6/21 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Austin Aries reveals his decision, Open Fight Night, Gut Check Challenge, A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter come clean


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TNA TV Reports


6/21 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Austin Aries reveals his decision, Open Fight Night, Gut Check Challenge, A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter come clean
Jun 21, 2012 - 07:00 PM


By Jason Powell

TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Live from Orlando, Fla.


[Q1] A narrator set up recaps of a few segments from last week... Pyro shot off on the stage and then Mike Tenay and Taz introduced the show and hyped Open Fight Night and various aspects of the show...

Hulk Hogan headed to the ring for a promo. He said what happened to Sting last week was unprecedented and uncalled for. He said they won't give the trio of masked men any publicity, so he won't play the video again. He said they would find out who the men are and make things right for Sting. Hogan paused while the fans chanted his name.

Hogan said that Austin Aries has to make his decision and called him to the ring. Aries came out wearing the X Division Title and joined Hogan in the ring. Hogan offered him a handshake. "Not quite yet, Hulk," Aries said. "Business first." Hogan was left with his hand out.

Aries said his options were to hand over the X Division Title to get a shot at the TNA Title or keep the X Division Title and continue to be the longest reigning champion. Aries said the first option may seem like a no-brainer, but he said the X Division Championship is the belt that the company was built on. Aries said the men who built it are some of the best wrestler the sport has seen.

Aries questioned what he could do if he handed over the title to make sure it was even more valuable. He said he came up with a third option. Hogan cut him off and said he laid it out as Plan A or Plan B. He said Aries' idea better be good because he's not going to play games.

Aries said he's willing to take the TNA Title shot in exchange for Hogan agreeing that the champion of the X division will have the same opportunity once each year going forward. Hogan agreed.

Bobby Roode came out with the TNA Title belt. He said the X Division Title means nothing to him. He said he's holding the real World Championship. He said Aries just made the biggest mistake in his life. Roode said he is no X Division wrestler. "I am God's gift to professional wrestling," Roode said.

Roode said he will beat, hurt, and embarrass Aries. Austin said that if Roode is so sure, he should take advantage of it being Open Fight Night by coming to the ring. Roode charged and ARies met him at ringside where they exchanged punches. Agents Al Snow, D-Lo Brown, and Pat Kenney ran out to pull them apart.

Mr. Anderson's music played and he walked onto the stage and grabbed his mic as it was lowered from the ceiling. He said he's going to beat whichever one of them wins the TNA Title. He said he's going to win the Bound For Glory Series and face them...

Powell's POV: A strong opening segment and I like the idea that the X Division Champion has a chance to get a title shot once a year, presumably at Destination X. It creates some interesting future storyline possibilities and should put focus on the X Division Title matches leading up to that pay-per-view. That said, I still wish they would have come up with a better explanation for why the X Champion has to forfeit the title before he challenges for the TNA Title. Hogan not wanting that doesn't explain why the X Champion couldn't forfeit the belt if he actually won the TNA Title.

[Q2] [C] The Bound For Glory Series scoring graphic was shown as the announcers discussed the series... Mr. Anderson used his Open Fight Night challenge to call out Daniels because he tried to ruin a man's family...

1. Mr. Anderson vs. Daniels in a Bound For Glory Series match. A shot aired of Joseph Park in the crowd. Tenay said all of the BFG Series matches will have ten minute time limits. Daniels and Anderson traded blows and then the ref called for the bell to start the match. Daniels wore a t-shirt throughout the match. Anderson hit a neckbreaker and followed up with the Mic Check for the clean pin...

Mr. Anderson pinned Daniels in 3:05 to earn seven points in the BFG Series.

Backstage, Dixie Carter told A.J. Styles that they are doing the right thing. She said it's not about Daniels or Kazarian. She said they have gone over every possibility and encouraged him to follow through on their plan to come clean. Styles said there might be another way...

A shot aired of Mickie James, Velvet Sky, ODB, and Madison Rayne sitting inside Brooke Hogan's office... [C]

Powell's POV: I'm not crazy about Daniels and Kazarian losing so often when they are featured players in this program with Dixie Carter and A.J. Styles. I wasn't crazy about them dropping the tag titles and this loss doesn't help.

[Q3] Brooke Hogan asked the Knockouts in her office why they want the TNA Knockouts Title shot as part of Open Fight Night. Brooke told Madison that she should follow the advice her father gave her by making her work her boyfriend rather than pursuing her dream man. Mickie was cocky as she talked about her own greatness. Brooke cut Madison and told her she needs to make business and pleasure separate. Brooke said she has one more elimination to make tonight...

Robbie E and Robbie T stood in the ring. Robbie E said he's not afraid of anyone in the BFG Series. He issued an open challenge to anyone in the series to "get punked by Big Rob, bro." A group of wrestlers were shown backstage. Kurt Angle headed to the ring to take up the challenge...

2. Kurt Angle vs. Robbie E (w/Robbie T) in a Bound For Glory Series match. Angle squashed Robbie and took him out with the Ankle Lock. The announcers reminded viewers that submission wins are worth ten points, whereas pinfalls are worth seven points...

Kurt Angle defeated Robbie E via submission in 0:30 to earn ten points in the BFG Series.

Gut Check contestant Taeler Hendrix was featured in a video. She spoke about being diagnosed with cancer at age 21 and footage of her wrestling on the indy scene was shown. She said she wants to be the Knockouts Champion and a Knockouts Tag Champion and won't stop until she gets it...

Magnus came to the ring and said he's decided to call out someone and beat them "right now if you don't mind." The announcers questioned what he was talking about as the show headed to break... [C]

Powell's POV: The Knockouts segment was a little too catty. Brooke actually sounded like the voice of reason, so that's impressive. Say it's nitpicking if you want to, but I would prefer that Brooke used the word "training" rather than "practice," which she did while talking about how Miss Tessmacher practices every day to get better. Meanwhile, I'm not even sure why Robbie E is in the BFG Series at this point.

Magnus said he wasn't going to pick an opponent whose head isn't in the game. He said he knows what it's like because he has women in every town who want to get "with this." Awesome. He said the difference is that he doesn't mess with another man's wife. He called out "that home wrecker A.J. Styles"...

3. Magnus vs. A.J. Styles in a Bound For Glory Series match. Late in the match, Daniels and Kazarian walked to ringside with an envelope. Styles stopped what he was doing and turned his attention to them. Magnus capitalized and pinned Styles...

Magnus pinned A.J. Styles in 2:25 to earn seven points in the BFG Series.

The announcers hyped that Taeler Hendrix's Gut Check match was up after the break...

Powell's POV: I like the way they showed early on that Styles was distracted during his match with Magnus. He missed a Pele Kick when Magnus moved out of the way, and the announcers did a good job of expressing surprise over Styles missing one of his signature spots.

[Q4] [C] Jeremy Borash was in over the top game show announcer mode as he told Hendrix, "Here is your Gut Check!" Tara made her entrance...

4. Taeler Hendrix vs. Tara in a Gut Check Challenge. A shot aired of Joseph Park being escorted out of his seat in the studio by a production staffer. Meanwhile, Hendrix got an offensive flurry after selling early on. The crowd chanted for Tara, who came back and hit the Widow's Peak for the win...

Tara defeated Taeler Hendrix in a Gut Check Challenge match in 2:30.

Powell's POV: I would vote note on Hendrix strictly based on the horrible spelling of her first name. Only strippers and female wrestlers (and some weird parents) seem to do that. However, if Alex Silva (whatever happened to him?) won because he cut a big promo about his father dying, then one can only imagine than a girl who had cancer at age 21 is going to get in too.

Backstage, the production crew member led Joseph Park to an area where Bully Ray was waiting. What a ruse!!! Anyway, Ray threatened Park by telling him that if he ever sees him in the crowd or his brother again it will be the last time anyone sees either one of them again...

Powell's POV: I've never wanted to see Joseph Park eat popcorn so badly.

[Q5] Samoa Joe came to the ring and said that since no one in the back has the guts to say his name, he was there to get things kicked off. He said that since Storm was "fresh back from petting your horse and finding your smile" he was calling him out. Storm was shown with other wrestlers watching Joe on a monitor and was then shown making his way through the back to the ring...

