Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 2/6/15: Lockdown 2015
“Notes In Observation” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The opening video hyped up TNA’s most dramatic steel cage-themed event of the year – and only steel cage-themed event of the year thankfully. Having a show with every match in a steel cage is a cool gimmick idea, but it really stretches out the concept and specialty a steel cage match could provide. The WWE Elimination Chamber PPV felt special because it had one or two matches in the Chamber. Could you imagine the burnout on the crowd if every match was a Chamber match? Repetition can create boredom. This is where TNA tends to lose it at times.
– The Tag Team Championships match between The Hardys and Abyss/James Storm was okay, but the interference by the 67 Revolution members was a bit much and predictable. The way The Revolution went over was at least decent. That bump Jeff Hardy took was absolutely brutal. With the dangerous power of the internet, we learned several weeks ago this was purely storyline as a way to write him off TV as TNA heads to the United Kingdom, but things like that still make you cringe looking back at it. The Revolution soaked up the heat, but the crowd was obviously concerned at the time for Hardy.
– The backstage Beat Down Clan meeting had MVP want to offer Angle “something he couldn’t refuse.” Do they have to use that expression so often? Also, how did word of what just happened to Jeff Hardy seconds prior travel backstage so quickly?
– Is Eric Young now a part of the BDC? It seemed to be the case when the announcers no longer mentioned that he wasn’t, but then again, he wasn’t involved in Lethal Lockdown. Who knows? The promo given by MVP with Kenny King and Young were okay in that they put the BDC over and the cage’s dangers. MVP’s “proposal” had him bring up logical points, but this just set up Angle not giving in. How melodramatic. On another note, it’s kind of creepy that MVP would talk to Angle’s doctor behind Angle’s back. This just erupted into a brawl which was kind of pointless since it’d all happen again later on. The angle here though was that the BDC possibly took out Gunner from the match, making Angle down another man, all the more making him seek out Bobby Lashley.
– The hype video for the Awesome Kong-Havok match was well done. Set up the match perfectly as it was two beasts colliding to see who’d dominate the Knockouts division.
– The backstage segment had Gunner in pain, but wanting to still compete and volunteer to start off Lethal Lockdown, which made him look a little tough. Angle wanting to pitch to Lashley again was also something to hold on to for the viewer.
– The Kong-Havok match was a “Clash of the Titans” affair from start to finish as the action went all over the place from outside to inside. Kong going over was the right move. Definitely some hard hits in there, though the action came off a little clunky in spots, but there was never a dull moment.
– The hype video for Young-Bobby Roode was okay, as it tried to heighten the ho-hum backstory behind it. Not all that dramatic.
– The backstage segment with Velvet Sky and Angelina Love from two weeks back was interesting in some way mainly in how Love smirked behind Sky’s back. Bitch alert?
– Bobby Lashley’s monotone reaction to finding out Angle was looking for him was expected and didn’t add much.
– The Young-Roode match was pretty good, not too long. The blood was there, but only from Young and it appeared one-sided in Roode’s favor once the chair came into play as he put Young away. This all kind of put a stop to Young’s growing momentum. A win by Young could’ve kept this going a bit longer.
– The Angle-Lashley backstage segment was just more of Lashley turning Angle down and Angle trying to “wake” him up. We could predict from here that Lashley would definitely be involved with the main event finish. Someone should also tell TNA not to show future highlights of the show we’re currently watching to hype the next week’s show. There were clear shots of Lashley taking part in Lethal Lockdown. So frustratingly dumb on TNA’s part.
– The 2-on-1 Handicap match between Mandrews/Rockstar Spud and Tyrus (w/EC3) was good while it lasted and continued the Spud/EC3 feud. The story told was a good one as it was a beast taking on two young high-flyers. EC3 getting involved actually added to the match. Spud’s flying lariat off the cage was also a great moment the crowd loved. It was also good to see Jeremy Borash as the one to cut the cord on the clippers, continuing the program. How this will all culminate remains to be seen, but it’s entertaining at least and Mandrews is getting a push out of it. Not sure if the “Spandrews” name coined by Josh Matthews will catch on.
– Roode’s postmatch promo indicated that he was done with Young and had his sights set on the World Heavyweight Championship. Makes sense, but eh. The crowd won’t respond to a Roode-Lashley program as much with both guys as faces.
– It was smart to have them show highlights of the “critically attacked” Robbie E-Brooke “cage obstacle course” segment that just looked terrible. Who thought of that? The cover-up of it being filmed “earlier tonight” was also sort of bad as most people knew it took place before the main event.
– The Lethal Lockdown match between The BDC-Team Angle was a decent main event. The impact of Lashley joining Team Angle would’ve been somewhat entertaining if it already wasn’t given away earlier in the show. The finish was okay, but could’ve been better. Lashley got the pinfall over MVP, but it’s going to take a lot more work to make fans truly care about yet another “battle lines drawn” angle between two stables.
(All Matches Contested In Steel Cage)
– Tag Team Championships – Abyss/James Storm (w/The Revolution) (Champions) def. The Hardys via pinfall to retain
– Awesome Kong def. Havok via pinfall
– Bobby Roode def. Eric Young via pinfall
– 2-On-1 Handicap Match – Tyrus (w/Ethan Carter III) def. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews via pinfall
– Lethal Lockdown – Team Angle def. The Beat Down Clan via pinfall
Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 1/23/15: Melee On 34th Street
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
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
Notes In Observance – TNA Impact Wrestling 1/7/15: Destination Impact
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. You can find quick results at the bottom of the post.
– The opening video was good in introducing most of the talent in a hotel setting, as James Storm deemed it “the year of the Revolution” and Bobby Roode gave a tour bus pep talk. Once Roode and Lashley stood toe-to-toe outside the Manhattan Hotel, a brawl ensued. Chaotic as usual, though the crowd ate it up, as the action was all over and it set up the Kurt Angle-MVP match well. Robbie E was also shown on camera before his “return” segment, for those who didn’t catch it.
– The Angle-MVP confrontation came across well on TV, but the loud crowd’s obscene chants had to be edited out and some of what MVP said got chopped up in the process. It was the perfect way to bring Angle back to the roster, though it wasn’t announced who would be new Director of Operations. The street fight more or less kept the energy from the opening brawl and put Angle over. They edited the “M-V-Pussy” chant, but not the “M-V-Penis” one. Sounds about right.
– The MVP-King backstage segment focused on MVP’s anger as he looked for Lashley.
– It’s still crazy that Josh Matthews is now announcing with the company. Him and Taz aren’t strangers to commentary either, going back to their WWE days. Taking over Mike Tenay’s place might be hard, but it helps bring a “new” feeling to the show.
– Ethan Carter III just oozed charisma as we saw in his backstage promo and he can definitely help get Tyrus, or the former Brodus Clay, over.
– Tenay’s interview with James Storm portrayed him as a brainwashing bearded-man – well, TNA’s version of it. Storm said the Revolution was “out for blood,” but not for Titles? How can the Titles be important if even The Revolution doesn’t want them?
– The Revolution-Wolves Tag Team Championship match had its moments, particularly the four consecutive suicide dives by the Wolves. The Hardys were also ringside, to make us remember they exist. They weren’t a distraction here though, though the crowd loved them when they first came out, though they played into the finish. The camerawork was somewhat sloppy as it missed a few kicks at one point. The Revolution retained.
– The hype videos from the previous Lashley-Roode matches throughout the night provided good hype.
– The backstage segment with MVP, King and Lashley maybe planted some seeds of a possible face turn for Lashley down the road as MVP lashed out at him.
– The segment with Jeremy Borash, EC III, Tyrus and Rockstar Spud made EC III look like a star and Borash looked tough for putting up a fight, though the camera missed his slap to Carter. Spud also looked sympathetic here, which was good. It will take some time for Tyrus to ditch the image WWE set him with, as the crowd chanted, “Somebody call my momma,” but TNA is smart to use him as a henchman. Borash was a trooper for taking the beating and having his head shaved.
– The backstage segment with King-MVP continued to play up that MVP might work against Lashley in the future, all the more setting up the big “shocking” heel turns.
– The Austin Aries-Low Ki X-Division Championship match was purely physical, with lots of inventive spots and chops and high-flying maneuvers. Kudos to the X-Division hype video as well. The crowd was evenly divided and Aries came out victorious with a brutal-looking kick that may had knocked out one of Low-Ki’s teeth. Low Ki’s eventual heel turn would overshadow this match by the end, but in the moment, it was great.
– The Knockouts Championship Battle Royal had a lot of action, surely Gail Kim and Havok had a good showing, though Taryn Terrell retained, but it seemed she slipped in at the end out of the background, not exactly “fighting champion” ways. The return of Robbie E was also somewhat newsworthy as we saw before the match. Obviously, the match was overshadowed with the return of Awesome Kong. The feud with Havok should be interesting, but any true TNA fan is looking for another Kim-Kong match. The Knockouts could become must-watch again.
– The Bobby Roode-Bobby Lashley match was built up well throughout the night and went the way of their previous two bouts, initially. The shot of King, MVP and Co. midway through the match took attention away from it and as we saw with the reveal, the focus was never really on the match. The turns themselves of Low Ki, Samoa Joe and Eric Young were executed well in terms of shock value, but it remains to be seen just how it will work long-term. Given that, TNA has found a way to make people want to tune in next week, whether it was the three big heel turns, the return of Kong, or just what EC III will do next.
– Street Fight – Kurt Angle def. MVP via pinfall
– Tag Team Championships – The Revolution def. The Wolves via pinball to retain
– X-Division Championship – Austin Aries def. Low-Ki via pinfall to regain
– Knockouts Championship Battle Royal – Taryn Terrell def. Velvet Sky, Angelina Love, Havok, Madison Rayne, and Rebel
– TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Lashley def. Bobby Roode to regain