Someone's getting fired tonight.
The Main Event Mafia challenged Aces and Eights to a five on five match. The man who gets pinned is done and going home. Who will that man be? We know that the Mafia is down one man because Kurt Angle went to rehab. Will the Mafia find a fifth man?
The Bound for Glory Series rolls on with a street fight for 20 points. Will the EGO group stick their nose in things again to continue to level the playing field?
Show Open, Taped in Norfolk, VA on 8/15/2013
We get the "previously on Impact" video package. They recap the EGO faction leveling the playing field, Tito turning on Rampage, and the Mafia searching for a fifth man.
Bully is on the phone with Brooke and is with Tito Ortiz. He tells Brooke that the world will be shocked tonight when they find out. They come across Anderson, and Anderson asks why Bully hasn't been returning calls or texts. Bully asks when he got so sensitive and says that what goes on between him and Tito is club business. He tells Anderson to be concerned with earning his stripes and walks off.
The announcers check in as Bobby Roode's music hits. Out comes Roode, Kazarian, and Christopher Daniels. Taz says seeing Roode reminds him of his days of being World Heavyweight Champion, which also reminds him of his brother, Bully Ray.
Roode congratulates Ray for being a two-time champion. He says Ray found another way to screw the system and found a new friend along the way. Roode says the three of them would do anything to take it from him. Roode talks about how he turned the tables and earned 20 points to take over second place. Kazarian talks about the ladder match and how "this handsome devil" won 20 points as well. Daniels says that he'll complete the sweep tonight in the street fight.
Roode says that the three of them are 25 percent of the Series, but it would be better if they were a third. He says they need one more man, and he invites Austin Aries. He says that Aries knows he can trust him from the times they teamed together and he can trust Bad Influence also.
James Storm's music hits and the tag champs make their way to the ring. Storm says Roode is hilarious for saying people can trust him and says that as soon as Roode is done with Daniels and Kazarian, he will kick them to the curb just like he did Storm. Roode tells Storm he's jealous of him. Storm says since they looked like they wanted a fight, he will take his hat off, his shirt off, take a drink of beer, and punch Roode in the face.
That's exactly how it went down. Storm punches Roode, and Gunner goes at it with Kazarian. They scrum around the ring a bit.
Match #1 - James Storm and Gunner vs. Kazarian and Bobby Roode
Earl Hebner hits the ring and has the bell rung. Daniels gets sent backstage. Tenay hypes following Dixie on Twitter as Gunner and Storm hit a double-team move. We go to break.
Out of break, Roode controls Gunner. All four men are working in street clothes essentially and the tag belts are laying on the apron. Gunner gets the hot tag to Storm and he works his comeback. He hits Roode with a top rope elbow and gets a two count but Kaz breaks things up.
Gunner dumps Kaz to the outside and Storm hits Roode with Closing Time. He cues up Last Call but Roode pulls Hebner in the way. Storm pulls up, then hits Kaz with Last Call instead. Hebner gets distracted by something with the title belts, and Roode uses the opportunity to get a low blow and roll up Storm for the win.
Right team won, and it was a decent enough match.
HerveyCam finds Austin Aries and asks about the invitations to the two factions. He says he's getting a mixed message from Roode. He says they called him out and said he can trust them, but he feels they cost him 20 points last week by distracting him. He says he'll think about it and everyone will know later.
That whole "I'll think about it" thing makes Aries look a bit dopey.
We get a recap of Bully's win in the main event last week and recapturing the title. Tenay tells us we will get an update on Chris Sabin.
Match #2 - Sonjay Dutt vs. Manik; Non-title Match
Dutt tries to attack Manik on the ramp but Manik ducks. He hip tosses Dutt in then tries a move off the ropes but Dutt ducks out of the way. Manik tries a submission.
The announcers hype up the fact that Hulk announced on Twitter that the X-Division will return to singles matches. Sonjay gets in quite a bit of offense in this one, but in the end Manik hits his gutbuster finish to get the win.
The gang is gathered and drinking beer. They ask what Bully said earlier and Anderson tells them they're to take care of business tonight. He says that the MEM had to know that no one would step up to fill that fifth spot. He says it's five on four now and it will be five on three after the night is out. They toast.
Match #3 - Joseph Park vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Hernandez vs. Jay Bradley; Street Fight for twenty points in the Bound for Glory Series
The ramp is lined with weapons. Bradley and Park get taken out while Hernandez works offense on Daniels. He covers but Bradley recovers and breaks things up with a chair. Bradley hits Herndandez with a chair a couple more times. He tries to throw him to the corner where Park is. Hernandez counters and they stack up Daniels and Bradley then he and Park splash them. The brawl rolls on into commercial when we see Roode and Kazarian come out to the ring.
Out of break, Park locks Daniels in a Boston Crab, but Kaz gets on the apron to break it up. He and Roode pull Park out of the ring and beat him down. Eric Young, who came out with Park, tries to save Park but takes a beating. In the ring, Bradley beats up on Daniels, hitting him with a side slam on a chair. Kaz pulls him out of the ring.
Hernandez hits Daniels with a big shoulder tackle from the ramp. He runs his normal offense on Daniels. He sets up for a Border Toss but Daniels slips out.
Austin Aries shows up through the crowd. He high fives Roode and Kaz like he's with them, but he turns around and kicks Daniels and hits him with the Brainbuster. Kaz and Roode get in the ring, but Aries jumps out and runs to the back. Roode and Kaz give chase.
In the end, Bradley hits Park with brass knucks. Park sees some blood and flakes out. He hits Bradley with the Black Hole Slam to get the win and 20 points.
A whole lot of moving parts there. Aries makes sense. Park doesn't. Will he get to the final four? I don't know.
This first hour hasn't been all that much fun.
Tenay hypes up the Bully Ray World Title Celebration and "I Love You" to Brooke segment next.
Sting is with the rest of the Mafia. He recaps what happened to Joe, Magnus, and Rampage. He rants about being a man short and no one stepped up. Magnus says "so what" and claims that the MEM is the elite. Joe says they will step up and they have all they need to do that.
We get a recap video package to highlight the story between Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan, ending with Ray saying "I love you too Brooke" on the phone last week.
Bully and Tito come to the ring. Ray asks how it feels to be suckered in again. He asks if we know who he is and reminds us he's the World Heavyweight Champion. He says he doesn't call himself a two time champion because he doesn't recognize Sabin's title win. He says that now that all is right in TNA, he wanted to turn things over to his new best friend.
He does a "do you know who this is?" gimmick for Tito and gives him the mic. Tito says Rampage should have known that they couldn't be friends the moment they signed to fight in November. Ray takes back over and says no one does shock like him, and he'll prove it again. He says it's time to find out the truth and asks for Brooke to come to the ring.
Brooke Hogan's music plays, but Brooke Tessmacher eventually appears, pretty scantily clad in a bikini top and some really short shorts. She comes to the ring and plays tonsil hockey with Ray in the ring. That draws some heat.
He says now that he has "the hot Brooke", Taz and Tito with him, there's only one thing left to do. Brooke sucks the wedding ring off of Ray's finger and spits it away. Ray asks if it's possible to stop him. They pose to end the segment.
What the hell was that? None of that works in my head at the moment. Tessmacher has been "Brooke" all along? Why not find a way to drop the storyline instead. This was a mess.
Match #4 - ODB vs. Gail Kim
ODB gets a fast start and does her bronco buster. Kim takes a cheap shot to get control. She works on ODB's arm and hits a shoulder breaker to get two. ODB fights back and slams Kim's face into her crotch. Taz makes some sort of joke about her nose being assaulted.
In the end, ODB hits a superplex but Kim counters it into a crucifix pinfall to get the win.
The match was fine.
This has been a weird episode. Logic sucked in the Brooke Tessmacher situation. Everything else seems so underwhelming to me. Aries' move against the EGO faction was the most newsworthy, I'd say, but it got buried behind Park.
We get separate shots of the MEM and Aces and Eights headed toward the ring. One of them won't be with TNA after tonight.
They run a video package featuring Jeff Hardy about the Bound for Glory Series. He talks about the physical wear and importance of the series. He also talks about the challenge of winning having done it before.
They run a video package from Chris Sabin. He says it was supposed to be him and Bully but the Aces found a way to interfere as they always do. The Mafia did try to help him but Tito turned too. He says the belt meant everything to him but he will be back again to reclaim it.
Match #5 - Aces and Eights (Devon, Garrett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, Knux, and Mr. Anderson) vs. the Main Event Mafia (Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe, and Rampage Jackson); Person who loses is fired from TNA
Anderson gets a mic and says that there's only four MEM and five Aces, so the "fearless leader" is going to come out and watch. He introduces Bully Ray, who comes out with Brooke Tessmacher and Tito Ortiz. They sit down at the stage.
Anderson goes on and says about the numbers being unfair. He says they can decide among themselves who will lay down. Sting says no one is going to lay down, and the MEM will go down fighting. AJ Styles' music hits.
He makes his walk down the ramp to the "emo" music and he pauses. His old music hits and he sheds the jacket to charge the ring. The brawl is on and the MEM fights all over the ring with the Aces and Eights. The Mafia is fully in control going into the break.
A bit shocking that AJ just flipped the switch there to go back to face. Very odd. Got a big reaction though.
Out of commercial, the Aces control Magnus. Briscoe and Bischoff team up on a whip clothesline for a two that Joe breaks up. Anderson takes over and he gets a two count. Magnus catches Anderson on a cross body attempt but can't execute due to a rake to the eyes. Devon continues the offense for the heels, then Knux.
Magnus finally gets a hope spot and hits a DDT and tags in Sting. Sting goes on a run, hitting a drop kick and two Stinger Splashes, then kicks Knux down. The fight breaks down between all ten men again all over the ring area.
Rampage hits a series of clotheslines and a slam on Brisco. Sting joins the fight and gets Knux in the Scorpion as the rest of the brawl settles down. Devon hits a low blow on Sting to put Aces back in control.
Devon tries the flying headbutt a bit later but Sting rolls out of the way. Sting tags in AJ, who fires off with a springboard move and takes out the Aces. AJ hits a big ensugiri that gets a near fall.
In the end, AJ is able to set up Devon in the Styles Clash and he hits it. AJ rolls him over and Devon is pinned. Devon is gone.
Taz flips out at ringside, claiming this is unfair and he's going to appeal. Bully makes his way down with the hammer but the Mafia turns to invite him in the ring so he backs away. The rest of Aces sell disgust at ringside as the show ends.
I guess we're beginning to see the exit strategy of the Aces and Eights storyline ending. Ray has Brooke, Tito, and Taz, and the rest just kind of fall away.
Ten-man matches are usually a bit of a mess, and this was no exception. It was what it was and it accomplished the task at hand. There are reports floating around that "the person who lost this match" was leaving TNA anyhow - so they had to have a reason to write them out; this was it.
The AJ turn...just...wow. His "heel" turn was ambiguous and unclear, with no motives. This face turn was just as bad. Like I said earlier, the fans liked it, but to the viewer at home it had to leave you scratching your head.
Things seem like they're being rushed and are a bit messy. Let's see if next week gets straightened out any.
Join me next Thursday for more live iMPACT Coverage here on Ring-Rap.com. Thanks for following along tonight.