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
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
– The opening video showcased Kurt Angle’s almost-too-melodramatic attempt to win the Battle Royale for the World Heavyweight Championship number one contender match go all for naught. The video made the match and moment look better than it actually was. Angle was definitely the focus here.
– The first segment with Angle, Bobby Lashley and the Beat Down Clan was good in that it continued the established tension between Angle and Lashley, with neither vowing to save each other and BDC had a bone to pick with both guys. Samoa Joe had a memorable night on the mic and it was interesting to hear him lead off the BDC side of the segment, albeit strange that MVP wouldn’t get the mic right away, but it all hyped the main event decently. You have to wonder how Joe will be written off with the now common knowledge of his TNA departure. Nights like this let us see just what intensity he brings (or brought) to the BDC.
– The Ethan Carter III/Tyrus-Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud match was good while it lasted, as Anderson hit a low blow on Tyrus and the mic check. This carried their program, but why did they need to cheat to beat the dirty heels? It maybe fits Anderson’s “rebel” character per se, but Spud doesn’t seem like someone who would side with winning in that fashion.
– It was smart to see the little highlight moments chronicling the history between MVP and Lashley throughout the night. Attention to detail can do wonders for hyping a match.
– EC3 screamed backstage and he promised to shave Spud’s hair. Still on this hair thing. Why?
– The segment with Taryn Terrell, Gail Kim and Awesome Kong was probably set up to give Kong a reason to lay out Terrell, who looked tough in her own way, but maybe deserved what she asked for. Kim looked good as the voice of reason and was a credible witness to Kong’s destruction in the past. Getting to the real picture: everybody wants Kim-Kong. It doesn’t matter how we get there, TNA. Just get there. Josh Matthews also made a great point of Terrell still having yet to get Kong off her feet.
– The MVP backstage segment talking to his BDC counterparts was the usual until they acknowledged the cameras bring there and threw them out. Something you wouldn’t see in WWE, who seemingly don’t realize cameras are backstage. It’s the little things.
– The Austin Aries backstage promo was interesting in providing intrigue for the main event.
– The Robbie E/Angelina Love (w/Jesse, DJZ)-Brooke/Chris Melendez was okay, nothing special, though the highlight was the finish where Robbie E pinned Brooke after flipping her off the top rope. The broadcast team also first explaining the rules with much knowledge and then being confused by them was pathetic. How can the viewer trust a broadcast team that’s unsure of what they’re talking about?
– The segment where Anderson made the save on EC3 trying to scalp Spud before Tyrus took EC3 continued their program more, though it changed little. Did we need this?
– The Gunner-Angle backstage segment had Gunner be the motivator, providing an ounce of irony with it.
– The Aries-Joe interaction was good, as Joe continued to be a good mouthpiece. Aries suicide diving on Joe was also good. The match that followed was also very good as Aries outsmarted King at the end and pinned Joe clean. The BDC did their thing after on Aries which gave them heat into the main event and the briefcase to prevent a cash-in.
– The Lashley backstage promo had him sound confident about MVP and Angle, as per his character.
– The MVP-Eric Young backstage interaction had MVP brainwash Young into wanting to take out Lashley. Intriguing.
– The Noam Dar-Rampage Brown match couldn’t have occurred at a more random time. What about some video hype explanation? Bram came out of nowhere and took out the younglings. Him calling out Magnus was good, but out came Grado and he got beat down as well. Bram looked good at least, but poor British Bootcamp peeps didn’t.
– The announcement of The Wolves vs James Storm/Abyss for the Tag Team Championships was made. That should be a decent match at best.
– The World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley and MVP (w/Samoa Joe, Low-Ki, Kenny King) was entertaining and had a little of everything. Young attacking Lashley and Bobby Roode making the save was all good. Gunner also saved at one point too, followed by Drew Galloway and helped Lashley retain. The only problem here though is that Lashley is a Champion that claims he needs no help beating the BDC, yet when he has three guys coming out to help him, he has no problem with it. WTF-ness?
– Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud def. Ethan Carter III/Tyrus via pinfall
– Robbie E/Angelina Love (w/Jesse Godderz, DJZ) def. Brooke/Chris Melendez via pinfall
– Austin Aries def. Samoa Joe via pinfall
– Noam Dar and Rampage Brown to a No-Contest
– World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Lashley def. MVP (w/Samoa Joe, Low-Ki, Kenny King) via pinfall to retain
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 BDC Gets Revenge
– The opening video was decent as it highlighted the Lethal Lockdown match where Bobby Lashley joined Team Angle after several turndowns.
– This was more or less a solid night for The Beat Down Clan, as MVP looked like a mastermind manipulator here, giving his group a motivational talk before the show, which set the tone for the rest of the show.
– The first in-ring segment with Kurt Angle, Lashley and the BDC was good in establishing the main event for later. The Scotland crowd was hot for Angle and his proposal for a Title match against Lashley gives us something to look forward to. Note that the BDC finally have their own attire and ring gear, so they look like more of a unit.
– The backstage interaction between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode set across their long history and Roode put over the importance of the World Title and looked to just put on a good match. As good as you can do with this.
– Ethan Carter III’s backstage promo put over his desire to scalp Spud, and at the same time expressing his anger towards Jeremy Borash and proposed the handicap match later with him and Tyrus against Spud/Borash/Mandrews. Good stuff.
– The concept of next week’s gauntlet match is finally a smart use of the ranking system that actually made the Roode/Aries match matter a little bit more. This needed some logic and that’s what we finally got.
– The Aries-Roode match was okay and didn’t last too long. Certainly not the “five star classic” Josh Matthews called it, but good. Roode winning by submission was the right move being that he’s on a World Title push and Aries already has a shot for it. The attacks that followed by Eric Young were very good and got Young over as a deranged maniac. This likely “took out” Roode, leaving next week in doubt for him.
– Al Snow played a great heel as he called out Grado. This was obviously to play to the home crowd. Grado’s an interesting character, though he doesn’t have the “look” of a star wrestler, but Snow’s someone that can definitely make him look good. The hook for next week was decent too.
– The Bram-Crazy Steve match obviously was made to put Bram over as he is in a storyline with Magnus. His obsession with wanting Magnus to come out was also good.
– The Spud/JB/Mandrews backstage segment had Spud look like a great motivator, urging JB to wrestle and said he had backup, which was revealed later on obviously.
– The Gunner/Angle backstage segment showed Gunner’s doubt in teaming with Lashley and Angle put his plans over. Kept the story going.
– The EC3/Tyrus-Spud/Mandrews/Borash handicap match was good for what it was. Borash was tough here and even surprisingly got good air from the top rope but the fun ended there as Carter pinned Spud. The return of Mr. Anderson was nicely done here as we can assume he is now thrown into the mix.
– The backstage promo of Gunner had him focused on next week’s gauntlet and that set up the assault by Low-Ki and Kenny King done mugging style.
– The Madison Rayne in-ring promo had her gloating with Awesome Kong’s “stomping” music coming on and off, which nicely set up Kong’s entrance. That aside, this was pretty much a squash. Would’ve been nice to hear from Gail Kim or even a followup with Havok, but what we got was good enough.
– The Aries/Angle backstage segment had Aries put over the World Title and how being Champion puts a target on your back. There’s been good hype in making the World Heavyweight Championship Belt important.
– The in-ring segment with Matt Hardy and James Storm/The Revolution was good in looking in the rear view mirror (Jeff Hardy’s “injury”) and setting eyes towards the future, with The Wolves making the save. Storm was good on the mic bragging about doing what no one else did in taking Jeff out. We can expect something will go down next week with everyone involved.
– The backstage assault on Aries by the BDC was solidly done, but why on earth would Aries want to reveal his briefcase plans either way? Also, did we need a replay of the segment that just happened?
– The Angle/Lashley-MVP/Samoa Joe (w/Kenny King and Low-Ki) match was good for what it was, but nothing special. MVP pinned Lashley with the tights taking advantage of miscommunications between Lashley and Angle. Lashley and Angle argued to end the show, which set up next week pretty well.
– Bobby Roode def. Austin Aries via submission
– Bram def. Crazy Steve via pinfall
– Handicap Match – Ethan Carter III/Tyrus def. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews/Jeremy Borash via pinfall
– Awesome Kong def. Madison Rayne via pinfall
– MVP/Samoa Joe def. Kurt Angle/Bobby Lashley via pinfall
– 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
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
– 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