I'm a day late, but I still wanted to catch this week's Impact. So let's dive in!
PREVIOUSLY ON IMPACT WRESTLING! Hulk Hogan reinstated Bully Ray to end the worst part of this angle. Things can only go up from here, as Bully finally gets to feud with the Aces, like he should have been doing two months ago. Tonight, it's a Tables Match. Also, Kurt Angle is Wrestling's Biggest Moron. Impact Wrestling starts right now!
We are taped from Manchester, UK! The tag titles are on the line tonight, plus we get a Tables Match in our main event.
We start with the ACES & EIGHTS. Tenay and Taz talk about an elaborate plan coming together, even though everyone and their mother saw the Brisco and Bischoff turns coming miles away. Devon talks loud and says nothing. Here's a video package for the Aces, because we haven't seen enough of those! Devon introduces Brisco and Bischoff as new Aces. Bischoff proceeds to cut a horrendous promo. Brisco tries to match it with his own awful promo. By the way, take one guess who they want to take their revenge on? Kurt Angle? No, that's just silly. They want revenge on Hulk Hogan, of course, because THIS ENTIRE PROMOTION CENTERS AROUND HULK HOGAN! Devon promises bad things for Hulk Hogan. Hit their music. God, this angle can't end soon enough.
Backstage, Tara feels up Jessie before they barge in on Brooke Hogan. They complain about their accomodations. Brooke regales us with her ACTING! Brooke tells her Tara's facing Tessmacher without Jessie at ringside.
KENNY KING v. ZEMA ION v. ROB VAN DAM: X DIVISION TRIPLE THREAT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH We look back at two weeks ago where Ion stole King's pin, thus interjecting himself into the X title proceedings.
Ion and King double-team RVD, but that alliance quickly falls apart. Everyone flails aroudn for a bit until Van Dam and Ion end up on the outside, where King takes RVD out with a corkscrew tope! Ion matches that by taking out King with the tope con hilo! Ion's missile dropkick takes King down, as they both trade moves. King grabs a single-leg crab until Van Dam breaks it. King takes Van Dam down with an enziguiri and side kick for 2. King misses a dropkick. Rolling Thunder is stopped when Ion trips up Van Dam. Monkey flip from Van Dam hits and the mule kick takes down King. ROB! VAN! DAM! But Van Dam turns around into a tornado DDT from Ion! King breaks up the pin and tries for the Royal Flush, but it's countered with a small package for 2. Ion then hits a SWEET tilt-a-whirl facebuster for 2! Ion tries to take out Van Dam, but eats a clothesline. Van Dam misses on the crossbody and ends up on the outside. Ion hits King with a neckbreaker for 2. King hits the corner moshpit, but Van Dam breaks it up. King takes Van Dam out with a clothesline, but that allows Ion to hit a dropkick on King. Running second-rope moonsault hits knees and King hits the seated dropkick. Northern Lights suplex hits, but Van Dam breaks the pin by hitting King with the Five-Star Frog Splash! Van Dam picks up the scraps and pins Ion to retain the title.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam - King and Ion were going at turbo speed and Van Dam was REALLY struggling to keep up with them. It was kind of awkward.
Backstage, Austin Aries tells Bobby Roode that they can do anything when they cooperate and they will take the tag titles tonight. Roode and Aries say that this is the first step in their plan to get all the gold.
Later tonight, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defend against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode!
Ad break - I don't know what depresses me more: Watching "Big Poppa" get translated to Spanish for a Taco Bell commercial...or the realization that "Big Poppa" is 20 years old. Ay caramba!
Here are some clips of British Boot Camp, which looks like a British version of Tough Enough. Later tonight, we meet the winner, Rockstar Spud.
Here's a look at Bischoff and Brisco from earlier tonight. Ok, we get it! They turned! You don't have to keep reminding us!
Backstage, Bruce Pritchard tells D-Lo Brown that he's shocked, SHOCKED that Wes Brisco turned! I don't know if that makes him a colossal bonehead or if it's the fact that he's telling this to D-Lo, who everyone has had pegged as the Aces leader for about 3 months. Good God, the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT is in full effect here. Pritchard promises a hell toupee when Kurt comes back. And that's your segment. Time for another...
We go to the ring where JESSIE addresses the crowd. He breaks the news to the crowd that he's been banned from ringside for Tara's match later tonight. But he's going to make it up to them with a photo op! That brings out JAMES STORM HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO TONIGHT for rebuttal. Storm tries to cut a promo, but is taken aback at how noisy the crowd is. Storm says the people came to drink beer and watch someone get beat up. Storm says that Tara's not here to save Jessie from getting superkicked tonight, so he's going to beat the crap out of him and drink beer. Storm's going to call out a ref to start a match, which goes against everything I've ever been taught in the last ten years. How can WRESTLERS book matches without authority figures? THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM!!!
"COWBOY" JAMES STORM v. JESSIE Jessie tries a sneak attack and gets nowhere. Jessie takes control and chokes away. The announcers are so enthralled by this that they talk about English beers. Jessie with more strikes in the corner and we hit the abdominal stretch at a whole ONE MINUTE into the match! Storm makes the babyface comeback at less than two minutes in. Eye of the Storm hits! Enziguiri and running neckbreaker hit. Spinebuster and Closing Time hit. Last Call finishes this one in a two-minute special.
WINNER: "Cowboy" James Storm - SQUASH!
Post-match, Storm grabs the mic and plays ventriloquist with Jessie's corpse. HA! Give that man some beer!
Later tonight, it's a Tables Match! But next, the tag titles are on the line!
AUSTIN ARIES & BOBBY ROODE v. HERNANDEZ & CHAVO GUERRERO: WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH The challengers come out together, though Aries takes umbrage to them coming out to Roode's music.
Roode and Chavo start with a wrestling sequence and a shoulderblock ends in a standoff. Chavo comes back with a headscissors and dropkick. Aries tags himself in and the challengers argue, allowing Chavo to tag Hernandez. Aries tries to outwrestle Hernandez, so Hernandez simply overpowers him. Hernandez wants a backdrop, so Aries cartwheels around it. He wants a high ten for his efforts, but Roode leaves him hanging. Aries isn't happy about this, so Roode yells for him to turn around and he turns around into a Hernandez body block. Davey Boy suplex is broken up by Roode. The champs hit a double suplex on both guys! Chavo hits a slingshot senton. Aries whips Chavo into the ropes and Roode pulls him. Aries wants the suicide dive, but heel miscommunication means he hits Roode with it! That takes us to our next ad break.
We come back with the champions continuing to work over Aries. Corner splash from Hernandez gets 2. The crowd actually starts to rally behind Aries! They trade blows in the corner, but Aries loses that battle. Roode cheats to distract Chavo, finally allowing Aries to take control. Roode tags in and works over Chavo in the heel corner. Tenay notes that if the challengers win, Aries would become the fourth triple crown winner in TNA history. Taz somehow uses that to put himself and the Aces over. Sigh. The commentary is getting more atrocious by the week. Roode hits the chinlock and puts Chavo with a headbutt, as the crowd continues to get hot for Aries! Challengers cheat some more and Aries nails Chavo with a Savage Axehandle on the outside. Roode tags in and grabs the chinlock. Aries tags in and clamps on his own. Chavo breaks it, but can't make the hot tag. Roode's corner charge eats elbow and a double clothesline takes both guys out! Tags are made on both sides and Hernandez destroys Aries. Aries gets launched into Roode. Corner splash hits. Overhead backbreaker gets 2! Hernandez wants the slingshot shoulderblock on Roode, so Roode pulls Aries into it and runs off! HA! That allows Roode an opening to work over Hernandez with chops, but he runs into the NFL tackle! Chavo tags in and hits Aries with the Three Amigos, but Aries floats over on the third one. Brainbuster attempt, but Chavo shoves Aries into Roode for another round of heel miscommunication! Now the heels get in a shoving match! Roode decides to take a walk. That allows Chavo to hit the vertical suplex. Border Toss and Frog Splash look to finish, but Roode comes back and crotches Chavo! Aries hits Hernandez with the Greco-Roman Nutshot and Roode disposes of him. Double R Spinebuster puts Chavo down and Aries hits the 450 Splash for the pin and the titles at 18 minutes shown!
WINNERS AND NEW CHAMPIONS: Bobby Roode & Austin Aries - That was a very good match, long chinlock spot aside. Told a very good story of the heels eventually overcoming their issues to come together. Very good.
Backstage, Sting and Bully Ray psyche themselves up for tonight's match. Hulk Hogan enters the picture and tells Ray to prove to everyone how wrong he was and to prove he's a good guy. Ray says he's NOT a "good guy" and promises bad things for the Aces.
Here's a video package on AJ Styles, who we haven't seen in months.
MISS TESSMACHER v. TARA: NON-TITLE MATCH Tara takes her time getting to the ring, making sure to look back and remind us that Jessie isn't there.
Tess rolls up Tara for 2 to start. Tara grabs the chinlock and calls out for Jessie. Tara hits a shoulderblock, but can't follow up, allowing Tess to come back. Roll-up spot gets botched, though they recover nicely. Tara crawls over to the corner, but you know what that leads to. My bum is on your lips! My bum is on your lips! Tara tries to take a walk, but Tess brings her back. Tess goes up top, but gets crotched. Spider Web gets 2! Hair toss hits. Tara continues the hair-based offense. We hit the Full Nelson. That's followed with choking. Tara rubs her ass in Tess's face, so Tess rolls her up for 2. Tara's clothesline gets 2. Back to the chinlock. More hair-pulling. Tess makes the babyface comeback. Tara drops Tess on the turnbuckle to end that, but gets distracted again, allowing Tess to finish with the Tess Shot.
WINNER: Miss Tessmacher - This was pretty much all angle and went on way too long.
Coming up, a Tables Match!
JEREMY BORASH brings out ROCKSTAR SPUD, the British Boot Camp winner. Spud gets a big pop from the British crowd. Spud looks like a cross between Johnny Rotten and Justin Bieber. Spud cuts a generic promo, but it's quickly interrupted by ROBBIES E & T. E thinks Spud getting a contract is a travesty. Spud gets in E's face, but is cut off by T. E talks trash to Spud until T "drops" his clipboard. As T bends down to pick it up, Spud wipes out E. T dusts off the clipboard and plays innocent. Hit Spud's music! Spud turns T's fist pump into devil horns gets him rocking out! T takes off, as E looks on perplexed.
Backstage, Bully Ray tells Sting that he won't let him down tonight. Brooke Hogan enters the picture and wishes them luck. Ray says it's time to don the war paint.
Our main event is next!
We look back at 2 weeks ago where the Aces killed Jeff Hardy dead.
THE ACES & EIGHTS v. BULLY RAY & "THE ICON" STING: TABLES MATCH The Aces are represented by Devon and Doc this week. Ray and Sting are wearing matching face paint.
The faces immediately take the fight to the Aces. Announcers talk about the ball-PEEN hammer attack taking sting out for "several months." He was out for 6 weeks! Also, SHUT UP, TAZ! It sounds like he's been going to the Michael Cole School of Subtlety. A whole lot of punching, kicking, and choking going on. The Aces are just laying around in the corners. Ray hits a Stinger Splash and celebrates on the outside. Sting hits his own Stinger Splash. Ray splashes both guys in the corner. Double clothesline from Sting. The Aces get sent out to take us to our final ad break of the night.
We come back with Doc somehow in control, but it doesn't last long as Ray nails him with the Hook 'Em Horns big boot! MOOOOOOO! Doc hits his own big boot and chokes away with the belt. Meanwhile, Devon hits Sting with his dizzying array of punches. Sting comes right back, as Ray turns the tables on Doc on the outside. The WAZZUP DROP hits! Time to get the tables! The Aces attack from behind as the table gets set up. Double suplex on Sting looks to hit, but Ray moves the table. Ray nails Devon with the ten corner punches, but gets attacked from behind. Sting gets placed on the table, but Ray pulls out Devon. They knock each other out, as Sting crotches Doc on the top rope! Sting wants the superplex, but MIKE KNOX comes in and moves the table. Knox manages to come in, wander around the ring, moves the furniture, and somehow Earl Hebner sees NONE OF IT! That's a special kind of blindness right there! And why would it matter anyway? Since when are there DQ's in a Tables Match? Anyway, the superplex hits, as Knox continues to walk around Hebner and completely avoid his line of sight! Holy crap, Hebner! What's WRONG with you? Heel miscommunication knocks out Knox and the Scorpion Deathdrop takes out Doc. Devon sets up the table and tries to set up Ray, but RAY HULKS UP! Of course he does! Because HULK HOGAN IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE, don't you know? Big boot and uranage through the table will end Devon's night.
WINNERS: Sting & Bully Ray - Just Another Shitty Aces Match.
Post-match, HULK HOGAN and BROOKE HOGAN come out to celebrate with Sting and Ray. Hulk raises both men's hands to finally put an end to that part of the angle, for good. Closing credits are up and we're out!
A bit of a filler episode, aside from the big title change. It feels like we're just meandering through the Manchester tapings until Impact starts to go on the road. At the very least, we've now taken the focus off of Bully and Brooke and turned that into an ancillary part of the Aces angle...which is still terrible in itself, of course.
TNA World Tag Team Championship New Champions: Austin Aries and Bobby Roode Former Champions: Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez 2013 Title Changes: First
This is Austin Aries and Bobby Roode's first reign together as TNA World Tag Team Champions. For Roode, it's his 6th tag-team title reign in TNA (5 TNA, 1 NWA), with his third different partner. He held the NWA Tag Team Title with Eric Young, and the TNA Tag Team Title four times with James Storm as part of Beer Money, Inc.
For Aries, this is his first reign as a tag-team champion in TNA. His previous wins of the World Heavyweight and X Division Championships make him TNA's fifth Triple Crown winner. The other four are AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe and Abyss.
Their reign ended the 103-day reign of Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, which started on 10/14/12 at Bound for Glory. Since the Manchester tapings on which this title change took place occurred on 1/25/13, Aries and Roode have already held the title for two weeks.
"I'm sorry, I'm not much of a hugger." "Not yet you're not." --Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, SmackDown 1/18/13
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!
Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
Man James Storm is just directionless right now. He had a awful 2012 where he lost to Roode at Lockdon became a whiney babyface instead of a bad ass babyface went home for a few months took a big lead in the BFG series and didn't end up winning that because plans changed afted Aries beat Roode for the title last Summer. Storm went on to beat Roode to blow off the feud at BFG or so we thought because after he won a number one contenders match he put his title shot against Roode and losat again making him look like a chump. Storm went on to lose to Daniels at the last PPv and is now wrestluing in mixed tag matches and beating a curtain jerker like Jesse. TNA could not have dropped the ball more on him the last year and with Hardy re-signing I don't see Storm getting a change to be the central babyface anytime soon. The rest of the show was okay, but the rating wnt down and I wonder if the Garrett and Wes reveal last week turned a lot of fans off. It would not shock me if it did. Man Taz is more unbearable than ever I had hoped his turn would have gotten him out of the broadcast booth, but it made a bad announce team worse. The job squad losing yet another big match is beyond comical at this stage.
Is this whole Aces & Eights thing going to turn into Hulk flipping to heel to back A&E, so they can "take out" Bully, whom Hulk is only pretending to accept being with Brooke? Because HULK HOGAN IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. Yeesh. And it doesn't help that I'm still squickish at the whole Bully/Brooke relationship.
When you step inside the hallowed walls of Madison Square Garden to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the greatest sports entertainment show in history you will not regret it. Just enjoy it, feel it and love it.