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Viejas Arena – San Diego, California – Sunday, October 20, 2013
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
PRESHOW MATCH: Gauntlet – Bad Influence vs. Joseph Park & Eric Young vs. The BroMans vs. Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian drew number one, while Chavo and Hernandez drew number two. Kazarian and Chavo start the match. Things are fast and furious from the get-go, with the referee having very little control of the action. Hernandez is able to pick up both members of Bad Influence for a simultaneous over-the-shoulder backbreaker. He and Chavo hit a dual Air Mexico to wipe out their opponents again. They take a commercial break because this preshow is on Spike TV. When we come back Bad Influence has taken control. An abrupt commercial break cuts into the match again, and when we come back from this one Hernandez is able to make a hot tag. Chavo and Daniels are legal now and Chavo is working Daniels over with a flurry of offense. Daniels is in trouble as Chavo hits the Three Amigos and goes up top. Chavo goes for the Frog Splash but Kazarian shoves him down and Daniels gets a schoolboy rollup to advance at 5:41 (shown).
Young and Park are the next team out. They charge the ring and take it to Daniels and Kazarian. Bad Influence is able to weather the storm and they isolate the inexperienced Park in their half of the ring. They take a commercial break and come back with Bad Influence still in control on Park. This goes on for quite some time, with Daniels and Kazarian seeming to enjoy beating on the most inexperienced person in the match. After another commercial break Park finally makes the hot tag and Young is all kinds of fired up. Daniels cuts him off with a uranage slam but can’t connect with the Best Moonsault Ever. Young whips Daniels into a Samoan Drop by Park and that’s enough to put Daniels away at 8:41 (shown, total match time shown 14:22). Tenay always calls a Samoan drop a fallaway slam for some reason, but Tenay is an idiot. Either move should not be enough to finish, even in a gauntlet.
Ever the sore losers, Daniels and Kazarian attack Park and Young after the bell and lay them out. The BroMans make their way out and appear to have easy pickings. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz go to work on Young, who is by himself since Park was so injured he got taken to the back. Young is able to withstand the punishment and he makes a comeback. He hits E with Hail to the King but Godderz breaks it up. The BroMans cut Young off and hit him with the Hart Attack to get the pin at 2:48 (total match time shown 17:10). They’ve got Bad Influence right there, being all over and stuff, and they give the title shot to the BroMans? What the hell? The match was okay enough though hard to get into because of the commercials and the very nature of gauntlet matches, but the booking is just puzzling.
MATCH #1: Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship – Austin Aries vs. Manik vs. Chris Sabin vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
Manik has been the Champion since 7.25.13, and this is his second defense. Hardy is making his Ultimate X debut, Aries is coming into the match for the second time (winning his only previous outing), Sabin has been in it 16 times and won seven (and he has Velvet Sky in his corner), Joe has been in it once before, and Manik is making his sixth appearance (just counting all the Suicide and Manik appearances as one character) with two wins. Overall this is the thirty-second Ultimate X match.
Sabin immediately climbs up but thinks better of it, and he takes Aries to the floor for a brawl. Manik, Joe, and Hardy brawl and things get crazy real quick. Joe looks good in the early going but of course it’s not to last with this many talented wrestlers in the match at one time. Everyone gets a chance to show off in the first few minutes, as they’re all trying to stake their claim to the title. Hardy brings out a ladder but Joe cuts him off with an elbow suicida before he can use it. Joe grabs the ladder but Sabin kicks it back into his face. Manik takes Sabin out, and then Aries takes out Manik and Joe. Aries goes for the belt but celebrates prematurely and Manik cuts him off. Action continues coming fast and furious from all five competitors. Joe and Hardy climb the ladder and try to take the belt down, but Joe knocks Hardy down and Aries dropkicks Joe off the ladder. Aries goes up the ladder now while Manik goes the traditional route to meet him. Sabin knocks both of them down. Hardy recovers and hits Sabin with the Twist of Fate. Sabin forces Velvet into the ring against her will, and Hardy the gentleman politely moves her out of the way. That’s distraction enough for Sabin to get to the top of the ladder and grab the belt, and when Hardy tries to grab it Sabin decks him and falls to the mat to win the title at 11:59. That was the usual fun Ultimate X action throughout, and the finish does a lot to make Sabin look like a super douche and I like that.
MATCH #2: World Tag Team Championships – James Storm & Gunner vs. The BroMans
Storm and Gunner have been the Champion since 6.2.13, and this is their first defense. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz are accompanied by Mr. Olympia, a big bodybuilder dude. The Champions attack right away and beat the BroMans down. Storm and Gunner are in total control in the early going, making the challengers look like chumps. E and Godderz are able to make the comeback on Gunner, and they cut the ring off nicely. After a few minutes Gunner is able to take Godderz down with a fallaway slam from the middle rope. “The Modern Day Viking” is one of the dumber nicknames I’ve ever heard. At any rate, hot tags are made and Storm is a house afire. The referee loses control and all four men are fighting in the ring at the same time. Storm goes for the Eye of the Storm but E counters it to an implant DDT for two. The chaos continues and the referee doesn’t even bother trying to restore order. Storm sets up for the Last Call on Godderz, but E throws a tag title belt in the ring to distract him. The referee gets the belt out of the ring and E takes Storm down with a clothesline from the second rope. The BroMans then hit the Hart Attack to get the pin and shockingly win the titles at 11:43. The match was pretty solid formula stuff, but the BroMans, really? I’m just not sure what was behind that decision.
MATCH #3: Knockouts Championship – ODB vs. Gail Kim vs. Brooke
ODB has been the Champion since 9.19.13, and this is her first defense. Gail and Brooke decide they would like to work together on the Champion, but ODB thwarts them and sends Gail to the floor. The action carries on at a fairly rapid rate, with Gail spending a lot of time on the floor, even staying out there to put Brooke in the ring post figure-four. When Gail gets back in the ring Brooke kicks her right in the head and then ODB hits her with a Spear to send her back to the floor. The battle continues and they fight to the top rope, where ODB tries to bring both Brooke and Gail down with a superplex. That doesn’t work, and Gail comes down with a missile dropkick on DOB. Brooke follows with Hail to the King and all three women are down. Back on their feet the offense continues to come from everywhere, and the referee gets taken out. ODB puts both Brooke and Gail on her shoulders but Brooke escapes. The Champ takes her down and drops Gail on top of her. ODB covers but Lei’D Tapa’s music hits and she makes her way out. The Champion is not scared and she goes right out after Tapa. That backfires when Tapa flattens ODB with a kick to the face. Brooke tries a cross body from the top rope but Tapa catches her and powerbombs her into the ring. Gail crawls over and covers Brooke to get the pin at 10:21. After the match, Gail and Tapa reveal that they were in cahoots the whole time. That was quite a bit of action from three fairly decent wrestlers, and the finish was a fine heel turn for Gail. Or was she already a heel? Who can remember?
MATCH #4: Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
They start with some chain wrestling, naturally. Roode gets the better of it and goes for the Crossface but Angle is able to slip out and take a quick powder. Back in the ring Angle goes for the Ankle Lock but Roode counters out of it. Angle gets fired up and starts throwing suplexes so Roode wisely takes a breather on the floor. There’s no break for Roode though, as Angle follows him out and continues the abuse. Roode is able to withstand the attacks and he goes to work on Angle, focusing on his neck. Angle fights back with more suplexes. Roode cuts him off with a spinebuster for a two-count. Angle re-counters with an Ankle Lock but Roode escapes again. Roode sidesteps a charging Angle, sending Angle shoulder-first into the ring post. The tenacious Roode locks on the Crossface but Angle is able to reach the ropes. They fight up on the top rope and Angle knocks Roode down to the mat. Angle goes for the Moonsault but misses and Roode once again cinches in the Crossface, which Angle counters to the Ankle Lock. Roode perseveres and re-counters to the Crossface. After some cradle reversals for two-counts, Roode puts the Crossface on again. Angle turns this one into an Angle Slam for two. He starts throwing more suplexes so Roode hits a covert low blow. Roode hits an Attitude Adjustment for a near-fall. Angle puts the Ankle Lock on and the referee raises Roode’s hand to see if he’s unconscious (why???), and that allows Roode to reach the ropes. I don’t like that spot at all. Angle brings Roode up top and hits a Super Angle Slam. Both men are down. The referee puts on the 10-count, and Roode actually gets to his feet first and crawls over to make the cover and get the pin at 20:57. What a lame, cop-out finish. It’s the kind of finish that really doesn’t do much for Roode, as Angle essentially beat himself. The match was fine enough, but the usual trade submission holds and finishers for 10-15 minutes stuff that Angle has been doing for years now. Enough already.
MATCH #5: Ethan Carter III vs. Norv Fernum
Obviously this is not going to be a competitive match. This reminds me of when MVP made his WWE debut against Marty Garner at No Mercy in 2006. Fernum gets in some token jobber offense but EC3 pretty much dominates him. EC3 hits the headlock driver to get the pin at 3:26. That would have been fine on IMPACT Wrestling, but not so much for a pay-per-view.
MATCH #6: Magnus vs. “The Icon” Sting
This match is supposed to “make” Magnus, so expectations are high. They start off slowly and Sting appears to have the early advantage. Magnus gets a little aggressive and is able to take control. Sting fights back with a flurry of offense, including a Stinger Splash. He locks on the awful Scorpion Deathlock and Magnus easily powers out. They run towards each other and hit simultaneous clotheslines. They rise to their feet and Sting tries some punches but Magnus no-sells him (mocking Sting in the process). Magnus hits a Stinger Splash and a Magnus Driver for two. Sting fights back with his own Stinger Splash and then puts on the Scorpion Deathlock again, and it looks terrible just like it always has in TNA. He’s not even sitting down! Make it look good or don’t do it! Magnus reaches the ropes. Sting tries another Stinger Splash but Magnus catches him with a European Uppercut. Magnus hits the Scorpion Death Drop and then the Diving elbow drop for a two-count. He goes up for another elbow but Sting moves out of the way. Sting tries the Scorpion Death Drop but Magnus fights it off. Magnus puts on the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf and Sting taps out at 11:04. Well, that sucked. They did some chain wrestling, traded some finishers, and presented an anticlimactic finish. Sorry, but it just doesn’t mean anything to beat Sting anymore. The crowd was flat throughout the match too. This just didn’t work on any level. Sting goes for a handshake after the match but Magnus blows him off.
MATCH #7: No Disqualification World Heavyweight Championship Match – AJ Styles vs. Bully Ray
Bully has been the Champion since 8.15.13, and this is his second defense. The Champion uses his size and power to intimidate AJ in the early going. Tenay calls AJ a former five-time World Champion, but that’s not true, he’s at four right now. Bully talks a lot of trash as he beats on AJ, as they try to ramp up the drama. AJ gets angry and unleashes with The Dropkick. He locks on the Calf Killer and Garett Bischoff runs out to break it up and give Bully the hammer. Bully tries to use the hammer but AJ blocks it and takes control of the weapon. AJ goes to use it but Bully stops him as well. No hammer for anybody. Bully continues to abuse AJ, but the fiery challenger gets right back in Bully’s face and tells him to bring it on. AJ goes to the top rope but Knux makes his way out, and he catches AJ coming down and crushes him with a Chokeslam. Bully crawls over to make the cover but only gets two. The crowd is not popping for anything. Bully accidentally takes Knux out with a clothesline and AJ grabs a quick rollup for two. The fight spills to the floor and Bully tries to hit AJ with the hammer but AJ stops him with the Pele. AJ puts Bully on a ringside table and tries a springboard 450 splash but he misses and AJ destroys the table. Taz gives Bully a box cutter and Bully starts tearing apart the ring. Bully exposes the boards underneath the mat and then calls out Dixie Carter for some reason. Dixie hands Bully a steel chair, but AJ has recovered and he hits Bully with the springboard flying forearm, knocking the chair back into his face. AJ then connects with the springboard 450 but Dixie tells referee Earl Hebner not to make the count. This is lame. AJ goes for the Styles Clash but Bully backdrops him onto the exposed wood. Ouch. Bully goes to the second rope and (sort of) hits a senton but it only gets two. The Champion cracks AJ with a steel chair and then goes for a piledriver. AJ escapes and hits the Pele, and then decks Bully with the chair. He goes up top and hits Spiral Tap to get the pin at 20:28. I was worried when Dixie came out that they were going to do too much with her, and thankfully they kept her involvement to a minimum (although none would have been preferable). AJ and Bully have good chemistry together and had they cut out a lot of the forced drama in the opening minutes it would have probably been a better match. They mixed in some good high spots and false finishes, and I love that AJ has a move that he always wins with. This was pretty good but not the epic TNA was presenting it as.