11/29 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Championship Thursday features focus on the X Division title, Mickie James vs. Gail Kim, and is Brookemania really running wild on Bully Ray?
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida.
[Q1] The recap opening video covered Wes Brisco's win and the Brooke Hogan/Bully Ray angle…Hulk Hogan's music hit to start the show and he made his entrance as Todd Kennelly, Mike Tenay, and Tazz checked in on commentary. Hogan said last week his GM and father sides ran headfirst into each other and he wanted some answers, so he called Bully Ray out.
Ray came to the ring and said Hogan has never trusted him but now wants answers. Hogan told him to give it to him straight. Bully asked if Hogan was sure he wanted to know who was the most important man in Brooke's life. Hogan got in his face and Brooke made her ring entrance. She stood between them and asked her dad why he was doing this. Hogan said she kne he never wanted to see her with another wrestler, especially Bully.
Austin Aries appeared on the screen and he was in Hogan's office with Zema Ion, Kenny King, and Kid Kash. He complained about Hogan not doing his job as GM. He laid on the desk and said he wasn't leaving until Hogan came back there and picked a challenger. He sold the desk being uncomfortable and asked Brooke how she did it. Hogan stormed from the ring and headed to the back…[C]
Shore's Slant: Holy crap! I loved it. I didn't think they could make me care about this angle, but I am digging what everybody did right here. Brooke was mostly quiet, and the other three can more than handle their own on the mic. I shouldn't be surprised considering all that, but I was. I suddenly care about this story. Here's hoping they can keep it up.
Gail Kim made her ring entrance, followed by Mickie James…
[Q2] 1. Mickie James vs. Gail Kim. Kim started in control and went for her finisher. Mickie held the ropes to block it and then hit the Mick Kick that dropped Kim in the ropes. Mickie went ofr her DDT, but Kim set Mickie on the top rope. Mickie fought back and hit a tornado DDT for the win…
Mickie James defeated Gail Kim at 4:59.
Backstage, James Storm cut a promo about people bringing his family into things when AJ Styles walked up and called him a whiner. Styles said he doesn't get a shot for a year. Storm said Styles was always looking backward when he needed to look forward, like to tonight and their match against Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Styles blew him off and walked away…[C]
Shore's Slant: Fun match between the ladies, but we've seen it a million times now it feels like. The Storm promo looked far too setup for Atyles's interruption to make sense. It wasn't technically bad, but I didn't like the look of it.
Hulk Hogan busted into his office and Aries backed away. Hogan yelled at everybody for laughing at Aries's joke, but cut Kenny King from consideration. He threw everyone else out…Bobby Roode made his ring entrance and said he made a statement last week with his attack on Jeff Hardy. A video showed the attack. Roode said Hardy almost lost to a rookie that he put down with one move. He said if you wanted to make an impact in the business, you called out someone like him, not Hardy.
[Q3] Christian York made his ring entrance. Roode stopped him and said this was his time and to get out of his ring. York slapped Roode, who quickly bailed from the ring. York took the mic and said since Roode wanted someone to call him out, that's what he did. Roode yelled at him and took his shirt off going into the break…
Shore's Slant: Nice to see Kenny King is alive. I can't wait to see how Aries continues to mess with Hogan. The Roode/York exchange was very paint by numbers from Roode. This could be a very good match though.
2. Bobby Roode vs. Christian York. York started fast with power tackles. Roode rolled to the floor, but York followed and slammed Roode into the steps. York rolled Roode back in the ring, allowing Roode to recover and go on the attack. York responded quickly and hooked an inside cradle for a great near fall. Roode reversed a whip and shoving the ref. He clubbed York in the back of the head and hooked on the crossface for the win…
James Storm defeated Christian York at 5:19.
Post-match, Roode grabbed a chair and started to go after York, but Hardy ran out and made the save. Roode split when Hardy went for his finisher…The Aces and Eights were shown talking in their clubhouse and the VP said one of them will face Kurt Angle next week. Devon said that was fine, but he wanted his TV title back since he never lost it. He looked at the camera and spoke to Hogan. He said he wants Samoa Joe next week and if he gets his wish, then nobody gets hurt tonight. He said otherwise, all hell will break lose…
[Q4] The Gut Check judges were shown arguing backstage…[C]
Shore's Slant: Fair match from Roode and York. York still suffers from poor charisma, but he played a good part here in the feud between Hardy and Roode. Is that the first time Devon broke the fourth wall in these Aces and Eights vignettes? If so, what a dumb idea. Now we been shown that it's a camera man there. Way to ruin suspension of disbelief.
The Gut Check judges argued in a pre-tape with Tazz being pro-Wes and Bruce Prichard was more skeptical. Snow didn't say much but they agreed they would work it out. The show cut to a presumed live shot with Prichard looking for Snow backstage. Kurt Angle came up and made one more plea for Wes. Prichard said he would take it under advisement and then spoke to D-Lo Brown who said he couldn't find Snow either…
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian made their ring entrance. Kaz cut a promo and said he was sorry about Styles's damn luck because in 10 days he would hear Daniels declared the winner and better man…[C]
Shore's Slant: If Snow doesn't make it, suspect Aces and Eights and just about confirm Brisco is a member.
Storm and Styles made their ring entrances…
[Q5] 3. Bad Influences vs. James Storm and AJ Styles. Tenay informed us that Bad Influences is the new name of Kaz and Daniels. Styles started for his team, but he couldn't hit a move. Storm tagged in and took control and tagged Styles back in, who again lost control and hot tagged Storm. Storm cleaned house, but Daniels helped Kaz block the backstabber.
The heels beat Storm in their corner, but he escaped and tagged Styles. Styles cleaned house and hit a flying forearm on Daniels in the ring, but he missed a dive onto Kaz on the floor. Kaz and Daniels hit a combo powerbomb/neckbreaker for two. They setup for another move, but Styles kicked Daniels away. Storm dragged Kaz from the ring and hopped on the apron. He blind tagged Styles, who missed a Pele kick. Daniels hooked for Angle's Wings, but Storm hit the Last Call for the win.
James Storm and AJ Styles defeated Bad Influences at 7:05.
Post-match, Styles left and sold frustration…The announce tam setup a video that announced San Antonio as the site for Lockdown…Backstage Hogan heard from the three men left. Nobody said anything special, and Hogan picked Aries because RVD hates him or something…
Shore's Slant: Good tag match. I swear that the live shows are better because everyone is more careful knowing they are working without a safety net. Whatever it is, this has been a much more enjoyable episode of Impact.
[Q6][C] Backstage, Samoa Joe accepted Devon's challenge for next week…Doug Williams made his ring entrance. Joey Ryan came to the stage and verbally tossed Christie Hemme from the ring. He introduced Matt Morgan, who made his entrance wearing Hogan's robe from his match with Andre the Giant at Shea Stadium in 1980 when Hogan was managed by Freedy Blassie…
4. Doug Williams vs. Matt Morgan (w/Joey Ryan). Morgan picked Williams apart and finished him off with the Carbon Footprint…
Matt Morgan defeated Doug Williams at 2:14.
Backstage, D-Lo and Prichard were still looking for Snow. Prichard hung up with Snow's wife and said she didn't know where he was. Prichard freaked out about only having to judges, so D-Lo offered his services. Prichard said that would work and then said after they did the judging they had to find Snow…[C]
Shore's Slant: Well, Jason Powell said today on Dot Net Weekly that D-Lo had been playing a body in Aces and Eights but he didn't expect him to actually be involved once the unmasking started. I agreed up until right now. D-Lo is Aces and Eights based on tonight's storyline. It could be a swerve, but it is still being setup that way.
The announce team hyped Joe vs. Devon; DOC vs. Angle; and Roode, Kazarian, and Daniels vs. Hardy, Storm, and Styles next week…Jeremy Borash introduced Wes Brisco for judging. Prichard took the mic and said they couldn't find Snow. He apologized and said they would keep everyone informed, but D-Lo, who has judged Gut Check on the road, would be stepping in tonight. Prichard said Wes didn't have the best match last week, even though he won, but he knew of the potential Wes had so he was a yes.
[Q7] Tazz, who seemed like a lock for a yes, said Wes was close but it was a no. Odd. Brisco cut his kick out promo and it was a lame plea to D-Lo to give him a chance for his uncle Jack. D-Lo thanked Prichard and Tazz for letting him fill in. He took a long time to say if Wes was good enough for Prichard, he was good enough for him and gave a yes. Wes celebrated and Kurt Angle and Garett Bischoff ran out to join him…
Backstage, invisible question guy (IQG) asked Hogan about making a double cut earlier, but Hogan blew him off. Bully Ray walked up and asked if Hogan wanted Aries's head kicked in, why didn’t he come to Bully. Bully said Hogan was confusing business and personal, but Hogan snapped back that it was Bully who was confused. He stormed off, leaving Bully to stare at a conveniently placed poster of Hogan…[C]
Shore's Slant: Whew, the Gut Check segment nearly put me to sleep. No tips yet to D-Lo's involvement, but all of this plays out in the end. Watch. Hogan and Bully weren't as good here. It came across more forced and staged than the exchange at the start of the show.
Backstage, ODB said EY was in the hospital with a shattered ankle. She walked off upset…The announce team ran down the current Final Resolution card…Backstage, Aries told Hulk he planned for this to happen so he could get his X Division title back and Hogan fell for it. Hogan said he wanted to thank Aries for opening his eyes. Another audio feed played over top of what Hogan said next, but Hogan closed by saying Aries was going to get his teeth knocked out by RVD. Aries said that wasn't in his plans and made his ring entrance. RVD was out next for old school ring introductions…
[Q8] 5. Austin Aries vs. Rob Van Dam for the X Division Championship. Aries and RVD traded kicks and punches to start. RVD went for Rolling Thunder, but Aries went to the floor. RVD hit a drop kick through the rope, and followed with a splash over the top to leave both men down…[C]
Back from commercial, RVD dropped Aries on the railing and jumped off the apron. Aries move and RVD crashed on the railing with his leg. Aries followed with a neckbreaker on the railing. He dragged RVD back into the ring, but only scored a two count. Aries hit a DDT for two, and then a Rolling Thunder type move for another two count. He went to the top rope for a frog splash, but RVD moved.
RVD hit several kicks and finally hit Rolling Thunder. He followed with the split legged moonsault for a two count. Aries hit a fast elbow and mocked RVD's thumb pointing. RVD hit a popup drop kick and did his own pointing gimmick. He went to the top, but Aries tossed him to the floor. He rolled RVD back in and grabbed a mic. Aries said RVD was lying on his back all sweaty and out of breath and looked like Brooke Hogan. He said he was going to look like the new champion. Bully Ray ran in and attacked Aries, causing the DQ…
Austin Aries defeated Rob Van Dam by disqualification at 12:29.
Post-match, Bully lifted Aries for a move, but Aries escaped to the floor. He started to leave, but Hogan walked out on stage. Bully left the ring to go after Aries, but Hogan stared at Bully and that's how the show ended…
Shore's Slant: And just like that, they burn through the goodwill they had earned with the opening segment. The interactions between Hogan and Bully were flat outside of the first one. I would have thought these two could carry a talking segment, but so far that isn't the case. I don't fully understand what is going on with Hogan and Bully, and they never got back to Brooke to help them sort it out. I'm sure there will be more next week, but another confrontation between father and daughter might have helped.
The show started out strong, but faded down the stretch. I don't think anyone thought Aries would win the title back here, so that was a huge waste of time for the main event. It got everyone where they needed it, but they could have found a better way to get there. Still, a much better offering than the past few weeks. Thanks for watching along tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at email@example.com or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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