This week’s Impact leading into the Bound for Glory PPV opened with a video recap of recent events, including Kurt Angle crashing Bobby Roode’s E.G.O. Hall of Fame party, Dixie Carter “shaking up TNA,” and Aces & Eights screwing up their assignment to take out A.J. Styles before Bound for Glory. So, Bully Ray did the job himself.
In the arena, Dixie Carter’s music played to bring out the TNA president to begin the show. Carter was flanked by Atlas Security members, who were holding a briefcase. Dixie thanked the booing crowd for their response, then talked about how great pieces of art take time. This Sunday will be her finest work ever, then she noted Bully splattered and destroyed Styles last week. Dixie wondered why Styles won’t just stay down. “Whatever. I mean whatever,” she said, her voice climbing higher.
Dixie continued that what if someone else stepped up to replace A.J. Styles at Bound for Glory. She proposed a $50,000 bounty to whoever makes this Styles’s final night in TNA. Over boos, Dixie nervously said Styles will not – “let me repeat myself” – will not make it to Bound for Glory. She said creating opportunities and making people rich are what she does best.
Suddenly, Aces & Eights’s music played to interrupt. Out came TNA World champion Bully Ray flanked by Brooke. Once in the ring, Ray addressed Dixie, noting they haven’t exactly seen eye-to-eye lately and he may not be on Team Dixie, but $50,000 buys a lot. Ray said he’ll be glad to take out A.J., then he won’t care who she has to face at Bound for Glory.
Magnus interrupted the proceedings to offer his thoughts on the situation. Magnus noted 12 men put their bodies and careers on the line for three months in the BFG Series to get a TNA Title shot, but now because Dixie doesn’t like Styles, she wants to give the opportunity to whoever is greedy-enough to take $50,000. Magnus said he hates to be insubordinate, but it’s no wonder everyone is saying, “Dixie sucks.” This produced a chant from the smattering of fans in the arena.
Magnus said Dixie to take the $50,000 away because he wants to fight Bully tonight for free. Ray told Magnus that he knows he’s supposed to be the future of pro wrestling, he’s supposed to be tough, he’s supposed to be a fighter, the fans seem to like him, and Sting believes in him. But, he’s going to tell them the truth.
Ray got in Magnus’s face to tell him that he is a fraud. “You’re all smoke and mirrahs,” he said. “You’re just a big pretty boy. You ain’t got a tough bone in your body.” Ray called him the biggest disappointment he’s ever seen, so he might as well be from Oklahoma. That was too much for Magnus, who popped Ray in the mouth, sending the World champ out of the ring. On the outside, Ray angrily accepted Magnus’s match proposal for tonight. He took the mic to confirm it to the crowd. Meanwhile, security held back Dixie, who screeched something about the money. No one paid attention as Ray and Magnus jawed to end the segment.
Backstage: Kurt Angle was shown walking down the hallway dressed in a suit. Miek Tenay said Angle has arrived in the building.
[Commercial Break at 9:12]
[Q2] Backstage: Bully Ray was already back at the Aces & Eights holding area talking to…well…himself. As Garett Bischoff and Knux stood in the background, Ray talked about how great they were last week. Ray then turned to Knux to tell him to take the $50,000 bounty on Styles. He noted he has their backs, just like they have his back at Bound for Glory.
In-ring: A four-corner match was announced as the opening bout. Out first was Christopher Daniels sporting his Brian Christopher goggles. Already in the ring were Hernandez and Robbie E. Eric Young was then introduced as the fourth competitor.
1 — ERIC YOUNG vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. HERNANDEZ vs. ROBBIE E. — four-corners match
As the bell sounded, Tenay and Taz talked about EY and Joseph Park on a Road Trip to Bound for Glory in San Diego. But, EY…is…in…Tulsa…right now. Taz plugged the webisodes on TNA’s website, exposing this being a taped show. Tenay then tried to make the save that EY made a detour to return to Tulsa to be part of this show.
The match built to Hernandez tagging himself out of the match to bring in Young. Daniels and Robbie then began arguing about important matters. This allowed Hernandez to come flying over the top rope with a shoulder tackle to both heels. Hernandez airballed a corner splash, though, leaving Daniels and EY. Young hit a top-rope elbow, but Robbie tagged himself into the match. So, Robbie pinned Daniels for the win. Tenay noted Robbie hasn’t had a victory on Impact “in ages.” So, the Bro-Mans get the advantage in the #1 contender gauntlet match on the BFG pre-show.
WINNER: Robbie at 5:16.
Backstage: The roving cameraman asked A.J. Styles about walking around backstage with a bounty on his head. Mid-sentence, Jessie Godderz tried to jump Styles, but Styles fought him off. As Jessie recovered on the floor, Styles turned to the camera and said, “I think it’s going to be a long night.” Cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
Earlier Tonight: Another look at Dixie Carter putting a bounty on A.J. Styles for a cool $50k.
[Q3] In-ring: A.J. Styles’s music played to bring out Styles to get away from the bounty-hunters in the backstage area. Once in the ring, Styles held the top rope and addressed Dixie Carter, saying she reeks. Of desperation. Styles said he’s flattered because she knows that he is going to win at Bound for Glory and she is scared to death that when he wins the World Title at BFG, he is going to make…her…pay.
Styles continued that for anyone who wants to cash in on the bounty, he’s going to stand right here in the ring. “Come and get paid,” Styles said, drawing another round of Aces & Eights’s theme music. Out came Knux flanked by Garett Bischoff. The A&E goons hit the ring and used their advantage to beat down Styles until James Storm’s music played. Out came TNA tag champs James Storm and Gunner, who Taz joked perhaps want $50k, too.
Storm and Gunner chased A&E out of the ring. Styles also exited the ring and stood off to the side of the ringside area. Storm left the ring to stare him down, but didn’t do anything. So, Styles casually walked off. Tenay said Gunner is in action next against Knux.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
2 — TNA tag champion GUNNER (w/TNA tag champion James Storm) vs. KNUX (w/Garett Bischoff)
Knux, wrestling in your basic weekend wrestler get-up of dirty jeans, a black t-shirt, and a biker vest, ran over Mr. Intensity with an early clothesline for a two count. Meanwhile, Rampage Jackson is trying to get in the “last of his partying” before getting ready for Tito Ortiz on November 2. In the ring, Knux kind of missed a leg drop, putting both men at a standstill on the mat. A collision and both men went back to lying down on the mat.
Suddenly, Garett was in James Storm’s face on the entrance ramp. Storm had enough of the young buck and spewed a liquid substance in his face. Back in the ring, Gunner woke up and powerslammed Knux. Knux, now sensing he was in trouble, called for Bully to come help, but no sign of the World champ. Knux then took a power move from Gunner for the pin and the win. Afterward, Taz made excuses for why Bully didn’t show up to back up his goons.
WINNER: Gunner at 4:50.
[Q4] Backstage: Chris Sabin complained about being in the Ultimate X match as Velvet Sky stood by. Sabin said he’s going to get the $50k by taking out A.J. Styles, then buy her something nice. “But, this isn’t you!” Velvet called out as Sabin jumped away to try to find Styles.
[Commercial Break at 9:46]
Backstage: Knux and Garett Bischoff were back at the Aces & Eights holding area. Knux complained about Bully Ray not having their backs, then Knux vowed to make things interesting the next time Bully needs their help.
Video Review: Lei’D Tapa destroyed the Knockouts the past two weeks. But, she is not in the KO Title match on Sunday when it’s ODB vs. Brooke vs. Gail Kim.
Locker Room: Brooke was taking pictures of herself for Bully when Gail Kim walked in. Gail wanted to talk strategy about dealing with Lei’D, but Brooke said it’s every girl for herself out there.
Video Package: An “Ultimate X All-Stars match” takes place on Sunday when Manix defends against Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, and Chris Sabin.
Backstage: Chris Sabin was looking for A.J. Styles. Sabin checked a few doors, but no sign of Styles. He asked a security guard if he’s seen Styles. Negative. Sabin then ran into Samoa Joe, who noted Sabin’s on the wrong side of town. Joe said Sabin doesn’t have his priorities straight because they face each other tonight and he gets him in Ultimate X. Joe said “if” Sabin survives, then maybe he can continue his bounty hunt. Sabin slowly backed away as Joe breathed heavily.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Impact returned two minutes before the top of the hour with a look back to “Earlier Tonight” when Magnus challenged Bully Ray to a free fight. Ray accepted after Magnus popped him in the mouth.
Backstage: Magnus was shown warming up for later tonight. Still to come: Bully-Styles contract signing.
[Q5 -- second hour] In-ring: Chris Sabin was introduced to the ring along with Velvet Sky. Sabin posed in the ring with a big, heelish smile on his face, then Samoa Joe’s music brought out Joe. Joe slowly marched to the ring ready for an X Division appetizer. Fortunate timing for TNA with the NFL game hitting Halftime at the top of the hour…
3 — CHRIS SABIN (w/Velvet Sky) vs. SAMOA JOE
Joe washed Sabin’s face with his boot early on, then went for the running corner boot, but Sabin slipped out of the ring and hugged Sky to get some consolation. But, joe ended that by dragging Sabin back into the ring for more punishment. Sabin begged off, but Joe slapped him hard across the chest.
Sabin was ready to call it a night and started to leave with Velvet, but Joe gave chase. Sabin used Sky as a shield, then managed to sneak in a DDT on the entrance ramp. Sabin then ran back into the ring to try to get a count-out victory. But, Joe made it back into the ring just before ten.
Back in the ring, Sabin “shifted into another gear of violence,” according to Taz. Sabin landed an elbow, then spit in his hand and wiped his hand in Joe’s face. He tried to follow up, but Joe smashed him to the mat. Signature Joe offense, but Sabin escaped a pin. Sabin with a springboard Tornado DDT, but Joe kicked out. Sabin tried to roll up Joe, but Joe blocked, snatched Sabin, and slapped on a rear choke. Sabin quickly tapped, giving Joe the win.
WINNER: Joe at 5:15. Fine match. Joe is Joe and Sabin has a firm grasp of his heel character right now.
Post-match: Austin Aries charged the ring and dropkicked Joe across the ring. This brought out Jeff Hardy in street clothes and bright yellow shoes. Hardy dropped Aries with a Twist of Fate, then left the ring to retrieve a ladder. Tenay suggested Hardy will bring a ladder to Ultimate X on Sunday.
Sabin yanked Hardy down to the mat, though, then X champ Manik showed up to cross-body splash Aries and Sabin from the ladder. Manik’s music played and he stood tall in the ring across from Hardy. Joe then re-entered the picture to look at the ladder, but something more important was happening backstage.
Hallway: Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were trying to attack A.J. Styles. They beat down Styles and thought he was done for the night to collect the bounty, but Styles fought back before using a fire extinguisher to escape.
Up Next: Bully vs. Magnus in singles action.
[Commercial Break at 10:09]
Photo Shoot: Derrick Bateman a/k/a Ethan Carter III was shown taking photos. Carter suggested he will be at Bound for Glory. Carter then went back to directing his photo shoot.
In-ring: Magnus was introduced for the next match. Magnus tried firing up the crowd before Aces & Eights’s music played to bring out Bully Ray and Brooke for the second time tonight. B&B took their time entering the ring to make Magnus wait, then Bully directed Brooke to a ringside location to watch the match.
4 — TNA World Hvt. champion BULLY RAY (w/Brooke) vs. MAGNUS — non-title match
More empty seats were visible opposite the hard camera as Taz set the stage for the match by saying he’s concerned about something bad happening to Bully in this match so soon before Bound for Glory. Magnus delivered an early back-body drop, concerning Taz again. Magnus then climbed up top, but Bully crotched him. Bully in control heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:19]
Back from break, Bully was still in control. Bully took his time taunting the crowd in-between moves before taunting Magnus, so Magnus landed a few desperation rights, but Bully wasn’t impressed. Bully resumed control before slowly pacing the ring. The two stars traded bombs from a standing position before Magnus landed a running clothesline to begin his comeback.
Magnus wanted a top-rope move, and he connected with an elbow for a two count. Suddenly, Bully used referee Earl Hebner to his advantage to knock down both Magnus and the ref. Ray retrieved a steel chain, but Sting came down the entrance ramp to yank it away. This drew over Earl to demand the chain be removed, causing confusion. Ray then low-blowed Magnus, Hebner organized himself, and Ray was granted a three count for the win.
WINNER: Ray at 10:43.
Post-match: Ray took off with his title belt as Sting tried to talk to Magnus after he lost another singles match. Sting pointed to the chain to indicate he was trying to help, but Magnus sold annoyance with Sting. “I tried to help you,” Sting said. Sting wanted a handshake to make sure they’re all good, but Magnus just tapped his hand and walked by him. Magnus, still selling the effects of the low blow, limped away to the back as Sting slowly followed behind his protege.
Up Next: Kurt Angle is heading to the ring.
[Q7] [Commercial Break at 10:30]
Backstage Hallway: Magnus was shown still walking away while Sting tried talking to him. Sting finally got Magnus to look at him to talk. Magnus said he doesn’t want Sting’s help, he didn’t need Sting’s help versus Bully, and he just wants to prove that he can win on his own. Samoa Joe then walked into the shot to separate the two Mafia members. Sting told Magnus he will be alone at Bound for Glory on Sunday when they go one-on-one.
Announcers: Tenay broke down the BFG PPV line-up for Sunday.
In-ring: Kurt Angle’s music played to bring out Angle for the semi-main event talking segment. Angle shook hands with the ringside fans before entering the ring with a smile on his face. Once in the ring, Angle said it’s great to be back. But, he wants to get down to business. “Bobby Roode. You’re one of the most talented wrestlers I have ever seen. As a matter of fact, you remind me of me five years ago,” Angle said. “But when you tried to reign on my parade – one of the most important days of my life and career, the Hall of Fame induction – you made it personal.”
Angle told Roode that when he messes with a man’s legacy, “you just dug your own grave.” Angle said Roode might be one of the best today, but he will never, never be Kurt Angle.
This drew out Roode for a rebuttal. Roode, also dressed in street clothes, entered the ring and circled Angle before repeating Angle’s final line. Roode said Angle is right because he doesn’t want to be him. “Not here. Not now. Two years ago? Maybe. Five years ago? Yeah. Ten years ago? Absolutely. I wanted to be Kurt Angle,” he said. “You were the be-all, end-all of professional wrestling. But, you are looking at the man who is now the be-all, end-all of professional wrestling.”
Roode then got in Angle’s face to tell him that he is more worthy of a Hall of Fame induction than Kurt. “Tell me what you’ve done lately,” Roode said. He said he’s done a whole lot of nothing over the past two years. Roode went back to BFG two years ago when Angle beat him to retain the TNA Title. But, that did him a big favor by waking him up. Roode noted he went on to become World champion – the longest-reigning TNA champ in company history. So, this Sunday at Bound for Glory, he’s not going to be Kurt Angle, but Bobby Roode. He vowed to beat Angle, drawing boos.
Angle responded by asking Roode how he’s going to beat him when he’s tapping. Roode laughed and said that’s where Kurt is wrong because he’s not going to tap. So, Roode smacked him in the mouth before pounding away on him. Roode removed his dress shirt, then walked into an Anklelock. This drew out Daniels and Kazarian to put the boots to Angle. DanKaz then sent Angle shoulder-first into the ringpost. Roode demanded they get off Angle because he had this. Roode proceeded to slap on the Crossface, stretching Angle’s neck and head.
“As I was saying,” Roode continued. “Because I’m going to make you tap out.” Roode’s music then played as he leaned down next to Angle, who sold various injuries after receiving no back-up from his Mafia brethren since they’re too busy babysitting Magnus.
[ JC's Reax: Overall, some of Roode's best career work. He finally seems to have the intangibles on the mic that were missing to take him to the next level. ]
Backstage: Dixie Carter was shown walking down the hallway with Atlas Security in possession of the $50,000 bounty.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 10:46]
Impact returned 12 minutes before the top of the hour with Jeremy Borash standing in the ring with Dixie Carter and Atlas Security. Dixie flashed her big smile for the camera as JB set the stage for the BFG PPV main event contract signing. For the third time tonight, Bully and Brooke were introduced to the ring. JB then introduced A.J. Styles as Dixie took a deep breath to sell annoyance.
Styles, having survived the bounty hunt, slowly walked down to the ring as Bully stared him down. Styles eventually entered the ring to stand at the podium opposite Bully. JB hyped the PPV main event before asking that they make it official.
Bully grabbed the clipboard to sign the contract, then he took the mic. Bully said he did not waste any time signing the contract. Why? Because Styles can’t beat him. Bully told Styles he ain’t got the brains, the passion, or the thunder in his fists to beat him.
Bully then offered Styles a wrestling history lesson that in 1985, Ric Flair destroyed, maimed, and took out Dusty Rhodes. A month later, Dusty returned and told the world how Flair had put him on hard times. How Flair had put the wrestling industry on hard times. How Flair put the fans on hard times. How Flair had put Dusty’s family on hard times. Fast-forward almost 30 years later. Ray said he is Bully Ray and for the past year-and-a-half, he has put the wrestling world on hard times. “I started off with Jeff Hardy inside of a steel cage at Lockdown to become World Hvt. champion,” Ray said before noting his victory over Sting at Slammiversary. “I ran Chris Sabin back into your X Division,” he said. “And make no mistake, I’m the guy that ran Hulk Hogan outta here and put him on hard times.”
What does this have to do with Styles? Ray said that in three days at Bound for Glory when he defeats him, he’s going to put Styles on hard times. Ray vowed to put his fans and his family on hard times, too. “With no contract, with no championship,” he said. Ray finished his promo, then shoved the mic in Styles’s chest.
A.J. responded that he can appreciate Ray’s little story, but Ray is no Flair and he is no Dusty Rhodes. “That was in the past. We’re int he future, kid,” A.J. said. Styles said he might regret this tomorrow, but he would like to tell Bully who he really is. He called him a big, dumb b—-. A.J. paused before telling Bully that he has no idea who he’s getting in the ring with on Sunday. Styles said he’s going to make Dixie beg and make Bully lose the title. “I’m the most dangerous, most intense, and most desperate man you’re ever going to get in the ring with,” he said. Styles vowed to make Dixie pay and be the next World champ.
Styles signed the contract as Dixie patted the bounty briefcase in the background. Everyone stood their ground in the ring, then Bully asked Dixie to hold up a second. He said he’s not putting his World Title on the line, but what he will do is cash in on the $50k right now. Bully shoved the podium into Styles’s gut, but missed with a chain shot. Styles then smashed the briefcase into Bully. Styles grabbed the bounty briefcase, then dumped the money on the mat, sending Dixie scurrying to pick up the bills.
To close the show, Styles and Bully went face-to-face trash-talking each other about who will win the title match on Sunday. Impact signed off with Styles vowing to take everything Ray has to offer on Sunday.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch)