsault gets two. Robbie gets dumped again and AJ hits the springboard DDT on RVD for two (well, “hits” is a generous description). AJ and RVD slug it out in the corner and AJ tries a superplex, but RVD fights him off and hits the frog splash instead…and Robbie E pins the stunned RVD at 12:49 for the 7 points. That’ll teach him to the melodramatic selling of his own move. Entertaining match when Robbie wasn’t dragging it down. ***
Jeff Hardy v. Robbie T
Terry lays him out with a clothesline, then catches him with a powerslam out of the corner for two. Jeff comes back with the Whisper for two. He throws clotheslines until Robbie goes down, then finishes with the Twist of Fate and Swanton at 2:29. Well I’d say he got his revenge. *1/2
AJ Styles is out for the paternity test, and he can’t remember if anything that happened between himself and Claire. He promises to take care of the baby if it’s his, but if not then he never wants to hear from Daniels & Kazarian again. I would also vote for never hearing about this angle again. JB introduces Claire Lynch, but the World Tag Team Champions of the World answer instead, and Kazarian goes off on a rant about absentee parenting. Daniels informs us that Claire is in the hospital with “placental rupturing”, and now we’re joined by Claire’s lawyer. GOOD GOD. Thankfully, this is the bullet in the head of the angle, as the lawyer reads a prepared statement from Claire, admitting that everything was faked, including the pregnancy, and she was working with the Appletini crew all along. And then Poochie died on the way back to his home planet.
Kris Lewie, the mystery Gut Check contestant from last week, cuts another HELL of a babyface promo leading up to his challenge tonight.
Meanwhile, Sting confronts three of the Aces, and Hogan returns to beat the crap out of them. Playing back the audio would probably sound a TAD more sexual than they were intending. Hogan was really doing some heavy breathing here and Sting was into it.
Kris Lewie v. Gunner
Lewie gets a pair of armdrags for two, but Gunner pokes him in the eye. Clothesline gets two for Gunner and he sends Lewie into the corner, but the charge misses. Lewie fights back with some AWFUL punches and a bad elbow and samoan drop. He’s got the promo, but he is NOT ready in the ring, as I don’t think he hit one thing clean. Gunner finishes him with the Wasteland slam at 3:00. This was pretty embarrassing, unfortunately. DUD
Meanwhile, ODB’s fish are jumping.
Bound For Glory Series: Mr. Anderson v. Bully Ray
This is Anderson’s last match in the series, so he needs a submission win to not get eliminated. Stalemate to start and Bully pounds him down and goes to work on the back with a suplex for two. We take a break with nothing in particular going on and return with Bully in control, leading to him missing a pump splash in the corner. They slug it out on their knees and Anderson makes the comeback with a neckbreaker for two. Leg lariat gets two. Bully counters the Regal roll by shifting his weight, and gets a neckbreaker for two. To the top, but this time Anderson brings him down with the roll for two. Why even bother going for a pin? Anything less than a submission is useless to him. Anderson to the top, but Bully brings him down with a superplex, and we cut backstage to more members of the Aces getting beat down. Back in the ring, the Bubbabomb gets two. Another try is reversed to a DDT and Anderson goes up with a swanton for two. Mic Check finishes at 12:35, but he’s not in the top four so it was kind of a pointless win. Match picked up a lot after the break and the crowd was very into the near-falls at the end. ***
Sting and the TNA crew call out the Aces & Eights, and the brawl is on. It’s a rout for TNA and we still don’t know anything about the Aces, even when they get unmasked. However, the Aces manage to cut off Aries in the ring and seemingly break his hand with a chair, until Bully Ray chases them off to end the show. I’m seriously starting to lose faith this angle is going to have a worthwhile reveal.
Couple of good matches this week, but MAN was that AJ segment terrible, and the Gut Check was a total letdown after the great videos building him up. And the finishing brawl didn’t do much to advance the storyline either. Bit of a wash this time around.