On this week’s TNA Impact Wrestling, we have two title matches, plus the return of Gut Check.
Sting makes his way out to the ring. He says he told Bully Ray that the Main Event Mafia would rise and grow. He promises what happened last week was just a little touch of what’s to come. That’s why he went back to the original group and brought in who will be the cornerstone of the MEM, Kurt Angle. Angle makes his way out and says what you’re looking at are two of the originals of the MEM, nearly four years ago. The whole concept of the group was that each member had to be a former World Champion. They fought for power. They fought who, when and where they wanted, and no one could stop us. However, that now seems to be Aces and Eights. They have been more violent and vicious than anyone else in this company. Because of them, Sting never gets another World title match for the remainder of his career. They also screwed Angle out of the BFG Series. Family comes and goes, but REAL family sticks together. This is the new and improved MEM. He and Sting are both Hall of Famers, but that doesn’t mean anything until they complete two goals: destroy A and E, and make sure Bully Ray loses the World title. Who is going to join forces with them? Tonight, we will meet the newest member of “the family”.
Tonight, Velvet Sky faces Mickie James for the KO title, and Samoa Joe faces Mr. Anderson in the BFG Series. Up next, Chris Sabin defends the X-Division title against Suicide and Kenny King in a 3-way match.
We get a look at Adam Ohriner, one of tonight’s two Gut Check contestants. He’s some ‘roid junkie I’ve never heard of, and that’s pretty much it.
MATCH 1-3-Way Match for the World X-Division Championship: Suicide vs. Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin (Champion)
King attacks both of the others with kicks. Suicide reverses a corner whip on King before running into a boot. Sabin runs into the boot as well, but the two faces catch King coming off the middle rope with a pair of dropkicks. Suicide reverses a waistlock on Sabin into a side headlock. Sabin sends Suicide into the corner and over the top rope. Suicide lands on the apron as King dropkicks Sabin from behind, causing him to knock Suicide to the floor. King goes for the pin on Sabin, getting 2. King ducks a clothesline and hits an atomic drop before hitting a Ghetto Blaster to the back of the head. Suicide comes off the top with a seated missile dropkick on King. King blocks a whip into the ropes, but gets dropkicked to the floor. Suicide hits a hilo from the apron, and Sabin hits a dropkick through the ropes before taking the other two out with a slingshot cross-body. He rolls King back into the ring as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Sabin sets King on the top rope, then dropkicks Suicide into the buckles. King falls back into the tree of woe, and Sabin hits a baseball slide on both of them, getting 2 on King. Sabin goes for Hail Sabin, but Suicide breaks it and drives Sabin into the middle buckle out of a cravat for 2. Suicide goes up top, where King crotches him. King goes up for a superplex, but Sabin knocks him down and goes for it himself. King gets in the ring, and they hit a Tower of Doom spot, with King pinning Sabin for 2. He goes for another pin, getting another 2. King goes for the Royal Flush, but Sabin escapes, baseball slides Suicide to the floor, then goes for a roll-up on King. King blocks it and goes for a clothesline, but Sabin escapes and lands a kick. He goes for Hail Sabin, which connects. Suicide breaks the pin up with a seated dropkick to the back. Suicide locks in a double chicken wing, but King escapes and hits a roundhouse to the head. King backs Suicide into the corner, then whips him across the ring. Suicide avoids contact, hits a mule kick and rolls King up for 2. King hits a jawbreaker and a kick to the chest. Suicide counters a Royal Flush and rolls King up for the 3.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Suicide. Suicide grabbed the rope during the pin, and we see it in the replay. As Suicide is celebrating, Hulk Hogan’s music hits, and he comes out with a kid who is limping. He says this is TJ Perkins, and he’s been working in the ring for years. He is and always has been Suicide (except not really, since both members of Bad Influence played him in the early days), except today, when someone jumped him in the back and stole the suit. Nothing gets him more pissed than to see someone cheat to get to the top. He wants to know who beat TJ up and wants to know who is under that mask right now. Suicide escapes through the crowd instead of taking his mask off.
Hulk is in the back and he says Suicide has until the end of the night to take his mask off and show us who he is.
Our second Gut Check competitor tonight is Ryan Howe, aka “Skidmarks” from the last season of Tough Enough. Apparently, he’s also a musician. Howe is the second TE contestant to get a Gut Check, after Ivelisse Valez.
MATCH 2-Gut Check: Ryan Howe vs. Adam Ohriner
Howe comes out pretending to play a guitar, so I guess he’s apparently the second-coming of Van Hammer. He’s not even trying to make it look like he’s really playing. Taz apparently agrees with me, immediately calling him Van Hammer. For once, we agree on something. Lock-up to start, with Adam backing Howe into a corner before throwing him across the ring. Howe goes for a roll-up, but Adam escapes and hits a waistlock takedown for 1. He sends Howe hard into the corner, then hits a running powerslam for 2. Adam beats Howe down until Howe headbutts him. Adam shakes it off and sends Howe into the corner. Howe blocks a charge and goes for a springboard misdirection cross-body, barely making contact for 2. Howe hits some forearms until Adam shoves him off and turns him inside-out with a clothesline for 2. Adam sends Howe to the corner for some shoulder thrusts, but misses an avalanche. Howe hits some forearms, ducks a clothesline and hits a spinning forearm. Jumping sidekick barely connects for 2. He goes for a neckbreaker, but Adam escapes. Howe hits an uppercut before running into a powerslam for 3.
WINNER: Adam Ohriner. Not impressed with either guy, and Skidmarks clearly hasn’t done anything since TE ended. He sucked something awful tonight.
We see Kurt Angle and Sting walking around in the back. Sting says they’ll be better off this time than last time. We see them walk to the “Club Room”, whatever that is.
We see the BFG Series standings, with Magnus in first place at 10 points. Joe/Anderson is tonight, as is Roode/Magnus.
Bully Ray approaches TJ Perkins in the locker room and tells him to relax. Ray says he’s a hell of a “little wrestler”, and he has a bright future. He just has one question: did Kurt and Sting put him up to this? TJ says he doesn’t know what happened. Ray asks him again, and wants to make sure he’s positive they didn’t put him up to it. TJ says his opportunity was taken from him tonight, and it was very real. TJ says he doesn’t know who did all of this tonight. He starts to leave, but Ray stops him before giving him permission to leave.
MATCH 3-Knockouts Championship: Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James (Champion)
Before the match starts, James wants to apologize. The championship has been known to change people. Not her, but Sky. When Sky was champ, they were best friends. Now that James is champion, they’re not friends anymore. She still cares about Sky and her health, so she’s giving Sky one last chance to walk away. No one wants to see her get hurt, including James. James calls her a “3-dollar stubborn pack mule”, so Sky tackles her and hits some punches before slamming James’ face into the mat. James gets thrown to the corner, then to the adjacent corner. Then to the opposite corner. There, Sky hits some shoulder thrusts until James suckers her in and hits an uppercut. She stomps Sky down in the corner, but Sky comes back with a side-Russian legsweep for 2. James rolls to the floor. She drags Sky to the apron, where she slams the bad knee across the apron. Back in, James goes for the pin, getting 2. James goes for a leg DDT, but Sky boots her off. James comes back with a snapmare and hits a low dropkick for 2. James applies a legbar, but Sky kicks her away and rolls her up for 2. James backs Sky into the corner for some shoulder thrusts, then hits another uppercut. Sky boots her, then goes for an axe kick, but James blocks it and applies the legbar again. Sky boots her off, hits a pair of jumping clotheslines and a back elbow. Running facebuster by Sky gets 2. Sky hits chops and kicks, but James avoids a discus clothesline by rolling to the floor. Outside, Sky hits a spinning headscissors on the floor, followed by a spear. Sky hits some mounted punches, then rolls James back in the ring. James hits a spinning back kick on Sky’s bad knee as she’s getting back in the ring and follows up with a DDT for 2. James boots Sky and goes for the standing tornado DDT, but Sky escapes, hits a kick to the face and lands a running neckbreaker for 2. Sky boots James and goes for In Yo Face, but James shoves her into the corner. Sky goes for a spinning headscissors, but James blocks it and kicks Sky in the knee. She applies her modified STF and gets the submission win.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Mickie James. Christy Hemme stops Sky on the ramp and asks her what’s going on in her head after this. Sky is pretending to cry and says she thought her knee was okay. She fought hard to get her rematch, and she’s heartbroken right now.
We see Kurt Angle and Sting in the back once more. Bobby Roode walks between them as he’s headed to the ring. He stops, smiles, then keeps walking.
Hulk is talking to the referee who did the X-Division match earlier tonight. The ref says Suicide didn’t seem any different. He needs to comb the halls, and if he finds Suicide, Suicide needs to respond to Hulk tonight or he’s being stripped of the title.
MATCH 4-BFG Series: Magnus vs. Bobby Roode
Roode is back to wearing his Flair-style robes. I’m okay with that. Lock-up starts the match, with Magnus backing Roode to the corner for a clean break. Another lock-up, and Roode turns it into an arm wringer. Magnus counters into a top wristlock. Roode counters into a double-leg takedown, and Magnus counters into a hammerlock. Rode counters into a side headlock, then shoulders Magnus off the ropes. Crisscross ends in a high knee by Magnus for 2. Magnus goes for the Texas clover-leaf early, but Roode escapes to the floor. Roode pulls Magnus to the floor, where Magnus nails him with rights and slams Roode face-first into the apron before rollinghim back in the ring. As Magnus re-enters, Roode stomps him down, then throws him to the corner for some kicks. Roode hits a knife-edge chop, then slingshots Magnus into the second rope. Outside, Roode slams Magnus chest-first into the apron, then hits an elbow. Back in the ring, Roode hits a neckbreaker for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Magnus punches out, and now they’re trading rights. Roode goes back to the headlock, and Magnus counters into a back suplex. Magnus hits a pair of clotheslines, then a misdirection version. In the corner, Roode blocks a charge and goes to the middle rope. Magnus catches the dive and hits an elevated northern lights bomb. Up top, Magnus looks for the elbow, but Roode cuts him off with rights. Roode goes for a superplex, but Magnus shoves him off. He comes off the top with the flying elbow, getting 2. Roode reverses a corner whip before running into a back elbow. Magnus charges in and gets caught with a spinebuster. Roode goes for the Payoff, but Magnus escapes and hits the Mag-Daddy Driver for 3.
WINNER: Magnus, who gets a major upset in the series. This puts him at 17 points and keeps him in the #1 position for the week. Good match.
Up next, we’ll hear from the World Tag Team Champions, James Storm and Gunner.
We see DOC, Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray enter a locker room where Chavo Guerrero, Robbie E and and Jesse are hanging out. Ray asks if any of them are Suicide, and if so, did Kurt Angle or Sting put them up to it. All three deny it, and Ray says if he finds out any of them are under the mask, they’ve just committed career suicide. As he leaves, you can hear Ryan Howe’s entrance in the background, which I find funny.
Gunner and James Storm are in the ring and Storm says wrestling is a science, but they’re not scientists. He has been called a chemist, then lists off some alcoholic drinks. One thing he’s learned as a 12-time World Tag Team Champion is that he doesn’t have to like his tag team partner as long as the partner watches his back. That’s why he chose Gunner as his partner, and that’s why we’re looking at the World Tag Team Champions. He knows there’s a lot of tough guys in the back, but if they can have just a moment…
Robbie E, Jesse and Tara make their way out. E says these two think they’re tough, bro. They’re looking at the two toughest guys in this locker room. Storm, he knows Gunner has tattoos and drinks beer, but choosing him over E for a tag partner? Big mistake, bro. But it’s too late, because “this train has sailed down the road, bro”. What he’s saying is in front of Storm is the future of tag team wrestling: Jesse Godderz, Robbie E: The Bromance. Storm makes fun of them for this, and E says he said “Bro-Mans”. Storm says he heard “Bromance”. Jesse corrects him, then says they have a hot chick in his girlfriend. Storm calls her a “butterface”. Jesse tries to punch Gunner, and Gunner drops him. Storm then does his stupid catchphrase as his segments get more pointless with every passing week.
AI stops Sting and Kurt Angle in the back, asking their thoughts about Suicide. Sting says everyone wants to know who the third member of MEM is, as well as who is Suicide. He calls this a good night before Angle says they should talk to the mystery man themselves. Sting likes the idea.
MATCH 5-BFG Series: Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe
Joe backs Anderson into a corner, giving a clean break. Anderson now backs Joe into the corner, where he hits a knee to the gut and a right to the face. Anderson fires off another right, and Joe comes back with right jabs, beating Anderson down in the opposite corner. Joe sends Anderson into the corner, hits a running hip bump and a spin kick to the head for 1. Joe hits a chop to the chest, but gets tripped into the middle turnbuckle. Anderson throws Joe to the outside, where he kicks him in the ribs. Anderson rams Joe back-first into the apron, then hits a right before rolling Joe back in the ring for 2. Anderson applies an armbar, but Joe fights out with forearms. Anderson blocks a clothesline and hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Anderson hits a chop to the chest and goes for a corner whip. Joe counters and runs into a boot before catching Anderson dive off the middle rope and turning it into an inverted atomic drop. Joe follows up with a running boot and running senton for 2. Joe backdrops Anderson as DOC and Knux come to ringside. As Joe is distracted, Anderson hits a DDT for 2. Anderson hits some rights before running into a powerslam. As DOC and Knux jump on the apron, Sting and Kurt Angle come down and fight them off and send them back through the crowd. In the ring, Anderson goes for the Mic Check, but Joe holds onto the top rope and turns it into a standing uranage. He quickly locks in the Kokina Clutch and gets the submission win.
We see Sting and Angle in the back when Samoa Joe approaches. They make his joining official by giving him a 3-piece suit.
Hulk Hogan comes back out to the ring. He says tonight was supposed to be about who is the X-Division Champion, and who would take their chances against Bully Ray at Destination-X. However, there were some complications. So, Suicide, you need to get out here now, or you’re being stripped of the title. Suicide comes out and grabs a microphone. Hulk says he’s been around the block a few times. When opportunities arise, you turn them into gold. He did the same thing with The Iron Sheik. However, this stuff with the X-Division title isn’t about cheating, brother. He wants to know who’s under the mask, and he wants to see it right now. Suicide shakes his head no. Bully Ray comes down through the crowd and says that, for the first time in a long time, he and “dad” are on the same page. He wants to know who Suicide is as well. Take the mask off right now. Suicide once again shakes his head. Ray says it doesn’t matter. What does matter is what Suicide does with his shot a the World title. The only reason Suicide won the belt tonight is because Ray put the fear of God into Chris Sabin. Actually, he put the fear of himself in Chris Sabin. Do yourself a favor and walk away. You don’t want any piece of Ray. He’s a bad person who does bad things. Put your tail between your legs and leave. Hulk says he’s tired of this crap and demands Suicide take the hood off right now. Suicide says he was in darkness. He felt the pain. His torment is shared. In life, we are given choices or options: do the easy thing, or do the right thing. Bully Ray, you come out and ask the people if they know who he is. But the real question is, does Bully Ray know who Suicide is? Well, he should, because he’s a man who’s beaten Ray once before. He’s the man…who started option C. The mask comes off and it’s Austin Aries. He’s the man who cashed in and won the World Heavyweight Championship, and he’s the man who is going to do it again.
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: