For an easy to navigate archive of my TNA reviews, please visit Total Nonstop Ziegler!
Agganis Arena – Boston, Massachusetts – Sunday, June 2, 2013
Mike Tenay, Taz, and Todd Keneley are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Ultimate X Match for TNA X Division Championship – Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide
King has been the Champion since 2.28.13, and this is his fifth defense. This is the thirtieth Ultimate X match in eleven years. That’s a lot. Sabin and Suicide work together on the Champion, but their partnership doesn’t last long. Suicide makes the first attempt at climbing up for the belt but Sabin stops him, only to get dropped face-first on the apron. King gets back in the ring and hits Suicide with the shotgun knees. He then catches Sabin with a t-bone suplex. The action has been fast and furious so far. No one is able to take a sustained advantage, as everyone gets a chance to shine in the opening minutes. The crowd is loving the high flying action with all three guys flying all over the place, both in and out of the ring. They work in a Tower of Doom spot, because that’s what you do in Ultimate X matches. Suicide and King are able to climb out to the belt and King knocks Suicide down. Sabin makes a last gasp to get out to the belt and he knocks King down. He hten unhooks the title belt to become a five-time TNA X Division Champion at 13:36. That was a perfect way to kick off the pay-per-view, with three tremendous athletes going all out and getting the crowd juiced for the rest of the show.
MATCH #2: Six-Man Tag Team Match – Magnus, Samoa Joe & Jeff Hardy vs. Aces & Eights
Wes Brisco, Garett Bischoff, and Mr. Anderson are representing the Aces & Eights tonight. They attack before the bell to get a jump start on their opponents. Anderson starts off the match proper with Hardy, who hasn’t been in the ring since losing a Full Metal Mayhem match to Bully Ray on April 11. Hardy is able to fight back and unleash a series of signature moves on Anderson, who scurries over to his corner and makes a tag. Brisco comes in and Hardy takes it to him. Bischoff tags in and he doesn’t fare any better. Joe comes in an he destroys Bischoff in the corner. The destruction continues and then Magnus tags in to keep that going. Even when Anderson comes back in he can’t reverse the momentum. Brisco takes a cheap shot at Magnus from the apron and that’s enough for the biker gang to take control. They work Magnus over for a bit until Hardy is able to get the hot tag. Hardy is a house afire (it’s not House On Fire, as some try to say) and the crowd is digging him. He tries the Twist of Fate three times an Brisco blows it each time. Hardy goes up top and Bischoff knocks him down. The referee loses control as it turns into a pier-six brawl. Joe and Magnus take Bischoff out with their finisher, and then Joe locks Anderson in the Choke out on the ramp. Brisco hits Magnus with a low blow and covers, but Hardy goes up top and flattens Brisco with the Swanton to get the pin at 10:07. That was a solid chaotic six-man tag, and was only dragged down any time Brisco got involved. Wes Brisco is really terrible.
MATCH #3: TNA Gut Check Tournament Final – Sam Shaw vs. Jay Bradley
Bradley beat Christian York to get to this match, while Shaw was supposed to face Alex Silva but got a bye when Aces & Eights destroyed Silva before the match could begin. So that’s some thrilling tournament action there. The winner here gets to enter the Bound for Glory Series. Both men start off quickly and try covers, as they don’t work by the hour here. They take it to the mat and Shaw tries to ouwrestle Bradley, while Bradley uses his superior size and power. Back an forth they go as the crowd searches for reasons to care about either guy. Shaw takes the advantage with a flurry of offense but Bradley cuts him off with a poke to the eyes. I love it. Bradley follows with the Boom Stick to get the pin at 4:57. That was a fine match for TV, but this is a PPV so it’s kind of silly. They just never gave the crowd much to get invested in, and Shaw got to this match with a bye and then got killed in less than five minutes, so why should anyone care that Bradley beat him?
MATCH #4: TNA Television Championship – Devon vs. Joseph Park
Devon has been the champion since 12.6.12, and this is his third defense. He has Knux in his corner. Earlier in the evening, Devon and Knux beat up Park in the backstage area, so when his music plays Park doesn’t come out. Devon tells the referee to count to ten, and if Park doesn’t answer then Devon will be the winner via countout. The referee does as he’s told and counts Park out, giving Devon the win at 0:31. Only in wrestling does it take over 30 seconds to count to ten. Devon continues to talk trash, even bringing Abyss’ name into it, saying he could beat Abyss just the same as he did Park. Then some familiar music hits and the Monster Abyss is back!
