Impact kicks off with an immediate update on what’s been going on in the last several weeks leading into Bound for Glory, in the form of a video package. The video contains highlights of the ongoing battle between James Storm and Bobby Roode, Jeff Hardy’s journey to the World Title match at Bound for Glory and Hulk Hogan’s agreement to meet with Aces and Eights tonight.
Impact General Manager Hulk Hogan comes out to start the show. Hogan declares this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling a turning point (way to plug the pay per view after Bound for Glory). Hogan goes on to address the situation involving the Television Title, as Devon is no longer with the company. He says he has selected four participants to plead their case to him tonight, which will be Samoa Joe, Magnus, Garrett Bischoff and Mr. Anderson, and a new TV Champion will be crowned. Hogan then addresses the feud between Bobby Roode and James Storm, saying that it’s gotten way out of hand, and therefore the two of them will settle their issues in a street fight at Bound for Glory. Hogan adds that there will be a special enforcer for that match, who will debut next week, and he is none other than King Mo, whom Hogan refers to as the MMA Champion. Hogan then brings up Aces and 8s, saying that he accepts their invitation to enter their clubhouse tonight, and he doesn’t care if he’s got to do it himself. Sting then makes his return to Impact, and says that this whole thing with Aces and 8s started with him, and just like Hogan had Sting’s back when he needed him, Sting has got Hogan’s back tonight, and he’s going to the clubhouse with Hogan (I could have sworn that Aces and 8s instructed Hogan to come alone. But what’s even funnier is that Hogan left Joseph Parks with this group for an entire week without calling the cops or anything).
Another Bound for Glory memory is share by Mr. Anderson, whose memory of choice is the night of 10-10-10, when he participated in the main event for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Match #1: Kurt Angle vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Christopher Daniels in a three-way dance
Daniels does a hilarious strut down the aisle with his belt hanging by his crotch area. Daniels tries his best to avoid his two opponents in the early going, but is quickly brought in the ring the hard way and then double teamed by Angle and Chavo. Daniels sidesteps Angle, who goes crashing shoulder-first into the ring post and Kazarian trips Chavo, who heads outside and gets in AJ’s face, as the two challenging teams at Bound for Glory have a face-off on the floor. This momentarily allows Daniels to have a breather, until all four guys head into the ring to try and get at the champs, as we head to break. Back from commercial, Daniels is firmly in control of Angle with an overhand wrist lock, as we learn that all outside parties have been ejected from ringside. Angle mounts a comeback with a pair of German suplexes to both opponents. He then tries the Angle slam on Chavo, who counters with a hip toss, sending Angle to the floor. Chavo delivers a tilt-a-whirl flying headscissors on Daniels. Angle comes back in and takes Chavo down with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex and then an Angle slam to Daniels. He then applies the ankle lock on Daniels, but Chavo breaks it up. Chavo delivers the three amigos on Daniels, and then goes upstairs to try the frog splash, but notices that Angle has taken advantage of a prone Daniels with the ankle lock. Chavo then gets in Angle’s face, and the argument allows Daniels to capitalize, sending them head to head and he takes Chavo down with an STO for the win.
Winner: Christopher Daniels by pinfall
Hulk Hogan is in his office with the four potential new TV Champions. He first turns to Garrett, who says he’s been kicking his ass to get to this position. Magnus brings up a great point that it makes no sense for Garrett to be here, just because he was Devon’s tag team partner. This draws the ire of Joe, who says Magnus knows nothing about being a great tag team partner, and they argue. Anderson says he just wants to fight somebody. Joe says nobody in this room deserves to leap frog over him to get this title. Hogan says he’s had enough of the bickering and states that because of that, Magnus is eliminated due to his history with Joe (what?). That was pretty much Magnus’ reaction too, but he makes a hilarious exit, as he has trouble getting out the door, to which Joe tells him that the handles work differently in the States, and he has to pull the door to get out, as everybody else is riffing.
Tara is backstage, as she is approached by Brooke Hogan. Tara tells Brooke that she’s been waiting and that Brooke is late. Brooke reminds Tara who she’s talking to and also reminds her of how she said there would be consequences for Tara’s actions in recent weeks. Tara completely ignores her, as she gets a call from her new ‘boo’ (I thought Halloween was next month). Tara asks this new boyfriend how things are in LA right now, which prompts Brooke to take the phone away from Tara and inform her that she has a match next. Tara then goes into a Bret Hart pose, as she asks ‘Against who?’
Match #2: Tara vs ODB
After a few minutes of awkwardness with Eric Young continuously trying to lock up with Referee Taryn Terrell (weren’t those Devon’s kids?), ODB finally brings Tara in the hard way. ODB delivers the carpet buster, and then EY gets in the opposite corner, asking ODB to give him that move as well, until Terrell chases him out. Young makes himself a little more useful by distracting Tara on the outside, allowing his wife to drop Tara with a baseball slide. Tara cowers in the corner and extends her hand to ODB, but ODB has none of it and floors Tara with a short-arm clothesline. ODB follows up with a fallaway slam. Tara is sent to the floor and appears to have tweaked her knee, as she attempts to use EY to pull herself up, but ODB has none of that either, as she takes Tara down on the floor. ODB then looks toward EY, who puts her and everyone else at ease, stating that his pants are still on. Tara then goes into the ring and removes her knee brace, suckering ODB into an inside cradle for the win.
Winner: Tara by pinfall
After the match, Tara is being helped to the back by Taryn Terrell, as she looks into the camera and says ‘I did it for you, baby!’
Before the Gut Check evaluation happens, Bruce Pritchard is really giving it to Al Snow backstage about his actions against Joey Ryan, saying that Snow is not a wrestler anymore and he needs to be a professional. Snow admits to making a mistake with Ryan, before Taz walks in and the three of them all compliment last week’s Gut Check contestant Evan Markopoulos.
Bully Ray is interviewed by the Reaction crew and the interviewer (I guess that would be Jason Hervey) asks who he has selected as his tag team partner tonight. Ray says to never interrupt him while he’s on his Twitter machine. He then turns it back to the interviewer and asks how good he looked with the TNA World Title last week. Ray says everyone’s going to have to wait and see who his partner is, and then warns the Reaction crew not to follow him, but if they do, to shoot his calves (this man is excellent!).
Hulk Hogan is backstage with the remaining three potential TV Champions. He says of the three of them, he’s least worried about Samoa Joe, but he then turns to Anderson and tells him that Garrett thinks he can hang with him, which Anderson takes offense to. Hogan says Garrett just isn’t ready yet and quickly dismisses him, as he makes the TV Title match between Anderson and Joe tonight. Garrett then shakes his head as he walks away.
Bobby Roode confronts Austin Aries backstage. He lets Aries know that Roode is going to be Bully Ray’s partner tonight. He then reminds Aries that when he was champion, he was able to defeat Jeff Hardy many times, but he has never been able to defeat Aries. Roode adds that he also has a vested interest in their title match at Bound for Glory, since he can’t challenge Aries for that title, but if Aries were to lose to Jeff Hardy, then all bets are off. Roode then wishes Aries good luck at Bound for Glory, to which Aries responds ‘Luck is for losers,’ as Roode walks away.
Match #3: Mr. Anderson vs. Samoa Joe to crown a new TNA World Television Champion
Both guys go for their signature moves in the early going, but Anderson escapes the Coquina clutch attempt almost as quickly as Joe escapes Anderson’s attempt at the mic check. Anderson delivers a swinging neckbreaker for two. He then tries a fireman’s carry, but Joe slips down the back and applies the Coquina clutch, which Anderson counters with a jaw breaker. Anderson then plants Joe with a steamroller for two. In a very awkward exchange, Joe blocks the mic check and then Anderson tries a roll up, which Joe struggles to counter, pulling Anderson back into the Coquina clutch. Joe then adds more pressure, as he rolls Anderson on his stomach, but Anderson really does a terrible job of selling this. Anderson eventually fades to black or just plain falls asleep, rather than being put to sleep, and Joe gets the duke.
Winner and NEW TNA World Television Champion: Samoa Joe by technical submission
Up next is a video package, containing highlights of all the Aces and 8s attacks.
Hulk Hogan is talking with Sting backstage, saying it’s going to be a good cop/bad cop scenario tonight. They are then interrupted by some stagehand, who presents Hogan with a document that Bruce Prichard wanted signed. As Hogan is signing it, he and Sting are both attacked by Aces and 8s, who place blindfolds over their heads and load them into a white van, which nobody noticed was there. One of the Aces and 8s guys pulls out a camcorder and says they’ll send plenty of pictures.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring with the Gut Check judges Taz, Bruce Prichard and Al Snow. He quickly introduces Gut Check contestant Evan Markopoulos. Markopoulos says last week wasn’t his best performance, because he lost, but he’s ready to convince the judges that he deserves a second chance. Taz says that for a guy his age, Evan’s ahead of the curve, but still has a lot to learn. He adds that this is as good a place as any to learn, so Taz says yes. Prichard says no, saying that Markopoulos needs more time to improve his skills. Markopoulos says that he was born in 1994, when Al Snow was trying to get into Smoky Mountain Wrestling and ECW, but Snow wasn’t 18 at the time, while Markopoulos is right now. Markopoulos actually cuts a decent promo, saying something about taking the ball and running with it. Snow says he admires Evan’s passion, but he says at 18, he doesn’t believe that Markopoulos is ready, so he says no.
At the Aces and 8s clubhouse, the bags are removed from Hogan and Sting’s heads, as the spokesman informs them that the boss is on his way.
Another Bound for Glory memory is shared by Magnus, who remembers the night he and Doug Williams won the TNA Tag Team Titles in 2009.
The Aces and 8s leader is speaking to Hogan and Sting with his back turned to them. Hogan demands to know where Joseph Park is. The Aces and 8s guy says he has a proposition for Hogan. Joseph Park is then wheeled in on a table that he is chained to. The Aces and 8s leader says at Bound for Glory, he wants Hogan to select two guys from his brotherhood to fight two guys from their brotherhood. Hogan says he and Sting volunteer and they’re ready to go. The leader tells Hogan that this isn’t about him, he says he wants the two of them to watch what’s going to happen to their two team members and they want Hogan and Sting to know that they caused it. The leader goes on to say that if the Aces and 8s team wins, then they get full access (access to what?), but if Hogan’s team wins, Aces and 8s will disappear forever (since nobody knows who these guys are anyway, what’s to stop them from showing up without their masks?). Hogan accepts the deal, only to be told that this deal will go down as long as nobody touches them until Bound for Glory, and they will keep Joseph Park as collateral.
James Storm comments on his Bound for Glory match backstage, saying that two men will walk in, but only one will walk out. Storm says the only thing he needs King Mo to do is raise his hand, right after he kicks Roode’s teeth down his throat.
Match #4: Bobby Roode and Bully Ray vs. Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy
Hardy gets the ball rolling for his team with a flying headscissors to Bully Ray out of the corner and then an arm drag. Aries then renews his rivalry with Roode with a couple of arm drags himself. He then drops Bully Ray with a drop toe hold, before Hardy comes at both opponents with a dual clothesline. Hardy attempts the whisper in the wind on Ray, but is tripped up by Roode, which gives the heels the advantage. Roode delivers a knee drop for two. Aries gets the hot tag and starts to build some momentum, until a cheap shot by Roode from the apron allows Ray to attack from behind with a knee to the lower back, sending the champ to the floor. Roode follows that up by whipping Aries into the steps. Roode delivers a back breaker, as the heels continue to work over Aries’ back. Roode holds Aries in place, as Ray comes off the middle rope with a double axe handle to the spine. Ray then delivers a splash for two and then applies a bear hug. Aries bites his way free and then delivers a low dropkick. Hardy extends his hand, but Aries is reluctant to make the tag, as Aries turns back and takes out both heels by himself. He applies last chancery on Roode, but Ray breaks it up and then plants a well-placed boot in Hardy’s face. Ray accidentally collides with Roode, allowing Aries to get the advantage with corner dropkicks to both heels. Aries then meets Roode on the floor with a tope under the middle rope and then hits Ray back in the ring with a missile dropkick. Aries then plants Roode with the brainbuster, but then Hardy tags himself in and nails the swanton bomb for the win.
Winners: Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries by pinfall.
After the match, Aries is upset with Hardy for stealing the win, and they argue for a while.
Meanwhile, Aces and 8s finally release Hulk Hogan and Sting back in the Impact Zone and remind them that they still have Joseph Parks (is it Park or Parks?), so they can’t be touched. Just in case, they manage to hold off Sting and Hogan with what looked like a pocket knife. Aces and 8s then drive off and Sting yells that he’s coming at Bound for Glory and he’s bringing somebody with him (my guess is that this will lead to the return of Abyss, unless of course they are planning to reveal that Parks and Abyss are the same person down the road).
I’ve had enough of this Aces and 8s thing and even though I don’t see it happening, I hope they lose at Bound for Glory and are never seen or heard from again. I thought it was very lazy booking on TNA’s part of how they wrote Sting and Hogan out of the Bound for Glory match and it makes no sense why any other two guys would want to fight them, since their entire feud has been with Hogan and Sting. Plus, every time they are faced with an even playing field, Aces and 8s always comes out on the losing end. I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that someone is making a heel turn in that match, whether it’s Hogan, Sting or one of the other two match participants; although, it wouldn’t make sense for either Hogan or Sting to turn, since they’ve been attacked the most and it would be stupid to select someone like Bully Ray on the team, which I think might happen, since he doesn’t have a match yet, but Ray is already a heel, who has already proven that he can’t be trusted, so that is another plot hole here. It’s a complicated situation, but hopefully everything gets worked out when those masks are finally removed. I think it’s a complete waste of Kurt Angle and AJ Styles to be involved in a Tag Title match at the pay per view, when they could have been used for this Aces and 8s match. I understand that they’re feuding with Daniels and Kazarian, but that storyline should have been wrapped up months ago, and besides that point, this three-way match in no way suggests a blow off to the Styles/Daniels feud, which means we’ll get at least one more match at some point. I don’t know what happened to the X-Division in the last couple of weeks, but it doesn’t look like any plans are set for an X-Division Title match at the pay per view. There haven’t been any signs that Jesse Sorensen is returning any time soon, and if that’s the case, I think now’s as good a time as any to go with your back up plan. Besides, I can name at least three guys in the division who can have a better match with Ion than Sorensen would have. I did kind of like the ending with Aries and Hardy, although I’d expect much more emphasis to be placed on that match than there has been. It seems like that match is taking a backseat to the Aces and 8s storyline and even Roode versus Storm, and it wouldn’t shock me if that’s not the main event at the pay per view. Overall, I think this was a very average show, but didn’t do a lot for me, in terms of building towards Bound for Glory, so I’ll give it 6 out of 10.