Date: July 8, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
We’re officially in the Ethan Carter III era, which means tonight is going to be a big celebration. It’s going to be interesting to see where the company goes with Ethan on top, because he was clearly the next logical choice to take the title. Oh and Dixie is back. Yes, about a year after she left, Dixie Carter makes her big return tonight to either congratulate or help deal with her nephew, because the world just wouldn’t be complete without the Duchess of Darlin out there to guide us through life. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the World Title change last week. That really was the only way to go.
Here are Ethan and Tyrus to open things up. Ethan: “DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION YET??? I am the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion and the greatest living wrestler alive.” Dixie has given him free reign tonight, meaning he’s booked the entire card. Therefore, he’ll be defending his title not EC-once, not EC-twice, but EC3 times. This brings out Matt Hardy, who says he took Angle to the limit before Carter’s title shot.
If Ethan is so keen to defend the title tonight, how about Matt Hardy getting a chance? Ethan declines, because Matt may have taken Angle to the limit, but the champ took him over the limit. True actually. Instead, Matt can have a tag match, if he can find someone to replace his idiot brother. Actually Ethan doesn’t mean against he and Tyrus though, meaning it’s time for the Dirty Heels. You can see the talent departures starting to take effect already.
Matt Hardy vs. Dirty Heels
Carter is in on commentary and gets in an argument about Twitter to start. The numbers game has Matt in early trouble as you would expect with Roode dropping Matt face first in a gordbuster. Aries argues with the referee so Roode can punch Hardy in the face behind the referee’s back. That’s quite the dirty heel move.
Ethan’s mic stops working as Matt hooks what used to be called the Ice Pick on Roode until Aries makes a quick save. That earns Austin an Ice Pick but he blocks the Twist of Fate. Instead it’s a suplex over the ropes but Bobby plays Heenan by tripping the leg so Aries can fall on top for the pin at 5:01. Carter: “THEY’RE SO DIRTY!”
Rating: D+. This seems like part of Carter’s reign of terror, but at the same time it seems like it might be a way to just throw people into matches because they don’t have stories for everyone. The Heels cheating makes sense but it wasn’t a good match either way. That’s the problem with shows like this: it makes for a long night of heel dominance, which can be a chore to sit through.
Here’s the Rising for their big breakup speech. Drew promises to keep standing up for wrestling and Drake says one day he’ll show Galloway what it means for Drew getting him in the door. The team leaves Drew alone in the ring and Ethan grabs a mic and starts to cry. It’s sad to see Drew like this, but it’s even sadder that he has a 3-1 handicap match right now.
Drew Galloway vs. Khoya/Abyss/Manik
Drew is in jeans and the beatdown is on early. A clothesline and neckbreaker give Galloway a breather but a BIG Sky High powerbomb from Khoya plants him back down. Abyss doesn’t like Khoya going for the pin though, allowing Drew to catch Manik in a backbreaker. As the other two argue, a big boot to Manik’s jaw (well the mask around his jaw) is enough for the big upset pin at 2:18. Well done on mixing up the heel dominance and hopefully this leads to the official end of the Revolution.
Mr. Anderson congratulates Carter on winning the title but thinks he’d be a great option for one of those three title shots. Carter disagrees and gives Anderson a match next.
Mr. Anderson vs. Bram
Bram gets taken to the mat to start and eats a swinging neckbreaker, followed by a Regal Roll. Well the second attempt at one but it’s better late than never right? A Swanton gets two but Bram elbows out of the Mic Check. That earns him a clothesline out to the floor, only to have Bram nail Anderson with a chair for the DQ at 2:59. That was kind of pointless.
Bram keeps beating Anderson up after the match and orders the mic to be dropped, which he uses to bash Anderson’s head in, drawing some blood in the process.
Robbie E. vs. Jesse Godderz
Street fight. Robbie starts fast and takes it outside for a running flip dive off the apron. A running trashcan shot “knocks the Adonis complex out of the Adonis” (ok that was a good line) and it’s time to head inside. Robbie blasts him between the legs with a kendo stick, which is somehow a way for Josh to transition to plugging another Destination America show.
The cheap plug apparently ticked Jesse off enough that he’s able to send Robbie back first into the post, followed by a buckle bomb. It’s nice to see some basic body part work to set up a submission hold. That’s often considered too basic today but it still works just fine. Robbie comes back with a White Russian legsweep to make Jesse drop his kendo stick before sending him into a trashcan in the corner.
A reverse DDT onto the chair gets two for Robbie but Jesse crotches him on top. Jesse powerbombs him through two chairs in what really should have been the finish (Pope sounds more confused than shocked on the kickout) but instead he has to put Robbie in the Adonis Lock with a chair over Robbie’s back for the pass out at 8:30.
Rating: C+. I had a much better time with this than I was expecting to and both guys are looking great at the moment. They made a very smart move here by not having Robbie tap out. They’ve done a very good job of making Robbie seem like a potentially serious deal, though I can’t imagine Jesse getting very far with a Boston crab finisher.
Lashley wants a title shot but gets Tyrus instead.
Kurt Angle says Ethan’s gauntlet has gotten a lot more interesting.
The Jarretts say they can’t believe that they’re they’re back after everything that happened but TNA is one of the many promotions they’re partnering with. The King of the Mountain Title is going to be defended in Global Force Wrestling and other promotions around the world. That’s not much, but at least we got SOMETHING this week.
TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III vs. ???
First up for Ethan is….Norv Fernum. Pope is of course aghast at these developments. A right hand and the 1%er are enough for the pin in 45 seconds.
Carter sits down in the corner and gets water. “To the body? To the body!”
TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III vs. ???
It’s Shark Boy, complete with a quick plug for Shark Week on Discovery Channel. For some reason Pope thinks this one is hilarious. Shark Boy looks about seven months pregnant. Tyrus: “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” Shark Boy gets in some offense but the 1%er takes him out in 54 seconds.
Carter is ready for the third match and here’s Kurt. Contract, rematch clause, tonight.
Lashley vs. Tyrus
Carter is on commentary again. Lashley runs into Tyrus to start but has a sleeper quickly broken. Instead, Tyrus plants him down with a side slam and drops an elbow for two. It’s hard to believe that Tyrus is in his early 40s. The guy made the big time fairly late in his career and it’s hard to fathom on occasion. Lashley can’t slam him so Tyrus throws him down with a t-bone suplex. That’s fine with Lashley who throws Tyrus onto his shoulder for an electric chair (but he couldn’t slam him?), followed by a spear to put Tyrus away at 4:46.
Rating: D+. Pretty meh match here as Tyrus isn’t exactly great in the ring. The match wasn’t horrible but it was really just an extended workout for Lashley. That’s all well and good though as he’ll likely be back in the main event scene soon enough, which is where Lashley belongs.
The end of the Jarretts’ interview talks about how his goals for Global Force line up with TNA’s and everybody wins. The real history of TNA is in the list of great names they’ve had over the years (including Don West oddly enough) and that’s Jeff’s legacy.
Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky
Before the match, Madison tells Velvet that she belongs in the crowd instead of the ring. The brawl is on because this match needed a story I guess. I’ll take it over “they were in the Beautiful People!” again though. They quickly head outside with Madison being sent shoulder first into the post. Madison grabs a northern lights suplex but has to clutch her shoulder after the kickout. Velvet shrugs off some offense and kicks Madison in the face, setting up the Stunner for the pin at 3:36.
Rating: D+. As usual, Velvet is nothing to see in the ring. Well, her wrestling isn’t at least. The division continues to just kind of meander along except for the title feud, and Velvet being near the top again isn’t something interesting. The fact that it seems like we’re headed for another Gail Kim title reign or at least feud with the Dollhouse makes it even worse. Velvet just doesn’t do it for me anymore after we’ve seen what the girls are capable of doing and that’s not good going forward.
Some TNA wrestlers were at a charity camp. That’s always cool to see.
TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III b. Kurt Angle
Carter, defending, immediately runs to the floor and the stalling begins. Back in and a suplex gets two on the champ and Ethan is back on the floor, demanding a faster count. Kurt goes after him this time and it’s time to roll some Germans. Tyrus gets knocked off the apron and there’s the ankle lock, but Ethan punches the referee. He taps out and Hebner calls for the bell at 3:26. That’s the bell for the DQ of course.
Rating: D. Yeah whatever. I don’t think this one really warrants a full explanation.
Post break and Ethan is still in the ring, saying he got out of that one. Now for the big cherry on top, here’s Dixie! And it’s to SILENCE. On a taped show no less. Ethan is ready for his congratulations for winning the World Title and defending the Carter name but Dixie cuts him off and says she doesn’t recognize the person she was last year. Now it’s Ethan who is out of control and OH MY GOODNESS they’re really making this all about Dixie again.
Yes, after all that time of her turning the show into a playground, we’re supposed to cheer for her because she’s seen the light or whatever. Ethan is taking over so Dixie is ready to announce a matchmaker so he’ll have to defend the title against quality competition. It’s not Dixie (thank goodness) and darlin (you knew that was coming), we’ll find out who that is next week.
Overall Rating: C-. The show wasn’t terrible but as usual, TNA doesn’t know how to let there be more than one major story at once. Above all else though, I do not want to see Dixie Carter on TV. I understand that she is the President of the company and all that jazz, but she is not an interesting character. It feels like the most forced idea in the world and something that the fans do not want to see. HHH was a monster when he left but returned in 2002 to one of the loudest pops of all time. Dixie returned after a year to crickets. What does that tell you about her?
Other than that though, there was too much packed into this show. We had two handicap matches, a street fight and a match that ended in a DQ. It’s too much in one night and that’s not something you want to do here. They need to calm this stuff down, even though they’re running out of time. Look at the Knockouts match for example. That easily could have been cut out and had it’s five minutes handed to something else. That’s where TNA doesn’t get it: they need to stop pushing everything into one show when there’s another week coming up.
Dirty Heels b. Matt Hardy – Aries pinned Hardy with Roode holding his leg
Drew Galloway b. Khoya/Abyss/Manik – Big boot to Manik
Mr. Anderson b. Bram via DQ when Bram used a chair
Jesse Godderz b. Robbie E. – Adonis Lock
Ethan Carter III b. Norv Fernum – 1%er
Ethan Carter III b. Shark Boy – 1%er
Lashley b. Tyrus – Spear
Velvet Sky b. Madison Rayne – Stunner
Kurt Angle b. Ethan Carter III via DQ when Carter punched the referee