introducing each judge, JB welcomed out Kris Lewie for his evaluation. Lewie came to the ring and JB asked him if he gave his best last week. Lewie nervously said he gets better every week. JB the formal Gut Check intro before asking Taz for his thoughts. Taz said he respects anyone who tries to make a career as a pro wrestler and comes out on national television to compete, but, quite frankly, Impact Wrestling is above his head. So, it's a no. Prichard spoke next. He said he doesn't like JB's Gut Check intro, then did his own rendition that drew silence. Prichard talked about Lewie having a great story, but said Lewie needs to wake up from the dream because this business is not for him. TNA cut to a shot of his wife and child ringside. JB said that's two no's, so his Gut Check is over.
Suddenly, Joey Ryan was heard on a megaphone yelling at the judges. Ryan, on the front row, cut a promo on Al Snow, calling him a corporate stooge. Snow and Ryan had an exchange, then Ryan grabbed a cup from a ringside "fan" and threw a liquid in Snow's face. Prichard held Snow back as Snow tried to hop the guardrail, then Snow broke through the guardrail and chased after Joey Ryan while Prichard jogged after him.
Up next: Angle vs. Hardy in the main event.
Backstage: Joseph Park is back. Park was shown addressing Hulk Hogan and Sting in the GM office. He said Aces & Eights has violated several laws and he thinks he might be able to get them on racketeering. Park wanted to be allowed to investigate the group and determine what they're up to. Sting, going back several weeks ago, told Park to "kayfab" this conversation.
Ringside: MMA fighters were shown ringside promoting Bellator.
[Q7] Impact Zone: Jeff Hardy came out first for the TV main event for a "must-win match," according to Tenay, who also noted Hardy faces Samoa Joe next week on Impact. The other match remaining after tonight is RVD vs. Bully Ray, who has not appeared on the show yet. Once Hardy and Angle settled into the ring, JB handled formal ring intros for tonight's main event. Of note, JB slipped in a plug that Wrangler's Jeans is sponsoring the main event.
4 -- KURT ANGLE vs. JEFF HARDY -- BFG Series match
Angle started things off with mat-based submissions trying to get a quick ten points, but Hardy cut him off with high-flying. Hardy corkscrewed Angle to the floor, then landed a double-foot dropkick through the ropes. Hardy followed with a flying splash on the outside. Back in the ring, Angle cut off Hardy to slow down the pace leading to break.
Back live, Hardy unloaded on Angle with a series of high-flying moves, but could only score a two count. Hardy teased the Twist of Fate, but Angle blocked and nailed a German Suplex. He wasn't done, though, and ripped off two more. Angle then stalked Hardy for the Angle Slam, but Hardy easily escaped and hit the Twist of Fate. Hardy covered Angle, but Angle escaped just before three, stunning Hardy. Hardy came back with Whisper in the Wind and scored a near, near, nearfall.
At 9:00, Hardy measured Angle for a clothesline, but Angle belly-to-belly suplexed him, then dropped the straps. Angle wanted the Angle Slam and connected this time. He covered, but Hardy kicked out of Angle's finisher, going tit-for-tat. Angle then teased the Anklelock, but Hardy countered into a pin for a two count. Hardy then hit a second Twist of Fate before climbing up top. Hardy wanted the Swanton Bomb, and he connected. Hardy covered, but Angle popped his shoulder just before three again. The pro-Hardy crowd shrieked, thinking Hardy got the win
[Q8] Hardy went back to the well, but Angle cut him off up-top. Hardy blocked Angle, though, and shoved him down to the mat. Hardy followed with a second Swanton Bomb and this one was good for the pin and the win as the Impact Zone went nuts for Hardy. Post-match: Angle sold with tears, realizing his journey back to the World Title was over. Hardy sold the effects of the match before TNA replayed the high points from the match. Back live, Angle was shown looking down at the mat contemplating his future.
WINNER: Hardy at 11:16 to earn 7 BFG Series points. This was the best piece of television TNA has produced in a while with a hot crowd, great wrestling action, announcers having something compelling to invest in, and the thrill of victory and agony of defeat on full-display.
Impact Zone: After Angle cleared out, JB entered the ring to introduce the Final Five of the BFG Series. JB introduced Hardy, who was still selling in the ring, then James Storm, Samoa Joe, RVD, and Bully Ray. JB announced that next week, one of these five will be eliminated when the final two BFG Series matches occur. JB noted Storm has already guaranteed a spot in the Final Four, then he plugged Ray vs. RVD and Hardy vs. Joe as the final two matches next week. Fireworks shot off as Bully and RVD got in each other's faces to promote their match next week. Tenay said it's high-stakes and high-pressure next week on Impact.
Backstage: Austin Aries was shown walking down the hallway. He's up next to see what Aces & Eights has in-store for him.
Impact Zone: Back live, Austin Aries's music played to bring out the TNA Champ for the second time tonight. Aries marched to the ring with possession of his title belt, then quickly ripped off his suit jacket and entered the ring with purpose to call out Aces & Eights for a fight. Aries paced the ring awaiting a response, but no sign of the group. And, like at the top of the show, Hogan's music answered instead. After a pause, Hogan emerged on-stage, followed by Sting, Storm, Bully Ray, and other top stars. Hogan called out Aces & Eights for a blood bath, which Aries echoed from inside the ring.
A few members emerged through the back entrance of the Impact Zone and Aries called out the ugly one. Hogan and Co. slowly made their way down the entrance ramp to back up... (Continues on next page)