9/13 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: The road to Bound For Glory begins, fallout from the No Surrender pay-per-view
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Live from Orlando, Fla.
[Q1] The show opened with a video that focussed on Jeff Hardy winning the Bound For Glory Series at the No Surrender pay-per-view... Mike Tenay and Taz were on commentary...
Austin Aries made his way to the ring for a promo. Aries put over the TNA TItle as the thing every man dreams of holding and then introduced his Bound For Glory Series opponent Jeff Hardy. Once Hardy arrived in the ring, Aries praised him for winning the Bound For Glory pay-per-view.
Bully Ray stormed to the ring and said Aries and Hardy are lucky. He said Aries is lucky because he knows damn well that he would have beaten him at BFG and taken the title. Ray said Hardy is lucky because he felt bad for him for some reason when he was attacked by Aces & 8s. "I took my eye off the ball for a second," Ray said. "That's why you beat me." Ray said he's been beating Hardy for 15 years all over the world.
Aries pointed out that he made Ray tap out the last time they wrestled. Hardy said he feels way better than he did on Sunday. He challenged Ray to a fight. Hardy took his shirt off. "I don't fight..." Ray said before he was interrupted by Hardy's music. Tenay said it's official that Hardy would face Ray...
A shot aired of James Storm walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: I'm not quite sure why the match between Hardy and Ray is official, but I guess Tenay knows what the script is for tonight. A solid opening that featured the top three players right now and the Bound For Glory main event. Aries and Hardy is too much of a love-fest for my liking, but I assume that will change as we get closer to the event.
[Q2] After Christy Hemme introduced Sonjay Dutt, Mike Tenay offered the best wishes for a speedy recovery to Jerry Lawler on behalf of "the TNA family." Taz also chimed in with his well wishes and noted that he is friends with The King.
Tenay noted that they do have to wait for Hulk Hogan to make the Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy match official after all...
1. Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt for the X Division Title. Sonjay jumped out to a fast start, including an Asai moonsault onto Ion at ringside. Dutt came up selling his injured shoulder, which is still taped. Dutt remained on the offensive and performed the top rope moonsault into a double stomp. He went for a cover, but Ion put his foot on the bottom rope.
Sonjay went back to the top rope, but Ion tripped him up, covered him, and got the pin. After the match, Ion applied an armbreaker to wrench on Sonjay's bad shoulder...
Zema Ion defeated Sonjay Dutt to retain the X Division Title in 3:25.
Powell's POV: It was nice to hear TNA send along their best wishes to Jerry Lawler. I didn't feel like they were obligated to do so as some people did. After all, it's not like WWE sent along their best wishes on television when Jesse Sorensen was hospitalized with a broken neck. That said, it's a cool move by TNA and it also makes them look good to the fans.
Backstage, Daniels and Kazarian were clowning around in Hulk Hogan's office. He came in and booked Daniels against either Chavo or Hernandez, and he said Kazarian would face either A.J. Styles or Kurt Angle. He said that if they won then there wouldn't be a rematch. However, if they lost then their opponent's team would get a rematch...
Bobby Roode was shown walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: They should have had Hogan mention the possibility of a Triple Threat match if Daniels and Kazarian lost the match. The booking is consistent, though, as it's been established that Hogan isn't fond of the tag champions.
Backstage, A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle spoke about which one of them would face Kazarian. Styles guaranteed a win, so Angle told him to take the match. After Stles left the picture, Wes Brisco showed up. Angle said he wanted him to watch A.J.'s match... [C]
Powell's POV: I still assume Brisco is a member of Aces & 8's and they are simply introducing him this way so that people will know who he is once he's unmasked. If so, good move.
A video package focussed on James Storm and Bobby Roode...
[Q3] Bobby Roode walked to the ring for a promo. He said he was screwed two months ago when he lost and wasn't allowed to have another title match while Austin Aries is champion. He said he went home and watched as Storm poured his blood, sweat, and tears into the BFG Series. Roode said he questioned why a guy he carried should get a title shot rather than him, so he went to No Surrender and smashed a bottle over his head.
James Storm made his entrance and attacked Roode. Storm beat up Roode in and out of the ring heading into the commercial break... [C]
2. Kazarian vs. A.J. Styles with tag title match ramifications. Styles took the early advantage and the show cut to commercial a couple minutes into the match.
[Q4] [C] After the break, the match continued as Tenay plugged the Bound For Glory special that will air on Spike TV in the hour leading up to the event. In the end, Styles performed the Styles Clash for the clean win...
A.J. Styles defeated Kazarian in 10:10 to earn a TNA Tag Title shot for he and Kurt Angle.
Powell's POV: A good television match with the expected finish. I hope they aren't going the three-way route. I'd rather see another Daniels and Kazarian vs. Styles and Angle standard tag match.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan told Brooke Hogan that he doesn't event want her to go home. He said he wants her to bounce between New York and Los Angles, and he wants two people with her whenever she's involved with TNA due to Aces & 8s. Joseph Park entered the room and told Hogan he's waiting on a piece of key evidence that he should have next Thursday that will blow his case wide open.
Hogan asked Park to serve as a bodyguard for his daughter while he went to the ring to say something to Aces & 8s. After Hogan left the room, Park asked Brooke if she has good representation. She told him she has lawyers, but he could be her bodyguard... [C]
Powell's POV: Why didn't Hogan just bring his daughter to the ring with him rather than leave him backstage with the guy he thinks is a non-wrestling lawyer? Okay, so maybe Hogan's figured out that Park and Abyss are one in the same. The thing I didn't care for was Brooke's giggly approach to talking with Park, making it seem like she was talking to a child.
Backstage, Bully Ray approached Jeff Hardy. He said Hardy shouldn't think for a second that he punked him out. He told Hardy to put up his shot at the TNA Title if he wanted to fight him so bad. Hardy didn't respond. Ray said Hardy wouldn't do that because his balls aren't that big.
Ray said Hardy is nothing more than a coward and he sees right through him. Hardy said he was ready the first segment. He said that if Ray beats him tonight, he can have his spot at Bound For Glory...
Powell's POV: There are two ways of looking at this. One, Hardy is an overconfident moron who is putting his title shot on the line and getting nothing in return. Two, the TNA Title shot at Bound For Glory isn't all that prestigious despite the fact that they just spent months trying to make it feel important via the Bound For Glory Series. I despise this either way. By the way, Hardy's eye makeup on his eyes isn't so cool after seeing it 400 times.
[Q5] Hulk Hogan came to the ring for a promo. Hogan said the BFG Series put TNA in high gear. He spoke about how intense the series was. "But you've gotta understand, the Creatures of the NIght came out on top," Hogan said. "You've gotta understand Jeff Hardy dances to a different energy." Hogan said Jeff isn't from this planet, solar system, or universe.
Hogan said he wouldn't stand in Hardy's way if he wants to prove that he really earned his title shot. Hogan said the winner of the Hardy vs. Ray match will face Aries at Bound For Glory. Hogan turned his attention to Aces & 8s again. Hogan said Sunday at No Surrender was a game changer. He said the Impact Zone belongs to all the fans and the wrestlers in the back. "From this point forward, the Impact Zone is going to be locked down forever, brother," Hogan said.
Aces & 8s appeared on the big screen. The Vice President said Hogan is a better chess player than they thought was possible. The VP questioned whether Hogan has locked them out or locked them in now that he's locked down the Impact Zone. The VP said Hogan's head will be on a swivel. He said Hogan has to wonder about whoever approaches him and he won't know whether the person is Aces & 8s until it's too late... [C]
Powell's POV: Does the fire marshall know about Hogan locking everyone in the Impact Zone? Wait, what was I thinking? Hogan was giving the cops orders when they showed up, so one can only assume the fire marshall also answers to Hogan too.
A recap aired of the segment with Hogan and the Aces & 8s faction... Backstage, Chavo Guerrero said he was mad at himself for letting the tag champs pull a fast one on them last week because he invented lie, cheat, steal. Chavo indicated that he was taking the match for their team...
3. Christopher Daniels vs. Chavo Guerrero with with tag title match ramifications. The crowd chanted Chavo's name early.
[Q6] Late in the match, Chavo avoided Daniels' attempt to use his title belt as a weapon. Chavo followed up with Three Amigos and the frogsplash for the win...
Chavo Guerrero defeated Christopher Daniels in 6:35 to earn a TNA Tag Title shot for his team.
A video featured the next Gut Check competitor Evan Markopoulos. He said he's 18 years old and started wrestling when he was 13. He said he's from Hudson, Mass. and currently goes to school in Worcester, Mass. He said he didn't watch many sports when he was a kid, he just watched wrestling. His parents were shown and his dad talked about how he supports his desire to be a wrestler... [C]
Powell's POV: I continue to groan over Chavo using the Three Amigos in most of his matches. They would be so much more effective if he was use Eddie Guerrero's moves on special occasions rather than in every match. The Markopoulos video was nicely done. He has a likable personality and a good story. I wonder if they'll go the nice guy route and tell him to finish college first.
