Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, May 15
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
Mike Tenay joined Josh Mathews on commentary this week. Yay! Angle and Chris Melendez came to the ring. The main event is Team Angle vs. Team Young in a five on five Hardcore War. Angle’s team will be himself, Melendez, and The Rising. Young’s team will be himself and the Beatdown Clan (BDC). Galloway said he’s proud to team with Angle but a day will come where they face for the World title and he will win. Young came out and rambled for a while. Young and Angle agreed to a future I Quit match. Everybody brawled until Bobby Lashley returned and Speared Young after the BDC bailed. Lashley will be on Team Angle, kicking poor Eli Drake off the team.
This is another case of TNA being unable to make something seem special. Instead of spending a couple of weeks hyping the Hardcore War, picking the teams, deciding the man advantage and actually trying to get it over they decide to rush it all into one show. Nothing on this show ever feels special.
The Dollhouse (Marti Bell and Jade) vs. Brooke and Rebel: The Dollhouse have new music again (Doll Parts by Hole which I assume comes through some Billy Corgan connection). It creates a unique atmosphere anyway. Mathews mentioned that The Menagerie went back to circus life so it looks like that act is officially done (even if Rebel and Crazy Steve are still around). Dollhouse worked over Rebel before she made the tag to Brooke. Brooke countered a Powerbomb into a facebuster but Rebel missed Hemme’s old Flying Firecrotch Guillotine. Jade and Marti hit a kind of double Chokeslam for the win. *1/4
EC3 came to the ring and gave about him not being number 1 contender after his victory over Anderson last week. Mathews was agreeing with EC3 on commentary which prompted Tenay to remind Mathews that he referred to EC3’s win last week as hollow. Anderson came out and suggested that if he wrestle Tyrus and win then he’ll get another match with EC3. EC3 declined but Anderson goaded Tyrus into accepting.
Mr Anderson vs. Tyrus: Tyrus dominated for a while, EC3 tried to interfere which allowed Anderson to hit a Mic Check for the win. For some reason Josh gave out about EC3 being ejected from ringside after trying to interfere with a chair. This wasn’t very good. *
Magnus came to the ring and said he didn’t regret hitting Storm with a guitar. Magnus called out Storm but got Abyss instead. Magnus and Abyss brawled for a while before Khoya and Manik helped Abyss beat down Magnus. Storm gave out to his goons later in the show for attacking Magnus. So The Revolution attacked Magnus and Storm is claiming he had nothing to do with it.
TNA World Tag Team Championship Best of 5 Series – The Wolves vs. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode – Match One: The first to three becomes the new tag team champions. Mike Tenay was awesome during this match running down stats about how often the winners of match one in series’ in different sports go on to win the series (according to Tenay across the NBA, MLB and NHL the winners of match one go on to win the series 65% of the time, in the World Series 16 of the last 18 match one winners have gone on to win the series). What a smart way to try and get over the importance of this match. He also talked about how Roode may have an advantage because of what he learned from the tremendous 2010 Beer Money/Motor City Machine Guns series. I missed Tenay so much.
The Wolves unloaded a bunch of double team moves early. Edwards doesn’t look to be hindered by his injury at all. Aries and Roode took over and worked over Edwards for a while. Richards got the hot tag and ran wild, having a really fun exchange with Aries. Aries got hit with the Alarm Clock but Roode pulled The Wolves out to the floor allowing Aries to hit them with the Heat Seeking Missile. Aries hit the corner dropkick but Richards countered a spinebuster into a roll up to gain the first victory. This was good but not great. A little on the short side but it left me wanting more and gave them plenty to build on in the future. I suppose that’s exactly what match one in a best of five should do. ***
The Dollhouse came to the ring. Taryn talked more about wanting to be more than Gail Kim. She showed pictures of her with Gail Kim’s stepdaughters (which feels a little too similar to what Storm is doing at the moment). Taryn is trying her best and is doing something a little different with her character (veering into crazy territory now and again) but it still feels like she’s reading from a script. She needs to work on sounding more natural. Her character of being driven by an inferiority complex when it comes to living in Gail Kim’s fairly considerable shadow is actually a pretty good one. Taryn did a little striptease before Gail came out upset over Taryn involving Gail’s family. Gail brawled with The Dollhouse before they eventually bailed.
