The New York City tapings roll on, with Austin Aries considering his Option C ideas, Matt and Jeff Hardy and The Wolves setting up a match, and Bobby Roode battling MVP.
If you were at the New York tapings, let us know what you thought of the show(s) - we'd love to hear from you. Hit us on Twitter @RingRap or me directly @Bill_SoonerFan.
Show Open, taped at the Manhattan Center in New York City
Austin Aries is shown and Tenay tells us it's decision time for Destination X. They show footage of the Bully Ray and Dixie Carter storyline, pondering Dixie's future. They ask if there's a table in her future. In the arena, Tenay says Gail Kim will defend the Knockouts Championship against Taryn Terrell and Tommy Dreamer will team up with Team 3D to face Rockstar Spud, EC3 and Rhyno.
Bobby Roode's music hits, and he comes to the ring for the first match. MVP's music plays, but he doesn't come out.
Match #1 - Bobby Roode vs. MVP in a Falls Count Anywhere match
MVP is arguing with Kurt Angle backstage, claiming he's hurt and doesn't want to work. Roode goes back after him and they start with essentially a walking brawl. Roode pops MVP with a trash can, which gets a rise out of the fans. He keeps up the assault by throwing him into a row of empty chairs then MVP splashes Roode with a beer. He tries for a big boot but gets crotched on the barricade.
MVP hits a low blow and throws Roode into the ring post. Oddly, no bell has rung but the referee makes a two count. Kenny King runs out to attack Roode but EY runs out quickly for the save, chasing King to the back. Finally in the ring, MVP has a chair and hits Roode in the gut and back as he tries to recover, then continues the shots to the midsection when he's down.
MVP tries the Mafia Kick but Roode avoids it and sweeps the leg. He works MVP's bad leg with the chair then locks on a pretty bad looking sharpshooter that makes MVP tap out immediately.
Odd here was that the match never really truly started, yet we got a finish and a winner. It was a good brawl, but the ending sucked. Roode may have been sloppy with the sharpshooter because of MVP's knee injury, which is understandable, but in that case go for a pinfall move so it doesn't look so bad on TV.
They show highlights of Bobby Lashley defeating Jeff Hardy last week.
They show footage of EC3 eating a 3D through the table last week. Dixie Carter cuts an interview backstage, saying she's there to support her nephew in his match tonight with Bully Ray, Devon and Tommy Dreamer. She says she will not go through a table and would be the only one standing over his dead body when it's over.
Ehh, hey Dixie, you didn't need that last line. Way too matter of factly said.
Jeff Hardy heads to the ring to cut a promo. He says the people wanted Jeff Hardy back and Willow heard them. He says he will swanton the stairs once in a while to entertain. He says he's there to talk about the future, and brought someone with him who will be a part of the future. Jeff introduces him by saying he's three years older than him with the heart of a lion, and has a great mind for pro wrestling. He says he is Jeffrey Nero Hardy, and his brother is Matthew Moore Hardy.
Matt comes out and thanks the fans, saying he loves the passionate New York crowd. He says this night was about getting brothers back together, and cuts a bit of a rambling promo about their youth and desire to be champions. He says he had to go away for a while to get his life together, and is tired of apologizing because actions speak louder than words. He says it's time for the Hardy Boys to be tag team champions one more time. In order to be the best, they have to beat the best, and he calls out The Wolves.
Davey and Eddie come out. Eddie says they have nothing but respect for what the Hardys have done for tag team wrestling. He says that if the Hardys want to be the best, then that works out great because the Wolves want to prove they are the best. Davey grabs the mic and says they were there to fight, not talk, and challenges the Hardys to a tag title match at Destination X.
Neither of these teams was ever a strong promo, but they did a "good enough" job here to sell the match coming up. The reunion of Matt and Jeff definitely carried the moment.
Tenay plugs Austin Aries and his decision on Option C. Aries cuts an interview backstage, saying it's not as simple as Option C and he plans to change the equation. Everyone will find out what he means later tonight.
The BroMans hit the ring, and Robbie says they're back in NYC, better and stronger than ever. He brags about Jesse's body and Jesse grabs the mic. He congratulates Robbie on Amazing Race, then hands the mic off to DJZ. He claims to be better than everyone else in the X Division and in New York. He says Destination X will be his time to shine and he will become King of New York.
Match #2 - Low Ki vs DJ Z (w/BroMans)
Low Ki hits a couple kicks then tries for ten punches, but DJZ slips out and drops him on the buckle. Low Ki recovers and hits a dive outside on Robbie E. He hits a sunset flip into a double stomp, then works more kicks. He follows up with elbows but takes a jawbreaker from DJZ. Low Ki comes back moments later with another kick and rolls DJZ up in a cradle driver for the win.
They could have skipped the promo and given the match more time. The promo was bad. Match was decent for the short amount of time they had.
Tenay plugs Magnus and Bram vs. Gunner and Anderson coming up next.
Gunner talks to Sam Shaw backstage. Anderson walks up and tells Gunner to leave the pet project in the back during the match. Shaw gets up and says he knows Anderson has no reason to trust him, but he will someday. Anderson denies it and walks away.
This is a really abrupt kind of turn for Shaw, and it seems a bit far afield. This, however, is pro wrestling.
Backstage, EC3 cuts a promo about being from the mean streets of Boca Raton. Rhyno says cops break up street fights but tonight there are no cops. Dixie enters the frame with King Mo, who says he will take out Bully Ray if he sees him. Dixie asks Mo if he has her back and he says always.
Because none of these folks can act or cut a promo, this actually became laughable.
Bram and Magnus come to the ring, then Anderson and Gunner. Anderson does his entrance bit.
Match #3 - Mr. Anderson and Gunner vs. Bram and Magnus
Gunner and Magnus exchange punches, then Bram tags in and gets a slam in before more punching. Gunner no-sells and slams his own head into the turnbuckle. They go back and forth, then hit a double clothesline spot. Magnus and Anderson tag in and Anderson gets control with a clothesline and a Finlay Roll. Anderson teases the Mic Check but Magnus slips out.
Bram attacks Anderson outside, then pulls Gunner off the apron. Back in the ring, Magnus hits a spineshank to get the win.
More brawling after the bell, with Bram and Magnus getting the advantage. Sam Shaw runs out, and he takes a few shots from Magnus with a turnbuckle. Abyss runs out as Bram turns toward Gunner, and he clears the heels.
This wasn't bad while it lasted. They're not giving these matches enough time though.
Backstage, Bully Ray says it's getting to where he can't sleep at night. He wants to put Dixie through a table so bad and wants to rid the wrestling business of that woman. He says he never thought he'd see the night where he'd be in his hometown in a street fight with his best friends. Devon says "Testify!"
They run a video package highlighting all of Austin Aries' options.
Kurt Angle's music hits and he comes to the ring. He says next week is Destination X, which is an opportunity for the X Division to showcase their skills. He invites Austin Aries to the ring. Angle talks about Aries creating Option C, and says all he has to do is turn over the X-Division Championship to get a shot at Bobby Lashley and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Aries says it feels like a foregone conclusion and everyone who has cashed in has won the World Championship. Lashley and MVP make their way to the ring to cut his promo off.
MVP asks Aries if he put much thought into the decision. He puts over Lashley as bigger, stronger and faster, and says Lashley will be champion as long as he wants to and that means the championship is in their control. MVP says it's simple - Aries should stick to his flip, flop, fly stuff and stay out of water that is too deep for him.
Aries says he knows what it takes to be the World Heavyweight Champion, unlike MVP. He says a few years ago he created Option C because he believed in the X Division. He wants to leave a legacy for himself, and make sure people can get noticed. He says he's gone too far and fought too hard to stop now. Aries addresses Lashley, saying he can't contest that he's bigger and stronger but he's not tougher than Aries. You don't measure toughness with muscle, you measure it with heart.
He continues and says whether or not MVP or Lashley believe it, he will beat him. And when he does, he will give the X-Division Champion a shot anywhere, any time, not just once a year. He turns the title over to Kurt Angle, who makes the official announcement for the match next week.
This was very good. MVP had his piece in it, but Aries delivered a very strong promo from the underdog position.
They show highlights of Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell's last two matches, and say that the rubber match is up next.
They recap the Wolves and Hardys from earlier.
Match #4 - Gail Kim (c) vs. Taryn Terrell; TNA Knockouts Championship
Early mat wrestling in this one, then some back and forth pinfalls and reversals. Terrell hits a monkey flip followed by a top rope clothesline for two. She tries to go up top again, but gets met there by Kim. She tosses Taryn off and gets a two count. Gail hits a missile drop kick for a near fall, then tries Eat D'Feet but Taryn counters.
Terrell his a vertical suplex, then a neckbreaker. Velvet Sky and Angelina Love walk out and immediately stick their nose in the match. Velvet shoves Taryn off the ropes and Angelina hits Gail with the Botox Injection.
The interference took the wind right out of what was otherwise a very good match. I get not wanting to give away a clean finish on free TV, but the live crowd really fell flat when the Beautiful People showed up to interfere.
They hype Great Muta making an appearance, next.
Backstage, Dixie tells someone to wait in the car until she calls for them. She grabs King Mo and says they should go find their seats. JB is in the ring and he welcomes Great Muta to the ring. Robbie E comes out and complains that Low Ki and Muta got great entrances but why didn't he as the greatest star of the company. He demands a match with Muta.
Match #5 - Great Muta vs. Robbie E
This is over fast. Mist spray early, a dragon screw leg whip, and a shining wizard. Muta puts Robbie away in under a minute.
Afterward, James Storm comes out acting like he has no idea who Muta is. He asks if he's the legend everyone keeps talking about. He calls Muta a has-been and a washed up wanna be. He says he might have Sanada fooled, but he sees a guy trying to relive his glory in a promotion Storm helped build. Where he comes from in Tennessee, they don't spray mist. He spits beer in Muta's face and takes a couple cheap shots.
A Japanese wrestler runs out for the save (I missed his name). Storm clotheslines him. Sanada comes out with a chair and Storm exits. Sanada turns on Muta, hitting him with the chair then a moonsault. He spits red mist in the other wrestler's face. Sanada rolls out and bows to Storm.
Interesting. Muta can help add to this story from the drama standpoint even though his best wrestling days are behind him. I guess we'll see where they go with this one.
Tenay plugs the title match for next week between Austin Aries and Bobby Lashley, as well as The Wolves vs. The Hardys, and the qualifiers for the X-Division Championship.
Dixie and King Mo are interviewed. She says they're good friends and he is watching her back. She says they are going to watch the downfall of Bully and his crew, referencing "those three letters" and says if the crowd wants to chant them she will give them reason. JB asks what that means and King Mo says to watch and learn.
EC3, Spud and Rhyno make their entrance, followed by Dreamer and Team 3D
Match #6 - Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud and Rhyno vs. Tommy Dreamer and Team 3D:
Early, the faces clear the heels to ringside with weapon shots, then the fight spills outside. Bully drops EC3 with an elbow then grabs his chain. He puts a cheese grater on Carter's chest as the fans chant for blood. EC3 takes some more weapon shots and rolls out. Rhyno re-enters and wears out a cookie sheet on Bully and Dreamer. Devon hits him with a trash can, then hits the Doomsday Device on Spud. Dreamer puts EC3 in a tree of woe spot and drop kicks a trash can into his face.
Devon hits the flying headbutt to Rhyno's nutsack with an assist from his partners. Devon goes for a table but someone in the crowd gets involved and roughs him up. Ray runs out and goes after the guy, who is in a hoodie. Dreamer pildrives Spud in the ring. Ezekiel Jackson runs down to the ring and takes out Dreamer, which allows EC3 to get the One Percenter to grab the win.
The guy in the hoodie is Gene Snitsky. Devon takes a Gore from Rhyno, then Dixie and King Mo come to ringside to watch the heels lay waste to Dreamer and Team 3D.
Wow. They went outside the company for those roles? It's not that Snitsky and Jackson aren't useful, but TNA has roster guys they could have plugged in to those spots. And being honest, those two have some pretty limited star power as former WWE mid-card guys.
The main event was a classic ECW brawl. A garbage match filled with weapon shots and an overbooked finish that fans ate up.
Overall, this show had a lot of talking on it. They could have cut some of the talk segments to get to more action and stretch out a few of these matches. I found myself thinking a lot that "this is good, and needs more time" tonight, and that's not a good place for TNA to have been with this particular show. As a result, the show left me feeling pretty underwhelmed throughout most of it, though some of the work was entertaining and well done.
Tell us what you think! Hit us on Twitter @RingRap or me directly @Bill_SoonerFan with your thoughts on tonight's show. Be sure to catch us next Thursday for more TNA coverage here on Ring-Rap.com.