The recap for TNA Impact 7.11.13, taped from Las Vegas, NV.
Last week, Chris Sabin won back his X-Division title from Austin Aries, Magnus joined the Main Event Mafia, and the Bound for Glory Series continued.
Bully Ray is backstage, and he's unhappy about Brooke Hogan's (real-life, I think) engagement. Bully understands moving on with your life, but you do it when he wants you to!
Aces and Eights join us to start the show and Bully Ray has a few points of business to take care of. First is Chris Sabin. Ray wants to make sure that Sabin does not make the mistake of trading in his X-Division Title and invoking Option C. Bully reiterates that he's a "bad bad man who does bad things to little people." The next order of business is the voting of the Vice President of the A&E. Since they're a family, they will do it internally via vote and the "stupid, white trash" crowd will have no say in it. A little subtle dig at the competition there, I think. He addresses that the Main Event Mafia want A&E at Destination X next week, but rejects their challenge.
The Main Event Mafia interrupt at this point, and Kurt Angle (wearing atrocious stars-and-stripes sunglasses) promises to wipe out every single A&E member one-by-one next week. Samoa Joe and Magnus disappoint me by not being decked out in suit jackets. Angle tells Bully that for the first time since becoming World Champion, he will be all alone at Destination X. Sting promises to reveal the fifth and last member of the MEM tonight. 1 for 1. Decent opening, sets the tone for the show and moves the MEM/A&E story forward.
Tonight marks the return of the Jokers Wild tournament, where all twelve superstars from the BFG series will compete in tag matches to earn the right to enter a gauntlet battle royale worth 25 points at the end of the show.
Match 1: Jokers Wild: Jeff Hardy (17) and Joseph Park (-10) v Samoa Joe (19) and AJ Styles (12) AJ easily runs circles around Park, so Hardy tags himself in. Hardy takes over with a hiptoss and the front suplex gets a quick 1-count. Joe comes in to dominate Hardy but gets kicked in the head off a reversal. That only serves to piss him off, and he nearly takes Hardy's head off with an elbow for 2. AJ comes in off a tag, but Hardy, fueled by the crowd, makes a comeback. Hardy's brief comeback ends when he lands in the Calf Killer, but Park breaks it up. Joe and Park wind up being the legal men and Park dominates with a series of bodyblocks. AJ gets dumped, so Park stops to show off only to get caught in the Koquina Clutch and tap out in 5 minutes. 1 for 2. The format of this tournament means Impact Special(tm) tag matches, and there's not enough time to develop much of anything. Postmatch, AJ and Joe get in each other's faces.
Match 2: Jokers Wild: Jay Bradley (0) and Hernandez (7) v Magnus (24) and Mr. Anderson (7) And we have Wacky Tag Partners Who Can't Get Along! Anderson wants a piece of the action, but decides better of it and tags in Magnus. Bradley wants a piece of HIM, but runs into a High Knee for 2. Bradley controls with his own knee and now Hernandez comes in but Magnus turns the tables on him. Magnus wants a tag but Anderson wants no piece of that, allowing Bradley to take over. Magnus makes his own save, but runs into a slingshot shoulderblock by Hernandez. Bradley's corner charge eats boot, however, and Magnus follows with the big boot for a double-KO. Anderson is nowhere to be found for the hot tag, but Magnus doesn't need him anyway. Hernandez eats clotheslines until Bradley interferes, but now he trips up the wrong man and Magnus rolls up Hernandez in 4 minutes. 2 for 3. Another Impact Special(tm), but this was a good vehicle for Magnus and nice storyline advancement.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are commiserating over their respective issues backstage when Bad Influence interrupt to remind them that the four of them - "these four handsome men" - are the only ones left. Aries and Roode bond over their mutual hatred for Bad Influence. "They talk so fast." Come on, Bobby, that's no reason to hate anyone.
Match 3: Jokers Wild: Christopher Daniels (14) and Austin Aries (7) v Kazarian (0) and Bobby Roode (0) Daniels is aghast at this twist of fate. He and Kaz decide posing together is a better option to fighting, but Aries tags himself in to end the lovefest. Kaz and Aries mat wrestle until Aries escapes headscissors with a headstand and dropkicks Kaz in the face! Daniels tags himself in to save him, and starts against Roode. Roode drops him with a right hand and a kneedrop for 2, so he tags in Aries. They lock up and Aries heads to the apron, but Kaz trips him up and we go a break. Back in, Kaz has Aries locked up but he makes a comeback. Kaz drops him with the H5O for 2, but Aries comes back with the roaring elbow. They both tag out, and Daniels runs into a spinebuster for 2. He turns the Payoff into an uranage, but Aries brings himself in to missile dropkick Roode. Roode evades the IED dropkick in the corner, and Kaz comes in with a beautifully-timed slingshot DDT. That gets 2 as Daniels is forced to save the match and now there is trouble in Bad Influence's paradise. Aries nails Kaz with a dropkick, and Daniels wants to take advantage, but gets rolled up instead in 10 minutes. 3 for 4. Lots of fun, great finish. Bad Influence make up afterwards.
Hogan catches up to Brooke backstage but she doesn't want to talk about personal life right now. Hogan tells her to take care of all her business after the show.
Bully Ray abstains from voting in the A&E VP election between Anderson and Doc. D-Von and Tazz vote for Doc while Brisco and Bischoff vote for Anderson, leaving Knux as the decider. He coolly stabs Doc in the back and Anderson is the new VP. Knux explains that "it's for the club." Doc looks about ready to murderkill something.
Match 4: Ladder Match: #1 Contendership for the Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim v Taryn Terrell Mickie James heads out to observe. Taryn evades a clothesline and takes Gail down with her own, and then a snap suplex. Gail winds up outside, where Taryn spears her through the ropes. Gail comes back by smashing Taryn's face into the ramp and brings the ladder inside, but loses a tug of war to get crushed in the corner. Tazz returns from the voting, and he and Tenay bicker for no reason. Taryn wins a slugfest and starts to climb, but Gail puts a stop to that. Gail dives onto her off the ladder, but Taryn knees her on the way down. They trade climbing attempts, but neither girl is worn down enough to allow it.
Gail tries a ringpost figure-four, but Taryn kicks her off and we head to a break. Back in, they slug it out on top of the ladder, but it tips and they both go into the ropes. The next climb winds up with Gail tangled in the ladder, so Taryn gets a second one and wedges into the first. Taryn sets up Gail on the wedged ladder, but Gail escapes and tangles her up in the ladder with the figure-four! Gail heads to the top, but Taryn chokes her off. The ladder is in the wrong place and Taryn's knee is dead, so she can't get to the contract. Instead she jumps off onto Gail with a crossbody. They fight on the ladder in the ensuing climb, but Gail fights her off and they both fall off. Taryn stops the Eat Defeat with a Dragon Sleeper, but Gail tangles her hair in the ropes, and that's enough of a distraction to give Gail the time to win this in 15 minutes. 4 for 5. Fantastic.
Kurt Angle and Sting discuss the fifth member of the MEM, who's on his way to be here in a few minutes.
Match 5: Jokers Wild Gauntlet This is a 6-man battle royale, where two men start, and then the four others enter after time intervals. First four eliminations are over-the-top-rope, and then the last elimination is pin or submission. AJ and Magnus start and engage in a feel-out sequence, but Magnus gets a clothesline to put him down. Kazarian is next, so Styles goes after him and suplexes him in the turnbuckle. Magnus tries to dump AJ, but runs into a back suplex by Kaz instead. Samoa Joe is #4, and he and Magnus work together to kick Kaz's ass. Styles escapes elimination but Kazarian doesn't, getting backdropped over by AJ.
We go to commercial, and when we come back, Anderson has entered, and Roode enters soon after. Everybody tries to eliminate everyone else without success. Styles walks into a powerslam, and Roode sets him up on top of the ropes, where Anderson clotheslines him out for the elimination. Joe takes himself and Anderson out of the picture and it's down to Roode and Magnus. Magnus runs into the spinebuster for 2, and Roode grabs a crossface. Magnus escapes and locks a cloverleaf, but Roode gets the ropes.
They fight at the turnbuckle and Magnus wins that, but misses with the follow-up elbow drop. Roode wants the Payoff, but Magnus blocks that, Roode rolls him up off that, but Magnus counters with his own rollup and that's game at 16 minutes. 5 for 6. The middle portion dragged a little, but the rest was pretty enjoyable.
Hulk Hogan heads out for Chris Sabin's decision. Hogan gets the hometown cheap pop, and then calls out Sabin. Sabin talks about how wrestling and winning the heavyweight title has always been his dream, but A&E interrupt. Bully Ray wants Sabin to know that "a little boy like you has no chance to beat a man like me." Sabin unleashes his own promo, reminding Bully that he pinned him middle of the ring AFTER kicking out of the 3D in Team 3D's retirement match. He says he's used to being the underdog, but all he needs is one chance, and he'll be looking down at Ray next week as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Sabin hands the X-Division title to Hogan to make it official, and Bully lets him know that he just signed his death warrant. The MEM appear now to introduce their latest member, Rampage Jackson, and that's how we end it this week. 6 for 7. Underwhelming reveal at the end, but the promo work prior to that was pretty good. Chris Sabin was particularly intense, though his facial expressions don't always match what he's saying. He didn't do his image as a worthwhile contender any harm with his work today.
Wrestling Counter: 50 minutes.
Breezy show this week. The excellent ladder match and the entertaining main event capped off nearly an hour of wrestling, and you won't find me complaining about that very often, especially since every match had some reason for existing. They did a good job moving stories forward for next week's Destination X on free TV, and that show promises to be a good one.
Originally posted by lotjxI love the BFG series. It feels like they are actually having fun during this time.
Yeah, this is always a good time of the year for TNA because they tend to be a lot more focused - it's their build to Wrestlemania, so to say. The last couple of shows have flown by, and each match has had context. That's good work.
Originally posted by lotjx Gail and Taryn seem to be having their Flat/Steamboat series. Surprising since no one thought Taryn could wrestle
I didn't catch their acclaimed match at Slammiversary, but the ladder match was pretty cool - they didn't go for huge bumps, but it was intense throughout and nothing they did felt contrived. I loved it. With a little game of one-upsmanship going on between the two ladies' divisions, I wonder if the E will try something like this between Kaitlyn and AJ at the PPV.
Bound for Glory Series Standings after Impact: Magnus: 49 Samoa Joe: 19 Jeff Hardy: 17 Christopher Daniels: 14 AJ Styles: 12 Anderson, Hernandez, Austin Aries: 7 Jay Bradley, Kazarian, Bobby Roode: 0 Joseph Park: -10
I enjoyed it, mostly. Main wasn't great; Ult. X was slightly disappointing, too, with an ending that felt really abrupt and anticlimactic. (It does anser the question, "Can Joe compete in an Ultimate X match?