The following is Report by James Caldwell of PWTorch
Just before the start of the show, Spike TV ran an ad for former WWE star Batista and future TNA star King Mo on MMA Live tonight.
This week’s live TNA Impact opened with a video package on the ODB & EY business. On the PPV lead-in show featuring the culmination of the BFG Series, that was the first image of the show. The video continued to the Tag Title situation, finals of the BFG Series tonight, and latest on Aces & Eights involving Joseph Park investigating the group.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay introduced the show live from the Impact Zone. Tenay noted they will fill out the Final Four of the BFG Series and set the stage for No Surrender on Sunday. This led to a video package documenting the BFG Series, focusing on the final five remaining stars – Samoa Joe, Bully Ray, James Storm, RVD, and Jeff Hardy.
Back live, Tenay and Taz broke down the BFG Series Leaderboard, noting A.J. Styles has been eliminated at the #5 position and James Storm has clinched a spot in the Final Four. In the ring, Christy Hemme introduced Jeff Hardy for the first of two BFG Series matches. Essentially, if Hardy loses, he’s eliminated and the other four are in, which would eliminate the drama for RVD vs. Bully Ray (barring a DQ situation). As Hardy made his way to the ring, Tenay noted it’s a must-win situation for Hardy tonight.
Samoa Joe was then introduced as Hardy’s opponent. For Joe, a pinfall or submission victory gives him the BFG Series victory and right to select his semi-final opponent at No Surrender. Tenay said Joe can determine his own fate tonight. Tenay summed up tonight’s events: it’s the end of the regular season on Impact and the Playoffs are Sunday.
1 — JEFF HARDY vs. SAMOA JOE — BFG Series match
Hardy and Joe felt each other out to start things off, selling that they didn’t want to make a mistake in a high-stakes match. TNA cut to a shot of James Storm in street clothes intently watching the match. Tenay noted Storm is rooting for Hardy so that Joe doesn’t take his #1 spot. On the floor, Joe blasted Hardy, but then started pacing around ringside without following up. It allowed Hardy to deck Joe, then run off the ring steps for a big leg whip into the guardrail. TNA cut to break with Hardy in control.
Back live, Joe was in control in the ring. Joe scored a nearfall, then took a deep breath to keep his calm and not flip out. Joe went back to dominating the action as Tenay reminded viewers of what’s on the line in this match. Joe continued to score nearfalls before pausing to take a deep breath and not get frustrated. A “Let’s Go Har-dy / Let’s Go Joe” dueling chant filled the space before Hardy teased a comeback.
[Q2] At 10:00, Joe scored another nearfall, prompting another deep breath to keep his cool. Hardy suddenly fired out of the corner with clotheslines before delivering an atomic drop into a double-foot dropkick for a two count. Hardy followed with a jawbreaker, then went up top, but Joe avoided. Hardy teased the Twist of Fate, but Joe ducked. Hardy then came off the top with Whisper in the Wind to Joe’s injured left arm. Hardy followed with a Stunner/jawbreaker before dropping Joe to the mat with a submission move targeting the arm. Joe had no choice but to tap out, giving Hardy the win and 10 points. “I never expected that!” Taz declared on commentary.
WINNER: Hardy via submission at 12:03 to earn 10 BFG Series points. Hardy now has 59 points, ahead of RVD and Bully Ray, who are tied with 55 points. The RVD vs. Ray winner tonight advances to No Surrender with Storm, Joe, and Hardy. And, Storm wins the BFG Series by virtue of Joe’s loss, so Storm picks his semi-final opponent at No Surrender.
Backstage: Hulk Hogan was shown walking down the hallway. TNA World champ Austin Aries stopped him in the hallway and demanded to know how many weeks he has to put up with Aces & Eights. He wanted to know how they’re getting into the building. Hogan said they will be kept accountable and one guy was pulling cable for a camera. Hogan said he pulled some records and found out who some of the Aces & Eight members are, but they need to figure out who’s sending them and trying to ruin the company. He told Aries to get one of the guys to talk, and do it old-school style. Aries made sure he had Hogan’s permission to do whatever he needs to do get these people to talk.
Impact Zone: Back live, Christy Hemme was on the stage with Samoa Joe for an interview following his loss to Jeff Hardy. Joe started to talk before Magnus walked out on-stage and sarcastically congratulated him on his loss to Jeff Hardy. Magnus went back to last month when Joe got the best of him and he lost his temper. Magnus then went back to when they were a tag team and accused Joe of ruining their team, calling him a self-serving egomaniac. “But, I’m over it,” Magnus calmly said. Magnus wished Joe all the best. Magnus walked off, then Hemme tried to talk to Joe, but Magnus jumped him from behind. Joe sold an injured arm as Magnus fled.
GM’s Office: Hulk Hogan talked in soundbytes to the tag teams vying for a Tag Title shot tonight following an online announcement Wednesday. There was no context provided the audience, with TNA assuming the audience already knew why everyone was assembled. Hogan asked Robbie E. why he and Rob Terry should get a Tag Title shot tonight. “Age,” he said. Robbie called Chavo a has-been and said Kash & Gunner look like they’re from the ’80s with their lame tattoos. Hogan responded by claiming Chavo is on-fire. Robbie then made another case that he’s ready for more opportunities. Chavo said there is no discussion because he’s been wearing Tag Titles since he was 10-years-old. A.J. Styles suddenly walked into the office and stated his case for getting his hands on tag champs Daniels & Kaz. Styles and Robbie E. got into it, then Hogan eliminated A.J. Styles first. Styles yelled at Hogan and called out the “makeshift” tag teams still remaining. Hogan told him that this isn’t the battlefield. Styles left the office in a huff.
[Q3] Backstage: Brooke Hogan talked to Tara. She made the Knockouts Title match between Tara and Miss Tessmacher official for No Surrender. Gail Kim then jumped into the conversation and complained about Taryn Terrell being brought in as referee. Brooke waited out Gail’s complaints, then booked Gail vs. Tara tonight. Gail and Tara argued going to break.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay announced a “Countdown to Bound for Glory” special airing on Spike TV on Sunday night, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. EST prior to the BFG PPV. Tenay said they will have backstage interviews and a bonus PPV match prior to the PPV starting at 8:00 p.m. EST.
2 — TARA vs. GAIL KIM — Taryn Terrell special referee
Taryn was already in the ring back from break. Gail, then Tara made her way to the ring to start tonight’s Knockouts match. Gail took control early on and taunted Taryn by using full five-counts while wearing down Tara. Tara then made a comeback and finished off Gail with a clean pinfall.
WINNER: Tara at 3:35. Fine tune-up for Tara ahead of her Knockouts Title shot against Tessmacher on Sunday.
Video package: Joey Ryan. TNA went through the entire history of Joey Ryan’s Gut Check program that started in May when he was rejected for a TNA contract, then interrupted future Gut Check auditions. The second-half of the video focused on Joey’s attacks on Al Snow.
Backstage: Al Snow was shown walking down the hallway. He’s up next, Tenay said.
[Commercial Break] […Q4]
Impact Zone: Back from break, Al Snow was in the ring with the Gut Check mood lighting setting the tone for his promo. Snow sent an invitation to Joey Ryan to get another Gut Check opportunity. Snow noted security told him that Joey is here tonight, so he better come to the ring. Joey emerged ringside with megaphone in-hand. Joey then slowly entered the ring and removed his shades. Joey asked Snow to feel that electricity because Joey Ryan is bringing sleazy back right here live on Spike TV. Snow told Joey he will give him another opportunity by going through Gut Check one more time. He told him it’s one-and-done with no judges or deliberations.
Snow removed his coat, then Joey said that’s really cute, but he already proved himself. Snow asked Joey if he doesn’t have the guts. Joey said what he is saying is he already proved himself, so he’s giving Snow a chance to right TNA’s earlier wrong. Snow said he’s doing no such thing. Joey paused for a “Gut Check” chant, then told Snow he has the confidence, ability, and 87 percenters behind him. He accepted the challenge. Snow then told Joey he has to fight him to get it.
Joey told Snow to slow down. He said it’s not the ’90s anymore and no one wants to see Snow in spandex. (Insert a Mick Foley joke – no one wanted to see Snow wrestle in the ’90s, either.) Snow replied that he’ll whoop Joey’s ass in jeans. Snow slapped Joey across the face, prompting Joey to freak out. Joey left the ring and shouted that Snow can’t touch him because he doesn’t work here. He vowed to sue Snow and Dixie Carter, then hopped over the guardrail and left. In the ring, Snow sold frustration with himself for letting his temper get to him.
Backstage: Bully Ray walked into a side office-looking room where Joseph Park was on the phone. Ray told Park not to relax because he has bigger things on his mind tonight. He just wants to ask a question. Ray brought up Aces & Eights, saying he knows Park is investigating, so what has he found out? Park told Ray that he can’t divulge any information since Sting & Hogan are his clients. Ray calmly said that’s fine, then told Park to be careful where he sticks his nose. Ray walked off and Park said, “Fair enough.”
Backstage: A security guard tracked down a random guy and forcefully sat him down in a chair in a side room made to look like it was in the deep bowels of the Impact Zone. Austin Aries then approached the random guy and said he will answer some questions or they’re going to start having some fun. The random guy remained silent.
Up next: Ray vs. RVD in the final match of the BFG Series “regular season.”
Hogan’s Office: Hogan said TNA has been about tag teams throughout TNA history. He blamed himself for getting distracted, then asked the remaining three tag teams why they deserve the Tag Title shot. Chavo said he respects the other teams, but he doesn’t fear them. Kash said he doesn’t respect Chavo. Robbie E. then spoke up that these teams haven’t been tag teams for a couple of weeks, whereas he and Rob Terry have been rolling for a year-and-a-half. Hogan told the Robbies that they’re in and Chavo & Hernandez are in, so Gunner & Kash are out. Kash complained about the decision while Robbie E. kept talking. E. told Hogan they won’t let him down.
Video package: BFG Series. It’s down to Ray vs. Rob Van Dam to determine who advances to the Final Four. It’s next.
[Q5 — second hour] At the top of the hour, Tenay and Taz reviewed the Leaderboard before Bully Ray’s music played to bring out Ray for the final match in the regular season. Tenay noted Storm will be out to the ring after this match to pick his opponent for No Surrender. RVD then came out to face Ray as Taz recapped their long history.
3 — BULLY RAY vs. ROB VAN DAM — BFG Series match — Winner advances to BFG Series Final Four
After the bell sounded, Ray showed off his calves to Van Dam, who was not impressed. The two men traded offense before the crowd picked up a “Bully sucks” chant. Ray took his time following up on early offense before RVD scored with a quick roll-up for a two count that freaked out Ray. The two men squared off as the announcers focused on the Aces & Eights storyline. Ray and Van Dam traded rapid-fire offense before RVD nicked Ray with a side thrust kick to the face. After escaping a pin, Ray slid to the floor to regroup. RVD then dropkicked Ray through the ropes to send Ray flying across the floor. RVD followed with a flip-dive to the outside and both men sold on the mat.
Back in the ring, RVD went for a top-rope move, but Ray crotched Van Dam with a desperation dive. Ray hung up RVD in the ropes, then started targeting the left leg. Ray then picked up an argument with referee Earl Hebner, who backed Ray into a corner screaming at him. The distraction allowed RVD to smash Ray with a desperation leg whip when Ray charged at him. RVD made a full comeback, no-selling the injured leg, then bounced off the ropes for Rolling Thunder.
RVD followed with a monkey-flip taking Ray across the ring before coming off the second rope with a turnaround splash for a two count. RVD tried to follow with a springboard thrust kick, but Ray avoided, RVD sold the leg injury, and Ray dropped him for a two count only. Ray then airballed a corner Vader Bomb and RVD followed with a springboard kick. Van Dam then went up-top for the Five-Star Frogsplash, but he paused to do his usual posing that leads to losses. In this case, Ray sprung to his feet and intercepted RVD with a mid-air Bubba Cutter. Ray pinned RVD for the win.
WINNER: Ray at 8:54 to earn 7 BFG Series points. Ray advances to the Final Four of the BFG Series.
Post-match: Tenay reviewed the final BFG Series Standings, including the Final Four of Storm with 73 points, Joe with 68 points, Ray with 62 points, and Hardy with 59 points.
Backstage: Austin Aries was with the random dude from Aces & Eights. Aries held out a piece of paper reading that he is Mike from New York and he’s a freelance gripper. Aries said Aces & Eights clearly doesn’t care about him since they’re not here to back him up. Aries vowed to get some answers from Mike from New York. Mike from New York remained silent, though. Aries then took off his jacket and slapped him around a bit. Aries pulled out some pliers and asked Mike from New York if he’s familiar with what the pliers can do. Aries teased putting the pliers in Aries’s mouth before Hulk Hogan walked in and slowed down Aries. Hogan said that wasn’t the deal. He said he was supposed to get a piece, so Hogan slapped around Mike from New York. Hogan noted Mike from New York messed with his family, so now he’s going to get it.
[Q6] Suddenly, Hogan’s phone rang. It was the “VP of Aces & Eights.” Hogan asked what he wants. Apparently the person wants Mike from New York back. Hogan said they will do a fair trade: Mike from New York in exchange for the Arm-breaker. He said the other part of the deal is Aries gets the Arm-breaker this Sunday at No Surrender. Hogan finished the proposal, then told Aries to let the guy live until the end of the show until the deal goes down.
Impact Zone: Back live, James Storm’s music played to bring out the BFG Series regular season winner to select his BFG Series semi-final opponent. In the ring, Storm waited out a “Cowboy” chant before noting this last year has been quite the roller-coaster for him. Storm recapped going through his journey of self-doubt before realizing that when he got back in the ring, he was back home. Storm noted he ended Crimson’s streak, got back in the BFG Series, and did exactly what he said he would do: he won the BFG Series.
Storm called out the three other wrestlers in the Final Four to come out on-stage so he can select his opponent at No Surrender. Bully Ray walked out first, followed by an injured Samoa Joe, and a tired Jeff Hardy in cut-off jeans and no shirt. Storm first addressed Joe, calling him one of the toughest men to ever set foot in a wrestling ring. He name-dropped Hardy, which drew a reaction. He then picked Bully Ray as his No Surrender opponent. So, it’s Storm vs. Ray and Hardy vs. Joe in a re-match from tonight in the semi-finals.
Ray marched to the ring to go face-to-face with Storm, who noted that he proved Ray wrong as the leader of Aces & Eights. Storm said Ray ended his shot at glory last year, but he’s ending his shot this year. Storm said he knows exactly who Ray is, but this Sunday, Ray finds out exactly who he is. As Storm’s music played and the jawing began, TNA cut to the stage to show Hardy and Joe going face-to-face to set up the other semi-final.
Backstage: TNA showed Mike from New York coughing and gasping for air. … Elsewhere backstage, Daniels and Kaz were shown pacing around awaiting their Tag Title opponents tonight. Well, more like Kaz was pacing and Daniels was calmly sipping a martini.
Backstage: Hemme caught up with RVD to discuss his loss tonight that cost him the Final Four of the BFG Series. Magnus interrupted and said the old RVD wouldn’t have fallen at the final hurdle. He said he grew up watching RVD and maybe now RVD can’t reach the bar he set back in the day. RVD continued to look off into the distance before Magnus pressed one too many buttons by saying perhaps he’s not the man he once was. RVD finally turned around and popped Magnus, setting off a brawl until officials and refs broke it up and separated the two men.
[Q7] Impact Zone: The music played for the Tag champs to bring out Daniels and Kazarian, as introduced by Jeremy Borash. Taz said he doesn’t think Kaz and Daniels should be so cocky since they don’t know they’re facing tonight.
TNA cut backstage to show Hogan in the middle of a phone conversation before addressing the Robbies and Hernandez & Chavo. Hogan propped up both teams, noted he just got off the phone, and selected Chavo & Hernandez for the title shot. Robbie asked Hogan what he’s talking about. Chavo and Hernandez then made their way out to challenge for the belts.
4 — TNA tag champions KAZARIAN & DANIELS vs. CHAVO GUERRERO & HERNANDEZ — TNA Tag Title match
Hernandez and Chavo quickly cleared the heel tag champs out of the ring before continuing the attack back in the ring. Chavo and Hernandez began exchanging tags working on Daniels, dominating the champs. Daniels finally broke free, then tagged in Kaz, but Hernandez cut him off and delivered a backbreaker across his shoulder. Chavo and Hernandez then combined on a double-team delayed vertical suplex by Hernandez and Three Amigos by Chavo to clear the heels to the outside. TNA cut to break.
[Commercial Break. Leading into break, a Spike TV ad for MMA Live showed Batista and King Mo in the studio. Batista was introduced as a former WWE star and King Mo was introduced as a TNA star.]
Back from break, the challengers were still in control, with Chavo working on Daniels. Chavo then got caught in the heel corner and the champs began working on Chavo. As the heels continued to work on Chavo, Tenay got Batista’s name on the air, noting he will be on the MMA show next. Chavo then broke free and hot-tagged Hernandez, who teed off on the tag champs. Hernandez struggled with a power move on Kaz, then executed it.
[Q8] The action broke down moments later before Hernandez and Kaz found themselves fighting on the top turnbuckle. Chavo then entered the picture and proceeded to snap Hernandez onto Kazarian. Hernandez covered Kaz, but Daniels simply grabbed the ref to stop the count. So, the match continued before Daniels accidentally springboard splashed Kaz on the outside. Hernandez followed with a big flying splash onto the tag champs, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.
Back in the ring, Hernandez splashed Kaz in the corner. Suddenly, Daniels re-entered the ring with title belts, which distracted the ref. As the ref removed one of the tag belts, Daniels used the other one to whip Hernandez in the gut with. Kaz then scored the pinfall for the win to retain the Tag Titles.
WINNER: Daniels & Kaz at 14:49 to retain the Tag Titles.
Post-match: Hulk Hogan’s music played to bring out Hogan with mock applause. Hogan said the tag champs are victorious, but he has a man in the back named A.J. Styles, who says he can be victorious over both of them at the same time. Hogan said this Sunday, Daniels and Kaz are going to have another match against Styles and…Kurt Angle at No Surrender. Hogan’s music played and he did his Hollywood pose on-stage as the tag champs freaked out in the ring. On-camera, Tenay confirmed it will be a Tag Title match. Tenay then announced RVD vs. Magnus at No Surrender. The announces proceeded to break down the rest of the line-up, including Zema Ion vs. Dutt for the X Division Title with zero TV build-up.
Backstage: Austin Aries was shown leading Mike from New York down the hallway. Tenay wondered aloud if Aries will face the “Arm-breaker” this Sunday.
Impact Zone: Back live five minutes before the top of the hour, TNA World champ Austin Aries led Mike from New York (a/k/a Van Hammer look-a-like) down the ramp to the ring. Aries rolled him into the ring, then held up his TNA Title belt for everyone to get a good look. Aries then took the mic and called out Aces & Eights to play Let’s Make A Deal. Aries said Aces & Eights clearly wants Mike from New York back, then said he will trade him back without do one more ounce of damage in exchange for a fight against the man who tried to break his arm.
After a pause, Aries said he’s done playing games. No sign of the group as the crowd grew restless. Aries asked if this mic is working, wondering where the group is. Aries said his patience is wearing thin and he’s ready to call this deal off right now. He said it appears the group doesn’t value Mike that much, so now he’s going to beat the info out of him. Aries pulled him into the corner and started slapping him around before Mike from New York vowed to talk.
Suddenly, a random Aces & Eights group member appeared ringside and yanked Mike away. The random man then popped Mike across the face with a foreign object. Aries followed with a suicide dive onto the random member. The fight spilled into the ring, where the random man, who the announcers identified as the Armbreaker, traded fake-looking blows with Aries. Aries landed a kick to the gut as Impact went off the air. So, it’s not clear if Aries vs. fake-punches-guy is on for No Surrender.