Welcome to this week’s review of Impact Wrestling. I am too tired for a joke intro, so let’s just get this ball rolling, shall we?
Before the show starts there is a graphic to reflect the passing of Nelson Frazier Jr., also known as Bog Daddy V. There was no picture, but the sentiment was nice. If nothing else, TNA does respect those who have worked in the business, even if they never worked for them.
We then have an opening video package highlighting the two competitors in tonight’s main event –Gunner and Magnus – and how they both got to this point. Then it’s a quick cut to Dixie and company in the back. Magnus flat out says that if Dixie goes down against MVP, he’s not going down with her. That’s not very loyal of you, Magnus. Magnus also addresses the tension between himself and EC3 saying that they have to be on the same page. Carter agrees, and Magnus and Dixie head to the ring.
Once in the ring, Magnus immediately calls out MVP to air some grievances. As soon as MVP comes out, Magnus starts ripping into MVP for being an ex-con, and says that the nine years MVP spent in prison is nothing compared to what would happen if MVP ever fought Magnus. Magnus says that he doesn’t care how much money or power MVP has, he will make an example out of him.
MVP says that he knows that Magnus is the champ, because Magnus never misses an opportunity to tell us. He says that Magnus has self-esteem issues and if he was a real champion, he wouldn’t have to do that. MVP says that he wants an answer to last week’s challenge of a 4-on-4 match at Lockdown to determine who has complete control of the wrestling side of TNA. Magnus says that on behalf of Dixie “Kot-ter” he accepts the challenge. Magnus also says that he won’t be in that match because he will be defending his title against Samoa Joe because he is going to beat Gunner tonight. MVP accuses of looking past a legit badass like Gunner, and Magnus says that he himself is a legit badass. Magnus then tells us that if anyone gets in his way, he will make them his bi-otch. (*cries. Yes that really happened.) MVP then attacks Magnus because nobody uses outdated insults on this show, and they fight each other until EC3 comes in and attacks MVP. They show the Wolves in the back trying to get past Spud, which is not as ridiculous as it sounds because he has security with him, but never fear, Gunner is here! He makes the save and Magnus and Carter walk backwards up the ramp, right to The Wolves, who have made their way out. Magnus notices them first and literally throws Ethan to The Wolves, which is worth the bad pun. Magnus bails and Richards kicks EC3 in the chest to end the segment.
Backstage, Bobby Roode is asked about rumors about his future. Oh come on, they’re not doing another “retirement” angle. Come on guys, seriously?
They cut to Magnus getting ready for his match and EC3 interrupting him by complaining that he literally got thrown to The Wolves. Magnus gives his version of an “It’s best for business” speech and asks EC3 to be in his corner later. Carter sarcastically says that he will be there for Magnus.
In the Ring Samoa Joe says that he is in the mood for a fight, and challenges anyone in “Dixieland” to a fight. The Bro Mans and Zema Ion answer the challenge, and before the three of them can decide who is going to fight him, Joe decides he will fight all three of them.
Match 1: Samoa Joe vs. the Bro Mans/Zema Ion
Quick reminder: the Bro Mans are the tag team champs. Also, in three on one handicap matches, the one should always lose or win funny. Samoa Joe won clean in four minutes. Yup.
Backstage, Samuel Shaw killed a guy for touching Christy Hemme. Ok, so he just choked him out. Whatever.
After a commercial, Bobby Roode is talking to James Storm. It sounds like he is atoning for his heelish behavior, and making peace with Storm. Storm gives us the “if you’re gonna do what I think you’re gonna do” response, and I kinda hate this again. They end up hugging it out though.
In the manager’s office, Austin Aries enters to speak to MVP. MVP has called Aries to the office to offer him a spot on Team MVP at Lockdown. Aries asks what’s in it for him, and MVP says that if he wins, he will make positive changes. Aries tells him he will let him know.
Then there is a video package that starts off as a promotional video for their UK tour, but it turns to the ridiculous side when they use the narrator to say that the long trips have gotten to Gail Kim and Madison Rayne, who are shown brawling backstage at one of the shows. They have a street fight up next.
Match 2: Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne in a Street Fight
This is non-title by the way. It was also a good brawl between two women wrestlers that can actually wrestle and have good chemistry. Of course the ending was weak, though. Kim hit Rayne in the back of the head with the KO title while Tapa had Madison distracted. Weak. Good match, lousy finish.
After a commercial, there is a “Gunner was a Marine, but he gave it up to follow his dream so he’s awesome video package” that is supposed to make us want to see him win the World Title tonight. I wish they would have spent this much time building him up in the ring, so that this didn’t feel phony.
Backstage, Storm asks Gunner to talk privately. Yeah, I don’t know why either.
After a commercial, EC3 is asked about bragging that he ended Kurt Angle’s career. He says that out of respect for Angle he is going to let Angle tell us the news.
They cut to Gunner and Storm having a heart to heart about what it’s like to win the World Title. Gunner gives the Tag Team title briefcase to Storm and saying that after he wins the World Title, they are going to get what’s theirs.
Bobby Roode’s music hits, and out comes the “It Factor”. He’s very solemn as he walks to the ring, and Taz starts the cryptic talk again, and please shoot me. Roode gets on the mic and says that he has lived his dream as a professional wrestler. He says that it’s been his honor to wrestle in front of great fans. He says that he was a jerk to people backstage, but he can’t change what he has done, but he can change his future. He says that tonight is his last night as a professional wrestler. He says that he hates what himself, and that he can’t take Dixie’s shit anymore, so he’s walking away. But, before he goes, he wants to do something he’s never done before, and thanks the fans. He tears up, and starts to walk away, but Dixie’s music hits. Dixie says that Roode can’t decide when he leaves because he has a contact, so she decides when he leaves. Dixie says that she needs Bobby Roode to stay. He says it’s only because he wants him to protect her champion and for her to lie to him. Dixie apologizes to Bobby, and says that she wants him to captain her team at Lockdown. Roode asks why he should, since she’s lied to him before, and she says that if her team wins, she will give him ten percent of TNA. He’s skeptical, but she says that he could have his own lawyers draw up the contract if he wants. He agrees to the deal, but says that if Dixie tries to screw him, then he will make her life miserable. I’ll consider this Bobby’s face turn.
Backstage, JB interviews some German Gut Check winner while Christy Hemme was looking at Mr. Anderson’s phone in the background. I was getting ready to write something snarky, but Samuel Shaw attacked Anderson, knocking both Anderson and Hemme out in the process. He then picks up the unconscious Hemme and walks away with her. That segment was a surprise. I did not see TNA doing something creative like that. Good for them.
After a commercial, Bobby Roode is with his boys Bad Influence. They are excited for Roode and his prospects of becoming owner. They volunteer their services, but Roode says that the match is important, and he doesn’t want to only pick his friends, so he asks them to prove themselves in the ring. Bad Influence looked a little disappointed in that.
Then we have our next match.
Match 3: Bad Influence vs. the Wolves
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Please go twenty minutes and be fantastic. You know what makes me sad? The fact that these two teams are two of the best, and the tag titles are on two Zack Ryder wannabes. Ok, so the match only went about five minutes, but HOLY SHIT you guys, it was an awesome five minutes. I really want a feud between them. The Wolves won when Daniels got double stomped to death. Please feud them, TNA.
Backstage, Shaw has Christy Hemme laid out on a table in the back, and it looks like he’s going to kiss her, but she comes too, disorientated and asking about Anderson. He relaxes her and tells “Princess” that it’s going to be all right. Shaw then notices the camera guy and advances toward him, but they cut away, so we have no idea what happened.
After a commercial, we have another promo for the new Jeff Hardy character “Willow” which, as one of my readers said, looks like they gave Hardy a bunch of drugs and made him watch a bunch of Bray Wyatt promos. This is terrible, by the way.
Then there is a video for Magnus hyping the match against Gunner and I swear they should have done this weeks ago to create more interest in tonight’s match.
After another commercial, we have our main event.
Match 4: Gunner vs. Magnus for the World Heavyweight Title
It’s the match one week in the making! The announcers tell us that Dixie made this “Magnus rules” which is No DQ, no Count-out” and that doesn’t bode well for Gunner. A few minutes in, Magnus calls for help, but instead Storm and the Wolves come out. That’s our cue for commercial.
When we come back, we are treated to a pretty decent match. There was the predictable interference, but then there was a turn. As Gunner is about to come off the top, Spud stands in his way. Storm comes back in and dumps Spud over the top rope, and gets the crowd hyped before delivering a superkick to Gunner as he jumps off the top rope. Holy Jebus, what the hell? Magnus pins Gunner to retain, and Impact ends.
Well, they finally gave James Storm something to do. The heel turn was done nicely too, as I don’t think anyone saw it coming. I also love the shit out of Psycho Sam and his willingness to just murder and maim people that look at Christy Hemme. I wonder what would happen if some mentions her Playboy spread from a few years ago. The Wolves are exciting as well, and I think the only thing I really hated was he Samoa Joe squash. There’s no way that it should have been that decisive. Fun show all around and I am excited for the follow up next week.
Until next week, that’s all I got.
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