The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 07.25.13
Taped from Louisville, KY
Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Jeremy Borash
Talk of TNA going under makes me wonder if the Dudleyz come back will Bubba Ray come back with D Von and be dragged down to the ashes that the boring tag division is right now? Or will he have a chance to rise above it and become the Bully Ray character.that is obviously ready to be a top level heal and even possibly a huge face in the future? What i would do is have the Dudleyz return and on that first raw appearance have Bubba turn on D Von violently and start the bully era as the total badass character he is in TNA. He can be a perfect enemy for the rising Daniel Bryan cause you know Orton will be boring again after the first month or so of his heal turn. Honestly in my head i can picture awesome programs for him with guys like Punk,Cena or maybe even the Undertaker farther in to the future. I don’t think they should waste the opportunity.
Dude, Dixie Carter issued a STATEMENT about how everything is fine. Some people are so cynical.
The Main Event Mafia is out to start, and they introduce the new World champion, Chris Sabin. His first order of business is to challenge the winner of the X title match. Well that makes him look like a geek. Bully Ray and his attorney (who looks like a shorter, greyer Kevin Nash) come out and demand that Sabin hand over the belt, or else he’ll sue them until they’re so broke that they’ll have to fire a dozen people as a cost-cutting measure.
Ultimate X: Manik v. Sonjay Dutt v. Greg Marasciulo
Apparently Marasciulo is the former Trent Barretta from WWE, although he never worked a show that we get in Canada so I had no idea who he was last week. Dutt dumps Manik and tries a dive off the scaffold, but Maraschino Cherry saves and beats on Manik himself. In the ring, Dutt gets a rana on Prosciutto Ham, but Manik clears the ring with a flying headscissors that puts Holy Matrimony on the floor as we take a break. Back with Manik and Mariposa killing each other on the ramp, and that allows Mattress Mattress to make the first climb for the FUG new belt. Who designed THAT piece of crap? Dutt comes back with a superkick on Mary Murphy and climbs the structure outside, which leads to a slugfest with Mayor McCheese on top of the scaffolding. They fight for a superplex and get caught in the metal, which allows Manik to sneak in and grab the belt at 13:52. Shockingly, the one guy under contract wins the title back from the two guys on per-appearance deals. ***
Bound For Glory Series: Mr. Anderson v. Hernandez
Hernandez overpowers Anderson to the apron and suplexes him back in for two. Anderson hits him with a corner splash and slams him off the top to take over. Anderson works the arm and elbows him down for two. Hernandez bails to the apron and comes back with a shoulderblock and corner splash to set up the backbreaker, which gets two. Air Mexico misses and the Mic Check finishes at 5:00. This was pretty ugly. ½*
Meanwhile, Dixie Carter dodges yet another question, and Eric Young finally clues Joseph Park into the whole Abyss thing. He’s practically a scientist, you know.
Knockouts title: Mickie James v. Gail Kim
Mickie gets a low dropkick for two and they trade headlocks and dropkicks, which leaves Gail in control. Rollup gets two. Gail with an elbow in the corner, but Mickie kicks her to the floor. Back in, Gail wraps her up with a headscissors, but Mickie takes her down into a leglock in an awkward sequence that goes nowhere. Gail powerbombs her in the corner, but ODB accuses her of malfeasance and won’t count. Gail gets in her face and Mickie gets the rollup for the pin at 6:48. I guess Velvet is the next challenger due to sitting at ringside, but Taryn was built up as the logical next in line before she suddenly lost to Kim in that ladder match. I really don’t get the booking here at all. Match was nothing special and the crowd wasn’t into it at all. *1/2
Meanwhile, Hogan and Dixie argue about Sabin’s fate. Could they seriously make Sabin look like any more of a helpless little child? He wins the belt in a fluke and now the show is built around whether they should take it away from him? That shit is why Verne Gagne went out of business. The storyline here is about what HOGAN will do with someone else’s title, because it’s inevitably all about Hulk.
BFG Series: Samoa Joe v. Christopher Daniels
Joe kicks Daniels’ ass, but walks into a clothesline and Daniels chokes him out and drops an elbow for two. Joe comes back with an atomic drop and powerslam for two. Daniels throws some strikes and Joe casually bitchslaps him down for two. Daniels walks into the uranage, but blocks the muscle buster long enough for Mr. Anderson to run interference. The BME gets two, and a second one finishes at 6:18. This is apparently the first time Daniels has ever beaten Joe. Huh. Too short, but fine. **1/4
BFG Series: Jeff Hardy v. AJ Styles
Stalemate to start and we take a break. Back with AJ holding a chinlock and tossing Hardy. Hardy charges and walks into a spinebuster, but he comes back with an inverted powerbomb and the usual stuff. AJ gets his dropkick, but misses a charge and allows Hardy to get a middle rope splash for two. AJ suplexes him into the corner, but Hardy hits the Twist of Fate and gets two. AJ gets the Pele Kick and rolls into the Calf Killer, and Hardy taps at 12:50. The recap doesn’t do it justice, it was good stuff start to finish. The AJ character is dead on arrival, but he’s bringing it in the ring with the slow-start-big-finish stuff. ***1/2
Main Event Interview: Bully Ray is all wah-wah-wah about losing the title to Sabin (who looks like an aging member of a 90s grunge band or something, not a World champion) and Hogan comes out with his counter-offer for Bully and tears up the lawsuit. Good thing Sabin has someone to fight his battles for him. So instead, Bully gets a rematch on August 15 on the Hardcore Justice special (wasn’t that just on PPV?) in a cage match, where Aces & Eights can’t interfere. Except of course Bully originally won the title in a cage match with Aces & Eights interference. But that’s probably Bruce Pritchard’s fault, just like everything else going wrong for them right now. Man, fuck that guy!
To be honest, I was kind of bored and took a break halfway through to watch Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, but the Hardy-Styles match was aces and the Ultimate X was fine, so no real complaints here aside from Hogan’s bullshit WWE-lite storyline stuff dragging down whatever parts of the show he’s on these days. It’s still a much easier show to watch than RAW at least.
Serious question though: Should I ditch TNA and start reviewing NJPW PPVs instead? Or maybe some of the dozens of Mid-South TV shows I have sitting on a pile in my collection?
Tags: Aces & Eights, AJ Styles, Bound for Glory Series, chris sabin, hardcore justice, impact, Jeff Hardy, Manik, SmarK Rants, TNA, ultimate x