By Jeff Hamlin, Wrestling Observer
The Wolves retained the TNA Tag Team titles by winning an Ultimate X match over Manik and the Great Sanada and Bro Mans in 9:21
Robbie E. was AWOL, explained as being despondent over his loss to Brooke last week. During a backstage vignette a depressed
Robbie asked DJZ to replace him. Of course, this led to DJZ taking his patented hip toss
over the top rope onto two heels on the floor bump. Jessie Godderz gorilla pressed Eddie
Edwards and slammed him to the floor. Manik began directing traffic and tried to sucker
Godderz into holding Davey Richards while he went to the top rope, but Manik climbed
the Ultimate X instead, but Godderz jerked him down. Then the heel teams got into a
chicken fight with Manik and DJZ fighting on top of their partner’s shoulders, but the
Wolves came off the top with a double missile drop kick. Manik climbed up Richards’ back
in an attempt to get to the cables, but the Wolves caught him with a Backstabber.
Godderz and the Great Sanada ascended to the top rope, where Sanada blew mist in
Godderz’s face. Then Edwards crotched Sanada. Edwards climbed off the cable and gave
Sanada a huracanrana, followed by Richards with the Double Impact, which led to the
Wolves climbing the cables to get the belts. Edwards showed a lot of guts working on a
bad heel and he was clearly limping by the end.
Austin Aries came out without his briefcase after he was jumped by the Beat Down Clan.
Josh Matthews made it clear that Aries is still the briefcase holder despite not having it in
his possession. I know this is a little thing, but for TNA to attention to detail, it’s a small
positive step forward. Samoa Joe, in his company farewell after nearly ten years, came out
with Low Ki, who delivered the old possession is 9/10ths of the law line. Ki wasn’t giving the
briefcase back, so Aries challenged Ki to a match where he puts the X Division
championship and the briefcase in a match immediately. Joe decked Aries and Ki said Aries
would have to face Joe instead.
Austin Aries defeated Samoa Joe via DQ in 7:07
Joe took most of his final match. After
spending the first five minutes on offense, Joe missed a senton, and Aries caught a
neckbreaker onto the second rope along with a missile dropkick. Aries attempted the
brainbuster, but Joe reversed it into a Fujiwara armbar, but Aries made the ropes. Joe went
for the muscle buster, but Aries escaped and hit two Roaring Elbows, followed by a tope
under the middle rope. They told the story that Aries couldn’t take Joe down until he hit the
tope. Ki jumped Aries on the floor and Earl Hebner called for the bell. Postmatch, Ki tried to
hit Aries with the briefcase, but he hit Joe instead. Aries followed with a Roaring Elbow on Ki
and took his briefcase back.
As Aries left, a newly shaved Rockstar Spud came down the aisle with tape over his head
and the X Division briefcase in his hands and cashed it in.
3. Rockstar Spud pinned Low Ki to win the X Division title in :08. Spud pinned Ki with the
Underdog for a big pop to save face after losing the hair match last week.
In the back, Bram and Magnus brawled. Magnus put Bram on a cart and wheeled him into
some trash cans. This wound up in the ring where Magnus grabbed a chair and hit Bram
repeated across the back until several referees came out to separate them. Bram cut a
promo saying Bram had burned his hopes and dreams to the ground. Mickie James came
down to try and quell things, then she kicked Bram low and went wild on him until she had
to be restrained, as well. Then Magnus delivered a sick power bomb on the ramp which was
replayed several times, and even then it didn’t do it justice. Only fault here was Bram
should have done a stretcher job to get the power bomb over. Showing three replays in
rapid succession didn’t allow enough time to let it breathe. A real good segment to get
Magnus his heat back.
There was a show long buildup to the Bobby Lashley vs Kurt Angle. They showed Edwards,
Al Snow, EC3, Mike Tenay, Tommy Dreamer, and MVP all offering predictions for the match.
Too bad they didn’t build PPV main events in 2007 as well as they did this one. Otherwise,
maybe pro wrestling would still be a viable PPV entity.
4. Taryn Terrell defeated Gail Kim to retain the TNA Knockouts title in a three-way that also
included Awesome Kong in 6:13. The backwards psychology worked against the company as
Awesome Kong worked over Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim for so long, she came off like a face
against two heels. Sure enough, the fans cheered Kong. However, Terrell did get the fans
behind her for the comeback. Kong teased a splash off the second rope but missed. Terrell
hit the Taryn Cutter, but Kong kicked out. Terrell looked stunned Kong kicked out of her
finisher and freaked out. She sent Kong out of the ring with a dropkick, and Kim came back
with a plancha on Kong. Then Kim hit a sunset flip power bomb off the top on Terrell for a
two count. Kim tried Eat Defeat, but Terrell got a go behind and pinned Kim with a schoolgirl
cradle. Terrell acting like she lost her mind was perversely hilarious.
James Storm cut a promo for his no DQ match with Matt Hardy. Storm flipped a coin and
said heads wold mean he would beat Hardy to within an inch of his life. Tails, well, Matt
should just think of his brother in the hospital. Storm flipped a coin, looked at it, and said
he sure would like to tell Matt how it turns out. He didn’t tell. That line was straight from the
Wesley character from the film “Road House.” Wesley is one of the most underrated heels in
the last 30 years of films.
Angle, wearing his game face, did an interview backstage saying Lashley is the most
dominant champion in the history of the company. Angle said if he was lucky enough to win
tonight, he’s still one of the best in the business, which is what he came here to do.
James Storm defeated Matt Hardy in a No DQ match in 6:37
This was the ECW street
fight full of weapons and chairs. Storm delivered a superplex across the seats of two chairs.
Abyss handed Storm a bag of thumbtacks, which Storm teased superplexing Hardy onto.
Instead, Hardy head butted Storm off the top rope, and Storm took the bump onto the
tacks. Hardy then came off the second rope with an elbow, then followed with an Twist of
Fate. Then it got unintentionally funny. Brian Stiffler had to get in position for Abyss to pull
him out of the ring, but it took Stiffler forever to do it. Then Khoya interfered using a chair
that couldn’t fold. Hardy, who looked incredulous, had to take the chair out of Khoya’s hands
and work hard not to hit him with the chair while looking like he was. Hardy gave Manik a
Twist of Fate on the floor, as well. It ended when Abyss handed Storm a cowbell while
Sanada blew blue mist into Hardy’s eyes. Storm hit Hardy with the cowbell and two Last
Calls for the pin.
Postmatch, Storm cut a promo saying he was the reason why Jeff Hardy was out of
wrestling and now Matt could visit his brother. Storm hit Matt in the back of the head with
the cowbell and said there was always room in the Revolution for one more.
The presentation was similar to how WWE has presented past Wrestlemania main events
where the combatants walk from their locker rooms to Gorilla. Matthews was very good
listing Angle’s previous world championships, and it was similar to watching Jimmy Connors
play in the 1991 U.S. Open with one last chance at glory at the age of 42. Of course, Angle
is older, but this was a total sports buildup, not a sports entertainment buildup. Lashley was
introduced as the champion for 72 straight days during his second reign and has walked
alone. Matthews took a big step towards being a main event wresting announcer in this
match as opposed to someone who was just a faceless Vince McMahon clone trying to
springboard into a SportsCenter gig.
Kurt Angle recaptured the TNA World Title defeating Bobby Lashley via tapout in 20:19
Lashley started with a couple of tackles, but Angle hit three German Suplexes and got into ankle lock position within a few minutes, but Lashley got an easy escape. Lashley was hampered early and Angle clotheslined him over the top rope. On the floor, Lashley dropped
Angle onto the steel barricade. After several minutes on the defensive, Angle hit a shoulder block off the second rope. The two had a slugfest which led to three more Angle Germans.
Lashley escaped the Olympic Slam and caught a Spinebuster for a two count. Lashley attempted a spear, but Angle dodged it for another five Germans and the ankle lock, but Lashley kicked him off and immediately hit a powerslam for a near fall. For the third time in the match, Angle put Lashley in the ankle lock after Lashley missed a charge, but Lashley sent Angle into the turnbuckle. Lashley tried a spear, but Angle kicked him and delivered the Olympic Slam, but Lashley kicked out at two. Lashley, a heel to the fans by this point, hit a
vertical suplex and went for another spear and plowed over Angle, but Angle kicked out to a big pop. Angle looked like he got whiplashed on the bump and really sold it. Lashley went to the top rope but missed the frog splash. Angle hit a crossbody off the top, but Lashley rolled through.
In a twist that made the crowd incensed, Lashley put Angle in the ankle lock, but Angle got the ropes this time. Lashley missed a clothesline and Angle got another Olympic Slam for a two count. In the kickout, Lashley held onto the arm and put Angle in the cross armbreaker. Angle struggled but escaped and got the ankle lock. As Lashley reached for the ropes, Angle pulled Lashley back in the middle of the ring and grapevined the ankle lock. Lashley nearly passed out and finally tapped out to a huge ovation. Remember when people cried foul when Angle was voted into the WON Hall of Fame eight years into his career? That was fun. The two embraced afterwards and Angle got a standing ovation after a stellar performance. Angle looked shocked he won and put over winning the world title like it was a huge deal.
The Big News:
In the final European taping, it was another excellent show, maybe better than last week. Kurt Angle recaptured the TNA World Title back from Bobby Lashley in a excellent main event. It was a good show in terms of variety. A tag team Ultimate X match started things off. There was a solid three-way women’s match. James Storm continued to gain momentum with the Revolution heel group. I really hate to see these European tapings end because TNA comes off as a much bigger deal there.
The conclusion of eight very good weeks of television, and this was the best of the bunch. Not just for thee things you would expect, like the typical Angle superman performance or Lashley coming across as the monster world champion. Josh Matthews really upped his game. The production crew treated the main event like it was a combination of a major boxing event and 1970s St. Louis wrestling. I like the variety of TNA right now. Having said that, now they’ll return to the U.S. and Cinderella’s beautiful jeweled gown will turn into rags again. But it’s been fun while it lasted.