Welcome to this week’s edition of WTF! This week we will see the newest member of the long-awaited-by-nobody return of the Main Event Mafia, plus there will be some Bound for Glory series matches, and Brooke Hogan will give her “State of the Knockouts” speech. That should be a car wreck. Anyway, let’s get on with the review, shall we?
Before Hercules P. Narrator comes on, we see Sting, walking alone in a driveway, because he’s a loner right now, and loners are too good for cars. Then we have a video package for the BFG series and what it means. It was pretty good.
In the arena, we see ten guys from the BFG series already in the ring. Quick question: If Aces and Eights are causing so many problems, and are a dangerous faction, why the hell aren’t the other nine guys beating the crap out of Anderson? Seems to me like that would be something that would get done. Also, seeing Jay Bradley in this group makes me laugh, especially since we will see replays of him calling himself the next TNA world Champion. I’ve never seen a comedy character be so serious before.
Before the other two guys come to the ring, we get Old Glory Hound himself, the GM of Impact, Hulk Hogan. He’s out to try to remain popular and cool, by which I mean adding the word “maniac” to whatever he’s talking about. Like for example, he calls the fans “Impactmaniacs.” There just here for the free tickets, Hulky Boy. I also love how Hogan still pretends to play the guitar when he comes out. It’s like he’s saying “I’m still hip!” Nope. He welcomes everyone to the kick-off for the BFG series, and says that the ten men on the ring qualified through matches, while the final two pre-qualified by being previous winners. They are Bobby Roode and Jeff Hardy, of course. Hogan says all twelve men in the ring will have a match tonight against each other. He throws us to the big screen to reveal the results of the fan vote to determine the first call-out, Jeff Hardy or Bobby Roode. This is dumb. Hardy gets a mic, but before he can call out someone, Awesome Aries interrupts him. He says that Hardy doesn’t want to fight him because he has fans that chant his name. Um, ok Aries, whatever. Daniels then interrupts Aries and tells “Jefferson” that maybe it’s a good idea to not call out either member of the Bad Influence because if he did, he would suffer the most demoralizing defeat of his career. Hardy says that last week someone made it personal, so tonight he’s calling out Bobby Roode. That surprised absolutely no one. It was obvious last week that this was going to happen. Roode shoves Hardy, and Hardy shoved back, and like a saloon in 1865, when two people start to fight, they all start to fight, and we have a BRAWL FOR NO REASON! Seriously, sometimes I know I put that and the brawls are completely justified, but there is no reason for the ring to explode in violence unless they were all kicking the crap out of Anderson. They cut to commercial before the brawl is over with Tenay promising the first of the BFG series matches when we get back.
After a commercial, Short Attention Span Theater returns as they show us the brawl that just happened. Then Mr. Anderson comes back out to the ring for his match. Since it’s Open Fight Night, he gets to pick his opponent. He says he wants to pick the easy “dub” so he calls out the clumsy lawyer-turned-wrestler, Joseph Park, who is totally not Abyss, by the way.
Match 1: Anderson vs. Joseph Park
Is it just me, or does Park’s music sound like it could be Lawyer Porn Music? Anyway, the match wasn’t great, and Anderson needed a distraction and interference by DOC in order to pick up the so-called “easy” dub. Ho-hum.
After a commercial, DOC and Anderson are arguing about what just happened, mainly because Anderson was bragging about his win, and DOC was saying that Anderson would have lost if not for his interference. They also argued that they should each be the new VP of A&E. Bully Ray came in and told them both to shut it, and that they are going to put the VP thing up to a vote. Not now though. For now, he says that they have business involving his wife.
In the ring, Jay Bradley is out to call out his opponent. He chooses Awesome Aries.
Match 2: Jay Bradley vs. Awesome Aries
This was a decent match, but if you think Bradley was going to win, you are insane. What impressed me was Aries hitting the brainbuster on Bradley. Bradley is huge compared to Aries, so it was a big deal.
They show part of Sting’s speech last week when he said he was bringing the MEM back. Then we cut to Sting in the back. The invisible man asks Sting where he’s going. Sting says he’s going to have a sit-down, and said that tonight the Mafia will grow.
After a commercial, we see Sting standing in the shadows talking to an unseen person. He says that A&E is a brotherhood, but family can beat a brotherhood. He asks The Shadow if he’s “all-in”. The Shadow gets a handshake in return. I guess that’s two. But who is it?
They cut to Chavo giving Hernandez a pep talk about the BFG series, and Hernandez heads to the ring to call out his opponent. In the ring, Hernandez says that there is one big mouth he wants to shut, so he calls out Christopher Daniels.
Match 3: Hernandez vs. Daniels
I love Hernandez’ shoulder block dive over the top rope. It is impressive as it is devastating. This was a short match, and Daniels won after he snuck in a low blow before hitting the BME.
After a commercial, Kazarian is in the ring to call out his opponent. He says he’s going to call out the man who everyone says is the next big star in TNA, Magnus.
Match 4: Kazarian vs. Magnus
I agree with all the positive they say about Magnus, and that shocks me. When he debuted as part of The British Invasion, he was clearly the worst one on that team, and that team had Rob Terry. But it looks like he has been working really hard, and his run with Samoa Joe seems to have helped him as well. I see big things for Magnus if TNA doesn’t screw it up. That being said, he did kind of botch the end of the match. Kaz came off the top rope with a drop kick, and I’m pretty sure Magnus was supposed to catch him and turn it into a submission, but he mistimed it, and basically no-sold a flying drop kick. Oops. He then grabbed Kaz into the Texas Cloverleaf, making him tap, and prompting Taz to ask how someone who isn’t even American can put someone in the Texas Cloverleaf. F**k you, Taz.
In a hallway backstage, Hogan is on the phone talking about “three new guys” or whatever, and Bully appears behind him. I italicized that because I guess Hogans “Spidey Sense” started tingling, and Hogan was able to get the drop on Bully and throw him against the wall. Seriously, Hogan has superpowers now. And by the way, it wasn’t even a strong through. Hogan sees the hammer in Bully’s hand and tells Bully to hit him with the hammer. Bully says that he’s not the type of guy to hit someone in the back of the head with a hammer, and that he wants to talk to Brooke. Hogan says he figured it out, and Brooke and Bully are done. Bully asks Hogan that if they are done, how come Brooke stopped Hogan from attacking Bully a few weeks ago? Bully calls him “Dad” sarcastically, and walks away while Hogan pulls an angry face that makes him look like he just shit his Depends.
After a commercial, it’s time for Brooke Hogan and the State of the Knockouts Address. This should be wonderful. Brooke says that they could be in for a very hot summer, and then calls out the knockouts. In typical TNA form, the first one out is Eric Young, and he is with his wife/tag team partner, ODB. Remember when they won the KO tag titles? Well apparently this is still a thing. They are followed by Velvet Sky, Taryn Terrell, and Gail Kim. Brooke says that the KO champ needs her own introduction, so Mickie James’ music hits and out comes the champ. She has her own microphone, and thanks Brooke for letting her speak on the state of the Knockouts. Mickie says it’s been an honor to represent the Knockouts on red carpets, awards shows, her own music videos, and now a national commercial. Brooke silences her and says that the division is not about just one person. I’m waiting for Tara and Mrs. Ass to come out, as is the crowd apparently, as they chant “We want Tara”. Brooke tells the crowd to calm down, obviously mistaking their logical chant for resounding applause. Brooke looks at EY and asks if he remembers the conversation they had last year. He said he did, and that technically he’s not a woman, so he and ODB were never KO Tag champs. Holy shit, they finally dropped this stupid thing? I am as shocked as I am impressed. EY did say that it was national kissing day, so he makes out with ODB until they fall out of the ring. They then run up the ramp to go have naked sexy time. Good for them. That leaves Mickie, Velvet, Gail Kim, and Taryn Terrell in the ring. Brooke says that she knows that Velvet wants her rematch, but is interrupted by Mickie who says that Velvet is injured. Brooke says that Mickie has a mind like a “steel strap” because she’s an idiot who can’t speak words, and that she spoke to Velvet’s doctor this morning, and Velvet is cleared to wrestle next week on Impact. Gail gets on the mic, and says she wants her rematch, and what’s rightfully hers. Brooke says she has her rematch with Taryn Terrell in Vegas, and it will be a ladder match. That’s it. A ladder match in Vegas. What is hanging in the balance? It wasn’t said, but I can only assume it will be a contract to fight the KO champ. Then Brooke says this: “Now that I handled my business, you guys can go. Thank you so much, and uh, business is handled.” She’s awful. The best part of this was Mickie’s facial expressions. She was fantastic. Biggest lie of the segment was Tenay, who said that this was a red-hot division that just got hotter. Attention Tenay, apparently you only have the four knockouts, and one KO who is content with being a referee. I wouldn’t call the division “red-hot.”
They show the three clips of Sting that we saw tonight back-to-back, before telling us that it’s going to be Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles in a battle that made most internet fans moist with anticipation.
Then they cut to Hogan and Brooke in the parking lot. Hogan is telling Brooke that she has to leave before Bully makes this into a big thing, or whatever. They fake argue badly until Brooke leaves.
After a commercial, they plug the TNA workout app featuring Jeff Hardy. Tenay tells us that this 32-bit graphic app is the next generation of workout programs. What’s funny to me is that I thought the TNA Workout app was “Go to WWE for a few years. Fail. Come here.”
AJ Styles comes out and he cuts a promo. He says that this isn’t about A&E or TNA; it’s about AJ becoming the next TNA world champion, not for fame, not for glory, but for the money. He says that everyone is looking for a hero, but one thing he learned in the past 11 years is that this is no place for a hero. He says he’s sick and tired of doing the right thing; he’s doing his own thing. Samoa Joe’s music hits and out comes the Samoan Submission Machine. Then we have our next match.
Match 5: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles
This match was booked very evenly with neither man having a true advantage. They went to a fifteen minute draw, which is the time limit for all BFG series matches. The crowd was upset as they chanted “five more minutes”. My guess for the finish is that both these guys are going to make it to the top four and will have fight each other to get into the finals. Good match though, and I look forward to another between them.
Backstage, Bully is on the phone with Brooke. He asks where she is, and is shocked to learn that she left. He says he wanted to see her, that he needed to see her. Hey Bully, she was out in the ring about twenty minutes ago. You could have gone there and seen her then if you wanted. It’s not like you’ve never interrupted someone else’s promo before. Ridiculous. Bully gets Brooke to agree to come back, and then sends Devon, Knux, and DOC to get on their bikes to find her and protect her. He tells Wes, Gary Sideburns, and Anderson to watch his back.
After a commercial, they show Hogan in the back with Kenny King, Suicide, and the X-division champion, Chris Sabin. Hogan says that social media is all over their match next week. Umm, no they aren’t because no one knew about it until just now. Stop being stupid, Hogan. Hogan tells them that the winner of the match will have the option to forfeit the title to fight the World Champion Bully Ray on July 18th. Hogan wishes them all luck. Then we have our next match.
Match 6: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode
These two have a wonderful chemistry together, and this match proved it. Can I ask a question though? Why does Mike Tenay always mistake Hardy’s stunner –like move for the Twist of Fate? You know the move: Front facelock into a stunner. That’s not a Twist of Fate. The Twist of Fate is the move that Hardy won this match with, which is a front facelock into a cutter. Also, I hate when he abbreviates the move to call it a Twist’O. Stop being stupid Tenay. Like for realsies.
After a commercial, Bully Ray is out. He says that between the twelve guys in the BFG series and the triple threat X-division match next week, he’s got fifteen guys gunning for him. He does his “Do you know who I am?” shtick. He says he will do anything and everything to keep the title. He mentions what he did to Hogan and Sting as examples of not to mess with him. He then says since it’s Open Fight Night, he wants to call someone out, not to fight, because he’s a lover. He calls out his wife, Brooke. There is a long pause. He calls her again. After another brief pause, the music of the MEM hits, and out comes Sting, still dressed like an extra from the Sopranos. (R.I.P. James Gandolfini)
Sting says that he knew that he couldn’t beat A&E alone, so he went back to his family. The crowd chants for Sting, and Bully chastises them for cheering for a man that lost to Bully. Bully says that Sting can’t wrestle for the World Title anymore. Sting says he knows that, and tells Bully that it doesn’t mean he can’t get retribution on Bully tonight. Bully wonders what Sting means, as Sting walks to the neutral corner and starts to take off his suit. Bully says all he has to do is snap his fingers, and his family will come out. Sting ignores him, and Bully calls for A&E. There is no response. Bully tries again, and this time Sting throws his shirt right in Bully’s face. Sting points to the big screen and we see the rest of A&E laid out in the back. Bully goes white and bails from the ring. He walks up the ramp, only to get jumped by Kurt Angle, who puts him in the Ankle Lock. Impact ends with Sting yelling in Bully’s ear as he taps out from the pain.
Overall, the show was solid. I liked the AJ/Joe match and the Roode/Hardy match. Both were good TV matches. I also like that the BFG series is underway, as I am a mark for any kind of tournament. The BFG series is fun because you never know what match you will get and there’s an element of surprise to them. I’m looking forward to the eventual Daniels/Kazarian match. That is going to be fun. However, that being said, I’m disappointed that TNA couldn’t book half these matches for this week, and half for next week, and book a KO match or a tag team match. They literally have guys they don’t use on a weekly basis, and I don’t think that’s right. Why can’t the X-division match be shown on the live show? Their booking is confusing. Also, there were way too many Hogan appearances tonight. I include Brooke in this as well. The segments they had were just brutal to listen to. Hogan is an 80’s cliché-spitting machine, and Brooke sounds like she had brain damage and is just learning how to put words back together again. She has no authority in her voice, and the crowd was basically just talking over her. She needs to go, and take pops with her.
Last thing: Why the hell is Sting asking Kurt Angle to join with him in the MEM? Does he not remember that Angle was in the building when Sting got beatdown by A&E at the end of Slammiversary? It pains me to say this, but Jeff Jarrett would have made more sense in this situation. Or Abyss. Or Eric Young. Which brings me to this: Why is it called the Main Event Mafia? That name implies that only Main Eventers will be a part of it, and for what it’s worth, I don’t like that idea. I know I’m coming off as negative, but they could have gone a different way. They could have just called it “The Family”, and used guys like Eric Young, Robbie E, and hell, even Crimson. You repackage them into serious players. It’s not that hard, really. Sting could be the leader, and the mouthpiece, which would be fine, and you have these other guys just act so sick of A&E that they ditched their comedy gimmicks for serious ones. It would accomplish two things: One, it will give the rub to guys who need it, and two, it would be shocking enough to get people talking. Don’t get me wrong, I like Angle, but the logic of him joining the MEM makes no sense unless they reveal that he left the building immediately after his match with AJ, and thus didn’t know Sting got beat up. Oh look, logic.
Until I see you for headlines, that’s all I got.
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