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Impact Wrestling - August 15, 2013 (Hardcore Justice)

Scott asked me to take over for him on Impact.  I'm not sure how long this will last but I've watched Impact every week for years so I'm well versed in how dull it can be.

Impact Wrestling
Date: August 15, 2013
Location: Constant Center, Norfolk, Virginia
Commentators: Tazz, Mike Tenay

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This is another special episode with Hardcore Justice. The main event tonight is Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin for Sabin's world title inside a cage. We were also supposed to get the Main Event Mafia vs. Aces and 8's in a loser (of the fall) leaves town match but it was postponed to next week due to “unforeseen circumstances”, whatever that may mean. The show should be fun tonight so let's get to it.

Bound For Glory Series: Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kazarian vs. AJ Styles

This is for 20 points and it's a ladder match. The clipboard hanging above the ring has a piece of paper with the number 20 on it. Keeping it simple I guess. Kaz goes to the floor to get the first ladder but the other three block him from coming back in. Aries and Kaz fight for the ladder on the ramp with Austin letting go of the ladder to send Kaz to the floor. A top rope ax handle puts Kaz down but AJ knocks Hardy to the floor as well. AJ dives onto Hardy to take him down again and leave Styles as the only man standing.

Kaz gets in a ladder shot to put AJ down before climbing the ladder. Aries comes back in and crotches Kaz against the ladder, leaving Austin vs. Jeff in the ring. Jeff sends him to the floor but AJ pulls the ladder away for a showdown. Hardy tries a quick Twist of Fate but gets shoved off and sent to the announce table on the floor. Kaz comes back in with a slingshot DDT to AJ but has to have a forearm duel with Aries. Styles dropkicks the ladder into the back of Kaz's head but Aries backdrops AJ to the floor. The company is living up to its name for a change as this has been nonstop action since the bell.

Aries runs interference to stop Jeff and AJ from going up the ladder before sending Kaz head first into the post. Austin tries a climb but gets pulled down by Hardy and Jeff knocks down the other two as well. Jeff and Austin both go up but Kaz and AJ make the save, sending all four guys down as we take a break. Back with Aries going up but being pulled down by Kaz before he gets too far. AJ stops both of them and hits the springboard forearm to send Austin to the ramp. The ladder appears to be bent or broken.

Kaz brings in another ladder to clean house but can't climb up fast enough. All four guys go up at the same time and AJ gets his fingers on the contract but Aries shakes everything up with a sunset bomb to Hardy. Kaz and AJ are left alone on the ladder and they fight over a suplex off the ladder. Kaz rakes AJ's eyes to put him down but Styles shoves the ladder over, putting everyone down again.

Aries hits his running dropkick in the corner on Styles and goes up but Hardy makes another save. Styles pulls Aries off the ladder and loads up the Styles Clash but Kaz pulls in a downward spiral on AJ at the same time. Kaz goes up but it's Jeff making another save. Aries comes out of the corner with a missile dropkick to take them both down and goes up as well, but here are Roode and Daniels for a distraction.

Styles plays Shelton Benjamin by springboarding up to the ladder but Hardy shoves the ladder over, sending both guys to the floor. Roode pulls Hardy down as Daniels distracts the referee but Jeff kicks him off. Daniels slips the appletini to Kaz and Jeff gets blinded, allowing Kaz to get the win at 17:35.

Rating: A-. This was the simple formula of take four guys and let them dive off stuff for fifteen minutes or so. I'm not big on another faction in TNA because they're already on overload with them, but at least they're not involved with the other two. The action here was great though and they couldn't have picked a better opener.

Chris Sabin talks about enjoying watching Team 3D put people through tables. Tonight though, he's going to be 3-0 against Bully Ray.

Dixie Carter is in the ring with the Main Event Mafia. She talks about Angle being in rehab and how he'll be there for an indefinite amount of time. Here are the Aces minus Bully before she can get too far into things though. Anderson talks about how the team only has a week to find a replacement. He talks about how Magnus could be leaving and says Magnus used to be the future.

Magnus says they only have a week to find someone new but they might just pull someone out of the audience. Anderson says tonight is the start of a new era for Aces and 8's and the brawl is on. The Aces beat the Mafia down with ease and stand tall. That's rather impressive when you have guys like Brisco and Bischoff on one side and a former MMA world champion on another.

Tito Ortiz is here.

Mickie James vs. ODB vs. Gail Kim

This is a hardcore match and not for Mickie's title. ODB runs them over to start and hits her chest grabbing splashes on both girls in the corner. Mickie pulls her out of the corner but Gail isn't interested in an alliance. Gail pounds on ODB as Mickie wedges a chair into the corner. ODB is whipped into said chair and the other girls get a stereo two count. Mickie rolls up Gail for two and they slug it out with until Gail is sent to the floor. Kim sends ODB back inside and goes to look for a weapon but gets a knee from Mickie instead.

James finds a kendo stick from somewhere and cracks ODB over the back before choking Gail with it. ODB comes back in and pounds on them with the stick before pulling one of her two bras out of the top to choke both girls with it. Mickie gets in a shot and puts on the figure four around the post as Gail chokes away but they can't get along again. ODB gets a shot from the flask and sprays Mickie in the face but Gail breaks up the Bam. Another stick shot misses and ODB hits the Bam on Gail on the chair for the pin at 6:48.

Rating: D+. Did you know ODB was uncouth and does stuff that isn't proper or whatever you call it? Don't worry if you don't because TNA will beat it over your head until you get the idea. The match was nothing special and felt more like a WWE style street fight with the really basic weapons and little more.

Sting yells at the Mafia and suggests Aries as a replacement.

Sting pitches Aries a spot in the Mafia but doesn't get an answer. Aries does seem intrigued though.

Roode says his plan is coming together.

Sting tells the Mafia that Aries said no. Rampage has an idea and will address it in the ring. Joe goes with him and Magnus has an idea for Sting.

We recap Ray vs. Sabin in a nice, comprehensive video. To be fair though there isn't much to recap.

Ray is on the phone with someone he calls honey and says this hasn't been a normal relationship. Tonight is about Ray but next week is about the two of them. “I love you too Brooke.”

Here are Jackson and Joe with something to say. Jackson talks about MMA fans calling him a sellout for coming to wrestling. However now that he's in the Mafia, he feels like he's in a family. He didn't come here to get beaten up though, so now he needs to ask an old training partner for his help. Jackson calls out Tito Ortiz and plugs the Bellator PPV several times. Rampage offers Tito the spot on the Mafia team next week but Ray interrupts (to the wrong music) before we can get an answer. Ray says he'd come in there right now if he didn't have a title match later tonight. Ray threatens them, Ortiz is held back, that's about it.

Bound For Glory Series: Magnus vs. Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Bobby Roode

This is a tables match with the first person to drive someone else through a table getting 20 points. Magnus jumps Roode during his entrance and we start fast. They head inside as Joe and Anderson brawl on the floor with no tables brought in yet. Joe throws the first one in before taking Roode down with a powerslam. Anderson tries the rolling senton on Anderson but Magnus makes the save. The Mafia teams up to clean house but both of them try powerbombs through the table at the same time. Anderson and Roode fight out and turn the table over as we get a makeshift tag match.

Everyone heads to the floor and Joe rings the bell on top of Roode's crotch. Anderson tries a Mic Check off the ramp through a table but Magnus counters into a failed powerbomb bid. A low blow puts the Brit down and Joe rings the bell again. The pairings switch off and Joe hits the Ole kick minus the Ole on Anderson. Back inside Magnus' powerslam through the table is escaped and he walks into the Roode spinebuster. Everyone is back inside now and the Mafia is in trouble. Joe is whipped into Roode for a clothesline, sending Bobby to the outside.

Joe hits the suicide dive to take Roode out and Anderson gets caught in a bad looking Snow Plow. The table is set again but Anderson takes Magnus down with the Mic Check. Joe comes back in to chop Anderson and loads up the Muscle Buster but Roode moves the table. Roode sends Joe to the floor and puts Magnus on the table, only to get crotched on the top by the Samoan. Cue Kazarian to distract Joe, allowing Daniels to throw the appletini into Magnus' face. Roode powerbombs Magnus through the table for the 20 points at 10:20.

Rating: C+. This was fun but ran a bit long. The ending being the same as the first one was fine but it didn't really surprise anyone. I'm not a fan of the 20 points thing here because it sent Kaz and now Roode from the bottom to the top in one night, basically making whole months worthless.

Anderson and Ray get in an argument over Anderson costing Ray the title. Ray doesn't know if he can win and Anderson says the club is here to help him. Anderson says he isn't an enemy but Ray says he doesn't seem like an ally.

Next week it's Jay Bradley vs. Hernandez vs. Daniels vs. Joseph Park in a 20 point street fight.

TNA World Title: Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin

In a cage with Sabin defending and if Ray loses, he never gets another shot at the gold. After the big match intros we're ready to go. I think it's pin/submission/escape here but the announcers don't make it clear. Ray scores a quick slam but Sabin pops right back up. Another slam puts Sabin down even harder but he shoves Ray back. There's a third hard slam but Sabin comes back with some armdrags and a dropkick to send Ray into the corner. Some forearms in the corner set up a delayed dropkick but Ray sends him onto the top rope. The champion comes off with a cross body for two and dropkicks Ray's leg out.

Sabin goes up but gets crotched and LAUNCHED into the cage with authority. I'm guessing Bully's authority but it isn't really clear. Back from a break with Ray in full control and getting two off a big elbow drop. He shouts at Sabin to hit him in the face and the champion does just that, coming out of the corner with forearms to the face. Ray gets caught in a backslide for two but takes Sabin's head off to regain control. Bully loads up a huge powerbomb but Sabin slips down into a sleeper, only to have Ray ram him into the cage for the break.

Sabin comes out of the corner with a nice tornado DDT but can't immediately follow up. They slug it out and the champion gets all fired up by chopping Ray down. He actually hits a Death Valley Driver on the big man but doesn't cover. Sabin takes Ray's Aces cut off and whips Ray across the back with it, only to get kicked in the face for two. A Samoan drop gets two on Sabin but Ray gets caught while climbing. Sabin tries a rana out of the corner but drops Ray down on his shoulder, sending Ray across the mat, clutching his shoulder and screaming in pain.

Hail Sabin is countered into a suplex and Ray wants the door open. Sabin tries to slide past Ray but gets pulled back in. Ray misses a charge and sends the referee into the cage, knocking him out cold. Sabin hits a missile dropkick on Ray but there's no referee to count the pin. Anderson slams the cage door against Sabin's shoulder but Sabin pops right back up. Anderson: “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Cue the Mafia for the save but Ortiz hits Rampage with the hammer, allowing Ray to kill Sabin with the powerbomb for the pin and the title at 18:08.

Rating: C+. Good cage match here but you knew the swerve was coming. Ortiz turning (was that a turn? I don't think he was ever a face to begin with) isn't really a surprise and it was pretty obvious that Ray was walking out with the gold. It's a good cage match but the lack of any drama really didn't help much.

Overall Rating: B. This was a really solid show and with the extra matches that are scheduled for next week it would have been even better. If only there was a way to have all the stuff you get on TV plus a bit more, say on a different night of the week to make it feel special.....nah that would never work. Anyway this was the usual good stuff from TNA when they try and have no Hogans dragging them to a grinding halt. The problem I see for TNA though is they pretty much have three stories going: Ray's ongoing story, the Series and the Mafia vs. the Aces and 8's. If you don't like those, you're out of luck. Good show tonight.

Kazarian b. AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Austin Aries – Kazarian pulled down the clipboard
ODB b. Gail Kim and Mickie James – Bam on a chair to Kim
Bobby Roode b. Magnus, Samoa Joe and Mr. Anderson – Roode powerbombed Magnus through a table
Bully Ray b. Chris Sabin – Powerbomb

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  1. So why the fuck did bubba dudley job to that asshole in the first place?

  2. X-Division Affirmative Action. Now they can go back to ignoring the title 46 weeks out of the year.

  3. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonAugust 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    "I'm not a fan of the 20 points thing here because it sent Kaz and now Roode from the bottom to the top in one night, basically making whole months worthless."

    But isn't that the purpose of it to give someone that is behind in the standings a chance to catch up?

  4. Yeah it is but it defeats the purpose of the tournament: rewarding someone who wins consistently. Make these special matches worth 10 instead of 20 and it's not a problem.

  5. The purpose of the tournament is to mask the fact that they don't have enough creativity to come up with other reasons for the majority of matches that take place.

  6. Well that goes without saying.

  7. Prognosticating without looking at spoilers:

    Ideally, they would have had the 5v5 match and this match in the same week. That's their way of 50-50 booking.

  8. Your_Favourite_AssholeAugust 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    calling it now: bully was talking to brooke tessmacher

  9. "I'm well versed in how dull it can be...."

    That is pretty much the main prerequisite for reviewing TNA.

  10. Although did this show really have two appletini based finishes? That's like someone in TNA was watching too much mid 90's WCW.

  11. There's no such thing as "watching too much mid 90's WCW"!

  12. It feels like a combination of "thanks for your service" and "gee, sorry about your knees". He came back he made his run, never got much of a reaction but he's been a good soldier for TNA for awhile. Maybe not since the beginning but since almost anyone has been watching.

    I have no problem with him getting a run but in the middle of the Bully storyline? That was dumb.

    My grand conspiracy as to the timing of the reign was that he was promised to get the belt by someone and as the ship started sinking they figured they wanted to pay it off ASAP while they still could. But that's just silly, right?

  13. Dungeon of Doom +Stud Stable = Dungeon of Studs.

  14. There's no such thing as "too many appletinis."

  15. The same reason Hogan lost to Luger -- to prove he can be beaten.

  16. I think it was because TNA creative want to push the whole X-Division champion gets a world title shot on the same level as Money in the Bank where fans are are 99% guaranteed a title change.

  17. Opening match was awesome. AJ's haircut is stupid. Happy Bully is champ again.

    And uhhhhh...nope. Nope, that's it.

  18. So I just kind of pictured a scenario where Daniel Bryan beats Cena, Orton cashes in, and Bryan beats him anyway, only for vince to become so upset he throws the entire WWE at him. Shit would be baller.

  19. Yeah, Thomas has always done solid, underappreciated work for the site. Don't let the fact you won't get a ridiculous amount of feedback, comments, support, and flamewars in your reviews get you down, your work is noticed and appreciated.

  20. Much appreciated.

  21. Caliber_Winfield_The_3rdAugust 16, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    Agreed. Keep up the good work, Tommy.

  22. Caliber_Winfield_The_3rdAugust 16, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    So, is AJ not going the Sting 1997 route?

  23. I think they saw potential in Sabin as a Daniel Bryan-type underdog that people would fall in love with and gave him a quick push to the top, not coincidentally at the same time WWE was pushing Bryan and getting good results ... Or they just wanted to mix things up and not make Bully Ray seem invincible.

  24. Some of ODB's facial expressions in the ring remind me of The Undertaker. I'm not saying she looks like Taker (that would be tragic for any woman), but she makes some of the same faces.

  25. I heard Brooke Burns got married a few weeks ago.......

  26. Charismatic e-Negro Jef VinsonAugust 16, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    That is the new group led by Chyna that is going to take over the KO division.

  27. I get the feeling it started like that but it just morphed into a gimmick change. I think it came from AJ wanting to change his style a little bit to lessen the toll on his body.


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