By Carson Koschik
Well, TNA had their first Impact of the year, and it was actually pretty good. Although it mostly consisted of promos, the short matches we got were pretty decent, and the promos that dominated the show built up to TNA's upcoming Genesis. It's a little sucky that Roode, Aries, or Hardy didn't compete tonight, as they are currently in the top feud, but the segments featuring them were good nonetheless.
Borash started the show off by calling out the top five candidates to win the 2012 Wrestler of the Year award (as supposedly voted by fans). For some reason, Borash said that they were coming out in "no particular order", which just drew to attention to the fact that it was in a particular order (smallest pop to biggest pop). Hardy won the award, revealing the voting to probably be rigged. Hey, WWE stole the "last time on..." thing from TNA, I guess TNA returned the favor be stealing their obvious vote rigging. Anyways, Hardy went to the ring and began his promo like he begins everything: yelling something at the audience. Whether it's "Happy New Year!" or "Hello Las Angeles!", Hardy knows how to get an Impact crowd cheering, and that is by screaming something that has to do with the day or place. I guess it's better than the whole "...in (insert town name here)" thing WWE does on a daily basis, but it's just a little annoying. Kind of like Matt Hardy. Roode and Aries would (rightfully) dispute Hardy's win, which would end in Hardy challenging them both to a Triple Threat Match at Genesis, a PPV that has less than a week to build-up more matches for it. Hardy would take his volley-ball trophy and try to leave, but would be attacked fro behind by Roode and Aries. TNA would take another page out of WWE's book and have the champion make both challengers look super weak by taking them both out by himself. Because screw equality and equal chances of winning!
We go backstage to Kazarian and Daniels doing a spot-on James Storm impression. James Storm would fire back with a bunch of social-media related wrestling puns, a thing I think he now holds the world record for. Of course, he missed MySpace, as Daniels and Kazarian pointed out. I feel like this was a good opportunity to poke fun at WWE by mentioning Tout, but then again, I don't think anybody even knows what Tout is. Storm would come out after the break for his match with Kazarian (not before getting attacked by Daniels beforehand). After a good match that should have gotten more time, Storm hit Kazarian with a mid-air Superkick to get the win. I'm not too sure where they are going with James Storm, but after basically defeating both Kazarian and Daniels, a feud with them wouldn't be the best idea.
We go backstage to see the Devon trying to recruit Mr. Anderson by tempting him with women and beer. How else did they get Luke Gallows to join? Mr. Anderson said he would join them, turning heel in the process for the 4, 563th time. Seriously, he's turning more than Kane does. Also, I'm not sure why Aces and Eights lets the TNA cameraman film their plans, but I guess it won't change the fact that they are just going to get their asses whipped by Sting and/or Hogan.
We return after the break to DOC coming out to the ring. DOC started cutting a promo, but I was so distracted by the amount of baby oil on his arms that I didn't really hear what he was saying. All I know is that a hammer was thrown into the ring, then he started screaming "Where are you Sting!" over and over until it abruptly went to commercial. Since he wasn't in the ring when we came back from the ads, I'm assuming he tuckered himself out and headed to the back, making the entire segment pointless.
The second match of the night begins with Kid Kash vs. Christian York, or as I like to call it, Jeremy Renner after years of drug abuse vs. Captain Jack Sparrow after pursuing his dream of becoming a hair dresser. After a very slow fast paced match (if that makes sense to you), metrosexual Jack Sparrow would pick up the win over meth cooker Hawkeye after a swinging neckbreaker, much to the extreme and utter excitement of the crowd (that was sarcasm).
We head backstage again for an interview with Chavo and Hernandez, a guy who has yet to figure out that it's a Tag Team Championship Belt, not a Tag Team Championship necklace. Chavo starts spatting some nonsense about beating Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan. I think the most impressive thing about the promo was that he didn't take credit for something Eddie Guerrero did. Good on ya Chavo. The two made their way to the ring for Hernandez's match with Morgan, who came out in a sling. It then turned into Joey Ryan (who is amazing at being a douche) vs. Hernandez. The match would't last long however, as Morgan took off his sling and destroyed the tag team champions, causing a DQ. I'm still not sure why he had to fake an injury, seeing as he could so easily take on both guys without an issue. Doesn't matter anyways, as Morgan and Ryan are probably (hopefully) going to come out on top in this feud.
We head backstage to see Angle and Joe talking to some guys from the crew. Oh wait, that was Wes Briscoe and Garrett Bischoff, two guys who I'm still not sure why they're on TV. Angle tells them not to get involved in their Steel Cage Tag Team Match. Probably for the best, since Samoa Joe by himself is better than having Wes and Garrett with you.
We cut to some shots of Tessmacher, Gail, Mickie, and Tara stretching. Not sure why they are so okay with the cameramen filming them doing sensual stretching, but all I can say is that those are some lucky cameramen.
Hulk Hogan comes out (much to the dismay of some) to call out Bully Ray. Bully Ray (alongside Brooke Hogan) would come out of course, where he was pretty much lectured like a 4 year-old by Hulk Hogan. It's pretty unfair that Hogan is getting mad at Bully for seeing him kiss his daughter in the parking lot when Bully (and a lot of unfortunate souls) had to see Hogan boning Bubba the Love Sponge's wife, but I guess you can only get mad at someone when you are angry at them, not when you are disgusted and confused. The segment ended with Bully Ray getting suspended, which just goes to show that sleeping with the bosses daughter doesn't make you the COO in TNA.
TNA then showed us a video package of epic proportions of Joseph Park training to be a wrestler. Clearly boyhood dreams of wrestling have gotten in the way of his search for Abyss, who is still somewhere in the world waiting to be found. I'm not sure when they are going to turn Parks back into Abyss, but I don't really care since Parks entertains me too much.
The tag team match between Gail and Tara vs. Brooke and Mickie was pretty good. Better than anything the Divas have put on in 2012. It just dragged on a little bit. I think the biggest story coming out of it is that Tara's boyfriend is the biggest douche in the world. It's not like he's Joey Ryan, who's playing a douche. He's just a giant douche in real life. Who takes their shirt off to be at ringside? Seriously? Anyways, I guess it doesn't really matter to him that he's a douche, because he gets to sensually touch Tara on TV, something I would no doubt pay to do.
We go to another backstage segment with Darth Bane from the Aces and Eights revealing their plans (seriously, how hard is it to spot a guy with an HD camera) about keeping everyone who hasn't been unmasked anonymous, which clearly means that one of them was getting unmasked later.
We switch back to Roode and Aries bidding their case to Hogan, who tells them that their match with Hardy will be an elimination match, and that next week they'll face Hardy and a partner of his choice. Hopefully that partner isn't Matt, because that guy is out of shape. Did you see his match with Adam Cole at Final Battle? Jeez Louis, someone's let themselves go.
We go back to the ring where Devon and Darth Bane make their way to the ring. While Angle makes his way to the ring, Gallows attacked him from behind, which was weird since the bell hadn't rung yet (yay for Festus references). The ref would for some reason start the match even though Angle was unconscious and not even in the ring, leaving Samoa Joe to fend for himself. Samoa Joe was actually kicking their asses until Angle decided to get in the ring, where he would screw everything up by trying to unmask Darth Bane. Gallows would once again take out Angle, leaving Samoa Joe to once again fend for himself. Everything turned out fine for the faces by the end, with Angle hitting Darth Bane with an Olympic Slam for the win. The Aces and Eights would come out and do the exact same thing they do every week and attack the guys in the ring, only to be scared off by a guy in his 50's in face-paint and a t-shirt. Sting, Angle, and Joe would unmask Darth Bane, revealing him to be Mike Knox. The only surprise of the reveal was that Mike Knox kept his beard, which shockingly managed to stay in his mask up until this point. He also go a little chubby.
We only have one Impact to go before Genesis, and only one match has been officially announced. Well, I guess some of the matches are obvious, but it would still be nice to know what the card is more than 5 days before the PPV. Anyways, Impact was okay, and Mike Knox's beard is still awesome.
Make sure to follow me @SmarkInProgress so you can listen to me crap on Jeff Hardy for what seems like no apparent reason.