Jokers Wild III
Date: March 6, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Jeremy Borash
This is the old standard for TNA as this series has somehow reached a third year. Thanks a lot TNA for screwing up your pay per views so I have to sit through even more of these things. It’s another show with a series of qualifying matches for a big gauntlet match for money at the end. Maybe Matthews can save the commentary here. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is the standard preview of the show that we’ve come to know and….I can’t imagine anyone looks forward to these things.
JB and Christy are drawing all of the names before each match. I won’t be mentioning any of these unless something of note happens. All matches are qualifying matches for the gauntlet match main event.
Robbie E./Jesse Godderz vs. Mr. Anderson/Al Snow
Hopefully this is the only required “random” pairing of a regular team. Anderson does Snow’s entrance: “WHAT IS EVERYONE INTERESTED IN??? WHAT DOES MR. ANDERSON REQUIRE???” Robbie pauses for a picture after the bell and says he wants Snow. The fans agree and we get Al vs. Robbie…..for five seconds until Robbie tags out. We’re still waiting on any significant contact until Snow slams Jesse a few times.
Off to Robbie who is terrified of Head. Snow takes him down into something like a Regal Stretch (arm trap STF) and pulls on his nipple. Anderson comes back in to crank on the arm (ignoring the nipple. So much for psychology) before it’s back to Snow, who gets caught in the double team. It’s already SO much easier here with the announcers focusing on the match instead of talking about anything else.
Snow takes Robbie over to the corner and Jesse, ever the schnook, grabs his partner’s arm by mistake and works it over. The non-Bros (sisters?) steal the selfie stick to show Jesse what he did and tensions are teased. Instead we get a double noggin knocker so Anderson and Snow can stand tall. Back in and Robbie interferes, allowing Jesse to nail a dropkick before E. comes in to stomp on the arm for two. The hot tag brings in Snow and everything breaks down. Anderson sneaks Head in to Snow so he can knock Jesse silly, only to get rolled up by Robbie for a surprise pin.
Rating: D+. This was a decent enough match but hokey smoke does the commentary make it easier to sit through. I used to dread these shows because of how horrible Tenay and Taz were but again, Josh Matthews is his average self and it’s more than a huge improvement. The BroMans winning makes sense here and the less I have to watch Mr. Anderson be his run of the mill standard, the better I am.
The BroMans say they’re winning the $100,000 and spending it in one night.
DJZ/Samuel Shaw vs. Rockstar Spud/Awesome Kong
This could be a trainwreck. Thankfully this was taped less than a month before it aired so a lot of this is up to date, but unfortunately some is also ahead of schedule. For instance, Spud is bald here, a week before the hair vs. hair match took place. TNA goes Back to the Future? Spud is very, very happy with his partner. Spud and DJZ get things going and I really want to see DJZ hit on Kong.
They start with a basic cruiserweight style sequence until Spud dances in front of Kong. She tags herself in and actually gets caught in a headlock from DJZ, only to pull him down by the mohawk. Shaw comes in with a creepy mustache but Spud tags himself in to say that Kong is a lady. He stops Shaw from slapping her in the face and hammers away with some Popeye wind-up punches.
Spud gets double teamed in the corner as, get this, the announcers TALK ABOUT UPCOMING SHOWS TO MAKE US WANT TO SEE THEM. Not football, not references 8% of the audience will get, and not inside jokes. They actually do their jobs for a change and it’s just a step beneath glory. Kong gets the hot tag and cleans house with a crotch claw to Samuel and a chokeslam to DJZ, setting up the Jimmy Snuka/Andre the Giant shoulders splash for the pin on DJZ.
Rating: D+. Again this was fine and a big shorter than the first match. It’s still not a good match or anything like that, but Spud is almost always a highlight of these things, even when he has nothing to work with like he did here. Is Shaw even with the company anymore? I don’t remember the last time he was on Impact and I can’t say I’m complaining. The guy is just one idea that has been played to death.
Spud is terrified of Kong so she kisses him. He seems to like it and faints.
Ethan Carter III says luck is power. Luck is having stroke. Luck is having your aunt own the company. Last year he won the competition and burned the money at Burning Man because he’s awesome like that.
Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards vs. Austin Aries/Bobby Roode
If this isn’t the longest tag match of the night, it’s a crying shame. Josh gets his facts wrong by saying Aries has the record for most X-Division Title reigns with six (Sabin had eight). Aries and Roode both try to go to the apron and then both start try to get in. I saw them team live once and they had the most entertaining match of the night.
