This week’s Impact opened with a video package documenting last week’s events, including first-name-basis wrestlers winning BFG Series matches. Then, Hogan Family Drama led to Sting grabbing Kurt Angle to be part of Main Event Mafia.
In the arena, Mike Tenay hyped an X Division Title match, a Knockouts Title match, and the return of Gut Check. Main Event Mafia’s music then played to bring out Sting dressed in a suit. Tenay asked Taz if he’s nervous after Sting and Kurt Angle took out Bully Ray last week. “It’s a problem. I’m not going to lie,” Taz replied.
In the ring, Sting celebrated Main Event Mafia rising before welcoming out Kurt Angle, who was dressed in a pinstripe suit. Angle slowly walked to the ring before receiving the mic from Sting. Angle said they are Mafia originals from nearly four years ago and the whole concept was that each member had to be a former World champion. Angle said Aces & Eights have been violent and vicious, and because of A&E, Sting will never get to wrestle for the TNA Title again. And, because of A&E, he was screwed out of the BFG Series.
Angle got close to Sting and said real family sticks together. “This is the new and improved Main Event Mafia,” Angle said. He said they are both Hall of Famers, but they have to accomplish two goals: destroy Aces & Eights and make sure Bully Ray loses the World TItle. Angle then teased the newest MEM member revealed later tonight.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz were shown on-camera reacting to Aces & Eights vs. TNA/Main Event Mafia.
Still to come: Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky for the Knockouts Title, Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson in the BFG Series, and the X Title on the line up next.
Video Package: Chris Sabin captured the X Division Title in the Ultimate X match at Slammiversary earlier this month.
Backstage: D.O.C. jumped Chris Sabin from behind and dragged him inside the back of a trailer. As D.O.C. and Mr. Anderson held Sabin against the trailer wall, Bully Ray sarcastically gave him a pep-talk about his title defense tonight. He then noted Sabin better do the right thing: not cash in his shot at his TNA World Title. Ray said Sabin is a great wrestler, a “great little X Division wrestler who does all of that X Division stuff,” but he’s the World champ and a bad person. Ray had enough of Sabin and let him go before wishing him good luck.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
[Q2] Locker Room: Zack Ryder’s sidekick, Big O, was shown warming up backstage. He’s going by his name of Adam Ohriner, and he’s in Gut Check tonight.
In-ring: Christy Hemme was standing by to announce the first of two title matches tonight, starting with the X Division Title match. Suicide was introduced first as Taz demanded to know who he is. Kenny King was out next, followed by X Champ Chris Sabin.
1 — X Division champion CHRIS SABIN vs. KENNY KING vs. SUICIDE — three-way X Division Title match
Sabin took control on the outside leading to a mid-match commercial.
[Commercial Break at 9:21]
Back from break, Sabin and King were battling in the ring. Suicide then tried to re-enter the battle, but Sabin avoided and stacked up both King and Suicide in the corner to deliver a corner dropkick. Next was a three-man Tower of Doom move that sent Suicide rolling out of the picture to the outside. Sabin then dropped King with Hail Sabin, but Suicide broke up the pin.
At 10:00, Suicide wanted a small package roll-up on King, but King blocked. Suddenly, there was a pinfall situation for a three count that Tenay no-sold, apparently acting confused over who scored the pin. Suicide was declared the winner, ending Sabin’s brief title reign.
WINNER: Suicide at 10:12 to capture the X Division Title.
[Q3] Post-match: Hulk Hogan’s music played. Hogan dragged out T.J. Perkins, who sold immense stomach pain. From the stage, Hogan said Perkins is and has always been the real Suicide. He said someone attacked T.J. in the back and stole the Suicide suit. Hogan said nothing pisses him off more than someone cheating to get to the top, so he wants to know who the fake Suicide is. Fake Suicide saw the writing on the wall and bailed through the crowd before Sabin could get to him. Tenay freaked out about who the fake Suicide is as Impact cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:32]
Moments Ago: “Suicide” cheated to win the X Division Title. But, Hulk Hogan dragged out T.J. Perkins to indicate that an impostor stole the X Title.
Backstage: Hogan freaked out when the roving cameraman shoved a camera in his face. Hogan vowed to expose the impostor tonight.
Backstage: Ryan Howe was spotlighted backstage for Gut Check tonight. This led to a video package on Ryan’s background, specifically music. Apparently this is TNA’s answer to 3MB.
In-ring at 9:38: Jeremy Borash was in the ring to introduce the Gut Check segment. Guitar noises were heard, then Ryan Howe strolled out on-stage playing an electric guitar. Ryan did a number, then strolled to the ring as Taz freaked out about the return of Van Hammer. Big O was introduced next.
2 — BIG O vs. RYAN HOWE — Gut Check Challenge
Basic back-and-forth early on, then Ryan went for a corner splash and Big O kind of fell down to accept the blow. Big O took some more awkward-looking bumps where he stuck out his chest to accept a blow and fell down to the mat. Suddenly, Big O caught Ryan coming off the ropes and delivered a powerslam. It was good for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Big O at 2:48.
Backstage: Sting and Kurt Angle were shown walking down the hallway. sting said they are definitely going to be better-off this go-around compared to last time.
Up Next: Knockouts Title match.
[Commercial Break at 9:44] [...Q4]
[Q4...] Back from break, Tenay reviewed the BFG Series Standings. Still to come, it’s Joe vs. Mr. Anderson and Magnus vs. Bobby Roode in the BFG Series.
Locker Room: T.J. Perkins was shown sitting down at his locker upset with Suicide developments tonight. Bully Ray then walked in and mocked Perkins for “all that little stuff he does” in the ring, but he’s his friend. Ray then asked Suicide if Kurt and Sting put him up to this. Perkins denied any involvement with them. Ray re-asked, so Perkins stood up and said he got jumped. “It was very, very real,” he said. Ray sold being nervous about Main Event Mafia playing mind-games with him, then slapped Perkins on the back and told him he can leave now.
Video Package: Velvet Sky’s knee injury angle, complete with Mickie James’s heel turn.
In-ring: Velvet Sky was introduced first as the challenger for the Knockouts Title match. Tenay recapped new KO champion Mickie James dodging Sky for weeks, but she can’t dodge Sky anymore. Tenay plugged the start of the match on the other side of the break.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Back from break three minutes before the top of the hour, Hardcore Country was introduced to the ring. Taz said he loves country music, then karaoke’ed Mickie’s theme song.
3 — Knockouts champion MICKIE JAMES vs. VELVEY SKY — Knockouts Title match — ODB referee
Before the match started, Mickie took the mic and apologized for a vicious side coming out of her ever since she won the KO Title. Mickie said it obviously hasn’t changed her, but it’s changed Velvet. She said that when Velvet was Champ, they were best friends, but now that she’s the champ, Velvet doesn’t want to be her friend. Great heelisms twisting the truth.
[Q5 -- second hour] Mickie offered Velvet one last chance to “do the right thing” backing out of the match. Velvet then “did the right thing” by attacking Mickie to officially start the match. Mickie came back with a knee attack, but Velvet shook it off and mounted her own attack. After a brawl on the outside, Mickie popped Sky’s knee on the way back into the ring. Mickie then applied a half-Boston Crab and forced Sky to tap out.
Post-match, Sky cried in the ring as Mickie stood tall with the title on the entranceramp. Christy Hemme then asked Sky for some thoughts after losing her title re-match. Sky could only muster tears, though.
WINNER: Mickie via submission at 6:40 to retain the KO Title. Mickie is completely locked in with her heel character. She made everything in the first hour look like amateur hour.
Earlier Tonight: Hulk Hogan vowed to expose fake Suicide.
Backstage: Sting and Kurt Angle were standing by when Bobby Roode slowly walked by them. Roode paused to let them check out the back of his robe, then Roode kept walking. Angle and Sting laughed to each other.
Up Next: Roode vs. Magnus in the BFG Series.
[Commercial Break at 10:09]
Locker Room: Hulk Hogan asked referee Stiffler if he noticed anything different about the Suicide guy tonight. Stiffler said everything looked normal in the ring, then Hogan told him to find the impostor. Stiffler vowed to rise to the occasion.
In-ring: Magnus was introduced for the first of two BFG Series matches tonight. Bobby Roode was out next, but he took his time to make Magnus wait and wait.
4 — MAGNUS vs. BOBBY ROODE — BFG Series match
The match built to Magnus and Roode trading bombs before Magnus landed a back-drop suplex to take control. Magnus then came off the top rope with an elbow drop for a close two count. Roode made a comeback, then randomly shouted into the hard-camera: “What do I gotta do?” sounding like Matt Morgan addressing Hogan mid-match. The announcers said it appears Roode was directing his comments toward Sting and Angle. Magnus then dropped Roode with a Michinoku Driver for a three count.
WINNER: Magnus at 6:40 to earn 7 points.
Backstage: TNA tag champs James Storm & Gunner were shown walking down the hallway holding their tag belts. Tenay said they have some words to share next.
[Commercial Break at 10:24]
Locker Room: Aces & Eights barged in and found Chavo Guerrero, Robbie E., and Jessie Godderz hanging out. Chavo was ready to fight while Jessie & Robbie sold being confused by A&E’s presence. Bully Ray demanded to know if either of them is Suicide, which they all denied. On the way out the door, Ray told Godderz to lay off the carbs.
[Q7] Suddenly, James Storm and Gunner were in the ring. TNA seemed to jump half-way into Storm’s speech, where Storm said some people think tag wrestling is science, but they don’t look like scientists. Storm then did his beer-drinking verbal routine before noting Gunner has his back.
Suddenly, Robbie E’s music interrupted. Apparently Bully Ray’s confrontation woke him up. Out came Robbie, Godderz, and a returning Tara. Robbie said Storm and Gunner really think they’re tough, but it’s too late for them because they are the future of tag wrestling. Robbie called themselves Bro-Mance before Storm asked if they’re a thing. Robbie corrected him that they’re not a bro-mance, but “The Bro-Mance.” Storm said he might be a little drunk, but he thought he heard “bro-mance” again.
Jessie spoke up that they are “Bro-Mance” and they have a “hot chick.” Storm said he learned a long time ago that she’s what you call a “but-her-face.” Storm sized up Tara, then Gunner smashed Godderz when he tried to hit Storm. Tara and Robbie helped Godderz out of the ring as Storm noted he didn’t have to knock out Jessie. But, “sorry about your damn luck.” The tag champs then stood tall in the ring as Jessie sold not being sure what city he was in.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked Sting and Kurt Angle what they think about the Suicide situation. Sting changed the subject to their Main Event Mafia reveal, then said it’s a good night and walked off with Angle.
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
Back on Impact, Tenay noted Five-Hour Energy is the TV main event sponsor. Aces & Eights’s music then brought out Mr. Anderson, who shook hands with Taz on the way to the ring. Samoa Joe was introduced next to battle Anderson. The match started at 10:41 p.m.
5 — SAMOA JOE vs. MR. ANDERSON — BFG Series match
Joe delivered signature offense early on, forcing ref Earl Hebner to drop down to the mat to render a one-count. Hebner sold an injury getting back to his feet, then Joe and Anderson moved their battle to the floor. Anderson drove Joe back-first into the ring apron, then rolled him back into the ring. Of note, the arena was starting to empty out at this point in the TV taping. This allowed one fan near an arena mic to audibly shout, “Hey, Taz, you suck!” loud enough that Taz had to acknowledge it on commentary.
[Q8] Suddenly, Aces & Eights members hit the ringside area with Anderson in trouble. D.O.C. and Knox taunted Joe, then Anderson DDT’ed Joe for a two count. Suddenly, Sting and Angle hit the ringside area to pick a fight with A&E. Chaos broke out ringside as the match was still ongoing in the ring. Back in the ring, Joe blocked the Mic Check before slapping on the rear-naked choke. Anderson was forced to tap out, giving Joe 10 big points.
WINNER: Joe via submission at 5:28 to earn 10 points.
Post-match, Sting and Angle hit the ring to confront Joe. Sting shook Joe’s hand, then Angle hugged him. Joe then stood center-ring with Angle and Sting before the Mafia music played. Taz said this whole thing stinks. Joe celebrated with Sting and Angle again as Tenay noted Mafia has its third member.
Up Next: Hulk Hogan wants Suicide answers.
[Commercial Break at 10:48]
Back from break eight minutes before the top of the hour, Sting and Angle greeted Samoa Joe backstage. Sting handed Joe a suit, which he accepted. Joe said he’s back in business, then Angle and Sting did a Men’s Wearhouse bit that Joe will like the way he looks, they guarantee it.
In-ring: Hulk Hogan was introduced again and took his time doing a victory lap before entering the ring. Once in the ring, Hogan said tonight was all-about who the X Division champion is ahead of Destination X in July. Hogan then told “Suicide” to get out here right now, or else he’ll take the title away from him.
Suddenly, Suicide appeared on-stage with the X Title around his waist. Suicide received a mic, but Hogan talked again. Hogan said he’s pressed giants and chopped mountains down, but he understands that when opportunities arise, you turn them into gold. Hogan quoted Sheiky Baby before noting it’s not about cheatin’, brother.
Hogan demanded that “Suicide” pull off the mask right now, but the person shook his head no. Suddenly, Aces & Eights’s music played. Bully Ray marched down to the ring with the TNA Title over his shoulder, then told “dad” that for the first time in a long time, they’re actually on the same page. Ray demanded that Suicide take off his mask right now. No dice.
Ray said it actually doesn’t matter because what matters is what Suicide does with his title shot. Ray said the only reason why Suicide won the belt tonight is because he put the Fear of God – no wait, the Fear of Me – in Chris Sabin. He told Suicide to walk away because he’s a bad person who does bad things.
Hogan said he’s tired of all this crap, then told Suicide to take off the hood. Suicide spoke through a modulated voice that he was in darkness. (pause for laughter in the crowd.) Suicide said his torment is shared, then asked if they know who he is. Suicide’s modulated voice became more clear as Austin Aries’s voice, then Aries removed the hood and noted in his normal voice that he’s the man who’s going to cash in the X Title on Ray again.
Aries stood tall in the ring while Hogan looked around the ring unsure what to do. On commentary, Taz demanded that Hogan fix this as Impact signed off with Aries standing tall in the ring temporarily the X Division champion.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor)