The X-Division title was on the line in a Triple Threat War. One of TNA’s most unique characters got a new identity and a new member was added to the Main Event Mafia.
Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada! My old stomping grounds saw thousands of fans turn out to beat the outside heat. They didn’t however find themselves chilled by the white-hot action. I got a text from one of my best buddies, Rick, on Wednesday. He asked me to watch the front row…very carefully. So, after getting home from a nice day at Lake Tahoe, I flipped on channel 71 (Spike) and there sat my friend of more than 10 years…dead center in the front row. Earlier this week was Rick’s birthday and the TNA show was a birthday present to him. So cool. Happy Birthday…My Brother.
On to tonight’s action.
After the flashback opening, Austin Aries came out to the ring. Austin pulled a good trick, last week, when he beat up T.J. Perkins and took over as Suicide. “Suicide” ended up winning the X-Division title, last week. Taz and Tenay argued if Austin was brilliant or just underhanded. Austin said some love him and others hate him. What he has done now is make sure that everyone respects him. Austin explained about “Option C”, which gives the X-Division title holder the chance to cash in the X-Belt and go after the World title. Austin said he was ready to go after Bully Ray, on July 18th, at Destination X (live on Spike TV). Austin demanded that Hulk Hogan come get the X-Belt.
Hogan came out to the n.W.o. theme music. The cameras were clicking like mad as the Immortal One strolled out. Austin handed the belt to Hogan. Hogan said Austin is the X-Champion. Hogan talked about how low Austin stooped to get the X-Belt. Hogan said Austin made the Ultimate Gimmick Infringement, when he took over becoming Suicide. Hogan put Option C on hold until after a Triple Threat X-Division Title Match. Hogan brought out the first opponent. He used to be Suicide, but Hogan has renamed him…Manik! Hogan then brought out the other opponent…Chris Sabin! Sweet!
Sabin said he never thought he’d be back but he didn’t give up. Sabin said he earned the X-Belt and Austin cheated his way to holding it. Sabin said no one was going to stop him from taking back the X-Division title. Manik didn’t say a word.
Tenay and Taz ran down the night’s activities. The Main Event Mafia would reveal their next member. Also, several Bound For Glory Series matches would happen. Kazarian and Daniels talked about Kaz’s match against A.J. Styles. That match was on deck.
Magnus is head and shoulders about the other men in the Bound for Glory Series. Kazarian and Daniels came out dressed like Siegfried and Roy. I love their comedy stuff.
Kazarian vs A.J. Styles
Bound For Glory Series Match
Styles knocked the wig off Kaz and sent him to the floor. Styles with a Slide Dropkick, to the floor. They got back in the ring and Styles with a hard Forearm. Float Over into a Hurancanrana by Styles. Knife Edge Chop and Whip by Styles. Flying Forearm to the corner. . Styles missed a second one and Kaz with a wicked Monkey Flip. Full Mount Punches by Kaz. Leg Lariat by Kaz for only a one. Kaz slapped Styles in the head and talked trash. Styles opened up with all kinds of offense, including a serious Spinning Back Fist. Clotheslines and Back Elbow by Styles. Kaz flipped Styles onto the apron. Styles with the Springboard Flying Forearm. 2 count. Jawbreaker by Kaz.
Kaz with a hard Dropkick to garner a 2 count. Kaz flipped out of a Back Drop Suplex. Kaz went for the Calf Killer but Kaz reversed it. Styles came back and cinched in the Calf Killer. After a valiant struggle, Kaz tapped out.
Your Winner (+10 – Submission): A.J. Styles
Impact Score: 3.5
Mickie James wanted a ladder set up for her. The techie agreed. The announcers were confused as to her need for a ladder.
Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero talked. Chavo pumped up his friend and tag partner. Chavo told Hernandez that it was Hernandez’s tournament to win (Bound For Glory Tourney).
Mickie James wanted to share a story about how Knockouts have to crawl their way to the top to become the Knockout Champion. Mickie bragged about all her success. My buddy, Rick, was in 7th Heaven as Mickie is his favorite lady wrestler, period. Mickie wanted Taryn and Gail to “Break Everything” in the Ladder Match, next week. Mickie said neither woman would ever be as great as she is. Mickie said she was going to break whoever wins the ladder match, next week. Tenay felt Mickie was seriously full of herself.
It was time for Gut Check Evaluation. The judges talked over the two men. They wondered if the two men were trainable. Snow said Bruce never liked the guys that Al brings to Gut Check. Bruce said his mind was made up.
Flash forward to the confrontation. Bruce said that the first person eliminated was…”Big O” Adam Ohreiner.
Outside, the Main Event Mafia walked in and said the 4th member of the Mafia would be revealed.
Jay Bradley vs Hernandez
Bound For Glory Series Match
Chavo was in Hernandez’s corner. Jay and Hernandez hooked up and Jay took a Side Headlock. Push Off into a Shoulder Collision. Neither man moved. Hernandez with a Stone Wall to Jay. Side Headlock with a thumb to the ey by Jay. Jay with Elbow Drops. Hernandez reversed a Whip. Jay with the old Ivan Koloff Flying Kneedrop. 2 count. Rear Chin Lock by Jay. Hernandez fought out. Jay with a clubbing blow. Jay Back Elbowed Hernandez to the outside. Hernandez with a Shoulder Block and then the Air Mexico sent Jay into oblivion. Hernandez with a Corner Splash and Torture Breaker. Jay went to the eyes and mocked the Chavo Shimmy. Jay with a Backbreaker. Chavo distracted he ref and Hernandez with The Pounce to take the win.
Your Winner (+7): Hernandez
Impact Score: 2.5
In the back, Bully Ray wanted to give Austin Aries some credit. Ray was asked about Brooke Hogan but he put that discussion on hold. Wes kept trying to bring up Brooke but Ray told him to quit talking about it. DOC asked Ray which one of the X-Division guys he wanted to face. Ray suggested that maybe nobody should win the match, later on. A wicked plan began to brew.
The Bro-Mans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz w/Tara) vs the GunSlingers (James Storm and Gunner)
World Tag Team Title Match
Taz complained about not liking James Storm. The Bros jumped Gunner, before the bell. Jessie really tore into Gunner. Robbie took the tag and they double teamed the champ. European Uppercut by Jessie. Robbie choked Gunner on the ropes. Tara even got involved, as the ref was distracted. Tags back and forth and the Double Team was effective, for awhile. Gunner with a Fallaway Slam and tag.
Storm wit a Flying Forearm. Back Body Drop on Robbie. Jess dropped Robbie over the ropes and hit the Back Stabber. Tag and they threw Jessie’s nethers into Robbie’s face. Jessie with a Double Sledge. Storm with the Last Call Superkick. Huge Uranage Backbreaker by Gunner. Storm and Gunner laid out Jessie by “Pulling the Trigger” Their tag team finisher is a wild Double Team Neckbreaker.
Your Winners: James Storm and Gunner
Impact Score: 2.5
Jeff Hardy was interviewed. He was set to battle Joseph Park. Hardy didn’t know much about Park. He did sense a dark side within Park, which could make him dangerous.
The music of the Main Event Mafia heralded the arrival of Sting and Kurt Angle. Taz wasn’t all that impressed with the new Main Event Mafia. (I have to admit that I just don’t care for this second version of the group). Kurt tired to pop the crowd but it wasn’t really happening. Kurt said the Mafia were planning on destroying the Aces and Eights and take the title from Bully Ray. Sting said Kurt and himself decided to take a new path when putting together the new Main Event Mafia. This new direction should build a better unity. They then brought out member number three: Samoa Joe. Taz felt Joe betrayed him. Huge “Joe” chant broke out. Joe said “The Mafia runs this town, tonight!” Joe learned that there is strength in numbers. Joe said he understood that he needed help to beat up the cowards of Aces and Eights. Joe said he was determined to win the Bound For Glory Series and then choke out Bully Ray at Bound For Glory to earn the World Title. Kurt stepped up and said he picked Joe o join their group, yet again. Kurt said Joe was all about loyalty. Kurt said Joe came up with the idea for the fourth member of the group. Kurt said the guy isn’t the future of wrestling, he is the here and now…Magnus! Really? Taz ridiculed the choice of the Brit to join the group. Magnus is a decent wrestler but the Mafia is supposed to be something seriously elite. Magnus is close but I just don’t think he’s there. Magnus praised his fellow Mafia brothers. Magnus said he was on board to destroy Aces and Eights. Sting challenged the Aces and Eights to a fight on July 18th. Sting heard Bully Ray’s suggestion that there might not be a winner in the X-Division title main event. Sting promised that the Main Event Mafia would make certain that there would be a winner…tonight.
Jeff Hardy vs Joseph Park
Bound For Glory Series Match
Jeff came out with red, white and blue paint on his neck. Whatever. Park got a respectable pop from the Las Vegans. Park came up to Hardy and said it was an honor to be in the ring with Hardy. He shook Hardy’s hand. Hardy got the crowd going and the two danced around. Collar and Elbow and Park pushed Hardy to the corner. Clean break. Side Headlock by Hardy but Push Off and Shoulder Block by Park. Hardy tumbled backwards. Side Headlock by Hardy. Park with a Push Off. Reverse Mule Kick by Hardy, after Park held Hardy’s leg. Flying Head Scissors into a Twist of Fate. Hardy went up top but missed the Swanton. Park moved.
Hardy didn’t follow up. Park finally rushed Hardy to the corner and threw a body shot. Hammer Throw by Park. Park just stood there and looked at Hardy. Follow Up, Will ya? Park with another Hammer Throw, but still didn’t follow up. Park waited and went for and hit the Corner Splash. Snap Mare into a Neck Wrench. Rear Chin Lock by Park. Hardy got up and blasted the ribs. Hardy ducked a Clothesline and nailed a Flying Forearm, Inverted Atomic Drop and Double Leg Drop and Dropkick to gain a two count. Park avoided the Twist of Fate and hit the Samoan Drop. Park pointed to the corner. He went to the middle rope and hit the Splash off the ropes. 1-2-no. Park went for another Splash but fell victim to Whisper in the Wind. Park’s mouth was busted open. Park flipped out and the eyes changed and he went into Abyss mode. Park with the Black Hole Slam on the ref. Hardy checked on the ref as Park seemed to slip back into normality. Brian Hebner rushed down and disqualified Park.
Your Winner by Disqualification (+3): Jeff Hardy
Joseph Park is penalized 10 points
Impact Score: 3.0
It was time for the final decision on Ryan Howe’s future through Gut Check. Jeremy Borash introduced Al Snow, Danny Davis and Bruce Prichard. AL was wearing the wildest (and ugliest) jacket. JB then brought out Ryan. The guy came out with his guitar. Taz joked about the whole Van Hammer look. Ryan said he gave his best, last week. Time for the votes:
Al Snow: Snow said he made the choice to give Ryan his shot. Snow was so talented, both as a wrestler and rock guitarist. However, Snow voted…No!
Ryan was given 30 seconds to Kick Out. Ryan bored the fans with his half minute rant. Ryan said he had heart. He actually ran out of time. Howe was ready to sign.
Danny Davis: Danny said his mind was made up but the fans changed it for him. Davis said he thought Ryan had potential. Davis voted…Yes.
Bruce Prichard: The crowd screamed “No!”. Bruce acknowledged that Ryan was able to pull a reaction. Bruce said what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas and Ryan would have to stay in Vegas. Bruce votes no.
2 Nos to 1 Yes means that Howe doesn’t get the contract.
Aces and Eights were ready to head to the ring to watch no one win the Main Event. DOC stepped up and said he waned to take out the Main Event Mafia. Anderson walked up and said DOC was trying to lobby to become the new VP. Ray went off on both of them for not being focused. Ray said he wanted to raise some Hell and P*ss people off. Elsewhere, Austin Aries strolled towards the entrance.
Aces and Eights came out, in full force, to watch the X-Division Title Match. Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell were both interviewed about next week’s Ladder Match. That match, from what I’ve heard, was beyond wicked and nasty. Also, next week, the Joker’s Wild Tournament will give 25 points to someone in the Bound For Glory Series.
Austin Aries vs Chris Sabin vs Manik
Triple Threat Match for the X-Division Title
All three men charged with Manik and Sabin tearing into Aries. Aries was placed in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Both Manik and Sabin hit Hesitation Dropkicks. Sabin with a Back Elbow to Manik. Sabin went fro a Sunset Flip but only got a two. Sabin threw Aries to the floor. Float Over by Manik. Flying Octopus by Manik but Aries made the save. Aries whipped Manik in but Aries attacked. Sabin went for a Superplex buy Manik flipped free. Sabin charged as Manik laid in the ropes. Sabin ended up on the floor. Manik went for an Over the Top Legdrop on Aries, who moved out of the way.
Sabin went for a Whip but Aries reversed it and hit a Snap Mare and Dropkick in one fluid move. Sabin with a Knife Edge and punch. Aries flipped Sabin over the ropes. Aries almost fell off the top turnbuckle but recovered and hit an Ax Bomber. Sabin blocked the Brainbuster and caught Aries with a Front Drop Suplex. Knux attacked Manik. Manik flew over the ropes and DOC with a evil Powerbomb after flipping Manik into position. The Main Event Mafia Mafia came out to neutralize Aces and Eights. Impact took a final break.
As Impact returned, security was taking Manik out on a stretcher. Aries with a Spicoli Driver, on the apron! Jeez. Aries waited for Sabin to come in and then went for a flurry of pin attempts. The Mafia was all around the ring. Aries with the Funk Neckbreaker. Aries hit a second Funk Neckbreaker, in the ropes. Sting got on the apron which distracted Aries. Aries slapped Sabin in the face. Sabin exploded on Aries with a slap and machine gun Knife Edge Chops. Step Up Enziguri by Sabin. Basement Dropkick to get Sabin a two. Aries escaped a Driver and hit tons of Back Elbows and Chops. Sabin Booted the charging Aries. Sabin went for a Big Boot and got caught up in the ropes. Sabin jumped off the apron to snap Sabin’s knee in the ropes Missile Dropkick by Aries. Running Corner Dropkick by Sabin. Small Package by Sabin. 1-2-no. Brainbuster by Aries, but he only got a two. Incredible. Last Chacellory by Aries but Sabin would not submit. “This is Awesome!” rang out. Sabin reached the ropes. Aries went up top but missed the 450 Splash. Powerbomb by Sabin for a two. Hail Sabin! 1-2-no. Sbin went for Hail Sabin but Aries rolled through and Small Packaged Sabin for a two. The two threw forearms and chops, back and forth. Sabin with a Spin Kick. Running Back Elbow by Sabin. Running Dropkick by Aries. Aries went for a Superplex but Sabin converted into an ALL Hail Sabin (Hail Sabin off the top rope!)
Your Winner and NEW X-Division Champion: Chris Sabin
Impact Score: 4.75
Sabin took the microphone and said Bully Ray may well be looking at the next World Champion. Sabin didn’t officially turn over the X-Strap for a shot at the World Title, but it did sound promising.