6/14 Pruett’s TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage: Bobby Roode defends the TNA Championship against Ken Anderson, Ultimate X returns with Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion vs. Chris Sabin, the Bound for Glory series begins
By Will Pruett
Impact Wrestling on Spike TV
Aired live from Orlando, Florida
[Q1] Previously on Impact… The show opened with a video package recapping James Storm going home and finding comfort on his farm.
Pruett’s Pause: Lucky for us, he found his smile… or cowboy hat… or something.
Pyro shot off and the Ultimate X structure is around the ring. Mike Tenay described Slammiversary as “terrific” and hyped the Bound for Glory series with Taz. Zema Ion and Chris Sabin are already in the ring. Austin Aries made his entrance.
1. Austin Aries vs. Zema Ion vs. Chris Sabin in an Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship. The three started by looking up at the belt, then Ion used hairspray and climbed the ropes. Sabin and Aries pulled him down and double hip-tossed him.
Sabin and Aries had a great little wrestling sequence in the ring, closing with the pendulum elbow, before Ion attacked him. Ion climbed to the cables again and was pulled down again. Sabin hit a springboard tornado DDT on Ion as the crowd chanted “TNA” at him.
Tenay let us know that this was Sabin’s 15th Ultimate X match as Sabin and Aries returned to the center of the ring. Sabin hit the top cable and shimmied across it. Aries pulled him down, ran him into the corner, then gave him an airplane spin. Aries took out both Sabin and Zema, then through Sabin over the ropes to the outside, where Ion was.
Aries then hit his suicide dive onto both men. Aries went to the cable and acted a little unsure, before getting out to the center. He was pulled down by Zema Ion. Ion attempted to climb, but Aries stopped him. Aries then lifted him by his tights and into the steel truss, down to the floor. Aries went up to the cables, but Ion attempted to stop him. Aries hit a top rope Hurricanrana on Ion, then a Brainbuster.
Aries went up to the cable, shimmied across and grabbed the title.
Austin Aries retained the X Division Championship in 7:21.
Pruett’s Pause: That was a decent Ultimate X match without a ton of the major stereotypical spots like we would have seen form it years ago. It did not have a ton of crowd heat, aside from a few “Aries” chants.
Austin Aries grabbed a mic and discussed how he came in a year ago and said he could defeat everyone. He said he is the greatest man that ever lived. He said that he knocked everything they gave him out of the park. He claimed to be the main event no matter where he is on the card. He said he isn’t satisfied with the X Division title and he is here to take respect.
Hulk Hogan’s music played and he made his way to the ramp. [C]
Pruett’s Pause: That was a good promo from Aries and a great hook going into commercial. I would have loved to see more of a star presentation for the other wrestlers in the Ultimate X match, but TNA would have to go back in time to make that happen. I’m happy to see Aries in the opening and the opening promo segment as well.
[Q2] Hulk Hogan and Austin Aries were in the ring and the fans were cheering still. Hogan said he hears it. He said that he hears the hoopla when Aires enters. Hulk Hogan said that for him to come out and claim to be the main event no matter what is a tall order. Hogan said that wherever Aries is going, he has already been. He said he knows what it is like to be the main event and he has never had the goosebumps he has when Aries wrestles.
Hogan said Aries has taken it to another level. He called Aries the greatest thing he’s ever seen in the ring. Aries said he wants to be the main event. Hogan said he can make that happen at Destination X. He told Aries to put his money where his mouth is. He said that in order to get a World Championship shot against Bobby Roode, Aries would have to give up the X Division Championship.
Hogan said that this was all or nothing for Aries. Aries looked at the X Division Championship belt. Hogan said we all believe in Aries and that he knows Aries can do it. Hogan said that it isn’t handing over the title, it is becoming greatness personified. Hogan said that Austin Aries has one week to give him a decision.
We saw some highlights of Slammiversary.
Joseph Park was sitting at a table and telling people about the match he had. Bully Ray approached, angry and looking for Abyss. Park said he hasn’t been able to find his brother. Bully tipped the table over and said he wouldn’t rest until he found Abyss [C]
Pruett’s Pause: That segment was great. Hogan really worked hard to put over Aries there and at first it seemed that he was being self serving. This was a great way to give Aries the option of leaving the X Division without being beat and taking a step back. Normally, I would be an advocate for dropping the title, but this is an intriguing way to play it.
[Q3] Hernandez made his way to the ring, then Devon did as well. Highlights aired of Devon and Garett Bischoff dancing.
Pruett’s Pause: God help us all.
2. Devon vs. Hernandez for the TNA Television Championship. Hernandez hit the dive through the ropes onto Devon before the bell. Back in the ring, Hernandez took control early, going for quite a few pin attempts.
Hernandez then locked in a bear hug on Devon. Devon fought out with some punching. Hernandez took control again, but Devon shoulder blocked him. Devon punched Hernandez in the middle of the ring, then hit a neckbreak and a diving headbutt on him. Devon clapped and the Impact Zone clapped with him.
Hernandez caught Devon as he ran into the corner. Hernandez went to the top rope, slipped a few times, then hit a lazy punch on Devon. Devon hit a spinebuster on Hernandez for the win.
Devon defeated Hernandez in 3:33 to retain the Television Championship.
Highlights aired of last week’s Dixie Carter and Christopher Daniels segment.
Pruett’s Pause: That was on the better side of what I expected it to be. Hernandez and Devon aren’t exactly not clusty. I wonder why they had Hernandez return just to job to Devon on night two.
We saw Dixie Carter and A.J. Styles discussing their secret backstage. Dixie believes that people will get hurt. Styles wants her to put it out in the open. They plan to talk later tonight. [C]
Bobby Roode was shown arriving at the Impact Zone and his World Championship match was discussed.
A.J. Styles was introduced, then Jeff Hardy was.
3. The Bound for Glory series opening Gauntlet. Styles and Hardy kicked things off for us. This will be an over the top rope Gauntlet, happening Royal Rumble style. The winner gets 20 points.
Styles and Hardy slapped hands, the Hardy put Styles in a headlock. Styles dropkicked Hardy down after some rope running and tried to throw him over the top.
Rob Van Dam’s music hit and he leisurely strolled to the ring at 90 seconds. He kicked both Hardy and Styles down, then monkey flipped Styles. [C]
Pruett’s Pause: I would have rather not seen a commercial here, but bad things happen to good people all the time. The Gauntlet not involving pinfalls makes me happy, but it should probably be called a battle royal. Either way, this is a fun way to introduce the Bound for Glory series competitors.
[Q4] We returned to the show and Magnus was in the ring and Bully Ray was making his way there. Bully Ray walked quite slowly to the ring. Ray pounded on Hardy from the outside, then dominated everyone in the ring. A.J. skinned the cat to stay in the ring.
Kurt Angle’s music was the next to hit and he jogged to the ring. He hit a couple German Suplexes on Hardy and Magnus, but not in that order. He went face to face with Bully Ray. Styles and Van Dam traded some kicks on the other side of the ring. Magnus and Hardy were paired off as well.
“The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero was the next wrestler to enter and apparently he will be in “The Dark Knight Returns” this Summer. Bully Ray eliminated Jeff Hardy over the top rope. Abyss came out from under the ring and pulled Bully Ray over the top by the throat, then returned to under the ring. [C]
Pruett’s Pause: Not just one commercial, but two. Not fun. The Gauntlet is fun with some nice surprises. I guess with the promise of more surprises, the commercials aren’t an awful choice. Abyss was definitely the real Abyss as we saw his face.
[Q5] As we resumed the match, now 14 minutes in, Robbie E. is now in the ring.
Pruett’s Pause: What has he done other than lose to Devon recently?
Van Dam was eliminated. Pope and Magnus squared off. Christopher Daniels’ music hit and he walked to the ring. Styles hit a flying forearm off the top on Daniels, then Angle tried to get involved and Styles hit him. This caused an opening for Daniels to eliminate Styles, the Angle.
Samoa Joe’s music was next and he hit Daniels and Pope, before staring down Robbie E., headbutting him and throwing him from the ring. Joe was double teamed by Pope and Daniels, but Magnus saved him. Joe then hit Magnus with a chop, they looked at each other and then traded forearms. Magnus hit a big boot on Joe, then charged at him again. Joe pulled the rope down for the elimination.
Joe, Pope, and Daniels were joined in the ring by James Storm. Storm eliminated Dinero right away, then went to work on Daniels, ending with the Last Call attempt, then a clothesline over the top.
It’s down to just Joe and Storm. They face off, trading punches. The 12th man in the series will be the loser of tonight’s TNA Championship match. Joe almost threw Storm out, but Storm skinned the cat and eventually hit the Last Call Superkick to win the match.
James Storm won the Bound for Glory Gauntlet, last eliminating Samoa Joe, to win 20 points in 20:32.
James Storm grabbed a beer and a microphone. The crowd chanted “Cowboy” quite loud. Storm said he thought his luck had ran out. He said he’s been spending time with his family and on his farm. He said he built his farm with blood, sweat, and tears like his wrestling career.
Storm said his home would tell him if wrestling was still in his blood. He said when his daughter asked him if he was going back, he realized what wrestling means to his little girl. Storm said he didn’t know what he meant to the fans and thanked them. They chanted “Welcome back” and “Cowboy.”
Storm said he came back to be the World Champion and if he didn’t make himself clear, “the Cowboy James Storm is back” and he said he prays that Bobby Roode will be the World Champion at the end of the series. He ended with his “Sorry” line and the crowd finished it.
The camera man approached Bobby Roode and asked him about James Storm. Roode said he wasn’t scared and Storm is jealous of him. Roode said that he has no problem facing James Storm one day. He said he has bigger fish to gry tonight.
Open Fight Night was hyped for next week as a “Bound for Glory Series Open Call Out” edition with no announcers saying anything. [C]
Pruett’s Pause: There wasn’t a ton of drama at the end of the gauntlet, but it got the job done. Storm’s promo was amazing. That man is a master on the mic and this was the James Storm that we need to see on a regular basis. I can’t wait for more promos like that as we approach Bound for Glory this year.
[Q6] Highlights of Angle and Styles winning the TNA Tag Championships were shown. We then saw Styles and Angle discussing their situation backstage. Angle is worried that Styles’ head isn’t in the game. Styles promised to get focused and they hugged.
Miss Tessmacher’s win on Sunday was shown. Madison Rayne’s music him.
4. Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne.Tessmacher hit a headlock takedown at first, then a dropkick. Tessmacher then went to a front-facelock, but Rayne put her in the corner and eventually slammed her down.
Rayne taunted Tessmacher in the corner and ran into her, but hit a hair takedown thing for two. Rayne threw Tessmacher into the ropes, telegraphed a back body drop and ended up receiving a neckbreaker.
Tessmached hyped the crowd and then hit a faceplant out of the corner for two. She was then raked in the eyes by Rayne. Tessmacher hit her Russian Leg Sweep-ish finisher for the win.
Miss Tessmacher defeated Madison Rayne via pinfall in 2:49.
Pruett’s Pause: That was a decent match. Rayne was a nice first opponent for Tessmacher since winning the title. This segment definitely served its purpose.
Brooke Hogan and Gail Kim talked backstage. Next week at Open Fight Night, the Knockouts Championship will be defended and Brooke is thinking of four girls. Brooke told Kim to enjoy her vacation since she won’t be a part of Open Fight Night.
Ken Anderson winning the number one contenders match was shown followed by a promo from Anderson saying he would be Roode tonight. Anderson vs. Roode is next. [C]
Pruett’s Pause: Kim and Hogan didn’t embarrass themselves acting-wise, so that is a plus.
Highlights of Sting vs. Bobby Roode were shown, with specific emphasis on Roode tapping out on the announce table and Sting being hit with a bottle
[Q7] Mr. Anderson walked to the ring without his onstage routine. Bobby Roode sauntered out next.
5. Bobby Roode vs. Ken Anderson for the TNA World Championship. The went for a tie up to start, Roode threw Anderson against the ropes and succomed to the clothesline of Anderson. Anderson whipped Roode from corner to corner.
Anderson suplexed Roode over the top rope and into the ring. Roode begged off, then threw Anderson to the outside. Anderson moved out of the way of a Roode dive over the top, then threw Roode into the ring steps. [C]
We returned from commercial with a headlock on Anderson and the crowd chanting his name. Roode drilled it in as Anderson tried to fight him off. Anderson threw some elbows to fight off Roode, then hit a backslide for two.
Anderson was then taken down by a neckbreaker from Roode, followed by a two count. Roode then returned to the headlock. Anderson fought up again and Roode contorted his neck. Anderson threw Roode into the ropes and ate a kick to the face.
Roode charged into a clothesline and a neckbreaker from Anderson, then a standing kick to the back of the head that I’ve never seen from Anderson before. Anderson set up for the Mic Check, but Roode reversed it into a crossface. Anderson tolled up Roode for two.
Anderson then got another near fall. Roode came back, went to work on the shoulder, and went back to the crossface. Anderson crawled towards the ropes, couldn’t make it, and tapped out.
Bobby Roode defeated Ken Anderson via submission in 11:30 to retain the TNA World Championship.
[Q8] Dixie Carter and A.J. Styles were talking backstage and they will apparently bring everything to light next week.
The Sting Hall of Fame celebration highlights were shown. Sting was shown walking backstage. [C]
Pruett’s Pause: That was a good TV main event title match. Anderson had some hope spots, but never looked too convincing. Roode actually won a match without cheating, which I will always appreciate. I’d love to see them really get behind Roode as we go into Bound for Glory and make him the champion to beat, not the lame duck holding the belt.
Highlights of the gauntlet earlier in the night were shown, with the word “Live” in the corner during the highlights of action an hour ago.
Mike Tenay and Taz hyped Open Fight Night as part of the Bound for Glory Series and also Gut Check. They reviewed more highlights of the Ultimate X match and Hogan’s ultimatum towards Aries.
Pruett’s Pause: It’s nice to see them hype everything for next week, but this is a long segment to air after the main event match and before the verbal segment.
Jeremy Borash recapped the TNA Hall of Fame Announcement and threw it to the Sting video package from Slammiversary. Borash then introduced Sting, who came to the ring in a t-shirt, facepaint and his wrestling gear.
Pruett’s Pause: Did Sting let Jeff Hardy do his facepaint tonight?
Sting took the microphone and said it is obvious that Slammiversary will go down in history as one of the greatest nights he has ever experienced in pro wrestling. He said that for the two week leading up to Slammiversary, all he wanted to do was take a chunk out of Roode’s hind, and he did.
He said that to be the first inductee into the Hall of Fame means a lot to him. He said that up on that stage, there were many others that deserved the honor. He thanked Jerry and Jeff Jarrett for starting TNA. He then tried to thank Dixie Carter.
Three masked men ran into the ring and attacked Sting. He tried to escape, but couldn’t get away. The crowd chanted for Hogan as they put the boots to Sting. The show went off the air with Sting being beaten.
Pruett’s Pause: Was it Nexus 2012? Was it a triple dark scorpion? Was it AAA where Jeff Jarrett has been for months? I’d guess the latter, but we will find out soon! The beat down itself was just kind of there and not all that brutal, but it worked to an extent.
Overall, this was a great episode of Impact Wrestling. It carried over quite a bit of the exciting feel of Slammiversary and moved along at a very quick pace. It was rapid fire, but it was rapid fire quality. There was not really a down point on this show (as much as Hernandez tried). It might have been one of the best episodes of Impact in the last few years.
So, what did you think of the show? Agree? Disagree? Either way, feel free to email me at email@example.com or to follow me and interact on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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