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The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact–06.20.13

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 06.20.13

Even though I’m a longtime Android guy, I kinda…love my iPad. Like, really, REALLY love it. Dammit.

Live from Peoria, IL

Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz

Hulk Hogan introduces the people who have qualified for the BFG Series, just in case we missed last week. Also, it’s Open Fight Night, and Jeff Hardy destroyed Bobby Roode on the website poll, so he gets to choose his callout first. The heels cut promos fighting over who Hardy SHOULDN’T call out, since they’d all defeat him, you see. Hardy wants Roode anyway and the brawl is on.

Mr. Anderson v. Joseph Park

Anderson offers him a headlock and casually escapes, but Park counters with a takedown and Anderson dropkicks the knee as a result. Tenay brings up a good point about how going for submissions is actually kind of a bad idea if you don’t know any. Park gets a rollup for two, but Anderson puts him down with a neckbreaker and hits the chinlock. He goes up and misses the swanton, allowing Park to make the comeback. He misses a blind charge and Anderson tries the fireman’s carry, but Park reverses into a Boston Crab. Doc provides distraction and Anderson gets two, however. Park comes back again and goes up, but Doc interferes AGAIN and Anderson finishes with the Mic Check at 5:00. Not much to this one. **

Jay Bradley v. Austin Aries

Not surprisingly, Aries completely destroys him and throws knees, then goes up, but Bradley boots him to the floor. Back in, Bradley knees him down for two. He drops elbows for two, but misses the charge and Aries takes over. He works the knee and goes up with a missile dropkick, but charges and hits boot. Aries counters the BOOMSTICK with a roaring elbow, but Bradley puts him down with a backbreaker. Aries snaps off a nice crucifix and finishes with the brainbuster at 3:38. Point made there. Bradley is pretty terrible. Feels like they should have just changed his name to Jay Bradshaw and been done with it. *1/2

Meanwhile, Sting meets with a mysterious person.

Hernandez v. Christopher Daniels

Mike Tenay crafts a backstory here because Hernandez doesn’t provide a particularly compelling reason to call him out. Hernandez throws him around and gets two, and hits Air Mexico, but Daniels goes low and finishes with the BME at 2:14. *1/2

Kazarian v. Magnus

Magnus quickly dumps Kaz, but Kaz kicks him down and drops an elbow for two. Neckbreaker and he works on the neck, but Magnus escapes and comes back with clotheslines and the Michinoku Driver for two. Blind charge misses and Kaz tries a missile dropkick, but Magnus hooks him in a Cloverleaf for the submission at 2:54. **

Meanwhile, Hulk wants to throw down with Bully Ray RIGHT NOW, but Bully protests that he’s not the kind of guy to hit someone in the back of the head with a hammer. The delivery of that line was AMAZING. Bully’s got no beef with Hogan, but he wants to talk to Brooke.

State of the Knockouts Address: Brooke brings out the entire division (including Eric Young), and he admits that TECHNICALLY, he’s not a woman. So Brooke cracks up and the tag titles are thankfully vacant. Next up, Brooke grants Velvet her rematch next week, because she’s the “heart and soul” of the division. That’s a pretty sad indictment.

Meanwhile, Hulk sends Brooke back to the hotel room to avoid trouble. This desperately needed a smash cut to Bully in the front seat cackling “WHERE TO, BROOKE?”

AJ Styles v. Samoa Joe

Man, they are trying REALLY hard with AJ, giving him a fresh new look and wrestling style, plus an awesome new entrance, but it’s just flattening him out instead of elevating him. AJ clarifies before the match that he’s in this for the money, not to be a hero. So you can be sure he’ll be a hero by the end of the deal. AJ grabs a headlock and they work off that for a bit, and AJ throws chops in the corner. Taz sums up the new AJ’s wrestling style: “A tad laid-back.” Well, yeah. AJ with a backdrop suplex and dodges a charging Joe, but a kick puts AJ on the floor. AJ heads back in, but Joe kicks him down from the floor in an awesome spot and we take a break. Back with Joe dropping an elbow on AJ’s face, but he walks into the dropkick and hits the floor again. AJ follows with a baseball slide and there’s five minutes left. Well that’s an obvious non-finish coming. Back in with a springboard dropkick that gets two. The fight over a suplex and AJ dropkicks the knee for two. Joe snaps off the powerslam for two and goes right into the armbar, but AJ rolls out of it and makes the ropes. They fight in the corner and head up, but AJ reverses a superplex and both are out. AJ tries his new strike combo, but Joe counters with a wicked shot TO THE FACE and beats on him in the corner. AJ rolls him into the Calf Killer, but Joe counters into the choke, and AJ rolls over for two. They slug it out with time running out and Joe takes him down, and time expires at 15:00. That was AWESOME until the draw finish. I want to see them go 30:00 now! ***3/4 The crowd is begging for another five minutes, but it’s only 2 points for each guy.

Meanwhile, Bully calls Brooke and is very upset at her departure.

Jeff Hardy v. Bobby Roode

Hardy takes him down with a headscissors in the corner, but Roode quickly hooks the crossface, forcing Hardy to make the ropes. Roode with a catapult to put Hardy on the floor and they fight out there. Back in, Roode with a suplex and kneedrop for two. Roode pounds him in the corner, but misses a charge and Hardy hits a flying splash for two. Atomic drop into the legdrop and dropkick get two. Roode reverses the Twist into the spinebuster for two. Hardy reverses a suplex into the Twist and misses the swanton, surprisingly. Roode hooks the crossface and Hardy rolls him over for two. Another crossface, but Hardy hits the Twist of Fate for the pin at 6:05. Short but action-packed. ***

Main Event Interview: Bully Ray is out for the state of the union address. Sign in the front row: “Aces & Garbage”. Oh, CUTTING. Apparently next week is a three-way X title match with Sabin v. King v. Suicide, and the winner gets the title shot on July 18 (the Destination X special) if they choose. Bully clarifies that he’s a lover, not a fighter, and he’s calling out Brooke for LOVE. Instead, Corporate Sting comes out, looking for retribution. But first, he removes his expensive suit, prompting Bully to call his Aces for backup. Sadly, they’re all laid out in the back, which brings out suit-wearing Kurt Angle to enact a beatdown on Bully as well. Well that was a pretty obvious storyline twist, but it certainly makes sense.

The Pulse

Another home run show with a bunch of fun matches and a snappy pace. It’s been a good week for pro wrestling TV shows!