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KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 1/17: The Bully Ray-Brooke Hogan Wedding Episode - What happened? Did Hulk accompany Brooke? Did the wedding end without a hitch?

Jan 17, 2013 - 10:02:04 PM


By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

JANUARY 17, 2013


-A video package aired on the Bully Ray-Brooke Hogan saga including clips of Bully's proposal last week and Hulk Hogan not approving.

-Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay, and Taz introduced the show. They cordially invited viewers to witness the Bully Ray-Brooke Hogan wedding.

-They cut to Bully Ray's locker room where he nervously prepared for the wedding. In walked Spike Dudley, who had a buzz cut and 90 percent grey hair. Bully tried on Spike's taped-rim glasses. Then in walked another old ECW pal, Tommy Dreamer.

-They cut to Brooke's locker room where she was with her bridesmaids as her hair was being done. Miss Tessmacher said, "Your dad's coming, right?" Everyone else shot her a dirty look for bringing up a touchy subject.

-Back to the Impact Zone, pyro blasted and the camera panned the crowd.

-Out walked Jeff Hardy, still carrying the TNA Impact Wrestling World Hvt. Title belt. Keneley called him "the definition of resiliency." Tenay said Hardy beat the numbers game as clips aired of his win over Austin Aries and Robert Roode at Genesis. Hardy held the mic and addressed the crowd as they chanted his name. "How about that Genesis main event?" he asked the crowd. The crowd chanted, "You still got it."

(WK Reax: Can we ban that chant in 2013? It's quite insulting, actually, because it implies there was doubt he still had it. And when fans chant it at someone who is old enough to deserve it - someone in their late 40s or 50s who's been away a while - it's usually not true and they're just patronizing them.)

Hardy said he fights for each of the fans. He said, "Let's keep it going, y'all." He was interrupted by Christopher Daniels and Kaz. Kaz said if Hardy is ready for a fight, he has one in seven days. He called the fans "butt puppets." Kaz wore a "Kaz-Mania" t-shirt. I assume Hulk Hogan gets a cut because it looks just like the Hulkamania t-shirts. Daniels called Hardy "Jefferson." He called himself the "Thursday Night Delight" and said he beat James Storm, so he gets a title shot next week. He said the fans who cheer him are losers just like Storm and Hardy. Hardy said he's out of his mind.

Daniels told the fans to "turn their frowns upside down" because after he wins the World Title next Thursday, he'll give them permission to worship him. Hardy said let's not wait and he made a move toward Daniels. Kaz attacked him from behind. The heel duo double-teamed Hardy. Storm's music played and he ran out to make the save. The heels fled to ringside. Storm asked if someone said something about fighting. He challenged them to a tag team fight right there and then. Storm and Hardy charged at them at ringside and forced the issue. The ref called for the bell making the match official.

(WK Reax: That's one of those totally stupid TNA moments. Daniels & Kaz didn't agree to the match. Storm & Hardy attacked them at ringside. Then suddenly when Hardy threw Kaz into the ring, the ref signaled for the bell to start the match. But how can that be an official match? Why would the ref do that? Daniels & Kaz didn't agree to a match.)

The four brawled briefly at ringside until Hardy cleared the ring. They cut to a break. [c]


(1) Jeff Hardy & James Storm beat Bad Influence (Daniels & Kaz) when Hardy pinned Kaz in 11:00. Keneley pushed the "Bellator Live" MMA program that immediately followed Impact. Taz said Bully is nervous about tonight. He said he's his best man and he's been busy all week preparing. The heels beat on Storm for several minutes until he hot-tagged Hardy at 9:00. Hardy went right after Kaz with a dove off the ring apron onto the floor. Back in the ring the heels quickly double-teamed Hardy, but Storm entered and evened the odds. Storm sold a knee injury when he dove over the ropes and landed at ringside. Kaz raked Hardy's eyes and scored a near fall with a small package. Hardy came back with a sudden Twist of Fate for the win.

-Afterward Daniels attacked Hardy as he held his title belts in the air. Daniels set the belts on the mat and gave Hardy the Angel's Wings on one of the belts. He then put the official belt over his shoulder and lay on Hardy and asked sarcastically if he was okay. Keneley wondered if they were looking at the next World Champion. Tenay asked how unbearable Daniels would be as the World Champion.

(WK Reax: Good to hear the announcers act with disgust toward the heel's actions and paint that picture of a worst case scenario of that heel winning the World Title. That sets up a reason for fans to root for Hardy harder because they fear the ramifications of his losing to the heel. It's basic stuff, but so often lost in this era.)

-Taz, Al Snow, and Bruce Prichard talked about Gut Check contestants from last week. At first they talked about the charisma level and whether they captivated the audience. They eventually got around to talking about who won the match and what they did during the match that impressed them. Snow kept going back to the charisma.

(WK Reax: The idea that someone would get a job in TNA because of their charisma - and again, I'm talking about in the context of the show where they act as if the competition is legit and wrestlers sell fake punches, etc. - sounds completely insane. Can you imagine a coach giving a roster spot to a player on a college or pro team because he had charisma and "connected with the crowd?" That kind of criteria, obviously, is part of actually giving wrestlers jobs, but that's not something that should even come close to being talked about in the context of the wrestling show. It totally breaks that proverbial fourth wall and shatters the vital suspension of disbelief.)

-They showed a split screen of Jeff Bradley and Brian Cage nervously pacing backstage. Keneley said only one man will get a contract later. [c]


-Backstage Spike and Dreamer were getting dressed for the wedding. Bully sniffed Spike and he still smells of booze and strippers. Joseph Park walked in and wished him luck. He said if it weren't for him going to Hogan, he'd never have become a member of the Impact roster. He presented him with a box of "fine Cubans." He said they're not street legal and added, "kay-fab." Bully made a weird face. Park asked if he's getting a prenup. Bully didn't answer.

-Jeremy Borash stood mid-ring with Snow, Prichard, and Taz. He introduced each of them. Cage and Bradley walked out. Prichard told them winning wasn't the only thing they were looking at. He announced that Cage was eliminated. Borash shook his hand. He looked crushed. Then Borash told Bradley it was up to the judges, and if any of them voted no, he would have 30 seconds to make his case. Taz said his vote was no. Bradley then "had 30 seconds to kick out." Get it.

Bradley lectured Taz about how he's "humped so many highways I probably owe some child support." He said those travels taught him discipline. He said he's been all over the world - Puerto Rico, Japan, and Europe - and all roads led him to the Impact Zone. He said he's trained with the best to become one of the best. He said in his one match, his Boom-stick clothesline trended on Twitter. He said he's knocking on their door and all they have to do is let them in and he'll do the rest.

Borash went to Snow for his decision. Snow voted yes. Prichard said the crowd booing him is showing they care. He said he has passion and guts, so his answer is yes. Bradley celebrated.

(WK Reax: Based on past Gut Check winners, we might never see Bradley again, but he already has more personality, presence, and potential than half of the TNA roster at this point.)

(2) Kenny King pinned Christian York in 3:00. As King danced at ringside during his entrance, York dove onto him and then rammed him into the security railing at ringside. The ref signaled for the bell.

(WK Reax: Again, it makes no sense the ref would reward York's actions by ringing the bell to start the match. The wrestlers should have to be separated and in the ring before the match begins or it just makes a mockery of the very concept of there being rules and punishment for breaking them. WWE realized this and doesn't ring the bell during a pre-match attack until the wrestlers are in the ring. Little things like this add up and help create excitement when the rules are broken because there's a sense the rules exist and matter.)

Taz said Bully was mad he didn't make it to this bachelor party, but he had a prior engagement. The wedding was booked at the last second, so Taz should be forgiven.


The announcers continued to push Bellator hard, talking about specific fighters and their backgrounds. King made a comeback at 2:00. York countered with a cradle back suplex. He played to the crowd and then lifted King into an inverted body vice. Keng rolled through and yanked on his trunks for the win.

(WK Reax: King is making a good heel. His post-match celebration and taunting of York was great. His music is also the perfect level of obnoxious. York still looks like he's carrying round 10-15 pounds of extra muscle that makes him move around like Batista at his most lumbering while trying to execute X Division style sequences in the ring meant for more agile, light-on-their-feet wrestlers. He'd be wise to do what Dolph Zigger resolved to do years ago and have a muscular look that matches his natural frame.) [c]

-Bully begged Sting to talk Hulk into walking her down the aisle. He said he wants Brooke to be happy, but Hulk won't talk to him, but maybe Sting can. Sting said because of what he means to him, he will try. Sting said he's digging his heels in, but he'll try. Bully said he and Brooke both thank him.

-They went to the announcers at the desk who discussed the wedding.

-Backstage Roode walked in Aries's way of looking in the mirror. They then gave each other a hard time about not having a title belt. They bordered on Daniel Bryan-Kane comedy as they argued about how they double-crossed each other on Sunday. Aries said things aren't slanted in their favor despite their carrying the company the last year. Aries said he's going to wear black. Roode said he can't wear black to a wedding. Aries said he has some objections. Roode said he's not invited. Aries said they're both invited. They agreed they'd crash it.

-Hulk Hogan arrived at the building in the parking garage. The roving reporter asked him if he was there for the wedding. Hogan refused to answer. He told the roving reporter to get the camera out of his face and "find something better to do." [c]

-Backstage Bully Ray told Spike he cleans up really good. Bully joked he was going to wear jeans and a plaid shirt. Taz walked in in his tux. Taz asked about "Paul." Bully said he called him and he said he'd call him back. They all, in unison, said, "In five minutes."

(WK Reax: That's a riff on Paul Heyman who was notorious for blowing off people when they called by saying he'd call them back in five minutes, but then taking hours or days to actually call them back.)

Bully said Brooke is a mess because she wants her dad to be at her wedding. Taz said it's tough all around. Bully said he begged Sting to talk to Hulk for him. Bully said either way he's marrying Brooke and his three brothers are there for him - Tommy, Spike, and Taz.


-A video package aired on the Bully-Hulk saga.

-Sting made his full ring entrance. He did his sing-songy voice and said tension is in the air. He told Bully to pray and then he invited "Hulkamania to come on out." Hulk walked out to his music, slapping hands on his way to the ring. Hogan told Sting to cut the crap. He flexed a little, asking if that's what Sting wanted. He told Sting he won't pull the wool over his eyes. Sting said they've both had people who have told them their on their side only to stab them in the back. He asked him to explain where he is coming from.

Sting said Bully has come to Sting's aid "umpteen times." He said he's come to Brooke's aid "umpteen thousand times." He asked what it would take for this to happen tonight. Hogan said day and night people in social media are telling him he's right and not to trust Bully. He said it's not just him. He said everybody tells him to watch out for himself and his family.

Hogan said when he's around Bully, he gets a vibe he just can't accept. He said he will never trust him. Sting told Hulk he needs to do it for himself and for Brooke tonight. The crowd chanted "Do it!" Hogan said he always does the right thing. He dropped the mic and walked away. Sting looked like he had failed to accomplish his goal.

-Backstage Gail Kim asked Taryn Terrell how long she has been in TNA. Terrell said about six months. Kim said she's been wrestling 13 years and she wanted to show her what she cost her at Genesis. She played a clip on her iPad of Terrell missing that Kim had her foot under the bottom rope during her three count against Velvet Sky. Kim said she did get a rematch from Brooke. Terrell said it'll be called down the middle. Kim said it better be called down the middle. [c]

-Clips aired of Bully having fun at his bachelor party at Rick's Cabaret in New York City with women draped all over him.


(3) Velvet Sky beat Gail Kim in 5:00. The announcers began hyping Lockdown in San Antonio, Tex. including the fan festivities over the weekend. More talk by TNA announcers about the Bellator fights coming up next. Kim dominated offense during the body of the match. At 4:00 Kim went for a pin, but before the third count Terrell noticed Sky's leg was under the bottom rope. It paralleled what happened with Kim, except the ref didn't notice it on Sunday. Sky made a comeback and gave Kim her In Your Face finisher for the win.

-Dixie Carter told Brooke how beautiful she looks. She said it was just last March they talked about her coming to TNA and she never thought in a million years something like this would happen. Dixie asked if she's happy. Brooke said yes. Dixie said no matter what happens, her dad loves her very much. She hugged her and said how proud of her she is. Brooke told her to get her butt out there because she needs her.

-The announcers hyped that the wedding was up next. [c]

-A clip aired of the Hardy/Storm vs. Daniels/Kaz match and angle at the start of the show. Tenay hyped that Hardy would defend the World Title against Daniels next Thursday.


-When Keneley said the time had come for the wedding, Roode's music played. Roode and Aries walked out together. Tenay said they're usually at each other's throats, but they're together tonight, arriving at the wedding uninvited. Roode grabbed the mic and asked the fans to help them understand what is going on. He said everyone there and watching at home are about to witness a celebration of a wedding between Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan, yet the only celebration that should be going on is the celebration of "The It Factor" and "Greatest Man That Ever Lived."

Roode said they are two of the greatest professional wrestlers on God's Green Earth. Roode bragged up his longest-ever reign. Aries moved in front of Roode and bragged about beating him. Aries said every great match and interview segment is thanks to them, yet they get no thanks. He said that lack of respect and appreciation has brought them together. Aries said it seems like the company has taken a step ten years into the past. He said Rob Van Dam is the X Division Champ, Devon is the TV Champion, Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez are the tag team champions, and Jeff Hardy is the World Champion. He said despite that, they are the two men who make the company worth anything, and it makes them sick they're under appreciated. Roode said they object to the wedding.

Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez interrupted them. They walked onto the stage. Chavo said the tag team champions also object, but they don't object to the wedding, they object to the statements that Roode & Aries are making about the champions in TNA. Chavo said there's a reason they are no longer champions in this company or this world. Aries said he didn't know the caterers were able to object to anything. Roode asked, "Who has Mexican at a wedding reception?" Aries said he'll have a burrito because it has to be vegan because he doesn't eat meat. After mockingly laughing at them, Chavo and Hernandez had enough and attacked them. Roode and Aries fled the scene quickly.

(WK Reax: Roode and Aries were obnoxious and gave fans a reason to want to see them get beat up by the babyfaces. Again, solid basic booking.) [c]

-A clip aired of the end of the Hogan-Sting segment earlier. Then they cut to Hulk in his office explaining to Sting that he's tried to protect Brooke from all of the evils of the industry. He said it's not about Bully because he's a good person, but for Brooke he knows how this movie ends. Sting said he agrees with everything he just said, but maybe Brooke did such a good job protecting her that maybe she sees something in Bully that he can't because the business has blinded him. He said he is wrong about Bully and he needs to walk Brooke down that aisle. Hulk said it's been a long day and he's going to pack his stuff and get out of there. He said he always does what's right for this business and his family.

-Tenay said the moment has finally arrived. Bully walked out in his tux looking dapper. He entered the ring with a smile on his face. Dreamer and Miss Tessmacher walked out together. Brother Runt (Spike Dudley) walked out with Mickie James. Taz walked out with Christy Hemme. Keneley said they'd be back after the break with the bride, but would her father join her?

[Q8] [c]

-Brooke walked onto the entrance stage to "Here Comes the Bride." She smiled at Bully, then turned to the side and saw her father, Hulk Hogan, walk out in a tux. He hugged her and took a deep breath. The crowd chanted "Hogan! Hogan!" briefly.

The ceremony then began. Hogan "presented Brooke." The Justice of the Peace invited their vows. Brooke said she can't believe she's standing in front of him right now exchanging vows with him in a wrestling ring. She said he arrived in her life like a burst of light and he's her best friend and she finally feels safe and he knows how to make her laugh. Hogan rubbed his chin in the background, leery and suspicious. She said she can't imagine her life without him. "I love you," she said.

Bully said earlier today he took out a piece of paper and started to write things down. Bully said she doesn't deserves words on paper, she deserves words spoken from his heart. He said from the moment he laid eyes on her, he knew she was the one. He said he's a happy person when he's around her and he wants to make her "the happiest girl in the world." He said, "The bottom line is I frickin' love you."

The Justice asked if anyone believes those two should not be married. "Speak now or forever hold your peace," he said. Time for rings. Brooke said, "I do." Bully, when asked, said, "I do!" He smiled and presented her with the ring. The Justice was about to pronounce them husband and wife. Taz barged in and asked if he's sure he wants to do this. He said he's known him forever. Bully said yes. Taz then asked, "Okay, another question. Is it just me or is it hot in here?" Brooke asked, "What is he talking about?" Dreamer looked panicked at Bully. He then took off his tux and revealed an "Aces & Eights" vest.

Aces & Eights then swarmed the ring and attacked everyone. Knox and D.O.C. held Brooke and made her watch Bully get attacked. Devon bashed Bully with part of the wedding set.

(WK Reax: That was a good ending. TNA did a great building the tension around whether Hulk would be there for Brooke, and then milking to the last possible second the turn of Taz. I've long felt Taz would be tremendous as a faction leader instead of a color commentator, and this could be a big spark to his value for TNA. I'm looking forward to Taz cutting heel promos again instead of chuckling along with storylines and making casual observations about the show for two hours.)

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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