12/22 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: A.J. Styles and Kazarian vs. Rob Van Dam and Christopher Daniels, Eric Young and ODB vs. Shannon Moore and Anarquia, and Zema Ion vs. Anthony Neese
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped earlier in Orlando, Florida.
[Q1]The show opened with a video package covering Bobby Roode's victory in the overtime last week.
Bobby Roode and Bully Ray made their way to the ring. Bobby Roode said he loves the holidays and he wished the crowd a Merry Christmas. Roode referred to their attack of Jeff hardy last week as a gift and said it's better to give than it is to receive.
Bully Ray took his turn and said he loves giving beatings, and he wished Jeff hardy and Sting "Seasons Beatings." Bobby Roode then talked about how he's been "naughty" and he asked Sting to come out and suspend him.
Jeff Hardy came out instead, and he had half of his face covered in paint. Hardy told Roode to calm down and he said Roode doesn't need to worry about being suspended because in four weeks he was going to take Roode's title. Hardy informed Bully Ray and Bobby Roode that the two men would face him and a partner of his choosing later in the evening.
Bully Ray said that hardy has no friends. Sting came out at that point and he was wearing his Joker face paint. Sting said he was going to be hardy's partner tonight, and his music played again… [C]
Ryan's Rant: I apologize for the delay. My power's out and I had to jump through a few hoops to get going. As for the opening segment, it was a bit underwhelming. All of the holiday puns were just a bit too cute, and Hardy looked like a fish out of water when it was his turn to speak.
[Q2] 1. AJ Styles and Kazarian defeated Rob Van Dam and Christopher Daniels in 5:20. RVD and Kazarian worked some quick chain wrestling without either man really gaining an upper hand. Styles tagged in and Daniels refused to tag in for RVD.
Daniels continued to come up with ways to avoid tagging into the match and Kazarian and Styles worked over RVD. RVD eventually blasted Styles with a kick and Daniels blind tagged into the match. When Daniels went to tag back out, but RVD kicked him in the head. Kazarian hit Ride the Lightning for the three count while RVD stood on the apron and watched… [C]
Ryan's Rant: If a man can be tagged by being ran over, how is that kick not a tag? Anyway, brief tag match that told a unique story and furthered Daniels and RVD's feud. RVD appeared to be at his motivational worse, and he really phoned in his performance here tonight.
A brief video package hyping Anthony Neese and Zema Ion aired. "Prettiest" is a terrible gimmick for Zema Ion.
Zema Ion made his entrance spraying hair spray into the air.
[Q3] 2. Anthony Neese defeated Zima Ion in the second match in a best-of-three series in 4:03. Ion attacked Neese before he could even make it into the ring and he hit him with a moonsault. Despite the fact that Neese had yet to enter the ring, the referee rang the bell.
Neese recovered quickly and began working over Ion. Neese hit kick to the side of Ion's head and followed with a lionsault for a near fall.
Ion battled back and showboated on the top rope and Neese made him pay for it by hitting a huracarana. Ion answered with a rolling piledriver. Ion followed with hit tilt-o-whirl facebuster but pulled Neese' head off of the mat. Neese responded by rolling Ion up for the win.
Madison Rayne spoke backstage and she said that she was the new VP of the Knockouts. She was wearing a referee's shirt, and she said that you don't want to miss what she has to say… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Another fun match between these two, but it does Neese no favors to be referred to as the strongest of the X-Division wrestlers only to be laid out for two weeks and having to resort to a surprise roll-up to put Ion away.
Pope was backstage and he said that he is actually cool with Devon. He referred to himself as a father to the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless. Pope said he was pimpin' and Devon should try to be more like him. He referred to Devon's kids as Team Double Trouble.
Devon showed up and started yelling at Pope. Devon's sons showed up and attacked their dad with a steel chair. Pope yelled at Devon and said that "his" boys would take down Devon and no one would have to see his black behind again.
Ryan's Rant: The sooner this story is over, the happier I'll be. Pope jumped the shark a few weeks back and he's only getting exponentially worse since.
[Q4] Eric Young and ODB were eating in front of an aquarium and Young tried talking strategy. A waiter showed up and Young locked up with him.
Madison Rayne was shown walking through the locker room with a big grin on her face… [C]
Rayne made her way to the ring. Rayne demanded that Tara and Miss Tessmacher make their way to the ring. They quickly obliged and were wearing some Americana wrestling gear. TNA's version of Tribute to the Troops, perhaps?
Rayne told the women that it was her responsibility to destroy the people beneath her and she would start with them tonight. Rayne said that the two women would compete against each other tonight and she would serve as the special guest referee… [C]
Ryan's Rant: Rayne just got all kinds of screechy. Interesting role for her to be playing, she just needs to dial back the screeching.
[Q5] 3. Tara and Miss Tessmacher ought to an apparent no contest in 5:56. The two women quite obviously fake fought with each other, which prompted Rayne to scream her head off even more and threaten to fire them. Tara and Tessmacher then rolled around in the ring trading roll-up attempts. Things plodded along for a while and Taz and Tenay seemed lost as to how to call the match.
Rayne managed to trick the women into fighting by hitting one of them and blaming it on the other. Rayne utilized slow counts to keep the women fighting.
Eventually, Tara and Tessmacher attacked Madison, who left up the ramp screaming her head off while Tara and Tessmacher did some sort of pose in the ring.
Backstage, Sting put Hardy over and said he was flattered to wrestle alongside him. Sting referred to himself as a mark for Jeff Hardy. Hardy said it means the world to him to get a second chance. Sting talked about sphincters and hardy made some sort of noise. The entire time they were talking, you could hear Tenay in the background… [C]
Ryan's Rant: That was painful. Honestly, they completely lost the crowd and it was absolutely crickets in the area. What a mess. I had the odd feeling that even the people in the arena wanted to turn the channel. It's unfortunate as all three women have something to offer, but having Tara and Tessmacher around just to do some poses for the horn dogs in the audience and Rayne non-stop screaming is not the way to go.
Eric Young tore through the restaurant's kitchen and looked for a gift for ODB. He locked up with a chef.
[Q6] James Storm made his way to the ring. Storm said he wasn't a hard man to find. He said he was either in the Impact Zone or he was at the nearest bar. He then used a GPS voice to guide Kurt Angle to his butt whipping. Funny.
Storm said that Angle may have dominated him for most of their match, but he still came out on top. A video aired with Kurt Angle in a Tennessee bar. He was dressed up as a cowboy and was unable to drink some moonshine. Kurt Angle said he was there like he said he was going to be, and he was going to attack the people in Storm's hometown. He told Storm, "sorry about their damned luck." You have got to be kidding me.
Shannon Moore was walking backstage and he said that he was not happy with his tag partner, and he wasn't thrilled with having to wrestle a woman… [C]
Ryan's Rant: I cannot believe TNA is actually going forward with "Kurt Angle beats up a town." My lord. Good work from Storm, but this idea is just bad.
Bully Ray and Bobby Roode talked about how Jeff Hardy and Sting had no chance against them in their tag team street fight tonight.
Despite "respecting women", Shannon Moore shoved Rosita and Sarita out of his way as he made his entrance.
4. Eric Young and ODB defeated Shannon Moore and Anarquia in 4:33. Eric Young locked up with everyone except Shannon Moore, and then proceeded to take his pants off.
Rosita and Sarita stood on the apron and distracted the referee, allowing Anarquia and Moore to take control of the match. Moore and Anarquia argued with one another and Young tagged in ODB.
[Q7] Anarquia immediately bodyslammed her and Moore blew a gasket. Moore left and ODB slapped Anarquia into oblivion. Young followed with an elbow drop and locked up the referee. ODB kicked Anarquia in the crotch and Young covered him for the win.
Ryan's Rant: Like I've said before, if you're a Young fan, then that was pure gold. If his act has gotten stale for you, like it has for me, then that was just an extended groan-worthy segment.
Backstage, Crimson and Matt Morgan put each other over and said they would fight any tag team at any time, no matter what company or country you come from.
Kurt Angle was shown beating up some cowboys in a bar, and he even threatened them with a prop gun. Yep, that just happened.
5. Jeff Hardy and Sting vs. Bully Ray and Bobby Roode in 17:48. The match started in a brawl with hardy going after Roode and Sting going after Ray. Sting and Ray went to the floor and TNA put up a split screen to showcase both brawls at once.
Sting and Hardy both hit suicide dives on Roode and ray as the show went to break… [C]
[Q8] Back from commercial, the split-screen continued as Hardy and Sting continued to take the fight to the heels. Ray managed to turn the tide via a kendo stick. Ray hit Sting with an unprotected shot to the head with a trash can lid.
Sting hit Ray with a superplex and got the first near fall of the match. Roode made him pay for his efforts with repeated blasts from a kendo stick. Ray roughed up Hardy while Roode worked over Sting in the ring.
Sting suddenly hit a flurry on Roode but he missed the Stinger Splash. Ray and Roode immediately cut him down while hardy sold at ringside. Sting got another second wind and hit Bully ray with the Scorpion death drop. Roode hit Sting with a spinebuster. Hardy entered the ring and hit a back kick on Roode. Bully Ray hit a big boot on Hardy.
Ray grabbed a table and set it up in the ring. Roode and Bully Ray hit Hardy with a double suplex, and String tried to move the table. He wasn't completely successful, however, as one of the table legs broke off due to Hardy's feet catching the end.
Sting revved up his third comeback of the match and hit a Stinger Splash on both of his opponents. Sting locked in a Scorpion Deathlock on Bully Ray but Roode saved him. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop on Roode. Sting and Hardy tried to set the table back up, but the busted leg made that impossibility.
Hardy grabbed a new table, laid Roode on top of it, and hit a flying splash for the three count.
Ryan's Rant: The split-screen parts of the match hurt the overall quality. Focusing on every single spot in the match made each kendo stick, chair shot , and table spot feel less important because of the sheer volume of them. The main even felt like it dragged on for me, but the four men did their best to entertain.
Overall, this was a very lackluster edition if Impact. It started off well enough, but then the Pope got near a mic and the Knockouts mess killed any momentum this show had. It only got worse from there. The main event did its best to salvage the show, but the damage was already done. It's a shame, TNA produced such a great show last week that it boggles the mind how quickly it all fell apart.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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