[TV Recap] Impact Wrestling – 7/26/2012

Note: Unlike Raw, I will not be covering Impact Wrestling on a constant week to week basis due to real-life situations (work, school, etc.). I’ll do my best to keep it as consistent as I can but no promises. I’m also going to rework my recap style through this one as well for the 8000th time since this site opened three days ago.

On tonight’s edition of Impact Wrestling:

  • TNA president Dixie Carter names a new interim GM to replace an injured Hulk Hogan.
  • A new number one contender will be named for Zema Ion‘s X-Division Title and Ion himself will defend the belt.
  • The “Bound for Glory Series” continues with two more matches (James Storm/A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle/Bully Ray)
  • Chavo Guerrero Jr. will make his TNA debut.
  • The Aces and 8’s will undoubtedly make their presence felt once again.
  • Sam Shaw will get another chance to prove himself in the TNA Gut Check.
  • And a whole lot more!

Previously on Impact Wrestling…the A.J. Styles/Claire soap opera continues (with pics!), the Aces & 8’s attack Kurt Angle, TNA World Champion Austin Aries, and Bobby Roode.

We are live at the Impact Zone as Mike Tenay and Taz hype the upcoming show, including the two BFG Series matches and the debut of Chavo Guerrero.

Sting makes his way to the ring, looking angry (and ridiculous because his face paint is still Joker-y). Sting gets into the ring and grabs a mic. He says he’ll be taking over as interim GM while Hulk Hogan recuperates. He calls out the Aces & 8’s. Instead, TNA World Champion Austin Aries makes his way to the ring. Aries says that he’s going to jump the Aces & 8’s if he sees them tonight. Out comes Kurt Angle, presumably to also call out the Aces & 8’s. Angle says he wants revenge for the Aces & 8’s attack on him last week. Told you. And now Bobby Roode makes his way out but stays on the entrance ramp. He says he’s not out here to fight anyone or to have Sting and company’s back. Roode says he knows who’s behind these attacks. His mic dies and he takes Angle’s mic. Nice improvisation. Roode continues his rant, and accuses James Storm of being behind the Aces & 8’s. Roode calls Storm a piece of crap, and Storm comes out and attacks him from behind. Storm rolls Roode into the ring, and the two brawl while Sting and the others watch. Angle finally separates Storm from Roode, and Roode rolls out of the ring to escape punishment. Roode uses this attack as proof that Storm is the mastermind behind Aces & 8’s as we go to commercial.

  • Thoughts: Okay opening segment but didn’t really do much to hook me in as a viewer (I’m still continuing the recap, don’t worry). I am intrigued on who’s behind the Aces & 8’s though, even if that stable name is ridiculous.

We are back from commercial. Kid Kash, Tara, and Kurt Angle hype up Chavo Guerrero Jr.‘s debut tonight.

Backstage, Bobby Roode continues to implicate James Storm and leaves the arena in a huff.

Gail Kim and Madison Rayne head out to the ring for the first match. They recap Rayne’s obsession with referee Earl Hebner. Hebner is refereeing tonight. Mickie James and Tara make their way out next and Tenay/Taz

Match #1: Mickie James/Tara Vs. Gail Kim/Madison Rayne

Kim and Tara start off in the ring. Tara flips her way out of an armlock and reverses it. Tara lands an armdrag takedown on Kim. James tags in and delivers a baseball slide dropkick into Kim and goes for the pin. 2-count. James lands a Thesz press and starts hammering on Kim. Kim reverses an Irish whip and Rayne kicks her from behind, allowing her partner to land a clothesline. Kim chokes James with her boot in the corner and tags in Rayne. Rayne continues the choking in the corner and then throws James to the ring. James starts fighting back, but Rayne ducks and hits a clothesline for a 2-count.

Rayne whips James in the corner, but meets turnbuckle when James moves out of the way of her splash attempt. Tara gets the hot tag and hits a series of clotheslines. She hits a Tilt-a-Whirl side slam and goes for the pin but Kim makes the save. James tags back in and she and Tara put Rayne in a Boston Crab. Kim jumps from the top to try to break it up but they catch her and they put her in a double leglock. While Hebner tries to get Tara out, James rolls her up. Yet somehow Rayne gets the pin and the win (?)

Winners: Gail Kim/Madison Rayne by Pinfall (3:53)

  • Good but short Knockouts tag team match. Liked the double submissions James and Tara put on their opponents, never seen that before (I’m on again/off again with TNA for reasons specified earlier). Rayne getting the win despite being pinned adds intrigue to her storyline with Hebner which I’m sure excites…Hebner I guess. (C+)

Backstage, Sting asks Austin Aries to give some X-Division wrestlers a pep talk. Sting mentions having to make some cuts.

TNA Gut Check promo for Sam Shaw, which involves him looking at the ring before a show and talking about how this is his dream and yadda yadda. You know how it goes. The Gut Check is up next!

James Storm and Hernandez welcome Chavo Guerrero Jr. to TNA, while Bully Ray is indifferent due to his “Twitter mah-chine”.

Sam Shaw is in the ring. His opponent for the Gut Check is introduced: Douglas Williams. He’s still around? Awesome.

Match #2 (TNA Gut Check): Sam Shaw Vs. Douglas Williams

Shaw gets a quick headlock and knocks Williams down with a shoulderblock. Williams tries for a backflip but Shaw lands on his feet and dropkicks him followed by a series of clotheslines and a back bodydrop. Shaw hits a nice combo of backbreaker/neckbreaker and goes for the pin. 2-count. Shaw bodyslams Williams and heads to the top rope. Williams knocks him off. Al Snow comes to ringside to argue with the fans and Joey Ryan comes out of nowhere and sucker punches him. Ryan runs off while security chases him.

Back to the match, Williams hits a lariat on Shaw and starts laying into him. Williams whips Shaw into the corner, hits a flying knee, then suplexes him out to the mat. Williams trash talks Shaw, and slaps him in the face. Williams hits the Rolling Chaos pin combo for the 1…2…3!

Winner: Douglas Williams (2:34)

  • Shaw made a hell of an impression on me as a viewer. He’s quick, agile, and exciting to watch. Quick match but it was a good showcase (minus the fact the dude didn’t have ring gear and came out looking like Jack Evans sans wifebeater). The continued build of Joey Ryan is intriguing as well; I just wish they did it outside of this match. They only had two minutes, after all. (B-)

Backstage, Austin Aries says he gets to decide who will get to face X-Division Champ Zema Ion. The wrestlers start making their case and trash talk each other. Aries lambasts Ion for just standing there and not adding to the conversation. Aries hands Ion a framed poster of Aries and kicks him out. Aries kicks Rashad Cameron out of the locker room. He’s not getting the title shot I guess. Aries still has two to eliminate, between the three left in the locker room.

Video promo for Chavo Guerrero Jr. This is the most hype he’s ever gotten anywhere ever. I hope they actually do something with him. He makes his debut next!

Out comes Chavo Guerrero Jr. to make his (non-wrestling) TNA debut. He makes nice with the Impact Zone fans ringside, shaking hands, all smiles, the whole nine yards. He gets into the ring and grabs a mic. Chavo says “now I know where I should’ve been for the last few years, huh?” due to the overwhelming reaction (seriously it’s happening, I’m not making it up). He says the Guerrero family has won championships everywhere…except in Impact Wrestling. Chavo says the TNA Locker Room is full of “hungry” wrestlers, who desire to be the best and give their all for the fans. Chavo says he’s here in TNA to beat the best. Chavo says it’s time for him to become a champion in Impact Wrestling.

Out comes Kid Kash and Gunner to break up the festivities. Kash mocks Chavo for his whole family being a bunch of wrestlers (okay?). Kash gets in the ring and asks where his family is. Chavo calls the fans his family (really?!?). Kash calls the crowd a bunch of “government-funded jerk offs” then runs down the Guerrero family again for some reason. Kash calls Chavo’s father a drunk, which causes Chavo to suckerpunch him. Kash and Gunner starts beating Chavo down. Out comes Hernandez to rescue Chavo. They clean house and celebrate in the ring.

  • Thoughts: Not the best way to introduce a new wrestler to the company. Chavo was too over the top in his babyface-ness, kissing the fan’s asses so hard it came off desperate. Kash’s attempts to insult Chavo also felt really forced and stupid as well, and didn’t make much sense. Either way I guess we’re getting a Chavo/Hernandez Vs. Kash/Gunner tag match in the future. Not something I’m particularly looking forward to.

Angle and Storm talk backstage about Roode’s accusation. Angle wants to make sure that Roode is just blowing smoke. Storm defends himself and says he has no connection with the Aces & 8’s. They have each other’s back just in case they come out during their matches tonight. Storm is looking peeved.

Gut Check judges are talking backstage. Bruce Prichard tries to ask about Shaw, but Al Snow snaps about the Joey Ryan suckerpunch and starts yelling. Taz and Prichard are positive towards Shaw.

A video package detailing the A.J. Styles/Claire soap opera. Apparently he’s the father of her baby and she has the photos to prove it! Claire is a date rapist, I’m calling it now.

We get a look at the BFG Series standings. Samoa Joe is on top with a narrow lead over James Storm who is up next.

Match #3 (BFG Series Match): “The Phenomenal One” A.J. Styles Vs. “Cowboy” James Storm

Styles and Storm lock up, and Storm gets the quick advantage. But Styles manages to spin his way out of a hiptoss into a pinning combination for 2. Storm throws Styles head-first into the corner then does so again on the opposite corner. Storm goes for the pin, then goes right for a chinlock when Styles kicks out. Styles lands a right hand, but Storm hits a Gutwrench Suplex and goes for the pin. 2-count. Storm throws Styles into the ropes and hits a backdrop. Storm slaps on a chinlock. Styles fights out, leapfrogs a running Storm, but gets caught with a kick to the stomach. Styles hits a dropkick to get the match back in his favor. Styles goes for the pin and gets another 2-count.

Storm escapes a bodyslam and locks on a waistlock. Styles runs Storm into the turnbuckles to break free. Styles hits a snap suplex and gets a 2-count. Styles slaps on a facelock of his own. Storm fights out with a fury, and they trade blows. Storm shoulderblocks Styles into the turnbuckles. Storm ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own, followed by a stun gun and flying forearm. Storm can only get a 2-count from that combination of moves. Styles kicks Storm in the left leg to break the momentum. Styles escapes a bodyslam and hits a back suplex. Styles goes for another pin and gets another 2-count.

Styles whips Storm into the ropes and goes for a flying forearm, but Storm moves out of the way. Storm sets Styles on the top turnbuckle. Styles fights him off, but Storm crotches him on the top turnbuckle. Storm hits the Eye of the Storm (awesome move) and goes for the pin. 1…2…KICKOUT! Storm whips Styles into the corner and charges in with a clothesline. Storm heads to the top and starts choking Styles but Styles hits him with a kick. Storm tries to hit a Tornado DDT but Styles suplexes him. Storm’s legs snap off of the ropes. Styles goes for the pin but only another 2-count.

Styles hits a springboard flying forearm halfway across the ring on Storm and goes for another pin. 1…2…another kickout! Styles sets up for the Styles Clash but Storm picks him up and throws him onto the mat. Storm goes for the pin, and gets another 2-count. They end up on the apron and they trade blows. Storm jumps off and smashes Styles facefirst on the apron. Storm quickly rolls in and goes for the pin, but Styles once again kicks out! Styles hits an Enziguri out of nowhere, and sets up once again for the Styles Clash, but Storm hits a lung blower instead. Storm gets the crowd revved up as he sets up for The Last Call Superkick. Styles sidesteps and hits a Pele kick. And that’s when the Aces & 8’s show up to ruin the match. They attack both competitors and the referee, then flee the ring. Is that match over? I have no idea as we go to commercial.

Apparently it’s a no-contest. My bad.

Winner: No Contest (10:24). Each wrestler gets 2 points.

  • A damn good match ruined by the run-in. But at least it’s a run-in for a reason. Lot of exciting near-falls going on in the match and some really awesome spots. Storm and Styles work insanely well together. Wish it could’ve gotten a legitimate ending. (B+)

James Storm is backstage, and the interviewer questions why the Aces attacked everyone but him. Storm throws him against the wall and yells at him for the accusation.

