Delay coverage tonight - I worked far too many hours and ended up napping into this show. So let's get caught up.
Feast or Fired was last Thursday. Gunner, Ethan Carter III, Chavo Guerrero and Xema Ion all won briefcases. Who won what? Will we find out tonight? Also, Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode square off in a best of three falls match. But the big news is the crowning of a new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. The finals go tonight - with Magnus facing Jeff Hardy in a "Dixieland" match.
Show Open, taped in Orlando, FL
We get an opening package that hypes up the finals of the Title tournament and the voice-over says a man will go through hell to get what he wants...and tonight hell is Dixieland.
Too easy for too many jokes there.
Magnus approaches a producer and asks where Jeff Hard and Dixie Carter are. The producer doesn't know. Magnus answers by saying it doesn't matter as he will go to the ring and say something to get their attention.
He makes his entrance and says he loves wrestling and wrestling in the US. He says that one of the things he learned when he got here was that money talks. He says it was never about money or women for him, it was about respect. He says he doesn't know if he can say the same thing about Hardy. He says Hardy was photographed having drinks with Dixie Carter. He says the fans shouldn't be fooled by that.
Jeff comes out and asks Magnus if he is really going to judge based on that one moment. Magnus demands an explanation. He talks about 10/10/10 and Hardy tells him he was a different guy in a different place and time. Magnus agrees but says it wasn't a different place. He says Hardy took money one time and asked why we would think he wouldn't do it again. He asks about kids that look up to Hardy and the fans chant "we don't care." Hardy tells Magnus to mind his own and walks off.
Bad. The fans were silent throughout most of Magnus' promo and it wasn't a good silent. Both guys kind of rambled also, and the 2010 reference was too dated for those who are just coming to the product.
Christy Hemme asks Kurt Angle about his two out of three falls match with Bobby Roode. Angle admits he hasn't done well on his comeback trail, but tonight he will beat Roode not only once, but twice.
We get a video package to set up their match.
JB is outside a conference backstage and says they will reveal the Feast or Fired results tonight. Chavo says he has a 75 percent chance of getting a title shot. Zema Ion walks in doing his DJ gimmick. Chavo says there's a 25 percent chance Ion would get fired, and a 100 percent chance if Ion did that again he would punch him in the face.
Match #1 - Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode; Two out of three falls rules
They start off by reversing out of each other's signature moves. Roode decides to drag the official into the mix in order to get Angle's momentum slowed down. Angle shoves the official out of the way, and that gives Roode a chance to hit a low blow. Roode hits his fireman's carry neckbreaker to win the first fall.
Angle starts a comeback. Roode avoids a charge and Angle takes the ring post. Roode tries a crossface off that, but Angle counters to the Angle Slam in order to win the second fall. Tied at 1 now, they start the third fall. Angle hits his German suplex spot. Roode comes back with the crossface in the middle of the ring.
Angle rolls Roode up a few times, but Roode goes right back to the crossface. Angle works his way around and puts Roode in the Ankle Lock. Roode almost gets to the ropes, but Angle comes back with a crossface. Roode makes his way to his feet and gets Angle to his shoulders, but Angle slides out and hits the Angle Slam. Roode tries to escape, but Angle gets him back in the Ankle Lock. Roode sells it, but then flips Angle over into a roll up.
Roode grabs on to the ropes to hold Angle down and win the third fall and the match.
This wasn't a bad match, but it wasn't their best effort. They seemed to be holding back quite a bit and trying to not burn fans out for the main event match. Never found the next gear.
Gunner and Storm approach JB. He asks about Gunner stepping over Storm to claim the briefcase. Gunner says they knew the rules and risk, and Storm would have done the same thing. JB asks if it's true, and Storm says they would see if Gunner's bet paid off. Gunner asks what that means, and Storm says Gunner might get fired. Gunner says that might be true, but it might not be, and they enter the conference room.
HerveyCam asks Kurt Angle what happened, and Angle says Roode outsmarted him. He says he's not getting outwrestled, but outsmarted, and Roode deserves credit for that. HerveyCam asks if Roode has his number, and Angle says that idea terrifies him. He says he will have to do some soul searching over the holidays.
Memo to Kurt Angle - you lost by cheating. No reason to get that worked up.
We get a video to hype the history between Gail Kim and Madison Rayne.
Ethan Carter III appears with JB and says JB owes him a match, but not tonight. JB says they will find out his fate tonight. ECIII says his fate is determined as a winner, but if all else fails, he knows people in charge.
Dixie calls EC3 and he walks off but the camera stays on him. He asks Dixie about the briefcases and Dixie's voice is heard saying a law firm sealed the cases and she has no control. He asks what would happen if he were fired, and she says she can't help him. He looks at the phone in disbelief.
Bad logic here - we should not have heard Dixie, as it blew the suspension of disbelief.
Eric Young is shown, and he says he has presents for Joe Park. He holds up a wrapped chair.
We get a video recap of their segment, complete with creepy warped voices. EY is in the ring and he has a bunch of presents on a table, and he calls out Park. He says Park is Abyss again. Park tells EY that he appreciates his friendship, but he knows his name is Joseph Park. EY tells him to follow the science and when he made Park bleed last week, Abyss showed up.
Park says he saw the footage, and he admits to have blacked out when that happened. He knows he is Joe Park.
EY announces Park vs. Bad Influence for next week, under Monster's Ball rules. Park kindly refuses. EY gives him the presents - a chair, thumbtacks, and barbed wire. Park appreciates the gifts, but he refuses the match again. EY says he saved the best gift for last, and tells Park to pull the last gift from under the ring.
Park pulls the famous "Janice" bat with nails in it from under the ring, complete with a bow. "Alright, EY, I'll do it." Park says. He stares at Janice and walks like a zombie to the back.
Prime case of TNA not giving fans anything to care about here. This was bad, and this whole story needs to come full circle, now. It's overstaying its welcome.
JB hypes the Feast or Fired results for the next segment.
We get a video recap of the opening segment.
Hardy is upset as Samoa Joe approaches. Joe tells Hardy he has nothing to be upset about unless he's guilty. Hardy asks Joe if he's serious. Joe says he understands why someone would want to take a shortcut, just not Jeff. Jeff tells Joe if he wants an answer, he won't get one and storms off.
Feast or Fired Reveal:
Dixie joins the conference room with the case holders and says that it's time to open the briefcases. Zema opens first and he gets an X-Division Title shot. Gunner is next and he gets a World Heavyweight Championship shot. He and Storm have a staredown then leave. JB sets up the opening of the other two cases when Sting barges in. Sting says he feels like it's his fault that EC3 is there because he dared him to do something.
Sting offers to take EC3's briefcase if he would fight him one time. EC3 takes the briefcase instead. They open the remaining two, and Chavo is fired. EC3 gets the tag title shot and he and Dixie celebrate.
Sting consoles Chavo then yells at Dixie and EC3. He says it's the beginning of the end for them. Everyone leaves the room, with Chavo feeling sorry for himself.
Interesting. I can see Chavo being fired, and Zema getting the X-title shot, but I would have assumed EC3 would get the TNA Title shot rather than the tag shot given his connection with Dixie Carter.
Sting made a mess of this segment though. His logic wasn't understandable, and his promo was all over the map. I get the story they're working toward, but it wasn't told well at all.
Match #2 - Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa vs. ODB and Madison Rayne
Madison and Tapa start this off, but ODB checks in quickly. The heels get control of this one and ODB ends up taking the heat. Madison gets the hot tag and she goes off on Kim. Tapa tries to intervene, but ODB jumps on her back. Tapa dumps her out to the floor and they fight out there. Kim attacks Madison from behind, but Madison counters the Eat D'Feet into a backslide pin.
Madison immediately interjects new life into the Knockouts. A nice win in her in-ring return.
Sting comes across Jeff Hardy and Jeff asks if he is going to get a lecture. Sting says he knows what it's like to be second guessed and he owes no one an explanation. Sting says he only needs to stay true to his family and creatures around the world. Jeff tells Sting he doesn't fully understand, but Sting says he does.
They show us an iMPACT 365 video where Rockstar Spud is begging for Dixie's forgiveness for failing to get the title belt back from AJ Styles. Dixie tells him off and tells him to find someone to make another belt.
We get a recap of the title tournament, including Jeff Hardy's visit with Dixie Carter.
Jeff Hardy comes out, sans face paint, to cut a promo before the match. He says he made a lot of mistakes and while he can't change them, he won't repeat them. He says he met Dixie and then thought of his wife and daughter and how much he loved what he does.
Jeff says he knows Dixie would give him the world, but in return she would own him. He says no one owns him or the creatures. He tells Dixie to take her money and stick it. He says just like AJ Styles, he will win the title and represent the company the right way. Dixie Carter's music hits and she makes her way to the ring.
Dixie tells Jeff that if he wants to compare himself to Styles, she will make the obvious one. She says everything he has they owe to her, and everything their families own they owe to her. She says she stood by him when he made his mistakes. Jeff tells her he appreciated that and she snaps at him for cutting her off.
She tells him to do what is best for her company, and not what is best for his family or Jeff will be out of a job, and without an outlet to sell his music, art, or t-shirts. She tells him to not let the creatures, his family, or the legacy of the business down. She says she will stay out at ringside to watch the match.
Dixie was just bad there. She showed signs of improvement recently but this just hasn't been good tonight for her. And this show has been so flat and a new title holder needs a better launching pad than this.
Match #3 - Jeff Hardy vs. Magnus; TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a Dixieland Rules match
JB gives us the old-school ring introductions. The cage door gets locked and it's off and running. Remember, the rule is to escape the cage, go to the stage and climb the ladder to retrieve the title to win.
Fast start, with Magnus going to the top rope elbow early on. Both guys are hurt early on, and Hardy misses a swanton bomb a couple minutes later.
Hardy tries to escape out of the camera hole in the cage. Magnus pulls him back in. Hardy hits a back kick and a sitting drop kick to string some offense together. He tries another escape but Magnus stops him, and Hardy follows with a springboard cross body that pops the crowd a little. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate once and tries again but Magnus shoves him off and clips him. Magnus locks on the Cloverleaf and Hardy taps. He tries to escape, but Hardy stops him so Magnus hits the top rope elbow.
Hardy hits Whisper in the Wind, then goes up top on the cage. He hits it a second time from the top of the cage. That's a "holy shit" kind of spot. Both men climb the cage at the same time. EC3 comes out and tries to stop Magnus. Hardy hits him with the Twist of Fate to take EC3 out.
Hardy points to the belt and Magnus, then attacks him. They fight up the ramp and Hardy hits him with the Twist of Fate again. Dixie stops Hardy from climbing the ladder and he throws sweat at her. She moves out of the way then - I would too to be so honest.
Hardy climbs the ladder. Rockstar Spud pops out from behind the curtain and upsets the ladder. Hardy crashes and burns. Magnus recovers, climbs the ladder, and wins the title.
Magnus celebrates with Dixie and Spud as the show ends.
This match was pretty decent, if not a bit of questionable psychology at some points. Nothing super offensive though. If they sell this as Dixie changing her mind and wanting Magnus to be the man, and not having picked him all along, then it makes sense. Otherwise, why did EC3 attack him during the match? And why were they all chummy at the end?
Overall, this show was pretty bad. The only hot moment was the last match and this show just dragged on and on. I had the benefit of DVR to play catch-up as I wrote this, but it was still a long show. I get protecting the main event, but things really felt poorly executed and half-hearted.
Angle and Roode could have been so much better and never found its second gear. The rest of the show was a lot of talking and poorly executed segments. I think Feast or Fired gives us some stories going forward, but Gunner vs. Magnus doesn't feel like "must see" TV viewing for the title feud. Hopefully, they'll build to this properly and give these guys both some steam before they end up putting them together.
Thanks for following along tonight. We'll have more iMPACT coverage for you next Thursday night.