TNA iMPACT Wrestling Reaction and Report for 8/31/2012
Welcome to tonight's TNA iMPACT Reaction and Report. Last week, we saw the Aces and Eights get beaten up by the TNA roster and sent running. But, will the Aces reload? Will they come back against the roster again tonight?
Also, we have the Gut Check contestant judging, and perhaps some follow-up to Austin Aries' arm that was beaten on during last week's show.
The give us a recap of last week's program, then Tenay and Taz check in on commentary. While they're checking in we get an additional recap of the Aces and Eights drama.
Austin Aries comes to the ring and holds up the TNA Championship. He also displays a wrap he has on his right hand, which is the hand Aces and Eights attacked. Aries says that they called in the cavalry that created a diversion for six men to attack him. Aries says people are asking if he has to forfeit the title now due to injury.
Aries says he's not medically cleared to wrestle, but he doesn't need a medical clearance to fight. Aries tells us that he's left handed, and the faction went after his right hand. Aries puts the belt on the rope and says he and the title are waiting for them. He calls out the Aces and Eights leader to fight and he would wait all night if he needed to in order to get a response.
Hulk Hogan's music hits, and he and Sting come to the ring together, carrying bats. Hogan says that Aces and Eights have attacked his friends and family, and now he's ready for a blood bath if that's what the faction wants. Aries tells Hogan he wants a member of the faction in the ring right now.
Aces and Eights shows up on the video board and they're drinking. The "leader" now has a "vice president" patch on. He says that they say what they're going to do and they do it. He asks the rest of the group if they are ready to have fun tonight and they are. He tells them the faction will be at the iMPACT Zone later for people to see what they're about.
The announcers switch gears to the Bound for Glory Series matches and preview James Storm and Rob Van Dam next.
A good segment that clears up questions on Aries' health and brings the ongoing Aces story up front.
They show ODB leaving EY messages, threatening they are done if he doesn't call her back. She makes deadlines and he pretty much ignored them.
The announcers segway into a video to build up the Bound for Glory Series matches.
Match #1 - Rob Van Dam vs. James Storm; Bound for Glory Series Match
Tenay tells us that RVD has to win one of the last two in order to get into the final four. The announcers also talk about how they will use the same "final four" format at No Surrender, with the winner getting the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at Bound for Glory.
RVD hits a suicide dive on Storm about three minutes in as the show goes to break. After commercial, Storm hits a kick, runs the ropes then drops RVD with a DDT. Good near fall here. Tenay pipes up and comments that if Storm holds on to the lead, he can hand pick his opponent at No Surrender in the four man tournament. RVD comes back and hits a monkey flip.
RVD points at himself with his thumb point routine. He tries to hit Rolling Thunder, but rolls right into the Last Call superkick. Storm grabs the win and seven points, which keeps him in the lead.
RVD just looks stupid with his thumb pointing costing him matches. Wonder if it's leading to a heel turn? Otherwise, he just looks stupid. Tenay did his part to make this match seem important as long as he wasn't reading.
Afterward, Christy Hemme interviews Storm, and he says he's going to win the series and take the title back.
They air a shot of Madison Rayne backstage.
Madison comes out to the ring, where Taryn Terrell is waiting in referee gear. Rayne gets a mic and cuts a promo. She says Brooke Hogan called her and said she has a match tonight. She says she assumes the match is off and she is going to be named the #1 Contender to the Knockouts Championship. She blames Taryn for having cost her a match.
ODB comes out and tells Madison that Brooke also told her she has a match tonight.
Match #2 - ODB vs. Madison Rayne:
ODB takes a drink, spits at Madison, and hits her finisher to get the win. Yes, that's all it was.
Afterward, EY comes out, wearing a suit and shades. He also has a bucket of chicken and a keg of beer. Apparently ODB has been looking for this. She asks where he's been and he talks about his successful television show and brought her chicken and beer.
ODB asks about the suit and asks who he is. "where is the husband I married?" she asks. ODB says this isn't who she married and Young agreed. He fixes it by stripping down. Taz asks what the rash is on EY's back. ODB and Young make out in the ring afterward.
Some in the crowd liked, most hated. If you enjoy the EY/ODB schtick, you'd like this. I didn't.
They recap the Claire Lynch situation, and Styles says backstage that he isn't done with Daniels and Kazarian over this. He says he has to do what Sting and Hogan tell him by making the final four of the Bound for Glory Series. He says that it will be easier said than done to go through Samoa Joe, but he will make it happen.
They air the Gut Check judging segment. Bruce Pritchard tells the other judges that if a guy is going to get a Gut Check opportunity, he has to be in the best shape of his life and be prepared.
They show footage from last week. Snow says he's disappointed and Pritchard's line is replayed. Taz talks about the story of Lewie. Pritchard says they should keep an open mind and look at everything. Snow says he may have made his decision, but he will respect Pritchard's wish.
Sting and Hogan are talking Aces and Eights. Daniels and Kazarian come in and remind the pair that the heel tandem has iron clad contracts. Daniels talks about how all of them are friends. Hogan says that Sting and he hate their guts and they are everything wrong with the business. Hogan says he doesn't know how, but the four of them will fight. He will tell them where and when.
Hogan and Sting are working well here and Hogan did a good job of hanging out the tag champs. I am guessing the match involves AJ and means that Styles will not make it into the BFGS final four.
They set up AJ vs. Joe and the Bound for Glory Series storyline. The announcers recap the leaderboard.
Match #3 - AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe; Bound for Glory Series Match
Tenay tells us Styles needs to win out and get help to get in the final four. Neat spot early on where Styles jumps at Joe who is out on the floor, and Joe nails hiim with a kick. Joe throws Styles back in and goes to work.
Styles comes back with the Pele, which hits Joe on the arm. The announcers make it like Joe blocked it. Styles locks in a cross arm breaker and the announcers sell it as the arm that got hit with the Pele. Good work there.
Joe comes back with a big slam, but Styles locks on a submission again. Joe counters out and scores a pin with the way he rolls out of the hold.
Nice storytelling with the announcers saying that Styles was going for a submission win to get the 10 points he needs. They blew this last week with Mr. Anderson. They could do a better job of explaining things that are at stake for guys on the bubble but what they did tonight was a good step.
They recap the opening segment, then cut back to Kris Lewie getting ready for the Gut Check judging segment.
Kurt Angle talks about his upcoming match with Jeff Hardy. He says it's win or go home for both of them, and Hardy can't win.
Gut Check Judging:
JB introduces the Gut Check judges. Taz and Snow get good reactions but Pritchard gets booed. The judges laugh it off though. JB then introduces Kris Lewie and show his wife and baby at ringside. JB asks if he put forth his best effort, and Lewie says he did but he tries to get better every day.
Taz goes first, and asks the fans to hold on. He says he respects anyone who tries to make it in wrestling. He commends Lewie for his interesting life and sharing it with the world. Taz tells him that iMPACT is a little above his head at the moment and has to vote no.
Pritchard yells Gut Check and also casts a no vote. Lewie's wife is shown and she looks disappointed. Joey Ryan makes an appearance and uses a megaphone to call the judges corporate stooges. He throws a drink at Al Snow, and Pritchard restrains Snow. Ryan breaks free, and Snow gets loose also to chase him.
Lewie = fall guy? TNA must be hoping for buzz from Joey Ryan - they got it initially but since then, nothing. No one is really talking about him.
Joseph Park is talking to Hulk and Sting. He says he's researched the Aces and Eights faction, and there's a number of charges pending against them. He wants to investigate on TNA's behalf. Hogan gives his blessing, and he and Sting exchange looks after Park leaves.
The camera pans to ringside, where some Bellator fighters are shown. Tenay introduces them (I didn't catch all the names) then turn to the Bound for Glory series leaderboard. They set up the Angle vs. Hardy match and note it's do-or-die time for both.
Match #4 - Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle; Bound for Glory Series Match:
JB does the introduction honors for our main event. The announcers push the significance and the "must win" situation both guys are in. Angle knocks Hardy down with a clothesline at about three minutes in as show goes to commercial.
Hardy gets a near fall coming out of the break after hitting a drop kick on a seated Angle. He gets another really good near fall from Whisper in the Wind a bit later. Angle battles back, hitting a suplex to grab a near fall.
Hardy fights back and gets a really good near fall out of a Swanton Bomb. A little bit later on, Angle runs up the ropes and teases a superplex, but Hardy shoves him off and hits a Swanton a second time to pick up the win.
Afterward, Angle looks introspective while highlights play. JB introduces the final five and out come Hardy, Van Dam, Joe, Bully Ray, and James Storm. Storm is guaranteed to be in the final four.
The final Bound for Glory Series matches will pit Hardy against Joe, and Bully against RVD. The opponents all face off against each other as pyro goes off.
Austin Aries is walking backstage, and he's coming to the ring next.
The frequent near falls worked for me since there was so much at stake for this match. Taz and Tenay didn't phone this match in and did a good job selling how big it is. The pyro was a bit much, but it did a great job of hyping next week's matches to set up the final four men in this series.
In Ring Closing Segment:
Austin Aries comes to the ring. He simply demands that Aces and Eights come out and get their ass kicked. Hogan's music hits, and he and Sting come out with Bully Ray, Storm, Hardy, RVD, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe. Hogan says they're there to support Aries, who again calls out Aces and Eights.
Members of the faction start to enter. Hogan says TNA's finest is in the ring and they could have a bloodbath, or send their best to meet TNA's best in the ring. The leader motions and two men walk to ringside. They open a rail to let one of their big men enter.
The big man gets the better of Aries briefly but Aries fires back. The rest of the faction hits the ring, but the TNA troops are there to meet them and they brawl at the ringside area. Aries gets the better of the big man who entered the ring.
Another guy gets up on the apron and tugs a mask over his face. He hits Aries with an object from behind, rolls out, and then the big man and rest of the faction leave behind him.
Taz questions why the man put on a mask after he got in the ring. Ray complains about the guy hitting Aries with a slapjack. Aries sells while Hogan and the others look on. That's the show.
With the way that guy covered his face, it suggests that it's something we should be asking and talking about. The use of the slapjack wasn't great, but the brawl as a whole was effective in moving this story forward.
Another episode with its ups and downs but consistent. TNA is delivering decent TV right now. The Bound for Glory Series got some decent shine heading into its final weeks and they moved the Aces story along nicely. No Surrender is a bit lost in this, but there is still time to recover there.
Join us next week for another TNA iMPACT Wrestling Reaction and Report here on Ring-Rap.com.