Tonight’s show starts with Sting confronting Dixie Carter about her decisions towards AJ Styles. He says she’s not being herself, but she thinks everything is being handled.
Bully Ray and his bird Brooke Tessmacher come to the ring, and come to think of it, Bully starts a lot of Impacts with a promo, but he is the World Champion so maybe that makes sense. He says he was thinking about how to beat AJ, but now he doesn’t have to. He sucks up to Dixie and insults the crowd. Knux and the other Aces come out, and Knux repeats the ‘Bros before Hoes’ line from last week. He says the three of them are going to handle ‘club business’ tonight in a six man tag against the MEM. He says if they lose their match, they will be banished from the club (I presume he means the person who gets pinned). Why they’re dragging this out so long I have no idea, how can Bully and two jobbers comprise a stable?
Backstage Segment – Eric Young and ODB stop Joseph Park from shaving in case he cuts himself and goes mad. All I could imagine was him cutting himself on a regular day and Black Hole Slamming the postman.
INTER GENDER 6 MAN TAG – ODB, ERIC YOUNG & JOSEPH PARK VS GAIL KIM & THE BRO-MANS
I read a report recently that Mickie James’ contract had run out, so by my count the Knockouts Division is down to…4. If there was ever a time for TNA to reap the indie scene, now is the time. Even if they just get them in on a single match basis, I’d be interested to see something like that. Standard Inter Gender match, with either lady not doing much. EY really showing his skills in this match, with a beautiful belly-to-belly, which lead to a splash by Park and an Elbow Drop by Young from over half the ring away. Entertaining I must admit, but nothing you haven’t seen before.
Backstage Segment – Austin Aries tells us he’s been taking some new photos (okay mate), and Hulk Hogan tells us he’s hear to fix the AJ/Dixie mess.
Aries comes to the ring and says even though he’s not in the main event at Bound For Glory this year, his future is just fine. He’s then interrupted by a returning Kenny King. I hadn’t actually realised King had been gone, and I actually like him. He insults the other X-Division wrestlers, says something had gotten ‘under his beautiful brown skin’ and says he’s the future of the company. Nice heel promo by King, leading to AA challenging him to a match right now.
AUSTIN ARIES VS KENNY KING
When we come back from commercial, King is slumped in the corner, bleeding like a stuck pig! Weirdly, AA attacks the wound, which would make sense in a grudge match, but doesn’t really work here, just looks overly vicious. Ignoring this, AA is super over with the crowd, who go mad for the Pendulum Elbow. As this is Kings return match, he gets a lot of impressive offence in, including a second rope T-Bone suplex which sounded hard. AA eventually hit the running dropkick and brainbuster for the 3 count. I think I’d rather have had King win by cheating, so I hope TNA draw attention to how well he did against an ex-World Champ.
Backstage Segment – Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky run into Aries, Sabin gives AA some backhanded compliments, furthering his Heel attitude.
Backstage Segment – Sting tells Magnus to get his head in the game and starts taking his shirt off.
Hulk Hogan comes out to a huge ovation, as the camera pans over two fans- one in a CM Punk shirt, the other in a Daniel Bryan shirt, laughing to each other. Hulk talks about himself as usual, but finally mentions Dixie and TNA. He asks the crowd if they want to see AJ Styles win the title, and they don’t really care.
They then show a promo package for Kurt Angles return at BFG, and I’ve got to say, he’s urgently needed to freshen up the show.
After that the screen shows ‘ETHAN IS COMING’ in diamonds for about 10 seconds…no idea!
AFTER THAT they show the graphic for the forthcoming X-Division Title match, that they haven’t updated yet, it’s still the old belt.
MANIK (C) VS CHRIS SABIN (FOR THE X-DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP)
Manik attacks Sabin like a man possessed, I’d forgotten Sabin had sucker-punched him last week (should have reminded us TNA). I cannot stand Manik’s match, it shows no emotion AT ALL. How are we supposed to care about the guy if we can’t sympathise? Sabin feigns a knee injury, and heads to the outside to speak to Velvet. Manik wanders out to see what’s going on, and gets Velvet pretty much thrown at him. Sabin then climbs to the apron and kicks Manik in the face. Obviously this was a huge heel move, but it took so long the crowd lost interest. Velvet looked surprised at the time, but when Sabin’s knee had ‘recovered’, she went back to cheering for him. So many moves in this match I couldn’t even start to write them down. The ending came with Sabin pulling Velvet into the ring (she was protesting) and holding her as a human shield. When Manik came towards him, he attempted a roll up, but got reversed into another pin and the Champ retained.
Sabin blindsided Manik after the bell, only for Austin Aries to make the save. I’m sure AA assaulted Manik and stole his gear a couple months back?
Backstage Segment – Bobby Roode, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are discussing Kurt Angles return, and start plotting to fuck him over. Kaz and Daniels start laughing really theatrically, but Roode won’t join in. More of this please.
MAGNUS, SAMOA JOE AND STING VS KNUX, WES BRISCO AND GARETT BISCHOFF
Lightning fast offence from Magnus against all three opponents, and then everyone jumps in about 2 minutes into the match, that’s not how hot tags work guys. As Magnus is stood on the top rope, he’s pushed off to ringside, and seemingly gets injured. Not sure if it’s a work but I saw Samoa Joe holding up the X towards the stage, and the cameras didn’t draw any attention to it. The crowd absolutely love Sting, which I can’t really relate to, I think it’s an American thing. Joe grabs Wes in the naked choke and he taps…MEM were outnumbered but still won easily, yikes.
Bully Ray walks to the ring looking super pissed off, and demands Wes takes off his Kutte (the club waistcoat). When Wes refuses, he orders the other members to take it by force. When they hesitate, Bully takes him out himself with a sloppy piledriver. He forces Knux to hand the Kutte over, which after pausing, he does. The crowd were dying to see Bully get decked but they’re obviously saving that for the coming weeks.
Hulk Hogan is in the ring, holding a clipboard, which in Wrestling means its time for a signing. Hulk talks about himself a bit more, before telling us he’s holding AJ’s new contract. They seem to be telling us that AJ has a title shot, even though he hasn’t got a contract right now. Dixie comes to the ring, and gets a ‘DIXIE SUCKS’ chant, must be a first for that one. She rips up AJ’s contract, and says the people need her, even though they criticise her daily. She says Hulk needs to decide what team he is on, and he has 7 days to make his mind up.
Dixie actually did well here, I was honestly surprised. Must be weird for her to be playing a character all of a sudden.
As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter. Thanks a lot!