This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling opens up with us seeing Austin Aries and Kurt Angle, who will face each other in the opening round of the World title tournament later tonight.
This week’s episode takes place from Cincinnati, OH, and in the arena, the Aces and Eights make their way down to the ring. Bully Ray has one question and one question only: do you know who he is? He’s the puppet master. He’s the one who plays all of the fans. He’s the one who makes you believe whatever he wants you to believe. You’re nothing but a bunch of suckers. This club ain’t about quantity; it’s about quality. One thing perfectly clear, he doesn’t need to be the World Champion to be the most talked about guy in TNA. He is the be-all, end-all, and everyone knows it. Speaking of end-all, that brings him to Ken Anderson. Anderson tried to drive a wedge between him, his brothers and his girl. No one drives the wedge between him and his girl except him. He accepts Anderson’s challenge for next week, but the difference this time is that he won’t just piledrive Anderson on the stage; he’ll piledrive him through it.
MATCH 1: Mr. Anderson vs. Knux
Anderson kicks Knux as he enters the ring, then fires off some rights in the corner. Ray and Garett were sent to the back during the commercials. Anderson hits an uppercut and a clothesline, but Knux is still on his feet. Knux ducks a clothesline and hits a cross-body for 2. Knux chokes Anderson over the middle rope, then legdrops him across the back. Knux beats Anderson down in the corner before sending him across the ring. Knux hits a double chop to the shoulders, then throws Anderson to outside. Knux continues the attack on the outside before pulling Anderson up into the ring, hitting a delayed vertical suplex from the apron for 2. A neck vice is applied, but Anderson fights his way out. He goes for the rolling fireman’s carry, but Knux escapes and shoves him chest-first into the corner. Knux hits an avalanche to the back, then follows up with a sidewalk slam for 2. A short-arm clothesline connects, and now Knux screams in Anderson’s face. He drags Anderson to his feet and hits another short-arm. Knux goes for another one, but Anderson blocks it and hits the Mic Check for 3.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson.
We get a video for Joseph Park, talking about what happened with Bad Influence last week. He knows what will fix this, and that’s getting Christopher Daniels one-on-one. What Daniels did to him last week was downright wrong. Leave the partners in the back, and let’s settle this. This cuts to BI talking about Park’s challenge. Daniels tells Kazarian to stay in the back, and he’ll handle Park himself tonight. As Daniels leaves, Bobby Roode approaches them and they begin glad-handing each other.
MATCH 2: Christopher Daniels vs. Joseph Park
Daniels ducks a clothesline and hits a series of strikes before running into a hiptoss. Park forearms Daniels in the chest, then goes for a punch before Daniels calls for a time-out. He offers a handshake, and Park pulls him up before hitting a short-arm clothesline. Daniels gets sent into the corner, collapsing onto the mat. He comes back with a punch to the face, but Park recovers and goes for a Boston crab. Daniels escapes to the floor and runs around the ring. Park chases him, getting kicked in the ribs on the way back in the ring. Daniels hits some elbows to the head, followed by a clothesline to the back of the head for a 1-count. He goes for an Irish whip, but Park blocks it and ducks a clothesline. He also blocks a sunset flip, but misses a sit-down splash. Daniels covers him for 2, then applies a rear chinlock. Park gets to his feet, so Daniels clubs him back down. Park gets to his feet and hits a Samoan drop. Park pulls himself to his feet in the corner, avoids a corner charge, hits a clothesline, a bodyslam and a sidewalk slam for 2. Daniels recovers and goes for a suplex, but Park counters into one of his own. He calls for the Closing Argument, but Daniels rolls across the ring to avoid it. Park drops down and hits an avalanche in the opposite corner before hitting some forearms to the head. He shoves the referee out of the way, and as his back is turned, Daniels hits a low blow and gets the 3.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels.
We see Garett Bischoff and Knux in the back, talking. Garett tells him not to worry about the loss, and Bully Ray enters, telling him the same thing. He then rambles on about Ken Anderson again before saying they all need to hit the strip club now.
MATCH 3-2-on-1 Handicap Match: Ethan Carter III vs. Dewey Barnes and Norv Fernum
I am so sick of this angle. Fernum starts by hitting Carter. He applies an arm wringer and tags in Barnes, who comes off the bottom rope with a double axe handle. Fernum back in, and he hits one from the middle rope. Barnes back in, and he comes off with a double stomp to the arm from the top. He hits a forearm in the adjacent corner before Carter hits a running clothesline. Carter snaps off a suplex, then follows up with a back suplex. Fernum distracts Carter, which allows Barnes to block a corner charge. He follows up with a spinning headscissors and tags in Fernum, who hits a springboard cross-body, followed by a seated missile dropkick. Fernum mounts the middle rope and hits a tornado DDT for 2. Carter pops back up with a boot to the face, then hits the One-Percenter, the official name for his finisher now. Barnes makes the blind tag mid-move and comes in, but is hit with the One-Percenter as well. Carter pins them both for 3.
