October 24, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah
We reset Impact post-Bound for Glory, starting the show with a recap of the events of the PPV. Check out our live coverage with Scott Criscuolo and yours truly.
Tonight, live from Salt Lake City, Utah, Mike Tenay tells us that there will be a title rematch between AJ Styles and Bully Ray. Dixie’s introduction video consists of her pouting and walking. The owner disingenuously sucks up to the new champ, and she has the ring decorated for a celebration. She claims that her actions over the past few weeks were to motivate Styles. This is a hot crowd to start, you can tell the difference with a smaller building that’s filled with people. Dixie offers AJ a private dressing room, new car and, in a humorous callback, Hogan’s watch that she bought off Craig’s List. AJ could and should be the face of this company, and it seems as if they are positioning him as such. I can’t say I like her in this role, but Dixie is a heat magnet here. She proposes that they cancel the rematch and take AJ for a ride on her private jet.
A frustrated Bully Ray comes out with Brooke, leading into a commercial. A two-segment interview to start the show? HHH is jealous. For those keeping score, the insult du jour is “redneck” this evening. Bully calls AJ lucky, and blames the loss on Earl Hebner counting after Bully kicked out of the Spinal Tap. AJ looking like a stud here on the promo, but Bully nails him with a sucker punch and beats him down with the set. He’s ready to powerbomb him through the table, but the lights go out, and here comes Mr. Anderson! Anderson rails on Bully Ray with punches in the corner. Hot opening segment designed to get back Anderson into the fray.
We come back from the break, and the opening scene is now its third segment? This crowd is rabid for Anderson. Anderson challenging Bully Ray, and here comes Dixie again, stating that Anderson is not authorized to be here. He lets himself be handcuffed by the Atlas security guys after nailing some jobbers disguised as security. That may have been the longest opening segment ever, and, to be honest, it wasn’t that bad.
Recap of Gail Kim’s victory at Bound for Glory, along with exclusive post-match comments.
The champ is out with her bodyguard Lei’D Tapa. Knockouts tag team action to come. If you thought Kim and Tapa were the tag team, you’re wrong!
Match #1: Gail Kim and Brooke (with Lei’D Tapa) vs. Velvet Sky and ODB
Brooke takes out her frustrations on ODB after tasting a broncobuster from her in the opening moments of the match. Tenay and Taz introduce the new 24/7 platform for TNA that starts this week. Velvet Sky in with a leg scissors on Kim, and the match is breaking down already. Gail Kim uses a chair to distract the referee so Lei’D Tapa can come in with the boot. Kim covers for the victory in about 3:30. This was meant to be a showcase for the new tandem of Kim and Tapa, although they could have probably accomplished the same task without Brooke in the mix.
Winners: Gail Kim and Brooke
BroMans are primping in the bathroom, celebrating their tag team title victory at Bound for Glory and reminiscing about their partying from the past week.
Match #2: Ethan Carter III vs. Dewey Barnes
Another jobber match for EC3, this one complete with a zebra paw print on his posterior. It’s interesting that the first two matches tonight have been designed to get over new, young stars such as Tapa and the former Derrick Bateman. In one of the most un-athletic spots of the year, Dewey Barnes hits the Shawn Michaels flying forearm without leaving his feet. Hilarious. Top rope dropkick by Barnes, but EC3 quickly counters with the headlock DDT for the squash victory.
Winner: Ethan Carter III
That’s your first hour, folks. Clearly, this show is a continuation of the reboot that began last weekend at Bound for Glory. I understand that the promotion is in a state of flux right now, so I’m willing to give this first taping the benefit of a doubt, but that was not the skit to match ratio I was expecting.
Earlier tonight, Sting and Magnus are dressed to kill; Magnus apologizes for disrespecting Sting after their Bound for Glory match.
We get highlights of Kurt Angle’s Hall of Fame ceremony and outstanding match with Bobby Roode. Angle walks to the ring to “Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simon, as Tenay informs us that Angle tore some knee cartilage on his moonsault last Sunday. Justin’s Olympic hero says he will claim his HOF honor after he reaches his new goals. Out comes the It Factor.
Bobby talks about how his victory over Angle fulfilled his desire to avenge his loss from two years ago. Angle challenges Roode for the rematch, evidently Roode has the doctor’s note that claims Angle can’t wrestle. Doesn’t HIPPA mean anything to TNA? Angle says he’s not cleared to wrestle, but he’s clear to fight, and takes him down.
Backstage again, Bully kvetches to Knux and Bischoff over Anderson’s return and unleashes the fourth usage of redneck this evening. He wants Knux and Bischoff to ensure Anderson won’t interfere.
Dixie talks to somebody on the phone.
Bro-Mans out with an empty bottle of champagne, and, oh dear God, there’s another in-ring skit. Some catering set up in the ring, as well as some guy fake-DJ’ing. Taz calls him DJ Salami from the Jersey Shore, BroMans call him DJ-O. The crowd chants “you can’t wrestle,” which I’m not sure if it refers to the tag team or the contents of the show eighty minutes in. The Modern Day Viking, Gunner Von Erich and James Storm are out. Storm calls the fake DJ “DJ Anus,” which really excites the Salt Lake natives. Storm threatens to take their alcohol and protein bars, but they can keep your sister’s skinny jeans. Robbie E, off microphone, with the funny retort, “But these are in style.” Bad Influence out, we got beers, champagne and, most importantly, Appletinis. Speaking of which, Christopher Daniels complains about the beverage choice of Bromans and Gunner/Storm, and gets an Appletini in the face for his troubles. Here comes Young and Park, huge brawl now, and Daniels shatters the bottle over Park, busting him open. Bad Influence runs off, allowing Park to destroy Jesse and push Eric Young out of the way. I think this was meant to set up a four-way tag match next week.
Bully Ray out. WELP, if I had to put up with the last ninety minutes to get a half hour rematch for the title, I’m down with it. It looks like they are really trying to get over the reset storylines from Bound for Glory to everyone who didn’t see the show.
Match #3: Bully Ray (with Brooke) vs. AJ Styles for the World Heavyweight Title
Bully Ray interrupts Jeremy Borash’s classic introduction to do the job himself, and AJ clocks him during the routine. AJ’s ribs are taped from the attack earlier tonight. Styles throwing the forearms and chops from corner to corner. Huge dropkick, which Bully Ray sells like he got shot. Attempts the flip-flop and fly, gets popped with an enziguri. Looking at the crowd, this may be the most diverse and bizarre group in the front row ever. Bully Ray flapjacks AJ, who takes a vicious bump on his face and shoulder. It’s as if he initially thought he was getting a back drop but bailed at the last second.
After a commercial break, we come back to Bully Ray mocking Hulk Hogan, followed by each combatant clotheslining each other. Replays of the flapjack look just as brutal as it did live. Tenay and Taz confirm an Angle vs. Roode rematch for next week. I’m game. Styles and Bully Ray exchanging chops now as the crowd builds steam. They were desperate for a match also. Clothesline and springboard forearm from AJ follow. AJ can’t lift Bully up with his injured ribs, so Bully gives him a fall away slam. Bully whiffs on a big senton off the second rope. AJ eats canvas after a missed springboard 450. This is like the Bound for Glory match without the plunder. No man can get an advantage, AJ tries a tornado DDT, but Bully launches him into Earl Hebner. AJ rolls into a calf killer, and Bully eventually taps, but no ref around. Ray decks AJ with a steel chain and an Ace crusher, but AJ kicks out at two! Taz loses his mind on commentary. Here comes Anderson!?! He snaps Bully on the top rope, busting him open hard-way, and Styles gets a crucifix rollup for three in 13:30. Anderson’s cuffs have been cut. Could it have been Knux and Bischoff who helped him?
Winner: AJ Styles
Dixie is back out to offer a contract. Crowd chants for Hogan because they hate us. AJ speaks of Dixie making money off of all of the boys and, after failing to rip up the contract due to his gloves, wipes his tushie with it. AJ saying he’s walking out with the title and her car. If this was the WWE, the car would blow up right now. Styles is looking for respect for himself and his “band of brothers,” not material possessions. Maslow would be proud.
This is obviously a massive reboot considering the lack of matches and Eric Bischoff being bounced from the company. I have a feeling that the product will be in a state of flux at least until the next taping in November, if not their return to Universal Studios. I’m surprised that they didn’t lean heavier on the matches and put off some of the narrative while they transition.
Have any feedback? Of course you do! Hit us up on the Place to be Nation Facebook page, or on my Twitter account @SteveWille34.