May 8th, 2015
Live (on tape delay) from The Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida
Announcer: Josh Matthews
Show opens with EY screaming and demanding to know who the special guest referee will be for the main event. His question is immediately answered…it’s Bully Ray, making his first appearance in TNA since last year’s Bound For Glory. He announces he’ll be the man in stripes for tonight’s main event. I’m genuinely surprised Bully Ray returned to TNA after his cameo at the Royal Rumble this year. Good to see him back even if it’s on a temporary basis.
EC3 charges out with Tyrus and thanks the fans for their support. Because of them and all of the time he spent voting on the internet, we’re gonna see the match the fans want…an arm wrestling match. Mr. Anderson interrupts. He’s tired of seeing EC3 run his mouth. Let’s see what the fans REALLY WANT…and of course, the plebes want to see Mr. Anderson take on EC3 in a Falls Count Anywhere match. I was hoping for Option C…Dance Off but I guess that’s too much to ask.
Falls Count Anywhere Match: EC3 (with Tyrus) Vs Mr. Anderson
This is more or less a glorified handicap match as Tyrus immediately jumps Anderson at the bell. Josh Matthews is calling the show solo again after having Al Snow as color commentator last week. I enjoyed Al more than most last week but honestly, I prefer Matthews calling it by himself. Tyrus kind of looks rusty. Of all the recent WWE castoffs (EC3, Bram, The Rising), it seems like Tyrus is taking the least advantage of his opportunity. He’s had a few good moments but has basically reverted to the old heel bodyguard schtick he did with Alberto Del Rio at the beginning of his WWE run. Anyway, this match is kind of a letdown. EC3 needs a clean win over an established guy but here, he wins after a mediocre brawl after a ton of interference from Tyrus. C. At least, the right guy went over. I’m afraid TNA’s gonna try and string out this EC3-Anderson feud a bit longer.
Backstage, Gail Kim & Awesome Kong konverse. Later tonight, they team up to take on the Dollhouse.
Beatdown Clan enters. They’re now wearing some bizarre masks which adds to the ambiance. Speaking of bizarre, MVP cuts one of the most out there promos I’ve heard in a while. He announces that Homicide was jumped outside of a bodega and can’t be there tonight. OK, all relatively normal there. After though, he complains about people calling BDC “thugs”, which is just code for the word “niggers”. Yeah, MVP dropped the N word. Guess Billy Corgan wasn’t lying when he wanted to address racial issues as a writer for TNA. MVP tells us all of the internet keyboard warriors to shut it. He doesn’t care about workrate, he cares about interest rates (excuse me while I unroll my eyes from the back of my head).
An understandably kind of flustered Drew Galloway interrupts. He’s sorry Homicide got jumped but with that name, he’s just asking for trouble! Drew Galloway suggests Kenny King jumped Homicide which the BDC dismisses. MVP and Drew wanna fight now. We’re live so it’s gonna happen!
MVP (with Kenny King & Low Ki) Vs Drew Galloway (with Mica & Eli Drake)
This is a pretty decent brawl. Drew Galloway almost seems to be relishing in taking dangerous bumps to the head or neck. Last week, he took the Warrior’s Way from Low Ki onto a chair and this week, he lets MVP pendulum swing him head first into the ringside barrier. Drew gets the win here with the FutureShock but his victory is immediately ruined by an interfering EY. EY and the BDC beat down The Rising. The BDC are puzzled by EY interfering in their business but they do have past history… B
Backstage, James Storm enters bearing gifts. They might as well call him “Santa”!
Santa Storm enters and calls out Mickie James. He gives her a guitar and takes some photos with her. An enraged Magnus comes down to ringside. James Storm tries to give Magnus the gladiator helmet that Magnus wore during his old “Brutus Magnus” gimmick. Crowd agrees with evil cult leader Storm and wants Magnus to put the damn helmet on. Magnus understandably does not put that helmet on and ushers Mickie out of the ring. Santa Storm says he has one more gift…a onesie for Donovan, Mickie & Magnus’ baby son. This sets Magnus off and he charges down and El Kabongs Storm with the guitar that Storm gave Mickie.
BDC confronts EY backstage and wants to know what’s up. EY says they aren’t good friends but they are good business partners. He’s been screwed out of the TNA World Title many times and he wants somebody to have his back. He needs them to make sure he beats Angle and then they’ll all be World Champions. BDC stares on confused. Kenny King thought they were done with his crazy ass! But MVP looks intrigued by EY’s newsletter and wishes to subscribe.
After commercial break, we get a somewhat unnecessary plug for Food Network Chef (and Gail Kim’s husband) Robert Irvine’s live stage show. I can’t believe this is a thing people would pay to see. Anyway, “backstage”, Taryn Terrell takes a selfie with Gail Kim’s stepdaughters. Taryn tries to stir up shit and Gail tells her to scram.
Knockouts get their own special intro for their segments which is kind of neat. Even though the way they sell them as strong, sexy, and powerful really evokes the goofy way WWE sold the divas five or so years ago.
3 on 2 Handicap Match: The Dollhouse Vs Gail Kim & Awesome Kong
Right away, I like Gail Kim & Awesome Kong’s chemistry as reluctant but ass kicking tag team partners. I’m a sucker for big guy-little guy (or I guess big gal and little gal, in this case) tag teams too. Jade & Marti seem a bit green but already they got their characters down and Taryn Terrell is great as the smiling, psychotic ringleader. It’s a good, little story with Kim & Kong being the superior wrestlers but not quite gelling enough as a team yet to overcome the heel tactics of the Dollhouse. Dollhouse wins when Taryn rolls up Gail Kim with a fistful of tights. B After the match, Kim & Kong have a little staredown. I’m afraid TNA was gonna continue rolling on this feud without slowing the brakes and having Kim & Kong go over right away but they made the right decision. I think Kim & Kong need to take a few in the Loss column before exacting revenge. The Dollhouse keeps getting better every week.
We go back to three weeks ago when The Hardys won the vacant TNA World Tag Team Titles. Unfortunately, their reign will end prematurely as Jeff Hardy broke his leg in a dirt biking accident. Unfortunately, we see the footage that Matt Hardy shot of the incident. Matt Hardy will be out next to announce his decision about the titles.
Backstage, Magnus & Mickie James argue. Magnus has let Mickie James keep whatever friends she wants but James Storm is a psychopath and a tool. Mickie thinks Magnus was acting like a tool tonight El Kabonging Storm for no reason. It’s very hard to determine who the heel is in this feud. I know TNA is trying to present Storm as the heel since he’s a psychotic cult leader. But he’s been mostly gentlemanly (albeit with an obvious tinge of creepy undertone) in his interactions with Mickie James while Magnus has paid a camera crew to spy on Mickie and El Kabonged Storm with little provocation.
Matt Hardy comes down for an in ring interview with Jeremy Borash. Matt says it’s been an honor to hold the TNA World Tag Team Titles and prove that the Hardys aren’t just back for a nostalgia run. However, Jeff’s injury has left him with no other choice but to vacate the titles. Now Matt’s gonna go home and sit on his throne atop a pile of Taco Bell Volcano Taco wrappers and contemplate his future.
The Dirty Heels enter and shake hands with Matt Hardy as he’s leaving. Austin Aries says he hasn’t forgotten EY put him on a stretcher and will get his revenge when the time is right. But right now, he’s focused on another set of titles. It seems like the World Tag Team Titles are cursed but The Dirty Heels are no ordinary tag team…they’re a Tag Team of World Champions and they can hold the titles with honor.
They’re interrupted by Davey Richards. He says one team has proven that they can beat anybody in the past two years and has earned the right to call themselves the best tag team in the world. That team is The Wolves. Aries and Bobby Roode scoff. There’s only one Wolf out there! Richards tells him Wolves always travel in packs. Eddie Edwards returns and he’s recovered from his foot injury. He tells The Dirty Heels that he’s cleared to wrestle. The Wolves challenge The Dirty Heels for the vacant titles but they don’t want to challenge them to one match. They want a Best of 5 series! The Dirty Heels agree. A Dirty Heels Vs Wolves Best of 5…yeah, that should produce some pretty good matches. I can get behind this idea.
After we return from break, we see Matt Hardy sad walking out of the building. Drew Galloway stops him. Drew understands why Matt wants to go home and think about things for a while but TNA’s in a state of anarchy right now and needs people like Matt to stand up and fight. Matt thanks Drew, shakes his hand, and walks out of the building.
Angelina Love is in the ring for a live interview. Angelina Love!? Everyone wants to know what Angelina Love thinks about the BroMans breaking up, about the Dollhouse…this promo is just begging to be interrupted by someone. And it is! Velvet Sky is back. Angelina Love apologizes about getting her fired. She meant to call but she’s been busy. Angelina hugs Velvet and the crowd starts a “Motorboat” chant. Geez. Stay classy,
San Diego Orlando. Velvet Sky attacks Angelina and the brawl has to be pulled apart by security. Pleasant surprise to see Velvet back.
We get a video package highlighting how ca-razy Eric Young has been in the past few months.
Backstage, EY yells at Bully Ray and demands to know if he’s going to screw him over. Bully Ray says that he was hired to call the match down the line and that’s what he’ll do.
TNA World Heavyweight Title Match (Special Guest Referee: Bully Ray): Kurt Angle (c) Vs Eric Young
Josh Matthews makes a hokey The Avengers reference saying that Kurt Angle can be Captain America if anything ever happens to Steve Rogers. Hmm. At this stage? Maybe Kurt Angle could be Captain America’s Dad. Anyway, this match is a little better and more energetic than last week’s. Probably cause of the live crowd. Thanks to years of him being booked in goofy ways, I can’t 100% get behind EY being a menacing, dangerous heel. He’s a good worker (one of the best piledrivers in the biz and I love his variation on the Ric Flair getting thrown off the top turnbuckle spot) but even he can’t pull it off. Needless to say there’s a huge schmozz finish. The BDC run down. Bully Ray gets low blowed by EY. Chris Melendez returns and tries to fight them off and is helped out by The Rising. Angle gets the win by rolling over a EY flying crossbody and making EY tap to the Angle Lock. B- I like that Bully Ray was legitimately an unbiased referee, even after getting lowblowed by EY. Also no one oversells getting hit in the balls better than Bully Ray.
Final Grade…There were some really good moments here and some really questionable ones to me. TNA really could have hit a home run and ended up hitting a line drive single. I was really looking forward to seeing some feuds get blown off and the start of the build to Slammiversary next month. We didn’t really get that outside of the announcement of the Wolves/Dirty Heels Best of 5 series. All that being said, there were enough good moments here to give this week a mild thumbs up. The energy of the live crowd alone boosts the show a little bit and Bully Ray (which he’s indicated on Twitter was just a one off) & Velvet’s returning was a nice surprise. B-