1/9/14 iMPACT Review: Goodbye AJ Styles
The show opens with Dixie headed to the ring with AJ Style’s one night only contract in hand as she asks him to come to the ring. She tells AJ everything he asked for is in there and he will have his match and it will be winner take all. She then goes on to add that she did make one change and that is that the match will be no disqualification, because she wants everybody’s last memories of AJ to be of him being stretchered out of the building. AJ reminds her what winner take all means, that after he wins tonight, there will be no more tournaments and no more paper champions, when he wins he will be the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, and that’s it. He continues saying that Dixie’s no disqualification stipulation doesn’t scare him, because he knows he has friends in the back that will have his back tonight should team Dixie try to interfere. Dixie reminds him that she owns all the boys in the back so they won’t be around to help him out. They go back and forth a little bit more and eventually Magnus comes out to the ring, and says AJ doesn’t have any friends in the back anymore, because he walked out on them. Magnus also says that the only reason AJ came back was because he wanted to take the spotlight back from Magnus. AJ signs the contract and the match is official.
In the back Dixie is talking to Gail Kim and Lai’d Tapa and asks them if they are sure they can get the job done.
Eric Young and Joesph Park make their way to the ring for the opening contest.
Dixie cuts off the Bro Mans as they are headed to the ring and asks them the same question she asked Kim, if they are sure tehy can get the job done. They say yes and make their way out to the ring.
Eric Young and Joesph Park vs. The Bro Mans w/ DJ Zema Ion: Non-title match
Eric Young starts out the match trying to grapple with the ref. this gives Robbie an opening. but Young takes the opening advantage. Young his some nice high passed offense and quickly tags in Park. As park starts to get some offense in the giant screen over the entrance shows ODB getting beat down by Gail Kim and Tapa. This sends Young sprinting to the back to help out his wife. With park out numbered the Bro Mans get the win after hitting the Bro Down.
Winners: The Bro Mans
After the match they grab a piece of the guardrail and throw it into the ring and hit the Bro Down on the guardrail taking Park out.
An ok match. It was more there to add to the story of the episode than anything, and it set the tone well. Mass Chaos. First you have the attack on ODB leaving Park in a 2-on-1 situation that he can’t defend against. Then after the match the Bro Mans take it that extra step by hitting their finisher on the guardrail. Good set-up for the rest of the night.
In Dixie’s office Samoa Joe walks in to tell her he is on the side of AJ tonight. She tells him simply not to worry about AJ but to worry about his opponent her nephew Ethan Carter the Third
The doctor’s are checking out Park, the doctor says he thinks Park has a concussion and needs to be evaluated at the hospital.
Sting is entering the arena and passes EY as he is caring ODB to the car to take her to the emergency room. Sting wonders what is going on…
James Storm heads out to the ring and calls out Gunner. Storm says he has been part of some of the greatest tag teams of all time, but both of them had bitter ends because of one thing: The World Heavyweight Championship. He says that this is exactly what has been happening between him and Gunner over the past month since Feast or Fired. Gunner says he absolutely agrees, and that it has been Storm’s ego and wanting to be champ that has torn them apart. Storm says that Gunner got the championship title shot from running him over in feast or fired ans suggest they fight one last time for the briefcase to see who exactly deserves the title shot. Gunner agrees and the match is set for next week
EC3 attacks Joe in the back of the arena. The two fight back and forth and eventually make their way to the stage and then down to the ring. The bell sounds and the match is officially underway.
Ethan Carter the Third vs. Samoa Joe
EC3 has the early advantage, but it doesn’t last long. Joe starts hitting a lot of his fast passed signatures right away and is in full control. Having so much dominance makes Joe cocky and EC3 takes out Joe’s knee to get a bit of momentum his way. EC3 works on the knee a while before climbing the ropes. Joe gets up and knocks EC3 off balance, however, and starts to set him up for the Muscle Buster.Rockstar Spud comes flying down to the ring and grabs Joe’s leg to distract him. It works as Joe puts down Carter and gives chase to Spud up the ramp. Carter gets a wrench from somewhere and attacks Joe’s knee again. They work over Joe’s knee some more with the wrench. When Joe tries to get up and give chase his knee gives out and he falls back to the ground.
winner: No Contest
Once again not much too this match. It was a brawl from the onset. It ended in a no contest so EC3 still can claim to be un beaten, and it took out another of AJ’s friends, giving him less and less numbers on his side.
Jeremy Borash is in the back with Kurt Angle asking about his Open challenge cage match tonight. Kurt says he is getting ready for the match of his life, and it doesn’t matter who answers the open challenge tonight, because all he is going to see is Bobby Roode.
The doctor is in the back looking over Joe’s knee and says that Joe needs to go to the hospital and get an MRI done.
Quick cut to another location backstage where EMT’s are working on both James Storm and Gunner. There is broken beer bottles on the ground next them.Sting sees this and goes to confront Dixie. Sting asks if this is what Dixie really wants around here now, mass chaos and people orchestrating random hits in the locker room. Dixie initially plays dumb, but Sting keeps pressing. Eventually Dixie says that this will all end when she sees AJ being carted out and off to the hospital and out of her building. She then reminds him tat it is not his place to worry about what’s going on because he is only a wrestler, and one with a match tonight. Sting says a match won’t get in the way of Sting making sure he gets done what needs to be done.
Kurt Angle heads to the ring to await the arrival of his opponent
Bobby Roode’s music hits and he walks out in full ring gear. He cuts a promo about how he has beaten Kurt already and will again next. He continues to tease as if he is going to accept the open challenge, but backs away and says he found a perfect opponent for Kurt. The team of Bad Influence.
Kurt Angle vs. Bad Influence: Steel Cage Open Challenge
Bad Influence get the early advantage with Daniels entering through the door while Kaz climbed up and over the cage to enter on the opposite side. They continue to keep the advantage using double team tactics, and the cage. Kurt reverses an attempted double back body drop. He goes for a quick pin on Daniels but Kaz distracts the ref and Bad Influence gets the advantage again. Kurt once again survives and gets a reversal to gain the advantage. He starts with the German Suplexes on Daniels, then moves onto Kaz. Angle returns his focus to Daniels and goes for the Olympic Slam. Kaz makes the save and tries to escape the cage. Angle catches him and hits a German Suplex off of the top turnbuckle. Kaz takes out Daniels on the landing. Angle hits the Olympic slam on Kaz and gets the pin.
Winner: Kurt Angle
Match of the night by far. It was fun and had some amazing spots. Kurt gets the win and looks ready to take on Roode next week, and finally get that monkey off of his back and move on in his quest to prove himself worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Dixie is on the phone telling them to keep the cage up. Roode enters into her office and Dixie asks if Roode is ready for his match tonight. Roode looks shocked as he didn’t expect to wrestle. She tells him he has a cage match with Sting. Roode flips out but Dixie calms him down and tells him not to worry because she has his back. He calms down and reluctantly agrees to the match.
Kurt is in the parking lot taking photos with fans. Al Snow pulls up and says there is an emergency and he will explain on the way. Kurt jumps in and they speed off.
Bobby Roode vs. Sting: Steel Cage Match
They lock up and it is an even back and forth. Sting gets a little bit of an edge and goes for a Stinger Splash, but Roode counters it and gets the advantage. Roode is all over him, and goes for the pin early. When that doesn’t work he tries going through the door, but Sting cuts him off. Roode starts in on the offense once again, and this time hits a Double R Spine Buster, but Sting kicks out once again. Roode tries going over the top this time but Sting grabs him and throws him off of the turnbuckle. This gives Sting his first really offense of the match and hits the big moves quick, with multiple Stinger Splashes and an attempt at the Scorpion Death Lock. Roode rakes the eyes however, but Sting gets hits a Death Drop and locks in the Death Lock. This brings out EC3 and Spud. EC3 tries to climb the cage, this gets Sting to release the hold and wait to cut him off. On the other side of the ring Spud throws in a police batton to Roode who uses it to attack Sting and knock him out long enough for Roode to walk out the door for the win.
Winner: Bobby Roode.
Good match. Nice to see Roode really carry the match and hold the advantage. While he didn’t come out looking as strong as Angle after his match, but still Roode beat a legend in the cage and that’s what matters.
Mr. Anderson is seen entering the funeral home where the funeral of the Aces & Eight’s took place. He walks into the chapel and sees Bully Ray setting in the back. Anderson says let’s finish this. Bully says if he wanted to finish it he would last week, by setting Anderson of fire, but that would be to lenient for everything that Anderson has done. Bully talks about forgiveness and hoe he wants to make Anderson feel what he feels now. He then tells Anderson to look in the coffin, where he pulls out baby blankets and when he turns around Bully is gone.
Sting bashes into Dixie’s office and says a baton is nowhere near enough to stop him from being on AJ’s side tonight. Dixie tries using Sing’s contract and her money to sway him, but it doesn’t work. She then asks him if he honestly believes that AJ would do the same for him. She leaves him to think about it.
AJ Styles vs. Magnus :Winner-Take-All Champion vs. Champion Match
Magnus immediately heads to the floor twice, then before anything happens EC3 and Spud attack. Styles has little trouble defending them off and as Magnus tries to attack from behind he doesn’t get anything has AJ takes the advantage, but the numbers are just too much. Sting comes down to find off EC3 and Spud and its back down to AJ and Magnus in the ring, but once again before anymore physicality happens between the two the Bro Mans are out. They hit the Bro Down on AJ and reluctantly Hebner makes a count, but AJ kicks out. Sting makes it back into the ring to fend off the Bro Mans with AJ. Magnus once again goes for the sneak attack, but once again fails. AJ hits the Styles Clash, and Bad Influence now hit the ring. They hit the high low on AJ and Magnus makes the pin, but Hebner feed up with everything going on doesn’t make the count, and walks out of the match. Dixie comes out dragging Brian Hebner to the ring and force him to count the fall. AJ kicks out again. Him and Sting get enough of an advantage for AJ to go for the Calf Killer but Bad Influence take out the ref. Another Styles Clash and Earl Hebner sprints back out to the ring to count the fall, but once again Bad Influence pull the ref out and stop the count. AJ flies over the top and takes out bad Influence. Styles is back in the ring and waiting for Magnus to get up. Roode comes out and hits his version of the AA three times on AJ. This brings out Dixie with a third ref who makes the count and finally AJ stays down giving Magnus the win.
Winner and Undisputed TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Magnus
This match was the entire night. With all the faces getting taken out throughout the night, it left AJ with only Sting as backup. Every heel in the company came out and it made AJ look strong. This match was booked with the idea of AJ coming back and being a savior for TNA from Dixie. The biggest problem with the match was, there was almost no AJ vs. Magnus interaction. Which, once again, from the standpoint of TNA at the time thinking AJ was coming back, would of been played with in the storyline. It was an overbooked mess was the problem. Magnus who was booked strong all the way up to and including his win in the title tournament. This made him look like a coward, and whenever he tried to attack AJ, AJ took the advantage in a heartbeat. It builds a hate toward Magnus is the fanbase, and makes them want to see AJ come back and save them from Magnus, which was obviously the plan when it was taped.
The show was the one that had the biggest problem with being taped. Because the plans at the taping and how the main event was booked would have obviously been completely different had they known AJ wouldn’t resign and he would jump ship to Ring of Honor. On a positive note Dixie did easily her best work as an on screen character heel or face that she has ever had. With the good shows TNA have been putting on lately have been really good, the main event was a huge misstep.