Date: July 10, 2014
Location: Bethlehem Events Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
It’s the last night in Bethlehem, meaning we’re heading for New York next week. Tonight Kurt Angle has scheduled a series of title matches with only the World Title not being on the line. However, there will be a twenty man battle royal with the winner getting a World Title shot at some point in the future. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video about how so many titles are on the line this week. Most of them were last week as well but it’s nice to see matches that matter twice in a row.
Here’s Kurt Angle to declare this the Championship Showcase, meaning every match has championship ramifications. He runs down the card before asking Willow to come out here. Kurt says Jeff Hardy became Willow because of the dark place that Dixie Carter had put him in. Now it’s just Kurt Angle, and Kurt needs the most competitive wrestler in the world, and that’s Jeff Hardy. Kurt isn’t asking Willow to go away forever, but just for tonight.
Austin Aries says he’ll win the X-Division Title tonight.
Tag Team Titles: Wolves vs. Bram/Magnus
The Wolves are defending and it’s Davey vs. Magnus to get things going. A rolling enziguri puts Magnus down and the champions double team him in the corner. Bram comes in as well and gets kicked down just as quickly. It’s off to Bram legally but Davey rams him head first into Eddie ala the British Bulldogs. Magnus gets in a cheap shot from the apron to take over before getting Eddie off the apron so there’s no one for Davey to tag. The challengers take over and Magnus avoids a quick enziguri.
Another kick to the head connects and Bram can’t make a fast enough save. Edwards comes in with fast chops to cleans house before a top rope hurricanrana gets two on Bram. The Wolves sends the Brits to the floor for a double suicide dive. Back in and Davey misses the top rope double stomp but escapes a powerbomb into a backslide. The legal Eddie runs in and grabs Bram’s legs in a rollup for the pin at 7:17.
Rating: C. Nice match here but again, the Wolves need challengers to be built up to challenge them, not for them to beat week in and week out. They don’t need to prove how awesome they are and the division is already weak enough. It was entertaining stuff though and I’m fine with the Wolves like this. Just keep them away from fighting each other for awhile.
Bobby Roode is fired up.
Speaking of Roode, here he is in the arena. He talks about wanting something so much that you need it. For months, Dixie Carter made him sit at home and then MVP did the same. MVP sees him as a threat, but now this threat is in the middle of the ring. He wants to get his hands on MVP and doesn’t care about a doctor’s note. If MVP isn’t here by a count of ten, Roode is coming to the back and ripping MVP apart.
MVP’s music hits at about five and he comes out in a wheelchair and says Roode has made his knee injury even worse. It’s swollen so big that he can’t even get an MRI. He’s so upset that he won’t stand for this. Roode comes up the ramp anyway but has to dispatch Kenny King. MVP is sent down to the ring but King nails Roode with a chair. Eric Young comes out for the save but Lashley runs out to spear him down.
James Storm sits down with Sanada in the back and says Sanada will disgrace Japan and the Great Muta if he loses the title. Storm says Muta controls Sanada through the title, but Storm likes what he sees in Sanada. Interesting indeed.
We see the Angle and Willow segment again.
Angle says he thinks he got to Hardy, and that was his goal.
X-Divison Title: Sanada vs. Austin Aries
Sanada is defending and quickly spins out of a wristlock into a headlock on the mat but Aries pops right out of it. A dropkick nails Aries but he’s right on his feet again for a standoff. They head to the mat for the Last Chancery from Aries but Sanada is quickly in the ropes. Sanada puts on a rolling cradle for two and Aries is dizzy. A running clothesline puts him on the floor and but he slides in before Sanada can dive. Back in and Aries shoves him off the top to break up a springboard attempt, allowing him to hit a top rope ax handle to the floor.
Back in and Aries goes up, only to get dropkicked out of the air. Sanada sends him to the floor for a running dive off the apron but Aries counters the tiger suplex. The running dropkick in the corner sets up the brainbuster but Sanada flips out and gets the tiger suplex for two. The moonsault connects for two but an Aries avoids a second. The brainbuster gets two and the 450 gives Aries the pin at 8:26.
Rating: B. The match was awesome, but this basically makes Sanada’s entire reign totally pointless. It’s going to hurt the title even more when the belt is vacated and we have to have yet another tournament for the title and no big name enters it because there’s no reason to care about the X-Division Title until next July. Option C might be the worst thing ever for the division.
Ray doesn’t want to talk about Rhino and we go to a break very abruptly. We get the full version of the interview after we get back, with Ray shouting at the interviewer about how he’s going to talk to Rhino face to face.
Ethan Carter III says Rhino is going to reveal the real Bully.
Bully comes out to the ring and says when he was starting out, Bam Bam Bigelow gave him some advice: by the time he was established, he could count the number of true friends he had on one hand. That brings Ray to Rhino, who he wants out here right now, face to face. He gets Rhino but also gets Spud and Ethan Carter III. Bully demands answers from Rhino but Rhino says this is about the two of them. When Rhino was watching Team 3D being announced for the Hall of Fame, Rhino realized that Bully was a con man.
