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TNA Impact: Jeff Hardy returns to the Impact Zone
By NOLAN HOWELL - SLAM Wrestling


Prior to TNA's annual tour of the United Kingdom, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy was taken out at the hands of Aces and Eights. While the company toured the isle, Bully Ray was declared the number one contender for Hardy's title. Tonight on TNA Impact, Hardy makes his return to TNA after the injury to his knee. What will Hardy have in store for Aces and Eights? Furthermore, will Hardy have anything to say to his Lockdown opponent? All that and more on this week's episode of Impact!

Video package recaps all the recent events in TNA, including the destruction Aced and Eights has caused.

Brooke Hogan and Bully Ray make their way to the locker room, being asked how Hulk Hogan is recovering. They give a nondescript answer before Bully Ray steps in and says that they are not talking.

We are live from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla. Mike Tenay and Todd Keneley sit at the booth. Taz is inconspicuous absent.

Bully Ray makes his way to the ring, which could explain Taz not being behind the mic. Bully says he is happy to be back in the Impact Zone, but he has never been more upset in his life. His frustration with Aces and Eights has really angered him, as they ruined Hulk Hogan's return to the ring and the wedding between himself and Brooke. Bully vows to get his hands on Devon and the rest of the gang, but for now, he has other business. Jeff Hardy is called to the ring.

Hardy obliges and comes to the ring with his belt over his shoulder. Bully says that he never thought they'd be wrestling for that belt. Despite their history, Bully doesn't feel right about the title shot he received. He doesn't want to get the shot by being Hulk Hogan's son-in-law and says there are many folks more deserving a title shot. Hardy says that he and Bully have fought with tables, ladders, and chairs and that they will rewrite history at Lockdown.

Not so fast, as Kazarian and Christopher Daniels make their way down the ramp. Kazarian says that Bully shouldn't feel good about this situation because his "daddy-in-law, Thunderlips himself" gave him the shot like he gave him his daughter. Kazarian doesn't fault Bully for this, noting that someone has to rub Brooke down with lotion and tweet strange photos of her. Daniels says that neither mans deserves the shot. He claims to have lost to Hardy due to an allergic reaction to his face paint.

After some more chicanery from Bad Influence, Bully takes Daniels' appletini and splashes him in the face with it. Bully and Hardy will team up to wrestle Bad Influence later tonight.

Preview for tonight's events, with TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky putting the belt on the line next.

(Commercials)

Sting has a lot of names on his list to join Team TNA for Lockdown. Magnus is with him and wants to join the team. Magnus says the company took a chance on him and Sting has been supporting him since his first day. Magnus wants an opportunity and Sting seems to contemplate the idea.

Gail Kim joins the announce team for the next match.

Match One for the TNA Knockouts Championship: Velvet Sky (c) vs. Tara (w/ Jessie)

Tara knocking Velvet down, working her in the corner. A few nearfalls after Sky is tossed by her hair. Velvet in the corner and lands some boots on Tara as she charges in. Clotheslines from Sky lead to a headscissors takeover. Jessie grabs her leg and referee Taryn Terrell admonishes him. Spear from Velvet earns a nearfall before Jessie yanks her off of Tara.

Taryn Terrell going berserk on the apron as she ejects Jessie. Tara with a kick to the back of Velvet. Tara upset with Terrell over the ejection of her boyfriend. Velvet Sky hits In Yo' Face as Tara turns around.

Winner by pinfall and still TNA Knockouts Champion: Velvet Sky

Austin Aries backstage on the phone with Bobby Roode, upset over the fact that he is absent for a big photo shoot. Roode apparently tells him to worry about tonight, which Aries shucks off by saying he could beat anyone in the locker room with ease. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez walk up and Hernandez wants a match, which Aries eventually agrees to after some baiting.

(Commercials)

Kenny King backstage, boasting about how he is the equivalent of an uncrowned king in the X Division. He brings the cameraman to the locker room to confront TNA X Division Champion Rob Van Dam. King asks RVD to tell the audience that he is better than him. Rob Van Dam is not impressed and King wants a rematch. They agree to a rematch, but if King loses, he will leave the X Division.

Taz joins the booth.

Match Two: Austin Aries vs. Hernandez

Lockup and Hernandez muscles Aries into the corner. Aries takes the back of Hernandez and clubs the back. Hernandez turns it around and gets a hip toss. Aries sent out to the arena floor after a clothesline. Hernandez tries a suicide dive, but Aries meets him to put the shoulder in the gut. Sunset flip by Aries fails, as Hernandez plows him into the mat. Aries up top, but Hernandez catches him. Aries punches out and sends Hernandez to the floor, landing the suicide dive. Aries gets back in the ring and does an axhandle smash.

Action moves inside and Aries going for the Frog Splash. Nothing doing and Hernandez gets a battering ram. Gorilla press by Hernandez sends Aries tumbling to the mat. Hernandez tries to set up a move, but Aries cracks him with a discus forearm. Aries charges the cornered big man, but Hernandez hits the signature Get Off Me shoulder block.

Aries heads outside, wanting nothing to do with the match. Hernandez brings Aries back with his belt in hand. Aries seems content to let him hold the strap, but the referee tangles up Hernandez to get the belt. Aries with a steel chain to knock Hernandez out with the referee's back turned.

Winner by pinfall: Austin Aries

Joseph Park with Sting backstage, enjoying a basket of ribs. Sting asks Park if he now knows what a rib is, to which Park replies affirmatively. Park wants to be on Team TNA, but Sting sees Matt Morgan walking around. He invites Morgan to the team, but Morgan still holds a grudge with Hulk Hogan not giving him a title shot and shuts Sting down.

(Commercials)

Match Three for the TNA X Division Championship: Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Kenny King

King with a side headlock, but RVD turns it into a side headlock takeover. King counters with a leg scissors submission, but RVD gets up and hits another side headlock takeover. The two move back to the feet. RVD ducks a King clothesline and hits a German suplex. The two share a moment of praise and King encourages RVD to do his signature pose, only to dropkick him outside. Corkscrew misses for King, but RVD leaps to the apron and comes down with a side kick. RVD slams King into the apron, then hangs him on the barricade. Guillotine leg drop lands as we break.

(Commercials)

We return with King and RVD locked up. King hits a spin kick for a nearfall. Action from the break shows King working RVD on the outside. Snap suplex into mount by King, who follows with punches. Nearfall for King. RVD cornered, but gets the boot up on King. Leg sweep by RVD gets a nearfall. Clotheslines lead to a monkey flip attempt from RVD, but King lands on his feet. RVD is there with a rolling kick. RVD up top, but misses the 450 splash. King grabs the leg, but RVD barely gets his shoulder blade off the mat.

King upset with Hebner at the call. RVD fighting off a Royal Flush attempt, but King is finally able to hoist him to his shoulders. Royal Flush connects for King and RVD is down and out.

Winner by pinfall and new TNA X Division Champion: Kenny King

Kurt Angle meets up with Sting backstage. He wants to see the list Sting has for Team TNA. Kurt seems a little shocked by one of the choices, but Sting says it is a chance he has to take.

(Commercials)

The announce crew recaps all of the current events in TNA, revealing Hulk Hogan's injury that apparently required knee surgery.

Aces and Eights enters. Devon asks if Sting honestly believes he has a team that can match Aces and Eights. Devon says that this group will dominate TNA and that Sting can't bring them to a stop. He says that this will be no different than Bound For Glory and Aces and Eights will still reign at the end of the night.

Sting makes his entrance and begins to introduce his team. His first choice is a "killer" and Samoa Joe lines up behind Sting. James Storm is the next member of Team TNA to be introduced. The fourth member of the team is Magnus. Sting says that his final pick is a bit abstract and he had to think outside of the box. Mr. Anderson wants to know who Sting's final member is, to which Sting merely replies, "showtime!" The two argue until Eric Young hits the ring. Team TNA sends the gang packing.

TNA Gut Check competitor and MMA stylist Ivelisse Felez is profiled.

(Commercials)

Aces and Eights throwing a tantrum in the parking lot. Kurt Angle lurks and invites the cameraman to come follow him.

TNA Gut Check competitor Lei'd Tapa, the niece of The Barbarian, is profiled.

Match Four for TNA Gut Check: Ivelisse Felez vs. Lei'd Tapa

Felez opens up with strikes, but Tapa is much stronger and uses a blatant choke to lift Feliz off her feet. Felez uses this to land an arm drag. Felez locks in a guillotine choke, but Tapa powers out. Felez turns it around and grabs a sleeper. Tapa again struggles, but manages to power out. Big boot lands for Tapa. Felez sent into the ropes and is clobbered with a lariat. Scoop slam followed by a huge headbutt. Tapa whips Felez hard into the corner, but Felez ducks away. Forearm leads to a tornado DDT for Felez. Feelz bumps off on a shoulder block, but a hurricanrana puts Tapa down. Tapa hits a Samoan Drop, but Felez kicks out.

Tapa frustrated with referee Taryn Terrell. Felez grabs the hair of Tapa and drags her down to the ground. Guillotine choke is locked in for Felez. Tapa struggling and fading quick. She taps the mat to end her night.

Winner by submission: Ivellisse Felez

Austin Aries with Jeff Hardy in the locker room. Aries wants to let Hardy know that he is pulling for him at Lockdown because Bully Ray is now Hogan's "golden boy" like Hardy was when he was facing him. Aries wishes him luck.

(Commercials)

Update on AJ Styles shows a seemingly disturbed Styles.

Video package on the conflict between Robbie T and Robbie E.

Robbie E says that there is a time when a "bro" has to admit that he has made a mistake. He asks for "Bigger Rob" to meet him inside the ring. Robbie T makes his way to the ring. Robbie E says he crossed the line by slapping him last week and risked their friendship. Robbie E asks Robbie T to do one more "bro-off" for laughs and giggles. Robbie E does some wretched dance moves and declares Robbie T the "bro-off" champion. He gives Robbie T the spotlight, but comes in with the V.I.P. sign and cracks him over the head. Robbie T is downed, but gets back up and scares Robbie E back.

Austin Aries with Bully Ray, giving him the same act he gave Jeff Hardy. Bully Ray is not impressed and gets Aries to buzz off. Bully Ray walks away and Aries mutters for Bully to tell Brooke he said "hi."

(Commercials)

Match Five: Bad Influence vs. Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy

Daniels starts with Bully. Daniels with an initial flurry of offense, but Bully takes control by working Daniels into the corner. Two huge open hand chops to the chest of Daniels. Kazarian rushes in, but a back drop sends him flying. Daniels runs and clubs Bully. Kazarian in, but Bully turns it around with a clothesline for both. Hardy sends Daniels out and a team neckbreaker for Kazarian. The Lockdown competitors in control as we break.

(Commercials)

We return with Hardy and Kazarian in the ring. Kazarian sent into the corner and Bully hits a splash. Hardy uses his partner as a ladder for Poetry in Motion. Daniels gets the same treatment from Bully, but Kazarian yanks Hardy down by his hair. Daniels and Hardy are the legal men and Daniels beating Hardy down to the mat before tagging in Kazarian. Clothesline from Daniels and he hip tosses Kazarian onto Hardy for a nearfall.

Kazarian with a pectoral submission, locking Hardy's arms behind him. Daniels in and a sidewalk slam compounded by a Kazarian leg drop for a nearfall. Hardy sent into the corner, but he hits Whisper in the Wind on Daniels. Bully Ray and he cleans house. Back drop for Daniels and hip toss for Kazarian. Slam from Bully earns a nearfall. Kazarian up top, but Bully gorilla presses him to the inside. Daniels put down for another nearfall.

Hardy tagged in and looking for the Swanton, but Kazarian crotches him. Daniels knocks Bully down and hits Hardy with an STO for a nearfall. Bad Influence working their opponents in opposite corners, but Bully shoves Kazarian off. Bully with a huge slap to the back of Daniels and sits him on his shoulders. Electric chair from Bully followed by a Hardy Swanton Bomb.

Winners by pinfall: Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy

Kurt Angle in the clubhouse of Aces and Eights. Angle taking out member after member. He finally meets the masked leader, who he beats down and unmasks. Angle is in disbelief and looks to walk away, but the rest of the gang comes and puts the boots to Angle. The show closes with Angle being beaten to a pulp by Aces and Eights.

Nolan Howell can be reached at nth993@gmail.com for any questions or comments. Click here to follow Nolan on Twitter.