This week’s edition if Impact Wrestling begins in the Aces and Eights clubhouse. Black Scorpion is laying into the former Luke Gallows. He says Gallows isn’t even a full member yet, and is just a prospect, yet he already lost his mask. He calls him “Doc”, and says he has 1 week to show everyone why he deserves a seat here. Devon says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but Hogan made a match for Sting and Angle against any of them, so Devon suggests they team up. Doc says he knows what he has to do and will make things right tonight. God, that’s a stupid name for his gimmick. Oh, and just because I can, I am going on record and saying that there is only one Doc in professional wrestling, and that was “Dr. Death” Steve Williams (those who knew him always called him “Doc”).
This is the last episode before Turning Point. Also tonight, Christian York’s fate is determined.
James Storm is joining the announce desk for commentary for tonight’s opening match.
MATCH 1: AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode
Arm wringer by AJ, which Roode counters into a hammerlock. Roode turns it into a front facelock, and AJ reverses into a hammerlock. Roode counters once more into a hammerlock before changing into a side headlock. Crisscross sequence with AJ trying to go for a leapfrog, but Roode holds onto the ropes and nails a back elbow instead. AJ blocks a corner whip and manages to connect with a dropkick (prettiest in the business today), sending Roode to the floor. AJ goes for a plancha, but Roode sees it coming. AJ lands on his feet on the apron, where Roode tries to trip him up. AJ lands on his feet once again, slugs Roode and sends him into the steps. Back in the ring, AJ hits a bodyslam and a jumping kneedrop for 2. The two trade shots in the corner, and AJ hits a back body drop off a corner whip. Roode hits a throat chop before moving out of the way of an AJ corner splash, following up with the Northern Lariat for 1. Roode hits a neckbreaker as we go to commercials.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. Wow, a nearly 20-minute match to start the show, and it was a good one to boot? Someone must like me today.
In the back, Austin Aries is walking around, and crosses paths with Hulk Hogan. Hogan tells him he’s not the champ, and it seems like he should win the title, not steal it. Aries complains about the ladder match, and Hogan tells him he makes the rule. He tells Aries if he doesn’t give the belt back by the end of the show, he’s out of the title match.
We see graphics running down the card for tonight, and they are interrupted by a graphic that simply says, “An Ancient Evil Awakens”.
In the interview area, we see Kurt Angle and Wes Brisco talking. Angle is talking about timing when Sting interrupts, saying we need timing tonight. He reminds Angle of the match tonight, then says we need a shadow like Wes.
Back in the Impact Zone, Joe Abyss is in the ring. He says it’s been a trying week, to say the least. After what happened last week, he realized two things. 1) The human body isn’t supposed to go through tables, and 2) it felt great taking the mask off Doc. All week, his legal partners have asked him not to go into a match. He says it’s about being a man, and nothing else. As a man, he wants his match with A and E. There’s only one man who can make that happen, and that’s Hulk Hogan. Hulk, he’s out here one last time, begging for the match. He has stood by Hogan since day one, now Hogan needs to stand by him. Hogan makes his way out and tells Joe TNA is proud of him. When Joe pulled Doc’s mask off, it made everyone proud. But, sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. In this case, he was very, very lucky. With all due respect, Joe isn’t a wrestler and shouldn’t be in this ring. He’s a good lawyer, but to ask for a match, the first thing that comes to mind is the liability.
Bully Ray’s music hits, and he tells them he didn’t want to interrupt things. But, he did because he knows Hogan is about to say “no”. He knows this because he’s been telling Ray “no” for the last two months. He’s sticking up for Joe this time. Joe might be a lawyer, but he’s got heart, guts, and is a pretty tough sonofabitch. He’s fought Ray, and he’s got a lot to prove to A and E. Joe wants to get his hands on them as bad as both Hogan and Ray. Ray believes in Joe Abyss. Hogan says he does, too, but he’s running the company, not Ray. Ray knows that. He just wants Hogan to listen and trust him for a second. Ray believes in Joe, and so do the fans. Hulk, these are your fans. These are your Hulkamaniacs. Why say no, when it feels so damn good to just say yes? A “Yes!” chant starts, but I don’t see Daniel Bryan anywhere. Hogan looks at Joe and says, just this one time. Joe hugs Hogan and high-fives Ray.
Tara is in her locker room with Jesse. Jesse talks about hitting ODB with all of his signature moves, randomly naming off a few before saying he’s bound for the Hall of Fame. ODB walks in and calls BS on everything, then challenges the two of them to a handicap match tonight. Jesse says they need truckloads of hand sanitizers.
AJ Styles is in some ridiculously dark area, yelling at AI about James Storm. Storm approaches him and says yes, he was scouting. This Sunday, how will it look when the face of the company (AJ) gets kicked in?
MATCH 2-Handicap Match: Knockout Tag Team Co-Champion ODB vs. Jesse and Knockouts Champion Tara
Now that Eric Young is rumored to be leaving TNA (again) since his reality show got picked up for a second season, maybe TNA will finally get rid of the worthless KO tag titles. ODB ducks some clotheslines and nails one on Tara before chopping Jesse across the chest. Chop for Tara before she forces Jesse to motorboat her. Kick to Tara’s gut, and ODB makes them headbutt each other. The heels nail a double back elbow, and Jesse hits a bodyslam. ODB kicks Jesse and hair whips Tara off a double back body drop attempt, nails Tara with a pair of clotheslines and a dropkick. Bodyslam for Jesse, and ODB then bodyslams Tara on top of him. Jesse recovers and hits a corner whip, but ODB ducks a clothesline and hits an avalanche, sending Jesse to the bottom of the corner. She trips Tara, sending her face-first into Jesse’s crotch. ODB hits a double bronco buster, and Jesse rolls to the floor. ODB hits a spear on Tara and gets the 3.
WINNER: ODB. After the match, Jesse hits ODB with her own flask, and Tara hits the Widow’s Peak. Jesse opens the flask and dumps it all over her.
In the back, ODB is on her phone talking to Eric Young’s voicemail, saying he better show up on Sunday, because she wants him to team with her against Jesse and Tara.
The Gut Check judges are talking about Christian York. Taz says York is a no-brainer. Bruce Prichard talks about his maturity and his experience. Al Snow says he hasn’t been hired before because he was always attached to someone else, and that someone else got put in the spotlight. Prichard wonders if he can be a singles star, since he’s always been in a tag team. Snow points out Roode and Storm becoming singles stars. Taz doesn’t care about tag teams. He says York looked great and did great, and he is a wrestler. Prichard has to weigh in the reasons why he didn’t make it big earlier in his career, and that’s what they will do in a bit.
MATCH 3: Kurt Angle and Sting vs. Devon and Doc
“Devon and Doc” sounds like the name of a new Disney Junior show. “Doc” apparently stands for “Director of Chaos”. Still doesn’t make it any less stupid. The faces begin brawling at ringside. This match has not officially started. Doc now has two half-sleeve tattoos, BTW. Sting gets Doc in the ring, where Doc hits a corner whip. He misses an elbow in the corner, and Sting hits a DDT for 2. Sting knocks an incoming Devon off the apron, allowing Doc to hit a clothesline. Doc with some mounted punches before tagging in Devon, who hits a jumping headbutt. Devon beats Sting down in the corner, follows up with a snapmare and hits a forearm shot for 2. Doc back in, and they hit a double shoulderblock. Elbow drop gets 2. Suplex gets another 2. Rear chinlock is applied, but Sting fights out. Doc drops him and tags in Devon, who hits a legdrop. Devon nails Angle before beating Sting down in the corner. Doc tags in and hits an uppercut. Jumping splash gets 2, but Angle interrupts the pin. Sting fights back, but it’s not enough. Devon back in, who hits the spinning back elbow for 2. Doc in once more, who collides with Sting off a simultaneous clothesline attempt. Devon and Angle tag in, Angle hits a running forearm on Devon, and a sloppy middle rope dropkick on Doc. Pair of German suplexes for the heels. Angle Slam on Devon gets 2, and the pin is broken up by Doc. Sting comes in and nails him with the Scorpion Death Drop and locks in the scorpion death lock. Devon grabs Sting’s bat and nails both faces for the DQ.
WINNERS VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Kurt Angle and Sting. Devon throws Angle shoulder-first into the ring post. Bully Ray comes down and nails Devon with a clothesline before going for a table. He sets it up in the ring, but Devon avoids Ray and heads out through the crowd. Ray follows him. Back in the ring, Sting hits Doc with a low blow and sets up for a powerbomb. He can’t get Doc up, though, and this allows Black Scorpion and the late Brian Pillman from A and E to come down. Scorpion hits Sting with a hammer, and Doc chokeslams him through a table. Pillman beats Angle out of the ring as Scorpion hands Doc the hammer. Doc takes it and begins smashing it into Sting’s right arm and gut. He then smashes Sting’s left hand before hitting some head and gut shots. Samoa Joe, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero eventually come down and chase them off. Referees and medics hit the ring to check on Sting.
Back from the break, Mike Tenay tries to do his best “somber Jim Ross”, but he just sucks at it.
It’s now time to determine Christian York’s fate. Outside of Joey Ryan, York is the only Gut Check contestant who truly deserves a spot, so if he doesn’t get it, I’m going to be pissed. JB asks York if last week was his very best effort. York says he knows he did, and he thinks the Impact Zone knows he did, too. Do the judges feel the same? Taz is up first. He thought York did a great job. He has a great look and has been doing it for a while. In his opinion, York has the “it factor”, so the answer is yes, without a doubt. Prichard is up next. He says York has to ask himself something. York has been wrestling for 16 years, but has never made it to the big leagues. Does he really have it? What has kept him from making it? Maybe he just hasn’t a chance to do so, so Prichard’s answer is yes. Welcome to Impact Wrestling. York tells the crowd this is what he worked 16 years for, and don’t let anyone take your dreams from you, because they can come true.
Well, at least the right decision was made this time. I just hope he gets put on the main roster right away.
AI stops Austin Aries, who is on the phone. Aries looks at him before seeing Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan arguing about something Hulk said. Well, that was pointless.
Hogan is in his office, talking to someone on his phone about the condition of Sting, asking for updates every five minutes. Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan walk in and Ryan tells him to congratulate him on becoming the new X-Division Champion. Hogan says that won’t happen because the match hasn’t even happened yet. He tells Morgan he won’t be at ringside for Ryan’s match on Sunday. Morgan stands up and tells Hogan he has no idea who he’s messing with, but he’ll find out yet again. After they leave, Hogan says he does know, and laughs.
MATCH 4: Magnus and Chris-Zarian (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. World Television Champion Samoa Joe, and World Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez
If you listen carefully, Chris-Zarian’s theme music has the exact same beat as Chavo and Hernandez’s, just sped up. The faces attack the heels to start the match, beating them out of the ring. Chavo and Daniels start off. Chavo hits a clothesline and a back suplex for 1. Hard corner whip by Chavo, but Daniels hits a knee and tags in Kaz. Kaz comes in and is hit with a drop toehold by Chavo. Hernandez in, and he bodyslams Chavo on Kaz. Splash by Hernandez gets 2. Kaz flips out of a back suplex and hits a spinning heel kick before tagging in Magnus. Joe tags in, and Magnus flees. Joe chases him around the ring and back in, where Daniels traps his legs. Magnus stomps away on Joe and hits some forearms. Joe tries to fight back, but Daniels holds his arm, allowing Magnus to continue the attack. Daniels tags in and hits some stomps. Joe fights back by beating Daniels down in the corner. Back elbow/spin kick combo in the corner off a whip by Joe. Joe hits a snapmare, a chop to the back, a kick to the chest and a jumping kneedrop. Chavo tags in as Joe hits a bodyslam. Tope con hilo by Chavo, and now Hernandez is legal. Hernandez hits a bearhug suplex before tagging in Chavo. He hits a snapmare, and Chavo hits a low dropkick for 2. Daniels counters a corner whip, but Chavo back drops him to the apron off the charge. He knocks Daniels down with a punch before nailing Kaz with a clothesline. Daniels drags him out and sends him into the guardrail. Kaz throws him back in the ring, where Daniels tags Kaz in to make him legal. Kaz hits a flipping neckbreaker for 2. Magnus makes the illegal tag and beats Chavo in the corner. Hard corner whip by Magnus, and now Daniels is back in, who hits Nightmare on Helms Street for 2 as Hernandez breaks it up. Kaz in, and Daniels hits a clothesline before hiptossing Kaz onto Chavo for 2, with Hernandez once again breaking it up. Kaz locks in a modified surfboard, and Chavo kicks him off. Kaz stays on offense with a rake of the eyes. Chavo ducks a clothesline and hits a spinning headscissors. Hernandez tags in and hits the slingshot shoulderblock. Clotheslines for Daniels and Kaz before knocking Magnus off the apron. Avalanche for Kaz, and a Pounce for Daniels. Daniels stops an attempted Border Toss on Kaz. They try a double suplex, but Hernandez blocks it and hits one of his own. Joe and Magnus tag in. Joe hits the inverted atomic drop and a running boot, but misses the running senton. Magnus runs right into a powerslam before dodging a corner charge. Magnus charges in and gets hit with the corner uranage for 2. Daniels breaks up the pin and throws Joe to the floor. Hernandez throws Daniels to the floor. Chavo hits Kaz with a clothesline before Hernandez hits Air Mexico on Daniels on the floor. Back in the ring, Chavo hits a bodyscissors on Magnus, turning it into a bulldog. Frog splash is signaled, but Kaz grabs a hold of him, allowing Magnus to knock him to the floor. Joe nails a forearm on Magnus and sets him up for the Muscle Buster, but Daniels stops him. Joe locks him in the Kokina Clutch, to which Daniels breaks with a jawbreaker. High/low by Chris-Zarian, and Magnus hits a top rope elbow drop for the 3.
WINNERS: Chris-Zarian and Magnus. Pretty good main event here.
Austin Aries is headed to the ring to decide whether or not he’s going to hand over the belt.
We see Bobby Roode pacing in the back. He says things are going perfectly. He beat AJ, and now AJ & Storm are at each other’s throats. The World title is coming back to the It Factor.
Aries makes his way out, and there is a ladder set up near the ramp, as well as one in the ring. Aries says Jeff Hardy has been calling himself “The best wrestler on planet Earth”. He says that’s an overplayed phrase. That’s fine, because he’s still the best in the universe. 3 seconds at BFG didn’t change that. The fact that he now has to wrestle in a ladder match tells him that everyone knows Hardy can’t beat him again in a regular match. A lot of people say Hardy’s career has been defined by the ladder. In the history of wrestling, Hardy is arguably the greatest daredevil and risk taker the business has ever seen. He’s climbed some of the highest highs and taken some of the greatest falls ever. This Sunday, at Turning Point, Aries guarantees this is a fall Hardy won’t get up from or recover from, physically, mentally or emotionally. Aries is going to walk into Turning Point and beat Hardy in his own game. He then lays into the fans for saying, “What?”, which is funny. He’s going to beat Hardy at his own game, then have himself a party, melting Hardy’s custom title into a belt buckle, wearing Hardy’s face next to his crotch. To make all that happen, he has to hand the real title belt over to Hardy right now. That’s what Hulk Hogan told him. Hogan’s doing Hardy’s business for him. Guess what? He’s not handing the belt over. If Hardy wants it, he can come down like a man and take it from him.
End of show.
Wow. Really not a bad show tonight, save for the stupid handicap match. And congratulations to Christian York. He definitely deserves it.
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.
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