Bobby Roode vs. Sting: Non-Title Lumberjack Match
Sting picked up the victory when Roode tapped out to the Scorpion Death Lock. This was a very good match that saw some nice back-and-forth action. I thought that the lumberjacks were used perfectly as well.
The faces would throw Roode back in while the heels would try to protect the champion when given the chance. They didn’t get much of a chance to attack Sting despite the Icon spring boarding outside onto them.
This was Sting’s first match since March but he looked good in the ring. I would have much preferred to see Roode win here but it sets up his victory down the line.
The champion sold very well for Sting and performed great as well. These two work well together and it shows.
Post-match, Hulk Hogan made his one of only two appearances on the show and booked Bobby Roode vs. Sting for the title at Slammiversary.
I would have liked to see the King of the Mountain match make a return, but as long as Roode retains the title I’m fine with the match.
Backstage, Madison Rayne was talking about Brooke Hogan and said that they’d get along just fine. This would be the only appearance by any Knockout during this show, which is very disappointing.
The Knockouts are usually the highest rated segments on the show, but for some reason, TNA decided to cut them from the first live show of the summer.
It’s a bad move as far as I’m concerned.
Bully Ray then appeared in the ring. He wanted Joseph Park, who said that he wasn’t a fighter. The bully then called him, his parents and Abyss cowards and that brought the lawyer into the ring.
Park would soon try to leave but Bully Ray changed his plea to “guilty” and Park grabbed him as a result. The bully threatened to sue but Park wanted to fight. Bully Ray said that they can fight at Slammiversary.
This was another great segment from Bully Ray and Joseph Park. Bully Ray continues to be pure gold on the mic and is truly the definition of a bully.
Just like a real bully, Bully Ray backed down as soon as Park stood up to him.
Abyss is really coming into his own as this character. His facial expressions are priceless and his actions in the ring are great!
I like the idea of these two having a match at Slammiversary. I think Abyss will be coming out that night!
A video hyping Crimson was then shown. He then appeared backstage to say that he couldn’t be beaten. The video itself was very good, but I think it would have been better to see Crimson in a match.
At the same time, I understand hyping him up before he makes his live debut in the ring. With his line that he can’t be beat, I think that his next feud will end up being quite the ride.
Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin: X-Division Championship
The X-Division champion picked up the victory with a rollup after he reversed Sabin’s Cradle Shock finisher. Despite being a bit short, this was a great match! It didn’t slow down for a second and featured a lot of great action.
Austin Aries never disappoints in the ring and this was no exception. He continues to prove why he is the “Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.”
It was really nice seeing Sabin back in singles action. With Alex Shelley’s departure from TNA, fans will be seeing more of Sabin in singles matches.
It’s sad to see Shelley go, but having Sabin back in the X-Division will give it a major boost.
Aries will no doubt be in the main event picture by the end of the year and Sabin could be a good choice to carry the division.
Earlier today, Hulk Hogan was with Taz and it was revealed that the former ECW champion was replacing Ric Flair as a Gut Check judge. I’m happy with this decision. I liked Taz in his Tough Enough days and seeing him and Al Snow interact again should create some entertaining television.
Dixie Carter then made her way to the ring and she thanked the fans for helping TNA make it a decade. She then announced that a TNA Hall of Fame will be instituted and that the first inductee would be revealed at Slammiversary.
The new Knockouts boss, Brooke Hogan, then made her way out and revealed that her deal was between only her and Dixie, but that her father supported it. She admitted to having big shoes to fill and that ended the segment.
I’m quite glad that this was kept short. I was expecting Brooke to come out, make a long speech to the entire Knockouts division and then make a match. Unfortunately we didn’t even get a match!
I’m saddened that the division’s only appearances were a short segment with Madison Rayne and the debut of Brooke Hogan. A match really would have been great!
As for the TNA Hall of Fame, it’s a cool idea. The only problem I see with it is the fact that TNA has only been around for 10 years so a hall of fame really doesn’t make too much sense.
Either way, Jeff Jarrett better be the first inductee. I mean, the man created TNA so if anyone deserves to be in the company hall of fame, it’s him.
Backstage, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian were angry that Dixie skipped over the situation of A.J. Styles. Daniels then revealed that they had more proof and that it would be revealed later. This storyline is intriguing me. I really want to know where this whole thing will eventually go.
Devon vs. Jeff Hardy: Television Championship
The match ended in a no-contest when Robbie E and Robbie T once again interfered in a TV title match. The match was going pretty well as Devon and Hardy went back-and-forth in the ring.
They know each other well from their time in WWE and their familiarity with each other makes for a good match.
I’m getting really bored with Devon’s feud with the Robbie’s. TNA just needs to end it! Either give the title back to Robbie E or move them on to different things!
A video of James Storm was then shown. He talked of being at home with his daughter and how he hated letting people down. It ended with Storm saying that he made a decision. His daughter asked, “Are you going back to wrestling?” Storm responded with telling the cameras to cut.
This was quite the good video. It teased Storm’s return which I liked. I have a feeling that he’ll be making his return at Slammiversary.
After Bobby Roode defeats Sting, Storm will return and take out the champion. At least that’s what I’d like to see. Storm is certainly on his way back to TNA, and that’s a good thing!
It was Gut Check time as Joey Ryan made his way out to be judged by Bruce Pritchard, Al Snow and Taz. After Pritchard and Taz said “no,” Ryan was denied a contract.
After I got over my initial disappointment, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
After Taz denied him employment, the two of them went at it verbally. It ended with Taz telling Ryan to come back in a few weeks to impress him enough to change his mind.
To me, that says Joey Ryan will be back! I don’t think he’ll be in a match, though. I think it’ll be more like Ryan runs in and takes a few people out.
I think it’s only a matter of time until the TNA fans see Joey Ryan back in the ring.
A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Styles picked up the victory with a flip off the middle turnbuckle into a reverse DDT. This was a good match that featured some nice action. Even though this is probably the 100th time TNA fans have seen these two go at it, they never disappoint and this match was no different.
The upside of Styles and Daniels facing as many times as they have is that they know each other so well in the ring, which translates into a great match.
This is the second week in a row where Styles has been featured in the main event. He’s continuing to prove why he deserves to be there, too.
Daniels is without a doubt one of the most underrated wrestlers in TNA. He consistently has very good matches, and has become a great heel over the past year, but he can’t escape the mid-card and tag-team division. I think he deserves at least one shot in the main event.
Post-match, the tag champions beat down Styles until Kurt Angle made the save. He ended up getting taken out as well which gave the champs a chance to reveal more proof of the Styles/Dixie situation.
They introduced a phone call between the two and it was them talking about them meeting up, being happy to see one another and about her husband being away. Dixie then appeared at the announcer table and ordered the feed be cut, which it was.
Well, things just got more interesting. Dixie has finally addressed the situation; it just took a phone call to finally get her attention.
This does unfortunately mean, though, that Dixie may be on the show more. She just doesn’t have an on-screen presence and she takes valuable time away from matches and good segments.
I do hope that this all ends at Slammiversary, though, as Styles and Daniels really need something to do other than to feud with one another.
Overall I thought TNA Wrestling’s first live episode of the summer was a success. All the matches were good and the in-ring segments were either good or short and to the point.
While there were a few duds, like Brooke Hogan, the ending of the Television Championship match and the lack of a Knockouts match, the pros very much outweighed the cons this week.
If this episode is an indication of what is to come, then I’m very excited for the remainder of the summer.
I’m also quite interested to see how the first live Open Fight Night will go.