The recap for TNA Impact 7.25.13, taped from Louisville, KY.
Last week at Destination X, several people qualified for a shot at the now-vacant X-Division title, Gail Kim slapped the taste out of Mickie James' face, and Chris Sabin became the NEW World Heavyweight champion.
Sting and Kurt Angle join us to start the show, and we're still missing Tazz on commentary. Sting states that last week was one of the best nights he's had in professional wrestling, and Kurt Angle promises that it's just a matter of time before the A&E threat is nullified. Angle is not out here to fight, however. Tonight is a night of celebration, and coming to the party is your new World Heavyweight champion, Chris Sabin! A "Sabin" chant breaks out and Sabin thanks the MEM for having his back last week. Sabin says that he knows he's walking around with a big bullseye on his back, but wants to make history and so challenges the winner of the Ultimate X match to a Champion vs. Champion match next week.
Now Bully Ray and his lawyer (who looks and sounds like Kevin Nash) are out to interrupt the festivities. The lawyer promises to sue the daylights out of TNA if the injustice that Bully suffered last week is not righted before the end of the night. The Nameless Lawyer promises that he always wins for his clients and Sabin and TNA have been warned. So there's your episode-long arc. 0 for 1. The lawyer was fun, but the rest wasn't much. They could've just invoked Bully's rematch clause, cut an intense promo, and more could've been achieved.
Match 1: Ultimate X for the vacant X-Division Title: Sonjay Dutt v Manik v Greg Marasciulo The three guys qualified by winning last week. There's a new belt, and it is UGLY. Greg dumps Sonjay but meets the same fate when he tries to attack Manik. Back inside, he stops Dutt from climbing and dumps him, but Sonjay comes back with a moonsault. Greg hits him with a clothesline and slams Manik out onto the ramp, but has to run in to stop another climb from Dutt. Dutt snaps off a rana but that's not enough to stop Greg, and now Manik gets involved. Dutt takes out both of them with a DDT/Suplex but STILL can't climb. Manik cuts him off with a neckbreaker but he can't get the better of Greg. They stop trying to climb and start kicking each others' asses instead, with Manik pulling off an armdrag-headscissors combo, and follows up with a slingshot dropkick and now everyone's out, which is a great time to go to commercial. Back from the break, Greg drops Manik on his head and starts to climb, but takes too long because his knee is shot. Dutt is able to save, and they take each other out with head kicks. Manik is dead outside, so Dutt and Greg fight over who gets to climb, both trying for a superplex. That goes nowhere, and they get caught in the scaffolding, allowing Manik to climb underneath and win the belt Spiderman style in 14 minutes. 1 for 2. Good stuff, though it was a bitch to recap. You're not going to get much in the way of a story or selling, but this was high-paced, well-executed action with a good finish.
Match 2: BFG Series: Hernandez (7) v Mr. Anderson (7) Anderson tries a shoulderblock early on, but Hernandez is too big to go down. Anderson outsmarts him, but Hernandez just uses his size to control. Anderson bails and tries a suplex, but Hernandez stops that and brings him back in with a suplex of his own for 2. Back in, Anderson controls with a splash in the corner and slams Big Mex off the turnbuckle for 2. Anderson grabs a wear-down hold, but Hernandez escapes only to run into an elbow for 2. Hernandez gets dumped but comes back with the slingshot shoulderblock. Overhead backbreaker gets 2 for Hernandez, but Anderson ducks under Air Mexico after Hernandez takes too long setting it up. Mic Check finishes in 5 minutes. 1 for 3. Not much flow to this match.
The disembodied interviewer catches up to Dixie Carter but she has no comment.
Joseph Park is backstage and Eric Young shows up to show him some footage of his "Abyss-like" rage in the match with Jeff Hardy. Young says he's Park's best friend, and "pretty much a scientist now," and vows to get to the bottom of this. Park isn't much help, he has no recollection of any of this and claims that he just blacked out.
Velvet Sky is out to join us, and confess that she made a mistake in letting Mickie James know that she had an injury. Velvet regrets trusting Mickie, but doesn't regret the fact that Mickie and Gail are about to tear each other to pieces. She takes a ringside seat. That was pointless, but it leads to...
Match 3: Knockouts Title: Mickie James v Gail Kim Gail is face by default in this match, though that doesn't stop her from using every advantage she can get. They lock up and take it to the mat, but that proves to be a stalemate. They both take turns backing the other into the corner, forcing "Special Knockouts Referee" ODB to get involved. Gail thumbs her in the eye, but Mickie brings her down by the hair. Neither can gain an advantage until Mickie goes to the hair again and follows with a basement dropkick for 2. The crowd are chanting for ODB at the moment. Mickie gets a shoulderblock, but Gail dismissively sidesteps a dropkick and hits one of her own. Gail with a rollup for two, but ODB catches her with her feet on the ropes, getting in her face. Mickie takes advantage but that doesn't last too long and Gail gets her with a running forearm. Gail stops to gloat on the apron but gets kicked in the head for her troubles. She makes it to the apron at 8 (Mickie's gleeful counting along is quite fun) and Mickie goes throat-first in the ropes. Gail wants the ringpost figure-four, but Mickie kicks her off and follows with a Thesz press to the outside. Back inside, neckbreaker gets 2 for Mickie, but she can't land the Mickie-DT. Gail wants Eat Defeat, but Mickie stops that and heads up. Gail ducks under her and grabs a hanging octopus hold, but Mickie's in the ropes. Mickie tries a submission of her own, but Gail's in the ropes now. Mickie's blind charge hits boot, but a powerbomb only gets 2 for Gail when ODB catches her cheating again. Now Kim has had enough and gets in ODB's face, who pushes her back, so Gail slaps her! Mickie takes advantage with a rollup in 7 minutes. (No fast count.) 1 for 4. Disappointing. It felt disjointed, the crowd didn't care, and the match was more about ODB and Gail than Mickie and Gail. Postmatch, Brooke Hogan is out to...do much of nothing. ODB is reminded that she's an active wrestler, and she wants a piece of Gail, but Gail takes the high road out.
Backstage, Dixie and Hogan agonize over what must be done and how to handle the situation. Hogan wants to go outside the lines to deal with A&E but Dixie correctly reminds him that someone in their positions can't do that. Hogan sees the logic, and they wonder over who has to be the one to tell Sabin.
Match 4: BFG Series: Samoa Joe (26) v Christopher Daniels (14) Tenay notes that Daniels has never beaten Joe. Daniels cowers away from Joe and pulls the referee in the way. Joe goes at him with some palm strikes and an armdrag, and follows up with the splash and enzuigiri in the corner. Facewash has Daniels reeling but Joe's blind charge gets him dropped on the ropes and Daniels gets a clothesline to gain control. Daniels traps him with headscissors in the ropes and follows with the slingshot elbow for 2. Daniels grabs a arm-trap chinlock, but Joe escapes and drops him with an overhead throw. Joe nails him with a back suplex and the senton for 2, and a slugfest gets Daniels bitchslapped...for 2. Daniels avoids a corner splash but runs into a HARD uranage. Joe wants the Muscle Buster, but Daniels fights him off long enough for Mr. Anderson to wander down and run interference. Daniels chopblocks him, and gets (barely) a BME for 2. Another BME finishes in 6 minutes. 2 for 5. Botched finish aside, this was the usual from these guys.
Sting and Kurt Angle want to be on the same page regarding the Bully Ray situation. Angle despair over MEM failing in their goals, but Sting is there to put a positive spin on things, reminding him to take it one step at a time.
Match 5: BFG Series: AJ Styles (12) v Jeff Hardy (17) Styles wants to mat-wrestle early on, but Hardy won't let him. Styles switches to power, but that doesn't work either as Hardy elbows him. Jeff nails a dropkick in the corner, sending AJ for a breather outside and we head to a break. Back from the break, they fight outside, where Styles sends Jeff crashing into the announcers table. Back inside, AJ grabs a headlock, but Hardy fights out. That doesn't last long as AJ disdainfully dumps him outside. Hardy fights back in but runs into a spinebuster and gets chinlocked again. He fights out again, and this time Styles misses in the corner and gets Alley-ooped. Hardy comes back with the usual, but Styles jumps over his charge and dropkicks him in the face. Jeff gets a front slam and a splash for 2, but Styles suplexes him into the turnbuckle. AJ misses the corner splash, so Jeff punishes him with the Whisper in the Wind for 2. Styles stops the Twist of the Fate with the Pele, and then rolls through into the Calf Killer, and Jeff submits at 13 minutes. 3 for 6. Again, the usual good stuff here. I find AJ's character intriguing, but his character is secondary to his work, and putting him in these matches weekly is the best way to showcase his work.
Bully Ray heads out to the ring for your main event interview. He's sporting a massive bandage over his eye from where the hammer hit him last week. Bully has been wronged, he's suffered a major injustice, and it is time to right the wrong. Bully wants to know what kind of wrestler would stoop so low as to hit another guy with a foreign object to win a championship. Bully wants Sabin to come out here and do the right thing, otherwise he'll sue everyone in TNA to get what is his. Chris Sabin is out to respond, and is greeted with a "SABIN" chant. Ray wants him to hand the title over, but Sabin clarifies the real reason he's out there - to see what a fat crybaby Ray has become. Sabin again talks about his injuries and how he sat at home, recovering, but he didn't complain like Bully has been. The only way Bully's getting the title back from Sabin is by prying it from his cold, dead hands!
Bully sees that this isn't going the way he planned, so he calls out Hogan to do the right thing. Hogan has a counter-offer for Ray and tears the contract up. Hogan reminds Ray that he's the law around here (it took him ALL NIGHT to remember that?!) and so Bully's not getting the title back. What HE will get, however, is a rematch for the World Title at Hardcore Justice in three weeks. And since Bully is concerned about shenanigans, it will be in a steel cage match! Well, the logic is sound, but Hogan seems to have forgotten that Bully won the title by cheating in a cage match in the first place. We end the show with Sabin and Ray staring each other down. 3 for 7.
Wrestling Counter: 45 minutes.
Not a great show this week, despite a pair of solid matches. They created some buzz with Chris Sabin, World Champion, last week, and now they've squandered that momentum by doing absolutely nothing to make Sabin look good this week, instead saddling him with that nonsensical episode arc. Bully keeps doing the best he can with the shoddy material, but I could've done without the whole lawsuit storyline for this week.
Really dumb storyline this week even for these guys. This whole thing could have been solved by forcing the rematch five minutes in. Hogan tripped all over his reveal at the end too, he's gotten really bad in his segments. Sabin should have squashed an Aces member and if they didn't want to fly any of them out for the night then he should have squashed Eric Young for being there.
Did Bully Ray really use a threat to sue TNA and expect to be taken seriously? I mean, what would you really end up with? Unless he meant literally, I guess. I suppose they could scrape up a headlight from a production truck or something.
Between this and a couple weeks ago when I read that they voted to see who the new vice president is, I'm kind of confused. Aren't they supposed to be a biker gang?
Glad Sabin has the title, even though he'll most likely lose it again next week. When I watched, I used to love the MCMG.
Originally posted by wannaberockstar Between this and a couple weeks ago when I read that they voted to see who the new vice president is, I'm kind of confused. Aren't they supposed to be a biker gang?
(edited by wannaberockstar on 26.7.13 1906)
All television biker gangs are organized into a representative democracy with ranks of President and Vice President, per the Sons of Anarchy Act of 2009.
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien
No no. That's not what I meant at all. Just wanted to emphasize Flair. Probably the wrong choice of word. A friend of mine was just saying the other day that he had a feeling that Ultimo was going to really shine in the CW Open.