Previously on Impact Wrestling
Austin Aries was out to gloat about his Suicidimpersonation, but General Manager Hulk Hogan cut his celebration short and let him know there was one more X-Division title defense before "Option C" could be cashed in at Destination X.
Former champ Chris Sabin would receive a rematch in a triple threat with the man whose identity Aries had usurped. Although that guy has a new identity, as the masked flier is now known as Manik.
Bad Influence made like Siegfried and Roy for throwback Thursday in Las Vegas, but Kazarian was forced to tap by AJ Styles. AJ, grumpy gus that he is, did not dress up for the occasion.
Mickie James promised to take whoever the next contender to her Knockouts title is down a ladder face first, rung by rung.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez continued their Hell No-esque slow burn break-up as SuperMex defeated a game Jay Bradley in a Bound for Glory (BFG) series match. In another match with series points on the line, Jeff Hardy defeated Joseph Park via DQ because no one can figure out that the lawyer has issues (and also, that he's Abyss).
Magnus joined the Main Event Mafia (MEM), Bully Ray and his band of brothers brought his "wife"'s recent engagement into kayfabe and Gut Check wasted even more of our time than usual when a company that can't find things to do with or money to pay the employees it already has decided not to hire more employees.
And then, cause it's TNA (just when I thought I was out...), Aries, Sabin and TJ Perkins had a barn-burner of a main event. Aces and Eights and the MEM were used logically to ensure a fair outcome, and Sabin stood tall and is a noble babyface challenger to Ray's belt.
(NOTE: This show was taped on Saturday, June 29th for broadcast tonight. Previews are spoiler free, but results for this show - and last week's - are available here)
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless it was filmed two weeks ago for national television broadcast.
The next (and, based on graphics on their website with only one face not revealed for the group, final) member of Sting's posse will be revealed. In other exciting group politics news, the Aces and Eights will elect their VP in one of their always entertaining club meetings.
Joker's Wild returns to the BFG series, in a series of stipulations that kind of make my head hurt. All of the entrants will be randomly paired for tag matches. The six members of the winning teams will then be entered in gauntlet match, and whoever survives that will receive a whopping 25 series points! Had I been there, I would have run right to the sports book and put a C-note on Jay Bradley...
Chris Sabin has to officially turn in his freshly re-won X-Division strap for his title shot on the pay-per-view-quality (PPVq?) episode of Impact on July 18th.
And Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim will do battle in a ladder match to determine Mickie's newest #1 contender. This match has been getting a lot of positive buzz, and their last match was one of the stronger women's contests that TNA or WWE has put on in quite some time, so it sounds like it will be worth a watch.
Expect to pop for:
Gail Kim. I'm a little worried about the depth of the Knockouts division. But they can get a lot of mileage out of a round-robin with James, Terrell, Kim and Tara.
Terrell is the relative newcomer here, but she couldn't have asked for three better performers to learn from. She's really come into her own since transitioning from WWE spokesmodel and TNA referee, and a lot of the credit for that has to go to the Korean-Canadian who has been her primary dance partner during the period of time where she's improved the most.
Gail won the WWE Women's title in her debut match with the company. She was the first TNA Knockouts champ. And though it will require a face turn since Mickie is killing it as a self-important heel right now, I hope she gets a few shots at her third run with the belt in the not too distant future.
The blonde will be ready soon enough, but the 36 year old Kim deserves as much of the spotlight as she wants for as long as she wants it. She left her second stint with WWE a couple of years ago because she wasn't being used, and having since gotten married to another mid-range celebrity, may not feel the need to put on ladder matches for too much longer. A kick ass feud with another of the best women to ever pretend to fight in James might be a nice way to transition out of the business.
And it would sure give fans of good wrestling a reason to pay attention to TNA.
The heat is on:
Bully and Brooke 4Eva. One of the more interesting developments in the ongoing Aces and Eights saga occurred last week when Brooke Hogan's real-life engagement to Dallas Cowboy Phil Costa was discussed at a club meeting. Wes Brisco brought it up, but was quickly shot down by the President, who called it "personal business".
Does this mean the end of the greatest love TNA has ever known (other than Tara and Jesse Godderz)? Will creative drop the Ray-Brooke marriage angle all together - breaking their streak of tying together all Aces and Eights plot threads together pretty darn tight? Or will Costa join fellow NFLers like Adam Jones and Brian Urlacher as TNA alums?
God, please don't let it be that last one...
It's kind of hard to get hyped for shows that are three weeks old, even when you do your best to avoid spoilers. Here's hoping the ladder match lives up to the hype and Joker's Wild gives us some good moments.
Let us know where your relationship with Impact stands right now. If it still exists, join the live blog tonight!