Highlights aired from earlier in the show of James Storm beating up Bobby Roode. The announcers said they had to be separated backstage... Storm spoke backstage. He said he's going to make Roode's life a living hell. He said next Thursday is Open Fight Night and he can call out anyone he wants. He said that's good for him and bad for Roode...
A video package showcased Gail Kim talking about how special Bound For Glory is to her. She spoke about becoming the first TNA Knockouts Champion and said that was the best moment of her career...
[Q7] Tara headed to the ring. She put her knuckles up to the camera to show that she had "TARA" on one hand and "FIED" on the other. Tara said she wanted to congratulate her best friend Miss Tessmacher. Tara said she was being serious and praised Tessmacher for beating the teacher. Tessmacher smiled and nodded.
Tara said part of her was very upset, but part of her was also happy because she did her job. "You will always be my best friend and my boo," Tara said. She said she wanted to properly present her with the championship belt. Taz asked if we were watching Oprah. Tessmacher handed Tara the TNA Knockouts Title and let her put the title belt around her waist.
Tara raised Tessmacher's hand and hugged her. Tessmacher stood on the ropes and played to the crowd and got very little reaction. Once she went to three different corners, Tara finally clotheslined her. Tara hit the Widow's Peak as a group of male fans chanted her name and cheered. The announcers questioned where that came from...
Powell's POV: Thank God we finally got to this part of the story. It was easy to see coming. Tessmacher is struggling to catch on with the fans. I really didn't think that would be a problem. Then again, making her look stupid like she did here doesn't help matters. She and the announcers were the only three people in the building who didn't see that coming.
A video focussed on Jeff Hardy winning the BFG Series at No Surrender... Split screen shots aired of Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy walking backstage. Tenay said the high stakes showdown was coming up next... [C]
Powell's POV: I'm so happy I spent good money on the pay-per-view to see who won the BFG Series just to see the guy who won't put his title shot on the line a few days later. Couldn't they have at least had Bully Ray put something on the line so that Hardy at least had some incentive to put up his title shot?
Backstage, Dixie Carter lectured Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, Bruce Prichard, D-Lo Brown, and Al Snow. She said she's given them "a lot of room to run this thing" but she needs to know the plan. No, she wasn't talking about the company, she was talking about Aces & 8's.
Hogan said Dixie could be next. Dixie said she's looking over her shoulder at home. D-Lo said he's dealt with guys like this before and they are all about trying to make them afraid. Hogan said he was going to say something he's never said before. He said that before his brother died, he ran with a bad crew in Oakland. Hogan said he had to walk away from his brother. He said his worst fear is that if they don't put the fire out, it could be something they don't stop.
D-Lo told him to open the doors. They debated that idea. Dixie said this is her investment and she wants to know how they are going to protect her and that. Prichard said they have everyone in the room asking what they are going to do next. The camera went to hokey shots of everyone in the room complete with cornball sound effects. No shit, this really happened.
There was talk that someone in the room could be a member. D-Lo said it's better to look them in the eye than run from them. Hogan agreed...
Powell's POV: I am embarrassed for TNA right now. Seriously, they cut off Prichard in mid-sentence to go to that awful bit with everyone being shown individually while sound effects played like this was a bad murder/mystery made in the '80s. I guess we're supposed to be wondering which one of them is in Aces & 8s. Instead, I'm shaking my head at the absurdity of that move.
[Q8] 4. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the TNA Title shot at Bound For Glory. Bully Ray attacked Hardy to start the match. Jeff came back and had the upper hand when the show cut to commercial. [C]
Late in the match, Hardy went on an offensive flurry and went to the ropes for his finisher, but Ray cut him off. Ray superplexed Hardy and got a two count. Ray went for a splash off the second rope and missed. Hardy went for the Swanton and missed. Ray hit the Bubba Bomb and got a two count.
Tenay tried hard to sell the match as a huge deal by talking about how intense the match was and how you would expect to be because so much was on the line. Hardy came back with a Twist of Fate and then followed up with a Swanton for the win...
Jeff Hardy pinned Bully Ray to keep his TNA Title shot at Bound For Glory.
Powell's POV: I guess the idea here was to erase any doubt there was that Hardy would not be the person challenging Aries at Bound For Glory. I still don't care for how foolish it made Hardy even if he also looks confident. I'm not crazy about Ray losing back to back matches to Hardy either because it moves him down a notch in the eyes of the fans at a time when he seemed to be peaking.
Overall, it was an entertaining two-hour television show, yet one that was filled with some head scratching and "did that really just happen" moments (and not in a good way).
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