Tonight, we find out who the new No. 1 contender to Chavo and Hernandez's tag team gold will be. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode will face off against Bad Influence, with James Storm keeping the law and order. How will that all turn out?
Also, Sting demanded a match with Aces and Eights and Hulk gave him his wish. So Sting, Kurt Angle, and a mystery man will take on Devon, Bully and Mr. Anderson. Who is the mystery man? Will AJ Styles respond to Kurt's plea from last week?
Show Open, Live in Tupelo, Miss:
We get a recap of Sting becoming the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and D'Lo losing to Kurt Angle.
The announcers check in on commentary and give us a rundown on tonight's card. Sting and Kurt Angle make their entrance. Sting talks about his win last week and says he doesn't want to wait 'til Slammiversary. He got Hogan to grant him a six-man tag for tonight and he needed the best on his team. He picked Kurt Angle
Angle takes the mic and says one guy could turn the tide in their favor and that's AJ Styles. Angle says he and Sting are ready for war, and asks if AJ will join them. A "yes!" chant gets started but AJ, who had come out, just stares. Angle says he's sick of asking, and is demanding an answer as he gets in AJ's face.
Sting steps in and asks for a chance. He talks about having gone through the same thing, mentioning that he hid in the rafters for a while also. He tells AJ he doesn't have to hide and that this is the place AJ built. Sting asks AJ to join them tonight. AJ continues to stare. Angle grabs the mic and says AJ is either with them, or against them.
AJ backs away and leaves. He heads up the ramp, and Angle gives chase. Angle grabs AJ and turns him around. AJ shoves him and the brawl is on. The two fight on the ramp and officials run out to break it up. Sting is watching from the ring, but Bully, Devon, and Anderson slide in the ring behind him. Anderson hits him, then Bully and Devon hit the 3D on Sting. The heels flee as Angle runs back to check on Sting.
I could have done without Sting drawing the direct parallel to his storyline years ago. AJ's getting a bit weak here also with his "outside" involvement. The character change is good, but the lack of interaction from AJ is a bit lame when everyone is talking about him with no response.
We get a recap of the opening segment events.
HerveyCam catches up to AJ as he's walking away. He asks if AJ was going to leave everyone hanging. AJ simply wipes his mouth, looks at his hand, and storms out the door.
Match #1 - Gail Kim and Tara (w/Jessie) vs. Mickie James and Velvet Sky
Tara comes out with Jessie. I guess the spat is over. The rest of the competitors make their entrances after that.
Mickey and Gail start. Jesse causes a distraction that lets Gail take charge. Tara tags in and hits a drop kick, then celebrates with Jessie. Gail tags herself in and yells at Tara. While those two bicker, Mickie hits a kick on Gail and both make tags.
Velvet hits several clotheslines and teases her finisher. Gail runs in, but Velvet tosses her out on top of Jesse. She hits her butterfly facebuster on Tara to get the win.
Afterward, Gail yells at Tara then hits her with a short-arm clothesline. She locks the figure four on Tara through the post like she did to Taryn last week. ODB breaks it up, and Tara sells her knee being injured.
Maybe this is Tara's write-off as she was to be off TV for a while. Gail has a great aggressive streak going, but she's feuding with Velvet AND Taryn. A bit of muddy water there. Otherwise, meaningless match.
Aces and Eights is partying up, and D'Lo walks up. He says he didn't know about the gathering. Ray says there's going to be another gathering for club business in the ring. He asks if everyone is ready, except for D'Lo, and they all head out to the ring. D'Lo looks like he's been left out.
Bad Influence tries to put the hard sell on James Storm. They go in his locker room with beer to help that cause. They exit, leaving the beer behind and Storm drinks up.
Aces and Eights comes to the ring and harasses Todd Keneley as they do.
Bully gets the mic and demands the music cut. Ray says that later they would destroy Angle, Sting, and whoever the mystery man is. He says it won't be AJ and no one wants to be the third man, either. He turns his attention to club business.
He points to D'Lo, who is at ringside. He says a couple weeks ago (oops, you lost track of the story, Bully), D'Lo embarrassed himself. He demands that D'Lo surrender his colors.
D'Lo defies and says no. Bully says he'll give D'Lo one more chance. D'Lo says his cut is his life and says no. Someone snatched it from him, and D'Lo started to fight but Anderson interjects. Anderson yells that D'Lo quit last week and Aces isn't for quitters.
Ray agrees. He asks D'Lo what he's going to do. D'Lo says he's going to call out Magnus and kick his ass. Ray tells D'Lo he's going to sit and watch from the timekeeper's spot and watch DOC beat Magnus. Ray tells D'Lo he better hope DOC wins if he wants his cut back.
D'Lo sits down at the announce position and Magnus' music starts. The gang leaves.
This was all right, but it's about a non-wrestler so it's hard to say it's compelling.
Match #2 - DOC vs. Magnus
DOC takes early control. D'Lo paces at ringside while the action continues. Magnus hits a kick and heads to the top rope. DOC catches him, but Magnus is able to counter and shove him down. He hits his top-rope elbow for two.
D'Lo drags Magnus from the ring and tries to throw him to the stairs. Magnus counters then slips back to the ring. He gets hit with a flapjack from DOC for two. Magnus reverses a whip, and D'Lo accidentally grabs DOC's leg instead. Magnus takes advantage to roll DOC up for the win.
DOC storms off, and D'Lo looks upset about the results.
Did Magnus gain anything there? The story of this match was all about a non-wrestling personality and his status in a faction. Why TNA put that focus there - especially a guy like D'Lo who is older - is beyond me when there are younger guys on the roster who could use the shine.
D'Lo tries to apologize, but no one's buying in. They hold him down and Ray threatens to crush his head with a hammer. Anderson chimes in as the voice of reason and says that D'Lo should be given a job he can handle. Ray agrees and busts D'Lo down to prospect and tells him to go wash the bikes.
Elsewhere, Hogan is with Sting and Angle. Hogan teases that he'll be the guy to join them, but Sting and Angle stop him, citing doctor's orders. Hogan references his phone and talks about a wildcard text he got. Angle says he wants a sure thing. They decide to make Magnus the third man and leave.
Aries and Roode cross paths with Storm. They praise him and Aries hands him a beer. Roode says he was always jealous of Storm and the only reason he beat him was because of a beer bottle. Roode looks at Aries and asks if he covered everything.
Aries says no, and Storm interjects and says that the boys in the locker room were saying when Aries beat Roode, it wasn't a fluke. Storm exits, and Aries and Roode start to bicker again.
Wow, we're an hour in and there's only been eight minutes of wrestling, half of which included Velvet Sky. That's not boding well for next week, which will be a taped show.
I wonder who the wildcard is that texted Hogan...and if we get to find out tonight.
Match #3 - Bad Influence vs. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode; No. 1 Contender to the TNA Tag Team Championship, James Storm as special referee
We get some early silliness. Roode and Aries settle in as the controlling team, though, in the early going. Storm ends up putting out a lot of fires with Aries and Roode as they try to cheat while Daniels sells.
Kaz hits a dirty kick on Roode, who ends up on the floor. Kaz jumps on him and that allows Bad Influence to get some control. Roode throws Daniels head-first into Kaz's groin and that allows Roode to get a hot tag to Aries.
Aries hits a flying forearm that takes Kaz to the floor, then dumps Daniels out also. Aries follows with a suicide dive out to the floor and he crashes to the safety railing. He no-sells it, though, and throws Daniels in. He hits a frog splash but Kaz breaks up the cover. Things break down and Daniels and Aries are in the ring.
Daniels rolls him up and hooks the tights. Storm sees that and refuses to count. Daniels shoves him and walks away. Aries grabs Storm's beer and takes a sip, then spit it in Daniels' face. He raises the beer to Storm and takes another drink. Storm grabs it away and finishes it. Aries gets mad and shoves him.
Storm cues the Last Call but Aries moves, with Daniels ending up taking it. Aries puts his foot on Daniels and demands that Storm count. Storm counts to two, stands up and hits Aries with the Last Call. His music hits and he leaves, as it seems this is a no-contest.
It wasn't a bad match, but it wasn't all that exciting either. You could almost see the shenanigans coming when Storm was picked to be the official.
Aces and Eights attacks Magnus. They battle throughout the backstage area where there's some construction-type equipment. Magnus gets a hope spot, but Knux hits him with a breakaway box. They drag Magnus over to a forklift and slam a cart of plates into his head. The angle was taken from the opposite side of the forklift so you didn't see it.
So now we find out who the wildcard guy is?
We get a hype video for Suicide, whose return is "soon." They move to a recap of the Chris Sabin return story from last week.
Kenny King comes to the ring, to almost no reaction. He puts himself over as such a good champion that he has to beat two men now instead of just one. He says he's not going to complain though, and wants to bring out a guy who won't quit. He introduces Chris Sabin.
Sabin comes to the ring. King says they've all seen the videos, but he asks Sabin to tell the story. Sabin gets the mic and says he spent the last two years either in physical therapy or his basement. He says he has nothing to lose and he's going to fight like it's his last chance every time he gets in the ring. He tells Kenny to enjoy the belt while he can because after next week, Sabin would be the new champion.
King puts him over and says it would mean a lot to the people to see Sabin hold the belt. He hands the title to Sabin and says he wants everyone to see this. It will be the last time everyone saw this because it's as close as Sabin will get to the title as long as King is alive. He tells Sabin it doesn't matter if he has two perfect ACL's, he just can't hang with King.
King demands the belt back. Sabin tosses it at him and attacks, getting in a couple shots. King rolls out before Sabin can land too many shots, though.
At least they're trying to tell a story with these guys now. You can see it coming a mile away, but nonetheless, they are trying.
TNA officials chase off Bad Influence and Roode and Aries. Storm has been laid out with a chair laying next to him.
I've got no idea what this is about, and that's good. It's some intrigue for sure. Worth noting Storm was not being attacked by the teams. Could be an interesting story.
We get a video package to hype a Gut Check tournament, and the winner gets an entry into the Bound for Glory Series.
We get some recap of all the people who have been taken out of contention to join Sting and Angle for the six-man tag.
Ray says not everyone is happy about what's going on with D'Lo, but they had to do what was best and weed out the weak of the group. He says D'Lo said he quit, and no one does that. Ray tells Knux when D'Lo comes back to have the beer cold and the bikes clean because they're going to go looking for women.
Angle's music hits. He and Sting are in Hogan's office, with Hulk on the phone. Angle says they have to go and Hogan wants them to wait. Angle and Sting leave anyhow. Hogan tells whoever is on the phone that it's either now or never.
Match #4 - Kurt Angle, Sting, and a mystery partner vs. Bully Ray, Devon, and Mr. Anderson
Angle and Sting make their entrance, then Aces and Eights members follow. Angle and Devon start the match. Angle gets a throw, but Devon rakes the eyes and tags in Ray.
Ray knocks Angle down. Angle comes back with a hip toss and tags to Sting. Ray flees back to the friendly corner and tags Anderson. Sting hits a reverse atomic drop and a drop kick then tags Angle in.
Anderson hits a knee lift and tags Devon. The heel team takes charge on Angle as he sells. They work a series of quick tags. Devon and Ray hit a neckbreaker combination on Angle and knock Sting to the floor.
They pose in the ring over Angle. The announce team says that something is going on backstage. The cameras cut there and the rest of the Aces members are all laid out backstage.
Out of commercial, Ray hits a drop kick on Angle then tags out to Anderson. The heels work quick tags again, targeting Angle's neck. Ray slaps Angle, then tries it again but Angle ducks. He hits the Angle Slam and gets a hot tag to Sting. Sting hits the Scorpion Death drop on Devon and covers. Anderson breaks up the count.
Sting dumps Anderson out and hits the Stinger Splash on Devon. Ray breaks up that count. Ray and Sting square off then throw hands. Anderson attacks from behind and the heels beat down Sting and Angle.
Aces sets up a table, but a familiar tune hits. Abyss comes to the ring. He takes out Devon and Ray, then chokeslams Anderson through the table. He hits the Black Hole Slam on Devon to get the win.
Afterward, Abyss storms around the ring and Taz melts down about him returning.
Really? Abyss? Well, I give TNA credit for not giving it away anyhow. Abyss isn't someone I was hoping to see, though. Joseph Park was silly, but it was better than another Abyss run in my book. One can only hope that his time out from under the mask taught him some things.
Overall show: another flat episode up until the end. We have some intrigue going on with what happened to James Storm and what the story is in the tag division. I'll be interested to see what they do with Abyss though I'm not overly excited for his return.
Everything else though just fell flat. They invested far too much in the D'Lo story for a guy who isn't wrestling. The Knockouts match had almost zero point to it. Kenny King and Chris Sabin tried to tell a story, but it felt awfully predictable.
Join us for more TNA coverage next week right here on Ring-Rap.com.