7/5 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage Review: Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm in a BFG Series match, Bound For Glory location announcement, Ultimate X tournament qualifiers, Knockouts tag match, final hype for Destination X
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Live from Orlando, Fla.
[Q1] The show opened with a "previously on Impact Wrestling" narrated recap that focussed on Bully Ray and Joseph Park, and Crackhead Claire... Mike Tenay and Taz introduced the show on commentary and hyped Destination X and the James Storm vs. Hardy main event...
Bully Ray made his entrance. He said he had a "big, big, huge announcement." Ray announced he's going live on Twitter. The crowd chanted that he sucks. He told the crowd that he'll be trending worldwide in a minute, and plugged his Twitter page of @realbully5150. He called out Joseph Park.
Powell's POV: The Bully Ray Twitter page is nice, but I am still pissed we never got the Bully Ray Myspace page that was teased. I'm giving away a pair of one-month Dot Net Memberships tonight in honor of Minnesota Wild free agent signees Zach Parise and Ryan Suter (or something like that). Cut and paste the following on your Twitter page now: Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of TNA Impact Wrestling at prowrestling.net #tna #impactlive
Joseph Park came out to a nice reaction. He noted that he beat Bully Ray at Slammiversary. Ray tried to boss him around, but Park stood up for himself while saying that he and everyone else is sick of the bullying. Park said he's going to beat Ray again next week. He said his challenge to next week's match stands. Ray noted that all weapons are legal and everything goes.
Ray said that if he were Park, he'd be worried about the paperwork he held up. He said it was a restraining order against Abyss. Ray said that if Abyss steps foot in the building then he will be sent to jail to rot for the rest of his life. Park examined the paperwork, and Ray took the opportunity to take a cheap shot to the head that knocked Park to the mat...
Hulk Hogan and Austin Aries spoke inside Hogan's office. Hogan pointed to the X Division Title belt that was on a table and said he needs it by the end of the night. Hogan said he needs Aries to make a statement in the ring on Sunday. Hogan said they need Aries to get them to the promised land. Aries said everyone should jump on his back... [C]
[Q2] Highlights aired of Daniels claiming that A.J. Styles is the father of the crack baby... Backstage, Dixie Carter was seated with Al Show, Bruce Prichard, and D-Lo Brown. She was asked about Crackhead Claire and whether Styles is the father of her baby. Dixie said she hasn't talked to Claire or Styles, and said, "That's enough," when asked if she believes he's the father...
Powell's POV: It's good to see Bruce Prichard got the memo from Bill Lumbergh, but it looks like he jumped the gun by a day on Hawaiian Shirt Friday. Meanwhile, Claire is still a crack whore.
1. Devon vs. Crimson for the TNA TV Title. Tenay noted that Hulk Hogan put the weekly TV Titles on hold over the last two weeks. Crimson jumped Devon from behind to start the match. Devon's bad Hot Topic belt came loose (an actual belt, not the Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About). Devon came back and hit his finisher to get the clean pin...
Devon pinned Crimson to retain the TNA TV Title in 2:05.
After the match, Madison Rayne walked to the ring. She pushed devon aside and planted a big kiss on referee Earl Hebner. The horny old dog smiled as she left the ring while smiling back at him...
A shot aired of Chris Sabin walking with the aid of crutches backstage. Tenay said Sabin would discuss his future after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Of all the crazy shit I've predicted over the years, this is one I really didn't want to be right about. Get the little blue pills ready.
Chris Sabin cut a promo in the ring while leaning on his crutches. His left knee had a bulky brace over it. He said that to say he's had a lot on his mind over the last few weeks is an absolute understatement. He said he's wanted to be a wrestler since he was a kid. He said that this is supposed to be a dream, but it's becoming an absolute nightmare.
Sabin said his loved ones told him he can't do this anymore and he should consider retiring and finding something else to do with his life. He said a couple days ago the doctor looked him in the eye and questioned whether he could come back from a second torn ACL. He said the doctor said he should consider retiring and finding something else to do with his life. Bobby Roode's music interrupted Sabin and he walked to the ring.
[Q3] Roode entered the ring wearing a suit with the TNA Title belt draped over his shoulder. He looked Sabin up and down while walking behind him. He said it was a sad, emotional story. He said that watching Sabin fight back tears and the whole thing was pathetic. Roode said all of the X Division wrestlers are pathetic.
"All you X Division wrestlers are the same," Roode said. "You risk it all each and every night and at the end of the day you get no reward." Roode noted that the poster boy of the X Division will challenge him for the TNA Title at Destination X. He said Aries will have his career ended just like that.
"Or just like this," Roode said before kicking Sabin's crutch out from under him. Sabin fell to the mat. Roode taunted him. Sabin took swings at Roode from the mat. Aries ran out and grabbed a crutch. Roode fled from the ring and jawed at Aries while backing up the ramp... [C]
Powell's POV: An excellent angle. So simple, so effective, so much heat. Sabin was sympathetic and Roode was just plain awesome.
2. Dakota Darsow vs. Flip Cassanova in an X Division tournament qualifier. Tenay noted that Dakota is the son of Barry Darsow (of Demolition Smash, Repoman, and Krusher Kruschev fame). Flip lived up to his first name with some flashy offense, but Darsow cut him off with a big dropkick. Cassanova came back and caught Darsow with a kick to the face and a corkscrew moonsault off the middle rope to the floor.
Darsow came up with a bloody nose. He came back with knees and a legdrop. He went to the ropes and missed a moonsault. Cassanova came back with a springboard reverse bulldog(?) and followed up with a reverse flip into a legdrop for the 1-2-3...
Flip Cassanova defeated Dakota Darsow in 3:55.
Powell's POV: Cassanova is actually indy wrestler Flip Kendrick. Darsow may have broken his nose. I'm not sure whether it was the kick to the face or the move that followed, but he bled quite a bit. The bit with the X qualifiers is that they have now qualified for what is essentially another round of qualifiers that will take place on Sunday. The winner of the four "tournament" matches will advance to Ultimate X, which will determine the new X Division Champion.
[Q4] [C] A Gut Check recap aired with Taeler Hendrix...
3. Madison Rayne and Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher and Tara. A graphic noted that Kim will challenge Tessmacher for the Knockouts Title on next week's show. Madison attacked Tessmacher from behind to start the match. In the end, Tessmacher hit her finisher on Madison and got the pin while Kim was selling at ringside...
Miss Tessmacher and Tara defeated Madison Rayne and Gail Kim in 3:00.
A shot aired of alleged Crack Baby Daddy A.J. Styles walking backstage. The Tiger Woods of TNA will comment on the shocking allegations... [C]
Powell's POV: I assumed that the purpose of the Knockouts tag match was to set the stage for next week. Aside from showing the two title match players, I was apparently mistaken.
A video package focussed on James Storm, who talked about his match with Jeff Hardy while video footage aired. Storm said it's about him and his family. He said he and Hardy are friends, but Hardy doesn't pay his bills... A shot aired of Storm stretching out backstage while Tenay hyped the main event...
[Q5] A.J. Styles headed to the ring while footage aired of Daniels accusing him of being a crack baby daddy. "Here we go again," Styles said. He noted that the post Daniels' allegations were wrong, yet now he's accusing him of fathering Claire's unborn child. "How are you going to make this stick, Chris," Styles asked.
Daniels' music played. Daniels and Kazarian walked onto the stage carrying their tag titles. Kazarian said Styles gets junky whores pregnant. He said he tried to knock some sense into his redneck skull, but styles doesn't grasp the severity of what's going on. Styles said that when he gets his redneck hands on Kazarian he's going to rip his head off.
Daniels said he has proof. Styles cut him off and told him to shut his mouth. He said it's not about him and Claire or him and Dixie, it's about him and Daniels. Um, kinky. Styles recalled beating Daniels last year and then Daniels showing what a "jealous prick" he is. Styles said the difference this year is that he wants the match and it's a Last Man Standing match. Styles said Daniels is no man. Styles said he's going to prove it and shut Daniels up once and for all...
