This week on TNA Impact Wrestling, we crown a brand new World X-Division Champion, and we get the first TV appearance of Chris Sabin as World Champion.
The show opens with the Main Event Mafia coming out. Last week, I realized that, if you pay close attention, their theme song is a sound-alike of Glenn Frey’s “You Belong to the City”. Sting says last week, MEM was able to experience one of the most incredible nights ever, and Sting’s most memorable moment ever, that being Chris Sabin winning the World title. How is that his most memorable moment? He wasn’t even in the match. Kurt Angle takes the mic and tells Aces and Eights the pain they’ve caused will come back ten-fold, and it’s only a matter of time. They’re not here for a fight tonight, though; they’re here for a celebration. The MEM was formed to destroy A and E, as well as make sure Bully Ray lost the World title. The second goal was accomplished last week, and the wrestler who accomplished this did so in the greatest match of his entire career (you have got to be jerking me…). Ladies and gentleman, Angle would love to introduce to you the new World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Sabin.
[adinserter block=”1″]Sabin comes out. He thanks everyone, especially the MEM. If it weren’t for them fighting off A and E last week, he might not be champion right now. He can’t believe he’s standing here as champion right now. It feels like a dream, but it’s reality. However, he now has a giant target on his back, because he has what everyone wants. Both Samoa Joe and Magnus want it, as well as everyone in the BFG Series. He made history last week and next week, he’ll do it again. Whoever wins in Ultimate X tonight, he challenges them to a match next week, Champion vs. Champion.
Bully Ray comes out on this note, flanked by someone in a suit. He asks if we know who the guy is. He is Ray’s attorney. If I’m not mistaken, that’s actually OVW play-by-play man Dean Hill. Mr. Attorney says that because of the huge injustice Ray has suffered, they have been forced to file a lawsuit against TNA. Sabin can solve the problem right now by forfeiting his championship right now. If that doesn’t happen, Mr. Attorney will crush TNA. It’s as simple as this: don’t make him rock your world. He fights for his client, he wins for his client, and he wins well. You hear that? That is the clock ticking, and Sabin has until the end of the show to bring the title to the true champ.
We get a video for Greg Marasciulo. Ultimate X is next.
AI stops Hulk Hogan in the back to ask about Bully Ray. Hulk says he doesn’t comment on pending legal litigation, then goes back to his phone call.
Video for Manik. Oh, this is beautiful. “The man of mystery”, the guy we’re not supposed to know despite the fact that we’ve been told his name and been shown what his face looks like, is standing here in the Manik costume, sans-mask. He calls Manik his altar-ego. That’s a nice cover-up, TNA.
MATCH 1-3-Way Ultimate X Match for the vacant World X-Division Championship: Sonjay Dutt vs. Manik vs. Greg Marasciulo
Greg assaults Dutt, then shoves Manik away before throwing Dutt to the floor. Manik backdrops Greg to the ramp on the outside, then hits a springboard plancha to the outside. Back in, Manik hits a European uppercut on Dutt, then suckers him into diving to the outside. Dutt trips Manik, goes back in and hits a baseball slide through the ropes. He begins climbing the structure, hitting a moonsault on Manik. Greg takes Dutt down with a clothesline, then throws Manik onto the ramp on the other side of the ring. Greg hits a bodyslam on the ramp, then heads back to the ring as Dutt is climbing the X. Greg pulls him down, the two crisscross until Dutt snaps off a hurricanrana. Dutt goes to the top rope, but Greg knocks him down, misses a clothesline, gets shoved into the buckles, then gets locked in a front facelock. Manik comes in, Dutt blocks a shot, then hits both with a combination DDT/complete shot. Dutt goes up top once more, dives over Manik and avoids a kick, but Manik pops up with a Zig-Zag. He attacks Greg on the apron, but Greg rebounds with a legdrop through the ropes. Greg climbs to the top and begins scaling the cable. Manik pulls him down, so Greg forearms him in the corner, sending Dutt in as well. Manik blocks a charge, but gets caught in a powerbomb. He escapes and hits a combo headscissors/armdrag on both. Greg goes to the outside as Dutt ends up on the middle rope. Manik hits an inside-out dropkick on both as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Greg hits Money in the Bank on Manik on the ramp, hurting his own knee in the process. Greg goes back to the ring and begins scaling the cable once more. Dutt is back in, and he pulls Greg down. They trade shots until Dutt corner whips Greg and follows up with a running boot. Greg comes back with a running knee before getting hit with a superkick. Jeremy Borash just called Manik “Suicide” as Earl Hebner comes out to check on him. Back to the ring, Dutt begins climbing the X, and Greg does the same. Greg pulls Dutt’s foot through the structure and begins kneeing him. Greg climbs all the way to the top, and Dutt gets loose, following him. They fight on top of the steel X until Greg boots Dutt in the face. He crawls to the middle as Dutt recovers, and they are now brawling right over the center. Greg looks for a suplex, and Dutt blocks it with a headbutt. Greg falls between the arms of the X, and he’s now balancing across the cables. Manik is back in the ring, and he’s crawling the cable. He gets to the center, and he’s hanging upside-down, trying to free the belt from the cables. Greg makes his way down to fight Manik off, but gets knocked to the apron. Manik frees the belt, and is the new champion.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Manik.
Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson are in the back, chatting. Ray says Hulk doesn’t know what to do for the first time in a long time. They have him right where they want him. He’s proud of Anderson being the new VP. He didn’t vote, but he would have voted for Anderson if he had. Being the VP is important, but what’s more important is the BFG Series, and Anderson winning it. He wants Anderson to go out and do what he does best: get the job done.
Here are the BFG Series standings as of last week: 1-Magnus (49); 2-Saoma Joe (26); 3-Jeff Hardy (17); 4-Christopher Daniels and Austin Aries (tie, 14); 6-AJ Styles (12); 7-Hernandez and Mr. Anderson (tie, 7); 9-Bobby Roode, Kazarian and Jay Bradley (3-way tie, 0); 12-Joseph Park (-10).
MATCH 2-BFG Series: Hernandez vs. Mr. Anderson
Lock-up, and Anderson applies a side headlock. Hernandez shoves him off, and they shoulder each other, with neither going down. Hernandez challenges Anderson to do it again, and Anderson instead decks him. Anderson comes off the ropes and gets hit with a standing avalanche. Hernandez ducks a clothesline and hits a flying shoulderblock. Anderson rolls to the apron, where he gets shouldered in the gut. Anderson goes for a suplex to the floor, but Hernandez counters into a suplex of his own for 2. Anderson shoves Hernandez into the corner, then whips him across the ring, following up with an avalanche. Hernandez boots Anderson away and backflips to the top rope. Anderson cuts him off and launches him back into the ring for 2. Anderson hits some crossface punches, then applies a top wristlock. Hernandez fights out, but gets clubbed in the back. Anderson hits a back elbow off the ropes for 2. Hernandez reverses a corner whip but gets backdropped to the outside. He lands on the apron, where he hits a slingshot shoulderblock. Hernandez hits a clothesline and a Polish Hammer. Avalanche in the corner connects, as does an over-the-shoulder backbreaker drop for 2. Anderson recovers and goes for a fireman’s carry, but Hernandez escapes and hits a Pounce. He goes outside for Air Mexico, but misses. Anderson picks Hernandez up and hits the Mic Check for 3.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson, who picks up 7 points, putting him at 14 and in a tie with Daniels and Aries for 4th place.
AI stops Dixie Carter to ask about Bully Ray’s lawsuit. She blows him off before telling the girl she’s with-some blonde named Haylee-that they need to go.
We see Joseph Park in the locker room area, looking through his bags when Eric Young enters the room. He shows Park something on his iPod, which is apparently Park’s iPod. He then shows Park the match he had with Jeff Hardy a few weeks ago. Park claims he has no recollection of that happening. EY says he’s worried about Park, and he’s going to get to the bottom of this.
Velvet Sky comes down to the ring. She says she made a mistake. It wasn’t wrestling with an injury; it was letting Mickie James know she was injured. She trusted James, and James took advantage of the situation. Rest assured she will never make a mistake like that again. Moving forward, she’s playing things closer to the vest than ever before. Tonight, she has a ringside seat and will watch James and Gail Kim tear into each other.
MATCH 3-Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim vs. Mickie James (Champion)
Lock-up starts the match, and Kim takes James down in the process. They hold onto the lock-up, and James does the same spot. They pull each other’s hair until ODB splits them up. Another lock-up, and James shoves Kim into the corner, where she kicks her in the gut before hitting a shoulder thrust. Kim thumbs James in the eye and throws her to the corner for some forearms. James thumbs Kim in the eye and applies a hammerlock. Kim escapes and applies an arm wringer. James cartwheels out but gets hair-whipped for 2. Kim applies a side headlock, kicks James, then sends her into the ropes. James counters a back body drop with a hair whip and hits a low seated dropkick for 2. Kim goes back to the headlock and James counters before shouldering Kim down. Kim blocks a dropkick, then hits one of her own before landing a clothesline for 2. Another roll-up by Kim with the ropes for 2, but ODB notices the rope grab. James hits a forearm, then some kicks in the corner. Kim counters a corner whip and follows up with a running forearm and a body attack through the ropes. James lands a roundhouse while Kim is still on the apron, sending Kim to the floor. Kim gets back into the ring at 9 and hotshots James from the apron. She goes for the corner figure-4, but James pulls her into the post to break it. She follows up with a running Thesz Press from the apron, then rolls Kim back in the ring. James ducks a clothesline and hits a neckbreaker for 2. James goes for another pin, getting 2 once more. She calls for the standing tornado DDT, but Kim escapes and goes for Eat Defeat. James counters into a flapjack, then kips up for line dancing. Yes, line dancing. She goes up top for another Thesz Press, but Kim ducks and applies the Iron Octopus. James gets to the ropes to break the hold, then tries to lock in her STF/deathlock combo. Kim is too close to the ropes, however, and she kicks James in the face before throwing her into the corner. James counters the charge with a dropkick and goes for the Tunacanrana, but Kim counters into a powerbomb and goes for the pin with her foot on the ropes. ODB refuses the count when she sees the foot, leading to an argument. James uses the distraction to hit some uppercuts and tries to throw Kim to the floor. Kim reverses, and James ends up outside at Sky’s feet. Kim and ODB get into an argument in the ring, and Kim winds up slapping ODB. James sneaks back in the ring and rolls Kim up in a schoolgirl for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Mickie James. Kim berates ODB after the match until ODB gets in her face. Brooke Hogan comes out and says she has an issue with “Little Miss Pink”. She thought Kim learned her lesson last time she slapped a ref. She reminds Kim that ODB is still an active wrestler, and Kim just “messed with the wrong train”. ODB rips her referee shirt off and tries to start something with Kim, but Kim heads for higher ground.
Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter are in a room chatting, and Hulk is pissed that Bully Ray has them backed into a corner. Dixie agrees that Chris Sabin doesn’t deserve this, but she doesn’t know what else to do when lawyers are involved (no kidding). Hulk says they need to step outside of the box and come at this from a different direction. Dixie says that works for him, but it doesn’t work for her. The company can’t operate like this. Hulk agrees, and neither one of them want to be the one to tell Sabin the bad news.
MATCH 4-BFG Series: Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe
Joe grinds his forearm against Daniels’ face in a lock-up, forcing a break. They do the spot again, and Joe armdrags Daniels. Daniels boots him before running into a back elbow. Joe snaps off some right jabs, beating Daniels down in the corner. Whip across the ring, and Joe follows up with a running hip bump and spin kick to the head. Joe hits the Face Wash and a running boot in the corner. Daniels trips Joe into the ropes and hits a hooking clothesline. Daniels applies a knee choke, but Joe comes back with some chops to the chest. Daniels counters with a thrust to the throat, then applies a headscissors over the top rope. He hits a slingshot elbow and goes for a rope-assisted pin, but only gets 2. Daniels hits several strikes and a snapmare before applying a modified straightjacket. Joe escapes, but gets forearms in the back. Joe comes back with an overhead belly-to-belly off the ropes. He hits a pair of clotheslines, an inverted atomic drop, a running boot and a running senton for 2. Joe snaps off a powerslam for another 2. Daniels tries some palm strikes to no effect, and Joe clobbers him with a left hook to the head for 2. He misses a corner charge, and Daniels hits a palm thrust before running into a standing uranage. Joe sets up the Muscle Buster, but lets go when he’s distracted by an appearance from Mr. Anderson. Anderson challenges Joe to come after him, and Daniels clips Joe’s leg. He hits the BME, but only gets 2. Daniels hits the BME once more, and it’s enough for 3.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels, who picks up 7 points and bumps him up to 3rd place with 21 points.
We see Kurt Angle and Sting talking in a room. Sting has some papers in his hand, and he tells Angle they need to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Angle is concerned with the legal situation with Bully Ray, and Sting says Ray has nothing here. He knows Ray can be beaten. When he’s alone, he’s vulnerable, and that’s what they need to focus on. Angle said they still failed on their ultimate goal last week, and Sting disagrees. They will still take A and E out.
MATCH 5-BFG Series: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy
Lock-up, and AJ applies a side headlock. He slides through Hardy’s legs and goes back to the headlock. They shoulder each other in the middle, and AJ runs into a back elbow. Hardy throws him to the corner and whips him across the ring. AJ avoids contact and goes for a back suplex. Hardy flips out, lands on his feet and hits a reverse enziguri. Hardy follows up with a slingshot dropkick in the corner as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Hardy is on the outside of the ring as AJ hits a baseball slide, sending Hardy into the announce desk. Back in the ring, AJ hits a snapmare and a kick to the back before applying a rear chinlock. Hardy fights out, but AJ throws him back to the outside under the bottom rope. Hardy climbs back onto the apron, where he hotshots AJ. Back in the ring, Hardy runs into a standing spinebuster. AJ goes back to the rear chinlock until Hardy fights out. AJ blocks a punch and goes for a tornado DDT. Hardy blocks it, ducks a clothesline and hits a reverse powerbomb. Hardy hits a couple of clotheslines and a flying forearm off the ropes. He follows up with an inverted atomic drop, a double legdrop and a low seated dropkick. They crisscross and AJ pops up with a dropkick. AJ goes to the corner and waits for Hardy to get up. He misses a corner charge, and Hardy hits a front powerslam before mounting the middle rope, where he hits a splash for 2. Hardy goes for a corner whip, but AJ blocks it and hits a suplex into the turnbuckles. Hardy gets sent into the corner, blocks a charge and hits the Botch in the Wind for 2. Hardy calls for the Twist of Fate, but AJ escapes and hits the Pele. Hardy gets up first, and AJ immediately applies the Calf Killer. Hardy is in the center of the ring, and he has no choice but to tap.
WINNER: AJ Styles, who picks up 10 points. He bumps Daniels out of the 3rd place position with 22 points. After the match, Hardy offers a handshake, and AJ blows him off.
AI asks Hulk if he’s made a decision tonight. He says he doesn’t want to do this, but he has to do what has to be done. So he’s going to do it. That right there is some thrilling dialogue.
[adinserter block=”2″]Bully Ray comes out, mic in hand. Ray says he’s been wronged and has suffered a major injustice. He is highly offended that everyone in wrestling can sit back and praise Chris Sabin for what he did to Ray. The man hit him in the head with a hammer. What kind of man, athlete or wrestler would sink to such levels to hit someone else in the head with a deadly object like a hammer? Sabin, you have no choice. He will sue you and everyone else in this company. He will do whatever it takes to right the wrong that has been bestowed upon him. Sabin, do the right thing: walk out here, take the World title and hand it over to Ray. Sabin comes out and Ray says he’s not going to say anything negative towards him. Obviously, Sabin is out here to do the right thing. Obviously, he’s out there because Ray told him to come out here and Sabin is intimidated by him. Obviously, Sabin will do the right thing and hand him his World title. Sabin says the real reason he’s out here is because he wanted to see with his own eyes what a big, fat crybaby Ray has come. Ray is no longer champion, but Sabin nearly lost his career. He sat at home for 2 years, and never whined or complained about it. It inspired him to work harder and get back in this ring. Guess what? He’s now the World Champion. Ray had to have been hit in the head too many times if he thinks Sabin will hand over the belt. The only way he’s giving it up is if Ray pries it from his dead hands. Ray says he’ll get the belt back by suing Sabin. How dare Sabin hit him in the head with a hammer. How can Sabin look at himself in the mirror or call himself a man? He knows Hulk has been talking to lawyers all day, so if Sabin won’t hand the belt over, he’s demanding Hulk come out here and make it happen.
Hulk’s music hits, and he comes out onto the stage with a paper in his hand. Hulk says he’s been going back and forth all day with his lawyers looking at this contract every which way, brother. At the end of the day, he gets it. He has a counter for Ray, brother. This counter comes with no negotiation. Hulk then rips up the paper. He says he can do this because he’s the GM whether Ray likes it or not, and is the law around here, brother. As for Sabin, he is still World Champion and will remain champion, brother. But you know something, Bully? Fair is fair, and per Ray’s contract, he has a rematch clause. He knows Ray doesn’t want outside interference from the MEM. So, Ray will get his rematch on August 15th in Norfolk, VA, brother. On that day, there will be justice, a special kind of justice. It’s called Hardcore Justice, brother. A and E won’t be involved. The MEM won’t be involved. Ray will get his rematch, brother. The law will make sure there’s justice, because at Hardcore Justice, the title will be defended inside a steel cage, brother.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
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