On tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling, we learn the fate of Taeler Hendrix in regards to whether or not her performance last week earned her a TNA contract (SPOILER ALERT: Her performance sucked, so she’ll get the deal. Ask Alex Silva).
To open the show, we get a recap of last week, including Austin Aries agreeing to forfeit the X-Division title at Destination X in order to earn a shot at the World title, as well as the Styles/Dixie/Chris-Zarian fiasco that saw the introduction of one of the worst actresses in the history of professional wrestler. As Joe Leininger pointed out to me, this “addict” was smiling as she announced she was an addict. Being an addict and a wh*re (which she also admitted to) should not warrant a happy face. Being an addict should not make you smile. The worst part? This chick is reportedly a trained actor in the state of Florida. If that’s the best she can do, she needs to demand her money for acting classes back immediately.
Speaking of Styles and Dixie, they’re in the back, talking about how glad they are this is over. Styles says he’s going to beat the piss out of Chris-Zarian tonight. This isn’t about a reckoning; this is about revenge, for Dixie, Styles and Claire (the actress/addict from last week).
MATCH 1-Bound For Glory Series: Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam
Anderson does his dumbass spiel, reminding me of yet another reason why I hate Hulk Hogan so much. Last week, I made a comment about these matches being too short to be any good. Let me rephrase that-while I understand the 10-minute time limit (15 would be better), the fact is that, thus far, all of the BFG matches have lasted 5 minutes or less. Just as I type that, Mike Tenay announces that the matches have a 15-minute time limit, and no, he made no point of saying that the time was increased; he said it as if that was how it’s been all along. Way to insult the intelligence of the fans once again, “Professor”. Anyway, tie-up to start, with Anderson going into a top wristlock. RVD counters into a waistlock. Anderson counters into his own. RVD counters into a front chancery, which Anderson turns into a small package for 2. RVD turns it into his own small package (that doesn’t sound right) for a 2 of his own. Back up, Anderson with a modified schoolboy for 2. Each take turns tripping the other for a 2-count before going into a stalemate stance. They begin trading blows. Anderson lands a clothesline off the ropes for 2. Suplex gets another 2 for Anderson. He tries again, but RVD slides out and locks in a body scissors into a pin for 2. Drop toehold into an inverted STF by RVD, but Anderson crawls to the ropes to get the break. Arm wringer by RVD, followed by a knee to the gut that he turns into an abdominal stretch. RVD keeps the hold on and drops down to the mat into a pinning combination for 2. RVD keeps the hold locked in as Anderson tries to break it. He eventually does, turning it into a side headlock. Criss-cross follows, ending with a botched inverted atomic drop by RVD. Anderson comes back with a running back elbow, but only gets 2 as RVD gets to the ropes. RVD punches away at him, backflips off a back body drop attempt and lands a northern light suplex for 2. More punches by RVD knock Anderson down, and he hits a handspring into a moonsault for 2. Anderson is set up in the corner as RVD goes for the split-legged moonsault, but Anderson gets the knees up for 2. Anderson goes for the Mic Check, but RVD elbows him off. Anderson catches the swinging neckbreaker off the ropes for 2. He sets up the rolling fireman’s carry, and RVD slides down into a waistlock. Anderson counters into his own before going for a side headlock that he turns into a rear naked choke. RVD backs him into the turnbuckle to break. Anderson tries for the rolling fireman’s carry again, and RVD counters it into a crucifix for the 3.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam, who earns 7 points and gets on the board. We see the leader board, and it stands as follows: 1-James Storm (36 points) 2-Samoa Joe (17) 3-Kurt Angle (10) 4-Mr. Anderson (9) 5-Rob Van Dam, D’Angelo Dinero, Magnus and Jeff Hardy (all tied with 7 points) 9-Christopher Daniels (5) and 10-Bully Ray, Robbie E and AJ Styles (all tied with 0).
The World X-Division Champion Austin Aries makes his way out, but we’re going to commercial before he can even get in the ring. Great timing once again, Spike.
If you aren’t excited about The Dark Knight Rises, I hate you. That is all.
Back from the break, Aries is in the ring. He asks if the crowd is ready for a little dose of greatness. Last week, he stood in the ring with Hulk Hogan, and he had a huge decision to make that would affect both his career and the entire X-Division. The decision to relinquish the belt to face Roode for the World title wasn’t easy. He has defeated everyone in the X-Division, as well as some heavyweights like Bully Ray and Samoa Joe, and that made him hunger for more competition. However, he knows the importance of his title and doesn’t want to see it disgraced, so he came up with “option C”, which means every year before Destination X, the current X-Division Champion gets to decide whether or not they want to sacrifice that title for a shot at the World title, and Hulk Hogan agreed to that. So, what’s going to happen to the X-Division now? There will be a tournament at Destination X to crown a new champion. He was in the back and saw both old and new faces to the division, and each of them said the same thing: one year ago, Aries was a man without a contract, was given an opportunity, and made the most of it, and will now headline Destination X for the company’s top title.
Before he can go much further, World Champion Bobby Roode makes his way out. Roode says he couldn’t help but hear how pathetically overconfident Aries has been sounding. THIS is the real World Championship, because Roode made it that way. He single-handedly made the belt the most important thing in wrestling, and is the most dominant champion in the history of TNA. Aries wants to come out here and talk about opportunities. There’s 12 men right now fighting for that shot in the BFG series, to face the IT Factor in professional wrestling and make a name for themselves. The only reason Aries got his opportunity is because of Hulk Hogan. The stupid “option C” made it happen, but what that option really is is a failure. Aries is setting both himself and the X-Division up for failure, and at the PPV, Roode is going to make sure he fails. Aries isn’t in his league, so do him a favor, kid, and get the hell out of his ring. Aries says it’s his ring, which means if Roode wants him to leave, why doesn’t Roode make him? Aries shoves Roode, and they both take the jackets off, preparing to fight. Aries screams at Roode to fight, but Roode instead grabs his belt and leaves, shaking his head “no”. You know, this main event and the tournament almost want to make me order the PPV. Almost.
We then get “highlights” of Clara Peller or whatever her name is airing her dirty laundry from last week. Roll your pant legs up, folks. It’s about to get mighty deep in here.
We see Dixie and K’s Choice (kudos to the six of you who get this reference) standing in the back. Anonymous Interviewer (can someone please explain the point of a guy asking questions anonymously off-camera?) is asking them how Claire met AJ Styles. She explains her family has been friends with Dixie’s family for years, and she met Styles through them. AI wants to know when the wheels really fell off everything. She says that it happened when Chris-Zarian found out Styles had been helping her. She also claims she didn’t know them at all before all of this happened, and can’t believe they’d take that information and use it to hurt Styles and Dixie, proving she has absolutely zero knowledge of the wrestling business.
We see Kazarian pacing back and forth in the locker room. Christopher Daniels tells him to calm down. Kaz refuses, then complains about everything that happened. It made him turn his back on his best friend, and tonight, all of the bullsh*t stops. So, to summarize, Kaz is once again going to needlessly turn face.
MATCH 2-World X-Division Championship Tournament, quarterfinal round: Sonjay Dutt vs. Rubix
Holy sh*t! We get both Dutt and Jigsaw? Who the hell did I make happy today? Yeah, he’s going by the name “Rubix”, but TNA isn’t fooling anyone here. Dutt starts off with a side headlock and a shoulder block. Criss-cross ends with an a pair of armdrags by Rubix, followed by a very low dropkick for 2. Dutt with some punches. Rubix with a kneelift. Dutt lands an over-the-shoulder armdrag and a running hurricanrana, sending Rubix to the floor. Rubix quickly gets back in, dropkicks Dutt to the floor and levels him with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Rubix goes up top, but Dutt meets him with a dropkick. Dutt suckers Rubix into the turnbuckle and hits the Pendulum, sending Rubix into the middle rope, Dutt then hits a guillotine legdrop over the middle rope, sending Rubix back into the ring, where he’s met by a springboard splash by Dutt for 2. Dutt lost some coolness points by trying to look like Rey Mysterio with his form. Nevertheless, the match continues as Dutt sets up Sliced Bread #2. Rubix blocks it and sends him into the turnbuckles. Dutt meets him with a back elbow and goes for a hold, but Rubix counters into a Ghetto Blaster. German suplex by Rubix gets 2. Rubix goes for it again, but Dutt elbows out. Rubix goes for a tilt-a-whirl, which Dutt counters into a tornado DDT. Dutt looks to go up for the Hindu Press, but instead lands a moonsault double-stomp for the 3.
WINNER: Sonjay Dutt. Great match here. This is the kind of stuff that got me watching TNA in the first place, not all of the talking and useless drama angles. Damn fine finish for Dutt, too. I’ve never seen that version of the move before. Christy Hemme stops Dutt for an interview, asking him how it feels to be back. He says he’s back for one thing. He never became the X-Division Champion during his time with TNA, so he’s back, because there’s nobody whose got swagger like him.
We see Taz, Bruce Pritchard and Al Snow in their office from last week, discussing Taeler Hendrix’s future. Taz says she had no sense of entitlement, which he appreciated because he hates that sh*t. We’ll see the rest after the commercial break. Do I even need to say it?
After the break, we see clips from her match with Tara, which flat-out sucked. Not as bad as Alex Silva’s performance, but not much better, either. We then see the judges enter their office last Thursday. Pritchard says Tara was trying to send a message to Hendrix, which Snow agrees with. Taz says she was aesthetic and athletic, which is good. Pritchard asks if she’s still too green. He wants someone who is ready, but still has the potential to grow. Taz brings up her cancer diagnosis, which should make her more hungry of an athlete than others. Pritchard says that, as long as a wrestler can put in the work, he doesn’t care about their attitude.
MATCH 3-Bound For Glory Series: Bully Ray vs. Samoa Joe
We get a clip from Ray’s confrontation with Joseph Abyss last week. We go to the crowd, and Joseph isn’t in the crowd this week. Joe needs to get rid of the faux-hawk. Joe went from one of the bottom feeders in last year’s series to 2nd place this year, while Ray is doing the opposite. Expect him to lose again tonight. Ray tries to intimidate Joe, which does nothing. Joe backs him into a corner instead. Ray tries the same thing again, and it leads to the same result. Joe tries for a tie-up, but Ray climbs to the apron. He gets back in and goes for the tie-up, which Joe turns into an arm wringer. Ray reverses into his own, and Joe turns it into a side headlock. Two shoulder attempts by both lead to a stalemate, and Ray follows up with a back elbow. He then hocks a loogie into the air and catches it in his mouth because he’s white trash. Joe fires off some punches, so Ray rakes the eyes. Suplex by Ray, followed by a falling headbutt. Ray begins to humble Joe with a camel clutch as we go to commercials. Wait, you mean we’re getting a match that doesn’t end before the next break? Another Festivus miracle!
Back from the break, Joe ducks a clothesline and lands a couple shoulders. Running back elbow into the corner by Joe, followed by a spin kick to the head. Ray comes back with a big clothesline, dropping Joe. Ray’s faux-hawk is even worse than Joe’s. He chops Joe, and Joe forearms him. They repeat this sequence, and eventually Joe lands several forearms to the head. Ray and Joe simultaneously try to clothesline each other, crashing in the middle of the ring. Ray manages to get his arm over Joe, but only gets 2. Joe tries for a suplex, but can’t get Ray up. Ray hits an arm wringer snap, sending Joe to the mat. He then locks in an armbar, using the top rope for leverage. Ray breaks the hold, gets Joe into the corner, and pulls Joe’s arm over the top rope. Ray lands an axe handle to the shoulder, followed by an elbow drop. Joe rolls to the floor to try and shake it off. He starts to go into the ring, but manages to drag Ray to the floor. Ray grabs him by the arm and slams it into the steps before getting back in the ring. Ray telegraphs a “running splash” about 10 minutes before he hits it (not really, but you know what I mean), allowing Joe to come back with strikes, an inverted atomic drop, a big boot and a running senton for 2. Joe misses a clothesline, allowing Ray to nail a uranage for 2. Ray goes to the middle rope for the senton that never, ever connects, once again telegraphing it way to early. Ray slides to the floor, and Joe looks for a suicide dive. Ray sidesteps it, and Joe lands on his feet, but Ray manages to nail him with a big boot. Ray gets back in the ring, looking for a count-out. Joseph Abyss runs down to the ring as the referee has his attention to Joe. He gets on the apron, and Ray grabs him by the collar. Joseph Abyss slaps him, allowing Samoa Joe to come in from behind with the Kokina Clutch, getting the submission victory.
WINNER: Samoa Joe, who earns 10 points for the submission, bringing him up to 27 and keeping him firmly in 2nd place. Joseph Abyss then grabs a mic and says he knows who Ray is, but does Ray know who he is? He’s Joseph Abyss, and Ray is nothing but a jackass bully. He’s been bullied his entire life, even in law school, and it ends tonight. This is no longer about his “brother”; this is about him and Ray. He’s watched Ray bully everyone for long enough, and he’s sick of it. He’s sick of it, and the fans are sick of it. So, if Ray wants, why don’t they settle this once and for all? Give Abyss 2 weeks from tonight, and he’ll fight Ray again. This time, he’s bringing the fight to Ray.
Mike Tenay informs us that the phone call we heard a few weeks ago between Dixie and Styles was tampered with. Gasp. I never would have figured that out. Now, it’s time for more of Claire and Dixie’s explanation, because I know you just can’t get enough of this wooden acting that makes Keanu Reeves look like Jack Nicholson in comparison. AI asks Claire about how Chris-Zarian manipulated the truth, including the pictures. Dixie remembers the moment, and that was when Styles told her how bad things were with Claire. Claire can’t believe how something so innocent was turned that way. AI brings up the footage of the hotel room incident. Dixie says they were going to see Claire, who had just gotten out of rehab. Dixie brings up the phone conversation, which was about her husband’s surprise birthday party. Claire calls Chris-Zarian crafty, and says she wasn’t at the birthday party, because, you know, that’s integral.
We see Kaz in Hulk Hogan’s office, complaining about Christopher Daniels, saying he had no idea about what was going on. He doesn’t want to tag with Daniels anymore. Hogan calls BS, saying he’s not the same guy he met when he first came into TNA. Hogan says that, if he’s not the same guy, tonight in the tag match, show us, because he has to be accountable. Hogan ends the conversation, because he supposedly has another meeting. Kaz continues to be pissy as he leaves the office.
In the parking lot area, we see Garett Bischoff using his contract wisely, texting someone. Madison Rayne approaches him and says she has this crush, and she’s wondering, what’s he like? Garett asks who she’s talking about, so she whispers to him. Garett tells her good luck and walks away. Such good TV right here. Garett really deserves all of the money his dad conned Dixie Carter into pissing away on him. He’s just unbelievable as the faceless goof that no one cares about. Kudos, Dixie and Eric, on a job well done.
In some bizarrely red room, we see Brooke Hogan with Miss Tessmacher. Brooke informs Tessy that she’s got her a spot in the upcoming Direct Auto Insurance ad campaign. Tessy has an orgasm over the promotional posters. Gail Kim walks in and calls Tessy a cheap girl before addressing Brooke. Tessy interrupts her for no reason, and Kim calls all of the girls a cheap imitation of her. She then brings up her rematch for the Knockouts title, which Tessy very intelligently responds with, “I would love to rematch you and whip your ass.” Because that’s a real sentence. Brooke tells Kim she doesn’t want her butter anywhere near her bread. Don’t tell her to do her job. As for the rematch, it’s next week. Every time I see Brooke, I can only see and hear her dad, except with smaller boobs. “These are the kinds of thoughts that kept me out of the really good schools.”-George Carlin
MATCH 4-World X-Division Championship Tournament, quarterfinal round: Rashad Cameron vs. Mason Andrews
I almost didn’t recognize him, but Mason Andrews is Scorpio Sky. As for Rashad Cameron, he’s more commonly known in CZW as Sabian. Cameron looks like Reggie Watts on steroids. Cameron starts off with forearms to the back and chops to the chest. Andrews comes back with a roll-up for 2 and a pair of dropkicks for 2 more nearfalls. Andrews backdrops him to the floor, then nearly kills himself with a corkscrew suicide dive over the top rope. Back in the ring, the criss-cross sequence ends with a botched dropkick by Cameron. Cameron kitchen sinks him off the ropes for 2. Cameron goes for a gourdbuster, and just throws Andrews to the top rope. Middle rope moonsault misses. Andrews comes back with a kick and a pair of clotheslines. Jumping knee lift by Andrews, followed by a springboard cross body for 2. He misses the second one, and Cameron dropkicks him to the floor. Running somersault plancha by Cameron. As this match goes on, I never realized how much Andrews/Sky looks like Colorado indy wrestler Jason Noel. Back in the ring, Cameron mounts the middle rope, but Andrews cuts him off with a leaping hurricanrana for 2. Andrews picks Cameron up on his shoulders, but Cameron slides out, dropkicks him into the ropes and hits a jumping complete shot (think R-Truth’s What’s Up) for 3.
WINNER: Rashad Cameron. Christy Hemme stops him to ask him how it feels to go to Destination X. He says everyone is looking at the next champion. Everyone just saw the beginning of the Rashad Cameron Movement. And next time, he’s not from Philadelphia, PA. He’s from Philly 215. Pretty sure that’s the same place, Rashad.
Up next, Taeler Hendrix’s future is determined.
…But before we get to that, we see Hogan talking on his cellphone about Sting in his office, and James Storm & Jeff Hardy are there as well. After they discuss Sting, Hogan asks Storm how he’s doing. He says he’s good. Hogan says he rides higher and higher every week. As for Hardy, last week, he looked like he was ruling the world. Hardy says he’s ready. Hogan says they’re here because, next week, they’re facing each other in a BFG Series match in the main event.
Al Snow, Taz and Bruce Pritchard are in the ring with Jeremy Borash, who introduces each one of them. Apparently, both Bruce Pritchard and Al Snow are the Senior Executives of Talent Relations, according to Toolbox here. Taeler Hendrix makes her way out, and she’s really kind of disgusting to look at. Toolbox asks if she is at her best. She says she is. Riveting. Taz is up first, and all he says is “yes”. Snow’s turn, and he says he’s known her for a long time, watching her evolve and grow as an entertainer…but before he can finish, Taz spots Joey Ryan in the front row, who is screaming at him. Taz leaves the ring as Ryan is screaming in his face, begging Taz to hit him. Al Snow climbs out and orders security to throw him out. Anyway, back to Snow’s decision. He says she has talent and potential, but she’s not ready for a spot. His answer is no. Toolbox then gives Hendrix her promo time. She says that, someone, somewhere gave each one of them a chance, and that’s what she’s asking for. She’s hungry and she fought to get here, and she wants to fight to stay here. She wants it, and she’s going to fight to prove she can shine. Welp, I’m still not impressed. Bruce Pritchard is up now. He says he likes her. She’s inexperienced, green and rough around the edges. He’s not sure if she’s tough enough or has a mean streak. However, some like other jerk who is looking for 2 more minutes to add to his 15 minutes of fame, she’s got heart, desire and class, and we can work with that. His answer is yes.
So, Taeler Hendrix gets her contract, we get another scary woman to look at every week, and I completely lose any and all faith in the Gut Check system. You know, as bad as Hendrix claims she wanted this, she showed next to no emotion when Pritchard made his decision and she was announced as the newest member of the roster. At least Alex Silva showed some, even if it was fake. That still doesn’t excuse the fact that he sucks something awful, but at least he put forth the effort at that moment.
Kurt Angle is in the back with AJ Styles. He says the situation with Dixie is behind them, and he’s got a lot of respect for Styles. He’s got balls, and that’s what Angle loves about him (that doesn’t sound right). Styles says the weight is off his shoulders, and now, he’s got Christopher Daniels in a Last Man Standing Match at Destination X. Daniels and Kazarian couldn’t be anymore divided than they are right now, and it’s time for him and Angle to exploit that tonight.
Next week, we’re going to hear from Chris Sabin, who is unfortunately out with his second consecutive knee injury. We see Claire Lynch and Dixie Carter, who are sitting at ringside for the main event.
MATCH 5-World Tag Team Championship: Chris-Zarian vs. Champions Kurt Angle and AJ Styles.
Kaz stomps to the ring past Daniels during their entrance, gets on the apron and begins yelling at Daniels. Kaz and AJ start off, with AJ pushing Kaz into a corner. He lands a hip throw into a side headlock. AJ with a snapmare and a kick between the shoulder blades. Angle tags in, and the champs hit a double shoulderblock. Kaz hits a sit-out jawbreaker on Daniels before slapping Daniels for the tag. Angle boots Daniels in the corner. Daniels gets his boot up on a corner charge, follows up with a bodyslam and an inside-out elbow. Kaz is tagged back in, but Daniels tags himself back in almost immediately. Angle hits a back body drop on Daniels, followed by a t-bone suplex that sends Daniels to the floor. AJ got tagged in somewhere in there, and he hits a running hurricanra from the apron. Bodyslam on the floor by AJ before sending him into the guardrail as Kaz just looks on. He gets in Daniels’ face, and they begin arguing as we go to commercials.
WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: Chris-Zarian. Well, so much for Kaz’s face turn. Not that I care, because he sucks as a face. Daniels grabs the mic and says that today is a great day because “We are the World Tag Team Champions of the World”. Has he been studying promo tapes of Andre the Giant? Daniels tells Dixie Carter to turn her frown upside down, because there’s reason for her to be happy as well. While Claire told the truth, she didn’t tell the whole truth. As we can all see, Claire is pregnant. What she didn’t say is that the soon-to-be bastard child belongs to AJ Styles. Not to worry, as he’s sure the kid will be a phenomenal baby. Gee, I bet no one saw that part coming. Except, of course, everyone who has ever seen a wrestling show ever.
End of show.
Aside from Gut Check and this horrendous angle, the knockouts promo segment and this horrid angle involving Dixie Carter and the lot, this week was actually a decent show. Even the Mr. Anderson match was watchable, and that says something. The first X-Division tournament match: great. The second: not so much. Oh, well. You can’t win them all.
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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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