5/26 Kester's TNA "Impact Wrestling" Live Coverage: The hype for Slammiversary continues as Immortal and the Network battle for control of the company, Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett pick each other's opponents for the evening
By Ryan Kester
TNA "Impact Wrestling" on Spike TV
Taped in Orlando, Fla. in the Impact Wrestling Zone
[Q1] The show is dedicated to Randy Savage. A video package played of last's week's beatdown on Sting from Anderson. This week's show is called "Andersoon Center Stage."
The show kicked off with Tommy Dreamer making his way to the ring.
1. AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels vs. Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray in a Street Fight in 3:38. AJ wore a neck brace to the ring. The bell rang and the four men instantly started brawling. Daniels and Ray squared up while AJ threw Dreamer over a barricade and then jumped after him with a cross body.
Daniels and Bully ray fought in the ring with weapons scattered everywhere. Ray hit an Urinagi on daniels but AJ showed up out of nowhere and hit a Pele kick. Dreamer ripped the neck brace off of AJ and wnt to work on his neck. Daniels finally came back to make the save. The two hit a Spike piledriver on Dreamer to get the win.
Hulk Hogan was shown backstage… [C]
Ryan's Rant: That wasn't a match so much as a overhyped brawl. Still, it was a great way to start the show off with a bang. I just wish they'd lay off of the piledrivers.
[Q2] Back from the break, Anderson came out in old school Sting gear. Anderson played it off as if he was Sting and invited Disco Inferno out to have an interview with him. Anderson punked Sting and said Disco was there during Sting's heyday. Disco called Anderson an asshole. Disco tried to talk but Anderson kept interrupting him with Sting's old catchphrases.
Disco cut a brief promo putting Sting over as a role model and an icon. Anderson came back saying this segment was here to bury Sting. Yes, he really used those words. Disco asked Anderson why he referred to himself as an asshole when he's really just a dick. This prompted a "dick" chant.
Disco called down Anderson's mic to call Anderson a dick. Anderson used the mic to attack Disco. Disco instantly bled and the real Sting came out to save Disco.
Velvet was shown walking backstage.
Ryan's Rant: That was alright in theory, but I get really tired of the guys who use wrestling jargon in their promos. It just puts a bad taste in my mouth. Speaking of which, so does a company constantly putting over the guys who have crested fifty in the company. That segment consisted of nothing but those two things.
[Q3] Backstage, Gunner attacked Eric Young in the bathroom and Young started talking nonsense.
Velvet Sky came to the ring and demanded to talk to ODB, who quickly obliged. Velvet demanded an explanation. ODB talked about how she was fired from TNA because of Velvet. Velvet complained about always being the scapegoat for the Knockouts. ODB made a slut joke. Classy. ODB attacked Velvet while making several slut jokes. Ugh. Eventually, security ran out and dragged ODB off of Velvet.
A video package was shown hyping the main event... [C]
Ryan's Rant: I'm fed up with the slut jokes and innuendos. It's classless and it makes me instinctively reach for the remote.
A video recapping the Flair/Roode segment from last week aired. Bischoff was shown backstage telling a hurt Bobby he had thirty days to heal his torn ACL or he'd have to forfeit the titles. Bischoff started making a Jesus joke and my brain checked out of the segment.
A video aired of the Pope on Xplosion talking about how Devon needed to chill.
[Q4] Kurt Angle was shown prepping Morgan for his match… [C]
Ryan's Rant: We went from slut jokes to religion jokes, two aspects of comedy I don't find the least bit of humor in. I'm not exactly religious, but I find mocking religious beliefs to be classless. This show's going downhill fast for me. I have no desire to feud with Devon, especially over Devon's family. After what happened with Bully ray, you'd think Devon would be smart enough not to bring his family to TNA shows.
2. Jeff Jarrett (w/Karen Jarrett) defeated Matt Morgan in 3:08 Karen was still selling her ankle injury. Earl got in a dispute with the Jarretts on where Karen would sit at ringside. Jarrett got some offense in early but Matt quickly overpowered Jeff. Morgan made a mistake and Jeff went to work on his legs. Jarrett hit the Stroke on Morgan but Morgan kicked out.
Morgan hit the Carbon Footprint but Karen distracted Hebner. Steiner attacked Morgan out of nowhere and put Jeff on top of Morgan to give him the win… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Quick and painless match. I just wish it ended with a clean win for Jeff to give him a bit more credibility heading into his showdown with Angle at Slammiversary.
[ Q5] In the ring, Bischoff introduced Hogan who claimed to be the new network representative. Hogan put over Bischoff for destroying the X-Division last week. Mick Foley came out to say the Network executives couldn't stand Hogan. Foley put over the X-Division and said they would rise to new heights, and made an Ultimate X match for the PPV.
Bischoff made the point that Foley had no control over the company's PPVs. Foley said that they needed Impact to promote the PPVs. Hogan challenged Foley for a championship match on Abyss's behalf. The X-Division showed up to band with Foley. Kendrick said he'd take Foley's place to challenge Abyss for the title.
Backstage, Winter was talking creepy to Angelina Love about how they're star-crossed lovers… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Kendrick's otherworldly talk is unnecessary. He can't seem to decide what character he's playing. I was all ready to crap on this segment, but at least we have a portion of this segment focused on actual wrestlers. Otherwise, all this was a bunch of washed up elderly mouthpieces taking up time that should be used for a great match on a show that is supposedly all about wrestling.
[Q6] 3. Mickie James defeated Winter in 2:17. Winter gained control early with a beautiful Northern Lights Suplex. Winter went for her finisher but Mickie reversed into her jumping DDT.
Post-match, Angelina Love beat down Mickie James.
Backstage, Abyss talked about how he was on a mission to exterminate the X-Division. He quoted the Art of War for some reason.
Ryan's Rant: Anyone else think Winter should use the Northern Lights as her finisher? It actually goes with her gimmick and she can hit it flawlessly. Other than that, nothing was really gained by this match. Mickie is nothing special in TNA, and she is treated as such.
[Q7] 4. Abyss defeated Brian Kendrick in 4:08. They started the match on the floor. The ref rang the bell for some unknown reason before the two had even been in the ring together. Abyss won with the Black Hole Slam to retain the X-Division Title.
A video package played talking about the importance of wrestling with Kurt and RVD… [C]
Ryan's Rant: I don't know what's wrong with me, but I am actually liking the big man with little man belt story. If they actually let one of the guys get over Abyss in a big way, it could really elevate them and the title.
Back from the break, Kurt Angle talked about how wrestling RVD was like wrestling for the TNA title.
[Q8] 5. Eric Young defeated Gunner to become the TNA Television Champion in 0:16. They are talking about how Gunner thought he'd taken back his TV title last week. How stupid is that? How do you mistake a giant red belt for a normal black belt?
Gunner poked Young who acted like he got shot. Gunner went to make the cover but Young rolled him up for the win and the title.
Ryan's Rant: Hey, on a show that supposedly rebranded about how much wrestling matters, let's reference one of the worst and most infamous times in wrestling's history, and the final nail in the coffin of the show TNA is so often compared to. Brilliant thinking TNA.
The Jarretts joined the announce team for the main event.
6. Kurt Angle defeated Rob Van Dam in 7:36. RVD has terrible music. Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions. That was a nice touch for such a major match. The match is sharing screen time with a shot of the announce table. I hope this ends soon.
The men spent the early going evenly matched with Angle working wrestling holds as a foil to RVD's theatrics and kicks. RVD bled from his mouth early. Eventually, Angle slowed the pace and worked over RVD with a series of suplexes.
[Overrun] RVD caught Angle with an enziguri and started working his spots with the Van Daminator and a series of kicks. Angle came back and went for the Angle Slam just to eat a tornado DDT from RVD. RVD went for the Five-Star Frog splash but Angle caught him with the bell-to-belly from the top.
Angle locked in the ankle lock at 6:40 but RVD was able to run and kick Angle's head to get out. RVD went for and missed the Five-Star Frog Splash. Angle hit the Angle slam and picked up the win.
Ryan's Rant: The match was good but the Jarretts being on commentary distracted from the action. I wish TNA would have saved this for a PPV at some point so that the two men could have given it everything they had. Still, at least this week actually had a main event, so TNA seems to be going somewhat in the right direction.
Overall this show was a disappointment. The hype for Slammiversary was minimal at best, Sting was barely shown, and too much of the show was devoted to the Immortal versus Network nonsense. Plus we saw the Finger Poke of Doom make an unwanted return. Watch for my Rundown of this show tomorrow. Thanks for following along with me and I'll see you all next week.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at email@example.com or find me on twitter at @Ryan_Kester.
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