The Thursday, August 22 edition of TNA Impact! Wrestling, which aired a taped episode from Norfolk, Va., began with World Heavyweight champion Bully Ray and Tito Ortiz being confronted backstage by Mr. Anderson.
Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian got Impact! Wrestling started by heading out toward the ring. Roode began to brag about his personal success in the Bound For Glory series, which was then followed by Kazarian applauding himself. Daniels promoted his upcoming match and said that he will join them in their successes.
Afterward, Roode made an open invitation to Austin Aries to join the new heel faction. James Storm and Gunner immediately interrupted Roode and made their way to the ring. A brawl erupted, which then led to the opening match of the night.
Match No. 1: James Storm and Gunner vs. Bobby Roode and Kazarian
Your winners via pinfall: Bobby Roode and Kazarian.
Roode officially joining Kazarian and Daniels' Bad Influence group is a major step forward, as the former TNA World Heavyweight title holder adds a bigger presence to the faction. Unfortunately, it is disappointing to see how far Storm has fallen in TNA recently. His new paring with Gunner hasn't exactly sparked much interest with viewers.
This was a pretty basic opening tag team match to help get Bad Influence over.
Match Rating: 3/5.
Match No. 2: Sonjay Dutt vs. Manik
Your winner via pinfall: Manik.
Fun X-Division match. Manik is beginning to create a really good identity in TNA, in which the company made the right choice to part ways with the Suicide character. Fortunately, TNA elected to go back with singles matches instead of the three-way features, as that format was struggling to gain interest for viewers watching the X-Division. Keeping it a singles battle makes it more exciting, but TNA should not be shy to throw in a three-way match when the time is appropriate.
Match Rating: 3.5/5.
Match No. 3: Christopher Daniels vs. Joseph Park vs. Jay Bradley vs. Hernandez
Your winner via pinfall: Joseph Park.
During the final moments of the match, Aries came out to briefly help Daniels. However, after teasing the Bad Influence group, Aries quickly turned on them and attacked Daniels. Meanwhile, Park continued to tease the Abyss character by hitting a black hole slam on Bradley for the win. The win places Park higher on the Bound For Glory Series list, which could be a scary thought for many people.
Match Rating: 3/5.
After a video package, Ray, along with Ortiz, came out to the ring. Ray said that winning the World Heavyweight title made things right again. The president of Aces and Eights went ahead and invited Brooke Hogan to the ring. However, Miss Tessmacher made her television return and began kissing Ray. She took off the wedding ring given to Ray by Hogan and spit it to the floor. Ray said that he could not be stopped and exited with Miss Tessmacher and Ortiz.
Match No. 4: Gail Kim vs. ODB
Your winner via pinfall: Gail Kim.
Another decent match at best. This Hardcore Justice show has been disappointing in terms of matches, considering that everything has been subpar. Hopefully the main event match will add some spark to save this show from total disappointment.
Match Rating: 2.5/5.
Match No. 5: Devon, Wes Briscoe, Mike Knox, Mr. Anderson and Garrett Bischoff vs. Sting, Samoa Joe, Rampage Jackson, Magnus and AJ Styles.
Your winner via pinfall: Sting, Samoa Joe, Rampage Jackson, Magnus and AJ Styles.
With Styles pinning Devon, the former leader of Aces and Eights is forced to leave the group for good. This was easily the best match of the night. Styles returning to help the Main Event Mafia was met with a huge pop from the crowd, as TNA made the right move to have him return as a babyface. After a sluggish show throughout the night, the main event was able to end Impact! Wrestling on a better note.
Match Rating: 4/5.