Before we get started, a quick word about the occasional lateness and, at times, lack of the recaps. As many of you can probably guess, this is not my primary job (I’m actually a teacher), and my work will often prevent me from being able to stay up late and finish a recap, or even get the time to edit it and make it worthy of reading until the weekend. When the summer vacation begins in a few weeks, it should be easier to get recaps in on time, and of the quality that you have come to expect from me, as I won’t find myself having to wake up at 5:30 in the morning the next day. I appreciate how cool insidepulse.com has been with my situation, as well as the patience of the readers.
Okay, that’s over; on with the show.
Alright, another TNA Impact. We know that Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle have spots in King of the Mountain, and those of you that read spoilers are also in good shape! Me? Well, I want to say that AJ Styles should win this due to what Jarrett is going through right now, and I think that it would be an unnecessary burden to have Jarrett in KOTM, unless it would be somehow therapeutic for him.
Tonight, in addition to the KOTM qualifier, we also get Christopher Daniels vs. Rhino, which could be fun. Although, if Rhino wins, I’ll eat a bug; he’s little more than a giant torso constantly suffering screwy endings and getting pinned ad infinitum.
Jim Cornette is in the ring, and he explains that Jarrett will not be there to compete, and that he completely supports that decision. In a move of surprising class, the audience politely applauds. However, that leaves him with a tough decision…
However, to possibly help Cornette with a decision of such backbreaking responsibility, Christian Cage comes out with Tomko and AJ Styles, saying that Cornette should raise Styles’ hand in victory right now. But, before that, Cage makes sure to tell Cornette what a lousy boss he is, and how badly he thinks Cornette is out to get him. Way to get him on your good side, pal. This whole thing comes to a head when he tells Cornette, “This is my show, and don’t you ever forget it.” The audience ooohs, and Cornette reveals that he WAS going to give AJ Styles the forfeit victory; but NOW, since Cage told him what a bad businessman he is, he’s going to make a match between Styles and…Tomko? Oh hell. PLEASE pull this one out, AJ. Anyway, Tomko’s totally pleased by this, while AJ is freaking out, and Christian tries to keep the peace. When he tries to get the name of his opponent out of Cornette, he’s told not to worry, because his opponent is a guy who Christian himself has called “a punk” and “out of his league.” Huh…well, Cornette tells Christian to worry about his buddies. AJ complains, Tomko smirks, and we’re thrown to the back.
Borash is backstage, and he plugs the TNA text service, then brings out Christopher Daniels. He rambles about Sting, about making choices, and then heads out. Okay then.
Letitia is in Cornette’s office, without Cornette, but hey, Eric Young is there! As Cornette enters, Young starts talking about how Roode is hounding him, and so, naturally, Robert Roode enters to badger Eric some more. Cornette gets tired of it, and sets up a match between Eric Young and Robert Roode; Roode wins, he can sue Eric, fire him, or whatever, but if Eric wins, he’s free as a bird. Just that the Beatle’s song. You know, the one that was released on the anthology a few years back? It was unreleased, but they still had Lennon’s vocals, so they could somehow make it work. Well, it was either that, or they had Julian Lennon help them out with it, or…oh yeah, Impact. Tangent aside, Roode’s cool with those stipulations, so he threatens Eric, then exits. Hey, that’s good, it’s only THREE MONTHS LATER than it should have been. God, Eric Young can practically choose his own feuds because the crowd loves him so much, and they’ve been wasting him trying to get Roode over as a heel, but the only reason people care about him is that he’s beating up on Eric Young. Whenever this ends, people are going to stop caring about Roode in any way whatsoever, and I’m just hoping they’ll remember why they like Eric so much.
So now, there’s a bit of peace in Cornette’s office, and thus, of course, Bob Backlund enters, screams about Alex Shelley, and sets up a match with him somehow. Cornette, feeling like he’ll never be able to use his office, exits in frustration. Harumph.
Rhino vs. Christopher Daniels
As Daniels enters, Sting comes out and just beats the holy hell out of him; in fact, once Daniels even gets in the ring, Sting boots him and clotheslines him right back out. Daniels tries to escape into the crowd, but Sting follows him and beats him up through the Impact Zone. Hey, a bell-ringer/thunderclap from Sting! You don’t see many of those anymore. Sting throws him into one of the audience barriers twice, and Daniels is…not too much with the offense. He tries to escape to the back again, and Sting gives him snake eyes on a nearby safety rail, then tosses him into a loose one. Sting then pulls a bat out of seemingly nowhere, throws Daniels into a wall, hits him the gut with the bat, then once over the back. Sting then tosses the bat down, says something to Daniels, picks the bat back up, and leaves. So yeah…don’t f*ck with Sting, as he’ll viciously beat you when you’re on your way to work. Thus, I’d suggest not cutting him off on the freeway.
So…that was one-sided. Easy night for Rhino, though.
Or not. Rhino decides that he wants to earn his pay tonight, so he gives an open challenge, and LAX comes out. Konnan complains about the “Dudley Brothers” getting nine quadrillion title shots, and how they eventually stole the titles from them. He then picks on Hector Guererro, who’s in the crowd for some reason. Doesn’t he work for them? Well, Konnan threatens Hector, calling him a coward, and Hector starts taking off his jacket, and it looks like he’s gonna wrestle! Wait, really? Potentially LAX vs. Rhino and Hector Guererro, when we return! Maybe!
Apparently, not so much; we have Rhino vs. Homicide, which can still be a lot of fun. They do some back and forthery in the ring, but Rhino gets tossed to the outside, and Homicide delivers a suicide somersault through the ropes. Nice. Hernandez pounds on Rhino outside and throws him back in for a Homicide two-count. Homicide goes to a chinlock, and when Rhino tries to escape, he pulls Rhino back down by the head for aother two count. Homicide goes to the top and hits an elbow for yet another two count. Homicide with a…nerve pinch? Thanks, Yokozuna. Rhino is tossed aginst the ropes, but he comes back with clotheslines, then spears Homicide into the corner and hits a big belly-to-belly suplex. Rhino sets up for the Gore, but Hernandez distracts him, which gives Homicide the chance to stop. Then, just for fun, he knocks Hector Guererro down on the apron, and sets up for a tornado DDT on Rhino. However, Rhino tosses him out of it, then Gores the crap out of him for the pin.
Post-match, LAX beats down Rhino, Hector, and, when “Wildcat” Chris Harris comes out to help, he gets beaten down, too. Well, it’s a good thing he came out, then.
Backstage with Borash, Samoa Joe is ALMOST interviewed, but Kurt Angle comes out to give him fair warning that he’s going to cripple him before KOTM, and Samoa Joe says, “You better pray I don’t get to you first. Let the games begin.” And, thus, it is on like the Donkey Kong. All joking aside, I really like the dynamic between these two, as they both come off as legitimately dangerous guys, and neither of them is intimidated in any way: Joe, because he knows how badass he is, and Kurt, because he’s batshit crazy.
Christian Cage, Tomko, and AJ Styles are backstage, and AJ talks about how Christian keeps getting him into these terrible predicaments. Christian compares them all to a family, like brothers, and tries to get them all to put their hands in the middle for a big “Christian Cage” on three. The best part? Before Tomko gets in his face, AJ was totally going to go for it. Christian says that he has a plan, and, unlike HHH’s plans, it doesn’t have to involve a sledgehammer.
Kaz vs. Chris Sabin
Lockup goes into a Sabin headlock, then into a Kaz headlock, then back into one by Sabin. Running against the ropes sends neither one an inch, but then Sabin poses and hits a high knee, although Kaz gets the upper hand with an awesome dropkick. Kaz follows Sabin into the corner, and hits a sort of backflip edge-o-matic, which he rolls out of. Awesome. He ends up outside, however, and Sabin hits a tope suicida. Springboard by Sabin into the ring, but he just lands on his feet and gives Kaz a fistdrop. Heh. Sabin sets him up in the corner and hits a jumping back elbow. Some awesome kicks and reversals by Kaz, but he takes an enziguri from Sabin, and almost gets hit with a cradle shock, but reverses into the Wave of the Future, but Sabin gets his foot on the ropes after a two-count. Sabin is set up on top, but he bites Kaz and sends him back down, so Kaz gives him a leaping butterfly kick to the mush. Kaz goes back up top to Sabin, but he gets distracted by Raven and Seratonin in the rafters, and Sabin pulls his legs out from under him, setting him up for a tree of woe. Sabin jumps off the top, hits the ropes on the opposite side, and gives that wicked, shotgun-like dropkick to Kaz’s face. Cradle Shock, goodbye.
Frankie Kazarian NEEDS to be in more X Division matches. He’s just too good to be in that stable if they’re not going to be taken seriously. Sure, they’re setting up for an inevitable rebellion, but they’re really taking their sweet time with it. After a match like that, it makes me sad that WWE couldn’t find anything to do with him, and he’s just sort of being rolled out there. With performances like that, he should be an X Division World Title contender along with Jay Lethal, Sabin, Senshi, and all the rest.
We then get thrown to a video package of BG James yelling at Basham and Damaja, saying they’ve woken a sleeping dog, and that he and his brother, the cowboy, are going to ride them for “eight, maybe sixteen seconds.” He knows how that sounds, right? That was a little more rough male escort-ish than I would have done it, but, then again, I’m not a multiple-time tag team champion.
Paparazzi Productions, where Jay Lethal acts like Macho Man some more, Kevin Nash likes his coffee “hot and black,” and Sonjay Dutt says that, next week, he’s going to reveal the NEW Sonjay Dutt. Will he have a new hat? Regardless, he says the Playa from the Himilaya is gone, so now I’m left wondering who’s left.
KOTM Qualifying Match: AJ Styles vs. Tomko
C’mon, AJ, don’t make me sit through Tomko at the PPV. I think they use Tomko matches to torture inmates at Gitmo.
They lockup, and Tomko pushes him away like he’s nothing. Just to get a closer look, Christian Cage comes out with a chair…just to watch, and all. Another lockup, AJ pushed away again. Another lockup, same result. Cage seems to be giving AJ some advice from the outside, but the story they’re telling is that Tomko is simply too strong, and that AJ’s offense just won’t work. Hey, at least they’re telling a story. AJ goes for the eyes, and that has some effect, but he just bounces off Tomko like a ping pong ball, and, on a charge, gets tossed and slid out of the ring to the outside at Cage’s feet.
The announcers let us know that next week’s qualifying match will feature two former world champs. Other than that, we know nothing.
During the commercial, Tomko got mad at Cage, and AJ used the opportunity to go for the knee. While the announcers tell us that it has been all AJ, and he’s certainly kicking him enough to suggest that, Tomko’s strength is too much to stay down for too long. Now, Kurt Angle comes out, and he starts watching from the ramp. There’s some action going on in the ring, but the camera is focusing on Kurt and Samoa Joe, who has come out to get in Angle’s way. Meanwhile, Tomko comes back with power moves, including a powerslam, followed by a gorilla press into a fallaway slam. Okay, that’s gretty good. Tomko goes for a clothesline, but misses and gets hit with the Pele. Tomko goes to follow up, but he gets distracted by Cage, and AJ hits a flying forearm. Cage distracts the ref while AJ goes for a chair, but he just gets booted in the face, and he kicks out of a Tomko pin at two. Cage and Tomko argue over the chair, and AJ rolls him up for the pin. Well, that was a bit anti-climactic.
Naturally, Tomko is pissed. Cage half celebrates/half retreats up the ramp, AJ celebrates, Angle and Joe just kind of stand there, and we’re out.
The Inside Pulse
I really enjoyed the Kazarian/Sabin match, and Rhino got to win, which makes the show an ups in my book. AJ vs. Tomko was nothing special, but the match told a story, which I liked. The question is, where do they go from there?
After this show, why would Tomko stick with Christian at all? He’s obviously more than willing to screw him over, and he has no title; thus, he can’t give him a title shot any more. They’re trying to paint Tomko the way that WWE originally positioned Batista, as the smart monster, but they have him getting so obviously boned by the HHH figure, Christian, that there is simply no reason to stick around. So, are they going to send Tomko solo? There hardly seems a point, as I’m not sure how an independent Tomko is going to play with fans; they’re barely believing in him as is.
The other thing that I want to touch on is the beating that Christopher Daniels suffered at the hands of Sting. While I think a Sting/Daniels feud could be pretty cool, that beating really makes it seem that Daniels simply can’t hold a candle to Sting’s mighty onslaught. The man got in NO offense, so how are we to believe that he’d do any better in a standard match? Remember the WCW Invasion of WWE, and how Diamond Dallas Page was booked to feud with the Undertaker? Remember how it didn’t work at all? That’s because DDP was never seen as a viable threat, and was treated like a joke from day one. I fear that this may go down the same route, but I hope that I will be proven wrong.