7/31 Barnett's TNA Impact Live Coverage: Aries vs. Lashley, X Division Qualifiying Matches, The Hardys vs. The Wolves and more...
By Jake Barnett
TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage
Taped in New York City
[Q1] Austin Aries was shown in the ring, and commented on being in New York in front of the best fans in the world. He said the place will be full of energy, and he would use that energy to become the TNA Champion once again. A video package then played that talked about Aries originating option C, and highlighted the other competitors for this Destination X themes show.
The show opened to the arena, and Dixie Carter and her posse made their way to the ring, including Snitsky and the former Ezekiel Jackson in Dixieland shirts. Dixie addressed the crowd over boos, and said she changes the rules whenever people think they have the game figured out. She said all the hometown boys have been beaten down, and told the crowd they are living in the past. Rhyno grabbed the mic and demanded the crowd showed Dixie some respect, which fired up the crowd even more.
Dixie said because she loves the people, and because they love to chant E-C-Dub, she will give it to them. Not the broken down old guys, but the real ECDub. She said the true star of a real company is EC3. Ethan said he wanted to introduce his army of Extreme. He introduced Zeke, whose name is Rycklon. He then introduced Gene Snitsky, and then Rhino. The crowd chanted you sold out at Rhino. EC3 then proposed to Team 3D one final battle. As the crowd chanted for tables, EC3 told the crowd that Dixie Carter would never go through a table.
He then reiterated that he wanted one final battle to make the Manhattan Center the house that the Carter's built. He said that he and his crew would put down Devon, Bully and Dreamer down forever. Taz plugged Aries vs. Lashley, and Tenay plugged the X Division Qualifiers. The Hardys then made their ring entrance for the tag team title bout. They were followed by The Wolves...[c]
My Take: The crowd was hot for the opening promo. Both Dixie and Ethan delivered their lines well, but I don't think anyone gave a crap about Rycklon or Snitsky. Not one.
1. The Wolves vs. The Hardy's for the TNA Tag Team Championship: Competing chants for both teams rang through the opening minute. Matt and Jeff both traded offense with Davey in the early going. They isolated him in their corner, and hit some double team offense along with making quick tags. The first real impact move of the match was a double vertical suplex from The Hardys onto Davey. Matt covered for a two count.
[Q2] The Hardys set up for the vaulted splash in the corner, but Davey hit Jeff coming in with a clothesline. Eddie tagged in and the Wolves hit double hurricanrana, followed by splashes to the outside. Back in the ring, Dave hit a German Suplex on Jeff, and Eddie covered for a near fall. The Hardys regrouped and sent both members of the Wolves to the outside, and Jeff splashed both Wolves with an assist from Matt.
Matt hit a side effect on Eddie, and Jeff followed up with a Swanton. Davey cleared Jeff from the ring before he could make a cover. Matt hit a moonsault on Eddie off the top, but only got a two count. Matt and Jeff both locked in icepick submissions on Eddie and Davey subjectively. Davey dropped Jeff onto Matt to break up both holds.
Eddie and Davey hit some kicks, followed by two double stomps onto Matt for a close near fall. Eddie hit another suicide dive onto Jeff. Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Davey and got a near fall for another close near fall. Matt placed Davey on a corner and climbed up for a superplex. Eddie stopped him and went for a sunset flip bomb, but Matt blocked it initially. They ended up hitting a powerbomb backstabber combo out of the corner for the win. Eddie stopped Jeff from breaking up the pin.
The Wolves defeated The Hardys at 10:16.
The Wolves celebrated their win after the match. They then laid the belts out in front of The Hardys and kneeled in front of them. The Hardys shook their hands and both teams showed respect. A video package for Low Ki aired, and he said he always seems to have one more thing to do in TNA. Low Ki and Samoa Joe were then showed walking past each other backstage...
My Take: That was a very strong match between two great teams. They crammed a lot into ten minutes, and if there was one criticism of the match that might be it. It was hard to keep up with all the car crashes, and I always hate to see that because it takes away from how much of these guys bodies are put on the line during these matches.
[Q3] DJ Z was already in the ring. Manik made his ring entrance, followed by Low Ki.
2. DJ Z vs. Manik vs. Low Ki in an X-Division Championship Qualifier: DJ Z took a clothesline and a powder to the outside. Manik and Low Ki circled, and didn't notice DJ Z coming off the rope for a double drop kick. DJ Z hit a head stomp on Low Ki, and then hit a baseball slide on Manik through the bottom rope.
Low Ki mounted DJ Z in the corner and rained down elbows. After some back and forth, Low Ki got dumped to the floor and Manik applied an Indian Death Lock. He then hit a Northern Lights Suplex on Low Ki while DJ Z was in the death lock and got a two count. Manik held DJ Z for a kick from Low Ki, but the power of the kick sent both men into the turnbuckle. Low Ki went up top, but DJ Z crotched him on the turnbuckle. DJ Z then went up top, but Low Ki kicked him all the way to the floor.
Manik applied double underhooks on Low Ki, but he reversed into a double stomp. He followed up with the Ki Crusher for the win.
Low Ki defeated Manik and DJ Z at 5:16.
Tenay plugged the main event...[c]
My Take: Another fun spot fest, but not much story telling involved here. It mostly served as a showcase for some cool offense, which it did very well.
[Q4] VIdeo was shown of Sanada's betrayal of The Great Muta from last week's impact. James Storm was in the ring. Storm called himself a legend. He said what happened last week between himself, Sanada, and the Great Fluke was not what it seemed. He said it was not a student turning on his teacher, it was a man being awoken. Storm called himself a mentor and the leader of a revolution, and introduced Sanada as a member of his new revolution. Sanada made his ring entrance, and Storm met him on the ramp and barked some orders at him that were inaudible. Brian Cage made his ring entrance, followed by Crazy Steve with The Menagerie.
3. Sanada vs. Brian Cage vs. Crazy Steve: Cage used power early and dominated both Steve and Sanada with slams and suplexes. Cage then hit a couple of back breakers on Sanada for a near fall. Cage then picked up both guys and threw them over his back in a fallaway slam. Sanada got in a few punches, but Cage tossed him to the floor. Cage tried for a superplex on Crazy Steve, but he reversed and hit a sunset flip bomb. Sanada broke up the pin.
Sanada and Crazy Steve traded offense for a bit then Cage and Steve. Steve raked the eyes of Cage, and then Sanada hit a double underhook back throw and got the pin on Steve.
Sanada defeated Brian Cage and Crazy Steve at 4:33
Video was shown of Ethan Carter's Challenge from earlier in the show. Dreamer and Team 3D were shown in the back, and Bully said it was time to go out and give them an answer.
My Take: Not the smoothest of matches, but a good effort. Cage pulled off his power moves pretty well, but there wasn't much chemistry between the competitors. The first match of the night that tried to be a spotfest but really didn't do a great job of it.
[Q5] Backstage, Bobby Roode walked up to Austin Aries. Roode said two years ago he was overconfident than they met two years ago, and that was his problem. He didn't want to see Aries made the same mistake. Roode said their match two years ago wasn't a fluke, and said he was the better man that night. Roode told him to stick it to MVP and go win the TNA Championship later.
Team 3D and Dreamer made their ring entrance. Devon opened and said he's been gone for a little bit, but Ethan Carter must be stuck on stupid. He said if its one thing they know how to do, it's start a war, but they are even better at finishing them. Tommy said he needs to make something very very short and sweet. He said he's been involved in wars with Team 3D, against Team 3D, and guys who would sweat and bleed for the fans. He said hardcore isn't just about the tables and the blood, it's about a work ethic, and guys in TNA work just as hard as they did in the original ECW.
He mentioned Roode, Eric Young, and said he would go to war with them anytime. Dreamer demanded they end it right now. EC3 walked down the ramp and said they would go to war on Carter time, and it would take place next week. Bully grabbed a mic and said nobody wants to go to war next week. He asked Ethan if he knew where he was. He told him he was in New York City baby, and you're going to die. Bully said he could start a riot right now if he wanted to right now. Bully said if the war is next week, they were going to name the terms.
He said it was going to be an eight man weapons hardcore war. Bully then promised that next week, Dixie Carter would go through a table. Oh brother, Testify. Backstage, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe were in a conversation that we couldn't hear. Kurt was asked what it was about, and he said Destination X is about to have no limits...[c]
My Take: This angle is working for this crowd, but outside of New York I'm not sure it works. The crowd responding and recognizing the history makes all the difference. This same segment taking place in front of a largely silent crowd in Biloxi would have been brutal. Everybody is working hard, and I think fans of the original ECW appreciate this, but I'm not sure it's building to a place where people who are key to TNA's long term success will be better off when it's over.
[Q6] Backstage, EC3 rallied the troops and says this ends one way or another next week. King Mo was backstage, and Dixie said he was "another". Video was then shown of the Beautiful People interrupting the Knockouts Title Match from last week. Velvet and Angelina were asked backstage why they broke up Gail/Taryn from last week. Angelina said she was tired of people putting Gail and Taryn on a pedestal, and said they are what people should be looking at and worshipping.
Angelina complained and said that she couldn't get a title shot on Destination X, and said next week she would make an announcement that was worthy of Destination X. A vignette was shown that showed a guy wearing a spiked muzzle on his face. There were scramble letters with the word "is coming" underneath. The first letter stopped and was an H. Samoa Joe made his entrance for an X Division qualifier.
He welcomed the crowd to Destination X. He said Kurt Angle told him that tonight is about reinvigorating the X Division. He said he demanded to be in the X Division qualifier, because you can't rebuild the X Division without him. Joe said he's going to be the next X Division Champion. Tigre Uno then made his ring entrance, followed by Homicide.
4. Homicide vs. Tigre Uno vs. Samoa Joe: Joe and Uno got dumped to the outside almost immediately. Homicide dove to the outside towards the ramp to take them both out...[c]
Uno hit a legdrop to the back of the head of Homicide. Joe and Homicide teamed up temporarily to go high and low on Tigre Uno. Joe and Homicide fired up the crowd and then started trading punches. Homicide hit a cutter on Joe, but Joe grabbed the ropes to break up the pin. Joe hit an overhead belly to belly on Homicide, followed by a kick. Tigre Uno got back in and hit Joe with a dropkick and then hit a splash on Homicide for a near fall.
Joe rocked Uno with punches, and followed up with an atomic drop. Uno avoided a senton from Joe, and hit a corkscrew splash. Homicide broke up the pin. Homicide set up for a gringo killer on Uno, but Joe broke it up. Joe hit a Uranage on Homicide, and set up for the musclebuster. Homicide raked the eyes and saved himself. Uno then tried to capitalize, but Joe moved out of the way. Joe hit a muscle buster on Homicide a moment later for the win.
Samoa Joe defeated Homicide and Tigre Uno at 9:49.
[Q7] A video package was shown for Bram and Abyss. Backstage, Abyss said he's gone though everything in a wrestling ring, but when Bram buried Janice in his chest, it took everything to a new level. Next week, he had two tickets to the Monsters Ball, and he would show Bram just how sharp Janice could be. A repeat video package was then shown for Austin Aries and Option C. Tenay said the TNA Championship match was next...[c]
My Take: An ok match, but the second and third X Division spot fests failed to live up to the first one. It's nice to see Joe motivated, though. Abyss and Bram does nothing for me.
Austin Aries made his ring entrance for the World Heavyweight Championship Match. He was followed by Lashley, who entered alone.
5. Lashley vs. Austin Aries: Aries avoided Lashley early and hit leg kicks. Lashley hit a powerbomb out of nowhere, but Aries recovered quickly and hit more leg kicks. He applied the last chancery briefly, but couldn't hold on for long. Lashley tossed Aries to the outside, but he got right back in and dropkicked Lashley to the floor. Aries climbed to the top, but Lashley caught him on the way down and hit an overhead belly to belly on the floor...[c]
Lashley dominated during the break and continued to use his power advantage to keep Aries grounded. Lashley hit abdominal thrusts in the corner and kicked Aries to the floor. He followed to the floor and smashed Aries gut first into the ring post. Lashley applied a rear waistlock and attempted to squeeze the life out of Aries.
Aries fought to his feet and eventually elbowed out of the hold. He hit a few more strikes, but Lashley went back to a bearhug. Aries boxed Lashley's ears a few times, but Lashley hit a press slam. Aries finally got some offense in with a discus forearm and some big chops to the chest. He went for ten punches in a corner, but Lashley shoved him down. Lashley charged at him, but Aries low bridged him over the ropes to the floor. Aries hit a double axehandle off the top, and then hit a neckbreaker using the ropes.
He continued on offense and hit a missile dropkick, as the crowd fired up. Aries leaped at Lashley, but got caught in a running powerslam. Lashley went for a spear, but Aries blocked it and rolled him over into a Last Chancery. Lashley refused to tap, and Aries released. Aries avoided another spear, and Lashley went into the post.
Aries hit another series of forearms and a full speed dropkick in the corner. Aries hit a brainbuster, but Lashley kicked out at the last possible second. Aries climbed up top, but Lashley rolled to the floor. Aries went for a suicide dive, but Lashley avoided it and Aries crashed and burned into the guard rail. Lashley tossed him back into the ring and set up for the spear. Lashley hit it and covered for the win.
Lashley defeated Austin Aries at 16:30.
After the match, a video aired that focused on Dixie Carter going through a table. It showed footage of Next Week's Show, and started a hashtag of #ithappens heading into next week. Not sure why they spoiled it, but it is.
My Take: A very good title match in a series of matches that has strengthened Lashley as Champion. I like that the finish was clean, and I don't think Aries lost anything here. The match was structured in a way that made him look like he had to take increasingly bigger risks to put the champion away, and the last one cost him. I don't know where they go with Aries from here, but he will have an easy transition because he looked great in defeat. I'll have more to say about what I liked and disliked about the show in TNA Audio tomorrow morning.
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