4.4 Impact Wrestling
***Dedicated to the memory of Roger Ebert.***
The Big News: A show designed to build up next week's live show in Corpus Christi, Texas. A.J. Styles again was extended an offer to join Aces and Eights, with Hulk Hogan sending out an ultimatum that he had to decide by next week what his intentions were. Aces and Eights won another main event.
Aces and Eights, sans Bully Ray, came down to the ring with Mr. Anderson holding up a coat that was meant for A.J. Styles to put on, again offering him a spot in the group. Devon held up a manilla envelope, and I'll spare you the standard joke about Baby Doll/Dusty Rhodes and photos. Devon said inside the envelope was a document that belonged to Brooke Hogan, and when she opens it up tonight, it would bring new meaning to the term "changed relationship." D.Lo Brown pulled out his own envelope, sent from "TNA World Headquarters." Brown said it was his notice of termination from the company, without a phone call or a meeting. Brown addressed members of the company in the back, and challenged one of them to tell him why he had been fired. Maybe it was because he had been a double agent working against the company he had been an employee with since 2004? Kurt Angle showed up and said this is how he truly feels, and immediately scored a double-leg takedown. Eric Young, Joseph Park, Samoa Joe, and Magnus ran down after Aces and Eights started a brawl to set up a 10-man tag match in the main event.
Joey Ryan met with Brooke backstage. He said that she had lost a need that he can fill. She thought he was trying to hit on him, but Ryan just wanted to replace Taryn Terrell as Knockouts referee. He offered to show her his black-and-white thong. Brooke again was repulsed, but agreed to Ryan's offer.
There was a graphic thanking the company's German viewers for making Impact the most viewed German wrestling program for two consecutive weeks.
Gail Kim and Tara defeated Taryn Terrell and Velvet Sky in 5:24. Whole match was comedy surrounding Ryan as the referee that got stale within a couple of minutes. Ryan was feeling up the women as much as possible during the prematch checkdown. Whenever Taryn Terrell or Velvet Sky tried a cover, Ryan would get the best possible view of their asses in lieu of counting. It was amusing the first time, but then they kept repeating it. Terrell finally got her hands on Gail Kim, which led to the only pop from the crowd in the match. Kim started coming on to Ryan, who turned his back to the action and looked like he was getting ready to get it on. Meanwhile, Terrell schoolgirled Kim and had her pinned, but Ryan wasn't counting again. Then Kim reversed, and Ryan fast counted for the pin. Wonder if there's any truth to the rumor that Ryan will be the next PAC-12 Commissioner of Basketball Referees? 1/2*
Kim, Tara and Jessie Godderz left. Sky acted like she was going to kiss Ryan, but she was only distracting him as Taryn gave him a low blow. As drop dead gorgeous as Terrell is, that spot didn't even get a pop.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode got in the ring for a contract signing with Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero for next week's show in Corpus Christi. Aries said he and Roode weren't world tag team champions, they were a team of world champions. As Jeremy Borash asked to sign the contract, Aries interrupted and proposed adding some spice to the contract. Roode whispered something in Aries ear, and Aries said "more money, green M&Ms and a fruit basket." Guerrero inserted his own language, which wan't explained. Roode then wrote down something. Borash announced the match would be two out of three falls, and if Guerrero/Hernandez lose, they will never team again in Impact Wrestling. Hernandez didn't look eager to sign the deal, but did anyway. Wait, so Chavo's Cracker Jack stipulation was getting a best-of-three falls match? Remind me never to use him as my agent. Looks like Guerrero/Hernandez are history, and one of them turns heel.
Adam Pearce was shown preparing for Gut Check tonight, profiled as a 17 year veteran. He had been in the ring with Jeff Hardy and Joe, and said he was willing to do anything.
Pearce's opponent Magno did a promo mostly in Spanish, and it was a very good feature. He explained the tradition of masked Mexican wrestlers comes from the Mayans, who emphasized the mask was the look of a warrior.
2. Adam Pearce defeated Magno in 4:17. Crowd went dead after Magno blew two spots, including an Arabian Press where he landed on his head. Pearce was the heel and looked pretty good, but didn't have enough time to shine. Mainly because this match was a full minute shorter than the women's tag. Magno hit a moonsault to the floor and rolled Pearce back into the ring. Pearce pinned him after a takedown and cradle while holding the ropes. *1/2
Anderson met Styles in the back and handed him an Aces and Eights vest, trying to talk him into joining the group. Styles looked at the vest while walking away.
