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TNA IMPACT 18/7/2013 – DESTINATION X
Since TNA have cut down to 4 PPVs a year, they are doing specials just for TV. Pretty good idea, it’d be a waste to lose this show, I think the X Division is a huge plus for TNA.
The show starts with 9 X Div Wrestlers lined up, including recent WWE release Trent Baretta (under a new name), UK bootcamp winner Rockstar Spud, Homicide and Sonjay Dutt wearing a jacket with a Harry Hill size collar.
Promo Video – Chris Sabin’s struggles with injuries, his career and cashing in the X Div Title for a World Title shot later tonight.
Bully heads to the ring and snatches the mic. He starts putting down Sabin in his unique super loud style. The crowd start a ‘LET’S GO SABIN’ chant, which pleasantly surprised me. Bully shuts the crowd up, and asks his wife Brooke Hogan to come to the ring. She walks down the ramp, calling him by his real name (Mark) and telling him to move on, flashing her new legit engagement ring. The blurring between real life and fiction is pretty odd, but with all TNA storylines, you have to be patient.
Hulk heads out to a huge ovation, says enough is enough and tries to escort Brooke to the back. Bully fires back shouting he’ll never agree to a divorce until Kurt appears on the screen with his crazy eyes. He says the Main Event Mafia are watching him, and will make sure the show stays on track.
Promo Video – Austin Aries winning the World Title at last years Destination X PPV.
BOUND FOR GLORY SERIES MATCH – BOBBY ROODE VS AUSTIN ARIES
Christy Hemme must watch Botchamania, because she’s actually started to add the -DE onto Roode. Aries has shaved his moustache and looks really young, like in his ROH days. The crowd watches closely, cheering every little move, and where both men subtly show each other respect. As you already know by who’s involved, the match is just brilliant. Quick, technical action, each man making the other look even better. One thing I don’t get, is that Roode’s spinebuster isn’t his finisher anymore, I’m sure he used to win matches with it. We come back from commercial to see Aries knocking BR from the top and executing a perfect 450 splash. Dangerous spot with Aries landing a Suicide Dive onto Roode, who carried him backwards and landed on the steps (TNA’s ramp goes right up to the ring). After a chain of reversals, Aries lands his brainbuster and wins.
Aries gets 7 points, but Roode stays on 0. As he realises this, he starts throwing everything about in a classic wrestling tantrum.
Backstage Segment – Homicide, Hernandez and Chavo are backstage wishing each other luck for tonight. Chavo looked very normal/boring next to the other two.
Backstage Segment – Mr. Anderson is explaining that DOC has left the group. In reality his contract expired and he left TNA on good terms.
The winners of the next 3 matches will go on to the X Division Title Match next week in an Ultimate X match. Never typed X so much in my life.
PETEY WILLIAMS VS HOMICIDE VS SONJAY DUTT
This already has a good feeling to it, very nostalgic. There’s no chance I’ll be able to keep up with the moves in this match, so I’ll stick to the notable stuff. They show a promo video for Petey, which only showed when he dressed like Scott Steiner, kinda strange. Homicide showed a lot of ring rust compared to the other men, who are quick as ever. Especially when it took him too long to climb to the top rope and break up a submission. He then drops Petey on his head with the Cop Killa, which he must’ve realised and checked on him before going for the pin. Sonjay breaks it up, the ref then checks on Petey whilst Sonjay takes out Homicide and nails a moonsault double footstomp for the 3 count.
KENNY KING VS CHAVO GUERRERO VS MANIK
Still not feeling the Manik name, especially when Christy announces ‘Next to the ring, this is Manik’. It just sounds really cheesy and uncool. As I’ve said before, King is the only wrestler in this division who bothers to play to the crowd, the others just execute move after move. After King was dominating the match, hitting Chavo with an enziguri that sent him to the outside, Manik hits his finisher that starts like a Glam Slam but ends in a Codebreaker for the win.
Backstage Segment – MEM are backstage, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson says he want’s to knock someone out, and Samoa Joe looks like he’s going to burst out laughing.
Backstage Segment – Hulk hypes Sabin up for his match tonight.
