Date: November 7, 2013
Location: Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio
Commentators: Taz, Mike Tenay
It’s a big show this week for TNA as this is the start of their world title tournament, perhaps the final Impact outside of Orlando for a good while and it’s the 500th episode. However, what has TNA been focused on with their new Impact 365 dead? The fact that Pacman Jones is back in TNA for a show or two.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with him, he’s the guy that was suspended from the NFL for a year and thought he’d make a quick buck “wrestling” (read as standing on the apron and making a cover here or there) in the mean time. Now he’s famous for being a decent football player that hasn’t gotten arrested in a few years. He’s been the focus for TNA in their internet videos late. Let’s get to it.
We open with Dixie in the back with Pacman when Mr. Anderson comes up. He doesn’t want any trouble but just a match with Bully. Dixie says she can make that happen.
We get a recap of AJ leaving and the announcement of the world title tournament via a voiceover similar to a movie trailer.
Pacman Jones and another Cincinnati Bengal are in the front row.
Here’s the Main Event Mafia, which is actually still a thing. Sting says the Mafia has accomplished its goals of keeping Aces and 8’s at bay and taking the world title away from Bully Ray. Today he can say mission accomplished, even though there has been a lot of trials and tribulation along the way. As of today, the Mafia is being put back up on the shelf. All of them have something they’re doing at the moment, such as Sting coming up short in the gauntlet match and the other three all being in the world title tournament.
Sting is going to be dealing with this thing called entitlement. He’s going to be dealing with those people that are trying to come in on top without ever having to pay any dues. Sting has respect for this business and hugs all three members of the team. He says he loves Joe and Angle but only hugs Magnus before walking away. Joe takes the mic and says he’s been denied a world title for far too long. The road to the title starts with Magnus and it’s going to go through Angle. They’re all friends, but Joe is going to remind them why they make far better enemies.
Magnus says that Angle is on a road to redemption but it’s also Magnus’ road to destiny. He loves Angle like a brother, but after he goes through Joe, he’ll mow Angle down if he has to. His goal is to become world champion but the fans don’t seem to have the same vision that Magnus has.
Angle is left alone in the ring and says Sting is right. They all have their own goals and his is to become world champion once again. He also wants to prove he’s Hall of Fame worthy, but last week he suffered a setback. Last week he was told he wasn’t cleared to compete, but since then he’s talked to his personal doctor….but here’s Roode with an interruption.
Roode says he’s embarrassed for Kurt because he keeps having to make excuses. Angle needs to be a man and admit that he’s lost twice in a row to the It Factor. Roode’s goal is the world title as well, and if he has to face Angle in the finals, he has no problem destroying him for a third time. Angle is cool with that but doesn’t want to wait for the finals so the fight is on now.
Angle is still in the ring after the break and says he’ll wait in the ring until he gets Bobby Roode even if it’s until next week. Roode comes right back out at him but security tries to break it up. The guys are finally split up after a few moments but Angle sprints up the ramp to get another piece. Joe, Magnus and Bad Influence come out to try to split them up and both guys are finally taken to the back.
The opening segment somehow keeps going with Bad Influence getting in the Bengals’ faces, only to have them come into the ring and slam Kaz and Daniels down.
Garrett and Knux say the condition of the club is none of the people’s business. Anderson comes up behind them and says that he just wants to talk. He says what they did to him was the best thing they’ve ever done to him. They need to get out of the club though because this isn’t what they started.
Velvet Sky vs. ODB vs. Brooke
Winner gets a title shot at some point in the future. Brooke and Velvet shake it a bit to start so ODB chests them down. A double Bronco Buster has Brooke and Sky in trouble but Brooke rolls ODB up for two. ODB gets knocked to the floor so Velvet can get a neckbreaker for two on Brooke. Velvet gets powerslammed down but Brooke takes her down and drops a top rope elbow to ODB. Everyone is down so here are Gail and Lei’D Tapa to watch as we take a break.
Back with a three way slugout with ODB taking over. Both girls put a half crab on Brooke at the same time. The alliance doesn’t last long as Velvet starts chopping away at ODB, only to be ran over again. ODB slams Brooke onto Velvet but goes to the floor to yell at Tapa and Kim. Brooke hits a dropkick through the ropes before clotheslining Velvet down. Everyone is back inside now and Brooke hits a cross body to take out both girls at once. Gail and Tapa get up on the apron and Gail comes in to break up In Yo Face to Brooke for a DQ at 9:45.
Rating: C-. Not the worst match in the world but the ending sucked. Since when are there DQ’s in a triple threat match? Velvet and ODB were their usual selves but Brooke looked a bit better than her typical performance here. The downside here is how obvious it was that the division is dying for some fresh blood though.
Post match Gail and Tapa destroy everyone (save for some forearms from ODB that staggered Tapa). Gail says it’s clear she has no competition so she’s issuing an open challenge to anyone from outside the company and if anyone beats her, they can have a title shot.
We get a video from AJ Styles of a title defense in AAA in Mexico.
Bully goes up to Knux and Garrett in the back and says he’s tired of being ignored. Knux goes on a rant about how this isn’t their club anymore but all about Bully. Ray says it’s because he’s president but Knux demands a vote tonight from all three of them and Taz. Knux storms off but Ray grabs Garrett and glares at him.
Dixie is on the phone, yelling at someone to fix the person who is humiliating her (presumably AJ). She hangs up when Ethan Carter III comes in. Dixie says he’s done a great job but they need to change their plan a bit. Tonight he gets to pick his opponent which he thinks will mean the end of the streak. Dixie says keep the intensity up.
It’s time for the Aces and 8’s vote. Ray comes out last and says his catchphrase but Garrett cuts him off by saying yes, they do know who he is. Before the vote can be taken, Anderson comes out to watch. Garrett votes that he’s finished and takes off his cut. Ray appeals to Knux but Knux says he doesn’t need Ray or the club. He takes off the cut as well, leaving just Tazz and Ray in the club.
Ray assumes that Tazz is going to vote with him, which Ray says we’re going to a tie, which goes to a president. Ray sucks up to Taz a bit before saying Tazz knows how to do what his president tells him to do. Tazz takes the mic and tells Ray to hit the brakes a little bit. They’ve been friends for a long time but have always done the right thing. The club has been about Bully’s agenda alone for way too long, so Tazz is done too. Ray says put those colors back on but Tazz says make him.
Ray yells at Anderson for ruining everything so Anderson throws out a challenge for a No DQ fight at Turning Point. Bully talks about Anderson looking up to Steve Austin, but Anderson has forgotten the first rule. Garrett and Knux jump Anderson so Ray can whip him with the chain while shouting DON’T TRUST ANYBODY. Ray says the Aces catchphrase and the team is still together. Yes, SERIOUSLY.
Back from a break with Bobby Roode coming up to the announce desk and promising to take Angle out tonight.
Ethan Carter III vs. Dewey Barnes
This is another rematch for Carter. Ethan runs him over to start and slams him face first into the mat out of a belly to back suplex. There’s a kick to the ribs but Dewey comes back with a dropkick in the corner and a neckbreaker but his missile dropkick misses. The Bulldog Driver (the 1 Percenter) ends Barnes at 2:25.
Joseph Park is eating candy corn in the back when Bad Influence shows up. Park says they’re bullying him while they suggest he’s Abyss. Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin (NFL players currently involved in a bullying scandal) references are made until Eric Young comes in to make science jokes and set up a tag team match.
Bad Influence vs. Eric Young/Joseph Park
Eric gets double teamed to start but sends Bad Influence into each other. Park comes in for some work on the arm but it’s back to Young for an Ultimo Dragon headstand in the corner. Kaz is sent to the floor for a suicide dive from Eric and a cross body back inside gets two. Young is sent to the corner for a Flair Flip plus some strutting on the apron, only to have Kaz knock him out to the floor. Back inside and Bad Influence lays him out with Daniels getting two off a clothesline to the back of the head.
A Kaz distraction prevents the referee from seeing the hot tag to Park but Young ducks a clothesline, sending Bad Influence into each other again. Now the hot tag brings in Park and there’s a Boston Crab on Kaz. Daniels makes the save but everything breaks down. Daniels whips Young knees first into the steps before picking up the bell ringer’s hammer. That goes nowhere so he picks up the Appletini to blind Park, allowing Kaz to crucifix him for the pin at 4:38.
Rating: D. Just a match here for the most part with nothing significant happening at all. We’ve seen these teams fight several times now and nothing has really been accomplished as a result. The only interesting thing here is the difference in comedy. Young and Park have hammered their jokes so far into the ground that they haven’t been funny for months. Bad Influence on the other hand at least keeps their comedy moving, which keeps them feeling much fresher. It’s a nice breather.
Post break here’s Angle again, saying he’ll be out here if Roode wants a piece. Instead he gets Austin Aries who says he respects everything Angle has done, but if Angle doesn’t bring his best, he has no chance. Dixie pops up on screen and spins the Wheel of Dixie to make it a submission match next week. Aries says good luck and walks away but Roode comes in from behind to jump Angle and beat him down against the steps. Aries makes the save so Angle will be at 100% next week. That’s nice of him. Angle throws Aries to the side to get at Roode but so Aries goes after Kurt until security breaks it up.
TNA World Title Tournament First Round: Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Sabin
This is Full Metal Mayhem, which is TNA’s version of TLC but you win by pin or submission. Sabin is sent into a chair in the corner to knock him to the floor, allowing Hardy to hit a clothesline off the apron to take Chris down again. Sabin comes back with a ladder to the ribs as we head back inside for a rolling cutter onto the ladder for two on Hardy. Jeff comes back with a backdrop to send Sabin onto the ladder in the corner and blasts Sabin with a garbage can.
Jeff sets up a table in the corner but Sabin hurricanranas out of whatever Hardy was setting up. Hardy gets crotched on the top and is caught in the Tree of Woe so Sabin can rip at his EARS. That’s just painful looking. A baseball slide dropkick sends a chair into Hardy’s face and Sabin stands on his groin in the corner. Hardy is able to blast Sabin in the back with a chair despite hanging upside down in a nice counter.
Poetry in Motion connects in the corner and a clothesline sends Sabin out to the floor. Hardy lays him on a table and goes up top but misses a dive, crashing through the table as a result. Back in and Sabin puts Hardy on a table but his splash hits knees. It still drives Jeff through the table though so I’m not sure how much good it did him. Jeff scores with a quick Twist of Fate and sets up the ladder for a Swanton off the top to send him to the next round at 10:45.
Rating: B-. This was exactly what it was supposed to be. It wasn’t anything that set the bar any higher, but it was what they advertised it as: complete mayhem with both guys destroying each other and a huge spot to end it. I fear for Jeff’s ability to move when he’s 54 years old, but the entertainment is good while it lasts.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a much better show than what TNA has been throwing at us lately but it was far from perfect. I really liked the Angle vs. Roode stuff which made me feel like they wanted to kill each other. It would be better if they were meeting in the tournament, but there’s always the chance that they could cost one another their matches to set up a showdown somewhere in the future.
On the other hand, we have Aces and 8’s. That’s my problem with them: they’re still around. This group has been around nearly 18 months at this point and shouldn’t have made it half that long. I have no idea why this team is still around and I have no idea what TNA sees in them anymore. It’s Ray and two goons who have never accomplished anything on their own but we’re still supposed to care about them?
Overall the show was decent tonight but there was too much stuff that went nowhere, such as pretty much everything other than the main event and Angle vs. Roode. I liked tonight’s episode, but I have zero faith in TNA to make this last at all. Maybe it’ll be good for a few weeks, but long term planning is TNA’s Kryptonite. Actually scratch that as it would imply TNA is Superman. We’ll say it’s their……whatever the weakness is of Carrotman.
Gail Kim vs. ODB vs. Brooke went to a no contest when Gail Kim interfered
Ethan Carter III b. Dewey Barnes – 1 Percenter
Bad Influence b. Joseph Park/Eric Young – Crucifix to Park
Jeff Hardy b. Chris Sabin – Swanton Bomb off the top of the ladder
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