Previously, on Impact Wrestling…a horrible actress named Claire Lynch takes part in the most predictable storyline in TNA history. At the very least, one of the tope three. Also, the Aces and Eights beat up a bunch of people.
Speaking of those guys, Sam Shaw, whose Gut Check chance was wrecked by them last week, will get another opportunity tonight. We also get the debut of Chavo Guerrero, Jr. Before any of that happens, though, Sting makes his way into the Impact Zone, and he’s looking all angrypants. Aces and Eights, Hulk Hogan is at home right now nursing a shattered hip because of Aces and Eights, and Dixie Carter has asked Sting to be the GM for the evening. He’s one man, he’s alone, and he’s calling the entire Aces and Eights group out. Before that can happen, the World Champion, Austin Aries, joins Sting in the ring. He admires Sting’s courage, but this is about a numbers game. Aces and Eights have jumped a bunch of people, including him, trying to make a statement. He’s got a statement as well: he’s going to jump them, and that’s a promise. It’s now Kurt Angle’s turn to come out and join the fray. Last week, the group tried to take away two things from Angle: they tried to hurt him physically and tried to take his chance away of winning the World title. As a result, he’s fighting them, too. Bobby Roode’s music hits. He tells everyone in the ring to relax, as he’s not out here to fight anybody or have anyone’s backs. He’s out here to point out the obvious. He knows who the man is behind these attacks. His mic apparently dies, as Kurt Angle gives him the one he had. He says the man behind these attacks is a man who has been in the World title picture for almost a year, and a man who is both pissed off at and jealous of Roode. He’s also jealous of Aries, and was scheduled to face Angle last week. The man behind these attacks is none other James Storm. Think about it. Roode has known Storm for over 4 years. He knows the jealousy Storm has and how he manipulates people. He calls Storm a piece of crap before Storm attacks him from behind. They roll into the ring and start brawling as the other three just stand back and watch. Eventually, Angle steps in and pulls Storm off, allowing Roode to roll to the floor. Roode screams, “I told you! The truth hurts, doesn’t it?”
Hype package for Chavo Guerrero, Jr. featuring comments from several TNA stars, namely Tara, Kid Kash (he still works here?) and Kurt Angle.
Jason Hervey stops Roode in the back, asking about his accusations. Roode says no one wants to listen to him, but he knows for a fact it is Storm. The truth will come out, and he’s out of here.
MATCH 1: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James and Tara
I’m digging Gail Kim’s ring gear tonight. We get a recap of the Rayne/Hebner storyline, a storyline that is completely unnecessary, BTW. We find out these four will have a 4-way next week, with the winner getting a shot at the Knockouts title at Hardcore Justice. Kim and Tara start off in a tie-up. Kim knees Tara before going into an arm wringer. Tara cartwheels out into her own. Hip toss out of the corner into an armbar by Tara, and James tags in. Snapmare by Tara, low dropkick by James for 2. Kim comes back with a kick and an armdrag out of the corner, but James holds on into an armbar. Thesz Press off the ropes, followed by some mounted punches. Kim whips James, and Rayne kicks her from behind. Kim with a clothesline and some kicks to the ribs. Foot choke in the corner as Rayne tags in. Rayne whips her to the mat face-first before flirting with referee Earl Hebner. Rayne hits a facebreaker and botches a clothesline for 2. Corner whip by Rayne, but James moves out of the way of the charge. James tags in Tara, who nails a pair of clotheslines and the Spider’s Web for 2 as Kim breaks it up. James tags back in, and they hit a double rolling leg whip before turning it into a double Boston crab. Kim tries to come off the top with a double dropkick, but the faces catch her by the legs and drop down into a double leg grapevine as Rayne and Hebner continue to flirt. Hebner eventually throws Tara out, allowing James to roll Rayne up from behind and score the pin. However, despite James getting her shoulder up to prevent a double pin, Hebner still counts her shoulders down, giving the pinfall to Rayne.
Sting and Austin Aries are standing outside of an office, full of X-Division wrestlers, namely Sonjay Dutt, Rashad Cameron, Kenny King and Dakota Darsow. Sting wants Aries to give them some direction and advice, and determine who should get the next X-Division title match. Aries doesn’t like it, because his mind is occupied as well, but he agrees to it anyway.
Video package for Sam Shaw, featuring him mostly standing around, staring at the ring.
Okay, Direct Auto Insurance really needs to get on a new ad campaign, since Matt Morgan is no longer with the company. Although he’s still under contract, TNA has used up all of his contracted dates for the year, meaning he can legally leave the company. Oh, plus he stated on Twitter that he would never, ever appear on TNA television again. Take that for what it’s worth.
More Chavo Guerrero, Jr. comments, from Hernandez, Gunner and Bully Ray.
Gut Check time, and Sam Shaw is already in the ring.
MATCH 2-Gut Check: Sam Shaw vs. Douglas Williams
Another guy I forgot even worked here. Damn shame, too, because Williams is really talented. Tie-up that Shaw turns into a side headlock. Shoulder off the ropes by Shaw, and he lands on his feet out of a back body drop. Dropkick and a back elbow by Shaw, followed by a back body drop. Williams comes back with a gut shot, and Shaw cuts him off with a 3.0 into a neckbreaker for 2. Bodyslam by Shaw, and goes to the top rope, but is taking too much time. Joey Ryan is in the crowd once again. Al Snow comes out, and Ryan punches him. Back in the ring, Williams knocks Shaw back into the ring before leveling him with a clothesline and some punches to the head. Straight shot to the face and a European uppercut in the corner. Running knee and overhead belly-to-belly suplex by Williams. After a slap to the face, Williams nails the Chaos Theory for the 3.
WINNER: Douglas Williams. Well, Shaw did better than Alex Silva and Taeler Hendrix. I have to give him that much.
Back in the X-Division office, Aries announces he gets to name the next contender for Zema Ion. Rashad Cameron says some stuff about how he was made for the X-Division title. Yeah, right. Kenny King points at Dakota Darsow and says he doesn’t deserve because he does nothing but get his ass kicked. Sonjay Dutt makes the point that he has more X-Division experience than anyone, and the only reason Ion won at Destination X was because of his can of hairspray. Aries complains that Ion isn’t saying anything and tells him to get out. The rest of the guys continue to argue about who should get a title match next. Aries makes fun of Cameron saying “dawg” over and over again. Cameron says something about the “Rashad Cameron movement”, and Aries tells him to make a movement out the door.
Video package for Chavo Guerrero, Jr., containing footage from the ill-fated Ring Ka King promotion. His debut is next.
Some Bellator fighter is in attendance, because that’s something you were dying to know.
Chavo Guerrero, Jr. makes his way out. I figured he was going to wrestle tonight, but he’s in a suit, so I’m guessing that’s not happening. He is very humbled to be allowed in this ring. Thank you very much. One thing the Guerrero family has always done is conquer, and be a champion on every continent, in every country, and every company, except TNA. When he looks in the eyes of everyone on the roster, he sees hunger, guys and girls hungry to steal the show every night. Hungry to be the best every night. He sees they eyes of the best, and that’s why he’s here. Chavo Guerrero is here to beat the best. They say timing is everything, and the Guerreros have always had great timing. Everyone, look at your calendars and remember this date, because it’s Guerrero time. It’s time for Chavo Guerrero to be a champion in Impact Wrestling. Kid Kash comes out and asks if everyone in his family were wrestlers. Chavo calls himself a legend. Not quite, bud. Kash asks him what generation he is. So, the Guerrero family is wrestling loyalty? Gunner, who is with him, says the Guerrero needs to bow down to him. Kash asks where Chavo’s family is. He calls the crowd his family. Kash isn’t looking at these government-funded jerkoffs. He’s talking to Chavo, and wants to know where his family is. He asks about Chavo’s father and uncles, and if they’re all too crippled to come down here. Chavo has had enough and begins throwing punches on the heels. It doesn’t last, as Gunner and Kash begin beating him up. Hernandez runs down and clotheslines Gunner to the floor. Chavo dropkicks Kash to the floor as well. Hernandez then raises Chavo’s hand.
Well, that promo kind of sucked. Chavo was all fine and good (although I’m not sure why he’s calling himself a legend, and he’s got a Mysterio-like irritating voice), but Kash’s part of the exchange was completely nonsensical and all over the place. With the way it ended, I half expected him to bring up Eddie Guerrero being dead. I don’t mean that in any disrespectful way; it just seemed that’s where he was headed at the end.
Kurt Angle is talking to James Storm in the back, and he just wants to make sure Storm has nothing to do with the Aces and Eights. Storm says if he has a problem with anyone, he’ll tell them straight to their faces. He has no connection to these guys before saying he has Angle’s back tonight if it comes down to it. Angle walks away as Storm gets a contemplative look on his face.
We see the Gut Check judges in the back. Snow is pissed about Joey Ryan, and he didn’t see any of Sam Shaw’s match. He then screams that Joey Ryan has his attention. Prichard stops him and gets him to focus on the match. Taz says he likes Sam Shaw, both his looks and his ability. Prichard says he looked good after ranting about Joey Ryan again. Apparently, the decision regarding Shaw is happening later tonight.
Another video for Claire/AJ/Chris-Zarian/Papa Shango/One Man Gang/Dixie Carter/Nick Hogan/whoever the hell else they plan to throw into this crap. Not only is Claire a bad actress, but she resembles a zombie.
We see the leaderboard for the BFG Series. Samoa Joe is in 1st with 47 points, with James Storm right behind him with 43.
MATCH 3-Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles vs. James Storm
They cut to commercial after AJ’s entrance, then do it again after Storm’s. Nice. Anyway, after all of that, the match starts with a tie-up. Storm gets AJ in a side headlock, and AJ throws him off. Shoulder by Storm, and a criss-cross ends in a victory roll for 2 by AJ. Storm gets a backslide for 2. Claire Lynch is in the audience, so AJ will lose here. Storm lays in some right hands, knocking AJ to a corner. Chops by Storm before he throws AJ to the opposite corner for 2, then goes right into a rear chinlock. AJ fights back with a right hand, but runs into a boot and a modified butterfly suplex for 2. Back body drop by Storm, who then goes back into a rear chinlock. AJ fights out with elbows and a chop. Storm comes back with a facebreaker, but runs right into a dropkick by AJ for 2. Storm slides out of a bodyslam and goes into a waistlock, but AJ runs him face-first into the top turnbuckle. Suplex by AJ gets another 2. It’s his turn for a rear chinlock, and Storm fights out with repeated rights. AJ comes back with some forearms, and Storm rams him into the turnbuckles. Storm ducks a clothesline, hits his own, hot shots him and hits a running forearm for 2. AJ kicks Storm in the leg before hitting a hammerlock back suplex for 2. Corner whip by AJ, but he misses a charge when Storm sidesteps him. Storm props him on the top rope and looks for a back superplex, but AJ elbows him off. Storm gets back up, and AJ once again elbows him. Storm clips the leg, crotching AJ on the top. He sets AJ up for the Eye of the Storm, which connects for 2. Storm with an uppercut, sending AJ into the corner. Corner whip by Storm, followed by a clothesline. He looks for the Noose Swing, but AJ cuts him off. They trade a couple punches, and Storm goes for a tornado DDT. AJ holds on and hits a northern lights suplex into the turnbuckles for 2. AJ goes outside for the Superman and flies nearly all the way across the ring to connect, but it only gets 2. AJ sets up for the Styles Clash, but Storm holds on and turns it into an Alabama Slam for 2. AJ rolls to the apron, and Storm follows. They trade several strikes before Storm DDTs AJ on the apron for 2. Storm picks AJ up, and AJ quickly lands a Ghetto Blaster. He signals for the Clash again, but Storm reverses into Closing Time. Storm signals for the Last Call, but AJ sidesteps him and connects with the Pele. Before he can go for the pin, Aces and Eights hit the ring (looks like only four of them this time), attacking AJ, security and the referee Earl Hebner.
WINNER: No contest, I guess. The bell never rang and we never got an official decision.
Back from the break, we get a replay of what just happened. Jason Hervey stops James Storm in the back, pointing out the Aces and Eights attacked everyone except Storm moments ago. Storm calls him a dumb sonofabitch, and that Hervey doesn’t know anything about him. The next time he feels like accusing Storm, he better know the damn truth.
It is now time to determine if Sam Shaw gets a spot on the roster. He actually looked alright tonight, so if they want to give it to him, fine. Having said that, watch them turn him down. Jeremy Borash asks Shaw if the judges saw his best performance. He says that, even though he came up short, it’s obvious he’s got the drive and determination to be one of the best, and that the judges should say yes to Sam Shaw. We get Al Snow first, and he tells Shaw that he didn’t really get to see the match tonight. That being said, nothing would make him happier than to stick it up Joey Ryan’s ass and say yes, but he’s going to have to say no. Ooh-kay. Bruce Prichard is up next. He says he and Al normally don’t disagree on these decisions. Tonight, Shaw did a hell of a job and his answer is yes. Before we hear from Taz, Shaw gets another chance to sell himself. He tells Taz that if he could show half the fortitude Taz showed in ’99 when he was trying to get into “the big leagues”, that passion resonates through him. He wants to be here and work with the best talent in wrestling. Say yes, Taz. Taz takes the mic and he tells Shaw he loves the athleticism and energy. Although he lost the match, Taz says yes. Shaw jumps up and down before hugging all the judges. So, Sam Shaw is the newest member of the TNA roster…which means he’ll get sent to OVW and we won’t see him again for a very long time. I’m not saying that to be negative; I’m saying that based on Gut Check’s track record thus far.
Back in the X-Division office, Austin Aries makes a joke about Darsow’s dad being a Russian sympathizer. He asks each why they should get a title match tonight. Dutt says if it wasn’t for hairspray, he would be champion right now. King says he’s the guy to run with the ball. Darsow has lineage and brings something different. He’s not flashy or pretty, but he’s dominant. Aries says the X-Division is about flash, and Darsow’s head isn’t in the right place, and he’s going to have to cut him. You know, I’m a big fan of Dakota Darsow’s dad, but that’s where the fandom ends. I can see why WWE cut Dakota, because he has shown absolutely nothing in his five total televised appeareances with TNA, on the microphone or in the ring.
We get a World X-Division Championship match now, but before that happens, Austin Aries is going to make his final decision on who gets the title match tonight. The champion, Zema Ion, makes his way out first. Why TNA went with this guy is beyond me. Backstage, Aries is with Kenny King and Austin Aries. For whatever reason, Bruce Prichard pops in, gets a startled look on his face and then leaves. Aries tells Dutt that the doctor still isn’t sure about his shoulder, so he wants him to sit this one out. Tonight, Kenny King gets the match.
MATCH 4-World X-Division Championship: Champion Zema Ion vs. Kenny King
Tie-up starts, with King backing Ion into the corner. Ion takes a moment to spray his hair. I hate this gimmick. Ion with a shove, and King returns with a dropkick. In the corner, Ion with some punches and chops. Jumping back elbow in the opposite corner before hitting a hotshot and a springboard cross-body for 2. Snap suplex into some mounted punches by King. Back elbow out of the corner, followed by a boot from the turnbuckles. Ion simply shoves King, sending him to the floor. Ion follows up with a running somersault plancha, and somehow split his lip in the process. Back in the ring, Ion hits a seated missile dropkick before choking King in the ropes. Double knee to the back gets 2, and now Ion has King locked in an armbar/rear chinlock combo. King gets back to his feet and they trade some shots, but Ion sends him into the turnbuckles before nailing a hard corner whip. Ion gets King back on his feet and nails a chop to the chest. Another hard corner whip by Ion before he plays with his stupid hair. Forearm shot by Ion, and King counters another corner whip attempt with a roll-up for 2. Ion ducks a kick and hits a back suplex into a facebreaker for 2. King hits a forearm, but gets caught by a back elbow. He responds with a jumping roundhouse off the ropes, followed by a clothesline and a back elbow. Ion knees him, but King ducks a clothesline, hits an atomic drop and a Ghetto Blaster. King follows up with an exploder suplex. He back drops Ion to the floor, but Ion lands on his feet on the apron. King knocks him off with a kick and follows up with a corkscrew plancha to the floor. He throws Ion back in the ring, and it looks like Ion grabbed his hairspray. He’s talking with the referee, and while this is happening, Bobby Roode yanks King to the apron, throws him into the ring post and then throws him back in the ring. Ion hits a springboard moonsault to get the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Zema Ion. Even in losing, this match was all King. Ion is really sloppy, and it shows. On the replay, you can see he barely connected with the moonsault. As Roode is talking trash to the cameraman, Austin Aries attacks him from behind, eventually chasing him off.
In the back, AI asks Bully Ray if he’s concerned with Aces and Eights. He says they’d be schmucks to come after him. As for Kurt Angle, he’s the best in the world, and Ray has a lot of respect for him, but he’s the one guy who can go right through Angle. He’s the toughest guy in wrestling, period.
Next week, Bobby Roode and Zema Ion will take on Austin Aries and Kenny King in a tag team match.
Back to the BFG Series leaderboard, Storm now has 45 points, and AJ Styles has 16, each of them earning 2 points for what I guess was officially a no-contest. The competitors in the next match, Angle and Ray, are 5th with 27 points and tied for 10th with 7, respectively.
Tie-up starts the match, and ends with Ray backing Angle into the corner for a clean break. Another tie-up, and Angle goes into a waistlock. Ray reverses into a waistlock of his own, and Angle reverses into an Angle Slam attempt. Ray blocks it and goes for a big boot, which Angle ducks. Ray calls for a test of strength, but decides against it and backs himself into a corner. Another tie-up, and Ray knees Angle in the side before hitting a double axe handle. He goes for the Bully Bomb, and Angle reverses into the ankle lock, but Ray makes it to the ropes. Angle gets Ray in an arm wringer and Irish whips him. Ray blocks a back body drop attempt and nails a piledriver, but Angle’s arm is under the ropes, so the referee doesn’t count the pin. Angle slides to the floor as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Ray is still in control, and he goes for the pin off an elbow, but only gets 2. Another pin attempt gets another 2. Ray with some punches and an elbow to the head. Angle comes back with a clothesline before firing off some rights. He ducks a clothesline and nails a forearm. Ray boots him out of the corner, but Angle nails him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Ray slides out and hits the Bully Bomb for 2. Ray goes fur a uranage, but Angle elbows out and hits the Dead Guy Suplexes. Ray appears to have split his lip. Angle drops the straps and goes for the ankle lock once again. Ray manages to roll through, gets to his feet and slaps Angle in the chest. The two trade punches and slaps before Ray nails the uranage for 2. It actually appears now that Ray has split his cheek open rather than his lip. Angle ducks a big boot and hits the Angle Slam, but only gets 2. Angle goes up top, likely for the moonsault that never connects. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens. Ray goes for the Bully Cutter, and Angle pushes him off. Ray turns around and immediately hits a big boot for 2. Angle climbs to his feet in the corner, where he dodges a charging Ray. One Angle Slam later, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Kurt Angle, who gets 7 points. He’s immediately attacked after the match by Aces and Eights. We’re up to five this time, which means there’s still one missing. Austin Aries, Sting and AJ Styles all hit the ring, but the Aces and Eights completely overpower them. James Storm’s music hits and he runs to the ring, but the masked men all leave the ring before he can touch any of them, continuing the storyline for at least one more week. Angle and Aries both get in Storm’s face as Mike Tenay announces the Angle/Storm BFG Series match that was supposed to happen last week will happen next week.
End of show.
Once again, no TV title match, which goes right back to the column I wrote a couple months ago. Not only that, but five of the company’s champions weren’t even on this show. Also, while I applaud TNA’s attempt to revive the X-Division with guys like Kenny King and Sonjay Dutt, Rashad Cameron and Dakota Darsow are not needed here. And I think my feelings on Zema Ion captaining the division have been made clear.
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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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