Slammiversary is coming, and there's a lot of story to tell. MVP and Eric Young continue their story. Will EY be able to overcome three men, now that Bobby Lashley and Kenny King have joined MVP? The Wolves are feeling scorned after being attacked last week also. The turmoil continues heading to Slammiversary.
Show Open, taped in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios on May 7/8, 2014
They run a video that shows MVP's rise to power and the assembly of his crew. The video asks how anyone can stop them.
Bully Ray comes out and he says he will keep fighting as long as he has air in his lungs. He says he's more motivated now than any other time in his career. He corrects himself and says he's obsessed. Bully claims he's obsessed with six people, and all six will go through a table. Six tables are lined up on the table, covered in plastic.
Each name has a name on them as they're uncovered. MVP, Lashley, Kenny King, Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud and Dixie Carter. Ray plays to the fans and says each name, then heads to the ring. He says it's time to get crazy and demands someone to come out and fight him. He says he doesn't care who or how many, and they will all go through tables no matter how long it takes.
MVP comes out, dressed in his ring gear. He tells Bully he doesn't respond to threats well and that Bully should consider his options. He claims no one will go through a table tonight, as much as Bully and his fans want it to happen. MVP says he will fight him, but he has friends and it ain't no fun if the boys can't have none. Lashley and King come out, but EC3 and Spud attack Bully from behind. It's a gang style beatdown, and EC3 runs to grab the table with Spud's name and brings it to the ring.
The Wolves, Austin Aries, and Eric Young come out to even the odds. The heels clear out rather than fight, but Spud doesn't make it. Spud cowers under the ring and Aries grabs a mic. He says the numbers won't come into play tonight, and challenges the heels to a match. Bully gets a mic and says MVP has no balls if he refuses, and hits Spud with a top rope powerbomb through his table to remind MVP what was in store.
The heels have no heat on them right now, and that's a direct result of the way TNA has so many shows taped ahead of time. Spud and EC3 teaming up with MVP and Co. makes little sense, but I guess we'll discover why that is later on in the show. All that said, this segment wasn't badly executed.
Match #1 - MVP, Bobby Lashley, Kenny King vs. Austin Aries and The Wolves
It's a ringside brawl at first, with MVP focusing on Richards' hurt ribs. Lashley and Aries battle in the ring, with Aries doing the selling. The Wolves fight with MVP and King at ringside. Aries uses a low bridge to dump Lashley at ringside. Edwards does the same to King, and all three faces are in the ring with MVP. MVP quickly gets dumped to ringside. The three faces hit dives and celebrate.
Aries hits King with a springboard elbow for two. Order has finally been restored and settles in to a tag match. MVP kicks Richards in the ribs as he bounces off the ropes. Lashley pulls him outside and throws him to the steps. King hits Edwards with a big kick, drags him to his corner to tag MVP. MVP covers Edwards with one finger to get two in a good heel spot. Lashley tags in, and the heels work quick tags to isolate Edwards.
Edwards manages to land on his feet out of a release German suplex and tags Aries. Aries goes off on King, but Lashley sticks his nose in to keep heel momentum. MVP tags in but takes a discus forearm, and King gets one for good measure. Aries hits the brainbuster and tags to Davey, who hits the double stomp. Lashley comes back with a spear and MVP hits the Mafia Kick to grab the win.
The referee might as well have gone and grabbed a seat with the fans. He was useless. Never enforced the rules, so no one really got any heat as a result. No one was really selling much either. The guys worked hard, but those things took away from the match.
Backstage, Bram says he's done talking because things aren't working. He tells Magnus he has a match, and he will be out with him. Bram says Magnus will feel and see the violence, because he wants the old Magnus back.
EC3 complains to Auntie Dixie about what happened in the opening segment. Dixie shares his frustration and says she has business with MVP tonight. They continue talking as they walk away.
Match #2 - Bram vs. Tigre Uno
Uno hits a single leg drop kick to kick it off, but Bram counters a head scissor to a powerbomb. Bram controls the offense but Uno gets in some hope spots. Bram shuts those off each time though. Bram hits an Impaler DDT for the win.
Afterward, Bram grabs a steel rod and goes to assault Uno. Magnus grabs a mic and tells him to stop. They argue about the old Magnus, and Magnus tells Bram he wants to see him take on a more game opponent. He challenges Bram to face Willow.
For all that blathering about aggression and violence, Bram's debut fell really flat. He didn't come across like an aggressive guy, but more like one pretending to be. I liked the Impaler DDT, that was about it.
Backstage, Gunner confronts Anderson. Anderson tells him he is crazy for wanting to help Sam Shaw. Anderson asks Gunner if he has his back tonight, and Gunner says he does.
Brittany confronts Madison backstage. She asks if Madison will tag with her later against the Beautiful People. Madison tells her to not have the match. She says they will find a way to embarrass her and it took Madison years to find a way to deal with people like them. She says fine.
Match #3 - The BroMans (w/DJ Z) vs. Mr. Anderson and Gunner
The BroMans dance while Gunner paces at ringside. Mr. Anderson makes his entrance. DJ Z distracts Gunner and Anderson, and BroMans jump them to get the advantage.
Tenay brings up Gunner offering to help Shaw because of encountering people with mental trauma during his time in the military. BroMans isolate Gunner early on, working quick tags. Jesse takes shots at Anderson at ringside, and argues with the referee. That permits a double team in the ring. Gunner gets the hot tag and he goes on a run. He makes a blind tag on Anderson as he hits the ropes. Anderson Mic Checks Robbie, and Gunner follows with a top rope headbutt for the win.
Afterward, The Menagerie makes their entrance. BroMans recover in the ring as the Menagerie circles doing their big entrance gimmick. The Freak pancakes DJ Z at the end.
Backstage, EC3 and Dixie head toward the ring.
The Menagerie is just a dumb gimmick now. I'm sorry. I'm failing to see the point of the video packages and story that led up to their introduction now that all we get is these momentary appearances. And the tag match was just meaningless.
Backstage, Brittany approaches Gail Kim and tells her she can't get over how bad she was embarrassed last week. She asks Gail to team with her later, and Gail agrees because it's the Beautiful People. Brittany gives her an uncomfortable looking hug.
Dixie and EC3 head to the ring. Dixie tells MVP they started a conversation last week, and asks him to come out so they can finish it. MVP comes out with King and Lashley in tow. MVP asks her to what he owed this displeasure in a real condescending tone. MVP says he thought she said all she wanted last week. She says she left off last weekt hat MVP needs her. MVP says he has money, power, and respect, and at Slammiversary he will win the TNA Championship.
Dixie says she could go home to Nashville, or head to Dallas to meet with the Board of Directors and discuss his abuses of power. MVP says he has access to more money than she knows. She claims his money is dirty, but he says whether it's dirty or inherited it's still money, and money is power. Eric Young and Bully Ray join the party, saying that despite how they look they like the finer things in life. The finest thing he can do is put all of them through a table.
MVP says EY has a lot of heart admittedly, and that's why he made him his patsy. He says he will take EY's title at Slammiversary. EY goes to attack MVP, but Bully stops him and says there's a time and place for everything. MVP says that's right, and you can only bully people that are afraid of you and MVP isn't afraid. He calls Bully just another New Yorker with a big mouth. Bully charges, but EY stops him this time.
MVP says that since they both want to fight so bad, he will make them fight so bad. Just to make sure they wrestle, he will make EC3 the special referee. Bully refuses and MVP threatens to fire him. Bully tells him to go ahead because he won't fight on MVP's whim. Dixie speaks up and asks Bully if he's quitting on his fans. She says she has overpaid him since day one, but didn't think New Yorkers quit.
Bully says he will never quit until he gives fans what they want, which is everyone in the ring going through a table. EY and Ray back up the ramp to close the segment.
Boring. In a word. They rehashed a lot of ground, and the heels have nothing going for them at all. No heat at all. Hell, the live crowd was chanting at Dixie to go home for most of it. They didn't react to MVP at all. Bully got a nice reaction for talking about putting Dixie through a table, but nothing much beyond that. No one is into power struggles any more, I don't think. The heel authority gimmick is officially dead. Not to mention that they're blazing through this story at light speed, so nothing has any sort of impact.
Backstage, the Beautiful People say that no one is in their league and tell "cheerleader Brittany" to chill out.
They run a video package of Kurt Angle recapping his knee injury and his recovery at home.
Match #4 - The Beautiful People vs. Gail Kim and Brittany
Brittany gets an early advantage, but is so caught up with impressing Gail that Angelina recovers and tags. Velvet tags in and hits a seated drop kick for a near fall. Gail wants the tag but Brittany says she has it under control. The Beautiful People control the match, choking Brittany on the second rope as Gail argues with the official.
Brittany comes back with a side Russian leg sweep and tags Gail. Gail knocks Angelina from the apron and hits Velvet with a springboard splash for two. Brittany makes a tag that Gail doesn't want, and takes the Botox injection from Angelina with a distracted official. Velvet covers to get the win.
They worked hard, but this was clumsy. Gail and Angelina were fine, but Brittany and Velvet need work. They both need polish to their in-ring game, clearly. Also, why on earth do you work an angle like they're working where Brittany looks like a blithering idiot. Either that or a total narcissist. Either way, not a babyface character.
Taz and Tenay hype the main event, then they show EY and Bully backstage. They wish each other luck tonight.
Back out in the ring, Brittany is still there and demands Madison Rayne come out. She obliges, and Brittany asks why she rejected her and refused to partner with her. Madison says her issues with the Beautiful People go back years, and she doesn't want to be responsible for dragging Brittany into that conflict. Brittany tells Madison that she will take responsibility, and she wants to be with her. Madison tells her she's taking this too far and asks her to keep her distance.
Brittany freaks and asks why Madison doesn't accept her. The BP come back out and mock Madison for breaking a young girl's heart. They said that's the true Madison, and only they know her because they made her that way. Madison tells them to stop worrying about Brittany, and worry about the Knockouts title, because it was coming home to her next week.
So not only is Brittany dumber than a box of rocks, but she's also a creepy lesbian stalker?
Backstage, EC3 suits up to be a referee. MVP and his crew approach him and EC3 tells them he doesn't want a problem. King says they will be his best friend later, and they will be closer than he knows.
Kenny King makes an entrance and announces himself as the guest ring announcer. He announces Bully Ray as being "742 lbs and from Hell's Toilet, New York." His cleverness left him though as he introduced EC3 and EY though. He announces Bobby Lashley as the guest enforcer and MVP as the guest timekeeper.
Hmmmmmmmm....where have we seen this before, recently?
Match #5 - Bully Ray vs. Eric Young
The bell rings, and Bully and EY are more interested in what's happening outside than each other. They trade offense early, and EY hits a drop kick that sends Bully outside. Kenny King hits a sucker punch on Bully and knocks him down. EY goes out and helps him up and both men get in the ring.
MVP holds up the belt and taunts EY. Ray hits a shoulder block and EY rolls out to ringside. MVP takes a cheap shot, and Ray confronts him. EY and Ray get back in the ring again. EY flips out of a suplex and hits a drop kick. After an Irish whip, EY does the Flair Flop out of the corner to the apron. Ray slingshots him back in and throws punches. EC3 stops Ray from hitting an elbow, and it all melts down from there.
MVP and his guys get in the ring and throw a beatdown on both Ray and EY. Samoa Joe runs out to make the save, making his return. He takes out MVP and Lashley to the floor, and hits Kenny King with the Muscle Buster.
Spurts and starts here - not really anything you could call a match. This closing segment was just boring, aside from Joe making his return. But it was also really predictable with MVP and his cronies being in all the key positions, and you knew it was a matter of time until the three of them jumped the ring.
TNA has a really bad issue with pacing and investing in their characters. I just don't care about anything these guys are doing right now. I can't get invested in hating MVP and his cronies because the show moves so fast that nothing sinks in. Also, they're just overexposed - we see way too much of them on the show and it just kills their heat.
The crowd doesn't help them either. TNA doesn't give them anything to invest in, as we've already pointed out. With the lengthy tapings, they end up burning out and just sitting on their hands as well. They really didn't react to much of anything, occasionally popping up to say something sucked or telling Dixie to go home.
I'll have a special RingRap Audio "Around the Ring" audio recap on this show, because I want to expound on these points a bit more. Look for that show sometime Friday. Be sure to comment or hit me with comments on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan. Goodnight!