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Home arrow Television arrow 2013 Stories arrow IMPACT: Back in the Zone
IMPACT: Back in the Zone
Mar 04, 2013 at 02:42 PM

Impact was back in the USA this week, and the first man into the ring was Bully Ray, who cordially invited the World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy – his Lockdown opponent – out for a quick chat.

All was good and friendly until all three members of Bad Influence crashed the party:  Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and an appletini.  Kazarian didn’t accept that Bully had properly earned his title match, and Daniels felt very strongly that he deserved a turn, having proved himself against Hardy previously.  The appletini’s opinions were not recorded, as Bully snatched it from Daniels’ hand, slugged it back, dribbled it out into the glass and threw the whole thing back at Daniels’ face.

After the obligatory brawl, Bad Influence fled, and Bully declared that he and Jeff would see them again in a tag match.

In Hulk Hogan’s vacant office, Sting weighed up his options for Team TNA.  Magnus put his own case very strongly.

Gail Kim joined the commentary team for the Knockouts Championship re-match between Tara and Velvet Sky.  Tara was straight into the fight, as Gail bagged Knockouts referee Taryn Terrell for incompetence.

As so often happens when Tara’s in the ring these days, the turning point came down to her boo Jessie trying to interfere on her behalf.  Referee Taryn Terrell finally had enough and threw him out of the arena. 

As Tara tried to plead Jessie’s case, Velvet Sky hit her with an In Yo Face and took a pretty simple pin – though Gail snarked that it was a fast three-count, and she may have a point there.  Velvet Sky retained the Knockouts Championship and will face Gail Kim at Lockdown.

Backstage, Austin Aries was trying to figure out where his partner Bobby Roode had got to.  He was very rudely interrupted by Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, who reminded him about the three-way tag match they’d be in at Lockdown, together with Bad Influence.  Meanwhile?  They’d arranged a nice little match for Aries – up against Hernandez.

Elsewhere, Kenny King was being smug and annoying, and pestered X-Division Champion Rob van Dam in a smug and annoying way.  RVD agreed to one more match against King just to shut him up, and put the X-Division belt on the line.

Aries faced Hernandez, and it was absolutely no surprise that he made little headway against the giant wall of Latino-ness.  There were some very nice, quick sequences, but Hernandez left Aries nowhere to go.

So Aries cheated.  He distracted Hernandez with one of the tag team championship belts, pulled a chain out of his trunks, knocked Hernandez out, and stole the pin, adding insult to injury by stuffing the chain down Hernandez’s trunks.

Backstage, Joseph Park put himself forward as a potential candidate for Team TNA.  Sting placated him, then approached Matt Morgan, who of course wanted nothing to do with anyone associated with Hulk Hogan.

Rob van Dam then faced smug-and-annoying Kenny King.  RVD put on his typical excellent technical show, while Kenny King seemed increasingly annoyed that victory wasn’t being handed to him.

King had occasional good pieces of offence, but RVD was in control for most of the match.  He went high for the 450 Splash – but King rolled out of the way and got a very messy two-count on the champ, then delivered a Royal Flush and finished the job.

Kenny King is now the X-Division Champion, and may God have mercy on our souls.

Backstage, Kurt Angle took a look at Sting’s lineup for Team TNA, and wasn’t 100% positive on it.

Five Aces and 8s now entered the arena.  Devon spent a little bit of time slagging off Hulk Hogan and Sting before announcing Team Aces and 8s’ line-up for Lockdown:  Devon (captain), DOC, Mike Knox, Mr Anderson, and Garett Bischoff.

Sting entered and replied with his own lineup:  Samoa Joe, Cowboy James Storm, and Magnus.  But wasn’t there one missing?  It was Eric Young, who jumped the Aces and 8s from behind in the ring.  His teammates quickly joined him, and Team TNA was momentarily triumphant, reclaiming the squared circle.

As the Aces and 8s stormed out of the arena, they were followed by a surprisingly-stealthy Kurt Angle.

We then caught up with the two Gut Check contenders for the evening:  Ivelisse Valez, formerly of WWE Tough Enough but now redheaded, and Lei’D Tapa, a stunningly big Tongan woman and niece of The Barbarian.

The match was pretty fantastic, and certainly better than almost any women’s match broadcast in recent memory on WWE programming.  Lei’D Tapa was a monster, throwing Ivelisse all over the place, and Ivelisse responded by digging into her MMA background and going heavy on the choke holds.

Despite taking a resounding Samoan Drop (possibly shortly to be renamed Tongan Drop if it’s Lei’D doing it?) Ivelisse applied a guillotine choke and made the big woman tap.

Austin Aries sought out Jeff Hardy backstage to pep-talk him about his upcoming tag match.  Jeff seemed unimpressed.

We caught up with AJ Styles’ family back in Gainesville, Georgia – his wife and best friend both agreeing he’d been a different person.  AJ himself appeared, looking nice and scruffy, but flounced off on his motorcycle before he would answer any questions.

Robbie E took to the mic to beg the forgiveness of Robbie T.  Sometimes, a bro has to acknowledge there’s a bigger bro.  Rob Terry entered and was invited to show off his dance skills again – only to be attacked from behind by Robbie E wielding the VIP Entrance sign.

Robbie E briefly got to celebrate his treachery before Rob Terry hulked out, at which point Robbie E fled.

Austin Aries now approached Bully Ray backstage, and was summarily told to take a hike.  If anyone’s going to be World Heavyweight Champion any time soon, it’s going to be Bully.

Kurt Angle was now seen, apparently sneaking into the Aces and 8s’ secret clubhouse.

Bad Influence faced the pretty indomitable tag team of Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray in the main event.  Jeff and Bully worked seriously well together, both as guys with tremendous amounts of tag team experience and specifically as guys with tremendous amounts of tag team experience against each other.  They pulled both a 3D and Poetry in Motion to demonstrate this.

As might be expected, though, both Daniels on Team Bad Influence and Jeff on Team Hero took their turns at getting beating down and showing off their freakish endurance.

Finally, Bully got Christopher Daniels up on his shoulders and delivered an Electric Chair, followed almost instantaneously by a Swanton Bomb from Hardy for the pin.

As the show closed, Kurt Angle burst into the Aces and 8s clubhouse like the wrath of an angry god, taking out Mr Anderson and Devon and confronting the masked Vice President.  That mask was soon off – though sadly not on camera – and Kurt was completely shocked by what he saw.  Then DOC, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff jumped him, and his fate remains unknown at this time.

Will Kurt even remember what he saw next week?  You’ll just have to tune in to find out!


Velvet Sky (c) def. Tara – Knockouts Championship match
Austin Aries def. Hernandez
Kenny King def. Rob van Dam (c) – X-Division Championship match
Ivelisse def. Lei’D Tapa – Gut Check match
Jeff Hardy & Bully Ray def. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian

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