TNA starts to build toward Slammiversary. Eric Young successfully defended his title, but who will be his opponent on the pay per view. We don't know just yet but TNA is teasing that we'll find out soon. The BroMans are going to get their rematch for the tag titles tonight, and in a ladder match no less. Ethan Carter takes on Kurt Angle too.
Show Open, taped at Universal Studios in Orlando on April 27/28.
A cameraman is riding with Bully Ray, and he's headed to Dixie's office to see her. He says he will put her through a table if he sees her.
They recap Eric Young's title win and current run. Tenay and Taz check in as EY comes to the ring. He says he had his first hiccup in his title run and repeats his promise to defend weekly. He says if MVP won't book a match, he will book himself and issues an open challenge.
Bobby Roode comes out and says as Champion, EY gets to decide the kind of champion he wants to be. EY has picked to be a fighting champion. Roode says he doesn't have to look further to find a guy to face because Roode is right there. Roode calls himself Mr. Consistency in TNA for ten years and everyone knows it. EY should defend against him tonight.
EY says that Roode was the number one contender last week and Roode lost. Roode says he remembers that but remembers he came close and he also had to face Gunner in a war. Roode tells EY if he really wants to be a fighting champion, he will be a man and defend the title tonight. Roode talks about their history before and in TNA, and says they should do it again for old time's sake and says he won't challenge again if EY wins. EY agrees to the match.
They recap Angelina Love's title win at Sacrifice, and the Beautiful People losing their dresses last week. Madison Rayne and Brittany are shown in white evening gowns and the BP's are in black ones.
That was a pretty strong segment to open the show. The "for old time's sake" talk was a bit much and didn't sit in with Roode's character but otherwise, very good. The issue still rests with EY's credibility though. They need to steer away from the "crazy" references in his promos and continue to work toward building his credibility.
Backstage, EY walks in to MVP's office and says that MVP wanted to see him. MVP puts him over and says he's canceling the match they just set up with Roode. He says he's the guy who makes matches and EY can't go into business for himself because it would lead to everyone doing the same. EY says he wants to work tonight. MVP gets animated and says EY has nothing to prove. He tells EY to enjoy his title, and promises an opponent he has never seen before at Slammiversary. EY reluctantly agrees.
This was also a good talk segment. I know what the spoilers say, and didn't think this telegraphed too much of what is going to happen like normally happens.
Match #1 - The Beautiful People vs. Brittany and Madison Rayne; Tag Team Evening Gown Elimination Match
Lose the dress and you're out in this one, fought under normal tag rules otherwise. Taz makes a wisecrack about the women working barefoot. Early on, the Beautiful People use a distraction to get to Brittany. They pull her down, then strip her. Brittany covers up and runs to the back.
Taz and Tenay argue over how to call the action. The Beautiful People team up on Madison. Madison pulls the ropes down and Angelina tumbles to the floor. Madison spears Velvet and rips her gown off. She's done. Angelina jumps back in and attacks Madison, choking her with Velvet's dress.
Madison hits a neckbreaker over her knee and tosses Angelina around with the dress around the neck. Madison spears Angelina, but Velvet makes her way back out in a towel. She flashes the official, and he sells it like she's nude (the camera shot was from the back). Angelina sprays Madison with hairspray and rips her dress off to get the win.
Evening Gown matches are a pretty weak gimmick match and they cheapen the women in the match in my opinion. They worked hard for most of the match, but the fake flash killed everything in my opinion as well.
Dixie is leaving her office and tells Spud he's in charge and Bully is not allowed in the office.
They hype EC3 vs. Kurt Angle for next.
Backstage, Bram tells Magnus he signed a deal with MVP to be in TNA. He adds that he booked Magnus in a match with Willow, and he will be ringside so Magnus need not worry.
Match #2 - Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III
Angle hits Carter with three suplexes in under two minutes. Angle tweaks his knee standing up, so Carter attacks. Angle hits the Angle Slam, then sells the knee again. Referee puts up the "X" for him. Angle tells the referee to not stop the match. EC3 spears the leg and covers to get the win.
Afterward, officials tend to Angle as Tenay and Taz talk in hushed tone.
That was bad. I get the point, but they didn't execute. Angle takes a step and the knee buckles, then Carter spears him to win? Tenay and Taz also weren't good here on commentary. That was terrible. If Kurt Angle jobs there needs to be a point to it that is better than this was.
They recap Angle's injury and show him being helped through the curtain. He says he blew out his knee.
This didn't come off believable to me as a viewer. Might have worked for you.
MVP comes to the ring and says he didn't know how hard it would be when he took over wrestling operations. He says if he lets wrestlers break the rules, they would take over and that's not good for the company. He apologizes to the fans for not letting the match with Roode happen, but he will make it up to them by announcing a blockbuster Slammiversary match.
Bobby Roode comes out and yells at MVP. MVP tells him there are no handouts and Roode needs to earn things. Roode asks MVP where he was when Roode was winning tag titles and world titles. He calls MVP a son of a bitch and MVP starts to leave. Roode grabs him, and things break down quickly from there. Referees and agents come out to break up the brawl.
Another sound talking segment. Not lights out, but it was effective.
Bully Ray makes his way to TNA offices. Everyone has "Bully Fears Dixie" shirts on. The receptionist stammers and Bully walks right past her. Spud tries to stop him but Ray scoops him up and heads to Dixie's office. Spud tries to get Ray to take his shoes off but Ray chases him away. He gets the phone and tells the receptionist to gather everyone up for a meeting.
If they're not careful, this could end up in the same line of Mr. Anderson vs. Sam Shaw and his mother.
Rebel is dancing with fire again, and Knux has a forklift with a giant crate. She asks what it is and Knux says "Their home."
Backstage, Al Snow and Security holds Roode back and tells him he has to leave and they'll bring his stuff to the hotel. Roode yells at Snow and calls it bullshit.
Match #3 - The Wolves (c) vs. The BroMans; TNA Tag Team Championship under Ladder Match Rules
The BroMans are in the ring as the Wolves make their entrance. DJ Z distracts the Wolves and that lets BroMans attack. They hit the Wolves with a ladder and things get underway officially. They set a ladder up and the Wolves recover to break that up. The Wolves try a dive but BroMans hit them with a ladder again. They squeeze Eddie's head in a ladder then kick each side. They pull the stairs over and set a ladder up from the apron to the stairs.
The Wolves fight back, setting up a ladder in the ring. BroMans recover and set one up along side. All four men climb up, they fight and all four end up falling down. Davey knocks himself down by hitting headbutts. Eddie suplexes Jesse over the ropes and the momentum carries him over. Scary spot. Davey puts Robbie on the ladder on the stairs and does a double stomp from the top. That looked painful.
The Wolves climb the two ladders. DJ Z runs in, and does a referee. The referee holds the ladder while the Wolves do a sort of hip toss on DJ Z, sending him crashing to BroMans on the floor. The Wolves claim their belts back to get the win.
Ladder matches that are this short don't have their impact, generally. But this one was good. They got into a couple of unnecessary spots and that over the top rope toss on Zema got a bit close for comfort there. Looks like everyone made it without issue though.
Out back, Rebel tells Knux this is a bad idea. He is excited though and knocks on the crate. The side falls off and a giant man in a mask and a lunatic clown come out. Rebel repeats her concern and Knux tells her to trust him on this.
Rob Terry is under the mask. This is the first signs of The Menagerie - rather...well, interesting.
In Nashville, Spud tries to bring Bully tea, but he's not in the office anymore. Spud grabs the phone and asks where he is. He is told a staff meeting, and Spud runs out.
Match #4 - Kazarian vs. Knux (w/The Menagerie)
"The Freak" is the big guy. Crazy Steve is the clown. There's also two guys on stilts. Rebel does a split on the ropes.
Kaz jumps from behind. Knux knocks him to the floor and Freak and Crazy Steve spook Kaz and he gets back in the ring. Knux hits him with a sit-out powerbomb to get the win.
This is obviously too early to tell as to where this is going. Rebel is really flexible. The rest is just odd. We'll see where it goes.
Spud joins the conference room, and everyone's working on their laptops. He runs down Ray, and Ray approaches from behind. He tells Spud to go get a case of beer. Spud tells him it's 11AM and it's a business. Ray agrees and says Spud needs to get two cases. Ray asks the group to tell him the company motto. They say "Bully Fears Dixie" three times like zombies. Ray says they have a lot of work to do and he has an idea.
That was bad. Really. The people they had in that segment were the worst actors ever, or just the staff and they had no idea how to sell this.
They recap the Mr. Anderson/Gunner/James Storm angle from last week. Tenay says Anderson will face Storm next week. Backstage, Anderson and Gunner talk and Gunner tries to analyze Sam Shaw.
Not sure what that was about.
Back in Tennesee, Spud returns to the conference room and everyone's got Bully Ray shirts on and partying. Spud yells for things to stop. Ray tells Spud if he tells him where Dixie is, he will leave. Spud says he doesn't know. Ray says if Spud will share a beer with him, he will leave. Spud agrees, but Ray instead puts him through a table. He takes Spud's phone and finds Dixie's address in it. He turns to the staff and asks what the new motto is. They chant "tables."
I knew things were going along far too well to not get a bad, stupid, or otherwise confusing segment, and there it was. This just wasn't any good.
Willow talks about Magnus winning the world title and started off his reign. Willow says he doesn't fear Magnus' reign because he has an umbrella.
If you like the Willow character, you got into this promo. It didn't click with me as I'm not a fan of the character.
Match #5 - Magnus (w/Bram) vs. Willow
Magnus and Bram come out first, and Magnus attacks Willow before he can get in the ring.
Magnus stays on offense but Willow comes back and hits the double leg drop to the nutsack. Magnus rolls out to escape. Willow splashes him and throws Magnus back in the ring. Bram attacks Willow from behind and throws him into the stairs for the disqualification.
Afterward, Bram handcuffs Willow to the ropes and pulls out a turnbuckle from under the ring. He hits Willow with it twice and Magnus walks away, looking upset.
I'm confused by this. Shouldn't Magnus be happy that Bram attacked Willow? He lost, and that might upset him, sure. But he was "Come on, Bram, stop." I don't think that plays right. I do like Bram's intensity and look though.
Backstage, MVP tells EY he will see him out in the ring momentarily to make the announcement of his opponent at Slammiversary.
Backstage, the doctor tells Kurt Angle his ACL is torn and he needs surgery. Angle sells being upset.
MVP calls out EY. EY comes to the ring and MVP puts him over big. He tells EY he inspires him and if everyone had EY's tenacity, the brand could do anything. MVP says EY deserves the best competition and points up the ramp and says this is his new number one contender.
Nothing happens. MVP acts confused. He says that since the music didn't play, he will announce it like this. He punches EY in the face and beats him down. He takes the mic and says he will see EY at Slammiversary. The crowd boos heavily and Taz and Tenay act disgusted as the show ends.
This turn is stupid, but they pulled it off. The crowd turned on MVP right away and he got heat so in that regard it worked. But it still doesn't make sense. We just dumped Dixie as a heel authority, now we have MVP coming back and asserting himself as a heel authority figure? Please...no...make it stop.
All in all, this was a pretty good show but it did have a couple of pretty big blemishes. I know what the spoilers are going forward, and it gives me some bad feelings as to where things are headed. Maybe there's enough pre-tape to make this all work out. We'll all find out next week together. Join me for more live iMPACT coverage then right here on Ring-Rap.com.