Bully Ray opens the show by coming out and playing to the crowd, then talking about how pissed off he is at Aces and Eights making his life hell, as well as those of the rest of the roster. He brings out Jeff Hardy and admits that he doesn’t think things went down as they should have, that Bully might not be the right man to face Hardy. Hardy recounts their personal history and tells Bully that he’s glad Hogan picked Bully as that’s who Hardy would have picked, as well, and that the best man will win at Lockdown. Bad Influence interrupts and tells them they’re both undeserving of a title match, that Daniels should have been the champ right now. Bully knocks away Daniels’ mic, takes his appletini and says real men don’t drink appletinis, then he and Hardy drive Bad Influence out of the ring. Bully then announces the main event: Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy against Bad Influence.
Sting sits down with Magnus and asks why he should choose Magnus for the team. Magnus recounts how TNA took a chance in hiring him at 22 years old, and since Sting was the only one to help him early on, now Magnus needs to repay the favor. Magnus isn’t just Team TNA, he’s Team Sting, and as for why he should be picked, Magnus asks why the hell not?
Tara vs Velvet Sky
Tara literally kicks things off with a boot to the midsection of the champ, then hits a few shoulderblocks in the corner and tosses Velvet out to the middle by the hair for the cover. Tara whips Velvet to the corner but is repelled by kicks from Velvet, followed by two clotheslines and a back elbow into the headscissors takedown. Jessie grabs Velvet’s foot from outside and is rebuked by Taryn Terrell. Velvet hits Tara with a spear and a cover, but Jessie grabs her leg and pulls her off of Tara. Taryn gets into a shouting match with Jessie as Tara goes for a cover on Velvet, but no one is counting it. Jessie gets thrown out, and as Tara is protesting it, Velvet grabs her and hits the In Yo Face for the pin and the win.
Velvet Sky wins via In Yo Face for a pinfall
Aries is on the phone with Roode about a photo shoot and mentions that they have a three-way tag title match at Lockdown with against Bad Influence and Chavo/Hernandez, the latter of whom come up and interrupt Aries’ call. Chavo asks Aries if he thinks he can take him, which Aries does, then Chavo tells him that Aries won’t be fighting Chavo, but Hernandez.
Kenny King is saying that he is the X Division when RVD comes up. King tells him they need to get something straight, and that there would be no X Division without him. RVD asks King if he can beat him, then sets up a title match for the night, but with a catch: if King loses, not only is this his last shot at RVD, but King will be out of the X Division.
Austin Aries vs Hernandez
Hernandez throws Aries into the corner where Aries tries to hit his signature pose but winds up ducking between the ropes to avoid contact. Aries and Hernandez go to lock up, but Aries slips behind Hernandez and clocks him, only to run right into a big boot. Aries gets to his feet and tries to throw Hernandez with an arm drag, then another, but Hernandez just throws Aries aside, then sends him over the ropes. Hernandez runs for his trademark dive over the ropes, but Aries cuts him off with a shoulderblock from the outside. Aries gets back in the ring only to be knocked down to the mat. Aries retreats to the corner and Hernandez goes for a splash, but Aries cuts him off again, this time with an elbow, but when Aries tries to capitalize with a crossbody splash, Hernandez just catches him and sets him up for a vertical suplex. Aries manages to slip out and shove Hernandez outside where Aries then hits him with a suicide dive, then Aries goes back up to the top rope and hits him with a flying double ax handle. The action goes back into the ring and Aries sends Hernandez into the middle of the ring with a snapmare followed by a kick to the head. Aries ascends to the top rope once more and mocks the traditional Guerrero dance, but he pays for his showboating when he misses the frog splash as Hernandez rolls into the corner and gets up to his feet. Aries comes after him but Hernandez kicks him away, then steps out to the apron to hit Aries with a slingshot shoulderblock. Supermex goes to the middle of the ring and hoists Aries up with an overhead press, then tosses Aries into the air like a pizza. Hernandez proceeds to pick Aries up again, presumably for a backbreaker, but Aries slips out and nails Hernandez with a discus forearm, only to be repelled with a Get Off Me from Supermex. Aries rolls out and has clearly had enough as he grabs his title belt and heads up the ramp, but Hernandez is having none of it as he chases Aries and hauls him back to the ring. Belt still in hand, Aries makes as if to strike Hernandez with it, but Hernandez catches him and dares him to swing. When Aries fails to do so, Hernandez snatches it away, looks at it, then makes as if to use it on Aries, but the referee takes the belt from him. As the ref takes the belt over to the corner, Aries pulls a chain from his wristguard and hits Hernandez with it, knocking Supermex out cold, then covers him for the win.
Aries wins via foreign object for a pinfall
Joseph Park and Sting are sharing some ribs, which prompts Sting to ask if he understands the wrestling version of a rib. Park recognizes the irony, then makes his pitch to join Sting’s team. Sting seems willing to hear Park out until he sees Matt Morgan walk by the office, and Sting hurriedly tells Park that he’ll think about it as he runs out after Morgan. Sting tries to sell the Blueprint on joining TNA, saying he’s got a big opportunity for him, but Morgan refuses, saying that Hogan must have put Sting up to it and that anyone who associates with Hogan is someone he wants nothing to do with.
X Division Title Match: Rob Van Dam vs Kenny King
The match begins with a headlock from the challenger, but RVD responds with a side-headlock takedown. The two trade some more holds and RVD wins the exchange with an impressive German suplex. King demands that RVD be backed up, but once he’s on his feet, he steps back and motions for RVD to go ahead and play to the crowd, and when RVD turns his back, King dropkicks him to the outside. King goes for a corkscrew dive to the outside but misses, and RVD makes him pay with a split-leg springboard kick, followed by setting King up on the rail then hitting a spinning leg drop from the apron.
We come back from the break to see King tossing RVD back with a suplex into the cover. RVD fights him off and hits King with a boot as King charges him, then goes for a bodyscissors takedown into the cover. King retreats to the corner only to be thrown out of it by a monkey flip; King manages to land on his feet, but when he turns around he’s hit with a spinning double-leg takedown. RVD hits Rolling Thunder and he goes to the top rope for the Five Star Frog Splash, then seems to reconsider and makes a rolling motion to the crowd, followed by a 450 splash attempt only to have King roll out of the way. King goes for the pin and seems to get it, but the ref demurs and says the match is still on. King gets RVD up on his shoulders and hits the Royal Flush for the pin and the win.
Kenny King wins via Royal Flush for a pinfall and the X Division title
Sting is walking the halls when Angle comes up to him. Angle asks about who made the cut for Sting’s team, so Sting shows him the list. Angle checks it out and seems to be taken aback at one of the names, then asks Sting if he’s sure about him; Sting admits that it’s a long shot, but desperate times call for desperate measure. Angle wishes Sting luck in handling his business, because Angle has some of his own to tend to.
The Aces and Eights come out lead by Devon. Devon declares the club’s dominance, saying that all Sting is doing is promoting empty threats, broken necks, and shattered dreams, then introduces his team for Lockdown: Doc, Knox, Anderson, and Bischoff, led by himself. Sting comes out to introduce his own team, and begins with a killer, Samoa Joe. He then says that the next man is sorry for what’s about to happen, and Devon demands to know what he’s sorry about, prompting the entrance of the Cowboy, James Storm. Next, it appears that Magnus’ sales pitch paid off, because he is the fourth man on the team. Finally, Sting starts introducing his fifth man, but Anderson interrupts and tells Sting to get to the point. Sting announces that it’s show time, and Anderson cuts him off again, tells him to quit with the catchphrase and tell everyone who his last partner is. Sting crows out that it’s show time, and the camera pans to the center of the ring where “Showtime” Eric Young is standing. EY hits the Aces and Eights from behind, prompting the rest of Team TNA to charge the ring and engage in a brawl, then drive Aces and Eights out as they stand tall in the ring.
Aces and Eights are headed back to the clubhouse, furious at how they were shown up, and as they’re leaving camera range, the view pans to Angle, who starts following them.
