Written by: Colin Rinehart
September 9th, 2012
Impact Wrestling Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time
Well it’s that time of the month again—yep, time for more coverage of TNA PPVs on 411. With the promotion on a bit of a creative hot streak the last few months the company has seemingly become the smark darling again that it once was years ago, but just how long can the goodwill last? We’ll see as tonight’s show, while solid enough looking on paper, was very poorly hyped and is clearly a stopgap or “filler” show before the big one next month, Bound for Glory. All that said, the company has delivered big on it’s last few PPVs and I’m hoping tonight continues that trend. Let’s do this thing.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
Bound For Glory Series Semi-Final Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
Crazy how good booking has turned Joe from a pushover midcard act to badass main eventer again, isn’t it? Joe’s arm is bothering him early dating back to a steel chair attack from Magnus on Impact this past week. Hardy headscissors Joe out of the ring but Joe drags him out after him and socks him with a right hand. Jeff teases the poetry in motion off the steel steps but seeing Joe avoiding the move Hardy re-routes himself to the apron to hit the move instead. Back inside Joe hits an atomic drop/big boot combo before finishing with a back senton for our first near fall. Running spinkick in the corner from Joe. Joe works a chinlock and then sends Hardy to the floor, where he wipes him out with a big tope, clutching his sore arm in the process. Back inside Joe gets a two count. Hardy counters with some offense of his own in an atomic drop and running clothesline. Joe misses a back senton and Hardy hits a big dropkick. Whisper in the Wind out of the corner gets Hardy a close near fall. Hardy makes the silly mistake of charging Joe in the corner and he’s slammed to the mat like thousands before him. Joe looks to set up a superplex but Jeff counters into a Twist of Fate! Hardy goes up for the Swanton but Joe blocks it and tries for the muscle buster. Hardy blocks that and counters into the same armbar he beat Joe with last Thursday, but Joe counters into a cradle that Hardy then counters into a cradle of his own for the win at 12:36. I would have preferred to see Joe win here to continue my dream of seeing the Aries/Joe feud renewed in TNA, but the match itself was hot stuff with bot guys working hard and busting out all the swank counters you expect. Great kick-start to the show. ***1/2
Backstage Jeremy Borash is with James Storm, who explains that he chose Bully Ray as his opponent tonight because last year they faced off in the BFG series and he couldn’t get the job done and tonight he wants to right that wrong by defeating Ray.
Bound For Glory Series Semi-Finals Match
Bully Ray vs. James Storm
This is in fact a rematch from last year’s No Surrender and BFG series, which Ray won. Ray gets up in Storm’s face so the cowboy spits in his face and Ray throws a hissy fit outside the ring, slamming a fan’s sign into the ring repeatedly in anger. Ray eats a few right hands from Storm and stalls some more. Ray rakes the eyes back inside and slams Storm into a few corners. Storm backdrops him though for a two count. Storm goes for the Last Call superkick but misses and Ray takes the upper hand with a big bear hug. Ray hits a big suplex then pounds away on Storm in the corner with right hands.Storm powerbombs Ray right ouf of the corner and both men wind up trading punches on their knees. Storm hits a spinkick in the corner and gets a two count off a flying cross body from the top rope. Ray hits a side-slam for his own near fall. Storm hits an enziguri but then accidentally wipes out the ref with a flying forearm. Bully hits a cheap shot and tries for a cover with a new ref but only gets a two count. He misses the back senton off the top rope and when Storm gets to his feet he wipes out the second ref with another forearm. Ray awakens the first ref and Storm hits the Last Call superkick and seemingly has the win, but Ray takes out the ref in the process and this all leads to Bobby Roode running out to the ring and smashing a beer bottle over Storm’s head, allowing Ray to cover him finally for the pin to advance at 13:56. There was a solid match here mostly, but the beginning and end dragged it down a bit. Lots of stalling followed by a cliched ref-crazy finish, but the middle portion of the match was quite good. **3/4
Brooke Tessmacher is backstage to explain to JB that she needed to face Tara tonight to prove to herself that she can defeat her longtime mentor and friend.
TNA Knockouts Title Match
Miss Tessmacher © vs. Tara
The former Tiffany from WWE is our special referee again. Basic lock-up to start with each women cautiously applying holds and countering out of them. Tessmacher takes a quick breather and Tara schoolgirls her for a two count, apparently bringing out Tessmacher’s nasty side as she dishes out a few arm-drags. Tessmacher hits a clothesline out of te corner and tries to rally the crowd but it’s piss-break time for most. Tara blocks a move with an elbow and then hits a tilt-a-whirl slam from te death valley driver position. She lifts Tessmacher to the top turnbuckle and superplexes her off for a two count. Tara is stunned that doesn’t put her away so she goes for the Widow’s Peak but Tessmacher counters into a roll-up to retain at 6:37. This was actually pretty good by Knockouts standards, Tara helped carry the load for most of the match but Tessmacher didn’t look terrible either, and the “teacher vs. student” trope is a classic story that’s hard to mess up. **1/4
Backstage Hulk Hogan berates a handcuffed Bobby Roode who is under arrest for his actions tonight apparently.
Austin Aries comes out to te ring in street clothes and tells us that there will be no capes and fancy clothes tonight for him (or as he bluntly puts it “none of that bullshit”). This isn’t a wrestling match, it’s a FIGHT and Aries is ready to take him on with no rules and no referee. Aries calls out the Aces & 8’s again. One of the henchmen in a mask comes out to the ring and Aries nails him with a huge flying tope. He pummels away at the masked man and then slides him into the ring to kick and punch the crap out of him in the corner. Aries tries to rip off the mask but gets low blowed and dumped to the floor. Lots of heat for the Aces and 8’s here, which is virtually impossible to get from the Impact Zone. The masked man goes to work on Aries outside before tossing him into the ring and calmly beating him down. The masked man goes for a big powerbomb but Aries pulls out a bag of flour or powder and blinds the big man with it. Aries hits the running dropkick in the corner and then a high cross-body off the top to the floor wipes out the villain. Aries goes to the top again but this time the masked man sends him crashing to the floor. The masked man grabs a steel chair but he misses his shot at Aries and the champ slugs him in the mouth with a roll of quarters in his hand and then drops the big man with one of the biggest brainbusters I’ve ever seen.
Aries goes to unmask the man and the entire Aces and 8’s crew comes out to make the save and jump Aries. This clears out the entire locker room now and it’s total fucking chaos as everyone on the roster is arm-in-arm trying to fight off the common enemy of the Aces and 8’s. A small “TNA!” chant even starts up for the first time in seemingly years. Finally Hulk Hogan walks out and the Aces and 8’s take off, clearing out of the Impact Zone. Hogan demands security lock down every door in the building and that the police are to be called. Jeff Hardy, who appears to have been injured during the fracas, limps off with some of the trainers backstage as Aries and Ray share a mutual fist-bump of respect.
This entire segment was great, creative, original and best of all it drew me into the angle. This reminded me of something you might see during the glory days of WCW and WWF in the early Attitude Era days, it felt real and unscripted and totally fresh. I was skeptical of this segment when it became clear it wasn’t going to be an official “match”, but TNA turned it into the best segment of the show so far. Kudos.
TNA X-Division Title Match
Zema Ion © vs. Sonjay Dutt
There has been absolutely zero hype or build to this match, but whatever, these two are talented enough to improvise something good I’m sure. Ion and Dutt start off by trading holds but Dutt quickly clotheslines the champ to the floor. Springboard wristlock by Sonjay followed by a hurricanrana to the floor as Taz recants a tale of watching Dutt for the first time years ago on a hotel TV. Another hurricanrana on the floor by Sonjay and back inside he springboards right into Zema’s knee, which demolishes Dutt’s lower abdomen. Ion lays in some chops and snaps off a suplex for two. Outside we see the police have arrived to the arena just as Ion hits the backflip into a kneebreaker spot of his on Dutt. Dutt manages another nifty hurricanrana counter that sends Zema to the floor, but Ion cuts off his tope attempt. Dutt hands out some clotheslines and a big Yakuza kick before hitting a Frankensteiner off the top rope on the champ and following it with a moonsault for a two count. Dutt and Ion meet at the top rope where Dutt front-suplexes Ion right out to the floor before hitting a beautiful running moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the floor. Springboard splash from Sonjay back in the ring gets a hot two count. Dutt tries for the Electric Chair but gets powerbombed and then Ion puts in a nasty submission with Dutt’s arms both grapevined around Ion’s body. Sonjay lures Ion in for the Sliced Bread #2 then he rolls through a moonsault attempt and trades crazy counter cradles with the champ. Both men try for a cradle and bridge out and Ion winds up flapjacking Dutt in a nasty slam that finishes it and gives Ion the win at 11:34. This one started off slow as the crowd was drained from the last segment but both guys worked hard enough to get the match over with sheer willpower and by the last five minutes the crowd was hot for every near fall and chanting for more. Spectacularly solid title defense by Ion and Dutt looks just as great as he ever did. ***1/2
Outside Hogan tells the cops that he wants anyone who tries to get in or out to be beaten and arrested. Kinky. Elsewhere Magnus interrupts JB’s update on Jeff Hardy’s injury to tell us he’s got RVD’s number.
Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus
This match came out of Magnus reacting very poorly to losing to RVD in an earlier BFG series match and attacked RVD incessantly since. Magnus starts us off with a nice wristlock and a drop toehold but RVD feeds him a big kick and he slumps out to the floor. Rob sets Magnus up for the legdrop on the guardrail spot but nobody’s home when RVD attempts it and he crashes nastily into the steel. Magnus slides him back inside and goes to work on Rob’s lower body and legs in a logical move. Decent heat for Magnus as he applies the Texas cloverleaf submission on Van Dam. Van Dam escapes to the floor but back inside Magnus hits him with a big elbow drop from the top rope. Finally RVD fires off a spinning heel kick to try and cut off the momentum of Magnus. RVD hits the Rolling Thunder moments later for a two count. RVD misses a springboard kick but he launches Magnus off the top rope. Rob unleashes a pair of spinkicks and then finishes Magus with the Five Star Frog Splash at 10:07. Solid enough match as Magnus has really improved by leaps and bounds since he first arrived with the British Invasion, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t try and give Magnus a rub here with a win, even a tainted one, instead of just giving RVD another meaningless win. Good, but nothing you can’t see on TV every week for free. **3/4
Backstage Christopher Daniels and Kazarian are upset that they aren’t getting the proper respect they deserve what with having to defend the titles twice in two days, Claire Lynch defiling their good names, and Kaz not even being included in the BFG series. Daniels then just goes off on a wild rant about Romans and throws in biblical references by referring to himself and Kaz as the “Rocks of Gibraltar” of TNA. Daniels continues to be one of the most underrated guys on the mic in the business, this was a great old school heel promo.
TNA Tag Team Title Match
Christopher Daniels/Kazarian © vs. AJ Styles/Kurt Angle
Note the emphasis on these being the world tag team titles of the world as Daniels puts it. This could be seen as a re-match from their great Slammiversary title match, and though a bit lazy it’s solid booking because you know these four will deliver every time together. Angle (sporting some bandaging on his upper leg and probably wrestling injured for the ten thousandth time) works over Daniels in the corner before tagging in AJ for a double clothesline. Daniels tags out to Kaz who eats a spinning neckbreaker and a powerful brainbuster from Styles. Angle tags back in and he and AJ send Kaz back to the mat with a huge back body drop. Kaz manages to break up the challenger’s momentum with a monkey flip and tags out to Daniels. The champs hit some nifty double team leap-frog/leg drop combos to put over their unity and Styles is our babyface in peril tonight of course. AJ teases a tag but Kaz cuts him off and Daniels and Kaz go really old school by doing the old “tag out behind the ref’s back while the babyface complains” bit as Daniels slaps on a sleeper on Styles. Finally Styles gets te ot tag and Angle explodes with SUPLEXES EVERYWHERE. First Daniels gets a suplex then Kaz gets two thirds of the Rolling German suplexes, but while Angle belly-to-belly suplexes Daniels Kaz comes in with a codebreaker on the Olympian. The champs hit a tandem leg and elbow drop combo on Angle but that won’t put the gold medalist away silly. Kaz goes to the top for a moonsault but instead Angle runs up behind him and gives him an Angle Slam off the top rope. AJ tags in now and hits a suplex/backbreaker combo on Daniels. AJ hits the moonsault into reverse DDT spot but then he gets absolutely BLASTED by a nasty drop-sault from Kaz. Never fear because Angle gets the tag and frog-splashes Daniels off the top before handing out Angle Slams to both of the tag team champions. Angle puts on the ankle lock on Daniels but Kaz breaks it up with an enziguri. Styles gets monkey flipped to Daniels but turns it into a hurricanrana in mid-air in a neat spot before nailing Kaz with the pele. Angle applies the ankle lock to Daniels on the apron wile Styles hits the springboard 450 splash on Kaz, who somehow kicks out on the hottest near fall of the evening. Daniels gets dumped to the floor and now it’s AJ and Kaz on the top rope as Kaz delivers the Spanish freaking Fly of all things! Angle gets in to break up any pin attempt though and wipes out Daniels again. AJ looks for the Styles Clash but Daniels throws his martini that was placed at ringside into Style’s face and Kaz rolls up AJ for the cheap pin at 19:31. This was actually even better than their first encounter as we had the added backstory and more time to develop things here and god damn did they deliver in spades as all four men were busting out new and innovative double-team moves everywhere. This was absolutely fantastic, the best American tag team match I’ve seen this year certainly. ****
Outside the arena Hulk tells the cops not to let anyone interfere or get into the arena or ring during our most important main event. It’s been awhile since a wrestling company actually gave me a sense of atmosphere and foreboding, but kudos to TNA again tonight with these segments. Elsewere backstage Ray promises to win the BFG series and go on to win the World title from Ray at Bound For Glory. He’s not just bound for glory, he’s destined for greatness. Considering his newly signed contract, I’m not quite sure I can disagree with him.
The BFG Series Finals match is ready to be our main event, but Jeff Hardy is injured and instead of Jeff out comes Hulk Hogan. He’s a bit suspicious of Ray’s intentions but Ray sticks to his story of hating the Aces and 8’s but that he should still win because Jeff can’t compete. Hogan says if he wants to do this the right way then he should wait until next Thursday to face Jeff Hardy in the finals. Ray doesn’t seem too opposed to the idea but suddenly out comes Jeff Hardy, clearly wounded, but still willing to fight. The subtle storytelling touches here of teasing a babyface turn for Ray these last few weeks in the
midst of the Aces and 8’s angle is delicious, because you really could see Ray going either way in this angle and in his face or heel status after this. What’s this, complexity to our wrestler’s motivations? Whoda thunk it?
Bound For Glory Series Finals Match
Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy
Ray extends his fist for a fist-bump of respect as the bell rings. Jeff tries for a sleeper but can’t even hold onto it so Ray sends him to the corner and works over his arm a bit. The commentators put over Ray as just doing what he has to do to advance in this business. Jeff goes outside for a count and back inside Ray stomps him mercilessly before Jeff bails again for a breather. Back inside Ray goes back to work on Hardy’s arm, but Jeff kicks out on sheer adrenaline. Bully continues the beatdown, stomping on Hardy in the corner and unwrapping his bandages. Suddenly Jeff fights through the pain and hits the Twist of Fate out of nowhere, followed by the Swanton bomb, but Ray kicks out at two! Ray sends Jeff shoulder-first into the corner and hits the Bubba Bomb for a close two count. Jeff hits the Whisper in the Wind suddenly out of nowhere for his own two count. Jeff misses a second Whisper in the Wind and eats the Bubba Cutter but Hardy manages to still kick out. He hits another Twist of Fate but misses the follow-up Swanton and eats the Bubba Cutter again, and again Jeff kicks out. Jeff is pissed now and hits not one but TWO Twist of Fates and he goes to the top but it takes him too long so Bully meets him up there. Jeff kicks him off though and finally nails the Swanton for a final time to win the match and the Bound for Glory series at 12:23. This one took a bit to get going and it started off giving you the implication that Bully would win quickly but begrudgingly and earn the fans respect in a way, but instead they did a total 360 mid-match and had Jeff make the whole babyface comeback and win the BFG series clean to justify his redemption story. Solid story told in the match and though it was a bit finisher-heavy, it served it’s purpose well and ended the show on a high note. ***
We go off the air with Jeff Hardy celebrating his victory.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.