Slammiversary is in the rear view mirror now for TNA. Eric Young was successful in retaining his championship against Austin Aries and Bobby Lashley in the cage in Arlington, but it's a new week. He will face a new challenger tonight, but we don't know who that is just yet. Also, it's said that Tommy Dreamer might be bringing his "horde of hardcores" to the show to address Dixie Carter. Will we see him, and what will he say?
All this and more, live from Bethlehem, PA at 9PM EST.
Show Open, Live from Bethlehem, PA
They open with a video that recapped the Championship situation from Slammiversary.
MVP, Bobby Lashley and Kenny King come to the ring. The crowd tells MVP he can't wrestle, and he agrees because of his injury. He turns his attention to Dixie Carter and the Board of Directors. He says Dixie got the board to issue a reprimand to him. He was ordered to give a fair main event at Slammiversary, which he did, but he didn't think it was fair. He says he's not going to let a stuffed shirt tell him how to run his show again, and tonight it will be "unfiltered MVP." He calls Eric Young out.
EY comes to the ramp and says he's on a roll. MVP accused EY and Austin Aries of colluding to keep Bobby Lashley from getting a fair shot at the ttle. EY tells MVP he is running out of patience and is coming to the ring to beat MVP's ass right now. MVP says he's injured and EY knows it. Kenny King grabs the mic and tells EY he will beat him for the title right now. MVP grabs the mic back, looks at King, then EY calls Earl Hebner out to do this match.
Match #1 - Eric Young (c) vs. Kenny King (w/MVP and Bobby Lashley); TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Bethlehem likes EY. King dumps him to the floor where MVP and Lashley close in. Aries, Samoa Joe, and The Wolves come out to even the numbers. Back in the ring, King starts to put some offense together, but EY hooks him with a small package to grab the win.
This was chaotic, which the live crowd liked. This comes across as all over the place on television though. It was only about three minutes, but it was logical. Now, how will MVP get heat back on him?
Apparently MVP roughed up the timekeeper during commercial, because he was still doing it as we come back live because he rang the bell when King "obviously" kicked out. EY and company come out and beat up on MVP's crew. They all brawl until security comes out to separate them. MVP gets back in the ring and he says his kindness is over. He says EY will defend the title again against Lashley, and security will escort every person out of the building until King and MVP are left.
MVP gets flustered as he tries to book a tag title match. He books The Wolves in a triple threat against Samoa Joe and Austin Aries and a third team to be named. He then demands Earl Hebner come out to the ring. MVP threatens to slap him, but says people would complain about MVP slapping a senior citizen. He fires Hebner and tells him to take the shirt off.
Brian Hebner runs out and tries to defend Earl. MVP says if he had a heart it might matter. He tells Brian to step aside, which he does. King grabs the ref shirt from Hebner. MVP lets Hebner speak. He says he loves this business but guys like MVP make him hate it. He says he loves the fans, and MVP says they might take up a collection for his bills. MVP screams for his music to play after telling Hebner to leave.
The chaos continues. I think that's what they want, but it's not clicking with me. It ends up being more nonsense than hot television. Besides, if MVP is in charge, why doesn't he just strip Young of the title? That's the inherent problem in a heel authority story.
Backstage, we see Dixie and EC3. She says she has no comment on MVP and he is just backing up everything that she explained to the Board. She puts over EC3 for winning at Slammiversary, and he did the same. She tells him she flew in Helga for a massage for him, so EC3 heads off to partake.
Samoa Joe and Austin Aries come to the ring as Earl Hebner is being escorted out. Backstage, EY complains about Earl's firing. His phone rings, and he tells the person on the other end he needs him tonight. He hangs up and leaves his phone behind. The camera zooms in, and it's Kurt Angle.
Match #2 - The Wolves (c) vs. Samoa Joe and Austin Aries vs. Willow and Abyss; TNA Tag Team Championship
Willow and Aries start, but Abyss and Joe end up in the ring. They do a spot where Joe and Aries both had submissions on, but the Wolves break things up. The Wolves then tease a dive on Joe and Aries, but Joe and Aries outsmart them and hit dives of their own. Not cleanly done, unfortunately. Tommy Dreamer is arriving as they go to break.
The Wolves end up controlling Aries. Joe and Abyss each take hot tags and clear the ring of everyone else. Willow gets a tag somehow and hits a backwards dive off the ropes onto the Wolves, Joe and Aries in a crazy spot. Willow tries for the Swanton Bomb on Davey, but he gets his knees up. Eddie grabs Willow, and they hit the combination backbreaker to get the win.
There was a LOT going on here. It was fun, but this show is just chaos tonight. It's hard to enjoy any of it right now.
Backstage, King and MVP talk and King wants to know why MVP is worried about Angle. MVP puts Angle over as an Olympic gold medalist, but King says he will take care of Angle. MVP mocks him and says their plan will come to fruition tonight, and they can't let anyone stop them. He mentions Angle's injured knee, and they pause to think about that.
The announcers talk about the reason for Tommy Dreamer appearing tonight. They run through some of the Twitter war stuff, but production didn't get this right as they were pretty small. Dixie and Rockstar Spud head toward the ring for Tommy's appearance.
They recap the MVP story, and then show Joe and Aries being escorted out. The Wolves walk up on MVP, and MVP tells them they aren't being escorted out yet. He says they will defend the titles again, this time against Bram and Magnus. The Wolves tell him to be careful what he wished for.
Dixie and Spud come out for their segment. Dixie says that EC3 destroyed Bully Ray so bad that he's not even there. She says she told Bully she will never go through a table, and everyone will learn she knows how to run the company. She moves to Tommy Dreamer, and acts like she doesn't know his name, so Spud fills in. She asks Dreamer to come out and he does, to a great reaction.
Dixie says Dreamer has been slandering her on social media, so she is giving him this forum to apologize. Dreamer says they had always gotten along personally, but this was business. He talks about how they met and Dixie no-sells. Dreamer says they put Hardcore Justice together and gave a bunch of the ECW guys closure, but they did it for the fans.
Dreamer says he sits at home and is embarrassed to be a pro wrestler when he watches TNA. He says like many he wants Dixie to succeed because there are men and women on the payroll that deserve it. He says it's become the Dixie Show, and points out her non-wrestling role.
Dreamer rattles on a little, and says he gave up until he saw the reaction for Kevin Von Erich at Slammiversary with her family. He tells her to do the right thing and listen to the fans. Dixie embraces Dreamer, nods, then knees him in the nutsack. She akss if he knows who she is, then EC3 runs out and adds to the beatdown a bit before they leave.
I liked seeing Dreamer, and his promo was good although he did fall off the tracks a little. Dreamer will get his House of Hardcore promotion some rub through this, and the NY tapings will likely add to this. The logic of Dixie dropping Tommy with a nutshot was a bit of a fail though.
Kurt Angle shows up and comes across King and Lashley holding steel pipes. He says he is simply there to talk to MVP, and King goes to get him. Angle eyes Lashley up and down, and simply says "nice pipe."
OMG!!!! I'm absolutely dying here!!!! Hey, Nice pipe....
Angle is backstage, and more security arrives as MVP walks up. He tells Angle to sit tight, and Angle agrees. Angle makes another wisecrack and says "his pipe is bigger than yours." King gets upset and Angle says something else but my audio goes funky and I missed it. Angle is proud of himself.
Oops, Kurt...one too many dick jokes.
Match #3 - The Wolves (c) vs. Bram and Magnus; TNA Tag Team Championship
Eddie takes heat early, then gets a hot tag to Davey. He sets up a drop kick on Magnus that also causes a DDT to Bram. Eddie teases the finish, but Bram runs in with a chair to cause the DQ.
Afterward, Bram and Magnus beat the Wolves down with chairs. They set a chair up around Davey's neck, but Willow and Abyss make the save.
Backstage, MVP walks up to Brian Hebner and mocks him for crying about his dad, Earl, getting fired. MVP tells him if he wants to continue to be paid, he will count the one-two-three on EY.
They show Taryn Terrell backstage. She's looking pretty good.
Wow, all the talking is killing me tonight and making this show drag. The matches are pretty insignificant too.
Bram and Magnus get asked by HerveyCam about walking away from a fight. Magnus says they were paid to do a different job, and that's beat up the Wolves. Willow flies in out of nowhere, and Abyss joins in to beat up the Brits til they make their escape.
Gail Kim is in the ring and she introduces Taryn Terrell. Kim cuts a promo, saying she didn't like her when she first came in, but she earned her respect when they fought. They hug and Terrell gets a "welcome back" chant. Terrell says she took the time off to have a child and it means a lot that Kim respects her. She points out that they're tied in her feud and they should have one more match to settle who was better.
The Beautiful People come out. Angelina cuts a promo on Kim, saying that she beat Kim at Slammiversary and her opinion doesn't matter. She stops and says she needs to formally introduce herself to Terrell and kicks her. The Beautiful People team up on Gail, but Taryn recovers and helps fight them off.
Backstage, MVP and Angle talk, with Angle asking MVP if he's doing the right thing. MVP laughs and asks if Angle is trying to stop him with "Dr. Phil mumbo jumbo." He threatens Kurt with getting hurt, and tells him to get with them or get out of the building. King gets in Angle's face, and he drops him with one shot. He turns to Lashley and asks what he's going to do. Lashley just looks at him and Angle walks away.
More chaotic programming, but they pulled together two good talking segments with Angle and the Knockouts segments. This time, the talking was good, because it helps to put Angle over as a killer. Also, the Knockouts division got a bit of life with the return of Taryn Terrell in this segment too. Kenny King plays a great lackey, but it's not something that works in wrestling since he can't carry a match.
Kim and Terrell are the next two to be tossed from the building. JB says there is no one left backstage. MVP walks up and asks if he's sure everyone's gone. JB says he looked and he can't find anyone. MVP says that JB is still there, so security tosses JB. MVP tells the cameraman to put the camera down and exit, which he does.
Match #4 - Eric Young (c) vs. Bobby Lashley; TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Lashley comes out with MVP and King. Christy Hemme introduces them, and Taz and Tenay discuss the situation, so I suppose it was just the backstage folks getting ejected. EY makes his entrance next. EY opens up with a cross body out to the floor fast, but when he tries again in the ring, Lashley catches him and hits a fallaway slam.
EY takes heat from Lashely for a bit. Lashley sets up the Dominator, but EY escapes and hits a piledriver. He covers, but King pulls the official out before he can count the fall. EY pulls King up to the apron and goes to hit him, but King ducks and grabs EY. Lashley charges, but EY escapes and Lashley hits King. EY drops Lashley and goes top rope for the elbow. Lashley rolls out of the way, hits his spear and wins, claiming the TNA Championship
After, King puts EY's arm in a chair and stomps on it and Lashley goes to the floor. Bobby Roode comes running through the crowd, scaring off MVP. He throws King out of the ring, but King runs back in. He gets tossed a second time. Lashley tries to get in the ring a couple times, but Roode keeps him at bay. MVP tries to figure out just what has to happen now as the show ends.
So they gave away a title change on free TV? And not even in a good match? Wow. I'm not sure I even see the immediate reason for the change. They went from putting the title on EY via beating the Authority Figure (at the time Dixie)'s chosen guy to do this change to get it ON the Authority Figure's (now MVP)'s chosen guy. Add in that it at least appears that Bobby Roode has turned face now - we'll see about that next week, obviously - and now only Rockstar Spud is the only guy who hasn't changed face in the past few months.
I just expected more out of TNA than this after a good show on Sunday night, and I was let down. I thought Kurt Angle's stuff was decent (the pipe lines were downright laugh-out-loud funny at least initially) and the Knockouts had a good segment. Tommy Dreamer's segment was good as well, and while I don't think it's going to give a big boost to either organization I like at least the attempt to do something together to provide some publicity. This title change though feels poorly conceived, and the tag title stuff was poorly conceived as well.
Join us next Thursday for more TNA iMPACT Coverage here on Ring-Rap.com
If you attended live in Bethlehem, and would like to share your impressions and thoughts on the show, be sure to drop me a line on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan or @RingRap.