Cubed Circle Newsletter #39: Destination X With A New TNA World Champion, Impact, RAW, NXT and So Much More! 26+ Pages!

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We have a gigantic issue for you this week covering Destination X, The New Japan/ All Japan joint show, NXT, The go-home show for Money in the Bank and a great edition of Impact. You can subscribe to the newsletter and get it sent straight to your inbox every week by either emailing subscriptions@cubedcirclewrestling.com or visiting cubedcirclewrestling.com.

 

New Japan Pro Wrestling & All Japan Pro Wrestling We Are Pro Wrestling Love

July 1st 2012
Sumo Hall, Tokyo, Japan

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

All in all this was very fun show. There was nothing bad on it and although it wasn’t as much of a feel good show as the All Together shows I enjoyed it more. Both championship matches were great and the way that Tanahashi worked the mainevent really surprised me. Kea and Akiyama put on a really great match, but for one reason or another, the crowd wasn’t into it. Even though the show was pretty long it didn’t really drag and that could be due to the fact that a lot of the stuff on the show was headed in a certain direction unlike the All Together shows. I would definitely recommend the show, even if you just go out of your way to see the two mainevents and the Nagata tag match.

 

 

 

1. Masanobu Fuchi, KENSO, & Captain NewJapanvs. Jado, Gedo & YOSHI-HASHI

 

KENSO and Jado started off. Jado was mimicking Ric Flair this time and landed some chops in the corner while wooing. KENSO attempted to mimic him, but they were more slaps and howls than woos and chops. KENSO turned around and Jado just did the Flair flop out of nowhere and tagged in YOSHI-HASHI. Captain New Japan and HASHI argued, but HASHI landed a dropkick and rammed New Japan’s head into the top turnbuckle. NewJapanlanded a big shoulderblock and knocked the heel team off of the apron, he then went to the top rope, but HASHI moved out of the way of the headbutt. Gedo was tagged in and Gedo, Jado and HASHI landed clotheslines on New Japan in the corner for the count of two. NewJapanlanded a flying crossbody onto both Gedo and Jado, but he was stomped by HASHI who was taken out by Fuchi. Fuchi proceeded to land a body slam on every member of the heel team, incuding a very long suspended bodyslam on Jado. KENSO and HASHI both landed some sloppy offense until HASHI was sent to the outside and the crowd got behind KENSO for his flying pescado. KENSO threw HASHI and Jado into the guardrail and sprung up onto the apron and landed a splash onto them. NewJapanlanded a yuranagi on Gedo and locked on the Caribbean Death Grip and pinned Gedo in 7:02. This was an absolute comedy match.

** ¼

2. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Shiryu, BUSHI & SUSHI vs. Prince Devitt , Ryusuke Taguchi, KAI, Hiroshi Yamato & Hiromu Takahashi

 

Liger and Devitt started off. Both men worked in and out of holds quickly, working back to the feet. They had another athletic exchange and the tags were made to Yamato and Shiryu, Yamato unloaded with some elbows and caught Shiryu with a dropkick. Shiryu tumbled over Yamato’s clothesline and Devitt attempted to hold him, however this resulted in the two team members striking each other. Takahashi was brought in but the same exact thing happened with him. Shiryu bolted under and he was finally caught with a shot, but he responded with five kip ups which resulted in all four men in the ring doing a wacky jump, to the crowd’s delight. Taguchi and SUSHI were tagged in. SUSHI landed a suplex and went to the top rope where he missed the diving headbutt. Devitt was tagged in and he landed a dropkick to a grounded SUSHI for the count of two. Yamato was tagged in and he landed some strikes on SUSHI before Takahashi was tagged in and they went back to Devitt and Taguchi. They continued to make quick tags on SUSHI until SUSHI made a quick comeback on KAI who responded with a dropkick. KAI landed a double foot stomp from the top rope, but Liger broke it up. KAI landed some boots, but SUSHI refused to go down and landed a backstabber and tagged in Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask landed a Tiger bomb for two on Kai and went for the Tiger suplex, but Kai countered. Tiger Mask was caught with a flying enzuigiri from KAI and the tags where made to Takahashi and BUSHI. BUSHI was sent to the outside, but there was some interference by both teams which resulted in Yamato and KAI landing stereo topé suicidas on BUSHI and SUSHI. Taguchi and Devitt landed dual dropkicks and topé con giros on Tiger Mask and Liger. Takahashi followed this with a fisherman’s suplex on BUSHI for the count of two, but BUSHI landed an enzuigiri and 450 splash for the win in 08:50.

** ¾

3. Takao Omori, Hirooki Goto, Karl Anderson & Manabu Soya  vs. TAKA Michinoku, Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, & Taichi

 

For once we did not get Suzuki and Goto and instead Suzuki and Soya started off. Soya landed some slaps to the chest of Goto and took him down with a shoulder block. Soya followed it with an attempted suplex, but Suzuki locked in a front facelock and tagged in Archer.Andersonwas called in by Archer and he was thrown over Archer’s head with a choke,Andersonfought back with some strikes, but Archer landed a big boot and made the tag to Taichi. Taichi wanted Omori and Omori came in. Taichi offered the handshake, but Omori was attacked from behind by Michinoku. However Omori fought back and landed a piledriver on Taichi. Omori came off the ropes, but he was hit by Archer and the face team were taken off the apron by the heels. Taichi landed a chair shot to the back of Omori and he and Michinoku strangled Omori on the outside. Taichi landed a lariat in the corner and Michinoku landed a flying knee, Taichi proceeded to land a shot to the groin and Michinoku counted to three for no apparent reason. Michinoku landed some shots on Omori and brought him back to the heel corner where he was chopped by Suzuki and Taichi. Goto stormed the ring, but he was quickly disposed of by Archer. Suzuki landed some chops and Archer was tagged back in. He strangled Omori with the boot and landed a lariat in the corner, Archer went for a chokeslam but he was caught with a leg lariat from Omori and the tag was made to Goto. Goto landed a big lariat on Archer and landed a leg lariat on Suzuki knocking him off the apron, the heels attempted to interfere but Omori made the save, allowing for Goto to land the backdrop driver on Archer for two. Archer landed a vertical suplex and tagged in Suzuki who ran up toAndersonand delivered a slap, butAndersonfired back with slaps and a back senton for two.Andersonwas caught with a boot and kick to the chest for two.Andersonwent for a clothesline, Suzuki got the sleeper, it was countered into the gun stun, but that was in turn countered into another sleeper.Andersonwas pulled into the heel corner and he was double teamed by Taichi, Michinoku, Archer and Suzuki. Archer landed a full nelson slam onAndersonwhich allowed Taichi to make the cover for two. Taichi got the modified Gedo clutch for two, but the pin was broken up. Taichi landed a large lariat and went for another, butAndersonwouldn’t go down and Omori came in with a lariat allowing for the gun stun for the win in 12:09.

*** ¼

4. Masakatsu Funaki, Masayuki Kono & Minoru Tanaka vs. Yuji Nagata, Wataru Inoue & KUSHIDA

 

Funaki and Nagata started off. The first few minutes were spent with Funaki and Nagata pushing each other up against the ropes. Nagata went for a strike, but Funaki unloaded with kicks and other strikes knocking Nagata to the mat. Funaki landed some kicks to the chest of Nagata and took him down with a knee to the head. Nagata landed a release side suplex and made the tag to KUSHIDA who was in with Tanaka. Tanaka’s back was all taped up. He landed some kicks on KUSHIDA, but KUSHIDA got the better of an athletic exchange. Inoue and Tanaka went at it and Tanaka landed a dropkick. The tag was made to Kono who landed a big boot on Inoue. Kono landed a body slam, but Inoue landed an invert piledriver for two. Nagata was tagged in and landed some kicks to the chest of Kono and an exploder out of the corner. Nagata went for a boot it was caught, Kono and Nagata then went to an elbow exchange. Nagata landed a knee in the corner and looked at Funaki who was seething. Kono landed a suplex and made the tag to Funaki who landed some kicks in the corner. Tanaka landed some kicks to the leg and midsection, but Nagata got the back of Funaki and landed a backdrop driver. Kono landed a knee on Nagata and Inoue everyone ran in knocking everyone else to the outside. KUSHIDA and Inoue went after Funaki – Kono attempted to intervene, but Inoue leaped over him and landed a spear on Funaki. Funaki missed a corkscrew shooting star press, but he got a roll up for two and landed an enzuigiri. However Funaki landed a highkick and locked in a sleeper. He was guarded by Tanaka and Kono and he landed the Hybrid Blaster for the win in 09:48. After the match he saluted Nagata in a mocking manner and Nagata went after him the fight had to be broken up, but all the men in the ring struggled to hold them apart. This was another great part of the feud of the year quality Nagata/Funaki feud that started at the Tokyo Dome show.

*** ½

5. AllAsia Tag Team Championship Match

Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Akebono & RyotaHama

 

Okabayashi and Akebono started the match off, Okabayashi landed some chops, but Akebono just stared at him and took him down with a shoulder block. Okabayashi landed some more chops, but he was taken down by Akebono who landed some elbows to a grounded Okabayashi. Akebono knocked Sekimoto off of the apron and tagged inHama.Hamalanded a shot to the face of Okabayashi and landed a bodyslam followed by a twisting back senton! Okabayashi attempted a sunset flip,Hamasat down but missed and Okabayashi landed a kick. Sekimoto was tagged in and he landed some shots to the chest ofHama.Hamapushed Sekimoto and this led to a strike exchange between the two. Sekimoto landed a dropkick and landed a lariat in the corner. Okabayashi was tagged back in and he landed some chops onHama. Okabayashi landed some chops onHamawho landed a headbutt on Okabayashi. Sekimoto was tagged in as Okabayashi was pushed into his own corner and he landed some kicks to the gut ofHama. Okabayashi landed some more chops onHamaand elbows to the head, but Okabayashi was caught with a sidewalk slam and the tag was made to Akebono. Akebono landed a splash in the corner and an elbow on the ground, but Okabayashi kicked out at two. Okabayashi landed some elbows to the gut of Akebono, but he was slapped and taken down with a lariat. Akebono went for a splash, but Okabayashi moved and Sekimoto was tagged in. He tried a lariat from all different angles, but he couldn’t get Akebono down. He finally landed a dropkick to the knee and a dropkick to a grounded Akebono for two. Akebono landed a spinout powerslam and tagged inHamawho landed a colossal leg drop for two. Sekimoto landed a missile dropkick onHamaand tagged in Okabayashi. Both Okabayashi and Sekimoto landed lariats onHamaand brought him up for a huge double suplex. Sekimoto landed a frogsplash and Okabayashi landed a splash from the top rope for two. Sekimoto went for a lariat in the corner, but Akebono came out with a charging lariat on both men. This allowedHamato kill Okabayashi in the corner with an Umaga esque pelvic smash in the corner and a sitout senton and splash for two. Sekimoto was taken to the outside by Akebono andHamawent to the top, but he was caught with the biggest powerbomb in the world from Okabayashi. Okabayashi tookHamadown with a lariat for two, but he was caught with a big flying body press fromHama, which was broken up by Sekimoto.Hamafinally landed a jackknife on Okabayashi for the win in 12:35. This was a very good match considering the team ofHamaand Akebono’s size and it was really worked the right way. Instead of getting every spot you have ever seen in a big man match, like the double suplex on one man reversal or the move where the smaller man goes for a powerbomb but then fails we got spots like the powerbomb out of the corner and the double suplex.

***

 

6. Tetsuya Naito & TamaTongavs. Seiya Sanada & Joe Doering

 

Sanada and Naito started off. Naito locked in a top wrist lock on Sanada, but Sanada fought out and locked in one of his own. Naito slapped Sanada as he made the clean break and this transitioned straight into a fiery elbow exchange. Both men had an athletic exchange working all the way to the mat and back up. The respective tags were made to Tongaand Doering. They also had an athletic exchange with Tongalanding lots of leapfrogs and taking Doering down with a big chop. The crowd was super into Tongaas most crowds seem to be and he was backdropped really high by Doering. Sanada was tagged in and he took Tongadown with an elbow, Tongabegan to make a comeback, but Doering made a tag that Tonganever saw to set up a few double teams. Sanada locked in the top wrist lock again, but Tongabroke it and came flying off the top with a whisper in the wind – this allowed him to make the tag to Naito. Naito ran wild and landed a missile dropkick on Sanada. Naito slapped Sanada again, Sanada responded with elbows, but Naito delivered another emphatic slap. Both men ran the ropes really fast trying to catch one another off guard, but Sanada slowed things down with an abdominal stretch. Naito got out with a hip toss and landed a dropkick and enzuigiri followed by a German suplex, but Sanada landed on the feet. Both men exchanged nearfalls, Naito landed an enzuigiri and Sanada landed a flying elbow allowing for him to make the tag to Doering. Naito landed a neckbreaker and made the tag to Tongawho landed a flying crossbody for two. Tongalanded a spinning Alabamaslam on Doering for a nearfall and Naito landed a dropkick on Sanada. Doering landed a spinebuster and brought him up for a powerbomb, but Tongagot a rollup for two. Doering picked Tongaout of a rollup and landed a powerbomb followed by the spinout powerbomb for the win in 12:21.
*** ¼

 

7. Shinsuke Nakamura & Kazuchika Okada vs. Suwama & Shuji Kondo

 

Nakamura and Suwama exchanged holds on the mat. Nakamura was caught in a top wrist lock, but he used to ropes to work his way out of it. They had an exchange on the mat and then went to the feet. Nakamura took advantage of a destraction and made the tag to Okada who got a superstar level reaction. He and Suwama traded elbows, but Okada gained the advantage with some uppercuts and a dropkick to the back of the head of a grounded Suwama. Okada was thrown to the outside where he and Suwama brawled. He was whipped into the barricade, but came off with a huge lariat on Okada and landed a chair shot to the back. Kondo and Nakamura went at it in the ring, but the main focus was on the action on the outside. Suwama threw a table on top of Okada. Suwama pushed Okada, which made Okada snicker, but he was pushed against and that time he was held by Kondo, which allowed Suwama to land a kick. Okada landed some elbows in the ring and he was knocked down with a big shot from Suwama. Suwama landed an elbow on the ground and tagged in Kondo, he taunted the crowd – which made it evident that Kondo and Suwama were the heels. Kondo threw Okada over the top of his head and made the tag back to Suwama. Suwama landed a lariat and dropped an elbow for the count of two. Suwama landed a belly to belly suplex for the count of two and followed it with some taunting kicks to the head. However he was caught with a flapjack from Okada who finally made the tag to Nakamura who unloaded with knees and shots in the corner. Suwama landed the big knee to a suspended Suwama in the corner for the count of two. Suwama and Nakamura traded elbows, both men landed boots and they went face to face. Nakamura went for a highkick he missed, but caught Suwama on the second revolution. He then landed an axe kick and went for the Bome Ye, but it was blocked by Suwama who went for a big lariat, however Nakamura landed a backstabber. Okada was tagged in and he landed the neckbreaker for two, he was caught with a belly to belly suplex by Suwama who went for the last ride, but Nakamura interfered and both men landed an arm over shoulder dropkick. Suwama fought back with some big double palm strikes and Kondo landed a clothesline bulldog combo on Nakamura and Okada. Suwama landed a huge release German suplex on Okada and Okada landed a spear for two, because of the break from Nakamura. Kondo was caught in the over the shoulder belly to back neckbreaker over the knee and an elbow from the top, he then taunted for the rainmaker, but Kondo landed a powerslam. He went for the big lariat, but Okada landed a dropkick and the rainmaker for the win in 14:13. After the match a fight broke out between Suwama, Nakamura and Okada. All Okada did while the fight was going on was no sell Suwama and do the rainmaker pose.

*** ½

 

Stan Hansen came out for a guest appearance. He thanked everyone for supporting 40 years of All Japan and New Japan. He said that pro wrestlers try really hard, but they do it all for the fans. He then thanked all of the fans on behalf of everyone in All Japan and New Japan.

8. Keiji Mutoh, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii

 

When Iizuka made his entrance, pulled the announcer over the table and ripped his shirt off you could hear Liger who was at ringside say “oh, sh*t” which was rather amusing. Yano, Iizuka and Ishii initiated a brawl before the match even began. If you have seen the previous brawls betweenYanaand Iizuka and TenKoji you have basically seen them all. Tenzan and Kojima double teamed Yano in the ring and Tenzan made the take to Mutoh. Mutoh landed an elbow drop and locked in an STF, but he was kicked by Ishii. However he was taken to the outside by Iizuka who slammed a chair into the back of Mutoh. Mutoh was taken into the corner of Yano and Iizuka and he was chopped by Ishii. Iizuka strangled Mutoh with the rope from the turnbuckle pad and covered him for the count of two. Mutoh was kicked by Iizuka and Yano was tagged in, Yano taunted Tenzan by landing his signature Mongolian chops and even doing the Mutoh taunt. This sent Mutoh over the edge and he made the tag to Kojima following a dropkick. Kojima unloaded with the Kobashi style machinegun chops in the corner, he landed the knee and went up top and landed the elbow for two. Kojima landed some elbows, but he was brought to the mat by Yano with a hair pull. Kojima blocked the lariat of Yano and landed a DDT. He went for a lariat of his own, but Iizuka got in a cheap shot and the tag was made to him. Kojima made the tag to Tenzan who ran wild. He landed the Mongolian chops on Iizuka and followed them with a big lariat in the corner. He went to the tope rope and landed the bulldog for a count of two. Tenzan landed a suplex for another nearfall, Iizuka raked the eyes, but he was taken down with a leg lariat from Tenzan. Iizuka landed an atomic drop and made the tag to Ishii. Ishii was taken down with a clothesline and the hot-tag was made to Mutoh who ran wild landing dragon screws on everyone and locking the figure four in on Ishii. At the same time Tenzan had the Anaconda vice on Iizuka and Kojima had a submission of his own on Yano. Mutoh landed the shining wizard in the corner and TenKoji landed the 3D on Ishii which set up the shining wizard for two (the referee was pulled out of the ring). A chair was brought in by Yano and Iizuka donned the claw, however Mutoh moved and Iizuka struck Yano. This allowed Mutoh to land the shining wizard on Iizuka and Kojima landed a huge lariat on Ishii and Tenzan a head butt. This set up a moonsault from Mutoh on Ishii for the win in 12:09. The half naked commentator was brought into the ring and the 3D was landed on Iizuka together with a shining wizard from Mutoh and a lariat in the corner from the announcer. I guess WWE isn’t the only promotion with half naked wrestling announcers.

***

 

9. Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Match

Jun Akiyama vs. Taiyo Kea

 

Kea and Akiyama went back and forth on the mat and exchanged in and out of wrist locks on the feet. Akiyama locked in a hold on the leg, but Kea reached the ropes. Kea landed a shoulder block and a F5 into an ace crusher for the count of two. This resulted in Akiyama rolling to the outside and Akiyama hanging Akiyama up on the guardrail right in front of Hansen. Kea landed a reverse DDT on the apron which was sold as a big deal. Akiyama was thrown back into the ring and covered for the count of two. Kea followed the nearfall with a neckbreaker for another two count. Kea locked a hold on the jaw and neck of Akiyama and wrenched back. Kea proceeded to transition from one hold to another on the mat. He landed a bodyslam followed by an elbow to a grounded Akiyama for two. Kea went for a powerbomb, but Akiyama landed a backdrop and Kea ran into the bottom turnbuckle which resulted in Akiyama landing a big kick to the face. Kea rolled to the outside and Akiyama pressed a knee into the back of Kea and rammed him into the guardrail. Akiyama followed that by throwing Kea into the guardrail. Akiyama dragged Kea onto the apron and landed a knee to the back of Kea guillotine style. Akiyama landing a leaping knee in the ring and ran with another for the count of two. Akiyama landed a piledriver for the count of two and landed another knee to the chest knocking Kea down. Akiyama locked in a headlock and wrenched back on the neck of Kea. Akiyama landed a Super Dragon style boot to the back of the head, but Kea landed a chop. Kea and Akiyama went to the strike exchange, but Akiyama landed some straight down elbow shots to the head of Kea. Akiyama came off the top, but he was caught with a dropkick from Kea. Kea knocked Akiyama down with a lariat and landed a flying forearm for the count of two. Kea landed a Russian leg sweep for another nearfall and locked in a facelock followed by a brainbuster for two. Kea went to the top, but he was caught with a running boot by Akiyama that knocked him to the outside. Akiyama landed a knee for another count of two and a huge exploder for two. Akiyama then locked in the guillotine, but Kea got a leg on the rope. Akiyama went for a big boot, but was caught with some strikes and a backdrop driver from Kea. Kea was not able to capitalize because of the neck, but he perched Akiyama up on the top and landed a frankensteiner for the count of two. Kea locked in a sleeper, but Akiyama fought out and landed an exploder, Kea landed an exploder, but he was caught with a huge knee from Akiyama. Both men were down. Akiyama landed another exploder, but Kea still kicked out. Akiyama landed a double underhook DDT and a knee to the back of the head for another nearfall. Akiyama landed the Sternness Dust but Kea still kicked out! Kea caught Akiyama with a jumping DDT and landed a sleeper suplex for another nearfall. The crowd was not as hot as you would have expected which was disappointing. Kea landed the Tiger Driver on the knee for another nearfall and went for the ace crusher that he had opened the match with, but Akiyama locked in a front facelock. Kea dropped to the mat and Akiyama landed a running knee for the count of two. Akiyama then landed the Sternness Dust for the win in 23:26. This really was your classic All Japan style heavyweight matchup.

****

10. IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe

 

Makabe took Tanahashi to the ground, but they both worked up to the feet anyway. Makabe took Tanahashi to the outside with shoulderblocks, but Tanahashi pulled him down and rammed his leg into the post to boos from the crowd. Tanahashi landed some elbows to the knee and Makabe called for more. Tanahashi rammed Makabe’s leg into the canvas and almost taunted the crowd with his air guitar. Tanahashi continued to work on the leg. He locked in a submission and then pulled Makabe back to the middle of the ring to thunderous boos. Makabe and Tanahashi began to exchange elbows and Makabe landed a powerslam. Makabe landed two big lariats in the corner and then unloaded on Tanahashi with shots to the head in the corner. Makabe then landed a lariat knocking Tanahashi to the outside. Makabe landed a lariat on Tanahashi knocking him over the barricade and setting up a splash against the post. Makabe locked in a headlock which caused the fans to get behind Tanahashi. Tanahashi made it to his feet, but he was knocked back down with a right fist from Makabe who went back to the headlock. Makabe gave someone the finger and landed a straight vertical suplex for two. Tanahashi fought back with some elbows in the corner and a flying forearm. Tanahashi landed a dropkick to the leg of Makabe which set up the high fly flow to the outside. Makabe made it back in at seventeen and fought off multiple cloverleaf attempts from Tanahashi and landed a huge lariat knocking Tanahashi down. Once both men were back up Makabe landed another big lariat and a northern lights suplex for the count of two. Makabe landed a modified Michinoku driver for two and landed a torture rack bomb for two. He then went for the King Kong knee but Tanahashi moved. Tanahashi landed a dropkick to the leg and followed it with couple of dragon screws. He then locked in the cloverleaf and after a struggle Makabe made it to the ropes. Tanahashi landed a bridging German suplex for a very close nearfall and went for the high fly flow, but Makabe got the knees up. Both men landed up face to face for the strike exchange, but Tanahashi took the easy way out with a kick to the leg. Makabe went for an elbow, but he kicked the leg again – Tanahashi kept teasing strikes, but landed up kicking the leg instead. Makabe landed a powerbomb for the count of two and landed a bridging full nelson suplex for two. Makabe landed a lariat to the back of Tanahashi and landed the spider German suplex. He then landed the King Kong knee to the back of Tanahashi’s head. He went to the well again, but Tanahashi moved and Makabe sold the leg. Makabe was taken down with a dragon screw for further boos and he went to the top for the highfly flow, but he was caught with a lariat. Makabe had Tanahashi on the shoulders, Tanahashi countered and went for the straight jacket German suplex, but Makabe countered with an elbow of his own. However Tanahashi finally landed the bridging German suplex for two, Tanahashi landed the sling blade and another from the other direction. He then landed a high fly flow to the back and front for the win in 22:31.

 

This match was very interesting for a few reasons. It could have been a once off thing, but Tanahashi worked as the heel pretty much from start to finish and the crowd really bought into it. I could see this being the start to a Tanahashi turn in a way or it could have been a once off occurrence. Either way the match was a very good way to cap of a fun show and the crowd was still pretty into Tanahashi after the match since he even did his air guitar.

****

 

TNA Destination X July 8th 2012

Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was a very good show overall, mainly due to the second half. The first half was fun in parts, but for the most part it was much of the same and a lot of the matches were sloppy. However the show had three great matches and it finished on such a high that it definitely was one of the better shows of the year so far. The X division stuff was obviously necessary, but I think that streamlining the matches so that they didn’t bleed into each other so badly would have helped. Even with some of the problems that the show had I would definitely recommend it, it had many strong points and the mainevent, last man standing match and Joe vs. Angle made the show really worth while.

 

1. Rubix (Jigsaw) vs. Mason Andrews (Scorpio Sky) vs. Lars Only (Johnny Yuma) vs. Dakota Darsow

 

This match was the absolute definition of a spotfest. There was a lot of sloppiness involved and although Andrews and Rubix were decent they didn’t really make up for Only and Darsow. The finish came whenYumalanded a knee to the face of Andrews and an F5 neckbreaker for the win. The match did have all the flips and dives, but it was one big highspot and not a very well performed one at that.

* ½

 

2. Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews

 

After Andres pinned Only Kash came running out to start the match. Andrews was thrown to the outside by Kash who landed a chop and threw him into the post. Andrews placed his boot on the chest of Andrews, but Andrews kicked out. Kash went for a few more nearfalls, but Andrews kicked out. Andrews began to fire back with a pair of dropkicks and a crucifix pin for two. Andrews was hung up on the top rope by Kash who proceeded to land some shots to a downed Andrews. Andrews landed a few shots, but Kash landed a kick for the count of two. Kash proceeded to rough Andrews up some more and landed a release suplex for two. Kash landed a backbreaker and went to the top where he dropped a forearm. Kash gave Andrews the finger and landed some slaps, but Andrews began to fight back. Andrews was quickly cut off by Kash who showed the crowd the middle finger. Andrews fought of a key lock and was cut off once again with a running elbow shot. Andrews was thrown out to the floor and Kash confronted a fan. Kash went to the top for a springboard moonsault, but Andrews got the legs up. Kash landed some shots, but Andrews took him down and landed a flurry of shots culminating in a dropkick. Kash ran into the turnbuckle and Andrews landed a hurricanrana followed by a missile dropkick. Andrews landed a bicycle kick for two and Kash got a backslide. Andrews finally caught Kash with a school boy for the win in 08:07.

** ½

 

Joe was interviewed. He was asked if he could give his prediction for that night. He said that nothing but great would do to beat the man that beat him – Austin Aries. He said that he looked at the leader board from one year ago and his strategy was to injure people, but he said that he had seen the light. He said that the road to the title was paved with the Bound for Glory series and asked what Angle represented. Joe said that Angle was not a gold medallist he was ten points and not an indestructible machine – he was an ends to a means.

 

3. Douglas Williams vs. Kenny King

 

King and Williams had an exchange of holds on the mat which worked up to the feet. Williams got a backslide for two, but King responded with one of his own to the same result. Williams offered the hand in the middle of the match and then pulled King in for the cheap shot. King was thrown to the outside, but King caught Williams with a corkscrew pescado. King landed a snap suplex rolling into some shots on the mat. King got a drop toe hold and locked in a side headlock. However Williams took King back to the mat. King fought back with some armdrags and locked in an armbar. Williams landed an elbow from the top to a standing King followed by the clothesline. Williams locked in the camel clutch pulling at the nose, but King caught Williams with a beautifully timed roll up for two. Williams landed a suplex and held on, but he was caught with an enzuigiri from King. King landed some shot clothesline and a windmill kick for two followed by a highkick and spinebuster for two. Williams went to the top, he was caught by King, but he threw King straight to the outside. This led to Williams landing a flying knee to the outside. King hung Williams up and landed a springboard neckbreaker for two. Williams got a rollup for two and caught King with a knee in the corner. King followed this with a Shouten Kai like manoeuvre for the win in 10:33.

***

 

Daniels was interviewed. He said that a lot could happen in one year, because the previous year Styles was his lackey. He said that last year it was more important for him to befriend Styles than to win, but he said that he changed his mentality and rose to the top and won the title. He said that all that mattered on that night was beating his opponent senseless. Daniels said that Styles had to know what type of man he was. He said that Styles was a man that slept with the president and a defenceless, intoxicated woman. He said that when the going gets tough Styles was more of a man that would lie down than stand up. He finished by saying that he would win the last man standing match.

 

4. Sonjay Dutt vs. Ra’Shad Cameron

 

The match started off with an athletic exchange. Dutt landed a dropkick, but Cameron caught him with one of his own followed by a Devitt esque topé con giro. Dutt landed a hurricanrana and a baseball slide that caught Cameron right on the top of the head. Dutt was pulled off of the apron before he could land theAsiamoonsault and was then thrown into the guardrail. Cameron was working as a heel taunting the crowd. The fans got behind Dutt and Cameron landed a shot to the gut followed by a body scissors. Dutt landed a bulldog into the corner followed by a guillotine from the top rope and a splash for two. Dutt landed an armdrag, but Cameron got a rollup for two. Cameron was sent to the top, but he landed a hurricanrana and locked in an armbar. Dutt landed a sliced bread and went to the top rope where he landed the moonsault into the double foot stomp which looked like it killed Cameron.

** ¾

 

There was a recap of the Jesse Sorenson incident from February. They had an interview with his mother who was also at the arena and very emotional. The doctor that they interviewed was very optimistic and said that they would get him back in the ring. This was a nice change from the “he shouldn’t wrestle again, but he went against my judgment” kind of thing that always gets me worried. He was brought out to the arena. He was asked how he felt and he replied by saying that it was just good to feel something. He said that the last time he was had the arena he couldn’t feel anything and he stared at the ceiling for days afterwards wondering if he would ever walk again. However he said that when he left he heard everyone cheering his name and that chant motivated him to come back. He said that God had placed him on the earth to be a pro wrestler and he thanked everyone. Sorenson said that he hoped that Ion would win the X Division title so he could beat him for it and become X Division champion and then world champion at Destination X the next year. Ion then came out for his match.

 

5. Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova

 

Ion attacked Cassanova from behind and landed a big clothesline. Ion landed a slap in the corner and Cassanova landed a dropkick and flying head scissors. Cassanova followed this with a tumbling moonsault to the outside. Ion strangled Cassanova in the ropes, but Cassanova landed some shots. Ion landed a big baseball slide. Ion applied some hair spray before going for a moonsault, but Cassanova got the knees up and landed a springboard corkscrew of some sort for two. Cassanova went to the top and went for the moonsault sitout senton, but Ion countered and landed a facebuster and gory bomb for the win in 03:52.

**

 

King, Dutt and Andrews were interviewed. King said that it was his coronation night and Dutt said that he would drop a bomb and become champion. Andrews then said it was his moment when Roode came by. Roode said that it was his moment and his show and that the new champion didn’t mean much, because he would destroy their poster boy Austin Aries. He said Aries would fail and the X Division would fail, but most of all he would walk out as champion.

 

6. Kurt Angle vs.SamoaJoe

 

The crowd was really hot for the match and split right down the middle. Angle landed some armdrags and went for the ankle lock, but he was pushed off by Joe. Angle locked in a front facelock, but Joe powered out and landed some shots in the corner followed by some face washes. Joe bodydropped Angle to the outside and landed a topé suicida. Angle landed a kick and some boots to the gut of Joe. Joe landed a pelé and perched Angle on the top rope, but Angle landed a missile dropkick. Angle locked in a headlock, but Joe fought out with elbows. Angle landed a release belly to belly suplex for two and locked in a crossface. Joe fought out and went to the top, Ankle leapt up and went for the belly to belly, but he was pushed off and Joe landed a leg lariat from the top rope. Joe teed off with some shots and landed a big boot and a back senton for two. Joe landed a snap powerslam for two and attempted to lock in an armbar, but Angle blocked and locked in the ankle lock. Angle followed the ankle lock with three huge holding German suplexes. Ankle went for the Angle slam, but Joe rolled out and set up the muscle buster. But, Angle countered it into a sunset flip and locked in the ankle lock, he was pushed off by Joe who landed a yuranagi and the muscle buster for two. Joe locked in the rear naked choke, but Angle countered it into the ankle lock. Joe was pulled straight to the centre, but he was flipped straight into the rear naked choke. Angle fought out and landed the Angle slam for the count of two in an awesome nearfall. Angle went for the ankle lock, Joe kicked Angle off and locked in the rear naked choke again, Angle attempted to fight out but Angle faded in 14:36. After the match Angle looked upset and Joe shot to the top of the leader board.

*** ¾

 

7. Last Man Standing Match

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

 

Daniels stalled on the outside, taunting Styles. Daniels spat in the face of Styles, which led to Styles unloading on Daniels, until Daniels again took off on the outside. Daniels was rammed into the turnbuckle by Styles, but he fought back with some shots of his own. Back in the ring Daniels landed a headbutt, but Styles responded with a dropkick and began to land kick to the chest and head of Daniels. Styles landed a suplex into the corner and a bodyslam followed by a knee, but Daniels moved. Daniels landed some chops, but Styles landed some of his own. Daniels caught Styles with a shot out of nowhere and grabbed a chair from the outside. He threw the chair into the ring and slammed Styles’ head into the apron, raking at the eyes. Styles went for a splash in the corner off of the chair, but Daniels landed a yuranagi onto the chair. Daniels slammed Styles’ head into the steps and taunted some fans. Daniels took a bow after insulting the fan and landed some shots. Daniels placed the steps on their side and Styles (now bleeding) tries to fight back, but he was quickly taken down in the ring by Daniels. Daniels grabbed the chair, but Styles kicked the leg and landed a springboard punch against the chair knocking Daniels to the outside. Styles then rammed Daniels right into the steps and Daniels began to bleed. Styles landed some shots to the head of a bleeding Daniels who began to back off and retreat. Styles landed some shots on Daniels on the entrance ramp and went for a clothesline, but Daniels collided with Styles and they both went down on the entrance way. Both men exchanged some shots on the entrance way, but Styles caught him with the pelé and went for the Styles clash. However, Daniels countered it into a big back body drop on the stage. Styles performed the springboard reverse DDT off of a part of the entrance ramp in a big spot. At the count of seven Kazarian ran in and pushed Styles off of the stage onto the concrete below. Styles made it up at eight and Daniels came running down the stairs and slammed Styles head into the guardrail. Daniels grabbed a table and set it up in the concrete section below the stage and brought Styles onto the ramp. He went for the Angel’s Wings, but Styles pushed Daniels forward into Kazarian and landed a pelé. Styles then landed a Styles Clash off of the stage through the table for the win in 17:44. This was an amazing last man standing match.

**** ¼

 

Aries was interviewed. He was asked his thoughts on the ultimate X match and he said that he was very excited for it, but with respect to the X division it was in his rear-view mirror and what was in front of him was the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He said that Storm won matches with beer bottles, but he won matches with brain busters. He said that he wanted to give the people someone they could be proud of. He said he would not only be the new face of TNA, but also the new face of pro wrestling. He finished by said that he would prove why he is the greatest man that ever lived.

 

8. Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship

Sonjay Dutt vs. Kenny King vs. Mason Andrews vs. Zema Ion

 

Ion sprayed his hair and he was taken down by everyone. He landed some elbows, but Andrews, King and Dutt responded with a triple dropkick. Dutt landed a flying head scissors on King and King was pushed to the outside by Ion. Ion was hung up in the tree of woe and King landed an exploder on Andrews into Ion who was still in the tee of woe. King landed an enzuigiri on Dutt to the outside and King began to climb, but he was caught with a dropkick from Dutt. Dutt then landed a standing shooting star press, but he separated his shoulder on impact and landed face first on the bottom rope, this led to him being taken to the back. Ion started to climb, but he was pulled down by Andrews and King landed a springboard dropkick on Ion. Andrews landed a second rope backsuplex on King. King missed a corkscrew pescado on Ion and Andrews landed a dive to the outside on both Ion and King on the outside. Andrews started to climb, but King landed a springboard spear. Dutt came back in and he and Andrews began to climb after throwing Ion into the steel. King and Andrews were both up top, but they both came crashing down with a neckbreaker. Ion and Dutt then climbed to the top of the metal structure and navigated their way precariously to the centre. They exchanged shots on top of the structure and Dutt did an insane balancing act for a man that just dislocated his shoulder and he dropped down from the steel and had his feet on the X ropes. However as he was about to drop down he was sprayed with hair spray by Ion and he took a rather well taken bump considering his situation and Ion grabbed the championship.

*** ¼

 

Ion was interviewed at ringside. He shouted at the fans and said that he dedicated his win to his critics at the haters. But, he said that he most of all dedicated his win to his guiding light Jesse, because if he never broke his neck he wouldn’t have realized his potential. He said that he would be the greatest X Division Champion of all time and the fans chanted transition. I was far more comfortable with the progression of the angle now than when Sorenson first broke his neck. Considering at the time that Sorenson broke his neck no one knew if he would come back, but now it seems like a fine direction to go in.

 

9. TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match

Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries

 

Roode locked in a wrist lock, but Aries transitioned it into one of his own. Aries was knocked down by a shoulder block from Roode who got a rollup for two and locked in an STF. Aries spun right around Roode and landed some slaps. Aries landed an elbow on Roode on the ground, but Roode locked in a head scissors. Aries landed a dropkick and an axe handle to the outside. Aries went for a missile dropkick, but Roode moved and began to land some boots on Aries. Roode landed a vertical suplex and a knee drop, followed by a headlock. Roode landed a running forearm and a bodyslam. He went for a knee drop from the top, but Aries moved and landed some kicks to the legs of Roode and locked in a chancery. He didn’t get all of it and was forced to break. Aries dropped Roode to the floor and went for a topé suicida, but Roode moved which resulted in Aries going mouth first into the guardrail. Roode landed a spear for two and landed a stomp to the midsection. Roode landed a front suplex for two. Aries began to fight back, but Roode landed a knee to the gut of Aries. Aries was forced into the corner. Roode shouted “give up, you’re not in my league.” At Aries and dropped Aries off with the Samoan drop for two. Roode locked in a bearhug and halted Aries from making his way to the feet. Aries got a schoolboy for two, but he was then caught with a big clothesline. Roode continued to shout “you are nothing” at Aries, but Aries made it to his feet and they began to exchange strikes. Aries landed a discus elbow and looked at Roode with crazy eyes knocking him to the outside with a clothesline. Aries was able to land the topé suicida and went to the top rope and landed a missile dropkick. He went for a dropkick in the corner, but Roode landed a powerslam for two. Roode went for the spear, but Aries locked in the last chancery. Roode almost made it to the ropes, Aries landed some knees to the head, but Roode countered into the crossface. Aries was able to counter and locked in the last chancery again, but Roode raked the eyes of Aries. Aries was perched on the top rope and went for a suspended vertical suplex from the top, but Aries hit the ears. Aries went for the 450 splash, but Roode moved out of the way. Roode landed a spinebuster and Aries was sent shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Roode locked in the crossface, Aries attempted to make it to the ropes, but Aries dragged him away from them. Aries finally made it to the ropes and Roode attempted to bring the World Title into the ring, but he was halted by Hebner. Roode landed a low blow for the count of two while Hebner’s back was turned and Roode pushed Hebner, however he pushed back. This allowed Aries to land a dropkick in the corner and Hebner was bumped and Aries landed a dropkick and attempted the brain buster which resulted in the crowd going crazy. Roode hit Aries with the belt, but Aries kicked out at two in a great nearfall. Roode went for a suplex, but Aries got a small package for two. Roode was then pushed into the turnbuckle and Aries landed a big boot followed by the brain buster for the win in 22:39. The crowd was in a complete and utter state of jubilation as the confetti rained down. I know that they wanted to get to Storm as an opponent, but the Aries title win definitely feels like a step in the right direction, because they without a doubt have something special in Aries and they should hold onto that.

**** ½

 

WWE RAW July 9th 2012

Denver, Colorado

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was another bad show I am not going to lie. I felt completely insulted by the General Manager segments, the commentators went back to bickering instead of calling the matches and AJ has become the focus of the mainevent program. Not only that but a tag match that took so much time out of the show ended in what is normally a routine spot throughout tag matches. What was even worse was that for the most part there was nothing good on the show. The bottom line is that if you want to watch good wrestling you won’t find it on RAW right now, but you may find it on Impact.

 

They aired a recap of the AJ/Punk/Bryanangle from the past week from Smackdown and RAW.

 

AJ Came out, which wasn’t a big surprise. She said that she realized that her actions could greatly affect the outcome of the WWE championship match. She said that was very emotional and overwhelming – she was getting the “what” treatment. She brought CM Punk out.

 

CM Punk got a good reaction and he asked why he was brought out. AJ said that he showed his true feelings when he called her mentally unstable, she said she didn’t need any mental help and she was in control of all of her metal faculties at all times. She said that no one had ever cared about her or shown compassion towards her like CM Punk. She said that when she kissed Punk she knew “it” – she knew what she had to do. She complimented his eyes “that sent love straight into her heart” and she said that Punk filled her up with passion and desire. She said Punk “turned her on” which got a pop and “yes” chants. She said she knew what she had to do and she got down on one knee and teased a proposal – I thought that it was going to turn out to be a swerve, but it turned out that she did.

 

Bryancame out running shouting “no” and said that she was going to make the biggest mistake of her life and Punk didn’t love her. He said that Punk was just playing her and he had played her in the past, but he never stopped having feelings for her. However he said that CM Punk on the other hand only cared about himself. Punk saidBryannever knew anything about him or how he felt about AJ and he toldBryanto shut up.Bryandared Punk to say I do, but Punk had no words.Bryansaid that Punk only saw her as a special referee, but he saw her as a special person. He said they both had the same idea, he said that that morning he had no idea of stopping a proposal he wanted to make one. He asked AJ to marry him, but Punk interjected saying that it was a “load of crap”. Punk said thatBryanhad no ring and he was trying to fool Punk.Bryantold Punk not to talk down to his “future fiancé” and at that point the general manager computer dinged, which meant that the GM for the night was the computer that disappeared into the void.

 

Cole said that the GM said that he was back and said that CM Punk and AJ made a great couple and it would be a mixed tag match with Punk and AJ against Eve and Bryan.Bryanflipped out and went crazy saying that they didn’t want to face each other, the GM said that ifBryanwas to beat Punk then maybe AJ would see him in a different light, or maybe not.

 

AJ said that the whole thing was confusing and they all needed some time to think and she was happy that she and Punk had a match, because she said she believed everything happens for a reason. AJ said that she had a feeling that she would walk out of the arena with her future husband.

 

1. Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger

 

Sheamus was thrown into the post, but he caught Swagger in the over the shoulder belly to back piledriver when Swagger went for the splash. Sheamus taunted for the brogue kick and landed it for the win in what was basically a squash match.

 

Del Rioappeared on the tron hooting in the Ferrari. He congratulated Sheamus and said that Swagger is no Alberto Del Rio. He said that at Money in the Bank he would do what no man has been able to and that is take the title off of Sheamus. Sheamus was approached by Swagger and he landed another Brogue kick.

 

Santino was talking with Ryder backstage and he congratulated Ryder. He said that he would have more personality than the anonymous GM. Marella said that he heard that the anonymous GM was in the building and he wanted to find him. He then put a Sherlock Holmes hat on and placed the pipe in his mouth. He then began to look in the boxes. They announced that Rock would be at the 1000th edition of RAW.

 

2. Dolf Ziggler &Tensai vs. Tyson Kidd & Christian

 

Neither of the teams got introductions and Christian landed some offense on Ziggler. The tag was made to Tensai but Christian landed a missile dropkick and went for the spear, but Ziggler interfered and Tensai won with the back senton in another very short match. After the match Tensai destroyed Kidd on the outside, landing a back senton on the floor.

 

There was a notification from the general manager. He said that seeing Cole and Lawler bicker brought back great memories (for whom? Because it didn’t for me). He said that the fans could decide whether or not Cole and Lawler had a match that night. The fans chanted yes and Cole chanted no. This is honestly one of the worst series of matches in the last few years, I don’t understand why they would want to keep prolonging it like this.

 

3. Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre

 

It was nice to see McIntyre who as far as I am aware has been banished to Superstars. However this joy was short lived. McIntyre was caught when coming off of the top rope with a headbutt and a splash for the win.

 

Santino Marella was looking for the general manager backstage. He walked byJerichoand said that it was him, butJerichosaid it wasn’t. They then exchanged “mmms”. Marella calledJerichoa son of a gun and walked off. Big Show confrontedJericho, he said that it was a reunion of JeriShow and he said that the time that he tagged withJerichowas the most embarrassing of his career, which was profoundly stupid. He then warnedJerichoto stay out of his way or he would knock him out.

 

Stephanie McMahon was able to pick another moment for some reason. It was the McMahon Triple H wedding and the subsequent breakup at the altar.

 

John Cena came out and he said that he felt that he felt what the fans felt and knew what they knew. He said that the world would witness Money in the Bank and he said if you plan on going through hell you may as well keep going. He said that no one cared about pins and submissions and their only common goal was the WWE championship. He said that at Money in the Bank even the nice people would become ruthless and it was a must see event because it would change the landscape of the WWE. He said the unstoppable Big Show would be stopped by his hand and he would do whatever he had to do to whomever he had to do it to. He said he had to win Money in the Bank and he said he would.

 

4. John Cena & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show

 

Cena dominatedJericholanded a bulldog that forcedJerichoto make the tag to Big Show. Big Show went for the chokeslam, but Cena countered and tagged Kane in. Kane unloaded on Big Show with closed fist shots. Big Show landed a headbutt on Kane knocking him out to the floor which allowedJerichoto land a kick to the gut of Kane. Big Show landed a knee and took Kane down with a boot – Show then shouted at Cena.Jerichowas tagged in, but he was taken down with a strike from Kane who made the tag to Cena. Cena landed a fisherman’s suplex, but as he ran toJericho’s side of the ring Show landed a big right hand behind the referee’s back. After the break Big Show continued to land offense on Cena, Cena picked the Big Show up, but Show fell back on him with a splash. Big Show locked in a bearhug, but Cena fought out and landed a backsuplex. Cena made the tag to Kane who landed a dropkick to a grounded Big Show followed by a splash in the corner. Kane landed a DDT for the count of two and went to the top rope, but Big Show moved and landed a big spear for the count of two. Big Show landed a shot to the gut of Kane andJerichowas tagged in landing stomps to gut of Kane.Jericholanded a knee to the back of Kane and Big Show landed a shot to Kane on the apron. Kane began to make a comeback after the break, landing a sidewalk slam. Kane finally made the hot tag to Cena who ran wild. He landed the five knuckle shuffle and dropkicked Show off of the apron,Jerichowent for the Walls, but Cena landed the AA. This resulted in Big Show pulling Cena out for the DQ which was really strange since that is never grounds for a DQ. Show grabbed two ladders and took out Kane andJerichoin the ring. Show sandwichedJerichobetween a ladder and pressed up against the top, however Cena made the save knocking Big Show out of the ring with a ladder of his own. The ending of the match came across as amazingly cheap.

 

CM Punk was stretching backstage. He was approached by Eve who wished him luck. He then buried Eve wishing her luck with getting her spray tan off, which just seemed like an uncalled for statement. She said that she didn’t wish him luck for the match (of course not, who cares about those), but she wished him luck for his relationship with AJ. She said that it had to be hard on him, because if he didn’t walk out that night saying “I do” then he wouldn’t walk out with his championship. She said to him that it must be hard being overshadowed by Rock, Cena, Triple H and even Brock Lesnar, which was a ridiculous line for so many reasons. She said it must be pretty emasculating and walked off.

 

Marella was still looking for the general manager backstage, he grabbed a phone and said that it was the anonymous general manager’s phone. However, it was just Khali’s and Khali was asked if he was the general manager or not and he replied yes for one reason or another. Marella asked again and Khali said no. Khali then operated his phone.

 

5. Money in the Bank Qualifying Match

Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater

 

It’s strange that almost no one else had to qualify yet however was a qualifying match. As soon as I saw Slater there it was pretty obvious who was going to win. Slater worked on Sin Cara and kept him grounded with a headlock. Sin Cara sprung off of the ropes and landed an armdrag and crossbody followed by the faceplant variant of La Mistica for the win.

 

Heath Slater cut a promo saying how it wasn’t fair that he had lost. He said that he would be a future champion and to prove it he called out the current WWE champion or any previous champion. Bob Backlund came out and he didn’t get that big of a reaction at first. Some of the fans chanted “you still got it” at Backlund, who was wearing trunks and big ones at that. Backlund offered Slater a handshake, but Slater pulled Backlund in with a punch. Backlund locked in the crossface chicken wing, but since it wasn’t an official match he was forced to let go by some referees after he had it locked in for a while.

 

Cole wanted everyone’s attention. He revealed the pole results and it was 75% for the match and 25% against it. He called the fans that voted hypocrites. Booker T and Josh Matthews then came out.

 

6. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole

 

Michael Cole slid to the outside, but he was thrown in by Booker T. Upon re-entering the ring Lawler landed an aeroplane spin for the win.

 

The anonymous GM dinged. The email read that because there was inference in the match Cole was announced as the winner. Out came Marella he said that he came to a conclusion, because there was only one place that he hadn’t checked in the arena and that was under the ring (I guess everyone in the arena just has to stay in one spot then.”) An email went off saying that there was no one under the ring and Marella was ordered to the back. However he was pulled under the ring and when Lawler pulled him back out he had Hornswoggle holding onto his leg. The laptop was there so Hornswoggle was pretty much revealed as the anonymous GM. He was then brought into the ring where he kicked Lawler, kicked Cole, bit Marella and walked off.

 

After the months of bad television involving the RAW GM not going anywhere I was angry, because even though it sucked I at least thought that I was watching for a payoff of some kind. However, here we are knowing that the GM was Hornswoggle all along and I just feel completely cheated – cheated out of my time and cheated out of my investment. The fact that they would do something like this is a testament to how little they respect us as viewers. This was a slap in the face.

 

7. CM Punk & AJ vs. Daniel Bryan & Eve Torres

 

Punk fired off onBryanwith elbows.Bryanwas back bodydropped, but he responded with a knee in the corner and the yes kicks. Punk tookBryandown and made the tag to AJ. AJ took Eve down and landed some shots, but Eve fought back with some elbows. Eve landed a scissors kick and went for a senton, but AJ got the knees up. AJ landed a dropkick to the face of a downed Eve and landed a spin kick for two. AJ was kicked off and Eve went to go make the tag, butBryanjumped off of the apron which allowed AJ to get the rollup for the win.

 

Bryangot on the mic. He said that he proved that AJ means more to him than any other match. He said that they should have left and gotten married.Bryanopened the ropes for AJ, but Punk said thatBryanwouldn’t hold on and he was just using AJ. He said that the only reasonBryanwanted to marry AJ was because he thought that AJ could make him the WWE champion. He said that he didn’t care if what he was about to say was going to cost him the championship so he said that he wasn’t going to marry AJ. He said that if that hurt AJ, he at least cared enough to tell her the truth and she began to fake cry once again. AJ closed the segment off by slapping both Punk and Bryan. She chanted “yes” which seems to be her chant now to close off the show.

 

I was fine with the execution of the segment, but I am just so sick of the same tired story every week. AJ is the focus of the show and has become more important than the title, which isn’t a big feat, but she feels more like a hindrance. She is good in her role, but that role should not be as the corner stone of the main program (theoretically) in the company.

 

WWE NXT July 11th 2012 (July 14th 2012)

Orlando, Florida 

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was a solid edition of NXT. There were two matches of a decent length on the show and one very fun squash match. The show also did a good job of introducing some angles which hasn’t been done over the past few weeks. The antics with the commentators appearing and disappearing in and out of the ether continued this week and it still makes no sense. The fans were reenergized which was good to see and there were far more into the product than in previous weeks. All in all a fun show.

 

1. Tyson Kidd vs. Camacho

 

The crowd was into Kidd obviously due to the new, fresh crowd. Kidd slid under the legs of Camacho and landed a dropkick. Kidd got a rollup for two and grabbed the leg of Camacho getting a rollup and a submission on the arm. Kidd was thrown over the top rope, but he landed a leg scissors on Camacho and skinned the cat. He went for a baseball slide onto Hunico and Camacho, but they moved and he was stuck between the two. He rolled back into the ring and Hunico was sent to the back. This resulted in Kidd landing a topé con giro onto both Hunico and Camacho. After the break Camacho was in control, but Kidd got a rollup and went for the sharpshooter, however Camacho rolled to the outside. Kidd went for a kick off the apron, but his leg  was pulled and he landed back first on the apron. Camacho then rammed Kidd into the apron and covered him in the ring for the count of two. Camacho landed a backbreaker and a stomp to the chest. Kidd began to fight back with some shots, but he was thrown into the turnbuckle for two. Camacho landed a front suplex on the rope and catapulted Kidd into the bottom rope. Camacho made the cover and locked in a modified abdominal stretch. Kidd made it to his feet, but he was headbutted back to the mat and Camacho landed a back suplex. Camacho landed a legdrop and made the cover for a count of two. Kidd went for a bulldog, but Camacho landed a faceplant for two. Camacho went for a leg drop from the top, but Kidd moved and landed a flurry of kicks culminating in a dropkick to the head. Kidd landed a leg drop guillotine to the back of the head and went to the top, but he was hung up. Camacho landed a release double arm suplex from the top rope for two and Kidd landed an enzuigiri followed by an over the top neckbreaker from the top rope for two. Kidd locked in a sharpshooter, but Mcgillicutty ran out allowing Camacho to land the DDT for the win.

 

There was another Bray Wyatt vignette. He said that “they” hurt and he hurt too. He asked again what they were going to do to someone they could not hurt and he said that he had gone through hell and it made him stronger – it took away his ability to feel pain, the pain of man. He said that “they” couldn’t hurt him and he said that the only thing that they could do to someone like him is run. It was another good vignette.

 

Mat Striker interviewed Justin Gabriel. He welcomed Gabriel back from his elbow injury. Gabriel said that when he was injured he went back home toSouth Africaand he had time to think. He said that he wanted to make a statement by earning a championship. He said that he had held the tag team championship three times which was a scary thought. Striker announced that it would be him versus Slater next week and Gabriel said that they had history and it was time for him to step up and make a statement.

 

Heath Slater came by and asked what kind of statement Gabriel would make (indeed no statement can be made by defeating Heath Slater). He said that Gabriel’s career was a failure and he said that he was on RAW week after week embarrassing legends. Gabriel said they were embarrassing him, but Slater said that they didn’t have to worry about former stars. Gabriel said that was true because next week Slater would be defeated by him.

 

2. Bray Wyatt vs. Aiden English

 

Wyatt said that the people would understand who he was and what he was capable of in time. They would understand what he was, but he said that for now he was Bray Wyatt and he began to sing.

 

Regal was talking about the preacher that handled his rattlesnakes and died from a bite, which was bizarre, but it has sought of become Regal’s gimmick. Wyatt slammed English and began rolling around he then landed a splash in the corner and landed a spinning neckbreaker after kissing and dancing with English for the win. I was impressed with the way that Wyatt was packaged I thought that they did a good job.

 

There was a Rollins vignette. He was talking about the numbness travelling down the fingertips and necks of his opponents. He said that everything that you know vanishes and all that you experience is the pain and the fear of what is to come. He finished by welcoming everyone to the blackout, which is the name of his finishing move.

 

Richie Steamboat was interviewed. He said that it was a big opportunity for everyone, but especially for him. He said that he wanted to prove just how good “he is”. Kruger came past saying “how good you are”, Kruger said he proved how good he is, he said that he was the South African jewel, the prince of Africa and then pushed his finger into Steamboat’s chest and said “the African era” but he was taken down by Steamboat and they were separated.

 

There was a promo for Raquel Diaz. She said that when she looked in the mirror she saw a super diva – an alpha female. She called it the exfoliating ugly tour and she said that it started next week.

 

3. The Usos vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus ‘O Neil)

 

Ross was back on commentary for this match. Jey Uso slapped Yong and landed some chops. The Usos took Young down with double elbows and Jimmy landed a chop for the count of two, but Jimmy Uso was pushed into the corner and ‘O Neil was tagged in. ‘O Neil attempted to overpower Uso, but he confronted ‘O Neil and landed a chop. ‘O Neil was slammed and rolled to the outside, the Usos used the afro comb of Young and Young finally rolled back in. Young was however immediately dropped to the outside and Jey Uso was body dropped to the outside by his tag partner onto Young and ‘O Neil. After the break ‘O Neil was stomping Uso in the corner and Young slammed the leg into the apron. Jimmy Uso went for the tag, but ‘O Neil dragged Uso back to his corner where Young was tagged in. Young was dropped to the outside and Jimmy Uso went for the tag, however his partner was pulled off by Young. Uso got a dropkick for two and Young locked in a toehold and pulled back on the hair of Uso. The fans got behind Uso and Young wrenched back on the leg. ‘O Neil was tagged in and he suplexed Young onto Uso, but Uso moved. Jimmy Uso went for the tag, but he was quickly pulled back by ‘O Neil. Uso landed a backdrop and finally made the tag to Jey Uso who ran wild on Young. Young was thrown into ‘O Neil who was knocked off the apron and Uso landed a Samoan drop and running pelvis in the corner for two. ‘O Neil and Young landed a neckbreaker legdrop combo behind the referee’s back for the win to close off the show.

 

TNA Impact June 13th 2012

Orlando Florida

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was another very good edition of Impact. The main angles all progressed along nicely, although I am really not a big fan of the Clare Lynch stuff. I thought that most of the matches were decent and they did a very good job of building to next week’s show. The ending of the show was done realistically with a camera not just immediately cutting to the back. The Park segment at the start of the show was also good, although I didn’t like the fact that there was bleeding in both the start and end of the show. I think that it retains its meaning if it is used sparingly and Styles and Daniels already got colour at the pay-per-view. One way or another this show left me with a sense of anticipation for the direction of the company and that is something that cannot be said for RAW.

 

1. Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park

 

The fans were behind Park. Park put up fisticuffs, but he missed his swings and Ray landed a shot to the back of the head and a kick. Ray slapped Park and spat in his face, but Park responded with a slap of his own, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Park was fired up, but he was knocked back down by Park who tweeted and said trending world wide. Ray pulled a trash can full of weapons out from under the ring and grabbed a steal chair, he went for a chair shot, but Park took him down with a double leg takedown and landed some shots. Park grabbed the chair backwards once again, but he was knocked back down by Ray with a shot to the back of the head. Ray landed a shot to the back with a steal sign and landed a shot to the shoulder with the lid of the can. Ray went for a splash on Park who was on the trash can lid, but Park moved and unloaded with shots. Park landed a shoulder tackle, but Ray landed a boot to the face and grabbed a bag full of thumbtacks from under the ring. Ray grabbed a mic and said he was going to do to him what he should have done to his brother a long time ago. Ray grabbed the cane, but Park landed a low blow with a cheese grater and landed a shot to the head with a cane for two. Ray knocked Park down with a shoulder block and went for a move on the thumbtacks, but Park responded with a spinebuster like manoeuvre on the tacks. Park had the trash can, but Ray landed a shot with the chain for the win. After the match Ray grabbed a cane and Park was bleeding. Park was horrified at the site of his own blood, but as Ray ran at Park he landed a black hole slam. This was a great tease for the eventual culmination to the angle and it was pulled off very well. Park was excellent when he saw his blood as it both fired him up and disgusted him.

 

The blood was pouring down Park’s face as they cut to Sting and he held the dead man’s hand in his hand. After the break Ray was backstage with thumbtacks in his boots. He asked who “that” was he said he beat Park, but he said that it wasn’t the same man that delivered the black hole slam.

 

2.SamoaJoe vs. Rob Van Dam

 

Van Dam took Joe down and landed a dropkick to the back of the head of Joe, he attempted to lock in a surfboard, but Joe reached the ropes. Joe and Van Dam exchanged elbows, but Joe got the better of Van Dam. Van Dam landed a spin kick, but Joe responded with a huge lariat sending Van Dam rolling to the outside. Van Dam’s kick was caught and Joe landed a dragon screw. Joe landed some kicks to the leg and locked in a leg bar, but Van Dam made it to the ropes. Van Dam landed some shots, but he was caught with a powerslam and Joe locked in a cross armbreaker. Van Dam made it to the ropes and landed a high kick followed by a kick to a downed Joe and rolling thunder to the back for the count of two. Van Dam went for the monkey flip and Joe landed a modified spinebuster and locked in a modified figure four leg lock. Joe went for it again, but Van Dam got the rollup for the win.

 

Clair Lynch was shown arriving at the building smoking so she is officially a heel. She said that she hadn’t talked toDixiesince the last time they ere in the ring and she asked them to leave her alone. Hogan called the Aces and Eights out and said that he couldn’t wait to see the white of their eyes.

 

Daniels and Kazarian came out. Kazarian said that he wanted to congratulate Styles. He said that Styles thought that he had heard the end of the Clair Lynch story, but he had only heard one verse – they haven’t even reached the chorus is what he said. Daniels said that he agreed with the crowd and he said that Styles’ acts were reprehensible, he then brought Lynch out and said that it was the truth reveal. She said that Styles was not a monster and when she hit rock bottom and she was looking for a hand she made a few mistakes. Styles came out. He said that he was surprised that Daniels could speak, let alone walk. Styles said that the story was over weeks ago, but Daniels said that was where Styles was wrong. Daniels said that there was something that he and the world didn’t know and Claire needed to tell him. Daniels said that Lynch had proof and Styles wanted to know if he could knock Daniels’ teeth out. Claire said that AJ was the father and Daniels was right.

 

After a break there was a confrontation between Lynch and the interviewer backstage. They said they had a right to know about the “biggest bombshell” being dropped. She said that she didn’t know. There was another great video hyping the Angle/Anderson match.Andersonsaid that he respected Angle and hopefully Angle felt the same. There was a promo highlighting the story between Ion and Sorenson. Dakota Darsow said that Sorenson was one of his best friends and that it got under his skin that Ion didn’t care. Darsow said that he was p****d off and that Ion wouldn’t have to worry about Sorenson that night, because he would be facing him.

 

3. Zema Ion vs. Dakota Darsow

 

Darsow knocked Ion down with a right hand and took him down with a shoulderblock. Darsow landed some hard punches in the corner followed by a splash in the corner and a punch coming off of the ropes. Ion attempted to escape, but he was punched on the entrance ramp ad Darsow flew into the ring with a spear through the middle ropes, Ion landed a tornado DDT followed by a gory special for the win. After the match Ion landed a wacky armbreaker. He then got on the mic and said if the “crippled jackass” Jesse Sorenson didn’t want his friends to get hurt he should tell them he is not just “f’n pretty” but he is “f’n” dangerous.

 

Austin Aries came out. He said that he had an okay week, but then said who was he kidding he had a great week. He said he woke up to a great day as the new World Heavyweight Champion. He said that it was an achievement for him personally because he proved that nothing was impossible. He said that it wasn’t just a moment for TNA, but for the pro wrestling industry as a whole. He said that wrestling had down cycles and boom periods and TNA had been carrying momentum for eight months. He said that pro wrestling fans everywhere felt that he was running for the next boom period and he wanted to lead wrestling there. He said that when he won the title he got phone calls from movie stars, NFL players and even champions from other promotions. He said that the championship was only as important as the man that holds it and he said that meant that the TNA World Title was now the most prestigious championship in wrestling, because he is the best wrestler in TNA and in the world today he said.

 

Out came Roode. Aries said that Roode couldn’t just interrupt him, because he was no longer the champion. Roode looked like a zombie and the crowd chanted looser. Roode grabbed the microphone several times, but he couldn’t get the words out. He finally got the one word out and said that Aries’ world title win was a fluke. Aries said he had three words for Roode “New world champ”. This was a very fun segment, even though the Roode portion was goofy in some ways.

 

Sting and Hogan were talking. Sting said he was ready for the Aces and Eights and it was time for them to go old school.Devonand Garret Bischoff walked in and they said they could help, but Sting said that they didn’t need help from them although they would call if they needed it.

 

Angle talked aboutAndersonin another good interview segment. He said that he wanted to do anything he could to gain a submission, but it would be difficult withAnderson. He said that he didn’t just have charisma, but he was a real winner. He said that the stakes were high and he said that he seriously meant that if you can beatAndersonyou can win the championship. Rayne talked about Hebner and what she admired about him.

 

4. Diva’s Championship Match

Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim

 

Tessmacher began to unload on Kim with kicks in the corner. Tessmacher landed a lariat and a weak clothesline into the other corner. Tessmacher landed a pretty stiff spinning head scissors. Kim gained control stomping on the leg of Tessmacher. Kim landed a back suplex and Kim landed an arm breaker for two. Kim locked in a last chancery, but it was countered into a rollup on Kim for two. Tessmacher landed some shots to the face and landed a couple of clotheslines. Tessmacher landed an X factor on Kim and then her elbow drop takedown, but she took to long to capitalize so Kim got the rope. Kim got a rollup for two and perched Tessmacher on the top rope, they exchanged strikes, Kim went for eat defeat of the ropes, but Tessmacher landed the top rope elbow for the win.

 

Claire Lynch was backstage. She was approached for an interview. They asked for proof that Styles’ had impregnated her and she said “look at my stomach”. They said they wanted proof that it was Styles’ child and she said that they would find out soon enough and she had trusted him and he turned on her. Magnus then talked about a match that he was going to have with Storm at aTennesseehouse show.

 

5. Kurt Angle vs. Ken Anderson

 

Angle attempted to takeAndersondown with a single leg, but it was blocked.  Angle locked in a headlock andAndersonmade it to his feet, this transitioned into an athletic exchange.Andersongot the better of Angle and locked in an armlock. Angle landed an elbow and some stomps to the neck and throat area.Andersonlanded a lariat and made the cover for the count of two. Angle landed a belly to belly suplex and both men went down. After the breakAndersonlanded a backsuplex and both men went down.Andersonlanded a neckbreaker and went for the mic check, but Angle countered it into the rolling German suplexes. Angle went for the Angle slam, butAndersonlanded the rolling fireman’s carry slam for two.Andersonwent for the mic check again, Angle got the Ankle lock,Andersongot out, but Angle landed an Olympic slam for the count of two. Angle locked in an ankle lock after pulling down the straps Anderson attempted to reach out for the ropes, but he was brought all the way back. Angle went back to the ankle, butAndersonlanded a mic check for the count of two in a great near fall.Andersonwent for it again, but Angle landed the Olympic slam for the count of three in a very good TV match.

 

Hogan was talking to Sting. Roode confronted Sting and said that he and Hogan needed to talk. Hogan said that Roode was red hot and he had a rematch with Aries at Hardcore Justice. Roode said that he wanted it sooner and nearly lost his mind. Roode said that he wanted to prove that he could beat Aries. Hogan said that was what his exact thoughts were. He said that the next night was Open Fight Night and Roode could make a non-title match to prove it to himself, Aries and Hogan.

 

Sting came out and he called out the Aces and Eights. He then attempted to bring out Hogan multiple times to no avail. Finally a camera cut backstage to Hogan lying bloodied with Brooke screaming over him. Sting was about to head backstage when he was attacked by the Aces and Eights to close off the show.

 

Next Week’s Newsletter

 

Next week we cover WWE Money in the Bank in-depth, the follow up on RAW, Impact, Any Puro that surfaces, NXT and more!

 

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Cubed Circle Newsletter

 

We have a gigantic issue for you this week covering Destination X, The New Japan/ All Japan joint show, NXT, The go-home show for Money in the Bank and a great edition of Impact. You can subscribe to the newsletter and get it sent straight to your inbox every week by either emailing subscriptions@cubedcirclewrestling.com or visiting cubedcirclewrestling.com.

 

New Japan Pro Wrestling & All Japan Pro Wrestling We Are Pro Wrestling Love

July 1st 2012
Sumo Hall, Tokyo, Japan

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

All in all this was very fun show. There was nothing bad on it and although it wasn’t as much of a feel good show as the All Together shows I enjoyed it more. Both championship matches were great and the way that Tanahashi worked the mainevent really surprised me. Kea and Akiyama put on a really great match, but for one reason or another, the crowd wasn’t into it. Even though the show was pretty long it didn’t really drag and that could be due to the fact that a lot of the stuff on the show was headed in a certain direction unlike the All Together shows. I would definitely recommend the show, even if you just go out of your way to see the two mainevents and the Nagata tag match.

 

 

 

1. Masanobu Fuchi, KENSO, & Captain NewJapanvs. Jado, Gedo & YOSHI-HASHI

 

KENSO and Jado started off. Jado was mimicking Ric Flair this time and landed some chops in the corner while wooing. KENSO attempted to mimic him, but they were more slaps and howls than woos and chops. KENSO turned around and Jado just did the Flair flop out of nowhere and tagged in YOSHI-HASHI. Captain New Japan and HASHI argued, but HASHI landed a dropkick and rammed New Japan’s head into the top turnbuckle. NewJapanlanded a big shoulderblock and knocked the heel team off of the apron, he then went to the top rope, but HASHI moved out of the way of the headbutt. Gedo was tagged in and Gedo, Jado and HASHI landed clotheslines on New Japan in the corner for the count of two. NewJapanlanded a flying crossbody onto both Gedo and Jado, but he was stomped by HASHI who was taken out by Fuchi. Fuchi proceeded to land a body slam on every member of the heel team, incuding a very long suspended bodyslam on Jado. KENSO and HASHI both landed some sloppy offense until HASHI was sent to the outside and the crowd got behind KENSO for his flying pescado. KENSO threw HASHI and Jado into the guardrail and sprung up onto the apron and landed a splash onto them. NewJapanlanded a yuranagi on Gedo and locked on the Caribbean Death Grip and pinned Gedo in 7:02. This was an absolute comedy match.

** ¼

2. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Shiryu, BUSHI & SUSHI vs. Prince Devitt , Ryusuke Taguchi, KAI, Hiroshi Yamato & Hiromu Takahashi

 

Liger and Devitt started off. Both men worked in and out of holds quickly, working back to the feet. They had another athletic exchange and the tags were made to Yamato and Shiryu, Yamato unloaded with some elbows and caught Shiryu with a dropkick. Shiryu tumbled over Yamato’s clothesline and Devitt attempted to hold him, however this resulted in the two team members striking each other. Takahashi was brought in but the same exact thing happened with him. Shiryu bolted under and he was finally caught with a shot, but he responded with five kip ups which resulted in all four men in the ring doing a wacky jump, to the crowd’s delight. Taguchi and SUSHI were tagged in. SUSHI landed a suplex and went to the top rope where he missed the diving headbutt. Devitt was tagged in and he landed a dropkick to a grounded SUSHI for the count of two. Yamato was tagged in and he landed some strikes on SUSHI before Takahashi was tagged in and they went back to Devitt and Taguchi. They continued to make quick tags on SUSHI until SUSHI made a quick comeback on KAI who responded with a dropkick. KAI landed a double foot stomp from the top rope, but Liger broke it up. KAI landed some boots, but SUSHI refused to go down and landed a backstabber and tagged in Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask landed a Tiger bomb for two on Kai and went for the Tiger suplex, but Kai countered. Tiger Mask was caught with a flying enzuigiri from KAI and the tags where made to Takahashi and BUSHI. BUSHI was sent to the outside, but there was some interference by both teams which resulted in Yamato and KAI landing stereo topé suicidas on BUSHI and SUSHI. Taguchi and Devitt landed dual dropkicks and topé con giros on Tiger Mask and Liger. Takahashi followed this with a fisherman’s suplex on BUSHI for the count of two, but BUSHI landed an enzuigiri and 450 splash for the win in 08:50.

** ¾

3. Takao Omori, Hirooki Goto, Karl Anderson & Manabu Soya  vs. TAKA Michinoku, Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, & Taichi

 

For once we did not get Suzuki and Goto and instead Suzuki and Soya started off. Soya landed some slaps to the chest of Goto and took him down with a shoulder block. Soya followed it with an attempted suplex, but Suzuki locked in a front facelock and tagged in Archer.Andersonwas called in by Archer and he was thrown over Archer’s head with a choke,Andersonfought back with some strikes, but Archer landed a big boot and made the tag to Taichi. Taichi wanted Omori and Omori came in. Taichi offered the handshake, but Omori was attacked from behind by Michinoku. However Omori fought back and landed a piledriver on Taichi. Omori came off the ropes, but he was hit by Archer and the face team were taken off the apron by the heels. Taichi landed a chair shot to the back of Omori and he and Michinoku strangled Omori on the outside. Taichi landed a lariat in the corner and Michinoku landed a flying knee, Taichi proceeded to land a shot to the groin and Michinoku counted to three for no apparent reason. Michinoku landed some shots on Omori and brought him back to the heel corner where he was chopped by Suzuki and Taichi. Goto stormed the ring, but he was quickly disposed of by Archer. Suzuki landed some chops and Archer was tagged back in. He strangled Omori with the boot and landed a lariat in the corner, Archer went for a chokeslam but he was caught with a leg lariat from Omori and the tag was made to Goto. Goto landed a big lariat on Archer and landed a leg lariat on Suzuki knocking him off the apron, the heels attempted to interfere but Omori made the save, allowing for Goto to land the backdrop driver on Archer for two. Archer landed a vertical suplex and tagged in Suzuki who ran up toAndersonand delivered a slap, butAndersonfired back with slaps and a back senton for two.Andersonwas caught with a boot and kick to the chest for two.Andersonwent for a clothesline, Suzuki got the sleeper, it was countered into the gun stun, but that was in turn countered into another sleeper.Andersonwas pulled into the heel corner and he was double teamed by Taichi, Michinoku, Archer and Suzuki. Archer landed a full nelson slam onAndersonwhich allowed Taichi to make the cover for two. Taichi got the modified Gedo clutch for two, but the pin was broken up. Taichi landed a large lariat and went for another, butAndersonwouldn’t go down and Omori came in with a lariat allowing for the gun stun for the win in 12:09.

*** ¼

4. Masakatsu Funaki, Masayuki Kono & Minoru Tanaka vs. Yuji Nagata, Wataru Inoue & KUSHIDA

 

Funaki and Nagata started off. The first few minutes were spent with Funaki and Nagata pushing each other up against the ropes. Nagata went for a strike, but Funaki unloaded with kicks and other strikes knocking Nagata to the mat. Funaki landed some kicks to the chest of Nagata and took him down with a knee to the head. Nagata landed a release side suplex and made the tag to KUSHIDA who was in with Tanaka. Tanaka’s back was all taped up. He landed some kicks on KUSHIDA, but KUSHIDA got the better of an athletic exchange. Inoue and Tanaka went at it and Tanaka landed a dropkick. The tag was made to Kono who landed a big boot on Inoue. Kono landed a body slam, but Inoue landed an invert piledriver for two. Nagata was tagged in and landed some kicks to the chest of Kono and an exploder out of the corner. Nagata went for a boot it was caught, Kono and Nagata then went to an elbow exchange. Nagata landed a knee in the corner and looked at Funaki who was seething. Kono landed a suplex and made the tag to Funaki who landed some kicks in the corner. Tanaka landed some kicks to the leg and midsection, but Nagata got the back of Funaki and landed a backdrop driver. Kono landed a knee on Nagata and Inoue everyone ran in knocking everyone else to the outside. KUSHIDA and Inoue went after Funaki – Kono attempted to intervene, but Inoue leaped over him and landed a spear on Funaki. Funaki missed a corkscrew shooting star press, but he got a roll up for two and landed an enzuigiri. However Funaki landed a highkick and locked in a sleeper. He was guarded by Tanaka and Kono and he landed the Hybrid Blaster for the win in 09:48. After the match he saluted Nagata in a mocking manner and Nagata went after him the fight had to be broken up, but all the men in the ring struggled to hold them apart. This was another great part of the feud of the year quality Nagata/Funaki feud that started at the Tokyo Dome show.

*** ½

5. AllAsia Tag Team Championship Match

Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Akebono & RyotaHama

 

Okabayashi and Akebono started the match off, Okabayashi landed some chops, but Akebono just stared at him and took him down with a shoulder block. Okabayashi landed some more chops, but he was taken down by Akebono who landed some elbows to a grounded Okabayashi. Akebono knocked Sekimoto off of the apron and tagged inHama.Hamalanded a shot to the face of Okabayashi and landed a bodyslam followed by a twisting back senton! Okabayashi attempted a sunset flip,Hamasat down but missed and Okabayashi landed a kick. Sekimoto was tagged in and he landed some shots to the chest ofHama.Hamapushed Sekimoto and this led to a strike exchange between the two. Sekimoto landed a dropkick and landed a lariat in the corner. Okabayashi was tagged back in and he landed some chops onHama. Okabayashi landed some chops onHamawho landed a headbutt on Okabayashi. Sekimoto was tagged in as Okabayashi was pushed into his own corner and he landed some kicks to the gut ofHama. Okabayashi landed some more chops onHamaand elbows to the head, but Okabayashi was caught with a sidewalk slam and the tag was made to Akebono. Akebono landed a splash in the corner and an elbow on the ground, but Okabayashi kicked out at two. Okabayashi landed some elbows to the gut of Akebono, but he was slapped and taken down with a lariat. Akebono went for a splash, but Okabayashi moved and Sekimoto was tagged in. He tried a lariat from all different angles, but he couldn’t get Akebono down. He finally landed a dropkick to the knee and a dropkick to a grounded Akebono for two. Akebono landed a spinout powerslam and tagged inHamawho landed a colossal leg drop for two. Sekimoto landed a missile dropkick onHamaand tagged in Okabayashi. Both Okabayashi and Sekimoto landed lariats onHamaand brought him up for a huge double suplex. Sekimoto landed a frogsplash and Okabayashi landed a splash from the top rope for two. Sekimoto went for a lariat in the corner, but Akebono came out with a charging lariat on both men. This allowedHamato kill Okabayashi in the corner with an Umaga esque pelvic smash in the corner and a sitout senton and splash for two. Sekimoto was taken to the outside by Akebono andHamawent to the top, but he was caught with the biggest powerbomb in the world from Okabayashi. Okabayashi tookHamadown with a lariat for two, but he was caught with a big flying body press fromHama, which was broken up by Sekimoto.Hamafinally landed a jackknife on Okabayashi for the win in 12:35. This was a very good match considering the team ofHamaand Akebono’s size and it was really worked the right way. Instead of getting every spot you have ever seen in a big man match, like the double suplex on one man reversal or the move where the smaller man goes for a powerbomb but then fails we got spots like the powerbomb out of the corner and the double suplex.

***

 

6. Tetsuya Naito & TamaTongavs. Seiya Sanada & Joe Doering

 

Sanada and Naito started off. Naito locked in a top wrist lock on Sanada, but Sanada fought out and locked in one of his own. Naito slapped Sanada as he made the clean break and this transitioned straight into a fiery elbow exchange. Both men had an athletic exchange working all the way to the mat and back up. The respective tags were made to Tongaand Doering. They also had an athletic exchange with Tongalanding lots of leapfrogs and taking Doering down with a big chop. The crowd was super into Tongaas most crowds seem to be and he was backdropped really high by Doering. Sanada was tagged in and he took Tongadown with an elbow, Tongabegan to make a comeback, but Doering made a tag that Tonganever saw to set up a few double teams. Sanada locked in the top wrist lock again, but Tongabroke it and came flying off the top with a whisper in the wind – this allowed him to make the tag to Naito. Naito ran wild and landed a missile dropkick on Sanada. Naito slapped Sanada again, Sanada responded with elbows, but Naito delivered another emphatic slap. Both men ran the ropes really fast trying to catch one another off guard, but Sanada slowed things down with an abdominal stretch. Naito got out with a hip toss and landed a dropkick and enzuigiri followed by a German suplex, but Sanada landed on the feet. Both men exchanged nearfalls, Naito landed an enzuigiri and Sanada landed a flying elbow allowing for him to make the tag to Doering. Naito landed a neckbreaker and made the tag to Tongawho landed a flying crossbody for two. Tongalanded a spinning Alabamaslam on Doering for a nearfall and Naito landed a dropkick on Sanada. Doering landed a spinebuster and brought him up for a powerbomb, but Tongagot a rollup for two. Doering picked Tongaout of a rollup and landed a powerbomb followed by the spinout powerbomb for the win in 12:21.
*** ¼

 

7. Shinsuke Nakamura & Kazuchika Okada vs. Suwama & Shuji Kondo

 

Nakamura and Suwama exchanged holds on the mat. Nakamura was caught in a top wrist lock, but he used to ropes to work his way out of it. They had an exchange on the mat and then went to the feet. Nakamura took advantage of a destraction and made the tag to Okada who got a superstar level reaction. He and Suwama traded elbows, but Okada gained the advantage with some uppercuts and a dropkick to the back of the head of a grounded Suwama. Okada was thrown to the outside where he and Suwama brawled. He was whipped into the barricade, but came off with a huge lariat on Okada and landed a chair shot to the back. Kondo and Nakamura went at it in the ring, but the main focus was on the action on the outside. Suwama threw a table on top of Okada. Suwama pushed Okada, which made Okada snicker, but he was pushed against and that time he was held by Kondo, which allowed Suwama to land a kick. Okada landed some elbows in the ring and he was knocked down with a big shot from Suwama. Suwama landed an elbow on the ground and tagged in Kondo, he taunted the crowd – which made it evident that Kondo and Suwama were the heels. Kondo threw Okada over the top of his head and made the tag back to Suwama. Suwama landed a lariat and dropped an elbow for the count of two. Suwama landed a belly to belly suplex for the count of two and followed it with some taunting kicks to the head. However he was caught with a flapjack from Okada who finally made the tag to Nakamura who unloaded with knees and shots in the corner. Suwama landed the big knee to a suspended Suwama in the corner for the count of two. Suwama and Nakamura traded elbows, both men landed boots and they went face to face. Nakamura went for a highkick he missed, but caught Suwama on the second revolution. He then landed an axe kick and went for the Bome Ye, but it was blocked by Suwama who went for a big lariat, however Nakamura landed a backstabber. Okada was tagged in and he landed the neckbreaker for two, he was caught with a belly to belly suplex by Suwama who went for the last ride, but Nakamura interfered and both men landed an arm over shoulder dropkick. Suwama fought back with some big double palm strikes and Kondo landed a clothesline bulldog combo on Nakamura and Okada. Suwama landed a huge release German suplex on Okada and Okada landed a spear for two, because of the break from Nakamura. Kondo was caught in the over the shoulder belly to back neckbreaker over the knee and an elbow from the top, he then taunted for the rainmaker, but Kondo landed a powerslam. He went for the big lariat, but Okada landed a dropkick and the rainmaker for the win in 14:13. After the match a fight broke out between Suwama, Nakamura and Okada. All Okada did while the fight was going on was no sell Suwama and do the rainmaker pose.

*** ½

 

Stan Hansen came out for a guest appearance. He thanked everyone for supporting 40 years of All Japan and New Japan. He said that pro wrestlers try really hard, but they do it all for the fans. He then thanked all of the fans on behalf of everyone in All Japan and New Japan.

8. Keiji Mutoh, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii

 

When Iizuka made his entrance, pulled the announcer over the table and ripped his shirt off you could hear Liger who was at ringside say “oh, sh*t” which was rather amusing. Yano, Iizuka and Ishii initiated a brawl before the match even began. If you have seen the previous brawls betweenYanaand Iizuka and TenKoji you have basically seen them all. Tenzan and Kojima double teamed Yano in the ring and Tenzan made the take to Mutoh. Mutoh landed an elbow drop and locked in an STF, but he was kicked by Ishii. However he was taken to the outside by Iizuka who slammed a chair into the back of Mutoh. Mutoh was taken into the corner of Yano and Iizuka and he was chopped by Ishii. Iizuka strangled Mutoh with the rope from the turnbuckle pad and covered him for the count of two. Mutoh was kicked by Iizuka and Yano was tagged in, Yano taunted Tenzan by landing his signature Mongolian chops and even doing the Mutoh taunt. This sent Mutoh over the edge and he made the tag to Kojima following a dropkick. Kojima unloaded with the Kobashi style machinegun chops in the corner, he landed the knee and went up top and landed the elbow for two. Kojima landed some elbows, but he was brought to the mat by Yano with a hair pull. Kojima blocked the lariat of Yano and landed a DDT. He went for a lariat of his own, but Iizuka got in a cheap shot and the tag was made to him. Kojima made the tag to Tenzan who ran wild. He landed the Mongolian chops on Iizuka and followed them with a big lariat in the corner. He went to the tope rope and landed the bulldog for a count of two. Tenzan landed a suplex for another nearfall, Iizuka raked the eyes, but he was taken down with a leg lariat from Tenzan. Iizuka landed an atomic drop and made the tag to Ishii. Ishii was taken down with a clothesline and the hot-tag was made to Mutoh who ran wild landing dragon screws on everyone and locking the figure four in on Ishii. At the same time Tenzan had the Anaconda vice on Iizuka and Kojima had a submission of his own on Yano. Mutoh landed the shining wizard in the corner and TenKoji landed the 3D on Ishii which set up the shining wizard for two (the referee was pulled out of the ring). A chair was brought in by Yano and Iizuka donned the claw, however Mutoh moved and Iizuka struck Yano. This allowed Mutoh to land the shining wizard on Iizuka and Kojima landed a huge lariat on Ishii and Tenzan a head butt. This set up a moonsault from Mutoh on Ishii for the win in 12:09. The half naked commentator was brought into the ring and the 3D was landed on Iizuka together with a shining wizard from Mutoh and a lariat in the corner from the announcer. I guess WWE isn’t the only promotion with half naked wrestling announcers.

***

 

9. Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Match

Jun Akiyama vs. Taiyo Kea

 

Kea and Akiyama went back and forth on the mat and exchanged in and out of wrist locks on the feet. Akiyama locked in a hold on the leg, but Kea reached the ropes. Kea landed a shoulder block and a F5 into an ace crusher for the count of two. This resulted in Akiyama rolling to the outside and Akiyama hanging Akiyama up on the guardrail right in front of Hansen. Kea landed a reverse DDT on the apron which was sold as a big deal. Akiyama was thrown back into the ring and covered for the count of two. Kea followed the nearfall with a neckbreaker for another two count. Kea locked a hold on the jaw and neck of Akiyama and wrenched back. Kea proceeded to transition from one hold to another on the mat. He landed a bodyslam followed by an elbow to a grounded Akiyama for two. Kea went for a powerbomb, but Akiyama landed a backdrop and Kea ran into the bottom turnbuckle which resulted in Akiyama landing a big kick to the face. Kea rolled to the outside and Akiyama pressed a knee into the back of Kea and rammed him into the guardrail. Akiyama followed that by throwing Kea into the guardrail. Akiyama dragged Kea onto the apron and landed a knee to the back of Kea guillotine style. Akiyama landing a leaping knee in the ring and ran with another for the count of two. Akiyama landed a piledriver for the count of two and landed another knee to the chest knocking Kea down. Akiyama locked in a headlock and wrenched back on the neck of Kea. Akiyama landed a Super Dragon style boot to the back of the head, but Kea landed a chop. Kea and Akiyama went to the strike exchange, but Akiyama landed some straight down elbow shots to the head of Kea. Akiyama came off the top, but he was caught with a dropkick from Kea. Kea knocked Akiyama down with a lariat and landed a flying forearm for the count of two. Kea landed a Russian leg sweep for another nearfall and locked in a facelock followed by a brainbuster for two. Kea went to the top, but he was caught with a running boot by Akiyama that knocked him to the outside. Akiyama landed a knee for another count of two and a huge exploder for two. Akiyama then locked in the guillotine, but Kea got a leg on the rope. Akiyama went for a big boot, but was caught with some strikes and a backdrop driver from Kea. Kea was not able to capitalize because of the neck, but he perched Akiyama up on the top and landed a frankensteiner for the count of two. Kea locked in a sleeper, but Akiyama fought out and landed an exploder, Kea landed an exploder, but he was caught with a huge knee from Akiyama. Both men were down. Akiyama landed another exploder, but Kea still kicked out. Akiyama landed a double underhook DDT and a knee to the back of the head for another nearfall. Akiyama landed the Sternness Dust but Kea still kicked out! Kea caught Akiyama with a jumping DDT and landed a sleeper suplex for another nearfall. The crowd was not as hot as you would have expected which was disappointing. Kea landed the Tiger Driver on the knee for another nearfall and went for the ace crusher that he had opened the match with, but Akiyama locked in a front facelock. Kea dropped to the mat and Akiyama landed a running knee for the count of two. Akiyama then landed the Sternness Dust for the win in 23:26. This really was your classic All Japan style heavyweight matchup.

****

10. IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe

 

Makabe took Tanahashi to the ground, but they both worked up to the feet anyway. Makabe took Tanahashi to the outside with shoulderblocks, but Tanahashi pulled him down and rammed his leg into the post to boos from the crowd. Tanahashi landed some elbows to the knee and Makabe called for more. Tanahashi rammed Makabe’s leg into the canvas and almost taunted the crowd with his air guitar. Tanahashi continued to work on the leg. He locked in a submission and then pulled Makabe back to the middle of the ring to thunderous boos. Makabe and Tanahashi began to exchange elbows and Makabe landed a powerslam. Makabe landed two big lariats in the corner and then unloaded on Tanahashi with shots to the head in the corner. Makabe then landed a lariat knocking Tanahashi to the outside. Makabe landed a lariat on Tanahashi knocking him over the barricade and setting up a splash against the post. Makabe locked in a headlock which caused the fans to get behind Tanahashi. Tanahashi made it to his feet, but he was knocked back down with a right fist from Makabe who went back to the headlock. Makabe gave someone the finger and landed a straight vertical suplex for two. Tanahashi fought back with some elbows in the corner and a flying forearm. Tanahashi landed a dropkick to the leg of Makabe which set up the high fly flow to the outside. Makabe made it back in at seventeen and fought off multiple cloverleaf attempts from Tanahashi and landed a huge lariat knocking Tanahashi down. Once both men were back up Makabe landed another big lariat and a northern lights suplex for the count of two. Makabe landed a modified Michinoku driver for two and landed a torture rack bomb for two. He then went for the King Kong knee but Tanahashi moved. Tanahashi landed a dropkick to the leg and followed it with couple of dragon screws. He then locked in the cloverleaf and after a struggle Makabe made it to the ropes. Tanahashi landed a bridging German suplex for a very close nearfall and went for the high fly flow, but Makabe got the knees up. Both men landed up face to face for the strike exchange, but Tanahashi took the easy way out with a kick to the leg. Makabe went for an elbow, but he kicked the leg again – Tanahashi kept teasing strikes, but landed up kicking the leg instead. Makabe landed a powerbomb for the count of two and landed a bridging full nelson suplex for two. Makabe landed a lariat to the back of Tanahashi and landed the spider German suplex. He then landed the King Kong knee to the back of Tanahashi’s head. He went to the well again, but Tanahashi moved and Makabe sold the leg. Makabe was taken down with a dragon screw for further boos and he went to the top for the highfly flow, but he was caught with a lariat. Makabe had Tanahashi on the shoulders, Tanahashi countered and went for the straight jacket German suplex, but Makabe countered with an elbow of his own. However Tanahashi finally landed the bridging German suplex for two, Tanahashi landed the sling blade and another from the other direction. He then landed a high fly flow to the back and front for the win in 22:31.

 

This match was very interesting for a few reasons. It could have been a once off thing, but Tanahashi worked as the heel pretty much from start to finish and the crowd really bought into it. I could see this being the start to a Tanahashi turn in a way or it could have been a once off occurrence. Either way the match was a very good way to cap of a fun show and the crowd was still pretty into Tanahashi after the match since he even did his air guitar.

****

 

TNA Destination X July 8th 2012

Orlando, Florida

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was a very good show overall, mainly due to the second half. The first half was fun in parts, but for the most part it was much of the same and a lot of the matches were sloppy. However the show had three great matches and it finished on such a high that it definitely was one of the better shows of the year so far. The X division stuff was obviously necessary, but I think that streamlining the matches so that they didn’t bleed into each other so badly would have helped. Even with some of the problems that the show had I would definitely recommend it, it had many strong points and the mainevent, last man standing match and Joe vs. Angle made the show really worth while.

 

1. Rubix (Jigsaw) vs. Mason Andrews (Scorpio Sky) vs. Lars Only (Johnny Yuma) vs. Dakota Darsow

 

This match was the absolute definition of a spotfest. There was a lot of sloppiness involved and although Andrews and Rubix were decent they didn’t really make up for Only and Darsow. The finish came whenYumalanded a knee to the face of Andrews and an F5 neckbreaker for the win. The match did have all the flips and dives, but it was one big highspot and not a very well performed one at that.

* ½

 

2. Kid Kash vs. Mason Andrews

 

After Andres pinned Only Kash came running out to start the match. Andrews was thrown to the outside by Kash who landed a chop and threw him into the post. Andrews placed his boot on the chest of Andrews, but Andrews kicked out. Kash went for a few more nearfalls, but Andrews kicked out. Andrews began to fire back with a pair of dropkicks and a crucifix pin for two. Andrews was hung up on the top rope by Kash who proceeded to land some shots to a downed Andrews. Andrews landed a few shots, but Kash landed a kick for the count of two. Kash proceeded to rough Andrews up some more and landed a release suplex for two. Kash landed a backbreaker and went to the top where he dropped a forearm. Kash gave Andrews the finger and landed some slaps, but Andrews began to fight back. Andrews was quickly cut off by Kash who showed the crowd the middle finger. Andrews fought of a key lock and was cut off once again with a running elbow shot. Andrews was thrown out to the floor and Kash confronted a fan. Kash went to the top for a springboard moonsault, but Andrews got the legs up. Kash landed some shots, but Andrews took him down and landed a flurry of shots culminating in a dropkick. Kash ran into the turnbuckle and Andrews landed a hurricanrana followed by a missile dropkick. Andrews landed a bicycle kick for two and Kash got a backslide. Andrews finally caught Kash with a school boy for the win in 08:07.

** ½

 

Joe was interviewed. He was asked if he could give his prediction for that night. He said that nothing but great would do to beat the man that beat him – Austin Aries. He said that he looked at the leader board from one year ago and his strategy was to injure people, but he said that he had seen the light. He said that the road to the title was paved with the Bound for Glory series and asked what Angle represented. Joe said that Angle was not a gold medallist he was ten points and not an indestructible machine – he was an ends to a means.

 

3. Douglas Williams vs. Kenny King

 

King and Williams had an exchange of holds on the mat which worked up to the feet. Williams got a backslide for two, but King responded with one of his own to the same result. Williams offered the hand in the middle of the match and then pulled King in for the cheap shot. King was thrown to the outside, but King caught Williams with a corkscrew pescado. King landed a snap suplex rolling into some shots on the mat. King got a drop toe hold and locked in a side headlock. However Williams took King back to the mat. King fought back with some armdrags and locked in an armbar. Williams landed an elbow from the top to a standing King followed by the clothesline. Williams locked in the camel clutch pulling at the nose, but King caught Williams with a beautifully timed roll up for two. Williams landed a suplex and held on, but he was caught with an enzuigiri from King. King landed some shot clothesline and a windmill kick for two followed by a highkick and spinebuster for two. Williams went to the top, he was caught by King, but he threw King straight to the outside. This led to Williams landing a flying knee to the outside. King hung Williams up and landed a springboard neckbreaker for two. Williams got a rollup for two and caught King with a knee in the corner. King followed this with a Shouten Kai like manoeuvre for the win in 10:33.

***

 

Daniels was interviewed. He said that a lot could happen in one year, because the previous year Styles was his lackey. He said that last year it was more important for him to befriend Styles than to win, but he said that he changed his mentality and rose to the top and won the title. He said that all that mattered on that night was beating his opponent senseless. Daniels said that Styles had to know what type of man he was. He said that Styles was a man that slept with the president and a defenceless, intoxicated woman. He said that when the going gets tough Styles was more of a man that would lie down than stand up. He finished by saying that he would win the last man standing match.

 

4. Sonjay Dutt vs. Ra’Shad Cameron

 

The match started off with an athletic exchange. Dutt landed a dropkick, but Cameron caught him with one of his own followed by a Devitt esque topé con giro. Dutt landed a hurricanrana and a baseball slide that caught Cameron right on the top of the head. Dutt was pulled off of the apron before he could land theAsiamoonsault and was then thrown into the guardrail. Cameron was working as a heel taunting the crowd. The fans got behind Dutt and Cameron landed a shot to the gut followed by a body scissors. Dutt landed a bulldog into the corner followed by a guillotine from the top rope and a splash for two. Dutt landed an armdrag, but Cameron got a rollup for two. Cameron was sent to the top, but he landed a hurricanrana and locked in an armbar. Dutt landed a sliced bread and went to the top rope where he landed the moonsault into the double foot stomp which looked like it killed Cameron.

** ¾

 

There was a recap of the Jesse Sorenson incident from February. They had an interview with his mother who was also at the arena and very emotional. The doctor that they interviewed was very optimistic and said that they would get him back in the ring. This was a nice change from the “he shouldn’t wrestle again, but he went against my judgment” kind of thing that always gets me worried. He was brought out to the arena. He was asked how he felt and he replied by saying that it was just good to feel something. He said that the last time he was had the arena he couldn’t feel anything and he stared at the ceiling for days afterwards wondering if he would ever walk again. However he said that when he left he heard everyone cheering his name and that chant motivated him to come back. He said that God had placed him on the earth to be a pro wrestler and he thanked everyone. Sorenson said that he hoped that Ion would win the X Division title so he could beat him for it and become X Division champion and then world champion at Destination X the next year. Ion then came out for his match.

 

5. Zema Ion vs. Flip Cassanova

 

Ion attacked Cassanova from behind and landed a big clothesline. Ion landed a slap in the corner and Cassanova landed a dropkick and flying head scissors. Cassanova followed this with a tumbling moonsault to the outside. Ion strangled Cassanova in the ropes, but Cassanova landed some shots. Ion landed a big baseball slide. Ion applied some hair spray before going for a moonsault, but Cassanova got the knees up and landed a springboard corkscrew of some sort for two. Cassanova went to the top and went for the moonsault sitout senton, but Ion countered and landed a facebuster and gory bomb for the win in 03:52.

**

 

King, Dutt and Andrews were interviewed. King said that it was his coronation night and Dutt said that he would drop a bomb and become champion. Andrews then said it was his moment when Roode came by. Roode said that it was his moment and his show and that the new champion didn’t mean much, because he would destroy their poster boy Austin Aries. He said Aries would fail and the X Division would fail, but most of all he would walk out as champion.

 

6. Kurt Angle vs.SamoaJoe

 

The crowd was really hot for the match and split right down the middle. Angle landed some armdrags and went for the ankle lock, but he was pushed off by Joe. Angle locked in a front facelock, but Joe powered out and landed some shots in the corner followed by some face washes. Joe bodydropped Angle to the outside and landed a topé suicida. Angle landed a kick and some boots to the gut of Joe. Joe landed a pelé and perched Angle on the top rope, but Angle landed a missile dropkick. Angle locked in a headlock, but Joe fought out with elbows. Angle landed a release belly to belly suplex for two and locked in a crossface. Joe fought out and went to the top, Ankle leapt up and went for the belly to belly, but he was pushed off and Joe landed a leg lariat from the top rope. Joe teed off with some shots and landed a big boot and a back senton for two. Joe landed a snap powerslam for two and attempted to lock in an armbar, but Angle blocked and locked in the ankle lock. Angle followed the ankle lock with three huge holding German suplexes. Ankle went for the Angle slam, but Joe rolled out and set up the muscle buster. But, Angle countered it into a sunset flip and locked in the ankle lock, he was pushed off by Joe who landed a yuranagi and the muscle buster for two. Joe locked in the rear naked choke, but Angle countered it into the ankle lock. Joe was pulled straight to the centre, but he was flipped straight into the rear naked choke. Angle fought out and landed the Angle slam for the count of two in an awesome nearfall. Angle went for the ankle lock, Joe kicked Angle off and locked in the rear naked choke again, Angle attempted to fight out but Angle faded in 14:36. After the match Angle looked upset and Joe shot to the top of the leader board.

*** ¾

 

7. Last Man Standing Match

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels

 

Daniels stalled on the outside, taunting Styles. Daniels spat in the face of Styles, which led to Styles unloading on Daniels, until Daniels again took off on the outside. Daniels was rammed into the turnbuckle by Styles, but he fought back with some shots of his own. Back in the ring Daniels landed a headbutt, but Styles responded with a dropkick and began to land kick to the chest and head of Daniels. Styles landed a suplex into the corner and a bodyslam followed by a knee, but Daniels moved. Daniels landed some chops, but Styles landed some of his own. Daniels caught Styles with a shot out of nowhere and grabbed a chair from the outside. He threw the chair into the ring and slammed Styles’ head into the apron, raking at the eyes. Styles went for a splash in the corner off of the chair, but Daniels landed a yuranagi onto the chair. Daniels slammed Styles’ head into the steps and taunted some fans. Daniels took a bow after insulting the fan and landed some shots. Daniels placed the steps on their side and Styles (now bleeding) tries to fight back, but he was quickly taken down in the ring by Daniels. Daniels grabbed the chair, but Styles kicked the leg and landed a springboard punch against the chair knocking Daniels to the outside. Styles then rammed Daniels right into the steps and Daniels began to bleed. Styles landed some shots to the head of a bleeding Daniels who began to back off and retreat. Styles landed some shots on Daniels on the entrance ramp and went for a clothesline, but Daniels collided with Styles and they both went down on the entrance way. Both men exchanged some shots on the entrance way, but Styles caught him with the pelé and went for the Styles clash. However, Daniels countered it into a big back body drop on the stage. Styles performed the springboard reverse DDT off of a part of the entrance ramp in a big spot. At the count of seven Kazarian ran in and pushed Styles off of the stage onto the concrete below. Styles made it up at eight and Daniels came running down the stairs and slammed Styles head into the guardrail. Daniels grabbed a table and set it up in the concrete section below the stage and brought Styles onto the ramp. He went for the Angel’s Wings, but Styles pushed Daniels forward into Kazarian and landed a pelé. Styles then landed a Styles Clash off of the stage through the table for the win in 17:44. This was an amazing last man standing match.

**** ¼

 

Aries was interviewed. He was asked his thoughts on the ultimate X match and he said that he was very excited for it, but with respect to the X division it was in his rear-view mirror and what was in front of him was the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He said that Storm won matches with beer bottles, but he won matches with brain busters. He said that he wanted to give the people someone they could be proud of. He said he would not only be the new face of TNA, but also the new face of pro wrestling. He finished by said that he would prove why he is the greatest man that ever lived.

 

8. Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship

Sonjay Dutt vs. Kenny King vs. Mason Andrews vs. Zema Ion

 

Ion sprayed his hair and he was taken down by everyone. He landed some elbows, but Andrews, King and Dutt responded with a triple dropkick. Dutt landed a flying head scissors on King and King was pushed to the outside by Ion. Ion was hung up in the tree of woe and King landed an exploder on Andrews into Ion who was still in the tee of woe. King landed an enzuigiri on Dutt to the outside and King began to climb, but he was caught with a dropkick from Dutt. Dutt then landed a standing shooting star press, but he separated his shoulder on impact and landed face first on the bottom rope, this led to him being taken to the back. Ion started to climb, but he was pulled down by Andrews and King landed a springboard dropkick on Ion. Andrews landed a second rope backsuplex on King. King missed a corkscrew pescado on Ion and Andrews landed a dive to the outside on both Ion and King on the outside. Andrews started to climb, but King landed a springboard spear. Dutt came back in and he and Andrews began to climb after throwing Ion into the steel. King and Andrews were both up top, but they both came crashing down with a neckbreaker. Ion and Dutt then climbed to the top of the metal structure and navigated their way precariously to the centre. They exchanged shots on top of the structure and Dutt did an insane balancing act for a man that just dislocated his shoulder and he dropped down from the steel and had his feet on the X ropes. However as he was about to drop down he was sprayed with hair spray by Ion and he took a rather well taken bump considering his situation and Ion grabbed the championship.

*** ¼

 

Ion was interviewed at ringside. He shouted at the fans and said that he dedicated his win to his critics at the haters. But, he said that he most of all dedicated his win to his guiding light Jesse, because if he never broke his neck he wouldn’t have realized his potential. He said that he would be the greatest X Division Champion of all time and the fans chanted transition. I was far more comfortable with the progression of the angle now than when Sorenson first broke his neck. Considering at the time that Sorenson broke his neck no one knew if he would come back, but now it seems like a fine direction to go in.

 

9. TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match

Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries

 

Roode locked in a wrist lock, but Aries transitioned it into one of his own. Aries was knocked down by a shoulder block from Roode who got a rollup for two and locked in an STF. Aries spun right around Roode and landed some slaps. Aries landed an elbow on Roode on the ground, but Roode locked in a head scissors. Aries landed a dropkick and an axe handle to the outside. Aries went for a missile dropkick, but Roode moved and began to land some boots on Aries. Roode landed a vertical suplex and a knee drop, followed by a headlock. Roode landed a running forearm and a bodyslam. He went for a knee drop from the top, but Aries moved and landed some kicks to the legs of Roode and locked in a chancery. He didn’t get all of it and was forced to break. Aries dropped Roode to the floor and went for a topé suicida, but Roode moved which resulted in Aries going mouth first into the guardrail. Roode landed a spear for two and landed a stomp to the midsection. Roode landed a front suplex for two. Aries began to fight back, but Roode landed a knee to the gut of Aries. Aries was forced into the corner. Roode shouted “give up, you’re not in my league.” At Aries and dropped Aries off with the Samoan drop for two. Roode locked in a bearhug and halted Aries from making his way to the feet. Aries got a schoolboy for two, but he was then caught with a big clothesline. Roode continued to shout “you are nothing” at Aries, but Aries made it to his feet and they began to exchange strikes. Aries landed a discus elbow and looked at Roode with crazy eyes knocking him to the outside with a clothesline. Aries was able to land the topé suicida and went to the top rope and landed a missile dropkick. He went for a dropkick in the corner, but Roode landed a powerslam for two. Roode went for the spear, but Aries locked in the last chancery. Roode almost made it to the ropes, Aries landed some knees to the head, but Roode countered into the crossface. Aries was able to counter and locked in the last chancery again, but Roode raked the eyes of Aries. Aries was perched on the top rope and went for a suspended vertical suplex from the top, but Aries hit the ears. Aries went for the 450 splash, but Roode moved out of the way. Roode landed a spinebuster and Aries was sent shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Roode locked in the crossface, Aries attempted to make it to the ropes, but Aries dragged him away from them. Aries finally made it to the ropes and Roode attempted to bring the World Title into the ring, but he was halted by Hebner. Roode landed a low blow for the count of two while Hebner’s back was turned and Roode pushed Hebner, however he pushed back. This allowed Aries to land a dropkick in the corner and Hebner was bumped and Aries landed a dropkick and attempted the brain buster which resulted in the crowd going crazy. Roode hit Aries with the belt, but Aries kicked out at two in a great nearfall. Roode went for a suplex, but Aries got a small package for two. Roode was then pushed into the turnbuckle and Aries landed a big boot followed by the brain buster for the win in 22:39. The crowd was in a complete and utter state of jubilation as the confetti rained down. I know that they wanted to get to Storm as an opponent, but the Aries title win definitely feels like a step in the right direction, because they without a doubt have something special in Aries and they should hold onto that.

**** ½

 

WWE RAW July 9th 2012

Denver, Colorado

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was another bad show I am not going to lie. I felt completely insulted by the General Manager segments, the commentators went back to bickering instead of calling the matches and AJ has become the focus of the mainevent program. Not only that but a tag match that took so much time out of the show ended in what is normally a routine spot throughout tag matches. What was even worse was that for the most part there was nothing good on the show. The bottom line is that if you want to watch good wrestling you won’t find it on RAW right now, but you may find it on Impact.

 

They aired a recap of the AJ/Punk/Bryanangle from the past week from Smackdown and RAW.

 

AJ Came out, which wasn’t a big surprise. She said that she realized that her actions could greatly affect the outcome of the WWE championship match. She said that was very emotional and overwhelming – she was getting the “what” treatment. She brought CM Punk out.

 

CM Punk got a good reaction and he asked why he was brought out. AJ said that he showed his true feelings when he called her mentally unstable, she said she didn’t need any mental help and she was in control of all of her metal faculties at all times. She said that no one had ever cared about her or shown compassion towards her like CM Punk. She said that when she kissed Punk she knew “it” – she knew what she had to do. She complimented his eyes “that sent love straight into her heart” and she said that Punk filled her up with passion and desire. She said Punk “turned her on” which got a pop and “yes” chants. She said she knew what she had to do and she got down on one knee and teased a proposal – I thought that it was going to turn out to be a swerve, but it turned out that she did.

 

Bryancame out running shouting “no” and said that she was going to make the biggest mistake of her life and Punk didn’t love her. He said that Punk was just playing her and he had played her in the past, but he never stopped having feelings for her. However he said that CM Punk on the other hand only cared about himself. Punk saidBryannever knew anything about him or how he felt about AJ and he toldBryanto shut up.Bryandared Punk to say I do, but Punk had no words.Bryansaid that Punk only saw her as a special referee, but he saw her as a special person. He said they both had the same idea, he said that that morning he had no idea of stopping a proposal he wanted to make one. He asked AJ to marry him, but Punk interjected saying that it was a “load of crap”. Punk said thatBryanhad no ring and he was trying to fool Punk.Bryantold Punk not to talk down to his “future fiancé” and at that point the general manager computer dinged, which meant that the GM for the night was the computer that disappeared into the void.

 

Cole said that the GM said that he was back and said that CM Punk and AJ made a great couple and it would be a mixed tag match with Punk and AJ against Eve and Bryan.Bryanflipped out and went crazy saying that they didn’t want to face each other, the GM said that ifBryanwas to beat Punk then maybe AJ would see him in a different light, or maybe not.

 

AJ said that the whole thing was confusing and they all needed some time to think and she was happy that she and Punk had a match, because she said she believed everything happens for a reason. AJ said that she had a feeling that she would walk out of the arena with her future husband.

 

1. Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger

 

Sheamus was thrown into the post, but he caught Swagger in the over the shoulder belly to back piledriver when Swagger went for the splash. Sheamus taunted for the brogue kick and landed it for the win in what was basically a squash match.

 

Del Rioappeared on the tron hooting in the Ferrari. He congratulated Sheamus and said that Swagger is no Alberto Del Rio. He said that at Money in the Bank he would do what no man has been able to and that is take the title off of Sheamus. Sheamus was approached by Swagger and he landed another Brogue kick.

 

Santino was talking with Ryder backstage and he congratulated Ryder. He said that he would have more personality than the anonymous GM. Marella said that he heard that the anonymous GM was in the building and he wanted to find him. He then put a Sherlock Holmes hat on and placed the pipe in his mouth. He then began to look in the boxes. They announced that Rock would be at the 1000th edition of RAW.

 

2. Dolf Ziggler &Tensai vs. Tyson Kidd & Christian

 

Neither of the teams got introductions and Christian landed some offense on Ziggler. The tag was made to Tensai but Christian landed a missile dropkick and went for the spear, but Ziggler interfered and Tensai won with the back senton in another very short match. After the match Tensai destroyed Kidd on the outside, landing a back senton on the floor.

 

There was a notification from the general manager. He said that seeing Cole and Lawler bicker brought back great memories (for whom? Because it didn’t for me). He said that the fans could decide whether or not Cole and Lawler had a match that night. The fans chanted yes and Cole chanted no. This is honestly one of the worst series of matches in the last few years, I don’t understand why they would want to keep prolonging it like this.

 

3. Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre

 

It was nice to see McIntyre who as far as I am aware has been banished to Superstars. However this joy was short lived. McIntyre was caught when coming off of the top rope with a headbutt and a splash for the win.

 

Santino Marella was looking for the general manager backstage. He walked byJerichoand said that it was him, butJerichosaid it wasn’t. They then exchanged “mmms”. Marella calledJerichoa son of a gun and walked off. Big Show confrontedJericho, he said that it was a reunion of JeriShow and he said that the time that he tagged withJerichowas the most embarrassing of his career, which was profoundly stupid. He then warnedJerichoto stay out of his way or he would knock him out.

 

Stephanie McMahon was able to pick another moment for some reason. It was the McMahon Triple H wedding and the subsequent breakup at the altar.

 

John Cena came out and he said that he felt that he felt what the fans felt and knew what they knew. He said that the world would witness Money in the Bank and he said if you plan on going through hell you may as well keep going. He said that no one cared about pins and submissions and their only common goal was the WWE championship. He said that at Money in the Bank even the nice people would become ruthless and it was a must see event because it would change the landscape of the WWE. He said the unstoppable Big Show would be stopped by his hand and he would do whatever he had to do to whomever he had to do it to. He said he had to win Money in the Bank and he said he would.

 

4. John Cena & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show

 

Cena dominatedJericholanded a bulldog that forcedJerichoto make the tag to Big Show. Big Show went for the chokeslam, but Cena countered and tagged Kane in. Kane unloaded on Big Show with closed fist shots. Big Show landed a headbutt on Kane knocking him out to the floor which allowedJerichoto land a kick to the gut of Kane. Big Show landed a knee and took Kane down with a boot – Show then shouted at Cena.Jerichowas tagged in, but he was taken down with a strike from Kane who made the tag to Cena. Cena landed a fisherman’s suplex, but as he ran toJericho’s side of the ring Show landed a big right hand behind the referee’s back. After the break Big Show continued to land offense on Cena, Cena picked the Big Show up, but Show fell back on him with a splash. Big Show locked in a bearhug, but Cena fought out and landed a backsuplex. Cena made the tag to Kane who landed a dropkick to a grounded Big Show followed by a splash in the corner. Kane landed a DDT for the count of two and went to the top rope, but Big Show moved and landed a big spear for the count of two. Big Show landed a shot to the gut of Kane andJerichowas tagged in landing stomps to gut of Kane.Jericholanded a knee to the back of Kane and Big Show landed a shot to Kane on the apron. Kane began to make a comeback after the break, landing a sidewalk slam. Kane finally made the hot tag to Cena who ran wild. He landed the five knuckle shuffle and dropkicked Show off of the apron,Jerichowent for the Walls, but Cena landed the AA. This resulted in Big Show pulling Cena out for the DQ which was really strange since that is never grounds for a DQ. Show grabbed two ladders and took out Kane andJerichoin the ring. Show sandwichedJerichobetween a ladder and pressed up against the top, however Cena made the save knocking Big Show out of the ring with a ladder of his own. The ending of the match came across as amazingly cheap.

 

CM Punk was stretching backstage. He was approached by Eve who wished him luck. He then buried Eve wishing her luck with getting her spray tan off, which just seemed like an uncalled for statement. She said that she didn’t wish him luck for the match (of course not, who cares about those), but she wished him luck for his relationship with AJ. She said that it had to be hard on him, because if he didn’t walk out that night saying “I do” then he wouldn’t walk out with his championship. She said to him that it must be hard being overshadowed by Rock, Cena, Triple H and even Brock Lesnar, which was a ridiculous line for so many reasons. She said it must be pretty emasculating and walked off.

 

Marella was still looking for the general manager backstage, he grabbed a phone and said that it was the anonymous general manager’s phone. However, it was just Khali’s and Khali was asked if he was the general manager or not and he replied yes for one reason or another. Marella asked again and Khali said no. Khali then operated his phone.

 

5. Money in the Bank Qualifying Match

Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater

 

It’s strange that almost no one else had to qualify yet however was a qualifying match. As soon as I saw Slater there it was pretty obvious who was going to win. Slater worked on Sin Cara and kept him grounded with a headlock. Sin Cara sprung off of the ropes and landed an armdrag and crossbody followed by the faceplant variant of La Mistica for the win.

 

Heath Slater cut a promo saying how it wasn’t fair that he had lost. He said that he would be a future champion and to prove it he called out the current WWE champion or any previous champion. Bob Backlund came out and he didn’t get that big of a reaction at first. Some of the fans chanted “you still got it” at Backlund, who was wearing trunks and big ones at that. Backlund offered Slater a handshake, but Slater pulled Backlund in with a punch. Backlund locked in the crossface chicken wing, but since it wasn’t an official match he was forced to let go by some referees after he had it locked in for a while.

 

Cole wanted everyone’s attention. He revealed the pole results and it was 75% for the match and 25% against it. He called the fans that voted hypocrites. Booker T and Josh Matthews then came out.

 

6. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole

 

Michael Cole slid to the outside, but he was thrown in by Booker T. Upon re-entering the ring Lawler landed an aeroplane spin for the win.

 

The anonymous GM dinged. The email read that because there was inference in the match Cole was announced as the winner. Out came Marella he said that he came to a conclusion, because there was only one place that he hadn’t checked in the arena and that was under the ring (I guess everyone in the arena just has to stay in one spot then.”) An email went off saying that there was no one under the ring and Marella was ordered to the back. However he was pulled under the ring and when Lawler pulled him back out he had Hornswoggle holding onto his leg. The laptop was there so Hornswoggle was pretty much revealed as the anonymous GM. He was then brought into the ring where he kicked Lawler, kicked Cole, bit Marella and walked off.

 

After the months of bad television involving the RAW GM not going anywhere I was angry, because even though it sucked I at least thought that I was watching for a payoff of some kind. However, here we are knowing that the GM was Hornswoggle all along and I just feel completely cheated – cheated out of my time and cheated out of my investment. The fact that they would do something like this is a testament to how little they respect us as viewers. This was a slap in the face.

 

7. CM Punk & AJ vs. Daniel Bryan & Eve Torres

 

Punk fired off onBryanwith elbows.Bryanwas back bodydropped, but he responded with a knee in the corner and the yes kicks. Punk tookBryandown and made the tag to AJ. AJ took Eve down and landed some shots, but Eve fought back with some elbows. Eve landed a scissors kick and went for a senton, but AJ got the knees up. AJ landed a dropkick to the face of a downed Eve and landed a spin kick for two. AJ was kicked off and Eve went to go make the tag, butBryanjumped off of the apron which allowed AJ to get the rollup for the win.

 

Bryangot on the mic. He said that he proved that AJ means more to him than any other match. He said that they should have left and gotten married.Bryanopened the ropes for AJ, but Punk said thatBryanwouldn’t hold on and he was just using AJ. He said that the only reasonBryanwanted to marry AJ was because he thought that AJ could make him the WWE champion. He said that he didn’t care if what he was about to say was going to cost him the championship so he said that he wasn’t going to marry AJ. He said that if that hurt AJ, he at least cared enough to tell her the truth and she began to fake cry once again. AJ closed the segment off by slapping both Punk and Bryan. She chanted “yes” which seems to be her chant now to close off the show.

 

I was fine with the execution of the segment, but I am just so sick of the same tired story every week. AJ is the focus of the show and has become more important than the title, which isn’t a big feat, but she feels more like a hindrance. She is good in her role, but that role should not be as the corner stone of the main program (theoretically) in the company.

 

WWE NXT July 11th 2012 (July 14th 2012)

Orlando, Florida 

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was a solid edition of NXT. There were two matches of a decent length on the show and one very fun squash match. The show also did a good job of introducing some angles which hasn’t been done over the past few weeks. The antics with the commentators appearing and disappearing in and out of the ether continued this week and it still makes no sense. The fans were reenergized which was good to see and there were far more into the product than in previous weeks. All in all a fun show.

 

1. Tyson Kidd vs. Camacho

 

The crowd was into Kidd obviously due to the new, fresh crowd. Kidd slid under the legs of Camacho and landed a dropkick. Kidd got a rollup for two and grabbed the leg of Camacho getting a rollup and a submission on the arm. Kidd was thrown over the top rope, but he landed a leg scissors on Camacho and skinned the cat. He went for a baseball slide onto Hunico and Camacho, but they moved and he was stuck between the two. He rolled back into the ring and Hunico was sent to the back. This resulted in Kidd landing a topé con giro onto both Hunico and Camacho. After the break Camacho was in control, but Kidd got a rollup and went for the sharpshooter, however Camacho rolled to the outside. Kidd went for a kick off the apron, but his leg  was pulled and he landed back first on the apron. Camacho then rammed Kidd into the apron and covered him in the ring for the count of two. Camacho landed a backbreaker and a stomp to the chest. Kidd began to fight back with some shots, but he was thrown into the turnbuckle for two. Camacho landed a front suplex on the rope and catapulted Kidd into the bottom rope. Camacho made the cover and locked in a modified abdominal stretch. Kidd made it to his feet, but he was headbutted back to the mat and Camacho landed a back suplex. Camacho landed a legdrop and made the cover for a count of two. Kidd went for a bulldog, but Camacho landed a faceplant for two. Camacho went for a leg drop from the top, but Kidd moved and landed a flurry of kicks culminating in a dropkick to the head. Kidd landed a leg drop guillotine to the back of the head and went to the top, but he was hung up. Camacho landed a release double arm suplex from the top rope for two and Kidd landed an enzuigiri followed by an over the top neckbreaker from the top rope for two. Kidd locked in a sharpshooter, but Mcgillicutty ran out allowing Camacho to land the DDT for the win.

 

There was another Bray Wyatt vignette. He said that “they” hurt and he hurt too. He asked again what they were going to do to someone they could not hurt and he said that he had gone through hell and it made him stronger – it took away his ability to feel pain, the pain of man. He said that “they” couldn’t hurt him and he said that the only thing that they could do to someone like him is run. It was another good vignette.

 

Mat Striker interviewed Justin Gabriel. He welcomed Gabriel back from his elbow injury. Gabriel said that when he was injured he went back home toSouth Africaand he had time to think. He said that he wanted to make a statement by earning a championship. He said that he had held the tag team championship three times which was a scary thought. Striker announced that it would be him versus Slater next week and Gabriel said that they had history and it was time for him to step up and make a statement.

 

Heath Slater came by and asked what kind of statement Gabriel would make (indeed no statement can be made by defeating Heath Slater). He said that Gabriel’s career was a failure and he said that he was on RAW week after week embarrassing legends. Gabriel said they were embarrassing him, but Slater said that they didn’t have to worry about former stars. Gabriel said that was true because next week Slater would be defeated by him.

 

2. Bray Wyatt vs. Aiden English

 

Wyatt said that the people would understand who he was and what he was capable of in time. They would understand what he was, but he said that for now he was Bray Wyatt and he began to sing.

 

Regal was talking about the preacher that handled his rattlesnakes and died from a bite, which was bizarre, but it has sought of become Regal’s gimmick. Wyatt slammed English and began rolling around he then landed a splash in the corner and landed a spinning neckbreaker after kissing and dancing with English for the win. I was impressed with the way that Wyatt was packaged I thought that they did a good job.

 

There was a Rollins vignette. He was talking about the numbness travelling down the fingertips and necks of his opponents. He said that everything that you know vanishes and all that you experience is the pain and the fear of what is to come. He finished by welcoming everyone to the blackout, which is the name of his finishing move.

 

Richie Steamboat was interviewed. He said that it was a big opportunity for everyone, but especially for him. He said that he wanted to prove just how good “he is”. Kruger came past saying “how good you are”, Kruger said he proved how good he is, he said that he was the South African jewel, the prince of Africa and then pushed his finger into Steamboat’s chest and said “the African era” but he was taken down by Steamboat and they were separated.

 

There was a promo for Raquel Diaz. She said that when she looked in the mirror she saw a super diva – an alpha female. She called it the exfoliating ugly tour and she said that it started next week.

 

3. The Usos vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus ‘O Neil)

 

Ross was back on commentary for this match. Jey Uso slapped Yong and landed some chops. The Usos took Young down with double elbows and Jimmy landed a chop for the count of two, but Jimmy Uso was pushed into the corner and ‘O Neil was tagged in. ‘O Neil attempted to overpower Uso, but he confronted ‘O Neil and landed a chop. ‘O Neil was slammed and rolled to the outside, the Usos used the afro comb of Young and Young finally rolled back in. Young was however immediately dropped to the outside and Jey Uso was body dropped to the outside by his tag partner onto Young and ‘O Neil. After the break ‘O Neil was stomping Uso in the corner and Young slammed the leg into the apron. Jimmy Uso went for the tag, but ‘O Neil dragged Uso back to his corner where Young was tagged in. Young was dropped to the outside and Jimmy Uso went for the tag, however his partner was pulled off by Young. Uso got a dropkick for two and Young locked in a toehold and pulled back on the hair of Uso. The fans got behind Uso and Young wrenched back on the leg. ‘O Neil was tagged in and he suplexed Young onto Uso, but Uso moved. Jimmy Uso went for the tag, but he was quickly pulled back by ‘O Neil. Uso landed a backdrop and finally made the tag to Jey Uso who ran wild on Young. Young was thrown into ‘O Neil who was knocked off the apron and Uso landed a Samoan drop and running pelvis in the corner for two. ‘O Neil and Young landed a neckbreaker legdrop combo behind the referee’s back for the win to close off the show.

 

TNA Impact June 13th 2012

Orlando Florida

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was another very good edition of Impact. The main angles all progressed along nicely, although I am really not a big fan of the Clare Lynch stuff. I thought that most of the matches were decent and they did a very good job of building to next week’s show. The ending of the show was done realistically with a camera not just immediately cutting to the back. The Park segment at the start of the show was also good, although I didn’t like the fact that there was bleeding in both the start and end of the show. I think that it retains its meaning if it is used sparingly and Styles and Daniels already got colour at the pay-per-view. One way or another this show left me with a sense of anticipation for the direction of the company and that is something that cannot be said for RAW.

 

1. Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park

 

The fans were behind Park. Park put up fisticuffs, but he missed his swings and Ray landed a shot to the back of the head and a kick. Ray slapped Park and spat in his face, but Park responded with a slap of his own, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Park was fired up, but he was knocked back down by Park who tweeted and said trending world wide. Ray pulled a trash can full of weapons out from under the ring and grabbed a steal chair, he went for a chair shot, but Park took him down with a double leg takedown and landed some shots. Park grabbed the chair backwards once again, but he was knocked back down by Ray with a shot to the back of the head. Ray landed a shot to the back with a steal sign and landed a shot to the shoulder with the lid of the can. Ray went for a splash on Park who was on the trash can lid, but Park moved and unloaded with shots. Park landed a shoulder tackle, but Ray landed a boot to the face and grabbed a bag full of thumbtacks from under the ring. Ray grabbed a mic and said he was going to do to him what he should have done to his brother a long time ago. Ray grabbed the cane, but Park landed a low blow with a cheese grater and landed a shot to the head with a cane for two. Ray knocked Park down with a shoulder block and went for a move on the thumbtacks, but Park responded with a spinebuster like manoeuvre on the tacks. Park had the trash can, but Ray landed a shot with the chain for the win. After the match Ray grabbed a cane and Park was bleeding. Park was horrified at the site of his own blood, but as Ray ran at Park he landed a black hole slam. This was a great tease for the eventual culmination to the angle and it was pulled off very well. Park was excellent when he saw his blood as it both fired him up and disgusted him.

 

The blood was pouring down Park’s face as they cut to Sting and he held the dead man’s hand in his hand. After the break Ray was backstage with thumbtacks in his boots. He asked who “that” was he said he beat Park, but he said that it wasn’t the same man that delivered the black hole slam.

 

2.SamoaJoe vs. Rob Van Dam

 

Van Dam took Joe down and landed a dropkick to the back of the head of Joe, he attempted to lock in a surfboard, but Joe reached the ropes. Joe and Van Dam exchanged elbows, but Joe got the better of Van Dam. Van Dam landed a spin kick, but Joe responded with a huge lariat sending Van Dam rolling to the outside. Van Dam’s kick was caught and Joe landed a dragon screw. Joe landed some kicks to the leg and locked in a leg bar, but Van Dam made it to the ropes. Van Dam landed some shots, but he was caught with a powerslam and Joe locked in a cross armbreaker. Van Dam made it to the ropes and landed a high kick followed by a kick to a downed Joe and rolling thunder to the back for the count of two. Van Dam went for the monkey flip and Joe landed a modified spinebuster and locked in a modified figure four leg lock. Joe went for it again, but Van Dam got the rollup for the win.

 

Clair Lynch was shown arriving at the building smoking so she is officially a heel. She said that she hadn’t talked toDixiesince the last time they ere in the ring and she asked them to leave her alone. Hogan called the Aces and Eights out and said that he couldn’t wait to see the white of their eyes.

 

Daniels and Kazarian came out. Kazarian said that he wanted to congratulate Styles. He said that Styles thought that he had heard the end of the Clair Lynch story, but he had only heard one verse – they haven’t even reached the chorus is what he said. Daniels said that he agreed with the crowd and he said that Styles’ acts were reprehensible, he then brought Lynch out and said that it was the truth reveal. She said that Styles was not a monster and when she hit rock bottom and she was looking for a hand she made a few mistakes. Styles came out. He said that he was surprised that Daniels could speak, let alone walk. Styles said that the story was over weeks ago, but Daniels said that was where Styles was wrong. Daniels said that there was something that he and the world didn’t know and Claire needed to tell him. Daniels said that Lynch had proof and Styles wanted to know if he could knock Daniels’ teeth out. Claire said that AJ was the father and Daniels was right.

 

After a break there was a confrontation between Lynch and the interviewer backstage. They said they had a right to know about the “biggest bombshell” being dropped. She said that she didn’t know. There was another great video hyping the Angle/Anderson match.Andersonsaid that he respected Angle and hopefully Angle felt the same. There was a promo highlighting the story between Ion and Sorenson. Dakota Darsow said that Sorenson was one of his best friends and that it got under his skin that Ion didn’t care. Darsow said that he was p****d off and that Ion wouldn’t have to worry about Sorenson that night, because he would be facing him.

 

3. Zema Ion vs. Dakota Darsow

 

Darsow knocked Ion down with a right hand and took him down with a shoulderblock. Darsow landed some hard punches in the corner followed by a splash in the corner and a punch coming off of the ropes. Ion attempted to escape, but he was punched on the entrance ramp ad Darsow flew into the ring with a spear through the middle ropes, Ion landed a tornado DDT followed by a gory special for the win. After the match Ion landed a wacky armbreaker. He then got on the mic and said if the “crippled jackass” Jesse Sorenson didn’t want his friends to get hurt he should tell them he is not just “f’n pretty” but he is “f’n” dangerous.

 

Austin Aries came out. He said that he had an okay week, but then said who was he kidding he had a great week. He said he woke up to a great day as the new World Heavyweight Champion. He said that it was an achievement for him personally because he proved that nothing was impossible. He said that it wasn’t just a moment for TNA, but for the pro wrestling industry as a whole. He said that wrestling had down cycles and boom periods and TNA had been carrying momentum for eight months. He said that pro wrestling fans everywhere felt that he was running for the next boom period and he wanted to lead wrestling there. He said that when he won the title he got phone calls from movie stars, NFL players and even champions from other promotions. He said that the championship was only as important as the man that holds it and he said that meant that the TNA World Title was now the most prestigious championship in wrestling, because he is the best wrestler in TNA and in the world today he said.

 

Out came Roode. Aries said that Roode couldn’t just interrupt him, because he was no longer the champion. Roode looked like a zombie and the crowd chanted looser. Roode grabbed the microphone several times, but he couldn’t get the words out. He finally got the one word out and said that Aries’ world title win was a fluke. Aries said he had three words for Roode “New world champ”. This was a very fun segment, even though the Roode portion was goofy in some ways.

 

Sting and Hogan were talking. Sting said he was ready for the Aces and Eights and it was time for them to go old school.Devonand Garret Bischoff walked in and they said they could help, but Sting said that they didn’t need help from them although they would call if they needed it.

 

Angle talked aboutAndersonin another good interview segment. He said that he wanted to do anything he could to gain a submission, but it would be difficult withAnderson. He said that he didn’t just have charisma, but he was a real winner. He said that the stakes were high and he said that he seriously meant that if you can beatAndersonyou can win the championship. Rayne talked about Hebner and what she admired about him.

 

4. Diva’s Championship Match

Brooke Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim

 

Tessmacher began to unload on Kim with kicks in the corner. Tessmacher landed a lariat and a weak clothesline into the other corner. Tessmacher landed a pretty stiff spinning head scissors. Kim gained control stomping on the leg of Tessmacher. Kim landed a back suplex and Kim landed an arm breaker for two. Kim locked in a last chancery, but it was countered into a rollup on Kim for two. Tessmacher landed some shots to the face and landed a couple of clotheslines. Tessmacher landed an X factor on Kim and then her elbow drop takedown, but she took to long to capitalize so Kim got the rope. Kim got a rollup for two and perched Tessmacher on the top rope, they exchanged strikes, Kim went for eat defeat of the ropes, but Tessmacher landed the top rope elbow for the win.

 

Claire Lynch was backstage. She was approached for an interview. They asked for proof that Styles’ had impregnated her and she said “look at my stomach”. They said they wanted proof that it was Styles’ child and she said that they would find out soon enough and she had trusted him and he turned on her. Magnus then talked about a match that he was going to have with Storm at aTennesseehouse show.

 

5. Kurt Angle vs. Ken Anderson

 

Angle attempted to takeAndersondown with a single leg, but it was blocked.  Angle locked in a headlock andAndersonmade it to his feet, this transitioned into an athletic exchange.Andersongot the better of Angle and locked in an armlock. Angle landed an elbow and some stomps to the neck and throat area.Andersonlanded a lariat and made the cover for the count of two. Angle landed a belly to belly suplex and both men went down. After the breakAndersonlanded a backsuplex and both men went down.Andersonlanded a neckbreaker and went for the mic check, but Angle countered it into the rolling German suplexes. Angle went for the Angle slam, butAndersonlanded the rolling fireman’s carry slam for two.Andersonwent for the mic check again, Angle got the Ankle lock,Andersongot out, but Angle landed an Olympic slam for the count of two. Angle locked in an ankle lock after pulling down the straps Anderson attempted to reach out for the ropes, but he was brought all the way back. Angle went back to the ankle, butAndersonlanded a mic check for the count of two in a great near fall.Andersonwent for it again, but Angle landed the Olympic slam for the count of three in a very good TV match.

 

Hogan was talking to Sting. Roode confronted Sting and said that he and Hogan needed to talk. Hogan said that Roode was red hot and he had a rematch with Aries at Hardcore Justice. Roode said that he wanted it sooner and nearly lost his mind. Roode said that he wanted to prove that he could beat Aries. Hogan said that was what his exact thoughts were. He said that the next night was Open Fight Night and Roode could make a non-title match to prove it to himself, Aries and Hogan.

 

Sting came out and he called out the Aces and Eights. He then attempted to bring out Hogan multiple times to no avail. Finally a camera cut backstage to Hogan lying bloodied with Brooke screaming over him. Sting was about to head backstage when he was attacked by the Aces and Eights to close off the show.

 

Next Week’s Newsletter

 

Next week we cover WWE Money in the Bank in-depth, the follow up on RAW, Impact, Any Puro that surfaces, NXT and more!

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