Welcome to this week’s “Championship Thursday” edition of Impact Wrestling. The show opens with clips from last week’s reveal of the Hogan/Ray scandal, Wes Brisco facing the Gutcheck Judges and Aces & Eights taking out Eric Young violently with the ballpeen hammer.
Hulk Hogan came to the ring. He said there is no doubt that as the TNA General Manager, he runs the show so he was demanding answers from Bully Ray. Ray came down. Hogan demanded to know what was going on. Ray said that Hogan doesn’t trust him, but he wants to know what was going on. He said Hogan didn’t trust him when he was Sting’s partner and he didn’t trust Ray when he was here every week for TNA but now he wants answers. Hogan tells Ray to cut the crap and tell him what was going on. Ray asked him if he really wanted answers over who the number one man is in his daughter’s life. Brooke Hogan came to the ring and got in between them. Hogan asked her what the hell was going on. She said she isn’t eighteen anymore and asked why he is doing. She said it wasn’t what he thinks. Hogan said that as long as he is alive, he doesn’t want to see her with another wrestler, especially him. Austin Aries appeared on the screen and said that all the Hogan drama was out for the world to see. He was on the desk in Hogan’s office, standing and asked when Hogan was going to stop messing around in the ring and work as the General Manager of TNA. He said there were four wrestlers waiting to find out who was going to get their shot at the X-Division title tonight.
Kenny King, Kid Kash and Zema Ion were in the office with him waiting and Kash asked Aries where Hogan was. Aries said he was standing there in the ring instead of taking care of business. Aries said he was going to lay on the desk and wait. He then said it was uncomfortable and asked Brooke how she does it. Hogan stormed to the back.
James was on the defensive early, getting stomped and choked in the corner by Gail Kim. Kim nailed several kicks and connects with a splash against the turnbuckles. Kim gets Mickie on the matt and tries her octopus submission before covering James for two. James kicked Kim off and nailed her with a flapjack. James went to the top for the Thesz Press but Kim moved and nailed a dropkick into the corner. Kim goes for the cover, but the referee stops after seeing Kim’s foot on the ropes. James nails Kim in the ribs and connects with the Chick Kick. After a series of dropkicks, James plays to the crowd. Kim grabbed her by the hair but James nailed her with a neckbreaker for a two count. She went for a DDT but Kim shoved her against the turnbuckles. Kim responded by battling back and nailing a tornado DDT.
Winner by Pinfall: Mickie James
Backstage, James Storm was doing an interview. He said that he has to live with his choices but when someone brings his daughter into it, that’s what pisses him off. AJ Styles cut in and said that isn’t something to be bitter about, unlike someone who can’t get a shot at the title for a year. Storm told him to stop worrying about the past and get himself back on track and he can start tonight with their tag match. Styles walked off. ((Jarrett’s Jab – I sense a heel turn, even though his last heel run ended last year, he’s done everything he can as a face at this point. Styles is right though, AJ can’t get another title shot for a year, Storm could have not put up his spot and would be the Number One Contender. It’s funny that heels in TNA almost always make sense and tell the truth more than faces do.))
Backstage, Hulk Hogan stormed into his office, where the X-Division challengers were waiting. Aries told him to calm down because he’s the GM. Hogan said he’s also Hulk Hogan: the father. He told Aries to sit down. Hogan began asking Kenny King why he should show him any respect since he hasn’t done a thing in the business yet when King is laughing at Aries’ jokes. King said that it was a funny joke, but he wasn’t meaning any disrespect. He said that since he walked into TNA, he was making waves and pointed out his Destination X performance. Hogan turned to Ion and asked him to plead his case. Ion said he’s the former X champion and is the natural choice. Kash stood up and said he started the division and is a two time champion. Aries said that means he lost the belt three times. Hogan booted Kenny King from competition. Hogan threw the rest of them out. Aries said he was Hogan’s guy as he left and commented, “Aries knows best.” ((Jarrett’s Jab – The only good thing about Hulk dominating TNA Television lately is because he has a great foil in Austin Aries. The problem I see is that Aries is more entertaining and funny and he’s the heel.))
Inside the Impact Zone, Bobby Roode makes his way to the ring in his ring-gear and the Titantron briefly switched to an image of the Impact Wrestling logo with a Pink ribbon behind it before going back to Roode’s tron. Bobby Roode came out to cut a promo and said that last week, he came out and made a statement – and that statement was that he would be the new champion at Final Resolution. They played clips of the attack on Jeff Hardy last week on a split screen while he talked about how he made an impact last week. Roode said that Hardy was called out last week by a nobody, a Gutcheck rookie. Roode said that Hardy was close to losing to a rookie but Roode took him out with one move. He called Hardy a paper champion and said he would prove it at Final Resolution. He said that if you want to make a name for yourself, you don’t call out Hardy but the most dominant champion in TNA history.
Christian York, who Roode was referring to, came out and hit the ring. Roode told him to calm down and said he would give him some advice. Roode said it was his time and no one interrupts him. He told York to get out of his ring. York slapped him in the face. Roode ran off. York said that since Roode wanted someone to call him out, York is calling him out. Roode lost it at ringside.
Bobby Roode vs. Christian York
The “Gutcheck rookie” dominated Roode in the early goings of the match. They battled to the floor, where York reversed a whip into the stairs. Getting back into the ring, Roode cut him off and choked him in the corner with his boot. Roode got the business end of an elbow after he charged toward York in the corner. Roode swings things back his way after cut York off with a quick clothesline. Roode nailed a snap suplex and went up top. Roode came off the turnbuckles but was kicked in the face, which Roode did a hilarious Flair Flop. York unloaded with a series of elbows and a clothesline on Roode. He flapjacked Roode and went to the top. Roode cut him off but was nailed and went down. York nailed a double stomp and hit a cannonball in the corner for a two count. York went for the Moodswing but Roode cut him off. York small packaged him for a two count. Roode tried to leave the ring but York pulled him back in. Roode nailed him and hit the Northern lariat. Roode locked in the crossface and got the submission.
Winner by Submission: Bobby Roode
Roode kept the crossface on and the referee started counting. He got to four and was about to ring the bell before Roode let go and demanded the referee raise his hand. Roode grabbed a chair and teased going after York with it, but Jeff Hardy hit the ring and backed him off.
They showed highlights of Aces & Eights destroying Eric Young. We will hear from Mrs. Young, ODB, later tonight.
Inside the Aces and Eights clubhouse, the biker gang is sure in the Christmas mood with plenty of Christmas lights. They were talking and said Doc would face Kurt Angle. Devon talked about how he never lost the TV Title and he wants it back. Devon says that he gives his word no one would get hurt tonight if he gets a shot at the title next week..
Clips of Wes Brisco in the Gutcheck from last week played while we see video of the judges discussing Brisco from last week. Bruce Prichard said he made a lot of mistakes in the ring. They talked about his heritage. Taz pointed out that Kurt Angle put his stamp of approval on Wes. Prichard said that Angle isn’t making the call.
Backstage in the Impact Zone, Bruce Prichard is worrying because no one has seen Al Snow all day. D-Lo Brown said he’s been calling and looking for him, but there’s no response. Prichard said it isn’t like Snow to be so late. Angle showed up and said he wanted to talk to Prichard about Brisco, saying he needs a TNA contract and Bruce knows his father and Uncle. Prichard said that no one knows their family better than he but they need to find out where Snow is. Angle left, offering to look for him.
The former World Tag Team Champions of the World make their way to the ring and Daniels is sporting a new ring jacket. Kazarian cut a promo and said he was sorry about AJ’s luck. He said in ten days, he is going to hear the words that will haunt him for the rest of his miserable, redneck life…and announced “The winner, and the man that will forever be known as the better man: Christopher Daniels!”
“Bad Influence” (Daniels and Kazarian) vs. AJ Styles and James Storm
Styles and Kazarian started and locked up. Kazarian went for a go behind but Styles backed him into the corner. Kazarian locked in a front facelock and Styles was able to get off the ground and leapfrog Kazarian but missed the dropkick. Storm tagged in and got some some offense before Kazarian hit a neckbreaker. Daniels is tagged in but gets elevated with a big back bodydrop. Styles is tagged in and they sent Daniels into the ropes but Styles didn’t go for an elbow at the same time as. Styles and Storm argue and the former #WTTCOTW gain the upper hand on Styles with some double team maneuvers.
