TNA Impact Wrestling Review for the 24th May episode

Show opens with Hulk Hogan in his office, alongside Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles. Hogan openly talks about a show format and the script for the show. Hogan mentions Bobby Roode potentially becoming the longest TNA World Champ, which causes a disagreement between Bully, Angle and Styles. Hogan asks why they should face Roode tonight. Angle says because he’s won the more titles than the others (Bully quips “You must mean singles titles?”, AJ says “you can’t mean TNA ones only”), Bully reckons he’s the only legit guy there, AJ says for selfish reasons to stop Roode taking his record. Bully says Hardy’s plan is working well, let the others argue while he sits there. Hardy suggests letting the fans vote, but Angle says Jeff only wants this, as the fans love him. Hogan thinks all 4 guys could beat Roode, but because Bully hasn’t won the big one yet in singles competition, Bully Ray is eliminated. Bully questions this, and when Hogan says it’s the right decision, Bully says “Eric was right about you” and leaves.

Gail Kim and Madison Rayne come down. Gail says it’s great to be her, and she’s the most dominant Knockout Champion in TNA’s history. She also mentions how the division revolves around her, but she has one blemish on her record: Losing the Tag Titles to Eric Young and ODB. She calls them out to face her and Madison Rayne.

Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs Eric Young and ODB

Eric plays about with Gail until ODB yells at him for picking her up, and tags herself in. ODB has control, until EY acts the fool, allowing Madison in to double team ODB. They keep ODB in, and keep her down, often tagging in and out to kept themselves fresh. This works up to a point, when Gail and Madison disagree, allowing ODB chance to spear Gail, and tag out. Eric comes in, and Madison hits him a few times, until Eric “hulks up”…and drops pants. He drops Gail and Madison a few times, till ODB spots he is without shorts. She yells at him again, and tags in. ODB uses her strength to take ODB down, but as she goes for a fallaway slam, EY gets on the top rope. This allows Rayne to trip ODB and hold onto her feet as Gail wins the match.

Winners: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne

After the match, Eric Young and ODB chase Gail Kim and Madison Rayne to the back.

Bobby Roode is shown entering the Impact Zone, before we see Hulk Hogan is on the phone. Hulk asks someone if they’re still coming, and says it’s been too long.

Rob Van Dam makes his way down. RVD states he’s been too focused on winning the title since he returned, and has let some unfinished business slide. He calls out Gunner, who put RVD on the sidelines for over 3 months.

Rob Van Dam vs Gunner

RVD attacks with a dropkick before Gunner can even get in the ring. They brawl outside, Gunner throws RVD in, then throws a chair too. They trade blows, before RVD hits a step over enzugiri and Rolling Thunder. RVD misses a kick and Gunner drops him, before working over him. Gunner tries to bring the chair into play, but as he turns to RVD, RVD hits a Van Daminator, before striking with the 5 Star Frog Splash.

Winner: Rob Van Dam

Devon comes down, and mentions how despite being given the opportunity to defend his TV Title each week, last week he was in the Open Fight Night Battle Royal. He gives Garrett Bischoff credit for eliminating him, and offers a TV Title shot tonight.

TNA TV Title Match – Devon (c) vs Garrett Bischoff

Garrett with a hammerlock, then into a headlock, before Devon switches it, does the same to Garrett then slams him. Devon misses a headbutt, and Garrett hits a snapmare. Robbie E and Robbie T run down, attacking both men.

Match is ruled a no contest.

Devon and Garrett fight back, do a double splash to the Robbies before clotheslining them to the outside.

Backstage to Hulk Hogan’s office again, with Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Kurt Angle. He says the first elimination was tough, but this will be tougher. Hogan says AJ knows Roode better than anyone else, Hardy has been professional since his return, and he’s worried over Kurt’s injuries. Roode’s reign needs to be stopped, and considering Hardy’s wins being “shaky”, he eliminates Jeff. Angle says Hulk can’t take too long to decide, and Hogan says he’ll decide soon.

The Abyss/Joseph Park video is played again. Bully Ray comes down and says he’s pissed off to be eliminated first tonight. He’s also sick of people telling him Joseph Park is in the crowd, sees him, and calls Joseph to the ring. Joseph makes his way from the crowd, and says he feels intimidated. All he ever wanted, was answers about Abyss, and everything points to Bully Ray. Joseph offers a “fair trial” in front of the fans, who chant that Bully is guilty. Bully punches Joseph, before whipping him with his chain, saying “I’m not guilty” and leaving.

TNA GutCheck time, and next up is Joey Ryan. I’ve seen this guy before, and I find him highly entertaining. He says this is his time to shine, and he’s never had the national spotlight. He’s always had a passion for wrestling (didn’t mention a passion for sleaze!).

From that video, Jeremy Borash is in the ring with Al Snow and Joey Ryan. JB runs through what GutCheck is, then asks Joey if he’s ready. Joey says to bring him on….may regret asking, as his opponent is The Greatest Man That Ever Lived, Austin Aries!!

Austin Aries vs Joey Ryan

Despite Ryan taking Aries down with an armdrag, Aries them dropped Ryan a few times to embarass him. Aries also uses Ryan’s chest hair to help him get to his feet. Both guys used clever counters to reverse a move into an attack. We first saw Ryan dodge Aries elbow, go for a sunset flip, only for Aries to roll through and hit a dropkick to the face. Then Ryan countered a irish whip by sliding under Aries, coming up behind and hitting a pumphandle suplex. Ryan leapt off the top rope, Aries dodged his attack, armdragged him to the turnbuckle, before hitting a dropkick and brainbuster for the win.

Winner: Austin Aries

Slammiversary lookback is a recent memory, as we see Hulk Hogan vs Sting at Bound for Glory 2011.

Bobby Roode makes his way to the ring, followed by AJ Styles and Kurt Angle. Hulk Hogan comes out, to way too much pyro. He says this is the toughest decision, but it doesn’t matter who he picks, as he knows either guy can beat Roode. But, he goes with his (large, flabby, orange) gut, and picks AJ Styles, seeing as AJ knows Roode better.

TNA World Title Match – Bobby Roode (c) vs AJ Styles

AJ fails with an early pin attempt, but strikes with a dropkick and flying forearm. He tries the flying forearm again, Roode blocks it, before throwing AJ shoulder first into the ring post. Roode starts to work over the injured arm, and everytime AJ tried to fight back, Roode stopped him. AJ did get the advantage outside the ring, but took his eye off Roode for no reason, and Roode hiptossed him onto the stairs. We go split screen, and see a backstage worker tell Hulk Hogan “your guest has arrived”. After a break, Roode continues to dominate, but as he charges at AJ, AJ headbutts him, then leaps off the ropes with a flying forearm. Both guys try to end the match with a submission, first Roode with the Crossface, before AJ tries an Indian Deathlock, but neither can make their opponent tap. AJ goes for the Styles Clash, Roode lifts him over his back, then hits a spinebuster, and the PayOff for a 2 count. He tries again, but AJ blocks it, and hits the Pele kick. AJ goes outside, but looks up the ramp, before trying for the 450 splash. As AJ flies, Roode gets his knees up, then hits a 2nd PayOff for the 3 count.

Winner and still TNA World Champion: Bobby Roode

After the match, Kazarian and Daniels appear on the ramp, and mock AJ Styles, while Bobby Roode celebrates. Roode takes the mic, and says history has been made, as he’s now the longest reigning TNA World Champion. He takes a bottle of champagne, and calls down Hulk Hogan to celebrate with him.

A short break ends, and Hogan hasn’t come down, so Roode begins the “celebration of domination” on his own. As Roode drinks champagne, and confetti drops from the ceiling, Hogan finally comes down. Hogan congratulates Roode, and says he did it with hard work. Hogan says someone else has come to celebrate with Roode, and welcomes the guest down. The lights go out, and when they come back on, Sting is in the ring! Roode and Sting brawl, Sting pushes him into the corner before hitting a Stinger Splash, and clotheslining him out the ring. Hogan tells Roode, that when Impact starts at a new time of 8pm next week, it will open with a lumberjack match, and Bobby Roode will be facing Sting. Roode is not happy with this, as Hogan shouts “It’s Showtime!”.

I’ve got to say, while I think Open Fight Night and TNA GutCheck is a great idea, one or two things bother me. First off, I’m not so keen on the backstage segments in Hogan’s office, especially the first one on this episode. Talking about scripts, what creative want them to do, and making the segment feel like a reality show, I just felt like it made the segment come off looking strange. As for GutCheck, what bothers me, is the videos of the wrestler before his match. Joey Ryan is a sleazy bastard, but the video has him talking about how he was at Disney World when he got the call. For me, we should be seeing them cut a promo in gimmick, so we can see how well they can talk, and how there gimmick comes off.

On the plus side, we got some good matches, especially Ryan vs Aries, and Roode vs Styles. I’ve seen some people say Ryan didn’t do much, or enough to earn a contract with TNA, but for me, he did, and also put in a better performance than Alex Silva. For me, I’d sign him up, with a few X-Division guys leaving, bring him in, give him a go! The main event was given a good amount of time, and it was pretty enjoyable. Roode and Styles work well together, and are two of the top talents in TNA right now. Hope this match happens again some day soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and look forward to seeing your thoughts on the show, or this review.

@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope