Reaction began with the end of Impact, which featured Mickie James defeating Tara in a steel cage main event. Tonight on Reaction, follow-up on Matt Morgan and Mr. Anderson, Mickie-Tara, Doug Williams capturing the TV Title, and other items.
Final Resolution flashback: Mr. Anderson was special referee for Matt Morgan vs. Jeff Hardy. Anderson talked about it being a given that anytime one of them – babyfaces? – gets the upperhand, the clowns come running to the ring. Anderson said Morgan had the upperhand, then Eric Bischoff came to the ring to interject himself into the action. Anderson slowly asked, “Can’t it ever be f’n one-on-one? It’s a competition. You don’t see this anywhere else.”
Morgan recapped Bischoff calling him out to the ring in the opening segment. He said Bischoff tried to fill his head with false hope and try to convince him Anderson screwed him out of the title. Morgan said Bischoff tried to set up a match between them to screw with Anderson’s life since he’s not medically cleared. They cut back to Anderson saying he’s ready for Jeff Hardy because he’s tired of b.s. keeping him out of action. Will the lure of a first World Title get Anderson back in the ring?
Morgan said Anderson is not cleared to wrestle, but this is the Bischoff regime. He said he doesn’t want to see him vs. Anderson, but if the match happens, he has no choice but to go full-tilt. Morgan said he’s trying to get Anderson to see how Bischoff is pitting them against each other. Back to Anderson, who said he has a concussion and he can’t count the number of concussions he’s had, which he claimed is part of the wrestling business. Anderson said he has a doctor who told him not to come back and wrestle. And he listened to him. He said he’s taking a concussion test this week and if he passes the test, he’ll be back.
Anderson said the concussion he suffered was more serious. Roving cameraman asked if it was more serious…or more convenient. Anderson got worked up saying it sure wasn’t convenient for him to sit at home for two months and not get paid. He said his wife is sick of him and he’s sick of…Anderson paused and said the old Anderson is coming back and he’s going on a tear. Back to Morgan, who said if the match occurs, it will be straight-up sportsmanship.
Up next: Pope resurgence and James Storm talks about punching people in the mouth.
Tonight on Impact: Brother Ray tried to prove he was the driving force behind Team 3D’s success. Brother Devon said he never, ever would have tried to show up Brother Ray like he tried to do tonight. Ray talked about being disappointed in himself for not doing this a lot sooner. He said no one realizes how difficult it is to carry another person. He mastered covering up Devon’s flaws and accentuating his positives. Back to Devon, who said the outcome wouldn’t have been a Team 3D loss if he were in the mix. He said Ray can run, but he cannot hide. Devon said Ray called him out three weeks ago, two weeks ago, and one week, but he doesn’t have the balls to get in the ring with him. Back to Ray, who said he was “over” from Day One. Ugh. More ECW stories. Ray said he has seven zeroes in his bank account, which means he’s been relevant since Day One. Devon said he is not retiring and he is back in full effect. He said the first ass-whipping in his singles career will go to Brother Ray.
Final Resolution: Beer Money became #1 contenders to the TNA Tag Titles and they get the Machineguns at Genesis. James Storm said the Guns need men to fight against, so they put Murphy & Gunner against them. Storm said they want to give the Guns a taste of fighting real men. Backstage, Murphy said it wasn’t right for the Guns to use their nightsticks against them on Impact. They cut to footage of the Guns showing intensity as Storm said he would go kiss their girlfriends right in front of them and they wouldn’t do anything about it. The Guns commented that they are the most brutal tag team in pro wrestling. The voice-over man talked up the Guns vs. Beer Money feud. Back to Storm, who knocked them for playing video games. Alex Shelley said some people see them in one light, but they have proved over and over they are the best tag team in wrestling.
Still to come: A.J. Styles is upset. Mickie James will discuss Tara.
Mickie vs. Tara feud: Mickie James talked at-length about ending her feud against Tara, from her perspective. They showed clips of their various brawls on Impact and at the PPV before their steel cage match on Impact tonight. The story focused on Tara’s elbow injury, including a close-up shot of Tara’s injury post-match. Mickie said she’s ready to move on from the feud after winning the cage match.
Pope vs. Abyss: A different Pope rose from the ashes of the casket on Impact. Pope said it’s a re-birthing. He said many people who enter a casket never see the light of day again. Pope said he is back and he has been resurrected. He has a new plan in effect. Is his spiritual awakening for real? Pope said he’s keeping his eyes fixed on Pope. He said Pope is Pope. He is Pope because life made him this way. The congregation gets it. They understand him. He understands them. That’s why he’s The Pope. What light did he see? Pope said when he was lying in the casket and darkness took effect, he saw things he can’t explain. Pope said the roving camera operator couldn’t handle what he saw. Pope, on the other hand, is ready to unleash hell.
Doug Williams feature: Williams talked about taking the TV Title from A.J. Styles at Final Resolution. They showed footage from the PPV of Williams executing the great Chaos Theory suplex on the floor. Williams said Styles got complacent during the match and has lost his way in the ring. Williams said he has the TV Title thanks to not taking the bait on Styles trying to provoke him. They cut to Styles saying he can’t believe he lost to his own move. He said Bischoff tried to single him out, but he knows he screwed up. Styles said he’s been here longer than Bischoff and he deserves a little more respect. “I’m kind of pissed off about it,” he said.
Back to Williams, who said he just wanted an opportunity to show his skills and now Fortune is paying the price for it. He said it’s a distinct possibility they’re threatened by him. “Especially A.J.,” he said. Back to Styles, who said now is the time to accumulate all of the titles in TNA. He said they have the guys to get it done. Tag belts – Beer Money. X Division – Kazarian. TV Title – he said he will get it back. Styles said he changed it to the TV Title for a reason because he plans to hold onto it and defend it as long as he possibly can. Styles said they’re all on the same page together with Bischoff, which pisses him off that he would be singled out. He said he will get the job done.
Back to Williams, who said he’s ready to take on all-comers from Fortune. He said he’s about retaining the TV Title. The fact that there’s 10, 11, 12 guys looking to step up and challenge him – he kind of likes that. Williams said he’s not A.J. Styles sitting back and taking the easy route. Back to Styles, who said if Fortune has to soften up Williams before he gets the title back, so be it.
Up next: More Brother Ray.
Next Thursday on Impact: Williams is good to go against Styles. He told Styles to come wrestle him straight-up. They cut to James Storm saying Styles slipped, but that’s no big deal. He said Styles has slipped before, but he’s always come back stronger. He said there’s no doubt Styles will regain the TV Title. Back to Styles, who said the gold is power. He said he’ll take care of business the easy way or the hard way.
Does Mickie James have her sights set on the Knockouts champion Madison Rayne? Mickie said Madison sprayed her with the fire extinguisher at Final Resolution and hit her with the KO Title, so it’s time to shut her up. She vowed to become the next Knockouts champion.
Brother Ray said he invented Team 3D and he can destroy it. Ray said it’s his band and it’s never been Devon’s team. They cut to Devon saying he’s going to catch up Ray and he will be the jury, judge, and executioner. He guaranteed vengeance on Ray. Back to Ray, who said he’s in a good place doing what he should have done a long time ago. He said at the end of the day, people are going to say Bubba was right.
Next week: Jeff Jarrett’s $1,000 MMA Challenge resumes. Can Jarrett remain King of the Ring or will a member of the audience take him down? They showed Bischoff congratulating Jarrett on whatever he did. Jarrett screamed at the producers for wanting to know where this is going. Jarrett said he has $1,000 to give to anyone who can take him down. He talked in vague terms about running a business and trimming a fat with a discipline approach. Jarrett stopped himself and said he knows what he’s doing because Samoa Joe – the Samoan Submission Machine – tapped out at Final Resolution.
Also, Matt Morgan and Mr. Anderson prepare for their main event #1 contender match at Genesis. They cut to Anderson saying he gets it with Immortal trying to divide him and Morgan. But, he said they’ve seen that story before, so Immortal will have to be craftier. He said he hopes Morgan isn’t buying it. They cut to Morgan, who said he’s sure Bischoff is loving this right now. He said Anderson is letting his false bravado get in the way and he’s surprised because Anderson is “one of the better workers.” Morgan and Anderson went back and forth some more to wrap up the show.
Overall, a very focused episode of Reaction with a nice pace to the stories and emphasis on match outcomes actually mattering, which was refreshing. There’s still too much “insider lingo” on the show that distracts from the stories, but it’s much, much more toned down compared to recent episodes that featured Hulk Hogan talking, but saying nothing.
Enzo’s TNA Power Rankings:
1) AJ Styles (-)
2) Madison Rayne (-)
3) Doug Williams (+1)
4) Rob Van Dam (-1)
5) Jeff Hardy (-)
6) Chris Sabin (+1)
7) Matt Morgan (-1)
8) Alex Shelley (+1)
9) Tara (+1)
10) Rob Terry (-2)
As always, thanks for reading, never hesitate to hit me up with any comments questions or anything else and I hope to see everyone next week!