We finally get down to Richards vs. Aries with Austin taking him down by the wrist. A series of tags leads to top rope elbows to the arm as the announcers talk about where the Wolves came up with their name. Apparently it has to do with teaming together in Wolverhampton, England. This leads to a quick discussion about JB being in that city before and it’s right back to talking about the match. Why does Taz have a job again?
The Wolves double team Aries in the corner and drop elbows on his back, only to have their double dive broken up by a double clothesline. We settle down to Roode dropping a knee on Richards for two. Aries slaps on the Last Chancery and the fans get behind the Wolves. That lasts all of three seconds before it’s back to Roode for a hard clothesline. Davey fights back out of the corner but the double teaming brings him back down.
The match gets a bit boring, so the announcers make predictions for the gauntlet. I love this new team. Aries and Roode keep tagging in and out for chops and punches in the corner. Davey finally comes back with the eternally stupid “make your opponent DDT his partner” spot and the hot tag brings in Eddie. Everything breaks down and Davey has to save his partner from a double suplex, setting up the German suplex into a jackknife cover for two on Roode.
Aries makes the save and sends Davey to the floor before hitting the running dropkick in the corner to Edwards. The Wolves headbutt out of stereo superplex attempts but miss stereo double stomps. The Roode Bomb and brainbuster are escaped as well, setting up stereo rollups for the pin. Eh I prefer monaural but this was good enough.
Rating: B. I think we can pencil this in for match of the night. Yeah it makes it very clear that the drawings are rigged, but this was so much easier to sit through than another comedy match with WACKY partners. There are better matches out there, but this is a classic by One Night Only standards. Good stuff.
Spud, with lipstick on his face, is with Kong and asks about room rates at Motel 6. Kong puts her arm around his shoulders. Spud: “Sup baby?” This cracked me up.
Ethan Carter III is chosen for the next match but has to say all the jokers here are in the audience. He has a pretty good feeling that he might be paired with Tyrus. “Christy, I’ll tumble for you if you tumble for me first.”
Ethan Carter III/Crazzy Steve vs. Tyrus/Knux
Well what are the odds of that? I’m getting a bit tired of thinking something like that over and over. Steve has a pair of Carter’s trunks on because he’s a painted up thief. He redeems himself a bit by doing Ethan’s pose. JB thinks Tyrus is going to lay down for his boss, which isn’t something an announcer just flat out suggests most of the time. Knux’s beard is now curled to either side like pigtails.
Steve and Tyrus get things going but Carter tags himself in to tell the big man to lay down. Tyrus won’t do it though as he could win $100,000….and it’s one finger to the chest for two as Knux makes the save. Steve comes back in to grab a rollup as this slow motion continues.
Knux picks Steve up and walks him around the ring, accidentally kicking Tyrus in the face. We get the Bushwhackers march until Steve rolls Knux up for two. It’s back to Tyrus (I don’t remember a tag in the last two minutes) who misses a splash in the corner, leaving Knux to punch Carter. A dropkick and cross body put Carter down but Tyrus nails Knux from behind to give Carter the pin.
Rating: D. I really don’t care for this kind of match and unfortunately this show feels like it was made by Vince Russo to get all these wacky finishes into three hours. It doesn’t help that they’re just throwing these matches out there and not even trying to hide that the draw is rigged. I’d love to see an actual random draw, just for the fun of it.
James Storm says tonight is a game of chances so even the Revolution aren’t friends and allies tonight.
Eric Young/Bram vs. Magnus/Tommy Dreamer
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I’ve sat through every show in this series and I get ERIC YOUNG AND TOMMY FREAKING DREAMER IN THE SAME MATCH??? My early guess: this match is going to suck. Magnus doesn’t even wait on his partner to get here (can you blame him?) and the fight is on in the aisle.
Now the double brawl is on in the aisle with Dreamer and Young going at it. It’s like my greatest nightmare come to life. Some people are scared of death. Some are scared of their loved ones getting hurt. I’m scared of Eric Young vs. Tommy Dreamer. Thankfully they switch off and start fighting in the ring for the opening bell with Magnus working on the arm…..and of course tagging out to increase the suck.
Bram comes in and gets caught in a spinebuster before Dreamer does a People’s Elbow. Seriously. If Tommy Dreamer is the People’s Champion, I’m defecting to the leeches and rodents. Eric breaks it up and Bram (in his violent pink trunks) hammers away on the floor before putting on a chinlock. Dreamer won’t let Young cover him so the heels tag behind the referee’s back to trade places. At least they were polite enough to make a tag.
