Impact Wrestling – February 20, 2014: As The Cowboy Turns
Date: February 20, 2014
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz
We’re still in Manchester and the big story is the announcement of Lethal Lockdown between Team MVP and Team Dixie for control of the company in two and a half weeks. Last week’s show saw a huge emphasis on the MVP vs. Dixie story with very little else getting extended TV time so hopefully things are given more room to breathe tonight. The main event is Gunner cashing in his Feast or Fired case on Magnus for a World Title shot. Let’s get to it.
We open with an In Memory graphic for Nelson Frazier Jr.
The opening recap shows us Gunner’s road to the world title shot tonight which has been his dream since he was a kid. All he’s wanted to be is a champion and tonight is his chance.
Dixie ensures Magnus that something is a done deal and tells him to go to the ring and break some bad news. Magnus says if Dixie goes down, he’s not going down with her. The champ also tells Ethan that they need to get along, personal feelings aside. Ethan shakes the champ’s hand and they all head to the ring.
Magnus calls MVP out to the ring to make an announcement, as long as the fans sit down and be quiet while he does it. The champ says he isn’t impressed by people who glorify criminal conduct or people like MVP who have spent nine years in jail. Magnus warns MVP to never think about getting in the ring with him, because nine years in jail will be nothing like nine minutes in the ring with the world champ. MVP goes on a rant about how Magnus is always calling himself the champion and a real champion shouldn’t have to do that.
Enough of that though as MVP cuts to the chase: is the Lethal Lockdown match on or not? Magnus accepts on Dixie’s behalf but he won’t be in the match at team captain. He has bigger fish to fry than dealing with some 50 Cena wannabe. If MVP tries to mess with Magnus, he’ll make MVP his…..MVP: “Don’t say it.” Magnus says it anyway and the fight is on. Cue Ethan for the double team and we see Spud telling security to hold the Wolves back. Gunner finally comes out for the save and the heels run, only to have the Wolves show up behind them. Magnus shoves Ethan to them and a kick to the ribs drops Carter.
We recap Bobby Roode helping Magnus over and over again for a promised title shot, only to have Dixie back out of the deal. Roode had to beat Joe last week to get the shot but lost, sending him over the edge. Bobby responds tonight.
Back from a break and Ethan shouts at Magnus that he literally just threw him to the Wolves. Magnus says that it was in the best interest of the Carters and Ethan is ticked.
Samoa Joe is in the ring and says he gets the winner of tonight’s title match at Lockdown. That leaves him without a match tonight and that’s not cool. He’s here in Manchester to get into a fight so any member of Dixieland that wants a fight, come get it. This brings out Zema and the BroMans who surround the ring. Joe asks which it’ll be before saying he’ll fight all three.
BroMans/Zema Ion vs. Samoa Joe
Joe cleans house to start and sidesteps Zema’s middle rope cross body. The tag champions break up the MuscleBuster and Jesse hits a nice dropkick. Robbie drops a middle rope elbow and Zema gets two off a middle rope moonsault. All three of them hit charges in the corner but Joe pulls the BroMans into the way of a Zema missile dropkick. A DDT/Russian legsweep combo takes the champions down to the floor and there’s the suicide elbow. Back inside and Zema charges into the corner Rock Bottom, setting up the MuscleBuster and Koquina Clutch for the win at 3:38.
Rating: C+. This was the right way to use a comedy tag team and their goofy manager. Thankfully the Bro Mans didn’t lose the fall here, even though they got beaten up pretty badly. It’s a good way to make Joe look strong heading into Lockdown and that’s the right idea given the odds he’s up against.
Christy Hemme gets a new battery pack from a production hand. After she leaves, Samuel Shaw comes up and destroys the guy before taking Christy’s old pack.
Bobby Roode goes in to see James Storm and says James is one of the guys that he’s been able to trust in wrestling. Roode apologizes for everything he’s done to Storm over the years and calls the Beer Money times special. Storm isn’t sure what to think and asks if Roode has been in his beer. He thinks Roode is retiring and tries to talk him out of it, saying Roode needs to slap the business back in the face and move on to the next day. They hug and seem to be on good terms.
Austin Aries comes in to see MVP and is offered a spot on the team at Lockdown. MVP calls it the anchor spot but Aries says he puts things over the top instead of dragging them down. Aries asks what’s in it for him and MVP makes some vague promises. Austin says he’s heard that before and MVP just says things will be positive. That’s not enough for Aries but he says he’ll think about it.
Video on the Maximum Impact tour.
Madison Rayne and I believe Gail Kim get in a fight in the back. The camera looked to be a regular handheld one instead of a professional one.
Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne
This is a street fight and the title is not on the line. Madison comes out first and jumps Gail with a cookie sheet. Gail comes back with some choking with a kendo stick but misses a charge into the corner. Madison kicks her to the floor but Tapa dares her to come outside. The champ is happy to oblige and catches Tapa in a guillotine choke, kicking Gail in the process.
Tapa stays on her feet and drives Madison spine first into the apron. Gail puts on the Figure Four around the post but can’t hold onto it that long. Madison comes back with a shot to the face and a clothesline to the ribs which is called a spear. Tapa comes in but takes a cookie sheet to the ribs. The distraction lets Gail hit Madison with the belt for the pin at 4:40.
Rating: C. This was a nice fight but it needed a bit more time. Tapa continues to be a waste of a spot as there’s nothing to her other than she’s big and screams a lot. It doesn’t help that Gail, while very talented, has done almost everything she can do in TNA and there’s not much interesting she can do.
Anderson shows Christy pictures of his kids and Shaw isn’t cool with it.
Another Gunner video on wanting to be a wrestler since he was a kid and becoming a Marine. We hear from his family who are so proud of him. Well done video.
Kurt Angle will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next week.
Ethan says he can’t take anything away from Angle’s career and he’ll let Kurt announce his news next week. He won’t say what that news is but retirement seemed to be implied.
James Storm tells Gunner that this is his time. Gunner says he’s wanted this his whole life and gives Storm the Tag Title Feast or Fired case.
Here’s an emotional looking Roode for his announcement. He says he’s been proud to call Impact Wrestling his home for the last eleven years. As kids, a lot of us have a dream we want to achieve and he’s gotten to do that for seventeen years. Roode isn’t proud of a lot of the things he’s done in the past but he can’t change those things. The only thing he can change is the future and that’s why he’s here tonight. Tonight is his last night as a pro wrestler but the fans say NO.
For the last several months he’s looked in the mirror and only seen hate. He’s had to put up with Dixie’s nonsense for months now and he has to walk away. He thanks the fans but here’s Dixie to stop him from leaving. Roode doesn’t get to make that call because he still has a TNA contract. Dixie brings up Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Sting as people that just caused her problems.
She needs him but Roode says he doesn’t want more lies. Dixie apologizes but Bobby says it’s not his problem and he doesn’t want to be here anymore. She offers him the captain’s spot on her team at Lockdown, offering him 10% of TNA if he wins. He can even have his own lawyers draw up the contract. Bobby reluctantly agrees but threatens Dixie’s future if she screws him over.
A German wrestler named Bad Bones won the international Gut Check challenge. He says something in German but we see Shaw jumping Anderson and taking Christy away.
After a break Bad Influence offers their services for Lethal Lockdown but Roode tells them to prove it tonight. Bad Influence isn’t pleased.
Wolves vs. Bad Influence
Edwards and Kaz get us going and they hit the match for a nice technical sequence into a standoff. Daniels comes in with a cheap shot to Eddie but Edwards brings in Richards for a double Japanese armdrag. Kaz gets kicked in the head but Daniels sends Richards to the floor. Kaz drives him back first into the apron and sends him back inside for a two count off a clothesline.
A spinwheel kick gets two more on Davey but he sends Bad Influence into each other and makes the tag off to Edwards. An over the shoulder Stunner gets two on Daniels before Eddie throws Daniels into the air for a kick from Davey. A pair of top rope double stomps from the Wolves is enough for the pin on Daniels at 6:10.
Rating: C+. I like the Wolves far better as a tag team instead of singles guys fighting over Dan Severn. The match was good for the amount of time it had and I’d like to see the long form version between these teams. Edwards still comes off as the better of the two and I’d see him as having a better future as a singles guy
Shaw takes Christy to a room where she wakes up. He tells her everything is ok and chases off a cameraman.
Willow is coming.
Video on Magnus wanting to be a wrestler.
Roode vs. MVP next week.
TNA World Title: Magnus vs. Gunner
This is no countout and No DQ. After the Big Match Intros, Magnus bails to the floor before any contact is made. Back in and Gunner works on a wristlock but gets reversed into a headlock. The hold stays on for about two and a half minutes before Gunner comes back with a back elbow and a clothesline. Magnus comes right back with a knee to the back to send Gunner outside. The champ calls for help from the back but gets the Wolves and Storm instead as we take a break.
Back with Magnus putting on a camel clutch as Tenay tells us this is No DQ and No countout, which I don’t remember being announced at first. Gunner fights up so Magnus changes to a sleeper, only to get caught in a belly to back suplex. It’s Magnus up first and the top rope elbow gets two. Magnus goes to the floor and gets the title belt but Gunner lifts him into a fireman’s carry. The champ escapes and both guys try cross bodies to give us another stalemate.
Ethan and the Bro Mans come in but the Wolves and Storm immediately come in to counter and they fight to the back. Gunner powerbombs Magnus down and hits a top rope headbutt to the ribs. Spud runs out and puts Magnus’ foot on the ropes and Gunner is TICKED. He goes after the Rockstar but gets blasted in the head with the title for a close two. Storm comes back out as Gunner starts Hulking Up. A Rock Bottom lays out Magnus and Gunner goes up again, only to have Storm superkick him out of the air, giving Magnus the pin at 16:38.
Rating: C+. This was a good match but the constant interference needs to calm down for a bit. I do like Storm turning as it means we don’t have to deal with him being the guy who used to be world champion a few years ago for two weeks. The match was going for an epic showdown but that doesn’t really work when we’ve been told about Gunner’s backstory over the span of two hours instead of say two months. Still though, good stuff and an actual match instead of the insanity with Sting and AJ’s shots at Magnus.
Overall Rating: B-. SO much better than last week. First and foremost, they kept Dixie to just a few segments tonight instead of about 87 last week. The Shaw vs. Anderson stuff helped as well as it sets up stuff for the future and gave us something intriguing tonight. They also started setting the stage for Lockdown which is getting closer and closer. The show wasn’t great but it was such a jump up over last week that it was far easier to sit through.
Samoa Joe b. Bro Mans/Zema Ion – Koquina Clutch to Ion
Gail Kim b. Madison Rayne – Kim hit Rayne with the title belt
Wolves b. Bad Influence – Top rope double stomp to Daniels
Magnus b. Gunner – Pin after a Last Call from James Storm
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