TNA IMPACT Recap: Roode Makes History, Joey Ryan's Gut Check, Sting Returns
Once a month, IMPACT Wrestling presents a special themed episode called "Open Fight Night," where anybody can call out someone to a fight—and they must fight.
Also, during this once-a-month special, a new wrestler will show up in hopes of impressing three judges and the fans in order to earn an IMPACT Wrestling contract.
It's Open Fight Night on IMPACT!
General manager Hulk Hogan is in his office with the four winners of last week's qualifying matches—AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy.
Hogan runs down the show format for the night and asks all four why they deserve the title shot. AJ, Angle and Bully Ray all start screaming at each other and arguing as Hardy and Hogan just sit there.
Hogan decides to narrow it down and he eliminates Bully Ray from the running.
Overall, the opening segment had a real feel to it and was well done. Some of the guys were putting some cracks in the old "Fourth Wall," and it seemed very realistic.
Hulkamania will continue his decision-making later in the night.
How'd you like IMPACT?
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Mr. and Mrs. ODB
Out comes the self-proclaimed "Greatest Knockouts Champion in history of TNA," Gail Kim. Gail is disgusted by how a man can hold a Knockouts Championship, and we got our first challenge of the night.
Gail calls out EY and ODB for a fight.
Madison and Gail steal the victory. ODB was all fired up and EY was rallying the crowd behind them as Madison Rayne helped Gail secure a pin fall over ODB.
Winners: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne
As usual, EY was up to his insane antics. Unlike most Knockout tag team matches in the past, EY was more involved in this one. He gave both Madison and Gail a hip toss or two during the match.
There was some good Knockouts action, but seeing this match just made me want to see ODB and EY compete in their own divisions! ODB going for the Knockouts Championship and EY going for the Television Championship or something...
With Slammiversary rapidly approaching, I wonder who Gail's challenger will be. Two weeks until the 10-year anniversary and not one match has been booked. Not good, if you ask me.
After the match, Hulk Hogan was seen on the phone. Hulkamania has a special guest for the evening.
Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner
"The Whole F'n Show" Bob Van Dam comes to the ring and reminds everyone what happened to him at Genesis.
What happened at Genesis? Only my favorite part of BVD's TNA career! Gunner took him out, injured his neck and made him miss three months of action!
Van Dam wants revenge (three months later) and, it being Open Fight Night, it's on!
Gunner kicks ass much of the match but makes the mistake of bringing a chair into the ring. Van Dam kicks the chair into his face and follows with a Frog Splash.
Winner: Bob Van Dam
This match did one thing: It made me realize how much I miss Gunner. He's had a roller coaster of a career thus far.
Starting as a security guard, then a tag team wrestler, TV Champion, Immortal's "Blue Chipper" and now he's barely on TV! This time last year, Gunner pinned Sting clean on IMPACT.
Should Joey Ryan get an IMPACT Wrestling contract?
With his new three-year deal, I hope Gunner gets more TV time. Gunner is like the opposite of Crimson. You know? Two young, talented guys, the only difference is that Crimson can't lose while Gunner can't win! Dammit!
Decent match, but it felt too short.
Devon vs. Garett Bischoff
Devon, not too satisfied with the outcome of last week's battle royal, called out Garett Bischoff. Devon claimed that Bischoff got lucky by eliminating him and was wanting to see if "Lady Luck" was still riding on Garett's shoulder.
I don't really see much of a reason to hate Garett Bischoff anymore. Come on, his dad is gone and he's not that bad in the ring. He's shown signs of improvement.
Devon and Garett go back and forth for a bit, but the match gets thrown out when Robbie E and Rob Terry interfere.
Devon and Garett fight off the matching sweater-wearing duo and celebrate with each other.
To be honest, I was actually interested in seeing Devon vs. Garett. As big of a Robbie E fan as I am, I think his feud with Devon should end.
Devon beat Robbie clean at Lockdown and also beat him and Rob Terry clean at Sacrifice. My dude is just being a sore loser right now.
The Robbies should let Devon continue his reign and they should invest their time, and matching sweaters, into TNA's weakened tag team division.
Once again backstage, Hulk Hogan eliminates Jeff Hardy. Now AJ Styles and Kurt Angle are the only ones left for Hogan to choose from.
Judge, Jury and Executioner
Bully Ray, livid over not getting the World title shot, makes his way to the ring.
He starts taking all his anger out on the fans, then demands Joseph Park to get in the ring. Park, sitting in the crowd eating popcorn, eventually does get in the ring.
Park says that Bully Ray is subject to a fair and speedy trial. Fans in attendance, already chanting "Guilty!" would serve as the jury for the Chicago-based lawyer.
Bully ends the trial by punching Park in the stomach then whipping him with his chain. Bully's verdict: not guilty. All those in favor, say I. Anybody?
Good segment and I feel like this angle between Bully Ray and Joseph Park continues to get better week after week! The Joseph Park character is played to perfection!
I'm definitely excited and curious to see where this angle goes next week live, under a new start time, on SPIKE.
Joey Ryan vs. Austin Aries
I've been anticipating this match since I first heard the news that Joey f'n Ryan was going to be on Gut Check over a week ago. Having watched his work in Ring Ka King, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, NWA Hollywood and more, I definitely wanted to see Ryan earn an IMPACT contract.
For those who don't know who Joey Ryan is, here's a little history lesson about "Hollywood's Own."
After lots of back-and-forth action, A Double picked up the win via Brain Buster.
Winner: Austin Aries
Joey Ryan, unlike Alex Silva (no offense), has a unique character and charisma about him. TNA's X Division could definitely benefit from having Joey Ryan on the roster, especially this close to Destination X!
Live, next week, I do hope TNA decides to sign Joey Ryan to a contract. He's too good to pass up, and I'm actually surprised that he's still floating around the Indy scene given his talent.
If you want Joey Ryan to get a contract, log onto Twitter and vote on IMPACT's twitpoll, or simply say yes while using #GutCheck.
World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Roode vs. AJ Styles
Hogan made his decision seconds before the match. He ended up picking AJ because he's known Roode the longest and AJ did set the original record as longest-reigning World Champion in the first place.
The two worked the MotN (Match of the night, for short). AJ was setting up for a springboard 450 splash but took too much time looking over his shoulder for Daniels and Kazarian.
Roode got his knees up in time to counter AJ's high-risk move and followed with a big Pay Off fisherman suplex. Clean victory for Roode, as he becomes the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion of all time in TNA!
Winner: Still World Champion, Bobby Roode!
It was a great match and it was great to see Bobby Roode snap AJ's previous record as longest reigning TNA World Champion. That's now three records we've seen broken in 2012.
Austin Aries became longest-reigning X Division Champion in March. Gail Kim became longest-reigning Knockouts Champion only four days ago. And finally, Bobby Roode became the longest-reigning World Champion yesterday.
Bobby Roode also holds the record for longest-reigning TNA Tag Team Champions and most Tag Team Championship reigns with James Storm as Beer Money.
It was a great pay-per-view-quality matchup between these two homegrown talents.
'Celebration of Domination'
Time to party!
Bobby Roode calls for some champagne, confetti falls from the rafters. He's celebrating and decides to invite Hulk Hogan to the party.
Hogan comes out and congratulates Roode on his achievement. Hogan goes on to have one of the coolest moments of his TNA career by sharing a drink with the champ, Bobby Roode!
Both guys take a sip of champagne before Hogan invites his guest out. Lights out in the IMPACT Zone (sound familiar?), and when they come back on, "The Icon" Sting is in the ring!
Sting clotheslines Roode out of the ring and Hogan announces a lumberjack match between the two first thing next week under the new start time and live broadcast!
I'm glad to see Sting back, but I don't think he should be in the World title hunt (granted, next week isn't a title match, though). The lumberjacks should be interesting, and the fact that all of it will be live next week makes it even better!
This week's episode was good, but if we don't see any matches or news regarding Slammiversary, I'm going to go insane! It's the 10-year anniversary and it's two weeks away, dammit!
Remember to tune into IMPACT an hour earlier than usual for their new start time next week. And, oh yeah, IMPACT is going live all summer long from here on out!
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