Young hooks a chinlock as the announcers talk about what the earlier winners do before they head to the gauntlet. This might be stupid, but it’s better than most of the nonsense I usually have to hear. Dreamer finally hooks an atomic drop and the hot tag brings in Magnus to clean house. Suddenly the match is so much less aneurysm inducing. Young gets thrown to the floor and Dreamer puts on a rooster hat. Well of course he does. Idiot. A fat splash gets two on Bram but Young kicks Tommy low to set up Brighter Side of Suffering from Bram for the pin.
Rating: D. Even though Eric Young sucks and I wouldn’t mind seeing him sacrificed to a pagan crocodile god, he’s much more in his element here with a brawling style and a match that means nothing. I get far more annoyed with him when he’s in the main event and World Title pictures, so throwing him in something like this is more acceptable. Dreamer needs to be thrown into the center of the sun. Maybe his tears about ECW dying can cool things down.
The Wolves enjoy being challenged and Eddie thinks the win was a good sign. That’s some serious insight.
James Storm/Gunner vs. Kenny King/Chris Melendez
Can we get a second match with no screwy booking? It can’t be that hard. Storm and King get things going before it’s quickly off to Gunner, who doesn’t seem to care for Kenny’s antics. They trade leapfrogs until King drop toeholds him down, only to run to the floor from an angry Gunner.
Melendez comes in to face Gunner and they’re nice enough to shake hands. Chris wants Storm but James bails to the floor as the fans tell him he has Herpes. Gunner finally tags out by slapping James in the face. Storm easily takes Melendez down and puts on a Figure Four to really hammer in the evil. If nothing else it proves which leg that hold hurts.
That goes nowhere so Storm and King mock saluting each other, drawing in Gunner to clean house. James tags himself back in but gets cut by some Melendez clotheslines. A tornado DDT gets two on Storm and everything breaks down. Matthews calls King an (uncensored) SOB for a cheap shot to Melendez. Storm sidesteps a horrible spear from Gunner which hits Melendez, giving James the pin.
Rating: D+. This wasn’t much to see but for the love of all things good and holy come up with a new way of booking these things. You can almost guarantee that you’ll have a team who has been together before or a team that is currently feuding, but in this case they doubled up on the lame booking.
Young says he and Bram love having extra opportunities to hurt people. Why not go jump on a pile of chainsaws to hurt yourself then?
Tigre Uno/Manik vs. Sonjay Dutt/Gail Kim
Well that’s certainly different. Feeling out process to start with Sonjay and Tigre trading dropkicks but Manik tags himself in. Sonjay cranks on a wristlock until Manik does a way too complicated flipping escape. Gail comes in and slaps Manik in the mask, only to get shoved down. She avoids a springboard missile dropkick though and does a springboard wristdrag with a headscissors to Tigre as a bonus. Back up and Manik throws her down by the hair but Gail puts on something like AJ’s Black Widow.
Everything breaks down and Manik cleans house to a polite smattering of applause. Manik rolls some suplexes on Sonjay as Matthews talks about being a potential X-Division talent back in the day. I think I’ve heard that before and it’s not the most thrilling idea for the division. Sonjay fights out of a chinlock and sends Manik into the buckle as the announcers discuss Grado. I still don’t get it. Kim comes back in and takes Tigre down with a headscissors, followed by Eat Defeat to both guys. Sonjay adds a top rope splash for the pin on Uno.
Rating: D+. Total spot fest here with no flow, direction or anything unique other than Gail being involved. I like it better than just having your standard match and Kim is more than good enough to hang in there with some guys, but the match was just a bunch of spots by guys that don’t seems like they know how to structure a match.
Lashley/Khoya vs. Abyss/Great Sanada
Well that’s one way to push Lashley. This is the last qualifying match. Lashley and Sanada get things started by trading wristlocks until Lashley plants him with a slam. Khoya won’t tag in though so it’s Lashley vs. Abyss. That’s fine with Lashley as he runs Abyss over as well before hitting a nice suplex for no cover.
Khoya drops to the floor to avoid another tag so Lashley hits a delayed suplex for two on Sanada. Abyss comes back in as the announcers talk about Gail Kim’s love of shoes. We get some stable miscommunication as Abyss hits Khoya by mistake and start slugging it out with Khoya getting the better of it. Both guys grab the other by the throat but Storm tells Khoya to come outside and then go to the back.
