IMPACT Coverage: Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Sabin, Pacman Jones, the State of The Main Event Mafia
Watch footage from Thursday's IMPACT WRESTLING broadcast on SpikeTV, featuring Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Match in the World Heavyweight Title Tournament, the return of Adam "Pacman" Jones to IMPACT, the State of the Main Event Mafia, The Aces and Eights at the crossroads and much more! Watch IMPACT WRESTLING every Thursday at 9/8c on SpikeTV
Scroll down for exclusive ringside photos from IMPACT
TNA's hunt for a phenomenal replacement is underway as tonight's Impact ushered in the prestigious World Heavyweight Championship tournament with style. Featuring a Full Metal Mayhem classic, the shocking fates of TNA's two major groups, a return for Pacman Jones, and more, it was a night of major developments that could change the company forever.
by James Guttman
- The Main Event Mafia disbanded in order to focus on singles goals.
- O.D.B. vs. Brooke vs. Velvet Sky ended in a No Contest when Gail Kim and Lei'd Tapa interfered
- Aces and Eights held a vote to determine their future as a group. The vote to disband was revealed to be a setup to lure Ken Anderson into a sneak attack.
- Ethan Carter III defeated Dewey Barnes
- Bad Influence defeated Joseph Park and Eric Young
- World Heavyweight Championship Tournament: Jeff Hardy defeated Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Mayhem Match
FULL RESULTS ON THE NEXT PAGES >>
Impact kicks off with the Main Event Mafia. The group known for closing out shows starts the night off in the ring for an important announcement. Sting leads the talk and points out how the M.E.M. have conquered all their goals since reforming. Sadly, that's why tonight… they're disbanding. Reminding us all that the four share a common respect, the Icon also reminds us that they all have singles work to take care of. With that, Sting hugs each member of the team and takes his leave.
Samoa Joe is up next. He too has loved his time with the Mafia, but sees this as the time to finish their run. His goal is the World Heavyweight Championship and he knows it lies on path that runs through both Magnus and Kurt Angle. The Samoan Submission Machine, like Sting before him, journeys off.
Magnus takes the microphone next. With only Kurt left in the ring, Mag turns his attention to the Olympian. He lets Angle know that winning the World Heavyweight Championship is the most important thing in his life. Friendship is great, but if need be, "I'll mow you down." Then he too walks away.
This leaves Kurt Angle all alone. The Gold Medal winner echoes the dreams of the other three. He too wants to be the World Heavyweight Champion again. He not only wants to do it, he needs to do it. It's what will prove that he's truly worthy of the Hall of Fame induction he's put on hold. Now, as many know, doctors told Kurt not to wrestle the past few weeks. Before Kurt can finish his though, someone shows up to finish it for him.
Bobby Roode, comes stomping out to interrupt this pity party. Roode is tired of Kurt's excuses over losing to him two weeks in a row. Just admit that you got beat! Enraged, Bobby informs Angle that, if they lock up again in the tournament, he'll take him out for a third time. Angle expresses the same desire to fight again. In fact, why wait? Let's do it now. Bam!
Kurt opens up on the IT Factor and a wild brawl encompasses the ring. It lasts into a commercial break and when we return, Angle is sitting alone in the ring and demanding that Bobby return. The crowd roars as Roode returns and the fists begin flying immediately. Officials and wrestlers work to contain the carnage, but even a group of ten couldn't fully control things. The battle may have been stopped for the moment, but the war is far from over.
Having just helped with the Angle-Roode brawl, Bad Influence was still standing around ringside. The hipsters caught a glimpse of former TNA Tag Team Champion Pac-Man Jones and DeQuin Evans of the Cincinatti Bengals in the front row. Far from the TNA Welcome Wagon, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels began to argue with the visitors and, before long, shoved them into the seats behind them. This sent Evans and Jones over the edge. They jumped the railing, rushed the ring, and knocked their EGOs down to size as the Cincinnati crowd went wild.
Since arriving in TNA, Lei'd Tapa has been a dominant force…even in matches she's not in. Tonight was no exception. Velvet Sky, O.D.B, and Velvet Sky squared off in a highly charged Triple Threat match to determine the #1 Contender to Knockouts Champion Gail Kim who, along with Lei'd, lurked at ringside. They stayed out of the action for most of the bout but when the dominant duo interjected themselves into the match, they did It in a big way. Gail came running through to break a pin attempt and have the match declared a no contest, rendering herself still contender-less. Tapa followed up by pummeling O.D.B. into the middle of next week while the Champion took down the others. Overflowing with confidence, Kim stood over the three casualties and laid out an open challenge. Any female anywhere in the world of wrestling - TNA or otherwise - can take her best shot at Gail Kim. If she can win, she might even get a Knockouts Championship Match. But, whoever she is, she can't…and she won't.
