6/24/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Kurt Angle def. Matt Hardy
A week after Angle chose Lashley as EC3’s opponent, EC3 had the opportunity to return the favor to Angle. He chose Hardy as Angle’s opponent, which made for an interesting pairing. EC3’s spontaneity and charisma on the mic were more entertaining in the opening segment than the message he delivered. That theme continued later in the night when Angle and Hardy paid respect to each other before their match.
Hardy struggled with Angle through the match. He put up a very good fight, but ultimately tapped out to the Ankle Lock when Angle grapevine his leg. The match was a set-up for a fight between Angle and EC3, who ran in after the submission. He and Tyrus started to double-team Angle, but Hardy evened the numbers. Angle hit an Angle slam on Tyrus and locked EC3 in the Ankle Lock to foreshadow a potential finish to their title match. It was a solid way for the feud to go home. It’s just unfortunate that TNA’s lack of foresight will keep that match off of Slammiversary.
Jeff Jarrett Returns for King of the Mountain
Clad in a Global Force Wrestling shirt and accompanied by his wife Karen, Jarrett made a surprise return to TNA to enter himself in the King of the Mountain Match at Slammiversary. He said that he was reluctant to return, but that he felt responsible for this match and that he regretted the way his TNA tenure ended. As the promo continued, it got sidetracked by excessive blubbering by Karen, long beyond the point that Jarrett got his message across.
Jarrett’s return was obviously unexpected and he is the type of big name who can draw attention to TNA. At the same time, the move feels a bit desperate. The poor planning between TV tapings and Slammiversary means that TNA cannot put a title match on the PPV without revealing the outcome at live shows. Calling in Jarrett feels like a way to grab headlines to compensate for that mistake, but it does not go far enough. On Jarrett’s end, I think his stated goal of rewriting his final chapter makes sense, and the match also serves as free publicity for GFW.
Tigre Uno def. Low Ki and Grado to Become X Division Champion
The drawback in this match was the fact that Grado was in it at all. He’s a comedy act whose routine is not particularly funny and he takes away from the legitimate wrestling. Fortunately, Low Ki and Tigre Uno were able to eliminate Grado for the most part and focus on one another. Their back and forth was much more entertaining. Tigre Uno almost won the match with a very impressive top rope hurricanrana. He dodged an attempted basement dropkick and hit a spinning 450 splash to get the win.
The X Division is not what it once was. There is not the same depth in the division as the days when AJ Styles, Daniels, Kazarian, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, and Jay Lethal wrestled each other and routinely stole the show. At the same time, Tigre Uno is at least a strong worker who can help return the division to a focus on wrestling rather than the comic nonsense of Rockstar Spud or the general rudderlessness of Kenny King.
The Dirty Heels def. The Wolves
The Full Metal Mayhem match between the Wolves and the Dirty Heels was very solid for a weapons match. Both teams came up with creative ways to use the weapons, such as the Wolves’ double team terminator dropkicks to Austin Aries while he was stuck in a trash can. In the end, Bobby Roode saved his partner and hit Eddie Edwards with a low blow to allow Aries to get the pin. It was natural that this match would extend to the 5th and decisive match in the series, but I enjoyed how the teams got there.
Matt Morgan Returns
Bram made another call to former TNA wrestlers and the call was answered by Vader. Bram got his foot on the bottom rope after a Vader bomb and attacked Vader with a wrench to get disqualified. During the beating, Matt Morgan emerged from the crowd and rescued Vader. He hit a fallaway slam and clotheslined Bram to the floor. Morgan is tremendously talented. He’s precisely the type of guy who TNA made their own at their creative high point. If his return is part of Billy Corgan’s transition into a position of power, then it is a credit to his decision making.
During a brawl between the Beat Down Clan and The Rising, Hernandez made a surprise entrance to back up the BDC and align himself with the group. He ended the attack with a Border Toss on Drew Galloway. Much like Morgan, Hernandez is a tremendous talent who made his mark in TNA. Unlike Morgan, Hernandez’s run in Lucha Underground has kept him on TV, but his return adds charisma and physicality to TNA’s roster.
-The new-look Velvet Skye got a win in her first match back with TNA. She looked impressive with a series of standing side kicks and kicked out after a version of a flat liner. She ducked a thrust kick and hit a stunner to get the win and earn her roster spot back.
-Chris Melendez struggled throughout his match with Eric Young. He finally got some momentum when Young became fixated on removing his prosthetic leg. Nonetheless, Young came off of the ropes and hit a piledriver to get a clean win, though I’m not sure what this match accomplished for either wrestler.
-Taryn Terrell lectured The Dollhouse in a pre-taped, backstage promo. She made sure they were appropriately motivated for their 3-on-2 handicap match with Awesome Kong and Brooke at Slammiversary in which the title will be on the line. It is a unique stipulation, but I’m not certain who would take the title if The Dollhouse lost the match.