– Previously on Impact Wrestling: Wes Brisco dominates the Gut Check, AJ Styles’ feud with Christopher Daniels continues and Brooke Hogan is accused of being together with Bully Ray.
– Tonight is Championship Thursday, kicking us off is the Ultimate Champion, Hulk Hogan. Hogan says there’s a bunch of energy in the Impact Zone because his worlds came together and almost self-imploded on him. He’s the General Manager, but also a father. Something is going on and Hogan wants the truth. He calls out Bully Ray.
Ray enters the ring and Hogan asks him what’s going on. Bully brings up the lack of trust between the two. He feels like he’s earned that trust. Hogan tells him to cut the crap and tell all between Brooke and Bully. Ray asks Hogan if he’s sure he wants the answers. Does Hogan really want to know who the number one man in Brooke’s life is?
This brings out Brooke Hogan. Hulk asks her what’s going on. She says she’s not 18 anymore and Hulk says he doesn’t care. He wants to know the truth. She says it’s not what he thinks. Hulk says as long as he’s on the planet, he doesn’t want to see Brooke with another wrestler.
Cue Austin Aries from the video screen. He’s in Hogan’s office, with him are three X Division wrestlers: Kenny King, Zema Ion and Kid Kash. Aries says he’s not moving until Hogan takes care of business. Hulk runs to the back with Brooke looking embarrassed in the ring.
– On tap for tonight: RVD versus one of the aforementioned X Division wrestlers, James Storm and AJ Styles versus Kaz and Daniels and Mickie James versus Gail Kim.
– Gail makes her entrance as we get a reminder Mickie James won a battle royal to become the Number One Contender to Tara’s Knockouts Title.
Gail Kim versus Mickie James
Terrell rings the bell and we’re off. Kim goes low for a quick schoolboy but gets one. They lock up with Kim going behind. She knocks James to the mat but James comes right at her. Kim uses the ropes to break it up. She rushes James with a knee and wrenches the arm. James cartwheels out of it but Kim pulls her down by the hair. Forearm from Kim. James tries to elbow back but Kim sends her into the corner. Big corner shot from Kim. Gail lands a knee before going for a reverse neckbreaker. That gets a two count.
Kim goes back on offense and slams Mickie’s face against the mat. Kim wraps her legs around James’ neck area. She uses her legs and sends James’ face into the canvas again. The cover gets two as James bridges out of it. Gail grabs the leg and goes for the Figure Four. James counters. Flapjack from Mickie. She climbs the turnbuckle as I realize how silly it sounds when Tenay calls her “Hardcore Country” and she misses a crossbody. Kim is there with a dropkick and goes for the cover. Terrell refuses to count, as Gail used the ropes for leverage.
Gail goes for Eat Defeat when Mickie shoves her into the ropes. Mick Kick. Mickie goes for the pin but Kim is too close to the ropes. James attempts the pin and gets two. Kim sends Mickie into the corner but James counters with the rope assisted hurricanrana. Dropkick from James to Kim. James tries to pump up the crowd but Gail is there. James counters a Gail Kim attack into a neckbreaker for a two count. Mickie tries her DDT but Kim shoves her off and into the corner. James climbs the turnbuckle and delivers her DDT from the second rope for the win.
Winner: Mickie James
– James Storm is telling the interviewer in the back that every choice he has made is what he wanted. He says Roode brought his daughter into the equation and crossed the line. AJ Styles steps in and says Storm is lying, Storm is bitter. Storm tells AJ to stop concentrating on the past. AJ needs to focus because they have a tag team match tonight.
– The Hulkster finally reaches his office, 20 minutes or so after the opening segment. Hogan tells everyone to sit down. Hogan says Kenny King is up-and-coming but “hee-hee-haw-hawing” with Austin Aries. King says he made an Impact when Hogan was out. Zema Ion says he’s the greatest X Division champion. Kid Kash says he started the division.
Hogan decides to eliminate Kenny King. Great decision leaving ROH, buddy.
– Bobby Roode is out to the ring. Tenay says Roode believes he’s ten days away from becoming World Champion again. Bobby Roode says he made a statement last week as we get a replay of Roode’s beatdown of both Jeff Hardy and Christian York. Roode brings up Open Fight Night. Jeff Hardy was called out by a nobody, a Gutcheck Rookie. All it took for Roode to destroy York was one move. He calls Hardy a paper champion. Roode says York wasted his time calling out Jeff Hardy last week. If he wanted to make a name for himself, he should have called out Bobby Roode.
This brings Christian York out to the Impact Zone. Roode says this is his time and nobody interrupts him. Roode dresses down York’s appearance so York slaps him. York picks up the mic and says he wants to fight Roode. Roode screams “do you know who I am?” He takes his shirt off as we head to a commercial break.
Bobby Roode vs. Christian York
We return with a referee ringing the bell. Roode with the side headlock. He transitions to the arm and back again to the headlock. York pushes him off but Roode fires back with a shoulderblock. Hip toss from York. Multiple shoulder blocks from York ends in a two count. Roode rolls out of the ring.
Fans are definitely into York who is dragged to the outside by Roode. The It Factor sends York into the apron before attempting a whip. York counters and sends Roode into the steel steps. Christian York goes up top but Roode shoves the ref into the ropes, crotching York. Roode attacks York with boots in the corner. Roode lifts York only to slap him. He whips York into the corner and charges. York gets his shoulder up. Roode charges again but runs into a boot from York. York tries an attack but Roode takes him out with a clothesline. Vertical suplex from Roode. He climbs to the second rope and comes down into a York boot.
York blocks a punch. He blocks another one. Roode goes down low with a kick and whips York. York fires back with clotheslines. He takes Roode out with a dropkick. Roode rushes York but York just sends him up in the air. York climbs the turnbuckle and comes down with a double stomp. Corner cannon ball senton to Roode. York covers and gets two. York screams “MOODSWING!” Roode counters whatever that is and attempts the Fisherman. York counters into a small package that gets two.
Roode tries to escape to the apron but York stops him. York tries to roll him up but Roode holds onto the ropes. Roode clotheslines York to the mat and applies the Crossface. York taps out.
Winner: Bobby Roode
– Roode keeps the hold locked on until the referee teases a reversal. He lets go of York’s face and leaves the ring. Only to grab a chair. He runs in, chases the referee off and walks around York. Jeff Hardy comes out for the save. He tries the Twist of Fate but Roode squirms out and runs off.
– Todd Keneley recaps the damage done by the Aces and Eights. We get replays of the beatdowns on Sting, Magnus and Eric Young.
We get sent to the Aces and Eights clubhouse. They say they only beatdown whoever the dart chooses. Devon wants his World Television Title back. He talks to the camera telling Hogan he wants the title back. If Devon gets that, no one will get hurt tonight. If he doesn’t “all hell will break loose.”
– Bruce Pritchard, Taz and Al Snow are talking Wes Brisco in the back. Taz says Kurt Angle’s endorsement means a lot as we head to an ad break.
We return from break with more Brisco discussion between Snow, Pritchard and Taz. They talk about Brisco’s family pedigree. Taz brings up Brisco winning his match against Garrett Bischoff is really silly when you think about it. Pritchard says there were positives but a lot of negatives. They walk off.
Bruce Pritchard is talking with a stagehand. Someone is missing or late and he’s not happy with it. Kurt Angle walks up and talks about Wes. Pritchard tells Angle he’s already made his choice on Wes. Angle asks where Al Snow is and Pritchard doesn’t know. D-Lo Brown walks up and asks the same thing. Al Snow is missing.
– Chris Daniels and Kazarian are in the ring with a mic. Kaz says it’s ironic James Storm is tagging with AJ Styles because he’s sorry about AJ’s damn luck. Kazarian says Daniels is going to beat Styles at the next PPV and we get another commercial break.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian versus James Storm and AJ Styles
AJ Styles starts the match with Kazarian. After a lockup, Kaz takes AJ into the corner. Styles charges but runs right into a drop toe hold. Kaz tries the front headlock but AJ holds him off. Kaz eventually locks it on but Styles gets to his feet quickly. Kaz avoids a dropkick and Storm tags himself in. Storm catches a kick and pounds Kaz in the face. Storm sends Kaz’s face into his knee and gets the reverse neckbreaker.
Daniels is tagged in but Storm stays in command. Back body drop to Daniels. Styles is tagged in. Storm and Styles try a double team but run into miscommunication. Styles misses a knee to the face allowing Daniels to take control. Kaz is tagged in. A Kaz dropkick brings Storm back into the equation. Storm takes Kaz out with an enziguri and measures Kazarian for the Closing Time. Daniels holds Kaz’s hands to avoid the move and Kaz nails a springboard moonsault. Daniels is tagged back in.
Daniels distracts the ref as Kaz chokes Storm. Scoop slam from Daniels as Kaz is tagged in. Daniels drops an elbow as Kaz drops his springboard legdrop. Cover gets two. Kaz applies a chinlock but Storm gets up and out of it. Kaz distracts the referee getting AJ Styles involved. Daniels holds onto Storm allowing Kaz to take him out. He covers and gets a two. Daniels is tagged back in. Kaz whips Storm into the corner and Daniels rushes in with a forearm. Kaz and Daniels dance in the corner. They try a double team manuever but Storm ducks and tags in AJ.
AJ takes Kaz out. Spinkick to Daniels. Big Facebuster to Kazarian. He picks up Daniels and nails the Dropdown neckbreaker. Daniels puts AJ on the apron but Styles flies in with a springboard forearm. AJ Styles tries to springboard to the outside and attack Kaz but Kaz avoids it and Styles falls face first onto the mat. Daniels joins AJ on the outside and puts him back in. Kazarian hits Storm. Doubleteam neckbreaker-powerbomb combo to AJ Styles gets a two count.
Kazarian holds Styles and Daniels charges. Styles blocks Daniels’ attack as Storm drags Kaz out of the ring. Storm tags himself in as AJ misses a Pele. Daniels sets Styles up for Angels Wings but Storm hits him in the face with the Last Call for the win.
Winners: AJ Styles and James Storm
– AJ Styles rolls out of the ring with disappointment on his face. He stares at Storm as we get a replay of the finish.
– Taz is excited. We’re about to find out where Lockdown is. Pictures of the Alamo greet our screen as San Antonio, Texas is apparently the location. Images of Jeff Hardy leaping off the cage onto Kurt Angle play as a narrator discusses the dangers of Lockdown.
– Austin Aries, Kid Kash and Zema Ion are back in Hogan’s office. Hogan says he needs someone to stir the place up in the ring. Zema Ion starts talking fast when Hogan takes him to task for kissing ass. Kid Kash hypes his veteran experience and relationship with RVD. He wants one last shot. Hogan says the two have a lot in common but the only thing they have in common is the red and yellow? Austin Aries says he’s the “great” stick to stir Impact up. Ion and Kash are eliminated and Aries gets to fight Rob Van Dam for the X Division title.
– Samoa Joe welcomes us back. He says Devon wasn’t beaten for the belt but he abandoned it because he couldn’t hold it. He couldn’t hack it as champion. Joe wants Devon to come at him next week.
– Douglas Williams is out as Tenay and Taz discuss Joe’s promo. Joey Ryan is Williams’ opponent. Ryan tells Christy Hemme to head to the back and make him a sandwich because he has his own entrance. Or at least the entrance of Matt Morgan. Morgan is out in a robe, I don’t know if that’s new, and lots of pyro. Tenay reminds us this is Morgan’s first match since last June. Keneley says the robe actually used to belong to Hulk Hogan.
Douglas Williams vs. Matt Morgan
Williams gets a kick but Morgan shoves him. Williams fires back with a forearm but is shoved to the mat. Morgan elbows a cornered Douglas Williams to the canvas. He applies the boot to the neck as Joey Ryan hangs out around the ring. Williams gets a slap in but that only results in another shove. Big Irish Whip is followed by a side slam. The fans clap, some chant Joey as Morgan stares a hole in them. Williams starts to stir but Morgan charges. Williams gets a boot up and flies off the turnbuckle. Morgan catches him with a chokeslam. He measures Williams and takes him out with the Carbon Footprint for the win.
Winner: Matt Morgan
– A little note: apparently the robe is from Hogan’s match at Shea Stadium against Andre the Giant.
– Bruce Pritchard gets off the phone with Snow’s wife who doesn’t know where he is. D-Lo Brown walks in and doesn’t know where Snow is either. D-Lo volunteers to be a stand-in for Al and Pritchard thinks it’s a good idea.
– A Christmas TNAshop commercial plays with Brooke Hogan looking really awkward. Keneley confirms Devon v. Joe next week. Also on tap: the Director of Chaos versus Kurt Angle and a six man tag involving Bobby Roode, Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, Jeff Hardy, James Storm and AJ Styles.
– Wes Brisco’s Gutcheck is up next. Bruce Pritchard grabs the mic to address Al Snow’s disappearance. He says they’ve contacted the family and no one knows where Snow is. It feels kind of creepy. It’s obviously storyline but still. Pritchard introduces D-Lo Brown who is a Gutcheck judge on the road.
Pritchard immediately hypes the Brisco family. He calls Brisco’s match last week “not great.” Pritchard says his vote would be no if it was just based on last week. He knows Brisco has a lot of potential so his answer is yes. It’s Taz’s turn. Taz brings up the Kurt Angle connection and how much it matters. Taz agrees the match “wasn’t great,” he votes no.
It’s time for the Kickout. Borash hands the microphone off and Brisco thanks Pritchard for the yes. He respects Taz’s opinion. Wes says he’s dreamt of standing in a wrestling ring. He’s not doing it for him, he’s doing it for the fans. He’s doing it for his family. Brisco brings up his Uncle Jack and looks at the sky. Everyone has a dead uncle these days. Brisco says all he wants is a chance.
Borash gives the mic to D-Lo as the fans chant “YES.” D-Lo thanks Taz and Pritchard for letting him hang out this week. The music intensifies as Brown calls Wes’ words “powerful.” D-Lo saw the match and it left him conflicted. Is Wes ready? D-Lo says part of him doesn’t know. Fans chant “HE IS READY.” D-Lo says he respects Angle and Bruce and that means his in-ring work is up to par. The answer is yes.
Two future legends in Kurt Angle and Garrett Bischoff rush into the ring and embrace with Wes Brisco. Angle lifts Brisco in the air. He mouths some words as they move on to a hug. Brisco looks to be near tears.
– In the back, Hogan walks into Bully Ray. Ray asks if Aries offended Hogan, Brooke and Ray. The answer to all three is yes. Ray wants to know why Hogan went to RVD instead of Bully Ray to get Aries’ head kicked in. Ray says for the first time in Hogan’s career, he’s confusing business with personal. Hogan says it is Ray that is doing the confusing and storms off.
– ODB is in the back with her feelings on the destruction of Eric Young. She tried to call him for months and she finally got him back when the Aces and Eights shattered his ankle. EY is in the hospital right now. She says she can’t continue and leaves the room.
– Aries says the main event is no accident. This was his plan. Hogan starts talking when we get some technical problems and hear Bobby Roode’s voice over Hogan. Hogan delivers some sort of edict and wishes Aries luck.
X Division Championship: Austin Aries vs. Rob Van Dam©
Borash finishes the introductions and the match gets underway. Tenay says this meeting is one of the first-time-ever variety. Rob Van Dam points at his head but gets kicked by Aries. RVD takes Aries down but Aries comes back and takes RVD down. They trade counters until RVD lands a pair of kicks. RVD punches Aries. The Irish Whip is stopped by an Aries boot. Headscissors pin from RVD gets a two. Aries is cornered when RVD nails the shoulder block. Aries counters an RVD attack by holding on to the ropes. Aries tries to springboard into the ring but RVD blocks it with a knee. He tries Rolling Thunder but Aries rolls out. Baseball slide kick stuns Aries, allowing RVD to fly out with a crossbody sending us to a break.
We return with Aries putting RVD on the apron. Dropkick sends Van Dam to the floor. Aries tries to springboard out but RVD cuts him off with a spin kick. RVD suplexes Aries onto the guardrail. He hops on the apron and does his RVD pose. He leaps off with another spin kick but Aries moves out of the way, catches RVD’s leg on the rail. Aries hangs RVD over the rail and comes down with a big neckbreaker on the buffer. Aries drags Van Dam inside and covers. Two count. He goes back and gets another two count. Another pin. Another two count.
Rolling elbow to the back of RVD’s head. He covers and we see another two count transpire. Aries guides RVD into the corner but RVD blocks it. RVD boots Aries into the face and hangs out on the ropes to regain some energry. RVD misses a blow, allowing Aries to spike him into the mat with a DDT. Two count. Aries goes for a Rolling Thunder of his own but only gets a two count. Aries stomps the head and goes up top – RVD style. Austin Aries steals RVD’s pose and comes down with the five star. RVD move out of the way. Aries is up before Van Dam but RVD keeps Aries away with kicks. Springboard kick stuns Aries into the corner. RVD lands multiple shoulderblocks before a spin kick sends Aries to the mat. It’s RVDs turn for Rolling Thunder. RVD ascends the turnbuckle and comes down with the split legged moonsault. Cover gets two when Aries reaches the bottom rope with his foot.
Aries counters multiple RVD strikes before taking him out with a rolling elbow. Aries goes back to mocking RVD with his pose. He goes for a maneuver but RVD catches him with a dropkick. Rob Van Dam lets the Impact Zone know the frog splash is coming when Aries shoves RVD to the outside. Fans chant “HOLY SHIT.” Aries sends RVD back inside the ring and grabs a microphone. Aries says RVD was close but he crashed and burned. He says RVD is destroyed but kind of looks like Brooke Hogan Bully Ray charges the ring and tries a power bomb. Aries rolls out of the ring and screams at Bully Ray.
Winner: Austin Aries (DQ)
– Hulk Hogan appears on the ramp. He and Ray share a staredown ending the show.