TNA Impact, June 20: Magnus Leads the BFGS, Kurt Angle Joins a Mafia and More

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TNA Impact, June 20: Magnus Leads the BFGS, Kurt Angle Joins a Mafia and More
Photo from TNA's official Twitter (twitter.com/ImpactWrestling)

This week on Impact Wrestling, the Bound for Glory Series officially got underway. The annual summer tournament to crown a No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory in October is looking great this year.

TNA started out this week’s episode with the BFGS competitors in the ring to find out who got the first call-out of the night!

 

And the First Call-Out Goes to…

Impact Wrestling opened with 10 of the 12 BFGS competitors in the ring. General manager Hulk Hogan soon came out to announce the final two wrestlers, Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy. He then revealed that Hardy would get the first call-out, and after Austin Aries and Christopher Daniels had some words with him, he chose Roode as his opponent.

A brawl then ensued between the 12 men to end the segment. I thought this was a good way to open the show. It was simple, which really worked. Instead of a long-winded promo from Hogan, he just said what had to be said and left the wrestlers do the rest.

Aries and Daniels were great on the mic, while Hardy’s call-out was short and sweet. I really liked the brawl at the end as well. With a title shot going to the winner, tensions are surly high between all of them. Seeing them go at it, even briefly, was a nice way to kick things off.

 

Mr. Anderson vs. Joseph Park: BFGS Match

After Anderson called out Park, he got the victory with the Mic Check with some help from D.O.C. As a result, Anderson gained seven points in the series.

I didn’t think this match was going to be that good. I figured that Anderson would beat up Park for a few minutes, Park would hit a few big moves and then the victory would occur. In the BFGS, anything can happen, so a victory for either was possible.

Overall, I thought this match was very well done. The action was solid as both wrestlers fought it out for the points.

Park is really “improving” in the ring. I give him credit all the time for throwing out his Abyss arsenal to adopt the one of a rookie, and now he’s starting to add to it. While I prefer Abyss, the Joseph Park character has been one of the most well done characters in wrestling today.

Anderson looked good as well, and I am glad that he picked up the win here. If there is anyone that will be the “loser” this year, it could be Park. Samoa Joe was it in 2011 with negative points and Robbie E claimed that spot last year with five.

I really want to see Anderson make it to the final four. It’ll be interesting to see what happens within the Aces & Eights as a result.

After the match backstage, Anderson was bragging about his victory and declared that he should be the new vice president. D.O.C. then chimed in, saying that Anderson wouldn’t have won without him and that he should be the VP. President Bully Ray then appeared to calm the situation down and announce a vote to determine the new second in command.

After what happened last week with D.O.C. defying orders and trying to win a BFGS spot, I was surprised to see him help Anderson this week. I was worried that TNA was going to put the tension on the backburner, so I am very glad that they didn’t.

No gang or stable is without its troubles. The Aces & Eights were too perfect, but now they are starting to show cracks in the armor.

 

Jay Bradley vs. Austin Aries: BFGS Match

It would be Jay Bradley that called out Austin Aries, but the “Greatest Man That Ever Lived” proved to be the better man with the victory via a Brainbuster. Aries now ties Anderson for the lead with seven points.

I wasn’t sure how this match was going to go. Bradley, while good in the ring, doesn’t have much experience in terms of wrestling the TNA roster. Being up against someone like Aries wasn’t helping matters either. He did great, though, and that resulted in a pretty solid match.

The match was a good one with solid and constant action throughout. Bradley really impressed here. If given the chance, he could become quite the star in TNA. At the very least, a star in the midcard.

I wasn’t surprised with Aries’ victory here. When Bradley picks up his first points, I think it will be up against someone like Joseph Park. I doubt he’d make it to the final four, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bradley actually leads the series at least once.

The same goes for Aries. He’s one I think will make the final four. In fact, I’m predicting Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles in the finals!

 

A Mafia Will Rise

Backstage, Sting declared that the mafia was rising and that it would grow. After the commercial break, Sting was seen shaking hands with somebody. I am incredibly excited for the return of the Main Event Mafia.

I’m even more excited that the members aren’t being revealed right away. It’s the suspense I like the most. As long as TNA doesn’t bring Kevin Nash or Scott Steiner back, I think the new Main Event Mafia is going to be a success.

 

Hernandez vs. Christopher Daniels: BFGS Match

Hernandez would be the one to call out Christopher Daniels, and after he the dominated the match, Daniels hit a low blow before the BME for the seven-point victory.

This match was rather short and kind of disappointing. It was great to see Daniels do the BME, but that’s it. Both Daniels and Hernandez are great talents inside the ring, which makes it more disappointing in my view. If given the chance to have a more even match, and maybe a few more minutes, they could have had a pretty good match.

At the same time, TNA had to get six BFGS matches in on top of the Knockouts and closing segments, so it’s understandable that a match had to take a hit like this.

 

Kazarian vs. Magnus: BFGS Match

After Magnus got called out by Kazarian, the British superstar picked up 10 points when he made Kaz tap out to a Texas Cloverleaf. With 10 points, Magnus officially took the lead in the series.

I thought that this was an overall solid match. It was fast-paced and featured good back-and-forth action. Both wrestlers looked great in the ring as well. I think that Magnus is going to be a star in the series this year.

Whether he makes it to the finals or not, the man is going to come out of it looking strong. Magnus truly is the future of TNA Wrestling.

As for Kazarian, it’s a shame that he never got a higher position in TNA. He did have a brief spot in the main event a few years back, but he’s been a tag team or X Division wrestler his entire TNA career. He’s one of the best they have, so it would be great to see him get elevated to a higher spot somewhere down the line.

Will it ever happen? Probably not, but I can still hold onto hope!

 

Love Everlasting?

Backstage, Hulk Hogan was on the phone as Bully Ray started to come up from behind him with the hammer. Hogan sensed him and jacked him up against a wall. Bully just wanted to talk to Brooke, but Hulk wasn’t going to allow it.

Bully then brought up a good point, which was if Brooke didn’t love him, then why did she stop Hulk from bashing him with a hammer? It’s a valid question.

I always felt that the Bully/Brooke love story was far from over, and fuel was added to the fire when she stopped her father from attacking him. I still think that she’ll be the first female member of the Aces & Eights, or that she has been a member all along.

 

The State of the Knockouts Address

With Brooke Hogan in the ring, she called out the Knockouts roster to give her address. Out came Eric Young and ODB with the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship—which have not been seen on television in over a year—along with Gail Kim, Velvet Sky and Taryn Terrell.

Mickie James got her own special entrance and delivered a nice little heel promo on her way out.

To make a long story short, EY and ODB handed over the tag titles, Mickie vs. Velvet for the singles title was made for next week, and Gail vs. Taryn in a Ladder match was made for an episode in Las Vegas.

Missing from the segment were Tara and Brooke Tessmacher, but even with them there, I came to realize just how small the roster really is. While the division could benefit from some more women, they’re doing just fine with what they got.

Mickie’s heel turn and feud with Velvet has been quite good, and the Gail/Taryn feud has been excellent. Despite the small roster, the TNA Knockouts manage to get two storylines going!

It was great to see EY and ODB give up the tag belts, which ends their reign at 478 days. The titles are officially vacant, but what is their future? With such a small roster, it’s probably best to just scrap them.

It’s good to see Velvet finally get her rematch, and it’s even better to see two women going at it in a Ladder match! Gail and Taryn impressed with Last Knockouts Standing, so I am quite excited for the next one.

 

Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles: BFGS Match

Before the match, AJ Styles got on the mic and spoke. He declared that it wasn’t about the Aces & Eights or TNA, it was all about becoming the next champion. There was no place for a hero and he was just tired of doing the right thing.

Styles’ first promo in a while was a good one. He was straight and to the point, which was good. He was also a bit dark, and that really fits well into his new character. This new “doing my own thing” character he’s got is the best he’s been in years.

Styles was always great in the ring, but his characters were never the best. Now he’s got one and things are really looking up for him.

As for the match, when the 15-minute time limit expired, the match officially ended in a draw. As a result, both Samoa Joe and Styles were awarded two points apiece. The match itself was very good. While it was slow, it worked out very well.

The action was solid, as both wrestlers used the chemistry they have to deliver. The end of the match got intense. As Christy Hemme announced the time remaining, they really started to go at each other trying to finish things off. The draw is a good thing, though.

Styles and Joe are equals in the ring, and this early in the series, I think that it’s best to keep them as such for now. Later on in the summer, one will definitely defeat the other, but for now, having them fight to a draw keeps them equal, hungry and wanting more.

 

Option C

Backstage, Hogan was talking with X Division champion Chris Sabin and former champions Kenny King and Suicide. Next week will see them fight it out for the title, and the winner will get the chance to cash in Option C if they want to on the special Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling next month.

This segment was short and to the point. All fans needed to know was that there was going to be an X Division Championship match and that the winner gets Option C. TNA did just that.

 

Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy: BFGS Match

Jeff Hardy picked up seven points here after hitting the Twist of Fate on Bobby Roode for the victory. The match was a good one, with solid back-and-forth action throughout. There was never a dull moment, as both guys gave fans constant action from start to finish.

Hardy and Roode have great chemistry with one another. When they face off, they typically deliver in their matches. This contest was no exception. I hope to see them fight a few more times before the series is finished in September.

Hardy picking up the victory was no surprise. It makes sense to have last year’s winner looking strong right out of the gate. Will he make it to the final four? I don’t think so. He’ll have a strong showing throughout, but he’ll get knocked out at the last minute.

Could Roode make the final four? I don’t know. It’s certainly possible, but I personally have a final four that I think will make it. I see the finals as Austin Aries, AJ Styles, Magnus and Mr. Anderson.

 

The Main Event Mafia Begins to Take Shape

Bully Ray was out first and he wanted to talk to his wife Brooke Hogan. He got the music of the Main Event Mafia instead, which saw Sting make his way out. The Icon was looking for retribution, and Bully just snapped his fingers to signal the Aces & Eights.

Sting pointed to the big screen to show the gang taken out backstage. The president began to back away, but he was met with a huge spear from Kurt Angle and an ankle lock as well. Sting talked trash to Bully Ray as the showed faded out.

I thought that this segment was just great. It was very well done. When Bully realized that he wasn’t going to get any backup, the look on his face was priceless. For the first time in quite a while, an episode of Impact Wrestling ended with the Aces & Eights down and out. Usually they’re standing tall with TNA on the ground, so it was great to see the momentum shift for a change.

Angle’s reveal was quite good. I figured that he would end up joining since he was an original member and didn’t qualify for the BFGS, but the way he was revealed was awesome. He appeared out of nowhere, tackled Bully out of his shoes and slapped on the ankle lock.

When I think about it, though, how did just Sting and Angle take out the whole gang? Sting must have the other members chosen but is choosing to wait on the reveals. The suspense is building!

I’m expecting at least three more members to join. I feel that James Storm and Gunner are big possibilities. Matt Morgan could be a good choice as well. One person I’m hoping for is Jeff Jarrett. I won’t get my hopes up too high, though.

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought that this was a very good episode of Impact Wrestling. Most of the matches were solid and the few segments went over well, too.

This episode was all about the Bound for Glory Series, and TNA did a great job putting the spotlight on it as the series officially got underway. This year’s series is filled with many great talents. The matches that will take place throughout the summer should be very exciting.

Seeing the likes of AJ Styles and Austin Aries take on guys like Magnus and Jay Bradley is going to create some fun matches. The BFGS is off to a great start so far.

While the spotlight was on the series, TNA managed to get in developments on the Knockouts division and Sting’s Main Event Mafia. They were given that spotlight when the time came and each segment shined big time as well.

With WWE delivering big time with Raw this past Monday, and TNA Wrestling bringing their A-game so far this year, the summer months are going to be a great time to be a wrestling fan!

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