Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Tuesday, March 1
Wembley Arena / Barclaycard Arena
London, England / Birmingham, England

Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode

After an early feeling out process both men took each other out with a clothesline. Angle then rattled off some German suplexes. Roode escaped but Angle reeled him back in for another few suplexes. They exchanged finisher attempts before Angle grabbed an Ankle Lock. Angle missed a charge and hit the post, giving Roode an opportunity to lock on a crossface. Angle escaped into another Ankle Lock but Roode rolled smoothly into another crossface. Angle escaped but Roode went straight back to the crossface. Angle rolled out and transitioned neatly into an Angle Slam for two. Roode escaped an Ankle Lock with an enziguri and followed with the Roode Bomb for a near fall. Roode couldn’t quite believe Angle kicked out. Roode tried for another Roode Bomb but Angle floated over into an Ankle Lock and grapevined the leg leaving Roode no choice but to tap out. This was an excellent way to open the show. Angle and Roode always have good matches together and they delivered an extremely smooth, crisp, briskly paced match here. Angle’s win sets him up for his final match in TNA next week vs. Bobby Lashley. ***½

Bobby Roode and James Storm thanked Angle for all he contributed to TNA and for his friendship. Storm and Roode started a beer bash but rather than beer offered Angle some milk! Angle then proceeded to get considerably more milk on his face and chest then he got in his mouth. Angle said he really wanted to see Beer Money vs. The Wolves for the tag titles. The Wolves came out, talked about how Kurt Angle inspired them and issued the challenge. Storm accepted and the match is on for next week. This was an extremely enjoyable opening to the show. A very good match, a nice heartfelt milk filled celebration and then smartly pivoting all that into making a legit tag team dream match feel a little more special. The first thirty minutes of this show were a smart, tidy piece of business.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6xt424ZE3k

Matt Hardy came out with Tyrus and Reby. Tyrus still has a title shot that he earned in October by the way, it would appear he’s playing the long game with that. Matt bragged about beating EC3 last week and then introduced his new pal Rockstar Spud. Spud is now a very mean person and he’s dressing in black to make sure we notice. Spud denounced his home country, calling it a dump, and said they were all jealous him. Spud chastised the English public for jumping on the EC3 bandwagon after what he did to Spud last year. Spud extolled the virtues of Matt Hardy which caused Matt to make a strange face as if somebody were pleasuring him. EC3 came out and cleared the ring before challenging Spud to a fight. Spud tried his darndest to sell the heck out of his turn, but him regressing back toward being somebodies snivelling lackey feels like a major step backwards for him as a character.

No Disqualifications
Abyss w/ Crazy Steve and Rosemary vs. Jimmy Havoc

Jimmy Havoc came out to Johnny Devine’s old music. Havoc went for a suicide dive but Abyss threw a trash can at Havoc’s head. Havoc grated Abyss’ testicles and clobbered him with a trash can. Havoc went up top but Abyss flung a chair at him causing him to fall through a table on the floor. He only caught the corner of the table which didn’t look all that pleasant. Havoc dropkicked Abyss through a table propped in the corner for two. Havoc pulled out a barbed wire board only to be Black Hole Slammed onto it, giving Abyss the win. Your trademark Abyss hardcore match, where you can’t but commend the effort however we’ve seen the same thing many, many times before. **1/4

Gail Kim came to the ring to a strong reaction. She soaked in a few moments of sustained applause before calling out Maria for betraying them last week in Lethal Lockdown. Maria refused to fight and decided to preach instead, talking about how she was on The Apprentice under the “great entertainer” Donald Trump and that she posed for Playboy. The core conflict at play here is a Wrestler vs. Entertainer/Celebrity dispute. Kim eventually chased Maria before Jade attacked Gail. By virtue of scoring the fall over Kim in Lethal Lockdown last week, Jade will get a Knockouts title match next week. They are smartly playing the slow burn toward the Gail Kim/Maria match. They did a good job establishing the central issue between Kim and Maria here while also setting up Kim’s next title match.

TNA King of the Mountain Championship
Big Damo vs. Eric Young©

Bram ran down England for not meeting his minimum standard of toughness and manhood. Damo dominated Young with his size and speed before missing a splash opened the door for Young to hit a neckbreaker. Damo unloaded a series of offense punctuated by a powerbomb and an elbow drop. Damo then scored a nearfall off a flying splash. Young got his knees up on another splash attempt and connected with a Piledriver to score the win. Damo looked really good here; Young was generous enough to give him as much as he did. He’d be welcome back in the future if TNA can get him. **1/4

Mike Bennett vs. Drew Galloway

TNA have kind of booked themselves into a corner with this match. Ideally Galloway shouldn’t lose so soon after beating Angle while Bennett certainly shouldn’t be losing in his first competitive match. It’s kind of a no win match. Galloway dominated the early exchanges including flinging Bennett into the ring post. Bennett swept Galloway’s leg on the apron and took control of the match. Galloway fired up and made a comeback. Bennett hit a cutter for two but Galloway hit a Celtic Cross. Galloway followed with the Claymore and locked on his new submission, which he’s calling the Iron Maiden. Maria moved Bennett’s leg onto the rope which distracted Galloway long enough to allow Bennett to roll him up for the win. Bennett is every modern heel who is a bad pro wrestler and needs to cheat to compensate. That is perhaps the most tired trope in wrestling. This was a solid effort that wasn’t designed to be anything else. ***

Unsanctioned Fight
Ethan Carter III vs. Rockstar Spud

EC3 trapped Matt Hardy and Tyrus in a truck before the match. EC3 battered Spud including a TKO, a Press Slam on the floor, and a powerbomb through a table. Spud got a few hopes spots in but nothing substantial. EC3 choked out Spud with a Million Dollar Dream before referees and security separated them. As usual with TNA it feels way too early for EC3 to be getting conclusive revenge on Spud. Spud only betrayed EC3 last week and the feud has essentially already been blown off. Otherwise, this was a fun brawl. As much as I don’t like his turn, Spud is such a versatile performer that he’s also excellent as a cowardly, spineless heel. Spud is just great in general really.

Final Thoughts: This was a really solid show with a tremendous first half hour. Next week’s show looks excellent on paper with Angle vs. Lashley, The Wolves vs. Beer Money, Jade vs. Gail Kim, and Young vs. Havoc vs. Damo vs. Will Ospreay vs. Bram in a King of the Mountain match.