Date: February 6, 2015
Location: Royal Palace Theater, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
For the love of all things good and holy don’t tell me that these shows are going to become even more frequent now. These things continue to be some of the least interesting shows produced, but the worst part is they’re just kind of there. Some of the matches are watchable, but they’re clearly just there to fill in requirements based on the lack of effort in setting up the shows. Let’s get to it.
I think the theme here is obvious.
Standard music video opening showing us some of the stuff we’ll be seeing tonight.
JB is walking down the ramp towards the ring to fire up the crowd. If there’s a more under appreciated guy in TNA, I don’t know who it is.
We recap Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell, which is built up over some of their legitimately great showdowns on PPV over the years.
The lights are very low again to make sure you can’t see how small the crowd is.
Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim
Both seem to be faces here. Tenay suggests that they focus on the rivalries instead of anything else, which I give about five minutes. Taryn takes her down with a hammerlock but gets caught in a headlock for a counter. The announcers are already onto medical info they’ve found online which has nothing to do with anything going on at the moment. They actually got to about two minutes of staying focused before flying off the cliff.
Taryn gets two off a running flip neckbreaker and the same off a snap suplex. A high cross body misses though as Taz calls Terrell one hot possum. Gail gets in some kicks to the ribs and Taryn is bleeding from the mouth. Off to the knee as Tenay mentions being in dental school at one point. A Brock Lock has Terrell in trouble as the commentary goes from phones to Rollie Fingers (baseball player).
Taryn finally kicks Gail out to the floor and throws her off the stage into the dozens of people in the crowd. She hits a cross body to take Gail down again but bangs up the knee even worse. Taz thinks they’re in Roanoke, Virginia as Taryn gets two off a middle rope clothesline. Off to a dragon sleeper, drawing out a bunch of Japanese wrestling references. Yeah I talk about the commentary on these shows a lot, but there isn’t much to talk about with the wrestling or stories so what else am I supposed to cover?
Gail wraps the bad knee around the post for a four count from the referee but she walks into an RKO for two with the knee slowing up the cover. Kim rolls through a high cross body for two and blocks another RKO, setting up Eat Defeat for a close two. Taryn avoids a missile dropkick and another RKO is good for the pin at 12:33. Taz: “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?” It’s not the biggest upset in the world. Taz on the blood in Taryn’s mouth: “Go see Isaac Yankem.”
Rating: B-. These two always have good matches together and this was one of the better matches I’ve seen on this series. The knee work could have played into the finish more but at least it played a factor at all. At least Taryn won, but unfortunately it led to even more of Taz’s annoying commentary. That’s the running problem with most of these shows as they go from boring to insufferable almost every time.
We recap Gunner pinning Mr. Anderson to win a future World Title shot last year with an unintentional assist from James Storm. That led to a really lame feud which gets to continue here tonight.
Mr. Anderson vs. James Storm
Taz: “Everybody likes bullropes!” In a funny bit, there’s no mic to drop from the ceiling so JB sneaks up behind Anderson and puts a mic in his hand. “If it works it works right?” We’re finally ready to go after some cowboy stalling. By ready to go I mean ready to circle each other for a good bit until Anderson runs him over with a shoulder. Storm comes back with some right hands and chokes on the ropes, only to be sent out to the floor for more stalling.
Now James starts going after the leg because why not do the exact same thing that was done in the previous match? A chop block has Anderson in even more trouble and it’s time to talk about football. Storm mixes it up with an armbar but goes right back to the leg. Now they talk about Ed Sabol, who passed away the week after this show first aired. What it has to do with this match is beyond me but Anderson starts fighting back with right hands to FINALLY bring the commentary back to the match.
Storm misses a charge in the corner and gets caught in the rolling fireman’s carry for two. Cue Sanada for a distraction so Storm get hit a middle rope DDT (cool move actually) for two. Sanada gets a bit more direct by kicking Anderson in the head, setting up the Lat Call for the pin at 8:27.
Rating: D+. I know he’s trying but Anderson’s matches just don’t do it for me. They can be decent if he has the time to get them there, but a basic match like this has never been his strong game. I’ll try to hold back on the commentary rants, but they were worse here than I’ve heard them in a long time. I mean they might have talked about the match for maybe three minutes of about eight and a half. That’s pitiful.
Eric Young says he and Abyss used to be best friends and now they’re going to have a Monster’s Ball match. Well of course they are. Abyss brought out the monster in Young and it brought him the World Title, so tonight Abyss is getting his best.
Kenny King vs. DJZ vs. Great Sanada vs. Samoa Joe
Elimination rules. All three try to jump Joe on the floor to start but he turns around to only see DJZ. Joe eventually kicks DJZ down before staying on the floor with him, leaving Sanada and King to fight inside. King scores with a dropkick as Joe can be seen destroying DJZ. They switch spots but King stops Joe from nailing DJZ, earning him a right hand of his own.
Kenny loads up a suicide dive but runs into King’s boot. Sanada goes after Joe for what could be an interesting match as Taz still can’t remember where they are. Oh yeah we’ve got a running gag. Back in and a triple boot puts Joe down and DJZ adds a Lionsault. A springboard spinning legdrop gets two for King and three straight elbows in the corner have Joe reeling.
The commentary kind of stays on the match by comparing Joe to Andre the Giant in battle royals, bringing them to a discussion of Haystacks Calhoun. Joe starts fighting back and catches DJZ in a Muscle Buster for an elimination. Another double team doesn’t work that well as Joe punches both guys away but walks into a springboard Blockbuster from King for two.
Sanada goes after King but gets caught in the Clutch to get us down to Joe vs. King. King immediately goes up for the missile dropkick but Joe just walks away. I still love that spot. The release Rock Bottom out of the corner looks to set up the Muscle Buster but Sanada mists Joe (with the referee CLEARLY LOOKING AT IT) to give King the pin.
Rating: C. Eh not terrible and I liked the idea of throwing the win to King instead of just having Joe run through everyone in his sight. That being said, HOW DID THE REFEREE NOT DQ KING FOR THE MIST??? Even Taz, the barren wasteland of intelligence on commentary, saw what happened and wanted to know how the referee couldn’t call anything. Stuff like that drives me crazy, especially after a quick enough and decent match.
Roode says he and MVP have hated each other since MVP sat foot in this company because they both want the World Title. Tonight MVP learns why it pays to be Roode.
Recap of Bram vs. Abyss in their hardcore series.
Bram vs. Gunner
When were these two rivals? From what I can find they only had a single match at No Surrender last year which was more about Samuel Shaw and Gunner. Bram bails from Gunner to start before running into a shoulder block for two. A headlock of all things slows Gunner down as the announcers talk about where they’re going for a post show party.
Tenay even brings up the Aces and 8’s but Taz laughs it off. Bram sends him into the buckle for the expected results as they’re still on this after party while throwing in a discussion of Bobo the cameraman. They head outside for a bit with Bram pulling him into the post to take over for the first time.
We hit the chinlock on Gunner until he fights up and rams Bram into the corner as the talk is back to football. They slug it out from their knees until Bram has to escape an F5 attempt. A Rock Bottom works a bit better for Gunner and the fans chant USA. Gunner gets crotched on the top rope but tries a sunset bomb, only to have Bram sit on top of him for the pin at 8:50.
Rating: D+. This would have been so much better if they had let them brawl. Gunner can get in a fight when he needs to and this would have been the perfect option. However, why let a new hardcore guy like Bram showcase himself when you can have Abyss do it again after all those years of doing the exact same thing?
We look back at EC3 injuring Angle’s knee and still being undefeated.
Here are Carter and Spud to say Ethan can’t face his rivals because he’s beaten them all. He goes over the list of everyone he’s beaten and sent away, meaning he’s the greatest wrestler in the world. This brings out Austin Aries, who doesn’t like the sound of that moniker. Carter can’t call himself that until he faces Austin Aries in this ring because he brings greatness out of people. “Let’s start a rivalry right now.”
Ethan Carter III vs. Austin Aries
Aries goes right for the brainbuster but settles for an armdrag and the Last Chancery. Carter bails to the floor and takes a big dive as it’s all Aries early on. He makes the mistake of chasing Spud though and gets caught by a big clothesline to give Carter his first offense. Back in and my goodness the crowd being blacked out is distracting. It’s like they’re wrestling in an elementary school gym with a big black curtain behind the three rows of fans.
Aries is rammed face first into the mat for two and we hit the chinlock. Spud gets in a few cheap shots when Aries is sent to the floor again but Carter follows him out and eats some chops to the chest. Now we’re talking about wrestlers’ real names and football careers. Back in for all of ten seconds before Carter dumps him again. Spud has to adjust the ring skirt so you can’t see the wood underneath the ring.
We hit another chinlock on Austin before he avoids being sent all the way to the floor. Carter gets sent into alternating buckles about ten times in a row but is able to come back with a powerbomb for two. The 1%er is countered but Aries can’t hit the running corner dropkick. Instead he snaps Carter’s neck across the rope and hits the missile dropkick. The brainbuster is loaded up but Spud pulls the foot and plays Bobby Heenan at Wrestlemania V to give Carter the pin at 8:30.
Rating: D. WAY too much stalling in this one as they had to go outside or to the chinlock almost every other minute. I don’t think anyone thought Carter was going to lose here but that doesn’t mean they can’t give the fans something to get excited about anyway. Spud and Carter were such a great pairing and they’re still entertaining now that they’re feuding.
Spud takes a brainbuster post match.
Abyss says Eric Young is his rival. Joseph Park brought out the best in him and then Young won the World Title. Tonight is just a regular match so Abyss can’t hurt him too bad, but it’s still going to hurt.
Video on Abyss embracing his dark side. The Joseph Park stuff feels like an eternity ago.
Eric Young vs. Abyss
Before the match Abyss grabs the mic and just make it a Monster’s Ball match already. Abyss says it’s been a long time and this show is about rivals. He can’t help but think about the time when they were friends. Eric and Joseph Park brought out the best in each other and Young wound up winning the World Title. However, Abyss is Young’s fault and Eric is lucky that this isn’t a hardcore match. Young is tired of being blamed for Abyss’ mess, so let’s get nuts and make this Monster’s Ball. I’m stunned.
Young fires off right hands to start and scores with his spinning forearm to the head. Abyss gets tired of getting punched in the face and throws Eric to the floor before getting some toys. Back to the football stuff with Taz acknowledging that they’re talking about it a lot tonight. Young finds a hockey stick and throws more weapons into the ring but runs into an elbow to the jaw.
It’s already table time as Taz finally remembers the Oakland Raiders line about cheating being encouraged. The table is set at ringside for later as Young is sent hard into the corner. Abyss cracks him in the head with a trashcan lid for a loud smack but the follow up trashcan shot doesn’t sound as good. The fans want tacks but get a chair to Young’s ribs instead. We hit the neck crank for a bit before Abyss crotches himself on a chair. The fans aren’t exactly thrilled by what they’re seeing here. Tenay asks if there’s such a thing as Yambag Scrabble to make my headache even worse.
Young scores with a missile dropkick for two and starts swinging the kendo stick. Somehow this turns into a discussion of Paul Bunyan chopping down trees with jujitsu. Taz: “With the edge of his hand!” Abyss throws Young through the table at ringside but only gets two back inside. It’s Janice time but Young crotches him with a cheese grater. The top rope elbow is good for the pin at 10:54.
Rating: C-. Another “well, that happened” match as we’ve seen these two have weapons matches so many times that it’s really hard to get excited about it again. The fact that this was just a by the numbers Monster’s Ball match doesn’t help either, but that’s the case for almost every special match in this series.
Long recap of Madison Rayne vs. Angelina Love, dating back to the original Beautiful People days. If nothing else we get to look at Lacey Von Erich again.
Madison Rayne vs. Angelina Love
Madison cranks on the arm to start and mocks Angelina’s entrance, earning her a forearm to the head. Back in and a quick rollup gets two for Madison, followed by the scissors stomp. Angelina doesn’t appreciate that and takes it outside to send Rayne into the barricade. A big forearm gets another two for Angelina as this is really dull so far. She follows up with a basement dropkick and a second dropkick to send Madison back to the floor.
Back in and Tenay and Taz babble on about whatever their latest stupid topic is. Madison makes her comeback with a forearm and an enziguri, followed by a northern lights suplex for two. The Rayne Drop is countered into Lights Out (downward spiral) for a near fall. Another Rayne Drop is countered and Love grabs a rollup with a handful of trunks for the pin at 7:59.
Rating: F+. The only good thing here is how well they look in their outfits. Other than that, this was one of the least interesting matches I’ve seen in recent memory. It was clear that neither of them was interested in doing anything outside of just the basics and that’s not a good thing after a show this dull so far.
MVP says Bobby Roode is rewriting history because he wasn’t scared to fight Bobby for the title. The rivalry is because MVP is one of the best of all time and Roode just thinks he is. If Roode wants to test himself against the best then MVP is fine with beating the heck out of him tonight.
We recap Lashley beating Eric Young to win the World Title and hurting his arm until Bobby Roode made the save. This led to MVP being fired as the boss and Kurt Angle taking the job.
And now, just so they don’t have to do even more new stuff, here’s Roode vs. Lashley for the World Title from Impact on October 24, 2014.
TNA World Title: Lashley vs. Bobby Roode
They have a ton of time for this, Lashley is defending and Kurt Angle is guest referee. MVP and King are nowhere in sight. Lashley powers Bobby into the corner to start and easily takes him down with an amateur move. A hard shoulder to the ribs has Roode in even more trouble but Bobby comes back with a clothesline and tells Lashley to bring it on. The champ is all fired up but his clothesline is countered into the Crossface, sending Lashley out to the floor.
We take a break and come back with Lashley holding a reverse wasitlock until Bobby fights up with forearms. A quick Blockbuster gets two but Roode charges into a spinning spinebuster. Lashley ducks another shot but clotheslines Angle (first time he’s meant anything in the match) by mistake. The Roode Bomb is countered and Lashley nails the spear with no one to count the pin. Another spear hits Angle to knock him to the floor, allowing Roode to enziguri Lashley to the floor.
Bobby follows and avoids a spear, sending a ring attendant flying. A Roode Bomb on the ramp puts both guys down but there’s still no Angle to count anything. Instead Brian Hebner comes in to count the near fall and Bobby is frustrated. Lashley hits Roode low and gets the belt but Hebner says no.
That earns him a knockout clothesline, allowing Lashley to hit Roode with the belt. Angle comes in to count two and is finally back to his feet. The Roode Bomb is countered and Lashley snaps Bobby’s throat across the top rope. Another attempt is countered into a sunset flip attempt but Roode falls on top for the pin and the title at 17:49.
Rating: B. The match got going near the middle but I really don’t see why Angle needed to be out there. Any regular referee could have played his role to the same degree but maybe they’re setting up Lashley vs. Angle down the line? The important part though is Roode being made into a bigger deal than he was before, but now he needs to have a very solid title reign to make it even better. TNA is really needing a top face and if Roode is that guy then so be it.
Bobby Roode vs. MVP
The announcers of course discuss sushi. Roode charges the ring and hammers away before sending MVP into the buckle. Another clothesline sends MVP bailing to the floor but he comes back with a kick to the face. Roode gets punched on the floor as we hear about Masahiro Chono influencing MVP’s offense. Back in and MVP misses a running boot in the corner but Kenny King comes in for the DQ at 2:28.
Eric Young runs out for the save and let’s have a tag match, because WE NEED MORE ERIC YOUNG!
Eric Young/Bobby Roode vs. MVP/Kenny King
Young and King get started with Kenny slugging him down in the corner. Eric comes back with a wristlock and makes the tag to Roode for a double hiptoss. Off to MVP for some shots to Bobby’s ribs and forearms to the head. For some reason this warrants a talk about the original Sheik as Roode scores with a suplex for two. Bobby follows it up by falling out to the floor and getting stomped by King. MVP covers with one finger for two because he’s a cocky heel that knows how to annoy a crowd.
We hit the chinlock on Roode and somehow find more football stuff to talk about. Roode fights up with a sunset flip and the referee has to slow down because MVP misses his save. A good looking spin kick to the head drops Roode and MVP cancels the Ballin Elbow and just covers for two. Back up and the spinebuster plants King and it’s the hot tag to Roode. Eric cleans house and the fans just do not care for the most part. A belly to belly gets two on King but Kenny comes back with a kind of reverse AA to plant Eric. MVP is “injured” but of course is playing possum, setting up the Black Out kick for the pin on Eric at 8:03.
Rating: C-. Who in the world thought we needed to see Eric Young twice in one night? Thankfully it was Roode in there most of the time to keep things from getting horrible, but this really wasn’t the most interesting thing in the world. I like that they mixed it up a bit as you can only see so many singles matches in a row, but this really didn’t do it for me. Then again that might be all about Eric Young.
Magnus talks about beating Jeff Hardy to win the World Title for the first time at Final Resolution to win the World Title. Who thought that Jeff Hardy could lose a ladder match? Edge and Christian perhaps? Tonight he gets to face Hardy one more time and he’ll enjoy getting to see the teenage girls weeping. It’s the same story it always is between these two.
We recap the tournament for the World Title with Magnus eventually beating Jeff in a Dixieland match for the title.
Jeff Hardy vs. Magnus
Jeff goes into the crowd with his home state fans before the match. We even get big match intros to kill even more time. Magnus shoves him down to start and tells the painted one to bring it. Hardy’s arm work doesn’t get him anywhere so Magnus stomps him down in the corner. A clothesline sends Magnus to the floor and Jeff follows him out with a nice dive. Back in and the mule kick gets two and Jeff calls for the creatures. A slingshot is countered with a European uppercut and Hardy falls back out to the floor.
Back in and Magnus gets too cocky and earns a right hand to the face. They head right back outside with Hardy getting rammed into the barricade and ripping down the ring skirt in the process. The announcers debate bad commentators named Mike over the years as Magnus powerbombs Jeff down. Time for some chinlockery until Jeff jawbreaks his way to freedom. He can’t follow up though and gets caught in an abdominal stretch.
Jeff ducks another clothesline and starts his comeback with the legdrop between the legs. There’s the Whisper in the Wind for two followed by the Twisting Stunner. The Twist of Fate gets two but Magnus counters into something like the ProtoBomb for two of his own. Magnus tries a Twist of Fate of his own but Hardy grabs the real thing again, setting up the Swanton for the pin at 9:49.
Rating: C. That was indeed a wrestling match. I really don’t know what else I’m supposed to say here. You had a face vs. a heel and the face won with his finishing combination. Magnus isn’t bad but he really needs a character of some sort, which he seems to be getting with Bram. Hardy winning was obvious here and it capped off a thoroughly dull show.
Overall Rating: D-. These shows are really just boring house shows with HORRIBLE commentary. That doesn’t make me want to stick around as these things are becoming more of a chore to sit through every month. When they can’t even keep the concept going (“LET’S START A RIVALRY RIGHT HERE!”) for three hours without using a TV match that has aired on almost every special they air, it’s time for them to retool these things or stop advertising them before they become even more of an embarrassment.
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