It's the Thursday before Genesis. Things reach a head between Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Jeff Hardy. They square off in a triple threat on Sunday night, but what will they do tonight? Also it's the debut of the new format of Gut Check - where two new talents will face off against each other rather than one facing a current roster member. Who will survive their gut check?
We get the recap video from last week's program. Pyro hits and our announcers check in on commentary.
Sting's music hits and he comes out with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Sting says that at Genesis, he's looking for Doc, but tonight he has his friends Shooter (Angle) and Killer (Joe) and they're calling out Aces.
Joe gets on the mic and says he's going to choke all of them out. Angle says he promised the masks were going to come off, and they've started. He does, however, want to know where Ken Anderson stands.
Anderson obliges and comes out and takes a mic. He asks where the three of them were when Aces beat him up. He says he was on his way to the ring to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sting when Aces and Eights tap danced on his brain. Sting didn't do anything, and he doesn't understand what their problem is.
Angle says the problem is that either Anderson is with them or they fight. Anderson climbs in the ring and gets in Angle's face. He says he doesn't have to answer to Angle and never liked him anyhow. Angle tells him the feeling's mutual and punches Anderson. Angle beats on Anderson but he flees.
Good execution here, but the story feels off for some reason. Doesn't anyone watch the show back? Is Anderson a plant inside Aces and Eights?
The announcers hype up the tag team main event between Jeff Hardy and an opponent of his choosing against Bobby Roode and Austin Aries. They show a hype video package for the Gut Check match featuring Jay Bradley.
Out in the Parking Lot:
HerveyCam catches up to Brooke Hogan. He asks about her dad and Bully Ray's situation. Brooke says she's going to talk to her dad and he will listen this time. She walks into the building talking on the phone to "Mark" (also Ray's real name).
Zema Ion is in the ring after commercial, and Kenny King makes his entrance for the X-Division tournament match.
Match #1 - Zema Ion vs. Kenny King; X-Division Contender Tournament
King kicks Ion out to the floor and tries a corkscrew dive. King lands on his feet after Ion moves out of the way. Ion slides back in the ring then hits his own dive in a neat spot. Action moves back to the ring and Ion hits a scary-looking slam on King.
Ion tries the 450 but misses. King hits the Royal Flush to get the win. Afterward, King gets a mic and says he will win the X-Division Championship at Genesis.
Robbie E is looking for a partner for his mixed tag match against Tara and Jesse. It's Brooke Tessmacher, and she says she's disgusted by him. Robbie begs and says he'll do anything. She agrees.
Joseph Park is on his way back from OVW. He says when Hogan sees him tonight, he won't be the lawyer anymore but he'll be a wrestler.
Match #2 - Tara and Jesse vs. Robbie E. and Brooke Tessmacher (w/Robbie T)
Tara and Jesse are in the ring as Brooke and the Robbies make their entrance. We get a recap of that terrible Bro-off segment.
Jesse attacks before the bell, but Rob squashes him. Jesse tags out to Tara, and Tessmacher tags in. She knocks Tara down in the corner and does the stinkface routine. Tara tags out.
Jesse ends up taking a big powerbomb from Robbie for the win. Afterward, Robbie T does the fist pumping thing. He does the dirty dancing style lift with Brooke and kisses her. She looks disgusted and leaves them.
This was a very forgettable segment.
They hype up the Gut Check match featuring Brian Cage, then show the competitors backstage.
Match #3 - Jay Bradley vs. Brian Cage; Gut Check
Bradley plays heel and takes control of things. Cage hits a suplex into the ring and follows it with a flying elbow. Bradley reverses the next whip and hits a lariat that he calls the "boomstick" to get the win.
A good, basic match. Both guys have a decent look and either would be an asset to TNA in this viewer's opinion.
At the Aces and Eights Clubhouse:
The party is on, complete with strippers. Anderson throws a fit, and the girls are excused and they all sit down at the table. VP calls out Mike Knox because he lost his mask last week. Knox starts to answer, but he gets cut off by VP. He says when DOC lost his mask, he had to prove himself and earn his way back. Knox needs to make it right or make it gone.
Joseph Park stands in the ring. He puts over how hard wrestling camp was, then respectfully asks for Hogan to come out. Hogan comes out to the ring and congratulates Park on his success in camp and asks what Park wants. Park thanks Hogan and OVW's head trainer, Danny Davis. He says he knows he's a "green hornet" and was standing there as a wrestler.
Hogan tells Park that he still needs time. Hogan says it took two years before he got in the ring. They talk back and forth then Hogan says Park can have his match if he will leave Hogan alone. Park hugs Hogan and exits.
Brooke appears on the screen. She says she's been trying to get in touch with Hulk but Hulk was ducking. She tells him to not move and she's going to come out.
So, in the top of the second hour, we'll get Hogan and Hogan in that traditional "highest rated" segment? Nice.
Brooke Hogan comes to the ring. She says Hulk has been ignoring her calls and texts, something he's never done. She says she has a question and how he answers will say a lot about their relationship. Hogan says he has been asking a lot of questions and didn't like the answers he was getting. He tells her to go ahead. Brooke asks if he will reinstate Mark and Hogan says "no." He storms off.
So, we waited through a commercial for that? Weak follow-up.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode argue over their new shirts. Aries turns it and says they're two awesome men who need to be on the same page tonight. They would deal with each other later. They walk off, bickering about their shirts again.
Two top heels, bickering and being comedic. Hard to take them seriously. A spot here and there is fine, but this is too much.
They show a hype video for the feud between Hardy and Austin Aries.
Match #4 - Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy and James Storm
Roode is first, then Aries. Storm follows then Hardy is last. Roode and Hardy start it off, and Hardy gets the better of an exchange. Roode tags out to Aries, who Hardy also takes control of. Hardy and Storm end up sending both heels out, then shove each other going into commercial.
Out of break, Aries distracts Hardy so that Roode can knock him off the ropes. Aries slaps Roode hard to tag in. The heels work in and out, but play a game of "anything you can do, I can do better." Hardy gets a chinbuster to break the cycle.
Storm gets a hot tag and he goes after both heels. Storm covers Roode only to have Aries break up the count. Storm moved out of the way of an elbow drop, so Aries hit Roode with it. Storm hits Last Call on Aries, and Aries rolls to the floor.
Daniels and Kazarian get involved. Daniels distracts the official while Kaz drags Storm to the floor. Kaz tries something but Storm throws him into the steps. Hardy, in the ring, hits the Twist of Fate and cues a second, but Aries hits him with the belt. Official calls for the bell.
Afterward, Storm and Daniels fight to the back while Roode and Aries work over Hardy. They each grab the belt and hold it up, playing tug of war with it in a comedy spot.
An "okay" match....nothing great. Still not a fan of the comedy stuff between two guys who are to be your top heels.
Backstage, Brooke calls for Bully Ray to pick her up.
Out in the back...
At the trailer out back, Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan start cutting a promo when Chavo and Hernandez are shown outside. They enter and attack Morgan and Ryan and get the better of them.
We get a rundown of the Genesis card, featuring the triple threat for the World Heavyweight Championship and Park vs. Devon.
We will bring you ongoing coverage of Sunday's Genesis event here on Ring-Rap.com starting at 8PM EST.
Mr. Anderson does his entrance routine. Angle comes out next. It looks like we're going to have a match here. Anderson bails and Angle gets a mic. He asks when Anderson became a little bitch. Angle demands Anderson get in the ring or he'd come after him. Anderson stalls, which allows Knox to hit Angle with the hammer.
Knox does the damage, then flees when Wes Brisco, Garett Bischoff, and Samoa Joe come out. Knox makes his way to the rest of the Aces group and smiles while Angle is stretchered out.
Sting comes out. He tells Devon to call off the troops, and he'll call his off. Sting demands Knox in the ring, and Aces seems to like that idea.
This story had so much promise. It's just gone now.
Match #5 - Sting vs. Knox
Seems they've shortened Mike Knox to simply "Knox." Referee Earl Hebner allows Sting a bat shot to get Knox to drop the hammer, but wouldn't let Sting continue the assault. The fight spills out to the floor and Knox gets introduced to the steps a couple times.
Back in the ring, Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop to get the win.
After the Match...
Sting gets the hammer and threatens to use it on Knox but Devon calls for him to stop. Devon reveals that Aces has Brooke Hogan, and he tells her "Shut up, bitch." He tells Sting that if Sting goes after Knox, it won't end well for Brooke.
Bully Ray runs out from the back and takes out a couple guys from Aces with his chain. Hulk makes his way out and rubs his chin.
So, Hulk sees the light here on Ray? Hmm. And the "hit two guys and the rest backed off" is a perfect cover.
Hogan says he guesses he's supposed to fall down and kiss Ray's feet for making his life a mess. He calls Ray a fake and says he's not the man for his daughter. Ray calls Hogan so delusional he's talking crap to Sting, one of his best friends. Ray says he loves pro wrestling and didn't think he could love anything as much.
He takes Brooke by the hand and says "but then your daughter came into my life." He says the funny part was that she came into his life because she was apologizing for Hulk. He says it was too fast, and that prompts Hulk to throw his mic down. Ray says he can do it too. Ray says it was too fast again, then stammered out the rest of how he felt.
Ray gets down on one knee and tells Brooke he loves her. He asks her to marry him. The iMPACT Zone goes nuts, and Hogan looks shocked. Brooke agrees and they kiss. Hogan is absolutely furious at this point. Brooke and Ray agree to do the wedding next week on iMPACT. Hulk storms off to the back while Ray and Brooke kiss in the ring to close the show.
Dear God. What did we just witness? By the way - on Twitter this went by from Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net: "two old guys talking with the best heel in TNA who isn't currently a heel and the daughter of one of the old guys. Order Genesis!"
That moment was an absolute waste of a PPV sell. And with the news coming that TNA is reducing their pay per view schedule, that's 25% of their pay per view revenue that just took a hit.
This was the Genesis go-home, and it was weak. No other way to say it. Your two best heels are yukking it up like a comedy act. The Hogan Family Saga took up entirely too much airtime. Aces and Eights is just a dead-in-the-water angle. I hate to say it but this was a terrible effort tonight by TNA.
We'll have live results and reaction to the Genesis event starting at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday night, and all the fallout from Genesis, and a wedding, next Thursday. Thanks for watching along tonight.