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TNA Impact Wrestling 5-8-15 TV Report: Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young title match

By Jeremy Peeples, WrestlingObserver.com

Last week, Eric Young beat Kurt Angle in the best stretcher match in a long time. Ken Anderson also engaged in a verbal debate with EC3 and promised to "beat the streak". Rockstar Spud lost his X division title in a four-way ladder match thanks to Homicide and cut a fantastic babyface promo in the back putting over the history and importance of that title. Drew Galloway beat Low-Ki in a pipe on a pole match, and the top-notch Mickie James-Magnus-James Storm love triange continued. This week, Eric Young gets a title shot with a mystery former TNA World Champion as referee in the first live-ish show since the Destination America debut back in January.

The show begins with Eric Young in the ring with no music playing demanding who the referee is. He's been the number one contender for five weeks and deserves to know. Bully Ray comes out and according to Josh, "TNA's governing authority" made this decision. Bully gets a "Bully" and "welcome back" chant while fans give him a thumbs up. Bully says his name is Bully Ray and he's tonight's special guest referee. A video package airs for tonight's card. EC3 comes down for his match with Mr. Anderson. He's in new white, red, and blue gear since he's the American Icon while Tyrus has a Tyrus "nuff said" logo on his singlet in the style of the NWO logo. 

EC3 gets a big chant and says he knows everyone voted for the gentlemanly endeavor - arm wrestling. A dueling you can't wrestle/yes he can chant breaks out while EC3 says "God bless Impact Wrestling and God bless EC3." Anderson comes down and says that people are tired of hearing EC3 talk, so he announces the results - 85% of the fans want Anderson's falls count anywhere stip. Josh Mathews is flying solo tonight on commentary.

Match 1 - Ken Anderson vs. EC3 - Falls Count Anywhere

Anderson slugs it out with EC3, who loses that battle. Tyrus comes in and gets sent to the floor via a low bridge. Get lands an outside-in suplex, but Tyrus clubs away on the floor before eating a Mic Check into the post. EC3 tries to leave, but a pregnant woman stops him and then Ken punches and chops away. Ken gets a low blow on the floor and 2 on the ramp. Ken gets a ton of chairs out from under the ring and sets them up on the ramp. EC3 rakes the eyes and gets a schoolboy for 2. Awesome bit where Ken goes for a running clothesline, but EC3 hoists him up and gets a big backdrop for 2. Given his bad arm, this was incredibly impressive.

EC3 spits on Ken, who responds with a Finlay roll to the chairs for a series of two counts. A new "EC3/SUCKS!" chant broke out after that. Ken runs wild with a series of clotheslines and back elbows before doing a neckbreaker. Tyrus comes in and lands the exploder and a corner avalanche. The Asiatic spike hits and now EC3 has his chance to win and makes the most of it with a win here. This was the best Anderson match in quite some time and the hot crowd helped it a lot.

Kurt meets with Bully backstage, who says eight months away has been too long. Kurt wants him to call it down the middle, and Bully asks if he knows who he is. After a break, Gail tells Kong to keep things civil tonight since Taryn has made a mockery of their division. She and Kong team up tonight against the entire Dollhouse while Josh calls it epic. The BDC comes down with their flag and new masks with the BDC facemask logo on it. We get clips of Drew winning last week's match, but a brawl breaking out afterwards. 

MVP has his red Punisher bodysuit on and says that since they're live, he'll say some things that are uncomfortable. MVP says that the fourth mask in his hand belongs to Homicide, because he was blindsided and had shoulder surgery. He's not saying that The Rising did it, but they probably know someone who did. MVP says that the BDC takes what they want - like the U.S. government does when it wants oil. He's tired of the fans calling them thugs, and saying it's the new code-word for something that was probably just "bigger" live. 

Josh theorizes that perhaps The Rising did cause the attack...why? Why would the lone voice of the audience side with the heels? The Rising has lyrics for their song now, and it's pretty good. Drew says the streets aren't his playground - the ring is. Drew points out that Homicide calls himself Homicide, so it could be anyone that jumped him. Drew says that maybe it was someone in his group. MVP says he doesn't give a damn about pro wrestling - he just wants the power that comes with being a champion. MVP says Drew cares about workrate, while he cares about interest rates. He loves the lifestyle that being in wrestling brings him. MVP tells him to get his ass to the ring and collect his beatdown. This was some pretty excellent mic work from MVP. A brawl breaks out and the faces send the heels to the floor for an ad break.

Match 2 - MVP vs. Drew Galloway

We come back with the bell ringing, so the match has now begun officially. It's apparently only Galloway vs. MVP despite the faction match being teased at the show's open. MVP lands a kneelift to Drew's face and goes to town in the corner before chickenwinging his arm in the ropes. Drew comes back with a chop, but goes up top and gets pulled off for two. Drew lands another nice chop, but eats an armbar codebreaker for 2. In a surreal sight, Josh Mathews plugs Dixie Carter's appearance on the Steve Austin Show complete with photos of the two together. Drew avoids a backdrop with a boot, while MVP takes him out with Joe's swinging powerbomb into the barricade. Drew tries to backslide out of the Play of the Day and gets a Future Shock DDT for the win. 

Eric Young comes down and joins the BDC in attacking The Rising. Josh says he's shocked by this before saying that he's been aligned with the group before. That was a key story for about a month, and since he knew about that, why was he surprised? The BDC stands tall on The Rising while King tells them all to stand up. The BDC leaves and MVP repeats their mantra that they do what they do because they can. We get a shot of a door while hearing from James Storm in a strange-sounding room saying he has gifts tonight. This really needed a retake because of the echo-filled area they were in. A Kurt Angle hype video asks "Who's Next?" 

James Storm comes down with a giant gift box while wearing a slightly-ridiculous white and orange checkerboard shirt. Storm says he can talk about beating people up and drinking people up, but he wants to shift the spotlight to someone who deserves it - Mickie James. She comes out and he says that she knows she's transitioning from wrestling to motherhoood. She gets a huge "Mickie" chant and he says that without his mother showing him right from wrong, he wouldn't be here, so God Bless Mothers!

He says she promised one more match and he's sure that will happen and he wants to celebrate her music. He says she's an amazing wrestler, singer, entertainer and friend. He gets an "open it" chant going and they reveal an new purple, white, and black guitar. Well, they probably have a ton of Jeff Jarrett guitars left, so why not get some use out of it? He sings "Mama Don't Let Your Boys Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and then takes a variety of silly photos with Mickie. James Storm as a wacky fake babyface is so much more fun than the Bray Wyatt copycat. He has a gift for Magnus too - his Brutus Magnus gladiator helmet! Storm says he has a gift for their son - a rag, and Magnus runs down and smashes the guitar on his head. This was pretty fantastic stuff. 

EY tells MVP that they're good business partners, and if he wins the title, they win the title. Josh is ringside and says that Gail Kim joined her husband Robert Irvine on stage and JB talks to her before Taryn takes selfies with Robert's daughters. A new Knockouts hype video airs saying they're "sexy, powerful, and athletic" - which is completely different than the "smart, sexy, and powerful" WWE divas. The Dollhouse comes out and Taryn has new blue and pink gear with a giant pink bow on her ass. Their theme is also far less creepy. Gail comes down and waits for Kong because she's one of the few babyfaces in wrestling who isn't an idiot.

Match 3 - The Dollhouse vs. Awesome Kong and Gail Kim

Jade and Gail start it off with a rana sending Jade out while Kong tags herself in and attacks Marti. Gail comes in again and argues with Kong, but they team up against Marti and Jade. Double stinger splashes by the faces lead to Josh getting his second "shock and awe" reference in for the night. Marti rakes the back of Gail and gets a facebuster. Jade gets a rolling somersault in the corner to Gail for 2. Gail gets tossed into the heel corner and comes back before eating a double team move for 2. Jade and Marti go for a wheelbarrow splash, but Gail gets the knees up for this slow-moving attack. Taryn saves Jade from a submission with a cheapshot. Marti talks smack to Kong, who tosses her into a clothesline.

Kong and Taryn come in. Kong slams Taryn, but the Dollhouse saves her from an Implant Buster. Missile dropkick from Gail gets 2. Implant Buster hits Jade, which lets Taryn gets a schoolgirl with the tights for the win while Josh rants about the rules meaning nothing. Marti eats defeat and takes an Implant Buster as well. Taryn yells "you don't have this" while making silly faces - she's a riot in this role.

We get a recap of the Hardys winning the tag titles and then Josh shows the Hardy accident. Matt is backstage with the titles while Josh speculates about the future of the titles. An ad airs for One Night Only - Xtravaganza with Dalton Castle and an Ultimate X match. Storm-Magnus-Mickie recap. Mickie tells Magnus that now he's disrespected her - so that saga continues a bit. Matt Hardy comes out with the gold. JB interviews him and asks how Jeff's doing. Matt says that Jeff isn't a character - he's an enigma who does what he wants. Matt says they're going to vacate the titles. Given that Helms works in TNA as an agent now, I'm a bit surprised he isn't going to just be a surrogate here. Matt tells JB it's time to go home and figure out what's next for him. 

The Dirty Heels come out with a new mashup theme and shake hands with Matt. Given how bad mashups tend to be in wrestling, this one actually sounds pretty good. Aries says it's a big night and he's still got his case, but now they're after the tag team titles. The titles seem cursed because the people who hold them get hurt, but while that's unfortunate, it opens up an opportunity for two men who were champions and didn't get hurt. Roode says the titles shouldn't be vacated every other week - they should be defended by two of the best pro wrestlers on the planet! I love seeing titles being treated as important. The Wolves' theme hits and Davey comes down in black slacks, a black shirt, and a white skinny tie. Davey says he respects them, but the title of "best tag team in the world" belongs to The Wolves. Aries says that's true, but there's no plural here since Eddie isn't here.

Davey says the Wolves hunt in packs, and Eddie returns with a far better-looking outfit involving a wider grey tie. Eddie says his heel is better the crutches are gone and as of noon, he's been cleared to compete. The crowd gives that a "that is awesome" chant and Eddie says he knows The Wolves are the best tag team in the world and they should do that with a tag title match. But not just any match - a match people will talk about for years - a best of series. Well, that will be an absolute blast to see. Beer Money and the Machine Guns had a great one in 2010 that turned into a best of seven series - so this should be must-see stuff. 

Matt Hardy gets his luggage and goes to leave, but Drew comes up to him and says that they're a lot alike. Angelina Love is mid-week and talks about the BroMans breakup, the Dollhouse, and the Kong/Kim team. She doesn't care about that because she wants to talk about herself - the only Beautiful Person in TNA and the greatest knockout ever. Velvet Sky is in the crowd with a radically new hairstyle, blonde hair and red and purple highlights. Her new look complete with torn denim works shockingly well. Love says she'd have texted her back, but she was busy having a life. Velvet is completely stone-faced. Well, as long as Winter doesn't return, this has potential. Angelina wants her to do something, so Velvet spears her! Awesome! Velvet chokes out Love and then goes back to being stoic. Security escorts her away while Josh reads his script on-camera about Eric Young being world-class. 

This leads to a video package of EY saying he's world-classic and showing his reign of destruction. EY asks Bully if he's there to screw him and Bully says he's just here to ref a match. We go to an ad break, so the main event is next. Bully comes out, followed by EY, and then the champion. Josh talks about EY's involvement with the BDC and how Kurt could easily be an Avenger. We get a cool shot of Angle holding the title up before the match.

Main Event - Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young for the TNA World Heavyweight Title

Nice matwork starts things off and lets EY shine. EY takes control with stomps on the neck on the mat. Overhead belly to belly hits EY, who comes back with chops and punches in the corner. Kurt saves himself by focusing on the knee, but EY rakes the face. Kurt whips him into the corner, but EY does the Flair flip and eats a run-up belly to belly. They battle it out on the floor and the BDC comes down for an ad break. 

We come back to see Eric Young get 2 off a neckbreaker. Josh tells us this is the final commercial break and EY chokes Kurt in the corner with his boot. EY elbows the neck and snapmares him down for a chinlock. We get a mid-ring punch and forearm exchange, which is won by Kurt with some European uppercuts before EY comes back with overhand shots but eats a backdrop. Rolling Germans lead to five suplex before a release and an Angle slam attempt. EY sunset flips out of it and eats an ankle lock. MVP pushes the rope to help EY. Bully warns MVP and EY low blows Bully. 

The BDC attacks Kurt before Chris Melendez comes to save Kurt. The Rising makes the save when Melendez is taken down. EY goes to piledrive Bully, but he gets backdropped and takes an awkward Angle slam for 2. EY rolls through an ankle lock and gets a piledriver for 2.5! EY's look of shock was fantastic here. Kurt turns a crossbody off the top into an ankle lock with a grapevine for a tapout. Bully holds Kurt's hand high and sells the low blow still. Kurt poses on the ramp and holds his title high before Bully raises his hand again.

This was an excellent show and well-worth going out of your way to see. They made the tag team titles seem important and delivered a high quality world title match too. The Storm-Magnus-Mickie issue continues to be the best-told story in the company, while The Rising-BDC war took some turns with the race-baiting and then got back into a groove by teasing Matt Hardy joining the fray. The return of Velvet Sky and Bully Ray helped out the show too, and the Dirty Heels vs. Wolves best of five (or maybe seven if it's like the last best of five series in TNA) should be something special as well. They built a strong foundation for Slammiversary, and they really needed it.

For a look at every screenshot for the show, just click here.