Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, January 30
Manhattan Center – New York, New York

Show opens with Bobby Roode entering with Lashley’s World title belt. Roode loves the World title and is upset that Eric Young cost him the title a few weeks ago. Roode returned the title to Lashley and then asked for a title match tonight. Lashley agreed. Aries comes out and talks about potentially cashing in his briefcase after the Lashley/Roode match. MVP is out next. Lashley gets fed up with everybody talking and offers all three a title match tonight. This is why I hate Feast or Fired. Last week Aries put his career on the line to potentially win a World title shot. This week he’s just given a title match. Title matches are just not rare enough in TNA to justify putting your career on the line.

TNA Knockouts Championship – Madison Raine vs. Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell ©: Two ladies in, one out for the first couple of minutes. Madison took out both with a neckbreaker/DDT combo. Gail locked on a modified single leg Boston Crab but Taryn grabbed a Dragon Sleeper for a nice submission chain. Madison dumped both Gail and Taryn off the top to the floor. Madison hit a flapjack on Taryn onto the ring steps. She was going to do her knee stomp thing onto the steps but Gail saved Taryn.

Madison then hit an X-Factor on Gail onto the steps. These ladies are working really hard so the crowd rewarded them with a “We Want Puppies” chant. Madison countered a Cutter attempt and nails the Raine Drop but Gail rolls her up for two. Gail crashed and burned on a crossbody attempt but Madison turned into a Cutter and Terrell retained. These three worked super hard and this was a lot of fun. One of the better KO matches in a while. ***

They ran down the Lockdown card one week from the show. Most of these matches could have been announced weeks ago. The card is Team Angle vs. the Beat Down Clan (BDC) in Lethal Lockdown, Kong vs. Havok, The Hardys vs. The Revolution for the tag titles, Mark Andrews and Spud vs. Tyrus, and Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode.

Tommy Dreamer makes his way to the ring. Tommy calls out EY. Dreamer is upset about Young’s recent behaviour. I like the way this feud ignores the fact that Roode made EY his slave in 2007. I suppose that’s wrestling in general though. EY doesn’t care much for Dreamer’s opinion referring to his as a fat loser from New York. Dreamer raises the fair point that EY never asked Bobby Roode for a title shot. Young responded to that by Piledrivering Dreamer. Roode made the save. I’m fine with Dreamer in this sort of role. People generally like him so beating him up should be easy heat. EY is trying his best as a heel but he’s always been a more natural face.

Angle confronted Gunner backstage about not fulfilling his potential. Gunner had a reasonable amount of momentum last year coming out of his feud with James Storm and it was instantly squandered by the Sam Shaw program (something anybody with half a brain could have seen coming). I’m a big fan of Gunner. He should be higher up the card.

Last year Bram came into TNA to help Magnus rediscover his dark, edgy side. Now Magnus is sitting in a bar trying to bring out Bram’s softer side, thinking his violent side and propensity for getting mugshots (Magnus’ words not mine) costs him opportunities. Magnus clearly didn’t get through to Bram, because Bram attacked him and laid him out.

Monsters Ball – Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss: Jump start to the match and Jeff went straight for a table. Abyss wedged a chair in the ropes but turned straight into a trash can shot. Jeff hit Poetry in Motion with the aid of a chair and attempted the same thing to the floor but Abyss moved and Jeff went straight through the table he set up earlier. Jeff Hardy is a crazy person. The crowd followed that with a “You Still Got It” chant, which confused me on a number of levels. Abyss retrieved his trademark bag of tacks but Jeff cheesegratered his testicles.

Abyss sidestepped a charge and sent Jeff into the chair in the turnbuckle. Abyss then got Janice out from under the ring. Hardy hit Twist of Fate and went for the Swanton but The Revolution hit the ring. Matt Hardy made the save with a Kendo stick but got overwhelmed. The Wolves then ran off The Revolution. Back down to Abyss and Hardy. Abyss poured out his tacks. He went for a superplex but Hardy countered into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb into the tacks. Jeff followed with a Swanton for the win. We’ve seen this all before but they worked a brisk pace and kept things moving. Storm scolded Abyss after the match for losing. ***

Rockstar Spud and Mark Andrews vs. The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E) w/ DJ Z: The BroMans were EC3’s official representatives. Zema Ion is one of the most underused guys on the roster. Andrews gets the hot tag to Spud and Spud runs wild with a double crotch claw. Spud hit the Dudley Dog and Andrews hit a Shooting Star to give the winners of British Boot Camp the win. Before the win could settle in Tyrus destroyed Andrews and Spud. Andrews and Spud vs. Tyrus in a handicap match was made for next week. *

TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode vs. MVP vs. Bobby Lashley ©: Roode and Aries briefly worked together (they are former tag champs together) but Roode decided to dropkick Aries. Like the opener they spent a while with two men in the ring and two men out. Lashley hit a running powerslam for two, and then countered a Brainbuster attempt into a big front suplex. Lashley went for a Spear but Aries dodged, Lashley fell to the floor and Aries hit the Heat Seeking Missile.

Josh Matthews and Taz have been doing a solid announcing job in recent weeks. Taz has been much more focused than he was in the last few years and obviously Matthews is looking to impress, being new in the role. MVP hit the Ballin’ elbow and a Fishermans Suplex on Roode but Aries broke up the pin. Lashley lifted Aries out of the Last Chancery into a Dominator. Every Lashley match should feature a random impressive feat of power like this. Roode locked MVP in the Crossface but Lashley broke it up. We had a Tower of Doom spot. I’m pretty sure it’s a law of the universe for every multi-man match to have a Tower of Doom spot.

EY ran out and hit Roode with a chair. Aries countered a Spear into Last Chancery but MVP broke up the hold. Aries knocked MVP to the floor with a forearm and went for the Heat Seeking Missile but as Aries came back off the ropes Lashley hit him with a Spear to retain. Good finish and very enjoyable match. ***1/2

The BDC ran in right after the match. Angle and Gunner made the save. Roode challenged Eric Young to a match next week and promises to make EY bleed. EY agreed. Aries wants to be on Team Angle next week and Angle agreed. Angle offered the final spot on his team to Lashley. Angle referred to Lashley as the most talented wrestler he’s seen in the last ten years and a portion of the crowd chanted “liar”. Lashley declined and we go off the air.

Final Thoughts:

Quite easily the best show on Destination America so far. I could nitpick some stuff like big show build or heel stables or throwing out title matches but the show was mostly just fun wrestling matches and straightforward angles. If I get that out of this show every week I’ll be a very happy camper.