Main Event Mafia head to the ring, Rampage not wearing a suit, the spoilsport. They say they are going to bring the fight to Aces tonight, taking turns on the mic. Anderson appears on the big screen and provokes the MEM to find them. As they get backstage, they get jumped and locked in a room. Apart from Kurt who is thrown into the back of a pickup truck by Bully. Couldn’t they find a car with an actual boot?
ROCKSTAR SPUD VS RUBIX VS GREG MARASCIULO
First off, I don’t like any of these guys names. Small ‘Trent Baretta’ chant in the crowd, probably louder than when he ever got. I didn’t watch any of British Boot Camp, but I read recently that Spud hadn’t been used since winning it until tonight. I never think that size is important in wrestling, but this dude is absolutely tiny. Some really good action in this, especially when it’s the first time the three of them have had a televised match together, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’d worked together on the indie circuit. Spud holding Rubix and doing the Rick Rude hip rotation, before Greg hits him with a missile dropkick that looked like it killed him and sent him to the outside. He then followed him out with a no-hands Swanton over the top landing on top of Spud. I don’t know how he dared do that to a man who definitely couldn’t hold his weight! After Spud recovered and tried to steal a pin from Rubix, Greg grabs him with a weird move and gets the win. The move was like Spud had attempted a sunset flip but got caught and landed on (YouTube it).
Backstage Segment – We’re shown the pick-up truck from earlier returning, only this time it’s being driven by Kurt Angle! If only they’d used a proper boot!
Knockouts Champ Mickie James come to the ring with lighter hair, seemingly tweaking her character a bit more week by week. She shows a video about a gig she headlined last week, being super arrogant. She goes on about herself until being interupted by number one contender Gail Kim. Pretty odd idea to have a heel-heel title match. They start brawling until being split up by referees.
Backstage Segment – Austin Aries finds Chris Sabin backstage and treats him with respect. He tells him he was in the same position last year, and that Sabin should go out there and complete the cycle. Cool to see a ‘heel’ do something like that, keeps it interesting.
Backstage Segment – AJ Styles talks about how he put the X Division on the map, and how he’s going to beat Jeff Hardy next week.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – BULLY RAY VS CHRIS SABIN
Sabin is out first to a good response, in new, more professional looking tights. After both men get announced boxing style by Borash, Bully gets right in Sabins face. There’s no better loudmouth in this industry than Bully Ray. Sabin follows Bully out of the corner and does the same thing back to him, nice touch. The match starts with Bully using his size advantage to push Sabin around, using his open palm chops leaving huge marks on the challengers chest. Slow Start, that didn’t really pick up. Bully attacks the right knee of Sabin, which prompts Aces to come out, clapping for their president. Why they came out when Bully was winning, I don’t know. MEM are close behind them and scare them off the ramp. When we come back from commercial, Bully is dominating Sabin, attacking the knee. Sabin fights back a few times but just can’t get ahead without Bully decking him.
Bully decides to shout at Rampage, maybe trying to get a DQ loss, keeping the title. I felt too much time was spent on the knee, boring me/the crowd. Sabin reversed a splash in the corner by getting a foot up (he’s been having his knee attacked for literally 10 minutes, doesn’t make sense), climbed to the top rope but got crotched and superplexed. He recovers first, gets to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick that pushes Bully into Brian Hebner and knocks him out, obviously. Anderson tries to throw Bully a hammer, but is caught by Magnus, causing both factions to brawl. Rampage looked VERY awkward, looking around too much. This leaves Sabin and Bully alone in the ring, who both get to their feet. Sabin picks up the hammer, but is kicked in the stomach and set up for a powerbomb. Whilst he’s up however, Sabin hits Bully with the hammer, drops on top of him and gets the 3 count, winning the title. He grabs the belt and celebrates as the show ends.
Notes: As much as I like seeing a TNA original, 10 year veteran finally winning the title, I feel that it should have been on PPV. The show’s rating did go up from this, but it doesn’t seem big enough. The match itself was pretty slow and uneventful, until the last few minutes. Overall, the show was decent, the three X Division matches were great, especially the last one.
As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on Twitter.