Date: February 13, 2015
Location: SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're back in the UK this week for the first of several taped shows. This tour usually results in some very high energy shows with the crowd eating up whatever TNA gives them. For once that seems more deserved as these recent shows have been a lot more entertaining and well put together than some of the last ones on Spike. Tonight is about the fallout from Lockdown so let's get to it.
We open with a recap of Lashley saying he wouldn't team with Angle until he changed his mind a week later and helped his team win Lethal Lockdown.
The BDC arrived earlier, now in matching gear. MVP tells them to forget what happened last week because it's time to show everyone what they do. Eric Young is here and I'm just going to start calling him a member of the team. The only reason he isn't at this point is TNA said he wasn't, but it's close enough so yeah he's a member of the team.
Here's Angle to open the show. He's usually been on his own, but he has to thank Gunner and Aries for helping him last week. The BDC wants to say they control the World Title, but the best wrestler in the world controls that title. Angle invites Lashley out here right now and they shake hands. Lashley says he was there to get his hands on MVP, not to help Angle. That's fine with Angle, because he wants to be World Champion again. It actually has been a very long time.
Before the champ can say anything, here's the BDC to interrupt. MVP says last week's pin in Lethal Lockdown is stripped from the record books for some reason so now and it's time for one of those two to get a beat down. Lashley cuts MVP off and issues a challenge to either two of them for a tag match against himself and Angle. This was a totally acceptable opening segment, but more importantly it was done in about ten minutes. Take notes WWE.
Austin Aries stops Bobby Roode in the back and goes over their history together. Roode of course respects Aries and agrees to give the fans something special. Unlike the opening segment, I have no idea why this was necessary.
We look back at Jeremy Borash preventing EC3 from cutting Spud's hair last week.
Carter says he's wealthy so he gets whatever he wants, and that would be to shave Spud's head. Tonight it's Carter/Tyrus vs. Mandrews/Spud/Borash.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
So they're actually trying to make this Top 5 concept mean something. Next week there will be a 20 man gauntlet. The first fifteen entrants will be at random but the last five will be determined by the top five. Aries comes into this match at #3 and Roode is #1, basically making this match for the last spot in the gauntlet. The prize is of course a World Title shot the following week.
They trade arm holds to start with Aries going to a headstand but getting caught in an early Crossface. That goes nowhere but neither does Aries' early Last Chancery. Both of their other finishers miss as well and Aries is sent to the apron but he shoulders Roode in the ribs and hits the slingshot hilo for two. Fast start here. Aries follows him to the floor with a huge top rope ax handle but gets dropped with a gordbuster back inside.
The spinebuster sets up the Blockbuster for two but Aries fights out of the Roode Bomb. Maybe Bobby should have stuck to busting. Austin knocks him off the top rope and hits the missile dropkick, followed by a discus forearm to send him outside. The suicide dive hits the barricade though and Roode takes over. Back in and Aries gets caught in the Crossface for the tap out at 8:21.
Rating: B-. The match was entertaining but the ending was kind of surprising. It does fit the idea of Aries hitting the barricade, but it's rare to see someone with a top ranking cleanly defending it like this. By saying “this is for the #1 spot in something”, you're almost guaranteeing that it's going to change. The surprise isn't a bad thing though and it worked quite well.
Roode says this is pro wrestling. I'd call that a pretty big stretch. Aries leaves and Roode says it's time to get his title back. Roode vs. Lashley III never happened and he deserves a rematch. Cue Eric Young to jump Roode from behind and plant him with a piledriver. Of course he does, because where would we be without Eric freaking Young to take the focus off a good match and a logical story progression to keep up a feud where Roode won the big gimmick match? Oh that would be because we can have a TRILOGY, and that's the magic word in wrestling for some reason, even when there was no desire to see a second match.
After a break, Roode is being helped out and Young piledrives him on the stage. In case you didn't know, Eric Young is CRAZY.
Here's Al Snow, looking ancient. He's been having issues with one of the students on British Boot Camp, which I'd assume has been seen by about 18 American fans. The fans in the arena certainly seem to know it though as they start chanting for Grado, one of the contestants on the most recent season. In Grado, Snow found someone else who thought he could do what Snow does but Grado was just another failure.
Snow gives Grado one more chance to come out here and quit before he has to give the student a beating next week. Grado comes out and looks like a cleaned up Louis Spicolli. Snow rips into him for a lack of respect and heart. He's the heel here if that wasn't clear. Grado takes the mic away and says Snow doesn't realize where he is. They're in Glasgow and the people here won't take this from Snow. Grado's mom is in the front row so Snow yells at her, causing Grado to nail him in the face. The fight is made for next week.
After the segment is over, I still have the same two questions I had before it started: who is Grado and why am I supposed to care about this feud? We first heard about Grado maybe two minutes before he appeared and were given a very basic backstory about him. I get that the fans live are going to like him, but if you don't or can't watch British Boot Camp, there's a good chance you don't know who this guy is. Show us some stuff from the show and give us a reason to care, because otherwise it's the same as bringing in the ECW guys for shows in the northeast. If you didn't care for ECW, you don't care about that.
I don't care about British Boot Camp, but it's more because I haven't been exposed to it. I'm not a fan of just expecting the fans to know what you're talking about, especially when you can clear it up with a quick package or by giving us some information more than two minutes before the whole thing starts. It's going to get some loud pops in the arena, but there are a lot more fans on the other side of the camera. I will give them this though: Snow did a great job at riling up a crowd like an old school talker can.
Craazy Steve vs. Bram
Bram pulls him out of the corner to start, sending Steve's head into the buckle. He grabs the mic and says he wants Magnus, stomping at Steve's head more every time. Steve's comeback lasts as long as you would expect and an impaler DDT gives Bram the pin at 2:20.
JB says he can't wrestle but Spud says they're men and they're going to be fine.
Gunner asks Angle if he's sure about teaming with Lashley. Kurt knows he and Lashley are fighting one day and he wants the champ at his best.
Ethan Carter III/Tyrus vs. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews/Jeremy Borash
Carter, sporting a huge brace on his arm due to a recent surgery, is thinking this week and has cordless clippers to shave some hair. Spud gets right in Carter's face but Tyrus comes in instead. That goes badly for Spud and Mandrews is thrown down as well so it's time for JB vs. Carter. Ethan easily pounds Jeremy into the corner and it's off to Mandrews to take the real beating. Tyrus plants him with the t-bone and now Carter comes in to pick the bones.
The announcers get off topic to talk about the main event tag as carter sends Mandrews face first into the mat. Mandrews fights out of a chinlock and hits an enziguri, allowing for the tag to Spud. Tyrus breaks up the Spud offense with a claw hold but accidentally splashes his boss. A Dudley Dog sends Tyrus to the floor and......Borash goes up top for a dive onto Tyrus! Borash looks dead after landing but still it looked good at the time. Back in and the 1%er is enough to pin Spud at 6:06.
Rating: C. Spud is rapidly growing on me as he keeps getting better and better in the ring and is nailing the Spike Dudley mold of fighting beyond his size. The dive from Borash was more cool than anything else and gave me a little smile. This story continues to live WAY beyond its means and is far more entertaining than it has any right to be. I know Spud is going to lose in the end, but man alive they're making it fun along the way.
Carter and Tyrus go for the hair but the lights go out and Mr. Anderson appears to take out the heels.
Gunner says he's ready for the gauntlet but gets beaten down by the BDC.
Here's Madison to talk about something. Before she can really get going, she keeps getting interrupted by what sounds like a microphone being dropped and stepped on. She says she's one title reign away from the all time record and no one can beat her. I think you know what's coming.
Awesome Kong vs. Madison Rayne
Kong splashes her in the corner but misses one in the middle of the ring. That's the extent of Madison's luck as the Implant Buster ends her at 1:24.
Aries is in Angle's locker room and says he tapped out because he has his eyes on the World Title. Angle doesn't seem to care and again this seemed a bit worthless.
We look back at Jeff Hardy's injury last week to keep him off the UK tour.
Cue Matt Hardy to give us an update on his brother's condition. Jeff has taken a lot of risks over the years and given us memories that will last forever. Every time he's been hurt before, Jeff has always been able to give Matt a little sign that he's ok and will be back. Last week though, there was nothing from Jeff. This brings out the Revolution so Storm can say that Matt is right.
Storm did what Edge and Christian and Team 3D couldn't do. Sting, Kurt Angle, Roode, Aries, Lashley or even the Undertaker couldn't do what he did. He put Jeff Hardy down because heroes only exist because of villains. Matt has two options: join the Revolution or join his brother in the hospital. Matt says Jeff's hospital bed is pretty nice and the beating is on. Manik puts him in a cross armbreaker and they go for the noose but the Wolves run out for the save.
Aries won't say when he's cashing in and gets attacked by the BDC. They even throw him out the door but are nice enough to throw him his briefcase. We actually get a replay of it not thirty seconds later. Apparently throwing him the briefcase is a way for the BDC to attack Lashley as much as they want without worrying about Aries. If they're beating him down, wouldn't they be able to see Aries coming? Or they could just, keep the briefcase if its presence is required.
Kurt Angle/Bobby Lashley vs. MVP/Samoa Joe
Ki and King are of course at ringside. Angle and Joe get things going after a break and they trade arm control to start. It's quickly off to Lashley for a running shoulder to Joe's ample gut and a hard clothesline. MVP bails from contact and Joe gets in some cheap shots to take over. It's off to MVP for a running basement dropkick and that's about it for the leader. Joe runs him over again and King gets in some choking from the floor. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Lashley throws Joe down, allowing for the tag off to Angle. It's Germans time but the Angle Slam only gets two on Joe.
Everything breaks down and MVP sends Kurt shoulder first into the post for two. We settle down to MVP working over Angle before it's back to Joe for a weak crossface chicken wing. Angle fights out and makes hot tag the sequel to Lashley. The big delayed vertical suplex drops MVP and a spinebuster gets two. Everything breaks down again and Lashley loads up the spear to Joe but Angle grabs the ankle lock. The distraction lets MVP roll up Lashley with a handful of trunks for the pin at 10:08.
Rating: B-. Nice main event style tag here and it's clear that MVP is the next major challenger to the title before we get to Angle vs. Lashley in their big showdown. This feels a lot like Reigns vs. Bryan and it's being done a bit better. It's a nice three way feud, but MVP really doesn't need a stable behind him to do this. Just have them all be guys instead of MVP running a group and let them have a feud. Still though, good enough.
Overall Rating: B. TNA is rolling right now and this was another good wrestling show. They're setting up stories and seem to be paying them off. No it's not perfect and there are some tweeks that need to be made, but I'm very pleased with what I'm getting at the moment. If nothing else, they're not cramming 19 segments on one story into a show and are spreading things around a good bit. That being said, I've thought this before and TNA has managed to screw it up like no other. Hopefully it lasts a good while though as this has been very entertaining lately.
Bobby Roode b. Austin Aries – Crossface
Bram b. Craazy Steve – Impaler DDT
Tyrus/Ethan Carter III b. Rockstar Spud/Mandrews/Jeremy Borash – 1%er to Spud
Awesome Kong b. Madison Rayne – Implant Buster
MVP/Samoa Joe b. Lashley/Kurt Angle – Rollup with a handful of trunks
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