Magnus is the champion now, claiming a win in the Dixieland match last Thursday night. He did get an assist though from Rockstar Spud, so it appears that Magnus is the hand-picked choice of Dixie Carter. Will Jeff Hardy get a fair rematch? And with Gunner being the winner of the Feast or Fired title shot, will he factor in to the situation?
Show Open, taped in Orlando, FL
Mike Tenay checks in and he runs down the show for tonight. Rockstar Spud makes his way to the ring, and he introduces Dixie as "his new queen." Dixie comes to the ring and puts over Magnus, but gets a "We want AJ" chant in return. She says she has a big announcement and begins to make it, but Jeff Hardy's music cuts her off. Spud steps in front of Dixie to protect her.
Spud tells Hardy this isn't the schedule. Jeff tells him he only needs a second, but Spud dismisses him and says it doesn't matter. Jeff chokes Spud and tells him again that he needs a second. Ethan Carter III runs out and makes a save, dumping Hardy out to the floor. Dixie again tries to make her announcement, but this time Sting's music cuts her off. She yells in frustration.
Sting comes to the ring, and EC3 and Spud leave. Sting says he wants to get his hands on EC3 and Dixie should just book Carter and Spud in a match against him and Jeff Hardy. Dixie says no initially, so Sting plays to the fans. Dixie gives in and says there will be a tag team main event. Her music plays but she calls for it to be cut off. The show goes to commercial anyhow.
Not a bad opening. Dixie's frustrating yell is one of her strongest points - it worked in this segment.
Back out of break, Dixie tries again to make her announcement, but this time Gunner cuts her off. Gunner tells her that what he has to say is more important and tells her he is cashing in his Feast or Fired contract. Dixie tells Gunner that Magnus is overseas, so that's not going to happen. She starts again, but Gunner pulls her mic down and says that it doesn't matter when, but he will cash in soon so Magnus needs to be ready.
She tries for her announcement one more time, but James Storm cuts her off. He comes out and takes Dixie's mic and demands an explanation from Gunner. Gunner tells Storm he owes him nothing. Storm complains that Gunner threw in the towel in his match with Bobby Roode. Gunner says he did it because Storm was in trouble and hadn't recovered from his beating in the bar the night before.
Storm accuses Gunner of stooging his location that night, and Gunner gets up in his face. Storm challenges Gunner for the Feast or Fired briefcase. Dixie takes the mic back and separates the two. She then books the pair in a match and tells Gunner he has to put up the briefcase for interrupting her. She then says she isn't ready to make her announcement any longer, so we'll all just have to wait.
The announcement stuff was pretty clever, but I'm not looking forward to seeing Dixie on the show again tonight. Storm vs. Gunner seems pretty flimsy in my eyes, but it's a starting point for a story there so I'll give it a chance.
Match #1 - Gunner vs. James Storm; TNA Feast or Fired Briefcase on the line
Gunner shoves Storm, but Storm controls the early going of this one. Things break down to basic brawling, with Gunner spearing Storm out to the floor. Gunner looks like he took the worst of it though. They keep battling out on the floor, and it ends in a double count-out.
They keep fighting and officials and agents come out to break things up, but it keeps on going as the two fight to the back.
A double count-out in just a few minutes? Well, I guess this has to start somewhere but this was a very light start to their story. It can be good though.
Brooke Tessmacher approaches Bully Ray, who's in his hoodie mode, and asks him what is going on. She asks if he doesn't want "all of this" anymore. He doesn't answer, so she tells him she will go to the ring and reveal his darkest secrets. Ray calls her back and tells her it would be a bad idea. She gets mad and storms off.
Bully Ray has this history of putting women through tables. I wonder....
Sit-Down Interview with Magnus
Magnus is in a sit-down segment. He says he's champion now and he gets to tell his side of the story. He complains about the past gimmicks he has had through the years. He says people have been talking about him being close, but some didn't want to give up on their spot yet, "brother." He says that once Aces and Eights attacked him and put him out, he knew he was on the map.
This has the feel of Bully Ray's "master plan" explanation for Aces and Eights. It's not that it's bad, but it doesn't feel like it's going to work like that.
Brooke Tessmacher comes to the ring and she says she's tired of taking the heat for what happened to Aces and Eights. She demands that Bully Ray come out and tell the truth. Ray makes his entrance, and she asks him what is going on. She says she has been calling him and he wouldn't answer. She says it's no one's fault that Aces and Eights ended.
Ray jerks away his hand, and she pops off. She tells him he as destroyed everything. She says he was supposed to be her ticket to the top but he is like the awkward kid in high school who has no friends. She screams at him to look at her, and he does. She tells him she doesn't need him anymore and they're done.
She goes to walk away but Ray grabs her arm. He tells her "you're done when I'm done with you." He tells her he doesn't blame her for screwing things up because she wasn't much in the brains department. He says he kept her around for certain needs he had but she wasn't very good at that either. He says that sometimes he closed his eyes and wished he was with the first Brooke again.
He tells her he could treat her like Anderson and hit the piledriver on her. He says she knows how sick and twisted he can be and he wants her to spread the message and tell everyone it is going to get worse. We get some strange music and Ray tells her he's done with her and she can leave. Brooke stares at him, and leaves, and the weird music continues.
Little things here - the music ruined that segment. Brooke was decent, and Ray was solid, but the music they used ended up making the segment feel campy.
Backstage, Joe Park is looking at the barbed wire and tacks in his room. He calls them barbaric.
Magnus talks more about his career in the sit-down interview. He talks about the return to the UK last year, and being added in to the Mafia. He says he was honored to be a part of the Mafia, but the proof was that he was added into the group so they could hold him back.
This REALLY makes this feel like Bully Ray all over again, but Magnus lacks the backstory that Ray had. This isn't working for me.
EC3 and Spud whine about having to wrestle Sting and Hardy later. Dixie tells them she has them covered.
We get a video that recaps the Joe Park/Eric Young silliness over the past couple months.
At gorilla position, EY hypes up Park and tells him it's time for his match. Abyss' music plays, and Park says that's not his music. EY tells him that it is and sends Park to the ring for the match.
Sting says he's marking out about teaming with Hardy later. Hardy stares off into space and Sting says that Jeff doesn't feel the same way. Hardy says he didn't come to fight tonight. Sting asks if it's about what happened with Dixie and Jeff nods. Sting reminds Hardy who he is and says he will make Dixie listen, but they need to concentrate on their match. Jeff agrees and they shake hands.
Match #2 - Joseph Park vs. Bad Influence; Monster Ball Match
Bad Influence teams up on Park early, using a crutch and a kendo stick to knock Janice away from Park. They beat him down, and load up the ring with weapons. They beat on him with all the stuff in the ring, then throw him out to the floor to continue the beating. The pair ends up blundering and it stops their assault. Park splashes Kazarian with a trash can lid, then locks him in the Boston Crab. Daniels hits him with a crutch to break things up.
Kaz grabs Janice and Park crawls out of the ring and up the ramp. EY comes out and encourages Park to continue. Park pleads to EY for help. EY punches Park but Bad Influence makes the "save". They throw EY in the ring, then Park follows.
They go after EY, but Park pushes him aside and takes the shot in his place. He comes up bleeding, so cue Abyss mode. He no-sells the shots with a chair and the kendo stick, then goes on the assault. He takes out Bad Influence, then hits Daniels with the Black Hole Slam to get the win.
Afterward, Abyss doesn't revert back to Park. He holds Janice high and celebrates with EY in the ring.
Seems like they are done with the "Joe Park" character - or at least I hope so. It's time for that angle to be done. The match was pretty much the standard garbage match.
Jeff Hardy is talking to his wife on the phone. We don't get to hear her side of the conversation like we heard Dixie last week. Jeff tells her he knew what he had to do, and would call when it was over. He asks her to trust him and hangs up.
Quitting? Pretty strong hint to that angle here.
We get more Magnus video. He talks about the Bound for Glory Series run and being beaten by AJ in the finals. He says that sitting on the apron and watching AJ celebrate was something he didn't want to feel ever again. He says that after he beat Sting he knew he would do whatever it takes to get to the top.
Gail Kim comes to the ring with Lei'D Tapa. He says that Madison Rayne embarrassed her last week. She asks Tapa how that happened, and Tapa just stares. Kim says that is correct, it was a fluke. She says that ODB stuck her nose in her business, and that means it was now Tapa's business. She calls out ODB for a match with Tapa.
Match #3 - Lei'D Tapa (w/Gail Kim) vs. ODB
The two slam into each other for several minutes. ODB tries to hit a slam on Tapa. Kim tosses her belt into the ring, and distracts the official. She pulls Tapa down on ODB, and Tapa hits her finisher to get the win.
Afterward, Gail says that the same thing will happen to Madison Rayne.
While they didn't intend to do so, they made Tapa look weak.
Backstage, Sting tells Jeff that he needs to get whatever in his head out and he needs him for this match. Jeff nods and and puts his game face on.
More Magnus video. Magnus says Dixie always believed in him. He says she had a brief moment where she got blinded by the thought of needing Jeff Hardy, but when Jeff spit in her face, she knew Magnus was her guy. He says he knew it then too, and their partnership will last a lifetime.
Tactical error. This was way too much Bully Ray without the back story that he had. They could have done a lot better for Magnus than this.
The main event is up next. The four men make their way to the ring for the match. Dixie appears on the screen and says that she's ready to make her announcement. Next week will be the coronation of Magnus. She then says that the main event will be a handicap match including the Bro-Mans as partners for her team of EC3 and Rockstar Spud. DJ Zema introduces them, complete with dumb horn gimmick.
Match #4 - Sting and Jeff Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, and the Bro-Mans (w/DJ Zema)
Sting and EC3 get in first. EC3 gets in Sting's face but tags in Spud. Spud backs into Sting and tags Jesse. Finally, we get a lockup. Sting takes both Bro-Mans out then tags Jeff in and he does the same. Bro-Mans and EC3 end up on the floor, and Hardy uses Sting to jump to the top rope then a dive out to the floor on the heels.
Out of break, the heels put heat on Hardy. Carter tags in and mocks Sting, then misses his own version of the Stinger Splash. Sting gets the hot tag and he goes off on everyone. Spud jumps on Sting's back, but Sting keeps up the assault even with Spud on his back. Spud lets go, and Sting scares him out of the ring. EC3 slides in the ring and rolls Sting up, and it looks like he has a handful of tights to get the win.
Afterward, Jeff apologizes to Sting for last week and tonight. He says Sting is the reason he got in wrestling, and that's why he needed to apologize because the creatures didn't deserve this. Jeff says that Dixie's actions have nearly taken his heart out of it and in this business, you need your heart. He says he killed himself last week and still lost. He says Dixie ows the new champion, but not him. He says he's tired of politics.
A "Hardy" chant starts and Sting tells Jeff to listen to them. Hardy starts to talk but Sting cuts him off and tells him not to say what it sounds like he is going to. Jeff says he wants to stay and fight but the fight is gone. A "No" chant starts and Jeff says this is his last match in TNA. He says he won't be back until the light shines on the dark kingdom. He says he loves the creatures, takes off his shirt, and hugs Sting. He gets out of the ring and heads to the back as the fans chant for him.
First the match: I'm glad they had Carter get the win there. Sting has a lot to give and he's not going to lose anything by putting over Carter. Overall, it was what it was for a main event match, just nothing special.
Jeff Hardy creates an interesting hook. His contract isn't up, but he's not going to be on the UK tour due to his past indiscretions. So I'm assuming this is the way they write him off through those shows at least. The cryptic "until the light shines on the dark kingdom" line took a little off of things for me though.
This show overall was pretty average. Nothing was terrible, but there were no standout performances either. I think they really screwed up using the Magnus videos in the way they did. I get it that the Bully Ray ones were successful and it was worth trying again, but there was backstory there that made them work. Magnus didn't have that. Dixie's "big announcement" was again something pretty low key (Magnus' coronation) so it fell flat even with the good early-show teasing of what it was.
They did leave us with some things to look ahead to at least, and that's not a bad place to be. We'll be here to cover it, next Thursday here on Ring-Rap.com.