Impact Wrestling opens up with AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, & Jeff Hardy in Hogan’s office. Hogan holds up a piece of paper and he talks about the changes for Open Fight Night tonight and then passes around the paper with what’s supposed to happen tonight to the wrestlers. Hogan says the plan was to grill each man and figure out who he wants to face Roode tonight but he’s changing the plans. He talks about Roode breaking the record for the longest TNA World Title reign if he beats whoever his challenger is tonight. Hogan mentions that that record is held by AJ Styles. Angle asks what the significance of that record is anyway and AJ doesn’t like that. He says that it’s important to him and then mockingly asks Angle what’s so important about being a gold medalist which Angle smirks at. AJ says that record is just as important as Angle’s medals and Angle accepts that. Hogan says the normal formats of the way Impact has been done isn’t working anymore so they’re changing it and then he asks Angle why he should be allowed to try and break Roode’s record. Angle says he holds more World Titles than anyone in the room which Ray corrects him by saying “singles titles” and Angle answers by saying that it’s a singles match. AJ says the only title he recognizes is TNA titles and he’s got the most of those in that room.
Hogan mentions that everyone else in the room has been a World Heavyweight Champion except Ray and he wants Ray to convince him why he should get the shot. Ray says he’s been around for 20+ years and he doesn’t have to convince Hogan of anything and Hogan knows that he reminds Hogan more of the guys Hogan went to war with back in the day than anybody else in TNA. Ray says he’s not taking anything away from the other 3 but people fear him. Ray says he could intimidate Hogan if he wanted to but he won’t because he respects Ray. Angle tells Ray to intimidate him and Ray says he has done that before. AJ says Roode has been in TNA a long time but AJ has been here longer. AJ says he doesn’t want Roode to break his record and it may be selfish but he doesn’t care but he wants it. Angle reminds AJ that he just beat AJ at the PPV but AJ reminds Angle that Daniels & Kaz interfered in that match. Ray points out that Jeff Hardy isn’t saying anything and it’s Hardy’s plan to just let them argue amongst themselves while Hardy looks like the cooler head. Hardy says they should let the fans decide and then he reminds Angle that his son loves Hardy.
Hogan says Roode has TNA on lock right now and he says there are a lot of things to like him but he’s started to dictate the pace of TNA right now and that has to be stopped. Hogan says he thinks they all COULD beat Roode but he says Ray has never won the big one so that eliminates him. Ray gets pissed and walks out but before he leaves he says that Bischoff was right about Hogan.
The OFN intro hits and then we cut to the arena where Gail Kim’s music hits.
She and Madison Rayne make their way down to the ring. Gail says that being her is great because not only is she the current Knockouts Champion, but she is also the most dominant Knockouts Champion in the history of TNA. Gail says that she built the Knockouts Division and, in fact, she IS the Knockouts Division because everything revolves around her. She says that she is the most important woman in TNA but there is one blemish on her resume that she has a big problem with. She says that is the fact that the KO Tag Titles are being representing by a man and a woman so in honor of Open Fight Night she is going to take the opportunity to challenge ODB & EY.
ODB & EY make their way down to the ring and even after the bell rings I have no idea if this is a title match or not.
Gail Kim & Madison Rayne vs. Eric Young & ODB
EY locks up with Gail and she gets EY in a wristlock but EY reverses it. Gail counters into a side headlock but EY reverses it right back. Gail counters into a Waistlock and then a knee to the back. Gail goes for a German Suplex but EY blocks it and counters into a bearhug. ODB doesn’t like how EY is holding Gail so she tags in. ODB hits Gail with Forearms and then a chest bump followed by a Fall Away Slam! Gail rolls out to the floor and ODB knocks Madison off the apron.
Back from the break Gail hits a clothesline on ODB for a nearfall. During the break ODB & EY double teamed Madison until Gail interfered. Madison tags in and kicks ODB in the face and then talks trash to ODB before kicking her in the back. Madison kicks ODB in the head again and then covers ODB for a nearfall followed by a 2nd nearfall. Gail tags back in and then the heels whip ODB into the corner. Gail whips Madison into a Running Hip Attack on ODB and then it looks as if Madison losses focus as Gail reached out for Madison to whip her into ODB but started playing with her hair instead. Gail shoves Madison and tells her to snap out of it before walking into a Spear from ODB! Both girls are down now. Both tag out and EY shrugs off a couple of right hands from Madison before she finally slaps him across the face. EY takes off his pants and then Hip Tosses Madison followed by one for Gail. EY scoop slams both of them and then ODB yells at EY to put his pants on. ODB tags back in and hits Gail with a series of shoulder blocks and then a Running Powerslam! 1…2…NO Gail kicks out! ODB goes for the BAM but Gail counters with knees and then she hits the ropes but ODB catches her and sets up for another Fall Away Slam. From the outside Madison trips ODB and Gail lands on top of her as the referee was distracted by some of EY’s goofiness. Madison hides under the apron as she holds ODB’s feet down and Gail covers her, 1…2…3!
Winners: Gail & Madison via pinfall
Back from the break Hogan is talking to someone on the phone who is “coming to the arena” and Hogan says he’ll see him soon.
RVD makes his way down to the ring and he says since he’s been back he’s been so focused on getting back his title that he completely let some unfinished business slide to the side. RVD tells Gunner to get out to the ring. If you remember Gunner nailed RVD with a DDT on the concrete months ago to take RVD off TV.
“Whole F’N Show” Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner
Footage of Gunner taking RVD out back at Genesis is shown as RVD comes to the ring. RVD dropkicks Gunner off the apron as he started to come into the ring. RVD beats Gunner around ringside before Gunner answers back with some big right hands and then a running kick. Gunner slams RVD into the apron and then tosses RVD back into the ring. Gunner grabs a steel chair and throws it in the ring as the fans boo him. Gunner then walks into the ring and walks into a series of strikes from RVD! RVD hits Gunner with a Stepover Heel Kick and then follows up with Rolling Thunder! RVD goes for a Running Spinning Heel Kick in the corner but Gunner sidesteps him and then slams RVD to the mat. Gunner whips RVD into the ropes and nails him with a Running Back Elbow for a nearfall. Gunner hits RVD with a series of elbows and forearms. Gunner whips RVD into the corner and charges but runs right into a spinning heel kick from RVD! Gunner grabs the steel chair from earlier and walks into a Van Daminator that sends the chair into Gunner’s face! RVD climbs to the top and hit’s the 5-Star Frog Splash clear across the ring! 1…2…3!
Winner: RVD via pinfall (5-Star Frog Splash)
Devon makes his way down to the ring and talks about defending the TV Title every week and being a fight champion. He says last week he had the opportunity to be in a Battle Royal to possibly get a shot at the World Title and Garett Bischoff had “lady luck” riding on his shoulder helping him eliminate Devon in that match. He challenges Garett to come down and see if “lady luck” is still riding on his shoulder tonight.
TNA Television Championship
Devon (c) vs. Garett Bischoff
Devon shakes Garett’s hand and then the two lockup and Devon gets Garett in a side headlock and then he takes Garett over to the mat. Garett fights back up to his feet and shoves Devon into the ropes but Devon bounces off the ropes with a Corkscrew Back Elbow. They lockup again and this time Garett gets Devon in a wristlock and then a side headlock, but Devon reverses it into a scoop slam. Devon hits the ropes and goes for a Diving Headbutt but Garett moves and then hits a Swinging Neckbreaker! They lockup yet again and Devon gets Garett into a side headlock before Robbie E. & Robbie T. run down to the ring and attack Devon & Garett.
Winner: NO CONTEST
The Shore beat down Devon & Garett until Devon answers with a Double Clothesline on both men! Garett comes back as well and they whip Robbie E. into Robbie T. and then Devon whips Garett into a Splash on The Shore followed by a Splash from Devon onto them! Devon clotheslines Robbie T. to the outside and Garett clotheslines Robbie E. out of the ring.
Back from the break Hogan talks to AJ, Kurt Angle, and Jeff Hardy. Hogan says that that AJ knows Roode better than anyone else. He says that Angle is beating everyone as of lately but also talks about the injuries Angle’s suffered lately. He says Jeff has been nothing but a professional since his return and the fans love him. Angle interrupts Hogan and says that if he wants the guy the fans love the most then pick Hardy and if he wants the most athletic guy in TNA then pick AJ but if he wants the guy that will get the job done then he needs to pick Kurt. Hogan says this is his decision and he wants the guy that’s the most constant and the most solid guy in TNA because this reign of Roode has to be stopped. Hogan says Hardy has been too shaky as of late, saying his matches have been too close, so Hardy is eliminated. Hardy leaves and Angle says he can’t make him and AJ wait much longer. Hogan says he wants to see what the fans have to say and he’ll decide this in front of the crowd. Angle says he can get the job done.
The Abyss vignette from last week airs and then Bully Ray walks down to the ring. Ray says it’s obvious that their “leader” Hogan has forgotten who Ray is since he decided that Ray would be the first one eliminated from consideration for the World Title shot. Ray says now he’s in a bad mood and pissed off and if he’s pissed off then that means he’s going to take it out on the fans. Ray says if all that wasn’t bad enough then someone came up to him and told him that the moron Joseph Park is in the audience. Park is shown eating popcorn with some fans and Ray says he’s tired of seeing him. Ray tells Park to get in the ring right now and he obliges but stops before getting in the ring. Park says he’s not a fighter or a wrestler and he’s never even been in a real fight. He finally gets into the ring and says he’s a little intimidated by Ray and asks for some space. Park says that all he ever wanted was answers about the disappearance of his brother, Abyss. Park says that all of the facts he was able to gather all led back to Ray and over the years he’s represented a lot of defendants, some guilty and some not guilty. Park says over the years he’s learned to look into a man’s eyes and be able to tell if he’s guilty, but that is not his job because he is simply an attorney. A big “guilty” chant starts and Park says he didn’t tell them to say that. Park says that under “article 10, section 6” under the Constitution Ray is guaranteed a speedy trial in front of a jury of his peers. Park says it looks like he has a jury right here so maybe they should proceed. Park asks the fans who thinks Park is not guilty and they all boo and then when he asks if Ray is guilty they all cheer. Ray punches Park in the gut and then he beats Park with his chain. Ray picks up the mic and says “not guilty” before leaving Joseph Park lying.
INDY star Joey Ryan cuts a promo talking about TNA Gut Check and he talks about growing up a Hulkimaniac and wanted a chance to get in the national spotlight for the first time. Clips of Ryan in the INDY’s are shown as he talks about his love for wrestling.
Back from the break Jeramy Borash is in the ring with Al Snow and Joey Ryan. Joey says to bring on his opponent and Austin Aries makes his way down to the ring.
Gut Check Challenge
“A-Double” Austin Aries vs. Joey Ryan
These two are most certainly no strangers to each other, having faced off many times against each other in California’s PWG. Ryan is also a former Ring of Honor star and was a part of MTV’s Wrestling Society X. He was trained by WWE’s Daniel Bryan and former WWE & TNA star Brian Kendrick. The two former PWG standouts lockup and Ryan surprises Aries with an armdrag. Ryan taunts Aries and then they lockup again and Aries catches him with an armdrag of his own followed by a drop toe hold. Aries then spins around Ryan while he’s on the mat to show Ryan that he can do whatever he wants to him. Ryan gets pissed and shoves Aries and Aries responds. Aries slaps the hell out of Ryan and then he nails Ryan with a series of nasty forearms. Aries whips Ryan into the ropes but Ryan holds onto them rather than bouncing off. Ryan then slides out of the ring but Aries follows with a Slingshot Plancha over the top onto Ryan on the floor! Aries rolls Ryan back into the ring and then Aries climbs up top only to get crotched by Ryan! Ryan covers Aries and gets a nearfall before nailing Aries with a series of right hands. Aries grabs Ryan’s chest hair and then chops him before hitting the ropes and eating a dropkick from Ryan! 1…2…NO Aries kicks out! Ryan follows up with a series of 2 more nearfalls and then he goes for a Pump Handle Slam, but Aries nails him with a series of elbows. Aries attempts to whip Ryan into the ropes but Ryan reverses it and goes for a clothesline, but Aries ducks and then hits a Rolling Elbow! Aries follows up by going for the IED in the corner but Ryan rolls out to the apron and then as Aries comes over he hits Aries with a shoulder block through the ropes. Ryan then hits a Slingshot Sunset Flip but Aries rolls through into a dropkick! Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Ryan runs Aries into the corner. Ryan attempts to whip Aries into the opposite corner but Aries counters only to have Ryan counter right back, but instead of whipping Aries into the corner he instead slides through Aries’ legs (while still holding onto Aries’ arm) and hitting a Pump Handle Suplex! 1…2…NO Aries kicks out! Ryan climbs up top and dives off with a Flying Clothesline but Aries moves out of the way and NAILS Ryan with a Japanese Arm Drag sending him crashing into the turnbuckles! Aries then follows up with the IED in the corner and then the Brainbuster! Night, night Mr. Ryan!
