October 31, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah
What will be the fallout from AJ Styles leaving with the title belt and Dixie’s rental car? Could you imagine if you were at a TNA taping, and you had to listen to Dixie come out three to four times a night?
Well, these people from Salt Lake City are dealing with it, and they hate her. Dixie is babbling here, acting like a jilted lover who is trying to save face. She announces an eight man tournament over two weeks to crown a new champion. James Storm, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Chris Sabin, all former heavyweight champions, appear on the stage, as quick highlight reels of each wrestler are interspersed throughout the announcements to introduce each combatant. There will be a gauntlet match later tonight to find the eighth wrestler. Bully Ray out to complain how he’s not invited, and this is seemingly a punishment from Dixie for his two consecutive losses to Styles. The lights go out like last week and out comes Anderson to fight.
After the break, security kicks out Anderson, but Bully beats him down with a chain, berating him. This was another solid opening segment to start the show, and we get reaction from Knux and Bischoff.
Christy Hemme dressed up as the Mad Hatter for Halloween. I have no sarcastic response to that.
Match #1: The Modern Day Viking, Gunner Von Erich and James Storm vs. The Bromans for the tag team championship
Gunner is jacked beyond all belief. He snaps off a Tully Blanchard-style slingshot suplex. Storm comes in and takes both guys out with clotheslines. It would make sense for The Bromans to hold on here, as Storm was placed in the title tourney. Clothesline/Russian leg sweep combination by the challengers, and a huge Eye of the Storm follows. The story of the match is that Gunner and Storm are absolutely focused on winning. Bromans comes back with their first offense three minutes into the bout. Gunner taken out on the outside with a clothesline by Robbie E, who then does his best Bobby Heenan impersonation, tripping Storm as he tries to suplex in Jesse. Robbie holds onto the leg for a three count in four minutes.
Winners: The Bromans
Dixie speaks with Sting about the gauntlet match and offers him the first number despite his ban from competing for the title. Sting cryptically talks to her about never having a sense of entitlement during his career.
We get a brief recap of Abyss’s return at Bound for Glory and then switch to Bad Influence, who are each dressed like Sherlock Holmes. They are on the lookout for Abyss. Wacky hijinks ensue.
Match #2: EC3 vs. Norv Fernam
Because you demanded it, this is a return match from Bound for Glory! Tazz reports that Norv is back from a recent tour of the Orient. EC3 absolutely dominating here, and he’s mimicking some of Alberto del Rio’s facial expressions along the way. The crowd’s chanting “Let’s go, blue guy.” Norv hits a springboard cross body block for some token offense, but a stiff headlock DDT wins it for EC3 in four minutes.
Bobby Roode is backstage reviewing footage from Bound for Glory with a doctor, trying to get out of his match with Kurt Angle by convincing the doctor that Angle is too injured to compete.
Bad Influence runs into ODB and questions her about Abyss’s whereabouts. EY comes to back her up.
Match #3: Gauntlet match
We’ve already equaled the amount of matches for last week. As promised, Sting is out first. Kazarian follows next; evidently he quickly changed out of his detective costume into his wrestling gear. This is Royal Rumble style, with competitors will be coming out every two minutes. Sting dominating these two minutes with a backdrop and a suplex as the crowd chants “You still got it,” which Tazz rightfully mocks. Knux comes out as the third entrant, and we go to break.
We are welcomed back with Eric Young coming to the ring as #4. I’m wondering whether Abyss will get involved here. Tazz on Utah: “They got 90 wives and the altitude’s freaking nuts.” Did they announce how many participants are in this? The fifth guy in is Christopher Daniels. EY dumps Kazarian over the top rope, but Daniels catches him. I think Tazz just implied that Daniels has OCD. Sting suplexes both members of Bad Influence simultaneously.
Manik comes out at #6. He takes out both members of Bad Influence with kicks and a top rope dropkick. Nobody has been eliminated to this point. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable a wrestling show is with actual action. Manik skins the cat and snaps off a leg scissors on Kazarian. Magnus is out as #7 with virtually no crowd response. I smell some miscommunication with the Stinger. Knux with a sick crossbody! Manik slips out of a pumphandle slam, pulls off a top rope huricanrana on Knux to eliminate him. Kazarian quickly follows springboard elbow to knockout get rid of Manik. Bad Influence double teams Eric Young, knocking him off the top rope to the floor. Tazz complains about his Aces and Eights vest and how he’s getting tired of losing. We are left with the Main Event Mafia and Bad Influence in the ring. Magnus clotheslines Daniels out of the match, as Stinger hits his splash on Kazarian. While they struggle on the ropes, Magnus throws them both out! Hey, it’s every man for himself, right? Sting looks flabbergasted, but what’s Magnus supposed to do, jump out and lose the match? That took about twenty minutes of television time, for those keeping track of such things.
So we have seven former world champions and Magnus in the title tournament starting next week.
More Dixie backstage, teasing something called the Wheel of Dixie.
Match #4: ODB vs. Gail Kim (with Lei’D Tapa) for the TNA Knockouts Championship
ODB is tossing Kim around. Luckily, Kim takes a powder before the broncobuster. ODB hits Gail with a fallaway slam on the floor! Tazz must love these taped shows. He’s loose as can be here. Tapa distracts ODB, allowing Kim to hit a baseball slide. FIGURE FOUR ON THE POST! She should just hold onto the figure four and lose by DQ every match while she has the title. Tenay announces in a voiceover that Turning Point 2013 will be live on Spike on 11/21. Kim locking in a sweet head-scissors, and ODB slowly stands up and reverses into a single leg Boston crab. Nice. Kim misses with a corner dropkick and takes a wicked back bump. Thesz press off the second rope by ODB. She places Kim on the top rope and then hits a nasty front suplex on Kim. Tapa distracts ODB again, and this time Kim gets a roll-up for three in six minutes. That was a really fun match. It’s a tossup between Kim and AJ Lee for my favorite female wrestler.
Winner: Gail Kim
Bad Influence out once again, dressed back in their detective gear. They are, thankfully, all over this show. They’ve deduced by the smell that Abyss is under the ring. But it’s not Abyss, it’s a pumpkin. The crowd is eerily silent for this whole sketch, even as Eric Young arrives, dressed as Joseph Park. Young attacks, and here comes Abyss. Black Hole Slam for Kazarian, and one for Daniels. Sigh.
We get a graphic for the tournament:
All four matchups are intriguing, including Angle facing Aries and Roode vs. Storm. The “Wheel of Dixie” will decide the stipulation for each bout – Jeff Hardy against Sabin will be in Full Metal Mayhem!
Brief recap of the Roode – Angle feud.
Match #5: Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle
Early thinking is that Roode needs to continue to get one over on Angle, likely utilizing the injury, umm, angle. There’s a woman in the front row that looks way out of place, standing sideways, clutching her mammoth purse and breathing out of her mouth. What’s with Utah and their wrestling fans? Apparently, it’s a kid’s mom, and he’s teaching her how to text on her phone. Roode and Angle on the outside, exchanging punches, but I’m completely mesmerized by these two.
During the break, Roode started working on the midsection, cinching in an abdominal stretch now. I can’t stop watching this woman, it’s like she’s waiting for a ride, standing in the front row of a wrestling show. Three German suplexes, Roode blocks the fourth for a bit and then Angle hits three more! In a nice touch, Tazz talks about a match he had with Angle years ago in Salt Lake City, mentioning how the altitude really affected his breathing during the match. Roode escapes the Olympic Slam, and hits a spinebuster for two. Angle reverses a Death Valley Driver into an ankle lock, but Roode escapes and gets the crossface. A series of reversals between the crossface and ankle lock. These two have great chemistry together. Angle turned his hips to lift Roode up into the Olympic Slam. The crowd starts chanting “This is awesome” as the lady crosses her arms and looks for her ride. Another ankle lock by Angle (I’ve lost count of how many that is now), a reversal into a pin, then a modified DVD by Roode. Now another ankle lock, this time with the grapevine. Angle looking for a top rope Olympic Slam, fails, but hits the pop-up superplex. Angle landed hard on the superplex, referring back to his injury from Bound for Glory. Both men down, Roode gets up at nine, but Angle can’t answer the ten count. He’s doing his best acting job, convulsing in the ring.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Not as good as their PPV encounter, as to be expected, but still a high-quality bout. And, as doctors attend to Angle, a concerned Roode walks out of Utah victorious.
This was a much, much better show than last week, with two solid matches at the end, plus an important mini-rumble to set up the title tournament, which begins next week from Cincinnati.
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