This week’s Halloween Night edition of Impact opened with Mike Tenay hyping reaction from TNA president Dixie Carter to A.J. Styles leaving TNA with the TNA Title. Plus, ODB vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts Title and Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode.
In-ring: Dixie Carter’s music played to bring out Carter with a big, fake heel smile. In the ring, Dixie thanked the booing crowd for their reception. Dixie accused A.J. Styles of throwing a silver platter right back in her face, but no one walks out on Dixie Carter. So, from here on out, A.J. does not exist to her and he is no longer her TNA World champion. Dixie went on that A.J. can go from house to house trick-or-treating that he’s the World champ, but he is no World champ in her eyes.
Dixie Carter then announced an eight-man TNA Title tournament that will take place over the next few weeks. Dixie asked for her participants to walk out on-stage. Out came James Storm, then Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode, and X Division champion Chris Sabin.
Dixie introduced Storm, then TNA cut to a video package highlighting Storm’s accomplishments. Back to Joe, which led to another cut-away to a Joe video package, hitting viewers over the head with the show being taped. Back to Angle, which led to another highlight video. Back to Jeff Hardy, which led to another video. Same for Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Sabin, who was hyped as the greatest X DIvision wrestler of all-time.
Back to Dixie, who said they are missing one man who will be fighting in the tournament. Suddenly, Aces & Eights’s music interrupted to bring out former champ Bully Ray, along with Brooke. Dixie tried to speak over Bully, who tried to talk over her. Dixie then announced a gauntlet match tonight to determine the eighth participant. Bully asked how he’s supposed to win back his title if he’s not in the tournament.
Bully said Dixie is a smart woman, but does she know who he is. “Yes, darling, I know who you are,” Dixie said before reminding him that he caused all of this problem by losing to A.J. Styles twice. Ray played the blame-game, which brought out Mr. Anderson to start a fight with Bully. It’s breaking down in Salt Lake City heading to break…
[Commercial Break at 9:11]
[Q2] Moments Ago: Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray brawled before security intervened.
During the break: Security cemeras spotted Brooke giving Anderson a piece of her mind as security tried to take Anderson away. Bully then jumped Anderson from behind after Brooke provided the distraction. As Anderson remained on the ground, Bully talked trash in-between whipping him with his chain. Bully leaned down next to Anderson and told him to stay away.
Backstage Hallway: Garett Bischoff was asked for his opinion on Bully-Anderson issues. Knux then interrupted, asking Garett why he’s talking to these guys. Knux had something to share with Garett, then pulled him away.
In-ring: A Cowboy and a Viking were introduced for the Tag Title match opener. Two guys dressed up like Jersey Shore castmembers were out next to defend the titles, keeping the Halloween theme going. The challengers waited no time attacking the champs on the aisleway to jumpstart the match.
1 — TNA tag champions ROBBIE E. & JESSIE vs. “COWBOY” JAMES STORM & MODERN DAY VIKING — TNA Tag Title match
On commentary, Taz ranted about James Storm early on, not appreciating his drunken ways. Storm and Gunner worked on Robbie while Taz wondered why Gunner did not come out in Minnesota Viking horns or something. That’s the Torch Towers North division. Storm wanted Eye of the Storm on Jessie, but Robbie broke it up. Chaos with all four men in the ring before Storm found himself alone with Jessie.
Storm, instead of seizing an opportunity to score a pin, decided to pose and play to the crowd, allowing Robbie to pull Jessie out of the ring. Storm tried to suplex Jessie back into the ring, but Robbie grabbed Storm’s feet, Jessie fell on top of Storm, Robbie held Storm’s feet out of the ref’s sight, and a three count was rendered.
WINNERS: Robbie & Jessie at 4:15. If there’s one thing TNA excels at, it’s making babyfaces look like dolts in order to give the heels unjustified victories.
Backstage Office: Dixie Carter was on the phone. Sting then walked in to sit down with Dixie, who played nice to him. Dixie said that since she is so sick and tired of hearing about how Sting is banned from the TNA Title chase, she will lift that ban for one night to put Sting in the gauntlet. She’ll even put Sting out there first to prove he’s still got it. Sting leaned forward and said he’s earned everything he got in the wrestling business. He closed that he’s never had a sense of entitlement, then walked off. “What does that mean? Does that mean yes?!” Dixie asked before sighing.
[Commercial Break at 9:25]
Video Package: Abyss returned at Bound for Glory.
Backstage: Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were dressed as Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery of Abyss’s on-again, off-again schedule and the location of the TV Title held by Abyss.
[Q3] Back in the arena, the lights went out before a voice-over man introduced ECIII for singles action. Carter posed in the ring before Carter’s Bound for Glory opponent, jobber Norv Fernum, was introduced for a re-match. Taz tried to gauge Norv’s weight from ring announcer Christy Hemme, who relayed six pounds, then Taz accused Christy of being drunk.
2 — ETHAN CARTER III vs. NORV FERNUM
Carter worked over Norv early on as Tenay read a plug for the Bellator fight card on Spike TV this Saturday night. Norv made his customary comeback, including a top-rope cross-body splash, but Carter put Norv back in his place before finishing him for the win.
Post-match, Carter took the mic and announced himself as “E-C-Three.” He said he is a Carter because “the world needs us.” Carter resumed posing in the ring before sending a wink to the hard camera.
WINNER: Carter at 3:08.
Backstage: Bobby Roode was shown talking to a doctor about Kurt Angle’s injury situation. Roode said Angle was clearly not healthy at Bound for Glory, so for Kurt’s safety tonight, he would like to make sure Angle is professionally medically cleared. “I trust you,” Roode told the doc.
Up Next: Sting starts the TNA Title tournament entry gauntlet.
[Commercial Break at 9:38. The first commercial in the break was a spot for the “WWE 2K14” video game featuring Hulk Hogan, the former Impact GM.]
Tonight: ODB talked about getting her Knockouts Title back tonight. Detectives Daniels and Kazarian then stepped in to inquire about Abyss’s whereabouts. Eric Young interrupted to back up ODB and inform the detectives that Joseph Park cannot be here tonight.
In-ring: Sting was introduced first for the tournament gauntlet match. Bad Influence’s music then played to bring out Kazarian, who very quickly changed out of his detective gear into wrestling gear.
3 — GAUNTLET MATCH — Winner is final entrant in the TNA Title tournament
Sting and Kazarian battled for the first two minutes, then A&E music brought out Knux to join the gauntlet.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
Back from break, Eric Young hit the ring and cleaned house on heels Knux and Kazarian. On commentary, Taz played the Triple H role of asking if you really want EY (Daniel Bryan) to be the face of the company. Tenay told Taz to listen to the people. Taz then heeled on Utah, stereotyping the citizens before calming down and saying he gets a little crazy.
Next to join the action was Daniels, creating a situation of three heels and two faces in the match. No eliminations leading to the next commercial.
[Commercial Break at 9:55]
The countdown clock expired just before the top of the hour to bring out former X Division champion Manik for a run in the gauntlet match. No eliminations during the break.
[Q5 — second hour] Still no eliminations before Magnus was introduced to run over Bad Influence. Manik then eliminated Knux with a huracanrana to set off a wave of eliminations followed by Manik going out via Daniels and Eric Young taking a spill.
It came down to a Final Four of Sting, Magnus, Kaz, and Daniels. Magnus then eliminated Daniels before Magnus seized an opportunity to dump both Sting and Kazarian over the top rope, winning the gauntlet to enter the tournament.
Ringside, Sting sold shock after Magnus eliminated him. Sting stood ringside with hands on hips, stunned at Magnus’s actions. Magnus then looked toward Sting and disingenously applauded Sting and pointed to him, pretending to thank him for passing the torch.
WINNER: Magnus at 19:37. Basic gauntlet action before adding more fuel to the fire on the Magnus-Sting issue within Main Event Mafia.
Locker Room: Kurt Angle was asked by a roving cameraman what’s up with his medical status tonight. Angle said the doctor advised him not to wrestle, but he is cleared. Angle vowed to destroy Bobby Roode tonight.
Up Next: Knockouts Title match.
[Commercial Break at 10:08]
Backstage: Dixie Carter was asked about Magnus qualifying for the TNA Title tournament. Dixie said good for him, joining the cast of former TNA World champions, then she said she’s excited to announce the brackets. And, she has a little something extra via the…Wheel of Dixie. Carter giggled, then walked off.
In-ring: ODB was introduced first for the Knockouts Title match. Lei’D Tapa then walked out next to bring out Knockouts champion Gail Kim.
4 — KO champion GAIL KIM (w/Lei’D Tapa) vs. ODB — Knockouts Title match
The announcers stacked the deck against ODB, wondering who can top Gail when she has “an amazon” like Lei’D in her corner. ODB tried to get an early pin before Lei’D could be a factor, but Gail escaped. The fight moved to the outside, where Gail gained the upperhand. Back in the ring, Gail continued to wear down ODB. ODB eventually made her comeback, which drew Lei’D on the ring apron. Naturally, the referee missed ODB’s visual three count on Gail, then Gail reversed into a roll-up for a three count to retain the title.
WINNER: Gail at 6:22 to retain the Knockouts Title. A variation on the Match #1 finish.
Backstage: Daniels and Kazarian noted the gauntlet did not go according to plan, but they did solve the Abyss mystery. Detective Influence vowed to reveal their findings on the other side of the break.
[Commercial Break at 10:22]
Bad Influence Investigation
In-ring: Bad Influence entered the ring in their detective outfits. Christopher Daniels presented his findings that Abyss lives underneath the ring. Daniels proceeded to leave the ring and pull out a pumpkin. He called it a talentless vegetable, like Abyss. The segment was dying since it was the last segment taped at last Thursday’s double taping, so Daniels insulted SLC to get a reaction.
Joseph Park’s music then interrupted to bring out EY dressed as Joseph Park, complete with tracksuit, towel, goofy expressions, happy waving, and glasses. EY then entered the ring as Taz heeled on the segment. Young said he is a scientist and there is no scientific proof that Halloween is a real holiday. But, he will note that it is the Big Guy’s favorite holiday.
[Q7[ EY said he has a message from the Big Guy. So, EY punched them before Bad Influence beat him down. Abyss’s music then played to bring out the big goof ready to inflict punishment. Abyss ran over Daniels and Kazarian with a double clothesline, then dropped Kaz with a Black Hole Slam. Daniels found himself alone in the ring with Abyss, so he tried to run away, but then decided to bounce the ropes, which sent him right into a Black Hole Slam. Abyss posed in the ring before turning around to check out EY. Abyss extended his hand to EY, who reluctantly accepted and stood together with Abyss. Tenay said the Monster is back.
Up Next: No more excuses for Bobby Roode, who faces Kurt Angle next. Both men were shown on a split-screen coming to the ring next.
[Commercial Break at 10:32]
Back from break, Tenay introduced the TNA Title brackets: Hardy vs. Sabin and Roode vs. Storm on one side. Angle vs. Aries and Magnus vs. Samoa Joe on the other side.
Backstage: Dixie Carter was standing by with Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin, who will be starting the tournament next week. Dixie spun the wheel, landing on a Full Metal Mayhem match. Dixie said Sabin doesn’t stand a chance against Hardy in his kind of match (WWE’s TLC match).
In-ring: Bobby Roode was introduced first for the TV main event. Kurt Angle was out next to face Roode, seeking redemption in the Bound for Glory re-match.
5 — KURT ANGLE vs. BOBBY ROODE
Angle snapped off a round of offense to send Roode reeling to the outside early on. Roode stumbled around the ringside area, receiving right hand blows from Angle. Angle teased a suplex on the floor, but Roode blocked and jammed Angle back-first into the ring apron. Tenay then sent Impact to the final break of the night.
[Q8] [Commercial Break at 10:45]
Back from break, the announcers talked about Angle’s cardio being good enough to handle wrestling in Utah’s altitude, giving a nice sports-like feel to the match. Angle then busted out repeated German Suplexes to Roode, spanning off a third for a nearfall. Roode answered with a cross-face submission, but Angle weathered the storm and suplexed Roode for a two count.
At 12:00, Angle dropped the straps and went for the Anklelock, prompting the crowd to request a tap-out. But, Roode slipped out and then delivered a reverse neckbreaker out of a fireman’s carry position, slamming Angle’s injured neck into the mat for a nearfall. Roode could not follow up, though, allowing Angle to slap on the Anklelock and grapevine the leg. But, Roode kicked free to escape.
Angle stood up and got a Crazy Look in his eyes before taking Roode to the top turnbuckle. But, Roode headbutted Angle down to the mat. Roode was slow to follow up, allowing Angle to toss him off the top turnbuckle. Angle then dragged himself across the ring to drape an arm across Roode for a nearfall. Both men sold on the mat as the ref applied a ten count. Ref Brian Hebner paused to check on Angle, who sold losing feeling in his body. Brian then called for the bell, stopping the match, giving Roode the win.
Post-match: Roode got his hand raised as he limped to his feet. Angle continued to shake his body and twitch, drawing another ref into the ring. The refs eventually just held Angle down on the mat to keep him from moving as Roode paced the ring in the background. Tenay said everyone is concerned for Kurt’s condition as security hit the ringside area to survey the scene.
Roode left the ring selling mixed emotions before TNA cut to a replay of Angle’s top-rope replay being the cause of Angle losing control of his body. Angle continued to shake his body trying to get feeling back in his body. Tenay told viewers to visit TNA’s website to get an update on Angle as Impact signed off with Angle still twitching.
WINNER: Roode via referee stoppage at 16:16. Another uncomfortable moment in TNA’s presentation of Kurt Angle, following up on Bound for Glory. Do they have an end goal? How is the angle going to draw money or more eyeballs to the product? TNA has to answer these questions for the angle to be worth doing, as it’s uncomfortable-enough watching Angle compete in the ring two months removed from rehab considering his history of chemical dependency.
(Credit: James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor)