TNA Impact Results 1/4/10: Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, Ric Flair all Help TNA in Their First Monday Night Adventure
by: Shane Howard
It's the biggest night in wrestling in a LONG time. All three of the top wrestling promotions are on television on the same night. Ring of Honor, TNA, and WWE will be battling it out for viewers at some point tonight between 8 and 11 p.m. (HTR is looking for someone to recap ROH shows. If you are interested, let us know.)
While the guys over at Titan Towers are promoting the return of Bret "Hitman" Hart, TNA begins the Hulk Hogan Era tonight. It's a three-hour special episode of iMPACT! and we are being led to believe that there will be loads of surprises.
Tonight, in my opinion, is a bigger night for TNA than for the WWE. TNA is the one with something to prove here. Do they deliver? Let's get on with the show.
I love the fact that Spike had a countdown on the lower right-hand side of the screen to countdown until Hogan and iMPACT! begins.
Once the countdown ends, we see a video that shows TNA's beginnings and how tonight is a new beginning with all the Hogan stuff. The show is titled, "Time for a Change." We'll see about that. Seems like there was some stuff changed around in the Impact Zone as the announce table is further back, a la WCW Nitro.
Taz and Mike Tenay run down tonight's card. Lots of gimmick matches it seems. The announcers talk about TNA's newest broadcast colleague, Bubba The Love Sponge. Bubba is asking fans outside of the Impact Zone what they expect tonight. What are the chances they air someone who speaks positive of WWE? Wait! Did that guy have the TNA logo tattooed on his arm? For shame!
Match #1: X-Division Steel Asylum Match: Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Homicide, Kiyoshi, Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal, Suicide, Amazing Red
The announcers quickly mention that Mick Foley was barred from entering the arena earlier today. The team of Lethal Consequences are working together on Sabin early on. Kiyoshi and Lethal are battling it out on the side of the cage. Shelley is up at the top all alone, edging to the opening. Lethal runs up to stop him. Suicide Solution to Amazing Red. Sabin gives Lethal a sick kick to the head. Red hits Homicide with a tornado DDT. Red and Suicide up on the top turnbuckle. Suicide pushes Red unto Sabin and then Red hurricanranas Sabin. Homicide has an extendable baton and lays out everyone in the ring. The match is ruled a no contest and the fans chant "This is Bullsh*t" as Homicide tries to escape the cage. He drops to the mat and several men start beating him down.
Music hits and Jeff Hardy makes his way down the aisle and to ringside. Homicide attacks Hardy before Hardy turns the tables. Homicide tries to escape but gets hit with a chair shot on the entrance ramp. A Twist of Fate follows. The Enigma then climbs up the Steel Asylum structure and sits on it as we go to break.
Winner: No Contest
Opinion: I agree with the fans. That was BS. Why couldn't they have a winner? Why does TNA always have to have the overbooked finish? The crowd was into the match. You don't do all of that just to introduce Jeff Hardy. I'm sorry. Fail! Rating: Zero stars
Backstage after the break we see Jeff Hardy greet Shannon Moore.
There is a motorcade for Hogan's arrival to the Impact Zone.
Backstage Segment #1
Christy Hemme is with Kevin Nash. Hemme is smoking hot. Nash is happy to have Hulk here. Nash says that with Hogan with TNA, they are on their way to being No. 1 and he's going to be making more money. Before leaving he says he just got done talking with Hulk. A) He's on his way and B) he's not alone.
Match #2: ODB vs. Tara© (Knockouts Championship match)
ODB attacks Tara before the bell rings to get the upper hand. After ODB runs into Tara's boots, Tara hits a running clothesline. Tara connects with some slaps, kicks, and then an enziguri. ODB is locked into the Tarantula move. Tara follows up with a legdrop over the top rope. ODB gets the chance to go for the TKO but Tara escapes and goes for the Widow's Peak. ODB gets out of that and ODB rolls her up. The camera angle goes kooky and ODB gets the three count using a handful of tights.
ODB is celebrating before Tara gets her up for the Widow's Peak. Poison, the tarantula, is then placed on the fallen ODB.
Winner: ODB via pinfall, new Knockouts Champion
Opinion: Lame! Again! Come on, TNA. Is Tara going to have a credible title run or what? ODB uses the tights, fine, that's a heel tactic. My question is why did we get a wacky camera angle at the time of the pinfall? We saw much better Knockout matches last week on iMPACT! Rating: * (because we at least got a finish in this contest)
We go backstage and a limo arrives. Ric Flair exits the back and greets folks as he walks to a locked door before we go to break.
Video airs of Hemme outside with fans earlier in the show. She rushes over to an arriving Foley and asks why he's here. Foley got the memo about not being allowed in the arena. He's got a video memo for Dixie Carter and Co.
Bobby Lashley and Kristal come down. Kristal talks negative about wrestling fans while praising MMA and its fans. The crowd doesn't take kindly to this. She goes on to say that Bobby is asking for his immediate release from TNA tonight. She then drops the mic and signals for them to leave. Guess we know who wears the pants in that relationship.
Backstage Segment #2
Velvet Sky leads us into a room where the other members of The Beautiful People are sitting at a poker table. They proceed to play poker and Lacey continues to play stupid. I use the term 'play' loosely. She loses and takes off her jacket because they don't have anything to bet with. Throughout the night we should get updates of their strip poker game.
Another video showing the Hogan motorcade.
Backstage Segment #3
Backstage, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman are attempting to enter the building. They are being stopped so Hall grabs one of the security men's necks before other men come in to stop them.
Back from break, the motorcade seems to have stopped. The white limo door opens and someone exits a black limo and gets into the white limo. We return to inside the Impact Zone to see Hall and Waltman exit through the crowd, crashing the party. How Outsiders of you, TNA.
In-Ring Segment #2
Finally, after about the eight commercial break, Hulk is introduced with a variation of the old NWO theme. He's back and he's in black. The crowd is loud. Brooke Hogan is there in the audience. Hogan talks about his meeting with the talent earlier in the day. He reiterates what Nash said about TNA being on the way to the top. Hall and Waltman are once again stopped by security before Hogan tells security to allow them into the ring.
"Hey yo" from Hall. Classic. Hall and Waltman want to recreate what we saw in the 90s but Hogan says it's not going to happen this time. Hogan thinks it's time to grow up and do the right thing for the business. Hope you practice what you preach, Hulk. Hall says things are changing and they will change with Hogan or without him.
Nash then makes his way down the ramp and to the ring. NWO reunion. Nash says Hulk has a role to play tonight so let him play it. Hogan says it isn't a role. He's here to change the company for the better. Nash wants to know when did Hulk turn so corporate. Eric Bischoff is next to enter the ring, sans dye job.
Bischoff highlights the fact that the men in the ring revolutionized the industry in the past. He goes on to say that everybody, EVERYBODY, has to earn their position in this company. EVERYBODY! Nash says he hears him loud and clear and they will talk later. Nash, Hall, and Waltman then exit the ring.
Hogan is back on the mic. The game changes now. Everybody has to earn their spot. Bischoff is damn sure that he and Hogan can change the game as they did in the past. We see Dixie in the crowd.
They plan on having the change start right now. They ask for a format from a producer (how DX of you). Bischoff rips up the format and hands So Cal Val a new format. Hogan says if you can't talk or you can't wrestle, pack your bags and head up north. Ouch! That was a bit harsh, Hulk.
Shot of Sting, face paint and all, is shown up in the rafters before the break.
Match #3: Awesome Kong and Hamada vs. Taylor Wilde and Sarita© (TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship match)
In the middle of the match, we cut backstage where the Machine Guns have been laid out by someone. Hall and Waltman, maybe? Wilde and Sarita double team to finally take Kong down with a double dropkick. Wilde dives off the top rope on Hamada while Sarita suicide dives through the ropes on Kong. The tag champs lay the challengers out on the outside before we go to break.
After the break they show the challengers get the upper hand after Kong plays the part of a brick wall to Wilde. Hamada seems to be limping in there. Wilde is playing damsel in distress. After getting a surprise double knees to the face, Wilde gets a tag to Sarita. Wilde hits Hamada with a hurricanrana. Sarita goes for one on Kong but no dice. She then goes to roll up Kong but Kong just sits on her. Wilde runs in and hits a dropkick to break up the count. Outside the ring, Hamada lays Wilde out after tossing her head-first into the ring apron. Kong then signals for Hamada to get up to the top rope. Kong hoists Sarita up on her shoulders and Hamada dropkicks her into a powerbomb from Kong.
Winner: Kong and Hamada via pinfall, new Knockouts Tag Team Champions
Opinion: Best match of the night so far. Things could have been better if Hamada wasn't limping around the ring. Wilde and Sarita didn't just lay down here. Thank you Knockouts because I have been rather bored tonight, until this point. Rating: ***1/2
Backstage Segment #4
Poker game is back in action. The ladies have lost a bit more clothing and in comes Val Venis Mr. Towel Man. Sean Morley wants to add some excitement to the game as he only has a towel on.
Backstage Segment #5
Foley is trying to get in but he's not getting in. The Nasty Boys attempt to get in the same door Foley was at but they are also turned away.
Match #4: Raven and Dr. Stevie w/ Daffney vs. Matt Morgan and Hernandez
The winning team here gets a shot at The British Invasion's tag titles at TNA Genesis. The good doctor tries to take it to Morgan but eats a Carbon Footprint. Just like that, the match is over.
Winner: Matt Morgan and Hernandez via pinfall
Opinion: Really? For a No. 1 contender match that is what you give us. A one-minute match. Come the hell on, TNA! Rating: Zero rating
Backstage Segment #6
Hemme is with D'Angelo Dinero. The Black Pope going to be in action against Desmond Wolfe tonight. Dinero makes fun of Wolfe's name. He wants Wolfe to bring his very best. In comes Orlando Jordan holding a Stacker 5-Hour Power drink. Jordan says Hogan invited him here. Pope tells Jordan to get stepping because he's interrupting the Pope's interview time. Jordan says that Pope reminds Hogan a little of Jordan himself. Ouch.
Match #5: Desmond Wolfe vs. Black Pope D'Angelo Dinero
Wolfe works on Pope's arm as he does with most of his opponents. Flying hammerlock by the Brit. Pope tries to hit a sunset flip but Wolfe doesn't go down and goes back to work on the arm. After avoiding a corner charge, Pope kicks the feet out from Wolfe and hits elevated elbow drop in the corner. Wolfe slams Pope to the mat using Pope's arm for momentum. Tower of London attempt is evaded by Pope. He goes for an uppercut but Wolfe counters and goes for a backslide. Pope flips over and small packages Wolfe.
Winner: D'Angelo Dinero via pinfall
Opinion: Surprise winner here. The match was good yet short. Enjoyed the technical stuff by Wolfe and Pope hung with him in there. Rating: ***
We get a shot of Jeff Jarrett before we go to break. We come back from break and get another backstage shot of Jarrett. Another commercial break.
Another attack backstage, this time on Rhino.
In case you missed it (an hour ago) TNA recaps the in-ring segment featuring Hogan.
One more shot of Jarrett in the back and we go to ANOTHER commercial break.
Backstage Segment #7
AJ Styles is finally shown on the show, nearly two hours into the show. How's that for your champion. Jeremy Borash is with the champ. AJ puts over his match against Kurt Angle at Genesis. Bischoff comes in and says that the match between Styles and Angle won't happen at Genesis. That match is tonight's main event.
In-Ring Segment #3
The "King of the Mountain" Jeff Jarrett comes out. JJ is given a warm reception. He reminds us of how he started TNA and no one gave it a chance. The crowd chants "Thank you, Jeff". Jarrett is putting over all the guys in the back, the signing of Hogan, and tells us that anything can and will happen in TNA.
Hogan comes on the big screen. Hogan says that Jeff did start the company but he also ran it into the ground. Hogan puts over Dixie. The crowd chants "Bullsh*t". Hogan says he is now Dixie Carter's partner. The young guys are going to get their real shot now. All of Jarrett's past accolades mean squat now. JJ has no stroke and he has to prove himself like everybody else.
Backstage Segment #8
The hot Hemme is with Daniels. Daniels is saying how he isn't worried about his spot before Jeremy Borash runs by on the phone. Apparently, Foley is on the other line. JB opens a door and Foley enters the building. Foley has a bone to pick with Hogan and doesn't care who he has to go through.
Backstage Segment #9
Shannon Moore is with Hardy in the locker room. Jeff is painting a portrait. Moore says the big man is ready to see him and they head out leaving the portrait.
Match #6: Abyss vs. Samoa Joe
Abyss was initially to take on Rhino but Bischoff's new format, coupled with Rhino's attack, has changed things. This is the first time for these two going one-on-one. Joe pelts Abyss with rights from the onset. Abyss then eats a step-up enziguri in the corner from Joe. Samoa Joe runs at Abyss but runs into a boot. Joe heads to the outside. Abyss goes after him but Joe hits Abyss. Joe grabs a chair and swings but Abyss moves out of the way. Joe is sent into the ring by Abyss. Joe takes Abyss down and hits a senton back drop. Sting is shown backstage.
Side slam by Abyss to Joe. Abyss charges at Joe, who's in the corner, and Joe connects with an elbow and then a kick. Another step-up enziguri by Joe. He goes to the middle rope, jumps off but Abyss grabs him and hits a chokeslam. Two. Joe's back on the outside. Abyss wants to go after Joe but the ref stops him. Abyss shoves the ref out of the way and Joe connects with a chair shot while the ref's vision is obstructed. Joe gets back in the ring and locks in the rear-naked choke.
Winner: Samoa Joe via submission
Opinion: It was a good back-and-forth match. Joe's victory is fine here considering he just came off the world title briefcase victory at Final Resolution. Rating: **1/2
Backstage Segment #10
Bischoff is with a producer and tells him to re-work a segment. Kristal then comes in and demands a meeting with Hulk due to Bobby wanting out of TNA. Easy E tells her to grab a number and stand in line. She exclaims that Bobby will not be happy.
Another attack, this time to Beer Money, Inc. Bubba the Love Sponge has an idea of who is behind it all.
Backstage Segment #11
Another attempt by the Nasty Boys to get in the building. Bubba distracts the man blocking the way so the Boys can sneak past.
JB is with Angle. Angle says that Styles cannot beat him. He's great but he's not the greatest wrestler in the world. It's time for Kurt to reclaim his title. It's real, it's damn real.
As Hardy and Moore head to their car, Moore is excited as they got what they came for. They are holding manila envelopes. Contracts? Three screaming girls run up and ask Jeff for his autograph. He hands over the painting he did and kisses one on the cheek. OMG, I
Backstage Segment #12
The Nasty Boys head to Team 3D's locker room. TNA staff brings them donuts to apologize for the hard time. The Boys shove the donuts in their face and then begin to deface the locker room.
Main Event: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles© (TNA World Heavyweight Championship match)
The match starts and AJ has Angle down in a rest hold. As Angle attempts to come back, he runs at AJ who hits a standing dropkick. Angle heads to the outside. AJ dives over the top rope, knocking Angle down. The masked man comes in and attacks AJ. The bell rings. Kurt takes out the attacker. Angle helps AJ to his feet and we get back to the action. The two battle for position before Angle hits Styles with a powerbomb into the turnbuckle. Commercial.
Angle is on the offensive when we come back from break. We see Angle slam AJ and then we go back to commercial. WHAT!?
Back from break. AJ is able to get Angle up and flip him off his shoulder into a neckbreaker. Styles goes for his springboard forearm but Angle catches him and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle Slam is evaded by Styles. Angle hits a slingshot before his trademark Germans (three). Styles with a Pele out of nowhere but Angle avoids and locks in the Ankle Lock.
