TNA Impact Wrestling Review for the 3rd May 2012 episode.

The show opens with a recap of how it all ended for Eric Bischoff. Ric Flair is already in the ring. He says Hulk Hogan is always playing with him (ooo-er!), and that Hogan thinks he’s the biggest star, when it’s actually “Ric G O D Flair”. He complains about how Bischoff’s firing, before calling out Hogan. Hulkster answers, and Flair says this is a case of Good vs Evil, with Flair being the “baddest man in the planet”. Hogan says he isn’t here to fight, and he has hung his boots up to help make TNA a better company. Hogan suggests Flair becomes a judge for GutCheck, as the youngsters will learn a lot from him. Flair finally agrees, saying he “loves hanging around the kids”….I’ll leave this segment at that.

Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher discuss Gail Kim backstage. Velvet says Gail is a cheater, while Brooke says no one gave her a chance to beat Gail, but she’s done it twice. Velvet says one of them will take the title from Gail.

Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher vs Madison Rayne and Gail Kim: Velvet has the upper hand over Gail, until she lets her guard slip. Gail and Madison keep her in, til Gail fails a huricanrana. Velvet hits a bulldog and then tags out. Brooke knocks Gail down a few times, Madison tried to interfere and Velvet knocks her out the ring. Brooke goes for a kick, Gail blocks it, and Brooke somehow strikes with Gail’s own finisher to win the match. Good match and I feel Brooke’s improving. Expecting a title match between Brooke and Gail at Sacrifice.

We see a look back to a moment from TNA’s past as part of their Slammiversary promotion. It’s Jeff Jarrett vs Raven from 2002, with Sabu returning.

Rob Van Dam comes out and cuts an egotistical promo. He says the fans have always loved him, and been entertained by his amazing feet. Also says “what do I bring to the table? That I’m R-V-D”…ooookay. Bobby Roode appears and says RVD is overconfident, reminding him what he’s done and who he’s beat in RVD’s absence. Roode says Hulk Hogan has allowed them to pick each other’s opponents tonight, and lets RVD announce his first. RVD picks a guy Roode knows well, and who he hit with a beer bottle recently, Mr Anderson. Roode also picks a guy RVD knows well, Jeff Hardy.

TV Title Match – Devon (c) vs Robbie T (with Robbie E): Robbie T uses his strength to control most the match. Devon catches him with a boot, then builds momentum with numerous shoulder tackles. Robbie E tries to interfere and gets brought in by Devon. Devon spears Robbie T, and Robbie E causes a DQ smashing “The List” clipboard over Devon’s head. I thought this was OK, and I enjoyed what Big Robbie T did, he’s doing better than before. Still unsure on Devon as TV Champion.

Backstage with Al Snow and Ric Flair, and Al introduces Flair to the 3rd GutCheck judge, Bruce Prichard. They watch over clips of Alex Silva’s match, then discuss it. Prichard says he’s seen better from Silva, while Flair says Silva is “a twig who will never draw a dime”. Prichard suggests using him for the X-Division, but Flair says he’s not as good as current X-Division stars. Prichard tells Flair this is most likely what people said about him when Flair first started. Snow reveals 63% of fans liked Silva, and that he needs at least 2 votes to gain a job.

Hulk Hogan is with Mr Anderson. Hogan tells him to take this chance tonight to prove he can fit into the number 1 spot. Hogan also informs him the match with Bobby Roode is no DQ.

Jeff Hardy vs Rob Van Dam: They both try to one up each other, before Hardy strikes with a few variations of kicks, and a diving clothesline. RVD hits a monkey flip, but runs into an elbow and Whisper in the Wind. RVD knocks down Hardy, but Hardy blocks the Rolling Thunder. Bobby Roode creeps down, Hardy goes to irish whip RVD, it’s reverse, the ref dives out of Hardy’s way and Roode strikes him with the World Title. Hardy stumbles, RVD hits a superkick and gets the pinfall. Bit of a spotfest, but was a decent match. Expected Roode to interfere somehow.

Bully Ray is stopped backstage by Joseph Park. Park says he didn’t get any answers from Bully, who replies he still won’t answer him. Park knows Bully was involved with Abyss’s disappearance. Bully warns him not to blow up, and says to ask Abyss what he does to guys like Joseph…oh wait, he can’t. Ouch!

Eric Bischoff’s final night replayed, before we see Jeremy Borash. JB called out Eric as they didn’t get on, and also because of how the roster had to deal with that prick. Bully Ray interrupts, telling JB to keep talking, but he talks over JB everytime he speaks, before dragging JB by his tie towards the entrance.

Bully Ray drags JB into the ring, and is sick of the anti-bully stuff. He wants to start his own campaign: “Stop being a bitch and stand up for yourself”. Bully says he walks over JB because he can, which causes Austin Aries to come down. He says Bully called him out on the only thing he can, his size. He also reminds Bully he used to be referred to as Blubber Ray, a poster child for all you can eat buffets. Bully knocks away A-Double’s mic, and tells him that he doesn’t have what it takes to stand up for himself. Bully spits at Aries, which infuriates him, and a fight breaks out. Aries rocks Bully with punches, security breaks it up by holding back Aries, allowing Bully to nut-shot him. Honestly, I LOVE this feud. Both are great on the mic, and I think they could put on a really good match.

Backstage to Kazarian and Daniels who say they took a chance to earn a title shot, seeing as Hogan didn’t hand them one. Also they discuss wanting to humiliate AJ Styles. Kurt Angle appears and doesn’t care what they have to say, he just wants to make Styles tap tonight, and at Sacrifice. Angle leaves, Daniels wonders why Angle is always annoyed.

They show a graphic of James Storm, with Mike Tenay and Taz saying next week, the Cowboy will speak for the first time since walking away.

Bobby Roode knows he can beat Mr Anderson, as he’s beat him before. Roode also wants to know what Hulk Hogan’s problem is with him, suggesting Hogan sees how Sting dealt with him. Roode tells RVD to think again if he thinks he can take the World Title.

Kurt Angle, Kazarian and Daniels vs AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Magnus: Styles and Angle battle, Styles hits a dropkick to Angle, only for Daniels to rush in and knock AJ down to the annoyance of Angle. Kaz and AJ fight, and once again as AJ gets the upperhand, Daniels interferes. Joe drops Daniels over the top before a suicide dive from Joe onto Kaz and Daniels. AJ tries to follow, Angle drops him into an ankle lock, but moves too close to the ropes and Kaz tags in. Angle is unhappy at this and argues with his team mates, before Joe rushes at Daniels, knocking him and Angle outside. Kaz tries for Fade to Black, Magnus boots him and AJ reverse the move into a Styles Clash to win. Really good match put on by 6 talented guys. This kinda match is why I watch TNA.

In the aftermath, Daniels gets on the mic. He says he was going to make AJ squirm for weeks, but has changed his mind. It will all end next week, either because AJ reveals why, or he will.

GutCheck results time. Al Snow introduces his fellow judges, before bringing out Alex Silva. Flair and Prichard repeat what they said backstage about Silva, and Snow says Silva has a lot of desire and talent. Flair votes no, and Snow votes yes. They then give Silva 30 seconds to sell himself. Silva talks to his Dad in heaven, then about how poor he used to be, but Flair stops him, and says to talk to the judges, not the marks. Silva restarts and repeats what he said, this time to the judges, with more fire in the promo. Flair changes his vote to yes, Prichard says he was going to say no, but that promo made him change his mind to yes as well. So, it’s 3 yes votes, Silva has a TNA contract.

Mr Anderson vs Bobby Roode: The match starts outside with Anderson slamming Roode’s head against the barrier, but when he tries it on the stairs, Roode blocks it and russian leg sweeps him against the ring. Roode tries a piledriver outside, Anderson blocks it, catapults then hits a Green Bay Plunge. After a short break, Roode turns the match his way with a low blow, and controls the match. Roode sets a chair up between two turnbuckles, tries to throw Anderson into it, but it’s reversed and Roode goes into the chair. 2 attempts to end this by Anderson are blocked, and Roode hits a spinebuster. Jeff Hardy runs in and hits Roode, as he goes to help up Anderson, Anderson Mic Checks him! Roode grabs the chair, uses it twice on Anderson and hits the Pay Off for the 3 count.

In the aftermath, Roode hits Hardy and Anderson with the chair until Rob Van Dam runs down to save and chase off Roode. RVD turns his back to check on Hardy, Roode rolls back in, hits RVD with the chair then Spike DDTs him onto the chair. Roode yells at RVD as the show ends….

I quite enjoyed this episode, it had bad parts, but not that much for me. Sure, I really disliked the opening segment, and I’m not keen on where this Styles/Daniels stuff is going (had it spoilt on twitter thanks to people RT’ing it. Nevermind those who avoid spoilers, hey?), but the rest came off quite well for me. The matches were good, only complaint would probably be too many matches saw interference of some sort. The Hogan/Flair stuff isn’t needed, I don’t want to watch two out of shape guys try to re-live their past. Maybe this role for Flair could be good, as long as he only appears for GutCheck. Speaking of GutCheck, still mixed on it. Not so keen on the whole judge side of it, makes it too Pop/American Idol for me….and I’m a guy who HATES those kinda shows.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, as always I look forward to any comments or discussion on this review, or the TNA episode.

@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope