Footage of TNA champion Bobby Roode arriving at the Impact Zone at 4:30 followed by footage of Hardy arriving at the building at 6 PM aired as Mike Tenay and Taz noted that weâ€™d find out tonight whether Hardy, a â€œformer World Heavyweight championâ€ can get it done tonight.
Tons of pyro, followed by a welcome from Mike Tenay and Taz.
TNA X-Division champion Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Kid Kash
As Zema Ion walked to the ring, he tried to play up to rap star Rick Ross, who blew him off. Ross got a small chant for that. When the bell rang, Aries led the fans chanting and left the ring, leaving the others to compete. Sorensen, Kash and Ion all tried to catch the other with quick, rollups. Soresen missed a clothesline and then missed a clothesline, allowing Ion to take control. Sorensen went up and over to avoid a charge and nailed a rana, then an elbow in the corner. Ion caught him charging into the corner but Sorensen still caught him with a big suplex throw. They called it a modified Northern Lights suplex. Aries finally snuck back in and tried to sneak up but was caught in a series of roll ups. He escaped to the floor but was nailed by a Kid Kash pescado to the floor.
Sorensen prepared for a dive but was taken out by Ion. Ion prepared for a top rope moonsault to the floor but Kash nailed him and went for a top rope rana. Sorensen slipped underneath for a powerbomb so they ended up doing a Tower of Doom style spot. Aries returned to pick the bones, focusing on Ion. Aries went to the top but Ion shoved him off to the floor.
Ion went to the top and hit a sick twisting moonsault dive to the floor on Kash and Aries. Sorensen then came off the top with a big dive from the top onto all three. Back in the ring, Kash unloaded with chops and slammed Ion hard into the corner. He placed Ion on the top turnbuckle and went for a suplerplex but Aries whipped Sorensen into that corner. Kash crashed into ring. Ion nailed a top rope 450 splash and was pinned,
Kash was eliminated.
Aries nailed Sorensen with a 450 splash off the top as well but Sorensen kicked out. The crowd started to get behind Jesse, chanting his name. Ion didnâ€™t like trying to out-do him and they went at it. Aries got the better of it and went for the Pendulum Elbow but was hit with a great flying bodypress by Sorensen. He went for the cover but Ion broke it up. Ion went right after Sorensen but was caught with a surprise small package for a three count.
Ion was eliminated. He argued with the ref, who missed Aries small packaging Sorensen. Aries got mad and let Sorensen up but was nailed with a DDT-esque move. Again, the referee missed the count and only counted two when he returned before Aries kicked out. Ion hid out at ringside. Neither remaining wrestler was aware as they battled in the corner above him.
Aries and Sorensen went back and forth with several near falls. Aries was drilled with a running boot in the corner. Sorensen went to the top but Ion grabbed his leg and pulled him, crotching him. Aries nailed a running dropkick on Ion, who was hanging over the turnbuckles and drilled him with a top rope brainbuster for the pinfall.
Your winner and still X-Division champ, Austin Aries!
Good opener. All four had moments where they shined, plus we saw Ion and Sorensen come out of their shells and add a little more depth to their characters. As a white meat babyface, Sorensen shows some real promise and you can see the crowd in Orlando starting to get behind him. Ion has really stepped up his game when it comes to playing to the crowd and showing his personality. Nice way to kick off the show.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Devonâ€™s sons, Terrance and Terrell. Borash said they are 16 years old and heâ€™s known their father over a decade. He asked them why they are acting the way they are. Pope Dinero showed up and they said it was because of this man. Pope said that he should pimp slap Borash but then who would have to to hold the microphone. He said they arenâ€™t boys but are men. He said 2012 is going to be a year of reckoning for Devon. Pope said he is going to do something to Devon he will never forget. He said when they are done, they wonâ€™t have to deal with Devonâ€™s black behind again and closed it out saying, â€œDaddy has spoken.â€
Devon vs. Pope Dinero
Terrance and Terrell are at ringside. Devon stormed the ring and attacked Pope, kicking the hell out of him early. Pope whipped him into the ropes but nailed a leaping reverse elbow. Pope was sent to the floor. Devon followed and whipped him into the ring steps. Pope tried to crawl away but Devon caught him and rolled Pope into the ring. Pope tried to beg off and tried to apologize but Devon kicked him in the gut and began working him over with a series of right hands.
Devon went to the top but Pope staggered as he went to the top and bounced into the referee, who hit the ropes. Devon ended up crotched. Pope went to the ropes and leapt into a dropkick on Devon. He pulled Devon into the ring and mounted him with a series of punches.
Pope did a Tebow. I guess thatâ€™s going to be what every wrestler rips off for the next three months.
Pope hung Devon on the ropes and clotheslined him over the top to the apron. The crowd began chanting, â€œLetâ€™s go Devon.â€ I donâ€™t know if its just me but I ordered the show in standard definition due to issues with my cable provider and the crowd and audio sounds much larger than TNA PPVs have in HD of late. Pope worked over Devon on the floor and brought him back into to the ring for a two count.
Pope locked in a rear chinlock and the crowd rallied Devon. He mounted a comeback but was cut off by Pope. Pope began doing the Garvin Stomp. He screamed at Devon that he hated him and tossed him into the corner, under the turnbuckles, where Devon nailed the ringpost shoulder post down on the mat. Pope went to the floor, measured and kicked Devonâ€™s head against the ringpost. He followed up and did it a second time.
Pope grabbed a front facelock back in the ring and then drove Devonâ€™s head into the mat. He called Devonâ€™s kids into the ring as the crowd chanted â€œYou suck.â€ He told them to attack their father. They looked conflicted. One of them got down on his knee to check his father. Pope screamed at him, â€œI told you to get himâ€ and when he was questioned, attacked him and tossed him to the floor. The other son pushed Pope and was laid out as well.
This fired up Devon and he drilled Pope with a series of rights and a big clothesline, followed by an Avalanche into the corner. Devon ducked a clothesline and nailed a powerslam on Dinero for a near fall. Pope escaped a Firemanâ€™s Carry and nailed an uppercut. Devon came back with a flying shoulderblock off the ropes for another two count.
Devon missed a running charge in the corner. Pope set him up hanging in the ropes and snapped him with a neckbreaker. Devon pulled himself up in the corner stepped out of the way and caught him with a reverse 747 and scored the pin.
Your winner, Devon!
Solid match. They worked really hard and told a good back and forth story.
After the match, Devonâ€™s sons entered the ring and they embraced their father, so they are all reunited.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Sting. Borash noted that Jeff Hardyâ€™s road to redemption has been ten minutes. Velvet Sky showed up and said that sheâ€™s been looking for Sting all day. She pushed the idea of herself being the head of the Knockouts, cutting a promo on Madison Rayne and noting sheâ€™s been here for five years and has been loyal. She whispered a plan to prevent Rayne from interfering, saying that she had the crew working on something she called the â€œVelvet Touchâ€. Sting gave her permission to put it into play, but they didnâ€™t say what it was. She left Sting said that Jeff Hardy gave himself the opportunity at redemption, not Sting and while Bobby Roode has been trying to one-up Sting, tonight itâ€™s â€œShowtime.â€
Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner, with Ric Flair
They locked up and fought for position. Gunner sent Van Dam into the ropes but Van Dam regained his footage and caught Gunner in a side headlock. Gunner slipped out and rode RVD to the mat and backed him into the corner with a series of shoulderblocks.
RVD flipped out of the corner and came off the ropes with a leaping kick. He countered an attempted knee with a leap-through into a roll-up. Van Dam nailed a crucifix but Gunner slipped out. RVD nailed a dropkick and they faced off. Van Dam kicked him out of the ring.
On the floor, Flair began giving Gunner advice. Gunner walked around ringside, trying to kill RVDâ€™s momentum. Gunner returned to the ring and caught Van Dam with a kick to the gut. He overpowered Van Dan with a series of rights in the corner and whipped him into the corner hard, covering RVD for a two count. He continued controlling Van Dam with a sideslam. RVD kicked Gunner as he approached but was grabbed and dumped to the floor.
On the outside, Gunner slammed Van Dam into the guard rail at ringside. He teased doing his move on the floor but Earl Hebner got in his face telling him to return to the ring. Gunner ignored him but that distraction was enough to let RVD recover and drill Gunner. He draped Gunner on the apron and nailed a guillotine legdrop. RVD went to the top but was cut off by Gunner.
Van Dam fought off a superplex attempt and sent Gunner down hard to the mat. Van Dam hit a flying bodypress for a two count, followed by a springboard Ryder Kick and Rolling Thunder for a two count. Gunner went to the floor. Van Dam went for a pescado but Flair pulled Gunner out of the way. Hebner and Flair argued, which allowed Gunner to nail the DDT on the exposed concrete.
Gunner rolled RVD back into the ring and scored the pinfall.
Your winner, Gunner!
As a match designed to build Gunner, it achieved its goals. RVD hit some of his offense, Gunner survived and in the end, put his DDT on the floor over as a massively dangerous move, putting out a former TNA champion with it.
RVD was stretchered out of the building.
Coverage continues on Page Two!
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