Impact: Styles beats Anderson at his own game
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on TNA Impact: With Slammiversary on the horizon, TNA produces two big main events for this edition of Impact. First, Desmond Wolfe battles Jeff Hardy, then former champion AJ Styles meets Mr. Anderson. In other action, the alliance between Ric Flair and Kazarian develops further. 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.
Jeff Hardy is out to open the show. He's out to find out what Mr. Anderson's deal is, so he cuts right to the chase and calls him out. Anderson says maybe he did what he did to confuse people. But he says maybe people look at Hardy on the street and think "he's an asshole." He encourages Hardy to embrace his inner-asshole. He then does what best can be described as an Asshole Dance. Then AJ Styles' music hits and Tazz utters, "Thank God." Styles is out with Ric Flair, Beer Money and Desmond Wolfe.
Styles says he's got a match with Hardy tonight. Styles runs one of them down, saying he should have to buy a ticket to see AJ Styles. Hardy responds, saying he didn't request a match with AJ tonight. Then Styles says he wasn't talking to Hardy, he was talking the "butt munch" beside him. Styles asks Anderson if he knows who he is. Then Anderson hits his catchphrase and that's that.
Match #1 - Team 3D (Brooklyn, NY) vs. Shannon Moore (Whispering Pines. NC) & Jesse Neal (Orlando, Fla.) vs. Scott Hall (Miami, Fla.) & Eric Young (Canada)
All three members of The Band are on the apron. Young enters first. Hall is standing on the apron with his title belt on. What a gong show.
Hot start with Ink Inc running wild on Young. That is until Young rakes Neal in the eye. Brother Ray blind tags his way in and absolutely goes to town on Neal. Then Brother Devon blind tags his own partner. Neal gets to Moore. That doesn't last long, as both Ray and Neal end up back in the ring. Devon protests to Ray and Ray grabs a chair from the crowd. He winds up, only to have Devon take the chair away. Ray turns around and gets speared by Neal and that's it.
Winners via pinfall: Ink Inc
Ray gets the mic and gets in Devon's face. Then he tells Neal his ego is getting out of control and challenges him to a match at Slammiversary, which Neal immediately accepts.
Christy is backstage with Kazarian, who win the X-Division Battle Royal last week. He says he's running on all eight cylinders. Ric Flair comes in and says Kaz has impressed him. But if he wants to impress him even further, he needs to take care of Jay Lethal tonight. Then AJ Styles comes in and says he's been looking for Flair all day, despite just being seen on screen with him 15 minutes ago. Styles is not happy. I wouldn't be either if they either wrote me lines or editing the show in such a way that I looked like a complete idiot. Does anybody watch this before they send the show to Spike?
Match #2 - Kazarian (Anaheim, Calif.) vs. Jay Lethal (Elizabeth, NJ)
Lethal suicide dives onto Kazarian, sending him back-first into the guard rail. Flair starts strutting down the ramp, distracting Flair. Kazarian takes advantage, hitting him from behind and hitting a springboard legdrop that impresses Flair. But Lethal fires back with strikes and hits a modified enzeguri. Then he locks in the Figure Four, which sets Flair off. It's in the middle of the ring but Kazarian makes it to the ropes. Flair pie-faces Lethal, not a DQ, though. Lethal drops Flair but gets rolled up (with trunks held) for the fall.
Winner via pinfall: Kazarian
Flair takes Lethal to school after the match and beats referee Earl Hebner out of the ring with his shirt. Lethal reverses Flair, forcing a Flair Flop. Lethal hits a back-body drop and clotheslines Flair out of the ring. Then Styles comes in and beats Lethal down, as Kazarian finally gets up. Styles goes to finish Lethal off but Kazarian pushes him off. They start pushing and arguing and Lethal dropkicks them both out. Flair is not happy. He gets in AJ's face and he is not happy.
They cut to backstage where Shannon Moore is laid out with an ace of spades on his back.
Match #3 - Orlando Jordan (Miami, Fla.) vs. Abyss (Parts Unknown)
Jordan has Abyss pasties on his nipples.
Jordan goes to work on Abyss's sliced arm, but Abyss gets him back by ripping the pasties off his nipples in one fell swoop.
Abyss charges Jordan in the corner, but Jordan moves and rips the bandage off the sliced arm and goes to work on it. Things are going well for Jordan until he runs into a big boot. Then Abyss hits the big splash in the corner. Abyss goes to the choke slam, but Jordan rips at the wound to escape.
They head to the outside where Jordan shoves Abyss into Chelsea. She's down. Abyss drills Jordan's head into the ring post and goes to check on Chelsea when he's attacked from behind with a metal pipe by Desmond Wolfe. Shockingly, this is enough for a disqualification.
Winner via disqualification: Abyss
Wolfe and Jordan continue the beatdown until Rob Terry makes the save. Wolfe escapes the Freakbuster, but Jordan does not. Abyss regains his wits and picks Chelsea up, who is still out, and carries her to the back a la Hulk Hogan/Miss Elizabeth back in 1988.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Rob Van Dam is out, and he wants answers from Sting.
RVD says it's weird that their paths have never crossed before, but they're crossing now. But at Slammiversary, things are going to go the way Sting anticipates. So he wants Sting to come out. Stings music hits, but all we get is video of Sting going to town on RVD on March 8.
Sting appears in the rafters and says it's going to be showtime at Slammiversary.
Match #4 - TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship - Velvet Sky (The Big Apple) & Lacey Von Erich (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Taylor Wilde (Toronto, Ontario) & Sarita (Mexico City, Mexico)
This one doesn't last long. Von Erich and Sky double team Wilde, throwing her into the corner multiple times, then Von Erich hits a Von Erich Claw Slam and that's it.
Winners via pinfall and STILL TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Lacey Von Erich & Velvet Sky
Match #5 - Desmond Wolfe (London, England) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)
Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, but Wolfe counters into a modified DDT. He runs Hardy into the corner but Hardy floats over into a head scissors. Hardy goes for the Whisper in the Wind but instead of hitting Wolfe, he hits the ref. He's out. Hardy ducks the lariat and hits the Twist of Fate, but the ref is still out. Hardy goes to the ref as Wolfe rolls over and pulls what appears to be a sack of coins out of his trunks, drills Hardy with it, revives the ref and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Desmond Wolfe
Matt Morgan is in the ring griping about his tag team title loss. He says he's been told he has to find a partner for a match at Slammiversary. He issues an open invitation to anybody to tag with him. He points to Kurt Angle, who was on commentary, and asks him to come to the ring. He offers the "kid" a golden opportunity to be a star. Angle says the last time they were in the ring together, Angle pinned him. Morgan laughs. He offers Angle one more chance but attacks him before he can give an answer. They brawl for a little bit. Then Samoa Joe comes out and Morgan immediately bails.
That leaves Joe and Angle in the ring. They stare each other down before Angle walks away.
Match #6 - AJ Styles (Gainsville, Ga.) vs. Mr. Anderson (Green Bay, Wisc.)
Styles with a leap frog and then he hits Anderson with the best dropkick I've seen in a while. Styles goes for the leapfrog again, but Anderson catches him and hits the roll-through. Styles rakes the eyes and hits an enziguri. He continues to work on Anderson's head with strikes. Snap-mare into a chinlock. Anderson escapes and hits a crossbody, but Styles rolls through and puts his foot on the rope for the pin.
Winner via pinfall: AJ Styles
Despite just being defeated, Anderson calls for his microphone and tells Styles that he got him at his own game. He then clocks AJ and stomps a mud hole in him in the corner. Beer Money makes the save for Styles and stomps a mud hole in him. Making the save for Anderson is Jeff Hardy with a chair, which makes the heels scamper. This time, Hardy offers a handshake and Anderson accepts.
Matt Bishop can be reached at email@example.com. 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!.