TNA Impact: RVD stripped of title; EV2.0, Fortune continue to battle
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on TNA Impact: In the wake of last week's stunning beatdown of EV2.0 by Fortune, TNA president Dixie Carter has an announcement: EV2 now has contracts. Tonight's main event between AJ Styles and Tommy Dreamer ends up as an all-out brawl between the two sides. Elsewhere, Rob Van Dam is stripped of the TNA Championship because of injuries sustained last week. TNA kicks off an eight-man tournament tonight to crown a new champ at Bound For Glory. Should be a good one!
As always, tonight's taped show emanates from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla. "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.
Cold open and Jeff Hardy and Abyss are brawling backstage. This is said to have happened 30 minutes ago. The Impact Zone isn't even filled yet. There's a vacuum in the ring and there's chaos on commentary as they were only out there doing sound checks. They brawl from one side of the Impact Zone to another and outside where security is.
Back to "real time" and Eric Bischoff is out. He says he's never seen anything as horrific in wrestling as what he saw last week. He says Ric Flair is going to be held accountable. He goes on to address TNA Champion Rob Van Dam's condition and it is worse than feared. He has more than 117 stitches. He says when RVD recovers he will be welcomed back with open arms. But he says that because of RVD's situation, the Championship Committee has decided to vacate the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. As a result, there will be an eight-man single-elimination tournament that will begin tonight and conclude at Bound For Glory in October.
Match #1 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round - Rob Terry (Cardiff, Wales) vs. Jeff Hardy (Cameron, NC)
Hardy is out limping from the brawl earlier and Terry takes advantage in the early going. But Hardy gets going and hits the Whisper in the Wind. He goes to the second turnbuckle and jumps off but gets clotheslined out of the air. Hardy makes another comeback and catches Terry coming out of the corner with the Twist of Fate and hits a long-range Swanton and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Match #2 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round - Jay Lethal (Elizabeth, NJ) vs. Mr. Anderson (Green Bay, Wisc.)
Lethal connects with a handspring back elbow and is fired up. He lights Anderson up with chops but just like that he misses a springboard dropkick and Anderson hits the Mic Drop and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: Mr. Anderson
Match #3 - TNA Knockouts Championship - (c) Angelina Love (Toronto, Ontario) vs. Madison Rayne (Columbus, Ohio)
Rayne is seconded by her bodyguard and Love brings out Velvet Sky to second her for this match.
The bodyguard stops Love from running the ropes so Sky takes care of her. Then Sky does the same to Rayne, which distracts her long enough for Love to recover and hit her with the Botox Injection and that's it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Angelina Love
After the match, Rayne and her bodyguard lay out Love and Sky.
Fortune is in the ring. All are in dress clothes sans X Division Champion Douglas Williams. Flair officially welcomes WIlliams and Matt Morgan to the group, calling Morgan his insurance policy. Flair then runs down EV2. AJ Styles says EV2 just had to come to TNA and be on TV that one last time. Styles says they wanted a hardcore finale and that's what they got. Styles is he is TNA and TNA is AJ Styles. He says the Impact Zone is the house AJ Styles built. He is then interrupted by, of all people, Dixie Carter. She says he might built it, but she owns it. She says if this is her house, this is their house and brings out EV2. They are in rough shape.
Carter says she's done giving Flair the benefit of the doubt. She says that as of now, EV2.0 all have TNA contracts. Flair says it says nowhere on his résumé that he doesn't take crap from women. Tommy Dreamer grabs the mic and says they'd be down there kicking their ass if Carter would allow them. Then Foley relates a story about how Flair called him asking to get into TNA. Flair then invites Foley to roll in the thumbtacks again. Foley says he doesn't take orders from Flair. Flair says they are kicking ass and taking names.
Dreamer says they will take care of Abyss and tonight, it's going to be Dreamer against Styles.
Match #4 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round - Douglas Williams (The United Kingdom) vs. Kurt Angle (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Williams scores early with a shot to the family jewels and follows with his tremendous taunt. He sends Angle to the outside and does it again. This is a great man. Williams is completely in control here. But Angle gets going with a huge back-body drop. Belly-to-belly throw gets two for Angle. Williams up and goes to the top and drills Angle with a European uppercut for two. Williams goes for a belly-to-back but Angle with the standing switch and hits the three German suplexes for two. They scramble with Williams going for Chaos Theory but Angle reverses and catches him in the ankle lock complete with grapevine and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: Kurt Angle
Sting and Kevin Nash are out. Nash says there's no one in this business he respects more than Sting. Nash says he's not here for the money and he'll be damned if somebody says it's his time to step aside. And if someone wants his spot, they should come take it. Nash says the cancer isn't in the ring, it's in the back. Nash is about to reveal "the truth" when Jeff Jarrett interrupts him. Jarrett says if anybody is full of BS tonight, it's Nash. He says a leopard doesn't change its spots. Jarrett says there's a locker room full of guys sick and tired of their games.
Jarrett says he's about to go down to the ring and beat them up when Hulk Hogan comes out and says Jarrett's not going to have to go by himself. Hogan suggests Sting puts the bat aside and do things like a real man. Sting throws the bat up the ramp and Hogan and Jarrett advance. They are squaring off when the lights go out and Fortune is in the ring. Hogan and Jarrett are down and they go to work on Sting and Nash.
Match #5 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First Round - Matt Morgan (Fairfield, Conn.) vs. The Pope (Harlem, NY)
Rapid fire elbows connect for Morgan and he follows up with an avalanche. Morgan charges Pope in the corner but eats a boot. The momentum doesn't last long as Morgan hits a tree slam. They he slaps Pope around on the ground. They go to the outside and Morgan lines up Pope for the kick against the post but misses. Morgan is hung up on the post and Pope comes with the DDE. He drags Morgan back in and pins him.
Winner via pinfall: The Pope
Jeff Hardy will meet Kurt Angle in one semifinal and Mr. Anderson will meet The Pope in the other. This will happen at No Surrender.
Match #6 - AJ Styles (Gainesville, Ga.) vs. Tommy Dreamer (Yonkers, NY)
Dreamer is rolling early as a back-body drops Styles to the floor then following with the running flip to the floor. In the ring, running powerslam connects for Dreamer. He follows with a pump-handle throw. Styles takes control, though, and reopens the cut on Dreamer's forehead. Great dropkick zings Dreamer. Knee to the gut and Pele connects for Styles. He rolls out to the apron and goes for the springboard but Dreamer catches him with an inverted atomic drop and hits the DDT. Dreamer's slow to cover when Fortune makes their way to the ring. They are cut off by EV2. It's a brawl on the ramp. As the referee is distracted by that, Abyss crawls out from under the ring and plants Dreamer with the Black Hole Slam. Styles doesn't waste anytime and runs over and pins Dreamer.
Winner via pinfall: AJ Styles
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.