Well, you know the rules by now: when TNA Wrestling scraps their usual formatting in favor of an all X-Division three hour PPV, punctuated with past rivalries and stars of TNA yesteryear, then it’s the right time to bust out a review of the proceedings. Here now, a look at TNA Destination X, and the night the X Division, and its devoted fans, strike back!
KAZARIAN DEF. SAMOA JOE IN 11:19
For once, Samoa Joe looked like his old self, hitting his trademark X Division offense (corner uranage, hard chops, headfirst plancha) while Kazarian took a hellacious beating. Kazarian ran though his typical offense as well, but mostly served as Joe’s punching bag. Joe was the recipient of chants he hasn’t received in ages (“JOE IS GONNA KILLLLLL YOOOOOOOU”), before the abrupt ending where Kazarian countered a Cocquina Clutch into a front roll-up. Crowd seemed a bit disappointed that Joe continues to lose, but it was still a damn good match. SMARK RATING: ***1/4
OPEN CHALLENGE: DOUGLAS WILLIAMS DEF. MARK HASKINS IN 7:42
Haskins was unknown by the crowd, but Williams filled in the blanks by stating that Haskins impressed on TNA’s European tour earlier this year. A fellow Brit, Haskins seemed nervous, hitting generic offense, and even slipped off the ropes on a shooting star attempt. Williams finished with a simple roll-up, and put him over with an arm raise, but the crowd didn’t seem to buy it. SMARK RATING: **
SHARK BOY/ERIC YOUNG DEF. GENERATION ME IN 7:22
I was worried Young was going to simply run through his comedy cache, but he went old school, busting his ass for the first time in a long time. G-Me looked impressive, save for a botched kick combo on the floor on Shark Boy. In the end, Shark and Eric prevailed after Sharky hit the “Chummer” on Max Buck, and Young hit his wheelbarrow neckbreaker (to a huge pop, from many fans who booed him out of disgust earlier) for the win. SMARK RATING: **1/4
ULTIMATE X: ALEX SHELLEY DEF. AMAZING RED, SHANNON MOORE, AND ROBBIE E TO BECOME #1 CONTENDER IN 10:37
The crazy spotfest that we all know and love. The highlight was Shannon Moore climbing above the X itself, and instead to the top of the steel structure, crawling across 15 feet over the ring while Red and Shelley went across the wires. Moore managed to stomp Red off the wires, but Shelley knocked Moore off to claim the red X. Amazing Red was the most impressive, wearing his old indies attire (sans skull cap), and throwing caution to the wind like it was 2002 again. Some Ultimate X matches have been better, but this one was still good, and it’s also good to see Shelley in the mix again. SMARK RATING: ***1/4
ROB VAN DAM DEF. JERRY LYNN IN 16:52
Wow. Just wow. For a little while, it truly felt like 1999 again, as RVD and Lynn took the Whole/New F’N Show rivalry into a new decade, clichés be ignored. RVD opened up a gusher after being legdropped onto a chair, and took an even sicker bump when Lynn powerbombed him off the top onto said chair (with RVD FLYING across the ring). Van Dam, for his part, tried harder than he has in a while, bringing out some ECW offense, like his counters for Lynn’s offense, as well as the spinning legdrop off the apron onto a prone opponent on the rail. In the end, RVD got the Van Daminator, followed by the Five Star for the win. You need to see this match, yeah. SMARK RATING: ***3/4
FOR AN IMPACT WRESTLING CONTRACT: AUSTIN ARIES DEF. LOW KI, JACK EVANS, AND ZEMA ION IN 13:32
HOLY……THAT was a spotfest! The action almost literally never stopped, thus living up to the company name. Evans and Ion went all out with flips and dives, while Ki looked like the Low Ki from 2002 that helped usher in the now-popular indy style. Aries added character to the match, heeling it up with arrogance and subtle mannerisms. The crowd was right to chant “SIGN THEM ALL”, and here’s hoping that all four men find their way onto the roster again at some point, but having Aries here and now is a welcome addition. SMARK RATING: ****
X DIVISION TITLE: BRIAN KENDRICK DEF. ABYSS IN 10:16 TO WIN THE TITLE
As a match, it wasn’t much. In fact, it worked better as a “come-down” off of the fast paced previous match. Kendrick and Abyss had a David and Goliath story that led to Kendrick busting Abyss open and slowly gaining the edge. After Earl Hebner was bumped, Eric Bischoff came out, only to be slugged by Kendrick. Then Immortal ran out, only to be countered by the majority of the X Division roster. In the end, Abyss had a chokeslam countered by Kendrick into a front cradle to give Kendrick the title. It wasn’t much of a match, but it was a fun spectacle to add a special feel to the show. SMARK RATING: **1/2
MAIN EVENT: AJ STYLES DEF. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS IN 28:28
Just a long, tremendous, old-school, well-worked match between two best friends and professional rivals. Daniels, for having so many injuries in recent years, held up his end in a true classic. The match was a bit slow, but that helped in telling the story of the build with two competitors who know each other. Some parts had the Bret Hart/British Bulldog Summerslam 1992 vibe, albeit with more modern offense and more high flying, as you’d expect. In the end, Daniels’ attempt at a top rope Angel’s Wings led to Styles’ backdropping him off, and hitting the Spiral Tap. A great ending to a great PPV. SMARK RATING: ****1/2
OVERALL: Well, the show delivered what it promised. It was a night of X Division action, and we got just that. Some parts weren’t as frenzied as they could have been, but it takes a lot of the performers to bring out that kind of wrestling, especially ones that have done slower TV matches over the last few years. Overall, the show worked, and I hope it does a million buys and everyone watches it and it revolutionizes the biz, blah blah blah….
In other words, if you haven’t seen it, GET IT.
TNA Destination X full match results…
Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe
Douglas Williams defeated Mark Haskins
Eric Young and Shark Boy defeated Generation Me (Max and Jeremy Buck)
Alex Shelley defeated Robbie E, Shannon Moore and Amazing Red in an Ultimate X match to determine the number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship
Rob Van Dam defeated Jerry Lynn
Austin Aries defeated Zema Ion, Low Ki and Jack Evans to win a TNA Wrestling contract
Brian Kendrick defeated Abyss to win the TNA X Division Championship
A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels
Welcome back everyone, to the televised train wreck we all know as Impact Wrestling. We start the show with Blubber Ray, Top Gun and Johnny Bravo in the ring. Bully Ray is calling out Mr. Anderson to the ring right now, but first, we have to deal with Anderson’s stupid microphone shtick first.
You know, I’m glad TNA did away with the Jeff Hardy title belt, but the replacement looks like one of those plastic replicas you get in the toy aisle at Target. Ray calls Anderson a jag-off and tells him to shut up for once a life, and threatens Anderson’s life by sicking Gunner on him.
Ooh. Apparently, Hogan is off for the night, so that somehow leaves Blubber Ray in charge. He tells Anderson he can’t beat Sting, and Anderson needs Immortal as much as Immortal needs him. Not at all? Ray then offers to sell the Brooklyn Bridge that he doesn’t own. Ooh! Steiner promo now. Steiner accuses Anderson of screwing Hogan around, but now that Steiner’s here, he’s going to do the screwing (his words, not mine), and if Anderson’s against Immortal, he’s got to deal with Steiner. Gunner begins to talk, and I begin to focus on drinking water instead. Gunner tells Anderson he needs to make a decision by the end of the night, or he will never see the light of day again.
The lights go out, and Sting Ledger is up in the rafters, going full-bore with The Dark Knight facepaint. Lights back on and Angle’s in the ring giving Angle Slams to Steiner and Gunner. Tonight’s main event will be Sting and Angle vs. Abyss, Blubber, Tom Cruise and Donny Osmond (Johnny Bravo fans know what I’m talking about). Kurt Angle basically lays down the opposite ultimatum to Anderson that Gunner did.
Backstage, we see Beer Money warming up. James Storm is asking if Robbie-Bobby Roode’s shoulder is okay, and he says no, but with the BFG series, he needs to get some points regardless. We also learn that Roode will be taking on The Red Guy tonight in a BFG series match.
In the BFG series, we learn that Devon, RVD, Blubber and Crimson all picked up 7 points each. Crimson is once again in the lead.
MATCH #1-BFG Series Match: I.R. Baboon vs. TNA World Tag Team Co-Champion Bobby Roode
Does Roode even stand a chance in this match? Not really, no. Crimson is undefeated, and despite being greener than lettuce, is get a massively undeserved push. Shoulderblock by Crimson on Roode’s bad shoulders. Into the corner by Crimson with shoulder thrusts. Roode responds with the exact same move. Honor roll by Roode gets 2. Crimson tries for a powerslam, but drops Roode throat first on the top rope instead, followed by a Warrior-esque jumping shoulderblock. Falcon Arrow from the apron gets 2 for Crimson, with a swinging neckbreaker for another 2. T-Bone suplex by Crimson for yet another near fall. Crimson eats an elbow off a corner whip, followed by a boot, and a blockbuster from the middle rope. Roode, to his credit, is selling the hell out of his shoulder. Roode hits the Double R spinebuster (ugh) for 2. Crimson counters the Payoff into a schoolboy, which Roode escapes out of into a fujiwara, but Crimson’s too close to the ropes. Crimson goes for the sky-high, Roode rolls out, but Crimson still ends up hitting it for 3. Apparently, he’s calling the move “Red Sky” now.
Winner: I Am Weasel. I’m not really impressed with either of these guys, but I know that they are not going anywhere since they and Gunner are being groomed for the top three spots in the company. Crimson now has 31 points.
We get a look at Anthony Nese, one of the wrestlers in the X-Division tournament match tonight. Never heard of him.
Abyss is going nuts looking for his mask, while we see Brian Kendrick wearing it for some reason. Them feuding over a title belt that Abyss undeservedly holds wasn’t enough; now they’re fighting over his stupid mask.
A look at the second X-Division wrestler in tonight’s tourney match, this being Jack Evans. For those that don’t know, Evans is one of the best high flyers in the world. That means he will probably be hired and then misused rather quickly, going by TN-Impact Wrestling’s shining track record.
Kendrick’s in the ring with Abyss’ mask, and says he intends to give it back, as he just wants to share his thoughts with Abyss. I really hate this pseudo-spiritual gimmick by Kendrick. Abyss comes out to his very generic music, hiding his face with a towel. Can’t blame him. Have you ever seen Chris Park’s face? Kendrick begins quoting philosophers who talked about God. Basically, Kendrick’s promo is about how he wants to reignite the X-Division. He also claims that deep down, Abyss knows he needs to get rid of his mask and become a man. He gives Abyss the mask back, and to show gratitude, Abyss begins kicking the crap out of Kendrick. God, Kendrick’s got those stupid shoes on with the toes already molded. I just lost a lot of respect for him. Abyss whips Kendrick into the stairs and guardrail, then throws him back in the ring. Kendrick’s trying to fight back, but with no luck. Kendrick takes the Shock Treatment and the Black Hole Slam before Abyss leaves the ring.
Jesse Sorenson is the third man in the X-Division match tonight. Again, I’ve never heard of this guy.
MATCH #2-X-Division Series Qualifying Round-Jesse Sorenson vs. Anthony Nese vs. Jack Evans
Evans is the only one who gets an entrance. I’m rooting for Evans, not only because I’ve heard of him and he’s awesome, but because he’s another hometown boy. Nese throws Evans out of the ring, while Sorenson gets a rollup on Nese for 2. Nese eats a kick from Evans and a dropkick from Sorenson. Evans hits a series of flips, leading to a flipping dropkick. Evans is hard to keep track of. Nese gets 2 with a clothesline on Evans. Nese up top, but gets a kick from Sorenson, who pins Evans for another 2. Sorenson hits a somersault plancha onto Nese on the outside. Evans shows him up with a springboard 450 splash on both men. All three back in the ring, and Evans gets a nearfall on each guy. Evans eats a couple of knees in the corner from Nese for 2. Sorenson hits in inverted swinging neckbreaker on Evans for another 2, and Evans takes the sickest looking bumps. Nese with a flapjack and German suplex on Sorenson for 2, but Evans breaks that up with a standing moonsault. Sorenson puts Evans on the top rope and is looking for a superplex, but Evans just throws him to the outside. Nese tries as well, but Evans turns it into a super gourdbuster. Evans hits the 630 splash, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Jack Evans. Evans joins Ion, Aries and Low-Ki in the tournament. Good match, but Evans really carried the other two. They both looked alright, but Evans was far and away the highlight.
We see the British Invasion in the back (along with Big Roid), talking about how Non-Mexican America won’t be attacking them again. Magnus basically says they’re a rip-off the British Invasion (true). Williams is complaining about how he’s not being featured at TNA Destination X, so he will be issuing an open challenge at the show.
There will be an “Ultimate X” match at the PPV featuring Shannon Moore, Robbie E, The Amazing Red and Alex Shelley, with the winner being the new #1 contender to the X-Division title. If Shannon Moore and Robbie were replaced by two other people, this could be a good match. Oh, well. At least I got to see Cookie tonight (only for a few seconds, though).
Velvet Sky is saying that she’s done being a target for the other knockouts. Apparently, she is smart. At least, that’s what she says. There was really nothing else to this promo. For as hot as Velvet is, she comes off about as sharp as marbles.
My feed cut out due to weather, so when the show comes back on, Sting is in the locker room with Kurt Angle rambling incoherently.
MATCH #3-Knockouts Handicap Match: Jackie and ODB vs. Velvet Sky (If Jackie and ODB lose, they are gone from Impact)
Do I really have to recap this Botchamania moment waiting to happen? O.D.B. is mocking Velvet’s entrance. Velvet comes out through the crowd and hits both of them with a chair. Match starts with Velvet and ODB. Chops to ODB’s chest, which is pretty pointless. More chops in the corner, and a kick to the butt. Corner clothesline and another kick to the butt. Sigh. Another clothesline and a bulldog, but Jackie comes in and clocks Velvet in the head. This match is about as exciting as you’d expect. Not much to report on. Velvet with another clothesline and a bodyslam, but ODB breaks up a pin attempt. Man, there’s some varied offense in here! ODB throws Velvet in the corner, but misses a knee. Velvet continues with the chops and butt kicks. Jackie comes in with more forearm shots punches and kicks. ODB in again, and she varies the offense with…forearms and kicks. The two miss a double-team back body drop when Velvet kicks both of them, and now she’s hitting…kicks and forearms. I’m so tired now. ODB brings in a chair, but accidentally clocks Jackie with it. Velvet kicks the chair into ODB’s knee, and Velvet gets her oh-so creative standard DDT finisher on Jackie for the 3.
WINNER: Velvet Sky. Jackie and ODB are gone, at least until next week. This match sucked, pure and simple.
In the back, a weird segment with Devon and D’Angelo Dinero. Pope’s sucking up to Devon, and Devon isn’t having any of it. I still don’t understand this angle.
The four-way X-Division match is next. We get a highlight video of A.J. Styles and Daniels training together in a gym. Daniels begins listing off all of his injuries. I love Daniels and all, but if these injuries are true, it’s probably not the best thing for him to continue wrestling.
MATCH #4-Four-Way Match: A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam
Four-ways are even harder to recap than three-ways, so bear with me. This will feature tag rules, so maybe that will make it easier. Lynn and Daniels lock up, and Lynn looks like he’s recovered from his back injury very well. A leg lariat by Daniels gets 2, and Lynn answers with a head scissors. Styles in now. Lynn and Styles trade holds and a couple of Japanese arm drags, and we get an “indy clap”. Styles tags in RVD. They do a series you’ve seen in every one of their ECW matches, followed by more “indy claps”. Daniels tags in and gets an STO on RVD. RVD catches a rolling kick and a standing moonsault, but botches Rolling Thunder for 2. Daniels tries for a springboard but gets a kick to the midsection. Styles tags in of Daniels while Lynn tags off RVD and catches an enziguri. Styles gets tripped up top and a super hurricanrana by Lynn. Daniels tags in and hits a weird stomp on Lynn for 2. Styles hits the Superman on RVD and tries for the backflip inverted DDT on Lynn, but Lynn suplexes him out of the ring. Daniels hits a standing Uranage on Lynn, but misses the Best Moonsault Ever. Lynn blocks the Angel’s Wings and drops Daniels with an emerald flowsion. RVD is up top, hits the Five-Star Frog Splash on Daniels and gets the 3.
WINNER:Rob Van Dam. Good match, but it felt incredibly rushed. I don’t think they even got 10 minutes to wrestle.
Eric Young is standing by an RV that he supposedly owns. He calls himself the Television champion and a huge star. The second part is questionable. He then mutters something about Hollywood. Pointless segment.
MATCH #5-BFG Series Match: Matt Morgan and TNA World Tag Team Co-Champion James Storm vs. Devon and D’Angelo Dinero
Another match already? I am shocked. Out of these 4, Pope is the only one with no points on the board. Remember a few months ago when Dinero said he was quitting TNA? Neither does he or TNA. We learn that, once again, only the wrestler who gets the fall gets the points. Devon takes a kick and a shoulder from Storm for 2. Arm wringer by Storm gets reversed and Morgan tags in. I don’t care about the “Impact Fantasy Game at all”. Morgan with a bodyslam and a Hogan legdrop for 2. Stupid Morgan; only Hogan gets 3 on that. Storm tags himself in but takes a spinning back elbow, a bodyslam and a jumping headbutt for 2. Devon tags in Pope, who takes a hip toss and immediately tags back out. Storm gets a hooking clothesline and tags M-M-M-M-organ back in. He does his stupid back elbows in the corner, hits an avalanche and sidewalk slam for 2. Storm back in, but Devon hits a second rope shoulder block. Guess he also read Warrior’s book about loading spaceships with rocket fuel. Pope’s back in off the hot, hot, HOT tag, gets off the typical hot tag moves before Storm gets a lungblower for 2. Morgan and Storm begin fighting about who gets the points. Devon and Morgan both go outside, and Morgan’s selling a knee injury all of a sudden. Pope clocks Storm with the tag title belt and tags Devon in, instead of going for the pin. Devon gets the 3, and Pope made himself the dumbest wrestler of the night (thus far, anyway).
Winner: Devon and D’Angelo Dinero. Devon gets another 7 points and, oddly enough, is now in 3rd place in the series.
Anderson is in the back saying people shouldn’t talk to him like he’s 2 because he’s grown (despite the childish promo). He mentions some nonsense about his former employer, and then we go to commercial. Seriously, what is Anderson’s appeal?
We get another promo with Mr. and Mrs. Diet Shasta Orange, and they are in Arena Mexico, continuing to piss off an entire nation. Supposedly, the day they come back is “Big Daddy” Shasta’s birthday, and Mrs. Failed Stripper says she has a gift for every member of Immortal. Jeff Jarrett also says he will have a surprise of his own, showing everyone why he’s the “King of Mexico”. His words (hint: he won AAA’s Mega Championship-their version of the world title-from El Zorro).
The stills TNA uses to hype PPV matches make everyone look like lepers.
Sting is in the locker room taking really, REALLY fake punches (complete with *thump* sound) from the Orange Menace, egging him on the entire time. He then takes a not-even-close-to-connecting bat shot to the head. Hogan then says Sting crossed the wrong senior citizen.
MATCH #6: Immortal vs. Kurt Angle and Sting
Sting is not coming to the ring after that VICIOUS worse-than-stage-combat beat down from Brooke Hogan. Steiner starts the match for Del Boca Vista, but takes a belly-to-belly suplex for 2. Blubber Ray is in, and very viciously rips Kurt Angle’s pre-cut shirt off, followed by a neckbreaker for 2. Ray was screaming something about Mexico during this move. He goes for the Bully Bomb, but Angle reverses into a German. Anthony Edwards is in now, and he takes a snap suplex for 2. Now it’s time for Prince Justice to come in (look it up). He tries for a chokeslam, but Angle rolls through into an ankle lock. Bully Ray “flies in” (Tenay’s words) to break it up. Steiner is back in, and hits the spinning belly-to-belly for 2. Gunner’s back in now (worst main event name ever), and he’s hitting your generic heel offense. Abyss back in with a bodyslam, and now we get Ray in with the chain. As he goes to hit Angle, Battle Dome Champion Michael O’Dell comes down to the ring, distracting Ray long enough to eat an Angle Slam. Anderson is on the corner now, asking for a tag. Apparently, he’s now in this match, logic and rules be DAMNED. He tags in, goes to give Ray the Mic Check, but gives it to Angle instead. He then throws Angle out, tags him in, and Ray pins Angle for 3.
WINNER: Phase 2 of the Pines at Clark Gables. Totally pointless match.
The heels surround Angle, asking what Anderson’s going to do, and he jumps into Abyss’ arms. Didn’t they already do almost this EXACT SAME THING a few months ago? The heels hold Anderson up as Hogan hobbles to the ring, clapping. I guess Anderson is in Immortal now (again, at least until next week). End of show.
This show was much better than Impact has been in a long time. That’s still like saying that you’d rather take a punch to the face than a kick to the testicles, but nonetheless. The X-Division matches weren’t bad, but considering the talent in the four-way, it should have been a much longer match.
Full TNA Impact Wrestling July 7 Results
Crimson defeated Robert Roode – Bound For Glory Series Match
Jack Evans defeated Jesse Sorenson and Tony Nese – TNA Destination X Qualifier Match
Velvet Sky defeated ODB and Jackie – 2 on 1 Handicap Match
Rob van Dam and Jerry Lynn defeated Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles
Devon and The Pope defeated James Storm and Matt Morgan – Bound For Glory Series Match
Gunner, Bully Ray, Abyss and Scott Steiner defeated Kurt Angle & Sting
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.
The above number represents a personal best for TNA Wrestling, and it’s a number that, if WWE were to match that number, would result in Vince McMahon bringing a Thompson machine gun to the next WWE creative meeting.
60,000 is the approximate number of buys for TNA Genesis 2006, an event that was headlined by Samoa Joe, then unpinned in TNA, against Kurt Angle, making his pay-per-view in-ring debut.
WWE, at their peak, would routinely see their PPV’s climb into the upper six figures in terms of buys. In recent years, reaching 200,000 buys for anything outside of WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and Summerslam can be a challenge, but the company is still far and away making bank.
Besides, those 60,000 buys were nearly five years ago for Total Non-Stop Action. Since then, Sacrifice and Slammiversary from one year ago are believed to have garnered a paltry 8,000 buys apiece.
Of course, it’s for good reasons that TNA buyrates have dropped off like that dreadful “I’m With Coco” campaign. Among those reasons are heavy focus on stars of fifteen years ago (Hulk Hogan, Sting, Ric Flair, Eric Bischoff), inconsistent and confusing TV angles, the staleness of the Impact Zone, unproven talents that are still green (Crimson, Rob Terry, Anarquia, Gunner, among others), and a lack of control over talents that are supposed to be strong representatives for the company (Flair, The Hardy Boyz, Kurt Angle).
Because of these infractions against sound business, it’s been hard for the most vocal of wrestling fans to defend TNA, let alone summon the will to consistently watch the programming, let alone buy the pay-per-views.
The vocal fans have been labeled by Eric Bischoff as “ten percenters”, an allegedly small fraction of wrestling fans that are largely irrelevant, save for an apparent ability to overthink and overrate matches and angles, while heaping nothing but negativity on the product that he helps provide.
What do these naysayers, the ones that are quick to rip on TNA, want? If you asked them, they’d tell you that they want more in-ring wrestling, more exciting athletes, and an emphasis more on what happens in those matches, as opposed to some backstage vignette, shot by nausea-inducing cameras in what is allegedly HD.
And that brings us to a rather interesting ultimatum.
Fans have resisted TNA due to a lack of said in-ring wrestling, as well as the desires of TNA’s braintrust (there’s an oxymoron) to feature uninteresting and clumsy heavyweights and aging has-beens, as opposed to dynamic high flyers, crisp technicians, and all-around exciting performers.
On Sunday, July 10, there will be no excuses from either side of the stalemate.
TNA will present Destination X, a pay per view dedicated entirely to the X Division and its groundbreaking, innovative style. The X Division is what helped set TNA apart from WWE, particularly in its formative years, since Vince McMahon de-emphasizes smaller, faster workers in favor of his apparent vice, the muscle-headed brutes.
TNA de-emphasized the X Division as time went by, in a sad attempt to copy WWE’s style, and it was to the chagrin of “wrestling fans”.
But on July 10, TNA is extending an olive branch to fans who are not only tired of Total Non-Stop Action reneging on their “We Are Wrestling” campaign, but also fans who are sick of WWE shoving John Cena and Randy Orton down their throats at uvula-tearing speeds.
You want wrestling? How about Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian? These two went up and down the highways of the California indy scene together (oddly enough, as friends and traveling buddies of a young John Cena), and have both left a considerable mark in TNA during their lengthy tenures. Joe, at one time, looked to be the modern day Vader with a martial arts bent to his style, while Kazarian was packaged as Antonio Banderas, with an MBA in advanced gymnastics. The two well shed all pretenses of TNA’s dreadful writing, and will look to rekindle their classic indy style for a night.
How about a four way match between unsigned talents in which the winner gets a contract? Multi-time X Division Champion Low Ki (fresh off escaping WWE in December) takes on two time ROH Champion Austin Aries, the gravity-defying Eminem wannabe Jack Evans, and the obscure, but well traveled, standout Zema Ion will compete in what promises to be a car crash of a spotfest.
Speaking of that X Division title, it will be up for grabs, as unlikely champion Abyss (a hard worker, in spite of some bad creative decisions) takes on sentimental favorite Brian Kendrick. Sounds like a mismatch on paper, but who knows? If they feed off the crowd (who will surely be pulling for “Spanky”), this can really be something special.
In terms of the two big matches of the night, one of them features best friends and classic rivals clashing once more. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, the face of TNA who’s spent nine loyal years wearing company colors, will do aerial battle with “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, and off-and-on mainstay. The duo have faced off in a pair of tremendous thirty-minute iron man matches, and were a part of TNA’s greatest match ever, a triple threat match with Samoa Joe at Unbreakable 2005, so expectations are high. But given the talent involved, it’s unlikely that their performance will disappoint on Sunday.
And speaking of blasts from the past, ECW diehards, listen up. Rounding out this promising evening is the first one on one match in a decade between two men that lit ECW ablaze in 1999 with their cat-and-mouse showdowns. “The Whole F’N Show” Rob Van Dam looks to give it one more go against his rival, “The New F’N Show” Jerry Lynn. While both men are now certainly older, 40 and 48 respectively, both are still in great shape, and the promise of having one more chance to steal the show together will likely motivate these two pros into trying to do so once more.
When you read over the previous five paragraphs, you’re probably thinking “Man, that sounds like a Hell of a show!”
And this is where you can help.
Let’s say TNA gets its greatest buyrate ever. Let’s say there are, hypothetically speaking, 100,000 buys for Destination X, and there’s no Hogan, Sting, Bischoff, Flair, Scott Steiner, or Jeff Jarrett to take credit for it.
Instead, let’s say that the underappreciated “wrestlers” are the ones that made fans plop down $35 a pop to watch the show. Chances are, the Carter family’s going to wonder why they spent so long listening to The Hulkster, Easy E, Double J, and Vinnie Ru, and will instead embark on a different direction, one that, you know, makes money.
And what about Vince McMahon? Surely seeing TNA crack six figures on buys would make him think “Hmm, maybe fans WOULD prefer to see this exciting style”. After all, it’s not like WWE buyrates are anything special right now. A victory for TNA could mean victory tomorrow for Sin Cara, Evan Bourne, Tyson Kidd, Daniel Bryan, and others.
And besides, wouldn’t this be a nice “stick it” to Eric Bischoff? To have the highest bought PPV of his TNA tenure be one that he wasn’t even on, or promoted for?
This Sunday, give TNA one last chance. Speak with your wallets and your desire. Let them know that THIS, not the pseudo-WCW direction, is the way to go.
TNA Destination X full card…
Abyss vs. Brian Kendrick for the TNA X Division Championship
Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles
Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian
Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
Shannon Moore vs. Robbie E vs. Alex Shelley vs. Amazing Red in an Ultimate X Match
Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion vs. Low Ki vs. TBD 4-Way match for a TNA contract
Hello, everyone. Welcome to my first time recapping TN-Impact. While some of you might have noticed my sarcasm in my Smackdown! recap last week, strap in, because you’re in for an even bumpier ride this time around. Why will I be so hard on this show compared to others? Well, let’s be honest. Have you ever SEEN an episode of this show before? Okay, that’s what I thought. Now that we are clear with each other and you know what to expect, let’s get on with this train wreck.
We start the show with Hulk Hogan and Scott Steiner in the back. Apparently, Steiner is the new member of Immortal. Hogan praises Steiner for a minute or so before hearing Sting’s voice. We see Sting cutting a promo on a monitor backstage, and he’s basically just talking about how he’s going to get Hogan while doing the stupid Joker voice. This leads Hogan to come out to the ring.
BTW, the entrance “videos” TNA Wrestling-pact uses are terrible and cheesy. Hogan begins talking about how he can’t believe Sting’s turned into such a coward. He somehow segues this into World Champion Mr. Anderson, who comes out to the ring, complete with his Battle Dome title belt. On a side note, Anderson has completely made the word “a**hole” worthless. Hogan tells Anderson he needs Hogan as badly as Hogan needs him, and when Anderson has to face Sting at the PPV, he can either join Hogan’s Orange Goblins (aka Immortal) or face psycho Sting by himself. Anderson responds by discussing his cockiness. Okay. This promo seems to have no end in sight, as it’s already gone on for 8 minutes. Hogan tells Anderson that we can’t have Sting running around the company, and that Anderson joining the Goblins equals money and ratings. Anderson says he doesn’t care about Hogan or Bischoff, and that he plans on taking Sting on by himself.
Just then, we see Sting beating up Steiner, Bully Ray and Abyss in the back. The lights go out, and when they come on, Sting’s in the ring with a bat. He takes out Hogan and chases Anderson off. He continues to attack Hogan, and there seems to be a jar of protein in the corner for whatever reason. Sting begins talking about how he was a Hogan mark back in the day (as if Hogan needs another person to do so), and this promo seems to have no rhyme or reason to it. Sting grabs the protein, which is apparently a giant jar of vitamins, and he’s shoving them in Hogan’s mouth. This is a rather homoerotic visual, I have to tell you. Sting then locks Hogan in the scorpion death lock, but you can tell Sting’s not putting any force into due to Hogan being crippled.
We are now joined by Ray, Steiner, Abyss and Gunner. Yes, Gunner. Anyone else think Steiner kind of looks like Johnny Bravo? Ray calls Sting a wannabe and a nobody. Talk about the pot and the kettle. Bully Ray says he can’t stand bullies. Ray then challenges Sting to a match for tonight, and then Hogan says he’s going to wipe the smile off of Sting’s face. He better bring a heavy duty washcloth.
Mike Tenay reminds us approximately 1000 times that tonight’s show has limited commercials thanks to 5-Hour Energy. I sell 5-Hour Energy at my store. It’s garbage. We learn that Crimson, Gunner and James Storm picked up more points for the “Bound For Glory” series at house shows, as well as A.J. Styles. Crimson is in the lead at 17. Gunner will battle A.J. Styles in the series again, and Devon will face Samoa Joe. Now, 20 minutes in, because “Wrestling Matters”, we get our first match (but not before the first commercial break).
MATCH #1-Blades of Glory Series Match: Devon vs. Samoa Joe
You know why Samoa Joe loses all the time? Because he wears shoes. It’s science. Neither Joe nor Devon have any points yet, so the winner gets on the board with this match (not that either have a chance of winning the series). They trade holds for a few seconds, and Joe almost immediately goes for the Kokina Clutch, but is too close to the ropes. Devon gets Joe into the corner and starts punching, but Joe reverses and kicks Devon’s head off. Joe with a knee and is now punching Devon in the corner, followed by the Face Wash.
Devon’s back up with a spear and some clotheslines, reverses a whip into a spinning back elbow, uranage, headbutt and some more clotheslines. Kick out at 2 by Joe. Joe hits a leg lariat off the middle rope and then locks in a leg grapevine, but Devon gets the ropes again. Joe’s looking for a submission to get more points and locks in a key lock, but Devon’s in the ropes again. Apparently, Joe doesn’t realize where the ropes are. Joe back to the arm with a jujigatame, but no go. Joe catches Devon off the top with another kick and tries the clutch again, but Devon rolls out. He catches Joe in a standing uranage, and somehow, this is enough to get the three.
WINNER: Devon. Devon gets on the board with 7 points, while Joe is still at 0. Okay match. Longer than your average Impact fare, that’s for sure.
We go to the back where Pope is in the back with Devon’s kids, celebrating.
Back into another part, and we see Steiner yelling at Ray, Gunner and Abyss. Gotta love Steiner promos. Seriously, someone needs to give him and The Iron Sheik their own reality show stat. I’d recap what they are saying, but all you really need to know is Ray and Steiner are yelling nonsensically at each other.
Back to another part of the building, and Kazarian is telling Joe he’s too good to be sucking this badly. Joe calls him Tony Robbins. Joe calls everyone in Fortune “b*tches”. That’s really about it for that segment.
We get a recap of the X-Division Series, where Austin Aries and Zima Ion (ugh) have qualified, and tonight, Low-Ki, Matt Bentley and Jimmy Yang will be in the match tonight. Apparently, Jimmy Yang is doing the horrible “Flying Elvis” gimmick again.
MATCH #2-X-Division Series Qualifying Round: Matt Bentley vs. Jimmy Yang vs. Low-Ki
Bentley looks a little “special” without hair. So much for that retirement from wrestling, I guess. I’m picking Low-Ki to win this match, but I have a feeling that he’ll wind up being misused by this company once again. 3-Ways are hard to recap, so I’ll do my best. Yang is wrestling in the full jump suit. Ki with a cross body on Bentley for 2, but eats a kick to the head from Yang almost immediately. Yang lands another kick in the corner, and off the top with a cross body for another 2. Bentley back in (looking chubby, BTW), and he throws Yang out, who tries to skin the cat, but Ki is thrown into him by Bentley, leading to another nearfall. Bentley gets 2 off an elbow, and now we go to restholds. Tenay needs to shut the hell up about the limited commercials.
Ki is back out off a clothesline, followed by Bentley, followed by Yang who hits a very nice diving cross body to the outside (although he botched the landing). Yang and Ki back in to more restholds. Ki answers some knees with a crucifix, but another kick by Yang gets 2. Ki fires off some kicks of his own, and then hits a double stomp on Yang out of a sunset flip attempt. Ki hits the Tidal Crush on Bentlet and tries for a pin, but only gets 2. He goes back to Yang, who fires off yet more kicks. Bentley hits a really sloppy DDT/ace crusher combo on both guys before dropping Ki with a superkick for another 2. Bentley’s up top and tries a cross body on Yang, who turns it into a over-the-knee gutbuster. Yang misses Yang Time, but Ki lands the Warrior’s Way on Yang for the pin.
WINNER:Low-Ki. Solid match, but there were far too many kicks for my taste. That, and you can tell that Matt Bentley hasn’t been in the ring in a while. He’s looking pudgy, and he botched some basic moves that he shouldn’t have.
We listen to some of the X-Division guys talk about the upcoming Destination X PPV, including Kurt Angle, because nothing says X-Division like that nutcase. And where did Tenay lose all of his credibility?
Okay, apparently, the challenge Bully Ray made to Sting earlier was for him to face Steiner. Not sure when that changed, but alright.
We are then “treated” to a promo starring Madison Rayne, Winter and Angelina Love, who is apparently gotten over her zombie-ness. These three will wrestle Tara, Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher in a 6-knockout match later. Can we say workrate? Angelina Love starts rambling about how her relationship with Winter is no longer “synthetic” (whatever that means), and I can’t pay very close attention here because Angelina Love’s lack of body is making me nauseous. She could use a sandwich or ten.
Does Spike TV have a contract that states all of their original programming must be atrocious?
We then see Kazarian and Samoa Joe in a bar. Kazarian makes a crack about how Joe found the bar, and has had no trouble finding Wendy’s. He’s right. Joe beats up Kazarian all over the bar, the same way he did to Crimson a few weeks ago. Not sure the point of these segments.
Hogan’s in the back, taping his hands up, rambling about beating up Sting. Yeah, okay.
MATCH #3-6-Knockouts Tag Team Match: Angelina Love, Winter and Madison Rayne vs. Miss Tessmacher, Tara and Knockouts Champion Mickie James
Winter’s music is appalling. I would rather hear the death rattle of my only child than have to listen to that music. Madison Rayne being from the same home town as me makes me sad. On top of that, you can barely tell the difference between her and Mickie James anymore. Not exactly sure what Tessmacher’s gimmick is supposed to be at this point, and I’d tell you what my nickname for Mickie James is, but it’s not appropriate here. Taz is rambling about all the hot chicks in the ring. Where?
The “match” starts off with James and Winter. Stupid hair whip that every woman does by James, followed by a Thesz press that has Lou rolling around in his grave. Angelina Love is in, and she’s apparently had 16 more boob jobs since last week. Now Tessmacher’s in, and she does what she does best-nothing. Tenay informs us this is an elimination match. Since when? Winter back in with a chinlock on Tessy, who gives Winter a stinkface. Winter lands a northern lights suplex and the 3.
Tessy is eliminated.
Tara in with her stupid standing moonsault, which gets 2. Winter picks Tara up in a fireman’s carry, and Love hits Tara in the face with the Botox Injection. Rayne tags in and gets the 3.
Tara is eliminated.
Rayne eats a Mick Kick while Love and Winter stare and do nothing. Mickie gets the 3.
Rayne is eliminated.
Love and Winter now double-team Mickie with punches and go for the Botox combo again, but Mickie reverses into a roll-up for 2. Mickie takes a backbreaker from winter, and then Love’s inverted DDT/lung blower move. She starts to go for the pin, but her and Winter start arguing over who’s going to do it. Mickie’s back up and hits her hurricanrana out of the corner on Winter, followed by a hangman’s neckbreaker on Love for 3.
Love is eliminated.
Mickie hits the standing tornado DDT on Winter, and this match is over.
WINNERS: Mickie James, Tara and Miss Tessmacher. This match was a mess. There was just no science to it, with the Knockouts title taking a backseat to the Winter crap. I guess this whole thing with Winter and Angelina has mostly been dropped, with Love getting over her drug addiction at a miraculous rate of just a week.
Gunner is in the back talking about how he and A.J. Styles are 1 and 1 in Blades of Glory matches, and that he’s the number 1 guy in the company and will prove it after he beats A.J. again tonight. He talks about proving to everyone that he will be world champion and a main eventer. Nothing screams main event more than a name like “Gunner”.
I don’t think I want to know the type of person who is excited about playing the Impact Wrestling fantasy game.
Another promo segment with Brian Kendrick and Abyss because, you know, “Wrestling Matters”. Kendrick’s doing his spiritual leader bit, while Abyss is rambling on about The Art Of War again.
Mike Tenay is STILL rambling on about the “limited commercials”. We’re now doing a contract signing segment with Daniels and A.J. Styles. Why? Oh, and Daniels now has his worst theme music yet. Listening to Taz and Tenay argue about ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is giving me a migraine. Nothing against Daniels and Styles, but did their non-title, semi-meaningless match at Destination X really require a contract signing bit?
Daniels says this match is about nothing else except the X-Division, and A.J. agrees. Daniels says there’s no better match to headline the PPV than Daniels/Styles, and for once, I actually agree with something on this show. They both sign the contract, and Jeremy “Toolbox” Borash announces is official. Out of nowhere, Jerry Lynn begins heading to the ring as Borash leaves. On a side note, I’ve met everyone in the ring right now (all great guys, BTW). Lynn then says that he’s sick of hearing guys argue about who built the division, and that the division is supposed to be about the wrestling.
Now, Rob Van Dam makes his way to the ring to his terrible music. He tells us all he’s the “Whole F’n Show”, in case we had forgotten that. He says he was X-Division before there was an X-Division. Lynn reminds RVD who feuded with him for a year, and who the “New F’n Show” is. Since Lynn and RVD will also be facing each other at the PPV, Daniels comes up with the idea of a 4-corners match involving all four of them next week. They all agree, so that will happen next week.
Lynn is still better than most guys half his age.
Gunner comes to ringside from nowhere and begins attacking Styles. A.J. gets the upper hand, and his match with Gunner will start now.
MATCH #4-Blades Of Glory Series: A.J. Styles vs. Goose
A.J. starts on offense with kicks and punches, followed by a jumping knee and a back suplex. He backs Goose into the corner, but eats a running knee as Iceman gets on the highway to the danger zone. Tom Cruise goes for a powerbomb, but A.J. reverses into a Pele and a dropkick sensds that guy from E.R. out of the ring. Alright, I’m out of Top Gun references for now. A.J. hits a flip dive on the outside. Back in the ring and A.J. eats a clothesline. Gunner’s got a little blood trickling from his left eye. He picks up A.J. for the Mr. Pibb (what I’m calling his version of the F-5), but A.J. kicks out of it. A.J. goes to the outside for a top rope move, but Gunner kicks the ropes as A.J. comes back in. He picks up A.J., lands the Mr. Pibb, and this one is over.
WINNER: Gunner, who earns 7 points and takes the lead in the series over Lance Sackless with 21 points. To the 5 of you that get that reference, kudos.
Dear god, I didn’t notice it before, but during this entire show, there has been a graphic in the upper left corner that says “Limited Commercial Interruption”.
Red Jump Suit Apparatus are horrible. It’s fitting they’d be featured on Impact Wrestling.
In case we’ve forgotten, Taz reminds us all that Impact Wrestling is presented with “Limited Commercial Interruption” by 5-Hour Energy.
We get a recap of all the nonsense going on between ODB, Jackie and Velvet Sky. It’s drivel.
Velvet Sky begins talking about how she is used to being bullied and blah, blah, blah. Tons of promos=”Wrestling Matters”. Apparently, Velvet Sky isn’t weak anymore, and that she has a handicap match against ODB and Jackie, where if ODB and Jackie lose, they’re gone from TN-er, Impact Wrestling. That will happen next week, and Velvet will lose. We will also see the 4-corners match next week, as well as Lance Sackless vs. Bobby Robert Roode.
No! We have to listen to Hernandez talk again?! Fortunately, he cuts it short and hands the mic to Anarquia, who is only slightly better than Hernandez. No one in this group is a full-blown Mexican, BTW. He rambles on about how they are not criminals, and why they can’t be in the BFG series, and how they’ve beaten everyone in the company (even though, you know, they’ve hardly beat anyone). I’d be pissed if I was one of the people in the audience who had seats across from the hard camera, as the giant Mexican flag hangs down the entire time Mexican America are in the ring.
The British Invasion come down to the ring, and Magnus mentions how they are also foreigners in the U.S., and how they are proud of how they are living in the U.S. I guess they just became faces now. Magnus says he doesn’t like people who come to another country and expect everything handed to them, and that Mexican America hasn’t earned anything. He says they have yet to beat the British Invasion, and that it won’t happen either. He asks for a tag team match to determine the real #1 contenders to the tag titles, and that Anarquia and Hernandez need to be men and leave the girls at home. He then calls the girls “los prostitutos”, and I’m inclined to agree. This leads to a brawl between the teams, which leads Big Roid Terry to come out. I guess he’s saving his former pseudo-countrymen and reforming with them, despite the fact that he’s from Wales.
Great. A segment with Karen and Jeff Jarrett. Jeff is like that can of Diet Shasta Orange in the vending machine at a roach motel that no one wants. The can is ancient, and the vending machine guy won’t replace it because he’s either too lazy or deep down, is really hoping someone will buy it one day. Basically, they talk about how they are in Mexico and will be back soon. For those that don’t know, Jeff Jarrett pissed off an entire nation of wrestling fans and won the AAA Mega Championship.
Back to Orlando and Abyss is pretending to read his book again. You know, a few weeks back, he was looking at that book and had it open on camera. You know what was inside? I kid you not, it was full of hand-written cue cards. All of a sudden, Abyss begins looking for his mask, which has apparently vanished. He starts to flip out about his mask as Gunner tries to calm him down.
MATCH #5-”Big Poppa Pump” Johnny Bravo vs. Sting Ledger
We start with Bloated Ken Doll doing the fancy introductions, but Johnny Bravo is having none of that. Spinning belly-to-belly gets 2. Bravo’s chest is almost concave at this point. He hits a clothesline and a posing elbow before going into push-ups. Because nothing says “strong” like an exercise that even the weakest child can do. Bravo’s dominating, and I think it’s because Little Suzy isn’t out here to distract him.
Sting Ledger gets a boot up in the corner and begins hitting weak chops and a facebuster for 2. Sting hits the Stinger Splash, but Steiner catches him in a reverse STO for 2. Steiner goes for the Steiner Recliner, but Sting reverses it into the death lock. Steiner catches the ropes and gets a thumb to the eyes. T-Bone Suplex, and both are down. I’m mad we didn’t get a real Steiner promo tonight. Sting gets a kick to the back, Scorpion Death Drop, and this one’s over.
WINNER: The dead movie star.
Sting pulls out another mini bottle of paint. Why in the hell did he have paint in his tights? Blubber Ray runs down to the ring, but eats some clotheslines and a Stinger Splash. Mr. Anderson comes in and hits the sloppiest Mic Check you’ve ever seen. Seriously, Anderson sucks a fat one. The Orange Goblins are now double-teaming Sting, and neither of them seem to know how to put on a submission hold. Blubber begins yelling for Hogan. Hogan gingerly walks to the ring and starts hitting Sting with some old man punches. He grabs Sting’s bat, which cause Kurt Nutjob to run into the ring and get the heels out of there. End of show.
This has definitely been more fun than the Friday Night Smackdown! recap. So much more raw sewage-I mean, material, to work with.
Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.
TNA Impact Wrestling 6/30/11 Match Results…
Bound for Glory Series: Devon defeated Samoa Joe
Bound for Glory Series: Gunner pinned AJ Styles
In an X-Division tournament bout, Low Ki defeated Matt Bentley and Jimmy Yang
Mickie James, Tara & Miss Tessmacher defeated Madison Rayne, Winter & Angelina Love
Sting pinned Scott Steiner
TNA Impact Wrestling continued Thursday night with more of the same from last week: the Bound for Glory Series trudging on, Sting rubbing facepaint on someone, and an X Division Triple Threat match. Surprisingly, as good as all these things were last week, this time around all three left you wanting way more as a wrestling fan.
The night ended with a flattering main event of Sting vs. Abyss in a non-title match. This was the result of Sting coming out to address Eric Bischoff’s claim of treason at the beginning of the show, to which Sting replied with a loony, Joker like monologue and subsequent Stinger signature moves and facepaint exploits. And is it me or is Sting looking like a Juggalo more and more with that smile design?
Abyss finally took to his character and started reading The Art of War book midmatch, which propelled him to take out a utility glove wrapped in barbed wire. Abyss went to use it on Sting, but Sting, somehow being the faster of the two, sidestepped the attacked and hit the Scorpion Death Drop for a pin attempt. Clearly frustrated, Sting took the glove and knocked Abyss over the head with it, splitting him open. Current champion Mr. Anderson comes out to have a stare down with Sting as Sting continues to beat Abyss over the head with “Glove Janice.” I really thought this match was going to stink up the joint but the clever use of Abyss’ character made it somewhat intriguing.
The Bound for Glory Series part of the show kicked off with several updates from house shows, including Gunner getting the pinfall upset on AJ Styles up in Canada. I understand you have to hold a large chunk of these matches at house shows, but at this time it seems that Gunner and AJ Styles would be one to feature at an Impact or pay-per-view. Gunner’s monster surge up the card continues and I still consider Styles the poster child of the company. This makes all the less sense considering the match we did get on Impact was Bully Ray versus Scott Steiner.
I think Ray and Steiner did okay with what they were working with, but this was still a rough match to watch. I had no idea one of Steiner’s signature moves was a “Steiner-line,” which just happens to be nothing but a clothesline. The worst part was whenever Steiner tried to hit easy moves like a belly-to-belly or armdrag toss on Ray. On the belly-to-belly, it looked like Steiner’s back was finally going to cave in, and on the armdrag Ray must have only cleared an ample two feet off the ground. Eventually, Ray accidentally bumped the ref, leading to Steiner getting distracted and Ray clotheslining his padlock chain over Steiner’s throat for the win. Steiner would later flip out backstage, swinging the padlock at members of Immortal before Ray offered him a spot in the group (perhaps to replace Matt Hardy). Steiner threw the chain and said he’d think about it.
The second BFG Series match was even more confusing with its booking and stipulation. Beer Money faced the patchwork face team of Matt Morgan and Crimson in a tag match, so you would think that whichever team won, the result would be both guys getting the points. Not so fast, my friend! Only the guy who scores the pin or submission gets the points, which seems totally unfair for all parties involved. Just like that, each of the four wrestler’s chances are cut in half, unless the off chance that all 12 guys will eventually compete in a match like this. On paper, this should have been a four corners match, because the obvious strategy of letting your tag partner get worn down and somehow tagging in to clean house and win was never utilized.
Robert Roode closed the match by attempting his armbar finisher on Crimson, causing to Matt Morgan to come in and make the save, deliver the Carbon Footprint to Roode and score the pin. James Storm was knocked out on the outside during all of this, so at least that made sense, but I don’t remember any sort of tag between Morgan and Crimson. I will give the writers credit for unpredictability here-I would have expected Roode or Crimson to get the 7 points before Morgan, who now tops the leader board with 14 points.
Impact hosted another X Division Triple Threat match to qualify another high flyer into a 3-way dance at Destination X. Unlike last week, we saw three entirely new wrestlers to the company: Xema Ion, the bulky Pacific Islander, Federico Palacios, the skinny guy who looked like a mid-90′s European Hardy Boy, and Dakota Darsow, the pretty boy and second generation wrestler. Darsow received the most promising promo and was the only one who got a televised entrance, so Impact was really trying hard to put this guy over as the guy to beat.
Unfortunately at least two of these wrestlers probably have to crawl back to the Indys whence they came. Xema went for a corkscrew dive off the top rope to the outside, but actually motioned Palacios and Darsow to come closer. Even with that gesture Xema only hit one guy and didn’t hit him cleanly, resulting in a flying leg thudding into the head and neck area. Ouch. Botch Central continued as I believe it was Xema again who messed up and jumped way late from the top rope to stop a pin attempt down below. The poor referee actually had to blatantly freeze his three count as to wait for Xema to land, even though the announcers played it off as a clean pin break. Perhaps Xema was extra nervous because he had been booked to win-the curly haired Islander pushed Darsow off the top rope and hit him with the clean 450 Splash for the pin. Expect Austin Aries to run circles around this kid.
The Knockouts portion of the show was pretty bountiful, kicking off with Miss Tessmacher and Velvet Sky doing their best Extreme Expose impressions and fighting Jackie and ODB in what devolved into a brawl. Miss Tessmacher may be a looker, but last night her very brief mic work was the least threatening use of the phrase “bring it, b*tches!” I’ve ever heard in my life. Impact is also really pushing across the whole ODB and Jackie don’t have contracts so they have to fight in the ring but don’t get ramp and entrance music privileges. I guess that’s TNA’s version of dental coverage or something.
Even though Velvet told us that management told her the match was to be by the books, half of it took place outside the ring, and really only came to a head when Tessmacher and ODB cleared the ring, leaving Jackie to punt Velvet in the groin for the win. Really, you’re putting Jackie over here? I really want to know what Velvet did to deserve such a shameful run. In an unrelated backstage incident, Tara came across Madison and jettisoned her into a wall. That’s right, Velvet and Madison…back of the line with ya. This is the era of late 90′s Divas.
Winter squared off against Knockouts champ Mickie James in a non-title Street Fight, which also took a turn for the creative worse and quickly became some 12-year-old’s fantasy as Winter repeatedly whipped Mickie with a leather belt, all as senior referee Earl Hebner watched helplessly. I mean, I’m sure he could have stepped in a bit more, but I’m more than sure he was thinking, “man, I used to ref WWF title matches in front of 50,000 plus at pay-per-views…”
Mickie mounted a comeback when she nailed a beautiful Lou Thesz Press off a ramp riser, parlaying that into a flying top rope drop kick. However, Angelina Love came in when Hebner was distracted and hit Mickie with a modified neck/back breaker, allowing Winter the easy pin. Winter has still yet to impress me in the ring, but it looks as if she’s next in line to challenge Mickie for her belt at the PPV.
We had an AJ Styles sighting, but it was merely a promo announcing that Destination X would be an X Division exclusive PPV and all matches would take place in the old 6-sided ring. Samoa Joe came out and challenged AJ to a match at Destination X, but was interrupted by Christopher Daniels, who also challenged AJ. I believe the possibility of the 3-way was clear as day, but AJ and Daniels agreed to a match, leaving Joe out of the fold. Huh?
There was also a Rob Van Dam backstage sighting with Jerry Lynn, who I hope doesn’t show up to wrestle any time soon. Dude looked washed up and haggard back in the original ECW run.
We also received a little more clarity to the Jeff Jarrett finishing street fight angle from last week. I guess it’s happening-Eric Bischoff is sending Jarrett down to Mexico to make the company more international. I love the possibility here-it’s a great way to get stale guys down to AAA in Mexico and bring some new faces up at the same time. However, points docked for Jarrett saying more than one time that last night was the start of the BFG Series. What, did he miss the RVD and Samoa Joe match?
VERDICT. Absolutely nothing stood out in this show, except perhaps the company’s obvious attempt to shoehorn more Knockouts programs into the fold. The Bound For Glory Series matches were dull and confusing, leaving fans no option but to cheer a heel Steiner and boo Matt Morgan and the potential LeBron James of TNA, Crimson. And that X Division match actually made me cringe and question just how successful a pay-per-view Destination X will be. Unless this all ends in Abyss competing in Ultimate X, considering me apathetic to the 6-sided venture. 3/10
Finally, I should note that my contract with Camel Clutch Blog Wrestling expires tonight. Fret not, though, because having won the CCB TV Title in a triple threat cage match against Justin Henry and Eric Darsie last month means I’ll be back, more focused and angrier and TNA-ier than ever. I am taking the belt with me, though. Consider this the Summer of Panther Joe.
TNA Impact Wrestling 6/23/11 Match Results
BFG Series. Bully Ray def. Scott Steiner, pinfall, 7 points
Jackie and ODB def. Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher, pinfall
BFG Series. Matt Morgan and Crimson def. Beer Money, pinfall, Morgan awarded 7 points
Xema Ion def. Federico Palacios and Dakota Darsow, X Division Triple Threat, pinfall
Winter def. Mickie James, non-title match, pinfall
Abyss def. Sting, DQ
Welcome back loyal readers to this week’s episode of ROH on HDNet. If you didn’t notice, and judging by the lack of comments you haven’t, I was on vacation last week so there was no recap. But now I’m back with my 25TH ROH recap. Let’s go down to ringside.
On Last Week’s Show…
We see a recap of last week’s main event. Roderick Strong faced Davey Richards with a title shot against ROH World Champion Tyler Black on the line. This match was exactly what you would expect from these two, a great back and forth match with lots of high impact moves. Richards refused help from his manager Shane Hagadorn and this distraction led to Strong getting the win and the title shot at the next pay-per-view. If you were unaware, Richards has announced that he is leaving wrestling at the end of the year. This split with Hagadorn sets him up as the face to challenge the heel Strong in the future. With Black leaving for the WWE next month, Strong is pretty much a lock to win the title. Then Richards can chase and ultimately win the belt as a farewell gift for all his hard work over the years.
Briscoe Brothers vs. Alex Anthony & Bobby Shields
This is the total mismatch that you would think it is. The Briscoes end it after a few minutes with the Doomsday Device. Ho-Hum.
Kevin Steen vs. Jerry Lynn
It’s the former World champion against a future World champion. With all the upheaval going on in ROH these days, I feel someone like Steen represents the future of the company. By this time next year, after Strong and Richards have had their title runs, I believe that you will see the ROH World Title around the rather portly waist of Mr. Wrestling. But that’s the future, in this match Steen is at his heel best. In my opinion, Steen is the best heel in ROH right now, even better than Austin Aries. He really seems to revel in the heat he draws from the fans. Steen uses every cheap tactic he can think of but Lynn doesn’t give in easily. Even after Steen locks in the Sharpshooter, Lynn won’t give up. He makes it to the ropes but then goes for a sunset flip and Steen just sits down and then grabs the ropes for good measure for the 1-2-3.
Jim Cornette Interview
Kyle Durden interviews Jim Cornette about the upcoming pay per view, Glory By Honor IX. Specifically, the tag match between the Kings of Wrestling and Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas. Roderick Strong and Truth Martini interrupt and say that they want to pick the referee for the title match with Tyler Black. Cornette balks at the request but Black comes out and gets in Strong’s face. Tyler says that they should take the referee out of the equation all together and just have a no DQ match. Of course, Strong gladly accepts the stipulation.
The Embassy vs. “SkullKrusher” Rasche Brown & Dark City Fight Club & Grizzly Redwood
Here is the main event of the evening. Representing the Embassy we have Shawn Daivari, Ernesto Osiris, Erick Stevens, and the Necro Butcher. This is a match up that has been brewing for several weeks now. The faces come out on fire and take the fight right to the Embassy. One early spot is Rasche Brown picking up his own teammate Grizzly Redwood, and launching him like a missile onto the entire Embassy outside the ring. Speaking of Brown, a funny thing happened along the way to ROH building up this feud. Rasche Brown quit the company. It seems he missed a show recently and therefore was removed from the pay-per-view as punishment. So Brown took his ball and went home. But this match was taped weeks before that incident, so it will be interesting to see how they address that over the coming weeks. But Brown is in this match and he is bringing the pain. He even executes a running somersault over the top rope onto the Embassy at ringside. It wasn’t the most graceful move ever but it was impressive for a man of his size. However in all the chaos outside the ring, Prince Nana hits Kory Chavis with a low blow, allowing Daivari to get the rollup and the win for the Embassy.
This was only an average episode this week. The last several weeks have had really strong main events but I wasn’t really into this week’s matchup. I just don’t care that much for the Embassy storyline. Being that this is my 25th ROH article for camleclutchblog.com, I just want to take a few lines and thank Eric Gargiulo for giving me this opportunity. I am a very passionate supporter of ROH and I am very grateful for the chance he took on me to bring my thoughts and opinions to the masses. And if I have convinced even one person to tune into the weekly program or attend a live show, then I guess I’ve been a success. So thank you to Eric and thank you to all of you that check in with me every week. As long as you will have me (and as long as there is a Ring of Honor, but that’s an article for another time) I will keep bringing you all the exciting Ring of Honor action.
Vince DeHoratus lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. He has been a life long wrestling fan and he has passed that love onto his son. Though not quite yet “middle aged and crazy”, he is fast approaching it.
Welcome back loyal readers to this week’s episode of ROH on HDNet. Last week’s program got back to what ROH does best, top flight tag team action. They’ll have a lot to live up to this week. Let’s get to the action.
Necro Butcher vs. Bobby Beverly
Prince Nana comes out to introduce Necro Butcher. But not before rambling on about how The Embassy is now the elite force in ROH. Personally I couldn’t care less about this stable or this angle. This match is a “Butcher’s Rules” match, meaning Necro just beats the crap out of this poor kid with everything not nailed down for five minutes before getting the win with a Tiger Driver onto a chair.
Jerry Lynn & Delirious Promo
Next we see a video recap of the feud between Jerry Lynn and Delirious against the All Night Express and Austin Aries. And as you know by now, Delirious + Aries + flashback = Me.
Eddie Edwards Ten Minute Hunt
This is another challenge match for a shot at Edwards’s ROH World Television Title. And who answers the call, none other than Andy “Right Leg” Ridge. This is the second joke match in a row in this challenge series. ROH is really dropping the ball with the TV Title. The appeal of the TV Title is that you get to see it defended on TV. You maybe get to see a belt change hands on free television. No title is changing hands in these matches. In fact, Ridge last all of three minutes and two seconds. At least the last match lasted five minutes.
All Night Express Interview
Kyle Durden interviews Austin Aries, Kenny King, and Rhett Titus. They are in the main event tonight against Jerry Lynn, Delirious, and ROH World Champion Tyler Black.
Roderick Strong Interview
Jim Cornette is in the ring and he interviews Roderick Strong. He goes on and on about being screwed over again and again. He then introduces his new “life intervention expert”, Truth Martini, along with the tag team of Raymond & Able who are now called The House of Truth. It looks like we have a new heel stable and a full blown heel turn for Roderick Strong. This should be an interesting development for his character.
The All Night Express & Austin Aries vs. Jerry Lynn & Delirious & ROH World Champion Tyler Black
Here is the main event of the evening. The faces come out and jump the heels right away. It takes a few minutes to get some order but even once they get inside the ring the faces keep up the offense. As you would expect though, the heels use their dirty tactics to gain the advantage. First Lynn gets worked over for a few minutes. Then he makes the tag to Delirious, who makes a brief flurry but then gets overwhelmed for the next several minutes. Meanwhile, I think Tyler Black has fallen asleep at ringside waiting to get tagged in. Black finally gets into the ring and things finally heat up. This match was pretty formulaic up to now and the crowd wasn’t really into it. Suddenly it’s an explosion of high impact kicks. I’m talking missile drop kicks, super kicks, round house kicks, and flying drop kicks. Lynn and Delirious execute simultaneous cross bodies off the tope rope to the outside of the ring. The ref loses all control of the match and calls for the bell and the double count out. Another disappointing finish in the main event. I think they’re overdoing the disqualifications and double counts lately. Afterwards, Kevin Steen comes out and hits the package piledriver on Tyler Black. The crowd shows where their allegiance lies with their chants of Mr. Wrestling.
This was a disappointing episode this week. Two squash matches and an average main event do not a good show make. I do have some hope for next week’s program. The main event is a No Holds Barred Street Fight with Colt Cabana & El Generico vs. Steve Corino & Kevin Steen. I’m hoping for some sick spots in that match.
Vince DeHoratus lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two kids. He has been a life long wrestling fan and he has passed that love onto his son. Though not quite yet “middle aged and crazy”, he is fast approaching it.