Date: January 31, 2013
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Tazz, Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay
We’re in England for the first of four shows in a row. Tonight is Open Fight Night again with the main event being Angle vs. Anderson in a cage. Other than that we’re promised a huge announcement from Dixie Carter. Sometimes those things are huge and sometimes they mean jack so who knows what to expect. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Bad Influence in kilts and Braveheart face paint to open the show. Since it’s Throwback Thursday, we’re going back to the thirteenth century to praise the real heroes of the UK, the Scots! Daniels has no update on Hardy but promises to win the title and come back here for an easy title defense against the English.
This brings out the returning Magnus who makes fun of Daniels for the way he talks before calling them disrespectful Muppets. Magnus challenges either of them for later and the brawl is on. A pair of backdrops put Bad Influence on the floor and Magnus stands tall. He talks about being in the ring and getting to do what he loves, but Aces and 8’s took that from him. Therefore he’s calling out D-Von for a fight tonight. The biker comes out and we take a break.
Magnus vs. D-Von
This is non-title I believe. Magnus takes over to start and heads to the floor, where D-Von is slammed into the barricade a few times. It’s very nice to see the show in an actual arena instead of a tiny studio. D-Von kicks the rope into Magnus’ crotch as they come back in and takes over. Some punches to the face and a legdrop set up the Hogan hand to the ear. Off to a nerve hold for a bit before D-Von misses a middle rope headbutt. A high knee puts D-Von down again as does a clothesline. Not that it matters though as the rest of Aces and 8’s come in for the DQ at 5:11.
Rating: D+. Not much to see here other than yet ANOTHER Aces and 8’s loss. Can they at least win a token match just to mess with us a bit? Magnus is a guy with some talent and I’d like to see him on TV more than once every few months. The match was pretty slow stuff here though and that didn’t help things.
Magnus clears the ring before the jobbing army can get in there.
Joseph Park’s challenge is up next.
Brooke, Bully and Sting are in the back and worrying that Hulk won’t be here tonight.
Joseph Park comes out for his challenge. He’s taken a lot of notes but here’s Robbie E to interrupt. Park says that’s not his pick but E calls him a hamster. Robbie wipes himself with Park’s notes and after insulting the UK (then backing away when the Welsh Rob Terry glares at him) he challenges Park for a fight right now.
Joseph Park vs. Robbie E
Park takes over to start with some arm drags and clotheslines but a running splash misses. Robbie pounds away a bit but can’t get even a near fall out of it. Park avoids a middle rope knee and makes his comeback, hitting a belly to belly suplex of all things. A middle rope splash is enough to pin Robbie at 3:30.
Rating: C. Park continues to be a fun character and I’m reaching the point where he doesn’t need to become Abyss again. He’s nailing this so well and has been for months now, so why not let him keep doing it? This was short but it was the right way for Park to get his first win. Decent stuff here.
Hogan is here.
Aries and Roode are in the ring with Aries saying that the two of them are going to start winning championships. Roode doesn’t like the idea of Aries being world champion so they’ll start with the tag titles. Roode says the champions can’t hold a candle to them and calls out Chavo. The champions come out and Chavo says you have to be a tag team to get a title shot. Aries says they’ve already beaten Hernandez so if there’s going to be a rematch and Aries or Roode wins, they get a title match.
Chavo Guerrero vs. Austin Aries
They start fast with Chavo taking him down via a belly to back. Aries comes right back but the slingshot hilo hits knees. Chavo hits a slingshot hilo of his own and chokes away in the corner before we take a break. Back with Chavo diving onto Roode but getting hit with the suicide dive by Aries. We head back inside with Aries pounding away and a few two counts.
A headlock takeover puts Chavo down as does a backdrop for no cover. Chavo comes back with a dropkick and a capo kick for two. Three Amigos hit and there’s the frog splash but Roode comes in for a distraction. In the distraction, Aries hits a WICKED running dropkick in the corner and the brainbuster earns he and Roode a title shot at 10:33.
Rating: C-. The match wasn’t bad but man alive do I hope Aries and Roode take the titles. Chavo and Hernandez are competent in the ring (most of the time) but they might be the least interesting champions this side of Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly. Oh yeah, they’re THAT dull. The ending shots by Aries here were great.
Brooke and Bully go to the ring.
Angle is warming up with Joe, Garrett and Brisco around him. Joe yells at the rookies when they say they’ll be at ringside because Joe is going to be there instead.
We recap the Hogans/Bully stuff.
Here are Brooke and Bully to the ring to recap Bully’s suspension. Ray says that they’re family with a common enemy in Aces and 8’s. They have to bury their problems so Ray can fight the bikers. Ray says Sting can get Hogan to lift the suspension and starts a Sting chant. Cue Sting who says that he can’t get Hogan out here but the fans can.
Therefore, let’s stop the Sting chant and start a Hogan chant. Here’s Hulk so the people in the room can suck up to him a bit. Hulk talks about always doing the right thing so Bully is reinstated. This shocks him for some reason. Hulk talks about being confused about business and family though, so next week it’s Bully/Sting vs. Aces and 8’s in a tables match.
The big announcement is that Impact is going on the road permanently starting March 14th. That’s a BIG step for them.
Here’s a ticked off Velvet to call out Tara. The champion and Jesse come out but Velvet wants a mixed tag instead of a title shot.
Velvet Sky/James Storm vs. Jesse Sorensen/Tara
The guys start things off with Storm slapping him around like a former world champion beating up a rookie that got a job because he was on a reality show. Tara trips Storm up and Jesse takes over for a few seconds until Closing Time takes him right back down. Off to the girls with Velvet taking over. Closing Time hits Jesse again and In Yo Face ends Tara at 3:50.
Rating: D+. This is the best they can do with James Storm? Seriously? The match sucked as there was no doubt as to who was going to win, but I’m rather bored with the current Knockouts. There’s never a story other than “I want the title” and seeing the same chicks fight over and over and over gets really dull after a few years.
We get a quick update on Hardy. He had an MRI on his bad knee. End of update.
We recap the Hogan segment from earlier. The Hogans say Hulk had to do something for his family because he always does the right thing when it comes to them. You know like suggesting a reality show about your son getting out of jail for a car crash that has put a guy in need of life long medical care from a car wreck that your son caused. That’s “doing the right thing”, right?
Video on Angle vs. Anderson from Lockdown 2010. That was a great match.
Joe has been attacked.
Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle
In a cage. Anderson jumps Angle as he gets in and gets a quick two count. Brisco is out at ringside too. Anderson is in full control here but runs into an elbow in the corner. Angle hits a middle rope dropkick to put both guys down for a bit. The Angle Slam is countered into a Regal Roll for two and drops a medium sized leg. Angle comes back by sending Anderson into the cage and hitting the Angle Slam for two.
We take a break and come back with Angle still in control. Anderson comes back with a clothesline and goes to escape but Kurt makes the save. Anderson crotches him for two and goes up again, only to get taken down by the Angle Slam off the top. Angle is still dazed though and walks into the Mic check for two. Ken tries to go up again but gets powerbombed out of the corner. There’s the ankle lock with the grapevine for the tap out at 15:09.
Rating: B-. Not bad here and the cage was used pretty well at time. It’s certainly nothing innovative or mind blowing but for a free main event on TV between the top solider in a war against an evil faction, this was perfectly fine. Anderson isn’t much of an upgrade for the team but he’s certainly better than everyone else on the biker team.
Post match another biker comes in and Brisco comes in to join in the fight. It’s Garrett Bischoff, finally joining Aces and 8’s. Brisco jumps Angle too and they’re both bikers. WOW I NEVER, NEVER I SAY, would have seen this coming. The new recruits destroy Angle to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. This show wasn’t terrible but it really didn’t get going until near the end. Granted this was a taped show and they were probably still adjusting to the time and everything, but it felt a step off. The ending….yeah we knew it was coming but dang it still made me roll my eyes. Why am I supposed to care about two guys joining the team when they might as well have been carrying big signs that said “WE’RE IN ACES AND 8’s!” for the last few months? Anyway, this show certainly wasn’t bad and was pretty much ok, but it doesn’t have me dying to see more.
Magnus b. D-Von via DQ when Aces and 8’s interfered
Joseph Park b. Robbie E – Middle rope splash
Austin Aries b. Chavo Guerrero – Brainbuster
James Storm/Velvet Sky b. Jesse Sorensen/Tara – In Yo Face to Tara
Kurt Angle b. Mr. Anderson – Ankle Lock
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