It’s Sunday, so you know what that means. Yes, it is time once again for the best TNA column on TJRWrestling.com! I am excited for this week, as it is Open Fight Night and someone will be challenging Bobby Roode for his title. If he wins, he will be the longest reigning champion in TNA history. Ooh, the intrigue. Now, let’s what other stuff Sheriff Hogan and his merry band of miscreants have in store for us.
Oh, dear me, they have a narration for the opening video package. It’s a little cheesy, but it figures to be one of those things that grows on me. The video focuses on the AJ/Dixie Carter story and the Bully Ray/Abyss story.
We then cut to Hogan who is in his office with Hardy, Angle, Bully Ray, and Angle, and he is reading from a sheet of paper. He reads the tape date and the air date, which are nine days apart. Yes, Hogan just admitted his show is taped in advance. Well, at least we won’t have that problem next week, right? He says the paper in his hand is the show format. Holy shit, this is a fail on so many levels. He’s trying to explain that the format has changed now, but it’s just a bunch of backstage nonsense. We as fans don’t need this. I can’t recap this whole thing, it’s just so strange. Hogan asks them all why they think they should fight Bobby Roode. They all put each other over, and they also put over Hogan for no other reason than to stroke his fucking ego. Hogan then tells Bully that he is not getting the title shot. Bully says that Eric was right about Hogan, and walks out. The brutal segment ends there.
We have a new intro to the show, highlighting the fact that it is Open Fight Night. Will this happen every time? I am not sure, but I liked the new opening. After the opening, Gail Kim comes out with Madison Rayne in tow.
Gail has a microphone. It’s promo time for the Knockouts champ. She says being Gail Kim is great. She says that not only is she the KO champ, but the most dominant champ in TNA history. She says she built this division, and everything in it revolves around her. She says that there is one thing she has a problem with, and that is the KO tag team champions are a man and a so-called woman. Gail says that in the spirit of Open Fight Night, she is going to call out Mr. and Mrs. ODB. I guess we have our first match,
Match 1: Gail Kim/Madison Rayne vs. EY/ODB
Just when you thought you can take TNA seriously, this happens. Seriously, what the hell? You got EY in there tossing Gail Kim around like nothing. TNA: Glorified Domestic Violence matters. They cut to commercial about a minute in. When we get back, the heels are in control. Wow this match is just awful. Here’s EY taking his pants off. Great. The finish comes when ODB goes for a fall away slam and is tripped by Madison, who is outside the ring, and then holds ODB’s leg down allowing Gail to pick up the win. And we have new KO tag team champs! No, wait, we don’t. Apparently, this was a non-title match. That makes no fucking sense at all. Why would you say you have a problem with a man in your division, challenge them to a match, and NOT have it be for the titles? That just makes Gail look dumber than Dixie signing Hogan and Bischoff.
Match Rating: *
After a commercial, RVD makes his way out to the ring. He gets on the mic and says that since he’s been back, he has been so focused on winning the championship and giving us a good role model…Wait, what? I almost choked on my cornflakes, and I haven’t eaten cornflakes in years. This is the same guy who got stripped of his world title for smoking pot, and he’s a good role model? He must clearly have been hitting the good stuff again. He says he has completely let some unfinished business slide. Then he calls out Gunner. Gunner was the reason RVD was off TV. Gunner accepts the challenge, and we have our next match.
Match 2: RVD vs. Gunner
Remember when they were building up Gunner to be a monster heel who just likes to hurt people? Well, that’s over. RVD beat him in about 3 minutes with a Five-Star Frog Splash that was impressive due to Gunner being about three-quarters of the way across the ring. Fight Night has not impressed me so far.
Match Rating: *
Impact returns from commercial, and we are greeted by our TV champion, Devon. He says that last week, Garett Bischoff had lady luck on his side when Senor Sideburn eliminated Devon from the #1 contender battle royal. Devon says he respects Garett (barf) but will see if Son of Eric still has luck on his side, and calls him out to give him a shot at the TV championship. Fuck you Devon.
Match 3: Garett Bischoff vs. Devon for the TV championship
The match went about a minute before it was thrown out due to the interference of The Two Robbies. Funniest line goes to Tenay, who says that The Robbies interrupted a “great match”. I think Tenay has gone crazy. Anyway, Garett and Devon eventually fight off the Robbies, and the announcers try to put over the mutual respect angle between champion and challenger. I was waiting for Teddy Long to come out and make a TAG TEAM MATCH, PLAYA!! Oh well.
Match Rating: NR
After a commercial, it’s elimination time again, as we are treated to another Hogan backstage segment. I love how they are treating Roode like some super villain hell bent on destroying TNA. That is the only thing I like about this. Treating Bobby as someone who needs to get beat is a fantastic way to make him seem legit. Hogan eliminates Hardy, because Hogan thinks Hardy is too shaky. Hogan then tells Angle and Styles that he will make the final decision later in the ring.
We then have another video package of the Abyss saga. I am genuinely excited to see where this is going, only because I see it as a split personality gimmick, and I want to see how TNA plays it out.
Bully Ray then comes to the ring. He asks the crowd if he knows who he is, because obviously Hogan has forgotten who he is. He says he’s pissed and he’s going to take it out on the crowd. He threatens to slap them all in the face. Bully says that his mood worsened when someone told him that Joseph Park is in the audience. Bully finds him, and asks him to come to the ring. Joseph does, because apparently in TNA, Audience Participation matters.
Joseph gets to the ring and says that he is intimidated by Bully. Joseph says that all of his clues have led to Bully as being the man responsible for his brother’s disappearance. Joseph says that he has defended a lot of people, some guilty, and some not, and he has learned how to spot a guilty man. He says he is not there to do that now. He says that Bully Ray is entitled to a trial with a jury of his peers. He says that the people in the audience are his peers. Joseph polls the crowd, and they all think Bully is Guilty. Bully punches Joseph in the stomach, and then hits him with his chain. Bully kneels down and tells Joseph that he’s not guilty, in a menacing tone. Great work by Bully here. He really has come a long way since he was a stuttering buffoon, huh?
Next is a video package for the next person in TNA’s Gut Check challenge, Joey Ryan. He looks like Freddy Mercury and John Holmes had a baby. Google that kiddies.
After a commercial, Joey Ryan is in the ring with Al Snow and Jeremy Borash. They ask Ryan if he’s ready for his challenge. He says he is, so they bring out his opponent.
Match 4: Joey Ryan vs. Awesome Aries
HAHAHA. You want to see how green someone is, put them in the ring with Aries. I have never seen Joey Ryan before, but he looked terrible up against Aries. Aries gets the win with his brainbuster in what was probably the best match of the night so far. What’s the point of this anyway? The guy who won last month hasn’t been seen since. I guess he’s on the house show tour.
Match Rating: * ½
After a commercial, they show another “Top Ten” moment in TNA history. This time they show Bound for Glory last year, when Hogan turned face after his fight with Sting. Ten whole years, and this is on the list? Fucking TNA. I bet next week they show Brooke Hogan’s signing as a “Top Ten” moment. Hear that noise? That is the sound of the door NOT hitting Alex Shelley in the ass on the way out. What a joke this list is.
Next up is the main event, but first it has to be all about Hogan, as he still has to pick who is going to fight Roode, Hardy or Bischoff. All the competitors come to the ring, followed by Hogan. Hogan says that between Kurt and AJ, he can’t make a bad decision, but he’s going with AJ because AJ knows Roode better. I would have made it a triple threat, but then again, what do I know? Oh and there are thirty minutes left in the show, so I am really excited for this main event.
Match 5: AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA World Title
I know that these guys can deliver, so I am just hoping that there is no interference at all. After one fast paced minute, there is a commercial break. I really hope these are limited. I really want to see this match. After the commercial, have a very good four minutes before another commercial. These guys are proving why they should be the faces of the company. Right before the commercial though, we have a split screen of Hogan being told that his “guest” has arrived. Leave it to Hogan to think that he is more important than the title match. Man, I hope his guest is Brutus Beefcake. I miss the Barber. After that commercial, the match really picked up the pace, with reversals, near falls, and near submissions. The false finishes were great as well, as the crowd bought into them all. The end of the match came when AJ missed his 450/springboard combo, and Roode hit his Fisherman’s suplex for the win. This was a very good match, and expected nothing less from these two. AJ looked like he was distracted towards the end, and after the match they showed Kaz and Daniels standing by the entrance. I guess that’s why AJ missed his splash. The announcers didn’t acknowledge them until after the match, so who knows? Bobby Roode has now become the longest reigning TNA champion in history, and he had to beat the former record holder to do it. Good storytelling, and even better match. Way to go TNA.
Match Rating: *** ½
Post-match, Roode has a mic. He says that now that he has officially become the longest reigning champion, it’s celebration time. He asks for his champagne. He has two glasses, and says he wants to celebrate with Hogan and calls him out. Then we get another commercial.
Back from commercial, Roode is still on the mic. He says that if Hogan doesn’t want to join him, then he will celebrate alone. Roode says “Hit my confetti” and down comes the confetti. Hogan’s music hits as Bobby is dancing in the ring. Hogan is impressed. He says that he had the deck stacked, but Bobby won anyway. Roode offers Hogan a glass of champagne, and they toast the win. Hogan congratulates Roode and says that he has to admit that Roode has done things that he never though he could do. He thanks Roode for calling him out to celebrate, but that there is a lot of hard work involved now, and there is someone else that would like to celebrate. Please be James Storm. The lights go out, and Sting’s music hits. The lights come back on, and Sting is in the ring. He beats up Roode, and throws him out of the ring. Hogan announces that next week Sting will wrestle Roode in the opening match of Impact, when Impact goes live at 8 pm on Spike. It will also be a Lumberjack match. Impact ends on that note.
What a dumb finish. Nobody wants to see Sting/Roode again. The company just took another two steps back after taking one forward. James Storm would have been better than Sting at that moment. Slammiversary is only two weeks away, and they don’t have their main event announced. If it’s Sting/Roode again, I’ll cry. This company is so confused. Hogan needs to go. Now. That’s all I have to say.
Overall Rating: 4/10
That’s it for me this week. See you Tuesday for headlines.
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