Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 1/30/15: Monster’s Ball
– The opening video highlighted the Beat Down Clan’s dominance over Bobby Lashley and the cold (literally) standoff between Roode and Lashley outside the Manhattan Center, as Roode held Lashley’s Belt. This was only a prelude of what was to come.
– The opening segment with Roode, Lashley, MVP and Austin Aries got the show off to a decent start. Roode coming out with the Championship had to confuse people. Lashley – who was established as a beast all summer long – looks incredibly weak that he can’t even hold on to his own Belt. The interaction between the two was good as Roode put over the Belt’s importance to him and Lashley was eager to fight. Aries thrust himself back to the Title picture with the briefcase and his involvement (and cash-in tease) made sense and of course, MVP had to be in there too to represent the BDC peeps. The idea of Lashley defending against all three guys later made him appear somewhat tough, but the announcers lacked any follow-up as to whether the match was made official and we had to just assume it was.
– Kurt Angle’s promo put himself over and announced Team Angle-BDC at Lockdown and he’d have his team assembled by the end of the night – or so we thought. This foreshadowed things later pretty well.
– The Knockouts Championship match between Taryn Terrell (Champion), Gail Kim and Madison Rayne had some good action with some inventive spots like the three-way submission hold and even putting the steel steps into play. Terrell came out with the pin over Rayne with Kim coming close to stopping it. Terrell won with a Diamond Cutter pretty much. Actually one of the show’s brighter spots.
– Magnus – the family man, was hoping to settle differences with Bram at a bar, because approaching a drunken man in a serious manner will always pan out well. We had to know this would end with violence.
– Rockstar Spud showing off 34th Street landmarks to Mandrews misguidedly was kind of funny but nothing memorable. This just made them both look like confused tourists. Maybe that’s what they were going for.
– The in-ring segment with Tommy Dreamer, Eric Young and Roode was good in furthering Young as a tough heel. Dreamer was the perfect candidate with the credibility to talk sense into Young and sympathetic enough for the fans to emotionally invest when Young attacked him and hit a piledriver. Roode coming to make the save when Young started assaulting ringside personnel and checking on Dreamer was also good, as the feud continued. Will Dreamer play into things later on? He can still go at it. Young was also much better on the mic here.
– The Hardys promo that hyped their Lockdown bout with Abyss/James Storm of The Revolution and the later Monster’s Ball match was decent, upbeat stuff. Jeff introducing weapons as his friends was cheesy though.
– The backstage segment with Angle and Gunner was okay, as Gunner was supposed to transform into some kind of warrior with a slap to the face. Gunner still needs something more to his gimmick. He still comes off as Bram with a different name.
– Did anybody not expect Magnus to be attacked by Bram by the end of the bar segment? They couldn’t have set that up more predictably. Magnus magically couldn’t find a way out of the bar? It was almost like we’d be disappointed if Bram didn’t attack. Not bad, but maybe this would’ve had more impact done in the ring in front of fans.
– If you’ve seen past Jeff Hardy-Abyss matches, you know they can put on an entertaining hardcore match like no one else. This was more of the same – as the match started in the crowd and didn’t slow down. Some memorable spots in there like Hardy crashing through a ringside table and the sunset flip onto the thumbtacks was cool. At one point, the match was an all-out brawl with the rest of The Revolution, Matt and The Wolves thrown in. For that reason, it was good the match actually had a decisive finish and wasn’t sidetracked after the brawl.
– Matt and Jeff’s promo about the match was directed towards the performance and hyped the match for next week. Again.
– Aries’ turned his promo about his free World Title shot without a briefcase cash-in to putting Lashley over as a fighting champion and something he could take advantage of. Aries has become Seth Rollins all of a sudden.
– The billed Mandrews/Spud-Ethan Carter III/Tyrus match became a bait-and-switch for the Bro-Mans to take Carter/Tyrus’ place. The match was good as Mandrews/Spud looked good with the finish and the fans were hot for it too. The post match attack on Spud/Mandrews by Tyrus was expected and Carter announcing Spud/Mandrews against Tyrus next week in a steel cage was decent. We know one day Spud will get his hands on Carter. For all the attention Jeremy Borash got in this storyline alliance with Spud, it was odd to not see him involved this week at all.
– Backstage, Spud being outraged, yelling at Mandrews was pretty good stuff.
– Kong vs Havok, Hardys vs Revolution, Spud/Mandrews vs Tyrus, Team Angle vs BDC was hyped for Lockdown before the main event. Kong/Havok was the only match to not receive any kind of hype, which was odd.
– The “Top 5” ranking concept makes no sense at all. The number needs to be bigger than five and the way it is right now lacks any structure and TNA should just do away with it.
– The World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley, Roode, MVP and Aries was given enough time to tell a decent story with the four competitors. Young expectedly attacked Roode at one point and the spear finish with Lashley on Aries was great. We knew Gunner and Angle would make the save once the BDC tried to beat Lashley again.
– Roode officially challenged Young to a steel cage match next week, which may or may not have blood in it. Cool. Angle’s reveal of his team saw him recruit Aries who asked to join. Lashley turning down Angle’s request was interesting on its own. Lashley as a full-fledged face doesn’t work with his lackluster mic skills, though the fans popped for some of his moves in the ring. It seems TNA wants Lashley to be in the middle as a tweener or “lone wolf,” even though the BDC has owned him. Why wouldn’t he want to join their opposing team, from a storyline standpoint? Maybe this sets up Lashley coming down to eventually join and this was just a hook for next week.
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell (Champion) def. Gail Kim, Madison Rayne to retain
– Monster’s Ball – Jeff Hardy def. Abyss
– Rockstar Spud/Mandrews def. The Bro-Mans (w/DJ Z, Angelina Love) via pinfall
– World Heavyweight Championship – Fatal 4-Way – Bobby Lashley (Champion) def. Bobby Roode, MVP, Austin Aries to retain
Posted on January 31, 2015, in TNA and tagged Abyss, Angelina Love, Austin Aries, Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode, Bram, DJ Z, Ethan Carter III, Gail Kim, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Madison Rayne, Magnus, Mandrews, Matt Hardy, Rockstar Spud, Taryn Terrell, The Beat Down Clan, The Bro-Mans, The Revolution, Tyrus. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.