Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s IMPACT Wrestling recap. Filling in for J-Bout this week to recap the show that says Wrestling Matters in one TNA IMPACT Wrestling. So, if you all are ready, then since the intro is playing, let’s get on with the show!
We see a video highlighting Joseph Park’s search for his brother Abyss, the secret that was revealed about A.J. Styles & Bobby Roode retaining his title over Rob Van Dam at Sacrifice this past Sunday.
We then go to the ring as the World Champion Bobby Roode makes his way to the ring. Roode says that time after time, people have stacked the odds against me. But, time after time, he overcomes the odds. Take Sacrifice for example when he defeated Rob Van Dam in Van Dam’s type of match, a Ladder match. Roode says that Van Dam has perfected the Ladder match and that he is isn’t gonna BS, Van Dam lived up to his moniker of “Mr. PPV” because he put Roode through hell at Sacrifice. Roode says that Van Dam put him through one of the most grueling matches of his career. But, at the end of the day, the “It Factor” retained his title and proved each and every one of you wrong. Roode then mocks the crowd to chant his name. Roode says that in 1 week, he will go down in history as the longest reigning World Champion in IMPACT Wrestling history. And next week, he will throw the biggest party that IMPACT Wrestling has ever seen. Roode says he is calling it “The It Factor’s Celebration of Domination”. For that to happen, Roode says he needs to call someone out, and that is Hulk Hogan.
Hogan makes his way to the ring as Roode says he has some demands for his party next week. Roode says he wants his private dressing room re-decorated 5 bottles of chilled champagne, green M& M’s & gold confetti from Canada for his entrance. Hogan then takes the list and says that out of all the champions he has seen, he says Roode fixed everything that had gone awry when he became champion. But, as far as Roode’s list of demands goes, he hasn’t become the longest reigning champion yet so Hogan rips up Roode’s list. Hogan says that next week is “Open Fight Night” and that on Open Fight Night, we have a title defense. So, Hogan says that next week, the TNA World Title will be defended and that upsets Roode. Hogan says that is the bad news, the good news is that Hogan took a poll of the TNA roster of who wanted a title shot and out comes almost the entire TNA lockerroom on the entrance way. Hogan says that he needs to eliminate the choices down to 4 men so he can figure out who is the best man for the job. So 1st up, Rob Van Dam will take on Bully Ray. Next, he is having a hard time with the situation between Jeff Hardy & Mr. Anderson, so they will face each other. Then, 2 guys with mean streaks should face off and that is Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe. Finally, the rest on the entranceway will compete in a battle royal to see who the 4th choice is. Hogan closes by saying to Roode that if you want to celebrate, you have to fight.
Roode is in shock as Tenay & Taz runs down what we will see on IMPACT Wrestling tonight before we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we see Abyss’s return from last week where he had a warning for his brother, Joseph Park. We then go to the opening match.
Open Fight Night Qualifier
“Calfzilla” Bully Ray vs. “The Whole F’N Show” Rob Van Dam
Bully rips up a fan’s sign in many pieces and like always, badmouths ring announcer Christy Hemme. Van Dam comes out with his arm and leg taped up due to the injuries he sustained at Sacrifice. Bully wants the referee to check Van Dam’s tape as the bell sounds.
Lock-up and Van Dam with a side headlock. Bully counters into a keylock, followed by an elbow. Bully wrenches out Van Dam’s arm, then pulls at it in the corner. Van Dam fights back with gut shots, followed by a right hand, but Bully comes back with a knee to the gut. Bully tries to send Van Dam into the turnbuckle, but Van Dam blocks it and then drills Bully with a kick to the head. Van Dam then with a spin kick, followed by Rolling Thunder for a nearfall. Van Dam goes for another kick, but Bully counters with an elbow drop across Van Dam’s injured leg. Bully with a leglock as the crowd tries to will on Van Dam. Bully then drives Van Dam’s leg into the mat, followed by taunting the crowd. Bully with a stomp to Van Dam’s leg, but then misses a splash as Van Dam moves out of the way. Van Dam with a pair of right hands, followed by a clothesline. Van Dam with another clothesline, followed by a superkick. Van Dam leaps up top and goes for the one leg thrust kick, but Bully avoids it and Van Dam lands on his injured leg.
Bully then drills Van Dam with the Bully Cutter for the victory.
Winner and qualifying for next week’s “Open Fight Night”: “Calfzilla” Bully Ray by pinfall (Bully Cutter)
After the match, Bully yells into the camera, “Satisfied Hogan?” as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we go backstage where Bully Ray says that he is pissed at the Kardashians. He says that they want to jump on the anti-bullying campaign, he wants to see them try and stop him from bullying anybody. Joseph Park comes in and Bully wraps up his chain saying that Park better have something real good to say. Park says he is here to apologize for what happened at Sacrifice, but Bully was gonna cheat, and he has been dealing with cheaters for a long time. Park says that his brother that he is getting too close to the fire. Park says that Bully Ray must be that fire. Bully says that he is giving Park fair warning, stay away from him and then Bully walks off.
We go to the announce table where Mike Tenay & Taz talk about TNA’s newest signing, King Mo. We then go to video from last week’s “MMA Uncensored” where King Mo & TNA President Dixie Carter were on to talk about Mo’s signing.
We go backstage again where Knockouts Champion Gail Kim & Madison Rayne are walking as Gail is complaining about her Triple Threat title match tonight. Gail says she already beat Tessmacher & Velvet Sky, so why does she have to face them again. However, Madison is not paying attention as her mind is somewhere else. Gail questions that is it because of that guy, but Madison plays dumb to it. Madison walks off as Gail is angry about her title match. Gail then runs into both Tessmacher & Velvet, who says that Gail thinks its unfair, was it unfair when Gail cheated to beat both of them? Velvet says that one thing is for sure, either me or Tessmacher will win that title tonight and that is fair before walking off, leaving Gail to pout some more.
We then go to the ring for our next “Open Fight Night” qualifying match.
“Open Fight Night” Qualifier
Wild Card Battle Royal: X-Division Champion “A Double” Austin Aries vs. “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles vs. Robbie E. vs. Robbie T. vs. “The Undefeated” Crimson vs. Gunner vs. Magnus vs. Television Champion Devon vs. Garett Bischoff vs. Knockouts Tag Champions Eric Young & ODB
Way too much to call in this one, so I will list the order of eliminations and by who:
Eric Young, ODB & Crimson (all at the same time)
Robbie T. (Robbie E.)
Robbie E. (Devon)
During this, we see Madison Rayne make her way onto the entrance ramp and she is obviously watching whomever her “crush” is.
Devon (Garett Bischoff)
Garett Bischoff (A.J. Styles)
Austin Aries (Gunner)
Gunner (A.J. Styles)
Winner and qualifying for next week’s “Open Fight Night”: “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles
Back from commercial, we see video highlighting the secret of A.J. Styles that was revealed by Christopher Daniels & Kazarian last week before we go back to the ring.
Back in the ring, A.J. Styles has a microphone and says that Bobby Roode is about to become the longest reigning World Champion. “Well, if its up to me, I will be the one to end your reign”. Styles says that things aren’t always what they seem. He & Dixie Carter have been business partners for 10 years, but they are both happily married. Styles says he understands how things can get misconstrued, but again, things are not always what they seem.
Styles then is interrupted by Daniels & Kazarian. Daniels says that while A.J. is a great athlete, the world saw last week what moves brought A.J. to the top of IMPACT Wrestling. Kazarian then says this whole thing was never about humiliating you or destroying lives, it was just about exposing the truth and showing the benefits that Styles got and left Daniels & Kazarian in his wake. Kazarian says Styles has always been about moral character and been a man of his word, so what is the deal with the pictures? Styles says that he already told them the truth. Daniels then says that he is a reasonable man, so maybe they have taken one image out of context, but that is why they invented video. Daniels reveals an iPad and has Kazarian play a video of something. The video shows Styles & Dixie Carter at a hotel, walking arm & arm. The video then shows them walking into an elevator with Styles pulling Dixie in. Daniels says that there is affection and then there’s passion. Styles then shoves Daniels, who says that apparently, he struck a nerve. Styles then leaves the ring and walks away in disgust as Daniels says that the truth sucks.
We go to video of the storied rivalry of Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe before we go backstage.
Backstage, Samoa Joe walks up to Kurt Angle and says that its a shame that he has to walk through Angle to get his belt back. Angle says that they have a long history, remember the headbutt? Angle says its all about who makes the first move. Angle says you see this as he lifts his one hand, then slaps Joe with the other. Joe then attacks Angle and sends him into a production box before many wrestlers & referees come in to pull Joe off. Angle has a smile on his face as wrestlers have to pull away Joe before we go to commercial.
We then go back to the backstage area where Mr. Anderson is watching video of the controversial ending to his match with Jeff Hardy at Sacrifice. Anderson says that at one angle, it shows that he won. But, the other angle shows that Hardy kicked out before the 3 count. Anderson says that he is giving Hardy another shot at him tonight so he can prove who the better man is as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we see a TNA Greatest Moments video, highlighting the 3-way X-Division Title match that main evented the Unbreakable PPV from 2005 when A.J. Styles defeated then champion Daniels & Samoa Joe before our next match.
“Open Fight Night” Qualifier
Mr. Anderson vs. “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy
Feeling out process to start things off. Both men go for a waistlock, but both counter each other. Anderson goes for an O’Connor Roll, but Hardy holds onto the ropes. Anderson then tries to counter Hardy with a backslide, but Hardy breaks off and we have a stalemate. Both men slap hands in a sign of respect then lock-up again. Anderson sends Hardy to the corner and hits a series of shoulders to the gut. Hardy then spins Anderson around and hits a pair of shoulders to the gut, followed by a kick to the gut. Irish whip by Hardy, reversed by Anderson, but Hardy then hits an inverted atomic drop. Hardy double legs Anderson, then hits his double leg drop into Anderson’s lower abdomen, followed by a front dropkick for a 1 count. Hardy then with a clothesline that sends Anderson over the ropes and to the outside. Hardy goes for his baseball slide kick, but Anderson catches his legs and drives Hardy backfirst into the mat.
Back in the ring, Anderson gains a nearfall. Anderson stomps away at Hardy, followed by an elbow drop. Anderson locks in a reverse chinlock as the crowd tries to will on Hardy. Hardy tries to break out with gut shots, but Anderson comes back with a club to the back. Irish whip by Anderson and he catches Hardy coming in with a clothesline for a nearfall. Hardy rolls out onto the apron as Anderson goes right back after him. Hardy hits a pair of shoulders to the ribs, but then Anderson tries for a neckbreaker, but Hardy breaks him off. Hardy then with a slingshot dropkick for a nearfall. Hardy gets the crowd into it, but then Anderson hits a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Anderson goes for his windmill kick, but Hardy counters with a chop block.
Both men exchange right hands, but then Hardy with a back body drop. Hardy with a clothesline, followed by a back elbow. Irish whip by Hardy, reversed by Anderson, but Hardy nails him with a flying forearm for a nearfall. Irish whip by Hardy sends Anderson sternum first into the corner, then Hardy connects with a Russian leg sweep. Hardy goes for a leg drop, but Anderson counters into a Victory Roll for a nearfall. Irish whip by Anderson, but he runs into a Hardy elbow. Hardy then hits Whisper in the Wind for a close nearfall. Hardy takes the shirt off and goes for the Twist of Fate, but Anderson counters it.
Anderson lifts Hardy up and connects with the Green Bay Plunge, but Hardy holds on and crucifixes Anderson for the victory.
Winner and qualifying for next week’s “Open Fight Night”: “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy by pinfall (Crucifix)
After the match, Anderson & Hardy shake hands and embrace in a sign of respect as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we see another video highlighting the Angle/Joe rivalry before we go to our next match.
Triple Threat Match for the Knockouts Title
Gail Kim (c) vs. Brooke Tessmacher vs. Velvet Sky
Gail goes to get away, but Brooke pulls her in and drives her down to the mat. Velvet & Brooke take turns with right hands before Velvet hits a clothesline on Gail. Gail tries to run away again, but this time Velvet pulls her back in and hits a pair of facebusters before Brooke hits a sleeper slam. Gail goes to the outside and now Velvet & Brooke lock up. Brooke with a roll-up for a 1 count. Velvet then with an inside cradle for a nearfall. Velvet with a side headlock, followed by a kick to the face after Brooke Irish whipped out. Velvet goes off the ropes, but Gail trips her up and pulls her to the outside. Gail with a clothesline to Brooke, followed by a stomp and finally chokes Brooke in the ropes. Gail knocks Velvet off the apron and back down to the outside, then hits a knee to the gut of Brooke. Gail then hits a backbreaker on Brooke, followed by placing her boot on Brooke’s throat to taunt the crowd. Gail locks in a Boston Crab, but then Velvet comes in and locks Gail in a Dragon Sleeper while Gail still has the hold applied on Brooke. Gail pushes Velvet off, but then Velvet kicks Gail to break the hold. Velvet with a series of forearms, followed by an Irish whip. However, Gail moves out of the way on Velvet’s charge in and then Gail locks Brooke in the Octopus. Velvet then comes in and rolls up Gail while she still had the hold applied on Brooke for a nearfall. Gail then rolls up Brooke for a nearfall of her own. Velvet tries to go after Gail, but Brooke grabs onto her foot. Velvet knocks Brooke off, then goes for the In Yo Face, but Brooke counters. Brooke goes for her belly-to-back facebuster, but Velvet blocks it. While this is going on, Gail heads up top and then nails both Brooke & Velvet with a missile dropkick. Gail goes for Eat Defeat on Brooke, but Brooke blocks it and throws Gail into the corner. Then, Velvet comes in and this time hits In Yo Face on Brooke.
Gail then comes in and throws Velvet to the outside, followed by picking up the scraps and covering Brooke for the victory.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim by pinfall (Thanks to Velvet’s In Yo Face)
Back from commercial, we see a video highlighting the 10 year history of TNA that closes by saying, “This is TNA IMPACT Wrestling and we’re just getting started” before our main event.
Main Event in the final “Open Fight Night” Qualifier
“The Olympic Gold Medalist” Kurt Angle vs. “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe
Joe hits a pair of kicks to the leg, then both go for a knucklelock, but Joe nails Angle with a forearm. Joe with peppering jabs to Angle in the corner and that sends Angle down to the outside. Back in the ring, Angle with a double leg takedown, followed by a series of right hands. Angle with a side headlock, but Joe nails him with a shoulder tackle off an Irish whip. Joe with another shoulder tackle, followed by his infamous snapmare/chop to back of head/kick to chest/leaping knee drop combo for a nearfall. Joe with some face washes in the corner, followed by an uppercut. Joe goes off the ropes, but Angle catches him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. We see Bobby Roode make his way to the announce table as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Angle nails Joe with a series of right hands in the corner. Angle with a series of stomps to Joe’s knee as Bobby Roode has now joined Mike Tenay & Taz at the announce table. Angle with a suplex for a 1 count. Angle locks in a chinlock as the crowd tries to will on Joe. Joe breaks out with gut shots, followed by a right hand. Joe goes off the ropes, but Angle catches him with a back elbow for another 1 count. Angle goes back to the chinlock as the crowd chants his name. Joe breaks out again with gut shots, followed by a jab. Irish whip by Joe, but he runs into boot by Angle. Angle goes up to the middle rope and leaps off, but Joe catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Joe goes off the ropes and hits a Mafia Kick, followed by a back senton splash for a nearfall. Angle breaks free of Joe and goes off the ropes, but Joe catches him with the snap powerslam for another nearfall. Joe goes for a powerbomb, but Angle rolls off his back and hits a German suplex. Angle holds on to the grip and hits a 2nd one. Angle still holds on and then hits the hat trick. Angle drops down the straps and sets up for the Angle Slam, but Joe counters and locks in the Kokina Clutch, but Angle counters out into the Ankle Lock. Joe kicks Angle off and then charges at him in the corner, hitting a running back elbow, followed by a roundhouse kick to the head. Joe with another inverted atomic drop, then goes for another Mafia Kick, but Angle catches his foot and then hits the Angle Slam for a close nearfall. Angle & Joe exchange right hands, with Joe gaining the advantage. Joe then with a front kick to Angle that knocks him down. Joe goes for another kick, but Angle catches his foot and locks back in the Ankle Lock. Joe tries to counter out, but Angle holds on. Joe tries again, but Angle still holds on. Joe then gets out and sends Angle facefirst into the middle turnbuckle. Angle charges, but Joe catches him and drills him with the STJoe. Joe calls for the Muscle Buster and perches Angle on the top turnbuckle. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster, but Angle counters with a headbutt.
Joe charges at Angle, but Angle catches him with a Sunset flip for the victory.
Winner and qualifying for next week’s “Open Fight Night”: “The Olympic Gold Medalist” Kurt Angle by pinfall (Sunset Flip)
After the match, Bobby Roode makes his way down the rampway, but then we see Hardy, Styles & Ray in different parts of the IMPACT Wrestling Zone surrounding Roode with Angle also in the ring. Roode has a nervous look on his face as all his potential challengers stare him down as we go to credits.
Decent episode of IMPACT Wrestling this week. While the matches weren’t blowaway or anything really that good because they didn’t a lot of in-ring time, I thought the show was paced nicely with a singular theme of finding the potential challengers for Roode next week. Having a central theme for a show and slowly telling that story throughout makes to me, a solid episode overall. Again, the matches weren’t anything special, but because the show was paced well and told a story throughout, I think it was a mildly successful edition of IMPACT Wrestling this week and it has me somewhat intrigued for next week’s “Open Fight Night”.
My Grade: C+
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.