WWE tag team legends The Hart Foundation
TNA IMPACT Wrestling
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: July 26, 2012
Commentators: Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz
The ninth live Impact of TNA’s summer series opened with a video package on last week’s events, focusing on Claire producing photos of her in bed with A.J. Styles and Aces & Eights taking out the roster. The voice-over man wondered aloud who is behind these attacks.
Impact Zone: After a pyro and fireworks entrance, Mike Tenay excitedly introduced the show and plugged the Knockouts in tag action and BFG Series matches. Meanwhile, the camera focused on an “87%” sign in the crowd, which goes against Joey Ryan’s attempt to make his anti-TNA angle seem like a shoot when the promotion acknowledges his “movement.”
Suddenly, Sting’s music played to bring out Sting. Sting said Dixie Carter has placed him in-charge of TNA while Hulk Hogan is in the hospital. Sting called out the Aces & Eights, noting he is just one man. Austin Aries’s music then played to bring out the TNA champion. In the ring, Aries said he admires Sting’s courage, but as everyone else knows, it’s about a numbers game. Aries said A&E didn’t just jump Hogan and Sting, but the World champ. Aries looked into the camera and vowed to make a statement jumping on A&E if they show up tonight.
Then, Kurt Angle’s music played to bring out Angle, who was jumped backstage prior to his Bound for Glory Series match last week. In the ring, Angle said A&E tried to hurt him physically and tried to take away his chance to fight for the World Title, so he wants to fight them, too. Angle turned to look toward the entrance ramp, but was interrupted by Bobby Roode’s theme music. Out came Roode dressed in a suit telling everyone to relax. Roode waited out boos and said he’s not here to fight anyone or have their backs. He said he’s out here to point out the obvious. Roode claimed to know who the man is behind the attacks. Roode’s mic cut out, which prompted Aries to say that’s what happens when you’re not the champ.
Roode continued that he knows the man is a man who has been jealous of him for a very long time. And, he was scheduled to face Angle last week. Of course, he’s talking about “Cowboy” James Storm. The fans booed and the faces laughed him off in the ring. Roode said he’s known this man for over four years and he’s seen him manipulate people. “The man is a piece of crap,” Roode said, which brought on Storm to attack Roode from behind. Storm and Roode brought their fight into the ring and “intense physicality” ensued, according to Tenay. Sting held Angle and Aries back to just let Storm and Roode beat each other up. Angle eventually stepped in to pull Storm away from Roode, who high-tailed it out of the ring. Roode then shouted at Sting that the truth hurts. “I told you,” he said.
TNA showed a clip of Tara talking about how excited she is that Chavo Guerero has come to TNA. Kid Kash said their paths crossed in the past and he hopes they cross here. Kurt Angle said he’s had amazing matches with Chavo’s family and he believes Chavo is one of the best wrestlers today.
Backstage: A random man (yet to be identified as Jason Hervey) caught up with Bobby Roode in the hallway. Roode said he’s leaving the building and his claims are true that Storm is behind the attacks even if no one wants to believe him.
MICKIE JAMES & TARA vs. GAIL KIM & MADISON RAYNE
Christy Hemme waited for her cue to announce the opening match spotlighting the Knockouts division. As Madison Rayne and Gail Kim came to the ring, TNA rolled footage from three weeks ago when Madison made her love interest known smooching Earl Hebner. And, Earl is referee for this match as well, which brings up an obvious conflict of interest. Mickie and Tara then came out next to face the heel duo. The heels isolated Mickie early on, then Tara took a hot tag. Earl’s conflict of interest became the story, “missing” pinfall attempts by the faces. Mickie eventually scored the fall, but Earl decided to reverse the pin and award Madison and Gail the match, which did not sit well with Mickie and Tara.
WINNERS: Madison & Gail at 3:50. A joke angle focused on a non-wrestler referee that holds no water. Is 2011 Impact trying to return from the ashes?
Backstage: Austin Aries and Sting were shown hanging out in the office area. Sting noted the X Division wrestlers are looking for some direction and guidance right now, so he wants Aries to make some cuts and handle business. Sting said he trusts Aries to handle it. Aries took a deep breath and walked into the X Division office to address them.
Video package: Sam Shaw wants to win Gut Check and prove himself.
Video: Hernandez talked about Chavo Guerrero joining TNA. He said he has one word. “Increible.” Gunner then talked tough, saying Chavo needs to prove himself because no one is tougher than him. Bully Ray told the random cameraman not to bother him. He said Chavo is just another Guerrero for him to beat up and push around.
Impact Zone: Jeremy Borash was in the ring with Sam Shaw, who was still dressed in his board shorts and skater shoes. JB said this is Shaw’s opponent. Out came Douglas Williams to test Shaw in the ring.
DOUGLAS WILLIAMS vs. SAM SHAW
The “87%” signs stood out in the background facing the hard camera. Shaw showed off athleticism early on before delivering a scoop slam and teasing a top-rope move. Shaw played to the crowd too much, though, and then gave away that something was going to happen ringside.
Suddenly, Al Snow hit the ringside area, apparently having spotted Joey Ryan. Ryan then punched Snow in the face, prompting Snow to run into the crowd. After that distraction, Williams regained control and began working on Shaw. Williams then nailed Rollins Chaos, which has to be the first time in a long time he’s executed his finisher on TV. Williams made the pin for the win. Tenay said they will hear from the judges on Shaw’s fate later tonight.
WINNER: Williams at 2:38.
X Division office: Austin Aries addressed the X Division wrestlers to decide who should face X Division champion Zema Ion. TNA jump-cut through comments from Kenny King, Sonjay Dutt, and Rashard Cameron making their case to face Ion tonight. Dutt noted the only reason why Ion became X champion at Destination X was using a can of hairspray. Aries then pulled a poster off the wall and walked off with Ion. Kenny King claimed to be the only one ready. Suddenly, Aries was back in the room. Dutt made his case again, then Aries noted Dakota Darsow hasn’t made a case for anything. Aries had enough of Rashard Cameron and told him to walk out the door. Aries said he has two more eliminations to make.
Video package: Chavo Guerrero has arrived in TNA. The video says Chavo debuts next.
Impact Zone: Bellator fighter Ben Saunders was shown sitting ringside. Odd editing for his segment. … Random music then played to bring out Chavo Guerrero dressed in a suit. The generic TNA themes just kill wrestlers’s entrances. Chavo celebrated his arrival with a victory lap around ringside before hitting the ring. In the ring, Chavo waited out a “Chavo” chant as cameramen scrambled in the background. Chavo introduced himself, then TNA cut to a shot of Hector Guerrero at the Spanish announce table. Chavo continued to “sell the moment” before noting the Guerreros have conquered every area and company except for one. He said when he arrived in the TNA locker room, he saw hunger in the eyes of the guys and girls. He said they are hungry to “steal the show” and be the best every night. Chavo said he is here to beat the best. He pointed to the hard camera and told everyone at home to mark their calendars to remember this date. He said it’s time. “It’s Guerrero time,” he said. Chavo said it’s time for him to be a champion.
Suddenly, Kid Kash interrupted. Kash, flanked by Gunner, emerged on-stage to mock Chavo. No heat on the heels. Chavo said he’s not a wrestling legend, but the people are. That wasn’t the case based on the crowd’s non-response as Kash continued to ramble about Chavo’s wrestling family. Kash then asked Chavo where his family is. Chavo said his family is the fans. Kash said he’s not talking about the government-funded jerk-offs. Where did that come from? Kash continued to talk about Chavo’s family, wondering his family is.
Kash then suggested the Guerrero family members are drunks, which was enough for Chavo to land a right hand strike. Gunner and Kash eventually double-teamed Chavo until Hernandez waddled to the ring to make the save. Hernandez cleared Gunner, then Chavo dropkicked Kash to the outside. Chavo and Hernandez stood tall to conclude the segment.
Kurt Angle was shown talking to James Storm. He said he knows Bobby Roode is full of crap, but he wants to make sure there’s nothing to Storm being part of A&E. Storm laughed it off and said he has no connection to any of these guys. Angle said he figured as much. But, Storm has their back tonight, right? Angle walked off, then the camera stayed on Storm grimacing while leaning on a traveling trunk.
Somewhere with an Impact backdrop: Al Snow, Bruce Prichard, and Taz were shown sitting on stools. Snow flipped out about Joey Ryan, then yelled into the camera that Joey got his attention tonight. Prichard said he’s giving into what Snow wants, then turned their attention to Sam Shaw. A tweet read that he’s unpolished. The judges also noted they missed most of Sam’s match due to Joey’s distraction. More tweets on the screen said Sam didn’t look good enough. Taz and Snow then stood up from their podiums and walked around as Prichard remained sitting. A very rushed, unpolished segment that seemed thrown together.
Video package: Claire’s allegations against A.J. Styles. … Announcers: Tenay recapped the BFG Series standings before going to the ring, where Christy Hemme introduced A.J. Styles for a BFG Series match. Tenay said Styles vs. James Storm is up next.
A.J. STYLES vs. JAMES STORM — BFG Series match
As Styles and Storm started things off, TNA cut to a shot of Claire sitting on the front row trying her best to do a really, really mad face. Taz tried to avoid mocking her acting skills before the focus returned to the ring. It’s also worth noting that “conflict of interest” Earl Hebner has been assigned this match. Styles and Storm continued to trade offense as Taz talked about TNA on-edge with Aces & Eights lurking around the Impact Zone. Styles then got caught up-top and Storm dropped Styles with the Eye of the Storm. Storm made a cover, but Styles kicked out just in-time.
Storm tried to follow with a Tornado DDT, but Styles countered with a release suplex right into the corner turnbuckle. Styles scored a close two count, only. Styles followed with a flying forearm smash from clear across the ring, but Storm kicked out again. Styles then wanted the Clash, but Storm countered with the Alabama Slam. Storm couldn’t make an immediate cover, though, allowing Styles to eventually kick out of a pin attempt.
At 9:00, the fight moved to the ring apron, where Storm dropped Styles face-first on the apron. Storm tried to make a pin back in the ring, but Styles kicked out. Earl Hebner could then be hear voicing the amount of time left in the match as the two men reset. Styles hit the Pele kick, but Storm came back with a codebreaker. Storm then warmed up the crowd to deliver the Last Call superkick, but Styles side-stepped and hit a Pele Kick.
Suddenly, the Aces & Eights group stormed the ring and took out Styles, then Earl Hebner. They also took out security trying to hit the ring. Storm had his back to these events recovering in the corner following the Pele Kick. TNA suddenly went to break with no decision on the BFG Series match.
WINNER: No Decision at 10:25. Storm and Styles were off early on, but really delivered a strong conclusion before the non-finish to continue playing up Roode’s claim that Storm is behind the A&E group.
Back live, Tenay noted the Storm-Styles match was ruled a No Contest, so each man gets two points.
Backstage: The unidentified backstage interviewer caught up with James Storm, noting the Aces & Eights attacked everyone except Storm out in the ring. Storm had enough of the line of the questioning and said no one knows him. Storm threw Jason Hervey against the wall and said the next time he wants to accuse him of something, he better know the truth. Storm stormed off.
Impact Zone: JB was with the judges in the ring. Borash then brought in Sam Shaw to ask him if he offered his best performance tonight. Sam said he showed the intensity and determination to be one of the best. JB then cued up the dramatic music and lighting with his voice before polling the judges. Snow took the mic and told Sam that because of some jackass, he really didn’t get to see Sam, then referenced Joey Ryan by name and said he’s going to have to say no. Prichard talked next. He said that while Snow was busy getting punched out by Joey Ryan, he got to see Shaw. Prichard claimed Sam did a hell of a job, so his answer is yes. Sam then took the mic and tried to kiss up to Taz to get an answer from him. Taz asked for quiet from the crowd, then told Sam that he likes his athleticism and energy, but he took his eye off the ball during the match. But, his answer is still yes. Sam went nuts hugging everyone as JB congratulated him. It seems like the “yes” decision was to give Joey Ryan new material for his anti-TNA heel program since there’s no way anyone in their right mind would give Shaw a contract if this were a shoot. Sam continued to celebrate and parade around the ring as JB wrapped up the segment.
Austin Aries wrote down qualities and traits about the remaining X Division title contenders – Dutt, King, and Darsow. Dutt continued to blame Ion’s hairspray for preventing him from becoming X Division champion. King said he has the size, speed, charisma, and good looks. King said he’s like Emmitt Smith because he can run with the ball. Darsow said he goes out there and dominates, and it’s not flashy or pretty. Aries said the X Division is sometimes about flash and being pretty, and he doesn’t think Darsow’s head is in the right place. He cut Darsow, who stomped off. Aries told Darsow to tell his dad hello before offering an inside joke about his dad’s repo business doing good. Aries told Dutt and King he’ll make his decision on them later.
Christy Hemme introduced the X Division Title match of the night. So, “later” is right now. Out first was Zema Ion to defend the title. TNA then cut backstage to show Aries with Kenny King and Sonjay Dutt. Suddenly, Bruce Prichard walked into the shot, then walked off. Aries chose to ignore Prichard’s accidental appearance, then told Dutt he can’t put him in the match because the doctor has concerns (so, why didn’t Aries cut Dutt initially?) and Dutt has been here for six years, so King gets the opportunity tonight. Aries looked into the camera and said it was time to hit King’s music.
X Division champion ZEMA ION vs. KENNY KING — X Division Title match
Ion needed an early hair adjustment using his hairspray, which frustrated King.
Ion knocked King to the outside and landed a flying splash. Ion, now with blood in his mouth, shouted that his move should be Impact of the Night. Back in the ring, Ion worked over King, but took his eye off the ball by flaunting too much. King teased a comeback, but Ion cut him off and landed a bodyslam for a close two count. King had enough of Ion and landed a kick to the back of the head followed by a Taz-style suplex. King hit another windmill kick, which knocked Ion to the outside. King followed with a twisting splash on the outside, which decked Ion.
As King was about to return to the ring, the camera cheated slightly to indicate someone was going to interfere. It was Bobby Roode, who yanked King off the ring apron before slamming him into the ringpost. Roode rolled King into the ring and Ion hit a moonsault for the pin and the win. Taz wondered why Roode was involved and why he returned to the Impact Zone after claiming he was leaving.
WINNER: Ion at 6:05 to retain the X Division Title.
TNA stayed in the ring for a while before showing a replay of the high points from the match. Roode talked trash to the cameraman before Austin Aries ran down and attacked him from behind. Aries threw Roode into the ringpost, then TNA cut backstage. That appeared to be this week’s hype for Aries-Roode for the TNA Title at Hardcore Justice in two weeks.
Backstage: Bully Ray was shown pacing around. He was asked if he’s concerned about the Aces & Eights. Ray said they would have to be stupid to come after him. As for Kurt Angle, his opponent tonight, he has a lot of respect for Angle. Ray said he’s the one guy who can go right through him, though. Ray said he’s the toughest guy in pro wrestling and he’s getting seven points tonight.
KURT ANGLE vs. BULLY RAY — BFG Series match
Angle and Ray felt each other out early on as the announcers discussed the upcoming BFG Series schedule. Ray then caught Angle off the ropes and set him up for a piledriver. Angle sold a neck injury as the announcers gasped. Ray tried a cover, but Angle reached the ropes to avoid a pin attempt. Angle then rolled out of the ring selling his neck.
[Commercial Break. TNA cut back for ten seconds of action with Ray scoring a nearfall on a neckbreaker.]
Back live, Angle made a comeback, then tried a suplex, but Ray hit a Bubba Bomb for a two count. Ray tried to follow with a uranage, but Angle countered with a German Suplex. And, a second. Angle wanted a third, and he connected. Angle then dropped the straps and slapped on the Anklelock center-ring, which Ray escaped out of. Angle and Ray then started trading bombs and slaps before Ray delivered a uranage for a close two count. Of note, Ray had a small blood spot on his cheek following the sequence.
Angle and Ray reset before Angle ducked a clothesline and hit the Angle Slam for a two count. Angle then slowly climbed up top backwards and wanted a top-rope moonsault, but Bully moved just in time. Bully then hit a big boot for a close nearfall. Bully tried another power move, but Angle ducked again and hit the Angle Slam for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Angle at 11:55; Angle gets 7 BFG Series points. Solid, physical match-up to close the in-ring portion of the show.
Post-match: Aces & Eights immediately hit the ring to attack Angle. After they delivered a beat down on Angle, A.J. Styles, Sting, and Austin Aries hit the ring to fight A&E. Suddenly, James Storm’s music played to bring out Storm. Storm hit the ring and A&E bailed from the ring, with Storm not getting his hands on the group. Storm, Sting, Angle, Styles, and Aries remained in the ring as A&E fled. Angle then began questioning Storm on why he was late to arrive to make the save. Tenay announced he was just informed of Angle vs. Storm on next week’s Impact as Storm and Angle argued in the ring. How could the match have just been booked if interim GM Sting was in the ring? Who is Sting’s assistant?! Is the assistant in cahoots with Aces & Eights?! Tenay signed off with Aries getting in the middle of the Storm-Angle dispute to close the show.