TNA Impact Wrestling comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 3, 2013) from the Impact Wrestling Zone in Orlando, Florida, featuring a big night of action.
For starters, Sting returns to get his vengeance on the Aces and 8s. He's said he'll be targeting Doc, which is good because Devon and the Masked Man are scheduled for a tag team steel cage match against Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Plus, the 2012 "Wrestler of the Year" will be named.
All that and more.
It all goes down tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET on Spike TV so remember to check back right here to follow along with the live blog as it all goes down.
TNA IMPACT RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 3
Broadcast is live.
Recap of everything that has brought us to this show, which is actually stacked for TNA.
Up first, we'll get the announcement of the TNA "Wrestler of the Year" for 2012. Jeremy Borash in the ring to announce the five candidates "in no particular order." Looks like everyone is going to get their own entrance, so this should kill about 15 minutes.
Reminder: The five candidates are Bully Ray, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Jeff Hardy.
Roode and Aries both prematurely start walking to the ring to accept the trophy and start arguing over who had the better year. Meanwhile, Borash announces who won the fan vote.
The winner: Jeff Hardy
Not a big surprise there.
Hardy hops on the mic and says he's the world champion but the "Wrestler of the Year" trophy means just as much. That's a little sad, actually. He wanted to have a great 2012 and this award confirms that.
Roode hops in the ring to shit on Hardy for making such a comment, as well as investing any sort of importance in what the fans say. Hardy tries to speak and Roode tells him to shut up.
Love that heel spot. Roode is the best at it.
He continues on complaining until Aries shows back up to say the whole thing is obviously rigged. He says he averaged over four stars per pay-per-view (PPV) match. That's probably not far off, actually.
Hardy interrupts the guys arguing and says it's settled, he's booking a triple threat match at Genesis between all of them.
Who the hell gave him the book?
Hardy tries to celebrate with the trophy but Aries attacks him and now the heels are double teaming Hardy. It backfires, of course, and Hardy lays them both out to stay tall in the end. The trophy got all bent up in the process but he takes it with him anyway.
You know, cause it's worth just as much as the heavyweight title.
Good opening segment.
Storm gets interviewed in the back and they get interrupted by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, who say they'll take it from here. Kazarian acts as interviewer with Daniels playing the role of Storm.
They impersonate him and it's just as good as their impersonation of AJ Styles last week.
Storm interrupts -- "Are you guys done yet?" Kazarian replies, "Not really" -- and makes a bunch of dumb references to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. He challenges one of them to a match and heads back to the ring.
James Storm vs. Kazarian
Kazarian wears the "Kazamania" t-shirt. Both Daniels and Kaz come out but it's Kazarian who gets in for the match.
Naturally, the two team up on Storm anyway with the referee doing little about it. Get your head in the game, Hebner!
The heels controlled for most of the match but Storm made a late comeback that included knocking Daniels off the apron and hitting the Last Call on Kazarian as he came off the second turnbuckle to get the pin. Got a big pop from the crowd and the announcers nailed it on the call, too.
That was fun.
Devon backstage talking with Ken Anderson and telling him Aces and 8s need an answer. Ken says he's just having a great time and he really enjoys the recruitment process, which includes a couple of groupies doing whatever he wants, apparently.
Doc isn't happy with Anderson's answer, so he asks what his answer will be: Is he in or is he out?
Ken thinks for a second before saying if he's doing this, he wants to make sure no one shows Sting even an ounce of fear. The rest of the crew laughs and they head out, presumably for the ring.
A big highlight package airs of all the carnage the Aces and 8s have created. Sting is coming back and they're ready to take him out again or whatever.
Doc comes out by himself with his arms looking jacked up. They're also oiled up, which is a little weird. Kind of creepy with the tattoos.
He's got a hammer with him and he opens by acting like the big bad monster. "Sttttiiinnnnnggeeerr. Where aaarrrreeee yyyyyooooouuuuu?"
He looks at the hammer and goes all crazy, saying this is "bullshit" -- they didn't bleep it, they just cut the audio for a second -- and he wants Sting to get his ass out here so he can cripple him again. Everyone wants him to come out, so come on out.
Would be better to have him wait until the steel cage match later but we'll see what they do.
Doc calls for him one more time and suddenly a baseball bat falls from the top of the ring. Doc flips out and says he's not afraid but he's acting like he is with a lot of false bravado.
The show suddenly cuts to commercial. Like super suddenly. That was odd.
We get a pre-tape of Brooke Hogan walking in and saying she hasn't talked to her dad about kissing Bully Ray but she's going in to find out now.
She assumes the whole thing will play out on live TV like everything seems to do with TNA.
Time for the X-Division title tournament.
Christian York vs. Kid Kash
They battle back and forth and York manages to pull out the surprise victory. The announcers put it over like a big shock and he'll move on to Genesis to face the winner of next week's tournament match.
Before a commercial break, Chavo Guerrero talked about wanting to get rid of Joey Ryan and saying he's not scared of Ryan's big man, Matt Morgan because he's got a big man of his own, Hernandez.
So that's the match.
Hernandez vs. Joey Ryan
Morgan comes out wearing a sling on his arm and he's got a mic to say he wanted to beat down Hernandez tonight but he got injured in the weight room so Ryan will have to do his dirty work tonight.
Of course, Ryan can't make it happen and Morgan reveals he's not really hurt by losing the sling and taking out Hernandez with a 360 clothesline. That leads to a disqualification but whatever, these teams will have a tag title match at Genesis.
Hulk Hogan walking in the back, so the big second hour starts with his family drama. Big surprise, right?
Backstage segment with Kurt Angle telling Wes Briscoe and Garrett Bischoff not to interrupt the match tonight. These two are seriously still being teased with this Aces and 8s nonsense. It's odd.
Angle sends them off and tells Samoa Joe they have to unmask someone tonight because he won't stop until the entire group is unmasked.
Conveniently enough, one of the members of the group in the cage match tonight is masked.
Back to the Hogan stuff, we get another video package showing us everything that has happened.
Here comes "The Hulkster."
He apologizes to the fans for not showing up last week but he needed some time away because he caught his daughter making out with Bully Ray in the parking lot the week before. I can see how that would devastate a father.
He calls out Bully and Brooke. Come on down, happy couple.
They come out together and the announcers talk about how awkward this "might get."
It's been awkward from day one, BROTHERS.
Hogan starts with Ray. He says there's a code in this business, a man code, a brother of the road code, a whatever the hell else you want to call it code. Bully owed it to Hulk to tell him about what was going on but he didn't and Hulk wants to know why.
Bully looks at Brooke before turning his attention to her dad.
"Hulk, you're right. We are brothers. I should have come clean with you. I should have told you about me and Brooke. It's all on me. All the heat is on me."
Hulk puts his finger in Bully's face and says he's been trying to tell everyone that he's no good. Hogan says when he talks about breaking the code, Bully doesn't even belong in this business. Brooke acts shocked that he would say such a thing.
Hogan tells her to back off. He starts going off on Ray and says if this was 20 years ago and it was some title belt they were fighting over, they would have already gone to war and one of them would already be gone. He's on fire here.
He says they can't get physical, though, so he's going the other route. Bully is suspended indefinitely without pay and he needs to get the hell out of the ring right now.
Hulk tells Brooke she made her decision and now she can live with it. "Get the hell out of this ring too."
I expected a disaster of a segment but Hulk can still really bring it when he's on his game. This was one of those times.
Even Bully and Brooke did well.
It looks like Joseph Park has graduated from OVW and he gets a glowing endorsement from the trainers down there. He says he's ready to head back to the main roster and he won't let his trainers down.
Nice little pre-tape.
I'll be damned if I'm not really enjoying this show.
Time for Knockouts action.
Gail Kim and Tara vs. Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher
The main theme of the match appears to be that while it's a tag team encounter, each lady thinks they can make a statement regarding their standing in the Knockouts division. Look impressive enough and maybe earn a title shot.
An unbelievably long commercial break mid-match means we miss most of the action. The babyfaces take control once they come back but we end up seeing a botch from Tessmacher and Tara off the turnbuckle. Awful. The booty pop is teased but ends up being the spot the heels regain control of the match.
After a bit of chaos sees Tessmacher take Tara out of the match on the outside, Mickie gets the pin on Kim.
Meeting between the Aces and 8s. Doc says the two in the group who ares till wearing masks need to keep their masks on. One of the masked fellas agrees and says they need to protect their masks "with our lives."
The other masked cat pulls out a switchblade and sticks it in the table.
So what, you're going to murder someone if they try to take your mask off? The fuck?
The steel cage is being set up in the ring so we get another video package, this one a replay of the segment to start the show.
Backstage we go where Roode and Aries are arguing with Hogan about the triple threat match. Hogan says it will be an elimination match too, so they don't have anything to complain about.
They do anyway.
Hogan also announces that they'll team up next week against Hardy and a partner of Hardy's choosing.
Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe vs. Aces and 8s
Doc shows up to attack Angle before he's able to get inside the ring. That leaves Joe in by himself with Devon and Masked Man. The referee rings the bell despite this having happened.
That might be the funniest thing in history. Like, screw it, something illegal just went down and the whole shit just changed but whatever, ring the bell, let's have a match.
Joe actually handles both guys in the ring, as we see them laid out coming back from break. Joe is down too, though, and it gives Angle enough time to recover from his beating on the outside to break into the ring. The referees are totally cool with this too, mind you.
Doc shows back up to get in the ring but Angle rushes him. He simply slams the door in Angle's face again. That was a dorky move. Gave him an excuse to blade, though, I guess.
Devon gets tossed, and the Masked Man gets tossed and Angle hits the Angle Slam to get the pin.
That was ... weird.
Oh, now there's an entire gang of Aces and 8s members hitting the ring to beat down the babyfaces. I wonder what this could signify?
Oh man, this is bad. The camera misses Sting walking out and only catches up once he's actually getting in the ring. The crowd pops for him but not too much. He takes everyone out with his baseball bat and the rest of the crew bails before leaving one guy in there.
That one guy is wearinga mask and it gets ripped off to reveal ...
Tenay actually calls him by that name and references the fact that he was in WWE. "Tazz you know that guy, known as Mike Knox in WWE."
This entire thing is so bad. It's just so, so bad.
Fade to black.