It's Open Fight Night again. Tonight, Sting and company have decided to call out the Aces and Eights to fight. Will they respond, and how? Also we get our next look at our Gut Check competitor - will he impress?
We get a glimpse of Aces and Eights riding in on their motorcycles.
They recap last week's show with narration over a series of video clips. Taz and Tenay check in on commentary to kick our night off.
Sting's music hits, and he comes out with Jeff Hardy, Devon, Austin Aries, Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Gunner, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Robbie E and Robbie T. Some of the guys stayed on the floor, while the rest enter the ring.
Sting says he left the door wide open for the Aces and Eights to come in. Two scrubby looking guys come out dressed like the Aces and Eights and they get disposed of fairly quickly.
They rip the masks off of the two guys. The skinny guy wasn't anyone I recognized. Sting gets upset and rants, asking if that's all that Aces and Eights brought. Sting says he knows better and the man thanked Sting for the attack. He says the TNA roster is in for a long and painful night. Sting punches him in the stomach.
After commercial, they recap what just happened. They also give us a recap of Taryn Terrell's debut last week.
Match #1 - Miss Tessmacher (c) vs. Tara; non-title match
Miss T cuts a promo after she gets to the ring, questioning if she can beat her mentor and friend, Tara. She calls out Tara.
Taryn Terrell is the official and she gets her own entrance after Tara came out. Tessmacher messes up an early leapfrog, but they are able to recover it without issue. Tara is able to finish off Tessmacher with a suplex combined into a roll-up.
After the match, the two hug.
I like the "teacher vs. student" dynamic. Tara might turn at some point to set this program up - could be a decent one to watch. Better than the Madison/Hebner silliness they went to anyhow.
The announcers give us a recall of the Aces and Eights beatdown on D'Angelo Dinero. They tell us he is now out of action with a broken collarbone.
Sting is with AJ Styles, Rob Van Dam, and Robbie E. All three men were slated to face D'Angelo in the Bound for Glory Series, but he's now out. Sting sets up a three-way match between them since Pope is out and recaps the scoring, which is the same as a standard match.
Logical booking to allow these guys to be able to earn the same points they would have if they'd have faced Pope.
Match #2 - Rob Van Dam vs. AJ Styles vs. Robbie E.; Bound for Glory Series match fought under three way rules
They open with some standard three-way action, and cut to commercial. After commercial they recap RVD monkey-flipping AJ out of the corner. Live, Styles is working over Robbie E with RVD selling at ringside. He gets back in the match.
Tenay says we're moments away from finding out AJ's paternity test results. Thank God! Tenay sells the distraction that is for AJ as he wrestles. Styles comes back with a suicide dive at ringside, which gets the crowd going. Styles limps when he gets up from hitting Robbie's head with his shin.
A bit later in the match, Styles flips from the second rope and tries to get the inverted DDT, but RVD stumbles. They reset and hit the spot the second time. RVD and Styles battle at the top rope. RVD shoves Styles off the ropes and follows with the Five Star Frog Splash.
Robbie E sneaks his way in to cover RVD, who is selling the impact of the Frog Splash, to get seven points.
An entertaining three-way with a surprising but okay result. I'm fine with Robbie picking up the win and it fits since he (as the heel) snuck in to snag the win by taking advantage of the face (RVD) hitting his finisher.
The announcers recap the leaderboard afterward, pointing out that Robbie E now has 12 points.
Jeff Hardy is walking backstage, and the announcers ask if he will call someone out tonight.
Jeff Hardy heads to the ring and cuts a promo. He says recent history is his explanation and calls out Robbie T. He points out this is not a Bound for Glory Series affair.
Match #3 - Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie T.
Terry is all power early on. He slams Jeff for a near fall, but Hardy comes back with Whisper in the Wind for a near fall of his own. Hardy needs three clotheslines to take Robbie down. T tries to come back, and misses his own clothesline. Hardy is able to hit the Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb to get the win.
Hardy is clearly a fan favorite and Terry didn't look as clunky and immobile as he normally does.
Daniels and Kaz cut a promo. Daniels says that Styles thinks all of the answers are coming tonight, but AJ hasn't heard all the questions yet.
Oh dear. I was hoping this was the end of the line for Claire...I guess not.
Sting looks in the camera and taunts the Aces faction. He says he's not hiding, and easy to find. He challenges Aces to come find him.
In the Ring:
They recap the AJ Styles drama in video. JB introduces Styles, who cuts a promo. He apologizes to his friends, family and fans for having to suffer through the crap they have. He says there's a night in his life he can't remember and wishes never happened. He says something happened with Claire, but he doesn't know what.
Styles says if he is the father of the baby, he will accept responsibility. If he isn't, he doesn't want Daniels and Kazarian to never speak to him again as long as they live. JB calls out Claire Lynch, but here comes Daniels and Kazarian.
The pair accuse Styles of being more concerned with his own brand, being responsibility for bullying, and turning his back on Claire. Daniels says Claire isn't there because she suffered a placental disruption as a result of the stress Styles put her through. Daniels says that it's a very touch-and-go situation.
Daniels says he knows the fans wish Claire a speedy recovery. Daniels gets up in Styles' face and says that every second Claire spends in the hospital is due to the fact Styles is a selfish bastard. While Daniels is talking, a woman makes her way to the ring. She identifies herself as an attorney for Claire Lynch. Daniels walks over and tries to take her mic, but she tells him to get his hands off of her.
The attorney reads a statement from Lynch that says she was approached by Daniels and Kaz with the goal to blackmail AJ. She admits that she took part in numerous illegal and unethical activities and added a sedative to a soda that rendered Styles unconcious so she could take photos to perpetuate the fraud.
The statement continues that Lynch told her attorneys to contact authorities and says that she has not, is not, nor ever has been pregnant. The fans cheer as Kaz and Daniels throw a fit. Lynch's statement closes by saying she hopes Styles and his family can forgive her someday and puts him over as the man his fans have known him to be.
The attorney exits after giving the mic to JB. Styles hits Daniels with a kick to the head and the heels flee. Styles plays to the fans.
The live crowd ate this up and got behind AJ. The reveal, in and of itself, wasn't all that surprising though.
Gut Check Video Package:
The contestant stresses there's no writers and this is all real. He says he can't provide for his family unless he wins and he will show the judges he has talent and charisma. He says he will kill himself to get a contract and blow the roof off if given his chance.
The Aces and Eights are looking for Sting, who acts like a mad man as he approaches from behind. He says it's time for them to play 52 card pickup. With the distraction, Sting throws his bat to Hulk Hogan, who is standing behind them. Hogan takes one of them out with the bat.
Hogan tells the fallen man if he even looks at his daughter the wrong way again, he'll rip his heart out and feed it to his dog. Hogan makes some noises as Sting calls him down. Sting says "Hollywood! You're back!" Hogan is sporting the stubbled look.
Hogan didn't pull the guy's mask off? And why is Sting cheering the "evil incarnation" of Hogan?
After the commercial, they recap the Sting/Hogan segment, then air a video package featuring Alex Silva, who talks about what winning Gut Check means to him. He is training at OVW.
Gut Check Segment:
JB introduces Kris Lewie, who is tonight's contestant. "This is your gut check!" JB says.
Match #4 - Kris Lewie vs. Gunner; Gut Check
Gunner mocks Lewie, and Lewie returns an arm drag. Later, Lewie misses top-rope offense and Gunner hits his finisher to get the win. Taz says Lewie showed heart, desire, and intestinal fortitude, but gave away too much experience.
The announcers were more interested in Hogan's return than this match. These matches are all pretty much the same anyhow...the contender gets some offense then the veteran comes back and puts them away.
We get a look at Mr. Anderson walking backstage.
ODB is on the phone with Eric Young. She says he needs to stop fishing and catch his wife. After she hangs up, she calls out to someone off camera and asks how old the guy was.
Match #5 - Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray; Bound for Glory Series match
Anderson does his mic entrance gimmick, and he says he's competing in his last BFGS match. He introduces Bully Ray as his opponent.
The announcers talk about the standings and say Anderson is just 10 points short of the cutoff. Ray takes control of the match going into commercial. After commercial, Ray still controls the offense but Anderson begins to battle back and gets a two-count.
The cameras cut backstage to show Gunner, Robbie T, and Kurt Angle attacking the Aces and Eights. Back in the ring, Anderson takes a BullyBomb but kicks out and hits a DDT in return. Anderson goes up and hits a Swanton, then comes back with the Mic Check to pick up the win.
The match was fine, but they really had some flawed logic here. The way this was done, everyone looks stupid. Anderson needed 10 points, but he ends up getting seven in his last BFGS match. Huh?
The announcers recap the standings, showing Anderson just short of the final four.
The "leader" of Aces and Eights says the TNA guys want to fight, but they're playing the Aces' game. In about three minutes and 30 seconds, Aces and Eights will unleash hell and give the Dead Man's Hand.
After commercial, Sting leads a group of TNA talent to the ring. The announcers talk about the prospect of everyone coming together to fight the common enemy of the Aces and Eights faction. Sting talks about the Bane wannabe saying it would be three and a half minutes, but Sting calls them out now.. No initial response.
Faction members start to emerge from different points. TNA wrestlers beat down the prospects as they come in. Hogan is shown backstage swinging and missing with the bat. James Storm and AJ Styles are beating up other guys from the Aces and Eights.
Back in the Impact Zone, Aries, Van Dam, and Jeff Hardy are in the ring. Backstage, we see Hogan, Storm, Styles still fighting with guys in the faction. It's an all-through-the-building brawl at this point. A group of the Aces and Eights faction comes out to the ring and Aries dives on them.
We get a series of shots around the building where the fight is ongoing. One of the bigger guys gets the better of Aries at ringside and they set up a piece of the security railing on the rope. One of them holds Aries' arm down and the leaders slams a chair on his arm. The guys in the ring stand over Aries.
Bully Ray hits the ring with a chair and the faction guys scramble. Outside, various Aces and Eights guys are jumping on their bikes and leaving to close out the night.
The brawl was wild, but there were just too many folks involved. It got to be a bit mind numbing. I also don't know why Aries wasn't featured more on the show if they were going to have him attacked at the end of the night.
There is a good story to tell here and I want to like this situation. They need to settle down and tell the story in here though and focus on a handful of guys on each side - a Team TNA vs. Aces and Eights battle akin to WWE's Survivor Series five on five situation. A wild brawl with this many guys is good once. Not a lot.
The show moved by fast tonight and it had its good moments and bad. Just another normal outing for TNA it seems - solid but not spectacular. The commentary during the Bully Ray/Anderson match really showed some busted logic, which is my most grievous complaint tonight. They need to do better with that.
Join me next week for more TNA coverage right here on Ring-Rap.com. Thanks for watching along tonight.