TNA champ AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe with Eric Bischoff as the special referee: The Match
Styles demanded Bischoff hold the title up in the air. There was a moment where Flair and Bischoff stared at each other. They rang the bell.
Joe and Styles locked up and they started out fast, but Styles jumped to the floor before Joe could get any real damage in. Styles returned. Joe got a lot of offense early, including a running knee in the corner for a two count. Styles came back with chops. Joe ducked a clothesline and nailed a running knee for a two count. Joe nailed Styles with a big chop to the chest.
Joe began drilling Styles with roundhouse kicks to the legs and chest. Styles grabbed Joe's leg and hit a Dragon Screw legwhip. Styles began stomping away on Joe's knee. Styles went for a figure four but Joe kicked him out of the ring. Styles took a scary as heel bump to the floor. Joe hit a suicide dive to the floor, but began selling the bad knee after hitting the floor.
Joe tossed Styles back in the ring but they ended up back outside. Styles began pulling the padding covering the ringside area, exposing the concrete. Styles went for a suplex on the floor but Joe reversed it. Styles landed on his feet but Joe nailed him. Styles landed in Flair's arms and they backed off as Joe stalked them outside. Styles returned to the ring and dropkicked Joe as he followed.
Styles elbowed Joe across the back of the neck. He drilled Joe with a dropkick as he rebounded off the ropes. Styles began whipping out the "Woos" as he chopped Joe but Joe returned in kind. They went back and forth. Styles placed Joe atop the turnbuckles and went for a top rope rana. Joe pushed him off and drilled a knee off the ropes for a two count.
Joe began beating on Styles with right hands and punches in the corner. Styles avoided a Joe charge but when he went after Joe, was caught with a Uranage out of the corner. Joe charged Styles but was kicked off. Styles mounted him with a series of right hands but Bischoff pulled him off. Styles and Bischoff argued while Flair grabbed Joe and slammed his leg into a ringpost. Styles clipped Joe from behind.
Styles began working on Joe's leg, snapping the hamstring and stomping the leg to weaken Joe for a submission attempt. Styles locked on an Oriental Torture Device followed by the figure four leglock. Joe was nearly counted down on the mat several times. Flair began helping Styles. Bischoff spotted it and broke up the submission.
Style charged Joe but was backdropped over the top to the floor. Joe began racking up the offense including a back senton splash for a two count. Joe nailed the snap powerslam for a two count. Joe chopped Styles in the corner. Styles came back with a springboard into a forearm for a two count. Styles mounted Joe for more punches. Joe came back with thrusts and punches.
Styles caught Joe with a back elbow and set up Joe for the Styles Clash. Joe escaped and went for the rear naked choke. Styles went for the ropes but Joe kicked off the ropes for momentum and flipped Styles backwards into a back suplex. Joe placed Styles on the top rope for a muscle buster but Flair grabbed Joe's leg. Bischoff began arguing with Flair on the floor and decked him, Meanwhile, there was no one to count the pin.
When Bischoff returned to the ring, he began screaming at Bischoff and grabbed him by the shirt. Styles hit the Pele Kick on the distracted Joe, then hit the Styles Clash. Bischoff slowly counted three, although he wasn't happy about it.
Your winner and still TNA champion AJ Styles!
Flair grabbed the mic and demanded Bischoff raise Styles' hand. Flair yelled at the fans to show him and Styles respect.
This was your usual good Joe vs. Styles bout but with the Ric Flair heel vs. babyface template over it. Easily the best thing from an in-ring standpoint on the show. To me, it seems Flair and Bischoff are actually in cahoots, but we'll see.
Ken Anderson cut a promo saying he was going to finish off his bucket list tonight after checking off beating Kurt Angle and Abyss. He said he was going to finish off by sending Dinero back to the Harlem Street Corner he came from. His promos are on fire tonight.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Dinero. Dinero was giving his usual fun promo when Scott Hall and Sean Waltman attacked him, throwing him into the wall of the TNA interview set. Security held them back. Hall yelled for Hogan, saying he shouldn't turn his back on the Wolfpack. Cue Jerry McDevitt.
So Dinero is going to go in and win after the impossible for a huge pop as a babyface or Anderson becomes the heel who back doored his way into a title match.
8 Card Stud Tournament Final: D'Angelo Dinero vs. Ken Anderson for Lockdown title shot.
They played Dinero's music but no initial sign of him. They stopped playing the music and instead introduced Anderson. They ref rang the bell and began counting out Dinero. At six, Dinero emerged on the stage. Anderson hit a running clothesline on the ramp. He returned to the ring to break up the countout then went right back after Dinero on the ramp.
Dinero began to mount a comeback. Anderson went to the floor off the ramp to try and escape but Dinero was right after him. Anderson cut him off with a kick to the gut. He whipped Dinero into the steel steps. They showed AJ Styles and Ric Flair watching the match on a monitor backstage to see who gets the Lockdown title shot. Anderson worked over Dinero and returned to the ring, telling the referee to count him out.
Dinero pulled himself to his feet and got to the apron but Anderson knocked him back off the apron to the floor. Dinero finally returns to the ring. He tries to suplex Anderson but it's reversed. Anderson covered Dinero but he kicks out. Anderson stomped Dinero's hand, which seemed to fire up Pope, who nailed several shots.
Anderson escaped a small package and drilled Dinero with a series of elbows for a two count. Dinero keeps trying to fire up but Anderson just cuts him right back down. Anderson continued to control the bout with Dinero getting a small flare of offense. The fans started to chat for Dinero, who called for Anderson to keep bringing it. Anderson did.
Anderson cinched in a side chinlock. Dinero tried to fire back and drilled Anderson with a shoulderblock off the ropes. Dinero suplexed Anderson, then nailed a German suplex. He went for a second but was nailed with an elbow. Dinero came back with a clothesline for a two count.
Dinero was up and over in the corner as Anderson charged and kicked Anderson in the face. He nailed the Elijah Experience into the chest of Anderson for a two count. Anderson came back with a clubbing clothesline. He called for the mic to lower into the ring. He announced we were one Mic Check Away from the next number one contender.
Anderson nailed the Mic Check but Dinero kicked out. Anderson threw a fit over the kick up. Dinero began pulling himself up in the corner. Anderson went for the Rolling splash. Anderson missed a swanton off the top rope. Dinero avoided a rush in the corner, then hit the double knees and scored the pin.
Your winner and top contender to the TNA title, D'Angelo Dinero!
We'll back tonight with the AAO Post-Game Show for PWInsider.com Elite subscribers.