Impact opens up with a brief but nice message for those in Oklahoma after the recent devastation.
This week, the show is in Tampa, FL, and gee…I never would have guessed Hulk Hogan would open the show, especially when it’s taking place from his hometown. He says it’s great to be home, brother. You know something, jack? He knew it would be special. Last night at Hulk’s Beach Shop, he heard on the street it was going to be heavy in the Sun Dome tonight. Then, on the way home, he threw a couple back on the beach to calm down, and he saw Shark Boy, who pounded a couple with him. Everyone here makes him feel like family. This is his home, and the fans are his family. He’s also got the TNA family in the back, and we’ve got one guy-AJ Styles-who has decided to cross over to the other side, brothers. With Jeremy Borash as his witness, Hulk says that AJ has definitely gone with Aces and Eights. But enough of that. Right now, he wants to introduce a brother who has stuck by him through thick and thin, and he wants to bring him out now. So, Sting, come out, brother. Sting comes out and Hulk tells him that, before he gets fired up, brother, he appreciates what Sting is doing, but the stipulation about Sting not getting another title match upsets him. It doesn’t have to go down that way, brother. He’s the GM, jack, and he can change this, brother. Sting says he appreciates what Hulk is offering, but Sting doesn’t want anything changed. He told Hulk to trust Bully Ray, and he needs to carry the weight of that. At Slammiversary, he wants to take Ray’s power away and win the title. If he can’t do that, he doesn’t deserve to ever be champion again, and that’s just the way it is. Hulk says he has nothing to prove and doesn’t need to do this. Hulk is running the show, not Bully Ray, who is hiding in the back, jack.
Bully Ray comes out through the crowd on this note. He asks why these three are taking the blame for everything. It’s not their faults. When it comes to whose fault it is, it’s Ray’s. It’s his fault that Hulk doesn’t know how to run the company. It’s his fault he stabbed Sting in the back. He turned this company upside-down and runs the show, jack. But he’s gotta tell ya-there’s one person he does blame, and Brooke, it’s you. He blames her making him fall for her. Every time he wakes up, he thinks of her. At night before bed, he thinks of her. They have a connection, and she knows damn well Ray still loves her, and he will always love her. That’s why he’ll never take his wedding ring off. Brooke begins crying as Ray heads back through the crowd.
Video for Suicide, who returns tonight.
World X-Division Champion Kenny King is on commentary for the next match. Joey Ryan is replacing Zema Ion in the match, as Ion is recovering from appendicitis.
MATCH 1-3-Way Match: Joey Ryan vs. Petey Williams vs. Suicide
Suicide immediately lands a seated dropkick to Ryan, sending him to the floor. Petey goes after Suicide and sends him into the ropes. Suicide counters with an iron octopus into a crucifix for 2. Suicide goes for a headscissors out of the corner, and Petey throws him off to the outside. Suicide lands on his feet and comes back into the ring off a spinning headscissors. Petey recovers and trips Suicide into the middle rope, where he hits a dropkick to the back, sending Suicide to the floor. Ryan comes back in and telegraphs a dropkick. Ryan comes back with a pumphandle suplex before going for the baby oil. Suicide climbs up top and hits a hurricanrana on Ryan. Ryan gets tripped and Suicide locks him in an Indian deathlock while simultaneously locking Petey in an abdominal stretch. Petey breaks free and hits a spinning headscissors into a side-Russian legsweep with Ryan still locked in the hold. Petey calls for the Destroyer on Suicide, but Suicide escapes and hits a jumping roundhouse to the face. Ryan attacks Suicide from behind, but Suicide ducks a clotheslines and hangs himself in the ropes, suckering Ryan in and to the floor. Petey back in, who hits a suicide dive on Ryan. Suicide hits a somersault plancha from the apron on Petey. Ryan gets rolled back in the ring by Suicide, but Suicide gets tripped back to the floor. Petey comes into the ring with a slingshot lungblower on Ryan. Suicide trips Petey and pulls him outside before getting back in the ring. Ryan goes for a powerbomb on Suicide, but Suicide counters into a sunset flip for 2 as Petey breaks it. Petey sends Suicide into the corner, but runs into a pair of boots. Suicide goes for a dive, misses and rolls through. Petey grabs him for the Destroyer once more, but Ryan boots him in the face. Suicide back up and in the corner as Ryan charges in. Ryan misses, and Suicide hits a Zig Zag. Suicide locks Ryan in a double chicken wing, lifts him up and turns the move into a lungblower for 3.
WINNER: Suicide. Decent 3-way match here. Not the best, but not bad.
We see James Storm in the locker room when Chris Sabin walks in. Sabin hears Storm is looking for a partner for Slammiversary, and when you think about it, the two greatest teams in company history-Beer Money and MCMG-both men are looking to beat someone up that night. Storm says it sounds good, but Sabin has a chance at the X title at the PPV, and he’s not going to take that away from Sabin. It’s good to know Sabin has his back, and Storm will repay the favor some day.
Mr. Anderson/Kurt Angle part 812 is later tonight, as is AJ Styles’ decision on which side he’s on.
Brooke Hogan approaches Bully Ray in the back and asks what it means that he still loves her. Ray says it’s exactly how it sounds.
Velvet Sky is seen taping her knee in the back, and in the greatest thing Sky will ever show us, we see that she’s wearing tall socks. Just had to point that out. Anyway, Mickie James walks in and says she can talk to Brooke and get Sky’s match tonight post-poned until Sky is 100%. Sky says she appreciates it, but Gail Kim would love that too much, and she’s not going to let this injury stop her working. James understands that, but she knows Sky is still hurting, and wants to make absolute certain she wants to do this. Sky says she’s absolutely positive.
Sam Shaw comes out to face Alex Silva in a match, but before Silva comes out, A and E make their way through the crowd. This time, it’s Wes Brisco, Garett Bischoff and DOC. Wes tells Shaw congratulations on this “very big victory” and moving onto Slammiversary, but he should be thanking Wes because Wes left Silva bloodied in the parking lot. What’s not fair is that Wes isn’t in this Gut Check tournament. He won Gut Check too, and he deserves to be in this ring. The three surround Shaw and he attacks Garett, but the three immediately overwhelm him, stomping him down in the corner. Wes hits a neckbreaker to the back of his knee when Magnus’ music hits. Magnus charges the ring as A and E immediately bails. Nice to see his face isn’t any worse for wear over the last attack. TNA couldn’t even bother with a makeup job. Magnus says this whole situation doesn’t sit well with anyone, that being them attacking Shaw, another young guy just like Magnus and Wes that’s looking to make it in the business. He first met Shaw at Harley Race’s camp, and he’s Magnus’ friend. This is now personal. Garett, wipe the smile off your face before Magnus smacks it off. Two weeks ago, they thought it fun to ram his head into a forklift. Why was Wes not in this tournament? Because he doesn’t deserve it. What he does deserve is to get his teeth kicked down his throat tonight, which is why Wes gets Magnus one-on-one right now.
MATCH 2: Wes Brisco (w/Garett Bischoff and DOC) vs. Magnus
Wes enters the ring and Magnus immediately attacks him with rights. Wes ducks a clothesline but gets nailed with a running knee. Magnus hits a gutwrench suplex, followed by some mounted punches before rolling to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Wes is on offense with kicks in the corner. He throws Magnus to the adjacent corner for some elbows and a corner clothesline. Todd Keneley announces TNA now has a fitness app, and you can train with Jeff Hardy using it. Because Hardy is the pinnacle of physical fitness. L. Ron Hubbard help us all. Anyway, back to the match. Wes chokes Magnus over the middle rope, and DOC punches Magnus behind the ref’s back. Wes goes for a pin, getting 2 before locking in a rear chinlock. Wes releases the hold and drops an elbow, getting another 2. Kneelift by Wes, followed by a back elbow off the ropes. Wes goes back to the chinlock, and Magnus fights out with elbows. Wes forearms him in the back, then hits some bodyblows in the corner. Magnus drops him with a pair of surprise clotheslines, then hits a misdirection version. Wes blocks a corner charge and mounts the middle rope. Magnus catches him off the ropes and counters the cross-body into a modified northern lights bomb. Magnus goes up top for the flying elbow, but Wes gets back up and cuts him off. He looks for a superplex, but Magnus shoves him off. DOC tries to interfere, and Magnus boots him to the floor. Garett comes up and shoves Magnus down, which results in a DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Magnus. The trio begin attacking Magnus after the match when Samoa Joe charges down to the ring, taking out all three members of A and E. I would be more than okay with Joe and Magnus reforming their tag team. They were damn good for being thrown together.
We see A and E in the back, drinking some beers. Bully Ray tells them Magnus won’t forget Wes Brisco’s name after tonight before saying AJ Styles will be here in just a while. Despite some recent disappointments (D’Lo Brown), AJ won’t let them down, and he’s guaranteeing that.
We get some video of Kurt Angle in New York to watch some wrestling event that is being promoted to save Olympic wrestling. I personally have zero stake in this petition to save Olympic wrestling, as I have no interest in the Olympics. It’s great if other people do, but I’m not into sports outside of pro wrestling and bodybuilding. That’s just me, though.
MATCH 3: Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson
Right before this match starts, we see AJ enter the building on his motorcycle. Back to the match in progress, Angle starts by taking Anderson down with a hip throw into a standing side headlock. Angle gets sent into the ropes and lands a shoulderblock on Anderson. Anderson knocks Angle into the corner with some rights, then follows up with a body blow. Angle sends him into the ropes and hits a back elbow before stomping Anderson. Rights by Angle, and he stomps Anderson down in the corner before foot-choking him. Snap suplex by Angle gets 1. Angle with more rights, followed by a shoulder thrust in the corner. Anderson gets sent into the opposite corner, but avoids a charge, sending Angle shoulder-first into the post. Anderson foot chokes Angle in the corner, then hits a hard corner whip for 2. Anderson begins working over Angle’s left arm with some shoulderblocks and an arm wringer into a hammerlock. Anderson turns the move into a release back suplex for 2 before stomping Angle down. Angle starts fighting back with rights, but telegraphs a back body drop and gets hit with a clothesline for 2. Anderson goes for a pin once more, getting another 2 before stomping Angle’s fingers. Anderson applies an armbar, and Angle counters with an armdrag before hitting a middle rope missile dropkick. Angle hits a couple of clotheslines before sending Anderson into the corner. Anderson blocks before running into an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for 2. Have I mentioned how formulaic every Kurt Angle match is? I swear I can predict every single thing he’s going to do. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Anderson escapes and hits a rolling fireman’s carry slam for 2. Angle escapes the Mic Check, ducks a clothesline and hits the Murder-Suicide. Angle goes for the ankle lock, but Anderson kicks him off and hits the Mic Check for 2. Anderson climbs to the top rope, and Angle intercepts him with a belly-to-belly superplex. The straps are dropped, and as Angle looks for the ankle lock, AJ Styles comes through the crowd. Taz gets up and hugs AJ, and as the referee is looking at AJ, Anderson hits a low blow before rolling Angle up in a schoolboy for 3.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson. Anderson goes for a handshake on AJ, but he just turns his back and heads out through the crowd as Anderson taunts Angle.
Up next, James Storm will announce his partner for Slammiversary.
AI asks Gail Kim about her match at Slammiversary. She doesn’t know what AI is talking about, as she doesn’t have a match. She has taken out everyone. What has Mickie James done lately? As Kim is running down how great she is, Taryn Terrell spears her out of nowhere before slamming her into a wall and a table. Pat Kenney holds Taryn back as Kim escapes.
We get a video package for James Storm’s history in tag teams, leading into his history with Bad Influence and Roode/Aries.
World Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez are on commentary for James Storm’s announcement. Apparently, in-ring interviews now need guest commentary in TNA. Storm says there’s a lot of beer drinkers in Tampa. Last week, he was granted the opportunity to wrestle at Slammiverary for the tag titles with a partner of his choosing. Being here in TNA, he’s been part of two of the greatest tag teams in company history: AMW and Beer Money, Inc. He’s entertained fans in a lot of places, so let’s do it again. Women love a good tag team…wrestler.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode come out, and Chavo’s commentary is making my ears bleed. Roode says that Storm wants to talk about tag team wrestling. Roode is the king of tag team wrestling. The four years he was with Storm were the worst four years of his career and his life. But on the flipside, the night he smashed Storm in the head with a beer bottle and won the World title made him the happiest man on Earth. It was a moment that will go down in history, and one Storm will always remember. Now, why doesn’t Storm introduce us to the joke he’s selected for a partner. Bad Influence join the conversation and Christopher Daniels says that, in this joke of a town, he can tell a joke as well. He makes some corny remark about BI being better than either of the two teams out here. Kazarian then says Storm was offered a spot in BI, and he turned them down like a “dumb dummy”, which offended them. A lot of people have been offending them lately. As far as Storm’s partner, it doesn’t matter. He could pick anyone, and they are not going to live up to the high standard set by the best tag team in the business. BI and Austin/Roode argue over who is better. Storm cuts them off by calling them “stupid and stupider”, clearly showing his intelligence. As he begins to introduce his partner, we hear “Give me a shell yeah!” over the speakers. Shark Boy cuts through the four on the stage and walks down to the ring. Shark says that a little fishy told him that Storm was looking for a partner, which is why ol’ Shark Boy swam all the way here to Tampa Bay. He and Storm have a lot in common: they both love fishing, drinking cold beer, and kicking some bass. If you think the “Cowboy” should team with Shark Boy, give him a “Shell yeah”.
Now Robbie E comes down to the ring. I hate this segment so much. E says Storm doesn’t want to team with a loser; he wants to team with someone who will make him a champion, and that someone is Robbie E. He carried Rob Terry for two years. He can carry Storm, bro. The south could meet the north, and he even has a team name, bro. Who needs Beer Money when you’ve got Beer Bro? Who needs AMW when you have America’s Most Bro? Forget about GTW, it’s GTBB-Gym, Tan, Beer, Bro! This just goes on for what seems like ten years until Shark cuts him off. They argue for a few minutes until Gunner of all people enters the ring. He clotheslines both E and Shark before hitting Shark with a uranage backbreaker and picks E up in an Argentinean backbreaker. He stares Storm down before Storm says he’ll see Gunner at Slammiversary and shakes his hand.
We see Sting and Joseph Park in a dressing room. Park talks about going after Devon for the TV title at Slammiversary, “going for the strap”. Park says that sounds like it hurts until Sting says it means going for the title belt. Sting then talks about next week and says that he needs a partner for next week, asking Park if his brother Abyss will do it. Park says he can’t talk to his brother, as he’s crazy. Sting says if that’s the case, then will Park be his partner. Sting says that with Park, justice can be served.
We hear the card for Slammiversary (well, most of it), and it seems like every match has a gimmick.
MATCH 4-Knockouts Championship: Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky (Champion)
Lock-up to start, with Sky going into an arm wringer. James counters with an armdrag for 1 before applying a wristlock. Sky counters into an armdrag and a pin for 1 before going into an armbar. Sky sends James into the ropes. James ducks a kick and hits a snapmare. Sky avoids a dropkick and lands a kick to the spine before hitting a seated dropkick for 2. They trade forearm shots until James avoids a clothesline and hits a full nelson bomb. She holds onto the nelson and looks for a submission as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, James hits a snapmare and applies what looks like a ¾-nelson. Sky manages to snap her off and hit a few forearms before hitting a pair of jumping clotheslines and a running back elbow. Sky is hobbling as she hits some kicks and chops before going for a spinning headscissors. James holds on and puts Sky back on her feet before going for a neckbreaker. Sky escapes and hits a side-Russian legsweep for 2. James goes to the corner, where she blocks a charge. Sky blocks the Tunacanrana attempt, so James throws her to the corner and hits an uppercut. Sky blocks a charge and hits an axe kick before hitting a spinning headscissors. All of a sudden, she remembers that her knee is hurting her after being fine for a few minutes. James capitalizes with a chopblock and hits a low snap DDT for 3.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Mickie James.
Video package for AJ Styles, leading up to tonight’s “patching in” ceremony. Remember that unnamed prospect that got “patched in”. How’s he doing in TNA now? This segues back to A and E, where D’Lo is fetching ice and beer for the rest of the gang. Bully Ray toasts Anderson for beating Angle, and then toasts to AJ, who will soon be wearing their colors.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below: