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– Impact begins with a recap of last week. After another loss, what’s next for Magnus and The Main Event Mafia? What about Aces & 8s? Plus, more on the AJ Styles/Dixie Carter saga.
– Dixie Carter arrives in the back to boos. She is stopped by Sting but she ignores him and looks at her phone. Sting asks her about AJ Styles. She fixes his suit like his mom would and tells him not to worry about Dixie Carter.
– Bully Ray and Brooke make their way to the ring. (Brooke’s outfits equal ratings.) Bully talks about how Dixie is in AJ’s head and he thinks it is great. Bully says Dixie is correct in that she made AJ. He asks if we know who he is… The A&8s music hits and the remaining members come to the ring. Knux cuts a promo on him. He says Bully worries more about his Ho than he does his Bros. Bully warns Knux not to call her a Ho. Of course, the fans start chanting. Knux says that they will take care of club business tonight against the Main Event Mafia; the 3 of them, not Bully. Bully says his patch says President and he makes the rules. He says if they lose the match against MEM, it will be “lights out” for one of them; meaning they will be out of the club. He and Brooke leave up the ramp.
– Mike Tenay with Taz welcomes us to the show. Chris Sabin faces Manik tonight for the X Division Title.
– We go to the locker room where Joseph Park is lathering for a shave in the mirror. He is stopped by Eric Young and ODB. He is worried that Park will cut himself and “turn into a monster.” Park doesn’t know what EY is talking about and says he is worried about him. EY puts the razor up to his face and ODB tells him to not even think about it because she likes the beard.
– Gail Kim and The Bro Mans come to the ring for the 6-Person Tag as we go to a commercial.
Joseph Park, Eric Young & ODB vs. The Bro Mans & Gail Kim
EY, Park, and ODB make their entrance after the break and we go to footage of last week where Park went crazy on Bro Mans. Kim and ODB start off. Kim tags Robbie E after a short stare down. ODB tags Park who overpowers and no-sells Robbie. Park slams Robbie and gets 2. Park gets triple teamed in enemy territory and Jessie Godderz works him over in the corner and hits a beautiful dropkick. Park catches his balance from a sunset flip attempt and goes to sit-down splash on Jessie but he moves. Robbie tags in for more punishment on Park. Park manages a Samoan Drop and tags EY. The ref didn’t see the tag and doesn’t allow it. Kim tags in and kicks Park in the legs. Park shakes his finger in her face a la Hulk Hogan. Taz tells us that this is an inter-gender match.
Park with a double clothesline to Bro Mans and makes the hot-tag to EY. EY hits a double crossbody to Bro Mans and continues with the fast-paced flurry. He makes the cover on Jessie but Kim breaks the count. ODB tosses Kim to the floor. Robbie gets in ODB’s face and she smothers him in her breasts. Park tosses Robbie to the floor. EY drops Jessie; Park hits a splash from the 2nd turnbuckle; EY hits the top rope elbow and tags ODB who hits a splash for the win.
Winners by pin: Joseph Park, Eric Young & ODB
– Austin Aries is on his way out.
– Hulk Hogan is stopped from Earlier in the Day, in the back. He says he read the transcripts from last week. Regarding AJ and Dixie he says “this is out of control” and he is “here to fix all this crap.”
– Aries comes to the ring. He starts to talk about not winning the BFG Series but still being the greatest. He is interrupted by Kenny King on the stage. King thinks he made all the headlines in the last year. King gets in the ring and says his belt was stolen by someone in a Manik costume. He says he owes Aries one. He says he is the next generation of pro-wrestling. Aries says King is not the Pretty Boy Pit Bull, but a “boy who is pretty much the pits and full of bull.” Aries wants a fight and takes his shirt off. King tells him not tonight but hits Aries with a sucker punch. Aries answers him back and demands a referee to come out and make it official.
Austin Aries vs. Kenny King
Aries manhandles King on the floor as we return from a break and the bell rings. Aries tosses King in the ring and lands mounted strikes up top. King shifts momentum and Aries falls to the floor. King is juicing from his face big-time. King’s face is covered in crimson as he takes it to Aries. Aries mounts a comeback and drops King on the canvas. Aries with a pendulum elbow. They trade shots; King hits an awesome spinning kick to the face. Aries snaps King’s neck across the top rope and goes up top. King makes him lose his balance and hits a suplex off the 2nd buckle for 2. King misses with a running front dropkick in the corner. Aries with a dropkick in the corner and a brainbuster for the win.
Winner by pin: Austin Aries
– A vignette runs for Lei’D Tapa.
– Chris Sabin, with Velvet Sky, stops Aries in the back and congratulates him on his win. He says his win for the World Title was better. He says he is greater than the Greatest Man that Ever Lived. He takes a confused Velvet by the hand and leaves. Aries says he wants to test that theory out.
– Magnus is ticked off in the back and Samoa Joe asks what his problem is. Magnus is fed up with Aces & 8s and EGO. Joe tells him it is all mind games and they need to focus for tonight. Sting plays the voice of reason and slaps Magnus on the chest and tells him they are “this close” to pushing Aces & 8s over the edge. He tells Magnus not to let them get in his head. (And the Magnus heel-turn tease continues).
– Hulk Hogan is on his way out.
– A replay of the Dixie/AJ promo is shown.
– Hulk Hogan makes his entrance. (Say what you will about the man but with the looks on people’s faces, Hulk is still a big draw for TNA as far as live attendance goes.) He pauses in the ring for the chants. Hogan says he has been in TNA for 4 years and he has always had his opinion on Dixie. He says Dixie made him the GM 2 years ago to make sure things on the show run smoothly. He says you should never air your laundry on TV. He polls the crowd on if they want to see AJ stay with the company. They cheer but he asks it again to even louder cheers. He says that is what he thought. He wants AJ to listen in the back at the love these people have for him. Hogan says he is going fix this thing later tonight, for himself, TNA, and the fans.
– We go to a promo for Kurt Angle returning at Bound for Glory.
– Manik defends against Sabin, next.
– A graphic for “Ethan is Coming” is shown.
– AJ is stopped in the back. He has no problem hearing Hogan out.
X Division Championship: Manik (c) vs. Chris Sabin
Sabin is introduced first with Velvet Sky. He dips and kisses her on the stage. She still seems confused and surprised by his new attitude. (Here’s waiting for her full heel-turn.) Manik is out next.
Sabin wants to shake hands but Manik hits a double-leg and turns it up early. Manik with a springboard crossbody for 2. Sabin tries to flee but Manik pulls him back in. Sabin rakes the eyes to get the advantage. He actually grabs the mask. Sabin feigns a knee injury and goes to the floor to walk it off. Sabin walks completely around the ring and the ref prevents Manik from going out. Manik finally goes to the floor. Sabin throws Velvet into Manik and hits a kick off the apron. Sabin sends him in but Manik puts him in a cloverleaf. Sabin kicks out and bumps the ref. Sabin takes over with vicious strikes and a leg drop for 2.
Sabin goes for a superplex but Manik drops him in a front suplex. Manik comes off with a missile dropkick. Manik with quick kicks and a leaping corkscrew splash for 2. Manik drop toe-holds Sabin to the ropes and hits a dropkick to the back of the head. Manik with a slingshot to the turnbuckle. Manik with another cloverleaf. Sabin goes to grab the ropes but grabs Velvet’s hand instead. She tells him to let go and he pulls her in the ring. Sabin hides behind Velvet; he tries to roll up Manik out of nowhere but Manik reverses it and rolls Sabin up for the win.
Winner by pin and Still X Division Champion: Manik
Sabin starts to beat Manik in the ring as Velvet pleads with him. Aries hits the ring to make the save. Sabin leaves without a distraught Velvet. (Sabin and Velvet have been cast very well for this. Very old-school. Nicely executed.)
– The 3 remaining Aces & 8s members try to keep it together in the back. They pep each other up and say they can’t afford to lose another brother.
– EGO reacts in the back to Kurt Angle going in the Hall of Fame. They talk trash about MEM. Daniels & Kazarian start to get silly as usual and Bobby Roode walks away in disgust.
The Main Event Mafia vs. Aces & 8s
Wes Brisco, Knux, and Garett Bischoff come to the ring followed by Sting, Samoa Joe, and Magnus
The bell rings and Magnus and Knux go at it like 2 gladiators. Knux tags out to Wes who is dropped by Magnus. He tags out to Garett who is also dropped by Magnus. Magnus covers Garett and the count is broken. Things break down on the outside and inside of the ring. EGO appears out of nowhere and attacks Magnus on the floor. They run away as Magnus favors his knees. A&8 maul Sting in the corner as things get back under control and we go to a break. We return for 3 seconds of action and Tenay sends back to a commercial.
Back for real this time. Sting is still getting taken apart as A&8 cut the ring off and make quick tags. Knux with a big boot to the face of Sting. Wes tags in with a clothesline in the corner and covers Sting for 2. Wes with a couple more consecutive near-falls. Sting hangs on to the ropes and avoids a dropkick from Wes. Sting hits a clothesline. Both men lie on the mat. Sting is way out of place but still makes it to Joe for the hot-tag. Joe lights everybody up in A&8. Joe with a back splash to Wes for 2. Joe with a powerslam to Wes, Garett breaks the count.
Sting sends Knux into Garett in the corner and hits them both with a Stinger Splash. Another Stinger Splash to Wes in the opposite corner. Joe with a rear naked choke on Wes who taps.
Winners by submission: MEM
Taz can’t believe it and hopes Bully will fix all this. MEM leaves to the back as Wes lies on the mat. Bully and Brooke come to the ring. Wes struggles to his feet and turns around the see Bully. Bully grabs a mic and says, “What did I tell you?” He says Wes tapped and he is a disgrace to his colors. He demands Wes hand over his cut. Knux and Garett get in the ring beside Wes. Wes shakes his head no. (I think Wes and Hulk tan together. They are equally orange.) Bully demands that Knux and Garett rip Wes’ cut off. They don’t and Bully takes Wes’ head off with a clothesline. Bully screams at Knux and Garett and asks where their balls are (off mic.) Bully hits a brutal piledriver on Wes. (Wow!) Bully demands his cut be ripped off or he will do it again. Knux and Garett reluctantly take off the vest and Bully makes Knux be the one to hand it over.
Knux is hesitant. Bully asks if he is going to listen to him or the fans. Knux reluctantly hands the vest to Bully as the crowd chants, “No!” (I described last week’s piledriver on the stage as careful and deliberate. This one was much more forceful and traditional. Bully’s grip actually slipped a little as he went to grab Wes on his vest and Wes “jumped” a little early to assist. TNA is playing with fire here.)
– Hulk Hogan is in the ring with a clipboard. He welcomes AJ Styles to the ring. AJ comes out in his hood and to his “lone wolf” music. The music changes but AJ just slowly pulls the hood back and saunters into the ring. Hulk has a contract for AJ to sign because he can’t have a TNA Champion without a contract. AJ takes the clipboard and the noise is actually deafening. (Good crowd tonight in Little Rock.) AJ signs the contract and tells Hogan, “I’m yours.”
Dixie interrupts to boos. She speaks but is drowned out by “Dixie Sucks” chants. (This is the reaction Stephanie McMahon should be getting but that is another book to write.) Dixie tells Hogan the reason she brought him to TNA was to open doors and he has done that and she is grateful. She says Hogan is just an employee though. She mocks AJ’s accent about making her get on her knees and beg and she says he is dreaming. Dixie tears up the contract.
AJ starts to speak about how she just made the biggest mistake. Dixie snaps and screams at AJ to get out of her ring. AJ leaves. Hogan asks her if she hears what is going on out here. Dixie says they don’t understand. She says 99% of the fans don’t live in her world and don’t have to make the heart-wrenching decisions she has to make. She says we need her. She says the 1% creates the world we live in. Dixie tells Hogan she wishes he had run this by her and chalks it up to a lapse in his judgment. Hulk looks absolutely flabbergasted.
Dixie tells Hogan he knows the hard decisions that have to be made to make TNA a success. She says Hogan has a decision to make. Will he be on Team Dixie or watch from the sidelines like AJ? She strokes his extensions under his bandana and says she will give him a week and she knows he will make the right decision. Dixie leaves the ring and Hogan is frozen in utter disbelief. (Not a bad little segment. I will hold out judgment to see how it plays out but it certainly wasn’t a train wreck. Dixie actually kind of pulled it off nicely. She was believable and seemed to tap into some real emotions.)
What do you think? Sound off below and let me know.