*Courtesy Of Phillip Stamper*
– Mantequilla vs. Kikutaro
– Smiley vs. Leroy Green
FIRST-TIME EVER INTERNATIONAL STARS SIX-MAN TAG:
Great Muta, Tajiri, and Pentagon, Jr. team to face Low Ki and LAX (Ortiz, Santana)
Fenix heads to House of Glory to take on Amazing Red!
Also, Private Party (Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy) will face Juicy Product (David Starr, JT Dunn)!
A special Great Muta meet and greet will take place during WrestleCon on Friday, April 5 from 10 am to 1 pm.
For tickets and more information, visit HOGwrestling.net! Show support on Facebook at facebook.com/events/2261216287442802.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– Only TNA would push harder for a free television show next week than it’s Pay-Per-View (first in the year) four days from the air date, right? For all the stories of financial shortcomings and backlash, this is actually a chance for good money to be made and when the company finds itself in these situations, you have to wonder why they didn’t push Slammiversary harder. Yeah, sure – you had the nostalgia factor with all these past names coming back with surprise appearances, but it was still not enough to salvage the lackluster build of things thus far. One of TNA’s bright spots has been Ethan Carter III and starting the live show off with him and Tyrus was the right way to go. EC3 did have all the power, walking with a “Miz”-like swagger and he did a good job of teasing TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle’s opponent as someone who had “legacy” in the business.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– The opening video dramatically put over the “innovation” of the X-Division and hyped all the qualifying matches that would lead to a three-way with the winner to crown a new Champion. Also hyped was Rockstar Spud-Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, where the winner would defend against Austin Aries.
– The opening video hyped the 10-man Hardcore War gauntlet match between Team Kurt Angle and Team Eric Young, promising elevated violence, or something like that. This sort of felt randomly strung together, huh?
Live From Orlando, It’s Friday Night
– Much to TNA’s credit, they managed to stir some buzz concerning the show’s opening five minutes and for the most part, delivered on that front. Eight months isn’t exactly a quick vacation and is close to a year, so it made sense to hype the return of Bully Ray as something big. Better yet to have it happen at the demand of Eric Young, who was great with his “everybody owes me everything” schtick. Bully’s short promo was delivered with good timing and established his role as Special Guest Referee for the main event. Of course, this left us to wonder if he was back for the long run or a one-off appearance, but given his high status in the company, if he was going to appear, some sort of deal was likely struck.
– The Hardys/Davey Richards-Abyss/Khoya/Manik Tag Team Hardcore match was a decent opener for the weapons-friendly two-hour Hardcore Justice show, but if you’ve seen one of these matches, then you’ve seen them all. Despite the entertainment, there was nothing innovative here, as the Hardys got their 67,900th revenge on The Revolution. Read the rest of this entry
Night Of Knockouts
– The opening video highlighted the advertised “TKO – Night of Knockouts” themed show, with a 4-way #1 Contender’s Match between Brooke, Angelina Love, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne, Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell defending against Awesome Kong and Eric Young facing Kurt Angle for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Hunting For Hidden Gold
– The opening video put over how the Tag Team Championship tournament came to be with the relinquishing of the belts by The Wolves – with eight teams taking off, going to four in Ultimate X. The concept itself is actually pretty nifty to fill time for a two-hour show and was the perfect opportunity to make the Tag division somewhat relevant again. Read the rest of this entry
Back To The Danger Zone
– The opening video did a good job of reminding us how Jeff Hardy got “taken out” by James Storm and The Revolution. On a side note, the revamped Impact Zone set came off good on TV, but the praises stop there. Read further on.
– For a show called “Hardy’s Revenge,” it was hard to really believe the obstacles The Revolution stacked on Hardy, although Storm did a decent job with his promo work, having Revolution members ambush Hardy from behind. Hardy’s return promo was far from his best – that “Hardy’s Revenge” chant attempt was cringe-worthy. It set up their match later on in the show in an okay way – even though it looked as if it’d happen right then and there.
– The Beat Down Clan backstage segment had them talk about losing Samoa Joe (no storyline explanation offered), Low-Ki losing his belt and MVP and Kenny King eager to make a statement. That was good because they needed to pick up momentum. Also, good to see Rockstar Spud’s successful cash-in moment highlighted, as it was treated like a “blink and you missed it” moment last week.
– The Storm-Khoya segment had Storm demand Khoya to take out Hardy; basically do his dirty work for him. We have faith in Khoya, of course and Lethal Lockdown will obviously be canceled. They’re totally not building to that at all.
– The X-Division Championship match between Low-Ki and Spud had a decent story headed in. Low-Ki continues to show an impressive amount of intensity as a BDC member and it translates well to his ring work too. The match result was influenced by Drew Galloway stopping BDC stablemates to help Low Ki, and that was expected, though not as memorable as you’d think.
– The in-ring segment that followed with a pissed-off BDC, Drew Galloway and “The Rising” was just another way for two more generically named stables to go at it… Just another rehashed storyline of Front Line-Main Event Mafia, Fortune-Immortal, Aces and Eights-TNA and now The Rising-BDC. Still don’t think Galloway is the guy to lead this “Stand Up For Pro Wrestling Movement” and it all kind of feels more ridiculous in the Impact Zone – where all past TNA faction warfare has occurred. Also, the random introduction of Galloway’s Rising stablemates in helping him clear the ring from the BDC was a horrible way to introduce them. It was kind of like, “Oh okay, these guys are helping him, we guess. What’s going on again?” Beyond cheesy.
– The Awesome Kong hype video with her voiceover was actually unique and well-done.
– Oh, The BDC is angry again backstage because they don’t know the people with Galloway. Neither do we. MVP teased making a call and saying “He’s ready.” Thank goodness, a new member perhaps?
– The Brooke-Awesome Kong match was the pick-me-up win that Kong needed and while Brooke tried to pull off some offense, it just wasn’t anything convincing to get behind. Kong delivering two Implant Busters was a nice touch, setting up Taryn Terrell to make the save, the first time showing Terrell in a way that progressed her character. She put up a good fight, but having her go through the table was the right result. She sold it very well and Kong looked like a beast. Can’t help but mention that Gail Kim never came out and that seemed to be what everyone was waiting for. Perhaps they draw on this for next week.
– The Austin Aries backstage promo put over the Championship match and Angle winning the belt – as well as teasing a cash-in.
– Hardy’s promo was over-the-top, as usual. “TNA will never be the same again!” Really? This only set up Khoya’s attempted assault, which didn’t work out too well and telling by the commercial for this week’s show, the match would happen anyway. Gosh – this was bad. Khoya continuing to get back up, Hardy telling him to stay down and hitting him with glass bottles was supposed to look cool but came across more like a horrendous action movie scene. What’s going on? This show is so lackluster.
– The segment with Kurt Angle, Ethan Carter III, Tyrus, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Aries and Bobby Lashley had everybody talking about getting their chance at the World Title, with most of them being past Champions. Now, it did feel like everyone who was out there deserved a shot at the Title. Aries and Young shined in this segment. Who knew Young would end up being one of TNA’s top highlights as a heel in 2015? The segment looked to end without a whimper – no declaration of any match, but just the idea that Angle would fight anyone and everyone – which drew out Lashley. These two guys were seemingly on good terms last week. Why is it this week they are nearly coming to blows? Of course, all those guys in the ring couldn’t just stand, so we obviously needed a brawl with Mr. Anderson added in too. Sigh. TNA hurts our brain sometimes.
– The subsequent Anderson/Aries/Roode-EC3/Young/Tyrus match had some decent action while it lasted and the finish wasn’t overbooked, as Young won with the Figure Four lock. Young has been booked really great lately.
– Really, Young and Roode “finally face off”? They had a match three weeks ago. Not going to complain since they work well together, but their feud literally never ends. Ugh.
– The segment with Bram, Magnus and Mickie James hyped next week’s match well with a tease of physical action, but we’ve technically seen it all before. All of it.
– Angle’s promo concerning the Lashley rematch was straight-forward and what we’d usually expect.
– The “Lethal Lockdown-esque” main event match with Hardy-Storm was what you’d expect, with Hardy getting his revenge. Hardy har har. Your usual crowd-pleasing hardcore match; a two-man Lethal Lockdown. Does the match get any more credibility when the announce team doesn’t even know what to call it? The Frankensteiner spot off the cage was a cool spot – better than the finish, but it was what it was. You got the feeling The Revolution wasn’t done here.
– X-Division Championship – Rockstar Spud def. Low-Ki to retain
– Awesome Kong def. Brooke via pinfall
– Ethan Carter III/Tyrus/Eric Young def. Mr. Anderson/Austin Aries/Bobby Roode via pinfall
– Lethal Lockdown-Esque Match – Jeff Hardy def. James Storm via pinfall
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