We look back at last week when Austin Aries and Bobby Roode each tried to outdo the other and become the top contender to Jeff Hardy's World Title, Hulk Hogan refused to trust Bully Ray, and don't forget, Sting returns tonight!
We start off in the ring with Jeremy Borash, who has a big trophy he would like to present to this year's Wrestler of the Year. Borash introduces each of the finalists: James Storm, Bully Ray, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and of course TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy. The drum roll hits and this year's winner is...Roode and Aries walk down the ramp arguing with each other over who won it, but in case you didn't see this coming a mile away, it's Jeff Hardy. Frankly, I think both Roode and Aries have more of a claim to it than Hardy does, but never underestimate the voices of thousands of sheep. Hardy comes into the ring to claim his trophy as all the thirteen year old girls in the crowd chant his name and says that winning this award means as much as being the World Champion. Roode comes in and tells him to cut the crap because when he was the World Champion, there was nothing more important than that title and he didn't give a damn what any of the morons in the crowd thought. Roode made history by becoming the longest reigning World Champion in company history, and the fact that he's not the Wrestler of the Year is a bunch of bullsh- Aries interrupts Roode and says this is obviously rigged because he was the longest reigning X Division Champion and beat Roode for the title. He averaged over four stars for every match and deserves to be Wrestler of the Year. Hardy says they both get their wish and that he'll defend against both of them at Genesis, then says that when they think of 2012, to remember it as the Year of the Enigma. Hardy rightly winds up on the receiving of an ass beating for being such a smug jerk, but he gets ahold of the trophy and hits Roode in the groin so hard with it that he breaks the little man off the top of the trophy, which he then uses to knock Aries out. What a guy.
Tonight: Joe and Angle take on Doc and a masked Aces & Eights guy in a cage! Plus, Hulk Hogan returns and we'll see how he deals with Bubba and Brooke! Plus, in case you didn't know, STING IS BACK!!!
The dumbass cameraman tries to ask James Storm how he felt about not winning Wrestler of the Year, but Daniels and Kazarian come in and cut him off before doing a mock interview where Daniels plays Storm while Kazarian interviews him. Storm says they ought to be comedians because, even though he didn't win the World Title, he's going to win it in 2013. He tells Daniels to stop drinking piss water, spits in the appletini, and tells them to figure out which one is going to come out and get his ass kicked next.
James Storm vs Frankie Kazarian
Daniels starts to step in the ring like he's going to be the one facing Storm, but then Kazarian comes in and jumps Storm from behind. Storm turns the tables and hits a Thesz Press, then dumps Kazarian over the top rope to the floor. Storm wipes Kazarian out with a slingshot crossbody and then chases Daniels around ringside until Kazarian recovers and clotheslines him. Kazarian heads back in the ring, but grabs the referee's attention so Daniels can lay in a few cheapshots and dump Storm back inside so Kazarian can cover for 2. Storm hits a lungblower out of nowhere and follows up with a side Russian legsweep. IS there another kind of Russian legsweep that they need to differentiate from? Storm gets 2 and takes a swipe at Daniels at ringside, and that allows Kazarian to nail Storm and hit a TKO for 2. Storm with another lungblower and he goes for the Last Call, but stops when he sees Daniels on the apron and superkicks him instead. Storm dodges a charging Kazarian and lays him out with another Last Call, and that's all she wrote.
Winner: James Storm
We go to the Aces & Eights clubhouse where Devon tells Ken Anderson that time is running out as to whether he wants to join the gang. Anderson says he wants to chill and have a good time since he enjoys Devon's recruitment process. Doc walks up and asks him what the (bleep) it's going to be, because Sting is coming back tonight and they need to know right now. Anderson says that if this is how it's going to be, then none of them should show Sting even an ounce of fear. He hands Doc his hammer, and Devon says they should go find out what Sting has to offer. He asks the big guy if he's seen his bat around anywhere, but big guy hasn't seen it. Gee, I wonder what that could be about.
Kenny King sees Kid Kash backstage and says he's a legend who he used to watch on VHS. They've got this tournament tonight for a shot at the X Division Title, and after they get done winning their first round matches tonight, it's going to be the two of them going at it for a shot at Rob Van Dam.
We see a video package looking at the history of Aces & Eights and their war with Sting. Tonight...IT'S SHOWTIME!
Doc comes out from his special Aces & Eights entrance and makes his way to the ring, and he's got his hammer with him. He asks where Sting is and tells him to come down and join the party because it's 1-3-13, and Sting's been telling everyone who will listen that doc is a marked man. He doesn't feel like a marked man, so he again tells Sting to come out and face him. He's wasting Aces & Eights' time, and Sting should come out and face the man who's going to cripple him because he wants it, the fans in the Impact Zone want it, and he wants Sting to get his ass out here RIGHT NOW. A baseball bat falls from the ceiling, and Doc says he's not afraid of Sting and tells him to come on out...but we abruptly cut to commercial.
The asswipe with the camera catches up with Brooke Hogan on her way into the building and harasses her to ask whether she's talked to her dad since kissing Bully Ray. She says no, so the guy is like "No you haven't talked to him, or no you didn't kiss Bully?" Brooke says
X Division Contender's Tournament: Kid Kash vs Christian York
Kash jumps York on his way into the ring, but York starts firing back and drives Kash from the ring. They fight out to the floor, York nails Kash on his way back into the ring, drills Kash with a big boot, and folds Kash in half with a half nelson suplex. Kash reverses a suplex and chokes York over the middle rope while ramming crossfaces across his nose, but tries a moonsault and comes down on York's knees. York hits a handspring enziguiri and covers for 2, then a swinging Flatliner for 2. Kash gets a small package for 2, then ducks a kick and goes for the Moneymaker. York escapes so Kash goes for a backslide, York rolls through that and rolls the dice for the win.
Winner: Christian York
Chavo Guerrero Jr and Hernandez are backstage, they say they're the World Tag Team Champions and they're not running from Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan or anybody else.
Hernandez comes out to the ring for his match with Matt Morgan, but Morgan comes out with Joey Ryan and his arm in a sling. He says these things happen when you throw around 700 pounds like it's your job, and his partner Joey Ryan is going to come down the aisle and kick his ass. Ryan doesn't look happy, but he rubs baby oil on himself while Morgan psychs him up, and he rushes the ring.
Joey Ryan vs Hernandez
Hernandez destroys Joey, unloading on him with pummeling offense and hitting an over the shoulder backbreaker. Morgan tries slowing him down by grabbing his ankle from the floor, but Hernandez shoves him off and hits a Pounce that nearly sends Joey into the next time zone. Morgan suddenly comes in the ring and flattens Hernandez with the Carbon Footprint to draw the DQ.
Winner: Hernandez by DQ
Joey beats Chavo down in the corner as Morgan makes scary faces into the camera.
Hulk Hogan is backstage, and he's...WALKING!
Kurt Angle is backstage thanking Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff for their help, but telling them to sit this one out. Garett says he'd rather be out there helping, but Joe says he doesn't need their help. Angle tells Joe to calm down because they're just being respectful, then sends his young boys on their way and tells Joe that they don't know where Sting's at but they need to take care of Aces & Eights.
The Knockouts are backstage, and they're...STRETCHING! They'll be in tag team action tonight!
We see a video package looking at the history of the Bully Ray-Brook Hogan-Hulk Hogan situation, then Hulk comes out to the ring to get down to business. First, he wants to apologize to everyone in the Impact Zone for not showing up last week. Will he also apologize for the weeks on end he'd disappear when he first started? He was caught off guard by seeing his daughter making out with Bully Ray, but he wants to take care of business and do it in the public eye once again. He asks Bully Ray and Brooke to come out to the ring right now, and as they walk to the ring, I wonder if Brooke always wears such slutty outfits when hanging out with her dad. I quickly decide not to ask questions like that about this family. Hulk says Bubba's been trying to get his respect for weeks, but something didn't seem right and he's been trying to figure out what his story is. There's a bro code and a code of the road, so now that he knows where they're at, he wants to know why. I'm guessing it's sex. They take a real long time to answer, but Bubba finally tells Hulk that he's right: they are brothers, he should have come clean and told him about his thing with Brooke, and all the heat is on him. Hulk says he's been telling everyone in the locker room from day one that he's no good, and when Bubba breaks the code, he doesn't even belong in the business. He tells Brooke to stay out of this, and tells Bubba that if this was 20 years ago they'd have already gone at it, but since it's today then they'll play the game with lawyers and General Managers. Hogan tells Bubba that he's suspended indefinitely without pay, then tells Brooke that she made her decision and now she'll have to live with it, and tells her to get out of his ring too. Brooke and Bubba seem shocked at this, and I have to say that this seems to be in flagrant disregard for what most sane lawyers and General Managers would sanction. They finally leave as Hogan looks satisfied at putting TNA in such a precarious position of liability by making HR decisions for indisputably personal reasons on live national television.
We come back from commercial break and, in case you didn't see Hulk Hogan setting TNA up for a major lawsuit mere moments ago, they show us a replay before going to OVW to take another look at Joseph Park training to be a wrestler. Danny Davis says he's been trying to get rid of him for weeks, but the fact that he keeps coming back says he has a passion for this and now he sees something in him. Park has been watching tapes and realizes how much more he has to learn, but also how much potential he has. He's going to become a student of the game, and Davis thinks he could be a game changer in this industry. We see Davis telling Park how much he sees in him and thanks him for everything he did here, so I guess that means he's graduated and will be back on Impact soon.
Knockouts Champion Tara & Gail Kim vs Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher
Gail and Tessmacher go at it as we start, with Tessmacher taking Gail out with a flying clothesline and a crossbody. Tara cheapshots Tessmacher from the outside and then tags in so she can grind her eyes across the top rope. That's cold, man. Tessmacher makes a blind tag and snapmares Tara so Mickie can come charging in with a running knee before dropkicking Gail out to the floor. Tara and Gail try to escape to the floor, but Mickie and Tessmacher go outside and give them a double noggin knocker. Taryn Terrell, being the high end official she is, blocks Tessmacher from coming back inside and pays no attention to Tara and Gail beating Mickie up 2-on-1 as we go to commercial.
We're back, coincidentally JUST as Mickie takes out both Gail and Tara and makes a hot tag to Tessmacher. Tessmacher comes in and goes nuts on Tara humping her face and setting up for the stinkface before Tara slips out to the floor so Gail can come in and nail Tessmacher from behind. Tara comes back in and blatantly chokes Tessmacher before using a hair Beell. Tessmacher gets double teamed in teh corner while Mickie distracts Terrell, and Gail hits a version of Go To Sleep for 2. Gail hits a running clothesline for 2, but misses a charge and hits the post. Gail falls out to the floor and now Tessmacher is crawling to make a tag, but Gail pulls Mickie off the apron just before Tessmacher gets to her corner. Mickie comes in AGAIN and distracts the referee while Tara tags in with a slingshot legdrop and covers for 2. Looks like Tara accidentally popped her on that one. Tara goes to a surfboard and then tries for the ass-shaking moonsault, but Tessmacher gets her knees up and then bulldogs Tara before finally making it to the corner and tagging in Mickie. Mickie takes Gail out with a Thesz Press and dropkicks Tara to the floor. Mickie with the swinging headscissors out of the corner and gets a neckbreaker for 2. Tessmacher takes Tara out, Tara rolls out to the floor to be comforted by Jesse, but Tessmacher takes them both out with a dive off the top rope. Mickie hits the implant DDT on Gail and gets the win.
Winners: Mickie James & Miss Tessmacher
Back to the Aces & Eights clubhouse, where Doc says that it's BS that Kurt Angle is after them, and he says there's no way they can let Angle take their masks off. The VP says Doc is right, and that anyone who still has a mask can't lose it. Another member of the group pulls out a switchblade and stabs it into the table as we go to commercial. This angle just gets better and better.
ODB is backstage saying that Aces & Eights have caused a lot of damage and Sting is back tonight to take care of them, but her husband Eric Young just got out of the hospital and is home recovering. She promises that he will be back in the Impact Zone one day.
After looking back at the confrontation between Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode from earlier tonight, we see Aries and Roode bothering Hogan about the match Hardy wanted to make. Hogan said it's already official and it's going to be an elimination match so nobody will have anything to complain about, and that next week they're going to team up to face Hardy and whoever he wants as a partner.
It's main event time! Well, almost...Doc runs out and attacks Kurt Angle on his way into the cage and locks the cage shut with Joe in there by himself.
Cage Match: Samoa Joe vs Devon & ??????
Doc keeps beating Angle up on the floor while Joe tries to hold his own against Devon and the big guy. Joe does okay for a minute or two until Devon blindsides Joe with a running forearm, and now Joe's in trouble. Gee, I wonder who's going to save him. Joe tries to mount a comeback here and there, but mostly takes a beating and continues to do so as we go to commercial.
We're back, and Joe is once more trying to mount a comeback and is actually doing okay as he peppers Devon with jabs and takes him out with a flying boot before t-bone suplexing the big dude. Angle again tries to climb the cage, Doc pulls him down but Kurt kicks him in the uprights, steals the key to the cage door, and lets himself in to even the playing field. Angle is a house of fire as he beats up both Devon and the big guy, taking out the big guy with a missile dropkick and then tries to take his mask off. Doc tries to get in the cage and Angle goes after him, but Doc slams the door in his face and takes him out again. Angle rolls out of the way of a top rope headbutt from Devon as Joe takes out the big guy with a running boot, and Angle is busted open as he hits rolling German suplexes on Devon before ramming him back and forth into the cage walls. The big guy is on his own and now he takes a 2-on-1 beating until Angle gives him the Hacker Slam for the win.
Winners: Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe
Joe and Angle go for the mask again, but Devon and Doc swoop in and then the rest of the gang floods out of the back and comes in the cage for a 37-on-2 beatdown. Say, where are Garett and Brisco? Ken Anderson is on the outside observing the festivities as the beatdown continues, and with two minutes left in the show, you know who's showing up next. Sure enough, Sting comes into the cage and beats up the entire gang by himself with his bat. Doc smiles at Sting, but runs for his life when Sting goes after him with his bat. Now the big guy is outnumbered even worse then before and gets laid out with Sting's bat. Angle pulls the mask off and reveals that the big dude is Mike Knox, and he hightails to to the back as the rest of the gang tries to cover up his face. Devon looks really pissed off as Sting, Angle, and Joe celebrate in the ring to close the show.
Thanks for following PWInsider.com's live coverage of Impact Wrestling. I'll be back tomorrow to discuss Impact and more with Dave Scherer on the Stu & Pid Show!