This Week in TNA: It Pays To Be Robert Roode, James Storms on RVD-Angle, and Madison Rayne is Suddenly Mysterious
By Corey Letson
Jan 1, 2012 - 10:45 AM
Hopefully you all enjoyed your New Year's Eve night. Here is to your ability to remember the previous evening. Hopefully you're reading this after the hangover has subsided. As for me I'm kicking off your New Year with some TNA. Why are we still fooling around with this paragraph? Let's get it going…
Previously on TNA…
Abyss - After his father, Father James Mitchell, was taken out by himself he looked for guidance. Abyss luckily found it in the arms of Hulk Hogan. Hogan wanted to show Abyss he had the power to be the man around TNA. Abyss was only enthralled by Hogan's WWE Hall of Fame ring, Golem style. Ric Flair took issue with this and decided that Abyss had to fight for Hogan's WWE Hall of Fame ring, as well as his own I believe. This led to Abyss getting Hulk Hogan powers. Unfortunately for Abyss this was all just Hogan's plot to use Abyss for evil. After the monster felt betrayed by his newest mentor he started to hunt them down letting them know that"They" are coming. Who were they? Abyss and his backstabbing friend Hogan. Abyss then left and re-joined immortal about five times back and forth until he entered the tag tourney with Scott Steiner.
Austin Aries - After returning to TNA from a three year absence Aries came back with a vengeance. He quickly stormed onto the scene and won the X-Division title. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived is completely on a path to put the division back on the map.
Gail Kim - Also coming back for a three year absence, also quickly took the Knockout division by storm. As soon as she came back in she got the gold. While some would say her tactics have been dirty and underhanded Gail would just say she is doing what is necessary to reign atop the world of women's wrestling. She could be considered the asian female version of Austin Aries.
ODB - I have no idea. She is a female who is totally about alcohol and getting some dick. Yeah, she once put herself up for a dating contest won by some redneck contestant who then became a TNA wrestler. ODB left for awhile then came back with Miss Jackie. After all that she is now drinking and flirting with Eric Young.
TNA News of the Week
Ric Flair will be appearing at a handful of TNA live shows
TNA Impact in Review
Here we go before the end of time begins. We're kicking off with a quick video recap that is looking at the previous few weeks of Impact. Not only did Sting fire the Jarretts and then laugh about it maniacally, but Madison Rayne was named the VP of the Knockout division. So bare minimum props to Karen Jarrett for having a plan just incase she was fired.
Speaking of Madison Rayne here she comes with the non-bald half of the Gail Kim & Molly Holly duo. (Writer Note: I have mentioned Molly Holly. Aaron Wood will read this article at least 5 times) Ms. Rayne is here to do one thing. What is it? Well I'm not sure. She is currently yelling for T&T to get their asses out to this ring. The Vice Prez isn't even going to make this conversation go that long. She doesn't want to catch any deseases. See, the KO VP got screwed by these girls last week. TNA's girl in charge isn't going to be having any of that. Get the hell out. You two are fired.
Cowboy Sting is in the house. He is here to talk to Madison about something."This thing is over when I say it's over." Turns out that Madison has been on a power trip with no legal paperwork to back it up. Karen could be a bitch simply because that is why they paid her. Legally they could only say,"She is really amazing at her job." Madison on the other hand doesn't have that kind of leeway.
Madison is mad because she was given power by Karen, but Sting is here to inform her that he is the only one with power."I HAVE THE POWER! GAIL KIM I'M MAKING YOU DEFEND THE TITLE TONIGH IN THE IMPACT ZONE." Someone in the crowd asks"who?" just as Mickie James makes her hardcore ass towards the Impact Zone. The Icon, in his most flamboyant voice ever, says"I will be watching you. I'll scratch your eyeballs out if you aren't watching."
One of the best promo men in the business, Scott Steiner, is letting Abyss know how it is all going down tonight. They are the best damn tag team. Today these two shall prove it.
Scott Steiner and Abyss vs. AJ Styles and Kazarian in a 2nd Round Wild Card Tourney Match
The Genetic Monsters don't fully seem like they are on the same page as things kick off between Steiner and Kaz. Big Poppa Pump asserts his insanity and power over the youngings. Mr. Michigan took the time to talk down Styles while beating the living hell out of Kazarian. Just as Kazarian gets control of this match Mike Tenay would like us to tell @ImpactWrestling who we think or would like to see when this tournament.
AJ Styles keeps Steiner from tagging his partner for about ten seconds. Now we're getting one of the most underrated match-ups TNA has thrown us throughout the years: Abyss vs. AJ Styles. Steiner this AJ from behind before things heat up which allows Abyss to hit his torture rack backbreaker.
Immortal is in control as Pumpy hit's the ring again to deliver his trademark suplexes. The phenomenal one gets tired of his ass being handed to him and thwarts momentum with Pele.
Both legal men tag out with Kaz going crazy on The Monster. The Future this six different springboard maneuvers, finishing with a DDT before being caught with hands around his throat. This leads to a surprise pin by Kaz. After a kickout at two Abyss takes full control. Chokeslam to Kaz before knocking AJ into the guardrails.
Big boy Abyss walks over and allows Steiner to go for the victory. Alas, as Big Poppy excitedly realizes they are a team, Abyss realizes he isn't all that happy with their relationship. Quickly a black hole slam is delivered to end the Immortal pair…again. The Future's lifeless body is thrown onto Steiners to end the match.
Kazarian and AJ Styles Advance to the Next Round of the Wild Card Tag Tourney
Crap has hit the fan. Bully Ray is not going to take it either. He hustles to the ring (sans calf show-off) to try to get to the bottom of this. The brother from a white mother is tired of this crap. His chain has been jerked too much for to long over Abyss. The monster is a bully. Bully Ray don't like bullies. It's crap that he would do that to them. Bully Ray and Steiner bought Abyss prostitutes. Who else did Abyss know who would do that? Would they ever let him into a brothel without them? What does Abyss want? When does he want it? Immortal needs you Abyss. Can we be BFFs again?
“Do you know what I want? I want you. I want you Bully Ray. And I want Bully Ray one-on-one at Genesis. Bully Ray, I assure you I'm not done yet. If you beat me at Genesis I will come back to the ranks of Immortal."
Bully Ray accepts the match with self-invoked slavery on the line. He is more than happy to do so. That is until Abyss informs him of the stipulation he left out. These two will be kicking off the new year with a formal dance. I'm just hoping they can both find tuxedos that fit them or the pair could feel out of place during the Monster's Ball at Genesis.
Icon and Olympian are chit-chatting in the
back about Kurt's hilarious antics last week. That whole thing where he went to James Storm's hometown and assaulted about seven random people only after verbally berating three others. Or as Kurt calls it: Tuesday.
Kurt went and"cowboy'd up" just like Sting wanted and he is here to due his bosses bidding again. So what will it be tonight Mr. Sting? A wrestling match? Something Kurt should be more than accustomed to. Hell, it is a great idea. Who doesn't need a tune-up match before a PPV match.
Enjoying the kicks to the face? We need to work around with people who are good at kicks. This will get the defenses up. If Lesnar taught us anything on Friday night…watch those kicks. The man with three I's is completely frustrated with Sting's hand-picked foot master. Tonight, live on taped Impact we're going to enjoy some Rob Van Dam vs. Kurt Van Angle.
The backstage crew wants to know what is on Gunnar and Ric Flair's minds tonight. I'm pretty sure they really only care about The Nature Boy's opinion on things though. Luckily Natch is here to tell'em. See, what we're watching right now is professional wrestling. This is the greatest thing to view in the entire world. Over the past few weeks we've been privileged to witness Gunnar putting people in the hospital. Concrete has been his friend. There is no badder man on the planet than one that has a deal brokered with the unforgiving floor.
Zema Ion vs. Anthony Nese in a Contract on a Pole Match. Match 3 out of 3 in the Best of 3 Series.
Austin Aries has joined the commentary team for this one. That alone has made this match fifty times better. As the competitors make their way down to the squared circle we see that the contract for Genesis' match is on a pole. Why? Yep. They have confirmed that the final match in this series is a"Contract on a Pole" match.
Anthony and Zema continue to trade maneuvers back and forth while going for the contract until Ion gets control with a dropkick. His advantage doesn't last to long as Nese pulls the rope down and Z crashes down to the floor. A
few fans start to get behind Nese as he takes Ion down with a risky move on the outside and makes his way to the contract.
Before Anthony Nese can grab the contract Zema Ion comes in to stop him. Pretty Z climbs ontop of Nese to win the match but is stopped by his opponent. A devastating top rope german suplex seems to end the game for Mr. Pretty. Unfortunately for Anthony as he makes his way towards the top of the pole Zema regains his composure. Within seconds Nese is thrown to the floor off the pole which allows Zema Ion to easily grab the contract.
Zema Ion wins the Contract on a Pole match (2-1)
Douglas Williams vs. Gunnar w/ Ric Flair
For the first time this evening the Impact Zone is alive and active. Disappointing to the men in the ring it seems to be because Ric Flair is standing ringside. As the match starts Flair's newest protégé Gunnar is in complete control. He quickly establishes full control showing off his power in a few lock-up battles before bringing his forearms down across Doug's back.
Just as Williams begins any sort of offense it is halted by Gunnar's ability to throw Doug's shoulder hard into the steel ring post. Now that Flair's man has his opponent in massive pain it is time to go to the outside with him. The ref wants Gunnar to stop before things get control and the ex-security guard isn't going to have any of that going on. He throws Brian Hebner across the ring. The bell is called for but this violent man isn't here to care if a bell rings or not. Ric Flair continues his record 1746 week streak of"Dirtiest Player in the Game" going by kicking Dougie right in the groin. Gunnar takes time to remove the safety padding then proceeds to plant his opponent into the unforgiving concrete with a DDT.
Douglas Williams"wins" via DQ
The champ has arrived with a few words to say. We're first going to be treated to a video package that covers the rollercoaster ride the man has been on since Bound for Glory. Family and friends let us know how hard he has worked for this title before his horrifying ways. Now his family and friends can't even get to him. They can't talk to him. In other news, Robert Roode's dad once had a successful show about motorcycles on the Discovery Channel. Dude looks in good shape nowadays too.
Here comes the champ. The crowd has erupted in a chorus of boos. TNA title draped over the shoulder of the suited one as he prepares to let us all know what is on his mind. This week Robbie is thinking about people's opinions of him. From family to friends they have talked about who Robert Roode is. Hell, they went out of their way to come on television to say something. He has been called selfish. Well, of course. Bobby is the leader of the selfish generation.
Roode is the most selfish of the selfish. He became world champion because of his selfishness. How can he show his selfishness tonight? He is going to bring out his friend Tracy. Who is Tracy? Robert's friend for over twenty years who has stuck by him through thick and thin. The guy lives in Canada. He plays lacrosse professionally. (Note: Badass. That is badass.) So the selfish one decided to pay for his friend to fly down to Florida and visit a theme park just so he could talk to him in the wrestling ring.
Security is told to allow Tracy to pass through and step into the ring with his friend, the champ. Tracy gets the second biggest ovation of the night; right behind Bobby Roode's entrance. Roode needs to here from his buddy how he feels. Bobby has been busy with things and hasn't gotten the texts, tweets, voice mails, emails, snail mails, or singing telegrams.
Tracy doesn't like this fake human-being standing in front of him. Bobby is missed by everyone they know. The kids don't get driven to hockey practice by daddy anymore. Tracy does that. Bob's wife doesn't have anyone to lay with at night. (Note: Soon Tracy may be helping with that too) His parents don't recognize their son anymore. Everyone down at the local bar just can't believe this is the same dude they shot pool with on the weekends. Roode, it isn't too late for you to come home. You can leave all of this behind right now and just come home.
Life Breaking Newsflash: Tracy was only ever talked to in school by people because he hung around the champ. See, Robert Roode was a king in school. Tracy you were a lackey. You wouldn't have gotten any attention if it weren't for Mr. Selfish. Mom and Dad? They were never there for TNA's champion. Why are they around now? Oh, they want to capitalize on some television time. Their looking to get a reality show in the old Ultimate Fighter time slow. Of course they want to talk about their son now. Why won't they do it in private? They need to be on television because they are sucking at their son's fame teat.
Sister Roode? All of the sudden she wants to have something to do with her famous brother? When they were kids she wouldn't give him the time of day. He was either ignored completely or treated like crap by her and her boyfriends. Oh snap, you're bringing up Robert's own children? That is the line you don't cross Tracy. If you bring those kids up again, stuff is going to get real. The fifteen minutes are up for anyone associated with Robert Roode.
Tracy is tired of this and begins to walk away, but if we've learned anything about Robert Roode tonight it is that he doesn't handle disrespectful regular people too well. Within seconds Tracy is on the mat being stomped into the ground. Luckily for the lacrosse star, Jeff Hardy is here to save the day. Commercials kick in just as Roode slips away to the back.
With the second round of the wild card tag tourney kicking in this week we're joining ODV and Eric Young in the back. Can she feel it? Eric Young is with his new…whatever she is with him. EY confuses every single sport for pro wrestling with his tactics for tonight. ODB is on the same page with Eric, right? They're in love. Tag team love. ODB will deal with love when she sees fit. First, she wants to worry about the match tonight.
Angle finds it great that James Storm is going to have to buy all his food at the watering hole from now on. Tonight Kurt is in a foul mood. He wants to wrestle. Wrestling is what the Olympian does. Tonight? Come on, man! All RVD does is kick. Van Dam couldn't wrestle his way out of a paper bag. Sure, he could probably kick his way out, but…shut up. See Sting has a problem with Angle. The Icon has made his life a living hell. Kurt just wants to wrestle. Tonight, he has to kick it old school.
Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. Eric Young and ODB in a 2nd Round Wild Card Tourney Match
The crowd is solidly behind ODB. When I say solid, I'm talking these are more cheers than Tracy was getting. Magnus kicks things off with ODB in the ring. Before things can get heated Brutus wants to size up the girl. After walking around to see if he likes it ODB decides she should do the same. Inspection of Magnus' body and ass is apparently not sufficient.
ODB slaps Magnus in the face and we're finally underway. Joe is stunned in the corner realizing he must sit through this match. ODB hits, what I assume, is a decent portion of her normal offense: jumping and letting her boobs squash her opponent, making her opponent's kiss her boobs, Lou Thez Make-out Press…the usual.
This infuriates Eric Young to no end. The crazy dude needs in the ring now. Eric tries to take it to Eric as much as he can before Brutus gets the hell out of there. Here comes the Samoan pain! After waiting this long to finally get involved Joe takes Eric Young to the shed. Within seconds we are transported to a Chicago Fieldhouse circa 2005. Joe begins to whoop Young's ass up and down that ring.
After a snap mare to top rope elbow drop tag combo between Joe and Magnus leads to a two things break down. All four participants are in the ring as the ref loses control. Young and Magnus are sent to the outside leaving just ODB and Joe. Without eyes in the back of her head the lady cannot see Brutus' return though. He throws her into the corner turnbuckle, that Eric Young is climbing, viciously. She hits hard and then lands on the outside even harder. It looks pretty sick. With that all that is left is a muscle buster. Good-bye to that lovely couple.
Brutus Magnus and Samoa Joe advance to the next round of the Wild Card Tourney
The camera men want to know how Mickie feels about her match tonight. She feels pretty confident. After the last time they fought Mickie understands what can go down tonight. Hardcore country knows Gail can bring it better than most but hadn't been in the ring with her in awhile. Luckily, tonight she is prepared. She has watched tape of Gail and has experienced it recently. Tonight she shall regain her throne and become queen of the knockouts one more time.
Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam
Angle seems reluctant to be in the ring with"The Whole F'n Show" on this particular evening. He wants to wrestle. The man isn't looking to be blasted in the head with kicks throughout the night. RVD obliges and these two lock-up. That doesn't last too long as Rob goes for a quick kick, which Angle avoids.
Kurt grabs a lock-up and takes his man to the corner. The two break when Angle takes control. RVD counters an irish whip and then lands about six different kicks before Angle falls to the corner. Too bad for the gold medalist, RVD is still up for using his feet. Once another set of kicks takes Angle down we get a rolling thunder.
Van Dam is firing on all cylinders. His feet are automatic tonight and looking to hurt. Kurt finally stop the pain by landing a belly-to-belly suplex. Finally the match has gotten to Angle's pace. We're slowing this down with a waistlock and some ground wrestling. Kurt has full advantage as he attempts some quick falls an just keeps the match at his pace.
This can't last forever and doesn't. RVD gets back to his feet just as he lands a kick to Angle's jaw. Mr. 450 takes all the control he can of this and we're back up to revving the engines. Rob's flying around the ring hitting move after move is stopped when he goes for a monkey flip. The bald one is having none of that. He throws Van Dam to the mat and the straps are coming down.
Instead of locking in the ankle-lock we're treated to Kurt tuning up the band. He is here to super kick RVD's face in. Unfortunately RVD has been in the ring with Shawn Michaels before Kurt. He hears it coming and responds with a kick of his own. Dam takes this time to climb to the top for a failed attempt at the 5-star frog splash.
With RVD in pain Angle quickly applies the ankle lock. James Storm decides this is the time to make his presence felt. The contest ends in disqualification as James Storm kicks Angle's teeth down his throat.
Rob Van Dam wins by disqualification
The cameras show up for Angle and RVD's thoughts. They are both upset with James Storm. See, RVD wanted to win that match. Storm screwed him out of the ability to win that match. Kurt's problem is with the attack. Why attack during a match? This is about wrestling. Don't bring your"last call" super kick to the fight at Genesis. Bring a wrestling move. The first match completely doesn't count. This match at Genesis is the one that matters.
Gail Kim vs. Mickie James for the Knockouts Title
Gail Kim and Mickie James are in the ring for a surprise main event. Sure, the match was announced to open the show…but wow. They are going with Gail Kim and Mickie James instead of Kurt and RVD.
Once the bell rings Mickie goes straight for the win attempting multiple pins. After Gail proves she waon't lose that early James goes to town on Gail. Punches, dropkicks, hiptosses, and even a head scissors all are used to put Gail Kim down. Gail slides to recupporate and Ms. James doesn't want to give her the time.
Gail Kim stops Mickie's momentum with kicks to the stomach on the outside. When Mickie tries to enter the ring her face is introduced to the apron and she is out. Kim is going to show Mickie what pain looks like. Mickie seems out of it as Gail Kim continues to assault her with kicks, clotheslines, and punches. Just as Mickie starts to get control it is halted by a well-timed hair pull.
Gail, just as Kurt tried earlier, decides slowing things down is the smart thing to do. She puts Mickie in a hammerlock to try to win. Just as Mickie gets out of it she is dropped with a double ace handle. Nothing is going right for Alexis tonight. After gaining the upper hand it is quickly lost when Gail Kim locks in the Octopus Stretch.
Mickie James is slipping away but is lucky to fall into the ropes. Gail feels it is almost time to be done with this defense. Gail Kim locks in the octopus stretch one more time. Mickie uses a pin attempt as a last ditch effort to get Gail Kim to release the hold. We're in Gail's world tonight. Kicks to the head, top rope splashes, Mickie James has nothing on Gail tonight.
Just as Gail goes to wrap this up she is met with a counter kick to the face. Both women are down. As they get to their feet Mickie's second wind finally arrives. Multiple clotheslines are followed by a flapjack. With Molly Holly's old partner down and out Trish's old flame decides to go to the top. Gail makes her way to the outside and receives a cross body for her trouble. Mickie James looks like she may have injured her knee performing the move.
As soon as Mickie rolls Gail into the ring she struggles to get back into the ring. Hebner checks Gail out to make sure she is fine as a random fully-face painted woman makes her way into the ring. She lays out Mickie James and hides as Gail crawls over to get the win. Impact goes off the air showing the painted mystery woman, who is clearly Madison Rayne, smiling and giving her girl Gail the thumbs up.
Conclusions and Thoughts
This episode of Impact had the most wrestling I've seen since starting these reviews. Might not have had the most matches, but probably the most noticeable amount of wrestling. I was surprised that TNA decided to go with Kim and James as the main event more than anything. Sure, it plays into the bigger storyline of Sting and The Jarretts, but when you have RVD and Angle on the same card that is a hefty order.
The two pulled it off and delivered a pretty good women's match to end out the show.
This was a pretty solid overall week of Impact but there isn't all that much to talk about. They have gotten down to the finals of the tag tourney and next week we're going to get Magnus and Joe vs. Styles and Kazarian. Save for Brutus' abilities in the ring this should really be the highlight next week.
Zema Ion kinda seemed like he was going to win the best of three right off the bat anyways. He just oozes a decent chunk more personality compared to Anthony Nese. He also stands out just a tad more. Bad news for Mr. Ion is that he is competing with the greatest man who ever lived. I'm not talking about just at Genesis either. The two are doing slight variations of each others gimmicks and in the end only one man can stay. Is it the best at everything ever who is also perfectly handsome? Or is it the one that is really pretty and pretty damn good at almost everything?
I've gotten a few random comments and questions about my random mentioning of the crowd at the Impact Zone since I started doing these reports. If you skim my article you'll probably never even notice the mention of them. Most crowd reactions are limited to one line mentions unless they are truly noteworthy. So I like to make a note to see if there is a trend. I want to see what is actually going on with this crowd. Because some TNA critics have pointed to the crowd has being a bad thing for the shows. They are burnt out and just can't get into it. I think that is kind of wrong, so I'm trying to see what info I can gather.
This week was not a good time for other theories outside of ‘burnt out' though. I'm not saying the show was a classic that really needs full attention at every waking second, but man…that crowd had no life at all. Their biggest responses, which almost perfectly correlates to their only responses, were for Robert Roode and his buddy Tracy. Ideally that means that Rob is doing his job well. Unfortunately there was some decent action tonight that just got no love at all. What gives?
Current TNA Genesis Card: January 8th, 2012
Jeff Hardy vs. Robert Roode for the TNA Championship
TBD vs. Matt Morgan and Crimson for the TNA Tag Titles
D'Angelo Dinero w/ Double Trouble vs. Devon
Kurt Angle vs. James Storm
Zema Ion vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Austin Aries for the X Division Title
Bully Ray vs. Abyss - Monster's Ball match (If Abyss loses he rejoins Immortal)
Highlight of the Night
This whole Robert Roode thing is finally firing on all cylinders. Someone either A) took that boy to promo school or B) ignored his great promo ability for far too long. The guy seems to actually have"it". Now how well does that serve him in the new year? That is something we all have to see. But I think you should go out of your way to watch this segment of Impact.
While the Robert Roode story got off on a rocky start after the whole BFG thing, it has really improved. Roode has made his way into being heel a great ride for fans. From the highlight videos with everyone he knows talking of his change all the way to his overall demeanor in the ring. Next to the turnaround from Bully Ray over the course of last year, this is TNA's best achievement.
From here on out Robert Roode is fully going to have to make it stick though. He might be the top heel in the land, but TNA is dominated by the faces. With almost any slip up in any aspect of his game I could see them looking towards other people to take the reigns. I doubt, and hope it won't, happen anytime soon but you never know.
Lowlight of the Night
There wasn't all that much wrong with Impact at all this week. The only real big issue I had was with Nese/Ion. After two weeks of build to their blow-off match it fell a tad flat. They competed in a classic"item on a pole" match, but more importantly, had a three minute match. I mean, had I went to the bathroom I'd need to rewind my DVR to catch ANY of it. These boys handled themselves pretty well for two straight weeks. I much rather would have liked to see them go at it just a little bit longer in the rubber match.
Five Questions for TNA
1) Where have the other people, outside of Aries, who are in this X-division match at Genesis been?
2) If Sting is the guy with all the power how did Abyss get to make that match? I mean, if any wrestler can make a match with whoever by just asking their opponent…do we need Sting at all?
3) This whole Cowboy Sting into Joker Sting still needs explaining. Adding in this week with previous weeks I want to know if I've figured it out. So when Sting is wrestling he snaps and becomes a psychotic clown out for Joker-esk chaos, but when he isn't wrestling he is cool, calm, and collected enough to be the rash decision maker of the show. Thus he needs to be a sheriff and dress like a cowboy. Do I finally understand this correctly?
4) Is Jeff Hardy's face paint like the hair of Sampson? If that stuff fully comes off mid-match or he forgets to put it on can he do half the normal moves he performs?
5) Is Ken Anderson still employed? Where is that dude at?
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