Impact: Hardy meets Storm to determine No. 1 contender
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Impact Wrestling: With more uncertainty surrounding last week's main event between Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy, Hardy has to work his way back up the ladder. To get another shot at Roode's championship, he has to get through James Storm as the two meet for a title shot. Elsewhere, the Knockouts are inside the not-so-friendly confines of a steel cage as Mickie James and Madison Rayne battle it out.
Tonight's taped show emanates from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla. "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.
The top contender is here! James Storm is out to start the show. He tells Bobby Roode that he is going to whoop his behind at Against All Odds. Before he can spit out his catchphrase, he is interrupted by Jeff Hardy. He tells Storm nobody is getting a title shot before he gets his last encounter. Storm barely gets off a rebuttal before Roode's music hits.
Roode tries to argue that since the match between Hardy and himself did not have a finish, that Storm's No. 1 contendership has been overturned. He tells Hardy that he's already has enough shots, therefore no title shot for him here.
Well, if you guessed at this point that Sting would be coming out next, you've got the pattern down, too. Because here comes the Stinger and he isn't dressed in ridiculous garb this week. I'm disappointed. Anyway, Sting says tonight there will be another No. 1 contender's match between Storm and Hardy. Ta ta for now.
Match #1 - Gunner (Atlanta, Ga.) vs. AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.)
After regrouping outside, Gunner comes back in and takes over. He works various holds on Styles, including a waistlock. Styles turns around and starts trying some offense, but Gunner whips him off the ropes and hits a high knee. Gunner puts Styles on the apron and tries to run him into the post, but Styles blocks it, punches Gunner and hits the flying forearm. As he does this, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian come out.
Styles with a kick to the head and Ric Flair jumps on the apron. Behind the referee's back, Kazarian jumps up and delivers a clothesline to Styles. This allows Gunner to hit a DDT and that is it.
Winner via pinfall: Gunner
Gunner tries to deliver a piledriver on the floor but Styles escapes through the crowd.
Match #2 - Magnus (Kingsland, England) vs. Crimson (Brooklyn, NY)
Crimson delivers the Red Sky within short order and finishes Magnus.
Winner via pinfall: Crimson
Samoa Joe hits the ring after the match and attacks Crimson. He also takes out the referee in the process. Magnus recovers and joins in until Morgan makes the save. As Morgan works on Magnus, Joe chop blocks him. Magnus hits Crimson with a move that takes him out and then Joe hits the kick combo in the corner which leads to the snap mare and elbow drop from Magnus.
Match #3 - Steel Cage Match - Mickie James (Richmond, Va.) vs. Madison Rayne (Seattle, Wash.)
James hits a sit-out power bomb right off the bat and Rayne is down. James goes to work with a side headlock that has Rayne in bad position. Rayne works her way out and clobbers James.
We're back and Rayne is in control. She hits her face buster. She whips James into the corner and then smashes her face again by pulling the hair. Now the two start slugging it out in the centre of the ring. James gets the better of it and hits a series of clotheslines and forearms. James throws Rayne into both sides of the cage and then hits the jumping DDT and that is it.
Winner via pinfall: Mickie James
Here comes Austin Aries to the ring. He says there's no one in Impact Wrestling that's in his league. He says maybe he needs to hop on his yacht and sail around the world to find some competition because it's not here in Impact Wrestling. Of course, as he says this, some music hits, and it's one we haven't heard in a while. It's Alex Shelley.
He says he's happy to be back. He throws some verbal darts at Aries. Aries says he wants a man to challenge him, not some little boy. Shelley says he talked to Chris Sabin, who gave him the OK to come back. Aries runs him down and says he's not a threat to him. He says Shelley has to earn his title shot. He tells him to beat anyone in the back and he gets a shot. Shelley says Aries can pick who he faces and after he beats them, he's coming for that title at Against All Odds.
Match #4 - Angelina Love (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Eric Young (Nashville, Tenn.)
Young locks up with the referee and then some fans. He locks up with the referee again and Love has seen enough and just kicks Young low right in front of the ref.
Winner via disqualification: Eric Young
Love and Winter put the boots to Young until ODB makes the save. They overtake her until Young recovers and makes the save for her. Young and ODB make out. Yum.
Match #5 - James Storm (Leiper's Fork, Tenn.) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)
Back-and-forth match. Both men unable to gain much of an advantage until Storm grabs a chinlock and keeps Hardy down in the centre of the ring. Hardy, though, is able to escape and hits a side Russian leg sweep. He follows with a Whisper in the Wind for two. Now it's Hardy who goes to work with a chinlock. Storm elbows his way out eventually and grabs Hardy for the Eye of the Storm. He starts turning but Hardy slides out. Instead, he grabs him again and hits a sliding side slam for two.
Storm starts winding up the clock for the Last Call Superkick. Hardy blocks it and hits a modified Twist of Fate. He goes to the top rope but Storm cuts him off and crotches him. Storm goes up with him and is looking for a superplex, but Hardy pushes him off. Hardy is slow, though, and Storm comes back and hits a jumping kick. Storm goes back up for the superplex and this time, he hits it.
As both men are down, Bully Ray enters the ring and attacks referee Brian Hebner out of nowhere. He starts beating both Hardy and Storm with his chain. He continues to assault both men and takes out another referee in the process. Here comes Sting, though, with his signature bat. For some reason, Ray runs right at him and eats a shot to the gut. He runs him off.
Back in the ring, Bobby Roode comes in and drills both Storm and Hardy with his championship belt.
Roode grabs the mic and says by the powers invested in him as the champion, he declares this match a no contest.
This match is a no contest
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.