Tonight’s live edition of Impact starts with a recap of last week’s finale to the critic and fan-panned Claire Lynch angle with Claire Lynch’s attorney, Grey Stone revealing Daniels’ blackmail plan, Robbie E pinned Rob Van Dam to earn points in the Bound For Glory Series, and Aces & Eights tried to break the arm of TNA World Champion Austin Aries. Inside the Impact Zone, The TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries kicks off the show, sporting a black cast on his right hand. Aries says he gives credit where it’s due, and recognizes that Aces & Eights pulled out all the stops last week by creating the diversion so they could attack him. People have asked if he’s going to have to forfeit the World Title, and while he hasn’t been medically cleared to wrestle tonight, he doesn’t need to be medically cleared to fight. Also, he’s left handed and they smashed his right hand, so he’s going to challenge whoever is behind Aces & Eights to come out to the ring and fight him, and he’ll sit in the ring until someone answers his challenge. Hulk Hogan’s music hits, and out he comes with Sting and a pair of baseball bats. Hogan says he’s back as GM and thanks Sting for holding down the fort while he was gone, but now things are going Hogan’s way, and since Aces & Eights have messed with him, his business, his family, and the boys in the back, he’s here to give them the bloodbath they want. Hogan tells Aries that they’re only there for support, and whatever the champ wants, Hogan’s there for him, BROTHER. Aries says there are a lot of things he wants, but what he wants the most is to get his hands on Aces & Eights, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the leader, the biggest one, or whoever, he wants someone one on one in the ring to fight him. Aces & Eights pops up on screen and they thank Hogan and Sting for making their job easy, then the leader says they’ll be down there a little later tonight so everyone can see what Aces & Eights is all about. Rob Van Dam and James Storm are backstage, and they’re…STRETCHING!
We are shown a video from last week as ODB repeatedly called her husband Eric Young to find out where he was even though he never calls her back. ODB finally says he’d better be at Impact next week, which is tonight. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Oh god. TNA hates me and is forcing me to watch something worse than Claire Lynch: Eric Young. Ok, maybe I’m overreacting, but unlike others, I do not find Eric Young funny. Period.)) After a look at the Bound For Glory Series leaderboard to see who is above and below the dreaded Red Line Of Death, we’re off to the ring for a match that will practically ensure that the winner will be in the semifinals…
Bound For Glory Series: Rob Van Dam (55 Points) vs. “Cowboy”James Storm (66 Points)
Mike Tenay notes that James Storm is in first place and this is his last match in the Bound for Glory series. The two former World Champions tie up and go back and forth with some chain wrestling as Mike Tenay reveals that whoever is in first place when we get to No Surrender gets to choose who their semifinal opponent will be. Storm and RVD reach a stalemate as they dodge each other’s best moves until Storm finally gets a hard clothesline and unloads with right hands. RVD returns fire with right hands of his own, then dumps Storm out to the apron and high kicks him to the floor. RVD slingshots over the top rope and takes Storm out with a dive as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and James Storm connects with a running clothesline for two on RVD, but RVD counters a kick to the gut with the stepover leg lariat. RVD nails a charging leg lariat in the corner and slingshot thrust kick, followed by Rolling Thunder. It takes RVD too long to get cover and only gets a two count. Storm hits a kick to the gut and come off the ropes with a spike DDT and cradle RVD up for a very close two. RVD is dead weight at this point as Storm picks him up, but Storm manages to get RVD up and hit the Eye of the Storm, but RVD is able to again kick out at two. RVD is still holding his head as he recovers enough to whip Storm to the corner for the monkey flip. RVD goes to the well again but this time leaps right into the Last Call, and Storm cradles him up for the pinfall victory.
Winner by Pinfall: James Storm (Gains 7 Points, Currently has 73 Points)
Storm is still in first place on the BFG Series Leaderboard, and Christy Hemme catches up with him on his way to the back to congratulate him and get his thoughts. Storm says he did exactly what he said he was going to do, which was win the BFG Series and the World Heavyweight Championship. ((Jarrett’s Jab – He does realize this isn’t September 9th, right?))
