“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Turning Point 2015
– The opening video looked back at last week’s TNA/Global Force Wrestling “supershow,” with TNA getting two out of three victories, with GFW’s PJ Black winning the King Of The Mountain Championship, earning the right to face TNA World Heavyweight Champion Ethan Carter III later on. Also hyped for this “Turning Point”-themed episode was Mr. Anderson vs. Bram in an “Open Mic” match and Gail Kim vs. Marti Bell/Jade in Six Sides Of Steel.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Always Room For One More
– Dixie Carter started the show by announcing the latest 2015 TNA Hall Of Fame Inductee was Jeff Jarrett, of course pushing his actual acceptance of it to next week. Odd way to start things out, since it paid homage to a guy who is running a different company, though he’ll probably be a prominent part of storylines in due time. We called it first.
The One With The Live Tweets
– The opening video put over the Beat Down Clan and introduced Drew Galloway and The Rising, hyping a confrontation; the latest installment of lame TNA overbooked fashion warfare.
– Providing live tweets all night long was a cool little incentive to get viewers invested in the product, but none of the tweets really “stole” the show and were just like: “@GenericWrestlingFanName: OMG TNA WOW! #BoringHashtag” over and over. It was all kind of slightly distracting actually. Either way, the first segment with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, Bobby Lashley and Eric Young did a good job of setting up the main event, while addressing last week’s controversial ending, which Lashley was quick to point out, while using Angle’s character to convince him for another rematch. This seemed like another repeat until Young thankfully came in and made this a truly fresh matchup.
– The video package that hyped Awesome Kong was good, with voiceovers by Gail Kim “selling” her brutality, hyping their upcoming match well, a dream come true since January 7 when Kong made her return. This is always the best Knockouts match you could book, as we got a healthy sample of what intensity these two ladies bring in the ring, evidenced by their past work, but Kong going over was good here, especially putting Kim down after she tried several times to win. They made the message clear that Kong was going straight for the Knockouts Title.
– The interaction between Mickie James and James Storm was interesting, as Storm almost went back to his old, natural self and returned back to the cult leader once he saw Manik, shoving a muffin in his mouth, bossing him around.
– The Revolution in-ring segment had Storm basically berate Manik, Khoya and Abyss, telling them they’d fight each other to see who would team with him, which had some decent action. Manik emerged as the fan favorite, but with Storm “coaching” Khoya to be ruthless, he took on the other competitors and won the match. Okay turnout, but nothing special.
– The segment with Drew Galloway and The Rising was mainly nonsensical crowd-pandering as Galloway cuts the same damn promo every time. At the least, we got to meet Mika – Haku’s son, who cut a decent promo on BDC and Eli Drake – who probably has the best promo skills of the group. The BDC coming out had a good response promo from MVP and the physicality was only a matter of time, leading to a six-man tag, which was standard as The Rising won by DQ. The obvious newsworthy event to come of this was Homicide as the BDC’s newest member. This was good as he fits the group’s image.
– Angle’s promo put over his competitors just as Young viciously attacked him and stole his belt. Angle vowing to compete was good. This was all good basically. More EY viciousness = win.
– The DJZ-Davey Richards match set the scene for a Davey Richards singles push for the X-Division Championship, while DJZ – looking past the horrid gimmick, has had success in the past as the Champion. This was your basic, high-spots match where Richards came out victorious.
– The BDC backstage segment had them acknowledge the “snooping” camera with Homicide getting “the call” to join in. Good promo. Oh, look they even have a cute little catchphrase.
– The Jade/Maribell Doll House production hype video was interesting. Are they sisters or lesbians? Ether way, they don’t like dolls apparently or have some kind of heel fetish. That’s something to build off of.
– The Hardys segment with the sad “Hardy’s Revenge” chant brought back bad memories, but rebounded for their clear goal of wanting to be Tag Champions. The interruption by Ethan Carter III/Tyrus was good, but why wouldn’t EC3 pick Tyrus as his partner? Bram fits EC3 we guess, but it’s all still glaring. Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud entering the mix was expected, but damn, Spud looks like a little boy now. Austin Aries coming out followed by Bobby Roode saw the reunion of The Dirty Heels.
– The TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Angle, Lashley and Young was entertaining. Lashley looked very tough and Young brought the crazed aggression. Angle took both guys out and finished it off with a win. Young got some good heat by attacking Lashley with the chair afterwards and locking in the Figure Four.
– Awesome Kong def. Gail Kim via pinfall
– Winner Becomes James Storm’s Tag Partner – Khoya def. Manik and Abyss via pinfall
– Six-Man Tag – The Rising def. The Beat Down Clan via DQ
– Davey Richards def. DJZ via pinfall
– TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Kurt Angle (Champion) def. Bobby Lashley and Eric Young via pinfall to retain
– This sounded like a loaded show from the get-go with Eric Young-Bobby Roode in a Submission match, Magnus-Bram in Falls Count Anywhere, Gail Kim-Angelina Love and Kurt Angle-Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The show – for this reason – was solidly paced and moved quickly. Some Impact shows have the tendency to feel like they will never end. Not the case here.
– The Young-Roode match was preceded by a good Young promo where he was determined to write “the final chapter” of Roode’s sad story. This book must have about 37,000 chapters. Roode’s comeback statement was all well and good, as we know to be, but this feud felt like it had ended already, but we’re not going to complain seeing these guys go at it again. Also, come on Josh Matthews, we wouldn’t quite call it Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao-esque now. Also, why announce it as a submission match in the opening video before the segment takes place that makes it sound impromptu? Yet another week of TNA spoiling its own surprises again. The match itself was pretty good – though a notch below some of their past efforts. The faulty finish with the referee was questionable logic, but at least Young came out with the win and looks good from here on out. He needed it more than Roode.
– The Wolves segment was all about an update on Eddie Edwards’ fractured heel injury at a “One Night Stand” taping and this was a good way to get them on TV and announce that Edwards would be out indefinitely. Davey Richards set a good tone defending his partner and wanting to be fighting champions, the reason for relinquishing the belts. A tough time for The Wolves, who were assumedly set on topping the Tag division for a while. The “farewell” message was also solid and set the table for a return angle whenever they choose to pick it up.
– The Lashley backstage promo had him talk about being motivated to get what he once had and it was actually a good, short promo. This didn’t come off rehearsed a bit.
– The Kim-Love match started with a good promo from Love, where she complained about being overlooked. Taz taking responsibility for crediting Kim all the time as Love pointed out was strange at best. Are they trying to make Taz in love with Kim or something? The arguments between Matthews and Taz were stupid. Worst yet, the split screen took away from the action in the ring. The match was good though after that point. Kim winning probably sets her in line for a future Knockouts Title shot.
– Nothing like some Network cross-promotion, with The Revolution and James Storm speaking how there’s always room for more to the ghost show dudes. We don’t know nor care about them and the acting was Pacman Jones bad.
– The Magnus-Bram falls count anywhere match had some good action and went all over the ringside area, as both guys took it to each other. Mickie James’ involvement in the match was expected, but set up the incredibly random appearance of James Storm, who stopped Bram from attacking her with a chair (face turn?) and disappeared. The finish was okay and Magnus got his feel-good moment of victory. Will Storm and Bram feud next? Maybe they turned Storm to give some time to a Beat Down Clan-Revolution feud? Note: the BDC were not on the show or even mentioned. No mention of The Rising either. Good, necessary break from some of the nonsense was a pleasant change of pace.
– Kurt Angle’s backstage promo put Lashley over as a good competitor and the sharpness in their first match, thus setting up this next match well.
– The backstage interaction between Magnus and James Storm had Storm say he was “looking out for an old friend” as Magnus looked confused at that statement. Will he try to seek her out for The Revolution? James has been in a non-wrestling role, so it wouldn’t make much sense. Perhaps it’s a slow face turn for Storm. Either way, it’s a little intriguing.
– The TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between Angle and Lashley was much like their first match – formulaic yet entertaining. We could actually say it was better than the first match by just a little bit. The closing minutes of the match were really good – having Angle tease tapping out and Lashley coming close to winning, both guys almost trying to finish each other off in desperation. Lashley’s look of shock sold the controversial finish and the replays seemed to back Lashley’s claims. Where will this lead? Probably a third match, but the only bad thing about it is that Lashley needs a pick-me-up victory and facing Angle won’t let that happen, because Angle is the new Champion and needs to look strong. That aside, their rivalry has been fun to watch and made for some great TV matches.
– Submission Match – Eric Young def. Bobby Roode
– Gail Kim def. Angelina Love via pinfall
– Falls Count Anywhere – Magnus def. Bram via pinfall
– TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Kurt Angle (Champion) def. Bobby Lashley via pinfall to retain
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
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
– The opening video highlighted the Beat Down Clan’s dominance over Bobby Lashley and the cold (literally) standoff between Roode and Lashley outside the Manhattan Center, as Roode held Lashley’s Belt. This was only a prelude of what was to come.
– The opening segment with Roode, Lashley, MVP and Austin Aries got the show off to a decent start. Roode coming out with the Championship had to confuse people. Lashley – who was established as a beast all summer long – looks incredibly weak that he can’t even hold on to his own Belt. The interaction between the two was good as Roode put over the Belt’s importance to him and Lashley was eager to fight. Aries thrust himself back to the Title picture with the briefcase and his involvement (and cash-in tease) made sense and of course, MVP had to be in there too to represent the BDC peeps. The idea of Lashley defending against all three guys later made him appear somewhat tough, but the announcers lacked any follow-up as to whether the match was made official and we had to just assume it was.
– Kurt Angle’s promo put himself over and announced Team Angle-BDC at Lockdown and he’d have his team assembled by the end of the night – or so we thought. This foreshadowed things later pretty well.
– The Knockouts Championship match between Taryn Terrell (Champion), Gail Kim and Madison Rayne had some good action with some inventive spots like the three-way submission hold and even putting the steel steps into play. Terrell came out with the pin over Rayne with Kim coming close to stopping it. Terrell won with a Diamond Cutter pretty much. Actually one of the show’s brighter spots.
– Magnus – the family man, was hoping to settle differences with Bram at a bar, because approaching a drunken man in a serious manner will always pan out well. We had to know this would end with violence.
– Rockstar Spud showing off 34th Street landmarks to Mandrews misguidedly was kind of funny but nothing memorable. This just made them both look like confused tourists. Maybe that’s what they were going for.
– The in-ring segment with Tommy Dreamer, Eric Young and Roode was good in furthering Young as a tough heel. Dreamer was the perfect candidate with the credibility to talk sense into Young and sympathetic enough for the fans to emotionally invest when Young attacked him and hit a piledriver. Roode coming to make the save when Young started assaulting ringside personnel and checking on Dreamer was also good, as the feud continued. Will Dreamer play into things later on? He can still go at it. Young was also much better on the mic here.
– The Hardys promo that hyped their Lockdown bout with Abyss/James Storm of The Revolution and the later Monster’s Ball match was decent, upbeat stuff. Jeff introducing weapons as his friends was cheesy though.
– The backstage segment with Angle and Gunner was okay, as Gunner was supposed to transform into some kind of warrior with a slap to the face. Gunner still needs something more to his gimmick. He still comes off as Bram with a different name.
– Did anybody not expect Magnus to be attacked by Bram by the end of the bar segment? They couldn’t have set that up more predictably. Magnus magically couldn’t find a way out of the bar? It was almost like we’d be disappointed if Bram didn’t attack. Not bad, but maybe this would’ve had more impact done in the ring in front of fans.
– If you’ve seen past Jeff Hardy-Abyss matches, you know they can put on an entertaining hardcore match like no one else. This was more of the same – as the match started in the crowd and didn’t slow down. Some memorable spots in there like Hardy crashing through a ringside table and the sunset flip onto the thumbtacks was cool. At one point, the match was an all-out brawl with the rest of The Revolution, Matt and The Wolves thrown in. For that reason, it was good the match actually had a decisive finish and wasn’t sidetracked after the brawl.
– Matt and Jeff’s promo about the match was directed towards the performance and hyped the match for next week. Again.
– Aries’ turned his promo about his free World Title shot without a briefcase cash-in to putting Lashley over as a fighting champion and something he could take advantage of. Aries has become Seth Rollins all of a sudden.
– The billed Mandrews/Spud-Ethan Carter III/Tyrus match became a bait-and-switch for the Bro-Mans to take Carter/Tyrus’ place. The match was good as Mandrews/Spud looked good with the finish and the fans were hot for it too. The post match attack on Spud/Mandrews by Tyrus was expected and Carter announcing Spud/Mandrews against Tyrus next week in a steel cage was decent. We know one day Spud will get his hands on Carter. For all the attention Jeremy Borash got in this storyline alliance with Spud, it was odd to not see him involved this week at all.
– Backstage, Spud being outraged, yelling at Mandrews was pretty good stuff.
– Kong vs Havok, Hardys vs Revolution, Spud/Mandrews vs Tyrus, Team Angle vs BDC was hyped for Lockdown before the main event. Kong/Havok was the only match to not receive any kind of hype, which was odd.
– The “Top 5” ranking concept makes no sense at all. The number needs to be bigger than five and the way it is right now lacks any structure and TNA should just do away with it.
– The World Heavyweight Championship match between Lashley, Roode, MVP and Aries was given enough time to tell a decent story with the four competitors. Young expectedly attacked Roode at one point and the spear finish with Lashley on Aries was great. We knew Gunner and Angle would make the save once the BDC tried to beat Lashley again.
– Roode officially challenged Young to a steel cage match next week, which may or may not have blood in it. Cool. Angle’s reveal of his team saw him recruit Aries who asked to join. Lashley turning down Angle’s request was interesting on its own. Lashley as a full-fledged face doesn’t work with his lackluster mic skills, though the fans popped for some of his moves in the ring. It seems TNA wants Lashley to be in the middle as a tweener or “lone wolf,” even though the BDC has owned him. Why wouldn’t he want to join their opposing team, from a storyline standpoint? Maybe this sets up Lashley coming down to eventually join and this was just a hook for next week.
– Knockouts Championship – Taryn Terrell (Champion) def. Gail Kim, Madison Rayne to retain
– Monster’s Ball – Jeff Hardy def. Abyss
– Rockstar Spud/Mandrews def. The Bro-Mans (w/DJ Z, Angelina Love) via pinfall
– World Heavyweight Championship – Fatal 4-Way – Bobby Lashley (Champion) def. Bobby Roode, MVP, Austin Aries to retain
Melee On 34th Street
– “Feast or Fired” was always too gimmicky to take seriously. Why would anybody even want to participate in a match like that when you can just earn your title shot the old-fashioned way? Perhaps this is just TNA’s lazy way of writing someone off television. Either way, it needs a re-do of some sort. As it is right now, it’s pretty lame.
– This oh-so-special Feast Or Fired contest featured Gunner, The Wolves, Bram, Magnus, The Bro-Mans, Sam Shaw, Rockstar Spud, Austin Aries, DJ Z and Crazy Steve. There were some decent spots like you’d expect – like when The Wolves monkey-tossed DJ Z over the top rope and over Velvet Sky on the apron onto the competitors on the floor. This would all have an effect later on in the show, but with Magnus and Robbie E recently returning to television, it would have been poor to fire either of them.
– We knew we would get some kind of confrontation between Lashley and The Beat Down Clan at some point. God, that name still sucks.
– The backstage exchange shared between Magnus and Bram over Magnus getting a briefcase foreshadowed a potential feud between the two. With Magnus winning the Tag Title shots, it should be interesting to see if he shares it with Bram or goes against him. A tiny hook can do wonders and this was one of the few times it happened on this show.
– The Lashley-Kenny King (w/BDC) match was just another set up for the BDC to continue their dominance over Lashley. The “forced” BDC hype video at the beginning seemed nWo-esque, but the BDC is just the newest TNA heel stable and as we’ve seen every year, they’re a dime a dozen. Lashley was also way too monotone in his promo delivery for someone who should be livid about having their Belt stolen. Where’s the rage? Roode showed it last week perfect. An eventual feud between King and Lashley would be good down the road though. Lashley being a face now opens these possibilities. Why did this need to be an official match though? Couldn’t Lashley have just attacked MVP and gotten the belt back? The DQ finish was lame. Mission failed for Lashley – a recurrent theme this show.
– The Awesome Kong hype video was necessary to introduce her to new viewers, though most TNA fans are familiar with her work.
– The Havok-Gail Kim Knockouts match was decent while the action lasted. Havok’s relentless anger was the story here, as she attacked the Referee for a DQ and assaulted Kim, who looked strong before that, putting up a big fight. Of course, this just set up Kong to make the save and confront Havok once again. Kong got the better of Havok, clearing her from the ring, something normal people don’t do. Where will Kim factor into things? The Knockouts are one of the few bright spots in the company right now, so no complaints here.
– Khoya looked okay in the two minutes of action we saw him rip apart Tigre Uno, who decided to show up for whatever reason. The basic story was that Storm was brainwashing everyone and “rebranded” Khoya from who he was before. Storm is the new Bray Wyatt, blah blah blah. Storm also seemed to want Matt Hardy to join his “Revolution” of mid-card disappointments. Pointing to the group’s increasing size doesn’t help things when you look at who is in it that is noteworthy besides Storm and Abyss.
– It didn’t seem necessary to play up tension between Roode and Kurt Angle, being that they both had common enemies and never had conflicts before. Angle makes a good “motivator,” but it just seemed irrelevant.
– The brief segment where Josh Matthews wrapped up storylines and updates on the show was good in retrospect, but those viewers who tuned in at the beginning – yes, us – know all of this stuff already. Why do you need to show highlights of a show in progress unless it’s a major event?
– Rockstar Spud’s post-match promo brought up the quite real possibility of him being fired. That would have killed his momentum flat, huh?
– The Angle/Roode-Eric Young/Low Ki tag team match was more flaky overbooking. Basically, the BDC helped Young take advantage of Roode and helped secure the win for Low Ki and Young. They have to be careful not to overexpose these guys now.
– The hype video for the Spud-Ethan Carter III feud was at least sleek and they had a decent backstory to go off of. It’s one of TNA’s few ongoing feuds lasting from this summer.
– The biggest event to come out of the Ethan Carter III (w/Tyrus)-Jeremy Borash (w/Spud) “match” was the appearance of Mark “Mandrews” as he attacked Tyrus and performed a Shooting Star Press on him on the floor below. It looked like Tyrus didn’t catch him well enough. It took a few good minutes for the crowd to warm up to Mandrews, but it’s obvious this will lead to some kind of match between Carter/Tyrus and Spud/Mandrews with baldy Borash as the cheerleader somewhat. To his credit – The hoodie-wearing Borash also looked somewhat strong, as he stood right up to Carter and even put on an array of fists and fury on him in the corner briefly. Carter was also entertaining on the mic as a bully figure, but this was nothing new.
– The James Storm-Matt Hardy match wasn’t anything special, besides for Hardy getting a surprise inside cradle for the win. This just set up Monster’s Ball next week, with Jeff making the save.
– The Jeff Hardy-Abyss Monster’s Ball match and Lashley defending the Title was hyped for next week’s show.
– Robbie E admittedly took the spotlight and ran with it during the briefcase unveilings, going over-the-top and praising his brains and ditching Velvet to the curb. The way it all played out though made it insanely obvious that Aries would get the World Title shot. As if they would really give it to Robbie E or Velvet Sky. Yeah, that would sell surely.
– The “Street Brawl” between MVP and Lashley was basically them fighting all over the entrance of the Manhattan Center, until the BDC did their BDC thing. Roode and Angle seemed to be a cooperative unit by the end and Roode had his eyes on the prize again, his once-coveted Title. See: the most awkward staredown ever with Lashley that concluded the show.
– Feast Or Fired Briefcase Winners – Austin Aries (World Heavyweight Title Shot), Rockstar Spud (X-Division Title Shot), Magnus (Tag Team Title Shot) and Velvet Sky (Fired)
– Bobby Lashley def. Kenny King via DQ
– Gail Kim def. Havok via DQ
– Khoya (w/The Revolution) def. Tigre Uno via pinfall
– Eric Young/Low Ki def. Bobby Roode/Kurt Angle via pinfall