Date: July 17, 2014
Location: Manhattan Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
We’re finally to the New York tapings which are a prety big deal for the company. The company will be here for five weeks plus however many they tape at an upcoming set of tapings. The main story at this show will be Bobby Lashley defending the World Title against Jeff Hardy, who won a battle royal last week to earn the shot. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video on Hardy vs. Lashley, focusing on how Lashley is a destroyer and Hardy can be insane when need be.
Kurt Angle is in the crowd and welcomes us to the show. He shows us the six sided ring which makes its return tonight.
Taz is also in the balcony and compares TNA to ECW because their locker rooms have the same look in their eyes. He throws in his ECW catchphrases.
Here are Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer to get things going. They talk about how they helped get ECW on the map back in 1997 and this place feels like ECW did when it took the world by storm. Ethan Carter III and Rhyno break things up with Ethan saying that Bully will not be putting his aunt through a table here, just like he couldn’t in Texas or Pennsylvania. The fans chant YOU CAN’T WRESTLE, but Carter responds with “YES I CAN” and “I’M VERY GOOD!” Dreamer says Carter doesn’t know where he is and the brawl is on.
Rhino/Ethan Carter III vs. Bully Ray/Tommy Dreamer
Joined in progress after a break. Ray drops Carter with a neckbreaker for two. The camera seems to be lower than usual this week. It’s quickly off to Rhino to stomp away but Dreamer elbows him in the jaw. Carter comes in again and is easily dispatched by a double elbow to the jaw. Ray brings Rhino in as everything breaks down.
Spud comes out in a bright orange jacket for a distraction and Carter takes over on Dreamer in the corner. Rhino plants Tommy with a spinebuster for two but Carter gets sent face first into the middle buckle, allowing for the hot tag to Bully. Ray beats up both villains on his own and everything breaks down again with Rhino taking over. Dreamer grabs Spud in but gets rolled up by Carter for the pin at 6:40.
Rating: C-. The match was fine but I’m over these attempts to bring ECW back from the grave every few years. Yeah the live crowds like it, but it makes the company look like it’s desperate to get whatever blood they can out of ECW’s corpse. The match was ok, but does pinning Tommy Dreamer really help Ethan?
The trio arrives.
Kurt Angle puts Austin Aries in a gauntlet match with the X-Division Title on the line and Aries gets to start.
James Storm slaps Sanada and dares him to fight, but says Sanada just does what Great Muta tells him. He calls Sanada a choke artist and leaves.
X-Division Title: Gauntlet Match
This is over the top elimination until there are two left and it becomes a singles match. There are eight men in this with 90 second intervals and it’s champion Austin Aries vs. Eddie Edwards to start. Feeling out process to start until Aries takes him down by the leg and goes into the corner. That goes nowhere as Manik is in at #3. Aries is knocked to the floor through the ropes meaning he’s still in as Manik speeds things up. He goes to the middle rope but Gets caught by Eddie, only to have Aries run in and dropkick Manik in the face.
Aries misses an elbow drop and it’s Davey Richards in at #4. The Wolves of course team up with Davey taking Aries down with a backbreaker and Eddie adds a top rope knee to the chest. Aries and Manik are in trouble as DJZ is in at #5. Edwards nails DJZ, Aries elbows Edwards, Richards drops Aries and Manik dropkicks Edwards. A top rope hurricanrana from Manik takes DJZ out but Manik is eliminated as well as we take a break.
Back with Tigre Uno and Crazzy Steve added to the match and no one else having been eliminated. Sanada is in at #8 to complete the field and he cleans house to take over. Crazzy Steve starts spraying silly string and the blinded Tigre Uno is eliminated. Edwards dumps Steve but Sanada puts out both Wolves to give us a rematch from last week with Aries vs. Sanada in a regular singles match for the title.
Austin sends Sanada to the floor and hits a huge suicide dive to take him out. A slingshot hilo back inside sets up the Last Chancery but Sanada makes it to the ropes. Aries can’t suplex him over the ropes and back inside and Sanada shoulders him in the ribs and hits a springboard chop to the head. Sanada’s tiger suplex gets two but he misses the moonsault. Two discus forearms and the corner dropkick set up the brainbuster to retain Aries’ title at 16:45.
Rating: C+. The match was fine but Aries cleaning out the division before he’s likely dropping the title for a title shot doesn’t do anything for the belt. All it does is set up another tournament between people who didn’t beat the champion to get the belt. That’s the same thing that happens to the title every year and is a major problem with Option C.
Aries helps Sanada back to his feet.
Eric Young and Bobby Roode have formed an alliance and want to get their hands on MVP.
James Storm calls Sanada a loser and beats the tar out of him. Sanada is left laying and Storm calls Muta a fraud.
MVP/Kenny King vs. Eric Young/Bobby Roode
MVP can’t walk and says he has half a leg but is going to wrestle under protest. Eric starts and takes King into the corner for some right hands to the jaw. It’s quickly off to Roode who doesn’t have such great luck as King takes over. King tags in MVP who immediately bails to the floor when Roode gets to his feet.
MVP gets in and tags out to King so the match can continue. Young is taken down and MVP comes in for some actual contact with an elbow drop and something resembling a flapjack. Back to King for a legdrop but Young avoids an elbow drop. A quick cross body allows for the tag off to Roode, who dares MVP to come in. Everything breaks down and MVP hits Roode with a crutch for the DQ at 6:25.
Rating: D+. This was more about filling in time before we get to the big showdown between Roode and MVP, likely at Bound For Glory. The match was nothing special, though I’m not crazy on the idea of two former world champions getting beaten down by a one legged man and Kenny King.
MVP and King destroy both guys with the crutches.
Brittany vs. Madison Rayne
No DQ and no countouts. They slug it out to start until Madison goes to the corner, only to get caught in an armbreaker over the ropes. Thankfully the referee doesn’t count or ask her to break it up. The fight goes outside with Brittany backdropping Madison on the ramp and kicking her in the ribs.
Back in and Brittany rams Madison’s head into the mat before getting two off a Russian legsweep. Madison is thrown back to the floor as the fans chant for Christy Hemme. Brittany tries a reverse DDT on the floor but gets suplexed instead. Back in and Madison hits a package DDT (think a fisherman’s DDT but with Madison not going backwards at all) for the pin at 6:40.
Rating: C. This was more aggressive than usual but I’m really not caring about these two. Brittany was something different when she had a crush on Madison but now she’s just another heel who doesn’t win a lot of matches. At the end of the day, it’s impossible to crack through into the top level of Knockouts and it’s stopping Brittany, just like it has everyone else.
Dixie Carter says Bully is all bark but she’s all bite.
Austin Aries tells Angle that he created Option C for the respect he has for the X-Division Title. Next week he gets to turn in the title for a future shot.
TNA World Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Jeff Hardy
Lashley is defending. Hardy tries to hammer away to start but realizes he has to speed things up. He sends Lashley out to the floor and hits a big dive, only to have Lashley trip him up on the steps and send Jeff face first into the steel as we take a break. Back with Lashley in control and choking Jeff on the middle rope. He puts Hardy in a torture rack but some right hands get Jeff free.
A running forearm drops Lashley and a dropkick does the same as the fans chant for CM Punk. Hardy’s headscissors out of the corner is caught in the powerslam but Jeff comes back with a Twisting Stunner and Twist of Fate. The Swanton get two and Jeff takes it back to the floor and rams Lashley’s head into the steps. Hardy goes up for a Swanton to the floor but lands on the steps. Jeff is done and the spear retains Lashley’s title at 12:45.
Rating: C+. This was a win that Lashley needed to get as Jeff Hardy is the guy that is always hanging around the main event and could take the title at any time. They’re actually building Lashley up as a major force and he’s coming off like a monster instead of a guy just keeping the title warm for MVP. That Swanton the steps was insane too.
Kurt Angle says Lashley is the man but stops Dixie from going to the ring. She says let go of her so she can go talk to her people.
Angle comes in and yells at MVP before putting him in a falls count anywhere match with Roode next week.
Here are Dixie, Spud, Ethan and Rhino so Dixie can make fun of the New York fans. She goes on and on about how she humiliated Tommy Dreamer and how embarrassed she is for the people that cheer Bully Ray. She’s going to keep putting Ray through table after table until he understands that this is her company. Cue Bully and Dreamer with a table and Dixie’s cronies are quickly cleared out of the ring. The fans chant YES but Ethan hits Bully low for the save. Rhino and Spud get Dixie into the crowd but D-Von returns to help beat down Ethan. What’s Up sets up a 3D through the table to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The show was entertaining for the most part though there were some flaws. The ECW stuff is something they need to cut out as fast as they can. It’s pure nostalgia, but do you really want to have your company looking like it’s all about dragging ECW out of its grave? As long as it’s limited to guys like the Dudleys, Rhino and Dreamer it won’t be horrible, but it doesn’t need to happen.
Other than that the show was actually good stuff with the main event scene starting to take shape as Lashley has main event players lined up for him to run over. It’s probably setting up a showdown at Bound For Glory with…..well you would think Roode but MVP might be getting that spot. Either way the show did its job and that’s a good thing.
Ethan Carter III/Rhino b. Bully Ray/Tommy Dreamer – Rollup to Dreamer
Austin Aries won a gauntlet match – Brainbuster to Sanada
Eric Young/Bobby Roode b. MVP/Kenny King via DQ when MVP used a crutch
Madison Rayne b. Brittany – Package DDT
Bobby Lashley b. Jeff Hardy – Spear
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