This week’s TNA Impact episode from the U.K. opened with a video package recapping recent events, focusing on Hogan Family Drama that led to Bully Ray being suspended, having his wedding to Brooke Hogan crashed by Teflon Taz, and being re-instated by Hulk Hogan on last week’s Impact. Plus, Kurt Angle’s recruits, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff, turned on him to reveal an alliance with Aces & Eights.
Arena: Todd Keneley (not pictured) introduced the show, noting the X Division Title and Tag Titles will be on the line tonight. And, in the main event, it’s Sting & Bully Ray against Aces & Eights in a tables match.
A&E’s music then played to bring out the fully-masked member leading the group to the ring from their side-arena entrance as Taz gloated on commentary. Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff had stars in their eyes walking to the ring with Devon, D.O.C., Mike Knox, and Mr. Anderson as Taz hyped the group’s domination. On the mic, Devon claimed A&E is dominating TNA and what they did to Kurt Angle last week is only the tip of the iceberg.
Video Package: TNA abruptly cut to a video package recapping Wes and Garett’s association with Angle, who said weeks ago that he had no idea why Aces & Eights is targeting him. The video revealed why by showing how Wes and Garett set up Angle.
Back in the ring, Devon turned toward Mr. Anderson to remind him that he has a plan. To “What?” chants, Devon introduced the newest members of Aces & Eights, Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco. Garett then took the mic and did Eric Bischoff’s hand-on-heart pose to soak in the applause he was only hearing in his head. Garett spoke over cat-calls that this is the type of disrespect that he’s talking about. He thanked Devon for inviting him to their family.
Wes then said he did this because of Hulk Hogan, claiming Hulk didn’t answer his phone calls for two years. He said Hulk told him to start at the bottom and work his way to the top. “A Brisco?!” he said. Wes, doing all sorts of weird facial expressions while his eyes shifted from side to side, then noted his father gave Hulk his first pair of wrestling boots and this was how he got repaid by Hulk.
Devon spoke next that Angle better not come back to TNA. He said if Hulk wants to surprise them with a tables match, that’s okay because they always have back-up and an ace up their sleeves. A&E’s music played as Taz soaked up the moment on commentary. Also on commentary, Keneley wondered aloud how deep this runs.
Backstage: Tara and Jessie were shown horsing around before entering Brooke Hogan’s office to complain about flying coach. Brooke then shouted at them for being petty and selfish with all of the things she’s been dealing with. Brooke said Tara is facing Miss Tessmacher tonight and Jessie is banned from ringside. She told Tara to get her a coffee since she just wants to stand there with a pouty-face.
[Q2] In-ring: Kenny King, then Zema Ion were introduced as the challengers for an X Division Title match to kick off the show. Rob Van Dam was out last to defend the title.
1 — X Division champion ROB VAN DAM vs. ZEMA ION vs. KENNY KING — three-way X Division Title match
King landed a corkscrew dive onto RVD on the outside early on. Ion then did a flip-dive of his own to the floor. Back in the ring, Ion and King traded moves before RVD walked into a kick to the head from King. Meanwhile, Keneley said that TNA president Dixie Carter will have more news about Impact going on the road tonight during Bellator MMA after Impact.
Lots of counters and blocks before RVD flew over the top rope to the outside after missing a splash on Ion. King and Ion then resumed their in-ring battle. RVD tried to re-enter, but King clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor. King then had a pin on Ion via Northern Lights Suplex, but RVD springboard-splashed King to break up the pin. RVD then pinned King for the pin and the win.
WINNER: RVD at 5:58 to retain the X Division Title.
Backstage: A camera “snuck up” on Bobby Roode and Austin Aries talking in the hallway. They shared notes on proving they are superior to Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez tonight to capture the Tag Titles. Aries noted the plan is to win all the gold in TNA so that everyone follows their lead.
Announcers: Keneley and Mike Tenay introduced a video package on British Bootcamp, which documented Rockstar Spud, Marty Scurll, and the Blossom Twins attempting to earn a TNA contract.
