We kick the show off with Sting coming out to the ring with Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, saying that he said he'd return on 1-3-13 to get Aces & Eights, and he's brought his friends and his bat. Joe says that Aces & Eights had him outmanned, but not outgunned. He's putting A&E on notice that if they get in his face tonight, Joe is going to take them down and choke them out. Angle says that he made a promise to unmask all of Aces & Eights and he's started that last week, but he also wants to know whose side Ken Anderson is on, so he wants him to come out to the ring and explain himself. Anderson comes out and asks where they all were a few months ago when Aces & Eights were laying him out, and says that he was on his way to the ring not to fight Sting, but stand by his side when that happened. Sting not only left him there, but replaced him with Bully Ray, so he doesn't know what their problem is. Angle says he doesn't have a problem, because it's this simple: either Anderson is with them, or they're going to fight. Anderson walks the rest of the way to the ring and gets right in Angle's face and says he doesn't have to answer to him, and in fact, he never did like him. Angle pauses to consider that, then tells Anderson that the feeling is mutual before punching him in the face and then getting on top of Anderson to unload with punches. Anderson rolls out of the ring and powerwalks to the back as Angle yells after him that this is his ring.
Tonight, Angle will apparently wrestle Anderson, Jeff Hardy and James Storm will face Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, and the Gut Check returns! Justin Bradley is one of the men competing in this month's Gut Check, and we see a video package where he talks about how he's seen some of the guys he broke into the business with go on to become stars, and this is his opportunity tonight. He says it's nothing personal, but it's either him or Brian Cage, and he needs this opportunity.
The dumbass cameraman is waiting for Brooke Hogan in the parking lot as she drives up in her golf cart (seriously), and she responds to his usual harassment by saying they'll air their laundry in the ring as usual before she walks off to take a call from Mark.
Time for the second match in the X Division Contender's Tournament!
X Division Contender Tournament Semifinal: Kenny King vs Zema Ion
Oooooh, Ion is "already in the ring", that's not a good sign. They trade shots until King backdrops Ion out to the apron and knocks him to the floor with a cartwheel kick. Ion manages to draw King out to the floor and take him out with a dive, but they go back in and King regains the advantage. King gets a vertical suplex, rolls through, and drills Ion with several right hands before covering for 2. King takes Ion to the corner and nails him with a back elbow, but misses a second cartwheel kick and Ion floats through the ropes with a tornado DDT for 2. Ion gets a small package for 2, but he misses a 450 splash and King nails him with Shotgun Knees before finishing him with the Royal Flush.
Winner: Kenny King
King grabs Christy Hemme's microphone on his way to the back and says that this weekend, Christy is going to announce him as the new champion.
We go to the back where Robbie E is complaining to someone off camera that first Jersey Shore gets cancelled, then Robbie T shows him up in the Bro Off, and now Tara and Jesse are challenging him to a mixed tag. He wants to know if the mystery person will join up with him, but Brooke Tessmacher suddenly comes into view and says that Robbie disgusts her. Robbie says he'll do anything, and she says fine, she'll do it as long as she can tag with a winner (indicating Robbie T). Robbie bros at him as he leaves with Tessmacher.
Joseph Park is on his way into the building and he's ecstatic to be back after training at OVW. He thanks the partners at Park, Park & Park for allowing him to put his legal career on hold to take care of business, and says that when he sees Hulk Hogan tonight, it'll be as a wrestler. He then tries to go inside and the door is locked so he can't get in. Oh, the hilarity!
We go to the Impact Zone where Jesse is gorilla pressing Tara, leading us into...
Tara & Jesse Godderz vs Robbie T & Miss Tessmacher
Jesse tries to cheapshot T, but T no-sells Jesse's shots and just starts tossing him aruond like a ragdoll. Jesse tags out to Tara, and she slowly comes into the ring as Brooke comes in to take her out with a series of clotheslines and a charging forearm. Brooke mounts Tara in the corner and humps her face, then stinkfaces her in the corner. Tara crawls to the safety of her corner and tags in Jesse, who promptly get chokeslammed into the corner and powerbombed. T covers Jesse and gets an easy win.
Winners: Robbie T & Miss Tessmacher
Robbie T comes in and tells taryn Terrell to get lost so he can raise their hands, but Robie won't do it...and then Robbie T's music hits and he starts dancing with Brooke, even doing the butt butt before doing the Dirty Dancing gimmick and planting a big kiss on Tessmacher, who faints because she's apparently in love. Robbie E's jaw in on the mat as he stares after Robbie T as he walks to the back.
Brian Cage always wanted to be a pro wrestler, he got his opportunity and lost it, but this was all he ever wanted to do. Tonight in the Gut Check, he has the chance to prove himself to everyone, and with only one contract being awarded, he has to have it.
