This week’s taped episode opened with an on-screen message showing support for Boston following the Boston Marathon tragedy on Monday.
The standard Impact opening video package documented recent events, including Bully Ray retaining the World Title over Jeff Hardy last week. In the arena, Todd Keneley, and Mike Tenay, and Taz recapped the end of the Ray-Hardy title match, then went to footage from after the show went off the air of Hulk Hogan showing sorrow as Hardy was hauled away in an ambulance.
Backstage: Brother Devon was shown talking to Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco in the hallway. Devon wanted to know if they were ready for Kurt Angle tonight. They acted cocky, which Devon didn’t appreciate. He got in their faces and told them not to take Angle lightly. He said he needed assurance that they would take care of business tonight. Garett and Wes cut up again, so Devon got serious again and told them to get it done.
In-ring: Aces & Eights’s music played to bring out Wes and Garett for the handicap match opening the show. Prior to Kurt Angle making his entrance, Keneley fed to a video package documenting the history between Angle and Wes. Angle was then introduced to the ring to challenge Wes and Garett.
1 — KURT ANGLE vs. WES BRISCO & GARETT BISCHOFF — handicap match
Angle started things off by putting a boot in Wes’s face as Garett watched from the ring apron. Angle followed by whipping Wes into the corner turnbuckle before slapping around Garett on the ring apron. Angle then returned to Wes and put a boot in his face again. Angle followed with a snap suplex as Taz complained about this not being a fair match. Angle continued to dominate leading to a break 2:40 into the match.
[Q2] Back from break, Angle was beating up Bischoff. Then, Wes low-blowed Angle from behind as the ref was pre-occupied with Garett. Garett then pretended to throw some right hand strikes to the top of Angle’s head to begin isolating Angle. Garett followed with a suplex after yelling at the crowd for chanting, “You can’t wrestle.” Wes tagged in and the heels doubled up on Angle, who kicked out of a pin attempt at one.
Angle made his comeback with multiple German suplexes to each A&E member. Taz sold desperation as the suplex-fest continued, then Angle snapped off a double German Suplex for both Wes and Garett, which warranted a replay. Angle followed with an Angle Slam to Garett, but Wes broke up the pin. Chaos as Keneley demanded order. Suddenly, D-Lo Brown hit ringside to help out. More A&E chaos before Garett lightly struck Angle in the neck with a foreign object. Angle sold as if he were shot in the back of the neck, then Garett covered Angle, the ref returned to the scene, and counted three for the decision.
WINNERS: Wes & Garett at 11:03.
Post-match, D-Lo Brown shouted instructions to his troops, then Wes powerbombed Angle. Mr. Anderson then grabbed a mic and said Sting left Hogan’s side a few weeks ago, Jeff Hardy was decimated, and Angle lies in shambles. Anderson told the crowd that if you’re not wearing a jacket tonight, then you’re in a “bad fricken’ way.” Anderson closed by saying they’re rooting for A.J. Styles tonight. If you know what he means. Keneley freaked out about A&E “running roughshod” on this company and he’s sick of it.
Video package: Petey Williams talked strategy on his X Division Title challenge tonight, then Zema Ion talked about loving and hating the three-way title format. Up next, Kenny King defends against Petey and Ion.
In-ring: Christy Hemme was standing by to introduce the three-way X Division Title match. Out first was Zema Ion as Tenay plugged the X DIvision-themed PPV on-demand this month. Generic rock music then brought out Petey Williams. New generic music brought out X Division champion Kenny King. The scoreboard distinguished him as a star, thought, as it lit up with big “K.I.N.G.” block letters.
2 — X Division champion KENNY KING vs. PETEY WILLIAMS vs. ZEMA ION — three-way X Division Title match
The bell sounded and TNA cut to grainy “X Cam” footage from the referee’s helmet. Suddenly, TNA became an independent promotion with a poor iPPV feed. Bodies flew everywhere before Petey snapped off the Canadian Destroyer on King, but Zema broke up the pin. Petey and Ion then argued and proceeded to battle each other while King sold in the corner.
[Q3] TNA went back to the grainy ref-cam as the announcers voiced-over some thoughts about the ref cam. TNA cut to a close-up on the referee’s helmet/hat, which provided a good shot of the ref looking like a cab driver mixed with a coal-miner. TNA went back to regular footage showing Petey setting up Ion for the Destroyer, but Ion countered with a roll-up for a two count. Petey then slapped on a Sharpshooter, but King broke it up and pinned a worn-out Ion for the win.
WINNER: King at 5:46 to retain the X Division Title. Words. Words. Words. At a loss for them after this.
Backstage: Magnus. A roving cameraman played amateur interviewer asking Magnus for his thoughts on Aces & Eights. Magnus said A&E keeps talking about causing chaos, but what they don’t realize is he’s the one doing the taking tonight. Magnus said he’s going to start by taking the TV Title from Devon.
Earlier Today: Brooke Hogan and Christy Hemme were spotted looking at some pictures on a MacBook. Hemme then noted when the new Knockouts website is launching before taking off. Brooke brought in Miss Brooke Tessmacher and Mickie James to discuss their #1 contender match tonight. After a friendly discussion, Mickie left first, then Brooke asked for some one-on-one time with Brooke. Brooke said she couldn’t even imagine what Brooke is going through right now with Bully Ray. Brooke offered Brooke a hug and took off.
In-ring: TV champion Devon was introduced first for the next match. Magnus was introduced next to challenge Devon for the TV Title, but Mike Knox jumped him on-stage. Magnus fought off D.O.C., but Knox re-joined the fight. Devon then charged Magnus and beat him down. A&E continued to beat down Magnus on the stage before Devon chained Magnus in the face and finished him off with a slam onto the stage.
[Q4] Samoa Joe finally got wind of what happened and hit the stage to scare off Aces & Eights. The referee waved off Magnus’s participation in this title match as Joe sent A&E retreating down the rampway. Joe checked on Magnus, then some more refs spilled out from the back to check on Magnus, who sold struggling for breath.
Moments Ago: Aces & Eights took out Magnus to prevent Magnus from challenging Devon for the TV Title.
Backstage: Samoa Joe screamed into the camera that Aces & Eights are cowards. He said it’s okay, Devon, because he beat down the powers-that-be and he’s been granted a match with Devon tonight. Joe said he’s coming to collect Devon’s blood tonight.
Video package: A.J. Styles’s drama over the last year. Still to come: Styles vs. James Storm in a featured singles match.
Injury update: Velvet Sky injured her knee two weeks ago on Impact (three weeks ago real-time). They showed footage of Sky being evaluated by the trainers after feeling a pop in her knee.
In-ring: Christy Hemme was standing by to introduce the #1 contender match to the Knockouts Title. Miss Tessmacher was introduced first, followed by Mickie James. ODB was already in the ring as referee. TNA cut to break before the match started.
[Q5 — second hour]
3 — MICKIE JAMES vs. MISS TESSMACHER — #1 contender match to Knockouts Title
The babyface Knockouts played nice early on, then things got a little heated, requiring ODB to intervene. The match built to Mickie making a comeback, then climbing to the top rope for a seated splash on Tessmacher for a two count. Tessmacher tried to come back with a roll-up, they stumbled a bit, and Mickie ended it with a decisive roll-up for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Mickie at 7:45 to become #1 contender to the Knockouts Title.
Backstage: A.J. Styles was shown brooding in the hallway. Daniels and Kazarian then handed him a t-shirt and Styles walked off. Daniels and Kaz then sang about thinking Styles is on their side now.
Still to come: Styles vs. Storm.
Men’s Restroom: A camera happened to follow Joseph Park into the bathroom, where Devon stole his phone as Park was “handling business.” Park took exception to Devon’s confrontation, and Devon explained that Park needs to stay out of Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray’s business. Bully then smashed Park from behind and told him to mind his own business. They threw him into a shower and Devon turned on the water, soaking Park in his business suit.
Backstage: Mickie James talked about becoming #1 contender to the Knockouts Title. Mickie said she thinks it’s been forgotten what she means to this company and women’s wrestling. Mickie said she wants Velvet Sky’s title after being pushed to the wayside for the past year. Mickie said no one is better than her and it’s about time that she shines.
Locker Room: James Storm, dressed in a 1990s backwards baseball cap and flannel shirt, said it’s time for him to kick some sense into A.J. Styles tonight.
[Q6] Last Thursday: Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez won the Tag Titles from Austin Aries and Bobby Roode.
In-ring: Daniels and Kazarian were introduced to the ring in street clothes. Daniels said it’s great to be them because the fans love them (boos), they have new t-shirts, and they have great news that the Bad Influence movie is in production right now, with Morgan Freeman playing the role of Dixie Carter. In any event, Daniels said they are “this close” to getting Styles on-board with their tag team.
Kazarian spoke next that their first matter of business involves “Churro” Guerrero and “Juan” Hernandez. He said once those two “muchachos have the juevos” to give them their title shot, they will become World Tag Champions of the World Part Tres. Kaz gave the crowd permission to worship them, but Austin Aries’s music interrupted. Out came Aries and Bobby Roode dressed in street clothes.
On the mic, Roode told “Dumb and Dumber” that they need to be the bearers of bad news because Daniels and Kaz are not #1 contenders to the Tag Titles. Roode said last week, Chavo and Hernandez “fluked” a win over them, so before anyone gets anything around here, they’re getting a re-match. Daniels replied that he would respect Roode’s opinion a lot more if he were not a Canadian.
Aries calmed down the argument by admitting that Daniels and Kaz have had a more successful tag team career than they have… because Daniels and Kaz spend more quality, secluded, time together to become a well-oiled machine. They traded sexual innuendos back and forth to insult each other until Chavo and Hernandez slowly entered the ring behind Aries and Roode. Daniels and Kaz bailed when they saw the new tag champs coming, then Roode and Aries turned around and ate right hands from the tag champs. Chavo then held up one of the tag belts to indicate why they are better.
Still to come: Samoa Joe vs. Devon.
Last Thursday: Jeff Hardy was taken away from the arena in an ambulance. Kenny King was shown talking about A&E trying to take them out one-by-one. King said you don’t have to like everyone who face in the ring, but there has to be respect, Gail Kim talked out-of-character about it being disappointing to see Hardy wheeled away, and Bobby Roode said guys are getting hurt and he doesn’t like to see where this is headed.
Earlier Tonight: Aces & Eights jumped Magnus and laid him out on-stage before Samoa Joe ran off A&E.
[Q7] Backstage: Matt Morgan was shown reacting to the events tonight. “Rough night,” Morgan said. Morgan said Hogan isn’t even here tonight to deal with it. Morgan listed all of Hogan’s mistakes along the way, then noted this could have been easily avoided if he just did “the right thing.”
In-ring: More Aces & Eights music. This brought out TV champion Devon for another try at defending the title, this time against Samoa Joe. Joe was introduced next and Aces & Eights did not jump him on-stage.
4 — TV champion DEVON vs. SAMOA JOE — TNA Television Title match
Devon went to work on Joe as Taz monologued about feeling hate from everyone. Taz couldn’t figure out why. Keneley said it’s because he influenced the outcome of an important TNA Title match last week, but Taz cut off Keneley and complained about him to deflect the response. In the ring, Joe was prepared to deliver the Musclebuster, but A&E hit the ring again. Joe fought them off, then Mr. Anderson hit the ring as the ref was preoccupied. Anderson nailed Joe with something – whatever it was, Joe sold being shot in the face. After Joe dropped to the mat, Devon covered Joe for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Devon at 3:38 to retain the TV Title.
Post-match, Aces & Eights held Samoa Joe center-ring and Anderson hit Joe with the mystery object. Joe sold running eye-first into the sharp corner of a cabinet door before ref Hebner checked on Joe. A&E stood tall over Joe to conclude the segment.
Backstage: A.J. Styles and James Storm were shown walking down the hallway. They’re up next.
Next Thursday: Sky vs. Mickie for the KO Title and Chavo & Hernandez vs. Aries & Roode for the Tag Titles.
In-ring: James Storm was introduced for the next match. It was not billed as the main event, though. A.J. Styles was then introduced. Styles stood on-stage, waited, and slowly began walking to the ring with his head covered by the black hood of his black leather jacket. Styles then backed away from the ring, so Storm tracked down Styles and attacked him from behind. They continued to fight on the entrance ramp before Styles punched Storm in the head. But, Storm responded with a slap to the face. This sent both men into the ring to officially start the match.
5 — JAMES STORM vs. A.J. STYLES
Styles popped Storm in the face to sell this as being a “real fight.” Storm then clotheslined Styles to the mat as Taz told Tenay that Styles’s attitude change isn’t his business. Taz said they’re not putting that pressure on Styles, just offering him a spot, bro. Styles regained control, glared down at Storm, and Impact cut to break.
[Q8] [Commercial Break]
Back from break, Styles was still in-control. Styles delivered a suplex, then paced the ring before applying a reverse chinlock. Storm fought to his feet and they traded bombs before Storm delivered an atomic drop into a clothesline. Storm then back-body-dropped Styles to the mat before hitting a facebuster for a two count.
Storm and Styles fought to the top rope, Styles slipped underneath Storm, and Styles dropkicked Storm in the corner. Suddenly, Kazarian and Daniels appeared on-stage to tell Styles they have his back. Storm then clotheslined Styles as well as himself over the top rope to the floor. On the outside, Styles recovered and threw Storm back into the ring before returning to the ring.
In the ring at 10:00, Storm hit Closing Time, but didn’t make a cover. Storm then warmed up the crowd for the Last Call Superkick, but Styles ducked. Styles then took out Storm’s leg and applied a submission. Storm sold immense pain before tapping out, giving Styles the win.
WINNER: Styles via submission at 10:55.
Post-match, Daniels and Kaz hit the ring to celebrate with a smiling Styles, who then dropped both Kaz and Daniels, popping the crowd. Storm then hobbled over to Styles as Aces & Eights slowly approached the ring from behind. Styles turned and walked away, allowing A&E to beat up Storm, Daniels, and Kazarian. And the crowd is supposed to be sympathetic to Kaz and Daniels taking a beating? A&E then turned their attention to Storm, with D-Lo delivering a Sky-High bomb. Brown struggled to get back to his feet, then gave center-ring to TNA World champ Bully Ray.
Ray asked the crowd if they know who they are. Ray said they are the Aces & Eights and the men responsible for destroying all of TNA’s heroes. He slowly said he is the man responsible for defeating and taking out Jeff Hardy. Bully said his brothers are the men responsible for taking out these three pieces of trash. Ray said there are no heroes left; all of them are now just victims. Ray said there is one man they can blame this on – Hulk Hogan.
Ray told “dad” that next week on Impact, he is calling him out to the middle of the ring. He said he wants to look him dead in his “eye” and tell him to his face that he is the reason why all of their heroes are nothing but victims. Ray said when you ride with Aces & Eights, you never walk alone. Taz called that a great moment as Tenay recapped “total destruction” by Aces & Eights tonight. Ray and Co. stood tall in the ring as Keneley looked ahead to next week, saying they need heroes, warriors, and hope. Taz said you’re in a lot of trouble, then.
(Credit: James Caldwell, PWTorch.com)