Kurt Angle vs. Kazarian (Kurt Angle’s Victim – No. 10)
Kurt Angle vowed to fight his way up the Top 10 ranking system of TNA in order to truly earn his spot at the top of the company. Ranked at No. 10, as a result of Kurt Angle dropping out of the No. 2 spot, Kazarian faced off against pro wrestling’s only Olympic Gold Medalist, Kurt Angle.
Kurt Angle prepared himself for this match by having a quality match on Impact! against Amazing Red. Kazarian did not take the time to prepare for this match and it showed. Kaz relying on his X-Division high-flying, and underhanded tactics learned from “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
Kurt Angle was once a ruthless competitor, but he now seems very docile and forgiving. Even after taking a low blow to the groin, Kurt would not allow for the referee to end the match. It proves that Kurt Angle has the intestinal fortitude to fight through anything, but his aggression is no longer there.
Kurt Angle managed to pull out a victory with phase 2 of the Ankle Lock, but did he really prove himself against a heel-turned Kazarian? Kaz is an innovator of the X-Division, but with attempted short cuts, his game has downsized immensely.
Douglas Williams vs. Brian Kendrick (X-Division Championship Match)
Douglas Williams is obviously trying to be the Dean Malenko of the X-Division. Sure, he may not be the Man of 1,000 holds, but he does hold his own in grounding the high-flyers with technical wrestling. As for Brian Kendrick, he’s been thrown into X-Division title matches since his debut at TNA Genesis. He cut one promo and it made no sense.
The problem with TNA is that they no longer care to develop any wrestlers or story lines that are involved with the X-Division. The wrestling fans really have no incentives to watch this match. The X-Division is supposed to build wrestlers up for the future spots of the company, much like it did for Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels. However, with the Hogan-Bischoff Regime, the days of real X-Division wrestling is dying.
Madison Rayne vs. Roxxi (TNA Knockouts Title vs. Career Match)
On May 17, Roxxi made her in-ring return by pinning TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne in a non-title match. Because of the win, Roxxi was propelled to a championship match at Slammiversary. But what took place at Slammiversary was a disgrace to the Knockouts Division.
Madison Rayne demanded that Roxxi put her career on the line. And not soon after she accepted, Madison gashed Roxxi’s head with the microphone. Instead of the referee stopping the match, it continued as planned. Despite two Voodoo Drops, Madison Rayne managed to kick out. The match ended with Madison connecting with an inverted overdrive, retaining her title, and ending the career of Roxxi.
Roxxi was informed of the new match when she arrived to TNA for Slammiversary. After replaying the tape, Roxxi was visibly upset before and, obviously, after the match. Roxxi has been in and out of TNA throughout the years. And after coming back as a favor for TNA to fill the void for Tara, Angelina Love, Daffney, and ODB, TNA disgustingly treated Roxxi this way.
Jesse Neal vs. Brother Ray (Student vs. Teacher Match)
Brother Ray hoodwinked not only Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore with his apologies, but also Brother Devon. The apologies were obviously insincere, but having the referee boot out both Devon and Moore was a nice touch.
Brother Ray completely dominated Jesse Neal, even taunting the fans to cheer for Jesse’s name. Ray simply humiliated Jesse by tearing off his shirt, executing the Bubba Bomb, and continuous slaps to the chest and back.
What came next was a TNA online rumor come to fruition. “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer has crossed the line to TNA. After a half-assed farewell match on WWE’s ECW and some independent matches, Tommy Dreamer walked down through the audience, distracting Bother Ray long enough to be speared and pinned by Jesse Neal.
With rumors of Paul Heyman also making his way to TNA, TNA Wrestling may very well see a reformation of ECW.
Author’s Notes: Kazarian turning heel was simply a bad idea, as he has gained nothing from Ric Flair thus far. The lack of build in the X-Division is pathetic, especially since the X-Division use to be one of the main reasons people tuned into TNA. Then there’s the destruction of the TNA Knockouts division. The main reason people tuned into TNA was to see actual women’s wrestling. Wrestling fans appreciate good women’s wrestling, so why is Hogan and Bischoff emulating the flaws of WWE into their product? The return of Tommy Dreamer was a nice surprise, especially after being treated like a pansy in WWE. Tommy Dreamer still has a lot to offer in the ring, and now being on a top company that does not have the dreaded PG rating, The Innovator of Violence can truly return.