Welcome to this week’s edition of WTF! I would like to apologize for the lack of a review last week. I had a combination of DVR/laptop problems that made it difficult to write a review. But I’m back again this week, so in your face haters! Yes, I feel dirty for saying that. Can we just move on now?
Ferdinand Voiceover III reviews what I failed to last week, namely the X-division win of Suicide, the reveal that Suicide was no longer a Daniels/Kazarian joint venture, and the bigger reveal of Austin Aries as the man behind the Suicide mask on that evening. Also, Bully Ray threatened Chris Sabin in a hilarious fashion. You got that? Good, because here comes Awesome Aries.
Aries has a microphone in his hand, and he comes out with the X-division title. Not that I complaining, but I’m pretty sure you can’t hold a title that you won in a match you weren’t booked for. Maybe Hogan and Company will address that, but at the very least, Aries should be stripped of the title. Let us see what happens. Aries says that some people cheer him, and some people boo him, but everyone has to respect him. He says that he did what he does best – create controversy and a buzz around Impact Wrestling. He says that he created “Option C” which allowed him to cash in the X-Division title and go on to win the World title last year. Now he says he’s the champ again this year, and would love for history to repeat itself, and calls out Hogan so he can make it official.
Hogan makes his way out to what Tenay refers to as a “Hulkamania response”. He’s kidding, right? There is no way the apathy of this crowd is in anyway close to the crowds he was used too during the “Hulkamania” days. When Hogan gets to the ring, Aries says he wants to make it official, and hands the belt over to Hogan. Hogan then proceeds to botch and mangle his next couple of lines. He was trying to tie in the fact that they were in Las Vegas aka “Sin City” and that Aries committed the sin of gimmick infringement, but what came out sounded like a brain damaged toddler who is trying to remember what words taste like. Hogan must go. He then refers himself as a check collection agency (no, really) and says that tonight we will have an X-division main event. Hogan announces Aries opponents for tonight: Manic, formerly known as Suicide, and as Hogan put it, “Sabin-Mania”. Ugh. One more thing: Masked wrestlers are masked to hide their identity, yet we all know what Manic looks like under the mask, so why bother putting the mask back on? Oh, and it’s ridiculous that they kept the same exact costume for him. Anyway, Sabin says that he sat at home a year ago, never thinking he would be back fighting for a chance at the world title. He calls Aries the Greatest Scam Ever, and the segment ended. What a weird ending.
Backstage, Daniels and Kaz talk trash about Kaz’ upcoming match with AJ Styles. Kaz says he will beat whatever version of AJ shows up.
After a commercial, we have that match, which is part of the BFG series.
Match 1: Kaz vs. AJ Styles
Kaz and Daniels came out dressed as Siegfried and Roy – complete with wigs and a stuffed white tiger -thus cementing them as the greatest comedy duo in TNA. The match itself was short and sweet, with Kaz tapping out to AJ’s “calf-killer” submission. I think Kaz is in the tournament to lose to everyone. Still waiting for the inevitable Kaz/Daniels match though. That’s gonna be all types if entertaining.
Backstage, Mickie James is asking if there is a ladder set up in the ring. Then we get a commercial. After the commercial, Hernandez is backstage with Chavo, who is firing Hernandez up for his BFG series match. Chavo calls Hernandez a future world champ, which is funny because Hernandez is in his forties, so he will fit right in with TNA’s “youth movement.”
In the ring, Mickie James has her ladder set up. She uses it as a metaphor for how she had to crawl, scrape and climb her way to the top of the division. She said that she basically beat Velvet Sky with her eyes closed, and then switched her focus to next week’s ladder match between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell, which will determine who gets the next shot at Mickie James’ title. Mickie says that she will knock the winner from the top of the ladder, all the way down, busting her face on each rung. Mickie really has nailed this new character of hers. This is the best work I’ve seen from her in years. Mr. Canton sir, if you could please pass that message, much will be obliged.
Backstage, the Gut Check judges deliberated in clichés about last week’s match between The Big O and Ryan Howe. They then cut to a live shot where, despite losing last week, the judges name Ryan Howe as the one who will have the shot at a contract. That’s kind of bullshit.
In the parking lot The Main Event Mafia was shown arriving. Angle takes off his glasses and says that tonight, there will be a fourth member added to the group. I don’t know how to feel about the MEM yet. Right now, I’m not sure if I like it.
We then have our next match.
Match 2: Hernandez vs. Jay Bradley
I guess one of the downfalls of this year’s BFG series is having to sit through Jay Bradley matches. This was a decent brawl, but Hernandez won after interference by Chavo, which is hurtful to Hernandez even if it’s just to turn Chavo heel.
In the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Aces and Eights are having a beer and shooting the shit. Bully says that he has to hand it to Aries for always getting himself in the title picture. Wes Brisco asks Bully about Brooke, and Bully says that he’s here about club business, not personal business. They talk about the main event tonight, and Brisco asks how Bully feels now that Brooke is engaged. (Seriously, someone should warn Brooke’s fiancée about how crazy she is.) Bully again admonishes Brisco, and the segment ends with Anderson saying that Bully doesn’t care who wins tonight, and with Bully saying that maybe no one will. Cue maniacal laugh. Ok, they just toasted their beers, but whatever. Oh, and even little Gary Sideburns had a beer. I hope daddy approves.
In the ring, when have our next match.
Match 3: Gunner/Storm vs. the Bro Mans
Ok, two things. One, how do Robbie E. and Jesse have a name for their team after one week, but Gun Storm is a name I had to make up? Second, most of you know me as Fozzie, but to my family, I’m known as Broman, so seeing this team name makes me mark out a little bit. True Story. As for the match, it was a big bunch of meh, but Storm and Gunner are forming some good chemistry together. They have a couple of tandem moves, including a finisher where Gunner has his opponent draped over his shoulder like he was setting up for a running power slam, but Storm hits a swinging neckbreaker out of it. Gunner also hot a move that was basically a Rock Bottom across his knee that looked like it really hurt.
Backstage, the MEM was shown making their way to the ring. Then we get a commercial. After a commercial, we get a promo from Jeff Hardy, who has a match with Joseph Park later tonight in a BFG series match. Hardy mentions his history with Abyss and says Joseph may be as dangerous as Abyss, obviously not knowing that Joseph is Abyss. I don’t blame him. This is the same guy who internal monologues his life for the world to hear.
Back in the arena, Sting and Kurt Angle come out. They are sans one Samoan, even though we saw him walking with them earlier. Whatever. Angle is on the mic first. He says that the MEM is back. The crowd pops. He repeats himself, and the crowd pops again. Angle says they reformed for two reasons: To take down A&E and to make sure that Bully Ray loses his title. Sting says that this time around they mean business, and says that the next guy out represents change in TNA: Samoa Joe.
Joe comes out to his own music, but the same MEM graphics. He says that once again the Mafia runs Vegas tonight. He says that for the past year he was a loaner, but he’s notices a trend of strength in numbers trend, with the lead culprit being A&E. He says even he can’t beat up that many cowards at once, so that’s why he joined the MEM. He says he guarantees that he will win the BFG series and go on to make Bully tap out to become the new World Champion. This was the most intense I have ever seen Joe in his TNA stint. He actually looks motivated, which can only be a good thing.
Angle gets back on the mic and says he picked Samoa Joe to be a part of this team because of the matches Angle and Joe had against each other. He says that their feud turned into respect, which turned into loyalty. What, no Hustle? Angle says that Joe was the one who suggested the next member of the MEM, a man who Angle says is not the future of TNA, but the here and now: Magnus! WOW! That’s surprising. Good to see him get rewarded for his harder work more recently.
Magnus is on the mic and says that he had to think for about two seconds to join the MEM. He says when opportunity knocks, he answers. He puts over the rest of the group as bad asses; He also credits his rivalry/team up with Joe as putting him on the map. He thanks Joe for that. Sting says that the MEM challenges A&E to fight on July 18th, and also says that since Bully said he doesn’t want a winner in the main event tonight, MEM will make sure there is. Tough words, old man.
They plug the Jeff Hardy workout app, because the three people that have it want to mark out about it. Then they introduce Jeff Hardy for his match, before cutting to a commercial, which makes no sense because this is a taped show. Idiots.
Match 4: Jeff Hardy vs. Joseph Park.
I like the Joseph Park story, but it’s time to move it along already. As for the match, it was kind of just there, until Park got kicked in the face, saw his own blood, “Abyss’ed out” and gave the referee a Black Hole Slam. Another referee came out to DQ Park. Meh.
After another commercial, we have our Gut Check vote with Ryan Howe, who – again – lost the match. The judges are Al Snow, Danny Davis, and Bruce Pritchard. I don’t like these segments usually, but the crowd really made this segment. After Snow voted no, Howe had a chance to cut a promo. He cut a decent one, but the crowd booed him unmercifully. He didn’t let it get him though. Danny Davis voted yes, and as Pritchard was about to make his decision, the crowd started “No” which was hilarious, and they cheered when Pritchard voted no as well. So long Mr. Howe. Your guitar will miss you.
In the back, Bully says its main event time, so he wants to go raise some hell. DOC tells Bully that he can take out MEM tonight, and Anderson started making fun of him. He mentions the vote next week to find out who will take D-Lo Brown’s place as VP. Nobody cares, really. Bully says that if DOC and Anderson turned their animosity for each other and focused, they would have taken care of business.
After a commercial, A&E makes their way out to the ring as Tenay – who obviously hasn’t watched or paid attention – wonders why they are out there. If I had to work with Tenay at an announce desk, I think I would jam a lit spoon into my ear first. Then they air a promo for next week’s Gail Kim/Tarn Terrell ladder match. Then we have our next match.
Match 5: Manic vs. Chris Sabin vs. Awesome Aries for the X-division title
Here is the synopsis of this match: first half meh, second half awesome. This may or may not have something to with Manic selling a power bomb by DOC by getting stretchered out. Once that happened, Sabin and Aries put on one hell of a match, and made the argument that X-Division matches should not be three-way only. The crowd was right; this was awesome, despite the presence of both A&E and the MEM. If you haven’t seen this match, watch it. These guys even sold moves! Crazy. This is one of the better TV matches you will see from TNA. Sabin won with a top-rope “Hail Sabin” driver to become the new X-Division champion.
After the match, Sabin told Bully that he might be looking at the next world champion. Impact ended with an inaudible exchange of words.
This was an ok show highlighted by a fantastic match. There was some storyline advancement, and the main event really delivered. I have nothing bad to say really except that Hogan is obviously the albatross on this ship. Every time he comes out, he tries to make the segment about himself, even when it’s not. Oh, and when it comes to the MEM, the biggest problem I have is this:
Until I see you for headlines, that’s all I got.
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