Shaquille O’Neal of NBA fame runs into Hulk Hogan backstage and the two talk about Aces and Eights Shaq said that he has Hogan’s back tonight. Hogan said that he just made his day.
Inside the Impact Wrestling Zone, AJ Styles makes his entrance with ring gear on with Kurt Angle following him after AJ’s pyro and Tenay quickly notes that AJ came through on his guarantee last week when he defeated Kazarian to gain a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Kurt Angle recaps the fact that they were the World Tag Team Champions a few months ago, until they were screwed by Daniels and Kazarian. Flash forward a few months later, they were screwed again out of the World Tag Team Championships at No Surrender, but the two received a glimmer of hope when AJ beat Kazarian last week to gain the team a World Tag Team Championship opportunity. Kurt explains that they have a dilemma because Chavo Guerrero beat Christopher Daniels to gain a World Tag Team title shot for his team as well. Angle reminds everyone that it is Open Fight night, so he’s calling Chavo and Hernandez out to see who should get the shot.
AJ Styles and Kurt Angle vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Herandez
AJ Styles and Chavo Guerrero, Jr. start off for their respective teams. A quick shot at the Spanish announce team, and Chavo tries an armbar, but AJ uses a headscissor to get out of it as a “Chavo Sucks” chant starts and ‘Super Mex’ Hernandez and Kurt Angle are tagged in. Angle nails Herandez with a chop and runs right into Herandez, who doesn’t move, which gains the latinos a near fall. Scoop slam by Hernandez and a springboard splash by Chavo gain them another two count. European uppercut and a drop toe hold by Chavo leads to a chin lick applied in the middle of the ring. Angle grabs Chavo’s leg and suplexes his way out of it. Angle connects with a chop of his own and a belly-to-belly suplex as the World Tag Team Champions of the World are on the ramp applauding what they see. Straight Right hand by Kurt and Mike Tenay is cut off when he says they need to take a commercial break.
Back from the break and AJ Styles has Chavo in a chinlock and a quick replay of AJ Styles’ phenomenal dropkick during the break, and when we come back to full screen Chavo is able to fight out of the chin lock and tag Hernandez in. Hernandez tosses himself over the top rope and take AJ out. — Chavo does Eddie Guerrero’s shimmy and tries for a suplex, but AJ gives him a kick instead. AJ makes the tag to Kurt Angle and the Wrestling Machine gives out supexes galore and tries an Ankle lock before Hernandez breaks it up. AJ hits a sick looking step-up enzuigiri, but Chavo hits a dropkick as soon as AJ’s feet touch the ground. Angle tries the Ankle lock on Chavo, but Chavo rolls out and AJ is tagged in. Flying Forearm by AJ to Chavo and Hernandez grabs AJ and puts him in the torture rack before slamming him down on the mat. Angle hits the Angle Slam on Hernandez and Chavo goes for the Three Amigos. Chavo only gets two on Angle, but connects with all three on AJ. Hernandez and Angle fight on the outside and AJ goes for the Styles Clash, but The World Tag Team Champions of the World break it up. Daniels goes after AJ and Kazarian goes after Chavo seconds later.
Hernandez runs them off and out comes Hulkamania with a bat BROTHER! Hogan says that every picture tells a story and he has 99 problems, and Aces and Eights are the biggest ones, and now he has to put up with you to (Daniels and Kazarian.) Hogan announces that at Bound for Glory, Daniels and Kazarian will have to defend the Tag Team Championships against both teams, and if they had a problem with it, to come up there and tell him to his face. Armed with the bat, I’m sure you know they didn’t complain.
In the back, the cameraman caught up to Al Snow, who is asked how long it’s been since he got a haircut. Snow said it’s been about 12 years and his wife didn’t like it, but he gives his thoughts on this week’s Gut Check contestant before moving on to Joey Ryan. He doesn’t feel like he crossed the line because he gave Ryan an opportunity and he backed down, but Snow’s getting called to the Principal’s office now, so we’ll see if he’s right.
((Jarrett’s Jab – At this point, I’m just sick and tired of hearing the name Joey Ryan. I’m tired of hearing the 87 percent spill from his brain washed fans that think he’s better than sliced bread. This would be different if we were talking about a huge name in pro wrestling. If this was Chris Jericho that TNA was passing on, it would be different. This is Joey Ryan, some nobody from the independents in California. TNA isn’t going to sink if he’s not hired, and most of his fans are too stupid to realize by now that HE’S UNDER CONTRACT to TNA!! I talked to a Joey Ryan fan a few days ago, so please forgive me for driving this point home.))
Hogan is now backstage on the phone with Joseph Park, who says he has the evidence he was talking about last week in his hand. He’s going to send a security escort out to get him, and he wants Park to come right to him when he gets in.
Bound for Glory memory this week is from Samoa Joe when he jumped from the skybox of arena in 2008 during his match with Sting. We then take another look at the video package introducing this month’s Gut Check contestant, Evan Markopoulos.
Dixie Carter is backstage complaining to Bruce Prichard about how distracting this Aces & Eights thing has become, and they have to find out who they are. Prichard says they’re doing what they need to do for this, and then Dixie takes off so Prichard and Snow can watch this month’s Gut Check.
We go to the ring as Jeremy Borash introduces Evan Markopoulos and introduces his opponent…
Evan Markopoulos vs. Doug Williams
Evan’s dad is at ringside. Williams cinches a hammerlock in on Evan and just lets him go and allows him back to his feet. Williams takes Evan to the corner and slaps him in the face, which pisses Evan off as he takes Williams to the corner, Williams slaps him in the face but he slaps Williams back and kicks downtown. Williams connects with a headbutt to the ribcage and a European uppercut, then grabs Evan by the hair and yells at him to stay down. Evan tries to hit a sunset flip, but Williams rolls through and connects with a kneelift to the cheek and a slingshot kneedrop off the ropes. Dropkick and a crossbody connected by Evan doesn’t even get him one before Williams kicks out and flattens Evan with a clothesline. Williams stomps a mudhole in Evan, who tries to connect with some right hands before getting nailed himself and ending up on the wrong side of a vertical suplex. Williams misses a charge in the corner and Evan capitalizes with some right hands, but hesitates and gets beaten to hell by Williams, who kicks him downtown in Chinatown! Williams takes him over with a side headlock, and taps Markopoulos out to a modified Anaconda Vice.
Winner by Submission: Doug Williams
James Storm is backstage ready to call out Bobby Roode and we will see it, right after the break!
James Storm comes out to the ring and says he likes talking trash and is real good at it, but he backs it up. This thing with Roode has gone from being personal to him wanting to beat the crap out of Roode and have his blood on his hands. Storm wants Roode to know this isn’t going to be a wrestling match, it’s going to be him kicking a coward’s ass. Roode’s music hits, but he comes out to the ring in a suit and wants to make sure he heard Storm right about wanting him to come down to the ring and fight him. He’s a little overdressed and not ready to fight, but he wants Storm to know that no matter how hard he tries, he’s never going to be as good as Roode and will never duplicate his success. As long as the It Factor is around, Storm will never be a World Champion, but if Storm wants to fight him on Open Fight Night, he’s barking up the wrong tree because he’s not going to fight him. Roode considers this done and he’s never going to face Storm again, and says that if he wants to fight, he can fight someone else. Hulk Hogan catches Roode backstage and says Roode obviously doesn’t understand the concept of Open Fight Night, but if he wants the night off, he can have it…no more championship opportunities and he can take the week, month, and year off and there will be no more money coming in. Roode has three minutes to decide if that’s what he wants.
We’re back from commercial and Storm is still calling Roode out. Roode hesitantly obliges by slowly making his way down the ramp and taking his shirt off, but Storm gets tired of waiting and goes after Roode, beating him down and choking him with his own shirt. Storm continues beating on Roode as they make their way up the stage. Storm slams Roode into the column on the left side of the stage before nailing him with a right hand. Fighting past the broadcast booth, Storm tries to jump off the stage with a double axhandle, but Roode nails Storm coming down and rams his face into the side of the stage. Roode is able to get back to the ring and rams Storm into the barricade, then rolls him into the ring and the bell finally rings to start the match.
James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
Roode briefly gets some offense, but Storm nails him and they go right back out to the floor. Storm grabs Roode and rolls him back inside the ring, but gets backdropped out to the floor after trying a charge. Roode goes after Storm on the floor and pummels him with right hands, but Storm reverses an Irish Whip and sends Roode crashing into the ring steps. Roode blocks when Storm tries to ram him into the steps again and sends Storm crashing into the barricade, then whips him across the ringside area into the opposite side of the rail. Roode grabs Storm’s beer out from under the ring and goes after Storm with it, but Storm nails him, takes the beer, and pours it down a fan’s throat. Roode rams Storm into the post and tries to hit him with a chair, but Storm moves and Roode cracks the post with the chair. Some fans put their feet up on the rail, and Storm rams Roode’s face into their feet. Storm grabs Roode and rams him into those fans’ boots again. Storm tries to suplex Roode on the floor, but Roode blocks and suplexes Storm instead. The two finally get back in the ring and Roode takes Storm out with a clothesline. The referee is shoved by Roode when he tries to admonish Roode about all the violence. Roode dumps Storm back out to the floor and goes after him, but now Storm shoves the ref away and goes back after Roode, and the referee finally throws the match out.
Storm and Roode go through the rail and fight through the crowd. Storm rams Roode into a wall, and the ref gets shoved out of the way again as he tries to get between them. Storm smashes Roode into the door and I guess they’re headed outside.
Hulk Hogan is backstage talking to the security guy, and he’s concerned as Joseph Park has apparently not made it into the building yet. His cell phone rings and it’s the guys from Aces & Eights, who say they have a high-end lawyer with them. Hogan says he’ll play with them, then says he’ll think over some proposition.
Austin Aries comes up to Jeff Hardy to have a word with him, and says he’ll take his sunglasses off if Hardy opens his eyes. He feels like everybody’s looking at it like Hardy is coming for what he has, but Hardy actually has something Aries wants. They’re around the same age, but Hardy has accomplished way more than he ever has, and he wants the mindless sheep to follow him, he wants the money, and he wants the fame, and the way he’s going to do that is by beating Hardy at Bound For Glory. It’s not about Hardy chasing him, it’s about Aries chasing Hardy and everything that he’s accomplished. He tells Hardy he can close his eyes again since he looked so peaceful.
Tara comes out to the ring and asks for a microphone and says he’s heard everyone asking why he did what he did to Miss Tessmacher Everyone used her so they could hold up their signs and get themselves on TV, and it took someone really special (her new boyfriend who lives in Hollywood where he’s a huge star) to open her eyes and remind her that she’s the best female wrestler there is. Brooke used her too so she could get at the Knockouts Title, so since it’s Open Fight Night, she’s going to call out her opponent tonight…Christy Hemme. Christy looks surprised, but Tara says she can challenge anyone and wants Christy to get her ass in the ring now and not let her fans down. Christy tries to explain that she’s not a wrestler and asks her not to do this, but Tara tells Christy that she needs to show some respect. She asks Christy who her favorite Knockout it, and Christy says “right now it’s Miss Tessmacher.” Tara grabs her by the hair and asks who her favorite Knockout is now, and Brooke comes running in and Tara bails. Tessmacher calls Tara a lying bitch and Tara starts backpedaling up the ramp.
Brooke Hogan is backstage asking Tara what just happened out there, and Tara said she just wanted to teach Miss Tessmacher some respect. Brooke says she’s disappointed in Tara, and there will be repercussions next week. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Maybe she can teach Brooke some respect, and I wonder who the boyfriend is. Nice touch, but I hope it isn’t a letdown.))
Rob Van Dam’s favorite Bound For Glory memory is when he faced Abyss at one Bound For Glory, but then there was also his match with Jerry Lynn from last year’s show because the big shows are the only place we’re going to see a Van Terminator.
Hulk Hogan comes out to the ring and says it’s getting so red hot in here that he’s going to break the spraypaint out and paint everyone…TNA dead…What the hell? Anyways Hogan informs us that Aces & Eights has taken Joseph Parks hostage, and as long as he knows the rules, he doesn’t mind playing. If Aces & Eights wants him to step into their world and go to their clubhouse next week, he’ll play their game, brother. Even though they’re bottom feeders, they stick to their word, and he wants them to release Joseph Parks now that he’s agreed to step into their clubhouse. Aces & Eights comes up on screen to thank Hogan for accepting their invitation, but he wants to warn him that when he comes to their clubhouse, it’s clubhouse rules. Joseph Park is just doing his job, but it’s bringing him a little too close to Aces & Eights business, so they decided to bring him for a visit at the clubhouse. They took a look at his computer and decided to do some computer work of their own, and one of them smashes his laptop with a sledgehammer. Joseph Park (bloodied and covered in sweat) says they just destroyed weeks of work, but his lawyer schooling didn’t save him from saying he still got it all in his head. They say they’ll fix that right now, and another one of the goons knocks Park out with a hammer.
We see a video package of Jeff Hardy talking about how huge winning the Bound For Glory Series was, and how winning the World Title will be the final chapter of his redemption.
Austin Aries comes out to the ring and gets a microphone, saying that was a nice video package we just saw of Jeff Hardy, and it’s nice of the producers to put that on right before he came out. Everyone’s focused on Jeff Hardy and that’s fine, but he’s the hunter at Bound For Glory and Hardy’s the target. He also wants to prove that anything Hardy can do, he can do better, and one thing Hardy’s done twice in the last month is beat a big, bad bully…the same bully who said that both of them beating him was nothing but luck. Aries calls Bully Ray out because he’s about to learn that it’s not luck, it’s skill, so he wants Bully to bring his calves out to the ring right now. Bully can’t seem to believe that he just heard his name called out, but he comes out and asks if he’s correct about Aries calling him out. Bully says not to be smart because he beat him up once, and he’ll do it again. Aries says that might be, but he’ll have to. Bully says you don’t just call him out like that because people don’t call him out, he calls people out. He stops to have words with a fan at ringside, Aries makes fun of him too, but then cuts off Bully’s yammering by wiping him out with a dive through the ropes. Aries puts on Bully’s hat and puts the boots to him at ringside and drills him with repeated left hands. Aries rolls Ray inside, and we’re off!
World Champion Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray
Aries just destroys Ray with a flurry of punches and kicks and goes up top, but Ray shakes the ropes to knock Aries down to the apron, and then Ray boots him into the guardrail as we go to commercial.
We’re back as Ray is gouging at the face of Aries while yelling at him for calling him out. Ray puts Aries in a modified surfboard, but Aries escapes with a kick downtown to chinatown! Ray quickly lays Aries back out and hits a big splash for two, then slams Aries for another two. Ray connects with a big elbowdrop for another two count and then drops elbows to the head of Aries before dropping another big elbow and yelling “Damn, that was TIGHT!” Ray covers for two, and then yells at the referee. Earl Hebner starts yelling back at Ray as Aries hits a couple of chops and some forearms, but a big right hand from Ray floors Aries. Aries pops up and goes after Ray again, but another shot from Ray drops Aries. Aries gets up again and goes back after Ray, rocking him with a roaring elbow, he charges Ray and gets backdropped to the apron, but snaps Ray’s neck over the top rope and comes off the top with a missile dropkick for two. Aries tries a sunset flip, Ray tries to counter by dropping his posterior on Aries’ chest, but Aries moves and goes back after Ray. Ray reverses an Irish Whip and Aries crashes into the referee and knocks him out. Aries dropkicks Ray’s knee out from under him and gets the Last Chancery, but the referee’s out. Ray 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 Ray covers Aries and gets three.
Winner by Pinfall: Bully Ray
Ray is so happy that he crawls on top of Earl Hebner and hugs him. Ray gets Aries’ title belt and holds it up in the air, but Jeff Hardy comes in and takes Ray 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 face to face as we call it a week.
((Jarrett’s Jab – I’m lost here. I’m not sure if they’re trying to turn Aries, get Bully Ray in the title picture, or both. If they’re turning Aries, then Hardy winning the BFG Series actually makes sense. I understand that Hardy is one of the biggest faces they could put in the match, but I’d rather see a breakout star win the Bound for Glory series like Roode last year. Hardy doesn’t gain anything that a name like Bully Ray or D’Angelo Dinero could have gained from this series. And I don’t get why Shaquille O’ Neal, huge wrestling fan, wasn’t used in any capacity tonight. Him occompying Hogan to the ring would have been great for the fans and great press for TNA like him shoving The Big Show in 2009 was for the WWE. That’s it for Impact this week, be sure to check back here at TNAStars for all the latest TNA news.))