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Universal Studios – Orlando, Florida – July 10, 2011
Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash are on commentary. In a really nice touch, the six-sided ring is back for the night.
MATCH #1: Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian
Kazarian attacks right away and the fight is on. Joe goes for the Clutch and Kazarian rolls to the floor. They trade dive attempts and Joe sweeps Kazarian’s legs out from under him. Joe hits a hard clothesline. Kazarian tries to fight back but Joe has him well under control in the opening minutes. Back in the ring Joe continues to dominate. Joe beats up on Kazarian and looks to be going for the Muscle Buster but Kazarian avoids it. Kazarian hits a springboard missile dropkick and that gives him time to recover. Back on their feet they slug it out and Kazarian slams Joe to the mat. Kazarian hits a springboard legdrop and a springboard tornado DDT for two. He follows with a slingshot DDT for a two-count. Joe goes up to the second rope and Kazarian kicks him square in the face. Joe fights back with a kick of his own to send Kazarian to the floor. He follows with the elbow suicida. Back in the ring Joe hits the powerbomb for two and turns it into the STF and then the Crossface. Kazarian bites his way out of it but runs right into the STJoe. Once again Joe goes for the Clutch and this time locks on the body scissors. Kazarian reaches the ropes. Joe goes for The Clutch again but Kazarian catches a quick victory roll to score the upset pin at 11:19. This was a hot opener, with a good clash of styles and the right dispersal of offense. This could have led to a program, but it didn’t. That’s a shame.
MATCH #2: Open Challenge – Douglas Williams vs. ???
Williams has Magnus and Rob Terry with him. Mark Haskins from the UK accepts the challenge, and I admit I don’t know much about him. Williams cuts a condescending promo before the match and Haskins just stands there and takes it. They take it right to the mat to start. Williams would seem to have the advantage with that, but Haskins keeps pace with him. They do the Fish out of Water spot and Williams regroups on the floor. Back in the ring Williams takes Haskins back down to the mat. Haskins fights back with a monkey flip that sends Williams to the floor. He tries to follow him out but Williams sweeps his leg and Haskins crashes hard on his back on the apron. Back in the ring Williams covers for two. Williams continues to dominate and uses a bow and arrow. Haskins escapes and covers for two, but Williams cuts him right off with a clothesline. They fight on the top rope and Haskins knocks Williams down, and then follows him down with a dropkick. Haskins unleashes a flurry of offense and gets fired up. He avoids the Chaos Theory and hits an Ace Crusher for two. Williams comes back with a running knee to the chest in the corner. He goes up top but jumps right into a superkick. Haskins goes up top but slips on his first attempt so he has to go back. Bummer dude. Haskins misses a shooting star press and Williams rolls him for the win at 7:40. The match was basically a squash, but the finish made Williams look lucky to get the win. Haskins had a nice SSP, but other than that didn’t show me much.
MATCH #3: Generation Me vs. Eric Young & Shark Boy
This is an unscheduled bonus match. Young is the current TNA Television Champion for some reason. He and Boy try to be funny in the early going, but they are not successful in my eyes. The crowd is into it though, so who am I to judge? Jeremy Buck and Boy officially start the match. Boy takes advantage and stomps Jeremy down in the corner. He may have just stomped a mudhole in him, but I’m not sure if he walked it dry. Boy hits the Thesz Press and then tags out. Young comes in and Jeremy lands a hard elbow to the face before tagging his brother. Max Buck comes in and he’s riled up. Max and Young go back and forth and then Boy tags in for the Shark Bite. They spill to the floor and the Bucks take advantage. After a few minutes Boy ducks a clothesline and hits a neckbreaker. Young gets the hot tag and he’s a house afire. The referee loses control and bodies are flying all over the place. Max hits a Stunner on Young for a two-count. The Bucks try More Bang For Your Buck but it gets broken up. Boy hits Max with a Chummer and Young follows with The Neckbreaker to get the pin at 7:23. That was fine TV show level stuff.
MATCH #4: Number One Contender’s Ultimate X Match – Alex Shelley vs. Shannon Moore vs. Robbie E vs. Amazing Red
This is Shelley’s seventh time in Ultimate X, Moore’s first, E’s second, and Red’s third. Shelley has won three times, and Red has won once. E has Cookie in his corner. Red and Moore pair off while E and Shelley go at it. It doesn’t take long to switch dance partners as the pace of the match is fast from the get-go. E makes the first attempt at grabbing the X but Red stops him. Shelley is the crowd’s favorite and he looks good in the early going. Red shows off some impressive offense as well. The action is way too fast to call. About nine minutes into the match Moore climbs all the way to the top of the steel structure, while Cookie prevents Shelley from climbing toward the X. Come on Shelley, she’s a girl. Red climbs toward the X and Moore drops down to kick Red to the mat. Shelley and Moore battle now and Shelley kicks Moore down. That allows Shelley to pull the X down and become the number one contender at 10:37. That was pretty fun but outside of Shelley no one really had a shot at winning, and it was all a little anti-climactic.
MATCH #5: Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
I have historically been pretty hard on the matches between these two, because I haven’t cared for them and think they did a lot of damage to Indy Wrestling. They start with the usual back and forth stuff their matches are known for. RVD controls the early going and has an answer for everything Lynn tries. He sends Lynn to the floor and invites Lynn back in the ring, holding the ropes open for him. A frustrated Lynn throws RVD to the floor and right into the guardrail. Lynn takes control now, hitting a baseball slide to send RVD into the guardrail again. He hits the cannonball off the apron. Back in the ring Lynn covers for two. A series of reversals ends with Lynn hitting a bridging German Suplex for two. Lynn continues to keep RVD grounded. RVD fights back with a kick to the face and Rolling Thunder for a two-count. He sends Lynn to the floor and follows him out. RVD sets Lynn on the guardrail and hits the spin kick off the apron. Back in the ring RVD hits a slingshot legdrop. RVD goes up top and Lynn shoves him all the way down into the guardrail. Lynn brings a steel chair into the ring and he is able to legdrop RVD’s face right onto it. RVD’s head is busted open now. Lynn tries to use another chair but RVD fights it off. Unfortunately for RVD, Lynn is able to hit a huge sunset bomb right onto the chair. That gets a two-count. RVD comes back with the Van Daminator. He goes up top and hits the Five Star Frog Splash for the win at 16:52. There was nothing specifically wrong with that other than what’s wrong with every Lynn versus RVD match. No one sells, they just do moves, and much of it looks choreographed.
MATCH #6: Winner Gets Contract – Austin Aries vs. Jack Evans vs. Low Ki vs. Zema Ion
The action starts off quick and the crowd chants “everybody.” That’s a new one. Aries takes a breather on the floor, allowing the other three to wear each other down. He takes an opportune moment to come back in and dump Ki on the back of his head. Aries executes back and chest rakes on everyone, and suffers three simultaneous dropkicks for it. Evans takes the next advantage but it’s never going to last long in a match like this. The things Evans can do are just nothing short of remarkable. The battle spills to the floor, and Aries slams Evans’ back into the ring apron. In the ring Ion puts Ki in a guillotine choke. Aries breaks that up but Ion is ready for him and thwarts some of his attacks but can’t avoid a big dropkick to the face. Evans tries to fly back into the ring but Ki drills him with a kick to the face. Aries and Ki get into each other’s faces, and then lock dueling submissions on Evans and Ion. The spots here are coming too fast to call. It’s been pretty much non-stop since the opening bell. After a collection of high spots Aries drills Ki with the IED and a Brainbuster to get the pin at 13:30! I did not expect to see Ki take the fall there. The match itself was tons of fun and a great showcase of X Division style. Ion ended up getting signed too, but I wish Ki and Evans would have joined them.
MATCH #7: TNA X Division Championship Match – Abyss vs. Brian Kendrick
Abyss has been the Champion since 5.19.11, and this is his third defense. Kendrick shows no fear from the get-go, using his speed to take it to the Monstrous Champion. Abyss uses his power to throw Kendrick around and out to the floor. Back in the ring Abyss continues the abuse. Abyss pauses to read from The Art of War. Kendrick catches Abyss with a hard right hand that actually busts him open. Abyss gets mad and that takes him out of the game. Kendrick knocks him to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Kendrick hits a high cross body off the top rope for two. Kendrick hits a missile dropkick for another two-count. He tries Sliced Bread #2 but Abyss counters to the Shock Treatment. That gets a two-count. The referee gets squashed in the corner by Abyss, and then Kendrick hits Sliced Bread #2 but there is no one to make the count. Eric Bischoff comes out to yell at Kendrick and gets popped in the mouth. The Immortal troops of Bully Ray, Scott Steiner, and Gunner come out to attack but the X Division counters with Shark Boy, Amazing Red, and Generation Me. Just guess how that goes. The rest of the X Division makes their way out now, including the big names like Alex Shelley, Austin Aries, Eric Young, Robbie E, Douglas Williams, and Shannon Moore. I may have missed someone. Kendrick comes off the top rope but Abyss catches him by the throat. Abyss goes for a Chokeslam but Kendrick counters to a victory roll to get the pin and win the title at 10:14! That was a decent big man versus little man match, and I actually like the chaos of the finish as it plays nicely into the storyline. I Don’t understand why Tenay and Borash keep saying that Abyss was not a “legitimate” X Division wrestler because that division is not about weight limits it’s about no limits, but the storyline was still sound. The X Division celebrates with Kendrick in a nice moment and confetti falls from the ceiling.
MATCH #8: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
These two have wrestled against each other and as partners many, many times. I do kind of wish that this was a three-way match with Samoa Joe, but this is a fitting main event as well. Styles and Daniels go back and forth early on, showing how well they know each other. Styles works the arm and tries to keep Daniels on the mat. They counter each other a lot and Styles hits Daniels with The Dropkick twice. That gets a two-count. Every time Daniels tries to get something going Styles has been able to cut him off. Finally Daniels is able to send Styles to the floor and he follows him out with a dive. Daniels follows up with another dive, this one over the top rope for more effect. Back in the ring Daniels goes to work for a bit, and then Styles goes right back to the arm. They go to the apron and Styles hits a vertical suplex. Back in the ring Styles goes for a springboard but Daniels knocks him down and Styles crashes to the floor. Back in the ring they go back and forth and Daniels locks on a Crossface. Styles reaches the ropes. Daniels hits a Death Valley Driver for two. Styles fights back with an enziguiri. He unleashes a flurry of offense and goes for the springboard forearm but slips and falls on his face. Daniels wisely covers for two. He tries a suplex but Styles counters with the suplex into a neckbreaker that he does. Styles hits the torture rack driver for a near-fall. Daniels responds with the Flatliner into the Koji Clutch. Styles powers up and dumps Daniels to the apron. Back in the ring Daniels puts Styles on the top rope and hits the Iconoclasm for two. Styles fights back and throws Daniels from the top rope down to the mat for two. He hits the flip over inverted DDT for another two-count. Styles goes for the Styles Clash but can’t hit it so he tries the Angel’s Wings and Daniels counters it to an Alabama Slam for two. Daniels hits the STO for a two-count. He follows with the uranage slam and tries the Best Moonsault Ever but Styles gets his boot up. Styles hits the Styles Clash but Daniels kicks out! He goes for the springboard 450 splash but Daniels gets his knees up. Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings and Styles kicks out at two! A frustrated Daniels hits a series of elbow drops and goes back up top. Styles cuts him off and goes up. Styles throws Daniels down to the mat and hits the Spiral Tap to get the pin at 28:28. I get what they were going for here, to just have a nice competitive match up between two great wrestlers, and they succeeded at doing that. But with no real real issue between them the match was a little bit heatless and seemed to drag a little bit. Still, two great wrestlers going out and just wrestling for almost half an hour is a gusty thing for TNA to do in a main event, and I commend them for it.