This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling opens with the members of Bad Influence hanging out in the back. Kazarian is complaining that the “August 1st guy” won’t answer his DMs on Twitter. Kaz makes some joke about the “July warning”, and then Christopher Daniels says he knows someone who can find out.
We see Taz trying to enter the building, when two Atlus Security guys tell him he’s not allowed in the building, per the orders of Hulk Hogan. Taz throws a tantrum, then says both of these guys will be fired as a result of not letting him in the building.
Tonight’s episode is being broadcast from Wichita Falls, TX. In the BFG Series, we’ll see AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries, plus Chris Sabin vs. Manik in a “Champion vs. Champion” match.
Austin Aries comes out, and he says there’s a lot of things going on in TNA, and they’re all focused on the World title. We’re in the midst of the BFG Series right now. He congratulates Chris Sabin on winning the World title, but with that congratulations comes a warning. You are the hunted, and it’s fitting that the man who handed over the X-Division title now has an “X” on the back. Sabin, you’re looking at the man who will win the BFG Series and become the next World Champion. Everyone is in for a treat. The fans wanted it, and they got it; tonight, for the first time on SpikeTV, Austin Aries faces AJ Styles. This is a match everyone has been dreaming about since Aries came back to the company, and that means everyone. Everybody wants to see Aries/Styles, and tonight, we get it. They call it “The Phenomenal One” vs. “The Common Denominator of Greatness”. They are two of the greatest that have ever stepped inside the ring: The man who put TNA on his back for a decade vs. the man who will put TNA on his back for the next decade. If there’s anyone who has any doubts, he will erase those doubts tonight.
Bobby Roode interrupts the promo. He says let’s stop talking about dreams and start talking about nightmares. He’s been living one since Destination X last year when Aries beat him for the World title. Roode has had a crap year, and ever since that night, everyone including himself has forgotten what he is capable of in the ring. He was the longest-reigning World Champion in the history of TNA. He became the leader of “The Selfish Generation”. Dammit, he is the It Factor of professional Wrestling. Starting tonight, the game is going to change. Bobby Roode is going to go back to what brought him to the dance the first time. He’s going to do the things that made him champion the first time around. He only cares about one thing now, and that’s getting back the World title. Starting tonight, he once again proves it pays to be Roode. Aries agrees with Roode on everything. He hopes Roode makes it to the finals of the BFG Series, so he can beat Roode once again. Good luck. Aries leaves the ring as Hernandez makes his way out for the opening match.
MATCH 1-BFG Series: Bobby Roode vs. Hernandez
Apparently, fans voted for this match. Anyway, Roode attacks Hernandez on the ramp before the match officially starts and throws him off. Commercials.
Back from the break, Roode is chopping Hernandez in the corner. He hits a back elbow off the ropes, then goes for the cover for 1. Hernandez reverses an Irish whip and hits a standing avalanche. Roode hits a back elbow out of the corner, but gets a shot to the gut while coming off the middle rope. Hernandez goes for an over-the-shoulder backbreaker, but Roode escapes and hits a spinebuster for 2. Roode throws Hernandez to the floor, then heads outside near the announce desk. He picks Hernandez up and whips him shoulder-first into the stairs before rolling him back in the ring for 2. Roode rakes Hernandez across the back, then chops him across the chest in the corner. Hernandez gets corner-whipped, and Roode follows up with a corner clothesline. He runs into a boot, and Hernandez backflips to the top rope. Roode cuts him off and goes for a superplex, but Hernandez shoves him off before missing a top rope splash. Roode quickly applies the Bowflex, but Hernandez powers out and counters into a back suplex. Hernandez hits a clothesline and a Polish Hammer before Roode comes back with a chop. Hernandez recovers and hits a Pounce. He goes outside for Air Mexico and connects before calling for the Border Toss. Roode escapes and bumps into the ref. The bump is enough for Roode to hit a low blow and roll up Hernandez with a handful of tights, but he still only gets 2. Roode rolls to the floor and grabs a folding chair from outside, throwing it into the ring. He follows up with two more, and the referee begins throwing them back out. Roode goes outside and pulls a beer bottle out from under the ring while the ref’s back is turned, and smashes it over Hernandez’s head to get the 3.
WINNER: Bobby Roode, who picks up 7 points and finally gets on the board.
AI stops the Main Event Mafia in the back. Sting says we’ll have to wait and see what happens with “August 1”, and Angle then says they have an offer for Aces and Eights that they can’t refuse.
Here is the updated BFG Series leaderboard: 1-Magnus (49); 2-Samoa Joe (26); 3-AJ Styles (22); 4-Christopher Daniels and Mr. Anderson (tie, 21); 6-Jeff Hardy (17); 7-Austin Aries (14); 8-Hernandez and Bobby Roode (tie, 7); 10-Kazarian and Jay Bradley (tie, 0); 10-Joseph Park (-10).
ODB is warming up with Eric Young in the back, excited that she’s getting back in the ring and doesn’t have to count 3 for anyone anymore. EY says he can’t be out there tonight because he’s dealing with Joseph Park. He opens the door next to him to see Park warming up. He says he’s been crunching the numbers, and when Park bleeds, he loses control, and then loses matches. EY has the answer, and it’s something inside one of those reusable lunch bags.
Chris Sabin approaches Manik in the back, who has his mask off and his back turned so we can’t see his face even though we’ve already seen it several times. Sabin congratulates him on winning the X-Division title last week. Manik says he worked hard as TJ Perkins for 15 years and accomplished nothing. Manik has been a rebirth for him, and it brought him the X-Division title. Sabin says they’re not the biggest, but they have the most heart, and that’s why he wants Manik one-on-one and wants him to bring his A-game into their match.
A stretched white Hummer pulls up to the building, containing Tito Ortiz. I mean the “mystery man”.
MATCH 2-BFG Series: Jay Bradley vs. Joseph Park (w/Eric Young)
Bradley did an interview earlier. People see a 0 next to his name. After a few Boomsticks, the points will start adding up really quick. EY opens the lunch bag and hands Park a set of boxing headgear, which Park puts on. Bradley attacks him from behind , then tries to slam his head into the turnbuckle, which does no good. Bradley instead punches him in the stomach and elbows him in the back of the head before trying to remove the headgear. Park comes back with a hiptoss before getting hit with a back elbow and a jumping kneedrop for 2. Bradley goes back to the headgear once more, with no luck. He drops some elbows to the back of the head before missing a running boot in the corner. Park rolls him up for 2, and Bradley then hits the boot on the second try. He drops a series of elbows for 2, then pie-faces Park before going after the headgear once more. Park thumbs him in the eye, but Bradley recovers and clubs Park down before hitting another jumping kneedrop for 2. Park escapes a side headlock and knocks Bradley down a couple of times before hitting a bodyslam. He calls for the Closing Argument, but Bradley yanks him down by the headgear strap. Park trips Bradley and applies a Boston crab, but Bradley gets a rope break. As Park is arguing with the ref, Bradley boots him out of the corner and hits a sloppy back suplex into a backbreaker. He manages to get the headgear off this time and throws it at EY. Bradley calls for the Boomstick, but runs into a Samoan drop for 3.
WINNER: Joseph Park, who picks up 7 points. However, he’s still at -3, which keeps him in last place.
We see the MEM sitting around a table in an office. Kurt Angle asks if anyone knows anything about the August 1st warning. No one does. Sting moves on and celebrates Bully Ray no longer being champion. Second, there might be a sacrifice that needs to happen, which means they might have to take a risk. Everyone is in, so they’re good to go. Angle says they will now make A and E an offer they can’t refuse. Quinton Jackson says he’s here to fight for whatever reason. Oh, yeah. Tito Ortiz.
MATCH 3-Champion vs. Champion: World X-Division Champion Manik vs. World Champion Chris Sabin (non-title)
Sabin applies an arm wringer, and Manik (“Kinam” spelled backwards) counters into his own. Sabin counters back, then applies a hammerlock. Manik escapes before getting shouldered down to the mat for 2. Manik hits a monkey flip, and Sabin does the same for 2. Manik recovers and hits a sunset flip for 2. Sabin rolls through and misses a pair of kicks. Manik also misses one before going for a headscissors. Sabin cartwheels out and we get a stalemate. Commercials.
