The show starts with Bully Ray on the phone, walking with Tito Ortiz, on the phone with his ‘Brookie’, telling her that everyone will be shocked later tonight. Mr. Anderson walks up to both men and wonders why Bully didn’t tell anyone about Tito’s involvement sooner. Bully cusses him out for being sensitive, which makes me think Anderson will turn on him at some point.
Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Bobby Roode walk to the ring, with CD and Kaz really playing up to the crowd, and Roode doing nothing at all. Roode grabs the mic and says Bully has broken the system, and that the three of them will do anything to beat him for the title. The crowd boo this…I thought they’d want Bully to lose the title? Daniels finally names the group ‘Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Organisation’ – (E.G.O.) and goes on to say he’s going to win his match tonight like his team-mates have done. Roode asks asks Austin Aries to join them, until he’s interrupted by a fully dressed James Storm and a topless Gunner, come on mate, every else is dressed. Storm comes out and screams about not trusting Roode and beer, wahooo! He takes off his hat and shirt and everyone starts brawling. Earl Hebner appears from nowhere and the bell rings?! WHO MADE THIS MATCH?!
JAMES STORM & GUNNER VS BOBBY ROODE & KAZARIAN
Everyone in this match is wearing jeans, so surely this should be a street fight, those are the rules. There was actually really good psychology in this match, with the heels using dirty tactics to overwhelm the fan favourite Storm (even though I’m not a fan, I can’t deny his popularity), until he got the hot tag to the much stronger Gunner, who threw his opponents around easily. The end came with Storm fighting his way back, going for a superkick but EARL got in the way, Kaz distraction, and Roode hitting a low blow for the win. Decent match, daft ending.
Shouldn’t Earl be (storyline) punished for this? Surely Storm should be furious with him?
X-DIVISION CHAMPION MANIK VS SONJAY DUTT
As soon as this match starts, all I can think is how underrated Sonjay is. The guy has been around for years, super reliable albeit injury prone. Your standard quick paced X-Division style match, that Manik won after hitting his reverse-double-underhook-glamslam-codebreaker finisher. Good match but nothing special.
Backstage Segment – Aces & 8’s are backstage talking about their 5 on 4 match (Kurt’s in rehab) with the Main Event Mafia later tonight. D-Von always looks really sweaty.
STREET FIGHT – HERNANDEZ VS CHRISTOPHER DANIELS VS JAY BRADLEY VS JOSEPH PARK
What a weird match! I like that TNA use gimmick matches, as it’s something they can do that WWE can’t. Sure WWE have their stipulations, but there’s no shots to the head. I completely understand why they do that, but I’m always gonna miss it. Nice spot with Hernandez teasing a Border Toss/Crucifix Powerbomb on the ramp, only to get backdropped by Daniels. As Impact comes back from commercials, Roode and Kaz are at ringside, arguing with Parks mate Eric Young. In the ring, Bradley is fighting Daniels, and backdrops him onto the very edge of a chair, really painful looking and dangerous. Austin Aries enters the ring, gives the members of E.G.O. a high ten each, but then swerves and brainbusters Daniels and sprints back up the ramp. Jay Bradley nails Park with knuckledusters, and instead of knocking him out, it just made his mouth bleed a bit. Seeing his blood, Park reverts back to Abyss and destroys Bradley and Hernandez and gets the 3 count and 20 points!
Backstage Segment – Main Event Mafia are firing each other up for their match later, Rampage getting his lines in.
World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray heads to the ring with Tito Ortiz, walks to the commentary table side and says hello to Taz, and ‘SHUT UP OLD MAN’ to Mike Tenay, which got a genuine L O L out of me. Bully says he pulls the wool over everyone’s eyes AGAIN. Tito gets on the mic, plugs his Bellator fight with Rampage, as the crowd chant ‘you sold out’. Bully asks Brooke Hogan to come to the ring, and her music hits. After a while waiting, Brooke TESSMACHER comes out! Ohhh okay, that makes sense. I later learnt that Brooke Hogan had been released to save money, fair enough TNA.
ODB VS GAIL KIM
ODB continues to be hugely popular, definitely the most popular knockout since TNA stopped caring about Velvet Sky. With Brooke T back, the Knockouts Division should be able to do more storylines, I’d love to see her win the title at the same time as Bully has his, I.E. Edge and Lita. Pretty technical match, with Gail focusing on ODBs right arm, and ODB fighting her way back, nailing a superplex from the second rope. Surprisingly Gail won this match with a crucifix pin out of nowhere! Interesting to see her win clean against a favourite like ODB.
Backstage Segment – That cameraman who bothers wrestlers backstage asks Austin Aries why he rejected Roode’s offer earlier tonight. He basically says he doesn’t need anyone’s help, and doesn’t see why he should help them.
Promo Video – Sabin moaning about losing the title last week. Is he here to do something about it tonight? Doesn’t look like it.
ACES & 8’S VS MAIN EVENT MAFIA
Anderson gets on the mic and tells everyone how the match is going to work, and introduces their leader, ‘BUUULLLLYYYYYYYYY RAYYYYYY….RAAA….RAAA…..RAAAAAAY!’ which I fucking loved, Wes Brisco definitely corpsed for it too, hiding his face in his hands. Sting says MEM aren’t going to give up, and introduces their fifth member…AJ Styles! AJ comes out to his recent downer music, with his big hood and that, before shedding the jacket as his old music hits. AJ plays up to the crowd and gets a huge reaction. The match starts with Samoa Joe making Wes look like an absolute chump, before tagging in AJ. AJ gets round to fighting Garrett, who botches a fireman’s lift…fire this man now. AJ tags in Magnus, who gets worked over by all the Aces members. Strangely, TNA haven’t hyped this as Rampages debut match at all. I’m not sure why, but the crowd are all over D-Von, probably because he’s the only member of the team who tries to get heat. At one point, D-Von took down Magnus and got back to his feet by doing a spinnerooni! What the hell is going on?
Eventually Magnus manages to DDT Mike Knox, and tag in Sting. Sting attempts a Scorpion Deathlock, and all men jump in the ring. Rampage ends up alone in the ring and hits some massive right hands and clotheslines, and a hard scoop slam on Brisco. As Sting climbed back in and Reverse DDT-ed Knox, the cameras caught a shot of Samoa telling Rampage to slow down and stay on the apron. Sure Rampage needs leading, but they had a million camera choices! AJ gets the second hot tag and clears house, hits D-Von with a Styles Clash and the 3 count. This means that D-Von is out of a job now, which I’ve heard is to start working backstage as a road agent.
Notes: Overall a decent show, a lot of swerves to take in, maybe with Bully getting his new Mrs and Tito on his side, they shouldn’t have done the main event this week. With Kurt Angle going to rehab, I think TNA must have rushed AJ’s slow burn storyline and got him to his old self ASAP.
As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.