The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 11.08.12 RIP Strikeforce. But if it means Ronda Rousey armbarring chicks into submission on FOX instead of Showtime, it’s worth the sacrifice. Live from Orlando, FL Your hosts are Todd Keneley (…KENELEY!) and Jeremy Borash, then Taz & Tenay. Meanwhile, in the top secret Aces & Eights clubhouse, they chew out “DOC” (The Director of Chaos) for losing his mask while still a prospect, which is like the mysterious biker gang equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day. I mean, geez, who DOESN’T know that you never lose your mask while you’re just a prospect? Bobby Roode v. AJ Styles You know, for as interesting as the stipulation in the Roode/Storm/AJ three-way is, you have to hope that James Storm the person is smart enough not to bite on it if they tell him “You’ll lose here and then we’ll build you up for the big win next year at Bound For Glory!” You’d have to think it’s Roode beating AJ to get the shot. Anyway, Roode works a headlock on AJ to start, but walks into AJ’s dropkick. Roode comes back and hammers away in the corner, and we take a break. Back with Roode dropping AJ on the top rope and following with a BUFF BLOCKBUSTER for two. The announcers discuss the “Hire A Veteran” program advertised on the ring, which leads to me to wonder: Do the Monday Night Wars count? Because TNA hired a lot of those veterans and it didn’t really do much for them. Roode holds a chinlock, but AJ comes back with a corner splash and slugs away in the corner. Roode goes up and AJ brings him down with a rana for two. Roode hits him with a spinebuster for two, but misses the spear and AJ tries the Clash. Roode then evades the Pele and hits the fisherman’s suplex for two. Roode gets frustrated and grabs a chair, but that draws Storm out to protest, allowing AJ to hit him with a springboard to the floor. Back in, AJ tries another springboard, but Roode trips him up and pins him at 14:55. Mostly a PPV-quality opener. ***1/4 Joseph Park is out to let us know that the human body isn’t meant to go through tables, and unmasking DOC felt great. He needs to feel like a man, and only Hulk Hogan can make that happen! Wait, that sounds wrong. Hogan comes out, presumably to nix the match against Aces and Eights, but Bully Ray cuts him off and defends Park’s right to stand up for the company. Bully is just tremendous as a babyface here rallying the fans. So Hogan says “Yes”, and presumably we’ll get Park v. DOC at the PPV. Meanwhile, ODB challenges Tara & Jesse to a match NEXT. Jesse is pretty hilarious as a deluded douchebag, but he’s just got nothing in the ring to back it up. ODB v. Tara & Jesse Godderz ODB holds them both off, but Tara chokes her down until ODB makes the comeback with clotheslines. She slams both of them on each other and sends Tara headfirst into Jesse’s crotch to set up a broncobuster,then finishes Tara with a spear at 2:38. The heel beatdown follows to set up Tara & Jesse v. ODB & Eric at the PPV, assuming he shows up. DUD Meanwhile, the Gut Check judges talk about Christian York. And Snow’s jacket. Kurt Angle & Sting v. Devon & DOC Sting pounds away on DOC to start, but gets taken down and pounded. Devon slugs Sting down in the corner and drops an elbow for two. DOC drops elbows for two. Suplex gets two. So is DOC named after the Billy Ray Cyrus show or the dwarf? Either way, it’s a dumb name for a supposed badass. Sting continues to get beat up in the heel corner. See, now we get into the fundamental problem with the Aces storyline once they’re unmasked, because you’re left with Reverend Devon and Festus as your big heel team while you tread water waiting for the reveal of the leader. Sting and DOC clothesline each other and it’s hot tag Angle, as he hits DOC with a missile dropkick and suplexes him to follow. Angle Slam on Devon gets two and Sting puts DOC in the Deathlock, but Devon brings in the bat for the DQ at 5:40. That cad. Nothing going on here. ** Bully Ray is more than happy to come in and kick Devon’s ass, but can’t catch him. And then it’s another Aces beatdown on Sting and Angle, resulting in Sting getting chokeslammed through the table. And then they presumably break his hand with a hammer, perhaps having seen Casino one time too many and confusing him with a blackjack cheat in a fit of Red Bull-fueled hysteria. See, you people who want TV-14 back again in WWE? THIS IS WHAT YOU GET. Like really, there’s suspension of disbelief with stuff like chairshots, but a hammer to the hand? With a camera angle clearly showing that it was missing by six inches? That’s just insulting. And then it’s like “Well, a dude’s hands just got shattered by a hammer live on TV…GUT CHECK IS NEXT!” Gut Check: Al Snow’s jacket deserves the contract moreso than York. Taz is an immediate Yes, Bruce thinks he’s lacking something but votes Yes, and we don’t even hear from Snow’s jacket. That was a no-brainer and he probably should have went over Zema Ion last week as well. Hopefully he can quit his job serving salad at the deli now. Or was that Mickey Rourke? Oh well, either way. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan bans Matt Morgan from ringside at the PPV, and then smiles knowingly after he leaves. JUST KISS ALREADY. But for the love of god don’t let Bubba make a sex tape afterwards. Christopher Daniels, Kazarian & Magnus v. Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez & Samoa Joe MEXI-JOE! Chavo pounds on Daniels to start and the poor guy gets pinballed in the babyface corner, as does Kazarian. Joe chases Daniels around and gets caught by Magnus as a result, and the heels take over. Joe decides to just beat the hell out of Daniels instead of selling, so that’s cool, and Chavo comes in with a senton to set up an overhead suplex from Hernandez. Chavo with a seated dropkick for two. He stops to lip off at Magnus, however, and Daniels hits him in the shoulder to make Chavo YOUR stereotype in peril. Kazarian gets two off that. Magnus slugs away in the corner and Daniels gets the GANGNUM STYLE neckbreaker for two. Kazarian with a legdrop for two. Kazarian works on the shoulder, but Chavo comes back with a flying headscissors and it’s hot tag Hernandez. Pounce for Daniels and he suplexes both heels and brings Joe back in. He boots Magnus down and powerslams him, but misses the corner splash. Magnus charges and Joe hits him with the uranage and it’s BONZO GONZO. Hernandez hits Daniels with the MEXICAN OUTTA CONTROL dive and Chavo bulldogs Magnus in the ring, but Kazarian distracts him. Joe puts Daniels in the choke, but the heels go high-low on him and Magnus finishes with a flying elbow at 10:50. Man, that turned into a hell of a match at the end. ***1/2 Main Event Interview: Austin Aries takes a shot at CM Punk being “best in the world” when clearly he’s best in the entire universe. I dunno, I hear there’s some developmental kids in the Beta Cygnus system that are knocking ‘em dead. Anyway, Aries promises that Jeff will take his last great fall on Sunday, and he’ll personally melt the ugly Hardy belt down and turn it into a belt buckle so he can wear his face by his crotch. And if Jeff wants the real belt back, he can come take it like a man instead of hiding behind Hogan. So Hardy comes out, Aries runs away, and Jeff gets the belt back. And then as Jeff is posing on the ladder, Aries BLINDSIDES him That’s just great. Obviously he’s not winning the belt back again, but that was a satisfying visual to end the show. The Pulse I have to say I enjoyed much more of the show than could be dragged down by the Aces nonsense, although they did a piss-poor job of clarifying what the actual matches involved in the Aces storyline were until the PPV hype segment. I would have guessed Bully & Park v. DOC & Devon, but I guess it’s Devon v. Angle and Park v. DOC and no Bully to be found. That’s kind of weird. Anyway, two great TV matches and a PPV I would totally buy if I wasn’t busy on Sunday already make for a thumbs up show this week.