I missed the preshow, but believe BroMans won that tag team thing.
Bonus Thought: WHY????
Seriously, this is when Bully Ray is coming out. LOOK AT THAT CROWD!!!
1) Interesting opening AJ Styles montage. Followed by a not as interesting Bully Ray one.
2) Opening with the Ultimate X Ladder Match is probably a good choice. But I’m gonna go with commenter Incognito here – the idea of an Ultimate X match is that ladders were banned. You used the ROPES. Man, only TNA could screw up the one good idea they’ve held onto consistently.
3) X-Division title match: Jeff Hardy v Austin Aries v Chris Sabin (with Velvet Sky) v Samoa Joe v Manik. This is Sabin’s 17th Ultimate X match?! And he’s won 6 already?! Wow! Anyway… Let the spots begin!
4) Hardy’s sort of powerbomb suplex thing on Aries was a glorious move.
5) The ladder adds nothing. Having said that, this is a good match.
6) And then the ending comes and screws it up. Velvet Sky distracts Jeff Hardy so Sabin can rush up the ladder and weasel his way to the title. He used the ladder? Who booked this? Anyway, I called it. Oooh, this does not auger well for the PPV
7) Apparently on the pre-show it was announced that the AJ Styles/Bully Ray match is no DQ, no count-out. I smell screw-job.
8) Recap of AJ Styles defeating Jerry Lynn with Ricky Steamboat the referee to win the X-Title in 2002. Nice memory.
9) AJ Styles is here. And…?
10) Bad Influence come out. They whinge about not winning the gauntlet. To be honest here – they SHOULD have won it. I said it in my last Impact review – we are looking at the latest Daniels de-push. Already TNA’s booking is looking dodgy. They demand to be inserted into the tag match, but Eric Young interrupts. He tells them they created a monster and should run. The crowd understands what’s going on. But Bad Influence attack Eric Young… and out comes Abyss. Oh… goody. He destroys them. So Abyss, a one-dimensional wrestler at best, singlehandedly embarrasses two of the best things TNA has going for them.
11) Jeremy Borash is backstage. ‘The Modern Day Viking’ Gunner (yeah…) and James Storm come out to talk about the Bromance and their match.
12) Tag Title Match: Jesse and Robbie E (with Mr Olympia) v Gunner and James Storm. And Bromance try to jump-start the match and that goes about as well as you’d expect. Leads to a real nice double team move by Gunstorm.
13) Now, I’m a huge fan of James Storm, but not even he could carry 3 useless ‘wrestlers’ like this into a good match.
14) A Hart Attack leads to Robbie E pinning James Storm for the win. New champions: BroMans/Bromance/Crappy and Crappier. Remember when TNA had the most awesome tag team competition in all of wrestling? Well, those days are now well and truly gone. Who is booking this crap?
15) Highlights from the 2013 Hall of Fame Dinner. Well, there’s something else WWE does better than TNA.
16) The official induction of Kurt Angle into the TNA Hall of Fame, and Sting gets the honours. Sting does a very nice speech, and the crowd cheers for Kurt when he comes out. After more nice words, he declines the induction because he has not lived up to the standards he has set for himself. Well, that was… a huge f’n letdown. I get what they were going for (“Let’s make TNA the greatest!”) but they failed. Dismally. Who booked this?
17) Another AJ Styles moment – No Surrender 2009 when he defeated Kurt to become world champion. That was a good match. I miss good matches.
18) Dixie backstage selling AJ merch and talking to her ‘nephew’ Ethan Carter 3. The acting here is… almost Bella-standard (the new low in professional wrestling acting ability). Almost, but at least the Carters change their facial expressions.
19) One hour in, match 3: Knockouts Title: Gail Kim v Brooke (not Tessmacher) v ODB. Brooke’s selling issues aside, this started off as a really good match, a reminder of when the best women’s wrestling was in TNA.
20) That was an awesome ref bump.
21) And out comes Lei’D Tapa. ODB attacks her, but Tapa boots her down. Brooke jumps at her, it caught and powerbombed over the top tope into the ring where Kim pins her. So Kim has aligned herself with Tapa. I get it in that you want to be on her side, but I want to see them go at it. Still, a bit of a letdown ending from what was a pretty impressive match. So who is booking this?
22) Some new backstage guy is with the three BroManses and they celebrate with protein shakes. Yeah. They did.
23) Bobby Roode is with JB and he delivers a fine promo. Since hanging with Daniels his delivery on the mic has really improved.
24) Recap of the Angle/Roode lead-up. I’m still underwhelmed by this.
25) Match 4: Hall of Fame Grudge Match: Bobby Roode v Kurt Angle. Well, let’s see how TNA can mess this one up, shall we?
26) Back and forth match that finally woke up what up till now has felt like a dead crowd. Some good moves, and Bobby Roode actually matched it with Angle for the most part.
27) What a bizarre ending. Angle hits a top rope Angle Slam, both men are down and out, Roode is up at the 9-count, and then falls on Kurt for the 3-count and the anti-climactic pinfall win. Again, I get what they were going for, but really… who is booking this? Still, your MOTN. By a mile.
28) Post-match Angle shuns a stretcher after being clinically dead for a while and walks to the back. He looks like shit. Who is booking any of this crap?
29) Hey! Was that Scott D’Amore?
30) Next AJ video recap is also from 2009, AJ defeating Sting to retain the TNA Title. Not as good a match as the Angle one.
31) Backstage AJ’s hands are getting dressed.
32) Bully Ray talking to people we don’t see about a club resurrected. Not good… We should have pulled back and seen him talking to a mirror. That would have been better. Anything would have been better. Oh, except showing Bromance as the new Aces & 8s members.
33) Ethan Carter III v Norv Fernum. Crowd looks bored as all f**k. Norv is a local scrubber. Because what we need on the biggest PPV of the year is a squash match that would struggle to find a place on Impact. Crapcrapcrap. And I ask again – who is booking this shite?
34) JB is with Magnus and he delivers a passionate promo, and this leads to a rather good video recap.
35) Magnus v Sting. Not a bad match, but it really lacked emotion. Part of it was probably the dead crowd, part of it was probably following Angle, and part of it was that Sting looked like he was phoning it in for a good portion of the match. Not bad… but not great. Still, the ending saw Magnus get the clean win with a cloverleaf type submission. This should have been a bigger deal than it was. Crowd helped kill this one. Hey – something booked well! Wonder if Sting books his own matches?
36) Post-match Magnus celebrates, then gives Sting a sort of half-hearted handshake thing and fobs him off. Don’t turn the guy heel. The crowd wants to like him. That’s not how this match should have ended. This was a passing the torch match. This was the match supposed to make Magnus! Okay, now I can ask – who is booking this crap?
37) Next AJ video – earlier this year when he defeated Magnus in the final of the BFG (FMF?) series. He’s aged well for a wrestler.
38) JB is with Bully Ray, and he delivers a good promo, leading into a video recap of the match which is actually well done.
39) Match 7: TNA World Heavyweight Title: AJ Styles (with Pink and Black rights… a secret alliance with Bret Hart?) v Bully Ray (with Brooke ‘Loser’ [not Tessmacher]). This match is a brawl from the word go. And then AJ takes the manliest bump ever, springboard 450 to the outside but Bully Ray moves and he eats table. OUCH! Taz gives Bully Ray a knife so he can cut up the ring, and then he calls for ‘the boys’, but out comes Dixie Carter instead. And cue the overbooking!
40) Carter stops the ref from counting after a springboard 450? Okay, I can get the idea behind it, but the delivery is just terrible.
41) Those chair shots from Bully Ray looked stiff, but AJ hits a Pele kick and then the spiral tap for the 3 and the win! Thank God for that! I was genuinely worried they were going to copy WWE and have the title held up for months… Of course, we have Impact on Thursday so it could still happen.
42) And so it ends. Carter is unhappy (I think; with her acting, she could have been having an orgasm for all I could tell), Bully Ray is unconscious and AJ celebrates in the “crowd”.
43) Yay! It’s over!
Well, if that wasn’t the most underwhelming PPV I’ve seen… It wasn’t actively bad. But it was not good. Still Angle/Roode and AJ/Bully are definitely worth watching.
Where to from here, TNA?
Tags: 2013, Abyss, AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Bad Influence, Bobby Roode, booking, bound for glory, BroMans, Brooke, Bully Ray, chris sabin, Daniels, dixie carter, EC3, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, gunner, Hall Of Fame, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Jeremy Borash, kazarian, ladder match, Lei'd Tapa, magnus, Manik, ODB, ricky steamboat, Robbie E, Samoa Joe, Sting, TNA, tna bound for glory, ultimate x, X-Division