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Impact Wrestling - March 20, 2015

Impact Wrestling
Date: March 20, 2015
Location: Wembley Arena, London, England
Attendance: 4,500
Commentators: Taz, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This is the last show of the European tour and they have a big main event to cap things off: Lashley defending the World Title against Kurt Angle. This is a match they've built up very well in the last few weeks and it feels like a match worthy of closing things out. There's also a triple threat Ultimate X match for the Tag Team Titles, but that's not important enough to advertise on TV. Let's get to it.

Tag Team Titles: Wolves vs. BroMans vs. Manik/Great Sanada

Ultimate X, meaning the titles are hung above the ring where they're suspended from two ropes in the shape of an X. You have to climb up the structures at the corners of the ring and crawl along the ropes to retrieve the titles. The Wolves are defending and it's DJZ and Jesse Godderz this time due to Robbie being shaken up by losing to Brooke last week. The champs get quadruple teamed to start but they easily fight off the schmucks and lackeys to clean house.

Jesse gets beaten down by the champs but Angelina offers a distraction to break up a double dive. That's fine with the Wolves as they throw DJZ over the top onto the Revolution. Nice way to get the best of both worlds, if you consider Angelina the best that is. The challengers finally get things together and beat Edwards and Richards down until Jesse holds Richards long enough to nearly allow Manik to get the belts. Instead he dropkicks Manik down, followed by a double backbreaker for good measure.

The BroMans try to get the belts without climbing and actually get their fingers on them, but the Revolution comes in to turn it into a game of chicken. That brings the Wolves back in for stereo dropkicks and all six guys are down. Richards powerbombs Manik into a Backstabber for a save and DJZ gets shoved into the truss. Jesse gets some mist to the face but Edwards crotches Sanada. A hurricanrana into the double stomp from Edwards has Sanada out of it, leaving the Wolves to take down the belts to retain at 9:23.

Rating: B-. This felt like a really good house show match: they didn't do much besides the big stuff and the titles were never in any real danger, but it's entertaining stuff and the crowd got into it. They weren't going for some masterpiece here and it would have been a stretch for the Wolves to have a major problem dispatching either team. Good stuff here and exactly what it was supposed to be.

The announcers preview the main event.

Here's Austin Aries with something to say. He hasn't been around the last few weeks and it's because of the Beat Down Clan. They beat him up and stole his briefcase, so get out here right now and give it back. Cue Samoa Joe and Low Ki with the briefcase with Low Ki saying possession is 9/10 of the law, so Aries can't play his games right now.

Aries has two points: Low Ki isn't Austin Aries because he doesn't cash in that briefcase. Second, Low Ki isn't Austin Aries because that briefcase doesn't have his name on it. Aries wants his X-Division Title back too and is willing to put his briefcase up for a shot at it. Ki agrees, but only if Aries can get through Joe. Joe nails Aries and we go to a break.

Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries

Joined in progress after a break with Aries in big trouble. His comeback is easily broken up as Joe gets in a shot to the shoulder and throws Aries to the floor. The arm gets sent into the steps before an overhead belly to belly gets two back inside. We hit the chinlock followed by a nerve hold as things slow way down. The backsplash misses though and Aries fires off some left hands in the corner. Joe is too big for the brainbuster though and he takes Aries down for a Fujiwara armbar on the bad arm. Aries makes the rope and sends Joe outside, setting up a big suicide dive, only to have Low Ki nail Aries for the DQ at 6:55.

Rating: C. This was just a match to set up the angle but it still worked well enough. Aries is able to have a good match with almost anyone in the company and I like that Low Ki seemed scared to go after the briefcase but trusted in his numbers advantage to take Aries down. Nice stuff here.

The BDC goes after Aries but Low Ki nails Joe in the head with the briefcase (great shot too) to knock him cold. Aries forearms the briefcase into Ki's head and leaves with the belt. Cue Rockstar Spud with his X-Division Feast or Fired case and it's time for a cash in!

X-Division Title: Rockstar Spud vs. Low Ki

Underdog gives Spud the title in seven seconds. Spud deserves something for all the work he's done lately.

Magnus is beating Bram up in the back and throws him onto a cart. They come into the arena with Bram being knocked down the aisle. Magnus erupts on him with a chair but referees pulls him off. Mickie James comes out and kicks Bram in the ribs. That's enough of an opening for Magnus to take Bram up to the stage for a powerbomb to leave Bram laying.

The roster is looking forward to the main event. MVP says they're fighting for his title.

Knockouts Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell vs. Gail Kim

Terrell is defending. The early double teaming of Kong gets her down but she sends Gail into Taryn to take over. Kong lifts Taryn up for a slam but Gail dropkicks Terrell in the back. That doesn't phase Kong and she drops Taryn on Gail in a cool spot. Taryn gets clotheslined out of the air but Gail counters the Implant Buster.

More double teaming fails and Gail is knocked to the floor. A middle rope dropkick staggers Kong but she shoves off the Taryn Cutter. There go the gloves but she misses the splash, allowing Taryn to hit the second attempt at the cutter for two. Instead a dropkick sends Kong to the floor where Gail nails her with a huge dive. Back in and Gail sunset bombs Taryn for two but gets rolled up for the pin to retain Taryn's title at 6:16.

Rating: B-. I'd love to see the Divas get a chance to do something like this. Seeing the Knockouts and NXT Girls having matches like this one make me wonder why the Divas aren't given the chance to pull off something similar. The time helped here but the whole thing wasn't even seven minutes long, meaning it doesn't even take a long time to put together a classic.

James Storm flips a coin to determine what happens to Matt Hardy. The decision is to cause him severe pain.

Video on Angle vs. Lashley with a theme of surviving changes in life.

Angle says he's ready.

James Storm vs. Matt Hardy

No DQ. The brawl starts in the aisle again with Matt getting the better of it and throwing a bunch of chairs into the ring. Storm comes back by wedging a chair in the corner before they trade trashcan shots to the head. Matt gets crotched on the top and kicked in the head, setting up a superplex onto two open chairs for two. Abyss throws in some tacks but Matt knocks James' back first onto them, followed by a top rope elbow for two.

The Twist of Fate connects but Abyss pulls the referee out at two. The rest of the Revolution gets involved but are easily dispatched, only to have Storm send him into the chair in the corner for a close two. Another Twist of Fate drops Storm but Matt can't cover. Instead Abyss hands Storm the bell as Sanada mists Matt. A cowbell to the back of the head and two Last Calls are good for the pin at 6:48.

Rating: D+. I wasn't feeling this one as it felt like they were cramming way too much stuff into this. I'm not even sure why the Revolution is going after the Hardys but it's better than them having nothing to do and just wasting time while adding more people to their ranks. This one missed though and it was due to just not letting the match build and going too hard with it.

James says he put Jeff out of wrestling and has the Revolution hold Matt.

TNA World Title: Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Lashley

Lashley is defending. We get the old school long walks through the back to the ring to really make this feel like a big deal. After the big match intros we're ready to go with nearly twenty five minutes for this match. The fans are behind Angle but Lashley throws him into the corner with ease. A big clothesline puts Angle down again as it's all champ so far. Kurt goes back to basics with rolling Germans and sends Lashley to the floor, but the champ takes over again with pure power.

Back in and Lashley pounds him down in the corner before starting in on the arm and shoulder. Kurt fights up and escapes, setting up a middle rope shoulder to drop Lashley. It's time to roll some Germans and Lashley is in trouble. Kurt lets go but snaps off five more Germans before taking down the straps. The ankle lock is countered and Lashley nails the powerslam for two as we take a break.

Back with Lashley going shoulder first into the post and getting caught in the ankle lock again. Lashley rolls through but charges into a boot, setting up the Angle Slam for two. Now the spear connects for two but Lashley takes way too much time going up, allowing Angle to avoid a splash. This time it's Kurt going up for a high cross body but Lashley rolls through into an ankle lock of his own. Kurt grabs the rope and hits another Angle Slam only to get caught in a cross armbreaker. That gets turned over into another ankle lock with the grapevine and Lashley taps at 20:18.

Rating: B+. It's really good but it's clear that Angle just doesn't have the same reserves he used to. I'm ok with the title win as it feels more like one last reign for Angle instead of making him the long term top guy again. Angle more than deserves a reign like that and if he puts over a young star (which he likely will), this is fine. Lashley looks good in a loss, but the match didn't hit the levels of epic they were hoping for. Still though, really good stuff.

Overall Rating: A-. Really solid show this week in TNA's form of a pay per view. It's a great way to blow off the UK tour and it felt like a major show. The big deal next week is the return of Jeff Hardy, and it's going to be interesting to see if they can keep this momentum back in Orlando. History suggests otherwise, but this has been their best run in years. Really good show though and it's nice to see TNA deliver when they were supposed to.

Wolves b. BroMans and Manik/Great Sanada – Edwards pulled down the belts
Austin Aries b. Samoa Joe via DQ when Low Ki interfered
Rockstar Spud b. Low Ki – Underdog
James Storm b. Matt Hardy – Twist of Fate
Kurt Angle b. Bobby Lashley – Ankle lock

Remember to pick up my new book: Only On Pay Per View: 1998 from Amazon at:

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  1. If you combined TNA's last two shows onto one 3 hour PPV, it would be show of the year.

