The show opens with Magnus coming out to the ring and demanding answers from Hardy about his meeting with Dixie last week. He brings Up 10/10/10 and how he hasn’t forgot Hardy’s past sins. Hardy comes out and tells Magnus he doesn’t know what he’s talking about but refuses to give a straight answer, instead Hardy just walks off.
In the back Jeremy Borash is with Kurt Angle, who says tonight he is finally put the past few months behind him and start a brand new chapter for Kurt Angle.
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode 2 out of 3 falls
The first fall is easily the best of the three,with neither wrestler wanting to give it up. A lot of back and forth action, at one point Angle almost runs into the ref, while the ref gets out of the way Roode hits a low blow and gets a pin.
The second fall is quick and Angle mounts a comeback and hit the Angle Slam for a pin and the second fall evening the score at one a piece.
The third fall the pace of the match slows down with both men going for submissions throughout. Kurt seems to have the match won with the Ankle Lock, but Roode turns it into a roll-up and grabs the ropes to get the pin and the match.
Good match with an unexpected finish as it seems to be the sendoff match for this story, so seeing Roode go over was nice, even if he did have to cheat to win both of his falls to take the match.
After the match Kurt is in the locker room talking about how he has out wrestled Roode every match, but some how keeps gets outsmarted in the ring, something that has never happened to him, when pressed about what was next for Angle he just said “to go home with his family.”
The Feast or Fired “winners” are seen entering a meeting room where they will have the reveal. EC3 is the last to arrive as he gets a call from Aunt D, trying a way out of the stipulation, if he were to get the fired case. Aunt D says her hands are tied and he has to follow through with whats in the case, no matter what.
Eric Young comes down to the ring to explain to Joesph Park why he believes Joesph Park is Abyss. EY explains that all the signs have pointed to it all along, and then tells Park that to prove his point next it will Park vs. Bad Influence in a monster’s ball match. Park asks why EY would do that to him, EY says calm down because he has some presents that might make him feel better: a chair, thumb tacks, and barbed wire, all some of Abyss’ signature weapons. Park still is having none of it however. That’s when EY says there is one last gift under the ring. Park looks under the ring to find “Janice” and as soon as Park sees the weapon, something changes in him, and he is mesmerized by it and tells EY he’ll take the match.
It is time to reveal who won what in feast or fired last week. All for winners are in a meeting room in the back. James Storm is along with gunner. Dixie walks in and cuts a promo about her brilliance in coming up with the feast or fired concept, and how her new Dixieland match is going to be even better.
Zema Ion is the first to open his case, and he is granted a X Division title shot. Gunner is next, and he gets the World Title shot, this causes a lot of tension between him and Storm as Gunner is the one who knocked Storm out of the way to get that case.
Chavo and EC3 are left one gets a tag-team shot, the other is fired. Before they can reveal what’s in the last two cases, Sting comes in and talks to EC3. Sting says EC3 has been handed everything in life and it’s not fair that there is a 50/50 shot that Chavo, a man who has worked hard for everything, gets fired. Sting then sets up a deal that he will take whatever is in EC3’s case, so long as he gets a match against him. EC3 in great fashion does the double speak sounding likes he is going take Stings offer, but takes the easy route and chooses the case. EC3 and Chavo open their cases and EC3 gets the tag title shot, while Chavo is fired. EC3 and Dixie celebrate before Sting tells them they disgust him and consuls Chavo.
Gail Kim & Lai’D Tappa vs. ODB and Madison Rayne
Decent match, not much happened. The finish saw Rayne pin KIm while ODB and Tappa fought outside the ring. It did what it needed to do nothing more.
World Title Tournament Finals: Magnus vs. Jeff Hard Dixieland Match
A Dixieland match, is a two part match. It starts in the cage, where escape over the top is the only option. The second part involves climbing a ladder on the stage to retrieve the belt.
Before the match Hardy, who has been question by various superstars throughout the night, finally decides to come clean, and says that he thought about Dixie’s offer, but couldn’t go back to that place, and is going to do the right thing, and when he wins he is going to follow the lead of AJ. This brings Dixie out, she says that Hardy needs to remember the only reason he still has a job in the wrestling industry is because of her. Because even though everyone told her not to after Victory Road ’11, she stood by his side. So he needs to to the right thing by Dixie tonight or he’ll be unemployed just like AJ Styles.
Magnus comes out, and after the formal introductions the match begins.
The cage portion of the match is where most of the action happens. a lot of stuff off the top rope from both guys. A lot of back and forth. At one point Hardy tries going through the hole in the cage for the camera but Magnus pulls him back in. Eventually Hardy starts to get an edge and hits the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy climbs to the top of the cage, and decides that Magnus isn’t quite out yet, and hits another Whisper in the Wind this time from the top of the cage. Both men are down for a long time Hardy gets to his feet first and starts climbing the cage. Magnus follows suit on the other side of the ring. When they both are at the top EC3 tries to run interference and keep Magnus is the cage, but Hardy comes around and takes out Carter with a Twist of Fate, and before Magnus knows what happened Hardy hits him with a Twist of Fate as well. Dixie tries to stop Hardy from climbing the ladder but he just shoves her aside. When it looks like Hardy has the belt won, Rock star Spud shoves the ladder over. Giving Magnus an open shot for the belt. Magnus climbs the ladder unimpeded, and wins to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. After the match Magnus celebrates with the Carters and Spud and it looks as though Dixie has found her champion.
Overall a really good show. The two main events really delivered, and the Feast or Fired segment was awesome with the Sting/EC3 interaction. A lot of stories resolved and plenty more to keep the viewer wanting to comeback. In a time where it seems the WWE cares less and less about its big nights(PPV’s) Final Resultion delivered in terms of story and wrestling.
News, if you can call what the “dirt sheets” post as news, broke yesterday that AJ Styles is ready to leave TNA and not renew his contract once his extension is up. For many die hard TNA fans, of which it seems there are lesser and lesser of these days, it seems a shot in the heart as the face of TNA since it’s inception is now apparently gone. There are many different roads he and TNA could go down still, but the two easiest to see are WWE and RoH, and then the third which is still a possibility with what has happened over the passed year or so, a return to TNA.
The first and easily the one that causes most of the stir in the IWC as soon as the news broke, is the possibility of AJ signing with WWE. The biggest problem being his age. AJ is 36 years old and many would say his in ring ability has already been slipping for the past few years. If WWE were to sign him, they would send him down to nXt and see what he could do there for a year or two before he ever got his face on Raw or Smackdown. Putting him even closer to 40 and getting even slower in the ring. The WWE style is something not all wrestlers can easily adapt to either. This can be noted with the recent departure of Mistico(Sin Cara) from the company after he was put directly on TV without the time put into developmental. While there are a number of stories and matches with guys like The Shield, Punk, Bryan, and others that would be must see for any TNA fan, or wrestling fan for that matter. The timing just doesn’t seem right for AJ to go to WWE, that shipped has sailed, he is just getting to old to have the time to adapt and find a place in the WWE roster.
A return to ROH and with that the indies is the second road that Styles can go down. AJ has been there before and for now at least he seems to be going to them again. The indies will gladly pay AJ what he is worth to them to come and make a few appearances, and of course ROH will have a wide open door to bring him back. It seems like this will be the most probable path for AJ. The hurdle here would be the financial situation this would put him in. While the stories of TNA and low wages are a dime a dozen, the indies are not all they are romanticized as being. There will be times that he gets paid more for an appearance at an indie show than he would for an appearance for TNA, but for every one of those how many shows will pay him less than his TNA rate? This is the balancing act he is going to have to do as long as he continues to work the indies, and no doubt this will lead to more dates, and a tougher travel schedule than he would have to work with TNA.
The last option is return to TNA. Over the past year and half we have seen Matt Morgan, Devon, D Lo, and Mr. Anderson, along with others let their TNA contracts expire only to return to the organization a few months on down the line. This why TNA fans shouldn’t completely get their hopes dashed and feel AJ leaving isn’t a death nail for TNA. He could always return down the line, and with so many recent TNA figures doing the same in recent months AJ could just be the next name on the list.
The silver lining of the entire situation is Magnus. While it seems many fans are split down the middle on if they love him or not, he is now going to be the face of the company. While the title tournament is finished yet(I refuse to read spoilers and allow the show to speak for itself)it seems that while Hardy has a shot to win, the story going into the final match is going to be all about Magnus finally getting over the hump and winning his first world title. People want TNA to push new talent and with Magnus’ recent run since Bound for Glory, beating every Mafia member. A win against Hardy for the title, and then a win against AJ Styles, to pass the torch of being the face of the company, would be TNA doing everything right to move into the “post AJ” era, with a brand new poster boy who has proven himself in the ring not only over the past few months but over an entire year of building the next TNA star.
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.
iMPACT opens with Dixie coming out to the ring a cutting a promo announcing that next week will be the semi-finals of the TNA title tournament, with Booby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy in a tables match and Kurt Angle vs. Magnus in a last man standing match. She continues on to her newest hire, a new Chief of Staff: Rockstar Spud. This is a good move. He is better on the mic than her, and is dripping in charisma. Using him a lackey and a go between can keep Dixie out of the ring in live promos, where she still tends to struggle and keep her in the back, where she really does great. The last thing she announces in a Thanksgiving feast for all of tonight’s winners at the end of the show. EC3 then comes down at the end of the promo giving thanks to Aunt Dixie, for the opportunities shes given him and talking up his next opponent, another TNA Legend.
EC3 vs. Curry Man
It was fun seeing Curry Man back in TNA for the night. It also helps with the EC3 build that started at Turning Point last week, with him going through TNA Legends that were all at best low mid-carders, yet beloved by the TNA fans. After weeks off beating the same two jobbers in different forms, he has started to take on, more established talent, yet still no one that can come close to his level in the ring. EC3 gets another win and continues build himself as one of the best heels in the company.
Velvet Sky vs. Lei’d Tapa
In a quick squash this does everything it needs in terms of helping Tapa become a more believable body guard for Gail Kim. Really until now it has been mostly her imposing stature, than any actual in ring work. With this match she gets a big win over a former Knockout champ, looking strong with the quick decisive victory.
Turkey Bowl 2013
Before the break, the Bro Mans are chilling in the back with their brand new DJ Zema Ion, when Eric Young brings back the tradition of the Turkey Bowl. A Thanksgiving day match where the loser must put on a turkey suit. He tells the Bro Mans that this years will be the first ever tag team turkey bowl, and their opponents, Norv Fernum and Dewy Barnes. The Bro Mans come out and cut a promo against “the nerds” as Taz has become fond of calling them. As the Bro Mans turn around to hand off the mics and start the match, Norv and Dewy go for a quick roll up on the the Tag Team Champs, but they kick out and before long the Bro Mans get the win. After the match as, Bro Mans try to humiliate Norv and Dewy, by forcing them to put on the turkey suit, this backfires as the crowd gets behind Norv and Dewy as they put on the suits and just have a great time. Pissing off the Bro Mans as they storm off while EY joins in the fun in the ring with Norv and Dewy.
The Friends of AJ Styles put together another promo featuring AJ’s world tour. Then Dixie is shown in the back giving AJ an ultimatum, bring back the belt on next weeks iMPACT, or else.
The Funeral of Aces & 8’s
This is easily the best of mixing in comedy, reality, and story serious story progression there can be. The preacher starts off the eulogy asking if anybody has anything to say about the Aces’ & 8’s. Mr. Anderson makes a grand entrance and starts things off with a some what meta promo about the group, followed by Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, and even Mike Tenay. When Anderson comes back to the podium to close the funeral. Bully Ray enters the funeral home, and all the lightheartedness vanished, and the tension could be felt through the screen. He comes in says what he has to say, in a soft but stern tone, and walks away. Perfection.
8 man elimination tag
Team Roode(Bobby Roode, Chris Daniels, Kazarian, and Chris Sabin) vs. Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Gunner, James Storm, and Magnus). The match is controlled by EGO who have been teaming together for months while there is a little dissension in the ranks of Team Angle. James storm is the first eliminated followed quickly Gunner, putting Team Angle at a 2 to 4 disadvantage. The match goes to the outside and Magnus tries to come off the apron, but hurts himself in the process taken himself out of the match living Angle as the last man for his team. The numbers are just too much and eventually Kurt resorts to using a chair and gets himself DQ’d giving the win to Team Roode, but ends standing tall. This match did a lot in a short time span, the rift between Storm and Gunner has gotten wider, Magnus is hurt going into his match against Angle next week, and Roode can now say he has won 3 matches in a row against Kurt Angle.
The Winner Winner Turkey Dinner feast.
The last segment brings together all the winners of the nights matches, and all get a chance to cut a short promo, and as Bobby Roode starts to gloat about beating Angle again, Kurt comes out with the rest of the nights losers and a fun food fight/brawl ensues, giving the fans something to cheer as the good guys stand tall, fans chanting TNA, TNA, TNA, as the show ends.
A great episode. A lot happened in a short time span, great build for the younger stars EC3 and Lei’D Tapa, and even Norv and Dewey. The end of Aces’ & 8’s with a great segment that also built towards a rematch between Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray. Rockstar Spud was great throughout the night in his segments pre paring the Thanksgiving Feast. Nothing felt like a waste of time, and everything was building.
Let’s just state about who I am. Am I a wrestling insider with a bunch of backstage connections, no. Am a pro wrestler myself, no. Who and what I am is a fan first and last. I started watching wrestling in the late 90’s with the nWo and WCW. Never have been a big WWE fan then, or now. When I first saw TNA it was still on the weekly PPV’s and have been a fan ever since. Their have been ups and downs the entire time but in recent months it seems like the door is closer to closing than it has ever been before, and I think that it is a shame because in terms of a product I feel they have already stepped up their game higher than any point in the Hulk Hogan Era.
Hulk and more so Eric Bischoff did bring great additions to the company. The biggest and most prevalent being the Bound for Glory Series. A great format that if handled correctly can build/end feuds and be used to see if a talent has what it takes to take the ball and be “the guy”. They also are the ones that brought the idea of “Option C”, which has propelled Austin Aries from an X division standout to a perennial main-eventer. Since they left the current TNA product is best it can be, but there is still a lot of room for improvement,
1. This can be seen as both a positive and a negative but its the biggest thing they are doing currently, and that is the Winter of Styles story. The biggest and easiest knock of this is the fact that it is a rehash of the CM Punk story WWE did a couple of years ago. Which, made it hard to swallow at first. Since then however they have taken the story WWE should have with Punk, allowing AJ to take and defend his title in AAA and in Japan. They are also giving updates about AJ perfectly, not through taking TNA cameras and just giving us a recap like they would for a house show. They make 30 second adds that are “paid for the friends of AJ Styles”, very similar to early nWo vignettes. To add to reality, to the ads being paid for by an outside source, every week we have seen Dixie going nuts after these are shown, first of all talking on cell phone, then to her producers and most recently to higher ups at Spike, all trying to get these adds to stop playing during her show.
2. Heel Dixie. After a rough start she is getting better with time, and honestly, her live in ring segments still need a lot of work. More importantly than her acting, though, she is getting more heel heat when she is out there, than anybody else outside of Bully Ray. Not just heat of people hating the segment and booing cause it is bad, but the heat they are wanting her character to get, which means that even through the acting, it is getting through to the audience. Then her backstage segments are amazing and can’t be much better than they currently are. The biggest problem is she seems to break her own kayfabe at times, like with the recent SI interview. Overall, a positive if she is given more time to get used to the character.
3. Ethan Carter the Third, EC3, has been easily the best thing TNA has done in a while. He was one of the highlights of Bound for Glory, and his program with the same two jobbers has been awesome. He has the look, the charisma, and the gimmick of being Dixie’s nephew that allows him to keep handpicking a bunch of nobody’s but acting like these wins are huge. Everything about EC3 just works and seems to just be building as he just defeated Shark Boy, and when he finally gets into a feud with a more established talent, for a PPV match, people will want to pay to finally see EC3 get his comeuppance.
4. The TNA title tournament. This has gone perfect so far. They had enough different stories going into it that it gave most of the competitors a shot . With the semi-finals set, it looks as though Roode should move on against Hardy. While the other side is anyone’s guess. The obvious choice is Angle with the feud building between him and Roode, and the, for lack of a better term, Survivor Series match with those two as captions set to main event next weeks Impact. Yet, they have been teasing Magnus getting a huge push for a year now, with the big push while they were in England just before Lockdown, the fast start to the BFG Series, and by beating Sting clean at Bound for Glory. Now with him going through Samoa Joe, another former mafia teammate, he has one last mafia member to beat to get to the finals.
5. Ending Aces & 8’s. While it looks like we will see Anderson and Bully continue their feud beyond this match, with the Aces & 8’s officially dead, it opens a lot more TV time for some others that have been neglected as of late.
There are a lot of things that TNA still needs to work on. Where have the X and Tag Team divisions been since Bound For Glory? How will Impact Zone V 2.0 do after taking Impact off of the road? If the company is truly for sale how will that effect the Dixie/EC3 stories? The era of Hulk Hogan is over for TNA, and things are looking good, but there are still some unanswered questions, and steps that need to be made before TNA has that completely behind them.