Previously on Impact Wrestling, Aces & Eights took out the babyface roster. And, with no one left, Sting and Hulk Hogan ran through the group at the end of last week’s show.
Arena: Todd Keneley introduced the show and promoted Sting’s return last week. Hulk Hogan’s music then played to begin the show. As Hogan slowly walked out to the ring, Mike Tenay gushed about Sting and Hogan running off A&E while Taz sold throwing up as Tenay described the events.
In the ring, Hogan said he gets it that things almost came to blows last week between himself and Sting. So, he needs to find out what’s up with the Stinger. Out came Sting, who listened to Hogan request that they sort out their issues. Hogan said they almost came to blows last week and he knows when he’s right and wrong, so he was wrong about taking out his issues on Sting. Hogan apologized and said he made a huge mistake by pushing Sting away.
Hogan extended his hand, which Sting shook. Before Sting talked, Hogan said one of the biggest mistakes he made was not pulling together to take care of Aces & Eights. Sting responded that they’re together right now. He then asked Hogan to book him in a six-man tag match with two partners against Aces & Eights next week. Sting figured that would eliminate Aces & Eights somehow. Hogan agreed, then said he needs to determine a #1 contender.
Matt Morgan’s music interrupted to bring out Morgan checking his crystal ball. He said this is the part where Hogan just hands this “jerk-off” another TNA Title shot. Morgan said that really worked out last time with Bully Ray. Hogan sarcastically replied that as he looks into his crystal ball, he does not see any more hand-outs around here. So, before Morgan showed up, he was going to announce that the man who will face Bully Ray at Slammiversary will be the winner of the main event tonight – Morgan vs. Sting. Hogan let that sit on Morgan, then left the ring, leaving Morgan and Sting alone in the ring. Sting stared down Morgan, then left the ring.
Video Package: Chris Sabin talked about blowing out his knees and going through rehab over the last several months. They included the soundbyte from Sabin about wanting to be TNA World Hvt. champion. But, first, Sabin returns to action in an X Division match next.
[Q2] Locker Room: Kurt Angle was shown talking to someone off-camera about Aces & Eights trying to take over. Angle told whoever he was talking to that he issued a challenge to Aces & Eights and he will take care of the group tonight. So, who was Angle talking to?
1 — CHRIS SABIN vs. ZEMA ION vs. SONJAY DUTT — three-way X Division Title qualifying match
Dutt was already in the ring, Ion was on his way to the ring, and Sabin got a full ring entrance. Sabin, now with longer hair, soaked in the moment being back in the ring as the referee wearing a cabby/golfer hat called for the bell. Ion quickly targeted Sabin, trying to take advantage of his ring rust.
Keneley announced that Suicide won last week’s poll with 69 percent of the vote to be next in title contention. TNA suddenly cut to the eye-killing, grainy, dizzying referee cam. A warning should accompany the director’s decision to switch camera shots. Moments later, Sabin nailed an inside cradle Michinoku Driver for the pin and the win. Sabin then posed for the hard camera to indicate that he’s back. Keneley said Sabin and Petey Williams are now next in line for a title shot.
WINNER: Sabin at 4:01.
Backstage: Robbie E. and Jessie were shown talking backstage. Jessie introduced a photo of Joey Ryan as their other partner to face Rob Terry tonight.
Backstage: Bully Ray was trying to talk to Aces & Eights, but they weren’t paying attention. “My brothers, do we have a problem?!” Ray asked before asking if they saw Hogan and Sting mocking them. “Nobody mocks us!” Ray declared. He said now he has to worry about Morgan vs. Sting tonight, but he’s really not worried about either one. Which brings him to the real problem – Kurt Angle. Ray said no matter how many times they knock him down, Angle keeps getting back up. Ray said he wants Angle to be taken out, then told one of them to take care of Angle. Ray asked Devon who it should be, then Wes Brisco piped up that he will do it. Garett Bischoff, now with a beard, said he will do it.
D-Lo Brown then stepped up and decided he would do it. Brown said he will take honor in destroying Angle. As Brown went on, the camera focused on Bully Ray, who seemed unimpressed or reflective, hard to tell. Ray then asked Brown to swear on his colors that he will do it tonight. Brown swore, but the rest of the group didn’t seem so sure. Back in the arena, Taz didn’t seem convinced, either, on commentary.
In-ring: Robbie E’s music played to bring out Robbie, Jessie, and Joey Ryan. Rob Terry was then introduced. Terry angrily walked back and forth on the entrance ramp before marching down to the ring as if someone instructed him what to do instead of moving naturally.
2 — ROB TERRY vs. JOEY RYAN & JESSIE & ROBBIE E. — Handicap match
The heels cut off Terry at the knees early on, then tried to work on him, but Terry shook off the attack and Hulked Up. Terry took out Joey, then double-suplexed Robbie and Jessie. Terry then finished off Joey with his one-hand pumpslam for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Terry at 3:34.
Still to come: Matt Morgan vs. Sting in a #1 contender’s match.
Backstage: Austin Aries and Bobby Roode were shown walking down the hallway with their heads hung low after not being able to re-capture the Tag Titles last week.
Tag Team Division Segment
In-ring: Bobby Roode’s music played to bring out Roode followed by Austin Aries. The duo slowly made their way to the ring as Tenay noted they will be in a #1 contender’s match against Daniels & Kazarian next week.
In the ring, Roode leaned against the top rope and named Kazarian and Daniels. Roode said last week they played mind-games and got into his head talking about re-forming a group called Fortune. But, obviously it was never about re-forming anything, just their jealously.
Aries took the mic next and said not for one second did he believe a word they were saying. He said those guys are best friends, but they are not. He said they like each other just enough to have a common goal of winning matches and titles. Aries said they are a team of World champions, something neither Kaz nor Daniels know anything about, nor will ever know anything about.
This led to Daniels’s music interrupting to bring out Daniels. Kaz followed behind as they angrily marched to the ring. Once in the ring, Daniels said no one is getting blood flow in the lower region when Aries and Roode are in the ring. “He means boner,” Kaz said off-mic like a junior-higher. Daniels then hyped their #1 contender battle next week. Roode angrily replied that they will do whatever it takes to become tag champs.
Suddenly, Chavo’s music played. Chavo said he’s tired of talk, talk, talk and blah, blah, blaaaaaah. As Hernandez stood behind Chavo, Chavo noted that Hulk Hogan has booked a special referee for next week’s #1 contender match. Chavo said this referee likes to count in six-packs.
[Q4] James Storm’s music then played to bring out Storm on-stage. Storm walked past Chavo and Hernandez as Taz noted they have a drunk female referee in ODB and now a drunk male referee in James Storm. On the entrance ramp, Storm saluted Chavo and Hernandez before glaring into the ring to stare down the heel tag teams.
Locker Room: Sting knocked on the door to talk to Kurt Angle. Angle said he’s ready for Aces & Eights tonight. Sting then told the hallway camerman that he needs a minute with Angle. Sting closed the door, but the cameraman put the camera on Sting and Angle’s conversation, which could be seen through a clear-panel window. Impact cut to commercial before Sting and Angle got too deep into conversation.
Locker Room: Tara was shown complaining to Gail Kim about Taryn. Gail then complained about Taryn being all over the new Knockouts website. They both agreed to embarrass Taryn and Mickie James in the ring tonight. Tara walked off, then the camera stayed on Gail, who vowed to get the victory.
Backstage: Chris Sabin talked about getting back in the ring tonight. Sabin said he’s had seven matches the last two years after wrestling non-stop for 11 years. He added that it was a great feeling being back in the ring.
Tonight: Morgan vs. Sting in a #1 contender match.
In-ring: Christy Hemme was standing by to introduce the next match. Out came D-Lo Brown representing Aces & Eights. After Brown hit the ring, Kurt Angle’s music played to a big reaction in his home market. But, for some reason, TNA did not emphasize the big reaction by letting the crowd be the sound. Instead, it felt like just another ring entrance for Angle. Keneley said it’s going to be physical up next.
Impact returned from break one minute before the top of the hour. Before the bell sounded for Kurt Angle vs. D-Lo Brown, Brown took the mic and said he doesn’t want to just beat Angle tonight, but humiliate him. He said he will do what no man has ever done before – make Angle lose an I Quit match. Brown slapped Angle to begin the match.
[Q5 — second hour]
3 — KURT ANGLE vs. D-LO BROWN — I Quit match
On commentary, Taz questioned Brown’s decision as Angle quickly turned the tables and slapped on a submission. Suddenly, Mr. Anderson showed up ringside. Angle lost focus and was blindsided by Brown from behind. Brown, wrestling in jeans and a big jacket, tried to follow up, but Angle suplexed him to the outside. On the floor, Brown grabbed a hammer, but Angle ducked a hammer shot.
Back in the ring, Brown assaulted Angle as the announcers argued about Angle’s loss at Lockdown in March. Brown then applied an armbar, but Angle refused to quit. As Brown continued to slow down the pace, TNA cut to a shot of fans on the front row. Actually, it was A&E members watching the match from a safe distance. Back in the ring, Angle broke free of an armbar, then delivered a German Suplex, a second, and a third. Angle wanted more, though, and delivered a fourth. He wanted a fifth and connected. How about a sixth? Angle connected and released after the sixth.
Angle dropped the straps and slapped on the Anklelock center-ring. Brown cried out in pain, then kicked Angle away. Brown then took Angle’s momentum and turned it into a Samoan Drop. Brown then wanted a powerbomb, but Angle slid over Brown into the anklelock again. This time, Angle grapevined the leg, causing Brown to cry out in pain. Brown tapped, but did not say he quit. Brown fought some more, but then shouted, “I quit.” Taz was beside himself as Mr. Anderson and D.O.C. just watched from ringside. Anderson then led D.O.C. away as Taz said he’s shocked by this.
WINNER: Angle at 8:05. Strong tease for D-Lo Brown getting kicked out of Aces & Eights after all of the second-guessing in the first hour and Anderson turning his back on Brown after losing.
On-stage: Christy Hemme asked Kurt Angle for his thoughts on getting revenge. Angle said he’s glad to have won that battle, but he has another issue with A.J. Styles. Angle told Styles to get down here. Impact cut to break as Angle waited for Styles.
In-ring: Back from break, Kurt Angle was still waiting for A.J. Styles, whose music eventually played after Angle waited long enough. Styles then marched down to the ring and locked eyes with Angle before walking into the ring and walking right up to Angle’s face. Angle backed away to give himself space before saying it doesn’t feel right with A.J. Angle said Styles can try to knock his head off, but he won’t get very far doing it in his hometown.
[Q6] After waiting out crowd cheers, Angle continued that everyone wants to recruit Styles. Angle said Styles is the reason why he came to TNA because he wanted to have one of the greatest matches of all-time. He said he gets it that A.J. is having a dark time right now, but he and Sting are facing Aces & Eights next week, so he needs to know where Styles stands. Angle told Styles that by next week, he wants an answer. Angle left the ring, leaving Styles alone in the ring. The camera stayed on Styles selling no emotions as he leaned against the ropes.
Still to come: Morgan vs. Sting in a #1 contender match. Announcers: Keneley asked Taz if he has a preference on who wins, and Taz said it doesn’t matter. Keneley then fed to a video package documenting how Sting-Morgan was set up earlier tonight.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked Matt Morgan how feels about getting a #1 contender match tonight. Morgan said “waiting” is the wrong word because he’s been pushed to the backburner way too long while Hogan has been in TNA. Morgan angrily said you are looking at the future World champ, then stormed away.
In-ring: Gail Kim was introduced for Knockouts tag action. After Gail entered the ring, Tara was introduced as her tag partner. TNA replayed Taryn pinning Tara last week, then Taryn was introduced to the ring as the announcers argued about TNA vs. Aces & Eights issues.
4 — GAIL KIM & TARA vs. TARYN TERRELL & MICKIE JAMES — ODB referee
Back from break, Mickie James was introduced to the ring to round out the participants. ODB then called for the bell to begin the match. The two teams traded control early on as TNA plugged Mickie’s new album.
[Q7] The heels isolated Mickie, but couldn’t put her away with pin attempts. Mickie then escaped and tagged in Taryn, who landed offense before the match broke down. After Mickie cleared Gail to the floor, Taryn rolled up Tara for the pin and the win.
After the match, the heels jumped the winners to take out their frustration and attempt to humiliate Taryn. After Mickie and Tara brawled to the back, Gail attacked Taryn and tried to injure her before refs forced her to the back.
WINNERS: Taryn & Mickie at 6:26.
Backstage: Sting was shown warming up for his #1 contender battle with Matt Morgan.
Earlier Tonight: Kurt Angle made D-Lo Brown scream and quit.
Backstage: Bully Ray could not believe D-Lo Brown quit. “Our vice president said, ‘I quit,'” Bully shouted. Garett Bischoff mouthed off, then Bully told Garett that they walk together, so pipe down. Bully said he will deal with D-Lo next week, then booked himself, Mr. Anderson, and Devon in the six-man tag match next week against Sting, Kurt Angle, and a third member.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz plugged the six-man tag and Aries & Roode vs. Daniels & Kaz next week on Impact.
Backstage: Bobby Roode talked about Kaz and Daniels being two guys who have never carried a company on their backs, unlike them, then vowed to become #1 contenders to the Tag Titles again. As Austin Aries looked on, Roode concluded that Chavo & Hernandez know they can’t hold a candle to them, either.
In-ring: Matt Morgan was introduced to the ring for the main event. Morgan, wearing Hulk Hogan’s Shea Stadium robe, marched to the ring and posed center-ring, mocking Hogan. Sting’s music then played to bring out Morgan’s opponent. After Sting posed in the ring, the bell sounded to begin the main event.
5 — MATT MORGAN vs. STING — #1 contender match to TNA World Title
Morgan opened the match with knees to Sting’s belly, which was covered by a black t-shirt. Sting recovered in the corner, then Morgan landed more right knees to the gut. Morgan followed with a left-arm clothesline before taunting the crowd. Keneley plugged the Joker’s Wild tournament debuting tomorrow night on PPV as Morgan continued to beat down Sting. Morgan followed with a chokeslam, but Sting kicked out of a pin attempt. Impact cut to break with Morgan firmly in control.
Back from break, Morgan was in control of Sting outside the ring. Sting tried to fight back, but walked into knees to the gut. Morgan then rolled Sting back into the ring before delivering a running leg drop across the ring apron. Morgan tried again, but Sting moved this time. Morgan sold a leg injury, so Sting blasted Morgan into the guardrail on the outside. Sting clubbed Morgan with right hands, then tossed Morgan into the ring steps before rolling him into the ring.
Back in the ring, Sting walked into a sidewalk slam from the giant. Morgan smiled into the hard camera, then did the belt-around-the-waist motion. Morgan proceeded to slowly attack Sting, giving Sting time to catch his breath. Morgan then airballed an elbow drop, allowing Sting to fire off right hands into clotheslines. Sting followed with a Stinger Splash before pounding his chest. But, Morgan chucked Sting into the corner and landed headbutts before delivering his rapid-fire elbow strikes. But, Sting got himself fired up and wanted a Stinger Splash, but Morgan exploded out of the corner with a Carbon Footprint for a close two count. Tenay said it’s rare to see someone avoid the pin after the Carbon.
They reset before Morgan charged Sting for a big corner boot, but Sting moved. Morgan sold a leg injury, so Sting tried to take advantage with the Scorpion Deathlock. Morgan sold pain in his leg before trying to power out of the hold. Morgan cried out in pain as Sting lightly kept the hold applied, losing grip of the hold. Morgan then crawled across the ring to reach the ropes and successfully reached the bottom rope, relieving Sting of the pain of keeping the hold locked in.
Sting wanted the Scorpion again, and this time he applied it in-full center-ring. The crowd popped as Sting sat down on Morgan. Morgan continued to sell not wanting to give up, then collapsed to the mat. Sting was practically sitting down on Morgan’s butt at this point, which put the onus on Morgan to make this look believable. The ref then checked Morgan for life. One hand dropped to the mat. Then, again. And, the ref called for the bell, awarding Sting the win due to Morgan “passing out” from the Scorpion.
WINNER: Sting via TKO at 13:08 to become #1 contender to the TNA Title.
Post-match, Sting stood up and wiped his hair back. Aces & Eights then hit the ringside area led by TNA World champ Bully Ray. Ray talked trash to Sting, who listened and surveyed the scene as A&E surrounded the ring. The camera focused on Ray and Sting as Impact ended.