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Impact: A car crash for Abyss and a hot time for Hardy
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


Since Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff took over TNA, the promotion hasn’t done a very good job building up to its pay-per-view events. That has changed for the better this month, and a number of feuds are actually coming together just in time for Lockdown, which is just six days away. It’s time for Impact, now an hour earlier for your convenience.

Jeff Jarrett is in the ring, reminding all who care to listen that he founded TNA eight years ago and that the letters stand for Total Nonstop Action. But I thought ... never mind. JJ wants to find out why Sting has turned all kinds of heel over the last few weeks, so he goes looking in the most logical place: the rafters. The Stinger tries to sneak away but is caught and forcefully battered all the way to the ring. Jarrett continues his assault until the lights go out, and Sting is armed with his trusty baseball bat when they return. Sting makes like Jason Heyward (note timely baseball reference!) for a minute or two, at which point Jeff Hardy, Abyss and Rob Van Dam run down and force him to take a powder.

One onlooker who’s pretty amused by what just went down is Ric Flair, who is backstage with AJ Styles, Beer Money and Desmond Wolfe. The Nature Boy gloats about Sting’s recent actions and vows that Team Flair will destroy Team Hogan and Hulkamania in general in St. Louis. Robert Roode looks forward to getting his hands on Hardy later tonight, Styles lobs a few verbal grenades at D’Angelo Dinero and Wolfe boastfully says he will take Abyss.

An angry Brother Ray goes to the announce table, and not just to check out Don West’s latest insane deal. He claims he just talked to Hogan and got the go-ahead to make Team 3D (with hanger-on Jesse Neal) versus The Band into a New York City Street Fight, Falls Count Anywhere match. Call me crazy, but that sounds like it may favor Ray and Devon.

Match 1 – Team 3D and Jesse Neal vs. The Band – New York City Street Fight, Falls Count Anywhere

We return from a commercial break to find action underway and all six men in the ring. The Band gets barely a single offensive move in as all three members are beaten down by kendo sticks, trash cans and chairs. Unfortunately, Mr. Killjoy himself, Bubba the Love Sponge, runs down and distracts Brother Ray just as he’s about to put Syxx-Pac through a table. Waltman hits a facebuster through the table and covers for the pin. Because TNA rules stipulate that every match must end with an after-the-bell beating if possible, The Band tries to oblige. But Eric Young comes flying in with a hockey stick (he is Canadian, after all), and the heels soon scatter. Young gets on the mic and says he still has a bone to pick with Kevin Nash, and he’ll do it inside a steel cage at Lockdown.

Hogan talks to Christy Hemme about the upcoming pay-per-view, but he’s distracted by the sight of Bischoff in the next room talking to Flair. Excusing himself from the interview, Hogan waits for Eric to walk by and says he wants to talk in his office. Somebody’s getting in trouble!

Match 2 – Shannon Moore vs. Kazarian

This is a fast-paced, evenly contested match for the most part. X Division champ Doug Williams joins Mike Tenay and Taz a few minutes in, mocking both men for using unnecessary high risk maneuvers. Moore hits a couple of those, including a moonsault to the floor and another off the top rope that earns a near fall. Kazarian almost gets Moore with a backslide, but time expires and the match is ruled a draw. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of those on TV. The crowd chants “let them fight,” but Williams makes fun of both men some more until they get fed up and chase him to the back.

Jeremy Borash speaks with Velvet Sky, who used her contract to get any competitor into a match with any stipulation of her choosing to land her former bestie Angelina Love in a Leather and Lace Match. For the uninitiated, it’s a match where the only way to win is to strip the other woman down to her underwear. Sky is taking the leather part seriously too by the looks of her dress. Anyway, she soon tires of JB’s questions just like the rest of us.

Bischoff and Hogan have their chat, with Eric offering up a plausible yet not entirely believable excuse for why he was talking to Flair. Hulk seems like he has a headache, but an even bigger one arrives in the form of Jay Lethal. Black Machismo thinks the Mega Powers should ride again. Hogan agrees, provided Lethal finds his old tights. And with that, The Madness sets off on an epic quest.

Love gets her own chance to talk to JB, scoffing at the Leather and Lace Match and claiming she would have chosen a more athletic stipulation since she’s a real wrestler. Her Lockdown tag team partner Tara drops in, but in a foul mood since Angelina has the Knockouts belt, and the two girls nearly come to blows. Of course that would have sandwiched Borash in the middle, and I think he would have been okay with that.

The backstage interviewers sure are busy tonight. Hemme gets some comments from Dinero and Abyss about their Lockdown matches, and The Monster promises he won’t let Hogan down.

Match 3 – Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky – Leather and Lace Match

Just kidding! Once Love is in the ring, Sky reveals that she’s changed it to a “You Get Handcuffed and I Whip Your Ass Match.” Never heard of that one, but Angelina does, in fact, get her hands cuffed behind her back. Sadly, we have to wait through like two commercial breaks before the match begins.

Interlude: More often than not, I’m a fan of the Burger King commercials featuring The King (not Elvis or Jerry Lawler, mind you, the Burger King). I’m especially fond of the current one where he breaks into McDonalds headquarters to steal the recipe for the Sausage and Egg McMuffin, and then the voiceover admits that BK’s new breakfast muffin isn’t original, but is only a buck. Good stuff, which is fortunate since I’ve seen it about six times tonight.

Back in the ring, Velvet decks Angelina with a shot from her tag team belt and decides to make it an I Quit Match. Love refuses to quit several times while getting smacked around, so Sky suggests stripping her naked to force her to give up. You know an idea that fantastic isn’t going to happen, and eventually the rest of the Beautiful People and Tara all get involved. Tara is able to run off the bad girls and free Love, but when Angelina offers a handshake in thanks, Tara simply turns and walks off.

Hemme excitedly informs us that Abyss has been laid out behind the Impact Zone. More after the break!

Okay, we’re back. It turns out that Abyss has been hit by a car. More as we get it!

Matt Morgan gives his interview to Borash in the always popular first person plural format. Or maybe he really means “we,” as he has picked Amazing Red to help him defend the tag team titles. The Blueprint makes it clear to us that Red’s job is simply to wear down the opposition and feed them to the Carbon Footprint, but I’m not so sure Red comprehends.

Match 4 – Motor City Machine Guns (challengers) vs. Matt Morgan and Amazing Red (champions) – TNA Tag Team Championship Match

Morgan clears the Guns out of the ring early using his huge size advantage. After another break, Red takes an extended beating, forcing an angry Morgan to drag him over to their corner to tag in. Morgan catches Alex Shelley coming off the top rope, but Chris Sabin dropkicks both of them over and makes Matt kick out of a double pin. Red tags himself back in and all out craziness ensues. Morgan looks for a Hellevator, but his partner hits the Code Red and covers for three. Red is pretty happy that he got the win, but that feeling soon fades as The Blueprint kicks him and takes back both belts.

A surveillance camera apparently caught the car hitting Abyss on tape. We’ll show it after the break!

Roll tape... Boy, that looks like Ric Flair driving that car. Crazy, right?

Match 5 – Robert Roode vs. Jeff Hardy

Jeff gets in all the early offense, so Roode has to scramble away from a Twist of Fate and take it to the floor. Roode’s rally back in the ring includes a double knee drop off the middle rope for two. After some nice moves both ways, Roode escapes another Twist of Fate and nails a big spinebuster. Hardy kicks out and goes back on the attack, going up top to look for the Swanton. James Storm tries to intervene and is quickly repulsed by Jeff. Hardy shoves Roode back down and hits the Swanton to get the duke. Beer Money attacks after the bell, and Storm gets his bottle of beer. Instead of smashing it over Jeff’s head, he uses it to spit a fireball... at least that’s what the announcers say he did, because Spike doesn’t actually let us see it. Sorry ‘bout your damn face! RVD runs down to attempt to get some payback and quickly falls victim to the numbers game.

Tenay and Taz run down the Lockdown card, then introduce a video package detailing the issues between Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson. I really think that if Anderson could have stayed healthy and clean, he would have become a big star in WWE. Perhaps Elijah Burke would have too, because he seems very over as Dinero. Speaking of The Pope, he seems glum but determined as he gets set to take on AJ Styles and Desmond Wolfe without the services of Abyss. But wait: Black Machismo offers his help as only he can. Dinero says nothing, but he cracks a smile as he walks away.

Main Event – “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero and “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. AJ Styles and Desmond Wolfe

Even this doesn’t turn out as planned, because Beer Money jump Lethal backstage and turn it back into a handicap match. Or is it a singles match? Hogan lays out Wolfe with a chair shot (a very weak one, but still) and has Security haul him off. It doesn’t last long anyway, as Flair leaps out of his wheelchair and ambushes Pope with a shot from AJ’s world title belt. The match is thrown out, and Roode, Storm and Styles quickly turn it into a four-on-one beatdown. All Hogan can do is glare grimly from the stage as Impact fades to black.

Nick Tylwalk is to TV reports what The Band is to wrestling, at least in the sense that we were all doing similar things in 1999 to what we're doing in 2010. Follow his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk for random 140-character bursts on wrestling, boxing and life.