Jeremy Borash interviewed Magnus, saying tonight was the biggest match of his career. Magnus said they have arrived at the biggest night of his life. He said before tonight, the biggest night was joining the Main Event Mafia. He said that Sting is a legend and they are in his backyard but Magnus has nothing to lose. He said that he has a date with destiny and she's getting impatient.
Magnus vs. Sting
They spent time early on testing each other. Sting got the better of an exchange, leading Magnus to go to the floor to regroup. They went back and forth and this time Sting was on the outside. Magnus held the ropes for him and no quicker than you could say Larry Zbyszko, he grabbed Sting as soon as he was through the ropes for a short arm clothesline.
Magnus worked over Sting and scissored his body. Magnus worked over Sting with a series of shots to the back and then peppered him with punches in the corner. Sting made a comeback and locked in a Scorpion Deathlock.
Sting worked over Magnus, who no sold it like Sting used to back in the day. Magnus nailed a Stinger splash and slammed Sting down for a two count. Sting made a comeback and used the Stinger Splash himself, then locked in the Scorpion Deathlock.
Magnus tried to get to the ropes but was pulled back. He finally fought back to the ropes and grabbed them. Magnus took out Sting and covered him for a two count, then ascended to the top rope. Magnus missed a flying elbow. Sting went for the Scorpion Death Drop but Magnus held onto the ropes.
Magnus nailed a series of back elbows to Sting and drilled him down. Sting was dazed but told Magnus to bring it. Think Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels. Sting went after Magnus but Magnus caught him and locked in a Texas Cloverleaf. He pulled Sting to the center of the ring.
Sting tapped out clean.
Your winner, Magnus!
They had an OK match with the story being the veteran vs. the upstart. The idea here was to make Magnus by having Sting lose clean in a back and forth contest. On paper, it made sense but the match didn't feel like it had the spark needed for that sort of moment. But, it was big career moment for Magnus, who has a ton of potential and has continuously improved since his debut three years ago.
After the match, Sting offered Magnus his hand. Magnus took it and left, leaving Sting in the ring. The idea was that Magnus wasn't being humble about the win.
Funny note - At one point, there was a dueling "We want Hogan" chant, followed by "No we don't."
TNA champion Bully Ray was interviewed by Jeremy Borash. He said that he could kill AJ but he wants him to live so he goes home and his wife and children look at him with that sad disappointment and ask him why he failed. It was the usual excellent promo from Ray.
TNA champ Bully Ray (with Brooke) vs. AJ Styles - No DQ, No Countout.
Ray muscled Styles into the corner, then jawed at him that he's afraid and he knows it. Styles tried to work over Ray's arm but was drilled with a stiff clothesline. Ray ripped on Styles and told him that when he was done with Styles, he would take care of Styles' wife and kids. That motivated Styles, who exploded with offense. He went for the calf-killer.
Garrett Bischoff ran down but stopped when the referee saw him. Styles went to the ramp to approach Garett. Meanwhile, Ray pulled out a hammer. AJ returned to the ring but kicked Ray's arms when Ray went to nail him. Styles went to use the hammer but Ray caught him with a hard chop that sent him down. Ray began beating Styles with stiff shots.
Ray began mocking Hulk Hogan's mannerisms and he worked over Styles. Styles, despite deep bruising on his chest, dared Ray to keep fighting him. He got in Ray's face and began shoving and slapping him. Ray exploded out of the corner with a clothesline but Styles got back up and told Ray to bring it.
Styles took some hard shots from Ray and fired back with kicks of his own. Styles went to the top but Knux entered the ring. Styles leapt off the ropes but Knux caught him and chokeslammed him. Ray covered him but Styles kicked out at two. Ray got in Earl Hebner's face but Hebner fired back at Ray. Ray tried to drill Styles with a clothesline but Styles ducked and Knux ate it instead.
Ray charged Styles, who was in the ropes and kicked him hard out of the ring to the floor. He followed and slammed Styles' head into the announcers' table. Ray went to do more damage but Styles leapt up with a kick to the head. Styles grabbed the hammer and teased using it, then threw it down. He slammed Ray on the table and left him laying face-first on it.
Styles went to the top rope and went for a 450 splash but Ray moved and Styles DEMOLISHED the table. That was an insane, nasty looking bump. Taz handed Ray a knife and Ray cut open the canvas to expose the ring beams beneath. He then did the old Cactus Jack spit in the air and catch it deal. Bang Bang!
The crowd chanted "ECW" after Ray had removed the apron. In a market ECW never ran. In 2013.
Ray worked over Styles and called for the troops. Instead, out came TNA President Dixie Carter. She demanded a chair from one of the member of Atlas Security. Ray took it but Styles had recovered and nailed a springboard forearm into the chair, KOing Ray. Styles nailed a springboard 450 splash but Carter demanded the referee stop counting. He argued with her and decided to keep counting but by the time he went for three, Ray kicked up.
Styles pulled Ray to his feet and went for the Styles Clash but was backdropped on the exposed boards. Ray went to the ropes for the back senton splash and nailed it. Ray blew Carter a kiss and covered Styles but he got his shoulder up at the last second.
Ray drilled Styles across the back with a chair. He nailed Styles again. He went for a powerbomb but Styles slipped out, ducked around and nailed the Pele Kick. Styles drilled Ray with a chair to the head. He set up Ray on the boards and went to the top rope. He pointed at Carter, then hit the Spiral Tap and pinned Ray.
Your winner and new TNA champion, AJ Styles!
Really good, hard hitting, well told story here. Easily the best thing on the show and a really good main event.
Carter was beside herself knowing that Styles, who isn't under contract, now had the title.