Re: Impact Wrestling 2010: From Russia With Love
Charlotte, North Carolina
Victory Road 2010 starts off with a look back at all the changes that the company has gone through in a little over a month, from the shocking debut of the New World Order, to Jeff Hardy becoming champion, and everything in between. The opening video segment does not focus very heavily on any particular match; rather it decides to focus on this being a new beginning for Impact Wrestling as well as throwing in a hype for the pending debut of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Once the video has completed, the cameras cut to the ring area, the pyro goes off and the show begins.
Match #1: Christopher Daniels & Desmond Wolfe vs. Kazarian & Mistico vs. LAX vs. The New Mega Powers – King of the Mountain Qualifying Tag Team Gauntlet Match
Tonight’s show kicks off with the first King of the Mountain qualifying match, a four team gauntlet match where the winning team will be the first two men to qualify for the King of the Mountain match at Bound for Glory. As per the mini battle royal that occurred last Thursday, the team of Christopher Daniels and Desmond Wolfe will start the match in the ring, where they will face off against The New Mega Powers. The New Mega Powers are the first team out to the ring, getting a huge reaction from the crowd here in Charlotte. Daniels and Desmond are out next, coming to the ring separately, getting mixed reactions from the crowd.
Initially the momentum of the match goes in favor of The New Mega Powers. Eric Young and Jay Lethal, feeding off the loud reaction they are getting from the crowd, dominate Daniels and Desmond. Meanwhile, Desmond Wolfe appears rather annoyed with having to team up with Daniels again, seeming to not want anything to do with him. As a result, Daniels spends most of the match in the ring while Desmond stares off in to space. Just when things are starting to look bleak for them, suddenly a light bulb goes off in Desmond’s head and he finally realizes that if he wants a shot at the King of the Mountain match and as a result, the world title, he needs to kick it in to gear. He finally tags himself in, unloading on Young and Lethal. The New Mega Powers don’t seem to have much of an answer for Desmond, not even the reaction from the crowd is helping them at this point. The New Mega Powers give a valiant effort but in the end they just had no answer for the reinvigorated Desmond Wolfe. After toying with them for a few moments, Desmond finally finishes them off, covering them for the 1, 2, 3!
Eliminated: The New Mega Powers
Daniels and Desmond move on while The New Mega Powers are forced to go home. Next up is the team of the X Division Champion Kazarian and the luchador Mistico. Coming down to the ring together, Kazarian and Mistico dash to the ring and immediately confront both Daniels and Desmond, hoping to catch them off guard and gain an advantage. This strategy works somewhat but both Desmond and Daniels are well prepared for it. Once the referee is finally able to separate the two teams and get them in to normal position, the momentum starts to go back and forth. Daniels, having issues with both Kazarian and Mistico as of late, is chomping at the bit to enter the match but Desmond refuses, hoping to use that enthusiasm to their advantage later on. Once Desmond gets tired, he tags in Daniels who, as expected, enters the match and just goes off on both Kazarian and Mistico. This energy is short lived, however. Kazarian and Mistico have apparently developed a very good chemistry, using that chemistry to their advantage in fighting off Daniels, going back and forth amongst each other so Daniels isn’t able to wear down either one enough. Slowly, Daniels starts to wear himself down. Knowing he needs to do something and fast, Desmond Wolfe hatches a plan. As Kazarian is attempting a cover on Daniels, Desmond pulls the referee away, breaking up the count. Both the referee and Kazarian begin arguing with Desmond which is exactly what he wanted. Without having to communicate, Daniels knows exactly what to do. Sneaking up behind Kazarian, he rolls him up with a school boy. The referee, seeing this, turns around and starts the count, counting 1, 2, 3!
