Date: January 8, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz
Today is the genesis of the beginning of the genesis of the….oh wait wrong company. It’s the first TNA PPV of the year and we have Hardy vs. Roode in the main event. The card has been fairly well built up on paper and I’m somewhat interested in what happens tonight. Also we have Angle vs. Storm II (officially III but I don’t count the first one) so I’d picture Storm to lose to set up an eventual third match at Lockdown, although they might do a draw at Against All Odds to bridge the gap. Let’s get to it.
We open with Robert Roode arriving. Jeff got here about two hours earlier.
X-Division Title: Zema Ion vs. Kid Kash vs. Austin Aries vs. Jesse Sorensen
I didn’t know this but it’s elimination rules. The fans seem to like Jesse the most. Aries chills on the floor to start and Sorensen cleans house. A northern lights gets two on Ion and Aries comes in. This is one of those matches where there’s no point in trying to keep track of everything that’s going on. Kash and Aries are sent to the floor and after Ion is put up top it’s the Tower of Doom! That hasn’t been used in awhile.
Aries goes up top but Ion shoves him down to the floor onto Kash. Ion hits a big corkscrew plancha to the floor to take the two of them out. Sorensen of course follows in the customary series of dives. Still gets a great reaction from the crowd too. Jesse gets two on Aries back inside. Ion gets sent into the corner so Kash tries a superplex, but Aries is whipped into the corner to send Kash crashing. Ion stands up and hits the 450 on Kash to put him out first.
Aries busts out the 450 on Sorensen for just two. The fans are WAY behind Jesse here. Top rope cross body gets two on Aries. A suplex into a cutter kind of move gets the same as Ion breaks up the pin because he’s an idiot. Ion goes after Jesse but walks into a small package for the second elimination to get us down to one on one. Aries rolls up Sorensen but Ion has the referee.
Brainbuster is countered into the Game Changer (Test Drive into a DDT) but Ion’s distraction keeps it at just two. Aries breaks up something off the top but runs into a boot in the corner. Ion is ducked out of sight on the floor. Sorensen goes up but Ion crotches him, letting Aries dropkick him and a middle rope brainbuster keeps the title on Aries 10:59.
Rating: C+. I was really liking this until the ending. Sorensen has been built up for awhile now and the fans are clearly behind him, but they need to pull the trigger on him if they’re going to. Restocking the division is a good idea, but if all the guys keep losing it’s not really going to do them any good. The match was fun though and a high flying match to open the show is a tried and true idea.
D-Von’s kids are in the back and they already get on my nerves. They’re dressed like Pope and are both sixteen. Why we’re wasting a decent story like this on Elijah Burke and D-Von Dudley is beyond me. Pope says he’ll get rid of D-Von tonight.
Recap of D-Von vs. Pope. Basically it’s been six months of D-Von yelling at his kids while they like Pope until they finally turned on their dad.
D’Angelo Dinero vs. D-Von
D-Von starts fast and sends Pope to the floor with a lot of punches. There isn’t much to say here as it’s just D-Von hammering away on him. The fans are split here, thereby again proving that either A, faces and heels mean nothing in TNA or B, the Impact Zone needs to shut up. D-Von finally gets caught by a shot and Pope takes over.
Pope beats him to the floor and hits a jumping axe handle to the floor. Off to a chinlock as the dueling chants continue. We get a Ronnie Garvin reference to make me roll my eyes. Pope was using a Garvin Stomp, so Taz says those are rugged kicks. Naturally has has to say “get it” to Tenay to get rid of the humor to it but that’s Taz for you.
With D-Von down, his kids come in. Pope says get him and they’re apprehensive about it. Dinero shoves them and then throws one of them to the floor. He hits the other one and D-Von snaps. The kids never touched him so it’s not a DQ. D-Von hits some power stuff as the fans want a table. Pope gets out of a fireman’s carry and hits an uppercut. A flying shoulder gets two for the former Dudley. Corner splash misses and a neckbreaker gets no cover for Pope. The boys are back up and the DDE misses. D-Von hits the inverted reverse DDT for the pin at 10:17.
Rating: D. WHOA WHOA WHOA. What in the world was the point in turning D-Von’s kids then??? TO TURN THEM BACK THE NEXT TIME WE SAW THEM??? Also, D-Von Dudley just got a win in the blowoff to a feud on PPV in 2012??? For the life of me I do not know what this company is thinking at times. Pope isn’t anything anymore but he’s worth more than D-Von….isn’t he? Also what are they going to do with D-Von? Give him the TV Title? In 2012??? I mean, Ray is doing well on his own but do they really think it’ll work twice? Stranger things have happened though…..at least I think they have.
D-Von reunites with his kids post match. So we just wasted 6 months for that payoff? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
Sting is in the back for an interview and Velvet wants to talk to him. She wants the Knockouts VP job. Velvet goes on a big rant, talking about how Madison made herself the boss and it shouldn’t count. Velvet has a plan to keep Madison occupied during the title match and whispers it in Sting’s ear. He likes it but there’s not enough time according to Sting. She asked the crew about it earlier and it’s called the Velvet Touch. No idea what it is but Sting says go with it. She leaves and Sting talks about the main event. Hardy earned his title shot tonight and got here one step at a time. Sting says he’s in charge, not Roode.
Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
Rematch from Impact after the weak ending. They actually go to the mat to start as Gunner is getting frustrated. Rollup gets two for RVD. Crucifix gets one and it’s a standoff. Gunner takes over with strikes and we head to the floor. Van Dam gets in a kick to take over and sends Gunner back in, but has to chase Flair off. He gets crotched on top but throws Gunner down on the way back in.
Top rope cross body gets two. Top rope kick sets up Rolling Thunder for two. Gunner rolls to the floor so RVD dives, only to have Flair pull Gunner out of the way. With Flair distracting the referee, Gunner DDTs him on the floor to basically kill him. He’s out cold and that’s enough for the pin at 6:52. Man that match went by fast.
Rating: D+. Not a bad match but too short to mean anything. I’ve heard Van Dam’s contract is up in March so maybe this is a way to write him off TV for a few months in case he doesn’t re-sign? If so it’s a good thing for him to be jobbing on his way out. Still though, match wasn’t much and Gunner is still just kind of there.
RVD goes out on a stretcher post match. He keeps trying to get the neck brace off.
Hardy is in the back and says he doesn’t brag about what he did. He’s modest and another him is what there will never be. Creatures, mount up because they have a world title to win.
We recap the Knockout Title match. Gail returned and sided with the forces of evil, allegedly taking the division back ten years.
Velvet’s Touch is a small cage at ringside.
Knockouts Title: Mickie James vs. Gail Kim
And now the box with Madison in it is going to the ceiling. The bars are painted pink and white. The match starts as the cage is being raised, letting Gail get in a shot to take over. Mickie speeds things up to take over, hitting a low dropkick for two. Gail gets in a shot and the fans are split, although leaning towards Mickie. She avoids a slide by Mickie and hooks a Dragon Sleeper which is pretty easily countered.
Mickie starts a comeback and speeds things up. There’s the nip up but she gets caught in an Octopus Hold (kind of) which she countered with something like a Samoan Drop. Jumping DDT is blocked but Gail is knocked outside. Out to the floor and Mickie hits a hurricanrana. Back in and the flying crotch to the face gets two. Madison throws an object to Gail which is intercepted. Another object (brass knucks I think) are sent down but caught by Mickie. She decks Gail and it’s a DQ at 6:21. The fans chant BS for some reason, despite it being pretty clear what happened.
Rating: C-. The match was fine but I’m really getting sick of these DQ finishes lately. I do like the 80s gimmick with the hanging cage though. It’s amazing how effective these simple things can be if done on occasion. In short: mix things up and you might get a better reaction. They’re setting up Hardy big to win tonight with these heels going over in important matches though.
Ray says he used to be nervous about the Monster’s Ball but he realized he’s the king of these matches, so tonight Abyss rejoins Immortal. Thankfully Ray lists off the members of Immortal because I had no idea who was still in it. Gunner is apparently. Who knew?
We recap Abyss vs. Ray. Basically Immortal can’t stop him so for some reason he’s agreed to this match where if Ray wins, Abyss has to rejoin Immortal.
Bully Ray vs. Abyss
This is Monster’s Ball, which basically means hardcore. Ray immediately hits the floor and walks around for a bit. He grabs a chair and feels all mighty, but Abyss gets one of his own. Here’s a chair duel and Abyss shrugs off a chair shot. Ray walks into a chokeslam which he pops up from and a big boot takes Abyss down for a good 1 second. Abyss cracks him with a chair to take over and goes to get a staple gun and cheese grater.
Ray gets in a chain shot but a trashcan is no sold. With more weapon shots, Ray grabs a kendo stick. Abyss hits the floor and finds Janice, making Ray run to the back. Abyss follows and then they’re back already. They weren’t off camera for two seconds. Back at ringside and Abyss goes into a barbed wire board. Abyss’ arm is bleeding. He throws Ray in and grabs a pair of bags.
He doesn’t open them yet and instead it’s a cheese grater to the balls. Bag #1 has thumbtacks. Ray kicks him low, shouts about how his balls hurt, and gets a table. According to wrestling law #1 though, Ray goes through it via a chokeslam for two. There are two barbed wire boards in the ring now but Ray Rock Bottoms Abyss onto one for two.
Ray slams the other board on top of Abyss and hits the backsplash off the middle rope. Ok that was kind of awesome. Since it’s TNA though, it only gets two. Ray gets Janice but walks into a chokeslam onto the tacks….for two. Bully gets a boot up in the corner and grabs a kendo stick. He beats Abyss down with it via about 12 shots but for some reason hits the ropes. That’s enough for a Black Hole Slam onto the barbed wire for the pin at 15:28.
Rating: B-. Pretty fun and very violent hardcore match. The key to this one: we hadn’t seen it in awhile which made it have more, pardon the pun, impact. The no selling at the beginning was pretty fun and the big spots worked, but at some point it got kind of ridiculous. To be fair though, that’s the point. At least Immortal didn’t get a new member though so that’s a plus.
Crimson and Morgan say they’re awesome and that they’ll win.
Tag Titles: Matt Morgan/Crimson vs. Samoa Joe/Magnus
Joe starts with Morgan and the tall one is taken down quickly. Off to Crimson who is the least interesting undefeated person this side of Tatanka. Magnus comes in and gets double teamed by the champs. Morgan hits his corner elbows and Crimson hits an overhead suplex for two. Back to Joe who runs Morgan over. Crimson comes in and has the same result as Morgan had.
Magnus comes back in and we go split screen as Ray is beating up Abyss. And now we’re back full screen as Joe has a chinlock on Crimson. We get a dueling “We Want Morgan/No We Don’t” chants. Crimson spears Joe down and we’re told that Bully Ray is trending worldwide on Twitter. Off to Morgan who hits the Hellevator (not called that) to Magnus but Joe breaks up the pin.
In a HORRIBLE looking sequence, Joe hits a bunch of strikes in the corner, followed by the middle rope elbow from Magnus. It only gets two though, due to Crimson breaking it up. The horrible part: Magnus flew off of Morgan about a second and a half before Crimson even touched him. Magnus reverses a chokeslam but a double version is enough to pin Magnus at 9:38.
Rating: D+. This just didn’t click for me at all. The messed up save really took me out of the match. Joe just isn’t going to get pushed no matter how much he gets cheered and how much his opponents get booed or get no reaction, because it’s just been decided that he’s not going to get pushed. Listen to the fans TNA. It just might work.
Storm says he’s ready for Angle. He doesn’t want to be interviewed though so he changes places, putting the hat and glasses on JB and asks about JB’s match with Angle tonight. This translates into you gotta believe…..somehow.
We recap Angle vs. Storm. Basically Angle says Storm is a barfighter and not a wrestler.
James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
Angle stalls to open us up. Storm grabs a headlock and goes for the Last Call about a minute in. Kurt heads to the floor again for a few seconds. Back in, James hits a facebuster and neckbreaker for two. Another Last Call attempt sends Kurt to the floor. Storm hits a slingshot dive to the floor to keep control. Back in the ring Kurt finally gets Storm to the mat and you know he’ll control there. Off to a chinlock.
Taz says Kurt has the best cardio ever. I think there’s an old manager on this roster that might take exception to that. Storm comes back with a Russian legsweep and a Backstabber for two. How can we be ten minutes into this already? The chinlock must have lasted longer than I thought. Angle hits Rolling Germans as Taz actually explains what makes suplexes work.
The moonsault mostly hits for two. Storm pops up with a DDT for two. They’re doing a fairly slow build here and that’s just fine. Angle Slam hits for two. The fans don’t even react to the kickout anymore. Angle tries a superkick but Storm avoids it into a cutter for two. Top rope elbow gets the same for the same person. And then Kurt pulls the referee out of position, hits a low blow and a superkick for the pin at 13:45.
Rating: B-. Really weak ending there as they seemed to be building to something huge and then you looked away for like a second and it’s over. I’d assume this sets up a rubber match which is fine. The kick looked more like a Mafia kick/MVP Drive By than the superkick but whatever. Really didn’t like the ending though.
Ray is in the back and doesn’t know where Abyss is. It’s implied he’s hiding something.
We recap Hardy vs. Roode. Basically it’s Roode is champion and selfish while it’s Hardy’s chance to come back to glory.
Roode says this is disgusting because Hardy has no business here.
TNA World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode
Roode grabs the arm to start but Hardy takes him down with an armdrag. Headscissors out of the corner by Hardy sets up a little sequence of offense, capped off by a low dropkick for two. Out to the floor and Hardy hits Poetry in Motion using the steps. Tenay calls it a dropkick for some reason. Back in Hardy goes up but gets crotched to shift momentum.
Roode throws him into the corner chest first for two. Suplex sets up a middle rope kneedrop for two. Off to the chinlock by Roode and they go to the floor again. Back in, Roode hooks the Crossface and the fans don’t really react at all. Roode goes up but misses whatever he was trying to put both guys down. Hardy starts his comeback and hits a Russian legsweep and that splitlegged cover he does.
Jawbreaker doesn’t do much to Roode as he snaps off a spinebuster for two. Roode tries a superplex but Hardy knocks him off. The champ avoids the Swanton and heads to the floor again. Roode gets the belt and goes to leave but Hardy brings him back. Roode grabs a quick fisherman’s suplex for two. Twisting Stunner puts Roode onto his knees but the Whisper in the Wind gets two. There’s another attempt at the Twist and Roode bails again.
Hardy follows him up the ramp and throws him back. Roode has the belt but it gets knocked out of his hands. Hardy tries another Twist but the referee breaks it up so that it’s not onto the belt. Roode tries a rollup with feet on the ropes but it only gets two. The champ begs off…and then kicks the referee low for the REALLY FREAKING LAME DQ. Jeff hits a Twist but the bell rings before a cover. I forgot to check the clock but it was about 20:00.
Rating: C. The match was good but MAN that ending killed it. The crowd didn’t care until the end when the belt came in because they knew nothing was going to happen until the end. That being said, the ending was AWFUL. So where was Sting, the guy that is going to be watching over Roode or whatever and the guy that has Hardy’s back? Was he out front chipping golf balls?
The fans IMMEDIATELY chant that they want Sting. Hardy hits a Swanton and holds up the belt…and that’s it. No seriously, that’s the end of the show.
Overall Rating: D+. I wanted to like this show. I really did. The card looked pretty good and it had been built decently. And then this happened. What was the point of this show? The biggest thing that happened was that D-Von’s kids turned face after turning heel what, two weeks ago? Two title matches end with DQs, one ends with interference, and one is a wildcard team getting a title shot. The hardcore match was the best of the show and even then it means nothing, because while Abyss wins he’s disappeared or something I guess. Just an eye rolling show here from TNA as they give the fans nothing at all to go on.
Austin Aries b. Jesse Sorensen, Kid Kash and Zema Ion – Aries last eliminated Sorensen to win
D-Von b. D’Angelo Dinero – Reverse Inverted DDT
Gunner b. Rob Van Dam – DDT on the floor
Gail Kim b. Mickie James via disqualification when Mickie hit Gail with brass knuckles
Abyss b. Bully Ray – Black Hole Slam onto a barbed wire board
Matt Morgan/Crimson b. Magnus/Samoa Joe – Double Chokeslam to Magnus
Kurt Angle b. James Storm – Superkick
Jeff Hardy b. Robert Roode via disqualification when Roode kicked the referee
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