Cheerio, Mates! This week’s Impact hails to us from Manchester, England. Let’s celebrate with some fish, chips, and a spot of tea. Let’s also get to the review!
The Unknown Narrator goes over the Hogan/Bully/Aces and Eights happenings since the ill-fated wedding a couple of weeks ago, including the attack on Jeff Hardy last week. Of course though that attack was shown at the end of the video package for about five seconds, while the rest focused on Hogan, but it’s not like the World Champion matters when Hogan is around.
In the arena, Bad Influence makes their way out. They are dressed in kilts and are wearing “Braveheart” style make-up. Kaz says that this week is another “Throwback Thursday” and this week they go back all the way to the 13th century and recognize the true warriors of the United Kingdom, the Scots! Massive heat. Kaz then introduces the man who will be King: Christopher Daniels. Daniels reacts to the boos of the crowd by saying that he knows they are all disappointed that Hardy is still the champion. He says he lost last week because Hardy’s make-up is toxic and that he went into anaphylactic shock after touching it, but his good friend, Francois, saved the day. He says that when he does win the World Title, he will come defend it against the English, because there’s no one easier to beat.
Generic Music #432 hits and that can only mean one thing – Magnus is back! He’s been out since November, when A&E took him out. He gets a nice pop from his home country. He says that Daniels lost because Hardy beat him like Daniels owed him money. He also made fun of Daniels for using funny words. Magnus says that if Daniels wants to fight an Englishman, he’s an Englishman, and Daniels should fight him. Daniels shove Magnus, and it breaks down into Magnus kicking the shit out of Bad Influence. Magnus then gets on the mic and says that it’s a privilege to be able to walk down the aisle, get in the ring, and entertain the fans, but his privilege was taken away by A&E so he calls out their leader, Devon. Man these Brits like to fight, huh? And they call us barbaric. Devon comes out, and they cut to commercial.
Back from commercial, our first match is already in progress.
Match 1: Magnus vs. Devon
This match went as well as any match with Devon can go. Magnus has improved greatly, but Devon relies on too many rest holds and it hurt the flow of the match. Magnus got the win by DQ after DOC and another masked man ran in. Magnus was able to dispatch them quickly, though. I can’t believe this is the guy that sucked in British Invasion. I see big things for him, if TNA can only learn how to book properly.
They show a clip from last week, when Joseph Park said he was going to call someone out for Open Fight Night. They also say that Dixie has a major announcement that will change Impact Wrestling. What is this the 15th announcement? Unless it’s hiring a new creative team, nothing you can do will change Impact Wrestling.
After a commercial, Brooke, Bully Ray, and Sting are in the back wondering where Hogan is. I am hoping he stayed home.
Back in the arena, Joseph Park says that the English fans are the craziest fans in the world. He is ready to call out his opponent, but is interrupted by Robbie E. Park says he didn’t pick Robbie. Robbie says that Park is a joke of a wrestler, and calls him a hamster, like everyone else in the U.K. Robbie T. stares down Robbie E., but Little Robbie said everyone in the U.K. but Big Robbie. Robbie E. turns his attention back to Park and challenges Par for a fight, and then provokes the former lawyer by stealing his notebook, because this is the fifth grade. Park accepts the challenge.
Match 2: Robbie E. vs. Joseph Park
So, this match happened, and then it was over. Park won with a second rope splash. Typing anymore about what happened is unnecessary.
After a commercial, they show Hogan arriving before cutting to Awesome Aries and Bobby Roode. Aries says that in a company where so many men steal money, the two most valuable players are being robbed. Aries says that it’s ok because they are going to collect all the gold. Aries says that they are going to start with the easiest titles to collect – the tag team titles. Roode says that they view Chavo and Hernandez the same way they view the crowd, as a bunch of wankers.
Chavo and Hernandez come out, and Chavo is on the mic, making him the most boring man in two continents. Congrats on that, Chavo. Chavo says that Aries and Roode aren’t even a team, and they have to be a team to challenge for the titles. Chavo is so boring. He’s like the audio version of a Mike Aires column that I’m not a part of. Eventually the two sides agree that if Aries or Roode can beat Hernandez or Chavo, then the heels will get their shot. Chavo agrees, and runs to the ring. It leads to our next match.
Match 3: Chavo vs. Awesome Aries
The match was pretty good. I give Chavo a lot of shit, but with the right opponent, he can still have a good match. The finish came when Chavo hit the Frog Splash and went for the pin. Roode jumped in the ring to distract the referee, and Hernandez went after Roode. The referee cut off Hernandez, and Roode ran around the ring. He distracted Chavo long enough for Aries to hit the brain buster for the win. Aries and Roode have their tag title match. Woo-hoo!
Backstage, Brooke tells Bully that Hogan is here, and the take off to look for him.
After a commercial, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Garry Sideburns, and Wes Brisco are in the back. Joe says that he’s going to make sure that A&E stays away from the cage match. The Green Hornets also tell Angle they have his back, but Joe yells at them to stay away. Joe leaves, and Wes asks Kurt what Joe’s deal is. Kurt says that Joe is just being Joe, and then dismisses the rookies. If I’m right, and Garett and Wes are part of A&E, then this is the best told story they have right now.
In the arena, Bully and Brooke make their way out. Bully says that it has been a rough couple of weeks, for him and Brooke. He says that he loves Brooke and that it’s that love that got him suspended. He says that they have a common enemy in A&E so he should get reinstated. Bully says that Brooke couldn’t convince him, he couldn’t convince him, nor the people could convince Hogan to reinstate Bully. He says one man could, The Stinger. Bully gets the crowd to chant for Sting, and out he comes. Sting gets the crowd to chant for Hogan to come out. Wow, this segment feels like it was put together just to make Sting and Hogan feel good about themselves. It is so heavy handed, I’m sick. Anyway Sting says that they are in a war zone, and since they are in the U.K., Sting can’t think of a better place for Hogan to make things right with Bully.
Hogan gets a mic and calls Sting “Sting-mon” because Hogan thinks he’s Jamaican. He even paused for effect when he said it. What a douche. Hogan says that he knows that there is a war going on, but at the end of the day, he always did the right thing by Sting, and that at Brooke’s wedding, she was still his little girl, and he did the right thing. He then says that as far as his family goes, at the end of the day (Yes, he said it twice), he always does the right thing, and that’s why he is reinstating Bully. Then he says he has to do the right thing for business, so next week, he books a tables match between Bully and Sting against two members of A&E. Sting and Bully get pumped, and we finally get a handshake between Bully and Hogan. Odds one of them turns heel? I say they’re pretty good at this point. I didn’t read the spoilers for the current set of tapings, but if you have, please don’t spoil it for me.
After a commercial, it’s time for Dixie’s major announcement. Starting March 14th, Impact will be going on the road permanently, starting in Chicago. Have fun getting ripped apart the Chicago crowds.
Velvet Sky comes down to the ring, sexes up the middle rope and then says she has something to get off her chest. I was hoping it was her top, but sadly, it was just her personal issues. What a tease. Anyway she calls out Tara and Jesse. The Power Couple make their way out, and Velvet says that she doesn’t want a handicap match, she wants a tag match, and she has a partner. It’s James Storm.
Match 4: James Storm/Velvet Sky vs. Tara/Jesse
How much were the announcers invested in this match? Tenay felt it necessary to tell us that Storm likes the Ravens in the Super Bowl, then mentions that Stacey Kiebler - who has no connection to TNA – used to be a Ravens cheerleader. This actually happened. Velvet picked up the win for her team. The end.
After a commercial, they show Hardy being attacked by A&E attacking Jeff Hardy. Tenay has this update: We will know more next week. That’s crack journalism right there! Then they show what happened earlier when Hogan reinstated Bully Ray. Then they show Brooke and Hulk backstage. Big Papa Hogan says that “at the end of the day” he “does the right thing.” Can he learn new clichés, please?
They show highlights of the Anderson/Angle match from Lockdown last year, and then cut to Anderson in the back. He says that he has been shown more brotherhood in the few weeks he has been hanging with A&E then he has in the three years he’s been in TNA. He says Angle won’t be leaving the same way he came.
They show Samoa Joe in the back and he’s been laid out. Garett and Wes are showing concern for the fallen Joe, as Angle comes in, and tells Garett to get Joe help and takes Brisco to the ring with him.
After a commercial, it’s time for our main event.
Match 5: Anderson vs. Kurt Angle in a Steel Cage
This was a very good match. Anderson and Angle have very good chemistry, and it really showed. There were a lot of believable near falls, and there was a point where I thought Anderson actually got the pin. The finish was creative as well, as Angle tried to pin Anderson after a power bomb, Anderson kicked out, but Angle grabbed his ankle and locked in the Angle lock, forcing Anderson to tap out. That being said, the post- match happenings were the biggest story.
A member of A&E climbed the far side of the ring and entered the cage. Angle waved in Wes Brisco, who entered the cage and locked the door behind him. As Angle begins to advance, the A&E member removes his mask. It’s Garett Bischoff! Angle looks at Brisco, who claims he knew nothing about it, but Brisco attacks Angle when Angle goes after Garett. Angle gets taken down and Brisco removes his coat and shirt to reveal an A&E vest. The two take turns beating Angle down until Impact ends.
The last segment saved an otherwise mediocre show. The cage match was fantastic, but the heel turns of Bischoff and Brisco (which I called months ago) was really well done. The announcers kept bringing up the betrayal that Angle must be feeling, and they’re right. This is what good storytelling is. Instead of just randomly revealing Garett and Wes as members, they had them build a trust with Angle to the point where their reveal meant something. It was really cool to see TNA plan something this long term, and I know who is involved, but that doesn’t make the story any less great. Let’s hope the follow-up is good too, and not just Hogan spending two hours saying how he thought he “knew who Garett Bischoff is.”
That’s it for me this week. Until Tuesday, when I see you for Headlines with Mike “Chavo” Aires, that’s all I got.
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