It's the last of our shows from across the pond. Hulk needs to pick a contender for Jeff Hardy at Lockdown. Eight men competed last week to impress him. Who will get picked? Tara defends her Knockouts title against three other contenders. Does she bring the title back to the States, or will someone else? The road to Lockdown continues.
We get our recap video package to catch us up on all the recent happenings. Tenay, Taz, and Keneley check in from the announce position.
Hogan's music hits and he comes out to the ring. He addresses the fact that Aces and Eights interrupted his selection process to get Jeff Hardy's latest contender. Hogan says that out of the bad comes good, and it gave him another week to think and decide who should face Hardy at Lockdown. After that week it showed him that one man stepped up and rose to the occasion. Hogan announces that Bully Ray will be the one to face Jeff Hardy.
Bully comes out, selling the surprise. He says he has no idea what to say and acts emotional. He says he was hurt and Hogan calls him the toughest SOB in the company. Bully says that the happiest day of his life was marrying Hulk's daughter, but this was as close as he could get.
Ray gets excited and says he wants a tag match between Aces and Eights and Sting, Ray, and Hulk. Hogan agrees to this match and the place goes crazy.
All this to get to THAT match? Hogan can't work...I compare him to Khali in getting to the ring right now. Why are they even taking this chance?
Roode and Aries are complaining about the former tag champs, Chavo and Hernandez. Bad Influence wanders into the frame and congratulates them on their title win. They say that Aries and Roode need to follow their lead tonight in the eight-man tag. If Roode and Aries do, everything will be okay. After Daniels and Kaz leave, Roode and Aries argue over whose lead should be followed.
These two teams have such similar acts right now, so I'm not sure how this will work out well. It could end up muddying the waters for both acts.
Match #1 - Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez, Joseph Park and James Storm vs. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian
Storm and Daniels kick things off, but it breaks down in a hurry. The faces get the better of it and dump the heels to ringside. After a commercial, Park works on Kazarian. Daniels clips Park from behind to allow Kaz to take control.
Daniels and Kaz work this as if they're the only team in the match. They isolate Park and tag in and out. Aries finally tags himself in, and the rest of the heels follow suit. They all argue amongst themselves and decide that since Kaz was the last guy to tag in, Daniels and Kaz get their way. Park hits a double clothesline on them.
Daniels and Kaz go to tag, but Aries and Roode bail. The face team all hits their finishers and Park hits a second-rope splash to get the win.
The live fans ate this up, but it seemed fairly unimportant on TV.
The announcers hype Hogan being in the main event later tonight.
We get a video package to recap Rockstar Spud as the winner of British Bootcamp, then him punching Robbie E in the face.
Match #2 - Robbie E (w/Robbie T) vs. Rockstar Spud
Robbie gets quick control and hits a knee drop across Spud's throat. Robbie misses a follow up corner splash which allows Spud to hit an around the world DDT. He tries a top rope leg drop that misses.
Robbie tries to get the clipboard from T, but T isn't letting that happen. E turns around and Spud rolls a wheelbarrow move through to get the surprise win.
Afterward, E yells at T about things and slaps him in the face. T pulls off his shirt and hulks up a bit. E runs off, scared.
Spud looked good and got a good hometown reaction. Robbie E has run his course with me so it was hard to invest myself in this one.
Jesse and Tara are shown making their way to the ring. Her title defense is next.
Match #3 - Tara (c, w/Jesse) vs. Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher; Four Way Elimination Match for the Knockouts Championship
The women all get their entrances. Brooke Hogan sits at ringside with the title belt. She makes her presence known by having the official send Jesse to the back.
The heels join up on Tessmacher early on and dump her to the floor. They go after Velvet next and start to work on her. The alliance breaks down though and they start going at each other.
Kim takes a bulldog out on the floor from Tessmacher. Tessmacher gets back in the ring and teams up with Velvet to work on Tara. Tara is up to the task though and takes them both out. She hits a moonsault on Tessmacher, but takes Velvet's finisher. Gail Kim gets back in it and dumps Velvet in order to get the pin on Tara. Tara eliminated.
The three remaining women battle. They hit a tower of doom spot, with Velvet being in the good spot. Tessmacher tries to hit a move but Velvet rolls her up to eliminate her. Brooke Tessmacher eliminated.
Velvet starts to run some offense on Gail Kim, but Kim hits a drop kick. She covers and uses the ropes for leverage. Taryn stops the count and argues with Kim. Kim drives Velvet to the corner and hits a shoulder block in the gut. Velvet tries a sunset flip but Kim grabs the rope. Taryn frees Kim's hands and Kim slams to the mat. Velvet follows it up with her butterfly facebuster to get the win.
A better-than-normal Knockouts match. They all worked hard. Velvet didn't look bad, but she was also pretty insulated in the match with the way it was worked. Not sure I'm thrilled with her being the champ.
They recap how the main event got put together. Hogan and Sting talk backstage. Hogan asks Sting to watch his back and Sting agrees. Hogan leaves, and Ray enters. Ray talks about how teaming with Hogan and Sting is an honor, and Sting says it's his honor to team with Ray.
We get a video package on how Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco join Aces and Eights.
Match #4 - Samoa Joe vs. Garett Bischoff
Bischoff runs from Joe at first, then is able to attack Joe when Joe chases him back in. He clips Joe, then throws hands. Taz is working hard to put him over.
Joe bounces back and hits a boot then a senton for a two count. Joe keeps up the offense but Wes Brisco runs in to cause a DQ.
Brisco and Bischoff keep up the beatdown 'til Kurt Angle makes the save. Angle gets on the mic and says he and Wes Brisco will fight in the cage at Lockdown.
The match was what it was to get to the match announcement. It just hasn't felt all that exciting to me, though. Even that match announcement just fell flat. Just seems like nothing on this show feels like it matters.
Match #5 - Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Kenny King; X-Division Championship
King opens up with a dropkick and RVD ends up out on the floor. King follows him out and drives RVD back first into the ring post. It was an awkward-looking spot. King mocks RVD by doing the thumb-point thing.
RVD comes back after King botches his finisher. In the end, RVD hits the frog splash to win.
This is just a "more of the same" kind of match. I really hope TNA moves the belt off of RVD and onto someone like King or Ion. RVD is doing nothing for the X-Division belt.
Backstage, Brooke Hogan hugs her dad and tells him to let the other two guys protect him out there.
We get a video package of Jeff Hardy saying he's healed up from the Aces and Eights attack on him. He puts over Bully Ray as the man he will defend his title against.
TNA likes to break logic rules to make for better TV, but this just came across as fake.
Match #6 - Aces and Eights vs. Sting, Bully Ray and Hulk Hogan
Aces and Eights comes out, then Sting and Bully Ray. Hogan's music hits but Hulk never appears. They try again, but Aces doesn't care to wait any longer and attacks.
Earl Hebner tries to get control but can't. Ray and Sting are able to get their bearings and take out the heels as we go to commercial.
Out of break, Doc works on Bully Ray. The announcers are wondering where Hogan is. The heels work a series of quick tags to isolate Ray. Eventually, Ray no-sells a couple shots from Doc, then hits a spear on Devon.
Ray gets the hot tag to Sting. Sting cleans house, hitting all kinds of kicks on the Aces and Eights guys. He hits DOC with a Death Drop and covers. Anderson makes the save.
Sting slams Anderson and holds him for Ray to make the dive. Aces and Eights members emerge with a beat-up Hulk and Brooke. Ray runs to them to make the save for his wife and father-in-law. That lets Sting alone to take a beating and DOC pins him for the win.
Afterward, Ray tends to Brooke and Hulk and the Aces guys jump Sting in the ring to close the show.
That match was total garbage, but this was a good show ending. It got Aces a win over some prominent names and they didn't look like chumps in getting it. They finally got a little bit of heat.
The big thing now is that TNA needs to follow that up next week. They keep dropping hints that Ray will turn and join Aces, which would help tremendously because Ray is a much better heel than a face.
TNA goes live next Thursday again. Perhaps that's something that will help them recapture a bit of spark that seems to have been missing the past few weeks in these taped shows from England.
We'll have show coverage for you of that event next Thursday night as we continue the road to Lockdown on March 10. Thanks for watching along tonight.