It's Championship Thursday in TNA. Which championships will be up for grabs tonight, and will the champions retain their gold or not? Also, will we find out any other members of the Aces and Eights faction?
They recap Aces and Eights via a video package, then the World Title storyline.
Hogan talks to Jeff Hardy and asks if he's ready to defend the championship. Hardy says he doesn't care who he has to face because Bound for Glory changed him. Jeff walks out and all four challengers are shown in the office. They go slow motion with the video where you can hear Hardy's "thoughts." He says all four men have their weaknesses and he has to exploit them.
If this is your thing, you liked it. Not saying it wasn't poorly done, as it wasn't...good job.
Match #1 - Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Zema Ion; TNA X-Division Championship
JB and Todd Keneley are on commentary. Tenay and Taz will check in during the second hour.
Both guys start fast, and there's several "crash and burn" spots for each. RVD misses a dive and ends up out on the floor. Ion hits his dive, but misses the follow-up corkscrew senton. RVD finishes Ion off with the Rolling Thunder/Frog Splash sequence.
Afterward, Matt Morgan hits the ring and destroys RVD with the Carbon Footprint. Joey Ryan grabs the X-Division Championship and holds on to it. Morgan grabs a mic and says that Hogan wanted to see a different side, but he should be careful what he wishes for.
Austin Aries is looking in Hogan's office window. He makes fun of the guys trying to get into the title match. He says he'll get them to dance for him as well since he's going to wait in the hall and talk to them after Hogan eliminates them.
Wow. That's a lot to work through and the show is off to a frantic pace.
Daniels and Kazarian come to the ring. Kaz accuses Hogan of changing his travel plans so he couldn't be on the show. He then says Chavo and Hernandez are illegal aliens. Daniels stops him and and runs down Chavo for using the family name to get cheers. Daniels says Dixie is so intent on trying to get the Latin audience that Chavo and Hernandez should wear sombreros and be called "Dos Stereotypicos."
Kaz tries to get fans to sign a petition for a rematch. Chavo and Hernandez come out and say that they'll give Kaz and Daniels a rematch any time so they can shove the titles down their throats. The four men start a shoving match that Chavo and Hernandez win. Chavo and Hernandez sign the petition as the heels roll out.
Keeping Kaz and Daniels in the tag division keeps it relevant and it has a chance. Daniels was gold here.
Hogan asks the four contenders why he should pick one of them. Anderson says he doesn't understand what Hogan wants. Hogan says that Anderson doesn't have the fire the other guys do so he's out. Anderson leaves, and as promised Aries is there to greet him and he starts messing with him. Aries tells Anderson when he gets the title back, Anderson can get a shot.
Anderson tells Aries he doesn't need handouts. Aries says it would be a handout since Anderson will be easy to beat. Aries puts himself over as better wrestler, dresser and bigger asshole. Aries throws water and takes a shot at Anderson. The two brawl, with Anderson getting the better of Aries by using a poster in a frame. Aries tells him they'll meet later.
That was a good setup.
Aces and Eights:
Devon is with the rest of the faction. The president says their masks can't come off or they lose their cut. He says he has women for them to celebrate with, but they need to take out someone first. One of the guys throws a dart at a dartboard, with pictures of the roster on it. We don't get to see who the dart lands on, but the faction celebrates. Devon says they have their victim.
Match #2 - Robbie T (w/Robbie E.) vs. Samoa Joe; TNA Television Championship
Joe chops the big man but Robbie no-sells. He throws Joe around a bit, but Joe battles back with slaps. Robbie E runs a distraction, but Joe is able to lock on a choke to get Robbie T to tap for the submission win.
These 2 minute championship matches are killing the titles.
They interview Miss Tessmacher and she says she's thrilled ODB beat up Jesse last week. She lays claim to beating Tara to get the Knockouts Championship back.
Hogan is with the other title contenders. He asks how serious Bully Ray is and Storm and Angle say that Ray is focused on Devon, as they would be also. Ray says if he isn't picked to face Hardy, he's calling out Devon for answers. Hogan says that makes the choice easy and eliminates Ray from the mix so he can go take care of his brother.
Anderson yells at a tech guy to go get Aries for a fight.
Wow, not much action tonight. 45 minutes of programming, seven minutes of wrestling.
Match #3 - Mr. Anderson vs. Austin Aries
Aries storms to the ring and the two men brawl to start it off. Anderson pulls a pair of knucks out that Aries snuck in there. The official takes them, and Aries uses the distraction to get control of the match. He throws Anderson the floor then hits a suicide dive. Out of commercial, Aries works over Anderson and hits a big chop. Anderson fires up and starts a comeback.
Anderson tries a Finlay Roll, but Aries escapes and rakes Anderson's back. Anderson hits a kick similar to Trouble in Paradise that sends Aries to the floor. Anderson hits a dive and throws Aries in. He sets up the Finlay Roll again, but Aries pulls himself down using the referee for leverage. Aries is able to grab the knucks again.
Anderson ducks the shot from Aries and grabs the knucks. The official grabs them away. Aries has a second set and KO's Anderson with them. Aries fakes a pin, then kicks out on two. In the end, Aries uses the Last Chancery to get the submission win.
This seemed pretty uninspiring, but since Aries isn't going after the title right away, I guess this is your feud.
Tara and Jesse beg Brooke Hogan to do something about ODB. Brooke blows them off and tells Tara to go get ready for the match. She tells Jesse that ODB has her eye on him and wishes him luck.
Taz and Tenay check in on commentary.
Match #4 - Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara (c, w/Jesse); TNA Knockouts Championship
Tessmacher knocks Tara off the apron to start this one. Tara spends more time making kissy faces at Jesse after he interjected in the match. Brooke tries to run the ropes but Jesse pulls at the middle rope and Brooke goes through. Jesse rolls her in and Tara hits Widow's Peak to get the win.
Afterward, Tara and Jesse essentially make out til Brooke Hogan comes out. She says that next week is Open Fight Night and she just talked to ODB on the phone. ODB has challenged Jesse to a fight. She wishes Jesse luck, calling him "boo" as Jesse panics in the ring and hugs Tara.
Good lord, what a joke. At least there's some kind of story here, though.
Bully Ray comes to the ring and says that nothing surprises him in wrestling anymore, but he was shocked at Bound for Glory when it was Devon under the mask. He says Devon came out last week and said nothing, so he wants Devon to come out now and tell him face-to-face why he did what he did. Devon obliges, along with five partners, who stand between the former teammates.
Devon says he doesn't owe Bully an explanation, and they were not a team or family anymore. He says Bully did what he did two years ago, so now he did what he did. He says it's not about Bully, but about Hogan. He says Hogan wanted him out, but Dixie and TNA didn't do anything. Aces and Eights were there to pick him up, though and they're going to get even with everyone who ever did them wrong. Bully needs to go home and forget about what he saw, and he's not a threat anymore.
Bully says it's over when he tells him. He says Devon knew why Bully did what he did two years ago. He talks about dropping the tag belts to the MCMG, and Devon let Sabin kick out of the 3D, which had never been done. He says that when they were in the locker room, Devon said "we're rich, Ray, screw the fans." Devon agrees it was true. Ray says they've talked enough and should fight, but Devon decides to leave with his crew.
Bully yells after Devon that he has no balls and always hid behind Ray when they were a team. Bully tells Devon that next week at Open Fight Night, he is calling out Devon and someone will go through a table. He tells Devon to grow a pair before next week.
That was a good talk segment. Devon held up well here even though he's traditionally been weak on the mic. Ray is still just doing great work.
HerveyCam asks Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan why they attacked RVD. Joey asks if it was the camera guy's first day. He goes on to say he wants the X-Division gold around his waist. Morgan gets in the camera's focus and tells Hogan that he started this with his "petty list of things" to keep Morgan down. Now Morgan will finish it.
They use a video package to hype up Christian York for next week's Gut Check.
Hogan makes a final selection and Kurt Angle gets to face Jeff Hardy. Hogan tells James Storm he has something big for him and wants to talk back in the office.
Match #5 - Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy (c); TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Angle starts off strong. The crowd is pretty hot with this one with competing chants for each guy. Hardy starts a comeback and goes for the ropes but Angle manages to crotch him. The two guys bump hard into each other and Hardy spills to the floor.
Out of commercial the crowd is still competing in their support for each guy. Hardy battles back and dumps Angle out, then dives off the apron with a clothesline. Jeff throws Angle in then hits Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. He tries Twist of Fate but Angle counters to the triple German Suplexes for a near fall.
Angle tries the Angle Slam, but Hardy escapes and hits Twist of Fate. He goes up for the Swanton but Angle runs up and throws Hardy off for a near fall. Angle hits a bridge powerbomb for two. Hardy kicks out but right into the Ankle Lock. He manages to kick Angle off and gets another shot in for good measure. Hardy teases the Swanton, but Angle moves then hits the Angle Slam.
Hardy nails the Twist of Fate, but Angle doesn't go down. He backs into the ropes and into another Twist of Fate and the Swanton. Great near fall here. Hardy charges Angle but Angle sends him over the ropes. Angle spits some blood, which Taz and Tenay sell as being from an internal injury. Angle throws Hardy in and tries a powerbomb, but Hardy counters to a sunset flip to get the win.
Afterward, Hardy gets attacked by Aries. Aries gets a mic and says he will cash in his rematch at Turning Point, and he's so confident he'll win that he is going to claim the real TNA World Heavyweight Championship for safekeeping. He leaves Jeff laying, with his signature belt, and backs up the ramp.
As Aries leaves, Taz and Tenay send it backstage, where Aces and Eights are beating up Kurt Angle. They leave Angle down with an agent calling for help as the show ends.
The match was good and it was a solid win for Hardy. But they went back to crash TV to close the night out. First you get Aries announcing his rematch, and before that can even settle in it goes right to Angle being attacked backstage by Aces and Eights. Total chaos.
TNA just tried to do way too much tonight both in the beginning and ending of the show. By doing that, the show ended up feeling very rushed and all over the place tonight. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but TNA has done better than this.
Join us next week for more live TNA coverage here on Ring-Rap.com. Thanks for watching along tonight.