Lockdown 2013 is in the book and TNA Wrestling has a new world heavyweight champion. Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy in a predictable, yet exciting finish which saw Ray win the title and reveal himself as the leader of Aces & 8’s.
TNA Lockdown was a mixed show which will be remembered most for the final match of the night than anything else on the card. Bully Ray pinned Jeff Hardy to win the title in a Steel Cage Match. The final minutes of the match saw the last six months of Bully Ray’s TNA career come full circle after admitting to screwing the Hogans and being the President of Aces & 8’s.
The match saw interference early from Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco. They climbed into the cage but and were fought off by Hardy and Ray. Hardy and Ray worked as a tag team and eventually threw both members of Aces & 8’s out the door before going back to the match.
The finish of the match saw Bully powerbomb Hardy off of the top rope after Hardy tried to escape the cage. Hardy kicked out of a pin attempt. Hulk and Brooke Hogan were at ringside together by this time. Aces & 8’s surrounded the cage. Ray gave Hardy a chain and the two stood back to back ready to fight the group. Devon gave Bully a hammer which he used to nail Hardy with and wound up pinning him to win the title.
Bully told Brooke she meant nothing to him and threatened Hulk. Hogan told Ray he was a “dead man.” Ray then took the microphone and cut a promo saying he used Brooke and screwed Hulk. A few fans that appeared planted started throwing trash after which more fans followed giving it an “n.W.o. moment.” Bully then told the crowd that he was the President of the group.
I have mixed feelings on the angle. It was a tremendous moment and one of the most exciting in TNA history. But in the end Hulk Hogan looked like an idiot as did everyone else in TNA. Anyone who watched Impact with a clue knew that Bully was going to eventually turn. Hogan never appeared to question it and always endorsed Bully to skeptical wrestlers. Unless it is revealed at some point that Hulk was in on it all along (wouldn’t be surprised), he really looks like a fool. Dixie in Hulk’s spot would have been better because she should be more naïve than a veteran like Hulk.
I also don’t know where you go from here with Bully. The money match would appear to be Bully vs. Kurt Angle or Sting. I am not sure how Hulk plays into this, other than an eventual turn if that is the way this thing turns out. I have to think that most fans left the event wanting to see Hulk vs. Bully, well those that aren’t aware of Hulk’s physical limitations. I highly doubt the match is coming so I really don’t get Hogan’s involvement at this point unless he’s wrestling or winds up in the faction.
You could argue both sides of Bully being champion. On the one hand he is a fresh face to the title and he has been one of the best characters on the show in a long time. On the other he is 41-years old and has never been perceived as a major singles star or threat. This goes back to the old argument of youth vs. veterans in TNA. Normally I’d be on the youth side but TNA hasn’t developed any young fresh faces to be world champions in a long, long time. I really have no problem with him as champ but I am sure some will.
Other notes from Lockdown…Jeff Hardy suffered a bad concussion on that final powerbomb off the top rope and was in bad shape after the show. TNA announced the Lockdown crowd as the biggest in company history. The last reported number was 6,700, although Dave Meltzer was skeptical on his F4Wonline.com. What amazes me about that number is that this company has never drawn more than 10,000 people to an event in 11 years! This is a company that at one time had Hogan, Ric Flair, the Hardys, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam on its roster at the same time and they couldn’t break 10,000? I have no idea how this company makes any money if that’s the case. AJ Styles is also scheduled to return on Thursday. He can’t receive a world title shot for a year according to the storylines so maybe they try a year-long build with Bully? Bobby Roode has also reportedly worked out any contractual issues with the company.
Full TNA Wrestling Lockdown 2013 results and winners…
Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy (c) in a Steel Cage match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Team TNA (Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe, James Storm and Eric Young) defeated Aces & Eights (Devon, Mr. Anderson, Knox, DOC and Garett Bischoff) in a Lethal Lockdown match
Wes Brisco defeated Kurt Angle in a Steel Cage match
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (c) defeated Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez in a Three-Way Tag Team match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
Robbie T defeated Robbie E
Velvet Sky (c) defeated Gail Kim in a match for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Joseph Park defeated Joey Ryan
Kenny King (c) defeated Christian York and Zema Ion in a Three-Way match for the TNA X Division Championship
So, TNA Wrestling Lockdown is now upon us and what was once known as the biggest clusterf*ck of a PPV in pro wrestling is more or less a Hell in a Cell knockoff at this point, as only three matches have been announced to take place inside the cage. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. Still, the card overall looks incredibly weak, despite the fact that Lockdown is supposed to be TNA’s 2nd biggest PPV behind BFG each year.
JOEY RYAN VS. JOSEPH PARK
I only found out about this match by going to TNA’s website, as they have done absolutely nothing to promote this match. Hell, Ryan hasn’t been seen on television in over a month, and only last week did his partner, Matt Morgan return to TV. Joseph Park, on the other hand, has been shoved down our throats since day one, so bet on him winning in this completely meaningless match.
ROBBIE E VS. ROBBIE T
Despite the fact that this match has been promoted more than the previously mentioned one, people will likely be even less interested. Outside of possibly their immediate families, I don’t know of anyone who really gives a damn about either of these guys. The whole feud stems from T being a “better bro”, and that’s literally it. How can anyone possibly care about this match? Anyway, T easily wins here because E never wins matches, and T is big. That’s pretty much it.
3-WAY MATCH FOR THE WORLD X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: KENNY KING (CHAMPION) VS. ZEMA ION VS. CHRISTIAN YORK
You know, I’m noticing a trend here. Third match in, and it has had no build outside of King challenging anyone to face him at Lockdown in a vignette that aired this past Thursday night. While it’s nice to see York in the mix, much like RVD, I’ve seen Ion wrestle King more times than I can count in various matches, and I’m tired of it. Moving King onto a feud with York is fine, but get rid of Ion. And I mean for good. The guy is a train wreck. Anyway, considering this match has had no build and King just won the title a week ago (on television, at least), he will be retaining. If TNA is smart, they have him pin Ion so York can claim he wasn’t the won defeated, leading into a one-on-one rematch in the future.
KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP: GAIL KIM VS. VELVET SKY (CHAMPION)
TNA can shove Sky down my throat all they want, I’m still not buying her as the face of a women’s division. Kim, on the other hand, is one of the best female performers in the world, but at this point in time, she’s very obviously going through the motions. Despite the fact that she’s had several title reigns since returning to TNA and has been one of the main faces of the division, she just looks bored in her matches. Quite frankly, considering the “competition”, I don’t blame her. Still, if anyone can get a good match out of Velvet Sky, it’s her, but I’m not keeping my hopes up high. And as much as Kim deserves the championship, Sky is not losing it. Much like Kenny King, she just recently won the championship, so don’t expect her to drop it so quickly.
3-WAY MATCH FOR THE WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: BAD INFLUENCE (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & KAZARIAN) VS. AUSTIN ARIES & BOBBY ROODE (CHAMPIONS) VS. CHAVO GUERRERO & HERNANDEZ
While I fully expect Roode and Aries to eventually split up (or at least go after singles titles while remaining a team), it’s not time yet. Honestly, these two are about the most entertaining thing in TNA right now, and both are damn good at what they do. Although the dysfunctional tag team thing has been done to death, Aries and Roode are kind of an anomaly because they’re a heel team doing it instead, and it’s become very entertaining. While I expect BI to regain the titles at some point or another, they won’t do it until a face team has the belts. As for the team they eventually beat, I’m pretty sure (or at least hopeful) that it won’t be Chavo & Hernandez. The fact is that fans do not give a damn about these two, and Hernandez was completely dumped on during the UK tour by every single crowd he performed in. Back in the states, the reception has only been slightly warmer. Out of everyone in this match, the most over team are the current champions, and I think they need to stay champions a bit longer to keep their current angle interesting. Champs retain in my view.
STEEL CAGE MATCH: KURT ANGLE VS. WES BRISCO
This match is going to be a mess, and is predictable from the get-go. It’s Angle in a cage. When was the last time you saw him lose a one-on-one cage match? When you take into account that Brisco is a nobody who does not deserve such a high-profile match, and you have your winner in Kurt Angle, with Aces and Eights likely trying to run interference towards the end, or just waiting until it’s over and attacking post-match. I would be amazed (and quite frankly confused) if Brisco won here. Just having a famous father who was good at what he did does not automatically make you talented, and Wes Brisco is walking proof of that. Kurt Angle is taking this one, and I will go one further and predict that Angle will botch a moonsault from the top of the cage as the crowd chants “Holy sh*t” like they’ve never seen it before, despite the fact that Angle botches a moonsault in literally every singles cage match he’s ever been in since the one against Krispen Wah years ago.
LETHAL LOCKDOWN: TEAM TNA (MAGNUS, SAMOA JOE, STING, JAMES STORM AND ERIC YOUNG) VS. ACES AND EIGHTS (GARETT BISCHOFF, DEVON, DOC, KNOX AND MR. ANDERSON)
Despite the fact that they’ve built this match up a few weeks, no one for either team was announced until last week. While A and E went pretty much the only way they could and picked every single unmasked member of the group (save Wes Brisco) for their team, Team TNA is just a mishmash of wrestlers. Yes, they’ve all been attacked by A and E, but that’s pretty much the only thing they have in common. And Eric Young? The guy has been gone for months filming a reality show and all of a sudden, he’s made a member of the team. Only one guy deserves this spot less than Young, and that’s Garett Bischoff. I don’t think I need to say any more on the subject. The only really shining part of Team TNA is Magnus, who is finally starting to get some kind of a push in TNA. I’ve thought he has deserved better for a long time, and it’s nice to see TNA finally coming out of their comfort zone and giving him a chance. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to bode well for this match, which I predict will be a huge mess. Lethal Lockdown always is, but considering who is in it this time, I expect it to be worse than normal. Think the very last War Games, and we’re now on the same page. Anyway, neither team winning will really mean much in the long run, as this storyline isn’t going away anytime soon, but considering we just learned who the V.P. of A and E is (g*ddamn D’Lo Brown, for those that don’t know), which was supposed to be a major turn in the storyline, I’m predicting A and E to win here.
STEEL CAGE MATCH FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: BULLY RAY VS. JEFF HARDY (CHAMPIONSHIP)
And now, the main event. A main event that, if it weren’t for the fact that Ray is married to Hulk Hogan’s daughter on TV, would make absolutely no sense. So, Hogan has some qualifying matches on TV, and whoever impresses him the most gets a World title match. After all the matches, he picks his storyline son-in-law Bully Ray, despite the fact that Ray wasn’t involved in any of those matches in any conceivable way. From there, we get weeks of Ray and Hardy glad-handing each other every chance they get, and that’s pretty much it. Based on how sugary-sweet Ray is as a face right now, it’s only a matter of time before he turns heel again. I see one of two outcomes here: 1) Matt Morgan interferes and somehow costs Ray the title, thanks to their skirmish this past Thursday night, or 2) Ray wins the title and immediately turns on Hardy. I have a feeling prediction #1 will be closer to the truth (for now, at least), but it could really go either way
This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling features another installment of Open Fight Night. As you can probably tell, I’m beside myself with glee. We’re also in the United Kingdom, so at least there’s that.
Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle in a steel cage is on-tap, and Dixie Carter’s major surprise announcement that TNA will go on the road permanently from here on out. Oops.
Bad Influence make their way out, and they’re both dressed like Sir William Wallace. Kaz says they’re here for the UK’s viewing pleasure. As you can see, it once again “Throwback Thursday”, and they’re going all the way back to the 13th century. Tonight, they pay homage to the real true warriors of the UK, the Scots (they’re in Manchester right now, in case you were wondering). All of you “piss artists” and “turd burglars” need to look at this man, Christopher Daniels. I’m not listing off all of Kaz’s dumbass catchphrases that he just spewed. Daniels says he hears everyone booing. He knows they’re disappointed Jeff Hardy is still champion. They’re disappointed, too. He makes some cracks about getting poisoned by Jeff Hardy’s facepaint. He then calls the crowd tossers, because gay jokes are apparently funny. He will get another shot at the title somewhere down the road, and when he does, he’ll bring the title back to this rotten country. Everyone knows there’s nothing easier than beating the English. Until that day, he now gives the crowd permission to worship them.
Magnus’ music hits, and the hometown boy gets a nice response. Good to see him back, as I think he’s very underrated. He has his own theory on Daniels not being champion: it might be because Hardy beat him like he owes Hardy money. It might be because Daniels is a grown man who uses words like “shabbledab” and “appletini”. Or, it might be because Bad Influence are a couple of disrespectful muppets who are in need of a good slap. If they feel like being William Wallace for a night, though, and feel like fighting an Englishman, Magnus is one. They can fight him. Daniels responds by shoving Magnus, so Magnus decks both of them. Bad Influence begin double-teaming him until Magnus backdrops Kaz over the top rope and boots Daniels. He clotheslines Daniels over the top to the floor before saying it’s an honor and privilege for everyone in the company to do what they do for the fans that pay to see them do it. That privilege was taken from him by Aces and Eights, led by a man he’s calling out, since it’s OFN. Devon, get out here and face him one-on-one. Now.
MATCH 1: Magnus vs. World Television Champion Devon
Devon isn’t wearing the title belt, which just shows you how little it means. Magnus drops Devon with a clothesline before throwing him to the floor. Magnus heads out and throws him into the guardrail. He does this a few more times before throwing Devon back in the ring. Devon kicks the ropes as Magnus comes back in, then connects with a clothesline. Choke over the middle rope by Devon, followed by punches in the corner. Magnus fires back with rights, so Devon rakes the eyes. Legdrop by Devon as he mocks Hulk Hogan. More rights by Magnus until Devon drops him with a flying shoulderblock. Devon applies a trapezius claw until Magnus fights back. Devon lands a clothesline off the ropes, then hits a bodyslam. From the middle, Devon misses the headbutt. Magnus with a pair of clotheslines and a running knee. Misdirection clothesline by Magnus, and he connects with a Michinoku Driver #2. Before he can get the pin, Mike Knox and DOC run interference.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Magnus. Magnus manages to fight them all off, sending them back through the crowd.
Up next, Joseph Park makes an OFN challenge.
We see Buddy Ray, Sting and Brooke Hogan in the back. Ray hasn’t been able to get a hold of Hulk Hogan. Sting says Hogan sent him a message that just said, “I’ll be there.”
Joseph Park is already in the ring, and he sucks up to the UK fans. To the point. It’s been a stressful week of deliberations. He’s watched hours of video and made notes, but it’s still a tough decision. Before he can finish, The Robbies interrupt. Wait just a second, bro. This is a joke, right? This is a joke, right, bro? Park says he didn’t pick either of these guys. E says Park isn’t a wrestler, bro. In fact, he’s just a hamster like everyone else in the UK. E pokes him in the chest while repeating himself, but before he finishes, he points at T, who is staring a hole through him. He says that, since T lives in the US, he’s basically American now anyway, so he doesn’t count. E grabs Park’s notebook and spits on it before challenging Park to a fight, bro. Come on, bro! Fight him, hamster!
MATCH 2: Joseph Park vs. Robbie E (w/Robbie T)
Park ducks a clothesline. E goes for a cross-body, but bounces off. E drops him with a gut shot, then beats him down. Back up, Park hits a hip toss and an armdrag. Bodyslam by Park, but he misses a splash. E kicks him a few times, then punches him in the head. E hits a flying clothesline from the middle rope, and an elbow from the middle for 2. E misses a hanging clothesline. Park knocks him down a few times, but misses an avalanche. He rebounds and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Park goes to the middle rope and hits a splash for the 3.
WINNER: Joseph Park.
We see Hulk Hogan enter the building.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are in the ring. Everyone is excited to be in the presence of greatness and dominance. Aries says that, in a company where men steal money, the two most valuable men continue to be robbed. That’s all going to change, though, as they are ushering in a new era. He and Roode are getting on the same page, and what they are going to do is collect all the gold, one-by-one. They’ll start with the KO title, the TV title and the World title. Now, they’re going to start with the easiest titles to capture, that being the World Tag Team titles. Roode says they view Chavo and Hernandez like everyone else-nothing but a bunch of wankers.
Chavo and Hernandez make their way out. Chavo doesn’t like the “easiest championships” comment. To earn a title match against the champions, you have to be a tag team, and Aries/Roode aren’t one. Aries takes offense to that, and says Roode beat Hernandez fair and square. Chavo says that, since it’s OFN, why don’t they fight? Aries agrees and says that, if one of them beats one of the champs, they get a title match. Aries volunteers for the match, as does Chavo.
MATCH 3: Austin Aries (w/Bobby Roode) vs. World Tag Team Co-Champion Chavo Guerrero (w/Hernandez)
Chavo hits a forearm and a back suplex. Aries comes back with a Stun Gun. Chavo blocks a tope con hilo, hotshots Aries, and hits a hilo of his own. Chavo stomps Aries in the corner as we go to commercials.
We’re back, and Aries rolls to the floor off an Irish whip. Chavo connects with a plancha to the floor on Roode, and Aries takes him out with a suicide dive. Back in, Aries drops some elbows for 1. In the corner, Aries hits some chops, then chokes Chavo with his foot. Snapmare, followed by a spinning European uppercut from the middle for 2. Aries hits some body blows in the corner, and Chavo fights back before running into a kitchen sink. Buzzsaw gets 2 for Aries. Aries boxes the ears before hitting a hip throw into a side headlock. Aries thumbs him in the throat before connecting with a back body drop for 1. Up top, Aries mocks Chavo before missing a frog splash. Chavo fights back and hits a dropkick. Strikes in the corner, followed by a back body drop. Chavo goes for the 3 Amigos, but Aries escapes. He turns around into a rolling kick for 2. Chavo connects on the second try and goes up for the frog splash. Chavo connects, but Roode slides into the ring before the ref can count. He leaves as Hernandez also enters the ring, and with the distraction, Aries hits a running corner dropkick and the brainbuster for 3.
WINNER: Austin Aries.
Brooke Hogan runs into Buddy Ray to tell him that Hogan is here tonight. They are apparently headed to the ring now.
We see Kurt Angle with Samoa Joe and the Wonder Twins. Joe tells Angle he has what he wants tonight, and he guarantees things won’t happen in the cage the same way they did last time. The Wonder Twins pipe up, and Joe tells them no one needs them. Quit riding his jock. Foreshadowing. Dun-dun-dun…
Buddy Ray and Brooke Hogan make their way out. Hard to believe the guy is suspended when he keeps showing up every week. Just saying. Taz is blabbing about his ironclad contract that no one gives a damn about. Ray says that it’s been a rough couple of weeks for him and his husband. He loves Brooke very much, and it’s his love that got him suspended by Brooke’s dad. Hulk, Ray is family now, and the two of them have a common enemy. That enemy is Aces and Eights. He needs Hogan to lift the suspension. No one has been able to get him to do it. However, there’s one man that can, and that’s Sting, apparently. Sting enters the arena, and he’s back in the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band jacket. I hope he enjoys his show. At least he’s painting his face like normal. He has news for Ray. He doesn’t have the stroke to pull Hogan out (?), but the people do. He calls for a “Hogan” chant, because Hogan’s ego hasn’t been stroked enough over the last two centuries. Hogan makes his way out, petting his chin. Sting says they have a warzone going on. They’re back together in the UK, so he can’t figure out a better place to make things right with Buddy Ray, right now. Hogan’s turn. Well you know something, Stingmun? There’s a war going on here in TNA. Why don’t you tell him something he doesn’t know, brother? At the end of the day, whether they’ve been friend or foe, he always does the right thing. As far as this woman goes, the day of her wedding, she was still his little girl, brother, and he did the right thing when he walked her down the aisle. As far as his family goes, he always does the right thing, brother. At the end of the day, he always does the right thing, and that’s why Buddy Ray is reinstated, brother, brother, brother, brother, jack, dude, jack, maniacs, mun, brother, brother. What makes him crazy is when business and family get confused. He’s taking care of that next week when he makes a match between two A and E guys vs. Sting and Buddy Ray. To make sure he takes care of all the business, next week, the tag match will be a Tables Match, brother.
Velvet Sky is on her way out for her OFN challenge, but first, Dixie Carter. Dixie Carter makes a condescending and scripted statement about taking TNA out of the Impact Zone and the company will be on the road permanently starting March 14th in Chicago.
Velvet Sky comes out, wearing probably the stupidest wrestling boots in history. She has something to get off her chest right now. It’s a special night for her, and because it’s OFN, it gives her the reason to call out the two reasons she’s not champion today. Tara, it would be in your best interest to come out now, and bring your Hollywood girlfriend Jesse with you. They come out and Sky says this isn’t a Handicap Match. While they were in the back drinking protein shakes, Sky got a partner. He drinks, but it isn’t protein
MATCH 4-Mixed Tag Team Match: Velvet Sky and James Storm vs. Jesse and Knockouts Champion Tara
Quite the demotion for Storm here, wouldn’t you say? The men start the match. Storm fires off some rights before hitting a shoulder off the ropes and a hip toss. Storm with a Snake Eyes and a hard right. Tara distracts Storm, and Jesse clubs him from behind. He stomps Storm down in the corner, then drags him to the middle for 1. Top wristlock is applied, and Jesse turns it into a snapmare and hits a legdrop for 2. Storm counters a bodyslam with a backstabber. The women tag in, and Sky does the hot tag offense. Side-Russian legsweep for 2 by Sky. Sky shoves her into Jesse and rolls her up for 2. Hairmare by Tara, and Sky tags out. Storm comes in and hits Closing Time on Jesse. Tara blocks the Last Call, so Sky hits In Yo Face and gets the pin. Wait, weren’t the guys still legal?
WINNERS: Velvet Sky and James Storm.
We see Hogan and Brooke talking to AI, and Hogan proceeds to suck up to Buddy Ray the entire time.
How many more times is the word “wheelhouse” going to be used tonight? Jesus.
Mr. Anderson is talking about how great Aces and Eights is. Then he rambles on about Kurt Angle. I’m not recapping the crap that comes out of his mouth anymore.
Kurt Angle and the Wonder Twins are checking on Samoa Joe, who has apparently been attacked.
MATCH 5-Cage Match: Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle (w/Wes Brisco)
Anderson attacks as Angle gets into the ring. Hard whip into the corner by Anderson for 1. Anderson hits some shots to the ribs, and Angle blocks a suplex before running into a back elbow for 1. They trade shots before Angle hits a middle rope dropkick. Angle hits a pair of clotheslines and a German suplex. Anderson escapes the Angle Slam and hits a rolling fireman’s carry slam for 2. Anderson throws Angle into the cage wall, then drops an elbow to the back of the neck. Another throw into the cage. Angle reverses the third and hits the Angle Slam for 2. Commercials.
We’re back, and Angle is in control with rights. Anderson rakes the eyes and hits a clothesline. Mike Tenay announces that you can win this cage match by escape, something that TNA has always proudly proclaimed to be against. Way to go. Anderson starts climbing and Angle stops him. They trade punches while balancing on the top rope until Anderson gets knocked off. He ends up crotching Angle on the top rope, which is good for 2. Man, this cage is flimsy. Anderson drives some knees into the back. In the corner, Anderson hits some strikes before going to the corner to climb out. Angle manages to stop him, hitting a top rope Angle Slam in the process. Angle goes for the cover, getting 2. Anderson low blows him and hits the Mic Check for 2. Another pin, another 2. Anderson starts to climb once more, but Angle powerbombs him for 2 before applying the ankle lock. After about a minute, Anderson taps.
WINNER: Kurt Angle. We see an A and E member climbing into the cage as Wes Brisco manages to get the lock off the door. Brisco locks the door at Angle’s request after getting in the cage, and the A and E member removes his mask to reveal himself as Garett Bischoff. As Angle charges in, Brisco clips his knee from behind. He reveals he’s wearing an A and E vest, and the Wonder Twins beat Angle down. Garett picks Angle up and hits his stupid forward Ace Crusher finisher, then does the worst heel laugh I’ve seen in years.
Tonight, the continuation of the Aces and Eights angle that has no end in sight, featuring the stupidest heel turn in recent memory.
The show opens by airing damn near the entire stupid ending to last week’s show, but with the inclusion of overly dramatic music at the end.
Todd Kenely and Mike Tenay are sans-Taz, but his chair is still there, so I’m sure he’ll be out later for really bad heel commentary. Tenay is pulling out the “Owen Hart has died” voice, and I want to stab him in the junk.
We see Aces and Eights riding around on their motorcycles in the parking lot, and there appears to be about 25 of them, because the faction needed more faceless members. Yes, indeed. The group starts to make their way into the Impact Zone, led by Taz. Mr. Anderson is with them in full costume, so I guess that means he’s officially a member now, despite never really doing anything at all over the last few weeks. Taz says that everyone is asking why he joined A and E. He called it an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. It’s a group of men with a revenge agenda, and furthermore, he is now living by the vision of a “higher power”. I am confused now, because Vince McMahon doesn’t work for TNA. He cracks some jokes about Brooke Hogan, saying the wedding was an opportunity for A and E to make their presence known and go to a higher level. He calls Buddy Ray just another victim, then says that Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan need to look at Taz’s contract. He’s basically bulletproof, and if anyone puts a hand on him, he will own this place. He calls himself “Teflon Taz”. They are Aces and Eights, and they will roll over everyone. Buddy and Brooke, you were just collateral damage. Good luck dealing with these guys and the higher power.
We see Jesse and Tara in the back. Tara has a title match with Velvet Sky. Jesse then verbally fellates the two of them for a minute.
Tonight, Christopher Daniels gets a shot against Jeff Hardy for the World title. This is only Daniels’ second or third title match in nearly 11 years with this company. Ridiculous. Speaking of Daniels, AI is in the back with him and Kaz. He asks Kaz what his role in the title match tonight is, and Kaz says, “whole wheat”. I hate him. Anyway, he’s apparently a licensed manager now. Daniels calls tonight’s match a benchmark because the company needs him. He’s moments away from taking his place at the head of the table.
Taz has joined the announce desk.
MATCH 1-Knockouts Championship: Velvet Sky vs. Tara (Champion, w/Jesse)
Sky immediately rolls Tara up for 2. Another schoolgirl rollup gets another 2. Tara hits one of the weakest clotheslines I’ve ever seen. Sky hits a slow-motion Japanese armdrag and follows up with a jumping clothesline. Why is it all divas/knockouts hit their clotheslines with their arm straight out while jumping? It looks ridiculous. Sky hits another clothesline and a botched side-Russian legsweep, sending Tara to the floor. Sky whips her back in and hits a low dropkick, sending her back to the floor. Commercials.
We’re back, and Sky is still in control. Listening to the commentators bitch about Taz’s heel turn is giving me a migraine. Sky hits an axe kick to the head out of the corner, and a flying cross-body gets 2. Chops in the corner by Sky, followed by some shoulder thrusts. Tara blocks a monkey flip for 2. She slams Sky’s face into the mat and a float-over suplex gets another 2. Standing moonsault for another 2. Rear chinlock is applied, and Tara turns it into a side headlock. Sky fights out, but Tara knocks her back down. Sky is hairmared to the mat, and now Tara goes up top. Sky throws her off, and now both women are down. They trade punches from the knees, and Sky hits more of her stupid clotheslines. Slow-motion headscissors, and Sky some botched indy-tastic swinging facebuster. Sky goes for the pin, but Jesse jumps on the apron to argue with Taryn Terrell. Sky gets in his face and goes for a punch, but ducks an attack from Tara from behind, causing her to knock Jesse off the apron. Sky schoolgirls Tara, getting 2. Sky goes for a suplex near the ropes, but Jesse trips her up and holds onto her feet as Tara falls onto Sky, getting the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Tara. God, did this match suck. Early “Worst Match of the Year” candidate.
OFN is back next week.
Sting is walking around outside the building when AI stops him and asks about last week’s wedding. Sting says now is not the right time, and he’ll say what he needs to later in the Impact Zone.
Kenny King and Zema Ion are in the locker room area, and they have a tag match tonight. King blames Christian York for costing him the X-Division title before reminding Ion that RVD beat him for the title. He tells Ion to sit on the apron, and he’ll do all of the heavy lifting.
Joseph Park makes his way out to some generic, nearly inaudible entrance music. I think it’s supposed to sound like the old L.A. Law theme, only terrible. Park says that, contrary to popular belief, he’s not the most graceful athlete in the world, not having competed in sports since the 3rd grade. But, being here in the last year, he’s realized his place is on the TNA roster and not in a courtroom with a judge. He realizes his debut match a few weeks ago didn’t go as planned, but he fought hard and even though he fought hard, he didn’t get the “W”, as the boys call it. It made him realize something though, and that is he is here to be the best he can be in TNA. Next week, Impact is in Manchester, England, and it’s OFN. Him being as committed as he is, he’s ready. His passport says that he’ll be in Manchester next Thursday, and he’ll be competing in his first-ever OFN. The question is, who should he choose as his first opponent? He doesn’t want to “kayfab” everybody, but he’s going to take the week to deliberate and study every member of the roster, and next week, he’ll render his verdict. What he can tell us for sure is that next week, the whole world will witness the Impact debut of Joseph Park (except, you know, for that match with Bully Ray he had a while ago), and in the ring with him, court will be in session.
MATCH 2: Zema Ion and Kenny King vs. World X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam and Christian York
RVD and Ion start the match with a few counters and strikes before RVD hits an elevated dropkick. York tags in and chops Ion in the corner. Kitchen sink off the ropes before RVD tags back in. York sends Ion into the corner, and RVD hits a rolling monkey flip. Ion attempts to land on his feet but is unable to do so because he sucks, resulting in a faceplant. RVD hits a low dropkick in the corner and sends Ion into the ropes. Ion slides to the floor as King grabs RVD by the hair off the rope bounce. RVD knocks King to the floor, allowing Ion to knock the distracted RVD down with a knee to the back. King tags in and hits some mounted punches off a float-over suplex. Ion back in, who stomps RVD in the face. Ion sends him hard into the corner, but misses the 450 splash. RVD misses an enziguri but lands on his feet and and nails a back kick to the face before tagging in York as Ion tags in King. York with the hot tag before locking King in a cravat and turning it into a side-Russian legsweep variation. York hits a misdirection kick to the chest and gets 2 before Ion breaks up the pin. RVD throws Ion to the corner and punches away, but Ion comes back with a boot. York sends King to the floor with a clothesline, but King pulls him to the outside before he can go for a plancha. In the ring, RVD hits a front powerslam on Ion and looks for the split-legged moonsault. King crotches him and goes for a back superplex, but RVD elbows his way out of the move. Ion pushes RVD to the floor and goes up top, where York cuts him off with a kick. King shoves York from behind as Ion makes the blind tag. King hotshots York over the top rope on the other side of the ring as Ion comes in with the tornado DDT through the ropes. York manages to throw Ion off on his face as King comes in and hits a springboard blockbuster. Ion quickly rolls York up and gets the 3.
WINNERS: Zema Ion and Kenny King.
Taz leaves the announce desk to answer a phone call.
We see Brooke Hogan and Buddy Ray drive into the parking lot and AI stops them on the way into the building to ask about the wedding. Ray says they’ll do their talking in the ring.
Ray and Brooke come out, and Ray immediately wants to know where Taz is, asking Tenay and Kenely at the announce desk. After Tenay explains that Taz went to answer a phone call, they head to the ring instead. Ray says that, last week, it should have been the greatest night in their lives. In reality, it was a nightmare. A lot of people were hurt last week. He expected this from Devon. Taz, you scumbag, he never expected this from you. Where is Taz? Nothing but a frickin’ coward. This is what you do to us? He doesn’t care that he got hurt; it’s the people around him that got hurt. The only man who has trusted him the last couple months is Sting, and Taz hurt Sting. The man that Ray has been trying to earn trust with, Hulk Hogan, was also hurt. Most of all, the one that you hurt the most was the woman Ray loves. How dare you ruin their biggest day. The things that Ray is going to do to every member of A and E, he can’t even say on national television. Every single one of them better sleep with one eye open. Look into his frickin’ eyes. He guarantees he will not sleep one frickin’ wink until he kicks every single one of their “m-effin’” asses. He can’t do any of that, however, unless Hulk Hogan lifts his suspension. Hogan is at home resting, taking care of business, but Ray needs to be reinstated. Lift the suspension, Hulk.
Sting joins the two in the ring. He says Hogan doesn’t do anything halfway, doing everything to the fullest no matter what. He knows Hogan is watching, but has only come halfway. He gave Brooke away to his new son-in-law. Now, it is time for Hogan to go all the way. He’s the best of all time. Next week, they’ll be in the UK together, and Sting believes Hogan will then announce his new son-in-law will be reinstated in TNA.
We see Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in the back. Aries tells Roode they both know they could beat Chavo Guerrero or Hernandez any of the week. Tonight, they have to figure out who should take out Hernandez. Roode says it should be Aries, as Aries’ speed is a perfect counter to Hernandez’ power. Aries disagrees, thinking Roode is a better match with his power and history as the longest-reigning champion. Roode points out Aries beat him, but Aries counters with saying he agrees his win might have been a fluke. Aries tells him good luck and walks away.
Jeff Hardy is walking around and cuts a rambling promo directed at Christopher Daniels.
MATCH 3: Bobby Roode vs. World Tag Team Co-Champion Hernandez (w/Chavo Guerrero)
Taz has rejoined the announce desk, so the awful commentary may continue. You know, I’ve heard better music in porn than what Chavo and Hernandez come out to. I mean, not that I partake in the erotica or anything. I just watched it once to see what all the hype was about. Honest. Hernandez shoves Roode into the corner off a lock-up. Roode goes for a waistlock but instead just clubs him down as Taz tells us Hernandez has a “big, thick, muscular skeletor”. He fires off some rights in the corner until Hernandez comes back with a back body drop. Delayed vertical suplex connects, and Roode rolls to the apron. Roode rakes the eyes before hotshotting Hernandez, then gets back in the ring, connecting with a neckbreaker for 2. Roode with some shoulder thrusts in the corner, followed by a snapmare and a rolling neck snap. Roode rakes the back, but Hernandez fights back with punches. Roode connects with a back elbow off the ropes for 2, then drops a series of elbows and a jumping kneedrop for another 2. Rear chinlock is applied, but Hernandez breaks the hold by backing Roode into the corner. He goes to the apron and hits a slingshot shoulderblock and a pair of back elbows. In the corner, Hernandez connects with an avalanche, and an over-the-shoulder backbreaker follows. Roode counters a back body drop with a boot and a chop, but runs right into a Pounce, sending him to the floor. Austin Aries runs to ringside and moves Roode out of a Supermex attempt, and now Chavo & Aries are brawling at ringside. The referee jumps outside to break up the fight as Roode gets back in the ring and hits a bulldog for 3.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. A bulldog for the finish? Really?
Kurt Angle is headed out to the ring.
I love that TNA made it seem like a major deal that Mr. Anderson had joined Aces and Eights, only to automatically turn him into an afterthought in the group.
Angle makes his way into the Impact Zone and says that he thought A and E would be temporary. Obviously, the group is in it for the long haul, and he’s sick and tired of their cheap shots, sneak attacks, and the injuries they’ve laid upon the TNA roster, including himself. And Taz, earlier tonight, you talked about revenge. You don’t know what revenge is. Next week is OFN, and Angle will get revenge at the hands of Mr. Anderson. As a matter of fact, Anderson, why don’t you come out here right now, because Angle has something to tell you personally. Anderson’s music hits, but he comes out from the A and E entrance instead of the stage. Anderson asks if Angle wants a fight next week about 812 times before saying he doesn’t want a fight next week…because he wants to do it now. Anderson slugs Angle, then beats him down in the corner. Angle knocks him down with a clothesline and goes for the ankle lock, but Anderson escapes through the crowd. Angle tells him he can keep running, but next week, it will be them one-on-one in a steel cage.
We see A and E partying in some dark room with hookers. We know they are hookers because Anderson walks in and says, “Hey, hookers. Shut up!” Brilliant dialogue there. Devon tells Anderson to chill out and the ladies to relax. He knows Anderson has Angle next week and is stressed, but he won’t Anderson go in without a battle plan. So, sit down, have some beer, and enjoy what is going on in the clubhouse.
MATCH 4-World Championship: Christopher Daniels (w/Kazarian) vs. Jeff Hardy (Champion)
Lock-up to start, and Daniels gives a clean break in the corner. Hardy applies a side headlock that Daniels breaks by ramming Hardy into the corner. Daniels hits some shoulder thrusts, but Hardy counters a corner whip with a headscissors. Hardy throws Daniels to the corner and follows up with a clothesline, knocking him down. He goes for the slingshot dropkick, but Daniels rolls to the floor. Back in, Daniels throws Hardy to the floor. Kaz jumps in the ring to celebrate with Daniels as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Daniels knocks Hardy down with a clothesline, salutes the crowd, then flips them off. He pins Hardy, but only gets 2. Daniels grinds his elbow into Hardy’s eye, then hits a back suplex. Clothesline to the back of the neck gets 2. Daniels beats Hardy down with stomps and forearms all over the ring before Hardy crawls to the corner. Daniels headbutts him down, then presses his knee to the back of Hardy’s neck. Nightmare on Helms Street gets 2. Daniels applies a version of the katahajime, but Hardy fights out. As he goes to the ropes, Daniels whips him down by the hair. Daniels stomps Hardy down, but Hardy comes back with a short-arm hooking clothesline. They trade punches until Hardy hits a flying forearm. He follows up with an inverted atomic drop, a double legrdop and a seated dropkick. Reverse enziguri connects for 2. Middle rope splash for another 2. Hardy goes for the Botch in the Wind, but Daniels catches him and hits a Death Valley Driver for 2. He breaks the pin and turns it into a Koji Clutch. Hardy gets his foot on the ropes. In the corner, Daniels hits a palm strike. Hardy punches him and mounts the middle rope. Daniels climbs up top, looking for a super hurricanrana. Hardy fights him off and hits a sit-out gourdbuster from the middle for 2 as Daniels gets his foot on the rope. Hardy goes for the Twist, but Daniels reverses and hits Angel’s Wings for 2. Daniels calls for the BME, but Hardy moves. Daniels lands on his feet and runs into an elbow. Hardy goes for Botch in the Wind, but Daniels moves out of the way. Daniels goes for the pin, getting 2. Daniels calls for the Angel’s Wings again, and Hardy counters with a hurricanrana. He hits a sit-out Twist of Fate, causing Daniels to collide with Kaz, who was on the apron. Regular Twist of Fate connects, and the swanton bomb gets 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Jeff Hardy.
Taz leaves the announce desk once more and grabs a mic, wanting to interview Jeff Hardy. Taz has a question: What is he gonna do when A and E destroys everything and he’s left laying? What’s he going to do when his World title is gone? As Taz says this, a fat guy from A and E comes in and clips Hardy’s knee with a hammer.
End of show.
Well, the main event was relatively decent. Everything else was average-to-terrible. Listening to Taz and Tenay bitch at each other was especially intolerable.
Even though I don’t order TNA pay-per-views, because I do recaps every week, I probably pay closer attention to TNA than anyone else that works for CCB, and probably most CCB readers, too. Like Scrubbing Bubbles, I work hard so you don’t have to. As a result, I have been asked to do predictions for TNA pay-per-views from this point on, which is fine. This especially works for me since it was announced on this week’s Impact that TNA will now only run four pay-per-views a year. This is one move TNA is doing that I actually agree with, and would like to see WWE revert back to. Anyway, here are my thoughts on who will win at TNA’s first pay-per-view of 2013.
DOC vs. Sting: I do not care about Sting at all at this point, and it would really benefit DOC to take home the victory. Having said that, you should fully expect Sting to win here. How often does he lose at this point, and since this is 812th big return to TNA, L. Ron Hubbard forbid he lose his first PPV match back.
Christopher Daniels vs. James Storm: This one could go either way. While it seemed like plans for Storm becoming champion once again were in the works for a while, he has more or less become a lackey for Hardy at this point, with little else going for him at the moment. Still, he hardly ever seems to lose on PPV, so I’m expecting a Storm victory. I would prefer that Daniels took the match, especially since he has momentum coming off his victory over AJ Styles, but I don’t see it happen.
Joseph Park vs. World Television Champion Devon: I am sick of both the Park & Aces and Eights angles, so it makes sense to mash them together once again. While I could see Park winning since he’s now a wrestler according to the storyline, it makes more sense to have Devon go over and instead have Park go on a losing streak for a bit so his first win seems major. I see Devon winning the match, possibly bloodying Park in the process, with Park snapping after the match is over.
Knockouts Gauntlet Match to determine a new #1 contender to the Knockouts Championship-Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky: Gail Kim is the most deserving competitor here, but the victory will likely go to either Sky or James since they both returned recently. Sky, despite being the most worthless knockout on the entire roster, is likely the odds-on favorite since TNA is attempting to continue the story that she never got her rematch after losing the title a while back.
World Tag Team Championship: Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez (Champions): The champs really need to drop the belts here. Morgan and Ryan have momentum on their side, and a title win here should be the first step in Morgan’s planned singles push. Why they are so hell-bent on pushing Morgan, I’ll never know. The guy isn’t over and never will be, and despite Joey Ryan being the sidekick here, he’s way more over than Morgan, not to mention a better performer overall. Anyway, as not over as Morgan is, Chavo and Hernandez are even less over, and there’s no reason for them to hold the belts. They’re not even a good team. Also, is it just me, or has TNA’s once great tag team division boiled down to 2 or 3 thrown together pairs and little else? Fans used to say WWE had a weak tag division and TNA’s was one of the best. Now, as Paper Copy Chicken from Cow and Chicken once said, the shoe is on the other hand.
X-Division Tournament Final-Kenny King vs. Christian York: The winner of this match gets a championship match later in the evening, and this one has the potential to steal the show. Both guys have looked awesome since signing with TNA, and if they’re given enough time, you could have something special here. You can’t really go wrong with either guy going over in this one, but considering the recent mini-feud between King and RVD, I’m picking him for the win.
World X-Division Championship-Kenny King vs. Rob Van Dam (Champion): King needs to go over here. Rob Van Dam is in his forties, and is the head of a division that is supposed to be built around young, athletic and exciting talents. While RVD is still athletic, he has been a drone since signing with TNA. His matches are formulaic, and you can tell he’s just going through the motions at this point. Meanwhile, King is exactly what the X-Division needs as its face, and a win here would be a huge step in the right direction for TNA’s attempt to once again make the division mean something. King needs to win this match and become the new champion.
Triple Threat Elimination Match for the World Championship: Jeff Hardy (Champion) vs. Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode: Despite both Roode and Aries being extremely deserving of another title run, there is no way Hardy is losing here. TNA are going to continue their story about Hardy’s comeback and him supposedly being better than ever until Bound For Glory, if I had to wager a guess. Plus, you can tell from just this week’s episode of Impact that Hardy is not dropping the belt. They did several video packages for the match, with Hardy getting 90% of the face time. Aries was briefly featured, and Roode’s presence was non-existent. I’m not sure why Roode is being treated like such an afterthought in these videos, but the fact that he is considered as such is extremely obvious. Aries should be the man to win here, but if you’re a betting person, put your money on Hardy to retain.
Full TNA Genesis 2013 card & matches…
Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries in a Triple Threat Elimination Match for the World Championship
Sting vs. Doc
Christopher Daniels vs. James Storm
Joseph Park vs. Devon
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan for the World Tag Team Championship
Christian York vs. Kenny King
Rob Van Dam vs. York/King winner for the TNA World X-Division Championship
Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky
Jeremy Borash is in the ring, and we are opening the show with the winner of TNA Wrestler of the Year 2012. He introduces each potential winner, one-by-one. Bully Ray is out first, followed by James Storm, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and finally Jeff Hardy. Gee, I wonder who will win this. The finalists are all on stage as Jeremy Borash, getting fatter by the second, announces the winner from the ring. Roode and Aries begin to storm the ring as JB announces Jeff Hardy as the winner. They’re both pissed as Hardy walks down to the ring to claim his trophy. Hardy says the trophy means as much to him as the World Championship does. He wanted to have a great 2012, and he did. Roode tells him to cut the crap. Did he just hear Hardy say people’s votes mean as much as the title? That’s a bunch of crap. When he was champion, there was nothing more important on L. Ron Hubbard’s green Earth than being champion. He didn’t care what anyone else thought of him. He set records and made history. He became the longest reigning champion in the history of the company, and the fact that he’ isn’t the Wrestler of the Year is a bunch of bullsh…Excuse me, one second. Aries cuts them both off with that line before calling the WOTY award rigged, and this is a fluke. He averaged 4 stars per match each time, and 2012 was “Total Nonstop Aries”. Hardy interrupts and challenges them both to a triple threat match for the World title at Genesis, then calls 2012 “Year of the Enigma”. Aries doesn’t like this, and clips Hardy’s knee out from behind. The two heels then stomp him down before fighting over who should beat him up. Roode holds Hardy up for Aries to bash him in the gut with the trophy, but Hardy moves, causing Aries to hit Roode. He then lays Aries out with the Twist of Fate before grabbing his broken trophy.
Tonight’s main event will be Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe vs. Devon and Thing 1 in a steel cage.
AI stops James Storm to ask about losing the WOTY award. Storm says to just put it on the list of things he needs to work harder at before Bad Influence interrupt him. Christopher Daniels does a Storm impersonation as Kaz interviews him. Storm fakes a laugh and says that he will be champion in 2013, and the only thing that has changed are the faces and asses of people he has to kick. He calls them dweebs, then tells Daniels he’ll kick him in his Twitter and punch Kaz in his Facebook, and before he “logs them both out”, he’s going to write his catchphrase all over their walls. Sweet Jebus. I hope I never hear anything that stupid on a television show ever again. Storm then spits in Daniels’ martini or whatever he’s drinking, then challenges one of them to a match. Kaz makes a lame joke about MySpace. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Kaz and Storm?
MATCH 1: James Storm vs. Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels)
Daniels makes it look like he’s going to be the one taking the match, but it turns out to be a distraction so Kaz can attack from behind. Kaz stomps Storm down in the corner, then fires off some rights. Storm comes back with punches, and he skins the cat after Kaz tries to throw him to the floor. Back in the ring, Storm ducks a clothesline and hits a Thesz Press with some punches. Clothesline by Storm before he sends Kaz to the floor. Storm hits a plancha to the floor, then gets distracted as Daniels talks some trash. Daniels slides into the ring, and Kaz uses the distraction to clothesline Storm on the floor. Daniels gets some cheap shots in before throwing Storm back in for 2. Kaz applies a rear chinlock, then whips Storm down by the hair and hits a legdrop. Storm hits Closing Time, then fires off more rights and hits a side-Russian legsweep. Up top, Storm hits a flying elbow for 2. Daniels distracts him for a moment, which allows Kaz to hit a seated dropkick in the corner. Kaz hits a TKO for 2. Storm hits another Closing Time, but Daniels jumps on the apron. Storm ducks a clothesline, then hits a kick to the back of the head on Daniels. He avoids a corner charge, and when Kaz tries to come off the middle rope, he jumps right into the Last Call for 3.
WINNER: James Storm.
In the Aces and Eights clubhouse, Devon is with Mr. Anderson, telling him he needs to make a decision right away. Anderson can’t fight what they’re giving him. Anderson says the harder they work to convince him, the more fun they have, so let’s all just chill and think about this for a little bit longer. Besides, he really enjoys their recruitment process.DOC walks up and asks him what the f*ck his answer is. Sting returns tonight, so they need an answer right now. Anderson says that, if they do this, none of them need to show Sting even an ounce of fear. He then hands DOC his hammer. Devon likes this, and says they need to go see what Sting has to say. He asks Thing 1 if he’s seen Devon’s bat, but Thing 1 hasn’t seen it. Boy, there’s a surprise.
Kenny King approaches Kid Kash in the back and calls him an X-Division legend, watching him back on VHS. There’s a 4-man tournament, with the winner facing RVD for the X-Division title. Kash is beating Christian York tonight while King beats Zema Ion next week, and they’ll face each other in the finals.
DOC heads out to the ring, hammer in hand. He wants to know where Sting is, and wants him to come down to join the party. It is 1-3-13, and Sting, you’ve been telling everyone who will listen that DOC is a marked man. He doesn’t feel like one, though. Come out and show yourself, Stinger. This is bullsh*t, and he’s tired of waiting. He’s wasting everyone’s time, so get out here right now and face the man who is going to cripple you once and for all. Everyone wants him out here, so this is his finally reckoning call. Sting, get your ass out here right now. A black bat drops from the ceiling into the ring, and DOC keeps demanding Sting come out.
AI stops Brooke Hogan outside the building, asking if she’s talked to her dad about what’s going on with her and Bully Ray. She says she hasn’t talked to him, but she’s on her way to find out what’s going on now.
MATCH 2-X-Division Tournament semifinal: Kid Kash vs. Christian York
Kash, like always, gets a jobber non-entrance. Kash attacks before York even gets in the ring, dropping him with a clothesline. York comes back with a discus punch before Kash rolls to the floor. He goes for a plancha, but Kash sees it coming and walks away. He pulls York to the floor, hits a chop and a hurricanrana from the ring. Back inside, York counters a springboard dive with a dropkick. York hits a kick from the apron and goes up top, but Kash moves out of the way. Kash goes for a waistlock, and York reverses, ducks a clothesline and hits a big boot. Half-nelson suplex connects and York looks for the Mood Swing, but Kash counters with kneelifts and hits the Bank Roll. Kash chokes York across the middle rope and hits some Tazface punches (yes, that’s what he really calls them). Kash mounts the middle turnbuckle and goes for the twisting moonsault, but York counters by getting his knees up. York fires off some kicks and hits a low complete shot for 2. Kash reverses the Mood Swing with a cradle for 2. He calls for the Money Maker, and York breaks free. Kash ducks a clothesline and goes for a backslide, but York rolls through and hits the Mood Swing for 3.
WINNER: Christian York.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez are in the back, talking about how they aren’t afraid of Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan. They’re the champions and aren’t scared of anyone.
The next match was supposed to be Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan, but Morgan comes out in a shoulder sling. He says he’s been dreaming about kicking Morgan’s ass so hard for days. But when you’re tossing 700 or 800 pounds around the gym like it’s your job, accidents and injuries happen. Come Genesis, he’ll be 100% though, and in order to do that, he’s going to sit this one out tonight and Joey Ryan is going to whip Hernandez’s ass.
MATCH 3: World Tag Team Co-Champion Hernandez (w/Chavo Guerrero) vs. Joey Ryan (w/Matt Morgan)
Ryan oils himself up and charges the ring, hitting some forearms. Hernandez comes back with a bodyslam. Over-the-shoulder backbreaker connects. Hernandez goes to the ropes, where Morgan holds onto his leg with the “bad” arm, proving that it’s fine. Ryan tries to suckerpunch him, but Hernandez ducks and connects with the Pounce. As Hernandez celebrates, Morgan hits him with a discus clothesline.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Hernandez. Morgan continues the attack on Hernandez before dropping Chavo with the Carbon Footprint.
Hulk Hogan is on his way to the ring.
Kurt Angle is in the back with the Wonder Twins. He thanks them for having his back, but tonight, Joe has got his back tonight, so he needs them to stay here. Garett Bischoff says he’d be more comfortable if they were out there, and Joe basically tells him to shut the hell up. Angle calms Joe down and tells him the Twins are trying to be respectful. He excuses them before turning to Joe, talking about Sting. He also says he promises to unmask every member of A and E, starting tonight.
We see footage of Tessy, Gail Kim, Tara and Mickie James stretching in various areas. They have a tag team match later tonight.
Hogan limps out to the ring and wants to get right to business. First off, he wants to apologize to everyone for not showing up last week, but he got caught off-guard when he saw Bully Ray and Brooke making out in the parking lot two weeks ago. Since Ray decided to make things public, he’s here, and he’d like to take care of business right now. He’d like to have both Ray and Brooke come out to the ring right now. Ray and Brooke come out together, with Brooke looking skanky as hell. Hogan tells Ray that Ray has been asking for respect for weeks. He’s seen Ray shaking hands in the back and trying to help the young guys, but at the end of the day, something wasn’t right to him. Month after month, he looks at Ray and wants to know the truth. There’s a code ethics in wrestling, and now that he knows where Ray and Brooke are really at, he wants to know why. Ray tells Hogan he’s right. He should have come clean with Hogan about himself and Brooke. It’s all on him. Hogan says he’s been trying to tell everyone he knows Ray is no good and what his MO is. When you talk about breaking the code, Ray doesn’t even belong in this business. As far as he’s concerned, Ray wanting all of this stuff from Hogan, since Ray broke the code and they’re not playing by the rules anymore, they’ll play by a new set of rules. A GM needs to do what he needs to do, so Ray is suspended indefinitely without pay. Hogan then turns to Brooke and tells her to get the hell out of his ring. She made her decision and needs to live with it. Ray grabs her by the hand, and they leave together.
Another Joe Abyss video. Danny Davis is now impressed with his dedication. I am so sick of this. Just reveal that Joe and Abyss are the same guy already. This is beyond stupid.
MATCH 4: Gail Kim and Knockouts Champion Tara (w/Jesse) vs. Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher
Tessy and Kim start the match, with Kim kicking her down right off the bat. Tessy comes back with a clothesline from the middle rope and a botched monkey flip. Tara knees Tessy in the back, which allows Kim to tag out. Tara grinds Tessy’s face on the rope. James makes the blind tag off an Irish whip. Tessy hits a snapmare, and James hits a running knee. She dropkicks Kim off the apron, and the heels are arguing on the floor as Tara is being consoled by Jesse. The faces head out, and hit a noggin knocker. Back in the ring, Taryn Terrell is trying to get Tessy back to the apron. Behind her, the heels beat James down. Tara covers her for a pin, getting 2. Tara applies a rear chinlock, but James fights out as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Kim is now legal before she tags Tara in. Kim goes to whip Tara into James in the corner, but James moves out of the way and hits a clothesline on Kim. James has some of the worst-looking clotheslines in wrestling today, and her kicks are somehow even uglier. Tara tries to prevent her from tagging out, but is unsuccessful. Tessy does the usual hot tag offense, then botches the unholy hell out of the Shout Out in the corner. I can’t even begin to describe how ugly that move was. And there was no logical reason for it being botched, either. Tessy gives herself a wedgie and looks for the stinkface, but Tara rolls to the floor, where Jesse checks on her. From behind, Kim levels Tessy with a clothesline, and Tara slides back in for a choke. Hairmare by Tara before connecting with a backbreaker for 2. Kim tags in, who kicks Tessy in the corner. Kim hits a gutbuster for 2. Running clothesline for another 2. In the corner, Tessy avoids the body attack, sending Kim to the floor. Kim yanks James to the floor to prevent a tag, then gets back in the ring and begins slamming Tessy’s face into the mat. Tara tags in and hits the Arabian Facebuster for 2 before applying a modified surfboard. Tara hits the absolute weakest bodyslam in pro wrestling history before going for the standing moonsault, which is blocked by Tessy. Tessy ducks a clothesline and hits a swinging facebuster. James and Kim tag in, and James hits a Thesz Press. Tunacanrana connects, as does a neckbreaker for 2. Tara makes the save, so Tessy spears her to the floor. As Jesse is checking on her, Tessy comes off the top rope with a plancha to the floor. In the ring, Kim misses the corner body attack once more, and James hits the standing tornado DDT for 3.
WINNERS: Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher.
Back in the A and E clubhouse, DOC is pissed about Angle wanting to take their masks off. They need to remain anonymous. Those who have masks on need to stay that way. Black Scorpion agrees, saying they need to protect their masks with their lives.
ODB is talking about Sting taking care of A and E tonight. Her husband is out of the hospital, and he will be walking back into the Impact Zone at some point.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are in Hogan’s office, pissed off. Both think the three-way for Genesis is crap, but Hogan says it’s official, adding an elimination stipulation to it. Both guys continue arguing, so Hogan makes a match for next week: them vs. Jeff Hardy and a partner of his choosing.
MATCH 5-Cage Match: World Television Champion Devon and Thing 1 vs. Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle
As Angle is getting through the cage door, DOC comes from behind and slams the door across his back and pulls him to the floor. He padlocks the cage, turning this into a handicap match for the moment. DOC continues the attack on the outside as Joe begins fighting off both Devon and Thing. Joe hits the corner hip bump/spin kick combo on Devon, then stomps Thing down. Devon blocks a throw to the cage and holds Joe in place for Thing, but Joe ducks, causing Thing to clothesline Devon. Joe hits a kneelift in the corner on Thing, then gives him the Face Wash. Devon hits a misdirection forearm, and now the heels are double-teaming Joe. Angle is laid out on the ring steps. Joe fights off the heels until Devon rakes the eyes. Thing knees him in the corner as Angle is now up and trying to get into the cage, but Devon kicks the door into his face. In the ring, Devon hits an elbow drop as we go to commercials.
We’re back, and Joe is trying fight both off with punches and elbows. Joe hits Devon with an attack off the top (my feed was blurry, so I couldn’t really see it), then hits Thing with an exploder suplex. Angle begins climbing up the cage until DOC reappears and pulls him down. Angle fights him off, then takes the key for the lock. Angle does hot tag offense when he enters the cage, connecting with a middle rope dropkick on Thing. He goes for Thing’s mask, but DOC begins to enter the ring and slams the door on Angle’s head. Joe kicks the door into DOC’s face, and the heels double team him from behind. Avalanche by Thing in the corner, and we see that Angle is busted open. Of course he is. Thing drops him with a sidewalk slam, but Devon misses the diving headbutt. Joe recovers and takes Thing down, and now all four men are down. Angle gets up and hits the Murder-Suicide on Devon, then hits a German suplex on Thing. The faces take turns slamming Devon into the cage. Joe hits an inverted atomic drop on thing, followed by a kick to the face, and Angle connects with the Angle Slam for 3.
WINNERS: Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Angle goes for the mask, but is attacked from behind by Devon. Joe fights him off, but DOC enters the cage and takes Joe out with punches. Four more members of A and E enter the cage, and we see Mr. Anderson looking on from ringside. Swerve coming momentarily. A and E continue to destroy Angle and Joe until Sting enters the cage. He takes them all out with a baseball bat. He points at DOC, but DOC escapes. The faces isolate Thing in the cage, and Sting clobbers him with the bat. Angle gets the mask off, and it turns out Thing 1 is Mike Knox. Knox rolls to the floor as the rest of A and E try to cover his face up. The group leaves as the faces celebrate in the cage. Meanwhile, Mr. Anderson did absolutely nothing.
Tonight is the final Open Fight Night of the year. I wish it was the final OFN ever.
The show opens with Bully Ray making his way down to the ring. He says it’s very obvious that over the past couple of months there is no doubt he and Hulk Hogan cannot get along. He doesn’t know what he has to do to prove to Hogan that he can be trusted? He has a lot of respect for Hogan, and since it’s OFN, he wants to call Hogan out. He doesn’t want a fight, though; he wants to talk. Hogan’s music hits, but he isn’t coming out. Eventually, Brooke Hogan skanks her way down to the ring. Ray wants to know where her dad is. Brooke says he’s not here, and he knows about her and Ray. Someone must’ve told him about them. They need to go see him, and she wants to show him that Ray is the man she knows him to be. After a couple seconds, the two leave together and continue discussing this crap up the ramp.
As the commentators are discussing tonight’s show, Austin Aries makes his way out for an OFN challenge. Aries is going to make this short and simple, as he isn’t getting paid by the hour. This is OFN, but last week, everyone saw he had Jeff Hardy defeated, and should be the World Champion. Everybody knows that A-Double is and will always be the main event. So, when he had Hardy pinned, the man he’s going to call out screwed him, and that man is Bobby Roode. He can’t be mad, though, because he did the same thing to Roode. Now they’re even, but they’re going to break that tie tonight and settle things in the ring, like men, unlike Jeff Hardy. They will see who truly deserves to face Hardy for the title. But we’re not going to do it right now. The only place Roode and Aries should be wrestling is in the main event. This will be the last main event of the year, so let’s do it right. Let’s take Roode and put him in the ring with Aries, and we’ll find out who will be the man to finally take Hardy out once and for all.
Samoa Joe is out next to make a challenge. Tonight is OFN, and he has come to pick a fight. Aces and Eights, it seems like every week, you send out a goon in a mask with a hammer to hit people from behind. Let’s see how well you do face-to-face. He calls the masked man out, and he’s not only going to choke him out, but he’s going to take the mask off as well.
MATCH 1: Samoa Joe vs. Thing 1
Joe immediately lays in some forearm shots, then fires off some rights. Joe hits the hip bump in the corner, followed by a spin kick to the head. Thing rakes the eyes, then hits a clothesline. Kicks and punches by Thing, followed by a choke over the middle rope. Thing drops a leg across the back of Joe’s neck in the ropes for 2. Rear chinlock is applied, but Joe elbows out. Thing stops him with a knee and an elbow, but misses an avalanche in the corner. Joe hits a step-up knee strike in the corner and sets Thing up for the Muscle Buster, but Thing punches Joe. He comes off the middle rope and Joe catches him in an inverted atomic drop. He follows up with a running boot and senton. He locks in the Kokina Clutch, and Thing passes out.
WINNER: Samoa Joe. Joe signals that he’ll take the mask off, but before that can happen, Brian Pillman and Thing 2 hit the ring. He boots them both down, then bails when Black Scorpion, Devon and DOC hit the ring.
We see the Robbies in the back, and E is saying tonight is their night to make names for themselves. Jesse walks by on his cellphone, and E calls him a hamster. He asks where Tara is, bro. Jesse calls E a girl. They call each other bro and dude approximately 812 times each. Jesse says these are fighting words, so E challenges Jesse to a “Bro Off”, since this is OFN. I think everyone’s IQ just dropped about 10 points after witnessing that exchange.
Kenny King and Christian York in the back, and King is complementing York on his work since joining TNA. He tells York to take notes on King’s match tonight when he beats RVD one more time.
The Robbies make their way out, and E calls this “Open Bro Night”, because he’s calling out the fake Robbie E, that being Jesse Godderz. Get out here, Jesse, so he can show you what it’s like to be a real bro. Jesse and Tara head out to the ring, and Jesse calls E “scooter”. E says this is a “Bro Off”, bro, and there’s three rules: 1) It’s every bro for themselves, bro. Rule B) Everything you do has to end in a bro. Because E is the bro veteran, bro, he’s going to go first, bro. DJ, hit his music, bro. He forgot rule 3. Anyway, this is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on TNA, and that’s saying something. Basically, the segment is a dance competition. Jesse thinks he’s Chris Masters, too. I hate this company. E says Jesse wasn’t as bad as he thought. There were two problems: first, it’s bros, not hoes. Problem number 3, Jesse is DQ’ed for ending his routine with “dude” and not “bro”. E announces himself as the winner, but T interrupts and says there’s one more bro to go. He then does a bunch of posing. Kill me now. T then begins dancing. Seriously. Kill me now.
Up next, RVD makes his OFN challenge.
RVD makes his way out, and the World X-Division Champion says his efforts have elevated the X-Division to a new level. To continue on that path, he needs to confront uprising issues as he’s able, like he can on OFN. He says the person he’s going to call out is new and has everyone talking. Everyone wants to see this, so come on out…Christian York.
MATCH 2: World X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Christian York (non-title)
Standing switch to start, and York takes RVD down with a dropkick to the knee. Crisscross ends with a punch by RVD, but he misses a spin kick, and York capitalizes with a half-nelson suplex. RVD blocks a kick, but York spins through and nails a different kick. A headscissors takes RVD to the floor. Back in, York hits a missile dropkick to the back. He calls for the Mood Swing, but RVD escapes. York ducks a clothesline and hits the Mood Swing for 2. RVD comes back with some forearms and sends York into the corner. York mounts the middle rope and catches RVD with a knee to the face as he attempts a monkey flip. York goes for the pin, getting 2. Up top once more, but RVD knocks York to the apron. York shoulders an incoming RVD, then goes back up top again, hitting a double stomp to the back for 2. York misses the Dreamscape, and now they trade punches. RVD counters a headscissors out of the corner and hits a sidewalk slam. Split-legged moonsault by RVD gets 2. RVD blocks a roll-up and hits a springboard sidekick, followed by Rolling Thunder. RVD hits the Five-Star Frog Splash, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam.
We’re now in the Aces and Eights clubhouse. Devon is telling the gang that, whoever this guy is he has in mind to add, needs to be added. He’s just who they’re looking for, and they need to make him feel welcome. DOC enters the room with two strippers, and Devon wants to know if things will work out. He says they’ll work out just fine.
Yet another Joe Abyss/OVW training video.
We see Christopher Daniels enter some area full of merchandise, and Kazarian is setting things up on a table. They’re wondering where their merchandise as a team is. AI asks what their plan is, and Daniels says that, although Christmas is over, they’ve got one more present to give to everyone. Kaz grabs a stack of AJ Styles shirts before leaving with Daniels.
Bobby Roode is now talking to AI about tonight. He knew Aries would call him out, as he’s predictable. After he beats Aries, he’s going to walk into Genesis and take the belt from Jeff Hardy.
1.3.13 video. It’s for Sting. Again. I guess TNA forgot they did this exact same thing about two years ago.
Christopher Daniels dances his way down to the ring to make the next OFN challenge. Greetings and salutations, all you ham sandwiches (??). Now, everyone knows him. He’s not just the face of Impact Wrestling; he’s a ring general, a national treasure, and the man with the rear that makes the girls cheer. Everyone knows he had a great 2012, and he wants to give back to all the little people. He knows everyone’s sad AJ Styles hasn’t been around in a while, so his present to everyone tonight involves AJ. He knew it was supposed to be one last time, but that will never be the case. So, let’s do this one more time, AJ. AJ’s music hits, but it turns out to be Kaz wearing AJ’s ring gear. Daniels asks if he’s ready to do this one last time, again? Kaz does a lame AJ impersonation in response, basically saying he can’t beat Daniels, no matter how hard he tries. He then makes a reference to Claire Lynch, and Daniels cuts him off, saying no one wants that. He apologizes, saying we won’t get AJ/Daniels one more last time, but the audience does have permission to worship them now. Chavo Guerrero’s music hits, and he & Hernandez make their way out. Chavo calls them clowns, having fun at everyone else’s expense. He thinks their 2012 was a little better than Bad Influence’s, and seeing that this is OFN, they’re going to make sure Bad Influence’s year ends bad, with a foot up the rear.
MATCH 3: Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. World Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez (non-title)
Bad Influence attack the champs as they’re entering the ring. The champs reverse a double whip, sending the heels into each other. Chavo then hits Kaz with a dropkick. Double back elbow by the champs, followed by a hilo by Chavo and a splash by Hernandez for 2. Chavo tags in and hits a tope con hilo off a bodyslam by Hernandez. Kaz rakes the eyes and tags in Daniels, who runs into a hip toss. Hernandez tags in and hits a bearhug suplex. Chavo back in, who hits a double axe handle to the back. Chavo beats Daniels down in the corner, and Hernandez is back in. He bodyslams Chavo onto Daniels before hitting a low dropkick. Hernandez shoulders Daniels in the corner, then hits an avalanche. He applies a front chancery before letting go and hitting a back body drop. Commercials.
We’re back, and Hernandez is hitting a delayed vertical suplex on Daniels. Kaz grabs Hernandez from behind after the move, holding him in place for Daniels, but Hernandez ducks, causing Daniels to knock Kaz off the apron and to the floor. He follows up by clotheslining Daniels to the floor. Back in, Hernandez misses the slingshot shoulderblock. Daniels clubs Hernandez across the back, then tags in Kaz, who hits some mounted punches. Daniels back in, and they hit a double corner whip. Daniels tags in Kaz, and they hit the slingshot elbow/legdrop combo for 1. Kaz applies a front chancery before sending Hernandez to his team’s corner. He reapplies the front chancery, then hits some forearms in the corner. Daniels back in, and he hits a forearm in the corner before Kaz hits a spinning heel kick for 1. Daniels rakes the eyes and goes for some corner punches, but Hernandez shoves him off and hits a Pounce. Kaz and Chavo tag in, and Chavo does the typical hot tag moves. Monkey flip out of the corner, followed by a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Chavo goes for the 3 Amigos and twists on the third suplex for 2 as Daniels breaks up the pin. The heels hit the Hart Attack for 2. They go for a double back body drop, but Hernandez holds onto Chavo’s foot, and he winds up back dropping Kaz to the floor before hiptossing Daniels over. Chavo hits a suicide dive to the outside, followed by Supermex by Hernandez. Back in, Chavo hits another tope con hilo on Kaz for 2. Kaz fights Chavo off in the corner from the apron, but misses the Superman. Chavo goes up top and hits the frog splash for 3.
AI is asking Jeff Hardy about his levels of respect for Roode and Aries. Hardy calls them both great in the ring, but outside the ring, he doesn’t care for either of them at all. AI asks about his plan for revenge. Hardy says it will come soon, but he’ll enjoy them beating each other first.
Video package for Aces and Eights.
We’re back in A and E’s clubhouse, and we see DOC, Black Scorpion and Devon talking to someone off-camera. BS is glad this person agreed to see them. Devon says he’s the right man for the job. BS says he has to give Devon some credit-he thought he could bring some assholes in to do the job. The camera pans over to see that Mr. Anderson is the mystery man. Anderson recalls what happened the last time they met, but Devon assured him he’d be safe here, so he’s all ears. Devon says this will be tough. They have a certain agenda that needs to be attended to. It might be physical, then…even more physical. Devon says this as the third-rate strippers begin fawning over Anderson. Anderson says they drive a hard bargain, but this is something he really wants to do. He asks for some time to think about it, and Devon agrees as Anderson leaves with the strippers.
Gail Kim is the next one out to make a challenge. Tonight is OFN, and she knows exactly who she’s calling out. 2012 was her year. She was the longest-reigning KO champion in the history of TNA until someone ended her reign with a fluke victory. So, she’s ready to end that chapter and erase those bad memories before she regains her gold in 2013. So, she’s calling out Miss Tessmacher.
MATCH 4: Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher
Lock-up to start the match, with Kim hitting a takedown. Another lock-up, and Kim turns it into an arm wringer before turning it into a keylock. Tessy counters with a jackknife for 1. Kim misses a charge in the corner, and Tessy stomps her down. Tessy hits the corner hip bump and follows up with the Stinkface. Kim rolls to the apron, where Tessy clotheslines her to the floor. Tessy throws her back in, and Kim cuts her off on re-entry. Back suplex by Kim gets 2. Kim props her up in the corner and goes for a super hurricanrana, but Tessy holds onto the ropes, sending Kim crashing to the mat. Tessy locks in a hanging Dragon Sleeper, then hits a flying clothesline for 2. Kim kicks her in the head, sends Tessy into the corner and follows up with the body attack through the ropes. Kim whips Tessy down by the hair, then rubs her ass in Tessy’s face. She goes for another back suplex, but Tessy counters into a bulldog. Tessy fires off some rights, a couple clotheslines, a forearm and a hurricanrana. She shoves her crotch in Kim’s face in the corner, then hits a Shout-Out for 2. She goes for the Brooke Shield, but Kim hits an elbow to the back of the head to break it. Tessy blocks a clothesline and hits a hooking clothesline before going up top. She misses a flying elbow, and Kim hits her with Eat Defeat for the 3.
WINNER: Gail Kim.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are headed to the ring. The main event is up next.
MATCH 5: Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries
Lock-up starts the match, they get a clean break in the corner, then duck each other’s strikes. Roode applies a hammerlock, and Aries counters into one of his own. Roode hits a drop toehold and applies a front chancery. Aries reverses and does the same thing, then slaps Roode across the back. They boot each other off a handshake, and now we’re back to a lock-up. Roode turns it into a side headlock before shouldering Aries down. They start a crisscross, but Aries goes down, feigning a knee injury. Roode isn’t buying it, and kicks Aries in the knee. Roode’ left ear is bleeding for some reason. Aries comes back and sends Roode to the floor. He goes for the suicide dive, but Roode is back in the ring before it happens. They shove each other as we go to commercials.
Oh, wait. Before that can happen, we see Jeff Hardy watching this match, and we get one of his dumba#$ inner monologue promos. I hate this crap. Total bush league.
We’re back, and Aries is in control with punches. Roode comes back with a suplex, but misses a jumping knee. Hardy seems to be gone, which I guess means that stupid clip was pre-recorded. Brilliant. Anyway, Aries misses a jumping elbow, and Roode sets him up top. Aries fights him off and they box each other’s ears. Eventually, Aries gets the best of it, knocking Roode back down to the mat. Aries misses the missile dropkick, and Roode calls for the spear. He goes for it, but Aries counters into the Last Chancery in a beautiful spot. Roode breaks the hold by raking the eyes, then applies the Bowflex. Aries goes to the eyes this time, breaking the hold. Roode fires off some rights in the corner, and they begin trading strikes. Roode begs off, then sneaks in a pin with his feet on the ropes. The ref sees it and calls for the break. Aries then rolls Roode up with a handful of tights, and the ref once again sees it, calling for a break. Aries argues with the ref, and turns around right into a spinebuster by Roode for 2. Roode goes outside for a chair, but it gets taken away. As Roode is now arguing with the ref, Aries blasts him with the rolling elbow for 2. Aries goes outside for the chair, and referee Earl Hebner gets it from him. Aries begins to argue, and Roode does the same thing. They decide to double boot Hebner in the gut and throw him to the floor. They start to fight over the chair as Jeff Hardy’s music hits. He comes in from behind and drops them both with a double clothesline. Aries gets clotheslined to the floor, and Roode is hit with the Twist of Fate.
Hulk Hogan makes his way out to open the show, likely to address the situation between Bully Ray and Hogan’s twin brother, Brooke. What’s that? Brooke’s female? And she’s his daughter? Good lord. That gene pool could use a filter. He says there’s a bunch of energy in the Impact Zone, brother. Last week, his world imploded. As GM, there’s no doubt, jack, that he runs the show, but he’s also a father. Last week, the GM and the father collided in this ring.
You’d have to be on another planet to think nothing’s going around here. He wants the truth now, so Bully Ray, you need to ‘fess up and tell him what’s going on, brother. Sabu…er, Bully Ray makes his way out. Hogan tells him to lay it out straight and correct the first time. What’s going on? Ray says Hogan doesn’t trust him, but wants to know what’s going on. He hasn’t trusted Ray from day 1. He didn’t trust him when he stood by Sting’s side, or every other week when he’s earned trust. Now, he wants answers. Hogan tells Ray to cut the crap and wants to know what’s going on between him and Brooke. Ray asks Hogan if he really wants to know the answer to that. Does he really want answers as to who the #1 man is in Brooke’s life?
Brooke now joins the party. Hogan asks what’s going on. She tells him she’s not 18 anymore. Hogan doesn’t care, and wants answers. She says it’s not what he thinks. He doesn’t care, and says that, as long as he’s alive, he doesn’t want to see her with a wrestler, especially Ray. Austin Aries pops up on the big screen, calling this sad. While Hogan is wasting his time in the ring, he’s got wrestlers in the back wanting to know what they are supposed to do on this wrestling show tonight. We see Kid Kash, Kenny King and Zema Ion all around Aries, and Kash is mouthing off about where Hogan is right now. Aries lays down on Hogan’s desk and says he won’t move until Hogan gives him answers. Aries lays down, calls the desk uncomfortable and asks how anyone can lay on this thing before asking Brooke how she does it all the time. Hogan storms out of the ring as Brooke starts some really bad fake crying.
Tonight, Storm and Styles take on Chris-Zarian. Up next, Mickie James faces Gail Kim.
MATCH 1: Gail Kim vs. Mickie James
Kim quickly rolls James up in a schoolgirl for 1 to start the match. Forearm shot to the back by Kim. She follows up with an arm wringer into a top wristlock. She yanks James down by the hair, then fires off some forearms. She throws James to the corner and hits a jumping clothesline. More forearms, and the Happy Ending gets 2. Kim locks in a headscissors, and James accidentally taps, but Taryn Terrell doesn’t see it. Kim releases the hold and goes for a pin, but only gets 2. Kim goes for a leglock, but James boots her off and hits a flapjack. Up top, James misses a Thesz Press, and Kim nails a dropkick for 2. James blocks a kick and hits a Mick Kick, drags her into the center and gets 2. They trade forearms until James hits the Tunacanrana. James hits a dropkick and counters a clothesline with a neckbreaker for 2. Kim counters the standing tornado DDT and sends James to the corner. She charges in, but James pops up over her and hits a middle rope tornado DDT for the 3.
WINNER: Mickie James.
James Storm is telling AI he’s a man and he lives with his choices. But when someone brings his family into things, that’s when he has a problem. AJ Styles steps in and tells him he’s a whiner. He doesn’t get a title match for a year, and that’s really something to be bitter about. Storm says his problem is dwelling in the past and he needs to focus on the future, starting with their tag team match tonight.
We’re back in Hogan’s office now, and Aries, King, Kash and Ion are still there. Hogan storms in and tells Aries to sit his ass down. Hogan talks about the X Division and starts with King. Why should he get a title match tonight. King says that, when Hogan was out, he was lighting the division up. Ion tells Hogan he’s the only one sticking with the division. Kash points out he’s a former 2-time champion. Hogan eliminates King as the other three continue to argue. Hogan then sends Ion and Kash out to talk to Aries one-on-one.
Bobby Roode makes his way out to the Impact Zone. Last week, right here on Impact, Bobby Roode made a statement, and that statement was very clear. In 10 days, at Final Resolution, he will be your new World Heavyweight Champion. Last week was also OFN, and Jeff Hardy, you got called out. You got called out by a nobody. You got called out by a Gut Check rookie, the same Gut Check rookie that Roode laid out with one move. The same kid that Hardy was very close to losing to. Hardy doesn’t impress him. He is a real champion. Hardy is a paper champion. He will prove it at Final Resolution. With that being said, if you want to make yourself in this business and this company, you don’t waste your time with Jeff Hardy; you call out the big dog. You call out the longest-reigning champion in the history of this company.
Before Roode can finish, Christian York makes his way out and storms the ring. Roode tells him to wait up and gives him a piece of advice. This is Roode’s time, and nobody interrupts him. So take your Rastafarian haircut and your squeegee-looking ass (??) out of his ring. York responds to this by decking Roode, knocking him to the floor. As Roode leaves, York tells him that, since he wanted someone to call him out, York is doing just that.
Back from the break, and the next match is already underway.
MATCH 2: Bobby Roode vs. Christian York
Roode applies a hammerlock into a side headlock. He shoulders York off the ropes before York hits a hip toss. York hits a pair of shoulders for 1. Roode slides to the floor, then drags York down, slamming him back-first into the apron. York reverses a whip into the steps, sending Roode into them. Back in the ring, York goes up top, but Roode knocks the ref into the ropes, causing York to crotch himself. Roode beats York down in the corner, then drops him with a clothesline. Roode hits a suplex, but York blocks a dive off the buckles with a foot to the face. York fires off some rights, hits a couple clotheslines and a dropkick. Flapjack by York, and he hits a Warrior’s Way to the back, followed by the Dreamscape for 2. York calls for the Mood Swing, but Roode blocks it and looks for the Payoff. York counters into an inside cradle for 2. Roode hits the Northern Lariat as York argues with the referee, and he locks in the Bowflex for the tap out.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. Roode grabs a chair after the match, but Jeff Hardy hits the ring before further damage can be done. Hardy tries for the Twist of Fate, but Roode escapes to the floor and up the ramp.
In the Aces and Eights clubhouse, Black Scorpion is saying that people think the men they target are just a matter of chance. They lay down whoever the dart falls on. This is the holiday season, and they already got one present early. Doc has Kurt Angle next week. Devon tells Scorpion he wants what was stolen from him, that being the TV title. He was never beaten for that title, and next week, he wants Samoa Joe. If he gets that, no one gets hurt tonight. If he doesn’t, all hell will break loose.
Up next, the Gut Check judges make discuss Wes Brisco’s future.
We’re in the office of the Gut Check judges now, and we see them discussing Wes Brisco earlier today. Al Snow starts things off, discussing Brisco’s 2nd generation status. Taz says Brisco is the first contestant to win his match. Prichard agrees, but also says Brisco made a lot of mistakes. Taz points out Angle stamping his seal of approval on Brisco, which means something to him. Prichard says it means little, and it’s up to performance. There were positives and negatives.
We see Prichard in the back elsewhere, and he’s telling a stagehand to let him know when “he” shows up, because “he’s” late. As the stagehand leaves, Angle approaches him to talk about Brisco one last time. He says wrestling is in his blood, and he needs this. Prichard has already made his decision, and he’s got a show to run. D’Lo Brown walks up, and apparently the “he” that’s missing is Al Snow, who is supposed to be here by now.
Chris-Zarian make their way out for their match. Before it starts, Kaz takes the mic, referring to the crowd as “butt nuggets”. Apparently, he’s five years old. Tonight, Styles and Storm are a tag team. Kaz is sorry about Styles’ damn luck, because in 10 days, he’ll hear the words that will haunt him for the rest of his redneck life: “Your winner, and forever the better man, Christopher Daniels!” Total waste of time. Kaz is just awful when it comes to promos.
MATCH 3: Chris-Zarian (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. James Storm and AJ Styles
AJ and Kaz start the match. Kaz backs AJ into the corner before locking in a front chancery. He turns it into a side headlock. Crisscross ends with AJ missing a dropkick. Storm tags in as Kaz gloats, and Storm fires off some rights. Storm hits a facebreaker and a neckbreaker off the ropes. Daniels tags in, and Storm unloads on him. AJ tags in, and they look for a double-team move. AJ was thinking a double hip toss, while Storm thought a double back elbow, resulting in only Storm connecting with anything. AJ hits a bodyslam, but misses a jumping knee. Kaz tags in, and Daniels hip tosses him onto AJ. Kaz hits a seated dropkick. Storm tags in, hits a back elbow and a clothesline. He nails an enziguri after knocking Daniels to the floor. Storm looks for the backcracker, but Daniels holds onto Kaz, blocking the move. Kaz follows up with a springboard legdrop. Daniels back in, and he stomps Storm down. Mike Tenay informs us the team will now be known as “Bad Influence”. That’s a great name…if this were the 80s. Daniels hits a bodyslam, tags in Kaz, hits a slingshot elbow, and Kaz follows up with a slingshot legdrop for 2. Kaz hits a side kick for another 2. Daniels back in, but they miss a double charge in the corner. AJ tags in, and takes them both out with elbows. He hits a roundhouse on Daniels and a back suplex into a facebuster on Kaz. Suplex into a neckbreaker on Daniels, and Superman connects. He goes after Kaz, but Kaz whips him to the floor. Daniels throws AJ back in, and they hit a double hip toss into a Villano Bomb for 2. AJ blocks a second double-team attempt by kicking Daniels. Storm drags Kaz to the floor and sends him into the steps. Storm makes a blind tag as Daniels avoids the Pele. He goes for Angel’s Wings, but Storm hits the Last Call and gets the 3.
WINNERS: James Storm and AJ Styles. Storm goes to congratulate AJ, but AJ blows him off and leaves the ring. Storm flips him off before celebrating with a beer.
It is announced that Lockdown 2013 will be in San Antonio.
Aries is in the back with Kash and Ion, and they’re all heading back into Hogan’s office. Hogan says he needs someone to stir things up tonight. Ion begins kissing his ass. Hogan tells him to stop it. Kash points out he’s wrestled RVD many times, and they’ve beaten each other. He’s been to the top twice, and he deserves one last shot, if that’s what it is. Hogan then asks Aries why he deserves it. Aries calls himself a great stick to stir the pot. Hogan says there’s only one guy who hates Aries more than Hogan, and that’s RVD. He eliminates Kash and Ion, giving the nod to Aries for later tonight.
Samoa Joe is in the back somewhere, directing his comments at Devon. He says that, for a Sergeant at Arms, the first man on the frontline, all he hears is words. Devon wasn’t beaten for the belt, but he did abandon it. He couldn’t cut it as champion, but Joe can, and that’s why he took over. Next week, come and get your belt, Devon, and you will be beaten.
MATCH 4: Douglas Williams vs. Matt Morgan (w/Joey Ryan)
Joey Ryan comes out and does the introduction for Morgan. Williams hits a forearm, but Morgan shoves him down. Morgan drops him with a clothesline. Morgan hits some back elbows in the corner before getting in a foot choke. Morgan hits a corner whip and a sidewalk slam. Williams hits a couple boots, but jumps off the turnbuckles right into a chokeslam. Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint for the 3. Sheamus he isn’t.
We’re in the back once again with Bruce Prichard and D’Lo Brown. D’Lo still can’t find Al Snow, even calling Al’s wife. Prichard says they’re screwed for Gut Check if Al doesn’t show up. D’Lo offers to take Al’s place in the judging tonight, should it come to that. Prichard likes that idea before telling D’Lo to keep looking.
It’s Gut Check judgment time. Wes Brisco makes his way out. D’Lo is in the ring, which I guess means they still didn’t find Al Snow. Prichard interrupts JB and points out that Al Snow is not here, and they don’t know where he’s at. He formally introduces D’Lo Brown as the replacement judge, and is a Gut Check judge on the road, apparently. Prichard makes his decision first. He’s known Brisco since he was a kid, and knows his whole family history. He’s watched Brisco grow up into a hell of a young man. Last week, the match was not great. Brisco won, but it wasn’t the best outing, and wasn’t what he knows Brisco is capable of. If he were basing his judging on just last week, his vote would be different. However, he knows what Brisco is capable of, wants to see him succeed, and his answer is yes. Taz is up next. He tells Brisco he knows the family as well. He also brings up Kurt Angle being in Brisco’s corner, and that’s big in his book. He does agree the match wasn’t great last week. Brisco is close, but not quite there. His answer is no. JB gives Brisco 30 seconds to convince D’Lo he deserves a contract. Brisco thanks Prichard for the support. He respects Taz’s opinion. He knows it’s in D’Lo’s hands now. Since he was a kid, all he dreamed about was being in the ring. He’s not doing it just for himself; he’s doing it for his fans and his family, especially his uncle Jack. All he’s asking for is a chance to prove himself. He knows he can do it. He just needs that chance. Brisco is basically in tears at this point. A “Yes!” chant starts as D’Lo makes his decision. D’Lo tells Brisco those were some powerful words. He also knows the family. He saw the match last week, and it left him conflicted. Part of him doesn’t know if Brisco is ready. But, he has to say that he respects Taz and Prichard. Kurt Angle and Prichard are going to bat for him, so if Brisco’s work is good enough for Prichard, it’s good enough for him. His answer is yes. Wes Brisco is your newest member of the TNA roster. Kurt Angle and Garett Bischoff hit the ring to congratulate him.
Hogan is walking out of his office, and AI stops him about the double elimination. He says he’s not himself today, and won’t answer that. Bully Ray stops him, asking if Austin Aries offended him, Ray and Brooke. The answer is yes to all three. If Hogan wanted Aries beaten up, why didn’t he go with Ray? Maybe because he’s confusing business with personal. Hogan then accuses Ray of the same thing before walking off.
ODB is in the back, talking to AI about Eric Young. She talks about their recent history up until last week. A and E shattered EY’s ankle, and he’s in the hospital right now. She walks off before saying anything else.
We see Hogan and Aries in the back. Aries says winning the X title was the plan the whole time. Winning the belt moves him back towards the World title. Hogan rambles on about RVD, but I didn’t hear it, because there was an audio glitch.
MATCH 5-World X-Division Championship: Austin Aries vs. Rob Van Dam (Champion)
They start by trading forearms and kicks. Aries whips RVD down by the hair, and RVD comes back with an armdrag. RVD with some kicks now, and a leg scissors gets 2. RVD with some shoulder thrusts and a kick in the corner. Aries sees a dropkick coming and puts on the breaks and goes for a tope con hilo, but RVD gets his knees up. He sends Aries to the floor and hits a baseball slide before hitting a plancha to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Aries kicks RVD to the floor. He goes for a suicide dive, but RVD stops him with a roundhouse on the apron. He drags Aries to the floor and drops him chest-first on the guardrail. He goes for the spinning legdrop, but misses. Aries hits a neckbreaker across the guardrail into the crowd. He drags RVD back to the ring and gets 2. Aries goes for a couple more pins, getting 2 each time. Spinning back elbow to the back gets another 2. RVD comes back with a kick in the corner, but Aries drops him with a DDT for 2. Aries hits a variation of Rolling Thunder for 2. Aries mocks RVD with the Five-Star, but misses. RVD hits a springboard thrust kick, and a roundhouse in the corner. Rolling Thunder connects, and the split-legged moonsault gets 2 as Aries gets his foot on the ropes. Aries ducks a roundhouse and hits a rolling elbow. RVD hoists Aries up in a flapjack, but hits a dropkick instead. He goes for the Five-Star, but Aries shoves him to the floor. Aries drags him back into the ring, grabs a mic and begins taunting RVD about crashing and burning. He then says RVD looks like Brooke Hogan, but he’s going to look like the next X-Division Champion. Bully Ray hits the ring and grabs Aries before he can leave, causing a DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Austin Aries. RVD remains the champion. Ray goes for a powerbomb, but Aries escapes and rolls to the floor. As Aries is heading up the ramp, Hogan comes out and corners him. Aries realizes Hogan isn’t out for him, and escapes the area. Hogan continues to stare Ray down as the show goes off the air.
Tonight is once again TNA Impact Wrestling Open Fight Night and we’re starting the show off with Gut Check. Wes Brisco is the Gut Check contestant for the evening, and his opponent is…Garett Bischoff. Hmm. Wes Brisco, a talented 2nd generation star with a good amount of experience, has to prove himself against Garett Bischoff, who is considered the established star in this match, despite being greener than goose sh*t? Anyone else see the problem here?
MATCH 1-Gut Check: Wes Brisco vs. Garett Bischoff
Wes starts out with a waistlock takedown. Garett fights out of the hold with elbows, then hits a takedown of his own. Wes reverses a front chancery with a hammerlock into an arm wringer, which Garett counters. Wes hits a fireman’s carry takedown but misses a legdrop. Garett hits an armdrag and misses an elbow. Kurt Angle walks down to ringside to apparently play cheerleader for this match. Garett hits a sloppy hip throw, that Wes reverses into a headscissors. The two then trade positions on the same sequence. Really formulaic thus far. Simultaneous dropkicks are attempted, leading to a stalemate. Garett shoulders Wes down, and Wes comes back with a monkey flip. He hits his own shoulderblock for 2. Garett with a side headlock now, then hits another shoulder off the ropes. The fans appear to be turning on this match fairly quickly, and I can’t blame them. They trade punches, and Wes hits a swinging neckbreaker for 1. Garett comes back with a clothesline before locking in a sleeper. Wes breaks out and hits a cross-botchy off the ropes for 2. They trade sweeps for 1 each. Garett blocks a suplex and rolls Wes up for 2 before hitting a flapjack. Wes blocks a clothesline and hits an awkward ranhei (think Kofi Kingston’s SOS) for the 3.
WINNER: Wes Brisco, who becomes the first Gut Check contestant to win a match. Unfortunately, the quality just wasn’t there. Wes is a decent performer, but if this was the first time you’d ever see him, you wouldn’t know it, as this match sucked. Angle congratulates Wes after the match.
Al Snow is in the back with the previous Gut Check winners. Tonight is their night, and they’re all allowed to make challenges on OFN.
Kurt Angle is in the back with Wes and Garett congratulating both of them. He’s proud of Wes, and is very happy with the results. He guarantees Wes will be on the roster after this.
Joey Ryan makes his way out to issue the first challenge of the evening. So, tonight is OFN for all the Gut Check winners. He knows a thing or two about Gut Check, but didn’t need to win to become the biggest star to compete in it. Joey Ryan was born a star. Hulk Hogan thinks he can control Ryan and Matt Morgan by dividing them. Well, you can’t divide the Tag Team Champions, and that’s what Ryan and Morgan will become, and that’s exactly why he’s calling Chavo Guerrero tonight. While Matt is big, Joey Ryan is a giant, and everyone knows size matters.
MATCH 2: Joey Ryan vs. World Tag Team Co-Champion Chavo Guerrero
Ryan attacks Chavo before the bell with forearms. Chavo comes back with some rights and a corner whip and a hip toss. Chavo follows up with a hilo. Ryan misses a corner charge, allowing Chavo to nail a European uppercut and send him into the corner. Ryan blocks a waistlock by grabbing the ropes, nailing a back elbow to break the hold. He knocks Chavo down with a right hand. They trade some punches before Ryan nails a dropkick on a running Chavo for 1. Ryan locks in a neck vice, but Chavo breaks out and hits a dropkick of his own. Chavo hits a spinning headscissors before Ryan backdrops him over the top. Chavo lands on his feet on the apron, knocks Ryan down and hits a tope con hilo. Chavo hits the 3 Amigos and goes up for the frog splash. Matt Morgan runs in and chokeslams Chavo, causing the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Chavo Guerrero. Before Morgan can continue the attack, Hernandez runs down and chases him off.
AI is in the back, asking Austin Aries his plans for the night. Aries will be calling someone out, and they won’t need a gut check; they’ll need a reality check. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it’ll be a family affair.
Sam Shaw makes his way out now, and will be the first Gut Check winner to make an OFN challenge. Shaw says it’s an honor and privilege to be a Gut Check winner, and being that it’s OFN, he’s calling out the first Gut Check winner, Alex Silva. Alex, get your ass out here.
MATCH 2: Sam Shaw vs. Alex Silva
Was hoping Silva would stay in developmental hell (aka OVW), but of course, TNA ignores my pleas. Silva charges the ring and takes Shaw down with punches before he even gets his ring jacket off. He hits a back body drop on Shaw as I notice he has total chicken legs, worse than even Ric Flair. Silva is playing the heel here, in case his one or two fans in the world gave a damn. Silva hits a few strikes and an elbow drop for 1. Silva hits a back elbow off the ropes before looking ridiculous in missing a legdrop. Can someone explain to me why he appears to not only be wrestling in Chuck Taylors, but has his kneepads around his ankles? Is there a point to that? Silva no-sells missing the legdrop and continues to attack Shaw with punches. He sends Shaw into the corner and hits a corner clothesline before locking in a sleeper. Shaw tries to fight out, so Silva hair-whips him to the mat. Nearly a year later, and Silva still sucks something awful. Send his ass back to OVW or release him outright, please. Silva rakes the eyes before applying a rear chinlock. Silva hits a bodyslam and stomps Shaw in the gut. He goes for a backdrop, but Shaw sort-of lands on his feet and hits a spear. Shaw hits a pair of dropkicks and a seated dropkick off the ropes. Shaw hits the 3.0, holds on and hits a hangman’s neckbreaker. Shaw mounts the top rope and hits a high guillotine legdrop that he apparently calls the Breaking Point, and this is enough for 3.
WINNER: Sam Shaw. Once again, Shaw looked relatively decent, and Silva looked like sh*t. Is it any wonder TNA got pissed at Ric Flair for giving Silva the nod?
ODB and Eric Young are walking around in the back, headed to someone’s office, apparently. They find the office, and it turns out to be Hulk Hogan’s. EY is carrying the stupid turkey suit, and says TNA does this match every year, and he wants to do it again. Hulk Hogan says it’s OFN, and he can call out whoever he wants before telling them to go. I can’t believe I have to sit through this again. They walk away and bump into the Robbies. Last year, EY ruined T’s life by making him wear that suit. Tonight is OFN, so Robbie E calls EY out, so he can wear the suit like the chicken that he is. Jesse and Tara walk up, and Jesse is bragging about his win last week. EY then calls out both Robbie E and Jesse for a 3-way “Turkey Suit Challenge”. Somewhere, Vince McMahon is pissing himself at this level of “competition”.
Video package for Aces and Eights. You should know the whole story by this point.
We’re now in the “clubhouse”. Devon says they have a lot to be thankful for, including their Thanksgiving feast. Doc is at the table as a full-patched member for the first time. A and E has some business to attend to first. Black Scorpion stands up and does the dartboard bit. The group laughs at who the dart lands on.
Video package for Christian York, the most recent Gut Check winner. York then makes his way out for an OFN challenge. For 16 years, York has travelled dirt roads to get here. Today, he feels like the luckiest sonofabitch in the world. You know, with Lady Luck on his side, it’s time to double-down. A lot of people might think he’s crazy, and they might be right, but with luck on his side, he’s calling out someone he respects and admires. If he’ll do York the honor, come on out, Jeff Hardy.
MATCH 3: Christian York vs. World Champion Jeff Hardy (non-title)
For those that may not realize it, there’s a lot of history here, as Hardy and York were in the original OMEGA promotion together nearly 20 years ago. The match starts with several reversals until Hardy nails a back elbow off the ropes. York locks in an armbar. Hardy tries to roll through, but York hangs onto the hold the entire time. Kind of a nice spot there, if I may say so. York hits a shoulder off the ropes. Hardy tries for a kick, but York blocks it, hits a mule kick, a kick to the face and a dropkick. Commercials.
Back from the break, Hardy is in control of York, sending him to the corner. Hardy goes up for Botch in the Wind, but York casually walks away, sending Hardy into the mat. York goes for a pin, but gets 2. York sends Hardy into the corner, hits a corner clothesline, and then catches Hardy with a second one off the impact of the first. York with another pin, and another 2. They botch a spot in the corner before York hits a running knee to the face for 2. I’ve noticed that the commentators are completely ignoring Hardy and York’s history together. Nice job, guys. Couldn’t have you help tell a story in this match, huh? Anyway, Hardy comes back with a reverse enziguri. He goes for the slingshot dropkick in the corner, but York rolls to the apron. York up top now, but misses a double stomp. However, York recovers and hits a half-nelson suplex. Hardy crawls to the corner, where York hits the Dreamscape for 2. York locks in an unusual submission hold, which basically looks like an inverted Koji Clutch. Hardy manages to get a rope break. York misses a corner clothesline, and Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate. York blocks it and hits one of his own for 2. York goes for the Mood Swing, but Hardy counters and hits a sit-out gourdbuster. Hardy up top now, and York cuts him off. Hardy fights off a superplex and hits a sit-out sunset flip powerbomb. Hardy hits a clothesline, a back elbow and a flying forearm. Twist of Fate connects, and it’s time for the swanton bomb. Hardy hits it and this one’s over.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy. Solid match here. York looked damn good, and didn’t look at all out of place in a main event-level match, which is very important. York congratulates Hardy after the match, and as Hardy is celebrating, Bobby Roode comes in and nails York with a spinebuster. Hardy turns around right into a spear by The IT Factor. Roode grabs the real title belt and holds it over his head, saying the title is coming back home at Final Resolution.
Video for Taeler Hendrix, another Gut Check winner who really didn’t deserve it. I hope that, for her sake, unlike Alex Silva, she took her time in OVW seriously and improved. She is approached in the back by Brooke Hogan, who calls her “Tae-Tae”, making me want to punch her. Brooke tells her to use her nerves as adrenaline and kick butt tonight.
Hendrix makes her way out for her OFN challenge. Her voice is grating. She says she has been working hard, and she wants to see how she measures up to the “Gold Standard”. Shelton Benjamin? Oh, she’s calling out Tara. Never mind.
MATCH 4: Taeler Hendrix vs. Knockouts Champion Tara (w/Jesse) (non-title)
Hendrix has a schnozz like The Cos as she offers a handshake after the opening bell. Tara swats it away before shoving Hendrix down out of a tie-up. Tara with a waistlock takedown before nailing some forearms. Bodyslam by Tara, followed by a hairmare. Hendrix hits the mat hard, but fortunately, her nose breaks the fall for her. Tara hangs Hendrix by her hair, then just drops her on the mat. Hendrix tries to fight back, but Tara drops her with one forearm. Tara kisses Jesse, and as she turns around, she’s hit with a Dropsh*t, causing Tara to knock Jesse off the apron and to the floor. Hendrix locks in a small package for 2 before hitting Tara with a hip toss. Hendrix hits a Protobomb as someone in the audience yells something along the lines of, “What’re you doing, you ugly tramp?” Best TNA fan ever. Hendrix headbutts Tara in the face, fires off some left jabs and a right, then hits what may be the worst cross-body in wrestling today for 2. Jesse screams at Hendrix from the apron, causing a distraction. Tara tries to attack from behind, but Hendrix moves out of the way. Tara puts the breaks on before colliding with Jesse, who jumps down. As she turns around, Hendrix hits her with a roundhouse, which has basically become as standard as a bodyslam in women’s wrestling, it seems. Hendrix goes for a really stupid-looking pin, and only gets 2. Tara hits Hendrix with a facebreaker before firing off a right hand, which Hendrix oversells to a ridiculous level. Think HBK overselling everything Hogan threw at him at Summerslam ’05, except Hendrix is being serious. Tara hits the Widow’s Peak and gets the 3. For whatever reason, referee Taryn Terrell feels the need to scream the numbers as she counts them.
MATCH 5-3-Way “Turkey Suit” Match: Knockouts Tag Team Co-Champion Eric Young (w/ODB) vs. Jesse (w/Tara) vs. Robbie E (w/Robbie T)
I’m not recapping this match. No. I won’t do it. Sorry, Eric (Gargiulo), but I can’t.
Jesse botched a dropkick at one point. The heels do some double-teaming. Then they fight after one tries to make the pin. The women fight each other. Young rolls up Jesse for the 3.
WINNER: Eric Young. Jesse is forced to wear the turkey suit. Laughs were had by none. Eventually, EY and ODB are cornered by Aces and Eights. It’s Doc, Devon, Big Guy, Black Scorpion, The Late Brian Pillman and, let’s just call the other guy Super Destroyer #812. Devon clips EY’s leg with the bat, and Big Guy drops him with a boot. ODB has been handcuffed to the turnbuckles. Scorpion and Guy hold Young down, and Doc nails the leg with his hammer. Doc then does the same thing to the bottom of EY’s foot. Devon talks trash until Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco chase them off. I need to come up with the name for these two. Perhaps The Wonder Twins? I’ll work on it.
Chris-Zarian make their way out for another OFN challenge. TNA really needs to find someone who can actually create decent, unique entrance music. And as much as I have always loved Chris Daniels, he does not play this sleazebag character well at all. It feels so forced. He reminds us he challenged AJ Styles to one last match at Final Resolution. Assbags like these people have been asking why. The answer is obvious. AJ is going through tough times, and what kind of friend would Daniels be if he weren’t there in AJ’s time of need? Kaz thanks AJ for proving them right all along, and he’d like to invite AJ to the ring for a “bad influence-style” ass beating, courtesy of himself (no clue what that means, either), so AJ, you hayseed, consider yourself called out.
MATCH 6: Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels) vs. AJ Styles
Daniels decides to leave before the match starts, which means he’ll be back towards the end. Kaz starts with a side headlock. The two go into a crisscross, and Kaz takes AJ down with a double-leg that he turns into a jackknife for 2. AJ bridges out and turns it into a backslide for 2. Kaz locks in a la magistral for 2. Kaz hits AJ with a punch and screams, “You’ve failed!” before getting blasted by a dropkick that sends him to the floor. Kaz avoids a slingshot plancha by getting back in the ring. From the apron, AJ slingshots himself back in, hitting Kaz with a swinging headscissors in the process. AJ hits a backbreaker before hitting some kicks to the chest. Kaz thumbs him in the eye before whipping him in the corner. AJ blocks the charge and leaps to the middle rope, but Kaz grabs him by the foot and whips him down, forcing to him to hotshot himself on the top rope. Kaz hits a clothesline before stomping away. A standing gutwrench suplex by Kaz gets 2. Kaz drops AJ gut-first across the top rope, then kicks him in the face, sending him to the floor. Kaz does the “Gangnam Style” dance in the ring, proving himself to be an even bigger d-bag than I originally thought. AJ gets back in the ring and hits a couple elbows to the gut, but Kaz stops him with a forearm to the back. AJ slides out of a suplex attempt and hits a clothesline, followed by a back elbow. AJ hits a nice roundhouse kick and goes for a jumping corner clothesline, but Kaz slides out of the way, pulling the referee in the way in the process. AJ stops before connecting with the ref, which allows Kaz to hit a slingshot DDT. AJ pulls himself back to his feet in the corner, and counters a charge by Kaz with a sunset flip. Kaz drops down, however, and goes for the pin while holding the ropes. The ref sees it, though, and stops the count at 2. Kaz has called referee Earl Hebner “you stupid sonofabitch” about 2 dozens times in this match, effectively killing any value that curse word had. Hebner shoves Kaz after taking a berating one too many times (hey, remember that whole angle with him and Madison Rayne? Yeah, neither does anyone else), and AJ rolls Kaz up for 2. He follows up by nailing the Pele, and that’s enough for the 3.
WINNER: AJ Styles. Surprisingly, Daniels did not return in this match.
Up next, Austin Aries is going to “shed the light” for everyone, and the person he calls out will help open Pandora’s Box up. Trust him, it won’t be pretty.
Aries makes his way out for his challenge. It’s not going to be a match, though, as Aries is still in his street clothes. He’s been telling everyone all night that he’s got some big things that he wants to do right now. You see, for the last 4-5 months, he’s been stating the fact that “A-Double” isn’t getting a fair shake right now. He feels like the playing field has not been even for him. He knows the deck is being stacked against “The greatest man that ever lived”. As he’s taken a look at the landscape, he’s realized there is one name responsible. One name that is the root of his problems, that is holding him down. And that name is “Hogan”. Seeing as it’s OFN, right now, Hogan, he wants you to get your fake tanned, bleach-blonde, big ugly ass out here. Wait, he should be more specific. BROOKE Hogan, get your ass out here. As Brooke comes out, Aries says he isn’t calling her out to wrestle. She’s not a wrestler, but she’s a Hogan. Aries is sick and tired of the name “Hogan”. For the last 25 years, everywhere he’s looked, it’s been “Hogan”. Every arena he goes into, these dumb people chant that name, and he’s sick of it. He bets she’s just as sick of the Hogan name, too. Being in the spotlight, Aries bets it’s hard for her to keep her private life private. He bets she’d find the man of her dreams when she was a kid, and finally give that name away. Maybe Brooke Trump or Brooke McMahon. Aries bets she never thought she’d be Ms. Bully Ray, and when she had kids, there’d be a bunch of “Bully Maniacs” running around. However, he bets her dad would never let her get rid of the name, so he’s thinking it’d become “Bully Ray Hogan”. He says Brooke looks confused before showing some footage of Brooke and Bully Ray talking in the back. He calls that innocent enough, but then asks her to explain the footage from last week, where Brooke and Ray were seemingly getting intimate in her office. Aries says that, if Brooke is that starved for attention, she didn’t have to settle for that turkey, as A-Double would’ve given her all the stuffing she could handle. Of course, Hulk Hogan makes his presence known on this note. Along with Hogan is Bully Ray, who chases Aries out of the ring. Ray then turns to Brooke as Hulk looks at each person with a confused expression. Brooke then storms off.
This week, the recaps are going to be semi-condensed, as I’ve had a long weekend, and couldn’t really take the time and give my usual detailed recaps. I’ll be back to normal form next week.
The show starts with a graphic, remembering Brad Armstrong. I was very sad to hear the news of his passing, as I always found him to be incredibly underrated. He deserved so much more during his career.
Tonight is another edition of Open Fight Night, so you can now let your hopes down.
Joe Abyss is in the ring, wearing his “wrestling gear”. He knows what OFN is all about, and that’s why he’s here tonight. He’s not a wrestler, he’s an attorney. But, after what happened with Aces and Eights, he decided it doesn’t matter what he is. What matters is he’s a man. He’s not a wrestler, and Hogan hasn’t given him clearance to be one. But there’s a loophole, and that is OFN. So, he’s challenging any member of A and E to a fight right now. Four of the group make their way out and corner Joe. Kurt Angle comes out and begins fighting them off. Sting also joins the fray, bat in hand. Sting says he has a great idea. That idea is someone from A and E is losing their mask tonight.
We see Christian York warming up, and he’s tonight’s Gut Check contestant. I gotta say York is looking jacked compared to the last time I saw him.
AI stops Magnus in the back. Magnus says he plans to expose a phony tonight, and one who really deserves it.
Jesse and Tara are in the locker room. Jesse says he has an ear injury thanks to ODB. Tara says she has his back tonight. Jesse asks her to sterilize him. Yeah.
Magnus makes his way out to Douglas Williams’ music, as well as a modified version of Williams’ graphic, which leads me to believe that Williams may not be with the company anymore. Magnus calls out Samoa Joe for a World TV title match. The reason? He has an issue with Joe being the champion. Joe is not the image Impact Wrestling is looking for for their TV Champion. He’s like the Howard Stern of wrestling. People like him, but he has a radio face.
MATCH 1-World Television Championship: Magnus vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)
Joe dominates the opening moments of the match until Magnus drops him with a running knee. Magnus hits a misdirection clothesline for 2. Joe goes for the Kokina Clutch, but Magnus counters with a jawbreaker. Joe hits the uranage out of the corner and sends Magnus to the floor. Joe rams Magnus back-first into the post. Referee Earl Hebner goes outside to tell Joe to get the match back in the ring, and while this is happening, Magnus grabs a wrench from under the ring. Back in the ring, Magnus clocks Joe with the wrench in front of Hebner, getting DQ’ed.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION, AND STILL CHAMPION: Samoa Joe.
Back in Hulk Hogan’s office, Sting and Joe Abyss are with him. Kurt Angle storms in with Wes Brisco, demanding Devon. Hogan tells him Devon is facing Bully Ray tonight, but he’s got Devon at Turning Point. Angle says that’s fine, but he still wants a fight tonight, as does Wes. Hogan thinks it sounds great, and tells everyone to target A and E.
Samoa Joe is in the interview area, icing his head. He tells Magnus he escaped tonight, and he wants Magnus again in a No Holds Barred Match, and Joe is gonna kill him.
Another overly dramatic Jeff Hardy video. Tonight, anyone can call him out, so he needs to stand out, eyes wide closed (?). He then rambles on about Austin Aries.
Chris-Zarian make their way out, likely to issue a challenge for OFN. Kaz calls Sting “Heath” for some reason. The biggest frauds here aren’t A and E; no, they’re Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. Last week, they told the truth, and looked good doing it. Apparently, some of the things they said offended the amigos in the back. They might’ve even gotten “muey caliente” about it. Daniels says they’ve got their title match at Turning Point, but tonight is OFN. They’re calling out two men who are proud of their Latino heritage. So, come on down…Hector Guerrero and Willie Urbina. Hector and Willie come down, and Kaz continues to taunt them with Spanish words mixed in with English. Daniels punches Willie, so Hector punches him. Kaz knocks Hector over, and now they’re double-teaming him. Eventually, Chavo and Hernandez come down and chase them off. As they’re heading up the ramp, Daniels begins taunting Chavo about the champs taking Chris-Zarian seriously.
Christian York Gut Check video. His opportunity is up next.
In the back, ODB is on her phone, trying to get a hold of Eric Young again. Pretty much the same thing she always does in these segments.
MATCH 2-Gut Check: Christian York vs. Zema Ion
York throws Ion’s hairspray away before the match starts, then begins attacking Ion with various strikes. Back elbow gets 1. York botches a rolling kick before hitting a nice half-nelson suplex. York goes up top, but Ion rolls to the outside. York drags him back up, so Ion hits a hotshot. Ion hits the inside-out tornado DDT, followed by a running boot. Ion hits a chop and a suplex out of the corner. York blocks a middle rope moonsault and nails a clothesline. York hits the Mood Swing for 2. Ion rolls to the floor. York slides out and hits a headscissors from the apron. Back in the ring, Ion catches a kick in the ropes and locks in the Submission: Impossible for the tapout.
WINNER: Zema Ion. York looked good, and TNA could certainly do worse than hiring him. Hell, they already have with Taeler Hendrix and Alex Silva.
AI stops Austin Aries to ask why he took the World title belt. He says he did it because he could. As far as he’s concerned, he’s still the champion and the face of the company. He says he has some business to take care of before entering the locker room of the Robbies.
ODB/Jesse is up next. This is going to suck.
Garett Bischoff stops Bully Ray and says he’s been stabbed in the back by Devon as well. He’s got Ray’s back if he needs it. Ray appreciates that and shakes his hand. Some stagehand approaches them and says A and E is outside. They head out, where the group is waiting. A brawl begins, with Sting and Angle joining in to help Ray and Garett. Devon approaches the brawl and calls for Ray to follow him. The group runs off as Ray gives chase on Devon, and Sting screams that someone’s losing a mask tonight.
ODB comes out to issue a challenge to Jesse. We already knew that, since she did it last week. Is there a point to this?
MATCH 3: Knockout Tag Team Co-Champion ODB vs. Jesse (w/Tara)
Just get rid of the KO tag titles already. They are completely worthless. ODB hits several open-hand chops, and Jesse escapes to the floor. Back in, ODB hits more chops. Jesse blocks some mounted punches, shoving ODB to the mat. He goes for an elbow, but misses, and slides back to the floor. Back in the ring, ODB hits a wheelbarrow facebuster and the Clam Buffet in the corner. She misses a cross-body, and Jesse hits a bodyslam. ODB hits one of her own, then spanks him over her knee. Tara gets on the apron for a distraction, and Jesse rolls ODB up for the 3.
Jeremy Borash stays on for hour 2, as Taz is back home in New York, helping his family and friends get through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The Robbies come out now. E says the most memorable part of this year’s BFG Series was him beating Jeff Hardy. Lightning strikes twice, so he’s calling out the World Champion to beat him again, bro.
MATCH 4: Robbie E (w/Robbie T) vs. World Champion Jeff Hardy (non-title)
Hardy is in complete control in the opening moments, scoring a 2 off a low dropkick. Middle rope splash gets another 2. E slides to the floor and drags Hardy with him. Hardy stays on offense, hitting several punches and whipping E into the steps. He hits Poetry in Motion against the guardrail before throwing E back in the ring. E distracts the referee as T drops Hardy with a clothesline on the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, E is now in control. Hardy comes back with a flying forearm and some clotheslines. He nails T on the outside with a dropkick before going for a Twist of Fate on E. E slides out and hits an implant DDT for 2. Hardy fights out of a second attempt and hits a sit-out gourdbuster. Twist of Fate follows, and the swanton bomb is nailed for 3.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy. As Hardy is celebrating, Austin Aries interrupts things. He congratulates Hardy before saying the difference between the two of them is 3 seconds. He is still the greatest wrestler in the universe, and outside of 3 seconds at BFG, he’s been the most dominant man in this company from day 1. He went through everyone to get to the top, and then Hardy knocked him off his pedestal. At Turning Point, he reclaims his spot, and the real title belt will officially be his once again. Hardy says if they do this at Turning Point, let’s do it right. Hardy drags a ladder out from under the ring, climbs up and says let’s make the ladder more than a metaphor, and make this match at Turning Point a Ladder Match.
We see some video of the grand opening of Hogan’s Beach Shop (which should be closed within 6 months). Matt Morgan wound up interrupting things and steals one of Hogan’s capes he wore as Terry “The Hulk” Boulder and his early days in the WWF. Hogan calls the cape a piece of history, and Morgan says wait until you see the history he makes with it now.
Back in the back of the Impact Zone, James Storm is talking to Hulk Hogan. He said he took Hogan’s initial advice about leaving for a while and came back when he was ready, and now he wants his title match. Hogan asks if Storm is a betting man, and if so, he’s got a really big idea for him.
Bobby Roode makes his way out to the ring for a challenge. Roode says it’s OFN, but he’s not here to fight; he’s here to state a fact, and that’s the fact he’s getting screwed once again. Last week, Hogan had a deliberation in his office with four men vying for the chance to become World Champion. Now, he knows Hogan put a stipulation in his contract, stating he couldn’t get a title rematch as long as Aries was champion. Well, here’s a news flash, brother: Aries isn’t champion anymore, so as he sees things, he should have been challenging Hardy for the title last week. Had that happened, he’d have kicked Hardy’s ass all over the building, and would be standing here as champion tonight. AJ Styles makes his way to the ring on this note. He asks if Roode is going to stand out here crying about not being champion. AJ is the one who should be champion, not him. AJ says Roode should be proud of being the longest-reigning champion in history, so stop crying. At that time, AJ was dealing with someone else’s issues, referring to the Claire Lynch storyline. He then takes a veiled shot about how things happen to people named AJ, referring to the current storyline on RAW with AJ Lee. AJ then calls out Roode for a fight tonight. Roode says he’s not here to fight, and the answer is no. Roode begins to leave, then nails AJ with a forearm to the back. AJ comes back with a clothesline to the floor. Hulk Hogan’s music hits, and he comes out with James Storm. Hogan hears what AJ’s saying, and he hears what Roode is saying, and he agrees both deserve a title match. But, it’s going to be in their hands. He’s going to make a match at Turning Point, and whoever gets pinned in the match won’t get a title match until at least BFG next year. The match will be AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm, and whoever wins gets the next title match.
We see Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan heading to the ring, and Morgan has Hogan’s cape in his hand.
Ryan and Morgan head out, and Morgan is now wearing the cape. Pretty sure Ryan’s music was also used by Sean Morley during his very brief time in TNA. Morgan says that, for years, TNA management has disrespected and ignored Morgan’s superhuman talents. So, instead of waiting around to be handed the ball, he stole the damn ball, and he started showing up on house shows around the country, taking talents heads off one-by-one, just to get the attention. But that wasn’t good enough, was it, Hogan? He still couldn’t get Hogan’s attention. Hogan said he made a lot of history with this robe. That’s nothing compared to the history Morgan will make with it. Everyone, listen up. From this moment, Morgan is going to eat through the roster one-by-one and sh*t them out until he owns the World title. Joey Ryan says normally, he prides himself on avoiding V.D.s, but he’s calling one out tonight: RVD. He’s going to prove to everyone that the X-Division title can be X-rated.
MATCH 5: Joey Ryan (w/Matt Morgan) vs. World X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam (non-title)
RVD drops Ryan with a thrust kick before Ryan throws him to the outside. RVD nails a roundhouse from the apron, and another in the corner. Spinning heel kick in the corner sets up Rolling Thunder, which gets 2. Morgan pulls Ryan out of the way of a Five-Star, and Ryan rolls up RVD with an Oklahoma Roll for the 3.
WINNER: Joey Ryan. RVD boots Ryan to the floor after the match, before turning around into a Carbon Footprint from Morgan.
We see A and E outside the arena, getting Devon ready for his match with Ray next.
Next week, Bobby Roode faces AJ Styles one-on-one.
Before the next match starts, Ray gives a shout-out to everyone in the northeast. Now, onto business. Devon, you piece of crap, get out here. He wants to kick your frickin’ ass.
MATCH 6: Bully Ray vs. Devon
Devon immediately jumps to the floor as Ray charges at him. Ray heads outside and begins dragging a table out, and sets it up in the ring. Devon gets up on the apron, but jumps to the floor once more. Devon signals for the rest of A and E, and eight of them head out. Devon gets in the ring with his gang, so Ray goes for his chain. Ray holds them off as the rest of the TNA guys from earlier run down. A big brawl erupts between the two sides.
WINNER: No contest. The TNA guys clear the ring until only Devon is left. Ray drops him with a punch and signals for the table. He goes for a powerbomb, but one of the big A and E guys comes in and throws Ray to the floor. Joe Abyss runs down into the ring now, and the big guy slugs him. Big guy assaults him until Joe grabs his mask, and it’s the former Luke Gallows. Gallows stares at Joe before putting him through the table before the rest of the TNA guys chase A and E off.
End of show.
Well, fortunately, I didn’t have to change my recap too much this week, as the matches were really short, and there was a lot of talking. That’s not really a good thing, though.
Tonight is once again “Championship Thursday”, which means…well, it really doesn’t much of anything anymore. This whole concept of people having to qualify for a potential shot at the title, but then Hogan hand-picking the opponent anyway is just stupid. Tonight’s potential World title challengers are Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson and James Storm. Meh.
We start the show in Hulk Hogan’s office, where he is talking with World Champion Jeff Hardy who, for some reason, is carrying two title belts. Hogan tells Hardy he raised the bar at BFG. His first title defense will to be to prove the point that he is the absolute best. He needs to know Hardy is ready for tonight’s possible challengers. Hardy says he’s ready, and he’s a changed man. No matter what, that person will be in the fight of their life. This leads into a really stupid slo-mo video of Hardy walking past all of his potential challengers. The funniest part is him saying, “James Storm drinks too much.”
MATCH 1-World X-Division Championship: Rob Van Dam (Champion) vs. Zema Ion
Jeremy Borash and some dork named Todd Kenely are on commentary. Apparently, there will be a different team for each hour, with Tenay and Taz doing second-hour duties. BTW, how is RVD X-Division Champion? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the weight limit is 225, and RVD is about 10 pounds over that. Just about a minute in, and I already want to strangle JB with the cord to his headset. Standing switch leads into a series of reversals and missed strikes, as well as a couple of nearfall trade-offs. Headlock by Ion, and RVD counters into a body scissors roll-up for 2. Ion hits an armdrag, and RVD comes back with a Warrior Press. He botches a standing moonsault, and a second-rope moonsault gets 2. Ion rolls to the floor, RVD baseball slides him, but Ion blocks a cross-body attempt, drags RVD to the floor and rams him into the guardrail. RVD gets back on the apron and blocks a running dive with a roundhouse. He misses a cross-body, sending him back to the floor. Ion levels him with a somersault plancha to the floor. Ion hot shots RVD on the apron, and hits the tornado DDT through the ropes for 2. Up top, Ion misses a corkscrew splash. RVD hits a thrust kick, Rolling Thunder, and the Five-Star Frog Splash gets 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Rob Van Dam. Wow. That was about formulaic. After the match, Matt Morgan levels RVD with the Carbon Footprint. Joey Ryan is right behind him and takes the X-Division belt. Morgan tells Hogan to be careful what he wishes for, because he’s now got the different Morgan he wanted.
We see Austin Aries apparently looking in on Hogan’s meeting with the potential contenders, making fun of the butt-kissing that’s likely going on. He’s going to wait out here and get reactions from each guy that gets rejected.
Chris-Zarian make their way out, and they’ve got brand new generic entrance music. Daniels has a clipboard in hand. Kaz says it’s fitting Halloween is around the corner, because the real Tag Team Champions have gotten a lot of tricks, but not treats. They are victims of a conspiracy. First, last week, “Mr. Nanny” altered Kaz’s travel so he couldn’t make it to the Impact Zone, leaving Daniels at a disadvantage. Second, at BFG, their titles were taken from them illegally from two guys who are likely in this country illegally. Daniels says to take it slow, since the people in the crowd are slow. Tonight is supposed to be “Championship Thursday”, but that isn’t true, is it, Suburban Commando. Zema Ion got his rematch, Miss Tessmacher is getting hers later, but Chris-Zarian aren’t getting theirs. They’re not liars like Chavo and Hernandez. Those two know what buttons to push to get their way. Chavo mentions every member of his family to get the crowd to cheer like Pavlov’s dogs. They also know Dixie Carter is so desperate to grow a Spanish audience, they come out in ponchos and have Mexican tattoos. Why don’t they go one further and get sombreros and call themselves “Los Stereotypicos”. Daniels has a petition he wants everyone to sign to make sure they get their title match. As Kaz is passing the petition around, Los Stereotypicos make their way out. Chavo asks if someone needs help getting a rematch around here. The champs would like to help. Nothing would make them more happy than to help get Chris-Zarian get a rematch so they can shove the belts down their throats. The champs chase them out of the ring before signing the petition themselves. Chavo tells them any place, anytime.
In Hogan’s office, he’s with the title contenders. He says Hardy’s rise to the top was unexpected, and everyone in the room is on a roll. Storm blathers on about whipping ass and taking a backseat to everyone. Bully Ray is still steaming about Devon. Kurt Angle says if he hadn’t gotten injured, he’d still be champion, and hasn’t had a title match since then. Mr. Anderson doesn’t know what Hogan wants. Hogan says he doesn’t have the fire, and Anderson is eliminated. Austin Aries is waiting for him when he leaves, making fun of the way Hogan talks. Aries offers him a title match when he becomes champion. Anderson says he doesn’t need a handout. Aries says giving him a title match would be just that, because he can beat Anderson no problem. They start brawling when Aries calls himself a “bigger asshole”. Yes, they were fighting over a word. Aries challenges him for later tonight.
We’re in Aces and Eights’ clubhouse now. Devon says the V.P. had him set up this meeting, and orders the rest of the group to keep their masks on. No one needs to know who they are. Before they get to business, he’s got some ladies to entertain them. In order for them to do that, they need to take someone out first, and it has to be done tonight. A dartboard is shown with pics of the entire roster glued to it. One of the guys throws a dart, but we don’t see where it lands. The rest of the group starts laughing, and Devon says he thinks they found their target.
MATCH 2-World Television Championship: Robbie T (w/Robbie E) vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)
JB says that it’s not often Joe is facing someone bigger than him, but tonight, he’s facing a giant. Yeah, except that they weigh about the same, stupid. If anything, Joe outweighs T. T misses a corner charge, then no-sells some knife-edge chops. Joe tries to shoulder him down, but he’s still standing. T drops him with a double axe handle to the head. Joe slaps T in the face a few times and goes to the ropes, where he’s met with an awful jumping roundhouse by T. Joe ducks a clothesline, running right into a goozle. He breaks it, but runs into a second one. T goes for a chokeslam, but Joe slides out and locks in the Kokina Clutch. Robbie E jumps on the apron for the distraction, as T breaks the hold by running back-first into the turnbuckles. Joe immediately reapplies it, and E is back on the apron. T breaks it once more, so Joe jumps on his back and reapplies it once more. T breaks it by dropping onto his back on the mat, but Joe immediately sits back up and locks it in once more, getting the submission.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Samoa Joe. God, did this suck. Robbie T is so awful.
Miss Tessmacher is in the back. She says waiting for this rematch has felt like an eternity, but she loved seeing ODB manhandle Jesse last week. Tonight, she takes her title back before sending Tara and Jesse back to the “D-list”.
Back in Hogan’s office, he asks Angle if Bully Ray is focused on a title match. Angle says no, that he’s too focused on Devon. Same question for Storm. He got stabbed in the back by his partner once, and couldn’t focus. He doesn’t think Ray is focused. Ray says he can’t help it, and if he doesn’t get his title match, he’s going to hunt down Devon and get the answers he needs. Hogan says Ray just made his choice easier, and he’s out. Now, go find Devon and take care of business.
Elsewhere, Mr. Anderson is screaming at some tech about how much he hates Austin Aries. If Aries wants to go, so does he. If Hogan says it’s okay, he says it’s okay. Get to stepping! Go get him!
MATCH 3: Mr. Anderson vs. Austin Aries
Lock-up gets a rope break, which leads to a shoving match. Another lock-up, and another break. A punch by Anderson sends Aries to the floor temporarily. Lock-up once more, and another shoving contest. Anderson winds up knocking Aries down and looks for a rolling fireman’s carry slam. Aries escapes, but Anderson drops him with a right. Aries rolls to the floor to escape an elbow drop. Back in, Aries gets a waistlock in. Anderson breaks it with some elbows, then immediately reaches into his tights, where he finds a pair of knuckle dusters that Aries had shoved in there. As Anderson argues with the referee about where they came from, Aries nails him with a forearm to the back of the head. He boxes Anderson’s ears in the corner, but misses a corner clothesline. Anderson fires off some rights before sending Aries hard into the opposite corner. Bodyslam and an elbow gets 2. Aries comes back with some forearms to the back before throwing Anderson to the floor out of a side headlock. Aries follows up with a suicide dive. Commercials.
Back from the break, Aries is in control with Anderson in the corner. Corner whip and a running back elbow by Aries. Open-hand chop by Aries, and Anderson comes back with punches before hitting a chop himself. Aries blocks a corner charge, and a jumping knee to the back of the head gets 2. They trade some forearm strikes before Anderson lands a couple back elbows and a clothesline. Anderson blocks a clothesline and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Aries escapes the fireman’s carry once more. Anderson ducks the rolling elbow. Aries ducks a roundhouse, but Anderson continues spinning and connects with a jumping version, sending Aries to the floor. Anderson hits a slingshot plancha before sending Aries back in the ring for 2. Aries escapes the fireman’s carry a third time, this time by grabbing a hold of the referee, sending them both crashing to the mat. Aries grabs the knuckle dusters out of referee Brian Hebner’s pocket and goes to deck Anderson, but Anderson ducks, and the dusters fall off Aries’ hand. Anderson picks them up, and Hebner sees him holding onto them. Hebner takes them away again, and while his back is turned, Aries pulls out a second pair and decks Anderson with them. He pulls Anderson over the top of him for a fake pin attempt, kicking out at 2. Aries pretends to be dazed before locking in the Last Chancery. Anderson is out cold, so Hebner rings the bell, giving Aries the submission win.
WINNER: Austin Aries. Kind of a lousy match, but I enjoyed the finish. Anderson just doesn’t gel with anyone.
Tara and Jesse are in the back with Brooke Hogan, and Tara is complaining about ODB. Brooke asks why she worrying about ODB when ODB beat her clean. Tara rambles on about ODB not keeping her hands off Jesse. Jesse starts talking about being a reality TV “star”. Brooke tells Tara to get her head together, do her job and wrestle before telling Jesse ODB has her eye on him.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad to hear Tenay and Taz after listening to those two half-wits.
MATCH 4-Knockouts Championship: Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara (w/Jesse) (Champion)
Tessy knocks Tara down before she can even get in the ring. Forearm shots to the back on the floor by Tessy before she sends Tara into the ring. Punt to the ribs, and a pin gets 2. Punt to the face by Tessy, and she follows up with a snapmare and a kick to the back. Tessy slams Tara’s face into the mat several times before stomping her in the corner. Jesse causes a distraction, which allows Tara to forearm Tessy to the floor. Tara slams her face-first into the apron. Back in the ring, Tara with her own punt to the ribs and face slams. Bodyslam near the ropes, but Tara misses the Arabian Facebuster. Tessy with forearms and chops, a pair of clotheslines and a running forearm. Tara crawls to the corner, where Tessy hits a hip bump and a stinkface. Shout-Out by Tessy. She goes to the ropes, but Tara grabs a hold of referee Taryn Terrell. This allows Jesse to low bridge Tessy, sending her to the floor. Jesse throws her back in, and Tara connects with the Widow’s Peak for the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Tara. After the match, Tara and Jesse continue fondling each other until Brooke Hogan interrupts things. She tells Tara next week is OFN, and she just got off the phone with a very feisty ODB. ODB wants to challenge Jesse.
We see Bully Ray walking around in the back. He’s headed out to the ring.
Joe Abyss enters Hulk Hogan’s office. He never got an answer last week about fighting someone from A and E. Hulk says Joe has only had one match. Joe asks if he’s more concerned about his health, or Hulk’s liability. Joe hands Hulk a piece of paper that completely indemnifies everyone of being responsible for him, making Joe responsible for himself. He asks Hulk to stand behind him, and if he can’t do that, stand out of his way. Hulk says he’ll think about it before ordering Joe out of his office.
Bully Ray makes his way out, and thanks Sting for allowing him to be his partner at BFG. He’s been doing this a long time. Not many things shock him anymore. But, at BFG, when the mask came off and everyone found out that his brother Devon was involved with A and E, he was totally shocked. Last week, Devon gave a bullcrap excuse about why he did what he did. So, what Ray wants right now is Devon to come out and tell him why he did what he did face-to-face. Devon answers, coming through the crowd, flanked by five other members of the group. He grabs a mic and tells Ray he doesn’t owe him an explanation. They are no longer a team or family; they are nothing. Ray did what he did two years ago, and Devon did what he did. Enough said. This has nothing to do with Ray. This whole thing has to do with Hogan (obligatory and pointless “You sold out!” chant). Hogan came out here and said he wanted Devon back, calling him a fighting champion. Hogan never called or texted him. Hogan, Dixie and TNA sat behind a desk and did nothing. When he was down and out, Aces and Eights had his back and picked him back up. TNA and Hogan did nothing. This doesn’t end here. When everything is said and done, they will take out everyone who has done them wrong, one-by-one. Go home and leave things be. Ray isn’t even a threat anymore. Ray says it’s over when he says so. As far as two years ago, Devon knows exactly why he did it. It’s between them. Devon is a lying sack of crap. On the night they were supposed to retire, they should have retired as champions. Chris Sabin kicked out of the 3-D. No one had ever done that. Here’s the part no one knows. When they sat in that locker room, Devon said something to him. Devon said, “Bubba. What the hell’s the big deal? What are you so worried about? We’re rich. Screw the fans.” Deny you ever said that. That’s why Ray did what he did. Devon doesn’t deny it at all. Ray says they’re doing too much talking, and they should be fighting. Why doesn’t Devon get rid of the guys he’s hiding behind, and let’s fight right now. Devon laughs before saying no, saying it’s on his time, not Ray’s. As far as he’s concerned, he’ll let Ray know when the time is right. For now, he’s going home. They start to leave before Ray says this is typical, calling Devon a coward for his entire career, hiding behind Ray. He had no balls then, and has none now. Next week is OFN, and Ray is challenging him now. Someone is going through a table.
AI stops Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan in the back, wanting to know why they attacked RVD. Ryan asks if this is his first day. The normal rules don’t apply to them, and RVD found that out first-hand. He’s not afraid of RVD, and in fact, maybe it’s time to put some X-Division gold around his sexy waist. Morgan turns the camera to himself and talks directly to Hulk Hogan. Hogan started this last week with his excuses to hold Morgan down. Those days are over. From this moment forward, Matt Morgan is going to do what he wants, when he wants, where he wants, and he dares Hogan to stop him.
Next week, the Gut Check competitor is Christian York, former partner of current NXT trainer Joey Mercury, who he discusses. Honestly, I didn’t even know York was still wrestling, as I haven’t seen or heard his name for years. He calls Gut Check maybe his last moment to make it big in wrestling, as he’s been at it for 16 years, and he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be able to go. York is pretty talented, so I’m okay with him joining the roster.
Hogan is in the backstage area, talking to James Storm and Kurt Angle for his final decision on tonight’s title match. He tells Storm he’s been through a war and knows what he’s capable of and has big plans for him, but right now, it’s Angle’s time. Angle heads out to the ring, and Hogan tells Storm they need to talk, as he’s got something huge planned.
MATCH 5-World Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy (Champion)
I didn’t get a good look at it the first time, but Hardy’s second belt is the regular World Championship title. Why is he carrying both of these, when they’re representing the exact same championship? Angle backs Hardy to the corner with a lock-up, giving him a clean break. Side headlock by Angle now. Shoulder off the ropes by Angle, crisscross, and an armdrag by Hardy. Hardy holds on into an armbar, and Angle fights back to his feet. Another armdrag by Hardy, going back to the armbar. Angle backs Hardy to the corner, where he rakes the eyes. He sends Hardy head-first into the buckles, but Hardy fights back and stomps Angle down. Slingshot dropkick in the corner gets 2. Angle blocks a charge and goes to the middle rope. He jumps off with a double axe handle, and Hardy counters into an inverted atomic drop, followed by a double legdrop and a seated dropkick for 2. Hardy tries to counter a corner whip with a headscissors, but Angle just shoves him off, causing him to land crotch-first across the top rope. Angle shoves Hardy to the floor as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Angle has Hardy in a rear chinlock. Hardy ducks a clothesline after fighting out, and they simultaneously clothesline each other. Hardy is up first, and he hits a clothesline, followed by a back elbow. Flying forearm off the ropes. Hardy hits the headscissors out of the corner whip on the second attempt, sending Angle to the floor. Hardy dropkicks him through the ropes before nailing a running apron clothesline. Back in the ring, Hardy hits the Botch in the Wind for 2. Angle blocks the Twist of Fate and connects with the Murder-Suicide for 2. Hardy escapes an Angle Slam and hits the sit-out Twist of Fate. Up top for the swanton, but Angle cuts him off with an belly-to-belly superplex. Angle hits a powerbomb for 2, then immediately applies the ankle lock. Hardy rolls through and connects with a reverse enziguri. Up top once again, and he misses the swanton bomb. Angle Slam connects, but only gets 2. Angle goes for a German suplex, but Hardy elbows out. He hits the sit-out Twist once more, followed by the standard version. Swanton Bomb connects, and Hardy gets 2. The fans begin chanting “This is awesome!”, which is just stupid. As our good friend Tom Holzerman of The Wrestling Blog pointed out, this is basically every single Kurt Angle match anymore. Pretty much the same for every Jeff Hardy match, too. Anyway, both are back up, and Hardy charges in, so Angle back drops him to the floor. Angle is spitting blood in the ring, which is so delightful. Back in the ring, Angle goes for the Slam once more, but Hardy counters into a sunset flip, stacks Angle up, and gets the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Jeff Hardy. After the match, Austin Aries attacks Hardy from behind. He says he thought Hardy had eyes in the back of his head, but was wrong. He officially announces where and when he’d like his title rematch. He’d do it right now, but that wouldn’t be fair, and he doesn’t want to do it on free TV. At Turning Point, it will be him and Hardy for the title. Not for Hardy’s awful belt, but for the real World title belt. He’s so confident he’s winning at Turning Point, he’s taking the real belt with him.
As Aries is heading up the ramp, Tenay gets word something in the back is going on. We cut to the back, and Kurt Angle is being assaulted by Aces and Eights. Eventually, they are chased off by…Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco? Because they’re such an intimidating pair.