5. Samoa Joe vs. James Storm in a Bound For Glory Series match. There were dueling crowd chants and it seemed like there were a few more Joe supporters. Joe controlled the early offense. Storm came back, but Joe caught him when he went for a Codebreaker. However, Storm came back seconds later with the Last Call superkick and got the pin.

After the match, Joe picked up a beer bottle as Storm was drinking one of his own. The referee tried to intervene. Joe simply handed the bottle to Storm in a sign of respect...

James Storm defeated Samoa Joe in 3:55 to earn seven points in a BFG Series match.

Powell's POV: Joe is the world's happiest loser lately. He bumped fists with Austin Aries at Slammiversary and now hands Storm a beer bottle. He's like a freaking role model of good sportsmanship or something. It made sense here, though, since Joe is popular with a lot of fans and Storm is the guy they are trying to get over as the top babyface. Joe looks like he's dropped weight and I hope the company rewards him.

A video recapped the A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter drama... Backstage, Styles said he can't focus and she was right when she said they have to get it out in the open tonight. She agreed... [C]

Powell's POV: I hope the payoff is good and justifies the way Styles comes across like such a whiney bitch every time he opens his mouth lately. It doesn't help that Dixie is there to comfort him in such a motherly way.

A video featured fans talking about how great the live experience is...

Inside Brooke Hogan's office, she said she doesn't have time to figure out who is focussed or not. She said there's been a wedding, a honeymoon, and worrying about Eric Young pulling his pants down. Brooke said ODB should get that worked out and then she wants to bring her back strong. ODB got up and asked where Brooke's daddy's office is. She said she was looking at it...

[Q6] Bully Ray came to the ring and told the fans to shut up. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. "You're damn right you know who I am. I am the most hated bully in the world." He mocked the fact that Joseph Park was no longer in the crowd and said it's about time he listens. Ray turned his attention to the BFG Series. Ray said he was going the easy route by calling out The Pope, who he said was spending a lot of time in Hollywood...

6. Bully Ray vs. D'Angelo Dinero in a Bound For Glory Series match. Ray attacked Pope from behind to start the match. He went for two quick covers. The announcers noted that you have to go for quick win attempts due to the ten-minute time limit. Pope came back when Ray missed a splash.

Pope went to the top rope and Ray chopped the top rope to knock him down. Pope got to his feet and Ray splashed him in the corner. Ray started throwing punches at Pope and then noticed Abyss walking through the crowd. Pope hit Ray from behind and knocked him to ringside. Abyss climbed the rail and went after Ray, who entered the ring and was clotheslined for the loss...

D'Angelo Dinero defeated Bully Ray in 3:40 to earn seven points in a BFG Series match.

Powell's POV: It was the real Abyss this week since we saw his face and the super curly wig.

Backstage, Hulk Hogan referred to Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam as his two biggest stars. He said they weren't called out so they must be the favorites to win the BFG Series. He said they are his main event for the show. They shook hands... A shot aired of Brooke Hogan looking at pictures of Velvet Sky and Mickie James...

Powell's POV: One can only assume that Velvet gets the nod and Mickie is left feeling slighted again. After all, Mickie showed frustration over Velvet getting the nod for the Montgomery Gentry music video, so all signs point to her turning heel and feuding with Velvet.

A portion of the Montgomery Gentry video featuring Velvet Sky was played. They directed viewers to the band's website to see the remainder of the video...

[Q7] Backstage, Brooke addressed Velvet Sky and Mickie James. Brooke said she gave Velvet the country music video, so Mickie was getting the title match...

7. Brooke Tessmacher vs. Mickie James for the TNA Knockouts Title. The match was friendly until Brooke went for a German suplex and Mickie grabbed the ropes. Mickie threw an elbow. She then showed some frustration when she failed to get the pin moments later.

Later, Mickie showed a little more frustration when she couldn't put Tessmacher away. She went for her DDT finisher, but Brooke countered with a rollup and scored the clean pin. Mickie flashed a look of shock after the match...

Miss Tessmacher pinned Mickie James to retain the TNA Knockouts Title in 5:15.

Separate shots aired of Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam walking backstage. Tenay said the main event is up next...

Powell's POV: Well, I misread that one. Mickie is turning heel at some point. I actually prefer this direction because it looks like Brooke Hogan is being unbiased rather than favoring Velvet and making Mickie's eventual complaints look valid. Mickie did a good job of showing her frustration throughout the match. As for the music video, TNA has to keep in mind that country is polarizing music in that people seem to either love it or hate it. This was fine because it made Velvet look like a bigger star, but they shouldn't go overboard with their country connections. Finally, Hardy vs. Van Dam should feel like a big deal, but both wrestlers appear to be floating around without direction.

Christy Hemme introduced Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy for the main event...

[Q8] 8. Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy in a Bound For Glory Series match. Tenay once again noted that the wrestlers were working at a fast pace and going for quick pins due to the ten-minute time limit. Hardy went for a Swanton and missed at 2:40. Van Dam went to the top rope and pointed to himself before missing a 360 splash. Hardy DDT'd Van Dam for a near fall. Hardy followed up with a Twist of Fate and scored the pin...

Jeff Hardy pinned Rob Van Dam in 3:40 to earn seven points in a BFG Series match.

A shot aired of Dixie Carter and A.J. Styles backstage. Tenay teased that they would be up next... [C]

Powell's POV: They crammed a lot into that short match and Van Dam took the DDT and Twist of Fate bumps on his head. I hope Van Dam is going heel because he looks like such an idiot every time he points at himself in mid-match and it blows up in his face. I'd like to see Van Dam turn since he acts like a heel anyways and both he and Hardy need a real feud again. As for Dixie and Styles, I wonder if their way out of giving up the reveal is to have the masked guys who attacked Sting hit the ring.

The announcers examined the updated BFG Series scoring. James Storm has 27 points, Kurt Angle has ten points, and four wrestlers have seven points... The announcers hyped A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian for the TNA Tag Titles next week...

A.J. Styles and Dixie Carter headed to the ring as some fans chanted "TNA." A rattled acting Dixie said this has been going on a long time. She said these situations never have a positive outcome. She said people get hurt and lives are changed. Styles pushed the mic down and the camera mic picked up him saying they don't have to do this. He said they could leave right now. She started to walk off with him and the fans booed.

A crying woman walked to the ring and stood on the ring apron. "What are you doing here?" Styles asked. The woman took the mic and stood between Styles and Carter. She identified herself as Claire. She said the fans don't know her and Styles and Carter were hoping it would stay that way. She said she's known Carter for a long time. She said she needed Carter's help and she said Styles has the highest moral character.

"Dixie and A.J. are not having an affair," Claire said. "I'm an addict and I'm trying to get clean. I started out drinking and it got out of control. I drink. I do pills. It got so bad that I took money from my family." She said she went to Dixie and A.J. for help and they were there. She said they took her to rehab. She said she didn't want anyone to know. She said they were there for her and then Kazarian and Daniels got in the way.

She said the photo was of them looking over her. A shot aired of Daniels and Kazarian backstage. "No, no, no, shut up," Daniels said. Back in the ring, Styles and Carter embraced Claire. Daniels headed to the ring and Styles met him with punches. Kazarian ran out and took a kick. Styles clotheslined Daniels and then hit Kazarian with a big powerbomb. Styles hit Daniels with a Pele kick and punched him as the show went off the air...

Powell's POV: Wow, that sucked. There were some fans giving it the "What?" treatment and others who just kind of sat there. I actually would have been happier to see the masked dudes show up and destroy Styles and Carter after all, though it just would have put off the inevitable of a lousy payoff to a scandal storyline.

Overall, this was a decent show with a lousy finish. It didn't measure up to last week's much better episode. Styles beating up both men at the end of the show would have been a nice tease for next week if Daniels and Kazarian were the tag champions, but it doesn't work so well when the guys having their asses handed to them by one guy are the challengers. Check back on Friday's for Will Pruett's audio review of TNA Impact Wrestling.

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