This Week’s Review:
“Go-Home Heat” ~Or~ “Are We There Yet”
Greetings, “True-Believers”! I hope everyone’s had a great weekend! I’m writing this week’s recap while enjoying a six-pack of Busch Ice after yet another romantic misstep (Buckle-up, folks. It may be a bumpy and/or abbreviated ride today… Lol!) This week TNA presents the final card of its UK tour with show #2 from the famed Wembley Arena in London, England. This is the “Go Home” edition of Impact before the Lockdown PPV and the big question is, did TNA do enough to entice viewers to pick up the phone & order the show, or will they turn to the “good” people at Nefarious Means Media? There’s only one way to find out… onto the show!
The broadcast opens up with Bobby Roode, The Bro-Mans, and D.J. Zema in the ring. Tenay and Taz talk over some B-Roll and inform us that the Bro-Mans regained the Tag-Team Titles in Tokyo, Japan over the weekend (Why???). Roode has some harsh words for MVP about their match on Sunday while the Bro-Mans stand “menacingly” behind him. Austin Aries music hits and out comes the greatest man who ever lived. Aries grabs the mic and says that he and Bobby should split Roode’s 10% stake in the company 50/50 after Lockdown. Roode balked at A-Double’s proposition and said that he calls the shots (at least potentially 10-percent of them, anyways). While the two former tag-team partners begin to bicker, MVP’s music hits and the new-ish investor comes out flanked by The Wolves.
MVP got on the mic and mocked the heels before stating that he has a big announcement tonight in London. He says he has signed the fourth member of his team. Before he can announce who it is, however, Dixie Carter comes out (so she couldn’t be at the tapings last week, but she can show up tonight? Women are so mercurial!). Dixie enters the ring (mic in hand) and says that she doesn’t care who the fourth member of MVP’s team is because she spent all last week in New York City (New York City?!?) securing victory for Team Roode. MVP said he was cool with that, but he’s going to make his announcement anyways. Dixie (months after saying she doesn’t care) yells at MVP to tell her who it is (Women…AmIrite guys?). MVP says that the final member of his squad is Jeff Hardy, which draws a pop from the crowd and histrionics from Dixie Carter.
After a few minutes of bickering, the announcers tell us that tonight we will see an elimination six-man tag-team match that coincidentally starts after the break! Which brings us to our first match of the night: Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, & Robbie E. Vs. MVP & The Wolves (Six-man elimination tag-team match for the Lethal Lockdown advantage). This is a fast-paced match backed by a hot crowd. We get a few quick eliminations early on (including MVP getting pinned at the five-minute mark). Finally it comes down to Davey Richards Vs. Roode & Aries. Roode pounded Davey into the corner before choking him with his boot. Roode then threw Davey out of the ring to the floor allowing Aries to come off the top turnbuckle with a smash to Davey on the outside. Richards fights back and eventually catches Roode in a single-leg crab. The match is called a No Contest when A-Double hits Richards with a chair and injuring his shoulder. Referee Earl Hebner says that he will give Richards an hour to recover and the match will resume later tonight. Winner: No Contest at 9:00.
Thoughts: Interesting match to kick off the show. I hate the way MVP has been presented as an in-ring character over the past few weeks, but I like the way Davey Richards was presented in this match.
We then go to a video recap of the Samuel Shaw-Christy Hemme saga. After the video, Shaw comes out to the ring, drinking a cup of tea. Shaw stopped at ringside to stare at Christy Hemme’s empty chair (nice attention to detail by TNA. I respect you, booker-man). While Shaw was in the ring, Mr. Anderson came out and called Shaw “creepy” before heading to the announce table. This took us to match #2: Samuel Shaw Vs. Eric Young. EY had the early advantage as Shaw was distracted by the presence of Anderson. The two men brawled to the floor, where Shaw took the opportunity to throw the hot tea in EY’s face, drawing the DQ. Shaw then attacked Anderson, choking him out. He then got on the mic and said he’s now going after what is rightfully his, as they cut to a shot of a nervous Chisty Hemme in the back. Winner: Eric Young by DQ in 2:00.
Thoughts: A nothing match that just served to set up the show-long Anderson-Shaw story.
Back from break, we find Samuel Shaw in the backstage area looking for Christy Hemme. He bursts into the women’s locker room, where Velvet Sky tells him that Christy is in the makeup room (Worst… Friend… Ever). Shaw storms off as we head to the ring. ECIII comes to the ring and gets on the microphone. He says that at Lockdown, Kurt Angle is going to use the cage as a weapon and even though Angle has the Ankle Lock, he has a “leglock” and he’s going to break Kurt’s leg to become the American Icon. Angle comes out and says that ECIII is an American a-hole and he doesn’t want to wait until Lockdown. Angle hits the ring and ECIII bails. Angle starts to leave but ECIII attacks Angle and locks him in the leglock until referees come down to pull him off.
We get a vignette of Kenny “King Of The Night/Forgotten On Impact/Hanging Out With Buff Bagwell” King partying in Las Vegas. Nice to see K-Double back, but I’m not holding my breath for a big push. That takes us to our Knockouts match. It’s a six-woman tag-team match that pits TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky & ODB Vs. (#1 Contender) Gail Kim, Lei’D Tapa, & Alpha Female (w/Chris Sabin). The match just kind of starts (I don’t even recall hearing a bell). The heels have the early advantage until ODB & The Team Formerly Known As The Beautiful People gain the momentum. Sabin gets in the ring to distract Vel-Vel, and the two former lovers begin to argue (I can totally relate… Lol!). Sabin eventually charged at Sky, who throws him over the top rope to the outside. Then she hits Alpha Female with the In Yo Face for the win. Winner: Madison Rayne, ODB & Velvet Sky in 4:20.
Thoughts:*Sigh* Where do I begin? Not only does this seem to be the abrupt write-off of the Sabin-Sky feud (and the promising Sabin-Alpha Female partnership), but there was virtually no mention of the Madison Rayne-Gail Kim title match on Sunday. This was a waste of a segment that had so much potential, IMO.
Back from break we get a Willow promo, which can only be the harbinger of more THAN “goodness.” Right on cue, we catch up with Sam Shaw. Shaw is sneaking around the backstage area when he comes across the makeup room. He puts on his gloves and peers through a crack in the doorway. Shaw (and us) sees a redhead sitting in the makeup chair (don’t trust those redheads, brother!). Shaw grabs the redhead, but it turns out to be a trap (told you!). The redhead turns around and it’s actually Mr. Anderson wearing a wig. Anderson says hello and punches Shaw in the face. Anderson drew circles on Shaw’s face with lipstick, then told Shaw to leave Christy alone. Shaw yelled that he will see both of them on Sunday as he sniffed the wig (a wig that was never on Christy Hemme’s head, mind you. Great, now I’m nit-picking the rationale of a psychopath!
We come back from the break with a video recap of the Gunner-James Storm feud. Then Gunner comes down to the ring and says that the steel cage brings out bad things in him and at Lockdown, it’s just going to be him and Storm. Storm comes out and says that Gunner is going to be sitting around his house when he’s 80 and talking about how he almost became world champion. The two former partners trade verbal jabs before Storm ends the segment by saying that at Lockdown, Gunner better say his prayers because Storm is going to cut him down.
We cut to the back where Bobby Roode corners Brian Hebner and tells him to go find his daddy because he’s waited long enough. This takes us to our “Main Event” of the evening: Bobby Roode Vs. Davey Richards (The winner’s team gets the man advantage in the Lethal Lockdown match). Roode targeted Davey’s injured shoulder early on, so Richards retaliated by targeting Roode’s left knee. Richards went for the single-leg crab, but he couldn’t maintain the hold because of his hurt shoulder. Roode hit the Roode-Bomb, but Davey kicked out at two. They brawl back and forth before Richards went for a running shoulder-block in the corner. Roode escaped and hit the Roode Bomb again. Roode then slapped on a Crossface for the submission win. Winner: Bobby Roode in 5:30.
Thoughts: Typical booking that gives the heels the advantage going into the PPV. It was a good showcase for Richards and I’m looking forward to a Wolves-Beer Money feud in the future.
It’s time for our final segment of the night as Samoa Joe comes out to a huge ovation. Joe gets on the mic and calls out Magnus. The TNA World Heavyweight Champion comes down to the ring and the former partners square off (I’m sensing a theme on this show). Magnus promises to leave Joe beaten and bloodied and walk in and out of the cage as World Champion. Joe says that his rules don’t work in a normal wrestling match but at Lockdown, it’s going to be a knockout or a tap out. The show ends with a big brawl. Joe gets the advantage and locks in the Kokina Clutch to close the show.
Final Thoughts: For the most part, this was a good show. I am excited for the PPV and I think that this could be the start of something good for the promotion. Speaking of the PPV, here’s my official PTBN picks (for entertainment purposes only):
1.) Magnus (c) vs. Samoa Joe – Magnus retains in a hard-fought match.
2.) Team MVP – MVP (captain), Jeff Hardy and The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) vs. Team Dixie – Bobby Roode (captain), Austin Aries and The Bro-Mans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) – Team Dixie.
3.) Madison Rayne (c) vs. Gail Kim (with Lei’D Tapa) – Gail wins the TNA Knockouts Championship.
4.) Gunner vs. James Storm (Last Man Standing) – James Storm wins.
5.) Ethan Carter III vs. TBA – With Kurt Angle being scratched, this is a real chance for TNA to showcase ECIII.
6.) The Great Muta, Sanada and Nakano vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Chris Sabin (Six-man interpromotional tag team steel cage match). – Team Muta
7.) Mr. Anderson vs. Samuel Shaw – Shaw wins to prolong the feud (Ugh!).
8.) Tigre Uno vs. Manik – Uno wins in a showcase match.
As always, any feedback/constructive criticism is certainly welcome. I look forward to interacting with you all during my live-tweet of Lockdown (@KOS_Pod on twitter). I’ll see you all back here next week as we talk about the shakedown from Lockdown!