Tonight's report is a bit on the abbreviated side and more of a post-show format. We get more MVP, Kenny King and Bobby Lashley in the hype leading to Slammiversary on June 15.
Show Open, Taped at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL on May 9
They recap MVP and Co. having their way last week, with Samoa Joe saving the situation. They show MVP, King and Lashley looking for Joe backstage. Well, Joe enters to the ring. He says he knows MVP is looking for him so he came out so MVP could find him. He calls MVP out to get some things straight.
MVP and his crew come out, and King starts to cut a promo about disrespecting MVP but Joe cuts him off. He tells King if he's MVP's mouthpiece he should kiss Joe's ass. MVP asks what Joe wants and Joe tells him that MVP screwed him over. He vouched for MVP and then MVP stabbed everyone in the back. MVP says he gave Joe a chance and Joe didn't do his job. Joe says his job is to kick people's asses so why not Joe vs. all three of them.
Austin Aries joins the party and calls MVP out for only wanting to fight when he can stack the deck in his own favor. MVP says Joe is in breech of contract and his hands are tied. Aries points out MVP was director of operations and can do what he wants. MVP books Joe vs. Aries with the loser getting fired.
And here's the issue with heel authority figures. If MVP is so teed off with these two, then he could just fire them and be done, but instead, he's going this route. Ugh.
Backstage, Magnus asks Bram if he's ready and Bram laughs. Magnus tells Bram he hasn't dealt with anyone like Willow. He says this isn't Jeff Hardy, this is the alter ego he became after Magnus beat him for the championship. Bram agrees then says Magnus lost his edge after that. Bram says he needs the guy who beat Hardy back. Bram says if Magnus doesn't return to that guy, it will just mean more opportunities for him.
Match #1 - Bram vs. Willow
Bram starts aggressively, but Willow chin-checks him to take control. Bram escapes to the floor and slams Willow to the stairs when he gives chase. Willow fights back and things spill outside again. He sets Bram up on the stairs and jumps out of the ring, but Bram moves so Willow crashes and burns. Bram grabs a pry bar and backs Willow up to a corner. Magnus runs out and stops Bram from using it. He takes the pry bar, then turns around and beats the hell out of Willow with it.
Afterward, Magnus lands one more shot and Bram looks on with glee.
This was alright, but it never really got in gear because of where they were going with the finish. The minute Magnus ran out, I just assumed he was going to hit Willow with the pry bar. It didn't look all that great though.
Backstage, MVP enters his office to find the Wolves hanging out. Davey tells MVP they are the Wolves, while MVP is simply a wolf in sheep's clothing. They banter and MVP ends up booking them against each other. They refuse the match, so MVP threatens to strip them of the tag titles if they don't.
Mr. Anderson walks around backstage in a bad cowboy outfit. He bites the cap off of a beer bottle and yells "I like beer!" and cackles like a moron...
Match #2 - Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards
Kenny King is an interested observer. Davey sells rib pain from previous beatings, and Eddie checks on him. King gets a mic and yells, saying if they don't take it seriously they'll be stripped of the titles. They chain wrestle into submissions, and King yells at them to hurt each other. Eddie rolls Davey up to get the win.
King gets in the ring and yells, saying the were supposed to fight and need to kick people in the face. They attack him and hit the Alarm Clock before King bails to safety.
King's act is already tired. I guess someone had to be the comedy act of MVP's group, and I'm glad they have King involved in something, but this is so over the top so it's not working for me.
Backstage, Dixie Carter asks MVP if he really has things under control with Aries vs. Joe. He tells her to grab a glass of merlot and a popcorn and watch, because someone's getting fired tonight.
We get a recap of the moment between Brittany and Madison last week. Backstage, Brittany again offers to help Madison and Madison tells her to do nothing. Elsewhere, Robbie E confronts DJ Z and Jesse and freaks out over the clown in the Menagerie.
MVP grabs Brian Hebner and tells him there has to be a winner and a loser in the Joe vs. Aries match.
HerveyCam asks Joe about the match with Aries. Joe says he's not surprised. He says MVP promised him the world and didn't deliver, and this is how he has treated him. Aries walks into frame and says they weren't all that different, other than Aries sees MVP for what his is and now they're being punished. Aries says he respects Joe, but he has to do what he has to to keep his job. Joe says he does to.
Blah, blah, blah...talk, talk, talk....none of that was particularly important. TNA also booked that in crash sequence, so none of it was really able to be digested as they rushed from one to the other.
DJ Z is in his booth in the ring, along with the BroMans. Z asks Robbie what is wrong, and Robbie says it's the clown.
Hey, didn't we just do this backstage?
Jesse says everyone likes clowns and Robbie needs to chill. Robbie scratches, and here comes the Menagerie. They do their entrance gimmick. Robbie says "We are BroMans" over while marching in place. Knux grabs a mic and says they're the Menagerie, and just like them, except with Rebel. Jesse says they can have her if they wanted. Crazy Steve honks a bike horn and Robbie freaks. He gets into a horn contest with DJ Z.
The Freak grabs Z and gorilla presses him, and Knux tosses BroMans out to the floor. The Freak tosses Z out on top of them to end the segment.
This was dumb. Robbie was way over the top, I hate the BroMans gimmick as it is and think anything involving them is already suffering. Now you lump in this group you're trying to introduce - freak gimmick or not - with them and it's getting no one any momentum at all.
Backstage, Eric Young and Bully Ray try to convince Baby Hebner to do the right thing in the main event. Hebner says he has to take care of his family and tells them to butt out. Bully says they will do what they have to then.
Gunner and Sam Shaw are playing Go Fish at the asylum. Gunner is continuing to befriend Shaw. This angle is awful.
Match #3 - Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe; Loser Leaves TNA
EY and Bully are watching on a monitor. Joe tries for the Muscle Buster quickly. Aries escapes and gets a near fall out of a roll-up. The two argue with Hebner then attack each other. Aries locks on the Last Chancery and EY runs out to drag Hebner from the ring. EY and Hebner argue and Aries breaks the hold. Joe locks on a rear naked choke and Hebner slides back in. EY pulls him out again. Ray walks down, says he's sorry, and knocks Hebner out.
EY and Ray take the mic. They apologize for knocking Hebner out but they had to do it because this is bigger than any of them. MVP comes out and threatens to fire them. Ray challenged the three of them and EC3 to a first blood eight man tag. MVP starts to decline but King grabs the mic and agrees. MVP yells at him and sends him to the back and Ray laughs.
This actually wasn't bad. Ray and EY had sound logic to what they were doing. They delivered their lines well and the execution was good. The one thing is that an eight-man first blood match is just dumb though.
Anderson is still doing some of his stupid gimmick backstage.
Anderson continues to whip comedy's ass every week.
James Storm's babyface intro plays, and Christy Hemme introduces him. Instead, it's Anderson, in Storm's get up. He comes out and cuts a promo about liking beer. He turns to Christy Hemme and says "Sorry bout my damn breath." Storm's current music hits and he comes to the stage. Storm asks Anderson if he thinks this is funny, and Anderson belches into the mic.
Storm talks about Anderson drinking near-beer like he broke a sacred code of some sort. He says he's there to go another round and not in a bar. Anderson asks if he wants to go right now. Storm says he's closed for the night, but Anderson says his bar is open 24/7 and he serves 101 kinds of ass whipping. He says "One hundred two" and attacks Storm.
Storm slams Anderson off the stairs and chokes him in the ring apron. Storm stands over him and asks "you wanna be a cowboy?" He tells Anderson to bring his boots to Slammiversary.
The only thing I can compare Anderson to right now is the bad parts of John Cena turned up to 11. He just yukks it up on his opponents, and no one can ever seem to get over on him.
Shaw is sitting at a table at the asylum and Gunner walks up with a sketch book. Shaw asks Gunner if it it's his, and Gunner says yes. Shaw asks if he looked and Gunner says no, but asks permission to do so. Shaw was quiet, then agrees.
They are committed to this story, for sure. They haven't given up.
Gunner holds up some odd drawings and asks Shaw about them. He holds up a half-finished pencil drawing of Gunner. Shaw takes it and says he isn't finished yet. Gunner asks him to finish, and Shaw agrees.
Match #4 - Angelina Love (w/Velvet Sky) vs. Madison Rayne; TNA Knockouts Championship
Madison chases Love around before catching her to take control. Velvet runs a distraction that allows Love to take control. Velvet stands over Madison, and here comes Brittany to check on Madison. Madison yells at her to go away. Madison starts a comeback, so Velvet jumps up on the apron in front of Brittany and sprays Madison with hairspray. Brittany shrugs, Love rolls Madison up and that's the title match.
There's some story there with Madison and Brittany, and I kind of like it. I want to see it develop before I completely agree or disagree, though. Brittany did as she was asked, and Madison paid for it. I do hope this moves Madison away from the Beautiful People though - that was old after the first reunion moment.
Backstage, MVP tells EC3 that he needs to hold up his end. EC3 reminds him that he is undefeated. MVP mocks that and leaves him go out first.
Madison chases Brittany down backstage. She asks why Brittany just stood there and Brittany says she did what Madison told her to, nothing. She leaves and Madison was upset.
EC3 and MVP's team come out to their own entrances. The face team comes out together to EY's music.
Match #5 - Ethan Carter III, MVP, Kenny King, Bobby Lashley vs. Bully Ray, Eric Young, Samoa Joe, and Austin Aries; First Blood Eight Man Tag
Aries and Lashley tease starting, but Lashley tags out. The heels confer, and King steps in. Aries slaps him and locks on the Last Chancery. EC3 breaks things up and the announcers are confused about whether a submission is relevant to this type of match.
EC3 tags in, then Ray tags in so he runs. Ray calls out MVP, so he obliges and they meet face to face. The battle is even at first, but MVP drags him to Ray to the heel corner and tags in King. He backdrops King and tags to Joe. Lashley tags in, and they set up the big man moment but the show goes to commercial.
EY tags in and he loses control to MVP. The heels work quick tags and beat EY down. EY starts a comeback and things break down where everyone hits big moves. EC3 hits a spinebuster on Ray, then sets up a Stinger Splash. EC3 ends up hitting the buckle face first. Ray grabs his chain and hits EC3, and he bleeds from the forehead giving the win to the faces. They celebrate in the ring
Tenay puts over the win, and then says there's something breaking backstage. MVP and Co. are beating up EC3. Dixie runs up and demands they stop. She gets in MVP's face as EC3 escapes. Dixie tells MVP he crossed the line and made things personal and now he has started a war. MVP tells her that "historically, the seizing of power has always involved bloodshed." Dixie tells him to prepare to bleed.
Oh...my....god....hahahahahahahahahahaahhaha....what is this shit?
How in the world does a war between two heel authority figures even work? Let me count the ways this can go wrong! Is Dixie going to be a babyface now? And how on earth does TNA even think that watching two heel figures wrestling for the control of the company is even going to do any sort of business.
This was flat, and this ending was completely stupid. Anderson was horrible, so were the BroMans and Menagerie. The Knockouts gave us a bit of a story that was decent, and Ray and EY at least executed well throughout the show even if not everything made sense. That ending though...completely killed the show. It was just flat awful.
Next Thursday is the go-home show for Slammiversary, so be sure to join us for show coverage right here on Ring-Rap.com.