This week Impact Wrestling comes to us from way across the big pond in London, England at Wembley Arena as Impact Wrestling was taped outside of the United States for the first time ever!
Impact opens up with shots of London, England (some of the various tourist traps) and then a special intro video airs hyping up the show for tonight along with shots of the big crowd as voiceover guy says tonight’s show was filmed in front of the biggest live crowd in TNA history. Several clips of fans talking about the show and TNA are shown as well.
We cut to inside the arena where several great shots highlight the big crowd and then Bobby Roode’s music hits and he along with Bully Ray make their way down to the ring. TNA isn’t using their big video screen or stage like they do for most Impact tapings outside Orlando, but are instead using a smaller screen and ramp more for the live events (supposedly this was done because the big stage would have taken up some of the seating where tickets were already sold so instead of having to give money back and take those fans out, they instead opted for the bigger crowd rather than the bigger stage).
A big “you suck” chant erupts as Ray covers Roode’s ears and then Ray asks how many of the fans came to see Jeff Hardy tonight. The fans cheer and then Ray says he has some bad news for them, “you ain’t gonna’ see Jeff Hardy tonight” because he and Roode made sure they wouldn’t see Hardy tonight. Big heat for that as Ray talks about he and Roode putting Hardy through a table last week. Ray says the fans will never see Hardy again (actually he couldn’t go to England for this tour because of his legal issues).
Roode takes the mic and says that it feels so good to be back in the great country of Ireland to a huge chorus of boos. Ray whispers something to Roode and then Roode says, “Ireland, England, what the hell’s the difference?” Roode says he has to get one thing very clear, he and Ray DO NOT suck. Roode says Ray is the biggest, baddest, and toughest around, Bully Ray and he is “it factor, the leader of the selfish generation, and YOUR World Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Rooode.” Roode says they are very happy about what they did to Jeff Hardy last week, but they didn’t get the job completely done as a big “we want Devon” chant starts much to Bubba’s irritation. Roode calls James Storm out so they can get the job done with him this week. He calls Storm “Cowgirl” which brings the Cowboy out to the ring.
Tenay says that Storm is booked in a Handicap Match against Roode & Ray tonight. Ray tells Storm not to take one more step forward while Roode taunts Storm from behind Ray. Before anything else can be said Sting’s music hits and the fans erupt! Stinger makes his way down to the ring as Tenay points out that Sting won a World Heavyweight Championship (WCW) in this very arena back in 1993 when he beat Vader for the belt. Sting says this is a perfect time for him to give an update on Jeff Hardy! Ray says that there is no Jeff Hardy because they took him out. Sting says he spoke to Jeff Hardy yesterday and he is doing very good and the creature is coming alive. Sting says he will be ready for Against All Odds so what he’s done is made a 4-Way for the World Title at AAO! It will be Roode, Ray, Storm, & Hardy for the belt!
Sting says tonight there will be NO Handicap Match, but Storm cuts him off and says he wants them TONIGHT. Sting says he WILL get them both tonight but it will be in one-on-one matches as he will face Roode first and then Ray later! Roode and Ray don’t like that.
Back from the break Garett Bischoff is walking through a hallway backstage talking to someone on his phone about being excited for tonight.
Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. Crimson & Matt Morgan
Morgan and Crimson aren’t wearing their belts for some reason, not really understanding that. Jeremy Borash announces the rules for this special Tag Match. A coin toss takes place where the winning team gets a one-man advantage throughout the match. Which means whichever team wins the coin toss pretty much gets to wrestle the match like a Tornado Tag while the other team has to abide by regular tag rules. Joe & Magnus win the coin toss so they get the man advantage. Crimson will start the match off for his team but instead of going after Crimson, the heels instead turn around and knock Morgan off the apron. Crimson then hits Joe with a right hand followed by one for Magnus and he repeats this several times. Crimson then hits the ropes and Magnus jumps down onto the mat in front of him, forcing Crimson to leap over him and then right into an Atomic Drop from Joe! Magnus follows up with a Running Mafia Kick and then a Backsplash Senton from Joe as the fans are really hot right now. 1…2…NO Crimson kicks out! Joe and Magnus beat on Crimson in the corner taking turns throwing shots at him. Crimson answers with a headbutt to Magnus but the numbers game gets the better of him quickly. Joe & Magnus whip Crimson into the ropes and then setup for a Backdrop, but Crimson stops and kicks Magnus. He then hits Joe with a big right hand and springs off the ropes again, but Magnus is right behind with a huge Lariat! Joe follows up with a Leaping Knee Drop! 1…2…NO Crimson kicks out again! Magnus nails Crimson with a European Uppercut and then Joe starts lighting Crimson up with jabs as the fans chant “Joe’s gonna’ kill you!” Magnus rakes Crimson’s face over the rope and then starts clawing at his face. Magnus follows up with a European Uppercut and then the heels whip Crimson into the opposite corner. Magnus whips Joe into a Running Back Elbow directed at Crimson, but Crimson sidesteps him and then Magnus dives off the middle rope but Crimson catches him in midair with a T-Bone Suplex! Crimson tags in Morgan! Morgan hits a clothesline on both heels and then whips Magnus into the ropes. Morgan goes for another clothesline but Magnus ducks and then springs back off the ropes with a Cross Body. Morgan catches him in midair and hits the Fall Away Slam! Morgan then tosses Joe out to the floor and hits a Running Clothesline on Magnus followed by a Sidewalk Slam! 1…2…NO Joe breaks it up! Crimson slides back in and Spears Joe! Joe and Crimson roll out to the floor and brawl while Morgan hits the Spinning Clothesline on Magnus in the ring! Joe pokes Crimson in the eyes and then Morgan sets up for the Carbon Footprint, but Magnus ducks and Morgan gets his foot caught up in the ropes! Joe hits a Running Back Elbow on Morgan in the corner followed by a Leaping Enziguri! Joe then hits the Snapmare Takeover and Magnus dives off the top with the Flying Elbow Drop! 1…2…3 and the fans erupt!
Winners: Joe & Magnus via pinfall (Flying Elbow Drop)
Joe and Magnus taunt the champs by motioning belts around their waists and then highlights of the match are shown.
In the back Eric Bischoff is shown arriving.
Back from the break Eric Bischoff makes his way down to the ring. A fan at ringside flips Bischoff off as he tried to mess with the fan. Bischoff says he thought Brits were supposed to be civilized and then he says that for the past several weeks everyone has followed along as his son has tried to live his dream and become a professional wrestler, but he is here tonight to finally burst that bubble with a good shot of reality so he calls for Garett to come down to the ring.
Eric’s son obliges him and makes his way down to the ring. Eric tells Garett to enjoy this moment because it’s likely to be his last. He says it’s okay to have goals but his goals become fantasy. He says for Garett to think for a second that whoever is training Garett was going to help him become “half the man” Eric was and he’s just a sad waste because his trainer is a coward and he will never step in the ring and back him up.
Garett says if Eric has a problem with his trainer he should take it up with him and Eric says he’s delusional to think that “he” will come all the way to England to help Garett or anyone else. A “Hogan” chant starts and Garett answers his phone in the middle of the ring. Garett acts like he’s disappointed and then Eric laughs and says just like he thought. Garett says when he’s right, he’s right but when he’s wrong he IS SO WRONG because that was him and he is in the building. Garett says he wants to see Eric right here in the ring later tonight! He leaves the ring as Eric looks scared.
A video package highlighting local boy Mark Haskins is shown. He says he’s been working for this his entire life and now that he’s here he will grab it with both hands. Haskins talks about wrestling in Japan and Europe and this is his house. He says he’s at a level that most of the X-Division guys are not and he will get to the belt.
“A-Double” Austin Aries vs. Mark Haskins
Haskins has thankfully dropped the John Morrison rip off gimmick and comes to the ring with a simple t-shirt and trunks on. I think this is the first time that Haskins has been on Impact since last fall. Haskins and Aries lockup and Aries gets Haskin in a side headlock and then he transitions into a front headlock and finally he gets behind Haskins and trips him up. Aries then shows Haskins up on the mat before finally slapping him on the back and taunting him. A huge “Austin Aries” chant erupts and then he locks up with Haskins again. This time Haskins gets Aries in a Waistlock and then hits a Gutwrench Suplex and then shows Aries up on the mat before slapping him repeatedly in the back of the head. Aries gets heated at that and then shoves Haskins. Haskins shoves Aries back so Aries kicks him in the gut and tries to throw him over the top. Haskins skins the cat back over the top rope and into a Head Scissors Takeover on Aries! Haskins then hits a Back Heel Kick and then attempts to whip him into the ropes, but Aries counters into a knee to the gut. Aries then goes to throw Haskins over the top again but Haskins turns it around and tosses Aries over. Aries catches himself on the top rope and as he tries to skin the cat back in the ring Haskins dropkicks him sending him out to the floor! Haskins sets up for a dive but Aries quickly slides into the ring and Haskins is able to catch himself on the apron. Haskins hits a shoulderblock through the ropes and then goes for a springboard move but Aries quickly shoves Haskins off the ropes. Aries then tosses Haskins out to the floor and dives out with a Flying Axe Handle off the top onto Haskins on the floor! Aries rolls Haskins back into the ring and then hits a Slingshot Somersault Senton followed by an Elbow Drop! 1…2…NO Haskins kicks out! Aries slams Haskins into the corner and then lifts him up onto the top rope and LIGHTS Haskins up with a chop. Aries climbs up with Haskins but Haskins fights him off and shoves him down. Aries comes back and crotches Haskins on the turnbuckle and then goes for a running dropkick as Haskins hangs off the ropes, but Haskins is able to lift himself up to avoid the kick. Haskins then flips off the top rope and then catches Aries with a Running Forearm Smash! Haskins whips Aries into the opposite corner and then hits a Monkey Flip! Haskins follows up with another Monkey Flip attempt, but Aries blocks it and then goes for a clothesline. Haskins is able to drop down to the mat to avoid the clothesline and then quickly nips up to his feet hits a Double Spring into a Springboard Flying Cross Body! 1…2…NO Aries kicks out! Haskins hits a Forearm Smash followed by a Diamond Cutter! 1…2…NO Aries kicks out! Haskins climbs up top and attempts the Shooting Star Press, but Aries rolls out of the way and Haskins takes a NASTY bump! Think similar to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania when he landed on his head attempting the Shooting Star. This wasn’t quite as bad and it seemed like Haskins actually hit his head on Aries rather than the mat (he suffered a concussion there so thankfully no neck injury). Aries kicks Haskins in the face and then hits the Brainbuster! Aries then rolls over into the nasty Last Chancery submission! Haskins quickly taps!
Winner: Aries via submission (Last Chancery)
Replays of that match are shown after the match with SEVERAL replays of that nasty fall in the Shooting Star, ouch.
In the back Eric Bischoff is calling a Cab company when Sting walks up and takes the phone from him. Sting tells Bischoff to relax and then says “he’s not coming anyway, right?” Sting walks Bischoff back into the arena while laughing.
“Cowboy” James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
This is the first singles match between Roode and Storm since Roode beat Storm for the World Title way back in November. Roode and Storm lockup and Roode gets his former partner in a side headlock, and then transitions into a Hammerlock. Storm counters into a Hammerlock of his own but Roode breaks it with a back elbow. Roode gets Storm in a side headlock but Storm quickly shoves him into the ropes only to eat a shoulder block from the Champ. Roode then hits the ropes but Storm catches him with a Hip Toss and then a Scoop Slam! Storm follows up with a Knee Drop and then a Leg Drop! 1…2…NO Roode kicks out! Storm tosses Roode into the corner and then whips him into the opposite corner. Storm charges at Roode but Roode catches him with a back elbow. Roode then goes after Storm but Storm quickly attempts the Last Call, and Roode avoids it and then rolls out to the floor. Roode tries to catch a breather as we go to a break.
Back from the break Storm lights Roode up with chops in the corner. Storm nails Roode with right hands and then attempts to whip him into the ropes, but Roode reverses it and then goes for a backdrop. Storm stops and connects with a Facebreaker and then hits the ropes but Roode nails him with a Running High Knee! Roode tosses Storm into the corner and then nails him with repeated Shoulder Blocks followed by a stiff chop. Roode whips Storm into the corner hard and then hits a Running Shoulder Block. Roode grabs Storm and hits a Front Suplex! 1…2…NO Storm kicks out! Roode rakes the back of Storm and then puts the boots to him. Roode taunts the crowd and then goes for a right hand but Storm blocks it and hits a series of rights of his own. Storm attempts a whip into the ropes but Roode counters into a Fireman’s Carry into a Flapjack! 1…2…NO Storm kicks out! Roode grabs Storm’s legs and kicks him in the abs and then holds them there and gets a nearfall. Roode really working on those ribs of Storm now as he locks in a Waistlock on the mat. The fans get behind Storm as he fights up to his feet. Storm hits a series of back elbows and then he hits the ropes but eats a big back elbow from Roode. Storm bounces off the ropes but now Roode catches HIM with a back elbow. Roode bounces off the ropes now and Storm nails him with another back elbow! Storm again hits the ropes and this time Roode goes for another Running Knee Lift, but Storm sidesteps it and rolls Roode up! 1…2…NO Roode kicks out! Roode and Storm now exchange right hands in the center of the ring as the fans boo Roode everytime he punches Storm, and cheer Storm everytime he connects. Roode gets the advantage as he goes back to work on Storm’s ribs with a big body shot. Roode then attempts to whip Storm into the corner but Storm reverses it. Storm charges at Roode but Roode gets his boot up! Roode then climbs up top only to eat a huge Uppercut from Storm! Storm climbs up with Roode as a “Let’s go Cowboy” chant starts. Storm hits a Frankensteiner! Roode retreats to a corner so Storm charges at him but Roode backdrops him over the top. Storm lands on the apron and connects with a Leaping Enziguri! Storm then hits the ropes and connects with a clothesline followed by a 2nd one! Storm attempts to whip Roode into the ropes but Roode reverses it only to eat a Flying Forearm from Storm! Storm goes for a hip toss but Roode counters and sets up for something behind Storm, but Storm reverses it right back and hits the Backstabber! Storm climbs up top and dives off with a Flying Elbow Drop! 1…2….NO Roode kicks out! Boy, this crowd is hot right now! Storm picks Roode up but Roode puts his knee in Storm’s gut and then lights him up with a chop. Roode whips Storm into the ropes and goes for a clothesline but Storm kicks his arm away and then goes for a Russian Leg Sweep, but Roode counters into the Crippler Crossface! Storm fights the hold and almost taps but finally is able to roll over and get to the ropes to break it! Roode shows some frustration and then he picks Storm up and starts putting the boots to Storm’s ribs again. Roode goes for the Payoff but Storm blocks it and then goes for the Eye of the Storm! Roode blocks it and then hits the Payoff! 1…2…NO Storm BARELY kicks out! Roode screams as the fans chant “this is awesome.” Roode shoves the referee and then climbs out to the floor and grabs the World Title belt. Roode rolls back into the ring but the referee warns him not to use it. Roode shoves the referee away and then he attempts to nail Storm with the belt, but Storm catches him with the Closing Time (Codebreaker) out of nowhere! Roode sells that damn move like he got shot! Storm calls for the Last Call Superkick but Bully Ray runs down to the ring. Ray grabs Storm’s leg and trips him as the referee was looking at Roode. Ray hides under the ring as Storm looks down at him. Storm turns around into a Spear from Roode! Storm sold the crap out of that Spear, 1…2…3!
Winner: Roode via pinfall (Spear)
After the match Bully Ray hits a Rock Bottom on Storm on top of the title belt! Sting runs down and chases the heels off.
Gail Kim w/Madison Rayne vs. Tara
Gail and Tara lockup and Tara tosses Gail back. Gail then charges at Tara but Tara avoids her and then hits a series of armdrags. Tara then hits a Scoop Slam followed by the Standing Moonsault! 1…2…NO Gail kicks out! Tara attempts to whip Gail into the corner but Gail reverses it and then hits a Running Body Splash in the corner. Gail then chokes Tara on the ropes and then hangs her over the ropes and Cannonballs on top of her! Gail then follows up with a Slignshot Sunset Flip, but Tara holds onto the ropes. Gail kicks Tara in the back and then hits a Running Clotheslines in the corner followed by a Running Knee to the back for a nearfall. Gail covers Tara again and again gets a nearfall. Gail then locks in an Over the shoulder Half Crab! Tara fights the hold and rolls over and kicks Gail with her free leg. Tara then gets up but eats a Running Clothesline from Gail! Gail taunts Tara and slaps her on the head. Tara tries to fight back with right hands but Gail cuts her off with a kick to the ribs. Gail then locks in the Dragon Sleeper! Tara counters into a rollup! 1…2…NO Gail kicks out and then gets to her feet and kicks Tara in the gut. Gail follows up with a Straightjacket Neckbreaker! Gail climbs up top and dives off with a Missile Dropkick attempt but Tara moves out of the way! Tara then gets to her feet and kicks Gail followed by a series of right hands. Tara then kicks Gail and connects with a Snap Suplex! Tara whips Gail into the ropes and hits a Backdrop! Tara goes after Gail but Gail hits her with a Back Elbow and then charges at Tara only to eat a Powerslam from Tara! Madison gets up on the apron so Tara punches her in the face! Madison climbs in and goes after Tara but Tara moves and Madison hits Gail! Tara then tosses Madison out to the floor and grabs Gail! Tara goes for the Widow’s Peak and connects! 1…2…3!
Winner: Tara via pinfall (Widow’s Peak)
Back from the break Garett Bichoff makes his way back down to the ring. Garett thanks the fans for having his back and supporting him, and for the first time tonight the cheers sound piped in. Garett gets ready to introduce his trainer but Eric’s music hits and he and Gunner make their way down to the ring. Eric says he’s got spies in the back so he knows that his trainer isn’t really here so he just needs to give this up before he gets hurt and then Hogan’s music hits and the fans lose their minds!
They REALLY lose their minds when he comes through the curtain. Hogan goes right after Gunner and he and Garett take turns hitting him with right hands! The fans are eating this crap up! Gunner rolls out of the ring and then Hogan and Garett turn around and point at Eric. Gunner grabs Eric by the leg and pulls him out of the ring as Eric screams “I’m your father!” A big “Hogan” chant erupts as he and Garett shake hands. Hogan does the t-shirt spot and the fans are still eating this up.
In the back Hulk Hogan says that Eric knows he has a huge target on his back. He says he can run but not hide and he wouldn’t be surprised if the Hulkamaniacs grab him and toss him to the and Garett’s feet. Hogan says he’s a marked man and they will hunt him down. Hogan talks about it being 18 years since he’d been in front of a UK crowd. He says he’s going to feed Eric to his son and then he’ll take the leftovers. Hogan says he can feel TNA getting “this close” and he says it’s coming. He says greatness is TNA’s destiny.
“Cowboy” James Storm vs. Bully Ray
Storm has his ribs taped up for this one and he takes a beer from a fan and takes a swig of it as he comes to the ring. Ray mockingly asks Storm how his ribs are and then says he’ll break them tonight. Storm & Ray lockup and Ray gets Storm in the corner. Ray slaps Storm in the side and then mocks him again so Strom nails him with a series of right hands! Storm whips Ray into the ropes and connects with a Backdrop! Storm sells the ribs like it hurt to do that move allowing Ray to get back to his feet and connect with a knee to the ribs as Storm charged him. Ray hits Storm in the ribs with an axe handle drop repeatedly and then tosses him into the corner and continues to work on the ribs with body shots. Ray follows up by lifting Storm up and dropping him down gut-first on the top rope. Ray then stands on the ribs of Storm before taunting the crowd. Ray locks in a Camel Clutch! Ray then Cannonballs on the back of Storm before stripping the tape off of Strom’s ribs. Ray hits a Body Slam as Roode walks down to ringside.
Back from the break Ray continues to beat on Storm in the corner as Sting walks down to the ring with a Cricket Bat in hand. Ray locks Storm in a Bear Hug squeezing on the ribs. Storm gets fired up and breaks the hold with slaps to the side of the head on Ray and then he hits the ropes only to eat a Big Boot from Ray! Ray spits up in the air and catches it in his mouth, that guy has issues. Ray hits a series of Elbow Drops for a nearfall. Ray picks Storm up and whips him into the corner hard. Roode puts his knee into Storm’s ribs and starts grinding it into the ribs. Ray then Headbutts his ribs and then picks Storm up. Ray taunts Storm and Storm nails him with repeated right hands. Storm then goes to hit the ropes but Ray grabs him by the hair and slams him back down to the mat. Ray hits the ropes and connects with a Big Splash! 1…2…NO Storm still kicks out! Another “we want Devon” chant starts up as Ray tosses Storm into the corner and lights him up with a nasty chop! Ray then follows up with a Vertical Suplex! Ray climbs up top and dives off with a Senton attempt, but Storm rolls out of the way! The fans get behind Storm now as he fights to his feet. Storm nails Ray with right hands and then whips him into the ropes and connects with a Leaping Clothesline followed by another one. Storm charges Ray but Ray backdrops him over the top. Storm lands on the apron and goes for the Leaping Enziguri but Ray sees it coming and blocks it with his arm. Ray then swings at Storm but Storm ducks and then snaps Ray’s neck back on the top rope! Storm climbs up top and dives off with a Flying Cross Body! 1…2…NO Ray kicks out! Storm hits the ropes but Ray catches him with a Sidewalk Slam! 1…2…NO Storm kicks out again! Ray picks Storm up and whips him into a corner but Storm catches himself with his boot in the corner and slams into a charging Ray which causes Ray to slam into the referee! Roode slides into the ring but Sting slides in on the other side and chases Roode out! In the ring Storm catches Ray with the Last Call! 1…2…3!
Winner: Storm via pinfall (Last Call)
That is the way Impact is supposed to be! A hot (and big) crowd, good wrestling, and just a fun atmosphere. I say this every damn time Impact is on the road, but we need this MORE! Someone needs to get this through TNA’s head, it just makes for a more enjoyable experience when cheers and boos don’t have to be piped in because the Impact Zone fans simply suck. We need to have Impact on the road at least once a month. You don’t have to have the huge set they’ve used on the Impact’s away from Orlando the last few times, the set this week was FINE. Just take cameras to a show that’s already lined up as a house show, make sure it’s announced beforehand so you can advertise it as an Impact tapping. I loved tonight’s show and it’s easily the best Impact so far this year.
The opening segment was good and set up the rest of the show, and thank god we got two singles matches rather than a damn Handicap Match, and they were able to get around the Jeff Hardy situation without giving the real reason he wasn’t there.
Good tag match from the two teams and boy was that crowd hot for Joe. The rules I could have done without but it did give a nice advantage for the heel team, and it wasn’t as stupid as most gimmick matches TNA has put on over the years. I continue to LOVE the Joe/Magnus team and they FINALL get a win. Now, they need a cool name.
Aries/Haskins was a really fun match and they loved Aries. Haskins took a NASTY bump that could have ended a lot worse but thankfully he is okay. More from Haskins in the future could be good, maybe even putting him with Doug Williams as a new version of British Invasion.
Storm-Roode was absolutely excellent and the finish gave them an out without Storm having to lose clean. Part of me still wishes that they would have held off on that first rematch between Storm & Roode but I can understand wanting to do something for the England crowd. They put on a hell of a match and I loved the storytelling with Roode going after the ribs the whole match and Storm refusing to stay down (man he is awesome in his role right now).
Tara-Gail put on a solid match and Tara got a clean win on the champion going into their PPV match.
I hated the first Bischoff segment and I wasn’t fond of the 2nd but at least Hogan was able to save it with the reaction he got. They were nuts for him but god, I could care less about Garett Bischoff.
Main Event was another good match from Storm with Ray continuing to work on the ribs of Storm and Storm getting that win back.
1) Buckingham Brawl: Samoa Joe & Magnus def. Matt Morgan & Crimson
2) Austin Aries def. Mark Haskins
3) Bobby Roode def. James Storm
4) Tara def. Gail Kim
5) James Storm def. Bully Ray
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Hogan’s return
– Match of the Night: Storm/Roode (****)
– Overall Grade: A
Scheduled for Next Week:
-AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Against All Odds Lineup:
– TNA World Title Fatal 4-Way: Bobby Roode (c) vs. James Storm vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy
– TNA Tag Team Titles: Crimson & Matt Morgan (c) vs. Magnus & Samoa Joe
– TNA Knockouts Title: Gail Kim (c) vs. Tara
– TNA X-Division Title: Austin Aries (c) vs. Alex Shelley
– AJ Styles vs. Kazarian
– TNA X-Division Title #1 Contender Match: Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion