We start off with a look back at last week, then the dumbass cameraman catches up with Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan in the parking lot. Brooke and Bubba say that Hulk is messed up really badly, but say they've done enough talking and head into the building.
Bully Ray comes out to the ring and says it's good to be back in the Impact Zone, but he's never been more pissed off in his life because of how Aces & Eights has been running roughshod for the last year. They took out Hulk, Sting, Magnus, and ruined his wedding. Last week should have been huge for TNA with the return of Hulk Hogan to the ring, but it didn't happen because of Aces & Eights, so he says to all of them, and especially Devon, he's going to get his hands on them so bad that they'll never want to set foot in a wrestling ring again. Bubba has one other man to speak to, someone Aces & Eights took out four weeks ago, and the man he'll be facing for the TNA World Title at Lockdown: Jeff Hardy. The champ makes his return to TV with the TNA World Title and the TNA No-Fly Title over his shoulders. Jeff comes out and says that never in his wildest dreams would the two of them be standing across the ring from each other getting ready to wrestle for the most important singles World Title in the industry. It means a lot at him, but Bubba doesn't feel right about this because he doesn't want to get the title shot just because he married Hulk's daughter. Hulk set up all those matches to determine a challenger and he wasn't in any of them. He's not sure this is the way he wants to face him, and he's not sure he's the right guy to face Hardy at Lockdown. Hardy says it's great to be back on Impact IN THE ZONE, and loves the fact that Hogan chose him. They do have a lot of history involving chairs, tables, and ladders, and now they take it to the cage for the World Title. At Lockdown, they're going to reinvent their history and may the best man win. Bad Influence's music hits and they come out to tell Bubba that he shouldn't feel good about this situation because he didn't earn the title shot. His daddy-in-law gave him the title shot just like he gave him his daughter. Kazarian says someone needs to rub tanning lotion on her back and tweet questionably photos of her, and it might as well be him. Daniels says that Jefferson doesn't deserve to be in the main event because he outwrestled him like he was Lou Thesz' favorite son, and the only reason he lost was because of the poisonous paint Hardy covered his skin with. Of course they want to wrestle each other so they don't have to face them, and it's time for Bad Influence to give the fans what they want, and that's PERMISSION TO WORSHIP UUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSS. Bubba slaps the microphone out of Daniels' hand steals his appletini, spits it back into the glass, and then tells "baldy" that real men don't drink appletinis. A brawl breaks out, and I think we just found out what our main event is. Sure enough, Bubba says that he and Jeff Hardy will wrestle them tonight. So Hulk gave him matchmaking priveleges, too?
Tonight: the teams in Lethal Lockdown will be announced, Gut Check returns, and Velvet Sky defends her newly won Knockouts Title against former champion Tara...NEXT!
Sting is sitting in Hogan's office while Brutus Magnus explains to him why he should be on the Lethal Lockdown team. Magnus says TNA took a chance on him when he was barely more than a kid, Sting took care of him, and now he wants to pay that back. He's not just on Team TNA, he's on Team Sting. Sting strokes his goatee thoughtfully as we head back to the ring for our first match of the evening.
Knockouts Title Match: Velvet Sky vs Tara
Gail Kim iks at the broadcast booth to observe since she's getting the next title shot against the winner of this match. Tara goes right after Velvet as the bell rings, bulling her into the corner and ramming shoulderblocks to her breadbasket, then tossing her across the ring by her hair. Tara whips Velvet hard into the corner, charges into her boots, then tries a third charge and Velvet dodges and takes her out with a clothesline. Velvet with a flying headscissors, Jesse grabs at Velvet's ankle from the floor, and both Velvet and Taryn Terrell turn around to yell at him. Tara tries a cheapshot while Velvet's back is turned, but Velvet ducks the shot and nails Tara with one of her own. She makes a cover and Jesse drags Velvet out of the ring to save Tara, and this time Tara gets the cheapshot. Terrell sees him interfere and ejects him from ringside, and Velvet spears Tara while she was distracted and hits In Your Face for the win.
