Impact Wrestling -February 13, 2015
by Samoa Rowe
-From Glasgow, Scotland. Our hosts are Josh Mathews and Taz. Since theyíre in back in Europe, they have a respectable sized crowd (compared to NYC anyway) and a real set, including a big screen. The lighting is still poor, so itís hard to tell how many fans are actually there, but it allows my imagination to pretend the place is packed. Itís nice to see TNA resembling a major company again.
-MVP and the Beat Down Clan arrive at the arena. MVP attempts to improve morale after the BDC suffered a big loss in Lethal Lockdown. Samoa Joe seems to be stepping up as Lieutenant, which will probably lead to dissension, because this is TNA.
-Kurt Angle comes to the ring to talk. He wastes little time before inviting TNA Champion Bobby Lashley to join him. Theyíre back on good terms after a successful Lethal Lockdown and shake hands. Lashley clarifies that this partnership is more about beating MVP than friendship. Turns out, Angle is just lobbying for a title shot anyway, and makes the challenge for tonight. Theyíre interrupted by MVP and the BDC, and theyíre lack of a professional looking entrance video is a tad embarrassing. MVP dismisses their loss last week because Lashley wasnít an official participant. Lashley suggests that any two BDC members should face himself and Angle later. Sounds like a good way to fill a TV show to me.
-Austin Aries approaches Bobby Roode about their match against each other. Aries brings up their history of working together, but Roode says that tonight is not about respect. He thinks they should leave it all in the ring. Refreshingly straightforward, but Iím surprised Aries didnít bring up the time he won the TNA title from Roode.
-Ethan Carter III and Tyrus are questioned by the roaming camera and off-camera Jeremy Borash. EC3 says he gets what he wants, and now he wants to scalp Rockstar Spud, just like he did to Borash. Looks like theyíre going to make Borash team up with Spud and Mandrews to face EC3 and Tyrus.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
This isnít about respect, but they slap hands anyway. They feel each other out with some chain wrestling. They exchange quick counters of their submission finishers. Aries blocks a Roode Bomb and nails a slingshot senton. Roode needs a breather and suffers a flying chop block from Aries. Roode manages a mid-air drop-kick counter to shift the momentum. Austin runs into a spinebuster and gets caught in an abdominal stretch. Roode cuts Aries off again with a flying neck breaker. Aries boxes the ears to set up a missile drop-kick. They blocks finishers and Austin knocks Bobby to the floor, but misses a suicide dive! Aries slips through another Roode Bomb attempt, but Bobby applies the crossface. Aries taps at about 9:41. I appreciate TNA laying out Impact in such a way that avoids having too many commercials in the middle of matches. This was a nice effort that had a sense of urgency, **ĺ.
Winner: Bobby Roode
-Roode puts over the match and says that Aries is a great professional wrestler. They shake hands again and Aries departs. Roode continues the promo, saying that he now knows that heís ready to regain the World title. He knows that Lashley is busy dealing with the BDC, but puts the champion on notice. Eric Young sneaks in for an ambush and puts Roode down with a Piledriver. Eric laughs maniacally and spits on his former friend. This feud must continue and Roode will probably have to wait a bit longer for his title match.
-After a commercial, Roode needs help leaving the ring. Some referees get him to the ramp when Eric Young returns to continue the beat down. Eric nails a second Piledriver on the steel. Itís sad that Bobby Roode has zero friends to run out and put a stop to this, including Austin Aries who he just put over so generously.
-Josh Mathews and Taz react in a somewhat less crappy looking studio than the previous tapings. Baby steps, I suppose.
-Al Snow is in the ring to address his beef with Grado. You might be asking who Grado is, and I have no clue. Turns out this feud is stemming from the British Bootcamp series. Snow talks, but the fans drown him out with ďGradoĒ chants, so I guess this is a big deal in the U.K. Snow calls Grado to the ring so he can quit wrestling before he gets an ass-kicking. The man called Grado, who looks like a complete schlub, makes his way to the ring and listens to another round of verbal abuse from Snow. Grado cuts him off and sounds like heís doing a bad Shrek impression (yes, I know heís really Scottish, but Iíve heard less cartoonish accents in, well, cartoons). I have zero idea what this feud is really about, which is kind of scary, because I assume my fellow North American viewers donít either. If they wanted to do this angle in front of the Scotland crowd, it shouldíve been off-camera, or saved for whatever U.K. version of Impact theyíve got going. Snow starts trouble with Gradoís mom in the front row and it takes Grado a bit too long to do something about it. Snow retreats and vows to either beat Grado next week, or shake his hand. This was an incredibly crappy angle that just fell out of left field.
Crazy Steve vs. Bram
I know Crazy Steve really has an intentionally misspelled name, but I donít feel like arguing with spell-check, so heís just ďCrazy SteveĒ as far as Iím concerned. Steve looks like a poor manís Juggalo (and thatís saying something) and gets squashed like a bug. Bram takes a break to cut a promo against Magnus, because weíve got yet another feud centered around betraying a best friend. Steve bites, but that only inspires Bram to finish him with an Impaler DDT at 2:28. Miserable squash match that no one gave a damn about, DUD.
-Mandrews and Rockstar Spud try to stir up some courage in Jeremy Borash. Spud says the three of them are lions and tigers and it doesnít matter if they get their asses kicked again.
-Gunner visits Kurt Angle in his dressing room. Gunner thanks Kurt for waking him up last week and believing in him. Gunner questions Kurtís wisdom in teaming with Lashley again. Angle explains that he needs to protect Lashley so that heíll be at his best when they eventually face off. I have to admit, I really like the way Kurt is being written these days. He comes off as serious, likeable, intelligent, and best of all, mature. This will probably all be undone when he inevitably turns heel again, but Iíll take this while I can.
Ethan Carter III and Tyrus vs. Rockstar Spud, Mandrews, and Jeremy Borash
EC3 brings a razor to the ring, determined to make Spud bald. Spud is a bit big for his britches and gets right in EC3ís face, but Tyrus starts the match. Spud goes after the face, but Tyrus knocks him down with a single shot. Mandrews (hate typing that name) charges in and gets easily knocked down as well. Borash tags himself in and suddenly EC3 wants a tag. Carter dares Borash to hit him, and gets caught off guard by a flurry of punches. EC3 misses a splash, and Mandrews tags in and drops him for a near fall. Tyrus suplexes Mandrews and allows EC3 to pick up the scraps. Mandrews lands an enziguri to make the hot tag to Rockstar Spud, who overwhelms EC3 with quick attacks. Tyrus interferes with a head vice but inadvertently hits EC3 with a splash. Spud hits Tyrus with Sliced Bread #2 off Carterís chest. Jeremy Borash hitís a frigginí frog splash off the top rope to the floor and now Iím convinced Iíve seen everything. EC3 is sick of this crap and slams Spud for the win at 7:05. This feud has reentered the guilty pleasure zone, *Ĺ.
Winners: Ethan Carter III and Tyrus
-EC3 prepares the shave Spud, but the lights go out. The lights return and Mr. Anderson is standing in the ring between Tyrus and EC3. He mocks being on their side before hitting a low blow on Tyrus and chopping the life out of Carter. Damn, I was enjoying the lack of Anderson on these 2015 shows.
-Gunner tells the roaming camera that no one is going to stand in his way. Kenny King interrupts to set up a Low Ki ambush. They leave Gunner down and out, so it appears someone has indeed managed to stand in his way.
Madison Rayne vs. Awesome Kong
Rayne cuts a short promo but keeps getting interrupted by the beats from Kongís music. Sheís a bit slow to realize that Kong is her opponent, thinking the production truck is screwing around. Bell rings and Rayne runs into an avalanche. Madison dodges a splash for an opening. Kong swats off Madisonís missile drop-kick and finishes with the Implant Buster at 1:31. Now thatís a squash, Ĺ*.
Winner: Awesome Kong
-Kurt Angle, who I just put over in this very review for acting mature lately, tells Austin Aries to get out of his seat. Aries says it didnít have Kurtís name on it, but moves anyway. Aries highlights the tough field gunning for the World title, and Angle says he wants the bulls eye because he enjoys rising to the challenge. Aries grabs his not-Money in the Bank briefcase and says heíll be champion again soon.
-A video highlight of Jeff Hardyís brutal stunt bump from last week sets up Matt Hardy coming to the ring to talk about it. Matt tries to convince us all that Jeff is seriously hurt, though everyone knows that Jeff canít travel to the U.K. due to his criminal record, so this falls a bit flat. Heís interrupted by the Wyatt Family, excuse me, Revolution. James Storm is more than happy to take credit for breaking Jeff Hardy, something that Edge, Christian, Team 3D, The Undertaker, and a host of others couldnít do. Storm threatens to put Matt in the hospital, but Matt doesnít back down because a nice comfortable hospital bed sounds nice. Storm watches Abyss, Sanada, Manik, and Khoya beat Matt down. They prepare a lynching when Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards run in for the save.
-The roaming camera asks Austin Aries about the timetable of cashing in Feast or Fired. Aries imitates The Rock by disrespecting the interviewer but gets interrupted by Kenny King. Aries is smart enough to start the fight, but Low Ki ambushes from behind. The rest of the BDC dump Aries from the building and take his briefcase.
Kurt Angle and TNA Champion Bobby Lashley vs. The BDC (MVP and Samoa Joe, with Low Ki and Kenny King)
Angle starts against Joe, and Iím once again feeling nostalgic for when their feud mattered. Lashley pummels Joe into the corner, but Joe throws some jabs. Joe absorbs a clothesline, but backs Lashley into MVP to cut the ring in half. My mind wanders during the beat down, as I wonder why MVP can enter the U.K. with his record, but Jeff Hardy cannot. Hit me on Twitter @SamoaRowe is you have any clue, Iím too lazy to do any research. Lashley eventually counters Joe with a neck breaker and Kurt Angle gets a hot tag. Joe and MVP walk right into German suplexes and Joe suffers the Angle Slam. Joe rakes Kurtís eyes, allowing MVP to dominate with some ground and pound offense. Angle counters Joe with a springboard drop-kick and Lashley gets a hot tag. Lashley hits MVP with the Jackhammer and spinebuster. Joe breaks the cover, so Angle takes him down. Joe breaks an ankle lock by thrusting Kurt into Lashley. MVP sneaks in a roll-up to pin Lashley at 11:14. Surprisingly boring match considering the participants, this never really fell into a groove, **.
Winners: MVP and Samoa Joe
Final Thoughts: The fact that I could not wait for this show to be over tells you what you need to know. Thumbs down.
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