Sunday, 3 June 2012

Impact Wrestling: Open Fight Night - 27th May 2012

The second Open Fight Night (OFN) opened with a recap of the stories which we have seen recently including AJ’s secret and the extra dirt which was dished on his inappropriate relationship with Dixie Carter, Joseph Park’s mission to find Abyss and Bully Ray’s threat to the lawyer.

Hulk Hogan read out the show format to Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles in his office. He passed the sheet of paper around and told the guys that that is what is supposed to be happening. Hogan asked Ray if he’s ok with the format before saying that he is supposed to grill the men.

Hogan spoke about the situation which he has with Roode coming up to being the longest reigning champion in TNA history, prompting Angle to question the importance of it. AJ, having had the title of longest reigning champ said that it is important to him and asked Angle what the importance of him having an Olympic Gold medal is. Ray stuck up for Angle and AJ said that the title is important to him just as the gold medal is to Angle.

Hogan wants the four potential contenders to convince him as to why they need/deserve a shot at the title. Ray said that he shouldn’t have to convince him and that other wrestlers are tough but he is “the most legit”. The Bully also said that he could intimidate Hogan if he wanted to. Angle disagreed with him. Ray said that he is the hardest hitting person that Angle has ever been in the ring with and admitted that Angle is the most talented wrestler he has fought.

AJ simply wants to have a title shot for himself and Angle interjected that he beat AJ just last week. AJ took a jibe and said that if he wants to rely on Kaz and Daniels to help in their matches then that is ok after he lost his focus when they intercepted during the match. Angle said that he asked AJ about that incident and as we saw last week, AJ skirted around the topic.

Ray noticed that Hardy had sat silent throughout the discussion so far and said that it’s a good plan to just sit there and let them argue amongst themselves. Hardy said “let the fans decide”. Angle turned to Hardy and asked if he thinks that he deserves a title shot just because he is Jeff Hardy. He suggested that Hardy thought that people liking him will work for him. Hardy quipped that it works for Angle’s son.

Hogan eliminated Ray from the equation as he has only been a singles guy for a year even though he has won the most tag team titles. Ray asked Hogan if he was sure about his decision and then said “Eric was right about you” to the General Manager before leaving the office.

Next we saw the tour dates for TNA’s Maximum Impact V tour which can be found here
The OFN titles rolled and Tenay welcomed us to the show. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne were out first with Rayne trailing behind. Kim took to the mic and said “Being Gail Kim is good” and then corrected herself saying “Being Gail Kim is great”. She said that she is the most dominant Kockouts Champion in TNA’s 10 year history. Kim feels that she has built up the Knockouts division and everything revolves around her. She even went as far to say that she is the most important woman in the company. Kim has an issue with ODB and Eric Young having the Tag Team titles seeing as one of them is a man. She told Rayne to pay attention before calling out “Mr and Mrs ODB”.

Tenay was shocked to hear her call out the people who beat them in March and Taz said that she is embarrassed about EY being one half of the tag team. Tenay said that he can see why wrestling purists would have a problem with it but he finds them entertaining.

Madison Rayne and Gail Kim vs. ODB and Eric Young
Ref: Brian Stiffler

Kim and EY faced each other first. They twisted each other’s arm with Kim going first. The pair then exchanged Headlocks and Standing Switches. With EY having his arms wrapped tightly around Kim’s waist and her kicking her legs about in the air, ODB got jealous and told EY to put her down. EY walked over to his wife and tagged her in. ODB entered the ring and laid into the Knockouts Champion with a few Forearm Shots before knocking Kim down with her chest and then BAM, she hit her with a Fall Away Slam. ODB then went over to the corner and knocked Rayne off the apron.

The match was interrupted with the Maximum Impact V tour news which can be found here and an ad break.

When we returned from the break we saw a Clothesline and a cover on ODB from Kim. A clip showing that ODB and EY had stood over Rayne and kissed during the break was played and Kim capitalised as the loved up couple approached each other by running in to the ring and shoving ODB from behind.

Kim tagged in Rayne and held on to ODB whilst she put the boot in before leaving her to face ODB alone. Rayne screeched something inaudible in ODB’s face before kicking her repeatedly. Tenay questioned Rayne’s focus as she was still preoccupied despite going for two quick covers.

Rayne dragged ODB over to Kim and then tagged her in. ODB was then dragged back in to the centre of the ring by her hair and thrown in to the corner by the girls ready for some double teaming. Kim whipped Rayne in to ODB and then held out her hand for Rayne to do the same to her; but Rayne had other ideas and took herself out of the ring in a dreamlike state. Kim asked Rayne what she was doing and ODB took the opportunity to Spear Kim whilst she was still seething over Rayne’s actions.

EY and Rayne squared off next. EY headed towards Rayne but looked as though he were in turmoil as he stopped himself from wrestling her and backed off with his hands up against his head. He then walked around the ring in circles and Rayne followed him and Elbowed him in the back before he stopped pacing. She then slapped him hard across the face.

After receiving a slap, EY was ready to fight. It was ‘Pants down, danger up’ time. He hip tossed Rayne across the ring and then did the same to Kim when she ran in to attack. Both girls then found themselves Body Slammed to the mat.

ODB shouted at EY from the apron and told him to put his “damn pants on” saying “What you gonna (do) knock ‘em up?”. ODB then powered her way in to the ring and took Kim to the mat several times before issuing her with a Running Power Slam for a two count.

ODB wasn’t giving up, she lifted Kim to her shoulders but Kim managed to break free and knee her in the chest. Kim ran the ropes and flung herself at ODB but was caught mid-air. ODB clung on to the Knockouts Champion and stumbled forward. Rayne interfered from outside the ring and pulled ODB’s legs from underneath her. Kim fell on to ODB as Rayne kept hold of her feet and pinned her for the win.

Kim quickly rolled herself out of the ring and lifted Rayne’s arm in victory before dragging her up the ramp in the hopes of a quick exit. The Tag Team Champions chased after them and were soon hot on their heels.
The camera peered through the blinds in to Hogan’s office where we saw him on the phone. He told the person whom he was speaking to that he has made a cut and it wasn’t pretty. He said that he will see the person soon and it’s been a while since they last saw them before hanging up. Hogan then exhaled and said “Holy shiz!”

RVD entered the arena and Taz said that the wrestler is always ready to fight. Tenay said that everyone is on edge as they have to be ready in case they are called.

RVD said that since his return he has been so focused on giving us a good role model for a champion that he has let unfinished business slide. He then called out Gunner. We were then shown a clip from January 8th 2012 when RVD had to take three months out after a nasty DDT at the hands of Gunner. Taz said that it was a moment he’ll never forget as we saw RVD being stretchered out of the arena.

Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner
Ref: Earl Hebner

Gunner made his way to the ring and stood on the apron. RVD couldn’t wait for the bell to ring and Dropkicked his opponent through the middle rope. The pair exchanged around the outside of the ring and Gunner took the offense. He tossed RVD in to the ring and then launched a chair in after him. Earl slid the chair straight in to the corner to prevent it being used as a weapon.

Once Gunner was back in the ring RVD issued him with a flurry of shots and the pair exchanged again. RVD came out on top with a Step Through Enziguri followed by a Rolling Thunder. RVD tried to continue the domination but missed a kick in the corner giving Gunner the opportunity to take back control with some shots to the top of the head and a Clothesline for two.

RVD fought back from his knees but Gunner kept him close and continued his beat down. Gunner made a mistake in launching RVD in to the corner as when he went after him he was met with a Spinning Heel Kick. Mr Intensity made a second mistake in turning his back on RVD to go fetch the chair from the corner as RVD greeted him with a Van Daminator.

On a roll and with Gunner lay on the mat, RVD climbed to the top rope and executed a huge Five Star Frog Splash across the ring for the win. Tenay said that RVD “gains revenge” in his victory.

Another Slammiversary X promo was up next as we saw clips from the past ten years in TNA including those of heartache in the arena where careers are born. Passion, emotion and fire never burns out or fades away in TNA with “unforgettable moments that will never be forgotten”. TNA is just getting started according to the voiceover man.

Devon addressed the crowd and said that Hogan has given him the chance to defend his title each week and that he is going to be everybody’s fighting champion. He gave Garett Bischoff credit for eliminating him in the Wild Card Battle Royal and said that he is going to give him another chance to see if “Lady Luck” is still riding on his shoulder and called him out.

Devon vs. Garett Bischoff
Ref: Brian Hebner

As Devon and Garett shook hands Tenay said that you can “sense the mutual respect shown”. Devon dominated early on with a series of Headlocks and a Spinning Shoulder. Garett managed to apply a Headlock on the TV Champion but soon found himself being Body Slammed down on to the mat. The crowd chanted that they wanted tables as the pair took a breather before going after each other again.
Devon applied another Headlock as the two Robbie’s ran down the ramp and in to the ring “rocking a pink cardigan sweater” as Taz said. Robbie T took the first shot as the match turned in to a brawl. The bell rang as Robbie E put the boot in on Devon.

Big Rob and Bigger Rob seemed to have everything under control until Devon came at them with a Double Clothesline. Devon and Garett stacked the two Robbie’s up and worked together to Splash and Clothesline them out of the ring. Tenay said that he didn’t expect the challenger and opponent work together.

Back in the General Manager’s office Hogan said that AJ knows Roode better than anyone, Angle beats everybody and has a good game face but he doesn’t want him to risk further injury. Hogan went on to say that the fans love Hardy prompting Angle to tell the Hulkster to pick the Charismatic Enigma if he wants someone that people like, AJ for his athleticism or him if he wants someone that will get the job done.
Hogan reminded the Gold Medallist that it is his call but Angle is agitated and just wants a decision. Angle said that he needs to know who he is picking as whoever it is needs to get ready. Hogan said that the “Reign of Roode” needs to end and eliminated Hardy because he feels that he is too “shaky” right now in that his wins have been extremely close. Hogan told the remaining two to get ready and he will call his decision in the ring.  

Next up was highlights of Abyss’ disappearance with clips showing the story so far with the build-up of the friction between Bully Ray and Joseph Park and Abyss’ message to his brother. We also saw the lawyer working out that Ray could be the fire which he was warned about.

Bully Ray was out next and Taz said that the Bully is unpredictable so he doesn’t know who he will pick. Talking about the show going live over the summer, Tenay is concerned about Ray being filmed.

As Ray made his way down to the ring he knocked a sign out of a fans hand and got in the ring to ask “Do you know who I am?” He feels that Hogan has forgotten who he is as he eliminated him from the final four chosen for the chance to go after the title. Ray said that he is in a bad mood and said that he was going to take it out on everyone and could smack everyone in the arena in their mouths.

Ray felt that his day was made worse when somebody went up to him and asked if he knew that Joseph Park was in the audience. Ray asked where Joe was, and we saw that he was sat in the crowd eating popcorn. Ray said that he is tired of him being around and called him down. Tenay wasn’t sure if Joe could be called down as he isn’t part of TNA officially and Taz was worried about the lawyer and said that he should have listened to Abyss.

Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park
Ref: None Present

Ray said “Come on layer boy” and Joe grabbed a mic and said that he has never fought before and asked for space as Ray moved towards him. Joe said that he has never been in a real fight and felt intimidated; he just wanted answers about Chris. He had looked at all the evidence and everything pointed to Ray.

Joseph continued to talk and said that in his field of work he has learnt to look in to the eyes of a person to see if they are guilty. The arena erupted with a chorus of “Guilty”. Joe said that he hadn’t told the crowd to say that and said that Ray is entitled to a trial in front of his peers. There were more chants of “guilty” as the lawyer said that he would ‘hold court’. He asked if anybody thought that Ray was not guilty and the crowd booed. They cheered as he asked who thought he was guilty.

Having heard enough, Ray punched Joe in the stomach and hit him with his chain across his back as the audience called him a loser. Ray lay down next to the floored brother of Abyss and said “Not guilty” before coolly leaving the ring. Tenay felt that Ray had over stepped the mark and displayed true bullying actions.

We were introduced to Joey Ryan in a video package. He’s the independent wrestler who will take the Gut Check challenge next. He said that he has “Rock star charisma and movie star looks” and was at Disneyland when he got the call to try out of a TNA contract. Ryan said that he has been a Hulkamaniac since he was a child and wrestling is the only thing that he never grew out of.

Kurt Angle was asked if he had heard the news about King Mo and questioned on his thoughts about the signing. Angle said that he is excited and as they are already friends he text him last night. He said that it is inevitable that they will face each other at some point.

Asked about Brooke Hogan joining the team, Angle said that she will be good for wrestling and can only add charisma.

Gut Check

Jeremy Borash, Al Snow and the challenger, Joey Ryan were stood in the ring as JB set the stage. Joey was ready to fight and wasn’t fazed when it was announced that he would be facing the X Division Champion, Austin Aries. Joey cockily leant up against the corner ropes as Aries made his entrance.

The pair Tied Up briefly and Ryan quickly Hip Tossed the champion before going back to adorn the ropes and offer a free shot. Aries stopped to applaud Ryan’s cockiness and took the domination with a series of moves before spinning on the challengers back. Aries took himself over to the corner and then showed Ryan how to lie across the ropes properly.

Ryan shouted something at Aries which we couldn’t hear and Aries shouted back. The pair shoved each other and Ryan flicked spit in the eyes of Aries. Obviously Aries wasn’t impressed by this and quickly beat down on his big headed opponent.

Ryan was flung from rope to rope and took himself out of the ring. There was no escaping though as Aries jumped straight out after him. The champ connected with Ryan and sent him crashing to the mat before he picked him up again and slung him in the ring.

Aries climbed to the top rope to go high risk but Ryan twanged the ropes and caused Aries to come tumbling down for a count of one. Ryan beat Aries’ head as he lay on the floor and took a lap of the ring. Aries got up and pulled at Ryan’s chest hair before going to run the ropes. Aries was met with a Dropkick for three pin attempts in quick succession; so quick that Aries barely lifted off the mat before Ryan persistently tried again.

Aries got to his feet and Ryan twisted his arm and pulled it between his legs for a Pump Handle but Aries broke the hold with some Back Elbows and punches. Ryan found himself taken down with a Discus Forearm after he failed to do anything when he reversed a whip.

Ryan rolled to the apron and Aries went after him. Ryan rammed his shoulder in to Aries through the middle ropes and rolled Aries over as he tried to pull him back in to the ring. Aries quickly got to his feet and Dropkicked his opponent. Aries stood with his arms open over Ryan as if to ask him to show him what he’s made of.

Taz felt that Ryan wasn’t doing too badly as he pushed Aries in to the corner and then beat him down to the mat before out manoeuvring him for a Pump Handle Suplex variant for a pin attempt. A Running Kick and a Brain Buster on Ryan saw Aries take the win.

Slammiversary X Countdown

We have reached number six in the countdown and the clip which we were shown took us back to October 16th 2011 where Hogan was forced to tap out at the hands of Sting. This was also the day that we got ‘The Real Hulk Hogan’ back.

JB had stepped in to the ring to introduce the main event.

Bobby Roode vs. ?

Tenay said that the unpredictability of Hogan leaves people guessing. Roode is sure of a long reign but does not know who he will face tonight. Taz wasn’t sure that Hogan knew who Roode would face either.
JB introduced the potential challengers, AJ and Angle. Tenay said that Roode looks to eclipse AJ’s reign and then spoke briefly about the renewal of Angle’s and Samoa Joe’s rivalry. Taz mentioned the fact that Angle told Hogan that he’s the man to get things done.

Tenay said “the moment on truth has arrived” as Hogan made his entrance. Hogan said that he has been caught up in the crossfire and that it is intense in the back. He looked at the challengers and said that he cannot make a wrong decision no matter who he picks as they both have good track records. Hogan felt that he should go with his gut and picked AJ as he knows Roode better.

Bobby Roode vs. AJ Styles
Ref: Brian Hebner

Roode said “I’m gonna make history” before the men Tied Up. Roode rolled out of the ring after AJ attacked him and went for a pin. The pair got a feel for each other when Roode got back in to the ring before issuing AJ with a big slap. Roode went to run the ropes and AJ did his speciality Leap and Drop combo but Roode had applied the brakes. AJ still went for the Dropkick as Roode bounced off the ropes once more and we went in to a break. Roode was knocked out on to the arena floor with the force.

When we returned, we saw Roode launch AJ in to the post on the inside of the ring, and then again from the outside as AJ had flown through the ropes. Pushing AJ into the ring, Roode tried for a cover but only got a count of one as AJ kicked clean out. Roode had the offense as he pulled AJ’s left arm around the middle rope and up his back and set to work on it.

Having worked on his arm for a good while with a variety of holds and moves, Roode lay AJ down and stamping on his head he said “That’s why I’m the champ” before continuing to work on The Phenomenal One’s arm some more. Commentary discussed the lack of focus which AJ may have with his personal issues and the photos of him and Dixie which were revealed by Kaz and Daniels. Taz said that Roode may be exploiting that fact.

AJ managed to stand up and get Roode with a few right hands and built up a bit of momentum but it was blocked by Roode. Roode ran the ropes towards AJ and found himself out on the arena floor after AJ elevated him over the top ropes with a Back Body Drop.

AJ was clearly in pain as a result of Roode’s brutality but found the strength to leap over the ropes and Splash down on to the champion. He then picked Roode up and slammed him in to the steel steps. He went back after Roode but lost concentration. He was looking up the entrance ramp. Who was there?

AJ was no longer in the zone as Roode Hip Tossed him spine first on to the steps. Rolling AJ back in to the ring Roode got a two count on his opponent. The screen split in to two and Hogan was told that his guest had arrived. Roode had the offense as we went in to another break.

AJ was Suplexed and Knee Dropped for two before the champion went on to drop his upper arm in to his back and apply a Rear Headlock. Taz said that AJ appeared to be distracted as the crowd chanted his name. Roode told the fans to shut up, stomped on AJ’s back and applied a Camel Clutch. He then pulled AJ’s arms back and pushed his boot in to his back to enhance the stretch as he set out to rip his arms off.

AJ fought free and Elbowed and Punched Roode in to the corner before charging at him. Roode stopped him from causing him harm by elevating him out on to the apron before moving away. AJ tried to jump back in with a Springboard but he ended up hitting the top rope with his abdomen as Roode saw the attempt and was one step ahead of him. Roode then tried to charge at AJ but he saw that coming and knocked him off his feet. Going for the Springboard off the top rope, AJ connected with Roode with a Flying Forearm for two.  

Roode ran AJ in to the corner and lifted him ready for a Superplex but having been beat down, AJ fought back and came out on top as Roode fell from the top ropes. A Missile Dropkick saw a two count from AJ.
They each tried to string together a series of moves in order to put their opponent away but each was able to counter. Roode got two with a Spear and AJ reversed a submission hold for another pin attempt. AJ applied a Bridge Back Chin Lock but Roode got to the ropes.

With Roode in the corner, AJ kicked him hard time after time and issued him with a nasty Round Kick that travelled up in to the back of his neck. AJ, with his arm still bothering him, dragged Roode in to the middle of the ring and tried to take him up but Roode countered and hit him with a Spine Buster and followed it up with a Fisherman Suplex with a bridge cover for a very near fall. Taz thought the champ had it.

Another Fisherman attempt soon followed but AJ dropped out of it and responded with a Pele from nowhere. Roode fell face first in to the mat but getting to his feet AJ couldn’t capitalise as his legs went from underneath him. The two men lay exhausted side by side until AJ tried to get back his bearings. He rolled to the apron and pulled himself up. He looked back over his shoulder to the entrance ramp again before Springboarding off the ropes with a 450 on to his opponent. Roode took AJ down with a Bridging Suplex to retain his title and set the record as the longest reigning champion in TNA history.

Kaz and Daniels were stood at the top of the ramp mocking AJ with Daniels saying that “he could have won. It was so close”. The terrible twosome didn’t need to intercept to distract AJ; just the thought that they might was enough to put him off his game.

Roode said “I did it, I made it. History has been made” and he has become the longest reigning champion. It was time for him to celebrate as he asked for some champagne. He took two glasses as there was someone that he wanted to share the moment with.

He called out Hogan but he didn’t show so Roode said that he would celebrate alone. He asked for the confetti to be hit and rolled around in it. It was green, purple, red and white; not gold as requested. Roode managed to get champagne in his eyes as he poured the drink over his own face.

Hogan made an appearance and applauded the champion saying “very impressive champ”. The General Manager admitted that had staked the deck against him and said that he knew Roode was good, but not that good. Hogan said that he has to thank and congratulate the man who proved him wrong. Roode has earned Hogan’s respect as a result of his hard work but the hard work has just begun as Hogan has somebody else who wants to celebrate. Roode said that he doesn’t want anyone else out there with them.

The arena went in to darkness. It’s Sting! The Icon exploded with offensive moves as Hogan said “It’s show time!” Roode went to leave but Hogan told him not to as he told the crowd about the new time slot on Spike and the Lumberjack match which he has planned for Roode and Sting next week. The ring will be surrounded with talent from the roster so Roode will not be able to leave then. The show ended with Roode shouting “Hogan! Noooo!”