5.30 Impact Wrestling
The Big News: It was the go-home show for Slammiversary. Nothing really of note on the show aside from the fact that Bound for Glory will be held in San Diego this year.
Bully Ray met with Aces and Eights backstage and said their main priority tonight was getting A.J. Styles. D. Lo Brown told Mr. Anderson he thought Anderson's plan to get Styles was going to work and said he was sorry it didn't. As they all left, Anderson jumped Brown from behind, throwing him into the wall and dumping his gum on him. Devon watched this before going out to the ring.
Ray and Devon went to the ring, with Ray building up his PPV main event with Sting. Ray listed some of the men Sting had defeated, like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, and Jeff Hardy, who Ray built up as the top face in the company. Ray bragged about beating Hardy and putting him out of action. Ray then challenged Sting and Joseph Park to come out for their match, and it was on.
Sting and Joseph Park defeated Bully Ray and Devon in 13:21.Big brawl around ringside to open. I guess they put themselves in a corner because you didn't want to give too much of Sting vs. Ray 72 hours early, but Ray was selling way too much for Park. I mean, it was the world champion against someone built up as a rookie. Sting and Ray had a showdown in the ring, and it ended with both men clotheslining each other. Devon did a legdrop on Park, then started doing Hogan mannerisms in front of Hogan's wife, who was at ringside but never pointed out by the announcers. Sting got the hot tag and put Devon in the Scorpion Death Lock. Then Park got a double leg on Ray and teased a Scorpion Death Lock on him, but Ray kicked him off and Park collided with Sting, who went down. Ray and Devon gave Sting the reverse 3-D, and teased giving Wazzup to Park. Then Abyss' music played. Ray went out on the apron in an attempt to cut him off, while Park looked happy that his brother was about to return. Devon was also distracted, which allowed Sting to give him the Scorpion Death Drop for the pin. Park kept looking to the back to see if Abyss would show up. **1/4
Angle said maybe Styles didn't join Aces and Eights, but he's still done some things to him that are unforgivable. He said he would watch Styles' match with Anderson later tonight very closely.
Dixie Carter came out to announce the next inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame would be announced on Sunday. She wished Sting, last year's first inductee, good luck. Garrett Bischoff, Wes Brisco and Doc came out. Bischoff, who has an inflection just like his father, started taunting Carter about how Sunday would feel less like a celebration and more like a funeral. The three surrounded Carter until Samoa Joe and Magnus ran down to chase them to ringside. Crowd was dead silent. Joe cut a promo challenging Bischoff to a match. If I was Carter, I'd be pissed at the dozens of wrestlers on her roster who just stood around backstage while she was about to get attacked.
2. Samoa Joe defeated Garrett Bischoff by DQ in 5:37. Joe took most of the offense until Doc and Brisco interfered. That led Magnus to start brawling with the heels at ringside. Then Bischoff joined in, which somehow led to the DQ. Joe announced after the match that this Sunday, Bischoff, Brisco and Doc would face him, Magnus and the returning Jeff Hardy, which got a good reaction. Match was basically a buildup to that announcement. *
James Storm explained that he chose Gunner as his partner pushing his military background. Gunner said Storm needed a warrior and now he's got one.
Hogan met backstage with Brooke Hogan about what Ray was talking about when he said Ray still loved Brooke last week. Brooke reminded her father that she was still technically married to him. Are annulments that hard to get nowadays? Brooke said it was hard to look into Ray's eyes and not see a man she was cared about. She also said it was hard to concentrate on running the Knockouts division with Ray still roaming the hallways. Hogan said he bet the farm on Sting beating Ray this weekend.
3. James Storm, Gunner, Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero defeated Bad Influence, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in 9:07. Match was designed to get Gunner over as a killer, as Austin Aries and Bobby Roode looked reluctant to get in the ring with him. Chavo Guerrero have Roode the Three Amigos and tried the Frog Splash, but Aries gave him a dropkick to knock Guerrero off the top rope. Hernandez made the comeback with a pounce period on Daniels. Gunner tagged in and got the submission on Aries with the Human Torture Rack. Nothing at all from Storm in the match. Methinks there was a backstory for Aries doing the submission job here. **1/4
Ray met with Aces and Eights backstage. Ray told Anderson he better take care of Styles tonight. Devon said he would finish Park this Sunday. Ray was mad about Hardy's return on Sunday, saying he blasted him in the back of the head with a hammer. Well, Angle got hit in the knee earlier on the night this show was taped and he's still in the building. Ray said he wants victims, and if he didn't get victims, they would wind up like Brown.
The official announcement was made that Bound for Glory would be held in San Diego. on October 20th.
Mickie James came out as the new Knockouts champion. She was blowing kisses and kissed up to the crowd. She mentioned her new album and winning the Knockouts title for the first time in nearly two years. Then she mentioned a few fans who questioned how she won the championship against Velvet Sky last week. She wanted to clear the air, so she called out Sky, who had her left knee taped up. Probably not the wisest move for Sky to wear high heels when she has a bad knee. James brought up giving Sky a chance to back out of the match before it started last week. She said that Sky's knee went out, and then she became champion. Sky said business is business, and she wants a rematch. James said she would get a rematch, just wait until her knee gets better. Sky said wanted her rematch at Slammiversary. James said Brooke had already booked a Knockouts match for Slammiversary between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell. Kim came out and said James wouldn't have won the championship without her taking Sky's knee out. Kim said she would be the last knockout standing. Sky said she would be next in line for the championship. Kim kicked Sky's knee and teased a steel post figure four, but Terrell chased Kim off before she could do it. Meanwhile, James backed off without getting involved, furthering her heel turn. James was refreshing in her new role.
4. Chris Sabin and Taryn Terrell defeated Kenny King and Gail Kim in a mixed tag in 4:59. Crowd was tired at this point. Kim did another good job in bumping for Terrell, including taking a flat-back on the apron. Terrell is getting a hell of an opponent for her first program. Terrell speared King to set up the finish, which was Chris Sabin pinning Kenny King after a Fisherman's Buster. *3/4
Postmatch, Sabin started to do an interview about being the next X Division champion when King hit him from behind with the X Division belt. King tried to give Sabin the Royal Flush, but Suicide ran down and gave King his new finisher, the Tiger Suplex dropped into a Gut Buster. Sabin and Suicide had a staredown.
Sting did a good sit-down shoot-style interview about various opponents he's defeated for the world championship over the years. He reached back to his first world championship, beating Flair at the 1990 Great American Bash. He also mentioned his program with Hogan, thankfully ignoring Nick Patrick's fast count that wasn't. He said Angle pushed him to the limit more than anyone, and even dropped Jeff Jarrett's name.
5. A.J. Styles defeated Mr. Anderson by DQ in 13:51. If Styles is going to be the guy in the main event at Bound for Glory, this booking crew better get to stepping in making him feel like the top guy, because the crowd was dead again for this match. Styles' tweener character isn't over yet, and Anderson was the wrong opponent in trying to get him over. Whole match felt flat. Anderson gave Styles the Lambeau Leap, but Styles made his comeback with a dropkick. Then Angle ran in an attacked Styles. Soon, Aces and Eights rushed the ring to go after Angle and Styles, but Sting, Park, Magnus, and Joe ran down for the save and big brawl. Ray and Sting wound up facing off toe-to-toe, and Sting got the upper hand to put him in the Scorpion Death Lock. But Devon attacked Sting, and Ray recovered to give Sting the 3-D. In fact, all the faces were beaten down around ringside again. *1/4
SUMMARY: And the company wonders why they don't have any faces over. They get beaten up week after week by the top heel group, which is the m.o. for Eric Bischoff booked companies for years. Nothing very enticing for a go home show to buy the PPV.