Hamlin's TNA Impact TV report for June 12

By Jeff Hamlin ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

The Big News: Samoa Joe vs. Booker T will headline Victory Road in Houston. Plus, Karen Styles is officially a member of the TNA roster. Yes, she’s been a member of the roster for nine months, but she just now “signed a talent contract.” Kurt Angle responded by putting a hit out on her. And the World Team X Cup made its return in spectacular fashion with a great tag match that stole the show.

The show opened with a graphic dedicating the broadcast to Kevin “Angus” Sinex, the crew member who died after the PPV Sunday.

1. Samoa Joe defeated Kaz to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Final moments featured Joe pulling out the old power bomb into an STF, but Kaz made the ropes after a lengthy struggle. Kaz ducked a clothesline and hit a drop kick, then went to the top rope, but Joe caught him with a kick. He attempted the muscle buster, but Kaz reversed it into a Last Rites (or roll the dice) for a two count. Joe blocked a slingshot DDT, placed Kaz on the top rope and hit the musclebuster to conclude a good but not great match. ***

Booker T came out and wanted to know why Joe screwed him over at Slammiversary. Not much of a promo where Booker buried Kaz and his locker room conditions some more. Booker said his locker room door would be open tonight and challenged Joe to meet him there.

Kurt Angle was backstage with Lauren. He was funny as hell running her down. Angle claimed he got a letter from Spike TV president Kevin Kay saying that Karen Angle was now TNA talent. As opposed to what exactly? She’s been the most dominant character on Impact for the past year. For some reason, that meant that Angle couldn’t harm her because of TNA’s man-on-women violence ban. I guess that doesn’t apply to PPV follow the Abyss black hole slam on Rhaka Khan. Then Angle said he was putting a hit out for his own wife. It was open to any woman backstage, and he envisioned Styles and Karen lying comatose by the end of the night.

The World X Cup started with Daivari, who was back doing his old Muslim gimmick with Muhammad Hassan. Daivari is the Captain of Team International. Then Raisha Saeed came in and said Awesome Kong would return next week to punish more fans, except this time she would be even more violent.

2. The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were right at home with the Dragongate style, and it was a hell of a match. Fast paced action with Yoshino leaving people’s mouths open with a lighting fast dropkick. Yoshino did the octopus on Shelley. Doi did a abdominal stretch on Shelley. Doi pulled off a somersault senton while Shelley was bridged on the second rope. Shelley made the comeback with a downward spiral on Doi into the second rope and made the hot tag to Shelley. Sabin did all sorts of hot moves where Doi and Yoshino collided with each other. Mike Tenay was so into the match it felt like he was calling 1996 WCW cruiserweight action between Dean Malenko and the Ultimo Dragon. In other words, he sounded like a real announcer who loved his work again. Yoshino responded with a reverse tarantula, which was nothing short of incredible. Yoshino did a high missile drop kick on Shelley for a two count. Shelley broke it up. It ended with Shelley blocking a Yoshino clothesline meant for Sabin, and the guns turned it into a combination dominator/diamond cutter. Guns got the pin with a double super kick on Yoshino. Great action. ***3/4

Karen Angle was congratulated by Jeremy Borash for being the latest talent signed by TNA. She couldn’t believe Kurt would take out a hit on her, and asked Borash to find out what Kurt is up to. The Beautiful People walked in and claimed Karen’s contract would be worth double the other Knockouts earn. And I thought the WWE guys were missing out on pay. They were about to put the paper bag over Karen’s head until A.J. Styles showed up for the save. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky came onto Styles and invited him to be with real women, but he just blew her off.

Kevin Nash did a backstage promo. Lauren asked him if his interference was the reason why Joe retained the title on Sunday. When he was about to answer, Joe waked out and called out Nash. I thought these two hugged on Sunday. What’s changed since then? Nash said if it wasn’t for him, Joe may not have the strap, so a thank you might be in order. Joe said maybe Nash should say thank you to him for riding his coat tales every week. Nash told him he was Kevin Nash, and that Joe couldn’t beat Booker T because Booker was in his head. Joe told Nash to take his opinions and shove it, then walked off. I guess the pattern is they argue on TV and make up on PPV.

Borash peeked into Angle’s dressing room, where he was meeting with Scott Steiner, Petey Williams and Rhaka Khan. Kurt got mad and shut the door.

3. LAX defeated Robert Roode and James Storm to retain the TNA Tag Team titles. Salinas wasn’t at ringside as Tenay said she was at a Knockouts photo shoot. Homicide was throwing punches off the top rope on Storm when Roode reached in and gave him a hot shot. Jacqueline kept choking Homicide with a leather belt. Homicide got an inverted atomic drop on Roode and made the hot tag to Hernandez, who hit a twisting powerslam on Roode for a near fall. Hernandez blocked a payoff attempt by Roode and hit a gordbuster. LAX teased the 5150, but Jacqueline distracted Homicide and Hernandez was shoved into him, and Homicide was crotched on the top rope. Hector Guerrero screamed at the referee, while James Storm wrapped a belt around his boot. Hernandez got Roode up for the border toss, but Storm superkicked him with the boot for the pin. Guerrero was furious and told the referee to look at Storm’s boot. When the ref saw the belt around it, he restarted the match. Hernandez hit a double clothesline on Roode and Storm after the restart, then pinned Storm after a Liger Bomb. Postmatch, Roocd delivered unprotected chair shots to the head to Homicide and Hernandez, plus a somewhat protected shot to Guerrero. Roode then handcuffed Hernandez and Homicide around opposite corners while Guerrero was taped around the corner. Storm grabbed a belt around the waist of a fan and the heels whipped the faces. **1/2

They cut right backstage again where Gail Kim and ODB where in a pull apart brawl with the Beautiful People.

4. Gail Kim defeated Velvet Sky. Kim jumped Sky during her ring entrance. Sky drop kicked Kim while she was still on the apron and Kim was selling her bad right knee. Kim started to do the running rope walk, but couldn’t do it because of the knee. Then Sky followed with the worst figure four since Hulk Hogan on Kevin Sullivan on a 1995 Nitro that only I can remember. Kim made her comeback with clotheslines and a blockbuster for a two count. Kim missed a missile dropkick, and Sky got a two count. Sky pulled out the bag, but Kim kicked her in the head and pinned her with a crossarm hangman’s neckbreaker for the pin. Postmatch, Kim put the bag over Sky’s head. *1/2

Storm and Roode did an effective heel promo bragging about the beatdown of LAX. Really, they might be better as tag champions because Storm has turned into a better redneck promo, and Roode’s always had heel charisma.

5. Alex Koslov defeated Curry Man. Never really had time to get going. It appeared portions of the match were edited, and it wasn’t that long to begin with. They opened by dancing. Koslov got the pin clean with a Russian leg sweep and springboard splash. I understand one of the outsiders had to go over on these X Cup preview matches, but I hated the choice of Curry to lay down clean as a sheet when there’s six other guys on the roster who are nowhere near as over that could have done it. *

In the locker room, Sonjay Dutt refused to comment on interrupting Black Machismo’s wedding. Then Samoa Joe walked in and told Booker T he had his title shot. Booker was good in portraying the smooth talking heel. Joe then handed Booker the keys to the locker room, saying it does smell like piss in Booker’s locker room. Why does the company humiliate itself like that? Joe told Booker to use his locker instead because Joe wouldn’t be using it for awhile.

6. Sonjay Dutt defeated Consequences Creed. Dutt is an uneasy fit as a full-fledged heel. He dedicated the match to Val. Creed hit the tumbling clothesline, but Dutt kicked him low and pinned him with the Hindu press. Black Machismo ran out afterwards to little pop and chased Dutt away. He challenged him to a future match while Val applauded in the background. How much longer before Val turns on Machismo? *1/4

Frank Trigg came out to join Tenay and Don West on commentary.

6. Kurt Angle defeated A.J. Styles in a lumberjack match. Typical babyface lumberjack spots early where Styles got the upper hand, Angle ducked outside where Christian Cage, Rhino and Matt Morgan laid right hands on him. Angle bumped plenty early but left the offense to the heel lumberjacks, who were Team 3-D and Tomko. Styles got thrown outside, and the lumberjacks started brawling with each other, including Rhino taking a reverse 3-D on the floor. Toward the finish, Styles had Angle pinned with a huracanrana, but the referee was distracted. Styles got another near fall with a torture rack slam. Styles again had Angle pinned after a rolling reverse cradle, but Rudy Charles was distracted by Matt Morgan and Tomko fighting. Then Angle kicked Styles off into a Brother Ray right hand, followed by the Olympic Slam for the pin. Long postmatch melee where the heel lumberjacks overwhelmed the faces. 3-D brought tables into the ring. Cage was about to be put through one of them when Abyss made his return, complete with a patient’s outfit and a new mask. Tomko tried to jump him, but Abyss choke slammed him through a table. Everybody brawled to the back except Styles and Angle in the ring. Styles hit a pele kick and teased putting Angle through it with a splash off the top. But Angle got out of the way and Styles went right through the table. Angle used an ankle lock until Karen came out. Karen dared Angle to hit her, then Awesome Kong’s music played. Suddenly Kurt was the one smiling. Kong came out. West said that Karen didn’t have any wrestling ability. Then why was she signed? I guess Karen didn’t want to take the Awesome bomb because Kong simply clocked her across the head. Kurt left Styles and Karen lying together arm in arm. **1/4

SUMMARY: It was a very solid wrestling show. The Angle-Styles program may have some legs, but I’m not sure how healthy Angle can be. Fortunately, the X Cup is a throwback to when TNA had excellent workrate, particularly on PPV. That made for a fun show, particularly the Machine Guns match. {plug}

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