5/3 Barnett's Impact Wrestling Live Coverage and Review: RVD vs. Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson, plus A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle in action

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5/3 Barnett's Impact Wrestling Live Coverage and Review: RVD vs. Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson, plus A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle in action
May 3, 2012 - 08:00 PM

By Jake Barnett

Impact Wrestling Live Coverage
Taped in Orlando, Florida

[Q1] A video package aired that recapped the Garrett and Eric Bischoff feud, including the Eric Bischoff farewell ceremony from last week’s Impact, fake poop and all.

Ric Flair was in the ring as the show started. He complained about Hogan constantly playing with him, and how he thinks of him as his pawn. He called himself Ric “G-O-D” Flair, and talked about how last week Hogan and Garrett Bischoff ran one of the most well known commodities in the wrestling business out the door. He said he’s pissed, and he and Hogan would settle it tonight. He then said it’s dangerous to piss off anybody wearing $1000 shirts and $2000 shoes, and demanded Hogan come to the ring. Ric then said Hogan would never show up. Hogan’s music then hit and he headed towards the ring.

Hogan took off his sunglasses and Flair told him that it was good vs. evil. Flair said he was good, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Flair then called himself the baddest man on the planet, and he was tired of Hogan running roughshod over him. He asked Hogan what he had to do to get control of the place again. “Do I have to take Dixie Carter back to the Hard Rock again?”, Flair said. Hogan said he was there to up the game on Impact Wrestling. Hogan then said when Flair talked about evil, he should talk about Eric Bischoff.

Hogan said he takes his GM role very seriously, and he hung up his boots to prove it. He said he and Ric have an opportunity to turn TNA into one of the longest running promotions in wrestling history, and then offered him a role as a judge on TNA Gut Check. He said he and Hogan can live vicariously through the new talent, and he asked him to take the lead on Gut Check. Flair responded and accused Hogan of setting him up. Hogan said he was asking Flair to do something for the fans. Flair then asked if Hogan was giving him a choice, or if he was telling him again. Flair eventually broke down and agreed, and said he would do it.

Tenay and Taz put over the knockouts tag match, and RVD and Roode choosing their rivals opponents for later…[c]

Barnett’s Brief: Hogan and Flair open the show once again. I’m glad they are making Gut Check and new talents feel like a big deal, but what about everybody else on the roster? Don’t they have established talents already on the roster who should be the future of the company? I like the idea of Gut Check, but I wish Hogan and Flair would spend time putting over the guys that are already carrying the company’s water.

Backstage, Brooke and Velvet were interviewed and both trashed Gail Kim as a cheater. They claimed one of them would beat her for the title. Velvet mentioned Gail pulling her tights in her last title match, and using Madison Rayne to do her dirty work. Brooke complained about never getting a shot. In the arena, Gail and Madison made their way to the ring, followed by Velvet and Brooke.

[Q2] 1. Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne: Gail and Velvet started, and Gail dominated the early action with kicks and punches. Velvet hit a clothesline and a facebuster, followed by a head scissor take down to surge back. It didn’t last, as Gail tagged in Madison. Madison choked Velvet against the ropes, and made a quick tag back to Gail. They worked some double team offense in a neutral corner, and then Gail knocked Brooke to the floor. Gail tagged Madison again, and she hit a drop kick for a two count.

Madison worked a head scissors briefly before she tagged Gail back in. Gail hit a big clothesline for a two count. Gail set up Velvet on the top rope, but missed a top rope hurricanrana. Velvet then hit a diving clothesline, and finally made a tag to Brooke. Brooke hit a clothesline, followed by a clothesline and a hurricanrana. Gail surged back and a hit a clothesline, but Brooke then shoved her into the corner. The match broke down as both partners interfered, but they spilled to the floor quickly. Gail grabbed Brooke’s leg on a kick attempt, but Brooke turned it into Gail’s Eat Da Feet finisher for the win.

Velvet and Brooke Defeated Gail and Madison at 4:48.

The announcers hyped RVD finding out who his opponent is next.

Barnett’s Brief: Decent tag match that put over Brooke as a threat to the Knockouts Title. They didn’t do much outside the box, but this was a much better and longer TV effort than we usually get from the WWE women.

RVD entered and said we have been entertained by his feet for years. He said he shouldn’t have to tell us what a great wrestler he is, but he will anyway. He did all his catchphrases and gestures and said he was going to be the next TNA Champion. He reminded us that he never lost the title in the first place, and said he was “R-V-D” again with his gesture. Bobby Roode entered and said he was sitting in the back and minding his own business, but he couldn’t help notice how overconfident he was.

[Q3] He said Rob’s head is usually in the crowd, and he had been gone for a while, so he wanted to remind him of his accomplishments. Roode then said his name and ran through his catchphrases, and said he became the most dominant champion in TNA history by beating Styles, Sting, Bully Ray, and James Storm. He said in a few weeks, RVD would be added to that list. Roode then went on to say that Hogan’s game for tonight was having them pick each other’s opponents.

He told RVD to go first, and RVD told him his opponent was Mr. Anderson….Anderson. Roode then said that he had picked his opponent, and it was someone very familiar to him. Perhaps he knew him, his name was Jeff Hardy. Roode then said good luck a few times, and left to his music.

The announce team plugged a six man tag for later, as well as Devon defending his TV title…[c]

Barnett’s Brief: RVD was pretty intolerable on the mic here. He’s never been great, but he relied heavily on catchphrases here and was very mono tone throughout. Roode was better than RVD, but he still relies too much on his catchphrases as well. I hope he’s able to shake a lot of those crutch phrases, because he really oozes confidence as a heel.

Robbie E and Robbie T made their entrances, and looked about as preposterous as humanly possible. Devon then made his entrance.

2. Devon vs. Robbie T for the TV Title: Robbie T started out the assault before the bell, and immediately hit some strikes and a clothesline. Devon fought back to his feet, but ate a shoulder block immediately. Robbie taunted and hit a power slam for two. Devon hit a back elbow and a trio of shoulder blocks to finally rock Robbie. He then hit a clothesline in the corner and a diving shoulder tackle to take him off his fee. Devon then went up top and hit a diving headbutt for a near fall.

[Q4] Robbie E jumped on the apron and Devon pulled him into the ring, but Robbie T assaulted him from behind. Devon hit the ropes and hit a spear on Robbie T, but Robbie E shattered a clipboard over Devon’s head for a DQ.

Devon defeated Robbie T at 2:55.

Backstage, Ric Flair and Al Snow were greeting each other backstage, as they are the Gut Check judges. Al then introduced Bruce Prichard, who will be the third judge. They were shaking hands as the show cut to commercial…[c]

Barnett’s Brief: That match was ok while it lasted, but I hope this doesn’t indicate that the TV title is going to be defended in an endless series of DQ matches because they don’t want to do clean finishes.

Highlights are shown of last week’s Gut Check match with Alex Silva, and they put over him possibly getting a contract. Backstage, the judges talked about Silva, and Flair put the guy down as too small and unable “to get a quarter hour”. Al Snow and Prichard were the voices of reason, but they waffled back and forth between being impressed by seeing him in other promotions and Silva not performing well under pressure last week. Flair said the fans don’t dictate the business and the twitter poll results shouldn’t affect their opinion.

The announcers put over Hardy and Anderson as next…[c]

Barnett’s Brief: That backstage segment was way too inside for casual fans to get into. It might get a reaction out of the people it was trying to put down, but my wife was sitting next to me wondering what the hell they were talking about. Pro Wrestling as Reality TV has to lay off some of the lingo to attract fans form other reality ventures.

Hogan spoke to Mr. Anderson backstage, and told him his match with Roode later was No DQ. Hogan said it was a great opportunity to prove himself as the next guy to be in line for a title shot by impressing him later tonight.

Jeff Hardy made his entrance, followed by RVD and his terrible music.

[Q5] 3. Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy: They tied up early and Hardy put on a head lock and held it. RVD eventually powered out and went for a leg lace pin for a one count. Hardy got to his feet and taunted RVD by getting the crowd to chant for him. They tied back up and did some waist lock reversals, and Hardy hit a kick that sent RVD to the outside. Hardy then hit another kick through the ropes and a splash from the apron to the outside. Hardy rolled RVD back in and covered him for two. Hardy got another pin attempt after RVD attempted to catapult him, but only got two. RVD then hit a monkey flip out of the corner, and followed up with a heel kick.

Hardy got a kick of his own and a whisper in the wind for another two count. RVD surged back with a thrust kick, but Hardy got the knees up on a rolling thunder attempt. Bobby Roode walked down to ringside with his belt, but the ref admonished him. Roode ended up hitting Hardy with the belt as he hit the ropes by mistake, and RVD capitalized with a superkick for the win.

RVD defeated Jeff Hardy at 4:36.

Backstage, Joseph Park interrupted Bully Ray as he walked backstage. Park said he knew he had something to do with the disappearance of his brother. Bully Ray asked him if he knew who he was, and asked if he knew what he did to people. He then told him that if he didn’t back off, they wouldn’t find him just like his brother…[c]

Barnett’s Brief: I was hoping for something more out of Hardy and RVD, because this ended up being pretty much a throwaway affair. I didn’t expect them to give away the house on TV, but 4 minutes seemed way too short for what these guys are capable off. The finish also didn’t seem as impactful as you would hope. The belt shot looked pretty tame for what usually puts Hardy down for a 3 count.

Barnett’s Brief: I was hoping for something more out of Hardy and RVD, because this ended up being pretty much a throwaway affair. I didn’t expect them to give away the house on TV, but 4 minutes seemed way too short for what these guys are capable off. The finish also didn’t seem as impactful as you would hope. The belt shot looked pretty tame for what usually puts Hardy down for a 3 count.

They recapped the farewell ceremony for Bischoff again, with more portable toilet footage. Where do you get a portable toilet pre-filled with poop, exactly? Borash was then interviewed about Bischoff, and called him a prick. He mentioned people backstage getting treated like crap, and the shots Bischoff took at him on twitter. Bully Ray then walked up and shut him up, and demanded to hear about how Borash “took care of Eric”. Ray then dragged Borash towards the ring.

Ray had Borash by the tie and forced him onto his knees. He then stood him up and grabbed a microphone. He then called him a tough guy and shoved him into the ring. Borash begged off, and Ray said he was sick and tired of the anti-bullying crap. He said he thought they should start a “stop being a little bitch and stick up for yourself” campaign. He then taunted Borash to punch him in the face, and said the crowd wanted to see it. He said he should stand up for himself for once in his life.

[Q6] Austin Aries then made his entrance, and asked why Ray always picked on Lawyers and Announcers. He then said the only thing that matters is Ray and Aries. He called Ray unoriginal and said all he every picked on him for was his size. He said people forget that most of Ray’s career he was blubber Ray, a poster boy for buffets and Type 2 Diabetes. Ray then smacked the mic out of his hand and started bullying him again. He said he’s insignificant, and said Ray was in his face and he still wouldn’t defend himself.

Aries then hit punches and kicks in the corner, and dominated Ray until the refs pulled them apart. Ray then snuck in a low blow while Aries was held and left up the ramp.

Backstage, Daniels and Kazarian said they would win the tag titles and humiliate AJ at Sacrifice. Angle told them to shut up and said all he cares about is making AJ tap out. The announcers plugged the six man tag match as next.

Barnett’s Brief: Great segment from Aries and Bully Ray. Ray is the best character right now in TNA, and Aries is a great foil for him. This is far and away the best program they have going right now.

Backstage Bobby Roode cut a promo about being frustrated with Hogan as an authority figure. He wondered why he was constantly being messed with, and promised to take care of Anderson later, despite the No DQ stipulation.

Kurt Angle, Kazarian, and Daniels made their entrance. They were followed quickly by Magnus, Joe, and Styles.

4. Styles, Magnus, and Joe vs. Angle, Kazarian and Daniels: Angle and AJ started, and Angle took advantage early with a clothesline. Daniels tried to get in the ring, but Angle pushed him away. Styles tagged in Joe, who hit some strikes on Angle. He quickly tagged in Magnus, and they did some double team work on Angle. Joe hit a running back splash and then exited the ring. Angle charged back with a kick and a clothesline of his own, and then locked in a chin lock.

Magnus avoided a clothesline from Angle and hit one of his own, leaving both men down. Styles tagged in and so did Kaz. Styles hit a fireman’s carry into a back breaker on Kaz. Styles went for a Style’s Clash on Angle, but Daniels hit an enziguri to break. Joe then took out Daniels and flipped him over the top rope to the floor. Magnus assaulted Daniels on the outside, and then Joe hit a suicide dive on his as well.

[Q7] In the ring, Angle applied the Ankle Lock to Styles, but Kaz tagged in while Angle was in the corner and had the hold locked in. Joe and Magnus then took out Daniels and Angle, and Kaz ended up getting hit with the Style’s Clash from AJ for the win.

Magnus, Joe, and AJ defeated Kaz, Daniels, and Angle at 4:26.

After the match, Daniels said in 7 days either AJ would reveal his secret, or they would do it for him.

Barnett’s Brief: This was some good action while it lasted, but god damn that finish was lame. I know it played into the story they were telling with Angle, but it just wasn’t very clever. The fans didn’t seem very interested about Style’s “secret” either.

Al Snow welcomed us back to Gut Check. He said last week we saw Alex Silva in an audition match, and that tonight we will find out if he will become a permanent member of the TNA Roster. He then introduced Ric Flair, who showed off his two WWE HOF rings. He then introduced Bruce Prichard. They then introduced Alex Silva, who came out to some applause. Al said that all their knowledge and experience went into the decision. Al asked Ric what he thought, and Flair insulted him. Prichard said last week wasn’t his best outing, but he has done great things in OVW. Snow said he has worked with him in OVW and knows he has the passion.

Snow said two out of three have to vote yes for him to get a contract. Flair said no. Snow said yes, because he knew him. Snow then said he had 30 seconds to sell himself to Bruce. Alex looked up at the sky and said “Dad, we’re here after all those years”. He said it had been 8 years, since he was 13 years old…then Flair interrupted him. Flair said don’t talk to the marks, talk to us. Silva then gave a passionate promo about how he left Canada poor and broke when he was 13 years old to pursue his dream. He said he and his Dad slept in their car and did everything together so he could get this opportunity. He then looked up to the lights again and said he loved his Dad and said he needed his contract to prove to his Dad that it was all worth it.

[Q8] Flair then changed his vote and said yes. Prichard then said based on his performance last week he was going to say no, but that promo changed his mind as well. Mr. Anderson then entered and grabbed a mic. He called himself an archetypal asshole and did his Anderson bit. He then finished his walk to the ring. Roode then followed.

Barnett’s Brief: That was alright, but nothing blew me away about it. Flair was still way too inside here, and I think that’s what hurt the segment the most. Silva was pretty good, but his promo just seemed to get louder instead of more passionate. I hope he can improve rapidly.

5. Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson: They started outside the ring with Anderson attacking Roode. Roode turned the tables and ran him spine first into the apron. Roode then went for a piledriver, but Anderson sling shot Roode into the ring post instead. Anderson then hit a rolling senton on the floor…[c]

Roode begged off Anderson as we got back, and lured him in for a low blow. Roode then stepped on his groin again, after which Anderson rolled to the outside. Roode followed and rolled Anderson back in for a two count. Roode hit a vertical suplex, followed by a running knee for a two count. Anderson punched and chopped his way to his feet, but Roode hit a back elbow to take back control. Roode grabbed a chair and wedged in between the turnbuckle. He then went to toss Anderson into it, but he reversed and Roode went head first into the chair.

Both men were laid out, and both traded punches on their way to their feet. Anderson hit some elbow and a spinning neck breaker. Anderson then hit a wheel kick for a two count. Anderson then went for the mic check, but Roode avoided and went to the top rope. Anderson grabbed him off the top rope for another rolling senton, but Roode slipped and hit a very nice spinebuster for a two count. Roode then set up Anderson for a suplex onto a chair, but Hardy interfered to break it up.

Anderson then hit a mic check on Hardy in the confusion. Roode used the opportunity to hit a chair shot to Anderson’s back and hit a Fisherman’s Suplex for the win. After the match Roode worked over Hardy and Anderson with chair shots. RVD then interfered for the save, but Roode planted him on the chair with a DDT to close the show…

Barnett’s Brief: Nice finish to the show with Roode showing off his ability to dominate as a smart heel. The match didn’t blow me away, but it was a good TV match that told a good story. Hardy’s interference felt a little out of place. It would have been a little better closure to have RVD try to interfere in this match and cost Anderson the victory to go full circle from earlier.

Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Contact me at barnett.jake@gmail.com or on twitter @barnettjake.




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