Date: March 20, 2014
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tazz, Mike Tenay
The big story coming out of last week is the seemingly face Bully Ray destroying all of the former Team Roode (minus A Double). It also seems that Willow is the dark side of Jeff Hardy and will allow Hardy to get revenge on people that have hurt him in very un-Jeff like ways. As for tonight, the main story is Joe vs. Magnus II with Eric Young and Abyss chained together at ringside. Let’s get to it.
We open with Eric Young trying to fight Abyss in the back. It goes badly for the small man until ODB tries to make a save with a pipe. That also goes as well as you would expect but Eric comes back with a trashcan to the back. The brawl continues as they head further into the back and Eric is sent through some chairs. Young finds a chain and whips Abyss into the arena until they get to ringside with Abyss taking over.
Eric dives into the ring and hits a suicide dive but he can’t follow up. Abyss hammers on him again and takes Young inside where he sets up a chair. Young gets slammed face first onto the chair in a sick looking crash. Abyss goes for the chain but Young bites him in the head and hammers away but charges into a Black Hole Slam. Just hurting Young isn’t enough so Abyss wraps the chain around Young’s throat and chokes him out on the ropes.
Bobby Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III
This is joined in progress after a break. Ethan has some flashier gear now with red and blue trunks and white boots. Lashley runs him over with a hard shoulder block and drops Carter with a suplex. Ethan gets pummeled in the corner but avoids a charge to put Lashley in some trouble. It’s short lived though as Lashley slams Ethan off the top.
Carter comes back with some right hands in the corner but gets run over by raw power again. Lashley loads up the spear but Carter bails to the floor. Another clothesline drops him out there but he’s able to get in the referee’s face long enough to kick Lashley low. Carter tries to walk out on the match but Willow jumps him for the DQ at 5:47.
Rating: D+. The chemistry here didn’t work but it wasn’t horrible. Lashley is a guy that could be a huge deal for TNA if he’s used right. However, being used as a guy to keep Ethan Carter III busy until Willow can attack him isn’t the right use of him. The match just kept going until we got to the ending segment, which wasn’t the most entertaining way to kill six minutes.
Jeff loads up the Pillmanizer on the ankle via the ladder but Ethan gets away. Lashley doesn’t seem to mind Willow costing him a match.
Bully Ray is outside Dixie Carter’s office in Nashville as she called him there for a meeting.
Joe comes in to see MVP and vent some frustrations. He blames MVP for the title loss at Lockdown and thinks MVP has cost him the match tonight by letting Young get taken out. MVP promises to find someone to take Eric’s place tonight.
Angelina Love thinks Velvet has had enough time to make a decision so it’s time to find out where she stands.
Ethan yells at Magnus for not having his back and terminates the Carters’ business relationship with the champ. Magnus doesn’t care because he got everything he needed out of Dixie. All he needs is Abyss and Joe will find that out tonight.
Gunner comes out and says he’s proud of what he did at Lockdown. He went to war with one of the toughest men in this company and came out on top. He’s also proud of serving this country and for all of the men and women that served with him. The Marines taught him to never give up and his dad taught him the same thing. Gunner’s dad is in the front row and Gunner thanks him for everything he’s done. They hug and here’s James Storm for an interruption.
Storm thinks he should get an introduction to Gunner’s dad but Papa Gunner doesn’t seem too enthusiastic. James goes off on Gunner for crying on the video about Gunner a few weeks back. Gunner’s grandfather must be glad that he’s dead to see his son and grandson become huge disappointments. Gunner snaps but takes the Last Call. Storm handcuffs Gunner’s arms to the ropes and goes after his dad with a beer bottle to the head.
We immediately cut to Gail Kim saying if Tapa doesn’t win tonight, she’s gone for good.
The Bro Mans and Zema talk about going to a club last night before going in to see Sanada and Tigre Uno. There’s a language barrier but Zema has wrestled in Mexico and Japan so he speaks lucha libre and strong style. Apparently Sanada and Tigre think the Bro Mans are awesome and agree to lay down in two minutes. That’s Zema’s translation at least.
Gail Kim vs. Lei’D Tapa
If Tapa loses she’s gone because Gail says so. Tapa sends Gail across the ring to start before catching her in a spinebuster. Gail counters a powerbomb into a modified dragon sleeper but Tapa powers out. Kim gets slammed face first onto the mat but gets up at two. Some kicks to the leg have Tapa in trouble and Eat Defeat is enough for the pin at 4:04.
Rating: D. Thank goodness she’s gone. Tapa just wasn’t that good and didn’t need to be around at all. I’m not a huge Gail fan but this is the better decision to be sure. The newer Knockouts like Tapa haven’t worked for the most part but Brittany seems to be a step in the right direction. Bad match, but that’s about the norm for Tapa.
Willow loudly says he has no issues in playing games with MVP over the title match, so he won’t chain himself to Abyss. Why try to change when you can embrace the confusion?
Here’s Angelina to ask Velvet for an answer. Velvet thanks Angelina for being a mentor but doesn’t like the idea of being a follower to Angelina’s leadership. Angelina says it was just because she was the veteran and praises Sky for the success she had while Angelina was gone. Love says one is a lonely number but Sky isn’t sure about trusting someone after the drama with Sabin. Then she says the team is back together and they hug.