Ray has conned Paul Heyman and Dixie Carter. Bully says that’s a cop out and says Rhino has been brainwashed. This is just jealousy and Ray is in the Hall of Fame because the people say he should be. Rhino is responsible for his own career and is the only reason he got fired from WWE and TNA. He was hardcore at one point but now he’s just a coward. Ethan says he paid off Rhino because Rhino needs the money. Ray says he’s going to rip Carter apart but gets Gored. The beatdown ensues but Tommy Dreamer makes the save with a kendo stick. You know what the chant is.
The Beautiful People complain about how their flirting didn’t get them anywhere. Angelina says she’s going to win the title back tonight.
Knux says the Menagerie should win tonight because they’re tailor made for a battle royal.
Knockouts Title: Angelina Love vs. Gail Kim vs. Brittany vs. Madison Rayne
Gail is defending. Brittany jumps Madison on the way to the ring but Gail comes out for the save. Things settle down with Gail faceplanting Madison but Angelina pulls the champion out to the floor. Angelina and Brittany double team Madison with Love playing on Brittany’s inexperience to get a quick near fall. Madison hits a kind of suplex jawbreaker to put Brittany down but walks into the Botox Injection from Angelina. Eat Defeat to Love is enough to retain Gail’s title at 5:35.
Rating: D+. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a match that was almost identical to this one between the Knockouts. They’ve been doing the exact same kind of multi girl matches for years now and, just like the people in them, they’re only slightly different than the last one. These get old and pretty easy to predict very fast.
Austin Aries says he always seems to have the X-Division Title around this time of the year. The title is the key for a title shot and everyone thinks he’s going to cash the title in for a title shot in New York City but he likes to mix things up. He says the division is important again.
Video on Destination X, three weeks from tonight.
Bobby Roode doesn’t care about MVP and the trio, but he’ll be back for them later.
MVP talks about how Lashley is a franchise player. We see Lashley working out wearing the title belt.
Knux, Crazy Steve, The Freak, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, Manik, DJZ, Bram, Sanada, Magnus, Jesse Godderz, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, Kenny King, Gunner, James Storm, Tigre Uno
The winner gets a title shot next week. Roode is now in long tights. Hardy comes out as Jeff Hardy for the first time in a few months. I think I’ve got everyone in the match but it’s always hard to tell. Jesse quickly dropkicks Crazy Steve out for the first elimination but the Freak puts him out a few seconds later. DJZ goes after the two remaining members of the Menagerie and is quickly eliminated. Bram and Magnus put the Freak out and Knux misses a big boot, allowing them to dump him as well. Storm knocks Hardy to the apron and bites Hardy’s fingers but can’t get an elimination.
Bram forearms Tigre Uno out as the ring is clearing a bit. Sanada is tossed as well before Roode clotheslines Magnus to the floor. Storm does the same to Anderson and tosses Gunner as well. Hardy gets rid of Bram, bringing out Abyss to hammer Bram to the back. Kenny King misses a charge at Manik and is able to eliminate him from the apron. Roode and Storm have the required showdown as we go to a break.
Back with Roode dumping Storm, getting us down to a final group of Spud, Carter, Ray, Young, King, Hardy and Roode. Spud tries to chop Ray and gets grabbed low for his efforts.
Ray knocks out Spud and Ethan but eliminates himself in the process. Down to four now. Young is down in the corner as Roode spinebusts King, only to have MVP get in a cheap shot to Bobby with his crutch for an elimination.
Young dumps King and we’re down to Hardy vs. Eric. They shake hands and we’re ready to go. A quick belly to belly attempt sends Hardy to the apron but he comes back in with a jawbreaker. Young is sent over the corner for a Flair Flip so of course he struts along the apron. Hardy is nice enough to not nail him but a dropkick knocks Young out for the at 16:00.
Rating: C+. This was a decent enough battle royal as they kept things moving fast enough that it didn’t get boring. Hardy winning the title shot was pretty obvious the second his music hit but he’s one of the best choices. I have no idea where Samoa Joe was, but I’m assuming this is setting up Joe vs. Angle down the line.
Jeff says he won, bad hair and all. He’s the next World Champion and is doing it for the creatures. Lashley comes out and holds up the belt to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I actually liked tonight’s show for the most part, but the X-Division stuff gets on my nerves. It’s such a waste of potential for the division and comes off too much like Money in the Bank. Other than that though we had two good matches and a decent enough battle royal to set up a big main event next week. The show did its job and wasn’t terrible so it works well enough for me.
Wolves b. Bram/Magnus – Rollup to Bram
Austin Aries b. Sanada – 450 Splash
Gail Kim b. Madison Rayne, Angelina Love and Brittany – Eat Defeat to Love
Jeff Hardy won a battle royal last eliminating Eric Young
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