Sorry this is a bit later than usual, everyone. I just picked up Yakuza: Dead Souls for my PS3 as well as a Playstation Vita, so I was a little bit occupied.
TNA Impact Wrestling immediately starts off with a brawl as Kenny King is beating up Zema Ion, and Bobby Roode & Austin Aries are trading blows around the ring. This was supposed to be a tag team match tonight and it looks like Earl Hebner may be trying to make that start officially, but is having trouble restoring order. Ion and Aries are now trading blows as Roode begins the attack on King. Aries climbs in the ring, mounts the top rope and takes Roode down with a double axe handle on the floor. Hebner finally gets things going as Aries rolls back into the ring, and this match is underway.
MATCH 1: World Champion Austin Aries and Kenny King vs. World X-Division Champion Zema Ion and Bobby Roode
Aries and Roode are starting off as the legal men. Roode immediately tags in Ion, who nails Aries with a forearm. Aries comes back with his own, and Ion hits a hotshot into a neckbreaker for 1. Aries hits a back suplex on Ion before tagging in King. They hit a double airpline spin and a double knife-edge chop for 2. King nails a bodyslam and a slingshot legdrop for 2. Aries tags back in, and they hit the old Miz/Morrison slingshot/elbow combo for 2. Aries nails a back elbow off the ropes and a jumping elbow drop gets another 2. King tags back in and hits several corner shots before clubbing Ion down with a shot to the back. He stomps Ion down in the adjacent corner. Ion finally starts to fight back, but it’s all for naught as King shoulders him in the midsection. Hard corner whip by King gets 2. Aries tags in. King hits a bodyslam, and Aries follows with a slingshot corkscrew splash for 2. King back in once again, and he comes in with a hard stomp and a snap suplex that he turns into some mounted punches for 2. Ion slips out of another suplex, but runs into an inverted atomic drop. He ducks a clothesline from Ion, which causes Roode to get nailed. Roode drags King to the floor and rams him back-first into the apron. Ion follows up with a somersault plancha to the floor. Roode gets in some cheap shots before throwing King back in, where Ion gets 2. Roode tags in for the first time and kicks King in the ribs before throwing him to the corner. King tries to fight out of the corner with kicks, but it’s no good. Roode lands a hard corner whip, and Roode is now working over King’s right leg with stomps. Suplex by Roode, followed by the Harley Race knee for 2. Roode knocks Aries off the apron and fakes a tag to Ion behind Hebner’s back. Ion with a snapmare into a rear chinlock before just stomping him in the face. Ion locks in a neck vice before raking the eyes. Ion throws King to the corner as we go to commercials.
WINNERS: Austin Aries and Kenny King. Wow. TNA started the show off with not only a good segment, but a decent match! What kind of bizarro world am I living in? Seriously though, if TNA can stick to booking like this and keep putting the focus back on good matches featuring talented people, more fans are likely to take them more seriously.
We get a recap for the Aces and Eights saga, which now has the added component of James Storm supposedly being the secret leader. Sting is in the back, and he’s planning on calling someone out and finding out the truth about what’s going on with these guys.
Sting heads into the Impact Zone. He says there’s a lot of questions with not enough answers, but there’s always someone with a scoop. He wants to hear things from the horse’s mouth, and that means he’s inviting James Storm to come to the ring. Storm heads out. Sting says he didn’t believe Bobby Roode when he made his accusations, but he has some footage that is very compelling. We see the footage, and it’s from last week when, during the attack that happened at the end of the Storm/Styles match, where the entire group avoided striking Storm. This leads into footage at the end of the night, when Storm hit the ring and the group left before he could touch any of them. Sting now wants Storm to convince everyone he has nothing to do with Aces and Eights. Storm says he’s gotten people all over asking him that same question. When he looks at the video, he doesn’t see things that way; he sees a bunch of cowards leaving the ring because they’re scared of him. Storm and Sting have known each other for a long time, and not once did Storm need someone to help him fight his battles. Win or lose, he’s always been the kind of guy who go home and hold his head up high. Nine months ago, he was jumped from behind by Kurt Angle. Did he cry about it? No. He picked himself up, dusted himself off and asked for seconds. And, not only did he beat Angle once or twice, but three times, and one of those times was for the World title, and he didn’t need a damn soul to do it.
Speaking of Kurt Angle, it’s his turn to join the party. Angle heard his name called. He’s been through a lot with Storm in the last year. He’s seen Storm at the top of the world and at the bottom. He doesn’t understand Storm’s motives. 2 weeks ago, Storm called him out for a BFG Series match, and Aces and Eights attacked him. Who benefits from that? Storm does. Angle then brings up the video that Sting just showed, pointing out the group never touched Storm on either occasion, with eight grown men running from him. It was actually five, but whatever. Angle then begs the guys to come to his match tonight, because it’s going to be an ass-kicking party. Sting loves the idea, and plans on being ringside himself. Angle then tells Storm he’ll make him tap out tonight.
In case seeing it the first time wasn’t painful enough, we’re reminded of the Claire Lynch/AJ Styles confrontation last week. This woman may be the worst thing to ever happen to TNA. And that says a lot.
We see Chris-Zarian talking in a locker room, talking about Styles’ “fleeing the country” to Australia for promotional work. Christopher Daniels then says they’re planning a party for Claire later tonight.
Mike Tenay announces that, at Hardcore Justice, there will be 4 stipulation matches at the PPV for the BFG Series, and each will be worth 20 points to the victor. So much for only singles matches this year. The first will be Styles, Angle, Daniels and Samoa Joe in a ladder match. The second will be Falls-Count-Anwhere, featuring Mr. Anderson, RVD, The Pope and Magnus. The 3rd match will be a Tables Match, and its participants will be Jeff Hardy, Storm, Bully Ray and Robbie E.
MATCH 2-Bound For Glory Series Match: Bully Ray (10th place, 14 points) vs. Robbie E (w/Robbie T; 12th place, 5 points)
Before the match, Ray calls out James Storm. He heard what he said a little earlier. He’s never trusted Storm. He’s been here six years and doesn’t trust him. Later on tonight, he’ll be ringside for the Storm/Angle match. Before the match starts, T attacks Ray from behind. The bell rings, and E lays in some punches before getting a 1-count. He piefaces Ray a couple times before stomping him down. Choke over the bottom rope with the knee before taunting Ray. Ray comes back with some hard slaps to the chest. He nails the Bully Cutter, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Bully Ray, who picks up 7 points, tying him with Magnus for 8th place at 21 points.
Madison Rayne is in the back with Earl Hebner, who gives her chocolates, a teddy bear and flowers. She says she loves the gifts, but just wants his affection. Gail Kim enters the fray and wants to know what’s going on. Rayne says Hebner is a professional and will call her match right down the middle. A 4-way Knockouts match is up next.
Miss Tessmacher makes her way out, apparently to do guest commentary for the next match.
MATCH 3-4-Way Match to determine a new #1 contender for the Knockouts Championship: Tara vs. Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James
All four women start brawling, with Tara and Kim pairing off one side. Kim throws Tara to the floor as James hits a hurricanrana and a clothesline on Rayne. Kim intercepts a James dropkick with a clothesline, and Rayne sends James to the floor with a baseball slide. Tara gets back in and tees off on Rayne, but is attacked from behind by Kim. Rayne botches both a facebreaker and a neckbreaker on Rayne before going for a pin but only getting 2. Tara fights back with slaps for both of the heels, and James drags Kim to the floor, where she slaps her in the face. Kim sends her back first into the steps as Tara hits the Spider’s Web in the ring for 2, broken up by Kim. Kim hits a short-arm clothesline on Tara, and Rayne goes for the pin, getting 2. Kim locks in a camel clutch as Rayne rakes the eyes. European uppercut by Kim, and Rayne hits a forearm. The heels take turns whipping each other into the corner at Tara, and Tara moves on the second round, sending Kim to the floor. Rayne lands a facebuster on Tara, but James breaks up the pin before repeatedly slamming Rayne’s head into the mat and hitting some punches. James hits a neckbreaker for 2, but Kim breaks up the fall, going for a pin on James herself, which gets 2. This match is a mess. European uppercut by Kim, followed by a botched backbreaker. Tara climbs back on the ring apron, hotshotting Kim in the process before hitting a slingshot somersault legdrop for 2. Bodyslam in the corner by Tara, and she goes up for the moonsault. Rayne crotches her and turns her around for some forearms to the chest. She mounts the middle rope, but James yanks her down and nails a clothesline. She throws Rayne to the corner as Kim mounts Tara’s corner for a top rope superplex, which connects. Tessy on commentary claims this only happens in the knockouts division, despite the fact that the top rope superplex has been around for probably 30 years and has almost exclusively been used by guys that entire time. Kim goes for the pin, but Rayne is distracting referee Earl Hebner. The heels then begin to argue. James gets back in the ring and sends Kim to the floor before hitting a pair of clotheslines and a forearm. She botches the hell out of a flapjack before mounting the top rope. Kim dumps her to the floor. Tara goes for the Widow’s Peak on Kim, which connects. Before she can go for the pin, Rayne blocks her and goes for the Rayne Drop. Tara reverses into a roll-up, and Hebner counts the 3. However, despite the fact that Rayne was pinned, he declares her the winner by pinfall.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: Madison Rayne. On the replay, Hebner clearly counts Rayne’s shoulders down as Tara’s shoulders are clearly up. You know, he’s been in the referee business for nearly 40 years. If he’s going to play the heel referee, he could at least be subtle about it and not make it so obvious. Has he been studying tapes of El Hijo del Tirantes or something?
Bobby Roode is telling AI that last week, he told everyone Storm was the leader of Aces and Eights, and everyone believes him. He then makes it clear he’ll be at ringside for the Storm/Angle match as well. Austin Aries enters and says that, if Roode will be out there, so will he.
We’re in Sting’s office now, and he’s talking to Brooke Hogan about her dad, wanting to know how Hulk is doing. She’s never seen her dad get beat up like he did a few weeks ago, completely helpless, and she’s never had to take care of him before. Sting doesn’t know who these guys are or who sent them, but he promises to get to the bottom of it. He also promised Hulk to watch over Brooke. However, she was hired to head up the Knockouts Division, and Sting needs to know if she can do it. She/he/it doesn’t know what’s going on, and she’s confused, but she’ll try to do her best. Some random guy enters the office and hands her a manila envelope. She opens it, and it’s a Dead Man’s Hand glued to a piece of paper. Brooke storms off.
Chavo Guerrero, Jr. makes his in-ring debut next.
The Knockouts Tag Team Champions, ODB and Eric Young, are in the parking area. ODB says they’re the “Knocked-Up Champs”, and Brooke’s been on her ass about defending the belts. They haven’t defended them in two months. Brooke also has a problem with Young being a man and being half of the tag champs. Young mentions something about his stupid fishing show. He takes his belt and says that, since the belts aren’t together, they can’t be made to defend them. He then runs off.
MATCH 4: Kid Kash (w/Gunner) vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/Hernandez)
Chavo has the “Jr.” listed on the screen graphic, but ring announcer Christy Hemme only refers to him as “Chavo Guerrero”, so that’s what I’m going with. Does anyone actually care about any of these four, especially Gunner and Kash? We see Hector Guerrero on Spanish commentary, as well as Chavo’s grandmother sitting in the audience. Kash charges in, and Chavo quickly counters into a snapmare. Kash headscissors him off before going into a side headlock. Shoulder off the ropes puts Chavo down. Chavo comes back with a forearm and an armdrag into an armbar. Kash forearms out of the hold, and Chavo counters with some European uppercuts. Kash elbows out of a waistlock and takes Chavo down with a clothesline. Mounted punches by Kash now. Chavo fires some shots off his own off, but runs right into a standing spinebuster. I just realized Kash is wearing his old WWE “Pitbulls” tights. Kash with a backbreaker for 2. He hits a bodyslam and mounts the middle rope. Spinning moonsault from the top gets blocked by Chavo’s knees, and now Chavo is laying in the forearms. Clothesline takes Kash down. Chavo with a headscissors off the ropes, followed by a dropkick for 2. Chavo goes to the apron and hits a tope con hilo. He goes for a suplex, but Gunner jumps on the apron, as does Hernandez. The distraction is enough for Kash to hit a punch and a kick. He goes for a brainbuster, but Chavo reverses into the 3 Amigos. Chavo goes up top, hits the frog splash, and gets the 3.
WINNER: Chavo Guerrero. You know, with as many years as Chavo spent around Eddie Guerrero, he could have learned how to do the frog splash correctly.
AI is in the back with Dixie Carter, wanting to know her thoughts on the Claire/AJ fiasco. Dixie says she’s been in their position herself. It’s way past the time for AJ to step up and set the record straight. This segues over to Chris-Zarian, who are on their way to the ring with gifts for Claire Lynch’s baby shower. BTW-did anyone else last week notice that “pregnant” Claire Lynch was smoking during the segment when she was pulling up to the building in her car? Nice consistency there, TNA. It goes really well with her smiling after declaring, “I’m an addict”.
Kurt Angle is in the locker room with Wes Brisco. Brisco says he’s hear to maybe get a chance to be in TNA, as his goal is to be a pro wrestler. He knows he can make it here, and would like Angle to put in a good word for him. Devon and Garett Bischoff enter and introduce themselves. Devon reminds Angle that they offered Hogan their services a couple weeks ago, and Hogan turned him down, resulting in Hogan getting jumped. Devon says this needs to stop, and Angle needs to help them put a stop to this. Garett says Aces and Eights are unpredictable, and tonight, the attacks aren’t happening again. Devon and Garett agree to be ringside for the main event and make sure the group doesn’t interfere.
Back in the ring, Chris-Zarian are here, with a party set up. Kaz says AJ isn’t here. He’s in Australia promoting Impact Wrestling and impregnating someone. As always, when AJ drops the ball, they pick it up. They then invite Claire Lynch into the ring, who just happens to be sitting in the front row. Kaz says they’d like to do what AJ and his redneck family should be doing, and that’s give her a baby shower. Daniels calls her the “person of honor” before having her take a seat. He says he has two children, and he knows being pregnant is one of the most important times in a woman’s life, and she deserves to be surrounded by people who love her and care about her. AJ is treating her like crap, and he & Kaz can’t stand it. Everyone is here for her tonight, and there are some gifts on the table for her and the baby. Kaz opens one of them, and it’s a bunch of diapers. Claire opens one, and it’s a box of TNA merchandise featuring AJ, Daniels and Kaz. Daniels says there’s one gift that they’re really proud of. Kaz opens the box, and there’s a plastic AJ baby doll inside. Kaz hands it to her, and she’s smiling. She then stares at the camera and tells AJ the baby is coming, and she needs him to do the right thing for their baby. DOTHERIGHTTHINGAJFOROURBABYDOTHERIGHTHINGAJ!
Angle/Storm is next.
Joseph Abyss is in the back, talking on the phone. He hangs up to talk to Jason Hervey. He needs to get back to business, and his legal firm is now handling some TNA careers. Abyss spots Sting, and asks if Sting has ever thought about legal representation. Sting says he’s covered, but he doesn’t mind that Abyss is covering a couple of the wrestlers here. Sting then asks about Joe’s “textbook” Black Hole Slam, before asking if Joe is going to kayfabe him. Joe then takes a cellphone picture with him, saying he’s going to tweet it. Weird segment, and not in a good way.
Next week, Pope vs. RVD, Styles vs. Angle, and Ray vs. Storm in BFG Series matches.
MATCH 5-Bound For Glory Series Match: James Storm (2nd place, 45 points) vs. Kurt Angle (3rd place, 41 points)
So far, none of the guys who said they’d be ringside are here. Wes Brisco, on the other hand, IS out here. Storm backs Angle into a corner with a tie-up, giving him a clean break. Storm with an arm wringer into a hammerlock into a side headlock. Shoulder off the ropes, sending Angle to the corner. Another tie-up, with Angle getting the side headlock and the shoulder off the ropes this time. Angle goes into a waistlock, and Storm reverses. Angle breaks it with an arm wringer, which Storm counters into a hammerlock. Angle snapmares out, and Storm once again counters with a hammerlock. Same sequence again as Sting makes his way to ringside. Angle shoulders Storm off the ropes. Criss-cross ends with a hip toss by Storm, followed by an armdrag into an armbar. Garett Bischoff and Devon now make their way out. Storm with a facebreaker off the ropes. Thesz Press follows, as does a clothesline. Angle comes back with his own clothesline, blocks the Last Call and begins stomping Storm down in the corner. Storm throws Angle to the corner and fires off some rights. Storm gets the boot up off a corner charge, but gets caught in an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Bully Ray now comes to ringside through the crowd, staring Devon down in the process. Angle stomps away at Storm’s head as we go to commercials.
I really don’t get why TNA comes back from commercials for all of about 5 seconds before going to commercials again. Is there a point to that?
WINNER: James Storm, who picks up 7 points and puts him back into first place with 52, knocking Samoa Joe from the top spot. The wrestlers at ringside continue looking around for Aces and Eights as referee Brian Hebner helps Storm to his feet. Angle congratulates Storm after the match. Storm grabs a microphone and tells the Aces and Eights the gang is all here, so why don’t they bring their asses out? No one shows up, so Storm continues to taunt them. Roode grabs a microphone and says this is a little odd. Aces and Eights aren’t here because Storm didn’t need them. He beat Angle by himself tonight. Who is he trying to kid? He told everyone, but no one wants to listen to him. Storm is guilty, and the whole world knows it. Bully Ray enters the ring and begins brawling with Storm. Roode joins them, and is cut off by Aries. Angle, Sting, Garett and Devon just look on.
End of show.
That’s how they end the show? Talk about anticlimactic.
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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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