Sacrifice is behind us now. Eric Young retained his TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but where does he go from here? It's being advertised that Bobby Roode, Gunner, and Mr. Anderson are competing in an endurance challenge to earn a title shot. Also, Willow takes on James Storm. Plus there will be plenty of other fallout from the Sacrifice pay per view event.
Show Open, Taped at Universal Studios on 4/28/2014
They recap the results of Sacrifice with a video package.
They show Bully Ray spray painting a table, and cut to Eric Young who says no one thought he'd win the TNA Championship. He approaches MVP, who says that before he arrived TNA had no level playing field. He comments on EY calling out challengers and says the fans deserve someone they can believe in. He says he wants the party to continue and wants to defend the title tonight. MVP has a plan.
Quick cut to Gunner, Bobby Roode and Mr. Anderson in a room. MVP has them draw cards to determine a gauntlet order tonight. Highest card gets a bye, the next two wrestle match. The winner goes on to face the third man for the title shot. Anderson and Gunner both draw fours, but Roode draws an ace. Gunner will face Anderson, then the winner faces Roode. The winner gets EY for the title. Trash talking ensues.
Magnus enters the ring wearing a suit. He demands MVP come out and explain why he got bypassed for a title shot. Abyss enters through the crowd and a brawl ensues. Abyss misses a chair shot but does hit a choke slam. He gets a chair again, but the fans want Janice. He obliges but his posing allows Magnus to escape.
Taz and Tenay hype up a Beautiful People celebration, as well as Storm and Willow. Bully Ray's music hits and he walks out with a table with "DIXIE" painted on it. He sets it up in a corner. He explains what Dixie did, and says he has a cracked rib but he's still standing. He says he might not be as big or bad as he used to be, but he's still tough as nails and it will take more than an ugly woman like her to end his career. Ray says if he sees Dixie tonight, she's going through the table.
A limo pulls up, and Dixie exits, talking on the phone.
TNA really suffers from this syndrome of Crash TV where they move from topic to topic with none of it sinking in. They crammed a lot into this opening sequence. Bully's promo was good, albeit brief, and the card drawing thing wasn't horribly offensive. They could have saved the brawl between Magnus and Abyss for a backstage segment but it was okay. With the way they hopped from topic to topic though, none of it was really impactful or sunk in.
Backstage, Rockstar Spud crosses paths with Dixie and he tries to hide her with a trash bag. Dixie blows him off and says she didn't break a sweat putting Ray through a table on Sunday. Spud is shocked at her confidence and tells her Ray has a table with her name on it. Dixie ignores him and walks away.
Match #1 - Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner; Endurance Challenge Match
Anderson comes out first with his normal entrance routine. They show highlights of his "committed" match with Sam Shaw from the pay per view. Gunner gets a video package of his match with James Storm from Sacrifice also.
Stalemate early on with neither man getting the advantage. They trade holds and reversals until Gunner hits a fallaway slam. He plays to the crowd then goes up top, but James Storm runs in and gets on the apron. Gunner gets down and hits him with a forearm shot, but the distraction lets Mr. Anderson get the advantage. Anderson has the control, but Gunner reverses an irish whip. That makes Storm hit Anderson rather than Gunner with a kick to the head. Gunner hits his finish to get the win.
I really thought the "I Quit" match from Sunday would have been the end of Storm and Gunner - it was logical. This points to the feud continuing...not sure how much life it has left in it. The match was alright, but it was a bit on the short side which hurt its momentum.
Backstage, Magnus is packing his bags. A fellow named "Bram" approaches him and they talk. Bram tells Magnus he is there to knock sense into him. He calls Magnus an embarrassment to his friends, family, and the UK. He asks if Magnus remembers the booze, the women, and the fights they got into. He calls Magnus soft and Magnus objects. Bram grabs Magnus by the collar and says he's there for Magnus' own good.
Ethan Carter III is in the ring and he says he has a dream match for himself, the fans, and his opponent in seven days. He says in seven days he will go one on one with Kurt Angle. Carter says the match was to happen at Lockdown but he hurt Angle before it could happen. He says he's happy Angle is back because he needs this match to prove himself personally and professionally. He claims to have never been pinned or submitted and won't start now. He boasts of a 288-0 record at Boca Raton Prep Academy. He says that tonight he will have an exhibition match to sharpen his skills and needs a sparring partner that is strong like a lion and quick like a gazelle. He introduces Rockstar Spud.
Spud comes to the ring in a singlet, and they warn the fans that accidents can happen so don't try this at home. They roll around and lock some amateur holds on. The fans yell at them like they're partners, and EC3 plays in by telling Spud to assume the position. They set up an amateur base position, then Kurt Angle's music hits and he makes his entrance with a mic.
