It’s the final TNA Impact from Orlando and the final Impact leading into Lockdown 2013. This week’s episode began with a video package documenting recent storyline events building to Lockdown on Sunday.
Backstage in the Impact Zone, TNA started with the roving cameraman catching up to Kurt Angle to ask who he saw under the Aces & Eights mask last week. Angle answered by saying he’s so upset, he kept it to himself for an entire week, and it has rippling effects throughout the company. Angle said he’s going to reveal who he saw later tonight. Angle then kept on walking down the hallway.
Impact Zone: Austin Aries was introduced to the ring dressed to wrestle as Mike Tenay and Todd Keneley introduced the show. Tenay said they are expecting the biggest domestic crowd at Lockdown on Sunday and Aries will be outnumbered in his Tag Title defense with Bobby Roode on Sunday.
In the ring, Aries said he can’t get hold of his tag partner, Bobby Roode, but said that’s okay because he still got the job done against Hernandez last week on Impact. Aries then turned his attention to Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray ahead of their TNA Title clash on Sunday. Aries said he took time out of his busy schedule to give them advice last week, but they rejected him. He then called out the World champ, Jeff Hardy, for a match tonight. Aries said if Hardy is half the champion he says he is, then he’ll meet him in the ring and prove it. Taz chimed in on commentary that it’s a pretty big deal.
Jeff Hardy’s music played in response to Aries, but there was no sign of Hardy. After TNA cut back to the ring to show Aries, Jeff Hardy slowly emerged on-stage holding both the TNA Title belt and his personalized title belt. Hardy saluted the crowd and slowly, slowly took a victory lap. Aries then impatiently jumped Hardy from the ring apron. The lights came up and Aries continued to beat down Hardy ringside before rolling him back into the ring. This being TNA, despite the unfair advantage and Hardy never officially accepting the challenge, the ref called for a bell.
1 — TNA World Hvt. champion JEFF HARDY vs. AUSTIN ARIES — non-title match
Aries continued to beat down Hardy as Tenay noted they are giving away the Bound for Glory PPV main event right now. Aries then dumped Hardy over the top rope to the floor and Hardy sold an injury to his mid-section. Hardy crawled around the ringside area, Aries mocked Hardy’s dance, and Impact cut to break at 2:45.
[Q2] Impact returned from break at 6:55 with Aries still in control of the match, which was now back in the ring. Aries continued to maintain control, but he was unable to finish the match with a pinfall. Meanwhile, TNA flashed a tweet from TNA president Dixie Carter announcing new Impact TV dates in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Tampa markets.
At 10:00, Hardy finally escaped Aries’s attack before delivering consecutive offense. Hardy then climbed to the second rope and splashed Aries for a two count. Hardy wanted the Twist of Fate, but Aries blocked, only to have Hardy head-scissors him to the outside. Hardy followed with a big splash on the floor.
Back in the ring, Hardy wanted a top-rope move, but Aries stood up and knocked down Hardy. Aries then tried to suplex Hardy back into the ring, but Hardy blocked and hit a Stunner version of the Twist of Fate. Hardy wanted to end it with Twist of Fate, but Matt Morgan suddenly hit the ring. Morgan eyed Hardy, then smashed him with the Carbon Footprint, ending the match.
Post-match, Morgan dragged Hardy out of the ring and prepared to smash Hardy’s face into the ringpost, but Bully Ray came to ringside wielding a chain, causing Morgan to back down. Morgan then slowly backed up the entrance ramp while telling Ray that this has nothing to do with him. Bully then helped up Hardy before they face each other for the TNA Title on Sunday.
WINNER: No Contest at 12:18. It was pretty apparent there would be a non-finish since TNA did not hype the match in advance to raise expectations, so the biggest question mark was how they would arrive at a non-finish. Morgan inserting himself into the TNA Title picture, along with Austin Aries, sets up post-PPV activity, but TNA has to re-focus on Hardy-Ray later in this show to sell the PPV main event on Sunday.
GM’s Office: Sting gave a pep-talk to Magnus, James Storm, Samoa Joe, and Eric Young. Sting shouted, calmed down, and then vowed to kick things off tonight against anyone from Aces & Eights who gets in his face. No context was provided for the majority of the audience that doesn’t know there’s a Best-of-Three Series tonight.
Last Week: Kurt Angle infiltrated the Aces & Eights Clubhouse, then saw who the VP is under the mask. Then, he was jumped by the other members to close the show.
Backstage: Kurt Angle was shown walking down the hallway. Keneley asked if Angle will reveal the identity of the VP next.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked Matt Morgan to explain his actions in the opening match. Morgan said he knows what he wants – the TNA World Title – and he made a vow to himself to gut Hulk Hogan’s entire roster until he gets what he deserves.
Video Package: Another look at the Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco feud that followed Wes turning heel on Angle to join Aces & Eights. They clash inside the cage on Sunday.
[Q3] Impact Zone: Aces & Eights’s music played to bring out Wes Brisco from the side entrance, pre-empting Angle’s arrival to reveal the identity of the VP character. Taz suggested perhaps Angle took a detour backstage or got cold feet. “Maybe he tripped and hurt his ankle,” Taz muttered. In the ring, Wes looked around the building before saying he has to get something off his chest. Brisco said his dad and uncle were two of the greatest wrestlers and they told Kurt that he’s the best wrestler they have ever seen. “I believed it. I studied it. I wanted to be you,” Wes said. “Until I got the chance to beat you.” Wes spoke over “What?!” chants that Angle’s as worthless as the medal around his neck for a sport the Olympics just kicked out. Wes flailed his arms like a high-schooler doing a presentation after the Olympics line. Wes then vowed to prove that a Brisco is better than an Angle.
Kurt Angle’s music interrupted to bring out Angle on-stage. Angle said he remembers it differently. He said he remembers a snot-nosed little kid wanting to ask questions and calling him every week to get a shot in TNA. Angle said he made a mistake trusting Wes and he will rectify that mistake by beating Wes within an inch of his life. So, before he exposes the VP of Aces & Eights, he’s going to whip Wes’s ass right now.
Angle stormed the ring and blocked Wes, who tried to take down Angle. Angle then beat Wes out of the ring to the outside. TNA agents eventually hit the ringside area to separate the two men, including D-Lo Brown, Al Snow, and Pat Kenney. The fight moved back into the ring, then Angle saw D-Lo standing next to Wes and pointed toward him, which Irish Pat and Snow didn’t seem to understand. Before Angle could do anything, D-Lo punted Angle between the legs before hugging Wes. Taz told them to do the math and figure it out as Brown pointed his gut toward the hard-camera and sneered.
Ringside, D-Lo grabbed the VP mask that Angle brought him to the ring and said that he came out here to reclaim some club property. D-Lo said he’s going to go ahead and spoil Angle’s surprise that he D-Lo Brown is the VP of Aces & Eights. “Recognize that, Angle,” D-Lo shouted toward the ring before Impact cut to break.
Backstage: Back from break, D-Lo Brown was shown talking to Devon as the other thugs laughed it up behind them. Brown shouted at Devon to lead the group out there to get the man-advantage at Lethal Lockdown. Brown then broke the fourth wall addressing the home audience that Aces & Eights stands together. Brown asked Sting if he can trust the guys he’s going to be locked in the cage with on Sunday.
Impact Zone: Devon arrived ringside for the next match before Sting was introduced to face Devon.
2 — TV champion DEVON vs. STING — non-title match — Match #1 in Best-of-Three Series to determine man-advantage at Lethal Lockdown
Sting and Devon battled center-ring before Devon put Sting in the corner. Devon then waited for Sting to come out of the corner before delivering a big clothesline. Devon settled into a chinlock as the announcers plugged Lockdown in San Antonio on Sunday. Devon tried to follow with a top-rope headbutt, but Sting rolled out of the way. Sting then clotheslined Devon over the top rope to the outside.
[Q4] Sting and Devon battled ringside, then a hyper-active “fan” on the front row threw a beer in Sting’s face. The comedy continued with security pretending to yank the over-acting fan away from ringside. Devon then dragged Sting back into the ring and pinned him for the win.
WINNER: Devon at 3:18.
Backstage: Ivelisse Veliz and Lea’d Tapa were shown standing by backstage to learn their Gut Check fate. Tapa appeared to be a full foot taller than Ivelisse based on how they were positioned in the camera shot.
Backstage: A roving cameraman asked Velvet Sky what it feels like to be Knockouts champion again. Wait for the interruption…Gail Kim barged in ten seconds into Sky’s speech to tell her that she will beat her for the KO Title at Lockdown. Gail said she is undefeated at Lockdown, then asked Velvet if she’s listening to her. Velvet slapped her across the face, then asked Gail if she heard that.
Last Week: Bruce Prichard and Al Snow said Taz will not be part of Gut Check anymore. Prichard brought in OVW head trainer Danny Davis as the new third judge. They deliberated Ivellise and Tapa’s work in the try-out match last week before agreeing to decide what they want to do by “next week.”
Backstage: The Gut Check evaluation took place backstage rather than in the ring. The pre-taped video feed cut in and out as Prichard stretched out his introduction. Prichard rubbed his hands together and said this was a very tough decision before telling Tapa that she’s going through and Ivelisse is gone. Ivelisse grimaced, then shook hands with the judges. Prichard told Tapa that she doesn’t have a contract yet.
Impact Zone: KO champion Velvet Sky came out on-stage with Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez for a six-person tag match up next.
[Q5 — second hour]
3 — CHAVO GUERRERO & HERNANDEZ & KO champion VELVET SKY vs. DANIELS & KAZARIAN & GAIL KIM — six-person mixed tag match — Taryn Terrell referee
Immediately back from break, the bell sounded without the heels being identified. As the action started, Taz heeled on the Gut Check judges from the previous segment. Taz then heeled on the graphics promoting upcoming TV taping dates since no A&E members are included. The heels cheated to take control of the match, then began working on an isolated Chavo.
Chavo finally broke free to bring in Velvet, which meant Gail had to enter the match. More outside interference from the heels led to Sky and Daniels mixing it up in the ring. The match moved to the floor, where Daniels tried to springboard-moonsault Chavo, but Chavo ducked and Daniels crashed into Kaz. Hernandez then flew over the top rope to splash the heels on the outside. Back in the ring, Gail dropped Velvet with Eat Defeat and it was good for the win. Afterward, the announcers wondered if this will be a sign of things to come at the PPV when Sky defends the KO Title against Gail.
WINNERS: Team Gail at 7:20.
Earlier Tonight: Kurt Angle screamed at D-Lo Brown that he’s the VP, then Brown punted Angle between the legs to quiet him. Then, a “fan” dressed like Mr. Anderson threw a beer in Sting’s eyes, allowing Devon to pin Sting.
Backstage: A very angry Sting bashed a chair with his bat before asking Magnus and Samoa Joe if he can trust them. Joe shouted back that they can trust him. Magnus then rekindled their old feud yelling at Joe that he can’t trust him, but they’re at war. Magnus said he will show everyone just who he is tonight.
Tonight: Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy in a Final Face-Off before Lockdown.
Up Next: A.J. Styles update.
Back live, Tenay and Keneley broke down upcoming TNA dates before going to a video update on A.J. Styles.
Video: TNA cameras caught up with A.J. Styles hanging out at a local bar in Gainesville, Georgia. Styles grabbed one of the TNA reps by the throat and shoved him into the passenger door of his vehicle. Styles then grabbed the cameraman and told him to leave.
[Q6] Impact Zone: Aces & Eights’s music played to bring out D.O.C. and Garett Bischoff for tag action. Samoa Joe and Magnus were then introduced as a tag team to challenge Aces & Eights’s reps.
4 — SAMOA JOE & MAGNUS vs. D.O.C. & GARETT BISCHOFF — Match #2 in Best-of-Three Series to determine man-advantage at Lethal Lockdown
As the bell sounded, Tenay recapped the bad blood between Joe and Magnus in 2012. Garett put on his big-boy pants and wanted to start things off against Joe, but he quickly tried to tag in D.O.C. after Joe grabbed a wristlock. Joe then tagged in Magnus and the former tag partners argued before Magnus targeted Bischoff. Bischoff then bailed from the ring, Magnus chased after him, and D.O.C. smashed Magnus from behind.
The match continued back in the ring as Taz referenced Garett’s “old man” and the crowd chanted, “You can’t wrestle,” at Garett. Keneley then read a tweet from Styles from four hours ago that he’s coming to Chicago next week. The match built to Magnus hot-tagging Joe, who then tried to pin D.O.C., but Garett broke up a pin. The action broke down before Joe and Magnus flashed-back to their tag-team finisher combination to pin D.O.C. and even the series at 1-1.
WINNERS: Joe & Magnus at 4:53.
Backstage: Lei’d Tapa was shown walking backstage. It’s a two-part Gut Check evaluation, as Lei’d will face the judges in the ring next.
Backstage: Kenny King, holding the X Division Title, talked about being the star of the X Division. He issued a message to former champ Rob Van Dam that his time is now. King said he’s asking for challengers one or two at a time, and it starts at Lockdown.
Backstage: James Storm, Eric Young, and ODB were standing by. Sting then walked in and Eric Young said he gets it that Sting has to pick between them to face Aces & Eights tonight. EY said he’s the funny guy, but he will prove to Sting why he made the right choice putting him on this team. EY said he ain’t delivering a punchline because he’s all business, then Sting thanked him for the speech. Sting said he has to go with Storm, though. Sting walked off, then EY sold frustration that he isn’t taken seriously.
[Q7] Impact Zone: Jeremy Borash was in the ring with judges Bruce Prichard, Al Snow, and Danny Davis. JB then welcomed out Lei’d Tapa to learn her fate. Out came Tapa as Taz spent a good while saying this isn’t about himself. Once in the ring, Tapa was asked if she gave her best performance last week. Tapa waited out boos before telling the crowd to shut up. Tapa said last week in this ring – pause for loud “No!” chants – she showed everyone in TNA what she is capable of doing. Tapa said she might not have won that match, but she showed everyone that in two years, she did this, so imagine what she’s capable of in two more years.
JB then asked Davis for his vote. Davis said he listened to the crowd, but what they’re missing is what he’s seen from this lady. He said he sees a future in Tapa, so his answer is yes. Prichard spoke next. He said they lost a member of their family a few days ago. Prichard shouted out to Paul Bearer and said he would like to take this time to say he will be missed. He said Bearer would appreciate the business at-hand here. Prichard said Tapa looks like she owns it in the ring, but for the first time, the crowd actually agree with him, so the answer is no.
Tapa was then given the floor to “kick out” by convincing Al Snow that she deserves a spot. Tapa said she knows what she can do in the future to help TNA and dominate the Knockouts division. Snow was then asked to make his decision. Snow briefly shouted out to Paul Bearer before acknowledging Tapa getting a reaction from the crowd, so his answer is yes. Tapa celebrated, then hugged Snow. JB said the contract is hers.
Up Next: James Storm vs. disappearing-act Mr. Anderson in the final match of the Best-of-Three Series.
Backstage: Robbie E. sent a message to Rob Terry that he will never, ever be on The List again after Lockdown on Sunday.
Impact Zone: Todd Keneley set up the main event before the Aces & Eights music played yet again, this time bringing out Mr. Anderson, who was dressed in a vest, white t-shirt, black biker gloves, and designer blue jeans. James Storm, 7-0 on TNA Impact this year, was then introduced to face Anderson.
5 — JAMES STORM vs. MR. ANDERSON — Match #3 in Best-of-Three Series to determine man-advantage at Lethal Lockdown
The bell sounded and the two men circled around the ring before locking up center-ring. Storm angrily tossed Anderson across the ring, then Anderson came back with a right hand strike. The two men then traded blows as Taz argued with Tenay about wins & losses. Taz shouted that he’s out here with Stats Boy and Cliche-Machine, to which Keneley quickly replied, “We’re fully loaded,” which popped Taz.
Suddenly, Aces & Eights members came down to ringside to watch Anderson, who was in trouble. This brought out Joe, Magnus, and EY to stand ringside and scare off Aces & Eights. But, the ringside activity inadvertently distracted Storm, who walked into Mic Check. Anderson covered Storm for the win.
WINNER: Anderson at 3:51 to give A&E the man-advantage at Lockdown.
[Q8] Backstage: Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan were shown walking down the hallway ahead of the final segment. Jeff Hardy was then shown walking down the hallway, too.
Back live nine minutes before the top of the hour, the announcers broke down the Lockdown line-up. No new matches were announced.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray was introduced to the ring, along with Brooke Hogan. Jeff Hardy was then introduced for a second time tonight. Hardy, dressed in street clothes and without face-paint, limped toward the ring selling the effects of the opening match and Matt Morgan’s sneak-attack.
Once everyone was in the ring, Ray hyped their TNA Title match at Lockdown in three days. Ray said in three days, they will do what they do best, which is make pro wrestling history. He said they’ve done it before and they’ll do it again. Ray said he’s never said this before. He said the fact that Hardy holds this title is a pretty big deal, but that Hardy has battled back from so many personal demons is a bigger deal. Ray said he speaks for every fan here and at home and for himself that he is proud of Jeff. Hardy didn’t react, selling that he was waiting to see where Ray is going with this.
Hardy said ever since he’s been champion, Aries, Roode, and Daniels have tried to beat him down, but he’s remained champion. Hardy said he knows Ray will beat him up on Sunday, but will it be enough? Hardy said he’s also proud of Ray. Ray replied that he expected greatness from himself, but he’s never been able to say he’s proud of himself. He said he won’t be able to do that until he beats Hardy for the title. Ray said he isn’t going over the top of the cage or through the front-door, but beating Hardy with his best move. Ray vowed to announce himself TNA World Hvt. champion on Sunday.
Suddenly, Hulk Hogan’s music played. Taz said he’s about to puke out here with all of the butt-kissing. He asked if Hogan is going to join the butt-kissing as Hogan limped out on-stage on crutches. Hogan took the mic and said this is as big as it gets. He said there is a locker room full of guys who want to be where Hardy and Ray, but these two are the best of the best. Hogan said at the end of this day, this “small company became a big, little company.”
Hogan noted they are looking for a leader to lead TNA into the future. He said he will be at Lockdown to find out who the *next* TNA champion is at Lockdown. So, he’s booking a title loss for Hardy. Hogan said Ray is like family to him and it will be “may the best man win” on Sunday. Back in the ring, Ray and Hardy shook hands.
Suddenly, Aces & Eights appeared ringside. Bully freaked out before helping Brooke out of the ring as D-Lo crawled into the ring with the rest of Aces & Eights. Team TNA then hit the ring to join the brawl as Impact signed off.