Welcome to this week’s edition of Insight into Impact, discussing the matches and segments from the 21st March 2013 episode of TNA Impact Wrestling, before giving my thoughts on the show in general.
We’re shown a intro video from Bully Ray, in which he says tonight, he’ll walk us through the 9 month plan of how he fooled us all….
Hulk Hogan makes his way to the ring. He says the Aces fooled the company, and his family, before leaving the roster in a massacre last week. 4 guys led the charge, and he wants those “warriors” out in the ring, so out comes Samoa Joe, Magnus, Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy. Hulk wants these guys to take down the Aces, and bring the World Title home, and asks if Hardy is fit for his rematch. Hardy says the Creatures need the title back, but in case he’s not fit, suggests the 4 guys in the ring fight in a fatal 4 way for the title shot. Hogan loves the idea, and books the match.
“The Rise of Bully Ray” begins, with the World Champ stating the Aces and Eights were created for anarchy. A small word to Bobby Roode and certain segments pointed the finger at James Storm as being behind the faction. While the Cowboy was made a scapegoat, Bully racked up points in the Bound for Glory series. Bully stirred it up again at No Surrender, getting Roode to help him defeat Storm, but his plan failed when Jeff Hardy won the BFG Series…so Bully needed a new plan. A plan which Hulk Hogan brought right to him.
Match 1 for the TNA Tag Team Titles: Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (c) vs Chavo Guerrero
Apart from a brief part in the opening of this match, Aries and Roode dominated this match, keeping Chavo away from his partner, while keeping fresh with quick tags. Hernandez gets the hot tag, before using the ramp to hit “Air Mexico”. Hernandez tries to powerbomb Aries, but Aries huricanranas SuperMex outside. Chavo hits 3 Amigos on Aries, only to have Bad Influence interfere, and while Kaz distracts the ref, Daniels pushes Chavo off the top rope, allowing Aries to roll him up to win.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode retain the TNA Tag Team Titles by pinfall in a time of 11:53
After the match, Bad Influence attack Roode and Aries, leaving them laying in the ring.
X-Division hype video shown, discussing the new rules for “X-Division Evolution”. All matches will be Triple Threat matches, wrestlers under a 230lbs limit. The winner of a title match is Champion, and whoever loses the fall, has to win his way back into contention. So, for instance: A vs B vs C for the title, A pins C, the next title match features A, B and D, while C has to fight two other guys to get back in. Get it?
Kenny King discusses how he should be pissed off about the new rules, but someone’s always had it in for him. To King though, it doesn’t matter if it’s 1 or 2 people, he’ll always shine.
Match 2 for the TNA X-Division Title: Kenny King (c) vs Sonjay Dutt vs Zema Ion
Quick paced opening, which see the guys take it in turns to go 2 on 1 on each other, before a huricanrana to both guys at once from Dutt. King and Ion battle, while trying to keep Dutt out, but fail, and Dutt catches them with a springboard moonsault to the outside. Dutt then hits his moonsault stomp to Ion, only to have King hit the Blockbuster and pick up a pinfall.
Kenny King wins the match by pinfall to retain the X-Division title in a time of 4:54
Brooke Hogan shown appearing at the arena, says she isn’t here to talk about her Dad or Bully Ray, but just do Knockouts business.
2nd Bully Ray segment shown, he applauds Jeff Hardy for going on to become Champion…but the new plan was in front of him. Brooke Hogan, and Joseph Park. We’re shown the capture of Park, and the Clubhouse set up for Bound for Glory. Bully reveals when they kidnapped Park, it was Devon in the negotiation with the Hulkster and Sting. It was all setup for Bully to be the saviour. The plan was falling into place, and he moved onto Brooke, especially being the kinda guy Hulk wouldn’t want her dating.
Sting goes in to see Hulk Hogan. He doesn’t care about the title, and still wants a piece of Bully Ray. Hogan suggests Sting goes and sits in the rafters or shadows and hides for a few years, as he always does when the going gets tough. Sting says he wants Bully, and leaves…Hulk utters the words “You’re not the only one”.
Gail Kim and Taryn Tarrell’s problems are highlighted in a video, before Taryn comes to the ring. She knows she is on probation, and shouldn’t be creating chaos, but when Gail put her hands on her twice, she had to retaliate. Gail Kim comes down, and is glad to see Taryn is learning not to mess with the “greatest female wrestler ever”…ahem, bullshit. Gail is here to witness Taryn get fired. Brooke Hogan is out next, she’s got a tough decision, and has to be fair, so Taryn is no longer a referee. Gail is delighted, but that smile disappears, when Taryn is signed on as a Knockout! Gail turns into a spear by Taryn! Taryn chases Gail off, and Bully Ray appears on the ramp behind Brooke. She turns and is shocked to see him. Bully points at his wedding ring, so Brooke responds that she hates Bully, and runs off.
Back to the Aces story, Bully Ray talks about the guys who joined, and why. Guys who were wronged (DOC and Knux), guys who tried to help TNA but got brushed aside (Devon and Garett Bischoff), someone Hulk Hogan made beg for a job (Wes Brisco), a guy that Hulk Hogan never checked on while he was injured (Mr Anderson), a guy with leverage (Taz), and a guy who had access to all the secrets (D’Lo Brown). They wanted to embarrass everyone, and it all began with Kurt Angle. Once Bully’s title match was booked for Lockdown, he made sure everyone bar himself was revealed…
Kurt Angle speaks on how this match tonight is his most important one in ages, as he hasn’t been Champion in over a year. He also wants to be the guy to take down the Aces and Eights.
Match 3: Joseph Park vs Matt Morgan
Morgan toys with Park, and makes the match look easy. Well, until he misses a Carbon Footprint, and gets caught on the top rope. Park manages to knock Morgan off his feet, only to miss his 2nd rope splash, and Morgan then hits the Carbon Footprint to end the match.
Matt Morgan wins this match by pinfall in a time of 5:15
Jeff Hardy says how it would mean a lot to get the title back, but if he’s not fit to, then someone else will take his place, and to never count out a Creature.
Mike Tenay interviews AJ Styles in the ring. Tenay wants to know the deal, but Taz interrupts, and says he’ll takeover. Taz holds up a Aces vest, and offers him a “Prospect” place in the club. James Storm comes down, says the old AJ would act face to face, not ignore like this “new AJ”. If the new AJ thinks of suckerpunching again, Storm will knock his teeth down his throat. AJ leaves, without saying a word….
Rise of Bully Ray comes to an end with the final piece. Jeff Hardy was on a roll, and Hulk Hogan didn’t trust Bully. The wedding got Hogan where he wanted him, and Bully didn’t want to reveal himself there. He took a beating to help fool Hogan, and then manipulated Brooke to help get his title shot. The biggest con in wrestling took 9 months, and nobody saw it coming….
Match 4 for the #1 Contender to the TNA World Title: Samoa Joe vs Magnus vs Kurt Angle vs Jeff Hardy
All 4 brawl, before it’s left to Joe and Angle in the ring, and Hardy with Magnus outside. Angle is thrown outside, before Joe dives through the ropes, taking all 3 guys down to send us into a break. Magnus takes over after the break, and beats down Hardy, while keeping Joe and Angle outside. Joe is finally back in, only to run into a HUGE Mag Daddy Driver. Hardy suddenly builds steam and Twist of Fates to all 3 guys. Angle then clears the ring and tries to make Joe tap, Joe kicks Angle into Magnus, and as he does, Hardy hits the Swanton on Joe to steal the win.
Jeff Hardy wins the match by pinfall in a time of 12:13
Jeff Hardy celebrates, and the other 3 guys looked annoyed. Joe shakes hands with Hardy before leaving, and Hardy salutes the fans as the end credit comes up….
So, before this show, this was being billed as “Bully Ray playing the role of a magician revealing his secrets, as he goes through how he pulled off his con”. But to me, I don’t think they went into it much, it just seemed like they were replaying the Aces segments from day 1 upto Lockdown. I didn’t even hear a reason for the Aces or why they were going after Sting and Hulk Hogan to begin with. Also seems strange how Bully stated Devon was the guy helping to set up the match at Bound for Glory when Hogan and Sting got kidnapped….especially when you go back and watch the segment, and the close up of the Ace that is supposed to be Devon, is actually a caucasian male (and I STILL believe that was actually Eric Bischoff). Aside from the Aces segments, I did enjoy the development of a few things in TNA. The way they’re going with AJ Styles works for me. As I said last week, I like the fact he’s not actually siding with anyone, and currently keeping quiet. It’s keeping with what he said when he left, right now, he’s looking out for AJ Styles only. With Taryn no longer a ref, and now a part of the roster, I’m looking forward to seeing her in action, and what she can actually do (aside from spear or punches). I’m hoping her feud with Gail Kim will be one in addition to a title storyline, will be good to see two different feuds going on for the Knockouts on TV. Also, interesting end to the Tag Titles match, with Bad Influence first off helping “Dirty Heels”, then beating them down. This can only lead to entertaining promos, and awesome matches between these two teams. Also, another good win from Aries and Roode, really loving how well they work together, and their “comedic timing” too. Finally, with the new X-Division rules, I’m looking forward to seeing how these work out over the next few weeks/months. I like they’ve brought back the weight limit, and how if you lose in the triple threat match, you have to win your way back in (unlike Kenny King in his recent “feud” with RVD!). Only strange thing is, you could be in the triple threat title match, never win, never get pinned, and be in the matchup for months on end!! Oh, and Joseph Park is still amazing. Plus his entrance theme is wonderful, I’m digging that sax!
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@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope