Impact Wrestling – January 2, 2014

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
January 2, 2014
Location:
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The
main story tonight is the coronation of Magnus as the new world
champion, which screams AJ Styles return. It’s clear that they’re
setting up a unification match in the near future which should be
interesting, even if the result has been spoiled by the latest news
with Styles. Other than that we could see more of whatever Bully Ray
was talking about last week when he promised to be more evil than
ever. Let’s get to it.

Aries
vs. Sabin for the X Title tonight.
Here’s
Angle to open things up. He talks about 2013 being the worst year of
his career which is why he declined the Hall of Fame induction.
Angle promises to make up for it in 2014 but here’s Bobby Roode to
interrupt. Bobby thinks Angle is going to announce his retirement
because he knows he can’t beat Bobby Roode. If that’s the case,
Roode wants Angle to admit that Roode is the better man face to face.

Kurt
says he’s here to make it clear that he’ll dominate 2014. That’s why
he wants one more match with Bobby, which sends Roode into fits of
shouting WHAT. He turns Angle down because he has nothing left to
prove to either Angle or the fans. Roode finally agrees to the match
at Genesis, but if Angle loses, he can never go into the Hall of
Fame. Angle agrees as long as the match can be in a steel cage.
Roode shouts a lot more and says it’s on. They brawl again until
referees and Spud come out to break it up. Spud gets shoved down so
he says both guys can find a partner for a tag match tonight.
Dixie
says she’s spent eleven years trying to find the perfect champion and
she’ll find it tonight. She walks through a door and is given a note
saying See You Tonight.
After
a break, Spud is tasked with finding out who sent the note.
Gail
Kim vs. Madison Rayne
This
is part of the Open Challenge. Madison poses on the middle rope but
dives off with a cross body to get us going. Gail gets stomped down
in the corner but comes back with some mounted right hands. Madison
armdrags her down but Tapa pulls Rayne out to the floor. Back in and
Gail puts on a surfboard with a dragon sleeper to bend Madison in
some very impressive directions.
Gail
lets go of the hold and it’s a double clothesline to put both girls
down. Eat Defeat is countered into a backslide for two before
Madison goes to the middle rope, only to be slammed face first into
the mat. Another Eat Defeat attempt is countered into a side roll by
Madison for the pin at 5:08.
Rating:
C-. The match was fine from a
technical standpoint but there’s no emotion or interest in this
division anymore. It’s just insert challenger here facing off with
whoever the champion is that month with no significant story at all.
Madison is a nice breath of air but it’s nothing that’s going to make
things better long term.
Chris
Sabin shushes Velvet Sky and threatens to leave her if she doesn’t do
what he says tonight.
Angle
gets Gunner to be his partner tonight when Storm comes up to say
that’s interesting.
X-Division
title: Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries
Aries
is defending. Sabin hides in the corner to start until Aries takes
over with a running dropkick. The Last Chancery has Sabin in early
trouble but Aries lets go of the hold. Chris goes to the floor to
yell at Velvet who says it’s not her match. Back in and Aries gets
two off an elbow before busting out a stump puller of all things. A
slingshot splash and Lionsault get two each for Aries but Sabin comes
back with a belly to back suplex.
Aries
gets caught in the Tree of Woe but does a situp to grab Sabin by the
face and pull him down with a Diamond Cutter. Nice counter. Sabin
bails to the floor and gets taken down with a double ax handle. Back
in and Sabin tells Velvet to get on the apron as a distraction,
allowing Chris to low blow Aries and grab a small package for the pin
and the title at 5:45.
Rating:
C+. This was fun while it
lasted but it makes Aries’ title reign seem completely worthless.
TNA is usually better about not changing titles back and forth at the
drop of a hat so hopefully this doesn’t become a trend. I could
however go for more of Velvet Sky in tight blue dresses.
Spud
keeps looking for information about the note when he gets a call. No
one is on the phone and Spud says he’s gotten four calls from that
number. It’s a 678 area code, which Google says is the area code for
Gainesville, Georgia.
Samuel
Shaw vs. Norv Fernum
Shaw
is in dress pants and a long sleeve shirt with black gloves. He
escorts Christy to the floor and looks almost bored. A powerslam and
Orton backbreaker have Fernum in trouble and a standing choke
(imagine the start of a Rock Bottom but Shaw clasps his hands and
chokes) gets the win for Shaw at 1:38.
James
storm is going to show Angle why he made a mistake in picking Gunner.
He opens a door and sees someone he’s been looking for.
Post
break and of course Storm was talking to Roode. Storm says he hates
Roode but needs to be his partner tonight to send a message. Roode
says that’s not his problem and he doesn’t need Storm, just like
always. Storm says he’ll be out there tonight one way or another.
Video
on Magnus getting to the title.
James
Storm/Bobby Roode vs. Gunner/Kurt Angle
Storm
and Angle get things going with Kurt elbowing James in the face. Off
to Roode vs. Gunner with Gunner going face first into the buckle.
That seems to just make Gunner mad as he comes back with a slingshot
suplex for two on Roode. Bobby comes back with a spinebuster but
Storm tags himself in for some two counts and right hands to the
head.
Beer
Money hits the double suplex for a flashback as the old team starts
getting their game together. Kurt has enough of standing on the
apron and comes in to clean house with rolling Germans on Roode.
There’s an overhead belly to belly on Storm followed by the ankle
lock until Roode makes the save. Gunner picks Roode up in the Gun
Rack but Storm Last Calls Gunner, allowing Roode to hit the Death
Valley Driver for the pin at 6:40.
Rating:
C+. Beer Money continues to
have chemistry but I’m hoping this is a one off thing. Storm has
been ready for a singles run for years now but they keep putting him
into tag teams because that’s what he’s done before. The Gunner team
was a step back for him and Beer Money would be an even bigger one.
Both singles matches should rock though.
Spud
accuses Sting of sending the note but Sting blows him off.
Here’s
EC3 to brag about getting rid of Jeff Hardy. Even though Jeff is
gone to write songs about the Creatures, EC3 tells Christy to
introduce Jeff for a match. Naturally there’s no Jeff so Carter
“wins” by forfeit. Carter counts to ten (“One, two, EC3”)
but here’s Sting to interrupt. Sting calls Carter a dog who can’t do
anything without his Aunt Dixie there to save him. Carter is just
Dixie’s lap dog but Sting wants him to get off the leash and prove
he’s a man. Ethan bails so Sting calls him a lap dog again. The
fans agree with Sting’s nickname so Carter agrees to fight Sting at
Genesis.
Joseph
Park doesn’t remember turning into Abyss so it can’t be real. Eric
Young has put him in a match with Bully Ray because Abyss wrestled
Ray two years ago this week. Eric leaves and Ray comes up to say
Park will be all alone tonight, just like Ray is now. Ray threatens
to set Park on fire.
Joseph
Park vs. Bully Ray
Ray
stands in the corner in a hoodie, jeans and sunglasses. He looks up
at Park and kicks him low for the DQ at 57 seconds. That was the
only move of the match.
Post
match Ray pulls out a bottle of lighter fluid and covers Park before
pulling out a lighter. Mr. Anderson runs out for the save but Ray
sprays him with fluid as well. There’s the lighter again but Ray
turns it off and walks away.
It’s
time for the coronation with Spud and Ethan in the ring in front of a
throne, ferns and the Union Jack. Spud calls this bigger than the
royal wedding and says Dixieland is a place where dreams come true.
Ethan, the Master of Ceremonies, brags about how awesome he is and
talks about how Magnus rules the world. He finally brings out Dixie
who is booed out of the building. She talks about being on a plane
to England and seeing a magazine article on AJ Styles. Then she saw
a piece on Magnus who was a huge star in the United Kingdom and was
all that (her words).
Here’s
the champion in a nice suit with the title over his shoulder.
Magnus: “This is your champion speaking. Please return your women
to their full and upright positions.” Before Magnus goes anywhere
he has to thank Dixie for everything she’s done for him over the
years. Magnus knows that the fans expected Roode, Angle or even
Hardy here but he proved everyone wrong. It wasn’t him that turned
his back on the fans but rather the fans who turned on him. He’ll be
world champion for a VERY long time but here’s Gunner with the
briefcase as we go to our last break.
Back
with Gunner saying he’s cashing in right now. Dixie says this isn’t
happening but Gunner cleans house anyway. Magnus is the only one
left standing but Spud gets in a cheap shot to take him down. Magnus
loads up a belt shot but AJ Styles runs in through the crowd for the
showdown. They hold up their belts and AJ lays his on the mat like a
line in the sand. Magnus bails with Dixie and AJ says come get your
intellectual property.
AJ
isn’t here because Dixie wants him here but rather because Dixie
screwed the people. He needed to come back here because Magnus is a
farce. Magnus will never be a world champion until he beats THE
world champion. If Magnus wants to be what he says he is, he’ll have
to accept the challenge. The fans chant YOU’RE A PUPPET, taking away
a lot of the intensity they’re going for here.
If
Magnus doesn’t accept, he’ll always doubt himself as the champion.
However, if AJ walks out those doors again, his offer goes with him.
Magnus agrees to fight next week (instead of at Genesis for some
reason) and tells Dixie if he doesn’t fight, he’s leaving too. Dixie
says over her dead body but Magnus says give AJ a one night only
contract. They shake hands and the match is official.
Overall
Rating:
B-. This wasn’t a
perfect show tonight but they did a good job with what they had. The
Bully Ray stuff has me intrigued and the AJ return can get them on to
something new. Tonight was about the storytelling instead of the
matches and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re headed towards
Genesis which has a stacked card that should be one of their better
PPV shows in awhile. Good effort tonight, though I have very little
faith that they can keep it up.
Results
Madison
Rayne b. Gail Kim – Side roll
Chris
Sabin b. Austin Aries – Small package
James
Storm/Bobby Roode b. Kurt Angle/Gunner – Last Call to Gunner
Joseph
Park b. Bully Ray via DQ when Ray kicked Park low
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