Welcome to this week’s Insight into Impact article, bringing you the latest lowdown on TNA’s flagship TV show, broadcast on July 4th 2013, as well as bringing my views on the matches and segments during this show.
We open the show with our NEW X-Division Champion, Austin Aries, who says some love him (meeeee!), some love to boo him, but now you have to respect him. He’s always a talking point, and was that when he cashed in the X-Division title to become World Champion….and he’s going to do it again this year. He calls for Hulk Hogan to hand the belt in and make it official. Hulkster appears and Aries hands it in. Hogan praises Aries for Option C, but then says Aries commited a sin the way he won the title. Because of this, Aries has to put the belt on the line in a 3-way match against Manik (who is Suicide, remasked, same outfit, just removed Suicide from his suit…why?) and Chris Sabin. The winner tonight can then decide on Option C. Sabin says he wants to keep it short, a year ago he never thought he’d fight again, but he’s here, and nothing will stop him from regaining his belt tonight.
Daniels looks round the door of his dressing room complaining how the interviewers are always bugging him for questions. Turns out they want Kazarian. Kazarian appears and says he’s gonna defeat AJ Styles tonight, it doesn’t matter which version of AJ appears, he’ll beat him. Daniels says they’re up next, and better finish getting ready.
Bad Influence are dressed as Siegfried and Roy for Throwback Thursday. Daniels will make ladies underwear disappear with a wiggle of his hips, while Kazarian will make the World Title appear on his waist this October.
Match 1: AJ Styles defeats Kazarian by submission in a time of 4:02 to win 10pts in the BFG Series
AJ knocks Kazarian’s wig off within seconds, nice start. AJ on the offence, catches Kazarian with a huricanrana, but misses a flying forearm in the corner. Kazarian hits a HUGE monkey flip, before working over AJ. AJ with a couple of elbows and a flying forearm smash for 2. AJ tries for the CalfKiller, and Kazarian blocks it with a pinfall for 2. AJ tries it once again and locks the CalfKiller in, forcing Kazarian to tap out!
Mickie James is on her way to the ring, and asks a crewmember if he has the ladder ready….
Chavo Guerrero is getting Hernandez hyped up, telling SuperMex that the BFG Series is not a spring but a marathon, and that Chavo has his back tonight.
Mickie James is in the ring with her ladder. She climbs it, saying how you have to crawl and scratch your way to the top. She bigs up how much she’s having to do advertising side. Mickie says despite her win over Velvet Sky, all she is hearing is the ladder match next week between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell. Mickie says it doesn’t matter who wins, they’ll never be as good as her, and she’ll stand on top of the division as she belongs.
GutCheck judges discuss Adam Ohriner and Ryan Howe. They say how this isn’t American Idol, so Howe’s guitar playing means nothing. Also wondering if Ohriner is acting as if he knows it all already. Have to laugh at Bruce Prichard saying he’d made his mind up in the 1st few minutes last week. Match barely went 3 mins, dude. We cut to the judges with Howe and Ohriner, where Prichard says they’ve made their decision. The one to go through to the judging in the ring is Ryan Howe, before Ohriner is asked to “get out of their O-Zone”.
Sting, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe are heading into the arena. Angle says the Mafia keeps growing, and they’ll introduce the newest member tonight. Mike Tenay asks Taz if he’s worried, to which Taz says “no….just a little”.
Match 2: Hernandez defeats Jay Bradley by pinfall in a time of 3:11 to win 7pts in the BFG Series
Bradley with a few clubbing shots, before running into a standing splash from Hernandez. Bradley on the offence again, using his knee to ram Hernandez to the mat. Bradley knocks Hernandez to the ramp, which allows SuperMex to hit a shoulder to the gut before AirMexico. Hernandez builds momentum, which Bradley shuts him down with a thumb to the eye. As Bradley sets up for the Boom Stick, Chavo rolls into and out the ring distracting Bradley, allowing Hernandez to hit the “Get Off Me” push for a win.
