Date: February 27, 2015
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's off to England now after two pretty solid shows in Scotland. The main story coming out of last week is MVP earning a World Title shot by winning the gauntlet match, even though it was more of a group effort from the Beat Down Clan. Other than that we have the continuing story of Bram vs. Magnus, which should pick up again here in England. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the gauntlet match with Kurt Angle almost surviving the entire BDC but finally getting caught at the end.
Here's Kurt Angle who doesn't waste any time in calling out Lashley. Kurt says Lashley doesn't have to respect him, but he needs to respect the title. Last week Lashley didn't do anything to help him in the gauntlet match, but Lashley rightly says that wasn't his fight. Therefore tonight, it's MVP vs. Lashley and Angle won't be there to help him. Lashley doesn't want his help because it's his own fight. Angle says he won't help him and leaves.
Lashley is about to do the same but the Beat Down Clan interrupts. Joe says the BDC doesn't need luck because tonight, the Clan's MVP will win the title by any means available. MVP says no one has Lashley's back, so tonight the Clan gets its belt back. This wasn't bad but the Lashley vs. Kurt exchange was kind of lame. Lashley didn't want help so Angle emphasizes that he's not getting help? That came off kind of odd.
The announcers talk about what happened. I really like that they emphasize that Taz used to be a World Champion. A lot of younger fans might not have seen him in the ring (he retired about thirteen years ago) so just throw in that he used to be a big deal. It gives him some credibility instead of just letting him seem like some old guy.
Mr. Anderson/Rockstar Spud vs. Tyrus/Ethan Carter III
Anderson does his intro and Spud gets in a quick intro of his own. Tyrus reluctantly reveals his shaved head and no sells a right hand to the face from Anderson. Mr. hammers away in the corner before it's off to Spud for more of the same. A bite to the head only makes Tyrus mad though and he plants Spud with a World's Strongest Slam. Does that make him a mashed potato? Spud misses an elbow from Carter and makes the hot tag to Anderson, who hits a pretty bad looking neckbreaker for two on the big man.
The fans chant for Spud as Tyrus hits Anderson low and slows things down. Back to Carter for some right hands in the corner. I'm so glad his arm injury hasn't kept him out of the ring for too long. Carter is way too good to be on the sideline that long. Tyrus slams Anderson down but COMPLETELY misses a Vader Bomb (his feet might have hit Anderson's chest if Anderson hadn't moved but that's it), allowing for the tag to Spud. An Underdog (Dudley Dog) drops Tyrus and Anderson adds a low blow and the Mic Check, allowing Spud to get the pin at 7:00.
Rating: C-. This is as entertaining of a feud as there is in wrestling right now. Spud is nailing his underdog roll and Carter has mastered the idea of being an evil heel that you want to see lose. Hopefully that leads to the World Title for Carter, as he's probably the best heel not named Bully Ray in years for TNA.
We recap the formation of the Trio, which led to the Beat Down Clan and helped Lashley beat Eric Young for the World Title. I always enjoy seeing Eric Young in pain.
After a break, Ethan promises to shave Spud's hair tonight.
Here's Taryn Terrell to address Awesome Kong. Kong may have made her intentions clear, so get out here so Taryn can do the same thing. Instead here's Gail Kim to tell Taryn how tough Kong is. If Taryn thinks Havok was tough, think about what Kong did to her. Taryn knows what she wants and is ready for Kong anytime. Kim leaves and the lights go out. Kong is in the ring and shrugs off everything Taryn throws at her before planting her with the Implant Buster. That could be deadly for Terrell.
The BDC throws the camerman out of their meeting.
We look at the BDC helping Lashley win the World Title back in January and then attacking Lashley just two weeks later.
Austin Aries might have a surprise for us tonight and holds up the briefcase.
Chris Melendez/Brooke vs. Robbie E./Angelina Love
I still don't get the appeal of Melendez. Yeah it's impressive that he can get around on one leg, but once you see that it's pretty much the end of his usefulness. He's not bad, but he's a pretty generic power guy other than the leg. Robbie gets in a cheap shot on Chris but gets hammered down and suplexed for two. Off to Brooke vs. Robbie with E. mocking her with Karate Kid crane poses, allowing Love to sneak in with some shots to the back. Some dropkicks send Love over to tag E. but eats a flapjack first. DJZ offers a distraction though, allowing E. to shove Brooke off the top for the pin at 3:26.
Rating: D. Eh it's a comedy feud so it's kind of hard to really complain about this match. If nothing else we get to stare at Brooke and E. is so over the top and insane that it's a lot easier to sit through. As I said though, where was Melendez at the end? He can't handle someone like the BroMans?
Carter tries to go into Spud's locker room to shave his head but Anderson makes the save after a break. Tyrus ran in to help out his boss. Didn't we cover this already?
Gunner wants to know why Angle is leaving but Kurt says Lashley doesn't want him around. That's not enough for Gunner who wants the old Angle back. He slaps Kurt in the face but nothing comes of it.
Here's Austin Aries with something to say. He's thinking about cashing in this Feast or Fired briefcase tonight, but here's Samoa Joe to interrupt. Joe isn't going to allow Aries to cash in the case tonight because he can have trained assassins on him at any given moment. Would those be the ninjas in the panel vans? Aries wants to know where the old Joe has gone and a challenge is thrown out. Joe says bring it so Aries dives through the ropes to take him down.
Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe
Joined in progress after a break with Aries hammering away in the corner. Joe is too big to have his brain busted though and sends Aries out to the floor. Back in and Joe stomps away before driving a knee into Aries' ribs. This isn't the most interesting stuff so far. They slug it out with Aries getting the better of it, only to eat a running boot to the face and the backsplash for no cover.
We hit the bearhug on Aries for a bit before Aries low bridges him to the floor. A big top rope ax handle nails Joe but the brainbuster still doesn't work. Aries escapes the Muscle Buster and hits some discus forearms to set up the Last Chancery. I'd buy that hold as more of a threat if it ever won anything. Cue Kenny King with the briefcase for a distraction, allowing Joe to put on the Clutch. Aries sends him face first into the case (not a DQ because of course not) and hits a 450 for the pin at 7:55.
Rating: C+. These kind of matches feel like they're just going through the motions more often than not. There's almost no reason for these two to be fighting other than they need something to fill in the card. It's not a bad match or anything, but it just comes and goes and is another match on the show that I won't remember later.
The BDC comes in post match and puts Aries on the table. Low Ki hits the double stomp to Aries' ribs but the table doesn't break all the way. Instead, Joe adds a running backsplash to really send Aries through the wood.
Lashley says MVP has to go through him to win the title. He doesn't need Angle's help either. WWE, take note on how to keep your monsters short and to the point like this.
MVP praises Eric Young for injuring Roode last week. Young thinks there's a hole in his heart and he has to fill it in with revenge. MVP suggests getting some of that revenge on Lashley for taking his World Title last year.
The BDC has stolen Aries' Feast or Fired briefcase.
Noam Dar vs. Rampage Brown
Both guys are from British Boot Camp but before they can get very far, Bram comes in to beat up both guys with Impaler DDTs at 0:54.
Bram wants Magnus out here right now but he gets Grado instead. Grado dances down and gets in Bram's face, only to get run over with ease. The third implant DDT puts Grado down again but there's no Magnus.
TNA World Title: MVP vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley is defending and runs him over to start before hitting a running clothesline in the corner. Some more clotheslines set up a delayed vertical suplex as it's all Lashley so far. Again, this is what Reigns should be doing. MVP bails to the floor but the rest of the BDC tries to interfere, earning then ejections as we take a break. Back with MVP sending him into the steps for two and kicking the champ in the back.
More stomping ensues as we get to the core problem with MVP: he isn't the most interesting guy in the ring. Kenny King and Samoa Joe are still at ringside for a stomping as I guess only half of the team was ejected. Back inside and MVP stomps away even more but both guys collide to put them down again. Lashley charges into the corner and plants MVP with a spinebuster for two. MVP tosses him with a suplex but misses the Black Out.
A spear drops MVP but the referee is bumped as well, as per the contractually obligated ref bump in title matches. Cue Eric Young with a chair to Lashley's back but Bobby Roode comes out to break up a piledriver attempt. Young is gone so Lashley hits a powerslam on MVP, but the BDC breaks up the pin again. Cue Gunner to take out Joe, allowing MVP to hit the Play of the Day on Lashley for two. MVP grabs a chair but Drew Galloway takes him down, allowing the spear to retain Lashley's title at 15:45.
Rating: C. The wrestling wasn't great but this was about Lashley fighting off all odds to keep his title. It's a basic story but TNA is pulling it off well enough. They telegraphed the ending with Angle vs. Lashley earlier in the night and I'm sure MVP will get the title one day, but the BDC is starting to look weak without being able to get the big belt. There was too much insanity here for my tastes but I've seen far worse.
Overall Rating: C+. TNA continues its nice roll with another good, although not great show this week. Lashley vs. Angle vs. MVP is an interesting feud but hopefully it doesn't add up to another triple threat match for the title. The rest of the show is actually more entertaining that I was expecting and the midcard is pretty easily more entertaining than WWE's. However, is there a reason these guys are all fighting? A midcard title wouldn't be the worst thing for TNA, but for now it's surviving well enough.
Rockstar Spud/Mr. Anderson b. Tyrus/Ethan Carter III – Spud pinned Tyrus after a Mic Check from Anderson
Robbie E./Angelina Love b. Brooke/Chris Melendez – Shove off the top
Austin Aries b. Samoa Joe – 450 Splash
Noam Dar vs. Rampage Brown went to a no contest when Bram interfered
Lashley b. MVP – Spear
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