Hello everyone and welcome to Crossing the Impact Zone, covering the July 19th episode. Well, it’s Open Fight Night again, but the specter of Aces & 8s hangs over the head of Impact Wrestling. Also, what more will happen in the ongoing saga of Clair Lynch? Find out now…..
We open the show with Taz & Tenay recapping what happened when Aces & 8s attacked Hogan & Sting. This allowed TNA to take Hogan off TV to have hip surgery. He and Sting are off the show tonight, so we’ll see how things go.
We open with a review of the standings in the Bound for Glory Series, then find out that the guys on the top half of the leader board get to do the call outs tonight.
Our first call out comes from the leader, “Cowboy” James Storm, who makes his way to the ring. Storm gets on the mic and first congratulates Aries for winning the World Title. Storm then talks about how he’s on top of the BfG Series, but then reminds Roode that he hasn’t forgotten about him, saying that the World Title is business, but he wanting Roode is personal. Storm then brings up Aces & 8s, saying they seem to think this is the wild west, but if it was, the Cowboy would be the sheriff. Storm then wishes Hogan well and gets back to business. Storm then makes his call out, being Kurt Angle.
Angle’s music plays, but he doesn’t come out to the ring. The music restarts, but again, no Angle, which is rather reminiscent of last week’s attack of Hogan. Storm grabs one of the camera men from ringside and tells him to go get Angle. We then see a shot backstage of Angle being beat down by Aces & 8s. It looks like, without an authority figure, we’re going to have some chaos tonight.
We come back to Taz & Tenay again, recapping the attack on Angle.
Samoa Joe makes his way to the ring, sitting in the second place spot in the BfG Series. Joe talks about how there isn’t a man alive who’d want to call him out, so he’s making the call out tonight. Joe then calls out an old rival, “The Pope” D’angelo Dinero. This brings back memories of their feud a couple years ago, when Joe had Okada as his sidekick. It’s kinda’ funny how Okada is now a former world champion in Japan.
Match 1 – BfG Series – Samoa Joe (47pts) def. “The Pope” D’angelo Dinero (7pts)
Early in the match, it looks like Joe takes a legit shot to the face, to the point where he’s holding the side of his face and complains about his jaw as he rolls out of the ring at one point. Pope shows absolutely no mercy, pounding on Joe and aiming for the jaw on a number of occasions. However, Joe’s submission background kicks in and as Pope keeps attacking, Joe puts on a seated armbar submission hold, which causes Pope to tap out, giving Joe 10 more points and the new lead in the BfG Series. Pretty good match overall. Match Grade – C+
Backstage – Bobby Roode has arrived and is asked about the attack on Hulk Hogan last week by Aces & 8s, where of course Roode denies any involvement. Roode then talks about having bigger things on his mind, saying he plans on proving tonight that Austin Aries’ win at Destination X was a fluke.
Jeff Hardy now makes his way to the ring as we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial and Jeff Hardy says he has someone in mind that he wants to call out, but before he can say it, he’s interrupted by Robbie E. Robbie says everyone in the BfG Series is ducking him, so he’s challenging Hardy. Hardy acknowledges the challenge and it looks like we have a match!
Match 2 – BfG Series – Robbie E w/ Robbie T (5pts) def. Jeff Hardy (21pts)
Hardy dominates the majority of the match, as expected. But Robbie T’s involvement from the outside frustrates Hardy to the point where Jeff attacks him on the outside after Robbie E hits the floor. The distraction leads to Hardy being counted out of the ring and Robbie E gets his first points in the BfG Series. Pretty much a garbage match, but Hardy’s spots were crisp. Match Grade – D+
Backstage – This month’s Gut Check contender warms up, Florida’s own, Sam Shaw.
Backstage – ODB is out back talking to EY on the phone about sending him to get beer and chicken and he’s gone for 2 months. Young then shows up behind ODB, talking about how he was approached to do a fishing show. The couple kisses and then ODB sends Young out for beer and chicken again.
We then get a video reviewing what happened last week in the Clair Lynch / AJ Styles saga
Backstage – We come to Christopher Daniels & Kazarian. Daniels talks about how things will come out that Styles was a scumbag all along, unlike what he tries to make himself look. Kaz then says instead of being a man and admitting his mistake, Styles is still trying to act super pure.
We come back to the ring to JB introducing Sam Shaw. Shaw comes into the ring with the intensity in his eyes. Shaw talks about how he’s been trying to get into TNA for a while now, but now he’s finally getting his shot. Just as JB asks Shaw what he’s offering Gut Check that they haven’t seen, the Aces & 8s group strikes AGAIN, beating down Shaw in the ring as we go to a rather abrupt break.
We come back from break to see the trainer & the Gut Check judges helping Shaw to his feet and out of the ring.
We get back to business as Shaw’s led to the back and Mr. Anderson makes his way out to the ring. Anderson talks about douche bags, referring to Chris Daniels, which draws a few cheers which Anderson points out and boos himself. Anderson then talks about how he’s calling out a friend, that being AJ Styles.
Match 3 – Mr. Anderson (23pts) def. AJ Styles (7pts)
Pretty good match between these guys, but there was a point where Styles botches a hurricanrana, then Anderson’s placement on AJ’s springboard forearm is off and it made it look more like a crossbody. But they make up for it with a sick superplex by Anderson on Styles, then mutual near dead covers. Styles ends up going for the Styles Clash, but Anderson counters into a pin for the victory. Match Grade – C+
After the match, Clair Lynch comes out from the back, oddly with a mic. Lynch talks about how Styles hasn’t been returning her calls, so they’re going to talk about this issue right in the Impact Zone. Lynch then talks about a night where she’d had a couple drinks and called Styles for help. She then says that Styles also had a couple of drinks and they proceeded to have a wild, passionate night that she can’t believe AJ doesn’t remember. Lynch then shows proof of them being together, as she apparently took pictures on her phone and has printed them out. Styles is CLEARLY passed out in all the pictures. So it looks like the plot thickens some more.
