RUBIX vs. MASON ANDREWS vs. LARS ONLY vs. DAKOTA DARSOW
You could tell talent found talent, because Mason and Rubix, who are head and shoulders and torso above Darsow and Lars stayed paired up for most of the match. Rubix again makes the most of his time, whether it's selling the other guys' stuff, or making his spots look important(the dive to the outside, the coast to coast drop kick) Rubix firmly established himself as a crowd favorite tonight. It's too bad he lost, but I don't think any of these guys are winning later, and Mason Andrews, who's decent, could use the win a little more. It's clear the Rubix is going to be around more after tonight.
|RUBIX ALL UP IN THIS|
MASON ANDREWS vs. KID KASH
Kash was a tremendous prick in this match. Just a great heel performance. This kind of exposed a weakness in Mason Andrews, as I don't feel like he was good enough to reach the crowd with his selling and gain sympathy. It's insanely hard, and it's not like he was terrible, but it's something he should study. It could have made this match a lot better than it was, and the match was still pretty good. The finishing run was really well done, and the flukey roll up was a good call. I'm kind of bummed Kid Kash won't be in involved with the title, since he did such a great job, but, hey, TNA is giving people some chances and you can't criticize them for that.
DOUGLAS WILLIAMS vs. KENNY KING
Something about this didn't click for me and I think it's Kenny King. I don't know what that guy is. He seems like he has a fun personality and he's certainly athletic, but his moveset feels like a bunch of stuff. Sure, he can do lots of stuff, but like a LOT of wrestlers he doesn't use his moveset to tell a story or create a character. Douglas Williams' style isn't just a bunch of technical stuff. It's specific to him and makes him look unique. The last half of the match felt really disjointed and the finish fell flat, even though the fan favorite won.
SONJAY DUTT vs. RASHAD CAMERON
Boy did I check out of this match. There was some neat sequences, but they just kind of went back and forth and nothing seemed to mean anything over the course of the match. No real build, just one gear until it was over. Skip this.
JESSE SORENSEN'S ROAD TO RECOVERY
They showed a nice video of Jesse Sorensen and how his rehab is going. Zema Ion legit broke Jesse's neck on PPV back in February(the last TNA PPV I watched, I think) and it looks like Jesse will be able to wrestle again. Sorensen came out and delivered a nice little speech about coming back and thanked the fans. Then he went into promo mode, calling out Zema Ion and wishing him luck in the Ultimate X match, because Jesee would love to come back and take the belt off of him. Zema then came out for the start of his tourney match, mocking Jesse's broken neck.
I kind of like them using this as a way to build a future program between the two. I'm assuming Jesse is going to be okay to go, and if he wants to come back and use his broken neck as a storyline, more power to him.
ZEMA ION vs. FLIP CASSANOVA
This was okay. I like Zema because he took his time, didn't worry about fitting in a bunch of stuff, and focused on getting heat. Flip had a better match here than on Impact, and a big part of that is because Zema dictated the pacing. Nothing really special, but it did feature a little more story and substance than some of the last couple of matches despite having less time.
|Joe realizes mid-match he forgot to DVR True Blood|
SAMOA JOE vs. KURT ANGLE
I was hoping for something different, with both guys being so focused on getting 10 points via submission, but it felt too familiar to their usual formula with them doing trading their signature moves and then trading finishers until one of them didn't win. I rarely felt like they were setting up a submission, and the submissions that were in the match felt kind of tacked in. I did like the finish, with Angle passing out and believing that because he didn't tap out, that Earl shouldn't have called the match. But we all know Kurt's just crazy and Joe whipped his ass. Kind of felt like a "greatest hits" match than its own story.
LAST MAN STANDING MATCH
AJ STYLES vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
I wasn't looking forward to this at all, but I found it quite enjoyable. It started a little too cutesy for a blood feud, but once Christopher Daniels took over with the brawling the match picked up in a big way. It became less about cooperative dance type wrestling and more about beating the shit out of some one. The stuff on the stage was all well done, including that ridiculous moonsault DDT thing AJ does. That just looked brutal as hell. The finish worked really well, though Kaz's interference leaves the question of, "Why didn't he just come out earlier if there's no rules to keep him out?" The only other down side, was the commentary which didn't have much of any real emotion. I don't even care for these two guys and I found myself getting more and more emotionally invested as they fought, while Tenay and Borash kind of like "oh man, that was something." They really brought it down a notch. Despite that it's maybe one of my favorite singles match either guy has been apart off, certainly for AJ Styles.
ULTIMATE X TITLE MATCH
KENNY KING vs. MASON ANDREWS vs. SONJAY DUTT vs. ZEMA ION
It was pretty repetitive with guys springboarding to knock other guys off the cables. Poor Sonjay jacked his arm up on a running SSP, and took off to get it checked out. The three remaining guys did well at moving on without looking confused, I can imagine there was some on the fly retooling, and they handled it seamlessly. The finish was a little lackluster, but I like the overall outcome. I really like Zema Ion as a character, and he's easily one of the easiest guys to hate on the roster.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
AUSTIN ARIES vs. BOBBY ROODE
First the match was really well done. Roode had a sound strategy of keeping the smaller and faster Aries on the ground. Roode worked the torso by imposing his weight advantage on Aries, keeping Austin out of breath. But that wasn't enough, and like any good babyface does, Austin Aries overcame the odds. All the cheap shots and the dirty tactics and horribly executed Crossfaces and he prevailed.
I can't remember the last time I actually got excited at the outcome of a TNA match. Usually I watch with morbid curiosity, like one would a Faces of Death VHS. But no, I'm incredibly happy for Austin Aries winning the title. He's a ridiculously hard worker, who has proven himself an invaluable asset wherever he's competed. It wasn't long ago that Aries was denied a spot on Tough Enough and was wondering what the hell was the point. TNA gave him another spot and he never looked back. Austin Aries has busted his ass over the last year and has proven that he is a real star. And TNA got it right and rewarded his effort.
Hit or miss on some of the action, but you should totally watch the Austin Aries match and the AJ/Daniels match. Those are the best ones on the show. Also, if you feel froggy check out the opening four way and the Kid Kash match. Good stuff. Everything else is skipable.
I'd also say that if you've been down on TNA in the past, and trust me, I have shit all over this company for YEARS, now is the time to start watching. They're doing so much right in terms of booking, and they're giving new guys opportunities to succeed. They've got multiple stories going on, and most of them don't suck. Sure the AJ/Daniels regnany addict lady is a little ridiculous, but Daniels is so committed to it that it almost works. At least they paid it off with some good wrestling, anyway.
And now one of the best wrestlers in the country is their World Heavyweight Champion. If that's not a reason to watch TNA right now, I don't know what is.