If you thought Impact would open with anything other than Dixie soaking up as much screen time as she can, you are a fool. How she thinks she is helping the product by overshadowing Magnus and his title reign is anyone’s guess, but Dixie, on the off chance that you read my reviews, I can assure you that you are helping only yourself fulfill your own selfish desires. So kindly, remove yourself as the focal point of Impact already. NOBODY wants to see you on screen. She is accompanied to the ring of course by Magnus, EC3 and Rockstar Spud.
Dixie speaking is the promo equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. I’m pretty sure every time TNA lets her have a speaking segment god kills an innocent puppy. I would rather listen to cats being fed into a wood chipper feet first than hear this bimbo talk about anything.
Luckily she only speaks for about one minute before Magnus steps in and attempts to steer this segment toward salvation. While the crowd was seemingly receptive to Magnus before, I am surprised to hear “you sold out” chants, and Magnus is actually drawing a fair bit of heat even before resorting to the usual cheap-heat drawing tactics. Not to say he didn’t eventually get to said cheap-heat drawing tactics. He did.
While shitting on England got him some heat, the real heat came when he started praising Dixie Carter. Which makes sense, if I heard Magnus calling Dixie a “wonderful lady” I would have to boo as well. As Magnus goes into the story of how he was signed by Dixie, the crowd loses interest and hits him with a “boring” chant. Not saying I agree, but I definitely don’t disagree.
Magnus dropped a good line about the pecking order of TNA, placing himself above the TNA President, to which Dixie visibly disagreed with. I would like to see more of Magnus doing his own thing even against Dixie Carter’s wishes so he seems like less of a yes man all the time. At the bottom of his pecking order was MVP, the “secret investor” and the next man to join this opening segment.
MVP comes out in a nice suit and got a good reaction from the crowd. The #1 contender Samoa Joe is by his side. MVP, always comfortable on the mic, gets in some good verbal shots on Magnus and Dixie. He then announces that Joe will get his title match against Magnus at Lockdown.
And because no TNA opening segment is complete without at least 5 different wrestlers or authority figures being involved, “Mr. Intensity” Gunner AKA the briefcase holder for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match would come down next. It makes sense and I like Gunner, so no real complaints about him coming out. Gunner announces he will have his match vs Magnus for the title on next week’s episode of Impact. So at least his appearance was meaningful.
Dixie isn’t impressed, however, and announces that Gunner actually has to defend his briefcase in a match tonight against EC3. MVP then says that if Gunner’s briefcase is on the line, then so too will EC3’s briefcase for a shot at the TNA Tag Team titles. He suggests they take both briefcases, hang them up, get a ladder and play a game of “winner take all”. Damn, MVP, not bad, I like it. He warns EC3 that if he sees any improprieties he will return to even the playing field.
This was a pretty good opening segment (everything excluding Dixie) and MVP shined. He seems like a great good guy balance to the overwhelming nature of Dixie’s heel authority character. The segment sets up a potential title match next week, the main event for Lockdown and sets up the ladder match for two title shots tonight. Well done.
Gunner vs EC3 Ladder Match
Assuming Gunner wins, this match is a great way to build up the title match between he and Magnus next week. Through his tag team and feud with Storm, Gunner has been built up well as a true potential main event player. His look and intensity give him definite legitimacy.
Early on Gunner tries to bring a ladder into play, but EC3 hits him with a dropkick off of the apron onto the floor and sends Gunner to the ground. EC3 is definitely a talented worker in a good role right now. EC3 tries to take advantage of his big spot by setting up the ladder under the briefcases, but Gunner returns to the ring and begins going to work on EC3.
At one point Gunner powerbombs EC3 off of the ladder, to which Tenay calls a “powerbomb type move”. No, Tenay, its just a powerbomb. You don’t have to add “type move” after the name of half of the moves you call. After the powerbomb like move by Gunner, he was on his way to collecting the briefcases until Magnus interfered and began assaulting Gunner.
Remembering MVP’s words from the opening segment, the crowd begins chanting “Joe! Joe! Joe!”. Instead, we get the Cowboy James Storm running in to the aid of his tag partner. Magnus narrowly escapes a Storm superkick, and chooses instead to retreat. Before he can escape, MVP appears and announces that this is now a… tag match? Which is confusing to me because how can a team share a world title shot?
The match doesn’t go on for much longer after the addition of Storm and Magnus. Gunner hits a diving headbutt on to EC3 and then quickly climbs the ladder to collect both briefcases. He and Storm celebrate, and will get a chance at the tag team titles. One would assume that since it was Gunner’s case to begin with and he won the match that he still gets his TNA World Heavyweight Championship match.
Good build as Gunner continues’s to impress, and if he gets the match vs Magnus next week it should be solid.
The BroMans (DJ Zema Ion, Jessie Godderz and Robbie E) vs The Wolves and Samoa Joe
Before this match we see all three members of the BroMans complaining to Rockstar Spud about Gunner and Storm winning the Tag Team title match briefcase. MVP interrupts them and puts them into a match vs the Wolves and a mystery partner. Whoops, I spoiled the mystery above.
The Wolves were pretty over with the crowd, and they loved when Joe was revealed as the partner. Having the Wolves debut in a match with Joe is a solid rub, not to the interaction with the tag champs. Hopefully this is the start of a feud between the Wolves and BroMans, and they are definitely worthy of being put directly into a tag team title feud, especially considering their ties in the storyline with MVP.
Early on in the match was a showcase for the Wolves, as they work over the BroMans, exhibiting good teamwork with frequent tags and double team moves. Tenay and Taz do everything they can to put the Wolves over, so it seems pretty clear they want them to be the new feature act in the tag division, and I can’t blame them really. They are a solid building block for the division. Just have to hope that TNA pulls its head out of its ass and re-signs Bad Influence when their contracts expire soon.
Robbie E eventually gets the upper hand on Davey Richards, and the BroMans begin working him over. I love seeing Davey get the kayfabe shit kicked out of him. The crowd is desperate for Joe, and when he finally tags in he puts a beating on Zema Ion, including a vicious looking senton splash. Joe seems to be responding since being pushed again. He appears more focused in the ring and more motivated as opposed to when he gets lost in the booking shuffle. Joe doesn’t face much resistance from Ion, who he chokes out for the win after the Wolves hit a double suicide dive out onto the BroMans.
MVP vs Rockstar Spud
This match was set up by Spud talking trash in a backstage segment. MVP is making his in ring TNA debut in this match. Not much to say about this one. Spud didn’t get much offense in, and MVP picked up the quick 3 count after hitting his drive by kick. At least that’s what it used to be called, not sure anymore. MVP, at age 40, was able to show he still has all of his agility and movement in the ring during the short match.
Chris Sabin vs Velvet Sky
Sabin comes out and before entering the ring mocks Velvet’s entrance of straddling the middle ring rope while shaking his ass. It wasn’t nearly as provocative as when Velvet does it sadly. He cuts a solid promo drawing good heat, talking about how trashy and skanky Velvet is. Its like Chris, we have eyes dude. He then tried to goad her into taking a free shot, and she eventually kicked him “right in the yam bag” as Taz puts it.
Sabin laughed, and said he had come prepared. He turned to the crowd and pulled out a cup he was wearing, which of course gave Velvet the chance to low blow him since the cup was no longer doing its cuply duties. Velvet gains full mount and is dishing some Tito Ortiz esque pillow-handed ground and pound, and I think to myself, I wouldn’t mind Velvet sitting on my chest, actually.
As Velvet is riding Sabin’s chest, a large woman with a blonde mohawk comes out, yanks her off and begins whaling on Velvet. She cocks her head from side to side and looks pretty ridiculous honestly. Sabin smiles in the corner having clearly planned this. Personally I wanted to see Sabin pin Velvet, it would have been great heat. I hope this new chick can feud with Velvet and Sabin can move on, but it seems he is associated with the newcomer and will continue to feud with Velvet.
Mr. Anderson vs Bully Ray Casket Match
This match stands as the likely conclusion of a longstanding feud between the two men that has been going on since the two were members of Aces and Eights. Sorry, I know reading the name of their former stable is still off putting to a lot of you. Still though, I would have to call this feud a success. Bully Ray is able reinvent himself once again to stay interesting, Anderson is putting in his best work in a while and the matches have delivered for the most part.
I’ve got to say, Anderson’s decision to go from trunks to tights recently might be one that gets him back into the TNA World Heavyweight Championship picture. I know, I know, it seems petty, but seriously, tell me Anderson matches aren’t a lot more bearable now that you don’t have to see his pasty and overly-ample thighs flapping as he runs the rope.
The great thing about Bully Ray is he can job his ass off and lose every match, but still seem completely credible. He can put Anderson over every step of the way in this feud, but he still comes out of it as a guy that most people are still wondering what he will do next.
Before the match begins, Bully takes off his hoodie to reveal a Liverpool jersey, and catches hell from the Manchester crowd. Oldest trick in the book, and still probably the most effective. Anderson would quickly earn the affection of the crowd by ripping the jersey off of Bully and choking him with it.
Bully Ray has proven over the years that if you put him in a match involving a lack of rules and plenty of tables, he will deliver a good match 99% of the time. Anderson is a solid ring worker, and this match falls comfortably into that 99%. Early on Anderson sustained a cut under his eye “the hard way” and it was very appropriate considering how personal this rivalry had come. I’m not one of those bloodthirsty fans who is desperate for blood at every show, but this is one of the feuds where in the blowoff match you should have a little bloodshed. I like that it is a legit cut under the eye and not a blade job, it fits in with Anderson’s “pro wrestling is real” t-shirt slogan.
Bully, pounding away at Anderson’s busted eye, would wipe the blood off of Anderson and smear it all over himself. A little unsanitary if you ask me, but portrays the insanity of Bully’s character well. He then pounds away at the cut, really opening Anderson up. After hitting a superplex, Bully had Anderson laid in the casket and only needed to close the lid to win the match, but Anderson came to life, at the last second and begins to fight back.
The comeback is short-lived though, as Bully quickly regains the upper hand, smashing Anderson through a table with a powerbomb. The crowd, who I’ll be honest a lot of their chants throughout the night I couldn’t make out what they were saying, begin a loud and clear “This is Awesome!” chant. I’ll agree that this match is certainly the highlight of a pretty decent all around show.
Bully, talking shit on Anderson’s family as he works, steps into the casket with Anderson, getting him in position for a piledriver. Anderson had just enough life left to escape the clutch of Bully and quickly counter with a Mic Check into the casket. Anderson adds in the Liverpool jersey to the delight of the crowd, and closes the lid on Bully Ray and the feud.
A PPV-quality match main eventing a tv taping is never a bad thing in my opinion, and it was a good way to close a pretty good episode of Impact. My only complaint is WHERE WAS TGMTEL??? Tsk tsk, TNA.