Powell's POV: Wait, Daniels has a vagina?!? Oh, he meant that he's going to prove that he's not a man by beating him at the pay-per-view. Okay, now I get it.
Backstage, Hulk Hogan talked with the handheld camera crew. A man walked into the room and handed Hogan an envelope. "Yo, we're not cowering," the man said. "We're not cowering, we've got something for you, Hogan. Wait and see." Hogan opened an envelope that had an eight of clubs, an ace of spades, an ace of clubs, and an eight of spades and a message that read, "See You Next Week!!" Hogan questioned the meaning and sent a man off to stop the mystery person... [C]
Powell's POV: It appears the key to getting backstage at the Impact Zone is dressing like a weekend biker. The aces and eights teaser is interesting. I assume this is connected to the mystery men who attacked Sting a while back.
A shot aired of Jeff Hardy as Tenay hyped the main event. A Hardy video aired. Hardy talked about being on fire and being inspired again. He said he wants to win the BFG Series and end the reign of Bobby Roode...
4. Kenny King vs. Lars Only in an X Division qualifier. Tenay and Taz talked about this being a return for King. Taz said he saw King back in the day and he's very proud of the steps he's taken. Tenay noted that King is a real life version of Magic Mike.
[Q6] Only hit a huracanrana at ringside. "Lars Only is looking good," Taz said. "Well, that move was." Taz said he looked like a deranged version of David Lee Roth. There was a botched Russian Leg Sweep attempt. "It kind of sucked," Taz said. King came back with a kick to the head and followed up with a twisting back breaker for the win...
Kenny King defeated Lars Only in 5:20.
Christy Hemme interviewed King at ringside and asked how it feels to go to Destination X. King said he didn't come to play games. He said he's there to stand up and be noticed. He said Hemme can't stop looking at him. He said that if people thought that was something special, they haven't seen anything yet. He said the king will be crowned at Destination X... [C]
Powell's POV: The match fell apart there for a bit, but the live crowd popped for Kings' finishing sequence. Yes, one half of the ROH Tag Champions will be competing for the X Division Championship on a TNA pay-per-view.
Video footage aired "from last week" of Austin Aries talking to the cameras while riding a bike. He said he wasn't blessed with genetics and size, but he dedicated himself by doing what it takes to be the best. He said that while Roode has been winning matches with beer bottles, he's been winning with brainbusters. Footage shifted to Aries walking on the beach. He said that he can't rest on his laurels until he wins the TNA Title...
Backstage, Austin Aries and Kenny King hugged. King said it would be an honor to fill the big shoes that Aries leaves. The camera guy asked if Aries still intends to relinquish the title. Aries questioned what the guy meant. He said he will do so by the top of the hour...
Tenay and Taz discussed the leader board for the BFG Series...
Powell's POV: It's great that they're being consistent with showing the leader board, but I really wish that it also noted how many matches each wrestler has had in the BFG Series so far.
James Storm made his entrance. Jeff Hardy followed up with his entrance...
5. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy in a Bound For Glory Series match. Tenay hyped that they will reveal the Bound For Glory location later in the show (see the main page for the location).
[Q7] There were dueling chants for the two wrestlers. There were more Hardy fans, but Storm held his own with crowd unlike most of the babyfaces Hardy works with. The action was back and forth heading into the break. [C]
Powell's POV: Dot Net reader Rod Stetzer notes that the aces and eights are known as the dead man's hand. It was the hand that Wild Bill Hickok had when he was murdered at a saloon. The Wikipedia page for Dead Man's Hand even shows the exact sequence that TNA showed the cards in.
After the break, Hardy scored a near fall on Storm and showed frustration over not being able to put him away. Storm came back with a near fall of his own and looked to the referee for clarification. Later, Hardy took control of the offense and went for a Swanton, but Storm moved.
Storm got to his feet, climbed to the top rope, and dropped an elbow for a good near fall. Storm warmed up for the Last Call, but got frustrated when Hardy didn't get to his feet. He approached Hardy to stand him up. Storm went for the kick and missed, and then Hardy hit the Twist of Fate for the clean pin...
Jeff Hardy defeated James Storm in a BFG Series match to earn seven points.
Powell's POV: I have a feeling we'll be seeing highlights of this match again when they get to the final four of the tournament and these two meet again. I still assume Storm wins the BFG Series, perhaps by avenging this loss to get the shot at Bobby Roode at Bound For Glory. Storm has 36 points, Hardy has 14 points in the standings.
[Q8] Highlights aired of Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe, with Angle headbutting Joe and dropping him with the Angle Slam from their first face-to-face meeting. The announcers hyped Joe vs. Angle for the pay-per-view and ran through the rest of the Destination X lineup...
A shot aired of Hulk Hogan walking backstage. Tenay said Impact viewers would hear from Hogan after the break... [C] The announcers hyped that Bound For Glory will be in Phoenix, Arizona on October 14...
Kurt Angle talked about a BFG Series match against Mr. Anderson. He said that if he can beat Anderson, he can win the title. A clip aired of Anderson saying it's important to him because it's his life. He said you try to win or you go home. Tenay said Angle vs. Anderson in a BFG Series match will take place on next week's Impact, along with Tessmacher vs. Kim for the Knockouts Title, and Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park...
Powell's POV: It's good to see them hyping so many things for the following week. They've done a nice job of building up Ray vs. Park for the last two weeks, and the video piece and Tenay's hype made the Angle vs. Anderson match feel important.
Hulk Hogan walked to the ring to a good ovation from the live crowd. Hogan pointed at his watch while the announcers recapped the Dead Man's Hand. Tenay recalled Hogan referring to the Sting attacker as cowards. The fans chanted Hogan's name as he took the mic. Hogan called for Austin Aries to come out.
Bobby Roode's music played and he came to the ring instead. Hogan interrupted Roode. "I thought I told you before, shut up, I'm talking," Roode said. Hogan talked again only to have Roode interrupt him. "Let me tell you something, brother," Roode said before saying he's a real champion.
Roode said Hogan drank the Aries Kool-Aid when it comes to Option C. He said Hogan gave false hope to all of the TNA fans, Aries, and the entire X Division. Roode said that when he beats, maims, and ends the career of Aries, the blood of the X Division and Aries will be on Hogan's hands.
Austin Aries' music played and he headed to the ring. "Robert, Bobby, Bob," Aries started. He said Roode thinks he can crash the party and dictate how the show goes. He said maybe he can because he's the champion, but he should enjoy the last three days of that privilege because he's going to lose the title on Sunday. The fans started a "Yes" chant. "Enough," Aries said. "We got the point."
Aries said he had three options. A. He could tuck his tail and keep his title. B. He could calmly hand the title to Hogan and wait for Sunday. He said Option C is that Roode can remove him from his ring. Aries took his jacket off and said Sunday is the last day that Roode will have the TNA Championship, and said they should do this right now. Roode took his jacket off and Aries took his shirt off.
Aries and Rodoe jawed at one another. Roode said Austin isn't worth it. Aries talked to Hogan, but spotted Roode coming at him from behind with the title belt. Aries ducked the TNA Title belt shot, and then struck Roode with the X Division Title belt. Aries held up both titles briefly. He handed Hogan the X Division Title and the show went off the air with Aries holding up the TNA Title with one hand, while Hogan raised his other hand...
Powell's POV: Excellent final hype for a match that I'm really looking forward to. Even though I expect Roode to retain, it's easy to get caught up in what Aries says because he's believable and says everything with such conviction. Overall, this was another good edition of Impact. There was no Crack Whore Claire this week aside from the replays, and it was a strong go-home show heading into Destination X. Speaking of which, join me on Sunday night for my live coverage of the show as it airs on pay-per-view. Check back on Friday for Will Pruett's audio review of Impact.
***Congrats to our Dot Net Membership contest winners Charles Chase and Aiden Mack.
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