Tonight’s TNA Impact Wrestling is the 4th installment of Open Fight Night/Gut Check. The last one was a major disappointment in my view, but TNA seems to be focused on turning things around for the better (well, mostly), so here’s hoping we get a good show tonight. I haven’t heard who is taking part in tonight’s Gut Check, so I’m curious to see if they find an independent wrestler with actual talent, or another OVW scrub.
We open the show with the awful AJ Styles/Claire Lynch angle, then a recap of the Aces and Eights beating up Hulk Hogan and Sting. TNA tries to pass of Hogan’s recent surgery as a result of the attack from the group of masked men. Hey, if that means Sting and Hogan are off my TV screen for a while, that’s all well and good by me.
We get the BFG leaderboard, and James Storm is back in 1st place with 43 points, and Samoa Joe is back to 2nd with 37.
Speaking of Storm, he makes his way out to start things off. Apparently, Storm beat Magnus on Saturday to earn 7 points and put himself back in the top position. Storm’s in his gear, so I’m guessing he’s wrestling in a moment. Before that, he’d like to address a few things. First, we have a new champion in Austin Aries, who Storm congratulates. People have been asking him where that leaves him. Last time he checked, he’s in first place in the BFG Series and on the fast track to Bound For Glory. As for Bobby Roode, Storm hasn’t forgotten about him. The title is business; Roode is personal, and Storm wants to kick the living crap out of him. That brings Storm to the Aces and Eights. This isn’t the wild west, and if it was, he’d be the sheriff of this place. He says he has a set of balls and doesn’t jump anyone from behind. He then gives the obligatory shout-out to Hogan, because Hogan’s name hasn’t been mentioned enough yet. Now, onto business. Storm has always heard you don’t fight the cub, you fight the lion. Tonight on Open Fight Night, Storm is calling out Kurt Angle.
Angle’s music hits, but he’s nowhere to be found. Oh, god. Don’t do this again. Angle’s music hits once more, and once again, no sign of the man. Storm sends the cameraman of all people to go to the back to find Angle. We go backstage, and we see that the Aces and Eights have assaulted him. There appeared to be less of them this time. Although all of their identities haven’t been confirmed yet, I can tell you that Luke Gallows and Wes Brisco are two of them.
It’s time for a BFG Series challenge to be issued, as Samoa Joe makes his way out. Since he knows there isn’t a man alive who would call him out, he figured he’d pick a fight for himself. There’s no better person to beat up than a person he’s always had a problem with. Pope, walk your ass down the aisle so Joe can tap you out.
MATCH 1-Bound For Glory Series Match: Samoa Joe vs. D’Angelo Dinero
Pope is in 9th place with 7 points, and nobody cares because Pope hasn’t been relevant for about 2 years. Tie-up to start, with Joe backing Pope into the corner. He fires off some rights, beating Pope down. Pope reverses with some forearm shots. Joe hits a shot to the face, a running hip bump and a spin kick to the head. Pope comes back with some body shots, knocking Joe down. Pope with more shots before sending Joe face-first into the turnbuckles. Joe rolls to the floor, and he’s checking his teeth. Pope heads out and boots him in the skull before throwing Joe back into the ring and firing off more forearms and knees. Joe comes back with punches and slaps, which Pope counters with an STO right into the Rings of Saturn. He turns it into a pin, but only gets 2. Pope with more knee strikes. He counters a suplex attempt and nails an uppercut before dropping some elbows on Joe’s head. He begins throwing some punches, and Joe turns it into a modified jujigatame. Pope taps.
WINNER: Samoa Joe, who picks up 10 more points and jumps back into 1st place. That ending was really anti-climactic. Have I mentioned how badly Pope sucks? After that match, I can understand why Punk hated wrestling him so much.
Jeff Hardy makes his way out. He’ll be calling someone out in a BFG Series Match after the break.
I wonder how Matt Morgan will feel about these Direct Auto Insurance commercials after he shows back up in WWE soon?
Back from the break, Hardy says he has someone in mind he wants to call out. Before that happens, the Robs make their way out. “Shut the music, bro! It’s clear you, just like everyone else in the Bound For Glory Series is ducking Robbie E, bro.” No, I just think everyone forgot Robbie E still worked here. He’s calling Jeff Hardy out, bro, because Hardy isn’t on the list, bro.
MATCH 2-Bound For Glory Series Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E (w/Robbie T)
E attacks Hardy from behind, stomping him down. E piefaces Hardy, and Hardy shoves him off before hitting a spinning mule kick, bodyslam and legdrop. E attacks Hardy off a distraction from T, and botches a back elbow to the gut. Hardy comes back with an inverted atomic drop, double legdrop and low dropkick for 2. E backs Hardy into a corner, and Hardy boots him off a charge. T drags Hardy to the floor while the referee checks on E, but Hardy beats the 10-count. E goes for a pin, but only gets 2. E goes into a cravat, and Hardy tries to fight out. He nails E with a clothesline and a back elbow. Another back elbow out of the corner, followed by a Botch in the Wind for 2. E slides to the floor, and T pulls him out of the way of a slingshot plancha. Hardy attacks T, stripping his shirt off and choking T with it as he nails some shots. Meanwhile, the referee is counting, and E gets the win via count-out.
WINNER: Robbie E, who picks up 5 points for the count-out and finally gets on the scoreboard.
We see some guy named Sam Shaw warming up. He is tonight’s Gut Check contestant. Never heard of him.
After the break, we see ODB yelling at Eric Young on the phone, wondering where he’s been. He’s behind her on his own cellphone. He explains where he’s been for the last two months, explaining that he landed a deal for a reality show about fishing (which is true). Young fixes the problem by making out with her, then goes to buy beer and fried chicken.
Video package for the AJ/Claire/Dixie/Chris-Zarian/Hogan Family/Brutus Beefcake/whoever else they want to add to this crap. I am so damn sick of this storyline, and each twist or turn just makes it worse. Not only that, but it just shows you each week how truly awful of an actress Claire Lynch is.
Backstage, AI 2 asks Chris-Zarian if they know what Claire Lynch’s proof on AJ Styles is. They don’t know, but they’ll find out. Kaz makes some remark about Styles grabbing his balls or something. I don’t know. I tend to fade out when Kaz opens his mouth.
Gut Check time for Sam Shaw, who gets no video package. He comes out wearing board shorts and skate shoes, showing he spared every expense for his ring gear. Way to make an impression. Crowd gives him a very apathetic reaction. Jeremy Borash asks him why he deserves a spot in TNA. He says his whole life, he wanted to be here. Uh, the company’s only been in existence for 10 years, bud. JB asks him what separates him from others. Before he can answer, the Aces and Eights attack him. This time, we get the full six. Although I get the feeling we’ll get more later down the road.
Back from the break, TNA officials and the Elite Beat Agents are checking on Shaw to make sure he’s okay. He seems to be indicating he’s fine. I think he’s overselling this a bit, though. It’s not like they busted him open or anything. Like the rest of the attacks, the Aces and Eights beat downs come off as relatively weak on television.
The next person to make a challenge for OFN is Mr. Anderson, whose dad totally owns a dealership. Speaking of douchebags (if there was ever an authority figure on the subject, it would be Ken Anderson), he called out one of the biggest douchebags this company has to offer a few weeks ago, that being Christopher Daniels. Some fans cheer Daniels, and Anderson wonders why. Tonight, though, he’d like to call someone out he respects, someone he calls a friend and brother. His challenge is to AJ Styles. We see Styles in the waiting room backstage, and for some reason, Bully Ray is staring at the back of his head and starts to follow him out before someone (I think it was RVD) stops him.