Bully Ray is backstage with the Aces, saying how Aries is clever for getting himself into the title hunt. Wes Brisco asks about Brooke, and mentions her getting engaged…but Bully warns him not to go there as it’s business tonight. He talks about the 3 way match tonight, and D.O.C. asks who he wants to win. Mr Anderson mocks D.O.C. and Bully replies “how about nobody wins tonight?”…
Match 3: James Storm and Gunner defeats Bro-Mans by pinfall in a time of 3:06
Bro-mans attack before the bell, and then use quick tags to keep Gunner in their corner, as well as Tara attacking while the ref isn’t looking. Gunner manages to fight his way out with a nice fallaway slam, before tagging in Storm who clears house, hits the BackCracker to Robbie E, before both guys throw Jesse at him. Jesse gets his feet up in Gunner’s face, as Robbie E slams Storm into the ringpost. Gunner tries a sunset flip, which is blocked by Bro-Mans. Storm with a Superkick to Robbie E, before a backbreaker to Jesse from Gunner. Gunner holds Jesse up on his shoulders, before dropping him at the same time as Storm also hits a neckbreaker to Jesse for the 3 count.
Jeff Hardy interview backstage, he says he doesn’t know much about Joseph Park, but he can see Park is improving, has a slight dangerous side to him due to being related to Abyss. Hardy says all he’s here to do is get the points and get out of here.
Sting and Kurt Angle, with Angle saying the Main Event Mafia is back to destroy the Aces and Eights, and remove Bully Ray as Champion. Sting says this current Mafia goes for a no nonsense approach, hence why they went for Samoa Joe, who appears looking sharp in his suit. Joe mentions how he’s usually a guy to work alone, but he’s noticed strength works in numbers, and even he can’t beat up many cowards at once. Joe says he’ll run through the BFG Series with the Mafia behind him, and he’ll choke Bully Ray out to win the World Title. Angle says he picked Joe for the Mafia after the tough fights they’ve had. Joe suggested the 4th member, and Angle felt it was a good idea…some say he’s the future of TNA, but he’s the here and now….Angle introduces Magnus! Magnus is out, and says he had to think about joining for a split second, as he’s joining a top band of men. He’s bought into the Mafia’s statement of ending the Aces for good. Sting takes the mic saying July 18th is the next World Title match, and he challenges them to a fight. Bully Ray has said how about if there’s no winner tonight…well, the Mafia will make sure there is one.
Match 4: Jeff Hardy defeats Joseph Park by DQ in a time of 8:05 to win 2pts in the BFG Series (Park also receives -10)
Hardy on the offence quickly taking Park down, before hitting a Twist of Fate quite early on. Hardy tries to end it with a Swanton Bomb, but Park rolls out the way. Park throws Hardy about in the corners, and hits a splash, but shows concern instead of pinning Hardy. Hardy builds up steam again, but Park stops it with a Samoan Drop, before heading to the 2nd rope for a splash which gets a 2 count. Park runs into an elbow, followed by a Whisper in the Wind, which busts Park open. Park goes nuts, and hits a Black Hole Slam on the referee. Hardy checks on the referee, as Park snaps out of it, and another referee runs down to make the call to disqualify Park….
Jeremy Borash is in the ring with the GutCheck judges, Al Snow, Danny Davis and Bruce Prichard, before bringing down Ryan Howe who is not so popular with the crowd! Howe is asked if we saw the best of him, and he says “absolutely freaking yes”. Snow-man up first, who says he has seen Howe develop, and Snow was the guy who gave him this chance. But Snow votes no. Howe is giving a 30 second chance to “kick out”. Howe says he knows he’s doing something right to be standing here, and he’s young and talented enough to be part of TNA. Davis says his mind was made up, but the fans have changed it for him, as they were booing, Howe was losing track of what he was saying. He can be worked on and it will take time, and Davis votes yes. Deciding vote to Prichard, who agrees he has heart, but with GutCheck, he gets 1 chance, and won’t be advancing. Prichard votes no.
Back to the Aces clubhouse, where Bully Ray says it’s main event time, and they should head to the ring to see no-one win. As they go to leave, D.O.C. tries to put himself over with Bully Ray saying he could single handedly take care of the Mafia, while Mr Anderson makes fun of D.O.C. kissing up to Bully. Bully tells them to pack it in, as if they spent as much time on the same page as they do sniping at each other, they’d work well…
Before the main event, they hype the Knockouts Ladder match for next week, with Taryn Terrell saying bring it on, as she’ll win just like last time. While Gail Kim mentions she’s been in one before, was able to win then, and will do the same again in Vegas.
Match 5: Chris Sabin defeats Austin Aries and Manik by pinfall in a time of 16:42 to win the TNA X-Division Title
The Aces and Eights watch on from the crowd, as Sabin gains the upperhand in the opening to the match. Hesitation dropkick to Aries, before working over Manik. Manik tries to make Sabin tap with an Octopus Lock, which Aries breaks up. Manik outsmarts Sabin and sends him to the outside, before Aries clears the ring of Manik. Sabin back in, and we see Aries and Sabin battle in the ring. Aries tries for a Brainbuster on the ramp, which Sabin blocks, and drops Aries face first on the ramp. As the ref is distracted, Knux pulls at Manik’s leg, Manik blocks him, leaps over the top rope where D.O.C. catches him and drops Manik with a powerbomb. The Main Event Mafia arrive as we go to a break, and after it, we’re shown Manik carried out on a stretcher. Aries takes advantage of the 1 on 1, and death valley drops Sabin onto the ring apron. Sabin manages to beat the 10 count, and Aries can’t pin him. Aries slaps Sabin which fires up the Motorcity star, who responds with slaps, chops and a standing enziguri. Both men try a corner attack, which fails, Sabin gets his leg caught up the ropes and Aries takes advantage before a missile dropkick, corner dropkick, but Sabin blocks a Brainbuster attempt with a small package. As Sabin sets up for Hail Sabin, Aries quickly hits the Brainbuster…only for Sabin to kick out at 2. Aries tries the Last Chancery, which isn’t locked in properly, and Sabin gets to the bottom rope. Aries tries a 450, and Sabin avoids, it, before a Powerbomb, followed by Hail Sabin for a 2 count of his own. Both men trade blows, Aries catches Sabin with a corner dropkick, and looks as if he’s going for a Brainbuster off the top rope, but Sabin blocks it, and delivers Hail Sabin off the top, which finishes Aries off!!
Chris Sabin celebrates, and raises the title, as Bully Ray yells he can’t do it. Sabin gets a mic and tells Bully “you’re looking at the next World Champion”. Bully and Sabin trade comments, with Tenay hyping up Destination X as the show ends….
Hmmm. A few things that I didn’t get from this week’s episode, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to think this. I don’t get why last week, the “real Suicide” was revealed to the world as being TJ Perkins, and then a week later, they bring the guy out in the suit again, but say he’s changed his name to Manik?! It just feels a bit stupid, seeing as we now know who the guy is. May as well just let him wrestle under his own name, and use him properly, as he’d be a decent addition to the X-Division. Also looked a bit silly how TNA were showing Manik’s twitter handle as @IAMManik…guess some egg on twitter will be thankful of a bit of advertising! (TNA, Aries has changed his to @GoofyVillain :P) I’m also a bit unsure why they went with Austin Aries winning the belt last week, to lose it straight back to Chris Sabin? Don’t get me wrong, I like Sabin, but it just seems a bit weird to take it from Sabin, to give it straight back to him. Makes last week’s enjoyable episode seem a bit pointless. Speaking of pointless, that’s what GutCheck feels now. I wouldn’t have taken either guy on, so TNA were right there. But with the majority of GutCheck winners already left TNA, it wouldn’t really help your career if you won. Guessing these guys may get some decent indy bookings after a bit of TV exposure though!! Onto what I did enjoy. I must say decide the quick swap of the title, I did enjoy the main event. I felt once Manik had gone, Aries and Sabin put on a good back and forth battle, and the ending was quite clever, showing how far Sabin had to go to finish Aries off with an awesome Hail Sabin off the top rope. As always, when Bad Influence pull out a Throwback Thursday moment, it’s quite clever and funny. They’ve really improved their characters over the last year or 2, and are a must see on the show for me. Not just gimmick wise, but during their matches too, as shown by Kazarian’s battle with AJ Styles. I’m interested to see how Magnus will do as part of the Main Event Mafia. He wasn’t one I expected, but considering how much they’re behind him lately, I’d be expecting this to be part of a big push for the guy. He’s improved quite a lot over the past few years, and it’s good to see him move up the card. Here’s hoping this could make him a big player in the company.
As usual, thanks for taking the time to read this, look forward to your opinions on this show!
@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope