Source: Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider
Pre-Show Notes: The belief among the wrestlers is that tomorrow’s announcement will indeed be Impact going to Mondays, but we’ll see…..2 Cold Scorpio, who lives in the Orlando area, is backstage . I haven’t heard he’s coming in but would certainly be a great hand to add to the company…TNA filmed a lot of vignettes last night, so expect tons of backstage segments. The PPV opened with Ric Flair storming in the building with Christy Hemme trying to calm him. Flair was irate about Eric Bischoff being added as the special referee tonight. He said that everyone knows he hates Bischoff and when he gets his hands on Bischoff, he’s going to get the respect he deserves. He said that he’s not going to let Bischoff hate for him spill over to AJ Styles and effect Styles’ run as TNA champion. Flair told Hemme to go tell Bischoff he’s looking for him and Bischoff and Hulk Hogan are going to show Flair the respect he deserves as “a God around here” or else.
TNA aired a video feature on tonight’s event.
8 Card Stud Tournament: Pope D’Angelo Dinero vs. Desmond Wolfe
The crowd was strongly behind Dinero. They did some nice back and forth opening sequences early. Wolfe began using his European style on Dinero, who reversed several unique moves. Wolfe nailed him with a European uppercut but Dinero nailed him with several clubbering elbows and a flying forearm.
Wolfe tossed Dinero to the floor and when he returned to the apron, snapped him over the ropes. Wolfe went for the Tower of London but Dinero escaped. Wolfe took out Dinero’s legs and began focusing on his shoulder, driving him shoulder first into the corner. Wolfe followed it up with a modified armbar. Dinero tried to make a comeback but snapped into a DDT for a two count.
Wolfe tied up Dinero in a cravate headlock and scissored Dinero’s leg with his own. Dinero broke free and nailed a series of forearm shots, followed by a clothesline. He nailed an inverted atomic drop and a flying forearm. Dinero hit a flying bodypress off the top rope for a two count.
Wolfe nailed a catapult into the corner but Pope stopped himself and clocked Wolfe with a back elbow. He ascended to the top but Wolfe cut him off and nailed a superplex. Wolfe covered Dinero for a two count. Wolfe went for a lariat but Dinero ducked and rolled him up from behind. Wolfe yanked Dinero’s shoulder. He missed a charge into the corner. Dinero used the ropes to snap Wolfe’s neck to the mat.
Dinero nailed the Dinero Express in the corner and scored the pin.
Your winner, advancing, D’Angelo Dinero!
Ric Flair stormed into Eric Bischoff’s office. He demanded to know why Bischoff added himself to the main event and said that Bischoff can’t act like God, because Flair is the only wrestling God around here. He told Bischoff any changes have to go through Flair because he’s AJ Styles’ manager. Bischoff said he thinks Flair is mad Styles has to defend against Samoa Joe tonight. Flair said he didn’t care about that because Styles is the best and the best always wins, plus he has Flair in his corner. Bischoff said he will call the match down the middle and warned Flair to “keep his distance tonight.” Flair looked like he wanted to jump Bischoff but instead walked off. Bischoff started rubbing his face out of frustration. Good stuff from both men.
Jeremy Borash interviewed the TNA Tag Team champions Hernandez and Matt Morgan. They basically said that they would still be the champions after tonight but they have to face each other due to the luck of the draw. They wished each other well.
8 Card Stud tournament: TNA Tag Team champion Matt Morgan vs. TNA Tag Team champion Hernandez
They locked up at the bell with Morgan forcing Hernandez into the corner. Clean break. They lock up again, this time with Morgan being backed up. Deja vu with the clean break. Morgan grabbed a side headlock but was shoved off. He rebounded off the ropes and took Hernandez down with a series of shoulder blocks. Hernandez responded in kind and Morgan went down.
Morgan came back with a kick to the gut but missed the Carbon Footprint. Hernandez went for the Border Toss but Morgan escaped. He nailed his rapid fire back elbows in the corner. He charged Hernandez in the corner but was kicked in the gut. Hernandez went to the top for a bodypress. Morgan was supposed to catch him but they ended up crumbling to the ground and Hernandez covered him for a near fall.
