And that was just the start of the show.
Powered by excellent matches and sprinkles of creativity, this week’s episode of Impact was a nice segway into this weekend’s pay per view.
Sting and Joseph Park vs. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bully Ray and TNA TV Champion Devon: A surprisingly entertaining finisher that was back and forth throughout. The brothers appeared to have the advantage after some effective double-team offense, but got distracted when Abyss’ music hit and allowed Sting to win with the Scorpion Death Drop.
Samoa Joe w/Magnus vs. Garrett Bischoff w/DOC and Wes Brisco: Joe was all offense, but the Aces and Eights B-team focused instead on destroying Magnus on the outside, throwing the match out. Joe helped out his teammate by suicide diving on all the baddies. Joe then announced a six-man tag against the three of them at Slammiversary. Joe and Magnus’ partner? Jeff Hardy.
Eight-Man Tag: TNA Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez and James Storm and Gunner vs. Austin Aries and Robert Roode and Christopher Daniels and Frank Kazarian: Daniels had problems with Gunner and Aries wasn’t interested in getting in the ring with him either. Bobby Roode was another story, but Gunner was able to hold his own against Roode as well. Hernandez and Guerrero were solid in the match, using their signature offense and quick tags after Gunner tagged them in. After he sold for a few minutes, Roode battled back and Aries got in a few shots. Seeing an opportunity to strike, Daniels and Kazarian got involved. After their turn of offense, Hernandez went back on the warpath, nailing a nice Backbreaker on Roode and a massive Shoulder Block on Daniels. After some more scrapping, Gunner got back in match and destroyed Aries with an Irish Curse Backbreaker and the Torture Rack for the submission victory.
Taryn Terrell and Chris Sabin vs. Gail Kim and TNA X-Division Champion Kenny King: Terrell hates Kim and Sabin wants to steal King’s X-Division title. That drama made for an interesting mixed tag match. King and Kim were perfect heels, using interference and smart tags to stay ahead. In the end though it wasn’t enough after a Terrell Spear on Kim and Sabin’s Twisted Package Driver earned the faces the win. After the match, King nearly took out Sabin, but Suicide interfered and caught King with his Tiger Suplex/Gutbuster Combo.
Mr. Anderson vs. AJ Styles: The new AJ Styles is void of flash. He’s all about bang. Gone are most of the spots, replaced by strikes, suplexes and smarts. In control for the first 15 minutes of the match, Anderson fought back with some intelligent heel tactics on the outside. But once the action got back in the ring, he wasn’t able to stay in control. Using more strikes, Styles continued the onslaught. The cagey veteran, Anderson hit a few moves to even things out, but again, Styles came back and hit a nice corner Drop Kick. Just when it looked like Styles was read to finish things, Kurt Angle joined the party and took out Styles, throwing the match out. Soon enough, The Aces and Eights and a bevy of TNA superstars were in the ring. By the end of it all, Sting was the victim of the 3D.