Impact Wrestling -April 4, 2015
by Samoa Rowe
-From Orlando, FL. Our hosts are Josh Mathews and Taz.
-The program has a bit of a facelift, with hand-drawn caricatures of the wrestlers being used to hype the big matches. At first I thought there was a new narrator too, but it turns out that I’m watching a wacky ripped version on Youtube. I missed last week’s episode, but they’re back in the Impact Zone at Orlando Studios, and they have an upgraded TV set, with video screens and atmospheric lighting.
-Eric Young comes to the ring to talk. He makes a case for tonight being his last encounter with Bobby Roode, but I’ll believe it when it happens. Roode shows up on the stage and reminisces about Young doing terrible things, but Roode picking up multiple wins throughout the rivalry. Eric threatens to make Bobby tap out, so they agree to a submission match later. And by later, I mean right now.
Roode quickly dumps Young over the ropes and goes on the offensive. Young gets crotched on the ropes and drop-kicked to the floor. Bobby looks for a Crossface but Young escapes to ringside. Roode settles for the hold in the aisle. Back to the ring, Roode has a bad landing on his injured knee, giving Young a target. Roode hits a power bomb anyway, but collapses heading into a commercial. After the break, Roode gets knocked onto his hurt leg and Eric applies a leg lock. Bobby gets a rope break, so Eric continues softening up the knee in methodical fashion. Roode is unable to apply a Boston Crab, but he manages a Crossface. Eric escapes, so Bobby successfully applies the Boston Crab. Eric gets a rope break and smashes Roode’s hurt knee into the ring steps. A slugfest breaks out, but Young drives Roode knee-first into the canvas. Figure Four Leg Lock by Young, but Roode reverses! Roode inadvertently kicks Young into the referee, who in turn doesn’t see (or hear) Young tapping out to the Crossface. Back heel kick by Eric leads to another Figure Four. Roode is forced to tap out at 13:33 (shown). This was a bit flat for a blow-off, but was a solid outing in it’s own right. They managed to build the crowd heat as they went along, ***.
Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode
Winner: Eric Young
-Bobby Lashley and Kurt Angle are spotted arriving at the Impact Zone. They’ll collide in a championship rematch later on.
-TNA Tag Team Champions Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards come to the ring, and unfortunately, Edwards is limping in on crutches. Jeremy Borash asks them about their future. Edwards says that wrestling is dangerous, and he and Davey like to push the limits, and this time it caught up with him. Eddie fractured his heel during a One Night Only taping. To make a long story short, the Wolves have to vacate the titles. Good promo from two guys who aren’t typically good talkers.
-Christy Hemme interviews Bobby Lashley backstage. He’s extra motivated by his loss to Kurt Angle and plans on regaining his World title. Lashley excels in these short interviews.
Angelina Love vs. Gail Kim
Love cuts a short promo beforehand putting over her looks and in-ring credibility. A Love cheap shot signals the bell and Gail finds herself on the defensive. Gail drop-kicks Angelina into the ropes, but Angelina counters a rana with a power slam. Love hits a backbreaker and trips Gail in the turnbuckles for an inverted DDT. Gail takes some punishment but comes back with a side Russian leg sweep into the ring frame. They tease a double count-out and get to their feet while trading shots. Gail builds some momentum, complete with a missile drop-kick. Love starts blocking finishers, but botches a head scissors into a power bomb counter. Gail saves herself in the ropes and delivers Eat De-feet for the win at 7:55. Good effort that got some time, but they never recovered from that one bad botch, **.
Winner: Gail Kim
-A Destination America ghost hunting crew finds James Storm and the Revolution hanging out in the woods around an old barn. The TV crew heads into the barn despite Storm's warnings, and their equipment seems to detect ghosts. The segment ends with a “To Be Continued” and this is shaping up to be some quality Wrestlecrap.
Falls Count Anywhere:
A slugfest erupts at the opening bell. Bram gets tossed and eats a soccer kick from Magnus on the apron. They justify the match stipulation with a ringside brawl. Bram counters a piledriver with a back body drop onto the stage. Bram saves himself with a low blow and power slams Magnus on the stage. Bram directs the fight back to the ring, where he chooses to try and end the match, despite having more violent options. Magnus reverses a whip into the ring post, but Bram plays possum to thrust his former friend into the steps. They reach a stalemate to send us to commercial. Post-break, Magnus is selling exhaustion as Bram scrapes his fist over his face. They trade punches and Magnus grabs Bram by the beard to connect with more shots. Mickie James shows up around this time to cheer her baby-daddy on. Magnus wastes time telling Mickie to leave and Bram capitalizes with a chair shot. Bram wraps a chair around Magnus’s head and drives him into the ring post. Bram shifts his attention to Mickie, and James Storm randomly runs in to shield her. Storm might be evil, but he doesn’t believe in hitting women, and takes off. All the downtime has allowed Magnus to make a comeback and he plants Bram for a close 2 count. Bram rebounds with a DDT onto a chair for only 2. Bram wakes up and nails a pair of power bombs. A uranage finishes Bram at 17:23 (shown). Man, this started so strong, but petered out for a while after the commercial before the hot finish. Rounds out to about **¾.
Bram vs. Magnus
-Mickie James checks on Magnus and they share a sweet embrace.
-Jeremy Borash interviews TNA Champion Kurt Angle backstage. Angle puts Lashley over as the most dominant wrestler he’s ever faced and as practically unbeatable. Kurt says he had to train harder to face Lashley than he did for the Olympics, and I nearly spit my drink out. Kurt says he’s the best, so his victory is real, in fact, it’s damn real. How many years have to go by before Kurt stops using the bastardized version of his WWE catchphrase?
-Magnus and Mickie James head backstage, and Magnus wants to know what James Storm was doing out there. Storm says he knew Magnus was busy and just wanted to check in on his “old friend” in Mickie. Looks like we know what Magnus’ next feud will be.
-Angle and Lashley are spotted warming up for their title match. They get the same big-time sports presentation that they got two weeks ago.
TNA World Championship:
Lashley immediately scores an amateur wrestling takedown, but Kurt answers with a side headlock. Lashley sends Kurt retreating to ringside with a shoulder tackle. Match restarts with a nice wrestling clinic between two pros. Angle surprises with an overhead belly to belly and follows wit ha German suplex. Lashley retreats to ringside, but pulls Kurt out with him for a hard back landing. Lashley goes after the ribs with shoulder thrusts and a bear hug. Angle breaks a waist lock but runs into Lashley’s boot. Cue the commercial! After the break, Lashley is in the driver’s seat, kicking Angle in the ribcage. Angle desperately back drops Lashley over the ropes to buy himself a breather. German suplex by Kurt, but Lashley bounces back with a spinebuster for a 2 count. Angle delivers two rolling Germans before Lashley catches him with a running power slam. Belly to belly by Angle, leading to another round of rolling Germans. Angle Slam, but Lashley kicks out! Kurt applies the ankle lock but Lashley thrusts him through the ropes. Lashley smashes the champion off the steps and drops him onto the barricade in sickening fashion. Delayed vertical suplex by Lashley and the spear! Angle kicks out! They head to the top rope where Angle slips a bit delivering an Angle Slam. Angle crashes and burns in his moonsault attempt, and Lashley steals the ankle lock! Angle rolls Lashley into the turnbuckles and pulls him into a roll-up for the win at 20:27 (shown). Another hard-hitting, high-stakes outing, just about on the level as their first match, ****.
Kurt Angle © vs. Bobby Lashley
Winner and still TNA World Champion: Kurt Angle
Final Thoughts: This was a tight, compact, no-nonsense two hours of grudge matches. I know it might be too little, too late, as TNA doesn’t seem to have any online buzz these days, but I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts. Thumbs Up.
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