MATCH #5: TNA Television Championship – Devon vs. Abyss
Devon has been the champion since 12.6.12, and this is his third defense. Abyss clears Knux out of the ring and turns his attention to Devon. Knux interferes from the floor, allowing Devon to take Abyss down with a flying forearm. Devon wears Abyss down and crushes him with a running splash in the corner. He continues the abuse until missing a diving headbutt from the second rope. Abyss unloads now, squashing Devon in the corner and knocking Knux off the apron. He hits a Chokeslam and then the Black Hole Slam to get the pin at 3:49 to win the TNA Television Title for a second time. And that would be the last we’d see of the TNA TV Title. That was fine for the amount of time they ha, but not particularly exciting or anything.
MATCH #6: Four Team Elimination Match for TNA Tag Team Championship – Chavo Guerrero, Jr. & Hernandez vs. “Cowboy” James Storm & Gunner vs. Bad Influence vs. Austin Aries & Bobby Roode
Chavo and Hernandez have been Champions since 4.11.13, and this is their second defense. Three of the four teams in this match have been Tag Team Champions; Aries, Roode, and Storm have been World Champion; and Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, and Aries have been X Division Champion. That’s a lot of historical gold going on in this match. Chavo and Daniels start the match. The Champions take the early advantage, so Daniels tags out. Many tags are made in the early going as everyone tries to figure out everyone else. The crowd lights up when Storm and Roode are in the ring together. They don’t do much though before giving way to the powerhouses Gunner and Hernandez. The referee loses control, as the Champions battle Bad Influence in the ring while the other two teams brawl on the outside. Bodies are flying all over the place and the Champions are the ones standing tall when the smoke clears. Daniels and Kazarian go after Hernandez’s leg, and Aries and Roode get in on that action as well. Hernandez gets worked on for a few minutes but is then able to make the hot tag to Chavo. Things break down again and the referee loses all control. Storm and Roode end up alone in the ring together, and when Storm sets up for the Last Call, Daniels blindsides him with a belt shot to the leg. Hernandez gets back in the ring and asserts his power advantage, hitting Kazarian with the Border Toss. Chavo follows with the Frog Splash but Roode distracts the referee from making the count. Roode doesn’t distract him long enough to keep him from seeing Daniels hit Chavo with a title belt, and Bad Influence gets disqualified at 11:09. Seconds later Aries covers Chavo and steals the pin at 11:31! That’s awesome strategy by Aries and Roode, as they effectively got rid of two teams in less than 30 seconds. Now we’re guaranteed new TNA World Tag Team Champions. Aries and Roode are dominating Storm and Gunner and look poise to regain the belts. They focus on Gunner, but unfortunately for them he survives long enough to make the hot tag. Storm unloads on both Aries and Roode, as the tide has turned in a major way. It soon turns back to Aries and Roode, as Roode catches Gunner with a spinebuster and Aries follows with the 450 Splash. Somehow Gunner kicks out! Aries takes one of the belts but Storm cuts him off with the Codebreaker. Storm knocks Roode off the apron and then drills Aries with the Last Call. Gunner picks Aries up in the Gun Rack to get the submission at 16:42. With that many talented performers it would have been hard not to get a good match out of that, and they really delivered. Non-stop action and some great tag team spots made this a really good showcase for the Tag Team Division.
MATCH #7: Last Knockout Standing – Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell
ODB is the referee for this match. Gail strikes first with a slap and it’s on now. Taryn is extremly fired up and withstands Gail’s early attacks, coming back with a neckbreaker and a vertical suplex. Gail cuts her off with an Octopus hold that brings Taryn to the mat. Gail takes control, landing a missile dropkick. She brings a chair in the ring but Taryn kicks it out of her hands. Taryn takes Gail down and goes to the top rope for a flying body press, but Gail was holding the chair. Ouch. Gail goes to work on Taryn’s legs now, which is always good strategy in a Last Knockout Standing match. She wedges the chair between the top and middle turnbuckles, and then puts Taryn in the ring post Figure-Four. Taryn makes it back to her feet at the count of eight. Gail charges into the corner and Taryn moves, causing Gail to hit the chair she herself had set up! That’s cool. Gail falls to the floor but makes it back to her feet at eight. Taryn gives Gail a taste of her own medicine with the ring post Figure-Four. Gail gets back up on the apron and Taryn goes for a Spear but Gail moves and Taryn hits nothing but entrance ramp. That’s another cool spot. Taryn gets back up at nine and the brawl continues on the ramp. Gail avoids a charge and sweeps Taryn’s legs out from under her. When Taryn gets up Gail goes for a piledriver, but Taryn avoids it and delivers an Ace Crusher off the ramp to the floor! Taryn is the Last Knockout Standing at 9:20! Who the hell taught Taryn Terrell how to work?!? This match was great, as they had reason to fight each other, made the hatred feel real, did cool spots, sold for each other, and had a killer finish. This is the best Knockouts match in TNA since they heyday of Gail and Awesome Kong.
MATCH #8: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles
These two know each other very well so they start off a bit slowly. Angle goes after the Ankle and AJ bails to the floor. AJ sneaks back in the ring and drills Angle with a baseball slide dropkick. Back in the ring AJ keeps up the abuse until he runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. AJ quickly comes back and goes after the leg, which Angle has heavily taped. He locks on the Calf Killer and Angle is luckily close to the ropes. AJ continues to abuse the leg for several minutes until Angle is able to fire off a couple of clotheslines and a belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count. Another suplex gets another near-fall for the Olympic Gold Medalist. AJ comes back with a spinebuster and a quebrada for two. Angle comes back with rolling German Suplexes for a two-count. AJ rolls to the ramp and is able to snap Angle’s neck off the top rope. He comes back in with a slingshot senton for two. AJ goes up top and Angle tries to bring him down with a German Superplex but AJ lands on his feet! Angle thinks quickly and grabs AJ in a belly-to-belly suplex right into the turnbuckles for a near-fall. AJ comes back with a series of strikes culminating in a spinning lariat. He goes to the apron for a springboard but Angle catches him in mid-air with a kick to the gut. Angle hits the Angle Slam for a two-count. He puts on the Ankle Lock and AJ Is able to escape quickly. AJ puts on the Calf Killer and Angle reverses to the Ankle Lock! Angle grapevines the leg but AJ is able to literally kick his way out of it. They make it back to their feet and Angle charges but AJ moves and Angle hits nothing but ring post. AJ puts Angle in the Tree of Woe and dropkicks him hard. He hits a backbreaker and goes to the apron for a springboard 450 but Angle avoids it. Angle rolls AJ up for a two-count. A series of reversals ends with Angle sweeping the legs and holding AJ down for the pin at 15:43. That was the expected great back and forth action between these two well matched opponents, and I dig AJ’s new character and style. The only issue is that the finish was supremely underwhelming.
MATCH #9: No Holds Barred Match TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Bully Ray vs. Sting
Sting is wrestling in a t-shirt for some reason. Bully has been the Champion since 3.10.13, and this is his second defense. Sting immediately strikes with a Stinger Splash before Bully is ready and he’s all over the Champion. They quickly spill to the floor and Sting is wrestling like a man with everything on the line. Out on the floor Sting looks for a Stinger Splash against the guardrail but Bully drops him with a hard clothesline. Bully beats on Sting for a while, and then Sting fights back with a steel chair assault. For some reason Brooke Hogan comes out to watch and Sting makes her leave. That distraction allows Bully to hit a low blow. Bully gives Sting a taste of his own medicine with the steel chair, and then he hits a big piledriver for a two-count. The Champion brings a table into the ring and he delivers a hard powerbomb to break the table in two. Amazingly Sting finds a way to kick out! Bully is frustrated, so he whips out a switchblade and stabs Sting to win the match. Just kidding, he uses it to start taking the ring apart and exposes the boards underneath the mat. Sting misses a Stinger Splash and Bully hits a piledriver on the exposed wood! For some reason Sting kicks out, but that really should have been the finish. Bully goes for another piledriver but Sting back body drops his way out of it. Sting tries a piledriver now but Bully counters with his own back body drop. Bully goes to the second rope and misses the senton like he always does. Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop on the exposed wood, and the Aces & Eights come out to break it up and beat Sting down. Of course Sting is able to fend off four guys all on his own. Devon tries to throw Bully a steel chain, but Sting gets a hold of it and drills Bully with it. The referee counts and Devon pulls him to the floor. Sting goes after Devon, allowing Mr. Anderson to throw Bully a hammer. Bully pops Sting with the hammer to finally get the pin at 14:22. You know, this actually started off fairly entertaining. It was a good brawl until the piledriver on the wood spot, and it all went to hell from there and turned into every other TNA match ever, with tons of interference and Sting looking like the most unstoppable person in the history of all time. Blech.
Tags: Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Slammiversary, Sting