10/11 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Bound For Glory go-home show, Austin Aries vs. James Storm, Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Live from Orlando, Fla.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap... Mike Tenay opened the show and hyped the Austin Aries vs. James Storm, and Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode matches... Mike Tenay and Taz were on commentary... They went right to ring announcer Christy Hemme's introduction of the opening match...
1. Austin Aries vs. James Storm in a non-title match. There introductions for both wrestlers were brief and they got right to the in-ring action. The crowd was into the action, though it was hard to tell whether they preferred one wrestler over the other early on. Storm caught Aries in the corner and tagged him with a chop. Taz must have been inspired by John Cena, as he said Aries might lose an areola by Sunday.
Later, Storm went for the Eye of the Storm, but Aries slipped out. Aries missed a missile dropkick. Storm went for a Codebreaker, but Aries pushed him off. Aries tried and failed to hit the brainbuster. Storm ended up at ringside. Bobby Roode came out and ran Storm into the ring post unbeknownst to the referee. Aries hit the Brainbuster and scored the clean pin...
Austin Aries defeated James Storm in 7:15.
Powell's POV: This would have been a more intriguing finish if they had played up the possibility of Aries knowing what happened at ringside. Maybe they still will. Good action. The negative is that nothing we've seen from Aries or Jeff Hardy in recent weeks makes them feel like the two best wrestlers in the company who are meeting on the biggest show of the year.
Backstage, Wes Brisco asked Kurt Angle if he could tag along with him and go to Bound For Glory. Angle said he would make it happen. A.J. Styles entered the room as Brisco was leaving. Styles was upset because Angle offered to team with Sting against Aces & 8s. He feels Angle's first priority should be winning the TNA Tag Titles. Angle assured him his head is in the game, but Styles walked off. Angle yelled that Daniels and Kazarian are still playing him...
A shot aired of Hulk Hogan and Sting walking backstage. Mike Tenay said they would address Bully Ray teaming with Sting after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Good tension with Angle and Styles, but why? They're the challengers, not the champions on the verge of losing the tag titles. Maybe it's setting up something. Styles came off gullible and a little whiney.
[Q2] A Bound For Glory Memories video aired with Sting... Hogan and Sting headed to the ring. Hogan said he's not a good card player because he doesn't know if you call it "six or seven aces or a full hand." Hogan said he has to watch as Sting and Bully Ray fight for the company. Sting said it doesn't matter. He said they took out their first choice in Mr. Anderson, so now he and Hogan have to run with it.
Hogan said they had to make a deal with the devil. Cue Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. They questioned why Hogan would pick someone as untrustworthy as Bully Ray when he could have picked the best tag team. Kazarian said "Thunder Lips" should call off their title match at BFG and replace Bully Ray with Kurt Angle.
Bully Ray came out and said Angle would have been a great choice if this were a wrestling match. He said it will be a fight and he's the right guy for the job. He said he doesn't have to be friends with Hogan or Sting. He suggested that he and Sting work together tonight to face Daniels and Kazarian...
Powell's POV: Daniels and Kazarian continue to be a blast on the mic. I like the way they set up the main event by having Daniels and Kazarian lobby to get out of their tag title defense at Ray's expense so that Ray had a reason to propose the match. Meanwhile, here's hoping Hogan isn't a gambler. A full hand?
[Q3] 2. Hernandez (w/Chavo Guerrero) vs. A.J. Styles. The announcers noted that Styles told Angle not to accompany him. Late in the match, Styles jawed with Chavo on the floor. He went for a springboard move, but Hernandez moved. Styles landed on his feet and charged at Hernandez, who caught him with a shoulder block and pinned him...
Hernandez defeated A.J. Styles in 3:55.
Powell's POV: A.J. Styles lost to a shoulder block? I mentioned earlier that he came off gullible and whiney, but A.J. Styles usually comes off that way. Losing to a shoulder block is a new one.
The Aces & 8s vice president spoke from the clubhouse and showed that Joseph Park was okay and said he's "pretty damn adorable." The VP said it's funny how a common enemy can unite people. He said Ray teaming with Sting was a surprise, but it's not a surprise they can overcome. He said they may have to put to test their question of whether Hogan locked them out or locked them in the Impact Zone. He said he would see them at BFG on Sunday either way... [C]
Zema Ion headed to the ring in street clothes carrying the X Division Title. He said he's living proof that being humble gets you nowhere in life. He said he's broken arms and ended careers for the X Division Title. Dutt said it's bittersweet because Sunday is the biggest show of the year, but he doesn't have a match because he took out the X Division.
Rob Van Dam's music played and he headed to the ring. Van Dam said he doesn't have a BFG match either. He said Hulk Hogan told him he could wrestle anyone he chooses. Ion shoved him, but then held up the belt in front of him while cowering as Van Dam teased a punch. Van Dam threw a kick that went over Ion's head, but Ion sold it anyway. Van Dam held up the X Division Title...
Powell's POV: I assume the title won't be on the line when they wrestle on Sunday, assuming the weight limit is in place. Even so, I like the match. It's a strong candidate for the free preview match on the BFG live special. People know and like Van Dam, and he and Ion could have a high energy, crowd pleasing match.
[Q4] Backstage, Hulk Hogan told Bully Ray he doesn't trust him. He said he's been watching him run his con the two years Hogan has been there. Ray asked what con has he been running that Hogan hasn't. Hogan told Ray he has a test run tonight and will pay for it if he messes up. Sting stood up for Ray and said he needs Hogan's endorsement. Ray said he won't let let him down. Sting said he better not let him down... [C]
Powell's POV: All signs point to Ray being revealed as the leader of Aces & 8s, as they appear to be going out of their way to make it seem like Hogan knew something wasn't right going into the match. I don't care of it's predictable, Ray would be the idea leader of all the available main roster choices and they can connect the dots. Plus, I don't know if the casual fans have figured it out like many online fans seem to have.
Backstage, Brooke Hogan told Taryn Terrell that it's been high school drama with Miss Tessmacher and Tara and asked if she was ready to call their match on Sunday. Tara arrived as Terrell was leaving. She handed a media list to Brooke for her Hollywood boyfriend and asked for an A-List green room. Brooke tore up the list and said her boyfriend would have to take care of himself. "Kim and Khloe were so right about you," Tara said before walking off...
Powell's POV: The funniest part of the segment was Tara saying that she knows Brooke can relate to what she's going through because she's "Hollywood elite." Wait, that wasn't one of the jokes?
Ring introductions took place for the Bully Ray and Sting vs. Daniels and Kazarian match... [C]
3. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Bully Ray and Sting in a non-title match. Sting wore a t-shirt over his usual gear. He and Ray used quick tags early.
[Q5] The tag champs got the better of Sting and worked him over while the energetic crowd rallied behind him. The announcers told the story that the match was all about establishing a trust factor between Sting and Ray. Sting came back by slamming Daniels. The crowd continued to cheer loudly as he crawled to the corner and made the tag.
Ray worked over the tag champs and got a two count on Kazarian, but Daniels broke it up. Daniels tried to bring the tag belt in the ring to use on Sting, but Ray kicked Daniels. Sting moved Ray out of the way of a diving Kazarian. Sting and Ray shook hands. Sting stopped Ray and said, "Bully, get the tables!" Cool.
Bully set up a table in the ring while Sting performed a neckbreaker on Kazarian. Sting brought Daniels to Ray, who powerbombed him through the table. The referee called for the DQ as the crowd cheered Sting and Ray...
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian defeated Sting and Bully Ray in 10:05.
Powell's POV: Sting and Ray couldn't have come across better. The live crowd loved them and they may have sold some pay-per-views during the match. The fans didn't care a bit that Sting and Ray technically lost the match. Sting yelling "get the tables" was a nice touch and the hot live crowd ate it up. The crowd has been really good all night, but they were great during this match.
A video on Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy aired... "Earlier today," Jeff Hardy spoke into a camera while talking about giving himself and his creatures what they deserve - the TNA Championship. "Then I will be the best wrestler on planet earth," Hardy said... The announcers hyped the Knockouts match heading into the break... [C]
A video package set up the Al Snow vs. Joey Ryan match...
[Q6] Backstage, Samoa Joe was asked for his final thoughts going into BFG. He said he's retaining his championship and shutting someone up. He said Magnus became jealous. Magnus showed up and blew off the camera guy who said he was going to talk to him later. Magnus said Joe doesn't get to hide behind politics. Joe wanted to hold the match tonight, but Magnus said he's a businessman...
4. Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim in a non-title match. Taryn Terrell was the referee. Gail kicked Tessmacher to start the match and was aggressive with her offense. Gail continued to control the offense with Tessmacher getting a couple of brief moments. Later, Tessmacher caught Kim on the ropes and avoided her, then slammed her down awkwardly and got the pin. Afterward, Tara jumped Tessmacher from behind, but Tessmacher came back and slammed her down with the same move she used to get the win on Kim...
Miss Tessmacher defeated Gail Kim in 5:15.
Powell's POV: Things got a little clunky toward the end of the match as it appeared that Kim had to wait for her to move out of the way as she was on the top rope. It was odd to see the champion sell so much going into a big match.
Backstage, Bobby Roode was cutting a promo when James Storm entered his locker room and said he knows he hit him earlier. Roode tried to blow him off, but Roode shoved him into a locker and said he'd have to kill him to beat him on Sunday. Roode and Storm brawled until King Mo got between them. Mo told Storm to save it for Sunday... [C]
[Q7] A Sting Hall of Fame video aired... Tenay and Taz ran through the pay-per-view lineup... Bobby Roode made his entrance... [C] Jeff Hardy made his entrance and slapped hands with fans at ringside...
5. Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode. Roode jumped Hardy as he was slapping hands. Roode rammed Hardy into the guardrail a couple times. This should have been the announcers' cue to talk about how this could affect Hardy going into the BFG main event, but instead they spoke about Roode being in street fight mode. Roode rolled Hardy inside the ring and the match officially started.
[Q8] The announcers spoke of Hardy's toughness and ability to take a lot of punishment as he went on the offensive. Roode came back and tossed Hardy under the bottom rope to ringside. Roode followed and tried to suplex Hardy, who blocked it and suplexed Roode instead. [C]
After the break, Roode was back in control as the fans chanted for Hardy and a small group chanted for Roode. Hardy started his comeback and the crowd rallied behind him. Roode cut him off with a spinebuster for a two count. Hardy came back and missed a Swanton and Roode got a two count. Hardy went on an offensive flurry, but Roode low-blowed him for the DQ finish.
Jeff Hardy beat Bobby Roode by DQ in 16:20.
After the match, the referee stopped Roode from using a chair and then Hardy hit the Twist of Fate. Austin Aries walked to the ring and said he had something to say. He said he wasn't going to say what was written on a sheet. He threw a piece of paper down and said that's what he thought.
Aries said people in the company have been telling him how to act, what to say, and to embrace the fans. "As of right now, all that crap is done with," Aries said. He said the picture they've tried to paint is that he's jealous of what Hardy has. Aries said that's not true because he's not jealous of his rap sheet or that he's too crippled to play with his little girl.
[Overrun] Aries said he is tired of the special treatment that Hardy gets. He said he's been asking for new music and a new video. He said the company was too busy making Hardy videos. He said he might be being set up to fail, but he's not going to because he always thrives when it's him again the world.
"Austin, my nuts hurt," Hardy said. "Austin, my neck hurts. And on Sunday, I am going to end your cocky ass." Aries said it's his ring and he could slap the taste out of his mouth, but he was going to give Hardy a chance to get the adulation of his fans. Hardy did. Aries then asked him to leave the ring so that he could basque in his glory.
Aries kicked Hardy as he was leaving the ring and brought him back inside. Aries picked up Hardy and dropped him with a brainbuster to close the show...
Powell's POV: An unnecessarily long match featuring the guy who is challenging for the TNA Title on Sunday. If Hardy was going to wrestle, you'd think they would have had him make quick work of someone and win a good momentum building match rather than sell as much as he did for Roode heading into the pay-per-view. I would have been just fine with that any other week, but it was an odd call on the BFG go-home show, especially with the announcers not focussing on how much the match took out of Hardy going into his title match.
The final segment with Aries and Hardy felt rushed in so many ways. It sounded like Aries was racing through his promo and did they really just turn Aries heel at the last minute? He's been cockier lately so I guess there's been some buildup, but all this talk about him being forced to be nice to the fans felt like something that should have been done weeks ago if it was going to be done at all.
That said, this was a good, high energy show. The live crowd was much hotter than usual and there was plenty of good in-ring action even though the meaningful matches ended with DQ finishes. I can't say it was a good go-home show across the board because I don't feel anything right now regarding the BFG main event. Their losses lately combined with the competitive matches tonight were just bizarre. I wonder if they fell victim to feeling the need to deliver bigger matches in the pursuit of ratings tonight at a time when they should have taken a more conventional approach to setting up the pay-per-view.
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