Feast or Fired makes its return tonight on iMPACT. Ethan Carter III, Zema Ion, Chavo Guerrero and Gunner are among a group of men that will all compete for the four briefcases. Three men will get rewarded, but one man will be sent packing. Who will be the odd man out?
And of course more with AJ and Dixie and the TNA World Heavyweight Title picture. How will AJ make Dixie miserable tonight?
Show Open, taped in Orlando, FL
We get a recap of the AJ Styles/Dixie Carter drama that happened at the end of last week's program. Styles tells Dixie that if she wants the title, she has to go to Gainsville, GA and get it from him.
They show Rockstar Spud driving a car. He's talking on the phone, leaving Dixie a message saying that he's en route to Gainsville, GA.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring, and he sets up the Feast or Fired match. JB points to four briefcases on a table. He says one has a TNA World Title shot, one an X-Division title shot, one a tag title shot, and the other is a pink slip. He turns to the Wheel of Dixie to set the stipulation.
Before he can go on, Kurt Angle interrupts. Angle heads to the ring and takes the mic from JB and tells him to get out of the ring. He kicks over the table and the wheel of Dixie. Angle calls out Bobby Roode, whose music hits immediately.
Roode walks out and asks if Angle wants to fight. "Too bad, it's not going to happen." He says he is the one who should be upset because he was eliminated from the title tournament because he slipped and fell through a table.
Roode and Angle jaw back and forth on the mic a bit, then start brawling at ringside. Roode rolls in the ring, and Angle follows and hits a spear. Angle unloads with punches until referees and agents run out to break things up. They keep them apart for a bit, but Roode breaks free and kicks Angle square in the nuts. Roode challenges Angle to a best of three falls for next week's "Final Resolution" themed show.
Angle/Roode feels a bit "been there done that" to me, even though I enjoy it. Even the live crowd didn't really react to it like it was that hot. None the less, it should be a good "best of three falls" match next week and I'm looking forward to that.
We get a video recap of the story between Joseph Park, Eric Young, and Bad Influence.
Young asked Park if he's ready for the tag match with Bad Influence. Park says he's not sure if he is or not. Young tells Park this is his chance and asked Park to trust him.
Tenay plugs upcoming events, and Taz is on color tonight.
Match #1 - Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. Joseph Park and Eric Young
Bad Influence controls early on. Kaz holds Park while Daniels slaps him around. Young clears the heels out then yells at Park. Young puts him in a headlock and says "I'm sorry" then punches Park a few times. Park comes up bloody and confused.
Young wipes the blood on his hand and shows Park. Park snaps and goes Abyss as Bad Influence tries to attack from behind. Park hits Kaz with a chokeslam and nails Daniels with a backbreaker. A short time later, he hits the Black Hole Slam on Kaz to get the win.
Afterward, Young tells Park he has been looking for Abyss for 18 months. Young says the reason he can't find Abyss is because "you are Abyss." Park shakes his head no but Young pats him on the shoulder and leaves. Park looks around and the fans start chanting "you're Abyss" at Park.
It only took 18 months for Eric Young to figure out the mystery that most fans figured out 17 months and three weeks ago. No real complaint though. It is time to move this on though.
We get a YouTube clip of Ethan Carter III getting a massage. He says he had to take out another legend last week, and this week he will have a moment that will make social media explode.
Tenay gives us some hype for the Feast or Fired match.
EC3 makes his entrance. Taz gushes about how he is creative and calls him a "must see competitor." EC3 tells Brian Hebner, who is waiting in the ring, to not worry. The crowd chants at him to "shut (your) mouth." EC3 announces that he plans to face TNA's "social media guru" Jeremy Borash. EC3 says that he is a Carter and orders a shocked Jeremy Borash to the ring.
Sting's music hits and he heads out. He says that EC3 has done "absolutely nothing in this business." Sting says that the Feast or Fired competitors will compete and take chances. He asks EC3 to man up and "enroll yourself" in Feast or Fired "or you can just fight me right now." The fans start a Sting chant.
EC3 accepts and he acts like they will fight. He pulls back and announces that he will compete in Feast or Fired. The live crowd boos.
That was actually well played. Sting gave a good crowd-rallying promo and EC3 got heat for taking away what the fans wanted, which was for Sting to hand him his ass.
Rockstar Spud is heading for Gainsville, GA. He stops at a gas station and asks where he might find AJ Styles. The man tells Spud that AJ and his friends hang out at a bar about a mile up the road.
Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa are out in the ring. Kim says it's another week of her open challenge and criticizes the competition for being "below average." She asks Tapa if she agrees, and Tapa just stands there holding the title belt. Kim asks for her next challenger.
ODB comes out and Taz calls this a mistake. "What is this whack job doing out here?" ODB gets in the ring and Kim says she's looking for better competition. She says she has beaten OBD repeatedly and tells her to leave. ODB says she's not there to kick Gail's ass - she's there for Tapa.
ODB takes a shot at Tapa and clotheslines Kim. ODB picks up Tapa for a slam but Gail clips her. Tapa puts the boots to ODB. Madison Rayne pops up out of nowhere and spears Kim. She throws Gail to ringside then takes a shot on Tapa, who no-sells it. Tapa knocks her down, but ODB and Madison team up to clear Tapa out of the ring.
A surprise return. Nice to see Madison back - she adds talent to a depleted division immediately. And she looks in shape.
Spud is still looking for AJ. He walks in a bar and asks the bartender if she knows "Mr. Allen Jones." He buys a ladyboy chaser in hopes that he will get info from the bartender. She gives him a beer with a lemon in it and walks away.
Spud turned his act down for these segments, and they're more watchable. Not the most fascinating things ever though.
At the bar, Spud gets the band's mic and says he's looking for Allen Jones, but he might be known as AJ Styles. A man speaks up and tells Spud the mic is for singing, so he needs to sing. Spud puts himself over as a rockstar, and sings a rendition of "God Save the Queen" until he gets led out.
Ugh. This wasn't good and it felt like it was a cheap knockoff of something WWE would try to pull. I keep hoping for TNA to be the true alternative to WWE and drop some of the "sports entertainment" stuff...but...we get this...
James Storm and Gunner are talking about their recent issues. Storm says they can right the wrongs in the Feast or Fired match. Storm says Gunner can grab the tag title contract while he grabs the TNA Title contract, and they could have all the gold. Gunner says one of them could end up getting fired. Storm says "Sorry, about your damn luck." and walks off.
Tenay hypes up Feast or Fired again and says that Magnus and Jeff Hardy will go face to face in the ring after break.
Spud is shown getting out of his car after saying that Styles' house is three doors down. Back at Orlando, Dixie is shown heading to the ring.
Dixie cuts a promo. She first confirms that Roode and Angle will face off next week in a best of three falls match. She then complains about AJ Styles and says he is making a mockery of her and the title. She says after next week she will have a real world heavyweight champion and it will be "my world heavyweight champion."
Magnus is first to make his entrance, then Jeff Hardy. Tenay plugs Hardy's record and the tournament final next week. Dixie says that either man would make a great champion for her company and asks for final words from either man before the match.
Hardy recalls winning the Bound for Glory series and TNA Championship. He says that 2012 was "our year." He says one week from now he and the creatures will win the TNA title again. Hardy leads a chant. Magnus says he might be the youngest man in the tournament but he isn't stupid. He knows the fans are Hardy's people.
Magnus admits Hardy is the top guy and thanks him for putting food on his table. However, he says Hardy won't be a top guy or anything else to him other than the final obstacle when they enter the ring. Magnus says that if he's going to be the number one guy then he has to beat the number one guy. "Make no mistake about it, in our industry, I look at you as the number one guy." Magnus says that means he has to beat Hardy and he has every intention of doing that. Hardy and Magnus shake hands.
Dixie says the Wheel of Dixie was destroyed earlier, but there was one match left on the wheel. She says the two will compete in a DixieLand match. She sends it to a video package to set it up. The goal is to escape the cage and then go to the stage to climb a ladder and retreive the belt.
Dixie says the winner gets to travel with her on the corporate jet and represent the company in every endeavor. She says it will lead to late nights but it will be worth it. She tells the two that her VIP table is open to them tonight. She says if either is smart enough to take her up on it, they both know where to find her and her favorite bottle of cabernet.
I am fearful that this DixieLand match is a Vince Russo abomination that never got used before he left. The dynamic of faces chasing a title that belongs to another face feels pretty strange too. Dixie's offer felt awkward and telegraphed where this thing is heading. Because of spoilers, I know what the result is - and it seems pretty obvious even if I didn't know.
Chris Sabin talks about how great he is while talking to Velvet Sky. He asks her if she changed her hair recently and she says she hadn't.
The Search for AJ...
Spud is looking for AJ's house using a small flashlight. He tries to use a card to jimmy the lock but he gets in. He gets scared seeing a deer's head, then hits a guitar nearby that makes noise. Spud sits down on the couch and happens to see the TNA title belt inside a case.
Styles walks down the stairs and asks Spud if he found what he was looking for. Styles asks if he really thought he could come to his town, throw his name around, and AJ wouldn't find out . He admits that he left the door open because he knew Spud was coming. Styles says they could call the police, or call friends, then asks Spud if he ever saw Pulp Fiction. Styles takes back the title belt and Spud runs for his life.
Did AJ leave that deer head in the chair on purpose knowing Spud was on his way, or is this normal for his house? It wasn't a bad segment, but it didn't keep my interest.
Tenay runs through the upcoming live event schedule.
Mr. Anderson says he had fun at the Aces and Eights funeral, but now it's time to get serious about regaining the TNA World Title.
In case you haven't noticed, Total Nonstop Action has given us less than six minutes of wrestling to this point in the show.
Match #2 - Chris Sabin (c, w/Velvet Sky) vs. Austin Aries; TNA X-Division Championship
Sabin opens up with an offensive run, but Aries mounts a comeback with his own crowd pleasing moves. He hits a double axe handle from the top rope to the floor, then follows up with a missile drop kick back inside the ring.
Sabin mounts a comeback, but Aries cuts him off with a running drop kick. Sabin nearly hits Velvet, who has made her way to the apron. Sabin stops, but turns around right into Aries hitting him with the Brainbuster for the clean win and title change.
Very random, no hype, and as a result it left the title change feeling flat and meaningless. This did nothing for Aries or the title at all.
Tenay hypes up Feast or Fired for after the commercial break.
Sabin vents to Velvet about losing then stops Aries as he's walking through with the title belt. Sabin accuses Aries of using Velvet to get the win. Sabin tells Aries that he knows he's lucky that he has a rematch. He says he is entering Feast or Fired. Sabin tells Aries he might win the X-Division title shot, or he might bypass that and go right for the TNA World title contract. Aries says he's going to steal Sabin's idea and enter Feast or Fired also. Sabin asks Aries if he intends to steal his girl next. Aries tells Sabin he keeps giving out good ideas.
So in this segment we learned that Sabin doesn't care about losing the X-Division title, and Aries didn't seem to care all that much about winning it. So, why am I as a fan supposed to care?
Magnus says he isn't concerned about DixieLand matches or having a drink. He takes a call and dismisses the camera guys.
The announcers run through the lineup for Final Destination for next week.
Mr. Anderson comes to the stage and does his introduction gimmick. Bully Ray walks out and attacks him from behind. Ray hits Anderson with a piledriver. Taz says you can see it's a different Bully by his face. Ray gets a mic and quotes Motley Crue's "In the Beginning", then says that Anderson's wife is pregnant with twins and he will see to it that he is responsible for their future.
After commercial, trainers are tending to Anderson on the stage. The announcers go for one more round of hype for the Final Resolution card, adding ODB and Madison Rayne against Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa.
Match #3 - Feast Or Fired Match; X-Division, Tag Title, and World Title shots at stake, or a possible pink slip.
We get entrances for Samoa Joe, while Chris Sabin, Curry Man, Dewey Barnes, Norv Fernum, Zema Ion, Hernandez, and Chavo Guerrero are already in the ring. James Storm and Gunner come out next, then Austin Aries, then Ethan Carter III.
Curry Man bails immediately and goes backstage. The announcers hype that it's a game of Russian Roulette in that one of the four briefcases could lead to someone being fired. There's a bunch of dives that make the crowd pop by guys onto groups of wrestlers out on the floor. ECIII pulls down briefcase #3.
After the break, Zema Ion manages to snag briefcase #2 and leaves. Aries hits a 450 splash on Fernum and Barnes, who Taz makes fun of by calling "the nerds." Chavo grabs briefcase #4 with a little boost from SuperMex.
Late in this, Storm is going for briefcase #1 when Gunner trips him up. Gunner goes up and claims the briefcase for himself.
Afterward, Tenay hypes up that we will find out what the cases reveal for each man next Thursday on the Final Resolution themed show.
Dixie Carter is at a restaurant. Jeff Hardy joins her at the table, and she says she didn't expect to see him. She lowers the blinds so the camera can't pick up their conversation. That's the show conclusion.
Feast or Fired is a dumb concept, I'm sorry. The talent worked hard, and the crowd stayed engaged because the guys hit some nice big spots. The ending though just ends up being anti-climactic. It does give a cliffhanger for next week though.
I really hope that we get more wrestling on next week's show. This show really dragged on for me because we got a lot of "sports entertainment" shots like Spud looking for AJ and stuff. I would think that given it is a pay per view themed show, we will get more in-ring action. I just keep hoping that TNA will do more to separate itself from WWE...but it doesn't happen.
Join us here next Thursday for the pay per view themed edition of iMPACT, right here on Ring-Rap.com.