Gut Check Match: Ivelisse Velez vs Lei’d Tapa
Ivelisse begins by launching a leaping forearm at Tapa, but Tapa responds with a grip that looks like she’s setting up for a chokeslam, but she eventually drops it. Ivelisse manages to down Tapa with a hip toss, then goes for a guillotine choke only to be thrown down by Tapa. Ivelisse comes back by jumping on Tapa’s back and locking in a rear naked choke, but again Tapa gets out of it and slaps on a wrist lock. Ivelisse kicks Tapa away and bounces off the ropes, but she winds up eating a big boot from Tapa. Tapa levels Ivelisse with a clothesline followed by a scoop and a body slam. Ivelisse tries to fight her off, but Tapa responds with a headbutt, then whips Ivelisse into one corner, then the opposite. Tapa charges in, but Ivelisse is able to slip out of the way and Tapa slams into the turnbuckle, stunning herself. Ivelisse jumps back between the ropes and hits a DDT on the way in for the cover. The two competitors get back to their feet and Ivelisse executes a hurricanrana, only to be then caught by Tapa with a Samoan drop for the cover, which Ivelisse counters with another guillotine choke for a submission win.
Ivelisse Velez wins via guillotine choke for a submission
Hardy is preparing for his match when Aries comes in. Aries informs the champ that he’s actually rooting for Hardy at Lockdown, saying that Bully Ray is the golden child right now, much like Hardy was when Aries was champion, and that now Hardy knows how Aries felt. Aries wishes Hardy luck and leaves him to his preparation.
Robbie E has come to the ring, and he states that there comes a time when a bro must realize and admit that there is a bigger and better bro, and he calls Rob Terry out to the ring. Big Rob looks suspicious as he walks out to be met by Robbie E, who practically bends over backwards to ferry him into the ring. Robbie E admits that things between them have gotten way out of hand, and that slapping Big Rob was crossing a line; not only did Robbie nearly screw up them being bros, but he also endangered their friendship, and that’s very important to Robbie. To that end, Robbie proposes one last Bro-off to mend fences, and Big Rob eventually agrees. Robbie kicks things off with his outing, prompting a reluctant grin from Robbie T. Robbie E says he’s going to step out of the ring and give Big Rob the spotlight he deserves, and Terry begins his routine, only to be blindside when Robbie comes back with the picture frame from the ramp and smashes it over Big Rob’s head, leaving the frame around his neck. Robbie E turns around and gloats, completely oblivious as the Welsh Colossus slowly rises and turns to step behind Robbie. Robbie turns, sees Big Rob standing right on top of him, and leaves the ring in a panic as Big Rob tears the frame from around his neck and roars furiously.
Bully is prepping for the match when Aries shows up. Aries lets Bully know that he’s rooting for Bully at Lockdown, but before he can continue, Bully cuts him off and tells him to quit stirring things up. Bully tells him to get used to wearing the tag title because he’s not getting anywhere near the world title, then demands that Aries leave. Aries does so with a parting request to say hi to Brooke for him, prompting a muttered remark of “Wiseass…” from Bully.
Angle rolls up on the Aces and Eights clubhouse and tells the cameraman to follow him in.
Main Event: Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray vs Bad Influence
Bully and Daniels kick things off as they lock up. Daniels hits Bully with a knee, drives him into the corner, then lands a chop and walks away to gloat. Bully charges out with a clothesline, then puts Daniels in the corner for a brutal chop of his own, and then another. Kaz runs in to make the save, but Bully’s ready with a backdrop, only to get clotheslined from behind by Daniels. Daniels and Kaz hit a double suplex on Bully, then start with the Gangnam style as they taunt Hardy. Bad Influence turns around and gets hit with a double clothesline from Bully, who mocks them with his own version of Gangnam, then starts unloading on them both with shots. Hardy comes in and takes Daniels over the ropes, then joins Bully for a double cutter on Kaz as Impact goes to commercial.
The action resumes fast and heavy as all four men enter and exit the ring at will with not intervention by the ref whatsoever until Hardy tags in and goes to the top rope only to be crotched by Kaz as Daniels catches Bully with an enziguiri and an STO into the cover. Daniels starts to set Bully up, possibly for the Angel’s Wings, only to be hoisted up on Bully’s shoulders. Bully drops Daniels back in an electric chair, and a fully recovered Hardy flies from the top rope and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pin and the win.
Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy win via Swanton Bomb for a pinfall
Angle has invaded the Aces and Eights clubhouse and is beating down Anderson. Once he’s down, Angle demands to know where the rest of the gang is when Devon barges in. Angle grabs a lead pipe and clobbers Devon with it, then spots the VP and starts an assault on him. The VP winds up on the ground and Angle decides to see who it is. Angle unmasks him and is floored at who he sees. Angle starts to demand an explanation when the rest of the club charges in and begins a beatdown on Angle as Impact fades to black.
I’m glad that TNA is acknowledging how crappy their booking was. As for the opening segment itself, it promises a great main event, and I’m interested in seeing how it goes. Nice move with the appletini, but I hate that the mess got on that awesome Spiderman shirt.
Great promo by Magnus. I wouldn’t have considered Magnus for the team before, but now, if he’s not chosen, I’ll be upset.
The Knockouts match was short but well-done. Velvet really needs to work on that spear if she’s going to incorporate it into her offense, though. We don’t need competitors in two companies that can’t hit it properly, one is plenty, thank you. It is interesting, though, that Gail Kim is getting a shot at Velvet at Lockdown. Not sure what she did to earn it, exactly, but it should be good.
Again, a well-done match conducted by Aries and Hernandez, but I think the most notable thing is that Hernandez has finally abandoned the long shorts in exchange for some trunks. It’ll take a little getting used to, but it looks good. If nothing else, it lets him move away from the gangster image and present a more believable image as a face. As for the PPV match this builds toward, I am definitely looking forward to it.
I’m excited that Morgan is back on Impact in any capacity, which hints that he’ll be back in the ring soon. It would have been awesome to see him join Team TNA at Lockdown, but it really wouldn’t have made any sense whatsoever, so it’s just well that he refused. As for the initial half of the segment, as much as I love the character of Joseph Park, I’m glad that he’s not in the Lethal Lockdown match. Sure, if it had happened, we probably would have seen Abyss make an appearance, as well, but it would have been more of the same, and I’m ready for this particular storyline to start making some headway again.
RVD and Kenny King put on a spectacular back-and-forth match…right up until the end. Once RVD paused on the top rope, it seemed like he only decided to switch up the move right then when he motioned to Earl Hebner that he was doing the 450. After that, it went downhill. I have no idea why that first pin was thrown out; I can only assume that something was wrong with RVD, because when King pulled him up for the Royal Flush, RVD was practically dead weight so the finisher looked really sloppy. I hope RVD didn’t hurt himself, but ultimately, I’m glad that King is finally the X Division champ. Now, he just needs a face to go up against. I really hope it isn’t Christian York…
I could not be happier with the way this Lethal Lockdown match is shaping up. EY’s return was especially awesome, the way he was introduced by Sting and how he made an impact against Aces and Eights. Also, there were almost too many awesome beards in that ring. Of course, EY is the king of #TeamBeard, but Devon was growing a pretty respectable one; if he’d just grow a mohawk, he’d be the spitting image of Mr. T.
Wow, I was not expecting Lei’d Tapa to be that big from her video. To bring down a giant like that is very impressive for Ivelisse Velez, but honestly, both women put on a great match. Even though I’m pretty sure that it will be Ivelisse that gets the contract, I’d be content with either one winning.
Regarding the AJ Styles video, this all looks really familiar…oh, right, this is Bobby Roode’s video package from last year. And AJ riding away on a motorcycle? A pretty heavy-handed hint from TNA, isn’t it? I hope this is going somewhere other than where I think it is, because if AJ Styles is being placed at the head of Aces and Eights, I can’t see it ending well.
Well, I guess there’s no coming back from tonight for Robbie E. The Robbies are quits, and with Rockstar Spud not on the scene, it looks like Big Rob’s gonna be a solo act for a little while.
Excellent main event, well-paced with solid wrestling from both teams. It was entertaining to watch such a serious character like Bully doing the Gangnam dance, as well. For two men that will be beating the daylights out of each other in two weeks, Bully and Hardy work remarkably well together.
You would think that Angle would have learned by now that swimming isn’t the only activity that you should take a buddy for. I guess there wasn’t a whole lot of room left over for critical thinking processes when they rebuilt his neck into the tree trunk it is now. I’ll be very interested to learn who the VP is, though. All that remains to be seen is whether Angle will be in any shape to talk next week.
Overall, I wish this had been the go-home show. Matt Morgan and Eric Young have both made their returns, we had a great Gut Check Knockouts match where the winner secured the only submission win of the night, Kenny King is finally the X Division champion, and we have a great Lethal Lockdown match coming up. I could not be more ready for Lockdown.