The tenth live Impact of TNA’s summer series opened with an immediate shot of the backstage area, where Bobby Roode confronted Austin Aries and Kenny King. Roode and Aries began fighting, then Spike TV rolled credits for the previous show and TNA went back to the fight, which spilled into the Impact Zone. Zema Ion was also involved in the fight. The four-man brawl continued ringside for a few minutes before finally entering the ring to officially start the tag match.
1 — TNA World Hvt. champion AUSTIN ARIES & KENNY KING vs. BOBBY ROODE & X Division champion AUSTIN ARIES
Aries quickly took control of the action, then tagged in Kenny King for a double-team airplane spin into a double chop to the chest. Aries re-tagged in and followed with a slingshot elbow drop across Ion’s chest for a two count. The faces continued to pick apart and dominate Ion, but they couldn’t put away Ion. Roode then blasted King from behind on the ring apron, but then Ion crashed into Roode on accident. Roode finally got the best of King by yanking him to the outside, then ramming him into the guardrail. Ion, after being worked on for four-plus minutes, somehow found the energy to pull off a flip-dive over the top rope onto King, who Roode rolled back into the ring.
Roode legally entered the match at 5:00 to begin working over King and taunt Aries. Ion re-entered the match, then Aries and Roode met at a neutral control to argue and yell at each other. TNA cut to break with Ion still in control on King.
Back on Impact at 11:20, Ion was still in control working over King. King teased a comeback, but Roode pushed King off the top turnbuckle, which drew Aries over to argue with Roode.
[Q2] The heels continued to isolate King until King suplexed Ion across the ring. Taz offered a weekly reference to his suplex career as King reached the corner to tag in Aries, but “Conflict of Interest” referee Earl Hebner did not see the tag, so he disallowed Aries from entering the ring. So, the heels went back to the attack on King, who fought back before the action broke down with all four men in the ring. Aries then clotheslined Ion into a suicide dive on Roode ringside. In the ring, King followed with his finisher on Ion for the pin and the win. Taz noted King just pinned the X Division champion. Aries and Roode then had a post-match staredown to sell their PPV main event in nine days.
WINNERS: Aries & King at 15:06. Very slow-developing tag match, but a good finish with King getting his win over Ion to keep him in the title chase.
Video package: Mike Tenay fed to a standard Impact opening video recapping the Aces & Eights storyline, including Roode’s accusations against James Storm that he’s affiliated with the group.
Backstage: The roving cameraman caught up with interim GM Sting, who said he wants to give James Storm the benefit of the doubt. He said he wants to hear from Storm in just a few seconds to get to the bottom of the A&E attacks.
Impact Zone: Back live, Sting’s music played to bring out Sting to address a “controversy” involving Aces & Eights and James Storm. Once in the ring, Sting said there are too many questions and not enough answers about A&E, but someone has the scoop, so he’s inviting out James Storm right now. Storm’s music played to bring out Storm dressed in street clothes and aviators. In the ring, Storm walked up to Sting, who said he didn’t believe Roode when he accused Storm last week, but there is some compelling footage he wants to run by Storm. Sting went back to last week when A&E didn’t attack Storm during Storm vs. A.J. Styles, nor did he touch A&E during the show-closing save.
Storm said he’s gotten all kinds of messages asking him the same question if he’s associated with A&E. Storm said what he sees is a bunch of cowards bailing from the ring when he ran down to the ring to kick some ass. Storm told Sting that they’ve known each other for a long time and fought many battles, but he’s never had someone battle for him. Storm then went back to nine months ago when he was jumped by none other than Kurt Angle, but he didn’t cry or moan about it. Storm said not only did he beat Angle once, twice, but three of four times, including once for the World Title. Storm said he didn’t need a soul to help him.
[Q3] Cue up Angle’s theme music to bring out Storm’s Bound for Glory Series opponent tonight. In the ring, Angle said he heard his name, so he had to come out here. Angle told Storm they’ve been through a lot the past year, but he just doesn’t get Storm’s motives. Angle accused Storm of benefiting from A&E’s attacks, and demanded to know what his motives are. Angle then called out to the Aces & Eights to come to his match tonight for an ass-kicking party. Sting said he likes the word “party,” so they should make it a party with him ringside tonight. Angle then brought in Storm a little closer and vowed to make him tap out tonight. Angle backed out of the ring, then Storm told him they’ll see about that. Angle left, then Storm stared him down from inside the ring.
Earlier this week: A.J. Styles checked in from Australia. Taz tried to narrate still-photos of Styles’s vacation photos on Twitter, then said he wishes Styles were here this week to address his own allegations from Claire Lynch. TNA cued up a video recap of Claire flashing some photos at Styles two weeks ago.
Locker room: Daniels and Kazarian were shown talking about Styles and continued to disparage him. Daniels heelishly said Styles left the country to avoid responsibility, so they are throwing Claire a proper baby shower tonight.
Announcers: Taz and Tenay were shown on-camera to discuss the BFG Series at Hardcore Justice. Tenay noted each of the three matches will contain 20 points. And, the stipulations are… Ladder Match for Styles-Angle-Daniels-Joe. Falls Count Anywhere for Anderson-RVD-Pope-Magnus. Tables match for Hardy-Storm-Ray-Robbie E. The announcers then broke down the BFG Series Standings, focusing on Bully Ray ahead of his match.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray sent out a tweet on the way to the ring while also yelling at the announcers. Once in the ring, Ray yelled at Christy Hemme, then took the mic and called out James Storm over “You Suck” chants. Bully said he doesn’t trust Storm, even after six years. So, later on tonight, he’s going to stand ringside during Storm’s match against Kurt Angle. Robbie E. then came out to face Bully.
2 — BULLY RAY vs. ROBBIE E. (w/Rob Terry) — BFG Series match
As the referee was occupied with Robbie, Terry blasted Ray from behind, then Robbie tried to make a quick pin. This being TNA, the ref called for the opening bell despite the unfair start and counted a two count for Robbie. Ray quickly recovered from the attack, landed a few chops to the chest, and dropped Robbie with an Ace Crusher. Ray with the pin in less than a minute.
WINNER: Ray at 0:56 to earn 7 points in the BFG Series.
[Q4] Earlier Today: Earl Hebner delivered presents to Madison Rayne, who said she doesn’t need gifts, just Earl’s affection. Gail Kim then walked into the conversation, sending Earl away. Gail tried to talk to Madison, who said Earl would never screw anyone out of a match tonight. She noted Earl will call the match (four-way #1 contenders match to Knockouts Title) right down the middle. Gail wasn’t convinced as Madison walked away.
3 — MADISON RAYNE vs. TARA vs. GAIL KIM vs. MICKIE JAMES — four-way #1 contender match to Knockouts Title
Back live, Christy Hemme introduced KO champion Miss Tessmacher to join the announcers for commentary on the match. And, it appears that, yes, “Conflict of Interest” Earl Hebner has been assigned this match. After each Knockout received a ring introduction, Impact cut to break before the bell sounded.
The bell sounded back from break as all of the Knockouts acted weary of Earl Hebner’s role in this match. Madison tried talking to Earl, who tried to do his job officiating the match.
[Q5 — second hour] Each nearfall drew a questionable look from the Knockouts other than Madison, still concerned about Earl. After Mickie and Gail moved their fight to the outside, Tara and Madison were left in the ring. Tara rolled up Madison and scored a three count, but Earl counted Tara’s shoulders down, giving Madison the win to become new #1 contender. Earl sold believing in his decision while Tara sold frustration being screwed out of the title shot.
WINNER: Madison at 7:26 to become #1 contender to the KO Title. So, in the storyline, where’s Brooke Hogan to straighten things out and ensure there’s fair play in the Knockouts matches?
Earlier Tonight: Kurt Angle questioned James Storm. … Backstage: Bobby Roode talked about finally convincing people of Storm’s true motives. Roode said he’s going to show up in the main event to watch Angle-Storm tonight. The camera then swung around to Austin Aries, who said if Roode’s going to be ringside for the main event, then he’ll be there, too.
Backstage Office: Sting was shown talking to Brooke Hogan. He said he’s known Hulk Hogan for a long time, but he wants to know from her how Hulk is really doing after Aces & Eights took him out. Brooke said he’s never seen him like that and it was the first time she had to take care of Hulk. Sting sat down and said he will get to the bottom of things with Hulk, but he needs to know if Brooke can handle the Knockouts right now. (Clearly not based on the shenanigans with Earl Hebner.) Brooke said she can stand on her own and she can handle the pressure. A stagehand then entered the shot with a manila envelope and handed it to Brooke. She opened it up to reveal an Aces & Eights deck of cards. Brooke sold anger by removing her mic and storming out of the office. Sting called out after Brooke, but she departed the scene. Sting sold frustration.
Backstage: ODB and Eric Young talked about being the “Knocked Up champions,” and ODB noted Brooke Hogan has been on her to defend the titles since they haven’t defended the titles in two months. Brooke also has a problem with EY being a man and being a Knockouts tag champ. EY changed the subject to his new fishing show debuting this weekend. He then took one of the belts, leaving ODB with the other belt so they can never defend the titles because the belts will never be in the same place at the same time. EY ran away, leaving ODB to question his brains.
[Q6] Impact Zone: Kid Kash came out with Gunner to face Chavo Guerrero in a grudge match following Chavo’s TNA debut last week. Chavo and Hernandez then came out for Chavo’s TNA in-ring debut. Chavo took his time entering the ring, posing with the fans ringside, selling that he’s a big star. TNA cut to a shot of the Spanish announce table for a look at Hector Guerrero, then to a shot of Chavo’s grandmother sitting ringside.
4 — CHAVO GUERRERO (w/Hernandez) vs. KID KASH (w/Gunner)
Chavo and Kash traded control early on before Kash took control and landed right hand blows and elbows. The ref finally had enough of Kash not breaking on his count and reprimanded him, which gave Chavo an opening to make a comeback. But, Kash quickly cut off Chavo and regained control. Kash then tried a double-jump moonsault, but apparently Chavo got his knees up to block. Chavo landed some forearms, then a clothesline, followed by a dropkick for a two count.
Chavo did the Guerrero chest-shake, then Gunner got on the ring apron to distract Chavo. Hernandez got up on the other side of the ring to jaw with Gunner, then Chavo brushed the distraction aside and re-took control with the Three Amigos suplexes. Taz referenced Eddie Guerrero, then Chavo came off the top with a Frogsplash, which Tenay called tributing Eddie. Chavo with the pin for the win.
WINNER: Chavo at 4:42. There’s a line between “tributing” a family member and trying to get over doing the family member’s moves and mannerisms.
Backstage: A roving cameraman caught up with TNA president Dixie Carter. The audio was off, so it’s unclear what the question was. Dixie said she’s been on the receiving end of blackmail and photos, but it’s time for A.J. Styles to come clean about his issue with Claire Lynch. Dixie said it’s well past time. … Backstage: Daniels and Kaz were shown walking down the hallway with a handful of gifts for Claire’s baby shower.
Backstage: Kurt Angle was shown talking to a random man, who Angle identified as former Developmental wrestler Wes Brisco. Angle asked Wes how his dad is doing, then Wes asked Angle to put in a word to Hulk Hogan to get him a job in TNA. Devon and Garett Bischoff then walked into the shot to talk to Brisco. Devon said he’s not letting Aces & Eights tear down this company, so they’re going to be ringside for Angle’s match tonight. Angle told them to make sure he can get through his match without “these idiots” getting involved. Devon and Garett shook hands with Brisco, then left the shot.
[Q7] Impact Zone: Kaz and Daniels were in the ring for a baby shower. Kaz said A.J. Styles is not here tonight and is in Australia potentially impregnating someone right now. Kaz said that since Styles dropped the ball, they would like to throw Claire Lynch a proper baby shower. They cut to a shot of Claire, who offered them a weird facial expression, acting confused by this invitation. Claire entered the ring, then Daniels and Kaz showered her with gifts. Daniels said Claire deserves to be treated properly. The first gift was diapers. Daniels said they just want to support her. The next gift was A.J. Styles action figures, pictures of Daniels and Kaz, and replica title belts.
But, wait, the third gift is a really big deal. Kaz pulled out a baby A.J. dressed in a hoodie. Claire nodded along, happy with her gifts. Claire then broke the fourth wall looking into the in-ring camera to send A.J. Styles a message to do the right thing for their baby. Claire shouted and screamed into the camera for A.J. to do the right thing. On commentary, Tenay took a deep breath as Taz sort of cleared his throat.
Backstage: Angle and Storm were shown preparing for the main event on a split-screen.
Backstage: Joseph Park was shown on the phone, then the roving cameraman asked him why he’s here tonight. Park said his law firm has signed up a few TNA wrestlers to provide them with legal services. Park then excitedly walked up to Sting and said he doesn’t want to “kay-fab” him, but he just wants to make sure he has legal coverage. Sting said he’s covered, then changed the subject to Park’s “textbook” Black Hole Slam a few weeks ago. Park asked put out by the line of questioning, so Sting sarcastically asked if he’s going to “kay-fab” him. Park ignored the retort and snapped a photo on his cameraman, vowing to tweet it.
Next week: The announcers plugged The Pope vs. RVD and Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles in the BFG Series. Plus, James Storm vs. Bully Ray in another BFG Series match.
Impact Zone: James Storm, then Kurt Angle made their ring entrances for the main event. The bell sounded before the numerous wrestlers who RSVP’ed for the main event made their way to ringside.
5 — JAMES STORM vs. KURT ANGLE — BFG Series match
TNA cut to a shot of Wes Brisco sitting ringside watching the action. Angle and Storm felt each other out early on as the announcers broke down Wes’s background and resume. Angle and Storm came to a standstill, then grappled again and came to another standstill. Tenay went back to several months ago when Storm ended Angle’s title reign with a quick Last Call superkick, which is why Angle is being careful tonight.
[Q8] Sting emerged on-stage and walked to ringside at the start of the eighth quarter-hour. Apparently the other wrestlers were confident that Storm wouldn’t end the match in the first three minutes. Devon and Garett Bischoff then emerged in the background to join Sting ringside. In the ring, Storm landed big right hand blows on Angle, but Angle came back with a clothesline. Angle then stomped Storm into the corner. At 4:25, Bully Ray emerged through the floor seating to join the ringside area. TNA cut to break with neither Angle nor Storm in control.
[Commercial Break. Spike cut back live for a ten-second look at Storm and Angle battling before returning to commercial.]
Back from break, Bobby Roode and World Hvt. champion Austin Aries had joined the ringside party. In the ring, Angle snapped off a German Suplex, then wanted a second and connected. He wanted a third and that also connected. Angle then wanted the Olympic Slam, but Storm countered with an armdrag, only to take a standing sidekick from Angle for a two count. Suddenly, Storm hit an Olympic Slam, but Angle kicked out in-time.
As the action reset, the ringside wrestlers were shown looking around the arena trying to scope out Aces & Eights. Angle then applied an Anklelock and Storm refused to tap out. Storm tried to get the bottom rope, but Angle pulled him back to center-ring. Angle continued to maintain the hold before Storm finally rolled onto his back to kick Angle in the face. Storm then suddenly nailed Angle with Last Call Superkick. Storm sold the ankle injury, then hobbled on top of Angle for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Storm at 13:32 to earn 7 BFG Series points. Solid singles main event.
Post-match: The ringside wrestlers looked around the arena trying to find the Aces & Eights group as Storm recovered in the ring. The ref helped Storm to his feet as Angle stood off to the side with hands on hips. Angle then walked over toward Storm, but TNA cut to a replay of Storm hitting the superkick for the win. They cut back live to show Angle on the other side of the ring, then Angle shook Storm’s hand and raised his arm.
Storm’s music stopped, then Storm took the mic and told Aces & Eights to come fight this gang because they’re all here. No sign of the group. The top stars continued to look around for the group, but no sign of them. Roode then took the mic ringside and said this is a little odd. He said Storm didn’t need A&E tonight because he beat Angle all by himself tonight. Roode told him he’s guilty as charged being the leader of the group. “You’re guilty. You’re the man behind the attacks!” Roode shouted at Storm. Bully Ray then entered the ring behind Storm and the two men teed off against each other ahead of their BFG Series match next week. Roode then hit the ring, so Aries went after him to start their fight before Hardcore Justice. Meanwhile, Angle just threw his hands in the air. Angle looked toward the entrance stage as two fights raged on behind him to close the show. So, no sign of A&E this week.
Report by: James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor