Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, May 8th
Soundstage 20
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL

The show opened with Eric Young demanding to know who the special referee for the main event is. Bully Ray came out. So much for that Rumble appearance turning into something more. Shame as Bully would’ve had a lot to offer WWE. Josh Mathews is flying solo again, so it looks like Snow was a one show deal. Bully soaked in some “Welcome Back” chants and asked Eric Young if he knows who he is. While I’m not sure why the main event needs a guest referee, Bully will be that referee.

Mr Anderson vs. Ethan Carter III – Falls Count Anywhere: Falls Count Anywhere beat an Arm Wrestling Match 85%-15%. Anderson dumped Tyrus to the floor in slow motion. Anderson then Mic Checked Tyrus into the ring post. Anderson is in better shape than he’s been in in a while. EC3 backdropped Anderson onto the ramp for two. Anderson hit a Green Bay Plunge into a bunch of chairs for a nearfall. Tyrus came back in and beat up Anderson. EC3 then pinned Anderson. A short, relatively tame brawl. As usual it felt extremely rushed. *1/4

MVP vs. Drew Galloway: MVP did a promo before the match mentioning Homicide isn’t here because he needs shoulder surgery. MVP also talked about how thug is the new way of saying the “n” word. Okey dokey. Drew came out and they did the whole Rising loves wrestling, BDC loves money thing for a while before they finally started wrestling. I feel like the leaders of the two big groups wrestling each other should feel like a bigger deal. In fact they haven’t done a good job at all when it comes to presenting Drew as a big deal.

MVP swung Galloway into the guardrail. MVP went for the Play of the Day but Drew countered neatly into the Future Shock for the win. This never had a chance to get going. Eric Young ran out and laid out The Rising with a chair. God forbid we have a chance to let Drew’s win settle in for even a moment. *1/4

Storm came to the ring with a giant box. Storm welcomed Mickie James to the ring. Storm wanted to celebrate Mickie’s music so he got her a gift. It was a fancy custom guitar.  Storm sang a little Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, which when you think about this angle is a really clever song to sing, and they posed for a picture together. Magnus came out and Storm had a gift for him too. It was the old Brutus Magnus Gladiator helmet. Magnus was not best pleased, and Storm offered a gift for Magnus son too which prompted Magnus to takes inspiration from Jeff Jarrett and hit Storm with the custom guitar. What a waste of a lovely guitar. Mickie wasn’t happy about that. Storm was smirking afterwards. The character dynamics here are still tremendous.

The Dollhouse (Taryn Terrell, Marti Bell and Jade) vs. Awesome Kong and Gail Kim: They’ve really got to get Josh Mathews a regular partner because during lulls he tends to speak entirely in sound bites to fill the space and it sounds forced. He needs somebody to play off. Get Tenay or JB in there with him. Dollhouse got the heat on Kim before Kong got the hot tag. Kong hit Jade with an Implant Buster but Taryn rolled up Gail for the win. Marti Bell ate an Eat Defeat and Implant Buster after the match. Again too short to really make Gail and Kong teaming together feel special. More than most things TNA are really bad at making things feel special. *3/4

Matt Hardy came to the ring alone with both tag titles. They showed video of Jeff’s bike crash. The Hardys vacated the tag titles. Aries and Roode came out to new mash up music (essentially Aries’ music with Roode’s lyrics). Aries and Roode declared their intention to chase the titles. Davey Richards came out. He declared his intention to challenge for the titles and introduced a healthy Eddie Edwards 36 days after vacating the belts to be his partner. The Wolves and Aries and Roode agreed to a Best of 5 series to determine the new champions. That’s going to be great if those matches get time.  Here’s a booking idea for free TNA, when Jeff is healthy take The Hardys, The Wolves and Aries and Roode and book them Smackdown Six style. Pair them off in singles and tags and let that carry six months of Impact. We’d all be better off.

Angelina Love was in the ring talking about herself. Angelina called herself the greatest Knockout ever before Velvet Sky came through the crowd. I suppose Velvet and Bully come as a package deal these days. Velvet wasn’t happy with Angelina. Angelina rambled for a while before Velvet speared Angelina and beat her up. Velvet is back and we have more Beautiful People drama again. Yay… I hope Winter comes back and hypnotises one of them again.

TNA World heavyweight Championship – Eric Young vs. Kurt Angle© – Guest Referee: Bully Ray: Too often in this company do World title matches never feel special. I suppose that’s what you get when they announce the match on Monday and then do it on Friday. No time to build anticipation. No time to make it feel important. EY went up top but Angle followed him in and hit a big Belly to Belly from the top. That’s the best Angle has timed that in a while. The match spilled out to the floor and EY dropped Angle with a clothesline. The Beatdown Clan (BDC) came out on the ramp because of course a World title match needs interference. Because of course the wrestlers in the ring aren’t capable of producing something noteworthy, they need special referees and STORIEZ to help them.

The idea is the BDC are returning the favour to Young after earlier in the night (you know, when Young ran out to hit The Rising with chairs after MVP had lost). They exchanged punches for a while before Angle got the better of it and unloaded five German Suplexes. Young floated out of an Angle Slam but Angle rolled into an Ankle Lock. Young rolled through and Angle fell out to the floor. Young hit a low blow on Bully. The BDC attacked Angle but Chris Melendez appeared for the first time in months to help Angle. The Rising helped even the numbers and everybody brawled to the back.

Young looked to Piledrive Bully for reasons I don’t really understand (The Rising and the BDC were all gone at this stage, why was he still going after Bully?), but Angle hit a bad looking Angle Slam for two (Young didn’t go up properly). Young escaped another Angle Slam but countered into a Piledriver but Angle kicked out. Young went up top and went for a Crossbody but Angle rolled into an Ankle Lock for the submission win. **1/2

Final Thoughts: A bunch of short inconsequential matches on the undercard and a decent main event with needless interference. The Storm/Magnus/Mickie story is the only thing that was any good. Impact with the influence of Billy Corgan didn’t feel all that different from Impact a lot of weeks. This was worse than a lot of recent Impacts though. “Live” seems to bring out some of TNA’s worst instincts. Wrestlers still aren’t being put in positions to succeed.  I was asked once to describe TNA in one word, I said incorrigible. Sadly no matter who is in creative that may always be the case.