This week’s live TNA Impact opened with a video apparently from earlier in the day of Aces & Eights members riding motorcycles in a building, presumably the Impact Zone. TNA used some Western music to make it seem like outlaws are riding into town. There was no narration.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay introduced the show, noting it’s Open Fight Night and Sting wants to fight Aces & Eights. Sting’s music then played to bring out authority figure Sting, followed by TNA World Hvt. champion Austin Aries, Kurt Angle, TV champion Devon, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, A.J. Styles, Bully Ray, and other members of the roster, but no James Storm.
In the ring, Sting said he told security that they leave the gate wide open for Aces & Eights tonight. Referring to heels and faces together in the ring, Sting noted it’s amazing to see who will come together for a cause. Sting rolled a video with still-shots of the victims of A&E’s beatings over the past few months. Sting paused for a “We Want Hogan” chant, but did not acknowledge it. Sting then brought out James Storm after the “cloud of doubt” was lifted last week.
Storm marched to the ring and noted the evidence was stacked up against him for weeks, but they jumped him last week, just like they did to Angle and others. Storm suggested they turn this wrestling show into an ass-whipping show tonight. Sting said he’s on the money with that, then acknowledged the Hogan chants from a minute ago. Sting noted Hogan is here tonight, then called out the Aces & Eights group. Two members appeared in the Impact Zone crowd, scaring no one in the crowd. Sting told Anderson to let them in, then the two men slid into the ring to take a beating from Angle and Storm. On commentary, Tenay and Taz wondered where the rest of the group is, then Storm ripped off one guy’s hood. The man looked like a regular person with blood coming from his mouth. The man thanked them for the beating because he just got patched in. The man fought for breath before noting they’re all in for a long, painful night. As the crowd sat quietly, Sting delivered a punch to the gut. Angle then put the boots to the man before Impact abruptly cut to break.
Moments Ago: Storm & Angle put the boots to an Aces & Eights prospect, who noted he just got “patched in.”
Impact Zone: Miss Tessmacher’s music played to bring out the new Knockouts champion. TNA rolled footage of Taryn Terrell officiating Tessmacher’s title match victory over Madison Rayne last week.
[Q2] Back live, Tessmacher had solo promo time. Tessmacher thanked Brooke Hogan for righting a wrong last week, then noted the one question she has to ask herself every day is whether she can beat her mentor. On Open Fight Night, Tessmacher called out Tara, who was standing by backstage dressed to wrestle. After Tara came out, Taryn Terrell came out as special ref for the match.
1 — Knockouts champion MISS TESSMACHER vs. TARA — non-title match — Taryn Terrell special referee
Tara toyed with Tessmacher early on, indicating she’s still the crafty veteran even if Tessmacher is champ. Tessmacher made a comeback, then wanted a top-rope finish, but Tara cut her off. Tara with a superplex for the pin and the win. Afterward, Tara tried to be nice about having Tessmacher’s number, but Tessmacher didn’t want anything to do with it.
WINNER: Tara at 2:50. Good set-up for a likely title re-match for Tessmacher to get her win back.
August 12: Aces & Eights beat down The Pope at Hardcore Justice, “injuring his shoulder.” Now, Pope has been sidelined and is out of the Bound for Glory Series. They cut backstage to Sting with RVD, A.J. Styles, and Robbie E. He said the only fair thing to do is have a three-way match between the three of them, with the winner getting the standard BFG Series points. He said the match is next.
Impact Zone: Robbie E.’s music was playing back from break, which brought out Robbie sans Rob Terry, who Sting disallowed from being ringside. So, Robbie demanded a stagehand open the velvet ropes for him to enter the VIP club/ring area. Next out was Rob Van Dam, followed by A.J. Styles.
2 — A.J. STYLES vs. ROB VAN DAM vs. ROBBIE E. — three-way BFG Series match
Styles and RVD had a mid-ring conversation once the bell sounded, which brought an upset Robbie into the discussion. The faces then turned Robbie into a pinball taking right hands back and forth. RVD eventually knocked Robbie to the floor, leading to an RVD vs. Styles showdown. After they exchanged offense and shook hands, Robbie re-entered and charged RVD, who fought him off. Styles then suplexed Robbie out of the ring. So, back to Van Dam vs. Styles. Styles executed a textbook dropkick on RVD that sent him out of the ring, but then turned around and took a clothesline from Robbie.
Robbie began working over Styles before RVD tried to roll back into the ring, only to have Robbie kick him out of the ring. On the other side of the ring, Styles lit up Robbie with right hand blows before nailing a leaping clothesline. Styles and Robbie continued to battle as Tenay sent the show to break.
Back live, Robbie was still in control working on Styles. The announcers then discussed Styles’s tough situation tonight fighting for BFG Series points while worrying about the paternity test and a potential attack by Aces & Eights. Robbie took too much time following up on Styles, so RVD yanked him to the outside. Suddenly, Styles flew onto both men with a big splash, knocking all three men to the ground.
Styles and RVD were the first two men back into the ring, setting up another exchange between top faces. RVD took control, then nearly pinned Robbie, who returned to the ring to take some offense from Rob. RVD proceeded to dump Robbie to the outside, then Styles and RVD miscommunicated on a reverse DDT situation. After they reset with RVD landing kicks in the corner, the fought up top. Styles wanted a superplex, but RVD shoved him to the mat. RVD then nailed a Five-Star Frogsplash, but Robbie re-entered the ring and rolled up RVD for a pin and the win. Everyone sold shock as Robbie casually rolled out of the ring with possession of a big career victory.
WINNER: Robbie at 12:54. That was nice to see a new take on the WWE house show finish with the heel pinning the person inflicting the finisher rather than the recipient of the finisher.
Backstage: Jeff Hardy was shown walking down the hallway and Tenay teased Hardy calling someone out for a BFG Series match next. Hardy’s only two options are Kurt Angle or Samoa Joe.
Impact Zone: Jeff Hardy’s music played back from break. Hardy took a long victory lap as the announcers reset the show, focusing on the Aces & Eights angle at the top of the show. Once in the ring, Hardy took the mic and shouted out his Creatures. Hardy noted this is not a Bound for Glory Series call-out, then called out Rob Terry, who stormed from backstage to the ring.
3 — JEFF HARDY vs. ROB TERRY
Hardy ducked a clothesline after Terry stormed the ring, but Terry cut him off and used power offense to put Hardy on the defensive. Meanwhile, Tenay noted the A.J. Styles paternity test reveal will be in the next segment and Hulk Hogan is here tonight. In the ring, Terry wanted a big corner clothesline, but Hardy moved, then knocked Terry off his feet. Hardy followed with the Twist of Fate, then went to the corner. Hardy came off the top with a Swanton Bomb and it was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Hardy at 2:33. Fine use of the Open Fight Night format to set up Hardy getting revenge on one of the Robbies.
Backstage: Daniels and Kazarian were shown talking about Styles’s paternity test reveal tonight. Daniels said A.J. Styles thinks he has all the answers, but he doesn’t know all of the questions. Kaz and Daniels debated alcohol and apples, then Impact cut to break.
Backstage: Sting was shown shouting into a camera that he’s looking for Aces & Eights. Sting, in crazy Joker Sting mode, encouraged them to find him backstage and stop hiding.
Video package: TNA went all the way through the Styles/Dixie/Claire storyline involving Daniels and Kaz leading to the top of the hour.
[Q5 -- second hour] Impact Zone: Jeremy Borash was in the ring for a different kind of gut check. Borash said it’s time to reveal the results of the paternity test. He introduced A.J. Styles first. Out came Styles clutching his side following his match. In the ring, Styles took the mic and said they’re about to find out who the daddy is. Before that, though, Styles wanted to share his feelings. “I’m sorry,” he said. Styles said he’s sorry to his friends, fans for putting up with this crap, and his family having to go through this.
Styles said there’s a night he can’t remember, but something happened that nigh with Claire. “I don’t know what,” Styles said. He said what he does know is if he is the father of Claire’s baby, then he’ll accept responsibility for the child, which drew applause. Styles said he’s a man and he will take responsibility. But, if he’s not the father, he doesn’t want to hear another word from Kazarian or Daniels as long as they live.
JB then introduced Claire Lynch, but Kaz and Daniels came out instead. Kaz said Styles is still more concerned with protecting the A.J. Styles Brand than his own flesh. Kaz told Styles he makes him sick. He said selfish pricks like Styles cause the Youth of America to act out, leading to bullying and increased criminal activity. Kaz continued to stretch his claims before Daniels stepped in and told Kaz not to worry about the damage to this child in the future, but the damage already done. Daniels accused Styles of turning his back on Claire Lynch throughout this ordeal. Daniels said this stress built up for weeks on Claire, so now she is in a Florida hospital in a touch-and-go situation. Daniels asked Styles if he’s happy now that he caused Claire and this baby to suffer.
Suddenly, a random woman walked down the entrance ramp. Daniels accused Styles of being a selfish bastard as the random woman entered the ring and grabbed the mic. She introduced herself as Claire’s attorney. She said as Claire’s legal rep, she has been authorized to read the following statement. The woman read from Claire that Daniels and Kaz approached Claire in January to be part of a scheme to blackmail Styles. The statement continued that Claire slipped a sedative into a cola beverage to drug Styles for the purpose of blackmailing Styles. The truth of the matter, according to the statement, is that she has never been pregnant. This popped the crowd as Daniels and Styles flipped out for different reasons. The statement continued that this plot was part of a plan to ruin Styles’s reputation. The statement concluded that Styles is and always been the man people know him to be, which prompted “A-J” chants. Claire signed off “respectfully and with deepest regrets.”
After the attorney left, Daniels tried to explain things to Kaz, who stomped around the ring selling confusion. Styles then ran across the ring and popped Daniels with a Pele Kick. Kaz managed to avoid an attack from Styles, then bailed to the outside to recover with Daniels. Tenay recapped that everything was a conspiracy against Styles. Now, everyone can forget this storyline ever happened.
Gut Check profile: Kris Lewie, who auditions tonight.
After the video aired, Aces & Eights members were shown walking down the hallway. Sting stopped them in the hallway and did a Jim Carrey Mask voice asking if they like to play games. Sting tossed them some cards, then a man appearing to be Hulk Hogan smashed them with a baseball bat. The man did some animal snorting noises, then spoke that if they ever put their hands on his daughter again, he’ll rip our their hearts and feed their hearts to his dog. The camera spun around to reveal the return of Hollywood Hulk Hogan with the spraypainted beard, black shades, and black bandana. Sting celebrated the return of Hollywood and declared that it’s Showtime.
[Q6] [Commercial Break]
Back live, Tenay introduced a replay from before the break of Hulk Hogan knocking out the Aces & Eights members and bringing back Hollywood Hogan.
Gut Check video: From OVW, Alex Silva was shown talking about getting a contract thanks to Ric Flair.
In-ring: Jeremy Borash was standing by with Kris Lewie for his Gut Check challenge match. JB did the dramatic intro that this is Lewie’s Gut Check. Out came Gunner as his opponent.
4 — GUNNER vs. KRIS LEWIE — Gut Check match
Gunner taunted Lewie, who answered with a series of armdrags into a shoulder block. Gunner took control and Taz evaluated Lewie mid-match, noting he’s made a few mistakes, but can redeem himself. Lewie hit sort of a flying butt bomb, then played to the crowd. Lewie climbed to the top turnbuckle and wanted a splash, but Gunner moved. Gunner then executed sort of a fireman’s carry toss for the pin and the win. Taz said he thought Lewie showed guts, but he wasn’t ready for the bright lights.
WINNER: Gunner at 2:59. Lewie looked a step or two off throughout the match. Meanwhile, Gunner’s “finisher” needs a lot of work.
Backstage: Mr. Anderson was shown walking down the hallway for the next Open Fight Night call-out.
Backstage: ODB was on the phone with Eric Young. She said she knows Young is a big superstar fisherman now, but he needs to come back and fish in her lakes. ODB hung up, then went looking for someone off-camera to “fish” with.
