TNA Impact opened with a video package recapping recent events.
Backstage, a camera caught up with TNA World Hvt. champion Bully Ray. Ray referenced Brooke Hogan getting engaged – something maybe 10 percent of the audience knows about – and said Brooke is still married. He sternly said into the camera that their marriage is over when he says it’s over.
In-ring: Aces & Eights came out for a promo. First, Bully Ray ran down Chris Sabin and told the “little man” not to cash in his X Title for a TNA Title shot if he knows what’s best for him. Next, Ray shot down Main Event Mafia’s challenge for a fight next week.
On cue, the Mafia’s music played to bring out Sting, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and Magnus. Angle said they will bring the fight to Mafia next week and kill two birds with one stone – take out A&E and make sure Ray is no longer World champion.
Sting added in that their newest Mafia member is a “heavy hitter” and they’ll introduce him later. On commentary, Taz freaked out about this claim.
Still to come: Joker’s Wild for the Bound for Glory Series.
[Commercial Break at 9:09]
On-stage: Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme were on-stage for the Joker’s Wild drawing. To the drum. Jeff Hardy’s name was drawn first.
[Q2] Hardy made his way out on-stage dressed to wrestle and made his way to the ring awaiting his tag partner. Joseph Park, who fought Hardy last week, was introduced as Hardy’s tag partner. Taz said even he feels bad for Hardy having to team with Park.
Back to the drum. JB announced A.J. Styles as the first-half of the opposition. Styles took his time heading to the ring, then JB announced Samoa Joe as Styles’s tag partner. Joe came out to Mafia music as opposed to his own music.
1 — SAMOA JOE & A.J. STYLES vs. JEFF HARDY & JOSEPH PARK
The match built to goofball Park getting the upperhand on Joe. But, Park could not stay focused, allowing Joe to shove Park into Styles, who springboard-smashed Park. Joe then slapped on the rear-naked choke on Park, who squirmed until he tapped out. Joe and Styles then had a face-to-face confrontation after the match to set up their involvement in the gauntlet match later.
WINNERS: Joe & Styles at 4:35 to advance to the BFG Series gauntlet. Fine for setting up tension between Joe and Styles, but inefficient use of arguably TNA’s top main roster star, Jeff Hardy. Every time Hardy appears on Impact, it should be treated like a huge deal since he’s one of the few people on the roster who can actually move the needle.
[Commercial Break at 9:22]
Backstage: Taryn Terrell was shown warming up for the Knockouts #1 contender ladder match later in the show.
On-stage: Jay Bradley was selected for the next BFG Series Joker’s Wild match. Hernandez, who beat Bradley last week, was introduced next. And, for the opposition, Mr. Anderson was introduced first. Fortunately, Anderson was standing by in the A&E Holding Area when his name was called. Magnus was then introduced as Anderson’s partner, pairing up Mafia and A&E.
2 — HERNANDEZ & JAY BRADLEY vs. MR. ANDERSON & MAGNUS
Anderson and Magnus wanted nothing to do with each other early on. Magnus eventually started things off and Anderson teased taking a hot tag, but suddenly got sleepy and dropped down to the mat to collect himself. Moments later, it turned out that Bradley and Hernandez couldn’t get on the same page, allowing Magnus to roll up Hernandez for a three count. Post-match, Anderson mock celebrated Magnus, who did all the work for the win.
WINNERS: Magnus & Anderson at 3:55 to advance to the BFG Series gauntlet.
Locker Room: Austin Aries was putting his problems on Bobby Roode before asking where Roode was last week to help him in the X Title match. Roode snapped back that he has his own problems since he has no points in the BFG Series. Franklin Kazarian and Christopher Daniels then barged in and set up an inevitable tag match since they’re the last four whose names have not been drawn. Daniels blew Roode’s mind talking so fast, which Aries agreed with.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
Backstage: Gail Kim was shown warming up for the Knockouts #1 contender ladder match later in the show.
On-stage: Christopher Daniels was introduced on-stage for the next BFG Series Joker’s Wild match. Daniels expected to have Kazarian’s name drawn, but Austin Aries was introduced instead. Aries walked past Hemme and Daniels, who chased him down to talk strategy and make sure they’re all good. Back on-stage, Bobby Roode was introduced, followed by Kazarian.
3 — BOBBY ROODE & KAZARIAN vs. AUSTIN ARIES & CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
Back-and-forth the heels went feeling each other out early on, showing there is honor among thieves. At least temporarily.
