Impact Recap for 2/20
The image heading this article is not a photoshop. If you needed concrete evidence that this is a new era in TNA…Thursday’s main event gave it to you. Nine wrestlers appeared in the segment. Not one of them rose to fame in WWE, WCW or ECW.
Magnus retained his TNA title against Gunner (who was cashing in his feast or fired case) after James Storm turned on Gunner. He hit Gunner with a superkick as he came off the top rope to finish off Magnus. The crowd, which was again receptive all night, bit hard on the turn. Magnus was loudly booed in his home country, enough that Gunner was massively over as a result. They sprinkled videos of Gunner and Magnus throughout the show. The Gunner videos were seriously fantastic. They had interviews with his family, pictures and stories from his career and time in the military…and it all worked extremely well. His father in particular showed some genuine emotion talking about the pride he had in his son. What made it all so perfect was that they built up Gunner’s sacrifices to get to where he is, finally getting a shot at the World title, and in the end James Storm took it all from him in an instant. The match itself was kind of interesting. This was the biggest spot Gunner had ever been in, and an equally big task for Magnus who was in for the first time with someone below him on the card and tasked to carry himself and the match as championship caliber. They gave them the out of having copious amounts of run ins…but they actually didn’t need them. The first half of the match was basic but fine since they were having a long match. Then they did some run ins. Where both guys, Gunner in particular, delivered was down the stretch. Gunner showed great fire and Magnus was the most convincing as a top heel that he has looked to this point. It helps that the crowd was into everything…but they actually did some very fine quality work together before the ending. That they got the crowd to buy into Gunner having a legit shot at winning is to their credit. Storm’s turn came off very well. He’ll have to explain why he did it after they appeared to patch things up…but that shouldn’t be too hard since they have all the backstory of how Gunner got the case in the first place (crawling over Storm who he had just laid out). Storm had needed to turn heel since Lockdown 2012.
The main storyline on the show this week involved Bobby Roode. Roode did a backstage segment with James Storm apologizing for his actions the last few years and hinting that he was about to walk away. When he came out before the live crowd he was greeted as a big time babyface. He announced he was quitting which brought out Dixie who told him he had a contract and couldn’t just walk out. Clearly a CM Punk rip. Roode made clear he didn’t want to work for Dixie anymore so Dixie offered him 10% of the company if he captained her Lethal Lockdown team and won. He accepted that deal. He also warned her that if she screwed him again he would dedicate his life to ruining hers. That’s the most interesting part. They’ve been quietly building a Roode/Dixie feud for a few weeks and it looks like it’s going to erupt soon. Roode as a babyface would be interesting. He’s such a good heel…but he’s one of those guys that is so good that he should make the transition to believable top babyface pretty easily. It would be something new for him as he’s never been a singles babyface for more than a few weeks (pretty much only the BFG 2011 build and match).
Samoa Joe continued his dominance, this time defeating BroMans and Zema Ion in a handicap match. Yes BroMans are still the tag team champions. He took them both out of the match with a dive to the outside and then choked out Ion. It’s ridiculous that the tag champs were in this spot, especially when they’ve been performing well and are starting to get a little bit over that “we were jobbers forever” hump. They were jobbers again here. Worse they’re scheduled to be half of the Lethal Lockdown team for control of the company. I get that they need to push Joe hard right now, and they should, but there was definitely a better way to do this. He could have squashed Ion with BroMans trying to run interference and it would have been the same thing.
Sam Shaw got more than one segment this week. He was stalking Christy Hemme around the backstage area. He took out a stage hand who was helping her with something. Then, when she was talking with Ken Anderson about his new twins, he took him out too. Hemme was knocked down in the process so he picked her up and carried her off. He was going to do creepy things to her but saw that he was being filmed and came after the cameraman (who I guess would have just let him do whatever he wanted to Hemme if he hadn’t been caught filming). Anderson will be Shaw’s next (first) feud. I know a lot of people don’t care for the Shaw stuff. I love it.
The Wolves beat Bad Influence in a match that was criminally short. It was great for the 6 minutes they got. Hopefully they’ll get a real crack at it soon.
Gail Kim beat Madison Rayne in a street fight. Also short but also good. They’ll rematch for the title at Lockdown.
EC3 had a short night but made the most of it. He came out with Magnus in the opening segment to confront MVP. When the Wolves showed up behind them Magnus shoved EC3 into them and ran away. This led to the line of the week as an angry EC3 came backstage and yelled at Magnus, saying “You LITERALLY threw me to The Wolves”. They continued the tease that Magnus and EC3 are destined to face off. Later in the show EC3 hinted that Kurt Angle would announce his retirement next week at his Hall of Fame induction.
Aside from Gunner getting an out of nowhere focus that actually worked incredibly well…this was a nothing show.
Impact Preview for 2/27
This show was already taped. Here is the spoiler free lineup.
Kurt Angle Hall of Fame ceremony
The Wolves vs. Bad Influence vs. BroMans
EC3 vs. Doug Williams
MVP vs. Bobby Roode
Lei’D Tapa and Alpha Female (the girl that helped Sabin last week) vs. Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne
Samoa Joe vs. Bad Bones (UK Gut Check winner who had a cameo this week)
One of these may actually air the next week. They tape out of order.
We have 5 matches announced for the TNA vs. Wrestle 1 One Night Only PPV taped March 2nd
Magnus vs. Kai for the TNA title
BroMans vs. Shuji Kondo and Kaz Hayashi for the TNA tag titles
Austin Aries vs. Seiya Sanada for the X title (Sanada is schedule to work for TNA for a few months after this show, starting at Lockdown. He could win)
Bobby Roode vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto
Lockdown so far has (spoilers for upcoming angles):
Every match will take place inside of the steel cage
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus for the TNA title (knockout or submission only)
Lethal Lockdown (MVP, Jeff Hardy and The Wolves vs. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries and BroMans)
Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title
Gunner vs. James Storm (possibly last man standing)
Sam Shaw vs. Ken Anderson
The rumor was that Sanada will team with The Great Muta against Bad Influence. We’ll see if that actually happens. Bad Influence makes a lot more sense to be in the Lethal Lockdown match now that Roode is the captain. But if they actually do get Muta to work this show…this is a no brainer as he is semi-retired and Daniels and Kaz are the smoothest, safest workers in the world. But…if I’m right that Sanada may get the X title the week before, it makes sense for him to be defending it here. Maybe an Xscape match if they can dig up 3 guys in the X division.
I figure we’ll see some kind of mixed tag with Sabin and Alpha Female against Velvet and some partner. If there is any Abyss/Eric Young follow up we could see the return of Father Jim Mitchell since that’s the only place the angle can go that makes sense.
TNA will, surprisingly, hold another live PPV the next month. Sacrifice will air on April 27 from the Impact Zone. Who knew?