The Four-Point Stance for May 28, 2013: News and Results from Thursday's IMPACT WRESTLING on SpikeTV
Challenges galore echoed through the halls of the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark., as the very first Open Fight Night on the road took over IMPACT WRESTLING. Here are the four biggest stories coming out of Thursday's action:
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1. Hardy Makes The First Challenge: Beaten, bruised, battered, but still breathing...it seems Jeff Hardy spends a lot of time that way, but the new No. 1 Contender refuses to let down his Creatures of the Night. Hardy wanted to kick off this month's Open Fight Night on his terms, but as per usual, the Aces & Eights had other ideas. The World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray led his brothers in chaos out to the ring, but it was the Aces loudest mouth, Mr. Anderson, who got the most verbal shots in on the Charismatic Enigma, before the rest of the gang got their physical shots in. The de facto Team TNA -- Samoa Joe, Magnus, Eric Young and Kurt Angle -- rushed to Hardy's rescue, allowing Hardy to make his open challenge to Green Bay's now-least favorite son. And while it didn't take much prodding at all to get Anderson to accept (mainly coming from the encouragement of A&8s linchpins Bully Ray and Devon), it was a decision he'd later regret. (If Anderson had a conscience about such things, that is...)
2. The Icon And The Immortal Face-To-Face: Speaking of taking OFN's platform to a new place, TNA's inaugural Hall of Famer Sting, befitting his years in the business and his familiarity with IMPACT's General Manager Hulk Hogan, called Hogan out to the ring. Not to fight, per se, but to discuss the ongoing aftermath of Bully Ray's betrayal and the schism it has caused within IMPACT's landscape. Sting told Hogan to man up and live up to his decisions. Hogan told Sting, in no uncertain terms, to get out of his ring. Sting responded with those most timeless two words of defiance: "Make me." Had it not been for Atlas Security keeping the two men apart, a slugfest featuring IMPACT's most decorated veterans would have ensued, something that seems now more an inevitability than a potentiality.
3. A Challenge Within A Challenge: Taryn Terrell -- former Knockout official, newest Knockout competitor -- used her first stab at Open Fight Night to call out the source of her recent change in employment status, Gail Kim. Which Kim seems to have found funny, since she was planning to do the very same thing to Terrell, only with the aid of her fellow femme fatale, Tara. The two-on-one beatdown of the newest Knockout didn't sit well with Knockouts champion Velvet Sky, who made her own form of impact on Tara and Gail. It didn't settle the score between Terrell and Kim, only moved it to the backstage hallways, where the friction continued, and the words, fur and fists continued to fly.
4. Divided, But Not Conquered: So the thing with an eight-man gang hell-bent on destruction is that you can take subsets of that gang and use it to wreak similar havoc. James Storm thought he was calling out AJ Styles, in an effort for The Cowboy to either "drink about it" or "fight about it," referring to the Phenomenal One's recent silent return. Instead, Storm found himself face-to-fist with one of those subsets of the Aces -- in this case, D.O.C., Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco. Kurt Angle and Eric Young came to the Cowboy's defense, setting off a six-man tag team match that eventually saw Brisco get the pin over his former mentor Angle after an exceptionally hard-hitting matchup. Will we continue to see smaller offshoots of the A&8s take care of club business like this? Heaven help the IMPACT Superstars if so.
More news coming out of Jonesboro, Ark.:
-- Jeff Hardy's World Championship rematch against Bully Ray has been set for April 11 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and after dispatching Mr. Anderson, Hardy called his shot: the match will be Full Metal Mayhem. Hardy, Bully, Tables, Ladders, Chairs and Championships...this sounds familiar somehow...
-- Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez called out the boys of Bad Influence, Daniels and Kaz, for a winners-get-the-No. 1-contendership for the Tag Team titles. Chavo and SuperMex got the win, and we're betting one of IMPACT's most DVR'ed moments of the week is when Chavo suplexed Daniels onto Hernandez' shoulder (where Kaz had already been deposited on the other side) before a devastating drop. This just in: Hernandez is a beast. (We know...this is hardly new news.)
-- We looked the next round of Gut Check contestants -- the veterans Adam Pearce and Magno -- as well as previewed the next three contenders to get into the newly revamped X-Division title hunt -- Sonjay Dutt, Mason Andrews and the returning Petey Williams. You thought this week's IMPACT was action-packed...you ain't seen nothin' yet. WATCH FOOTAGE FROM THE BROADCAST BELOW: