By Jeff Hamlin |
The Big News: A great ladder match between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell was the highlight of the show, with Kim winning to become the new number one contender for the Knockouts title. Magnus earned 25 points in the Bound for Glory Series after winning a Joker's Wild tournament. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was named the newest member of the Main Event Mafia. Chris Sabin traded in his X Division Championship for a world title shot against Bully Ray next week for Destination X, which was played up like a Clash of the Champions-type special on Spike TV.
Bully Ray cut a backstage promo on Brooke Hogan about getting engaged. Though he never mentioned Dallas Cowboys center Phil Costa by name, Ray said he understood why people need to move on, but Brooke couldn't move on until he said she could.
Aces and Eights came out to the ring, with Ray making a crack to Mike Tenay about how Taz should bury him at Area 51, since Tenay lives in Las Vegas. Ray told Chris Sabin to not turn in the X Division championship later in the show in exchange for a TNA World Championship shot. Then he turned his attention to the new Aces and Eights Vice President, saying the group would vote on a new VP later tonight. He also refused the Main Event Mafia's challenge to a fight next week in Louisville. The Mafia came out, with Kurt Angle saying they would eliminate every member of Aces and Eights one-by-one next week, and then Ray would have to defend the world title by himself. Sting said the latest member of the Mafia is a heavy hitter and would be named later tonight.
The theme of the show was a Joker's Wild tag team tournament, where teams would be determined via a "random draw." It was basically the old Battlebowl format from several 1990s Starcades, where members of the winning team would advance to a gauntlet match, where the winner will receive 25 points in the Bound for Glory Series.
Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme drew the names for the Joker's Wild tournament, just like it was Eric Bischoff and Missy Hyatt in 1991.
A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe defeated Joseph Park and Jeff Hardy in 4:35 in a Joker's Wild match. No Abyss spots for Joseph Park. Good work from A.J. Styles and Jeff Hardy, with Styles working heel. Park got the hot tag, where his sequence consisted of shoving Samoa Joe down several times. Styles hit a springboard forearm on Park, who backed into the Kokina Clutch for the tapout. *3/4
2. Mr. Anderson and Magnus defeated Hernandez and Jay Bradley in a Joker's Wild match in 3:54. The big deal here was an Aces and Eights member was forced to team with a Main Event Mafia member. Mr. Anderson did the absolute least he could do, letting Magnus get beat on the entire way. Crowd was dead. Tenay and Taz were so interested, they talked about subjects ranging from Sam Kinison to mosquitoes. Anderson teased getting the hot tag several times, then dropped to the floor whenever Magnus got to the corner. Finish was Hernandez being whipped into the ropes after a Magnus reversal, but Jay Bradley mistakenly (I think) tripped Hernandez, and Magnus pinned Hernandez with a schoolboy cradle. *
Backstage, Austin Aries complained to Bobby Roode about losing the X Division championship last week. Roode wasn't really paying attention, since he's 0-2 so far in the BFG tournament. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels walked in saying they were the only four men left to compete tonight in the Joker's Wild tournament. Bad Influence acted like they were going to win over Roode and Aries, or the "Dirty Heels" as Daniels called them. Roode and Aries agreed they hated Bad Influence.
3. Kazarian and Bobby Roode defeated Austin Aries and Christopher Daniels in 9:51 in a Joker's Wild match. Entertaining. Kazarian and Daniels refused to fight each other. Aries and Roode were more than willing to fight. There was a buzz in the crowd when Aries and Roode faced off, which was the first reaction of any kind by the crowd on this show. Kazarian tripped Aries on the apron for the heat. Aries blind tagged Daniels and did a missile dropkick on Roode, but Kazarian pushed Roode out of the way of another Aries dropkick, and Kazarian hit Aries with a springboard DDT. Kazarian covered Aries, but Daniels pulled Kazarian off. Kazarian briefly argued with Daniels. Aries hit Kazarian with a dropkick and teased the brainbuster, but Daniels tagged himself in. But Kazarian hit a small package on Daniels and pinned his tag team partner. Daniels and Kazarian looked mad at each other at first, but Daniels eventually raised Kazarian's arm. **1/4
Ray convened a meeting of the rest of Aces and Eights to decide on the new Vice President.
Brooke and Hulk Hogan talked about Ray backstage. Hulk asked what was going on with she and Ray. Brooke refused to talk about it, saying she wanted to talk about business. Hogan stormed away. This segment was completely out of place since it's been acknowledged that Brooke is engaged to someone else. Clearly, they had plans to turn Brooke heel until real life got in the way.
Ray held the meeting to discuss the new VP. Ray said they've had problems in Aces and Eights lately. Everybody voted except Ray. It was split 3-3 between Anderson and Doc, with Knux casting the deciding vote. Knux tagged beer bottles with Doc, then voted for Anderson, making him the Vice President. Doc was not amused and stared a hole in Knux as Anderson was named the new VP. Knux told Doc it wasn't about him, it was about the club.
4. Gail Kim defeated Taryn Terrell in a ladder match to become the new number one contender for the Knockouts title in 15:09. Easily the highlight of the show, and the best women's wrestling match on Impact in years at least, and probably ever. The only problem was Taz on color commentary. Usually, great matches bring out the best in Taz. Probably because women's matches usually lead to comedy due to their overall poor quality, Taz cracked too many stale jokes and became annoying while these two were working their butts off. Gail Kim, in particular, was fantastic as a bumping machine. The rules were the first one to grab the contract over the ladder would win and get a shot at Mickie James. In the opening minute, Taryn Terrell speared Kim through the ropes and onto the ramp. The ladder went from the ramp to the ring within minutes of the opening bell. Before a commercial, Kim teased the Steel Post Figure Four, but Terrell kicked her off. After the break, both women fought atop the ladder, and both simultaneously fell off and hit their faces on the top rope. Terrell recovered and whipped Kim under the ladder, and as Kim shot off the ropes, Terrell threw the ladder in her face. At this point, Terrell tried to climb to the top, but Kim's leg was hooked under the ladder. So Terrell went under the ring to bring out a second ladder. Terrell laid the second ladder against the ropes, then put Kim atop that ladder and went to the top rope, but Kim fell off before Terrell could hit a splash. Fans booed that because they wanted to see stunts. There was a great spot where Terrell went for the contract, but Kim reached up and put her in a Figure Four around the ladder. Terrell went down, and Kim went for the contract. But Terrell, perhaps not selling the knee long enough, got up and put Kim in a Dragon Sleeper on the top rung of the ladder. Kim fell down, and Terrell reached for the papers but couldn't grab them. Kim recovered, and Terrell gave her a crossbody off the top of the ladder. Terrell went back for the papers, but Kim stopped her. They fought on the second ladder, where Terrell looked like she went for a Diamond Cutter, but Kim dumped her off. Kim went for Eat Defeat, but Terrell but her in a Dragon Sleeper. While Terrell held Kim near the ropes, Kim tied Terrell's hair against the ropes to free herself. Terrell was trapped against the ropes, and Kim got up to the top to grab the papers and the title shot. Just a great performance by Kim, and Terrell was very good considering her level of experience. ****
Sting and Angle talked backstage about the great choices they had made for the Main Event Mafia with Magnus and Joe. Perhaps as an inside joke, Sting and Angle were worried that their fifth man hadn't called them yet. Just then, Sting got a phone call from the 5th man while Angle breathed a sigh of relief. Sting said the mystery man would be there in a few minutes.
5. Magnus (49 points) won a Gauntlet Match to earn 25 points in the Bound for Glory Series by pinning Bobby Roode in a bout that also featured Kazarian, Samoa Joe, A.J. Styles and Mr. Anderson in 16:49. Styles and Magnus were the first two in the ring. They did lots of chain wrestling before Kazarian came in. Kazarian hit the Zig Zag on Styles. Samoa Joe was next up and started doing tag team spots with Magnus. Kazarian backdropped Styles onto the apron and connected with a right hand that nearly sent him to the floor, but Styles backdropped Kazarian to the floor for the first elimination at 5:24. During a commercial, Anderson came in, and Roode would soon follow. Roode backed Styles against the ropes, and Anderson clotheslined Styles over at 11:48. Joe clotheslined Anderson over the top rope, and they both went to the floor at 12:47. That left Roode and Magnus, with pinfall and submission rules now in play. Roode and Magnus traded submission holds, with Roode using a crossface and Magnus using a cloverleaf, both to no avail. Magnus went for a Randy Savage elbow but missed. Roode attempted the Payoff, but Magnus escaped and tried the Michinoku Driver. Roode escaped and tried a Rolling Reverse Cradle, but Magnus reversed into a crotch cradle to get the pin. Very little reaction to Magnus winning. **
Hogan came out and called down Sabin to determine if he wanted to trade in the X Division title for the title shot. I thought it was already established last week that Sabin would, seeing as how he cut a promo on Ray after winning the three-way against Roode and Manik. Sabin cut the standard babyface promo about tearing both of his ACLs, but not giving up on his dream, which was to become the world champion. As Sabin handed over the belt, Ray came out. He told Hogan to tell his daughter that they have unfinished business. Ray told Sabin not to hand the belt over to Hogan. Ray ran down Sabin on his size. Sabin reminded Ray that he pinned Ray in Team 3-D's retirement match, and that he kicked out of the 3-D. Sabin said he's used to being the underdog, and vowed to stand over Ray and proclaim himself the new world champion. Sabin handed over the belt to Hogan. Ray said Sabin signed his death warrant, and Sabin wouldn't be fighting just him next week, he would also be fighting his whole family. Aces and Eights came out. Then the Mafia came out, and Sting said the Mafia would make sure it would be a one-on-one match with Sabin and Ray next week. Sting then introduced the fifth member of the Main Event Mafia, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who got the best reaction on the show. Jackson came out dressed like he showed up for a UFC fight as opposed to the Mafia's standard business attire.
SUMMARY: Go out of your way to see Kim and Terrell. Brought back memories of when Kim fought Awesome Kong around 2007 which were some of the most heated women's matches you'll ever see from America. Otherwise, this show dragged with a worn out crowd. Giving Magnus a huge lead early on in the BFG Series means he'll either win going away (which is unlikely), or he'll blow a big lead (meaning his singles push will wind up like James Storm or Roode). It would make more sense for Anderson to bolt out to the big lead, or even Jay Bradley if they really want to take chances on talent for once.