Impact opens this week with an “In memory of” graphic for a young fan of theirs who passed away at the age of 8 from a brain tumor. Here’s a link to a story about how cool TNA and Dixie Carter was to this young fan.
In the Impact Zone, E3 leads a parade of Dixieland’s finest, lamenting Dixie’s teams’ loss at Lockdown. They come across Bobby Roode and blame him for the loss, but he says the one that they have to blame is the one that really cost them the match – Special guest referee Bully Ray, who has apparently turned face. They also show freeze frame footage of Abyss costing Samoa Joe his chance at the World Title. MVP’s music hits, and out comes the new director of Wrestling Operations.
He says that it feels good to tell us that Dixieland is closed forever and that it’s time to move forward. He mentions Bully Ray’s involvement, and says that regardless of Bully’s past, he will be treated equally. He says that he’s got a simple program to run operations: Motivate, Validate, and Participate. Notice how he used the letters in his name? Clever. Before MVP can continue, Magnus’ music hits, and out comes the World Champion.
Magnus says that while Dixie was fumbling the ball, he was kicking it through the uprights by retaining his championship. He then brings out his “insurance policy” Abyss, who makes his way out sporting a new mask. Magnus says that he doesn’t look at Abyss as a freak like others before him. He says that Abyss is only part monster, and is motivated by money. MVP cuts him off and says that he doesn’t want to continue without one more person in the ring – the number one contender for the World Title, Samoa Joe.
Joe comes out and MVP says that Joe is clam because he has given him a rematch with Magnus for the title next week, but this week he can have his revenge on Abyss, and that match is right now!
Match 1: Samoa Joe vs. Abyss
This match was just kinda here, with no real flow, at least in my opinion, it did serve one purpose, and that was to transition Abyss from a feud with Joe to one with EY, who interfered when Abyss tried to hit Joe with “Janice”. Also, when he was Joseph Park, Abyss was forgiven for his shortcomings as a wrestler, because the character he was playing was supposed to be an inept former lawyer. Watching him meander around the ring as the Abyss character reminds me that he is not that good, outside of his size. Maybe he used to be, but not anymore.
Backstage, Jeremy Borash tells us that he’s waiting for Bully Ray, but instead, Angelina Love makes her return! What the hell? This is awesome.
After a commercial, JB is still in the back waiting for Bully, and he’s interrupted by Jeff Hardy in his “Willow” gimmick, and god this is terrible. It’s like watching a porn version of a famous movie, only with less tits and satisfaction. Speaking of which, here’s a new Knockout making her debut.
Match 2: Brittany vs. Gail Kim
There is a short video introducing us to Brittany before the match in which she mentions she’s second generation, but I have no idea who her father is. Can anyone help with this? Oh, quick note: If you want to showcase a new KO, do NOT put her in a match with Gail Kim. Not that Gail is bad; it’s that Gail is so good that you can really see the flaws in the new girl. Which is funny because it looks like we are headed to a Kim/Lei’d Tapa match since they brawled after Tapa accidentally hit Gail, costing her the match against the rookie. Hey look, story progression! Woo!
Backstage, Bully Ray finally arrives, but he’s jumped and has the shit kicked out of him by Roode, EC3, The Bro Mans and Rockstar Spud, who looks completely out of place with the adults. Roode talks shit to Bully as he is being choked out and it looks like we have another feud there. I’m sorry, but how the hell am I supposed to have sympathy for someone who only a few weeks ago was promising to abuse Anderson’s wife and kids? To be honest, this beating should have come a long time ago. The Bro Mans leave because they have a match up next.
Match 3: The Bro Mans vs. Sanada/Tigre Uno
So, in case you’re wondering, TNA has a working relationship with a Japanese promotion, Wrestle-1. While TNA was still airing all those taped shows from the UK, in real life, TNA talent was going over and wrestling in Japan. Along the way, Sanada won the X-Division title, which was apparently such a big deal that TNA didn’t even bother to mention it until now. I’m not going to even mention the continuity error that had Aries holding the belt on Impact last week in a show that was three weeks old but presented as “live” even though we know better, and the fact that Sanada showed up “three days later” at Lockdown with the X-Division title. What else is funny is that we got a “Tigre Uno is coming” vignette, but nothing for Sanada, and Sanada has the gold. Vintage TNA.
Shifting focus to the Bro Mans, and especially DJ Zema Ion, and I see everything I hate about today’s culture (Obnoxious muscle head jerks, and swag idiots). Please release all parties involved.
The match took less time than it took me to write the previous two paragraphs. It was over quickly, and the Japanese guys won with crazy flips and shit. I think Tenay orgasmed a little at the end because he can finally start calling crazy foreign moves again.
Backstage, Bully Ray is shown recovering. That totally wasn’t a waste of time.
After a commercial, Madison Rayne is admiring the hotness of Velvet Sky’s ass before surprising her with the news of Angelina love’s return. They cut to the Bro Mans complaining about their loss when Bully Ray walks in AND COMPLETEY EARNS ALL THE SYMPATHY by beating the hell out of them. Thank you Bully.
Samuel Shaw is shown next talking to someone off screen, making us believe that he’s talking to Christy Hemme, even though we can’t see who it is. Ne notices the camera man and creepily stalks the shit out of him.
The cut to Willow Hardy, who is sitting somewhere on a staircase. Then there is a cut to EC3 and Rockstar Spud who are ready to go out and pay tribute to Dixie Carter
After a commercial, Samoa Joe is looking for EY. He finds him and casually threatens him not to get involved in his business again. EY says he just wants to correct the mistake he made by transforming Joseph Park into Abyss, and he says step one is that he’s going to be handcuffed to Abyss during the Samoa Joe/Magnus match. Ok, huh?
Up next is the tribute to Dixie Carter, which the crowd shits on almost immediately. To his credit, Spud was pretty good here. He is almost the perfect weasel. Spud spews some hyperbole, and then throws it to a video tribute for Dixie, which was one of the cheesiest things I have ever seen, so you know I loved the shit out of it. He then starts to read a poem, but MVP’s music hits and out he comes.
MVP says that Spud has grown on him like a fungus and says that Spud is now a member of the active roster. Spud is scared at first, but MVP manages to get him hyped to wrestle tonight. Spud says that he wants to wrestle so MVP books him against Willow. Spud flips his shit and EC3 kind of laughs at him, but MVP says that he has made a match for EC3 next week against Bobby Lashley. Lashley comes down to the ring and Spud gets in his face, so Lashley hits him with the Dixie poster, which Spud immediately hugs as if he’s consoling the poster. I told you he’s awesome. EC3 bails.
Backstage, JB is talking with EC3 about what happened, but Bully decides to beat the hell out of him instead. It’s good to have goals.
After a commercial, we have our next match.
Match 4: Samuel Shaw vs. Mr. Anderson in a Street Fight
The newest addition to the creepiness that is Samuel Shaw is that he now comes out with the top half of a mannequin that has a red wig that I guess is supposed to be “Christy”. I love how Taz acts like that it’s so strange to see when he spent so much time calling Al Snow matches.
For a street fight, this was pretty timid. Anderson won when he distracted Shaw by kissing his mannequin, throwing it at Shaw, and hitting the Mic Check. He then announced himself as the winner, and that was that. There was not much else to the match.
Backstage, Angelina Love tells us to stay tuned if we want to find out why she came back.
After a commercial, Willow is walking in the back, and then we have a video hyping the return of Kenny King. THEN Angelina Love comes out. The crowd gives her a nice “Welcome Back” chant. She says she never thought she would ever hear her theme song again, and that it’s good to be home. She starts telling a story about her father and how he told her that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. She said that it reminded her of the binds she had here, and she called out Velvet Sky.
Velvet comes out and the two hug it out. Angelina says that she owes her success in this business to Velvet Sky, and she wants to put the Beautiful People back together. Velvet says that since Angelina left she has achieved a different level of success, and she’s ready to move forward. Angelina says that they can take a step back to take steps forward and Velvet says she needs more time to think about it. They cut to Bully Ray in the back immediately after Velvet said she needed more time, which was the most anti-climatic finish to a promo ever. There was no attack, no theme music, and no harsh words. Nothing. How weird is that?
Match 5: Willow vs. Rockstar Spud
Oh man, if the announcers are going to keep treating Willow as a separate person than Jeff Hardy, then I’m going to vomit. They called this his Impact debut. Seriously, this shit is going to have to stop. It’s one thing if they were trying to hide Hardy’s identity, but they aren’t, so it’s stupid. Willow gets DQ’d by hitting Spud in the junk with an umbrella, and then attacks the referee before sticking Spud’s leg in a chair and stomping on it. Willow then hit a splash from the top of a ladder to completely destroy Spud. HE walked away as Bully walked out. That was one of the worst things I have ever seen. There’s a commercial break before we hear from Bully.
After the break, the crowd is chanting Bully’s name, and he says that he never thought he would hear that. He says that when he was Mic Check’d into the casket his career flashed before his eyes. He said that he was going to have words to explain what happened, but the Dixieland crew turned it physical. He says that he saved Roode from becoming another Dixie Carter, and that the wresting world does not need another Dixie Carter. Truer words, my friend. He calls out Bobby Roode to fight. Roode obliges, and they immediately start fighting. They exchange blows, and eventually he puts Roode through a table. Impact ends with Bully standing over a fallen Roode.
This wasn’t a good episode of Impact, but it also wasn’t a bad one. It did the job nicely by ending some storylines while starting new ones as well. I’m glad to see Angelina Love back; hopefully nobody controls her mind again. The Willow character is awful. I like Jeff Hardy, and I think I would rank him in my top ten all time, but this character is terrible. It’s almost like he was going to leave but TNA gave him control to do whatever he wanted, so he watched a bunch of Wyatt videos and decided to make them less appealing. And his promos in the Willow voice are so bad. I have yet to understand a word he has said in them. As for the Bully face turn, I’m not against it. I mean, they ruined his heel character by letting him become so weird emo kid.
Until next week, that’s all I got.
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