Impact Wrestling kicks off this week with a simple message on a black background:
“All of us at TNA Wrestling send our thoughts and prayers to those in Moore, OK & other areas who have been affected by the devastating tornadoes this week.”
The Red Cross number was shown on the screen after the message faded away.
After the standard recap video, Hulk Hogan comes out to kick off this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling from the USF Sundome in Tampa, Florida. After hyping his Beach Shop and giving Shark Boy a shout out, Hogan calls the fans family and talks about his “TNA Impact Family” in the back. Bad mouthing AJ Styles “for jumping to the other side” and says it “with Jeremy Borash as my witness brother.” Hogan calls out Sting and now Sting comes out to the ring. Am I watching a rerun? Hogan tells Sting that he appreciates what he’s doing, but he doesn’t like that stipulation at Slammiversary, and he’s the GM. Sting states that he respects Hogan, but wants the match just the way it is. He’s going to carry part of the weight because he believed Bully Ray, he’s taking the power, and he only needs one chance. Sting stumbles over his words, but rebounds nicely. He finally spits it out by saying that if he doesn’t beat Bully Ray at Slammiversary, he doesn’t deserve to ever be World Champion again. Now Brooke Hogan comes out to the ring. Brooke rambles about how she’s the blame and announces that she’s resigning as the VP of the Knockouts. Hulk tries to talk her out of it, and now Bully Ray comes to the ring. Bully asks why the three of them are taking the blame for everything, it’s all his fault. He’s the one that turned this company upside. Bully does blame Brooke for something…making him fall for her. Bully professes his feelings while Sting looks on confused, Brooke starts crying, and Hulk looks pissed.
Another Suicide vignette plays. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Can they kill off this character, no pun intended, by just letting whoever is playing him taking off the mask and blaming TNA for making him act like a moron?))
#1 Contenders Match for the X Division Championship: Joey Ryan vs. Petey Williams vs. Suicide
Joey Ryan is announced on commentary as the replacement for Zema Ion due to appendicitis. Kenny King is on commentary for this match. As soon as the bell ring, Suicide dropkicks Joey Ryan and Ryan slides right out of the ring. Williams grabs Suicide and unloads with a few rights before Suicide locks in an octopus hold and surprises Williams with a cover for two. Suicide is sent to the corner and stands with his head above the second turnbuckle and his feet in the air with a confused Williams looking on. Suicide uses the confusion to sucker Williams in for a hurricanrana after getting thrown to the apron by Williams. King puts over Williams as he blocks a dropkick from Joey Ryan. Ryan puts on the body lotion and gets head-scissored by a top rope leaping Suicide. Suicide locks in a standing Indian Deathlock on Ryan and locks Williams in an abdominal stretch. Williams fights out and hits a Russian Legsweep while Ryan is still locked in submission. Ouch! Williams poses and sets up for the Canadian Destroyer, but hits a thrust kick on Williams to send him out of the ring. Suicide suckers Ryan into a Suicide Dive to the guardrail and William Suicide Dives on Ryan before Suicide hits a seaton on both men. Ryan gets in the ring but eats a Springboard Codebreaker. Suicide drags Williams out of the ring and he rolls up Ryan for two when Williams break it up. Suicide goes up top and misses a Seaton, Ryan breaks up a Canadian Destroyer attempt and Suicide hits the Zig Zag (jumping reverse bulldog) on Ryan. Suicide stalks Ryan and hits a modified gut buster on Ryan for the win.
Winner by Pinfall and advancing to Ultimate X: Suicide
Chris Sabin walks into Storm’s locker room and suggests himself to be Storm’s tag team partner, talking about how they beat each other up and how Beer Money and the Machine Guns were the two greatest tag teams in TNA history. Storm says that he doesn’t want to take away Sabins’ chance to be X Division Champion and being able to trade the title for a World Championship shot. Storm tells him that he’ll return the favor one day and Sabin tells Storm that if he changes his mind about Sabin as a partner to find him.
((Jarrett’s Jab – The match wasn’t good and Suicide got polite applause at the end of it. I was hoping the Suicide character would be gone from TNA for good. It’s a shame too, the man rumored to be behind the mask, former ROH star TJ Perkins is actually a talented guy. It’s almost a shame that Sabin can’t be Storm’s partner. It reminded back in 2011, when Alex Shelly teamed with Storm for one night only to defend Beer Money’s Tag Titles as “Gun Money.” And I love and hope that TNA lets the X Division Champion turn in their title for a World Championship shot. I had suggested before on twitter before that TNA may use that road to skirt around AJ Styles’ banishment from the World Title until Bound for Glory before they cut their PPV schedule down. It makes the X Division Championship mean something and makes it stand out. If only they’d drop the weight limit and three-way match requirements…))
Backstage, Brooke Hogan catches Bully Ray and asks him what he meant earlier. “I blame you for making me fall in love with you” was really that vague. Anyways, Bully asks her “what does it sound like it means?” and tells Brooke he still loves her before walking off.
Mickie James walks into Velvet’s locker room, and asks how the knee is and if she wants to postpone the match tonight. Velvet states that that would make Gail Kim happy and she’s going through the match as planned. Mickie asks again if she’s sure and Velvet says she is.
Sam Shaw comes out to the ring for his match with Alex Silva. Silva however doesn’t come out and instead Aces and Eight’s music plays. Wes congratulates Sam for his victory and announces that Silva isn’t here because he left him lying in the back. Wes runs down TNA for not including him in the Gut Check tournament and going to show Alex how lucky he really is before challenging Sam Shaw to a match right now. Wes, Garrett, and DOC get in the ring and gang up on Sam Shaw, stomping on him. Wes hits a neckbreaker and Magnus comes out as Aces and Eight’s flee. Magnus states that something that Wes said that just doesn’t sit with him, and that’s he wants to gang up on Sam Shaw, just a young guy trying to make a start in the business, just like Wes and Magnus. Magnus notes that he’s known Shaw for a while, they’re friends that first met when they were training together at Harley Race’s wrestling camp, and now it’s personal. Magnus tells “Pep Boy” (Bischoff) to wipe that smile off his face before Magnus knocks it off for him, and challenges Wes to his “Gut Check” against Magnus.
Magnus vs. Wes Brisco
Magnus starts teeing off with right hands and a high knee. Magnus hits a gutwrench suplex before hitting more right hands. Wes rolls to the floor to DOC and Garett as we head to a commercial break.
Back from the break, Wes is finally getting some offense, sending Magnus from corner to corner and hitting some right hands to the gut and to the face as Kenely talks about an app where you can work out with Jeff Hardy. Why exactly are they promoting this now? Wes cinches in a chinlock and hits some clubby blows to the chest and covers for a two count. Magnus starts to fight back with some right hands before getting cut off with an elbow and cinching in the chinlock. A message comes across the screen, once again showing how you can donate to the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. (That will donate $10 dollars not counting texting fees, if applicable.) Magnus fights out with some blows to the gut before Brisco cuts him off again with a blow to the back. Brisco poses and gets run over with a clothesline and another one while Magnus tries to get the crowd into it and eats a boot. Brisco comes off the top and gets caught and suplexed by Magnus. Magnus fires the crowd up and goes to the top rope. Brisco cuts him off but Magnus fights him off. He kicks DOC off but gets caught by Garrett Bischoff, who casues the DQ.
Winner by Disqualification: Magnus
Samoa Joe’s music hit and he quickly comes to the ring and clears house. He checks on Magnus as Aces and Eights look on pissed off. Kenely quickly notes that Joe and Magnus are former TNA World Tag Team Champions before going into a quick pitch for Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson…NEXT! ((Jarrett’s Jab – The match never seemed that important because the announcers spent half of it promting anything from the Red Cross, to TNA’s new app where you can exercise with Jeff Hardy, to TNA’s timeslot change next week. I wish they tried to space that out over the night. No need to do it all at one time.))
A video airs for TNA’s Hall of Fame, the next inductee will be announced at Slammiversary. ((Jarrett’s Jab – Fingers crossed personally for Jeff Jarrett, who should have gotten in last year in my opinion.))
At the Aces and Eight’s hangout, Bully Ray says that he doesn’t want to talk about his personal life, but says after tonight, Magnus will never forget the name of Wes Brisco. Bully takes pride in how DOC and Garett had Brisco’s back and says “that’s how you back up your brothers.” Anderson asks what time AJ will get here, and Bully states that he’ll be here a little later. “Despite some recent disappointments within the club” as Bully and the camera look at D’Lo, Bully guarantees AJ Styles won’t disappoint tonight.
We take a look from “Rumble at the Rails” which happened at New York City’s Grand Central Station on May 15th to raise awareness about Wrestling being cut as an Olympic sport. Kurt Angle appeared at the event and watched USA vs. Iran and USA vs. Russia. Angle talks about how he felt disgusted when he found out Wrestling may be dropped from the Olympics.
Kurt Angle comes out to the USF Sundome to an amazing reaction before Anderson comes out to Aces and Eights’ music.
AJ Styles is shown arriving at the arena on his dual-sport dirtbike as we come back from commercial break.
Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson
When they cut to in-ring action, Anderson fights out of a headlock by rebounding Angle off the ropes, but getting run over with a shoulder block. Anderson suckers Angle in for a test of strength and tees off on him in the corner. Angle fights back and hits another shoulder block and several right hands on Anderson. Backing Anderson in a corner, Angle starts to just use his boot to choke Anderson before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Uppercut by Angle sends Anderson back to the corner and Angle rams shoulders into him. Angle Irish Whips Anderson and tries a spear, but hits the ring post. Anderson quickly recovers and covers for two. Anderson wrings the left arm and cinches in an armbar and then a suplex down on the arm before covering Angle for another two. Anderson rains down with boots on Angle and a right hand to the left arm. Angle manages to avoid a right but get kicked right in the jaw. Another Armbar cinched in by Anderson as the crowd starts to get behind Angle. Angle monkey flips him off and hits a missle dropkick from the top. Taz points out that Angle can’t capitalize because of how Anderson worked over the arm and the bicep. Angle uses his good arm to clothesline Anderson before getting a belly to belly suplex. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Anderson hits the Finlay Roll for two. Anderson goes for the Mic Check, but gets caught in the three German suplexes. Anderson hits the Mic Check out of nowhere for a very close two count. Anderson goes up top, but Angle Belly-to-Belly suplex off the top rope. Angle tears the straps down and gets in the zone, but AJ Styles comes out to the ring. Taz hugs AJ, and Angle goes ballistic shoving the referee. Anderson capitalizes with a low blow and a roll-up for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mr. Anderson
James Storm is shown walking backstage and we will hear from the Cowboy…NEXT!
Backstage, Gail Kim is asked about her match at Slammiversary. Gail brags about taking out Velvet Sky, Taryn and Tara. She doesn’t care about anyone, she should get the title shot before getting attacked by Taryn Terrell, slamming her into a door and throwing her around the room. Gail yells that Taryn is crazy while someone is holding Taryn back.
A video airs hyping Storm’s tag team career and his recent history with Bad Influence and the Dirty Heels (Roode and Aries.)
James Storm comes out and talks about how he is challenging for the Tag Titles at Slammiversary and reflects on his time with America’s Most Wanted and Beer Money. Storm jokes that “women love a good tag team…wrestler.” Austin Aries’ music hits and here comes the Dirty Heels of Roode and Aries. Chavo is on commentary ugh. Pray for Technical Difficulty. Roode asks Storm if he wants to talk about Tag Team Wrestling and calls himself the King of Tag Team Wrestling. Roode calls the four-years of Beer Money the worst time of his career and Storm jokes that it’s not his fault “you can’t hang drinkin’ with the old cowboy.” Roode calls the night he crashed the beer bottle over Storm’s head a moment that will go down in history and asks Storm “who this joke of a partner is going to be a Slammiversary.” Before he can reveal who it is, out comes the Bad Influence. Daniels states that “in this joke of a town, I can tell a joke!” Daniels proceeds to tell the one where “about those three teams, the dopes, the lopes and the hopes that thought they were better than the Bad Influence?” Kazarian states that they were offended when “Jim Storm” turned down a spot in the Bad Influence and no matter who they pick, they will not stand up to the “best tag team in the biz-i-ness.” Storm tells “stupid and stupidest” if they’d shut up for a minute, he’d tell them who his partner is. “Did you just say stupidest?” Aries asks before getting cut off from the music of…wait for it…Shark Boy! Shark Boy tells the fans that “a little fishy told me that James Storm needed a tag team partner.” He tells Storm that they both have a lot in common, they both “love to fish, they both love ice cold beer, and they both love kicking some bass.” He proceeds to ask “If you want to see the Cowboy team with the Shark Boy, give me a Shell Yeah!” Now Robbie E is out here to tell Shark Boy that Storm doesn’t want to team with a loser, he wants to team with someone that will make him a champion…and that is Robbie E! Robbie E states that “I carried Rob Terry for two years, I can carry you bro.” He precedes to name off tag team names with ‘Bro’ in it as Storm shakes his head. Shark Boy and Robbie E start to argue before Gunner comes over the guard rail and looks at Storm before taking out Robbie E and Shark Boy with a Double Clothesline. Gunner chokeslams Shark Boy and locks Robbie E in a torture rack right in front of Storm before the two stare off. Aries yells to “Pick Robbie! Pick Robbie!” before Storm tells Gunner “I’ll see you at Slammiversary.”
AJ Styles’ decision is coming up and a Knockouts Title match between Velvet Sky and Mickie James is up next!
((Jarrett’s Jab – Shark Boy is a great act for TNA to have pop up once every few years. It was a great spot and the crowd loved him. For a shark, he has a great Stone Cold impression. I was afraid that the “great tag team…wrestler” line was going to bring out Eric Young, sure glad I was wrong there. Austin Aries’ wit was one of the shining stars of this segment. I laughed so hard when he was yelling “Pick Robbie!” This guy is really one of the most underrated performers in TNA because he brings so much to the table but hasn’t been used well since he lost the World Title at Bound for Glory. If TNA remembers their own history about Roode and Aries stating they were going after all the titles, Aries going for the X Division title just to cash it in for a World Title shot would be an intriguing summer story for TNA to tell.))
Backstage Joseph Park is talking to Sting about being excited about his first championship opportunity at Slammiversary, but is scared because some guys are talking about him getting the strap “and that sounds like it hurts.” Sting assures him it’s a good thing, and he wants the strap. Park tells Sting that he hopes he beats Bully Ray. Sting hypes the new timeslot and states that he has a tag match next week Team 3D facing Sting and a partner, and he wants Abyss to be his partner. Park says that Abyss doesn’t even talk to him. Sting jokes that Park “is going to kayfabe me till the very end aren’t you?” Sting then asks for Park to be his partner and states “how else will justice be served?”
TNA Knockouts Championship: Velvet Sky (c) vs. Mickie James
Mickie and Velvet shake hands and Velvet wrings Mickie’s left arm to start off the match. Mickie monkey flips her way out and covers for a one count. Mickie tries wringing Velvet’s arm, but the same thing happens to her. Mickie hits a snapmare, but Velvet sweeps the legs from under her. Velvet hits a basement dropkick and a cover for two. Mickie gets pissed off and the two trade right hands. Mickie hits a full-nelson slam and locks in a full nelson from the ground as we head to commercial break.
Back from the break and Mickie James snapmares the champion and cinches in a modified full nelson before Velvet flips Mickie off. Velvet hits some right hands and a series of flying clotheslines. Velvet stalks Micke and hits a kick to the gut and a chop before kicking at Mickie’s knee. Velvet goes for a headscissors before the two start trading maneuvers. Velvet manages to get a side Russian legsweep for two. Velvet gets a hard kick to the ribs and then a hard slap to the face. Velvet hits a boot to the face and headscissors with multiple revolutions before she starts to favor her injured leg. Mickie clips the leg as the fans start to APPLAUD! Mickie stalks Velvet before hitting a DDT for the win.
Winner by Pinfall and NEW TNA Knockouts Champion: Mickie James
The fans let out a pretty good reaction as Mickie wins the match and holds up the belt.
A video highlights AJ Styles’ depature and everyone courting AJ Styles.
Backstage, Bully Ray asks D’Lo if he got ice and washed the bikes. D’Lo conformed that he did and Bully quipped that it’s about time D’Lo did something right. Bully toasts Ken Anderson and the man they’re about to patch in: AJ Styles.
The TNA World Champion Bully Ray leads Aces and Eights to the ring. Bully asks the fans if they knew who they were and tells everyone they know exactly who they are: Aces and Eights. Bully states that no member of this club is more important than the other, and when someone in the club screws up, they pay for it. Bully says that as much of a disappointment as D’Lo was, there was one guy who stepped up and that is Ken Anderson. Bully says that tonight isn’t about the club, Ken, or even Bully Ray, it’s all about the man they are about to patch in: AJ Styles. Bully calls AJ Styles out and AJ’s music hits as he comes through the Aces and Eights entrance way. Devon holds the ropes for AJ to get in and Bully calls it the biggest sign of respect that anyone could have ever shown AJ. Everyone wants AJ, even Fortune wanted to reform to bring AJ back, but AJ knew where the power lied and Bully asks for AJ to do something for him. Bully hands AJ a beer and states that AJ doesn’t drink and asks AJ if he’s ever had any liquor in his life. AJ shook his head no and Bully wants AJ to “you can give your heart to Jesus, but your soul belongs to the club.” The two cheer and AJ chugs the beer like a teenage boy. Anderson presents AJ with his cut as the Tampa audience yells “You Sold Out!” AJ mouths something and Anderosn holds his cut up so AJ can slide into it. As Bully Ray announces AJ as the newest member of Aces and Eight’s, Kurt Angle’s music hits. Angle states that AJ’s legacy “was just flushed right down the crapper” and states that AJ disgusts him. Angle asks AJ if this is what he wants and Bully yells that it’s exactly what AJ wants. Angle said he was talking to AJ, but Bully reiterates that Angle is talking to one of his brothers. AJ puts on the cut and hugs all the members of Aces and Eights. Angle flies into the ring off-camera and Bully Ray gives AJ a hammer and AJ hits Angle right in the left quad with it. AJ knees Angle out of the ring and AJ smiles before hitting DOC in the face with the hammer and Knux in the right shoulder and Garett Bishoff in the gut as AJ runs up the ramp and takes off the cut. Taz fumes on commentary and Kenely states that AJ really is a lone wolf as AJ does his glove pose at the top of the ramp to close the show.
((Jarrett’s Jab – A thoroughly entertaining closing. I was shocked to see AJ hit Angle with the hammer though. Don’t get me wrong, I knew he wasn’t going to join, but the hammer shot was a nice way of making me doubt it for a few seconds. For the first time since 2007, I’ve been seriously into a heel AJ character. This silent AJ Styles for the moment is one of the most compelling characters in all of wrestling. I don’t know how long they can keep it up without him picking a side, but for now, it’s really good. Wonder if DOC will come back from the hammer shot to the jaw, or if that’ll be his write-off for a while. And that was really bad timing with Angle getting thrown into the ring. For those who don’t know, this show didn’t actually air live, it was on a one-hour delay. I don’t get why they couldn’t have picked a better camera angle for that shot. Anyway, Slammiversary is June the second and Impact will return to its old timeslot next week! 8 PM Central/9 Eastern, and Sting and Joesph Park will face off against Team 3D! It will be Team 3D’s first television match together as a team since 2010…if you don’t count the six man tag from a few weeks ago.))