Someone the other day referred to Impact Wrestling as “TNA: We Are Recaps”. I think that’s extremely accurate. It’s ridiculous how much TNA recaps their own shows. It’s one thing to do a recap video of the previous week’s show at the beginning. It’s another to show video recaps of things minutes after they happened throughout the show.
This week on TNA Impact Wrestling Gut Check returns, and because Adam Pearce is involved, I’m actually somewhat looking forward to it.
The show opens with Aces and Eights (save for Bully Ray) making their way through the crowd. Anyone else notice that, since guys started getting unmasked, the amount of men in this group dropped from nearly 2 dozen to about 10? Mr. Anderson calls everyone douchebags (he is an expert on the subject), and he’s gotta package. He says that AJ Styles had TNA turn their back on him when he needed them. They have a “cut” for him, and hope he makes the right decision. Devon has an envelope in his hand, and it belongs to Brooke Hogan. When Bully Ray brings her out later, that envelope will bring a new meaning to the phrase “change of relationship”. D’Lo Brown also has a present for someone. It’s something he received, and it’s a letter from TNA Headquarters. Inside the letter was his notice of termination from TNA. After all of his years of hard work, he thinks he deserved more than a plain envelope. He didn’t get a phone call or a meeting. He doesn’t want a text or a tweet; he wants someone to come out and tell him to his face why he’s been fired.
Joey Ryan stops Brooke Hogan in a locker room, offering her a favor. He knows she has a need, and knows he can fill it. She just fired the KO ref, and she needs a new ref for a match tonight, offering himself up for the job. Brooke agrees, but Ryan can’t touch the girls.
MATCH 1: Gail Kim and Tara (w/Jesse) vs. Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky and Taryn Terrell
Taryn looks decent until she smiles. She has too many teeth or something. Joey Ryan is patting down all of the competitors for “weapons”. Tara attacks Sky from behind, then chokes her over the top rope and hits a chop. Sky ducks a clothesline, hits a jumping one, followed by a second, and then applies a side headlock. Ryan begins massaging Sky, which causes her to break the hold. Kim and Taryn tag in, and Ryan is hitting on Taryn. Tara tags back in and Taryn reverses a clothesline into a backslide, followed bya schoolgirl. Ryan is doing no counting. Taryn pins Tara with a jackknife, yet still no count. Sky back in, and the faces hit a double shoulderblock and a double elbow drop. Sky goes for the pin, and Ryan stares at her butt while massaging himself. Kim runs in and clobbers Sky with a double axe handle. Tara stomps Sky down before throwing her into Kim’s foot. Kim tags in and hits some kicks to the gut, followed by a fireman’s carry into a pancake. She goes for the pin, and Ryan is still just petting himself. Tara back in, and she begins ramming her shoulder into Sky’s gut in the corner. Ryan steps between them and stares at Tara, so Jesse jumps on the apron out of jealousy. Sky rolls Tara up with no pin counted. Tara pops up with a clothesline and goes for the standing moonsault, but Ryan stands in the way. She pushes him aside and then misses the move. Kim and Taryn tag in, and Taryn hits a pair of clotheslines and a back elbow. Snap suplex by Taryn, and she goes up top, hitting a cross-body. She slams Kim’s head into the mat, and Tara comes in, hitting Taryn with a clothesline. Sky dropkicks Tara to the floor, and Kim clobbers her from behind. Ryan is making a pass at Kim, and she seems to like it, shoving him into the corner and playing with his mustache. Ryan starts stripping his clothes off as Taryn rolls Kim up from behind. Kim reverses the roll-up with a handful of tights and Ryan makes a fast 3.
WINNERS: Gail Kim and Tara. Ryan tries to celebrate with Kim after the match, but she leaves him hanging. He gets back in the ring to check on Taryn and Sky while massaging baby oil into his chest. Sky pretends to be interested, and Taryn low blows him from behind.
We see the World Tag Team Champions in the building. They’re headed out to the ring.
Back from the break, the tag champs are in the ring, along with Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. They are facing off for the titles next week, and they’re signing the contract tonight. Austin Aries tells JB to shut up. Bobby Roode asks if either Chavo or Hernandez have been the World Champion. The reality is, is that neither one of them can hold a candle to either Roode or Aries. Chavo reminds us he’s a Guerrero, and calls Hernandez “strong as a son of a gun”. Stop letting this man speak. Aries asks if they’re bored with him and Roode beating them all the time. These contracts aren’t ironclad, so let’s make this more interesting. Aries adds a fruit basket, green M&Ms and more money for the winners. Chavo adds something, and the champs seem amused. Roode and Aries add one last thing, and Chavo agrees to it. Aries then asks JB to make everything official. JB announces that the titles are on the line next week in a Best-of-3-Falls Match, and if the challengers lose, they will never team again in TNA. Everyone signs the contract, with Hernandez being hesitant.
Video package for Adam Pearce, a 17-year veteran of wrestling and a former NWA World Champion and the former booker for ROH. He also reminds us he’s already faced nearly everyone in TNA at some point or another, which is true.
We then get a video for Magno, who I had never heard of until last week. His whole video is in Spanish, as he apparently doesn’t speak English. It’s subtitled, but I’m not going to give all the details. He basically talks about what a luchador is, and that his mask defines him.
MATCH 2-Gut Check: Adam Pearce vs. Magno
Magno is a 13-year pro, and was trained by Gory Guerrero, apparently. Pearce reverses an arm ringer and turns it into an armbar. Magno counters into an armdrag. Pearce goes into a hammerlock and takes Magno down. Magno counters into a headscissors, and we get another standoff. Pearce goes back to the arm and forearms Magno in the face before stomping him. In the corner, Pearce hits a European uppercut and sends Magno to the opposite corner. Magno blocks the charge but gets hit with a back body drop for 2. Magno botches a spot in the corner before rebounding and hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He botches a springboard moonsault for 2. Not off to a good start for the luchador. He goes for a springboard cross-body, but Pearce counters and turns it into a spinebuster for 2. Pearce nails a forearm and sends Magno into the ropes. Magno flips over and hits a headscissors from the apron. A pair of clotheslines connect, as does a corner kick. Pearce gets clotheslined to the floor, and now Magno goes to the top, botching another moonsault to the floor. Oy vey. Back in the ring, Pearce trips Magno and pins him with a rope assist.
WINNER: Adam Pearce. Wow. For as good as Pearce is, this was a really lousy performance. Not all of the blame can be placed on Magno, either. There was just no flow to this match at all.
We see AJ Styles in the back, and he’s approached by A and E. Mr. Anderson says AJ has had a change on his outlook on life. They like it and could use a guy like him in his organization. They had a vest made for him, and Anderson tells him to try it on and just think about joining them.
Sting/Bully Ray video package.
AI stops Hulk Hogan and asks about Sting. He says Sting isn’t here. He needs warriors here, not more politicians. He’s going to the ring to call another warrior out, because he needs to know where this person stands.
Kurt Angle is approached by Joseph Park in the back. He tells Angle he’s here for a fight tonight. He and his classmates watched Angle win his gold medal. A and E did him wrong, and he wants to stand by Angle’s side against A and E tonight. Angle tells him to follow his lead, and if he sees an opportunity, take it.
Hulk Hogan makes his way into the arena. We’ve heard him talk a lot about past mistakes. He won’t make those mistakes anymore. He’s going to lead with his gut, as well as make decisions with it. TNA is being held hostage right now, and there’s one man his gut is telling him to call out, and he’s going to do that right now. That man is none other than AJ Styles, brother. AJ comes out, and he’s still got the A and E vest in his hand. Hulk asks AJ is joining A and E, because if that’s the case, they are way off the page. He understands the personal crap AJ went through. He made the stipulation about the title match, and when AJ lost, he drifted off and turned into a different person. This roster is his family, and AJ has never strayed from them. He’s looking at AJ right now, and he sees a different guy. He’s praying he’s not joining A and E, because AJ is the man he needs right now. TNA needs help, and they need someone dangerous like AJ, brother. Hulk needs AJ Styles, and needs the dangerous version. He hands the mic to AJ. AJ looks at the vest for a moment and asks if Hulk wants him to help. Before he can go further, James Storm interrupts. He remembers the match stipulation where the person who got pinned didn’t get a title match for a year. He also remembers that he was the guy who pinned AJ. That’s how it goes. Everyone loses big matches. What really bothers Storm, though, is that last week, AJ stood there and watched as A and E jumped him. Storm has known AJ for 17 years and has been in TNA since day one as well. They helped build this company. He’s done everything AJ has done. Every time they clock in and get in the ring, they wrestle and perform because it’s what they love to do. From the Asylum in Nashville, to Europe, to San Antonio, to here in Jonesboro, they built this. And now AJ wants to join A and E? Go ahead, because you’re not the same guy he remembers at the fairgrounds. So, AJ better clock out before he gets knocked out. AJ dropes the mic and leaves the ring, still holding onto his vest. Anyone else think this angle is almost exactly like Sting/nWo in 1997?
MATCH 3-3-Way X-Division Qualifier: Sonjay Dutt vs. Mason Andrews vs. Petey Williams
Andrews pokes the other two in the chest, so Petey slaps him. Dutt applies a side headlock before shouldering Williams down. Series of pinfalls by all three, and now we have a standoff. Andrews goes to the floor, and Dutt dropkicks Petey for 2. Drop toehold into the ropes by Petey, and he nails Andrews on the floor with a suicide dive. Dutt goes for a plancha, but Petey moves and Dutt hits nothing but air. Andrews rolls Petey into the ring and hits an elbow for 2. Stomps by Andrews, and a spinning backbreaker gets 2. Andrews knocks Dutt off the apron, and now Petey hits some chops. Andrews cuts him off with a kneelift and rams him into the corner. Snapmare out of the corner, followed by an elbow to the shoulder from the second rope for 2. Dutt comes back in and applies an abdominal stretch on Petey. Andrews throws Dutt to the floor and goes after Petey. Dutt comes back in with a springboard dropkick on both competitors. Andrews sends Dutt in the corner, and Dutt counters with a Pendulum, followed by a legdrop across the middle rope. Springboard falling splash by Dutt on Andrews gets 2. Dutt goes for an Ace Crusher, but Petey blocks that and hits a spinning headscissors into a side-Russian legsweep for 2. Dutt counters into a crucifix for 2, and Petey pops back up with a kick. He goes for the Destroyer, but Dutt shoves him into the corner. Up top, Dutt goes for a super hurricanrana, but loses his balance. Andrews pops up with his own version on Petey, and Dutt hits Andrews with an Asai DDT. He goes for a moonsault double stomp, but Andrews moves. Dutt lands on his feet and gets nailed with a running knee, sending him to the floor. Petey gets back in the ring and quickly snaps off the Canadian Destroyer on Andrews for 3.
WINNER: Petey Williams.
We’re in the A and E clubhouse now, and Bully Ray is pissed. He blames Kurt Angle and all of his friends for his bad mood. He knows his boys will get the job done tonight in the 10-man. Let’s go out, kick their asses, take their names, and take their frickin’ souls. Devon has something to ask, and that’s if he’s ready to deal with Brooke. Ray says to be honest, he misses his wife. She took good care of him, and Devon asks if she likes “tag teams”. Ray is going out there, will look her in the eyes, hand her the envelope, and after that, they will all be able to move forward.
MATCH 4: Aces and Eights (Garett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, World Television Champion Devon, DOC and Knux) vs. Kurt Angle, Magnus, Joseph Park, Samoa Joe and Eric Young
Angle whips Wes into the ring, then hits some clotheslines. He beats Wes down in the corner, then foot chokes him. Snap suplex gets 2. Wes rakes the eyes and tags in Garret, who gets hip tossed. Angle knocks Garett down with punches, then beats him down in the corner before choking him with his knee. Magnus tags in and fires off some rights. Garett ducks a clothesline before getting caught. Magnus hits him with a modified northern lights bomb, then tags in Joe. Joe hits an inverted atomic drop, Magnus follows with a running boot, and Joe hits a running senton. Garett rakes the eyes and tags in Devon. Joe ducks some punches and hits a series of rights, followed by a running hip bump in the corner and a spin kick to the head. Devon gets dropped with a chop to the chest, and Jo follows up with a chop to the back, a kick to the chest and a jumping kneedrop for 2. Devon fights back and tags in Knux, who hits some rights. Joe ducks a clothesline and hits a running knee. EY tags in, and he comes off with a double axe handle to the arm. EY hits some rights in the corner until Knux hits him with a kneelift. Rights by Knux (noticing a trend here), and he sends EY into the corner, where he hits more punches. EY suckers Knux into the ropes, sending him to the floor, where EY hits a slingshot cross-body. Commercials.
WINNERS: Aces and Eights.
Hulk is in the back with Brooke. He doesn’t feel right about tonight. Brooke says she can handle things tonight, and she’ll even bring security with her. She just wants to get this over with and have no more drama.
Bully Ray makes his way out through the crowd, manila envelope in hand. In seven days, the biggest World Championship rematch in wrestling history (ha!), Ray/Hardy in Corpus Christi, TX, Full Metal Mayhem. Hardy, you have to be the stupidest person he’s ever met. Why on L. Ron Hubbard’s green Earth would you challenge him to a match involving tables, ladders and chairs? Oh, my. That’s in seven days, though. Tonight, Ray wants to take care of some personal business. He would like his beautiful wife (double ha!) Brooke to come to the ring. Brooke comes out with two Atlas Security guys. Ray asks her how she is, then wants to know why she isn’t wearing her wedding ring. He’s still wearing his. It’s a sign of his love and devotion to her. He expects her to do the same for him. He’ll give her a pass this week, but from now on, do what your told and where your ring. He asks what the security guards are for. They should be here for Ray’s protection. After Lockdown, Brooke was a crazed woman, yelling and screaming, kicking things, knocking over tables…she was insane. She should have been happy that night, since her husband became champion. She should have acted like a good wife, but no, she’s an insane woman. That’s okay, though, as he forgives her. He asks if she knows what the envelope is. She guesses it’s divorce papers. Ray says he loves her, and couldn’t have done this without her. She’s the woman behind him that makes him so great. He couldn’t have done this without her. He tells her to open it, and inside is a ticket. It’s a front-row ticket for next week’s Impact. He wants her to sit in the front row and defeat Hardy for the second time. He wants her by his side, cheering him on, looking as beautiful as possible, because lately, she’s let herself go. Brooke slaps Ray on that note, and he laughs. He says he can’t help it, because she’s pathetic. She just smacked him in the face, and he’s laughing at her. He’s in her head so bad, it’s not funny. To be honest, he’s been in her since day one. He dares her to smack him again when Jeff Hardy’s music hits. He orders Brooke out of his ring as Hardy charges in. They brawl until Ray low blows him. Hardy no-sells it and starts fighting back.
End of show.
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