It's a big night. Kurt Angle finally accepts his Hall of Fame induction in London. He has worked hard to get back to a place where he felt like he should accept it. Will this happen without shenanigans?
Lockdown is weeks away. Will they continue to hype Magnus and Samoa Joe's collision, and the Lethal Lockdown teams forming to battle for the control of the company?
Show Open, Taped in London, England on 2/1
We get a recap of last week's show and hype for Kurt Angle's Hall of Fame induction tonight.
Gunner is looking for James Storm. HerveyCam asks what he wants to talk to Storm about, and Gunner says that when James shows, he won't have a chance in hell. Out in the arena, Tenay and Taz check in. They tell us Dixie isn't present but Bobby Roode, EC3 and Magnus have matchmaking abilities.
MVP comes out and he cuts a promo, heavy on the gimmick schtick. He says that thanks to James Storm's interference, it's Samoa Joe and Magnus at Lockdown for the title. He introduces Joe, who gets a good reaction from the fans, then Magnus, who gets decent heat.
Magnus puts himself over and MVP holds up the contract. He says the title match will be under "Joe's Rules" which means the winner has to win by tap out or knockout. Joe signs the contract, and Magnus calls him dangerous. He says dangerous animals get put down though and says Joe will never be world champion. He signs.
They get in each other's faces, and Magnus cracks on Joe for bad breath. Joe headbuts him and attacks. Officials run out, but Joe dives on Magnus out on the floor. The attack continues until agents make the save.
Good hot open. Joe and Magnus interacted well, and Magnus got good heat. Dixie not being on the show will be a plus tonight.
They show video of the Wolves winning the tag titles at a house show. The Bro Mans are shown backstage asking Roode to be on his team at Lockdown. He books a triple threat for them to get their chance.
This logic is messed up. Not only that, but the video clip mentions West Virginia where the house show was, but the match on TV is in the UK. Odd.
Match #1 - Bro Mans (w/Zema Ion) vs. The Wolves vs. Bad Influence
No entrances, and we're right to action. Tenay says "Welcome back to London..." to continue our issue in the earlier segment. Most of this match is spent with Bad Influence and the Wolves working, with Bro Mans breaking up their tag attempts. Eddie tries the double stomp, but Jesse blind tags him. He dumps Eddie out of the ring and covers Kazarian to grab the cheap win.
Tenay says that Bro Mans were now on Team Dixie at Lockdown.
That was pretty gimmicky. Why not use the Wolves to grab eyeballs on the product?
Backstage, EC3 says he is working against England's greatest wrestler, and he will expose Kurt Angle tonight. He holds an American flag upside down.
Bobby Roode sweet talks to Austin Aries, trying to get him on his team instead of MVP's team.
Match #2 - Ethan Carter III vs. Douglas Williams
EC3 comes out, and Williams gets a nice reaction. Carter gets the mic and says just like the US will beat the UK in soccer, he will beat him tonight. This is quick, as Williams pops Carter in the mouth, but Carter uses a low blow shot and a leg lock to get the win. Afterward, he pounds on Williams' leg like he did to Angle.
If that was supposed to get Carter's leg lock over, it failed.
James Storm is shown arriving at the arena.
Storm comes out and calls out Gunner. Gunner obliges quickly and Storm asks him to hear him out. Storm cuts a promo that's sort-of babyface and say Gunner treated him like garbage and tossed him the "scraps" tag title briefcase. He says Gunner should have given him the world title shot because he made Gunner.
Gunner talks about his military service and says that guys like him are the reason guys like Storm can sit around and drink. Storm says if Gunner had died in service, no one would have cared. Gunner says his family, and these people, would have cared. Storm tells Gunner no one owes him anything. Gunner has had enough and pops Storm. Storm bails, and Gunner gives chase. He swings with a chair but hits the ring post instead. Storm escapes through the crowd.
A bit too close to the edge. If he harps on his military service, it could turn people off to Gunner quickly because it comes off self-serving. It could be good if they walk the razor wire though.
Backstage, Gunner says there's only one way out of the building and it's through him.
Magnus is in the ring, and he books a match with Joe against Bad Bones, who we saw in the Sam Shaw stuff last week.
Match #3 - Samoa Joe vs. Bad Bones
Quick squash. Joe hits the muscle buster, then rear naked choke to get the win.
That really wasn't necessary in my opinion. No one really got anything out of this.
Backstage, MVP talks to Austin Aries, lobbying him to be on his Lockdown team. Aries says he wants to see MVP and Roode up close and wants to be the official. MVP asks how he knows Aries won't screw him. Aries tells him he'd have to trust him to be on the team. MVP agrees.
Kurt Angle's Hall of Fame Segment:
JB is in the ring with a podium. He puts over Kurt Angle's accomplishments and announces Angle's induction. The crowd is hot for this and drowns him out at times.
JB sets up a hype video that is just excellent, and then introduces Angle. He gets a great reaction from the live crowd. JB hands him a Rolex (which was shining on the podium earlier) and Angle holds it up to the fans. Angle talks about how he got clean and thanks everyone who helped him along. He thanks God for helping him do what he does, and his wife and kids. He thanks the talent in the back and the fans, saying it's a good night to be Kurt Angle and wraps up.
EC3's music plays and he comes out to the ramp and sets a video of his own up. It's cheesy, with dubbed in comic book thought bubbles and showing him beating up Kurt. EC3 asks if he can share the big news and Angle invites him to come to the ring and use the podium to do it.
Carter holds up a piece of paper with "I beat Sting and Kurt Angle" hand written. He reads a statement about Kurt having a torn ACL and MCL, and he would have to have surgery. He suggests that Angle retire.
Angle asks Carter why he would get in the ring when he knows he would get his throat ripped out. Carter puts himself over as more agile than Angle, who has a bad knee. Angle asks why he didn't go to the source. Carter says the Internet is right at least 50 percent of the time. Angle tells him the source is right all the time and says he doesn't have any torn ligaments. He asks Carter if he still wants to be in the ring, and Carter says he doesn't.
Angle says he understands why Carter is trying to make a name for himself, but why would he pick a fight with Kurt Angle. He strikes, and Carter rolls away. Kurt tells EC3 he will face him at Lockdown in a cage match. Carter is upset by this.
The Ethan Carter character has likeable qualities. But in WWE NXT, there was a lot of silliness in his Derrick Bateman character and it has started to surface recently. He wasn't good tonight. His video thing was cheesy and I give that a pass, but the paper stuff was just bush league, and he's got more than that.
Match #4 - Lei'D Tapa (w/Gail Kim) and Alpha Female (w/Chris Sabin) vs. Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne
Sabin sticks his nose in this one at one point, trying to ruffle up Velvet. She tries to hit him with her finish. Alpha Female stops that from happening though. Tapa misses a splash, but Sabin gets involved with the official, which lets Tapa recover and get the win.
Afterward, Sky goes after Sabin, which starts a brawl. ODB comes running out, and the heels leave before she can get too much offense in.
That was a pretty meaningless match. I guess with the main event they have planned, they're going light on the rest of the show - but it's making this show hard to watch.
We get an intro package for Tigre Uno, who appears to be a luchador type character.
A psychologist is with Sam Shaw, asking him if he knew what he did last week was wrong. Shaw says no one understands, but they will.
Shaw comes out to the ring as they recap what happened with him in video last week. He calls it all a misunderstanding and asks Christy Hemme to come to the ring. She is hesitant but she does.
Shaw says he enjoyed their time together, and she did as well. He respects her space, but other men in TNA aren't there to respect her wishes. He sees them lusting after her and he wants to protect her. He wants more - everything.
Anderson's music cuts him off and Anderson heads to the ring. Shaw says he's one of those guys who want only one thing. Anderson is all busted up but he tells him to shut up. He calls Shaw creepy, and his thing with Christy isn't real. He knows what is though, and asks if anyone wants to see a real ass whooping.
Shaw stops him and says he isn't creepy. He says he had done nothing to Hemme, but if he had, she would have loved it because women like her are always available. She slaps him, and that draws a big pop. He goes after her, but Anderson confronts him. Shaw uses Christy as a shield at first, then pushes her toward Anderson. That allows Shaw the chance to lock on a choke hold and he chokes Anderson out while Christy watches.
I'm not liking this personally, but this segment wasn't all that offensive.
They show the weird Willow video package again. Storm is heading to the ring to fight Gunner next though.
Back, and a brawl is going on between Gunner and Storm. Agents and referees break things up.
We get a video package highlighting Abyss heading off to sort out his issues. Eric Young says he hasn't heard from him, but they better hope the guy he was in the ring with doesn't return.
Match #5 - MVP vs. Bobby Roode; Austin Aries as special referee
Aries comes out in plain trunks and a referee shirt. Almost puts me in mind of Shawn Michaels doing the biker shorts back in the day. Roode comes out then MVP. MVP gets the early control, but Roode starts getting heat.
MVP comes back and gets his Ballin' Elbow and a fisherman suplex. He tries for his Playmaker, but Roode escapes and hits a spinebuster. MVP comes back and hits Playmaker (albeit a bit botched).
The two trade blows and Roode hits an enziguri. MVP hits a low drop kick, then teases the akuza kick. Aries hits him with a roaring elbow, which lets Roode hit the Roode Bomb to get the win. Afterward. Aries mocks MVP while Roode looks on with a smile.
That was alright, but it was pretty basic. Nothing really offensive though. Aries is stuck in this "Anderson Pattern" where he turns every couple months, so it's pretty frustrating. But, it is attention getting, so it's worth watching where it goes from here and how it ties in to the Lockdown match.
This wasn't a bad show. It flowed pretty well, and for the most part it wasn't mind-blowing with the logic failures. The tag match was a bit rough though. How it fares in the ratings going against the live NXT special should be interesting. Join us next week for the go-home show heading into Lockdown here on Ring-Rap.com.