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Impact: Network books Hardy/RVD title match
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on TNA Impact: It appears "the network" is in charge tonight. Rob Van Dam never got a title shot after having to relinquish the title in September. Apparently Spike TV has decided tonight's the night for RVD to get his long-awaited title match as he faces Jeff Hardy. Elsewhere, Ric Flair makes his return and decides which side to take - Fortune or Immortal.

As always, tonight's taped show emanates from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla. "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.

Immortal is out to start the show. I feel like this is 2009 again where each show opened with a Main Event Mafia promo. Eric Bischoff welcomes out the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Jeff Hardy.

As Bischoff is talking, Ric Flair is shown arriving backstage. Bischoff says Immortal is back on top where they belong. Bischoff says they wanted to give Hardy some time off but he got a call from the network who said he is going to face Rob Van Dam for the title. Now Bischoff addresses Ric Flair. He says he's going to give Flair until next week to come out and explain himself but Flair's music hits and here he comes.

Flair says no one tells him what to do and when to do it. He says he and the Hardy's are tight and he and Bischoff were getting tight and after 25 years of hating each other, he and Hogan were getting there. He says he'll bring the family together or separate them and he'll talk to him later.

(Ads)

Matt Hardy and AJ Styles are brawling backstage and Immortal makes the save for Hardy and Fortune does the same for Styles.

Match #1 - Douglas Williams (The United Kingdom) vs. Hernandez (Houston, Texas)

Hernandez attacks Williams from behind as he's coming to the ring. He's being cheered on by Sarita and Rosita. He throws Williams in the ring and the referee, with Williams half dead, calls for the bell anyway.

Now Velvet Sky comes down and starts brawling with Sarita but Rosita is all over her and is choking her until Angelina Love makes the save there. In the ring, Hernandez is choking Williams with his shirt. He tosses Williams around and then absolutely kills Williams with a horrific Border Toss, throwing him right on his neck. It's a miracle Williams didn't get his neck broken. Absolutely sickening. That move should be banned after that. Completely irresponsible. I have so much rage about this right now.

Winner via pinfall: Hernandez

(Ads)

The Pope is out and he's got a roasted pig in the ring on a table and says this pig is a "Sloppy Joe." Thankfully Joe's music hits as Pope tries to sell pieces of the pig to the crowd. Akado keeps Pope in the ring from behind and Joe comes in, delivers the Muscle Buster though the table and the pig and stuffs the apple in his mouth.

(Ads)

Robbie E. and Cookie are in the ring and Robbie is complaining about only having to wrestle one dude instead of two at Against All Odds. So he wants his rematch.

Match #2 - TNA X Division Championship - (c) Kazarian (Anaheim, Calif.) vs. Robbie E. (Seaside Heights, NJ)

Kazarian getting the better of things when Cookie, who was sent to the back earlier, comes out and whacks Kazarian with her purse right as he was getting ready to finish off Robbie.

Winner via disqualification and STILL TNA X Division Champion: Kazarian

Robbie starts beating on Kazarian and calls Cookie into the ring and she starts choking him. Then Traci Brooks comes out and attacks Cookie and has to be pulled off by Kazarian.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Matt Hardy (Cameron, NC) vs. AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.)

Styles gets off to a hot start but is cut off by Hardy as he tries to reenter the ring. Flair comes out as Hardy applies a chinlock. Hardy rakes the eyes and this upsets Styles and he trips Hardy and hits a clothesline and goes for the Styles Clash but Hardy escapes. Styles hits a dropkick and is going for the springboard forearm but is pushed off the rope by Flair. Swerve! Hardy hits the Twist of Hate and that's it.

Winner via pinfall: Matt Hardy

Hardy and Flair put the boots to Styles until Fortune makes the save.

(Ads)

Mr. Anderson is out and he is not happy. He calls out Bischoff. Anderson gets right in his face and is upset about RVD facing Jeff Hardy tonight. He says he thought the ex-champ was first in line. Bischoff explains everything out in a very logical manner, making Anderson look like a hothead buffoon. Anderson asks to be put in the ring. Bischoff says maybe RVD got the shot because the network didn't like things he did. Anderson says he's take the word "asshole" out of his vocabulary. Bischoff says he can't give Anderson a rematch tonight, but he can put him in the main event, as the special guest referee. Anderson accepts and then gives Bischoff the Mic Check.

(Ads)

Match #4 - Angelina Love & Velvet Sky vs. Sarita & Rosita

The Beautiful People in complete control early. Nice backbreaker connects for Angelina on Sarita and then she brings in Velvet and Sarita mule kicks her and immediately puts her down. Velvet spins both of them over but eats a jawbreaker from Rosita. Sarita in now and Velvet goes for a DDT but Rosita stops that. Angelina takes her and throws her to outside. Horrible head-scissors for Velvet. She stands by the ropes and Rosita pulls Velvet's feet. Sarita covers, puts her feet on the ropes and Rosita holds them there, completely in full view of referee Earl "Blind" Hebner.

Winners via pinfall: Sarita & Rosita

Velvet grabs a mic and says the only way Sarita beats her is by cheating. She says they are going to finish this. Sarita calls Velvet a joke and says something in Spanish. She's stealing Ricardo Rodriguez's gimmick! Sarita says if Velvet wants her, she needs to put something on the line and Sarita says Velvet needs to put her career on the line. It appears Velvet accepts.

(Ads)

Match #5 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship - (c) Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC) vs. Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.)

Mr. Anderson is your special guest referee.

RVD pulling out some different things including a lateral drop and body slams here.

RVD goes for the split-legged moonsault but Hardy gets his knees up. Hardy dropkicks RVD against the post and RVD falls to the outside. Chinlock for Hardy now. Hardy with a back elbow. He goes for Whisper in the Wind but RVD moves and hits the crashed Hardy with a standing moonsault. Rolling Thunder hits for RVD but Hardy kicks out.

RVD just drilling Hardy with kicks now. Spinning heel kick destroys Hardy. He goes to the top but takes too long and Hardy shoves him off and he hits the barricade. RVD in a bad way here. Hardy throws RVD back in the ring and hits the Swanton Bomb but RVD kicks out.

Hardy not happy with the count and gets in Anderson's face. He goes to pick up RVD but eats a jawbreaker and a kick. Now RVD to the top and he connects with the Five-Star Frog Splash. He goes for the cover but Hardy gets his leg on the rope. They stand and RVD accidentally pushes Hardy into Anderson. He's fine, but as Anderson seethes, Hardy mule kicks RVD, backs away from Anderson and hits the Twist of Hate and that's it.

Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy

Anderson raises Hardy's hand and then gives him the Mic Check. Now RVD gets in Anderson's face about the low blow and Anderson gives him the Mic Check as well.

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.