We go live tonight and back in Orlando. Lockdown is two weeks away in San Antonio, and we know Bully Ray will face Jeff Hardy for the title. How will those two interact? Is Bully Ray going to turn? Will Aces and Eights try to submarine the main event and try to take the men out? We find out tonight!
We get a "previously on iMPACT" package to highlight what happened over the past four weeks in England.
Bully and Brooke are on their way into the studio. HerveyCam asks about Hulk, and Brooke says there isn't much to say but that he's home healing. Ray basically repeats that fact and says that's enough for talking.
Tenay and Todd Keneley open the show from the announce position. Bully Ray makes his way to the ring. The announcers sell that's why Taz isn't on commentary.
Ray says he's happy to be back in the iMPACT Zone but he's pissed. He runs down Aces and Eights' actions and claims their latest offense is denying the people the chance to see Hulk Hogan back in the ring. Ray "swears to God" he will get Devon and then goes on to talk about Jeff Hardy.
Ray introduces him and Hardy comes to the ring. Jeff takes a victory lap to slap hands with fans before coming in the ring. Ray encourages the fans to chant for Hardy then puts over how big of a match they'll have.
Ray talks about not feeling right about this match. He doesn't want the shot just because he's family now. He says he's afraid that's why and he's not sure he's the right guy to face Hardy. Jeff puts over being back at the Zone and says everyone knows the history between him and Ray. They will make more history at Lockdown.
Bad Influence makes their way out. Kaz says Ray doesn't feel right about the title shot because he didn't earn it. He says Ray was given the shot like Hogan gave his daughter. He makes a wisecrack about inappropriate Brooke pictures and Hulk putting suntan lotion on her. Daniels says the only one who deserved the title match less was Hardy.
Ray snatches Daniels' drink and takes a sip. He then spits in it and says real men don't drink appletinis and throws it in Daniels' face. Hardy and Ray team up and beat up Daniels and Kaz and chase them from the ring. Ray says they'll have a tag match later.
This wasn't bad, but it seemed like Ray wasn't in the right character for this. Looks like Ray will stay face 'til the pay per view - assuming that Ray is indeed going to turn and be revealed as the leader of Aces. This match pairing is odd too - I wonder what Bad Intentions will do at the pay per view?
We get a shot of Velvet Sky heading to the ring for her first title defense.
Magnus is working angles to try and get on Team TNA for Lethal Lockdown.
Match #1 - Velvet Sky (c) vs. Tara (w/Jesse); TNA Knockouts Championship
Gail Kim checks in on the commentary team. Tara and Jesse come to the ring as they show Gail eliminating Tara in the elimination four-way last week. Velvet Sky comes out as they replay her title win.
Tara attacks right away. Kim trashes Taryn Terell for protecting Velvet. Jesse sticks his nose in the match and gets ejected. Tara complains about that whole thing and the distraction allows Velvet to hit her butterfly facebuster for the win. Velvet will defend her title against Gail Kim at Lockdown.
The match was all right, but it seemed more like it was about a feud with the official, Taryn.
Austin Aries is talking to Bobby Roode on the phone. He says they'll be defending the tag titles in a triple threat tag match at Lockdown against Chavo and Hernandez and Bad Intentions. He tells Roode he's late for the photo shoot. Chavo and Hernandez show up and they banter back and forth. Chavo tells Aries he has a match with Hernandez, and Aries fumes.
We see the tag champ match set up by a phone call, and the Knockouts title match from the commentary position. Two weeks to Lockdown. Wow.
HerveyCam asks Kenny King where he goes from here. King says he is the X-Division. He goes and finds Rob Van Dam and says he's better than him and RVD needed to know it. He challenges RVD for the title tonight and RVD gives the match. RVD tells King he has to leave the X-Division if he loses, though.
Please, please let Kenny King win the belt tonight. And the whole "leave the division" thing is a terrible idea.
Taz rejoins commentary for the next match.
Match #2 - Austin Aries vs. Hernandez
Hernandez runs some power moves but Aries dumps him to the floor. He follows with a suicide dive then tries a frog splash. Hernandez moves and starts a comeback with a shoulder tackle. Aries ducks out and grabs his title belt then starts to leave.
Hernandez drags him back. Aries hands him the belt and falls to his knees to beg off. The official takes the belt, but Aries pulls out a chain and hits Hernandez for the win.
Joseph Park tries to work Sting to get a spot on Team TNA for Lethal Lockdown. He's eating ribs. Sting tells him to "kayfab" the ribs - funny. Matt Morgan walks by and Sting gives chase.
Sting extends the offer to Morgan to join Team TNA for Lethal Lockdown. Morgan tells Sting that anyone who is associated with Hogan is a part of why he's been held back. He turns Sting down and leaves.
Morgan is so lost right now.
Match #3 - Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Kenny King; X-Division Championship
RVD hits a nasty German suplex that leaves King woozy for a minute. King throws RVD to the floor then tries to follow up with a dive. RVD moves then hits a kick off the apron. He puts King on the barricade and hits a leg drop off the second rope. They sell going into commercial.
Back from break, they show a video to show how King got control by slamming RVD against the apron. RVD reverses a whip into a roll-up attempt then follows with a clothesline into Rolling Thunder. RVD tries a 450 after doing his thumb-point routine. That allows King to move and RVD crashes and burns.
King covers but Earl Hebner screws up. They manage to call an audible in the ring and King gets RVD up to his shoulders. He is able to hit Royal Flush and grab the win.
This was a fun match that lost a little from Hebner kind of blowing the finish moment. Good to move the belt off of RVD - let's hope this means something for the X-Division.
Sting goes over his team list with Kurt Angle. Angle asks about one guy (and doesn't name him) and Sting admits he's taking a chance. Angle tells Sting to handle business because he's going to now.
This took away from the X-Division match, too.
This is crash TV tonight as I play catch-up. I'm exhausted even more than normal.
We get a recap of last week's main event, and the announcers feed it to a picture from Twitter showing Hulk Hogan's knee.
Aces and Eights comes to the ring. Devon, DOC, Knox, Anderson and Garett Bischoff are the representatives. Devon says if Sting thinks he has a team that can beat them, he's drinking the Hogan Kool-Aid. He says that 2013 is the year of Aces and Eights.
Sting comes to the stage. He introduces his team one by one: Samoa Joe, James Storm, Magnus and Eric Young. EY slides in behind Aces in the ring and attacks the gang. The rest of the faces join in and they clear Aces from the ring.
Aces and Eights has been so meaningless for the most part for so long, I am not all that enthused about this match. Shocked by using Eric Young in that spot. Otherwise, think the teams are good.
They show Ivelisse getting ready for the Gut Check match. They show a hype video package, with one of the points being about her being homeless after having a falling out with her mother, then making up.
They recap the brawl from last segment. Aces and Eights storms out, and Kurt Angle follows with a cameraman.
Lei'D Tapa is shown getting ready for Gut Check and her hype video airs. They talk about her being the niece of the Barbarian and she gets emotional.
Match #4 - Lei'D Tapa vs. Ivelisse; Gut Check Challenge
Tapa is a big woman - amazon big. She grabs Ivelisse by the throat, but she reverses it with a front choke. Tapa powers out and Ivelisse goes for a sleeper hold. Tapa counters out then hits big boot and plays to the crowd.
Ivelisse dives through the ropes and hits a DDT. Tapa comes back with a Samoan Drop. Eventually, Ivelisse is able to get a submission victory.
Fair match from both women here. The size difference between the two of them certainly hurt. Ivelisse has definite upside but both could find their place in TNA. Ivelisse isn't ready for prime time, though. Then again, neither is Velvet Sky.
Austin Aries crosses paths with Jeff Hardy and wishes him luck in the tag match tonight and his title match next week.
They run a video package talking to AJ Styles' family and they talk about him in a negative light. He walks in, looking pretty strung out. He storms out and rides off on a motorcycle.
They recap the issues between the Robbies.
Robbie E is in the ring. He says he has to admit there is a bigger and better bro. He asks Rob Terry to come out. Terry complies and E even opens the ropes for Terry. Terry looks pissed, and E begs off.
E says things between them have gotten out of hand. He says he crossed the line when he slapped Terry. He says he risked their friendship when he did that and his friendship means the world to him. He says he's not going to be jealous anymore and admit Terry was the better bro. He says they need one more Bro-Off for old-time's sake.
E asks for music and dances. Terry smiles but doesn't dance. E says he realizes Terry deserves the spotlight. He says he'll leave the ring and Terry should give the people what they want. Terry starts his thing when the music starts. E slides back in and hits Terry with the VIP poster and calls Terry a piece of garbage. Terry gets back up and goes after E, but E runs for the hills.
A lot of effort for a pretty meaningless feud, if this is going on the Lockdown card.
Aries talks to Ray and says he's pulling for Ray in the match. Ray says he wasn't going to let Aries stir them up. Ray tells Aries to get used to the title he has because he's getting nowhere near the World Championship. He tells Aries to beat it and Aries leaves, mumbling to himself.
Kurt Angle and his camera guy manage to invade the Aces and Eights clubhouse.
Match #5 - Bad Intentions vs. Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy
Ray takes on both heels for a minute. Jeff Hardy runs in to help him out. Both heels end up out on the floor to regroup. Out of break, the faces continue controlling the action. Kaz pulls on Hardy's hair and that allows them to take control.
The heels work over Hardy. Hardy hits a sudden Whisper in the Wind on Daniels. Ray gets the hot tag and takes both heels out. He hits a side slam on Daniels and covers but Kaz breaks the count. Ray dumps Kaz out of the ring and tags Hardy. The official turns his back to get Ray out of the ring, which allows Kaz to dump Hardy from the top rope.
The match breaks down and all four men are in the ring. The heels work over the faces. Ray shoves Kaz off and tags Daniels from behind. He picks up Daniels and hits the electric chair on him, then Hardy follows with the Swanton for the win.
Aces and Eights Clubhouse:
Angle breaks in, cameraman in tow. He takes out Devon and Anderson from behind then beats up a masked man. Angle rips his mask off and says "holy shit!" He asks how the guy could do it.
Before we get a reveal, Angle gets attacked by members of Aces and Eights. We don't see who the person is.
That was a good hot close to the show. The problem was that the show wasn't worth much to start with.
TNA cut pay-per-views off their calendar, so you'd have thought they could use the time between them to really build up stories and angles. That did not happen for Lockdown - they really pissed away the time.
Nothing tonight hyped up Lockdown or made me feel like I wanted to order it. They did set the teams for Lethal Lockdown and I'm good with that setup. The main event did absolutely nothing for the title match, either.
They did do a great job with the Angle segment though. Really well done and does lead for the intrigue as to who the person is that got unmasked. Problem is, it didn't point to one of the bigger pay-per-views of the year.
Join me next Thursday for the go-home show for the Lockdown pay per view here on Ring-Rap.com.