Steve’s Impact Report – 11/7/13

Jeff Hardy moves on in the World Title Tournament. (Courtesy TNA Wrestling)
Jeff Hardy moves on in the World Title Tournament. (Courtesy TNA Wrestling)

Impact Wrestling
November 7, 2013
Cincinnati, Ohio

The first round of the heavyweight title tournament starts tonight! Will there be an appearance from the real champ, AJ Styles?
Before the introduction, Dixie Carter’s walking arm in arm with Adam Jones, and they run into Ken Anderson, who’s looking for a match with Bully Ray.

The Main Event Mafia starts off the show, and Sting declares victory for eliminating Bully Ray and Aces and Eights from relevance. They have decided to disband as a unit for the time being. Somebody brought a one-year old to Impact…in the front row. Sting wants to take care of those who believe they are entitled and don’t give respect to their elders. He shows his love for Angle and Joe, and slightly rebuffs Magnus. Joe says they’re great friends, but they make far better enemies. This is fabulous stuff; Joe has improved leaps and bounds on the mic, and we’ll no longer have to hear that ridiculous MEM theme song. The remaining two proclaim their intentions to win the title tourney, and Angle is interrupted by the It Factor. Roode says he’ll see Angle in the finals, and they start to brawl.

After break, Angle is still in the ring, sitting on a chair, begging for Roode. The format for these first few segments each week has been much different from the past. They’ve been using the commercials as pauses instead of a concrete end of the segment. Pull-apart brawl commences once more.

Bad Influence, who was out to pull Roode off of Angle, got into the face of Adam Jones and some other Bengal at ringside, shoved them, and the Bengals jump the barrier, eventually body slamming Daniels and Kazarian. The crowd pops, Tenay and Taz sell it like it’s this huge deal, and I’m assuming that no one else cares.

Backstage, Anderson asks Knux and Bischoff for a match with Bully, and tries to convince them to get out of Aces and Eights.

Match #1: Velvet Sky vs. Brooke vs. ODB

This determines the number one contender for Gail Kim’s title. Everybody’s shaking their moneymakers to start the match. Each woman takes turns controlling the bout for a minute, and ultimately all three women go down after Brooke hits a top rope elbow on ODB. Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa come out as we go to break.

The women are exchanging chops and forearms upon the return from commercial. Brooke and ODB combine for a Boston Crab on Brooke as Taz continues to offer unwanted and unfunny sexual innuendos. As ODB jaw jacks with Tapa on the outside, Brooke hits a baseball slide, and then Sky hits a clothesline on her. Brooke hits a top rope cross body on the two girls in the ring. Velvet Sky about to give a Pedigree to Brooke, and Kim runs in for the DQ. Tapa takes out ODB and Brooke, as Kim mocks the competition, issuing an open challenge for any woman wrestler outside of the company. This is BEGGING for an Awesome Kong return. The match was far better than I thought it would be – the Knockouts continue to be leaps and bounds better than their mainstream competition. Winner: No Contest

AJ Styles has a PAC! The “Friends of AJ” buy a slot to show highlights of Styles’ recent victory over Mesias in AAA. As Jeff Hardy warms up, we see highlights of his TNA championship victory over Austin Aries at Bound for Glory 2012. Knux and Bischoff stand up to Bully Ray backstage in the Aces and Eight locker room. Knux demands a vote about something.

They are really pimping the main event tonight, as well they should.

Dixie Carter whining to someone on the phone about the AJ Styles advertisement. An hour in to the show, and we only have one match again. EC3 comes in to visit his Auntie.

The remaining Aces and Eights members (Bully Ray, Taz, Bischoff and Knux) gather in the ring for a vote and are interrupted by Ken Anderson, wearing the finest of Northern Wisconsin regalia. Bischoff quits the group and Knux follows suit. The baby in the front row fell asleep. I say that with no commentary added. Bully votes to keep the club together and Taz hands over his colors. Got to admit, the ECW Taz fan in me is digging Taz sticking his chin up to Bully. Anderson again disrupts the festivities, challenging Bully Ray to a no-DQ match at Turning Point. Bully invokes the name of Steve Austin, and it’s a SWERVE. The three active wrestlers in Aces and Eights lay out Anderson. DTA, Ken, DTA.

Roode back out to challenge Angle.

Match #2: EC3 vs. Dewey Barnes

Crowd is chanting big time for Dewey. Same result as the last three matches. He’s 5-0! WHO’S NEXT? Winner: EC3

Bad Influence teases a Halloween candy-eating Joseph Park over his whereabouts last week when Abyss attacked them. EY comes in, asking for a match, so…

Match #3: Bad Influence vs. Eric Young and Joseph Park

Basic double-team offense from Young and Park until Young does his best attempts at a Nigel McGuniness/Ultimo Dragon headstand in the corner, taking down Kazarian with a leg scissors, followed by a tope. A Flair flip in the corner? Thankfully, our hero, Christopher Daniels, dropkicks his ankles when Young starts to strut. Bad Influence is consistently one of the best acts in wrestling. Sadly, the lack of wrestling in this show has led me to start daydreaming. Daniels’ eventually threatens a downed EY with the ring bell hammer, tosses it away and then chucks an Appletini (better than a beer and a cigar) into Park’s eyes. Kazarian awkwardly rolls up Park with a crucifix for the victory. Winners: Bad Influence

Angle is back out again, offering to fight Roode, but the greatest man who ever lived, Austin Aries, chastises Angle for not focusing on him. Dixie appears on the screen to spin the Wheel of Dixie, and next week, we have a Submissions match. Oh man, she’s so awkward. “Like, good luck with that!” Out comes Roode, and the three brawl all over ringside.

Match #4: First Round of TNA Title Tournament, Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Sabin – Full Metal Mayhem Match

Don’t hate on Hardy for putting out a CD, you would also if you had the ability. Good on him for having an outlet, even if it’s not my cup of tea. The baby’s up from his nap for Full Metal Mayhem! Kevin Nash would make a joke about the baby’s size compared to the guys in the ring right now. Exchanging kicks to start, then Hardy leaps off the apron over a table covered in weapons to hit a clothesline on Sabin. For those who enjoy keeping track of such things, Hardy is decked out in all black with no face paint. Sabin jabs Hardy in the gut with a ladder. He drapes Hardy’s legs over the top rope and hits a swinging neckbreaker onto the ladder! Fighting over a suplex, Hardy backdrops Sabin on a ladder set up in the corner. Trash can shot.

The baby’s big brother, dressed completely like Jeff Hardy, complete with face paint, tries to explain the nuances of Hardy’s art to the little guy. He no-sells it, declaring he’s more of a strong style fan. Or something like that, he had a pacifier in his mouth, so I couldn’t understand. As I’m typing all that, Hardy is failing miserably at setting a table up in the corner. Sabin with a huricanrana, and a chair shot to the back of Hardy as he was perched on the top rope. Hardy set up in the TREE OF WOE, and Sabin delivers a sliding dropkick to the chair-covered face of the Charismatic Enigma. I love these TLC matches. Leg lariat off the chair by Hardy after he had delivered a couple of chair shots.

Hardy crashes and burns through a table on a swanton attempt from the top rope to the floor. Awkward spot, as Sabin tries to splash Hardy through the table, but Hardy got his knees up, sending both competitors through the table. Twist of Fate! SWANTON OFF THE TOP, OVER A STANDING LADDER! What a great innovative move by Hardy for the win in around thirteen minutes. Winner: Jeff Hardy

That was a solid match to kick off the tournament. Like the founders of this site, I’m a sucker for a tournament, and it seems like they’re not going to rush this one, showing one match every week. I could have used a little more action in the first hour, but, if the post-Bound for Glory pattern continues, the next half of the taping will be heavier on the wrestling.

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