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8/9 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: The final sell for Hardcore Justice, James Storm vs. Bully Ray, Rob Van Dam vs. D'Angelo Dinero, and AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] Previously on Impact, Claire did a lot of bad acting and Aces and Eight attacked everyone but James Storm…
Bully Ray made his way to the rig and did his shtick. Bully ray addressed Joseph Park and said if he learned anything from the man; it's that if there's a mountain of evidence against someone, they're guilty. He transitioned that into saying that Storm is guilty of leading Aces and Eight.
Ray started explaining why Storm had to be the leader of Aces and Eight, but Storm interrupted him and joined Ray in the ring. Storm screamed at Bully Ray and he said he's tired of being blamed and having his integrity questioned.
Storm affirmed his innocence and said he's only worried about winning the BFGS. Storm said Ray had him all worked up, so tonight he would settle things with Bully Ray by kicking the crap out of him. Ray backed up and left when Storm threatened to get physical.
A muffled voice from the back rang out and Aces and Eight was shown hanging out backstage. They said Sting was calling them out tonight but they would do things on their terms. Ray went frantic blaming Storm and TNA cut to commercial in the middle of his rant…
Ryan's Reaction: Alright, TNA really needs to work on the timing of their commercials. Past that, this was an effective opener that gave some weight to the Ray/Storm match for later and established that Aces and Eights is here. Why all the guys that wanted to fight Aces and Eights last week doesn't go attack them at their hangout spot is beyond me, but that's probably one of those wrestling things you're better off not questioning.
[C] TNA replayed the cryptic words of Aces and Eights…
[Q2] Pope cut a brief promo about why he was going to earn twenty points in the BFGS at Hardcore Justice…
Taz and Tenay recapped the BFGS standings. Mr. Anderson joined the men on commentary. Oh goodie…
1. Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus in a Bound For Glory Series match. Magnus and RVD battled to the floor and Magnus gained the upper hand. Back in the ring, Magnus continued to work over RVD.
The finish came when RVD pinned Magnus after a Five-Star Frog Splash…
RVD defeated magnus via pinfall in 3:13 to earn seven points in the BFGS.
Bobby Roode spoke backstage about how he's not happy with the contract he was presented for his match against Austin Aries at Hardcore Justice…
Ryan's Reaction: Not sure why they swapped Pope out for Magnus, but it was a nice surprise. There wasn't much match to analyze, and I hope they end up doing more with Magnus. They could really get him over as a singles guy via the BFGS, but so far TNA doesn't seem interested in that idea.
[C] A replay of Claire's baby shower was shown. Claire's bad acting still gives me the creeps…
[Q3] 2. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Garett Bischoff and Devon for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Devon controlled the early action, but he tagged in Garett and the heels took over. Daniels and Kazarian controlled the majority of the match.
The finish came when Kazarian struck Devon with the TV Title behind the referee's back and covered him for the pinfall victory.
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian defeated Garett Bischoff and Devon to retain the TNA Tag Team Championships in 4:05.
A recap of Sting's meeting with Brooke Hogan aired…
Sting cut a quick promo backstage calling Aces and Eights out…
Ryan's Reaction: That match was ok, but again was too short to really matter and felt quite random. Taz did a good job of explaining that Devon and Garett earned the shot based on house show matches, but that doesn’t help the viewing audience seem them as worthy of a title shot. The show is really having difficulty getting out the gate this week. There's been very little action and most of the show has been recapping last week rather than progressing stories.
[C] A promo video for Hardcore Justice aired that focused on the various BFGS gimmicks matches…
Robbie E and Robbie T stood in the ring with a table. Robbie cut a promo about how he shouldn't be overlooked in the BFGS. He promised to put Jeff Hardy through a table this Sunday.
[Q4] Hardy joined the fun and Robbie E mocked him as he made his way down the ramp. Hardy quickly took out Robbie T and got ahold of Robbie E, but Robbie T recovered and put Hardy through the table with a Powerbomb…
AJ Styles said that he should remember having sex with Claire because he doesn't drink, but he doesn't remember having sex with her…
Ryan's Reaction: 45 minutes in and that was the first bit of hype we got for this Sunday. Does TNA know this is their go home show?
[C] Samoa Joe came out and cut a promo on one of the commentary headsets about how he is going to win this Sunday at Hardcore Justice…
3. AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle in a Bound For Glory Series match. Styles hit a huge dropkick early and quickly took control. Styles dove to the outside and Claire was shown at ringside as the show went to commercial…
[C] Back from the break, Styles continued to control Angle. Angle quickly battled back and took his turn on offense.
[Q5] Late in the match, Styles and Angle traded finishers and even did each other's signature spots. The finish came when Angle hit his second Angle Slam for the 1-2-3.
Kurt Angle defeated AJ Styles in 12:39 via pinfall to ear seven points in the BFGS.
After the match, Claire about fell over the barricade trying to give Styles some encouraging words. Styles gave her the cold shoulder and walked away…
Another Aces and Eights member bragged about their attacks thus far and promised to deliver another attack tonight…
Mr. Anderson spoke with James Storm backstage and implied that he was the leader of Aces and Eights. He cited the message we just heard and warned that if he was the next victim he could have another "discussion" with Storm…
Ryan's Reaction: Good match. It suffers from the same problem that Angle's recent matches have had due to the overuse of the Angle finisher formula, but it was well done here. TNA was wise to not use Angle in the main event slot to keep from that oversaturation from making the main events predictable.
[C] [Q6] Austin Aries spoke on the phone and said that the contract problems wouldn't be an issue. Hervey approached him and asked about it and Aries said he doesn’t care about the contract brouhaha; all he cares about is getting to Sunday.
4. Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher in a non-title match. Kim attacked Tessmacher early, but Tessmacher saw her coming and was able to thwart her offense. Kim eventually got the better of Tessmacher and began to work her over.
The finish came when Tessmacher dropped Kim on her face and got the clean pin…
Miss Tessmacher defeated Gail Kim in 3:37.
Madison Rayne made her way to the ring. She snogged Earl Hebner. I threw up a little…
Joseph Park spoke briefly about the Roode and Aries contract signing, effectively hyping it up for later…
Ryan's Reaction: These two have had some great matches, but this wasn't one of them. It was simply too short to really amount to anything and Tessmacher botched her finisher. This edition of Impact has really struggled to find its stride and a lot of that can be blame don its overreliance on replays and several short matches.
[C] A Kenny King hype video aired…
[Q7] Sting made his way to the ring. Sting summoned Aries and Roode. Roode obliged first, followed by Aries. Roode put on a sour face and paced around the ring rather than sitting. Roode said he's not happy with the contract because if he loses on Sunday he doesn't get another shot at the title until Aries drops the belt.
Roode said it was Sting's bias against him that brought about this stipulation and he said he refused to sign. Aries shushed Roode and pointed out how Roode must be worried that Aries has his number. Aries handed the contract to Sting and said they should come up with a verbal agreement. That betrays a bit of lack of knowledge about contract law old chap.
Aries offered to refuse his rematch clause if Roode agreed to the original terms. So now whoever loses, they do not get another shot at the TNA Title as long as the other still holds the belt. The two men shook on the deal. Roode threw some water I Aries face and ran for the hills…
Ryan's Reaction: This was effective. TNA has done a piss poor job of selling their PPV with this show, but that segment did its job.
[C] Chavo and Hernandez spoke about how they want gold and Kid Kash and Gunner complained about a conspiracy…
Taz and Tenay ran down the Hardcore Justice card…
[Q8] 5. James Storm vs. Bully Ray in a Bound For Glory Series match. Ray controlled the majority of the early action. Ray tossed Storm to the floor and the show went to commercial…
[C] Back from the break, Storm had a hope spot but Ray continued his assault. Ray hit the Bully Bomb late in the match for a great near fall.
Storm answered with Closing Time and set up for a Last Call but Ray avoided him and hit the cutter for the pinfall victory.
Bully Ray defeated James Storm in 10:45 via pinfall to earn seven points in the BFGS.
Aces and Eights appeared on a video and said they were going after Bully Ray on Sunday.
Ryan's Reaction: That was a fun main event. I kind of figured Ray would be going over due to Storm being so far ahead in the BFGS standings but Ray and Storm produced a good match. Overall, this was a disappointing edition of Impact. The final sell for Hardcore Justice was lacking and the in ring action and storyline progression left a lot to be desired. TNA has been producing a lot of great television lately, but this wasn't one of their better efforts.
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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