[Q4] Aries and Roode eventually met face-to-face. The tag partners noted it’s all about the belt around the waist, then locked up and battled. Aries wanted a trademark dive from the ring apron, but Kaz yanked him off the mat to the floor. Kaz compromised Aries on the outside leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:46]
Back from break at 7:20, Kaz was still controlling Aries. Suddenly, there was a miscommunication between Kaz and Daniels. One miscommunication begat another miscommunication, then Kaz suddenly pinned Daniels with a roll-up, stunning Daniels. The deal was Kaz sold being blinded just before the roll-up, so Kaz did not realize he pinned Daniels. After a post-match chat, Daniels decided to be the better man and raise Kaz’s hand in victory.
WINNERS: Roode & Kazarian at 9:53 to advance to the BFG Series gauntlet.
Backstage: Bully Ray led the Aces & Eights group into a side room to vote on the new Aces & Eights VP. Taz noted on commentary that he has to bail to be part of the vote.
Hallway: Taryn, then Gail were shown walking down the hallway ahead of their Knockouts ladder match clash.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Backstage Production Area: Hulk Hogan was shown talking to Brooke Hogan, who told Hulk not to talk to her about Bully Ray. Hulk said he just wants the truth. Brooke, agitated, said she just wants to focus on the ladder match and doesn’t want to focus on more than she needs to. Hulk said he gets it, then told Brooke to take care of business. All of it.
[Q5 -- second hour]
A&E Meeting Room: Bully Ray addressed the group with a speech. Ray noted they seem to have a problem right now after taking care of another problem, D-Lo Brown. Ray said he will not vote on the new VP, leaving it up to the rest of them. Anderson picked himself. D.O.C. picked himself. Wes picked Anderson, Devon picked D.O.C., Garett Bischoff picked Anderson, Taz picked D.O.C., and it was down to Knox for the final pick.
Knox tapped D.O.C.’s beer bottle, but picked Anderson. Ray then made it official while D.O.C. seethed in the background. Ray walked off, then D.O.C. stared down Knox, who told him it’s not about him, but about the club. D.O.C. was left alone seething over the events.
In-ring: Christy Hemme and ODB were standing by, then Hemme welcomed out Knockouts champion Mickie James to be ringside for the #1 contender ladder match. As Gail Kim was introduced, Tenay noted that Taryn vs. Gail at Slammiversary received critical praise, but Gail was not happy with the outcome because she lost. Now, she’s seeking revenge. Taryn came out next and Gail quickly jumped her to begin her quest for revenge.
4 — TARYN TERRELL vs. GAIL KIM — #1 contender Ladder match — ODB referee
Gail and Taryn traded control and smashed each other with a ladder early on. Meanwhile, Mickie watched gleefully from ringside as the two potential contenders tore into each other. Impact cut to break four minutes in.
[Commercial Break at 10:08]
Back from break, Taryn was climbing a ladder center-ring, but Gail cut her off with forearm strikes and they both fell to the mat. As the action intensified and the ladder spots became more dangerous-looking, the crowd got more into the battle.
[Q6] After knocking Gail to the mat, Taryn stood alone on the ladder, but she was too far away from the clipboard hanging above the ring. And, a left knee injury affected her. So, she decided to splash Gail off the ladder. They reset and battled on a ladder draped across the prime ladder, then Taryn’s injured leg got hung inside the ladder. It was enough time for Gail to scale, reach, and retrieve the contract to win. Ringside, Mickie stood up and politely applauded while Gail celebrated on the way out of the ring.
WINNER: Gail at 15:10 to become #1 contender to the Knockouts Title.
Backstage MEM Lounge: Kurt Angle and Sting shared notes about the Main Event Mafia’s progress. Sting stressed that they have #1 and #2 in the BFG Series with Joe and Magnus. Angle then asked about the fifth guy in the Mafia. Suddenly, Sting’s phone buzzed and Sting left to take the call.
[Commercial Break at 10:22]
MEM Lounge: Back to Sting, who wrapped up the phone conversation. Sting noted to Angle that his man will be here in a few minutes.
In-ring: A.J. Styles was announced for the BFG Series gauntlet match worth 25 points. Mafia music then brought out Magnus.
5 — BFG SERIES GAUNTLET MATCH — Winner gets 25 points
Styles and Magnus felt each other out, then Styles took control as the countdown clock flashed on the video screen.
[Q7] After the interval expired, Kazarian was introduced as the third wrestler in the Gauntlet. Styles met him once he entered the ring, then snapped off a suplex that sent Kaz neck-first into the bottom turnbuckle.
The next countdown led to more Mafia music and the arrival of Samoa Joe. Joe and Magnus double-teamed Kaz, prompting Taz to complain about a conspiracy. Suddenly, Kaz went flying over the top rope to the floor, eliminating Kazarian at 5:25. Joe then teed off on Styles leading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Back from break, Mr. Anderson was in the ring. Bobby Roode was then introduced as the final man in the Gauntlet match. The five remaining men – Styles, Roode, Anderson, Joe, and Magnus – exchanged control of each other before Anderson clotheslined Styles over the top rope for an elimination. Taz bragged about A&E’s new VP dumping Styles, who rejected Styles a few weeks ago.
Suddenly, Joe clotheslined Anderson and himself over the top rope, eliminating one member of A&E and one member of the Mafia. So, it came down to Roode vs. Magnus in a one-on-one battle. Roode wrestled Magnus to the mat, then applied the Crossface, which Magnus escaped after Taz said he wasn’t tough enough to escape. Magnus came back with the Texas Cloverleaf, but Roode escaped.
At 15:30, Roode blocked Magnus’s follow-up and chopped him. Roode wanted a top-rope move, but Magnus shoved him down to the mat. Magnus airballed an elbow drop, then Roode tried to capitalize with a roll-up, but Magnus reversed momentum into a pin using his legs to trap Roode’s shoulders for a three count. “Man, that makes me so mad,” Taz grumbled as Magnus celebrated in the ring. “I am so mad. Ugh!”
WINNER: Magnus at 16:50 to win 25 BFG Series points.
[Q8] Backstage: X Division champion Chris Sabin, then Hulk Hogan were shown walking down the hallway. Sabin makes his decision on whether to cash in the X Title for a TNA Title shot next.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Back from break 10 minutes before the top of the hour, Hulk Hogan’s music played to bring out the Impact GM. After Hogan played to the crowd on the way to the ring, Hogan took the mic and said there are some Hulkamaniacs in Las Vegas tonight.
Hogan then got down to business that the X Division is front-and-center next week with Destination X. So, he wants to know what Chris Sabin’s decision is. Out came Sabin clutching the X Division Title. Hogan buttered up Sabin, patted him on the back, and handed him the mic.
Sabin cut another promo about tearing both of his knees and thinking he would never be able to compete again. Sabin said he vowed to never give up on his dream, though. He then vowed to give up the X Title for a TNA Title shot next week.
On cue, TNA Champ Bully Ray interrupted to share a word with Sabin. Ray marched to the ring by himself and started with Hogan. Ray told Hogan to tell his daughter and Bully’s wife that they have unfinished business.
As for Sabin, Ray told him that he better not hand over that title. Ray told Sabin that he’s a bad person and he does bad things. He said there’s no way a “little boy like you could ever defeat a man, a president, a World champion like me.” Ray asked Sabin how bad he thinks he’s going to beat him up if he cashes in the title.
Sabin snapped at Ray to shut up, then reminded Ray how he beat him one, two, three in this ring and pinned Ray in Team 3D’s retirement match, which popped the crowd. Sabin asked Ray if he forgot that he kicked out of Team 3D’s finisher, prompting Ray to pace the ring like a mad dog. Sabin said all he needs is one chance next week on Impact. “I will beat you. I will stand over you. And I will ask you if you know who I am. I am Chris Sabin, the TNA World Hvt. champion,” Sabin declared.
Ray replied by shouting at Sabin not to do it. But, Sabin handed over the X Title to Hogan, who held it up in the air. Ray told Sabin that he just signed his death warrant. Ray then noted Sabin has to fight his whole family.
Suddenly, Aces & Eights’s music played, but it was interrupted by the Mafia theme music. According to Benjamin Tucker’s (@BTuckerTorch) Mafia Theme Music Counter, that’s double digits with the tenth installment of the Mafia music on the night. On-stage, Sting introduced Joe, Angle, Magnus, and their newest member, Rampage Jackson. “What?!” Tenay exclaimed. Rampage, dressed in cargo pants, a black t-shirt, and his chain, emerged on-stage and stood behind Sting and Angle.
Back in the ring, Ray sold concern as Sabin made a fist and the Mafia stood tall on-stage. Tenay signed off with a final plug for Destination X next week on Impact.
(James Caldwell, PWTorch.com)