MATCH 3-Bound For Glory Series Match: Mr. Anderson vs. AJ Styles
Styles starts with an arm wringer, which Anderson reverses. Anderson blocks a hip toss, hits one of his own as well as an arm drag before going into an armbar. I just realized I’ve never made a Beavis & Butt-Head joke regarding Mr. Anderson. How did that happen? Anyway, Styles reverses into a headscissors, and Anderson flips out into a side headlock. Styles reverses into a roll-up, but only gets 1. Anderson hangs onto the hold as Styles gets back to his feet and turns it into a top wristlock, powering Anderson down. Anderson reverses into an arm wringer before going back to the side headlock. Styles nails a back elbow off the ropes, sending Anderson to the floor. Anderson gets back in, where he’s nailed with a slingshot cross-body by Styles for 2. Styles goes for a side headlock, which Anderson reverses into a back suplex as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Anderson is back to the side headlock. He’s been studying too many Randy Orton tapes. Criss-cross segment ends with a Styles dropkick. Taz’s new nickname for Styles is “P1”. Yeah. Anyway, Styles gets 2 off the dropkick before hitting a bodyslam and a jumping kneedrop. Tenay is rambling on about the Viacom/DirecTV fiasco. Anderson fights back with punches, but Styles cuts him off. Anderson comes back with a back elbow, ducks a clothesline and hits a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Another pin attempt, and another 2. Anderson locks Styles in a cravat, taking him down to one knee. Styles armdrags out of it and goes for a slam, but Anderson locks the cravat back in in the process and rolls through, taking Styles down to the mat. Styles fights back up and breaks the hold by backing Anderson into the corner. Anderson reverses a corner whip and catches Styles off the turnbuckle, going back to the cravat once again. Styles breaks free and botches a hurricanrana off the ropes before hitting a roundhouse kick. Styles botches the Superman for 2. Man, Styles is off his game tonight. Not like him at all. He signals for the Clash, but Anderson reverses into a fireman’s carry. Styles slides out and counters into a roll-up for 2. Anderson catches him off the ropes with the rolling fireman’s carry slam for 2. Anderson sets up the Mic Check, but Styles counters with a Ghetto Blaster. Styles climbs the turnbuckles now, but Anderson cuts him off with some punches. Anderson climbs up and goes for a superplex, nailing it from the top rope. Anderson goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Styles nails Anderson with a kick and goes for the Styles Clash, but Anderson reverses. They trade a series of pins, and eventually, Anderson scores 3 off a roll-up.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson, who picks up another 7 points. Weird ending to the match. Anderson and Styles shake hands afterwards. Claire Lynch comes through the crowd, microphone in hand. She demands Styles talk to her. She has been calling all week, and tried to talk to him here last week. If he’s not going to return calls, she’s going to discuss this with him right now. She says this approximately 812 times. Styles seems to have forgotten that night, so Claire reminds him. Apparently, they both got hammered in a hotel room, and Styles doesn’t remember it for a second. Claire Lynch then presents photos of them together. Styles is passed out in each of them. Wow. This storyline couldn’t get more phony and predictable. It’s going to be revealed that Claire isn’t really pregnant, and Chris-Zarian set this whole thing up by drugging Styles’ drink. Claire is screaming how hot the night was this entire time. God, she’s just awful. I’d accuse her of being nothing more than a graduate of the Larry Storch School of Acting, but that would be a major insult to Larry Storch.
Back from the break, we see Styles studying Claire’s pictures.
Some guy named Sean Wheelock is joining on commentary. He represents Bellator. I don’t care.
Rob Van Dam is out for challenge time. He’s tickled pink to be here because he feels like fighting, and there’s no one he’d rather kick the crap out of than Christopher Daniels.
MATCH 4-Bound For Glory Series Match: Rob Van Dam vs. World Tag Team Co-Champion Christopher Daniels
RVD nails Daniels with a clothesline and a kick. He puts Daniels in the Tree of Woe and nails a running dropkick. Forearm shots to the face by RVD, and Daniels counters with a back elbow. RVD flips off a back body drop and lands a northern light suplex for 2. Abdominal stretch time, and RVD combines it with a leglock. Daniels breaks the hold by getting to the ropes, then rolls to the floor. RVD follows, and Daniels rams him into the apron. Headbutt by Daniels before RVD tries to fight back. Daniels cuts him off and throws him back in the ring. Slingshot elbow by Daniels gets 2. RVD tries to fight back from his knees, but Daniels cuts him off. He hits a modified Nightmare on Helms Street for 2. Kick to the back and a jumping kneedrop by Daniels. RVD comes back with some kicks to the head, but they’re weak. Daniels axe handles him in the back and goes into a rear chinlock. RVD fights out once more, and they begin trading punches. Daniels kicks him in the gut, and RVD comes back with a high kick to the face and a bodyscissors into a pin for 2. RVD lands a superkick and follows up with a monkey flip out of the corner. Up top, RVD goes for the Five-Star. Daniels moves, and RVD lands on his feet. He hits a step-over roundhouse and goes for Rolling Thunder, but Daniels moves out of the way. Daniels goes for the pin, and puts his foot on the ropes for leverage, which is enough to get the 3.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels, who picks up another 7 points.
Austin Aries is being asked about Bobby Roode by AI 2. He says he looked up “fluke”, and the definition was a picture of Bobby Roode, staring up at the lights. If Roode wants to call him out, he’s right here. Anything Roode can do, Aries can trump him. Aries grabs his cape, and a Dead Man’s Hand falls off it. Aries says he can trump that, too.
We get Brooke Hogan on the phone about her dad’s surgery. She says Hulk is in bad shape, and she doesn’t want to talk about it. Well, that was just scintillating.
Clips from last week’s No Holds Barred match between Joseph Abyss and Bully Ray, which saw Abyss hit the Black Hole Slam after the match.
Backstage, we see Joseph Abyss asking Garett Bischoff if he’s looking for legal counsel. Garett appreciates that, but has a question: what happened last week? Abyss says he lost, but he’s proud of standing up for himself. Garett wasn’t talking about that. He was talking about the look in Joe’s eye and the Black Hole Slam. Who was that? Joe says that was him before telling Garett to think about what he said and walking off.
Since there’s no one left in the BFG Series tonight (except James Storm, since he didn’t actually wrestle tonight), Magnus and Bully Ray have the next match.
MATCH 5-Bound For Glory Series Match: Magnus vs. Bully Ray
As Magnus is making his way out, Ray clubs him from behind. He throws his chain wallet in the ring before continuing the attack on Magnus. Magnus fights back with some right hands before throwing Ray into the guardrail. More right hands by Magnus, and this match hasn’t officially started yet. Magnus slams him head-first into the steps before firing off more shots. Ray gets in the ring, and the match starts. Magnus hits a back elbow and a misdirection clothesline. Ray reverses a corner whip, and Magnus gets his boot up on the charge. Ray counters with a big boot off the ropes. Axe handle by Ray before sending Magnus into the corner. Ray punches him down. We find out Sam Shaw will still get his chance at Gut Check next week. Meanwhile, Ray chokes Magnus in the corner. Hard corner whip by Ray sends Magnus to the mat. Ray picks him up and hit an open-hand chop to the chest. Ray drops an elbow, but only gets 2. Ray stands on Magnus’ fingers before going into a neck vice and dropping an elbow to the head. Bodyslam by Ray before missing the jumping splash by a mile. Magnus and Ray now trade rights. Magnus ducks a clothesline and hits a back suplex for 2. Ray comes back with a running clothesline, but misses a corner boot. Double-leg takedown by Magnus, who then locks in a Texas Clover Leaf. Haven’t seen that in a long time. Ray manages to break the hold on the ropes. Magnus follows up with the Michinoku Driver #2, but it only gets 2. Magnus mounts the middle rope, but misses an elbow. Ray connects with the Bully Cutter and gets the 3.
WINNER: Bully Ray, who finally gets on the board with 7 points. I believe everyone except AJ Styles now have some points. We get the leaderboard, and it turns out I am mistaken, as everyone has some points. Samoe Joe is in 1st (47), James Storm is in 2nd (43), Kurt Angle is in 3rd (27), Mr. Anderson is in 4th (23), Jeff Hardy is in 5th (21), Christopher Daniels is in 6th (19), RVD and Magnus are tied for 7th (14 each), Bully Ray, Pope and AJ Styles are all tied for 9th (7 each), and Robbie is in last place (3).
Chavo Guerrero will debut with TNA next week. Never been a Chavo fan, so I don’t really care either way here.
MATCH 6: Bobby Roode vs. World Champion Austin Aries (non-title)
Roode once again calls Aries a fluke before heading down to the ring. Roode gets in the ring and continues to call Aries out, calling him a fluke once more. Not sure the point of this, since again, this match was made last week. Roode doesn’t need to keep calling Aries out, as he’s already accepted. Aries makes his way out, and our main event begins. Aries sidesteps a charge and begins firing off forearm shots. Roode counters with a shoulder off the ropes for 1 before stomping Aries down. Roode begins working on the left arm with an armbar. Aries fights out and nails a beautiful Japanese armdrag into a front chancery. Roode breaks the hold with the ropes, and Aries continues the attack with a stomp. Roode gets back up and backs Aries into a corner before nailing a punch. Roode blocks a clothesline and looks for the Bowflex, but Aries gets his foot on the ropes. Roode stomps away at Aries. Aries comes back with a shoulder, tope con hilo and jumping elbow drop for 2. Roode slides to the apron, and Aries dropkicks the knee. Roode sidesteps a cross-body to the floor, but Aries catches himself on the apron and lands a running axe handle. Commercials.
Back from the break, Aries throws Roode back into the ring and goes up top, but Roode knocks him to the floor with a well-placed punch. More commercials. Yeah, I know.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Austin Aries. One of the masked men knocks the referee down, and Roode is just watching in the corner, smiling. Roode nods at them like they’ve got a deal going. He then applauds them as they simply stare him down. Roode extends his hand to one of them, and the guy punches him. The group then beat Roode down as well.
End of show.
Well, the main event was good until the predictably B.S. ending. No title match tonight, despite Hogan guaranteeing we’d get one during each OFN. So much for the weekly TV title defenses, too.
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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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