Previously on Impact Wrestling
His name is Bully Ray, he is the President of the Aces and Eights, and he thinks very highly of his lady friend's buttocks. In the process of accepting former club member Ken Anderson's challenge of a no disqualification match, Bully expressed his desire to piledrive the pregnant Mrs. Anderson. Then he decided he would put the future of his brotherhood on the line, as long as the Asshole promised to go home to the mother-to-be should he lose.
Oh, and Anderson beat up Garett Bischoff and Knux. But who doesn't?
Christopher Daniels defeated Joseph Park with the power of heelishness. Daniels and his Bad Influence partner, Frankie Kazarian, have gotten into the lawyer's head, too. Their continued pursuit of Abyss has lead Park to try anything to solve the mystery of his brother...including calling out the monster his brother out (who we're all pretty sure is the same guy as Park).
Dewey Barnes and Norv Fernum are members, and they have the jackets to prove it. What they don't have is any wins. Even their combined might wasn't enough to defeat EC3, who's a Carter that the world needs.
The other Carter was spinning the wheel on her stipulation-crazy championship tournament. AJ Styles has her belt (and her convertible) on his tour of Mexico and Japan. While we wait to hear what's next for The Phenomenal One, Dixie will send her lawyers after him, court Bobby Roode as a potential face of her company and get mad at Samoa Joe for promising to have a unification match with Styles should he win the tourney.
Gail Kim has run out of challengers on the Knockouts roster - which really wasn't that hard since there are only three of them, and two of those are valets who you shouldn't take seriously as wrestlers. Last week, the champ beat British Bootcamp alumna Hannah Blossom. You have to admire TNA's insistence on having a storyline for their women, even when they don't really have any women.
TNA has replaced WWE as the promotion for which you can't name their tag champs.
And Kurt Angle defeated Austin Aries in a submission match that proved two things. (1) TNA is intent on pushing Angle, despite the fact that his is a forty-four year old man with a couple of month's sobriety under his belt. (2) I will probably never not cringe when anyone does a move that targets the Olympian's neck.
Sweet Home, Universal Studios! This pay-per-view (PPV) quality episode shall be called Turning Point, and it will be broadcast live from Orlando, Florida.
No DQ. If Bully wins, Anderson leaves TNA. If the former Aces and Eights member wins, Ray must disband his club.
Not one, but TWO Wheel of Dixie-stipped World Championship tournament matches! In the first, The It Factor and The Cowboy will face off in a bullrope match. Roode got the party started when he jumped the redneck in a Florida bar. Can James Storm return to the main event scene, or will the momentum Bobby has from two wins over Kurt Angle carry him to the next round?
The other match is showdown of Main Event Mafia members, where the Samoan Submission Machine will take on Magnus in a falls count anywhere match. The Mafia was disbanded so that it's members could go for the gold - who's quest ends tonight?
Expect shenanigans when Abyss responds to Joseph Park's challenge! Expect someone that only either Rex or rancho has heard of when Gail Kim calls out another non-roster woman to try for her title! Expect to give a shell yeah?
Anything can happen at the point on which things turn!
Expect to pop for:
The end of an era. It's been almost a year and a half since those masked men jumped Sting and Hulk Hogan started getting envelopes full of pictures of playing cards. Since then, the motorcycle club names after a poker hand has had upwards of ten members at times down to it's current closely knit quartet. They've had losses upon losses that somehow ended up with epic heeling from their President as he held the TNA world title. Their motivations have made zero sense until they were tied together in a way that made us marvel at a promotion, in this day and age, actually paying attention to continuity and long-term booking.
So, for all the good and bad, whether their demise comes tonight or sometime soon (and I for one hope it's the former - it's time)...take a moment to raise a glass and/or pour one out for our homies in the Aces and Eights.
If nothing else, it's cemented Bully Ray in the pantheon of great heel talkers. The man has been killing it on the stick for several years now, and it's just too bad that it's been in the midst of all the TNA-ing that keeps so many fans away from Impact.
But the last month's worth of shows have felt like a page has been turned for Dixie Carter's company. Yes, the Dixie Train probably needs to toot-toot off into the sunset. But if the curtain comes down on Eric Bischoff's latest attempt to recreate his and Hulk Hogan's greatest booking success just weeks after the two men left the company, it's likely we'll continue to see something different Thursday nights on Spike TV.
The heat is on:
James Storm. Seriously. What the actual &#%( is up with this guy?
If he were in WWE, Eric B. Stephen would be writing about alleged backstage heat on him three times a week. Some of it can be written off to nonsensical creative direction, I suppose. But there's only one common denominator in the story of a guy who was a tag team hero with a rocket strapped to his back who only managed to have an eight day run with a singles title before settling into being a jobber to the stars with a Johnny Paycheck gimmick.
Every time he and former Beer Money partner Bobby Roode face off, it reminds me who took the ball and ran with it and who tripped over his cowboy boots. The turning point for Storm needs to either be a gimmick change or some new scenery.
How are you feeling about Impact in these halcyon post-Hogan days?
Let us know if you're a little more optimistic in the comments below. Then come and back for tonight's live blog!