IMPACT Coverage: The World Title Tournament Semifinals, AJ's delivery for Dixie Carter and more
Check out footage and photos from Thursday's IMPACT WRESTLING broadcast on SpikeTV at 9/8c, featuring the Semifinals of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Ethan Carter's challenge to a Legend, Bad Influence revealing what they know about Joseph Park, AJ's delivery for Dixie Carter and much more! Watch IMPACT every Thursday at 9/8c on SpikeTV
It was a big night of action for Impact and when the smoke cleared, we were down to our final two in the World Heavyweight Championship tournament. With a Last Man Standing Match, a Tables Match, EC3's shocking opponent, and more, fans were treated to a truly unforgettable night of Total Nonstop Action!
by James Guttman
- World Heavyweight Championship Tournament: Bobby Roode defeated Jeff Hardy in a Tables Match
- EC3 defeated Earl Hebner
- World Tag Team Champions The Bro-Mans defeated Gunner and James Storm via Disqualification
- Knockouts Champion Gail Kim defeated Laura Dennis
- World Heavyweight Championship Tournament: Magnus defeated Kurt Angle in a Last Man Standing Match
FULL RESULTS ON THE NEXT PAGES >>
Impact kicks off with one of the four remaining men in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Kurt Angle. Things are bittersweet for the Olympian. Tonight, he has a chance to advance in the tournament, but has to do it at the expense of his friend Magnus. Well, maybe he's a friend. Not sure. After all, Mag left Angle high and dry last week in their eight man tag match. Citing a knee injury, he bailed on Kurt and now owes some answers. The Gold Medalist invites his possible frenemy to the ring to respond.
When the blue chipper arrives, he's almost offended at the question. What are you accusing him of? There was no malice from Magnus. He had to leave and save himself to fight another day. When Angle questions his heart, things get tenser. But they really got tense when Bobby Roode shows up.
The IT Factor appeared on the stage and agreed with what has been said about heart and determination. But, everyone's forgetting about killer instinct. Bobby's got that too. You two don't. If you want a front row seat, you can see Jeff Hardy's defeat later tonight when Roode takes him out in their table match. That's heart, determination, and killer instinct. Also, that's all the Charismatic Enigma needs to hear.
Jeff Hardy comes through the curtain and, dragging a table behind him, stalks Bobby Roode into the ring to start their Table Match. Typically a showdown like this would be dangerous, but with advancement in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament on the line, it was taken up a notch. The action was intense and even saw both men falling through a table simultaneously. In a rare Tables Match moment, referee Brian Hebner had no choice but to continue the bout after consulting with senior official Earl Hebner. Although both men recovered, Jeff seemed to keep the momentum on his side. Bobby never turned the tables and eventually took his own turn through the table after fall from the apron. Hardy advances but both stars deserve applause for an awesome encounter
Another week, another hand-picked opponent for Ethan Carter III. Who's the lucky challenger? A man who has, as EC3 sketchily puts it, "been in the ring" with Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and Bret Hart. That man is - wait for it - senior referee Earl Hebner. Seriously!
Earl doesn't believe it either and tries to insist that he's a referee, not a wrestler. This plea falls on deaf ears as Carter brings out Aunt Dixie's Chief of Staff Rockstar Spud. Spud then introduces a surprise of his own. The referee for Ethan vs. Earl is none other than Brian Hebner - Earl's own son. Aw snap.
EC3 then asks the elder Hebner to lay down for the intentional loss. Earl, however, is hesitant. This sends Ethan into a rage and he bellows in the cringing referee's face. Of course, Hebner does as he's told and lays down for his son's three count. After the bell, the victorious Carter rubbed salt in the Hebners' wounds by asking Brain to "shoo" his father from the ring before raising his hand. Ethan Carter just screwed the Hebners.
Bad Influence is up next and they're up to no good. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels have been on a road trip this past week in search of "the truth" about Joseph Park. An ominous yellow envelope in hand, Chris offers to reveal his information with the world. Park arrives just in time to stop him.
Sweaty and soft-spoken, Joseph asks the EGO maniacs to quit picking on him. It's over, guys. You win. You accomplished what you wanted. That's not good enough for Kazarian. He directs the "attorney" to the big screen for a special airing of Bad Influence: The Road Trip.
#Impact365 Video shows Kazarian and Daniels at the law office of Park, Park, and Park. In search of the truth about "Joseph Pancake", the duo find out nothing. Literally. There's nothing in the office. Turns out the company Joseph has claimed to work for all this time… has been out of business for 13 years.
Joseph hangs his head in shame as Christopher questions his story. What's been going on for 13 years, Joey? What have you been doing since the end of your law firm? Huh? Tell the truth! Park responds.
"I'm gonna ask you, as human beings, please, please leave me alone. Please. Leave me alone."
They don't. In fact, it drives Kaz over the edge. He calls Joseph a liar and knocks him to the ground. It all starts to get a bit uncomfortable. Thankfully Eric Young shows up to stop the assault. Not just that, he makes a match for next week. Bad Influence vs. Eric Young and Joseph Park - next Thursday. It's then that Young says they'll regret knocking on the devil's door.
The first World Tag Team Champions in history to have their own DJ-created sound effects, the Bro-Mans locked up with former champs Gunner and James Storm in another tough challenge. Although Robbie and Jesse seemed to be outmatched in brawling ability, they used intellect to their advantage. After Storm hit Jesse with a superkick, Robbie rushed in and spit water in the volatile Viking's face. Gunner attacked and when the referee tried to step in, he was tossed to the mat. The bell rang for the disqualification and the Cowboy was not happy. The bronze boys with the gold glory pick up another victory.
TNA might be down one World Heavyweight Champion but the titleholders we have are fighting everyone. Gail Kim and her open challenge policy has been met with applause by everyone, including the haters. Laura Dennis was the challenger tonight and, although she used the opportunity to show what she could do on a big stage like Impact, she ultimately fell to the Knockout Champion. As Lei'd Tapa looked on from ringside, Gail made Laura Eat Defeat - both figuratively and literally. After the bell, Tapa and Kim continued the assault until O.D.B. came out to stop them. She did just that. In a rare slip into mortality, Lei'd was stunned by O.D.B.'s attack and was clotheslined to the floor. The Gail Kim Open Challenge remains pristine, but the dastardly duo come out a little worse for wear.
As we hit our main event, fans were eager to see Kurt Angle and Magnus face off in a battle of friends. But with the World Heavyweight Championship on the horizon and a Last Man Standing match to get through, friendship was for another day. These two former Main Event Mafioso weren't shy about causing damage. The result was a physically grueling encounter that resembled a car wreck at times. Kurt demonstrated the ability that made him a legend and Magnus showed the skills that promise to make him one before all is said and done. Of course, cheating always helps too. Perhaps unbeknownst to Magnus, Bobby Roode rushed in after the referee took a fall. As Mag laid prone on the mat, Roode took Kurt down and left the ring before the official recovered. By the end of the ten count, Mag-Daddy was up, but your Olympic Hero was not.
Almost giddy, Roode races into the ring with a smile on his face to continue beating on the beaten Angle. He gets a few punched in until Jeff Hardy makes the save. That save leaves the Enigma standing alone in the ring with Magnus…his opponent in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament finals in two weeks. They share a handshake but things will be different when the big moment arrives.
Backstage, Dixie Carter excitedly unwraps a special delivery from A.J. Styles. The unsanctioned World Heavyweight Champion promised to send Carter the Championship. Well, he definitely did that. Only problem is that he sent her a toy version. Needless to say, Dixie is unhappy with this turn of events and takes off in a huff with some attorneys to speed dial. Impact comes to a close with a video paid for by the "Friends of A.J." featuring our absentee champion gloating over his latest bombing of DixieLand. If she wants her intelectual property back, she's going to have to go to AJ's home in Georgia to get it!