9/20 Kester's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Open Fight Night, Gut Check, Hulk Hogan respond to Aces and Eights latest threats, and more
By Ryan Kester
Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] Previously on Impact…
Hulk Hogan spoke with Shaquille O'Neal backstage. Shaq said he has Hogan's back tonight...
Kurt Angle and AJ Styles made their entrance, Angle reminded everyone that they were tag champs a few months back but they were screwed out of the belts. Angle said they have another opportunity now, but so do Chavo Guererro and Hernandez. Therefore, he and Styles were challenging Chavo and Hernandez tonight.
1. Kurt Angle and AJ Styles vs. Chavo Guererro and Hernandez.The two teams traded control several times in the early going. Hernandez and Chavo eventually got the better of Angle and they began to wear the man down.
Angle made his comeback off of a belly to belly suplex and Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were shown standing on the apron… [C]
Back from the break, Styles had Chavo in a rest hold. Chavo got to his feet and regained control with a back body drop.
[Q2] Hernandez tagged in and he tossed Styles like he was a rag doll. Hernandez went for a Border Toss but Angle made the save. Chavo hit a double missile dropkick on Styles and Angle.
Chavo went for the Three Amigos but Styles countered. Styles got the hot tag to Angle, who basted Chavo with a German suplex and locked in the ankle lock. Chavo rolled through and kicked Angle off. Chavo hit Three Amigos on both of his opponents.
Chavo went for a frog splash on Styles but missed, and Styles caught Chavo with a Pele Kick. Styles set up for a Styles Clash, but Daniels and Kazarian ran down to attack both men.
Kurt Angle and AJ Styles vs. Chavo Guererro and Hernandez ended in an apparent no contest in 12:21
Hulk Hogan made his entrance, holding a bat, and he said that he was trying to figure out which of the challengers wanted it more, but now the champions gave him the answer. He made a triple threat match between the three teams at Bound For Glory for the tag team titles…
Al Snow said tonight's Gut Check participant was the epitome of what Gut Check was all about. He then went on to recap his feud with Joey Ryan. He said he was on his way to a meeting over his slap of Ryan…
This month's Gut Check participant was shown preparing backstage… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Meh. The match was great, and I loved the idea of giving the heels some heat back by interrupting the match. Any heat they got from that action was evaporated the instant Hogan came out, however, and the match he made holds no interest for me. I want the Styles and Daniels feud to end, and this feels like a holding pattern. So far, this year's Bound For Glory really isn't appealing to me and this doesn't help that feeling at all.
Backstage, Hogan was speaking with Joseph Park on the phone. He said he would send someone to help him with security as Park had apparently found the evidence Hogan needs...
A Bound For Glory memory of Samoa Joe diving out of a luxury box aired…
[Q3] Evan Markopoulos' video package aired… [C]
Dixie Carter and Bruce Prichard spoke backstage about Aces and Eights and trying to figure out who was behind the faction. I'm not sure how things are for anyone else, but on my feed the audio was severely out of synch the entire segment…
Jeremy Borash introduced Evan Markopoulos, did his annoying Gut Check voice thing, and Douglas Williams made his way to the ring…
2. Evan Markopoulos vs. Douglas Williams in a Gut Check match. Williams wasted no time in tearing the kid apart.
Markopoulos had a brief hope spot, but Williams hit an arm drag and locked in an inverted crossface, similar to the hold hardy's been using as of late, for the quick submission victory…
Douglas Williams defeated Evan Markopoulos in 3:28.
Ryan's Reaction: Another month, and another example that TNA's recruiters suck. I am glad that they managed to find a guy that didn't have some sob story for once, but they still presented him like a chump and gave him less offense than a Ryback opponent. Why are we supposed to care about these guys again? I was all about this idea at first, but unless they shake up the format, Gut Check is a waste of time. It's a shame as it's a concept that could do a lot of good for TNA if they didn't squander it.
[Q4] [C] A video package covering the revival of James Storm and Bobby Roode's feud aired…
James Storm made his entrance. He grabbed a mic and said that he was calling out Bobby Roode. He said that he was going to be a man kicking a coward's ass, and he called Bobby Roode to the ring. Roode obliged, but he was wearing a suit.
Roode denied Storm's challenge, and he guaranteed that as long as he's around Storm will never have another shot at the TNA Title. Roode said he was done with Storm and told him to fight someone else if he wanted a fight.
Hulk Hogan met Roode backstage and he told Roode he has to fight. Hogan threatened to fire Roode if he wasn't ready in three minutes. Cue commercial… [C]
[Q5] Roode came back out still wearing his suit. Storm attacked him before he ever made it to the ring and the two brawled on the stage.
3. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode. The two men eventually fought to the ring, but they spilled right to the floor, throwing each other into steps and barricades.
Roode swung and missed with a steel chair, and Storm threw Roode into some fans' feet. Some classy fans at ringside dropped some f-bombs in Roode's direction and flipped Roode off. Roode hit Storm with a suplex on the floor.
Both men ended up shoving the referee for trying to maintain control, and the referee called for the bell. Storm and Roode continued to brawl.
Bobby Roode vs. James Storm ended in a no-contest in 6:23.
Storm and Roode brawled out of the building.
Hulk Hogan spoke with a crewman backstage about how he needed Joseph Park to be allowed into the building. Aces and Eights called Hogan to declare that they had a lawyer. Hogan said he would call them back and he warned them to get ready to play hard. Hogan told the crewman to disregard his previous order, as he knew where Park was at…
Ryan's Reaction: Decent match that really sold how much these two hate each other. I don't think they gave away too much for Bound For Glory as it was a punch and kick fest then it was anywhere near a wrestling match. I'm hoping that Aces and Eights managed to gain some heat tonight as the faction has been on the back burner for the past few weeks. Also, TNA needs to pull back on Hogan. He really doesn't have the acting chops someone needs to carry an angle an entire show like he's being called upon to do.
[Q6] [C] Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy spoke backstage. Aries said that Bound For Glory isn't about Hardy coming after his belt, it's about Aries wanting what Hardy has. He said he's going to become a bigger star than Hardy by besting him at the PPV…
Tara made her entrance and grabbed a mic. Tara said everyone's been bugging her about her attack on Tessmacher. She said that the fans and Tessmacher used her to get on TV. Tara said it was her new boyfriend, from Hollywood, that opened her eyes. Tara called out Christy Hemme.
Tara bullied Hemme briefly, but Miss Tessmacher ran out and chased her off. Tara said Tessmacher is hers at Bound For Glory…
Hogan was shown walking through the back… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Simple, yet effective segment. I'm not sure where they are going with the boyfriend talk, but everything else about this segment worked well.
Brooke Hogan chastised Tara backstage about her actions. Brooke said there will be consequences next week…
RVD talked about some of his matches at Bound For Glory. So far, he's the only guy with a memoir video package that sounded dispassionate…
Hogan made his entrance with his bat. Hogan said that Joseph Park was taken hostage by Aces and Eights. Hogan said he had no problem playing. Hogan said they wanted him in their clubhouse next week. Hogan said he would be there, but he wanted them to release Park as a sign of good faith.
[Q7] Bane appeared on the monitor, complete with cheesy background music, and he said at the clubhouse it's clubhouse rules. They showed Park's computer and they destroyed it with a sledgehammer. Park was shown in a cage saying he has all of the information in his head.
One of the members clubbed Park with a hammer and Hogan stood in the ring with a look hallway between pissed and concerned… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Poor, poor laptop. What did it ever to do anyone? Anyway, this was an effective segment and showed that Aces and Eights are ruthless. Hogan is still a bit much in this role, but he did better here than he has throughout the rest of the evening.
A replay of the segment we just saw aired…
A video package covering hardy's motivation for Bound For Glory aired…
Aries made his entrance and complained about all of the focus being on Jeff Hardy. Aries said Hardy has beaten a bully several times in the last month so he wanted to do the same thing. Aries called out Bully Ray.
Ryan's Reaction: Are they considering an Aries heel turn? That could help make the Bound For Glory title match more interesting, but I feel it's a bit too early in his babyface run to be flirting with a turn or even heel tendencies, which is exactly what Aries' respect talk alludes to.
[Q8] Ray answered the call and said that Aries doesn’t have the skills to beat him. Mid-rant, Aries dove over the ropes and started attacking Ray.
4. Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray in a non-title match. The two men eventually got back into the ring and Aries started working over Ray. Ray caught Aries with a big boot and the show went to commercial less than a minute into the match... [C]
Back from the break, Ray continued to work over Aries. Ray ended up arguing with Hebner, which allowed Aries enough room to make his comeback. Aries hit a flying dropkick for a near fall. Aries went for a brainbuster but Ray managed to fight out.
Aries was thrown into Hebner and Aries locked in the last Chancery. Aries got the tap, but Hebner was still out. Ray grabbed his chain and knocked Aries out. Hebner counted the slow three and Ray picked up the victory.
Bully Ray defeated Austin Aries in 12:19.
Ray set up to attack Aries after the match but hardy ran out and made the save. Aries saw hardy holding his belt and flipped out. The two bickered to close the show.
Ryan's Reaction: If the plan is to turn Aries, this was a great first step in that direction. If not, then I'm not really fan of having him lose heading into their biggest PPV of the year. Aries should be presented as a star and right now he's a punk with a chip on his shoulder.
Overall, this was a disappointing edition of Impact. The wrestling was scarce and the segments we got weren't particularly compelling. The Aries drama is interesting if TNA is pulling the trigger on a turn, but otherwise it didn't feel like TNA did enough tonight to kick off the road to Bound For Glory. They only have a few weeks left to sell the show, so I have no idea why they didn't kick things into high gear tonight.
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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