Hernandez was selling his ribs as Morgan nailed an Avalanche in the corner. Morgan nailed a side slam for a two count. He choked Hernandez’s throat against the top rope then launched himself atop Morgan, clotheslining his partner over the top rope. Morgan drops a guillotine legdrop across Hernandez’ throat on the apron.
Morgan covered his partner but Hernandez kicked up. Morgan yelled at him to stay down. Hernandez tried to escape a side headlock but was blasted in the ribs. Morgan maneuvered Hernandez onto the apron but was hit with a slingshot shoulderblock into the ring. Hernandez exploded with offense, including a splash in the corner for a two count. Hernandez avoided a backdrop attempt and picked up Morgan for a delayed vertical suplex.
Morgan rolled out onto the rampway to the ring. Hernandez hit a dive over the ropes onto Morgan. Hernandez grabbed his shoulder as he landed and immediately went down grabbing his shoulder. Hernandez was almost counted out but Morgan stopped him, saying he didn’t want to win that way. Morgan held the ropes for his partner to get in the ring, then ran him into the corner shoulder-first and rolled Hernandez up, hooking the tights.
Your winner, Matt Morgan!
Morgan held up Hernandez’ arm after but Hernandez shoved him off and walked out. Really solid match that set the stage for a teased heel turn from Morgan at the end when he cheated to win by taking advantage of his partner and hooking the tights to boot. You can’t expect Malenko vs. Guerrero from guys of this size but for what it was, minus that one miscue, I thought this was really enjoyable.
They aired a video feature on the Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles feud.
Christy Hemme interviewed Kurt Angle. Angle said that he owed a huge apology to Hulk Hogan. He said that last Thursday, Hogan had his back when the Band attacked Angle. Angle said that as a man, he knows Hogan has his back. Hemme asked Angle about mental preparation for tonight given his beating on Thursday. Angle said he’s a pro and is going to burn through the tournament and get his title shot. He said he’s going to introduce Ken Anderson to TNA the only way he knows how, by beating his ass in the ring. Oh it’s real, it’s damn real.
8 Card Stud Tournament: Mr. Anderson vs. Kurt Angle
Anderson introduced himself as the winner of this match and the one after that and the one after that. Great line.
In the ring, they started out slow with some back and forth wrestling. Angle worked a side headlock on Anderson early. Angle charged Anderson in the corner but Anderson moved and Angle drilled his shoulder into the ringpost. Anderson began mocking him, then began digging the medal Angle wore to the ring into Angle’s face, busting him open. Anderson began stomping Angle’s face and worked him over with punches in a corner.
Angle tried to battle back with several rights but was caught with a DDT. Anderson cinched in a rear chinlock. Angle made his way back and nailed a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Angle drilled Anderson with a clothesline for a two count. The storyline the announcers were pushing were how long Angle could go while losing so much blood. Angle began drilling Anderson with a series of German suplexes.
Angle went for the Angleslam but Anderson avoided it and hit his rolling forward Samoan Drop for a two count. Anderson began unhooking a turnbuckle pad. When the referee began fixing it, Anderson ripped a second one off. He tried to slam Angle’s face into it but Angle held him off and drilled an Angleslam for a two count.
Angle pulled the strap down and cinched in an anklelock. Anderson kicked him off. Angle charged Anderson into a corner but Anderson moved and Angle ran headlong into the exposed turnbuckle. Anderson hit the Mic Check and scored the clean pinfall on Angle.
Your winner, Ken Anderson!
After the match, Anderson draped the medal on Angle’s chest and snotted him. Match was solid and told a good story. It was obvious TNA was trying to springboard Anderson as a player here.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff told Mick Foley and Abyss he was sorry he put them in this situation but when you run a wrestling company you have to give the fans the best entertainment. He warned them to kill each other, not to work in collusion or else Abyss would have to unmask. Foley asked him how they knew he wasn’t going to pull something on them. Bischoff said he would make it a No DQ match so they could use a barbed wire bat, but if he didn’t think they were treating this as their most important match, Abyss’ mask was a goner. Abyss didn’t want to have to beat up Foley but Foley was fine with doing what had to be done.
8 Card Stud Tournament: Abyss vs. Mick Foley – No DQ
Foley came out with the barbed wire bat and was dressed in old school Cactus Jack leopard print. Abyss grabbed a headlock on Foley, then shoulderblocked him down. Foley went to grab the bat but Abyss kicked it away from him. Abyss nailed a splash in the corner. Fans chanted for Abyss to use the bat but he had his doubts after he picked it up, so he dropped it back down.
Abyss told Foley he didn’t want to use the bat, so Mick slapped and punched him. He dared Abyss to use the bat while punching him, trying to fire up Abyss. Abyss began drilling Foley with right hands. Foley went to the floor. Abyss followed. They brawled around ringside. Foley grabbed a fan’s chair and beat Abyss over the back with it. Foley worked over Abyss, screaming at him to use the bat and asking him if he wanted to lose his mask.
Back in the ring, Foley grabbed the bat but Abyss kicked him as Foley charged. Abyss choked Foley against the ropes. He shot Mick into the ropes but Foley caught him with a swinging neckbreaker as he rebounded. Foley worked over Abyss with a series of forearms in the corner. He grabbed a sack of thumbtacks and spread them across the ring. Foley tried to punch Abyss into the tacks but was grabbed by the throat. Abyss teased slamming him on the tacks but instead slammed him in the corner away from them for a two count. The announcers wondered if that could be what Bischoff needed as ammunition.
Abyss grabbed Mr. Socko away from Foley for the Mandible Claw but was hit with the double arm DDT. Since he had no sock, Foley pulled one off the referee. Abyss and Foley used the Mandible Claw on each other at the same time but eventually only Foley had it cinched him. Abyss faded down to the mat. The referee checked Abyss’ arms to see if he was out. Meanwhile, ref Mike Posey is walking around the ring with one foot barefoot. Sheesh, put the sneaker back on!
Foley grabbed the barbed wire bat but Abyss grabbed him and nailed the Black Hole Slam into the tacks for the pin. The storyline was that Abyss was going on instinct and didn’t “want” to hurt Foley.
Your winner, Abyss!
After the match, Abyss was checking on Foley and removing tacks.
Backstage, Christy Hemme interviewed The Nasty Boys. Brian Knobbs said that they know why they are here, but everyone assumes they know why. Knobbs said that everyone knows they are Hulk Hogan’s longtime friends and he told them to go through the TNA Tag Team roster and show them what real tag teams are all about. He said they went right after Team 3D because they are the top tag team here and if they can’t beat 3D, why are they even here? Promo was fine.
The Nasty Boys vs. Team 3D
The Nastys cut off 3D as they charged the ring. They worked over 3D early. 3D made a comeback so the Nastys powdered to the floor. It settled down into a traditional tag with Brother Ray and Jerry Sags starting out. Sags caught him with a clothesline in the corner. Knobs cut off Ray as he tried to fire back. The Nastys tagged in and out. They tried to do the Pitstop on Ray but he shoved Sags into Knobs, knocking Knobs off the apron.
Devon tagged in. They took out Sags but Knobs pulled him out of the ring as 3D called for the Dudley Death Drop. Fans began chanting for tables. Knobs returned to the ring, where he ate a Devon clothesline. Devon rebounded off the ropes but Sags pulled the rope down and he crashed to the floor. Sags worked over Devon on the floor.
Ray came out of nowhere and drilled the hell out of Sags from behind, sending him flying into a cameraman. That was awesome. The announcers noted the cameraman was down. It was obvious it was a mishap but was one of those accidental moments that ended up being the best thing thus far in the match because it was so stiff.
