The Recap for TNA Impact, 7.19.2012, Live from the Impact Zone in Orlando, FL.
Tenay and Taz open with a recap of last week's attack on Hogan and Sting by the group known as Aces and Eights. As a result, Hogan is in the hospital (though well enough to tweet promises of revenge) and Sting is not at Impact.
Today is Open Fight Night, and each of the BFG Series contestants will have a chance to call out an opponent. James Storm is first as he leads the standings. Storm heads out to congratulate Austin Aries for winning the World Title but remind us that he is still atop the BFG Series standings and primed for a shot at said title. He says it's personal with Roode and promises to beat his ass. But for his Series match, he wants to challenge the best wrestler in the back, Kurt Angle. Angle's music hits a couple of times, but the camera finds him backstage, being attacked by Aces and Eights. Storm wins by forfeit (I think). 1 for 1. Apart from Storm's apathy at Angle being destroyed backstage, this was a fine way to open the show.
Samoa Joe is next to make a challenge and since he knows there's not a man alive backstage with the gumption to challenge him, he's picking a fight for himself. He calls out Pope, and we're on!
Match 1: BFG Series: Samoa Joe v "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero: Joe dominates with rapid-fire chops and an enzuigiri, but Pope fights back with a straight right hand and dumps him. Dinero focuses on the face and Joe does a decent job of selling his offense. Pope catches him with an STO and the Rings of Saturn and rolls over into a pin for 2. He follows with elbows, but now Joe has had enough and finishes with the armbar in about 3 minutes. 1 for 2. Not much to it - it was too short to tell a story. Joe sold it well and looked motivated, and that's always a plus.
Bobby Roode is hounded backstage by the reporter, who asks him if he has anything to do with Aces and Eights. The commentators pick up on this and follow up throughout the show, casting strong suspicion on Roode as the one with the most to gain. Roode, for his part, is noncommittal and promises to beat Austin Aries up instead. INTRIGUE~!
Jeff Hardy heads out for his challenge but Robbie E interrupts with Robbie T in tow. E says that Hardy's been ducking him for far too long, but tonight he won't be able to run away. Match 2: BFG Series: Jeff Hardy v Robbie E: It's a simple story here - when it's one-on-one Hardy dominates, but Robbie T keeps interfering to give E the edge. Basement dropkick gets 2 for Hardy but T pulls him out and sends him into the stairs instead. E tries a cravat, but Hardy reverses and nails the Whisper in the Wind for 2. Robbie E gets dumped, so Jeff dives onto him but stops to brawl with Robbie T, getting counted out in the process in about 3 minutes. 1 for 3. This one had a better structure and an easily identifiable story, but in the end, it's just a three-minute special.
ODB talks to Eric Young on the phone, who apparently disappeared weeks ago after being tasked to get ODB some beer and fried chicken. He's back now, with an offer to be on a TV show, but still doesn't have the food. ODB is a bit miffed, but a kiss takes care of that. She sends him off to get the chicken. Right, then.
Christopher Daniels (with APPLETINI) and Kaz discuss the AJ situation backstage, reminding us that Claire Lynch has some sort of proof. Daniels is appalled that "the Phenomenal Scumbag" AJ is in denial about the whole situation, while Kaz just wants him to man up and admit to making a mistake. "We all make mistakes, even the great AJ Styles!"
JB is in the ring with the Gut Check contestant Sam Shaw (who appeared briefly at the ECW Tribute Hardcore Justice), but before he can really tell us much, Aces and Eights attack to beat the everloving crap out of him.
Mr. Anderson is out to make his challenge - a few weeks ago he called out a douchebag, but tonight he wants to call out a man he's proud to call his friend, AJ Styles. Match 3: BFG Series: Mr. Anderson v AJ Styles: Anderson takes the initiative by working over AJ's arm, only to run into headscissors. They do some basic mat wrestling, but a criss-cross sends Anderson tumbling to the floor and we head to a commercial. Anderson controls but it doesn't last too long as AJ connects with a dropkick. Knee drop from the top gets two for AJ but he runs into a neckbreaker for 2. Anderson holds onto a cravat for dear life until AJ forces a break in the ropes, and follows with a spinkick and the Springboard Superman Smash for 2. Anderson stops the Styles Clash but gets rolled up for 2. Finlay Roll sets up the Mic Check, but AJ blocks and heads to the top. Anderson brings him down with a huge superplex, and they exchange nearfalls off that. Anderson misses a lariat but blocks the Styles Clash, and they fight it out until a botched rollup finishes for Anderson in 14 minutes. 2 for 4. Good back and forth action, and finally something gets more than three minutes!
Post match, AJ is confronted by Claire Lynch, who is aggravated because AJ won't return her calls. She happened to take some rather raunchy photos of the night in question, and those are her proof. Those are kinda damning, if only to suggest that he did indeed spend the night with her. He steadfastly denies remembering spending a night with her. In AJ's defense, he looks out of it in the pics and there's a big-ass bottle of alcohol prominently displayed. She claims they went at it all night long, and gets in a zinger about adding a new date on AJ's tattoo. AJ is distraught.
RVD heads out for his challenge, and claims to be "tickled pink" at the idea of getting to kick Daniels's ass. In a great character moment, Daniels refuses to hand over his APPLETINI to Bully Ray despite heading out to the ring to compete. Match 4: BFG Series: Rob Van Dam v Christopher Daniels: They fight it out to start, but the commentators are too busy hyping Bellator's upcoming PPV. RVD nails a Northern Lights Suplex for 2 and settles into an abdominal stretch. Van Dam busts out what I can only call a Wishbone Split Lock, and Daniels takes a break to gather his thoughts (and balls). Back in, Daniels dominates with a slingshot elbow and a side effect for 2. RVD fights out of a chinlock with some kicks, and the superkick and monkey flip get a nearfall for him. Van Dam heads to the top but Daniels is up to prevent the ***** Frog Splash, so instead Rob kicks him down. Rolling Thunder misses however, and Daniels rolls him up with the aid of the ropes in about 5 minutes. 3 for 5. Decent enough, given the limited time. Chris Daniels has a personality for the first time in ages, and it's helping enhance his work!
Austin Aries mocks Bobby Roode's stuttering promo from last week, calling him a fluke, because Roode should never have had the title heading into Destination X. He says he's ready for Roode tonight. He find the Aces and Eights card in his gear, however.
Joseph Park is with Garrett Bischoff, offering him legal advice. Garrett is more interested in the Black Hole Slam on Bully Ray from last week, but Park wants to have nothing to do with that line of discussion.
Magnus heads to the ring for his match, but Bully Ray attacks during his entrance, and we're on! Match 5: BFG Series: Magnus v Bully Ray: Magnus has the advantage from having slammed Ray into the steps, and he works him over in the ring. Ray comes back with the good ole-fashioned rake of the eyes and drops an elbow for 2. Ray misses a splash, triggering a slugfest, and Magnus follows with a backdrop suplex for 2. Ray comes back with a clothesline but his blind charge misses and he's knotted up in the Texas Cloverleaf! Ray reaches the ropes, however. Magnus gets a Michinoku Driver for 2 and wants the second-rope elbow, but Ray evades and hits the Bully Cutter for the clean pin in 5 minutes. 4 for 6. Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, to borrow a Keith saying.
Poor Sam Shaw will get another chance in the Gut Check challenge next week. Also, Chavo Guerrero is scheduled to make his Impact debut!
Bobby Roode heads out to call out Austin Aries, and the only word on his mind is FLUKE. Match 6: Non-Title: Austin Aries v Bobby Roode: It's a slugfest to start, but Roode gains the upper hand and slaps him around a bit. Roode nearly traps him in the Crossface, but Aries retaliates with a slingshot senton and an elbow drop for 2. Aries dumps him and nails a forearm from the apron as we hit a break. Bizarrely, my feed goes right back to commercial after about 10 seconds of action, right after the first commercial break ends. When we're finally back, Roode has gained control of the match. Aries's comeback is met with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a spinebuster for 2. Roode stops to celebrate and kicks him in the head, but Aries keeps coming with chops and rights. Another slugfest has Aries looking for the Rolling Elbow, but he nearly lands in the Crossface instead. He locks the Last Chancery, but Roode rakes his face to break that and spears him for a hot nearfall. They fight over the turnbuckle, and Aries wins it to nail a missile dropkick and the IED corner dropkick. Roode turns the Brainbuster into the Crossface, however, and Aries has to fight for the ropes. Aries nails the Rolling Elbow and dumps him. Heatseeking Missile, but now Aces and Eights attack for the Sportz Entertainment Finish in 14 minutes. 5 for 7. Predictably bland ending aside, this was a great match that left me yearning for more.
Roode, ever the slimy douche, looks on as Aces and Eights do a number on Aries. Roode wants to be on the winning side and offers a handshake, so Aces and Eights go medieval on him for good measure. Ha! There goes Tenay's theory. End show.
Updated BFG Series Standings: 1. Joe 47 2. Storm 43 3. Angle 27 4. Anderson 23 5. Hardy 21 6. Van Dam 14 6. Magnus 14 8. Daniels 12 9. Bully Ray 7 9. Styles 7 9. Pope 7 12. Robbie E 5
Wrestling Counter: 44 minutes.
5 for 7: A fairly breezy show this week. Nothing mind-blowing, but steady advancement of all angles, and nothing particularly ridiculous either. Competently wrestled matches from top to bottom, and the main event was pretty damn good. Strangely, no Knockouts. TNA continues to be a fun watch. They'll definitely have me watching next week.
I'm really enjoying Impact and this week was loaded with actual wrestling. I still hate the AJ storyline and something tells me I won't like Aces and 8s either especially if it leads to another super faction. For now though the shows are good enough that I can ignore some of the dumber stuff.
So last night I decided to take the chance and do something I haven’t done since 1/4/10 and watch an entire episode of TNA Impact. Beginning to end. No fast forwards, no flipping channels except during commercials.
The presentation is fresh. While WWE can create amazing montages/recaps when they want to, the weekly shows look the same year after year. Impact at least looks different and cuts things together in a different way. It was a nice change.
I really like the idea of the BFG series. One of the biggest problems with wrestling since the end of the NWA days was the question “why are they fighting?” Into the mid-90’s you could say it was for titles at least, but the rise of the Monday Night Wars turned everything into soap operas and really killed off a lot of the notion of wrestling as faux-sport. Eventually it just became wrestlers come to an arena, get put into a match, and go home. Almost like circus clowns unless they happen to be in an angle over girlfriends or general managers or what have you. So the idea of the BFG series, where every match counts, even house show matches, all leading up to fighting for a title that people think is worth fighting for, really appeals to me.
Which is why I’m not happy about the way the A&8 angle threatens to overshadow the title. All this fighting for BFG points and AA giving up the X title for the world title shot risks being undermined by being subsumed to a bigger issue. I like the idea of wrestlers having their toes in more than one story at a time, but not when it has to do with the world championship. I enjoy the idea of A&8, but I think they’re doing it at the wrong time. Do this AFTER BFG, so that whomever has emerged from that as the champion can take the position of the prime defender of TNA.
Only one dud segment. Oh my god I hated everything to do with AJ Styles and the shouty lady. It is like the worst Vince Russo angle ever and it is full of terrible actors. That was the only part of the show that made me want to fast forward. Or stab my eyes out.
Otherwise it was a fun show. I enjoyed the two hours of it. It felt kind of like an old NWA show. There’s no one on the show who can hold my attention the way someone like Punk or Bryan can, but on the other hand I’m not embarrassed to be watching 75% of it like I am with Raw many weeks.
Oh yeah, also I don’t remember why I ever liked Ken Anderson. He grates on me.
I’m going to keep watching, but they are still on a short leash with me.
One thing that made go me thinking with the BFG Tournament is I thought everybody faced everybody once, so is open call out night a night that doesn't count as part of that? Can you only call out guys who you haven't faced? If you called out Robby E and are the only guy that faces him twice isn't that like an unbalanced schedule. Did James Storm get points for the Angle no-show?
Also the referee threatens to throw out Robbie T or actually was throwing out Robbie T. Jeff Hardy the brawls with Robbie T and the ref counts him out? C'mon.
I'm not a guy that has watched a lot of Austin Aries. From what I have seen I have enjoyed, but man does he remind me of Chris Benoit. From the little roided out frame to some of the mannerisms when he sells a move, the way he throws himself into moves with reckless abandon, to the way he walks. You never see Benoit stuff anymore, so to see someone who reminds you of that is kind of cool but also kind of weird.
After catching The Dark Knight Rises, I was finally able to catch up with this show. It was another good effort, but far too much focus on Aces & Eights for my taste. This had better be one hell of a reveal.
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Originally posted by WhitebaconThe long haired blonde fella reminds me of Brian Kendrick a little bit, couldn't place any of the others.
I don't know, man, none of them looked small enough to be Brian Kendrick. They all seemed pretty big and beefy. The name that has been thrown around a lot is Luke Gallows, but there is also speculation that the workers under the masks right now are just hired guns and the big reveal might have someone else under the masks.
It's False is right though, they spent a whole hell of a lot of time on Impact to build up this group, and they've taken out basically the top five in the company - it had damn well be a worthwhile reveal.
The Claire Lynch thing, the local actress they hired was just.. a bad choice. Not to mention they couldn't have made it any more obvious that AJ was unconscious in every single one of those pictures, yet no one - not AJ, not an announcer, not anyone managed to even bring up the possibility that there's a frame job going on.
Other than that storyline, I've been enjoying the BFG series, and seeing how far Aries can carry the ball. Since they screwed up with the Storm redemption at Lockdown, I don't know why he can't just get back at Roode outside the championship picture. (If they decide to run with AA.)
I can't imagine what free agents outside the company could live up to the Aces & Eights hype, and I fear it's going to be another Bischoff-led heel faction. (By which I mean the dread of having to watch the 74th try at recapturing the nWo magic.)
The only way it would interest me is if it turned out to be a group of guys who lost their jobs due to the signings of "big names" like Hogan, Sting, and Angle. You'd have a lot of guys who could be in it. Lethal, Homicide, Amazing Red, Tomko, Petey Williams, Chris Harris, Low Ki, Elix Skipper, Consequences Creed.
Something like that would make me care, but if it is Bischoff or Jarrett it will be FF'd material.
TNA Creative may have gone all-in too quickly here. The beatdowns of Hogan, Sting, Angle, Aries, and Roode could've been stretched out over a longer period instead of being crunched in a two-week period. Now the group seems to have run out of major targets - they've already taken out the authority figure, the icon, the champion, his number one contender (and chief suspect), and the best wrestler. What else do they have left to do to make an Impact? (pardon the pun.) They've done so much that taking it up a notch for this week's show may well present a challenge.
The prolonged absence of Eric Bischoff gives me a real foreboding feeling that he will be revealed as the higher power behind all this. A cooler reveal could be Roode, and his beatdown last week could easily be explained away as a means of clearing his name from the suspect list.
I agree with TheOldMan on Claire Lynch. For all the talk about how bad an actress she is (and she isn't good, that's for sure), I actually liked how she acted a week and a half ago. It was a subtle, slow heel turn with smoking and the way she was used. Cut to last week, and she suddenly becomes uber-heel, showing pictures that obviously show AJ unconscious and spouting out lines about how AJ and her did the deed. It was grating and killed any chance of being a good story.
The rest of the show though was another good episode of Impact. I like that the Aces and Eights attacked the Gut Check dude best of all; that was unexpected.
Hopefully this thursday Dixie won't schedule her Spike TV meetings at the same time as Impact.
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Originally posted by TorchslasherI agree with TheOldMan on Claire Lynch. For all the talk about how bad an actress she is (and she isn't good, that's for sure), I actually liked how she acted a week and a half ago. It was a subtle, slow heel turn with smoking and the way she was used. Cut to last week, and she suddenly becomes uber-heel, showing pictures that obviously show AJ unconscious and spouting out lines about how AJ and her did the deed. It was grating and killed any chance of being a good story.
Claire turning heel kills any chance of it being a good story, as it makes no Earthly sense as to why a drug addict who was helped get clean by Dixie and AJ would suddenly become a criminal mastermind. There's so much unexplained and left dangling about this whole convoluted mess that it's never going to make much sense.
I was under the impression that Daniels is the mastermind behind the whole plot? I thought Claire is the pawn, being led along here. Maybe since Daniels and AJ apparently had their blowoff match, this looks like a new direction in the story? (If so, I agree that would be stupid.)
If asked to keep the booking straight, I'd have it where Daniels was still screwing with Claire's mind. Supplying her with substances she likes to abuse, whispering in her ear about how AJ is somehow using her.. It's a bit uncomfortable for my tastes, but it's not unprecedented that someone you try to help disappoints you time and time again.
Of course if they're going with 'she's been faking the pregnancy all along', then you have to concede Claire is in on the plotting. To make *that work, you have to come up with a further 'reveal' to explain why she's trying to get back at Styles. Which would make the clunker storyline in TNA, worse.
(Also, if Aces & Eights are still a theoretical group of heels, it joins a long line of wrestling angles that will likely fail because the company went with 'a cool-sounding idea' that they didn't have booked out to make sense in the end. The Midnight Rider worked because they knew who was under the mask all along.. the Higher Power? Not so much.)
There's almost no reason not to boo Kevin Owens. He's a ruthless opportunist, the kind of the guy that willingly beat his best friend within an inch of his life, had no regard for his well-being, and acts like a soulless monster in the ring. And yet........