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Impact: Title picture still a mess
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on TNA Impact: With Jeff Hardy out of the picture after Sunday's decibel at Victory Road, a new contender is needed for Sting's TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Many people want in, so Eric Bischoff books a four-way between Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, AJ Styles and Bully Ray. Again, though, the match ends in chaos.

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

Sting is out with a new TNA World Heavyweight Championship (much better looking than both the Jeff Hardy one and the one before that) and he immediately calls out Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. Sting hands the Hardy belt to Hogan and Hogan immediately throws it over the top rope to the floor.

Sting wants to know how it feels to have destroyed Hardy's career. He says Hardy is responsible for his own choices and choose a road that led him to a dead end, but it was Hogan and Bischoff's influences that twisted his mind. He says Hogan painted a picture that's not even real. He says there's nothing he can do for Hardy, but he can do something for the 50 or so guys in the back who have talent and are ready to go.

Hogan asks Sting who he is. He says it's Hardy that let Immortal down, not the other way around. Hogan says even on Hardy's best day, he couldn't live in the Hulk Hogan-Immortal shadow and it was his own shortcomings that were responsible for his demise. He says everybody makes their own deal and Sting better worry about saving his own ass because Immortal's in control. Hogan says his cell phone has been ringing off the phone, jack, with people who want a piece of Sting. He says everyone's replaceable, especially Sting, so put that in your Stinger pipe and smoke it. OH SNAP.

Sting calls Hogan out Hogan on the phone ringing off the hook line because he only sees Hogan and Bischoff every week. Then Bully Ray's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He says he's the one who's been ringing his phone off the hook because he's wanted this opportunity all his life. He points out there'd be no business without Hogan and he asks Sting is that "burns his ass." Ray says Sting is jealous and has everyone fooled. He calls him selfish. It's not about the guys in the back, it's about him and he only came back because he could never one-up Hogan.

Ray addresses Hogan and says he wants to take Sting out and become the champion. Ray says no matter where Sting steps he'll never be out of Hogan's shadow. Hogan tells Ray to not waste his time on that piece of garbage but before he can finish his thought, Fortune's music hits. They make their way to the ring.

(Ads)

Styles has the mic and says Fortune has Sting's back 100 percent. He turns his attention to Ray and says he had a partner that carried the load the last 15 years. Without Devon, he says, there'd be no titles, no Team 3D and tells him he can't make it on his own. Ray says he wants to smack Styles in the face and knock the silver spoon out of his mouth. Styles takes his coat off and Ray backs off. Ray says if it wasn't for Dixie wiping his ass the last eight years, AJ would be out on the street. He says Styles doesn't belong in the same ring as the giants. Ray then turns to Hogan and says sorry about the interruption and about his title shot. Styles then gives Ray an interruption and slaps him. Hogan holds Ray back and says they have bigger fish to fry as Mr. Anderson's music plays.

He wants to know where his rematch is. He and Hogan go back and forth and it ends in Anderson calling Hogan "Terrance." Oh boy. Now you know it's serious. Bischoff says he has an idea that's all about money. He proposes they have a four-way match tonight. Anderson against Rob Van Dam, Bully Ray and AJ Styles. The winner gets Sting. Anderson is upset and says Bischoff can't do that and Bischoff and Hogan point out they just did. Hit their music.

(Ads)

Match #1 - TNA Knockouts Championship - (c) Madison Rayne (Seattle, Wash.) vs. Alissa Flash (San Francisco, Calif.)

Rayne attacks Flash from behind as she's making her entrance. Regardless of this pre-match beatdown, the ref calls for the bell. She throws her in the ring, hits the Rayne Drop and that's it.

Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Madison Rayne

Rayne and Tara start to beat on Flash but Mickie James comes down and runs them off. She grabs and mic and tells them to get back. She wants a shot at the title. Rayne wants to know why Mickie things she can waltz in and get title shot after title shot. Rayne wants Mickie to make it worth her while. Mickie says whatever, let's do it. Rayne says she wants Mickie's hair on the line. Mickie accepts.

(Ads)

The Pope is in the ring with an extremely large woman, a man in a wheelchair and a blind man. He's going to help each of these people get better. He starts with the blind man. He takes his glasses off and says he's going to use some of the Pope's oil. This "oil" is him spitting on his hands, rubbing them together and putting them over his eyes. Magically, he's "cured." Then he moves to the man in the wheelchair. He shows he's handicap by repeatedly kicking him in the legs. We probably aren't even halfway through this segment yet and this is probably the worst segment I've seen on Impact in a long time. He rubs his legs, slaps his forehead and he's cured. Hooray. It's a miracle.

He moves to the rather rotunda woman. He says he doesn't think even Jesus could help her lose weight. Then Samoa Joe's music hits and I think I popped bigger for him coming out to end this travesty than I have for anything lately.

Pope hides behind the three people and then leaves the ring and pulls Okada out and, I kid you not, holds a knife to his throat. Then we find out it's a fake knife as he throws Okada down the tunnel. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

(Ads)

Jeff and Karen Jarrett are out. Jarrett wants to offer a truce to Kurt Angle. He says they have to coexist for "his kids." He would like Angle to come out and beg for forgiveness so they can all move on.

Angle comes out with his rather large present in his arms. Angle has a smile on his face. I hope it's not an ax in there. Angle says Jarrett is the better man, the husband and father he could never be. He says he brought Jarrett a peace offering so they could coexist. Jarrett asks if Angle is being sincere. Jarrett starts opening the gift and it's a new guitar. Jarrett actually hugs Angle and then he, Angle and Karen all raise their hands up. Now here comes the swerve. Angle grabs the guitar and drills Jarrett with it. In a humorous moment, Karen tries to low blow Angle but he's wearing a cup. Jarrett is busted open, probably hardway. Angle says he's going to get medevil on someone and he doesn't know who. He wants Jarrett one-on-one at Lockdown. If he doesn't accept, he's going to find both Jeff and Karen and make their lives so miserable they don't want to live another day. It's real.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Triple Threat Match for the Vacant TNA World Television Championship - Gunner vs. Murphy vs. Rob Terry (Cardiff, Wales)

Gunner and Murphy go right after Terry until Gunner turns on Murphy. Terry, though, hits Gunner with a double sledge. Murphy and Terry now going toe-to-toe. Murphy gets the better of it before running right into a spinning back kick. Terry poses and turns around into a spear from Gunner. Then he lines Murphy up and hits a DVD and that's it.

Winner via pinfall and NEW TNA World Television Champion: Gunner

(Ads)

Match #3 - Street Fight - Hernandez (Houston, Texas), Sarita (Mexico City, Mexico) & Rosita vs. Matt Morgan (Fairfield, Conn.), Angelina Love (Toronto, Ontario) & Winter (England)

Morgan connects with the discus clothesline but Sarita and Rosita jump on his back and he just shrugs them off. Winter cranks Rosita with a spinning backbreaker and that's it. This lasted like a minute.

Winners via pinfall: Matt Morgan, Angelina Love & Winter

After the match, Morgan is attacked by the man who came out of the crowd at Victory Road.

(Ads)

Match #4 - Fatal Four Way Match to Determine the No. 1 Contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship - AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.) vs. Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.) vs. Bully Ray (New York City) vs. Mr. Anderson (Green Bay, Wisc.)

Bully Ray in control for a lot of the match but then he and Styles start brawling on the outside. In the ring, Anderson and RVD are going at it. Anderson hits RVD with a back suplex on a chair but both men take the brunt of it and both of their shoulders are down, so referee Earl Hebner makes the count.

Hebner goes to tell Jeremy Borash his decision when Ray clocks both of them. Styles hits Ray with a kick and the two start violently brawling up the ramp. Styles grabs a chair and Ray trips and falls. Styles starts to wind up when Ric Flair delivers a low blow from behind. And several more. Ray looks down from the stage and loads Styles up and delivers a sitout power bomb through the table. Both men are down. Styles is not in good shape. Agents, doctors and referees are out to check on them.

(Ads)

Both men are being attended to. Ray starts kicking the EMTs and the agents. AJ's neck has been immobilized. Ray is near the announce table and screams "I hope you never wrestle again!" He then tells someone, "I'll bust your ass you fag." Yes, TNA allowed this to make air. I wish I could be making these lapses in judgment up at this point. First the Jeff Hardy thing Sunday, now this. Absolutely inexcusable. That killed a great segment for me. It boggles my mind how one company can time and time again show such poor judgment.

Anyway, Styles is wheeled off to the back and into an ambulance with tubes in him. Heavy ending to the show.

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!.