Smashing Pumpkins Frontman Billy Corgan Joins TNA Creative

Billy Corgan, the frontman/founder/songwriter for The Smashing Pumpkins has joined TNA’s creative department, and will be the “senior producer of creative and talent development.”

The announcement was made via an article in  Corgan said in the interview “Having characters who explore race or transgender issues is certainly a possibility. There are ways to explore those themes in ways that are productive, create new stars and show that value-based ‘babyfaces’, no matter what their background, no matter where they come from, can draw new audiences and inspire people in new ways.”

Dixie Carter also said “We need to make our existing characters have a greater depth to them,” Carter said. “We want the stories to have a depth and a meaning to someone that is relevant today. Billy can really help that.”

This is not Corgan’s first foray into professional wrestling.  He was the creative director of Chicago-based Resistance Pro Wrestling.  RPW had a reality-based TV show in the works before it was cancelled by AMC, the network producing the show.

The entire press release is available below.

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TNA Impact Wrestling 04/24/15: Knockouts Themed Episode featuring Taryn Terrell vs. Awesome Kong for the Knockouts Title, Four-Way for the Number One Contendership, Mickie James, Angle vs. Young, plus more!

Our show opens up with Josh Mathews flying solo again.  Kurt Angle heads out to the ring.  He talks about being scheduled to defend the TNA Heavyweight Title against Eric Young.  He says what he’s about to do is necessary, and he calls Young to the ring.  He obliges.

Angle talks about his plea for the return of the old Eric Young, and last week he got a glimpse of him.  He asks Young tonight, who is he going to fight.  Young says people have been calling him crazy his whole life, but that crazy took a weird turn when he became World Heavyweight Champion.  He said it was taken away from him, and people got in his ear, telling him things about different people.  He says it spiraled out of control and was near impossible, but Kurt Angle stopped it when he turned his back on him, and Young didn’t jump Angle from behind.  He says he stopped himself from smashing him with a steel chair – he did the right thing.  Young says tonight, Angle will be wrestling the best Eric Young – the real Eric Young.

Austin Aries comes out, briefcase in hand.  He interrupts and says he has something he thinks everyone will want to hear.  He says the real Eric Young is the one that turned his back on his best friend and left him laying.  Aries says he wants to cash in his briefcase, and essentially kicks Eric Young to the curb.  He says tonight he’s going to walk out as the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.  Eric Young doesn’t look amused.  Neither does Kurt.

I’m sure this will lead to Young snapping more than he already has, somehow.  I was looking forward to Angle vs. Young, too.

Taryn Terrell cuts a promo backstage and says tonight she proves herself against Awesome Kong.

But first… our Four Way #1 Contendership Match for the TNA Knockouts Championship

Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love vs.  Brooke vs. Madison Rayne to become the #1 Contender for the TNA Knockouts Championship

Madison Rayne runs out during Brooke’s intro and attacks her from behind.  All four start brawling outside the ring as we go to break.

We return to the action in progress.  After a little bit of chaos, Gail Kim clears the ring and hits a splash in the corner on Madison Rayne, but Angelina Love hits a spin kick.  Rayne and Love team up on Kim.  It doesn’t take long for Madison Rayne to kick Love and go on the offense on her own.  She misses a dropkick off the second rope, giving Gail Kim a chance to recover.  As Kim charges Rayne, Brooke tackles her.  She attacks Rayne with a face buster and a near fall.  Brook and Love fight it out now.  Kim locks in a submission on Rayne.  Love chains on a submission on Gail Kim.  Now it’s Brooke’s turn, trying to submit Love.  Rayne breaks free and kicks Brooke.

Brooke hits a neckbreaker on Rayne, then goes for a top rope elbow.  Love breaks up the pin.  All ladies are laid out.  One by one, they start coming to their feet, hitting their finishers.  Brooke ultimately hits her finisher on Rayne and gets the three count.

Winner: Brooke to become the #1 Contender

A solid four-way match with some very good action.  I haven’t seen enough of Brooke as a serious competitor to weigh in fully here, but I like that they’re giving her the chance.

Drew Galloway cuts a promo with The Rising, thanking the fans for standing up for pro wrestling.  Myka and Eli Drake challenge The BDC.  Myke is representing The Rising.  Who will the BDC choose?

Eric Young is approached backstage.  He’s asked what his thoughts are about Austin Aries cashing in.  He asks the cameraman how he would feel, and says he couldn’t possibly understand.

The BDC come out, and The Rising shortly thereafter.  MVP addresses them, and says he’s been thinking about The Rising’s message, and says tonight it’ll be a one on one match.  He implies it’s MVP that’ll be wrestling, but Kenny King attacks from behind.

Myka (w/ The Rising) vs. Kenny King

The bell rings, and King has the advantage.  Galloway is pissed, and yanks King’s legs out from under him, and the ref catches it.  He ejects both Galloway and Drake from ringside.

Myka picks up some steam, until King crotches him on the ropes, and sends him to the outside.  The BDC attacks Myka while the referee is distracted.

King has control until Myka hits a nice back suplex.  He hits a powerslam, and goes for a cover, but naturally MVP distracts the referee.  Low Ki gets involved, and Kenny King hits a nice kick to the head for a very near fall.

Myka lands a Samoan Drop and the ref is clear for the count.  He gets the pin and the victory.

Winner: Myka

Almost immediately, the BDC attacks.  The Rising comes out to even it up, until Homicide comes out with a baton, attacking anyone in black and yellow.  They focus on Galloway as MVP gets a pipe from under the ring.  Low Ki nails him in the cut.  The BDC poses amongst the chaos as we go to break.

I think it’s fair to say I’ve had enough of the BDC at this point.  Every match from them is the same.  I’m done.

Backstage, Galloway says he started this with a pipe, Low Ki evened the odds, but next week he wants him in a steel pipe on a pole match.  Dear lord.

Doll House make their debut.  Jade and Marti Belle skip and play their way to the ring.  It’s… weird.  They correct Christy Hemme for saying something wrong.

Jade vs. Laura Dennis (aka Cherry Bomb)

Cherry Bomb has quite a following on the indy scene.  She gets the better of Jade early on, but Jade hits a suplex and starts freaking out.  She makes a few pin attempts with no luck.  Belle starts licking a jawbreaker or something or other and Jade licks it too, before going back on the offence.  Jade turns her back on Dennis, and she gets the advantage.  Meanwhile, the referee sends Marti Bell packing, but she chooses to attack the referee and subsequently heads into the ring to attack Dennis too.

Winner: Laura Dennis via DQ

Dollhouse didn’t like the verdict and surround Hemme.  They attack Hemme and throw her into the steps, then put the jawbreaker into her mouth and skip away.

TNA has a pretty straight forward women’s division.  This feels extremely out of place.

Backstage, Kurt Angle approaches Eric Young.  He doesn’t know what to say, and says he should have the match.  Young says it keeps happening time and time again.  He tells Angle he respects what he’s done and he respects that he came to him to talk about it, but he’s done talking.  Young says he doesn’t even know if he wants to be there anymore, and he walks away.

Magnus stands in the middle of the ring and thanks the fans for their support this year.  He says tonight isn’t about him – it’s about his fiance, and he introduces “one of the greatest female supporters of all time” Mickie James.

James comes out and thanks the fans and Magnus.  She talks about returning to support Magnus, and thanks the fans. She talks about being in the ring with the greatest women in wrestling (and beaten them).  Holding the title gives purpose, but now she has a different purpose – her son Donovan.  She says as of tonight, she’s going to go home and be a mom.  She chokes up as she starts to say this, while the fans chant “Thank you Mickie.”

James Storm comes out to the ring.  He tells her there’s no crying in wrestling.  He says he’s known her a long time, and the people know him as a guy that drinks beer, loves hot women and drives fast cars.  He talks about Mickie being the girl that wears cowboy boots instead of heels and drinks wine out of boxes instead of fancy cups.  He gets the fans riled up in a “Mickie” chant.  He says he doesn’t want to see her go and he’s sure the people don’t want to see her go either.

Magnus says he appreciates what he’s doing, but it’s been a difficult decision. James says that’s the problem, because if it’s a difficult decision it shouldn’t be made.  Mickie says she’s made her decision and she feels it’s the right one. Storm says he understands but all he’s asking for is “one more time.”  She gets caught up in the moment and agrees.  “One more time!”  Storm is very excited and leaves the ring.  Magnus doesn’t look terribly pleased.

This is somewhat confusing, because this Storm is very likeable and fits him more than his Revolution gimmick.  I get that’s the point – he’s being someone he’s not to get what he wants, and this is going somewhere, but for my tastes, I’d much rather see THIS James Storm on a regular basis.

As far as Mickie goes, well I figured something would be up, as I doubt they would put her retirement on a pre-taped episode of Impact.

Backstage, Magnus and James have words, and he’s upset.  She says she got caught up in the moment and says just one more match isn’t a bad idea.  He says he supports her.  Davey Richards approaches Magnus and asks for a moment of his time, says he should watch out for James Storm because he’s the devil.

A short segment but it felt like a very natural conversation.  I like things like this.

Davey Richards vs. Manik

They lock up.  Richards flips and rolls his way out of a wrist lock.  Manick has some fancy moves of his own, and this is the furst time I’ve seen Manik given an opportunity to go since TNA’s debut on Destination America.

Richards catches Manik with a kick to the face, sending him outside.  They head back into the ring.  Manik locks in a submission, with Richards breaking on the ropes.  The action heads outside again, but not for long.  Back in the ring, Manik has control and works the arm.  He hits a series of suplexes for one.  Manik locks Richards in an armbar over the ropes.  After the hold is broken, Richards catches him with a kick to the gut.  He lays into Manik with a flurry of kicks.  Richards get a near fall. He heads up top for a stomp.  Manik catches him with a pair of feet to the face.  Richards with a roll-up for two.

Richards pops Manik into the air for a kick to the face, followed by a spin kick for the win.

Winner: Davey Richards

A very entertaining match.  I always enjoy watching these two work when given the time.

Khoya and Abyss attack Davey Richards after the match, slamming him onto the apron. Abyss sets him up for a choke slam onto the steps.  The Hardys run out for the save.  They send Khoya into the steps, send Abyss to the floor, and clear Manik from the ring as well.  They tend to Davey Richards.  He’s good.

Backstage, Ethan Carter III and Tyrus get all fancy.  Tyrus is holding balloons.  EC3 says he has a big announcement about his new campaign – #EC32015.  He refuses to give the interviewer details beyond that.  After the break, EC3 and Tyrus head to the ring.  Trouble Trouble Trouble.  Tyrus has the balloons.  He looks ridiculous.  There’s a podium in the ring, and EC3 speaks.  He says “Ask not what EC3 can do for you, but what you can do for EC3.  He says he stands before us as an ideal, and today is a day that will live in infamy.  He says he is a unifier with golden aspirations as he unifies those who chant “You can’t wrestle” and those that chant “Yes he can.”  He’s declaring himself as the next TNA World Heavyweight Champion.  Officially.  He talks about his undefeated streak for 20 months, and touts his pinfalls.  He says he’s going to take the company in the right direction over the next four eight years.  He shows us a graphic titles #EC3FORCHAMP, and it shows unemployment rates going down by 79%, and “Unmotivated Children and Lazy Millenials” down by 67%.  Hilarious!  He says “I love this speech too.”  He says the entire US will become “Carter Country” with “One Star to represent 50.”  He talks about taking the title worldwide, and into outerspace.  “I will take this title, shoot it into space with myself.”  He says he will defend it in orbit, on the Moon, or on Mars.  “Martians take notice, I’m coming for ya!”  He concludes by saying “God bless TNA Wrestling, and God bless EC3.”

Mr. Anderson heads out to the ring to interrupt.  EC3 says he’s not invited.  Anderson tells him he’s got a hell of a future.  EC3 says he’s endorsing him as next champion, but Anderson cuts him off.  He talks about the BS he spews and thinks he’d be a great candidate for President, and makes an “Anthony Weiner” joke.  Tyrus steps up.  Anderson tells him he can’t do it alone, and that championships aren’t won by politicking or with goons, but by blood and sweat and hard work.  Anderson says he broke his body for 11 years before he won his first championship.  EC3 takes off his jacket and the two start going at it.  Anderson clears Tyrus out and EC3 bails out before Anderson can hit the Mic Check.  Smart move, boy.

EC3 continues to be absolutely fantastic in everything he does.  Seriously, if you aren’t watching TNA Impact, and you are looking for a reason, here’s your reason right here.  Anderson was just fine, penis joke aside.  He’s a good promo, but he relies too much on sophomoric humor.

We get a video package about Taryn Terrell winning the TNA Knockouts Championship.  Epic music, quotes, the works.  The vignette moves to Awesome Kong’s path of destruction.

Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell (c) for the TNA Knockouts Championship

No in-ring intros here, which disappoints me.  Terrell takes the mic before the match.  She tells Kong they should give the Impact Zone the match they deserve and make it a No Disqualification match.  I have no idea if Kong agreed or not.  She just stood there.

So there it is.  It’s a No DQ match.

Kong quickly tosses Terrell out of the ring.  Terrell literally runs at Kong and bounces off like a rubber ball.  Kong swings her into the guard rail.  Ouch.  She grabs a pair of kendo sticks and thwacks Terrell.  Powerbomb to the steps fails and Terrell stands on Kong’s hair.  Kong knocks her off into the ring.

Terrell sells the shoulder as Kong rolls her over.  She misses a splash to the mat.  Both ladies to their feet at the same time.  They trade blows.  Terrell gets the best of Kong with a dropkick.  She goes up top and lands a cross-body for two.  The fans chant for tables.  Terrell obliges.  The table goes into the ring.  They continue to fight as The Dollhouse makes their way to the ring.  Terrell sets up the table in the corner and tries to do a cutter on Kong through the table.  Kong slams her head first instead, and goes up for a splash.  As she sets up, Dollhouse starts hitting Kong with the Kendo Sticks.  Terrell doesn’t bat an eyelash, sets Kong up for a powerbomb through the table (which is successful) and gets the pinfall victory.

Winner: Taryn Terrell to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship

After the match, Jade and Marti Bell enter the ring.  Terrell says everyone thought she couldn’t beat Kong, but she wanted to prove them all wrong.  She says if you mess with her, you mess with her friends.  She places a jawbreaker into Kong’s mouth and says “This is our house.  This is Dollhouse.”

Terrell’s demeanor changed completely once she hit the powerbomb, and while she did a great job of slipping into a heel persona, it really, truly, came out of nowhere.  I’m excited to see Terrell in a role that is a little more substantial, as her current character seemed very one-dimensional and, well, boring.  She looks like she’s going to have fun with this and I completely applaud that.  However, there was no explanation, reasoning, or foreshadowing.  It felt very much like it was hot-shotted, and I’m not a fan of that.

Backstage, Austin Aries heads to the ring.  He’s asked why he’s cashing in tonight.  He says he’s the one that sets the bar here, the measuring stick.  He has to beat Kurt Angle – no games, no bullshit.  He starts to head away and is stopped by Eric Young, who gives him a death stare.  Young leaves with a suitcase in tow.

After a break, Josh Mathews resets the show, recapping what just happened in the Knockouts match.  We see a backstage hidden cam, and Magnus asks some of the producers/camera men to keep an eye on Mickie James for a little while.  They leave to go follow her, apparently.

With five minutes left in the show, Austin Aries music hits for the title match.  I suspect he’s not going to even have a match tonight.

Looks like I’m right – Eric Young attacks Aries from behind, takes his briefcase, nails him with it, then piledrives him on the floor outside the ring.  One security guy runs out.  He gets decked.  Young sets Aries up with a second piledriver – on the steel steps – and nails it.  Kurt Angle runs out and pulls Young off of him.  He pushes him away.  Angle turns to tend to Aries and Young attacks him as well.  He stomps Angle’s head into the steps, then takes Angle’s knee brace off of his leg.  Angle comes up bleeding.  Young locks in a Figure Four Leglock outside the ring.  Josh Mathews yells “Eric Young’s crazy” as the show comes to an end.

Not an unexpected ending to the night, but somewhat disappointing to see not one but two advertised title matches didn’t happen – Young vs. Angle advertised since last week, and Aries vs. Angle as advertised throughout the show.  That said, it’s the way to go.  Young has a legit claim to a title match and his reaction fits his character.

The rest of the show was good, but failed to live up to the advertising.  They marketed this as a special Knockouts episode, but if special means getting three ladies matches instead of one, well then I guess it was successful.  Otherwise it was business as usual.

What did you think of the show?  Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @RingRap!


Podcast Highlights: Taz Takes to the Airwaves and Addresses Rumors Regarding His TNA Departure

Former TNA broadcaster Taz recently recorded a new episode of his “Human Podcast Machine” podcast.  In this new episode, Taz put to rest many questions and rumors that surrounded his departure from the company.  You can listen to his podcast at this link, but here are some excerpts of interest to many:

The process of his release from the company:

“I asked for my release and was granted my release. We parted ways mutually, the right way, professionally. I wish them nothing but success.”

“My contract was ending in the summer of this year. I was looking to do other things and move on. I felt like I accomplished a lot in TNA, and TNA accomplished a lot with me. In defense to them, they wanted me to stay.”

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TNA Impact Wrestling 04/17/15: Tournament for the World Tag Team Championships Leading to an Ultimate X Match

Just a few weeks ago, The Wolves handed in their tag team championships, forfeiting the titles after Eddie Edwards suffered a serious ankle injury in the ring.  This week?  8 teams fight for the chance to enter an Ultimate X match for the titles.  This episode is all about Tag Team Gold.  Let’s get started!

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TNA Broadcaster Taz Departs the Company

In a surprise move, TNA’s head of talent relations John Gaburick took to Twitter and announced that broadcaster Taz has left TNA.  “After five plus years, TNA and Taz have mutually decided to part ways.  A champ in the ring and on the mic, we wish him nothing but success.”  His tweet is shown below.

Taz also took to Twitter to comment, thanking TNA for allowing him to work his craft for the past few years.  His tweet is also shown below.

It appears this was a parting on good terms.  Things got a little messy when Taz did not fly in to Nashville for a scheduled voiceover session.  TNA had fallen behind on paying talent, and it was rumored that it was related to that.  TNA has since caught up on payments.

Al Snow has sat in and done a test run on commentary, but no one has officially been named to replace Taz.



Ring Rap Audio: 04/14/15 – Jey Uso Injury Update, New WWE Performance Center Hires, WWE Raw, Extreme Rules, Plus a Discussion on Kicking Out of Finishers, and more!

iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | MP3

Bill is back to feeling like a human being again, which is great news, because we are fired up about this episode.

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Interview Highlights: Rob Van Dam on His Last WWE Run, Time in TNA, Part-Time Schedules, and more

Below are some highlights from Rob Van Dam’s interview with Wrestling News Source.  The entire interview is available at

On his last WWE run: I had some good matches because all the wrestlers up there are really good and I had some matches that I enjoyed with Seth (Rollins) and Cesaro. But, overall, it was nothing like the run the year before. 2013, I came back after many years off WWE television. They promoted it strong. Like maybe stronger than anybody’s return before with the video packages of RVD coming back. When I came back, I delivered. Money In The Bank match in Philadelphia, that was awesome. That whole run I had a good time in 2013. In 2014, it was like they had nothing for me. No big intros, the writers seemed to not notice I was there. Like my music hit the day after Wrestlemania and I kinda just walked out like I had always been there. It was good but I don’t think there was a lot of utilization put on RVD. That’s really the big reason I’m not in a hurry to go back.

Does he watch the current product? I actually don’t. Even when I’m on it unless I’m there watching in catering while the show’s going on live otherwise I don’t keep up with it. I certainly get a lot of feedback from fans because they’re everywhere. And everybody wants to tell me whether they’re happy or disappointed in what the wrestling product is. But you know it’s an art form. And the fans, it’s their job to receive that art expression and that’s the way it goes. The fans don’t dictate…I think a lot of the judgment is okay for conversation when they’re amongst themselves. But, as a wrestler, I think that when the fans really think that they know what would be better of they were in Vince’s position. They think they could run a global billion dollar company then I tend to think fan talks would probably be more enjoyed among themselves.

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TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle Says WWE Didn’t Show Interest In Him Last Year

Kurt Angle did an interview with Sports Illustrated and discussed his “free agent” time period last year, stating that WWE didn’t even talk with him.

“Paul [Levesque] is in charge,” Angle said. “I found that out when I contacted Vince [McMahon]. I’ve always had a good relationship with Paul, so I didn’t consider that a problem. But he decided they had enough talent. For the Vince McMahon who I knew, enough was never enough. He always wanted more. I don’t know what was going on over there, but they even canceled our meeting. I never went to see them. They didn’t even sit me down and talk to me.

“It blew my mind. It was as if I was a nobody, that I wasn’t Kurt Angle. From a wrestling standpoint, they just weren’t interested. But TNA not only stepped up, they gave me everything I wanted – the dates, the money, and it’s no secret that I’ve went to rehab in the past, and they gave me time off. You talk about a company that’s loyal to you, and you want to be loyal back. So I didn’t pursue the WWE any further. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to stick with the people who want to take care of you. And [TNA president] Dixie Carter took care of me.”

You can read the entire interview at



TNA Impact Wrestling 04/03/15 – Angle vs. Lashley II, Roode vs. Young, Magnus vs. Bram, plus more!

Hello everyone!  TNA is presenting to us another week of action, and it’s headlined by Bobby Lashley cashing in his rematch clause against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle.  Also, we will see the rivalry between Bobby Roode and Young come to a head, and Magnus and Bram will square off in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

TNA is marketing this show as non-top action “Bell to Bell.”  Let’s find out.

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TNA Announces Multi-Year Deal with Fight Network to Air Impact Wrestling and More in Canada

TNA announced on their website that they have entered a multi-year partnership with Fight Network, allowing them to bring Impact Wrestling, Xplosion, and TNA’s Greatest Matches to Canada.

The press release states that Impact Wrestling’s broadcast will begin this Friday, April 3rd, 2015, and going forward every Friday night at 9pm ET.

Leading into Impact will be TNA’s Greatest Matches, beginning at 8pm ET Friday nights.  On Saturday nights at 11pm ET, TNA Xplosion will air.

More details at