Previously on TNA…
Mike Tenay and Taz announced this:
“Next week Impact Wrestling will be hosting a special Star Wars Edition of Impact.”
And then I proceeded to announce this:
Seriously, if Eric Young portrays Jar-Jar Binks and is on screen for more than a minute I will end it right there.”
TNA News of the Week
TNA Against All Odds PPV is this Sunday Feb. 12th
Sting confirmed in an interview he was very close to signing with WWE last year around Mania but couldn’t come to a contract agreement.
TNA Impact in Review
Welcome everyone to a very special Star Wars edition of Impact Wrestling. In good news for everyone even at it’s worst this episode of Impact could easily end up being the 4th best Star Wars film ever if released in theaters. TNA’s resident James Earl Jones gives us an opening promo comparing the Star Wars legacy to that of the Hogan/Bischoff/Bischoff storyline. Fun Hulk Hogan Fact: Hulk Hogan was originally suppose to be Obi Wan Kenobi. Don’t believe that? Well, why else would TNA compare him to the JedI in the opening video package? This episode of Impact is for control of the galaxy.
First sight we get after seeing the packed crowd in London one more time is the arrival of Bully “Second best thing going in TNA today” Ray enters the ring. No music tonight. Shut it off! Shut it all off! Bully Ray is here to talk! He doesn’t want to talk to anyone except his good, close, personal friend “The Selfish One” Robert Roode.
Nope. Roode doesn’t get any music tonight either. Promo in the ring? **** that. Ray isn’t going to deal with any of this. He wants to talk not watch you walk. Ray has been there for you. The only reason that title is yours is because of the Bully. Where have you been for him? Where were you last week? Ray feels like he is getting a raw deal. Last time Roode had his back Mr. Dudley got a knife in it.
Robert Roode will not take this. This infighting won’t do the duo any good. Their problems aren’t with each other they’re with Sting. Speaking of which, here comes Sting the cricket player. First thing Sting announces is that at Against All Odds the commissioner (I think?) shall be the enforcer. Tonight? James Storm shall team with The Insane icon against Bully Ray and Bobby Roode. TA-TA FOR NOW! IT’S SHOWTIME!
The Kazarian/Daniels/Styles love triangle gets a nice video package highlighting the rollercoaster ride that has been the past month. To credit the Star Wars night, again, we get the video package to be backed by the amazing orchestral score from the films.
Christopher Daniels w/ Kazarian vs. AJ Styles
Here we go with the match that the London fans will probably get their ticket money out of and the match that will probably be worth watching tonight. The Daniels/Styles saga takes another step up the ladder tonight continuing to cement itself as the number one feud in TNA history.
The Fallen Angel jumps the gun but Styles doesn’t allow his old friend to much leeway before stopping him with a dropkick followed with a plancha to the outside. Christopher stops the Styles Clash then attempts to pull out a foreign object to end this match quick. Before the ref can catch him Daniels tosses it out to Kazarian standing outside the ring.
Daniels has absolute control. He systematically starts to lay down punishment to AJ’s neck after a clothesline on the apron. The Angel brings himself into the ring with a leg drop across Styles’ throat before latching in a neck wrench. The crowd is in an uproar and firmly split between the two combatants. Daniels lands a beautiful dropkick to stop The Phenomenal One’s attempted momentum shift. The crowd is lively and on their feet for these two at the moment.
Daniels asks Kazarian for the brass knuckles repeatedly but Kaz does not comply. Styles goes on the attack with a clothesline and flying reverse DDT. After a blocked Styles Clash Christopher Daniels missed a BME attempt and scurries to the corner. The crowd begins a “This is Awesome” chant just as Christopher Daniels forces Kazarian to give him the brass knuckles. Seconds later on another attempt at the Styles Clash, Christopher Daniels nails AJ with the object to score the win.
Christopher Daniels wins by Pinfall
Bischoff is speaking with Gunnar in the back about Hogan’s return to wrestling that “shocked the wrestling world”. This week Bischoff really wants Gunnar by his side to take out Hogan one kneecap at a time. Fun Hogan Fact: He is the first homosapien to ever have kneecaps. He is the next step in the evolutionary ladder.
Brutus Magnus and Samoa Joe are on their way to the ring. This Sunday in Orlando, Florida at Against All Odds they will be fighting Morgan and Crimson for the World Tag Team Titles. Magnus wants these people to know just how much everyone loves to talk about the TNA UK tours. Well guess what? Tonight they are in ENGLAND! Brutus Magnus has come home tonight. He even brought his tag team partner, Samoa Joe, with him for this particular evening.
How did these two come together? TNA’s Wild Card Tag Team Tournament of course. No one thought this team would ever work. They heard it from the wrestlers in the back, the front office, and from the fans of TNA. Joe and Magnus work well together. They get along because they don’t fear anyone at all. This Sunday they will defeat the champs and walk out with that gold around their waist.
With that statement the tag champs hit the ring to let their feelings out. They just want the challengers to know that Crimson and Matt Morgan’s talking is done. The champs take the time to lay a beat down on Brutus Magnus before Joe can snatch his partner from the duo attempting to deliver
a duo-choke slam. Fun Hulk Hogan Fact: He doesn’t know any of the people that were just in the ring exist.
Doug Williams vs. Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries
Here is a second match the fans in London should be lucky to see live and is great we shall be seeing on Impact tonight. We get one of the best technical wrestlers on TNA’s roster in Douglas Williams going against the always enjoyable Alex Shelley and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin “Best thing going in TNA today” Aries.
Shelley and Douglas hit the ring followed by A Double, whom is wearing the greatest sparkly black cape ever. Not a robe, the dude I wearing a sparkly Batman-esk cape. It is glorious.
All three men attempt to lock up before Shelley and Williams decide to work together. They take the champ to the outside then go on the attack against each other. The men trade blows before Willaims is left in the ring alone. Just as Douglas attempts a dive he cuts off Austin Aries sending him to the floor. A Double slides into the ring and avoids a plancha before hitting a Heat Seeking Missle of his own.
Thankfully this match has slowed just enough now that Douglas and Aries are going one-on-one for a bit. After trading chops Douglas goes to town with continuous European uppercuts. Again, Aries is double teamed by his opponents. As Alex Shelley connects with a running shoulder tackle he falls victim to a Chaos Theory Suplex. Douglas Williams then falls victim to a football punt to the nuts by Austin Aries. Shelley reverses a brain buster attempt then hits Sliced Bread #2 on the champ for the win.
Alex Shelley wins by Pinfall
The Hulkster is in the back giving some advice to Garrett Bischoff. The advice is really simple. Don’t worry about what they think or what they say. You’ve made a statement and are on your own now. Sting comes in with a surprise hug. Hogan wants to thank Sting for beating him in the face enough to make Hulkamania come back to the forefront. Best part of Sting in control nowadays since Hulk is watching it from afar? Sting is finally getting this young kids to listen to him. He has a huge target on his back though. Hogan wants Stinger to know that the Hulkster will do anything and everything. All Sting ever has to do is ask. Just as Hogan starts to speak very cryptically he takes the time to kick TNA’s cameras out first.
Earlier this afternoon Tara was recording some sort of Youtube video for her channel and was laid out by Gail Kim. They battled on the streets of London before Gail took her through the arena and laid her out on the floor.
Hogan gets a hype video of his completely insane promo from last week. The promo revolves around TNA falling off the top of the mountain to then become the greatest wrestling company ever. Again, it is the promo you really just need to sit and watch sometime. The whole thing comes off as delusional.
Once we finish with Hogan’s promo we’re treated to Garrett Bischoff and Hulk Hogan making their way into London’s Impact Zone. The crowd is happy to see the young Bischoff and Hogan enter the ring. What are the two here for you ask? Surprisingly it is for far much less posing than I thought they’d want. Hogan’s trademark pose down only lasts about fifteen seconds. It is the kind of thing Hogan expected from this kind of crowd though.
While Hogan didn’t know what would happen when he showed up last week but he told Garrett that just what he thought would happen last week did. (Note: What?) Hulkamania will live forever because of crowds like that. Hulk appreciates everything fans have ever given to him. Hulk’s one final request is very simple: Give everything you’ve ever given to Hulk to Garrett. Garrett Bischoff is a Hulkamaniac and deserves everything that Hulk Hogan has earned.
Right on cue Eric comes to the ring with Gunnar in toe. Daddy Bischoff has one very simple civilized question, who the hell do you think you are? Hogan knows this isn’t about Eric anymore. This is about Garrett. Garrett is the man of the hour right now. Hulk claims that Eric isn’t as good at this business as Hulk always thought, but Hogan has since learned that he still has the Hulkamania stroke on his side.
