The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 07.04.13
Taped from Las Vegas, NV
Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz
Austin Aries joins us to start, and you can bet your sweet ass that he’s cashing in his newly won X title in two weeks. He brings out Hogan to hand over the belt, but Hulk accuses him of the worst crime in wrestling: GIMMICK INFRINGEMENT. So as punishment, tonight Aries defends against Chris Sabin and Suicide, who is now called Manic. That’s pretty unfair to Aries, especially when the title match last week was specifically advertised as being the match to determine who got the World title shot.
BFG Series: Kazarian v. AJ Styles
Your heroes are paying tribute to Siegfried & Roy in honor of Vegas. Daniels’ stuffed tiger is GREATNESS. AJ slugs the wig off Kaz and follows with a baseball slide, as he seems to be in a worse mood than usual. Back in, he snaps off a rana and hits the corner elbow, but Kaz comes back with a monkey flip and slugs away on the mat. Dropkick gets two. AJ hits the strike combo and comes back with clotheslines, into a flying forearm for two. Kazarian with a jawbreaker for two. AJ tries to roll him into the calf killer, but Kaz counters out, and AJ does it again and Kaz taps at 4:01. They’re going full steam ahead getting that move over. **1/4
Mickie James and her ladder are out to threaten the winner of the Taryn-Gail ladder match next week.
Meanwhile, the Gut Check judges send Adam Ohriner home, so Ryan Howe gets the shot tonight. That’s pretty much a no-brainer decision then.
BFG Series: Hernandez v. Jay Bradley
Hernandez wins the power battle and gets two on Bradley, but they slug it out until Bradley takes over with a falling knee for two. He dumps Hernandez after an ugly sequence, but suffers Air Mexico as a result. Powerbomb gets two. Pounce finishes at 3:15. Bradley is showing his colors, which is to say green. ½*
Meanwhile, Bully gives the State of the Union to the Aces.
Gun-Storm v. The Bro-Mans
Jessie and Robbie have very manly matching gear now, and take turns posing while beating on Gunner. This has some potential. Gunner quickly gets a fallaway slam on Robbie and makes the hot tag to Storm, and the Bros collide as a result. Gunner gives Jessie a massive backbreaker and they finish him at 3:08 with a double-team DDT that was pretty awesome. Fun little squash for the champs. *1/2
The Main Event Mafia join us, and they introduce the fourth member: Magnus. Well he can certainly wear a nice suit. But he’s not a main eventer or a former World champion. He does look like James Bond out there, so he get a pass, I guess.
BFG Series: Jeff Hardy v. Joseph Park
Hardy quickly dominates in sportsmanlike fashion, but misses the swanton and Park takes over with a whip into the corner. He’s pretty conflicted about it, but follows up with a corner splash anyway. He goes to the chinlock, but Jeff fights back with the low dropkick for two. Park gets the samoan drop, however, and goes up with the LEGAL EAGLE SPLASH…for two. Jeff hits the whisper in the wind, but busts Park’s lip open, which might be trouble. And indeed, an enraged Abyss emerges and gives the ref the Black Hole Slam, which means a DQ at 8:00. So Park loses 10 points, putting him into negatives. This was a really weird dynamic, because I was watching and thinking “Man, Hardy’s giving him a ton of offense” but really it’s Abyss and not some green rookie. That’s why the Joseph Park character is so effective. Although is anyone ever going to bring up the TV title that’s been missing for months now? **3/4
Gut Check: Ryan Howe faces the judges, and Taz informs us that he’s actually Van Hammer’s great-grandson Stan Hammer. Good to know. So Snow’s jacket gives him a no, and Howe cuts his promo while the audience boos the shit out of him. Danny Davis takes pity on him and gives him yes, and thankfully Bruce Pritchard puts the kid out of his misery.
X title: Austin Aries v. Chris Sabin v. Manic
Aries gets double-teamed, but Sabin turns on Manic and slugs away in the corner. A sunset flip gets two, but Manic spins him into the Octopus stretch and gets two. Aries puts Manic on top, but Sabin can’t take advantage and both faces end up on the floor. Aries and Sabin slug it out, and Aries gets a dropkick to the back for two and tosses him, then follows with an attempt at the brainbuster on the ramp. Sabin counters that into a front suplex, and the Aces head down to ringside for observation. Manic goes after them and that doesn’t go well for him. So that brings out the MEM and we take a break. Back with Aries giving Sabin a death valley driver on the apron and gets two. Neckbreaker gets two. Sabin fights back with an enzuigiri and a low dropkick for two. Aries misses a charge, but so does Sabin, and he injures his knee in the process. Aries with a missile dropkick, but Sabin gets a small package for two. Aries with the brainbuster for two. Last Chancery, but Sabin makes the ropes. Aries to the top, but the 450 misses and Sabin powerbombs him for two. Hail Sabin gets two. Another one is reversed to a cradle for two, and Aries puts him down with a forearm for the double KO. They slug it out and Sabin gets an elbow in the corner, but then Aries dropkicks him into the other corner and they go up. Sabin brings him down with a top rope Hail Sabin and wins the title back at 16:38. As the crowd noted, this was awesome. ****1/4 However, booking-wise, this was ass-backwards because Sabin has no chance against Bully and is basically throwing away the title for nothing. Aries at least was a believable threat who wouldn’t be hurt by cashing in and losing. Now they’ve thrown away the clever and surprising twist from last week and beaten Aries for no reason.
First hour was pretty sketchy, but it picked up and turned into the better shows of the last while by the end.
Tags: Aces & Eights, Austin Aries, Bound for Glory Series, chris sabin, impact, Main Event Mafia, SmarK Rants, TNA