TNA Impact Wrestling review for the 26th July episode

The show opens with Sting saying because Hulk Hogan isn’t here, Dixie Carter has put him in charge. Sting calls out Aces & Eights, but instead Austin Aries appears. Aries tells Sting he’s got his back, before Kurt Angle appears to say the same. Bobby Roode joins in, but says he isn’t here to join them or fight, but say who is behind all this….Roode says it’s James Storm. This doesn’t sit well with the Cowboy who rushes down and brawls with Roode. Angle breaks it up, and Roode leaves yelling “truth hurts doesn’t it?”.

Video of TNA stars discussing Chavo Guerrero. Tara’s excited he’s here, Kid Kash mentions their paths have crossed before, while Kurt Angle mentions his battles with Eddie and Chavo, and praises Chavo.

Bobby Roode gets hassled by the backstage interviewer. Roode says he knows James Storm well, but no one is listening. So, if people won’t believe him, he’s outta here.

Madison Rayne and Gail Kim vs Mickie James and Tara

Tara and Mickie control the match, until Madison knees Mickie from outside as Mickie hits the ropes. Gail and Madison take turns working over Mickie, until Madison misses a splash in the corner. Tara with a hot tag, clotheslines and a fireman’s carry into sidewalk slam for 2. Mickie and Tara do a double leglock roll on Madison then Gail. Earl Hebner tries to break it up, Mickie rolls Madison up for a pin, bridges, both women’s shoulders down, Earl counts, as he hits 2, Mickie gets her arm up….and Hebner awards the win to Madison!

Winners: Madison Rayne and Gail Kim

Sting is backstage with Austin Aries. The Icon decides to put the World Champion in charge of the X-Division tonight, considering Aries has the knowledge of this division. Aries needs to make a few cuts tonight too, apparently.

GutCheck contestant Sam Shaw interviewed. Basic reply of he’ll show who he is, what he can do, and he’ll take his chance.

Another video of TNA talent discussing Chavo Guerrero. Hernandez thinks this move is “incrediblay”, Gunner says if Chavo wants to prove himself, he’ll have to show how tough he is, and Bully Ray thinks it’s just another Guerrero for him to bully.

Jeremy Borash in the ring, it’s GutCheck time. He brings down Sam Shaw, before introducing his opponent, England’s very own, Douglas Williams!

Sam Shaw vs Douglas Williams

Shaw with a few knockdowns, and a smart looking inverted headlock backbreaker then neckbreaker combo. As he goes to the top, Joey Ryan appears at the barrier, distracting Shaw. Al Snow and security come down, Ryan sucker punches Snow, before being chased out. Williams takes advantage, running knee, T-Bone suplex and Chaos Theory for the pinfall.

Winner: Douglas Williams

Austin Aries is in an office with Sonjay Dutt, Kenny King, Dakota Darsow, Rashad Cameron and Zema Ion. Aries says he’ll decide who faces Ion tonight, and gives them all a chance to speak. Cameron says imagine him as Champ, King says Darsow has been on a losing streak, while Dutt thinks Ion is only Champ because of hairspray. Aries first kicks out Ion for saying nothing, then Cameron, stating “keep the Rashad Cameron movement going out the door!”.

Vignette of Chavo Guerrero shown, before we see there’s a Bellator fighter at ringside.

Chavo Guerrero appears to make his debut. He’s humbled to be here, and to do what the Guerreros have always done, win titles wherever they’ve been. Chavo praises the stars backstage, saying they want to be the best they can, and he wants to beat the best. He suggests remembering this day, as it’s time for Chavo to be a Champion. Kid Kash and Gunner interrupt. Kash praises Hector and Chavo Sr., before mocking how they’re always injured or drunk. Chavo attacks, but 2 on 1 is too much…thankfully for Chavo, Hernandez comes to save the day and the Mexicans clear the ring!

Kurt Angle speaks to James Storm. Angle says he knows Roode is full of crap, but wants to make sure there’s no connection. Storm says if he has a problem, he’d say it face to face, and let’s Angle know he’ll have is back, if needed.

The 3 GutCheck judges discuss Sam Shaw. Al Snow and Bruce Pritchard complain they didn’t see much due to Joey Ryan, while Taz liked what he saw of shaw.

Video look back at the storyline with AJ Styles and Clare Lynch is played. Horrendous.

Bound for Glory Series: AJ Styles vs James Storm

Both try for an early pin, before a stand off. Storm keeps AJ grounded, while trying to end the match, but fails. Storm drops AJ on the turnbuckle, before delivering the Eye of the Storm for a 2 count. Storm tries for 2 Tornado DDTs, only to have AJ counter into a release Northern Lights Suplex to the turnbuckle. Styles tries for the Styles Clash, but it’s reversed into a Alabama Slam. They fight on the apron, and Storm DDT’s AJ on the hard part of the ring. AJ tries for Styles Clash once more, Storm blocks and hits Closing Time. Storm goes for Last Call, AJ side steps and hits the Pele, only to have the Aces and Eights attack him….but they don’t attack Storm. After attacking AJ, they just leave….

Match result: No contest

Backstage James Storm is interogated about what just happened. Storm grabs the interviewer and says he doesn’t need help to kick a guy’s ass, and maybe this guy should know the truth before asking questions.

Time for the GutCheck results, the 3 judges are in the ring, and JB brings down Sam Shaw once more. Shaw thinks despite losing, he has drive to be the best, and should get the contract. Snow says because of some jackass, he didn’t see the match, but nothing would make him happier to stick it up Joey Ryan’s ass by saying yes….so he votes no. OK. :S Pritchard says Shaw did a hell of a job, and votes yes. Shaw gets the chance to “kick out”, and tells Taz he has similar passion to what Taz showed in 1999, and wants to prove himself against the best. Taz loved his work, and despite taking his eye off the ball, Taz votes yes. Sam Shaw is your NEW TNA wrestler.

Back to Austin Aries with Dakota Darsow, Sonjay Dutt and Kenny King. He gives them one more chance to say why they should be picked. Dutt mentions fighting on despite dislocating his shoulder, King thinks he call fill the void left by Aries, while Darsow says he is more aggressive than flashy or pretty. Well, Aries thinks you can have flashy and pretty in the X-Division, so votes Darsow out, before jokingly saying “say hi to your Dad, heard his repo business is doing good!”.

Zema Ion makes his way down, and we see Aries backstage with Dutt and King. Dutt’s shoulder isn’t right according to doctors, so Kenny King is selected to face Ion now!

X-Division Title Match: Zema Ion (c) vs Kenny King

Quick opening sees King strike with a dropkick, flying crossbody, but he plays to the crowd too much, and Ion pushes him off the top rope, before hitting a flip dive over the top. Back inside, Ion hits a missile dropkick, before King tries a sunset flip, only getting a 2 count. King begins to build momentum and lifts Ion over to the outside, befor a corkscrew plancha. As King throws Ion in, Roode attacks, hits King’s head off the ringpost, before throwing him in, allowing Ion to hit a moonsault to retain his title.

Winner and still X-Division Champion: Zema Ion

Austin Aries rushes down and chases Bobby Roode out of here.

Backstage, Bully Ray has no concern about the Aces and Eights, and says they’d be schmucks to attack him. He also respects Kurt Angle….but that won’t stop him running through Angle for 7 points tonight.

We get a look back at how Austin Aries won the World Title, before it’s announced Aries will team with Kenny King next week, to face Bobby Roode and Zema Ion.

Bound for Glory Series: Bully Ray vs Kurt Angle

Angle fails to hit the Angle Slam, while Bully misses an early attempt at the big boot. Bully tries for a Bully Bomb, only to have that countered into an Ankle Lock, but Bully gets to the ropes. Angle then telegraphs what he plans to do, allowing a clubbing strike, then a piledriver to the Olympic Hero. After a short break, Angle on the offence with belly to belly suplex, a trifecta of German suplexes, and locks the Ankle Lock on. Bully rolls out, before the trade blows. Both try for the end, Bully with a Uranage, Angle with his Angle Slam, but neither pick up the pin. Angle also misses a moonsault, dodges a splash in the corner, then Angle Slams Bully once more for the win.

Winner: Kurt Angle (7 BFG Points)

The Aces and Eights attack once more, and as they put the boot in on Angle, AJ Styles, Sting and Austin Aries rush down. They brawl, and James Storm comes down too. The Aces back off, leaving Angle and Aries questioning Storm as the credit comes up….

Bound for Glory Series Leaderboard: 1. Samoa Joe – 47pts, 2. James Storm – 45pts, 3. Kurt Angle – 34pts, 4. Mr Anderson – 30pts, 5. Jeff Hardy – 28pts, 6. Daniels – 26pts, 7. Rob Van Dam – 21pts, 8. AJ Styles – 16pts, 9. Magnus – 14pts, 10= The Pope and Bully Ray – 7pts, 12. Robbie E – 5pts.

Interesting show this week, and I liked it. I like the fact of them blaming someone this week for being behind the Aces and Eights gang, and the way they didn’t attack Storm, and just backed off at the end, was clever. Even though they’re trying to make us think it could be the Cowboy, I don’t think it is him. Will be intrigued to see how this plays out with the Cowboy trying to convince the rest of the roster it’s not him. Nice intro for Chavo, wasn’t 100% what they’d do, but this worked. Guessing Mickie’s heel turn may be put back for now, as we haven’t seen any heelish behaviour for a while. Wondering if now that Velvet Sky is gone, they don’t want to lose another face to “the dark side”. Also felt it was clever to see Aries in charge of picking the X-Division challenger for Zema Ion. I guess this was the “once a month title defence” moment that we usually see on Open Fight Night, but they never mentioned it. I’m glad the Clare Lynch stuff was kept to a bare minimum, what I failed to mention in my review above, she was sat ringside for AJ’s match, scowling. There was no point to it though, thankfully, as the Aces got involved! I felt Sam Shaw deserved his contract, sure he lost, but I feel his attitude, and what we saw of him, there’s potential there. I still feel Joey Ryan is signed up. As for the rest of the matches, good action, enjoyable, and look forward to seeing the next episode!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope