Thursday, 13 March 2014 21:33
3.13 Impact Wrestling
The Big News: A very strange and eventful follow-up show to the Lockdown PPV featured a babyface turn by Bully Ray, who laid out almost the entire heel roster during the course of the show. Angelina Love returned. So did Bobby Lashley. Sanada debuted...as the new X Division champion. We were told that, though never showed how he won the belt. Tigre Uno debuted. So did a new Knockout named Brittany. So did Willow, Jeff Hardy's alter ego that couldn't have had a stranger match with Rockstar Spud. And there was no Dixie Carter. It was a crammed show full of talk and short matches. Anyone noticing a theme here with past booking regimes?
Ethan Carter the Third led a group of heels into the building who organized like a lynch mob ready to blame Team Dixie's Lethal Lockdown loss on Bobby Roode. They approached Roode, who told them the real person to blame was Dixie because of her insurance policy, Bully Ray. Roode proposed they kick Ray's ass when he gets into the building, which everyone agreed with.
MVP came out and proclaimed Dixieland closed. He proclaimed himself the new Director of Wrestling Operations, and said he would base his three principals: Motivate, Validate and Participate. Magnus interrupted him and bragged about his win over Samoa Joe and introduced his new associate, Abyss, who has a new look. He has a mask that looks like what Keiji Muto wore at Wrestle Kingdom. Magnus said unlike Jim Mitchell and Eric Young, he doesn't look at Abyss as a monster, but a machine motivated by money and power. Samoa Joe came out, still selling his ribs from Abyss' shot with Janice on Sunday. MVP announced that Magnus would defend the TNA title against Joe next week. He then ordered an immediate match between Joe and Abyss.
1. Abyss defeated Samoa Joe by DQ in 9:33. Joe sold his ribs throughout the match in a match that was mainly brawling. After a senton, Joe attempted the Musclebuster, but Abyss blocked it and hit a chokeslam. Abyss pulled out Janice below the ring until Young ran down and hit Abyss with a missile dropkick, and another dropkick to knock Young out of the ring. Tough for Abyss to regain his monster heel heat when he's feuding with Young, who just feels like a comedy figure regardless of how hard he tries to escape that label. *1/2
Jeremy Borash was ready to interview Ray when Angelina Love walked up as a surprise return as asked him he had missed her.
Borash again waited for Ray to show up when Willow
Brittany came out as the newest Knockout. Formerly knows as Santana Garrett, Brittany was introduced as someone whose father promoted wrestling throughout the midwest and said she looked up to Madison Rayne.
2. Brittany defeated Gail Kim in 2:02. Another example of the Vince Russo school of booking where no storyline which can be built over two months can be wasted in one segment. Brittany's offense consisted of forearms, and she's got work to do. The finish came when Tapa ran in the ring to hit Brittany, but collided with Gail Kim instead. No DQ for any of this, despite what we just saw in the first match. Brittany pushed Kim into Tapa (who had a hard time getting positioned correctly) and Brittany got the upset pin with a schoolgirl cradle. Brittany hardly celebrated for someone who had just beaten the top heel woman in the company. 1/2*
So Kim and Tapa had a mean stare down to tease the breakup for the June PPV, right? No, they just rushed the break up right here. Kim pushed Tapa, which led to a punches being thrown and Tapa giving Kim a brutal spinebuster. So Kim and Tapa went from being friends on Sunday to now starting a total blood feud four days later. if I was New Japan or Wrestle-1, I'd be checking to see who the "consultants" were on this angle the full nine yards before I'd venture into any more business dealings.
Ray walked into the building..and Borash wasn't there to interview him. Instead, Rockstar Spud said Ray would get his ass kicked tonight. Then, Bro Mans, EC3, and DJ Zema attacked him. They left him laying and Spud choked him out with a chain. Roode screamed that Ray had not only screwed over Dixie, but Roode as weel. Roode hit Ray with a big road sign.
Sanada was introduced as the X Division Champion. They showed him in a backstage interview with Muto, who appeared sans makeup. Muto put him over as someone who could established Japanese Wrestling in America just like he did 25 years ago. If you're left wondering how Sanada won the X Division title from Austin Aries, you're not alone. Mike Tenay made mention of it, but there was no footage shown. Just another example of why this company can't get even the most basic things over.
3. Sanada and Tigre Uno defeated Bro Mans in a non-title match in 2:46. Tigre Uno launched a comeback that got the crowd involved. Sanada and Tigre hit stereo missile dropkicks. Sanada pinned Robbie E with a moonsault. *1/2
Ray briefly sold his attack in the back. So after getting choked with a chain, pounded by five guys and hit with several foreign objects, Ray picked up his chain and got up after selling it for about six minutes.
Velvet Sky and Rayne talked backstage. Rayne brought up that Love was back tonight. Sky looked torn over that news.
Robbie was upset over the loss to Sanada and Tigre when Ray barged into the locker room and attacked Jessie Godderz with a chain. Zema ran in and was thrown into a locker.
Samuel Shaw talked to someone we were supposed to believe was Christy Hemme backstage. He wanted her to join her at ringside tonight.
Joe talked with Young backstage and told him to stay out of his business or else there would be problems. Young said he created the monster that is Abyss, and he must take care of the problem. Young said he would be chained to Abyss during Joe's match with Magnus. Young acknowledged it was a terrible idea. I'll say.
EC3 and Spud came out with a portrait of Dixie Carter, which was more charismatic than the real thing. Crowd chanted "Dixie's Lap Dog" at Spud. This was a segment designed as a comedy funeral segment with the loss being Dixie's control of wrestling operations. Problem is, this was done 100 times better last fall during the Aces and Eights funeral. There was the requisite video that portrayed Dixie as a babyface which even had a twitter hastag, and good lord did that lead to some unintentional comedy on Twitter. Sometimes I think these people are gluttons for punishment. Spud started to read a poem, but it was the lyrics to the song "Dixie." MVP finally came out and reiterated Dixie wasn't gone from the company. He said that Spud has grown on him, like a fungus or a rash. He complimented Spud for staying loyal to Dixie, but said Spud was no longer the chief of staff. He was now a wrestler. Spud said some of the Knockouts were bigger than him. MVP tried to pump him up, and said that Spud would face Willow. EC3 looked disgusted, so MVP said "C3PO" would face Bobby Lashley, who came out to very little reaction. Under the Urban Dictionary, you'll find Lashley's name defined as "TNA's Bautista." Spud started to mouth off to Lashley, who smashed the portrait over Spud's head. Spud was great selling it. EC3 and Lashley had a staredown.
Borash interviewed EC3, who said he would beat Lashley like he did Kurt Angle. Ray jumped EC3 and hit him with the same road sign he was ambushed with earlier.
4. Mr. Anderson defeated Sam Shaw in a street fight in 3:54. Despite it being a street fight, there was virtually no weapons used. Shaw came out with his mannequin of Hemme. After Hemme did the ring announcing earlier, Broash handled it for this match with no explanation as to where Hemme went. Shaw jumped Mr. Anderson as he was about to do his standard intro announcing. Anderson hit the Lambeau Leap, then kissed the mannequin. Shaw freaked out but walked into a Mic Check. *1/4
Another Kenny King vignette where he portrays himself as the King of the Night.
Love came out to a pretty good reaction, but nothing like Velvet's return last year. Sky since her departure, she really didn't understand what it meant to not understand what you have until its gone. Love called Sky down to the ring and did her complete ring entrance. They hugged. Love said she couldn't change the past and if it wasn't for Sky, she would have never reached the heights she did. She dropped shoot names about her past like Angel Williams growing up in Canada. The crowd reaction was so tepid, I was surprised. Love wanted to put the Beautiful People back together. Sky looked apprehensive and said she was able to capture the Knockouts title for the first time on her own while Love was away. Now, she was ready to move on. Sky said there will never be a bond as strong as the Beautiful People ever, and she's ready to move forward. Love said there was unfinished business for the Beautiful People. Like what? The Knockouts tag titles? Sky didn't give a straight answer. And they just cut to the back. Weird segment. The Beautiful People was a great heel act in 2008, but it was one of the few things worth a damn in TNA at that point. I have no idea what you do with them at this point, so I guess Love and Sky wind up feuding out of this, which has also been done.
5. Rockstar Spud defeated Willow by DQ in 2:23 Willow has a unique ring entrance shot in black-and-white. Once you get beyond that, it's Jeff Hardy dressed in a Jushin Liger mask with dreadlocks. Spud got tied to the tree of woe, and Hardy started looking for a foreign object that he couldn't find. He finally located his umbrella, which he drove into Spud groin. That got him DQ'd. Willow then gave the referee the Twist of Fate. Willow pulled out a ladder and a chair. Willow gave Spud a gourdbuster, tied up Spud's angle in the chair like he was Brian Pillman and stomped on it. Willow then hit a splash off the top of the ladder. Crowd was really confused about this. It's not 1998 anymore, and the last thing TNA needs are a group of bad attitude babyfaces that make the heels appear right and justified.
Then Ray came out and gave Willow a willing nod on his way to the ring. After a commercial, Spud just disappeared. The main event segment was Ray explaining his babyface turn. He said
when people are about to die, they see their whole lives pass before their eyes. Ray said that happened to him when Anderson shut the lid on the casket. He said he was ready to explain his actions from Sunday before he was jumped tonight by Roode and company. He said he wanted to save Roode from himself on Sunday. If Roode had won that match on Sunday, he would have turned into another Dixie, which was the last thing the wrestling world needs. Well, that and another heel authority figure. Ray challenged Roode to a fight, so Roode came out. Ray did his old babyface spots, including the flip, flop and fly and brought out tables. Roode recovered and gave Ray the Double R Spinebuster. Roode teased the Roode Bomb through the table, but Ray gave him a Bubba Cutter. Bubba power bombed Roode through the table. So much for retaining the heel's heat.
SUMMARY: There was just too much going on for one show here. 15 minutes of talk for every 3 minutes of wrestling. Lots of backstage stuff. Debuting wrestlers going over established stars. It feels like Russo is becoming more and more attached to this show, which may prove to give TNA a Viking Funeral. Actually, that might be Russo's next PPV idea.