Previously on Impact Wrestling
Brooke Hogan tried to apologize to her father and Sting for her role in Aces & Eights takeover, but the Hulkster barely had a chance to turn down her offer to resign as head of the Knockouts division when Brooke's husband, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray, made his way to the ring.
Bully took responsibility for the whole charade, putting himself over at the same time he purported to still love his wife.
The masked man Suicide returned and earned a spot in the X-Division title triple threat with Kenny King and Chris Sabin at Slammiversary.
Magnus defended the rights of Gut Check participants everywhere, but D.O.C., Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco weren't hearing it. The Brit defeated Brisco in a match, and a returning Samoa Joe helped him avoid a 3-on-1 beatdown by the club.
Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson continued the trend of working well together, but AJ Styles impending membership in Aces & Eights distracted the Olympic gold medalist sufficiently for the Asshole to low blow him and get the pin.
James Storm flirted with a bunch of different tag team partners (a little fishy told me he should have picked Shark Boy, if he wanted to kick some bass...gimme a Shell Yeah!) before settling on Gunner for the fatal fourway for the tag belts at the upcoming pay-per-view (PPV).
Mickie James won the Knockouts title for the third time in her career. Let's all hope it's a harbinger of better days to come for the once proud division.
AJ Styles went through the motions of joining up with Bully's band of bikers, but at the end of the night, he and his trusty hammer proved to be in it for themselves when he took out Angle, and then D.O.C. and a few other club members, at his patching in ceremony.
(NOTE: This show was taped last week for broadcast tonight, however, previews are spoiler free)
New (old) start time! Impact returns to 9PM Eastern / 8PM Central time tonight on Spike!
It's the go home show for Slammiversary, and TNA is offering up a stacked main event for the occasion! Team 3D reunites to do battle with Bully and Devon's respective PPV opponents, Sting and Joseph Park. Who will get the upper hand headed into the title bouts on Sunday? And, should Park see red, will we see the monster Abyss?
AJ will be on hand to face-off with one of the men he embarrassed last week, Mr. Anderson. Will he have anything to say for himself, or to explain his actions? And will Kurt Angle wait for Boston, or will he express his continued displeasure with Styles on tonight's show?
Teddy Long booking abounds, as Taryn Terrell and Chris Sabin have a mixed tag against Gail Kim and Kenny King.
Plus, a HUGE eight man tag featuring all the parties involved in the upcoming tag title match! Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode versus Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez, James Storm and Gunner from Tampa, FL!
Expect to pop for:
Brooke Hogan. Nepotism is such an ugly word. But it's a word that can be applied to most things Ms. Hogan has done during her life in the public eye. While that's certainly how she got her "in" at TNA, go back and watch one of her early promos from last year after being named Knockouts general manager (or whatever) and compare it to some of her work this year in the Bully Ray story. Probably won't be winning any Emmys, but she's worked herself up to the level of a good soap actress and, along with Ray, is selling the heck out of what should be a ridiculous storyline.
Maybe it's just me, but I have been more interested in what her next role is in the Aces & Eights story than anything AJ Styles and his mod haircut might be doing. It might be like rubbernecking at a car crash, or it might be compelling storytelling - I've been laughing at the Hogan name long enough that I'm not sure anymore. But whether she ends up cleaning the gang's clubhouse (shout out to Mike & Rex) or playing Baroness to Bully's Destro, I want to be there to see it.
Magnus. Me, personally...if they were going to push a British superman, I'd have rather it was Douglas Williams. But that boat is too old (Doug is 40; Magnus 26) and at least it's not Rob Terry. The former tag champ has a good look, and for whatever it's worth, the mark that owns the company thinks he's got the elusive "it". The question is, can he avoid the start-stop pushes that have plagued him, Terry, Samoa Joe, Matt Morgan and pretty much everyone not named Hogan or Sting in TNA at one point or another? If so, he could be one answer to the issue of TNA's aging roster where even the "originals" are pushing 40.
The heat is on:
Samoa Joe. One of those "future stars" who we've spent a decade or so saying should be elevated on Impact, now nearly 35 years old. We're seven or eight years from his 18 month undefeated streak. Five or six years since his six month world title reign. When Joe lost that belt to sting at Bound for Glory IV, did anyone think he might never win it back?
Well, here we are. Joe returned in a "sure, why not?" moment last week while Gunner got the premium surprise return spot as Storm's tag partner. Will it lead to something, or be the latest "kidnapped by hoodie ninjas" unresolved bit in a career full of them?
TNA has been scuffling along with their usual mix of good and bad. But with one of their only PPVs of the year a couple of days away, can they bring the goods and make Slammiversary a buy?
Check out the live blog fiesta this evening, and stay with Cageside all weekend long for the latest from TNA Impact Wrestling!