Date: June 2, 2013
Location: Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Todd Keneley, Tazz, Mike Tenay
The Aces and 8’s saga reaches the end of its first year tonight as TNA is eleven years old tonight. The main event is Sting vs. Ray in a no holds barred match for Ray’s world title with the stipulation that if Sting loses, he can never challenge for the world title again. Other than that we have a four way for the tag titles, Angle vs. Styles, and the second inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is all about Bully Ray and Aces and 8’s, recapping the last few months of the stories and talking about the bikers taking out TNA’s heroes such as Hardy, Hogan and Sting tonight.
X-Division Title: Chris Sabin vs. Kenny King vs. Suicide
King is defending and this is an Ultimate X match, meaning there’s an X made of cable above the ring. You have to climb across the cables and pull the belt down to win, making this a combination of monkey bars and a ladder match. Sabin has only been back from a knee injury for a few months and the knee really hasn’t been tested all that well. King immediately bails to the floor but both challengers follow.
Everyone quickly gets back in but Suicide is the only one to stay inside long. He teases a dive to the floor but climbs up instead, only to be pulled right back down by Sabin. King suplexes Chris down and stomps away on both guys but the numbers quickly catch up with him. Suicide suplexes both guys down but it’s Sabin up first to take over on both guys with a suplex of his own. Sabin hits yet another suplex on Suicide to drop him onto King before going for a climb.
Suicide makes a quick save as King goes for a half crab on Sabin, only to have Suicide put a modified abdominal stretch on King at the same time. Dropkicks put King and Sabin down but King is able to stop a quick Suicide climb. Sabin hits a fisherman’s buster on King out of the corner but Suicide stops Sabin from climbing. King goes up but is pulled down by Suicide as well, followed by a series of rapid fire kicks all around, leading to a springboard Blockbuster from King to Sabin to put everyone down.
Sabin and King head to the floor where Suicide takes them both down with a springboard dropkick to take both guys down. All three head back inside with Suicide shoving the other two together and try a climb with King quickly breaking it up. They load up a Tower of Doom but instead it’s a double superplex to put Suicide down. King and Suicide both go for the belt but King knocks Suicide off with a rake of the mask. Sabin goes across as well and takes King down before pulling the belt down to win at 14:08.
Rating: B-. Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned spot fest to start. This is the same idea that got WCW PPVs off to a good start and it worked here too. I still don’t think Suicide should have been here at all, but at least the right guy won and there was no major swerve at all. Good match here and a solid win for Sabin. Also thank goodness the title is off of King, but who is Sabin supposed to fight now?
Before Sabin leaves the arena, here’s Hulk of all people. He shakes hands with Sabin and tells the fans to cheer for Sabin like they cheered when he beat Andre in Boston for the first time. Just like last year, Sabin can cash in the title for a shot at Destination X. Does that show exist anymore?
Hogan stays in the ring after Sabin leaves and says we have something else to talk about, “Macho Man.” Before he can get anywhere, here are Anderson, Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco. Anderson tells Hogan that tonight Aces and 8’s take over. Hogan says that Boston isn’t afraid of ghosts, terrorists, or pussies wearing leather BROTHER. Hogan brags about how TNA will dominate tonight in all their matches before introducing Joe, Magnus and Hardy.
Jeff Hardy/Magnus/Samoa Joe vs. Aces and 8’s
The bikers jump Hardy as he comes in and it’s Anderson starting against him for the Aces. Jeff comes back with a clothesline and a low dropkick for two before it’s off to Brisco. He walks into a right hand of his own and here’s Garrett to take a beating of his own. Off to Joe to a big pop to beat the tar out of Garrett in the corner with a rapid flurry of chops, punches and stomps.
Back to Anderson to face Magnus with the Brit hitting a big boot but getting clotheslined down. Anderson goes to an armbar before Brisco comes in with a suplex for no cover. Back to the armbar for a bit before Anderson comes in to drop some knees on said arm. Brisco comes in again but gives up the advantage, allowing Magnus to make the hot tag to Jeff.
After some dancing (I think?) from Jeff he cleans house on the bikers and gets two off the Whisper in the Wind. Everything breaks down and a bad looking Twist of Fate puts Brisco down, but it’s Garrett in to break up the Swanton. Magnus and Joe come in for the snapmare/middle rope elbow combo on Garrett, but Brisco hits Magnus low. He rolls the Brit up but Hardy comes off the top with the Swanton for the pin on Wes at 10:11.
Rating: B-. The match wasn’t bad up until the VERY hot ending which brought it up a lot. That low blow actually had me thinking Aces would win here, so well done on making me believe that the ending was up in the air. The match was better than I was expecting on top of that, so good stuff here again.
Quick video on Sting putting his career on the line to win the world title from several years ago.
Joseph Park talks about being here for his first anniversary in TNA and sucks up to the Boston crowd before D-Von and Knux jump him from behind.
Gut Check Tournament Final: Sam Shaw vs. Jay Bradley
The winner of this gets into the Bound For Glory Series. Shaw speeds things up to start and tries for a quick pin, only to be shoved down by the much more powerful Bradley. Sam hooks a headlock on the mat but Jay pops up and pounds him down with elbows to the head. A hard whip into the corner has Shaw down again and the pace slows down a lot. Off to a chinlock for a bit before Shaw hits a standing Thesz Press to pound Jay in the head. The fans don’t seem all that impressed here as Bradley pokes him in the eye to break up a neckbreaker. The Boom Stick Lariat ends Shaw for the pin at 4:58.
Rating: D. This was pretty unpleasant as the fans didn’t care about either guy whatsoever and it showed badly. Bradley definitely was the better choice here as Shaw looks like any other indy guy. The fans had no reasons to care about either guy here and it really brought things to a halt. Thankfully it was kept short and now the show can pick up again.
Christy asks Bradley how it feels to be in the BFG Series. “How do you think it feels? GOOD!” Bradley says he’ll win the world title.
Aries and Roode praise each other and Roode says that Gunner is no Bobby Roode.
We recap Joseph Park going crazy and morphing into Abyss mode to earn a TV Title shot.
TV Title: D-Von vs. Joseph Park
Park doesn’t show up due to the beatdown from earlier tonight so D-Von talks some trash about the Boston Celtics. D-Von demands a ten count for Park to get out here….and there’s still no Park so D-Von retains.
D-Von of course makes the eternal mistake of running his mouth, saying that if Abyss was here, he’d take a beating like Park would have. You all know what’s coming next.
TV Title: D-Von vs. Abyss
Abyss cleans house of Knux and kicks D-Von in the face as the bell rings. Knux interferes from the floor to let D-Von get in a forearm to the face and take over with some very basic offense. Knee drops and right hands abound but a middle rope splash misses the monster. Abyss hits a splash in the corner followed by a chokeslam and the Black Hole Slam for the pin and the title at 3:49.
Rating: D. The match was barely there but it was the right result. D-Von has done nothing at all with the title in the six months he’s held it so maybe Abyss will actually defend the thing. If nothing else the split personalities deal is interesting when you add in a title. Nothing to see here, but that wasn’t the point of the match.
We look at Sting beating Angle for the title in the main event of Bound For Glory.
Here’s Dixie to announce the second Hall of Fame inductee. After thanking all of the fans, Dixie calls the roster to the stage for the announcement. The inductee is……..Kurt Angle.
We get a nice video package on Angle’s TNA career, complete with a miniature shot of Angle watching the video in the ring. Dixie congratulates Kurt and gives a brief history of his career before handing the mic off to Kurt. Angle thanks his family and everyone else you would expect him to thank. He also thanks the TNA originals which is the right thing to do.
We look at Sting winning the world title at BFG 08.
Bad Influence says that they’ll win the tag titles tonight because they’re just that awesome.
Tag Titles: James Storm/Gunner vs. Hernandez/Chavo Guerrero vs. Bad Influence vs. Bobby Roode/Austin Aries
Chavo and Hernandez are defending, this is under elimination rules and Storm has a badly hurt leg. Chavo and Daniels get things going with Daniels getting caught between right hands from both champions. Off to SuperMex to face Aries, with the latter jumping into a fall away slam. Back to Chavo who immediately pulls the now legal Roode into a headlock. Off to Storm vs. Roode and James can actually move. He throws a few right hands to take Roode down and it’s off to Gunner.
Bobby tags in Gunner as everything breaks down. Hernandez puts Roode on his shoulder for the backbreaker but Chavo suplexes Aries onto Hernandez’s other shoulder for a double backbreaker. That’s SCARY power. Storm and Gunner whip Roode and Aries into each other before Bad Influence comes in to stomp both guys down. Hernandez gets a running start to jump over the top rope and clothesline both guys down for two on Daniels. Kaz breaks up the delayed suplex on Daniels with a kick to Hernandez’s back before coming in legally.
After some more kicks to the legs of Hernandez it’s off to Roode for a stomping in the corner. Aries comes in with the slingshot hilo for two before putting on a front facelock. The fans chant for Aries but Hernandez suplexes both Aries and Roode down at the same time. Kaz gets the tag but Chavo comes in as well to clean house. There are Three Amigos to Kaz but Daniels sneaks in for Angel’s Wings on Chavo. Hernandez runs over Aries and Border Tosses Kaz, allowing the frog splash from Chavo to connect. Daniels breaks it up with a title belt for a DQ elimination at 10:52.
Aries immediately rolls up Chavo for the elimination at 11:10, leaving us with Aries/Roode and Storm/Gunner. Aries and Roode double team Gunner in the corner but he comes back with some running clotheslines. There’s the tag to Storm who pounds away on Roode and DDTs Aries down. Back to Gunner who catapults Aries into a Storm DDT for two. There’s the Gun Rack (Torture Rack) to Roode but Aries kicks Gunner in the ribs to break it up. The spinebuster from Roode sets up the 450 from Aries but it’s only good for two. Roode throws in a title belt but it’s the Last Call and Gun Rack to Aries for the submission and the titles at 16:28.
Rating: B. Another good match as this show is on a roll so far. I’m glad Storm is healthy enough to do the limited stuff he could do out there and Gunner looked solid as well. Hopefully we never have to see the other three teams fight again as the feud has been done to death already as the tag titles just need fresh blood now.
Brooke Hogan is proud of the Knockouts but won’t say if she still loves Bully or not.
We recap Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell. Basically Gail went nuts and hurt a lot of Knockout’s knees with Taryn being a favorite target of hers. Tonight it’s a Last Knockout Standing match.
Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim
Gail attacks in the corner to start but Taryn comes back with clotheslines to take over. Gail puts on an octopus hold but lets it go early and only gets a six count. Kim goes to the floor for a chair but has it kicked out of her hands. Some hair drags keep Gail down for a few moments but she manages to get the chair up to block a high cross body. Gail is up first and goes after the knee for a bit before wedging the chair between the ropes. Taryn blocks a ram into the chair but gets caught in the Figure Four around the post.
Terrell is up at 8 and dodges Gail’s charge into the corner, sending her head first into the chair in a SICK looking crash. That only gets eight so Taryn puts her in the Figure Four around the post for eight more. Taryn misses a charge and lands on the ramp for nine, only to be caught in a legsweep onto the ramp for nine more. Gail tries a piledriver but gets reversed into a bulldog off the ramp to put both girls down. Taryn beats the count for the win at 9:18.
Rating: B-. This was the best Knockouts match in YEARS. The bulldog off the stage was a bigger spot but the missed charge into the chair should have been the finish. It looked MUCH more painful and I thought Gail was out cold. Still though, very entertaining match and I was really impressed with Taryn here. I’d bet on her vs. Mickie at BFG for the title in a veteran vs. underdog title match.
Sting beat Anderson for the title in 2010 as well.
We recap AJ Styles becoming a whiny man and getting in a brawl with an overly aggressive Kurt, setting up their match tonight.
AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
AJ has some new very slow music about changing his ways. Kurt is coming in with a taped up leg. Styles tries a leg takedown on Kurt which goes as well as you would expect it to go. Instead they head to the floor with AJ sliding back in for a baseball slide to send Angle into the barricade. Back in and Angle stomps away but AJ kicks at the bad knee to take him down. AJ connects with a springboard dropkick into the knee before hitting a regular one to Angle’s face.
Styles tries for a half crab but gets reversed into an ankle lock for a few moments. A big clothesline puts AJ down but Kurt can’t follow up. They slug it out until Angle hits a t-bone suplex for two. AJ comes back with a spinebuster and a Lionsault for two. Angle comes back with rolling Germans including a release on the last one. AJ rolls to the apron and Stuns Angle over the top rope, followed by a slingshot splash for two.
Styles goes up to but but Kurt runs up the corner into a belly to back superplex, only to have AJ land on his feet. AJ charges at Angle but runs right into an overhead belly to belly to send Aj into the buckles. Styles pops up with a spinning backfist and a clothesline to put Angle down again. AJ tries a springboard dropkick but gets caught with a low blow and an Angle Slam for two.
Angle tries the ankle lock but AJ counters into his Calf Killer leg lock. Angle reverses into the ankle lock and grapevines the leg but Styles turns it over and kicks out of the hold. Angle misses a charge into the post and gets caught in the Tree of Woe for a dropkick to the ribs from Styles. The springboard 450 misses but the Angle Slam is countered into a rollup which is countered into a double leg takedown into a cover by Angle for the pin at 15:48.
Rating: B. Good match here but I don’t see why Angle needed to win. The guy is already in the Hall of Fame, so don’t you think he could go without winning a major match like this? AJ still looks good and the Calf Killer is a good finisher….if it had actually finished a guy with a bad leg that is. Good match with bad thinking here.
Ray talks about how a no holds barred match is his kind of match. He talks about various moves being banned, with one in particular being the piledriver. That’s what Ray plans to beat Sting with tonight because it’ll break Sting’s neck.
There isn’t much of a story here. Sting is TNA’s white knight and is trying to take the power back from Aces and 8’s.
TNA World Title: Sting vs. Bully Ray
This is no holds barred and if Sting loses, he can never challenge for the title again. Sting hits a Stinger Splash in the corner to start and pounds on Ray with the title belt on the floor. Back in and they slug it out with Sting clotheslining Ray down. A chop puts Ray down again and Sting beats him in the back with the belt again. They head back to the floor with Sting missing a Stinger Splash into the barricade. Ray whips Sting into the steps and the champion is in full control.
Ray fires off some clotheslines but misses a chair shot against the post. Sting whacks Ray in the spine with the chair a few times and the champ is down on the ramp. Cue Brooke Hogan in terror but Sting tells her to go to the back. Ray comes back with a low blow and more chair shots to Sting’s back, followed by a big boot to send the chair into Sting’s face. The piledriver connects for two so it’s table time. Did you expect anything else from a Dudley? A big old powerbomb through the table kills Sting dead but it’s only good for two here.
In something new, Ray gets a knife and cuts the ring apart, exposing the wood under the canvas. A piledriver onto said wood only gets two and Ray is shocked. Sting hits a quick backdrop to get himself a breather but is quickly taken down by Ray. The senton backsplash misses though and Sting hits the Death Drop onto the wood but here are the rest of the Aces for the save. Sting fights them off as they’re just the Aces and 8’s and hits Ray in the face with the chain but D-Von makes the save. Anderson throws Ray the hammer and a shot with that to the head is enough for Ray to retain at 14:27.
Rating: C+. Yeah it was a garbage brawl but that’s what Sting does best anymore. It continues to amuse me that Hogan preaches coming together to fight off Aces and 8’s but has no issue with letting Sting fight off like six guys at once. I don’t think anyone expected Sting to win here so it’s hard to complain much here. Cutting up the ring was a nice touch too.
Aces and 8’s celebrate to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was TNA’s best show in a very long time. The only bad matches are less than five minutes each and we had three new champions tonight. The ending was what was expected and while I would have liked something different, it is what it is. I had a good feeling about this show as the card looked good despite the lame build up on television. The problem now is that we have four and a half months before Bound For Glory, which means a lot of slow paced television as TNA will likely take three months off before really getting going on things.
Chris Sabin b. Kenny King and Suicide – Sabin pulled down the belt
Jeff Hardy/Samoa Joe/Magnus b. Aces and 8’s – Swanton Bomb to Brisco
Jay Bradley b. Sam Shaw – Boom Stick Lariat
Abyss b. D-Von – Black Hole Slam
James Storm/Gunner b. Chavo Guerrero/Hernandez, Bad Influence and Bobby Roode/Austin Aries – Gun Rack to Aries
Kurt Angle b. AJ Styles – Rollup
Bully Ray b. Sting – Hammer to the head
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