TNA Impact Wrestling Report – May 24th, 2012
After a rundown of the events involving AJ Styles, Daniels and Kazarian of late, we go to Hulk Hogan’s office. Hogan shows off a rundown of plans for tonight’s show and says its the usual format that the wrestlers assembled before him are all familiar with. He talked about the momentum of the company and the performers and said that since he’s jumped on, things have moved at such a pace that they can’t present and format wrestling the way they always have. Amen. Try something new.
This leads to an awesome back and forth between all of Bobby Roode’s potential challengers tonight where they argue and make their case for being the man to try and stop him from becoming the longest reigning TNA champ of all time. Bully Ray especially shined here, talking about his toughness and how he can intimidate anyone and is the closest to the type of wrestler that Hogan went to war with back in the day. Styles said he wanted to be the longest reigning champ and wanted Roode stopped. Angle said that he’s had more singles titles than anyone but Styles said that the only ones he recognizes are the ones in TNA. Jeff Hardy sat there silent and said he’d let the fans decide. In the end, Hogan told Bully that it wasn’t going to be him since he’s only been a singles star for a year. Ray asked him if that was his final answer and Hogan said it was. Ray said, Eric was right about you, and walked out. The entire segment was awesome – just a serious back and forth segment that felt like a real, not a scripted discussion and made the race for the belt and the importance of the title reign something important. All four and Hogan were great here. I liked the idea that they were trying to distance themselves from the past as well.
We get special graphics for the Open Fight Night open.
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne came to the ring. Kim took the mic and said that being her is great. She said she was the most dominant Knockouts champion in the history of the company. Kim said she built the division and is the division. She said that the entire division revolves around her and she’s the most important woman in the history of the company. They showed a shot of the locker room watching on a monitor with some of the women disgusted. Kim said that she has a problem that the Knockouts Tag Team titles are being defended by a man and called out the champions. As all this was going on, Rayne was distracted and fixing her makeup, all concerned by whoever she’s lusting over. Solid promo from Kim.
TNA Knockouts champion Gail Kim & Madison Rayne vs. TNA Knockouts Tag Team champions ODB & Eric Young
The champions head from backstage to the ring. Young and Kim started out going back and forth. The announcers were pushing the new time slot and the fact Impact would be live next week. Young grabbed Kim in a waistlock, then dropped Kim to the mat. He tagged in ODB who nailed a series of forearm shots and a Fall Away Slam as we go to a commercial.
When we returned from commercial, they pushed a Memorial Day Sale with up to 25% off, noting the TNA roster members who served in the military.
Back in the ring, the challengers worked over ODB with double team maneuvers until ODB speared Kim, Young makes the hot tag but is conflicted about wrestling with her. Rayne slapped him so he stripped down. He nailed several hiptosses and slams on the challengers. ODB yelled at him to put his pants back down, asking if he was trying to knock the girls up.
ODB tagged in and nailed an Oklahoma Slam for a near fall. She went for a Fireman’s Carry but Kim naoled her with an elbow. Kim went for a bodypress. ODB caught her and went for a Fall Away Slam but Rayne, outside the ring, tripped her and held her leg as Kim scored the pin.
Your winners, Gail Kim & Madison Rayne!
Apparently this was a non-title match as they didn’t announce new champions. Rayne and Kim ran off as the champions gave chase.
OK tag match with a little bit of silliness and some OK wrestling.
They showed TNA champion Bobby Roode arriving in the building as the announcers wondered who he would defend the title against.
Backstage Hulk Hogan was talking to someone who was on their way. Hogan said that he’s already made one cut and it was getting crazy. He told the person on the phone it’s been way too long. He hung up and said, “Holy shizzzz.” The announcers wondered who he was talking to.
Rob Van Dam came to the ring. He said that since he’s returned, he’s been so focused on regaining the TNA title that he’s let some unfinished business slide to the side. He said it was time to fix that and challenged Gunner to come out and face him. Nice continuity to admit they had let that storyline slip away; now they can tie it up.
Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner
Van Dam dropkicked Gunner before the bell even rang. They battled on the outside. Gunner got the better of RVD and slammed him into the apron. Gunner grabbed a chair and tossed it into the ring but was overwhelmed by RVD and nailed with Rolling Thunder. Gunner used RVD’s hair to yank him back down to the mat. He drilled RVD with an elbow as he rebounded off the ropes for a near fall.
RVD tried to fight his way out of the corner. Gunner whipped him into the corner and charged but RVD came out with a kick to the mid-section. RVD kicked Gunner and sent up for the Five Star Frogsplash. RVD nailed it and scored the pin.
Your winner, RVD!
Good competitive bout for the short amount of time they had. I liked that they finally addressed Gunner taking Van Dam out of action a few months back. Solid stuff.
TNA TV champion Devon came to the ring. He said that a few weeks ago, he was given an opportunity to defend the TV title every week on Impact Wrestling and that’s what he plans on doing – being a fighting champion. He said that Hogan also gave them an opportunity last week to fight for a shot at the World title in the Battle Royal. He said last week, Garett Bischoff threw him out of the ring and eliminated him, so tonight, he’s giving Bischoff a chance to see if Lady Luck can strike twice.
TNA TV champion Devon vs. Garett Bischoff.
Bischoff locks in a side headlock. Devon is shoved off into the ropes but rebounds with a shoulderblock. They lock up again and Devon slammed Bischoff. Devon goes for an elbow but misses. Bischoff nailed a neckbreaker. The crowd chanted for tables.
They locked up again but Robbie E and Robbie T attacked them both.
Robbie E screamed at Devon that the TV title was his. He whipped Devon into the ropes but Devon came back with a clothesline on both. Bischoff jumped in and they worked over E and T. Bischoff showed some decent fire here. Devon and Bischoff tossed E and T out of the ring.
Nothing to the match. Just basic stuff before the run-in but it was fine. Bischoff is showing some signs of improvement.
Backstage, Hogan told the remaining challengers that they can only have one man out there with Roode. Hogan told Angle that of late, he’s been unstoppable but Angle has been dieting and losing crazy weight and getting hurt trying to make it to the Olympics. Hogan told Hardy that he’s been great since returning to the company and the fans love him. Angle told Hogan if he wants someone the fans love, pick Hardy and if he wants the most athletic guy here, pick AJ. Angle said that if you want the best guy here, pick him. Hogan said that he needs the most solid person here so he’s eliminating Hardy. He told Hardy that his wins have been too close and he’s not solid enough for Hogan right now. Hardy walked out. Styles said that Hogan needed to pick someone because whoever it is, they need to go get warmed up to wrestle. Hogan said he needed one more piece of information. Hogan told them to both go get ready. They left to get ready. As he walked out. Angle told Hogan he can get the job done. Hogan said that he knows he can. Another good segment.
They aired a vignette on the missing Abyss and the debut of Joseph Park under the guise that it was a legitimate news piece on Abyss missing, then going into clips of the storyline. I liked the presentation here.
Bully Ray made his way to the ring.Ray asked the crowd if they knew who he was. He said that obviously, Hulk Hogan must have forgotten since Hogan decided that he would be the first one eliminated. Ray said that he’s in a bad mood and is pissed off. Ray said he was going to take it out on everyone in the crowd. He said that as if his life wasn’t miserable enough, he was told Joseph Park was in the audience. They show Park sitting in the crowd with a box of popcorn. Ray said that he was tired of looking at him and showing up and being in the crowd. He demanded Park get into the ring right now. Park came down to ringside, looking concerned. The crowd egged him on.
Ray told Park to stop listening to the fans and get into the ring. He wanted to get in but changed his mind and asked for a microphone. Park said that he’s not a fighter and not a wrestler. He said that he’s never been in a real fight. Ray didn’t want to hear it and demanded he get into the ring. Park said that he’s intimidated and asked for some space between them. Park had trouble getting into the ring. He said that all he wanted was information and answers about the disappearance of his brother and the facts all led him back to Ray.
Parks said that over the years, he’s represented a lot of defendants – some guilty and some not. Park said that he can tell when someone is guilty or not. The crowd chanted “Guilty”. Park said that luckily for Ray, the Constitution is required to have a fair and speedy trial under a jury of his peers. Park said that the audience was their jury. They chanted, “Guilty.”
Park asked the audience who thought Ray was not guilty. Not much of a reaction. Guilty? Big reaction. Ray nailed Park, who went down. Ray pulled out a chain and brought it down over Park’s back. Ray took the mic and said, “not guilty.” He walked out.
Good stuff on the mic from both.
They aired a brief interview with Joey Ryan from earlier in the day, talking about growing up a Hulkamaniac and trying to live his dreams. They showed some footage from an independent show. Ryan said he was at Disneyland when he got the call he was being given the Gutcheck tryout.
When they returned, Al Snow and Joey Ryan were in the ring with Jeremy Borash. He welcomed everyone to Gutcheck. He said that once a month, they give the chance of a lifetime to a wrestler from outside of TNA. They asked Ryan if he was ready to see his opponent. Ryan, now acting in character, said to bring them on. Snow shook his hand and said good luck. Out came TNA X Division champ Austin Aries.
TNA X-Division champ Austin Aries vs. Joey Ryan
Ryan showboated a little early but Aries took him down with a droptoe hold. Ryan mocked Aries, who slapped him. Aries sent him into the ropes but Ryan pulled himself out of the ring to the floor. Aries nailed a pescado. Back in the ring, Aries went to the top but Ryan knocked him off the ropes and crotched him. Ryan worked over Aries, who grabbed Ryan’s chest hair to stop him. Ryan cut off Aries and scored several near falls. The announcers asked fans to say whether Ryan deserved a shot in TNA via Twitter.
Aries went for a charge but Ryan rolled out of the ring. Ryan sunset flipped him into the ring but Aries rolled through and dropkicked Ryan. Ryan and Aries went back and forth. Aries avoided a move off the ropes and hiptossed Ryan into the buckles. He drilled Ryan with a dropkick in the corner and nailed a brainbuster for the win.
Your winner, Austin Aries!
Good competitive match. Ryan stood out as unique. They noted he would get judged next week.
TNA champion Bobby Roode came to the ring. AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, both potential challengers, came to the ring. Hulk Hogan made his way to the ring. Hogan put over both Angle and Styles as competitors and said that at the end of the day, he can’t make a wrong decision. However, since Styles knows Roode better than anyone, AJ is getting the title shot.
Angle didn’t look happy but shook Styles’ hand and hugged him before leaving.
TNA champ Bobby Roode vs. AJ Styles
Roode yelled he was going to make history. They went back and forth with some solid wrestling and Styles caught a quick near fall. Styles took control of Roode who went to the floor to try and break the momentum as they went to commercial.
When they returned from commercial, Styles whipped Roode into the buckles. Styles nailed a leaping clothesline in the corner. Styles whipped him out again but was caught with an elbow. Roode ran Styles shoulder first into the ringpost and Styles feel to the floor outside.
On the floor, Roode ran Styles’ shoulder into the ringpost. Styles used the ropes to torque Styles’ arm. Roode locked on an armbar and worked over Styles. He began stomping on Styles’ arm. Roode worked over Styles, who made a comeback with his good arm. Roode cut him off but was backdropped over the top to the floor. Styles, still selling his bad arm, nailed a pescado over the top to the floor.
Styles whipped Roode into the ring steps. He charged Roode but was hiptossed across the ring steps. Ouch. Back in the ring, Styles was covered for a two count.
Backstage, Hogan was told his guest has arrived. The announcers wondered who that could be as they went to commercials.
When they returned, Roode was back in control and had Styles in a standing surfboard. Styles fought to escape but was backdropped over the ropes onto the apron. Styles went for a springboard back in but was nailed and crashed to the apron. Roode charged but was shoulderblocked by Styles. Styles nailed the flying forearm for a two count.
Styles nailed a missile dropkick for a two count. They continue going back and forth with near falls. Roode nailed a spinebuster and a Perfectplex but Styles kicked out. Styles nailed a Pele Kick out of nowhere to wipe out Roode. Styles was exhausted but missed a 450 splash, partially because something off camera distracted him. Roode pulled his knees up and grabbed Styles, nailing the Perfectplex for the win.
Your winner and still TNA champion Bobby Roode!
Real good, hard fought main event.
They showed Daniels and Kazarian watching from the top of the ramp, so they were the distraction. I liked that we didn’t see that with 10,000 camera angles when Styles lost his focus as it gave a more realistic feel to the sequence.
After the match, Roode took the mic and touted that he’s made history and is the longest reigning TNA champion of all time. He said that it was time to celebrate and demanded his champagne, which Socal Val brought him.
Roode demanded that Hulk Hogan join him in the ring and celebrate “with your champion.” Confetti rained down and Roode rolled around with it and celebrated. Hogan didn’t come down but finally made his way out to the stage clapping.
Hogan said he was glad that he wasn’t a betting man. Hogan admitted that he had the deck completely stacked against Roode but didn’t realize how good Roode really was. Roode gave him a glass of champagne. Hogan said he is glad Roode brought him out because he’s done things Hogan didn’t expect could be done. Hogan said Roode did it with hard work and won his respect, but the hard work is just beginning. Hogan said that if he wants to hold onto the belt, the hard work has just begun.
Hogan said that someone else wants to celebrate and Hogan wants to apologize for their late arrival. The lights went out and Sting’s music hits. When they lights went back on, Sting was behind Roode and kicked the hell out of him, nailing a Stinger Splash and a clothesline over the top. Hogan said it was showtime!
Hogan announced that next week. Roode would be defending the TNA title against Sting in TNA’s new timeslot of 8 PM when they kick off the show with a Lumberjack Match. Roode screamed No. Hogan again said it was Showtime.
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