The Impact Report: May Mayhem (5-29-15)

Well. So a lot’s happened since I last recapped Impact Wrestling two weeks ago. First, Dave Meltzer reported that Destination America would be exercising an out clause in its contract with Impact and that they would stop airing the show in September. TNA angrily decried internet wrestling reporters with their libelous statements but never specifically denied the allegations. Then just this past Wednesday, Destination America announced it would start airing Ring of Honor Wrestling as the lead in for Impact Wrestling, starting next Wednesday June 3rd. I genuinely do not know what to make of this move. Worst case scenario; I think Destination America is just pitting the shows against each other to see which one is more financially viable for them. But best case scenario, and this is a far fetched one, both promotions will play off each other and make Destination America the Wednesday Night pro wrestling destination spot. Maybe they can even work with each other. Not bloody likely but a man can dream.

I don’t make predictions, I just do the recapping. The Destination America has been a mixed bag. While there’s a renewed energy to the company. I think, promotion and production wise, it’s been a really mixed bag since moving to the network. Destination America has seemed like an enthusiastic partner (much moreso than Spike TV, who seemed to view pro wrestling as a necessary) but not really an informed one. Their biggest bone of contention, allegedly, has been the low advertising revenue. Pro wrestling doesn’t draw the classiest/highest paying advertisers. WHODA THUNK? But the fact that they added ROH to their lineup seems to indicate that they’re behind the idea of pro wrestling being on the network. Whether that promotion is TNA or ROH… we’ll find out this summer.

TNA May Mayhem
May 29th, 2015 (Taped May 9th, 2015)
From The Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida
Announcers: Josh Matthews and Al Snow

Show opens with Eric Young driving into the back lot of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Kurt Angle is hanging out in EY’s parking spot (and wearing his ring gear). EY jumps out of his car and the two brawl for a while in the lot before security breaks them up. EY promises to break Angle’s neck tonight in their I Quit Match for the TNA World Title in our main event.

Six Sides of Steel Match for the TNA Knockouts Title: Taryn Terrell (c) (with Jade & Marti) Vs Gail Kim
Al Snow, wearing an ugly ass (possibly a Snakeskin) jacket, is our co-host for this week. The Dollhouse have added some props to their entrance. This is a really solid cage match but it is much too short. There’s five matches tonight and I think that can feel a bit too much for a two hour show.  I’m not sure utilizing the camera hole is a great idea or a bad idea for a cage match. I think it works here. Jade & Marti being all over really gives you the sense that it’s impossible to have a fair fight with The Dollhouse even in a match which ensures a fair fight. Taryn wins with the Taryn Cutter after Kim gets knocked off the top of the cage. B

After the match, The Dollhouse attacks Gail and then Earl Hebner. Al contends that they might have broken Earl’s hip. Kong tries to run in for the save but Jade & Marti have locked the doors. Taryn yanks the wedding ring off Gail’s ring finger then stomps on Gail’s fingers on both hands, “breaking them”. Damn good segment that sold The Dollhouse as crazed sociopaths.

We get a recap of the feud between Magnus and James Storm with Mickie James stuck in the middle.

Mickie James comes down to ringside to clear the air. She says she’s gonna make sure her upcoming retirement match is one of the best matches of her career but she’s really here to try and settle things between James Storm & Magnus. Before she can do that, she’s interrupted by James Storm, wearing a personalized longnecks and rednecks. He says Mickie has no need to apologize and he knows Magnus won’t.  James Storm wants to show there’s no hard feelings and wants to hook her up with some of the biggest names in popular music (dropping a bunch of names in the process, including Billy Corgan, SITTING OUT THERE IN THE BACK). Mickie James is flattered and agrees to go to Nashville to meet with Storm’s people. Josh Matthews, inexplicably playing oblivious heel again, thinks Storm has turned a new corner.

Kenny King talks shit about the X-Division Gauntlet coming up next. He brags that he’s entering last so those vanilla midgets can destroy themselves and he’ll just pick over their carcasses.

Kurt Angle and Eric Young are locked up in rooms in opposite sides of the building so they won’t come into contact with each other before their match. EY shows us a tweet and then headbutts through a window.

Gauntlet Match for the TNA X-Division Title featuring; Kenny King (c), Argos, Crazzy Steve, DJ Z, Mandrews, Manik, Rockstar Spud, and Tigre Uno
Manik and Rockstar Spud are #1 and #2, respectively. This match is Royal Rumble rules for the most part with guys entering every two minutes and eliminations via getting thrown over the top rope. When it gets to the final two though, it becomes a one on one match where only pinfalls or submissions get the win. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about Dean Ambrose’s “getting caught in the ropes then springing back with a clothesline” spot but Manik’s “getting thrown in between the ropes and landing like a spider then springing back” spot is even more absurd! #3 is DJ Z, who has his own entrance music now that the BroMans are broken up  and is apparently a babyface because he’s playing to the crowd. Mandrews comes in at #4 with a new haircut and some nifty moves. Mysterious/generic luchadore Argos is #5. Mandrews gets eliminated by Manik (oh man) and wipes out a cameraman in the process (Elimination #1). Crazzy Steve is #6 and we go to commercial break.

Tigre Uno comes in at #7 and the poor guy’s entire time in the match was during the commercial break as we see him getting knocked out as we come back from the ads (elimination #2). Poor guy. It doesn’t seem that long ago that him and Sanada were the future of the X-Division. Kenny King is #8. He clears house. Goodbye Crazzy Steve (Elimination #3), Au Revoir Argos (elimination #4). DJ Z puts up a good battle but gets tossed (Elimination #5). Manik wants to join forces with Kenny King to toss out Rockstar Spud. But it’s a trap! And it quickly backfires on Manik as he gets tossed by King with some inadvertant assistance from Rockstar Spud (Elimination #6). FINAL TWO: Kenny King and Rockstar Spud. King throws around Spud for a few minutes before Rockstar Spud gets a fluke rollup for the win. Rockstar Spud wins to become a 2 Time X-Division Champion. There were some cool spots here and there in this match but it kind of served as a reminder to how far the X-Division has fallen in the last few months. Besides King and Spud, most of these guys either haven’t appeared or only appeared as jobbers in the last few months. And I love Spud. He’s got great charisma and is a hell of a bumper but he really needs to add a few more moves to his offensive repertoire if he wants to break out of the Spike Dudley “lovable, massive underdog” role. Him winning with a rollup doesn’t help much. C+

Al Snow and Josh Matthews plug Impact Wrestling’s move to Wednesday Nights next week, its next live show on June 24th, and Slammiversary XIII on June 28th.

The Dirty Heels come down to ringside. Austin Aries says the Wolves got lucky the other week but it won’t be the same this time time.  A Double tells the Wolves “Let’s Rassle!” and Davey & Eddie come bounding out.

Match 2 of a Best of 5 Series for the TNA World Tag Team Titles: The Wolves Vs The Dirty Heels
Even less recapping than usual here as this was one hell of a bout. If this is only Match 2, I can’t wait to see what they do next Wednesday (and hopefully) beyond. It’s what tag team wrestling is all about and the Match of the Year so far in TNA. Both teams put it all on the double. Some of the Wolves’ double teams are impressive as hell and Roode & Aries are two of the best of what TNA has to offer. The Wolves get the win with the Force of Nature. A

Angelina Love comes out of her dressing room and she’s going to confront Velvet Sky!

Kenny King is pissed off! MVP won’t answer his cellphone calls.

After the break, Angelina Love comes out to taunt Velvet Sky. Velvet Sky’s not an employee of TNA so she can’t even touch Angelina. Angelina introduces her security team and trolls Velvet, who is sitting next to the entrance ramp in the crowd with the TNA faithful. Angelina’s security team sucks because Velvet jumps the barricade pretty much immediately to attack Angelina. Velvet also takes out a few members of the security team, one of whom takes an over the top bump off a kick to the nuts.

Mr. Anderson is backstage. He says all of his matches with EC3 have been marred by interference from Tyrus so EC3 has built a large Funkasaurus  cage to put Tyrus in to make sure he doesn’t interfere.

EC3 Vs Mr. Anderson
EC3 grabs the mic and tells us that despite all of his rage, Tyrus is not going to be a rat in a cage. Lot of Billy Corgan shout outs on today’s show. It’s kind of convoluted that Anderson would bring a giant cage out to ringside to try and shove Tyrus in a match where the rule doesn’t state that Tyrus has to be stuck in a cage. Surprise though. Mr. Anderson ends up beating up Tyrus and locking him into the cage.  I’m not sure when or why Josh Matthews became such an EC3 sycophant. I think it happened when they started the revolving color commentators instead of him announcing the shows solo. Because before they added a second man to the booth, he was appalled by EC3’s actions as much as any face announcer. Anyway, EC3 gets a long overdue clean win over a semi-big name by blocking the Mic Check and finishing Mr. Anderson with the One Percenter. After the match, Mr. Anderson offers EC3 a handshake. EC3 ponders it for a second then slaps Anderson’s hand away. Handshakes are for ROH! Really solid match. Glad EC3 got a decisive win and Anderson did his part as well. B

Rockstar Spud celebrates his X-Division title win backstage. They can say the first win was a fluke but now that he’s held it two times, he says he can legitimately join the ranks of Low Ki, Daniels, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Jerry Lynn! Cameraman asks Spud if he’s going to cash in on Option C at Destination X and go for a shot at the TNA World Title in a few weeks. Spud is taken aback as he hadn’t thought of that. He compares himself to Nemo in Finding Nemo. He keeps swimming towards his goal. Maybe it’s time to set new goals! Man, I love Spud.

I Quit Match for the TNA World Title: Kurt Angle (c) Vs Eric Young
Kurt Angle and Eric Young enter with some of the least imposing security guards I’ve ever seen surrounding them. I guess Atlas Security were victims of the budget cuts. Even Al Snow points out the security team being kind of lame. I don’t know if they could break up a fight between two eighth graders let alone two pro wrestlers. Angle and EY start brawling during Borash’s ring introductions and the match starts. This is a pretty lame I Quit match. If it were a normal wrestling match, it’d be a perfectly acceptable brawl. However, they were building it up all show to be an insane slug fest and we didn’t really get that. Only weapon used was EY’s knee brace and just medium to low level intensity the whole match. Angle gets the win with the Angle Lock after he fights his way out of a second EY piledriver. C+ 

Eh, it seems like it’d take a lot more for a raging psychopath like EY to quit than a submission hold but whatever. This feud just seemed there to kill time in between Angle’s battles with Lashley and (hopefully) Angle’s upcoming feud with EC3. Plus, it lasted a month longer than it should’ve. EY beating Angle with Sarge Melendez’s leg was an OK way to extend it but then they didn’t mention it after it happened. So good riddance. Glad this feud is over and we can move to Slammiversary buildup.

Final Grade: We had one of the best matches we’ve seen so far this year in TNA in the Wolves Vs Dirty Heels. Really looking forward to seeing the rest of this series. Rest of the show wasn’t as great action wise but we did have some storyline progression and a nice moment in Rockstar Spud’s 2nd X Division Title win. Commentary took a step back this week and the Magnus/Mickie James/James Storm storyline really seems to be spinning its wheels without much direction again but overall, I thought it was another very strong effort from TNA. B+

Written by Connor McGrath

Connor McGrath is a public access television show host and part-time amateur comedian, who resides in Portland, Maine. He contributes reviews of Northeast independent wrestling promotion, NWA On Fire along with occasional guest articles.

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