Welcome to this week’s edition of WTF! This review has been pre-taped in London, much like this episode of Impact. Seriously, can we get back to the states already?
Impact opens with a video package of the “Team Dixie vs. Team MVP” match at Lockdown, plus a clip of James Storm costing Gunner his World Title match, and they also let us know that Kurt Angle will be inducted into the TNA HOF. Then they cut to Gunner, who is looking for Storm. He tells the camera man that Storm doesn’t have a chance in hell.
In the arena, MVP makes his way out. He tells us that at Lockdown it’s going to be Samoa Joe vs. Magnus. Joe got a nice pop, and the crowd in London booed the shit out of Magnus, which I think says something good about his ability to get over as a heel. MVP then calls out champion and challenger for a promo.
When Magnus enters, MVP asks why Dixie isn’t out with Magnus. He says he told her to stay away because London has gone straight to hell. MVP tells us that he has a contract that needs to be signed. Before he does, though, he tells Magnus that the way Magnus has been winning his title matches recently isn’t the way things are going to go at Lockdown. MVP says that the only way to win will be by submission or Knock Out.
Magnus gets the mic and calls Joe an unrefined animal, which is why the crowd uses unrefined chants for Joe. Magnus tells Joe that they put animals down. Magnus then calls himself an articulate and refined representative of the industry, and tells Joe that he will never be world champ again. They both sign the contract, and Magnus thinks this is the perfect time to make fun of Joe’s breath, and Joe thought it was a perfect time to beat the hell out of Magnus. I really think this match is going to be something special, as long as they keep the interference down to a minimum.
They show a clip from a house show in West Virginia where the Wolves won the TNA Tag Team titles. They show the Bro Mans reaction to it – in West Virginia – and the go look for Booby Roode to try and get on Team Dixie. Roode tells them that he’s going to book a match between the Bro Mans, Bad Influence, and the team they both lost to, the Wolves. Roode says the winners of the match will be on Team Dixie, unless the Wolves win. To show how serious Bobby Roode is, he books the match to take place three weeks ago, in London.
Match 1: The Wolves vs. the Bro Mans vs. Bad Influence
I was going to make a joke about how the Bro Mans are the team that don’t belong, but then of course they get the win. Can I just get a tag title feud between Bad Influence and The Wolves forever please?
Backstage EC3 is chilling in a doorway. He is asked what he has planned for tonight, and he says that his Aunt D has given him permission to make his own match, and he has picked the best wrestler England has ever produced. He then remarks about Angle joining the HOF tonight. I wonder if he will interrupt the ceremony.
After a commercial, there is a clandestine meeting between Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. Booby Roode is recruiting Aries to be on his team, and tells Aries that he better make the right decision. Aries says he always does. Then we have our next match.
Match 2: EC3 vs. Doug Williams
We haven’t seen Williams in forever, and the London crowd loved him. I gotta admit, this is the first time that EC3 actually picked himself a good opponent. That being said, the match goes about two minutes and EC3 gets the win after low blow and headlock driver. Post match, Ethan beats a fallen Williams, and nobody comes for the save, not even Rob Terry. I think that’s sad.
They show James Storm arriving in the back and then go to commercial.
After the commercial, Storm comes down to the ring. He calls out Gunner, telling him that the Cowboy doesn’t run or hide from anyone. Out comes Gunner. He tells Storm that his explanation better be worth his time or he’s going to bash his head in. Storm says he always planned to screw Gunner ever since Gunner stepped over him to get to the briefcase in the first place. Holy continuity! Storm says he wanted Gunner to know what it felt like to be screwed by his friend. Storm then says the nail in the coffin came when Gunner offered Storm the tag title briefcase, like he was handing a dog some scraps. Storm says that before they teamed, Gunner was nothing. He accuses Gunner of using Storm to get over and not once saying thank you. This quickly became an argument over joining the military, which led to Gunner attacking Storm. Storm eventually bails into the crowd and we go to commercial. I was about to laud this segment for being a simple story told greatly, but I don’t want politics in wrestling. Eww.
After a commercial, Gunner is shown waiting for Storm by the exit and tells James via cameraman that Storm will have to go through him.
Magnus is back in the ring, and he’s with Lord Tensai’s German cousin, Bad Bones. He tells Samoa Joe that if Joe wants to prove himself, he’ll have to go through Herr Bones.
Match 3: Samoa Joe vs. Bad Bones
Another match, another quick victory. Are they even trying? Joe won because a doyyy.
After a commercial, Aries is meeting with MVP. MVP wants to know Aries’ decision. Aries tells MVP about his meeting with Roode, and says that Roode made some interesting points. Aries ends up telling MVP that he wants to see them both up close and asks MVP to make him the referee in the Roode/MVP match later tonight. MVP agrees to do so. This got interesting.
In the ring, it’s time for the HOF induction of Kurt Angle. Borash goes through the usual hyperbole for Angle (gold medal winner, champion everywhere, etc.) before throwing it to a vignette of Angle’s accomplishments in TNA. Borash than introduces Angle.
Angle makes his way down to the ring. He’s looking dapper in his sport coat and jeans combo. Borash Angle a Rolex as TNA’s newest member of the HOF. Angle is beaming like a child while the crowd chants for him. He gets on the mc and says that it’s an honor to be in the HOF. He says that the HOF is not about Angle, it’s about the fans, because without them, TNA would not exist. Well, the fans and Dixie’s checkbook. Angle clearly loves the honor though. I have nothing against this segment. It was well done. Angle thanks the fans and his family. He gets ready to leave, but of course EC3 interrupts. He has a video package of his own, which is a joke video showing EC3’s beating of Kurt a couple of weeks ago. Ethan says that Angle is leaving out the “big news.” Kurt plays dumb and asks EC3 to come to the ring to clarify. EC3 does, and he reads a statement that tells us that Angle has major ligament damage in his knee, and will require surgery. He tells Angle that it may be time to retire. Angle says that he doesn’t know where Carter gets his reports from, but there is nothing wrong with his knee. Then this happened:
Angle: Do you really want to be in the ring with Kurt Angle right now?
EC3: I do not.
I lost my shit at that. Angle says that he knows that EC3 is new around here, and wants to make a name for himself, but why did he have to pick Kurt Angle? He then punched Carter, who absconded to the entrance ramp. Angle says that MVP gave him a HOF present, a steel cage match at Lockdown against EC3. What a lovely boss.
After a commercial, we have our next match.
Match 4: the Beautiful People vs. Lei’d Tapa/The Alpha Female
This. Match. Was. Shit. The end. Lei’d Tapa won the match. Post match, he Amazons beat up the models, which led to ODB coming down for the save.
Backstage, Samuel Shaw is sitting on some steps. He says that he would do anything for Christy Hemme, and he’s going to make us all understand.
In the ring Shaw says that he is misunderstood and invites Christy into the ring to clear the air. Of course she goes into the ring because apparently she’s never watched a wrestling show before. Shaw tells her that he enjoyed their time together and he suspects that she did too. He says that he respects her space, but there are some who don’t, and he’s here to protect her from them. He says that the other guys only want one thing from Christy, but Shaw wants everything. Anderson’s music hits.
Anderson comes out and Shaw accuses him of being one of “those guys.” Anderson tells Shaw to shut up and calls him a creepy bastard. Anderson says that Shaw’s relationship with Christy is not real, but there is a real ass-whupping coming his way. Shaw says that he’s not creepy, and that he has never done anything to Christy, but if did, she would be receptive, because she’s a whore. Well, he didn’t say that exactly, but he implied it. Anderson went after him, and of course Shaw hid behind Christy, who then got thrown down for her troubles. Should have stayed outside, miss. Anderson went to tend to Christy and got choked out for his troubles. Shaw is getting himself over, I’ll give him that.
They show another shitty Willow video. These are more annoying than intriguing.
After a commercial, Storm and Gunner are brawling in the parking lot. They get separated, and a cage is put between them so they can promote Lockdown.
Up next is our main event.
Match 5: Bobby Roode vs. MVP w/special guest referee Austin Aries
I’ve been watching grown men roll around in tights for over 25 years, and nothing has made me more uncomfortable than what Aries is wearing. He has his tights and a referee shirt on. That being said, this was the type of match that TNA needs to show more often. It was nicely paced and a good back and forth. The finish came when Aries turned heel and knocked MVP out, allowing Bobby Roode to hit his finisher and get the win. I did not see that coming. Very well done. It looks like Bobby Roode has his fourth teammate, but that just leaves MVP with an open spot. I’m calling AJ Styles. That would be fantastic. Impact ended there.
The main event aside, the matches tonight were shit, but they did a fantastic job of hyping the PPV, something they should have thought about doing before they cut costs. Do they finally see what planning could do? Granted the PPV is next week, but for TNA, this is step up. Good for them.
Until next week, that’s all I got.
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