Backstage – We come back to Styles, looking over the photos in disbelief.
Taz & Tenay are joined on commentary by Sean Wheelock, who’s one of the commentators for the Belatore fighting group, for the next match.
RVD comes out and says he feels like fighting, saying there’s no one he’d rather kick the crap of then Christopher Daniels. Daniels walks out, apple-tini IN HAND, finishing it on the stage before making his way to the ring.
Match 4 – Christopher Daniels (19pts) def. Rob Van Dam (14pts)
This was an okay match between a couple of guys I personally really like. RVD showed a lot of variety in his moves during this match, using some old school, some new school and even some submission. But it came down to Daniels being savvy and using some underhanded tactics. Van Dam had Daniels laid out and went for Rolling Thunder, but Daniels moved out of the way and got a pinfall with his feet on the ropes to pick up the win. Match Grade – B-
Backstage – Aries is asked about Roode’s challenge and calling him a fluke. Aries said Roode’s the fluke after how Bobby “won” at Bound for Glory against James Storm. But Aries says he’ll take care of Roode tonight.
We come back from commercial and are joined via phone by Brook Hogan. Brook talks about Hulk’s condition, giving an update on her father, saying he’s in bad shape.
Taz & Tenay then recount Joseph Park & Bully Ray’s match last week.
Backstage – Park is talking to Garett Bischoff about his last name being a huge liability to him, asking him if he needs a lawyer. Garett then asks Jo about last week against Ray. Jo talks about how he stepped up against Ray, but Garett then talks about the odd sort of transformation by Park, asking him who it was. Jo simply says it was him before leaving.
Well, the last two guys in the Bound for Glory Series are Magnus & Bully Ray. They get nose to nose in the back, but Ray backs off of Magnus and allows him to head to the ramp. Magnus walks down the ramp, but Ray comes out just behind him and nails him from behind. Ray & Magnus fight outside the ring for a bit before they finally get into the ring and the match is underway!
Match 5 – BfG Series – Bully Ray (7pts) def. Magnus (14pts)
Pretty good match out of these two guys you might not really expect it from. These two have great chemistry in the ring against one another. Ray seemed to tweak his knee after missing a kick in the corner on Magnus, which lead to Magnus putting him in a cloverleaf hold, which Ray managed to get a rope break out of. But Ray finishes off Magnus with an old school move of his own, the Buhbuh Cutter, which allows Ray to get the pinfall victory. Match Grade – B
We then get a look at the updated standings in the Bound for Glory series. If you want to see the updated points and positions for the series, go back to our home page & check out Nikki’s column “The way I see it.” She’s done a great job keeping track of it so far.
We get a video package announcing that Chavo Guerrero will make his TNA debut next week on Impact.
Bobby Roode makes his way to the ramp with a mic, again calling Aries a fluke and as promised, calls him out as we go to commercial.
We come back to Roode in the ring, ranting about Aries’ win being nothing more then a fluke. Aries makes his way to the ring, looking extremely intense and never taking his eyes off Roode.
Match 6 – Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries – No Contest
An odd “we want t-shirts” chant breaks out during this match, which I can’t really explain. Great match overall between Roode & Aries, very competitive and almost as good as their match at Destination X…. until…. Match Grade – B-
Aries throws Roode out of the ring and just as Austin is going after him, Aces & 8s come out again and attack Aries. They end up getting Aries into the ring, pinning him in a corner and beating him down as Roode moves to the other corner, all alone. Roode gets to his feet, grinning ear to ear and clapping for the group as they beat down Aries. The gang turns towards Roode, who walks up to who appears to be their leader and offers to shake his hand. The masked man instead hits a low blow on Roode and the group proceed to bet HIM down as well as we go off the air. During the entire match, Taz & Tenay tried to imply that Roode was the leader of Aces & 8s, but that’s clearly not the case as they beat him down.
I have to admit, this was a very compelling episode with the specter of Aces & 8s looming over the whole show and then picking their times to strike when people least expected it, for the most part. I’ve always been a fan of the faction attack storylines. I just hope it doesn’t go TOO long and that they don’t do this too much. Overall Show Grade – B-
I’d like to take a moment to talk a bit more about Gut Check competitor Sam Shaw. Last night, while on my break at work, all I got to see of this show was Shaw’s segment where he got beat down by Aces & 8s. This prompted me to send out a tweet talking about how I was disappointed that TNA let such a good talent go by the wayside. But, while watching this show for the review, it was announced that Shaw would get his shot on next week’s Impact. I’m very glad for that, because I’ve seen Shaw in action, as he’s a local wrestler on the independent circuit in Florida. Shaw’s a great worker, he’s one of the best in the state of Florida in my personal opinion. He recently also worked a tryout match for ROH as part of tag match against the Briscoe Brothers. I really hope Sam brings his A game next week so you guys can see what I mean.
Well, that’s all I have for this week. Be sure to go over to read Nikki’s “The Way I See It” for her take on Impact and a full rundown on the Bound for Glory Series. So, until next time folks, take care, stay tuned and remember……listen to the stars, for they know all.
Dennis Gates Jr. (@knightnephrite)
http://knightnephrite.deviantart.com for photos