4/25 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Mickie James vs. Velvet Shy for the Knockouts Championship, AJ Styles still needs to pick a side, and Bully Ray is face-to-face with Hulk Hogan
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired Live from the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex in Indiana, Pa.
[Q1] The recap video setup Bully vs. Hogan and the AJ Styles story…Aces and Eights arrived to the building and three security guys tried to stop them from entering the building. Ray said nobody had been bad enough to stop them and the three guards had no chance. He counted to three and they moved…
James Storm made his ring entrance as a video showed him tapping to AJ Styles's "calf killer."
Shore's Slant: The calf killer? Could they have come up with a worse name? The foot flexer maybe?
James Storm started to cut a promo and AJ Styles appeared in the crowd. Storm put over AJ's win and his calf killer. He said he was always willing to fight, and he didn't appreciate Aces and Eights attacking him from behind last week. He said if they wanted to fight, he had no problem taking a few of them out if they wanted to meet him in the ring.
Bad Influence's music hit and they came to the ring. Christopher Daniels said he had the answer to the Aces and Eights problem, Fortune. Kazarian took over the mic and said AJ should forgive himself for cheap shotting them and then said he should walk to the ring and remake Fortune right now.
Storm told him to shut the hell up and Kaz got in his face. They started fighting and Kaz kicked Storm in the nuts and left. Aces and Eights hit the ring and setup a table for Anderson to powerbomb Storm through. Storm dropped to his knees to block and Joseph Park ran out to make the save. That lasted for just a second before the gang beat him down. They started to give him the table spot, but Bully stopped them so he and Devon could give him the 3D through the table…[C]
Shore's Slant: Chaotic and messy opening segment. I like AJ's new dark character and that's why I hate the "calf killer" name so much. It just doesn't fit. From there though, Aces and Eights and Park just cluttered the scene. I realize they are vying for AJ's loyalty, but it didn't come across that way. It just pushed AJ and company off the stage.
[Q2] Park too the stretcher out of the area and Bully Ray took the mic to say he told us he wasn't screwing around. He said nobody had been able to stop them and nobody would. He said he called out one man, Hulk Hogan, and Hogan had until the end of the show to answer him…
Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz finally checked in on commentary. Tenay said Hogan had been there earlier, but he had left and not returned yet. Taz said he wouldn't be back…A video highlighted the Knockouts title match…Taryn Terrell made her ring entrance and her match with Tara is next…[C]
Shore's Slant: Wait, I thought Tara was off TVs for a few months. Maybe that happens here, but why give that away on Twitter before it happened? Odd.
Hulk Hogan was shown returning to the building…Tara made her ring entrance sans Jesse…
[Q3] 1. Taryn Terrell vs. Tara. ODB is apparently the permanent ref now. Tara slapped Taryn and Taryn went nuts and attacked her. Tara dropped her on the top rope to take control and then hit a stiff slingshot into the corner. Ouch. Terrell started a hope spot that fell apart with a missed crossbody from the top. Tara mouthed off to her for a while and then tried for her shaking moonsault, but Terrell rolled her up for the win…
Taryn Terrell defeated Tara at 6:28.
Backstage, Robbie E gave Jesse a pep talk for Jesse's match against Rob Terry. It was as silly as you would expect…[C]
Shore's Slant: Still no sign that Tara is leaving, but there may not be a reason given. She might just go home. Terrell is still very green in the ring. She bumps around very well, but her instincts are bad. She's moving when she shouldn't be and those types of things.
Rob Terry made his ring entrance. Robbie E handled ring introductions for Jesse…
2. Rob Terry vs. Jesse (w/Robbie E). Jesse tried to flex to show off and Terry attacked. Robbie distracted Terry and allowed Jesse to attack the legs. Jesse went for a crossbody, but Terry caught him and hit a powerslam. He covered, but Robbie pulled on the ref to break the count. Terry went to the floor after Robbie and ended up tossing Jesse on top of him before throwing Jesse back in the ring and hitting his powerbomb type finisher for the win…
Rob Terry defeated Jesse at 3:04
The announce team hyped the new Knockouts website an showed Velvet Sky getting ready for her match…
Shore's Slant: Zzzzzzz. No wonder ratings are flat. They had a hot, if somewhat cluttered, start only to follow it up with bit players in meaningless acts. If they were pushing one of these acts it would make sense, but what does Rob Terry gain by beating Jesse?
[Q4][C] Backstage, Kazarian and Daniels talked to Bobby Roode into recreating Fortune to take out Aces and Eights. He said something about Aries and they hemmed and hawed before walking away. Aries was shown in the other room listening. Taz said Bobby Roode better think twice about coming after the gang. You mean Taz watches the show? Who knew?…A video hyped Chris Sabin's return…Chavo and Hernandez made their ring entrance…[C]
Backstage, Aries confronted Roode about reforming Fortune again. Aries said if Roode wanted to remake Fortune that was fine, but he asked if Fortune was so great why did they just go away. He said he was going out to win the tag titles again and he hoped Roode would join him. They headed toward the ring while Daniels joined the commentary team with Kaz nearby…
[Q5] 3. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Aries and Chavo started. Aries showed off and Chavo hit a drop kick. Aries fought back and went for a tag, but Roode was talking to Kazarian. Aries tagged him hard and stood and watched while Hernandez tagged in and hit a stall suplex on Roode. Hernandez went for his diving shoulder block from the ramp but everyone moved and the heels took control.
Daniels put over the good tag work as Roode's doing and then buried Aries when Chavo got the hot tag. The match broke down and Hernandez dumped Aries. Bad Influence interfered, twice, but Hernandez ducked a clothesline from Daniels that hit Roode. Chavo hit the frog splash for the win…
Chavo and Hernandez retained the TNA Tag Team Championships.
Backstage, the camera crew found Matt Morgan and asked him what he thought about Hogan meeting Bully face-to-face. Morgan said it would be yet another mistake by Hogan. He said he had the solution to the problem and invited Hogan to join him in the ring next…[C]
Shore's Slant: Title matches don't feel all that important when you don't think the challengers have a chance. That's what happened here. And I bet I know what Morgan's solution is. Twinkies! Sadly, they're out of business.
[Q6] A video recapped Hogan and Bully Ray with Morgan's part added in. Morgan made his ring entrance and cut a promo listing all of Hogan's mistakes. The crowd chanted for Hogan and Morgan agreed. He said he wanted to offer Hogan a solution to all his problems and asked Hogan to come on down.
They let the crowd chant for Hogan for a moment and then his music hit. Hogan came to the ring to a huge reaction and the place chanted for him as Morgan started to talk again. Morgan presented himself as the answer. He said no one had waited longer or worked harder or was more likely to succeed. He said he would Carbon Footprint Bully Ray's head into the fifth row if Hogan wanted if he would just name him the number one contender for the world title.
Hogan said Morgan almost swayed him but he wasn't doing it for the right reason. He said when Morgan stole his ring and hurled abuse at Hogan he took it because lots of people thought Morgan could be the second coming of "the Mania." He said Morgan failed though because he was doing it for the payoff of the title match so he was going to not only not pick Morgan, he was going to go it alone tonight. He closed by saying Andre the Giant never whined like a bitch and left Morgan steaming in the ring…[C]
Shore's Slant: Not a bad segment, but the "going it alone" line got a cringe out of me and made the rest of the segment unimportant. I doubt that's what actually happens, but you can't rule that out.
[Q7] Bully Ray got the team to give their word that they wouldn't come to the ring. Why do I have a sinking feeling Sting returns just to find out he and Hogan planned this after Bully's turn?
TNA is allowing fans to pick the next person to compete in the X Division via website voting. This week's nominees are Rashad Cameron, Rockstar Spud, and Suicide…
4. Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for the Knockouts Championship. Velvet quickly sold her knee injury and Mickie worked it into the break…[C] Back from commercial, Mickie James continued to work the leg. Velvet tried a comeback, but her knee gave out when Mickie reversed a whip.
Mickie hit a Thesz press from the top rope for two. Velvet went for a sneaky finisher, but Mickie flipped her over and went for the DDT. Sky pushed her away, but Mickie hit a dropkick to the knee. She stood Velvet up after ODB checked on her, and Velvet clumsily hooked an inside cradle for the win…
Velvet Sky retained the Knockouts Championship at 10:54.
[Q8] Bully talked to Devon backstage and Bully said Devon could have Brooke he was done with her. He said they were the leaders of the most impressive force in wrestling today and he was going to head to the ring in just a moment and personally end Hulkamania…
In a different part of backstage, Brooke found her dad, who was taping up to go to the ring. She begged him not to go and Hogan gave a very impending doom speech where he said he would be judged on if he was a good man or bad man and he was a good man and he wanted to prove it. Brooke hugged him and told him to be careful…[C]
Shore's Slant: I don't get the Knockouts title match, It was totally meaningless, burned up Mickie's top spot in a giveaway match, and the psychology was bad because the execution was bad. TNA is on its way to WWE level indifference about the Knockouts. Not for nothing, but having Brooke wear a dress that was in a nearfall situation as it pertains to her breasts maybe isn't the best thing to put her in for such a serious segment.
Ray made his entrance and red off a list of names that Aces and Eights had destroyed. He said he was about to add Hogan to that list and called Hulk out. Hogan came to the ring and Bully mocked him for having his fists taped up. Bully said when he looks in Hogan's eyes he sees fear because Hogan knows Bully was a dying breed just like Hogan. He did his "Do you know who I am?" gimmick and said he was ending Hulkamania.
Hulk finally said Bully couldn’t end Hulkamania, because Hulkamania can never die. Bully spit in Hogan's face and Hogan turned around. Ray laughed at him and Hogan hulked up and ripped his shirt off. Hogan did the "you" gimmick, but Bully Ray pointed at Hogan and did "you" back. Ray attacked, but Hogan blocked and setup for his big boot.
Ray dove from the ring and the gang came out. They surrounded the ring and climbed on the apron, but the lights went out for a very long time. When they came back on, Sting was in the ring with the bat backing Hogan into the corner. Bully screamed "Yes" over and over and then Sting turned on Ray and chased the gang off. He stuck the bat in Hogan's face again and then walked away to end the show…
Shore's Slant: Eh, it wasn't bad but it was predictable and felt like a retread. I still do not understand why Hogan and Sting, who combined are WELL over 110 years old, are the main event of this company right now. I don't think I ever will. The TNA faithful love them, but I think their drawing power is weaker than most think, and the ratings back up that assertion. Jason Powell and Will Pruett will have more tomorrow. Thanks for watching along tonight.
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