Impact: Hardy, Aries battle for title
MATT BISHOP and BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Impact Wrestling: It's Championship Thursday and the three titles are on the line, but none bigger than the one-fall match between Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Who will come out on top in the third meeting between the two? Should be a good one!
Tonight's show is TAPED! from the Impact Zone in Orlando. Todd Keneley, "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.
Match #1 - TNA Television Championship - (c) Devon (New York City) vs. Kurt Angle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
A brawl breaks out between Aces & Eights and Wes Brisco, Garett Bischoff and Samoa Joe on the outside. As Angle is watching this, Devon clips him from behind.
Devon working on the knee. Angle, though, is able to work to his feet and hits a dropkick. Angle can't get a lot of speed going, but he does hit a belly-to-belly. He goes for an Angle Slam but Devon slips out and hits a spinebuster for two. Angel hits the triple Germans. Angle locks in the ankle lock right in the centre of the ring, but the Aces & eights come back out, distracting Brian Hebner. Devon taps, but the refs don't see it and a member of the group comes in from behind and hits Angle with a pipe.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Television Champion: Devon
Match #2 - Matt Morgan (Fairfield, Conn.) & Joey Ryan (Hollywood, Calif.) vs. Kenny King (Las Vegas, Nev.) & Rob Van Dam (Battle Creek, Mich.)
Morgan levels King with a clothesline. Morgan is in total control. He brings in Ryan, but he gets overtaken and King tags in RVD. Big kick drops Ryan, but he rakes RVD's eyes. King in and he hits a spin kick, but Morgan comes in and King just says peace out and Morgan cracks RVD with the Carbon Footprint and puts Ryan on him for the cover.
Winners via pinfall: Joey Ryan & Matt Morgan
Hulk Hogan is out. He's talking about having the fans vote for the Impact wrestler of the year. Before he can go too much farther, Aces & Eights make their way to the ringside area. Devon says 2012 wasn't Hogan's year, it was the year they were born. The year they beat the hell out of the TNA roster. He says 2013 will be the year for Aces & Eights and Hogan won't be around to see any of it unfold.
They circle the ring until Bully Ray hits the ring and chases them off. Well, Hogan's not having much of that and just walks off.
Match #3 - TNA Knockouts Championship - (c) Tara (Louisville, Ky.) vs. Mickie James (Richmond, Va.)
Mickie tries a handsprings victory roll, but only gets two. She then goes for a low dropkick, but Jessie trips her, allowing Tara to get a two-count. Jessie’s interference gives Tara a significant advantage, as she pretty much has her way with Mickie in the next few minutes. She violently whips Mickie into the fair corner, but wastes too much time going for a kiss from Jessie, which ends up costing her, as she barely gets two. Tara goes for her spinning sidewalk slam out of a firewoman’s carry, which she now calls the spider web (about time they named that move), but Mickie counters with a flying headscissors. Tara comes back with a standing moonsault for two. Mickie hits a neckbreaker for two. Tara goes for the widow’s peak, but Mickie wiggles free and hits the swinging DDT, but Jessie reaches in and pulls Tara out of the pinning predicament. As the power couple attempts to leave, Mickie meets them on the floor with a high crossbody. She then slaps Jessie and tosses Tara back in the ring. Jessie once again provides a distraction, allowing Tara to put Velvet Sky to shame with a facebuster for the win.
Winner: Tara by pinfall
Footage from earlier in the week is shown of Joseph Park’s next training session. Danny Davis is yelling at Park for not being aggressive enough. During training, one of the trainees smashes Park in the mouth, which causes him to snap and hit the blackhole slam on the poor guy.
Match #4: (c) Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Hardy gets the crowd right into it as he introduces Aries’ head to the turnbuckles. Aries fights back and tries a hilo, but gets nothing but knees. Aries fights back with a back elbow for two, but is unable to build any momentum, as he’s quickly clotheslined over the top to the floor. Hardy runs off the apron, but Aries avoids him and Hardy crashes into the guardrail. Aries then finally hits the hilo for two. Aries uses the top rope to elevate him for an elbow drop for two. Hardy retaliates with a flying headscissor into a faceplant out of the corner. He then comes off the top rope with an attempted splash, but Aries gets the knees up. Hardy rebounds and hits a modified gourdbuster. Hardy then plants Aries with a falling front slam and then delivers a big splash off the middle rope for two. Hardy again goes for the headscissors out of the corner, but Aries catches his legs and crotches him on the top rope. Aries follows up with a running dropkick in the corner. Hardy fires back with a reverse powerbomb. He then goes for the whisper in the wind, but Aries avoids it. Aries goes for the brainbuster, but Hardy blocks it and nails the twist of fate. With Aries not sufficiently weakened, Hardy goes for another one, but Aries counters. Aries comes off the middle rope right into an inverted atomic drop. Hardy then goes for a double-footed gut stomp, but Aries kicks him backwards into the referee. As Hardy checks on the ref, Aries delivers a low blow and then the brainbuster. A new ref comes to the ring to make the count, but he gets pulled out by Bobby Roode, who runs out to ringside. Roode then climbs in the ring and starts making the count, as if he’s the ref, because Aries has his back turned, as he is pinning Hardy. Roode stops the count at two, which causes Aries to turn around. Roode flips Aries the bird and then plants him with a double R spinebuster. Hardy gets back up and hits Aries with the twist of fate and then the swanton for the win.
Winner: Jeff Hardy by pinfall
The Reaction crew catches up to Hulk Hogan in the parking lot. Hogan says the first thing on his agenda in 2013 is to get everything straightened out in the World Title picture. Hervey then asks him if this thing with Bully Ray and Brooke has distracted him from dealing with Aces and 8s. Hogan says it isn’t a distraction, but then he sees Bully Ray and Brooke getting out of a car (I don’t know how these two did not see him there, as this is like three cars over). Bully Ray and Brooke start making out in front of the car (way to be discreet). After seeing this, Hogan is disgusted and drives off.
Blaine van der Griend of The Fight Network contributed.