We're officially on the Road to Glory now as TNA sets its focus on their biggest pay per view of the year. James Storm has promised to call out Bobby Roode tonight since it's Open Fight Night. Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy continue their build to their showdown for the World Heavyweight Championship. And will Tara make a play for the Knockouts title now that she turned on her student, Miss Tessmacher?
They show their "Previously on Impact" package to recap last week's show.
Hulk Hogan is talking to Shaquille O'Neal backstage. Shaq tells Hogan he has his back tonight.
Kurt Angle and AJ Styles come to the ring. Angle reminds everyone they were the tag team champions a few months ago, but they were screwed out of their titles. Angle says they have another opportunity now, but so does the team of Chavo and Hernandez. So, he and Styles are going to call them out and challenge them.
Match #1 - Kurt Angle and AJ Styles vs. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez
The teams trade control early on. Hernandez and Chavo get the better of Kurt and wear him down. Angle comes back, hitting a belly to belly suplex. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian come out to the stage.
Out of commercial, Styles has Chavo in a rest hold. Chavo gets to his feet and hits a back body drop. Hernandez tags in and tosses Styles around like a rag doll. Hernandez teases the Border Toss but Angle saves it. Chavo returns the favor with a double missile dropkick.
Chavo tries Three Amigos but Styles counters out. Styles gets the hot tag to Angle and he blasts Chavo with a German then locks on the Ankle Lock. Chavo rolls himself through to counter and kicks Angle away. He hits the Three Amigos on both Styles and Angle.
Chavo tries the Frog Splash on Styles but misses. Styles comes back with the Pele and sets up the Styles Clash, but Daniels and Kazarian run down to attack, throwing the match out.
After the match, Hogan comes out with a bat in hand. He says he's trying to figure out which challengers wanted it more, but the champions gave him his answer. He sets up a triple threat match between the three teams at Bound for Glory.
Great match, and they put heat on Daniels and Kaz by their interruption. Problem is, Hogan sucked the heat out of the situation. I feel like anything involving Styles, Daniels and Kaz is just in a holding pattern.
Al Snow is shown backstage, and he says this week's Gut Check participant was the epitome of what the segment is about. He talks about his feud with Joey Ryan and says that he's on his way to a meeting about last week's slap.
This month's Gut Check participant is getting ready backstage.
Hogan is talking to Joseph Park on the phone. He says he will send someone to help him with security as Park has found evidence that Hogan needs.
They air a Bound for Glory moment featuring Samoa Joe taking a dive from a press box.
They show the package featuring Evan Markopoulos, tonight's Gut Check competitor.
Dixie Carter and Bruce Pritchard talk backstage about the Aces and Eights faction, trying to figure out who the leader is. My audio was a bit funky here.
JB introduces Evan Markopoulos for his Gut Check. Douglas Williams is the opponent.
Match #2 - Evan Markopoulos vs. Douglas Williams; Gut Check
Williams goes right after him. Evan gets a brief hope spot, but Williams hits an arm drag then locks in the inverted crossface for the submission win.
Wow. Evan got less offense than someone jobbing for Ryback. They really need to shake up how they handle this segment to get me to care about it again. Good concept, poor execution.
They air a video that covers the James Storm/Bobby Roode rivalry revival.
Storm makes his way to the ring. He gets a mic and says he's calling out Bobby Roode. He's going to be a man kicking a coward's ass, and calls out Roode again. Roode comes out, dressed in a suit.
Roode says he won't take Storm's challenge, and he says that as long as he's around, Storm will never get a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Roode tells Storm to call out someone else to fight and he's done with him.
Roode exits but he crosses paths with Hogan. Hogan tells Roode he has to fight and threatens to fire Roode if he isn't ready in three minutes.
After commercial, Roode comes back out and is still wearing his suit. Storm has had enough and attacks Roode at the stage area.
Match #3 - James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
They fight their way down to the ring but the fight spills right back out to the floor. They're throwing everything at it, throwing each other into steps and the safety railing.
Roode swings and misses with a chair, then Storm dumps him into the fans. The fans verbally abuse Roode a bit, flipping him the bird. Roode hits a suplex out on the floor.
Both men shove the official that is trying to get control of the situation. The official calls for the bell but the brawl rolls on.
Good job of selling how these guys don't like each other but didn't give anything away for Bound for Glory.
Hogan talks to a crew member and tells him that he needs Joseph Park to be allowed in. Aces and Eights calls, and says they have a lawyer. Hogan says he'll call back and warns the caller to be ready to play hard. Hogan tells the crew member to disregard what he said because he knows where Park is.
Hogan doesn't have the chops to pull off stuff like this, and he's being overexposed tonight.
Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy talk backstage. Aries says Bound for Glory is about Aries wanting what Hardy has, not about Hardy coming after the belt. He says he will become a bigger star by beating Hardy at Bound for Glory.
Tara comes out and gets the mic. She says everyone has been bugging her about attacking Tessmacher. She says that fans and Tessmacher used her to get on TV. Tara says her new boyfriend from out in Hollywood opened her eyes. Tara calls out Christy Hemme.
Tara bullies Hemme around a little, but Miss Tessmacher runs out and chases her away. Tara tells Tessmacher she is Tara's at Bound for Glory.
Simple but effective. Not sure how the boyfriend thing ties in, but it worked.
Hogan is shown walking backstage.
Brooke Hogan catches up to Tara and chastises her about what she just did. Brooke tells her there's going to be consequences.
They air a video spot of RVD talking about his Bound for Glory matches.
Hogan comes out again with the bat. Hogan says Joseph Park was taken hostage by Aces and Eights and he has no problem playing the game. Hogan says they want him in their clubhouse next week. Hogan says he will go, but he wants Park released as a sign of good faith.
The VP character appears on the big screen, saying that in the clubhouse, it's clubhouse rules. He takes a sledgehammer and destroys Park's laptop. Park is shown off to the side in a cage, and says he has all the information in his head.
Someone in the group hits Park with a hammer. Hogan is shown in the ring, looking half-pissed off and half concerned.
Effective segment to demonstrate the ruthlesness of the faction. Hogan is still a bit overexposed here, but he did the best work of the night in this segment.
They replay the segment we just saw, then feed it to a video package that highlights Hardy's motivation for Bound for Glory.
Austin Aries comes out and complains about the focus on Jeff Hardy. Aries says Hardy has beaten Bully Ray several times lately, so he wants to do the same thing. He calls out Bully Ray.
Ray answers, saying Aries doesn't have the skills to beat him. Aries doesn't wait for the talking to finish and hits a dive over the ropes and begins to attack Ray.
Match #4 - Austin Aries (c) vs. Bully Ray; Non-Title
Eventually they get back in the ring and Aries takes control. Ray hits a big boot as we go to commercial. After the break, Ray keeps up the offense on Aries. Ray argues with the official, which allows Aries to start his comeback.
Aries hits a flying dropkick to get a near fall, then teases the Brainbuster but Ray fights out of that.
Ray throws Aries into Hebner, but Aries is still able to lock in Last Chancery. Ray submits but it's meaningless since the official is out. Ray gets his chain and knocks Aries out with it and Hebner comes to to count the pinfall.
Ray teases another attack, but Hardy comes out for the save. Aries sees Hardy holding the belt and freaks out. They bicker as the show ends.
If they're going to turn Aries (I feel it a bit soon for that), this was a good first step. If they're not, then having him lose here was a bad idea. He should be presented with a lot of star power, not some guy with a chip on his shoulder.
Tough night tonight. Nothing really felt compelling in any way and the wrestling wasn't all that good either. The Aries issue can be compelling, but that was all we got on a night where they started the build to their biggest event.
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