Winner: Velvet Sky
That was kind of short. So it's Gail vs Velvet for the title, and wasn't it Velvet that Gail beat for the title when she came back last year?
Austin Aries is backstage on his phone telling Bobby Roode he needs to get to the building for their photo shoot, but Roode lets him in on the fact that they'll be defending their title in a three way match againsr Daniels & Kazarian and Chavo Guerrero Jr and Hernandez at Lockdown. Speaking of Chavo and Hernandez, they come in and tell Aries that they heard him saying he could beat anyone by himself, so he can wrestle Hernandez tonight.
The Mystery Cameraman catches Kenny King backstage and asks him where he goes from here now that he lost to Rob Van Dam again, and King says he's going to talk to Rob Van Dam. King storms into RVD's locker room and demand another title shot, RVD doesn't want to give it to him because he's already beaten him so many times, but eventually gives King his title shot and says that this is absolutely his last chance.
Austin Aries vs Hernandez
Hernandez backs Aries to the corner and breaks clean, but Aries showboats and acts like he's not intimidated. Aries dances around Hernandez and takes him down, but Hernandez blocks a hiptoss and launches Aries across the ring with a hiptoss of his own and clotheslines Aries out to the floor. Hernandez goes for the big dive, Aries shoulderblocks him in the gut and sunset flips in, Hernandez yanks Aries to his feet by the neck and bowls him over with a full body tackle. Aries tries diving off the second rope, Hernandez catches him in midair, Aries goes to the eyes and dumps Hernandez out to the floor, then follows him out with a suicide dive. Aries goes back inside and comes off the top rope with a Randy Savage double axhandle, then brings Hernandez back inside. Aries tries a frogsplash, Hernandez moves out of the way and skins the cat to the top rope, then takes Aries out with a flying shoulderblock. Hernandez press slams Aries about eight feet into the air, goes for the Border Toss, Aries escapes and goes for the IED, Hernandez stops that cold by flattening Aries with the Pounce. Aries grabs his belt and tries to escape up the ramp, but Hernandez comes aftrer him and dumps him back in the ring. Aries tries to hand him the belt to make peace, but the referee grabs the belt and brings it back to the timekeeper, allowing Aries to pull a chain out of his tights, knock Hernandez out with it (stuffing it in Hernandez' tights afterward), and covers for the win.
Winner: Austin Aries
Joseph Park is in Hogan's office sucking down a plate of ribs Sting bought him (so that he now knows what ribs are), and Park says he knows Sting needs team members, and even though he's just a greenhorn, he wants to join Team TNA at Lockdown. Sting tells Park he'll think about it and goes tearing out into the hallway to say he knows Matt Morgan is looking for opportunities, and asks him to join Team TNA at Lockdown. Morgan says he knows Hogan put him up to this, and doesn't want to associate with anyone associated with Hogan and says no.
X Division Title Match: Rob Van Dam vs Kenny King
Uh oh, Kenny King is already in the ring as we come back from commercial. Hope that's a fakeout! They have a fast paced, back and forth sequence to start the match until RVD planted King in the mat with an extremely high angle German suplex. King backed off to the corner to create a little space, and RVD made the mistake of turning his back to King and got nailed from behind. RVD fell out to the floor, but dodged a dive from King and took him out with a leaping thrust kick from the apron. RVD slung King over the guardrail and hit the spinning leg lariat off the apron as we go to commercial.
We're back, and King has the advantage and hits a snap suplex, rolls through, and drills RVD with several mounted right hands before covering for 2. King charges RVD in the corner, RVD gets the boot up and a bodyscissors cradle for 2. RVD with a series of clotheslines and the rolling monkey flip, King lands on his feet and RVD takes him out with a charging leg lariat. RVD hits Rolling Thunder and goes for the 450 splash, King moves out of the way and RVD hits the mat, King gets a deep cradle and RVD might or might not have kicked out at 2.99999 (it was really close), but it didn't matter because he followed right up with the Royal Flush and got the win.
Winner and NEW X Division Champion: Kenny King
King finally wins the title, and RVD looks shocked that he lost.
Sting catches up backstage with Kurt Angle, who looks at Sting's list of people he wants to ask to join the Lockdown team. Angle looks shocked at one of Sting's picks, but Sting says desperate times call for desperate measures.
We look back at last week when Aces & Eights attacked Hulk Hogan and injured him badly enough that he required surgery, then Aces & Eights come out to the ring so Devon can say that he doesn't know what Hogan's thinking, but everyone else has obviously been drinking his Kool Aid. Aces & Eights is the team that will dominate TNA in 2013, because Doc, Knox, Anderson, and Bischoff will join him in Lethal Lockdown and shetter their dreams. It's going to be no different than Bound For Glory, because they're going to reign supreme again at Lockdown, and the only difference is that this time, Sting's leading his team to the slaughter. Sting comes out to the top of the ramp and introduces his team: Samoa Joe, James Storm, and...ERIC YOUNG!!! HE'S BACK!!! EY comes out of the crowd and jumps Aces & Eights from behind, kicking off a 5-on-5 brawl as Team TNA sends Aces & Eights packing.
The Gut Check returns tonight between two would-be Knockouts. One of them is Ivalice Velez, an MMA enthusiast from Puerto Rico. She actually sacrificed her relationship with her mother for a time because her mother didn't approve of her going into wrestling, and it took time to mend that fence because she was basically living on the streets at that point in her life. She knows she's the hottest diva talent in the business today, and she's going to take her spot tonight in the Gut Check.
Aces & Eights is in the parking lot and seem way too angry over having to fight Eric Young, but Kurt Angle is stalking them and tells the cameraman to follow him.
Before we find out what Krazy Kurt's up to, we take a look at Lei'd Tapa, the other contestant in tonight's Gut Check. She's from Tonga and is the Barbarian's niece, and she wants to win the competition and make her uncle proud.
Gut Check: Ivalice Velez vs Lei'd Tapa
Tapa is MUCH bigger than Velez, and easily shrugs off everything Velez tries, lifting her off the mat by the throat and tossing her to the mat. Tapa tries to grab her again, but Velez catches her in a front guillotine choke. Tapa isn't out yet, picking Velez up and trying for a TKO, but Velez slips out and catches Tapa in a sleeper. Tapa escapes that too and takes Velez' head off with a big superkick, then turns her inside out with a clothesline. Tapa with a hard bodyslam, Velez tries punching Tapa in the ribs, but Tapa headbutts her down and stops to yell at the fans. Tapa whips Velez hard into the corner, then does it a second time. Velez dodges a charge and hits a tornado DDT through the ropes, and Tapa is finally down. Velez hits a pair of clotheslines and a flying headscissors, but Tapa picks her up like she's nothing and hits a Samoan Drop. She makes a lax cover and Velez kicks out at 2. Tapa stops to argue with the referee and gives Velez just enough time to get Tapa in a front guillotine choke. Tapa tries to fight and nearly gets off the mat a couple of times, but eventually is forced to tap out.
Winner: Ivalice Velez
This was excellent! They did a great job and told a story with their match instead of using their time as an opportunity to just throw out every spot they do in every match. TNA should hire both these girls, they're both way better than Taeler Hendrix and can breathe some much needed life into a Knockouts division that's revolved around the same five or six girls for the last year.
Austin Aries walks in on Jeff Hardy doing squats and give him some pointers, then says that he knows they haven't always been best friends, but he's pulling for Hardy because Bubba is the golden child, and now Hardy knows how it feels to face the golden child. Aries hopes he overcomes the odds like he wasn't able to, and wishes him luck tonight and at Lockdown.
TNA recently sent their cameras to the home of AJ Styles and his wife talks about meeting him in high school when he was a big bully who wrestled and played football, and how she started to doubt his faithfulness during the whole Claire Lynch thing. AJ's best friend says he's not the guy he used to know, and that he needs to take care of his family. AJ's wife can't continue the interview because this is just too personal, and AJ gets home on his dirt bike looking like he spent the week on the road with Sunny. He says TNA just doesn't get it, and he gets back on his bike and rides away.
We look back at the recent dissension between Robbie E and Robbie T, then E is in the ring saying there are times a bro needs to admit there's a bigger bro. He asks T to come out to the ring so he can say that he wants to admit he was wrong and that T is the better bro. He wants to have one last Bro Off for old time's sake, T is reluctant but gives him a fist pound. E hits the music and E starts broing down. T doesn't want to bro, but E reminds him that he's the Bro Off Champion, so he's realized that T's the one who deserves the spotlight. He's going to leave the ring and give the fans what they want, so the music and lights hit again, and T tears his shirt off and flexes, but the big moron didn't realize he was being led on and E takes a poster and smashes it over T's head. E celebrates, but T no-sells, tears the poster off his head and smashes it, and screams at E as he heads for the hills.
Bully Ray is backstage pumping iron when Austin Aries comes in and tells Bubba that he's pulling for him. Bubba tells him to cut the crap because Aries isn't going to stir him up. Aries is one of the best wrestlers in the world and is one half of the tag champions, and he knows something about that belt, but he tells Aries to get used to it because he's not winning the World Title anytime soon since Bubba's winning it. He tells Aries to get out of his face, Aries says okay and to tell Brooke hi for him, and Bubba calls him a wiseass.
We finally get back to Kurt Angle, who says that if Aces & Eights wants a fight, they've got one. He seems to have tailed them back to their clubhouse (which appears to be a building on the Universal Studios property) and walks inside. Before we can find out his fate, we head to the ring for MAIN EVENT TIME!
Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs Bully Ray & TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy
Daniels and Bubba start us off, Daniels showboats and Bubba takes his head off with a clothesline. Kazarian tries to sneak in and gets backdropped into next week, but provides enough of a distraction for Daniels to nail Bubba from behind. They Gangnam Style dance before getting taken out by a double clothesline from Bubba, who then does a dance of his own before taking both of them out with Dusty elbows. Hardy clotheslines Daniels to the floor and then hit a double team neckbreaker Dudley Boyz style as we go to commercial.
We're back, and Bad Influence is still on the receiving end of a beating from Hardy and Bubba. Hardy springboards off Bubba to hit Poetry In Motion, then Hardy whips Bubba into splashes on both men in the corner. Daniels and Kazarian do something I don't quite catch while I was typing that last sentence and turn the tide, Daniels hits a clothesline, and Kazarian hits a springboard legdrop on Hardy for 2. Daniels holds Hardy in a side suplex position so Kazarian can nail him with a springboard guillotine legdrop. Hardy hits Daniels with the Whisper In The Wind, then gets to his corner and makes the hot tag so Bubba can come in and clean house on both opponents. Bubba with a uranage on Daniels for 2, then he tosses Kazarian off the top rope and side suplexes Daniels for 2. Bubba dumps Kazarian to the floor and slams Daniels so Hardy can hit the Swanton, but Kazarian jumps on the apron and shoves Hardy off the top rope, allowing Daniels to nail Bubba and hit an STO on Hardy for 2. Bubba big boots Kazarian and then picks Daniels up and hits an electric chair so Hardy can hit him with the Swanton for the win.
Winners: Jeff Hardy & Bully Ray
Decent main event, Bubba and Hardy made Daniels and Kazarian look like a couple of jobbers, but whatever.
We head back to the Aces & Eights clubhouse where Angle fights his way into their boardroom and dukes it out with the Vice President. Angle smashes a beer bottle over the VP's head and knocks him out, then decides to find out who he really is and pulls his mask off. We don't see who's under the mask because he's unconscious under a table, but Angle goes "Holy shit!" and then asks whoever it is how he could do this. Before he can get any answers, the rest of the gang runs in and beats Angle down as we call it a night.
Thanks for reading the Impact Wrestling Report, I'll be back tomorrow to discuss Impact and more with Dave Scherer on the Stu & Pid Show!