Give It Away
– The opening video highlighted Gunner and Drew Galloway outsmarting the Beat Down Clan to help Bobby Lashley regain the World Heavyweight Championship against MVP, which carried on his momentum as we’d see on the show with a lot of early focus on Galloway “at home.”
– The first segment with the BDC angry with Galloway was decent. Kenny King was pretty good on the mic, but he sounded too much like he was rapping. His old character had a confidence swagger on the mic that was kind of gone here. MVP sold his anger perfectly, even in the way he walked slower than the rest of his mates to the ring. Low-Ki was quite angry all episode long, which worked. Someone should check his blood pressure. Galloway coming out of the crowd was unique, but this likely wouldn’t have worked in America the way it did over there. The “Stand Up” bit was an interesting take on things, but does Galloway have the charisma to pull it all off? He has decent mic skills, but this gimmick perhaps called for someone bigger. Either way, Galloway is running with the spotlight on him and making the most of it. This set up the match with him and King pretty well also.
– The Galloway-King match was decent in the way that it had that impromptu street fight feel with both men in street clothes, but some of the work was sloppy, which maybe added to the “roughness” of the fight, but there were times this looked like a badly choreographed action movie scene. Galloway did need to win here and that happened. You had to expect the BDC to try to ambush Galloway after the win, but he smartly high-tailed it back to the crowd. Low-Ki was like a little hound dog out there. Perfect booking there.
– The in-ring segment with Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle and Eric Young was a short preview of their match later on. Given the three sides of the match, it was good to see the guys not eager to wait. This match was well-hyped all night and could’ve gone all the way entertainment-wise if not for their own network advertisements (see below).
– The hype video for the Taryn Terrell-Awesome Kong match pretty much summed up things so far, but we couldn’t really believe Terrell had a chance and it’s good the broadcast team said the same.
– It was only about time before James Storm tried to recruit Bram in The Revolution, which is good because it gives Bram a direction for his character all while he feuds with Magnus.
– Gee thanks, Destination America for giving away the result of the three-way match as now we pretty much know Angle wins. Would it kill you guys to wait until after the episode is over to play commercials that give away results of ongoing episodes? What point would there be to watch the three-way match now?
– The Angle hype video was decent, but the spoilers undid all of the questions asked in the video.
– The Bram-Matt Hardy match had good action while it lasted. Bram has been looking strong and Hardy was someone who could also make him look good. Bram’s brutal side was also emphasized here. Magnus finally coming back for revenge was good. His comeback promo was also pretty good as it sucked up to the home crowd and passionately described his anger towards getting full revenge. Next week’s match should be good.
– The Rockstar Spud-Mr. Anderson segment on Spud determined to “end it tonight” had to be good news. This feud has dragged out a bit too long, always a problem with TNA.
– Galloway’s backstage promo was pretty good in following up the match with King. He didn’t add anything new, but it’ll be interesting to see if Galloway takes on the BDC member-by-member to get to MVP, being that he is the brainchild of the BDC, which apparently highly offends Galloway as a wresting fan.
– The Spud-Ethan Carter III segment was preceded by the hair-obsessed hype video that just explains why this feud needs to end. Spud had one of his best nights ever on the mic and stood his ground against Carter in a more than memorable way. The “hair vs hair” match stipulation was predictable, but hopefully this will end everything.
– The Knockouts Championship match between Terrell and Kong was going good and seemed to lead to a Kong victory and Terrell’s fight was good here, but the DQ was lame. The postmatch attack by Kong on Terrell almost called for Gail Kim to come out, which happened and the brawl between the two was well-done and only a matter of time.
– The Tag Team Championships match between James Storm/Abyss and The Wolves was good down the stretch. The Wolves looked really good here with about six suicide dives in the whole match, even clipping Matt Hardy at one point. The Wolves getting the belts back was a good call in probably their best outing in TNA this year. Hardy being happy for The Wolves as Champions was about right and it’ll be good to see the program of Wolves-Hardys once again. You have to imagine The Revolution wants their rematch sooner than later, which also adds to things.
– The triple-threat main event of Roode, Young and Angle was entertaining as everyone gave it their all and the chair coming into play was cool. Again, the big problem was that we already knew Angle would win because of the stupid ads halfway through the show. The standoff between Lashley and Angle was a cool moment though Roode looked awkwardly in the background.
– Drew Galloway def. Kenny King via pinfall
– Bram def. Matt Hardy via pinfall
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell def. Awesome Kong via DQ to retain
– Tag Team Championships – The Wolves def. James Storm/Abyss (w/The Great Sanada, Khoya, Manik) to become new Champions
– Triple-Threat World Heavyweight Championship Number One Contender’s Match – Kurt Angle def. Bobby Roode, Eric Young
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
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