Back from the break, Manik hits an elevated snapmare and a shoulder to the gut before hitting a satellite fujiwara armbar. He turns it into a la magistral for 2 before doing an Ultimo Dragon headstand in the corner. Sabin grabs the feet and tosses him to the outside. Manik lands on his feet, but gets hit with a step-up enziguri that knocks him to the floor. Sabin goes outside, picks Manik up in a fireman’s carry, and drops him face-first on the apron before rolling him back in the ring for 2. In the corner, Sabin applies a foot choke, then snaps off a float-over suplex for 2 before applying a rear chinlock and turning it into a modified surfboard. Sabin breaks the hold and hits a kick to the spine, then applies an armbar before going back to the surfboard. Manik breaks the hold with a flipping dropkick and then hits a hurricanrana, sending Sabin into the ropes. Manik springboards off the middle rope into an inside-out legdrop. He follows up with a springboard dropkick for 2, then goes for his finisher. Sabin counters into a crucifix for 2 before getting hit with a sit-out powerbomb for 2. Manik goes up top, but Sabin cuts him off and hits a chop to the chest. Sabin climbs to the middle rope, hits a couple forearms and lands a delayed vertical suplex for 2. Sabin picks Manik up, and now they trade forearm shots. Manik ducks a chop, hits series of punches and a jumping side kick before Sabin hits a boot off the ropes. Manik escapes Hail Sabin and goes for his finisher once more, and Sabin counters into a victory roll for 2. Sabin hits an aces crusher and a thrust kick to the face before connecting with Hail Sabin for 3.
WINNER: Chris Sabin. As we’re watching replays of the match, Bully Ray attacks Sabin in the ring. He takes his wallet chain off, yells at Sabin and kicks him in the ribs. Manik tries to step in, and Ray takes him out. Sabin gets up, hits some forearms and chops on Ray before knocking him out of the ring with an enziguri.
We get another look at the white Hummer. Thrilling footage, I assure you. The camera pans over to Taz, who complains about not being let into the building. He’s now going to expose August 1. He opens the back door of the Hummer and mocks what he sees. The camera goes into the Hummer, and all we see is a laptop playing the “#August1Warning” video.
Next week, Christopher Daniels takes on Kazarian in a BFG Series match. This cuts over to AI asking Bad Influence about that match. Daniels says TNA has been against them since day one. Kaz calls it bad management, and Daniels says it puts them in a bad position. He points out that Kaz has no points yet, and Kaz gets irritated. Daniels says he won’t just give the points up, and Kaz says he’ll take the points before dumping Daniels’ appletini on the ground.
MATCH 4: Gail Kim vs. ODB
Kim goes chest-to-chest with ODB, then pie-faces her. ODB tackles Kim and hits some mounted punches as Kim rolls to the apron. ODB goes outside, climbs up to the ramp, then charges at Kim, who is against the ropes. ODB picks her up for a running powerslam, but Kim escapes and shoves her into the ropes. ODB sidesteps a kick and hits some forearms to the chest before getting back in the ring for a 2-count. Kim reverses a corner whip, but ODB blocks it and boots her in the stomach before mounting the middle rope. Kim cuts her off and shoves her to the mat before blowing a kiss to the crowd. She climbs back down and kicks ODB in the ribs before foot-choking her in the opposite corner. Kim hits some forearms and a European uppercut before landing a running seated dropkick to the chest for 2. Kim knee-chokes ODB over the bottom rope, and ODB comes back with some shots to the gut. Kim shakes them off and hits a running clothesline for 2 before pulling ODB up by the hair and throwing her to the corner, where she hits the body attack through the ropes. From the apron, Kim hair whips ODB down and gets back in the ring for a pair of 2-counts. Kim hits a few more forearms, but ODB ducks a clothesline and hits a forearm of her own. Kim comes back with a boot to the chest, but ODB shakes it off and hits some forearms. She boots Kim off the ropes, lands a clothesline, a running knee and a shoulderblock before hitting a fall-away slam. ODB kips up and calls for the running powerslam, which connects for 2. Kim stumbles to the corner, where she blocks a charge, ODB counters and shoves her to the floor, and that’s where Kim goes for the figure-4 around the ring post. ODB boots her away, so Kim tries to drag her to the floor. ODB uses her leg strength to whip Kim into the ring post while still halfway inside the ring. ODB goes outside, where Kim suckers her into the steps. Kim assaults ODB on the outside with punches when the bell rings.
WINNER: Double count-out. The referee pulls Kim off of ODB, and that’s when ODB attacks Kim. The ref pulls her ODB off
AJ Styles is in the back, saying that his match with Austin Aries tonight being a “dream match” is BS. His “dream match” with Jeff Hardy was BS, too. He’s hungry, and if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The BFG Series is about the title and the money that comes with it. There’s no place for dreams, just like heroes. Tonight, he becomes Austin Aries’ nightmare. Thanks for that rambling promo, AJ.
Another “#August1Warning” video for not Tito Ortiz.
A and E are in the back somewhere, with Bully Ray saying MEM have seen The Godfather too many times. Right now, he’s obsessed with destroying Chris Sabin at Hardcore Justice and getting his title back. He puts Mr. Anderson in charge of dealing with the MEM. Brooke Hogan enters the area and says she’s been looking for Ray. She asks about his rematch with Sabin and signing the contract next week. She’s heard things about the contract that might not be in his favor, and he might not want to be on her bad list. She then makes some stupid remark about being his ex-wife. Oh, god. They’re going to put a divorce clause as a stipulation in the title match. Sonofabitch…
Next week, Mr. Anderson will face Magnus in a BFG Series match, in addition to Kaz/Daniels.
MATCH 5-BFG Series: Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles
Lock-up to start the match, and the two jockey for position. AJ eventually gets Aries into the corner, giving a clean break in the process. Another lock-up, and AJ turns it into a headlock. He avoids a back body drop off the ropes and hits a swinging arm drag before going back to the side headlock. AJ avoids a leapfrog and shoves Aries, knocking him outside and onto the ramp. Aries comes back into the ring and goes for another lock-up. AJ applies an arm wringer, and Aries counters into a fireman’s carry. Aries holds onto the arm and applies an armbar, which AJ counters into a headscissors. Aries kips out, misses a dropkick, and AJ goes for the Calf Killer. Aries escapes and goes for the Last Chancery, and AJ escapes as well. Aries applies a side headlock now, and AJ counters into a waistlock. Aries counters and rolls AJ up for 1 before sliding to the floor. AJ goes for a baseball slide, but Aries moves, slams AJ into the apron, then comes off the top with an elbow to the head. Back in the ring, Aries goes up once more, and AJ knocks him to the floor with a dropkick. AJ hits a slingshot cross-body as we go to commercials.
WINNER: Austin Aries, who picks up 7 points and goes into a 3-way tie with Mr. Anderson and Christopher Daniels for 4th place. Good match, but talk about an anticlimactic ending.
The Main Event Mafia make their way out to the ring. Sting says he put the MEM back together for 2 reasons. The first was to take the World title from Bully Ray, and the second was to eliminate A and E. They haven’t succeeded at the second one yet, but they will, and they’re going to start by making an offer to A and E that the group can’t refuse. Before Kurt Angle can announce that offer, A and E come out, led by Mr. Anderson. Anderson says the MEM failed last time because Angle ended up in the back of a pickup truck. The MEM cheats, and that’s the only reason why Chris Sabin is the new World Champion. A and E can fight dirty, too, and they’re not backing down. Angle tells him there will be serious consequences for not backing down. Angle offers a 5 on 5 match between the two at Hardcore Justice. In that match, whoever gets pinned will have to leave TNA for good. Samoa Joe tells them this isn’t a negotiation, which leads to a brawl between the two groups. The MEM clear the ring, and Anderson accepts the challenge on behalf of A and E.
The lights go out and some generic music plays as, shock of shocks, Tito Ortiz comes out to almost no reaction whatsoever. He then just stands there for the next 2 or 3 minutes with a stupid look on his face, saying nothing.
End of show.
Even though I knew that Dixie’s “big surprise” would be disappointing and Tito Ortiz, she exceeded my expectations and made it even more disappointing by delivering a segment that fell completely flat in every way possible with absolutely no crowd reaction.
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:
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