Eliminated: Kazarian & Mistico
Only one more team stands in the way of victory for Daniels and Desmond and that team is LAX. As Kazarian and Mistico begin heading towards the back, LAX’s music begins to play as Homicide and Hernandez slowly start making their way down the ramp. This is an odd strategy since it gives Desmond and Daniels time to catch their breath. LAX then enters the ring and the two teams stare each other down as they ready themselves for this final showdown in the gauntlet match. Since LAX is the most rested of the two, they obviously start with the most momentum. Instead of just using the big man Hernandez to destroy the opposition; LAX opts to wear Daniels and Desmond down even more before unleashing the big man. Once they feel they have them right where they want them, Hernandez is unleashed. Initially Hernandez dominates, doing everything that you would expect. Desmond and Daniels seem to have two choices here, either attempt to go toe to toe with him or try and slowly wear him out. Smartly, they go for the second option. Targeting Hernandez’s left knee, Desmond and Daniels begin to chop him down to their level, taking away his power game in the process. Hernandez seems to not notice this, rather he continues on like nothing’s wrong. Eventually though, it catches up to him. As he attempts one move, his left knee gives out, presenting the opening that Desmond and Daniels have been waiting for. With Hernandez down, Desmond moves in, grabbing the injured knee of Hernandez and twisting it around in a version of an ankle lock. Hernandez screams in pain and Homicide desperately tries to get tagged in but Desmond has Hernandez in the middle of the ring. Eventually the pain is too much; Hernandez is forced to tap out.
Winners via Submission: Christopher Daniels & Desmond Wolfe
Christopher Daniels and Desmond Wolfe now become the first two qualifiers for the King of the Mountain match. Following the match, Daniels enters the ring and starts to celebrate with his tag team partner as Homicide helps Hernandez up and to the back. Desmond once again appears annoyed with Daniels but he goes along with it anyway. Once the referee has finished raising both men’s hands, the camera cuts away to a brief interview segment.
In this backstage interview segment we see Mick Foley standing by with “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero, whose match against Bobby Lashley is up next.
Mick Foley: Pope, for a couple weeks now you’ve been training in mixed martial arts, showing videos of your training on T.V. even. Now the time has come to face Bobby Lashley. Do you feel you’re ready?
D’Angelo Dinero: Of course I’m ready daddy, why wouldn’t I be? You’ve seen it with your own eyes, Pope is now an MMA master, he has nothing to fear now.
Mick Foley: You don’t fear that Bobby has been training in MMA for much longer than you or that he’s angry because you hit on his wife?
D’Angelo Dinero: He should take that as a compliment, I mean look at her, she’s hot! But enough about that, no Pope does not fear that Bobby has been training in MMA for longer than he has, no because Pope is a natural when it comes to MMA. I make up the time difference by being such a gifted athlete.
Mick Foley: Well ok then, good luck to you.
D’Angelo Dinero: Thank you sir.
Pope then shakes Mick’s hand and walks off camera as the show goes to commercial.
Match #2: Bobby Lashley w/ Kristal Lashley vs. D’Angelo Dinero – King Of The Mountain Qualifying Match
Coming back from commercial, Victory Road moves on to match #2 tonight, the second King Of The Mountain Qualifying Match, this one between Bobby Lashley and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. This match was made by Jeff Jarrett after Bobby Lashley tried to jump D’Angelo Dinero in the hallway because he had hit on his wife. As each man begins making their way down to the ring, Mike Tenay and Taz give a brief history of the feud. Once both Bobby and the Pope make their way to the ring, Mike Tenay and Taz stop talking so the match can begin.
Once the bell rings whatever confidence Pope had going in to the match was erased. Looking like a scared little child, Pope starts running away from Bobby, being bound and determined not to get caught in his grasp. Pope uses whatever he can think of to get Bobby off his back, exiting the ring even and having Bobby chase him up and down the ramp. On a few occasions Pope manages to catch Bobby off guard, landing a few offensive moves but the moves were so minuscule in effectiveness that Bobby barely notices them. Deciding to just let Pope wear himself out, Bobby stops trying to catch him, hoping that Pope will get brave and try to attack him again. Although this plan doesn’t work at first, eventually Pope musters up enough courage when he thinks that Bobby has given up to go up to him and try to attack. It turned out to be a big mistake on his part. When he gets close enough, Bobby lunges and grabs Pope, and after a brief struggle, Bobby power bombs him to the ring apron and covers him with ease, 1, 2, 3!
Winner: Bobby Lashley
With ease, Bobby Lashley becomes the third man to qualify for the King of the Mountain match. D’Angelo Dinero on the other hand, will be forced to re-think his idea that he is somehow an “MMA master”. Following the match, Bobby Lashley gets his hand raised by the referee with his wife by his side while the Pope manages to pull himself up and access what’s happened. When he finally realizes that he’s lost, the only thing he can do is hang his head and walk out. Once both men have excited the ring, the show moves on.
Before the next match starts, a video segment is shown highlighting the entire Television championship tournament, including the crowning of the first ever Impact Wrestling T.V. Champion in Raven as well as one of the feuds that came out of the tournament, the feud between Abyss and Raven which lead to the next match. As the video ends, it continues to play up Abyss’ new “leader” and whether or not this person will play a role in the match. Once the video is done, the camera cuts back to the ring area, the next match is about to begin.
Match #3: Abyss vs. Raven [C] – King Of The Mountain Qualifying Match/Impact Wrestling Television Championship Match
The third match of the evening is the third King of the Mountain Qualifying match as well as the first championship match of the night pitting the challenger Abyss against the champion Raven. As mentioned before, this feud has taken a slightly different turn in the past couple of weeks with the revelation that a mysterious person has been guiding Abyss to attack and destroy Raven. We’ll just have to wait and see if this person will play a role in this match or not. There is no sign of the man anywhere as Abyss begins making his down to the ring, neither when Raven makes his way down.
Both men just stare at each other as the referee calls for the bell. Raven is the one who cautiously makes the first move, locking up with Abyss in the middle of the ring. Early on in the match it appears that Abyss does not have the same fire in him that he has made the past few weeks, since he’s not doing much to fight back especially against someone who he’s apparently been instructed to destroy. Raven is not fooled however, he continues attacking Abyss with great caution, always on the alert. As time goes on, many, including Raven, are starting to wonder exactly what’s up. Abyss is just sitting there, taking everything and barely doing anything about it. Is he under orders to do this or something? Wanting to put Abyss away before things get worse, Raven ratchets up the pressure on Abyss. Raven’s new offense seems to be working great as Abyss starts to drag even more than he was before. Slowly but surely Abyss gets the life drained out of him but he still does nothing. Then, once it appears that Abyss is nearly done for, a mysterious figure dressed in an all-black robe with a mask covering his face, appears on the top of the entrance ramp. The sight of this figure is all that Abyss needs to snap out of the funk that he was in. Out of nowhere, Abyss starts unloading on Raven. This sudden burst of offense overwhelms Raven. Abyss tosses Raven all over the ring, from ring post to ring post. With Raven nearly motionless, Abyss looks down towards his new mentor and gets a non-verbal cue to continue. Ducking outside for a brief second, Abyss grabs a steel chair and tosses it in the ring. The referee pleads with Abyss to not use the chair but Abyss simply ignores him. As Raven staggers to his feet, Abyss nails him right across the head with the chair, forcing the referee to stop the match and rule it a disqualification.
Winner via DQ and Still Impact Wrestling Television Champion: Raven
Raven retains the T.V. as well as qualifying for the King of the Mountain match. Abyss, on the other hand, despite having just lost not only the T.V. title but the chance to qualify for the King of the Mountain match, does not appear too sad about the matter at all. Rather, he seems very pleased that he’s once again successfully knocked out Raven. Medical personnel check on Raven with Abyss looking on the show cuts to commercial.
Match #4: The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Tommy Mercer w/ London & Kendrick
Coming back from commercial, it is now time for match #4 of the evening, a 2 on 1 handicap match between Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley of the Motor City Machine Guns and “The Masked Man” Tommy Mercer. This will only be Tommy’s second official match as a member of the Impact Wrestling roster so it should be interesting to see how he will fare against two veterans like Sabin and Shelley. Tommy is the first man out to the ring, followed closely behind by the two men that he protects, Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Next up are The Guns, coming out to the ring to a huge crowd reaction. As they approach the ring, London and Kendrick are busy getting Tommy hyped up.
As most would expect, for nearly the first three fourths of this match, the Motor City Machine Guns dominate. They use their speed, athleticism, and teamwork to confuse and wear down Tommy Mercer. Tommy spends a good majority of that time spinning around, trying to catch which either Gun is in the ring at the time. Tommy needs to focus and do it fast otherwise this match won’t end pretty for him. After actually managing to get some offense in, temporarily getting the Guns off of him, at least enough to go to his corner, he gets a pep talk from London and Kendrick. The cameras are unable to catch what London and Kendrick are saying to Tommy but whatever it was seems to have gotten Tommy focused and in a different state of mind. Tommy then returns to the action with a new sense of fire. This time he manages to catch Chris Sabin. With Sabin now in his grasp, Tommy starts wearing him down with a series of submission like holds as well as a series of irish whips/splashes in the corners of the ring. This ends up lasting for quite a while. Smartly, Tommy keeps Chris isolated, away from Alex Shelley. Eventually though, after struggling, Chris Sabin manages to inch his way over to his corner and tag in Alex Shelley. Tommy doesn’t have nearly the same success against Alex Shelley that he did against Chris Sabin. He struggles to get any sort of momentum going. At this point in the match, he is also starting to slow down considerably, having to catch his breath after nearly every move. Things are looking bad for Tommy at this point, he’ll need a miracle to win this match and a miracle is exactly what happened. After being backed up in to the Guns’ corner, Tommy elbows Chris Sabin in the side of the head which knocks him out, sending him crashing to the floor. As Alex Shelley turns to attempt to tend to his fallen friend, Tommy ducks away and stands and waits. As Alex turns around, Tommy nails him with a big boot which Tommy follows up with his version of the spine buster. Tommy then covers Alex Shelley and gets the 1, 2, 3!
Winner: Tommy Mercer
Tommy Mercer picks up the shocking victory. Following the match, both Paul London and Brian Kendrick enter the ring and celebrate with their bodyguard while on the outside medical staff are attending to Chris Sabin who is still not moving after taking a hard elbow to the side of the head courtesy of Tommy Mercer. Once London, Kendrick, and Mercer are finished celebrating, they exit the ring, not even stopping or looking back to check on the condition of Chris Sabin. They are just happy that they picked up the victory. As medical personal continue to attend to Chris Sabin, the camera cuts away.
Another video package is shown, this one concerning the next match about to take place, the final King of the Mountain Qualifying Match between Kurt Angle, Matt Morgan, and Scott Steiner. This match was made by Jeff Jarrett so Kurt Angle could try and get some measure of retribution for Steiner and Morgan distracting him during the finals of the T.V. championship tournament. This match will also put to the test the new relationship between Steiner and Morgan who only started working together a couple of weeks ago. Once the video finishes up, the camera cuts back to the ring area.
Match #5: Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan vs. Scott Steiner – King Of The Mountain Qualifying Match
Interestingly, as a show of teamwork perhaps, Matt Morgan and Scott Steiner walk down to the ring together, despite the fact that they will be opponents once the match starts. Could this signal bad things ahead for Kurt Angle or is it only a façade? We will find out shortly as Kurt Angle begins making his way to the ring. Ready for battle, Kurt enters the ring and gets right in to the face of both Steiner and Morgan.
Right off the bat, both Steiner and Morgan level Angle and start beating on him ferociously. It takes quite a bit of time but eventually Angle is able to fight his way to his feet. During the first half of this match, Angle is successfully able to fight both Steiner and Morgan at the same time, going back and forth between the two. Angle times everything just perfectly so he is never caught off guard. You can just see the frustration growing inside both Scott Steiner and Matt Morgan as they are unable to attack Angle together as they had originally planned. Surprisingly enough though, Steiner and Morgan do not begin arguing amongst each other, rather they remain calm and continue about their ways, knowing that Angle will have to tire eventually. As the match drags on, Angle does eventually start losing steam. The rapid fire way that he is fending off Steiner and Morgan starts to wear on him as his moves become less and less effective. Finally after trying so hard for so long, Steiner and Morgan get a hold of Angle and start beating on him. Just like Angle was going back and forth between each of them earlier, they now take turns wearing down Angle. Steiner uses submission type moves to wear Angle down whereas Morgan uses a combination of elbow strikes, punches, and kicks to knock him out. Soon enough, Angle starts getting to the point where he’s barely able to do anything, much less stand up. Now the question becomes, will Matt Morgan or Scott Steiner be the one to pin Angle? As expected, the two starts arguing as Matt Morgan attempts a pin on Angle. As they argue, this gives Angle just enough time to regain his senses and muster up enough energy to mount a comeback. When Morgan and Steiner turn around, Angle decks them both with a close line. He then tosses Steiner out of the ring, leaving him and Matt Morgan one on one. Angle begins working on Morgan, hitting the Angle slam on him to finish it off. Angle lowers the straps and prepares for the Ankle Lock. But before he can lock it in, Matt Morgan counters, ducking out of the way and on the way back around, nailing Angle with a big boot! Unbeknownst to Morgan, who is taking his sweet time celebrating the big boot, Steiner has snuck in from outside the ring and quietly covered Angle. The referee sees this and starts counting. Before Morgan can get there, he counts 1, 2, 3!
Winner: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner becomes the fifth and final man to qualify for the King of the Mountain match, stealing a victory from Matt Morgan. Matt Morgan can’t believe his eyes that he let that happen as Steiner backs his way up the entrance ramp, laughing as he does it. Morgan paces back and forth in the middle of the ring for a few seconds, obviously still mad that Steiner stole the victory but that’s all he does. Eventually he calms down and exits the ring. Kurt Angle, after having time to regain himself, also eventually gets up and leaves the ring. As Angle is making his way up the ramp, the show cuts to commercial.
Match #6: Beer Money vs. The British Invasion [C] – Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Match
Coming back from commercial, Victory Road goes right in to match #6 tonight, a tag team championship match between Beer Money and the champions, The British Invasion. Before each team begins making their way down the ramp, Mike Tenay and Taz give a quick recap of the buildup to this match, mentioning how Beer Money has not been working together very well as of late. Once they are done with their recap, the entrances can begin. First up is Beer Money, followed by the champions. Once the Brits enter the ring, they hand the belts to the referee, the referee hands the belts to the outside and the match begins.
James Storm begins the match in the ring for his team, and Doug Williams begins the match in the ring for his team. Initially the match is very even, both teams deciding not to take many risks, rather opting to instead feel each other out and get a feel for each other’s strategy. The champs strategy seems to revolve around exploiting Beer Money’s struggles as of late which doesn’t work so well since Beer Money has apparently brought their A game for this match. Beer Money’s strategy is shock and awe, trying to overwhelm their opponents with brute strength quickly and effectively. Beer Money’s strategy appears to be working but they’re not quite getting the results they are hoping for. They hit every move but despite their best efforts, the champs still get back up and ready for more. Despite growing frustration, they continue on, not letting this get the best of them. Up until this point, the Brits had merely been playing defense, trying to survive Beer Money’s unrelenting offense but as the match continues on, they start growing bolder and bolder, firing back with some quick hitting offense of their own. Eventually the match becomes nearly evenly split with Beer Money and the Brits trading powerful strikes back and forth. It’ll come down to which one can last the longest. Despite their best efforts, it looks like it’s the champs who are lasting the longest. Since Beer Money has been using their powerful, quick strike offense the whole match, by this point they are starting to grow tired. The champs slowly build momentum while Beer Money slowly loses it. Eventually it reaches a point where Beer Money just doesn’t have anything left. They try but it’s no use. The match drags on for a little while but eventually the Brits put Beer Money away with the Chaos Theory by Doug Williams. Williams then covers Robert Roode for the 1, 2, 3, champs retain!
Winners and Still Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions: The British Invasion
The champs retain while Beer Money is left to once again re-asses themselves. Following the end of the match, the referee hands the Brits their belts while raising their hands. Beer Money is only able to put their hands on their hips and hang their heads in disbelief. Once the referee finishes raising the champs’ hands, Williams and Magnus then exit the ring, leaving Beer Money alone. Once they are out of site, Beer Money gets up to exit the ring. But before they can leave the ring entirely, they are stopped dead in their tracks by a very loud “WOO!”. The crowd goes absolutely nuts and Beer Money stands there with eyes wide open as that can only be from one man, that man being “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. The crowd erupts as Naitch himself steps out of the entrance tunnel. Flair pauses at the top of the ramp, posing for the fans, letting everything sink in before eventually making his way down to the ring. Beer Money remains wide eyed as Flair enters the ring and demands a microphone.
