They dedicate tonight’s show to the memory of Mae Young. During this, Taz says that Mae is “probably raising hell in Heaven right about now.” I know what he meant, but there was probably a better way to say it than to imply that Mae is currently playing the role of Satan in Paradise Lost.
OPENING VIDEO PACKAGE- it closes by saying “the Magnus Era begins right now.” So has he not been the champion of record for the past month?
One clever fan is holding up a sign that says “Magnus wears panties.” People who bring signs that are this lame do not deserve to be seated facing the hard-cam. You know who does deserve to be seated facing the hard-cam? The guy in the James Storm Beer Hunter shirt. That is an awesome shirt.
OPENING SEGMENT- an appalling waste of time.
Spud brings out Dixie Carter. They have five very hyped matches and the Wolves debut to get through and just two hours to do it in. They should not be wasting time like this.
Mike Tenay puts over how well Dixie’s “divide and conquer strategy” helped Magnus beat AJ last week. Mike is the damn babyface announcer. He should be complaining about how the match was basically nine-on-two! Instead he just ignores that and justifies the heels’ BS.
Dixioe cuts a promo saying that we now know what happens when you “cross the boss” like AJ and Jeff Hardy did.
During this promo, the crowd loudly chanted “WE WANT AJ!” Too bad, guys. You’re not going to get him, so just deal with it. Of course, TNA probably shouldn’t have had Dixie go out and talk about AJ, because they had to know that doing so would create a situation where the fans are all shouting about how much they want to see a guy who just left to go wrestle elsewhere.
Spud’s reactions in the background during Dixie’s promo were amazing. He is a fantastic stooge!
Magnus comes out and presents Dixie with one of the world titles because she is “the champion of our hearts.” They put each other over. Dixie then brings out all of the heels who helped them with their evil plan last week. Despite appearing in the video package at the beginning of the show as an example of Dixie eliminating AJ’s allies, Al Snow is not among them, so I guess that emergency that he told Kurt about was real.
Dixie then cuts another promo about everyone having to stand united, and for that to happen, EC III has to beat Sting tonight, because Sting is the only guy standing in their way. How, exactly, is Sting standing in their way?
So Dixie brings out EC III and he starts to speak, but he is interrupted by the lights going out and the spotlight finding Sting in the crowd. Then we saw, as Mike Tenay so helpfully informed us “Sting symbolically pointing the bat at the ring.” Then we went to a commercial.
They wasted over FIFTEEN MINUTES- over one sixth of the show’s non-commercial air time- to tell us NOTHING! This segment did NOTHING that the opening video package didn’t. These are supposed to be “Pay-Per-View quality Impacts.” What is so hard about just starting the show with a f*cking match, just like you would on a PPV!
OH MY G-D MAKE IT STOP!
When we get back from commercial, Sting’s music is still playing, all of the heels are still in the ring, and Sting is still standing in the same f*cking spot! So throughout that entire commercial break, on a LIVE SHOW… NO ONE HAS MOVED!
Then they zoom in on Sting, and I can’t help but notice that he is standing in front of a big red sign that says “NO STANDING.” FANTASTIC!
Sting now cuts a promo saying that Dixie’s stable is not the future and that there are tons of wrestler in the dressing room who “cannot be bought.” “Because they have honor, Dixie. Something you cannot comprehend.” Sting then says that Dixie stepped over the line by messing with Kurt Angle’s family. WHAT?! So the emergency was real because Dixie hired someone to assault Kurt’s family?
Sting then says that Magnus has “never earned anything in this business.” I am dead sure that, if you give me some time, I can pull up tons of Sting promos over the summer where he talks about how much Magnus has earned.
Sting then screams that “THIS IS NOT A HOUSE UNITED! THIS IS A HOUSE DIVIDED! AND A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND!” Sting then says that “before this all comes toppling down on top of everybody here, we’re gonna do something about this tonight.” The thing that they are going to do, of course, is fight. So in order to prevent divisions within the company from destroying it, Sting is going to have everyone fight along factional lines? How does that make any sense?
So Dixie points out that Sting is the only one there and asks “who is we?” Sting responds by telling her “take a cold hard look around this building. We’re in Huntsville, Alabama, and we’re gonna fight.”
WAIT A MINUTE! Is he encouraging the fans to riot?! Because that’s what this sounds like.
Oh. Okay. ODB, EY, Joseph Park, James Storm, and Samoa Joe come out onto the ramp. I feel like Sting’s line would have worked a lot better with them peppered all around the arena.
Sting then shouts “TONIGHT, WE TAKE BACK WHAT IS OURS!” Of course, if you want to be technical about it, it is actually Dixie’s.
So the babyfaces charge the ring (and Gunner shows up, too) and the they brawl with the heels while Sting gets EC III alone in the ring, and uses his baseball bat to back this unarmed man back into the corner. Then Sting, the babyface, HITS THE UNARMED MAN IN THE NUTS WITH A BASEBALL BAT! WHAT THE F*CK?!
AND NOW WE’RE GOING TO ANOTHER COMMERICAL!
When we get back from commercial the babyfaces have cleared the ring, but Sting seems to have disappeared. Bro-Mans, Tapa, and Bad Influence are still on the ramp. Joe gets a mic and shouts “WE CAME HERE TO GET INTO A FIGHT, AND WE’RE NOT LEAVING UNTIL WE GET INTO ONE!”
Weren’t you just in a big fight?
And speaking of, I now realize that we got twenty-five minutes of talking, and as soon as one of the advertised fights was starting, they went to a commercial. That’s “Total Non-stop Action” for you.
Spud comes out and drags out a referee and books a twelve man tag team match for right now. They are now HALF AN HOUR INTO THE SHOW- a quarter of their total air time- and they still have FIVE featured matches to get to… and they are now doing starting a twelve man tag team match.
ERIC YOUNG, JOSEPH PARK, SAMOA JOE, ODB, JAMES STORM, & GUNNER vs. BRO-MANS, ZEMA ION, BAD INFLUENCE, & LEI’D TAPA- 6/10
Hey, aren’t Storm and Gunner supposed to be wrestling EACH OTHER tonight? Apparently this match is being contested under Lucha rules because every pair of guys just takes turns being legal.
So they have a pretty good house-show undercard tag team match until Joseph goes all Abyss-y and takes out all of the heels. He hits Kaz with a Black Hole Slam (which Tenay, who has been calling Abyss matches for ten years, calls a “monster-like slam” rather than its actual name)… and then, for some inexplicable reason, Storm and Gunner just jump in the ring and run around, so Joseph clotheslines them both, then goes to the outside to start being on the already-down Zema Ion. Taz and Tenay try to play this off as Abyss/Joseph being out of control and crazy, but all I can think is that this is all Storm and Gunner’s fault for running in the ring for NO REASON when their guy was about to make a winning pin.
Joe eventually makes Daniels tap to the Coquina Clutch. Some guy in the crowd has a sign that says “Saw>Bo.” I don’t know who Saw is, but I’m certain he is better than Bo because Bo sucks! I HATE YOU, BO! Sami Zayn will take your title from you!
VELVET & ARIES BACKSTAGE- Sabin sees them talking and yells at Velvet. Velvet says she doesn’t want to talk in front of all of these people, so just to be an asshole, Sabin drags her out in front of the whole world to talk about their relationship.
KURT ANGLE BACKSTAGE- he is looking for Dixie Carter and Al Snow.
SABIN, VELVET, & ARIES SEGMENT- almost awesome
Sabin is overly-possessive. Then Aries comes out and says that Sabin is the “worst boyfriend that ever lived.” He says that he will make an exception to his vegan beliefs to eat some “pigeon pie.” The result of this segment is an X-Division Title match next week with Velvet in a cage at ringside. Sabin was great in his role, Aries was Aries, and Velvet standing up for herself felt like a big moment…
And then they ruined it by having Velvet be a f*cking gold-digger, saying that if Sabin doesn’t retain the title against Aries next week, she might decide to leave him. WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! You don’t give someone a major character moment where she stands up to her verbally abusive boyfriend and then turn her into a petty gold-digger! THIS COMPANY SUCKS!
KURT IS BACKSTAGE LOOKING FOR DIXIE AND AL AGAIN-
Apparently in the time that segment took, Kurt stopped looking for them, got changed into his gear and a t-shirt, and then started looking for them again.
We come back with what I wasn’t sure was Impact or not because some guy I didn’t recognize was telling the camera to “shoot everything you see backstage.” Sam Shaw walks by and this guy complements Sam on his win a few ago and says that Sam will do well here. Then he tells him to stop staring at Christy and focus on his opponent instead. Shaw jumps the guy from behind. This looked really f*cking vicious. I think I can get behind psycho Sam Shaw. Or I should say “Samuel” because if I don’t, he might beat me with my own shoe like he did to this guy.
SAM SHAW & MAGNUS BACKSTAGE- bad!
Something exciting must be happening in the ring now, because the crowd is going nuts. Anyway, Magnus shows up and decides to be delusional, claiming to have won the world title all by himself, and thus offending EC III. Magnus then decides to be more of a jerk to EC III. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS?! This stable has not even been together for a full month and they are already teasing dissension. WHY?!
NO DISQUALIFICATION MATCH: Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson- 6.75/10
So one hour into this episode of Total Non-stop Action Wrestling, the second match of the show starts. In this match Bully Ray, who has recently gone around threatening to set people on fire and murder unborn babies… backs down for a f*cking referee.
They do some great hardcore stuff. Then Bully gets out the lighter fluid… and the last time he doused Anderson in lighter fluid he didn’t even try to set it on fire… so why should I believe that he will now? They tease a flaming table but the table never even gets lit. After having bUlly laid out, Bully once again makes no attempt to try to set Anderson on fire.
During this match, Tenay informed us that “we’ve got two full weeks of Genesis because it’s so big.” Well, at least that explains how they are going to fit all of the advertised matches on this show (they’re not), but it does make them look like assholes for promising us that we were going to get all of these matches live on January 16th at Genesis when, in fact, we’re not. If there were going to be two weeks of Genesis, it should have been noted at the top of the show. Certainly some time before the one hour mark.
Taz told us that there were propane tanks under the ring. That seems terribly unsafe.
KURT FIND AL SNOW BACKSTAGE- bad
Kurt demands to know who told Al Snow to take him to the airport last week. Apparently Kurt is a some kind of idiot because he can’t figure it out, and Sting didn’t tell him that Dixie had someone attack his family or whatever. Or maybe no one attacked his family? I’m not sure. If the whole thing was real, then why would Kurt be mad at Al? This whole thing is confusing. I think, from now on, that I’m just going to assume that Sting f*cked up his promo because Sting’s promos rarely make sense within the angle.
KURT ANGLE & DIXIE CARTER SEGMENT- eh.
As Kurt is making his way to the ring, Tenay asks Taz (paraphrasing) “isn’t there an unwritten code in the wrestling business that you don’t mess with someone’s family?”
Okay. Listen up TNA writers. Stop doing angles involving someone breaking an “unwritten code” among the wrestlers. It always comes out off as if it is just completely being pulled out of your ass because this “unwritten code” has never been brought up in the past when something similar has happened (for example, why was this never mentioned when Kurt and Sting were threatening each other’s children during the build up to Bound For Glory 2007?), and will never be brought up again when something similar inevitably happens in the future. Also, it is confusing as hell to new fans. I myself spent a good chunk of 2006 wondering why the hell no one ever mentioned the X-Division Code anymore.
So Kurt calls out Dixie and says that Dixie “involved” his family… so did Dixie have Al Snow attack Kurt’s family last week, and then drive Kurt to the airport? If this were the case, I’d assume that Kurt wouldn’t have let Al off the way he did. This is very confusing.
Apparently there was a fake emergency or something… which is what we all thought it was. Obviously this kind of thing can be traumatic and stressful, but it really feels like the babyfaces are overreacting here.
Dixie was great in her condescending role, but this whole angle just sucks. Kurt says that after his cage match with Bobby Roode, he will accompany Sting to the ring tonight against EC III. Dixie then says that he will postpone Angle vs. Roode for next week and that anyone who interferes in EC III vs. Sting will be fired. Kurt says that doing the right thing is more important than his job and dares Dixie to fire him. Dixie summons security to remove Kurt from the building. Kurt and security have a staredown and Roode attacks Angle from behind, then hits him with his new finisher, which has now been named the “Roode Bomb.”
JB INTERVIEWS MADISON RAYNE- or not. Gail and Tapa jump Madison. Good heel stuff.
DIXIE & HEBNER BACKSTAGE- Apparently Hebner won’t be refereeing the main event. Dixie has a ref of her own lined up.
TNA KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: Gail Kim(c) (w/Lei’D Tapa) vs. Madison Rayne- 3/10
WAY too short. The finish looked awkward and kind of botched, too.
STING PROMO- he urges everyone not to risk getting fired by coming to help him. He says “it is all about me getting my hands on EC III tonight.” Didn’t he already do that at the beginning of the show?
We then got a commercial for Impact with the slogan “A Real New Era is Here.” “A REAL New Era?” What a horrible slogan!
DIXIE CARTER BACKSTAGE WITH THE AMERICAN WOLVES- Dixie thinks the Wolves are coming in for a tryout match next week, but the Wolves say that they signed contracts this morning. Apparently there is a “new investor”… and one with enough control of the company to hire people to wrestling contracts… and somehow Dixie didn’t know about this? Are they really doing this angle? It is the “Network” angle that they did in 2011 all over again.
I really didn’t like this. All this segment will do is get people searching the internet for American Wolves matches, which will lead them to ROH… and AJ Styles. You shouldn’t do something that will lead people to other wrestling promotions to spend their money on. If you want to get people excited to see the Wolves…they’re the AMERICAN F*CKING WOLVES! Just put them in the ring an d let them rip people’s limbs off!
SINGLES MATCH WITH ROCKSTAR SPUD AS THE SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE: Sting vs. Ethan Carter III- no rating. Good segment.
Oh look. Spud is the ref. If you didn’t see that coming, just go smack your head against a wall.
Spud is the BEST STOOGE EVER. He is BY FAR the best thing in TNA right now. I was ROLLING with laughter when Sting grabbed his wrist and forced him to count the pin.
Sting grabs a mic and says he will do anything to fight Magnus. They eventually agree to Title vs. Career match. As I’m sure you all remember, less than a year ago Sting lost the right to ever challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Title again. Magnus even brought that up in this segment. How he is getting out of this stip was not explained.
Sting also looks like an idiot for taking this match MERE MINUTES after a Dixie-appointed biased ref screwed him out of a match! Hell… the ref in question was MAGNUS… who is standing in front of Sting right now… IN A REFEREE’S SHIRT!
Anyway, this was a pretty good Impact in the ring, but I am very disappointed that I didn’t get a lot of the matches that were advertised (especially Storm vs. Gunner and Angle vs. Roode, which I was very much looking forward to). A lot of the non-wrestling on this show totally sucked, though.