Thursday, 21 July 2011

What happened @TNA Xplosion - 20/07/2011

The following article was originally published at, you can view the original piece here.

Ray Mullan reporting for IMPACT Wrestling’s internationally syndicated program – “TNA Xplosion” goes prime time on Challenge TV in the United Kingdom following strong ratings. Find out what happened as “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero and Alex Shelley faced off for a place in the next round of the Xplosion Championship Challenge…

Before I get into the report, I guess a little background is in order for our U.S. readers who may not have seen TNA Xplosion as yet. The Tuesday 25th May episode saw the return of Desmond Wolfe in the role of Xplosion commissioner. Desmond wasted no time in creating the “Xplosion Championship Challenge”, a 16 man tournament with the winner earning the right to a title shot of their choosing. The results of the first round bracket were as follows:

1st Round: “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero d. Suicide
1st Round: Crimson d. Robbie E
1st Round: Devon d. Anarquia
1st Round: Douglas Williams d. Amazing Red
1st Round: Magnus d. Orlando Jordan
1st Round: Alex Shelley d. Okada
1st Round: Shannon Moore d. Jeremy Buck
1st Round: Hernandez d. Max Buck

And so we find ourselves this week at the beginning of round two. Tonight’s combatants are “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero and Motor City Machine Gun – Alex Shelley, only one man can progress.

The Xplosion opening sequence rolls and we head to the announce team, Jeremy Borash and Taz. JB hypes tonight’s show in which we’ll find out what went down at the conclusion of this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, backstage gossip in the Spin Cycle and this week’s match of the week which sees Kurt Angle, Sting and Matt Morgan in a three way from Hard Justice 2009. But before all that, it’s time to head to the ring for the first match in round 2 of the Xplosion Championship Challenge!

Match 1: “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero vs. Alex Shelley
Jackson James is the official for this one. Series of headlocks from Shelley early on as he tries to keep the Pope grounded. The pope rallies back with a shot to the gut and whips Shelley to the ropes. Float over from Shelley who turns and locks on another headlock. Some “headlock” chants from the fans at the Impact Zone, appears their allegiance lies with Shelley in this one.

Pope escapes, only to have his legs cut out from under him, pin attempt from Shelley garners only a one count. Move and counter-move here. Strong kick from Alex who then signals for Sliced Bread. Reversal from Pope sends him into the post. Pope going to his corner and grabs that “Bling” necklace, is he going to use it? Devon’s sons cheering Pope on, but Dinero is having second thoughts about the necklace, perhaps he wants to be a role model afterall? Meets an elbow from Shelley now and a leg lariat sends Pope to the outside.

Devon’s sons offering encouragement to Pope but Devon obviously taking exception to that and makes his way down the ramp. Pope backs off and returns to the ring, delivering an uppercut to Shelley. In the corner, Pope reverses a kick attempt and hits a neckbreaker on Alex from the ropes! Ouch! Shelley crawling to the ropes on the other side, but gets a running jump from Pope for his troubles. Pope to the top now, tip of the hat to Savage I believe with a signal for an elbow drop, and he connects! 1…2…kickout from Shelley.

Shelley showing a lot of resiliency here, chops away at Pope and goes for Sliced Bread but fails yet again.Chops from Pope, WOW! A springboard kick out of nowhere from Shelley, Pope dosen’t know where he is! Kick to the face for good measure, is it going to be Sliced Bread again? Yes it is! And Shelley manages to hit it this time. Cover for a 1….2….3!! Shelley wins it! Tremendous match-up and Shelley wins in somewhat of an upset.
Winner: Alex Shelley

Back to the studio and it’s time for the latest edition of the TNA Spin Cycle with Jeremy Borash. This week’s guests are Austin Aries, Tara, Magnus and Douglas Williams. The panel discuss the UK’s best exports. SoCal Val was berated by the panel for yelling “Harry Potter”. The British Invasion collectively cited the Rolling Stones and Tea, not a bad combination though I’m pretty sure Tea originated from China but we’ll not get picky! Austin Aries believes the best export is Quorn, who specialise in non-meat based products aimed at Vegans, of which surprisingly Austin Aries is one! Would expect he’s in the minority in the wrestling business given the constant need to bulk up.

The panel then moves to JB’s favourite segment, “Revelations!”, whereby each of the panellists reveal a secret. Tara’s revelation is that she cannot go a single day without eating cheese. Aries revealed. The British Invasion boys revealed a couple of shockers. Ladies and gentlemen, Douglas Williams, the man who cites himself as enjoying the finer things in life was once a PUNK, complete with spiky hair, chains and piercings. I find it hard to believe, but I’m sure there’s a potential angle with Ink Inc. in there somewhere. Magnus, a regular of the show and thus a man’s for whom revelations are running rather thin on the ground, revealed that he once posed Nude for a woman’s magazine called “Heat”… I’ll not even begin to comment on that one.

Next up, this week’s classic match of the week, from Hardcore Justice 2009 – Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Matt Morgan for the TNA Title. A hectic, fast paced affair that was as good as I remember it. A heel Kurt Angle comes out on top following a vicious chair shot on Matt Morgan. This is definitely one to track down if you have yet to see it.

Finally we close out the show with the IMPACT Wrestling Rewind as we take a look back at the Mr. Anderson vs. Sting World Heavyweight title match. This was a real thriller and in this writers opinion a great conclusion to the best episode of IMPACT Wrestling this year.

Well folks that’s all for this week, join me next time as the British Invasion’s Mangus takes on the “Prince of Punk” Shannon Moore in the next matchup in the Xplosion Championship challenge. As ever, if you have any questions, comments or feedback concerning this report, feel free to drop me a line at or tweet me at @raymullan.

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