[Q3] The video package continued with more clips from the first season, including their audition matches in the Impact Zone. Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan were then shown debating who should win before deciding on Rockstar Spud.
Earlier Tonight: TNA replayed Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff explained why they turned on Angle and Hogan to join Aces & Eights.
Office: TNA cameras eavesdropped on Bruce Prichard randomly talking to D-Lo Brown in his office. Prichard said Wes Brisco is the last person he would have expected to see turn on Angle. Brown nodded along as Prichard said when Angle comes back, there will be hell to pay. There was no explanation for why Prichard would be talking to Brown, whose on-air role is not stressed.
In-ring: Back from break, Jessie was in the ring. Jessie waited out cat-calls before noting Brooke Hogan has banned him from ringside for the Knockouts match tonight, but, don’t worry, he’s going to give the fans what they paid for, which is the chance to see a true Hollywood star. Jessie told everyone to get their cameras and cell-phones out for a great photo-op.
Suddenly, James Storm’s music interrupted. Jessie sold shock as Storm marched out on-stage, then marched down to the ring with intentions to end Jessie’s night. Storm walked around the ring before noting these people don’t care about taking pictures of Jessie because they came here to drink beer and see someone get beat up. So, he’s going to oblige the people. “I’m about to kick the crap out of you, then I’m going to drink me some beer, and then I’m going to pick you up so these people can see those teeth in your mouth,” Storm said. Storm called out a ref and told Jessie to call his dentist. A ref showed up and the match was on.
2 — JAMES STORM vs. JESSIE GODDERZ
Storm landed early offense, but Jessie cheated to take control. Jessie then slapped on an abdominal stretch that he amplified by posing. But, Storm countered with a Russian Legsweep. Storm then put Jessie in the Eye of the Storm and dropped him to the mat. Storm, with a bloody nose, walked around the ring before kicking Jessie in the head.
Storm nailed a reverse neckbreaker into an awkward Alabama Slam. Storm followed with Closing Time, then warmed up the crowd for a Last Call Superkick. Storm waited for Jessie, then delivered it. Storm pinned Jessie for the clean win. Post-match: Storm held up Jessie’s head for everyone to get a picture before drinking beer in the ring.
WINNER: Storm at 3:05. Storm is in that Randy Orton role beating lesser stars until the promotion finds a program for him.
Still to come: Sting & Bully Ray vs. Aces & Eights in a tag team tables match. Up next, the Tag Titles are on the line.
[Q4] [Commercial Break]
Back from break, a graphic indicated it’s Tag Title match time. Bobby Roode’s music played to bring out Roode and Austin Aries, who was dressed in a cape. No robe for Roode, though, as the two debated why Roode’s music played instead of Aries’s. Techno music then brought out the tag champs Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez. Tenay recapped Chavo’s background and arrival in TNA, prompting Teflon Taz to heel on Tenay for knowing too much.
3 — TNA tag champions CHAVO GUERRERO & HERNANDEZ vs. AUSTIN ARIES & BOBBY ROODE — TNA Tag Title match
Hernandez toyed with Aries early on, then Aries did a cartwheel around Hernandez. Aries tried to tag in Roode, but Roode told him to turn around, prompting Hernandez to smash Aries with a clothesline. Hernandez then tagged in Chavo, who delivered a slingshot smash to Aries’s mid-section. Aries and Roode then accidentally collided on the outside, sending Impact to break.
Back from break two minutes before the top of the hour, the tag champs were in control of the match. Hernandez landed a big corner splash on Aries, but Roode broke up a pin attempt.
[Q5 — second hour] Chavo worked over Aries before tagging in Hernandez, who landed a running splash on Aries for a nearfall. Aries then cheap-shotted Chavo to finally give the heels an opening. Roode tagged in and stomped away on Chavo as Taz heeled on tag team wrestling, saying he hated teaming with other guys during his wrestling career. In the ring, Aries and Roode continued working on Chavo while keeping Hernandez on the ring apron.
Chavo eventually made a hot-tag to Hernandez at 14:50, simultaneous to Aries tagging in for Roode. Hernandez quickly over-powered Aries before delivering a shoulderbreaker for a two count. Roode then took a shoulder block from Hernandez, who followed with a smash to Aries. Chavo suddenly re-entered and wanted Three Amigos on Aries, but Aries blocked. Aries and Roode collided mid-ring, then started arguing.
Roode had enough and bailed from the ring, leaving Aries alone in the ring. Chavo finished off Three Amigos, then Hernandez wanted the Border Toss, but Roode suddenly returned to ringside and distracted the ref, allowing Aries to low-blow Hernandez and send him out of the ring. Back in the ring, Roode gave Chavo the Double R spinebuster before Aries came off the top with a 450 splash on Chavo for the pin and the win. New tag champs.
Post-match, Aries and Roode sort of looked at each other before receiving the Tag Title belts and celebrating their victory. After a replay of the finish, Roode and Aries were shown gloating over their victory.
WINNERS: Roode & Aries at 17:50 to capture the Tag Titles.
Backstage: In Brooke Hogan’s office, Bully Ray and Sting talked strategy in the tables match tonight. Hulk Hogan then walked in, so Sting and Brooke bailed, leaving Hulk to talk to Bully. Hulk said this is the end tonight and it’s all on Bully to make sure he proves how wrong he was about him. Hulk said he wants Bully to prove how much of a good guy he really is. Bully lifted his cap and said he’s not a good guy just because he’s married to Hulk’s daughter. Bully said he has not forgotten what Aces & Eights did to Hulk, Sting, or his wife (and Hulk’s daughter), but he ain’t no good guy. Hulk smiled and said for their family’s sake, he hopes he knows who Ray really is. “This ends tonight and it’s on you to end it for all of us,” Hogan told him. “Consider it done…dad,” Ray said, then he stomped off. Hulk cocked his head and said, “Perfect,” with a wry smile.
[Q6] Video Package: Todd Keneley brought up A.J. Styles for the first time in several weeks. TNA rolled a video documenting Styles’s terrible 2012 campaign, culminating with Daniels beating Styles in their “one last time” match at Final Resolution in December. Styles was then shown “walking away” from TNA.
In-ring: Miss Tessmacher was introduced first for Knockouts action. KO champion Tara was introduced next, and without Jessie, who is banned from ringside.
4 — KO champion TARA vs. MISS TESSMACHER — non-title match — Taryn Terrell referee
Tessmacher controlled early on as Tara seemed distracted by not having Jessie ringside to back her up. Tara regrouped and took control of the action before Tessmacher surprised her with a quick pin attempt for a nearfall. Tessmacher then built momentum before they collided mid-ring. After a reset, Tessmacher found an opening to smash Tara in the face. And, without Jessie ringside to distract the ref, it was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Tessmacher at 6:25.
Still to come: Ray & Sting vs. Aces & Eights in a tables match.
[Q7] In-ring: Jeremy Borash was in the ring to welcome out 2013 British Bootcamp winner Rockstar Spud. Spud strutted down to the ring before standing next to JB, who found someone to tower over on the TNA roster. Spud said he’s finally here in this ring and in front of his home-country fans.
Suddenly, Robbie E.’s music interrupted. Robbie dragged a reluctant Rob Terry down to the ring, where Robbie stared down the much-shorter Spud as JB bailed. On the mic, Robbie said Spud is a disgrace, not a wrestler, and a pizza deliveryman. Spud then ran into Terry’s chest trying to get at Robbie. Terry stood in-between them as Robbie talked a big-game over Terry’s shoulder, then noted Terry does whatever he tells him to do.
Terry had enough, so he “took a knee” to adjust his shoes, which allowed Spud to attack Robbie, clearing him to the floor. Robbie complained to Terry from the outside, then Spud helped Terry start a dance move. Robbie flipped out ringside as Terry ignored him while celebrating with Spud in the ring.
