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Impact: Roode earns No. 1 contender spot
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Impact Wrestling: With a new World Heavyweight Champion in James Storm, a new top contender is needed. New authority figure Sting books Bobby Roode to face Samoa Joe in tonight's main event. Elsewhere on the show, Jeff Hardy is officially reinstated to the TNA roster and has his first match tonight when he faces Bully Ray.

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

The champ is here! That's right, "Cowboy" James Storm is out to start tonight's broadcast. He says he wants to take a second to pay tribute to his father, who died when he was 12. He says he remembers them watching WrestleMania III together and he telling his father that he'd be world champion one day. He looks up to the heavens and says, "Dad, I'm the champion." He says he also wants to thank all the fans for helping make his dream come true.

Then he asks all of Fortune to come out. He says since Kurt Angle screwed Bobby Roode, he wants to offer Roode the first shot at his championship. Roode accepts, shaking his hand. Before we can go any further, Samoa Joe comes out. Joe offers congratulations to Storm (sincere), but says as much as they preach change for the business, he still sees the same four scumbags before he got the belt. He says they're just keeping it in the family. First it'll be Roode, then AJ Styles. He says he wants a shot.

Storm says Joe had his opportunity, but his window is closed. He notes how Joe has basically jobbed out to the entire company lately, so why should he jump to the front of the line? Joe responds because Roode already failed miserably.

Now Sting comes out. He says both have strong cases and tonight, we're going to have a No. 1 contender's match between Roode and Joe. The winner will face Storm next week, right here on Impact.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Christopher Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.)

Daniels hits a drop-toe hold that sends RVD into the bottom turnbuckle. He goes for the BME but RVD moves and hits a spinning back kick. He follows with a monkey flip that sends Daniels across the ring. Springboard thrust kick lands and he looks for Rolling Thunder, but Daniels slides out of the ring. RVD, though, hits a slingshot crossbody. He puts Daniels in the ring and goes for the Five Star but again Daniels slides to the outside.

RVD follows up again and puts Daniels across the guard rail and comes down with a leg drop off the apron. Daniels recovers near the ring and grabs a tool box. He hits RVD in the gut with it and the referee calls for the bell.

Winner via disqualification: Rob Van Dam

Daniels grabs a screwdriver out of it, but AJ Styles comes flying down to run him off.

(Ads)

Karen Jarrett, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne and Traci Brooks are out and Kim's got the mic. She says all her career she only did what people told her to do. It happened in TNA before, in WWE and probably would've happened again had it not been for Jarrett. Kim says it's not about the company you work for, it's not about the fans, it's about her. Jarrett takes the mic and tells Kim that, at Turning Point, Kim will face Velvet Sky for the title. Kim says she's not going to let Jarrett down and she's not going to let herself down.

Match #2 - Gail Kim (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Tara (San Bernardino, Calif.)

Kim attacks Tara right off the bat and the beatdown commences.

(Ads)

Kim has Tara in a submission maneuver but Tara fights out and starts to fire up. Rolling neckbreaker for two. She puts Kim on her shoulders but Kim hangs on to the ropes and then drops Tara right into the bottom rope and then chokes her with it. She follows up with the Eat Defeat and that's all she wrote.

Winner via pinfall: Gail Kim

(Ads)

Match #3 - TNA Television Championship - (c ) Eric Young (Nashville, Tenn.) vs. Robbie E (Seaside Heights, NJ)

Young on fire early on, all while mocking Robbie's fist pumping. Then, about 60 seconds into the match, Young cradles Robbie and that's it.

Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Television Champion: Robbie E

The beatdown is on with Robbie E and Rob Terry going after Young.

(Ads)

Eric Bischoff is out. He calls out his son Garrett for a little father-son chat. Bischoff says he raised Garrett so he could follow in his footsteps. He brings up semen. That's great. He says Garrett has let him down and embarrassed the entire Bischoff family. He says he's going to give Garrett about 45 minutes to apologize to him in front of everyone or he's going to beat him up.

(Ads)

The King of the Mountain is here! Jeff Jarrett just goes on a tirade about Jeff Hardy and his checkered past with TNA now that he is officially back on the roster. He rants and raves until Hardy's music hits and here he comes. We've got another brawl. Security breaks it up. Where have I seen this before?

Well, the wrinkle this week is that Bully Ray comes out and attacks Hardy from behind. They are scheduled to meet tonight.

Match #4 - Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC) vs. Bully Ray (New York City)

Ray is all over Hardy using closed fists.

(Ads)

We're back and Hardy hits a kick and then Whisper in the Wind. He goes for the Twist of Fate but Ray pushes him off and hits a big boot. Now he applies, of all things in the world, a nerve hold. Hardy works his way to a vertical base but Ray puts a stop to that. Body slam for Ray followed by an elbow drop for two. He hits some crossfaces and goes for another elbow drop but Hardy gets out of the way. He tries to fire up but Ray just smacks him down. Ray charges Hardy in the corner but Hardy gets his feet up. He goes to the middle rope and hits a leg drop.

Ray cuts him off briefly but misses a splash. Hardy follows that with a Twist of Fate. He goes to the top and hits the Swanton Bomb and that's it.

Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy

(Ads)

After the match, Hardy goes an interview with Christy Hemme when he's attacked by Jarrett. Jarrett and Ray go to put Hardy through a table when Mr. Anderson waddles down the ramp to make the save.

Match #5 - No. 1 Contender's Match - Samoa Joe (Isle of Samoa) vs. Bobby Roode (Toronto, Ontario)

Roode and Joe slug and slap it out in the middle of the ring. Joe misses a clothesline and Roode comes back with a flying forearm and a clothesline. He boots Joe and hits a neckbreaker off the middle rope for two. He goes for the PerfectPlex but Joe counters into a modified DVD for two. He loads Roode up for the Musclebuster but Roode slips out of it and locks in the crossface. Joe rolls into a pin and Roode escapes.

Joe follows with a gutbuster and goes for an ankle lock but Roode gets out of it and hits the PerfectPlex and gets the fall.

Winner via pinfall: Bobby Roode

(Ads)

Eric Bischoff is back out and he calls out his son, Garrett, again, for the potential apology. He tells Garrett he forgives him for what he did, getting caught up in the emotion. He knows what it's like to be young and dumb. He tells Garrett to go ahead and tell the world he's sorry.

He sticks the mic in Garrett's face and he's hesitant. And again. Bischoff says he's pushing him to the point where he might not be able to forgive him. Garrett says no. Bischoff slaps him and says to apologize. Garrett grabs him and Ric Flair comes out. He pushes Garrett off. Flair grabs the mic and says Garrett is going to apologize, not only to Bischoff, but he wants him to kiss his rear. Flair says he's really going to mess Garrett up. Now he takes his jacket off. He pushes Garrett and Garrett fires back with a right hand. Flair kicks him and Bischoff low blows him.

Now we've got a double team. Flair lights him up with chops and punches. Some more low blows. Bad night for Garrett.

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!.