Taryn Terrell is in the ring and Madison Rayne makes her entrance. Madison says she got an email from the “almighty Brooke Hogan” that she would have a match tonight on Impact, and obviously Brooke has come to her senses and will get her rematch for the Knockouts Title that SOMEONE (meaning Taryn) cost her a few weeks ago. So without any further ado, Madison would like the champion to come out here so she can take back what’s rightfully hers. ODB comes out instead, but stops in the aisle and tells Madison that she’s got some bad news: she got an email from Brooke Hogan too, so it looks like it’s going to be them tonight and “the BITCH IS BACK BOOOOOOM!!” Madison wants to hold on for a second because she’s not ready for this yet. She tells Hot Pants (again meaning Taryn) to get ODB back and ring the bell so she can make this trailer park trash famous for a few minutes. ODB spits her drink in Madison’s face, Terrell rings the bell, and we’re off…
ODB vs Madison Rayne
ODB runs over Madison with a series of clotheslines and hits the BAM, and that’s it.
Winner by Pinfall: ODB
Eric Young’s music hits, and out he comes in a suit and sunglasses, with a bucket of fried chicken, and a personal keg of beer. ODB takes a piece of chicken as the fans chant for EY, and she asks where the hell he’s been because she sent him for chicken and beer months ago. He said he’s been in Hollywood and is a huge success now with his new show, but he got beer and chicken for his love, and they’re outta here. ODB asks who the hell he is with all this fancy crap, and wants to know where the husband she married is. EY says she’s right because this doesn’t look or feel right, he starts the fans clapping and begins stripping in the ring. ODB looks dumbfounded as he tears his clothes off to reveal USA underwear and does a kip up, after which ODB jumps on him for a makeout and chicken session while I lose my dinner. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Shoot me now! Seeing this reminded me of how much I hated seeing this garbage on TV earlier this year. It’s hard to believe that two years ago, Madison Rayne ended the TNA careers of Tara and Roxxi at Sacrifice and Slammiversary VII and was known as the Career Killer, and she just lost a match that didn’t even last thirty seconds.)) We see a video package looking at the history of the Claire Lynch storyline, culminating in her attorney showing up last week to reveal that the whole Lynch thing was blackmail and that she wasn’t really pregnant. AJ is glad it’s over and all this is behind him (he’s not the only one), so now he’s got to get into the top four of the BFG Series, which is no easy task because he’s up against Samoa Joe tonight. We see the Gut Check judges backstage discussing last week’s edition of the Gut Check, and we’ll find out their decision tonight!
Bruce Prichard, Al Snow, and Taz are in the office discussing the merits or lack thereof regarding this month’s lucky contestant in the Gut Check, then we go to Hulk Hogan and Sting talking about how they smell blood tonight and we might see a little Hollywood tonight. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian to tell the Hulkster and “Heath” that they have ironclad contracts and they can’t be fired, plus they’re the tag champions and they’re all friends. Hogan gets in their faces to tell them that they’re not friends, he can’t stand them, and AJ Styles wants to get ahold of them. By the way, they’re the champions and they need to do their job, and Hogan’s going to make them defend those titles and they had better be ready. Time for the next match in the BFG Series!
Bound For Glory Series: Samoa Joe (61 Points) vs AJ Styles (50 Points)
Joe and Styles carefully feel each other out before Joe nails him and hits the ropes, but Styles slides out to the floor to break his momentum. Styles cautiously gets back in the ring and keeps his distance from Joe. Styles finally goes for a side headlock, but Joe tosses him into the ropes and connects a shoulderblock. Styles pops kips-up and headscissors Joe into the corner, but Joe counters AJ’s vertical suplex and nails AJ with a back elbow when he rebouds off the ropes. Joe tries a charge, but Styles dodges and ties Joe’s leg in the ropes, fires a few kicks at Joe’s knee, then dropkicks him out to the floor. Styles tries to slingshot himself over the top rope, but Joe sees him coming and drives a sick kick into AJ’s ribs on the way down. Joe rolls AJ into the ring and hits the chop/kick/kneedrop combo for a short two count. AJ tries to escape, but walks right into Joe’s snap powerslam for two. The two former TNA World Champions wind up trading forearms in the middle of the ring until Joe chops AJ into the next PPV. AJ tries the headscissors from his back again, but Joe blocks this time, swings AJ’s legs away from him, then drops on top and traps AJ in an STF. AJ reaches for the ropes, so Joe catches his arm and turns it into the Rings of Saturn. AJ finally gets his foot over the bottom rope to force the break, so Joe hits an inverted atomic drop, running boot to the face, and tries to finish with a senton. AJ moves out of the way and Joe hits the mat. Now AJ fires off right hands at Joe, then goes out to the apron and hits the slingshot forearm back inside. AJ goes for a fireman’s carry, Joe slides out, but AJ hits the Pele kick to Joe’s still injured arm and rolls him into a cross armbreaker. Joe locks his hands and gets his foot over the bottom rope, but AJ keeps up the pressure with a leaping forearm in the corner. AJ tries another one, but gets planted with the STJoe. Joe tries the Kokina Clutch, AJ reverses to a victory roll, Joe kicks out, AJ tries an O’Connor Roll, Joe rolls him through it and gets the Kokina Clutch, AJ reverses and this time gets the cross armbreaker, but Joe shifts his weight, circles AJ’s head, and cradles AJ to his back to catch the three count.
