Date: October 1, 2014
Location: Sands Bethlehem Events Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're closing in on....whatever TNA builds to anymore. The main stories at the moment are the Wolves choosing the stipulations for the final match in the Tag Team Title series and Austin Aries having a match against any champion he chooses. In theory he'll pick the World Title but stranger things have happened in wrestling. Let's get to it.
We open with a video on Roode vs. Lashley from a few weeks back where Lashley retained the belt.
Roode arrived earlier today and says he didn't get the job done. It's been a hard fourteen days but he's back tonight.
Here's Austin Aries to open things up. He's going to get right to the chase and challenge his champion for a title match tonight. As soon as he won he knew who he wanted to face, but let's make this interactive. Aries polls the fans on his potential opponent. They're not wild on him facing Gail Kim, a bit better on the idea him facing the Wolves, about the same on Samoa Joe.....and we don't get the last option as Joe cuts him off.
Joe says if Aries is going to fight anyone tonight, it's going to be him. Aries isn't sure what to think about this so he runs down his resume. He thinks the fans are interested in seeing Aries vs. Joe and that's cool because the X-Division is everything that's right about wrestling. It's about the abilities inside these ropes, so let's do it.
X-Division Title: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries
Feeling out process to start as the lights are overly dim, likely hiding the empty seats. Joe takes him to the mat to start but Aries pops up for a slugout. Joe growls at him and runs Aries over with an elbow. The champ sends him into the buckle and nails the enziguri before setting Aries on the top rope. The MuscleBuster is countered with a back rake but Aries misses the middle rope dropkick. Aries comes back with a forearm to the back of the head and a slingshot hilo for two as we take an early break.
Back with Aries' suicide dive being blocked by a kick to the head. Joe drives knees into the head and snaps off a powerslam for two. The standing choke has Aries in trouble but he fighs out with a jawbreaker for two more. There's the Last Chancery for a few seconds before Aries tries the Brainbuster.
Joe is just too fat though so Aries nails him with a discus forearm. Another brainbuster attempt is countered by a boot to the chest to send Aries outside, but he slides back in for a quick suicide dive to take Joe down. Back in and Aries hits a missile dropkick and the running corner dropkick to set up a bad brainbuster for two. He tries another Last Chancery but Joe counters into the Clutch for the submission at 15:23.
Rating: B. Good hard hitting match here with a good wrestling move for the ending. Aries seems to have wasted his title shot but at least we got a good match out of it. Joe is beating a lot of guys and has become a strong X-Division Champion, but there really isn't anywhere for him to go, which is the problem with the lack of a division.
Spud talks to EC3 in the back and says they haven't hung out in weeks despite being best friends. EC3 says Spud has failed him and now can just follows him to the ring.
We look at the ladder match in the Tag Team Title series from two weeks ago.
The Wolves are in the back and have told Angle their stipulation for the third match but he won't say what it is.
Here are Spud and EC3 with Spud having to kneel and hand him a microphone. Spud agrees that he's Ethan's best friend, but Ethan says their relationship is employer/employee. There's no world in which they're friends because Spud spends his time reading comic books and watching wrestling. The people here aren't with Spud and Carter rips on Spud's haircut. Spud: “I wanted it to look like your's sir.” Ethan tears up Spud's suit and blames him for what happened to Dixie. He tells Spud to cry and then slaps him, but Spud can't bring himself to fight.
Cue Eric Young for a save and what would be considered a big reaction for a crowd this small. Eric says he's the reason for what happened to Dixie but Eric asks him to leave. Young tells Spud to listen to the fans because Ethan is going to keep doing this until Spud stands up and hits him. Carter nails Young and stomps away in the corner as Spud bails to the floor. A referee comes in and we've got a bell.
Eric Young vs. Ethan Carter III
Young gets backdropped to the apron for his strut but comes back in with a dropkick for two. A clothesline puts Ethan on the floor for a plancha and a Thesz Press takes Carter down back inside. Carter comes back with a snap suplex for two but Spud can't bring himself to get in a cheap shot from the floor. Young gets caught in a chinlock but he finally escapes with a belly to back suplex. A forearm and clothesline put Ethan down and the top rope elbow gets two. Eric loads up the piledriver but Spud gets on the apron, allowing Carter to nail a low blow. The 1%er gives Ethan the pin at 5:45.
Rating: C-. Not much to see here as it was more about Spud being abused than anything else. Carter has the potential to be a huge deal for TNA but he doesn't really have much to do at this point. Spud's face turn is coming soon but I'm not sure where they can go with him after that. His size will kill him but he could be good for a few matches here or there.
Mr. Anderson thanks Chris Melendez for everything he's done. The trio sees a weakness in Melendez but they're going to stand up to him.
We recap Gail Kim going after the recently debuted monster Havok. She's destroyed everything in sight and beat up Kim a few times already.
Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Havok
Gail is defending and Havok jumps her from behind on the way to the ring. The champ comes back with some forearms to the face but Havok just rams her back first into the apron. Havok sends her face first into the post and we haven't even had a bell yet. She gets sent into the steps before they keep brawling on the floor. Havok rams Gail shoulder first into the post and puts on a hammerlock spinebuster on the floor. The trainer comes out to check on Gail as Havok leaves. No match.
Quick recap of the Tag Team Title Series.
Here are the Wolves to talk about being behind the entire series but always overcoming the odds. Now they're in control though and the last match is going to be.....interrupted by Team 3D. Ray does the usual sucking up to the Wolves but says they're really not that great. They may be the World Tag Team Champions but they'll never be Team 3D. The Wolves aren't going to pick the last match in this series, but before Team 3D can make the pick, here are the Hardys to interrupt.
The Hardys talk about how awesome they are and say the Wolves should step aside and let the legends make these decisions. Matt says no one is going to talk about the Wolves in twenty years but Davey cuts them off and says they've beaten both teams. They'll win again too because their time is now. The brawl is on and we get tables, ladders and chairs brought in but Angle comes out to stop the brawl. The Wolves have to make their decision right now and of course it's Full Metal Mayhem. It's close enough to the TLC match the fans were wanting.
Anderson and Melendez find MVP and Kenny King in the back and a match is made for later.
Gail has a separated shoulder but says she's wrestling tonight anyway.
Manik vs. Shark Boy
Seriously. Shark Boy hammers away to start and sends Manik out to the floor with a shot to the face. Some clotheslines do the same and a backdrop sends Manik flying. Back in and Manik grabs some suplexes for two and a knee drop gets the same. A Frog Splash is enough to pin Shark Boy at 3:10.
Rating: D. This didn't have time to go anywhere but it's good to see Manik look good in his first match under the new gimmick. Storm has something going for him with this idea but I have a bad feeling a lot of his heat is going away for the sake of putting Great Muta over at Bound For Glory. Shark Boy looked WAY out of shape.
Team 3D thinks the Wolves are crazy for picking Full Metal Mayhem.
Mr. Anderson vs. MVP
Feeling out process to start until Anderson takes him into the corner for a chop and clothesline. MVP sends him out to the floor, causing Melendez and King to stare each other down. Back inside with MVP throwing Anderson across the ring for two before cranking on the arm. Anderson avoids a knee drop and grabs the rolling fireman's carry for two. He loads up the Mic Check but King offers a distraction. Melendez takes care of him but MVP grabs a rollup for the pin at 5:40.
Rating: D+. Not bad for the most part here but it was much more about setting up something down the line. Melendez is getting a nice push to start but I'm not sure if there's enough skill for him to be able to sustain it. Anderson and MVP don't have anything to do so it's better than nothing for them.
Here's Bobby Roode to talk about being the longest reigning TNA World Champion ever. He brings that up a lot because it means so much to him. You're only as good as your last match though and his last match was a losing effort against Lashley. This brings out the champion and the rest of the Trio but Roode won't let him say anything.
Roode talks about coming so close to winning the title but there's one moment that stood out: kicking out of the spear at two. It gave Lashley a look that he's never had before because Lashley has never been terrified before. That look made Roode believe he could beat him so Bobby wants one more match. Lashley looks like he's about to say yes but MVP says no for him.
Knockouts Title: Havok vs. Gail Kim
Gail is defending and says bring it on. Havok charges to the rings and the fight starts in the aisle. The champ hammers away but gets dropped face first on the mat. An armbar makes Gail scream and a shoulder breaker on the good shoulder gets two. The Rings of Saturn go on but Gail still won't quit. Instead she rolls over a bit and knees Havok in the face, only to have the arm rammed into the mat. Gail sends her into the corner and actually outs on a Figure Four around the post. Back in and a high cross body gets two but Eat Defeat is countered into another hammerlock slam. A chokeslam gives Havok the title at 5:00.
Rating: C. This is a hard one to grade as they only had one idea to go with but that was kind of the point of the match. Havok is fine for a monster that can own the division for awhile in the vein of Awesome Kong until someone can rise up to beat her. Nothing great here but it served its purpose.
Overall Rating: C-. The opening match does a lot of good for this show but there's just nothing there for the rest of it. With Bound For Glory being basically a non-existent show, there's nothing for these shows to build towards other than the next TV show. That's actually something you don't get anymore outside of NXT, but there's so much uninteresting stuff filling in the rest of the show that it drags things back down. It's not bad but TNA can't get to the new year and some fresh stuff fast enough.
Samoa Joe b. Austin Aries – Koquina Clutch
Ethan Carter III b. Eric Young – 1%er
Manik b. Shark Boy – Frog Splash
MVP b. Mr. Anderson – Rollup
Havok b. Gail Kim – Chokeslam
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