Storm receives the hot tag and starts nailing everything in sight with right hands before drilling Kazarian with an enziguiri. Storm went for the Backstabber but Daniels saved his partner and Storm crashed to the mat. Kazarian nailed a springboard into a legdrop. Daniel drilled Storm with a headbutt. Taz tells the fans that the former #WTTCOTW are now known as “Bad Influence” because they love all the Bad Influences in life. An absolutely horrible name and they managed to give a worse explanation. Afraid that means they are out of the Tag Team Title hunt. Styles ended up arguing with the referee, allowing Daniels and Kazarian to double team Storm. Daniels and Kaz did some Gangnam Style dancing with Taz saying it sucked. Sure didn’t say that at Turning Point a few weeks ago. Storm made the hot tag after avoiding them. Styles went nuts with offense and hit a springboard splash but missed a dive to the outside on Kazarian. Bad Intentions team up against AJ Styles on the outside. Kazarian knocked Storm off the apron, then hit a powerbomb, neckbreaker combination on Styles for a two count. Styles fought back as Storm dragged Kazarian out of the ring and whipped him into the guard rail. Daniels set up for Angel’s Wings on Styles but Storm drilled him with the Last Call superkick and pinned Daniels.
The winners by Pinfall: “The Cowboy” James Storm and “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles
AJ Styles looks like me during my senior prom walking up the ramp. Mike Tenay and Taz segway to a video announcing that Lock Down’s location next year: The Alamodome in San Antonio on March 10th. I may be wrong, but I think this is only the second wrestling event inside the Alamodome after the 1997 Royal Rumble.
We went backstage to the X-Division challengers. Kid Kash said he’s fought RVD all over the world. He said he’s beaten Rob and Rob has beaten him, so he deserves one last shot, if that’s what it is. Ion was kissing up to Hogan and Hogan told him to cut the crap. Aries mocked them both and said that if Hogan needs a stick to stir things up, he should pick the best stick. Hogan picked Aries, saying he wanted to see RVD kick Aries’ ass. Kash said he was tired of this. Hogan told him that his day is coming.
((Jarrett’s Jab – I think that Dixie Carter and TNA are making a big mistake putting LockDown in San Antonio. Arlington just had Slammiversary. After Nashville got Slammiversary in 2007, they didn’t get another pay-per-view until LockDown last year. The other concern is how in the hell TNA is going to fill up the Alamodome. We are taking about a 65,000 seat stadium, not an arena. It’s had one wrestling event as far as I know, the 1997 Royal Rumble, and the Alamodome held 60,525 then, but the event was built around San Antonio’s own Shawn Michaels capturing his second WWE Championship in the main event. I think that TNA would be much better off running a smaller arena, I’d start on my bid for them to run it in Kentucky, whether it be the Louisville Gardens, Freedom Hall, KFC Yum Center in Lousiville or Rupp Arena in Lexington, but I already did that on my twitter.))
Backstage, Samoa Joe responded to Devon’s challenge. He said Devon wasn’t beaten for the belt but he abandoned it. He said Devon couldn’t hack it, so Joe took over. He told Devon to come get the belt and next week, he will get beaten.
Douglas Williams vs. Matt Morgan (with Joey Ryan)
Willaims got a full introduction. Christy Hemme was about to introduce Morgan, but Joey Ryan’s music cut her off and he told her to go make him a sandwich before giving Morgan a big introduction. Morgan is wearing the robe he stole from Hulk Hogan’s baitshop, plain golden trunks and white boots with what looks like golden DNA strands on them (compared to his older boots with blue DNA strands on them)
Morgan killed Williams with a clothesline and then a big elbow in the corner. Morgan showed a lot of angry fire, stalking Williams. He used his boot to choke Williams in the corner. He caught Williams with a big sideslam. Williams kicked off several charges in the corner but was grabbed and nailed with a chokelam. Morgan set up for the Carbon Footprint for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Matt Morgan
Backstage, D-Lo Brown and Bruce Prichard were talking. There was still no sign of Al Snow Brown said he watched the match and offered to judge if they needed him too. Prichard said that might not be a bad idea. He noted he was going to call Snow’s wife Cyndi.
Mike Tenay and Taz announce three huge matches for next week’s edition of Impact Wrestling: Aces and Eights Member Doc going one-on-one with Kurt Angle, TNA Television Champion Samoa Joe defends the gold against Aces and Eights’ Sergeant-in-arms Devon, and TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy teaming with James Storm and AJ Styles to face Bobby Roode and the team of Bad Influences (Kazarian and Christopher Daniels.)
Bruce Prichard noted that Al Snow did not show up and no one, including his family, have heard from him. He explained that D’Lo Brownwould be sitting in for Snow.
Prichard said that if he was judging Brisco based on last week, he wouldn’t make the decision he is going to make, because it wasn’t a good match. But, he believes in Brisco and gives him a yes. Taz said that he respects Brisco, his family and the man who has went to bat for him (Kurt Angle) but he gives Brisco a no.
They gave Brisco the chance to speak. He said that all he’s ever wanted to do was being in the ring. He said he was doing it for his fans and his family, especially his late uncle Jack.
It came down to Brown’s decision. The crowd chanted, “Yes.” Brown thanked the others for letting him stand in for Snow. He said that Brisco laid out some powerful words and he’s known Brisco’ family for a long time. The match last week left him conflicted and he doesn’t know if Brisco is ready to be on the roster. He pointed out that he has Kurt Angle and Bruce Prichard sticking up for him and that’s good enough for him and gives him a yes.
Brisco dropped to his knees and celebrated. Kurt Angle and Garett Bischoff embraced him. They said that Brisco’s father Gerald must be watching proudly.
Backstage, Hogan was asked why he made the double elimination. He said he wasn’t himself today. Bully Ray grabbed him and said he wanted to ask Hogan a question. He asked if Austin Aries offend him, his daughter and Bully Ray, and he answered his own questions by saying “yes” three times. He asked why Hogan didn’t come to him if they wanted his head kicked in. He said that maybe for the first time, he’s confusing business and personal. Hogan accused Bully of being the one doing that and stormed off.
They plugged that Jeff Hardy would be on the Spike TV show Inkmaster on Tuesday as a human cnavas.
Backstage, ODB said that for months she didn’t know where Eric Young was, he comes back and they reuinite. He’s gone again, and she knows exactly where he is: in the hospital with a shattered ankle. She was too upset to talk more and walked off.
TNA X-Division champion Rob Van Dam vs. Austin Aries
Tenay noted that this is the first time these two men have faced each other. The two went back and forth to start the main event match. RVD went for the Rolling Thunder but Aries rolled out of the ring., RVD dropkicked him into the guard rail and hit a dive to the outside as they went to commercial.
Aries back body dropped RVD over the top and to the apron as we come back from commercial. Aries nailed a dropkick, sending RVD to the floor. RVD set him up on the rail and went for the corkscrew legdrop but Aries moved and RVD’s foot was caught on the rail. Aries nailed him with a neckbreaker on the rail. Aries brought RVD back into the ring and got a two count. Aries rolled him up again for another two count. Aries dove down with a nice forearm smash and covered RVD for another two count.
RVD started to fire back with kicks but Aries ducked one and nailed a sick DDT for two . Aries mocked RVD by hitting his version of the Rolling Thunder for a two count. He then tried to mock the Five Star Frog Splash off the top but Van Dam moved. RVD came back with a series of shoulderblocks and a spinning kick in the corner. RVD nailed Rolling Thunder for a two count. RVD nailed the Hollywood Star Press but Aries placed his foot on the ropes. Aries ducked the windmill kick and nailed a roaring forearm. He mocked RVD again and ended up nailed. RVD went to the top for the Five Star Frog Splash but Aries shoved him off the top to the rail, Aries dragged him in and took the mic while the referee looked on confused. He said that Rob Van Dam was laying there all sweaty with his hair a mess, kind of like Brooke Hogan. He said he was going to win the X-Division title and there his microphone down. Bully Ray hit the ring and hit Aries as he tried to run from the ring
Winner by Disqualication: Austin Aries
Aries escaped and said Ray cost him the match, calling him a son of a bitch. He tried to back off but Hulk Hogan came out. Aries was trapped between the two but Hogan just stared at Ray. Ray walked towards Hogan and said, “You still don’t trust me, do you? You still don’t trust me? What’s it going to take?”
((Jarrett’s Jab – An edition of Impact Wrestling that was all over the place, some great spots and some low spots. Two great matches with Roode taking on Christian York and this main event match. I’ve said for months that TNA needs to keep the idea that the X Division Championship means a lot on the minds of fans and for months I’ve said that TNA needs to get big names challenging for it like Jeff Hardy. He’s not Jeff Hardy, but Austin Aries wanting the X Division Championship makes the belt mean something. At Destination X, whoever is the champion can trade the belt in for a World Championship opportunity and TNA needs to do whatever it takes to make the belt a big deal so whoever holds it will look like a threat. I will be honest in saying I never thought that would be Aries’ way back in the title picture. I figured that that would be how AJ Styles got around his world title match ban. That’s it for me, be sure to check IWHeadlines for all your latest TNA news and to follow IWHeadlines on twitter @IWHeadlines for giveaways you can’t afford to miss!))