Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, April 3rd
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode – Submission Match: All matches had really neat, hand drawn graphics done by Samuel Shaw. Nice to see them doing something creative and different with that kind of stuff. They brawled around ringside early. Roode locked a Crossface in on the ramp but Brian Hebner let him know that he has to score the submission in the ring. Roode tweaked his knee doing a floatover. EY locked on a legbar, and focused his offense on Roode’s knee.
Roode looked for a Boston Crab but Young escaped. Young charged at Roode but Roode reversed into a Crossface. Young reached the ropes but Roode locked on a Boston Crab. Young reached the ropes again. Young dumped Roode out to the floor and drove Roode’s knee into the steel steps. Roode fired back with chops and punches but his knee gave out on him when he was whipped to the ropes. Young locked on the Figure Four (which he beat Aries with last week) but Roode managed to turn EY and reverse the pressure.
EY went for another Figure Four but EY kicked him off into the ref. Roode got EY in the Crossface and EY tapped but the ref was down. Roode revived the referee but turned into a leg lariat and EY locked on the Figure Four. Roode eventually tapped giving Young the submission win. Good match, not as good as last time (which was probably the best match these two have ever had together) but they did a good job working the submission stip. and gave Roode an out for the loss. ***1/4
The Wolves made their way to the ring. Eddie Edwards was on crutches. The poor Wolves are cursed when it comes to the TNA tag titles. Last time Davey broke his leg, this time Eddie broke his heel. They showed footage of Edwards being injured, including the x-ray of his fractured heel. Edwards said that due to his injury The Wolves can’t defend their titles and that rather than Richards choosing another partner to defend the belt they would rather vacate the titles. They vowed to come back and reclaim the titles when Eddie is healthy. Shame they have to vacate the titles because they’re easily the best team to hang the division on but both guys were really good here.
Angelina Love vs. Gail Kim: Angelina did a promo before the match about wanting to prove she’s just as good as Gail is. Gail looked for an armbar but Angelina countered into a sidewalk slam. Angelina hit a draping reverse DDT out of the corner. Angelina looked to dominate on the floor but Gail hit a Russian legsweep into the apron. They exchanged forearms in the ring which Gail got the better of and Gail hit a big missile dropkick for two.
Gail looked for a rana but Angelina dropped her with a Powerbomb. Angelina hit the Botox Injection but Gail got her foot on the bottom rope. Angelina looked for a second Botox Injection, Gail ducked and hit Eat Defeat for the win. **3/4
Bram vs. Magnus – Falls Count Anywhere: Fun fact: The first note of Magnus’ entrance music is the same as Trytan’s was (the music was reused for The British Invasion). Trytan is one of the many awful relics of TNA’s past. Good intensity to start as they went punch for punch before Magnus took over. Bram looked to Powerbomb Magnus on the ramp (as revenge for a couple of weeks ago) but Magnus reversed with a backdrop.
Magnus looked for a Powerbomb of his own but Bram hit a low blow. Bram hit a scoop slam on the ramp. Bram dragged Magnus back the ring but Magnus hit a missile dropkick. Bram shut Magnus down with a spinning wheel kick. Bram dragged Magnus face first into the steps. Magnus hit a tornado DDT as Mickie James ran out to the ring to cheer on Magnus. Magnus was upset that Mickie was at ringside which gave Bram a chance to hit Magnus with a chair.
Bram placed the chair around Magnus’ neck and drove him into the ringpost twice. Bram laid Magnus across the steps and looked to hit him with a chair but Bram got sidetracked shouting at Mickie. James Storm ran to the ring to stop Bram from attacking Mickie. Magnus hit a lariat to the back of the head and followed with the Spineshaker but Bram kicked out at two. Bram hit Magnus with a chair but Magnus kicked out. Bram hit the Brighter Side of Suffering onto a chair but Magnus kicked out. The crowd rallied behind Magnus. Magnus fought back, hit two straight Powerbombs and then the Spineshaker again for the win. Once the Mickie/Storm/Bram stuff played out, this got really good. Strong intensity and it looks like Magnus moves onto Storm next. ***1/2
TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Bobby Lashley vs. Kurt Angle©: Before the match they did a really good video package on the first Angle/Lashley match and Angle’s promo last week. Also they did the same cool walk-ups as they did last time. Along with the formal introductions that kind of stuff does a great job of setting the scene. Like the first match Lashley got the better of the opening exchanges, overpowering Angle. Angle hit a Belly to Belly and a German and clotheslined Lashley out to the floor. Lashley pulled Angle out to the floor and dropped him with a clothesline.
Lashley locked Angle in a bearhug but Angle escaped and ran straight into a Lashley knee. Taz was analysing Lashley’s grip during the bearhug and a waistlock, which was way more interesting than his usual goofiness. Taz can be a damn good announcer when he wants to be. Angle fought out but again ran straight into a boot. Lashley hit a snap suplex for two. Lashley charged but Angle dumped him over the top to the floor.
Lashley climbed back in and they exchanged punches. Angle ducked a big punch and hit a German but Lashley escaped before Angle could hit another, and connected with a Spinebuster for two. Lashley again missed a punch and Angle hit another two German’s. Lashley dodged a charge with a reverse leapfrog and hit a big running powerslam for two. Angle hit a Belly to Belly and Angle finally hit his three rolling German’s. Angle hit the Angle Slam but Lashley kicked out at two. Angle pulled the straps down and locked on the Ankle Lock.
Lashley rolled through to escape. Lashley dropped Angle rib first on the guardrail and took Angle out with a clothesline. Lashley hit a fifteen second delayed vertical suplex and hit a huge Spear but Angle kicked out. Lashley went up top but Angle cut him off. They brawled up top for a while but Angle hit an Angle Slam from the top for two. Angle looked for a Moonsault but ate only mat. Lashley locked on an Ankle Lock. Angle rolled through and caught a roll up for the win. Lashley was upset because he felt his shoulder was up (it was), so Lashley has a gripe which should set up the third match down the line. This didn’t have the same atmosphere as the last match but I really liked this, I thought they worked a better match than last time which helped make up for the poorer crowd (not that there was anything wrong with this crowd, they were perfectly fine just not as hot as the Wembley crowd was). ****
Final Thoughts: This was easily the best-paced Impact in as long as I can remember (a show from 2005, one from 2013 and a handful from 2012 spring to mind but other than that this was among the best paced shows in Impact history). Composed of five main segments and little else. No filler, everything felt of consequence and everything got exactly as much time as it needed to develop. Nothing was rushed. In terms of a format going forward this should be exactly what TNA should be seeking to replicate. It had a level of focus and discipline that this show normally lacks. It doesn’t always need to be four matches and one promo like it was on this show, just the same pace. Letting everything take it’s time. Very good show, very easy to watch.