9.13 Impact Wrestling
The Big News: No need to beat around the bush. This was the best Impact of the year. A.J. Styles won the Bound for Glory Series after beating Magnus in a great main event. Bully Ray appeared to officially kick Mr. Anderson out of Aces and Eights by beating him in a Last Man Standing match, which was a great brawl. Anderson did a stretcher job, only to have Ray lay him out with a piledriver on the ramp. Very quietly, the company appeared to write Quinton "Rampage" Jackson out of the script, and perhaps Tito Ortiz, as well.
Bully Ray and Brooke came out. Ray said he was willing to forgive Mr. Anderson for their recent fallout, which he blamed on Hulk Hogan. This led to Hogan coming out and said Ray needs to worry about facing Anderson, who also walked out and didn't shake Hogan's extended hand. Ray said if Anderson apologized, their beef would be over. Anderson admitted he was out of line, then punched Ray and said he can't wait to get out of line some more. For some reason, Hogan then changed the stipulations to the Ray-Anderson World Title bout as a Last Man Standing match.
During the A.J. Styles-Austin Aries match, it was announced that Spike TV would host a one-hour preshow for Bound for Glory on Sunday, October 20th.
A.J. Styles defeated Austin Aries in 14:36 of the first Bound for Glory Series semifinal. Lots of crossed up spots from the get-go, including Styles teasing his dropkick, but Aries dodging it and hitting a double Axehandle off the top rope to the floor. Aries went for his patented tope, but Styles belted him with a forearm just as he came through the ropes. Aries attempted a crucifix, but Styles blocked it into the Shinsuke Nakamura Landslide. Styles hit Aries with a pescado. Styles failed on a Styles Clash attempt, and Aries delivered a baseball slide where Styles hit his head against the floor. Aries blocked another Styles Clash attempt and hit his brainbuster, but Styles kicked out. Aries transitioned right into the Last Chancery, but couldn't get the tap. Aries got crotched on the top rope, but Aries knocked him off, but missed the 450. Aries landed on his feet, but missed a charge against the opposite corner. Styles hit the Pele kick on Aries, who was still hanging in the corner. Styles then climbed the second rope and hit a Styles Clash off the second rope for the pin. It was a good match, but they were so stiff at various spots it appeared they got lost at times. ***1/4
Sting started to give Magnus a pep talk about his match with Bobby Roode in the 2nd Bound for Glory semifinal. Magnus interrupted him and said he was sick of being the future of TNA wrestling, because the future is now. Sting smiled and shook his hand.
2. Magnus defeated Bobby Roode in 6:55 of the second Bound for Glory Series semifinal. A tremendous job by Roode in working around Magnus' limitations as a technical wrestler. Roode came out intense and took the bulk of the match on offense. The timing of the match was very good, and the crowd stayed engaged all the way. Granted, it went only 6:55, but Magnus came away much more of a star because of Roode. Highlights down the finish were Magnus trying to get the submission with a Texas Clover Leaf, but Roode made the ropes. Roode crotched Magnus and attempted the Payoff, but Magnus got a double leg takedown and got the pin with a jackknife cradle. If the WWE doesn't have room for Roode on its roster, I'll kiss your ass. ***
Roode was furious over the loss backstage. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian tried to calm him down. Roode said if he's not going to the main event of Bound for Glory, then no one will.
Hogan talked with Manik, and yes, T.J. Perkins didn't have his mask on again. Perkins said he wanted Jeff Hardy tonight. Dixie Carter took time away from tailgating at Vanderbilt-Ole Miss to walk into Hogan's office at this point. She said she received a call from Bellator's attorneys, who wanted to pull Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from all future shows. She claimed they had to protect their investment for their PPV after he got hit with a hammer by Tito Ortiz. No word on what happens to Ortiz, but I assume he gets pulled, as well.
Ray was with his fellow Aces and Eights members, who couldn't believe the disrespect Anderson showed him. Ray then told Knux, Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco he sensed they supported Anderson over him. Ray said he started Aces and Eights to help them, and he loved all of them. He just hoped they felt the same about him.
3. Bully Ray defeated Mr. Anderson in a Last Man Standing match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in 17:25. They brawled all around the ring and the crowd was more into Anderson as a face than any crowd in ages. Ray gained the advantage and sent Anderson into the steps, then ordered Brooke to get a chair. By the time she arrived, Anderson was back on the offensive and used the chair several times on Ray's back. Anderson put a table into the ring, but Ray got the chair and slammed Anderson against the back several times. Lots of heat for these basic spots. After a commercial, Ray started screaming at referee Earl Hebner. Then Hebner started screaming back, so Ray pushed Hebner into the turnbuckles face first. Anderson gave Ray the Mic Check on the chair, but Hebner was still down. Ray was down for a good 30 seconds. Anderson picked Ray up, but Ray gave Anderson the Diamond Cutter. Then Knux, Brisco and Bischoff came into the ring. All three eyed each man, then helped Anderson up, just long enough for Brooke to give Anderson a low blow. Knux, Bischoff and Brisco gave Anderson the triple power bomb. Does it get more low rent than trying to copy the Shield? Anderson got up from all of that and started delivering punches, but Ray hit a clothesline. Ray pulled out a chain, wrapped it around his fist and hit Anderson with it. Anderson, who juiced, still got up to a good pop, only to have Ray spear him through the table set him in the corner. Taz compared the spear by Ray to a tackle by Jack Youngblood, who played for the Rams in the 70s. Unfortunately, it was the Los Angeles Rams. Anderson was out for the count after that as Ray threatened to hit Anderson with a piece of the table, only to relent. A surprisingly good brawl. ***3/4
Anderson did a stretcher job, but Ray chased the EMS personnel away, and dumped Anderson off the stretcher on the ramp, Ray stripped the cut of Anderson and started whipping him with it. Ray ended the onslaught by giving Anderson a pile driver on the ramp, then said he's the man who just took Anderson out. Looks like a long-term injury angle for Anderson.
ODB faces Mickie James next week for the Knockouts title. ODB cut a promo saying she had thought about giving up drinking to train for the match, then acknowledged that was a total joke.
James Storm and Gunner was in the ring, where Storm talked about drinking beer. Seems to be a theme that's overdone here. They were looking for challengers to face at Bound for Glory. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez came out, with Guerrero mentioning they won the tag team belts at BFG last year. Guerrero said that Gunner was jacked, but he wasn't the strongest man in TNA. That would be Hernandez. Gunner actually took the mic and said Chavo and Hernandez could face them in a non-title match next week, and if they win, maybe they'll get a title shot in the future.
4. A.J. Styles defeated Magnus in 15:06 to win the Bound for Glory Series. Unlike the first two years of the series, the fans understood the magnitude of the Bound for Glory championship match. Two years ago when Roode won it, the fans were largely silent in the finals. In this case, there was a ton of enthusiasm. Crowd opened chanting for both men until one guy in the middle started a "yes" chant. The cameras actually cut to the fans at that point. About 4 minutes in, Roode, Kazarian and Daniels ran in to attack both men. Daniels gave Styles the Angel's Wings, while Magnus was laid out by Roode with a Double R Spinebuster. A group of referees came out to order EGO to the back. The match simply continued. Styles attempted the springboard forearm, but Magnus hit Styles with an uppercut. Magnus hit the Michinoku Driver, but Styles kicked out. Magnus tried the Texas Clover Leaf, but Styles reversed it into a gogoplata. Styles hit a Pele Kick for a great near fall. Styles then clinched the calf killer, and the fans even went nuts for that after Styles struggled for months to get that hold over. Magnus made the ropes. Styles went for a crossbody, but Magnus drove him down with a spinebuster. A lengthy battle on the top rope ended with Styles knocking Magnus off the top rope, and then Styles pulled out the old Spiral Tap for the pin. A great final match, and the magnitude of the loss weighed on Magnus' face, who had tears in his eyes after losing. ****
Styles cut a victory promo, thanking the fans and Magnus. He acknowledged his shoot promo from two weeks ago.
SUMMARY: After they botched the booking of the stretch run of the BFG series two weeks ago, I would've been fine if TNA never did another BFG series. This show proved me wrong. The fans understood the importance of the matches, and there wasn't a bad match on the card. Even the Ray-Anderson brawl exceeded any realistic expectations. Magnus certainly improved his stock, even in defeat. And his postmatch facials in the main event were tremendous. This was one great show.