Date: February 13, 2014
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Taz, Mike Tenay
The UK tour continues as we head into England for the first time this year. The main stories coming out of last week are Samoa Joe officially being #1 contender over Bobby Roode and an MVP vs. Dixie summit that went absolutely nowhere. Lockdown is less than a month away so odds are we’ll be hearing about Lethal Lockdown and the rest of the card soon enough. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of MVP standing up to Dixie for all of her evil deeds in the last few months and promising changes to end Dixie’s party.
No time is wasted on getting to Dixie this week as she and her cronies are in the ring to start the show. Dixie says she clearly hasn’t lost a wink of sleep over MVP’s threats and the odds of him taking over the company are about as good as her having a bad hair day. Dixie brags about Magnus but Ethan takes the mic and says he’s the one that ended the career of Kurt Angle.
Magnus takes the mic as well but has to wait for a YOU SOLD OUT chant. It’s nice to be back in Manchester because it means another year before he has to be back here again. People like Manchester make him feel ashamed to be British because he’s not from the north, nor is he a paper champion. He’s a man who recognizes opportunity and there is no opportunity in Manchester, other than a chance to be smacked in the face by the world champion.
The fans aren’t impressed so Magnus shifts his focus to MVP. He doesn’t care what jail cell MVP came from but we need to get the pecking order established. It’s Magnus on top, Dixie second, everybody else, and then MVP. Magnus isn’t for sale but here are MVP and Joe with something of their own to say. MVP sucks up to the crowd and says that Joe will be challenging Magnus at Lockdown, which seems to take the champion by surprise.
This brings out Gunner with the Feast or Fired case, which will be cashed in next week on Impact. Dixie says not so fast, because Gunner has to face Ethan Carter for the briefcase tonight. MVP one ups her by putting EC3’s Tag Team Title briefcase on the line as well, but makes it a ladder match with both briefcases on the line. MVP tells “C-3PO” that if anyone tries to cheat in this match, he’ll be out here to level the playing field.
Gunner vs. Ethan Carter III
Dang they’re not wasting time tonight. Carter heads straight to the floor to start but Gunner is waiting for him and heads back inside for a running knee and a fallaway slam. Gunner goes to get a ladder but Carter dropkicks him off the apron and sets up the ladder himself, only to have Gunner send him into the buckle.
The ladder is sat in the corner and Carter is sent flying into the steel, only to have Gunner get the same treatment. He’s still able to powerbomb Carter down for the save but Magnus comes in and shoves the ladder over, only to draw in James Storm for the save. This brings out MVP who makes it a winner take all tag team ladder match at about 4:30.
Rating: D. This is one of the things I can’t stand about modern wrestling: wasted gimmick matches. Why in the world did they need to have a ladder match, only to throw in another one a few seconds later? On top of that, a gimmick match is supposed to attract viewers, but that usually requires more than five minutes’ warning. How good of a ladder match can you have with about four minutes of action?
James Storm/Gunner vs. Ethan Carter III/Magnus
Joined in progress with Storm in trouble and Magnus driving the ladder into Gunner’s back. Gunner is laid across the ladder and splashed across the back before both heels drop him ribs first onto the ladder. Magnus rams the ladder into Gunner’s face and loads up the ladder but Ethan tries to climb. That’s not cool with the champ who wants to go instead. They get in an argument, despite it not being clear who gets the case if Magnus pulls it down.
The fight lets Storm come back in and clean house and Ethan is double hiptossed onto the ladder. Magnus saves his partner from the Gun Rack but Storm hits a Cactus Clothesline to send himself and Magnus to the outside. Gunner comes back in with a swan dive to Carter and goes up to pull down both cases for the win at 5:00.
Rating: C-. Better match here but man alive enough with the five minute gimmick matches. We just saw two ladder matches combine to last under ten minutes and it doesn’t really solve anything. In short, there was no reason for these matches to use ladders other than it sounds cool on paper. Pay no attention to the fact that if you weren’t watching in the last twenty minutes, you would have no idea they were taking place.
Anderson says he’ll win tonight because he has family and we get to see a picture of his twin daughters.
Spud has divided the office in half and makes sure that Dixie has more flowers on her side. The Bro Mans come in and want to know what Dixie is going to do about Gunner and Storm having the briefcase. Yelling ensues when MVP comes in and says Dixie’s promises mean less and less every day. MVP says people don’t want to see lawyers and want to see action in the ring. What would be fair is to strip the champions of the titles but instead he’ll give them a six man tag match against the Wolves and a mystery partner, right now.
Bro Mans/Zema Ion vs. Wolves/???
The mystery partner is Samoa Joe. Davey starts with a Tajiri handspring into a kick to Godderz’ head before a few headbutts from his parters are good for two. Off to Edwards vs. Robbie with Eddie snapping off a standing hurricanrana and a few chops. A running knee to the face gets two and it’s quickly back to Davey who gets two off a chop from Edwards. Zema adds in a knee from the apron but Davey grabs him by the head and knocks him to the apron.
The distraction lets E get in a cheap shot and the heels take over for the first time. Zema stomps away before it’s back to Robbie for an elbow to the jaw. Heel miscommunication puts the Bro Mans down and it’s hot tag to Joe who cleans house. Everything breaks down and the Wolves hit stereo suicide dives to the floor as Joe makes Zema tap with the Clutch at 5:37.
Rating: C. This was fine though I’ve never been big on the Wolves. I was hoping the Bro Mans would be allowed to be a bit more serious, but at the end of the day they’re a comedy team so this is what you had to expect. I’d be fine with the Wolves becoming Tag Team Champions but it was nice to have a non-champion take the fall here.
Velvet Sky begs Dixie to avoid a match with Chris Sabin but gets turned down. MVP isn’t cool with that but Dixie reminds him that he’s not a wrestler. Spud laughs at him, but MVP says he’s got his gear and faces Spud next.
We recap Eric Young vs. Joseph Park/Abyss. This would be the first non-Dixie related segment of the entire show and we’re halfway done.
Here’s Abyss without the mask to call out Eric Young to see what he’s done. Abyss is under a hood like Kane was after he lost his mask back in 2003. Eric stops at ringside but Abyss asks him to come closer unless he’s afraid. Young gets in the ring and says last week he proved all he needed to prove. Park asked him to find Abyss and that’s what he did. Abyss holds up the mask and says it’s the reality of what he did last week. The hood comes back and Park says he is Abyss but Young cuts him off and says he showed Park who he is.
Park shouts at Eric and asks who either of them are because Young doesn’t know. Abyss has destroyed his body and the lives and careers of others. The scars and blood tell his story but he can’t be that man anymore. The violence and destruction have to stop but Young says he can help him. Abyss screams that he doesn’t want Eric’s help and that he needs to find someone who understands him. He drops the mask and walks away.
Earlier today Samuel Shaw tried to help Christy with her luggage but she’s nervous. He agrees to keep it professional and takes off his glove to shake her hand. Shaw looks at his hand and slowly gets on the bus.
MVP vs. Spud
That was a nice fifteen minute break but now it’s back to Dixieland. Spud stalls on the floor before the bell while MVP lounges on the top rope. MVP goes after him but Spud gets in a cheap shot on the way back in to get things going. He pounds away but makes the mistake of slapping the boss in the face. A facebuster sets up the Ballin Elbow and the Drive By kick to the head for the pin at :59. That’s exactly what it should have been.
Bobby Roode is furiously looking for Dixie.
We get a creepy promo of a guy in the woods holding a black and white umbrella, wearing a black and white mask and dressed all in black. He recites poetry and is apparently named Willow. Apparently this was Jeff Hardy in a new gimmick.
Dixie is on the phone when Roode comes in, demanding a title shot. He doesn’t like being called a sore loser and says she doesn’t want him against her.
Chris Sabin vs. Velvet Sky
Sabin offers her a free shot because this is what Velvet has always wanted. Velvet kicks him in the knee and goes for the groin but Sabin is wearing a cup. Like an idiot though he takes it out to show off and gets hit low again, allowing Velvet to pound away. Cue a big woman with a bleach blonde mohawk over dark hair to destroy Velvet with a full nelson. Sabin is very pleased. No match obviously.
Ray goes into Anderson’s dressing room and looks through his stuff, including the pictures on his phone. He calls Anderson’s wife and says this is the phone call she’s been dreading her entire life. Ray says “no, not yet, but he’s coming home in a coffin. Tell the twins daddy says goodbye.”
Roode is in the back and says he lost it and that this has to come to an end. It’s over and he can’t take this anymore. He has his jacket and bag with him, saying he might have something for next week. Security comes in and says he has to leave which Roode does without incident.
We recap Ray vs. Anderson in the casket match. Ray is angry at Anderson for ending Aces and 8’s and has gotten far more serious as a result, even threatening Anderson’s children.
Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
Casket match. Anderson has some of the ugliest green tights I’ve ever seen. Ray takes off his shirt and reveals what I believe is a Liverpool jersey to anger the fans. Anderson takes him down and sends him into the corner before dropping him with a neckbreaker. The jersey is ripped off and stomped on by Anderson before they head outside. Mr. spends too much time deciding where to throw his shirt and Ray gets in a cheap shot as we take a break.
Back with Anderson using a chair to knock a chair into Ray’s face and sliding in a table. Anderson is bleeding from the mouth and Ray kicks him in the face to take over. Ray rubs the blood on his own face and pounds at the cut before throwing the casket into the ring. Anderson gets crotched on top and superplexed back down but Ray can’t get the lid on the casket.
Ray raises up a chair to crush Anderson but a low blow stops him cold. Instead he powerbombs Anderson through the table and earns a THIS IS AWESOME chant. Ray loads up a piledriver in the casket but Anderson counters into a Mic Check and puts on the lid for the win at 12:50. The lid didn’t actually close but it was close enough.
Rating: B-. That’s probably high but after all the garbage we’ve had to sit through tonight I’ll take anything. Ray has been an awesome heel throughout this story and I would have liked it more if he had won, but the company is dying for top faces at this point and Anderson is as good as anyone else they could use.
In the back we get even more Dixie vs. MVP with Carter offering him a buyout. She offers him a contract and MVP is impressed but says no. Dixie calls him crazy and MVP says he’s a wrestler so there might be somet truth to that. A proposal is made for Lockdown: Lethal Lockdown with Team MVP vs. Team Dixie for total control of the company. Dixie keeps up her Stephanie McMahon style acting and finally agrees.
Overall Rating: D. Impact wrestling is a two hour show. Tonight, approximately an hour and a half were spent on Dixie Carter vs. MVP or something directly related to that story. Here’s what wasn’t related to it: Eric Young/Abyss segment (8 minutes), Christy Hemme/Shaw segment (2 minutes), Ray vs. Anderson (13 minutes), Sabin vs. Sky (5 minutes) and the Willow promo (1 minute). That’s it. That’s everything on the show that wasn’t related to a single storyline.
Even Immortal didn’t make Impact that much about themselves and I didn’t think things could get worse than that. Dixie vs. MVP is fine for a story, but you need SOMETHING that isn’t related to or a result of that story. There’s some interesting stuff in TNA, but the same story being pounded into our heads like this make it a lot less interesting to sit through.
Ethan Carter III vs. Gunner went to a no contest
James Storm/Gunner b. Ethan Carter III/Magnus – Gunner pulled down the briefcases
Wolves/Samoa Joe b. Zema Ion/Bro Mans – Koquina Clutch to Ion
MVP b. Spud – Drive By
Mr. Anderson b. Bully Ray – Mic Check into a casket
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