Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park: Anything Goes Match
Bully Ray picked up the victory after he hit Park with his chain. This was a good fight that featured a lot of weapons. I knew right off the bat that this wasn't going to be a match and that it would be closer to their encounter at Slammiversary.
I mainly liked this because there were some new developments in the storyline. Park not only chokeslammed Bully Ray onto thumbtacks, but once he saw that he was bleeding, he went into a trance and delivered the Black Hole Slam to the bully.
TNA is creating the illusion that Park could very well be Abyss, or at the very least he's channeling his more sadistic brother.
Abyss is a monster while Park rarely gets violent. They are two very different people, so he could just be acting like Abyss to lash out in a way that he knows that he can't.
Then again, Park could just be a personality of the Monster, and after seeing something that reminds him of himself, he reverted back to Abyss for a brief moment.
This storyline was beginning to bore me, but now it's got me interested again.
Backstage, Sting was holding the playing cards given to Hulk Hogan last week. He was coming for the Aces and Eights. It's good to see the Stinger back and out of the title picture. This storyline is an intriguing one, so I can't wait to see where it goes now that Sting has returned.
Staying backstage, Bully Ray had a look of shock and fear on his face at what just happened. He kept asking, "Who was that?" as he walked away. Who was that indeed?
TNA has been creating some great storylines as of late, and this one just took a whole new turn. I do hope to see Abyss back sooner rather than later, though.
Samoa Joe vs. Rob Van Dam: Bound for Glory Series
Van Dam picked up seven points with a small package. I thought this was an overall good match that featured some nice action throughout.
Samoa Joe exhibited quite a few submission holds, which I really liked. Fans don't get to see good submission holds too often anymore and it's a shame. Some moves are downright impressive, so I'm glad guys like Samoa Joe and Daniel Bryan still perform a number of them.
Joe was without a doubt the star of this match as RVD was just RVD. He wasn't good, but he wasn't bad; he was Rob Van Dam.
With the right opponent, he can look great in the ring, but there are times where it just like "Same thing, different day." I'm a fan of Van Dam, but he really needs to change his arsenal a bit.
I was glad to see him get the victory, though. RVD was pretty far in the pack, so it's good to see him move up a little bit. I want to see this year's series be more even than it was last year. If everyone has a fair shot, the winner of it won't be so predicable in the end.
Earlier, the talking camera was bugging Claire Lynch as she arrived at the Impact Zone. With her storyline far from over, I think it was pretty obvious that she would be present on the show. This segment just kind of seemed random.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan was ready to face the Aces and Eights. Please, Hogan, please don't get back into the ring. Your match at Bound for Glory was fine; it was a good sendoff to your in-ring career. Please don't embarrass yourself by trying to wrestle "one more time."
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian then made their way out. The situation was far from over and they called out Claire. Before she could speak, A.J. Styles made his way out. After some arguing between him and Daniels, Claire revealed that the baby was indeed Styles', though the act was something that he didn't remember.
This took a bit of a predictable turn here. Once the accusation was thrown out, I knew that he would end up being the father. Of course, I highly doubt that he is.
Apparently Claire told Daniels that Styles was the father, so she told him before telling the supposed father? Something smells fishy, and it's not the people coming from the water park.
I can see Daniels actually being the father and him paying her off to accuse Styles of it. Either way, this storyline has certainly got more interesting, though it does feel like an episode of Maury or Jerry Springer.
Backstage, Styles was leaving the building as he said he didn't know the truth. Why should he? I mean, Daniels is the father and is just blaming Styles for everything. At least that's what I think is happening.
Zema Ion vs. Dakota Darsow
Despite Darsow controlling the majority of the match, the new X-Division champion did pick up the victory. I was hoping to see a good X-Division match here, but unfortunately that didn't happen.
I liked Darsow's intensity and enjoyed his performance in this match; I feel that he would make a great addition to the roster.
Zema didn't exactly look too strong in his first match as champion. Sure he got the victory, but he was getting beat down during most of the match. Hopefully his next one will be more in the spirit of the X-Division.
I think his catchphrase, "I'm not just f'n pretty, I'm pretty f'n dangerous" fits him quite well. He broke Jesse Sorenson's neck, caused Sonjay Dutt to fall blindly from the cables during Ultimate X and may have broken Darsow's arm post-match here.
Giving him the title was a smart move as his feud with Sorenson is going to be huge when it happens, but he needs to be able to have an actual match if he is to be taken seriously as a champion.
Austin Aries then made his way out. His title win was a great moment for him, TNA Wrestling and the wrestling business as a whole. He was going to bring wrestling to a new boom period as he was the greatest wrestler in the greatest wrestling company.
Bobby Roode then came out so mad that he couldn't speak. What words he could say were repeated by Aries in a mocking fashion. He finally said one word, "fluke," to which Aries responded with three of his own, "new world champ."
Aries was great on the mic here as he put over himself and TNA. He has proven time and time again to be a great mic worker and that was no different here. I do wish, though, that TNA gets him in a match soon.
Since becoming the No. 1 contender, Aries has only wrestled one match and that was the title match at Destination X. I want to see this man wrestle!
I felt Roode was overacting in this segment. I understand that he was angry over the loss of his title, but I think he went a little overboard with it. Roode has shown to be great on the mic as well, but this was a rare moment as he didn't really deliver.
Aries was solid, but I thought that Roode's overacting dragged the segment down.
Backstage, Sting was ready to go "old school" with Hogan on the mysterious stable. Devon and Garret Bischoff then appeared, stating that they had their backs. Sting and Hogan dismissed their help, though.
Whatever happened to the Television Championship being defended every week? It was going on for a while, but now it seems like it only happens once in a while. Hopefully things will get back on track soon.
I almost forgot that Bischoff was still with TNA. His storyline with his father ended and he just disappeared. He popped back up as the sidekick of Devon, but it's like he's never around. So much for his push.
Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim: Knockouts Championship
Tessmacher managed to retain her title here in what was an overall good match. With some back-and-forth action, Tessmacher and Gail delivered a good showing for the Knockouts division.
Tessmacher was impressive in this match as she sold for Gail very well with the arm injury. She has improved so much and is able to hold her own in the match with a veteran like the former two-time champion.
I wasn't completely sold on her title reign at first, but I'm starting get on board.
Gail continues to prove that she is one of the best in the division, though I do think it's time for her to step aside. She's been in the spotlight since November and it would be nice to see someone else get a shot at the title.
Whatever happened to the teased Mickie James heel turn? What about Sarita and Rosita? Where is Winter? TNA has many women on their roster, it's time to use one that isn’t named Gail Kim.
Backstage, Claire revealed that she did have proof that Styles was the father and that it would come to light soon enough. In other words, a fake doctor will have a fake paternity test saying that Styles is the father. That will all happen without actually getting Styles' DNA, of course.
Magnus then appeared backstage and said that he would win the Bound for Glory Series. Well this was kind of random. He's only had two matches so far, with this being his first appearance on the show since Open Fight Night last month.
Magnus would certainly be quite the surprise winner in the series, but I don't think he stands a chance.
Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson: Bound for Glory Series Match
Angle picked up seven points after hitting an Angle Slam on Anderson. I thought this was a good match as Angle and Anderson delivered constant action throughout the match. The ending was particularly exciting as it featured a number of near falls.
These two have a history in TNA, and thus know each other very well in the ring. It's their familiarity with one another that causes them to deliver each time they're in the ring having a match.
I thought that the flow of the match was almost ruined by the show coming back from a commercial for a whole 10 seconds before cutting back to the advertisements. I don't know if that was a screw up, or if that's something that was intended.
Thankfully it didn't mess with the presentation of the contest and everything turned out fine.
Backstage, Sting and Hogan were ready when Roode walked in wanting to talk. He wanted his rematch, and Hogan gave it to him at Hardcore Justice. Roode wanted the match earlier, so he was told to call Aries out next week on Open Fight Night to prove himself.
Roode vs. Aries next week? You certainly won't get any complaints from me on that. They delivered once and I'm sure they can do it again. Then at Hardcore Justice next month, they'll tear down the house once more.
Sting then made his way out and called out Hogan as his backup. After three attempts, Hogan appeared on the big screen as his daughter hovered over him and Aces and Eights ran off. The stable then teleported to ringside and a lot more than three beat down Sting.
I couldn't see how many there were, but it seemed like six, or maybe even eight masked men. That’s quite a bit more than when the angle started.
This puts things at quite the cliffhanger. Is Hogan the one controlling this group and was just playing hurt? Roode was literally just back there with the Hulkster, could he be leading this group?
The answer could be one of those, or something entirely different. I still stand by what I said when this first happened, and that was that Jeff Jarrett is the leader of this Aces and Eights group.
I think that he is leading a group of TNA wrestlers who feel that they are being overshadowed by guys like Hogan and Sting. Wrestlers like Gunner and Hernandez are nowhere to be seen right now; they could be members. Then again, all six or eight of them could be new guys lead by someone like Jarrett.
This storyline could literally go anywhere right now and I love it! I can't wait for next week!
Overall, I thought this was a good episode of Impact Wrestling, but they have certainly had better. This episode did have a number of cons, such as the episode of Jerry Springer, the X-Division match, Roode's overacting and the number of backstage segments.
At the same time, most of the backstage segments featured Sting and Hogan which did to lead to a big pay off at the end of the show. I felt that the cliffhanger at the end kind of cancelled out the negatives of this episode, though they certainly can't be ignored.
TNA has presented better, but it was by no means a bad episode.