Impact: Angle returns, new contender named
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on TNA Impact: TNA feels all the fallout from Sunday's Sacrifice pay-per-view. The Championship Committee will announce the top-10 contenders for Rob Van Dam's TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Also, for the first time ever, Jeff Hardy battles Sting in the main event. Should be a good one!
As always, tonight's taped show emanates from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla. "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.
Eric Bischoff makes his way to the ring. He is here to announce the top10 contenders for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Each contender comes out to their music and gets a video package:
10. Samoa Joe
9. Rob Terry
8. Desmond Wolfe
7. The Pope
5. Mr. Anderson
4. Jeff Hardy
3. AJ Styles
2. Kurt Angle
So Sting will face Rob Van Dam for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Slammiversary in June.
For the opportunity, Sting goes to town on Bischoff with the bat. Abyss comes to make the save but eats three bat shots before Jeff Hardy takes the bat from behind. They are scheduled to meet tonight and Hardy slaps Sting only to get low-blowed. Sting recovers the bat only for RVD to come out. With Sting distracted, Hardy chop blocks Sting and hits the Twist of Fate. He goes for the Swanton Bomb, but Sting rolls out.
Match #1 - Roxxi (New Orleans, La.) vs. Madison Rayne (Seattle, Wash.)
Roxxi is back for the first time after breaking her ankle during the New Year's Knockout Eve tournament. The Beautiful People are not at ringside with Madison.
Rayne with some offense, chops and the like, but she runs right into the Voodoo Drop and gets pinned.
Winner via pinfall: Roxxi
Chelsea is backstage scared about having to go with Abyss. Wolfe assures her of everything.
Kurt Angle makes his return to the TNA ring for the first time since Lockdown.
He says while sitting back and watching Impact during the last month, he noticed a lot of changes from when he started in TNA four years ago. He admits that he is no longer one of the elite. He says he will wrestle for free. It's never been about money or ego. It was always about being in the ring, putting everything on the line to be the winner. He says he was bred to be a winner and he will be for the rest of his life. He says he's done it all in wrestling and is looking to reinvent himself. He says he's going to start from scratch. He's taking himself out of the top-10 and he's going to wrestle each of the top-10 superstars, starting with 10 and ending with one. He says the fans are going to see some of the greatest matches of all time. And that's real.
Christy Hemme is backstage with Ric Flair and Beer Money. He cuts a promo on Jay Lethal. He tells Lethal to find a tag team partner because they are facing Beer Money tonight. Then Kazarian comes in and wants to talk to Flair.
Match #2 - Orlando Jordan (Miami, Fla.) vs. Rob Terry (Cardiff, Wales)
This is a return, non-title match from Sunday's Sacrifice pay-per-view.
The Taz says Terry is not cleared to wrestle (he limps to the ring) but he is anyway.
Jordan goes right after the knee. Terry drives Jordan into the corner and gets on him. Earl Hebner tries to get between them and gets shoved away. Terry hits the world's biggest backdrop. Things are going well for Terry but then Jordan finds his way back to the knee and locks in a submission hold. Terry won't tap, so Hebner is forced to stop the bout.
Winner via referee's stoppage: Rob Terry
Backstage with Lethal and RVD comes in and wants to be his partner. He gleefully accepts.
Jesse Neal confronts Team 3D backstage, mainly Brother Ray. Ray says the kendo shot stick was an attitude adjustment. Neal calls Ray jealous. D-Von tries to play peacemaker. Neal tells Ray to keep his distance from now on. Ray tries to go after Neal but they are broken up.
Match #3 - James Storm (Leipers Fork, Tennessee) & Robert Roode (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Jay Lethal (Elizabeth, New Jersey) & Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.)
Lethal blind tags himself in and hits a missile dropkick on Roode. He hits the Lethal Combination on Roode. RVD follows it with Rolling Thunder and then Lethal locks in the Figure Four Leglock and forces Roode to tappet.
Winners via pinfall: Jay Lethal & Rob Van Dam
Lethal starts up the ramp when Ric Flair comes out, very angry. The brawl on the ramp. It's back-and-forth and they brawl all the way to the back.
RVD starts slapping hands with the fans when Sting hits him with a chair from the crowd. He lands another shot and walks away.
Jeff Hardy is in the ring. He says he grew up idolizing Sting but he dares Sting to try to figure him out.
TNA Security is at Desmond Wolfe's room and they want Chelsea, telling her it's time to go.
Jeremy Borash welcomes Abyss to the ring. Security then brings Chelsea to the ring with Wolfe still behind them running them down. Wolfe tells Abyss that if he thinks he is letting him take Chelsea, he is mistaken. Wolfe says Abyss will take Chelsea over his dead body and then low blows Abyss and the two security guards. He goes into Chelsea's bag and grabs a glass bottle. He breaks it over the post and brandishes it at Abyss. I guess SpikeTV doesn't allow gunplay. Wolfe slices Abyss's arm with it. Then Chelsea doesn't like it. He goes to go at Abyss with it again, but Chelsea protests. Abyss comes from behind and knocks the bottle away and hits the Black Hole Slam. Chelsea now belongs to Abyss.
The Band is in the ring. Eric Young has the mic. Young declares himself the newest member of The Band. He says they're aren't there to play some cool tunes and entertain the mutants. They are here to make the big bucks and they are going to take everything.
As he finishes up Ink Inc comes out.
Match #4 - Eric Young (Canada) vs. Shannon Moore (Whispering Pines, NC)
Young locks in an arm hold but Moore gets out and hits a bulldog. Now Moore is firing up with a few kicks. Young whips Moore in the corner but eats an elbow. Then Brother Ray comes down. Neal goes after him on the ramp. This distracts the referee and allows Hall to hit Moore with the belt and Young hits the Piledriver and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: Eric Young
Neal goes to check on Moore but Ray goes and attacks him from behind. D-Von tries to talk some sense into Ray and they start arguing.
It's time for an Eight-Man X-Division battle royal with the winner becoming No. 10 in the TNA World Title rankings, taking Kurt Angle's spot.
Looks like we're got Homicide, Generation Me, Kazarian, Amazing Red, Motor City Machine Guns and Kendrick. The eliminations are fast and furious. The final three are Homicide, Chris Sabin and Kazarian. Kazarian gets some pep in his step when Ric Flair comes out. Kaz eliminates Sabin, so it appears to be down to Homicide and Kaz. Then Brian Kendrick sneaks in (I guess he was in it. Never saw him) and dumps Homicide. So it's down to Kendrick and Kaz. Kaz drops Kendrick and wins it to applause from Flair.
Winner and new No. 10 contender: Kazarian
Match #5 - Sting (Venice Beach, Calif.) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)
Hardy goes for the Whisper in the Wind but Sting moves and goes to lock in the Scorpion Death Lock. He's got it. Hardy is trying to fight it and gets the bottom rope. Referee Slick Johnson goes to attend to Hardy and is standing over him when Sting grabs Hardy's leg and pulls him up, which sends Johnson crashing to the floor.
Sting measures Hardy and looks for the Scorpion Death Drop but in comes Mr. Anderson, hitting the move on Sting, which allows Hardy to pick up the fall as Johnson gets back in the ring.
Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.