IMPACT Coverage: Manik wins the Ultimate X, new World Champ Chris Sabin, Styles vs. Hardy
It's a new day at TNA Impact as we kick off the first week of Chris Sabin's TNA Championship reign. But what does Bully Ray have to say about all this? When you combine this tension with three Bound For Glory matches, a Knockout Championship Match, and the crowning of a new X-Division champ in an Ultimate X Match, you have a show that truly made an Impact!
Scroll down for IMPACT footage and exclusive ringside photos from the event!
- Ultimate X Match: Manik defeated Sonjay Dutt and Greg Marasciulo to win the X-Division Title
- Bound For Glory Series: Ken Anderson pinned Hernandez
- Knockouts Champion Mickie James pinned Gail Kim
- Bound For Glory Series: Christopher Daniels pinned Samoa Joe
- Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy via submission
FULL RESULTS ON THE NEXT PAGES >>
Impact begins with the Main Event Mafia. The group lets us know that they have completed a major goals. They made sure the TNA Title left Bully Ray's waist and witnessed the rise of the new TNA Champion Chris Sabin. Kurt Angle expresses his pride at Sabin's epic victory and welcomes the new champ to the ring.
Sabin's Championship parade quickly found itself rained on care of Bully Ray. The former champion, with his attorney on hand, reminded us all how Sabin won the title. He used a hammer! A deadly hammer! That isn't right. Bully demanded that management have Chris return his championship by the end of the night. If they fail to do so, they'll face more legal headaches than anyone can imagine. Knowing that the threat of a lawsuit could deliver him what he wants, the Bully seems to have found a legal loophole to bully his way back to golden glory.
Our first match embodied the spirit of how the X-Division Championship is truly a dream come true. After a career of sacrifice and heartache, Manik's became the new champ with a win over Sonjay Dutt and Greg Marasciulo in a breathtaking Ultimate X Match. All three showed why they represent the past, present, and future in TNA, but the masked man proved that his time is now as he clawed his way to his TNA dream.
If Aces and Eights is supposedly on a downward spiral, Mr. Anderson didn't get the memo. The Vice President of the group overcame the massive Hernandez to earn seven points in the Bound For Glory Series.
Another week, another amazing Knockouts match as Mickie James retained her title over #1 Contender Gail Kim. While Mickie has seen her fair amount of criticism over her attitude, it was Gail who had the real problem. Throughout the contest, Kim found herself at constant odds with referee O.D.B., culminating in a slap to the official's face. With all this going on, Gail was easy prey for a Mickie roll-up pin.
After the match, Knockout Executive Brooke Hogan appeared. She informed Gail Kim that she not only slapped a referee…she slapped an active roster member. The crowd roars at the insinuation and Mike Tenay says it best, "Something tells me we haven't heard the last of Gail Kim and O.D.B."
The Bully Ray legal issue looms over the company. Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter are overheard discussing it backstage. They both seem unhappy with the prospect of delivering bad news. One can't help but think things are looking bleak for the brand new reign of TNA Champion Chris Sabin.
The second Bound For Glory Series Match had a similarity to the first - Ken Anderson. The Aces and Eights V.P. made his presence known when Samoa Joe squared off with Christopher Daniels. More to hurt Joe than help Daniels, Anderson distracted Main Event Mafia's Samoan Submission Machine long enough for Christopher to pounce. Daniels scaled the ropes and hit his Best Moonsault Ever. When that one failed to score the pin, he hit it again. The Badd Influencer picks up seven points in his quest for Glory.
The third and final Bound For Glory Series match of the night has been all most fans could talk about since it was announced last week. The Phenomenally Brooding A.J.Styles squared off with the Charamatic Enigma Jeff Hardy. Mixing spectacular maneuvers with brutal violence, these two threw everything they had at each other. In a match that will be remembered as a true Impact Classic, each man looked all but defeated at different points. But it was a surprise roll up into a Calf Killer submission that made this a night to remember for A.J. Styles. The lone wolf earns himself a tap out and ten coveted points in the Bound For Glory Series.
After the bell, Jeff Hardy offered the winner his hand to shake. Instead, A.J. offered Jeff a view of his back as he walked away.
As the night came to a close, the self-proclaimed "suffering" Bully Ray comes out to remind us all how victimized he was by Chris Sabin's hammer attack last week. He also insists that he will do whatever it takes to right the wrongs that have been done. With that, Bully gives the champion a chance to come out and hand the belt back to its long-time owner.
When Sabin comes to the ring, he's stoic. The new champion tells Bully that he'll have to pry the title from his "cold, dead hands". This angers Bully even more. He demands that General Manager Hulk Hogan come to the ring and do the right thing. That's when the Red and Yellow lights kick in.
Hulk shows up on the ramp with the legal paperwork in hand. He offers Bully a counter. The counter? A torn up legal notice. To everyone's surprise, Hogan rips up Ray's lawsuit and declares Chris Sabin the TNA Champion. Over the roar of the crowd, Hogan explains that he's doing what's fair.
Also fair according to Hulk Hogan? Bully Ray gets a return match. Hogan makes it official. The former Champion will have his shot on the August 15th Hardcore Justice Impact Special. It'll be Bully Ray challenging TNA Champion Chris Sabin…in a Steel Cage!
Sabin looks Justas surprised as Bully Ray as we close out. With three weeks until this big cage match, anything can happen.