Many of us were underwhelmed with the big names who returned at Wednesday night's taping of two episodes of Impact Wrestling at Manhattan Center Studios in New York City. I know I was, and I wasn't expecting to read much more exciting news about Thursday night's taping of the Destination X special and another episode of the regular edition of Spike TV's Thursday night pro wrestling show.
Apparently, TNA exceeded everyone's expectations.
As often happens with these tapings, the final product we see on television will probably come in a different order and even contain parts with different crowds. Most reports out there feel that the first few things on the July 26th live card will end up being on the show that was mostly taped before the July 25th audience.
- Bobby Roode submitted MVP with a cloverleaf in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Porter refused to come out, so Roode went backstage and got him. Kenny King got involved on MVP's behalf, leading Eric Young to appear as the equalizer. A lot of chair and other uses of the stipulation, probably to cover for the still-rehabbing MVP.
- Knockouts champ Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell went to a no contest when the friendly rivals were attacked by The Beautiful People.
- Magnus & Bram beat Anderson & Gunner when Bram pinned Anderson. The insane Brit tried to attack Gunner post-match with a foreign object (Mr. Turnbuckle?), but Samuel Shaw ran-in...only to get laid out himself. Finally, Abyss came down to take care of the villains.
Destination X (July 31)
- Kurt Angle opened with a promo similar to the one he gave on Wednesday about "rebooting" TNA. May have been a re-shoot, since he dropped names like AJ Styles the first time, but not tonight.
- Dixie Carter came out with her troops to address the crowd. It was reportedly hard to hear due to the crowd noise (audience was said to be electric throughout), but she put over Snitsky and Zeke (those are the names they went with) as stars. Ethan Carter III labeled them his Army of Extreme and challenged Dreamer, Bully, et al to a war he promised to win.
- The Wolves defeated The Hardys to keep their tag belts. Supposed to be a great match that really featured Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards positives.
- Low Ki beat DJZ and Manik. Another strong bout that the crowd loved.
- James Storm is Sanada's new mentor. He cut a promo on The Great Muta about how the student had surpassed the teacher. Sanada went on to beat Crazzy Steve and Brian Cage is a three-way. Cage is said to have impressed with strength and power; Steve took the pin.
- Tommy Dreamer and Team 3D answered Carter's challenge and want a match now. EC3 said next week. Bully threatened to riot if it wasn't now, but agreed to next week as long as it was an '8 Man Extreme Weapons Hardcore War'. He also vowed again to put Dixie through a table.
- Samoa Joe gave a speech where he told Kurt Angle to put him in the X-Division because he is pro wrestling. He then beat Homicide and Tigre Uno in a three-man bout, pinning Homicide. The pro-ECW and Ring of Honor crowd loved it, and popped big time for a handshake between Joe and the master of the 187.
- Lashley retained his World title over Austin Aries with a spear. The champ rolled A-Double's unconcious body back into the ring after he took a sick bump off the railing when he missed a dive (sorry, couldn't find and Instagram of this one).
- Knux and The Freak beat The Bro-Mans - probably for Xplosion.
- Dixie Carter is in the balcony with King Mo for the Hardcore War. Team members alternated entrances War Games style with each man bringing a weapon. In order: EC3 with a baseball bat, Dreamer with a Singapore Cane, Rhino with a trash can, Devon with the same, Snitsky with a hockey stick, Ray with a chain, Zeke with a chair and then Al Snow with a head! 3D on Rhino for the babyface victory; Spud was also destroyed by the ECW crew when he tried to get involved.
- Bully asked where Dixie was and the crowd pointed to the balcony. Again promised to put her through a table, but she said Mo would knock him out tonight.
- Dixie came out with her Army. First she fired Zeke and Snitsky, then she demanded the fans get out of her arena (taking a page from the Bo Dallas playbook). Dreamer and Team 3D came out with a table; Mo clocked Tommy but then Ray took him out. The faces cut a promo about Carter being the worst thing about pro wrestling and getting what she has coming to her. She tried to run, but the entire roster surrounded the ring and Bully powerbombed her through the table as the place went nuts. The entire roster celebrated as she was stretchered out and the crowd chanted TNA.