TNA Impact Wrestling Review for the 31st May 2012

The show opens with wrestlers around ringside ready for the Lumberjack match. Funny seeing Eric Young wearing a Lumberjack shirt for this.Anyways, time for the opening match…

Lumberjack Match: Bobby Roode vs Sting

Sting rocks Roode early on, when Roode tries to fight back, it just Sting “power up”. Roode gets knocked outside, thrown back in, and knocked out again. Sting misses a Stinger Splash, allowing Roode to put him over the top rope to the outside, giving Crimson and the two Robbies a chance to attack. Sting gets his own back, knocking Roode out, where Devon and RVD kick at him. Roode tries sending Sting out to the heel side of the ring, and Sting fights off the heels trying to get at him. Roode then tries to get out into the safety of his “friends”, but Sting flies over the top onto Roode. Back in the ring, Sting tries for the Scorpion Deathlock, and Roode turns it into a Crossface. Sting gets out of it, Roode goes for the PayOff, Sting drops behind, hits the Scorpion Deathdrop, and locks in the Scorpion Deathlock for the win.

Winner: Sting

Hulk Hogan appears on the ramp applauding. He says Sting is Impact’s number one player, and wants to see this match again at Slammiversary, with the World Title on the line.

Backstage, Madison Rayne is straightening her sash. She discusses Brooke Hogan, saying they’ll get along fine, before talking about “he might be watching”…

Bully Ray makes his way to the ring, and says he came looking for Joseph Park, who he is surprised to see here after last week. Bully shows his attack on Joseph, before calling Joseph down for a fight. Joseph reluctantly makes his way to the barrier, but then says he doesn’t want to fight. Bully taunts him by saying the whole Park family are cowards. Park tries to get over the barrier, and security stop him, but Bully tells them to let him go. Bully wants to fight now, but Joseph doesn’t want to. As he goes to leave, Bully says he is guilty of leaving Abyss for dead. Joseph grabs him and goes to hit him, causing Bully to threaten to sue if he does. Joseph lets go, and Bully calls him a coward again before leaving. Joseph stops him and wants to fight, with Bully saying “We’ll fight at Slammiversary”.

A video is shown, showing Crimson has been undefeated for 462 days. We see Crimson watching the video, before he says “Clearly I can’t be beat”.

TNA X-Division Title Match: Austin Aries (c) vs Chris Sabin

Quick paced open to this match saw Aries and Sabin try to outsmart each other, before Sabin tried for 2 quick pins. Aries lifted Sabin over the ropes, knocked him off the apron and hit the suicide dive. Sabin tried for a hesitation dropkick and missed, Aries hit a missile dropkick but then missed his corner dropkick, allowing Sabin to first baseball slide him outside, and then dive over the top onto Aries. Sabin tried for the Cradle Shock, Aries got out and tried for Brainbuster, Sabin blocked, hit the ropes for a tornado DDT, but then stopped, went for Cradle Shock, only to have Aries roll through and pin him.

Winner and still X-Division Champion: Austin Aries

Hulk Hogan is backstage with Taz, and he thanks Taz for stepping up to take over a spot in GutCheck, saying he chose Taz as he doesn’t sugarcoat things. Taz thanks him for this, and says you’ll see the real Taz out there.

Into the GutCheck viewing room, where Bruce Prichard welcomes Taz. As they look back on Joey Ryan, Al Snow admires his moustache and thinks Ryan has a unique look (even saying “he’s what would happen if me and Austin Aries had a love child”). Prichard says Ryan is a 1970s reject, and comments how people on twitter think Ryan did better than Alex Silva. Taz thinks that once Austin Aries came out last week, Ryan didn’t have the look of a guy in a fight for his life. Prichard thinks he did a good job, and was memorable, mentioning he has one last chance to sell himself to them tonight.

Jeremy Borash is backstage with Jeff Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Mr Anderson and Robbie E (with Robbie T). JB mentions how these 4 are the choices to face Devon for his TV Title, and the voting has been up for most the day online, with the results coming up after the next segment.

Dixie Carter comes to the ring. She says tonight is a great evening, and in 10 days, TNA will be 10 years old. She’s proud of everyone who has stepped into a TNA ring, and says they wouldn’t be here without the fans. Dixie mentions Slammiversary will see them announce the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame. She mentions how the night is special, with going live, but she has other exciting things lined up. Dixie mentions they have some of the best female wrestlers in the world, and needs help taking them to the next level. The person to help has been born into the business, and surrounded by “great minds”….she then welcomes Brooke Hogan. A guy on the front row had a “Brooke Hogan = Ratings” sign…no, just NO!. Dixie says Brooke excites her (not in that way, pervs!), and is looking forward to seeing what Brooke can do. Brooke thanks Dixie for the opportunity, and thanks for the fans for the welcome (which causes boos from some). She has some big yellow boots to fill, and promises to take this seriously.

We cut backstage to Kazarian and Daniels watching on a TV. They mock Dixie, and say how she ignored the AJ Styles rumours. Daniels says once he beats AJ again tonight, he’ll show more evidence, and TNA can’t do anything to stop him, as it’s live!

TNA’s look back video for Slammiversary is the TNA debut of Captain Charisma, Christian Cage. I gotta say, this is one of my favourite debut moments in TNA.

Backstage to Jeremy Borash again with the 4 challengers for Devon’s TV Title, and JB announces the winner, with over 40% of the votes is….Jeff Hardy (what a surprise).

TNA TV Title Match: Devon (c) vs Jeff Hardy

Both try to end this early, before Hardy hits a headscissor takedown, and Devon rocks him with a clothesline. Hardy uses his speed to outmaneuver Devon, but he misses a dropkick in the corner, and Devon hits a neckbreaker off the second rope. Devon tries to keep Hardy grounded, but fails, allowing Hardy to hit the Twist of Fate. As Hardy goes to the top rope, Robbie E and Robbie T interfere once more.

No contest.

Devon fights off both Robbies, before helping Hardy with the Poetry in Motion on Robbie T.

We’re shown an update on James Storm. He says he doesn’t know what hurt more: losing to Roode, or seeing the faces of those who believed in him. He doesn’t like letting people down. We see him with his daughter, and Storm says he’s made his decision. His daughter asks if he’s going back to wrestling, and Storm requests for filming to be stopped.

A video lookback over the past few weeks, and what has been going on with AJ Styles, Daniels, Kazarian and Dixie Carter.

TNA GutCheck, and Jeremy Borash is in ring with Al Snow, Bruce Prichard and Taz. JB says it’s decision time, introduces the judges and then brings down Joey Ryan. Ryan says he is trending worldwide right now, and 87% of the Impact fans want him signed. It’s time for the votes. Prichard says Ryan is a hell of a talent, but after being around 12 years, he votes no. Snow says he doesn’t like Ryan, or how he carries himself, as if he already has a job in TNA…BUT he feels Ryan has potential, so votes yes. Ryan is given one last chance, and says for a company that prides itself on social media relevance, for Prichard to ignore what fans want is irresponsible. He trusts Taz to do the right thing, as Taz will know Ryan is good money…and you don’t leave money on a table for someone else to pick up. Taz says he’ll keep it real, if that promo was to get a job, Ryan is out of his mind. Ryan steps up to Taz and mouths off, saying Taz is just a commentator. Taz replies he’s forgot more than Ryan knows, and votes NO. They argue, before Taz says Ryan screwed up, show go away, do what he’s been doing, come back and prove him wrong.

Bobby Roode is shown on his media tour of the UK, and he’s outside Big Ben in London, discussing being the longest World Champion in TNA History.

AJ Styles vs Daniels

AJ takes control of the match early on, striking with a dropkick, but Daniels then strikes back, first with a punch, then blocking a suplex attempt to the outside by a guillotine to AJ on the top rope, and knocking AJ onto the barrier. Daniels tries to wear down AJ with submission moves, before they both trade blows. AJ catches Daniels with a spinning heel kick, before a smart looking torture rack into powerbomb for 2. AJ goes to the top, and Daniels try to bring him down, but AJ blocks it, then hits the springboard forearm smash. Daniels dodges a moonsault inverted DDT, and rushes at AJ, only to be lifted over the ropes onto the apron. AJ hits the Pele, brings in Daniels, and tries for the Styles Clash. Kazarian comes down to stop it, allowing Daniels a roll up for 2. AJ then manages to catch Daniels with the moonsault inverted DDT to pick up the win.

Winner: AJ Styles.

Daniels and Kazarian beat down AJ, till Kurt Angle rushes down to make the save. He locks Kazarian in the Ankle Lock, before Daniels low blows him, and they hit him with the High-Low. They use plastic ties to tie Angle to the bottom rope. AJ tries to stop it, but Kazarian lays him out with a Tag Title, then Angle gets hit with the title too. Daniels gets on the mic and says he showed pictures and a video, but people didn’t believe him. Now he has more proof, and asks for audio to be played. It’s a phone call of Dixie and AJ organising a meet up, and how it needs to be kept from Dixie’s husband. Dixie rushes to the announce table, takes Taz’s headset and screeches to “turn it off”. The Spike TV logo appears as she drops an F bomb, and also yells “You are finished”.

For me, the majority of this show was positive, and enjoyable. I felt the Sting/Roode, Styles/Daniels and Aries/Sabin matches were good, with the X-Division one being the stand out match (would like a repeat, longer match for those 2 at the next PPV). It’s starting to get a bit tiresome with the Robbies interrupting Devon’s matches, I just wish they’d move those 2 away from the TV Title. I’ve really enjoyed the interaction between Bully Ray and “Joseph Park”, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they do the match at Slammiversary. The only downside I felt, was Brooke Hogan’s debut. It came off flat, and didn’t see like the majority of the fans seem bothered. Shame they supposedly cut a segment with various Knockouts for this. I also felt it was a bad move saying no to Joey Ryan, especially Bruce Prichard. Earlier in the show he said Ryan did a good job and was memorable, but turns him down due to the amount of time Ryan’s been on the indies? Like those who Bruce mentioned, I felt Ryan did a better job than Silva, and stood out more. He certainly got a yes from me. On the whole, for their first Summer Live show, I thought it was good!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, look forward to your thoughts on the review and the show!

@GoofyVillain of @TheTopRope