Angle guarantees he will end Carter's undefeated streak and snap his ankle with the Ankle Lock. He tells Carter to prepare for the pain to begin in seven days. It's real, it's damn real.
Angle was fine here, but he didn't seem all that inspired with this storyline. He doesn't seem truly angry - and he tries to just talk louder to make it seem like he is. That just kills any suspension of disbelief for me as a viewer.
Backstage, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky hype up their celebration, next.
We get a replay of the video package from the pay per view where Knux and his girlfriend Rebel say they're bringing The Freak and Crazy Steve along with them to TNA. We get carnival music and a graphic that says the Menagerie will debut next week.
Hooray! Carnival workers! Not a fan. We'll see how it goes though
Match #2 - Bobby Roode vs. Gunner; Endurance Challenge Match
An early brawl that Gunner gets the best of. He hits a nice back body drop then a headbutt for a near fall. Roode begs off, then trips him and throws him outside. Roode and Gunner brawl around ringside, with Roode throwing Gunner into the steps. Roode gets in the ring to break the count, then throws Gunner back in and covers for a near fall.
Roode keeps control of the match, hitting a blockbuster from the top. He locks a hold on and taunts the crowd. Gunner comes back with some axe handle blows and a high knee. He tries for Hanger 18, but Roode rakes the eyes to escape. Gunner hits a DDT instead. Roode tries for the Roode Bomb, but Gunner counters to a suplex. Gunner hits some headbutts in the corner but misses a top rope headbutt. Roode comes back with the Roode Bomb for the win.
This was good, but again was limited by the time factor of only 5-6 minutes or so. I think these guys could do more with a little more time. I know you can't have 30 minute matches on TV, but at least give them ten.
Backstage, Dixie is walking with security. She tells them to set a table up in the ring, and not to leave her side tonight.
Angelina love gets a note handed to her. She reads it and it says that they must dress more conservatively or face consequences from management. Angelina says they'll wear evening gowns, and go out and have their party. She says by the end, no one will know what they will be wearing.
Dixie comes to the ring with security. They show her appearance at Sacrifice, shoving Bully off the ropes. She asks if we know who she is, and brags about putting Bully through a table at Sacrifice. She asks if Bully thought she would forget what he did to her at Lockdown. She brags about being the first woman to put Bully - the master of tables - through a table. She claims she's not intimidated or afraid of Ray's threat to put her through a table, and says Ray should fear her instead.
Bully interrupts and asks Dixie if she can hear that the world wants to see him put her through a table. He asks Dixie and the crowd if they really think he fears her, and they answer no. He asks if they thought she feared him, and the crowd answers yes. Bully addresses the security and asks if they really want to get between him and Dixie. He tells them to walk away, and says they too want to see Dixie get put through a table. The crowd chants for them to walk, and the guards outside the ring leave.
Bully tells the three in the ring that he will count to five, and if they're still there he will beat the crap out of all of them. After that, he will put Dixie through a table. Bully plays to the fans then gets in the ring, only to be swarmed by security. He breaks loose and lays them out, then points at Dixie. She stands firm and tries to slap him, but Bully grabs her hand.
MVP's music hits and he comes to the stage. He says that's enough and tells Dixie to get out of his ring. He says enough is enough regarding this feud and until further notice, both of them are banned from the iMPACT Zone.
This was predictable, but in a good way. I know spoilers, so I won't say too much - but MVP's character is changing quickly and I know why. We'll see how it plays out overall. He has started to at least show authority in his dealings where before he wasn't.
Match #3 - Willow vs. James Storm
Willow comes out carrying one of his overpriced umbrellas.
Early on, Storm controls the pace by working Willow's leg in the ropes. He tries for Eye of the Storm but Willow fights back and hits an atomic drop then a back elbow. Willow hits his corner kick then a version of the Twist of Fate that bounces Storm out of the ring. He hits a baseball slide then splashes Storm against the guardrail. He grabs a chair, then tries to splat Storm against the stairs but Storm escapes.
Willow gets his umbrella and Storm shoves the official, causing a disqualification. He breaks a beer bottle and goes after Willow, but Willow clocks him with the umbrella and grabs the broken beer bottle. He chases Storm up the ramp, and there's Mr. Anderson waiting to hit Storm with the Mic Check.
This was a good match. Again, limited by time but Storm got heat for getting himself disqualified so this wasn't as bad as the previous matches. I guess they're working toward Storm and Anderson in a story going forward, now that Storm and Anderson have both gotten shots in on each other.
Backstage, the BroMans complain about their match to MVP. He gets tired of the whining and sets up a six man tag. Bully walks in and asks MVP what his job is. He reminds MVP that he wouldn't be Kan...errr..Director of Operations if it weren't for him. MVP tells Ray that what happens in the ring is his responsibility but what happens outside of it is not.
