TNA Impact, June 27: Austin Aries Wins Gold, Samoa Joe Joins the Mafia and More
This week’s episode of Impact Wrestling was looking quite good on paper. With two Bound for Glory Series matches, two title matches and updates on the Main Event Mafia, TNA Wrestling was set to keep the momentum going strong.
What fans saw was that momentum get shot out of a cannon and become as strong as ever. It all started with the Main Event Mafia.
The Main Event Mafia Is Rising
This week’s episode kicked off with Sting. What happened last week was just a little taste, and he quickly introduced Kurt Angle. What the Aces and Eights are doing now is what the Main Event Mafia did four years ago, which was fight for power.
A new member will be revealed later on, and they will ultimately destroy the Aces and Eights.
This was a good way to open the show. Both Sting and Angle were solid on the mic as they kept their promos short and sweet. The new Main Event Mafia is creating some excitement, and the possibility of them taking out the Aces and Eights once and for all is something to look forward to.
The gang hasn’t really had any real competition since debuting, so it’s about time that they do.
Chris Sabin vs. Kenny King vs. Suicide: TNA X Division Championship
Before the match, D.O.C. and Mr. Anderson grabbed Chris Sabin backstage and held him while Bully Ray said a few words. He wished him luck and told him to do the “right thing,” which was not to cash in Option C.
Bully Ray is worried. He’s got the Main Event Mafia breathing down his neck, so he’s trying to get rid of another problem. If the champion cashes in, he has to worry about that and watch his back for the Mafia. The champion is scared.
As for the match, Suicide rolled up Kenny King and grabbed the ropes to become the new X Division champion. My jaw dropped to the floor. With the build Sabin has been getting, I did not see that coming at all.
The match itself was a good one. All three wrestlers kept the action constant throughout and delivered as a result. The match was a bit slow at times, but I think it worked well with the overall flow.
I’m still surprised with the Suicide victory, but a bigger surprise was about to come. General manager Hulk Hogan soon came out with somebody looking injured. Revealed to be T.J. Perkins and further revealed as the “real” Suicide, somebody attacked him backstage and took the costume to compete. Suicide then ran out through the crowd.
Well that creates an interesting situation. Is he a member of the Main Event Mafia? How about the Aces and Eights? I am highly intrigued.
Backstage, Hogan declared that Suicide had until the end of the night to unmask. Seems to me like the Suicide character will be going away. Perhaps that’ll give Perkins the chance to wrestle as himself.
The matches I’ve seen of his in Ring of Honor were great, so I really hope he becomes permanent X Division wrestler.
Ryan Howe vs. Adam Ohriner: Gut Check
After Ryan Howe came out playing a guitar, Adam Ohriner defeated him with a big powerslam. While both looked impressive in the ring, the match was decent at best.
Ohriner, also known as The Big O, controlled most of the contest with his strength and power. Howe got in a few nice moves, but this was an overall squash match. It’s a bit disappointing that Howe wasn’t really able to do more.
This was just a subpar Gut Check match. Ohriner could make a nice addition to the roster, though. For a guy his size, he’s quite agile in the ring. He could really make an impact, no pun intended.
A Paranoid Bully
Backstage, Bully Ray approached Perkins and wanted to know if Sting and Angle put him up to it. Perkins assured him that the attack was real, so Bully let him go.
Later on, he went up to Chavo Guerrero, Robbie E and Jessie Godderz asking the same question. They, too, denied being Suicide or being put up to anything by the Main Event Mafia.
Bully Ray is getting very paranoid. The situation is overlapping with the Main Event Mafia and it’s making him nervous. It’s good to see. He’s been filled with nothing but confidence since winning the title and revealing himself as the president of the Aces and Eights. It’s about time he got knocked down a few pegs.
Then again, he could be screwing with everyone and Suicide could be a member of his gang.
Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky: TNA Knockouts Championship
Before the match, Mickie James got on the mic and declared that the title brings the viciousness out in people. She hadn’t changed, though, it was Velvet Sky that did. She wanted her to walk away, but after calling her a “Three dollar stubborn pack mule,” the match got underway when Velvet speared her.
Mickie gave a nice heel promo. I am loving her heel character. She has taken elements of her crazy heel persona from WWE and added in plenty of cockiness. Mickie is the most interesting she has been in a long time.
Then, after making Velvet tap out to her new deathlock-like submission hold, Mickie remained the Knockouts champion. The match was quite the good one. They gave fans solid, back-and-forth action and really continued the roll the Knockouts division has been on lately.
This match was a lot better than their previous match, too. They improved upon their previous encounter, which is great.
Post-match, Christy Hemme wanted to know how Velvet was feeling. While crying, she felt that her heart was broken and just walked away. Well, looks like Velvet is out of the title picture for now.
Makes me wonder who’ll step up and challenge Mickie next. Even though it wasn’t announced as such, I’m thinking the Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell Ladder match in Las Vegas is going to be for the No. 1 contendership.
Bobby Roode (0) vs. Magnus (10): Bound for Glory Series Match
Before the match backstage, Bobby Roode walked by Sting and Angle. Roode simply smiled, and the Mafia did the same. Could Roode be the newest member of the Main Event Mafia? Time will tell I suppose. I think he’d make a great addition.
Magnus would then defeat Roode after a sit-out powerslam for seven points. Magnus solidified his lead in the BFGS, now with 17 points.
Roode and Magnus had what was the match of the night. It was a great contest with solid action. They really worked well together here. Their chemistry was great. They have worked together in the past, more specifically in the tag team division, with Magnus a part of the British Invasion and Roode a member of Beer Money.
They used their experience with one another in tag team matches and transitioned it very well into singles competition. I would love to see them go at it again at least one more time before the series ends!
Magnus is really solidifying himself as a future main event player. He’s really at the top of his game right now and has been performing at a main event level for months. Win or lose the BFGS, Magnus is without a doubt a future TNA World Heavyweight champion.
The Tag Team Champions vs. a Bromance?
TNA World Tag Team champions James Storm and Gunner then appeared in the ring. Storm said that a good tag team doesn’t necessarily have to like each other; they just have to watch each other’s backs and they’re good to go.
Robbie E, Jessie Godderz and Tara soon made their way out. Robbie insulted Storm for not choosing him and said that he and Godderz were the future of tag team wrestling. Their team name was announced as Bro-Mans, to which Storm made fun of it for sounding like “Bromance.”
After Storm said Tara was a “butter face,” Gunner knocked out Godderz to end the segment.
This was kind of an odd segment. Both Storm and Robbie were solid on the mic, so their promos worked out well. With Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, Bad Influence and Hernandez in the BFGS, I was wondering who would challenge Storm and Gunner for the titles.
I was not expecting a comedy team like Robbie and Godderz to be the first. It could be good. They could surprise me and turn out to be quite the team. I have been waiting for TNA to do something with a Robbie/Godderz team, so I guess I got what I waited for.
Mr. Anderson (7) vs. Samoa Joe (2): Bound for Glory Series Match
After Samoa Joe made Mr. Anderson tap out to the rear-naked choke, Joe picked up 10 points in the BFGS. He is now in second place with 12 points.
Anderson and Joe had a good match with some overall solid action. They have some great chemistry with one another and it shows when they’re in the ring. This match not only put Samoa Joe in second place of the BFGS, it advanced the Main Event Mafia storyline further as well.
Mid-match, D.O.C. and Knux ran down to help Anderson, but Sting and Angle came out to chase them off. As Joe was celebrating his victory, he hugged both Sting and Angle to signify that he was the newest member of the mafia.
Backstage, they handed him a suit and made a Men’s Warehouse joke, with Angle saying, “You’re gonna like the way you look,” and Sting going with “I guarantee it.”
I think Joe is a great addition to the Mafia. He’s been fighting the Aces and Eights since the beginning, and his intensity adds a lot to the group. He is also a former member, though it was more toward the end of the stable.
The team of Sting, Angle and Joe is great in itself, so I wonder how TNA is going to add to that.
And Suicide Is…
Hogan then made his way out to end the show with the reveal of Suicide. Bully Ray came out as well and wanted the mask off, so being a member of the Aces and Eights was looking unlikely.
Suicide got on the mic and cut a good promo about being in darkness and feeling pain. The modification of the voice was pretty creepy, and I like how it was lessened as the promo went on to reveal more and more of his real voice.
Suicide then ripped off the mask to reveal Austin Aries! He declared that he invented Option C, was successful in cashing in and will be doing it again.
Once again, my jaw dropped to the floor. I didn’t see it coming whatsoever. TNA gave quite the swerve here.
Every indication said that Chris Sabin would be champion and would cash in, so TNA did a great job with this. I am a bit disappointed that Sabin won’t be getting the shot, but I am so very intrigued over the situation.
What interests me the most is the fact that Aries is in the Bound for Glory Series. What if he wins? This whole storyline has been very well done. Major props go to TNA!
Overall, I thought this was a great episode of Impact Wrestling. This is the best episode they’ve had in a while. Despite most episodes the past few months being good or solid, none of them created the intrigue that this week’s did.
The matches this week, minus Gut Check, were very good and storyline development was excellent. The big thing here, though, is Option C.
Swerves have never been TNA’s specialty. It's pulled some off here and there, but they have never been as good as this. With the Bound for Glory Series in full swing and the reemergence of the Main Event Mafia, the summer was already looking great for TNA.
Add in what the company just did with Aries, the X Division Championship and Option C, and TNA fans are going to be in for a hell of a ride!
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