Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray
Aries stayed on the outside avoiding Ray early. When Ray finally got his hands on Aries, he slammed him hard, whipped him into the buckles and drilled him with a clothesline.
Ray backdropped Aries. Aries tried to fire back with a sunset flip but Ray stood strong. Ray sent Aries into the corner but was caught with an elbow charging in and dropkicked down. Aries nailed a neckbreaker for a two count. One thing Ray is really good at that you don't see out of the younger talents doing much today is verbalizing the pain as he's nailed with different moves. If you watch how and when he yells, it adds a lot to the believability of what you are watching.
Aries nailed a series of offensive maneuvers, including a brutal forearm strike for a two count. He worked over Bully in the corner. Ray fired back but Aries maintained control. Aries locked in a standing rear chinlock.
Aries mocked Hulk Hogan and nailed the legdrop rebounding off the ropes. That pissed off Ray, who began chopping him hard across the chest. Aries tried to cut him off but was chopped so hard it turned him inside out. Ray pressed and slammed Aries, then hit a big splash.
Ray missed a charge in the corner. Aries charged but was caught and nailed with Snake Eyes in the corner. Aries went for a superplex but Ray tossed him off and nailed a missile dropkick. Well, you don't see that every day!
Ray charged Aries but Aries dropped down and yanked the ropes. Ray went to the floor. Aries went for the heat seeking missile dive but dove into a big boot. That was great! Ray covered Aries for a two count.
Aries was able to use a Crucifix into a slam in a moment of desperation. He nailed Bully with a big dropkick in the corner. He went for a brainbuster but Ray reversed and nailed the Bubba Cutter for a two count. Really entertaining match.
Ray followed Aries to the outside but was sent into the steel ring steps. Ray came up bleeding. Aries began working him over, coming off the top with a big punch and then drilling him over and over. This led to Brooke Hogan running out concerned as Aries was about to come off the top on Ray, who was half hanging off the apron outside.
Aries pulled Brooke into the ring and began menacing her, screaming that she didn't belong here. Ray returned and threw him out of the ring. Hulk Hogan walked out as Ray checked on Brooke. Ray told her that he was fine and she needed to get out of here. Ray told Hulk to take her out. Hulk grabbed her by the arm and dragged her away.
Aries snuck in behind Ray and low blowed him, then scored the win.
Your winner, Austin Aries!
Good match. Ray whipped out some really cool spots and Aries remains a machine. The Hogans stuff at the end was fine in terms of building their storylines, although I can see people rejecting it because it was the Hogans involved. But, the reality is that it was fine from a logical standpoint and it was within Aries' nature as a scumbag heel to get the win that way.
Good show so far.
They ran a video piece on Velvet Sky's return.
Jeremy Borash interviewed TNA Knockouts champion Tara. She said the focus should be on her win tonight, not her. They claimed all these celebs were congratulating Tara. Tara mocked Mickie James' medical problems and told her the big problem is going to be what Tara does to her. Tara was getting distracted by Jesse Godderz' body doing the promo.
TNA Knockouts champ Tara vs. Mickie James
They went back and forth working over each other's arm early. Tara grabbed at the arm and snapped it several times. Mickie almost scored the pin with the Backlund Bridge. Tara caught her in the corner with some elbows but was kicked off and James elevated herself into a rana.
James went for a DDT but Tara shoved her into the ropes. Godderz pulled Tara out and hugged her to save her. James hit a sliding kick on both. Tara cut off James on apron and sent her to the floor. Tara dropped her face-first on the apron.
Tara grabbed James by the hair, slammed her down and grabbed her in an over the shoulder backbreaker. James rolled through for a sunset flip but Godderz distracted the referee. Tara nailed a sidewalk slam for a two count and cinched in a body scissor.
Tara locked in a full nelson but James fought her way out. Tara went to snapmare her over but James landed on her feet. Tara yanked her to the mat by her hair but James kicked her away. James nailed a series of clotheslines and went for a kick. Tara grabbed her leg so Mickie turned it into an enziguiri. James covered her for a two count.
Tara went back to the floor but James hit a Thesz Press from the top to the floor. She rolled Tara back in the ring. Godderz tried to grab her on the apron but was kicked away. Tara used the distraction to nail Mickie and drill her with the Widow's Peak and score the pinfall.
Your winner and still Knockouts champion, Tara!
The finish was never in doubt since the entire promo video before the bout was all about Sky. Match was OK. They worked hard and compared to the current Divas division, this was really strong. The Thesz Press to the floor was great.
Aces & Eights: Devon & Doc & Two Masked Men vs. Kurt Angle & Wes Brisco & Samoa Joe & Garett Bischoff
Joe had to be held back from trying to get at Devon, since he just lost the TV title to him. Devon used that to attack Angle and nailed him from behind. He worked over Angle, who came back with an overhead suple for a two count. Joe tagged in and Devon headed for the floor.
Doc tagged in and went back and forth with big shots. Joe got the better of him with a series of strikes in the corner, nailed a running back splash and an enziguiri in the corner.
Bischoff tagged in but was overwhelmed by Aces & Eights. One of the masked men (I think Mike Knox), worked him over. Bischoff ducked a clothesline and took him down with a flying shoulderblock. Brisco and Garett teamed to work over one of the masked men but Brisco was wiped out.
Brisco came back with a flapjack and a pump handle on the arm. Joe tagged in and tagged the masked man with a series of kicks and a headbutt. Joe snapmared him and drilled him with kicks and knees. Aces and Eights grabbed Joe from behind and worked him over on the floor, tossing him back in the ring.
Now that Joe was hurting, Devon chose to tag in. He drilled Joe with right hand after right hand. Joe tagged Devon back with several shots of his own but was raked across the eyes. Devon drilled him with a forearm and tagged out to Doc. Doc continued and Devon tagged back in, cinching in a nerve hold on Joe.
Joe fought back but was nailed with a leaping back elbow. The bigger masked man worked over Joe in the corner and tagged in the smaller masked guy. They tried to work over Joe but he laid them out with Uranages.
Angle made the hot tag and went nuts with offense. He hit a crazy back suple on Doc. The entire thing turned into a big brawl. Doc chokeslammed Angle. Brisco hit a big bodypress. Joe nailed a diving forearm smash on Devon. Angle hit a T-Bone Tazplex on one and went for the pin.
Doc hit the ring with a hammer but Garett grabbed it. Wes speared Doc. Angle hit the Olympic Slam on the smaller masked man and scored the pin.
Your winners, Team Angle!
OK match. Brisco seems real hesitant at times and at other times looks really good. Bischoff showed some improvement. The match itself was fine, but you can tell the live crowd takes the masked men and looks at it like they are nobodies, so it kills some of the crowd interest.
Jeremy Borash interviewed AJ Styles, who said that he's had his doubters but he's been the most dominant athlete in TNA history. He said that Daniels was right when he said history was written by the victors and the history books will tell the story that AJ Styles was the winner tonight. Not the usually good Styles promo but that is playing into the self-doubt aspect of Styles' current story.
Coverage continues on Page 3!