Sting should be good to go in four to six weeks. Photo via upload.wikimedia.org.
The next two editions of TNA Impact were taped last Saturday on the final day of their UK tour in London, England. Thanks to the enthusiastic, near record breaking crowd of 8,000 fans, TNA looked more major league than perhaps any other televised shows in its history, so they may be worth going out of your way to see.
As reported here earlier, the big news from the overseas tapings was that Sting suffered an unspecified heel injury, initially thought to be very serious. However, according to an interview for Between The Ropes today, Sting has confirmed that he only tore his fascia, a relatively minor muscle tear, and he'll only be sidelined for four to six weeks. A deep sigh of relief then for Dixie Carter, as Sting is one of the highest paid stars on her roster and re-signing him for another year would have been a waste if he had suffered a career ending Achilles tendon tear.
Now that injury update is out of the way, we can get down to business of the spoilers (courtesy of f4wonline.com and pwtorch.com) for tonight's and next Thursday's Impact Wrestling episodes, which can be read after the jump.
Tonight's show starts with a segment featuring Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, James Storm and Sting. Somehow Storm agrees to face Roode and Ray in two separate singles matches later on in the evening. Yes, TNA is giving away their biggest grudge match of Roode vs. Storm on free TV again, no wonder their pay-per-view business stays in the toilet! Instead of that bout, Sting announces that we're getting a four way between Roode, Ray, Storm and the absent Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at the Against All Odds PPV on February 12th.
Samoa Joe and Magnus beat TNA tag team champions Crimson and Matt Morgan in a non-title Buckingham Brawl. What's a Buckingham Brawl I hear you say? It's a tag match where they have a coin toss to determine which team can have both members in the ring at the same time, while the other team has to abide by normal tag team rules. This made for a match with warped psychology, as Joe and Magnus won the coin toss, and though they are heels in America, they were the big babyfaces to the crowd here, partly because Magnus is British and partly because Crimson got heavy go away heat.
Austin Aries beat the UK's Mark Haskins in another match where the fans cheered the wrong guy. Both men looked great, though the match ended on a sour note with Haskins botching a shooting star press and ending up with a concussion right before the finish.
In the expected high quality match, Bobby Roode beat James Storm again after a distraction spot by Ray allowed Roode to spear his opponent and pick up the victory. After the match, the heels beat down Storm until Sting made the save.
Then we had an Eric Bischoff segment where he called out his son Garrett and teased that he knew who Garrett's trainer was and a fat lot of good it would do him. Despite Eric being a loathsome heel, the fans didn't take to Garrett and booed him unmercifully when he announced that he would reveal his trainer later on in the show.
Tara beat Gail Kim in a sloppy non-title match when Madison Rayne's interference backfired. They'll have a rematch for the TNA Women's Knockout title at Against All Odds.
Despite taped ribs from the earlier beating, James Storm pinned Bully Ray with the superkick after Sting neutralised Bobby Roode's attempted interference by chasing him away with a black cricket bat in a cute spot.
To no surprise, in the show closing angle Hulk Hogan was revealed as Garrett Bischoff's trainer when he saved Garrett from a potential two on one attack by his father Eric and Eric's henchman Gunner. Ironically Eric was right, as the rub from Hogan didn't stop the British fans from crapping on Garrett. Time to use the old sound sweetener!
Next Thursday's show opened with Christopher Daniels beating AJ Styles after Kazarian reluctantly handed back a pair of brass knuckles Daniels had given him earlier and Daniels clobbered Styles with them when he went for the Styles Clash.
Bully Ray interview where he complained about helping Bobby Roode defeat James Storm last week, only for Roode to fail to return the favour in his match later that same night also against Storm. Sting interrupted to book a TV main event of himself & Storm vs. Ray & Roode and to make himself the enforcer for the four way TNA World title match at the PPV.
Alex Shelley finally caught a break when he pinned TNA's X-Division champ Austin Aries in a rushed three way that also involved the UK's Douglas Williams, to set up Aries vs. Shelley for the title at Against All Odds.
Magnus and Samoa Joe cut a surprisingly good promo challenging Crimson and Matt Morgan to a tag team title match at the PPV, which led to the champions coming out and cleaning house.
In a lukewarm babyface vs. babyface women's match, Velvet Sky pinned Mickie James with a roll up. James played subtle heel, too subtle for the crowd to pick up on, and pouted after the match, in what is likely the start of a way too early heel turn for TNA's most cheered Knockout.
Then we had another interview segment with Hulk Hogan and Garrett Bischoff that disastrously backfired. Hogan sucked up to the fans and asked them to show a little love to Garrett too, but his plea fell on deaf ears and Garrett was booed out of the building again. This led to Eric and Gunner coming out to badmouth Hogan. Hogan reveals that he's pulled a few strings with Sting so that Garrett can face Gunner at Against All Odds. Cue a sneak attack by the heels, only for Hogan to Hulk Up and help Garrett clear the ring of his dastardly foes.
In the tag main event set up earlier that Sting got injured in, Sting still finished the match and submitted Roode with the Scorpion Deathlock as planned when Ray turned on Roode by teasing breaking up the submission hold with a belt shot, but instead decided to bail on his partner. Storm spent most of the match selling his injured ribs and building to Sting's hot tag.