TNA Xplosion Tapings:
Magnus beat Robbie E. This match was taped before the live Impact show.
"Cowboy" James Storm beat Joey Ryan. This match was taped in between the first and second Impact.
May 2 TNA Impact Wrestling TV Taping (Airing Thursday):
Chris Sabin defeated Zema Ion and Sonjay Dutt in an X-Division three-way match. Sabin got a lot of offense in and looked very sharp in his return match. He hasn't missed a beat. The referee for this match was wearing the X-Division Ref Camera.
Rob Terry beat Robbie E, "Mr. Pectacular" Jessie Godderz and Joey Ryan in a handicap match. Terry pinned Joey Ryan. In a comical spot prior to the match, while the heel trio was deciding via "rock/paper/scissors" who would start in the ring with Terry, Robbie E and Jessie quickly stepped out of the ring - leaving Joey Ryan to start the match.
-Hulk Hogan came out for an in-ring promo. He said there was still a divide between he & Sting. Hogan immediately called Sting out to the ring, and Sting obliged. Hogan said he knew when he was right and when he was wrong. "I was wrong." He said that rather than pushing his friends away, he should have been pulling them towards him. He apologized to Sting, who in turn accepted his apology by shaking Hogan's hand. Sting told the crowd they're both together now. He asked for Hulk's blessing to take on the Aces & Eights in a 6-man tag-match.
Hogan said he gave Sting full authority to find his 2 partners for the match next week, because he was busy trying to find an opponent for Bully Ray at Slammiversary. Matt Morgan's music interrupted. He sarcastically asked if this was the part where Hogan gives Sting another title match. Hogan replied that Morgan's biggest problem is that he always picked the wrong time to run his mouth. He said that before Morgan interrupted him, he was just getting ready to announce that Bully Ray would defend the TNA Title at Slammiversary against the winner of tonight's main event: Matt Morgan vs. Sting
Kurt Angle defeated D-Lo Brown in an "I Quit" match via ankle lock submission. Angle came out to a HUGE hometown pop. Pre-match, D-Lo said it wouldn't be enough to beat Angle, he wanted to humiliate him. He said he would do something nobody had ever done before: beat Kurt Angle in an "I Quit" match. Aces & Eights had appeared briefly in the crowd to distract Angle, allowing D-Lo to get the upper hand before Angle came back to pick up the victory..
-After the match, Christy Hemne interviewed Angle, who made it clear he wanted to do one thing and that was to call out A.J. Styles. He said he knew A.J. was in the building. A.J.'s music hit and he entered the ring from the stage rather than the crowd. Angle referenced his home area of Western PA for a (loud) "cheap pop." Angle told Styles that by joining Aces & 8's that Styles would be taking the easy way out. Angle remarked that he had taken the easy way out plenty of times in the past and that he was very successful because of it. "But that's not your style, A.J." Angle said that he knew Styles had his problems he was going through, but he and Sting needed a partner to take on Aces & Eights. He said if he was with them (meaning Sting & Angle), it was cool; but if he was against them, then they had a problem. "Next week, the choice is yours."
Taryn Terrell and Mickie James defeated Gail Kim and Tara. Taryn pinned Tara. ODB was the referee. Following the match, Gail and Tara attacked Taryn and Mickie. Tara and Mickie fought to the back. Gail hit Taryn with "eat defeat" and then put her in a figure-four around the ring post until ODB came back to ringside and pulled her off.
-Bobby Roode and Austin Aries were out next for an in-ring promo. Roode said that last week Bad Influence was trying to get in his head. He said it wasn't about reforming Fourtune, but it was about the tag team championship. Aries said they weren't anything like Bad Influence. "In fact, we don't even like each other." Aries said they didn't ride together or laugh at each other's own jokes like Bad Influence. Daniels and Kazarian were out to interrupt. Funny enough, while the Bad Influence music played, Chavo's TNA tron video was shown.
Kazarian said Roode and Aries were nothing more than a cheap imitation of Bad Influence and that they would find that out in their match next week. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez were out next. Chavo announced that Hulk Hogan had named a special guest referee for next week's tag match and that it wasn't either one of Chavo or Hernandez. It was James Storm. Storm walked out on the stage to stare down Roode/Aries and Bad Influence.
Sting defeated Matt Morgan to earn the right to challenge for the TNA Title at Slammiversary. Morgan passed out in the Scorpion Death Lock. Post-match, Bully Ray, Devon and Ken Anderson of Aces & 8's hit the ring from through the crowd and stared down Sting from the ring apron to close the show.
Notes: I managed to see Kurt Angle's wife Giovanna in the crowd before the show. An entire five sections near the "hard-cam" were completely empty. The rest of the building was basically full. The Kovalchick Complex is a really nice venue and has to be fairly new from what I could observe. It was a perfect size for TNA on its initial run of "live" TV shows outside of the Impact Zone. TNA did a great job of keeping the crowd hot throughout the night, saving hometown guy Kurt Angle for the second show and having Sting appear twice on the second show after his brief appearance during the 1st show.
It was a real treat to see Sting again in-person, since WCW went out of business over 12 years ago and Sting very rarely does TNA house shows; it's the first time I've seen him wrestle live and in-person in at least 15 years. Sting shook hands with fans around the ringside area after his match, and TNA played "Happy Trails" over the sound system to send the fans home. Sal Rinauro of FIP/ROH/Wrestling... (Continues on next page)