TNA Impact: Styles returns to the ring against Storm
NOLAN HOWELL - SLAM Wrestling
AJ Styles has been an enigma as of late. Since his return from a lengthy absence, Styles has defied former friends and foes alike. Tonight on TNA Impact, "Cowboy" James Storm finally gets to throw down with his former friend in Styles' return to the ring. Will Styles reveal his affiliation or will he maintain his silence? All that and more on this week's edition of TNA Impact.
Recap from all the latest events in TNA kicks off the show.
We are on tape from Corpus Christi, Texas. Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz have the call for this week.
Recap of last week and footage is shown of Jeff Hardy being put in an ambulance with Hulk Hogan looking on.
TNA Television Champion Devon meets up with his Aces & Eights members Wes Brisco and Garrett Bischoff. The team seems confident, but Devon wants them not to be overconfident when it comes to Angle.
Prior to the match, a recap is shown of all the events leading up to this contest.
Match One: Garrett Bischoff & Wes Brisco vs. Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle starts with Wes Brisco. Angle working Brisco into the corner and putting him down with strikes. Right hand drops Brisco. Angle slams Brisco's head off the turnbuckle, sending him hard into the opposite corner. Angle sends Bischoff down before returning his focus to Brisco. Snap suplex from Angle and he sends Brisco into the corner to tag Bischoff.
Garrett Bischoff tagged in and Angle lands a hip toss. Angle again working Bischoff in the corner. Bischoff is sent off the ropes and Angle puts him down with a back elbow. Brisco runs in, but Angle hits a back bodydrop. Angle easily in control as we break.
Angle in control as we return. Wes Brisco sneaks up from behind with a low-blow while the referee's back is turned. Bischoff uses this as an opportunity to take control. Snap suplex gets Bischoff the briefest of nearfalls.
Brisco tagged in and a double-team leads to a Brisco clothesline for a nearfall. Brisco working Angle over with strikes in the corner. Another clothesline gets Brisco a nearfall. Sleeper in. Angle with a Saito suplex to get out of the hold.
Bischoff in, but he eats a few clotheslines. Brisco gets a few of his own. Bischoff sent into the corner and Brisco splashes on him after an Angle Irish whip. Angle gets caught by the boots as he charges in, but he snaps off a belly-to-belly suplex on Brisco's attempt to counter. Bischoff attempts a strike, but he gets a German suplex. Brisco gets two German suplays, but he latches onto Bischoff to save himself. No matter, as the referee kicks Bischoff's hands off the ropes and Angle gets a double German suplex. Angle Slam on Bischoff gets a nearfall off a Brisco save.
Angle sends Brisco into the ring post. D'Lo Brown makes his way down to ringside, along with other members of the gang. Angle locks the Ankle Lock in, but the referee is distracted by Aces & Eights. Brown tosses the chain in to Bischoff, who pops Angle from behind on the neck.
Winners by pinfall: Garrett Bischoff & Wes Brisco
Post-match, Angle is put down with a powerbomb. Mr. Anderson says this is the way things will operate from now on. Anderson says anyone who isn't in the group is in a bad way. Finally, Anderson tells AJ Styles that the group is behind him tonight.
The competitors for the TNA X Division Championship tonight are interviewed. Kenny King will take on Zema Ion and Petey Williams later tonight with his strap on the line.
Match Two for the TNA X Division Championship: Kenny King (c) vs. Zema Ion vs. Petey Williams
Kenny King comes out swinging, sending Zema Ion outside. Williams turns things around, only to be taken out by a Zema Ion dropkick. Ion planted by King. Williams takes the back of King, only for King to elbow out and land a shining wizard on Ion. King looking for Royal Flush, but Williams counters out into a Canadian Destroyer. Nearfall stopped by Ion.
Ion hooks the leg for a nearfall, but he is dragged off by Williams. Shoving match ensues, with Williams punching. Williams hits a headscissors takeover. Monkey flip attempt allows Ion to seat him on the top rope, but Williams turns it into a flying hurricanrana for a nearfall.
Williams with a chop to the chest. Ion into the ropes, but he hooks himself and hot shots Williams on the top rope. Neckbreaker gets a nearfall. Ion putting Williams in the corner, but Williams fights out with chops. Ion turns an Irish whip attempt into a single-leg crab. Williams gets the rope break. Williams fights up and the two exchange strikes before Williams gets a tilt-a-whirl Russian leg sweep for a nearfall. Facebuster from Williams gets another nearfall.
King outside, still looking dazed. Ion stops a Canadian Destory with a jawbreaker, then taking King out with a suicide dive. Ion tries a diving attack, but Williams gets him on the apron with a shoulder bump. German suplex on Ion. Williams with a springboard hurricanrana to the outside on King.
Back inside, Williams gets a hangman's neckbreaker from Ion. Tornado DDT gets Ion a nearfall. Ion looking for a moonsault, but Williams gets the knees up. Ion with a rollup for a nearfall, but Williams locks in a sharpshooter. King finally in and hits a running kick on Williams, then covers the worn-down Ion.
Winner by pinfall and still TNA X Division Champion: Kenny King
Magnus backstage, preparing for a TNA Television Championship shot tonight. Magnus is not afraid of the Aces & Eights and is ready to take back the title he once held from Devon.
Brooke Hogan discussing the new Knockouts website with Christy Hemme. Hogan calls in Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher, wishing them luck on their bout tonight for a shot at the TNA Knockouts Championship.
Prior to the match, Knux and DOC start a beating on Magnus. Magnus fights back, but Devon joins in and lands a shot to the stomach with a chain. Double chokeslam on the ramp from Knux and DOC. Samoa Joe chases the group back.
Match Three for the TNA Television Championship: Devon (c) vs. Magnus
There will be no match.
Result: No contest
Samoa Joe is angry at the actions of Aces & Eights. He is ready to make them pay and apparently the higher powers of TNA have granted him a shot at Devon later tonight.
Recap of the mysterious actions of AJ Styles.
Update shows TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky suffering from an apparent knee injury.
Match Four: Miss Tessmacher vs. Mickie James
ODB is again the referee for this contest.
Match starts with a tie-up stalemate. Another soon follows. James gets a throw, but Tessmacher soon gets one of her own. James breaks it by hooking her leg on the rope. The two ladies seem to be disagreeing on who is playing by the rules and ODB lets them know that she won't tolerate this. Tessmacher with a rollup for a nearfall as James has her back turned.
James takes controls with kicks. James locks in the armbar, but Tessmacher hooks the ropes and gets outside. James tries to scoot to the outside, but Tessmacher trips her up and a cat fight ensues outside. ODB is once again there to break the two up and send the action back inside.
Tessmacher unloading with shots. James reverses an Irish whip, but Tessmacher again turns it around and puts James in the corner. Facebuster from Tessmacher earns a nearfall.
Corner clothesline from Tessmacher. James down and Tessmacher unleashing the stink face. Tessmacher drags and flops James out of the corner for two nearfalls. Tessmacher looking to take it to the corner again, but James introduces Tessmacher to the top turnbuckle. Flapjack and James goes up top for a Thesz Press for a nearfall.
James mounts Tessmacher for some ground-and-pound. ODB brings James to her feets, prompting a bit of a stare down. Double clothesline puts both women down. Both up as ODB nears the end of her count. James with strikes and she slams Tessmacher into the turnbuckle. Tessmacher tries a rollup, but James reverses it.
Winner by pinfall: Mickie James
AJ Styles preparing for later tonight. Bad Influence tailing him, excited to apparently have Styles on their side.
Joseph Park on the phone. Devon comes up, reminding him that he warned him to stay out of family business. Bully Ray sucker punches Park from behind with a chain. Ray tells him that this is the last threat he'll give him, then tosses him into the showers and turns on the water.
"Cowboy" James Storm is ready to go tonight, prepared to put Styles down to see if he can knock some sense into him.
Recap of Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero winning the TNA Tag Team Championships.
Bad Influence hits the ring. Christopher Daniels reiterates that this is the year of Bad Influence. Daniels says that he is ready for AJ Styles to get back together with the band. Kazarian echoes all of this, reminding the crowd that they can now worship them.
Austin Aries & Bobby Roode hit the ring. Roode asks if they got the memo that they are not the top contenders for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Roode says that their loss last week was a fluke and they'll need a rematch. The two teams exchange barbs, leading to an immature argument.
Bad Influence starts backing out of the ring as Roode and Aries walk them down. Unfortunately for Roode and Aries, the TNA Tag Team Champions are right behind them and get a few licks in on them before they escape.
Video package shows the TNA locker room reaction to the Aces & Eights ruling with an iron fist.
Recap of Magus being assaulted by Aces & Eights earlier in the night.
Matt Morgan gives his thoughts on the situation, listing off all of Hulk Hogan's mistakes. Morgan says this all chould have been avoided by Hogan just doing the right thing.
Match Five for the TNA Television Championship: Devon (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Devon starting the bout with a cheap shot. Devon chokes Joe with his own towel, but Joe turns him into the corner and beats him down. Jabs and stomps put Devon down. Devon off the ropes and Joe lands a jump kick. Snapmare and chop to the back. Running splash for a nearfall by Joe.
Coquina Clutch in temporarily, but Devon rolls through and goes off the ropes for a nasty spear. Devon choking Joe on the bottom rope. Joe is worked into the corner, where Devon follows with strikes. Snapemare and fist drop gets Devon a nearfal.
Rear chinlock by Devon. Joe fights out and starts landing jabs. Devon sent into the corner. Splash and standing enzuigiri by Joe. Devon is seated up top, but Aces & Eights make their way out. Joe fights them off temporarily. Devon up for a Brainbuster, but the referee is distracted and Mr. Anderson clocks Joe with a pair of brass knuckles.
Winner by pinfall and still TNA Television Champion: Devon
Post-match, Mr. Anderson lands another shot with the brass knuckles.
Match Six: James Storm vs. AJ Styles
Styles begins to walk away, but Storm meets him at the ramp. Suplex attempt is countered out of by Styles. The two men exchanging heavy strikes before Storm clocks Styles into the ring.
Match is official and Styles ramming the shoulder into the stomach of Storm. Styles keeping Storm down with strikes. Styles off the ropes, but Storm gets a running kneelift. Storm has a side headlock in. Styles sweeps Storm's leg and brings him to the mat as we break.
We return with AJ Styles firmly in control. Vertical suplex puts Storm down. Stomps follow. Styles locks in the chinlock. Storm out and the two exchange strikes. Running forearm, atomic drop, and clothesline from Storm. Back bodydrop by Storm. Facebuster by Storm earns a nearfall.
Styles placed up top by Storm. Storm meets him, but Styles slips out the bottom and puts Storm in the tree of woe. Running dropkick to the stomach of Storm earns a nearfall.
Bad Influence make their way out. Styles is temporarily distracted, allowing Storm to land a backbreaker. Clothesline sends both men outside. Bad Influence looks on as Storm and Styles brawl on the outside.
Action moves back inside. Styles charges Storm, but Storm ducks and hits Closing Time. Last Call is caught by Styles, who rolls through into a leglock that looks like a variant on the single-leg crab.
Winner by submission: AJ Styles
Bad Influence comes out to celebrate, but Styles levels both men. Aces & Eights hit the ring, but Styles just walks off. The group puts a beating on both Storm and Bad Influence.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray tells the crowd that they have no heroes left. He tells them they are just victims. Bully announces that all of this is because of Hulk Hogan. Next week, he promises to call out Hulk Hogan and meet him in the ring.
The show closes with Aces & Eights standing proudly over the wreckage.
Nolan Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or comments. Click here to follow Nolan on Twitter.