Impact Wrestling – January 16, 2014

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
January 16, 2014
Location:
Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama
Commentators:
Mike Tenay, Tazz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Tonight
is the first night of a double week Genesis special. There are a lot
of matches set up for the next two weeks but it’s not clear which are
tonight. We’ll be getting some combination of Ethan Carter III vs.
Sting, Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode in a cage, James Storm vs. Gunner
for the Feast or Fired case and Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson. TNA
usually nails these Clash of the Champions style shows so let’s get
to it.

We
open with a very nice tribute to Mae Young with Tazz saying some kind
things about his time with her. Nothing wrong with that.
Recap
of the unification match from last week.
Spud
is in the ring to insult Alabama and introduce Dixie Carter, in case
you didn’t get enough of her last week. We get the usual don’t cross
the boss speech before Dixie gives us our second recap of last week’s
events. The fans want AJ but Dixie says tonight is about the new
champion. Magnus comes out to do the same speech you’ve heard a
dozen times about how this is a new era and calls it the Reign of
Magnus. He hands Dixie one of the titles because we wouldn’t be here
without her.
Dixie
says there are some others to thank and brings out the BroMans, Zema
Ion, Gail Kim, Lei’D Tapa, Bad Influence and Bobby Roode. Tonight is
the beginning of Dixie Carter’s TNA, but for that to happen, everyone
has to stand tall and united as one. The only amusing part of this:
as Dixie talks about winning tonight, Spud can barely hold the TNA
title belt because he’s so small. That guy continues to entertain
me. Dixie brings out Ethan Carter III in pink ring gear, making him
look like Rick Martel. Before Ethan can say anything, the lights go
out and Sting is in the crowd, pointing the bat down to the ring as
we take a break.
Back
with Sting in the same place, asking if this is the future that Dixie
is talking about. There are a lot of people in the back that can’t
be bought no matter what. They have a thing called honor which is
something Dixie can never have. Another amusing note: Sting is
standing in front of a No Standing sign. Sting talks about bringing
Magnus into the Main Event Mafia because he’s the future of
wrestling.
No
one thought he would sell out though, and that’s part of why this is
a house divided. Sting says “we” will fight back tonight but
Dixie says she only sees him. Samoa Joe, ODB, Eric Young, James
Storm and Joseph Park hit the ring for a fight, soon to be joined by
Gunner. Eventually the ring is cleared out except for Sting and
Carter with Sting holding the bat up to Carterh’s chest and blasting
him in the ribs as we take another break.
Back
with the good guys ruling the ring and the heels cowering on the
ramp. Joe says they’re here for a fight and not leaving until they
get into one. Spud, in pink pants no less, brings out Brian Hebner,
saying Joe might just get what they want. We’re getting a twelve man
tag RIGHT NOW.
Samoa
Joe/James Storm/Gunner/ODB/Eric Young/Joseph Park vs. Lei’D Tapa/Zema
Ion/Bro Mans/Bad Influence
Joe
pounds away on Zema Ion to start as everyone else fights on the
floor. We get the always cool sidestep from Joe to avoid a middle
rope cross body. ODB and Tapa get into the ring for a few moments
until Storm and Daniels come in instead. There have been no tags and
only now are a handful of people getting on the apron. Gunner throws
Kaz to the floor and now there’s no one in the ring.
Eric
and Robbie get into the ring as Joe is now on his third corner of the
match. Young and Park double elbow Jesse but Robbie breaks up Eric’s
top rope elbow. Zema sends Eric to the floor but turns around to see
ODB grabbing her chest. A fall away slam sends Ion flying but Tapa
runs ODB down, knocking her to the floor. Daniels comes in to work
over Young and gets two off a leg lariat.
Young
comes back with a belly to belly suplex and it’s off to Joe for some
fat man power. The backsplash gets two on Daniels with Kaz making
the save. Joe dives through the ropes to take out the Bro Mans as a
lot of things break down. Kaz breaks up an attempted Park dive but
busts Park’s lip open in the process. For the first time ever, Park
goes after his partners by taking down Gunner and Storm, leaving Joe
to put Daniels in the Clutch for the tap out at 7:32.
Rating:
D+. This was straight out of
the Russo playbook: throw everyone out there at once and hope the
fans are so impressed by the insanity that they don’t care about the
lack of a story. TNA is walking a very thin line right now with this
latest heel stable, even if it’s a looser version than usual.
Hopefully it doesn’t turn out like the rest, but that’s probably the
case.
Velvet
Sky is seen talking to Austin Aries in the back until Chris Sabin
comes up and demands to talk to her in the ring.
Kurt
Angle arrives and is looking for Dixie and/or Al Snow, the latter of
whom told Angle that he had a family emergency.
Sabin
is in the ring to yell at Velvet for having secret meetings with
Austin Aries but the man himself interrupts. Aries calls Sabin the
worst boyfriend ever and says that even though he’s a vegan, he might
make an exception for a piece of pigeon pie. Velvet looks flattered
and Aries keeps up the charm by calling Velvet an extremely hot
woman.
Chris
cuts Aries off by saying he tells Velvet what to do, but Aries says
he’s been telling Velvet to do what she wants to do. Sabin says
she’s his and gives her a little spank to prove it. Austin wants one
more match with Sabin for the title and Velvet locked in a small cage
at ringside. Sabin says no, but Velvet takes the mic and says she’ll
do it. She goes off on Sabin by saying she never wanted to be
involved in this. Sabin has treated her like garbage lately, so if
he loses next week she might be looking for someone else.
Angle
has already changed into his wrestling gear and is still looking for
Dixie.
Pat
Kenney (I think) tells a cameraman to shoot everything he sees
backstage. Sam Shaw comes by and Kenney congratulates him on his
match last week, but politely advises Shaw to stay away from Christy
Hemme and focus on his career. Shaw snaps and destroys Kenney,
beating him down with Kenney’s own shoe. Also it’s Samuel, not Sam.
Ethan
Carter practices his catchphrase when Magnus comes in to say believe
in yourself. Magnus got to the top by himself and Ethan can do the
same.
Bully
Ray comes to the ring for his No DQ match with Anderson but Ken jumps
him from behind as we go to a break before a bell.
Bully
Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
No
DQ. We come back from a break with Anderson ramming Ray (back in his
old pre-Aces attire and music) into the announcers’ table and heading
back inside, only to have Ray block the Mic Check. A double
clothesline puts both guys down as Tazz talks about Anderson wearing
the hospital wristbands for his newborn twins. Both guys bring in
chairs but it’s Anderson getting in the first shot.
Ray
comes back with a spear to put both guys down again and grabs his
chain for a whipping. An elbow drop with the chain wrapped arund the
arm gets two on Anderson but Ray stops to yell at Earl, allowing
Anderson to knock Ray’s chair into his face with a chair of his own
for two. Anderson pulls out a piece of a barricade that is clearly
made of plastic, only to have it kicked into his face.
Ray
misses a splash, allowing Anderson to go up for the Swanton. He hits
the barricade as well but comes back with a Mic Check onto the
“steel” for two. Anderson sets up a table in the corner and hits
a Regal Roll through the wood for another two count. These kickouts
are getting surprising. Another table is set up but Ray comes back
with a Rock Bottom for two of his own. Bully pulls out the lighter
fluid but takes too long to yell about Anderson’s newborns. A Mic
Check puts Ray down but Anderson gos to light the table on fire
instead. Ray hits a quick low blow and piledriver for the pin 9:40.
Rating:
C. This falls under the “screw
wrestling and let’s fight” category and that’s what it should have
been. Ray is SO much better in this role than he was as the head of
the lame biker gang which makes you all the more annoyed at Bischoff
for having to fulfill his childhood dreams on national TV. Good
fight here though not much of a match.
Angle
finds Al Snow and demands to know what happened last week. Al says
he was just following orders and gets thrown down.
Post
break Angle is in the ring to demand that Dixie come face him right
now. She went too far by bringing his family in and here’s Dixie to
respond. Kurt goes on a rant about how Dixie isn’t the same person
she used to be and how wrong it was to bring Kurt’s wife and kids
into this situation. Dixie says she did it to protect him because he
would have gotten hurt out here last week, meaning he couldn’t make
her any money.
She
doesn’t want him to be like AJ or Jeff Hardy and did what she did
because it was best. Angle says he isn’t on her team but says he’ll
be out here for the main event. Dixie postpones the match until next
week and has Angle taken out by security. Roode comes in off the
distraction and lays him out with the Death Valley Driver (dubbed the
Roode Bomb).
Gail
Kim and Lei’D Tapa jump Madison Rayne before Rayne’s title shot.
Knockouts
Title: Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne
Madison
is challenging but is still beaten down from the attack from before
the break. Kim beats her down even more by stomping away in the
corner but Madison comes back with a rollup for two of her own.
Madison can’t shake off all of the punishment from earlier though and
staggers down off a forearm to the head. A shoulder block sends the
champion to the floor but Tapa runs Madison over and chokes her down.
Tapa is finally ejected but Gail does just fine by putting on the
Figure Four around the post. The referee breaks it up and Rayne
comes back with a flapjack and the Rayne Drop for the pin and the
title at 4:00.
Rating:
D. Just a match here but at
least it ended the less than enthralling Gail Kim title reign. Kim
is very talented in the ring but she’s a black hole of charisma,
making her title reigns very difficult to sit through. Rayne could
be an improvement if she’s actually given the chance to do something
different.
Dixie
is with The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards of course) and
offers them a tryout match next week. However, they’ve already
signed contracts offered to them by a TNA investor. Eddie hands her
an envelope, saying it’ll change everything. Oh dear.
We
run down the card for next week’s show.
Sting
vs. Ethan Carter III
Spud
is guest referee to really keep the deck stacked. Sting takes Carter
into the corner and is immediately warned for his actions. Carther
does the same and nothing happens as you would expect. A dropkick
sends Carter to the floor and Sting rams him into the steps for good
measure. Back in and Spud gets in the way of a Stinger Splash
attempt, allowing Ethan to take over with right hands of his own.
Sting
avoids a splash and puts on the Scorpion but Spud jumps on his back.
Instead Sting hits the Death Drop but Spud still won’t count. Sting
tries to force Spud’s hand down but Magnus pulls Spud to safety. The
champion takes his shirt off to reveal a referee’s shirt. Ethan uses
the distraction to roll up Sting and Magnus makes a fast count for
the pin at 4:58.
Rating:
D. This was all angle instead
of a match. That being said, I’m already getting sick of the latest
heel stable dominance with Sting fighting against the evil authority.
We’ve covered this so many times already and there’s almost nothing
new that can be done with this idea.
Post
break Sting says he wants one shot at the title and will do anything
to get it. Magnus says Sting lost at Slammiversary and can’t get a
shot, but Sting appeals to his pride, saying Magnus must want to earn
the title. He says men wear belts, so Magnus needs to stop being a
boy. Magnus gets in the ring and says it’s not going to work, but
offers Sting a deal: next week it’s Sting’s contract vs. the title.
Sting accepts to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
D+. This is a hard one
to grade. Believe it or not, I’m really digging everything in TNA
other than the main event. The Ray solo heel character works, Sabin
vs. Aries with Velvet in the middle is a nice midcard feud and Angle
vs. Roode is an excellent feud in general. Then there’s the main
event, which is every stereotype TNA has rolled into one bloated
feud. It’s yet another heel stable/power struggle with Sting being
the great white knight for the company. Count up how many times TNA
has done that story and stop when you get to the second hand. I
think that sums up everything wrong at the moment.
Results
James
Storm/Gunner/ODB/Samoa Joe/Eric Young/Joseph Park b. Bad
Influence/Zema Ion/Bro Mans/Lei’D Tapa – Koquina Clutch to Daniels
Bully
Ray b. Mr. Anderson – Piledriver
Madison
Rayne b. Gail Kim – Rayne Drop
Ethan
Carter III b. Sting – Rollup
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