Impact Report for Jan. 3 - Mike Knox Unmasked
Blaine van der Griend / January 3, 2013 - 11:03pm
Impact kicks off with a video montage, reminding us of Sting’s return tonight.
And now, WE…ARE…LIVE! Jeremy Borash takes center stage, as he introduces the five candidates for TNA Superstar of 2012: Bully Ray, James Storm, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy. As JB is about to announce the winner, Roode and Aries prematurely head down to the ring, as they argue about which one of them is the Superstar of the Year. Before they make it into the ring, Borash ruins the moment by announcing that the winner is Jeff Hardy. Hardy joins his trophy in the ring. He starts to thank the fans for their support, but he is interrupted by Bobby Roode. Roode calls BS on the fact that Hardy says the fans’ support means just as much to him as the World Title. Roode says when he was champion, he didn’t give a damn about the fans. Roode says he should be the Superstar of the Year. Aries cuts Roode off and reminds him that he beat Roode for the title at Destination X, which makes him the Superstar of the Year. Hardy says if they want to prove themselves, they’ll both get the chance in a three-way dance at Genesis. With that, Aries attacks Hardy from behind and Roode eventually joins in. As Roode holds Hardy in place, Aries attempts to nail him with the trophy, but Hardy moves, and Aries accidentally hits Roode. Hardy then delivers the twist of fate on Aries and leaves with his trophy.
James Storm is interviewed by the Reaction crew. He starts to say that things didn’t exactly work out the way he wanted them to, when he is interrupted by Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and the appletini. They basically make fun of Storm for blowing all of his title opportunities last year. Daniels then tries to top Kaz’s performance from last week, by doing a pretty good impersonation of Storm, but Storm has heard enough. He says just because he didn’t win the World Title in 2012 doesn’t mean that he won’t win it in 2013. Storm continues that he’s going out to the ring and he wants Daniels and Kazarian to decide which one of them wants to get his ass kicked tonight.
Match #1: James Storm vs. Kazarian
As Daniels and Kaz come out to the ring, it looks like Daniels is going to compete, but as Storm focuses his attention on Daniels, he is blindsided by Kazarian, who is actually going to compete. Kazarian’s advantage doesn’t last too long, as he’s quickly thrown to the floor and met with a plancha. Kazarian manages to turn the tables by sending Storm into the guardrail. Daniels gets some cheap shots in on the outside, as Kaz distracts the ref. Storm sends Kazarian for a 6’er with a ‘Closing Time’ facebuster. He follows that up with a side Russian leg sweep. Kaz comes back with the TKO, shades of Marc Mero for two. Storm mounts a comeback and tries for the ‘Last Call’ superkick, but Daniels jumps on the apron, only to be knocked right back down. Kaz tries to capitalize by charging at Storm in the corner. Storm sidesteps him, but Kaz lands with his feet on the middle turnbuckle, only to jump back and fall right into the superkick, giving Storm the win.
Winner: James Storm by pinfall
The Aces and 8s members are in their clubhouse with Mr. Anderson. Devon is having a good laugh with Anderson, but tries to get serious by saying that they need an answer from Anderson sooner than later. Anderson says he’ll give them an answer when the moment is right, as one of the ‘ladies of the night’ starts stroking the neck of Anderson’s beer bottle, as it sits between his legs. DOC starts losing his patience and demands an answer from Anderson tonight, since Sting is going to be back. Devon tries calming DOC down, and hands him his hammer. As they get ready to leave, Devon is looking around for his bat, which is nowhere to be found (I wonder where it could be).
Kenny King spots Kid Kash backstage, and refers to him as an X-Division legend. King says he assumes that Kash knows about the four-man tournament to determine a new number one contender, since Kash is in it. King sarcastically says he hopes the two of them make the finals, and he thinks there’s a good chance of that happening, since Kash will beat Christian York tonight, and King will beat Zema Ion next week. Kash doesn’t seem too worried about it, saying that he’s beaten York several times. This was kind of an awkward confrontation.
DOC comes out to the ring for the next segment. He holds his hammer in the air and invites Sting to come out and join the party. DOC says it’s no secret that Sting is going to be here tonight and that DOC is basically a marked man. DOC once again loses his patience and says that Sting is just wasting everyone’s time. He says it’s only a matter of time, before DOC cripples Sting again. As DOC continues, a black bat suddenly falls into the ring. DOC then starts losing it and repeatedly calls Sting out, as we head to commercial.
As Brooke Hogan arrives to the building, she’s approached by the Reaction crew. Jason Hervey asks if she’s had a chance to talk to her dad about what happened with her and Bully Ray. Brooke says she hasn’t had the chance yet (are we expected to believe that the Hogan family did not spend the holidays together?). Brooke says everyone, including herself, is going to have to wait to find out The Hulkster’s reaction.
Match #2: Kid Kash vs. Christian York in a semi-final match in the X-Division number one contender’s tournament
Kash attacks York as he comes through the ropes. He then flies over the top rope with a hurricanrana to York on the floor. York comes back with a half nelson suplex. Kash positions York against the middle rope and drives some vicious crossfaces into him. Kash then goes for the Merosault, but catches nothing but knees. York attacks with a running flatliner, with Kash in a kneeling position. As they trade holds back and forth, York connects with the mood swing (swinging neckbreaker) out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Christian York by pinfall
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez are interviewed by the Reaction crew backstage. Chavo says neither Joey Ryan nor Matt Morgan intimidates either of them. He says that he’s confident that his big man can beat Ryan’s big man any day of the week, since he’s done it before.
Match #3: Joey Ryan vs. Hernandez
Apparently, it was supposed to be Morgan against Hernandez, but Morgan comes out in a sling and says that he’s not 100 per cent, but he will be at Genesis. Ryan tries to get the early advantage on Super Mex, but is immediately shut down with a powerful shoulder block. Morgan then enters the ring and loses the sling, as he delivers a discus lariat to Hernandez for the DQ.
Winner: Hernandez by disqualification
After the match, Chavo goes at it with Ryan, but Morgan nails him with the carbon foot print.
Hulk Hogan is shown arriving to the building.
Kurt Angle is talking to Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco backstage, with Samoa Joe standing behind him. Angle tells the two youngsters that he and Joe can take care of this by themselves tonight, since it’s a cage match. Brisco says he and Bischoff have got their backs if they need help. Joe takes exception to this and yells at the two of them that they don’t need help. Angle calms Joe down and thanks Bischoff and Brisco for the offer, but assures them that he and Joe have this situation under control.
Up next is a video package, with highlights of the ongoing saga between Hulk Hogan and Bully Ray.
Hulk Hogan comes out to the ring. He apologizes for not being here last week, but says that he had a lot on his mind, considering this thing with his daughter Brooke and Bully Ray. With that, Hogan invites both Brooke and Ray out to the ring. They don’t waste any time accepting the invitation. Hogan says he’s often wondered what Bully Ray’s real agenda is (and yet nobody cares what Aces and 8s’ agenda is). Hogan says now that he knows what’s going on here, all he can do is ask ‘Why?’ Ray says that he should have been clean with Hogan from the start, and he takes full responsibility for that. Hogan says that as far as brotherhood goes, Ray doesn’t even belong in this business. Hogan says if this was 20 years ago, he’d put on a pair of wrestling boots and he’d go to war with Bully Ray, but since he’s now just a general manager, Hogan says that general managers have to do what general managers have to do. With that said, Hogan suspends Bully Ray indefinitely, and without pay. He then tells both Ray and Brooke to get the hell out of his ring.
Up next, we get an update on Joseph Park, who is apparently making progress. Danny Davis admires Park’s heart and says he has a good feeling about him. In one of the funniest moments on this show, as Park is leaving Davis’ office after their meeting, there’s a clear shot of Crimson, standing outside the door.
Match #4: Gail Kim and Tara vs. Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher
Tessmacher is isolated in the heels’ corner, as Tara starts taunting her against the ropes. Tessmacher finally comes back and tags Mickie, who gets something going for the team with a low dropkick. Outside the ring, the face team utilizes a noggin knocker on the heels. Tessmacher botches a faceplant out of the corner, and then she tries to go for asstastic, but Jessie pulls Tara out of the ring. The distraction allows Gail to attack Tessmacher from behind. Gail delivers a gutbuster to Tessmacher, but misses a running crossbody in the corner. Tara tags in and delivers a slingshot somersault legdrop on Tessmacher for two. Tara tries to follow up with a standing moonsault, but Tessmacher gets her knees up. Tessmacher fights back with a swinging faceplant. Mickie tags in and is on fire. She delivers a hurricanrana to Gail out of the corner and follows up with a neckrbeaker, but Tara breaks the pin at two. As Jessie is checking on Tara at ringside, Tessmacher lands on top of them with a flying crossbody off the top rope. Meanwhile, Gail misses another crossbody in the corner, allowing Mickie to deliver the swinging DDT for the win.
Winners: Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher by pinfall
As we return to the Aces and 8s clubhouse, DOC says that Kurt Angle has another thing coming if he thinks any more Aces and 8s members are going to be unmasked tonight. The VP is in full agreement, and says it’s essential that the remaining masked members of Aces and 8s stay masked.
ODB is interviewed by the Reaction crew backstage. She says the Aces and 8s guys are going to get theirs with Sting coming back tonight. She goes on to say that her husband Eric Young is not coming back any time soon, but when he does, she will be right behind her man.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are following Hulk Hogan to his office, and both guys are complaining about the match at Genesis. Each guy wants the other to be removed from this match and they both agree that it should be one-on-one. Hogan says that the three-way match stays and he tells Aries and Roode that they’re going to team up next week to face Hardy and a partner of his choosing.
Match #5: Aces and 8s vs. Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe in a steel cage match
Just as Angle is about to step through the ring ropes, DOC comes from out of nowhere and swings the cage door into Angle’s back, and then drags Angle out of the cage, leaving Samoa Joe in a handicap situation against Devon and a masked man. Joe fires away with jabs on the masked man, as Devon accidentally hits the masked guy with a running avalanche, after Joe sidesteps him. As Joe tries a running boot in the corner on the downed masked man, Devon cuts him off with a shoulder block into the cage. Joe fights back with a t-bone suplex on Devon. Meanwhile, Angle tries to get into the cage, but DOC attacks him again. Angle fights DOC off and grabs the key to unlock the cage door. Angle finally gets in and cleans house. He hits a missile dropkick on the masked man and then tries to remove the mask, only for DOC to swing the cage door into Angle’s face again. Angle is now busted open, as the masked man drives him into the canvas with a sidewalk slam. Devon tries to follow up with a flying headbutt off the top rope, but he misses his mark. Angle then delivers his usual trifecta of German suplexes to Devon, and then one to the masked man. Joe gets back up and sends Devon into the cage. Angle hits the Angle slam on the masked man for the win.
Winners: Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe by pinfall
After the match, Angle again goes for the mask, but Devon attacks him from behind. Joe fights with Devon, but then DOC comes in to put Joe and Angle at a disadvantage. Then more Aces and 8s members rush into the ring, with Mr. Anderson on the outside. Joe and Angle are at a significant disadvantage, until Sting makes his very anti-climactic return, complete with NO entrance music. Sting drops all of the Aces and 8s members with his baseball bat, until they all leave, except for one of the masked men. This man is basically trapped, as Sting takes him down with the bat, and Angle rips the mask off to reveal…wait for it…Mike Knox (did I mention something earlier about anti-climactic?).
This show was just okay, but nothing special. I thought the women’s match was way too long, and not very good. I did like the match between Kid Kash and Christian York, but that should have been the longer match on this show. Daniels and Kazarian continue to impress, and I thought the match between Kaz and Storm was fine, but not great. I hate how they’re unmasking these Aces and 8s guys one at a time. Honestly, if it’s going to end up being people like Mike Knox, I have to question why these guys need masks to begin with. I actually liked the Hogan and Bully Ray segment this week, but I’m still not sure what match this is leading to; perhaps we’ll know by Lockdown. It’s funny that they spent the entire night promoting Sting’s return, but the actual return wasn’t handled well at all. Does anybody really want to see Sting versus DOC? All in all, this wasn’t a terrible show, but it definitely wasn’t great. I’ll say 6 out of 10.