TNA continues to build to the Sacrifice pay per view next month. Last week, we saw Angelina Love return and propose getting the Beautiful People back together. Velvet Sky said she needed more time though. Will the band get back together, or will they stay apart? Also, Samoa Joe gets another shot at Magnus, and Abyss will be handcuffed at ringside.
Show Open, Taped in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios on March 15, 2014
The show opens up with a hype package for Samoa Joe vs. Magnus later on tonight.
Abyss brawls with Eric Young. ODB tries to save EY, but Abyss no-sells a stick shot. Abyss gives chase to ODB, but EY makes the save there. Abyss uses a cardboard tube to choke EY. The brawl moves from the parking lot, into the building, and out to the ring. Abyss slams EY onto a chair, but EY bites him back. Abyss hits the Black Hole Slam and chokes him with the chain that they were supposed to be tied together by later.
ODB tends to EY after a replay of the brawl. Abyss is gone.
What Worked: A physical opening to the show. A nice change of pace to the typical long talking segment that we normally get from a lot of wrestling on TV these days.
What Failed: The whole "I'm going to hurt you with cardboard" thing is a little hard to believe. But that might be nit-picking.
Match #1 - Ethan Carter III vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley controls EC3 with power offense. He stomps him down in the corner, but EC3 uses the official to cause a distraction. He hits Lashley with a low blow and goes to leave. Willow runs out and attacks Carter from behind, and that causes a disqualification.
Willow sets up a ladder after propping EC3's leg in a chair. Carter escapes before Willow can jump though.
What Worked: I have really ridden Taz and Tenay for being lazy at the announce table, but they did a nice job here of selling Willow's violence. And Jeff Hardy is selling this well too. TNA made a risky choice doing something like this, and right now it's working.
What Failed: Nothing, really. You could complain about the match ending, but that's how EC3 has been getting along so far.
We get a video package of Bully Ray in Nashville. He says Dixie summoned him there but is now too busy to see him. He has something to say so he'll wait all day.
Joe is in MVP's office and he bangs the wall. Joe complains about EY having to go to the hospital after that opening brawl. MVP tells Joe he will fix it. Joe complains that every time MVP fixes something, it actually gets worse.
What Worked: Within Joe's character, it's perfectly sensible for him to be pissed about what went down.
What Failed: Not really a failure so much, but it's a bit confusing for Joe to blame MVP for what happened because it feels heelish.
HerveyCam asks Angelina Love about a Beautiful People reunion. She lets us know that we'll find out tonight.
EC3 enters Magnus' locker room and they argue. EC3 says the business relationship between the Carters and Magnus is done. Magnus says that's true, but it's his doing, not Ethan or Dixie's. He says that all he needs is Abyss and tells EC3 to get out. Carter wishes him luck.
Gunner comes out to cut a promo. He talks about being proud to serve his country and the men and women who he served with. He says he learned in the service that you fight for what you want. He thanks his dad, seated in the front row, and says he wouldn't be here without his family's support. They hug, but James Storm's music cuts him off.
Storm says he didn't mean to interrupt, but he found it rude that Gunner didn't introduce him to his dad. Storm introduces himself, and says he knows Gunner's dad cried when they played the video package for Gunner. He says he knew Gunner's grandfather died when Gunner's dad was young, and he knew the grandfather was looking down and was happy he was dead because both his son and grandson were disappointments.
Gunner's had enough and he attacks Storm. Storm hits him with the Last Call and handcuffs him to the rope. He pulls Gunner's dad to the ringside area, holds on to him for a minute, then leaves him go. He decides to walk away. Dad tries to free Gunner, but Storm turns around and hits him in the back of the head with a beer bottle and leaves.
What Worked: A lot. We've seen the family attack a million times in wrestling, but this was easy to buy in to. Storm hit the right notes with his promo, and the crowd really flaked out over him attacking Gunner's dad. This was a good segment.
What Failed: N/A
Gail Kim cuts a short promo, saying if she can't beat Lei'D Tapa then she is done with iMPACT Wrestling.
BroMans and DJ Z do their gimmick walking down a hallway. They walk in to Sanada and Tigre Uno and keep doing their thing. This is rough. They yell at the two men and leave, and they look confused.
What Worked: Nothing.
What Failed: This is just bad. The BroMans gimmick feels dated and out of place. It's not getting true heel heat, it's getting go-away heat.
Match #2 - Gail Kim vs. Lei'D Tapa
Tapa controls the match with her power, but Gail tries to go after her leg to slow her down. That doesn't work. Kim manages to hit Eat D'Feet out of nowhere to get the win.
What Worked: Tapa looked like a beast with the way she controlled the match.
What Failed: Unless Tapa is finished with TNA, for her to take Kim's finisher out of nowhere and lose like that takes all the monster mystique away.
Angelina Love is heading to the ring, and we'll hear from her next.
MVP tries to convince Willow to take Eric Young's place of being handcuffed to Abyss. Willow says no through cutting some crazy promo.
Angelina Love comes to the ring. She calls out Velvet Sky to have her answer the question of reforming the Beautiful People. Velvet comes out and the conversation begins.
Velvet puts over Angelina for being a friend, yet someone who held her back. Angelina blows it off as "wrestling talk." Angelina apologizes and puts over what Velvet has accomplished, but in wrestling one is a lonely number. She says she wants the reunion to happen, the fans want it, and Velvet wants it. Velvet says that after all she had gone through with Chris Sabin, she learned there are only a few people you can trust in wrestling. She says the Beautiful People are back together in full force.
Angelina says they're missing a third piece, and calls out Madison Rayne. Madison comes out and Angelina offers her spot back. Angelina puts over Velvet and herself, but sort of cuts on Madison. Madison says they always treated her poorly, and Angelina writes it off as her paying dues in the business. Madison tells them she has outgrown all of that and isn't interested and exits.
Magnus talks to the camera and says Joe is trying to find a friend, but he has a business partner. Joe walks up to him and they argue. Al Snow intervenes and breaks things up and Joe leaves.
Match #3 - Tigre Uno and Sanada vs. The BroMans (w/DJ Z) vs. The Wolves; TNA Tag Team Championship
DJ Z does his gimmick to introduce the BroMans. Sanada and Uno come out next. Robbie calls them Tiger One and Hyundai Sonata. He tells them to lay down, and Uno tells them no. They chase off BroMans, and the Wolves come out to the ring. Between the Wolves and the international team, they beat down BroMans before the bell. They play to the crowd.
Back out of break, the faces dump BroMans again, and they fight. BroMans take advantage and attack from behind to get control of the match. Sanada takes the hot tag, but DJ Z takes his X-Division title to distract Sanada. Sanada tags Tigre Uno and takes out DJ Z. BroMans use that distraction to hit Tigre Uno with the BroDown to get the win.
What Worked: The match itself was fine, no real complaints about the in-ring work
What Failed: Nothing really felt special here. You have four new talents to TNA and none of them felt like a big deal. If you want to build stars, you need to do more than this. And I have to say that the BroMans feel like they're killing the tag division right now - and not in a good way. They have their good points, but overall it's not working.
Backstage, Angelina whines about what went down with Madison. Velvet tells her to go talk with her, and Angelina heads off to find Madison.
Angelina finds Madison, but Madison tells her she has nothing to say. Angelina says she has something to say, and apologizes. She says you have to watch your back and she made some mistakes in her past. She offers Madison her spot again. Madison tells her she will think about it. Angelina says that's fine, then grabs her by the hair and throws her into the lockers. She screams at Madison to never disrespect her again. She tells her that the Beautiful People are her and Velvet. She drops the choke and leaves.
What Worked: For me, nothing. I'm sure some folks enjoyed that but it didn't work for me personally.
What Failed: Why it failed was because it didn't come off as believable to me.
MVP tells Joe that he will be the one to be chained to Abyss since he can't find anyone else.
We get a video of Knux - who I didn't think was still on the roster - as he goes home to see a girl and check on the family business.
We see Bully waiting on Dixie in her office, and Taz teases what will happen coming up next.
Bully talks to Dixie in her office. The chair back is to Bully so we never see Dixie. He trashes her, saying no one likes her - wrestlers, production staff, or fans. He says he screwed her over because she's a nobody in wrestling. He says it's time for her to face him, and spins her chair around. Surprise, it's empty. Bobby Roode attacks him from behind and beats Ray down. He slaps him over the head with a picture and says Dixie didn't make this invitation, Roode did. "You don't screw Bobby Roode. Surprise!" and Roode storms off.
What Worked: That was a good high-energy beatdown from Roode. This has all the makings of a really good feud going forward.
What Failed: For me, it's a little bit hard to believe Ray didn't see Roode in that office prior to the attack. Maybe nit-picking, but it did take me out of the moment a bit. Overall the second hour feels like it's lost a bit of steam from the first.
Backstage, Magnus asks Abyss if he's ready. Abyss tells Magnus he has a surprise for Joe and MVP and some tacks fall out of his hand. They laugh and walk to the ring.
They recap the Gunner and James Storm angle from earlier in the show and announce Gunner vs. James Storm for next week
Match #4 - Magnus (c, w/Abyss) vs. Samoa Joe; TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Abyss is chained to MVP throughout the match
From the onset Magnus tries to attack Joe's midsection since Abyss had weakened him up with "Janice" at Lockdown. Joe fights back with strikes of his own. The fans chant that "Joe's gonna kill you."
Magnus controls the action after commercial. Joe sells the ribs, which prevents his comeback. He suddenly gets his sleeper/choke. Magnus chin-checks him and Joe bumps the referee as he sells. Abyss attacks MVP, then grabs the tacks. MVP battles back and gets the key to unlock himself. That moment allows Abyss to hit him with a chair. Joe tries a dive on Abyss, but Abyss throws the chair at Joe. Magnus follows with his top rope elbow to get the victory.
Afterward, Magnus celebrates while Abyss stares at the title belt.
What Worked: The match itself was fine. Nothing to complain about as Magnus and Joe are concerned.
What Failed: For starters, it's yet another cheap finish that keeps Magnus treading water as a poor champion. I had hopes for something better for him as I do like his work. MVP looks like a dope for uncuffing himiself from Abyss.
Well, I guess you could have Joe turning heel to bring Dixie back as a full-time authority figure. I am really hoping that isn't the case as Dixie just isn't cutting it in my view as an on-screen character. Abyss looks like he is going to be infatuated with the title belt, so there should be some more of that story coming up as we go forward too.
This show got off to a fast start, and I really enjoyed the first hour for the most part. The second hour lost its way a bit for me, although I did think the cheap finish to the title match left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I want more for Magnus and think he can handle it, but they just aren't booking it that way right now.
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