Impact Wrestling – July 15, 2015: The Champ Has A Point

Impact Wrestling
Date: July 15, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews

There isn’t much to go off from last week, but the big story is the reveal of the new authority figure, hand picked by Dixie Carter to keep her nephew and World Champion Ethan Carter III in line from letting all the power going to his head. Something tells me this won’t be the most thrilling announcement (because there isn’t a thrilling announcement out there) but maybe it’s better than I’m expecting. Let’s get to it.

The opening recap focuses on Ethan defending his title three times last week, followed by Dixie coming out and saying she doesn’t want the power to go to his head like it went to hers, because the segment was all about Dixie.

Dixie is in the ring to start things off with the roster on the outside. At least I don’t have to hear that stupid song all the way through again. She takes responsibility for the actions that led to her being put through a table last year and she’s sorry for what happened. It was a good thing when she went through a table and broke her back because it gave her a new perspective.

Dixie appreciates what the people in the ring go through and she’s sorry for everything she’s done. It’s time for a new chapter in TNA and she needs them to be a team. This feels more and more like a speech when there’s bad news than a promo. Ethan and Tyrus come out to protest but Dixie introduces Bully Ray as the new authority figure. Yeah that guy who tried to put your company out of business and the man who screwed you over at Lockdown a year and a half ago is a GREAT pick for your new boss. That’s of course forgetting the whole driving her through a table and breaking her back part.

Ray shakes everyone’s hand and starts talking about getting a call from Dixie, where she apologized for everything and said she wanted to do it right. Bully says he understood what she said and believed it, so today he’s back in front of real wrestling fans and the best wrestlers in the world. However, he’s back for the people around the ring, who he wants up on the apron right now.

Every single one of them is here to make this the best show around, no matter what Dixie has done to them. So that brings Bully to a decision, but it’s going to be the fans making the decision. The fans agree, so Ray thinks we should have a battle royal for the #1 contendership, which starts now.

So yeah, this was all about Dixie. I have no idea why I would want to care about her big redemption story, but this boils down to one thing: Dixie doesn’t seem to be a regular character again and that’s a good thing. Ignoring the lack of logic or proper storytelling and another heel champion vs. face authority figure story, and you have something good coming out of this. The promos were acceptable enough, but this isn’t going to set the world on fire, which is so often the case in TNA.

Battle Royal

Abyss, Austin Aries, Bram, Chris Melendez, Crazzy Steve, Drew Galloway, Eric Young, Hernandez, James Storm, Jesse Godderz, Kenny King, Khoya, Magnus, Mandrews, Manik, Mica, MVP, Norv Fernum, Robbie E., Shark Boy

This is joined in progress after the break and the winner gets a World Title shot tonight. Storm hides on the apron as Fernum is eliminated. Steve is put out as well with Mandrews quickly following him to the floor. There goes Shark Boy with Manik following. There isn’t much to talk about here, just like in most battle royals.

Magnus clotheslines Abyss out to almost no reaction, meaning Josh can plug the season finale of Barbecue Pit Masters. Melendez is out as the ring is clearing out a bit. Storm and Magnus are put out as we take a break. The lack of caring about two former World Champions being eliminated is striking.

We take a break and come back with only MVP, Galloway and Young remaining, meaning about twelve people were eliminated during the break. Drew gets double teamed for a bit until Young gets smart by eliminating MVP from behind. Eric loads up the piledriver but Drew reverses and kicks him in the chest for the win at 11:00. Josh: “Is Drew Galloway just one win away from being World Heavyweight Champion?” Well that’s how being #1 contender normally works.

Rating: F. Over half of the eliminations were during the break, which is almost guaranteed to be due to the Hernandez issue. The match was another boring battle royal anyway with very little of interest, but a lot of that was due to the people being thrown out off camera. Galloway winning is interesting though and should make him a main event guy, but instead it’s likely going to be a one off match on a one off show because TNA has made their new star for now with Carter.

Sting Hall of Fame video. This year’s inductee is announced next week.

Mr. Anderson talks about being 39 and not needing to risk an injury at the hands of someone like Bram, who doesn’t even care about his own well being. Anderson knows he can get to the dark places Bram likes to stay, but he doesn’t know if he wants to. This was more emotion than Anderson has shown in a long time and I liked it.

A depressed Rockstar Spud comes up to Bully in the back and isn’t sure what to do now. Ray asks him if he’s depressed about losing to Kurt Angle. Ray: “WE’VE ALL LOST TO KURT ANGLE!” Spud gets an X-Division Title shot in five minutes and Ray gets an unwanted hug.

Kurt Angle Hall of Fame video.

Eli Drake congratulates Drew on winning the battle royal. And of course Drake would never stab him in the back and cost him the shot right?

Before the X-Division Title match, here are some comments from Donald Trump on Mexicans, which Tigre Uno will respond to next week.

X-Division Title: Tigre Uno vs. DJZ vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Grado

Tigre is defending in yet another multi-man title match. I can barely remember the last one on one title shot for the belt. Grado uses the power of fat to control early on, prompting him to try to start a BELLY chant. No one can lift Grado either but he finally misses a backsplash so everyone can dropkick him down. That goes nowhere as Grado gets back up and hooks a neckbreaker for two on the champ. This isn’t the most interesting match in the world so far and it’s showing badly.

Grado and Spud take turns punching DJZ in the head but Grado keeps spending too much time winding up before finally elbowing him down. The two of them start fighting until Tigre springboards in with a dropkick, followed by one of the worst misses I’ve ever seen as Tigre’s Phoenix splash barely grazes Grado’s leg (he held his knee) but still gets the pin to retain at 4:05.

Rating: D. So let’s see: Grado is a fat guy who isn’t all that fat and does at least have charisma, has a gimmick that no one can slam him but he has a cult following. That leaves DJZ and Spud who are just kind of there, plus Tigre who had a horribly missed splash to end this wreck. No story, no real characters and no real reason for this to be happening. Well done TNA: you’ve killed what made people care about you.

Taryn promises to beat Brooke tonight as only the Dollhouse can.

Knockouts Title: Taryn Terrell vs. Brooke

Taryn is defending and chokes in the corner to start as Dinero thinks Terrell is the better Knockout because of her attire, despite it pretty much being the same as Brooke’s. Brooke comes back with a forearm but the Dollhouse pulls her to the floor for a beating. Another comeback is stopped with an elbow in the jaw, followed by another Dollhouse distraction to keep the champ in control.

A high cross body gets a pair of twos on Brooke. Taryn misses what looked to be a middle rope dropkick, allowing Brooke to make her third comeback in about six minutes. Some forearms connect but the Dollhouse interferes AGAIN to stop another comeback. There go the lights and here’s Gail Kim to run interference, allowing Brooke to hit a horribly botched Butterface Maker for the pin and the title at 7:35.

Rating: D-. After hearing Josh talk about the longest reign ever and all that jazz, it’s the female Billy Gunn getting the title? Brooke is one of the worst possible options for the title, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the division needs some fresh blood. Why is that always the case and why is it always the same batch fighting over the title?

Kurt Angle has given Bully Ray a great idea.

Here’s Angle to praise Ethan Carter III for being as talented as he is. Angle has no problem with the loss, but he has a problem with the way he lost the rematch. That’s why Angle went to Bully Ray with an idea: the rematch never took place, meaning there’s another rematch. However, that’s not going to be anytime soon because Angle has a tumor in his neck and is going to be out for a while.

Angle is ready to go but here’s Eric Young to interrupt. Young takes credit for the neck injury because of all the piledrivers over the last few weeks. Eric wants to be the one to put Angle out and goes all angry with some punches to trigger a brawl. Chris Melendez makes the save to break up a piledriver on the floor, only to take it himself instead. Josh is AGHAST that a Canadian doesn’t care about an American war hero.

Team 3D Hall of Fame video.

Due to Hernandez having to be edited out, here’s TNA’s replacement, from Slammiversary 2015. The clipped version airs here but this is the full review.

James Storm vs. Magnus

Unsanctioned so anything goes. They slug it out at ringside to start before heading into the crowd with Magnus taking over. Storm slams him through a table of food and grabs a beer bottle but stops to spit on the announcers, allowing Magnus to come back with right hands. They get back inside with a table being set up but Storm hits him low.

Magnus doesn’t seem to mind as he catapults Storm’s face into the bottom of the table for a unique spot. It’s off to the back of the arena again as a production guy repeatedly tells them that there’s high voltage back there. Magnus is thrown into a box and the video screen goes to a test pattern. That goes nowhere so they head back to the ring with the Eye of the Storm being countered into a powerbomb through the table for two.

Storm comes back with an Orton hanging DDT but stops to set up another table on the floor. Instead of putting Magnus through the table though, Storm yells at Earl Hebner, allowing Magnus to make a comeback. Magnus misses a top rope elbow through the table and crashes onto the concrete. That’s only good for two of course so Storm pulls out some powder.

Magnus comes back for like the tenth time but the powder goes into Earl’s eyes, meaning there’s no count off the Spine Shaker. Instead the Last Call gets two so it’s cowbell time, but Magnus hits another Spine Shaker for two. END THIS ALREADY! Now the cowbell connects and another Last Call gets another two.

Storm sets up two chairs with a piece of barricade bridged between. Magnus superplexes him through the barricade and, say it with me, it gets two. Both guys get bottles and connect at the same time with Storm falling on top for the pin (despite Magnus being on the barricade and therefore his shoulders not being on the mat) at 16:38.

Rating: C+. The match was trying but they went WAY too far and long out there as it was almost a copy of the Rusev vs. Cena match at Payback. Yeah they beat each other up a lot but I lost interest about halfway through. This felt like it was about four matches packed into one, but at least it was a fun brawl. The start was pretty lame though as they were just kind of walking around and trying to figure out what to do.

We see Storm’s promo on Magnus from after Slammiversary where Storm said he could find a woman to stand beside him against Mickie and Magnus.

Storm says there’s always room for one more in the Revolution. The partner will be someone very, very close to Mickie. Whoever it is calls Storm and he walks off to talk to her.

Carter and Tyrus come to see Ray (Ray: “I’ve got to get a door.”) because Ethan fought three times last week. Therefore, shouldn’t we postpone the match with Galloway for another week? Ray loves the input but shoots it down in less than a second. Carter needs to start acting like a champion.

TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III vs. Drew Galloway

Carter is defending of course. Feeling out process to start with Drew hitting a shoulder for little advantage. Some chops have Carter in a bit more trouble and chops against the barricade make it even worse. Cue the Tyrus interference though, drawing out Eli Drake (still on crutches) to even things up as we take a break.

Back with the champ in control and slapping on a chinlock. Carter’s chest is blood red from those chops. Drew fights up so Ethan grabs a front facelock but trips Drew’s leg for something like a reverse DDT. Not the most effective looking move in the world but at least it was different. A slap to the face just fires Drew up though and a top rope clothesline gets two. There’s a powerslam for the same with Drake cutting Tyrus off from making the save.

White Noise gets two more but this time Tyrus is able to get Carter onto the ropes. Back up and Galloway no sells some chops, only to have his elbow hit the referee in the face. Carter hits him low but here’s Drake to turn on Galloway anyway. Totally shocking swerve of course. Drake leaves and the 1%er retains the title at 14:20.

Rating: D+. Not bad but it’s clear that Carter can only do so much in the ring. That being said, it fits his character perfectly as he’s getting close to channeling the Honky Tonk Man mantra of “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.” The match wasn’t horrible but as Carter said earlier: if this is supposed to be a big match, shouldn’t there be more than about an hour and a half to build it up?

Overall Rating: D. This was one of their weaker episodes in a long time. Between the two horribly botched endings and the Slammiversary match eating up a lot of time, there really wasn’t anything to see here. Drew vs. Ethan could have been something interesting but instead it’s a one off match on a nothing show to set up Galloway vs. Drake, which should at least be entertaining. This really didn’t work with lame wrestling and very little set up for the future outside of Ray as the new authority figure. It could have been a lot worse, but this was a bad show.

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