First and foremost, I want to apologize for erroneously reporting that there would be another wedding ceremony at last night’s show. I doubt anyone tuned in exclusively to see the Jarretts profess their love for each other after reading that it would be a part of Impact last night, but I am sorry if the mistake inconvenienced you at all. Now that that’s out of the way, to Impact.
Last night was the go-home show for TNA’s Victory Road, and I think it could have been handled a little more efficiently. The pay-per-view matches that they hyped in last night’s show were hyped well, but there were some puzzling omissions. For one, Hernandez and Matt Morgan were nowhere to be found. This is one of the matches I’m most looking forward to this Sunday, and their absence from last night’s show doesn’t make much sense to me. The Ultimate X match wasn’t given much time either, save for a spiffy little video package. Outside of these two oversights though, most of the card was promoted pretty well. And hey, Ric Flair ended up a bloody mess, so bonus points for that. Impact recapped and reviewed after the jump.
- The main event of the evening was scheduled to be Sting & RVD vs Mr. Anderson & Jeff Hardy, but when Anderson took Sting out backstage, it turned into more of a handicap match with Van Dam competing by his lonesome. Neither team was on the same page during the course of the night, and both sets of partners exchanged words with each other in the locker room. The match itself was solid enough, and after Anderson turned on his partner and dropped Hardy with a Mic Check, Sting finally hit the ring and got some retribution on Anderson for attacking him in back earlier. A Scorpion Death Drop allowed RVD to hit the 5-star and pick up the win, and Sting and Van Dam looked to finally be a cohesive unit at the show’s finale. Pretty great setup for the Anderson vs RVD and Sting vs Hardy matches this Sunday, as well as the subsequent RVD or Anderson vs Sting or Hardy match down the road.
- Ink Inc. went over Generation Me in tag team action. There was a really nice spear from the second rope by Jesse Neal towards the end of this one, but all in all, this match was too short to really get rolling. It’s a shame, since the Young Bucks are awesome. Beer Money Inc. was on commentary to set up their match with Ink Inc. at Victory Road. Too many Inc.’s.
- Ric Flair won a triple threat street fight that also included AJ Styles and Matt Hardy. Although it was triple threat in name, this match was really of the handicap variety. Flair and Hardy double teamed Styles from beginning to end, and Flair was only able to pick up the win after Hardy hit the Twist of
FateHate on a chair. I hate seeing Styles lose (to anybody, really), but I understand that they’re in North Carolina and wanted to give the crowd a Nature Boy victory. Whatever. AJ had best beat Matt Hardy this Sunday. The mic work before this one got underway was decent, even though Matt Hardy repeatedly called AJ Styles, just 3 years his junior, “kid.”
- The Beautiful People & Winter beat Angelina, Sarita, & Cookie. At one point, Winter saved Velvet Sky from Robbie E and the girls of the Shore. Big deal. This was a stinker. Despite the show of good faith by Winter in this one, it’s my belief that Sarita & Rosita will be wearing gold next week.
- Brother Devon finally got some revenge against Bully Ray in the parking lot last night. Devon pummeled his brother for a bit and even whipped him with a chain. The attack was setup by Tommy Dreamer, who had called Ray out to the lot to begin with. Ironically, Dreamer also ended the attack, stopping Devon from using a sledge hammer on TNA’s resident Bully. Ray was begging for mercy throughout his beat down. Post-jumping, Ray shoved around a member of security who was trying to help him to his feet. Dreamer and Ray will face off this Sunday.
- Madison Rayne returned to Impact with another open challenge. The Knockouts Champion challenged any woman in the world to meet her in the ring, and it was former TNA regular Roxxi who answered the call. Decent women’s match, but again, it was too short. Madison picked up the victory, but afterwards was chased off by Mickie James. Madison vs Mickie, now there’s a match that would enhance Victory Road. I’m curious as to why it’s not on the card already, and have a suspicion that it could be added between now and bell time. If not, I expect at least another open challenge.
- The Pope was able to beat Samoa Joe after hitting him in the head with a steel chain. This is another pairing that are troublingly abscent from this Sunday’s Victory Road card. As long as he’s healthy and contracted, there should never be a TNA pay-per-view that doesn’t include Samoa Joe. Kato’s got to go, though.
The ever-present problem with last night’s show was the bite-size length of the matches. Generally, if your matches are running too short, your promos are running too long. That was the case with Impact’s opening segment, one that saw Hogan, Bischoff, Sting, RVD, Jeff Hardy, and Mr. Anderson all in the ring for some trash talking. Six guys, and not a drop of homegrown talent. Sigh. At any rate, this was a sufficient lead-in show for Victory Road, but it was not without it’s flaws.