This episode of TNA Impact Wrestling opened with the Aces & Eights. Being led by the vice-president, all of the unmasked members of the group were present. On the mic, Devon declared that they were dominating 2013, and introduced Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco as the newest members of the group.
Bischoff stated that the Aces & Eights were his new family, while Brisco blamed Hulk Hogan for him joining and said the group was his ticket to the top.
I liked this opening segment. Devon was strong on the mic, while Bischoff and Brisco delivered as well. I’m a bit confused, though, at the size of the group. It has fluctuated so much that a true number is just not known. If the guys in the ring are any indication, then TNA only has two more members to reveal.
They’ve got the vice-president, who was present in the ring, and the president left to unmask. The president, or higher power, will be the most intriguing. When will it happen? Time will tell I suppose.
Backstage, Tara and Jessie Godderz walked into Brooke Hogan’s office. Tara wanted first class treatment, but Brooke banned Godderz from ringside instead. It’s about time he got banned from one of her matches.
Since being paired up, I don’t think Tara has had a single clean victory. All of her matches saw Godderz help her win. I just hope TNA does this the next time Tara defends her title.
Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King vs. Zema Ion: TNA X-Division Championship
Rob Van Dam retained his X-Division Championship after hitting the Five-Star Frog Splash on Kenny King, but pinned Zema Ion. This was a fun match, which was thanks to King and Ion. Just between the two of them, they had a solid match with a lot of great action.
I would have much preferred to see them just go one-on-one here in a No. 1 contender’s match. Van Dam lowered the quality of the contest, though. He’s not as good as he used to be, but unlike most who aren’t, Van Dam doesn’t hide it by simplifying his move set or trying something new.
At this point in his career, he’s just going through the motions. He goes into a match, hits his usual moves and that’s it. Van Dam may have been “X-Division before there was X-Division,” but he’s not X-Division now.
TNA needs to get him out of the division. The faster the title is put on King, Ion, Christian York or any other X-Division star the better.
Backstage Segments and British Boot Camp
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode were then seen backstage. They declared that they had all of the momentum and that they were superior to everyone else. They were putting their egos aside to prove it.
Aries and Roode are so great together. This storyline is developing nicely, and I know I’ve said this before, but if TNA doesn’t drop the ball on this, Aries and Roode targeting all of the gold could be the best storyline of 2013.
Footage was then shown of British Boot Camp featuring UK stars Rockstar Spud, Marty Scurll and the Blossom Twins. This UK exclusive show saw Rockstar win the competition and thus get a contract with TNA Wrestling.
I really hope “getting a contract” really means getting a contract. I’ve never seen Rockstar Spud wrestle, but he looks like the kind of guy who would fit very well in with the X-Division. I really hope TNA actually uses him outside of the United Kingdom.
Returning backstage, Bruce Pritchard and D’Lo Brown couldn’t believe that Bischoff and Brisco were members of the Aces & Eights. When Kurt Angle returned, there would be “hell to pay.” When Pritchard said that, it got me thinking.
Who is going to pay exactly? While Bischoff and Brisco did turn on Angle, it was Angle who practically got Brisco into TNA when he convinced them to put him into Gut Check, and he constantly vouched for Bischoff. Will Angle be the one with hell to pay?
James Storm vs. Jessie Godderz
Before the match, Godderz repeated Brooke’s stipulation. He was out there, though, so that the fans could get their pictures of him. He was interrupted by Storm, who said that the fans just wanted to drink beer and watch someone get beat up. I know that’s what I want to do! Well, if I was there that is.
Godderz had a pretty good performance on the mic here; I was genuinely impressed with him. Storm was entertaining, which got him over big time with the audience. As for the match, Storm picked up the victory after hitting the Last Call superkick.
The overall match was a decent one. Storm was solid in the ring and Godderz held his own in there with one of TNA Wrestling’s top talents. The former reality show star seems to be really improving in the ring.
They didn’t really click in this match, though, which I thought it wasn’t the best.
I have to wonder what’s going on with James Storm. He’s been lost in the fold since losing to Christopher Daniels at Genesis, and even disappeared from the show until last week. TNA’s got to figure out what to do with him and fast.
Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode: TNA Tag Team Championship
New TNA Tag Team champions were crowned here after Bobby Roode hit the Double R Spinebuster on Chavo Guerrero, and Austin Aries hit an impressive 450 Splash. The match itself was quite good. There was some constant back-and-forth action throughout the contest, and great teamwork from both teams.
I was especially impressed with Aries and Roode. They have proven to be an excellent heel team, which was highlighted by the ending of the match. The ending saw Roode walk away from Aries only to come back to push Guerrero off the top rope, throw Hernandez outside and finish with the Spinebuster/450 combination.
It was like they planned that all along to throw off Guerrero and Hernandez. Aries and Roode are the definition of entertainment, and I cannot wait to see where the storyline goes from here.
Backstage, Sting and Bully Ray were practicing yelling “Get the tables!” with Brooke Hogan just standing nearby. Hulk walked in, which saw Sting and Brooke leave. Hulk told Bully that the Tables match later was his chance to prove that he was a “good guy,” to which Bully responded with that he’s only a good guy to Brooke, but that he really is a bad man.
Now that is the Bully Ray I want to see! I don’t want to see a lovesick Bully trying to gain the affection of Hulk Hogan; I want a Bully Ray who’s going to beat somebody up. I saw a hint of heel in Bully Ray here, and that gives me hope that babyface Bully isn’t all that he seems.
Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher
Miss Tessmacher defeated the TNA Knockouts champion here with the Tess Shot in an overall good match. These two Knockouts delivered some nice back-and-forth action throughout the match, though it did slow down a bit in the middle.
Tara constantly looking up at the stage wanting Godderz, despite knowing he was banned from ringside, were the moments that slowed it down. When she wasn’t staring towards the stage and crying, Tara was good in the ring like she usually is. She may be the oldest woman in the Knockouts division, but you really couldn’t tell from her in-ring work.
Tessmacher has improved so much since her days as a dancer in WWE. To be able to hold her own in the ring with somebody like Tara and others like Gail Kim and Mickie James is great to see. Not many can say they’ve improved so much in such a short amount of time.
Will her victory here grant her a shot at the Knockouts Championship? It’s certainly possible, but one has to wonder the status of Velvet Sky as she pinned Tara last week in a tag team match.
The Debut of Rockstar Spud
Jeremy Borash then introduced the winner of British Boot Camp, Rockstar Spud. He was excited to be making his Impact Wrestling debut in his home country, but his excitement soon turned sour when he was interrupted by Robbie E and Rob Terry.
Robbie said Rockstar earning a contract was a travesty, and that whole time, Robbie was screaming in Terry’s ear. Terry soon dropped his clipboard and Rockstar landed a shot on Robbie. Rockstar and Terry than threw up the Devil Horns and celebrated.
This was an interesting debut for Rockstar Spud. If this segment did anything, it set up a potential match between him and Robbie E on next week’s Impact Wrestling. It also planted more seeds for the breakup of Robbie and Rob Terry.
Last week, Robbie insulted England, which is Terry’s home country, and this week Robbie talked about him like he was his lackey. It’s about time they split anyway. TNA never really did anything with them as a team, so let’s see what happens in a feud between them and beyond.
Sting and Bully Ray vs. Devon and D.O.C.: Tables Match
Before the match, Bully told Sting backstage that he wouldn’t let him down. Sting told him to put his game face one, and Bully responded with wanting to put the war paint on.
The last time Bully Ray wore the war paint was at Bound for Glory, which saw him and Sting team up in a losing effort against the Aces & Eights. That war paint hasn’t exactly been too lucky for him, but perhaps that’ll change here.
Things certainly did change as he and Sting got the win after Bully chokeslammed Devon through the table. This was a rather slow match, but it was a fun one. The teamwork of Sting and Bully was quite good. Whether they were trading Stinger Splashes or doing the Dudley Boyz’ old “Wassup” maneuver, they showed to have good chemistry as partners.
The match also saw Mike Knox try to interfere on the Aces & Eights behalf, but he was ultimately taken out by Sting. Bully Ray also Hulked up, which was kind of awkward. Nobody can do it like Hulk Hogan.
It was great to see TNA get the upper hand for a change in this feud. After TNA would get a victory, the Aces & Eights would end up ending the night on a high note for them. This time, the show went off the air with the Aces & Eights defeated.
The end of this storyline is near, and by near I mean Lockdown. I’m predicting the Aces & Eights represented by Devon, Mr. Anderson, D.O.C., Mike Knox and Wes Brisco vs. Sting, Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Joseph Park/Abyss and another I can’t put my finger on. The match, of course, would be inside Lethal Lockdown.
Overall, I thought this was another solid episode of Impact Wrestling. There were a number of good matches, or ones that were just fun to watch, and great storyline development.
The Aries/Roode storyline is great and it has the potential to be even greater. The Aces & Eights storyline is finally going somewhere for the TNA side of things. The biker gang has been in control for too long, so it was about time TNA got some momentum.
The crowd made for a great atmosphere again. I really wish I could attend a show in England one day just to experience the electricity that the crowd creates. TNA has two more episodes of the show in England and I can’t wait!
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