AJ gets out and hits the Pele this time for a two count. Styles runs at Angle, who avoids the contact, Styles goes slamming into the turnbuckle, Angle hits Angle Slam. Two. AJ gets crazy height with his springboard forearm smash. Styles to the top rope but Angle pops up and hits a top-rope belly-to-belly throw. Angle now goes up top and goes for the Frog Splash. AJ moves. Styles Clash gets AJ a two count.
Both men are on the top before Kurt punches AJ off. Frog Splash gets Angle a two count. Angle Slam attempt is countered into a DDT by AJ. Crowd chants "Who needs Bret". AJ is placed into the Ankle Lock again but he escapes when Angle is atttempting to go for a leg lock. German suplex with a release by Angle.
Angle throws AJ into the ropes and AJ hits a moonsault into an inverted DDT. TWO! AJ is up on the top rope and Angle gets up there and hits a top-rope Angle Slam. Another Ankle Lock before AJ is able to force Angle into the ropes. Enziguri by AJ is followed by another Styles Clash. ANother two count. AJ goes for a third Styles Clash, Angle rolls through and locks in the Ankle Lock, this time locking the legs. Flair comes out to the top of the ramp.
AJ is his feet and hits a suplex of his own before connecting with his springboard 450-splash. Two count. Before we go to another commercial we learn that Spike is giving TNA overrun time, if needed.
Flair is still looking on when we return. Angle is trying to make AJ stumit however he can. AJ rolls through a move and hits another Styles Clash. Styles gets another springboard 450-splash. This time the ref counts three.
Winner: AJ Styles via pinfall, retains title
Opinion: Awesome match. What keeps it from being flawless was the interruption by the attacker, Flair's appearance atop the ramp, and the commercials. Still, outstanding. Rating: ****1/2
After the match, Kurt holds AJ's hand up. Hogan comes out and calls the two men the best. AJ has just raised the bar. This is the beginning of the greatest rise in prof... someone whispers in Hogan's ear and Hogan runs off to the back.
In the back, Foley barges into the poker room. He is demanding to know Hogan's location. Morley tells him where to find Hogan. Foley enters his office and finds Bischoff sitting in his chair. Bischoff tells Foley he has no power and the only choice he has is to get in line with everyone else. Foley says he will never work for Bischoff. Hall and Waltman come in and beat down Foley. Hogan enters the room, shouts "Hey", takes off his glasses, and the show ends with a close up of the "man of the hour".
Three hours. TNA, you had three hours to wow us. Did you? Not me. I'm sorry, I was expecting more. The return of so many washed-up has-beens and some never-was doesn't entice me. I guess you're trying to bring in some of the fans from the WCW heyday. Who knows?
The night started well with the Steel Asylum match. There was no point of it except to hype the crowd up. The end result was a failure. You had the crowd in your hands and you crapped on it with a no contest. Why not have Hardy be a surprise entrant in the match instead of the route you chose?
Why do you keep crapping on the Motor City Machine Guns? Hell, you were a bit WWE-ish here with your lack of regard to the tag team division. A No. 1 contender match ends in less than a minute? Really?
So I guess all the storylines prior to today goes out the window? If this is the case, how will that work when your pay-per-view is in two weeks?
As the supposed alternative I thought you would be a bit different from the WWE with your three hours. Unfortunately, there was still a whole lot of talking and backstage segments.
Granted, there were some bright spots. I enjoyed the Knockouts Tag Team Championship match, the Pope/Wolfe encounter, and the main event. My question is: can you live on only counting on Styles, Angle, Wolfe, Kong, and Hamada to give great matches?
For fans who haven't kept up with TNA, this might have been a great night. For those who actually watch the product, I was expecting more.
Steel Asylum match - no contest
ODB def. Tara
Awesome Kong and Hamada def. Taylor Wilde and Sarita
Matt Morgan and Hernandez def. Dr. Stevie and Raven
D'Angelo Dinero def. Desmond Wolfe
Samoa Joe def. Abyss
AJ Styles def. Kurt Angle
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