Austin Aries, the brand-new World X-Division Champion, makes his way out to start the show. He says that some people love him and some people love to boo him. The fact is, everyone now has to respect him. He came out last week and just did what he does. He creates controversy, and a buzz around TNA. Last year, he instituted “option C”, meaning you can cash in the X title in for a shot at the World title. Last year, not only did he cash the belt in, but he became the World Champion in the process. After his clever plan last week where he recaptured the X title, you can bet your ass he’s cashing in for a shot at the World title on July 18th at Destination X (which will be on SpikeTV instead of PPV). Hulk, bring your ass out, brother, because he wants to hand the belt over now and make this official.
Hulk Hogan makes his way out, and Aries hands the belt over. Hulk says Aries is now the X-Division Champion, as well as creating “option C”. He took things in the company to a brand-new high, and now he’s taken things to a brand-new low. We are in Sin City, and there is no bigger sin than what Aries did last week. No one has ever seen a sin like gimmick infringement, brother. So, if that’s the way it’s going to go, there’s a checks-and-balances system. Aries may have created “option C”, but Hulk gets to decide when that will take place. He says it happens at the end of the night tonight. Tonight, there’s going to be an X-Division 3-way main event. First, Aries will face the man he robbed last week. His name is no longer Suicide; it’s now “Manik”. That’s real original, especially when he’s still wearing the Suicide gear. Is he related to Rellik by chance? The other guy is the one who never got pinned last week, that being Chris Sabin. The way it goes, in the main event, Aries has two dark clouds in his way. Sabin said one year ago, he didn’t think he’d wrestle again. He was recovering from torn ACLs, but he never gave up, and now he’s back. Aries is the greatest scam that ever lived. He earned the X title, and Aries cheated to get it. No one is stopping him from becoming a 6-time champion tonight.
Tonight, Jeff Hardy takes on Joseph Park in a BFG Series Match, and in another one, AJ Styles takes on Kazarian. This cuts over to Christopher Daniels poking his head out from behind a door. He tells AI to stop bothering them. AI wants to talk to Kaz about facing AJ tonight. He says no one knows AJ better than them. He’s going to beat AJ tonight, then move onto BFG and win a belt.
I think this commercial for ShopTNA.com features Christy Hemme singing, but it sounds like someone swinging a bag of cats against a wall.
MATCH 1-BFG Series: Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels) vs. AJ Styles
Bad Influence come out dressed like Sigfried and Roy. Kaz says it’s the 4th of July, and also “Throwback Thursday”. If you want to see magic, Daniels makes panties disappear with a wiggle of his hips, and stay tuned to BFG when he makes a belt appear around his waist. As the match starts, AJ ducks a clothesline and hits Kaz with a right, knocking him to the outside. AJ hits a baseball slide, then throws Kaz back in the ring. He hits a forearm in the corner as Kaz reverses a whip. AJ blocks it and snaps off a hurricanrana, sending Kaz back to the original corner. AJ hits a chop, sends Kaz across the ring and hits a jumping forearm. He sends Kaz into the opposite corner and misses the forearm the second time. Kaz capitalizes with a monkey flip, then hits some mounted punches. Kaz lands a jumping sidekick for 2, then smacks AJ across the head a few times. AJ fires back with strikes, ending with a clothesline. AJ hits another clothesline, a back elbow and another clothesline before sending Kaz into the corner. Kaz backdrops him to the apron, where AJ hits the Superman for 2. Kaz comes back with a sit-out jawbreaker and a seated dropkick for 2. AJ ducks a right and goes for a back suplex. Kaz counters into a waistlock, and AJ counters into a roll-up for 2. He goes for another roll-up, then locks in the Calf Killer. Kaz taps.
Here is the BFG scoreboard thus far: 1st-Magnus (24), 2nd-Samoa Joe (19), 3rd-AJ Styles (12), 4th-Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Mr. Anderson and Christopher Daniels (4-way tie, 7), 8th-Bobby Roode, Joseph Park, Kazarian, Hernandez and Jay Bradley (5-way tie, 0).
We see Mickie James stop some ring crew guy, telling him to set up a ladder in the ring.
Chavo Guerrero is talking to Hernandez about being in the BFG Series, and how people are saying he’s a future World Champion. This is his tournament, and his tag team partner is in his corner. Hernandez entire contribution to this exchange was “Yep. Mmm-hmmm.” Man, his promos are electrifying.
In the ring, Mickie James is standing next to a ladder. She knows everyone is wondering what she is doing with this ladder. She has a story, and climbs while saying you have to crawl, scratch and climb your way to the top of the KO division. She is the one who is a national recording artist. She walks the red carpets, and gets commercials. If you look on the marquee outside, it features her name. She is also your Knockouts Champion. Even though she beat Velvet Sky with her eyes closed last week, all she hears about is this ladder match next week to see who will face her for the title. She wants Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell to tear the house down next week, and break everything. At the end of the day, neither of them will be as great as her. So, whoever wins that match, know this: she’s going to take you from the top of the ladder to the bottom, breaking your face on every single rung until she is on top of this division as she should, as the Knockouts Champion of the century.
We cut over to the Gut Check judges discussing the challenge last week. Bruce Prichard says when the bell rings, you have to be able to perform. Al Snow says Adam Ohriner did better in that regard than Ryan Howe. He says Howe has improved dramatically, and Prichard says the audience didn’t like him. These two then argue about all of Snow’s awful Gut Check choices. Prichard says he made his mind up right away last week, and both Snow and Danny Davis say they’re pretty sure they’ve got theirs minds made up as well. This cuts over to back in the arena, where the judges are with the two contestants. I didn’t realize it last week (because I haven’t watched his show in a while), but Ohriner is Zack Ryder’s friend from Z! Long Island True Story. Unfortunately, that and access to steroids are all he has going for him. Just being friends with someone with talent doesn’t automatically make you talented. Anyway, Prichard says he understands their both nervous, but only one advances to the final Gut Check tonight. They’ve already made their decision. Hope both guys are proud of their performance last week. The one that faces them in the ring later tonight…Ryan, congratulations. You will get your Gut Check later.
Wow. Ohriner isn’t that talented, but he still put in a better performance last week. This was like looking at two bowls of sh*t and deciding which one stinks less, and then picking the one that smells the worst.
We see the Main Event Mafia arrive at the building. Kurt Angle says the family will keep growing, and tonight, the fourth member will be revealed.
MATCH 2-BFG Series: Jay Bradley vs. Hernandez (w/Chavo Guerrero)
Both of these guys are at zero right now, so someone is guaranteed some points with this match. Lock-up to start, and it’s immediately broken. Another lock-up, and Bradley applies a side headlock. They shoulder each other, and Bradley forearms Hernandez down. Hernandez comes back with a standing avalanche for 1 before Bradley goes back to the side headlock. He thumbs Hernandez in the eye, then attacks Hernandez in the corner. Hernandez counters a corner whip, but runs into a back elbow. Bradley places his knee into Hernandez’s neck and drives him to the mat from the second rope for 2. Bradley applies a rear chinlock, but Hernandez elbows out. Bradley forearms him down, then hits a back elbow that sends Hernandez to the ramp on the outside. Hernandez shoulders him, then heads up the ramp to hit Air Mexico. He follows up with a pair of clotheslines and an avalanche. Hernandez hits the over-the-shoulder backbreaker drop for 2. Bradley hits a right, then hits a backbreaker. He calls for the Boomstick, but Chavo grabs his foot. He turns around and Hernandez hits a Pounce for 3.
WINNER: Hernandez, who gets 7 points and moves into a tie for 4th place.
Aces and Eights are in the back. Bully Ray says he has to give Aries credit for what he did. Wes Brisco asks about Brooke Hogan, and Ray doesn’t want to talk about personal business. Wes keeps harping on it, and Ray more or less tells him to shut up. The winner of the main event faces him at Destination X. DOC asks who he wants to face, and Mr. Anderson says Ray doesn’t care because he can beat them all. Ray asks what happens if no one wins tonight, and the gang all laugh.
MATCH 3: The Bro Mans (Jesse and Robbie E, w/Tara) vs. World Tag Team Champions Gunner and James Storm (non-title)
The Bro Mans attack Gunner before the bell. Jesse then hits a dropkick before tagging in E, and the two hit a double elbow before Jesse hits a European uppercut. E hits a clothesline for 1, then chokes Gunner over the middle rope. Tara chokes him behind the ref’s back, and E knocks him down with a right. Jesse tags in, and they send Gunner to the corner. He elbows Jesse and hits a fall-away slam on E. Storm tags in and hits Jesse with a forearm before back body dropping E. Clothesline for Jesse, and a hotshot on E, followed by a backcracker. Gunner tags in, and the champs hoist E up before ramming him into Jesse. Storm and E brawl outside, where E rams him into the post. Back in the ring, Jesse reverses an Irish whip, but Gunner comes back with a sunset flip. E tries to hold onto Jesse, but gets hit with a Last Call. Gunner hits a uranage backbreaker on Jesse, and the champs hit a combination running neckbreaker/powerslam to get the 3.
WINNERS: Gunner and James Storm. That finish looked awkward.
Jeff Hardy is in the back, and he says he doesn’t know much about Joseph Park, but he sees improvement, not to mention a bit of a dark side. He’s Abyss’ brother, which automatically makes him dangerous.
The Main Event Mafia come out, and they’re back to their original theme music. It’s just sting and Kurt Angle for now as we see Louie Anderson in the audience. Angle says the MEM is back. They’re back to destroy A and E, and to make sure Bully Ray loses the World title. Sting says the previous MEM consisted of former World Champions, and in a situation like that, you don’t always have unity. Sometimes, you have to go for no-nonsense, and that’s why they brought in the most recent member, Samoa Joe. As Joe comes out, I must remind everyone that Joe is in fact a former World Champion, one that beat Angle for the title and lost it to Sting. Guess Sting forgot about that. Joe says it’s great to be in the group, especially in Sin City. For the past 12 months, he’s always been a man of his own devices, but he’s noticed that lately, there’s strength in numbers, namely A and E. He realizes he can’t beat up that many cowards alone, so he got a crew that specializes in beating up cowards. In this year’s BFG Series, with these men behind his back, he will run through the rest of the contestants until he earns his shot at Bully Ray and takes him out for the World title. Angle says he picked Joe to be in the group because of their matches together. Those matches turned into respect, and that respect turned into loyalty. Joe is the baddest SOB Angle has ever fought, and Joe came up with the fourth member of the group. Angle thought it was a great idea. Many would pick this man as the future of the company, but he’s the here-and-now. Ladies and gentlemen, the fourth member of the Mafia…Magnus.
Magnus makes his way out, and I’m okay with this. I hate this group, but if this means Magnus gets an even bigger push, that’s good. I’ve said for a long time he’s possibly the most underrated guy on this roster. Magnus says that, when he was approached by these men to join this group, he had to think about it…for about a split-second. When opportunity knocks, you answer the door. He answered the door, and if you don’t believe him, look at the BFG leader board. If you still don’t believe him, ask these three men. Ask Sting, one of the greatest performers in history. Ask the only Olympic gold medalist in wrestling history, Kurt Angle. In 2012, he was put on the map with his association and rivalry with Samoa Joe, and he thanks Joe for that. But it’s not just about him or the MEM; it’s about the A and E, which is why he signed up to put an end to their reign of terror for good. Sting says July 18th is the next time we’ll have a World title match, and the MEM is challenging A and E to a fight on that night. As for tonight, Bully Ray asked if there was no winner in the main event tonight. The MEM is going to make sure there is a winner.
MATCH 4-BFG Series: Jeff Hardy vs. Joseph Park
The two shake hands as Park gushes over Hardy. Lock-up to start, and Park powers Hardy into the corner before giving a clean break. Another lock-up, and Hardy applies a side headlock until Park shoulders him off the ropes. Another lock-up, and Hardy goes back to the headlock. Hardy ducks a clothesline and hits a reverse enziguri. He follows up with an avalanche and a spinning headscissors out of the corner. Hardy hits the sit-out Twist of Fate, then goes up top. He misses the swanton bomb, and Park rams him into the corner for some punches. He sends Hardy into the opposite corner, and Hardy collapses to the mat. Park sets Hardy up on his feet in the corner, then hits another corner whip, sending Hardy sternum-first into the buckles this time. Park hits an avalanche, then follows up with a snapmare and a rear chinlock. Hardy fights out with punches, ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm. He follows up with an inverted atomic drop, a double legdrop and a low seated dropkick for 2. Hardy calls for the Twist again, but Park shoves him off and catches him in a Samoan drop. Park signals for the Closing Argument, which connects for 2. Hardy comes back with the Botch in the Wind off a corner whip, and he calls for the Twist once more. Park’s mouth is bleeding, and he’s doing his transformation bit. The ref tries to push him back, and Park hits him with a Black Hole Slam. Park then snaps out of it as referee Brian Hebner comes down to ring the bell.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Jeff Hardy. Park is now at -10 points, while Hardy gets 3. Park is now in last place.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring, and he introduces the three Gut Check judges: Al Snow, Danny Davis and Bruce Prichard. The crowd dumps all over Davis and Prichard as Ryan Howe comes out. The dump they drop on him, puts the other two to shame. Howe comes out with his stupid guitar again. JB asks if that was his best effort last week, and Howe responds with, “Abs-freaking-lutely yes.” Say “hi” to Kris Lewie in the unemployment line for me, Howe. First up is Snow. He says he’s watched Howe develop over time, and he’s the one who got Howe this opportunity. Howe has a great talent in music, and not sure why he wants to wrestle. That being said, his answer is no. Howe then has to do his promo. He’s just rambling about how he’s doing something right to just be here as the crowd could not give a damn less. The buzzer cuts him off. Davis is up next. His mind was made up, but these people have changed it. Howe did not let them take his mind off what he wanted to say. He agrees Howe is a good musician and has potential to be an Impact superstar. It’ll take time, and his answer is yes. Screw you, Davis. Prichard says Howe definitely got a reaction from the audience, and he doesn’t doubt his heart. He’s making this short and sweet: if this were any other competition show on any other night, he might move onto the next round. But this is Gut Check, and they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so the answer is no, which finally makes the crowd cheer.
Back to A and E. Ray says it’s main event time, so let’s go see no one win. DOC stops him and volunteers for the MEM challenge. Anderson steps in and continues to argue with him over the VP position. Ray says if they’d stop stabbing each other in the back and focus on MEM, maybe the job would have been done by now. Let’s go out there, piss people off and do what we want to do.
Aces and Eights come out in full, and they’re going to watch the match from the crowd.
MATCH 5-3-Way Match for the World X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin vs. Manik vs. Austin Aries (Champion)
Sabin and Manik attack Aries in the corner, fighting over who will punch him. Sabin ties him in the tree of woe, and Manik hits a running dropkick. Sabin sends him into the corner, hits a clothesline, then hits a dropkick on Aries. He throws Manik to another corner, and Manik avoids a charge. He knocks Sabin to the apron, where Sabin hits a sunset flip for 2. Aries gets thrown to the floor by Sabin, then tees off on Manik. Manik avoids a corner whip, then locks in an iron octopus that he turns into a pin for 2. Aries breaks it up, then nails Manik with some forearms. Manik hits a back elbow out of the corner before going up top. Aries crotches him, and Sabin knocks Aries to the apron. He goes up for a superplex, but Manik shoves him off and suckers Sabin into diving to the floor. He trips Aries into the ropes, then misses an apron legdrop, which sends him to the floor as well. Aries goes up top as Sabin pulls him back down. Sabin hits some rights, then boots Aries in the corner. Aries countesr a corner whip, hits a running back elbow, a snapmare and a middle rope dropkick to the back for 2. Sabin comes back with punches before getting backdropped to the apron. Aries chokes him over the top rope, then hits a forearm to the back from the top rope. He calls for the brainbuster on the ramp, but Sabin counters into a gourdbuster as A and E move to ringside. Manik is back in the ring, and Knux trips him. Manik kicks him off and dives onto DOC, who powerbombs him on the floor. Aries and Sabin are climbing back into the ring as A and E surrounds them. MEM comes down the ramp as we go to commercials.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Chris Sabin. After the match, Sabin tells Bully Ray that he might very well be looking at the new World Champion.
End of show.
Great main event. Everything else was blah.
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: