Impact Wrestling opens up with a special message to the families of the victims of the shooting in Newtown, CT last week saying that TNA’s “Thoughts & Prayers” are with the families of the victims. Classy move.
Following highlights from last week “Championship Thursday” kicks off with shots of both Aries & Hardy arriving earlier today. The announce team discusses the contenders for the Knockouts Title tonight as well as Hardy-Aries III.
No warming up in the bullpen tonight as the TV Title is on the line pitting Kurt Angle against the Aces & Eights Sergeant At Arms Devon. Angle defeated Devon back at Turning Point in November. He limps down to the ring and has his leg taped up. Angle says he wants to take Aces & Eights Championship away from them tonight and then tells Devon to get his ass out to the ring so he can take it. As Devon shows up with Aces & Eights Angle says he has a pack of his own tonight and then Samoa Joe leads Wes Brisco & Garett Bischoff down to ringside.
TNA Television Championship
Devon (c) w/Aces & Eights vs. “Olympic Hero” Kurt Angle w/Samoa Joe, Wes Brisco, & Garett Bischoff
Angle and Devon lockup and Angle forces Devon into the corner but Devon kicks him away and then locks in a side headlock. Angle shoves Devon into the ropes but eats a shoulder block followed by an attempt at an Elbow Drop. Angle rolls out of the way and goes for a German Suplex but Devon blocks it and hits a series of back elbows. Devon bounces off the ropes but runs right into a clothesline from Angle. Angle connects with a series of right hands and then attempts to whip Devon into the ropes, but he reverses it only for Angle to hold onto the ropes rather than bounce off. Devon then charges at Angle but he sidesteps Devon causing Devon to go flying out to the floor. The babyfaces surround Devon as Aces & Eights approach as well. Devon shoves Wes and the brawl is on! Aces & Eights and the babyfaces brawl around ringside as Angle watches in the ring and Devon retreats. The referee kicks everyone out from ringside while Devon chop blocks Angle’s injured leg from behind!
Back from the commercials Devon elbow drops Angle’s leg and puts him in a knee bar. Devon hangs Angle’s leg up in the ropes and then cannonballs down on top of it. Devon covers Angle for a nearfall and then locks in a Spinning Toehold. Angle kicks Devon with the free leg but then Devon chop blocks him from behind again. Devon talks trash to Angle and dares him to get up and when he does Devon pokes him in the eyes. Angle retreats to the corner and Devon charges at him but eats a back elbow. Angel climbs up top and dives off with a Missile Dropkick and then sells his leg again as he hits the mat and Taz questions the intelligence of trying that move with an injured leg. Angle finally gets back up and clotheslines Devon followed by a second one. Angle then charges at Devon but Devon hits him with an elbow. Devon then walks into a Belly-to-Belly Suplex from Angle! 1…2…NO Devon kicks out! Angle goes for the Olympic Slam but Devon blocks it and hits the Spinebuster! 1…2…NO Angle kicks out! Devon swings at Angle but he ducks and hits the Rolling German Suplexes! Angle puts Devon in the Ankle Lock but Aces & Eights run out. The referee tries to stop them from getting in the ring and while he is dealing with them Devon taps out! Joe, Brisco, & Bischoff run out and go after Aces & Eights, but another member comes from behind Angle and hits him in the back with a pipe! The referee turns around and Devon covers Angle, 1…2…3!
Winner & STILL TV Champ: Devon via pinfall
In the ring the babyfaces help up an injure Angle as Aces & Eights gloat over the win.
In the back Brooke Hogan deliberates with the Knockouts. Velvet Sky says she was here for the birth of the Knockouts and this is her time. Brooke says ODB needs to focus on EY getting better (why? Who knows) and eliminates her.
Kenny King brags about his win last week in the back and says it doesn’t matter HOW he won, all the matters is he won. King says that he and RVD are the “two kickinest dudes in TNA” and Ryan & Morgan won’t have any teeth left after they get done with them tonight.
Joey Ryan & “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan vs. “Whole F’N Show” Rob Van Dam & Kenny King
Morgan is still wearing Hulk Hogan’s old cape to the ring. RVD & Ryan kick this one off and as RVD looks to want to lockup Ryan kicks him in the leg and mocks RVD with some fake Kung-Fu sounds. Ryan then kicks RVD again and shoves him into the ropes, but RVD kicks him and hits a clothesline. RVD follows up with a Spinning Back Kick and then a Standing Moonsault! 1…2…NO Ryan kicks out! RVD tags King in and holds Ryan as King kicks him. King locks in a side headlock on Ryan but Ryan counters into a Hammerlock. King spins out of the hold and into a Japanese Armdrag! King whips Ryan into the ropes and attempts a Leaping Spin Kick, but Ryan ducks and then tags in Morgan. Morgan lays King out with a clothesline and then lays his knees into King as Ryan yells at him to “beat him up.” Morgan stretches King as he hangs him up in the ropes and then headbutts King. Ryan tags back in and then tosses King into the corner and chokes him with his boot. Ryan knocks RVD off the apron and then hits King in the nuts as the referee was trying to keep RVD from getting back at Ryan. Morgan grabs King by the back of the neck and slams him into the turnbuckles and then tags himself back in. Morgan shoves King hard into the ropes and chokes him and then whips him into the opposite corner followed by a Sidewalk Slam. Ryan tags back in and whips King into the corner, but King floats over into a Sunset Flip! 1…2…NO Ryan kicks out and then goes for a clothesline but King rolls underneath it and tags in RVD! RVD lays into Ryan with a series of leg kicks and then a Forearm Smash. RVD tosses Ryan into the corner and then hits a Front Kick. King comes in and then Double Dropkick Morgan off the apron. Ryan rakes RVD’s eyes but then walks into an Atomic Drop from King followed by a Spinning Enziguri! Morgan comes back in and stares at King. King looks back at the big man and then back at RVD, and in one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen chucks up the deuces (peace sign), makes a hilarious face, and bails on his partner! Morgan nails RVD with the Carbon Footprint! Morgan tosses Ryan on top of RVD and he gets the win.
Winners: Morgan & Ryan via pinfall (Carbon Footprint)
King shrugs his shoulders at RVD after the match.
Footage of AJ’s promo last week is shown. Backstage Kaz mocks AJ for walking out last week and then says he isn’t concerned with AJ Styles anymore. He says that he is concerned with Christmas because it’s his favorite time of the year. He says his fans are going to see how he treats his best friend tonight.
Hulk Hogan walks down to the ring and panders to the crowd before saying 2012 has been a great year for Impact Wrestling. He says he saw this company start to grow and grow in 2012 and it’s become a “monster” now. He says that there is so much talent in the back and the matches have been so great at the PPVs that it’s hard to figure out who the “greatest of the great” is. He says that’s why the fans get to vote for who the Wrestlers of the Year and the fans can vote until the end of the year. The winner will be announced on Impact on January 3rd. Aces & Eights then interrupt Hogan and come out to the ring.
Before Devon can say anything Hogan says that if he’s such a tough guy why doesn’t he come out by himself. Devon laughs and says that Hogan has been telling so many lies for so long that he honestly thinks that Hogan believes them now. Devon says 2012 was not TNA’s year, it was the year that Aces & Eights were born and the year that Aces & Eights beat the hell out of every one of the TNA wrestlers. He says that Aces & Eights represents the truth not the garbage that Hogan has been telling the people. He says that 2013 will also be the year for Aces & Eights and also the year that they all the members will be revealed and their goals accomplished. Devon says Hogan won’t be around to see any of it and then Aces & Eights surround Hogan in the ring!
Bully Ray hits the ring with a chain in hand and Aces & Eights bail. DOC says that Ray is next while Devon laughs at his brother. Hogan stares at Ray but then just walks away from him.
In the back Hardy talks about their match at BFG and the Ladder Match. He says he’s gained respect for Aries in those matches but now he sees Aries’ true colors when he paid someone off to get at him. Hardy says he’s not hard to find and he’ll beat him again.
Brooke deliberates with the Knockouts again and Tessmacher says she deserves another shot at Tara but Mickie says she hasn’t gotten her fair shot at the belt, and Velvet admits that her timing hurt Mickie but she’s going after that belt too. Brooke eliminates Tessmacher and then says she’ll decide between Sky & Mickie.
A video package highlighting AJ Styles’ year is shown.
Kazarian comes down to the ring and says that not even the “ass goblins” in the crowd can ruin his mood today. He says that we’re just mere days away from Christmas and he has the holiday spirit. There is a Christmas Tree in the ring as well as a throne. Kaz points to the image of Bad Influence on top of the tree and says that tree has “two stars on it.” Kaz introduces his partner Daniels as the “man who beat AJ Styles and made him walk away and lose his smiles.”
Kaz says that since Daniels has been such a dear friend to him and because he is such a trustworthy and honest “saint of a man” he’s arranged for a very special visitor to come see Daniels. Santa Claus comes down hanging Candy Canes to the fans. Kaz hands Santa a present and it’s a pair of Zubaz and then Daniels sits on Santa’s knee and Kaz takes a picture of it. Taz: “this is just weird.” Santa asks Daniels if he’s been a good boy this year and a big “no” chant starts. Daniels says he got rid of the biggest loser in TNA history, AJ Styles. Santa says that since Bad Influence has given TNA everything they wanted all year he can grant them a Holiday Wish. Daniels says that Christmas isn’t about the gifts you get, it’s about the gifts you give so he wants to give his wish to someone who needs it. Daniels wishes that Santa give something to AJ Styles’ kids because he’s such a loser that they probably won’t be getting anything from AJ this year.
James Storm has heard enough as he comes out and says that he was sitting in the back listening to them mock Christmas and making fun of a day that people work hard to do something special for their kids. Storm says they can sit out there and talk about AJ Styles all they want because that’s their business but once you start running down Christmas it’s not going to happen on his watch. Daniels says that Storm is the exact reason that AJ Styles can’t wrestle for the World Title for a whole year and it’s because Storm was selfish so he needs to be on the naughty list. Storm suggests he come in the ring and give them a reason to put him on the naughty list. Santa tries to stop him and Storm asks him “who in the blue hell are you” and when he says that he’s Santa Storm tells him he has a bone to pick with Santa. Storm says that when he was 6 years old he wanted a BB Gun but all he got was a note saying he would shoot his eye out. Storm says that when he was 16 he asked for a big truck so he could go “mudding” in it but he got some stupid Tonka truck. Storm says that if he’s the real Santa then what did Storm want for Christmas last year. Santa guesses a Travis Tritt CD but Storm says he asked for a case of beer and then nails Santa with the Last Call! Storm tells Santa to put that in his pipe and smoke it and then takes his Santa hat and sack and start tossing toys and DVDs into the crowd.
In the back Austin Aries is shown with his eyes closed and looking like he’s constipated but then he looks at the camera and asks if we heard anything. He says he guesses we can’t hear his inner thoughts like we can Hardy’s mocking him. Aries says Hardy challenged him last week and that will be the biggest mistake of his career because this isn’t a Ladder Match, it’s a wrestling match which is his specialty. He says tonight he again proves why he’s the greatest wrestler in the universe.
The 01-03-13 promo runs again but this time Sting’s face appears on the camera and he says “surprise…1-3-13 is the unlucky number for you.” He says he’s coming to get his bat back from Devon and he’s coming to get Aces & Eights. He’s coming for DOC first, he screams “1-3-13” again and yells that he’s coming to put an end to Aces & Eights for good. He was back to wearing his traditional black & white facepaint (rather than the Joker inspired paint he wore most of the year) and black gear in that promo.
At the clubhouse Aces & Eights are freaking out about Sting’s return, but the VP tells them shutup and someone explain to him what just happened with Hogan. VP suggest they need more members but one of the other members cuts him off and asks if he’s just going to hand out patches to anyone that comes along because he’s bled for this club. Devon says he might have someone in mind and that he might be pissed in enough to join with them and all he has to do is reach out. The vote on whether they should reach out and have a sit down with this person. They all vote yes.
Brooke finishes the deliberation with Mickie & Velvet and she picks Mickie because she didn’t get a fair shake at the PPV. Velvet was not thrilled at all and sarcastically says “best of luck” to Mickie.
TNA Knockouts Championship
Tara (c) w/Jesse vs. “Hardcore Country” Mickie James
This is a Final Resolution rematch. They lockup and Mickie immediately rolls Tara up for a nearfall and then she trips Tara and rolls through into a bridge for another nearfall. Tara bridges out of the pin attempt and into an attempt at a Backslide of her own but Mickie blocks it. Tara flips Mickie over her back but Mickie lands on her feet and nails Tara with a series of forearms. Mickie attempts to whip Tara into the ropes but Tara reverses it and then goes for a Hip Toss, but Mickie counters into a Wheelbarrow Rollup! 1…2…NO Tara kicks out! Tara comes back with a knee to the gut and then whips Mickie into the ropes and goes for a clothesline, but Mickie slides through her legs and connects with a Snapmare Takeover. Mickie hits the ropes but Jesse trips her as Tara distracted the referee, and then Tara covers for a nearfall. Tara tosses Mickie across the ring by her hair and then covers her for another nearfall. Tara covers Mickie for yet another nearfall and then a third nearfall in a row. Tara elbow drops Mickie on the back and then grabs Mickie by the hair and hangs her up in the air by her hair! Tara rubs Mickie’s face into the mat and then slams her face into the mat repeatedly. Tara covers Mickie and gets another nearfall. She tosses Mickie into the corner and connects with a series of Shoulderblocks and then whips her into the opposite corner. Tara taunts Mickie and then kisses Jesse before covering Mickie for another nearfall. Tara puts Mickie in a modified Surfboard but Mickie fights up to her feet and breaks the hold. Tara grabs Mickie and goes for the Spider’s Web but Mickie counters in midair with a Spinning Headscissors Takeover! Mickie then rolls Tara up with a Crucifix! Jesse had the referee distracted so Mickie releases the pin attempt and goes after Jesse. Mickie then turns around and into a Powerslam from Tara! 1…2…NO Mickie kicks out again! Tara slaps Mickie repeatedly and then attempts the Standing Moonsault, but Mickie gets her knees up! Mickie and Tara exchange right hands from their knees and then Mickie connects with a series of Forearms as they get to their feet. Tara cuts her off with a knee to the gut and then whips Mickie into the corner. Mickie puts her foot up to stop herself from running into the turnbuckles and then nails Tara with a backkick and then a Leaping Front Kick and a clothesline! Mickie hits a series of clotheslines and then a Hangwoman’s Neckbreaker! 1…2…NO Tara kicks out! Mickie grabs Tara but she punches Mickie and then attempts the Widow’s Peak, but Mickie blocks it and hits the Mickie-DT! 1…2…NO Jesse pulls Tara out of the ring. Tarryn Terrell argues with Jesse & Tara. Mickie then climbs up top and dives off with a Plancha onto Jesse! Mickie tosses Tara back into the ring but as Mickie was getting back in the ring Jesse held onto her leg. Tara grabs Mickie and hit’s a Facebreaker onto Tara’s big knee brace! 1…2…3!
Winner & STILL KO Champ: Tara via pinfall (Facebreaker)
Footage of Joseph Park training at OVW are shown again this week. Some of the other OVW students are shown there as well including Gut Check winners like Sam Shaw and Taeler Hendrix. Most of the video was of Park being berated by OVW trainer/owner Danny Davis. During trainer one of the students accidentally bloodies Park. Davis responds by asking “Josh” (which he had been repeatedly calling Park) if he’s okay as Park stared down at the blood. Park says “MY NAME IS JOSEPH” and then destroys the OVW student with a clothesline and Black Hole Slam as Davis looks shocked.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
“Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy (c) vs. “A-Double” Austin Aries
We’re getting the Boxing style intros for this one. Aries and Hardy lockup and it looks like Hardy has some stitches under one of his eyes. They break clean and then lockup again and this time Aries knees Hardy in the gut and then stomps on Hardy repeatedly. Aries tries to slam Hardy into the turnbuckles but Hardy blocks it, hits Aries with an elbow, and slams Aries into the turnbuckles. Hardy tosses Aries across the ring to the opposite corner and then hits a Scoop Slam for a nearfall. Aries answers with a Scoop Slam of his own and then he goes to the apron and attempts a Slingshot Somersault Senton, but Hardy gets his knees up and then hits a Snapmare Takeover followed by a Basement Dropkick for another nearfall. Hardy mounts Aries in the corner and brings down right hands on the challenger and then he knocks Aries out of the ring to the floor. Hardy sets up twice for a dive but everytime Aries would go to the other side of ringside and then finally back in the ring. Aries knees Hardy in the gut and then whips him into the ropes and connects with a Leaping Elbow for a nearfall of his own. Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Hardy blocks it and then clotheslines Aries over the top to the floor! Hardy dives off the apron with a Plancha attempt but Aries moves and Hardy lands on the guardrail!
Back from the break Aries hits a Slingshot Somersault Senton over the top for another nearfall. Aries stomps on Hardy’s head and then kicks him in the back. Aries chokes Hardy and then hits a Slingshot Elbow Drop for another nearfall. Aries puts his knee in Hardy’s back and then locks in a chinlock on the champ. Hardy fights up to his feet but Aries takes him back down by slamming him to the mat by his hair. Aries hits a Fist Drop and gets a nearfall and then Aries hits an elbow to the back followed by a knee and then back to the chinlock. Hardy gets to the ropes to break the hold and then he elbows Aries, but Aries elbows him in the back and then lays into him with several forearms. Aries beats on Hardy in the corner and then taunts the crowd. Aries whips Hardy into the opposite corner but Hardy floats over into a Spinning Headscissors that sends Aries into the corner. Hardy kicks Aries and then climbs up to the middle rope and dives off with a Splash, but Aries gets his knees up and then covers Hardy for another nearfall! Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Hardy counters into a Sitout Front Suplex! Both men are down now! Both men get back up but Hardy hits Aries with a clothesline and then a forearm smash! Hardy attempts to whip Aries into the ropes but Aries reverses it and then sets up for the Rolling Elbow but Hardy explodes off the ropes with a Flying Forearm! Hardy hits a clothesline and then a Front Slam! Hardy climbs up top and dives off with a Splash! 1…2…NO Aries kicks out! Hardy goes for the Twist but Aries blocks it and shoves Hardy into the corner where Hardy goes for the Floatover Headscissors again, but this time Aries blocks it and tosses Hardy groin first onto the top rope! Aries hits the Rolling Elbow and then the IED in the corner! 1…2…NO Hardy kicks out! Aries again goes for the Brainbuster but Hardy blocks it and dropkicks Aries sending him into the ropes. Hardy goes for a rollup but Aries holds onto the ropes sending Hardy tumbling backwards. Hardy gets back up and hits the Alley Oop (the weird release Reverse Powerbomb Hardy hit at BFG)! 1…2…NO Aries still kicks out! Hardy attempts to whip Aries into the corner but he reverses it and charges at Hardy, but Hardy catches him with a back elbow and then springs to the top and dives off with Whisper In The Wind! Aries moves out of the way and then attempts the Brainbuster yet again, but this time Hardy blocks it and knees Aries in the face. Hardy tosses Aries into the corner and then hits the Twist of Fate! Aries goes for a 2nd Twist but this time Aries blocks it and nails Hardy with an elbow. Aries climbs up top and dives off but Hardy catches him in midair with an Atomic Drop! Hardy takes Aries down and looks like he’s going to go for that Leg Drop to the midsection but Aries kicks him off sending Hardy crashing into the referee! Hardy checks on the referee but then Aries low blows Hardy and nails the Brainbuster! Aries calls for another referee and then stacks Hardy up as another referee runs out! 1…2…NO Bobby Roode pulls the ref out and then slides in and does a two count before stopping and laughing at Aries. Roode flips Aries off and then hits the Double-R Spinebuster! Both men are down now. Hardy gets back up and hits the Twist of Fate! Hardy climbs up top and dives off with the Swanton! 1…2…3!
Winner & STILL World Champ: Hardy via pinfall (Swanton Bomb)
In the back Hogan says that the World Title picture is in chaos right now and then he sees Brooke kissing Bully Ray in the parking lot! Hogan isn’t happy as he gets in his car and drives away.
Fist off I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope everybody has a great Christmas next week. Now onto the show.
Devon and Angle had a pretty solid match though you could tell Angle was hurting during it with the groin injury, and with TNA pulling him off the upcoming house shows I’m assuming he’s going to get some good rest during the holidays.
The best thing about the Aces & Eights stuff tonight was that Devon made it clear the rest of the members would be revealed in 2013 and I’m assuming on the road to Lockdown. The Sting promo was pretty cool and I’m guessing they did that to get some interest going for the 01-03 show rather than it being a surprise. I’m glad Sting is going back to the traditional black & white facepaint because the Joker thing was played out.
The Tag match was okay but was more about continuing to get over King’s heel turn and he was hilarious at the end. Thankfully they’re giving him an actual character now.
I’m not going to cry about the deliberations, everyone knows how I feel about it. It’s stupid and needs to end but me complaining about it every month isn’t going to do anything about it.
Thank God it looks like they’re going to stop with Hardy’s inner monologue as he talked straight to the camera and then Aries mocked it.
The stuff with Santa was not good at all, Storm & Bad Influence tried but it just wasn’t very funny at all. Thankfully they didn’t go overboard with the Christmas stuff tonight.
Tara & Mickie put on another good match as they typically do.
Hardy/Aries was really good though it pales in comparison to their BFG Match and the Ladder Match. Roode interfering made sense and I’m expecting a 3-Way at Genesis.
1) TNA TV Title: Devon (c) def. Kurt Angle to retain the title!
2) Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan def. RVD & Kenny King
3) TNA Knockouts Title: Tara (c) def. Mickie James to retain the title!
4) TNA World Title: Jeff Hardy (c) def. Austin Aries to retain the title!
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Sting’s promo/Joseph Park training
– Match of the Night: Aries vs. Hardy (***1/2)
– Overall Grade: C+
Scheduled for Next Week:
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