Last Impact Wrestling before Destination X and there looks like there could be a match for the ages as well as some rather odd bouts. There could be some closed doors as well and also a lot of gilding the lilly with too much of good things and too much of things I’d rather never see again. Read on then to see how we build towards a very eagerly anticipated PPV.
We start with a recap of Sting’s craziness at the end of last week with Angle saving Sting from Immortal.
Bully Ray, Steiner, Gunner in ring. Bully says talk is cheap and that Anderson should get to the ring. Anderson does his full double Anderson entrance which seems a little much for someone just coming to the ring. Bully says he’s not impressed by Anderson and does his own Anderson entrance speech but for himself. Bully says he is in charge as Hogan is on his way to the arena. Bully says Anderson will continue on his path to join Immortal. Says that Anderson can’t beat Sting in his current state so he needs Immortal. Steiner gets the mic says that now he’s in Immortal he’s going to deal with Anderson if he doesn’t decide by the end of tonight. Gunner gets on the mic, says that main event is Immortal V Sting & Angle and by the end of the match Anderson must have answered them.
We get a blackout and Sting’s music and Sting is up in the rafters doing a 70’s joker impression with his face and then the lights go out and Angle pops up in the ring. He Angle Slams Gunner and Steiner as Bully legs it. Angle says Sting and Angle expect Anderson to make an easy decision as well.
Ceasar Romero called and he wants his gimmick back….
Roode and Storm backstage. Storm asks Roode if his shoulder is ok, Roode says probably not but he needs the points for the BFG series. Storm is tagging with Morgan later on, dubbed Beer Giants by Roode. It’s Crimson V Roode tonight. We get some house show action. D-von beats Bully Ray for 7 points and RVD beats AJ styles. The next night then Bully Ray beats D-von and Crimson takes on RVD and wins.
Table looks like:
Has Pope even had a match? I think maybe one so far. I’m trying to work out how they are going to work Roode in this, clearly he won’t beat the undefeated Crimson tonight but if the rumours are to be believed he’s the next person in line for a major push. I wonder if they will end up turning Roode heel by taking out Storm for winning points over him or if Roode will win the title at the PPV before BFG and maybe Storm will go heel against him later on. Probably be a little more obvious once the top four are revealed and if Storm is in there or not.
Ah it’s Morgan/Storm V D-von/Pope so that’s two matches for Pope now!
Crimson V Bobby Roode – First off I’m not sure about having so many face V face matches in the series so far but I guess it’s supposed to be part of the series where unlikely matches happen. Roode looks in awesome shape even against a unit like Crimson, kinda of reminds me of HHH early on when he really gave up the posh gimmick and really exploded onto the single title scene. Crimson takes Roode down with a shoulder tackle highlighting his injured shoulder, Roode gets up and fires back with a spinning elbow (which you’d think was more painful than taking a shoulder tackle but there you go). Shoulder thrusts in the corner by Crimson but Roode reverses and hits a couple of his own. He goes to hit a flipping neck snap but he barely manages to grab Crimsons head to make it work and then goes for the pin anyway. Crimson catches Roode on his shoulder and rather sloppily drops him across the top rope and takes him down with a flying shoulder tackle. Crimson suplexes Roode in from the ring with a sit out and 2 count pin. Crimson does his cravat spot for another two count. Roode fights back but Crimson hits back with an exploder suplex for 2 again. Roode fights back with a flipping neckbreaker but grabs the shoulder again. AA spinebuster for 2 from Roode. Roode’s hair is really curly now! Crimson goes for a roll up but Roode counters into nearly the fujiwara armbar. Very awkward and slow looking counter series leads to the Red Sky and the win for Crimson who is now on 31 points and Roode still has zero.
Tony Nesse is in the X division qualifier this week, looks like a typical indie guy with some flippy moves. Gives it the whole got to beat the best to be the best talk to win the TNA contract.
Abyss is still looking for his mask, clearly this is a carry on from last week but it seems really weird that Abyss is still that animated about it a week later . Couldn’t he just, you know, order a new one or something? He chokes out some backstage guy. We cut to Kendrick backstage who is wearing the mask.
Jack Evans is in the X division qualifier this week. Evans says he’s a real life video game character and he’s been everywhere and scouted the competition and that he’s going to win. If you aren’t aware Evans has a bit of a cult following for his various flippy moves.
Kendrick is in the ring with Abyss’ mask saying he will give the mask back but wants to speak to Abyss first. Kendrick starts to talk to Abyss but no one cuts Abyss’ music because of course entrance music is more important than a wrstler speaking. Kendrick gives some weird speech that is pretty hard to follow. Something about Abyss hiding behind the mask and him being courage and after that I pretty much lost interest. He gives the mask back to abyss as promised. Abyss then beats up Kendrick for a bit. Why is it I always start singing Ugly Kid Joe when I see Kendrick…
If this late 90’s reference goes over your head then I hate everything about you.
Jesse Sorensen is in the X division qualifier tonight. He says it’s time for young guys like him to show they are the future of the X Divison.
Jesse Sorensen V Tony Nesse V Jack Evans – Evans gets his own entrance and does some b-boy stuff in the ring. The Crowd like him though. 3 way test of strength to start and Nesse comes out with some kicks and a pin on Evans but Sorensen breaks it up and goes for a pin of his own. Nesse goes for a suplex on Sorensen who flips out and knocks Nesse to the outside and follows up with a cannon ball over the top rope barely hitting Nesse. Evans does a spring board… lets say 360 as it’s hard to keep up.. on both guys on the outside. He tries to pin both guys but only gets 2. Evans misses a handspring elbow and Nesse takes him down with a running knee to the stomach and then a running knee to the head as Evans slumps in the corner. 2 count for Nesse as Jesse breaks the cover up. Sorensen hits what I assume is his finisher on Evans but Jack gets a boot on the ropes, Nesse goes for a suplex on Jesse but Sorensen counters but gets a flapjack from Nesse who hits a bridging German which is broken up by Evans with a standing moonsault. Sorensen slams Evans into the corner and puts him on the top turnbuckle but Evans chucks him to the outside and Nesse hits a spin kick to Evans on the top rope. Nesse goes up top as well but Evans comes back and drops Nesse to the canvas and hits… well Tenay says corckscrew 630 but I didn’t see the twist in it but whatever Evans is the winner.
Didn’t feel this match, it feels like every indie match I see on youtube where everyone just hits move after move after move with no real psychology to it, no one really stops to sell any offence for more than a second before it’s their turn to hit a spot. Nesse for me looked the better guy, more solid then either Sorensen or Evans. Evans is clearly a human highlight reel but that doesn’t really do it for me. Sorensen… well there must be like 1000 guys just like him on the indie scene. He’s got no look, no personality and nothing unique which I guess you could say for Nesse too but like I said I got that there was something about his in ring work which was solid enough to think he’d be watchable regularly and not screw stuff up.
The British Invasion (which includes Rob Terry again after last week) is backstage and Magnus says they need to take out Mexican A,merica. Doug Williams says he’s he’s the most technically proficient x division wrestler but isn’t so far on Destination X so is issuing an open challenge and then after the PPV they will get Mexican America. Terry says nothing which is probably for the best, my lovely. Good to see the Brits doing something again and I think Magnus is a gift on the mic to TNA who don’t have all the greatest stick guys in the world.
We get a Destination X promo with Moore, Robbie E, Red, Shelley who are going at one another in a 4 way Ultimate X for the number one contender to the X div title. So that’s Alex shelley winning then.
Velvet Sky says she’s done with being a target for everyone in the knockout division. Says she smart because ODB and Jackie signed up to the match and if she wins then they are both out of TNA (wait, they don’t have contracts anyway so…. yeah, you aren’t that smart Velvet). God, she’s awful.
Sting is on top of some lockers signing Eye of the Tiger. Angle asks if he’s ok. Sting says next week is Mid-summer Nightmare and he’ll get his title back. Kurt says he doesn’t know if he can trust Sting. Sting goes off on one. The singing was a little amusing but not hysterically so and the more Sting goes cartoonishly insane the less I buy it and the less I care.
Velvet Sky V ODB & Jackie – Does anyone even vaguely care? No, good. Velevet skips (I kid you not she doesn’t run she skips like a 6 year old girl) up from behind with a chair and gently taps Jackie with it then pushes it slowly into ODB. Velvet works on ODB with singularly the worst offence you’ve seen since Jenna V Sharmell. Jackie comes in from behind and hits Velvet. Jackie chucks Sky by the hair which Velvet barely manages to bump properly. Velvet ducks a clothesline and barely manages to run the ropes for a clothesline of her own. Apparently now is the time we go to proper tag rules for the heels. Again Velvet runs the ropes like someone with rope-aphobia, I swear you can see her having to think about each step she’s taking. Velvet takes down ODB and Jackie, gets a few shots in but the heel take over again. ODB goes for the chair but hits Jackie instead. Velvet hits the shittiest looking kickstart DDT for the pin on Jackie. Well if nothing else hopefully that’s the end of this angle, the problem is it isn;t the end for Velvet Sky. If Velvet gets any kind of push I may well lose my will to live.
I’d say Jackie seems as glad as me that this is all over.
D-von is backstage and Pope is talking about being a cohesive unit and has some shades for D-von. D-von acts like a bit of a dick to be honest saying they aren’t brother or friends and he’s only dealing with Pope for this match and he better no double cross him. not really what the face needs to be saying to the heel.
We get a hype for Daniels V AJ. Daniels says that he feels overshadowed by AJ. AJ says he learnt a lot from Daniels. Daniels goes through all his injuries (how is he even walking!). Nice piece hyping the match without making it like one guy is more heel than the other.
Styles V Daniels V Lynn V RVD – Billed as a 4 corners match which basically means 2 legal guys and they can tag in either of the other two guys. It’s Lynn vs. Daniels to start us off. Lynn speeds up a headscissors and AJ tags himself in. They exchange arm drags and then both try it at the same time. The fans are chanting for RVD and Lynn. Jerry asks if they want him V RVD and AJ complies by tagging in RVD. They exchange a great, fast paced counter sequence which isn’t surprising given the history, they could probably do it in their sleep.
Daniels tags is RVD hits some offence and RVD and just manages to hit Rolling Thunder, landing on his neck instead of his back due to the smaller ring I think. Daniels gets sent to the floor and it’s AJ vs. RVD for a bit. A very short bit as AJ knocks RVD into the corner which is classified as a tag to Lynn. Jerry hits an enziguri to put AJ in the corner, followed by a hurricanrana from the top rope. Daniels comes in from a different corner but I guess that’s why it’s called a 4 corners match.
Boot to the chest of Lynn gets two and everything starts breaking down. Springboard forearm by AJ sends Van Dam to the floor. Lynn sends AJ to the floor and a releases Rock Bottom looks to set up the BME. Rob tags himself in as Lynn hits an emerald frosion on Daniels. Rob fires off the Five Star on Daniels for the pin before Lynn can get in for the pin.
This match should have been longer and really been allowed to sell how awesome the two singles matches will be a DX. however it had about the same time as the x division showcase match and was 10 times better. Why this didn’t end the show I will never know. Why does the whole Anderson thing take precedence over the 4 biggest x division guys on the last show before Destination X?
EY is outside by his own motorhome saying something about if Hollywood won’t come to him he’ll go to Hollywood. I miss Eric, I hope they actually give him a proper feud soon.
Bound For Glory Series: Matt Morgan/James Storm vs. D-Von/D’Angelo Dinero – Storm starts off against D-von with Storm on the offence, Morgan tags himself in much to Storms annoyance. Morgan drops a massive legdrop for a 2 count. Morgan goes for the elbows but Storm tags in allowing D-von to hit a shoulder block and head-but for 2 on storm. He tags in Pope.Storm hits a body drop on Pope and Pope tags in D-von hard on the chest. Morgan gets thbe tag and this time hits his elbows in a neutral corner, splash and sidewalk slam for two. Storm in again but D-von comes off the middle rope and tags in Pope who works on storm and dropkicks Morgan off the apron. Pope goes for the mounted punches but Storm hits back with the lung blower but now Morgan breaks the pin up so Storm doesn’t get the points (and thus reveals the stupidest thing about this tournament) allowing D-von in who takes himself and Morgan to the outside. Pope and Storm collide in ring and Pope rolls outside and then smacks Storm with his tag belt. D-von is up in the corner (Storm and Morgan’s corner mind you) and tags in D-von basically gifting the match to D-von. so now D-von is third in the table with 21 points. Pope lifts his partners arm in the air but D-von isn’t all that impressed.
A better match than you’d give it credit for but I do like Pope a lot. Morgan looked like he was wrestling in a pair of tighty whities though which is a little distracting.
Anderson is backstage swearing because you know he’s cool. He says ultimatums don’t work, just ask his former employer ( Who fired you Ken, you aren’t CM Punk). He’s going to give “them” an answer tonight.
We get a video postcard from The Jarrett’s from Mexico from a big arena. Jeff says Karen said to be more optimistic and in one week when they return to impact on Jeff’s birthday they are going to throw a fiesta. Karen says she’s got something for all the Immortal guys but that Jeff has something for Hulk and Eric. This is going to be Jarrett winning a title down in Mexico and hopefully that one of the Mexican promotions will be talent sharing with TNA.
We get a DX card run down. This PPV could be so sweet though I find it hard to take that Daniels V AJ is actually the main event above either the X divsion title match or Ultimate X match. I know it’s a big match but still. Maybe I just think title matches should be bigger than feuds.
We cut backstage and Sting flies against the lockers and it turns out Hogan is punching him (with added “thump” sound for added gayness. Sorry GLADD.) Sting says “That’s the Eye of the Tiger”. Hogan picks up Sting’s bat and String does a proper cartoon “Oh Crap” look and then Hogan takes him out with the most contrived “swing” ever . Oh dear, we’re going proper Looney Tunes then? I think this was the moment I fully stopped giving a crap about Sting’s new gimmick. It’s not even The Joker anymore, it’s Jim Carrey in The Mask.
Immortal V Sting/Angle – No Borash long introduction this week, which is good because it was so horribly pretentious. Sting’s entrance music plays but he doesn’t come out obviously. Steiner rushes Angle to kick off the match. Steiner works Kurt a bit then tags in Bully. Bully drops him with a neckbreaker whilst saying “Jeff says hi from Mexico” for a two count. Angle comes back with a release German suplex but Bully tags in Gunner who gets a big backdrop and snap suplex for two. Kurt shoves Gunner into the corner (nice Kurt, nothing like burying the guy who’s getting a massive push as nothing). Abyss tags in and Kurt goes for a ride on a chokeslamn but counters into the ankle lock but Bully comes in to break it up. anbyss hits Angle a bit and tags in Steiner. Scott works on Angle and hits a big belly to belly suplex. Steiner tags in Gunner who hits a running elbow for a two count. Gunner tags in Abyss who hits a scoop Slam and tags in bully ray who gets chucked his chain, Steiner runs the referee off but then Anderson’s music hits and he comes down to the ring. Angle hits an Angle Slam on Bully and Anderson leans into the ring to make the tag to Angle and gets the tag and then goes through Bully, Gunner, Abyss and Steiner.Anderson goes to hit the Mic Check on Bully but then hits it on Angle instead. He tags himself out (through the bottom rope?) and Bully gets the win.There’s a moment where Immortal surround Anderson and ask him his decision. He then jumps into Abyss’ arms to confirm his decision. Hogan comes out clapping and Anderson is lifted onto Gunner and Abyss’ shoulders.
You know, sometimes defending TNA is easy. they put on great matches and they don;t have a traditional cookie cutter roster like the WWE. When the main event before the a PPV, a PPV that is not about the world title, is so horrifically over-booked, swerved for the sake of swerving and contains so many stupid moments (how is Anderson even a legal man? How do you tag in through the bottom rope?) that I just can’t think of anyway this was a good ending. The handicap match was an abortion on every level and probably literally as I hope that’s the end of that angle.
I wasn’t blown away by the X division showcase match this week and I can’t see what people see in Jack Evans who seems to default to flipping through 360 degrees when all else fails or even before that. The 4 way was good however and I was more entertained by the normal tag match than I thought I would be and I’m starting to get into the Pope/D-von angle which hopefully won’t end up being disappointing. I can’t help but feel that despite all the video packages we barely managed to hype the PPV that is this Sunday and TNA do this on a regular basis so there’s no excuse that this is just a one off.
The last distracting thought is that once Destination X is done we’ll lose any chance of having great matches like the 4 way this week or some of the X Division showcase matches of the last 4 weeks. It shouldn’t really be that hard for the high ups in TNA to look at the positive reviews and good feeling that is given to the product when that focus is maintained. No one is asking for only X division but then again there’s no need to do that anyway. There’s 2 hours each week to showcase all the people who matter in the company if only they’d get rid of those who do nothing for them.