5.16 Impact Wresting
The Big News: Sting and Bully Ray will face each other in a No Holds Barred match at Slammiversary. If Sting loses, he will never wrestle for the TNA Heavyweight title again. D.Lo Brown lost to Joseph Park, who was back this week. So Brown continues to fall out of favor with Aces and Eights. And James Storm will have a mystery partner in a four-way tag team title match at Slammiversary.
Hulk Hogan came out and said he was disappointed A.J. Styles walked away from Kurt Angle and Sting last week, and figured Styles had joined Aces and Eights. Hogan announced Styles vs. Angle at Slammiversary. Hogan said he wanted to thank Abyss for getting the victory against Aces and Eights last week and called him to the ring. Abyss' brother Joseph Park came out instead and said he watched at home last week in shock that his brother would return after months of looking for him. Well, since they were taping in the same building this week, shouldn't Abyss still be there? Devon and D.Lo Brown showed up and demanded Abyss since he wasn't supposed to be involved last week. Park stepped in and told Devon that he was starting to piss him off and challenged him to a match. Devon said he was the television champion (I had almost forgotten that). Brown wanted to fight Park instead, and Hogan gave the nod. Devon said he still wanted a piece of Abyss somewhere down the line, which appeared to be a set up for Devon-Abyss at Slammiversary.
James Storm was drinking backstage by himself and asked about what was next for him after being attacked by any combination of Bad Influence, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries last week. Storm didn't say anything except "Watch. Just watch."
The Bound for Glory Gut Check spot is now a four-man tournament which will have its finals at Slammiversary. The first semifinal is tonight with Christian York vs. Jay Bradley. York did an interview saying he's not in TNA to be a wrestler, he's there to be a world champion.
1. Bobby Roode defeated Chavo Guerrero by DQ in 4:29. Standard good Chavo Guerrero match that the crowd wasn't into. Roode tripped Guerrero on the apron. Guerrero came back with satellite head scissors and the Three Amigos. Guerrero attempted the Frog Splash, but Roode pulled the ropes and Guerrero took a bump to the floor. At this point, Storm walked into the ring and spit beer in Roode's face. The story was Storm could have clocked Roode over the head with the beer bottle as Roode was blinded, but just walked to the back instead. *1/2
Angle did an in-ring interview saying he's never backed down from a fight in his life, but Styles did when he refused to join him against Aces and Eights. Angle challenged him to a fight then and there, but Mr. Anderson came out and said that next week, Styles would be patched in as a member of Aces and Eights. Anderson dared Angle to show up during the ceremony. Angle decked Anderson with a series of punches until Styles showed up. Anderson escaped, and after a brief staredown, Styles gave Angle an enzuigiri. Anderson applauded, and Styles walked to the back on his own. Todd Keneley and Mike Tenay played it up like Styles had joined Aces and Eights for sure.
Bradley did a promo saying since he got accepted to Gut Check, he no longer has to worry about a 9-to-5 job, and gets to live and breathe wrestling 24/7. Package put over Bradley's finisher, called the Boom Stick, over strong. It's a lariat styled after Kazuchika Okada.
2. Jay Bradley defeated Christian York in 3:57. Each man teased their finisher, with York going for the Mood Swing. Match was just there. Bradley finished him with the Boom Stick. *3/4
Bradley did a postmatch heel interview saying he's one step closer to the Bound for Glory series, and one step closer to the Bound for Glory championship. Sort of like how watching Rounders on DVD makes me one step closer to scoring with Famke Janssen.
Storm left Hogan's office, where Hogan supposedly informed him that "his actions had repercussions," based on spitting beer in Roode's eyes earlier. That upset Storm, who was pissed about being attacked last week. Storm was asked what's next, and he said "Just keep watching."
Anderson was backstage laughing with Aces and Eights, certain that Styles was about to join them. Anderson told Brown that he had to kick Park's ass, and Brown said he was set to do it.
Brooke Hogan complimented Mickie James on her new CD "Somebody's Gonna Pay." James, teasing a heel turn, asked Brooke about not getting a match at Slammiversary. Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim will fight instead. Hogan instead gave James a title shot against Velvet Sky next week. Considering Kim and Sky were already in the ring waiting to start their match, that served as a great spoiler that Sky was going over. Bully Ray stepped in and told Brooke to tell her father that when he calls Sting out to the ring tonight, it won't be as much a contract signing as it will be a contract negotiation. Brooke kept asking for a divorce, but Ray shot back that he won't divorce her until death do us part. Brooke disgustedly walked away.
3. Velvet Sky defeated Gail Kim in 6:20. Kim worked on Sky's bad right knee and used a Texas Cloverleaf and a Boston Crab. Sky would be selling her right leg one second, then throwing kicks with the bad leg the next. Sky sold that her knee was blown out, and as Kim grabbed it, Sky kicked her into the corner and pinned her with the schoolgirl cradle. Kim did another Steel Post Figure Four on Sky, which seems to set up James taking the title on next week's live show. *1/4
Chris Sabin cut a promo on Kenny King, saying he's the King of Male Strippers, but he's not the best X Division wrestler. King responded that he was the X Division champion and he was royalty around TNA. Petey Williams says that King likes to steal victories from others in three-way matches. Then again, so does half the world.
4. Kenny King pinned Petey Williams in a three-way that also included Chris Sabin to retain the X Division title in 7:16. Sabin, for obvious reasons, has largely gone to a more ground-based attack, though his knee was still in good enough shape to catch Williams on a tope. It's sort of like Jushin Liger after his was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the late 90s, and built his entire offense around the shoda (palm thrust). Sabin should design himself as more of a X Division submission fighter, almost like pro wrestling's Urijah Faber. Anyway, this was a good match with everybody getting a chance to shine. King, clearly the heel, skipped out early so that Williams and Sabin could fight. Sabin hung King upside down against the ropes, then gave Williams the Cradle Shock into King in the corner. Sabin hit a power bomb and a sliding drop kick, but King kicked Sabin out of the ring. King then finished Williams with the Royal Flush. **3/4
Christopher Daniels was worried about facing Hernandez tonight with the possibility of Storm interfering. Daniels said he was the ring general, but he needed his Secretary of Offense with him tonight. Kazarian finally realized that Daniels was talking about him, and said Hernandez may be Super Mex, but he was Super Kaz.
Brown thanked Anderson for stopping Ray from hitting him over the head with a hammer last week. Anderson bluntly replied that he didn't do it for Brown, he did it for the club. Anderson started to lay into Brown for burying Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff, two young guys who were trying to prove themselves in Aces and Eights. How exactly did Brown bury Brisco and Bischoff by volunteering to fight Angle two weeks ago? Anderson coldly told Brown he was rooting for him tonight, then walked off.
5. Hernandez defeated Christopher Daniels in 4:29. Kazarian interfered at will. Hernandez hit his Air Mexico, which has to be a lot easier for is knees that those weekly topes where he landed on his feet on the floor. Finish came when Daniels teased the Angel's Wings, but Hernandez escaped. Then Storm walked down the ramp drinking beer, which distracted Daniels and Kazarian. Hernandez hit the pounce period on Daniels to get the three count. *1/2
Afterwards, Storm announced that Hogan told him a Slammiversary, there would be a four-way tag team match. Guerrero and Hernandez would defend against Bad Influence, Roode and Aries, and Storm and a partner of his choice. So Storm has been relegated back to the tag team ranks, along with who knows?
6. Joseph Park defeated D. Lo Brown in 4:41. Story was Brown faces "lesser opposition," dominates the match but still loses. Brown pulled out a Shining Wizard then missed badly, and the two had a punching exchange that looked pretty bad. Brown came back with stiff punches in the corner that opened Park up. Park then saw his own blood and started doing the Abyss mannerisms. His comeback included Abyss spots like a standing belly shot and the Black Hole Slam finisher. Park then snapped out of the trance a few seconds after the pin. *1/4
The main event segment was the contract signing between Ray and Sting. Ray riled up the crowd, and as Sting came down, Ray interrupted his ring entrance and called out Hogan. Ray said this was the first time he and Sting had been face-to-face since Ray screwed Hogan over, screwed Sting over, and everyone knew how Ray was screwing Brooke over. Sting, starting quietly, said when Ray gets to Boston, he should take Sting's arm and snap it in two. Ray should pull his throat out, gouge his eyes out and make him bleed. When Ray asked him what he was talking about, Sting said if he doesn't do it to him, then Sting will do it to Ray. Sting vowed to make Ray bleed in Boston. Sting said he wanted a No Holds Barred match in Boston. Ray agreed to it, on the condition that if Sting loses, he will never wrestle for the TNA World Championship again. Hogan started to intervene and urged Sting not to make that deal, and Ray reiterated that he didn't want Sting to retire, he just didn't want Sting to ever wear the title again. Sting said yes to the deal. Ray shoved him, and they had a slugfest to end the show. All the while, there was never a contract signed. What a perfectly good waste of a podium.
SUMMARY: Slightly better than usual show based on previous taped ones. The company is getting more reaction now for the taped shows, so they're pacing the live shows better.