Tonight on Impact Wrestling: Will Kurt Angle’s Protégé Wes Brisco earn a contract from the Gut Check judges? Who will Aces & Eights target next on the TNA roster? And What’s really going on with Brooke Hogan & Bully Ray?
Also, it’s Championship Thursday, with the X-Division title on the line. And AJ Styles will have to team up with James Storm to take on Daniels & Kaz.
Hulk Hogan confronts Bully Ray:
Unsanctioned love is in the air and cupid has fired his arrow at both major wrestling promotions. Neglecting his General Manager responsibilities Hulk Hogan kicks off Impact to quickly get to the bottom of this implied relationship between his daughter Brooke Hogan and none other than Bully Ray. Is there really something going on between the young wannabe music star and the aging ECW Original? Or has the physiological manipulator Austin Aries been stirring the pot to get back at the Hulkster?
He may not say his prayers or take his vitamins while commanding the same amount of respect that he used to, but Mr. Sex Tape still has principals for his daughter. Cutting to the chase Hogan demands Bully “lay it out straight the first time…what’s going on?”
Diverting the issue, Bully bitterly rants about Hulk not trusting him. From day one, even when he had Sting’s back the GM has not trusted the former Tag Champ. “Now you want answers?”
Hulk tells Bully to cut the crap, but the King of Calves replies: “Are you really sure you wanna know who the number one man in Brooke’s life is?”….Before either could elaborate, Miss Hogan herself comes running to the ring. She reminds her overprotective father that she’s not 18 anymore, and this is none of his business.
Holding off the sordid details until another time, Austin Aries interrupts from the big screen, lambasting Hogan for spending more time on his personal affairs than on Championship Thursday. Aries, Kid Kash, Zema Ion and Kenny King are all waiting to state their case for a shot at the X Division title, and Hulk is in the ring airing his family’s dirty laundry.
As bizarre as it is to have both WWE and TNA producing mystery relationship storylines, I’m going to let this one develop. If Austin Aries gets to remain the focus, then it may serve a valuable purpose.
Mickie James def. Gail Kim:
With Gail Kim still in the mix, Mickie James and Madison Rayne returning and Velvet Sky on her way back, the TNA Knockouts Division may be on the rise. Although this match was short, it gave us a glimmer of what we might get to see again in the future.
Kim dominates early, but ends up meeting the Turnbuckle and then the canvas courtesy of a Flapjack. Mickie is unable to maintain her momentum however, missing a top rope maneuver. Gail tries to cheat a quick victory with her foot on the ropes, but the referee catches her and breaks the pin fall, giving Mickie a second chance.
Hardcore Country musters enough energy for the “Mick Kick” but cannot capitalize on the cover. A Hurricanrana out of the corner and a Neckbreaker still can’t secure James the victory. With one final effort Mickie James hits the Spinning DDT for the 3-count.
James Storm burdened with AJ:
AJ Styles is not on a roll right now. He’s had a controversial year and is prevented from having a World title shot for another 12 months. James Storm wants nothing to do with him. He tells AJ that he better focus on their match against Daniels & Kaz tonight and then he can start to sort his life out.
The Cowboy also had words for Bobby Roode. He says he’s a man and can live with the decision of putting his World title shot on the line and losing to Roode, but that bringing his daughter in to the conversation makes things personal!
X-Division grovel session:
Hulk Hogan joins Aries and the other X-Division stars backstage for a groveling session. Aries reminds Hulk that he’s the GM too and needs to get his head straight. Hogan rebukes them for mocking his situation at the beginning of the show, but Aries says he was just kidding around.
Kenny King begins groveling, then Kid Kash reminds the Hulkster that he’s a 3 time former champ and claims to have “made the division”. Aries pulls him off his high horse, explaining that Kash has lost the belt 2 times more than he has.
Hulk decides that King should be cut first.
Aries is not done getting under Hogan’s skin, concluding the segment by telling him that he’s “the man”, and that “Aries Knows Best”.
This element of Hogan vs Aries is far more entertaining than John Cena’s silly tit-for-tat with Vickie Guerrero, but the upside of a feud with Bully Ray is not as big as Dolph Ziggler and Cena.
Bobby Roode def. Christian York:
In the ring Bobby Roode reiterates that he’s the Real World Heavyweight Champion and he proved it last week by taking out Christian York and Jeff Hardy after their match.
Roode disrespectfully calls York a “Gut Check Rookie” and completely buries him to the audience. He said if anyone wants to make a name for themselves it should be against the “It Factor” and not Jeff Hardy. York takes that as a challenge and hits the ring. He slaps Roode and sends him to the outside before calling him out on the microphone. He wants a match right now!
I think it’s good that they’ve debuted York strong and are keeping him (at least for the time being) in the top tier of talent, however he never reminded fans that he’s actually a veteran compared to Roode, and the announcers didn’t put him over either. In that sense it was hard not to believe what Roode was saying. And although it was only a few seconds, he did not appear to be very charismatic on the mic, which is something he’ll need if he’s to stick around in the main event.
After the break the match got underway and was high-intensity from the beginning. The yoked York was all over the It Factor, forcing him to take a breather on the outside. Exiting the ring to go after the Canadian first proved to be a bad decision for York, as Roode planted him in to the barrier, but he fired back reversing Roode in to the steel steps, making it worth his while.
In the ring York goes to the top, but Roode gets the upper-hand by crotching him on the top rope. Roode himself soon heads to the top, but is caught with a boot on the way down. York makes a second attempt and gets back up the turnbuckle, this time connecting with a Double Stomp and then charging the corner with his patented Dreamscape bomb.
Roode manages to power back and goes for the Payoff, but York uses his agility to counter him in to an Inside Cradle. It’s not enough. The veteran is then distracted by the referee leaving him open for a clotheslines and a Crossface, that ultimately makes him tap. Your winner Bobby Roode.
Before Roode can do more damage, Jeff Hardy makes the save.
It’s now time for TNA to decide where on the card they want York. With two losses and a verbal burying he either needs to get his heat back, or slide down the ranks.
Who’s Next for Aces & Eights?:
The invading Motorcycle Club is picking off the TNA roster one by one. First it was Sting, then Magnus, and last week ODB was forced to watch as Aces & Eights destroyed the ankle of Eric Young. ODB will address the situation later tonight!
We get yet another unexplained video from the Aces & Eights clubhouse. Maybe Eric Bischoff is behind the group and that’s how they’re getting Spike TV airtime?
It’s revealed that Doc will face Kurt Angle next week and Devon warns Hulk that if he doesn’t get a shot at his TV title as well, another member of the roster will fall victim of the hammer.
Is Wes Brisco ready?:
Taz and Prichard cannot makes up their minds about Wes Brisco. While he’s the first wrestler to win his Gut Check match and has Kurt Angle’s stamp of approval, he did not overly impress with the victory over Garrett Bischoff.
Kurt Angle pleads some more backstage, but the real story is where is Al Snow? Prichard can’t find him anywhere.
James Storm & AJ Styles def. Daniels & Kazarian:
In the ring Kazarian says it’s ironic that AJ and the Cowboy are teaming tonight, because he’s sorry about the damn luck of AJ. At the PPV, Kaz asserts that Daniels will be forever the better man.
I personally do not see the appeal of Kaz and Daniels. They can both get it done in the ring, but I don’t buy their charisma, which consists of cheap Gangnam style dancing. It’s all a bit meh!
Apparently they’re now going by the name “Bad Influence” because they “like all vices”, and Daniels now sports a medal covered jacket, because he’s a “ring general”.
The story tonight is that AJ can’t get his head in the game and is being a lackluster partner for Storm. He gets a hot tag but ends up plancharing himself to the floor outside. Fortunately before Daniels can put AJ away, the Cowboy makes the blind tag and Superkicks his way to victory. No thanks to Styles who sulks up the ramp.
Aries gets X-Division title shot:
Back in Hulk’s office Kid Kash pleads for the shot at RVD, explaining that he’s wrestled and beaten the champ all over the world. Austin Aries jokes that if Hulk wants somebody to stir things up then he’s the great stick for the job. Despite his sarcasm, Hulk decides to give the shot to Aries. Kash and Ion are cut.
Samoa Joe warns Devon:
In an interview somewhere backstage Samoa Joe accepts Devon’s challenge for the TV title. Joe says the Aces & Eight’s member couldn’t hack being the champion and that if he wants the belt he should try and take it!
Matt Morgan def. Doug Williams:
At the entrance-way Joey Ryan introduces his “future Tag Team Champion” partner Matt Morgan.
