The fifth live Impact of TNA’s summer series opened with a video package recapping the initial build-up to Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode at Destination X, plus the too-absurd-for-words Dixie Carter & A.J. Styles reveal on last week’s show.
Backstage, Dixie talked to A.J. about not being happy with how things came out last week. Styles said he’s ready to move on and beat the piss out of Kazarian and Daniels tonight. Styles vowed to put the nail in the coffin for him, Dixie, and Claire.
Impact Zone: After pyro shot off in the Impact Zone, Mike Tenay and Taz plugged items for the show tonight. TNA cut backstage to show Carter and Claire Lynch walking down the hallway. According to Tenay, they’re going to “tell Claire’s story” throughout the show.
Impact Zone: Mr. Anderson came out on-stage to introduce himself for the first Bound for Glory Series match of the night. As Anderson made his way to the ring, Tenay recapped how Anderson arrived at nine BFG Series points entering tonight. Rob Van Dam came out next to face Anderson.
1 — MR. ANDERSON vs. ROB VAN DAM — BFG Series match
Anderson and Van Dam exchanged quick pin attempts early on before coming to a babyface vs. babyface stalemate. That was short-lived when Anderson went for a handshake, then popped RVD in the jaw with a right hand strike. RVD came back with a drop toehold into a Muta Lock looking to secure a submission victory, but Anderson reached the bottom rope for a break. RVD went for another mat submission as Tenay plugged another BFG Series match tonight – Samoa Joe vs. Bully Ray.
RVD and Anderson traded blows at 4:00 before RVD executed a Northern Lights suplex for a nearfall. RVD followed with a cartwheel into a back-flip press for another nearfall. RVD tried to finish off Anderson with a split-legged moonsault, but Anderson blocked with knees to the gut for a two count. Anderson followed with a neckbreaker for another nearfall. Anderson then tried a move out of the fireman’s carry, but RVD countered into a crucifix pin for the three count.
WINNER: RVD at 5:53; RVD gets 7 points to get his first points of the Series. Up and down match. Some good sequences, then awkward exchanges. The mat-based wrestling was refreshing for an RVD and Anderson match, though.
Impact Zone: After a recap of the BFG Series Standings, Austin Aries’s music played to bring out the X Division champion and #1 contender to the TNA World Title.
[Commercial Break…] […Q2]
Back live, Austin Aries recapped his Big Decision in the ring with Hulk Hogan last week. Aries said his decision to relinquish the X Division Title in exchange for a TNA World Title shot was due to needing some new competition. He recapped taking Option C that the X Division champ will always get the same opportunity he received at Destination X each year. Aries said his days as X Division champion are numbered, but the question now is what’s going to happen to the X Division.
Aries announced there will be a tournament at Destination X to determine the new X Division champion. He said he was backstage today and saw some old and new X Division faces. It reminded him of when he was without a contract one year ago and is now challenging for the TNA World Title one year later.
Suddenly, Bobby Roode’s music interrupted to bring out the World champ. Aries offered commentary over Roode’s music, annoyed with the pace Roode was taking to the ring. In the ring, Roode told Aries to take a good look at the TNA World Title belt, because it’s the real title. Roode said he single-handedly make this World Title the most important thing in this industry. Roode ignored Aries’s back-talk before continuing that he is the most-dominant champ in TNA history.
Roode then accused Aries of only getting a title shot against him because of Hulk Hogan. He said Option C is nothing but a failure. Roode ignored various chants and noise from the crowd before noting that he will make sure Aries fails at Destination X. He looked down at him and said Aries isn’t even in his league before telling the “kid” to get out of his ring. Aries asked Roode what if he thinks this is his ring. Aries told Roode to make him leave the ring. The jackets came off, then the shirts. Roode smiled as Aries told him to bring it. Instead, Roode grabbed his title belt and left the ring, telling Aries that he’s not worthy.
Replay: Tenay threw to a video package recap of the too-absurd-for-words A.J./Dixie reveal with Claire Lynch telling part of her story.
Backstage: A roving cameraman asked Claire and Dixie in the hallway how they met. Claire said they have a mutual friend and met at a party. Claire said things got bad when Daniels and Kaz got a piece of information and twisted the story.
Backstage: Daniels and Kaz were spied on in the locker room. Kaz screamed at Daniels for making him do awful things for six months after buying into Daniels’s b.s. Kaz stomped off, leaving Daniels frustrated because they have a Tag Title re-match tonight.
[Q3] Impact Zone: Sonjay Dutt’s music played to bring out a returning, bald-headed Dutt for a qualifying match to determine who enters the X Division Title tournament. Tenay said three matches will occur tonight and one more next week. Out to face Dutt was Jigsaw, who was billed as Rubix. Quite the stretch on the name.
2 — SONJAY DUTT vs. RUBIX — X Division Title tournament qualifying match
Close nearfall at 1:50 when Dutt spring-boarded into a splash. Dutt then measured Rubix for a neckbreaker, but Rubix came back with an enziguiri into a bridge suplex for a two count. Dutt came back with a spike DDT for coming off the top with a moonsault into a double foot stomp. Unique spot. Dutt with the pin for the win. After the match, Christy Hemme interviewed Dutt about being back in the Impact Zone. Dutt said he’s here for one thing only: become X Division champion for the first time.
WINNER: Dutt at 3:13. Good to see Dutt back in TNA. But, not enough time to showcase Jigsaw if they plan to use him beyond this one booking.
Up Next: Taz, Bruce Prichard, and Al Snow debate Taeler Hendrix in a Gut Check segment.
Last Thursday: Prichard, Snow, and Taz walked into a trailer to discuss the Gut Check match between Tara and Taeler Hendrix last week. Taz asked Prichard if he’s looking for someone with potential or being game-ready. Taz said some of these people already have a sense of entitlement, and he doesn’t sense it with Hendrix. Snow and Taz acted torn about whether to hire her, while Prichard remained stuck in the middle. Definitely an improvement not breaking kayfabe as much as in the previous two Gut Check segments.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray came out to the ring for the second BFG Series match tonight. Tenay noted Joseph Park is not in the building tonight after Ray lectured him last week. Ray flashed his calves to the hard camera before they cut to break.
[Q4] [Commercial Break]
Impact Zone: Back live, Samoa Joe’s music played to bring out Joe to a strong reaction. Tenay told viewers not to under-estimate Joe in the BFG Series tournament because of his submission background to earn extra points for a submission win.
3 — SAMOA JOE vs. BULLY RAY — BFG Series match
Once the bell sounded, Ray argued with ref Earl Hebner before trash-talking Joe. Ray claimed Joe is afraid of him, so Joe backed Bully all the way to the corner. Ray continued to duck under the ropes to avoid locking up, drawing boos. Ray did it a third time as Tenay noted the BFG PPV location will be revealed next week on Impact. Joe eventually got his hands on Ray for a side headlock. The two bulls collided mid-ring before Ray knocked down Joe with a back elbow. Joe came back with left hand jabs before Ray raked the eyes. Ray followed with a big suplex taking Joe to the mat for a two count. At 3:15, TNA cut to break with Ray in control.
Back live, Joe blasted away at Ray with corner blows before running into a discus clothesline from Bully. Joe sold on the mat before Ray blasted him across the chest with multiple chops to the chest. Joe, fired up, came back with forearm blows before they double clotheslined center-ring. Ray tried to drape an arm across Joe to steal a pin, but Joe kicked out. Tenay noted going into this match that he thought each man’s tempers (he did not refer to Joe as having a Samoan temper) could be a factor in this match. Ray continued the wear-down process, remaining one step ahead of Joe.
[Q5 — second hour] Ray stalked Joe in the corner, then landed more offense to Joe’s injured left shoulder. Tenay noted Ray’s strategy is evident trying to avoid submission moves from Joe. The match passed the old 10-minute time limit with Joe on the floor trying to get some feeling back in his arm. Back in the ring, Ray went for a running splash, but Joe rolled out of the way. Joe then landed an atomic drop into a big boot to the face into a back-splash for a close two count.
Next, Joe tried more jabs, but Ray ducked a third blow and hit Rock Bottom for a close two count. Ray then tried a flying splash from the second rope, but Joe moved and Ray rolled to the outside. On the floor, Ray blasted Joe with a running boot to the face to deck him. Ray then entered the ring to try to get a count-out. But, suddenly, Joseph Park stomped down from the backstage area to the ring. Park stood on the ring apron, then slapped Ray across the face. Suddenly, Joe snuck in behind Ray and applied a rear-naked choke for a tap-out victory.
WINNER: Joe at 12:59 to receive 10 points; Joe up to 27 points. Nice big-man match.
Post-match: Park took the mic and asked Ray if he knows who he is. Park told Bully that he’s nothing more than a jackass bully. Ray ignored him, still selling the effects of the match. Park said he’s been bullied his entire life and it ends right here, right now. He noted this is no longer about his brother, Abyss, but about the two of them. Park paused for a “You Tapped Out” chant aimed at Ray before noting he has watched Ray bully everyone for too long. He said he and the fans are sick of it. Park requested two weeks to get ready before fighting Ray in the ring again. This time, he’s bringing the fight right to Ray. He told Ray to give him an answer.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz noted Daniels “tampered with the audio” of a phone call between A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter planning a surprise birthday party.
Backstage: More of Claire and Dixie in the hallway. The roving cameraman asked Dixie to clear up the picture. She said A.J. told her how bad things are with Claire. Claire said she can’t believe Daniels turned something so pure into something so scandalous. Dixie had more answers on Styles bringing her to a hotel room to see Claire recovering from addiction. She noted a lot of effort went into turning this into an affair between A.J. and Dixie. The cameraman asked a final question about whether Claire was at the surprise birthday party for Serge. She said she wasn’t; Dixie said because she wasn’t doing well in her recovery at the time.
Backstage: Kaz was in Hulk Hogan’s office telling Hogan that he listened to Daniels’s lies for six months. Kaz claimed he had nothing to do with Daniels’s lies, and he can’t team with the guy tonight for the Tag Title match. Hogan asked Kaz to own up to lying in the bed Daniels made. Hogan gave Kaz the father-to-son-on-drugs talk about giving into peer pressure. Hogan told Kaz that if he’s accountable, then he better prove it tonight by starting fresh showing who he really is. Hogan said he already booked the Tag Title match tonight, so they’re going to find out what he’s made of. Kaz, frustrated, stomped off, unhappy with Hogan blowing him off.
[Q6] Backstage: Madison Rayne was shown walking up to Garett Bischoff, who was sporting a bowling shirt. Garett tried to ignore her as he texted away on his phone. Madison then tried to get out the words about her secret crush before asking what “he’s” like. She whispered it in his ear, then Garett pulled away and told her good luck with that.
Backstage: Brooke Hogan showed Miss Tessmacher that she got her a campaign with Direct Auto. Gail Kim walked into the shot and said it’s fitting: cheap rates and cheap girls. Tessmacher shot back at her before Gail tried to talk business. Gail told Brooke she wants the re-match, which Tessmacher jumped at the chance to have. Brooke told Gail that her re-match is coming – it’s next week.
Impact Zone: Rashad Cameron, with a bandana over his afro, came out for the next X Division qualifying match. PWG regular/long-time So Cal wrestler Scorpio Sky, going by Mason Andrews, came out next. Rashad jumped Scorpio before the match to start things.
4 — MASON ANDREWS vs. RASHAD CAMERON
Late in the match, Rashad missed a top-rope moonsault, then accepted a kick to the chest. Scorpio built some momentum, then delivered a cross-body for a two count. Cameron then knocked Scorpio to the outside before landing a big flip-dive on the outside. Back in the ring, Cameron measured Scorpio for a top-rope move, but Scorpio flew onto the top turnbuckle for a body scissors press for a nearfall. Scorpio then ate the corner turnbuckle with a dropkick to the back before Cameron nailed Paydirt for the pin and the win.
Post-match: Christy Hemme asked Rashad how it feels to advance to Destination X. Cameron said everyone out there in TV Land is looking at the next X Division champion. He said the Impact Zone just witnessed the beginning of the Rashad Cameron Movement.
WINNER: Cameron at 4:06. Scorpio looked a bit nervous and uncomfortable early on before settling into a good final few minutes with Cameron, who has an impressive look and carries himself like a star. Solid action.
Backstage: Speaking of nervous, TNA showed Taeler Hendrix standing backstage awaiting her fate in the Gut Check voting.
Back from break, Hogan was on the phone while James Storm and Jeff Hardy were in the ring. Hogan said the deal with Sting is he’s good, but not good enough yet. He said they still don’t know who took out Sting two weeks ago. Changing subjects, Storm said he’s back and ready. Hogan said he has questions about him every week, though, after he walked away a few months ago. Hogan then asked Jeff Hardy what got into him. He told them that since they’re his top racehorses, they’re going to face each other in a BFG Series match next week.
[Q7] Impact Zone: Jeremy Borash was in the ring with Taz, Al Snow, and Prichard. Cue up the dramatic music and overly-serious poses. After introducing the judges, JB introduced Taeler Hendrix to receive her evaluation. Taeler came to the ring before JB asked the judges if they have seen enough to render a decision. JB then asked Taeler if she has showed her best thus far in TNA. She said she has, then JB went to the judges for an evaluation. Meanwhile, the Impact Zone crowd chanted, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Taz voted yes.
As Al Snow was about to give his decision, they showed Joey Ryan in the crowd screaming at the judges. Joey screamed at Taz, who left the ring, to hit him. Snow then screamed at Joey to leave. Joey leaned over the guardrail telling Taz that if he’s such a badass, then he should hit him. Security eventually took Joey away before the judges returned to the ring. (What a difference a year makes with Joey Ryan and Scorpio Sky on the same national TV show one year after being plants reacting to Mark Henry and Sheamus crashing through a barricade at Summerslam in Los Angeles.)
Back in the ring, Snow said he knows Taeler has potential, but he doesn’t think she’s ready for an Impact roster spot. Taeler was given the mic to state her case, and said she will fight to stay here and earn a roster spot. She said she wants it and she will prove that she can shine. The crowd applauded, then JB asked Prichard to give his vote. Prichard said he likes her. “I don’t love you, but I like you,” he said. Prichard did the dejection set-up, said he’s not sure if she’s Tough Enough, and said she’s not experienced, but said unlike the “jerk” who came out here a moment ago, the answer is yes.
Backstage: Kurt Angle talked to A.J. Styles about the real A.J. being back. A.J. said the weight is off his shoulders…and he has Daniels one-on-one in a Last Man Standing match at Destination X. Angle made sure his focus is on tonight with the Tag Titles on the line in the main event. Angle told A.J. just to give it their best and they’ll win.
Back live, Tenay recapped the BFG Series standings, which is top-heavy with Storm at 36 points, Joe with 27 points, and Angle still with 10 points. Next week: Storm vs. Hardy in a BFG Series match. Also, next week, Chris Sabin will address his knee injury from two weeks ago.
Ringside: Dixie Carter and Claire Lynch were shown ringside. Tenay editorialized that Claire “connected all the dots” with her explanations tonight. In the ring, Hemme introduced Daniels and Kazarian, who walked right past Daniels to the ring.
[Q8] Kurt Angle’s music played to bring out one-half of the tag champions. Angle, all-smiles, jogged to the ring and did a victory lap before hitting the ring. A.J. Styles was out next motivated to “whoop some butt,” as Taz noted. Ringside, Dixie and Claire were all-smiles.
5 — TNA tag champions A.J. STYLES & KURT ANGLE vs. DANIELS & KAZARIAN — TNA Tag Title match
Kaz said he would start the match, then Styles grabbed him around the throat to start the match. Styles kicked Kaz in the back before throwing him into the tag champ’s corner to tag in Angle. For some reason, the crowd started a slow-clap despite the face champs in control. Daniels then tagged in and Angle blasted him in the corner before Daniels caught him on the other side of the ring. Daniels tried to bring in Kaz for offense, but Kaz acted uninterested. So, Daniels tagged himself back into the match. Styles and Daniels took their fight to the outside, where Styles slammed Daniels across the ring apron in front of Dixie and Claire. Daniels, frustrated, begged Kaz to help him, but Kaz continued to act disinterested.
Back live, Daniels had Styles in a side headlock trying to wear down one-half of the tag champs. Daniels then dropped Styles with an STO for a two count. Meanwhile, Tenay recapped Storm vs. Hardy next week on Impact. Angle then made a tag into the match, so Daniels bailed to the outside. Kaz tried to put up a valiant effort against Angle, but Angle nailed him with three German Suplexes. Angle dropped the straps, then dropped Daniels with three Germans. Angle then tried an Angle Slam, but Kaz countered into a modified Ace Crusher for a close nearfall.
Kaz wanted Fade to Black, but Angle rolled into the anklelock. Kaz fought off, then Styles tagged in for Angle and smashed Kaz, who tagged out to Daniels. Styles smashed Daniels, then both men collided mid-ring. Breather time with all four men on the mat followinf the sequence. After a reset, the ref was bumped to the floor. With the ref down, Daniels retrieved a chair and tried to smash Styles, but Kaz grabbed the chair from Daniels. After Styles dropped Daniels with a Pele Kick, Kaz flipped off Daniels, then left the ring. Styles grappled Daniels for the Clash, but Kaz re-entered the ring with chair in-hand and cracked it across Styles. Well, kind of. Kaz then dragged the ref into the ring and he counted to three, rendering new tag champs.
WINNERS: Daniels & Kaz at 11:47 to capture the Tag Titles.
Post-match: Kaz and Daniels hugged to re-affirm their tag team commitment. Daniels took the mic and proclaimed themselves TNA Tag Champs. Daniels then turned his attention to Dixie, telling her there is plenty of reason to be happy. He said Claire told the truth, but not the whole truth. Daniels said Claire is pregnant, but the bastard’s daddy is A.J. Styles. “What are you kidding me?!” Dixie screamed. Claire sat down in her chair as Daniels said the baby will surely be phenomenal. Dixie again offered an empty threat that Daniels is so finished. They signed off with Dixie pointing her finger at Daniels while Claire sold tears sitting in her seat, neither confirming nor denying the allegation.
Thanks to James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor