12/5/13 iMPACT Recap: The Final Four Edition
iMPACT opens with Kurt Angle heading to the ring and talking about his quest for redemption and how it’s parallel to his quest for the World Heavyweight Title. During this speech he calls out Magnus and asks about his actions during last week’s main event, where Magnus left Angle high and dry, Magnus responds saying he was hurt and had to make to decision to fight another day. Bobby Roode interrupts saying he is going to win because he is the one man left in the tournament with a killer instinct. This brings out Hardy and very shortly we have out first match underway.
Semi Final one: Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy in a Tables Match
In what was a match that was fun but felt like it was way too short Jeff Hardy had some awesome spots, and a lot of high flying action. There was a point about halfway through the match where both men were battling on the apron with a table beneath them, that ended with both men falling through the table as iMPACT cuts to a break. Back from the break, and the ruling was to allow the match to continue until there is a clear winner. Some more spots and the match ends with Roode trying to suplex Hardy from the inside of the ring out the floor and through the table. Hardy reverses it however, and knocks Roode off the apron and through the table for the win. A decent match for the limited time they had. The biggest problem with this match was the implications, with Hardy winning the Roode vs. Angle showdown in the finals is off, giving away a little bit as that seemed to be the biggest feud being built with this tournament.
Before the break an IMPACT365 promo from EC3 talking about the TNA Legends saying he is going to take out a third on this weeks iMPACT.
Back from break and another IMPACT365 promo is shown this one from Dixie Carter saying that she received an email from AJ Styles, and her belt should be returned to her, by the end of the episode, via fedex.
EC3 comes out to the ring to introduce his “hand-picked” opponent: Earl Hebner. This turns into a giant heel promo putting over EC3, giving him more heat than he has had as of yet. Saying he is a 1 percenter, and that Hebner and the rest of the 99 percent work for him. Rockstar Spud forces Brian Hebner to come out to the ring and count his father out after Earl was forced to lay down. EC3 covers him with one finger and reluctantly Brian counts the 1,2,3. EC3 “wins” and gets the loudest boo’s he has ever gotten, making this quite possibly the best EC3 “match”/promo to date.
A recap of the Bad Influence vs. Joseph Park and Eric Young feud is shown, then backstage Bad Influence talks about their trip to Chicago, and they are going to reveal the truth about Park tonight.
Another IMPACT365 is shown: the date of Christy Hemme and Samuel Shaw, everything looks like it was going great then after Christy leaves, Shaw grabs and threatens the waiter, telling him that he will kill him if he looks at Christy again, then is back to normal when she returns. This American Psycho type character for Shaw, has a lot of potential and can’t wait to see where they take it.
More Dixie/AJ recaps, Dixie is told there is a delivery for her, then when it turns out to just be flowers she turns around and nearly fires the assistant for interrupting her.
Back from break and Dixie has gathered a bunch of the wrestlers saying she is bringing back another Dixie Carter original: Feast or Fired, and that it will be the main event next week.
Back to the ring and Bad Influence is heading down to the ring to fulfill their promise if exposing Joseph Park. Park comes to the ring begging them to stop, and just to let it all go. He tries destroying the evidence they have on him but it’s too late and they tell the truck to roll the footage of Bad Influence’s trip to Chicago, and the office of Park, Park, and Park. We find out that Park, Park, and Park is no longer in that building and hasn’t been in business for thirteen years. Park doesn’t give them an answer so Bad Influence starts to beat him down before Young makes the save and announces a tag match for next week. Nice to see a turn in this story that really was unexpected. Sure it all leading up to the reveal of Joe Park being Abyss, a fact that seems to be known by Young already with him making illusions to it in his promo, and something that explains why if they are the same person, how he could seemingly be holding to careers at once. What happened that closed down Park, Park, and Park, and turned the seemingly mild mannered Joe Park into Abyss?
In the back Sting is giving a pep talk to Magnus, and talking him up, there is a bit of a question whether or not that the “entitled” wrestler Sting needs to take care of is Magnus, but that gets blown off, cut to Rockstar Spud getting a message that the delivery guy should be there any minute.
Back to the ring we have DJ Zema Ion introducing the Bro Mans for non title action against Gunner and Storm.Nothing much happened though out the match. Gunner and Storm were easily handling the Bro Mans for most of the match, Gunner hits the Last Call on Jesse. But before the ref can make the count Robbie spits beer in the face of Gunner, who immediately starts beating him and as the ref tries to separate the two and get them out of the ring Gunner shoves the ref causing the DQ, giving the win to the Bro Mans. Furthering the dissension between Gunner and Storm. This match really just felt like filler, and that it took up time that could have been added on to either one of the Semi Final matches, yes it furthered the Storm/Gunner story, but at the cost of giving guys in your world title picture more time to shine in their matches.
In the back we see Sting heading towards Kurt Angle’s locker room only to be cut off by Spud. This segment between the two, Spud, who doesn’t recognize who Sting is without the face paint, and Sting who doesn’t respect Spud’s authority at all, is awesome in every way. This segment easily stole the show in terms of comedy it was amazing.
Gail Kim comes out for an open challenge match. She gets another quick easy win over an indie wrestler, but after the match as Lai’d Tapa and Kim beat down the challenger, ODB makes the save taking out Tapa and standing tall in the end. The Kim story needs to have a payoff soon, as it has been two months and nothing has happened, and ODB seems to be headed on a collision course with Tapa not Kim.
Semi-Final 2: Kurt Angle vs. Magnus Last Man Standing
A really good back and forth match. Both men getting in plenty of offense, and it looks like either one can get the win through out the entire thing. Eventually Kurt get on a huge roll and as Magnus tries to mount a comeback, the ref gets bumped and Angle hits the Angle slam. This gives an opening for Roode to come down and take out Angle, and wake up the ref. The ref begins to count both men out and Magnus barely beats the count giving him an unexpected victory over Angle. Roode hits the ring and starts to take out Angle as Hardy comes down to make the save eventually we get to a stare down between the two men left Hardy and Magnus. So this match set the finals and continues the Roode/Angle fued. Good overall as with stars the caliber of Angle and Roode the title doesn’t need to be part of it. While Jeff hardy seems to be doing nothing at this point, and Magnus has now beat all of his former Mafia team matesm seems to be a lock to get his first title regain.
Cut Dixie’s office with her and Spud opening the package only to find out that AJ sent a toy belt. As she storms a “Friends of AJ” promo plays and for the first time since he walked out of TNA we her AJ speak. He says that if Dixie wants HIS belt she is going to have to come to the trailer park and get it, and that she now has a fake belt to put on her fake champ.
This episode was a mixed bag. The in ring action all felt rushed and TNA has gone back to taping a months worth of iMPACT in about three days time, so it seems there is less in ring product than when they were on the road simply to keep as many story line and segment spoiler out. The problem with this is you then get huge chunks of show where nothing happens that isn’t in the back. In a perfect world TNA would still be on the every other week schedule they were on before they came back to Orlando. There was just too much in this episode. With both the semi-finals matches in the same episode, there wasn’t need for both the tag-team match and the especially the Kim match. Just one would of been enough and the rest of the time could of been added onto the semis matches. Rockstar Spud has already grown into his role as Chief of Staff better than Dixie ever could be a heel on even her best days, giving him more camera time and her less is a very good thing. The announcement of the return of Feast or Fired was a surprise,now if at Slammiversery they bring back King of the Mountain, and Six Sides, TNA can get back on get back to being an alternative and not just WWE Lite, like they were in the Hogan Era.
Look out for my new Series, where I take a few hot news items, or even storylines that seem to be giving TNA a bad rap, or just aren’t going over well. I hope to have that up on Monday, as always Thanks for Reading.