Back in the ring, Sags and Knobs continued working over Devon as Ray kept trying to get in the ring and help. Knobs locked in an abdominal stretch. Sags tagged in and nailed Devon in the ribs. Sags whipped Knobs into Devon in the corner but Devon avoided him and then nailed Sags.
Devon made the tag to Ray, who began cleaning house with slams and punches on the Nastys. He sandwiched the Nastys in the corner and nailed a running splash on both. Ray went for an uranage on Sags and it fell apart. Ray elbowed Knobs in the head. 3D nailed the wazzup headbutt on the Nastys. They were about to call for Tables when Sags charged them. They nailed him with the Dudley Death Drop.
Ray covered Sags but Jimmy Hart ran out (the camera missed this) and handed Knobs a motorcycle helmet. Knobs drilled Ray with it and put Sags on top. He scored the pin as Knobs held Devon to prevent him from breaking the pin.
Your winners, The Nasty Boys!
Backstage, Eric Bischoff was talking to Samoa Joe. Joe said the most important thing for a company is a champion they can believe in. Bischoff agreed with him and talked about how much he hated Flair and said he was going to handle it right down the middle. They are pushing it so hard that I almost expect Bischoff to screwjob Joe and be behind the other screwjob from a few weeks ago. Bischoff asked Joe to keep his Samoan temper in check. Joe told Bischoff to take care of Flair and he’d handle Styles like he has in the past.
8 Card Stud Semi-Final: D’Angelo Dinero vs. Matt Morgan
Dinero tried to use his speed and offense to keep Morgan off balance early. He attempted to whip Morgan but Morgan just pulled back and sent Dinero over the top to the floor. Morgan followed to the floor. He threw Dinero back into the ring and nailed a Fall Away Slam. Morgan was showing some arrogant heel swagger in the ring.
Morgan stepped on Dinero’s chest, forcing the air out of his chest. He then choked Dinero against the ropes. Morgan nailed the old Big Bossman charge across the ring and land across the opponent draped on the ropes. Morgan cinched in a bearhug. Dinero escaped and unloaded with offense.
Pope nailed a drop toehold on Morgan, snapping him into the ropes. Dinero rebounded off the ropes but was drilled with a discus clothesline for a two count. Morgan began beating down Dinero with headbutts. He measured and charged but Dinero avoided the Carbon Footprint and crotched himself in the corner.
Dinero nailed the former Elijah Express in the corner and scored the pin.
Your winner, D’Angelo Dinero!
Morgan threw a fit in the ring after the loss.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Ken Anderson. Borash said he had defeated Kurt Angle. Anderson said he doesn’t like when people repeat themselves but had Borash say it again. Anderson said he beat the best wrestler in the world. He noted he beat Abyss last month and would be the guy that’s going to do it again tonight and get the title shot, then win the title. Anderson said everyone is waiting for him to carry the company into the future and he would. He was hilarious doing his “ANDERRRRRRRSON” bit into Borash’s face at the end.
8 Card Stud Tournament: Abyss vs. Ken Anderson
They slugged it out in the center of the ring. Anderson attempted a high cross bodyblock but bounced off. Anderson called for a test of strength but when Abyss went for it, he punched Abyss. Abyss grabbed him for a slam but Anderson escaped and they faced off.
Anderson got nailed with a big boot and clotheslined over the top to the floor. Outside, Abyss slammed him into the ring steps. Anderson fired back with a right hand. Anderson went to slam Abyss into the guard rail but Abyss overpowered him and it was Anderson who ate steel. Abyss did the running charge in the corner but Anderson dropkicked him in the knee. Anderson worked over Abyss with punches and tried to unmask Abyss. Abyss rushed himself backwards into the corner and fixed the mask.
Anderson came from behind with a chop block, taking out the knee again. Abyss punched off Anderson but was tied up in the corner. Anderson nailed a dropkick to the knee. Abyss tried to make a comeback but couldn’t get the chokeslam. He backdropped Anderson and began drilling him with right hands. Abyss nailed the running charge in the corner and hit a sideslam for a two count.
Abyss called for a chokeslam. Anderson kicked him in the gut but was unable to get the Mic Check. Abyss went for and nailed Shock Treatment for a two count. Abyss went for a chokeslam but Anderson pulled the mask out of alignment. Abyss was blinded and grabbed at the referee, allowing Anderson to nail him low and score the Mic Check for the pin.
Your winner, Ken Anderson!
Christy Hemme interviewed TNA champ AJ Styles, who now has blonde frosting in his hair and Ric Flair. Styles said that there wasn’t anyone who could shine his boots, including Hulk Hogan and the Funk Brothers. Styles said wrestlers like him only come around once in a lifetime. Styles is trying to find himself as a heel promo but it wasn’t bad at all. He looked like he was having the time of his life. Flair told Hemme he was sorry for his anger earlier and promised that Eric Bischoff would call it right down the middle. He did his typical Flair promo, putting over himself and the champ.
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe
with Eric Bischoff as the special referee
Hogan stops Bischoff backstage and tells him he and Ric Flair needed to let it all go. Hogan said that after 15 years, there’s no reason for any of the animosity and they both needed to tone it down a few notches. Hulk said he knew what Bischoff was up to tonight and it wasn’t going to happen. Hogan told Bischoff there were to be no shenanigans and no ga-ga after the Earl Hebner situation. Hogan said they the wrestlers and the fans needed to believe in the ref and demanded Bischoff call it right down the middle. When Hogan walked off, Bischoff looked pissed and said, “damn it!” They showed an intense Joe walking out with his briefcase. Backstage, Flair had dressed Styles in an old school, Flair style robe. Styles strutted down the hallway but then stopped and pulled a hood over his head. Buddy Rogers gave way to Ric Flair and TNA is doing a solid job with the idea of Flair giving way to Styles.
Jeremy Borash was back with the big time Jimmy Lennon style ring introductions.
Styles demanded Bischoff hold the title up in the air. There was a moment where Flair and Bischoff stared at each other. They rang the bell.
Joe and Styles locked up and they started out fast, but Styles jumped to the floor before Joe could get any real damage in. Styles returned. Joe got a lot of offense early, including a running knee in the corner for a two count. Styles came back with chops. Joe ducked a clothesline and nailed a running knee for a two count. Joe nailed Styles with a big chop to the chest.
Joe began drilling Styles with roundhouse kicks to the legs and chest. Styles grabbed Joe’s leg and hit a Dragon Screw legwhip. Styles began stomping away on Joe’s knee. Styles went for a figure four but Joe kicked him out of the ring. Styles took a scary as heel bump to the floor. Joe hit a suicide dive to the floor, but began selling the bad knee after hitting the floor.
Joe tossed Styles back in the ring but they ended up back outside. Styles began pulling the padding covering the ringside area, exposing the concrete. Styles went for a suplex on the floor but Joe reversed it. Styles landed on his feet but Joe nailed him. Styles landed in Flair’s arms and they backed off as Joe stalked them outside. Styles returned to the ring and dropkicked Joe as he followed.
Styles elbowed Joe across the back of the neck. He drilled Joe with a dropkick as he rebounded off the ropes. Styles began whipping out the “Woos” as he chopped Joe but Joe returned in kind. They went back and forth. Styles placed Joe atop the turnbuckles and went for a top rope rana. Joe pushed him off and drilled a knee off the ropes for a two count.
Joe began beating on Styles with right hands and punches in the corner. Styles avoided a Joe charge but when he went after Joe, was caught with a Uranage out of the corner. Joe charged Styles but was kicked off. Styles mounted him with a series of right hands but Bischoff pulled him off. Styles and Bischoff argued while Flair grabbed Joe and slammed his leg into a ringpost. Styles clipped Joe from behind.
Styles began working on Joe’s leg, snapping the hamstring and stomping the leg to weaken Joe for a submission attempt. Styles locked on an Oriental Torture Device followed by the figure four leglock. Joe was nearly counted down on the mat several times. Flair began helping Styles. Bischoff spotted it and broke up the submission.
Styles charged Joe but was backdropped over the top to the floor. Joe began racking up the offense including a back senton splash for a two count. Joe nailed the snap powerslam for a two count. Joe chopped Styles in the corner. Styles came back with a springboard into a forearm for a two count. Styles mounted Joe for more punches. Joe came back with thrusts and punches.
Styles caught Joe with a back elbow and set up Joe for the Styles Clash. Joe escaped and went for the rear naked choke. Styles went for the ropes but Joe kicked off the ropes for momentum and flipped Styles backwards into a back suplex. Joe placed Styles on the top rope for a muscle buster but Flair grabbed Joe’s leg. Bischoff began arguing with Flair on the floor and decked him, Meanwhile, there was no one to count the pin.
When Bischoff returned to the ring, Joe began screaming at Bischoff and grabbed him by the shirt. Styles hit the Pele Kick on the distracted Joe. Bischoff slowly counted three, although he wasn’t happy about it.
Your winner and still TNA champion AJ Styles!
Flair grabbed the mic and demanded Bischoff raise Styles’ hand. Flair yelled at the fans to show him and Styles respect.
Ken Anderson cut a promo saying he was going to finish off his bucket list tonight after checking off beating Kurt Angle and Abyss. He said he was going to finish off by sending Dinero back to the Harlem Street Corner he came from. His promos are on fire tonight.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Dinero. Dinero was giving his usual fun promo when Scott Hall and Sean Waltman attacked him, throwing him into the wall of the TNA interview set. Security held them back. Hall yelled for Hogan, saying he shouldn’t turn his back on the Wolfpack.
8 Card Stud Tournament Final: D’Angelo Dinero vs. Ken Anderson for Lockdown title shot
They played Dinero’s music but no initial sign of him. They stopped playing the music and instead introduced Anderson. They ref rang the bell and began counting out Dinero. At six, Dinero emerged on the stage. Anderson hit a running clothesline on the ramp. He returned to the ring to break up the countout then went right back after Dinero on the ramp.
Dinero began to mount a comeback. Anderson went to the floor off the ramp to try and escape but Dinero was right after him. Anderson cut him off with a kick to the gut. He whipped Dinero into the steel steps. They showed AJ Styles and Ric Flair watching the match on a monitor backstage to see who gets the Lockdown title shot. Anderson worked over Dinero and returned to the ring, telling the referee to count him out.
Dinero pulled himself to his feet and got to the apron but Anderson knocked him back off the apron to the floor. Dinero finally returns to the ring. He tries to suplex Anderson but it’s reversed. Anderson covered Dinero but he kicks out. Anderson stomped Dinero’s hand, which seemed to fire up Pope, who nailed several shots.
Anderson escaped a small package and drilled Dinero with a series of elbows for a two count. Dinero keeps trying to fire up but Anderson just cuts him right back down. Anderson continued to control the bout with Dinero getting a small flare of offense. The fans started to chat for Dinero, who called for Anderson to keep bringing it. Anderson did.
Anderson cinched in a side chinlock. Dinero tried to fire back and drilled Anderson with a shoulderblock off the ropes. Dinero suplexed Anderson, then nailed a German suplex. He went for a second but was nailed with an elbow. Dinero came back with a clothesline for a two count.
Dinero was up and over in the corner as Anderson charged and kicked Anderson in the face. He nailed the Elijah Experience into the chest of Anderson for a two count. Anderson came back with a clubbing clothesline. He called for the mic to lower into the ring. He announced we were one Mic Check Away from the next number one contender.
Anderson nailed the Mic Check but Dinero kicked out. Anderson threw a fit over the kick up. Dinero began pulling himself up in the corner. Anderson went for the Rolling splash. Anderson missed a swanton off the top rope. Dinero avoided a rush in the corner, then hit the double knees and scored the pin.
Your winner and top contender to the TNA title, D’Angelo Dinero!
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Source: Mike Johnson of Pro Wrestling Insider