OPENING THURSDAY NIGHT NFL RECAP Buffalo lives for close games these days, even if they take multi-TD leads into the 4th quarter. Neither of these teams are any good, which is a bit disheartening, considering I had the Dolphins as a sleeper team. BILLS 19, DOLPHINS 14
We open with a recap of Turning Point, with James Storm becoming #1 contender and AJ Styles getting the shaft. The Aces & Eights ran amok. And Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries killed themselves for our entertainment! Impact Wrestling starts right now!
Opening pyro! Your hosts are Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz! We are taped from the Impact Zone! I'm running on fumes, so look for this recap to be more abbreviated than normal.
We start off with "COWBOY" JAMES STORM for our opening promo. Storm takes the mic and says he's finally done it. He thanks the fans, his family, and the doubters that said he couldn't do it.
Interruption quickly comes from BOBBY ROODE, so it looks like everyone else is moving pretty quickly, too. Roode brings out booze! Roode says he wants to join in the celebration, but wants to offer a few toasts, himself. He toasts Storm, who beat AJ Styles (but not Bobby Roode, of course) and toasts Storm, who continues to coast off his success. Roode toasts the fans, who will watch Storm fail. And Roode toasts Storm's family, including his daughter, who have to pick up the pieces after Storm runs home again. Storm pops Roode in the mouth and sends him on his way. Storm calls Roode back out. Roode refuses this, noting that he's fought Storm for the past year. He has nothing to gain...unless Storm puts his title shot on the line. Storm declines this offer. Roode plays the family card, so Storm accepts the challenge.
There's no way THIS can end badly! Right?
Your hosts are Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz, who talk about AJ Styles. Tonight, Styles speaks out.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan says he feels bad for AJ Styles. I'm sure he does. Hogan says AJ's his own worst enemy. That's...kind of a dick thing to say, actually.
Here's a look back at Aces & Eights killing Sting dead last Thursday with a ball-PEEN hammer.
In the Aces & Eights Happy Fun Time Clubhouse, Bane calls their meeting to order. Doc reels off what happened in the last week and vows to keep the destruction going. Bane says Doc will find out how the club voted on his admission later, but asks for his vest in the meantime. Devon tosses another dart to see who's next. "That prick deserves it."
KID KASH v. ROB VAN DAM: X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH Kid Kash gets no entrance, because he's cannon fodder, of course. Man, it's been a while since I've typed that.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam - Two-minute special. Kash was never really in it.
Backstage, Eric Young tells Deadliest Catch stories to ODB. Young offers to take care of Jesse once and for all, while ODB says she'll become #1 contender for the KO title tonight. They make out. Yup.
Backstage, Kurt Angle needs a tag partner for his match with the Aces & Eights and his choices are Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco! Good God! THESE are his only choices? What, was Gunner not available? Garrett wants a chance to face his old tag team partner. Wes says Kurt's trained him since high school and says he's got Kurt's back. Kurt decides on Garrett, but says he has major plans for Wes.
JESSE (w/TARA) v. ERIC YOUNG (w/ODB) Christy Hemme's got torn jeans and a halter top, looking particularly scrumptious tonight.
Jesse attacks Young from behind after Young locks up with the ref, as he does. Jesse works over Young with his 'roided up offense, looking only slightly better than David Otunga. Look at Jesse choke away and show off his Wellness Policy body! There's a NICE dropkick, however, from Jesse, showing that he's at least got one good move in his arsenal. Flair Flip from Young, but he runs right into the abdominal stretch, the go-to move for any 'roided up goof. And sure enough, Jesse flexes in mid-stretch. Young hiptosses out of it and Youngs Up! DOWN COME THE PANTS! Young makes the babyface comeback. Tara comes into the ring and ODB spears her! Young hits Jesse with the powerslam, but the catfight distracts him long enough for Jesse to knock him out of the ring. Tara attacks ODB from behind and rolls Young back in. The Steroid Stunner finishes for Jesse at about 5 minutes.
WINNER: Jesse - Jesse is not good, but there's definite room for improvement here.
Later tonight, we hear from AJ Styles. Also later, we see the Knockouts in a battle royale. But up next, Samoa Joe and Magnus face off again, because PPV's are for suckers!
Here's a look at Doc/Joseph Park from last Sunday.
Backstage, Joseph Park wants ONE...MORE...MATCH! Hulk Hogan declines this request and notes that his job's on the line, as he has to look out for the roster, which is exactly why he didn't show up to the PPV! Oh, wait. Hogan rambles and tells Park that he's not a wrestler. Park interprets this as Hogan telling him he should go to wrestling camp! Hogan shrugs off Park, as he limps out of his office.
MAGNUS comes out for his match against Samoa Joe, but here are the ACES & EIGHTS...for some reason. Devon kills Magnus with the baseball bat! And the beatdown is on! Doc destroys Magnus' knees with the ball-PEEN hammer! Umm...is this a face turn for Magnus? What the hell is happening here? Here's BULLY RAY to make the save. Al Snow, D-Lo Brown, and the trainers call for medics.
Well...that certainly was a nice heel run they were teasing with Magnus. So much for that. I don't get this.
We come back with Magnus continuing to get stretchered out. You know, this would be a great way to build up a sympathetic babyface, so WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS WITH MAGNUS???
Here's a look at last Sunday's Hardy/Aries ladder match.
Annoying Backstage Guy asks Austin Aries how he's feeling right now. Aries says what we're all thinking and says that's a stupid question, showing him the welts on his back. Aries goes in for a massage...only to find Jeff Hardy already getting one. Aries tells Jeff that he wants to complain, but would rather opt to give him respect for beating him again. Aries says he brought that out in Jeff and tells Jeff that their issue isn't over yet. Aries ultimately decides to take his leave. So let's take this good segment and make it silly. Jeff's Brain says that Aries will never reach his level and that Aries left his dimension not a world champion. Thanks for that, Jeff's Brain!
GARRETT BISCHOFF and "THE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST" KURT ANGLE come out for our next match. Kurt takes the mic and says he doesn't need a dart to know who he wants to beat. Kurt says that nobody threatens Kurt Angle, so he and his tag partner are waiting.
GARRETT BISCHOFF & "THE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST" KURT ANGLE v. ACES & EIGHTS I'm quickly reaching Aces & Eights overload and I'm rapidly running low on time tonight, so let's breeze through this.
We FFWD to the Pier 4 breaking out, as Kurt hits the masked guy with a dropkick. The Aces run interference, as the masked guy grabs a full nelson on Kurt. Doc comes in with the ball-PEEN hammer, but here's WES BRISCO wielding a lead pipe...and swinging it terribly. Everyone gets chased off, leaving Kurt and the masked guy. Kurt's trick knee acts up, kicking the guy in the nuts, allowing Kurt to roll him up for the pin.
WINNERS: Garrett Bischoff & Kurt Angle - I'm so burned out on this Aces angle.
Later tonight, James Storm puts his title shot on the line against Bobby Roode. We hear from AJ Styles later tonight. And up next, it's a Knockouts battle royale!
Backstage, Tara and Jesse go searching for Brooke Hogan. They walk through Brooke Hogan's door...and find Brooke Hogan on the couch with Bully Ray? Ray hastily exits, as Tara asks about the battle royale that she didn't know about. Brooke responds that Tara should knock and that she can't deal with this right now. Tara advises Brooke to lock the door. Good advice!
Backstage, Dixie Carter gets asked about AJ Styles. Dixie says that AJ's unfocused and that this isn't the way to turn his career around. She doesn't know what losing title opportunities for a year will do to AJ, but she says this isn't the way to turn it around. What the hell is she talking about? What the hell is Hogan talking about, for that matter? HE LOST A MATCH! How is that weird and unfocused? What AJ Styles are THEY seeing?
It's time for the KO Battle Royale. We start off by introducing GAIL KIM, MADISON RAYNE, MICKIE JAMES, and the rest after the...
KNOCKOUTS BATTLE ROYALE Winner gets a Knockouts title shot. We have GAIL KIM, MADISON RAYNE, MICKIE JAMES, MISS TESSMACHER, ODB, and...that's it. Really? A five-person battle royale? Ok, sure.
Lots of choking going on and not much action. Tenay says this is the first time we've seen Mickie in 3 months. Pretty sure it's been longer than that. Tessmacher takes everybody out and stupidly goes for the corner punches on Gail, so Rayne simply shoves her out. Stereo Thesz Presses from Mickie and ODB! ODB grabs the flask and rubs Rayne's face in her crotch! Gail gets more of the same. Rayne hangs Mickie on the top and poses on the apron, but she turns right into the VODKA MIST~! from ODB and falls to the floor! Face miscommunication sends ODB into Mickie and Gail dumps ODB! Gail sends Mickie into the corner and chokes away. Mickie tries for the headscissors, but Gail hangs on! A swift kick to the chops will send Gail crashing down to win for Mickie!
WINNER: Mickie James - This was a surprising result, since I thought the idea was for ODB to get the title shot sooner than later.
Annoying Backstage Guy asks James Storm if he knows the potential consequences. Storm says this is a chance to take care of Bobby Roode, once and for all. AJ Styles suddenly enters the picture...stares Storm down, and exits without saying a word.
Backstage, it's the Aces & Eights Happy Fun Time Clubhouse for MORE Aces & Eights! They formally recruit Doc. Whoopity fuck!
Here's a look back at the three-way from last Sunday.
