The World Heavyweight Title tournament rolls on. Kurt Angle and Austin Aries square off in a submission match. Jeff Hardy advanced last week with a Full Metal Mayhem win over Chris Sabin. Ken Anderson returned to get involved in Aces and Eights business too - where will that story go next?
Show Open, taped in Cincinnati, OH on 11/7/2013
They recap Jeff Hardy's win over Chris Sabin to open the show.
Aces and Eights makes their way to the ring as Tenay and Taz check in on commentary. Taz makes jokes about the swerve by Aces on last week's broadcast and Ray harasses Tenay. Ray asks if we know who he is and he says he is the puppet master that pulls all the strings. He says he doesn't need the title to be the "be all, end all" of TNA.
Ray talks about Anderson, and says he tried to drive a wedge between Ray, his woman, and the men. He says no one drives a wedge into his girl but him. Seriously, he said that. Ray accepts Anderson's challenge for Turning Point and says he will piledrive Anderson through the stage.
Anderson comes out and says everyone is tired of Aces and Eights. Anderson says when he beats Ray next week, that will be the end of Aces forever. Ray asks hy he would take that offer and starts to refuse, but Anderson interrupts. He puts his own career on the line to sweeten the deal.
Ray says if he had the chance, he would piledrive Anderson's pregnant wife and calls Anderson crazy for putting his career on the line. Anderson agrees he's crazy and attacks Ray. Bischoff and Knux make the save and hold Anderson while Ray gets a chair. Before he can use it though, Anderson gets free and clears the ring. He says he can't wait for next week and wants to fight now. Knux agrees to fight going to commercial.
That wasn't a bad opening, but man are they going through this feud quickly. I think Aces has overstayed its welcome and I presume this is the end of the gang, so I'm happy in that regard. Let's wait and see how it plays out.
Match #1 - Ken Anderson vs. Knux
Right out of break we're underway. Knux is still outside the ring but he rolls in and Anderson goes right after him. Knux hits his cross body block to take control.
Things fall outside and Knux slams Anderson all over the place. He throws Anderson back in and keeps the assault going. Knux tries a short-arm clothesline, but Anderson manages to reverse it into the Mic Check to get the win.
This was fine. Knux looked good even with the loss and I hope TNA does something with him post Aces and Eights.
We get an iMPACT 365 video, with Joseph Park challenging Christopher Daniels to a match and Daniels taking the challenge.
We get hype for the Austin Aries vs. Kurt Angle main event, and we're into the next match.
Match #2 - Christopher Daniels vs. Joseph Park
Park works his power moves and the crowd is silent. Daniels runs around the ring and hits Park with a kick when he gives chase. Park starts a comeback, and it gets a mild reaction. Park throws Daniels to the corner and Hebner gets between them. Park shoves him off, but Daniels hits Park with a low blow to get the win.
That was pretty weak and the live crowd was weak too. They seem to be a bit burnt out.
Knux is frustrated by losing to Anderson. Garrett and Ray calm him down and tell him to relax and it's no big deal. Ray says he will beat Anderson next week and end his career. They exit to go to a strip club.
Match #3 - Ethan Carter III vs. Norv Fernum and Dewey Barnes; Handicap rules
As we start off, the jobbers do a cute little tag-in-tag-out thing. EC3 hits a big running clothesline to end their run. Fernum gets a hot tag after Barnes sells, and hits a tornado DDT for a two count. EC3 comes back and hits his finish on both men to get the win.
Afterward, the official rolls the two jobbers out and EC3 does his catchphrase for us.
The wheels are falling off. Carter didn't get any reaction and why would you give jobbers so much offense when you're trying to push Carter as a big deal. And the tag thing was just silly.
They show us another 'Friends of AJ Styles' video where AJ is defending the TNA Championship again in AAA. They show Dixie flaking out, wanting to know ow this happened when it was allegedly dealt with earlier this week in an iMPACT 365 video.
They air another iMPACT 365 video that hypes up Hardy's tournament win last week in Full Metal Mayhem. He shows that he chipped a tooth in the match.
We get a hype package for Austin Aries.
Dixie Carter comes to the ring to heat that feels a bit like go-away heat. Dixie brags about kicking "that redneck" AJ Styles off the roster and how it has benefitted the company. She tells the fans they don't understand that this is a business and it's all about what you have done lately. She says that all AJ Styles has done is steal her title belt, her car, and drive to Mexico.
She turns to talking about Turning Point themed show for next week. She calls out Bobby Roode, James Storm, Samoa Joe and Magnus. She says that she spun the Wheel of Dixie earlier and says the video is available online. She announces a bullrope match for Storm and Roode. Dixie says Roode has the advantage after having beaten Kurt Angle twice and Storm needs to step up and show her something.
Storm gets a mic and says he doesn't have to prove anything to her. He says it's time a redneck became the champion.
Um, James...put the beer down...
Storm says his catchphrase and Dixie steps in to announce the stipulation for Samoa Joe and Magnus, and it's falls count anywhere. Joe says he's tired of the charade and that the tournament is an excuse to cover up for Dixie's bad business. Joe says that once he runs through the tournament, he will defend the title against AJ Styles, the man who never lost it.
Dixie tells Joe he's luck he is in the tournament and can be replaced. Magnus gets the mic and tells her to calm down. He cuts a heelish-feeling promo about the tournament being a good thing and says he has to beat the best, and that means Joe. He says it won't be easy, but it will happen.
That wasn't all that good. I still don't understand why they're having the gimmick matches and they feel out of place and stupid. They just need to let these guys work with their personalities - they are all fairly strong ones - and let the rest aside..
Anderson whips up on Garrett Bischoff, then handcuffs him to a trailer. Anderson drinks Garrett's beer, then says the two of them need to have a little talk.
Um, did Bischoff run out of dollar bills at the strip club?
Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa come out. They run a recap video of the pair taking out the Knockouts roster last week. Gail makes a challenge for any woman to come out and try her luck with Gail. Hannah Blossom of British Boot Camp fame makes her entrance.
Match #4 - Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa) vs. Hannah Blossom
This is all Gail. Blossom gets one little run in, but she takes the Eat D'Feet from Kim and loses.
Afterward, Kim says that week after week she will show why she is the greatest woman of all time.
There was a chance that Lei'D Tapa would be a new breath of air in the division. Now she's been reduced to a glorified valet. This was effective to tell the story that Gail is trying to tell at the moment which is her own "best in the world' gimmick.
They show Angle and Aries walking backstage, and they're up next.
Joseph Park comes out first and cuts a promo. He says he's tired of being harassed by Bad Influence and says he isn't as good as his brother Abyss. He puts Abyss over as a future Hall of Famer. He says people are always asking where his brother is and says he doesn't know because Abyss is crazy. He issues a challenge for next week between he and Abyss.
This is going to be a mess, plain and simple.
Entrances take place for the main event. While Angle is coming to the ring, we see Anderson uncuffing Garrett Bischoff and carting him off somewhere.
Match #5 - Austin Aries vs. Kurt Angle; TNA Championship Tournament, match fought under Submission rules.
The two work chain wrestling to start, and manage to half-hook in submission holds. Aries manages to lock on an STF on Angle's bad leg, but Angle gets to the ropes and hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker.
Bobby Roode comes to the stage and sits down on a chair. Angle goes outside the ring to confront Aries. Aries jumps from the top rope and Angle hits a belly to belly suplex on the floor. Roode yells at Angle that he only wants to watch and stays seated at the stage.
Angle rolls Aries in and looks up to the stage. Aries hits a baseball slide on Angle and sells effects as well. Aries hits a neckbreaker through the ropes while they recap action during the commercial. Angle sells, then comes back with rolling German suplexes.
Aries counters out of the Angle Slam and hits an armdrag, followed by a discus forearm that sends Angle to the floor. Aries hits a dive an sells his ankle once he gets in the ring. Angle goes right after the Ankle Lock. Aries kicks away but when he tries a drop kick, Angle goes right back to it.
Aries kicks away again and Angle ends up on the floor. Aries hits a dive then a missile drop kick. He hits his corner drop kick then follows with the Brainbuster. He floats over and goes for the Last Chancery in the ring. Aries breaks the hold for some unknown reason. Taz tries to cover on commentary by saying he must not have had it locked in right.
Angle fights back and hits the rolling German sequence again. Aries grabs the ropes to stop them, so Angle decides to set him up on the rope. Aries knocks Angle away and tries a 450 splash but Angle moves. Aries lands on his ankle and sells. A sloppy exchange follows, and Aries tries a corner dive and hits the ring post. Angle points to the stage at Roode and yells "YOU!" and then locks on a crossface to get the submission win.
The announcers hype Turning Point next week. Out of nowhere, Anderson comes out on the stage with Garrett Bischoff. He hits Bischoff with a piledriver while Angle and Roode watch on.
TNA just can't leave well enough alone. The best thing they could have done there is allow Angle and Roode to sink in and allow it to have the heat that it had. But instead, they trot out Anderson and Garrett and have their angle go down with the piledriver. It killed all the heat in the story they were trying to get with Angle and Roode. They do this so often where they rush on to the next thing and it does nothing for either story.
Less impressive than last week but not a bad show. The crowd felt dead on this show too - it was a long night for them. The did cheer for things, like the main event, but they lacked the energy they had for last week's show.
This show didn't hook you for next week but they did try earnestly to generate a special feel for next Thursday. I hope they do get it to work.
Join me next week for the "Turning Point" edition of iMPACT right here on Ring-Rap.com.