[TV Recap] Impact Wrestling – 8/9/2012

Announced Matches:

  • BFG Series Match: “Cowboy” James Storm Vs. Bully Ray
  • BFG Series Match: AJ Styles Vs. Kurt Angle
  • BFG Series Match: Rob Van Dam Vs. Magnus

Also on the Docket:

  • The Aces and 8’s let it be known last week that they intend to make Brooke Hogan their next target.
  • Austin Aries and Bobby Roode have their final confrontation before their World Title match at HardCORE Justice
  • James Storm once again tries to refute claims he’s leading the Aces and 8’s.
  • The Claire storyline continues, and hopefully AJ Styles does something to move the storyline.

All that and more on this week’s “go home” edition of Impact Wrestling!

“Previously on Impact” recap of last week’s show.

The Impact Zone lights up with pyrotechnics as Mike Tenay plugs this Sunday’s Hardcore Justice PPV as well as the lineup for tonight.

Bully Ray comes out to open the show proper. He shows off his calf muscles to someone ringside, then starts typing a message on his “Twittah Machine”. From what he’s saying, it sounds like more than 140 characters. He introduces himself and his “fiyah-breathin’ Twittah Machine” to the crowd. Ray gives credit to Joseph Park for teaching him that if there’s enough evidence stacked up, the accused must be guilty. Ray says he’s going to prove that James Storm is behind the Aces and 8’s tonight and beat him, then win his match at Hardcore Justice. 

Ray says there are many facts as to why Storm is guilty, which brings out the “Cowboy”. Storm tells Ray to “shut the hell up” and says he didn’t hear one fact come from Ray. Storm says he’s sick and tired of people thinking he’s the Aces and 8’s and sick and tired of being sick and tired (sick and tired). Storm once again professes his innocence and says he’s more worried about winning the BFG Series and winning back his title at Bound for Glory. Storm draws an imaginary line across the ring and gives Ray a count of 3 before he crosses it and kicks the living crap out of him. Ray tells him to start counting. Storm counts to “3” but Ray gets out of the ring to avoid harm. Storm says the line is still there and anyone who still doesn’t believe him can come out and face him.

The Aces and 8’s appear on the Impact-Tron and says they accept Sting‘s invitation to show up tonight but they will do it on their terms. Ray runs back in and continues accusing Storm as we go to commercial (at least here; looks like it randomly cut off instead of naturally going to commercial).

  • Sort of a dull way to begin the show as we once again get the whole “wrestler accuses Storm of being behind the Aces and 8’s” spiel, this time from Bully Ray (who admittedly was still entertaining). The Aces and 8’s showing up on the Impact-Tron to announce their arrival picked it up a little though. Either way sort of a lackluster way to begin; I’m already invested from weeks previous but those just tuning for the first time probably went “…k”.

*Commercial Break*

The Aces and 8’s promo from four minutes ago plays once again.

Backstage, “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero cuts a promo on the Falls Count Anywhere match he’s in this weekend at Hardcore Justice. 20% of the viewers tonight are reminded that The Pope is indeed still in TNA.

Mr. Anderson is with Tenay/Taz at the commentary booth. He’s here to scout two of his upcoming opponents.

Match #1 (BFG Series): Rob Van Dam Vs. Magnus

RVD gets a quick waistlock and transitions into a side headlock. Magnus sends him into the ropes and tries to knock him down with a shoulder block but RVD stays on his feet. RVD hits the ropes again and Magnus follows, clotheslining him over the top and onto the floor. Magnus follows and continues the attack. He smashes RVD’s lower back into the apron. Back in the ring, Magnus goes for the pin but only gets a 2-count.

RVD and Magnus trade punches, and Magnus whips him into the ropes. RVD ducks a clothesline but gets caught in a suplex for a 2-count. RVD kicks Magnus in a head and hits a springboard kick. Both men are down. RVD tries to mount a comeback but gets a knee to the gut. Magnus catches an RVD kick but RVD gives him a bodyscissors pin attempt for a 2-count. RVD gets another kick caught but hits another. He goes for a Rolling Thunder clothesline in the corner but gets caught with a clothesline from Magnus. RVD regains the advantage and hits the Five Star Frog Splash for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Rob Van Dam (3:21) [RVD gets 7 points in the BFG series, making his total 35)

  • Too short to have any psychology or any action of note. Mr. Anderson also added nothing while on commentary, which made the match just a little bit more irritating than it would have been otherwise. A ho-hum way to start, especially after last week’s tag team match. (C)

Backstage, Bobby Roode talks about the contract signing he has with Austin Aries tonight. Roode says it may not happen though because there’s some “language” in there he doesn’t agree with. If it doesn’t get rectified in the ring tonight, he might just skip the match altogether. Suspense! (It’ll happen)

*Commercial Break*

Recap of the baby shower Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian held for Claire last week. MAKE IT STOP.

Match #2: Christopher Daniels/Frankie Kazarian (c) Vs. [TNA TV Champion] Devon/Garrett Bischoff for the TNA World Tag Team Titles

Devon and Kazarian start off. Kazarian gets the quick offense, but Devon catches him with an elbow off the ropes. Bischoff tags in and he and Devon deliver a double shoulder block. Bischoff bodyslams Kazarian and delivers an elbow drop for a 1-count. Kazarian hits a jawbreaker and tags Daniels in. But Bischoff catches him with an arm drag. Devon tags in and hits a legdrop on Daniels. 2-count. Bischoff tags back in and they hit a double hip toss. Bischoff delivers an inverted atomic drop and Kazarian catches him on the ropes. This allows Daniels to hit Bischoff with a clothesline.

Kazarian tags in and Daniels hip tosses him onto Bischoff. 2-count. Kazarian works him over in the corner and tags Daniels in. Daniels goes to the top and rides Bischoff down with his foot (hard to explain if you couldn’t tell). Daniels sends Bischoff face-first into the turnbuckle and stomps him down. Kazarian tags back in and throws Daniels into the corner, but Bischoff moves out of the way. This allows Devon to get the hot tag. Devon cleans the tag champs’ clock. He goes for the pin but Daniels interrupts. Devon throws Daniels out of the ring. Kazarian flips out of an atomic drop but Devon catches him with a spear. Daniels tries to bring the belt into the ring and Bischoff runs at him. Bischoff gets backdropped to the floor. Daniels distracts the ref long enough for Kazarian to hit Devon with the belt for the 1…2…3!

Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions [via Pinfall]: Christopher Daniels/Frankie Kazarian (4:05)

  • First off: why is Devon challenging for the Tag Team Titles? Shouldn’t he be focused on defending his TV Title that everyone has apparently forgotten about (guess that answers my own question)? Not a bad tag team match though; Daniels and Kazarian are great together and had some good team moves. Bischoff is still pretty bad though, but he’s improving. A too-short match that ultimately feels meaningless. (C+)

Recap of Sting‘s meeting with Brooke Hogan from last week. She’s handed an Aces and 8’s calling card, meaning she’s next.

Backstage, Sting says he would take care of Brooke on behalf of her father and because of that has kept her away from the arena. He once again calls the Aces and 8’s out.

*Commercial Break*

The three BFG Series matches scheduled for Hardcore Justice are highlighted in a video package. Each competitor puts in their two cents as to why they’ll win and what winning will mean to them.

  • A decent video package. I didn’t do it justice.

Robbie E and Robbie T are in the ring. Robbie E says he knows no one thinks he will win the BFG Series, but he brags about having five points while saying overusing “bro”. He says he’ll have 20 more points after Hardcore Justice when he wins his match. Robbie E says he’s going to put Jeff Hardy through a table. We see footage from three weeks ago on Impact Wrestling when Robbie E beat Hardy by countout, earning 5 points (bro).

Robbie E starts listing why he’s better than Hardy, which brings the “Charismatic Enigma” out in the flesh. Hardy runs in and gives Robbie T a jawbreaker, leaving Robbie E alone in the ring with him. Hardy slaps Robbie E across the face, but before he can do more, Robbie T attacks him from behind. Robbie T powerbombs Hardy through the table in the center of the ring. Robbie E starts screaming about his impending victory over Hardy’s fallen body, balancing himself on the two sides of the table.

  • Despite the fact he says “bro” so much it sounds like he’s trying too hard, I’m liking Robbie E. He’s a fun sort of ridiculous. But he seriously has no shot at winning. I appreciate TNA trying to add some more drama to the Tables match coming up though. That was nice.

AJ Styles is backstage and he’s asked about the whole Claire situation. Styles says he doesn’t drink and he doesn’t remember having sex with Claire. Styles says he’s jet lagged and needs to get focused, shoeing away the camera man/interviewer.

*Commercial Break*

Tenay and Taz hype up the upcoming Styles/Angle match coming up next. Samoa Joe shows up at the announce table and grabs a headset. He (very quickly) talks about how he’s the only one relevant and talks about how he is going to beat everyone up in his BFG Series Ladder match this Sunday. He doesn’t breathe between words because breathing is for irrelevant people.

Match #3 [BFG Series]: AJ Styles Vs. Kurt Angle

Styles gets a quick armbar, and turns it into a hammerlock. Angle elbows his way out and hits the ropes. Styles leapfrogs him and hits a dropkick. Angle rolls to the outside to recover. Styles launches himself over the ropes and onto Angle. The match continues after this commercial break! (Also Claire is in the audience because f*ck my life)

*Commercial Break*

Angle breaks out of a front headlock by smashing Styles into the corner. Styles gets the boot up during Angle’s attempt at a splash, but Angle catches him with a belly to belly suplex. Snapmare into a front facelock by Angle. Styles gets out and kicks Angle in the hamstring. Styles runs at Angle, who hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Angle goes for the pin. 2-count. Angle reapplies the front facelock.

Styles fights out with elbows and chops. Angle ducks a clothesline off the ropes, but he and Styles both hit one of their own to knock each other to the mat. Styles gets up first and retakes the offense. He hits a backbreaker and gets a 2-count. Styles goes for a springboard splash and leapfrogs him. Angle catches him from behind with his three german suplexes. He measures Styles for the Angle Slam, but Styles counters and hits a Pele kick for the 1…2…KICK OUT.

Styles sets up for the Styles Clash but Angle backdrops him and hits the Angle Slam for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Angle is getting frustrated and pulls the singlet straps down. Angle applies the Ankle Lock but Styles kicks him off. Styles hits a german suplex and goes for another, but Angle reapplies the Ankle Lock. Styles rolls through and sends Angle face-first into the second turnbuckle. Angle bodydrops him to the apron, and Styles hits a springboard flying forearm. Styles connects with the Styles Clash for the 1…2…KICK OUT! Now Styles is frustrated.

Styles goes to the top, and Angle runs up and hits him with a belly to belly from the top rope. Angle goes for the pin. 1…2…KICK OUT! Angle heads to the top rope and misses the moonsault. Styles rolls to the apron and goes for a springboard 450 but Angle gets his knees up. Angle hits the Angle Slam for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kurt Angle (12:44) [Kurt Angle gets 7 points in the BFG Series, total is now 48]

  • Angle/Styles were slumming it a little bit for the majority of the match but it picked up in the end with the near-falls and drama. Neither are capable of having a bad match so this was worth watching but…you can tell they’re saving their best for Sunday. (B)

Angle exits to the back. Styles exits the ring and Claire tries to console him at ringside. Styles looks at her in disbelief and walks to the back without saying a word. Claire is looking upset. Shocked, right?

  • Please please please can we just end this already? I’ll be saying this same damn thing every week until it’s finally over, so deal with it.

Another Aces and 8’s message plays. The leader says everyone will find out who their next target is tonight.

Backstage, Mr. Anderson also accuses James Storm of being behind the Aces and 8’s. Anderson says if he turns out to be the next victim and he finds out Storm is behind it, they’ll be having another discussion. Anderson walks off while Storm turns away, pissed.

*Commercial Break*

Backstage, World Champion Austin Aries is on the phone talking about the contract. He hangs up and says he has nothing to do with the legal mumbo jumbo in the contract and wants to handle this like men in the ring.

Match #4 [Non-Title Match]: [TNA Knockouts Champion] Miss Tessmacher Vs. Gail Kim

Kim tries to attack Tessmacher with a baseball slide, but she misses. They brawl on the outside and Tessmacher throws Kim in. Kim rebounds with a stun gun and a series of kicks. Kim blows a kiss at the camera. Tessmacher starts fighting back but Kim catches her and hits a gutbuster for a 2-count. Kim whips Tessmacher into the corner and hits a splash. She pulls Tessmacher between the ropes and steps on her as she gloats to the crowd. Cool move.

Kim hits an uppercut and whips Tessmacher in the ropes. Tessmacher ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm. Tessmacher hits a series of body blows before getting downed with an elbow. Kim catches Tessmacher in a body scissors to weaken the champ. Kim hits another gutbuster and shows off to the crowd. Tessmacher starts fighting back and hits a couple of clotheslines followed by a dropkick. Tessmacher hits a springing clothesline from the middle turnbuckle. Tessmacher then gives Kim a “stink face”. Kim tries to spring to the second rope but gets her legs taken out. Tessmacher then grabs her and smashes her face-first into the mat (reverse powerslam I guess?) for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Miss Tessmacher (3:38)

  • A pretty good match, despite its short length and probably the best Knockouts match I have seen in quite some time. But still, the fact it didn’t even last four minutes sort of killed its, erm, impact. (B-)

Madison Rayne comes to ringside to face Tessmacher. Rayne grabs referee Earl Hebner and kisses him. He falls to the mat. She blows Tessmacher a kiss and leaves the ring. I’m guessing he’s going to ref their match this Sunday.

Backstage, Joseph Park talks about the Aries/Roode contract signing tonight. Park says things could get intense, then leaves to chase down another potential client.

Split-screen of Aries and Roode headed to the ring for the contract signing which is next!

*Commercial Break*

Recap of last week’s opening tag match between Aries/Kenny King and Roode/Zema Ion, with emphasis on King’s pinfall over Ion in the match.

Kenny King promo talking about the gamble he made to come to TNA (I don’t think ROH would consider it a gamble) and about how dedicated he is to becoming worthy of comparison to the legends of the business. His goal is to become the X-Division Champion this Sunday. He says “thoughts become things”, which makes me laugh for absolutely no reason.

  • I like the naturalistic-style promos TNA has to offer. Gives everything a level of realism.

Contract Signing: Austin Aries/Bobby Roode

Interim GM Sting makes his way to the ring to oversee the contract signing. Sting calls out the Aces and 8’s briefly, then switches subjects to the contract signing. He invites both men to come out. Bobby Roode is the first to make his way to the ring followed by the World Champion Austin Aries. Glad they could finally actually have a part in the go home show to the PPV they are main eventing.

They sit down on opposite sides of the table in the ring, but Roode quickly sits up in anger. Sting asks what his problem is and Roode says it’s the contract itself. Roode is mad that a stipulation was added where if he loses, he doesn’t get another shot at the belt while Aries is champion. Roode accuses Sting of having a problem with him from the beginning and always attempting to one-up him. Roode says unless that stipulation is taken out, he isn’t going to sign and there will be no main event.

Aries interrupts and tells Roode to shut up. Aries says Roode needs some “cheese” with his “wine” (groan). Aries think it’s funny that Roode is concerned with the “no-rematch” clause considering he thinks Aries’ win was a “fluke”. Aries says he aims to please and says they don’t need the contract; they can just make a verbal agreement. Aries lays down the stakes: if Roode loses he doesn’t get a rematch but if Aries loses, he will waive his rematch clause. Their match at Hardcore Justice will be their final match for the title, winner take all. Roode shakes Sting’s hand to agree to the match, and so does Aries.

Aries and Roode take their jackets off and throw their chairs away. They argue with the table between them. Roode all of a sudden sticks out his hand and Aries shakes it. Aries then holds the belt up, causing Roode to throw water in his face. An enraged Aries flips the table as Roode runs from the ring. Sting holds him back as they jaw at each other.

  • And finally they add some interesting twists to the Aries/Roode match. This was the intense build-up I’ve been hoping for over these past few weeks, saved for the go home show. It’s too bad they waited until then and barely even acknowledged their feud in the weeks previous. A good segment though, loved the acting by both men.

Split-screen of James Storm and Bully Ray heading to the ring for the main event, which is next!

*Commercial Break*

Chavo Guerrero Jr./Hernandez and Kid Kash/Gunner cut promos on one another to hype their tag team match coming up at Hardcore Justice. 

  • I pre-emptively nominate this for “most forgettable match of Hardcore Justice“. Not to take away from any of the four performers, but this is a blatant placeholder feud just to get Chavo in the mix.

Tenay and Taz hype the Hardcore Justice lineup for this Sunday followed by another look at the BFG Series Leaderboard with updated standings. Storm is still ahead by a lot.

Main Event [BFG Series]: “Cowboy” James Storm Vs. Bully Ray

Ray asks Storm where the Aces and 8’s are and hides under the second rope to avoid punishment. They lock up and Ray gets an armbar. Storm reverses it into an armbar of his own and whips Ray into the ropes. Ray blocks a clothesline attempt and hits a forearm. Storm tries to knock Ray down and runs into a boot. Ray throws Storm through the second rope and onto the floor. Commercial time!

*Commercial Break*

Ray goes for an elbow drop on the fallen Storm, but Storm moves out of the way. Storm starts fighting back but gets a boot to the gut and slammed to the mat via hair pull. Ray applies a leglock to attempt a submission victory. Storm gets out and gets a leg lock of his own but Ray gets to the ropes. Ray clotheslines Storm for a 2-count. Ray lays a series of fists into the top of Storm’s head then goes for a splash but Storm moves out of the way.

Storm gets to his feet and starts fighting back. He hits a running neckbreaker followed by a backdrop. Ray launches Storm to the apron and Storm hits an enziguri. Storm hits the ropes, but Ray catches him with a move and goes for the pin. Close 2-count. Ray gets in position for the Bubba Bomb, but Storm elbows out. Storm heads to the top rope and hits a flying crossbody for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Storm goes back to the top but Bully shakes the ropes to crotch him. Ray hits a loud and nasty chop to the chest then goes to the second rope to attempt a superplex. Storm pushes him off and goes for an elbow drop from the top but misses. Ray hits the Bubba Bomb for the 1…2…KICK OUT.

Ray goes to the second rope and misses a back splash. Storm hits a Codebreaker and sets up for the Last Call Superkick. Ray pushes the ref in the way to stop it and Storm rolls him up for a 2-count. Ray hits a Bully Cutter for the 1…2…3! Whoa.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Bully Ray (10:47) [Bully Ray gets 7 points]

  • Good match between the two, and a surprising as hell win for Bully Ray. Did not see that coming. A decent main event but unfortunately it doesn’t make up for an overall lackluster show. (B)

Ray grabs his chain and waits for the Aces and 8’s to come out. He asks Storm where they are. He begs Storm to “send for them”. Back on the Impact-Tron, The Aces and 8’s makes Bully Ray their next target and that they will be showing up at Hardcore Justice. Ray continues to accuse Storm as we fade to black.

  • Alright so they aren’t showing up tonight. Great. False advertising. But the fact they insinuated they were attacking Bully Ray next is intriguing although that comment could just mean they are merely showing up to wreck havoc. I don’t know. Lackluster ending to a lackluster go home show.

Overall Show Grade: B

  • Favorite Match: AJ Styles/Kurt Angle
  • Least Favorite Match: Rob Van Dam/Magnus
  • Favorite Segment: Austin Aries/Bobby Roode contract signing
  • Least Favorite Segment: The multiple AJ Styles/Claire recaps coupled with the fact that the story barely advanced at all this week.

Overall Show Thoughts:

  • After a few weeks of entertaining television, Impact Wrestling stumbled tonight and considering it was the go home show for Hardcore Justice they stumbled at exactly the wrong time. Most of the matches were too short to really matter in the grand scheme of things and no storylines really pushed forward. The Aries/Roode confrontation was great but it almost feels like too little too late at this point. It just doesn’t feel like an important main event, despite the high stakes that have been now introduced. And the Aces and 8’s once again not really doing anything is starting to deflate the buzz; hopefully they show up at Hardcore Justice and wreck some havoc so the fire in the story can be reignited. Overall a disappointing show with a couple of good matches and a good Aries/Roode build but that’s about it.

What did you think about this episode of Impact Wrestling? Let me know in the comments section. Or you could…

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