Now we're joined by "THE PHENOMENAL" AJ STYLES, with his face covered by a baseball cap. Styles grabs the mic and reminds us that he ate the pin on Sunday. Styles says it's been that kind of year for him, reminding us of the Dixie Carter and Claire Lynch angles. But he says the worst part is that people doubted him. He says that if he had reached BFG, he would have become the champion. He tries to find solace in the holidays, but he isn't thankful for anything this year.
Interruption comes from...oh Jesus...it's CHRISTOPHER DANIELS and KAZARIAN, because THIS FEUD WILL NEVER DIE!!! Kaz mocks AJ with Elvis. Daniels agrees fully with Styles that this has been his worst year, but says it's his own fault. Daniels calls Styles a broken flawed little man and calls him an utter failure. Styles notes that he's beaten Daniels a lot more than Daniels has beaten him. Styles wants ONE...MORE...MATCH! Kaz says Daniels has nothing to gain from another match and says Styles is stale. Daniels cuts in and says this is actually the perfect time for another round of AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels. Daniels says they'll find out who the real failure is. Styles says let's do it. Because really, what's one more Styles/Daniels match? Hit AJ's music!
Backstage, James Storm and Bobby Roode head to the ring. Their match is next!
Outside the arena, Austin Aries says he's been observing some interactions and has figured out what buttons he needs to push to get around in this company. He says that for Open Fight Night, he'll call out just the person he needs to get answers in this company.
Next week, it's a special Gut Check edition of Open Fight Night, as we re-visit Alex Silva, Taeler Hendrix, Sam Shaw, and Christian York!
Kurt Angle approaches the Gut Check crew and proposes Wes Brisco for Gut Check next week. D-Lo Brown vouches for Brisco and Kurt takes it as a yes. Pritchard and Snow take umbrage, but D-Lo continues talking Brisco up. Hmm...if Brisco's an Ace like we all think he is...and D-Lo's adamant about his ability...hmm...
"THE IT FACTOR OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING" BOBBY ROODE v. "THE COWBOY" JAMES STORM I'd imagine that this is going to be Storm polishing off Roode to finally exorcise him for good before moving on to Jeff Hardy. So let's get this blowoff over and done with! Jeremy Borash gives us the championship intros.
Running low on time again, as we FFWD to after the final ad break. Should be noted that Roode exposed one of the turnbuckles before the break. Roode continues working over Storm, focusing on the arm. Storm makes the babyface comeback with the good arm. Running neckbreaker hits. Roode backdrops a charging Storm to the apron, but gets nailed with the enziguiri! Storm goes up top, but gets crotched. Storm shoves Roode off, but Roode comes right back. Superplex attempt is blocked! Storm nails a sunset flip powerbomb for 2! Storm can't grab the Eye of the Storm and Roode hits the Double A Spinebuster for 2! Roode grabs the crossface, but Storm reaches the ropes. Hammerlock slam is countered with the backcracker and the Codebreaker! Last Call looks to finish, but Roode shoves the ref in the way. Storm shoves the ref away, but Roode slams Storm's head into the exposed turnbuckle and rolls up Storm...for the pin?
WINNER: Bobby Roode - Um...what?
Roode celebrates on the ramp. Closing credits are up and we're out!
I don't get this. I really don't. Haven't they taken Storm through the wringer for the last 12 months? Isn't that enough??? Are they seriously about to throw another batch of shit his way? Is he a walking country song or something? That makes me feel REALLY good about the PPV I just bought six days ago, with its result essentially being baited and switched a few days later! What the hell is the point of this? What the hell can they possibly do with Storm now? Send him home and bring him back triumphant? THEY JUST DID THAT! I haven't felt this bad for someone since Christian got fleeced out of the world title two days after he won it. I'm not expecting the endgame scenario to work out any better for Storm than it did for Christian, either.
And you know the worst thing? That means that we're inevitably going to get ANOTHER round of Storm/Roode and this is a feud that has LONG since reached its expiration date! It's reaching Cena/Orton and Styles/Daniels levels of absurd longetivity! If BFG wasn't enough for a blowoff, then what is?
With all that said, let's all toast to James Storm, the new Dumbest Man in Wrestling! Apologies to Sting, who had a great run!
Speaking of absurdly long feuds, I'm REALLLLLLLLY tired of Styles/Daniels. I don't want to see these two wrestle again. I don't know what else I can add to that, other than I look forward to next week being their Last Match Ever until the next time they decide to have their Last Match Ever.
And as for the rest of the show, it's a whole lot of Aces & Eights! An angle I'm beyond sick of and it's REALLY disheartening to see the Magnus heel run come to an unceremonious end, just so they can push Devon's band of merry goofballs.
Tonight's show can be summed up with these four words: I! DON'T! GET! IT!
Until next time! Take us home, Joseph Park!
Looking for someone to train me...Any suggestions?
The ads plastered all over WWE.com really make this look like a ratings ploy, but the Ross Report makes me hesitate. If they are working the fans here, I think there's going to be a strong negative reaction.