We've made it to Texas. Tonight, Bully Ray defends his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Hardy in a rematch from Lockdown. Will Bully be successful in his first defense? Will Brooke Hogan watch on from her front row seat, or shun him? Or, will Jeff take back the title that he feels was stolen from him by Aces at Lockdown?
AJ Styles owes Hulk Hogan an answer, and the Tag Team Championship will also be defended.
Show Live in Corpus Christi, Texas.
We get the normal TNA recap video package, recapping the past couple weeks of storyline.
My home cable went down for several minutes at this point. I will come back and fill in the gap as best I can after the fact.
Once cable was restored, we're into our first match!
Match #1 - Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez; TNA Tag Team Championship under Best Two out of Three Falls rules. If Chavo and Hernandez lose, they can never team together again
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries jump Chavo and Hernandez before the bell sounds. They throw Hernandez into the steps and knock him out. Roode and Aries throw him into the ring and cover him to get the quick first fall.
Aries and Roode win fall #1
After a 30-second rest period, we get the bell for the second fall. Aries tags in and tries to get a frog splash but Chavo moves out of the way. Chavo quickly rolls up Aries to get the quick second fall.
Chavo and Hernandez win fall #2
The heels work Chavo over. Hernandez pulls himself back into this thing and gets the hot tag. He takes both heels down with a dive from the ramp to the ring. The show goes into commercial at that point.
Odd commercial timing...
The heels regain control after commercial. Aries hits a flying forearm for a near fall. Chavo gets the hot tag and hits his Three Amigos spot on both heels. He goes up top and points to the sky, but Aries shoves him off and Roode rolls Chavo up for a near fall. Things break down and Hernandez accidentally spears Chavo. Chavo kicks out though.
Hernandez hits a double suplex on both heels. Chavo follows it up with a double frog splash to get the third fall and win the titles.
Chavo and Hernandez win the third fall and the TNA Tag Team Championship
The match was good, but I just don't understand this title change. The Texas crowd loved Chavo and Hernandez, but they don't seem to be "over" as a team elsewhere. If Aries and Roode don't go back to singles programs, this title change might be even more confusing.
Joey Ryan apologizes for how things got out of control in the Knockouts match. He admits the women loved him though. He offers to officiate again tonight but Brooke tells him he has a match to see who the bigger man is. Ryan wonders who would be bigger than him.
Aces and Eights arrives. Garett Bischoff is on a bike. They all are happy to see Bully Ray as well.
In Ring Segment:
Joseph Park comes out to the ring. He says he wants to deal with some issues and gets booed. Park wants to talk about Bully Ray and says what Ray has done was felonious. He says it ends tonight. He says he has justice on his mind and justice would be served when Jeff Hardy reclaims the title.
He says justice won't end there. He puts over his divorce experience and has taken it upon himself to file a writ of annulment to end Bully and Brooke's marriage. Devon has had enough and storms out. He warns Park to stay out of family business. He starts to leave but wraps a chain around his hand and nails Park in the midsection.
That seems to scream "heel turn" for Brooke. We'll find out.
We get a recap video for the feud between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell. They show them getting ready backstage.
Match #2 - Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim; ODB as special referee
The ladies are announced to the ring by Christi Hemme, then she announces ODB as the special referee. ODB comes out and Gail Kim says she's out. ODB puts Kim on the apron and Taryn drags her the rest of the way in to start off things.
Kim bumps for Taryn but is able to pull her off the second rope. Kim goes to work and rolls her up with a handful of tights. ODB breaks the count over that. Kim argues with ODB, which allows Taryn to roll up Gail for the win.
After the match, Kim jaws at ODB and ODB chases her to the back. Christy interviews Taryn and Taryn says she's happy to get physical.
That was a good win for Taryn, but what's going on with this story? Is there more to come on this?
Bruce Prichard, Al Snow and Danny Davis talk about the two competitors - Adam Pearce and Magno - in a pre-taped segment. Live, Prichard cuts Adam Pearce. Pearce shakes Prichard's hand and says "damn fool..." before walking away.
That felt like a work. It makes me think we'll see him and Ivelisse with Aces in the future sometime.
We get a recap of AJ Styles' story. Backstage, Hulk talks about finding out Styles' loyalty. HerveyCam poses the question to Hogan about Sting. Hogan just glares at the camera and walks away.
Elsewhere, AJ Styles gets asked by HerveyCam about joining Aces, and he shoves the camera guy off. Mr. Anderson runs up to him with another cut and says he made an offer that AJ can't pass up.
We get a hype package for Jeff Hardy and the Full Metal Mayhem main event.
Hulk Hogan comes out to a huge reaction. He says something to get a cheap pop then says he needs to get to business. He wastes no time to call out AJ Styles, who makes his entrance. Hulk demands AJ tell him what side he is on. AJ grabs the mic and says he doesn't respond well to ultimatums.
James Storm's music hits and he comes out. He cuts a promo saying he isn't there to give ultimatums or drink beer. He gets in AJ's face and says he's there so they can fight. Daniels and Kazarian's music plays and they come out. They say they're there to mend fences and stop the poop they see in the ring.
Kaz says Hogan is trying to convince AJ to join his team, which makes sense. Aces and Eights wanting him makes sense too. Daniels says no matter which side AJ picks, he will get used up and spit out. He says they want AJ on his side. He says he knew AJ thought the Claire Lynch thing was bad, but asks if it wasn't worse when Hogan, Dixie, and the fans turned on him. Daniels asks Styles to join him and stand with his brothers.
Storm shoves Styles and Styles gets a bit puffed. He leaves the ring though and walks past Bad Influence. Hogan says that since AJ can't make a decision, he's going to make one for him. Hogan books Storm vs. Styles for next week.
Bad Influence being added to this helps keep this out of NWO territory with Sting's old gimmick. Storm kept things simple here, which helped.
Kurt Angle cuts a promo and says he asked Hogan for a handicap match against Bischoff and Brisco. Hogan agreed to the match for next week.
Match #3 - Joey Ryan vs. Rob Terry
Joey Ryan comes out, and he finds out that Terry is his mystery opponent.
This doesn't last long and it's all Terry. He throws Ryan around the ring and hits a spinebuster to finish him off.
Hulk wants Brooke to join him in a luxury suite with the marketing team to watch the title match. Brooke says she has to sit at ringside and look "Mark" in the eye. She mentions having security with her and Hogan wishes her luck. She walks away.
Matt Morgan walks up to Hogan. He says it's all become about Brooke for Hulk. He tells Hogan he keeps making mistakes, and one day it will all crash down on him.
Gut Check Segment:
Magno makes his entrance. Danny Davis gives him a no. Magno cuts a promo in Spanish, and says he has been in battles around the world. That isn't enough for him. He puts over Texas and says he wants to be known for being a luchador on iMPACT.
Prichard says that Magno has a marketable look and his career is in front of him. He goes on to tell Magno he needs more seasoning though and votes no. Al Snow gets no comment at that point.
Interesting. I wonder if this is even more evidence to see Pearce come back affiliated with Aces.
Backstage, the gang hypes up for the main event by revving their bikes. Ray tells them he needs to beat Hardy alone to shove it up Hardy's and Hogan's asses.
They show Hardy heading to the ring.
The bikes add to the "realness" of the gang. Ray showed some good intensity in his promo.
Match #4 - Bully Ray (c) vs. Jeff Hardy; TNA World Heavyweight Championship fought under Full Metal Mayhem rules
Christy Hemme handles the introductions. They show Brooke Hogan sitting at ringside.
Hardy hits a Twist of Fate almost immediately. He ducks a corner splash and Ray eats a ladder. Hardy hits a kick then goes up the ladder but Ray stops him. Hardy mule kicks Ray, but when he goes for a subsequent charge, Ray dumps him to the ramp with a back drop. Ray climbs the ladder but it was out of place. This allows Ray to hit a superplex off the ladder as they go to break.
Ray perches on the turnbuckle and Hardy hits him with a chair. A table gets set up and Hardy sets up a ladder upside down beside it. He tries to hit a superplex on Ray onto it, but Ray fights out. The ladder falls down and Ray resets it then hits a front suplex on Hardy into the ladder. Brooke Hogan yells at him and Ray realizes the ladder is trash now.
Ray repositions the table and brings in another ladder. Ray yells about putting Hardy through the table, climb the ladder, then Earl Hebner would raise his hand. Ray says he would then slap Brooke in the face.
That ranting allowed Hardy to recover and he knocks Bully out of the ring with a chair shot. Hardy tries a dive, but Ray moves and Hardy crashes and burns right in front of Brooke. Ray yells at her, and she flips him off. Ray gets in her face and Brooke slaps him. Hardy mounts a comeback during that exchange and uses a table. The table broke early, which seemed like a mistake.
Hardy gets another table and sets it up on the floor. He hits the Twist of Fate and it lays Bully out on the table. Hardy hits the Swanton onto Bully on the table. Hardy sets up a ladder and starts the climb.
Taz shows Ray a hammer at the announce position. Ray grabs it and runs in the ring. He climbs up and whacks Hardy with the hammer. Hardy bumps through the table and Ray climbs up and grabs the title belt to win.
Afterward, Ray gets a mic and asks if the fans know who he is and who they are (the gang has joined him in the ring by then). He repeats the "never walk alone" line and poses with the gang to end the show.
This was a good match and a solid win for Ray. Taz pitched him the hammer, but for the sake of Ray being an Aces guy and within the rules of the match, that's a clean win.
That last bump for Hardy was nasty. It looked like he hit his neck on the ropes. Medics came out and put Hardy in a neck brace. The announcers didn't play it up, so it could have been a work - but it could have been anything from precautionary to serious too. The neck is a very sensitive area.
This was a solid show. There are still things happening booking-wise that left me scratching my head, but it wasn't anything so horribly offensive either. The main event was solid, the tag match was well done, even if I don't get the title change.
Join me next Thursday for more iMPACT coverage here at Ring-Rap.com.