Mr. Anderson opened Impact Wrestling with a party to celebrate his World Title win at Slammiversary. The ring was filled with food, drink, and games, but as you’d expect, Anderson had no friends to invite. After a promo in which he didn’t say much, he was interrupted by Gunner, who demanded a title shot for helping the new champ take Sting out last week. Although his title opportunity wasn’t granted, Gunner did get a match with Anderson in the main event. Their match was a very evenly contested one, with neither man coming off as dominant. Anderson looked to have it won towards the end though, but his hubris proved to be his downfall. Calling for his microphone and loud mouthing to Gunner before the match was over opened the door for Gunner to take advantage of Anderson’s arrogance, hitting him with the F-5 and scoring the pinfall. Afterwards, he was congratulated by Eric Bischoff.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I wish TNA would push more new talent over WWE castoffs. That being said, having a relative unknown defeat two different World Champions in two weeks with no back story, build up, or meaning isn’t exactly an ideal push. I still think of Gunner as half of Gunner & Murphy, and him getting two big wins out of the blue hasn’t changed that. He just lost to Eric Young a couple of weeks ago, and now he’s thrust into the title picture? I don’t buy it. The rest of Impact, including some solid X Division action and a lame parking lot brawl, after the jump.
- Kurt Angle announced his aspirations to return to the Olympics, but his speech was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett. After some painfully boring banter between the two, they agree to fight in a parking lot brawl with the stipulation that if Jeff Jarrett loses, he’ll move to Mexico. The brawl closed the show, and it was really, really dumb. Fighting in the middle of a circle of cars with the rest of Impact Wrestling’s roster egging them on as if it was a fight between high school students after eighth period, every move they performed came off flat. Angle eventually put Jarrett in a choke, forcing him to give up. Afterwards, there was some controversy as to if Jarrett actually quit or not. So, after being promised that this ridiculously tired feud would end at Slammiversary, it’s continuing? What a joke. Things like this make me never want to watch TNA again.
- Rob Van Dam notched a pinfall victory over Samoa Joe after a 5-Star Frog Splash. The match was decent, but it didn’t live up to the potential that the two names involved bring to the table. This was the first match in the new Bound for Glory series, which seems entirely too complicated for me. There’s a point system in place to reward victories over the next few months leading into Bound for Glory, with the top four point earners competing for a shot at the World Title, or something like that. I hate tournaments contested in anything but traditional bracket style. They’re always so convoluted. It reminds me of the round robin double-elimination tournament for the Tag Titles that WCW held in early ’99.
- Sarita & Rosita retained the Knockout Tag Team Titles against Velvet Sky & Miss Tessmacher. As always, better than a divas match. Always a pleasure watching Tessmacher, too. In the end, Tessmacher & Velvet looked to be in control as they were about to double suplex Rosita. Seeing ODB in the crowd, however, caused Velvet Sky to release her half of the move and ditch her partner, one of the most irresponsible displays I’ve ever seen in wrestling. Seriously, it looked ridiculous. After Sky stormed off, Sarita & Rosita double teamed Tessmacher for the win. As soon as the three count was made, Velvet Sky slid back into the ring, where Tessmacher completely no sold the ending and was back on her feet, visibly upset. Earl Hebner was really angry at Velvet for some reason too. You wouldn’t think a referee should have invested interest in the winners of a match. It was a really strange minute or two. ODB hit the ring afterwards to attack Velvet, and this time she had Marc Mero’s old squeeze Jacqueline with her. The unlikely duo dismantled Sky and beat up some security guards in the process. Why TNA would bring Jacki in is beyond me. I specifically remember being 12-years-old and having no interest in seeing her nipple slip at Fully Loaded ’98. If I didn’t want to see your nipple as a pubescent boy, you are a monster, and I certainly don’t want to see you now.
- Austin Aries defeated Jimmy Rave & Kid Kash in a triple threat match to earn a spot on the Destination X pay-per-view, where he’ll compete for an Impact Wrestling contract. This was a really solid match that was given more time than I was expecting it to get, and Austin Aries really stole the show. I’m excited to see who else TNA brings in for this little tournament, but it’s a shame that they’re all competing for one contract. I’d rather watch a slew of these guys every week than Jarrett, Hogan, and Bischoff.
- Devon went over Hernandez via disqualification when the rest of Mexican America interfered. The interference made no sense as Hernandez had the clear upper hand, but whatever. The Pope was talking to Devon’s family again, much to the former Dudley Boy’s chagrin. During Mexican America’s beatdown, the Pope came to Devon’s rescue, but it wasn’t appreciated. I have negative interest in watching anything involving the Pope or Devon, so this was lost on me. Devon’s family always being at ringside is weird, too.
- Sting visited Hulk Hogan’s office to insist he return to being the “real Hulk Hogan.” The story of Hogan returning to his babyface roots at the encouragement of Sting is pretty dumb, but Sting can still talk so it wasn’t a complete train wreck of a segment. It culminated with Sting painting Hogan’s face red, which is seemingly the Stinger’s new gimmick. Bizarre.
- Eric Young thinks that the TV Title can only be defended against TV stars. Sometimes, most times actually, his comedy is too outlandish for my taste.
- Scott Steiner cut a backstage promo that I’m posting below – watch it. “I can’t play the gee-tar!” He’s outrageous. Ain’t no sugar in cheeseburgers, Scotty.
Overall, Impact was OK. Great to see Austin Aries back, and I enjoyed watching Rob Van Dam tangle with Samoa Joe. Meanwhile, the Devon vs Pope stuff is boring, Gunner’s “push” has me scratching my head, and I’m actually depressed over the prospect of having to watch Jacqueline every week. Kurt Angle’s continuing involvement with Jeff Jarrett is infuriating. I don’t like the format of the Bound for Glory series, nor do I think they did a good job in choosing the competitors (No thank you on the Pope, Devon, James Storm, Scott Steiner, and Crimson). Meh. I’m hoping the direction of a few stories change next week, as I don’t like where things are currently headed in a number of angles.