[TV Recap] Impact Wrestling – 8/16/12

Announced Matches:

  • Jeff Hardy Vs. Bully Ray (BFG Series Match)
  • AJ Styles Vs. Christopher Daniels (BFG Series Match)
  • Samoa Joe Vs. Magnus (BFG Series Match)

Also on the Docket: Bully Ray will confront James Storm at the start of the show about his supposed allegiance to the Aces and 8’s, Bobby Roode will react to coming up short against Austin Aries at Hardcore Justice, new TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne will make an appearance, and The Aces and 8’s will continue its reign of chaos.

All that and much more on this week’s edition of Impact Wrestling!

Previously on Impact Wrestling: The BFG Series, the continuing accusations towards James Storm, and the Aces and 8’s ending last week’s show naming Bully Ray as their next target.

Cue the pyrotechnics to begin Impact Wrestling. Mike Tenay and Taz go over the three BFG Series matches announced tonight as we also see shots of the Impact Zone crowd.

TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries comes out to begin the show. We see screencaps from his Hardcore Justice title defense against Bobby Roode and the controversy around it. Aries says he’s had to hear the word “fluke” ever since winning the title last month, but after beating Roode at Hardcore Justice he has erased the doubts of everyone. He tells anyone who doubted him to “fluck” themselves. Aries says he is the face of TNA moving forward and no one is going to tell him how to do anything; he’s running the show.

And since he’s running the show, it’s natural he turns his attention to the Aces and 8’s and the Bound for Glory Series. He says no matter what happens, he will walk into Bound for Glory the Heavyweight Champion and will leave the champion. He is interrupted by Jeff Hardy, who heads to the ring much to the delight of the crowd at the Impact Zone. He limps up the ring steps to the apron, selling his injury from Hardcore Justice.

Hardy says hello to his creatures and says he’s been chasing the World Title over the past year. He congratulates Aries and shakes his hand. Hardy says he will win the BFG Series and he will see Aries at Bound for Glory. Hardy says the Aces and 8’s cost him 20 points at Hardcore Justice and he calls them out to ringside.

Instead of the Aces and 8’s, Bully Ray makes his way to the ring. A “You suck!” chant breaks out. Ray calls Hardy stupid and accuses James Storm once again of being behind the Aces and 8’s. Ray says Storm superkicked him at Hardcore Justice and that’s why the Aces and 8’s didn’t attack him during their big BFG Series 4-way match. Ray then brings up another thin reason why Storm is behind the faction, them calls himself lucky for getting the 20 points in that table match. Ray says he’ll be the one going to Bound for Glory.

Aries taps on Ray’s calf to get his attention. Aries reminds Ray of the fact he made him tap out before. Aries says Ray has a lot of ambition, and starts accusing him of being behind the Aces and 8’s. Ray once again says Storm is the culprit. Aries says regardless of who wins the BFG Series, they’ll have to go through him to become champion and that’s a task no one has been able to take on.

The Aces and 8’s interrupt via Impact-Tron. The leader says their group is about two things: luck and commitment. He agrees that Ray was lucky at Hardcore Justice and they commit to making their presence felt at some point on tonight’s show. Ray starts telling Aries and Hardy to smarten up and we abruptly go to commercial.

  • Good opening segment to set up the rest of the show and to see how the crowd would react to an Aries/Hardy main event at Bound for Glory (they seem to want it). Aries is acting pretty damn heel-ish tonight, despite being ostensibly a face. I’m hoping the Aces and 8’s story takes some sort of turn tonight though; I’m sick of all of the Storm accusations happening every week ad nauseum. Here’s hoping they actually show up to do something tonight unlike last week.

*Commercial Break*

Brief recaps of the 3 BFG Series match that occurred at Hardcore Justice and the victors (Bully Ray, Rob Van Dam, and AJ Styles)

Updated BFG Standings are shown.

Backstage, Magnus says he’s been preparing to face Samoa Joe since before he ever entered TNA. He says he knows all about Joe as a wrestler and as a man due to their partnership. He says if he can get into Joe’s head, he can win.

Match #1: Samoa Joe Vs. Magnus [BFG Series Match]

They lock up, Magnus gets a quick headlock. Joe launches him into the rope and both don’t go down when they collide. They trade moves back and forth and Magnus rolls him up for a 2-count. Joe tries for a submission but Magnus slips out and rolls out of the ring. Magnus gets back in and Joe immediately backs him into the corner. Joe puts Magnus in a hammerlock then hits him with a massive forearm. Joe starts laying into Magnus with a series of jabs in the corner, but Magnus kicks him in the face to knock him to the mat. Magnus goes for the pin but only gets a 1-count.

Magnus tries for a back bodydrop but Joe kicks him in the face. Magnus hits the ropes and hits a clothesline on Joe for a 2-count. Magnus hits a slam and goes for another pin. 2-count. Joe reverses an Irish whip and sends Magnus into the corner. He splashes Magnus followed by a dropkick to the face. Joe puts Magnus on the top turnbuckle to get the Muscle Buster but Magnus strikes him to the mat. Magnus goes for an elbowdrop but misses. Joe locks in the Kokina Clutch but Magnus kicks off the turnbuckles and goes for a pin. 2-count. Joe applies a pinning combination himself for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Samoa Joe (3:20)

  • A good back and forth between the two former partners that actually helped make Magnus look a little stronger than he has been lately. I wouldn’t mind a much longer version of this on a PPV in the future… (C+)

Magnus sits up in the ring upset. Joe slaps his back and heads to the outside. Magnus gets out and hits Joe in the left arm with a chair. Joe stares daggers at Magnus who walks around the ring.

  • Weak and awkward chair shot aside, I can jive with a Samoa Joe/Magnus feud. Some great matches could come out of that.

New TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne gloats about winning the title at Hardcore Justice all by herself but is interrupted by a stagehand. The stagehand tells her that Brooke Hogan wants to see her in the ring. Rayne is expecting a celebration. I think she should scale her expectations back a bit.

*Commercial Break*

Christy Hemme introduces Knockout Champion Madison Rayne to the Impact Zone. She does her beauty pageant wave, tiara and sash included, then gets into the ring. Rayne reminds the crowd that she is out here because Brooke Hogan wants to see her. Rayne says this is an important moment as the queen has regained her throne. The crowd boos at the mention of her being the new Knockouts Champion. Rayne says, thanks to Brooke, there’s going to be a party to celebrate and she’s hoping for cake (uh-oh).

Before that happens though, Rayne tells Earl Hebner to head to the ring because she has something “special” for him for standing by her for the past month and change. Hebner gets in the ring and they embrace. This brings out Brooke Hogan, who is disappointed in both of them. Hogan tells Hebner he’s not going to be refereeing any of the Knockouts matches anymore, starting with tonight. Hogan says Miss Tessmacher is cashing in her rematch clause tonight and there will be a “very special guest referee” to be revealed later.

Rayne says “in typical Hogan fashion” Brooke is all talk but no action and challenges her to come to the ring to discuss the changes with her face to face. Brooke says she can do that and rushes the ring. Rayne and Hebner quickly exit. Brooke tries to goad her back in the ring, and the Aces and 8’s arrive behind her. They trap her in a corner, but out come Bully Ray, Austin Aries, and Jeff Hardy to rescue her. James Storm slowly lags behind. The Aces and 8’s retreat through the crowd.

  • Brooke’s creed of not having Hebner referee any Knockouts matches seems like a “too little, too late” situation; as the Director of the Knockouts she should have noticed the injustice immediately and acted way before she got her title match at Hardcore Justice. Regardless it was a good enough segment. Aces and 8’s continue to really do nothing other than hover and retreat though.

*Commercial Break*

Recap of the TNA stars saving Brooke Hogan from an Aces and 8’s beatdown. Brooke almost shows some emotion.

Sting is now in the ring and on the mic. He says the Aces and 8’s stepped over the line by getting into Brooke’s face. Sting says he promised Hulk she’d be protected and she was. Sting says if they want to run in a pack, he’s got a pack right here ready to fight them (Aries, Hardy, and Kurt Angle who also showed up in the ring). Sting issues an open challenge to them at the beginning of next week’s Impact Wrestling. 

Backstage, Christopher Daniels shows tag partner Frankie Kazarian the new issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” with them in it. Daniels compares Claire to “The Lizard” in appearance and Kazarian gets mad at Styles for not owning up to his “baby daddy”-ness. In comes AJ Styles who says they know he was drugged. He makes his match against Daniels tonight a little more interesting: if Styles wins, he gets the BFG Series points and a paternity test but if Daniels wins he accepts that he’s the father of Claire’s baby. Styles walks off and Daniels/Kazarian are afraid this will turn into a Dr. Phil-like situation.

  • Interesting added stipulations; who knew that all you had to do to force someone to claim fatherhood was to beat them in a wrestling ring? Also everyone seemed more brutal about Claire this week; I think the TNA writers have finally realized how dumb we find this angle to be. Still seemed way harsh. At least it looks like we’re headed to actual storyline development on this. FINALLY.

*Commercial Break*

Match #2: AJ Styles Vs. Christopher Daniels  [BFG Series Match; Kazarian Banned from Ringside]

Frankie Kazarian is banned from ringside to start the match. Styles gets a quick right hook on Daniels, and chases him around the ring. Daniels goes for a pin with a leg on his ropes, but the ref refuses to count it. Styles hits a couple of right hands and continues to lay into him in the corner. Styles bodyslams Daniels and drops a fist across Daniels’ face.

Styles stomps on Daniels, who lays in the corner. Daniels starting to fight back, but Styles drives an elbow into his neck. Daniels bails to the outside, but Styles follows and chops him. They roll back into the ring, and Daniels tries to get the offensive. Styles whips Daniels into the ropes and delivers a backdrop. Daniels begs for mercy, but Styles whips him into the ropes and connects with a clothesline. Styles goes for the pin. 2-count. Commercial time!

*Commercial Break*

Daniels has a side headlock on Styles we come back from commercial. Styles whips Daniels in the ropes and hits a dropkick to regain the advantage. Styles goes for the pin and gets a 2-count. Styles locks on a bridging Indian Deathlock to go for the submission but lets go. Styles moves him to the center of the ring and locks on a single leg Boston Crab. Styles goes back to the Indian Deathlock. Daniels bites him to get him to release the hold.

Daniels drops Styles throat-first over the top rope and hits a clothesline from behind. Daniels goes for the pin and gets a 2-count, followed by another attempt that’s stopped because Daniels uses the tights. Daniels kicks him to the outside and attempts a countout win but Styles rolls back in. Daniels whips Styles hard into the turnbuckles. Daniels kicks Styles in the ribs and hits a drop suplex. He goes for the pin; 2-count.

Daniels slams Styles back down and gets another 2-count. Daniels goes for another pin attempt but the ref refuses to count due to his feet being on the ropes. Daniels tosses Styles to the floor and asks the ref to count. Styles tries to get to the apron but Daniels kicks him back to the floor.

Styles launches over the top rope and attempts a sunset flip, but flips out and goes for the Styles Clash. Daniels gets out and they start fighting. Daniels locks on a modified Koji-Clutch. Styles bites him to get out of it, but Daniels lays in a few elbows in retaliation. Snap suplex by Daniels and a pin attempt. 2-count. Daniels lays rights into Styles in the corner, but Styles turns this into a Running Powerbomb. Both men are down.

Styles drags himself up in the corner and moves when Daniels tries to splash him. Styles hits a springboard flying forearm followed by a series of clotheslines. Styles hits a pumphandle gutbuster followed by a clothesline. Styles goes for the pin. 2-count. Styles hits a suplex into a neckbreaker and goes for the pin. 1…2…Daniels gets his foot on the rope. Daniels chops Styles in the throat but Styles retaliates with a kick to the hamstring. Styles runs at him, but Daniels ducks and he crashes to the outside floor. Daniels motions for the ref to make the count.

Styles grabs Daniels legs, spins him around, an delivers and elbow to the sternum. Daniels whips Styles to the apron, but Styles rolls back into the ring and quickly lands a suicide dive onto Daniels. Excellent sequence. Styles rolls back in and behind the ref’s back, Kazarian runs over and hides. Styles goes for a suplex and Kazarian grabs his foot. Daniels gets the 1…2…3…until the ref sees Kazarian and the match continues. Styles hits the Pele Kick on Daniels for the 1…2…3! He gets the paternity test…he should’ve gotten regardless.

Winner [via Pinfall]: AJ Styles (16:40)

  • I liked the psychology of this match a lot; Daniels attempting to get a win by any cost was fun to watch. And although there have been hundreds of better Styles/Daniels matches, this was still a good contest between the two with some fun spots (Styles suicide dive being the best moment). I’d rather see a Styles/Aries match at Bound for Glory than Aries/Hardy but that’s just me. (B)

Styles connects with a Styles Clash on Daniels and celebrates his victory.

Backstage, Sting is on the phone with Hulk Hogan. Hogan says he’ll be with Sting and the group when they call out the Aces and 8’s next week on Impact Wrestling. Sting asks him if he’s ready for “old school” and Hogan says it is. Sting says it’s officially showtime!

Backstage, James Storm is putting his stuff into his locker. Out comes Jeff Hardy. Hardy says he doesn’t care what people are saying, but the Aces and 8’s did help Storm twice at Hardcore Justice and it’s a little shady. Storm is surprised that Hardy of all people is accusing him. Storm says he’ll be out during Hardy’s match against Bully Ray tonight to prevent an Aces and 8’s beatdown.

Bobby Roode is headed to the ring to address what happened last Sunday.

*Commercial Break*

Recap of the Aries/Roode match from Hardcore Justice. Highlights the double pin, followed by the match restarting and Aries retaining the title.

Bobby Roode makes his way to the ring to discuss his loss at Hardcore Justice. He looks positively despondent and is not nearly as boisterous as he normally is. He says that he proved Aries was a fluke last Sunday by pinning him according to the assigned referee for the match. He then goes on about how the match ended up getting restarted, a match Roode says he won, and as a result he is standing in the middle of the ring empty-handed. A “Loser” chant breaks out.

Roode says he should be standing in the ring tonight the World Heavyweight Champion. Roode says he doesn’t get another rematch while Aries is champion. Roode says the people don’t understand how important that championship was to him; it was his life and his name was synonymous with being World Champion. Roode says he went home and realized only person is to blame for his loss last Sunday: Austin Aries. Okay Aries and Sting. Wait Aries, Sting, the referees. No wait Aries, Sting, the referees, and the fans. He’s doing schtick from The Jerk.

Roode says he comes out to the ring every week and is treated with disrespect. Roode is faced with the simple question of “now what?”. Roode tries to say what his next move is, but he is speechless and has no idea. Roode drops the mic in the middle of the ring and leaves.

  • Great mic work by Roode here, and I like the despondence of his character; most wrestlers lose the World Championship and either get angry or shrug it off, but Roode’s reaction makes the loss feel much more impactful. The World Championship meant something to Roode and without the chance to go after it, he has no idea where to go. It’s a logical way to go for the Roode character and he officially stole the show tonight in his brief few minutes on-screen. Well-done.

Split-screen of Madison Rayne and Miss Tessmacher getting ready for their Knockouts Title match next!

*Commercial Break*

Gut Check: Promo for next week’s competitor (didn’t catch his name). Sad story about his brother being shot though. Ugh I feel crappy for not knowing who this is.

Miss Tessmacher makes her way out for the next match, followed by Knockouts Champion Madison RayneBrooke Hogan comes out to announce the special guest referee for the match: Taryn Terrell. Who? Seriously, who?

Match #3: Madison Rayne (c) Vs. Miss Tessmacher for the TNA Knockouts Title [Special Guest Referee: Taryn Terell]

Rayne immediately pushes Tessmacher in the corner and Terrell makes them separate. Tessmacher does the same after and Terrell makes her release the hold. Rayne sends Tessmacher into the ropes and knocks her down. She sends Tessmacher face-first into the top turnbuckle and chokes her with her boot. Rayne throws Tessmacher out of the corner hair-first. Rayne hits a bridging suplex for a 2-count.

Tessmacher quickly rolls up Rayne and gets a 2-count followed by a bridging pin for another 2-count. Tessmacher misses a splash in the corner and Rayne rolls her up. Terell won’t count because Rayne is holding the tights. Rayne misses a boot and Tessmacher hits a spear. Tessmacher with a series of forearms followed by a pair of clotheslines and a dropkick. Tessmacher goes for a pin and gets a 2-count. Tessmacher goes for a waistlock but gets an elbow in the face.

Rayne whips Tessmacher into the corner but catches a boot to the face. Tessmacher tries a flying cross bodyblock, but misses. Rayne goes for the pin but uses the ropes for leverage so Terrell refuses to count. Rayne yells at Terrell for laying her hands on her. Tessmacher hits her with a front faceslam and goes for the pin. 1…2…3! NEW KNOCKOUT CHAMPION!

Winner and NEW TNA Knockouts Champion [via Pinfall]: Miss Tessmacher (3:56)

  • Well that was a quick title reign. Obviously this was done to continue the Rayne/Hebner angle but it’s still a little sad she won it at the PPV only to lose it rather quickly five days later. An alright match for what it was, but it wasn’t given a lot of time to really develop. And for a title change, that’s a fatal error. (C+)

Split-screen of Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy who are heading to the ring for the main event next!

*Commercial Break*

Recap of Sting’s challenge to the Aces and 8’s for the beginning of next week’s Impact Wrestling, and Hulk Hogan‘s announcement that he’ll be returning to join Sting and his group next week.

The Aces and 8’s are happy with the invitation and will be there in full force. One of the members says they have unfinished business tonight though, so maybe they’ll show up to almost beat someone up before running away.

Main Event: Jeff Hardy Vs. Bully Ray [BFG Series Match]

Hardy gets the crowd clapping and he and Ray circle one another. They lock up and Ray backs him into the corner. Bully breaks cleanly. Hardy tries to lock up again but Ray hides in between the ropes to keep him away. James Storm heads to ringside to watch the match. Ray asks him where his boys are at. Storm says he’s there to watch Hardy’s back.

Ray gets the upper hand with a series of axehandles to Hardy’s back. He throws Hardy face-first into the turnbuckles and lays into him with a couple of fists. Ray delivers a forearm to Hardy’s back then exits the ring to jaw at Storm. Storm takes his jacket off, but Hardy comes out of nowhere with a baseball slide. Hardy flies off the apron and onto Ray. Hardy rolls Ray into the ring as we go to commercial.

*Commercial Break*

We’re back and Ray is going for a series of pins. 2-counts both times. Ray licks his hand and starts winding up. He splashes Hardy in the corner. Ray hits an elbow and goes for the pin. 2-count. Ray locks in a front facelock followed by a leg scissor. Hardy gets to the ropes to cause Ray to break the hold. Ray hits a suplex on Hardy. Hardy starts fighting back but gets an elbow to the face. Ray tries to splash Hardy but misses.

Both men starting punching each other, first on their knees, then on their feet. Hardy wins it and hits a series of moves to continue his offense. Hardy hits an inverted atomic drop and drops his legs into Ray’s sternum. Hardy hits a dropkick and goes for the pin. 2-count. Hardy runs into a slam and Ray goes for the pin. 2-count. Bully goes for the Bully Bomb, but Hardy escapes and kicks him into the corner. Hardy lands both feet right into Ray’s sternum and follows it up with a clothesline.

Hardy takes his shirt off and heads to the top rope. He connects with the Swanton for the 1…2…KICK OUT. Ray rolls to the outside and the ref makes sure Storm is not looking for a cheap shot. Hardy flies over the top and mistakenly lands on Storm after Ray pulls him in the way. Ray and Hardy end up back in the ring and Ray delivers a hard chop. Ray goes for a splash in the corner but gets boots instead and Hardy hits a moonsault from the top onto Ray.

Out comes two members of the Aces and 8’s to attack Ray, but Sting’s posse chase them away (TOLD YOU). I guess the match isn’t over yet. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate and rolls Ray up for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Jeff Hardy (12:42)

  • Decent encounter between the two with some good action and spots. Enjoyed Ray causing Hardy and Storm to both accidentally attack each other. Ray continues to impress on a weekly basis. Hardy’s win tonight may be a sign that they will be aiming for an Aries/Hardy Bound for Glory main event. Fair enough. (B-)

Ray immediately clotheslines Hardy after the bell rings. Ray grabs his chain and stares Storm down. He starts yelling at him, and Storm gets in the ring to talk to him face to face. Ray pushes him, and Storm goes for the Last Call. Ray moves and he connects with the kick on Hardy instead. Ray leaves the ring as Storm looks at the fallen Hardy. The Aces and 8’s come out and start clapping. Storm turns around, and they start beating Storm down as we fade to the TNA logo.

  • Well maybe they can finally accuse someone else after this attack. It was a good way to end the show and everything, but let’s be honest: did anyone actually think Storm was a member of the Aces and 8’s? Didn’t think so. Interesting to see not only where this leads but where Storm and Hardy’s accidental attacks on each other go as well. Color me intrigued.
  • Overall this was a bit of a weak Impact Wrestling this week. The in-ring action didn’t hold up to previous editions and some of the storyline decisions were a bit…blah (the paternity test stipulation is going to annoy me for at least another few hours). Still at least we got some movement on some stories and the Aces and 8’s finally attacking Storm was a good way to end the entire show. Maybe he’ll become “Crow” Storm and stalk the rafters of the Impact Zone. I also really enjoyed Roode’s mic work this week and he’s got me fascinated as to where he goes next. Here’s hoping next week they can regain some momentum.

Overall Show Grade: C+

  • Favorite Match: AJ Styles/Christopher Daniels
  • Least Favorite Match: Madison Rayne/Miss Tessmacher
  • Favorite Segment(s): Bobby Roode’s promo, Aces and 8’s attack on James Storm
  • Least Favorite Segment: AJ Styles setting up the inane rules for his match against Daniels
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