Date: April 17, 2014
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz
There’s a big story for once in TNA as Eric Young won the World Title last week in TNA’s Daniel Bryan storyline. The problem with that is Eric is best known as a comedy character, so it’s hard to say where he’s going. In theory we’re setting up Eric vs. Magnus II at Sacrifice but there’s no telling with this company. Let’s get to it.
We open with the new champion who gets a quick YOU DESERVE IT chant. Young talks about how this is the culmination of several years of hard work but here’s Dixie Carter to interrupt. She says that she’s seen all of the potential in Eric Young over the years and brings up the DON’T FIRE ERIC bit from several years back. It was Dixie that allowed him to stay and she’s the one that came up with the beard. Dixie wants royalties from all of the money made off the beards at the moment.
Young says he thought Bully Ray packed Dixie up and sent her back to Nashville. We now have MVP to keep things going but Dixie says she has authority over the title because she’s President of the company. For better or worse, Eric is the hood ornament for the 2014 Dixie Carter Ferrari. This is of course different from being Face of the WWE. Eric hopes there are bags in the car, because being close to her for that long is going to make him sick.
Young says if she’s looking for a paper champion she’s looking in the wrong place. He’s going to get in the General Lee (old TV car) and run her over. Dixie asks if he’s trying to get hashtag Throwback Thursday going with that dated reference. First up though, Eric needs a makeover. Eric says no but here’s Bully Ray to interrupt anyway.
Ray apologizes to Eric but wants to know how many people are sick of Dixie. Young is a role model for every wrestler who has been held down by a loser boss like Dixie. He brings up last week where there was a table between the two of them and says this is their domain. Ray starts up the Goodbye Song and Dixie leaves in shame. Bully endorses Eric as World Champion as someone he respects and likes.
Velvet vs. Madison Rayne
Street fight. The villains wait on Rayne/Brittan with kendo sticks but Rayne sneaks in from behind and jumps her to get us going. They get inside and exchange some whips into the corner until Madison runs Velvet over with a shoulder. Angelina asks for a time out for her partner but uses the distraction for a double Stunner over the top rope to put Madison in trouble.
A trashcan lid to the back gets two for Velvet and it’s back to the floor with Angelina getting in some cheap shots. They quickly head back inside and Love hands Velvet a trashcan, only to have Madison kick it into her ribs. Angelina offers another distraction but Madison ducks underneath and hits what looked like a running punch to the ribs which mostly missed and was called a spear for the pin at 4:32.
Rating: D. This wasn’t much to see as TNA continues to throw out gimmick matches with no real rhyme or reason and give them five minutes so they go nowhere. The Beautiful People vs. Madison really isn’t working for me yet as much like almost every other feud in the division, we’ve seen this before. I’m not feeling this feud for the most part though.
Eric Young thanks Bully for his praise but Bully says he’s off to Rick’s Cabaret to spend the rest of Dixie’s money. Abyss comes in and asks Eric for a title match tonight. Eric says he can’t say no and wants to make it Monster’s Ball.
Spud is looking for Dixie but runs into Ethan Carter III instead. Ethan says they have a problem named Jeff Hardy. Hardy took them into a shack in the woods and they have to deal with it now. Tonight it’s a handicap match against Willow, but Ethan says they’re handicappers. Ethan handicapped Kurt Angle and tonight they’ll handicap Willow. They fire each other up and say to follow each other before going in different directions. Spud turns around and says he’ll follow Ethan.
MVP is in the ring in a very fast turn around. He talks about a man showing up last week after ten years and winning the World Title, so let’s have a hand for Eric Young. Lost in the big fray though was the name Samoa Joe. MVP didn’t care to hear about Joe being disgruntled and not showing up, especially when Joe has MVP’s phone number. We get an interruption but it’s the returning Austin Aries.
Aries says he’s as disgruntled as anyone because he’s been on the sidelines since Lockdown and no one has seemed to miss him. MVP likes to motivate people but Aries has never needed any sort of motivation. Not being called for six weeks is all the movitation he could ever want though. MVP won’t validate Aries by putting him in the ten man gauntlet last week, so now Aries wants to participate.
The boss says Aries didn’t respect MVP when he screwed him over a few weeks back to join Team Roode. They tease a fight but MVP says this is about the fans and not Aries or MVP. The jacket comes off but Aries raises him a shirt. They’re about to fight but Aries says next week. He won’t trade fists with a convicted felon but next week he’ll show MVP why he’s the best wrestler in the world.
Eric Young video.
Tag Team Titles: Bro Mans vs. Wolves
This is the actual match after Robbie E. interfered last week. We get the Zema Ion intro to make this feel a bit bigger. The Wolves knock the champions off the apron to start and a sliding dropkick to Robbie’s head is good for two. Robbie gets double teamed to start and a jackknife cover gets two for Davey. Richards drives Robbie back first into the apron but Jesse shake the ropes to crotch him on the top.
Jesse throws on a chinlock before hitting a quick gorilla press on Davey. Robbie adds a middle rope elbow for two but heel miscommunication allows Richards to make the hot tag to Edwards. Eddie fires off chops in the corner but runs into an elbow to the jaw. The throw into the chest kick drops Jesse and the double stomps off the top crush Robbie, but Zema runs in for the DQ at 4:57.
Rating: C-. This would be a much better story if the Wolves hadn’t won the titles yet. It didn’t mean much, but having them finally take the belts off the Bro Mans instead of doing a quick change and then another in Japan would have worked better as a payoff. You could see the Zema interference coming as well.
Willow says Spud and Carter remind him of dirty sheets. He’ll rise victorious tonight.
We see Eric talking about how this is what a World Champion looks like and this is the face of a champion. He nearly cries in an emotional moment. This would work better if you couldn’t hear Madison Rayne’s entrance in the background.
Willow vs. Ethan Carter III/Rockstar Spud
No tagging to start but Willow cleans house and the referee puts Spud on the apron. Willow elbows Carter down and gets two off an elbow drop, only to have the Twist of Fate broken up. Carter avoids a charge in the corner and chokes away a bit before it’s off to Spud. Willow bites the ankle to escape and it’s back to Ethan for a hard slam and a chinlock. A running flip neckbreaker gets two on Willow but he quickly fights back with a Twist of Fate to Carter. Another one to Spud is enough for the pin at 4:32.
Rating: D+. Not much to see here as Spud isn’t working due to it just being Jeff Hardy with a loud laugh. Spud is also much better as a character than an in ring worker. It also doesn’t help that Spud and Carter have lost every single match in the feud so far, so we’re just spinning our wheels.
Carter goes after Willow’s knee but Kurt Angle makes the save. Post match Angle says he’ll retire on his own terms. Kurt wants a match against Carter one on one and Ethan will learn why Angle is called the Cyborg. He’ll take his time too so Carter is taken out in a body bag.
Bobby Roode promises to put Bully through a table at Sacrifice but tonight there’s an open challenge for a tables match.
Video on Sanada.
Kenny King is tired of being on the bench and says you don’t put an All Star on the bench. Tonight he’s doing commentary.
Tigre Uno vs. Sanada
This is the second match in the best of three series for Sanada’s X Title with Tigre Uno down 1-0. Feeling out process to start with neither guy getting the advantage. Sanada scores with a dropkick and they flip around to escape a test of strength. Tigre avoids a charge in the corner but misses a springboard splash. Sanada comes back with a springboard chop to the head and a TKO gets two. Tigre comes back by avoiding a charge and a Sabretooth Splash is enough for the pin at 3:26.
Rating: C. Two guys flying around before they get to the rubber match for the title. There really isn’t anything else to say here as there’s no significant backstory between them. Again, such is life in TNA. Not that it matters as King is likely going to take the title from the winner.
Bully gives an unseen person a pep talk before the tables match.
Bobby Roode vs. Gunner
It’s a tables match of course. A quick bulldog drops Gunner and it’s already table time. Gunner comes back with a baseball slide to stop the table before sending Roode into the steps. Gunner no sells being rammed into the corner but Bobby nails a Blockbuster. The table is set up in the ring but Rooe can’t powerbomb him through.
Gunner nails a running knee to the face but walks into a bad looking spinebuster. Roode escapes an F5 but gets headbutted onto the table. Gunner rams his own head into the buckle a few times, only to have James Storm make a save. It’s enough for Roode to slam Gunner onto the table befor ethe Roode Bomb is enough to break the table for the win at 6:15.
Rating: C-. Nothing special to see here but the gimmick matches are getting really old in a hurry, especially when it’s to set up another gimmick match at the PPV. I’m already getting numb to seeing all of these matches with different rules all over the place as they’re taking the place of regular matches.
Bully Ray saves Gunner from a beatdown.
Some wrestlers talk about Eric Young winning the title.
Eric looks at weapons and says this was his idea because he’s the World Champion.
Post break Ray suggests teaming up with Gunner against Beer Money with Gunner accepting.
TNA World Title: Eric Young vs. Abyss
Monster’s Ball, meaning anything goes and of course Eric is defending. Eric throws a trashcan full of weapons into the ring to start and hits fifteen right hands to the head in the corner. Abyss comes back with a quick chokeslam attempt before launching the champion over the corner and out to the floor. Young fights back and heads inside, only to dive into a trashcan to the head as we go to a break.
Back with Abyss wedging a chair in the corner but Eric comes back with some big right hands and a running dropkick. Abyss catapults him into the chair to take over again before bringing in the bag of tacks. Young saves himself with a cheese grater to the groin and a running forearm to put Abyss down. Abyss pulls out Janice but it gets caught in the turnbuckle to avoid a bad case of death.
Eric kicks him low and gets Janice out of the buckle, only to be chokeslammed down onto the tacks. It’s barbed wire board time (because you just have that under the ring in case a Monster’s Ball match is booked on the fly) but Young escapes another chokeslam attempt with a bite of the fingers. A dropkick sends Abyss onto the board and the top rope elbow retains the title at 12:02.
Rating: C. Nowhere near as good as the same match from a few weeks ago but it wasn’t bad. This was designed to give Young his first big match and Heaven forbid you save this for the pay per view or anything. That’s another rant for another time though as I’ve complained about TNA having no idea how to advertise more times than I can count. Fine match but it’s nothing we haven’t seen done better like a month ago.
Overall Rating: D+. TNA is starting to slip again as there’s just not much of interest at the moment. Tonight was basically them saying: “here’s Eric Young. Love him or hate him, we’re pushing the heck out of him.” The problem with that is a lot of fans are going to get annoyed that a guy they perceive as a comedy player is now the focal point of the show.
Other than that I’m getting tired of the gimmick overload. Tonight we had five matches and one was a regular match. You could say the handicap match is a gimmick match as well, but even if you don’t there were three gimmick matches tonight. That’s just overkill on a two hour show and it got old fast.
Madison Rayne b. Velvet Sky – Spear
Wolves b. Bro Mans via DQ when Zema Ion interfered
Willow b. Rockstar Spud/Ethan Carter III – Twist of Fate to Spud
Bobby Roode b. Gunner – Roode Bomb through a table
Eric Young b. Abyss – Top rope elbow
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