12.19 Impact Wrestling
by Jeff Hamlin ( [email protected]) Twitter: @hamlin37
The Big News: Magnus won the TNA World Heavyweight Title after beating Jeff Hardy in a Dixieland match. Magnus joined Dixie Carter’s faction and is now a full-fledged heel. Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle in a best-of-three falls match which left Angle despondent and possibly pondering retirement.
Happy Holidays to everyone reading. I hope you have a joyous celebration, regardless of what you celebrate. And thank you all for reading for my 7th year doing Impact reports.
Magnus, having apparently seen the conclusion of last week’s show where Jeff Hardy met Dixie Carter for a private dinner, asked a stagehand if Carter or Hardy had arrived. What a concept. TNA talent watching Impact. Now if Christy Hemme would tune in, she could figure out the guy she’s dating is a psycho. Anyway, neither Dixie not Hardy had shown up at this point, so Magnus went to the ring to cut the latest promo on Dixie.
Magnus talked about how much he loved the business and put over Orlando. He said he didn’t care about the money and material goods that come with being a world champion, but cared about respect. Magnus wondered if Hardy had let his personal demons creep back into his life after having drinks with Dixie, and said Hardy should give an explanation. Hardy (wasn’t he missing a minute ago?) came out and said Magnus jumped to conclusions. Magnus brought up Hardy’s heel turn on November 10th, 2010, when he sold out to win the world championship. Hardy told Magnus to mind his own business. So for those who go back to the dire days of 1993 WWF, Magnus was Tatanka and Hardy was Lex Luger. In other words, Tatanka accused Luger of selling out to Ted DiBiase and tried to get the fans on his side. Of course, all along, it was Tatanka who really sold out, joined DiBiase and went heel. Apparently, everyone in TNA forgot that program did nothing for Luger got him lost in the shuffle.
Christy Hemme interviewed Kurt Angle about his best-of-three falls match tonight with Bobby Roode. Angle did a standard babyface promo saying Roode had gotten the best of him twice, but he would get revenge by beating Roode twice tonight.
Jeremy Borash talked with the briefcase winners from last week’s Feast or Fired match. Chavo Guerrero and Xema Ion walked into a conference room with Guerrero vowing to punch Ion if they both retained their jobs.
1. Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle in a best-of-three falls match in 14:45. Again, a good match. But considering who was involved, you would expect more. Perhaps it’s just Angle’s age and physical damage has finally caught up to him, and in no way is that a criticism. Fact is, Angle is still doing more at 45 than Mitsuharu Misawa did at that point in his career. Angle hit two Rolling German Suplexes and teased the Ankle lock, but Roode threw referee Brian Hebner in the way. Angle pushed him away, but Roode kicked Angle low and pinned him after a TKO in 4:11 to take the first fall. In the second fall, Angle took his standard bump into the post. Roode looked to clamp on a crossface, but Angle escaped and pinned Roode after an Olympic Slam to even it up at 9:32. Angle opened the third fall with two German Suplexes, but Roode caught Angle rushing in and clamped on a crossface. After trading near falls, Roode captured Angle in another crossface. Angle attempted to escape with another Olympic Slam, but Roode turned it into a Divorce Court and again went back to the crossface. Angle grabbed Roode’s ankle and clamped on the Ankle Lock, and when Roode got close to the ropes, Angle put on his own crossface. Roode tried to counter with a TKO, but Angle hit the Olympic for a two count. Angle went back to the Ankle Lock, but Roode reversed into a Victory Roll, and held on to the ropes to get the pin. Angle looked stunned he lost to Roode again, and Mike Tenay wondered what Angle’s mindset was. ***1/4
Borash interviewed Gunner and James Storm about Gunner’s actions last week where he crotched Storm and got a briefcase over Storm’s prone body. Gunner claimed that Storm would have done the same thing if it had been him. They started arguing before going into the conference room.
Angle did a postmatch interview in his locker room like he was George St. Pierre ready to announce his retirement without saying the word “retirement.” He admitted that Roode has outsmarted him every time they’ve wrestled since Bound for Glory, and was terrified at the thought that maybe Roode has his number. Angle said he was going to go home, spend the holidays with his family and was unsure of where to go from here. Angle was phenomenal as the successful but aging athlete who realizes he may have reached the end of the line.
Ethan Carter the Third told Borash that he still owes him a match, just not tonight. EC3 claimed there was no way he was going to get fired tonight. He cell phone rang, and his ringer is his own theme music. That would be funny if the WWF hadn’t done it first with Vince McMahon years ago. Then again, WWF has ripped plenty off from TNA lately. Dixie called Ethan and told him there was nothing she could do about the briefcase, even if he got fired.
Eric Young said he was going to give Joseph Park some Christmas gifts later tonight that would bring him back to the old days.
Young called Park down and tried to tell him that Park was Abyss. Park said his name was Joseph Park. Young said next week, Park would face Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in a Monster’s Ball match. Park said that was his brother Abyss’ match, not his. Park refused. Young brought out visual aides. The first gift was a chair, the second was a bag full of thumbtacks, and the third gift was barbed wire. Park reiterated he wasn’t wrestling Bad Influence. Young said he had one final gift that was under the ring. It turned out to be a 2×4 with nails in it. This Orlando crowd has a great memory, or was conditioned, because they started chanting “Janice.” Upon seeing Janice, Park agreed to the match, unable to take his eyes off the 2×4. Park is great at playing the nerdy lawyer and I’m going to miss the character.
Samoa Joe confronted Hardy backstage about whether the rumors regarding him and Dixie were true. Joe said he could understand why someone would want to take a shortcut in wrestling, but couldn’t believe that Hardy would do it. Hardy refused to answer any of Joe’s questions and walked away.
Next up was the unveiling of the Feast or Fired briefcases, which happened in a conference room backstage with Borash presiding. Dixie walked in, so this resembled the last 10 minutes of an Apprentice episode. The law firm of Smith & Stone was supposedly in charge of keeping the briefcases secret. Maybe that was the firm in charge of the NBA Lottery when the New Orleans Hornets won it in 2012. Ion got the X Division title shot. Gunner opened his briefcase and got a World Heavyweight Title shot, which earned him a very nasty stare from Storm. Just as Carter was about to open his briefcase, Sting walked in. Sting cut a promo laying into Dixie saying it sucks that Chavo could lose his job while EC3 retains his. So Sting offered to take EC3’s briefcase and accept the consequences that lie within it. However, Sting said there was one condition—that Carter would have to fight him one time. Carter acted like he was going to accept it, but opted to take the briefcase. Carter and Guerrero opened the briefcases at the same time, and Carter got the tag team title shot, while Guerrero was fired. Sting consoled Guerrero, then scolded EC3 and Dixie. Guerrero was nearly in tears. Seems to be setting up Sting as EC3’s tag team partner, and perhaps Guerrero doing skits to keep his job.
Magnus did an interview saying that he wasn’t worried about the questions surrounding Hardy, because he was going to win the World title tonight, and after that all questions would be answered.
2. Madison Rayne and ODB defeated Lei’d Tapa and Gail Kim in 5:44. Madison Rayne still has her old heel music even though she’s now a babyface. That music needs to change ASAP. Fans were happy to see her back. Lei’d Tapa and ODB worked most of the way. After Rayne got the hot tag and clotheslined Gail Kim, Tapa dumped ODB to the floor. Kim tried Eat Defeat on Rayne, but Rayne turned it into a backslide for the pin. *1/4
Sting talked with Hardy backstage. Sting told him that Hardy owes nothing to Sting, Joe or Magnus, but he does owe something to the Creatures of the Night. Hardy said Sting didn’t understand, but Sting said he did understand.
Impact 365 took us inside Dixie Carter’s house, where Rockstar Spud apologized for not getting the TNA World Title back from A.J. Styles. Dixie said Styles was digging himself a deeper legal hole. She ordered Spud to find someone to design them a new world title.
Before the match, Hardy said he made some mistakes but he can’t change what he’s done. Hardy brought up what happened at Victory Road 2011, and there was a noticeable gasp from the crowd on that one. Hardy said Dixie wanted to corrupt him with big time promises and money, but she would feel like she owns him. Hardy said he told Dixie she could take her money and stick it. Why he didn’t just say that at the beginning of the show? Dixie came out and said everything he has he owes to her. Dixie said she stood by him, not the Creatures of the Night. Dixie threatened to fire Hardy if he didn’t join her side tonight, and said she would watch the match from the ramp.
- Magnus defeated Jeff Hardy in a Dixieland match to win the TNA World Heavyweight Title in 17:44. The rules of Dixieland were the match started in a cage. The winner would have to climb over the cage, then go to the top of the ramp, climb a ladder and grab the world title. Magnus missed his patented top rope elbow while Hardy missed a Swanton in the opening minutes. About 4 minutes in, EC3 joined Dixie in watching the match on the ramp. At that point, Hardy gave Magnus a back superplex. Hardy tried to clmb out the camera hole in the cage, which I’m note sure would have been legal. Magnus pulled him back in. Hardy hit a inverse springboard splash from the top rope, which was unique. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and tried another, but Magnus chop blocked him. Magnus clamped on the Kingsley Cloverleaf, then released it so he could attempt to climb the cage. Hardy stopped him Magnus hit a body slam and the Randy Savage Elbow. Hardy blocked an elbow and hit the Whisper in the Wind, which actually missed pretty badly. Magnus still sold it. Hardy climbed to the top of the cage, but instead of going over, hit the Whisper in the Wind on Magnus. That move would be better saved for a PPV, but since the company has scaled back on PPVs, well…They replayed it a few times, but nowhere near enough to let it truly sink in. Both men climbed to opposite corners and climbed over the fence, but EC3 tried to stop Magnus. Hardy got to the floor first while EC3 held down Magnus. Meanwhile, Hardy saw EC3’s interference and gave EC3 a Twist of Fate to take him out. Magnus and Hardy were left brawling on the floor. Hardy gave Magnus a Twist of Fate on the ramp. Hardy made his way to the ramp, where Dixie stood in the way. Dixie was mouthing something to him that Taz interpreted as “over my dead body.” Hardy moved her out of the way and reached the top of the ladder, but before he could grab the belt, Spud came out and pushed the ladder over. Hardy took a wicked bump to the ramp, with his head hitting hard. Magnus got to his feet above a unconscious Hardy, made his way to the ladder, climbed it and grabbed the belt. So Magnus turned heel and was applauded by the Carters and Spud as the new champion. ***1/2
SUMMARY: Roger Ebert liked to attach a phrase to certain films called the “Idiot Plot.” It was any movie where the plot contained problems that would be solved instantly if the main characters weren’t idiots. The idiot plot applies to the Hardy-Dixie storyline. 90 minutes worth of storylines, angles, skits and segments would have been rendered moot if Hardy had simply said at the beginning of the show what he said in the final 30 minutes. Instead, he waited and looked foolish. And the main event finish did him no favors. Still, it was refreshing to see some new characters get a chance to play important roles in the finish. And Kurt Angle’s performance was sensational.