Impact opened with the end of the Main Event Mafia. As we hit the midway mark, it looked like another major group was on their way out. Garrett Bischoff, Knux, Taz, and Bully Ray all come to the ring to take an all-important vote. Should Aces and Eights continue or should they follow the Main Event Mafia's lead and call it quits? As Garrett points out, Ray is the group's "poison" who has allowed his ego to get in the way of club business. Before the voting can begin, the prime example of Bully's poison steps out from the back. It's the former Vice President himself, Mr. Ken Anderson…Anderson.
Grinning and seemingly impartial, Ken stands at ringside and watches the votes. The first two went a little something like this. Yay to stay. Nay to go.
Bischoff: Nay - "I'm Finished."
Knux: Nay - "I don't need you. I don't need this club. I don't need these colors."
Oh. Wow. Two votes to end the group, huh? Too bad that Taz and Bully Ray are going to vote "yay". That makes it a tie, which gets broken by - wait for it - the President of the club. Who's the President again? Oh yes. Bully, baby. Ha. Guess that settles it. All that's left is for Ray's brother from Red Hook, Brooklyn to give his thumbs up and set the wheels in motion. Say it, Jazzy Tazzy. Make it happen!
Taz: Nay - "You know this has gone wrong. You know this club has just been rolling through your agenda and your agenda only. Therefore, (Knux and Bischoff) are right. (Mr. Anderson) is right. I'm done. "
Mike Tenay's broadcast partner removes his vest like Knux and Garrett (who have since left the ring) before him. This infuriates the Prez, who orders him to put it back on. Taz is defiant and refuses to budge, even in the face of confrontation. Bully can't believe his ears and blames Anderson for causing this rift. Ken takes the compliment and lays out a challenge. It's not for a wrestling match either. It's for a fight. Turning Point - live on Spike TV - a no-disqualification war. Whadda ya say, Ray?
What does he say? Ray says surprise. Bully reveals his big twist of the night as he calls for Knux and Garrett Bischoff to attack Ken from behind. The act of disbanding Aces and Eights was just that - an act. The team all high five each other as Bully Ray stands over the beaten Anderson and reminds him of the #1 rule of wrestling - "don't trust anybody." Aces and Eights live, a-hole.
Ethan Carter III used Impact to add another highlight to his Bum of the Week highlight reel. Given carte blanche to choose his personal opponent each week by his "Aunt D" Carter, Ethan chose Dewey Barnes once again. This win was about as simple as his others. The pampered pedigree of EC3 was in another league than the rosy pink toothpick in lion paw pants. Even though Barnes had a few close moments, his second verse against Ethan Carter was the same as the first only a little bit quicker and a little bit worse. The blue-chipper from Dixieland hit his patented One Percenter for yet another pinfall victory.
Joseph Park and Eric Young thought a match against Bad Influence was a good idea. After the earlier embarrassment at the hands of Pac Man Jones and DeQuin Evans, Kazarian and Daniels were surely off their game, right? Wrong. With a well tossed Appletini to the eyes, they took down Joseph and parked him on the mat for three.
The never-ending tension between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode was still boiling over even an hour later. Angle hit the ring and called for Roode again, but instead Austin Aries showed up. He wanted the TNA Hall of Maybe Famer to remember who his opponent is next week. It's Austin Aries, not Bobby Roode. If you lose that focus in your first round match for the World Heavyweight Championship on Impact, you'll be finished. The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived will put you down and take the gold. Now that's real. That's damn real.
At this point, Dixie Carter appears on the big screen with the Wheel of Dixie spinning behind her. It stops on "Submission Match" and next week's Angle-Aries dream gets an awesome stipulation. Before anyone can even react, Bobby Roode comes barreling out. He knocks down Austin and goes right after Angle. At a time when Kurt needs to focus more than anything, Roode is doing everything he can to make that impossible.
Our final contest of the night truly embodied the term "main event". In our opening match in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, former Champions Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin tore into one another in a brutal Full Metal Mayhem Match. Any item made from metal is legal to use and encouraged. Neither of these two was shy about testing that theory with chairs, stairs, ladders, and trash cans all making appearances in the violent encounter. The intensity of both shined through and left the audience breathless with each shot. Sabin seemed poised for victory after rolling off a table before Hardy could Swanton Bomb him through it. The wood splintered off in every direction as Jeff crashed through. But shockingly, Chris didn't try to put him away. Instead, he went for a table dive of his own, but the Charismatic Enigma raised his knees just as he came sailing in. Again, the table broke and both fell through. Taz wondered who got the worst of the exchange but didn't have to wonder long. Jeff was the first to rebound and eventually leap-frogged a ladder he had standing in the corner, hit a Swanton Bomb, and gained the hugely important first win in our quest for a new Champion.
Jeff Hardy has jumped over the ladder both literally and figuratively as Impact comes to a close.