Tenay opens by saying that Dixie Carter isn’t going to be around tonight. A+ way to start the broadcast in my humble opinion. Instead of the usual Dixie Carter opening segment, we get MVP coming out first and he is well received as has been the case during the UK tapings. MVP announces that if he’s in the ring it can only mean one thing “Big things poppin’ and Dixie’s BS stoppin'”.
He would then introduce the #1 Contender Samoa Joe, who is also loved by the UK crowd. He next introduces Magnus, who comes out looking pretty dapper in a fly suit, but the crowd in London, similar to the previous UK stops, neglects to give Magnus the homecoming hero’s welcome he so richly deserves.
Magnus starts off by taking the usual cheap shots on London, saying that ever since he left it has gone straight to hell. The crowd entertains itself with “What?” chants. Before having the participants sign the contract for Lockdown, MVP tells Magnus that he is onto his cheeky shenanigans when it comes to “defending” his TNA World Heavyweight Championship. MVP must have a keen eye to have picked up on the tricky tricks of having a no DQ stipulation on every match and having 5 guys run in to help him. It is oh so subtle.
MVP says that the “Magnus rules” (of every main event turning into massive fuckery) won’t be in effect, but the “Joe Rules” would be in effect, meaning the match can only be won by tapout or knockout. My first instinct is that this isn’t a good thing. Sure, Joe and Angle had some great MMA style matches, and Jeff Jarrett’s MMA gimmick was absolutely gold, but I can’t picture Joe and Magnus working that style of match as effectively as they would a regular cage match.
Joe doesn’t speak a word during the segment, which almost seems fitting. He can just be the silent badass out to kill, it works for me. Magnus would berate Joe one last time before signing the contract, saying that he is an unrefined animal, and that dangerous animals are always put down. After signing the contract there was a brief staredown, but after Magnus called Joe out for his bad breath (now THOSE are fighting words!) Joe caught Magnus with a headbutt and began attacking him in the corner.
The Wolves vs The BroMans vs Bad Influence
Nice of TNA to put all 3 of its tag teams into one match for us. This is a good example of TNA doing a nice job of making most matches on Impact have some sort of meaning behind them. We start by seeing a video of the house show title win for the Wolves over the BroMans. Next we see the BroMans, who are clearly pretty butt hurt about losing the titles. They go in search of Bobby Roode in hopes of joining his team for the Lockdown match against Team MVP, which includes the Wolves.
When they find Roode, he says that he will let them on his team if they can win a match against the Wolves and Bad Influence. If Bad Influence wins, they are on Roode’s team. If the Wolves win, its back to the drawing board for team Roode.
The Wolves, as has become the case week in/week out, were booked to be very dominant in this match. They controlled 90% of the action, and the announcers spent the entire match putting them over as well. I am all for booking this as a dominant force in the tag division, but I worry that with Bad Influence possibly leaving soon they are being booked too strongly and no team really seems like a threat to their dominance.
As the Wolves were cruising to a victory, Davey went for a high risk manuver and connected, but as he did so Robbie E tagged himself in, and Jessie cleared the ring allowing for Robbie E to steal the pin and the spot on Roode’s team. A short match, but it serves its purpose of having the BroMans “prove themselves” to Roode.
Doug Williams vs EC3
I’m not sure why this match took place outside of just giving Williams a chance to perform in front of a relatively large crowd in his home country. EC3 going over Williams isn’t going to accomplish anything for him. Doug Williams controlled the first 2 minutes of the match, but a well timed low blow followed by his finisher the “1%” which looks a lot like Dean Ambrose’s headlock driver, gained EC3 the quick victory. Again, not entirely sure what the point of this was, but there you have it.
After the match EC3 put Williams into some sort of knee bar and tried to establish a vicious side to his character, which personally I don’t find to be terribly fitting. But again, there you have it.
Gunner and James Storm segment
Storm is wearing a black bandanna, so you can totally tell he is a bad guy now. I’ve been looking forward to a tweak of character from Storm for a long while, so I am excited to see how he performs. Gunner, looking super badass in jeans and a wife beater, makes his way to Storm who desperately pleads for Gunner to hear him out before doing anything too crazy.
Storm tells Gunner that he did in fact screw him out of the world title, and that he had it all planned out from the time Gunner pushed Storm aside to win the briefcase. He continues by saying that Gunner used him to make a name for himself, and that Gunner should have given Storm his title shot opportunity.
Gunner brought up his time in the military, which is fine and dandy, but it seemed like the ultra cheap attempt at getting cheered, and was a bit out of place in the UK. It did set up Storm well to get heat, as he scoffed at Gunner’s background as a Marine and took some cheap shots at the armed forces in general, concluding that “nobody owes you a damn thing”.
Gunner had heard enough, and decks Storm with a right hand, sending Storm out of the ring. Storm countered momentarily, and found a steel chair, attempting to smash Gunner’s arm between the chair and the ring post. Gunner moved out of the way, and Storm tossed the chair and ran through the crowd to escape.
This was a nice start to what could be a very entertaining and meaningful feud. If they go all the way and give Gunner a big win over Storm in a marquee match on the card, it could do wonders for his career. He played his part well and the crowd was behind him. I think he has all the makings of a TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Samoa Joe vs Bad Bones
Magnus comes out and cuts a promo saying he found some guy from Germany for him to fight tonight, and calls him Bad Bones. He is bald, but with goofy sideburns and some lame tattoos. Bad Bones didn’t get in any offense, and tapped out to a rear naked choke approximately 90 seconds into the match. NOW Joe seems credible enough to beat Magnus!
Kurt Angle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
If you like boring Jeremy Borash introductions, you will be thrilled with the first 2 minutes of this segment. We see a pretty cool video package of Kurt, and then he comes out to the reaction of the night as you would expect. You know, for what it is, the TNA Hall of Fame is off to a great start as far as names go, with Sting and Angle, two of the absolute legends of wrestling. Now they need to do the right thing and get Double J in there next year, even if he is no longer with the company and probably starting a soon to be rival fed. Yea, he isn’t getting in sadly. Well, I googled “TNA Hall of Fame” and the first suggested search was “…is a joke” so I guess its much ado about nothing. WWE truly has the wrestling world right where it wants it.
Kurt is giving the typical happy to be inducted into the HOF speech when EC3 interrupts and says he has some big news. Angle invites him into the ring, and EC3 reads a doctor’s note stating that after the attack of EC3 on Kurt Angle’s knee, that Angle had suffered a torn ACL & MCL. EC3 states that it is unclear if Angle will ever be able to perform again, and suggests that Angle consider retirement.
Angle asks EC3 why he would get into the ring with him when he knows he will rip his throat out. EC3 was actually quite comical in response, stating that he felt he had the necessary mobility to escape Angle if need be. Angle responds by informing Carter that his ACL and MCL were both fine, and asked EC3 if he really wanted to be in the ring with Kurt Angle right now, to which he replied “I really don’t”
Angle completes the segment by saying he understood EC3 needed to make a name for himself “but why in the hell would you pick Kurt Angle?” he asked before decking him. EC3 rolled out of the ring and headed for higher ground. It was a well done segment, with Angle playing the perfect badass and EC3 doing the comedic cowardly heel routine well.
He came out dressed like Dexter and talked some creepy shit in a promo to Christy Hemme. I don’t know who this angle is entertaining, but simply put, it ain’t me. Seems like a desperate attempt to try and force Hemme into some screen time to try and justify the ridiculous salary she has. Both of these two disappearing for Impact would be for the better.
Mr. Anderson came out, trash talked Shaw, then went in the ring and got choked out. Brilliant way to capitalize on Anderson’s momentum after his long and personal feud with Bully Ray than having him look like an ass at the hands of the creepy rapist guy. And I was starting to dig Anderson again before he got tangled up in all of this. For shame.
Bobby Roode vs MVP- Special Guest Referee Austin Aries
This match was well built for an Impact main event. Last week we saw MVP recruiting Aries for his Lockdown team, and this week Bobby Roode did the same. Aries decided he needed an up close look at both men as competitors and decided he would be the special ref. These are probably the three characters I am most entertained by on the current roster, with MVP playing a great face authority, Roode slowly becoming more like a face but being conflicted by Dixie’s offer and Aries just being the coolest dude around and being stuck in the middle as the guy everyone wants on their team.
All 3 men were greeted warmly by the crowd, but A Double AKA the Greatest Man that Ever Lived was the real fan favorite, as Roode and MVP were wrestling the crowd often broke into “Austin Aries” chants. Roode was slowed down by MVP, as he worked a grinding style to try and wear down The It Factor for the first part of the match. Roode eventually turned the table and started trying to wear down MVP in what is a very slow paced match.
MVP eventually picked up the pace a bit, hitting some stiff clubbing blows to the chest of Roode before nailing a t-bone suplex and then a bridging northern lights suplex that resulted in a near fall counted by Aries. Roode hits a big spinebuster and also gets a near fall, and when he goes to complain to Aries the crowd once again shows their support for Aries with loud chants.
MVP goes to the corner and attempts a running attack on Roode, but Aries nails MVP with a discus forearm, allowing for Roode to hit the Roode Bomb and pick up the victory. I’m a little surprised by Aries choosing MVP, as he seems to fit in better as a face, but TNA likes to incorporate “shades of grey” so they likely are trying to book Aries in a way that he is looking out for what is in his own best interests, so I am OK with his choosing to join Team Roode.
Outside of some obvious filler this was a good episode of Impact.