It’s been 3 weeks so I think it’s safe to say RVD has completely forgotten that Matt Morgan knocked him out after his match with Ryan at Turning Point.
Matt Morgan hits the ring wearing Hulk Hogan’s old school robe, that he wore before Hulkamania. He squashes Doug Williams with the Carbon Footprint. Is it me or has Williams put on weight since being down in OVW?
D’Lo replaces Al Snow; Brisco gets his contract:
Gut Check judge Al Snow still can’t be located so D’Lo Brown takes his place. Nice to see the Attitude Era star get a pop from the audience.
So it’s crunch time, has Wes Brisco done enough to prove himself a Gut Check winner? The judges think so. Prichard was not impressed with his match but says he knows what Wes can do, so gives him the Yes. Taz says he was close but for him it’s a No.
In his final promo Wes invokes the spirit of his uncle Jack Brisco and emotionally retorts that he’s doing this for his fans (what fans?) and family.
It works…D’Lo makes it official, 2 yeses make Wes Brisco a contracted TNA talent. But will Al Snow agree with the decision?
It’s been difficult to assess Brisco’s actual worth. He looks like a goofy melodramatic rookie. That could be because he is, or because that’s the character TNA have given him. His match with Garrett was pretty poor, but again judging from the reactions of Angle and the judges it may have been deliberately poor as part of the storyline. There’s also the fact that WWE released Brisco from developmental, which could mean he’s not quite at TV standard or WWE just did not like his accent and look, and TNA are giving him a chance to shine. Either way it’s going to take some time for the young star to get over.
Kurt and Garrett storm the ring to celebrate with Brisco. Stay tuned for Garrett to get jealous.
Bully confronts Hulk:
Backstage Bully is still ticked off that Hulk Hogan has never trusted him. He confronts Hogan, asking him why he didn’t come to Bully if he had problems with Aries? Bully says Hulk is confusing business with personal problems. Hogan suggests Bully might be doing the same.
ODB can’t take it:
ODB recalls how for months she’d been searching for Eric Young and the pair were finally reunited at Turning Point. That was all taken away from her when Aces & Eights put EY on the shelf last week. It’s all too much for her and she walks off before the interview could really get started.
It will be interesting to see how ODB gets payback.
Aries & Hogan cross paths:
Back in the corridors of the Impact Zone Austin Aries and Hulk Hogan cross paths again. Overjoyed and bemused by Hogan’s decision to give him the X-Division title shot Aries gloats that this is one step away from recapturing the World title. Hulk does not see the funny side, suggesting that Aries might just get his teeth knocked out.
RVD def. Austin Aries via DQ:
The match kicks of with some back and forth action and chain wrestling. RVD appears to be getting the advantage with some stiff kicks and some shoulders in the corner, but Aries cleverly holds on to the ropes after an Irish Whip and avoids RVD’s Dropkick.
The heel panders to crowd a little too long, giving up control of the match by missing an elbow. However RVD can’t keep control either, miscalculating a Rolling Thunder. He fights on, connecting with an over-the-rope Cross Body, but Aries brawls the ECW Original to the floor and re-enters the ring. As Aries tries for a baseball slide, RVD jumps on to the ring apron; the two collide and the match remains anyone’s for the taking.
Things got extreme when RVD set Aries up for his vintage Legdrop to the guardrail, but Aries had him scouted, leaving the Champion’s leg twisted and hanging off the metal. Capitalizing on the spectacular crash and burn, Aries then followed up with a Neckbreaker in to the audience. It looks to be it, but somehow RVD manages to kick out after Aries rolls him in to the ring.
Out of nowhere RVD fires back and connects with a Split-Legged Moonsault, but Aries is no rookie and manages to get his foot on the ropes. He might not be so lucky with the 5 Star Frog-Splash, but before RVD can make the leap, Aries sends him careering off the top and in to the barrier. Instead of going for the pin the arrogant challenger grabs the mic and mocks the Champion for crashing and burning. He says RVD is laying on his back, sweaty, with his hair messed up, “just like Brooke Hogan”.
With that Bully Ray beelines it for the ring and causes the DQ.
Aries scarpers up the ramp but Hogan is waiting at the entrance. Is Hogan going to work with Bully to get rid of the nuisance known as Austin Aries? Or as Bully Ray’s final statement echos, does Hulk still not trust him?
We’ll have to find out next week.
Category: TV and PPV, Wrestling News |