Winner by Pinfall: Samoa Joe (Gains 7 Points, Currently has 68 Points)
((Jarrett’s Jab -WOW! Now THAT’S a wrestling match. This should be the main event for tonight. I am surprised they didn’t point out that this was AJ’s last match in the Bound for Glory Series like they did for James Storm earlier. Unlike Storm, AJ needed to win this match to crack into the final four. Storm could have lost and still been in the top two.)) Recapping the opening segment, then we see Kris Lewie backstage getting ready to hear the judges’ decision. We’ll get that next!
Kurt Angle is backstage talking about what a great athlete Jeff Hardy is, but he’s been in situations like this before and he has to win to stay in the BFG Series. We go to the ring as Jeremy Borash introduces our Gut Check judges: Taz, Bruce Prichard, and Al Snow, and then introduces this month’s contestant in the Gut Check: Kris Lewie. Lewie’s wife and child are at ringside as JB asks him if he felt like he put forth his best effort in the Gut Check, and he said he did but he gets better every day. We go to the judges, and Taz says he respects anybody who tries to make a career as a wrestler and comes out here on worldwide TV to take on Gunner, he has an interesting life that he exposed to the world, but he doesn’t think he’s quite ready for Impact Wrestling. Bruce Prichard says that everyone understands what this is, and it’s Gut Check, and you have to dig down deep and get one shot to prove to not just the judges, but everyone watching, that they belong here. Prichard appreciates his backstory, and he knows it was his dream to get to TNA, but it’s time to wake up from the dream because the answer is no. Borash tells Lewie that he’s sorry, but there will be no contract with Impact Wrestling. The judges go to leave the ring, but Joey Ryan is at ringside with a megaphone shouting at them for playing with peoples’ careers. He throws his drink on Al Snow, and Prichard tries to hold him back, but Snow goes over the rail and chases Ryan to the back, with Prichard trailing behind. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Ugh, this guy again. If the “87%” which is more like 20 people without lives that have vowed to not watch Impact until he’s hired, can’t get it through their heads that Ryan is under a TNA contract, even when Hulk already spoiled it on twitter months ago, they’re dumber than they look. Joey Ryan lost his momentum and fan backing months ago and TNA should either hire him on-screen, or cut their losses.)) Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy are backstage, and they’re…WALKING!
Joseph Park pops in on Hulk and Sting to say that Aces & Eights have committed multiple criminal offenses and asks for permission to look into the group. Hogan says anything he can do to help them would be great, and Sting says kayfabe to Park. We then look at the BFG Series leaderboard one more time, then we’re off to the ring for our final BFG Series match of the night!
Bound For Glory Series: Kurt Angle (48 Points) vs Jeff Hardy (42 Points)
Angle starts the matchwith a go behind and a takedown right off the bat, Hardy tries to get away but Angle keeps a hold of him. Hardy sends Angle to the ropes, but Angle counters a hiptoss with a fireman’s carry and cinches in an armbar. Hardy sends Angle to the ropes again and this time Angle gets a shoulderblock. Hardy is able to connect an armdrag and tries to keep Angle down with an armbar of his own. Angle easily gets to his feet and takes Hardy to the corner and unloads with kicks and punches. Angle irish whips Hardy to the corner and charges in, but Hardy leapfrogs and catches Angle by the head, headscissoring him into the corner and tossing him out to the floor. Hardy connects with a dive and wipes Angle out before sending him back inside, unloading with punches and kicks of his own in the corner. The referee backs Hardy up, but he shoves past him and hits a charging forearm, but whips Angle across the ring and Angle uses the momentum to come out of the corner and take Hardy out with a clothesline as we go to commercial.
Hardy hits a clothesline on Angle as he comes back from the break and then keeps the pressure up with a running forearm, inverted atomic drop, double legdrop to the crotch, and diving dropkick for two. Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, Angle shoves him off into the ropes, and hits a trio of rolling German suplexes. Angle waits for Hardy to get to his feet and goes for the Angle Slam, but Hardy slips out the back and hits the Twist of Fate for two. Hardy comes off the top rope with the Whisper In The Wind for a two count, but hits the ropes and runs right into an overhead release suplex by Angle. Angle hits the Angle Slam for two and goes to the anklelock, but Hardy counters to a cradle for another two count. Hardy hits another Twist of Fate and goes up top, but the Swanton only gets a very close two count. Angle cinches in the anklelock out of nowhere, but Hardy kicks him off and hits the inverted enziguiri. Angle tries to stop Hardy from going to the top again, but Hardy shoves him off and hits a second Swanton for the pinfall win.
Winner by Pinfall: Jeff Hardy (Gains 7 Points, Currently has 49 Points)
Angle looks stunned that he’s lost and a while before he rolls under the bottom rope and headsto the back. Jeremy Borash introduces us to the Final Five: James Storm, Samoa Joe, Rob Van Dam, Bully Ray, and Jeff Hardy. One of them will be eliminated next week because, while James Storm is already in the Final Four, next week will see Jeff Hardy take on Samoa Joe and Bully Ray face Rob Van Dam and one of those four men will not be going to Bound For Glory. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Although if Bully Ray or Rob Van Dam get disqualified, and Joe beats Hardy, then AJ becomes the fourth man at No Surrender. I hope that next year, things like that don’t go under the radar.))
Austin Aries struggles to get his blazer off as he comes down to the ring, handing the blazer and World Heavyweight Championship Belt to a ringside attendant, then gets in the ring to tell Aces & Eights that if they’re done swilling beer and having a good time, to come down to the ring and get their ass kicked. Nobody responds, so Hogan’s music hits and the Hulkster comes out with Sting with AJ Styles, Bully Ray, James Storm, and Jeff Hardy. Hogan repeats that they’re just there for support because they’re all in it together in the Impact Zone, so if Aces & Eights are what they say they are, he wants to see what they’re all about and see all their faces. Aces & Eights comes out through the crowd, and Hogan says they’re here to settle the score and their finest is in the ring right now, so let’s see what they’ve got by sending their best into the ring to face him. Two skinny members open the guardrail as a guy bigger than Bully Ray gets into the ring to go toe to toe with Aries. The guy gets a big right hand and knocks Aries on his butt, but Aries double leg tackles him and starts unloading. Aces & Eights rush the ring, but the TNA crew flies down the rampway and neutralizes them as Aries hits a missile dropkick in the corner on the guy he was fighting and tries to pull his mask off. Before he can, someone else with a black ponytail jumps out of the crowd, pulls a mask over his face, and hits Aries in the back of the head with a flapjack. Aces & Eights heads for the hills as Bully Ray comes in to check on Aries. Hogan and Storm come in the ring and Bully Ray repeats several times that Aries was hit with a flapjack while Taz explains that a flapjack is a strap of leather with steel in between it and notes that Aries is out cold. The camera zoomes into the glassy-eyed world champion as we cut to credits and a WWE Movie. ((Jarrett’s Jab – I didn’t make that part up. The Marine II came on right after Impact with the WWE Films logo coming on as soon as the TNA logo went off. Aces and Eights again took out the World Heavyweight Champion and I still see sometype of tag match involving Aries and Aces and Eights at No Surrender. A great edition of Impact, Gut Check and Eric Young aside.))