TNA Impact Wrestling returned last night (Nov. 9) to provide the last stop before Sunday night's Turning Point pay-per-view (PPV). As with any TNA show, it would not be complete with some more Aces and 8s drama, as the artist formerly know as Luke Gallows, Doc, and Devon took on Sting and Kurt Angle.
Of course, Austin Aries was trying to find a loophole out of the ladder match against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy. Would Aries be able to get out of the stipulation, or did he have some other tricks up his sleeve to get in the head of the "Charismatic Engima?"
If you want full coverage as the episode happened, have a look at our live blog of this week's episode.
Enough of the preview, let's get right into some reactions:
- The show focused on Austin Aries trying to weasel his way out of facing Jeff Hardy in a ladder match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Turning Point. The two confronted each other at the end of the show, as Aries was given an ultimatum by Hulk Hogan earlier in the show, stating that if Aries didn't want to climb a ladder for a title shot, he'd find someone who would. Aries came out and bashed Hardy a little bit, then told Hardy that if he wanted the official TNA title that he stole, he'd have to come and get it. Hardy came out with his vomit title around his shoulder and a brawl ensued. Aries slipped out and Hardy climbed the ladder in the ring, posing with the belts hanging off the holder used in ladder matches. Aries tipped the ladder over on Hardy and posed with the belts to close the show. Not bad, TNA, not bad. This made me interested in the main event, if nothing else.
- Speaking of being uninterested in things, Aces and 8s member DOC (stands for Director of Chaos, stupid, right?) and Devon took on Kurt Angle and Sting. Angle and Sting had just won the match because of Devon hitting the two with Sting's bat. Sting was about to put Doc through the table that Bully Ray had set up for Devon, since the two chased each other to the back. Unfortunately, more Aces and 8s members came and took Sting out with a hammer. DOC put the hammer to Sting's torso and hands, putting a savage beating on the geriatric Stinger. All of this served to show that Aces and 8s is here to stay and that Luke Gallows got an even worse name than Lucas Noose or Fester.
- The show kicked off with a barnburner of a match between Bobby Roode and AJ Styles. The two fought tooth-and-nail, leading Roode to go outside for a chair. Unfortunately, Storm was on commentary and decided to prevent that from happening. AJ took advantage of this to take out Roode on the outside, but started jawing with Storm as he hit the apron. Roode took this opportunity to thwart Styles' springboard attempt and made him ricochet off the ropes, giving him the victory. Backstage, Storm and Styles got face-to-face, showing some hostility prior to their match at Turning Point. Roode had a single interview, stating how glad he was that a plan fell into place. This is going to be a spectacular match on Sunday and this booking was pretty interesting.
- ODB defeated Tara and Jesse in a handicap match, but got a beating after the match. She wants Eric Young to join her in facing Tara and Jesse on Sunday. While this isn't the most interesting thing, it actually isn't the worst women's wrestling storyline I've seen. Tara and Jesse have some solid chemistry. Not particularly interested in the match, but it hasn't completely disgusted me like a lot of TNA's storylines.
- The team of Samoa Joe, Chavo Guerrero, and Hernandez was defeated by Magnus, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian after Magnus pinned Joe. I am very interested in the no disqualification match between Magnus and Joe, as they'll have a pretty good performance at least. I am also intrigued to see if Daniels and Kaz get their belts back, because Chavo Guerrero doesn't deserve a job in a major wrestling company in 2012, let alone a title.
- Joseph Park got a match with someone from Aces and 8s. Park is a pretty money character, but it is negated by having to deal with anyone in the Aces and 8s.
- Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan got up in the face of Hulk Hogan. Hogan banned Morgan from ringside Sunday during Ryan's shot at RVD. Just to get that out of the way.
- Christian York won a contract on "Gut Check." After his performance last week, he deserves it. Hopefully he brings a spark to the X Division.
Something tells me TNA is slowly going on an upswing with their booking, sans anything Aces and 8s, of course. Then again, TNA is like an ex-girlfriend from hell, where they'll draw you back in, only to go bonkers on you.
Still, this week's episode earns a "C+." It actually made me somewhat look forward to this weekend's PPV, instead of slamming my head into the keyboard as I live blog it.
How did you Cagesiders grade this week's episode of Impact Wrestling?