TNA Impact comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Aug. 15, 2013) from Norfolk, Virginia, featuring a special edition of the show. That's right, folks, Hardcore Justice is back and it's all live and free on Spike TV, with Chris Sabin defending his title against Bully Ray inside a steel cage acting as the headlining attraction.
Other matches scheduled for the card: Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kazarian vs. AJ Styles in a BFG Series ladder match with 20 points on the line, Samoa Joe vs. Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Bobby Roode in a BFG Series tables match with 20 points on the line, and Mickie James & Gail Kim vs. ODB & Velvet Sky in a No DQ, No Countout, Tornado tag team match.
To follow along with the live blog as it all goes down come right back here at 9 p.m. ET to check for updates from the show set to air on Spike TV.
TNA IMPACT RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR AUG. 15
Broadcast is live.
We're starting with the BFG Series ladder match. Remember, 20 points on the line.
Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles vs. Kazarian vs. Jeff Hardy
There isn't going to be much to say about this because, well, it's a ladder match with four guys in there at once. It's going to be brutal, and it's going to choatic.
Sure enough, it's the usual ladder match psychology. Two guys climb, one guy sends the other flying and gets the advantage before the next guy gets in. Each guy gets time to sell and recover as they switch off before a big spot where all four guys get taken out in one fell swoop.
It's a tried and true formula.
There were plenty of great high spots featuring all four pretty much putting their bodies on the line. They even had the crowd chanting "T-N-A!"
Towards the end of the match, Bad Influence came out with Bobby Roode. Not long after, Hardy took control inside the ring but that's when the heels got involved and Christopher Daniels handed Kazarian an Appletini that he threw in Hardy's face before climbing up to grab the 20 points, which was printed in bold on a piece of paper attached to a clipboard.
The Main Event Mafia is in the ring and Dixie Carter is there too. She tells us Kurt Angle entered rehab recently and he's still in there now. He's got the full support of the team, the company, and her personally.
"You hang in there and get back to us real soon."
That brings out the Aces and 8s.
Rampage Jackson, by the way, is wearing a suit but the jacket is camo, I shit you not. That's how the tough guys do it.
Anderson takes the mic and brings up how the Mafia is short one team member for their five-on-five match, which will take place next week. The crowd in Norfolk actually seems to be really hot for this.
Magnus tells Anderson he'll punch him in his mouth and reignites a "you suck" chant. Rampage, a light heavyweight in MMA who walks around at maybe 225-pounds, looks smaller than nearly everyone else in the ring.
The Aces and 8s have a man advantage and because of that, they attack and run down the Mafia.
Tornado tag match time.
ODB vs. Mickie James & Gail Kim
The tornado concept dictates that all four ladies are in the ring together at once. It's also no disqualification and no count out, so pretty much anything goes here.
But oh wait, Velvet Sky is nowhere to be found and it's a random hardcore triple threat match. Okay.
Randomly during the match, Mike Tenay breaks out some news on Hulk Hogan's whereabouts. He actually cut in during this match to say Hogan was in meetings last week and he's in meetings again this week.
Ultimately, chaos reigns and ODB pinned Kim.
Backstage, we see Sting telling his stablemates that he's going to ask Austin Aries to join the crew for one night only to replace Angle in the five-on-five tag match.
After a commercial, Sting finds Aries and starts sympathizing with him about his loss tonight. He also brings up the fact that Aries hates Aces and 8s, he's a former world champion, and he's got a nice jacket.
"Kurt's gone and we need help. I want your help, Austin Aries."
Aries considers himself the Main Event every time he steps in the ring, so it makes some measure of sense, according to the man himself. Sting says they don't need to be friends to be united against a common enemy.
Aries smiles but we get no immediate response confirming or denying an arrangement.
Rampage, Joe, and Magnus are backstage talking about an option that they won't say out loud. Magnus says they need to wait for Sting to come back to confirm if Aries said yes.
Sting walks in and reveals that Aries did, in fact, say no.
Rampage has a plan, though, and he needs to put it in motion in the ring RIGHT NOW.
Uh-oh. Pre-tape shows Bully Ray backstage talking to someone on the phone saying "next week, the truth comes out."
He talks some more and then the big bombshell is dropped.
"I love you too, Brooke."
Surely, he's not talking about Brooke Hogan, is he? Perhaps he means Brooke Tessmacher?
Rampage is out and he's got a microphone.
"What's up y'all, what's up?"
He says it's no secret he's new here, everybody knows that. But when he first came to Impact, MMA fans called him a sellout. But he's not, and even so, he loves it here. He feels like he belongs to a family with the Main Event Mafia. But he didn't come here to get his ass kicked by punks on a moped.
So now he has to ask one of his old friends and training partners for help, even though he has to fight him on Nov. 2.
He calls out Tito Ortiz.
Rampage promotes the fight in Bellator, talking about the game plan they'll both likely have. He says they can fight then, but let's put that aside for now and focus on what they've got going on in front of them. Rampage helped in train for fights back in the day, so he feels like Tito owes him this one.
They need to do away with the Aces and 8s.
Rampage says they can take over pro wrestling like they took over MMA. Ortiz says he came over here to make headlines. He's kicked "many a butts across the world AND across the United States."
That's a real line.
Oh man, Bully Ray cuts them off but the production team played the wrong theme and Ortiz's music on again while he was walking out.
Ray says if he didn't need to win back the heavyweight title tonight, he would climb in the ring and beat the piss out of both of them. He's already got Rampage's number and he warned "Blondie" that if he got in Bully's way, he would make him his "Huntington Beach Bitch."
At that point, Tito tries to rush after Ray but Joe and Jackson hold him back.
Time for the BFG Series tables match.
Mr. Anderson vs. Bobby Roode vs. Magnus vs. Samoa Joe
The majority of this match has seen the babyfaces ahead. There have been some cool spots, like Joe putting the ring bell over Roode's genital area and ringing it.
Roode's sell job was top notch, of course.
No different than the ladder match earlier in the night, the finish saw Christopher Daniels and his dreaded appletinis earn the victory for one of his stablemates, this time Roode.
That's 20 points and suddenly the BFG Series is all SHAKEN UP.
Pre-tape of Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson arguing about the former's heavyweight title match against Sabin tonight. It's actually one hell of an entertaining segment as the two argue over whether or not Ray can beat Sabin to win back the strap.
Neither of them are so sure, not with Sabin having pinned Ray twice already.
That match is next.
Chris Sabin vs. Bully Ray
They go with traditional psychology early. Ray asserts himself using his superior size and strength. Sabin shows courage by surviving and utilizing his strength, his speed and agility.
Tenay reminds us that winning means escaping the cage, either over the top or through the door, or simply pinning or submitting your opponent.
We get to that point where Ray just starts dominating the match. He's throwing Sabin around, picking him up over his head and tossing him into the fence. It's basic stuff, really, but effective.
Towards the end of the match, the two set up a spot in the corner that almost goes horribly wrong and is saved at the last minute when Ray just bails out and Sabin falls down off the ring post. We could have had a bad injury there but the two got out of it.
Shortly after, we get not one but two referee bumps.
Sabin gets a missile dropkick and pins Bully but the ref is out. The crowd counts all the way up to 8 with Ray laying there. So Sabin tries to escape the cage but Anderson comes down to slam the door in his face.
Then, Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz come down and Rampage tosses Anderson to the side. As he's doing that, Tito grabs a hammer out from under his shirt and blasts Jackson on the back of the head with it.
In the ring, Ray hits a Bully Bomb and that gets the three count to make him the new heavyweight champion. Ortiz and Tazz get in the ring to celebrate the victory.