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TNA IMPACT REVIEW 25/7/13
Recap from last week, Chris Sabin winning the World Heavyweight Title from Bully Ray, 3 contenders securing their place in the vacated X Division Title match, and Mickie James and Gail Kim brawling prior to their match.
Impact starts with the Main Event Mafia making their way to the ring. Sting puts over how glad they are that Sabin won last week, and Kurt Angle says they are going to celebrate, as their target has been achieved. That in mind he asks Sabin to join them in the ring, which he does to a good reaction from the crowd. Sabin gets on the mic, and says that he wants to fight the winner of the X Division title tonight, in a Champ vs Champ match.
Bully Ray interrupts, followed by a bloke he reveals to be his attorney. The chap has a super deep voice, almost sounds like its been slowed down. He says ‘his client, Mr. Ray’ is suing Impact Wrestling for not acting on Sabin using a weapon last week. This guy is actually a pretty good actor, reacting to the boos and getting gradually cockier.
Promo Video – Greg Marasciulo basically says he is here to take his place in TNA.
Promo Video – Manik is backstage unmasked, talking about how he was homeless from chasing this dream, which gives away he’s going to win his match.
ULTIMATE X MATCH FOR X DIVISION TITLE – GREG MARASCIULO VS SONJAY DUTT VS MANIK
First off, I would love for Sonjay to win this match, he has been around forever and never won it, he’s definitely due a reign. There is no way I could keep up with the action in this match, super high paced. I think they intend to make Greg a heel, but he doesn’t really go all the way with it. Really nice spot with Manik hitting an arm drag and a head scissors on both men, all 3 have great timing. Greg hit his finisher on Manik on the ramp, which according to Wikipedia is a: ‘Cradle back-to-belly piledriver’ but that doesn’t sound right to me at all, you’ll have to go to my last review and see the picture! Manik stayed down, leaving the other men to fight. Sonjay nailed a superkick so convincing you could see Christy Hemme turn to Socal Val in disgust, amazing. The two of them then climbed onto the top of the structure, which I’d say was about the height of the Hell in a Cell, but with no netting, just girders! Manik appeared out of nowhere and leapt onto the ropes, knocked Greg to the mat and pulled the belt down for the win.
As the result was being announced, Earl Hebner was holding up Manik’s arm, as he knelt in the ring, obviously fatigued. It came across really weird to me, as you couldn’t see any emotion in his face! Should have lost the mask for a second.
Backstage Segment – Bully hypes up Mr. Anderson for his match.
BFG SERIES MATCH – MR. ANDERSON VS HERNANDEZ
I’ve never really been a fan of Anderson, I liked his mic work in WWE, but that’s about it. I don’t think he has anything particularly special about him. This was a pretty average match, with Anderson surprisingly dominating until Hernandez fired back with his chain of power moves and a near fall. After missing his running shoulder block, Hernandez gets caught with a Mic Check and loses.
Quick thought, is Hernandez TNA’s version of Sheamus? Rough style, Power moves, nationality gimmick but no real personality?
Backstage Segment – The Cameraman tries to talk to Dixie, but she’s too busy.
Backstage Segment – Eric Young is showing Joseph Park what happened in Parks match with Jeff Hardy (seeing blood, going crazy), has no one thought to show him before? Eric says he’s ‘pretty much a scientist now’ and swears to investigate it further.
Velvet Sky comes to the ring, and cuts a boring promo about not showing weakness anymore, and then takes a seat at ringside.
KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH – MICKIE JAMES VS GAIL KIM
Both women come out to cheers, I could’ve sworn they were heels. Evenly paced offence between both women, both getting warned by referee ODB. ODB has gotten chants for the last few weeks, TNA should just let her wrestle. I think with the matches Gail and Taryn Terrell have had in the past month, it makes normal one-on-one matches seem a bit tame. After being caught cheating by ODB, Gail gets in her face and slaps her, which distracts her long enough to get rolled up by Mickie.
Brooke Hogan comes on stage and asks why Gail is starting trouble with referees again, but reminds her ODB is on the active roster, teasing a match between the two at a later date.
Backstage Segment – Hulk and Dixie are discussing the legal problem, and wondering whether they should remove Sabin’s world title.
BFG SERIES MATCH – CHRISTOPHER DANIELS VS SAMOA JOE
I think I’ve seen these two fight about 50 times, should still be good though. Mike Tenay tells us that Daniels has never beaten Joe, which I found pretty shocking. Joe hit his turning enziguri which definitely connected to the side of Daniels head, but didn’t stay off him, pretty harsh. Joe was dominating this match, which annoyed me being such a fan of Daniels, he’s massively overlooked. As Joe was looking to the crowd, Anderson ran out and distracted him, letting Daniels drop him and hit the BME for the 3 count and 7 points.
BFS MATCH – AJ STYLES VS JEFF HARDY
Pretty cool difference between the two men and their attitudes to the crowd,AJ being completely apathetic, and Jeff lapping up the applause. As his gimmick/look has changed, AJ has altered his move set, making it more technical and high flying. Theme of the match was Jeff trying to fight back, onto for AJ to viciously take him back down. Jeff finally made a comeback with an ALLEY-OOP (remember when Big Show used to do that?) which the crowd go mad for. After Jeff missed a second rope splash, AJ Snap suplexed Jeff into the corner itself , and both men stayed down. Jeff attempted a twist of fate, which AJ span out of and hit a Pele kick, which he hasn’t done since his return. He followed that with the rolling Calf Killer and Jeff tapped.
Afterwards Jeff went for a handshake, which AJ ignored and left. They’re really trying to make him unlikeable.
Bully Ray comes to the ring and tells the crowd how he has been a victim of injustice. I genuinely think Bully is the best Promo man in TNA, he constantly says hypocritical things to get the crowd even more riled up. Sabin walks to the ring and tells Bully to stop crying, he lost the belt in the same way he retained it more than enough times.
Hulk interrupts both men, and before speaking poses for the crowd like the egomaniac he is. He says he’s not going to strip Sabin of the belt, but he’s got to admit that Bully has a rematch in his contract, and that he’s going to use that at the next Impact TV PPV ‘Hardcore Justice’ (IT WAS HARDCORE JUSTICE 2 LIKE A MONTH AGO!?) and it’s going to be in a steel cage match. Sabin looks a little bit scared as Bully shouts how much he hates Hogan and the show goes off air.
Notes: Interesting show, solid matches but nothing special. I would’ve liked to have seen Sabin looking stronger as the new champ, he didn’t really do much. Even when involved in Promos he was getting overshadowed. The X Division match stands out a lot, as it does every week, but I’m not sure about Manik being champion. How can you have meaningful rivalries when you don’t speak or even show any expression? (see: Sin Cara)
As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.
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