TNA IMPACT REVIEW
This weeks recap video shows us AJ Styles turning face, Austin Aries refusing to join E.G.O., Bully Ray revealing his girlfriend is Brooke TESSMACHER, and then losing Devon from his crew in last weeks main event.
Aces & 8’s head to the ring, looking mournful, like Devon has died (he’s probably just gonna be backstage from now on). Bully goes through the members asking them what happened in the match, with Garret Bischoff and Wes Brisco really overplaying it. Bully goes on to say that Devon has no excuse, he got pinned because ‘he’s always been a loser, he’s always been the weak link’. What surprised me is that the Aces all responded to that negatively, pulling faces and disagreeing. Bully says he’s replacing Devon with Tito Ortiz, and has got him a Kutte (the leather waistcoat with patches) which makes Mr. Anderson go nuts, saying he needs to be voted in. Brooke T comes to the ring carrying the waistcoat, and Bully puts it on Tito despite everyone protesting it. Bully says that his father-in-law is in the building (he’s not your dad anymore mate) and he wants to introduce him to ‘the only Brooke whos ever mattered in his life’.
Backstage Segment – Jeff Hardy tells us he needs to beat Kazarian tonight, and does his painted eyes on thing.
Backstage Segment – Hulk Hogan enters the building. That probably cost TNA more than I get paid a year.
BOUND FOR GLORY SERIES MATCH – KAZARIAN VS JEFF HARDY
I read recently that TNA have pretty much abandoned the plans for the BFG Series, as they completely miscalculated the amount of time/of matches they had before the BFG PPV. I think they’re going to do more gimmick matches with more points on the line and get them out of the way.
Kaz and Jeff start pretty quick, chain wrestling and trying to roll each other up. After fighting on the outside, Kaz slows it down with some submissions. At one point there’s a dueling chant, with the ‘Let’s go Kaz’ being louder than I would’ve expected. As submission victorys earn you more points, Hardy goes for a reverse figure-four, which still gets people shouting ‘woooooo’. Hardy eventually hits a Twist of Fate and a Swanton for the win. Always makes me laugh when Hardy takes his shirts off and women scream, but when he doesn’t throw it into the crowd it immediately dies down.
Backstage Segment – Aces & 8’s (minus Bully and Tito) are mad about not being informed on tonights addition, and decide to have a vote of their own.
2 OUT OF 3 FALLS – ODB VS GAIL KIM
ODB is without a doubt the most popular wrestler in TNA, and it’s about time TNA used her to her full potential. Gail Kim quickly got the first fall by Submission, using an Indian Deathlock on ODB’s ‘injured’ right knee. From there Gail worked on the leg until getting her submission attempt reversed into a small package and getting held down for the 3 count. After pretty back and forth fighting, including a figure four around the ring post, ODB surprises Gail with a Texas Cloverleaf and gets the submission win.
Backstage Segment – Velvet Sky is happy for ODB, and hypes up the Knockouts One Night Only PPV which will be on next week (probably gonna give that one a miss). The camera man then says she failed to show up at Hardcore Justice because of ‘personal issues’, which he wondered if they involved her relationship with Chris Sabin. She says no, as they keep their relationship and business seperate. Never seen them actually reference their relationship on TV before, wonder if they have a storyline coming up.
Backstage Segment – Austin Aries hypes himself up until being interupted by Christopher Daniels. Daniels says he’s going to knock him out ‘flatter than Miley Cyrus’s ass’, fucking brilliant, nice current reference that the crowd loved.
Main Event Mafia come to the ring and Rampage is first on the mic, pretty ballsy. He says he’s not gonna wait for his Bellator fight with Tito (nice plug), and hands over to Samoa Joe. Joe starts with a Mick Foley cheap pop, talks about how they beat Aces last week and hands over to Sting. As Sting is thanking AJ Styles, the camera pick up a teenage girl wearing a John Cena shirt looking really uninterested, I couldn’t help but laugh.
AJ comes to the ring doing his new half moody, half original entrance (cheesy but different). He should’ve worn a suit though. MEM head to the back, leaving AJ to vent. He says the reason he changed was because he couldn’t trust anyone, even blaming the people who work backstage for airing footage of him that without asking. He appeals to the blue collar crowd by saying we’ve all had jobs that have sucked, which gets a ‘YES’ chant, so weird to hear that. AJ basically shoots on Dixie Carter saying that he’s been plan B for the last 11 years, that she has brought in a bunch of other people and left him on the sidelines. The crowd start chanting ‘wrap it up’ and ‘boring’ even though it’s a really good promo, no accounting for taste.
BOUND FOR GLORY SERIES MATCH – AJ STYLES VS BOBBY ROODE
The match starts with a beautiful chain of whips and reversals, ending with AJ’s amazing dropkick. Roode fell to the outside, prompting AJ to jump over the ropes, land on the ramp and straight into a moonsault which landed perfectly. How AJ can work so well for a crowd who were just chanting boring at him, I will never know, complete professional. Roode doesn’t seem to be able to get into this match at all, getting completely dominated. AJ hit a dangerously low Lionsault, as soon as he stood on the ropes there was some hesitation, looked too loose. After Roode reversed a springboard forearm into a Crippler Crossface, AJ attempted his new Calf Killer submission but Roode got to the ropes. Both men make their way to their feet, run at each other and AJ gets a small package for the three count and 7 points, even though he wanted 10. Roode looked really weak.
BOUND FOR GLORY SERIES MATCH – CHRISTOPHER DANIELS VS AUSTIN ARIES
Daniels makes his way to the ring wearing bizarre mirrored goggles, which leads Taz to say it looks like he’s going to do some welding, then make a noise that sounds NOTHING like welding. I love Taz.
This is pretty much a dream match for me, so it immediately got my attention. Aries and Daniels have really looked at each others arsenal prior to this match, getting into the right situations in more interesting ways. Even though Aries is playing the face role in this match, he gets a huge cheer when holding the rope for an Abdominal Stretch. Cool thing about TNA is that their characters have more freedom to be good or bad. After Aries hit a super fast Suicide Dive, he stands next to a fan holding a ‘ARIES FEARS HEMME’ sign, which would’ve been conviscated in WWE (google their names if you don’t get it). After a terrifying running dropkick, AA got Daniels up for the brainbuster and the 3 count.
Backstage Segment – Bully tells Tito to keep an eye on Anderson, make sure he doesn’t step out of line.
Obviously the last part of the show is reserved for Hulk Hogan, not like he could’ve gone on any other time. Hulk shows us the top 4 for the BFG Series (Magnus, Roode, Aries and Hardy), and says next week there will be a gauntlet match, with the winner getting 20 points.
Bully comes out with his bird and tells Hulk he missed him. Hulk fires back saying whilst he’s been gone he’s finally sorted Bully and Brooke Hogans divorce out (how? without Bully even being there?) so that’s the end of that storyline. Bully says he never cared about Brooke H, and all he’s got to do is sit around until the BFG PPV. Hulk says that’s not going to happen, because Bully will be defending his title against one of the Aces members in two weeks! But before that, next week he’ll be fighting Sting! Sting comes out and the two exchange punches as the show goes off air.
Notes: Every match on the card tonight was genuinely good. I really liked AJ’s promo, even though the crowd got bored of it. Nice progression to the storylines, even though TNA had no idea what to do with the BFG series.
As always, you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling @jrholberry on Twitter.