TNA Impact spilled over to Reaction with Eric Bischoff coming to the ring right at the top of the hour with his open challenge to Mr. Anderson. After Bischoff did his heel routine and beat up Jeremy Borash, Mr. Anderson’s music hit, but Matt Morgan snuck in the back door behind Bischoff. Morgan waited for Bischoff to turn around to face his opponent face-to-face and dropped Bischoff with the Carbon Footprint, then made a cover for the “win.”
Reaction picked up five minutes past the top of the hour with Morgan grabbing the clipboard and signing the contract for a TNA Title shot at Turning Point. Morgan then took the mic and told Bischoff to give Hardy a message: “I’m going to see his ass this Sunday at Turning Point.” Morgan left the ring, then Ric Flair came to the ring to cut a promo on Morgan. Flair looked into the camera and said Morgan has to face Hardy in three days. Bischoff sold confusion. Flair took off his shades and told Morgan he’s going to bleed, sweat, and pay the price of a lifetime. Cue up Flair’s music as he hugged and consoled Bischoff, who sold concussion like symptoms.
Coming up on Reaction: Hardy reacts to facing Morgan. They previewed Hardy saying he’s going to “end that big mother.er” at Turning Point. Also, Jarrett vs. Joe hype, RVD vs. Dreamer, and Fortune dissension. They previewed Stevie Richards saying he believes he’s the best in EV2. Dreamer said he’s sick and tired of playing peacemaker and babysitting grown men. Also, hype for The Pope vs. Abyss after the silly skit on Impact with Abyss attacking planted fans.
Jeff Hardy: Being “Immortal” to him means his identity will last forever. He said people will still talk about him in the year 3028. He sent a message to Mr. Anderson that he’s welcome for the chair shot gift and for erasing his memory. Hardy sarcastically wished Anderson a speedy recovery. He said Eric Bischoff brings “evil madmen genius” to the party. They cut to Bischoff backstage talking about the old wrestler mentality of stepping into the ring injured. Ric Flair interrupted and told everyone to get a grip on who they are in the world.
Matt Morgan was introduced as they hyped his TNA Title match opportunity at the PPV. Morgan said everyone assumes the big tall guy is a dumb clutz, but he outsmarted Bischoff. Morgan asked Bischoff how his boot tastes. They cut to Bischoff saying Hulk Hogan probably should have died two or three times and he’s a “real man” for getting off the hospital bed and taking care of business at Bound for Glory.
Back to Hardy saying he is the man. He is TNA. Without TNA, this place is shit. He said they came to him saying he’s the only one who can fit the shoes. Back to Morgan, who said he was just minding his own business until he heard Eric Bischoff shooting his mouth off as usual. He said he knows the locker room would be happy with him shutting up Bischoff’s mouth. Morgan said he’s surprised Bischoff made the same “contract mistake” Dixie Carter made a few weeks ago. Morgan vowed to destroy Jeff Hardy.
Back to Hardy, who said he’s dealt with “men on a mission” like Morgan. He said Morgan’s never done anything compared to what he’s done. Hardy said Morgan is in for an “extreme ride.” Morgan said it’s about time he gets a title shot and finally wins his first World Title. He said it’s all about opportunity in wrestling. Back to Hardy, who said Morgan will fall to the hands of the charismatic enigma. He said Morgan’s turning point will be the end of him in TNA.
At Bound for Glory, Jeff Jarrett turned his back on Samoa Joe. Jarrett said he didn’t sell out. He talked about working with promoters and family members and said he just needed to buy into Bischoff and Hogan. They cut to Joe saying he’s here to be the best. Joe said he just wants an opportunity. He knows Jarrett’s group is afraid of what would happen if he got that opportunity.
Jeff Hardy said the perception is Jeff Jarrett is just another politician, but he believes he’s a player and he deserves power after starting the company eight years ago. They cut to the other Jeff saying this is his life. TNA aired clips of Jarrett throwing Joe over the railing on Impact two weeks ago. They cut to Joe saying he went looking for Jeff in Tennessee and almost had him tonight on Impact. Joe said Jarrett didn’t have a plan for every contingency because he didn’t have a plan for Joe. He said he came to TNA to “put Jeff Jarrett in the ground.” (Please, no more vows to kill someone that can never be fulfilled.)
Back to Jarrett, who said Joe can show up and kick his ass, but does he really care or do the people care? He said Joe needs to “deliver a big money match.” (That has nothing to do with anything.) Jarrett said Hardy and Abyss have been there and done that. He said Joe’s biggest strength can also be his biggest weaknesses. Jarrett said he might give Joe a butt whipping on Sunday. Joe said he’s glad Jarrett is thinking he won’t bring his A-Game because he’ll catch him by surprise. Back to Jarrett, who said PPVs are where the “games are won and lost.” He said he knows to bring his A-Game on PPV Sunday, but he’s not sure if Joe understands the importance of “showing up for the big match and delivering.”
EV2 vs. Fortune War: at Turning Point, another bloody battle will ensue. Rhino and Raven talked about someone losing a job after the PPV. Rhino said they don’t want to see one of their members lose a job. He said it won’t be the greatest tragedy, but who knows to “go out being fired?” The voice-over man said both groups are distracted by their own inner turmoil. Rhino said friends and family fight, but they plan to come together at the PPV. (It was nice to hear Rhino talk in a normal, regular voice rather than yelling and screaming.)
Raven said it would suck horribly if he were fired. He said it was a terrible year-and-a-half when he was gone from TNA. Raven said he made money, but he missed the “bond” in TNA. Tommy Dreamer said he doesn’t know what’s going on in RVD’s head right now. He said he sees right through their plan and they’ll settle it at the PPV. How will the distraction affect Fortune vs. EV2 at the PPV? Dreamer said Fortune is stirring the point and they need to settle things in-house.
Back to Rhino in a different backstage setting recapping his accidental Gore on RVD in the locker room. Raven played devil’s advocate that maybe RVD isn’t so paranoid and maybe someone is out to get EV2. He said Abyss messed up his brain, Hardy turned on him, the pressure is building, and…Richards wondered if Dreamer facing RVD will solve the problems or make it worse. Back to Richards, who was by himself. He said the other guys could be considered weak links by themselves, but all he needs to do is score a pin on someone in Fortune to win the match and save everyone’s jobs.
Also, Fortune is dealing with distractions with Matt Morgan leaving and Douglas Williams questioning leadership. They cut to Williams telling Kazarian he caught a lucky break. Kazarian said he can have that opinion, but he won the match on Impact. Robert Roode said Flair puts everyone in their place and they need to understand it’s about family. Back to Richards, who said they just need to win the match. Rhino said Fortune has the power right now. He said TNA is heading into a dark era. After Turning Point, he could be wrestling in some bar in like Cleveland.
Up next: Team 3D talks about “retirement.” Jeff Hardy talks about still caring…caring enough to give out concussions.
Pope vs. Abyss hype: Pope has vowed to take out Abyss, but has he bitten off more than he can chew? Pope said he’s doing an exorcism on Abyss. They replayed the silly bit on Impact with Abyss taking out planted fans. Pope used a line from Sting that the only thing for sure is that nothing is for sure. Abyss spoke into Janice that Pope’s entire congregation was nearly wiped out. He said it was just a taste of what he has to offer at the PPV. Can Pope and the congregation stop Abyss? Pope said Abyss is trying to frighten his people so they will look at Abyss as an immortal monster. He said something big is going down at the PPV. Abyss vowed to annihilate Pope and extinguish the congregation. One by one.
And now for something else. Team 3D walks away from pro wrestling on Sunday win or lose. Chris Sabin said this is a big test for them. Alex Shelley said they have been strongly considering the challenge since it was made to them at Bound for Glory. He said if they can hang with Team 3D and beat them, it makes them living legends. Brother Ray said nothing will ever be as special as the first and there’s nothing left for them to do.
Will Team 3D will win their 24th tag title? Brother Devon said when they got in the ring with teams they respected, they wanted to do well and there was a fear they didn’t deserve the spot. Devon said he thinks the Guns want to prove they belong, which he said they went through. Devon called it a passing of the torch. Swerve? The voice-over man asked if the Guns will be recognized as the best young talent in wrestling today after the PPV.
Things have gone nuclear in TNA, said the voice over man. TNA aired rapid-fire sound bytes from the top stars talking about their matches at the PPV. Next Thursday on Impact, will there be a new TNA World champion? Jeff Hardy sarcastically said people go “yeah” thinking about Swanton Bombs and Twist of Fates, but he’s in for himself now. Hardy vowed to give Morgan a concussion at the PPV. Ominous music played in the background as Hardy wrapped up his promo.
Jarrett said they “live in a world of liability.” He called concussions a bruise. Jarrett said they don’t have off-seasons in pro wrestling. (That’s not something to be proud of with the reality of countless dead bodies piled up along the way.) Jarrett said Anderson wants to “stand behind a piece of paper” that states he can’t wrestle. Jarrett said the doctor is afraid of liability. He said Anderson just can’t cut it in TNA.
Team 3D went for laughs with Devon saying they’ve surpassed all of the great tag teams in pro wrestling. (I hope they really don’t believe this and it’s pointing to a heel turn to explain their delusional comments.) Devon said they’ve “always been compared” to the Road Warriors. He said it’s time for them to move on while they’re on top.
Back to Fortune and EV2 talking back and forth in separate sound bytes on their match at the PPV. Kazarian said they respect EV2’s danger factor in trying to find a way to win. Beer Money said EV2 can’t trust each other.
Back to Jarrett saying it’s reality that people get pink slips in the real world. Jarrett said some people in TNA need to go. He said there are probably 10-15 wrestlers that need to go in TNA. The show closed on that note five minutes past the top of the hour.
This was going along so smoothly as one of the better, more focused episodes of Reaction hyping actual matches at the PPV until the final segment, which had the delusional Team 3D promo and Jeff Jarrett’s heel promo on concussions. One of the chief concerns with this concussion angle is not having equal time to a babyface (e.g. Morgan) to rebut the “old wrestler mentality” comments from heels like Bischoff, Flair, and Jarrett. The lack of a rebuttal to Jarrett’s heel comments, which are straight from a two-decades-ago mentality, was a mistake on this show. If TNA can’t handle very real issues that have contributed to death upon death in wrestling, then don’t write the storyline into the show. It’s not worth muddying a very serious issue with a poor attempt to be “topical.”