*TNA Gut Check Decision: Sam Shaw*

Sam Shaw comes out to the ring to find out his fate in the Gut Check. He makes one last plea to the three judges and now it’s judgment time. Al Snow says he didn’t get to see what Shaw did tonight because of the suckerpunch and would like to say yes but he can’t, so his answer is a “No” (WHAT?!?). Bruce Prichard is up next and says Shaw did a hell of a job so he’s a “Yes”. Shaw gets 30 seconds on the mic to convince Taz and yells about wanting to be in TNA and begging him to say yes (not “begging”, that’s harsh, but you know what I mean right?). Taz says he loves Shaw’s athleticism and ability, and gives him a “Yes”. Shaw is now getting a TNA contract. He excitedly hugs everyone in the ring and is all smiles and energy.

  • Thoughts: Good for Sam Shaw. I think he’ll make a great fit in the X-Division. Snow shouldn’t have got a vote though since he “didn’t see” the match. Voting “No” was ridiculous.

Austin Aries is with the three final contestants for the X-Division title shot: Sonjay Dutt, Kenny King, and Dakota Darsow. Aries makes a funny joke about Darsow’s ethnicity (“Russian-American”, if you laugh I love you). Aries cuts Darsow for not being flashy enough for the title shot. It’s now down to King and Dutt. I thought we were getting a match? Also, isn’t Aries the World Champion? Shouldn’t he be doing World Champion stuff? Aren’t he and Roode facing each other in a rematch this month? So many questions!

X-Division Champion Zema Ion makes his way to the ring to face whoever Aries decides is worthy enough to face him. Backstage, Aries makes his decision: Kenny King. Sonjay Dutt is pissed. I assume Rhett Titus is also pissed. I know Jim Cornette is super pissed.

Match #4: Zema Ion (c) Vs. Kenny King for the TNA X-Division Championship

King backs Ion in the corner and the ref breaks them up. Ion uses hairspray to fix his ‘doo. They go to lock up and Ion hits him with a knee to the stomach. King gets right back up and hits a dropkick. King lays into Ion in the corner and whips him into the opposite side. He hits a flying cross body from the top rope and gets a 2-count. King goes to the second rope but Ion pushes him off to the outside of the ring (simple but effective). Ion takes to the air and hits a splash. They head back into the ring and Ion hits a missle dropkick from the top rope. Ion chokes King on the second rope. Ion goes for a pin and gets a 2-count.

Ion throws King into the turnbuckle headfirst and whips him hard across to the opposite corner. King bounces off back first and lands on the mat. Ion sets him up in the corner and chops him. Ion whips King hard against the turnbuckles back-first once again. Ion tries again but King rolls him up for a 2-count. Ion hits some sort of facebuster or something and gets a 2-count (I need to read up on more wrestling moves).  Ion runs at King, but King hits him with a spinning heel kick followed a clothesline. King hits a spinning enziguri followed by a T-bone suplex (Tazplex!). King backdrops Ion to the apron and kicks him off. King takes to the air and hits a corkscrew splash of his own. King rolls Ion in the ring and plays to the crowd.

King goes to the top, but Bobby Roode comes out of nowhere and attacks him. Ion hits a running a moonsault from the top rope for the 1…2…3!

Winner and STILL X-Division Champion: Zema Ion via Pinfall (6:02)

  • A really fun X-Division match between the two. Had some great moments despite its short ring time. Ion is making a tremendous X-Division Champion thus far in my opinion; I love his cocky persona. Roode attacking King made perfect sense too; he hates Aries so by proxy he hates whoever Aries likes. I like the logic. But to be honest I forgot the two were even having a rematch at Hardcore Justice due to the lack of anything between them until this moment. (B)

Roode gloats about attacking King, and Aries comes out and attacks him tossing him away from ringside.

Backstage, Bully Ray says he isn’t concerned with the Aces & 8’s. He says he has a lot of respect for Kurt Angle, but Ray says he’s the toughest guy in pro wrestling and he will beat Angle tonight.

  • Thoughts: I’m still flabbergasted at how well Bully Ray has adjusted to being a singles competitor. He hasn’t been this compelling since leaving the WWE back in 2005. Good on him. I hope they give him a belt eventually. Once the whole Abyss thing finally runs its course.

Flashback to Destination X when Austin Aries won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Then a plug for their upcoming Hardcore Justice rematch later this month. Glad they finally remembered the two are feuding. Tenay plugs a tag match for next between between Aries/King and Roode/Ion.

We get a look at the updated leaderboard for the BFG Series. Samoa Joe is now only two points ahead of James Storm now.

Main Event (BFG Series Match): Kurt Angle Vs. Bully Ray

The two hesitate for a moment, but then lock up.  Ray pushes Angle into the corner and breaks clean. They lock up once again and Angle gets a waistlock. Ray reverses, but Angle reverses back and tries to hit the Angle Slam. Ray stops it and tries a kick but Angle ducks it. They stare each other down in a Mexican Stand-Off. A third lock up, and Ray hits a knee to the gut. Ray tries to slam him, but Angle gets out and tries to apply the Ankle Lock. Ray quickly gets to the ropes. Angle whips Ray into the corner and ducks for a backdrop, but Ray hits him with a forearm to the back followed by a Piledriver (yay!). Ray goes for the pin but Angle gets his hand under the rope to keep the count from happening. Angle rolls to the outside to recuperate as we go to commercial.

We are back from commercial and Ray connects with a neckbreaker. Ray goes for the pin but Angle kicks out at 2. And we’re back to commercial (at least over here in TX). That was a c*cktease. I guess I could go to impactwrestling.com to not miss anything but that sounds like a lot of work. Thumb twiddling it is. Can you tell I’m bored right now?

And we’re back again to catch Ray go for a couple of pinfalls but each only yield a 2-count. Ray spits a loogie in the air and catches it (HA!). Ray hits Angle with a Bionic Elbow and hits the ropes. Angle catches Ray with a clothesline as he’s rushing towards him, and both men are down. Angle starts fighting back, and hits a forearm. Angle hits Ray with a release belly to belly suplex and goes for the pin. Only a 2-count. Angle tries to hit the Angle Slam, but Ray hits the Bully Bomb for the 1…2…KICK OUT! Angle hits his three German Suplex combination. Angle removes the straps on his singlet (sh*t just got real), and applies the Ankle Lock. Ray struggles for a bit then rolls his way out of it. Ray hits three large chops and a Rock Bottom for the 1…2…KICK OUT AGAIN!

Angle ducks a running kick and hits the Angle Slam. 1…2…KICK OUT!  Angle heads to the top rope and goes for the Moonsault but Ray moves out of the way. Angle runs at him but Ray kicks him in the face for the 1…2…KICK OUT! Ray rushes Angle in the corner, but Angle moves and hits the Angle Slam for the 1…2…3!

Winner: Kurt Angle via Pinfall (11:52). Angle gets 7 points in the BFG Series.

  • A really good hard-hitting bout between the two filled with a lot of drama and some damn good heel work by Bully Ray (who apparently doesn’t have to worry about Joseph Park anymore…). I’m sure this is generic by now to more hardcore TNA fans but to me this was the perfect way to cap off the night. (B+)

The Aces & 8’s come out and attack Angle right after he picks up the victory. Out come Aries, Styles, and Sting to save Angle. James Storm‘s music hits, and out he comes to help out his comrades. The Aces & 8’s instantly leave the ring as he runs in. Angle and Aries are asking why they ran when he came in. Tenay plugs next week’s Impact main event: Angle Vs. Storm in a BFG Series match! The show goes off the air as Storm continues to plead innocence.

Average Match Grade: B

  • Favorite Match: Kurt Angle/Bully Ray
  • Least Favorite Match: Mickie James/Tara Vs. Gail Kim/Madison Rayne

Entertainment Grade: B-

  • Favorite Segment: TNA Gut Check Decision
  • Least Favorite Segment: Chavo Guerrero Jr.’s TNA Debut

Overall Show Grade: B

  • It makes me feel really good to say this: the wrestling on tonight’s Impact Wrestling was pretty top-notch as far as “TV wrestling” goes. Both BFG Series matches delivered and the X-Division Title matchup was really fun. I need to come to terms with being a Zema Ion mark, methinks. The storylines are still hit or miss (or missing, like the Ray/Parks storyline), but the Aces & 8’s story is intriguing so far and I’m invested to see who they really are under those masks. As for the debut of Chavo Guerrero Jr...it didn’t really get me too excited for his upcoming run. He just felt so damn fake through the whole thing and the opening storyline between him and Kid Kash got off to a bad start thanks to a ridiculous attempt by Kash to insult him. On the whole though, this was an entertaining Impact Wrestling and I’m pumped to see what else they have in store. Maybe next week they’ll get back to building Aries/Roode. That’s what I want to see.
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