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Impact Wrestling Zone – Orlando, Florida – Friday, December 6, 2013
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Magnus (team UK) vs. Mr. Anderson (team Aces & Eights)
They struggle back and forth with a lockup. Magnus takes the early control and is looking strong for Team UK. Anderson cuts him off by going to work on the arm. He does this for several minutes, keeping Magnus grounded. Magnus tries a few comebacks but the veteran Anderson is able to continually cut him off. Finally they clothesline each other and both men are down. Anderson recovers first and goes back to the arm. He misses an elbow drop and Magnus is able to string together some offense. Magnus goes up top and hits the elbow but Anderson kicks out at two. Anderson tries a rollup with his feet on the ropes but referee Earl Hebner catches him and won’t make the count. He goes for the Mic Check but Magnus avoids it. Magnus then hits the Michinoku Driver to get the pin at 10:51. That gives Team United Kingdom one whole point. The match was competent but fairly dull, with endless arm work that didn’t really end up going anywhere. At least Magnus went over clean.
MATCH #2: Kenny King (team USA) vs. Sonjay Dutt (team International)
They start with some chain wrestling, both trying to control the other and establish a tone for the matchup in the opening minutes. Dutt uses a rana to send King to the floor, and he follows him out with a dropkick through the ropes. He goes to the apron and wipes King out with a cannonball. Back in the ring Dutt goes to the second rope and King catches him with an enziguiri. King sort of slams him to the mat for a two-count. He works now to keep Dutt off his feet, which is always smart with a high-flyer. King hits the springboard legdrop for a near-fall. Dutt fights back with a springboard dropkick to buy himself some time to recover. Back on their feet Dutt hits a nice tornado DDT for a near-fall. Dutt hits a rana from the top rope and a springboard splash for another two-count. He goes back up to the second rope for a cross body block but King catches him in a backbreaker for two. King hits Dutt with a spin kick for another near-fall. Dutt comes back with an Asai DDT. He goes for a moonsault but misses and lands on his feet, but King immediately drills him with the shotgun knees. That’s enough for King to get the pin and put Team USA on the board at 11:35. These two do solid work together and this was a fast-paced, well-worked match, and a good win for King.
MATCH #3: Lei’D Tapa (team International) vs. Hannah Blossom (team UK)
Tapa has quite a size advantage over Blossom, so this could be a nice little David and Goliath encounter. That’s pretty much how it goes in the opening moments, with Tapa using her strength and Blossom attempting to counter with her speed and agility. Tapa takes control and kicks Blossom right in the face for a two-count. She keeps Blossom grounded with a chinlock, but the feisty Blossom won’t quit. Blossom goes up top and hits a nice cross body block for a two-count. She tries a sunset flip but Tapa just pulls her up and right into a TKO/Stunner and that’s enough to get the pin at 5:02. That puts Team USA, Team UK, and Team International in a three-way tie with one point apiece. As far as the match it was an okay TV-style squash, and in the World Cup setting I can see why they would want to make Blossom look somewhat competitive rather than go full squash.
MATCH #4: D.O.C. & Knux (team Aces & Eights) vs. Funaki & Petey Williams (team International)
The much larger Aces & Eights team attacks before the bell and they go right to work on Funaki. D.O.C. and Knux keep Funaki isolated and brutally wear him down, keeping him away from his partner. After a really long time getting beaten up, Funaki avoids an elbow drop and hits an enziguiri. Williams finally gets the hot tag and he’s a house afire. He uses his speed and agility to take Knux off his feet, and he wipes out D.O.C. with a dive to the floor. Back in the ring Williams hits Knux with a slingshot Codebreaker and a huge DDT for two. Williams continues to fly all over the place, and Funaki rejoins the fray with a high cross body off the top on Knux for a near-fall. D.O.C. tosses Knux a hammer. Knux hits Funaki in the gut with the hammer and that’s enough to get the pin and give each team one point at 10:58. No offense to Williams or Fuanki, both of whom I like, but this should have been half as long and the Aces & Eights should have dominated. Why have two guys not in the company look so competitive against your number one heel group? Granted, almost no one sees the shows, but for me who does it’s pretty mind boggling.
MATCH #5: Wes Brisco (team Aces & Eights) vs. Rockstar Spud (team UK)
Brisco has a size advantage, as most people facing Spud would have. He withstands all Spud’s attempts to attack him in the early going and keeps the diminutive grappler grounded. Spud comes back with a dropkick and some mounted punches in the corner. Brisco stops that by dumping Spud all the way to the floor. Back in the ring Brisco goes to work. Spud fights back with an enziguiri He hits a dropkick that sends Brisco to the floor and he follows him out with a dive. Back in the ring Spud hits a cross body block off the top rope for two. He fires up and runs right into a powerslam. Brisco scores the pin at 7:06. That gives Team Aces & Eights a one-point lead over the other three teams. As a match it wasn’t much, but at least they kept it pretty short. Wes Brisco was just really not so very good. Spud looked alright.
MATCH #6: Bad Influence (team USA) vs. British Invasion (team UK)
Frankie Kazarian and Rob Terry start the match. Terry shows off his power early so Kazarian runs over and makes the tag to Christopher Daniels, who wants nothing to do with Terry either. Daniels tries to run around Terry and use his speed, but Terry is about as easy to move as a brick wall. Doug Williams tags in and he goes to work on the arm. Terry and Williams isolate Kazarian for a bit and then Daniels gets a tag. The British Invasion continue the same path on Daniels, targeting his arm. Bad Influence use some cheap tactics tp take control and they focus on Williams. After several minutes of abuse on Williams, Terry gets the hot tag and he starts throwing Bad Influence around the ring. Williams rejoins the fray and gets Kazarian in position for the Chaos Theory. Kazarian cleverly makes a blind tag and Daniels comes in to hit the Hi-Lo with Kazarian. Terry stands there like a dope and allows Williams to be pinned at 11:11. That was solid formula stuff, and they used Terry well to cover up his obvious limitations. I love Doug Williams.
MATCH #7: Ivelisse (team Aces & Eights) vs. Mickie James (team USA)
I’m assuming this is the first time these two women have wrestled each other. They chain wrestle in the early going, with Ivelisse keeping pace with her veteran opponent. When James takes an advantage, Ivelisse goes to the floor to regroup. That proves fruitful, as Ivelisse gets back in the ring and takes control. Momentum shifts back and forth, but Ivelisse is able to control more of the pace and flow of the match by working on James’ arm. James makes the big comeback and scores a two-count off a neckbreaker. She goes up top and Mr. Anderson comes out to distract the referee, allowing Wes Brisco to throw James off the top rope. Ivelisse gets the pin and gives Team Aces & Eights the lead with three points at 9:22. That was a solid encounter with a finish that actually works, since Ivelisse has no prior experience in front of the TNA crowd. Ivelisse looked great in the ring and makes me wonder how she isn’t signed with WWE or TNA at this point.
MATCH #8: Kaz vs. Daivari vs. Volador Jr. vs. Naruki Doi, Victory Road, 7.13.08
This is the fifteenth Ultimate X match. This is the third appearance for Kaz and the first for everyone else, so he has a distinct advantage. No one wastes any time in going after someone, so the offense is fast and furious. Kaz makes the first attempt at the X but Daivari cuts him off. As expected Kaz seems to have the early advantage, and everyone seems to be gunning for him. Volador makes an attempt at the X but drops down hit Doi with a hurricanrana, and then Kaz clotheslines Volador to the floor. Kaz goes after the X but Daivari pulls him down to the floor and whips him into the guardrail. Daivari now targets Kaz’s arm, which is great strategy. Volador and Doi team up with Daivari in a show of solidarity against the USA. Kaz briefly recovers and goes for the X but his arm prevents him from getting too far. Doi decides to go into business for himself and dumps Volador to the floor. He goes up for the X and Daivari joins him up there and drops him all the way to the floor. Now Volador and Daivari go at it as all bets are off. Doi goes up for the X and Kaz knocks him down, but then Daivari knocks him down, and Volador knocks HIM down. All four guys are recovering, but Doi gets up first and goes after the X but Volador dropkicks him down to the floor and then hits a moonsault off the top rope. Kaz and Daivari climb up for the X now and Daivari traps Kaz’s arm in the truss, and then scurries over towards the X, but Kaz goes to the top of the truss and legdrops Daivari down to the canvas! That was pretty intense. Volador Jr. picks the bones so to speak and goes up to retrieve the X at 10:59. That was a compact Ultimate X match but they did some cool stuff in there and I certainly wasn’t expecting Volador Jr. to win.
MATCH #9: James Storm (team USA) vs. Mesias (team International)
Mesias pounds on Storm to take the first advantage. Storm fights back and does some stuff so Mesias takes a powder. No rest for Mesias though, as Storm follows him out to put on the beat down. Back in the ring Mesias catches Storm in a powerslam and goes back on offense. This goes on for several minutes until Storm is finally able to make the comeback. Storm unleashes a flurry of offense, including a neckbreaker for a two-count. Mesias pops up and hits a Flatliner for a near-fall. He hits an inverted DDT for another two-count. Mesias tries to follow up on the advantage and he floats over Storm in the corner, and then turns around right into the Last Call Superkick to send Team USA to the finals at 11:08. That was competent but felt long, and the result was as much of a foregone conclusion as a match could be. I like Storm though.
That leaves the final standings at:
Team Aces & Eights – 3
Team International – 1
Team United Kingdom – 1
Team United States – 3
MATCH #10: TEAM USA vs. TEAM ACES & EIGHTS
The women start it off. Ivelisse bails and tags in the D.O.C., who gives Mickie a free shot to the face. Mickie wisely tags Daniels in but D.O.C. goes to work on him right away. More tags are made as everyone gets a chance to show off in the early going. Team USA isolates Brisco and tries to keep him in their half of the ring. Things look pretty bleak for Brisco but when King goes for a suplex on the apron Brisco falls down on top and Ivelisse holds King’s leg. Brisco scores the first elimination at 6:37. Team USA goes back to work on Brisco, feeling like they have a good shot of evening the odds with this strategy. Mickie gets tagged in and she drags Ivelisse into the ring to make her pay for defeating her earlier. She hits Ivelisse with the Thresz Press from the top rope to even the sides at 9:30. Brisco rolls Mickie up and pins her at 9:38. Storm hits Brisco with the Backstabber for another elimination at 9:48. And it’s a three-on-three ballgame now. Both teams have their big guns, and all are eager to destroy their opponents. Kazarian hits Knux with a slingshot DDT and Daniels follows with the Best Moonsault Ever to take the man advantage at 12:15. Anderson and D.O.C. are wrestling from behind and they try to keep Daniels or Kazarian in the ring to work on. Storm gets a hot tag and he’s a house afire. Daniels comes in and holds Anderson, who ducks and Storm makes contact with Daniels. Kazarian is pissed off about it. Bad Influence decides to bail on the match! Now Storm is at a two-on-on disadvantage, and the Aces & Eights use that advantage expertly. Storm fights back and throws Anderson into D.O.C., and then rolls Anderson up for the pin at 18:09. One Last Call later and Storm has done the improbable at 18:19! Daniels and Kazarian come back to celebrate with Storm at the end, which is pretty funny. Storm beats them up though just for fun. AS for the match, it was hardly a classic but I enjoyed the last half quite a bit, and having that many guys out there usually means it won’t be boring. Fine end to a very forgettable show.
Tags: Bad Influence, James Storm, One Night Only, TNA, World Cup