8.15 Impact Wrestling
The Big News: Bully Ray reclaimed the TNA World Heavyweight Championship when Tito Ortiz joined Aces and Eights after hitting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson with a ballpeen hammer in the midst of an interference-laden cage match. Also, Ray teased a relationship with a woman named "Brooke," teasing that he will reunite with Brooke Hogan when it's likely something else. Also, the heel group of Bobby Roode-Kazarian-Christopher Daniels had a good night in the Bound for Glory Series.
It was a flashback to the 1990s to open the show, as there was a parental warning to let it be known this would be a extra violent show.
1. Kazarian (22 points) won a four-way, Bound for Glory ladder match with Jeff Hardy (24 points), A.J. Styles (22 points) and Austin Aries (21 points), earning 20 points in 17:39. Everybody was taking big bumps all over the place, including Jeff Hardy taking a bad fall over the top rope to the apron, leading to A.J. Styles hitting a pescado on him. First ladder spot was Kazarian trying to climb to the top after getting whipped to the ropes, but Austin Aries crotched him against the ladder, then pushed the ladder against the ropes. Aries reached for the clipboard as Styles and Kazarian fought outside the ring. Hardy caught up with Aries and started trading punches with him on the ladder until the ladder tipped over, and Aries and Hardy collided with Styles and Kazarian, who were on the apron. Unique spot that got a slight rise out of the crowd. Styles caught a flying forearm on Aries and climbed the ladder, but Aries pulled him down. At this point, Kazarian introduced a second ladder and threw it at Aries. Soon, all four men cllimbed the dueling ladders, where Aries gave hardy and sunset power bomb off the ladder. Styles got knocked off the ladder, but pulled Kazarian down before he could climb it. "This is Awesome" chants. Aries went for the clipboard, but Styles pulled him down and teased the Styles Clash, only to have Kazarian come in and give Styles the Wave of the Future on Styles, which also laid out Aries. Kazarian and Hardy ascended to the top, but Aries hit a missile dropkick on the ladder to send both men flying. Christopher Daniels and Bobby Roode, Kazarian's new stablemates, came out. Aries went to the fourth rung, but Styles jumped like a cat onto the fourth rung to slug it out with him. This led to Kazarian tipping the ladder over, and Styles and Aries fell into the 2nd ladder set up in the corner. Hardy gave Kazarian the Twist of Fate. Roode did a run-in trying to stop Hardy from winning, but Hardy kicked him out of the ring. As Hardy got to the top, Kazarian grabbed Daniels' appletini and threw it in Hardy's face. Hardy went down, and Kazarian grabbed the clipboard to win the 20 points. ***3/4
So the updated Bound for Glory series standings, with the top four point getters advancing to the semfinals: 1. Magnus 39 points, 2. Samoa Joe 26 points, 3. Mr. Anderson and Hardy 24 points. 5. Daniels 23 points. 6. Kazarian & Styles 22 points. 8. Aries 21 points. 9. Hernandez and Roode 7 points. 11. Jay Bradley 0 points. 12. Joseph Park -3 points.
Chris Sabin did a promo saying one of his favorite memories before he ever got in wrestling was watching Bully Ray and Devon give someone (it was Balls Mahoney) a power bomb through a flaming table on thumbtacks. Sabin said he knew how ruthless Ray could be, but he's beaten Ray twice and was the world champion.
Dixie Carter was in the ring with the Main Event Mafia. Carter explained that Kurt Angle entered a rehabilitation facility, and it's unknown when he will return. She says Kurt has her complete support, and urged him to emerge from rehab. Aces and Eights came out, with Mr. Anderson saying that they have one week to come up with a replacement for Angle. Anderson started running down each member of the Mafia, pretending what it would be like to end their TNA careers. His line regarding Magnus was particularly interesting. He said "Remember that Magnus guy, Hell of a future. He was gonna be, gonna be, the future of Impact Wrestling." Once again, Mr. Anderson starring in tonight's edition of "Irony Theatre." With Angle gone, it was interesting that Magnus did the verbal comeback, and it was a good one. Magnus said they would find a partner and send the Mafia back home with a pink slip. Anderson said Ray would regain the World Heavyweight Championship. They started brawling, with Knux and Devon double-teaming Quinton "Rampage" Jackson for Jackson's first taste of selling. Aces and Eights laid them out, which explained that Aces and Eights had the numbers advantage and the Mafia must find someone willing to risk their career to join their team and even the odds for next week's main event.
2. ODB defeated Gail Kim in a nontitle three-way Knockouts match that also included Mickie James in 6:46. Mickie James is always introduced from Virginia, so she was cheered. ODB was the top face, however. James brought a chair into the ring, which I guess was legal since it was Hardcore Justice. Gail Kim and James started fighting each other after they both tried to pin ODB. Kim looked for something under the ring but couldn't find it, allowing James to send her into the post. James brought in a Kendo stick and started whacking ODB. Later, ODB got the stick and laid out the heels. ODB tried to loosen her bra for a comedy spot where she would use it as a weapon. The problem was, it took her forever to do it. Then the bra got ripped apart. She used it to choke Kim. As James went for a weapon, Kim gave ODB the Steel Post Figure Four. James grabbed ODB's arms, trying to get her own submission. Kim and James starting arguing again. ODB barely sold her leg before making the comeback after drinking from her flask, spitting the liquor into James' face. ODB got the pin with the Bam (or F-5) on Kim on the chair. Kim looked like she landed face-first. *1/2
During the match, Mike Tenay explained Hulk Hogan's latest absence as because he was meeting with network executives. Hey, sounds better than the company saving five figures during a financial crisis.
The Mafia was furious about getting beat up by the Mafia. Sting said he knew that Samoa Joe and Magnus hated him, but he had to go talk to Aries.
Sting talked with Aries, who was beat up after losing the ladder match. Sting gave him a sales pitch to join the Mafia because he hates Bully Ray as much as they do. Aries gave him a cocky smile, and the segment ended before he could answer.
Roode said his plan with Daniels and Kazarian is coming along perfectly, and if he wins the tables match tonight, he'll be in 2nd place in the Bound for Glory standings.
Sting returned to inform the rest of the Mafia members that Aries had turned them down. Jackson stood up and said that he had another option, and he would address it in the ring. Meanwhile, Magnus talked with Sting about another route.
Ray was on his cell phone backstage, talking to a woman he called "Honey," saying their relationship had not been normal. Ray said tonight is about him, and next week is about us. Ray told her her man would go out and win the world heavyweight title tonight, and he would come home and celebrate with her. Next week, they would tell the world the truth. Ray concluded the conversation "I love you too, Brooke." I wish he had not mentioned that last part, because it was a dead giveaway about who the mystery woman would be.
Jackson and Joe came out. Jackson, wearing a camouflage jacket, said when he came to Impact Wrestling, MMA fans started calling him a sellout. You wouldn't believe the amount of stress you can save yourself from by not reading message boards. Rampage delivered his money line, saying he didn't come to Impact Wrestling to get his ass kicked by a bunch of guys on mopeds. So Jackson called out Tito Ortiz to ask him to be the fifth member. Ortiz got a much better reaction in Norfolk. Rampage was good on the mic for a segment he had to carry by himself, asking Ortiz to join the Mafia and playing up their Bellator match on November 2nd. Ortiz said he was the longest-reigning Light Heavyweight Champion in MMA history. Ray came out before Ortiz could accept and warned Ortiz again that he would make him his Huntington Beach Bitch. Ortiz had to be held back by Jackson and Ray from going after Ray. It seemed to me that would be all the reason for Ortiz to accept Jackson's offer, but he never did. Instead, Anderson came out for the tables match. Considering the experience that Jackson and Ortiz have working with a script in front of a live crowd, this was a very good segment.
3. Bobby Roode (27 points) won a four-way Bound for Glory tables match over Samoa Joe (26 points), Magnus (39 points) and Mr. Anderson (24 points) to earn 20 points in 10:19. Joe and Magnus worked as a team against Roode and Anderson, then raced to be the first man to get someone through a table. Anderson and Roode recovered and took the match to the floor. Joe put the ring bell on Roode's crotch and rang the bell, then did it again. Magnus fought with Anderson on the ramp, teasing putting him through the table. Joe gave Anderson the ole kick. Magnus set up a table in the corner and tried to put Roode through it, but Roode slipped out and gave Magnus the Double R Spinebuster. The heels tried to whip Joe and Magnus together, but Joe wound up clotheslining Magnus. Joe gave Roode the elbow suicidia, and Magnus delivered the Michinoku Driver on Anderson. Magnus set up a table, but Anderson hit a Mic Check. Joe set Anderson up for the Musclebuster through the table, but Roode moved the table. Roode knocked Joe out of the ring, then put Magnus on the table, and went to the top rope, but Joe crotched Roode. Kazarian and Daniels ran down, with Kazarian holding Joe's leg. Daniels then threw his appletini into Magnus' face, and Roode power bombed Magnus through the table to go into 2nd place in the BFG standings. ***
Next week, there's a street fight between Daniels, Park, Hernandez and Bradley for 20 points in the BFG series.
Sting said he didn't know where Ortiz stood as far as the Main Event Mafia, but his gut told him he would join him. But he wasn't sure.
Anderson asked Ray traded barbs backstage which turned into a full-scale argument over whether Ray could beat Sabin. Ray went back to when Sabin beat him for the TNA title when Ray got hit with a hammer. Ray asked Anderson where Sabin got the hammer. Basically, the two teased dissension, as Anderson reminded Ray he was just here to be his ally. Ray said he sure didn't seem to be on his side.
4. Bully Ray defeated Chris Sabin in a cage match to win the TNA World Heavyweight title in 18:16. Noticeable boos for Sabin and "Bully Ray" chants for the first time. Sabin tried to climb over the cage, which was one of three ways to win, but Ray stopped him twice. Ray threw Sabin into the cage, with Taz pulling out power references to Ted Arcidi and Jeep Swenson. Considering Ray has ten times the working ability of those men without anywhere near the substances, and is still breathing, I'd be pretty insulted if I was him. Ray continued with the strongman moves until Sabin caught a backslide for a two count. Ray rebounded with a clothesline. Ray teased a power bomb, but Sabin escaped a caught a sleeper hold. After Ray got out, Sabin hit a Tornado DDT and an enzuigiri. Sabin got Ray up for the Death Vally Driver, then took Ray's cut off and started whipping him with it. Ray came back with the Mafia kick for a two count, then hit a Samoan Drop for another near fall. Ray tried to climb over the cage, but Sabin climbed up with him and they fought on the top rope. Sabin then attempted a huracanrana, but it was a botched spot where it appeared Ray was supposed to catch him and power bomb him. But Ray couldn't hold him and Sabin took him over. Ray started selling his shoulder. Each man tried to escape the cage through the door, but there was a ref bump, followed by Ray crashing into Brian Hebner after a botched splash attempt. Then Sabin accidentally kicked Hebner. Sabin hit a missile dropkick on Ray and had the pin, but no ref. Sabin then tried to walk out the door, but Anderson ran in and rammed the cage door into Sabin's shoulder, then locked it. Wasn't it just last week that Sabin said the cage would mean no interference and no hammer? At this point, Rampage and Ortiz ran down. Rampage threw Anderson off the ramp, but Ortiz hit Jackson with a ballpeen hammer, turning on him. In the midst of all this, Ray threw Sabin into the cage, hit a Bully Bomb for the pin. Ortiz then started celebrating with Ray, making Ortiz an official member of Aces and Eights. Match dragged in spots, and there was a backlash against Sabin as champion felt here. **3/4
SUMMARY: A good show. They did everything they could with Sabin as world champion, but he just isn't a top guy. Ortiz was a good pick to join Aces and Eights because he's a natural heel, and he will give the group a much-needed spark. The Roode-Kazarian-Daniels heel group is something good, although hardly new.