This week’s live TNA Impact opened with a text message on the screen recognizing Brad Armstrong, who died today. The “In Memory” message was followed by a video package documenting recent TNA events.
After new announcer Todd Keneley and Jeremy Borash introduced the show, Borash sent the show to the ring, where Joseph Park was already standing by. Park did a bit asking someone off-camera (the floor manager) if he could start talking, then said he knows he’s not supposed to be out here to wrestle, but he’s a man, and a man has to fight. Park called out any member of Aces & Eights.
The A&E music played to bring out several members, prompting Park to note he only asked for one member. The four members then entered each side of the ring and circled around Park before Kurt Angle’s music played to give him away making the save. Sting was out next to help Angle clear A&E from the ring.
Park handed the mic over to Sting, who said tonight is Open Fight Night and he has a great idea to make it a little interesting. Sting said by the end of the night, someone from A&E is going to have his mask ripped off tonight. Sting’s music played and the A&E members shook their fingers no that it won’t be happening tonight.
Announcers: JB and Todd Keneley were shown on-camera to re-note that it’s Open Fight Night tonight. They plugged ODB vs. Jesse and Bully Ray vs. Devon in the ring, plus Christian York in Gut Check. They cut backstage to show York warming up in preparation for a chance to earn a roster spot.
Backstage: Magnus was shown walking down the hallway. A random person behind the camera asked Magnus what he’s up to. Magnus said he’s not giving away his secrets and will have to find out like everyone else.
Locker Room: Jesse was complaining to Tara about having an ear-ache. He said he doesn’t want to face ODB tonight, but Tara assured him that everything will be okay. He then asked to be sterilized. Tara slathered him with Purell, then Jesse declared himself ready.
Impact Zone: Magnus made his way to the ring for an interview. Magnus called out Samoa Joe for the TV Title, then paused for “Joe’s Gonna Kill You” chants. Magnus continued that he’s calling out Joe because he has an issue with him being TV champ. He said Joe just isn’t the image they’re looking for as TV champ. Magnus called Joe the Howard Stern of wrestling because he has a radio face. Magnus was then interrupted by Joe’s music to bring out the TV champ for the opening match.
1 — TNA TV champion SAMOA JOE vs. MAGNUS — non-title match
Upon entering the ring, Joe blasted Magnus with strikes and kicks. Because of Joe’s quick attack, it took Magnus about a minute to discard pants he was wearing over his trunks, which made it look like he was wrestling in long basketball shorts for a second. Joe went for his rear-naked choke finisher at 2:00, but Magnus escaped. Joe then dumped Magnus over the top rope to the floor. On the floor, Magnus reached under the ring to retrieve a weapon. As Joe occupied ref Earl Hebner in a ringside argument, Magnus rolled back into the ring and tried to hide the weapon, which was identified as a wrench. Magnus then popped Joe in the face with the wrench, drawing a DQ from the ref. Afterward, Magnus taunted a KO’ed Joe, as the announcers speculated on whether this was Magnus’s plan all along.
WINNER: Joe via DQ at 3:43.
GM Office: Sting was shown talking to Joseph Park and Hulk Hogan about his baseball bat swing, then Kurt Angle barged in with Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff backing him up. Angle demanded a piece of Devon or anyone from Aces & Eights tonight, but Hogan reminded him that Devon faces Bully Ray tonight. Hogan said if there’s anything left of Devon, then Angle gets him at Turning Point. Angle said he still wants to fight someone tonight and unconvincingly noted he has Wes and Garett as back-up. Hogan confirmed he’ll find something for Angle tonight.
Backstage: Samoa Joe was shown screaming for Magnus with an icepack on his head. Joe screamed that he wants to do this the old fashioned way with no DQs and no rules. He vowed to kill Magnus.
Video package: Last Thursday, Austin Aries sneak-attacked Jeff Hardy after Hardy successfully defended the TNA Title against Kurt Angle.
Locker room: Jeff Hardy was shown in a dead-silent locker room painting his face in the mirror. After a pause, audio of Hardy narrating his thoughts aired. Yes, they decided to keep the Hardy’s Deep Thoughts bit. Hardy said in the voice-over audio that Aries’s overconfidence will kill him.
Impact Zone: Christopher Daniels and Kazarian walked to the ring. Kaz said they got some people upset with their comments last week about Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, then Daniels called out the Spanish announce team of Hector Guerrero and Willy Urbina to involve announcers in the Tag Title angle. Hector was shown looking toward the ring and asking, “Me?!” as Impact abruptly cut to break.
[Q3] [Commercial Break]
Back live, Hector and Urbina were on the ring apron continuing to take verbal jabs from the Mexican America playbook. Once Hector and Urbina entered the ring, Daniels shoved down Urbina, drawing Hector’s ire. Daniels put the boots to Hector. No sign of Chavo and Hernandez. After a minute, techno music played to signal Chavo’s arrival along with Hernandez to clear Daniels and Kaz from the ring. On the outside, Daniels noted it’s nice to see them now. Chavo shouted at Daniels that he’s not playing now. Daniels and Kaz backed up the entrance ramp as the announcers plugged their Tag Title match at Turning Point in two weeks.
Video package: Christian York background. York said in a voice-over that his whole career comes down to this one moment.
Back live, York was shown warming up in the backstage hallway, with his Tyler Reks hair flapping up and down. York continued to stretch leading to break.
Backstage: ODB was on the phone with Eric Young wondering where he is. ODB left a v-mail requesting his company ringside when he beats up Tara’s Hollywood boyfriend tonight.
Impact Zone: Jeremy Borash was standing by in the ring to introduce Christian York for his Gut Check. Out came York with a determined look on his face looking for another opportunity in TNA. JB reminded York that he will be judged by three judges next week, but it starts with an audition match tonight. Zema Ion’s music played to bring out the former X Division champion for the first mis-matched Gut Check match of the series.
2 — CHRISTIAN YORK vs. ZEMA ION — Gut Check Challenge match
York lit up Ion early on as Keneley noted York has put on “a whole lot of muscle” since he last appeared in TNA. York dropped Ion on his head with a t-bone suplex, then landed a cannonball splash in the corner. York tried to follow with a top-rope move, but Ion rolled to the outside to avoid. York then grabbed Ion by his fancy hair, but Ion cut him off and landed a Swinging DDT. Ion checked his hair, then wanted a springboard splash, but York got his knees up to block. York followed with a clothesline into the Mood Swing neckbreaker, but Ion escaped a pin attempt.
After a reset, Ion grappled York for his lean-back armbar submission, which Keneley said is the “Submission Impossible.” York fought the hold, but eventually tapped out, giving Ion a victory over the larger York. After a replay of the events, the announcers stressed York’s impressive showing ahead of next week’s judge evaluations.
WINNER: Ion via submission at 4:20.
Backstage: A man behind the camera caught up with Austin Aries to ask him about taking Jeff Hardy’s TNA Title belt. Aries said he just saw it on the ground, so he picked it up since Hardy doesn’t care about it. Aries then walked into Team Robbie’s locker room to initially discuss their sweaters. Aries closed the door for a more-important business discussion.
Up Next: ODB calls out Jesse.
Backstage: Garett Bischoff was shown walking up to Bully Ray. He talked tough about having Ray’s back tonight, and Ray thanked him for stepping up to the plate for only being in the business for a few years. A stagehand then told Ray that Aces & Eights were outside. They walked to the Universal Studios area to pick up a brawl with A&E members that Sting and Kurt Angle were engaged in. Wes Brisco and Garett pretended to get in the mix as well. A&E then fled the scene. Sting vowed to remove a mask by the end of the night.
Impact Zone: ODB came to the ring for an Open Challenge against Jesse. No sign of EY, though. In the ring, ODB called out Jesse after a long speech about Jesse being fake from head to toe.
[Q5 — second hour] At the top of the hour, Tara led a reluctant Jesse to the ring. Tara tried to give him a pep-talk before Jesse hit the ring to start the match.
3 — KO tag champion ODB vs. JESSE (w/KO champion Tara) — Taryn Terrell special referee
ODB slapped Jesse repeatedly across the chest to begin the action. Jesse then slipped to the outside for Tara to help his chest recover. Back in the ring, more slaps from ODB. ODB then bounced Jesse’s head into the corner turnbuckles over and over. Jesse cut off ODB, then proudly scoop-slammed ODB. Jesse and Tara kissed, then ODB returned the favor with a scoopslam. ODB got into it with Tara, who refused to get off the ring apron, then Jesse rolled up ODB from behind for a three count.
WINNER: Jesse at 3:55.
Announcers: Todd Keneley was shown standing behind Mike Tenay and JB at the announce table. Keneley shook hands with both men and awkwardly-but-not-as-awkwardly-as-last-week handed off the play-by-play to Tenay. Tenay noted Taz is currently recovering from Hurricane Sandy, so he is not here tonight. Tenay and JB reset the show, then Robbie E’s music played.
Impact Zone: In the ring, Robbie said the most memorable part of this year’s Bound for Glory Series was him beating Jeff Hardy. So, tonight, he’s calling out the World champ so that he can take a second loss. On commentary, JB noted Robbie only won by count-out. Hardy’s music then played to bring out the World champ.
4 — TNA World Hvt. champion JEFF HARDY vs. ROBBIE E. (w/Rob Terry) — non-title match
Hardy landed an early splash from the second rope for a two count, then Robbie rolled out of the ring to collect himself. On the floor, Hardy whipped Robbie shoulder-first into the ring steps. Hardy followed by flying off the ring steps for a leg-whip onto Robbie into the guardrail. As Hardy tried to re-enter the ring, Terry sneak-attacked Hardy, then resumed his position with arms folded ringside. The ref didn’t see it, Hardy sold on the floor, and the show went to break two minutes in.
[Q6] Back from break, Robbie was in-control of the action center-ring. Hardy then made a comeback with Twist of Fate before climbing to the top turnbuckle for a Swanton Bomb, which was good for a clean pin and the win.
WINNER: Hardy in 7:30.
After a replay of Hardy’s win, Austin Aries’s music played to bring out Aries possessing Hardy’s TNA Title belt. Aries said the difference between them is three seconds. He said he is still the greatest wrestler in the industry and outside of three seconds at Bound for Glory, he is the most-dominant wrestler in TNA. The crowd chanted, “Over-rated,” as Aries continued that he will knock off Hardy at Turning Point to officially reclaim the TNA World Title. In the ring, Jeff Hardy took the mic and told Aries that if they want to do this right at Turning Point, then they do it right. Hardy went under the ring and retrieved a ladder. Aries sarcastically asked if he’s going to put some new shingles on the roof, then noted to Hardy that when he talked climbing ladders, it was a metaphor. Hardy told Aries to make the metaphor a reality by making Aries vs. Hardy II a ladder match. Aries shouted back that he’s a pro wrestler, not a ladder-climber. Hardy’s music played to drown out Aries, then Hardy celebrated on the ladder.
Video: JB introduced a clip from the grand-opening of Hulk Hogan’s Beach Shop, where Matt Morgan crashed the event to call out Hogan before stealing one of his robes. Morgan told Hogan to watch what history he creates with the robe.
Backstage: Hogan was shown watching the replay on a monitor. “He’s starting to figure it out,” Hogan said with a smile on his face. James Storm then walked into the shot and made a case to receive a chance at the TNA Title. Hogan told Storm that he already proved who he really is. He asked Storm if he’s a betting man, then said he has an idea for him.
Impact Zone: Bobby Roode’s music played back from break. Roode came out dressed to wrestle and Tenay noted there are plenty of potential wrestlers for him to call out tonight.
[Q7] In the ring, Roode noted he is not here to fight, but to state a fact. He said the fact is that he is getting screwed once again. Roode noted Hogan had deliberations in his office last week to determine who should receive a TNA Title shot, and he was not included. In fact, he should have been the guy to receive a title shot against Hardy. Roode suggested Hogan is protecting Hardy and if he were not protecting Hardy, then he would be new World champ right now.
Suddenly, A.J. Styles’s music played to bring out Styles dressed to wrestle. Styles entered the ring and grabbed a mic, then asked Roode if he’s seriously going to stand here and complain when he should be the World champ. Styles noted Roode held the TNA Title for the longest in TNA history, so he should stop complaining. He said while Roode was World champ, he was dealing with his own issues. Styles said photos and videos were taken of him on an elevator with a person of the opposite gender. He looked toward the camera and said it appears to be the new fad, especially if your name is A.J. Styles paused for the crowd to ooh and aah at the obvious WWE reference to the John Cena/A.J. Lee deal, but the crowd didn’t react. Ya know, since they’re tourists who aren’t up to speed on two of the worst storylines of the year in pro wrestling. Roode and Styles then began brawling until Hulk Hogan’s music played. Hogan walked out on-stage along with James Storm. Hogan said the three of them will determine who gets a future title shot. Hogan said it will be a “turning point” for all of them. Included is a stip that the person who gets pinned won’t be allowed another TNA Title shot until Bound for Glory. Hogan said whichever wrestler wins will get a future title shot.
Backstage: Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan were shown walking down the hallway for the next segment.
Announcers: Tenay and JB broke down the Turning Point line-up this far, including the Storm vs. Roode vs. Styles #1 contender match just announced. Tenay also noted the Hardy-Aries title match is officially a ladder match.
Impact Zone: 1970s lounge music played to bring out Joey Ryan, flanked by Matt Morgan wearing Hogan’s old Shea Stadium robe. JB promulgated the myth that Hogan and Andre sold out Shea Stadium (when it was Sammartino and Larry Zbyszko), then Morgan entered the ring and reminded Hogan that he took off the heads of various TNA roster members on recent house shows. Morgan told Hogan, TNA management, and everyone in the back watching that he is going to eat through the entire roster one-by-one until he owns the World Title.
Morgan handed the mic to Joey Ryan, who said he typically avoids VDs. But, tonight, he’s calling one out, Rob Van Dam. Ryan said he will prove that the X Division Title can be… X-Rated. Cue up RVD’s music to bring out the X Division champion for non-title action.
5 — X Division champion ROB VAN DAM vs. JOEY RYAN (w/Matt Morgan) — non-title match
Joey jumped RVD before the bell, then RVD came back with kick strikes to the face. JB claimed that RVD has re-focused on his career since becoming X Division champ and wants to help jumpstart the division. Van Dam delivered Rolling Thunder, then wanted a top-rope Five-Star Frogsplash, but Morgan pulled Joey out of the way behind the ref’s back. After Joey avoided Five-Star, Joey rolled up RVD with a hook of the tights for the win.
Post-match: Morgan entered the ring and destroyed RVD with a Carbon Footprint to the head. Morgan then pointed into the hard camera and asked Hogan if that’s what he wants. Joey celebrated the victory, claiming to have done it all by himself, as Morgan occupied himself with watching RVD roll out of the ring.
WINNER: Joey at 1:35.
Backstage: Devon was shown preparing for his main event battle with Bully Ray.
Back from break nine minutes before the top of the hour, Tenay announced Bobby Roode vs. A.J. Styles booked for next week’s Impact.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray’s music played to bring out Ray for the main event (which never started). Ray shouted out to his friends in New York that this one is for them. In the ring, Ray took the mic and said first thing’s first that he wants to shout out to all of their friends in the Northeast. On to business, Ray told that “piece of crap” Devon that he wants to kick his ass. Ray dropped the mic to prepare to fight Devon, then the A&E music played. Devon was shown walking through the back-door entrance/exit before stopping ringside. Devon circled the ring, then slowly entered the ring as ref Brian Hebner held Ray back. Devon then hesitantly entered the ring, but bailed when Ray charged him.
As Devon circled around the ring, Ray retrieved a table from under the ring and set it up inside the ring. Devon then slowly re-entered the ring, but bailed to the floor when Ray charged him again. Devon then signalled to the backstage area and smiled. Out came six reinforcements to stand ringside. Devon then brought the whole crew into the ring. Ray grabbed his chain to try to hold off the entre group of seven men, then reinforcements stormed the ring in the form of Sting, Angle, Styles, Storm, Chavo, and Hernandez. A brawl broke out in the ring in a familiar scene from Impact.
The last two men left in the ring were Ray and Devon, who didn’t realize that Ray was right behind him. Devon then turned around and locked eyes with Ray. Ray dropped Devon, then teased a table move, but a big member of A&E cut off Ray. Joseph Park then hit the ring and accepted strikes from the big-man member. Park continued to take a beating while action occurred ringside. Suddenly, Park reached up and ripped off the big-man’s mask, revealing Luke Gallows. The announcers did not name him by-name, but Tenay said he’s been an enforcer before for some of the biggest names in the business. (Slam Master J?) Luke then slammed Park through the table and left the ring as Sting and Angle hit the ring. As the crowd sat quietly, Tenay quickly signed off one minute before the top of the hour with Luke leaving the ring to silence.
(Thanks to James Caldwell of PWTorch.com for results.)