Welcome to another review of TNA Impact. This week Ric Flair will call out Hulk Hogan. Also RVD & Bobby Roode will pick each other’s opponent. Plus AJ Styles teams with the Tag Champs to battle Daniels, Kaz and Kurt Angle. So let’s begin as we get closer to TNA Sacrifice.
The show starts with a video package about Eric Bischoff and what happened last week.
Ric Flair comes out and tells Hulk Hogan that he always plays with him. He says Hogan thinks that Flair is his pawn and in the scheme of things Flair will always be below him but he doesn’t buy that because he is Ric G-O-D Flair. He says last week Garett Bischoff and Hogan ran off one of the biggest names and established commodities out of the business named Eric Bischoff. Flair says that he wants to talk to Hogan because he is pissed off. Flair says that you don’t want to piss off a guy who is wearing a thousand dollar shirt two thousand dollar shoes a five hundred dollar alligator belt and two Hall of Fame rings. He says you don’t piss off the wrestling God. Flair says that Hogan won’t show up but Hulk Hogan’s music plays and Hogan makes his way to the ring. Flair says that this is good versus evil and that he is sick of having Hogan running roughshod on him. Flair wonders if he has to take Dixie Carter back to the Hard Rock again. Hogan tells Flair that he is not here to fight Flair. Flair says that Hogan is here to boss him around. Hogan says that as the general manager here it is his priority to step the game up at Impact Wrestling. When Flair talks about bad and evil he said the wrong name. Flair should have said Eric Bischoff. Eric spread a lot of bad around the company brother. Hogan tells Flair that he is taking this seriously & that he even hung his boots up when the offer came along. Hogan tells Flair that he does work for him & since he is Flair’s boss he will ask Flair to be a judge on Gut Check to try to find the brand new talent that will shape the future of this business. Hogan says that with Ric Flair in the lead position for Gut Check they can live forever. Flair says that Hogan is setting him up again. Hogan tells Flair to do this for the fans. Hogan wants Flair to help find the up and coming wrestlers. Flair says that Hogan is telling him but Hogan says that he is asking him. Flair says that Hogan will force him if he says no but Flair agrees to do it.
Backstage Velvet Sky calls Gail Kim a cheater & Brooke Tessmacher says no one gave her a chance, but she already beat her twice. Sky then says one of them will beat Kim for the title.
Match 1: Velvet Sky & Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim & Madison Rayne:
Gail and Madison attack Brooke and Velvet when they turn their backs & Gail sends Velvet into the turnbuckles and then knocks Brooke off the apron. Gail goes for a forearm but Velvet counters with a clothesline followed by a face buster. Madison hits Velvet from the apron and then Gail chokes Velvet &Madison enters the match. Madison with a choke and Gail tags back in. Gail sends Madison into the corner and then Madison sends Gail into Velvet with a cross body. Gail hits a forearm to Brooke that knocks her off the apron and Madison tags back in and Gail works on the knee followed by a leg lariat for Madison and she gets a near fall. Madison drives Velvet’s head into the mat. Madison hits a forearm that knocks Brooke off the apron but Velvet connects with a kick and chops but Madison with an eye rake. Gail tags in and connects with a forearm and running clothesline for a near fall. Gail connects with a forearm to Velvet and then she puts Velvet on the turnbuckles. Gail tries for a hurricanrana but Velvet holds on to the ropes. Velvet with a bulldog from the turnbuckles and both women are down. Brooke tags in and connects with clotheslines and a drop kick. Brooke with a hurricanrana to Gail but Gail avoids a belly-to-back suplex and hits a clothesline. Brooke blocks Eat Defeat and Madison tries to interfere but Velvet takes care of Madison. Gail grabs Brooke’s leg but Brooke hits Eat Defeat sin.
Winners: Velvet Sky & Brooke Tessmacher
Match Rating: * ½ out of 5
Rob Van Dam walks through the back on his way to the ring next.
We are back with a Tenth Anniversary moment from TNA. It is footage of Raven against Jeff Jarrett from April 2003.
Rob Van Dam is in the ring and he has a mic & says that everyone has been entertained by his amazing feats for years. He says that he doesn’t have to tell everyone how great of a wrestler he is but he will. Rob says that he is Mr. Pay per View and the man who will beat Bobby Roode to become the next TNA Heavyweight Champion. RVD says that he knows that he will beat Roode because he never lost the title in the first place. Bobby Roode’s music plays and he makes his way up the ramp. Bobby tells RVD that he feels that RVD is a little overconfident. He says that he knows that RVD’s head is in the clouds most of the time and he has been on hiatus for a while so he wants to remind RVD who he is. Bobby says that he is the ‘It Factor’ of professional wrestling & he is the leader of the Selfish Generation. He is also the World Champion. He says that he is not any World Champion but he is the most dominant World Champion in the history of Impact Wrestling. He got there by beating guys like A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, Sting, and James Storm. He says at Sacrifice Rob Van Dam’s name will be added to that list but for tonight Hulk Hogan has issued a little plan for tonight. RVD gets to choose his opponent while he gets to choose RVD’s opponent. Bobby wants to know who RVD picked. RVD says that he thought of a guy Bobby knows well. It is a guy Bobby hit over the head with a beer bottle last month and that he will face Ken Anderson. Bobby says that he has someone in mind and is someone who RVD knows well. Bobby asks RVD if he knows the name Jeff Hardy because he is RVD’s opponent.
Match 2: Robbie T vs. Devon for the TNATV Title:
Robbie hits Devon from behind before the bell rings and then he sends Devon into the turnbuckles. Rob with a short arm clothesline and then he poses. Rob slaps Devon in the head but Devon with punches and chops but Rob with a back elbow. Rob with a power slam and he waits for Devon to get to his feet but Devon with a back elbow and punch followed by a shoulder tackle but Rob stays on his feet. Devon connects with a flying shoulder tackle and then a splash into the corner and a flying shoulder tackle that finally takes Rob down. Devon hits a diving head butt and then brings Robbie E into the ring but Robbie T hits Devon from behind. Devon with a spear but Robbie E hits Devon with the clipboard and the referee calls for the bell.
Winner: Devon by disqualification
Match Rating: * out of 5
Backstage Ric Flair tells Al Snow that he considers him to be a friend and that he is doing this for Hogan. Al says that he has a third judge and it is Bruce Pritchard.
We see footage of Alex Silva from last week and his match against Robbie E.
We go inside the Gut Check office and Bruce says that he is not sure if Alex’s match last week was his best since he has seen a number of his matches. Flair says that you cannot make chicken salad out of chicken shit. Flair says that he is a twig regardless of how handsome he is & that Alex will never be the World Champion of anything. Al says that they are looking at potential. Flair says that Alex will not make any money. Bruce says that he has seen Silva in different environments and he thrived. In this environment it was not his best effort. Flair says that he knows that the kid was nervous but that he is not big enough and he is not going to get you a quarter hour. Bruce asks about the X Division since they aren’t the biggest guys. Flair says that the X Division guys in the company are some of the best athletes in the world and Ric says that he didn’t see that out of the kid. Al says that he saw good things from Silva in the past but he choked under pressure. Bruce says that there were some people who said similar things about Flair until he could prove himself. Al says that 63 percent of the people on Twitter liked him. Flair says that the fans do not run the business and dictate the business. He wants to know what the feedback is. Al says that two of them need to say yes to give him a contract.
Backstage Hulk Hogan asks Ken Anderson who he hates most in Impact Wrestling & Anderson responds with Bobby Roode. Hogan tells Anderson that he has been handed a gift on a silver platter because RVD set up a match between Anderson and Roode. Hogan says that Anderson gets to prove that he is the number one guy. Hogan says that he made it easy for Anderson because the match is now No Disqualification.
Match 3: “The Whole F’N Show” Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy:
They lock up and Hardy with a side head lock and Hardy holds on when Van Dam tries to send Hardy off the ropes. Van Dam gets to a top wrist lock and he takes Hardy down with a body scissors and Hardy escapes. They lock up and Van Dam with a waist lock but Hardy with a standing switch. Hardy with a standing switch again but Hardy with an elbow and a mule kick that sends Van Dam to the floor. Hardy connects with a kick that sends Van Dam into the guardrail. Hardy hits a clothesline off the apron. Hardy gets a near fall when Van Dam is rolled back into the ring. Van Dam connects with punches and Hardy fights back. Hardy hits a leg drop and cover for a near fall. Hardy punches Van Dam in the corner but Van Dam with an Irish whip and monkey flip out of the corner. Van Dam hits a running spin kick into the corner but Hardy with an elbow and then Hardy hits Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Van Dam with a jawbreaker followed by a jumping back kick and then Van Dam goes for Rolling Thunder but Hardy gets his knees up. Bobby Roode comes to the ring with his title belt and the referee argues with him. Roode hits Hardy in the back with the belt and the referee did not see it. Van Dam hits a super kick for the win.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Match Rating: ** out of 5
Bully Ray is backstage and runs into Joseph Park. Park wants answers & says their friendship hasn’t grown as he had hoped. He knows that Bully had something to do with Chris disappearing. Ray threatens him & reminds him that he cannot find his brother & says they won’t be able to find Joseph if he keeps messing with Ray.
Backstage Jeremy Borash says that he did what he did to Eric Bischoff last week was because they never got along during Xplosion. Bischoff took jabs at him on Facebook & it was about every single employee who has had to deal with that prick for the last two and a half years. Bully Ray comes into the room and he wants to hear everything JB had to say about Eric Bischoff and how he took care of Eric. Ray tells Jeremy to come to the ring with him as he leads him there. Ray brings Jeremy into the Impact Zone and he asks Jeremy how tough he is now. Ray tells JB to get on his knees and then he says that Jeremy is so tough with what he did to Eric. Ray tells JB to get into the ring. Ray asks Borash if he forgot what he did to Bischoff last week. Ray says that he is sick of hearing all of this anti-bullying stuff. He says that we should start a new campaign. He wants a Stop Being a Little Bitch and Stick Up for You campaign. Ray says that Borash is the poster child for everyone people like him pick on. Ray says that everyone wants to see JB slap the taste out of his mouth for once in his life. Ray says that he walks over JB because he can. Austin Aries’ music plays and he comes out to the ring. He says that we know who Ray is & that he is the man who picks on lawyers. Ray tells Aries not to step in the ring and Aries steps into the ring. He says that he doesn’t care about lawyers or JB. He only cares about him and Ray. Ray called him out and Ray picked on the one and only thing he could. He called him out on Austin’s size. Aries says that he believes that Ray has taken craps bigger than him and eaten wings bigger than him. Aries reminds Ray that he was known as Blubber Ray for most of his career. Aries says that Ray was the pasty poster boy for all you can eat buffets and Type 2 Diabetes. Ray tells Aries that play time is over and if Aries wants to talk crap, he will have to stand up for himself and do something about it. Ray says that at the end of the day, Aries is the champion for insignificant little men. Ray says that he is not all talk but Aries is the one who is all talk. Ray says that he is the one spitting in Austin’s face. Aries attacks Ray & chokes Ray with his jacket and then he punches Ray. Aries with knees but security comes out and they hold Aries. That allows Ray to kick Aries in the groin.
Kaz and Daniels talk backstage and say that they have taken their title shot at Sacrifice. They also plan to humiliate AJ. Angle is now there and says he only wants to make people tap out and bails. Then they mock him for being grumpy, noting, “he always wins matches, what’s he have to be grumpy about?”
Mike Tenay tells us that James Storm will speak next week.
Backstage Bobby Roode says that he is not afraid to beat Ken Anderson again but he wants to know why Hulk Hogan added the No Disqualification stipulation. The last authority figure that did this to him was Sting and look where he is now. If Hogan keeps this up the same thing will happen to him. He says if Rob Van Dam thinks he is going to win the title at Sacrifice he has another thing coming.
Match 4: Kaz, Christopher Daniels &Kurt Angle vs. Magnus, Samoa Joe & AJ Styles:
Joe & Magnus charge after Kaz and Daniels as Angle and Styles are left in the ring. Angle and Styles trade punches but Angle with a kick and European uppercut only for Styles to hit a drop kick. Angle with a punch and Daniels attacks Styles and Angle pushes Daniels down. Joe tags in and he punches Angle & then Magnus is tagged in and Joe with a reverse atomic drop followed by a boot from Magnus and a back senton to Angle. Angle hits a clothesline after Kazarian drops Magnus on the top rope. Angle spits at his partners and then he puts Magnus in a reverse chin lock. Angle with a kick to Magnus but Magnus with a rebound clothesline and both men are down. Styles and Kazarian get tagged in & AJ kicks Kazarian and hits a Death Valley neck breaker. Styles sets for the Styles Clash but Daniels with an enziguiri. Joe chops Daniels and then Joe sends Daniels over the top rope to the floor. Joe hits a suicide flying forearm to Daniels while Angle trips Styles and applies an ankle lock when A.J. wants to hit a flip dive. Kazarian tags himself in and Daniels and Angle argue. Joe knocks Daniels into Angle. Magnus allows Styles to escape fade to Black and Styles gets the win after a Styles Clash.
Winners: Samoa Joe, Magnus & AJ Styles
Match Rating: *** out of 5
After the match Angle yells at Daniels and Kazarian for the loss. Angle pushes Daniels and backs him into the corner & yells at him. Daniels gets on the mic and he says that he was going to let A.J. squirm for weeks but he is going to end this next week. Daniels says that A.J. has seen the photographs and next week either A.J. tells the world his secret or Daniels & Kaz will tell everyone A.J.’s secret.
It’s Gut Check Time as the Gut Check Judges are in the ring. Al welcomes everyone and he says that we saw Alex Silva come out last week to have an audition match on Impact Wrestling. We will find out if Alex Silva achieves his dream and becomes a permanent member of the Impact Wrestling roster. Alex makes his way to the ring & Ric tells Alex that he likes his attitude but he tells Alex what he tells a lot of women. He tells him to come back when he grows up. Bruce says that Alex came down the aisle like he already had a job. He saw what Alex did in Ohio Valley Wrestling and last week might not have been his best performance but we need young talent. Al says that he has dealt with him in OVW. He knows that Alex has the passion and desire to be an addition on Impact. Al says that the decision is up to all of us. He needs two of the three judges to get on the roster. Flair thinks about it and Silva throws out woo & Flair says NO but Al says that his vote is YES. Bruce is the deciding vote but Al gives Alex thirty seconds to sell himself. Alex addresses Bruce, Al, and Ric before looking up to the heavens to tell his dad that this is it. He says he was thirteen years old and he was poor. He became poorer and poorer with one dream. Flair tells Alex to stop talking to the marks and to start again. Alex says thirty seconds to sell him to Ric Flair and Al Snow. He stands up for himself every night. He came out of Canada with no money to make his dream. He did everything with his father so he could get this contract. Flair changes his vote to a yes. Bruce says that had they not given him that opportunity he would have said no. He says that nerves got to him last week. Alex got a second shot and he says yes.
Main Event: Mr.Anderson vs. Bobby Roode in a NO DQ Match:
They start the match on the floor and Anderson sends Roode into the guardrails. Anderson tries to smash Roode’s head into the ring steps but Roode with a side Russian leg sweep into the ring apron. Anderson catapults Roode face first into the ring post. Anderson with the running fireman’s carry slam on the outside as we go to break. Back from break & they are in the ring as Roode pulls the referee into the way and then Anderson pushes the referee out of the way. Roode hits a low blow to Anderson and Anderson rolls to the floor. Roode connects a rake to the back and then he punches Anderson. Roode rolls Anderson into the ring and he gets a near fall. Roode punches Anderson in the head and then he kicks Anderson in the shoulder. Roode with a suplex and then he hits a leaping knee drop for a near fall. Anderson fights back with punches and chops but Roode with a back elbow. Roode goes to the floor and he grabs a chair and brings it into the ring. Roode wedges it into the corner and he punches Anderson as he sets Anderson up for the chair but Anderson sends Roode head first into the steel chair. Roode and Anderson exchange punches as the fans alternate booing and cheering. Anderson hits a clothesline and back elbow followed by a swinging neck breaker. Roode hits a kick to the chest as Anderson misses a spin kick but hits an enziguiri for a near fall. Anderson waits for Roode to get to his feet for the Mic Check but Roode counters with elbows. Roode goes up top but Anderson stops him. Roode hits a spinebuster for a near fall. Roode puts the chair in the center of the ring and he kicks Anderson. Roode sets for the fisherman’s buster on Anderson. Jeff Hardy comes out and attacks Roode with a mule kick. Anderson with a mic check to Hardy and then Roode hits Anderson a few times with a chair and then hits a fisherman’s suplex for the win.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Match Rating: ** ½ out of 5
After the match Roode hits Anderson and Hardy with the chair and he alternates shots to the back. RVD makes his way to the ring and Roode leaves the ring. Van Dam checks on Hardy and Roode returns to the ring and hits Van Dam in the back with the chair and then he hits DDT onto the chair.
Impact was decent this week and I might be in a small crowd but I enjoyed the opening promo with Ric Flair & Hulk Hogan but I do not want to see them have a match. The Knockout Match was good and I like the push for Brooke. The Roode promo with RVD was okay but it showed in my mind that Roode is the better talker. I do not like Devon or the TV Title match can they give the belt back to Robbie or someone like Pope or Doug Williams. The backstage Gut Check Segment was a waste of time to be honest that could have happened in the ring before they called out Alex Silvia. I must say the Jeff Hardy vs. RVD match was disappointing as it had potential to be more with more time. The segment with Bully Ray, JB & Austin Aries was good and I liked how it builds up for Sacrifice. The backstage segment between Angle, Daniels and Kaz was funny and should be checked out. The 6 man tag was the match of the night and the Gut Check segment in the ring was decent. I don’t like Silvia as a wrestler but he did cut a good promo. The main event was good but I think Hardy did not have to interfere. I liked the end how all 3 men were laid out with chairs by Roode.
Overall Rating for 5/3/2012: Impact: 8 out of 10
Updated Sacrifice Card:
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Roode
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Daniels & Kazarian vs. Samoa Joe & Magnus
Kurt Angle vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles
Jeff Hardy vs. Mr Anderson
Bully Ray vs. X Division Champion Austin Aries
KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP: Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim