Hey, remember when my soul mate Madison Rayne got all mad at me and #RayneStorm2011 hit? Well, I’ve done it again. Tammy “Sunny” Sytch’s crazy ass is mad at me, too, because I refused to send her nobody boyfriend-who looks like a gassed-up hair band reject with a bad perm-a friend request on Facebook, citing me as being “too good” for not wanting to be friends with a wrestler I’ve never even heard of or seen in action. Yep, looks like #SunnyDaze2012 is around the corner.
Tonight, we are “treated” to the 3rd installment of “Open Fight Night/TNA Gut Check”. I apparently have a couple of local indy friends who are trying out for this in the future, and while I wish them the best of luck, I don’t have high hopes. Thus far, I have absolutely zero faith in the Gut Check system.
Previously, on Impact, James Storm “returned”, despite never going anywhere thanks to countless videos dedicated to him. Austin Aries was also promised a World Championship match at Destination X, provided he forfeits the World X-Division title. For the first time ever (EVER!), the Bound for Glory series is part of OFN. Not hard to do, since you just started the series last year and OFN this year. That’s no milestone or achievement worth bragging about.
Hulk Hogan makes his way out because he’s Hulk Hogan and for no other reason. Can’t have someone else start the show. Taz informs us tonight’s Gut Check tryout will feature a female competitor. Hogan says that, when you ask for change, you better be ready for it. When change happens, you make both friends and enemies. Case in point, what happened with Sting last week was unprecedented (?) and uncalled for. He will find out who these guys are and take care of it for Sting. Tonight, we’ve got both OFN and the BFG series, and anything can happen. Before we get started, he told Aries that he wanted Aries’ decision at the top of the show. It’s a little past that, and he’s waiting for an answer, dude. You know, Hulk, if you hadn’t come out here wasting a bunch of time, Aries wouldn’t be late.
Aries makes his way out and refuses a handshake from Hogan, saying it’s business for. The crowd chants “Austin Aries”, and he responds with, “Thank you, I know my name.” Love it. He reminds us of last week’s idea that Hogan came up with. He’s heard what everyone wants him to do, but it comes with a catch. If he wants a World title match, he has to forfeit the X title. Option A is take the offer. Option B is keeping the belt and continuing the longest title reign in company history. He says the company was built on the X-Division, and some of the former champions are some of the best wrestlers the world has ever seen. The belt is important to him, and if he hands it over, it means nothing. It’s more valuable than it’s ever been, and he has a third idea, which he calls “option C”. Hogan says this isn’t like the past, and there won’t be one person holding more than one belt at a time. If there’s a plan C, Aries better be a great visionary, because he doesn’t want to play game. Aries says he is willing to hand the belt over, under one condition: he sets the standard moving forward. Each and every year, whoever the X Champion is can be afforded the same option he has right now, where they can trade the belt in for a shot at the World title. Hogan says he’s as quick on his feet as he is with his mouth and thinking, and that’s why he’s where he is today. Hulk likes option C, and he agrees to it.
Because things were going so smoothly, we now get Mr. Anderson. He tells everyone he could watch Aries and Roode pound the snot out of each other all day, and after he’s done, they can continue. He’s putting both on notice, because the guy who wins the BFG series and gets the next title match, whoever that guy is and is from Green Bay, Wisconsin (his stupid, nonsensical words), Mr. Anderson. Anderson. In case you’re wondering, he has no chance in hell of winning the series. It’s painfully obvious Roode is retaining the title at Destination X and moving onto James Storm, who will win the series. Yes, TNA is that predictable.
Anderson does some stupid screaming, then says he wants to call someone out, someone who has the balls to attack a man’s family. Christopher Daniels, get your ass out here. Daniels walks out, carrying an Appletini (according to Taz), refusing to put his drink down.
MATCH 1-Bound For Glory Series Match: Mr. Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels throws his drink at Anderson. Anderson knocks him down. Anderson with a back elbow before going up top, but Daniels trips him up, sending him back to the mat. This match has a 10-minute time limit, and apparently, all other BFG matches will have the same rule. Daniels with an arm wringer into a modified hammerlock. He punches Anderson in the gut to knock him down, then locks in a modified abdominal stretch, turning it into a full version. Anderson elbows out and hiptosses Daniels. Daniels ducks a corner charge, but runs into what looked like a botched clothesline. They trade some punches. Daniels kicks off a back drop attempt, but runs into a clothesline. Another clothesline and back elbow follow. Anderson tries the swinging neckbreaker, but Daniels gets out of it. Anderson hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam and looks for the Mic Check, but Daniels reverses into a blue thunder bomb. He calls for the BME, but Anderson reverses into a roll-up for 2. He hits a swinging neckbreaker and the Mic Check for the 3.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson. Weak finish. Anderson gets 7 points for the pinfall victory.
We see AJ Styles and Dixie Carter in the back, talking. I am so sick of this. Dixie says they’re doing the right thing, and it’s not about Chris-Zarian. Styles says that, the more they think about it, the more he’s worried. Maybe there’s another way around this. Dixie wants to know what other way. Styles’ got nothing.
We see some of the Knockouts in what I guess is Brooke Hogan’s office. We find out which which one gets Tessy in a title match up next. Brooke walks in just as the screen goes black. Does Spike know nothing about timing? Granted, I’m glad I got to delay having to look at Brooke’s disgusting visage.
Back in Brooke’s office, she’s talking to ODB, Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky and Mickie James. They’re talking about Velvet Sky’s stupid music video appearance. Rayne cuts her off to talk about tonight. Brooke wants to talk to them to find out why they each want the title. ODB says she’s different from every other knockout. Rayne says she already had that title “forever”. Brooke says she’s too obsessed with “Mr. Imaginary Friend”, then gives her advice Hulk gave her: “imagine your career is your boyfriend”. Mickie James calls herself the greatest women’s wrestler in the world, holding every women’s title “known to man”. Rayne pisses a fit about how she was the longest-reigning champion in history. Brooke asks what she has done lately, and she’s not focused enough on wrestling and needs to make business and pleasure separate, so she’s out for the match. The next elimination will take place later tonight.
Robbies E and T are in the ring now. E says he’s not scared of anyone in the BFG series, bro. He’s more jacked than everyone in it, and no one could pull off a tan like his. Tonight is “Robbie E Open Fight Night”, and he’s challenging anyone in the BFG series to get punked by “Big Rob”, bro. Kurt Angle decides to accept the challenge.
MATCH 2-Bound For Glory Series Match: Robbie E (w/Robbie T) vs. Kurt Angle
E starts off with some stomps. Angle quickly lands the dead guy suplexes, hitting all three. Angle Slam and ankle lock follow. This one’s over.
WINNER: Kurt Angle, who gets 10 points for a submission victory.
Tonight’s Gut Check contestant is Taeler Hendrix, who talks about watching wrestling as a kid and wanting to get into it from there, also known as the most generic origin story in all of pro wrestling. She then discusses being diagnosed with cancer at 21, which she managed to survive. Well, kudos to her for that.
Magnus makes his way out, mic in hand. He goes over the BFG series. It means everything to him that he wins the series, so he’ll keep it simple. He’s decided to call someone out and beat them. Right now, if you don’t mind. His challenge is accepted next.
After the break, Magnus is in the ring to tell us who he’s going to pick. He’s choosing a man whose head is not in the game, not by a long shot. In every city, Magnus has a line of women wanting to get to him, so he knows what it’s like to have “women trouble”, but he also knows not to screw with another man’s wife, especially when she writes the paycheck. He’s calling out a man who is selfish and only thinks of himself, that home wrecker AJ Styles.
MATCH 3-Bound For Glory Series Match: Magnus vs. AJ Styles
Styles charges the ring and fires off punches and kicks. Magnus reverses a corner whip. Styles gets his feet up on the charge and lands a backbreaker. Styles screws up where Magnus lands and has to adjust him before going up top. Styles goes up, and Magnus is on his feet. He catches a cross body and turns it into a suplex. Elbow drop follows for 1. Styles lands a dropkick after a rake to the eyes by Magnus, but misses the Pele. Magnus stomps his head and gets 2 before going into a sleeper. We see Joseph Abyss stuffing his face with popcorn in the crowd. Styles gets back to his feet and backs Magnus to the corner, landing a couple elbows. He whips Magnus and hits a running clothesline. Styles Clash is escaped by Magnus, but Styles lands a Ghetto Blaster. He goes to the apron as Chris-Zarian comes out. Styles is distracted, and that allows Magnus to hit a Michinoku Driver #2 for the 3.
WINNER: Magnus, who nets 7 points, tied for 3rd with Mr. Anderson. Daniels has an envelope in his hand as he and Kaz head to the back.
Up next, time for the Gut Check.
I don’t like that the BFG matches have a time-limit. All it’s doing is promising us short matches that are far too rushed. We’ve had three tonight, and they’ve lasted less than 10 minutes total combined.
MATCH 4-Gut Check: Taeler Hendrix vs. Tara
Not a good tooth-to-gum ratio on this girl. Just saying. I am curious if TNA will ever book one of the Gut Check contestants to actually win? I say that because I think Hendrix is dropping this one, too. Tara starts with a waistlock takedown, then lands some crossface punches. Suplex and a kip-up by Tara before she talks some trash. Hendrix lands a quick sunset flip for 2, but is leveled with a clothesline. Tara drags her to the corner and lifts her up with a rear chinlock while sitting on the turnbuckles. On the third attempt, Hendrix breaks out with some kicks and hits the Stratusphere. She botches a kick to the stomach and hits a pair of jumping clothesline. Waistlock takedown by Hendrix, and she puts Tara in a rear chinlock before smacking her face into the mat. She misses a roundhouse, and Tara quickly capitalizes with the Widow’s Peak for the 3.
WINNER: Tara. Not impressed with Taeler Hendrix at all. During this match, we saw Joseph Abyss leave his seat and head to the back.
We see the rest of the BFG wrestlers standing in a row, waiting to see who gets called out next.
Direct Auto Insurance is going to have to get a new spokesman when Matt Morgan leaves. Even though his contract isn’t up until October, TNA stupidly used up all of his contracted dates already this year. He has absolutely no obligation to them at this point.
Joseph Abyss is shown to the back by a technician. Bully Ray confronts him, saying he’s afraid, and can smell the fear on him. Abyss says he is scared, but not as scared as Ray was when his “brother” showed up last week. Ray says he’s lucky Ray is in the BFG series and is focusing on the World Championship. If he sees Joseph Abyss in the crowd again, or his brother, it will be the last time anyone ever sees either of them.
Mike Tenay and recap how Austin Aries accepted a deal with Hogan earlier tonight, and how the X-Division title has the opportunity to be forfeited before Destination X every year so the current title holder can fight for the World title at the PPV instead.
Samoa Joe comes out to make a challenge. He’s back in his “Nation of Violence” gear. He says that, since nobody in the back has the guts to say his name, he thought he’d come out here and kick this thing off. James Storm, last week, you dodged a bullet and got lucky. Since you’re back from petting your horse and “losing your smile”, come out here and let’s see if your luck’s run out.
MATCH 5: Samoa Joe vs. James Storm
Storm starts off with some punches, but Joe takes him down with a botched forearm. Joe backs Storm into the corner and takes him down with several hard strikes. Hip bump in the opposite corner, followed by a spin kick to the head. Joe takes him down with a Fujiwara, but Storm gets his foot on the ropes. Back in the corner, Joe ties Storm’s arm up over the top rope, then lands a Mongolian chop. Snapmare followed by a Trapezius claw by Joe. Storm elbows his way out and runs into a snap powerslam for 2. Joe immediately locks in a hammerlock, but Storm gets to the ropes once again. Joe with some strikes, and a chop across the arm. They trade forearms, and Joe cuts him off with a knee to the gut and an over-the-shoulder armbreaker. He goes for the crossface chicken wing, but Storm fights out once again. Several more punches by Storm, followed by a jumping clothesline. Another clothesline, an inverted atomic drop and a jumping forearm by Storm. He goes for a monkey flip in the corner, but Joe turns him around and lands a kick. He snapmares Storm out of the corner and sets up the Kokina Clutch. Storm manages to run Joe headfirst into the top turnbuckle and lands the Last Call for 3.
WINNER: James Storm, who gets another 7 points and stays in first place. I don’t like Storm in the first place, but I really hate when a wrestler is booked as a one-move wrestler. Storm got in little offense except for his kick, and most of his matches have been that way since TNA decided to push the kick so much. After the match, Joe looks to crack Storm with a beer bottle, but hands it to him instead and shakes his hand.
We get a video package for this whole AJ/Dixie/Chris-Zarian mess. This is one of the dumbest angles TNA has created in a long time, and that’s really saying something. This leads to live footage between AJ and Dixie. AJ says she’s right, and they need to get this all out in the open tonight, because he’s falling apart..
Video for TNA’s tour, which includes a fan, which includes a fan using the line, “They put their bodies to the line.” I don’t know, either.
We’re back in Brooke Hogan’s office, where she tells the knockouts that talking smack gets you nowhere, and talking business gets you everywhere. Velvet Sky talks about her short title reign that was ended by Gail Kim, and she never got her rematch. Brooke rambles on about ODB’s husband pulling his pants down, and that disqualifies her from being in the title match later tonight. Yeah.
Bully Ray walks down the aisle and proceeds to hock a loogie in the air before catching it in his mouth, because he’s a disgusting slob. Ray calls himself the most hated bully in the world before yelling for Joseph Abyss. He’s not here, and it’s about time he listened. Onto business and the BFG series. Who’s left back there? RVD, Jeff Hardy and the Pope. Ray is going the easy route and wants the easy 10 points. Pope, you’ve been spending a lot of time in Hollywood, so why don’t you come out here and let him get his quick 10 points before moving onto the World title?
MATCH 6: Bully Ray vs. D’Angelo Dinero
I don’t think Ray is getting 10 points, since he doesn’t know any submission holds. Guess someone forgot to tell him you can only get 10 via submission, and a pinfall only gets 7. Ray starts with a forearm to the back of the head and a hard corner whip. He throws Pope into the turnbuckle, then clotheslines him for 1. Another forearm to the back of the head, followed by a shot to the lower back. Ray lands a punch to the face and a boot before landing another hard corner whip. Ray misses a splash off the ropes, and they begin trading punches. Pope lands some forearms. Ray misses a big boot, and Pope takes him down with an inverted atomic drop and a flying clotheslines. Flip, flop and fly by Pope, which sends Ray into the second rope. Pope lands a running slide across Ray’s back and goes up top. Ray falls into the ropes, knocking him back down to the mat. Ray nails an avalanche in the corner, then goes up for some mounted punches. He stopes as Abyss makes his way down the stairs through the crowd. It’s the real guy, too. You can tell by the missing teeth. From behind, Pope knocks Ray to the floor with a running double knee to the back. Abyss crosses the barrier and begins stalking Ray. Ray gets back in the ring and runs into an STO from Pope for the 3.
WINNER: D’Angelo Dinero, who nets 7 points. Abyss continues to chase Ray out of the building.
Hulk Hogan is in the back, talking to Jeff Hardy and RVD. He says he’s got a problem, but they are the answer. Since neither of their names were called out for OFN, that must mean they are the two guys with the best chances of winning the series. Now, they can face off in the main event tonight, and that solves his problem.
Up next, Brooke Hogan makes her final decision for the Knockouts title match tonight.
A commercial hyping Destination-X airs, and it’s all about Austin Aries. It’s like TNA already knew what his decision would be before the show was aired. As if pro wrestling is pre-determined or something!
We then get some music video from some fat country band, starring Velvet Sky, who pretends to be a mom. Can you imagine her being allowed to reproduce? *shudders*
Miss Tessmacher makes her way out to find out who she will be defending her title against tonight. The options left for her tonight are Mickie James and Velvet Sky. We see Brooke with said Knockouts backstage. She says she’s so proud of both of them and they’re both talented. There’s a reason why the cream rises to the top. She believes in Velvet Sky, which is why she got the music video, but tonight, Mickie James gets the nod.
MATCH 7-Knockouts Champion: Champion Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James
Tie-up to start, with James backing Tessy in the corner. They go back to the tie-up after a clean break, and Tessy turns it into an arm wringer. James cartwheels out and goes into a hammerlock, taking Tessy down. James turns it into a front chancery, which Tessy reverses into a hammerlock. James counters into a fireman’s carry, then gets back up and locks in an arm wringer. Tessy armdrags out and hits a Dropsh*t. She goes for a waistlock, but James gets to the ropes and lands an elbow before getting a 1-count. Tessy fights back with some punches, which are cut short by a knee lift and a snapmare. James follows up with a low dropkick for 2. I love that James is dressed like a hick, but decided to make her wrestling boots look like tall skate shoes. Makes sense. James with a snapmare before going into a version of the half-nelson. Tessy holds onto the ropes followed by a whip and boots James, but runs right into a botched flapjack. James kips up and goes to the top rope. Tessy sees it coming and moves out of the way, landing a pair of clotheslines and a flying forearm. Crowd is booing her. James with a mule kick to the gut. Tessy counters with a Mug Shot out of the corner. She sets up for the Brooke Shield, but James pushes her off and lands a slow-motion roundhouse kick to the head. James looks for the DDT, but Tessy reverses into a sunset flip for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Miss Tessmacher.
MATCH 8-Bound For Glory Series Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy
While I have a second, I’d like to address this series. While I understand most of the choices for competitors, what in the hell have Robbie E and The Pope done lately to qualify? Pope hasn’t even been around, and Robbie E’s only televised victory over the last year or so has been over Alex Silva, an even bigger waste of space than Robbie E himself. Can someone explain this to me? Anyway, RVD starts off with a leg scissors into a pin for 1. Hardy counters a corner whip, and RVD comes back with a spinning dropkick. He misses a flipping legdrop, and Hardy misses an elbow. Criss-cross segment ends with RVD doing the splits to duck, and Hardy dropping a leg across the head. He gets RVD into the corner, where he hits a slingshot dropkick for 2. RVD heads to the floor and Hardy baseball slides him down. RVD trips him with a kick but misses a slingshot legdrop on the apron. RVD still manages to come back, hitting a thrust kick from the top rope and Rolling Thunder for 2. RVD goes for a back suplex, but Hardy counters with a bulldog. Hardy blows the hell out of the reverse enziguri, then lands the sit-out gourdbuster before needlessly stripping himself of his shirt. He goes for the Swanton, but RVD rolls out of the way. RVD goes up for the Five-Star, but decides to taunt first. Instead, he goes for a 450 splash, but misses. Hardy capitalizes with a DDT, but only gets 2. Hardy blows the p*$s out of the Twist of Fate and gets the 3.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy, who gets 7 points. Currently, James Storm is in first place with 27 points, Angle in 2nd with 10, while Hardy, Pope, Magnus, Hardy and Anderson are tied for 3rd with 7 each. RVD, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Robbie E, Bully Ray and AJ Styles are all tied for 4th with 0.
Speaking of Styles, he’s on his way to the ring with Dixie Carter. That’s up after the commercial break.
After the commercial, we get the leaderboard for the BFG series, which I just recapped a second ago. Considering Storm is 17 points ahead from the next closest competitor (Angle), I’d say my bet is safe.
Next week, Angle and Styles defend the World Tag Team titles (yep, they’re still champions) against the former champions, Chris-Zarian.
End of show.
Unfortunately, this show was a mess. Thanks to the time limit for the BFG series, the matches were all rushed, just as I predicted. And once again, the Gut Check disappoints. The best match of the night was the title match, and it wasn’t anything special. Open Fight Night is turning out to be a major waste of time. Tonight was especially bad, since all of the matches involved guys in the series, meaning there was no X-Division, no tag team matches, no Bobby Roode. Hell, they even forgot Devon’s “weekly” title defense.
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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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