Impact: Sting, Roode continue to clash
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Impact Wrestling: After a funny finish Sunday at Against All Odds, the world title picture gains a bit of clarity. On this show, Bobby Roode defends his championship against Jeff Hardy while Bully Ray and James Storm battle to determine the No. 1 contender in front of New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
Tonight's taped show emanates from the Impact Zone in Orlando. "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.
He is still the champion and he is out to start the show. Here comes Bobby Roode with a giant smirk on his face. He notes, like I did, that he is still the world champion. The fans chant for Jeff Hardy. He goes on further before Sting comes out. He notes Roode got the better of him Sunday night. Tonight, he's out to get right with Hardy. He says tonight, Hardy is coming Roode's way. Tonight, Roode and Hardy will meet in a no time limit, no disqualification match for the world title. Oh yeah, and that match starts right after the break.
Match #1 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship - (c) Bobby Roode (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)
Hardy off to a hot start. Roode takes a run at Hardy only to be backdropped over the top rope and to the floor. Of course, Hardy can't just look at Roode there, so he comes over the top rope with a crossbody. Hardy grabs a chair and whacks Roode with it. He is all over Roode on the outside, completely in control.
Hardy puts Roode against the guard rail and hits Poetry in Motion off the steps and is dominating this contest.
Hardy remains in control until he goes to the top for the Whisper in the Wind and Roode shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch Hardy. Roode violently flings Hardy under the bottom rope and to the floor. Roode attempts a piledriver on the floor but Hardy backdrops him. Hardy takes Roode up to the top of the stage and throws him to the concrete floor, but Roode mostly lands on his feet, minimizing the damage. Hardy then comes off the stage with a flying clothesline onto Roode.
Hardy moves back toward the ring with Roode when he is attacked from behind by, of all people, Kurt Angle. Angle throws Hardy into the steps and then back in the ring. He stands and turns right into a monster spear by Roode, who covers and gets the pin.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Roode
Match #2 - Austin Aries (Minneapolis, Minn.) & Zema Ion (The Philippines) vs. Alex Shelley (Detroit, Mich.) & Shannon Moore (Whispering Pines, NC)
Moore with a sliding dropkick to Aries and he follows that up with a dive to the floor. Ion hits Moore with his hairspray can and that apparently goes undetected. Moore and Aries back in the ring. Shelley gets the tag but misses the double stomp. Aries knocks Moore off the apron and Shelley goes for Sliced Bread but Aries counters it. Ion tags himself in unbeknownst to Aries. Aries goes for the brainbuster but Shelley slips out. Ion shocks Shelley by rolling him up and pinning him.
Winners via pinfall: Zema Ion & Austin Aries
Match #3 - Battle Royal - Tara vs. Brooke Tessmacher vs. Sarita vs. Rosita vs. Winter vs. Angelina Love vs. ODB vs. Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne
Eliminations coming hot and heavy here. I'm not sure if Madison Rayne is in the match. If she is, your final four is her, Sarita, Angelina and Velvet. Rayne is just chilling on the outside with Gail Kim. They go at it. Angelina and Sarita team up on Velvet with Sarita applying a CHIN LOCK in a battle royal. Angelina decides to show her how it's done and hits a Botox Injection. She tries to throw her over but gets double crossed by Sarita, who comes up from behind and dumps her.
Sarita charges Velvet but Velvet low bridges her. But before she can celebrate for too long, Rayne comes flying in (even with high heels) and dumps Velvet.
Winner and No. 1 contender: Madison Rayne
Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair and Gunner are out. Bischoff breaks out the champagne and cigars celebrating Gunner's win over his son Garett on Sunday at Against All Odds. Bischoff wishes Garett well in his future endeavors. Isn't that someone else's line? They drink champagne and that's it.
Match #4 - No. 1 Contender's Match - Bully Ray (New York City) vs. James Storm (Leiper's Fork, Tenn.)
Ray in control early and he works on Storm's leg. He takes Storm's boot off. This is all Bully Ray here as he continues to work Storm's left leg with absolute precision. Storm can barely put any weight on it when Ray gives him a second to breathe.
We're back and Ray remains in control, still going to work on that vulnerable lower left leg. Storm, though, gets going. He hits the Codebreaker. Ray misses a big boot and Storm hits the Last Call Superkick out of nowhere and that does it. Wow. Incredible comeback by Storm.
Winner via pinfall: James Storm
Storm celebrates in the ring with some beers. New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who was at ringside, comes over the rail to celebrate with Storm. As they celebrate, Ray cheap shots Storm. Now he and Jacobs stare each other down. Earl Hebner tries to get between them. Ray takes Jacobs' beer. Ray drinks the beer and spits it in Jacobs' face. Jacobs responds by shoving Ray straight back into the ring apron and to the floor. Storm holds Jacobs back and then the agents hit the ring to try to hold Jacobs back. He's a wee bit angry. That's an understatement.
Sting is in the ring. He says he needs to speak with Bobby Roode. Sting lets Roode know he'll be defending his title against Storm inside of a steel cage in April at Lockdown. Roode responds by kicking Sting between the legs. He puts the boots to him, puts on Sting's sunglasses, picks him up and hits him with a belt shot, busting him open.
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!.