After a video airs to hype Magnus and his coronation later tonight, we are inside the Impact Zone for the first edition of Impact Wrestling of 2014.
Kurt Angle comes out to kick off this week’s edition in a t-shirt and his wrestling gear on. “My name is Kurt Angle and 2013 was the worst year of my career.” Angle briefly mentions his feud with Aces and Eights and his personal issues before stating he declined his Hall of Fame induction to prove he can earn it all back. “My name is Kurt Angle, and they call me a cyborg, but in 2013 I was not that.” Angle is about to announce his plans for 2014, but Bobby Roode comes out to interrupt. Roode asks if he’s about to witness what everyone thinks they are. Roode asks if Angle is going to announce he’s going to leave like Jeff Hardy did. “Did you realize after months of me being you time, after time, after time, that you don’t have what it takes anymore?” Roode asks Angle to look him in the eyes and tell him that “The It Factor is better than Angle.” Angle announces that he’s not leaving and that “Kurt Angle is going to kick ass in 2014, and that’s why I’m challenging you for one match!” Roode asks Angle if he’s out of his mind and Roode states “absolutely not! I have absolutely nothing to prove to any of these morons or anything to prove to you.” Roode talks about the numerous times he’s beaten Angle and that he’s not Hall of Fame worthy. Roode starts to leave the ring but stops himself. “Unless, maybe I accept one more match, but in this match, you have to put something on the line. Not if, but when I beat you again, you leave, and you never accept a Hall of Fame induction here in TNA.” Angle says that he’s glad Roode accepts. “Since you have a stipulation, I have one of my own: Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle in a Steel Cage!” Roode accepts and looks like we have our main event for Huntsville at Genesis. The two start to brawl and referees and security come out to break up the brawl. Rockstar Spud is in the center of the ring and gets shoved by Angle. Spud shouts that he will not ruin his night “This is Madam Dixie Carter’s Night!” and announces that Roode and Angle have to pick a partner and fight later tonight.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus will be celebrated with a coordination tonight, Austin Aries will defend the X Division Championship against Chris Sabin and Joseph Park will face Bully Ray. In addition to all of that, Gail Kim will host her Open Challenge…right after the break!
Dixie Carter is shown walking backstage and says that after eleven years, she’s finally got a World Champion she is proud of. She walks into her office and is given a card that a staff member states was dropped off by a courier. It simply says “See you tonight” with no signature.
Backstage, Dixie Carter is shown freaking out about the note to Rockstar Spud.
TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim talks about how great 2013 was for her and hoping there is a great challenger for her tonight.
Open Challenge: Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne
Madison jumps Gail at the bell and rams her into the turnbuckles before stomping on her in the corner. Madison spears Gail and slams her head against the mat. Gail uses Madison’s hair to slam her on the mat before slamming her head repeatedly against it. Madison hits a suplex followed by a neckbreaker and tries to rally the crowd behind her but Lei’d Tapa drags Madison out of the ring. The referee sees Madison on the floor, but doesn’t put two and two together. Gail drags her in the ring for a two count and then locks Madison into a surfboard sleeper that turns into a surfboard chinlock that would make Daniel Bryan proud. Tenay puts over James Storm being on the Second Screen Experience and Taz humorously asks if Storm is drunk. Gail goes for Eat Defeat, but Madison reverses into a backslide for a two count. Madison hits a few right hands followed by a series of clotheslines and a kick to the face. Madison goes for a splash in the corner, but Gail moves and Madison stops in her tracks. Madison goes for a sleeper from the second rope, but Gail drops her face first onto the mat. Gail slaps her repeatedly and tells her that she’s dead, before Madison get a side roll for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Madison Rayne
Backstage Velvet tells Chris Sabin that she’s been thinking about his match tonight. Chris says that she doesn’t need her to think, but to do exactly what he says tonight. If she follows his orders, he will leave with his X Division Championship, if she doesn’t he will leave without her.
X Division Championship: Austin Aries (c) vs. Chris Sabin (with Velvet Sky)
Sabin stalls to start off the match and has Velvet kiss him on the cheek for good luck, but Sabin gets caught with the IED corner dropkick for two. Aries goes for the Brainbuster, but Sabin slides out but eats a corner bulldog. Aries locks in the Last Chancery in the middle of the ring. Sabin yells for her to get in the ring, but Velvet yells that it’s not her match. Aries lets go and Sabin yells at her outside, but Aries drags him in and hits the plancha for two. Aries locks in a weird looking modified Triangle Choke, and gets a two count. Aries hits a corkscrew dive for two. Lionsault gets Aries two and Sky is cheering for Sabin on the outside while Taz is yelling at her and calling her a cheerleader. Suplex by Sabin connects and he starts to stomp on Aries. Aries is locked in the Tree of Woe, but Aries manages to kick Sabin in the head and connect with a cutter. Aries hits a few shots followed by a rolling elbow before Sabin rolls to the outside and gets nailed with a double sledge on the outside. Sabin is rolled in by Aries and Sabin is nailed by a missle dropkick. Sabin yells for Aries to get on the apron. Sky looks like she’s about to cry and the referee pleads with her to get down. Sabin hits a kick below the beltline and rolls up Aries for the win.
Winner by Pinfall and NEW X Division Champion: Chris Sabin
JB interviews Chris Sabin outside the ring and Sabin says there’s one person that he couldn’t do this without. Velvet smiles before Sabin thanks himself and drags her up the ramp.
((Jarrett’s Jab – I love Chris Sabin’s work, but I wish he’d dump Velvet. She’s doing her best, but she just isn’t a convincing part of the act. She’s been a whining bitch for years, now all of a sudden I’m suppose to believe that she’s so conflicted that she’ll do what Sabin tells her to? Either she should turn heel and reveal that she was the reason Sabin has acted the way he has, or Sabin should dump her for Brooke Tessmacher or another woman.))
The coronation of Magnus is later tonight, but the debut of Samuel Shaw is up next!
Backstage, Rockstar Spud is practicing introducing Magnus and his cell phone rings (which has Dixie Carter’s theme as a ringtone.) No one says anything and he complains that number has done that four times today. He says it’s a 678 area code, mulls that over for a second and then yells for a cup of tea.
Samuel Shaw vs. Norv Fernum
Samuel hits Norv with a right hand and then hits a hard irish whip into the corner as Christy Hemme looks on approvingly. Norv gets a few kicks to the midsection, but gets caught with a powerslam by Shaw. Shaw looks at Christy before hitting a big backbreaker. Shaw smiles at Hemme as he locks in a Cobra Clutch and Hemme looks kind of scared.
Winner by Knockout: Samuel Shaw
Shaw takes off his gloves and looks at her before walking up the ramp.
Storm is asked about Gunner taking Kurt Angle’s offer tonight. Storm claims that Gunner is like all of his other partners and maybe he made a mistake. He claims that Angle will be sorry that he picked Gunner before walking into a locker room.
((Jarrett’s Jab – So much wrong with the return of Samuel Shaw. First there was so much time between his vignettes and his actual return, It gives Hemme more air time, and it wasn’t an exciting match. I’m going to hold on to the hope that Shaw shows something interesting like he did in the first vignette.))
Backstage, Bobby Roode is freaking out over his match with Angle at Genesis and his tag match tonight and asks why he should pick him. The camera zooms out to show that it’s James Storm. Storm says that he hates Roode, but he needs to send a message tonight. Roode states that that’s not his problem, but Storm tells Roode that he’s going to be out there tonight. Either as his partner, or kicking everyone’s ass.
Kurt Angle and Gunner vs. Beer Money, Inc. (Bobby Roode and James Storm)
Storm and Angle start the match off and Angle goes for an armbar, but Roode rebounds off the ropes only to get an elbow. Suplex by Angle and now Gunner is tagged in. Gunner tries another armbar, and Roode tags himself in. Roode runs right into a clothesline by Gunner. Roode runs Gunner head first into the turnbuckle, but Gunner ‘Hulks up’ and hits a suplex for two. Roode hit a knee to the gut and eats a right hand. Gunner gets in the face of Storm and it distracts him long enough to turn around into a Spinebuster. Storm tags himself in and covers Gunner for just a one count before wailing on Gunner with right hands. Roode and Storm hit a double back elbow on Gunner and make a few frequent tags, working on Gunner’s ribs with shoulderblocks. They continue with double team beat downs on Gunner, who can’t escape the grasps of Beer Money. Beer Money hits the double suplex as the fans chant their name again, hoping they do the chant, but Gunner and Storm wipe each other out with a double clothesline. Roode distracts the referee and makes him miss Gunner making a tag. Roode tries to keep Angle out but Angle runs through Storm and Roode anyways. Angle gets Storm in the anklelock, but Roode nails him from behind. Gunner gets Roode in the Gun Rack and Storm nails Gunner with the Last Call superkick. Roode hits the fireman’s carry into the neckbreaker for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Beer Money
Angle goes after Roode after the bell and Roode bails out, and Angle yells at him up the ramp. Storm takes the Feast or Fried case and dumps it on Storm before walking out.
Sting is backstage walking. Rockstar Spud runs up and asks if he sent the mystery message to Madame Dixie, and Sting says he’s here to talk to Dixie, not her lap dog, and tells him to get out of his face.
((Jarrett’s Jab – I’m really liking Rockstar Spud. He’s a really good heel character and I hope they protect him like they have with EC3 and make it a big moment when someone finally gets their hands on him. Also was thrilled to see the one night return of Beer Money. With the way both wrestlers are treated, I almost wouldn’t mind a Beer Money return as long as Storm brought back the Boozer Cruizer! Haha.))
We are shown a replay of last week’s main event when EC3 pinned Sting before Jeff Hardy decided to walk away from TNA. EC3 says that he had a great 2013 and while people said he’s had inferior competition, he pinned Sting as easy as E…C…3. While he sent Hardy packing, he wants to fight him like a man and challenges him to a match right now. Jeff’s music plays, but of course he doesn’t come out, so EC3 says to ring the bell and starts counting Hardy out. EC3 gets to nine before Sting comes out. Sting accuses EC3 of hiding behind Dixie. EC3 says he beat Sting and he’s done with him, but Sting states that he’s nothing more than Dixie’s lap dog. Carter says that he knows what Sting’s doing and won’t fall for it, and he starts to leave, but Sting says he guesses it’s true about him being Dixie’s lap dog. EC3 snaps and starts yelling that wasn’t true and that he will fight Sting one-on-one. Sting starts to unbutton his shirt but EC3 announces that the match will take place in two weeks at Genesis.
Backstage, Joseph Park is telling Eric Young that he doesn’t know about this Abyss stuff and doesn’t even remember what happened last week. He doesn’t know why EY put him in this match against Bully Ray. EY explains that two years ago this week, Abyss fought Bully Ray and he disappeared after that and park needs to trust him. He was there to help him in Monster’s Ball last week, but this time he’s got to do it alone. EY leaves, and Bully Ray comes out from a corner with the Mötley Crüe hoodie and sunglasses and talks about burning for the sins of Ken Anderson or something to that affect. Park asks him what he’s talking about, and Bully takes his sunglasses off and says he’s going to set him on fire if he goes out there.
Bully Ray vs Joseph Park
Bully Ray comes out with the Mötley Crüe hoodie and sunglasses on to his old music and stood in the corner. Park is confused on what to do and walks up to Bully Ray and gets a kick right in the yam bags.
Winner by Disqualification: Joseph Park
Bully pulls out a bottle of lighter fluid of the hoodie and starts spraying it all over Park. Park tries to roll on his front, but Bully kicks him on his back and sprays it right in his eyes. Bully takes out a lighter and holds it over Park, but Ken Anderson runs out to make the save and gets sprayed with lighter fluid as well and holds his left eye. Anderson goes after Bully, but Bully holds the lighter up and Anderson freezes. Bully goes out to the floor and walks off as Anderson stares after him while referees come to check on Joseph Park.
Dixie and Ethan Carter are backstage with Spud, and they’re…PRANCING! Magnus’ coronation is up next!
Spud is out with Ethan Carter III to introduce a ceremony he says will top even the wedding of William and Kate, and proclaims Dixie the Queen of Dixieland, a place where dreams come true. “But tonight, it’s not about Dixie, it’s about a man who will change the face of professional wrestling, our World Champion, a real British man, MAGNUS!” he states reading off his iPad. Spud turns this over to the Master of Cermonies, EC3.
Carter says Spud comes from a place where people worship a king and queen, but here in America, we worship the 1%, and last week, he beat Sting clean in the middle of the ring. But what is most important of all is that he’s a Carter, and the world needs them, but the true man of the hour is Magnus, because he became the World Heavyweight Champion and now rules the entire world. But behind every great man is a woman, a queen, his Aunt D, and here comes Dixie Carter.
Dixie appreciates the warm reception, and she’s here to tell one of her favorite stories about being on a flight to New York City and reading a magazine with an article about AJ Styles, then she turned the page and saw a six page feature on an aspiring wrestler who was already a massive superstar on TV in England, and “he didn’t just have it, he had all of it, and I knew right away that I would sign him to my company.” Five years later, he’s overcome every challenge to become the best there is today, and he did it all on his own. Now she wants everyone to stand up, get off their lazy bums, and welcome her new World Champion, Magnus!
Magnus comes out to a mixed reaction, sits in the throne they had set up for him in the ring. “You can return your women to their full upright unlocked positions so everyone can listen to him.” He thanks Spud and EC3 for their kind words, and special thanks to the one and only Miss Dixie Carter, “who truly is the wind beneath my massive wings”. He stands before us as the champion of the world, and he has mixed emotions because he’s honored and humbled at the same time because he knows the fans thought it would be Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, or even Jeff Hardy standing here with the title today, but it’s not because he is. Everyone doubted him, and when people ask him why he turned his backs on the fans, he says they turned their backs on him, so from here on in, he’ll never take a back seat to anybody in the business again, and he intends to be our World Champion for a very, very long time to come. Suddenly, Gunner’s music hits and he comes out with the briefcase!
Back from the break, Gunner is in the ring and says that history has been made, but it his history will begin tonight because he’s cashing in. Dixie says it’s not going to happen and yells at the time keeper not to ring the bell. EC3 pulls Dixie behind him, Magnus and Spud. Gunner easily runs through EC3 and the Chief-of-Staff Spud before leaving him in the ring with Magnus. Magnus has his tie off and Taz explains that Dixie is intimidating the time keeper. Gunner gets Magnus up for the Gun Rack, but EC3 and Spud jump Gunner from behind with Spud cracking Gunner several times with his iPad. The two hold Gunner for Magnus, who sizes up Gunner’s head for his World Title belt, but Spud and EC3 start freaking out and pointing as the camera zooms out to show AJ Styles standing behind Magnus. AJ easily clears the ring of Spud and EC3 before going face to face with Magnus. The two hold their belts up at each other, then AJ drops his belt in the center of the ring and dares Magnus to fight him, but Magnus heads up the ramp as Dixie yells for AJ to leave her ring.
AJ tells Dixie “Dixie, You want your intellectual property? Here it is…with me.” Dixie yells how dare you at AJ. “Do me a favor, tell your lawyers stop chasing me all over the world, because I’m man enough to show up with this title right here, right now.” AJ asks if she expects him to just hand the belt over that she’s even dumber than she looks. Dixie yells “that’s real funny.” AJ isn’t here because Dixie wanted him to, it’s because she screwed the people over by making her World Champion a farce, and he needed to come back here. Magnus seemed bothered by that and AJ tells Magnus that’s right, he’s a farce and everyone knows it. “I don’t care if you wear that belt on your shoulder, around your waist. You’re not the World Champion until you beat THE World Champion.” Magnus asks AJ if he’s challenging him, and AJ says there can only be one TNA World Champion. Dixie tells Magnus not to do it, but AJ asks Magnus if he’s going to let Dixie drag him around by the nose, because if Magnus wants to prove he’s who he says he is, he needs to accept AJ’s challenge. The fans will doubt whether he was ever a World Champion to begin with, and while Magnus doesn’t care about the fans, AJ knows he does, and he knows that Magnus will doubt himself as the World Champion. The deal’s on the table, but as soon as he walks out the door, so does the deal. Magnus tells AJ something to make it crystal clear: AJ isn’t better than him anymore, he never will be again, and if AJ wants to prove it, he’ll prove it next week, one-on-one, two belts, one champion. Dixie tries to stop it, but Magnus says that if it’s not happening, then he’s gone too because nobody is going to doubt him or his championship ever again. Dixie says AJ isn’t even under contract, but Magnus tells Dixie to give him a one night contract so he can face AJ, winner takes all. Dixie yells “What if you lose? Then I’ll have nothing!” Mangus says if she doesn’t make the deal, she will still have nothing. Magnus says he’s feeling lucky and feels like rolling the dice, and asks AJ if he feels lucky. AJ extends his hand and we cut to credits.
((Jarrett’s Jab – Really weird that they cut to credits without showing Magnus shaking AJ’s hand. I really hate that TNA couldn’t get AJ signed at least to a short term deal through Genesis because his World Tour has already started and he’s been announced for a ROH TV taping in Nashville Saturday night. This should be a great match between two young athletes and TNA should be scrambling to find someone to fight Magnus at Genesis. Anyway, this was a great start to the year with the return of one of the few stars that can bring the Orlando crowd to life in AJ Styles and a great show overall.))