So it’s a handicap match now with Abyss splashing Lashley in the corner, followed by Sanada choking with some tape. That doesn’t knock Lashley out because this is wrestling, so Bobby gets up and starts cleaning house with clotheslines. Abyss’ chokeslam is no sold and Lashley spears both guys down for the pin.
Rating: D+. That was different and a good way to get Lashley over, but it’s still not a good match for the most part. On the other hand, the Revolution SUCKS. There are far too many people in it and I have no idea what the point of the team even is at anymore. This was another lame match but that’s almost required at this point.
Basically a Royal Rumble with two minute intervals. Awesome Kong in at #1 and Gail Kim in at #2 for another SHOCKING twist. Gail hammers away in the corner but Kong tosses her down with ease. Some right hands drop Gail again and Kong stands on her hair. Jesse Godderz is in at #3 and offers to let the girls keep fighting. Gail forearms him in the jaw and dropkicks him in the corner, only to be thrown over the top and out to the floor. That earns Godderz a right hand to the ribs but AMAZINGLY, Robbie E. is in at #4.
Kong fights them both off again and no sells Robbie’s chops. The BroMans stand on her hands but Kong goes beast mode to shove them off as Rockstar Spud is in at #5. He cleans house with dropkicks and checks on Kong, who splashes the BroMans in the corner. Spud has to hang on to avoid an elimination but gets thrown to the floor through the ropes. That’s perfect timing as Ethan Carter III is in at #6 and the fight is on in the aisle.
They get back in and Carter sidesteps a charging Spud, sending him into Kong instead. The distraught Spud is eliminated and it’s the BroMans, Carter and Kong. All three guys team up to fail at eliminating her so here’s Gunner at #7. The BroMans double team him down as Kong misses a charge and gets low bridged to the floor for an elimination. Eddie Edwards is in at #8 but the heels triple team him as well. There’s nothing to talk about in this match and Davey Richards is in at #9.
The Wolves start cleaning house with their wide variety of kicks. Carter gets splashed by all three good guys and gets thrown over, only to land on the steps for a save. James Storm is in at #10 to give us Storm, Gunner, Richards, Edwards, Robbie E., Godderz and Carter. Storm is fine with waiting at ringside as Carter begs him for help. That story lasts all of ten seconds before Storm gets in and adds to the incredible levels of dullness in this match.
Sonjay Dutt is in at #11 and is quickly Last Called and dumped. That’s probably good as he might have sped things up and gotten them interesting. Gunner gets a Last Call for an elimination as well. Crazzy Steve, still in Carter’s trunks, is in at #12 and tries to dump Carter until Storm makes the save. Eddie pulls Storm’s shirt over his face and chops away as Khoya is in at #13. We’ve got Khoya, Storm, Richards, Edwards, Carter, Steve, Robbie E. and Godderz at the moment.
Steve bites Carters fingers to send him to the steps again but Carter has some Kofi in him and makes a save. Bram is in at #14 and takes his time to stay away from the ring. That goes nowhere so Lashley is in at #15 to eliminate both BroMans and Khoya in short order. Storm chokes Lashley in the corner to slow him down and Eric Young is in at #16. No wonder this match sucks. Eric Young is the grand finale. The final group is Young, Steve, Lashley, Carter, Storm, Edwards, Richards and Bram.
Young piledrives Steve for an easy elimination and the Wolves clothesline Bram to the floor. The Wolves get rid of Storm as well but Young and Gunner dump both of them, leaving us with Lashley, Carter and Young. Bobby clotheslines both of them at once but Carter saves his makeshift partner. A double suplex makes Lashley look strong again but they send him to the apron for more stomping. That goes badly as well as Lashley low bridges Young out, leaving him with Carter. The 1%er is easily countered and Lashley nails a spear for the elimination, FINALLY ending this.
Rating: D-. The wrestlers clearly didn’t want to be in there and much like everything else tonight, it went so fast that they didn’t have time to develop anything. This match felt like it went on forever and you knew Lashley was winning (ok maybe Carter could have won it again) pretty much the second his music hit. It’s more boring than bad but that’s not really a big improvement.
Lashley gets the check and a three and a half minute highlight package takes us out.
Overall Rating: D. I had some slightly elevated hopes for the new commentary team, but they couldn’t save this. They’re light years better than Taz and Tenay and made the show a lot easier to sit through, but it doesn’t make what you’re watching really dull. This was two hours of goofy booking instead of just throwing out random pairings and making it a bit more interesting before a REALLY boring main event. It’s a one idea show and that idea is done in about the first half hour. The lack of effort really shows in these things and they lose their charm way too fast, including on this one.
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