Tonight is Championship Thursday on TNA, and someone is randomly going to defend their title. But more importantly, we're a couple days out from No Surrender. This signifies the end of the run of the Bound for Glory Series. Someone will be locking in their slot to face the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at October's Bound for Glory event.
The final five guys are all set to interact tonight. What happens?
They give us a recap of last week's show in their "Previously on iMPACT" segment. We go right into the ring for our first match.
Match #1 - Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy; Bound for Glory Series
Joe dominates the early part of this one. They cut backstage to show James Storm watching on a monitor as the action continues. Hardy manages to get Joe to the outside and hits a dive as they go to commercial.
Out of commercial, Joe hits an elbow that floors Hardy. Joe goes back to work and dominates the action like he did going to commercial.
Late in the match, Hardy battles back. He teases a Swanton Bomb but Joe jumps up. Joe is able to lock on the rear naked choke, but Hardy counters out of it and comes back with Whisper in the Wind. Hardy follows up with the Twist of Fate.
Hardy finishes Joe off with an inverted crossface hold and gets the submission win and 10 points.
Weird seeing Hardy win via a submission hold, which isn't normal in his repertoire. It worked though, especially with the fact that Joe had an arm injury the announcers sold.
We see a narrated recap from the end of last week's show, which included a stage crew member attacking Austin Aries.
Aries crosses paths with Hulk Hogan. He complains to Hulk about the Aces and Eights faction. Hogan says he's done some homework on the group and knows who some of these guys might be. Hogan tells Aries that the guy who attacked Aries is going to be available for him. Hogan tells Aries to break his legs tonight.
Christy Hemme interviews Samoa Joe after the match. Magnus comes out and mocks Joe for losing. He explains his actions from a few weeks back. Magnus does a good job of heeling up and blames Joe for their tag team falling apart. Magnus goes to walk away, but turns around and attacks Joe.
No more than a second or two after Joe hits the floor in that attack, the camera goes backstage. Hogan is with the Robbies, Chavo and Hernandez, and Kid Kash and Gunner and they're talking about the tag team championship match later. Each team pleads their case. AJ Styles walks in and tosses his name in the hat but Hogan throws him out right away. Styles points out how all the teams are just slapped together.
Elsewhere backstage, Brooke Hogan tells Tara that she will be facing Brooke Tessmacher at No Surrender. Gail Kim enters the picture and complains that Brooke is only giving priority to eye candy women. Tara and Gail bicker about the whole situation some more.
Timing issues galore. They never let the Magnus attack on Joe sink in before they were racing off to the backstage segments. Also, doesn't speak well for their Championship Thursday concept when one of their top guys is trashing contenders.
Match #2 - Gail Kim vs. Tara
Taryn Terrell is the official, and she's in the ring already. The announcers take it low-brow with their horndog comments.
Kim works the arm early on, giving her an advantage. Gail keeps up the offense and plays to the crowd and gets some decent heat. Tara gets a hope spot, but Gail drags her arm on the ropes.
Gail goes up top and gets countered. Tara hits the Widow's Peak to get the win.
That was a good women's match. Everyone played their parts well and we know Gail and Tara can work. Enjoyed that.
They air a Joey Ryan video package, then show Al Snow making his way through the backstage area.
In Ring Segment:
Al Snow has made his way to the ring and they cue up the Gut Check music and lighting. Snow calls out Joey Ryan, who comes through the crowd.
Snow asks Ryan what he has to say and yells at him to shut up. Snow offers Ryan another shot at Gut Check. If he wins, he's on the roster instantly. Ryan says he proved himself already and 87 percent of Twitter voters say that he should have been hired.
Snow reaffirms that Ryan has to go through Gut Check a second time. Ryan agrees, and Snow tells Ryan he has to fight Snow to do it. Snow gets a cheap shot in that sends Ryan running. Ryan screams that Snow can't touch him since he's not under contract.
Finally! A payoff! Though I can't say I feel all that great about seeing Al Snow in the ring. What do we want? (Not that!)
Bully Ray crosses paths with Joseph Park. Bully Ray says he comes in peace and talks about Aces and Eights. Park says that due to attorney-client privilege, he can't talk about it. Ray warns Park to be careful.
A security guard has corralled the guy who attacked Austin Aries last week. He shoves him into a closet where Aries is waiting. He gives him an interrogation, Punisher-style.
Not feeling the whole "snuff film" use here.
Hogan is talking to the remaining tag teams, trying to decide who will challenge for the tag titles. Hogan is able to eliminate Kash and Gunner because they're taking the discussion and debate too personally.
Match #3 - Bully Ray vs. Rob Van Dam; Bound for Glory Series Match
Ray and RVD jaw back and forth to start, then they tie up. Ray takes control of the match and works on RVD's back. Ray ends up outside, and RVD hits a dive.
RVD gets tangled up in the ropes, which gives Ray a chance to pound his knee. RVD gets himself free and starts his comeback. He runs through a big flurry of offense that he hits Rolling Thunder with to get a near fall.
RVD goes up top and does his thumb-point gimmick. That ends up costing him because Ray is able to hit a cutter as RVD jumps from the ropes to get the win.
RVD keeps looking like a jackass with the way he does the thumb-pointing thing and losing. If this doesn't pay off on a heel turn...
The Aries interrogation rolls on with the guy who attacked him last week. Aries slaps him and threatens him with pliers, which he eventually grabs the guy's tongue with. Hogan finally shows up and talks Aries down. Hogan ends up attacking the guy, too. The VP of Aces and Eights calls Hogan though, and Hogan demands the "arm breaker" show up before the end of the night and at No Surrender.
James Storm makes his way to the ring. He talks about how this has been a year full of highs and lows. He admits that something was missing, but he came back and found his mojo again. Storm turns his attention to the other three men in the No Surrender "mini-tournament" to close the Bound for Glory Series.
Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, and Samoa Joe all come to the stage. Storm brags all of them up and praises them. Storm, though, gets his choice as to who he will face as the leader of the Series, and he says he will choose Bully Ray.
Bully walks down toward the ring. Storm says it was Ray who ended his chance at Glory last year, and this year, Storm would be the one who would end his. Storm says he knows who Ray is. This Sunday, Ray would learn who Storm is.
Storm is such a good promo - that was good work there. His closing remarks were the best sell we have had for No Surrender all night.
Aries' interrogation victim is struggling backstage and coughing. Daniels and Kazarian are shown getting ready for their title defense.
Christy Hemme interviews Rob Van Dam. Magnus walks in on the interview and mocks RVD for getting old and losing his edge. They start brawling until agents pull them apart.
Hogan grants the title shot to Chavo and Hernandez and tells them to go out and prove themselves.
Match #4 - Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian (c); TNA Tag Team Championship
The faces get an early edge, but the champions take control back and isolate Chavo. He eventually gets the hot tag to Hernandez. He takes out Kazarian, then Chavo hits Daniels with the Three Amigos suplexes before the show goes to commercial.
Out of commercial, Chavo briefly takes control of Daniels, but Daniels is able to counter. The heel team goes back to isolating Chavo.
Hernandez gets the hot tag again and takes out both men. Chavo hits a huracanrana on Hernandez as an offensive move on Kazarian. Different. Daniels saves the matchup, but Hernandez hits both heels with a big dive.
The finish comes when Daniels whacks SuperMex with the title belt. Kaz recovers enough to make the cover and get the win.
Hogan's music hits afterward, and he slowly comes to the stage. Hogan tells Kaz and Daniels they will face Kurt Angle and AJ Styles at No Surrender, with the titles on the line. Hogan's pyro goes off and he poses.
The match was alright, but the commercial break killed the flow for this viewer, and on top of that there were several botched spots. The effort was there, but the match was pretty forgettable.
The announcers run down the card for Sunday's No Surrender event.
Join us for live results and opinion of the No Surrender pay per view, starting at 8 p.m.EST.
Austin Aries is shown leading his interrogation victim through the backstage area.
Aries brings his newest friend, "Mike," to the ring. Aries uses him as bait to call out "the arm breaker," who doesn't answer the first call-out. Aries decides to beat on Mike a bit and that brings out the "arm breaker" for the save.
Arm-breaker takes a foreign object to Mike. Aries uses that opportunity to start a brawl with the Arm Breaker. That brawl closes out the show.
Wow. This show was all over the place tonight and a very weak go-home effort for Sunday's pay per view event. Just look at Hogan alone - the calm guy eliminating tag challengers to a crazy man poking at another man's eye to making a lame pyro celebration after announcing a title match.
This was not a good program tonight as a whole. We got good wrestling at times that was entertaining. The backstage work, however, was just horrible and TNA really phoned this one in. The interrogation was almost as bad as the Claire Lynch stuff.
Join us Sunday for coverage of No Surrender, and again next Thursday for another edition of the TNA iMPACT Wrestling Reaction and Report.