Once again, Impact is in Little Rock, AR. Tonight, Magnus has challenged EGO to a Gauntlet Match, and Hulk Hogan will respond to Stephanie McMahon-Levesque-Carter’s ultimatum from last week.
AJ Styles makes his way out to the ring to open the show. About the only good thing coming out of this Dixie Carter storyline is that AJ is cutting some of the best promos of his entire career. Hopefully, he continues the trend tonight. AJ says he can appreciate Hulk trying to smooth things over last week, but then here comes Dixie, showing her true colors. He’s not here to talk about Hulk right now, though, and as much as he’d like to bury Dixie with every shovel he has, he’s not out here to talk about her, either. He’s here to talk about his BFG opponent, Bully Ray. He knows who Ray is. He’s the man AJ will beat to become the next World Champion, and AJ will go through him to get what he wants. It’s put up or shut up time for AJ at BFG. He currently doesn’t have a contract in TNA. He’s all in, and his life is on the line. He hasn’t seen the World title in over a year. He’s hungry to get what he wants. They say Ray is the most dangerous guy in the building. AJ begs to differ.
On this note, Ray and Brooke Tessmacher head down to the ring. Ray says Dixie is really in AJ’s head. AJ just said he hopes to win the World title. If AJ were a true champion and a true winner, he’d KNOW he’d be able to win. But, because Dixie is in his head so damn good, AJ doubts himself. Dixie is a gorgeous woman (um…no), but not as gorgeous as Brooke. AJ shouldn’t be worried about her on October 20th; he should be worried about Ray. Look at what he did to Hulk, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, his own brother Devon. What does AJ think Ray will do to him? AJ already knows who he is-the guy who beat AJ two years ago in a Last Man Standing Match. AJ has nothing Ray wants or needs, but he Ray does want to take something away: he wants to take AJ away from the fans. He’s sick of hearing every arena around the world chant “AJ, AJ, AJ”. After October 20th, the fans won’t be chanting that anymore. AJ says Ray is the same as Dixie. Ray uses people, bleeds them for everything they’re worth, then kicks them to the curb as if they never existed. Ray takes that as a compliment. They’re both ruthless, millionaires and somebodies. Ray then says he’s sending AJ packing after BFG to his miserable life and his worthless kids. AJ says Ray isn’t focused, and should be focused on his match tonight. Ray says he doesn’t have a match tonight, and AJ begs to differ. Ray’s opponent is going to kill him. Joe is going to kill him.
Austin Aries is on commentary for the first match.
MATCH 1: Kenny King and Chris Sabin (w/Velvet Sky) vs. World X-Division Manik and Jeff Hardy
Why does King’s graphic show his name as “K.I.N.G.”? To the best of my knowledge, his last name isn’t an acronym for anything. Then again, Dixie probably doesn’t even know what an acronym is. Manik and Sabin start, with Sabin immediately tagging out to King. Sabin causes a distraction, and King knocks Manik down from behind, stomping him in the corner. Sabin tags in, and King holds Manik up for a punch. Sabin knee-chokes Manik over the middle rope, throws him to the corner and tags in King, who hits a running back elbow. He taunts Hardy, then goes for the cover, getting 2. Sabin back in, and he hits a running boot to the gut. Manik counters a powerbomb with a combination armdrag and headscissors on the heels. Manik suckers Sabin into diving through the ropes to the outside before tagging in Hardy. Hardy kicks King out of the corner and hits a middle rope splash for 2. Manik tags back in, and he applies an arm wringer, then turns a spinning headscissors into an octopus stretch, which he then turns into a cradle for 2. King’s wound from “last week” has opened back up. Manik goes to the ropes, but Sabin distracts him. This allows King to hotshot Manik from behind, landing on the floor in the process. King taunts Aries, then rolls back into the ring, getting 2 on Manik. Sabin tags back in, and he hits a low seated dropkick before foot-choking Manik under the bottom rope. He sets Manik up in the tree of woe, but instead of hitting a dropkick, he just shoves his foot into Manik’s gut, then stands on him before releasing the tree and getting 2. King back in, and he hits a snap suplex, then floats over into mounted punches. Manik is back up, and King drops him with a right before tagging in Sabin, who chokes Manik in the corner. Manik gets sent across the ring, blocks a charge and hits a missile dropkick from the middle rope. King tags in and picks Manik up in a back suplex. Manik flips out, slides under Sabin and tags in Hardy. Hardy hits the typical hot tag offense, ending with a reverse enziguri on Sabin. King receives a sit-out gourdbuster for 2, but Sabin breaks up the pin. He ducks a double chop and hits a double clothesline. He goes for a Twist on King, but Sabin nails a Ghetto Blaster on Hardy. King hits a northern light suplex, and Manik breaks the pin up at 2. Sabin knocks Manik down and tries to throw him outside, but Manik knocks him down. King goes for the Royal Flush, but Manik escapes and shoves King into Sabin on the apron. Manik hits his finisher on King (still doesn’t have a name), and Hardy comes off the top with the swanton bomb for 3.
WINNERS: Jeff Hardy and Manik. Sabin attacks both faces after the match, knocking Hardy to the floor and choking Manik in the corner. Aries hits the ring, and Sabin runs up the ramp. Aries says if Sabin wants to be an opportunist, he’ll give him a shot. He proposes a 4-way between himself, Sabin, Manik and Hardy at BFG. Hardy says he has a better idea. At BFG, he wants to do something he’s never done before: an Ultimate X Match. Aries agrees, as does Manik.
We see Sting talking to Hulk Hogan in the back. Sting says the last time they were in a situation like this was the last time Eric Bischoff got drunk with power and turned into an idiot. Now, it’s Dixie. What’s going on? Hulk says he thought he had seen it all. He didn’t think anyone could be worse than Bischoff, but Dixie is. He has a tough decision to make. He loves it here, but he has to decide what to do next. Sting says he has Hulk’s back no matter what. A lady comes in and says she has a gift from Dixie. Hulk opens the box, and it’s a watch. He asks Sting if that’s the same watch she gave him last year. Hulk says this is a game, so let the games begin.
We see some footage from last week where Sting checked on Magnus after he was attacked by EGO. Magnus said he demanded all three members of EGO and told Sting not to talk him out of it. Sting agreed and shook his head.
MATCH 2-Gauntlet Match: EGO (Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Bobby Roode) vs. Magnus
Daniels is the first man out for EGO. Magnus backs him into a corner and punches him down. Daniels comes back with a kick and some elbows before running into a clothesline. Magnus hits a European uppercut in the corner and follows up with a spinning back elbow off the ropes for 2. Magnus hits another clothesline after blocking a kick, but misses a charge in the corner. Daniels hotshots him from the apron and hits a hooking clothesline before choking Magnus on the mat. Snapmare by Daniels, and now he chokes Magnus with his wrist tape. He botches a bulldog off the ropes and turns it into a headscissors before going for the pin, getting 2. Daniels applies a rear chinlock, but Magnus elbows out. Daniels lands a boot off the ropes and goes for Angel’s Wings, but Magnus counters into a back body drop. He hits a clothesline and a running boot before going for a back suplex. Daniels flips out and applies a waistlock. Magnus counters and hits the misdirection clothesline. He goes up top, and Daniels yanks him down by the arm before hitting a complete shot right into a Koji Clutch. Magnus immediately gets to the bottom rope, breaking the hold. Daniels calls for the BME, and Magnus blocks with a boot to the face. He hits the MDD and gets 3.
Christopher Daniels is eliminated.
Kaz is the second man out for EGO, and Magnus meets him on the ramp with punches before throwing him over the top rope into the ring. Kaz rolls to the floor as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Kaz escapes a gorilla press and hits a bicycle kick before applying a front chancery. Magnus gets to his feet and crotches Kaz on the top rope. He ducks a dive by Kaz, Kaz ducks a clothesline and hits a jumping side kick for 2. Kaz backs Magnus into the corner and hits several strikes before hitting a snapmare and a kick to the spine for 2. Kaz picks Magnus up and hits more punches in the corner. Magnus fights back with rights and sends Kaz in. Kaz goes for a cross-body out of the corner, but Magnus catches him and hits the elevated northern lights bomb. Up top, Magnus connects with a flying elbow for 2 as Kaz gets his foot on the bottom rope. Kaz escapes a bodyslam and shoves Magnus into the corner. Magnus blocks the charge with an elbow and mounts the middle rope. Kaz hits another kick to the face and goes for the Fade to Black. Magnus rolls through and applies the Kingsley Clover-Leaf. Kaz taps.
Kazarian is eliminated.
Roode is the final man out for his team. He takes his time coming down to the ring, which allows Kaz to clip Magnus’ leg from behind. He hits a leg-scissor stomp before leaving, and that’s when Roode gets into the ring. He immediately attacks the bad knee as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Roode is still working over Magnus’ knee. He cannonballs the knee in the ropes, then applies a spinning toe hold before snapping the leg backwards. Magnus tries to fight back from his knees, but Roode kicks him in the leg before hitting a running kneelift and a clothesline. Roode continues to attack the knee before setting Magnus up in the corner for a chop. He drapes Magnus’ leg across the middle rope and kicks it a couple of times before hitting a chop block. Roode goes for the toe hold once more, but Magnus kicks him off, sending him face-first into the middle buckle. Roode recovers and kicks Magnus in the leg once more before hitting another running kneelift. Magnus somehow recovers and hits the MDD for 2. He goes for the Kingsley Clover-Leaf and manages to lock it in. Roode breaks the hold by punching the bad knee. Magnus goes to the corner, where he hits an incoming Roode with a European uppercut. He goes up top, and Roode meets him. Magnus shoves him off and goes for the flying elbow, missing it. Roode applies the Bowflex. Magnus uses his forearm to crawl to the ropes, but Roode breaks the hold before he can and applies an ankle lock. Magnus eventually taps.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. Magnus hobbles out of the ring after the match, looking disappointed despite receiving a standing ovation. He grabs a chair and throws it. That’s when Sting makes his way down to the ring. He says something to Magnus, and Magnus is shaking his head “no”. Sting grabs a mic and tells Magnus that they should go to the back. He can chill there for a moment, then the two of them can talk things out. Magnus says, with all due respect, no. He’s had enough. He hops up into the ring, walks right up to Sting and says the rest of the Mafia see “it” in him, but he doesn’t have “it” in him. When the chances were given to each of them, they took it. All Magnus can do is get close. Sting tells him not to look at all the bad stuff. Magnus gets knocked down, but he always gets back up. Magnus tells him he doesn’t need another pep talk. They both know you’re either in or out. This is a results-driven business, and he’s not getting the results. Sting says he knows all about that, as he was just like Magnus at one point in time. He needed those same results or that one big match, and he didn’t get it by throwing a tantrum. Ric Flair gave him that chance, and he grabbed it. Magnus knows all of that. He’s looked up to Sting ever since he got started in the business. He was one match away from main-eventing the biggest show of the year and he blew it. Flair gave Sting the chance to grab the ring. Who is going to give Magnus that same chance? Sting says he’s going to do it at BFG. Sting offers a handshake, and Magnus takes it.
We see Austin Aries enter Hulk Hogan’s office. He has a present for Hulk, and it’s a bottle of vegan vitamins. Aries figures some vitamins and a prayer or two might help Hulk make his decision. He and Hulk have a love-hate relationship, but Hulk once gave him the chance to become something greater, and Aries has always been grateful for that. He’s known two Hulks: Red & yellow, and black & white. Tonight, it’s black and white. There is no grey area out there. Hulk says he gets it.
