Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Friday, May 29
Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
TNA Knockouts Championship – Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell© – Six Sides of Steel: Eric Young and Kurt Angle brawled a little before this match. Al Snow joined Josh Mathews on commentary. He was fine. This is a cage match; they did absolutely nothing to build up to it though. Gail hit a high cross for two and then looked to climb the cage but Marti and Jade interfered. Taryn then hit the Taryn Cutter for the win. Not even in the same universe as their great 2013 Last Women Standing and Ladder matches. *1/2
The Dollhouse locked themselves inside the cage with Kim. Awesome Kong came out and failed to get into the cage. They then proceeded to beat on Kim. Taryn then tried to break Kim’s hand and stole her wedding ring. They then cut to break. Cutting to break was kind of an easy way out here. What happened next? Did Kong eventually just leave? Because by the time we came back the cage and the ladies were all gone.
Mickie James came to the ring. Mickie recapped the friction between herself, Storm and the love of her life Magnus before Storm interrupted. Mickie apologised for what happened a couple of weeks ago with Magnus and a guitar. Storm continued to stir the pot and paint Magnus as a jealous jerk. Storm said he arranged some meetings for Mickie James with some music industry heavies. Mickie said she would meet with them. James Storm is so good, he is transparently manipulating Mickie James but his delivery is such that you can’t blame Mickie for believing him, while at the same time you can’t blame Magnus for being upset about it.
X-Division Championship – Manik vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Zema Ion vs. Tigre Uno vs. Argos vs. Crazy Steve vs. Mark Andrews vs. Kenny King© – Gauntlet Match: Entries are every 90 seconds, eliminations are over the top and King will enter last as a champions advantage. Spud and Manik started. Zema Ion was next. Spud and Ion double teamed Manik. Mark Andrews was next. Mark Andrews is really good, I’d build the division around him. Entrant number five was Argos. Argos hit the back of his head off the mat while doing a huracanrana and seemed to be knocked loopy. Manik flung Andrews into the ring post for the first elimination. Crazy Steve was the next entrant.
Back from break and Tigre Uno was immediately eliminated (he only entered during the break). Kenny King rounded out the field. King, as the fresh man, laid out everybody. King eliminated Steve with a superkick and then eliminated Argos, who had a much better showing last week than he did here. King hit Spud with the Royal Flush. Ion hit the Hostile Makeover but was eliminated soon after by King. King and Manik teamed up to try and throw out Spud but they quickly betrayed each other and Manik was eliminated. Pinfall or submission now decides the winner between the final two – Spud or King.
Spud countered the Royal Flush into a cradle to win the title. Last week’s elimination match was better than this. What was even the point of having Spud lose the title if he was only going to win it back straight away? Why not spend that same time trying to give him some credibility instead considering Destination X is coming up? The eight guys in this match would make for a really solid division if it had a more clear focus and direction. As it is its just guys thrown out there without much rhyme or reason. **1/2
Best of 5 Series – The Wolves vs. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode – TNA World Tag Team Titles – Match 2: Aries hit the Heat Seeking Missile before the match even started. Aries and Roode are a tremendous team. They have lovely chemistry together. Loads of double teams in this one. Aries in particular looked invigorated having something more substantial to work with. Aries and Roode hit their tag team finisher (a corner dropkick/spinebuster/450 combo) on Edward but Richards broke up the pin. Aries had Edwards in the Last Chancery but Richards broke it up with a top rope footstomp. The Wolves finished off Aries with a Powerbomb/backstabber combo to go 2-0 up. This was LOADS of fun. Fast paced, frenetic and action packed, make sure you watch this match. ****
Stuff like this should be what Impact is every week. Wrestled with an intensity and sense of urgency that this show sorely lacks week to week. This felt like it mattered. This felt like something that made this show worth watching. This is the kind of match that will actually get people saying “Hey, you should watch Impact for this”, not some five minute rushed match that serves no real purpose in the long run. This show needs to swing for the fences every single week. You won’t always hit a home run, but you’d produce a damn fun show trying.
Velvet Sky was standing in the front row. Angelina Love came out with security and rambled for a while. Sky jumped the rail and attacked Love as well as security. Security eventually dragged Sky away. I could do without all the shouting Beautiful People segments bring.
Mr Anderson vs. Ethan Carter III – Tyrus in a Cage Match: Tyrus is supposed to be locked in a cage at ringside but he refused so Anderson eventually forcibly locked him in it. I hate the way they’ve spent months presenting EC3 as a geek who needs Tyrus’ help to win. EC3 hit a Stinger Splash but Anderson countered a One Percenter attempt into a Green Bay Plunge followed by the Kenton Bomb but EC3 kicked out. Anderson hit the Mic Check but EC3 kicked out again. EC3 reversed a Mic Check into the One Percenter for the win. These two could have a great match if they got more time and were without the distractions. This became a really good little match once it stopped being about locking Tyrus in a cage and better late than never when it comes to trying to give EC3 some real in ring credibility. Anderson offered EC3 his hand after the match but EC3 slapped it away. **1/2
TNA World Heavyweight Championship – Eric Young vs. Kurt Angle© – I Quit Match: They brawled early. They exchanged punches with Young getting the better of it by raking Angle’s eyes but Angle unloaded with five German’s. Young refused to quit so Angle hit him with another five suplexes. I do quite like the idea of Angle trying to suplex Young into oblivion until he quits. Young hit Angle with his shin guard and locked on a Figure Four. Angle reversed the pressure. Young locked on an Ankle Lock but Angle refused to submit. Angle Figure Foured his way out of the Ankle Lock but Young escaped.
Young missed a missile dropkick and Angle locked on the Ankle Lock. Young tapped out and Angle instinctively released the hold before realising Young never said I Quit. Young hit a low blow and followed with a Piledriver. Angle didn’t quit so Young threatened to break his neck. Young went for another Piledriver but Angle reversed into an Ankle Lock and grapevined the leg until Young said “I Quit”. This wasn’t as bad as the Cena/Rusev match in terms of obtrusive referees but there’s usually a ceiling on how good I Quit matches and this was no exception. **1/2
Final Thoughts: Aries and Roode vs. The Wolves was an example of what everything on this show should be striving to be every single week – trying to produce something memorable. Pretty much everything else on this show was what Impact is actually like every week – devoid of energy, unfocused, nothing you’ll remember in a week’s time and with a sense that it all doesn’t really matter. Impact needs to be more like the former than the latter. Next week Impact moves to Wednesday with Ring of Honor as its lead in so you get two new Impact’s in less than a week. The show will feature match three in the Best of 5 Series.