Episode 12, Season 13 “Hardy’s Revenge”
Welcome one and all to our 3rd installment of the Impact Wrestling Review right here on TJRWrestling. I hope you all are enjoying the best time of the year, that being WrestleMania week. While we wait for the biggest show of the year, we pick up TNA after they’ve completed their big, yearly venture to Europe and are now back in the familiar confines of Universal Studios Orlando. Our big main event tonight is Jeff Hardy making his long awaited return to face off against what I called last week, the best thing going in TNA, James Storm, leader of The Revolution. That match will be contested inside Six Sides of Steel, and not only that, will have a roof over the cage with weapons that can come into play during the match. That should be a hell of a lot of fun to cover, so let’s get to the action.
This week’s episode starts with a flashback to Lockdown, where the Hardys and Revolution feud really hit the next gear after James Storm took out Jeff Hardy in what was one of Jeff’s sickest bumps he’s ever taken. The guy is insane and simply fearless. That moment obviously set up the main event we’re gonna have tonight. We go to Taz and Josh Matthews who describe the theme of tonight’s show being Hardy’s Revenge, and also mention that tonight is the first night with the New TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle. I’m very interested to see who they present as his next challenger(s).
The whistle signalling The Revolution is heard and it looks like we’re going to hear from James Storm. The cage is already set up, but I can’t imagine they start with that match. First thing you notice on tonight’s show is that TNA has a new stage setup for their show now. It reminds me a little bit of the old WCW Thunder stage, but it’s got 2 screens and 2 flowing banners that have video advertisements for who’s coming out on them. Overall it’s an improvement I’ve got to say.
James Storm comes out with his latest recruit Khoya in town, who’s carrying some sort of object that’s painted like Jeff Hardy’s face. It turns out to be a small watermelon, as Storm channels his best Road Warriors impersonation and shows what happens when he made Jeff Hardy jump off the top of the cage and watch him go splat. This of course prompts the return of Jeff Hardy to a great ovation. Jeff brings up the fact that Storm did try to take out Hardy, but as he said after his famous match with The Undertaker, although he doesn’t mention Taker by name, “He’s Still Standing.” He’s ready to fight, but Manik comes from behind to take him out. Hardy counters and hits a Twist of Fate that looks more like a Stunner, and makes his way down some more. Here comes Abyss now though, but Hardy also quickly counters him with a Chair. Hardy tells them to lower the ceiling, Storm tells him that in this story, the hero dies. I’m assuming he says dies at least, because they bleeped him out for some reason. Hardy says he’s wrong, tonight is about Hardy’s Revenge. Decent promo from both men, but it’s already painfully obvious we’re not in Europe anymore.
We then go a recap of Rockstar Spud capturing the X-Division Title last week from Low Ki and then a backstage segment where the BDC, minus Samoa Joe now, are discussing plans for the group. MVP says it’s unfortunate that they’ve lost both Joe and the X-Division Title, but they have to make a statement tonight.
The Best of Sting is available now at ShopTNA.com just in case you’re wondering if TNA would try to profit off the fact that Sting is about to make his WWE Debut at WrestleMania. After that commercial, we go to Storm again backstage with Khoya. Storm tells him that he’s tired of Jeff Hardy. Manik & Abyss have let him down, so Khoya better go and dispose of Hardy, or else Storm will dispose of Khoya. Khoya screams and goes to seek out Hardy while Storm looks satisfied.
X-Division Championship Match: Rockstar Spud (c) vs. Low Ki
I wonder how many people in the crowd knew that Spud had won the title overseas before this taping. 20%? Higher or lower? Spud gets a good reaction as he hands the belt over to the ref, and as the match starts, Low Ki comes out real aggressively. He is not messing around with the elbows, punches, & kicks he lays in early in the match. Low Ki completely dominates the match, stifling Spud’s only attempt at offense, a sunset flip, with a Double Foot Stomp counter. Spud fires up shortly after this with a flurry of left hands and after a short back and forth, hits a nice Tornado DDT. MVP & Kenny King come out for the distraction as Spud goes for The Underdog. He doesn’t hit it and then in the crowd appears Drew Galloway to counter the BDC appearance at ringside. All eyes turn to Galloway, including Low Ki’s, who ends up turning into a Schoolboy Roll-Up and Spud gets the 1-2-3 off the distraction.
