Date: March 14, 2013
Location: Sears Center, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz, Todd Keneley
We’re past the Orlando era now as Impact will be on the road permanently going forward. The main story of course is that Bully Ray is the new TNA World Champion, having beaten Jeff Hardy on Sunday at Lockdow while also revealing that he is in fact the President of Aces and 8’s, FINALLY giving the team both a leader as well as a major accomplishment. We’ll hear about that as well as see AJ Styles live on Impact for the first time in months tonight. Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip from Lockdown with Hogan telling Bully Ray to be remembered as he won the title. This transitions into a package of still photos from the world title match with Ray accepting the help of Aces and 8’s and winning the title.
Tag Titles: Hernandez/Chavo Guerrero vs. Bobby Roode/Austin Aries
Never mind as Aces and 8’s beat down Chavo and Hernandez before the champions ever come to the ring.
D-Von says this is the team that is going to take over TNA and introduces the new world champion Bully Ray. Bully and D-Von do their old Dudleys pose before Bully is presented with his biker vest. Ray asks if we know who he is before saying he’s the President of Aces and 8’s, the world champion, the man who fooled Sting, Hulk and Brooke but also made fools out of all the fans. For nine months the fans bought into Ray and all the lies he told.
On Sunday he was so proud of the team and he never felt better than when he hit Jeff with the hammer to win the title. The plan was delayed a bit as Bully was supposed to leave when Wes and Garrett came into the cage, but they waited until the Hogans came down. See, an hour before the main event, Hulk gave Bully a lecture about doing something memorable. Ray says that’s something the NWO never could accomplish. Ray begs Hogan to come out and fire him but knows Hulk won’t do it. He says when you ride with Aces and 8’s, you never ride alone.
Sting is in the back freaking out about how Aces and 8’s are burning TNA at the stake. He need to talk to Hulk so he can get his hands on Aces and 8’s tonight.
Gail Kim/Tara vs. Mickie James/Velvet Sky
A pre-match interview with Gail talks about how Teryn Terrell is on probation for costing Gail the title on Sunday. Gail and Velvet start things off with Sky taking Gail down with a series of armdrags. Off to Mickie for a double rolling leg drag on Kim. Mickie chokes Gail in the corner and gets two off an enziguri as we take a break. Back with Mickie getting caught in the Tarantula from Tara in the ropes.
A double slingshot suplex gets two for Gail on Mickie and it’s off to the corner for some choking. Mickie comes out of said corner with a hurricanrana and there’s the hot tag to Velvet. Gail and Teryn get in an argument with Gail shoving her down. Terrell smacks her in the face, allowing Mickie to hit the Thesz Press off the top on Gail. Tara hits Mickie with the Widow’s Peak but Velvet takes out Tara with In Yo Face for the pin at 9:40.
Rating: C. This was one of the better women’s matches I’ve seen in a very long time. Mickie is so smooth in the ring and it’s very nice to see those long legs back again. The rest of the match was ok but Gail vs. Teryn does nothing for me as there’s no reason to care about Terrell other than she’s a hot blonde.
We recap the Aces and 8’s segment from earlier before going to the back to see Bully toasting Aces and 8’s. He thanks them for being behind him these past nine months but realizes he hasn’t talked to his wife in awhile. Bully calls Brooke and they leave her a voicemail to get on her nerves. Oh and say hi to dad for him.
Hulk won’t answer anything about Aces and 8’s.
Robbie E vs. Robbie Terry
This is a rematch from the PPV where E got destroyed. Terry power walks to the ring, sending E running to the floor. E tries to jump Terry but it has no effect at all. A big beal sends E flying as does a one man flapjack. Terry hits a modified Jackhammer as the fans chant feed me more ala Ryback. The fireman’s carry into a spinebuster gets the pin for Terry at 1:19.
Terry dances post match.
Sting goes in to see Hulk and we cut to a break.
Aces and 8’s continue to celebrate.
Hogan blames Sting for everything that happened with Bully. Sting wants Bully tonight but Hogan goes on a rant, saying he never should have trusted Bully. Apparently everything is over and nothing can get better again.
We recap AJ’s saga and his loss to Daniels on PPV. We also look at the Claire Lynch stuff and AJ walking out on the company.
Sting runs into Aries and Roode, now with matching shirts that identify them as dirty heels. They make fun of him for causing all of these problems and say that it’s unfortunate that they can’t fight, because they were going to give Hogan and Sting a title shot. Sting says he wants to fight and Roode bails, leaving Aries alone with the Stinger. Apparently they’re fighting later tonight.
Here’s AJ back to Impact after several months away. Or actually not as instead it’s Bad Influence in Road Warrior attire. Ok that’s pretty awesome. They don’t have the spikes but they can do the poses perfectly. Kaz says they’re bringing back Throwback Thursday and paying homage to the second best tag team in wrestling history. Daniels even does Hawk’s WEEEEEEEEEEEEEL catchphrase. Apparently this is the Legion of Boom.
This brings out James Storm who says that the original LOD is a little bigger, a little tougher and a lot more over than these two are. Bad Influence gets to pick which of them gets beaten up by Storm right now.
James Storm vs. Christopher Daniels
Storm starts fast and throws Daniels around before ramming Daniels into Kaz, getting two as a result. Kaz trips up Storm to get Daniels control which includes a slingshot moonsault. Storm comes back in a slugout though but can’t hit Eye of the Storm. Daniels puts him down with a release Rock Bottom, only to miss the BME. Storm hits Closing Time and a Backstabber for the pin at 3:43.
Rating: C. Not much you can say about a match that long. Storm in a big time program would be a good thing for him as after last year he’s desperately in need of a reset. Daniels vs. AJ must be coming again though, because this is TNA and that’s how things work around here. Not much to the match but it was fine.
Post match Bad Influence beats up Storm but here’s the returning AJ to lay out the evil tag team. Daniels bails but AJ hits Storm as well.
We recap Wes Brisco vs. Kurt Angle from Sunday before seeing Aces and 8’s destroying Angle in the back.
Here’s Joseph Park who is gushing about having two wins now. He’s been reflecting on his accomplishments, including graduating law school and making partner at Park Park and Park. Park grew up around here going to Cubs games (mixed reaction) and going to Blackhawks games (POP) and he can’t wait for what’s coming next.
This brings out Matt Morgan to make fun of Hulk because that story is still going on after not being mentioned for months I guess. Morgan doesn’t like Park having a contract here and calls Park Hogan’s biggest mistake. One by one, Morgan is going to eliminate each and every one of Hulk’s mistakes, starting with Park. He tells Park to leave but Morgan insults Chicago and that means it’s time to fight. Morgan uses the always lame “on my time” excuse and goes to leave, only to catch Park not paying attention and kicking him in the head. Morgan says his time is next week.
Aces and 8’s want to know if Hulk is going to fire them because they’ve destroyed a lot of people. Ray thinks destroying the show sounds like a good idea so let’s go do that.
We get some clips of Brooke freaking out after the end of Lockdown.
Austin Aries vs. Sting
Feeling out process to start as the fans are split on who to cheer for. Sting carries Aries over to the corner but Austin lays on the ropes to show off. Sting kicks him down but misses a Stinger Splash as Aries bails to the outside. Back in for a bit before Sting knocks him right back to the floor. There’s the Stinger Splash to Roode against the barricade and Aries is sent through the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Sting still in control but he has to stop and yell at Roode, which gets Bobby ejected. The distraction lets Aries kick the rope into the Little Stingers and there’s the suicide dive for good measure. Back in and Aries hits a middle rope dropkick to the back of a seated Sting for two. Aries pounds away in the corner but Sting gets in a few right hands. A dropkick to the knee puts Sting back down though and Aries keeps control via a quickly broken half crab.
Back up and Sting misses a dropkick but Aries tries for the Scorpion Deathlock. Unfortunately he doesn’t know hot to hook the hold and Sting is able to come back again. A big clothesline spins Aries inside out but Austin bails away from the real Scorpion. After guillotining Sting down on the top rope, a missile dropkick puts Sting down for about one second.
Sting busts out a gorilla press slam before missing another Stinger Splash. Aries hits a running dropkick in the corner and a running splash of his own. The brainbuster is countered into a Scorpion Death Drop for two but the Stinger Splash sets up the Deathlock…but here are Aces and 8’s for the DQ at 15:16.
Rating: C+. Good match here until the run in ended as this match continues to become more and more like the NWO. The match was rolling along until the end with a story of Sting not being able to hit the Splash until the end. It was cool to see the old gorilla press come back here though and the match was better than I was expecting.
Aces and 8’s want to know if Hogan is going to fire them.
After a break Ray is still wanting Hogan to come out and here he is. Hulk is still on crutches so he stays on the stage. He says firing Aces and 8’s would be too easy and they deserve the hard way. It might not be today or tomorrow, but it’s coming. Right now, Hogan is telling everyone on the roster to go to war with the bikers.
About five guys (including Angle, Terry, Hardy, Chavo and Hernandez) runs out to beat down Aces and 8’s but there are too many bikers resulting in a big beatdown of the TNA guys. Jeff Hardy is beaten down in just a few seconds and this is a pretty lame brawl. Ray says is this what you meant by memorable and starts destroying everyone with his chain. Ray goes halfway up the ramp and says the cavalry just got destroyed. He asks what his dad is going to do to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was a really solid show tonight as everything seemed to have a new energy to it. It was cool to see Aces and 8’s with a swagger that they could back up, which is probably because none of them wrestled tonight. Everything had a point tonight and it was like the beginning of a new year for the show in a lot of ways. I’m excited for next week’s Impact which is a rarity anymore.
Mickie James/Velvet Sky b. Tara/Gail Kim – In Yo Face to Tara
Rob Terry b. Robbie E – Spinebuster
James Storm b. Christopher Daniels – Backstabber
Sting b. Austin Aries via DQ when Aces and 8’s interfered
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews