Last night’s Impact Wrestling was fairly eventful. The World Champion, Mr. Anderson, made his decision known in regards to if he’d join Immortal. Sting continued his descent into madness. The last competitor was named to the four corners match at Destination X, joining Low Ki, Shiima Xion, and Austin Aries. Velvet Sky did everything she could to dismiss two old foes, while Jeff Jarrett promised to return next week. Brian Kendrick got some mic time, which is always appreciated, and the participants in this Sunday’s Ultimate X match were announced. Jerry Lynn, RVD, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels tore the house down. And of course, plenty of Bound for Glory points were distributed. Read all about it on the other side of the jump.
- This week’s Impact opened with Immortal confronting Mr. Anderson in the middle of the ring. Representing the stable of heels in this encounter were Bully Ray, Scott Steiner, and Gunner, although the trio promised that Hogan was on his way. Ray showed his verbal chops again, and at this point, I don’t think an argument can be made against him being one of the best entertainer’s in the company. Somehow, TNA brass thought it a good idea to let Scott Steiner talk after Ray wrapped up, exposing his ever-present lack of mic skills even more than usual. Gunner got some mic time as well, and although he’s not as ridiculous as Steiner, he’s nothing special either. The basic premise was that Immortal wants the World Champion to join their ranks. While the villains were in the ring with Anderson, the lights dimmed and Sting was shown in the rafters, laughing maniacally, sporting Joker warpaint. When the lights came up, Kurt Angle was in the ring to deliver Olympic Slams to Gunner and Big Poppa Pump before Bully Ray escaped. In contrast to Immortal’s threatening encouragement for Anderson to join their numbers, Angle urged the Champion to resist their offer. I really hope they keep Anderson a full-on tweener, as I fear he’d be lost in the shuffle as part of Immortal and I can’t really see his character maintaining it’s edge as a babyface.
- Crimson defeated Bobby Roode in a Bound for Glory series matchup. Ugh. Crimson now sits atop the leaderboard with ten more points than the second place competitor. Double ugh. I know I say this every week, but I just can’t see the appeal with Crimson. On top of that, Bobby Roode is on the verge of breaking out as an upper-tier singles wrestler, and jobbing him to Big Red isn’t going to help him along. By using Roode in a one-on-one match while James Storm teamed with Matt Morgan later in the night, the plan is still clearly to push him outside of the tag team. I just wonder when that push will get underway.
- Abyss was shown going ballistic backstage in search of his missing mask, demolishing the environment around him and a bystanding stagehand. We then got a glimpse of Brian Kendrick wearing the stolen mask, which was followed by the #1 contender to the X Division Title coming to the ring with the mask in hand to call out Abyss. When Abyss answered the call, towel on head, Kendrick confronted him with a rhyming promo in poetic verse. He’s probably the only wrestler in the world that could pull this off without me labeling him as lame in my recap. I’m a Kendrick mark through and through, and I actually enjoyed his unusual speech last night. The segment culminated with The Brian Kendrick giving Abyss his mask back and receiving a grade-A beatdown in return. Abyss dismantled his Destination X opponent, but I have a suspicion that it will be Kendrick who has the last laugh at the pay-per-view. This might be wishful thinking, but I believe Kendrick is about to take a big step forward.
- Jack Evans won a pretty solid triple threat match against Anthony Nees and Jesse Sorenson to earn the final spot in Destination X’s four corners match with Austin Aries, Low Ki, and Shiima Xion. There was nothing technical about this one, it was quite a spotfest actually, but it was entertaining. I’m not a big Evans fan – he oversells, he flips around unnecessarily, and he relies on excessive bouncing around to compensate for his lack of understanding of ring psychology. That being said, I’m sure he won’t detract from Destination X’s clash for a contract too much, so long as he doesn’t end up the victor. The crowd was into him though, and I guess that’s all that really matters.
- Alex Shelley, Amazing Red, Shannon Moore, and Robbie E were announced as the competitors for Destination X’s Ultimate X match, so yeah. Should be pretty good, but absolutely no story to this one.
- Velvet Sky took on ODB & Jacki with the stipulation that if she defeated them, they’d leave Impact Wrestling forever. Against all odds, Velvet succeeded in her goal and sent the knockout-haters packing. After ODB accidentally hit her partner with a steel chair, Sky capitalized by hitting the spike DDT to steal the victory. Velvet Sky is being groomed for a run as Knockout Champion, and I think grappling with and ultimately dispelling two tough women like Jacki & ODB is a great stepping stone on her way to the top. If the losing duo actually leaves following this match, I commend TNA for their use of the veterans to put over a rising star in this successful feud.
- Rob Van Dam had his hand raised after a big win over AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Jerry Lynn. This four corners match was exactly what it should have been considering it was on free TV heading into a big pay-per-view event. It was a really good match that enthralled the crowd, and it did a good job of creating excitement for Destination X. RVD and Lynn exchanged blows, and it was enough to get me buzzing for their upcoming match, but it didn’t give it away for free either. Same goes for Daniels and AJ. Towards the end of this one, things really started to pick up, climaxing with a 5-Star Frog Splash on the Fallen Angel to wrap it up. How this wasn’t the main event is baffling to me, but regardless, it was easily the best match on the show.
- In a Bound for Glory series tag team match, The Pope teamed with Devon to take on Matt Morgan & James Storm. The match was nothing special, but the ending was moderately intriguing. After the Pope hit Storm with one of the Tag Team Title belts, rather than pinning the Cowboy himself, he tagged Devon into the match and allowed him to score the pinfall and the seven points that came with it. As you know, I’m not an advocate of The Pope’s or Devon’s, and I certainly am not interested in their feud. That being said, this was an all right and unforeseen development.
- Jeff & Karen Jarrett, via video feed from Mexico, promised to be in the Impact Zone next week with a major surprise for Hulk Hogan and the rest of Immortal. So less than a month after a stipulation forced Jarrett to move South of the Border, he’ll be returning as if nothing ever happened? Great. I hate you, TNA.
- There was a rundown of the matches for this Sunday’s Destination X, and for whatever reason, Shiima Xion’s name is now Zema Ion. All right then.
- Hulk Hogan viciously attacked Sting with his own baseball bat backstage, and the severity of the attack was pretty intense. I’m pretty sure he should be charged with attempted homicide.
- The main event was a nothing more than a glorified gang assault. What was originally scheduled to be Immortal vs Kurt Angle & Sting became a 4-on-1 pitting Immortal against Kurt Angle due to Hogan’s attack on String prior to the match. After Angle played the victim to their numbers for a few minutes, the music of Mr. Anderson filled the Impact Zone and the Champ made his way out to the ring to alert the world of his decision. Although he initially appeared to be in the corner of Kurt Angle, he soon hit the Olympic Hero with a Mic Check, allowing Immortal to gain the victory. After a few tense moments following the pin, Anderson let his allegiance be known by jumping into the arms of Abyss. Hulk Hogan appeared at the top of the ramp to show his support as the rest of Immortal hoisted the World Champion up onto their shoulders. Personally, I’ll be surprised if this sticks. This isn’t the first time that Anderson has sat atop the shoulders of Immortal; he does what he has to in order to benefit himself. He’ll use Immortal to assist him in defeating Sting next week, and then he’ll be right back to being the loner jerk that he’s always been. If he stays in Immortal, I feel like he’s overshadowed by the group, and that the traits that have made him an interesting character thus far will inevitably be lost.
Overall, Impact was a good go-home show for Destination X. The four corners match between Styles, Daniels, Lynn, and Van Dam worked wonders for hyping both individual matches featuring these four guys this Sunday, and I’m sincerely looking forward to Abyss vs Brian Kendrick. The Sting / Kennedy / Immortal saga is a little tired to me, although I think I’d say the same about anything involving Immortal at this point The match for the Impact Wrestling contract at Destination X should be good, and I’m pulling for Austin Aries in a big way. I’m enjoying the push Velvet Sky is currently experiencing, and I’m also glad to see ODB & Jacki get the boot. Meanwhile, on a less positive note, I’m legitimately upset about Jeff Jarrett returning next week. I’ve also disliked the Bound for Glory series thus far, and I’m disappointed with how it’s shaping up. Crimson, Devon, and Gunner are probably my three least favorite guys in the tournament (well, the Pope gives them a run for their money), and they’re the three current points leaders. Hope that changes, and fast!