Coming off the heels of a record breaking Slammiversary pay per view, will TNA’s Impact Wrestling’s momentum continue or will it fizzle? If you believe TNA President Dixie Carter, this is only the beginning and there is more excitement to come.
Note: All columns analyzing the television products put on by WWE and TNA are done from an entertainment standpoint. While “insider” terms such as “face” and “heel” may be used, commentary stated is focused on the storytelling and characters – just like any other TV show we’d critique.
This week of LIVE Impact Wrestling, the opening bout was an X Division Championship match with Austin Aries, Zema Ion and Chris Sabin. Sabin tossed out early in the bout by Aries, the match continued with Aries and Zema. Aries giving everything he had to keep his title as he climbed the scaffold to retrieve his title belt.
After the match, Aries stated whether he was in the first match or the fifth match, he was the main event and believed he should be headlining above all others. Hulk Hogan came out and reinforced what Aries said, saying that he believed Aries was the greatest wrestler he had seen in the ring and that he was going to give Aries an opportunity to prove it. Hogan offered Aries a match for the Heavy Weight Championship at Destination X, but, Aries could not hold 2 championships if he won the match, so Aries would have to give up his X Division title if he were to accept the match. It’s all or nothing for Aries and he was given 1 week to decide if he was going to take the chance at winning the Heavy Weight title.
– Television Title with Hernandez vs. Devon, Devon winning to keep his championship.
– Clip shown of Dixie and AJ discussing their options regarding the secret of their relationship. Later, another clip was shown of the two deciding to come clean next Thursday.
Bound for Glory series kicked off with a Gauntlet match. Every 90 seconds another competitor will enter the ring, the winner of the match will gain 20 points in the climb for #1 contendership for the Heavy Weight title come Bound for Glory in October.
The match started with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy and it was a classic bout between these two, until the next man, RVD entered the ring. RVD attacking both men, leaving bodies everywhere in the ring. Magnus and Bully Ray were the next two competitors to enter the match. The bout continued as Kurt Angle made his way down to the ring and went after Bully Ray while AJ faced off with RVD. Angle tried to eliminate Bully Ray as Hardy and Magnus fought it out on the other side of the ring. It was every man for himself. This match was the return for The Pope and as he entered the match, Bully Ray eliminated Jeff Hardy. A surprise appearance by Abyss eliminated Bully Ray by choke slamming him over the top rope and to the floor. Robbie E joined the match and the Pope eliminated RVD. Christopher Daniels was the next man to enter the ring. AJ going after Daniels and accidently hit his Tag Team partner, Kurt Angle. The next wrestler to come down the ramp was Samoa Joe. Joe eliminates Robbie E and faces off in the middle of the ring with his once tag team partner, Magnus with Joe eliminating him from the match. The last wrestler to enter the match was James Storm. Storm leaving carnage everywhere on the outside of the ring, it came down to him facing Samoa Joe. Storm is the one left standing after he super kicks Samoa Joe off the apron the ring. Storm collected 20 points for winning the match.
After the match, Storm explained his reasons for returning to the ring and said is was his daughter who posed the question about him returning to wrestling, and it wasn’t the question but what it meant to his daughter. He didn’t know what his returning to the ring meant to all the fans and thanked them. He made a promise to his daughter and to himself, and now to all the fans that he was back to become the Heavy Weight Champion.
– Kurt Angle reminded AJ Styles what was important and that he needed to get straight and focus on being Tag Team Champions. Angle was not going to lose the titles because of the things going on with AJ and Dixie. AJ promised to get his head on straight and to keep focused on what was important … the tag titles.
– Brooke Hogan informed Gail Kim that there will be a #1 contender’s match next week to decide who will face Miss Tessmacher for the Knockout’s Championship. Gail reminded Brooke she had a rematch clause in her contract, and Brooke said she did but Brooke was the one who would decide when that match would take place, not Gail.
The main event of the night was Mr. Anderson facing Heavy Weight champion Bobby Roode for the title. The match not spectacularly exciting, it lasted about 15 minutes, Roode applying the cross face submission move and Anderson tapping out.
The last minutes of the show was given to Sting. A clip was shown about him being the first inductee in the TNA Hall of Fame. He came out and was humbled, yet honored to be the first inductee. He said there was some great talent in TNA and others deserved it more to be the first inductee but he was honored it was given to him. He began to list those he’d like to thank including Jerry and Jeff Jarrett for starting TNA, and Dixie Carter, but then was interrupted by three masked men who began attacking Sting in the middle of the ring.
Questions remain as to who these masked men were, why they attacked Sting and what was the story behind the attack. We’ll have to tune in next week to LIVE Impact Wrestling to fine out!