Tonight is once again “Championship Thursday”, which means…well, it really doesn’t much of anything anymore. This whole concept of people having to qualify for a potential shot at the title, but then Hogan hand-picking the opponent anyway is just stupid. Tonight’s potential World title challengers are Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson and James Storm. Meh.
MATCH 1-World X-Division Championship: Rob Van Dam (Champion) vs. Zema Ion
Jeremy Borash and some dork named Todd Kenely are on commentary. Apparently, there will be a different team for each hour, with Tenay and Taz doing second-hour duties. BTW, how is RVD X-Division Champion? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the weight limit is 225, and RVD is about 10 pounds over that. Just about a minute in, and I already want to strangle JB with the cord to his headset. Standing switch leads into a series of reversals and missed strikes, as well as a couple of nearfall trade-offs. Headlock by Ion, and RVD counters into a body scissors roll-up for 2. Ion hits an armdrag, and RVD comes back with a Warrior Press. He botches a standing moonsault, and a second-rope moonsault gets 2. Ion rolls to the floor, RVD baseball slides him, but Ion blocks a cross-body attempt, drags RVD to the floor and rams him into the guardrail. RVD gets back on the apron and blocks a running dive with a roundhouse. He misses a cross-body, sending him back to the floor. Ion levels him with a somersault plancha to the floor. Ion hot shots RVD on the apron, and hits the tornado DDT through the ropes for 2. Up top, Ion misses a corkscrew splash. RVD hits a thrust kick, Rolling Thunder, and the Five-Star Frog Splash gets 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Rob Van Dam. Wow. That was about formulaic. After the match, Matt Morgan levels RVD with the Carbon Footprint. Joey Ryan is right behind him and takes the X-Division belt. Morgan tells Hogan to be careful what he wishes for, because he’s now got the different Morgan he wanted.
We see Austin Aries apparently looking in on Hogan’s meeting with the potential contenders, making fun of the butt-kissing that’s likely going on. He’s going to wait out here and get reactions from each guy that gets rejected.
Chris-Zarian make their way out, and they’ve got brand new generic entrance music. Daniels has a clipboard in hand. Kaz says it’s fitting Halloween is around the corner, because the real Tag Team Champions have gotten a lot of tricks, but not treats. They are victims of a conspiracy. First, last week, “Mr. Nanny” altered Kaz’s travel so he couldn’t make it to the Impact Zone, leaving Daniels at a disadvantage. Second, at BFG, their titles were taken from them illegally from two guys who are likely in this country illegally. Daniels says to take it slow, since the people in the crowd are slow. Tonight is supposed to be “Championship Thursday”, but that isn’t true, is it, Suburban Commando. Zema Ion got his rematch, Miss Tessmacher is getting hers later, but Chris-Zarian aren’t getting theirs. They’re not liars like Chavo and Hernandez. Those two know what buttons to push to get their way. Chavo mentions every member of his family to get the crowd to cheer like Pavlov’s dogs. They also know Dixie Carter is so desperate to grow a Spanish audience, they come out in ponchos and have Mexican tattoos. Why don’t they go one further and get sombreros and call themselves “Los Stereotypicos”. Daniels has a petition he wants everyone to sign to make sure they get their title match. As Kaz is passing the petition around, Los Stereotypicos make their way out. Chavo asks if someone needs help getting a rematch around here. The champs would like to help. Nothing would make them more happy than to help get Chris-Zarian get a rematch so they can shove the belts down their throats. The champs chase them out of the ring before signing the petition themselves. Chavo tells them any place, anytime.
In Hogan’s office, he’s with the title contenders. He says Hardy’s rise to the top was unexpected, and everyone in the room is on a roll. Storm blathers on about whipping ass and taking a backseat to everyone. Bully Ray is still steaming about Devon. Kurt Angle says if he hadn’t gotten injured, he’d still be champion, and hasn’t had a title match since then. Mr. Anderson doesn’t know what Hogan wants. Hogan says he doesn’t have the fire, and Anderson is eliminated. Austin Aries is waiting for him when he leaves, making fun of the way Hogan talks. Aries offers him a title match when he becomes champion. Anderson says he doesn’t need a handout. Aries says giving him a title match would be just that, because he can beat Anderson no problem. They start brawling when Aries calls himself a “bigger asshole”. Yes, they were fighting over a word. Aries challenges him for later tonight.
We’re in Aces and Eights’ clubhouse now. Devon says the V.P. had him set up this meeting, and orders the rest of the group to keep their masks on. No one needs to know who they are. Before they get to business, he’s got some ladies to entertain them. In order for them to do that, they need to take someone out first, and it has to be done tonight. A dartboard is shown with pics of the entire roster glued to it. One of the guys throws a dart, but we don’t see where it lands. The rest of the group starts laughing, and Devon says he thinks they found their target.
MATCH 2-World Television Championship: Robbie T (w/Robbie E) vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)
JB says that it’s not often Joe is facing someone bigger than him, but tonight, he’s facing a giant. Yeah, except that they weigh about the same, stupid. If anything, Joe outweighs T. T misses a corner charge, then no-sells some knife-edge chops. Joe tries to shoulder him down, but he’s still standing. T drops him with a double axe handle to the head. Joe slaps T in the face a few times and goes to the ropes, where he’s met with an awful jumping roundhouse by T. Joe ducks a clothesline, running right into a goozle. He breaks it, but runs into a second one. T goes for a chokeslam, but Joe slides out and locks in the Kokina Clutch. Robbie E jumps on the apron for the distraction, as T breaks the hold by running back-first into the turnbuckles. Joe immediately reapplies it, and E is back on the apron. T breaks it once more, so Joe jumps on his back and reapplies it once more. T breaks it by dropping onto his back on the mat, but Joe immediately sits back up and locks it in once more, getting the submission.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Samoa Joe. God, did this suck. Robbie T is so awful.
Miss Tessmacher is in the back. She says waiting for this rematch has felt like an eternity, but she loved seeing ODB manhandle Jesse last week. Tonight, she takes her title back before sending Tara and Jesse back to the “D-list”.
Back in Hogan’s office, he asks Angle if Bully Ray is focused on a title match. Angle says no, that he’s too focused on Devon. Same question for Storm. He got stabbed in the back by his partner once, and couldn’t focus. He doesn’t think Ray is focused. Ray says he can’t help it, and if he doesn’t get his title match, he’s going to hunt down Devon and get the answers he needs. Hogan says Ray just made his choice easier, and he’s out. Now, go find Devon and take care of business.
Elsewhere, Mr. Anderson is screaming at some tech about how much he hates Austin Aries. If Aries wants to go, so does he. If Hogan says it’s okay, he says it’s okay. Get to stepping! Go get him!
MATCH 3: Mr. Anderson vs. Austin Aries
Lock-up gets a rope break, which leads to a shoving match. Another lock-up, and another break. A punch by Anderson sends Aries to the floor temporarily. Lock-up once more, and another shoving contest. Anderson winds up knocking Aries down and looks for a rolling fireman’s carry slam. Aries escapes, but Anderson drops him with a right. Aries rolls to the floor to escape an elbow drop. Back in, Aries gets a waistlock in. Anderson breaks it with some elbows, then immediately reaches into his tights, where he finds a pair of knuckle dusters that Aries had shoved in there. As Anderson argues with the referee about where they came from, Aries nails him with a forearm to the back of the head. He boxes Anderson’s ears in the corner, but misses a corner clothesline. Anderson fires off some rights before sending Aries hard into the opposite corner. Bodyslam and an elbow gets 2. Aries comes back with some forearms to the back before throwing Anderson to the floor out of a side headlock. Aries follows up with a suicide dive. Commercials.
Back from the break, Aries is in control with Anderson in the corner. Corner whip and a running back elbow by Aries. Open-hand chop by Aries, and Anderson comes back with punches before hitting a chop himself. Aries blocks a corner charge, and a jumping knee to the back of the head gets 2. They trade some forearm strikes before Anderson lands a couple back elbows and a clothesline. Anderson blocks a clothesline and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Aries escapes the fireman’s carry once more. Anderson ducks the rolling elbow. Aries ducks a roundhouse, but Anderson continues spinning and connects with a jumping version, sending Aries to the floor. Anderson hits a slingshot plancha before sending Aries back in the ring for 2. Aries escapes the fireman’s carry a third time, this time by grabbing a hold of the referee, sending them both crashing to the mat. Aries grabs the knuckle dusters out of referee Brian Hebner’s pocket and goes to deck Anderson, but Anderson ducks, and the dusters fall off Aries’ hand. Anderson picks them up, and Hebner sees him holding onto them. Hebner takes them away again, and while his back is turned, Aries pulls out a second pair and decks Anderson with them. He pulls Anderson over the top of him for a fake pin attempt, kicking out at 2. Aries pretends to be dazed before locking in the Last Chancery. Anderson is out cold, so Hebner rings the bell, giving Aries the submission win.
WINNER: Austin Aries. Kind of a lousy match, but I enjoyed the finish. Anderson just doesn’t gel with anyone.
Tara and Jesse are in the back with Brooke Hogan, and Tara is complaining about ODB. Brooke asks why she worrying about ODB when ODB beat her clean. Tara rambles on about ODB not keeping her hands off Jesse. Jesse starts talking about being a reality TV “star”. Brooke tells Tara to get her head together, do her job and wrestle before telling Jesse ODB has her eye on him.
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad to hear Tenay and Taz after listening to those two half-wits.
MATCH 4-Knockouts Championship: Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara (w/Jesse) (Champion)
Tessy knocks Tara down before she can even get in the ring. Forearm shots to the back on the floor by Tessy before she sends Tara into the ring. Punt to the ribs, and a pin gets 2. Punt to the face by Tessy, and she follows up with a snapmare and a kick to the back. Tessy slams Tara’s face into the mat several times before stomping her in the corner. Jesse causes a distraction, which allows Tara to forearm Tessy to the floor. Tara slams her face-first into the apron. Back in the ring, Tara with her own punt to the ribs and face slams. Bodyslam near the ropes, but Tara misses the Arabian Facebuster. Tessy with forearms and chops, a pair of clotheslines and a running forearm. Tara crawls to the corner, where Tessy hits a hip bump and a stinkface. Shout-Out by Tessy. She goes to the ropes, but Tara grabs a hold of referee Taryn Terrell. This allows Jesse to low bridge Tessy, sending her to the floor. Jesse throws her back in, and Tara connects with the Widow’s Peak for the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Tara. After the match, Tara and Jesse continue fondling each other until Brooke Hogan interrupts things. She tells Tara next week is OFN, and she just got off the phone with a very feisty ODB. ODB wants to challenge Jesse.
We see Bully Ray walking around in the back. He’s headed out to the ring.
Joe Abyss enters Hulk Hogan’s office. He never got an answer last week about fighting someone from A and E. Hulk says Joe has only had one match. Joe asks if he’s more concerned about his health, or Hulk’s liability. Joe hands Hulk a piece of paper that completely indemnifies everyone of being responsible for him, making Joe responsible for himself. He asks Hulk to stand behind him, and if he can’t do that, stand out of his way. Hulk says he’ll think about it before ordering Joe out of his office.
Bully Ray makes his way out, and thanks Sting for allowing him to be his partner at BFG. He’s been doing this a long time. Not many things shock him anymore. But, at BFG, when the mask came off and everyone found out that his brother Devon was involved with A and E, he was totally shocked. Last week, Devon gave a bullcrap excuse about why he did what he did. So, what Ray wants right now is Devon to come out and tell him why he did what he did face-to-face. Devon answers, coming through the crowd, flanked by five other members of the group. He grabs a mic and tells Ray he doesn’t owe him an explanation. They are no longer a team or family; they are nothing. Ray did what he did two years ago, and Devon did what he did. Enough said. This has nothing to do with Ray. This whole thing has to do with Hogan (obligatory and pointless “You sold out!” chant). Hogan came out here and said he wanted Devon back, calling him a fighting champion. Hogan never called or texted him. Hogan, Dixie and TNA sat behind a desk and did nothing. When he was down and out, Aces and Eights had his back and picked him back up. TNA and Hogan did nothing. This doesn’t end here. When everything is said and done, they will take out everyone who has done them wrong, one-by-one. Go home and leave things be. Ray isn’t even a threat anymore. Ray says it’s over when he says so. As far as two years ago, Devon knows exactly why he did it. It’s between them. Devon is a lying sack of crap. On the night they were supposed to retire, they should have retired as champions. Chris Sabin kicked out of the 3-D. No one had ever done that. Here’s the part no one knows. When they sat in that locker room, Devon said something to him. Devon said, “Bubba. What the hell’s the big deal? What are you so worried about? We’re rich. Screw the fans.” Deny you ever said that. That’s why Ray did what he did. Devon doesn’t deny it at all. Ray says they’re doing too much talking, and they should be fighting. Why doesn’t Devon get rid of the guys he’s hiding behind, and let’s fight right now. Devon laughs before saying no, saying it’s on his time, not Ray’s. As far as he’s concerned, he’ll let Ray know when the time is right. For now, he’s going home. They start to leave before Ray says this is typical, calling Devon a coward for his entire career, hiding behind Ray. He had no balls then, and has none now. Next week is OFN, and Ray is challenging him now. Someone is going through a table.
AI stops Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan in the back, wanting to know why they attacked RVD. Ryan asks if this is his first day. The normal rules don’t apply to them, and RVD found that out first-hand. He’s not afraid of RVD, and in fact, maybe it’s time to put some X-Division gold around his sexy waist. Morgan turns the camera to himself and talks directly to Hulk Hogan. Hogan started this last week with his excuses to hold Morgan down. Those days are over. From this moment forward, Matt Morgan is going to do what he wants, when he wants, where he wants, and he dares Hogan to stop him.
Next week, the Gut Check competitor is Christian York, former partner of current NXT trainer Joey Mercury, who he discusses. Honestly, I didn’t even know York was still wrestling, as I haven’t seen or heard his name for years. He calls Gut Check maybe his last moment to make it big in wrestling, as he’s been at it for 16 years, and he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be able to go. York is pretty talented, so I’m okay with him joining the roster.
Hogan is in the backstage area, talking to James Storm and Kurt Angle for his final decision on tonight’s title match. He tells Storm he’s been through a war and knows what he’s capable of and has big plans for him, but right now, it’s Angle’s time. Angle heads out to the ring, and Hogan tells Storm they need to talk, as he’s got something huge planned.
MATCH 5-World Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy (Champion)
I didn’t get a good look at it the first time, but Hardy’s second belt is the regular World Championship title. Why is he carrying both of these, when they’re representing the exact same championship? Angle backs Hardy to the corner with a lock-up, giving him a clean break. Side headlock by Angle now. Shoulder off the ropes by Angle, crisscross, and an armdrag by Hardy. Hardy holds on into an armbar, and Angle fights back to his feet. Another armdrag by Hardy, going back to the armbar. Angle backs Hardy to the corner, where he rakes the eyes. He sends Hardy head-first into the buckles, but Hardy fights back and stomps Angle down. Slingshot dropkick in the corner gets 2. Angle blocks a charge and goes to the middle rope. He jumps off with a double axe handle, and Hardy counters into an inverted atomic drop, followed by a double legdrop and a seated dropkick for 2. Hardy tries to counter a corner whip with a headscissors, but Angle just shoves him off, causing him to land crotch-first across the top rope. Angle shoves Hardy to the floor as we go to commercials.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Jeff Hardy. After the match, Austin Aries attacks Hardy from behind. He says he thought Hardy had eyes in the back of his head, but was wrong. He officially announces where and when he’d like his title rematch. He’d do it right now, but that wouldn’t be fair, and he doesn’t want to do it on free TV. At Turning Point, it will be him and Hardy for the title. Not for Hardy’s awful belt, but for the real World title belt. He’s so confident he’s winning at Turning Point, he’s taking the real belt with him.
As Aries is heading up the ramp, Tenay gets word something in the back is going on. We cut to the back, and Kurt Angle is being assaulted by Aces and Eights. Eventually, they are chased off by…Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco? Because they’re such an intimidating pair.
End of show.
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