Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, February 27th
Manchester Arena – Glasgow, Scotland

We open the show, which shall be headlined by a World title match, with the entrance of Kurt Angle. I’d really prefer a few weeks to actually build up World title matches. MVP became number one contender last week and is getting his title shot this week; there’s no time to make that title match mean something. Angle calls out Lashley. Angle is upset Lashley did nothing to help combat the Beatdown Clan (BDC) last week. So Angle shall be offering no assistance to Lashley later in the show. Angle leaves and the BDC arrive. Basically the BDC is angry at Lashley for abandoning them and they stand as one.

Mr Anderson and Rockstar Spud vs. Tyrus and Ethan Carter III: I would’ve much preferred if this match simply consisted of Spud hitting Tyrus with the biggest lariat he could muster and pinning him in ten seconds. Instead Spud’s big victory over Tyrus was essentially a fluke where Anderson did all the work. They’ve never acknowledged why EC3 has a giant brace on his arm. Tyrus missed a big splash on Anderson who made a tag to Spud. Spud took out Tyrus with an enziguiri and the old Dudley Dog which Spud calls the Underdog. Anderson hit a low blow on Tyrus followed by a Mic Check which allowed Spud to get the pin. EC3 bailed before he could get his head shaved. *1/2

They showed clips of MVP turning on Eric Young last year and clips of MVP, King and Lashley costing Eric Young the World title (under the pretence of hyping Lashley vs. MVP later) but all it did was make their story telling seem even more flimsy considering EY and MVP are now pals. Later in the show they actually referenced it with MVP twisting it to manipulate Young. I get they want to make EY seem deranged but it just made him seem extremely stupid.

Taryn Terrell made her way to the ring. Her promos still sound like she’s reading straight from a script. Taryn calls out Awesome Kong but Gail Kim comes out instead. Gail smartly warned Taryn against calling out Kong, Gail does have considerable life experience when it comes to dealing with Kong. Taryn declined Gail’s advice and got laid out by Kong with an Implant Buster. Can’t say she wasn’t warned.

Robbie E and Angelina Love w/ DJ Z and Jessie Godderz vs. Brooke Tessmacher and Chris Melendez: Robbie pushed Brooke off the top and pinned her. Robbie celebrated pinning a woman by doing a cartwheel, which was better than the match. This was a match. The best thing I could say about it is it could’ve been much worse. *

Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe: Aries cut a promo before the match saying he might get involved after the main event (he still has his Feast or Fired World title shot). Samoa Joe interrupted. Joe said with a snap of his fingers he could have trained assassins in the ring beating up Aries. Are these the same assassins that kidnapped Joe five years ago? Aries asked what happened to the Samoa Joe he used to know. A challenge was issued and accepted with a Heat Seeking Missile.

These two had an awesome match at Slammiversary 2012. This was nowhere near as good as that but it never really had a chance to be. Aries started strong but Joe escaped a Brainbuster attempt and took Aries out with a running boot. They exchanged forearms which Aries got the better of but Joe took back over with his Atomic Drop/Boot/Senton combo. Aries escaped a bear hug and low bridged Joe. Aries followed with a top rope axe handle to the floor.

Aries hit a missile dropkick followed by the IED but Joe escaped another Brainbuster attempt. Joe went for a Muscle Buster but Aries escaped hit a couple of roaring forearms and locked on Last Chancery. Naturally there had to be interference as this match was hitting the next gear and Kenny King ran out. King inadvertently hit Joe with Aries’ briefcase, Aries followed with a Crucifix bomb and a 450° Splash for the win. **3/4

The BDC jumped Aries and put him on the table. Low Ki tried to Warriors Way Aries through the table but it didn’t break. Joe thought remarkably quickly on his feet and just hit a big Senton through the table. They stole his briefcase.

Noam Dar vs. Rampage Brown: Noam Dar and Rampage Brown were in the ring. Dar was looking really good (he should be signed), but Bram came out and attacked both. What better way to make your UK reality show seem like a big deal than to have two of the finalists treated like total geeks. And I was much more interested in the potential match than Bram. Bram called out Magnus again but Grado (still with terrible dubbed knock off music (he used the actual song live here too)) came out instead. Bram laid out Grado too and that was that.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship – MVP vs. Bobby Lashley©: MVP was accompanied by the rest of the BDC so you know exactly how this is going to go before it even starts. I think I’m developing a gag reflex to the BDC’s music. Lashley’s strength got the better of the opening exchanges. Brian Stifler ejected Low Ki but not the rest of the BDC. MVP caught Lashley with a big boot and took control. Repeated interference from Joe and King. I hate heel stables.

Double down after a double clothesline. Both men went toe to toe with punches which resulted in Lashley coming back. Lashley hit a spinebuster for a nearfall. King grabbed Lashley’s ankle which allowed MVP to hit a running boot followed an exploder suplex. MVP lined up the Drive By but Lashley moved and the ref got bumped.  Who could have seen that one coming? Young ran out with a chair. Young went for a piledriver but Roode made the save.

Lashley hit a running powerslam but King pulled the referee out. I’m so sick of these kinds of title matches in this company. It didn’t work in 2005 with Jarrett and it still doesn’t work a decade later. They just never learn. Gunner ran off Samoa Joe. MVP hit the Play of the Day but Lashley kicked out by the time second referee Brian Hebner made it to the ring. MVP grabbed a chair (Hebner just randomly abandoned the match in favour of checking on Stifler) but Drew Galloway stopped him from using it. Lashley hit the Spear for the win. The worst part of this is it was clear watching that these two could have a great match if creative just got the hell out of their way. But creative always have to justify their own existence by over-writing things, don’t they? **1/2

Final Thoughts

Show was fine, nothing offensive and a couple of decent matches but absolutely nothing you’ll remember a week from now. Watching this show, it’s abundantly clear that there is loads of talent in this company: Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Bobby Lashley, MVP, Kenny King, Samoa Joe, Low Ki, Austin Aries, James Storm, Manik, Seiya Sanada, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Ken Anderson, EC3, Mark Andrews, Rockstar Spud, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Bram, Magnus, Robbie E, Jessie Godderz, Zema Ion, Kurt Angle, Drew Galloway, Gunner, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Awesome Kong, Mickie James, and Taryn Terrell. All can contribute very productively to this television show to varying degrees in different roles.

But look at that list and ask yourself the question, how many of those are being used to the level of their ability? How many of those people are TNA helping fulfil their potential to the fullest? The answer is very, very few. TNA have to look at the excitement surrounding the likes of Samoa Joe and AJ Styles leaving TNA and ask themselves the very simple question: why weren’t people excited about those guys when they were in TNA?

And the answer is very simple. There was very little to be excited about. Too many guys have wasted years of their prime toiling away in TNA trying to do their best with the hand they were dealt. Trying to drag this company up without any help from those in charge. But they hand they were dealt was terrible and there was a ceiling on how much anybody could achieve. Until this company begins to get out of the way of their hugely talented roster and allow them to actually express themselves in a way that is constructive and actually builds the company up, TNA is going to struggle. Until that day comes (if it ever does), TNA is going to sitting on Destination America constantly staving off death and going nowhere.