Winner: Aries via pinfall (Brainbuster)
Bobby Roode makes his way down to the ring to await whoever his challenger may be. AJ & Angle follow to the ring and then finally Hogan. Hogan says it’s been intense all night long and he thought this would be the toughest decision of the night but he really can’t make the wrong decision here because of how great AJ & Angle are. He says Angle’s track record is impeccable and AJ’s right there with Angle. Hogan says he has to go with his gut right now and because AJ knows Roode better than anyone he’s going with him! Angle isn’t happy but he shows respect to AJ and shakes his hand before leaving.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
“The It Factor” Bobby Roode (c) vs. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles
The two former Fortune partners lockup and AJ gets Roode in a side headlock but Roode shoves AJ into the ropes only to eat a running shoulder block from the Phenomenal One! AJ barely gets a one count before Roode kicks out and then he slides to the floor as AJ looks on. Roode rolls back in the ring and challenges AJ to a test of strength but kicks him in the gut instead. Roode lights AJ up with chops in the corner and then attempts to whip him into the ropes but AJ reverses it and then leapfrogs over Roode and sets up for the Phenomenal Dropkick but Roode saw it coming. AJ hits Roode with a Running Back Elbow and then shoves Roode back into the ropes and this time connects with the dropkick! Roode rolls out to the floor again to get away from the challenger.
AJ whips Roode into the corner and hits a Flying Clothesline in the corner and then he whips Roode into the opposite corner and charges again but this time Roode catches him with an elbow and then throws AJ shoulder first into the ring post and then down to the floor. Roode follows AJ out and slams him shoulder first into the ring post again and then tosses him back into the ring. Roode immediately covers AJ for a nearfall before going back to work on the arm. Roode wraps AJ’s arm around the ropes twisting on it and then he DDT’s AJ’s arm to the mat for another nearfall. Roode locks in a Keylock submission on AJ’s injured arm. Roode stomps on AJ’s arm and then goes back to the Keylock. AJ tries to fight back but Roode punches AJ’s arm and then lights him up with chops before going for a running clothesline, but AJ ducks it and backdrops Roode over the top to the floor! AJ then hits a Slingshot Plancha over the top onto Roode on the floor! AJ slams Roode into the ring steps and then he looks back up the ramp as if he’s anticipating something. AJ then turns around and charges at Roode walking right into a hip toss from Roode right into the ring steps! Roode tosses AJ back into the ring and covers him for another nearfall. Roode continues to beat on AJ as someone approaches Hulk Hogan in the back to let him know that his “guest” has arrived.
Back from the break Roode hits AJ with a Vertical Suplex followed by a Knee Drop. Roode locks in a Chinlock on AJ and then stretches AJ’s arms while putting his foot in the back of AJ. AJ fights the hold and eventually gets to his feet and counters out with a back elbow and then a big right hand. AJ charges at Roode but Roode backdrops AJ over the top. AJ lands on the apron and then goes for a Springboard move but Roode takes his legs out from under him! Roode charges at AJ but eats a shoulder block and then Styles follows up with the Springboard Flying Forearm! 1…2…NO Roode kicks out! AJ sells the arm as he gets to his feet and goes for the Styles Clash but Roode runs AJ into the corner. Roode grabs AJ and places him up on the top rope and then lights him up with chops. Roode climbs up with AJ and goes for a Superplex but AJ headbutts Roode and knocks him off the top! AJ then dives off with a Missile Dropkick! 1…2…NO Roode kicks out! AJ hits the ropes and goes for a clothesline but Roode kicks the arm away and then goes for the Payoff, but AJ blocks it and AJ goes for the Styles Clash! Roode blocks it and takes AJ down with his legs and then catapults AJ into the corner! AJ lands on his feet in corner and then springboards off with an attempt at the Phenomenon out of the corner, but Roode avoids it and AJ lands on his feet. Roode nails AJ with a NASTY Spear as AJ lands on his feet! 1…2…NO AJ kicks out! Roode immediately transitions into the Crossface! AJ is able to roll Roode over into a pin, 1…2…NO Roode kicks out! AJ gets to his feet and goes for a clothesline but Roode catches his arm and attempts the Crossface again but AJ sweeps his legs and then locks Roode in a Bridging Death Lock/Chinlock combination! Roode almost taps but is able to crawl his way to the ropes! AJ grabs Roode but Roode holds onto the rope so AJ starts kicking the hell out of Roode’s back. AJ sets up for the Styles Clash but Roode blocks it again and backdrops AJ! AJ gets back to his feet and charges at Roode and right into the Double-R Spinebuster! Roode grabs AJ and hits the Payoff! 1…2…NO AJ kicks out again! Roode stalks AJ and then sets up for another Payoff, but AJ blocks it this time and then ducks a clothesline from Roode and hits the Pele! A dazed AJ rolls to the apron and looks to go for a springboard move but hesitates multiple times to look up the ramp (for Daniels & Kaz most likely) before finally going for the Springboard 450 where Roode gets his knees up! Roode follows up with Payoff again! 1…2…3! Roode will now OFFICIALLY be the longest reigning TNA World Champion in history.
Winner & STILL World Champ: Roode via pinfall (Payoff)
The two that AJ was looking for the whole time, Daniels & Kaz, are now on the ramp mocking AJ.
Roode grabs a microphone and screams “I DID IT” and that history has been made. He reminds us that he will officially be the longest reigning World Champion in TNA history. Roode says now it’s time to celebrate and tells someone to bring him his champagne and So Cal Val obliges. Roode says he wants Hogan to come out and celebrate with his champion.
Back from the break Roode continues to celebrate as confetti drops on him. He’s calling this the “Celebration of Domination.” Finally Hogan’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Hogan congratulates Roode and says that he’s glad he’s not a betting man because he had the deck stacked against Roode. He says he knew Roode was good but not how good he really was. Roode hands Hogan a glass of champagne and Hogan accepts it. He says that he has to thank Roode and congratulate him and let him know that he’s glad Roode called him out right now. Hogan says Roode has done things that he didn’t believe he could and he has earned Hogan’s respect. He says Roode is the Champion and for him to hang onto that belt his hard work has just begun. Hogan says there is someone else that would love to celebrate Roode’s record and the lights go out!
When they come back on Sting is in the ring behind Roode! Roode turns around and Sting attacks! Sting whips Roode into the corner and connects with the Stinger Splash and then he clotheslines Roode over the top to the floor! Hogan screams that it’s showtime! Hogan tells Roode not to leave yet because there is something else they need to celebrate. Hogan says starting next week Impact Wrestling has a brand new timeslot, 8 PM eastern (7 central) and it’s going live! Hogan says he has something VERY special for Roode at the VERY beginning of the show next week, a Lumberjack Match between Roode & Sting!
Tonight’s show started off different with the kind of reality show feel to it with Hogan and the challengers. I still just don’t really like the idea of Hogan just PICKING a challenger, why not open the show with a 4-Way between the men instead of this long, drawn out stuff? Hogan’s reasoning for picking AJ was at least sensible with him knowing Roode better than the other 3 and the obvious plotline of AJ wanting to keep his record. Though, you would think Hogan would think about the possible distraction hurting AJ’s chances.
The rest of the first hour was pretty terrible. The KO Tag Match was awful and they never said whether it was non-title or a title match the entire time. The TV Title match was bad while it lasted and The Shore looked AWFUL in the run in. RVD-Gunner wasn’t very good either but at least they tied up that loose end from several months ago.
AJ-Roode was the obvious highlight of the show with those two tearing it up despite the repeated commercials. Bully Ray was fantastic and I hate the Joseph Park character so it’s fun to see him get beat up. Joey Ryan looked solid and I’ve seen a lot better from him so I hope he gets a shot in TNA.
Sting’s return feels too premature, he hasn’t been gone long enough for it too really feel special from anyone and I don’t think anyone really wants to see him in the title picture at this point. I know they want to really milk the Roode-Storm rematch but I don’t see where the Sting rematch is going to get us. The only reason to put Roode in the ring with Sting the first time was to give Roode a rub from a legend, he got that, now it’s time to move on.
1) Madison Rayne & Gail Kim def. ODB & Eric Young
2) RVD def. Gunner
3) TNA TV Title: Devon (c) fought Garett Bischoff to a NO CONTEST (Devon retains)
4) Gut Check Challenge: Austin Aries def. Joey Ryan
5) TNA World Title: Bobby Roode (c) def. AJ Styles to retain the title!
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Bully Ray
– Match of the Night: Main Event (***1/2)
– Overall Grade: C-
Scheduled for Next Week:
–Lumberjack Match: Bobby Roode vs. Sting
-TNA’s most recent unnecessary and ridiculous signing aka Brooke Hogan’s debut
Slammiversary X Lineup: