TNA's third pay-per-view (PPV) of 2012 went off tonight (March 18) from the Impact Zone in Orlando. Not only were titles were on the line but the fate of the company may have very well been too. Ever since winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Bobby Roode has engulfed the company in a reign of terror, taking out each and every opponent who stepped inside the ring with him.
Tonight, the list was amended to include Sting. The two had been at odds for months now and the former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) star decided earlier in the month the best way to deal with Roode was to do so himself. The champion proved a tough nut to crack and Sting came up short after inadvertently getting nailed with a chair across the skull.
Roode decided to add insult to injury by continuing his attack on "The Icon," duct taping the challenger's arms to the ropes while forcing TNA President Dixie Carter to watch. The champion had grabbed Carter from her front row seat and shoved her inside the ring to get a closer look at the mayhem. She at least spared Sting further damage by acting as a human shield between him and the steel chair Roode was brandishing.
Next up for the champion is a date with his former Beer Money tag team partner James Storm. While it was already announced Storm would be facing Roode at Lockdown next month, the storyline saw Bully Ray raise a stink concerning the number one contendership. He goaded Storm into a match and of course, "Cowboy" was happy to oblige.
Ray got the quick upper hand but when he turned his attention away from his opponent to take a swig of beer, it allowed Storm the time to recover and to nail his opponent with a superkick, getting the pin. Recently coming off of surgery, Storm needed to keep his in-ring action minimal but still make somewhat of an -- no pun intended -- impact. This was a great way to achieve both results.
More Victory Road action after the jump!
The X-Division title was also held up as champion Austin Aries took on the young, brash Zema Ion. The match was a high-flying affair as expected, punctuated by a pretty funny moment of Aries tweeting in the middle the bout.
That's pretty awesome, to be honest.
Aries would end up retaining his title as did the team of Magnus and Samoa Joe who fended off a challenge from the team they won the belts from in the first place, Crimson and Matt Morgan. The former champions imploded, leading to the end of the match and appear headed for a feud. Bickering and arguing kept Crimson and Morgan from gaining any momentum and the straw that broke the camel's back came when "The Blueprint" pretty much told his partner to screw himself. Crimson turned on his now former friend, nailing him with a spear allowing the champions to hit their finisher and pick up the pinfall.
Gail Kim also walked out of the Impact Zone with her Knockouts Title, picking up the win over former partner Madison Rayne. The two former Knockouts Tag Team Champions did battle with Kim retaining the title, nearly making it a clean sweep for the TNA champions. The only titleholder to go home empty handed was Robbie E who issued an open challenge answered by the returning Devon. A huge spinebuster loosened the TV Title from Robbie E's waist and wrapped it around Devon's.
The feud between Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy doesn't look to be over despite Angle picking up the win tonight. Narrowly avoiding a Swanton Bomb by putting his knees up, the Olympic hero wasn't too lucky the second time around when Hardy crashed into him from the top rope. A pretty sloppy spot from Hardy but it's to be expected. A roll-up from the "Charismatic Enigma" was countered and a handful of ropes gave Angle all the assistance he needed to pick up the win.
Ken Anderson's recent return to aid A.J. Styles in his battle against Christopher Daniels and Kazarian helped turn the tide in "The Phenomenal One's" favor. The four men had a fun tag match which went about 15 minutes and saw the TNA Triple Crown champion hit his Styles Clash finisher on Kazarian to pick up the win. There's still no word on what information Daniels has on his former Fortune partner, however.
More other stuff to look forward to in TNA's future is the return of The Motor City Machine Guns -- YUS~! -- and TNA's 10th anniversary celebration, Slammiversary, taking place on June 10 in Arlington, Texas which is home to your favorite Cageside Seats writer. No, you jerks, Geno is from the Quad Cities. I'm talking about myself.
Overall, a pretty good offering from Dixie Carter and company which was due, in no small part, to the lack of anyone named Bischoff aside from a small appearance by Eric early on.