It's an Open Fight Night! Tonight, on this Thanksgiving edition of iMPACT, all the past Gut Check winners return to the show as well. Who gets called out and who has to fight tonight?
We get our "previously on iMPACT" recap. Pyro goes off and the three-man booth of Taz, Tenay, and Keneley checks in. In the ring, JB introduces Wes Briscoe as our Gut Check contestant for the night. Garrett Bischoff is his opponent.
Match #1 - Wes Briscoe vs. Garett Bischoff; Gut Check Challenge
Equal work in the beginning with each man reversing the other man's offense. Kurt Angle makes his way to ringside to observe.
The finish comes after Garrett hits a flapjack. He sets soemthing else up, but Wes gets a roll up victory.
After the match, Angle gets in the ring and hugs Briscoe, then congratulates Garett. They all leave together.
Briscoe wasn't wildly impressive but he did allright. His roll-up is strange in that his own shoulders are on the mat as well as his opponent's - that could be an issue down the road.
Al Snow is with the four previous Gut Check winners. He tells them they can call out anyone they want. He wishes them luck and reminds them of the expression "no guts, no glory."
Elsewhere, Kurt Angle continues to celebrate with Wes and Garett. Wes is pretty over the top with his excitement.
Match #2 - Joey Ryan vs. Chavo Guerrero
Joey Ryan comes to the ring and cuts a promo. He says he didn't need Gut Check to become a star; he was born one. He says Hogan wants to control he and Matt Morgan by dividing them, but you can't split up tag team champions. That's what he and Morgan are going to become. He calls out Chavo Guerrero.
Ryan jumps Chavo as soon as he slides in. Ryan works through his own offense, but Chavo comes back by hitting a flying head scissors. Chavo goes up top to try for the Frog Splash, but Matt Morgan comes out and hits a choke slam, throwing the match out. Hernandez runs out but Morgan and Ryan take off before anything happens.
Pretty basic booking to get a tag feud going. I am not sold on the pairing of Morgan and Ryan though.
Austin Aries says he knows who he will call out for Open Fight Night. Just like Thanksgiving, it will be a family affair.
At least I think that's what he said - I was distracted by a phone call at that moment...
Sam Shaw comes to the ring and says since it's a Gut Check night, he wants to call out Alex Silva, who was the first winner.
Match #3 - Sam Shaw vs. Alex Silva
Silva goes on offense the minute he hits the ring, slamming Shaw around and heeling it up. Silva tries a flip, but Shaw lands on his feet and hits a spear.
The finish comes when Shaw delivers a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo, then hits a leg drop off the ropes for the win.
The action was alright for as long as it lasted, but it's hard to formulate any sort of real opinion on a talent when the match is so short. I'd have figured for longer matches tonight from these guys - guess not.
Eric Young and ODB pay a visit to Hogan's office. They want to know if it's OK to do the Turkey Suit Challenge. Hogan gives it his blessing.
The Robbies confront EY about the turkey suit. Robbie E wants EY to challenge him so he can get revenge for Robbie T from last year. Tara and Jesse walk by and they get in the mix too. EY says he's calling them both out for the largest turkey bowl extravaganza.
Sigh. I know it's a TNA tradition, but...sigh.
They recap some of the Aces and Eights situation in a video package. They swing to the clubhouse where Devon is with them. He says there's strippers for dessert, then congratulates DOC for becoming a full member of the group. The VP throws a dart at the board, and they all laugh. Devon says it's going to be a good Thanksgiving.
Being fair, I am having a really hard time staying interested in this show.
Match #4 - Christian York vs. Jeff Hardy
Prior to the match, they air a hype video for York. When he comes out, York cuts a promo saying he's going to call out someone he respected in Jeff Hardy.
Both guys kick each other, and York hits a dropkick. Hardy looks impressed by this. Out of the commercial, Jeff misses Whisper in the Wind and York scores a near fall out of it.
Hardy mule kicks York in the corner and tries a low drop kick but York moves. York hits a cannonball and follows it up with a submission hold. Hardy gets to the ropes to break it.
Hardy gets another hope spot and tries the Twist of Fate, but York counters and hits one of his own. Crowd's kind of sitting on their hands there.
York teases a swinging neckbreaker but Hardy counters it and goes to the top rope. York catches him, but Hardy turns it into a sunset flip into a powerbomb. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate followed with the Swanton Bomb to get the win.
Afterward, Hardy and York hug as a show of respect. Hardy celebrates. Meanwhile, Bobby Roode runs out and hits York with a spinebuster. Hardy climbs down and turns around into a spear from Roode. Roode grabs the title belt and poses.
That was a good match and a chance to see what York's about. He can definitely hang in the ring, but he needs some help with his look and some work on the mic. Unfortunately, they erased the effort by having Roode do the run-in after the match, in my mind.
They show a video package highlighting the lone female Gut Check winner to date, Taeler Hendrix. They show Brooke Hogan wishing her luck backstage.
Hendrix comes out and says she wants to see how she measures up to the gold standard. She calls out Tara.
Match #5 - Taeler Hendrix vs. Tara (w/Jesse)
Taeler tries to offer a handshake but Tara isn't having it. Tara runs through her normal "power move, make out with boo" gimmick. Hendrix comes back and hits a drop kick that drives Tara into Jesse.
Jesse complains, which distracts Taeler. Tara charges but Henrdix moves and follows with a roundhouse. Tara follows up with a haymaker of her own then hits the Widow's Peak to get the win.
Nothing spectacular but nothing really wrong, either. Hendrix definitely has a future with some further refinement to her game.
Match #6 - Eric Young (w/ODB) vs. Jesse (w/Tara) vs. Robbie E. (w/Robbie T.)
Early on, Jesse and Robbie form an alliance and gang up on EY. Jesse breaks up a cover and that makes him and Robbie fight. ODB and Tara end up battling and in the ring. They roll over the official, who goes out to reprimand them.
Robbie T grabs EY so Robbe E could hit him. EY moves out of the way though and Robbie E hits T with a spear. EY tosses Robbie E out of the ring. Jesse tries to hit his finisher, but EY reverses it and rolls him up for the win.
Afterward, Jesse puts on the turkey suit and sells that he's pissed about it. He and Tara leave. Aces and Eights hits the ringside area and attacks EY. They handcuff ODB to the ring, then take EY's shoe off and hit him with the hammer. Agents finally run out to break things up and help EY.
Quick and painless. EY is not under contract now and to my knowledge hasn't been re-signed, so I guess this was his write-off.
Kazarian and Christopher Daniels come out and Kaz says he's going to call out AJ Styles.
Match #7 - Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels) vs. AJ Styles
Styles starts off fast, hitting a flying head scissors and a drop kick. Kaz battles back and hits a front suplex followed with a kick to the floor. Styles nails Kaz getting back in, then tries to follow up with a Superman punch, but Kaz grabs Hebner and pulls him in the way.
Hebner and Kaz argue about it. Kaz tries a clothesline, but Styles ducks and comes back with a Pele kick to get the win.
A good finish, but it seems that the work up to the finish was pretty rapid-fire.
Austin Aries is backstage. He promises that he will open up Pandora's Box, next.
Austin Aries comes out in street clothes. He says he has been saying for months that he isn't getting a fair shake, the deck was stacked against him and the playing field isn't level. He points to one name that's holding him back - Hogan. He says that since it's Open Fight Night, he wanted Hogan to get his fake tan, blonde haired, ugly ass out there. He then says he needs to be more specific and calls out Brooke Hogan.
Brooke comes out. Aries says he isn't trying to fight her because she's a woman, but because she's a Hogan and "daddy's little girl." Everywhere he's looked for 25 years - every TV, everywhere he goes and hears the fans chant - it's always been Hogan.
He bets Brooke is tired of the Hogan name too and says when she was little she couldn't wait to get married to dump the Hogan name. He says she may have dreamed of being Brooke Trump or Brooke McMahon, but he bets she never thought of being Mrs. Bully Ray.
Brooke looks confused. Aries sends it to a video package when he was walking past her and Bully Ray arguing. Also in the package is last week when Tara and Jesse walk in on her and Bully in her office. Aries tells Brooke she didn't have to settle for turkey because he would have given her all the stuffing she needed.
Hogan's music hits and he comes out. Bully Ray runs out also, and Aries leaves the ring offering an apology. Hogan tells Aries he's dead and looks at Brooke. Bully is apologizing to her. She appears to tell Hulk that "it's not what you think..." before heading to the back. Ray and Hogan are left to stare at each other as the show ends.
Eh, not sure how I like this. Ray certainly has done nothing to take advantage of Brooke to this point, and Brooke is of age also. Is this "much ado about nothing" or is there something to this? Or is this going to develop like the Cena/AJ/Vickie/Dolph thing?
Overall, pretty weak show. I guess it's to be expected given the holiday week. The thing is though, they could have highlighted talent a bit better with the return of the Gut Check winners. They go back live next Thursday I believe so we'll see how things change.
Join us again next Thursday for more TNA iMPACT coverage. Thanks for watching along tonight, and Happy Thanksgiving.