The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 03.14.13 Live from Chicago, IL Your hosts are Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay and Taz Aces & Eights randomly beat up Chavo & Hernandez to pre-empt a tag title match, and introduce the new World champion, Bully Ray. He gives basically the same speech he gave at the end of Lockdown, and dares Hulk Hogan to come out and fire them. This of course does not happen. Velvet Sky & Mickie James v. Gail Kim & Tara The faces double-team Kim and Mickie pounds away on her in the corner and hits an enzuigiri for two, and we take a break. Back with Tara putting Mickie in a Tarantula in the corner, which gets two. The heels hit a double slingshot suplex for two, but Mickie puts Kim down with a rana before a double clothesline puts them both down, and it’s hot tag Velvet. Russian legsweep on Tara gets two, and Taryn continues her argument with Gail Kim. Kim finally puts her down, but Mickie comes off the top with a senton. Tara hits Mickie with the Widow’s Peak, but Velvet finishes with the Pedigree at 9:40. Velvet did nothing here, so it was a pretty good little match. **1/2 Meanwhile, Bully Ray and the Aces celebrate, and he tries calling Brooke. Bully instantly makes this storyline 100 times more entertaining. Robbie E v. Rob Terry Terry bounces Robbie around the ring and powerslams him, then finishes with a standing spinebuster at 1:18. Meanwhile, Hogan blames the whole thing on Sting for being such an idiot to trust Bully Ray. Finally someone calls Sting on his dumb decisions! Go Hulk! Meanwhile, Aries & Roode continue rubbing it in on Sting (“And after that, we were gonna give you and Hulk a title shot, but I guess that’s out now.”) but Aries keeps talking a little bit too long and gets a match with Sting. THE LEGION OF BAD INFLUENCE interrupts AJ Styles’ big return, as it’s THROWBACK THURSDAY, but James Storm does not appreciate the disrespect being shown to the LOD. I dunno, I think it’s pretty awesome, actually. James Storm v. Christopher Daniels Daniels survives the initial beatdown and stomps away in the corner, then throws knees from the clinch and hits a springboard moonsault for two. They slug it out and Storm gets the bulldog, but Daniels escapes the helicopter slam before walking into a codebreaker. Backcracker finishes at 3:40. The Legion of Boom does the beatdown afterwards, but a pissed off AJ Styles makes the save, and then turns on Storm as well. ** Joseph Park is out to celebrate his return to Chicago, home of Park Park & Park, but Matt Morgan interrupts, still going on about Hulk Hogan. Since Park is Hogan’s biggest mistake (really? Not “having sex with another man’s wife on tape”?), Morgan decides to start by eliminating him, but that just gets Park ALL RILED UP. Park sadly makes the mistake of turning his back on Morgan, however, and gets booted down. So next week, it’s on. Park continues to be fantastic in this role, and this was a fine professional wrestling angle. Meanwhile, Bully continues egging Hogan on. Sting v. Austin Aries Aries takes him down for some mat wrestling and the crowd is seriously divided here. Sting takes him into the corner and pounds on him, but the Stinger splash misses and Roode pulls Sting out. That backfires spectacularly on him, as Roode gets to be the first guy ever where the Stinger splash on the railing ACTUALLY HITS. Aries attacks out there and Sting kicks his ass, too, and we take a break. Back with Roode interfering again and getting sent back to the dressing room, but Aries kicks Sting low and follows with the suicide dive. Back in, he drops an elbow for two. Missile dropkick to the neck gets two. Sting might be old, but he can still take a beating from a heel and build sympathy. Aries slugs away in the corner, but Sting makes the comeback, so Aries dropkicks the knee and goes to work on it. This sets up a Scorpion Deathlock, but he can’t figure out to apply it, and Sting makes the comeback. Aries escapes Sting’s attempt at the hold and goes up, but Sting no-sells a missile dropkick. Aries celebrates too long and walks into a press slam (!), but the Stinger splash misses. Aries follows with the corner dropkick and hits his own splash, but Sting reverses out of the brainbuster and hits the deathdrop for two. Stinger splash and deathlock follow, but it’s the Aces run-in at 15:08 for the DQ. That was Sting’s best match in a zillion years before the finish. ***1/2 Bully Ray continues calling Hulk out, and he finally answers. Every dog has his day, and if you live by the sword you die by the sword. I don’t even know what that means, but everyone in the dressing room is so inspired that they all run out and beat the hell out of the Aces regardless. The numbers are too much, though, and the Aces eventually win the rumble, and Bully once again asks ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED…DAD? The Pulse Holy cow, what a difference a fresh and packed arena can make. This was 1000 times better than the last few Orlando shows, with an energy that just wasn’t there the last few months. It even made Aces & Eights an interesting threat again, sort of. Bully Ray might be a miracle worker.