Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
Anderson really needs a good showing here as his work since returning has been spotty and haphazard. He did his own ring announcement. Hardy looked to be limping a bit. They shook hands before the bout.
They locked up and Anderson backed Hardy into the corner. Clean break. They locked up again and this time, Anderson grabbed a side headlock. Hardy sent him into the ropes but was shoulderblocked down. Hardy caught him with a series of hiptosses and deep armdrags. Anderson was able to reverse an armbar but Hardy fought back and controlled Anderson.
Anderson drilled Hardy in the corner. Hardy came out with headscissors out of the ring, sending Anderson to the floor. Hardy drilled him with a sliding kick. Hardy slammed Anderson into the ring steps. Mike Tenay was surprised Hardy used the steps so soon after showing respect to Anderson at the start. Hardy charged and leapt off the steps but Anderson moved out of the way. Hardy crashed into the guard rail. Anderson rolled Hardy back in and nailed him with a kick.
Hardy dropped down into a jawbreaker and nailed a Side Russian Legsweep. He nailed the legdrop cruncher for a two count. Hardy nailed Anderson in the corner. He went to go into the corner for a kick but was nailed as he jumped. Anderson clotheslined Hardy for a two count.
Anderson began working over Hardy's wrist. He drilled Hardy with a shoulderblock and worked over his arm. He snapped Hardy over and dropped his knees over Hardy's shoulder. Anderson worked on the arm as the crowd clapped and tried to rally Hardy.
Anderson maintained control for some time on Hardy. The crowd rallied Hardy, who tried to fight back one-armed. He finally nailed Anderson's own move, The Mic Check, but was too spent to follow up. Big "Hardy" chant.
Anderson nailed Hardy with a turnbuckle smash but Hardy fired back with several punches. Anderson cut him off but was nailed with a clothesline and several elbows. Hardy hit a flying clothesline as he rebounded off the ropes, selling the arm.
Anderson nailed Hardy with an elbow and sent him into the corner. Hardy went up for a move but there was no water in the pool. Anderson nailed Hardy with the Twist of Fate for a two count. Anderson went for a back senton splash but Hardy moved out of the way. Hardy nailed the Swanton for a two count.
They battled back and forth as they fought to return to their feet. They lobbied bombs at each other. Hardy nailed an inverted atomic drop. He went for the Cruncher but was shoved off by Anderson and rolled up for the pin. Hardy obviously kicked up at two, so we'll see if that becomes the storyline.
Your winner, Ken Anderson!
Hardy argued the call. Anderson offered his hand and Hardy finally took it. They hugged.
Easily the best Anderson match in a long time in terms of telling a story and working holds. It was good and was just getting into a really good groove when they went to the finish. Again, this may have benefited from a few more minutes but it was a good bout.
Backstage, Christy Hemm interviewed TNA X-Division champion Austin Aries. A Twitter fan asked if Aries was intimidated. Aries said that he wasn't. He said that his entire life, people tried to intimidate him but it's not in his DNA to be intimidated. He said that in recent weeks, Ray spit in his face and kicked him in the balls and tonight, he gets his respect back. He said Ray thinks bigger is better but the reality is better is better. He asked Ray how it was going to feel when this little man drops him on his big head and promised to beat Ray.
They showed the return of Abyss on Impact Wrestling from this Thursday.
In the crowd, Jeremy Borash interviewed Joseph Park. He talked about how much he's enjoyed seeing the show. Borash asked what he thought about the return of Abyss. He said he didn't see it because of what Bully Ray did to him and he was off getting composed. He said he wouldn't be shocked to see Abyss show up tonight but right now, he was looking forward to seeing Austin Aries take out Bully Ray.
Crimson came to the ring for a promo. He said that everyone knows what he is capable of and claimed to have slain the seven foot Giant, Matt Morgan, without breaking a sweat. He said that all he does is win and he's going to do the same. Crimson said that no one in the back and no one in the crowd wants to fight him. He said he told everyone that he's undefeated and issuing an open challenge.
He called in a referee and demanded that he ring the bell and count to ten. His delivery on the mic has grown in leaps and bounds with this new direction. The referee did what he asked. The referee got to eight and out came TNA Knockouts champion Eric Young and ODB.
ODB said that she's beaten bigger broads than Crimson. Young said everyone knows where she is going. He said they are married and in love. He said that his problems are ODB's problems and if he's good enough for ODB, he's good enough for her. He said he would fight him.
Crimson vs. Eric Young
Young hit the ring and locked up with the befuddled referee. Young did a handstand on the top then caught Crimson with a twisting head scissors, sending him to the floor. When Crimson returned, Young worked him over with a series of rights., Young whipped him into the corner but Crimson grabbed him and manhandled Youing over the ropes the floor. Young landed hard.
Crimson worked over Young on the floor. ODB tried to stop him and he teased going after her but tossed Young back into the ring, scoring a two count. Crimson locked him in a cravate. ODB got into the ring and faced off with him. She pushed him and Crimson shoved her down. He began talking trash on her, allowing Young to recover and go nuts with offense.
Young went to the top rope and drilled Crimson with an elbow. He checked on ODB, allowing Crimson to nail him from behind and hit the Red Sky for the pin.
Your winner, Crimson!
The first "eh" segment of the night. Everyone worked hard but the placement and segment fell out of place. I think the company would have been better giving Hardy vs. Anderson and the Tag bout some more time. More was absolutely less here. The one upside is that Crimson's demeanour as a heel continues to grow and Young and ODB are obviously really over.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Bully Ray. A Twitter reader asked Ray how he can compete with a younger, faster Ray. He said he doesn't do Twitter and said he's old school at www.myspace.com/calvezilla. He said he's a 20 year veteran of every kind of war you can think of and said Aries isn't man enough or big enough to nail that brainbuster. He promised to break Aries heart, no matter how big it is. Good promo.
TNA X-Division champion Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray
Ray's entrance was great, just walking down to the ring like this pissed off heel with no redeeming qualities. His walk is right out of the best 80s heels. They showed Joseph Park in the crowd watching.
They went nose to nose at the bell. Ray began telling Aries that he can't beat him and he's never been in the ring with anyone as big or bad as him. Aries backed off and sat on the top turnbuckle waiting for him to stop. Aries then walked up to him and challenged him to fight, saying he wasn't scared and he was ready. Nice old school face off.
They went to lock up and of course, Ray then pulled himself through the ropes to break it up before it started. He tried that again but Aries grabbed the ropes and slammed them upwards into the nether-regions. Aries worked over Ray but was cut off and slammed hard.
Ray spit in Aries' face but Aries responded with a slap to the face. He worked over Ray in the corner with shots to the ears and mid-section. Aries went for a single leg takedown and bit Ray on the calve. He snapped Ray's throat over the top. He went to the top but Ray ran and kicked him backwards off the top and Aries took this crazy backwards bump off the top into the railing. He looked to have hit his head or just barely missed the rail. It was a crazy bump.
When Aries returned to the ring you could see this nasty dark red bruises on his back as well as several cuts with blood running down his back. That was easily the scariest bump of the night so far, planned or otherwise.
Aries, who looked beat up bad, was worked over by Bully. Ray began drilling Aries over the back. Ray teased throwing him over the top but instead slammed him down. Aries began daring him to fight back. Aries went for a punch but was caught with a bear hug. Aries nailed him several times in the ear to break it but was caught and backdropped hard to the mat.
Ray stalked the ring, the measured and drilled Aries with a chop. Aries refused to back down and pulled himself up but was clotheslined down. Aries drilled Ray and fired up with several shots but was chopped down again. Ray screamed at him to stay down. Aries refused and drilled Ray hard. Ray told him he was crazy and a dead man. He teased another chop but raked Aries' face instead.
Ray was nailed with a shoulderblock by Aries, followed by a series of elbows. He ran Ray's face across the top rope, then ran at him with a charging clothesline. Ray cut him off with a lariat and nailed a big sitdown slam for a two count. Ray went for a powerbomb but Aries slipped out and landed on his feet. He chopped away with several kicks but was blasted with a Cutter for a two count. The story here is that Aries has a ton of heart and refuses to stand down to anyone. Ray was mad about him kicking out.
Ray and Joseph Park had words. Ray pulled him into the ringside area and shoved him down. He went to grab a chair but Aries dove onto him. He tossed Ray back in and nailed a top rope missile dropkick. He nailed a dropkick in the corner and killed Ray with a brainbuster for a close near fall. Great false finish.
Ray kicked him and went for a running powerbomb. Aries slipped out and was supposed to go for a Facebuster but didn't grab Ray, who took the face-first bump. Aries locked on the Last Chancery submission and Ray tapped out.
Your winner, Austin Aries!
With the exception of the timing issue at the end, a perfect story and a great match. This was about making Aries and Ray, who is the best heel in the company (period), did a hell of a job making him. Aries showed a lot of heart and that frightening bump to the outside only served to enhance the story. Ray and Aries did a hell of a job. Absolutely great stuff from bell to bell.