Winner: Still X-Division Champion, Rockstar Spud
Not exactly a showcase match for the new champion, but he at least retains. Galloway meets Spud on the ramp and Spud being the tiny man that he is, jumps right into Galloway’s arms and celebrates the fact that he’s held on as champion.
As we return from commercial, The BDC is still in the ring and MVP has a message for Drew Galloway. He says that Galloway stands for fairness, but Galloway’s actions, haven’t been fair themselves. When Galloway ends up in a hospital with a skull fracture and a nurse changing his diaper, he’ll know then that The BDC aren’t about games. MVP calls the fans “Flatscans” three times during the promo, so I naturally had to look up on Urban Dictionary what a Flatscan was. Apparently it’s an X-Men reference, “From the X-Men term “flatscan”, a derogatory term for non-mutants. As the mutants considered themselves the next step in human evolution, “flatscans” were those who would be left behind as the world progressed.” So there you go, you along with myself, just learned something new. MVP tells Galloway to come out to the ring, or else The BDC would start smacking around the fans.
Galloway comes out and gives a very good promo about the #StandUp Rising that he’s started. He wasn’t going to lay down like a dog when The BDC left him laying last time. He says the voice of Professional Wrestling are the fans. He polls the fans on if they are fans of professional wrestling, if they’re tired of people like The BDC forcing their opinions down their throats, and if they want competitive wrestling matches. The crowd give a resounding yes to all questions. Kenny King interjects and delivers a great line about how Galloway acts like William Wallace in Braveheart, but remember it was The King that took Wallace’s head. Galloway says that Wallace and his followers still won and he will too. Low Ki grabs the mic and says he can kick Galloway’s ass right now on his own. Galloway says it’d be a great match as he makes his way to the ring. Then from both sides of the crowd, 2 men jump the barricade wearing The Rising t-shirts that Galloway is also sporting. They’ve come to even the sides and we have a 3 on 3 brawl all of a sudden. I do not recognize either guy, but after doing research, it looks like one of them is former WWE superstar Camacho, and the other is independent wrestler Shaun Ricker, who was in NXT for a cup of coffee as Slate Randall. It looks like both men went through a TNA Gut Check PPV in February of this year, with Myka (Camacho) winning that PPV. Ricker will be using the name Eli Drake.
That was a very good segment with impassioned promos from Galloway, MVP, & King. It’s clear the audience didn’t know, nor did I obviously, who Galloway’s allies were, but it’s good to see TNA bring in new stars like that. They don’t need to bring in recycled faces, give us someone with a clean slate. We leave the scene in the ring to go to an awesome video package spotlighting Awesome Kong. “All the pretty ones will suffer” says Kong as they show footage of her beating on some of the other knockouts. Very cool video for one of TNA’s best.
We return with a recap of what just transpired between The Rising and The BDC, and then go backstage where Low Ki and Kenny King are yelling wanting to know what just happened. MVP tells them to relax. The Rising wants to play the numbers game, but who plays it better than The BDC? No one does. So it’s time to make that call, he’s ready. King & Low Ki approve.
Knockouts Match: Brooke vs. Awesome Kong
I’m fully convinced that Brooke’s theme song says, “This girl’s got a booty” a bunch. So maybe Brooke’s ass is replacing Velvet Sky’s Pigeons? Wouldn’t surprise me. Brooke also does have a great ass, so I can’t say I blame them. Brooke tries anything and everything early to hit Kong, while avoiding getting hit herself, but that doesn’t last long at all. Kong tosses Brooke around, but Brooke tries to fight from underneath and again hits Kong with anything she can. Kong goes to powerbomb Brooke, but Brooke counters it into a nice facebuster. Brooke hits a Top Rope Elbow, but Kong kicks out easily. Brooke tries one more high risk move, but Kong catches her in a chokeslam. Brooke lands hard, and Kong picks up the pieces to put her into the Implant Buster for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Awesome Kong
Post match, Kong hits a second Implant Buster. That match probably lasted longer than it needed too, but I guess they really wanted Brooke to show some fight. Kong goes to the outside and sets up a table as Earl Hebner tries to roll Brooke out of the ring for her safety. Taryn Terrell comes out for the save and gets rammed hard into the barricade for her efforts. If you haven’t seen the welt she got on her forehead from that, you should check out her Instagram. Kong and Terrell end up in the ring and Terrell finally knocks Kong off her feet with a second rope missile dropkick, but Kong is immediately back up and charges Terrell. Taryn grabs the top rope and low bridges Kong as she falls to the outside. Taryn tries to follow up on her attacks, but ends up getting thrown into the steel steps. Kong picks her up and it ends up being Terrell who goes through the table as the crowd chants TNA for some reason. Taryn is left in a pile of wood shards and her black G-String that’s clearly visible now. I just present what I see, what can I say?
We now see a video package recapping the huge title change from last week as Kurt Angle became the World Champ. Austin Aries is now on screen and talks about how great the match was, and if anyone deserves a celebration, it’s Angle. But what if tonight, there’s two celebrations? Aries shows his Feast or Fired briefcase to imply he’s going to cash in tonight. A mystery cameraman voice then asks if Aries is cashing in tonight, and Aries replies, “Is that a rhetorical question?”
We come back to Jeff Hardy describing how tonight he ends The Revolution and James Storm. I just realized Hardy hasn’t been wearing face paint at all tonight. It looks odd to see him without it. Khoya comes from behind to do Storm’s dirty work. He gets the early advantage, but Hardy turns it around and hits Khoya with a ladder. He hits Khoya with a couple beer bottles, shattering them across his face, but Khoya keeps getting back up. Hardy then grabs two more bottles and breaks them at the same time across the face of Khoya who is now out cold. Hardy tells him to stay down as Tazz and Josh Matthews remark at the violence Hardy has just shown.
Back to ringside, and here comes Kurt Angle in his street clothes with the World Title on his shoulder. Again, I wonder how many people realized Angle had won the title before this taping. Angle says he is now a 14 Time Heavyweight Champion. Is that accurate? I guess we’re just letting everyone get close to Flair’s 16-Time record. As Angle talks about how this reign is different from all others, EC3’s music interrupts him. This crowd is so bad, that EC3 has to cue the crowd to clap when he compliments Angle’s accomplishments in beating Bobby Lashley. EC3 says that was Angle has done was good, but not nearly as good as what EC3 has done, being undefeated and beating every TNA Hall of Famer along the way. Sting, Bully Ray, & Angle himself. EC3 says he’s going to be the man that takes the title from Kurt Angle, and as Angle goes to make his response, Bobby Roode’s music hits. Roode says that any World Title discussion should involve him, as he’s never had a fair one on one rematch for the title that he lost. EC3 tells him that it’s his time and he needs to leave. Roode tells EC3 that unless he wants his teeth punched down his throat, he needs to shut his mouth. Roode says he has nothing but respect for Angle. Angle took him to new levels in the ring, and Angle deserves this moment. But that’s all it is, a moment. Roode deserves the first shot at Angle more than anyone. Now Eric Young’s music hits. EY has a mic already and tells Roode that he’s the one that will stop Roode. He’s the one that stole the World Title from Roode & he’ll make sure that Roode never gets it again. EY says that Roode is a loser, which prompts Roode to tell EY that he’s beaten him over and over and over again. EY says that beating him in a match won’t stop him from making sure Roode never gets the belt again. As long as as he draws breath, he’ll make sure Roode never holds the World Title again. The fate of the World title goes through Eric Young. Sure why not, let’s hit Austin Aries’ music after that statement. “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” now walks out with a mic and his trusty briefcase. This crowd sucks, but they at least give Austin Aries a huge ovation and chant, so good for them. Aries talks about how they want to discuss the fate of the World Title, but we’re all ruining Angle’s moment. Aries proceeds to reveal a bottle of champagne from inside his briefcase and says they need to celebrate. The crowd loses any good will they had just built up, by starting a “pop the champagne” chant. Aries asks Angle, “the question is, are we going to be celebrating your title victory, or mine?” Angle finally responds to everyone and says that if Aries wants to cash in, he’s ready. And if any of the other three want a title shot, they can name when and where and he’ll be there. Angle leaves and it looks like he’s going to have a long list of contenders coming up. Not to mention the fact that Bobby Lashley will obviously be getting a rematch. And just as I type that, Lashley’s music hits just as Angle goes up the ramp. Lashley tells Angle to forget everyone else, he’s the one that gets a title shot. Angle tells him that we don’t have to wait, we can have a title match right now. Both men look ready to fight as TNA officials and agents come to break them apart and keep them separated.
Meanwhile back in the ring, EC3, Tyrus, & Eric Young gang up on Roode and Aries for a 3 on 2 assault. Quickly though, Mr. Anderson’s music hits and we have evened the sides 3 on 3. Goodness that was a long segment with a lot of moving part and players involved in it.
Six Man Tag Match: Ethan Carter III, Tyrus, & Eric Young vs. Mr. Anderson, Austin Aries, & Bobby Roode
The match is picked up in progress as Anderson and Aries work over EC3’s arm that’s still sporting the brace from his triceps injury. The babyfaces really work over EC3 from the get go, even giving us a little Dirty Heels reunion with some double team work of Aries and Roode. They were so great together. EC3 finally gets an opening after Eric Young distracts the ref, and then tags in Tyrus. Tyrus hits Roode with the old Heart Punch. When was the last time someone used the Heart Punch? Now the 3 heels cycle through tags and work over Roode. Eric Young is begging the crowd to boo them, but the crowd decides to just randomly yell and shout. EY gets in the ring and goes for a piledriver, but Roode is able to backdrop him, which gives him the opportunity to get the mild tag to Aries. It wasn’t a hot tag because the crowd responded like they didn’t realize a tag was even made. Aries cleans house and hits his low rope suicide dive onto Tyrus and EC3, and that gets the crowd to finally respond. Young goes up top, but Roode body presses him off and throws him halfway across the ring. He gets up, only to be hit with a corner dropkick and Spinebuster combo from Aries and Roode. Aries goes up for the 450 Splash, but misses it after a distraction from EC3. Aries clutches the knee and EY puts him into a Figure 4 Leglock, and Aries taps out fairly quickly to zero reaction from the crowd. This time I give the crowd a pass because no one had worked on Aries’ leg all match and Eric Young has never used a Figure 4 before, to my recollection. That was a fairly weak finish.
Winners: Eric Young, EC3, & Tyrus
After the break, TNA’s Hidden Gem (my words, not TNA’s) Bram comes out. They recap the nasty powerbomb that Magnus gave Bram last week, as the announcers wonder how Bram is even walking this week. Bram grabs a mic and says that Magnus is a coward. He’s a coward because he hides behind his family. Mickie James has more balls than Magnus does. Not only that, so does Magnus’ baby boy. Magnus comes right out after that, along with Mickie James. He tells Bram that if Bram brings up his son one more time, it’ll be a matter for the Police. Both men trade barbs with one another with Bram finally asking Magnus why doesn’t he just come in the ring and fight? Magnus says he doesn’t want to just fight in the ring, he wants to fight everywhere. Bram says that’s fine with him because all he cares about is seeing the tears from Mickie’s eyes as he kicks Magnus’ head in. Mickie then grabs Magnus’ mic and tells Bram that her tears will be tears of joy after she watches Magnus grab those pubes he calls a beard and kicks his ass all over the Impact Zone. Bram tells Mickie not to worry, cause after he kicks in Magnus’ head in, Bram’s door will always be open to Mickie.
Magnus charges the ring and both men brawl, with Bram getting the upper hand. Bram grabs the turnbuckle wrench from under the ring, but then changes his mind and goes after Mickie. He tells Mickie to be like Magnus and kiss his boot. Then he changes his mind and tells her to give him a big, sloppy kiss. Before he can go through with it, Magnus gives Bram a German Suplex. Magnus and Mickie go to leave, but Mickie gets in a few shots on Bram for good measure.
We then go to a video package of all the high risk things Jeff Hardy can do in a Six Sides of Steel match as our main event is up next.
Before we start with the main event, Josh Matthews informs us that next week is the First “Bell to Bell” episode of Impact Wrestling. There will be 3 big main events, including Kurt Angle vs Bobby Lashley in a TNA World Title rematch. The other two main events will be the next chapter in the Eric Young vs. Robert Roode feud, along with a Falls Count Anywhere match between Magnus and Bram. I’m very much looking forward to that last match.
Six Sides of Steel Match: James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy
James Storm’s music hits with about 19 minutes left in the show, so hopefully this won’t be a rushed cage match. Jeff Hardy took a few minutes from beating on The Revolution tonight to apply his trademark face paint for the match. The match starts right away with Storm slamming a trash can over Hardy’s head as soon as he gets into the cage. Both men trade blows early, with Hardy getting the advantage eventually. Looks like we have the normal weapons as expected, chairs, trash cans, & kendo sticks. I think there may be a steel pipe up on the roof as well, but not 100% sure. Hardy wants to go for Whisper in the Wind, but Storm cuts his legs out and Hardy lands badly on the mat as we take another commercial break.
When we return, Storm is in full control. No weapons or use of the cage yet in the match besides that initial trash can shot. Hardy fights back and lands a legdrop to the crotch, followed up by a dropkick to the face and Hardy gets the first two count of the match. Hardy wants the crowd to rally behind him as he goes to follow up. Storm misses a Last Call superkick and Hardy turns it into a Twist of Fate that yet again looks more like a Stunner. Maybe that’s how Jeff is going forward with that move. Hardy then goes for the Swanton, but Storm gets his knees up. Storm manages to get Hardy up and lands an old school Eye of the Storm, which is basically a release twisting Razor’s Edge. Very cool move, but Storm only gets a 2 count. Storm hits a massive combination of a Russian Leg Sweep, Codebreaker, & Backstabber, and then follows that up with a Last Call Superkick, but only gets a 2 count again. Very impressive sequence by Storm. Storm, sensing a little bit of desperation, grabs his cowbell to finish off Hardy. Hardy ducks the cowbell and throws Storm into a steel chair that was positioned between two of the turnbuckles. Hardy goes right up top and hits Whisper in the Wind and then goes right back up a second time for a Swanton Bomb. Match has definitely picked up the last couple of minutes. Storm kicks out of the Swanton and now Hardy removes his shirt as he decides how he can finish Storm off. He grabs Storm by the hair, but Storm lands a low blow. Storm looks like he’s trying to escape the cage, but leaves himself wide open for Hardy to hit him with the trash can in the back. Hardy then uses the roof of the cage to pull himself up and hit two hard dropkicks into Storm in the corner of the cage and then wraps his legs around Storm and hits an awesome top rope Hurricanrana! Very innovative from Hardy. But that still only gets a two count. Hardy delivers two big shots to the head of Storm with the trash can lid, and then Hardy grabs Storm’s own cowbell and drops him with it. Hardy with another twist of fate, this one looking more like the traditional version, and he goes to the top one more time. Hardy then scales the middle of the cage as if he’s in an Ultimate X Match, and then starts swinging back and forth, giving himself momentum before finally dropping in a huge body press onto Storm below. The ref makes the count and Jeff Hardy has won!
Winner: Jeff Hardy by pinfall
Jeff Hardy grabs the cowbell and swings it over his head before throwing it down on Storm while celebrating his win.
Wrap-Up: The last 5 minutes of that match had some impressive sequences, but it didn’t have the true “Steel Cage” aura. A Steel Cage match can still be VERY effective as a end to the means of a storyline, especially one as perfectly suited as this one. But they didn’t use the cage enough in my opinion. A lot of this week’s show felt like a reset, which makes sense since it was the first post-Samoa Joe show and the first show returning from Europe. I bet they wish they could go back there tomorrow and tape some more product. This crowd in Orlando does them no favors. It’s tough to see a company trying as hard as TNA is right now, and make no mistake about it, they are trying VERY hard, but they’re stuck in a crowd that doesn’t help them, and stuck on a timeslot that no one cares to watch them on. I’ve seen online the mention about how TNA should use their “honeymoon period” with Destination America and see if they can get them to move Impact to Tuesday Nights. That would definitely be nice for TNA, but I don’t see it happening. They just moved to a new channel, so you’re already trying to get people to find them on that channel, and then less than 3 months after the move, you’re going to move nights as well? It just doesn’t work. So unfortunately they’re stuck where they’re at, but hopefully they’ll continue to try their hardest & people will slowly but surely catch on long term.
Thanks again for joining me this week. We’ll be back next week with the big Bell to Bell episode and 3 big main events to recap. Should be another excellent in-ring show. Until then, feel free to hit me up on the Twitter @FriscoKTank!