They interview Eric Young backstage. He says that he and Bobby Roode have history, being partners and enemies. He references their Team Canada days also. He says they know each other better than anyone, and they'll find out who the better man is later.
Match #4 - The Wolves and Sanada vs. The BroMans and DJ Z
DJ Z introduces the BroMans and claims they were at a disadvantage on Sunday.
Things break down immediately, with BroMans and Z getting tossed outside. Splashes from The Wolves and Sanada. Back in the ring, all three men get the better of Robbie E. The official forces Davey and Sanada outside, which allows BroMans isolate and triple team up on Eddie.
This doesn't last long when Edwards and tags Davey. He destroys DJ Z and hits a kick to the head followed by an exploder suplex. Robbie breaks up the pin. More brawling as the match breaks down again. The faces hit their finishers off the top rope. The Wolves hit their double stomps and Sanada hits a moonsault. Davey grabs the cover for the win.
This entire match was on fast forward. It felt pretty insignificant as a result.
Angelina Love and Velvet Sky have their evening gowns on, and they say they'll show us how real champions celebrate.
The Beautiful People come to the ring in their gowns. Angelina talks about the letter from the Board of Directors about dressing more appropriately. She says they don't take orders from anyone, and if the board thinks they won't do something, they will. Angelina says they will take it all off right now. They dance around a minute, but didn't do anything with it.
They get sarcastic and say they wrote the letter, and they won't show off the goods anymore. She says no one in the crowd could get girls like them if they showed up in Vegas with a fist full of fifties. Angelina says they should hail the greatest Knockout Champion of all time - her. Gail Kim interrupts the proceedings, and says they're making a mockery of the division she was a part of building. She says they promised the crowd they would strip, and she will strip them of everything.
Gail hits both of them, and they run up the ramp. Brittany and Madison are waiting, and they strip Angelina and Velvet down to their bra and panties.
This was a bit of a logic fail. Gail says they made an embarrassment of the division, then she gets them stripped? Very odd.
Bobby Roode is walking to the ring for his title shot.
Tenay and Taz hype Angle vs. EC3 for next week, and also The Wolves vs. BroMans in a ladder match. We'll also get the debut of The Menagerie.
Match #5 - Eric Young (c) vs. Bobby Roode; TNA World Heavyweight Championship
The two men trade holds and reversals, then trade shoulder blocks and arm drags. They trade strikes until EY hits a drop kick that sends Roode to ringside. He follows with a baseball slide that sends Roode into the guardrail
Roode tosses EY over the top rope and to the floor. He goes out and throws EY into the steps, then throws him in the ring and locks on a full nelson hold. Young slips out and hits a flying forearm then a belly to belly moments later. Roode bails to ringside but gets splashed with a suicide dive. He throws Roode back in the ring and follows with a missile drop kick for a near fall. EY calls for the piledriver but Roode counters to a pinning predicament for two. EY uses a crucifix pin of his own for two.
Roode hits a spinebuster for a near fall, then both men sell. Roode gets up first and sets up for the Roode Bomb, but EY counters. He misses a cross body and Roode goes up to the second rope. Young catches him with a kick as he comes off the rope and hits a piledriver for a near fall. EY goes up top, but Roode crotches him on the ropes. He follows it with a Roode Bomb for a near fall.
The two exchange blows until Roode hits an enzugiri that staggers EY. Roode picks him up and puts him on the ropes. EY battles back and knocks Roode down and hits his top rope elbow to get the win.
After the match, Young offers his hand to Roode and picks him up from the corner as a show of sportsmanship.
Bully Ray is backstage and heading out of the building. He is asked by HerveyCam what he will do now that he's banned from the iMPACT Zone and he says he will do the only logical thing - head to Nashville, TN.
A solid main event match. The live reaction seemed a bit muted, so it begs the question if the fans are really into EY. As the match progressed, they got more into what he was doing when he had offense going, but Young is a long way from getting the reactions of top guys like Bully Ray or Kurt Angle do when they come out.
There aren't many heels that are over in TNA either. EC3 and James Storm are getting there, but no one else really seems to be clicking. The Beautiful People are just not hitting like they were in the past, Magnus needs rebuilt, BroMans are a comedy act, and despite his good in-ring work Bobby Roode needs something to get him back on track too.
It's not that the talent isn't working hard - they are. It's just that the booking around everyone seems to be weak, and no one really has any momentum behind them. In turn, it leads me to not invest as much into the program. Nothing's horribly offensive on this show, but it just feels flat. TNA needs to do something to really shake up what's going on with their creative and get some energy back in the product.
Join me again next Thursday for more iMPACT coverage right here on Ring-Rap.com. Agree with me? Disagree? Have a different point of view? Hit me up on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan and we'll talk about it.