[Q7] Impact Zone: Mr. Anderson came to the ring after skipping the on-stage mic drop. In the ring, Anderson waited for the mic drop before addressing the crowd. Anderson said tonight is his very last BFG Series match-up. He called out Bully Ray, who slowly made his way out to the ring and jawed with some ringside fans.
5 — MR. ANDERSON vs. BULLY RAY — BFG Series match
Back live, Ray was in control of the match trying to score a pinfall on Anderson, who continued to escape pin attempts. Ray then made a mistake with a Vader Bomb attempt that Anderson moved out of the way of. Both men sold on the mat before trading bombs from their knees. Each punch brought the men closer to their feet before Anderson won a standing exchange with a clothesline. Anderson wanted to follow with a rolling drop, but Ray collapsed on Anderson’s back. Ray then hit a neckbreaker, but Anderson kicked out of a pin attempt.
Ray went up top, but Anderson cut him off and nailed his Green Bay Plunge rolling splash for a close two count. Both men were then knocked down and TNA cut backstage to show roster members going after Aces & Eights members trying to hit the Impact Zone.
[Q8] Back live in the Impact Zone, Bully hit a Bubba Bomb for as close to a three count as possible, which angered Ray. Bully tried to follow up, but Anderson countered with a DDT. Anderson then came off the top with a Swanton Bomb, but Ray rolled a shoulder to escape the pin. Anderson followed with the Mic Check and it was good for the win in his final BFG Series match.
WINNER: Anderson at 12:15 to earn 7 BFG Series points. Good, physical TV main event.
Post-match: Tenay reviewed the BFG Series Standings, which showed Anderson only able to move up to #7, so he is eliminated from the Top 4.
Video: The Aces & Eights spokesperson was shown at a poker table. He said that in about three minutes and 30 seconds, the group is going to unleash hell and give out the dead man’s hand. Impact faded to commercial.
Impact Zone: Eight mintues before the top of the hour, Sting’s music played to bring out the interim Impact GM as Tenay noted the time for threats is over. Similar to the opening segment, the TNA locker room followed Sting out to the ring, led by TNA World Hvt. champion Austin Aries. Sting’s music continued to play as Tenay and Taz discussed matters. On the mic, Sting said they’re four minutes into this, so come on out. The crowd chanted for Hogan as babyfaces and Sting paced around in the ring. Sting suggested they do an Aces & Eights chant, then some members of the group came through the crowd from different sides of the arena. The indy-looking group picked fights with various roster members in and out of the ring. They stayed with a shot of Rob Terry pretending to fight with one guy in a poor moment in wrestling history. Gunner then threw down one of the group member’s jacket. Angle proceeded to choke out a baldheaded member. One guy with big hair was thrown into a barricade as Taz apologized to the audience for not being able to identify any of these individuals.
More members emerged before TNA cut to a backstage shot of Hulk Hogan, James Storm, and A.J. Styles fighting off members. Hogan was limited in what he could do post-back surgery. The battle left the ringside area, leaving Aries, RVD, and Hardy in the ring waiting for more A&E members to come fight them. Backstage, the fight continued with Hogan, Styles, and Storm. The fight then spilled out to the production truck area. Back in the Impact Zone, more members hit the ring to battle Aries, Hardy, and RVD. Two minutes before the top of the hour, TNA focused on bodies scattered everywhere in the ring.
Backstage, Hogan and Storm were shown choking people out. Back in the ring, one big dude got Aries, then three other members joined in the attack on the champ. Two other members struggled to get a piece of the guardrail into the ring, then one member smashed a chair across Aries’s right arm into the guardrail. Aries sold immense pain before Bully Ray hit the ring to make the save and scatter the group. Aries continued to sell pain as Ray stood tall in the ring. TNA then cut to a backstage shot of the Aces & Eights members hopping on motorcycles to drive away. Credits came on the screen as Impact signed off with the bikers driving away into the night.
This week’s red herring or foreshadowing is someone wanted Aries softened up to make him easy pickings for the TNA World Title, which would point the finger at Bully Ray, Bobby Roode, or someone else behind Aces & Eights.
(Thanks to James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor for live results.)