Written by: Jake Ziegler from InsidePulse
Impact Zone – Orlando, FL
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
MATCH #1: TNA X Division Championship Match, Ultimate X or Submission – Douglas Williams vs. Brian Kendrick
Williams has been the champion since 5.16.10 and this is his second defense. The champ immediately tries to climb up but Kendrick stops him. Williams wisely decides to take it back down to the mat and starts working on Kendrick’s neck. You know why I hate Mike Tenay? He says things like “European Cravat Type Headlock” when he could just say “Cravat.” Kendrick escapes the cravat and unloads with punches, and then mounted punches. Williams fights out and whips Kendrick to the opposite corner. He hits a running knee lift and a suplex, and then puts on a “bridging style chinlock,” otherwise known as the Muta Lock. I HATE YOU MIKE TENAY. Just when I think the commentary couldn’t be any worse, Taz says that Williams is “trying to supine Kendrick’s spine, his back.” SUPINE IS NOT A VERB TAZ! It also means “lying on the back,” which Kendrick is clearly not doing at this point. Williams tries a tornado DDT but Kendrick avoids it and hits a dropkick off the second rope. Kendrick then goes for the Cobra Clutch but Williams powers out of it. Williams hits a leaping European Uppercut to reclaim the advantage. He locks on a headscissors but Kendrick slips out and lands a series of cross faces. Kendrick goes for the Cobra Clutch again but Williams slams him down to the mat. Williams locks on a hanging choke, but Kendrick drops out and unloads a flurry of offense. Kendrick tries the Cobra Clutch again but Williams backs him into the corner, but then gets backdropped to the floor. The challenger sets Williams up on the top rope and locks on an assisted Cobra Clutch, and then lets it go for some reason. Kendrick climbs up but Williams pulls him down with a super belly-to-back suplex. For some reason Kendrick thinks he shouldn’t sell that, and goes right back to the Cobra Clutch. They tumble through the ropes and to the floor, breaking the hold. Kendrick goes to climb up but Williams follows and tosses him down to the floor. Williams decides not to continue climbing (they’ve been pushing that he has a fear of heights) and instead slaps Kendrick with a glove. The champ then puts the gloves on and climbs out towards the belt (since they are Climbing Gloves, according to Tenay), but Kendrick scurries up and pulls him down. Now Williams locks on a Choke and Kendrick passes out at 10:04. That match was all over the place and the finish came out of nowhere. I like both of these guys but there was no chemistry whatsoever.
MATCH #2: Brother Ray vs. Brother Devon vs. Jesse Neal
Ray attacks Neal on the ramp during his entrance. Devon doesn’t come out when he’s supposed to, and we find out that his locker room door has been barricaded! What a dastardly man that Brother Ray is. Meanwhile Ray continues throwing Neal around, and they finally get in the ring to start the match proper. Ray is dominant on the much less experienced Neal, who has gotten no offense in. Finally Ray misses an elbow drop and Neal hits some punches. Unfortunately for Neal he walks right in a back body drop and Ray is back in control. Then for some reason Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, Raven, and Stevie Richards make their way through the crowd. That distracts Ray long enough for Neal to hit a Spear for a two-count. Neal hits more punches but Ray cuts him off with a back elbow. Ray brings a chair into the ring and Shannon Moore comes out, inadvertently distracting the referee, allowing Ray to crack Neal across the back with the chair. Way to screw over your tag partner Shannon. Finally Devon has gotten out of his locker room and comes out, but makes sure to tell the production guys to play his music first. Ray and Devon trade hands, and when Neal goes for a Spear on Ray but hits Devon instead, and then Ray lands the Bubba Bomb to get the pin on Neal at 5:57. That was a TV match dragged down by the random appearance of ECW guys.
MATCH #3: TNA Knockouts Championship Match – Madison Rayne vs. Angelina Love
Rayne has been the champion since 4.18.10 and this is her fifth defense. They trade strikes early on and Love takes the first advantage. Love hits a Spear and Rayne rolls to the floor. She dominates out there too and rolls Rayne back in the ring for a two-count. She hits another spear for two. Rayne goes to the eyes and then shoves Love into the corner. She works the challenger over, hitting a neckbreaker for two. The champ then executers the Skull Fucker (has she been training with Alex Shelley?). Rayne goes for the Zack Attack but Love counters with a clothesline and a jawbreaker. Love is on fire now, scoring multiple takedowns and a spinning heel kick. Rayne comes back and slams Love’s face off her knee, and then goes outside for a steel chair. Love kicks it right back into her face. Then some chick on a motorcycle makes her way to ringside. Rayne knocks Love to the floor ant the mystery woman attacks both Love and referee Andrew Thomas for the DQ at 4:41. For some reason that means Angelina Love is the new Knockouts Champion. What a terrible, terrible way to win a title, especially after such a dull, meaningless match.
MATCH #4: AJ Styles & Kazarian vs. Mystery Tag Team
The mystery team turns out to be Samoa Joe & Rob Terry. That’s the best they can do with Joe?! Terry is the current Global Champion, though I don’t think he’s defended it in months. Styles starts the match with Terry, but before any contact is made he tags out to Kazarian. Terry grabs Kazarian by the head and then shoulderblocks him to the floor. Joe drops to the floor to nail Kazarian with a few jabs, and he throws in a superkick for Styles as well. Terry then tags Joe into the match, and he is all over Kaz. Joe tags back out and Kaz scampers to the corner to make the tag. Terry hurls both Kaz and Styles to the floor, and Joe follows them out with an elbow suicida. Back in the ring Joe continues pounding on Styles. Kaz interferes illegally and they use some double team tactics to take Joe down. They take turns working him over for a few. Joe escapes a Styles Clash but gets hit with the Pele. Styles charges into the corner but Joe hits him with the STJoe! Terry gets the hot tag and he is a freak afire. He throws Styles and Kaz all over the ring, hitting Styles with a powerslam for two. The match breaks down and Joe looks for the Muscle Buster but Desmond Wolfe runs down and distracts him. Wolfe tries to distract Terry as well but gets drilled with a clothesline. It does distract him long enough for Styles to hit a springboard forearm, and Kaz follows up with a springboard dropkick. Kaz hits the quebrada legdrop and Styles follows up with the springboard 450 Splash to get the pin at 8:09. That was a pretty fun and spirited tag match. You’d think that this would lead to a feud with Joe and Wolfe, but since this is TNA Joe just immediately hits Wolfe with the Muscle Buster and that may have been the last we heard of it.
MATCH #5: Steel Cage Match – Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez
These two are so fired up at each other that they stand there for a while before engaging in some weak brawling. Hernandez whips Morgan into the cage walls and then drops his nuts on the top rope. He then sandwiches Morgan between the ropes and the cage and works him over. He charges but Morgan moves, and Hernandez crashes head first into the cage. Now Morgan takes control, working over Hernandez with his usual offense, including the corner elbows. Hernandez tries to pull himself up in the corner but Morgan boots him in the face. Morgan almost walks out the door, but then changes his mind and goes back in to deliver more punishment. Hernandez has a small cut on his head. Morgan works him over a bit more, and then Hernandez fires up with a series of clotheslines. Hernandez avoids the Carbon Footprint with a big shoulderblock and goes for the Border Toss but can’t complete it. Moments later he goes for another one but it ends up as more of a powerbomb. I can’t tell if that was his intent or not. Hernandez goes up to the top of the cage and misses a big splash. Morgan produces a pair of handcuffs and cuffs Hernandez to the top rope. He stupidly cuffed him right next to the door and then goes up to the top of the cage to climb out. Shockingly Hernandez breaks the cuffs, and dives head first through the door to win the match at 10:43. I just didn’t feel the hatred here, and the finish was pretty stupid. Why would Morgan handcuff him there? Why would Hernandez dive through the door like that?
MATCH #6: First Time Ever! – Ric Flair vs. Jay Lethal
I hate feuds that are based on nothing but a guy imitating another guy. Lethal scores the first knockdown with a shoulder tackle. Flair comes back with one of his own, but then gets dropkicked, backdropped, and clotheslined over the top rope to the floor. Lethal suplexes Flair back into the ring and hits a low dropkick for barely a two-count. He follows up with a missile dropkick for another two. Flair comes back with a classic thumb to the eye. He chops at Lethal in the corner, and Lethal comes back with the same, causing the Flair Flop. Flair once again goes back to the eyes and then goes up top. Shockingly Lethal knocks him down and then hits a superplex. I’m surprised Flair’s body hasn’t just literally quit on him. Lethal goes for a moonsault but Flair moves out of the way. The crowd starts the dueling chants, one of the only things they bother to do on a regular basis. Meanwhile Flair goes to work on the knee. He locks on the Figure-Four Leglock and uses the ropes for leverage. Referee Earl Hebner catches Flair using the ropes and breaks the hold. He and Flair get into a shoving match, allowing Lethal to get a quick schoolboy for two. Lethal fights back with strikes, including the handspring elbow. Taz and Tenay chuckle over a Great Muta reference. Why is everything so funny to them? Lethal pulls off the Flair Flip and then tries a sunset flip with the sole purpose of pulling down Flair’s tights. Flair locks on a sleeper but Lethal drive him into the turnbuckle and then hits a springboard cross body block. Now Lethal goes to work on the knee, and he locks on the Figure-Four Leglock. Flair taps out at 12:04. I’m not one of those people who thinks Flair is “tarnishing his legacy” by wrestling, but I do have to wonder what the point is. Beating Flair does nothing for anyone at this point, as evidenced by the fact that four months after this Lethal was playing second fiddle to Robbie E during their feud over the X-Division Title that Lethal had held three times prior.
MATCH #7: For the Vacant TNA World Tag Team Championship – Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money, Inc.
The titles were declared vacant on June 17, 2010 due to Scott Hall’s legal problems. James Storm and Alex Shelley start it off. Shelley sues his agility to thwart Storm’s attacks, hitting a headscissors and a leg sweep. He tries to work on the arm but Storm goes to the eyes and tags Robert Roode. Shelley escapes Roode’s grasp and makes the tag to Chris Sabin. The Guns use some creative double teaming to knock both Beer and Money to the floor. Back in the ring the Guns continue to work Roode over. Storm tags in and the Guns work him over too. No one has really established control thus far. Just as I say that, Roode pulls Shelley groin first into the ring post, and Beer Money takes control. You know, if Storm and Roode are going to be good heels, they should stop doing that “Beer! Money!” thing they do that gets a face pop. It’s also pretty lame. Anyway, they focus on Shelley’s midsection for a while, and then Shelley makes the lukewarm tag. I hate this Orlando crowd. Even so, Sabin is a house afire, dumping Storm to the floor and field goal kicking him in the face. He comes back in the ring with a springboard clothesline for two. Shelley comes back in and hits Roode with an Asai DDT but Storm breaks it up. The match breaks down and the referee isn’t even trying to reclaim control. Sabin tries a rana on Roode, but he blocks it and hands him off to Storm, who hits the Eye of the Storm. Roode then catches Shelley in mid-air and catapults him into a Storm Codebreaker for two. He then sends Sabin to the floor and hits a house show dive, and Shelley follows him out with a dive of his own. Storm appears to have a beer bottle in his hand as the Guns go for the Skull & Bones. He knocks Shelley off the top rope and tries to spit beer on Sabin, who ducks so it hits the referee instead. Sabin knocks Storm off the apron and then the Guns hit Skull & Bones, but there’s no referee to count. Earl Hebner comes running out but Roode kicks out at two! Tenay wonders if he got the pin, and then concludes that “the look of frustration on Shelley’s face tells me no.” I would think that the fact that Hebner only counted two, threw up two fingers, and the bell not ringing would have told him that. The Guns hit their version of Poetry in Motion on Roode, and then Sabin wipes Storm out with a dive. Shelley hits Roode with a cross body and Roode rolls through for a two-count. There are still two referees in the ring. Shelley and Roode trade strikes, and then Sabin rejoins the ring for a series of superkicks. Sabin covers Roode, and Storm rolls up Shelley, and of course the two referees both count a different person (HOW CAN EVERYONE IN THE MATCH BE LEGAL!?!?!?!?!?) and the match is over at 14:57.
Senior official Earl Hebner tells Jeremy Borash that the match has to be restarted. Taz and Tenay say it’s a great call but I think the better call would have been to not leave two referees in the ring and to keep track of the legal men. This is the kind of stuff that drives me up the fucking wall with TNA. The Guns take control right away and hit Roode with the Skull & Bones to get the win at 0:57. It’s not Sabin, Shelley, Roode, or Storm’s fault that the booking was so beyond stupid, but it was, and it hurt the match greatly. Why restart the match for less than one minute of action when it would have made the Guns look a lot stronger to just win outright?
MATCH #8: Kurt Angle vs. Pope
This was part of the “Kurt Angle going through the top 10 in TNA” angle that went absolutely nowhere. Angle backs Pope into the corner and gives a clean break. They take it down to the mat, which is advantage Angle obviously. Pope does his best to keep up with him. Angle takes him down with a side headlock and grinds away. Pope comes back and tries going after the arm, but settles for a high shoulderblock and Angle takes a powder. Mutual respect dictates that Pope hold the ropes open for Angle getting back in the ring. Angle responds with a Buckle Bomb. He follows up with a snap suplex for two, and then puts on a chinlock. Pope fights out of it but Angle buries a knee into the gut and gets another two-count. A backdrop suplex gets another two-count, and then Angle goes back to the chinlock. Pope fights back and they trade sleepers, and Pope wins the battle with a backdrop suplex. They get up and trade punches, with Pope getting the better of it. It doesn’t last long though, as Angle catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Pope comes back and hits a vertical suplex, then rolls it into a German Suplex, and then an STO for two. He goes for the D’Angelo Dinero Express but Angle avoids it and hits three Rolling Germans for a near-fall. Angle tries the Olympic Slam but Pope slips out and hits the Coronation. Pope goes up top and Angle decides he’s done selling so he pops up for a super belly-to-belly suplex. Angle goes for the Ankle Lock but Pope kicks out of it. He then tries charging in the corner but Pope moves out of the way. Pope hits a Codebreaker for two. He whips Angle into the corner and Angle pops over him and hits the Angle Slam but Pope kicks out. Angle pulls the straps down and locks on the Ankle Lock. Pope rolls it into a cradle for two. Angle tries a sunset flip and Pope kneels down. “That’s the move,” according to Tenay, but Angle rolls through it again to the Ankle Lock and Pope taps out at 12:07. That was the usual Kurt Angle no-sell fest, and I really think D’Angelo Dinero is not good at all.
MATCH #9: Four-Way TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
RVD has been the champion since 4.19.10 and this is his fifth defense. Abyss hangs out outside the ring during the intros, and when the match starts the other three go right after him. Anderson, Hardy, and RVD take turns with mounted punches in the corner, and follow up with charges in the corner ending with an RVD monkey flip. Abyss tries to powder but Anderson whips Hardy towards the ropes, and Hardy jumps off RVD’s back and right into Abyss. Anderson then quickly rolls up RVD but only gets two. RVD comes back by shouting his name and then hitting a spin kick and a spinning legdrop. He goes for Rolling Thunder but Abyss grabs him and drags him to the floor. Back in the ring Abyss goes after Anderson but Hardy cuts him off and the Enigmatic Assholes go to work on him. Anderson double crosses Hardy and RVD breaks up the cover. Hardy comes back and hits RVD with the mule kick and a gourdbuster for two. RVD comes back for some reason, and then switches gears, wiping Abyss out on the floor with a dive. Hardy follows in kind, as does Anderson. Back in the ring RVD hits a prone Anderson with a split-legged moonsault to the back and Hardy breaks up the cover. RVD then blasts Hardy with a kick to the face. He goes over to Anderson, who is just standing in the corner, which somehow to Tenay equates to being “stacked up.” RVD goes up top and Anderson shoves him down. Anderson heads up for a superplex and Hardy joins him up there, and then Abyss throws them all down in the requisite Tower of Doom spot. Abyss covers Anderson and gets two. RVD comes back on Abyss with some kicks, and then hit hits Anderson and Hardy with kicks as well. He goes up top and hits Abyss with the single leg dropkick. Once again he heads up top and this time Anderson shoves him to the floor. Meanwhile Hardy hits Abyss with the Whisper in the Wind and Anderson breaks it up. Anderson hits Abyss with the Mic Check and Hardy breaks up the pin. Hardy tries the Twist of Fate but Abyss counters with the Black Hole Slam. Anderson pulls the referee to the floor, and then Hardy knocks Abyss to the floor. Hardy and Anderson are trading punches in the ring now, and Anderson gets the better of it. The crowd is not hot at all. Anderson goes for the Mic Check and Hardy reverses to the Twist of Fate and Anderson reverses to the Green Bay Plunge but Hardy avoids that. Finally Hardy hits the Twist of Fate and then the Swanton, but Abyss comes in and Stacks Him Up with a Chokeslam right on top of Anderson. Abyss covers both guys, and RVD comes back in with a Five Star Frog Splash on the pile and then pins Anderson to retain the title at 12:28. There was little resting and some cute spots, and Anderson did some clever stuff, but the crowd just couldn’t be bothered.