This week’s live TNA Impact opened with a video package recapping recent events including Tara turning on Miss Tessmacher, Al Snow confronting Joey Ryan, James Storm and Bobby Roode picking up their feud, Joseph Park vowing to present Hulk Hogan with Aces & Eights evidence, Aces & Eights warning Hogan about an internal issue, and Jeff Hardy advancing to Bound for Glory.
Backstage: In the hallway, Hulk Hogan greeted Shaquille O’Neal. Hogan plugged a new show for Shaq, then talked Aces & Eights with Shaq, who vowed to have Hogan’s back tonight. Shaq looked into the camera and said he’ll take care of Aces & Eights. After walking off, Hogan shouted, “Game on!” in the background as Shaq showed off a tattoo.
Impact Zone: A.J. Styles’s music played to start the show inside the arena. Kurt Angle joined Styles on-stage before the duo walked to the ring. Once in the ring, Angle took a mic and noted they were tag champs a few months ago, but were screwed by Kaz and Daniels. Then, they were screwed again at No Surrender. But, last week, Styles defeated Kaz to give them another Tag Title shot. The problem is, Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez also have a Tag Title shot. So, since tonight is Open Fight Night, Angle wants to find out who the real #1 contenders are. Angle called out Chavo and Hernandez, who were shown backstage already ready to wrestle. Chavo and Hernandez then made their way from the back to the ring, setting up the opening bout.
A.J. STYLES & KURT ANGLE vs. CHAVO GUERRERO & HERNANDEZ — #1 contender match to Tag Titles
Styles and Chavo started things off with a basic feeling-out process. A vocal portion of the audience picked up a “Chavo sucks” chant, then Chavo tagged out to Hernandez. Styles then tagged out to Angle, who dominated Hernandez until Hernandez smashed him with a chest bump. Hernandez then brought in Chavo, who took control of the action on Angle. Angle then came back with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex before TNA cut to a shot of Kaz & Daniels standing atop the entrance ramp getting a closer look at the action. Impact suddenly cut to break with Tenay mid-sentence.[Commercial Break]
Back from break, Styles and Chavo were battling in the ring. Chavo back body-dropped Styles, then brought in Hernandez, who ran over both Styles and Angle.
Hernandez wanted his big powerbomb move on Styles, but Angle cut off Hernandez to save his partner. But, Hernandez came back with a double clothesline on Styles and Angle. Chavo then took a tag from Hernandez and hit a top-rope dropkick on both opponents. Chavo and Styles then battled mid-ring, leading to Styles kicking Chavo in the head to break free and tag in Angle.
Angle cleaned house on the other #1 contenders before the action broke down with all four men in the ring. A bunch of kicks ensued before Angle grabbed Chavo’s ankle for the Anklelock, but Chavo flung Angle away. In the process, Angle fell backward into a tag to Styles. More action with all four men in the ring followed. No order here.
Chavo delivered the Three Amigos to Styles, then pointed to the sky and got booed. Chavo went to the top rope, but Angle cut him off. Hernandez then clotheslined Angle and himself over the top rope. Back in the ring, Chavo went for a frogsplash, but missed when Styles moved. Styles followed with a Pele Kick, then wanted the Clash, but Daniels and Kaz hit the ring to beat down both Styles and Chavo. The heel tag champs continued to beat down Styles and Chavo until Hernandez chased them off.
WINNERS: Match thrown out at 12:25.
As the heels celebrated outside the ring, Hulk Hogan’s music played to bring out Impact GM Hollywood Hogan with a baseball bat over his shoulder. Hogan posed on-stage for a bit before noting he has 99 problems, which includes Aces & Eights and Kaz & Daniels. Hogan then booked a Tag Title match at Bound for Glory – a triple threat tag match of Kaz & Daniels vs. Styles & Angle vs. Chavo & Hernandez. Hogan told them to come get some if they don’t like it. Daniels & Kaz ranted and raved
The roving cameraman asked Al Snow about getting a haircut. Riveting. The conversation turned to tonight’s Gut Check event. Snow said tonight’s contestant is a 19-year-old guy. The scene got serious when Snow was asked about Joey Ryan, who Snow said acts entitled and sucker-punched him. Snow said he’s been “called into the principal’s office” to find out if he crossed the line attacking Joey a few weeks ago.
This month’s Gut Check contestant, Evan Markopoulos, was shown warming up.[Commercial Break]
Hulk Hogan was shown on the phone talking to Joseph Park. He told someone off-camera to let him know when they’re back from commercial. According to one side of the conversation heard, Hogan wants Park to come right to security and come meet him in the building. Hogan acted excited when he heard that Park has the evidence in his hands right now. So, will Aces & Eights jump Park on the way to the building?
BFG Memory: Samoa Joe jumping out of the skybox in Chicago in 2008.
Gut Check video package: Evan Markopoulos. Impact then went to break.[Commercial Break]
TNA president Dixie Carter was shown talking to Bruce Prichard about an unidentified topic. Carter then mentioned Aces & Eights having them locked in to where they can’t do their jobs. Prichard said he doesn’t know if them locking out Aces & Eights is the best option. The audio was thrown off at some point, then Al Snow walked into the office. Dixie said they will discuss this later.
Evan Markopoulos was in the ring, where Jeremy Borash introduced this month’s Gut Check segment. Markopoulos did some bit pretending to be surprised by the camera in the ring before posing for the crowd. Random music then played to bring out Douglas Williams as Evan’s audition opponent tonight.
DOUGLAS WILLIAMS vs. EVAN MARKOPOULOS — Gut Check try-out match
Once the bell sounded, Markopoulos led the crowd in a slow clap before locking up with Williams, who controlled him on the mat. Williams then slapped Markopoulos across the face before the announcers discussed whether Evan is ready for this opportunity at 18-years-old. Williams continued to toy with Evan before cutting off a teased comeback with a knee to the mat as Taz gave a speech about what being a pro wrestler is about.
Evan tried to make a comeback from his knees, but Williams cut him off before delivering a delayed vertical suplex. Evan then ducked a corner attack and landed jabs, but made the mistake of looking into the crowd for approval. Williams then destroyed him and slapped on a submission for the win.
WINNER: Williams via submission at 4:06. Evan didn’t embarrass himself and he showed hints of charisma, but he’s about five years away from being a national TV star needing to fill out physically and get his timing down.
James Storm was shown walking down the hallway. Tenay said Storm is going to call out Bobby Roode next. 42 minutes into the show, nothing new on the TNA World Title main event at Bound for Glory, which feels like an afterthought at this point.[Commercial Break]
Video package: Storm-Roode feud and Storm’s failed quest to win the BFG Series because of Roode’s interference at No Surrender earlier this month.
James Storm’s music played to bring out the BFG Series regular season winner dressed to wrestle. Storm quickly made his way to the ring before asking for a mic. Storm waited out a “Cowboy” chant before talking about how he’s good at talking. But, he backs up his trash-talking with his fighting. Storm said he made it clear last week that he would be calling out a coward of a man this week. He wants to see pain on Roode’s face and blood on his hands.
Storm continued that this is not going to be a wrestling match, but a man kicking a coward’s ass match. Storm said the man is in the ring, so he just needs the coward to come on down. Storm turned to look toward the entrance, but no sign of Roode. After a pause, Roode’s music played and they cut backstage to show Roode dressed for a board meeting, not to fight. On-stage, Roode told Storm to hold on a minute. He asked Storm if he really wants him to get in the ring and fight him. Roode noted he’s a bit over-dressed and not prepared to fight. He also wanted Storm to know that he will never, ever be as good as him or duplicate his success. And, Storm will never be a World Hvt. champion as long as he’s around. So, if Storm wants to fight on Open Fight Night, then he’s barking up the wrong tree because he’s not going to fight him. Roode said he’s done with Storm as far as he’s concerned. “Are you kidding me?” Tenay asked on commentary before noting Storm gave him one-week notice for the fight.
TNA cut backstage to show Hogan reminding Roode what the concept of Open Fight Night is. Roode shouted at Hogan that he can’t tell him what to do. Hogan then told Roode if he wants the night off, then he can have the month off, the year off, and the rest of his career off, which means no money and no more title shots. Hogan gave Roode three minutes to make up his mind. Hogan waved him off, then Roode frustratingly entered a contemplative state.[Commercial Break]
Back live, James Storm was in the ring still ready to fight. Storm told Roode to get his ass out to the ring so he can kick it. Roode’s music played again and the former TNA World champion emerged on-stage still dressed in a business suit. On-stage, Roode slowly removed his jacket before unbuttoning his cuffs, removing his tie, and starting to remove his dress shirt. Storm left the ring to tease getting a piece of Roode, but the assigned ref held him back. Finally, Storm had enough and tackled Roode on the entrance ramp to blast him with Roode’s dress shoe.
On-stage, Roode turned things around with a head shot into the staging, but Storm turned things around to blast Roode across the stage area. The fight moved to the area below the stage, where Roode blasted Storm with his shoe. “Not the shoe!” one fan sarcastically called out. Roode dragged Storm back to ringside, then tossed him into the ring. As Roode entered the ring, the ref called for the bell for some reason despite Storm making it clear a segment ago that this would not be a match.
BOBBY ROODE vs. JAMES STORM
The “match” spilled out to the outside, where both men traded control of the action. Roode then whipped Storm back-first into the guardrail before dragging him around ringside to deliver another guardrail shot. Roode then grabbed a beer bottle out from under the ring and tried to spew it in Storm’s face, but Storm blocked and poured the contents inside the mouth of a person on the front row of the hard camera side. Roode and Storm then traded control again before Storm took control and asked for the randomly-involved people on the front row to hold up their feet for Storm to blast Roode face-first into the soles of their shoes.
Roode and Storm continued fighting ringside before a lady shouted “F— you, Roode” on-camera. Her second FU bomb was caught by the sensors. Roode reversed a suplex into a suplex of his own, which put both men on the floor. They returned to the ring, where Roode dominated before tossing Storm out of the ring to the outside again. The fight continued ringside, so ref Brian Hebner had enough and threw out the “match.”
WINNER: Match thrown out at 6:25.
After the bell sounded, Roode and Storm continued to fight ringside before Storm found an opening in the guardrail to fall into the floor area outside of the Impact Zone. Ref Hebner tried to separate them, but he got tossed into the side of the bleacher seats for his troubles. Storm and Roode fought to a back-door exit, then disappeared out of sight. TNA then cut backstage.
Hulk Hogan was apparently not watching the Roode-Storm fight, as he was in the middle of a conversation with a backstage assistant asking where Joseph Park is. The man said Park has his credentials to enter the building, but he hasn’t seen him yet. Hogan suddenly got buzzed on his phone by Aces & Eights. According to the one-sided conversation, A&E has hired a corporate lawyer to represent them. Hogan said he’ll play their game, no wait, he’ll think about it. Hogan told Aces & Eights he’ll get back to them. Hogan then shouted after the backstage assistant not to look for Park because he knows where he is.[Commercial Break]
TNA World champ Austin Aries and #1 contender Jeff Hardy 74 minutes into the show. Aries approached Hardy to discuss their TNA Title match at the BFG PPV. Aries said everyone thinks it’s about Hardy going after his title belt, but he wants what Hardy has since he’s accomplished a ton in his career. Aries said he wants Hardy’s Hall of Fame career and bank account. He said he wants mindless sheep following him, just like Hardy. Aries said he wants to prove that anything Hardy has done, he can match. Aries told Hardy it’s not about Hardy chasing his title, but about him chasing what Hardy has accomplished. Hardy didn’t take the bait on Aries’s back-handed remarks, then Aries walked off.
Tara’s music played to bring out a heel Tara after she turned on Knockouts champion Miss Tessmacher last week. After a replay of Tara turning on Tessmacher last week, Tara took the mic in the ring and said the people disgust her for even asking about her actions. She said everyone uses her, including a guy with a sign. Tara said her new boyfriend, who lives in Hollywood, California, opened her eyes to remind her that she is the best female wrestler there is. “Boring!” chant. Tara called out Brooke Hogan, saying she used her, too.
Tara then called out her victim for tonight, Christy Hemme. Off-stage, Hemme wondered what’s going on here. Tara told Hemme to get in the ring now. Tara mockingly told “saddle bags” not to let her fans down. Hemme entered the ring and told Tara she’s an announcer, which Tara shot down. She told Hemme to show her some respect. Asked who her favorite Knockout is right now, Hemme replied it’s Tessmacher. Tara slapped Hemme, so Tessmacher hit the ring to make the save.
Hulk Hogan was shown walking down the hallway. He’s up next. Remember those quotes from Dixie Carter a few months ago about being upset when people say Hogan takes up too much TV time on Impact? Apparently enough time has passed where the thought process is people won’t remember and Hogan can fill up the show again.[Commercial Break]
Another Hogan, Brooke Hogan, called out Tara in the hallway. Brooke asked Tara what she was thinking calling out Christy Hemme, who isn’t even a wrestler. Brooke said she respects Tara, but she doesn’t like her right now. Brooke said there will be consequences next week.
BFG Memories: RVD talked about wrestling Abyss and Jerry Lynn at past BFG PPVs.
Tenay said it will be Championship Thursday next week on Impact. He said the Television Title will be decided. No mention of current titleholder Devon, whose contract expired last month, or if that means a tournament to determine a new champ.
Hulk Hogan made his way out on-stage before slowly coming to the ring as TNA went to crowd shots. Once Hogan entered the ring, Hogan took the mic and vowed to spraypaint everyone in the building. Hogan then addressed Aces & Eights, saying they grabbed Joseph Park and are holding him hostage. He said as long as he knows the rules, he doesn’t mind playing. Hogan said Aces & Eights wants him in their clubhouse next week, so he’ll play. Hogan said the word on the street is that even though they are bottom-feeders, they keep their word. He told the group to release Joseph Park out of good faith…and he wants him back now.
A garbled voice interrupted the proceedings. On the video screen, an Aces & Eights member addressed Hogan. He accepted Hogan’s invitation to meet them at their clubhouse next week. Aces & Eights addressed Joseph Park, saying he’s gotten too close. He said after looking at his computer, they’ve determined that Joseph is pretty good. Some other guy then bashed Park’s computer. Trapped inside a cage, Park shouted that it’s three weeks of work. He blurted out something about having the information backed up, then one of the members smashed him with a hammer. Park sold unconsciousness, the crowd groaned, and Hogan flared his nostrils in the ring before Impact went to the break.[Commercial Break]
Moments Ago: Tenay recapped the Hogan segment with Aces & Eights and Joseph Park before the break. … TNA introduced a graphic promoting Aries vs. Hardy at Bound for Glory, then Tenay fed to a documentary-style video on Hardy chasing after the TNA Title. In the video, Hardy said winning the title is the last chapter of his redemption.
Austin Aries’s music played to bring out the TNA Champ dressed to wrestle. Once in the ring, Aries removed his cape and acknowledged the “nice, little video package” on Jeff Hardy. He said that was nice of the producers to put that on right before he came out here. Aries said his thought process going into BFG is that he’s the hunter and not the hunted because Hardy is the target. Aries repeated that he wants to prove that he can do everything that Hardy can do. Tonight, he will prove that by beating a “big, bad bully.” Aries called out Ray to prove it wasn’t luck, but skill when he beat him before.
Backstage, Bully Ray acted shocked that he just got called out. Ray asked a production assistant if that’s correct, intimidated him, and marched up the steps to the stage. On-stage, Ray adjusted his cap before shouting that he can’t believe what he just heard. Ringside, Ray requested his music be shut off before making sure he heard correctly that Aries called him out. Aries confirmed Ray’s hearing is good, then Ray vowed to beat the crap out of Aries for a second time. Ray said Aries has a lot of nerve and audacity calling him out here.
Someone touched Ray on the back, so Ray stopped to yell at him never to touch him again. Ray said he must be a no-brain Aries fan. Aries told Ray that’s not his kind of fan, then Aries ripped the guy, which drew a confused reaction from the crowd. Apparently Aries is playing a C.M. Punk tweener role before Bound for Glory. Ray kept walking around the ringside area talking to himself, so Aries caught him out of nowhere with a flying splash to shut up Ray. Aries put on Ray’s cap, then inflicted more punishment before rolling Ray into the ring to officially start the un-promoted main event.
TNA World Hvt. champion AUSTIN ARIES vs. BULLY RAY — non-title match
Aries controlled the action for 45 seconds before Ray kicked Aries out of the ring to the floor. Ray posed for the hard camera, then Impact went to break at 1:00.
We’re back as Bubba is gouging at the face of Aries while yelling at him for calling him out. Bubba puts Aries in a modified surfboard, but Aries escapes with a questionable kick to the inner thigh/groin area. Bubba quickly lays Aries back out and hits a big splash for 2, then slams Aries for another 2. Bubb with a big elbowdrop for 2 and then drops elbowsmashes to the head of Aries before dropping another big elbow and proclaiming “Damn, that was TIGHT!” Bubba covers for 2, then yells at the referee about how much he sucks as a referee because he’s old and he sucks. Earl Hebner starts yelling back at Bubba as Aries hits a couple of chops and some forearms, but a big right hand from Bubba floors Aries. Aries pops up and goes after Bubba again, but another shot from Bubba drops Aries. Aries pops up and goes back after Bubba, rocking him with a roaring elbow, he charges Bubba and gets backdropped to the apron, but snaps bubba’s neck over the top rope and comes off the top with a missile dropkick for 2. Aries tries a sunset flip, Bubba tries to counter by dropping his posterior on Aries’ chest, but Aries moves and goes back after Bubba. Aries tries an Irish whip, Bubba reverses and Aries crashes into the referee and knocks him out. Aries dropkicks Bubba’s knee out from under him and gets the Last Chancery, but the referee’s out. Bubba gets his chain and wraps it around his fist as Aries check on the referee, then uses it to knock Aries out as he comes in for the IED. The referee revives as Bubba covers Aries and gets 3.
Winner: Bully Ray
Bubba is so happy that he crawls on top of Earl Hebner and hugs him while telling him what a great ref he is. Aries is out as Bubba is on cloud nine because he just beat the champ. Bubba gets Aries’ title belt and holds it up in the air, but Jeff Hardy comes in and takes Bubba out before he can knock Aries out with it. Now Hardy picks the belt up and holds it in the air before Aries snatches it back and shoves Hardy, and they go fce to face as we call it a week.