7/26 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: The interim GM revealed, the fallout from Aces and Eights' rampage, the debut of Chavo Guererro Jr, the Bound For Glory Series continues, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] Previously on Impact, Claire had creeper pictures…
Sting made his way to the ring. Sting announced that he was filling in for Hogan as GM while Hogan recovered. Sting called out Aces and Eights but Aries came out instead. He warned Aces and Eights that if they showed up tonight, they would have to deal with him. Angle came out and said he wants to fight Aces and Eights too.
Bobby Roode joined the brouhaha, slowly, and he said that he knows who is behind all of the attacks. Roode blamed Storm for the attacks because he's been out of the title picture for almost a year. I guess Roode forgot Lockdown.
Storm ran out and attacked Roode from behind. The two brawled into the ring. Eventually, Angle pulled Storm off and Roode made his escape…
Ryan's Reaction: Every did their parts well, but I worry that this is a sign that Aces and Eight is going to become a show-splitting faction a la NWO. I hope they manage to let this group be its own thing rather than a rehash of an idea that's been done to death.
[C] Tara, Kid Kash, and Kurt Angle talked up Chavo Guererro's debut…
[Q2] Hervey stalked Roode through the back and questioned him on his claim that Storm is behind Aces and Eight. Roode left the building while spouting off about how no one believes him. Hervey got his weekly on air shot of looking perturbed.
1. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Tara and Mickie James. James and Tara controlled the early going as they worked over Kim. Kim managed to get the better of James and the heels went to work wearing her down.
James eventually got the hot tag to Tara, who stormed the ring and hit a tilt-o-whirl side slam on Rayne. She had the pin but Kim made the save. The match broke down and James rolled up Madison Rayne for the 1-2-3. However, she rolled too far and her shoulders were down, too, so Hebner gave the victory to Gail Kim and Rayne.
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne defeated Mickie James and Tara in 3:44
Sting spoke lighting fast backstage about Aces and Eights with Austin Aries. Sting told Aries to make some cuts in the X-Division…
A hype video for Sam Shaw aired…
Ryan's Reaction: So the story now is that Hebner is going to be biased in Madison Rayne matches. The idea of the two hooking up makes my head hurt, but I'm willing to give this angle some slack until I see where they go with it. TNA is in frantic pace mode again; they need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time rather than getting to as many stories as quickly as possible.
[C] Hernandez, Gunner, and Bully Ray did their hype segments for Chavo.
2. Sam Shaw vs. Douglas Williams in a Gut Check. Shaw controlled the early going, but he took forever climbing the ropes. Williams chopped him down and a shot of Joey Ryan attacking Al Snow from the crowd aired.
[Q3] Williams used the distraction to take advantage and he hit Rolling Chaos to pick up the win…
Douglas Williams defeated Sam Shaw in 2:35.
Backstage, Aries revealed who's going to face Zema Ion for the X Division Championship. They each made their case to Aries. Aries kicked Zema Ion out of the room and the wrestlers went back to bickering.
Aries cut Rashad Cameron first for saying nothing but Rashad Cameron Movement over and over…
A Chavo Guererro hype video aired…
Ryan's Reaction: TNA is doing an excellent job of building up Chavo throughout the evening. The Gut Check this week just further emphasized that you get more when air time when they choose not to hire you and that everyone TNA brings in for these are chumps because they've all lost their matches within three minutes. I'm not trying to just take the piss out of the Gut Check, but TNA has done a terrible job of selling it in these first four months.
[C] Chavo Guererro made his entrance wearing a suit. He said hello and said he should have been here the last few years. He said he felt humbled for being allowed to be in this ring. He said the Guererro family has always conquered and become champions in every continent and company. Chavo said that hasn't happened yet in TNA.
Chavo said he saw a hunger in the eyes backstage in the locker room. He said he saw the eyes of the best in the back and he was here to beat the best. Chavo said the Guererro's had great timing and he said it's time, it's Guererro time. He said he was going to be a champion right here in TNA.
Kid Kash and Gunner came out. Kash had a mic and he made fun of the Guererro family. Chavo said that he never claimed to be a legend, the fans called him a legend.
Kash said Chavo talked like the Guererros were royalty. He asked where Chavo's family was now. Chavo said the fans were his family. Kash continued asking where the Guererros were. He referred to one of them as a drunk and Chavo attacked.
[Q4] Gunner and Kash backed Chavo into a corner and Hernandez ran down to make the save…
Kurt Angle and James Storm spoke backstage and Angle asked if Storm was behind Aces and Eight. Storm denied a connection and Angle believed him…
Ryan's Reaction: Please tell me they're not trying to keep Mexican America alive by bringing in Chavo. No, just no. Chavo did well here in establishing himself with the TNA crowd, but I wish he would focus more on why he is important rather than talking nonstop of the family he was born into.
[C] Taz, Bruce Prichard, and Al Snow argued backstage about Joey Ryan. Snow said Ryan has his attention. Prichard tried to transition into a debate about Shaw. Taz said Shaw looked good. Prichard talked about Ryan more than he did Shaw, but Taz brought it back and said Shaw looks good…
A video package covering the crazy Claire storyline aired…
Tenay set up the BFGS leaderboard with Samoa Joe still at the top.
AJ Styles made his entrance…
[C] 3. AJ Styles vs. James Storm in a Bound For Glory Series match. The two men worked some chain wrestling I the early going.
[Q5] Claire was shown scowling at ringside and Storm began to take control. Storm worked some power moves and Styles came back off of a dropkick. Styles worked over Storm for the majority of the match and scored several near falls.
Storm hit Eye of the Storm late in the match for another near fall. Styles threw Storm threw Storm into the turnbuckle and followed with a springboard chop for a near fall. Styles went for the Styles Clash but Storm reversed it into an Alabama Slam.
Storm hit a DDT on the apron for another near fall. Styles hit a sudden Pele kick. Styles went right for the Styles Clash but Storm countered with Closing Time. Storm set up for Last Call only to eat another Pele Kick.
Aces and Eights stormed the ring and attacked AJ Styles. TNA immediately cut to commercial…
AJ Styles vs. James Storm ended in an apparent no-contest in 10:18 to each earn two points in the BFGS.
Ryan's Reaction: That was brilliant right up until the end. I'm not even talking about the non-finish; this was good for making viewers question if Storm is behind the group or not. I'm referring to how TNA just cut right to the break without any reflection or even announcing the result. Normally that would only be a big deal because it would be another instance of TNA having crap timing with their segments, but with a BFGS match the finish is crucial to the point rankings. That entire sequence was just sloppy.
[Q6] [C] Backstage, Hervey pointed out how he could be the leader of Aces and Eights. Storm got violently angry and grabbed Hervey by the collar to inform him that that is not how he operates.
Sam Shaw came out for his judging. Sam said he has the determination and the drive, so please say yes to Sam Shaw.
Snow said h didn't get to see what Shaw did but he would be happy to say yes just to stick it to Joey Ryan, but he said no. Bruce Prichard said yes because he did a hell of a job tonight. Borash told Shaw to kick out with a promo. Shaw did some ass kissing before asking Taz to say yes.
Taz said yes without and explanation and Shaw bounced around the ring…
Aries continued his cuts backstage and he asked guys why they deserved the shot. Dutt complained about his shoulder and hairspray for why he lost Ultimate X. King said he has the side, speed, charisma, and the good looks. He said he's the man to fill Aries' shoes. Darsow said he brings an aggressive dominance to the X Division.
Aries said the X-Division is about flash and pretty, though, so Darsow was eliminated due to his style.
Ryan's Reaction: Providing a gimmick name to the promo guys give for a split vote really doesn't help make anything feel authentic. I'm still down on the Gut Check idea because TNA keeps signing guys that don't perform yet focus on a guy they said no to. It undermines the concept entirely and makes the judges look like idiots.
[C] Backstage, Aries decided to have King compete tonight because Dutt's shoulder is still questionable.
[Q7] 4. Zema Ion vs. Kenny King for the X-Division Championship. King took control early but Ion managed to turn the tide. Ion worked over King's neck with chokes and rest holds. Ion hit a tilt-o-whirl facebuster for a near fall.
King made his comeback and hit a corkscrew dive to Ion on the floor. Ion got his hairspray and distracted the referee. Bobby Roode ran down and attacked King while he stood on the apron.
Ion ran over and covered the fallen King for the pinfall victory…
Zema Ion defeated Kenny King to retain the X-Division Championship.
Austin Aries ran out and attacked Bobby Roode…
Bully ray told Hervey backstage that he's not worried about Aces and Eights. Ray then put over Angle as the bets wrestler in the world, but he said he was the toughest…
Ryan's Reaction: Well that was odd. I'm fine with the finish but it's weird seeing Roode involved in another angle. The match was just enough to make me want to see a return match from the two down the line. They need to build up Ion in some manner as he currently doesn't feel like a big enough of a deal despite carrying a title. His relevance took a beating by being gone for months before suddenly returning to carry the championship.
[C][Q8] 5. Bully Ray vs. Kurt Angle in a Bound For Glory Series Match. Then men started off with a staring contest. Angle blinked first. How many BFGS points is that?
Oh, right, wrestling. The men locked up and jockeyed for control as they both tried to establish control. Angle went right for the Angle Slam but ray managed to get away from him. Ray responded with a few strikes and he went for the Bully Bomb. Angle switched it into an ankle lock attempt but Bully got to the ropes.
Ray dropped Angle on his neck and the show went to commercial…
[C] Back from the break, Ray continued to work over Angle's neck. Angle eventually battle back and hit rolling German suplexes. Angle followed with the ankle lock. Bully battled out and hit an urinagi for a near fall.
Angle responded with an Angle Slam for a near fall of his own. Angle missed a moonsault. Ray went for a cutter but Angle shoved him off. Angle hit a second Angle Slam for the 1-2-3.
Kurt Angle defeated Bully Ray via pinfall in 11:50 to earn seven points.
Aces and Eights ran out and attacked Angle after the match. Austin Aries, Sting, AJ Styles, and James Storm ran out to fight off Aces and Eights. When Storm came out Aces and Eights booked it from the ring without confrontation. Tenay announced next week we will see Kurt Angle vs. James Storm in a BFGS match.
Ryan's Reaction: Standard Angle finisher fest. Fine for what it is but predictable once you've seen it enough. I like Aces and Eights and what TNA is doing with them, but I wish they'd pull back on the reigns a bit. They risk overexposure before we even get to the second chapter and they already have babyfaces teaming up to fight them off. Overall, this was an entertaining edition of Impact. The show felt like it flew by. TNA still needs to work on their timing with switching between angles, but otherwise they're doing really solid work. As an added bonus, creeper Claire was kept to a minimum this week.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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