We get a video for Hulk’s history in TNA.
AI is in the back with Chris Sabin, asking why he won’t be in Velvet Sky’s corner for her match tonight. Sabin says she’s the toughest girl in the company and doesn’t need him out there. Right now, Sabin has to worry about Ultimate X, so he’s going to relax, focus, do some tai-chi and yoga, then sit in the corner and think about what he needs to do.
We see Bad Influence in the locker room, singing the opening line from Bobby Roode’s entrance theme. Roode walks in, arms raised. The singing continues, and they all congratulate themselves before making fun of Magnus. Kaz then has announcement. This year, Roode will be inducted into the EGO Hall of Fame. They’re breaking ground on the new building in two weeks, and next week, they are going to have a black-tie celebration. The singing then continues.
MATCH 3-Winner becomes the new #1 contender for the Knockouts Championship: Brooke vs. Velvet Sky
The “Tessmacher” has been dropped from Brooke’s gimmick. After Sky comes out, we see Lei’D Tapa make her way down to the ring. She gets in, and Brooke bails. Tapa runs right through Sky, then hits a big boot. Sky gets stomped down, then gets hit with a Samoan drop.
WINNER: No contest, as the match never got started.
We see see footage of someone in a car, and it’s being filmed from behind so we can’t see the person’s face. The guy enters the building, and we learn that this is Ethan with the following graphic that says, “Ethan is coming”. It has now been revealed that Ethan is NXT cast-off Derrick Bateman.
We get a video for Gunner and James Storm on what their team is all about. This is then followed by a video hyping Kurt Angle’s induction into the TNA Hall of Fame.
MATCH 4: Samoa Joe vs. World Champion Bully Ray (w/Brooke; non-title)
The two lock-up, and Joe goes right into an arm wringer. Ray counters into a side headlock. The two shoulder each other off the ropes, with neither budging an inch. Joe ducks a clothesline before getting caught with a back elbow. Ray then shoves Joe after insulting him, and Joe knocks him on his ass with a shove. Ray applies a waistlock and clubs Joe across the back. Joe comes back with some right jabs and a headbutt in the corner. He sends Ray across the ring, hits a running hip bump and a jumping spin kick to the head. He follows up with a snapmare, a chop to the back, and a kick to the chest. He misses the jumping knee, ducks a clothesline and applies a sleeper. Ray drops down and sends Joe head-first into the top turnbuckle. He grabs his chain, but referee Earl Hebner takes it away. As his back is turned, Ray low-blows Joe. Commercials.
Back from the break, Ray hits a short-arm clothesline, then mocks Hulk Hogan. Commercials.
Back from the break yet again, Ray hits a corner splash. Joe tries a kick, but Ray blocks it and pulls him in for a clothesline. He misses an elbow out of the corner, and now the two trade punches. Ray hits a kneelift, but runs into a back elbow. Joe follows with a clothesline, an inverted atomic drop, a running boot and a running senton. Ray reverses a corner whip, and Joe blocks the charge. He mounts the middle rope and hits a leg lariat for 2. Ray hits a back elbow out of the corner and sends Joe in, causing Joe to sandwich Hebner in the buckles. Joe applies the sleeper once more and Ray taps, but Hebner’s still down. Ray grabs the chain and wraps it on his fist. Joe clubs him from behind and sets him up for the Muscle Buster, but Ray comes off the top with a double axe handle, dropping the chain in the process. Hebner wakes up, sees the chain and calls for the bell.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Samoa Joe. Ray shoves Hebner down after the match, then throws Joe to the outside. He slams Joe face-first into the announce desk, then calls for a piledriver. He pulls the protective mat off the floor, then signals for the piledriver. AJ Styles runs in from the crowd and hits a flying clothesline from the guardrail. Atlas Security hit the ring and chase AJ back through the crowd.
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:
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