TNA Impact opened with clips of blood and violence from past TNA events to capture the “Hardcore Justice” theme tonight.
In the arena, Christy Hemme introduced an opening Bound for Glory Series ladder match. Back on commentary was Mike Tenay, flanked by Taz. They bickered for a bit as Austin Aries, Kazarian, A.J. Styles, and Jeff Hardy were introduced for the BFG Series match with 20 points at-stake.
1 — A.J. STYLES vs. AUSTIN ARIES vs. KAZARIAN vs. JEFF HARDY — BFG Series ladder match for 20 points
Once the bell sounded, Kaz left the ring to retrieve a ladder, but Aries, Hardy, and Styles formed a human wall to prevent Kaz’s entry. The action quickly broke down with bodies flying everywhere. On commentary, Tenay quietly and quickly slipped in a note that tonight’s five-on-five battle between Main Event Mafia and Aces & Eights has been moved to next week’s Impact.
Aries found himself alone in the ring with a ladder. Aries stalled for time, allowing Hardy to cut him off, then both men fell off the ladder and crashed into Styles and Kaz. All four men sold the effects of the crash & burn leading to commercial.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
[Q2] Back from break, Tenay spoke over a quiet crowd as all four men continued to jockey for control. Two ladders were eventually set up in the ring, drawing all four wrestlers to the ladders to race for a clipboard with a piece of paper containing “20” in Size 72 font. Aries dropped Hardy with a powerbomb off the ladder, then Kaz and Styles battled on the ladders. Both men eventually crashed to the mat.
At 15:00, Styles wanted the Clash on Aries, which drew over Kaz to deliver a facebuster to Styles as Styles delivered the Clash to Aries. Kaz then re-climbed one of the ladders, drawing Hardy to the action. Their attempt was thwarted by Aries, who dropkicked both men off the ladder. Suddenly, Bobby Roode and Christopher Daniels slowly walked out on-stage to get a closer look at the action and support Kaz.
At 17:00, Hardy dropped Kaz with a Twist of Fate, then set up a ladder to climb for the clipboard, but Roode ran interference. Apparently authority figure Hulk Hogan did not watch last week’s Impact to ensure Roode does not affect BFG Series outcomes going forward. Instead, Daniels helped clear the ring of the other competitors, drawing groans from the crowd, then Kaz climbed the ladder and retrieved the clipboard to win.
WINNER: Kaz at 17:41 to earn 20 points in the BFG Series. Where are the authority figures to ensure clean BFG Series matches if the BFG Series is supposedly important for determining the TNA Title match at TNA’s biggest PPV of the year?
Up Next: The Main Event Mafia. Backstage, Sting was shown leading Magnus, Samoa Joe, and Rampage Jackson. No Kurt Angle following his DWI arrest and rehab check-in two weeks ago.
[Commercial Break at 9:23]
Still to come: Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin for the TNA World Title.
Catering: The roving cameraman asked Chris Sabin about facing Bully Ray in a steel cage tonight. Sabin lowered his prestige by talking about when he was a fan watching Bully and Devon put guys through flaming tables. Sabin then vowed to show Ray that he is tough in the steel cage title match tonight.
In-ring: Suddenly, TNA president Dixie Carter was in the ring with Main Event Mafia. Dixie said two weeks ago, Kurt Angle entered rehab. When he gets out of there remains to be seen, according to Dixie. Dixie said Angle has her support and the support of the Mafia. She asked the crowd and fans to join her in support of Kurt. Dixie told Kurt to re-joint them real soon.
Aces & Eights’s music then played to interrupt. As MEM helped Dixie out of the ring, Mr. Anderson led his group down to the ring. Anderson taunted the Mafia about only having one week to find a replacement for Angle. Anderson then taunted Rampage about ending Rampage’s career before it even starts. Or, they could end Samoa Joe’s career. Rampage calmed down Joe, then Anderson suggested they could end Sting’s career next week. Or, the “Future” of Impact Wrestling, Magnus.
[Q3] Magnus replied to Anderson that he needs to be concerned about his immediate future taking a punch in the mouth. Magnus said there might be five of them (A&E) and they might have one week to find a replacement, but he’s pretty sure that Norfolk is Mafia Country, so they won’t have any problem finding someone in the crowd. Magnus said he’s sure that one of the A&E members is going home with a pink slip next week.
Anderson told the crowd to shut up, then said tonight starts a new chapter in the A&E Book. He said tonight Bully Ray regains the TNA Title, then they will eliminate one of them next week. Anderson went for a punch, setting off a brawl. A&E took advantage of their five-on-four advantage to silence the Mafia, then A&E’s music played as the brawl continued. A&E eventually stopped fighting and took the cue to stand tall in the ring.
Earlier Today: Tito Ortiz arrived at the building. Tito was shown looking around the backstage area before walking down the hallway.
Up Next: Texas Tornado Knockouts tag match.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
2 — KO champion MICKIE JAMES & GAIL KIM vs. VELVET SKY & ODB — Texas Tornado tag match
Back from break, Mickie and Gail were in the ring. ODB was then introduced and a brawl broke out. Suddenly, the bell sounded. Where’s Velvet Sky for the advertised tag match? Apparently it’s just a three-way match.
2 — KO champion MICKIE JAMES vs. GAIL KIM vs. ODB — three-way Hardcore non-title match
As the match started, Tenay played up a storyline that Hulk Hogan was at TNA meetings in Dallas last week; this week, he is at Spike TV meetings in New York City. Not stated by Tenay is whether Hogan named a replacement authority figure. The match was chaotic with sticks, bras, and other weapons used to inflict punishment.
[Q4] For the finish, ODB dropped Gail with a TKO into a chair. ODB then pinned Gail and Mickie was too late to break up the pin.
WINNER: ODB at 6:46. More build-up to ODB getting a KO Title shot while also playing up Gail’s beef with both ODB and Mickie.
Backstage: Main Event Mafia regrouped and yelled about needing Kurt Angle. Sting said he thinks they need Austin Aries, of all people. “We need him!” Sting declared in response to skepticism from Joe and Magnus.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
Locker Room: Sting sat down with Austin Aries. He noted to Aries that they both hate Aces & Eights and Bully Ray. So, he’s asking him to be part of their family next week. Aries contemplated the offer, noting he considers himself the main event every time he steps in the ring. Sting said they don’t have to be friends to have a common enemy, so he’s asking for help.
Earlier Tonight: Bobby Roode and Christopher Daniels helped Kazarian secure 20 points in the BFG Series.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked Bobby Roode about his plan coming together. Roode said Kaz got himself 20 points and he has a chance to get 20 points tonight. Roode said he was out of this thing two weeks ago, but now he can get in the Top Four.
MEM Holding Room: Magnus, Joe, and Rampage Jackson talked things over, then Sting walked in. Sting said Austin Aries said no. Rampage then stood up and said he has a solution, but he has to address it in the ring. Sting sent Joe with Rampage, then Sting and Magnus sat down to talk.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Back from break one minute before the top of the hour, TNA aired a video package recapping Chris Sabin’s TNA Title victory last month on Impact, the fall-out from the title victory, and hype for tonight’s re-match.
[Q5 — second hour] Backstage: Bully Ray was on the phone with his “honey.” Ray told the person on the other line that their relationship is definitely not normal, but tonight is about him and next week is about them. Ray vowed to win back the title tonight, then come home and celebrate next week. “Next week, we tell the world the truth,” Ray told the person. “I love you, too, Brooke,” Ray said.
In-ring: Rampage Jackson’s music played to bring out Rampage dressed in a camo suit flanked by Samoa Joe. In the ring, Rampage said he needs the audience’s support. He said he’s new to all of this, but when he first came to TNA, MMA fans called him a sell-out. He said he isn’t leaving any sleep out of it, but it just made him sad that his fans don’t know him. “I love TNA,” Rampage said. “And now that I’m part of the Main Event Mafia, I feel like I belong to a family.”
Rampage said he didn’t come here to get his ass kicked by punks on a moped. He didn’t want to have to do this, but he has to ask one of his old training partners, one of his old friends. Rampage said they have to throw down in November, but he needs this guy’s help. Rampage then called out Tito Ortiz.
Tito walked out on-stage as Taz freaked out about there being no way that Tito can be involved with the Mafia. Tito entered the ring and stood off with Rampage, who said they are going to fight for Bellator MMA on November 2. But, that’s something different. Right now, they’re in TNA. Rampage said the Mafia needs Tito’s help, and he’s cashing in this one favor to take out Aces & Eights next week.
Tito did the “hold up, let me get this straight” routine, asking Rampage to confirm what he just said. Rampage said he knows what Tito is capable of. Tito replied that he came to Impact to make headlines. He said he’s kicked many butts in his career, then asked Rampage if he wants him to join his tag team match.
Suddenly, Bully Ray emerged on-stage. Bully stomped down to ringside as Tito uncomfortably shifted his weight back and forth. Ray said if he didn’t have to win back his TNA Title later tonight, he would get in the ring and beat the piss out of the both of them. Joe calmed down Rampage and Tito, then Ray continued that there would be no big Bellator Pay-Per-View … on November 2.
Ray said he already got Rampage’s number. As for “blondie,” he warned Tito last week that if he gets in his way and makes the right decision, he will make him his Huntington Beach B—-. Tito pretended to go after Bully, but Joe and Rampage held him back. Ray then backed up the entrance ramp as Mr. Anderson emerged for the next BFG Series match-up.
[Commercial Break at 10:08. Magnus made his ring entrance during a mid-commercial cut-in.]
Moments Ago: Rampage Jackson asked Tito Ortiz to join them in the Mafia vs. A&E faction warfare match next week.
In-ring: Bobby Roode was introduced for the BFG Series tables match. Magnus then jumped Roode on the entrance ramp. The ref decided to call for the bell and the match officially began.
3 — SAMOA JOE vs. MR. ANDERSON vs. MAGNUS vs. BOBBY ROODE — BFG Series Tables match for 20 points
Joe and Magnus quickly began working together, then tried a simultaneous table powerbomb, apparently wanting to force the referee to make a tough decision on who gets the points, but Anderson and Roode blocked both powerbombs. The match then spilled to the outside, where Joe took the timekeeper’s mallet and smashed the ring bell as it rested on Roode’s crotch. Roode sold immense crotchal pain. On the other side of the match, Anderson low-blowed Magnus to keep the theme going.
Back in the ring, Magnus set up a table to try to put Roode through the table, but Roode blocked and spinebustered Magnus center-ring. Meanwhile, on the floor, Anderson tried to choke out Joe as Tenay and Taz bickered about the BFG Series Standings. After a reset, Magnus and Anderson found themselves alone in the ring. Magnus set up a table to give Anderson a crash landing, but Anderson popped Magnus with a Mic Check.
At 9:00, Joe re-entered the ring to pop Anderson in the mouth. Joe wanted a Musclebuster through the table, but Roode moved the table behind Joe’s back. Roode then placed Magnus on the table and wanted a top-rope splash, but Joe popped up and crotched Roode. Suddenly, Kaz showed up to distract Joe. Daniels also showed up to splash a drink in Magnus’s eyes, allowing Roode to chuck Magnus through a table for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Roode at 10:21 to capture 20 points in the BFG Series; Roode is now in second place in the BFG Series.
Up Next: Sabin defends the TNA Title against Bully Ray.
[Commercial Break at 10:25]
[Q7] Back from break, TNA showed the steel cage being assembled.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked Sting about Tito Ortiz. Sting said Tito is Tito, but will he be an asset to Main Event Mafia? Sting re-plugged their MMA fight on November 2, then said to be honest, his gut says, “Yeah, it’s going to work.” Sting said he thinks Tito is going to be a great asset to Main Event Mafia. But, he concluded, “I don’t know.” Why is Sting’s character booked to believe everyone who walks through the door?
No Surrender plug: The Final Four in the BFG Series will “slug it out” to determine who gets the TNA Title shot at Bound for Glory. No Surrender will be on Impact Thursday, September 12.
Backstage: Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson had a conversation. Ray complained about Anderson not getting the job done, then Anderson shut him down by asking if he can beat Chris Sabin. Anderson said they’re just trying to help Bully, who said they sure don’t seem like allies.
Back in the arena, Taz said everything is a-okay. Nothing to see here. Tenay then plugged Hernandez vs. Daniels vs. Bradley vs. Park in a 20-point Street Fight next week on Impact. Also, the five-on-five Faction Warfare.
In-ring: Bully Ray was announced for the main event title match. Ray stood on the entrance ramp as Impact cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:34]
Back from break, Chris Sabin was introduced to make his first TNA Title defense. Sabin hit the cage and exchanged trash-talk with Ray, who leaned against the top rope trying to intimidate Sabin. Jeremy Borash then handled formal ring introductions after Taz described Sabin’s title victory last month as a fluke. Tenay had no comeback.
Of note, there has been no mention of the stipulation that both Aces & Eights and Main Event Mafia are banned from ringside for this match. So, the five-on-five was moved to next week, the Knockouts Tornado Tag was turned into a three-way without a mention, and TNA is ignoring the previously-established main event stipulation. The casual viewer at home isn’t noticing this, but it all adds up to TNA looking disorganized if you follow the product closely.
4 — TNA World Hvt. champion CHRIS SABIN vs. BULLY RAY — TNA World Title steel cage match — Aces & Eights and Main Event Mafia banned from ringside — if Ray loses, he cannot get another TNA Title shot
The bell sounded 19 minutes before the top of the hour. Sabin quickly tried to turn the tables on Bully by dropkicking the challenger’s knees, but Ray caught him trying to climb the top rope. Ray then chucked Sabin into the side of the cage wall leading to commercial.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 10:45]
Back from break 12 minutes before the top of the hour, Bully press-slammed Sabin into the side of the cage. Bully slowed down the pace, taunting Sabin and shouting out to Taz before delivering each move. Ray then demanded Sabin punch him in the face, so Sabin obliged. Ray fought back, then knocked down Sabin with a clothesline. Ray resumed his taunting ways, then wanted a powerbomb, but Sabin slipped onto Ray’s back for a sleeper.
At 12:30, they reset with both men on their feet trading bombs. Sabin managed to rip off Bully’s A&E jacket, then he nailed a Death Valley Driver. Sabin proceeded to use the “cut” as a weapon, whipping Bully over and over. Sabin took too long parading around with the jacket, though, allowing Bully to pop him in the mouth with a big boot.
Ray, angered, mounted an offensive attack, but Sabin kicked out of pin attempts. They battled up-top, where they botched a huracanrana spot. Bully came up screaming about his shoulder to distract from the botched spot, then Sabin tried to capitalize with an inside cradle driver, but Ray blocked and suplexed him to the mat. Ray then asked for the cage door to be opened. Ray started to exit, but Sabin pulled him back into the ring. Sabin then tried to escape, but Ray pulled him back.
At 16:15, Ray swung Sabin around in the air, causing the ref to take a kick to the head. Ref Brian Hebner was then squashed against the cage wall by Ray. Sabin then nailed a top-rope dropkick and scored a visual three count, but the ref was out cold. Suddenly, Mr. Anderson hit the cage door and slammed it shut in Sabin’s face.
Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz then showed up, presumably to help Sabin. Rampage chucked Anderson off the stage, but Tito smashed Rampage from behind with a hammer. As Tito stood by outside the cage, back inside the cage, Ray delivered a Bully Bomb to Sabin. Ray covered, the ref woke up, and Ray scored a three count for the win.
Post-match, Taz hand-delivered the TNA Title to Bully Ray as TNA showed Rampage Jackson face-down on the ground below. In the cage, Tito lumbered around with hammer in-hand as Bully celebrated with the TNA Title belt to close the show.
WINNER: Ray at 18:01 to capture the TNA Title.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com)