Just returned home from the Impact taping in Cleveland. It was a really fun show (my first in 7 or 8 years) however I've already driven 3 hours home so apologies for any mistakes. As a note, the arena was maybe 40% full. Entire upper level empty, and lower bowl only went around a tad over halfway (floor was packed however).
Xplosion Match: Eric Young beat Jay Bradley
After this match Mickie James came out and talked about being bummed she didn't get invited to the VMA's, but as a consolation she had a MJA award (small star trophy). ODB comes out and things begin to heat up. ODB turns her back to Mickie and get's nailed with the trophy. Minor fight breaks out in the ring, and eventually ODB gets the better of the exchange and tears Mickie's t-shirt off (which revealed another top underneath that was obvious from the get go).
Then we get all of Ace's and Eights back in the Ring. Bully complains about Hogan's power trip at the end of Impact, and then announces that the A&8 are gonna take care of business tonight. Knox is going to face Chris Sabin, Bischoff and Briscoe will face James Storm and Gunner, and Anderson will take care of business in the "gauntlet" match.
Knox stays in the ring, Bully stays at ringside, and out comes Sabin for what I assume will be the first match. Eventually Bully tosses the hammer into Knox and distracts the ref, however Sabin kicks Knox to gain control of the hammer and nails Knox with it. Ref saw the strike, and DQ's Sabin.
Next up was the "gauntlet" match. I use the quotes because the match was a mini Royal Rumble, not a traditional gauntlet match. Every 90 seconds or so the next person on the leader board comes in (match started with Hernandez and Jay Bradley). This was a very long and entertaining match. Some of the highlights of the match included Samoa Joe eliminating Anderson with a head kick while Anderson was sitting on turnbuckle. He took a nasty fall to the floor, and ref's called for medical. He walked off on his own a little woozy, and you could see he was bleeding from the back of his head. A lot of big names were eliminated earlier than I would've expected (namely Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and Magnus who was there for the second episode). Final two in the match were AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, with AJ picking up the win after hitting him with the Pele kick. AJ finishes the Bound for Glory Series in first place!
Next up was the tag team match between Storm and Gunner vs. Briscoe and Bischoff. By now the crowd was getting burned out and a little quiet. A&8 won the match after Gunner took a shot to the back of the head with some brass knuckles by Bischoff I believe. Post match A&8 gestured and continued to yell about coming after the tag belts.
After this match they brought out the final four in the Bound for Glory series, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Magnus, and Bobby Roode. AJ was allowed to choose his first opponent for No Surrender, and he chooses Austin Aries. That leaves Magnus and Bobby Roode in the second semifinal match.
They showed us a quick clip from the back (our first of the second taping) of Bully riding Anderson for losing the Bound for Glory series. He tells him that everyone else is stepping up, and it's time for him to do his part.
Main event time as Sting comes out to the loudest pop of this episode. Bully is next accompanied by Brooke, Tito Ortiz, and Anderson. Bully gets on the mike and says that there is no way he's defending the title against Sting, because he lost that right at Slammiversary. Out comes Hogan who never mentions the title implication, but tosses Tito out (yet allows Anderson to stay) and says that the match is no DQ. Another long, solid match from these two. Sting nailed Bully with a steel chair numerous times at one point, and Bully once again removed the ring apron in one corner (similar to Slammiversary). Sting has Bully in Scorpion Death Lock when the rest of A&8 hit the ring. Out comes the Mafia to take care of them, and the match is once again 1 on 1 (keep in mind Anderson has done nothing but sit at ringside the entire time). Sting once again gets Bully in the Death Lock, and Anderson jumps up with hammer in hand. Bully reaches for the hammer, but Anderson doesn't give it to him forcing Bully to tap out. Sting wins the match! Anderson jumps in the ring, gets in Bully's face and asks why he didn't take care of business tonight, then announces that at No Surrender he is challenging Bully for the title, and it will belong to Mrrrrr. Annnnnndersonnnnn!!!!! Andersonnn!! Good ending, and the crowd was very much in Mr. Anderson's corner at the end.
Following the Impact taping they repaired the ring for a final Xplosion match between Kaz and Hernandez (as the crowd filed out). Match was eventually won by Hernandez (I believe. Kind of a blur right now).
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