Impact gets underway with a traditional video package, with highlights of Austin Aries winning the TNA World Heavyweight Title at Destination X last Sunday. The video also recaps some of the other major storylines, including the ongoing feud between Bully Ray and Joseph Park, as well as an update on the Bound for Glory Series.
Match #1: Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park in a no disqualification match
Ray is holding the contract for this match, as he heads to the ring. Park is very timid at first and Ray takes full advantage of this, as he verbally and physically abuses Park in the early going. Ray then hocks a major loogie in Park’s face, which pushes the red button in the back of Park’s mind. But Park’s offence doesn’t last too long, as Ray quickly drops him to the canvas. Ray brings a few weapons into the ring, but takes too much time getting them set up and this allows Park to negotiate the bully down with a double-leg takedown. Ray fights back and introduces a detour sign to Park’s back (it would be funny if there was a no parking sign). Ray then misses a big splash and drops head-first into a trashcan lid. Ray then empties about a thousand tacks into the ring, before continuing to taunt Park with his mic skills. Ray then picks up a Singapore cane and tries to remove Park’s head from his body, only to be met with a cheese grater to his groin. Park follows up by hitting a homer off Ray’s head with the cane for two. Park then chokeslams Ray into his own tacks for another near fall. Ray then lures Park towards him and drops Park with the steel chain for the win.
Winner: Bully Ray by pinfall
After the match, blood is trickling down the forehead of Park. It seems as if Park is going through some sort of transformation after noticing the blood and he drills Ray with Abyss’ signature move the Blackhole Slam.
Sting is talking to himself as he walks around backstage. He says he knows what dead man’s hand is all about.
The Reaction crew is with Bully Ray backstage. Ray is in a state of shock and keeps asking ‘Who was that?’ He is insinuating that the man he just beat and the man who just gave him a Blackhole Slam were two different people.
Match #2: Samoa Joe vs. Rob Van Dam in a Bound for Glory Series match
Joe immediately charges at Van Dam in the corner, but RVD utilizes a drop toe hold, which sends Joe face-first into the turnbuckles. RVD then attempts a surfboard, but is unable to get it completely applied. Van Dam then delivers a spin kick in the corner, but Joe rebounds with a stiff clothesline. Joe then delivers a dragonscrew leg whip and continues to weaken the leg of RVD. Joe then applies a modified heel hook/ankle lock. Joe then executes a snap powerslam and floats over into a cross armbreaker. RVD responds with a low dropkick and then a spin kick with Joe on his knees. Van Dam follows up with rolling thunder to Joe’s back for two. RVD then attempts the rolling monkey flip out of the corner, but Joe catches him and delivers the figure-four kneebreaker, which he introduced last year. Joe then applies a combination figure-four leglock/heel hook, but Van Dam reaches the ropes. Joe pulls him back and tries to reapply the move, but Van Dam utilizes an inside cradle for the win.
Winner: Rob Van Dam by pinfall (14 points)
Jason Hervey (Reaction interviewer) catches up to Claire Lynch as she is just pulling up in her car. He keeps trying to get more information out of her about this whole pregnancy thing, but she clearly isn’t in the mood for questions and just brushes him off.
Hulk Hogan is backstage, saying he’s ready for anything that Aces and Eights has in store tonight, because both he and Sting are here.
As Christopher Daniels and Kazarian make their way to the ring, we get a video recap of the last man standing match between Daniels and AJ Styles at Destination X. This ends with some Reaction comments from AJ, saying that he did what he said he would do and he became the last man standing. Back to the here and now, Kazarian says this whole thing has just begun and it is far from over. Daniels adds that AJ’s actions at Destination X were reprehensible. Daniels then calls out Claire Lynch for questioning. For some reason, Claire does not waste any time accepting Daniels’ invitation. Daniels tells her that he isn’t going to judge her situation and says she was just looking for a helping hand and it happened to belong to AJ Styles. As Daniels continues, he is interrupted by AJ Styles himself. AJ says as far as he’s concerned, this story was over weeks ago. Daniels says he and Claire had a discussion about this already and there’s more to this story. He then invites Claire to tell her side of the story. AJ tells Claire that she doesn’t have to say anything, because this is between him and Daniels. Claire interrupts and says Daniels is absolutely right and AJ is the father of her baby. This leads to several chants of ‘Jerry!’ as we head to commercial.
After the break, Jason Hervey is pestering AJ backstage, trying to get some more information out of him. AJ snaps and yells at Hervey that he doesn’t know if he is the father of Claire’s baby or not.
Up next is a video with comments from Mr. Anderson about his upcoming BFG Series match with Kurt Angle tonight.
We then get another video, with highlights of Zema Ion winning the X-Division Title at Destination X and reminding us of the feud between Ion and Jesse Sorensen.
Then, we get some Reaction comments from Dakota Darsow, stating that Jesse Sorensen is one of his closest friends (since when?) and he claims that Zema Ion never showed any remorse for what he did to Sorensen back in February. Darsow then warns Ion that he isn’t dealing with Sorensen tonight; he’s dealing with Dakota Darsow.
Match #3: Zema Ion vs. Dakota Darsow in a non-title match
Zema Ion is certainly a fancy boy, as evident by his hairspray and man-fur. Darsow isn’t impressed though, as he drops Ion with a right hand. He follows up with a vicious clothesline, and Ion then retreats to the floor. Ion catches Darsow coming into the ring with a knee lift, but Darsow fires back with a slingshot spear, as Ion charges at him from the far side. Ion retaliates with a slingshot DDT and then a Gory bomb for the win.
Winner: Zema Ion by pinfall
After the match, Ion yells out Sorensen’s name and then applies a modified cross armbreaker to Darsow. Ion then grabs the microphone and says if Sorensen doesn’t want to see any more of his friends get hurt, he should let them know that Zema Ion isn’t just effin’ pretty, but he’s also pretty effin’ dangerous (decent line).
Up next is a video package, with highlights of Austin Aries winning the World Title on Sunday.
The new champion Aries then comes out in front of the live crowd. Aries says he’s had a great week. He adds that it’s a great day to be the World Heavyweight Champion. Aries says that he proved everyone wrong and he proved that nothing is impossible. He says it was a great moment for the professional wrestling industry. Aries says that wrestling runs in cycles and for the last eight months, there has been an energy here in Impact Wrestling and Aries says he is the man to lead this industry into its next boom period. Aries says he’s been congratulated by celebrities and even by world champions from other promotions. Aries then declares himself as the greatest professional wrestler in the world today and he declares Impact Wrestling as the greatest wrestling company going. This is interrupted by Bobby Roode, who appears to be in a trance, as he heads toward the ring. Roode grabs the microphone but is speechless, as Aries holds the title over his head. Roode is having trouble putting words together as he is pacing around the ring and looks like he’s ready to explode. Roode then finally gets a word out which is ‘fluke.’ Aries follows that up with three words of his own, which are ‘new world champ.
Sting is with Hulk Hogan backstage. He says he is 150 per cent and that the two of them need to go old school tonight. This is interrupted by Devon and Garrett Bischoff. Devon says they saw what went down that night and that they have got their backs no matter what. Hogan tells them that they’ve got this one handled tonight, but he thanks them for the offer.
Another video airs, with comments from Kurt Angle, leading into his match with Mr. Anderson tonight.
From there, we get a reminder of last week’s reveal of Madison Rayne’s secret crush.
Then we get another video, with Madison trying to justify that love interest. She says Earl is a veteran in this business and says they have so much in common.
Brooke Hogan then comes out and joins the announcers for commentary for the next match.
Match #4: Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Gail tries a sneak-attack, but Tessmacher was ready for her and the champ quickly takes control. Brooke lands a dropkick and then follows up with a hurricanrana. For some reason, the announcers are more focused on Brooke than the actual match that’s going on. Gail tries working over Tessmacher’s left arm and delivers a hammerlock belly-to-back suplex. Gail then utilizes some cattle mutilation, only for Brooke to roll into a pinning combination for two. Tessmacher comes back with a faceplant out of the corner. She then delivers her combination side Russian leg sweep/STO, but Gail reaches the ropes on two for the break. Gail then utilizes a roll-up and hooks the tights, but only gets two. Gail then positions Tessmacher on the top rope and tries eat de-feet from that position, but ends up being shoved off. Tessmacher then delivers a top rope flying elbow drop for the win.
Winner: Miss Tessmacher by pinfall
Claire Lynch is stopped by the Reaction crew backstage and asked what proof she has that AJ Styles actually is the father of her baby. Claire says she has plenty of proof and everyone will have to wait until next week.
It’s then announced that Open Fight Night is next week and we go to a promo from Magnus, who says he can’t wait to earn some points in the Bound for Glory Series next week and says he’s got his sights set on James Storm at a house show on Saturday.
Match #5: Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle in a Bound for Glory Series match
Anderson delivers a hip toss, followed by an arm drag in the early going. Anderson then delivers a dropkick for two. Angle fights back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Anderson responds with a belly-to-back suplex. Anderson then attacks with a flurry of offence and ends the sequence with a swinging neckbreaker. Anderson then tries the mic check, but Angle counters and delivers the rolling German suplexes. Anderson avoids the Angle slam and hits a steamroller for two. Anderson then tries the mic check again, but Angle counters into the ankle lock. Anderson fights free and charges at Angle in the corner, but catches nothing but buckle and Angle hits the Angle slam for two. Angle then tries the ankle lock again and gets it. Anderson reaches for the ropes, but Angle pulls him back to the middle. Anderson then rolls through the move and hits the mic check on the rebound but only gets two and a half. Anderson tries it again, but Angle counters into the Angle slam for the win.
Winner: Kurt Angle by pinfall (27 points)
We then go back to Hogan and Sting in Hogan’s office. They’re getting ready for this fight with Aces and Eights, as Bobby Roode storms in the room. Roode tells Hogan that they need to talk as we head to commercial. Back from break, Hogan says if Roode wants a rematch, he’ll get it at Hardcore Justice. Roode demands that he wants his rematch sooner. Hogan says that since next week is Open Fight Night, so he challenges Roode to call Aries out on Open Fight Night and prove that it was a fluke at Destination X.
Sting comes out for the final segment. He addresses the group known as Aces and Eights and says that he didn’t come alone; he says he brought Hulkamania. He then calls Hogan out to the ring. Hogan’s music hits, but nobody comes out. Sting looks confused, as the fans are chanting Hogan’s name. Suddenly, a video comes up on the big screen of Brooke Hogan covering her father who’s on the floor and screaming at this group who are in the background to get out. Hogan is also bleeding. Sting sees this and starts heading to the back, when he is attacked on the entrance ramp by more of these thugs (there are several of them this week). This closes the show and this angle just screams NWO. Of course they wouldn’t be able to use the name, but it looks like the same concept.
I thought this was a very average edition of Impact. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. I thought Anderson and Angle had a very good match. This thing with AJ and Daniels really needs to end. The closing angle was okay, but it wasn’t as effective as it should have been. I did like how they are building up the house show matches in the BFG Series and I also kind of liked the way they handled the Bully Ray and Joseph Park storyline, without giving too much away. Overall, this was just an average show which was very forgettable. 5 out of 10.