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iMPACT Wrestling – 2/16/12

February 20, 2012

Now, I am not, in the strictest sense of the term, a “wrestling fan”. In fact, the last time I watched wrestling, it was…well, right around this time last year. I recall it not being the wisest decision I’ve ever made. But, since The Spoony One has apparently stopped watching and bitching about iMPACT in favor of more productive efforts (a move that I’m sure his doctor approves of), I figured, why the hell not. Not being a wrestling fan may prove to be an advantage, because anything that I can point out as being stupid, wrestling fans must have seen coming a mile away.

(0:00) Okay, there have been warnings to this effect for a while, and now I can see they’re true. If you miss any iMPACT episode, then you are royally screwed. How screwed, you may ask? Well, the first thing shown is a recap, showing the manager Eric Bischoff slapping his own son during his son’s match, and then getting punched by Hulk Hogan. I went to Wikipedia for information on why he would want to do this.

(0:07) We start off with Bobby Roode coming out and basically being an asshole. That’s fine, that’s what heels do. He taunts the crowd about retaining the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and then when Sting comes out, the announcers say some of the stupidest things I’ve heard in wrestling. First, they recap the match, which was already done in the intro. Again, fine. There may be people who came in late, maybe they skipped the intro. But this is what Taz says, and, swear to Aisha, word-for-word:

That accident by Sting cost Jeff Hardy that championship. I mean, I know it was an accident, and that really sucked for Hardy.

I…I have no witty retort. Losing a title match at a pay-per-view event must indeed suck.

(0:08) Sting just announced that he’s arranged for a rematch for the title, tonight. Which effectively renders everything that happened leading up to and at Against All Odds completely and totally pointless. They have taken a storyline  that could have been about Jeff Hardy and Sting working together to get back into a position where he could challenge Roode for the title, and thrown it completely out the window by turning the pay-per-view match into a cliffhanger to get people to tune into their tv show, which is free if you get cable.

Ladies and gentlemen, the business prowess of Mrs. Dixie Carter.

(0:09) Not only that, but the match is the opener for the show. Which tells me, even without seeing it that Roode is going to successfully screw Hardy out of a fair match.

(0:22) I was wrong when I predicted the flow of the match. Jeff Hardy has just been pummeling the ever-loving shit out of Bobby Roode. And honestly, the match seems to be stretching longer than it should, just given how one sided it is. This is not helped by Impact’s constant replays, which pull you out of the match.

(0:31) And now I was wrong when I said my prediction was wrong. Kurt Angle runs out, kicks Jeff Hardy in the stomach, and throws him into the steel steps. See, that’s what happens when a wrestling outsider tries to watch Impact. They fooled me into thinking that a match wouldn’t have a bullshit ending by padding it out. Angle throws Hardy in the ring, Roode spears him and then pins him.

(0:39) We come back from commercial, and Bobby Roode is backstage, bragging about how he’s defended his title twice from Jeff Hardy, and whining about Sting’s involvement and saying that he outsmarted them. And then Sting shows up. And he tells him that, oh no, we’re not done yet. He’s arranged another match tonight for #1 contender status, proving that TNA can’t leave well enough alone. And then we cut to even further backstage, where Eric Young is holding a guitar by the circuit breakers. The cameraman asks what he’s doing, and he says he forgot to give ODB a Valentine’s Day present. That should have been the end of it, but then Eric proceeds to tell us about his daily routine. He goes off to fine tune his song (because why in the hell else would he be carrying a guitar?), and we cut back to Sting talking to Bully Ray and James Storm in a conversation that does nothing beside them bragging about who will win. And then we’re right back to commercial, because apparently that one and a half minutes of talking time needed to have its own space.

(0:55) Immediately after a tag team match with Zema Ion and Austin Aries vs. Shannon Moore and Alex Shelley (a match I have no complaints about – it was enjoyable, and the tension between Zema Ion and Austin Ares over the X-Division title actually played into the match), we are treated to Gail Kim and Madison Rayne bitching about the rest of the knockouts. I can’t tell you anything past that because I, like every sane man, could not possibly give less of a shit. I know; I’ve tried.

(1:00) Back from commercial, we get a Knockouts #1 contender battle royal. I have no clue what’s going to happen, and really, I don’t care. Madison Rayne and Gail Kim come out before the match, but I couldn’t tell you what they said because I was too busy fast forwarding through the obvious titillation match to stop. The match comes to a bullshit ending when Madison Rayne, who had sat the entire fight out, rushes in and tosses Velvet Sky out of the ring. Gail Kim is shocked, and the announcers mention that when she was in the ring, she said that “any of the Knockouts in the ring right now” were eligible for #1 contender. I had to, just now, add that to the Exact Words trope on TVTropes, because it was that blatant.

(1:12) From the match, we cut to James Storm backstage getting himself psyched up for his match with Bully Ray by yelling at someone (I like to think it’s himself in the mirror, because that just makes him look Taxi Driver crazy) about how tough Bully Ray is and that he is just as tough, and then he punches a hole in the wall. That moment is almost worth watching the rest of the episode for.

(1:21) Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Gunner, and Chelsea come out to celebrate Gunner’s victory over Garret Bischoff. Eric sends a message to his son who he says is probably bandaged up and iced down in a hotel room somewhere. How much do you want to bet that either Garret Bischoff or Hulk Hogan are going to come in and start a fight during the celebration? Because I give it about two and a half minutes from that insult to it happening.

(1:29) Back from commercial again, and despite my prediction, nothing happened to interrupt the in-ring celebration. Instead, we’re hyping up a new MMA show that’s premiering on Spike TV. And then we get the payoff of Eric Young playing the song he wrote for ODB. Apparently she liked it, because she slaps him on the ass and drags him further backstage to do it.

(1:59) James Storm beats Bully Ray to become the #1 contender for TNA Heavyweight Championship. Sting comes out, and announces that Bobby Roode will defend his title in a cage match at Lockdown in April. Well, at least they’re doing it at a pay-per-view, so there’s at least a chance of the title changing hands. And then my DVR cut off, possibly to protect what’s left of my psyche.

So, we’re left with nothing accomplished aside from putting the Knockouts title in question, and somewhere in the neighborhood of forty to forty-five minutes of actual wrestling, about half an hour of commercials, and the balance talking. As an Impact show, it was probably decent, but for wrestling overall, I’d say it was passable.

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