Written by: Colin Rinehart
September 11th, 2011
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Estimated 1000-1400, exact attendance unknown at this time
Welcome back everyone to 411’s monthly coverage of every TNA Impact Wrestling PPV event, I’m your somewhat hungover host for the evening and guide through tonight’s show, which isn’t one of the strongest TNA cards on paper, but is built pretty well to set up the next PPV, TNA’s biggest event of the year, Bound For Glory. The big matches tonight include a triple-threat match for the TNA World title between defending champion Kurt Angle, Sting, and Mr. Anderson. We’ve also got two big matches in the continuing Bound For Glory system (although how much effect these matches will have on the actual standings is arguable since TNA hasn’t really explained it at all to their viewers) as well as an X-Division title match between Brian Kendrick and Austin Aries. Now I’m not exactly sure about the logistics or reasons for holding this PPV on the ten year anniversary of the September 11th attacks, but TNA has got their best “patriotic” face on, with red, white and blue colors all over the place for the marketing and promotion of the show. Anyways, make sure to refresh your page every 15 minutes or so for new updates on all the happenings on the show as well as a bit of in-ring and angle analysis from yours truly, and let’s get ready to rock and roll.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We open the show with a moment of silence for all of the people lost ten years ago on 9/11. Which is really weird when narrated by the TNA voice-over guy, who always sounds like he’s narrating an old 70s Hammer Horror film or something. Nice moment with the whole roster out there, with Jesse Neal front and center for obvious reasons. Kurt even looks sober, look at that. Mickie looks like a 50s movie-star with the heavy make=up tonight. I guess everyone’s wearing their Sunday best tonight, eh? After a brief “America the Beautiful” rendition and a decent “USA!” chant we get the obligatory opening video package to hype the show, highlighting the triple threat title match tonight as well as the Bound For Glory series.
TNA X-Division Title #1 Contender’s Match
Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen
We open up the show with a number one contender’s match for the X-Division title that was added to the card at the last minute, pitting longtime veteran Kid Kash against the young upstart Jesse Sorensen. Crowd is hot for Jesse to start surprisingly enough. Look at that TNA, if you bring in new young talent that can actually work, the fans get behind them. Who woulda thunk it? Feeling out process to start with Jesse trying to work a side headlock on Kash and both men trading arm-drags and lock-ups before breaking up in a fighting stance, popping the crowd. Kash keeps trying to outsmart his younger opponent in the early stages, but the spark-plug Sorensen has an answer for nearly everything it seems. Finally Kash tosses him into the turnbuckle and gives him a deadly release gourdbuster (almost a release brainbuster in fact) to take back the advantage. Dueling chants from the crowd who are hot to start tonight. Sorensen responds with a discus elbow and a standing dropkick for a two count. A quick neckbreaker gets him another near fall. Sorensen follows up with a sort of frog-splash cross-body off the top that looks a bit awkward, but again Kash kicks out at two. Kash taunts the crowd a bit and gets some great heat from them before shoving the ref a bit for even more. Gotta love Kash, he works hard, bumps hard, and knows how to work a crowd. Kash hits a second-rope moonsault onto Jesse but takes too long to cover and only gets a two count. Sorensen catches Kash coming off the ropes and delivers an inside-out reverse suplex slam to get the minor upset win at 7:58. Ending seemed a bit abrupt and there were a few awkward spots, but this worked well enough for a quick opener and the crowd was definitely into both guys, so this worked for the time it got. **1/2
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan, asking them how they feel about Angle’s title defense tonight. Angle whines a bit, walks off, and Hogan follows him a few moments later without saying much either.
Bound For Glory Series Match
Bully Ray vs. James Storm
So apparently if Storm wins by submission here, he advances to the finals next month. Or not. Sorry guys, this angle is just too confusing to follow, and I watch Impact every single week. Forgive me if I don’t get the exact details on the ramifications of this match right here. Ray stalls…and stalls….and then stalls some more. About five whole minutes of stalling to start us off in fact. Thrilling. Finally Ray jumps Storm back in the ring and we’re off. Ray tries to stomp him in the corner but Storm counters with a deep arm drag and then transitions right into the juji gatame armbar, nearly making Ray tap before he gets the rope break and bails again. Back inside Storm goes right back into the armbar, Ray breaks it and bails again but this time Storm chases after him, slamming his arm into the steel steps at ringside. Ray takes a sip of beer and grabs a steel chair at ringside. The ref takes the chair from him and Ray spits the mouth full of beer into Storm’s face behind the ref’s back, going back on the offensive again. Moments later Storm goes right back to the juji gatame armbar, and again Ray gets the break. Storm locks on the sharpshooter next, but again he breaks it up so Storm tries the Fujiwara armbar to no avail as well. Storm goes to spit beer in Ray’s face but winds up spitting in the ref’s face accidentally instead. Moments later Bully Ray taps out and the ref calls for the bell…to award Bully Ray the match via DQ at 11:50 for our first “Bullshit” chant of the night. The psychology here was actually pretty good with Storm trying to win by submission, but Ray’s constant stalling only for that ending made the whole thing tedious to sit through. *3/4
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Mickie James © vs. Winter
Winter tries to attack Mickie before the bell but Mickie sees it coming and shrugs her off, bailing to the floor to beat up Angelina Love at ringside. She tosses Winter into the steel steps and the guard rail before tossing her back into the ring. Mickie delivers a headscissors from the top rope but Angelina trips her up afterwards and Winter nails her with a high kick. A snap suplex gets Winter a two count. Winter chokes Mickie on the second rope with her knee for a bit, letting Love get a cheap-shot in behind the ref’s back. Winter takes the upper hand from here, stomping away at Mickie and driving her knee into her back before slapping a brief chinlock on her. Mickie responds with a neckbreaker and gets a chance to catch her second wind. They trade forearms back on their feet and Mickie hits a trio of clotheslines, followed by a sloppy Samoan drop and a kip-up. Focus more on not breaking Winter’s neck instead of the kip-up Mick, just an idea. Mickie locks on a single leg Boston crab but Winter gets to the ropes. Winter is handed the Knockouts title and she tries to use it on Mickie, but Earl Hebner sees it and grabs it out of her hands. Mickie sets up for a tornado DDT but Angelina Love pulls Winter out, so Mickie takes her out with a Thesz press off the ring apron and then she chases Love up the ramp and away from ringside. Earl does a terrible job at feigning distraction as the heels interference tactics backfire yet again, but Winter spews blood into Mickie’s face to end this mess of a match and win the KO title at 8:40. Any remaining hope I had for this division is now dead, as this was about the only somewhat intriguing match up they had left and this absolutely stunk. Tons of missed spots and sloppy wrestling here, way too much interference and overbooking, and just a poor performance from everyone involved, including Hebner and Angelina Love. Just turrible. *
Backstage Gunner is with Jeremy Borash to talk about his upcoming BFG series match, but Bully Ray walks in to interrupt moments later and threaten Gunner not to tap out during his match tonight no matter what.
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Mexican America (Hernandez/Anarquia) © vs. Devon/Pope D’Angelo Dinero
Yikes, this does not look like a good match at all. Luckily the crowd is hot into it because it’s the ten year anniversary of 9/11 and Mexican America’s whole shtick is hating on the US, so atleast we’ve got heat here. Devon starts off with Anarquia, schooling him quickly and tagging Pope in. The babyfaces trade frequent tags, though it’s not very effective since Hernandez just tags in and they try the same tactic on him to a little more luck. Devon and Pope do some nifty double-team shoulder-block moves while the latina ladies at ringside shriek in the ref’s ear. Pope gives Rosita a smooch so she slaps him and Anarquia jumps him from behind. MA do some double-team leapfrog moves of their own while Pope argues with the ref. A spinning back elbow nets Anarquia a two count on Devon. Sarita dropkicks Devon behind the refs back and it gets them another near fall. Hernandez works a bear-hug briefly but eats a big spear from Devon on the follow-up. Pope gets the hot tag and he cleans house on the quasi-Mexicans with dropkicks and flying shoulder blocks and Good Golly Miss Molly the Pope is fired up! Pope hits a cross body off the top, but Hernandez breaks the pin up. Back-drop suplex from Anarquia followed by a diving headbutt from Hernandez on Pope in a great little sequence, but Devon breaks up the double teaming moments later and the babyfaces toss the heel champs into each-other and take out Hernandez with a double flying shoulder-block. They even catch both Sarita and Rosita and give them dueling spankings for the fun of it. Pope hits a sick lung-blower on Anarquia and tries to follow up with a suplex, but Sarita pulls Pope’s legs out from under him and holds his legs down while Anarquia pins him for the dirty win to retain at 9:50. I do stand corrected, this was actually a very solid little tag match despite the cliched ending, Devon and Pope actually looked really good together, like a cohesive unit, pulling out fun double-team moves all over the place. Even the heels weren’t bad here, way better than expected. **1/2
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Mr. Anderson to talk about his title match tonight. Anderson spouts the usual check-list of Austin-lite cliches, calls himself an asshole, curses some more, snaps his gum, you know the general Mr. Anderson douchebag promo drill by now, I’m sure I don’t need to explain it further for you.
Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe
I’d be hard pressed to remember why exactly these two guys are fighting each other, other than they just started brawling backstage on Impact one night. Which I guess is how most feuds in this company start. Morgan is coming back from an injury here but the crowd is hot behind him to start. Morgan lays in a few right hands and some elbows in the corner before Joe tosses him in the corner and lays in some knife-edge chops in return. Morgan hits his flurry of back-elbows on Joe in the corner and then nails him with a running knee. Morgan leg-drops Joe on the ring apron and the action spills to the floor. Joe gets a few shots in and then comes flying out with a big tope suicida on Morgan to the floor! Look at Joe pulling out the dives again. Back in the ring Morgan evades an irish whip and hits a huge cross-body off the top for a two count. Joe nails him with a stiff step-up enziguri in the corner and gets a two count of his own. He applies a deep keylock on Morgan, who eventually gets the rope break. Morgan gets the crowd behind him and starts to rally up for the comeback, lariating Joe and nailing him with a sidewalk slam. Joe counters with a belly-to-belly suplex and then tries to lock in the rear-naked choke, but Morgan manages to fight it off briefly. Joe locks it in again, but again Morgan counters out of it and he nails Joe with the Carbon Footprint to pick up the win at 11:38. This was probably one of the better singles matches either man has had in quite a few months, they kept it simple here and worked hard and the results were an entertaining, solidly worked contest. I’m kind of surprised by how good this wound up being. ***
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with Beer Money to talk about Bobby Roode’s upcoming BFG series match against Gunner. He seems a bit down on himself to start but Storm fires him up quickly with a great motivational speech and the crowd winds up chanting for Bobby before the match even begins.
Bound For Glory Series Match
Bobby Roode vs. Gunner
Gunner’s being called “Mr. Intensity” now by Tenay, and I honestly can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic or not. Robert, or rather, “Bobby”, has got the crowd behind him big time here after Storm’s little speech backstage. They brawl for a bit before the action spills out to the floor, where…yep, they brawl some more. Back in the ring Gunner works a reverse chinlock for a moment before transitioning into a leg vice-grip around Roode’s throat. Roode fights it off and decides to try focusing on Gunner’s arm, to little success. Gunner works a full-nelson hold onto Roode on the mat and we’re nearly 10 minutes into this thing and it feels like absolutely nothing has happened. They trade right hands back on their feet and Roode goes right back into the Fujiwara armbar attempt, but again Gunner gets the rope break. Back on their feet Roode transitions back into the Fujiwara armbar again before locking on a crossface, which makes Gunner tap out at 12:01. This was solidly worked, but man was it boring for the first ten minutes or so. The armwork towards the finish was nice, but overall, not a very exciting affair. **
After the match Eric Bischoff makes his way out to the ramp with a mic to congratulate Roode on his success in the tournament so far. Bischoff says that tonight we’re going to have a winner in the BFG series and since it’s now tied between Roode and Ray, these two men will in fact wrestle later tonight to decide who wins the BFG series once and for all!
Austin Aries is with Jeremy Borash backstage and he cuts a great little promo on Kendrick, declaring himself the next TNA X-Division champion.
TNA X-Division Title Match
Brian Kendrick © vs. Austin Aries
Here we go now, this is the one match I was actually looking forward to on tonight’s show. I swear to God for a minute I thought Kendrick’s parachute pants had a design of Pedobear on the crotch. Both men are cautious in the feeling out process to start, trading wristlocks. They play a quick game of leap-frog before brawling out to the floor, where Kendrick tosses Aries into the steel guard-rail repeatedly. Aries counters by giving Kendrick a standing Russian leg-sweep head-first into the steel ring post in a sickening spot before tossing him back into the ring and choking Kendrick on the bottom rope. Aries lays in some viciously stiff chops and a power-drive elbow for a two count and a small “Aries” chant starts up. Aries ties his legs around Kendrick’s neck in a vicegrip briefly and both men trade fore-arms back on their feet. Aries takes him down with an STO and then tries for the swinging pendulum elbow, but Kendrick moves. Aries tosses Kendrick into the corner and runs inside to follow up but Kendrick nails him with a boot and a pair of dropkicks. Aries gets sent to the floor and Kendrick wipes him out seconds later with a tope suicida. He tosses Aries back inside and then nails him with a missile dropkick for a two count. Kendrick hits a huge swinging DDT, but Aries has his foot on the rope. Aries blocks the Sliced Bread attempt and just tosses Kendrick over the top rope all the way to the arena floor! He follows him out moments later with his heat-seeking missile tope suicida, but Kendrick moves and Aries just nails his face right into the guard-rail. Nasty. Back in the ring they trade forearms again and Aries side-steps Kendrick this time, sending Kendrick spilling nastily to the floor. Aries follows up with a corkscrew pescado on Kendrick and tosses him back inside. He nails Kendrick with a running dropkick in the corner, but again Kendrick kicks out. Kendrick tries a few cradle and roll up attempts to finish this one quickly, but Aries kicks out of them all and feeds him a forearm shiver. He drapes Kendrick on the top rope with his legs and delivers the old twisting suplex that Aries (and Tully) used to use and tries for the 450 Splash, but Kendrick moves. Kendrick delivers a bridging double-underhook suplex but Aries kicks out. Aries uses the ref as a shield in the corner, which buys him enough time to give Kendrick a low blow and then pancake him with a brainbuster for the win and the X-Division title at 13:27. Easily match of the night so far and a great match from these two, one of the better X-Division title matches in a few months. Lots of good stuff in this one and you’ll probably want to check this match out from this show over any other. ***1/2
Jeremy Borash is with Bully Ray backstage to get a few words with him about having to wrestle for a second time tonight. Ray does his usual New Yawk bully shtick and we’re ready for our next match.
Bound For Glory Series Finals Match
Bobby Roode vs. Bully Ray
So hopefully this is better than both men’s earlier matches in the evening. They do the whole big match introductions and everything, trying to make this seem more important and the crowd seems to be alive again after the last match. Ray stalls a bit to start again and steals a hat from a big guy at ringside who stands up and promptly sends Ray running. They lock up finally in the ring and the crowd is seriously huge behind Roode here, cheering for him incessantly. Roode might have what it takes to be a singles star after all. They trade blows in a game of one-upsmanship and Ray bails yet again. Back inside each man tries for a hip-toss, but Roode counters into an armbar and transitions into a crossface. Ray escapes and low blows Roode before laying in some stiff chops and blows to the chest. Roode hits a jumping neckbreaker off the top, but Ray kicks out. Ray responds with a huge Rock Bottom, but Roode kicks out this time. Bubba Bomb only gets a two count for Ray as well. Ray misses a back-splash senton and Roode hits him with a spinebuster and covers him to win the match and the entire BFG series at 12:32. A bit better than their previous respective matches in the show, but still nothing exactly thrilling here. Roode looked good though and the crowd was REALLY into him, so atleast this match and series accomplished that much in seemingly elevating a new, deserving young talent in Robert Roode. **1/4
Backstage Jeremy Borash is joined by Rosita AKA Thea Trinidad to talk about how she lost her father when she was ten years old in the twin towers during the attack on September 11th ten years ago. She says a few respectful and insightful words about her father and how he inspired her to wrestle in a really nice moment here. Kind of ironic considering the crowd was booing her to hell an hour ago with Mexican America, but still a really nice little segment and the crowd was very respectful and gave her plenty of applause. Touching stuff.
TNA World Title Match
Kurt Angle © vs. Sting vs. Mr. Anderson
These three have been playing hot potato with the title all summer long, so it seems fitting they’d lock up in a triple threat tonight. Entrances and introductions take quite awhile so it’s nearly 10:35 PM EST by the time the match actually gets started. No DUI chants at Angle like there were two years ago at this same event when coincidentally enough Angle was also champ and had also just been arrested for a DUI. Anderson and Sting team up on Angle in the corner to start. Anderson holds Angle’s hands behind his back (bet that’s a familiar feeling) while Sting lays in some punches and then clotheslines Angle over the top and to the floor. Back in the ring Sting and Angle go at it for a bit, trading belly to belly suplexes while Anderson takes a nap on the floor. Sting gets tossed out and Anderson hops back in to jump Angle from behind. God this is the absolute laziest way to work a triple threat match (two guys wrestle in the ring while the third takes about 5 minutes on the outside floor to recover from a minor move that otherwise wouldn’t phase him, switch guys, repeat, etc). Anderson hits a neckbreaker but Sting hops in to break up the count. Sting tries for a German on Anderson, but Angle comes up from behind and delivers a German to Sting while Sting delivers a German to Anderson in a nifty little triple-German suplex spot. Angle delivers a suplex to Sting and works a deep chinlock on him, but Sting is able to fight if off with elbows. Where the hell did Anderson disappear to? Sting hits a Stinger Splash in the corner followed by a DDT, but here’s Anderson now to break it up. Anderson hits a surprisingly agile spinning kick on Sting, but Angle breaks it up this time. Angle blocks the Mic Check from Anderson and gives him the trio of Rolling German suplexes. Angle delivers a trio of Rolling Germans to Sting directly afterwards, but neither man will stay down for the count. Angle gives Anderson a belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope, but only for two. Sting blocks an Angle Slam attempt and back-drops Angle to the floor. Sting slaps on the Scorpion Deathlock onto Anderson, who tries for the rope break but gets pulled back into the center of the ring. Angle breaks the submission up and gives Sting the Angle Slam, but Sting kicks out! Angle Slam onto Anderson, but he kicks out too. Does anyone’s finisher actually finish a match in this company? Angle slaps the ankle lock onto Sting, but Sting tosses him out of it and Angle walks right into the Mic Check from Anderson. Of course Angle kicks out at two though. Anderson tries a death valley driver on Sting, but Sting counters into the Scorpion Death Drop. Angle pulls Sting out of the ring before the 3 count and tosses him into the guard barrier, where Hulk Hogan suddenly appears to squirt something in Sting’s eyes (don’t worry, the crowd chants for Hogan anyways). Sting stumbles back into the ring and eats a second Angle slam and Kurt Angle picks up the pin to retain at 15:27. There were a lot of problems with this match in it’s structure and the cliched finish, but the actual work picked up decently towards the end as it usually does when Angle starts suplexing people all over the damned place. There was almost no flow to any of the sequences or moves though, and the finish was another cliche, so not exactly great stuff either, but better than your usual TNA PPV main event these days honestly. **1/2
We go off the air with Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan celebrating in the ring after Kurt’s victory.
Bottom Line: Pretty “meh” show would be the best way of describing tonight’s PPV. There were a few good matches, mainly the X-Division title match and the Joe/Morgan match, and there were even a few sold undercard matches in the tag title and Kid Kash/Jesse Sorenson matches, but to shell out 35 bucks for this show? No thank you, you can see the same amount of ***+ matches on your average week of WWE television (not trying to compare WWE to TNA though) for free. I’d say check out the X-DIvision title match if you can, but feel free to avoid everything else here. Thumbs slightly Down.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.