TNA Impact opened with crowd shots and Mike Tenay (not pictured) plugging Knockouts action between ODB and Lei’D Tapa, plus Joseph Park vs. Bad Influence in a Monster’s Ball match. And, fall-out from Magnus winning the TNA Title tournament last week.
In-ring: Rockstar Spud’s music played to bring out Spud strutting down to the ring. Spud saluted a booing crowd, then said it is his esteemed pleasure to introduce the woman responsible for all of this. He called her Lady Gaga, Santa Claus, and Queen Elizabeth all rolled into one – the president of TNA Wrestling, Madam Dixie Carter.
Carter walked out to the ring smiling toward a booing crowd and received the mic from Spud. Carter said it’s been a great seven days. She said TNA made history with the crowning of the greatest World champion ever last week. Dixie spoke over “We Want A.J.” chants by saying every one of them will look up to Magnus like a role model. And, everyone in the company will look up to Magnus. “Because Magnus is the top man in Dixieland,” she said with a big heelish smile.
As for her announcement, Dixie said she’s here to let everyone know about something big planned next week. But, Jeff Hardy’s music interrupted. Hardy, limping on one good leg, slapped hands with ringside fans before entering the ring. Spud, who shoved Hardy off a ladder last week, hid behind Dixie, who complained to Jeff about interrupting her announcement.
Hardy opened by saying the Creatures know he’s all about, then told Spud that what he did last week will haunt him. Hardy added that he has something important to get off his chest, but Spud interrupted that this is not on the schedule. Spud continued to speak over Hardy, acting tough now. Spud told Hardy to listen up, then gave his marching orders and threw in a playful slap to Hardy’s face. That set off Hardy, who grabbed Spud around the neck and chucked him into the corner. “This will only take a minute!” Hardy said. But, Ethan Carter III jumped into the ring to attack Hardy from behind, clearing him to the outside.
With Hardy out of the ring, Dixie tried to make her announcement again, but Sting’s music interrupted. Dixie threw a fit as Sting walked to the ring, scaring off ECIII and Spud. Sting said he is not leaving this ring until he and the fans get what they want. Which is he kicking the “entitled crap” right out of ECIII. Sting said he has a better idea. How about Rockstar Spud? He told Dixie to book them in a tag match.
Dixie responded that she doesn’t care what Sting wants because she wants to make her announcement. Sting said he knows she doesn’t care, but the fans want to see history when he teams with Jeff Hardy. Dixie ignored Sting, saying these are her fans. Jeff was now in the ring shaking his head as Dixie continued to speak. Dixie then awkwardly transitioned to announcing a tag match. “Okay,” Sting said. Dixie’s music played, wrapping up the segment, but Dixie spoke over her music that she’s trying to make an announcement. Impact cut to break with Dixie still pouting in the ring.
[Commercial Break at 9:12]
[Q2] Back from break, Dixie Carter was still in the ring. Carter said she is here to announce something so important for this company. But, generic rock music interrupted. Dixie sold anger, then Gunner came out holding his World Title briefcase. Dixie made “what do you want?!” motions as Gunner approached her in the ring. Gunner said what he has to say is more important than what Dixie has to say, so what he’s doing is cashing in his TNA World Title title right now.
Dixie said she doesn’t care what Gunner wants, then stopped mid-sentence and said she’s in a very giving mood, so he is denied. Dixie said Magnus is across the pond celebrating with his fans right now, so he will have to take a rain check. Dixie tried to make her announcement again, but Gunner covered the mic. Gunner told Dixie to do him a favor by telling Magnus that he’s cashing in his briefcase when he gets back. Dixie told him that’s fine, go, go, shoo, shoo.
Dixie tried to make the announcement, but James Storm’s music interrupted. Storm said he’s sorry to interrupt her, but he believes Gunner owes him something. Gunner said he doesn’t owe “Storm” anything. Storm offered examples of how Gunner screwed up their tag partnership as Dixie looked at her nails in the background. Gunner explained that he did what was right for their friendship, but Storm didn’t want to hear it.
Storm then asked who told Bobby Roode that he was in the bar when he jumped him. Gunner said that’s crazy talk if he’s accusing him of stooging. Storm responded that he wants to face Gunner right here, right now for the briefcase. Dixie spoke up that if they are going to have this match right now, then she better at least benefit. Dixie told the audience to text, tweet, or tell a friend watch two best friends face each other. Dixie then booked them opposite each other with Gunner’s briefcase on the line. Because Gunner interrupted her.
Dixie prepared to make her announcement, but said now she’s not ready to make her announcement. Dixie said you can play her music now, then she stomped out of the ring as a ref came down to the ring for the Storm vs. Gunner match.
[Commercial Break at 9:24]
1 — JAMES STORM vs. GUNNER — Match for Gunner’s World Title shot briefcase
Even exchange early on as the tag partners felt each other and exchanged clubbing offense.
[Q3] Gunner tackled Storm through the ropes, sending both men crashing to the floor. The fight continued ringside, then referee Earl Hebner suddenly called for the bell. The way the finish was edited made it the fastest count-out ever administered. Storm wiped his head in frustration, then the tag partners continued to fight up the entranceramp to the back.
WINNER: Double count-out at 4:41.
Backstage: Bully Ray was shown sitting down in a dark corner brooding, his head covered by a hoodie. Ray’s girlfriend, Brooke Tessmacher, then walked up to Bully and asked what’s wrong with him. No answers from Ray, so Brooke vowed to air all of Ray’s dirty laundry to the world since he won’t talk to her. Brooke started to walk off, but Ray called out, “Brooke.” She came back to hear Ray say that’s really not a good idea. She walked off, not wanting to hear it.
[Commercial Break at 9:34]
Video Package: The Rise of Magnus. Magnus, dressed in a suit sitting in a dark room, talked about his journey. Magnus said he’s seen “numerous regime changes” in TNA, which wasn’t the various authority figures in TNA, but people in-charge of Creative, breaking from the narrative of the show. Magnus went through the generic gladiator character “given to him,” the British Invasion team, and being paired with Samoa Joe to finally start to get noticed.
In-ring: Brooke Tessmacher came out to the ring to address Bully Ray. In the ring, Brooke said it’s been weeks since he’s seen or talked to Bully Ray. She said she understands why Ray is giving her the silent treatment because she miss-tossed the hammer (in the high-stakes match against Mr. Anderson), but it’s not her fault. Brooke told Bully to come out here and tell the truth.
No music as Bully slowly walked to the ring with his head covered his hoodie. Ray, with hands in his hoodie pockets, slowly walked toward Brooke. She asked what’s wrong him and who has he turned into. Brooke said it’s neither of their faults that Aces & Eights ended. Bully jerked his hand away from Brooke, then turned his back to Brooke. She said she has stood next to Bully through thick and thin, now she is watching him destroy everything.
As Ray slowly paced the ring, Brooke admitted that Ray was supposed to be her ticket to fame and money, but now he’s that weird high school kid with no friends. “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” she shouted. Brooke said she is not anyone’s possession and she doesn’t need him. “I am done!” she declared. Brooke tried to leave, but Ray grabbed her arm. Taz spoke up on commentary just to let her go. Bully spoke that she is done when he is done with her.
Bully said he doesn’t blame Brooke for him not being World champion anymore, the end of Aces & Eights, or screwing everything up. He said it’s because she’s not much in the brains department. Ray quietly said he kept her around because he had certain uses for her. But, she wasn’t that good at those certain uses (the crowd ooohed). Ray said that sometimes he wished he was back with “Brooke Number One.”
[Q4] Ray said he could treat Brooke like Mr. Anderson right now, sticking her head between his legs and piledriving her on her ugly face. But, he won’t do that because he has one last use for her. Ray said he is evil, sick, and sadistic. So, what he wants her to do is to let everyone know what’s in store for them. Ray removed his sunglasses and stared down Brooke, telling her that it’s going to be a lot worse. Ray told Brooke that he’s done with her and for her to leave. She did and Ray continued to stare straight ahead.
Backstage: Joseph Park was shown sitting down in his locker room surveying the weapons available to him for the Monster’s Ball match up next. Park hurt himself touching the barbed wire, then asked what Eric Young got him into.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
Video Package: Magnus Part 2. Magnus said 2013 was his year to grab the brass ring. Magnus said his return home to the U.K. earlier this year was his day to tell doubters: “Hey, screw you.” Magnus then talked about joining Aces & Eights, being invited by Sting. Magnus said he knew there would be pushback, but he felt like if Sting and the other members believed in him, then he believed in himself. Magnus then heelishly claimed that he figured out that they were threatened by him, so they were trying to keep him close.
Dixie’s Office: ECIII and Rockstar Spud approached Dixie Carter, asking if she is serious about this tag match against Jeff Hardy and Sting. ECIII tried to get Dixie to understand his situation teaming with “this little guy,” Rockstar. Dixie said she doesn’t appreciate ECIII’s tone, then told Carter to remind himself who he is. Dixie said she has them covered. Spud said “they’re very angry,” though, as ECIII helped him out of the office before he said something wrong.
Video Package: Joseph Park or Abyss?
Backstage: Eric Young pushed a nervous and tentative Park through the curtain for his match as his music played.
In-ring: Joseph Park walked to the ring surveying weapons available to him as Taz (not pictured) said he thinks Park has finally figured out who he is.
[Commercial Break at 9:56]
[Q5 — second hour] Locker Room: Sting talked to Jeff Hardy about getting their hands on Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud. Sting said he’s going to “mark out” and say he’s excited about teaming with Jeff, who sold being distracted. Sting asked what’s wrong. Jeff said that’s great, but he didn’t come here to wrestle tonight. (So, if the name of the company is Impact Wrestling, then it would be like showing up for work at McDonald’s and saying you didn’t come to work to serve food.) In any event, Sting told Jeff to remember that he’s Jeff Hardy and he can tell Dixie Carter whatever he wants.
In-ring: Bad Influence was introduced to the ring for the top-of-the-hour match.
2 — JOSEPH PARK vs. BAD INFLUENCE (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & KAZARIAN) — Handicap Monster’s Ball match
Bad Influence toyed with an over-matched Park early on. Then, B.I. knocked Park to the outside to continue wearing him out. Back in the ring, Park finally fought back, sending Daniels flying to the outside. Park then placed a cookie sheet on top of Kaz and big-splashed him. Kaz sold mid-section pain before Park sat down on a Boston Crab. But, Daniels broke it up with a crutch shot to the back.
Reset with Kazarian going to the outside to retrieve Janice, the barbed wire board. Park just rolled out of the ring, though, accidentally avoiding the board shot. Eric Young then came down to ringside to try to motivate Park to fight. Park said he needs EY’s help, though. EY prepared to open up Park to draw blood, but B.I. prevented EY from intervening. So, they posted him ringside.
Daniels rolled Young into the ring, where Kaz measured Young for a cane shot, but Park kind of shoved Young out of the way and took a cane shot in the forehead. B.I. shoved Young out of the ring and Park came up bleeding from the forehead moments later. B.I. realized what happened and tried to weapon-shot him, but Park no-sold everything. Park then caned Kaz across the shoulder. And one for Daniels.
Park dropped Kazarian with Shock Treatment, then grabbed Daniels by the hand to deliver a Black Hole Slam. Park pinned Daniels for the win, drawing a smile from EY ringside. As Park posed as Abyss while Abyss’s music played, Young looked on with a big smile. Park then picked up Janice, held it over his shoulder like Jim Duggan with the 2×4, and then Park triumphantly lifted Janice in the air.
WINNER: Park at 10:22.
Backstage: Lei’D Tapa, along with Gail Kim, was shown walking down the hallway. Then, a shot of ODB. Knockouts action is next.
Backstage: Jeff Hardy was on the phone saying he’s thought this over. Hardy told his “honey” that he will call back when “it’s over.”
[Q6] [Commercial Break at 10:14]
Video Package: Magnus Part 3. Magnus said he led the Bound for Glory Series virtually the entire time until A.J. Styles leapfrogged him at the end. Magnus said he thought he was going to beat Magnus, but Styles got the three-count on him. (Or, based on the precedent set in the opening video, the writers decided that Styles should win?) Magnus said he never wants to feel the way he felt again watching Styles celebrate.
In-ring: Lei’D Tapa came to the ring flanked by Knockouts champion Gail Kim. Taz tried to come up with some fictional analogies for the Tapa vs. ODB match-up before Gail spoke in the ring. Gail said that last week on national TV, her former bff Madison Rayne humiliated her. Gail said it was a fluke. As for ODB, she has a very valuable lesson to be learned at the hands of Lei’D Tapa. ODB then came to the ring with a “new flask” from Eric Young for Christmas, which Taz said could motivate ODB to victory tonight.
3 — ODB vs. LEI’D TAPA (w/KO champion Gail Kim)
Face-to-face to start, then Tapa quickly asserted herself in the match-up. Tapa tried to finish ODB with a top-rope splash, but she took too long, allowing ODB to move. ODB tried to finish Tapa with a power move, but Gail interfered. The ref didn’t see it, then Tapa hit a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for the pin and the win. Gail gloated about Tapa’s victory after the match.
WINNER: Tapa at 4:15.
Backstage: Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky were shown talking together. Sabin acknowledged some bumps in the road as of late, but said he sees next week as a clean slate for the New Year. Sabin noted he has his X Division Title re-match next week, then told Sky to do whatever he says to make sure he wins. Sky didn’t want to interfere, which Sabin took as her not supporting him. Sky tried to explain herself, but Sabin walked off after saying maybe he’ll find someone who will support him. “No, baby!” Sky said, frustrated.
Backstage: Sting tried to fire up Jeff Hardy, who continued to act distracted and not engaged. “C’mon, let’s go!” he said. Jeff unconvincingly nodded along.
[Q7] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
Video Package: Magnus Part 4. Magnus said one person believed in him from Day One. It was Dixie Carter. Magnus said A.J. Styles was on the cover of a magazine, but she flipped through and discovered him. He said that no matter what, Dixie believed in him. They recapped the end of last week’s title tournament main event, where Dixie and Magnus decided in that moment that they are right for each other. Magnus said no one can do anything about their partnership, which he said will last for years.
In-ring: Jeff Hardy’s music played to bring out Hardy, who sold that his mind and thoughts were elsewhere. Hardy greeted a disabled fan ringside, who Tenay identified as an eight-year-old boy from Dallas who made it to Orlando with help of his community. Sting then came out as Hardy’s tag partner.
Out first for the heel team was Ethan Carter III. ECIII’s music kept playing as Rockstar Spud joined Carter on the way to the ring. Spud was dressed in a suit jacket, bowtie and no shirt, wrestling pants, and biker gloves, mixing his “Chief of Staff” role with wrestling gear. Suddenly, Dixie Carter interrupted from the video screen. “Boys, boys, boys,” she said. Carter said they are going to have a coronation for Magnus next week. As for tonight, the tag match tonight will be a handicap match. Dixie said Bro-Mans will be joining ECIII and Spud.
Out came DJ Zema Ion leading Robbie E. and Jessie to the ring, adding in his own horn noise. The tag champs posed in the ring as Sting and Jeff Hardy surveyed their four opponents leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:39]
4 — STING & JEFF HARDY vs. ETHAN CARTER III & ROCKSTAR SPUD & TNA tag champions ROBBIE E. & JESSIE — handicap match
The bell sounded back from break. Sting and ECIII were prepared to start the match, but ECIII backed away from a mid-ring confrontation to tag in Spud. Spud slowly backed into Sting, then scampered over to the heel corner to tag in Jessie. Jessie got in a move, then celebrated as Sting no-sold. So, Jessie bailed to Robbie. Sting landed offense, then tagged in Jeff Hardy, who Taz noted is not 100 percent tonight.
Hardy dropkicked Robbie, then connected with a second-rope splash. Tenay said Hardy appears to be mentally engaged at the moment, then Hardy dumped Robbie over the top rope to the floor. ECIII then collided with Robbie, sending them to the outside. In the ring, dropped down to all fours for Hardy to fly off his back with a big splash on all of the heels.
[Q8] Back in the ring, the heels cheated to gain the upper hand on Hardy, then put the boots to him on the floor. They rolled Hardy back into the ring, where Robbie made a cover for a nearfall. Hardy in trouble heading to commercial.
[Commercial Break at 10:47]
Back from break, Jessie dumped Hardy on his back, then made a cover for a two count. The heels continued to exchange tags working on Hardy as Tenay recapped Dixie’s “announcement” that Magnus will be celebrated next week on Impact. Tenay also plugged Sabin vs. Aries for the X Division Title next week.
ECIII lost control of the match for his team when he airballed a Sting-inspired Stinger Splash, but prevented Hardy from making a tag. But, Hardy kicked Carter away, allowing Sting to tag in. Sting briefly got his hands on Carter until the heels ran at him. Sting scared Spud out of the ring, then clotheslined Carter. Stinger Splash for E. One for Jessie. But, ECIII snuck back into the ring to roll up Sting from behind for a sudden three count, stunning Sting.
WINNERS: Team ECIII at 12:27.
Post-match: The heels lifted ECIII on their shoulders in celebration. As Hardy sold anger and frustration ringside, Sting joined him in selling frustration. Sting and Hardy then regrouped in the ring before Hardy took the mic. Hardy said he’s sorry for last week and especially tonight. He said he’s been asked a million times why he wanted to become a pro wrestler. “Because of this dude right here,” Hardy said, pointing to Sting. Hardy said without Sting, there never would have been a Jeff Hardy.
Hardy apologized, saying Sting and the people don’t deserve this. Hardy said Dixie Carter’s craziness has taken the heart out of him, and in this business, he needs his heart. He said he destroyed himself last week and didn’t win. He said he was the better man, but Dixie doesn’t own him. He said he’s so tired of the politics and games.
Sting tried to calm him down. “Do not tell me what I think you’re about to say,” Sting said. Hardy said he wants to stay and fight, but the fight is all gone. Hardy waited out “No, No, No” chants before saying this was his last match in TNA. Hardy said he’s going to leave this building and he will not return until the sun shines on this dark kingdom. Hardy thanked the Creatures and said he loves them.
Hardy removed his shirt and armbands, dropping them in the ring. Hardy shook Sting’s hand, then hugged him. Sting tried to plead with Hardy, but Hardy left the ring. The announcers sold shock over this as Hardy limped away from the ring. Sting remained in the ring selling shock as Impact faded out.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com)