Before I get into tonight’s TNA Impact Wrestling recap, I’d like to congratulate Austin Aries on winning the World Heavyweight Championship this past Sunday at Destination X. While I am a big fan of Bobby Roode and have absolutely no quarrel with him winning the title back down the road (which seems inevitable), there are very few guys in TNA more deserving than Aries. Even if he only gets the belt for a few weeks or so, he has earned the right to wear that belt, and I couldn’t be happier for him. Kudos to you, Aries. I hope you milk this title reign for all it’s worth, because you deserve it.
We start the show with a brief recap of the Bound For Glory series thus far, including Jeff Hardy giving James Storm his first loss in the series. We also see the seemingly never-ending saga between Bully Ray and Joseph Park, which is supposed to culminate (again) tonight. Apparently, that match is going to open the show.
MATCH 1-No Holds Barred Match: Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park
We’re reminded that “Abyss” can’t interfere in this match due to a restraining order from Ray. I thought I just saw Damien Steele in the front row. Ray starts the match by daring Park to hit him. Park takes a swing, but misses. He does it again several times, with the same results. Ray kicks him in the gut and begins shoving him in the corner. Ray then hocks a loogie in Park’s face. Park slaps him, but Ray forearms him in the back of the head as he’s hopping around the ring like a dork. Ray takes out his cellphone and begins tweeting. I wish I was making that up. Ray stomps Park before going out to the floor and grabbing a trashcan full of stuff, including another trashcan. Ray grabs a folding chair, but Park takes him down with a double-leg and begins throwing some wild punches. He grabs the chair for himself as Ray backs into the corner. Park hesitates, and Ray punches him in the side of the head. Ray grabs a DETOUR sign and cracks Park across the back with it. He then nails him in the shoulder with a trashcan lid and a forearm to the back of the neck. He drapes Park across the lid and goes for a splash, but Park rolls out of the way before Warrioring up on the ropes. He lands several punches and a pair of shoulderblocks, but runs right into a big boot, putting Ray back in control. Ray goes to the floor again and grabs a black bag, which you can tell is full of thumbtacks because they’re poking out the sides. Ray dumps them out near one of the corners before calling for a microphone. Christy Hemme gives him one, and Ray tells Park he’s going to do to him what he should have done to his brother a long time ago. Ray then does the “catch a loogie” bit, which is just disgusting, before going for a kendo stick. Park nails him in the junk with a cheese grater before cracking him over the head with the stick for 2. Ray comes back with a back elbow and a clothesline, absolutely no-selling for Park. Ray goes grabs Park, and Park nails him with a chokeslam on the tacks for 2. Ray grabs his chain wallet as Park grabs a trashcan. Park goes for the shot, but Ray decks him with the chain and gets the 3.
We see Sting in the back, holding onto some playing cards that form a Dead Man’s Hand. Sting rips them up before telling the camera, “I get it.”
Back from the break, we see Bully Ray in the pack, pulling tacks out of his boots. He asks AI who that was that he just faced in the ring. He beat Joseph Park, but who was that? Ray then walks away.
We see the BFG leader board, and Samoa Joe is in 1st place with 37 points, with Storm trailing behind him with 36.
MATCH 2-Bound For Glory Series Match: Samoa Joe vs. Rob Van Dam
At least this year, the BFG series is less of a convoluted mess with the same guys fighting each other over and over, since each guy can only face each other guy once. I lost count of how many times I had to see Gunner/Styles last year. RVD is trailing way behind here with only 7 points, so I’m not expecting a win for the pothead. RVD drop toeholds Joe into the turnbuckles before dropkicking him in the back. He then tries a surfboard, but Joe gets a clean break on the ropes. Tie-up backs RVD into the corner, and RVD pushes off. Joe headbutts him, then they trade forearms. RVD ducks a corner clothesline and nails a roundhouse, but Joe levels him with a running clothesline, sending RVD to the floor. RVD comes back in with some kicks, and Joe counters one of them with a dragon screw. They trade some kicks, and Joe locks in a rolling a heel hook. RVD gets the clean break by crawling to the ropes. Joe continues to work on RVD’s left leg before picking him up. RVD hits a couple punches, but Joe drops him with a powerslam before locking in a jujigatame. RVD gets a rope break yet again. Joe drops RVD with a knee lift and RVD counters with a kick to the head, a dropkick to the let and a low spinning heel kick. He follows up with a Rolling Thunder across the back for 2. Joe gets to the corner, and RVD tries a monkey flip. Joe catches him and hits a running over-the-shoulder rib breaker. Joe locks in a version of the Nagata Lock before letting go and going for a figure-4. RVD blocks the hold with an inside cradle and gets the 3.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam, who gets 7 points. Huh. Didn’t see that coming. RVD now ties for 5th place with Magnus at 14 points.
We see footage today from Claire showing up at the Impact Zone. AI wants to know what she’s doing here and if she’s been talking to anyone. She says she has stuff to say, but now’s not the right time. Well, that was pointless.
Chris-Zarian make their way out, and Christopher Daniels is bandaged up on the head as a result of the Last Man Standing Match at Destination X. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like their match was delightfully brutal, not that I would expect any less from these two. Kaz congratulates Styles on a hard-fought victory this past Sunday. AJ, you think you’ve probably put an end to this whole thing now, but AJ, you’ve only heard one verse. We haven’t even gotten to the chorus. This is just the beginning. Daniels pretends the crowd is booing Styles. He’s come to understand that Styles will keep the truth hidden from us. Because of this, he’d like to bring Claire Lynch out here to answer some questions. No. Please don’t do this, Chris. Claire makes her wy out, and considering her pregnant belly seems to be a different shape (and in a different location) this week, I get the feeling she’s wearing a fat suit. Daniels talks about the thing with her and AJ, and mistakes can be made, and accidents can happen. Before she has a chance to “act”, Styles makes his way out. He steps between Claire and the World Tag Team Champions. Styles is bandaged up as well. He’s surprised Daniels is able to stand and speak after what happened on Sunday. As far as he’s concerned, this story was over weeks ago. Yeah, let’s go with that. Daniels says that there’s a part Styles doesn’t know. He’s discussed things with Claire, and they agree that addicts need to be come clean. Daniels says she knows the truth, and it needs to be let out. Claire says she does know the truth and she needs to get the truth out. She says Daniels is right, and that Styles is the father of her baby. Styles acts confused, saying he doesn’t remember the night she’s talking about as we go to commercials. I HATE THIS ANGLE.
Back from the break, we see Claire tell the world Styles is the father of her baby yet again. AI is following Styles out of the building, pestering him with questions. Styles screams at him before storming out of the building.
Video package for Mr. Anderson/Kurt Angle. They are facing off in a BFG Series Match later tonight.
Now, we get a video package from Destination X and Zema Ion winning the vacant World X-Division title and continuing a very tasteless feud with Jesse Sorensen, who is still recovering from neck surgery. I have a few things to say about Zema Ion, but I’m saving those for another column for CCB.
We then see Dakota Darsow talking about how Jesse Sorensen is one of his friends, and how Zema Ion dedicating his title win to Jesse Sorensen, which pissed him off.
MATCH 2: Dakota Darsow vs. World X-Division Zema Ion (non-title)
Man, Darsow has some nasty-ass scars all over his chest. Darsow starts the match by decking Ion, then whips him out of the corner before nailing a back elbow. Darsow lands numerous shots in the corner, beating Ion down. Corner whip and avalanche for Darsow, followed by a clothesline that sends Ion to the floor. Ion tries to leave the match, but Darsow cuts him off with a punch before screaming in his face. Ion pushes him away and climbs in the ring, where he nails Darsow with a knee lift and a forearm. Darsow counters with a spear through the ropes. Interesting spot there. Some punches send Ion back to the floor. As Darsow tries to pull him back in, Ion hotshots him and hits a modified tornado DDT. Ion then nails Darsow with a Gory Bomb for the 3.
WINNER: Zema Ion. After the match, Ion locks Darsow in a modified armbar and yanks back. He then gets a mic and says that if that crippled jackass Jesse Sorensen doesn’t want to see anymore of his friends get hurt, he better let them know Ion is “not just effin’ pretty, but pretty effin’ dangerous.” I guess they’re pushing Ion as a guy who injures wrestlers now. Makes sense, since that’s what he really does. Maybe they can eventually team him with Flip Cassanova and name them “Cripple Fight” or something.
The new World Champion Austin Aries makes his way out. You could say Aries has had an okay. He woke up today and thought, “It’s a great day to be great, and it’s a great day to be the new World Heavyweight Champion.” Now, he’s supposed to come out here and talk about what a great achievement this is for him, and it is. He proved everybody wrong, that nothing’s impossible. But this wasn’t just a great moment for him or the company; this was a great moment for the industry. Everyone knows wrestling runs in cycles. There are down periods and “boom” periods. For the last year, there’s been a lot of talk about TNA, and TNA fans feel wrestling is ready for the next “boom” period. Aries is the man to lead that period. After Destination X, he got calls and texts congratulating him from athletes, celebrities, and wrestlers from other promotions congratulating him. People have always asked him how important are championships, and he’s always said they’re only as important as the people holding them. What that means is that the TNA World Championship is now the most important title in the business, because he’s the greatest man in the world.
Bobby Roode makes his way out, staring daggers through Aries. Aries wants to know what he’s doing, but Roode just continues to stare. He eventually climbs into the ring, staring at Aries and the belt. He grabs a mic and just begins to seethe. He starts to talk, but can’t get his words out. He finally says “All of this…” before screaming into the microphone. Roode rips off his jacket and begins pacing in the ring. He screams “You!” at Aries repeatedly before going back to the pacing and incoherent screaming. Roode then babbles incoherently before screaming some more. Aries tells him to spit it out. Roode finally spits the one word out: “Fluke”. Roode then drops the microphone and leaves in a huff. Aries says he has three words for Roode: “New World Champ.”
We see Sting and Hulk Hogan in Hogan’s office. Sting said he’s been training and is at 150%. He tells Hogan it’s time to go old school before Devon and Garett Bischoff walk in. Devon says that, because Hogan gave him a chance to be TV Champion, he owes him one. As a result, if they want the support, Hogan and Sting have Garett and Devon watching their backs. Hogan says that’s great, but they’ve got this. Devon and Garett walk off in a huff.
I love the girl talking about how her favorite division is the Knockouts Division because the Knockouts are allowed to wrestle, and while she’s saying this, we see footage of Velvet Sky dry-humping the ropes. Yep. That’s wrestling, all right.
Another video package for Anderson/Angle, this time from Angle’s perspective. He calls Anderson a “great technician”, which makes me nearly pee my pants in laughter.
Last week, we found out Madison Rayne’s crush is referee Earl Hebner, because we needed another storyline involving a referee this year. We then see a video of Rayne talking about how hot Hebner is, and how they’re perfect for each other.
Brooke Hogan now makes her way out for color dysentery, looking worse with every week that passes. To that guy who told Hulk Hogan he went “balls deep” on her on Twitter, I just have one question: Why would you want to?
MATCH 3-Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim vs. Champion Miss Tessmacher
Tessy sidesteps an attack from behind and lays in some forearms and boots before dropping Kim with a clothesline. A weak clothesline sends Kim to the corner, where Tessy kicks her a few times and sends her back to the corner again with a Dropsh*t and a hurricantrana. Kim hotshots the arm of Tessy as Tessy tries to bring her back in the ring before putting her in a hammerlock and sending her into the turnbuckles. Kim is working over the left arm now. Tessy fights back with punches, but Kim shoulders her back down off the ropes. Kim drops her with a hammerlock back suplex and an over-the-knee armbreaker for 2. Legdrop to the arm, and Kim holds on with her knees, applying more pressure. Kim then locks her in a version of the Cattle Mutilation, sending a shout-out to her former on-screen boyfriend Daniel Bryan. Tessy reverses the hold into a pin attempt, but only gets 2. Kim tries to send her into the corner again, but Tessy reverses and nails some punches, followed by a pair of clotheslines and a running forearm. Tessy hits a Shout-Out from the corner then lands Tessticular Cancer, but can’t capitalize on the pin. She eventually gets there, but Kim breaks it at 2 by grabbing the ropes. Kim suckers her into the corner and gets a roll-up with a handful of tights, but it’s only good for 2. She sets Tessy up on the top turnbuckle and follows suit, going for Eat Defeat off the middle rope. Tessy holds on, sending Kim to the mat. She follows up with the worst middle rope elbow this side of Ashley Massaro for the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Miss Tessmacher. On the replay, we see that Gail actually had a shoulder up during the pin, which goes unnoticed by Gilligan and The Professor.
We see the footage of Claire and AJ Styles again from earlier tonight. We then see AI cornering her in the back. He asks her for proof that it’s Styles’ baby, and she just shows him her stomach and says that this is proof. Apparently, there’s more, and she’ll tell everyone when the time is right. For all the right strides TNA is making right now, this one angle is causing them to take two steps back.
Magnus is in the back, and he’s ready for Open Fight Night next week. He talks about the BFG Series, and how last month, he challenged Styles and picked up 7 points. He’s got James Storm on Saturday in another BFG Series Match. Storm is distracted right now, and Magnus is going to capitalize. He’s undefeated in the Series right now, and on Saturday, he’s picking up another 7 points.
MATCH 4-Bound For Glory Series Match: Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle
You know, if I went the rest of my life without hearing Anderson speak again, it still wouldn’t be long enough. Notice how, despite the fact that every wrestler in this series has to face every other wrestler once, Bully Ray, Christopher Daniels, D’Angelo Dinero, AJ Styles and Robbie E have had no televised BFG Series matches or TV segments related to the series since the first couple at the beginning? Why even bother having them in the series if they’ve all basically been booked as having no chance whatsoever or are distracted with other angles? Anderson backs Angle into the corner with a tie-up, and we get a clean break. Another tie-up, and Angle turns it into a hip throw/side headlock combo. Shoulder off the ropes by Angle. Anderson comes back with a hip toss and an armdrag into an armbar. Angle gets back to his feet and backs Anderson into the corner, where he nails him with some punches and kicks. Angle gets in a foot choke. Wait, I thought he was a face now? Anderson comes back with his own punches, followed by a clothesline out of the corner and a dropkick for 2. Angle catches an overhead belly-to-belly suplex off the ropes, and both men are now down. Angle stomps Anderson in the face as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, we see Angle is still in control. He stomps Anderson as…we go to commercials? Already? We just got back from them!
Back from yet another commercial, Anderson fights out of a side headlock and lands a back suplex. Anderson lands a clothesline, a back elbow, another clothesline, a boot and a swinging neckbreaker. He sets up for the Mic Check, but Angle fights off, ducks a clothesline and hits the Dead Guy Suplexes. Angle signals for the Angle Slam, but Anderson slides out and hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam for 3. Anderson once again goes for the Mic Check, but Angle trips him down and puts on the ankle lock. Anderson kicks him off and charges, but Angle counters with the Angle Slam for 2. Angle goes for the ankle lock again and gets it on all the way this time. Anderson is screaming, but hasn’t tapped. He starts to, but reaches for the ropes instead. Angle drags him further back, and Anderson is able to roll through to break the hold. Anderson hits the Mic Check, but only gets 2. Anderson looks for it again, but Angle slides out and hits the Angle Slam for 3.
WINNER: Kurt Angle, who picks up 7 points. Angle’s mouth is busted open, and he’s spitting up blood. Perhaps he should go back to wearing the mouth guard? Angle moves to 3rd place at 27 points, while Anderson is in 7th with 9.
Back in Hogan’s office, Sting is swinging his bat while Hogan is taping up his fists. Bobby Roode enters the office and says that he and Hogan need to talk.
Wow. I just heard “Where Eagles Dare” by the Misfits on a commercial for booze. Misfits are my favorite band, but you don’t hear their music in commercials, well, ever.
Back from the break, Hogan has sent Sting out of his office. Roode is still there, demanding a rematch. Hogan says the match will happen at Hardcore Justice. Roode says that isn’t good enough. He wants Aries sooner, and wants to prove Aries can’t do it again. Hogan suggests Roode calling Aries out next week at Open Fight Night…in a non-title match? Okay. Roode agrees, so we’ve got our main event next week.
We see the graphic about OFN next week but, oddly enough, no mention of Gut Check.
End of show.
Aside from the Austin Aries/Bobby Roode segment, pretty bad show tonight. Even that wasn’t as good as it could have been (not bad, but not great), but you’ve gotta find a silver lining somewhere.
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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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