6/10/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Kurt Angle def. Rockstar Spud to Remain World Champion
In the first of two title defenses, Spud gave Angle more of a challenge than most would have expected. The match went on at the start of the night and got the show off to a relatively good start. Spud had counters for much of Angle’s offense, which allowed him to stay in the match. Eventually, Angle locked in the Ankle Lock and forced Spud to tap when he grapevined the leg.
Angle is not at a point in his career when he should be wrestling multiple matches in the same show. I respect his dedication to the fans and the wrestling business, but he does not add to his legacy with matches like this one. The bigger problem is that TNA does not have the right guy on the roster to carry the company into this new era. Angle occupies the spot that should belong to AJ Styles, but that ship has sailed.
Kurt Angle def. Austin Aries to Remain World Champion
Angle’s second defense put him up against a more established opponent and Aries appropriately had more success than Spud. He actually dominated for stretches of the match and looked like he might pull away when he went for a suicide dive. Angle side-stepped at exactly the right time, though, and Aries flew face-first into the metal barricade.
Angle rolled the incapacitated Aries back into the ring for an Angle Slam, but Aries rolled through for a sunset flip for a near fall. Angle kicked out and rebounded to put Aries in the Ankle Lock for the third time in the match. Aries tapped out at last and Angle stood tall with the belt. Predictably, EC3 jumped Angle at the end of the episode and stood tall over the champion who he will challenge at Slammiversary.
Grado, Tigre Uno, and Low Ki Qualify for an X Division Title Match
After Rockstar Spud gave up his X Division Title for a shot at Angle, nine challengers wrestled for a chance at the title he left behind. Many of the top X Division wrestlers have left TNA and several others have exited the division, which left a relatively non-descript field competing for the title. Several wrestlers had a chance to get into the X Division Title match with wins in three-way matches.
The first match saw ostensible favorite Kenny King against Grado and Cruz. British Boot Camp participant and all-around bad wrestler Grado was one of the main focal points of the match, which made the wrestling-heavy division feel like a comedy act. He threw King to the floor and hit a cannonball on Cruz to get the surprise win.
The next qualifier saw DJ Z take on Mandrews and Tigre Uno. DJ Z hit a big placha on both opponents and tried to eliminate Mandrews, but Tigre Uno recovered. He threw DJ Z to the floor and hit a corkscrew 450 splash on Mandrews to win. After the match, Jesse Godderz continued to show his frustration with a pointless beatdown on DJ Z.
The final qualifier had the strongest field and they put together the best match. Low Ki and Crazzy Steve teamed together for much of the match. When Low Ki was ready to finish Manik, he dispatched Steve and hit Warrior’s Way on Manik to get the win. As one of the most talented wrestlers in the division, it was he essential for Low Ki to win to validate the title match.
-The tensions between Brooke and Taryn Terrell escalated in a confrontation that started when Taryn challenged Awesome Kong to a lingerie pillow fight. Brooke responded instead of Awesome Kong and issued a challenge for the Knockouts Title. As I wrote before, I have enjoyed Taryn’s sadistic mean girl character and I hope TNA does not allow her to devolve into nothing but a sex kitten.
-Crimson made a surprise return that was hotly anticipated by almost no one. He faced Bram and looked surprisingly good in the match. He hit an exploder suplex and a version of the Rings of Saturn to nearly force Bram to tap out. Bram bit his way out of the move and hit the Brighter Side of Suffering to get the win. It was an odd choice to bring Crimson back only to have him lose out of the gates.