With Jeff Hamlin out tonight, we'll do live coverage of the show.
No Taz again. Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash announcing. They put over the Mystery Man debut and showed a new video. They put over A.J. Styles vs. Austin Aries as tonight's main event, first time ever on Spike, and a dream match.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode did a promo to start the show. Aries said everyone, fans, people watching on TV, all the wrestlers, women, people who put up the ring, announcers, everyone wants to see him vs. Styles. Styles carried the company on his back for the last ten years, and he's carrying the company on his back the next ten years. Roode came out and said that the old Bobby Roode is coming back and he was going to turn things around. He said he was the most dominant champion in Impact history. Aries said he agreed with Roode, hopes he gets his mojo back and that he hopes Roode makes the finals of the BFG series so he can beat him and then win the title.
Bobby Roode vs. Hernandez in the BFG series:
Lots of near falls including Hernandez getting one from Air Mexico. The finish saw Roode throw a bunch of chairs into the ring. The ref just allowed that. Brian Hebner was kicking the chairs out of the ring and missed Roode getting a beer bottle from under the ring and hitting Hernandez with it for the pin. Problem was the ref was counting with broken glass all over the ring.
The Mafia promised to make Aces and 8s an offer they can't refuse.
Eric Young & Joseph Park were talking. Young had an idea since Park gets DQ'd when he bleeds and goes crazy.
Chris Sabin and TJ Perkins were backstage. Sabin said Perkins reminds him of himself which is why he's giving him thematch tonight. Perkins said he got nowhere as TJ Perkins but as Manik he's X champion.
Joseph Park pinned Jay Bradley with a Samoan drop in the BFG series. Eric Young was in the corner. It's really sad tonight. Such a small crowd not making any noise. Park wore boxer headgear to keep from bleeding. Bradley eventually got it off him. He went for the broomstick (lariat) but Park ducked and hit the Samoan drop. So Park is now up to negative three points.
Awesome TV commercial to save wrestling built around Rampage Jackson saying how wrestling saved his life. Hogan, Randy Couture, Michael Chandler, Angle, King Mo and Andrew Luck were all in the commercial. I like the idea of TNA & Bellator working together with Spike on saving wrestling in the Olympics.
Mafia together, once again pushing making Aces and 8s an offer they can't refuse.
Chris Sabin vs. Manik: Sabin pinned him in a long match with the Hail Sabin, or cradle shock. Fast well wrestled but in a lot of ways this was really sad. The crowd was pretty much dead for the match. It felt like one of those well worked prelim matches with Luchadores that were usually buried and the crowd didn't care in the late 90s Nitro.
After the match, Bully Ray hit the ring and attacked Sabin and Manik. No Mafia save, instead Sabin made his own comeback and Bully left the ring after an enzuigiri.
Taz is out of the building talking about the heat. I lived there in the 80s and the summers were brutal. The story is Hogan won't let him in the building and he's out there in this heat. Taz opened the door of the hummer to show us who the surprise guy is. He opened the door and it was a computer screen playing a August 1 surprise video.
Next week is Christopher Daniels vs. Frankie Kazarian. They were backstage. They blamed TNA for trying to cause dissension. Daniels talked about how he's unbeaten and poor Frankie hasn't won. Frankie told him not to be that guy. Daniels said he wasn't going to give him the points and Kazarian said he didn't want him. Kazarian poured the contents of Daniels' appletini on the floor.
ODB vs. Gail Kim: They did a double count out and a pull apart. Some timing issues but overall not too bad. Each went after the other after it was over. Crowd booed the double count out finish.
A.J. Styles said it's not a dream match just like the match with Jeff Hardy wasn't a dream match. He's not the wide-eyed boy he used to be. He's about money and winning the world title. He said there's no place for dreams or heroes and that he's Austin Aries' nightmare tonight.
Aces and 8s were backstage. Bully put Ken Anderson in charge because he's concentrating on his match with Sabin, taking out both of his knees in the cage. Brooke Hogan showed up and teased something about things in the contract he won't like. She said "Happy ex-wife, happy life."
Announced Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. Anderson next week. Also the contract signing for Sabin vs. Bully. Brooke teased a big twist in the contract signing that may make Bully reconsider something. I guess it's a storyline way for him to do something about the divorce.
Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles: Great match and that's saying something because they had to overcome the empty arena. Weird finish as Styles hit the Pele kick after Aries had used a back suplex and discus forearm. Both were on the ground and Aries put his arm over Styles and the ref counted three. Great stuff the last several minutes. Styles got out of the last chancery. Aries got out of the calf killer. Aries tried a 450 but Styles got his knees up. Styles kicked out of the brainbuster. Aries back dropped Styles while on the ramp and Styles took a bump to the floor. Aries went for a low tope but Styles moved and Aries crashed into the steps. Lots of stuff like that. Finish was flat though. A combination of ringsiders standing in appreciation for the match, and boos from the crowd because of the finish.
Final segment saw the Mafia come out and call out Aces and 8s. The gist was that Kurt Angle challenged them to a five vs. five match on 8/15 with the loser of the fall having to leave TNA forever. He said it was the start of the systematic destruction of the Mafia. Ken Anderson was the leader since they didn't want Bully in the brawl since he's got his own deal. There was a brawl and Anderson accepted.
At that point Tito Ortiz showed up as the mystery guy. The idea is that both Aces and 8s and the Mafia were surprised by it being Tito.