IMPACT Coverage: Bully Ray's beatdown on AJ Styles, Kurt Angle returns, Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy
With TNA's biggest show of the year just over a week away, tensions are at an all time high. With our TNA President threatening to cancel Sting vs. Magnus at Bound For Glory unless the two could defeat Bad Influence, Jeff Hardy taking on Austin Aries, E.G.O. inducting Bobby Roode into their Hall of Fame, A.J. Styles against Aces and Eights, an epic return of a future Hall of Famer, and more, tonight's Impact was one to remember.
by James Guttman
- Austin Aries defeated Jeff Hardy
- O.D.B. defeated Jesse Godderz via disqualification when Lei'D Tapa interfered
- Brooke defeated Velvet Sky to become the #1 Contender to the Knockouts Championship
- Bobby Roode was inducted into the E.G.O. Hall of Fame but was confronted by his newly named Bound For Glory opponent - the returning Kurt Angle!
- Sting and Magnus defeated Bad Influence
- A.J. Styles defeated Knux and Garrett Bischoff
FULL RESULTS ON THE NEXT PAGES >>
Impact begins with our President Dixie Carter. After quickly recapping Hulk Hogan's "self-absorbed" exit from TNA last week, Dixie promises that his name will never be spoken again. Drowned out by boos, Carter insists that she doesn't need anyone to tell her how to run her wrestling company. That includes A.J. Styles, who thinks he knows best. After all, she told him to leave last week and yet he still returned later in the show to interfere. This act of defiance was obviously done to get the President's attention. Well, you've got it, Mr. Styles. And furthermore…
That's when Sting shows up. Before the icon can say a word, Dixie says a few of her own. In case the Stinger has forgotten, he's the one who suggested H--- H---- for General Manager. Now he's gone. That's on you, pal. Know what else is on you? Making your own Bound For Glory Match last week against Magnus. What's up with that? Are you looking to provoke the TNA President, Man Called Sting? Are you looking to lose your contract too? Before that happens, how about you team with Magnus tonight against Kazarian and Christopher Daniels in a tag match? Huh? Huh? That's when Sting explodes.
"I want you to just spit it out and tell me what is going on. Knock it off, Dixie!"
But she doesn't knock it off. Rather, she continues on. Carter informs the Main Event Mafia member that she wants to see him "take it up another level". What does that mean? Well, if either Magnus or Sting loses tonight in their tag match against Bad Influence, their Bound For Glory Match is off. With a plastic grin, Dixie assures the shocked Stinger that she wants to see him win. He doesn't look sold on the idea.
Our first match of the night left fans breathless as Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy exchanged some truly amazing moves. With both men known for their stunning agility, the momentum swung back and forth without warning. After coming close with a number of near falls, Jeff climbed the turnbuckle to finish Aries off. The risk didn't pay off as the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived regained his composure, caught the Charismatic Enigma, and brain-buster'd him from the top rope for the victory.
After the official word, Samoa Joe appeared on the ramp. He's not here to kill anyone, but inform them. At Bound For Glory, the Four Way Ultimate X Match for the X-Division Championship between Manik, Chris Sabin, Jeff Hardy, and Austin Aries just went up a notch. How? The addition of Samoa Joe - that's how. Yup. We now have a Five Way Ultimate X Match at BFG. The Main Event Mafioso puts the other four all notice. Joe's going to kill them. All of them.
The Bromans were hoping to extract revenge on O.D.B. for weeks of embarrassment in the next match. Unfortunately for Jesse Godderz and Robbie E, vengeance would have to wait for another day. Tonight was all about Lei'D Tapa. The monstrous new Knockout's music started playing out of nowhere. Within seconds, she was in the ring and O.D.B., the Knockouts Champion, was out cold. Statements don’t get much bigger than that.
The E.G.O. Hall of Fame was up next and the dress code was insanity. Clad in tuxedos and top hats (orange for Kazarian and powder blue for Christopher Daniels), Bad Influence took to the decorated ring for the big ceremony in honor of Bobby Roode. From ringside, Taz admitted that he knew many people in the wrestling business who belong in the "E.G.O. Hall of Fame".
Complete with a self portrait and giant wooden throne, Hall of Fame honors go a long way in E.G.O. Kazarian presents a special video tribute he created for Roode complete with poorly edited clips from TNA stars singing his praises. After a few nice words from Daniels, Bobby takes to the podium and thanks all in attendance for their support. He thanks Bad Influence as well, but one individual deserves the most credit of all. Statements like this truly illustrate why he's in the Hall of Fame he is.
"That individual is none other than me. Yours truly. The It Factor of professional wrestling. Bobby Roode. You see, I am the man - thank you - I am the man who is deserving of the Hall of Fame induction. Not Kurt Angle, no. The only reason why Kurt Angle is being inducted into the Hall of Fame at Bound For Glory is because of each and every one of you."
That's when Jealous Bobby questions the reasons for Angle's induction at all. Compare what he's done lately to what Roode's done lately. It's not even close. Kurt Angle is washed up. Kurt Angle is finished. In fact, Kurt Angle is… here!
That's right. The Gold Medalist is back in TNA and his arrival on the entrance ramp sends the crowd into a frenzy. Angle's in amazing shape as he steps into the ring and confronts the man who was just calling him out.
"I've been gone a little while. Who are these two, your girlfriends?"
Angry, because they're boys, Bad Influence attacks and Kurt quickly dumps them both from the ring. Roode tries to jump in, but he too is chased off.
"Bobby Roode! Bobby Roode! You just made the biggest mistake of your life. Kurt Angle is back and I've got one thing to say. You! Me! Bound For Glory!"
The arena goes nuts and all Bobby can do is hold his head in worry. Angle-Roode at Bound For Glory. Mike Tenay assures us all of one thing. It's real. It's damn real.
Thanks to Lei'D Tapa last week, we were still left without a #1 Contender to the Knockouts Championship. This week, Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher set to make that right. While Velvet held her own, Brooke showed some of the new aggression she's picked up since becoming a member of Aces and Eights. With Chris Sabin badgering her from ringside, Sky never seemed to gain focus. In the end, his advice distracted her and Tessmacher was able to roll her up from behind for the pin.
When Magnus and Sting of the Main Event Mafia faced off against Bad Influence next, it was more than just a match. Magnus, frustrated with his inability to have a "breakthrough" match with an iconic star, was granted one by Sting. Now, thanks to Dixie Carter, the match could be off if the duo don't win in a tag effort tonight. It made the victory all the more important for the M.E.M. Unfortunately, Kazarian and Daniels don't lie down for anyone and love nothing more than playing spoilers. They kept the Mafioso on their toes, but ultimately fell thanks to a pin by the facepainted TNA Hall of Famer. The win ensures that Sting vs. Magnus at Bound For Glory goes on. Everyone should be happy, right?
Surprisingly, Magnus is not. He seems annoyed at the Stinger for getting the three count himself after he felt he did the bulk of the work. Although the two appear to be on the same page as we head to commercial, it's clear that their upcoming Bound For Glory encounter is weighing heavily on their minds.
The odds seemed stacked against A.J. Styles in our final match of the night. Specialty picked by World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray, Styles faced Knux and Garrett Bischoff of Aces and Eights. The crowd was on fire as A.J. ripped into Bischoff early on. When Knux was tagged in, though, things took a turn. Bully Ray reveled in delight at the commentary table as the Bound For Glory challenger was brutally hammered by his two remaining Aces and Eights brothers. Ray's celebration was cut short though as the Phenomenal One showed why he's so dangerous. Overcoming the odds, he covered Bisch for a surprise three count and gave the Aces and Eights President a visual example of why he should be worried about their Championship match on October 20th.
Ironically for A.J. Styles, that's when the real beating began. Bully Ray rushed the ring and kept both Garrett and Knux backed away. With that, he took out a chain and proceeded to whip Styles with it. When A.J. did manage to get to his feet, he's tossed from the ring. The World Heavyweight Champion gets into the face of his incapacitated Bound For Glory challenger as Impact comes to a close.