This episode of Impact Wrestling hailed from Cleveland, Ohio, and it presented the aftermath of the two-part Hardcore Justice television series. The show was titled Must-Win Thursday, pitting the final matches (so we thought) of the Bound for Glory Series to determine the final four.
The dissension between Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson should have only one purpose: to totally extinguish the Aces and Eights. Bully will do good away from the group, as he was a good heel before he was unveiled as the president (minus the brief face run in between). Tito Ortiz alongside him will do fine as well. However, Mr. Anderson will most likely briefly feud with Bully Ray (boring), and then wallow in the midcard. As far as Knux, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff? Flip a coin.
Jeff Hardy vs. Kazarian was a good match, but Kazarian would have benefited more with a win. With this E.G.O. group trying to spoil everyone's chances of winning, at least it brings some personality to the BFG Series. Plus, Jeff Hardy can be in the main event whenever he wants. Kazarian? Not so much.
ThankYouCleveland,OH.&TWTWW! . . !8-29-13 http://t.co/rTjlGrEQ0x— Jeff Hardy (@JEFFHARDYBRAND) August 30, 2013
ODB vs. Gail Kim in a two out of three falls match to determine the No. 1 contender for the Knockouts Championship was actually a good match, and was the best Knockouts match since the Kim/Terrell series. Both of them are very good womens wrestlers, but have been looking quite lethargic lately. Thankfully there was a sense of atonement with this match, and it put the division back in a positive direction. ODB should win the championship at Bound for Glory, as she is undoubtedly the most popular Knockout in the division right now.
The AJ Styles "shoot" seemed to have some legitimacy to it, but it was so awkward that it became painful to watch. From the stuttering of words, to the frequent switching of looking directly at cameras, the potency of his promo was diluted after every word. Styles has never been the best person on the mic, not even close, but this was bad. Thankfully he is so good in the ring that he can easily make it up with his future matches. One other thing—the direction with his gimmick is a bit confusing as well. He now comes out initially as the Lone Wolf gimmick, then he transforms quickly into the Phenomenal One gimmick. Confusing.
Speaking of confusing, AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode was very much that. Styles needed 10 points to break into the final four, but he pinned Roode, which gave him seven points and did not place him in the finals. This makes me wonder if the 20 point gauntlet match for next week was intentional or a last ditch attempt to right the wrong of Styles' mistake.
Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels was an excellent match. One of the best of the entire series. However, similar to Kazarian, Daniels would have benefited more by winning that match. Aries has the potential to be in the main event, and he has been TNA World Heavyweight Champion before.
At 43, Daniels is still one of the best wrestlers in the world, but has never won a world championship in ROH or TNA to give credence to that. He is not getting any younger (obviously), and he should have at least one TNA world title reign before he retires. Instead, he is now out of the final four because of that loss.
Finally, we get Hulk Hogan returning from a hiatus Mike Tenay called meeting with executives and lawyers to give Bully Ray some bad news. He schedules a match at No Surrender against a fellow Aces and Eights member, as well as "defending the title" (which was later cleared up) against Sting. The Bully Ray vs. Sting matches have not been terrible, but Sting should use this time with the Main Event Mafia to slowly transition into a managerial role and retire from in-ring action.
Although Sting is my all-time favorite wrestler, and he still can put on a decent match at 54 years old, it is time for him to ride off into the sunset, and know that he has experienced one of the best professional wrestling careers that anyone can have. As far as the Aces and Eights member, is seems fairly apparent that Mr. Anderson will be that choice, but hopefully we do not see another blink-of-an-eye title change just to spice up things before Bound for Glory.
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