The battle for power - and the road to Lockdown - continues on iMPACT tonight. Tonight, the Wolves face their next test in Bad Influence, Madison Rayne takes on Gail Kim in a street fight, and we get more DixieLand.
Cliff's Notes version tonight, folks. We recorded RingRap Audio tonight, and that ran longer than expected. Be looking for that to go live on the site soon!
Show Open, taped in Manchester, England on 1/31/2014
We get hype for Gunner vs. Magnus for the TNA Championship.
Dixie, EC3, Magnus and Rockstar Spud have a conference backstage. That leads to Magnus calling out MVP in the ring. Magnus cracks on MVP's prison time and tells him that nine minutes in the ring with Magnus is like nine years in jail. Um, okay...
MVP mocks Magnus and brings up the paper champion thing again. He says he could banter with Magnus but wants to know if Dixie is agreeable to his Lockdown proposal. Magnus settles the crowd and says they accept, but he won't be in the match since he will be defending his title against Joe. He vows to beat Gunner tonight.
MVP asks Magnus if he's going to look past Gunner, who he calls a war hero and legit badass. Magnus says he's a badass and he will make MVP his beyotch. MVP warns him to not say it before he did, then pops Magnus in the gums. EC3 charges out and the beatdown ensues.
In the picture in picture security is holding up the Wolves, as is Spud. The Wolves beat up security, throw Spud in a box, and head to the ring. Gunner runs out for the save on MVP, and EC3 and Magnus bolt. The Wolves arrive behind the heels. Magnus sees them, shoves EC3 at them, and runs right past Eddie Edwards in a really dumb moment. Edwards didn't even look at him. EC3 throws a punch that gets blocked and Davey kicks him. They join MVP in the ring.
That segment was just bad. Magnus is getting destroyed as champion at the moment, not even close to a real heel champion. And when he escapes, he runs right past Edwards. That was awful.
We get a recap of Bobby Roode's story, and he arrives at the building. HerveyCam asks for comments but Roode says he will tell the world.
EC3 storms into Magnus' locker room and demands to know why he did what he did. Magnus says it was best for Aunt Dixie. EC3 yells at Magnus and tells him he has his back. Pretty over the top delivery.
Joe is in the ring and he wants to fight. He challenges anyone in Dixieland to come out and get some. Bro Mans and Zema Ion come out to the ring. Joe asks which one it will be, then answers himself and says it will be all three.
Match #1 - Samoa Joe vs. Bro Mans and Zema Ion; Handicap Match
No tags for the heels. Joe gets some shots in but the numbers catch up with him. They hit a combo move in the corner, and Joe pulls Bro Mans into the Zema Ion missile drop kick to turn momentum. He throws Bro Mans out, htis a dive, and slams Zema down to counter a tornado DDT. He hits Zema with the Muscle Buster then the rear naked choke to get the win.
Just...why? 3 1/2 minutes and Joe beats three men, two of which hold the tag titles? I get it that Bro Mans are jobbers essentially, but that was horrible.
Christy Hemme talks to some guy backstage about her radio, and laughs at something he says. She walks away, and Sam Shaw submarines the guy. He slams him around then pets the radio.
That looked so unrealistic, and killed the segment.
We get some hype for Kurt Angle's Hall of Fame induction next Thursday.
Bobby Roode talks to James Storm backstage, telling Storm he has a hard time trusting and he feels like a man alone in the locker room. He says it's too much. Storm asks him what he's saying. Roode says they had good stuff and bad stuff, and the bad was on him and he can't change it. He says the good stuff they had was special and Storm was the only guy he could trust and he screwed that up.
Storm tells Roode to chill and says when they got in the business it was hard. He says if the business is slapping Roode he needs to slap back. He says it's a dog eat dog world.
Having some glitchy issues with watching the show. Missed part of that promo.
In the office, MVP asks Austin Aries to be on his Lockdown team. Aries says he'll think about it and they shake hands.
They show a video that starts as a promo of the UK tour but turns into Madison Rayne and Gail Kim brawling backstage. This leads to a street fight. That's random.
Match #2 - Madison Rayne vs. Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa); Street Fight
Typical garbage match. Madison hits Kim with a cookie sheet during her entrance. Tapa just watches and does nothing about it even though she wouldn't cause a disqualification. Logic fail. Madison keeps up the assault and throws Kim to the floor. Tapa stands between Madison and Kim, and Madison takes a leap for a cross body. Tapa catches her, spins her around, but hits Kim by accident. Follow up with a slam to the apron.
Kim uses the figure four around the ring post, then tries for a chair. Madison moves and kicks the chair into Kim. Nosebleed moment. Tapa gets in the ring and Madison hits her with the cookie sheet and a kendo stick. She tries to wind up with a chair but Kim uses her title belt to hit Madison and get the win.
Horrible. Little to no logic on the weapons spots, no story to the match at all. Whoever put this together should be fired.
A video package airs to hype Gunner's military background.
This was well done. They are doing a good job of making Gunner feel important here.
Anderson is showing Hemme pictures of his kids. Shaw enters the frame, looks disgusted, and walks off.
More hype for Gunner in another video package. This time it even adds his wife and family.
Bobby Roode is shown walking backstage.
We get a recap of EC3's attack on Kurt Angle two weeks ago, then more hype for Kurt Angle's Hall of Fame induction. HerveyCam asks EC3 about ending Angle's career, and EC3 says that out of respect for all that Angle has done, he will let Kurt make that announcement.
Storm talks up Gunner for his match, and Gunner says he has waited all his life for this shot. He tells Storm he appreciates all he has done for him. Storm tells Gunner that his humility is what he likes but he needs to seize what is his tonight. Gunner gives Storm the tag title briefcase and tells him to keep it safe so they can go get what's theirs again. They hug and Gunner continues to prepare.
Bobby Roode comes to the ring. He says he is proud to call iMPACT his home and says he loves wrestling in front of fans like in Manchester. He admits there's things he has done in his career that he isn't proud of, and he can't change that. He can change the future, and that's why he's there tonight. Fans chant "please don't go" and Roode says he is going to leave wrestling.
Fans chant "no" and Roode tells them they don't understand. He says he hates himself, and he's had to listen to Dixie's crap for weeks and he can't do it anymore. He thanks the fans, chokes up a bit, and drops the mic. He goes to leave but here comes Dixie.
Dixie tells him he doesn't get to decide when he leaves because he has a contract, so she decides. Roode tells her he doesn't want to be there anymore and Dixie says that's too bad because she needs him. She apologizes for not treating him right and says she has been distracted. Roode says he doesn't care and doesn't want to work there anymore.
Dixie reminds him that Lethal Lockdown is for control of the company and she needs a captain. Roode asks her why he should trust her after all the broken promises. Dixie offers him ten percent ownership stake if the team won, and he again questions why he should trust. Dixie tells him to have his attorneys draw up the papers and she will sign. Roode debates, then agrees. He tells her if she tries to screw him over, he will spend his life ruining hers.
More authority figure stuff! Yay! This idea just blows my mind and makes me cringe all in the same breath.
JB interviews the German Gutcheck winner, but Sam Shaw attacks Anderson from behind. Christy Hemme goes down as if she was shot. Shaw slams Anderson into a door, picks up Hemme, and walks away.
Hemme was a horrible visual here. It looked like it was supposed to be Hemme getting blocked into the wall, but she looked like she fainted instead.
Backstage, Bad Influence petitions to be on Team Roode. Roode says the match will give him what he wanted, so he can't just pick friends. He tells them to go show they belong.
Match #3 - The Wolves vs. Bad Influence
Kaz and Edwards start. Daniels distracts him to give Kaz the advantage. The Wolves battle back, with Davey tagging in. Bad Influence with the distraction to get control again. Davey kicks Kaz, then Kaz kicks back as he sells. That one looked pretty legit and stiff...ow. Eddie gets the tag and dumps Kaz and attacks Daniels. Backpack Chin Check for a near fall. The Wolves throw Kaz back to the floor after he breaks the count, then hit the top rope double stomps to get the win.
These two teams are capable of so much more, but it wasn't bad. That kick from Kaz drew blood from Richards. My expectations were admittedly so much higher than the teams had time to deliver on.
Sam Shaw lays Christy Hemme on a table and tends to her. She comes to and asks what happened. He calls her princess and tells her to lie down and he has it all in control. He sees the cameraman and heads his direction so the shot ends.
This would have been more effective had we seen it play out or if Shaw would never have seen the camera.
They run a video to hype Magnus as the champion.
Magnus does a brief promo, saying that the difference between he and Gunner is that Gunner is a wrestler, and he is an asset. Gunner and Magnus are heading to the ring for the main event, next.
Match #4 - Magnus (c) vs. Gunner; TNA World Heavyweight Championship, no disqualification rules
Gunner and Magnus make their entrances, and JB gives us the old school introductions. The announcers let us know that the match will be under Magnus rules, meaning no disqualification. So, look for 30 run-ins.
Headlock from Magnus to start off, then he throws Gunner to the floor. Magnus motions toward the back, but out comes The Wolves and James Storm. Out of break, Magnus works a camel clutch. Gunner gets to his feet with Magnus on his back and slams him into the buckle. Magnus uses a sleeper and Storm yells at Gunner to not give up. Gunner hits a back suplex to break the hold but Magnus stops the comeback.
Magnus tries for the title belt shot. Gunner ducks and the belt goes flying. Simultaneous cross bodies and the two men sell. EC3 and Bro Mans run out, and Storm and the Wolves engage them and fight to the back. Gunner hits a powerbomb followed by the top rope elbow. Gunner covers but Spud is out there to put Magnus' foot on the ropes. Gunner chases Spud, but eats the title belt from Magnus for a near fall.
Storm runs out and chases Spud around then stops. Odd. Magnus slams Gunner to the buckle and that turns on Gunner-mania mode. He starts a comeback and Storm cheers him on. Slingshot suplex followed with a slam. Gunner goes up top but Spud gets between him and Magnus. Storm slides in, throws out Spud, then superkicks a diving Gunner. Magnus covers and gets the win.
I don't follow that one. Storm and Gunner buried the hatchet, and now they have Storm turn on Gunner? No sense in the long term story arc. TNA has a lot of work to do to make this work, and unfortunately they lack the talent to make this fly.
The match itself was fine. It was hampered with all the run-ins, but it wasn't poorly worked. Gunner does come out of this looking good, but Magnus is still looking terrible as the champion. Overall, however this was a horrible show tonight. It started with a bad opening segment that they never really recovered from.
Coverage next week, and going forward, might be tricky. WWE's NXT will be airing on WWE Network in the same timeslot. We would love to be sure both shows are getting adequate coverage. If you're interested, get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or DM us on @RingRap.