Friday, June 29, 2012

6/28/12 Impact

Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson: **1/2

Sonjay Dutt vs. Rubix: **3/4

Bully Ray vs. Samoa Joe: **1/2

Rashad Cameron vs. Mason Andrews: **3/4

Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. AJ Styles & Kurt Angle (Tag Team Titles): ***1/4

Video from last week, but basically the main thing is they let the world know there's no affair going on. The whole thing now...will Claire factor more into the storyline than what we currently see?

We start with a BFG Series match. Great job to start with RVD and Anderson to get the crowd pumped. Lots of quick pin attempts and mat wrestling to start. Love the unique submissions from RVD because submission wins get three more points than a pin. Nice counters and a good flow. Crowdin the front row kept throughout the match. Wow, a crucifix wins it for RVD...7 points. Shows RVD's leg strength a little more.

BFG Series matches also include house shows, so more people have points now. Storm is still in front for the moment.

Austin Aries promo. I'm still impressed that TNA put such a prestigious stipulation on that X-Division Title: relinquish the title at Destination X for a shot at the World Title. I honestly never would have thought of it, and didn't see it coming. It also helps build excellent hype for the PPV. Destination X will have a tournament to crown a new X-Division champ. Will include past stars. Love this move. Aries might have a mixed reputation backstage, but this is probably the best thing to happen to TNA in a while.

Roode interrupts the promo to intimidate Aries. They tease a fight, and Roode backs off. What this really should mean (and hopefully become reality) is that we'll finally have a new champion at Destination X. Aries should be the one to topple Roode. It would have tremendous long-term benefits for the X-Division Title and set a precedent for future X-Division champs to see it can be done. Think of it as TNA's version of Money in the Bank -- but this particular "briefcase" is defended throughout the year. Furthermore, an Aries win boosts his stock that much more, considering how long Roode's held the gold.

Backstage interview with Claire and Dixie to uncover more info. Typical "heel gets information and twists it to make others look bad" explanation. Kaz is pissed at Daniels, just 90 minutes or so before their rematch for the tag titles.

X-Division qualifying matches begin tonight. We see Sonjay Dutt and Rubix, who both basically wrestle on the indie circuit now. Rubix is a masked guy billed from the Bronx, so Taz is able to make some comments there. The match is predictably fast-paced, tons of counters and insane athleticism. Sonjay with the win, a top-rope backflip into a double-foot stomp for three. Sonjay moves on in the tournament. This is what I want to see more of. Call me a sucker for fast-paced, lucha-style matches, but this is highly entertaining, my friends. Good passionate promo from Sonjay after the match. Glad to see him back in TNA.

Bully Ray faces Samoa Joe. Good matchup here. Bully intimidation tactic doesn't work tonight. Hard hitting, as expected. Tenay finally mentions that you get MINUS 10 points if you get disqualified during a match. Remember that was RVD's problem last year when he feuded with Jerry Lynn. Lengthy match between Bully and Joe. Bully works on Joe's left arm. Bully's even got a Rock Bottom in him nowadays. Joseph park comes out, gets on the apron, and slaps Bully. Joe crawls back in for a chokeout submission win. 10 points for Joe.

Joseph Park issues a challenge to Bully Ray. They fight again in two weeks on Impact. Bully's probably accepting. Or they basically settle it at Destination X somehow. Either way works. The fans are buying into it, and you can really thank Bully Ray for getting so much heel heat that practically any face will benefit working against him.

Kaz basically goes to Hulk and throws Daniels under the proverbial bus. Doesn't work with Hogan.

Madison goes to Garett Bischoff. Madison apparently lets Garett know who the crush is. Garett wishes Madison well with that. Nice and cryptic.

Brooke Hogan shows Tessmacher promotional pictures with Direct Auto Insurance. The claws basically come out, but no physicality. Gail gets her title rematch next week.

More X-Division action with two guys I've really never seen before. Cameron looks like a shorter Kofi Kingston with the old Darren Young afro. Mason's style is aerial-MMA hybrid, which sounds awesome. Mason nearly undershoots Cameron on the corkscrew plancha. Pace slows down later, but still some nice moves. Love that both guys had a chance to really fly here. Mason with a sick vertical. Impressive body scissors hurricanrana from the top gets two. Cameron with a move like R-Truth's Little Jimmy finisher gets three. More of this, I say! Thank you, Philly 215.

It's Gut Check time to find out if Taeler Hendrix gets her Impact Wrestling contract. I missed the part about Taeler's cancer being a misdiagnosis last week. Pritchard is all "would you buy a PPV to watch Taeler?" Um, problem, Bruce. You have NO KNOCKOUT on the roster that has that type of storyline and clout working in tandem right now. The star power's there, but female storylines are still second fiddle to the men.

The way Borash announces, it feels like a damn game show. Let's go to the judges. The crowd is basically becoming like WWE, with fairly big "YES!" chants. Taz wastes no time in voting yes.

Oh snap, Joey Ryan sighting in the front row, right before Al Snow votes! Taz and Al confront Joey. Security escorts Joey out. Basically, it's another storyline brewing. TNA would be smart to keep Joey Ryan and his gimmick. This also gets Taeler a bit more nervous for the voting, so it works overall from that standpoint.

Anyway, Al votes him, Taeler's not ready yet. Of course, it has to be a split vote so that the third guy is actually relevant. Taeler gets some promo time to"kick out" and impress Pritchard. Pritchard builds up the tension, then shows how she's much classier than Joey Ryan. Pritchard votes yes. Taeler's got a contract! Note that there was really no mention of the fan vote, which still (from what I heard) was largely in Taeler's favor anyway.

BFG Series standings: James Storm with 36, Samoa Joe with 27, and the rest have 10 points or fewer.

Next week, James Storm faces Jeff Hardy. TNA will also conduct an interview with Chris Sabin. Video shown from that Ultimate X match a few weeks ago where he tore his left ACL. Second knee injury in two years. That's just extremely unfortunate. Wishing him well for a speedy recovery.

Tag title match is the main event. Still tension between Kaz and Daniels. Angle nukes Daniels in the ring. Angle tags AJ, and somehow it looks like AJ and Daniels botch that hurricanrana from the apron. AJ gets planted like a powerbomb, but Daniels flips over anyway to try and sell the move. AJ then pops right back up like nothing happened. But anyway, this is the usual wrestling clinic these four provide. Tenay and Taz miss Kaz decking Daniels while Daniels was trying to fight out of the German suplex barrage. Kaz with a nice TKO for a near fall. Fade to Black countered into ankle lock. More action from AJ. Ref bump. Daniels with the chair, Kaz takes it away. Bird flip to Daniels. Kaz tells AJ to finish Daniels off. Kaz sneaks back in and decks AJ with the chair. Ref thrown back in to count the pin, and we have new tag champs. Was Kaz's actions earlier on this episode all a ruse?

Daniels on the mic. Yes, we've seen Claire is pregnant. The daddy's AJ Styles? Claire sulks in her chair and starts crying, basically admitting guilt. Man, this is fit for Springer! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

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