Impact: AJ bids Adieu
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
With Impact Wrestling, TNA or whatever you want to call it today swimming in a pool of controversy, the band of merry men and women went (kinda) live Thursday for another edition of Impact.
Our evening started with Dixie Carter in the ring paying tribute to AJ Styles, essentially being the kiss-up that a McMahon couldn't be when CM Punk exited the company at Money in the Bank in 2011. In short, it was dreadful and got even worse when Bully Ray came out and demanded his rematch. AJ at one point remarked that because he wasn't under contract the return match clause doesn't apply to him, but they were scheduled for a match anyways. Ugh.
To make the segment worse, Ken Anderson returned and attacked Bully Ray. After Ray escaped, Anderson started to cut an 'aw shucks I love you guys' promo. Apparently he isn't under contract either because Dixie Carter had Atlas Security and a pair of cops escort him out of the building. Yes, that's the perfect way to celebrate your new champion and establish new direction - make him secondary to a returning star.
Match 1 - Gail Kim/Brooke vs. ODB/Velvet Sky
Lei'D Tapa was at ringside rather than teaming with Brooke, which made 0 sense since Brooke was also shafted out of the title thanks to Tapa on Sunday. Who's the booker these days in TNA? Whomever it is...
Nothing match that saw Tapa interfere and help get the heels the duke.
Bro-mans are seen in the back getting ready for a cele"bro"tion. God help me if this terrible punnery doesn't stop I'm never using the word "bro" again, and I'm legendary when it comes to inserting "bro" into terms. You can call them bro-verbs as it were.
Match 2 - EC3 vs. Somejobberguy
My feelings about EC3 are the same as they were about CCK (Chris "Champagne" Kanyon) at the end of WCW - good gimmick and could've gone far if introduced when the company was not, not near its tail end (and sadly, it's feeling like TNA/Impact/whateveritscalled is getting to that point).
EC3 did a good job and the jobber du jour put up a couple decent spots. DeanDT (yes, I'm calling it that since it is Ambrose's move) gets the duke for our name guy.
Sting and Magnus are seen in the back following and make up it seems. Magnus should've just clocked him here.
Kurt Angle comes out next to talk about what happened during Bound For Glory weekend, and for the first time he's starting to look old. Kurt's a machine and apparently had a hell of a match Sunday with Roode but the clock is ticking... maybe 3 years left, tops.
Speaking of our favourite TNA Canadian rep, Bobby comes out and ends up fighting with Angle. The feud continues.
Backstage, Bully Ray sends Aces... well, there aren't 8 left so Aces it shall be... to jail to make sure Ken Anderson doesn't escape. Apparently Bully has watched wrestling before. Is this the only realm where cops don't do their job?
Elsewhere backstage, Dixie was talking to someone on a phone... hey you know what? Remember how everyone pointed out that Kristin Stewart has the same facial expression for every scene she's in? Yep, same applies here. Someone please make this into a few .jpg's for me please.
Bro-Man's the come out for their celebrotion and I get to out bro them. Here we go. They start by going off on the mic-bro-phone about how bro-dacious they are when Storm and Gunner come down. Storm goes for the bro-bbly and Gunner just stands their with his beard. After some back and forth, Bad Influence come down to join in the fun, Chris-bro-pher Daniels accompanied by his Appletini.
After a bit of pro-bro work, Eric Young and Bro-seph Park come down and everybody bro-wls. Bro-seph gets sliced on his forehead and goes nuts as always to end the segment. This was bro-ring.
Match 3(???) - Bully Ray vs. AJ Styles (TNA Heavyweight Championship match)
Yes folks you read that right, 3 matches in 2 hours. I'm sorry, but whomever is booker... yeah, you know...
Okay match but the story here is twofold:
1. Ken Anderson returns predictably costing Bully the match; and
2. AJ walks out on TNA officially.
Winner: AJ Styles
Wow... that was...yeah I'm going to hold my opinion back...other than Dixie = Kristin Stewart.
Jon Waldman has been with SLAM! since 2000.