“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Last Friday Night
– The cold tension between Eric Young and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle was captured excellently on this episode form start to finish. Starting things with a random cameraman in the passenger seat of Young’s car made us wonder just what was going on in the first place, but was used as a set-up to the apparent parking lot brawl that ensued seconds later since Angle was already waiting for him.
Lashley Vs. Angle
– You can fault TNA for all their past wrongdoings and chalk their Creative lack of logic to carelessness or just plain stupidity, but there are times that when they get it right, they get it right. The hype for the first-ever meeting between Kurt Angle and Bobby Lashley (for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, no less) was nothing short of brilliant. They made this truly feel like a match worth seeing, from the hype video clips for each man, to the camera shots of them in preparation and from input from the commentary team and other wrestling talent. You had the feeling that all eyes were on this match, as this had implications for the future and the very foundation of TNA as a company. Granted, last week’s Rockstar Spud-Ethan Carter III Hair Vs. Match was a tough act to follow and while this match didn’t match that magic, it excelled in its own little way.
– Despite the annoying Bro-Mans backstage promo that had Robbie E “depressed” over losing to Brooke (Shake it off Robbie, barely anyone watched), TNA did a decent job of toning down said annoyance by keeping the duo to DJ Z and Jesse Godderz, who actually had better chemistry than the Godderz-Robbie E team. Who knew? Angelina Love remains with them, but doesn’t really gain much from this situation either. Shouldn’t she be vying for the Knockouts Championship?
– The Ultimate X Tag Team Championship match between The Wolves, Jesse Godderz/DJ Z and The Great Sanada/Manik was the expected glorified spot fest that it sounded like on paper. While everyone had their moments to shine, The Wolves were the only team that looked like they had a real chance of winning and won the match before the action became stale.
– Austin Aries has always given a good promo and he had purpose being that he had his briefcase in the hands of the Beat Down Clan. Him calling them out was good for this reason. Low-Ki and Samoa Joe representing the BDC also worked here. That said, why on earth would Aries put up his earned World Title briefcase shot to get a shot at a lower Championship that he’d be due a rematch for anyway? The match between him and Joe had some time to turn into something decent, but had “BDC antics” written all over it, with Low-Ki attacking Aries to cause the DQ. Kudos to Taz for the technical hold pointers, which upped the ante in the action’s importance. Aries ended back up with the briefcase, but the moment was quickly and rightfully overshadowed by Spud’s surprise cash-in of his X-Division Title briefcase. That was great, because it gave Spud new direction and a new feud with the BDC. You can even throw Aries into things too.
– Magnus’ brawl-styled clobbering of Bram was a great follow up of last week’s segment. Even Mickie James looked good while beating on him. This raised their personal feud up a notch and felt necessary at this point in their blood rivalry. Only complaint possibly here was that this directly followed the Spud cash-in and we had no time to really digest anything, though this helped helped give the show an “unpredictable” feel, despite being taped a while back.
– The three-way Knockouts Championship match between Awesome Kong, Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell was okay, nothing too special. Why Terrell continues to get the nod over Kim/Kong is beyond us, because she still feels like a vague paper champion. She says she seeks to “validate her reign,” but we still don’t know much about her besides she always ends up winning. She is becoming the Knockouts John Cena. We hope TNA sees this and tries to fix it soon, because the longer she stays Champion, the more damage her character hurts from it this way.
– The James Storm promo put over the no DQ match and his “coin toss” talk was interesting in his own James Storm way. Who can deny the creepy whistle?
– Angle’s comments towards the upcoming match had him put over Lashley as a monster and that he was eager to show he was still one of the best in the business. Good promo.
– The Storm (w/The Revolution)-Matt Hardy No DQ match was a decent weapon fest, as the story was Hardy fighting off all of The Revolution, eventually falling victim to the match rules. Storm’s postmatch promo put over his desire to have Matt join Jeff in the hospital, as we assume happened, with all those brutal shots and camera cutaway. Being that Jeff “returns” next week, it was a good way to set that up.
– The TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley-Angle was a great match given lots of time for both guys to wear each other down, with Angle’s German suplexes and Lashley’s sudden bursts of energy. That said, it took four Angle Locks to finish Lashley off and the win was a pleasant surprise, as it seemed Lashley had the momentum going with the belt again, but Angle on top of the mountain in TNA opens up some new possibilities.
– Tag Team Championships Destination X Match – The Wolves (Champion) def. Jesse Godderz/DJ Z (w/Angelina Love) and The Great Sanada/Manik to retain
– Austin Aries def. Samoa Joe (w/Low-Ki) via DQ
– X-Division Championship Match – Rockstar Spud def. Low-Ki Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion; Briefcase Cash-In
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell def. Gail Kim, Awesome Kong via pinfall to retain
– No Disqualification Match – James Storm (w/The Revolution) def. Matt Hardy via pinfall
– World Heavyweight Championship Match – Kurt Angle def. Bobby Lashley (Champion) via submission to become new Champion
– The opening video did a good job of hyping the three “bitter feud” matches – all comprising out of former friendships with Eric Young-Bobby Roode, Bram-Magnus and Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III. This was more or less the theme of the show and gave us something to look forward to already with decent payoff match son paper.
– The Young-Roode Last Man Standing match was a great way to start the show off, a bit surprising considering you think that’d be main event material out of the three matches hyped. The match itself was lengthy enough to tell its own story and it had that “bitter feud” feeling to it with all the action on the outside and the chair in play as the visual aid of how they became enemies in the first place. The finish with the table spot was well done, even though Roode basically won with an Attitude Adjustment, but that table was smashed with authority and Young sold it extremely well with his body shaking. A good payoff to one of the better recent feuds – or was it?
– The Jeremy Borash-Spud backstage segment was another example of Spud standing up for himself with a lot of passion, carrying on his momentum from last week.
– Drew Galloway’s theme music strays too close to Roman Reigns’ music as does his gimmick, loosely. His promo was once again a repeat of his debut promo against the Beat Down Clan, standing amongst the crowd. More shots at WWE was necessary for his character gimmick we suppose, but how about staying away from that from here on out and accenting his in-ring abilities because he can actually wrestle and not lead a “movement” to do it? Even the use of the word “movement’ copies WWE. MVP’s promo was good stuff, and the crowd reaction definitely brought more out of him. Have to love the London faithful.
– The MVP-Galloway match wasn’t anything special until the expected BDC run-in, which got better as it continued, doing exactly what it needed to; as they got their moment over Galloway, laying him out. As for the “Stand Up For Wrestling” gimmick, still not sure Galloway is the true voice for this movement. He doesn’t come off as a leader a tiny bit.
– The Mickie James-Magnus backstage segment set up the brutality of his upcoming match with him wanting James backstage, which of course, we had to know that meant that she couldn’t possibly do so.
– The hype video for the Spud-EC3 feud was necessary given the match later on, but was more relied upon Spud’s recent big promo. EC3’s backstage promo put over his streak and how Spud wanted it all to happen. Good stuff.
– The hype video for Bram-Magnus was also well done, albeit short, as the story was simple here and put over Bram’s recent dark side, which was a big focus during the match and evidently after.
– The Bram-Magnus match was on a good route especially with James coming to ringside to support Magnus, making the match feel bigger, until the blatant DQ by Bram on a low blow stunted that momentum. Bram’s postmatch actions at least had him come across as sadistic, making us feel sympathetic for Magnus, being humiliated to save his wife. Good angle.
– The BDC’s backstage promo was more of them bragging and sounding tough, with everyone saying a little something. That’s the second promo using “synonymous” on this show. Word of the night, we guess?
– The Robbie E-Brooke match of course had to derail what was almost a perfect episode for Impact standards. This was lame all around with the boxing theme as corny as you could get. Ironic they brought up the “Stand Up for Wrestling” movement in a segment like this. Brooke won, but no one gained anything from this, except maybe a few minutes of precious nap time.
– The hype for next week’s Bobby Lashley-Kurt Angle World Heavyweight Championship match was solidly done as the video package and attention paid by the broadcast team made it feel like the big match it needed to be. Heck, we know this match would happen since before it was official, so why not go all out on it?
– The EC3-Spud Hair vs. Hair match was insanely good, especially as it went on towards the end. This was probably Spud’s biggest moment in TNA, with the blood pouring down his face as he was in the middle of his comeback, evidently pushing the envelope on Destination America, but really good stuff. The inclusion of Tyrus, Mr. Anderson and JB in the match was slight overbooking, but made sense in terms of the payoff concept surrounding the whole match. The last five minutes of the match was the best of TNA’s stint on Destination America so far and it was huge that Carter got the win, as the crowd would’ve went nuts for Spud had he won. Carter’s postmatch promo teasing a face turn was also well-crafted and genuine until he tossed Spud back into the ring and shaved his head. EC3 comes out of this looking like a beast, but how will Spud move away from this? He got his big TNA moment, but didn’t get the payoff win and lost his hair in the process. Either way, this was the best close to a TNA show in a long time.
– Last Man Standing – Bobby Roode def. Eric Young
– Drew Galloway def. MVP via DQ
– Magnus def. Bram via DQ
– Brooke def. Robbie E (w/Jesse Godderz, Angelina Love, DJ Z) via pinfall
– Hair Vs. Hair Match – Ethan Carter III def. Rockstar Spud via pinfall
Run The Gauntlet
– The opening video decently hyped the 20-man gauntlet to decide the number one contender for Bobby Lashley’s World Heavyweight Title. If TNA is good at one thing, it’s making the World Title look like a huge prize. Some of the other belts? Not as quite.
– The Kurt Angle promo was focused solely on the gauntlet as the “odds-on favorite” since he was the last man who will enter. For match hype alone, this was fine.
– Lashley’s backstage thoughts on Angle wanted him to have a “little chat” with him. We knew that possibly couldn’t be good things. This kept their ongoing conflicts arise.
– Is it the smartest thing to be able to almost read the run sheet on the announcer’s table word-for-word while the camera is trained still on Josh Matthews and Taz?
– The six-man tag between Matt Hardy/The Wolves and James Storm/Abyss/Manik had solid action, especially towards the end as Hardy and The Wolves worked great together. The Revolution got their heat back with the postmatch attack. The attack on Manik or “tough love” was unexpected. Where will this lead? Probably nowhere.
– The segment with Ethan Carter III, Tyrus, Mr. Anderson, Rockstar Spud and Mandrews was decent in that it allowed Spud/Mandrews/Anderson to gain the upper hand by scalping Tyrus’ trademark hair after a few teases of EC3 getting the treatment. All this focus on hair though? Seems unnecessary. EC3 is billed as undefeated but it’s not like he wrestles every week either.
– The BDC backstage segment had MVP make the BDC set on stopping Angle, which made sense.
– Mickie James was seen entering the arena and she wanted to talk about Magnus’ condition, which set up the segment decently.
– The Grado-Al Snow match was okay for what it was. Grado is obviously over across the Atlantic, but some kind of video hype to show his British Boot Camp history to American viewers would’ve been cool. Snow ended up respecting him at the end, just for them to get beat down by the BDC. Good to get the hometown heat at least. This was also a wise moment to debut Scotsman Drew Galloway – the former Drew McIntyre. A lot to digest in one segment though.
– Backstage, Angelina Love and The Bro-Mans took an “us-ie” about as annoyingly as possible. Nice to see Awesome Kong creeping in the background as they walked away.
– The Knockouts Championship match between Taryn Terrell and Love was okay, but rather anticlimactic with Love being cleanly pinned. Postmatch however, Kong-Terrell interaction was a lot better. The Gail Kim-Kong standoff was even better, as this was the one thing we’ve been waiting to see when Kong returned.
– The hype video for the Gauntlet was okay, if not for most of the guys speaking literally had no chance, besides EC3 and the BDC members.
– The “old school rules” match between Eric Young-Tommy Dreamer was one of the better parts of the show, as it made sense for Dreamer to irately call out Young, who continued to look psychotic as he focused on biting the area around Dreamer’s eye, busting him open. Dreamer sold like crazy here and it all worked out. If only there was a better move for Young than the piledriver, but either way, this kept his momentum up strong.
– The segment with James and Bram was a good way to tie her into his feud with Magnus. Her shots at Bram made sense and his retorts made him come off even more despicable, despite it being a bit hard to pick up what he said on the mic. Security getting between them was okay, but it did its job in making fans want to see Magnus.
– The Angle-Lashley backstage segment had them focus on their eventual showdown.
– The 20-man gauntlet match had its share of good action though it seemed terribly melodramatic to almost have Angle eliminate all BDC members towards the end, though MVP eliminating Angle with help was no surprise. Might as well get the MVP-Lashley match out of the way.
– Matt Hardy/The Wolves def. James Storm/Abyss/Manik (w/Khoya, Masada) via pinfall
– Grado def. Al Snow via pinfall
– Knockouts Championship Match – Taryn Terrell def. Angelina Love (w/The Bro-Mans, DJ Z) via pinfall to retain
– “Old School Rules” Match – Eric Young def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall
– 20-Man Gauntlet to Decide Number One Contender for TNA World Heavyweight Championship – MVP eliminates Kurt Angle
– 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
Melee On 34th Street
– “Feast or Fired” was always too gimmicky to take seriously. Why would anybody even want to participate in a match like that when you can just earn your title shot the old-fashioned way? Perhaps this is just TNA’s lazy way of writing someone off television. Either way, it needs a re-do of some sort. As it is right now, it’s pretty lame.
– This oh-so-special Feast Or Fired contest featured Gunner, The Wolves, Bram, Magnus, The Bro-Mans, Sam Shaw, Rockstar Spud, Austin Aries, DJ Z and Crazy Steve. There were some decent spots like you’d expect – like when The Wolves monkey-tossed DJ Z over the top rope and over Velvet Sky on the apron onto the competitors on the floor. This would all have an effect later on in the show, but with Magnus and Robbie E recently returning to television, it would have been poor to fire either of them.
– We knew we would get some kind of confrontation between Lashley and The Beat Down Clan at some point. God, that name still sucks.
– The backstage exchange shared between Magnus and Bram over Magnus getting a briefcase foreshadowed a potential feud between the two. With Magnus winning the Tag Title shots, it should be interesting to see if he shares it with Bram or goes against him. A tiny hook can do wonders and this was one of the few times it happened on this show.
– The Lashley-Kenny King (w/BDC) match was just another set up for the BDC to continue their dominance over Lashley. The “forced” BDC hype video at the beginning seemed nWo-esque, but the BDC is just the newest TNA heel stable and as we’ve seen every year, they’re a dime a dozen. Lashley was also way too monotone in his promo delivery for someone who should be livid about having their Belt stolen. Where’s the rage? Roode showed it last week perfect. An eventual feud between King and Lashley would be good down the road though. Lashley being a face now opens these possibilities. Why did this need to be an official match though? Couldn’t Lashley have just attacked MVP and gotten the belt back? The DQ finish was lame. Mission failed for Lashley – a recurrent theme this show.
– The Awesome Kong hype video was necessary to introduce her to new viewers, though most TNA fans are familiar with her work.
– The Havok-Gail Kim Knockouts match was decent while the action lasted. Havok’s relentless anger was the story here, as she attacked the Referee for a DQ and assaulted Kim, who looked strong before that, putting up a big fight. Of course, this just set up Kong to make the save and confront Havok once again. Kong got the better of Havok, clearing her from the ring, something normal people don’t do. Where will Kim factor into things? The Knockouts are one of the few bright spots in the company right now, so no complaints here.
– Khoya looked okay in the two minutes of action we saw him rip apart Tigre Uno, who decided to show up for whatever reason. The basic story was that Storm was brainwashing everyone and “rebranded” Khoya from who he was before. Storm is the new Bray Wyatt, blah blah blah. Storm also seemed to want Matt Hardy to join his “Revolution” of mid-card disappointments. Pointing to the group’s increasing size doesn’t help things when you look at who is in it that is noteworthy besides Storm and Abyss.
– It didn’t seem necessary to play up tension between Roode and Kurt Angle, being that they both had common enemies and never had conflicts before. Angle makes a good “motivator,” but it just seemed irrelevant.
– The brief segment where Josh Matthews wrapped up storylines and updates on the show was good in retrospect, but those viewers who tuned in at the beginning – yes, us – know all of this stuff already. Why do you need to show highlights of a show in progress unless it’s a major event?
– Rockstar Spud’s post-match promo brought up the quite real possibility of him being fired. That would have killed his momentum flat, huh?
– The Angle/Roode-Eric Young/Low Ki tag team match was more flaky overbooking. Basically, the BDC helped Young take advantage of Roode and helped secure the win for Low Ki and Young. They have to be careful not to overexpose these guys now.
– The hype video for the Spud-Ethan Carter III feud was at least sleek and they had a decent backstory to go off of. It’s one of TNA’s few ongoing feuds lasting from this summer.
– The biggest event to come out of the Ethan Carter III (w/Tyrus)-Jeremy Borash (w/Spud) “match” was the appearance of Mark “Mandrews” as he attacked Tyrus and performed a Shooting Star Press on him on the floor below. It looked like Tyrus didn’t catch him well enough. It took a few good minutes for the crowd to warm up to Mandrews, but it’s obvious this will lead to some kind of match between Carter/Tyrus and Spud/Mandrews with baldy Borash as the cheerleader somewhat. To his credit – The hoodie-wearing Borash also looked somewhat strong, as he stood right up to Carter and even put on an array of fists and fury on him in the corner briefly. Carter was also entertaining on the mic as a bully figure, but this was nothing new.
– The James Storm-Matt Hardy match wasn’t anything special, besides for Hardy getting a surprise inside cradle for the win. This just set up Monster’s Ball next week, with Jeff making the save.
– The Jeff Hardy-Abyss Monster’s Ball match and Lashley defending the Title was hyped for next week’s show.
– Robbie E admittedly took the spotlight and ran with it during the briefcase unveilings, going over-the-top and praising his brains and ditching Velvet to the curb. The way it all played out though made it insanely obvious that Aries would get the World Title shot. As if they would really give it to Robbie E or Velvet Sky. Yeah, that would sell surely.
– The “Street Brawl” between MVP and Lashley was basically them fighting all over the entrance of the Manhattan Center, until the BDC did their BDC thing. Roode and Angle seemed to be a cooperative unit by the end and Roode had his eyes on the prize again, his once-coveted Title. See: the most awkward staredown ever with Lashley that concluded the show.
– Feast Or Fired Briefcase Winners – Austin Aries (World Heavyweight Title Shot), Rockstar Spud (X-Division Title Shot), Magnus (Tag Team Title Shot) and Velvet Sky (Fired)
– Bobby Lashley def. Kenny King via DQ
– Gail Kim def. Havok via DQ
– Khoya (w/The Revolution) def. Tigre Uno via pinfall
– Eric Young/Low Ki def. Bobby Roode/Kurt Angle via pinfall
BDC (Beat Dumb Clan)
– The opening video that highlighted the chaos, The Revolution, Austin Aries winning the X Division Title, Awesome Kong’s return and the big turns at the end was solid in wrapping up the debut episode in about two minutes.
– The segment where Josh Matthews led things and talked about “intimacy” through cameras or something like that was made to sound like the company was “breaking new ground.” Sure. The new theme song is catchy though.
– The Bobby Roode promo about Eric Young should have had him be irate about being screwed, and he was. He should have been out for blood wanting Eric Young. Perfect.
– The Entourage of MVP, Samoa Joe, Kenny King and Low-Ki makes a good ring presence. MVP is perfect at the bragging heel promo, but it still seems like a random group for what you call a “family.” Are they really on top of the world in TNA? The Beat Down Clan is such a sucky name. The Entourage makes a better name instead. It was also odd to see them not accept Young in the group, being he turned along with Low-Ki and Joe. Young explanation seemed kind of weak, all over not getting a title shot or hospital visits. He sounded like an angry Grandpa. Despite the heel reaction from the crowd, he’s not a convincing heel on the mic. Lashley not coming out upon his music hitting and Angle coming out instead is something TNA does too often. Nevertheless, it told us Lashley wasn’t still fully on board with the BDC. The Angle-BDC confrontation was okay, as Joe marched up to him, got in his face and Angle punched him. Also, why no explanations from Joe or Low-Ki?
– The Joe-Angle match wasn’t like their warrior battles of 2006/2007, but they worked together well as it had its share of technical and physical combat. The Ref bump and Joe playing dirty wasn’t original, but at least it got the BDC already on the win board. And sure enough, the group lived up to their name. Young also joined in, though not with the group. Why not just say he’s in there? Roode making the save was expected and made him look strong.
– Roode’s sit-in-ring promo was angry, passionate and believable, just what Young couldn’t pull off. You could believe he wanted Young’s head on a plate.
– Mike Tenay’s interview with Magnus as a newfound “family man” was heart lifting. Well, not really.
– The backstage segment between Jeremy Borash and Rockstar Spud was pretty good. They have surprisingly good chemistry.
– The Revolution stands like a Ministry of Darkness of sorts. Their roster grows slowly, with a new member, Khoya. Having them out for the Hardys-Wolves match was good to get them on TV. As for that match, it was good in terms of matching the intensity from their past bouts with inventive spots like Jeff Hardy running across the ropes and jumping onto The Wolves on the floor, but the 67 camera cuts to The Revolution was somewhat distracting from the match. Good finish though, as the Hardys won.
– The backstage promo of Bram on “Feast or Fired” was somewhat believable, but what good does staying out of his way do when he has a 1/4 chance of getting fired?
– The backstage segment with Lashley, King and Young was the BDC talking about how great things were and making fun of Young saying he was crazy.
– EC III and Tyrus breaking into the production room and wanting to control the cameras to talk to Borash and challenge him to a match was something different, but the nWo kind of did it before.
– The NO DQ match between Roode and Young was an all-out brawl and the cut away to Lashley’s “silence” was interesting too. This episode seemed to revolve around settling differences and the first hour went by fast. Hasn’t been a case of TNA trying to do too much in two hours. The match was shorter than maybe it should have been, but the finish was believable as Young piledrived Roode onto a steel chair. The postmatch promo with MVP and King had MVP bragging about Lashley and MVP feeding into Young’s anger some more.
– The Austin Aries’ X-Division Championship rematch promo put it over well in terms of the match itself and what it meant for him.
– The promo with Brooke was drama about her relationship with Robbie E. Meh.
– The Beautiful People (w/The Bro-Mans, DJ Z)-Brooke/Taryn Terrell match wasn’t anything memorable besides the ridiculous Bro-Mans entrance. Velvet Sky pinned Brooke pulling on tights. Postmatch, the Awesome Kong beat down on the Beautiful People and DJ Z was more of her dominance, which was good. When Havok came down to the ring and confronted Kong, security tried to separate them. They will go at it in due time. The feud has been good so far.
– EC III’s charisma shined in the backstage segment where he bullied Borash into accepting his challenge for next week’s show.
– The backstage segment with Manik leading producers to James Storm talking to the Revolution introducing his newest disciple, Khoya from India was decent. Gosh, he’s like Bray Wyatt with logic. He said he would show off his power and destruction would be unleashed next week.
– The hype video for Feast or Fired was what you’d expect it to look like. Feast or Fired is just one of those gimmicky matches that just can’t be taken too seriously. The main question here is who will get fired?
– The X-Division Championship match between Low-Ki (w/BDC) and Aries was decent in terms of in-ring action but it was more shenanigans with the BDC on the outside as they cost Aries the title and brought it back to Low-Ki. Why even the title change last week? Granted, the BDC has gold now and is undefeated, but still. The postmatch promo from MVP bringing out Lashley and having the BDC turn on Lashley once he made it known he didn’t want to be with them was good for getting the BDC over and made Lashley a somewhat buyable face. Lashley feuding with any BDC member would be good at the moment. Nevertheless, it might had been good if TNA avoided relying once again on a dominant heel stable a la The Main Event Mafia and Aces and Eights. Not to mention, their “rival” doing it just makes them look like copycats, but thus, this is what we have and it could be worse.
– Samoa Joe (w/BDC) def. Kurt Angle via pinfall
– Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Match – The Hardys def. The Wolves via pinfall
– No DQ – Eric Young def. Bobby Roode via pinfall
– The Beautiful People (w/Bro-Mans, DJ Z) def. Karyn Terrell/Brooke via pinfall
– X-Division Championship – Low-Ki def. Austin Aries (Champion) to regain Title