We are “live” in Huntsville, Alabama as the announcers welcome us. It looks WAY better than the Impact Zone.
Hulk Hogan comes out and says that the Network has decided that Ric Flair’s challenge to Sting is binding, so Flair will wrestle Sting on Thursday 9/15.
Note from Mike: WHAT THE HELL? This is EXACTLY what is wrong with this company. They are going to promote the first Flair vs. Sting match since March 2001 and not charge people to watch it? Really? Egads. I’m not saying it will do a record buyrate but there is certainly a percentage of fans who would be willing to order No Surrender to see them lock up one more time. But, alas, it’s not to be. Sure hope it draws a rating because if not, what a wasted opportunity.
Hogan says that the stips are that if Sting loses, he will retire. If Sting “gets lucky” and beats Flair (you know, like all the times he’s beaten Flair before?), Hogan will have to face Sting. Hogan said that’s all Sting has wanted for the last ten years. He said that if The Network wants to bully him and Immortal, it’s time he stops bowing down to them and they bow down to Hulk Hogan. He says that the only way Sting is going to get him into the ring is when he’s good and ready.
Out comes TNA champion Kurt Angle. Hogan cuts off angle before he can speak and says that he wants to apologize for showing Angle how Dixie Carter manipulated him and distracted him from seeing how his personal life was falling apart. Hogan said that it shows why Dixie Carter should never run the company again and says TNA was a “sick place” before he got there. Hogan says he’s giving it a clean bill of health. He said there’s still some bacteria in the blood and asked Angle to drag Sting to the ring and “cut the cancer” out of Sting and leave him in pieces. By doing so, he’ll stop Carter from ever returning.
Angle tells Hogan that his enemies are Angle’s enemies. Angle says that he promised to take out all the young talents but would be happy to take out a veteran like Sting. Angle says he’ll do it and do it by the rules – he tells Sting he can have a rematch for the TNA title tonight. Angle tries to sign off the promo, but out comes Sting. Big pop for Sting.
The long shots of the building as Sting comes out look awesome. TNA looks so much like a bigger deal when they are on the road. I really do hope the tapings continue.
Sting says that he’s honored that Angle wants him on a list of people that Angle wants to take out of pro wrestling and it makes him think that Angle likes him a lot. Sting says he’s in. He’s doing his Jim Carrey in the Mask delivery but it’s good. Sting said that it’ll start with taking the belt from Angle, then beating Flair before getting to the grand prize, Hulkamania.
Sting tries to leave but Hogan questions who the hell does Sting think he is. Hogan says Sting must think he has something in his bag of tricks, so Hulk announces he’ll be the special enforcer tonight. Sting is unfazed by all this.
Matt Morgan joins the announcers as we take a look at the three of the final four for the Bound for Glory series with promos from Robert Roode, James Storm, Robert Roode and Gunner. Good promos from both. Well edited video piece. The announcers note that we’ll know who the final man is tonight.
Bound for Glory Series: Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
The announcers note that they are tied, so the winner will end up in the final four.
They lock up and Gunner is grabbed in a waistlock. Van Dam gets an early pin attempt. Samoa Joe comes out but Morgan gets past him and prevents Joe from entering the ringside area. Joe backs off and kicks Morgan low. Ronnie Lang of Atlas Security holds back Joe.
Decent “RVD” chant early. Van Dam controls the action with several shoulderblocks and goes for his backflip into another but is kicked off and deposited to the floor.
Gunner works him over on the floor, then tosses RVD back into the ring for a near fall. Van Dam nails him with shots to the mid-section and nails a Tully Blanchard slingshot suplex. Van Dam comes back with a rebound clothesline and a spinkick. He slams Gunner and nails Rolling Thunder for a two count.
Gunner reverses an Irish whip but is caught with a shoulder block. Jerry Lynn comes towards the ring but is told by Van Dam to get lost. Lynn tries to tell him that he’s there for support but Rob wants nothing to do with him.
Van Dam returns to the ring and sets up for a Five Star Frog splash but thinks better of it. He’s caught with a small package but kicks up. Van Dam nails a Ryder Kick off the top for a two count. He nails a reverse windmill kick for another two count.
RVD went to the top for the Five Star Frog Splash but Lynn shoves him down. Gunner nails a ring strike and pins RVD.
Your winner, Gunner, who goes into the Final Four!
Lynn does his signature pose on the stage, showing Van Dam that he took away Rob’s chance at the title.
Match itself was decent, although they had waaaay too much going on outside with the Joe-Morgan angle right before the Lynn interference.
All the Knockouts are revealed on the stage and head to the ring for Eric Bischoff’s big announcement.
Bischoff and Traci Brooks come to the ring. The Knockouts are assembled and waiting in the ring. Brooks is all over Bischoff. Does TNA expect us to forget they already established she’s Kazarian’s wife? Brooks looks like she’s about to be named President.
Bischoff butters up the women by saying he’s never worked with a more talented group and they are incredible. He said that the Knockouts are the heart and soul of the company, are ratings getters and one of the keys to success for the company.
He said that doesn’t change the fact that they are women who don’t know when to keep their mouths shut and can’t keep focus. He said all the sexual innuendo is driving him up a wall, which is why when Brooks convinced him that only a woman knows how to “manage another woman.” He says they worked “long and hard” and Brooks proved she’d be able to do “almost anything” for the company, so he’d like to introduce the new VP of the Knockouts division.
He sets up Traci like she’s getting a big introduction but instead introduces Karen Jarrett. Karen comes out with Jeff Jarrett, brandishing the Mexican title. All the women are upset, especially Brooks. Jeff heads to the back.
Karen says its their lucky day and Bischoff made the right decision. “Karen sucks” chant. She told the women that she’s proud of all of them but they have a long way to go. She said that she’s a lady and the rest of them are no and have no etiquette. “She’s a ho” chant. Jarrett said that all of them will learn to walk with honor, dignity and Jarrett. Oh dear God, they are going to do Pygmalion with all the women.
Jarrett announced Jackie Moore and ODB have been hired full-time on the roster. She tells Brooks that she knows that she is disappointed but there is still a place for her in the company – beneath Jarrett. She tells her that Brooks will be Jarrett’s executive assistant. She mocks Brooks and tells her that as long as she kisses Jarrett’s ass, she’ll be employed. She warns the others to do as they are told or they’ll be back stripping.
We come back from commercial and see that Mickie James and Winter got into it during the break, previewing their match later tonight.
Austin Aries & Kid Kash vs. Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen
I got a kick out of Kendrick’s wacky outfit and walk to the ring. Kash and Aries start off. Aries teased locking up, then immediately tagged out to Kash. The announcers tried to claim the weight limit has defined the X-Division.
Kash is caught in an hiptoss and a deep armdrag. Sorensen tagged in and nailed a dropkick then a hiptoss and armdrag of his own. Sorensen doesn’t seem to be too pissed given what happened with Kash a few weeks back. Kash catches him with a slam and tagged Aries, who drops a leaping elbow and stomps his face.
Aries drilled Sorensen into Kash’s boot. The heels tag in and out, cutting the ring off. So far so good. Sorensen battled his way out of the corner but was cut off. He shoved Kash into Aries, then dropkicked them both at the same time.
Sorensen made the tag to Kendrick, who cleaned house on both of his opponents. He nailed Aries with an enziguiri. Sorensen was tagged in but Kendrick was shoved into the corner as Sorensen climbed to the top. This set up a Tower of Doom out of the corner, although it seemed a little off.
Kash charged Soresen but was backdropped to the floor. Sorensen was brought to the floor and shoved into the railing. Aries drilled him with a crazy dive. Kendrick hit a tope to the outside on Aries as well.
Back in the ring, Kash nailed a missile clothesline and went for a powerbomb, but Sorensen rolled through and turned it into a sunset flip on Kash for the pin.
Your winners, X-Division champ Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen!
Solid match given how little TV time they were given. One has to wonder how much better if might have been if there was time to get some real heat on Sorensen to set up the hot tag to Kendrick, but the work from bell to bell was as good as could be expected given the time limitations and was entertaining.
They air a video feature on the Knockouts title rivalry. Mickie James said that she’s tired of Winter’s voodoo bullsh**. She said tonight, she’s going to wrestle Winter’s ass off and we’ll see how good the champion really is. She told Winter to bring her A game.
They aired a video feature with comments from different talents on Jeff Hardy’s personal problems. They announced Hardy would be on next week’s show to address the fans as he’s been given the chance to talk by the Network. Piece was well done. Mike Tenay pushed that Hardy would return.
Kurt Angle was telling a camerman that tonight, he was going to take out Sting. Hulk Hogan came in and said the idea of taking all the talent out had to change and told Angle he needed to go to New York and take out the entire Network for him. The idea of Angle suplexing everyone in the SpikeTV offices is pretty funny, but come on. Hogan was upset that Jeff Hardy was being brought back next week. Angle was shocked and asked Hogan what he wanted him to do. Hogan said that he wanted Angle to come to NYC and help him take out the Network.
They came right out of it with Tenay all shocked that the Network would given Hardy a live mic. Well, uh, why weren’t you shocked two minutes ago when you just promoted it? He said that with Hardy’s personal and legal issues and with Hardy hitting rock bottom last time we saw him, who knows what he’s going to say.
TNA Knockouts champ Winter vs. Mickie James
As James came to the ring, Tenay was in full cheerleading mode, pushing the fact Hardy was back next week. That comes off so goofy.
As Winter came to the ring, I was struck by how good the theme music was. One of the more underrated aspects of the company are the original themes, some of which have been really good in the last year.
James charges Winter in the corner but Winter slips into the ropes to break up the assault. They lock up and James gets the better of it but Winter immediately rolls to the floor. Chant for Mickie.
Back in the ring, James locks in a wristlock but James reverses it and rolls her up for a two count. They do some decent reversals and James works over Winter’s arm. They exchange strikes and kicks. James nailed a Dragon Screw Legwhip. Think Inoki ever slapped her?
Winter is caught with a rana out of the corner. James nailed a neckbreaker and went to the top rope. Angelina Love tried to interfere but was kicked off the apron by Mickie. James hit a top rope Thesz Press.
Love tried to interfere but James cut her off and choked her. Love tried to toss the title belt into the ring but Earl Hebner caught it and threw Love out of ringside. Winter used the distraction to blast James and rub her face into the mat. She continued working over James as the crowd rallied her.
James powered out of a hammerlock but Winter nailed her. James ducked a right hand and locked in a single leg Boston Crab. Winter reached the ropes. She caught James with a back elbow but James still backdropped Winter.
James called for the leaping DDT but Winter broke it. Both women tried to fling the other by the hair and hit the mat hard. The referee began counting them down. Mickie went for a rollup but Winter rolled through and almost got a three cout.
James nailed the leaping DDT but Winter broke it with the ropes. Winter nailed the enziguiri for another near fall. Winter went to use a piece of fabric to choke James but he grabbed it from her. That allowed James to nail the Chick Kick and score the pin.
Your winner and new TNA Knockouts champion, Mickie James!
With the exception of the second attempt at interference by Love, which led to everything falling apart briefly, a solid back and forth match.
Video feature on the Chris Daniels vs. AJ Styles bout later tonight.
Matt Morgan comes to the ring. He said that for weeks, everyone has had to watch Samoa Joe put half the roster on the injured reserve for weeks. He said that was stupid and evil, but lowblowing Morgan was downright suicidal. He challenged Joe to bring his “fat, dumpy ass” to the ring for the asskicking he deserves and told TNA to send an official out here to make it official. Good promo.
Joe made his way to the ring. Joe drilled the referee who came out and hit the ring. They brawled back and forth in the ring. Joe went for Morgan’s eyes and went for a sidewalk slam. Morgan escaped and nailed a right hand and a discus clothesline.
Morgan hit the rapid fire reverse elbows in the corner. He drilled Joe with a charge into the corner. Joe rolled out to the floor, but pulled Morgan out with him. Morgan nailed Joe and slammed him into the ringside barrier. Morgan blocked a shot from Joe and sent him headfirst into the ringpost.
Morgan worked over Joe on the floor. Morgan went for the Carbon Footprint but Joe shoved referee Jackson James in the way. Morgan stopped himself, leaving him open for another low blow. Joe grabbed a chair and drilled Morgan with it across the back. Joe set up and nailed Morgan’s arm with it as Morgan was leaning again the ringpost.
The officials checked out Morgan as Joe stood triumphant. Joe cut a great promo on the way out into the camera. Good, effective angle on all counts.
Somewhere, Robbie E was working out. Rob Terry shows up and E asks him if he’s considered his offer. Before he can respond, Eric Young shows up and thinks Robbie E is Johnny D. He offers him a TV title shot for next week. Young was pretty funny in his delivery. E tried to say this was proof Terry needed to get on board with him.
Backstage, AJ Styles told Christopher Daniels it was almost time and not to hold back, because he won’t. Daniels said he wouldn’t and thanked Styles for the chance. Styles said it would be the last one and asked him if he heard who was coming back. Daniels hadn’t. Styles tells him Hardy and Daniels was surprised. Styles said that he guesses life is all about third and fourth chances but it’s not their problem. He headed out and Daniels finished preparing. Fine for what they needed to establish.
They announced 20% off ShopTNA.com merchandise.
Backstage, Hogan said he was sick of seeing Jeff Hardy’s named everywhere because they were done with him. He said that the good news is that there were seven of them and one of him. Hogan said he was the special enforcer tonight and you never know when you are going to get called into action. He called for an Immortal group affirmation but Abyss just hung around in the background, angry and sulking.
Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles
They shook hands before the match and went back and forth with a fast exchange that led to Daniels being caught for a one count. He was already annoyed at himself.
They locked up again and Daniels locked in a side headlock. Styles nailed a leapfrog and rolled Styles into a two count. Styles escaped and drilled him with a dropkick. Daniels shoulderblocked him into the corner and cinched in a side headlock. Styles escaped and slammed Daniels, then came off the ropes with and nailed a big kneedrop across the forehead.
Styles slammed Daniels into the turnbuckles and drilled him with a series of rights. Styles cinched up and suplexed Daniels, covering him for a near fall. Styles was caught with a leg lariat, sending Styles to the outside. Daniels went for a dive but Styles returns to the ring. With Daniels on the outside, Styles hit a rana off the apron to the floor.
They returned to the ring, where Styles covered him for a near fall. Styles locked in the Oriental Torture Device. Daniels fought for the ropes and finally made it. Daniels began to nail some shots to the mid-section but was caught with a knee breaker and a gutbuster for another two count.
Styles whipped Daniels into the corner and nailed a forearm. Chant for Styles. Styles went for a suplex but Daniels landed on his feet and nailed an elbow to the back of the head, followed by an STO. Daniels nailed a series of clotheslines but is kicked off as he charged Styles in the corner. Styles nailed the springboard forearm smash for a two count.
Daniels nailed a barrage of palm strikes. Styles drilled him with chops. They went back and forth. Daniels finally nailed him with a kick to the head. Each man recovered.
Styles charged but Daniels cut him off by raising his legs. He elevates Styles to the apron. Styles went for the moonsault into the reverse DDT but Daniels held onto the ropes. Daniels went for the Arabian Press but Styles pulled his knees up.
AJ went for a powerbomb but Daniels reversed and went for Angel’s wings. They went back and forth with counters with the story being that they knew each other that closely. Styles finally went for a springboard but slipped. Daniels covered him and scored the pin.
Your winner, Christopher Daniels!
As Styles was down hurt, Daniels celebrated on the ropes, having finally proven he was good enough.
After a replay, we see Styles offer a handshake. Daniels backs off and then leaves the ring excited, not taking the hand. He looked into the camera and excitedly said, “I won!”
The usual good back and forth match you’d expect from these two. Nice storytelling here.
They showed Hogan and Angle preparing.
TNA champ Kurt Angle vs. Sting with Hulk Hogan as the guest enforcer
They lock up and Angle breaks clean in the corner. They cinch up again and Angle is shoulderblocked down. Sting halts a hiptoss attempt and nails one of his own, followed by an armdrag. Angle went to the outside. Hogan told Angle to get the job done.
Angle catches Sting with a kick to the midsection. Sting reversed an Irish whip and clotheslines Angle. Angle goes to the outside but Sting follows and sends him into the railing.
Back in the ring, Sting hits the Stinger Splash but Angle caught him and nailed a suplex. I don’t think we’ve ever seen that before. Angle locked in a rear chinlock. Sting used a series of back elbows to escape. Sting nailed a back suplex to finally escape.
Sting went for another Stinger Splash but Angle nailed an elbow. Sting caught him with a DDT for a two count. Angle went into the German suplex symphony for a two count.
Angle went for the Olympic Slam but Sting slipped out and nailed the Scorpion Death Drop for a two count. Angle reversed an attempted Scorpion Deathlock into an anklelock but Sting kicked him off. Angle hit his shoulder in the post but still nailed a suplex and an Olympic Slam for a two count.
Angle pulled down the straps and charged but ate a clothesline. Sting locked on a Scorpion Deathlock and turned it over. Hulk Hogan began looking for something and motioned to the back. Gunner hit the ring with a chair but ref Brian Hebner yanked it out of his hands. Angle began tapping but Hebner missed it, getting rid of Gunner.
Hogan nailed Sting in the chest with the chair but no effect. Angle grabbed Sting and nailed the Olympic Slam on Sting, pinning him.
Your winner and still TNA champ, Kurt Angle!
Sting knocked Angle out of the ring and went nose to nose with Hogan, who backed off. Hogan began doing a poor man’s Flair begging routine. Bully Ray attacked Sting, followed by the rest of Immortal. They all worked over Sting except for Abyss, who just watched.
Mr. Anderson’s theme played and he cleared the ring with a baseball bat. The heels regrouped on the stage as we went off the air.