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Impact: Angle and Aries meet in the TNA title tournament
By NOLAN HOWELL - SLAM Wrestling


The TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament kicked off in a big way last week. Jeff Hardy defeated Chris Sabin in a grueling Full Metal Mayhem bout. Tonight on TNA Impact, Kurt Angle and Austin Aries match up in a wrestling purist's dream bout, the submission match. Do these two have what it takes to put on a classic battle? Plus, preparation for next week's Turning Point! All that and more on this week's edition of TNA Impact!

Austin Aries and Kurt Angle shown entering the building prior to their TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament showdown tonight.

Recap of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament and preview of tonight's show.

We are on tape from Cincinnati, Ohio. Mike Tenay and Taz have the call for this week.

Bully Ray makes his way out with Brooke and Aces & Eights flanking him. Bully asks his signature question, telling the crowd that he is the puppet master. Bully claims he doesn't have to the be the champion to be the most important man in TNA. Bully moves on to Mr. Anderson, accepting his challenge and he promises to piledrive him through the stage.

Mr. Anderson makes his way out. Anderson says everyone is sick and tired of Aces & Eights and that he plans to disband the group once he beats Bully. Bully doesn't plan to accept those conditions, but Anderson tells him that he will go home to his pregnant wife and leave TNA forever. Bully challenges Anderson to step to the apron and tells him, after insulting his wife, that he must be crazy. Anderson says he is crazy and starts after the group, but is soon overwhelmed. Garrett Bischoff and Knux hold him while Bully grabs the chair. Anderson with a low blow on Bully and he disposes of the two before turning his focus to Bully. Bully escapes as Anderson slams the chair down on the mat. Anderson says he is ready to fight tonight against any of the group and Knux seems to be up to the challenge as we break.

(Commercials)

Match One: Mr. Anderson vs. Knux

Mr. Anderson opening up with a brawling style on Knux. Corner work and right hands from Anderson are followed by a clothesline, but Knux counters with a crossbody for a nearfall. Knux now keeping Anderson grounded and choking him on the second rope. Knux keeping Anderson down and unleashing some heavy corner work.

Anderson sent out to the floor. The head of Anderson gets bounced off the steel steps and Knux follows with an elbow drop. Knux brings Anderson back up to the apron and hits a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall. Neck crank submission in for Knux. Anderson fighting back and puts Knux up on his shoulder, but Knux sends Anderson into the corner and hits a splash. Side slam connects for a nearfall.

Giant lariat from Knux puts Anderson down. Knux dragging a dazed Anderson around the ring and pulls him into another lariat. Knux going for the trifecta, but Anderson ducks under the strike and hits a Mic Check.

Winner by pinfall: Mr. Anderson

Impact 365 shows Joseph Park challenging Christopher Daniels to a match tonight and Bad Influence discussing the gameplan for the matchup tonight. Both men will leave their tag partners behind and battle tonight.

(Commercials)

Promo previews Kurt Angle vs. Austin Aries in a submission match in tonight's first round matchup for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship tournament.

Match Two: Christopher Daniels vs. Joseph Park

Christopher Daniels looking to use speedy striking to open up, but Joseph Park puts him down with a hip toss. Daniels shoulder bumped down by Park. Daniels wants to shake hands and he is picked up by Park, but Park lariats him down. Whip into the corner with velocity knocks Daniels down. Park looks to follow, but Daniels with a chop to the throat. Double-leg takedown from Park as Daniels charges in. Boston Crab attempt from Park is fought out of by Daniels, who gets to the ropes.

Daniels moves outside to escape punishment and Park takes chase. Rolling back inside, Daniels stomps Park down into the mat. Running clothesline to the back of the head gets a brief nearfall. Sunset flip attempt by Daniels misses and Park tries a sit-down splash, but misses. Chop to the back and a running boot from Daniels connect for a nearfall.

Sleeper locked in for Daniels. Park fights out to his feet, but Daniels pummels him down. DDT attempt from Daniels is caught by Park, who hits a Samoan Drop counter. Splash attempt in the corner from Daniels misses. Shoulder bump, scoop slam, and side slam get Park a nearfall.

Daniels looks for a suplex, but Park counters to hit one of his own. Closing Argument attempt from Park is thwarted by Daniels rolling into the opposite corner of the ring. Splash by Park is followed by a barrage of fists. Referee Earl Hebner breaks the two and Daniels shoves him away to punt Park in the groin.

Winner by pinfall: Christopher Daniel

(Commercials)

Aces & Eights backstage. Knux is disappointed, but Bully Ray comes to console the group to tell them that there is no reason to worry because they have Mr. Anderson right where they want him.

Handicap Match Three: Ethan Carter III vs. Norv Fernum & Dewey Barnes

Norv Fernum starts off striking on Ethan Carter III. Fernum wrenching the arm and Dewey Barnes in now and he works the arm wrench again. The team making quick tags to work the arm of EC3. Barnes in and he hits a splash in the corner. Clothesline levels him as Carter explodes out. Snap suplex followed by a Saito Suplex from EC3. Back elbows in the corner from Barnes and he hits a headscissors.

Fernum now in and he rams the shoulder in the stomach of Carter from the apron. Flying crossbody and a missile dropkick connect for Fernum. Torando DDT connects and he gets a brief nearfall. Fernum gets kicked away and he is hit with the One Percenter. Barnes made the sneak tag and heads up top, but EC3 catches him and turns him into a One Percenter to close the match.

Winner by pinfall: Ethan Carter III

(Commercials)

Video package details TNA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles defending the title in AAA and making good on his promise to make TNA President Dixie Carter pay.

TNA President Dixie Carter yelling at the production team for that package airing and plans to address it next.

Video package recaps the opening bout of the TNA title tournament between Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin in Full Metal Mayhem.

Dixie Carter makes her way out. Carter thanks the crowd and details how right she was about kicking TNA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles off the show. Carter tells the fans they don't understand business and discusses the actions of Styles. Carter pumps the TNA title tournament and next week's Turning Point event. Carter wants to bring out four men who will be participating in the event.

Bobby Roode, "Cowboy" James Storm, Samoa Joe, and Magnus make their way out. Carter announces that Roode and Storm will compete in a bullrope match. Carter believes Roode has an advantage and tells Storm to prove something to her. Storm says he doesn't have to prove anything to her and he will defeat Roode next week.

Carter now announces that Samoa Joe vs. Magnus will be a falls count anywhere match. Joe says every man in the tournament has been thrown in to cover for Carter's inability to properly handle business with AJ Styles and promises to win the belt and defend it against AJ Styles. Carter flustered and Magnus cuts her off to say Main Event Mafia was put on ice in the spirit of competition. Magnus says he will take it to Joe, even if it won't be easy. Carter says the winner of the tournament will be the true champion and departs.

Backstage, Mr. Anderson assaults Garrett Bischoff and handcuffs him to an equipment cart.

(Commercials)

Video package recaps the accomplishments of Kurt Angle in TNA.

Prior to her matchup, TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim recaps her open challenge and says someone stepped up before inviting her out.

Match Four: Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa) vs. Hannah Blossom

Gail Kim opens up with a kick and bounces the head of Hannah Blossom on the turnbuckle. Multitude of strikes coming from Gail Kim. Crossbody splash in the corner from Gail Kim. Gail Kim goes to pick up Blossom, but Blossom fighting back. Leg kick from Gail kim drops her. Corner work destroying Hannah Blossom and Gail Kim locks in the figure-four leglock around the ringpost. Gail Kim on all fours and offers Blossom a shot to kick her, but she sweeps the leg for a nearfall.

Back to the feet and Blossom striking together some forearms and clotheslines. Snap suplex and a splash from Blossom get a close nearfall. Gail Kim whipped into the corner, but she explodes out with a clothesline. Eat Defeat converts for Gail Kim.

Winner by pinfall: Gail Kim

(Commercials)

Joseph Park heads out to the ring. Park says the only goal he had coming to TNA was to find his brother Abyss, but he enjoyed the outpouring of support from the fans. Lately, Park has had some troubles with Bad Influence. He agrees with the team's assessment that he will never be as great as his brother, but he is tired of the innuendos and accusations. Park settles that by challenging Abyss next week at Turning Point.

Mr. Anderson is shown backstage taking Garrett Bischoff away.

(Commercials)

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Submission Match Five: Austin Aries vs. Kurt Angle

Lockup between the two sees Kurt Angle take the back. Austin Aries hits the switch and the two exchanging chain grappling. Angle with the side headlock takeover and Aries is able to grapple out. Angle with a side headlock again and a shoulder bump. Aries leapfrogging and ducking to get a hip toss into an arm drag. The two men exchange close attempts at their finishing submissions before Angle moves outside to reset.

Angle with a kick and striking Aries. Corner work from Angle puts Aries down on the mat. Aries sent into the corner, but he floats over and hits a headscissors into a single-leg crab. STF now applied, but Angle gets the rope break. Strikes keeping Angle grounded and Aries follows with corner work. Splash in the opposite corner followed by a bulldog. Front facelock from Aries is again met with a rope break.

Aries sent off the ropes and Angle hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Aries. Bobby Roode steps out to watch the match from the top of the stage. Angle steps out to meet him. Aries up top and tries an axhandle smash from behind, but Angle catches him to hit a belly-to-belly suplex outside. Angle distracted by Roode and Aries with a slide kick that sends Angle down to the floor as we break.

(Commercials)

Aries on the apron with a shoulder ram to the stomach as we return. Hangman's neckbreaker across the second rope from Aries is followed by a knee drop to the neck. Action from the break shows Aries taking it to Angle outside. Elbow drop to the sternum is followed by a front facelock by Aries once again. Both men exchanging counters until Angle hits a belly-to-belly. Angle gets the back and hits a trio of German Suplexes. Angle Slam attempt is countered by an arm drag from Aries. Discus forearms sends Angle tumbling to the floor.

Axhandle smash from the top to the floor by Aries. Back inside, Aries heads up top again and misses on the missile dropkick. Ankle Lock stretching the joins of Aries. Aries struggling, but he rolls through to send Angle into the turnbuckles. Running dropkick from Aries is again caught by Angle in the Ankle Lock. Aries still struggling in the hold. Roll through once again sends Angle out.

Suicide dive takes out Angle on the floor. The action once again returns inside and Aries connects on a missile dropkick this time around. Running dropkick in the corner wobbles Angle. Brainbuster from Aries converts. Last Chancery bridged into by Aries. Aries forced to abandon the hold for a front facelock. Both men exchanging strikes and Angle grabs two German Suplexes. Aries holding the ropes and Angle forced to take him up top. Angle attempts twice for a maneuver, but he crashes to the mat both times. 450 splash misses. Both men countering their respective finishers. Aries sent into the steel post on his shoulder. Angle points at Roode and locks in a Crossface.

Winner by submission: Kurt Angle

Turning Point preview by Taz and Mike Tenay.

Mr. Anderson closes the show by piledriving Garrett Bischoff on the stage as Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode look on.

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