Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash talked about Jesse Sorensen suffering a broken neck a few months back at Against All Odds. They talked about the danger of the X-Division matches and took us to a video update on Jesse Sorensen's rehab.
Christy Hemme introduced Sorensen, who came to the ring wearing street clothes and a hard neck brace. He got a nice reaction from the fans. He hugged his mother and his girlfriend at ringside before entering the ring. His mother was visibly tearing up. He spent time looking at the place where he was injured.
Sorensen said that Dixie Carter asked him if he was nervous and he said he was happy just to feel anything. The last time he was here he couldn't feel anything from the neck down. He said that he spent days staring at the ceiling not knowing if his career was over and whether he would ever walk again. He said that the last thing he heard as he left the arena were the fans chanting his name. He said that's the same chant that motivated him to come back tonight to tell everyone that God put him on Earth to be a professional wrestler, that is what he is and that is what he always will be.
Sorensen said that he wanted to thank everyone in the back, his family and all the fans for supporting him through everything. The crowd chanted "Thank you Jesse." He said that he thanked them from the bottom of his heart. Jesse said that he knows Zema Ion is out there listening and he hasn't forgotten about him. Jesse said that he hopes Ion wins the belt because just like he tried to take Jesse's career from him, he's coming back to win the X-Division championship from Ion. He declared that a year from now, he'll be the X-Division champion and will cash it in to become the TNA champion.
Really good, serious promo and segment that did more to get Sorensen over than anything his run thus far has. Really strong, well done stuff, playing off the legitimate injury. They also pretty much guaranteed Ion is in the finals.
As Sorensen left the ring, Ion made his way to the ring. He blows off Sorensen and mocked him. The announcers noted that was the first interaction they've had since Sorensen was hurt since Ion didn't care that he hurt the guy.
X-Division Championship Tournament: Zema Ion vs. Flip Casanova
Ion attacked Flip from behind. Ion chopped him hard in the corner. Flip went up and over during a charge towards him and kicked Ion, then nailed a snappingh head sicssors, sending Ion to the floor.
Flip hit a twisting dive over the top to the floor. Ion cut him off when they returned to the ring and choked him against the ropes. Flip came back with forearm smashes and kicks. Ion cut him off and sent him to the floor, then nailed a sliding dropkick to the face on the outside. He tossed Flip back in and came in over the ropes with a kick to the back of the head.
Ion hit a moonsault off the middle turnbuckle but Flip pulled his knee up. Flip hit a springboard into a twisting moonsault for a two count. Flip went to the top for a shooting star press into a legdrop but Ion rolled out of the way. Ion nailed a kick and then a Gori Guerrero Especial into a driver for the pin,
Your winner, Zema Ion!
The weakest of the first round matches but there were some nice spots, which is what you get from Flip. At least no one was bloodied up.
So, Ultimate X is Sonjay vs. Ion vs. King vs. Andrews. Very interesting mix.
Christy Hemme interviewed the other three competitors in the UX. King said that it was his coronation day. Dutt promised he was going to become the champion. Andrews said that this was his moment. TNA champion Bobby Roode showed up. He said that tonight was his moment and this was his show. Roode blew off the importance of the X-Division belt and said tonight he was going to destroy their poster boy, Austin Aries. He said Aries would fail, the X-Division will fail and he will remain the TNA champion. Usual good promo from Roode and a good way to get heat on him.
Bound for Glory Series: Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle
Mike Tenay called Joe vs. Angle the best rivalry in the ten years of broadcasting TNA. I wouldn't argue that one. Angle's kids were at ringside and he kissed all of them in the front row.
They were wary of each other early. Joe missed a kick. Angle charged and tied him up. They turned each other around and ended up in the corner. They muscled each other out of the corner. Angle sent Joe into the corner but was shoulderblocked down. Angle went for the anklelock but Joe escaped and they faced off.
The announcers noted that if Joe won via submission, he would be the leader in the BFG series, while Angle is also trying to go for a submission win in every match. They locked up and Joe grabbed a front facelock. Joe muscled him into the corner and unloaded with a series of strikes. Angle went down in the corner. Joe kicked him and nailed the Facewash.
Joe peppered Angle with a series of rights and a forearm. Joe kicked Angle but was nailed with a Polish Hammer. Yes sir, the Polish Hammer. Joe backdropped Angle over the top to the floor. Joe nailed a tope into a forearm to the floor. The crowd chanted "TNA."
Joe deposited Angle back into the ring but was caught with a kick as he returned through the ropes. Angle stomped away at Joe in the corner. Joe nailed a reverse running elbow in the corner and then nailed a kick. Joe went for the muscle buster but Angle used a headbutt to break it up, then nailed a missile dropkick.
Angle locked in a rear chinlock as the crowd started with the dueling chants. Joe fired back with several elbows to escape but was caught with an overhead belly to belly suplex for a two count. Angle locked in a chinlock variation. Fans chanted for Joe. Joe fought his way out of the hold and nailed several strikes. Joe whipped Angle into the corner but Angle stopped it and drilled Joe. He whipped Joe into the corner but Joe nailed him and went to the top. Angle tried to leap up for a suplex but was fought off. Joe came off the ropes with a leg lariat for a two count.
Joe nailed a series of strikes and a clothesline on Angle. Joe whipped Angle into the corner but was kicked off. Joe caught him with an inverted atomic drop and a back senton splash for a two count. Good stuff.
They locked up and Joe caught Angle with a powerslam for a two count. Joe went for a armbar but Angle turned it into an anklelock. Angle nailed a German suplex and rolled through for another, nailing two in a row. Angle fought hard to get Joe and nailed a third.
Angle went for the Olympic Slam but Joe slipped out and nailed an armdrag. He kicked Angle in the face and went for the muscle buster out of the corner. Angle went for a sunset flip and rolled through into the anklelock. Joe kicked off Angle, then caught him charging with an Uranage.
Joe went for the rear naked choke but Angle rolled through with an ankle lock submission. Joe fought to get to the ropes. Angle dragged him back to the center of the ring. Joe slipped out and grabbed Angle by the tights. He pulled Angle over him and locked in the Kokina Clutch. Angle had nowhere to go and elbowed out.
Angle fought his way out and nailed the Olympic Slam for a two count. Angle pulled down the straps. Joe avoided an Olympic Slam and went right back to the rear naked choke. Joe choked Angle out and the referee stopped it,
Your winner, Samoa Joe!
Really good match. I was really happy to see Joe get the win as he really needed it as a way to help put him back into the top tier. This was like a greatest hits match as they did everything that they've always done and it was done well. Really enjoyed the hell out of this one.
Last Man Standing: TNA Tag Team champion Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles
Daniels immediately went to the floor at the bell. Styles got tired of waiting and chased him into the ring. Daniels spit in his face, which set Styles off. He caught Daniels on the floor and drilled him into the railing. Styles and Daniels exchanged punches and kicks on the floor.
Daniels cut off Styles as he returned to the ring and worked him over but Styles nailed a big dropkick. Styles nailed a series of kicks to the chest and head. Styles nailed shots to the neck and chest. Daniels tried to force Styles back in the corner but was caught and suplexed into the buckles. Styles slammed Daniels but was caught and nailed with a series of chops.
Daniels cut off Styles and grabbed a chair outside and tossed it into the ring. Daniels ripped at Styles face and worked him over. He brought Styles into the ring and tried to slam him into the chair. Styles fought him off but was nailed onto the chair with an Uranage.
Daniels drilled Styles from behind, sending him through the ropes to the floor. Daniels argued with fans, then slammed Styles' face-first into the ringside stairs. Daniels measured and beat Styles with right hands, busting him open.
Daniels suplexed Styles on the floor. Daniels went to nail Styles and whip him into the steps, which were placed sideways, but Styles fired back. Daniels cut him off and tossed him back into the ring. Daniels whipped Styles hard into the buckles. He measured Styles to nail him with the chair but was kicked off
Styles went to the for the springboard forearm and nailed it but nailed the chair. Both men connected with the chair. The force sent Daniels to the outside. Styles followed and ran Daniels hard into the ring steps, busting open Daniels as well. Styles kept working over Daniels' cut.
Daniels, realizing he's hurt, tried to retreat up the ramp but was nailed on the stage. Styles charged across the stage and Daniels did the same and they did a double clothesline on the stage. That's nuts. They went back and forth with punches and kicks until Styles nailed an enziguiri. Daniels almost went off the stage. The crowd chanted, "Push him over."
Styles went for the Styles Clash but was backdropped over by Daniels. Daniels tried to send Styles into the stage but was blocked, Styles flipped off the staging into an inverted DDT. Daniels was down. The referee counted him down at seven when Kazarian attacked Styles from behind, sending him off the stage to the floor and railing.
The referee began counting Styles down but he pulled himself up at the eight count. Daniels drilled him into the guard rail. Daniels returned to the ring and pulled a table out and dragged it towards the stage. He went for Angel's Wings off the ramp through the table but Styles backdropped Daniels over and onto Kazarian.
Styles nailed the Pele Kick on Daniels then went off the ramp through a table with the Styles Clash. The referee counted them out. Styles pulled himself up at nine but Daniels wasn't as lucky.
Your winner, AJ Styles!
Excellent Last Man Standing match. Nothing like a good double juice brawl that was logical and really well done. They told a hell of a story with some good false finishes and crazy stunts. The stuff on the stage was stiff as hell. Really enoyable.
Coverage continues on Page Three!