Ric Flair: Wooo!
The crowd woos back. Flair then turns and faces Beer Money.
Ric Flair: Do you two know who I am?
Both James Storm and Robert Roode nod their heads.
Ric Flair: You better, because you’re standing in the presence of God right now. I am a wrestling god, the greatest world heavyweight champion of all time! Limosine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’, son of a gun, the NATURE BOY! Woo!
The crowd once again woos back.
Ric Flair: I’ve been keeping my eye on you two for a long time. Ever since Hogan called me up and got me to come to Impact Wrestling, I said only if I got to work with those two, they’re future stars, championship material even.
Beer Money can’t believe they’re getting put over this way by Flair himself.
Ric Flair: But, as I’ve watched, I’ve noticed a lot of problems. You guys are good, real good but you’re not wrestling god material, not yet.
Both Storm and Roode give Flair a confused response.
Ric Flair: If you’re willing to follow me, learn from me, the 16 time world champion, I will make you in to gods, what do you say?
Flair extends his hand towards Storm and Roode. Storm and Roode then look at each other, trying to figure out what to do. Eventually they both agree and shake Flair’s hand. Flair’s new theme music begins to play and the three begin walking to the back together. As they make their way up the ramp, the camera cuts away.
Victory Road continues on with a backstage segment featuring the three members of the New World Order competing in the next match against Samoa Joe. Scott Hall and X-Pac are finishing getting ready when Kevin Nash enters the room.
Kevin Nash: Ready?
Scott Hall: Brother, I was born ready.
Hall and Pac then finish up lacing their boots and such, stand up and walk out of the room with Kevin as the show cuts to a video recap of the brief history of the New World Order in Impact Wrestling. The recap is in traditional N.W.O. black and white promo style. Nothing real important happens, just gets fans caught up on the story. Once the video is done, the camera cuts back to the ring area.
Match #7: Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, & X-Pac vs. Samoa Joe
Before anybody can begin to make their way down to the ring, Mike Tenay and Taz are once again joined at the broadcast table by “The King Of The Mountain” Jeff Jarrett. Once Jeff has sat down and gotten situated, the entrances begin. First up is the New World Order. Nash, Hall, and X-Pac all make their way down to the ring together, getting a mix of boos and a few cheers in the process. Once the N.W.O. enters the ring and gets all situated, the camera goes off in to the audience and focuses in on one spot, revealing the fact that Eric Bischoff is in the audience. Samoa Joe’s music then hits and “The Samoan Submission Machine” begins making his way down to the ring. Joe then enters the ring and immediately stares at all three N.W.O. members.
Scott Hall begins the match in the ring for the N.W.O. Scott locks up with Joe in the middle of the ring but that doesn’t last long. Pretty soon after that Joe has Hall down. He then gets him in position for the muscle buster which he hits. However, instead of covering him, he simply tosses Hall to the outside and taunts either X-Pac or Nash to come in and take him on. X-Pac is the next challenger. Pac has some measure of success; he’s able to use a series of quick karate-like kicks to Joe’s knees and legs. Pac is unable to do much more than this however; instead he spends most of the time in the ring running and darting away from Samoa Joe. This doesn’t last though. Eventually Joe catches up to him and X-Pac ends up suffering the same fate as Scott Hall, muscle buster, then tossed to the outside. There is now only one man left. “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash enters the ring and immediately squares off with Samoa Joe, trading punches back and forth. Nash has by far the most success of the three N.W.O. members, actually managing to get Joe backed up in to the ring post a couple times but what he is able to do turn out to not be that effective. Joe is just an unstoppable train at this point. After about a minute or so, Joe gets Nash in position to inevitably put him away. However before he does, in the audience Eric Bischoff stands up and points to Joe. This apparently was some kind of signal because once Eric points, Joe immediately lays down, waiting for Nash to cover him. Nash shakes the cobwebs lose, stands up, and puts a foot over Joe as the referee counts 1, 2, 3!
Winner: Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, & X-Pac
With that move, Samoa Joe turns his back on Impact Wrestling and aligns himself with the New World Order. Scott Hall and X-Pac join Nash and Joe in the ring and all four members start celebrating their victory. Enraged over what just happened, Jeff Jarrett gets up from the broadcast table and storms in to the ring. He gets right in to the face of Joe, yelling at him rather loudly. Joe just laughs, turns the other way for a brief second, turns back around and then nails Jarrett with a powerful right hook, knocking him out. The N.W.O. then exits the ring as the crowd continues to boo them. The camera then cuts back to the broadcast table.
Killing time as the steel cage is being set up, Mike Tenay and Taz comment on what just happened. They ponder the ramifications of Scott Hall and X-Pac getting Impact Wrestling contracts and what that’ll mean for the future of this company. Is there anybody that can stop them now? Once they are done commenting on that, they switch focus to tonight’s main event, the world championship steel cage match between A.J. Styles and Jeff Hardy. They show a dual screen shot of both Hardy and Styles preparing themselves in the back as the show cuts to its final commercial.
Match #8: A.J. Styles vs. Jeff Hardy [C] – Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match
Coming back from commercial, it is now time for the main event, a steel cage world heavyweight championship match between the challenger A.J. Styles and the champion Jeff Hardy. First to make their way to the ring is “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles. Styles, who has been distracted as of late, appears focused and ready to go. Once he enters the ring and the cage, the music of the champion begins to play. The crowd erupts, giving the champion the second biggest reaction of the night as he makes his way down to the ring. Once inside, Hardy hands the belt to the referee, another referee then locks the cage door, and the match can begin.
A.J. Styles wastes no time in rushing and attacking Jeff Hardy. Styles catches Hardy by surprise, knocking him to his feet. It is clear that Styles’ game plan is very similar to what Beer Money’s was before in their match, overwhelm their opponent with a heavy hitting, quick strike offense. Styles also uses the steel cage to his advantage, tossing Hardy into it a few times. Styles also wisely begins targeting Jeff’s knees and legs, to hopefully wear him down enough to take away his high flying offense. He uses a series of stomps/kicks coupled with a few submission holds to wear down Hardy’s legs. With how effective Styles has been you would think that this match would be over rather quickly but with the crowd firmly behind him, Hardy remains in the game. Every once in a while Hardy manages to get in a few moves here and there but Styles remains in firm control of the momentum, not letting up one inch. Eventually though, as the crowd starts chanting more and more for Hardy, Jeff starts building some momentum. A little here and a little there as Jeff climbs his way back in to contention. Styles does remain in relative control but Hardy has now fought his way back to where it is now more of an even fight. This is where the cage starts coming in to play once again. Hardy and Styles trade strikes back and forth, each seemingly taking turns in using the cage against their opponent. Neither man seems to have been able to change the momentum of the match quite yet until Styles once again starts to pull away. The work he did on Hardy’s legs earlier in the match starts to pay off as Hardy is starting to have a hard time standing up. This allows Styles to gain an even more sizable edge on Hardy. However, despite this he is unable to truly put Hardy away due to the massive following that Hardy has amongst the crowd. Hardy once again starts fighting his way back in to the match, this time though, he starts to take control. As the crowd builds and builds and builds, Hardy builds up a head of steam, overwhelming Styles. This all culminates in a Twist of Fate on Styles! Hardy then ponders covering Styles but before he does that, he gets an idea. Climbing to the top rope, Hardy then starts climbing all the way to the top of the cage. The fans and everyone know what Hardy is about to do. Jeff then positions himself a top the cage, jumps off and hits an impressive Swanton Bomb right on Styles from the top of the cage. The crowd goes nuts as Hardy covers Styles for the 1, 2, 3!
Winner and Still Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy
Hardy, clutching his ribs, gets his arm raised by the referee as he is handed the belt. The crowd continues cheering as Hardy pauses to catch his breath. Once he’s caught it, he takes his title and holds it up high above his head as the crowd cheers on. Hardy then turns to exit the ring/steel cage but before he can, the lights suddenly go out. The arena is entirely silent for a few seconds before the sound of rain and thunder are once again heard. Once the lights come back on, only the ring is lit up, revealing “The Icon” Sting, perched atop the cage, pointing his baseball bat right at Hardy. The two stare each other down as the show fades to black.