Impact kicks off this week with the announcers kind of talking us through the attacks on Hulk Hogan and Sting last week, by the group known as Aces and Eights. They add that Hogan also recently underwent surgery, while the extent of Sting’s injuries is unknown. But they say that neither Sting nor Hogan is in the building tonight.
The announcers then update us on the Bound for Glory Series, which shows that James Storm has regained his top position in the Series (presumably over the weekend).
James Storm then comes out in Open Fight Night mode and immediately congratulates Austin Aries on winning the World Title (better late than never). Storm then reminds everyone that he’s still in first place in the series, which means he’s on the fast track to regaining the World Title. Storm then addresses Bobby Roode, and says that winning the World Title is his professional goal, but with Roode it’s personal, and he just wants to kick the living crap out of Roode. Storm then addresses Aces and Eights, and calls them cowards for attacking people from behind. Storm then uses the quote ‘don’t fight the cub, fight the lion,’ which means that he wants to prove himself against the guy who he perceives is the greatest wrestler in the world today, Kurt Angle. Angle’s music hits twice, but nobody comes out. Everyone is confused, as the camera reaches the backstage area, where Angle has been assaulted by Aces and Eights.
After the break, the announcers replay the footage of the attack on Kurt Angle.
Samoa Joe comes out next. He says he’s confident that nobody backstage would ever dare to call him out, so it’s up to him to call someone out. He says he wants to tap out a man who he’s always had a problem with, Pope D’Angelo Dinero (very awkward promo).
Match #1: Samoa Joe vs. The Pope D’Angelo Dinero in a Bound for Glory Series match
Joe forces Pope into the corner to kick things off, but Pope fires back with a series of forearms, only to be cut off with a flying front kick. There’s a very awkward spot where both guys go into the corner and it looked like Joe clipped his jaw on one of the buckles and seems to be legitimately hurt. The action continues as Pope lands a flying clothesline for two. Pope then applies the rings of Saturn, which you’d normally see from Samoa Joe, but Joe manages to roll towards the ropes. Pope tries to continue the beat-down with a series of forearms and elbows, but Joe eventually catches him and applies a cross armbreaker for the tap-out victory, which springboards him to the top of the rankings.
Winner: Samoa Joe by submission (47 points)
Bobby Roode is being questioned by the Reaction crew about whether or not he had anything to do with the attack on Hulk Hogan last week (no mention of Sting’s attack). Roode says he’s not the only person in this company who hates Hogan. Jason Hervey then raises the ire of Roode by asking about whether or not he’ll call out Austin Aries tonight. Roode keeps yelling that Aries’ win at Destination X was a fluke and says he will call Aries out tonight, to prove it.
Jeff Hardy comes out next (they’re doing this thing where only the leaders on the scoreboard are able to call people out). Before Hardy gets into it, he’s interrupted by Robbie E. (I guess someone’s getting an easy seven tonight). Robbie says it’s clear that everyone in the BFG Series has been ducking him. He says he’s changing things up tonight by calling Hardy out. Hardy wastes no time accepting this challenge.
Match#2: Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E. in a Bound for Glory Series match
Hardy controls the early stages of the match, until Robbie T. gets involved from the outside. Hardy comes back with the whisper in the wind for two. Hardy then tries a plancha, but Robbie T. moves little Robbie out of the way, so Hardy crashes and burns. Hardy then starts beating the juice out of Robbie T. and without realizing it, he gets himself counted out.
Winner: Robbie E. by count out (5 points)
ODB is on her phone backstage, asking Eric Young where he is, as he was sent out for beer and fried chicken a while ago. Young’s voice is heard off-screen and then the camera pans to show that he’s right behind ODB on his own phone, and she’s supposed to be fooled by this. Young says while he was getting the beer and chicken, he met some guy who offered him a spot on some fishing show. ODB is upset that Young didn’t discuss this with her yet, before agreeing to it. Young says he has a way to make it up to her and the two newlyweds start making out. ODB says that all is forgiven and sends him back out to get the beer and fried chicken (this segment was ridiculously lame).
Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Daniels’ Appletini are backstage, as they are asked by the Reaction interviewer about what they think about Claire Lynch claiming that she has proof that AJ Styles is the father of her child. Daniels says all that’s going to happen tonight is that Claire Lynch is just going to prove what the two of them have been saying all along.
Up next is supposed to be a Gut Check segment with the latest contestant Sam Shaw (these indie guys really have terrible wrestling names). As Shaw is interviewed by Jeremy Borash, he is attacked by Aces and Eights, as we go straight to commercial.
Back from break, both the security guards and Gut Check judges are helping Sam Shaw to his feet, as Tenay replays the footage of the attack on Shaw.
Mr. Anderson comes out next. Anderson says he called out one of the biggest douchebags in the company, Christopher Daniels. He then asks the fans why they’re cheering him (because unlike you, he’s actually over). Anderson says tonight, he wants to step into the ring with a man he actually respects, and he says it’s unfortunate that he has to take seven points from him tonight. With that, Anderson calls out AJ Styles.
Match #3: Mr. Anderson vs. AJ Styles in a Bound for Glory Series match
Anderson counters a hip toss into one of his own and then follows up with an armdrag. AJ comes back with a back elbow and then a slingshot crossbody for two. Anderson responds with a belly-to-back suplex for two. AJ then drops Anderson with an explosive dropkick for two. Anderson then delivers a swinging neckbreaker for two, as Tenay notes that Anderson has a BFG Series match with Robbie E. this weekend (I’m sure he’s worried about that). Anderson then applies a cravatte, which AJ rolls through, but Anderson re-applies the move off of a bodyslam attempt. AJ finally escapes and executes an awkward-looking hurricanrana. He then drives home a springboard flying forearm for two. AJ tries the Styles clash, but Anderson counters and tries a steamroller, but AJ slides free and utilizes a roll-up for two. Anderson then finally gets the steamroller for two. Anderson then tries the mic check, which AJ wiggles out of and hits the Pele. Anderson then delivers a superplex for two. AJ hits another Pele and goes for the Styles clash again, but Anderson reverses into a pinning combination for the win.
Winner: Mr. Anderson by pinfall (23 points)
They shake hands after the match. But then AJ is interrupted by the annoying voice of Claire Lynch (who gave this woman a microphone?). She says she has been calling AJ all week, but AJ hasn’t been returning her calls, so they’re going to discuss this right here and now. Claire says they had a hot passionate night and they were both drunk. AJ says he doesn’t remember, which leads to Claire revealing these photos of her in a bed with AJ, who appears to be passed out in all of them (this angle has taken such an ugly turn since this woman got involved).
After the break, AJ Styles is backstage, just looking at these photos.
Bellator announcer Sean Wheelock joins the announcers for commentary.
Rob Van Dam comes out next. He says he’s thrilled to be part of Open Fight Night, because he feels like fighting. RVD says there’s no one that he’d rather kick the crap out of than the man who he calls the fallen scumbag, Christopher Daniels.
Match #4: Christopher Daniels vs. Rob Van Dam in a Bound for Glory Series match
Van Dam sets up Daniels in a tree of woe position and delivers a low dropkick. Van Dam then delivers a bridging northern lights suplex for two. He then applies a leg grapevine/heelhook combination, but Daniels reaches the ropes. Daniels retaliates with a slingshot elbow drop for two. Daniels then utilizes a chinlock, as he drives his knee into Van Dam’s back. RVD delivers a super kick and then sends Daniels halfway to the moon with a rolling monkey flip out of the corner. Daniels avoids a five-star frog splash, but RVD lands on his feet and drops Daniels with another kick. Van Dam then misses rolling thunder and Daniels rolls him up and uses the ropes for the win.
Winner: Christopher Daniels by pinfall (19 points)
Austin Aries is with the Reaction crew backstage, saying he agrees with Roode that he shouldn’t have beaten him at Destination X, because Roode shouldn’t have been the champion in the first place. Aries says he can trump anything that Roode has going for him. He says his World Title belt trumps Roode’s dress belt, his cape trumps Roode’s robe, and Roode is going to be trumped again tonight. Aries then looks down and sees the Aces and Eights dead man’s hand playing cards on the ground, which he picks up and says he’ll trump that too.
After the break, Brooke Hogan has joined the announced via phone. They ask her how he’s doing. She says he just had his surgery and is still recovering. This was a useless segment, considering that she just told us what we already knew.
Footage from last week is shown of the aftermath of the Bully Ray and Joseph Park match. Park is backstage with Garrett Bischoff, trying to convince him that with a last name like Bischoff, he might need a lawyer eventually. Garrett changes the subject, asking Park about the look in his eye last week. Park says that was 100 per cent him and nobody else.
The two remaining Bound for Glory Series competitors Bully Ray and Magnus have a staredown backstage, prior to their match.
Match #5: Magnus vs. Bully Ray in a Bound for Glory Series match
Ray attacks Magnus during Magnus’ entrance, but Magnus quickly turns the tables. Ray then knocks Magnus down and proceeds to spit into the air and catch his own spit in his mouth. During this match, Tenay notes that tonight’s Gut Check contestant Sam Shaw will get another chance next week. Ray positions Magnus in the corner and nearly smacks the flesh off his chest. Ray misses a big splash, allowing Magnus to catch a breather. The two combatants throw hands in the middle of the ring. Ray tries a boot in the corner, but misses and almost hyper-extends his knee as his foot hits the buckle. Magnus then applies a Texas cloverleaf, but Ray reaches the ropes. Magnus then misses a second rope elbow drop, which leads to an ace crusher by Ray, giving him the win.
Winner: Bully Ray by pinfall (7 points)
A video then airs to promote the TNA debut of Chavo Guerrero next week (it’s about time they promote someone new coming in, instead of that person just randomly showing up).
Bobby Roode then comes out and repeats the word ‘fluke.’ He says he plans to erase the memory of what happened at Destination X, tonight.
Roode then doesn’t waste any time calling out the champ.
Match #6: Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries in a non-title match
These guys go at it pretty hot and heavy, with both guys trying to verbally taunt each other. Aries delivers a Japanese arm drag and tries to roll into the last chancery, but can never get it applied. Aries then drills Roode with a hilo and then launches himself across the ring with an elbow drop. Aries then flies off the apron with a forearm. As Aries heads to the top turnbuckle, Roode knocks him to the floor and Aries smacks his head off the apron as he comes down. Roode then delivers the double R spinebuster for two. Roode then delivers a vertical suplex, followed by a running knee drop for two. Roode tries the crossface, but Aries rolls through and then plants the former champ with a side Russian leg sweep. Aries then rolls into the last chancery, but Roode escapes after a thumb to the eye. Roode then delivers a spear for two. Aries comes back with a missile dropkick and then hits the dropkick in the corner. Aries then tries the brainbuster, but Roode blocks it and drops down into the crossface. Aries escapes and drills Roode with a discus forearm. He then sends Roode to the floor and meets him out there with a tope under the middle rope. As Aries tries to pick Roode up, he’s attacked by Aces and Eights, which leads to the DQ finish.
Winner: Austin Aries by disqualification
As the group continues to beat down Aries, Roode is applauding their actions in the corner and both announcers are under the assumption that Roode is in on this. But then, Aces and Eights start attacking Roode and Impact ends with both the challenger and champion being beaten by this gang of thugs.
Much like the last two weeks, I thought this was a pretty average episode. Actually, in the last few months, I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed these Open Fight Nights the least, as there’s just way too much to digest. I’ve given up on this AJ and Claire Lynch storyline and I couldn’t care less where it goes from here. Roode and Aries had a good match, but it paled in comparison to their pay per view match, thanks in part to the commercial breaks. Anderson has actually had two straight weeks of decent matches now; actually I thought his match with AJ was the best of the night. I like how the BFG Series continues to be competitive, so as to not make it so obvious who’s going to win (even though it’s pretty obvious who’s NOT going to win). I’m not against the Aces and Eights angle for now and at least they’re trying to get these guys over, by having them attack top stars…and Sam Shaw. And I did like that they actually promoted Chavo Guerrero’s debut for next week, even though this should have been done six weeks ago, since he is currently working for Ring Ka King. Not a bad show, but not a great show. 6 out of 10.