TNA Impact comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 10, 2014) from the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, featuring what Kurt Angle is calling a "Champion's Showcase", as there will be three title matches and a 20-man battle royal.
Scheduled for the show: Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love vs. Brittany vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title, Austin Aries vs. Sanada for the X Division title, and The Wolves vs. Bram & Magnus for the tag team titles. Also, a Bully Ray and Rhyno confrontation.
To follow along as it all goes down come right back here at 9 p.m. ET to hang out with all your favorite folks from this neck of the woods when the show airs on Spike. Hanging out here is guaranteed to enhance your viewing experience.
Enjoy the evening, Cagesiders!
IMPACT RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG
- Kurt Angle was out first because this is a wrestling show and the authority figure on it has to start every single show in the history of ever. That includes both TNA and WWE. Once again, Angle brought out a cheat sheet to read off the matches for tonight. This was really weirdly done. Angle was announcing the matches and they were playing cut in videos over the top of him. He said before they can really start the show, however, there is "one main eventer I have to talk to". Yes, because before the actual wrestling can begin there must be talking.
- Willow came on down with his umbrella while Taz and Mike Tenay wondered why Willow was singled out. Angle said he's been wanting to talk to Willow for a while now but it was never his place. He said things got so bad around TNA that Jeff Hardy had to go deep within and get his anger and rage out, and that's how Willow was born. But he wants to see the most competitive wrestler in the business and that's Jeff Hardy. That's who everyone wants to see, in fact. "I'm not asking for Willow to leave forever ... just for tonight. Will you at least consider that?" Willow shook his hand without saying a word, Angle thanked him, and that was that.
- Austin Aries was interviewed backstage about his X Division title match against Sanada tonight. He said he's excited for Angle giving him the opportunity. "Sanada, I'm going to beat you tonight. You're a very good X Division champion; I'm a great X Division champion. ... Come Destination X, I'm going to have all the options in my hands."
- The Wolves vs. Bram & Magnus (who we really should be calling British Steel) for the tag team titles was next. As usual, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards were working hard and fast early on. The heels slowed it down to take the advantage before the babyfaces set up a hot tag and regained control. The finish was ... odd. Richards did a backslide but the referee wouldn't count the pin because he wasn't the legal man. No problem with anything that came before this while he wasn't legal. Meanwhile Edwards ran in and executed a pin and that was counted to give The Wolves the win. Bram attacked after the loss and the segment ended with The Wolves laid out.
- Bobby Roode was backstage and said while he was happy about beating down Kenny King last week, that's not what he really wanted. What he really wanted was MVP and, in fact, he still wants this, so he'll be calling out MVP tonight.
- Roode was actually next and he came out talking about getting suspended by MVP while he was in power for being a threat. But now that MVP isn't the boss and he's been reinstated, Roode wants to throw down. He said he would give MVP to the count of 10 to come out and get beat down, and if that doesn't happen, he'll go find MVP and kick his ass backstage. The count got to five before MVP's music hit. He was out in a wheelchair. He was upset with Roode for crying about his treatment when Roode injured his knee worse. "I literally won't stand for this," MVP remarked. Bobby said he would go up the ramp and kick MVP's ass anyway. So he started that way before Kenny King ran in from behind. Roode took him out at first but then forgot he was there and took a chair shot. Eric Young ran in to make the save, then Bobby Lashley showed up and speared him and that was that.
- James Storm ran into Sanada backstage. He talked to him about losing the X Division title, and how it would be a disgrace if he dropped the strap to Austin Aries tonight.
- Angle did an interview backstage saying he really thinks he got to Jeff Hardy in the opening segment. "Willow brings the violence but I need the most competitive wrestler on the roster, and that's Jeff Hardy". Good lord.
- Sanada vs. Austin Aries for the X Division title was next. This was a really good TV match. Aries was on offense until Sanada countered a top rope spot with a dropkick while Aries was flying through the air. Then he started hitting finishers, including a big moonsault that only got two. Aries came back by moving out of the way of a second moonsault attempt and hitting a Brainbuster for two. He followed up with a 450 splash that looked like it missed, and that got the pin to win the title.
- They showed an interview with Bully Ray backstage on a staircase. He snapped when he was asked about Rhino, screaming at the interviewer and saying he would find out what happened last week when Rhino Gore'd him to help EC3 win the Tables match. They showed EC3 in the back saying Rhino would go out and confront Bully.
- Ray came out and told a story about Bam Bam Bigelow telling him that he would be able to count on only one hand the number of friends he would make in the industry during his career, no matter how long that career would span. Bully called Rhino out and they played EC3's music while EC3, Rockstar Spud, and Rhino came down. Taz wondered why the two old school guys couldn't work it out like men, old school style. The crowd chanted at Rhino that he was a sell out and he told them to shut the hell up. He accused Bully of conning everyone, including Devon, Paul Heyman, and Dixie Carter. Bully wondered what happened to the Rhino he knew. "Watch your mouth, son. Because I'll rip you in half with a Gore right now," Rhino responded when Bully started talking. Ray said it was Rhino's fault that he was fired from WWE, and it was his fault that he was fired from TNA. He said Rhino used to be hardcore but now he's just a bitch. EC3 took the mic and said he paid Rhino off and he'll continue to do so to ensure Bully gets taken out. Bully threatened EC3, so Rhino hit him with the Gore. The heels put the boots to Bully before Tommy Dreamer ran in to make the save.
- Velvet Sky and Angelina were complaining backstage about not getting through to Brian Stifler and having flirted with him for nothing. Velvet talked about her breasts being real. The girls calmed each other down while. Love talked about winning the title and breaking her own record for number of times Knockouts champion. At one point she looked right into the camera, the one that isn't supposed to be there. Or something like that.
- Knux was giving a pep talk to The Menagerie. He said he knows they don't have a ton of wrestling talent but they've got a crazzy clown, a strongman freak, a great brawler, and one hell of a distraction. All they have to do is get in the ring and then throw everyone else out to win the battle royal. Rebel was excited to win so they could bring in some money.
- The Knockouts title match was next: Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne vs. Brittany. Amazingly enough, Brittany attacked Madison on her way down the ramp and the Beautiful People jumped outside the ring to help her beat Madison down. The referee, like an idiot, signaled for the bell to ring. So they did! The match was officially underway, even though the champion in this title match wasn't even out there! Unreal. During the match, Angelina and Velvet convinced Brittany to work with them. Then she realized Angelina was going to take the title for herself and they turned on each other. Kim, after selling on the outside for most of the match, came back in and was the last to hit her finish on Love to get the pin to retain the Knockouts title.
- There was an interview backstage with Austin Aries. He talked about cashing in the X Division title for a shot at the world heavyweight title. It said it makes sense that he always has the title around this time after he came up with "Option C" a couple years ago. "Maybe that makes too much of perfect sense," he said.
- They ran a video putting over Lashley as a big monster heavyweight champion. MVP was speaking for him because, well, Lashley can't talk for himself.
- The 20 man battle royal was next. Participants: Eric Young, EC3, Rockstar Spud, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Ken Anderson, Bully Ray, Tigre Uno, Manik, Jesse Goddarz, Zema Ion, Sanada, Kenny King, Knux, Gunner, The Freak, Crazzy Steve, Magnus, Bram, and Jeff Hardy. The first elimination was Crazzy Steve, unfortunate because the Knux family really needs cash for the carnival back home. The match was a mess. The work was sloppy, because it's a battle royal and everyone appeared to be doing as little as possible to be convincing. At one point, Storm and Roode came face-to-face for what they undoubtedly hoped would be turned into an epic confrontation of former (hugely successful) tag team partners turned bitter rivals. Instead, the cameras and commentary team completely ignored them and they just cut to commercial. Amazing. When they came back from commercial, Storm was on the outside and Mike Tenay was telling us he was eliminated "by Bobby Roode, his former tag team partner!" When you can't get the basics right, what else is there? The final two guys in the match were Eric Young and Jeff Hardy. The two guys shook hands in the ring before leading in the crowd in a clap-along. After a brief back-and-forth, Hardy dropkicked Young off the apron to win the match. They did an interview with him after the match. He said everything will be okay because he's the next world heavyweight champion. "Next week, creatures, here we go again". Lashley came down to the ring. They had a staredown while Bobby held up the title.