Friday, January 25, 2013

1/24/13 Impact

Show starts with the fallout from last week's wedding ceremony. Taz joins Aces & Eights and all hell breaks loose. Brooke Hogan has a wardrobe malfunction and she has to cover up with one of the guy's jackets.

Keneley and Tenay at the announce table. A third empty chair is there where Taz normally would sit. Meanwhile, in the parking lot, it looks like a biker rally for A&E.

A&E to the ring. Anderson in full A&E garb now. Taz leads the way and he wastes no time explaining his actions. Well, if you can call it an explanation. Taz simply can't pass up an opportunity to take direction from a higher power? Are we back to referring to some "cryptic title" that Vince/Austin used many moons ago? At least there won't be guys in hoods, right? Taz then mentions his contract makes him bulletproof. Another way of saying it's ironclad because he gets to do what he wants without anyone touching him. Taz has been strong on the mic for years, and his promos as a wrestler (at least to me) screamed natural heel. Taz basically praised A&E as a force to be reckoned with. Another mouthpiece for the group. "Teflon Taz" just sounds bizarre.

Well, that's a way to get the male demographic to buy from TNA's online store: run a Valentine's Day vignette with the Knockouts in lingerie.

Kaz flashes a "manager's extraordinare" badge so it's safe to say he'll be in Daniels' corner tonight. Yup, managers have badges now! Moving on up! But do they really need those stinkin' badges? Nice apple-tini that just happened to be all pre-prepped in the travel suitcase.

Taz joins the announce team for the wrestling action. The team now has a full heel color guy. Taz's demeanor is more abrasive instead of poking a ton of fun like a JBL or Bobby Heenan. Still nowhere near as annoying as heel Cole was. It's also not as abrupt as that whole Don West heel turn thing was a few years ago.

Tara vs. Velvet Sky (Knockouts Title): No catsuit for Velvet this week. Taz no longer cares if the pigeons are let loose. Sad panda. Taz refuses to mention who this "higher power" is or discuss what made him turn on TNA. All that took away from the match, frankly. Velvet with the comeback. She hits that facebuster on Tara but Jesse occupies Taryn Terrell so no count. Tara runs into Jesse, rollup by Velvet for two. Velvet tries a suplex near the ropes, Jesse grabs Velvet's foot, Tara falls on Velvet. Jesse holds Velvet's leg and Tara gets three to retain. Sounds about right. *1/4

Sting will cut a promo in the ring later. Also, Kenny King and Zema Ion tag up in X-Division action.

Joseph Park to the ring. Somehow, the lawyer gimmick has gotten over, and I still would rather have Abyss. Park still sweats getting to the damn ring. He basically says next week's Impact is in Manchester, England, and he's gonna compete in Open Fight Night. Fun. Nice kayfabe reference. Park will reveal his opponent on the show next week. Park promises a "W" next week.

Rob Van Dam & Christian York vs. Kenny King & Zema Ion: X-Division action here. Nice RVD spot tossing Zema in the air and landing a dropkick. Taz would love to see Christian York in A&E. York gets the hot tag here. Nice finishing sequence. King with the springboard blockbuster, but Zema had tagged himself in a bit before, so he pins York and gets three. King not too pleased with Zema stealing that pin. Gotta love the ego-driven heel acts. Where have we seen this stuff before in the company...? **

While Joe still marches to his own beat, Angle's still the glue that somehow keeps Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco on TV. I'd turn the young duo heel and have them battle Angle/Joe down the line. If there really is that much promise in those two, TNA would pull the trigger.

Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan to the ring. Bully's here again even though he's supposed to still be "suspended." It's the Brooke Hogan influence. Bully wants a piece of Taz first. No Taz at the announce table, something about having to take a phone call. Bully expected something from Devon, but not Taz. Bully calls Taz a coward and won't sleep until he beats up every A&E member. Bully pleads to Hulk (not at the arena to sell injuries) to lift the suspension. Sting to the ring. Sting mentions again that next week's show is in the UK and he wants Hulk to be there to reinstate Bully.

Frankly, I like where the Bully Ray storyline is going. I still don't like the whole wedding segment in pro wrestling, but it was a great shock factor for Taz to reveal he's the new A&E member. What would please me more is to see some of Hogan's closest allies become A&E members. For me, it'd be Sting or even Brooke Hogan. Or both.

Aries and Roode basically want the other person to face Hernandez, praising the other instead of explicitly saying "I'm scared of Super Mex." Sounds like Aries won the argument war this time. Nice job.

Bobby Roode vs. Hernandez : Taz conveniently now back at the announcing desk. Roode hits a move, Hernandez with the power kickout, and Roode splashes Earl Hebner. Woohoo! Roode gets frustrated that he can't put Hernandez away, and Taz still thinking of wanting to recruit both guys. Unlikely to happen, at least for the near future. Hernandez with the comeback. Hernandez looks like he wants to fly, so Aries comes down and shoves Roode out of the way. Roode doesn't like it and a shoving match ensues. Chavo and Aries square off. Roode with a bulldog to Hernandez for three. *3/4

Video footage of what happened to Angle in the cage the other week. Angle to the ring. He's gonna call out Mr. Anderson next week on Open Fight Night, but wants Anderson in the ring now. Anderson to the ring, A&E style. Anderson gets a cheap shot in, but Angle tackles Anderson and gets him running. Angle says their match next week is in a steel cage. Ow...

Jeff Hardy vs. Christopher Daniels (World Title): Main event intros from Borash. Daniels controls the first half of the match. Taz now calls Hardy "selfish" and compares the champ to Ray Lewis. Hardy just happens to be wearing Ravens colors this week, too. Still a great move by TNA to put the title on Hardy because the PPV buys have been going up. Hardy with the eventual comeback and Taz doesn't like it one bit. Splash from the second rope gets Hardy two. DVD from Daniels gets two. Koji Clutch on Hardy, but Hardy gets the foot on the ropes. Hardy with a front suplex but Daniels gets the foot on the ropes this time. Twist of Fate countered and Angel's Wings only gets two?! No BME from Daniels, Hardy misses Whisper in the Wind. Daniels gets another two-count. Hardy counters Angel's Wings. Kaz on the apron. Twist of Fate knocks Daniels into Kaz. Second Twist of Fate. Hardy takes out Kaz one more time. Swanton to Daniels and Hardy retains. ***

Taz goes down to "interview" Hardy, but it's really so one of the masked A&E guys can hit Hardy in the left hamstring and knee with that hammer. Simple hit-and-run attack, nothing more this time. End show.

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