Previously on Impact Wrestling
The President called a meeting of the Aces and Eights out in the ring for a change. Ms. Tessmacher is probably remodeling the clubhouse - the place needed a woman's touch. Bully Ray demanded answers from his club for how they lost the battle with the Main Event Mafia (MEM) that resulted in Devon having to leave the company. He wasn't crazy about Mr. Anderson's answer, so he made the VP sit in the corner while he patched in Tito Ortiz.
Even though he wouldn't grab a mic until the main event (of course), we were updated on Hulk Hogan's whereabouts throughout the night like he was Tyler Breeze or something.
Jeff Hardy leapt into third place in the Bound for Glory (BFG) series with a win over Kazarian. Frankie's Extraordinary Gentleman's Organization (EGO) mates were nowhere in sight, nor was the Appletini of victory. The man who turned down membership in MEM and EGO, Austin Aries, took out the carrier of the cocktail and cemented his place in the final four of the BFG.
Dang, there's a lot of acronyms in these TNA previews.
ODB and Gail Kim had a two out of three falls match to blow off their feud and determine who would face Mickie James for her Knockouts belt. Since Gail just had her shot last month and ole Dirty is the only currently wrestling babyface female on the roster, she won. Not bad, but especially for someone who's not a huge fan of the boob grabbing hoss-ette (this guy), these two don't display a lot of chemistry and I'm glad this feud is in the rearview.
AJ Styles had a pipebomb explode in his hands as he tried to explain that he's not mopey anymore but he's still tired of being held down by the man...and Dixie. He then went out and beat Bobby Roode by pinfall...to still not be the running to win a title shot at Bound for Glory.
But wait! The General Manager appeared to announce a gauntlet match giving all 12 BFG participants a shot at 20 points, even though they'd been telling us all week that the series ended that night. Then his magic lawyer papers got his no-longer-employed-by-the-company daughter a pretend divorce to end her kayfabe marriage! And, if that wasn't enough to confound the champ, he booked him in a match against an
old guy in a t-shirt Icon...Sting!
(NOTE: This show was taped last Thursday for broadcast tonight. Previews are spoiler free, but if you're so inclined, they are available here)
One last chance in Cleveland!
The big matches were all laid out by the Hulkster in his main event speech. It'll be the leader of the Mafia against the President of the Aces & Eights when Sting and Bully collide. Of course, the belt won't be on the line since the t-shirted one lost the right to contend for the TNA World title the last time Ray beat him.
BFG gonna BFG...realizing they had another week before the pay-per-view (PPV) quality No Surrender episode of Impact we get the big gauntlet match to make sure AJ's promo wasn't for naught. Nobody tell Hernandez and Jay Bradley that they're mathematically eliminated already, okay?
The Vice-President of the club was fomenting a rebellion behind the scenes last week. Hogan also dropped a little nugget that Bully would have to defend his belt against a club member at the special episode next week in St. Louis. Who could that end up being, I wonder?
Chris Sabin was outed as Velvet Sky's main squeeze last week. Will the reason why he was Heavyweight champ for a month be revealed?
All this, and a very "special performance" from Hardcore Country!
Expect to pop for:
Er...um... That Magnus sure has a lot of points. Anderson is probably getting a title shot - maybe even another face turn - out of the disintegration of the club.
But man, Hulk Hogan announcing a main event featuring Sting sure takes the freaking wind out of my sails. Gonna have to double dip on...
The heat is on:
Jeff Hardy. If his victory in the BFG series last year and subsequent title win over Aries at the company's biggest event of the year was the completion of his "road to redemption" as TNA claimed, what should we call the last six or so months?
Since losing the World championship to Bully Ray in March at Lockdown, his issues with the President of the club and his brothers kind of fizzled out as Hogan and Sting took over as the faces of the opposition. He's been booked as a competent afterthought in the series, amassing a respectable amount of points but not really factoring in to the storyline. And if someone uses this 20 point gauntlet to propel themselves into the final four, the Charismatic Enigma will be the odd man out.
If TNA truly ends up pursuing a cost-cutting youth movement, and WWE really isn't interested in anyone on their roster...could this be the last contract Hardy signs with a major promotion?
AJ Styles. Mr. TNA went out last week in what looked like an attempt to emulate a WWE 'Reality Era' promo. But if that was supposed to be a pipebomb, I think it blew up in their faces.
The delivery was middling, but that shouldn't have been a surprise. Interviews have never been the Phenomenal One's strength; something that Creative has always known and tried to cover by pairing him with a better talker like Christian, Daniels or Ric Flair.
And that didn't help that the content - designed to express AJ's outrage at what the company has put him through - only called attention to how ridiculous their use of him has been. As such, it felt more like the latest lame angle or desperate character tweak in almost three years worth of them since he dropped the TNA title to Rob Van Dam shortly after the Hogan/Bischoff era began.
The lamest part of a CM Punk worked shoot is usually when he refers to himself or his target by their real name. But at least in Punk's case, there's usually hot fire on either side of it. When "Allen Jones" is dropped in the middle of rambling list of grievances that even the listener wishes had never happened, it's just sad. Someone who amazes in the ring as much as Styles does deserves an employer that knows how to use his talent, not set him up to bomb in Cleveland.
Can TNA un-fuck themselves in time for Bound for Glory?
Let us know what you think, and be sure to join the live blog crew tonight for Impact!