TNA Impact CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 12/15: PPV fall-out, Jarrett firing, Hardy-Ray
Dec 15, 2011 - 10:07:16 PM
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TNA Impact Wrestling Results
December 15, 2011
Taped 12/12 in Orlando, Fla.
Aired on Spike TV
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
[Q1] This week's Impact Wrestling episode started with a video package reviewing Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett and Robert Roode vs. A.J. Styles from Final Resolution. Sting vowed to start Impact with a bang resolving the title situation after Roode-Styles went to a 3-3 draw in an Iron Man match.
Impact Zone: Christy Hemme was in the ring to announce a five-minute overtime period for the TNA World Title. It seems like TNA misunderstood that people wanted the overtime period on the show they paid for, not the free show four days later. Out first was A.J. Styles to challenge World champion Robert Roode, who Mike Tenay said "ran out the clock" once the match was tied 3-3. Taz defended Roode's clock management skills, but Styles said he's not a fighting champion.
1 -- TNA World Hvt. champion ROBERT ROODE vs. A.J. STYLES -- TNA World Title match -- 5-minute overtime period
It wasn't clear if this was still contested like an Iron Man match or Sudden Death rules with the first fall to win. 45 seconds in, Tenay clarified it's Sudden Death. Roode tried to run away early on, but Styles trapped him in the ring for a series of nearfalls. Roode cried out for a time-out, but Styles continued to attack the champ. Styles took a kick to the injured knee, though, allowing Roode to target the injury. Styles fought back with elbow strikes into a springboard reverse DDT for a close two count when Roode grabbed the ropes for a break. 30 seconds to go and Roode thumbed Styles in the eye. Roode saw the clock on the scoreboard and rolled to of the ring. They placed chase again before Styles landed a springboard splash. The clock ran out, though, before Styles could attempt a pin.
WINNER: Time Limit Draw at 5:00.
Post-match: The crowd chanted for five more minutes, but Roode told the crowd to shut up. Sting's music then hit to bring out TNA's authority figure on-stage. Sting said they could do this all night, then booked a re-match with the first fall winning the match.
2 -- TNA World Hvt. champion ROBERT ROODE vs. A.J. STYLES -- TNA World Title match -- First Fall Wins
As soon as Sting made the announcement, Roode clipped Styles from behind as Styles was listening to Sting. Styles sold a leg injury and Roode immediately applied a half-Boston Crab. Styles tried to fight the hold, but had to tap out to save his leg. Roode is still World champ.
WINNER: Roode at 0:38 to retain the TNA World Title. Good advancement of Roode's heel character getting under the skin of the audience. The goal should be to get people to pay money to see Roode get his comeuppance, so we'll see if TNA can build to that moment at Genesis when Jeff Hardy challenges Roode.
[Q2] Backstage: Roode told the roving cameraman it doesn't matter how long it takes, but he got the job done. Styles said in a separate soundbyte that Roode knew he had his number, so Roode clipped his knee. Roode sarcastically said Styles tried, but he couldn't get the job done. Roode told Sting that if Jeff Hardy wants a shot, that's good, because he'll be ready for him.
Impact Zone: Mexican America's music hit to bring out Hernandez and Rob Terry for the Wild Card tag tournament match. Tenay said there will be eight randomly-selected teams competing over the next four weeks to determine who challenges Matt Morgan & Crimson at Genesis. Out next were Abyss & Scott Steiner. That's not so random. Backstage before they came out, Steiner told Abyss that he's under instructions from Eric Bischoff to get this taken care of. He even allowed Abyss to use his music. "We're a team, right?!" Steiner shouted at silent Abyss.
3 -- ABYSS & SCOTT STEINER vs. HERNANDEZ & ROB TERRY (w/Rosita and Sarita) -- Wild Card tag tournament First Round match
A lot of big dudes in this match. At the start, Tenay passed along some news from Final Resolution that either Jeff or Karen Jarrett will be fired tonight. Steiner dominated the match and asked the crowd if they wanted to see Abyss enter the match. Steiner extended a hand to Abyss, who just ignored him. Terry then popped Steiner from behind before Hernandez choked Steiner with his t-shirt. Ref Earl Hebner delivered some unintentional comedy looking for something to distract himself with so he conveniently would not see the choke.
Abyss finally had enough of standing on the apron, so he tagged himself into the match to destroy Terry and Hernandez. Abyss delivered a Black Hole Slam to Terry, then pointed to Steiner. Abyss slap-tagged Steiner and gave him the floor to enter the ring. Steiner made the cover on Terry and it was good for the win. Post-match: Steiner didn't know what to make of Abyss, so he tried to leave the ring, but Abyss yanked him back to center-ring so they could celebrate the win. Steiner continued to sell bewilderment before posing in the ring. Abyss pointed to his head to suggest he has a plan.
WINNERS: Abyss & Steiner at 4:13. A Steiner face turn would work here since crowds are too entertained by his act to boo him. But, this came across more like TNA trying to enhance Abyss's mental skills to go with his physical and sexual skills.
Backstage: Kurt Angle said he's had enough of Sting, so he's going to do something about it tonight.
Impact Zone: Kurt Angle's music played back from break. Angle, in street clothes, stomped out to the ring with That Look in his eyes.
[Q3] Once in the ring, Angle demanded Sting come out to the ring right now because he has some things to get off his chest. Pause. Sting's music played and Angle continued pacing the ring waiting for Sting to join him. Sting had a big grin on his face wondering what Angle is talking about. Angle just kept staring straight ahead without blinking. Sting eventually entered the ring after flashing his elaborate jacket to the ring.
Angle told Sting to shut up and listen to him. Sting sold he wasn’t impressed by that threat. Angle claimed James Storm screwed him out of the TNA World Title with a loaded superkick. On Sunday, same loaded boot and same result. Angle said he's the master of every submission hold known to man and he could Sting down right now. But, he's not going to. And all he wants is his re-match with James Storm. Sting told Angle to Cowboy Up right now and realize Storm has beaten Angle twice. He said Storm needs to move onward and upward to Robert Roode.
Sting tried to leave, but Angle held him back and said it seems like Sting has it out for him and Roode. Angle vowed to travel to Storm's hometown and beat the crap out of everyone in the entire town. He said he'll prove he's the bigger badass than Storm could ever be so he can get his re-match. Angle dropped the mic and left the ring, leaving Sting to ponder Angle's words.
Impact Zone: Back from break, an unidentified man was in the ring for a best-of-three series. Christy Hemme announced him as Anthony Nese. Hemme then introduced Zema Ion to face Nese. Tenay said one of these two men will advance to Genesis to face X Division champion Austin Aries in a four-way match. Already in the match are Aries, Kid Kash, and Jesse Sorensen. The winner of this series gets the fourth slot. That was a lot of information for a 60-second match intro.
4 -- ANTHONY NESE vs. ZEMA ION -- Best of Three Series -- Match #1
Nese blasted Ion to the outside early on. He then played to the crowd before leaping over the top rope with a flip dive that nearly missed Ion. Back in the ring, Nese delivered a springboard elbow strike for a nearfall. Nese followed with a flying uppercut. He tried a top-rope huracanrana, but Ion blocked and scored with a missile dropkick. Ion followed with a gutbuster, but pulled off a pinfall twice. Ion wasn't satisfied with his work, so he went up top for a 450 splash and connected. This time, he was satisfied and scored the pin for the win.
WINNER: Ion at 4:00. Apparently Ion is a heel now. The finish gave Nese motivation to get revenge in the next match and potentially the series, so a fine way to set up the next match in the series after a random start.
Backstage: Jeff and Karen Jarrett were shown arguing over who should leave TNA, per the PPV stipulation. Karen said they had a good year together, so it's her time. Jarrett said he's been in this business for 25 years, so it's his time. A stagehand walked up to them and said Sting wants to see them in his office. The argument resumed over who should be the one to meet with Sting.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked Ion if he's fired up about his win. Ion acted surprised, then hyped his wrestling gear, wrestling moves, and wrestling match. He said he's tired of waiting for his opportunities, so it's about "Me, Myself, and Ion" from now on.
Backstage: Ric Flair sighting. Flair told Gunner to forget about Garett Bischoff and take care of Jesse Neal tonight. Flair said they will make an example out of him tonight. That was random.
Impact Zone: Jesse Neal came to the ring for the next match. Tenay noted Neal does not have Shannon Moore to watch his back. Gunner, along with Ric Flair, was out next. Before the match, they showed footage from last Thursday when Gunner took out Garett via piledriver on the floor.
5 -- JESSE NEAL vs. GUNNER (w/Ric Flair)
The bell sounded and Gunner stampeded Neal with strikes and blows. Gunner followed with a corner tackle and more clubbing right hands. Ref Hebner sold intimidation as Flair flashed Gunner a thumbs up. A "Jesse, Jesse" chant fired up Gunner some more, so he dumped Neal to the outside. Hebner tried to reprimand Gunner, but Gunner shoved him, which drew a DQ.
Post-match: Flair removed the ring padding and Gunner measured Neal for a DDT onto the concrete. Neal sold being KO'ed as Tenay noted Neal's history of head and neck injuries. They quick-cut to a replay as the crowd chanted that Gunner sucks. Quick-cut back to ringside, where agents and EMTs were ringside. Tenay quietly said they'll keep on top of this.
WINNER: Neal via DQ at 1:42. There's the write-off for Neal parting ways with TNA.
Next: An appearance by Jeff Hardy, who was shown walking around backstage.
[Q5 -- second hour] Backstage: A cameraman "eavesdropped" on Karen Jarrett trying to butter up Sting, who finally asked what she wants. Karen said he cannot fire her. She said she gets it that he has to fire one of them, but there are 100 Jeff Jarretts out there and plenty of guys who could take Jeff's spot. Karen said he should send Jeff back home to watch the kids so she can run the Knockouts. Sting said he's known Jeff since he was a teenager, so he deserves to have his side heard. Karen said she still wants to make sure they're good. They hugged it out, then Sting turned around and muttered under his breath, "Poor Jeff."
Impact Zone: Jeff Hardy came to the ring to address matters. Hardy thanked the crowd for their response and said his body is aching and his neck is sore from the cage match. He even bit his lip on the way out here, but he's still the #1 contender. Hardy vowed to become champion on the eighth day of January and make 2012 the most memorable year of his career.
Suddenly, Bully Ray's music interrupted to bring out Ray sporting a ballcap and wrestling gear. Ray told Hardy he's in an awfully good mood for someone who has no clue who he has to fight tonight. Hardy yawned. Ray asked Hardy if he didn't get the memo, fax, or tweet. He mocked Hardy on his phone using "Twittah" to talk to his creatures before noting they have a match tonight. Ray re-visited their history fighting for the last 15 years before a "You Suck" chant interrupted. He said he's not mad at Hardy, though. He has to thank Hardy, in fact. Ray referenced Hardy's "little problem" at the PPV in March and noted he took Hardy's spot in Immortal the very next day. He said he's not Hardy's stepping stone, but a freight train set to run over Hardy. Ray's music played to end the segment and Ray gave Hardy a brush-by on the way out of the ring. Hardy remained calm as Ray stomped off to the back.
Backstage: Samoa Joe and Magnus had a conversation about the tournament. Joe doesn't want to know anything about Magnus. He just wants Magnus to keep up with him as a tag partner. Magnus had enough of Joe's tough talk and told him to back up. Magnus said he doesn't get many opportunities around here, so it's piss or get off the pot. He said he doesn't care about friendships, just winning the tag tournament.
Still to come: Hardy vs. Ray. Plus, Joe & Magnus vs. Robbie E. & Doug Williams in the "random" tag tournament.
[Commercial Break. Wow, the Forever Lazy infomercial is officially the worst sales pitch ever with enough unintentional comedy to make you think they were aiming for it to be the worst ever.]
Impact Zone: Christy Hemme introduced Robbie E. and Doug Williams as Robbie's music played. After their oddball introduction, Samoa Joe's music played to bring out Joe and Magnus, who walked past Joe to the ring.
6 -- TV champion ROBBIE E. & DOUG WILLIAMS vs. SAMOA JOE & MAGNUS -- Wild Card tag tournament First Round match
Tag partners Williams and Magnus started things off. They had a classic "exchange of holds between tag partners" to capture they are equally matched and know each other very well. Robbie tagged into the match and scored some offense on Magnus, leading to a methodical attack on Magnus.
[Q6] The crowd tried to rally behind Magnus, who tried to tag in Joe. Eventually, Magnus made the tag and Joe cleaned house. Snap powerslam led to Williams accidentally elbow-dropping Robbie trying to break up a pin. Joe then landed corner elbow strikes on Robbie before Magnus came off the top with an elbow drop. Magnus then crotched Williams and Joe followed with a Muscle Buster for the pin and the win. Magnus and Joe work together for the win. Afterward, Robbie bailed while Joe & Magnus reluctantly celebrated in the ring.
WINNERS: Joe & Magnus at 3:58. There's potential for this Joe & Magnus duo. At the very least, it gives them purpose and a chance to develop chemistry with multiple TV matches.
Backstage: A camera "eavesdropped" on Jeff Jarrett as he was talking to Sting. Jeff said he understands Karen Jarrett is nervous and anxious right now. So, what he's saying is to let Karen down easy. Jeff noted he has the talent and they both believe a woman doesn't have a place in the wrestling business. And, Karen wants to be home with the kids. He told Sting to be as gentle and nice as he can. Sting asked Jeff if he's sure Karen wants to stay home with the kids. "Nope," Jarrett said. A little more banter, then Sting said he needs a few minutes to decide.
Backstage: Eric Young was looking into a camera talking about Chinese food. After rambling about wins/losses, shoot fighting, and bad guys/good guys, ODB walked up to Young and smacked him on the rear. EY thought ODB was the messenger. No, his tag partner. Young wanted to go over the basics like locking up. ODB told Young she'll see him out there. In a voice-over, Tenay said EY & ODB will be in tag action next week.
Impact Zone: Devon's music hit to bring him out for a speech. After a replay of Crimson & Morgan beating Devon & The Pope at the PPV, Devon called out Pope for a chat about their "situation." Pope's music hit to bring out Pope flanked by Devon's sons. Once everyone was assembled in the ring, Devon tried to make sense of all this. He said these are his sons and he raised them from Day One. He gave a shout-out to all the parents in the crowd and noted he will take a bullet to protect them. Devon preached a word about parenting before telling Pope to back off his sons. "It's over. It's over starting now," he said. Devon said he loves them, so let's go.
[Q7] Pope told everyone to hold up. He said he listened to Devon, so now it's his turn. Pope said these boys want a cool dad; someone who is able to be with the times. The crowd booed. Pope said Devon wants to shelter these boys, but when they're with Pope, he gives them a limo to ride in. He said the boys are tired of living a boring lifestyle, so Devon can lose all the weight he wants, but he will never by as fly and as pimping as him.
Devon started to walk away before telling Devon not to walk away like his wife did. That brought Devon back into the ring before Pope crossed the line and Devon put a beat down on Pope. Devon's sons held him back before they all hugged. Suddenly, Pope cheap-shotted Devon from behind. Pope then smiled toward Devon's sons, who smiled back. They shook hands before Pope put a beating on Devon. Devon's sons held up Devon, then Pope slapped Devon across the face. "They're mine now!" he shouted. Pope and Devon's sons stood tall over Devon while Pope's music played.
Segment Reax: Strong performances, but heavy-handed. It felt like the writers were having a therapy session through the writing. Sometimes it's the anti-women tone from TNA; other times it's the family issues.
Up next: Traci Brooks vs. Madison Rayne. Still to come: Hardy vs. Ray.
Backstage: Jeff and Karen Jarrett were shown talking over what they talked to Sting about. Karen lied about what she told Sting. She claimed she belongs at home with the kids. Jeff disagreed, then lied about what he told Sting. A stagehand interrupted and said Sting would like to see both of them together. Now. "Why?" Jeff asked. Karen sighed. Both were worried about their lies being exposed.
7 -- TRACI BROOKS vs. KO tag champion MADISON RAYNE
Before the match, they focused on Traci's feud with Knockouts champion Gail Kim and Rayne. To start the proceedings, Traci jumped Rayne on the entrance ramp before dragging her to ringside and into the ring to officially start the match. Madison absorbed the pre-match attack, then scored a series of nearfalls in-between taunts. After being frustrated by the nearfalls, Madison scored the decisive fall, then gloated about her victory.
WINNER: Madison at 3:52.
[Q8] Up Next: Hardy vs. Bully Ray and one of the Jarretts gets fired before the end of the night.
Backstage: Sting brought the Jarretts into his office to discuss the firing. Jeff claimed he had been consoling Karen all night. They played up each other, continuing to lie. Sting said it's apparent neither one of them has seen a single segment of the show. Sting said he's confused because he heard the opposite earlier. First, Sting told Karen what Jeff really said. Then, Sting told Jeff what Karen said about Jeff being easily replaceable. Karen freaked out that Sting is trying to cause drama between them. Sting then rolled the footage from an overhead camera documenting Karen's speech to Sting. Next, Sting played Jeff's words about Karen needing to be at home with the kids. "100 Jeff Jarrets!" Jeff kept shouting. Karen shouted at Jeff that he's a liar. Jeff called her a liar. Sting had enough and told them to shut up. He said he's going to help both of them. It's either all or nothing in TNA for the Jarretts. So...they're both fired. Sting laughed maniacally, then Karen claimed Jeff screwed up everything. "100 Jeff Jarretts!" Jeff shouted.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz played up the double firings, then Robert Roode's music hit to bring out the World champion to join the commentators for the main event. Taz congratulated Roode on his title retention before Roode claimed he was just toying with A.J. Styles on Sunday and tonight.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray's music played four minutes before the top of the hour. Ray pointed to his chain wallet or perhaps his calves on the way to the ring. Jeff Hardy, selling soreness from the cage match on Sunday, came out two minutes before the top of the hour. Hardy entered the ring and Jeremy Borash handled formal ring introductions as they neared the top of the hour.
[Q9 -- over-run]
8 -- JEFF HARDY vs. BULLY RAY
Ray jumped Hardy before the bell sounded, allowing him to quickly wear down a sore and injured Hardy. Tenay tried to get Roode's thoughts on the Jarretts being fired, but he only wanted to talk about himself. He then challenged Roode on being a fighting champion. Roode rolled his eyes and said he went 30 minutes on Sunday and another overtime period tonight. Roode then laughed at his actions last Thursday spitting in Dixie Carter's face. Ray continued to wear down Hardy as Roode claimed Hardy doesn't stand a chance against him at Genesis.
Hardy tried to mount a comeback by elbowing out of a bear hug, but he ate a big back body drop from Ray. Ray scored multiple nearfalls attempting pinfalls, then went back to work, but missed with a corner splash. Hardy fought back with right hands as Roode knocked his family and said the title belt is his family. Hardy went for the Twist of Fate and connected. Hardy made the cover, but Ray kicked out. Ray came back with a sidewalk slam, but Hardy escaped again. Ray missed with another splash, then Hardy hit another Twist of Fate. This one was good for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Hardy collected himself and pointed to the stage, where Roode stood up and threw down the headset before charging the ring. Ray clipped Hardy from behind to assist Roode, who stormed the ring to attack Hardy. Ray then grabbed a table and set it up inside the ring. Roode said they're not done with Hardy, then Ray set up Hardy for a powerbomb and delivered it through the table. Sting then stormed the ring and went nose-to-nose with Roode. Ray tried to attack Sting from behind, but Sting saw it coming. He didn't see a belt shot coming from Roode, though. Roode and Ray put the boots to Sting, then Roode grabbed his title belt and flashed it in Sting's face, then Hardy's face. Roode leaned in close to Hardy to taunt him as they signed off seven minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNER: Hardy at 4:40. They packed a ten-minute main event into five minutes, which made Ray look a bit weak taking a clean loss, but also enhanced Hardy on his title quest. The post-match allowed Ray to get his heat back associating with Roode, who continues to be a strong lead heel. It's old hat continuing to involve authority figures in the top program, but at least Sting can eventually wrestle if they're building to a Roode-Sting match down the road.
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