The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 06.14.12
Live from Orlando, FL.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz.
Whoever does those recaps to start the show is doing a great job. Hits the big points without being overblown like the WWE ones. Classy and understated.
Ultimate X: Austin Aries v. Chris Sabin v. Zema Ion
I kind of wish they’d keep the gimmick stuff off free TV, but obviously that’s not the mentality. Zema makes a quick climb to start, but the other two double-team him in the corner and dump him. Sabin and Aries do a gymnastic sequence and Aries gets the pendulum elbow, but Ion puts Aries down with a facecrusher and goes for the climb again. Sabin brings him down and gets a vicious tornado DDT, but goes up and fights with Aries on top. Sabin climbs for it again, but Aries pulls him into a fireman’s carry and gives him an AIRPLANE SPIN. Aries climbs, but he’s too dizzy to get a foothold, so he comes back down and gets rid of Ion again. He backdrops Sabin onto Ion outside and it looks like Sabin hurt his knee on that. Aries hits them both with a suicide dive and takes a victory lap because he’s the GREATEST MAN THAT EVER LIVED. Aries makes it to the belt, but Ion yanks him down again and they fight on the top. Aries goes low and Ion whacks his head on the scaffolding while falling down, like Homer going down the cliff. Obviously the hairspray protected him. He keeps coming, so Aries brings him down with a rana, dropkicks him into the brainbuster, and retrieves the belt to retain at 7:15. Dominating win for the champ, although Sabin disappeared halfway through because of the injury. ***
Aries calls out Hulk Hogan after the win, and he’s looking for Bobby Roode now. Hulk notes that he can make that happen at Destination X…but Aries has to give up the X title. And Hulk wants the answer by next week. SERIALIZED TV. How about that.
Meanwhile, Joseph Park, Esquire, is enjoying a nice lunch when Bully Ray interrupts, and now HE’S the one looking for Abyss. Nice touch with a more confident Park now getting his own verbal jabs in. (“Last time I saw him, wasn’t he putting you through a table?”)
TV title: Devon v. Hernandez
The clearly insane Hernandez hits his MEXICAN OUTTA CONTROL dive even before Devon gets to the ring, and rolls him in for two to start. Apparently he’s a heel again, I guess. Too bad, he did fine as a babyface at the PPV. Devon fights back, but Hernandez puts him down with a back elbow for two. Bearhug follows, but Devon spears him, then misses a blind charge. Hernandez goes for the arm, but Devon puts him into the corner, and Hernandez skins the cat up to the top in a clumsy but neat spot, and gets a flying shoulder for two. Devon catches him with the spinebuster at 3:46 to finish, however. Messy but other fine. ** This wacky idea of putting a champion on TV and having him beat guys every week to get him over will never fly. I thought the way to make new stars was to beat them every week until they proved their loyalty?
Recap of Dixie’s issue with Daniels from last week leads to an ominous backstage conversation between Dixie and AJ about SECRETS and the need to get them out.
Bound For Glory Gauntlet:
We start with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy. This is basically a Royal Rumble, with new people coming in every 90 second, and the winner getting the first 20 points in the tournament. Hopefully this year is booked better than the trainwreck last year. AJ quickly puts Hardy on the apron, but he slingshots back in with a dropkick and they fight on the ropes. RVD is #3 and he superkicks both guys and monkey-flips AJ out of the corner, and we take a break. Back with Bully Ray (#5) entering the ring, and Magnus (#4) already in. Kurt Angle is next at #6 and he suplexes the crap out of everyone, but it quickly slows down again. THE POPE returns at #7 and he quickly gets hit from behind, but Jeff Hardy is the first one out via Bully Ray. Sadly for Bully, Abyss pops out of the ring and yanks him out, and we take another break. Back with RVD getting tossed out, and Daniels is #9. Robbie E is in there at #8. Daniels tosses both AJ and the injured Kurt, as the Pope dominates Robbie E. Samoa Joe is #10 and he gets rid of Robbie right off. He slugs it out with Magnus and then tricks him into charging, and Magnus is gone. Joe and Pope tee off on Daniels, and James Storm is #11. Pope is gone and Daniels takes a codebreaker and clothesline out of the ring, and we’re left with Storm and Joe. We’re missing a 12th guy, but Tenay clarifies that the last guy will be the loser of the World title match tonight. Joe tosses Storm, but he pulls himself back in and tosses Joe. Joe also hangs on and chokes Storm, but a superkick ends his night and gives Storm the first 20 points at 20:58. Where’s the swerve because we all would be expecting this? I’m so confused. ***1/4 Storm cuts a great promo afterwards, nothing fancy, he’s back and he wants Bobby Roode and he wants the damn title, but whooping Roode’s ass will be a nice bonus.
Meanwhile, Kurt reams out AJ for letting Daniels & Kazarian get inside his head, because he cares about the tag titles, dammit!
Miss Tessmacher v. Madison Rayne
They trade headlocks and Rayne takes her down and chokes her out in the corner, then follows with a facejam for two. Tessmacher slugs back and clotheslines her, then hits a SUPER CARPET MUNCHER for two. That’s pretty unique. Rayne slugs back, but Tessmacher finishes her at 2:57 with whatever her finisher is called. Big Show called it the Final Cut, not sure what she calls it. Tessmacher has a great look, but possibly the worst name in the promotion. Maybe they should just go with her real name? *1/2
TNA World title: Bobby Roode v. Mr. Anderson
Anderson whips Roode around the ring to start, but Roode dumps him and follows with a pescado that misses. Anderson sends him into the stairs and we take a break. Back with Roode holding a headlock, but Anderson rolls him up for two. Backslide gets two. Roode puts him down with an elbow for two, however. Knee to the back of the head gets two. Roode goes to the chinlock, but Anderson fights back and makes the comeback with a spinning neckbreaker. He misses a high kick but rolls through with an enzuigiri kick, and goes to finish, but Roode reverses to the crossface. He pulls back too far and Anderson gets two, and hits a Regal Roll for two. Roode goes to the arm and hammerlocks him into the corner, then snaps the crossface on again until Anderson taps at 10:53. Hopefully no more title shots for Anderson for a long time now. Good fast-paced match. ***
Meanwhile, AJ is holding in TOO MANY SECRETS and tells Dixie so. She thinks that everything has to come out NEXT WEEK. SERIALIZED TV. Holy cow, someone might actually know what they’re doing.
Sting gets a video package about his career thus far, and everyone has nice things to say, before he comes out to the ring to talk about his Hall of Fame induction. He thanks everyone, but three MASKED MEN attack him and beat the shit out of him. And that’s the show. I don’t think we’ve had a really good masked man angle since the original TNA weekly PPVs, actually. I’m intrigued! I want to watch next week and find out who these gentlemen are and what their beef with Sting is.
This show owns RAW right now. This was FUN and entertaining and didn’t feel like a chore to sit through. In fact by the time I got to the main event I was like “Holy shit, it’s been an hour and a half already?” TNA has got some momentum, here’s hoping they don’t screw it up.