7/25 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Ultimate X match to crown new X Division Champion, Bully Ray demands his title returned, and AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy in a BFG series match
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped on 7/18 in Louisville, Kentucky.
[Q1] A video recapped last week…The Main Event Mafia made their entrance as Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash checked in on commentary. Sting said last week was his best night ever because Chris Sabin beat Bully Ray. Angle said Aces and Eights were going to get back what they have dished out tenfold, but tonight they were there to celebrate Ray's loss of the title, and introduced Chris Sabin.
Sabin made his entrance and thanked the Mafia for protecting him last week. He said he still couldn't believe he was champion, but he was going to be a fighting champion, and challenged whoever wins the Ultimate X match to a champion vs. champion match.
Bully Ray made his entrance with a man in a suit and introduced him as his attorney. The lawyer, who had the worst voice evah! said they were filing an injunction due to the pain and suffering Ray had experienced. The lawyer said they could avoid any troubles by giving the title back to Ray. He turned up the bravado to 11 and said they had until the end of the show to return the belt to keep from getting crushed…
A montage hyped the Ultimate X match and Trent Barreta…or whatever his name is…[C]
Shore's Slant: Yes, I know his name is Greg Marasciulo, but Trent Barreta is a better gimmick. The opening segment was OK. The Mafia took too much credit for Sabin's win, and Sabin gave them too much credit, but otherwise it was fine. Except for that terrible lawyer voice. What the hell is wrong with that guy? He sounds like Kevin Nash on whippets.
[Q2] A video hyped TJ Perkins and told his story with him talking without the mask on. He said Manik was his alter ego. Sonjay Dutt didn't get any videos….
Shore's Slant: Why in the f--- would a guy wear a mask only to cut promos with it off? That's the stupidest thing I have ever seen.
1. Sonjay Dutt vs. Manik vs. Greg Marasciulo in an Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship. The match started with guys flying everywhere as JB hyped Dixie Carter's Twitter. Bet he wishes he could have that one back after this week. Dutt hit a combo Flatliner and DDT on his two opponents. Manik came back and hit a dropkick on both men into the break…[C]
Back from commercial, Greg hit his finisher on Manik on the ramp and sold his own leg hurting. A disjointed "This is awesome" chant broke out as Greg climbed the ropes with on leg. He hand climbed onto the cables, but Dutt pulled him down. They battled for a while as Manik sold being dead on the ramp, and then both men ended up on top of the structure.
[Q3] They climbed to the middle of the X and Greg hooked for a suplex. Dutt tried to reverse, but Greg fell through the structure and stood on the cables. Manik recovered and climbed the cable. He got to the middle and hooked his legs. Greg tried to kick him off, but Manik pushed him off to the mat and unhooked the title to win…
Backstage, Ray talked to Anderson about Hogan squirming. He said he was thrilled Anderson was the VP, and he thought he was the right guy. Ray said Anderson winning the BFG series was of upmost importance. He told Anderson to take care of business tonight…[C]
Shore's Slant: A fairly tame Ultimate X match. They had a couple of big spots, but it's not a match you will carry with you. I am glad they were very safe, though. You never know when guys are going to try too hard, and this was wrestled smartly. I still think Manik's mask gimmick is stupid, but putting the belt on him here makes as much sense as anyone.
2. Hernandez vs. Mr. Anderson. They had a fun spot at the start of the match where Anderson acted like he was going to hit the ropes for a shoulder tackle and popped Hernandez in the mouth.
[Q4] Hernandez hit all his offense and went for the diving shoulder tackle from the ramp, but Anderson ducked. Hernandez crashed, and Anderson hit his finisher for the win…[C]
Mr Anderson defeated Hernandez and earned 7 points in the BFG series at 4:59.
Shore's Slant: Dull match. As I have said many times, no matter how well the match is wrestled, you have to have some sense of a story for wrestling to be good, and the BFG points when Magnus is ahead by 900 just isn't enough.
A video recapped the opening segment and then IQG asked Dixie Carter about the lawyers. She blew him off and walked off with some woman that looked strangely like Carrie Underwood…Backstage, Eric Young showed Joe Park a video of losing his mind against Jeff Hardy and said he would help Park figure it out since he is "basically a scientist now." This can't possibly go wrong….
Velvet Sky made her ring entrance and said she made a mistake trusting Mickie James. She said she would be at ringside for the Knockouts match…[C]
[Q5] 3. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James for the Knockouts Champion. The first collar and elbow devolved into hair pulling that ODB broke up before grabbing her tits. To be fair, she grabs her tits after doing anything. Both women worked dirty, which left the crowd unsure of what to do with them. Mickie kicked Gail in the face with a spinning kick and Kim fell to the floor. When James went to get her, Gail hit a hangman and tried for the figure four on the post, but Mickie kicked her away.
In the ring, Mickie hit a flatliner and kipped up. Kim recovered and went for the Black Widow, but Mickie made the ropes. Kim came right back and hit a powerbomb with a bridge. She put her feet on the rope and ODB saw her. Kim dumped Mickie to the floor and got in ODB's face. She slapped ODB, who walked away, and Mickie slid in the ring to roll-up Kim for the win…
Mickie James retained the Knockouts Championship at 7:05.
Post-match, ODB got in Kim's face. Brooke Hogan came out and said she couldn't believe Kim would slap another ref. She reminded Kim that ODB was still an active wrestler. ODB took her "ref shirt" off and told Kim to come on, but she stormed away instead…
A video recapped Sabin's win and then Hulk Hogan and Dixie argued backstage about what to do about Bully. Hogan fought for Sabin keeping the belt. Dixie argued that once the attorney's got involved, they had no choice. Hogan finally submitted and they talked about who should tell him…[C]
Shore's Slant: Hold on, I have to go call my lawyer. I'm going to sue to be the TNA Champion. I mean, once the lawyers get involved they have no choice, right? A fair Knockouts match with a logical move with Kim and ODB. Velvet Sky was basically forgotten about with the drama, but I'm not too keen on seeing her as champ again anyway.
[Q6] 4. Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe. JB pointed out Daniels has never beaten Joe in a one-on-one match. The match stayed even for a while, but Joe caught Daniels out of the air and slammed him down. He went for the muscle buster, but Anderson ran out and distracted him. Daniels cut the legs out from under Joe, botched a BME for a two count, and hit the move a second time for the win…[C]
Christopher Daniels defeated Samoa Joe and earned 7 points in the BFG series at 6:18.
Shore's Slant: I enjoyed that match. It wasn't flashy or anything, but these guys have enough history, and they told the right story in the ring. Anderson's run ins to keep the points even could be a fun story to watch play out if they book it right.
Backstage, Sting and Angle discussed the legal situation with Ray. Angle said they failed to get rid of Aces and Eights, but Sting said they were still on track. Angle agreed…
Shore's Slant: What the hell was that? Angle was all over the map there. It was literally the segment that went nowhere. It was just a random conversation.
[Q7] AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy made their ring entrances. Jeff Hardy is a big star here. Good reaction for him…
5. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy in a BFG series match. The match started fast and went to commercial at just over a minute in…[C] Immediately back from commercial, AJ hit a dropkick through the ropes that slammed Hardy into the table in a well shot spot. He rolled Hardy back in the ring, but when Hardy fought back, he tossed him to the floor again.
Back in the ring, Hardy had a sudden burst of offense and hit a powerbomb lift into a throw to start his comeback, but AJ hit a drop kick to cut Hardy off. Hardy came right back with a front slam and second rope splash for two. He hit Whisper in the Wind not long after for a nearfall.
[Q8] AJ hit a Pele kick to avoid the Twist of Fate, and Tenay put over that AJ was pulling out old offense from his babyface days, but Styles rolled Hardy through and hooked the calf killer. Hardy tried to make the ropes but finally tapped out. Post-match, Hardy offered a handshake, but AJ just walked away to good heat…
AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy and earned 10 points in the BFG series at 12:55.
Hulk Hogan was shown backstage and said he was going to the ring to do what must be done…[C]
Shore's Slant: Very good match. I'm not entirely sure what they are doing talking about the "old" AJ Styles. I get the link to his babyface days, but the only reason I can think of why you would mention that is if he was turning back, and it seems waaaaaaaaaay too soon for that. People are over the "shock" of AJ turning, so I just don't get it. But it was still a good match, and it’s nice to see the bigger guys submit like this. It gives credibility to holds.
Bully made his entrance and said he had been a victim of injustice. He chastised the wrestling world for congratulating Sabin for hitting him with a hammer, and questioned who would use a hammer. He told Sabin he had no choice but to do the right thing and hand him the title back.
Sabin made his entrance. Bully said he wasn't going to assay anything bad about Sabin, and then immediately said something bad about him. He said he intimidated Sabin, so Sabin should just turn the title over and leave. Sabin said he came out to see what a fat crybaby Bully was. He said the only way Bully would get the belt would be if he pried it from his dead hands.
Bully said the way he was going to get it back was by suing him. He ran down Sabin for using the hammer and demanded Hogan come out and return the title. Hogan came out and Bully acted mad, which was weird since he just asked for Hogan. Hogan had a piece of paper with him and said he and the lawyers had looked over the contact and they made a decision to offer a counter, but it came with no negotiations. He ripped up the paper and said Sabin was going to keep the championship.
Hogan said Ray did have a rematch clause, and he knew Ray wanted to make sure the Main Event Mafia stayed out of the match. He clumsily announced Hardcore Justice for August 5 and said Ray would get his rematch at the show in a cage match. Ray looked surprised to close the show…
Shore's Slant: Um…I hate to be the guy who actually has a memory, but Ray won the title IN A CAGE MATCH. Why would he be concerned? I mean, in TNA, a cage is just something else to do, it never keeps people out. It's not a bad match choice for Hardcore Justice, but I dislike it when wrestling companies expect us to forget everything that has ever happened as a prerequisite to their stories. Especially when the events are within the same calendar year.
I don't know if it has been the streak of bad news about TNA or if the show was that poor, but this did not come across as a good edition of Impact. Hardy vs. Styles is worth seeing, and truthfully, there is little to complain about with any match. The talking segments, however, were exceptionally bad. From Eric Young and Joseph Park to Sting and Kurt Angle, this had some serious rough spots. Jason Powell will have his take tomorrow on the Hitlist and audio review. Thanks for watching along tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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