For an easy-to-search archive of all my TNA DVD reviews, visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!
Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – July 8, 2012
Mike Tenay is joined by Jeremy Borash on commentary
MATCH #1: Last Chance Match – Rubix vs. Mason Andrews vs. Lars Only vs. Dakota Darsow
All four of these men lost qualifying matches but looked impressive, so they’re getting one last chance. Only and Darsow quickly spill to the floor while Rubix and Andrews battle in the ring. Rubix sends Andrews to the floor and Only gets in the ring to take his place. Only sends Rubix to the floor and Darsow jumps in. Darsow looks good here, keeping Only isolated and wearing him down. Rubix makes his way back in and Darsow takes control of him too. The action is coming fast and furious. Andrews hits the first dive of the night, wiping out Darsow and Only on the floor. Rubix follows him out with a dive to take out all three. Back in the ring Andrews traps Rubix in a Fujiwara Armbar as Kid Kash watches on from the back. Kash will face the winner immediately after. Only breaks up the Armbar and no one can hold an advantage here. They work in a Tower of Doom spot and then Rubix drills Darsow with a coast to coast dropkick. The crowd is all about Rubix here. So of course Rubix gets taken out of the match by Only. Andrews then hits Only with a knee to the face and a an Ace Crusher to steal the pin at 8:22. That was a fine exhibition, but I think they shit the bed by not giving Rubix the win here.
MATCH #2: Tournament Match – Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews
Kash didn’t have to beat anyone to earn his spot in the tournament because he’s a former X Division Champion. They go right to the floor and Kash is dominating. Since Andrews just went through that four-way Kash is at a huge advantage. Andrews fires back with dropkicks and a crucifix for two. Kash cuts him off with a hot shot and goes back to work. He even mocks Andrews while he beats him up, which I know would irritate Jerry Lawler. Kash kicks Andrews back to the floor and then just throws him right back in. Okay then. Kash goes up to the second rope springs tot he top for a moonsault but Andrews gets his knees up. Andrews fires up and unleashes a flurry of offense, including a missile dropkick for two. He hits a huge knee strike to the face but again only gets two. Kash comes back but before he can hit anything Andrews catches him in a quick schoolboy rollup to get the pin at 8:08. That was solid stuff, and well worked given the circumstances of Andrews working the match before as well. I don’t mind Kash in this role. Andrews is the first man entered in the Ultimate X match later on for the vacant TNA X Division Title.
MATCH #3: Tournament Match – Douglas Williams vs. Kenny King
Williams is a former two-time X Division Champion, as well as a Television Champion and a World Tag Team Champion, so he earned his spot in the tournament that way. King had to defeat Lars Only. They start with some chain wrestling, which is a bold move for King to try with an expert like Williams. After some pinning combinations they stand off and the crowd cheers. Williams tosses King to the floor and tries to follow him out, but King quickly sneaks back in and hits Williams with twisting body press. Back in the ring they continue the back and forth and King shows off his athleticism. King works the arm and keeps Williams grounded. Williams catches King in the corner with an elbow, and then hits a diving European Uppercut off the second rope and a hard clothesline. King gets a quick sunset flip for two, but Williams quickly cuts him off and goes back to work. Williams hits a running knee in the corner and goes for Chaos Theory, which King blocks. King hits an atomic drop and an enziguiri. Both men are down. Back on their feet King unleashes a flurry of offense, including a nice spin kick for two. King hits a huge spinebuster for another two-count. He charges into the corner and eats boot. Williams goes up top and King joins him. That proves costly for King, as Williams shoves him all the way down to the floor. Williams wipes King out with a knee off the top rope and both men are down on the floor. Back in the ring Williams covers for two. King comes back and drops Williams’ neck on the top rope Macho Man style. He follows up with a Blockbuster for a near-fall. Williams tries a rollup using the ropes for leverage, but King is in the ropes as well. They battle on the top rope again and King shoves Williams down. Back on the mat King hits the Royal Flush to get the pin at 10:35. These two meshed better than I thought they would, and King looked really good here. I’d like to see them go again.
MATCH #4: Tournament Match – Sonjay Dutt vs. Rashad Cameron
Dutt defeated Rubix to get here, while Cameron bested Mason Andrews. They start very quickly and trade maneuvers until they reach a stand off. This is what I’m talking about when I say RVD and Jerry Lynn damaged Indy Wrestling. The back and forth continues until Cameron knocks Dutt to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Cameron covers for two. Dutt fights back with a rana that sends Cameron to the floor, and he follows him out with a baseball slide. He gets up on the apron for a maneuver but Cameron sweeps his legs out from under him. Cameron whips Dutt into the guardrail. Back in the ring Cameron covers for a near-fall. Cameron continues to control Dutt, keeping him on the mat. Dutt fights back with his unorthodox offense and he gets the crowd going. He hits a springboard splash for a two-count. Cameron is not out of it yet and they continue to exchange maneuvers. Things get a little awkward and Dutt hits an Asai DDT. Dutt goes up top and hits the Moonstomp to get the pin at 7:16. These two did not mesh as well as others in the tournament and the result was a bit underwhelming.
MATCH #5: Tournament Match – Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova
Ion earned a bye into the tournament and Cassanova had to defeat Dakota Darsow. Before the bell can even ring Ion takes it to Cassanova just to be a jerk. Cassanova fights back and sends Ion to the floor and follows him out with a beautiful dive. Back in the ring Cassanova tries a standing moonsault but Ion kicks him in the back. Ion knocks Cassanova to the floor and hits a baseball slide dropkick. Back in the ring Ion hits a slingshot curb stomp. Ion goes for a moonsault off the second rope but Cassanova gets his knees up. Cassanova gets an inverted atomic drop and an enziguiri. He follows with a springboard twisting body press for two. Cassanova slams Ion down and goes up top but misses a 630 senton. Ion hits the Hostile Makeover and then the Gory Bomb to get the win at 3:53. That was short but they sure packed a lot of action into that time.
MATCH #6: Bound for Glory Series Match – Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
Joe is in second place with 27 points, and Angle is in fourth place with 20 points. Both men are former TNA World Heavyweight, X Division, and World Tag Team Champions. These two have wrestled many times over the years, so they start slowly and try to establish dominance. They take it to the mat but Joe powers Angle up and rams him into the corner. Angle’s face is dirty, so Joe washes it for him. Joe dumps Angle to the floor and follows him out with the elbow suicida. Back in the ring Angle uses kicks and stomps to wear Joe down. Joe counters with a running elbow in the corner and an enziguiri. He goes for the Muscle Buster but Angle blocks it with a headbutt and then hits a missile dropkick to the back. Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex and puts on a chinlock. Joe escapes and makes it to the second rope for a nice leg lariat. He follows with a flurry of offense but can’t put Angle away. Joe hits the snap powerslam for two and tries a Cross Armbreaker. Angle counters to the Ankle Lock and Joe kicks his way out of it. The tenacious Angle responds with rolling German Suplexes, hitting three of them. Angle goes for the Angle Slam but Joe counters with an armdrag. Joe boots Angle in the face and goes for the Muscle Buster but Angle counters into the Ankle Lock! Once again Joe escapes and catches Angle in the STJoe. Joe hits the Muscle Buster and covers for two. He tries The Clutch but Angle once again counters to the Ankle Lock. Joe counters that into The Clutch! Angle powers out into the Angle Slam but only gets two! The straps come down but Joe is able to counteract the power of the straps and locks on The Clutch. Angle passes out at 14:36. Of course Angle sells passing out by getting right up and arguing with the referee about how he didn’t tap out. That aside, the match was great stuff between two awesome opponents. The counters and reversals were great and everything just looked smooth. These two can’t have a bad match together. Joe goes into first place now with 37 points, taking a one point lead over Storm. Angle stays in fourth.
MATCH #7: Last Man Standing Match – AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
These two fought in the main event of Destination X last year. Daniels is one half of the World Tag Team Champions of the World. Styles is riled up because of the stupid Claire Lynch storyline, so Daniels stalls in the early going to further get under his skin. Daniels literally runs away from Styles but eventually the Phenomenal One catches up to him and takes out his frustrations. This is much more of a brawl than their match from last year. They continue to fight back and forth, with Styles looking a little bit more impressive in the early going. Daniels takes control and the fight spills to the floor. He throws a chair in the ring and brings Styles back in. Daniels hits a uranage slam right on the chair. Ouch. They go back to the floor and Daniels continues to dominate. Styles is busted open. Daniels sets up the steel steps but does not get to use them yet. Back in the ring Daniels continues to work on Styles’ back. Daniels tries to use the steel chair but Styles blocks it with a kick. Styles then hits the springboard forearm, sending the chair right into Daniels’ face. Daniels rolls to the floor. Styles follows him out and hurls Daniels into the steep steps! That busts Daniels open. Daniels tries begging off up the ramp and Styles chases him. They fight on the entrance stage and they clothesline each other. Back on their feet they slug it out and Styles hits am enziguiri. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but Daniels backdrops his way out of it. Amazingly, Styles uses a piece of the set to jump off and hit the flip over inverted DDT. Kazarian shows up from out of nowhere and shoves Styles off the ramp! Styles barely makes it back to his feet. Daniels sets up a table and goes for an Angel’s Wings off the ramp! Styles luckily blocks it and shoves Daniels into Kazarian. He hits Daniels with the Pele, and then hits a Styles Clash off the ramp and through the table! That was awesome, and it’s enough to keep Daniels down for the 10-count and give Styles the win at 17:40. I actually preferred this to last year’s match, as even though the storyline was stupid it did make it seem like they had a reason to dislike and fight each other, and the hatred came through. The match was brutal and the finish was sick. Great stuff here.
MATCH #8: Ultimate X Match for the vacant TNA X Division Championship – Mason Andrews vs. Kenny King vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Zema Ion
The title has been vacant since 7.5.12, when Austin Aries voluntarily relinquished it to take a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Title in tonight’s main event. This is Ion’s second time in Ultimate X, Dutt’s third, and the first time for King and Andrews. Nobody in the match has either won an Ultimate X match or the X Division Title, so they all have something to prove.
Ion talks trash and uses his hairspray at the beginning, and receives a triple dropkick for it. The action takes off and everyone battles everyone. King makes the first serious attempt at going for the belt and Dutt stops him. They fight on the apron and King kicks Dutt down. King goes for the belt and Dutt takes him down with a springboard missile dropkick. Dutt follows with a standing shooting star press. He hit his head on the bottom rope and apparently injured himself. Ion takes Andrews out and goes after the belt. Andrews and King pull him down. King hits a springboard legdrop on Ion and then goes up top. Andrews joins him and takes him down with a back suplex. Ion goes out after the belt but Andrews pulls him down. King hits Andrews with a suplex. He tries a corkscrew plancha on Ion but misses and hits the floor. Andrews then takes out both King and Ion with a dive. He goes for the belt but King takes him down with a Spear. Dutt makes his way back out King and Andrews go up for the belt and take each other down. Meanwhile Dutt and Ion climb all the way to the top of the steel structure. Ion finds his hairspray and sprays it into Dutt’s eyes. Dutt falls to the mat and Ion grabs the title at 8:48. This was weak for an Ultimate X match, with way too much laying around for a less than nine minute match. Nothing about this was overly memorable and Ion was a lame champion.
MATCH #9: TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries
Roode has been the Champion since 11.3.11, and this is his fifteenth defense. These men are the longest reigning champions ever in TNA in their respective divisions. Roode is confident in the early going but Aries is right there with him in the chain wrestling department. Aries even takes the advantage and uses his high flying skills to discombobulate the Champion. Roode avoids a missile dropkick and takes control. He wears Aries down at a deliberate pace. Roode misses a knee drop off the second rope and Aries zeroes in on the injury. Aries goes for the Last Chancery but Roode gets to the ropes. He sends Roode to the floor and goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Roode moves! That’s a big turning point. Roode focuses on the midsection and keeps Aries grounded. Every time Aries tries to fight back Roode cuts him off. The crowd continues to support the challenger. Finally Aries fires up and refuses to stay down. Aries hits a huge discuss forearm and then clotheslines Roode to the floor. This time Aries hits the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries hits a missile dropkick. Roode catches a charging Aries with a powerslam for a two-count. Roode tries a Spear but Aries blocks it with a knee and then locks on the Last Chancery! The Champ is able to rake the eyes to beak the hold. They battle on the top rope and Aries knocks Roode down. Aries misses the 450 and runs right into a spinebuster but it only gets two. Roode throws Aries shoulder-first into the ring post. He locks on a Crossface and Aries eventually makes it to the ropes. Roode goes out and grabs his title belt but the referee takes it away from him. With the referee’s back turned Roode hits a blatant low blow and Aries kicks out! Roode argues with the referee, giving Aries the chance to hit an IED from out of nowhere! Aries goes for the Brainbuster but Roode slips out and shoves him into the referee. Now Roode grabs the belt again and this time smacks Aries in the face with it. The referee rolls over to make the count and Aries kicks out! Roode goes for the Payoff but Aries counters with an inside cradle for two. Aries avoids a charge in the corner and drills Roode with a kick to the head. He follows with the Brainbuster and scores the pin to a huge pop at 22:38! There was a great story heading into this match and both men carried it through with a tremendous match. The psychology from both guys was sound, the crowd was with them, and it just felt like a huge moment. These two are great together.
Tags: AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, Destination X, impact wrestling, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, TNA