WINNER: Ethan Carter III. Carter does his dumbass catchphrase after the match, as you would expect.
We get another video “brought to you by the friends of AJ”. We see footage of him working in AAA and defending the World title as well as wrestling El Mesias. Cut back to backstage, and we see Dixie Carter screaming at the guys in production to find out how these videos are getting through and fix the problem.
Dixie Carter makes her way out, and I notice that she is the only person on this roster that has an actual video show on the giant screen instead of just a moving graphic. She says it’s so hard when you are blessed with perfect instincts like hers. She never has to prove herself because of that. Every once in a while, it feels so good to say how right she is. When she kicked that redneck off her roster, the class has gone up ten-fold. It has proven her point that no one, except herself, is irreplaceable. This is a business. It’s not some walk down memory lane. It’s about what you’ve done for her lately. Aside from trying to get under her skin, AJ has taken the title he stole south of the border to Mexico in the sports car he stole from her, and he’s defending that title. AJ is not her World Champion, period, and her lawyers will handle him. What she’s here to talk about now is the most innovative title tournament in wrestling history. Jeff Hardy beat “somebody” in a Full Metal Mayhem last week, and this week, Kurt Angle faces Austin Aries in a Submission Match. Next week, the Turning Point PPV will be presented live on free TV, and she’s going to bring out four men who will be an important part of that show. First out is Bobby Roode. He’s followed by James Storm, as these two will face each other next week. The other two are Samoa Joe and Magnus, who also face each other then. Dixie reminds us of these matches, then says she spun the Wheel of Dixie earlier today to determine the match stipulations. She filmed it and posted it on “our internet”. Roode and Storm will face each other in a Bullrope Match. Beer Money Inc. was the greatest team in history, but this is about individuality. Storm may think he has an advantage, but she gives that advantage to Roode because he’s beaten Angle twice. Storm needs to step up and prove what he’s made of. Storm says he doesn’t have to show her a damn thing because she isn’t ready to ride this rodeo. He spouts off a bunch of stupid southern clichés and says a redneck needs to take over this show and be the World Champion. Storm says he has one thing to say to Roode, and Roode mocks his dumb catchphrase in response. Dixie moves onto Joe/Magnus, saying they will face each other in a Falls-Count-Anywhere Match. Joe says he can’t participate in this charade. The only reason these guys are in this tournament because she couldn’t cut a deal with AJ Styles. They’re all being used by her to cover her bad business. But Joe has her covered, as after he wins the title, the first man he’s defending the belt against is AJ. Dixie says he’s lucky to be in the tournament and she could replace him with the snap of her fingers. Magnus steps in and says this is all about the spirit of competition, and if he wants to lay claim to being the top dog, he has to beat the best, and that’s Joe. It won’t be easy, but it will happen. Dixie takes the mic once more and says this tournament is about finding her champion who will look after her causes, and that man will be the one true champion for this business.
We see Garett Bischoff wandering around in the back when he’s assaulted by Mr. Anderson. Anderson throws him into an equipment box, then handcuffs him to a cart. He tells Garett to shut up, then says he’d like to have a little talk.
Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa make their way out. Kim says last week, she issued an open challenge for any female outside this company who thinks they’re good enough to get in the ring with her. A lot of names were mentioned, but the only problem is, someone actually has to show up. Tonight, someone did, so come on out.
MATCH 4: Knockouts Champion Gail Kim (w/Lei’D Tapa) vs. Hannah Blossom
Pretty sure they did this exact same angle with Kim’s former partner and my best friend Madison Rayne a while ago. This Blossom chick is one of the “British Boot Camp” wastes of space, so this will be just wonderful. Kim immediately boots her in the face, then throws her face-first into the corner. She follows up with a European uppercut, then slams Blossom’s face into the mat. Kim sends her across the ring and hits a corner body attack through the ropes before yanking Blossom down by the hair. Back in the ring, Blossom fights back with rights before getting kicked in the leg. Kim kicks her in the back of the head, then forearms her in the chest. In the corner, Kim hits a couple of kicks before throwing Blossom face-first into the top buckle. Kim goes outside to apply the ring post figure-4, breaking it at 3. Back in the ring, Kim trips Blossom for 1 before breaking the pin herself. Blossom blocks a shot and hits a series of forearms, followed by a clothesline and a pair of back elbows. She hits a suplex and the weakest jumping splash you’ve ever seen for 2. Kim gets sent into the corner, but rebounds with a clothesline. Eat Defeat connects for 3.
WINNER: Gail Kim. After the match, Kim tells Blossom nice try, but not really. Week after week, Kim will continue to show why she is the most dominant TNA Knockouts Champion of all time.
Joseph Park makes his way out once more, this time with a mic in his hand. He says that, when he came to TNA about a year ago, his only goal was to find his brother, Abyss. After he saw all the great outpouring of support from the fans, he couldn’t just walk away. Lately, a couple of things have been getting under his skin. Bad Influence says he’ll never be the wrestler his brother is. They’re right, because Abyss is a legend and a future TNA Hall of Famer. But what really gets under his skin is the accusations. Where is Abyss? Park doesn’t know where the hell he is. Abyss is nuts and liable to show up any time. He thinks he has a solution, though. He is issuing an open challenge for next week for a match between himself and Abyss. That isn’t actually an open challenge, but whatever.
As Angle makes his way out, we cut to the back, where Garett is still handcuffed to a cart. Mr. Anderson is back there as well, taunting Garett as he’s semi-conscious. Anderson un-cuffs him, picks him up in a fireman’s carry and says they’re going for a little walk. Back to the ring, Angle applies a waistlock. Aries breaks it, picks Angle’s left leg and goes for a legbar. Angle counters into a rear chinlock, and Aries breaks free. The two lock up, and Aries applies a rear chinlock. Angle counters into a hammerlock, then into a hip throw. Aries counters into a headscissors before Angle breaks free. They lock up again, and Aries applies a waistlock. Angle counters into a side headlock before shouldering Aries off the ropes. They crisscross before Aries hits a pair of deep armdrags into an armbar. Angle counters into a headscissors. Aries escapes and goes for a low dropkick, but Angle avoids it and goes for the ankle lock. Aries kicks him away and goes for a clothesline, but Angle ducks and hits a release German suplex. Aries lands on his feet, however, and immediately applies the Last Chancery. Angle quickly escapes and slides to the floor. Back in the ring, Angle clubs Aries in the head before stomping him down in the corner. Angle whips him across the ring, but Aries avoids contact, rolls to his back and traps Angle in a single-leg Boston crab, which he turns into an STF. Angle gets to the ropes, so Aries breaks the hold and begins attacking Angle’s back and neck. Aries shoulders Angle in the corner before sending him across the ring. Aries hits a corner clothesline, a running bulldog and applies a front chancery. Angle gets a rope break, then hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker off the ropes. Angle looks up at the stage, and we see Bobby Roode standing there, chair in hand. He sets the chair up to watch the match from the stage, and Angle begins heading up the ramp. As Angle is distracted, Aries comes off the top with a double axe handle. However, Angle blocks it and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. Why is the referee counting these two out when the only way to win this match is via submission? Oh, yeah. This is TNA. Anyway, Angle rolls Aries back into the ring, where Aries dropkicks him in the knee, sending him back to the floor from the apron. Commercials.
Back from the break, Aries is on the apron, and he hits a neckbreaker through the ropes. Aries gets back in the ring and hits a jumping elbow drop before applying a front chancery once more. Angle fights out, but Aries hits a knee to the gut. Angle goes for a belly-to-belly, but Aries boxes the ears. Angle comes back with a series of clotheslines, gets elbowed out of the corner, then hits an overhead belly-to-belly. Angle goes for the Murder-Suicide, with the third leg of the move being a release German. Angle signals for the Angle Slam, but Aries counters into an armdrag. Angle rolls through and is met with a rolling elbow that sends him to the floor. Aries connects with a double axe handle from the top to the floor, then rolls Angle back in the ring. He goes up top and tries a missile dropkick, but Angle blocks it and applies the ankle lock. Aries rolls through, sending Angle face-first into the middle buckle. Aries tries a corner dropkick, and Angle once again turns it into an ankle lock. Aries rolls through once more, sending Angle to the floor this time. Aries levels Angle with a suicide dive, then throws him back in the ring. Aries goes up top once more, hitting the missile dropkick this time. Angle pulls himself up to his feet in the corner, and Aries connects with a running dropkick. Aries hits the brainbuster, then immediately applies the Last Chancery. Aries turns himself over and goes for the brainbuster once more. Angle shoves him off, and now the two trade forearms. Angle slaps Aries and goes for the Murder-Suicide once more. A moron in the crowd starts a “U-S-A” chant, because Minnesota is no longer a part of this country, apparently. Aries blocks the third leg of the move by grabbing the ropes. Angle clubs him across the back, then sets him on the top rope. He goes for a back superplex, but Aries knocks him down with an elbow to the head. Angle gets back to his feet and goes for the German superplex, but Aries once again knocks him down. He goes for the 450 splash, but Angle moves. Aries lands on his ankle, and Angle goes for the Angle Slam. Aries rolls through while holding onto Angle and goes for the brainbuster. Angle breaks free and goes for the Angle Slam. Aries counters into an armdrag, but Angle recovers and sends Aries shoulder-first into the ring post. Angle yells at Roode on the stage, then applies Roode’s Bowflex, with Aries eventually tapping out.
WINNER: Kurt Angle.
As Mike Tenay goes over the Turning Point card, he’s interrupted by Mr. Anderson’s music. Anderson drags Garett Bischoff onto the stage (Roode is still there, BTW), then hits a piledriver. Angle stares at Anderson from the ring, looking confused. Roode then decides to stare at Angle as Anderson takes Garett’s vest off.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
[amazon_link id=”B00EHMYKGC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: History of the WWE[/amazon_link]