TNA World Champion Sting successfully defended his title last night, defeating Matt Hardy in the main event of Impact. His celebration was short-lived, though, as Mr. Anderson hit the ring and delivered a Mic Check to the champ just after the pinfall was made. Of course, Anderson hit Matt Hardy with the move too before he went on to say that he was still pursuing the title. I like that Anderson is still chasing the belt and it hasn’t been handed it to him yet (during this current storyline anyway.) One of my biggest complaints with TNA is the frequency with which their titles change hands, so the longer that it can remain out of Anderson’s grasp before he eventually captures it, the better, in my book at least. The Sacrifice main event was announced last night too, and it’ll see Sting defending the World Title against Rob Van Dam.
Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy references permeated Impact. Matt swore to avenge his brother against Sting, Sting put Jeff over as one of the best he’s ever faced, and the stupid purple belt even made an appearance. All the warning signs are there, and I’m forced to assume that TNA has some plan to bring the Rainbow Haired Warrior back to their programming sooner or later. Even if nothing’s brewing yet, they’ve at least got the idea, and they started the ball rolling to lay the foundation for said return with all the mentions of him last night. Now, I can get behind a redemption story just as quickly as the next guy, but I feel like Hardy’s been given enough chances already. He’s torched every promotion he’s been with on a number of occasions, and I feel like if TNA brings him back in, they’ll be setting themselves up for him to sabotage their major angles once more. And that, my friends, is downright disrespectful to their fans and especially their pay-per-view audiences. The rest of Impact lays beyond the jump.
- Hulk Hogan is flat-out bad on the microphone these days. Once the top draw in wrestling, he’s lost all of his abilities. He can’t wrestle anymore, he’s a cancer backstage, and the more he gives us a look into the real Hulk Hogan via Twitter & reality television, it’s apparent that he’s a big jerk. And now, his mic skills have left him. Hogan was a pain to listen to during every one of his segments last night, and I hope (unrealistically) that we won’t have to endure his awfulness much longer.
- Speaking of bad on the mic, last night TNA gave promo time to both Scott Steiner and Rob Terry, which is enough to drive a man to drinking. Steiner appears to have turned quasi-heel, attacking Matt Morgan after both guys decided that they should be the #1 contender to the World Title. The match that Morgan and Steiner will eventually have will rank among the worst of the year.
- Rob Terry, conversely, used his absolutely horrendous microphone time to call out Beer Money Inc. Beer Money were victorious over Terry & Murphy, and as with most matches Storm & Roode have, it was at least entertaining from end to end. I don’t think either member of Beer Money is especially great, but they do work really well together, I’ll give them that.
- Eric Young supplied the high point of Impact, delivering the line of the night while feeding beans to a couple of horses backstage. He referred to the animals as Sid & Mongo, since they were his favorite Horsemen. Ridiculous.
- Why were there horses backstage, you ask? Because Jeff & Karen angle were ushered to the arena in a buggy prior to Karen’s coronation as Queen of the Mountain. The ceremony itself was a train wreck – Jarrett babbling, Karen nodding annoyingly in agreement, Kurt predictably raining on their parade. The snoozefest culminated in loads of horse dung (presumably from all the beans) being dumped onto the Jarretts in the middle of the ring. End…this…now.
- AJ Styles, from inside a weapons-filled cage, called out Bully Ray to open the show. Ray acted as if he’d accept the challenge, but ultimately thought better of it. Christopher Daniels showed up and forced Ray into the ring, though, where he took a beating from the Phenomenal One. AJ laid Ray out on a table and scaled the cage, teasing a dive from the very top, but Ray bailed before he could make the leap. Ray is easily the best heel in the company right now, and I think it’s great to see him feuding with one of TNA’s staples.
- Abyss beat Rob Van Dam with some help from Hulk Hogan and a lead pipe. Always cool to have your main event draw for the next pay-per-view jobbing to guys who just came back to the company. Smooth move, guys. After the match, Crimson ran out and wrecked Abyss, surely laying the groundwork for a Sacrifice match between the two.
- Sarita & Rosita successfully retained the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championships with a win over Madison Rayne & Tara. This match was more to show the growing dissention between Madison & Tara than anything else. It’s only a matter of time before that pair goes the way of the Beautiful People. Also, no Mickie James at last night’s show.
- Miss Tessmacher’s back. And that’s cool I guess? Whatever.
- Velvet Sky was attacked by Angelina Love backstage, continuing this brainwashing angle. I’ve said it before and I’ll standby it – I’m digging this whole thing. I do, however, forecast it ending disastrously. I don’t know how you write an acceptable solution to this, and the TNA creative team doesn’t have what I’d describe as capable hands to do so. Enjoying it for now though.
And that was Impact – pretty much what we’ve come to expect. Bad promos, terrible interaction between the Jarretts & Kurt Angle, and some glimpses of promise with guys like Bully Ray. Ah well, there’s always next week.