Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, March 13th
Wembley Arena – London, England

Last Man Standing – Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode: The show opened with a match. A long match at that. Huzzah! They immediately exchanged punches. Roode got the better of it and started bouncing Young around the ring. Roode dropkicked Young off the apron and the match spilled out to the floor. Roode suplexed Young on the ramp and hit a huge running clothesline. Good early intensity to this match and the crowd are hot. Roode pulled a table from under the ring and set it up on the floor.

Young hit a neckbreaker and finally took control. Young dropped a few forearms on Roode neck and hit a neckbreaker on the floor, working over the neck to set up the Piledriver. Young missed a clothesline and Roode battled back but EY reversed a whip into the steel steps. The crowd rallied behind Roode. Young looked to Piledrive Roode on the steps but Roode backdropped him to the floor. Both men reached their feet at nine and grabbed chairs. Both swung and the chairs collided. Double clothesline took both guys down but they both crawled into the ring at nine.

Roode fired up and they exchanged punches. Roode was just beginning to get rolling but EY cut him off with a Piledriver. Roode barely beat the count. Young grabbed a chair and hit Roode in the guts and back with it. Roode fought back and hit a Piledriver on the chair but EY made it up at nine. EY pulled Roode onto the ring apron and looked to Piledrive Roode through the table on the floor but Roode countered into a Roode Bomb through the table and EY couldn’t answer the count of ten. This was Young’s strongest performance since he turned (it helps that these guys got plenty of time in front of a great crowd) and this was the best opening to Impact in forever. ****

Drew Galloway vs. MVP: Drew made a regular entrance then went into the crowd to do a promo. Drew did another voice of the voiceless promo talking about wanting to take back wrestling. The Beatdown Clan (BDC) made their way to the ring. MVP is angry because Drew has crossed the BDC. MVP controlled early. MVP missed a boot and Galloway made a comeback. Galloway hit a flying boot, nipped up and looked for the Future Shock. The BDC ran out and beat the hell out of Drew. Low Ki hit him with a pipe. Galloway was bleeding, which considering the main event they should have held off on here. Especially considering it didn’t really add anything. *

Bram vs. Magnus: They began brawling in the aisle. I’m pretty sure for some reason they couldn’t get Taz and Mathews together to do commentary this week and instead had them do commentary separately and edited it together. They never really interacted with each other and Taz speaks exclusively in soundbites. Why not get JB or Tenay to do it if Taz couldn’t? Story is Magnus wasn’t entirely cleared to return and shouldn’t have returned so soon. So Bram repeatedly got the better of him. Magnus hit a missile dropkick and Mickie James ran out to ringside. Magnus showed really good fire for him comeback. He hit the top rope elbow and went for the Spineshaker but Bram hit a low blow for the DQ. **

Bram hit Magnus with a chair and pulled a cue ball (the weapon he took Magnus out with in the first place) from under the ring. He cuffed Magnus to the ropes but Mickie got between Bram and Magnus. Bram grabbed Magnus by the hair but Mickie slapped him. This made Bram angry. He said he’d only let Mickie go if Magnus kissed Bram’s boot. Magnus agonised but he did it. Bram called him pathetic and left. The boot kissing thing was a little goofy but all three were good here.

Brooke Tessmacher vs. Robbie E w/ DJ Z, Jessie Godderz and Angelina Love:  This is clearly the intergender match people have been waiting for. It’ll be amazing. Get it? Because of The Amazing Race. I got jokes. Yes, I’m distracting myself. Robbie hit a suplex but missed a forearm out of the corner. Brooke took out Angelina with a crossbody to the floor and Jessie missed a dropkick and hit Robbie by accident to give Brooke the win. This was harmless enough, I suppose.

They did videos package on Angle/Lashley next week. It was good but I’d have preferred four week’s worth of this stuff rather than rushing into the match. This is the biggest match TNA have and very easy to build, they could have gotten much more out of it.

Hair vs. Hair – Rockstar Spud vs. Ethan Carter III: Spud sang God Save the Queen before the match. Josh Mathews finally acknowledged EC3’s arm brace (saying EC3 won’t tell them why he needs it)! Crowd are firmly behind Spud. Spud takes it to EC3 to start. Spud stomped a mudhole in EC3 and bounced him around ringside. Spud knocked EC3 into the barber’s chair and hit a dropkick. EC3 dropped Spud with a Discus Clothesline.

EC3 missed a charge and Spud dumped him out to the floor. Spud hit a big flip dive off the top to the floor. EC3 distracted the referee and Tyrus came out and powerbombed Spud on the floor. Tyrus rolled Spud back in the ring and EC3 covered Spud but Spud kicked out to a big reaction. Ken Anderson ran out and hit a Mic Check on Anderson on the floor. EC3 clubbed Spud with his arm brace and Spud came up bleeding heavily.

EC3 bounced Spud’s head off the turnbuckles and started attacking the wound. Spud is bleeding a lot. EC3 hit a Stinger Splash. EC3 threw Spud to the floor in front of Jeremy Borash and shouted “Look at what you’ve done” to him. JB got in the ring hit a low blow, Spud hit a Stunner but EC3 kicked out for a great near fall. Any close up on Spud was changed to black and white because he was bleeding so heavily. Destination America is fine with showing ghosts and monsters but a little blood spooks them (well, a lot of blood I suppose).

EC3 hit a TKO and drove Spud’s face into the mat repeatedly. Spud began to Hulk up as the crowd went nuts for him. Spud removed his bowtie and unloaded on EC3. Spud hit a Shining Wizard followed by punches and a crotch claw. Spud hit a Pele and looked to go for the kill with the Underdog but EC3 hit him with the brace again but Spud kicked out. Spud slowly crawled up EC3 but EC3 hit the 1 Percenter for the win. ****1/4

This was the perfect conclusion to their feud. There would’ve been a certain poetic justice to Spud being the one to beat EC3 but it’s better that he didn’t because the people in the building so desperately wanted Spud to beat EC3. Spud, as the underdog babyface battling from underneath despite gushing bleeding, was incredible. EC3 as the bully heel was awesome. Even the interference was fine. This was pitch perfect.  At the end of the year when you’re thinking about feud of the year, please don’t forget EC3/Spud.

EC3 did a babyface promo putting over Spud’s heart and resilience and saying Spud proved he was a man. EC3 said he wouldn’t shave Spud’s head but it was a swerve. After he gave his heartfelt promo he shouted “Not!” in the most petulant way possible. EC3 hung Spud in the corner and shaved Spud’s head. EC3 said everybody should take notice because the ring, the company and the industry is his now. Who am I to disagree?

Final Thoughts: For the first time on Destination America TNA put their wrestlers in a true position to excel. And for the first time they made really effective use of the boisterous UK crowds. EC3/Spud and Roode/Young were the two best TNA matches this year and both were on this show. Neither was overly laden with needless interference. Neither was short on time. Neither was loaded with goofy story elements or held back in any way. Both were simply the wrestlers in question put in front of a great crowd and told to leave it all out there.

TNA are capable of great things, but too often do they restrict their wrestlers in a way they didn’t on this show. If TNA cut their roster loose every week in the same way they did Young and Roode, and particularly EC3 and Spud here they’d be much better off for it. The opening and closing match on this show should be TNA’s template for their whole show going forward. Plus we have Angle vs. Lashley next week!