Backstage: Bully Ray and Sting were shown walking down the hallway. Brooke Hogan interrupted and asked if they’re ready. Sting said he is, then Ray hung back to get a final word from Brooke. The camera swung back to Sting to show Sting screaming, “Showtime!” Sting kept walking, then Brooke excitedly told Ray they are so close. Brooke cheered, then walked away.
Two weeks ago: Jeff Hardy retained the TNA World Title over Daniels, but Taz set up Hardy for an attack from an Aces & Eights member. Tenay relayed fictional news that Hardy does not have significant injuries, so he will be back on TV in a few weeks (when TNA returns to Orlando after two more U.K. episodes).
In-ring: Christy Hemme introduced the TV main event. Out first were Aces & Eights members Devon and D.O.C. as Taz claimed that Devon carried Bully Ray during their table match careers. Sting’s music then played to bring out Sting and Bully Ray – dressed in Sting’s warpaint – as Taz downplayed their crowd reaction.
5 — STING & BULLY RAY vs. TV champion DEVON & D.O.C. — Tables match
The match started at the end of Q7 with fists flying between all four wrestlers. Keneley said there’s “a lot of history” between Sting and D.O.C., referencing D.O.C. taking out Sting with a hammer a few months ago. No mention of Sting squashing D.O.C. in their first match encounter.
[Q8] Ray and Sting took apart the Aces & Eights members early on while Taz complained about referee Earl Hebner. The match slowed to a crawl before Sting set up Bully to deliver a Stinger Splash to former tag partner Devon. Ray then posed on the outside, soaking up the crowd’s reaction. Sting gave Devon a Stinger Splash of his own as Taz asked for someone to help Devon. Ray and Sting then set up another corner splash spot to continue embarrassing Aces & Eights. Double-clothesline over the top rope sent the heels to the floor leading to break.
Back from break eight minutes before the top of the hour, Bully and D.O.C. were battling in the ring. D.O.C. suddenly delivered a big boot to the face that sent Ray to the outside. Back in the ring, Sting and Devon battled, with Sting winning the exchange. Sting then held open Devon’s legs to allow Ray to come off the second-rope with a diving headbutt to Devon’s crotchal region. The crowd chanted for a table, then Ray tapped Sting on the arm and they told each other simultaneously, “Get the tables!”
Ray went under the ring to find a table, which he slid into the ring. Ray and Sting looked like stagehands slowly setting up the table, which allowed A&E to cut them off from behind. Devon then dumped Ray to the floor, leaving Sting and his t-shirt alone in the ring. Devon and D.O.C. slowly placed Sting on the table, then Ray tripped Devon from the floor and dragged him to the outside.
Suddenly, D.O.C. found himself hung out to dry on the top turnbuckle. Sting wanted a superplex, but Mike Knox hit the ring and pulled the table out of the way just before Sting delivered the superplex. The bumbling heels cancelled themselves out, though, when Sting ducked and Devon accidentally smashed Knox. Sting then gave D.O.C. the Scorpion Deathdrop. Ray and Devon then picked up a battle, but Ray Hulked Up to shake off Devon’s attack. Ray pointed at Devon, then drove him through the table for the win.
WINNERS: Sting & Ray at 14:06. Well, TNA tried to cover for Sting’s immobility in the main event. Meanwhile, Aces & Eights loses yet another spotlight match, reinforcing them as a joke.
Post-match, Sting and Bully celebrated in the ring as Hulk Hogan and Brooke Hogan excitedly walked down to the ring applauding the win. Brooke, Bully, Sting, and Hulk took center-stage for a curtain call before Hulk cupped his ear to the crowd. Taz sounded like Dr. Claw vowing to get them one day. After a replay of the table finish, TNA showed all four continuing to celebrate in the ring. Tenay called it a fantastic night for TNA. Brooke and Bully kissed center-ring, then Hulk and Sting did the Outsiders pose toward Bully and Ray to close the show.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor)