This week’s live TNA Impact opened with a video package documenting recent events, including Sting beating Matt Morgan to become #1 contender, D-Lo Brown failing in his quest to eliminate Kurt Angle, and the set-up for a Team TNA vs. Team Aces & Eights six-man tag tonight.
Live from Tupelo, Mike Tenay and Todd Keneley plugged the top matches of the show. Then, Sting’s music played to bring out the #1 contender to the TNA Title. Sting was flanked by Kurt Angle, who smiled at the favorable reaction for Sting. As Sting and Angle hit the ring, Taz complained about Sting on commentary.
In the ring, Sting howled before plugging his title shot at Slammiversary on June 2. Sting said Bully Ray succeeded in fooling everyone to become World champion, so his goal is to show up at the PPV and strip Ray of his power by taking the title from him. But, he doesn’t want to wait until June 2, which is why he asked Hulk Hogan to book a six-man tag tonight. And, when you want to assemble a team, you go for the best of the best, which is why he started with Angle.
Angle spoke next that he made D-Lo Brown’s ass tap out and he forced him to say, “I quit,” last week. Angle then brought up A.J. Styles before calling him down to the ring because he has something to ask him. Styles’s music played, then Styles walked out on-stage dressed in his black leather jacket, black t-shirt, and jeans. Styles walked to the ring without stopping to look to his left and right, then stood in-between Sting and Angle.
Angle closed the gap by getting in Styles’s face to ask where he stands. Styles just stared a hole through Angle, who held the mic up to Styles for an answer, but Styles did not offer one. Angle said he’s tired of asking, so he’s demanding that Styles answer. Sting then stepped in to separate Angle from Styles’s face. Sting said he’s been in A.J.’s shoes feeling like he was wronged and he hid out in the rafters for a while, so all A.J. has to do is do the right thing. Sting pointed to the fans, saying that roar is the House that A.J. Styles Built.
Sting said he knows Styles wants to do the right thing tonight taking out Aces & Eights, so they should make it happen in The House. Sting extended his hand, but A.J. wasn’t buying. Angle then screamed in Styles’s face that he’s tired of this crap. In the background, Sting sold exasperation that Angle wasn’t following his talking points. Styles then left the ring after being yelled at by Angle.
As Styles left, Angle chased him down and turned him around. Styles stuck his finger in Angle’s face, then removed his jacket, and the two men started fighting on the ramp. Taz was loving this. Refs eventually spilled out to try to separate Angle and A.J. as Aces & Eights snuck into the ring. Sting never saw it coming, as Ray and Devon dropped him with a 3D. Angle finally got wind of this, then ran back to the ring to chase away Aces & Eights. Keneley said TNA needs to get on the same page, or else it’s going to be a rough night.
Moments Ago: Styles and Angle brawled on the entrance ramp, then Team 3D dropped Sting with a 3D.
Backstage: The roving cameraman caught up with Styles to ask if he’s really leaving, and leaving those guys high and dry. Styles stopped, checked his lip, didn’t say anything, and kept on walking before slamming open a back-door to exit.
[Q2] In-ring: Tara was introduced along with Jessie for Knockouts tag action. Gail Kim was out next as TNA replayed Gail trying to injure Taryn Terrell last week on Impact. Hardcore Country then brought out Mickie James, followed by Knockouts champion Velvet Sky.
1 — GAIL KIM & TARA (w/Jessie) vs. KO champion VELVET SKY & MICKIE JAMES — ODB referee
As the match started, Keneley plugged the news of Impact moving back to 9:00 p.m. EST starting May 30. In the ring, the heels quickly isolated Mickie. The match built to Velvet tagging in to drop Tara with In Your Face for the pin and the win. Velvet, still selling her knee injury, celebrated with Mickie before leaving the ring.
After the match, Gail was not pleased with Tara, prompting Gail to drop her tag partner. Gail then tried to finish Tara a la Taryn last week by wrapping Tara’s knee around the ringpost. This brought over ODB, who pulled Gail away and drove her away from ringside.
WINNERS: Sky & Mickie at 3:30.
Backstage: Aces & Eights were shown celebrating a 3D on Sting and A.J. Styles walking away. D-Lo Brown then solemnly walked into the meeting, which he was not informed about. Brown tried to get a word with the group, but they walked away, leaving Brown alone to contemplate how he let the group down last week. The camera stayed on Brown uncomfortably collecting his thoughts before Impact cut to break.
Locker Room: James Storm was sitting down in a chair with his face covered by his cap. Daniels and Kazarian then brought in a case of beer to remind Storm of what Bobby Roode did to him back in the day, not to influence his refereeing. Of course. Kaz told Storm to think about it and Daniels told him to do the right thing. Storm looked down at the beer and popped the top off to start drinking, continuing the theme of drunk referees in TNA.
[Q3] In-ring: Aces & Eights were introduced to the ring. Bully Ray stopped to hug Taz before Ray bullied Keneley. Taz suggested that they would kill him, then Aces & Eights hit the ring. D-Lo Brown was with the group, but pouting in the background. Ray then took the mic and introduced the group to boos.
Ray then got down to business vowing to defeat Kurt Angle, Sting, and their big mystery partner. Ray said they know it won’t be Styles, then offered a warning to any other wrestlers looking to be the hero tonight. Ray then got to his next point of business – D-Lo Brown. Brown tried to put on a brave face as Ray began dressing him down. Ray then told Brown to remove his colors right now. Brown shook his head, “no,” prompting Ray to ask if he understood him correctly. Ray repeated his order, then Brown took the mic and said this is his life. “No,” he said. So, other group members took the jacket from Brown. Mr. Anderson then yelled in Brown’s face that he said he quit last week, and this club is not for quitters.
Ray screamed in Brown’s face that he let everyone down and now he’s going to “cry about it like a b—-.” Ray asked Brown how he’s going to earn his stripes again. Brown said he will kick Magnus’s ass for the club. Ray told Brown he’s flapping his gums again, then told Brown to go sit with the timekeeper and watch D.O.C. fight Magnus. Ray told Brown that he better hope D.O.C. gets the job done. Ray took the group out of the ring, then Magnus’s music played to bring out D.O.C.’s opponent.
2 — MAGNUS vs. D.O.C. — D-Lo Brown sitting by the timekeeper
TNA pulled a WWE by joining the match already in progress. Keneley reviewed earlier match action before going to a live shot of D.O.C. big-booting Magnus in the gut as Brown paced ringside. Isn’t he supposed to be sitting by the timekeeper? Apparently he doesn’t take instruction well. In the ring, Magnus swung elbows to D.O.C.’s gut to break free of a headlock, but D.O.C. maintained control.
Magnus made a comeback before clotheslining D.O.C. to the mat. Magnus fired himself up as fans jumped up and down in the stands. He then climbed to the top rope, but D.O.C. popped him in the mouth before attempting a superplex, but Magnus blocked and shoved D.O.C. to the mat. Magnus delivered an elbow to the gut, but D.O.C. kicked out in-time. Brown then dragged Magnus to the floor, but Magnus smashed Brown into the ring steps.
Magnus re-entered the ring and put Magnus on his shoulders for what appeared to be a flapjack. It was only good for a two count, though. Brown then accidentally grabbed D.O.C.’s feet, thinking he was grabbing Magnus’s feet. This allowed Magnus to roll up D.O.C. for a pin and the win. Post-match, Brown freaked out before having a shoving match with D.O.C. Taz said Bully Ray is going to be really mad after this.
WINNER: Magnus at 4:11 of what was shown. It’s come to the point where the non-credible Team TNA babyfaces can only get wins over the non-credible Aces & Eights heels when…D-Lo Brown interference back-fires.
Still to come: Main Event six-man tag. Up next, it’s the #1 contender match to the TNA Tag Titles.
[Commercial Break] [Q4…]
[…Q4] Backstage: D.O.C. barged through a back-door to confront D-Lo Brown, who was being screamed at by Bully Ray. The A&E members held down Brown to perform unspeakable actions to him, but Mr. Anderson calmed everyone down. Anderson said he has an idea for Brown to do a job perhaps he can do. Ray said he will fetch beer and wash their bikes from now on because he’s a Prospect now.
Pre-tape Backstage: Hulk Hogan. Hogan was shown hobbling toward Angle and Sting to pitch himself as the third member of their team, but Sting reminded Hogan that he can’t wrestle, per his doctor. Hogan said they’re right, but he got a phone call from a wild-card today. Angle wanted to make sure it’s a sure-deal, then Sting pitched Magnus after what he did out there. Hogan and Sting agreed that Magnus is on-fire, but Hogan said he wants to check with his wild-card first. The characters do know that Magnus won only because D-Lo’s interference back-fired, right? Not exactly “on-fire” presentation.
Backstage: James Storm was shown walking down the hallway sporting a referee t-shirt. Bobby Roode apologized for his jealousy in Beer Money, which Storm accepted, but then turned Aries and Roode against each other. Storm walked off, leaving Aries and Roode to argue amongst themselves.
In-ring: James Storm was introduced as the special referee for the #1 contender tag match. Storm came out on-stage and took a swig of beer before Impact cut to break.
Impact returned from break two minutes before the top of the hour with Austin Aries’s music playing. But, Christy Hemme introduced Daniels and Kazarian. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode were not pleased by this, so Aries walked up to Hemme and demanded the correct introduction. After Hemme re-introduced them, Aries made Hemme laugh by stepping right over her to pose on the middle turnbuckle. Daniels and Kazarian were then introduced as the announcers debated Hemme’s goof.
[Q5 — Second Hour]
3 — DANIELS & KAZARIAN vs. BOBBY ROODE & AUSTIN ARIES — #1 contender match to the TNA Tag Titles — James Storm special referee
Taz noted Aces & Eights will have an easy time taking over TNA when all of the company’s referees have alcohol problems. The heel teams started with double eye-rakes, prompting Aries and Kaz to stumble around the ring after the eye-rakes. Daniels and Roode then tagged in and pretended to have a clean fight. But, they double kicked each other in the gut. Roode with a cover and he was not happy with Storm’s count, but he decided to calm down and see the bigger objective.
Roode and Aries double-teamed Daniels behind the ref’s back on two separate occasions, then Daniels eventually broke free and helped Kazarian double-team Aries behind the ref’s back. Suddenly, Storm sold an injury after hitting the mat to count a nearfall. Taz joked that perhaps Storm was too lit up. Aries, sporting a cut around his eye, then hot-tagged and cleaned house. Aries wanted a suicide dive to the outside and he absolutely smashed Daniels into the guardrail, scaring the fans on the front row.
Back in the ring, Aries did the Eddie Shake before coming off the top rope with a frogsplash on Daniels, but Kaz broke up a pin attempt. Aries tried to hit both with a discus clothesline, but Bad Influence countered with a double-team move. Daniels had the pin, but Roode broke up the pin.
Rapid-fire moves followed, then Storm decided to establish his authority on Daniels, who attempted a hook of the tights. Aries then spewed beer in Daniels’s face before offering some beer to Storm, who took a swig. Storm then accidentally smashed Daniels with a Last Call Superkick. Aries applauded Storm, who then dropped down and counted one, two…no three. Aries turned around to argue, so Storm popped Aries with a superkick.
Kaz and Roode remained on the outside afraid to re-enter the ring as Storm suddenly left the ring. Storm’s music played and Roode and Kaz re-entered the ring to try to cover the fallen wrestlers, but Keneley said the match was thrown out.
WINNERS: ??? at 11:50 when TNA cut backstage…
Backstage: A camera spied on Aces & Eights brutalizing Magnus in the hallway. They dismantled him before D.O.C. slammed a gimmicked prop over Magnus’s head. Magnus sold on the floor as Keneley wondered what they’re going to do now.
[Commercial Break] […Q6]
[Q6…] Vignette: Suicide is returning. You can’t stop it or slow it down.
VIdeo Package: Chris Sabin returned to Impact last week.
In-ring: X Division champion Kenny King was introduced to the ring for a promo. King commended himself for being spectacular and x-ceptional since he arrived on the scene in TNA. He said he’s so good that now TNA has put him against two opponents every night.
King switched gears to someone who doesn’t know what quit means. He then very nicely introduced the former four-time X Division champion, Chris Sabin. As Taz accused Keneley and Tenay of not being fair to King, Sabin came to the ring to talk with King, who asked Sabin to tell his story.
Sabin, unsure what to make of “nice” Kenny King, took the mic and recapped spending the last two years in rehab and his basement. Sabin said King has no idea the kind of strain and anguish it puts on a man’s soul when he dedicates his entire life to one goal. Sabin then got close to King and said he has fighting spirit deep down inside him. He said he has nothing left to lose, so he is stepping into the ring every night as if it’s his last night on earth. Sabin then vowed to become X Division champion next week.
King applauded Sabin, then took back the mic and continued to build up Sabin’s story as inspirational. He said this is probably going to sound funny coming from him, but he thinks Sabin is an inspiration to him. King asked Sabin to hold the X Division Title one more time. He said he wants everyone to see Sabin with the belt because that’s the closest he will ever get to the title. King, having shown his true colors, then told Sabin he can’t do a thing about it. King demanded his belt back, so Sabin tossed it to him, then popped King in the mouth. King bailed from the ring before Sabin could land another blow. Not pictured is this good segment was Petey Williams, who is the third man in the title match next week.
Backstage: There was chaos. The camera found a good shot of James Storm flat on his back after apparently being attacked by Aces & Eights. No quip from Taz that perhaps it was just because Storm had too many beers. Impact then cut to break.
[Q7] Next Week: King vs. Sabin vs. Williams for the X Division Title.
Bound for Glory Series announcement: A video package noted a Gut Check winner will have a chance to be part of the BFG Series. Sam Shaw, Alex Silva, and Christian York will compete in a match next week to determine who gets the slot.
Announcers: Keneley, Taz, and Tenay were shown on-camera to re-plug Impact moving to the old timeslot in three weeks. The announcers then recapped the carnage on the show thus far before Tenay said no one is left to help Angle and Sting tonight.
Backstage: Another Aces & Eights meeting. Ray said he understands that some people are not happy with how they’ve treated D-Lo Brown, but they have to weed out the weak. Ray said Brown is at the bottom of the ladder, then Ray told Devon and Anderson to get ready for getting the job done tonight. As for what Brown’s next job is, Ray said the beers need to be cold and the bikes need to be washed for a night on the town.
Backstage: Kurt Angle was shown freaking out as Sting tried to calm everyone down. Hulk Hogan’s eyes bugged out as he hopped on the phone to ask his mystery wild-card if he’s ready to go. Meanwhile, Angle stomped away because his music was playing for the main event.
In-ring: Angle hit the ring and posed, then Sting’s music played to bring out Angle’s tag partner. Keneley plugged six-man tag action…maybe…on the other side of the break.
Back from break, Angle and Sting were standing by in the ring. No sign of their partner, so Aces & Eights’s music played to bring out Bully Ray, Devon, and Mr. Anderson from their back entrance. Bully paused to yell at So Cal Val and Christy Hemme before hugging Taz again. The heels eventually entered the ring and ref Brian Hebner called for the bell at 8:41 p.m.
4 — STING & KURT ANGLE vs. ACES & EIGHTS (TNA World Hvt. champion BULLY RAY & TV champion DEVON & MR. ANDERSON) — handicap match
The match started with Angle trying to battle Devon before Bully tagged in to wear down Angle. Angle fought off Bully, though, and tagged in Sting, who scared Bully back to the heel corner. This brought in Anderson to battle Sting, who quickly tagged out to Angle. Aces & Eights regained control on Angle, who tried to fight out of the heel corner as Sting watched from the ring apron.
[Q8] As the match continued, TNA tweeted that a third man has arrived in the building. TNA then cut backstage to show Aces & Eights wrestlers sprawled out on the ground, either inebriated (continuing the theme of the night) or taken out by an attacker. The announcers speculated on what happened as Impact cut to break.
Impact returned from break eight minutes before the top of the hour as the announcers recapped Aces & Eights members taken out backstage before the break. In the ring, A&E continued to work on Angle for three or four minutes, which means the third member waiting backstage was allowing Angle to take a long, extended beat down, kayfabe risking Angle’s health.
At 15:00, Angle finally pulled out a German Suplex to break free from Bully Ray. Angle then crawled across the ring to tag in Sting, who cleaned house after Devon tagged in as the legal man. Sting delivered a Stinger Splash to Devon, then a Scorpion Deathdrop. The action broke down, then Sting splashed Devon again. Sting and Bully then came face-to-face for a confrontation. They talked trash, then exchanged right hand blows. Sting put Bully in the Scoprion Deathlock, which Keneley said caused Matt Morgan to pass out last week. Anderson broke up the Deathlock, then the action broke down again.
On the outside, Anderson chucked Angle into the ring steps, then Devon pulled out a table. Devon and Ray set up the table mid-ring, then familiar music played. Out came Abyss, who was apparently legally entered into the match as the third man. As the announcers freaked out about Abyss returning and the crowd tried to process who the goofy masked man is, Abyss cleared the ring, then grabbed Anderson and chokeslammed him through the table.
Abyss followed with a Black Hole Slam to Devon before pinning the TV Champ for the pin and the win. On commentary, Taz said this is Hogan’s fault, and Tenay said hope is back for TNA. Taz continued to complain as Abyss stood center-ring while Sting caught his breath in the corner and stared up at Abyss, who stood tall center-ring to close the show.
WINNERS: Team Abyss at 18:25.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com)