In the back, Hulk Hogan said Sting wasn't here tonight because he needed warriors here tonight, not politicians. He left for the ring.
Angle met with Park backstage and said he was here for a fight. Park talked about watching Angle wrestle in the 1996 Olympics with his classmates at Northwestern Law School. Angle told Park to follow his lead tonight in the ten-man tag.
Hogan came out and called down Styles, who came out with the Aces and Eights vest. Hogan said that TNA had always been his family, and Styles had always been there for him. The company needed him like never before. Hogan gave a good speech. It was here that we were supposed to believe that Styles finally spoke, but it sounded like it was dubbed because we never saw Styles' lips move. That was sure stupid because the next time Styles talks should be a big deal. James Storm came out and was unhappy that he got beat up by Aces and Eights last week while Styles just watched on. Storm laid into Styles for even thinking about joining Aces and Eights after all they had been through together, wrestling in Nashville, in Europe and in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Storm told him to clock out before he gets knocked out. They had a staredown before Styles again left, and walked up the ramp while looking at the vest.
Hogan cut a promo in the back saying Styles had one week to give him an answer. Having to reach the crescendo with Styles in this angle already is way too early.
3. Petey Williams pinned Mason Andrews (aka Scorpio Sky) in a three-way match that also included Sonjay Dutt in 5:18. Crowd seemed happy to see Petey Williams back in the company. Williams delivered a tope on Mason Andrews. Sonjay Dutt took a sick bump pissing a pecado on the floor. Dutt spent most of the match getting thrown out of the ring while Andrews and Williams worked their high spots. Dutt came back into the match with a springboard dropkick on both men. Andrews hit a sliced bread #2 on Williams. Finish came when Dutt tried his Moonstomp on Andrews but missed, and Andrews came out of the corner with a scissor kick. But Williams responded with the Canadian Destroyer for the pin. Williams' finisher still gets a big pop, and it actually got a big rise out of a tired crowd this time. **3/4
Aces and Eights met in the back saying he was in a bad mood because of what Angle pulled earlier. He delivered a pep talk to win tonight's 10-man tag. Devon asked Ray if he was ready to deal with "this thing with Brooke." Ray derisively said that he misses his wife, and said tonight he will had Brooke the envelope that Devon held up earlier, and then they will move forward.
4. Doc, Garrett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, Devon and Knox defeated Kurt Angle, Joseph Park, Samoa Joe, Magnus and Eric Young in 13:53. The faces started hot with Joe again showing a lot of charisma for a guy who wouldn't meet the modern standards of what a superstar is supposed to look like. Young even pulled out a pescado on Knox, and landed badly on his left elbow. Young got the heat after Knox threw him to the floor. Doc and Devon decked everyone on the apron as Young was going for the hot tag. For some reason, the first one to recover was Park, who got the tag. Usual ten-way melee towards the end with Joe giving Knox an elbow suicidia, and Park having Devon set up for the Closing Argument, but Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco got in the ring. Park decked both of them with a clothesline, but Doc came up from behind with a low blow and pinned Park after a cradle. **
Hogan expressed reservations about Brooke going to the ring to meet Ray. Brooke said she was going to bring Atlas Security members with her, and figured that Ray was going to present her with divorce papers. Hogan agreed.
Ray came out and said his rematch with Jeff Hardy would be the biggest championship rematch in wrestling history. Man was that pouring on the hyperbole. Brooke came to the ring. Ray asked what she wasn't wearing her wedding ring, and granted her a pass for this week. After taunting her for awhile, Ray held up the envelope. Brooke they were divorce papers, but Ray handed the envelope to her. It was two front row tickets for next week's show, so Brooke could watch Ray beat Hardy for the second time. Ray said he wanted Brooke to look as beautiful as she can because lately, she's kind of let herself go. Brooke slapped him, and Ray smiled and called her pathetic. Ray said he was in her head, and he's been in there since day one. He dared her to slap her again, but then Hardy came down and they brawled for awhile without either of the two security guards stationed at ringside doing anything to get involved.
SUMMARY: I can only hope they aren't blowing off the Styles storyline already. With a longer cycle between PPVs, they can find enough to do to keep this going through the fall, minimum. Show was pretty good for building up next week, but little else.