The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 08.30.12
I’m on a bit of a time crunch today, so I might have to zip through some stuff I would otherwise cover in more detail.
Live from Orlando, FL
Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz
Austin Aries, who thankfully has his belt back after a real life theft attempt, starts us out by recapping the Aces & Eights attack from last week. He doesn’t need to be medically cleared to FIGHT. Well, most UFC fighters would disagree with that, but I’ll go with it. And he’s left-handed. Nice touch. Aries throws out the challenge to the Aces, but Hogan and Sting answer instead. Sting’s got a weird half-Joker half-Crow facepaint thing going on tonight. Hogan pledges their total support to Aries tonight. The Aces show up on the screen, and they’re not going to be dictated to.
Meanwhile, ODB remains bored and horny.
Bound For Glory Series: James Storm v. Rob Van Dam
Storm works a headlock to start as Tenay announces that the winner of the Series gets to choose his opponent in the semi-finals. Storm holds on through a suplex attempt from RVD, and they trade spinkick attempts before Storm puts him down with a forearm for two. They slug it out and Storm stomps away in the corner, but Rob kicks him off the apron. He follows with a dive and we take a break. Back with Rob hitting the dragon whip kick or whatever he calls it. Springboard kick and Rolling Thunder get two. Storm comes back with a DDT for two and follows with the Eye of the Storm helicopter slam for two. Rob fights back with a monkey flip, but a second try is met with a superkick for the pin at 11:08. Slick finish. ***1/4 Rob was looking pretty winded at the end, but then he’s getting old for that style.
Madison Rayne v. ODB
Madison was assuming that this would be her Knockouts title rematch. Clearly not. ODB spits the moonshine in her face and destroys her with the F5 at 0:20. This brings Eric Young back, and he’s got fried chicken! And a suit, which has ODB thrown off. So he gets rid of it, and the happy couple is reunited again.
Meanwhile, the World tag team champions of the World meet with Hogan & Sting, and they want to reiterate that they can’t be fired. Hulk notes that payback and revenge are still coming from AJ, but for the moment they’ll defend their titles when and where they’re told.
Bound For Glory Series: Samoa Joe v. AJ Styles
Joe throws kicks and gets nowhere, and Styles dodges him and bails. Back in, Joe powers him down, but Styles pops up with a headscissors out of nowhere, only to run into an elbow. Joe misses a charge and hurts the knee, so AJ goes to work on it and tosses Joe…but lands on a VICIOUS kick when he tries a dive. Tremendous. Back in, Joe goes to work with the kneedrop for two, and the powerslam gets two. AJ fights back and gets chopped down, and Joe counters another headscissors attempt into the STF. AJ reaches for the ropes, so Joe wraps him up in a Rings of Saturn instead. AJ uses his foot to make the ropes instead. Joe misses a senton and AJ gets the springboard forearm to make the comeback. Pele Kick and he rolls into a cross armbreaker, but Joe is in the ropes. Joe blocks a charge with the uranage, which is never not awesome, but AJ reverses the choke into a rollup for two. Another rollup gets two, but this time Joe gets the choke. AJ counters that into the armbreaker, but Joe rolls him over for the pin at 8:07. That’s why Joe used to be my favorite wrestler once upon a time. Great TV match, with crazy counters and both guys smartly going for the submission points. Joe WANTED the submission, but took the pinfall because he had the chance. ***1/2
Gut Check: Kris Lewie gets JUDGED. Taz says no because TNA is above his head, Bruce says he’s got a great backstory, but the business isn’t for him, so it’s a no, and we don’t even get to hear from Snow this time. I like that they changed it up! And I totally agree, he was all promo video and then cacked it in the ring. Joey Ryan continues protesting from ringside, and this time takes a shot at Al Snow before running away. Funny that they gave out contracts like candy, but Ryan is the only guy making TV.
Meanwhile, Joseph Park asks Hulk for permission to investigate the Aces & Eights, much like he investigated his brother, Chris Park, you know, Abyss. KAYFAB!
Bound For Glory Series: Kurt Angle v. Jeff Hardy
Winner continues on, and the loser is eliminated from the Series. Angle takes him down with an armbar and Hardy recovers with his own before Angle pounds him in the corner. Hardy puts him on the floor with a headscissors and follows with a dive (to the narrow side, yikes!) and takes over back in the ring. And we take a break. Back with Hardy hitting the legdrop and dropkick for two. Angle escapes the Twist and fires off the german suplexes as Hardy folds like a ragdoll. Angle Slam is reversed into the Twist of Fate for two. He’s doing it more like a stunner now, which I like. Swanton gets two. Angle comes back with a belly to belly and PERFECT Angle Slam for two. Hardy is just letting Angle throw him around and it’s great. Anklelock, but Hardy rolls him up for two and hits the Twist into the swanton…for two. Seemed like that would have been the finish. Angle grabs the ankle again, but Hardy fights out and goes up again, fights off Angle’s superplex and another swanton finishes at 11:36. So Angle is done. ***1/2 This leaves us with Storm, Samoa Joe, RVD, Bully Ray, AJ Styles and Hardy still with an outside shot if he wins next week.
Austin Aries comes out to face the Aces’ challenge, and Hogan brings out the backup just in case. The leader is clearly being played by D-Lo Brown, at least this week. So the Aces send out a big guy, and Aries takes him out, which leads to the giant brawl again. Aries isolates the big guy and tries to unmask him, but a new guy comes in and lays him out with a blackjack. Bad couple of weeks for Aries.
After what I thought was a mis-step last week, this was an awesome show to rebound and never felt like it dragged at all. On the other hand, the PPV is only a week away! We don’t even have a main event yet! So, you know, there’s always stuff to work on.
Tags: Aces & Eights, Austin Aries, Bound for Glory Series, Hulk Hogan, impact, Samoa Joe, SmarK Rant, TNA