Robbie E vs. Jessie Godderz: I’m not a fan of breaking these two up but I like both of them so hopefully they can make the most of their programme together. Robbie pinned Jessie with a cradle nearly instantly. Jessie demanded a rematch and Robbie agreed. N/A
Robbie E vs. Jessie Godderz: Robbie pinned Jessie instantly again. Jessie asked for another match and Robbie agreed again. N/A
Robbie E vs. Jessie Godderz: Slightly longer match this time but Robbie won again. Jessie, embarrassed over three consecutive defeats, snapped and attacked Robbie. So Jessie is going heel in this breakup. Jessie Press Slammed Robbie out to the floor. Jessie stuck a chair over Robbie’s head and drove him into the ringpost. In terms of the split these two are cast right, Godderz is a better heel and I think Robbie has potential as a face if he can tweak his character a little to make it work. N/A
Let’s play a game of how often have TNA done this three quick matches in a row angle. First was on the January 7th, 2006 Impact when Ron Killings beat Bobby Roode really fast twice but at least Roode beat Killings the third time then (after interference from Scott D’Amore), second was on the July 24th, 2008 Impact when Taylor Wilde beat Velvet Sky the same way as on this show, third was at Turning Point 2011 when Jeff Hardy beat Jeff Jarrett the same way, and we had a fourth instance on the August 19th, 2013 Impact when Eric Young and Joseph Park beat Robbie E is a similar fashion (that one didn’t have a third match though). Fair enough there aren’t many weirdos like me who will see this and go “Hey remember all the other times TNA have done this same thing?” but still it’s an oddly specific angle to repeat.
Hardcore War – Kurt Angle, Chris Melendez, Mica, Drew Galloway and Bobby Lashley vs. MVP, Eric Young, Bram, Low Ki and Kenny King: Low Ki and Galloway start as this will be worked Lethal Lockdown style with a new man entering every 90 seconds with each man allowed to bring a weapon of their choosing. Pinfalls are only legal after every man has entered. Team Young won the coin toss and will have the man advantage. Both Low Ki and Galloway brought pipes to the ring. They dueled for a while with the pipes. Kenny King was out next armed with a golf club. They double teamed Drew for a bit before Mica evened the numbers with a baton. Next was Young with a trashcan lid. Drew German’ed Young, who had Mica in a Superplex, off the top into King and Low Ki. Angle was out next and ran wild with Germans.
MVP and Melendez entered during the break. Bram followed next with a Kendo stick. Lashley was the final man out and he didn’t bring a weapon because I suppose he feels he is enough of a weapon himself. Lashley Speared Young, Powerslammed King, turned a Play of the Day attempt into a Spear on MVP but got hit with a Kendo stick by Bram who followed with the Brighter Side of Suffering. Mica hit Bram with the Big Ending but turned into a Blockbuster by King who then walked into a kick by Galloway. Gallpway then took everybody out with a flip dive to the floor. Angle climbed to the top and hit a Crossbody on everybody on the floor.
This left Young and Melendez in the ring. Melendez got a nearfall off a big boot but Young put an end to proceedings with a Piledriver on Melendez. Once everybody entered this became a lot of fun. Before that it was a little dry. **1/2
Young pulled off Melendez’ leg after the match and attacked Kurt Angle with it. Young choked Angle with the leg as the show went off the air. I have no real problem with them using the leg. Let’s face it, this is Pro Wrestling. If somebody has a prosthetic leg at some stage a heel is going to use it to get heat (and the announcers treated it as they should have, being outraged). But I think it’s a bit of a waste to have Young be the guy to do it, especially only a couple weeks before he’ll be cycled out of the World title picture. I suppose it does at least set up Melendez as Young’s next feud.
Final Thoughts: Just a show really. Wolves/Aries and Roode was good, the end of the main event was good fun but the rest largely felt insubstantial. Tenay was really good on commentary and proves my long standing hypothesis that Taz sucked all the life out of him with how awful he was. Tenay and Mathews would make for a strong team going forward. There’s no Impact in the US next week, instead a replay of the quite good 2014 Slammiversary show.