Written by: Jake Ziegler
College Park Center – Arlington, TX – Sunday, June 15, 2014
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary.
TNA X Division Champion Sanada defeats Crazzy Steve (w/ Knux & The Freak), Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Manik, and Tigre Uno at 9:40 in a Ladder Match to retain the title. Sanada has been the Champion since 3.2.14, and this is his sixth defense. No one wastes any time in getting this one going, and bodies are flying all over the place from the get-go. As one might predict this match is non-stop action, with lots of crazy bumps and ladder spots. The six wrestlers do a great job keeping the Texas crowd hot. The Wolves, the current TNA World Tag Team Champions, of course take the opportunity to work together until it comes down to just the two of them. Richards and Edwards battle with headbutts at the top of the ladder until Sanada breaks it up. Sanada pulls Edwards down and they tumble down to the floor. Manik gets to the top of the ladder and straight up murders Richards with a sunset bomb onto a ladder than had been placed vertically between the middle rope and the ladder. That was insane, and it’s enough for Sanada to climb up and retrieve his Championship. That was tons of fun and a good showcase for the X Division. They had some different styles and characters out there, and it came together in a fun spot-fest and an entertaining opener.
Lashley defeats Samoa Joe at 8:53 to earn a spot in tonight’s main event. These two cut a pretty fast pace from the get-go, exchanging strikes and assorted other maneuvers both in and out of the ring. Joe is really over with the crowd and Lashley (along with MVP and Kenny King) are drawing good heel heat. I forget how much more fun TNA is when they’re outside of the Impact Zone. Lashley is one of the few guys strong enough to throw Joe around the way Joe throws most guys around, and that makes for a fun dynamic. These two take it to each other and go back and forth until Lashley catches Joe off-guard for a split second and hits a Spear to get the pin. That was way better than I was anticipating, as they didn’t get a ton of time so they made the most of it and got a lot of stuff in. They both have similar styles and they meshed together in a very enjoyable way. I actually wish they could have done more.
Magnus (w/ Bram) defeats Willow (w/ Abyss) at 9:50. This is all Magnus from the opening bell, as he viciously wears Willow down with a mixture of strikes and submission holds. Willow makes a late comeback and looks to finish Magnus off but he misses the Swanton Bomb. Bram tries to get in the ring but Abyss pulls him out and beats him down. Magnus goes out to help Bram and Willow takes them out with a sick Nestea Plunge. Abyss throws Bram into the ring and beats him up before throwing him right back out. Willow and Magnus get back to the ring and Willow hits the Twist of Stunner and the Twist of Fate but it only gets two. Bram and Abyss continue to be a distraction out on the floor as Magnus gets Willow in position to hit a Spineshaker for the pin. This was an okay-ish match and I’m glad Magnus went over mostly clean. The problem is that Willow is inherently stupid, and there was a little too much Abyss and Bram interference. Why not just make it a tag match?
Austin Aries defeats Kenny King at 10:01 to earn a spot in tonight’s main event. These two know each other quite well, dating back to their days in Ring of Honor. They prove this point by wrestling a relatively fast-paced back and forth affair. After nearly 10 minutes of action, King brings Aries to the top rope for a super Coronation but it backfires when Aries reverses to a super Brainbuster to get the pin and advance to the steel cage match. This was well worked and led to a solid finish and the right result, so hooray. King still feels just a step below Aries in the pecking order, but matches will like this will help change that. So now TNA has their main event booked just an hour or so before the match is to take place. That still may be sooner than they figure out their main event this year.
The Von Erichs (Marshall von Erich & Ross von Erich) (w/ Kevin von Erich) defeat Jessie Godderz & DJ Z by disqualification at 5:12. Ross and Marshall are both Kevin’s sons. Marshall is the younger of the two and he wrestles barefoot. They do a fairly standard tag team match, with the BroMans cheating as often as possible. The match breaks down into a melee and the von Erichs are dominating so Godderz uses a steel chair for the DQ. Father Kevin immediately comes in and uses the Iron Claw on DJ Z. Kevin celebrates with his two boys and the crowd gives them a big ovation. That was a nice moment and all, but why not just put the von Erichs over? Both Marshall and Ross looked good, and at just 21 and 26 I figure they’re going to get very good.
TNA Knockouts Champion Angelina Love (w/ Velvet Sky) defeats Gail Kim at 6:43 to retain the title. Love has been the Champion since 4.27.14, and this is her third defense. Nothing against either of these two, but TNA has put them against each other roughly 4,855 times so they don’t have a lot of tricks left up their sleeves. Late in the match Sky sprays hairspray in Kim’s eyes right in front of Referee Stiffler but he doesn’t call for the DQ. That annoys referee Earl Hebner, who comes out and takes over the match. That’s unprecedented, and kind of stupid. Then when Hebner gets knocked out, Stiffler won’t count when Kim has a cover, but is more than happy to when Love covers and she gets the pin with an O’Connor Roll. Ugh, who cares about any of this? Dull match, terrible finish.
Ethan Carter III defeats Bully Ray in a Texas Death Match at 17:10. This is essentially a Last Man Standing match. Bully controls the bulk of the early minutes, and it doesn’t take long for him to start setting up some tables. EC3 counters with a steel chair and wears Bully out with it. A cheese grater is the next weapon to get involved but it doesn’t make anyone bleed. Yawn. Bully gets his box cutter out and tears up the apron so that he can uncover the wood panels. Rockstar Spud comes out to “make the save” with a kendo stick. Just guess how that ends. EC3 is able to recover and hits Bully with the 1%er on the exposed ring boards and Bully gets back up at the count of nine. Bully is able to hit a Bubba Cutter on a pile of broken glass that EC3 had spread out. So the boards backfired on Bully, and the glass backfired on EC3. Tit for tit. Out on the floor Bully puts EC3 across two tables and goes up the ropes but Dixie Carter runs out to get in his face. Dixie and her nephew “collide” and Dixie is out. Bully puts Dixie on the tables and goes up again but EC3 cuts him off with the kendo stick. Spud pulls Dixie off the tables as Bully falls from the apron through the tables. Of course, the amazing power of Dixie Carter is enough to keep Bully down for the 10-count. Nothing match with a few weapon spots but no blood,, awful overbooking, and I hate both Rockstar Spud and Dixie Carter. Nothing to see here.
Mr. Anderson defeats James Storm at 5:30. The fight between these two starts outside the ring. They get to the ring and Storm goes after the leg. More stuff happens, and then Storm spits beer on some football player sitting at ringside. Football is dumb. Said football player then interferes, allowing Anderson to hit the Mic Check for the pin. This was a TV-style match and I don’t really even understand what they’re feuding over.
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young defeats Austin Aries and Lashley in a Three Way Steel Cage Match at 12:10 to retain the title. Young has been the Champion since 4.10.14, and this is his fourth defense. This is a cage match that can only be won by pinfall or submission, none of that escape stuff. Lashley uses his power to dominate both of his opponents in the early going, so Aries and Young resort to working together to try and subdue the former two-time ECW Champion. Of course the fight eventually migrates to the top of the cage, where Young winds up all alone and he comes down with a big elbow smash on Lashley. Aries grabs Young in a Brainbuster but only gets a two-count. Lashley destroys Aries with a Spear and Young has to break up that pin. When Lashley goes for a Spear on Young, the Champ moves out of the way and Lashley crashes into the cage and falls all the way to the floor. That leaves Young and Aries to do battle, and after a few minutes of back and forth action Young is able to nail the Piledriver on Aries to get the pin. For having to throw this together on short notice, I think they did a pretty solid job. The action never stopped, and they found a good way to get Lashley out of there for the finish. Nothing spectacular but a solid finish to the show.