Angelina says hang on because we need the third piece. She invites Madison Rayne to the ring but Rayne doesn’t seem too thrilled. Angelina introduces all three names and Madison sees the problem: she doesn’t want to be the third girl that the others brought in as a favor. Love tries to get her to change her mind but Madison says she’s out.
Magnus isn’t worried about the title match tonight because he has Abyss. He may be a monster but even monsters react to money. Joe comes up and says he’ll make Magnus tap tonight. Al Snow comes in and breaks it up before things go too far.
Tag Team Titles: Bro Mans vs. Wolves vs. Sanada/Tigre Uno
Bro Mans are defending. Before the Wolves arrive, the champions try to get Tigre Uno and Sanada to lay down but Tigre says no and the champs are knocked to the floor. The Wolves show up and jump the Bro Mans but the other challengers hit baseball slides to the Bro Mans out as we take a break. Back with everything breaking down until it’s Davey grabbing a rollup on Sanada for two. Off to Eddie as the Wolves rapid fire kicks and chops to put Sanada against the ropes.
Tigre breaks up a double charge and Sanada is almost immediately back up with no apparent damage. Robbie tags himself in but Eddie rams him head first into Davey as the Wolves stay in control. Tigre comes in to face Robbie and walks into a clothesline as the champions take over. Jesse comes in and gorilla presses Tigre as Zema plays sound effects. Robbie gets two off a knee drop but Tigre comes back with a Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog.
A double tag brings in Sanada to work over Jesse but Zema grabs the X-Division Title for a qiuck photo op. Sanada dives on Zema, leaving Tigre to climb the ropes and armdrag Davey down. A powerbomb/Backstabber combo from the Wolves gets two on Tigre but the Bro Mans make the save and hit the Bro Down on Tigre for the pin at 9:58.
Rating: C+. The match was your usual insane three way but it did its job well. It’s nice to see the Bro Mans get the win after their finishing move instead of just stealing a pin. I can’t imagine the Wolves don’t get the belts for real over the summer and it looks like we might be leading towards Zema vs. Sanada.
Angelina is worried about Madison being angry. Velvet says go talk to her.
Kenny King of the Night promo.
Angelina goes to talk to Madison and talks down to her again. Madison says no again but Angelina grabs her by the hair and destroys Madison before saying she and Velvet are the real Beautiful People.
MVP will be chained to Abyss tonight.
We get a video on Knux of all people, who says he’s heard from a woman he’s been involved with before and thinks it must be serious if she’s calling him. Knux tells us about his family running a carnival and how his dad isn’t cool with Knux’s career path. To be continued.
Bully is still at Dixie’s office and we get a quickly edited video of him lecturing an off camera Dixie. She has her chair turned against the wall as Ray talks about how everyone hates her. Ray goes on about Dixie coming to New York and offering him money to screw over Team MVP but Ray didn’t respect her enough for that. He whips the chair around and of course there’s no one there. Bobby Roode jumps Ray from behind and rams Ray into a wall. Bully is stunned so Roode hits him with a poster to really knock him out.
Abyss has something planned for Joe and MVP tonight. He shows Magnus the tacks in his hand.
TNA World Title: Magnus vs. Samoa Joe
MVP and Abyss are chained together at ringside and Magnus is defending. Joe sends Magnus to the floor before throwing the champion back inside for rapid fire punches and an enziguri in the corner. Back from a break with Magnus in control and putting Joe on the mat for a chinlock. Joe fights up but gets caught with a knee to the ribs.
A powerslam puts Magnus down but Joe can’t follow up. He grabs the Clutch but Magnus breaks free with a jawbreaker, knocking the referee down in the process. Abyss goes for the tacks but MVP sends Abyss into the post and throws the bag of tacks up the ramp. Abyss comes back with a chair and stops a charging Joe with a chair shot. Magnus adds a top rope elbow to retain the title at 11:43.
Rating: C. The match was just there to get to the angle at the end. I like Abyss and Magnus as a beauty and the beast pairing and Magnus’ reliance on Abyss to save him is going to set up a blowoff match down the line. That’s the good side. The bad side however is that blowoff match will be between Magnus and Abyss. This probably shifts Joe away from the Magnus feud….or it would in a regular wrestling company. Odds are we get at least three more matches between them.
Overall Rating: D+. This show felt way too Russoified to me. I know that’s the rumor at the moment but it really does seem like Russo has a hand in creative. We had two instances of handcuffs, a random guy getting a story, and a big brutal fight leading into another segment with no room to breathe.
That’s a big issue with TNA over the years: there’s no time to catch your breath. Look at the opening segment. It’s a ten minute brawl and Eric Young is hanged. They immediately cut to the next segment and act like the previous one wasn’t a big deal at all. The same was true with Gunner’s dad getting laid out. They were IMMEDIATELY on Gail Kim’s promo and there was no time to digest what we just saw.
It’s ok to let a show build on itself instead of packing 25 stories in there. Now to be fair, they only have two hours a week and they’ve cut way down on the wastes of time, but it’s still going too fast. The fans don’t need to be going through a show at a hundred miles an hour and then try to figure out what they just saw. In other words, SLOW DOWN.
Ethan Carter III b. Bobby Lashley via DQ when Willow interfered
Gail Kim b. Lei’D Tapa – Eat Defeat
Bro Mans b. Wolves and Tigre Uno/Sanada – Bro Down to Tigre
Magnus b. Samoa Joe – Top rope elbow
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