That stroke has allowed one thing. The Immortal one got a match made between Garrett and Gunnar. Just as it was announced Bischoff hits Hogan below the belt as Gunnar puts the boots to Garrett in the corner. Hogan pulls a Michael Jackson, but instead of turning into a gigantic robot, he just shows how unfazed he is by a nut shot by taking care of Eric and Gunnar. Cue the posing in the ring. Hulk Hogan Fun Fact: Hulk Hogan taught Michael Jackson all of his dance moves.
Hogan announces to Garrett that he and Bischoff will be at ringside this Sunday at Against All Odds.
Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky
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The girls lock up on this special Star Wars edition of Impact to begin this match. Taz takes time to breakdown how Velvet looks like “Princess Lay-her” and wears that “smock thing”. Tenay takes time to ask what is up with that hair anyways? This match is going back and forth takes a short pause after Mickie kicked out of a Oklahoma roll.
The two women shake hands before going back on the attack. Mickie is in control using head scissors and snap mares to ground her opponent. The crowd erupts in support of Velvet just as Sky almost wins with a surprise pinfall. Mickie gets to her feet only to receive a few clotheslines for her troubles. Velvet has control.
Taz lets us know that fans the world over love to tell him about “letting the pigeons loose” being the highlight of their week. Just as we learn this Velvet Sky rolls-up Mickie out of nowhere to get a shocking win.
Velvet Sky wins by Pinfall
TNA teaches us about the #PigeonParty. Ugh.
We get another nice highlight video of TNA’s tour of the UK. Action and fans are highlighted to some generic rock music. Highlights: Man with Kurt Angle tattooed on his back. Not the name, but a portrait of Kurt Angle tattooed on his back.
Roode and his opponents are the subject of the next highlight video. Against All Odds this Sunday is aptly named due to Roode’s chances this week. He is up against everyone and no one is looking out for him. James Storm never got his world title rematch. This Sunday he will. Bully Ray winning the title isn’t about winning the world title, it is about pissing the entire wrestling world off. Bully is a locomotive and Robbie is standing on the tracks. Jeff is the prime example of Against All Odds. Winning this title will be a reward, a trophy for getting through all of the odds he has overcome. Roode has beaten every single person in his path since he won this title. Nothing can stop Robert Roode. Want to know why? Because they can’t. Bobby Roode is that good. Robert Roode is that smart. No one can take this title away from him.
Sting and James Storm vs. Bully Ray and Robert Roode
Jeremy Borash goes through with the normal main event introductions before the bell sounds. Robert Roode and “The Insane Icon” Sting start things off. Before Roode can tag Bully Ray in the former Dudley takes a stroll far and away from him. But he gives his partner a heads up. “I got your back”. Sting kicks things into high gear right at the start of this match. A minute into the match and Robert Roode has taken a Stinger splash and been locked in the Scorpion Death Lock.
Impact comes back from break with Bully Ray tells Sting that he wants to battle Storm instead. Sting obliges. The Cowboy takes Ray down with a few arm drags and then keeps the Bully grounded by controlling the arm. Arena is up in arms with a big “cowboy” chant. Jamie pokes Bubba’s eyes out before bringing the Icon back into the ring.
Sting keeps dissecting the left arm of Bully Ray. After Sting tags out of the ring Bully Ray gets control of James Storm. He takes one of his opponents this Sunday to the mat with a slam before getting a close two count. Ray pulls off Storm’s shirt before going to town on the ribcage of his victim. Bubba gives a tag to the champ so he can get his hands on his ex-partner.
Storm’s ribs are worked on by Robbie while the crowd again lets “cowboy”: hear his name being chanted throughout the arena. Robbie stops James from tagging the Stinger then gets Bully Ray in the ring. Ray cinches in a bear hug to keep James Storm under his control. Ray doesn’t care about the official or his rules and attempts to use a steel chain on Storm’s ribcage.
Sting is tagged in after James gets away from the foreign object attempt. Sting has complete control of his opponents as he nails a Stinger splash on both of them before throwing Robert Roode off the top rope. Ray misses breaking up the 3-count and instead hits his partner. Sting with another Stinger splash that takes both men out. Roode’s attempt at the Fisherman Suplex is blocked and it leads to a Scorpion Death Lock.
Robert Roode screams for Bully Ray to save him. Ray enters the ring with the title belt but stops before he hits Sting. “See you in three days champ”. Ray exits the ring while Robert Roode taps out.
Sting and James Storm win by submission
TNA’s Against All Odds Live on Pay-Per-View February 12th, 2012
Robert Roode vs. James Storm vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Championship
Matt Morgan and Crimson vs. Samoa Joe and Brutus Magnus for the TNA Tag Team Championships
Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley for the X-Division Championship
Gail Kim vs. Tara for the Knockouts Championship
Kazarian vs. AJ Styles
Zema Ion vs. Jesse Sorensen for the #1 Contendership to the X-Division Championship
Conclusions and Thoughts
That episode of Impact was a thousand times better than I actually figured it was going to be. I expected this entire night to be so infused with Star Wars it looked like the love child of Tommy Wiseau and new millennium Lucas. This was a solid episode that paved the way to Against All Odds really nicely without anything that negative to bring it down.
Austin Aries and Alex Shelley made a pit stop this week in a triple threat match before heading into Against All Odds this Sunday. These two have the ability to steal the show on Sunday and showed some of it this evening with Doug Williams. A quick, fast-paced X-division matches highlighting A Double and the Motor City Machine Gun without having Doug Williams come off looking bad. Things clicked well and Austin Aries shone again. His five second late kick-out was another brilliant touch.
While I have no interest in Bischoff storyline at all I give credit to TNA for making Gunnar be a viable hardass. The guy has been on a tear that started with Garrett Bischoff. Ideally they find a way to end the match this Sunday without ruining what they’ve built with Gunnar. Ric Flair can hide a lot of flaws. Unfortunately he hasn’t been seen since they went to England and doesn’t seem to be a part of Against All Odds this Sunday either.
I’m thinking Bully Ray may actually walk out with a world title this Sunday. He has easily been the shining star in TNA (next to Aries) over the past seven months. Every promo he does is great, the matches aren’t bad at all, and the crowd genuinely can’t stand him at all. He has every single thing going for him. Side problem is Robert Roode is in the exact same boat. He has done great promos, his matches aren’t bad at all, and the crowd genuinely can’t stand him at all. It’s interesting to see two people hit their plausible peaks at the same time with the exact same positive traits shared between them. I can’t wait to see how TNA handles having both of them at once over the next few months.
It kind of looked like they were slowly hinted at Mickie turning heel. Either that or she was kind of pissed off. Hmmm….
Highlight of the Night
The crowd in London takes this award one more time this week. Being as it was the exact same crowd from last week I don’t think it should be that big of a surprise. Throughout every match they were vocal and made it seem bigger than it was. Their excitement towards seeing Samoa Joe just standing in the ring was pretty special. They also gave Daniels/Styles the main event treatment via not being quiet for them at all during their match. I’d love to see this type of a crowd at every Impact show no matter the quality.
Lowlight of the Night
There really wasn’t something that was so bad it was a “lowlight”. If anything I could probably say them replaying the insane Hogan promo where he talks about how TNA is one step from being the greatest thing out there would be it. Hogan will totally take the wheel and become the face of this company too. Huge plus in that category.
Five Questions for TNA
1) So you guys really kept the Star Wars thing to it’s bare minimum. I got video packages with Star Wars orchestra recordings behind them. You had some crazy stuff originally thought of though didn’t you? I mean, come on. Someone had to mention having a light saber duel. Eric Young’s name had to come up in some meeting. Thank you for not putting him in it though.
2) Are you guys really going to get behind Hogan saying you’re the next big thing in wrestling? You’ve tried this tactic about fifteen different times. It is totally ok to be content. None of us will judge you for that.
3) I’m going to ask a question I asked on my very first report again because I think it is still relevant. You guys do realize exactly what you now have in Bully Ray right? I’m as surprised as anyone. He is one of the best things you have in your company. Don’t screw something like this up. We’re all surprised but happily going along for the ride.
4) What would it take for me to get Don West back on commentary for a night? I figure WWE gets JR back once every three months, why can’t I get Don West?
5) Could you please never show me pictures of people who have portrait tattoos of your wrestlers on their back again? I’ll send you money to make it stop.