The Gut Check contestants are backstage, and they're...STRETCHING!
We're back, and it's Gut Check Time!
Gut Check: Jay Bradley vs Brian Cage
These guys look exactly the same. I honestly can't tell who's doing what, but they do a lot of mat wrestling and pinning combinations. They trade forearms before Bradley (according to the announcers) flattens Cage with a big boot. Okay, Bradley has the tattoos, got it. Bradley commences with beating the crap out of Cage, then lifts him up for an easy bodyslam before hitting a running kneedrop. Bradley prepares for a lariat with his "Boom Stick" elbowpad, but Cage catches him coming in with a dropkick and then climbs to the second rope to suplex Bradley into the ring. That takes power. Cage comes off the top rope with an elbowdrop for 2. Bradley hits the lariat on a second try and picks up the win.
Winner: Jay Bradley
Honestly, neither of them really stood out to any great degree, and I thought it was a bad idea to put two guys who look so similar in the ring with each other
We go back to the Aces & eights clubhouse where Ken Anderson says something needs to be done about Kurt Angle, but the VP says tonight isn't about personal stuff, it's about business. The gang walks into the boardroom and closes the door behind them so the VP can chew Mike Knox out for losing his mask. Knox starts to explain himself, but the VP doesn't wnat to hear it because Doc lost his mask and earned his spot back at the table. Now Knox can either earn his spot tonight or he can be gone.
Joseph Park is backstage, and he's...having a panic attack!
Joseph Park is in the ring, and he's back from wrestling camp. He thought passing the bar was tough, but it was nothing compared to what he did in OVW, but he's back now and he'd like to talk to Hulk Hogan. Hogan comes out to the ring and congratulates Park on getting through wrestlign school, but Hogan has some business to get on to. Park just wants to stop and thank Hogan for giving him the motivation to put his legal profession aside so he can go to wrestling camp, thank Danny Davis for training him, and he realizes he's still considered a greenhorn, but he's begging Hogan to let him be a wrestler. Hogan says he got beat up for two years by Hiro Matsuda and to take some time, but Park says he did everything Hogan asked him to do and his business is now here at Impact Wrestling with Aces & Eights, and he wants that match he wanted. Hogan agrees before hearing what the match is, but Park hugs him anyway and says he won't disappoint him. Park leaves, but Brooke is on the ImpactTron and says she's left him voicemails and emails and she hasn't heard back, so she's coming out to the ring to straighten this thing out...RIGHT NOW!
We're back as Brooke Hogan and her crappy entrance music come out to the ring, and she wants to know what's up with her dad totally dissing her by ignoring her. She wants to know if he's going to reinstate Mark or keep doing this like it's some kind of personal vendetta (which I really think it is), but Hulk says he's not reinstating Mark and walks off while Brooke cries in the ring.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries are backstage talking about who has better merch on ShopTNA.com and arguing over what they're going to wear to the ring. Aries says the one thing they can agree on is that they both deserve to be champion more than Hardy or Storm, and that they're the WET dream team. They'll deal with their problem and then deal with their problems, and they go back to arguing over who's wearing what. This interplay between them is really starting to grow on me.
We go to a video package where Austin Aries talks about how he needs to be a World Champion, Hardy says Aries can't be because he's an egomaniac who went crazy after losing it. Aries says that WHEN he wins the title at Genesis, it's going to be all about him.
TNA World Champion Jeff Hardy & James Storm vs Bobby Roode & Austin Aries
Roode and Hardy start us off as Mike Tenay tells us about all the titles Hardy won in TNA and WWE. Hardy runs Roode over with a shoulderblock and then Roode has words with Aries, who he tags in and tells to go ahead and take care of Hardy if he's so awesome. Aries takes Hardy down and literally wrestles circles around him, then mouths off to Roode while holding Hardy in a front facelock. Hardy comes back with a headscissors, inverted atomic drop for both opponents, then tags in Storm for a double back elbow on Roode. They double team Aries in the corner as well and Hardy hits Poetry In Motion to send Aries out to the floor where Roode yells at him. Roode and Aries argue and get into a shoving match as we go to commercial.
We're back, and Roode is back in the ring getting beat up by Hardy. Hardy goes for the Whisper In The Wind, but Roode hits the ropes and Hardy crashes hard as Roode puts the boots to him. Aries tags himself in and yells at Roode to get out of his way as he starts to work over Hardy's leg. Aries and Roode tag in and out and work Hardy over, Hardy gets a sunset flip on Roode but Aries distracts the referee to save Roode from being pinned. Roode responds by pasting Hardy with a couple of big kneedrops before Aries tags in and plants Hardy with a big bodyslam before hitting a kneedrop off the second rope. Roode tags himself in so he can come off the second rope with another kneedrop, but Hardy gets the boot up and creates enough of an opening to tag Storm in. Storm cleans house on Aries and Roode, planting Aries with a Tennessee Slam before drilling Roode with an enziguiri and a running neckbreaker for 2. Storm hits Closing Time on Aries to send him out of the ring, then sets up for the Last Call on Roode. Daniels and Kazarian run out and get in a fight with Storm on the floor while Hardy hits the Twist of Fate on Roode, but Aries prevents him from hitting a second Twist of Fate by nailing Hardy in the back of the head with the title belt and gets himself disqualified.
Winners: Jeff Hardy & James Storm by DQ
Aries and roode each hold one of Hardy's title belts up in defiance of each other, each trying to grab the belts out of the other's hand.
Brooke Hogan is backstage on the phone with Mark and tells him it's not a good idea for him to come to the arena, but finally at least lets him pick her up outside the office. Well that's nice of her.
Angle and Anderson are up next!
Joey Ryan and Matt Morgan are backstage starting to cut a promo on Chavo Guerrero Jr and Hernandez about this weekend's title match at the PPV, but then the champions run in and the four of them start brawling.
It's main event time!
Ken Anderson vs Kurt Angle
Anderson bails to the floor as soon as the bell rings, but Angle gets a microphone and tells him to get his ugly ass in the ring so they can do this. Mike Knox runs into the ring while Angle has his back turned and hits Angle in the back of the head with a ball peen hammer. Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco run out to chase Knox off, and Aces & Eights celebrates while Angle's pals check on him. I guess we can call this...
We see replays of the attack as medical personnel check on Angle and carry him out on a stretcher. Sting comes out to the ring and tells Devon that if he calls off the troops, he'll call off his troops so he can fight Knox right now. Devon and the rest of the gang tell Mike Knox to go get Sting as we go to commercial.
We're back, and Mike Knox took the entire break to walk about ten feet before getting in the ring where Sting nails him with his bat. The referee takes the bat and the hammer out of the ring and we have an impromptu main event!
Sting vs Mike Knox
Knox overpowers Sting with heavy forearms and chokes him on the middle rope before hitting the Boss Man Straddle. Sting tries to escape to the floor, Knox goes after him but Sting fires back and rams Knox into the ring steps. They're still not referring to Knox by name, so I assume they're going to call him something else, but Sting continues ramming him into the steps over and over before ramming him into the guardrail and following him in with the Stinger Splash. They go back inside where Sting continues to destroy Knox, Knox kicks Sting off on a Scorpion Deathlock attempt, but Sting no sells and hits a Stinger Splash and a Scorpion Deathdrop for the win.
Sting has the hammer and he stands over Knox with it before smashing his hand with it. He prepares to continue destroying Knox, but Aces & Eights comes out with Brooke Hogan held captive and Devon says that if he keeps going, he'll never recognize Brooke again. Devon said that 2013 would be Aces & Eights' year, and he guarantees they'll reign supreme like they did in 2012. Bully Ray runs out with a chain and takes out a couple of members of Aces & Eights to rescue Brooke, and he gets her away from Aces & Eights as Hulk Hogan comes out to the top of the ramp to observe as we go to commercial.
We come back from commercial as Hulk Hogan says he guesses he's supposed to thank Bubba for putting his daughter in danger, but he doesn't like Bubba, he doesn't believe him, and he's not the man for his daughter. Bubba says Hogan is so wound up that he's even talking crap to his best friend. Bubba's been in the business for 20 years and it's his life, and all he ever cared about was being the best he could ever be, whether that's as good as Sting or as great as Hogan. The business means everything to him, and he never thought he'd love anything as much as he loved pro wrestling until Brooke came into his life. The crazy thing is that she came into his life because she was apologizing for Hulk being a hardass even when he had Sting's back until the end. Bubba doesn't even know what to say, and this is all happening entirely too quick, and he's not good at feelings and emotions because he knows he's a hardass, but things are different with Brooke. Bubba gets down on one knee and takes out a ring as Sting and Hulk look on in shock. Bubba puts the ring on Brooke's finger and says he loves her, and he wants everyone to know how much he cares for her and loves her and wants her to marry him. Brooke enthusiastically says yes, and Hulk looks super angry as Bubba says they ought to do it (where else) right here on Impact next week. hogan is fuming as he walks to the back and Brooke makes out with Bubba in the ring. Bubba stares off into space, almost as if...HE HAS SOMETHING ELSE ON HIS MIND. What could that be about?
Thanks for following PWInsider.com's live coverage of Impact Wrestling, I'll be back tomorrow to discuss Impact and more with Dave Scherer on the Stu & Pid Show!