Impact Recap for 2/6
This week’s show was heavy on the Dixie Carter/MVP storyline. MVP had an up and down night playing his new character. His first in ring segment was very good. He laid out two sadly true facts (Dixie has run TNA poorly and wrestling companies don’t listen to their fans enough…a timely shot that) and proclaimed that era was over now that he was on the job. This would have been much more effective had they stopped here. Instead they later held a backstage meeting with Dixie and MVP where they got to know each other. This segment was there just for Dixie to come off as clueless and self involved. MVP was OK here. Still feeling they hadn’t done enough..the show ended with an in ring Dixie/MVP segment that was really just the first two segments done over again. MVP was pretty bad here. Probably because he ran out of new things to say over the other 20 minutes they already had him talk. At the end of the first segment MVP, thanks to fire in his promo, a receptive crowd and strong material, looked like something worth watching. By the end of the night he was just another guy. Welcome to TNA.
They continued the strong push of Samoa Joe as he cleanly beat Bobby Roode (who has been one of the most pushed and protected guys of late) to earn his #1 contender spot. They had a good match that sadly only went 7 minutes. 7 minutes was pretty much exactly the wrong amount of time for a Bobby Roode/Samoa Joe match at this stage. Either let them have a great 15-20 minute TV match or have Joe shockingly squash him since he’s getting the monster push and Roode has been pushed so hard lately that it would actually mean something. As usual they muddled it.
Eric Young unmasked Abyss in their Monster’s Ball match. Surprise…it was Joseph Park all along. This was actually really good stuff. Eric Young has been doing bad comedy for so long that you forget the guy is a really good worker. After being unmasked Park hit Young with the blackhole slam and pinned him. Crowd reacted well to the mask coming off. Park sold it as being very confused as he looked at his reflection in a broken mirror. They did thumbtacks and table spots. It was fun.
Zema Ion cashed in his X division title shot on Austin Aries (who was SUPER over in Scotland) after hitting him with the case. Aries fought back and pinned him clean anyway. Sucks to be Ion. Aries vowed to keep his X title until Destination X when he would become TNA Champion again. Match was good for the 3 minutes they got.
Kurt Angle beat Magnus by DQ in a non-title match. The story here was the post match where EC3 DESTROYED Angle’s leg. Real added viciousness to Carter’s act this week and he played it very well. Going from Dewy Barnes and Norv Fernum to Sting and Kurt Angle in your first 4 months in the company…that’s a push right there. The match itself never got going…they had less time than the X title cash in match.
Curry Man came out…to dance, I guess…and Bully Ray killed him with a piledriver and threw him in a coffin. Bully held him in the piledriver for a long time before hitting it so he could look at the camera and trash talk Ken Anderson. Bully Ray is having the best old school feud, mostly by himself, and he’s killing it.
Christy Hemme dumped Samuel Shaw. She finally watched one of the videos that air every week of him being a psycho about her. He looked like he was going to kill her after she left him standing there. And you know what? He might!
Finally Chris Sabin pretended he was going to propose to Velvet Sky only to dump her. She dumped him last week but he’s a heel so he decided to humiliate her and end it on his terms. He came off like a real ass…so that’s good. He challenged her to a match next week.
TNA really failed to take advantage of the great crowd they had for this taping in Scotland. Between the two shows they had a very good lineup of matches (Joe/Roode, Angle/Magnus, Angle and Joe vs. EC3 and Magnus, Aries/Ion, Gunner/Storm, Young/Abyss) but, aside from Young/Abyss, pretty much shorted all of them and focused all of their time on Dixie talking to people in the ring/backstage/on the phone. This is what the show is now. Short TV matches aren’t the end of the world if you get to see feuds pay off on PPV…but they haven’t actually run a real PPV since October. Unfortunately, MVP can’t change that.
Finally, a One Night Only PPV that wasn’t held in the Impact Zone!
This show was taped in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Austin Aries beat Chris Sabin and Sonjay Dutt in a three way. He pinned Dutt. Dutt and Sabin double teamed Aries most of the match and did the “won’t let the other guy get the pin” routine. Dutt apparently forgot he had been playing heel the whole match and at one point tried to rally the crowd behind him. They sat there extremely confused. Match was alright. Crowd like Aries.
EC3 came out to very good heat from the Poughkeepsie crowd. They chanted “You can’t wrestle” and Carter chanted back “I disagree” and “I’m very good” until they stopped. He then challenged his legendary rival Dewey Barnes. Barnes entered from the merchandise table. Same match they always have.
Bully Ray beat Tommy Dreamer in a falls count anywhere match. This was better than you’d think. Pretty much better than any of the old ECW rehashes I can remember. It’s a real testament to how relevant Bully Ray has made himself to current wrestling. They killed each other. Crowd loved it. At one point Bully hit a superplex on Dreamer onto a metal guardrail in the ring. That had to suck. The finish saw Bully tease the flaming table only for Dreamer to knock him down. Then Dreamer teased the flaming table and Bully hit him with the Bubba Cutter for the win. Still no one going through that damned flaming table. Good stuff.
Bad Influence and Velvet Sky beat Bro Mans and Lei’D Tapa. Kaz pinned Jesse. Basic match. The highlight was Taz pointing out that this match couldn’t have less to do with old school. Actually the highlight was Kaz having Robbie pinned but special ref Eric Young wouldn’t count because Jesse was the legal man. So when Jesse ran at Kaz he suplexed him while still having Robbie E pinned and Young counted Jesse down. It was only a 2 count but I’d never seen it before.
Jeff Hardy beat Abyss in a Monster’s Ball match. Match started slowly and the crowd never got going. Hardy worked really hard to try and get them back though. All the stunts you’d expect with tables, tacks, chairs, Janice and barbed wire boards. Not that good a match but some sick stuff spread throughout. Finish saw Hardy put a barbed wire board on top of Abyss (who was already lying on one) and hit a swanton for the pin.
Kurt Angle did a promo saying the feud people talk most about in his career is with Ken Anderson. What a bold lie that is. It’s not even the one people think about most in his TNA run. They did have one of the best matches in company history at a Lockdown once though. He could have said that. Taz commented that he thinks Angle would have been successful in any generation of wrestling. Not exactly going out on limb on that one. Anyway, Angle pinned Anderson after an Angle Slam. OK match. Nothing special by Angle standards.
Bobby Roode defeated James Storm in a last man standing match after hitting a handcuffed Storm over the head with a beer bottle. This was good. Not the crazy bloody brawl they had at BFG a couple years back…but a good hard fought match. At this point Storm has about the same record against Roode as Steamboat had against Flair. A couple wins against a million losses.
Magnus retained the TNA title against Samoa Joe. Joe had the match won but EC3 pulled the ref out. Magnus hit Joe with the title and pinned him. Good match. Joe brings out the best in Magnus.
Overall this show was good for a One Night Only show.
Impact Preview for 2/13
This show was already taped in Manchester, England.
It’s never quite 100% which matches end up in which show after they tape them…but here’s what I’m pretty sure will air on Thursday:
Bully Ray vs. Ken Anderson in a casket match
Chris Sabin vs. Velvet Sky
MVP vs. Rockstar Spud
Samoa Joe and The Wolves (finally wrestling) vs. Bro Mans and Zema Ion
Gunner vs. EC3 with both of their title shot cases on the line