    Lashley vs. Angle - World title
    EC3 vs. Spud - Hair vs. Hair
    EY vs. Roode - Last Man Standing
    Taryn vs. Kong vs. Gail - KO title
    Ultimate X for the tag titles
    Joe vs. Aries
    Bram vs. Magnus
    Storm vs. Matt Hardy
    MVP vs. Galloway

    Put the Robbie E. vs. Brooke and MVP vs. Galloway matches on the pre-show

  2. Angle on autopilot can still deliver a main event-caliber match. He truly is a freak

  3. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©March 20, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    I was just thinking about that, it would have been TNA's sleeper hit that no one would have seen coming.

  4. Thus proving that TNA has the talent to put on a damn good show, despite some frighteningly stupid decision makers running things.

  5. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 20, 2015 at 10:04 PM

    It's a shame now that no one can see them. They're basically just a TV company at this point and I won't believe those house shows until I see them. Right now, TNA is Lucha Underground with a history. That's kind of sad.

  6. TNA has basically always had great talent. I stopped following them years ago because of the booking and presentation.

  7. Eh, Studio Wrestling used to be a pretty typical thing.

  8. I wouldn't put them in LU's class. Last show they put on a casket "EH" gimmick no matter the workers....and made it the most epic damn thing I've seen in a while.

  9. Replied to the wrong guy, but I stand by this.

  10. The WWF used to tape shows months ahead at a time. There would be one 6 or 7 hour tv taping, where they would do several different shows(remember shows were typically one hour then). They would also shows set to air after PPV's. So really TNA now is where WWE was before they launched RAW.

  11. TNA should strongly consider becoming a UK based promotion.

  12. Battle Kat LitterMarch 21, 2015 at 4:22 AM

    Are they still using the near-unwatchable camera work?

  13. I went to one of those tapings. Sandy Beach wrestled 3 times. Ahhhhhh, memories.

  14. And instead of 400,000 seeing it, 15,000 would have bought it. PPV = dead.

  15. If TNA booking wasn't so stupid, more people would have brought their PPV's.

  16. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 7:41 AM

    I'd be really curious to see how many of their wrestlers would go with them. I can't imagine it's many.

  17. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 7:42 AM

    Sure it was....20+ years ago. You would think TNA would have caught up with modern times by now.

  18. Did you just compare a show that gets 400k viewers in the U.S. vs. a show that gets 20k viewers in the U.S. ?

  19. Buffalo HopscotchMarch 21, 2015 at 8:12 AM

    Wonder if EC3 will be in line for a title match against Angle next? That'd certainly be a good test to see if Carter can have a really great match when he's got someone like Angle to work with.

  20. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    Neither has PPV.
    Neither has house shows.
    Neither has anything other than their TV show.

    Yeah I did.

  21. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    I hope so. He's earned the spot.

  22. While it's probably not feasible in the least... at least in the UK they have live attendance and a more engaging product.

  23. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    They do, but would Destination AMERICA want a British based product?

    I mean, couldn't that raise some issues with money for them? It might raise their production costs and that might not be ok with them. If nothing else you can't expect the wrestlers to just live in England permanently when they only have TV dates to work. Who pays for them to fly back to America?

  24. TNA has PPV. They do One Night Only shows that air nearly every month and will be doing at least 2 traditional PPVs this year.

    TNA is starting up house shows in June. Confirmed by Bob Ryder.

    TNA has Impact, Unlocked, Xplosion, British Boot Camp, and they had Greatest Matches. Rumor is that Xplosion is going to be airing in the US this year as well.

    Not exactly a good comparison there.

  25. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    I'd be stunned if TNA makes money on One Night Only.

    I'll believe those pay per views and house shows when I see them. This is TNA: the land of the never again mentioned promises.

  26. Oh. I was being facetious. But... Destination America probably wouldn't care a lick if the product was hot and ratings strong.

  27. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Hot I'll give you. The ratings haven't been doing great though. It's been very up and down but at least some of that has to be due to the constant replays and the timeslot.

  28. That's true. It took RAW a good year of being hot before it took over Nitro in the ratings.

  29. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    It would take far longer for TNA to come close. It's not a fair comparison to make.

  30. I'm not comparing, only alluding to the fact that it takes a long time of product strengthening before more and more people catch on.

  31. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Oh sure. The problem is convincing a TV company of that.

  32. See? Proof that EVERYTHING IS FINE!

  33. I don't think PPV is the be all and end all. Not every company needs to do the WWE's build up to the PPV formula. Impact is great these days and feels more epic than any other show, probably because they are booking the big matches on TV

  34. kbwrestlingreviewsMarch 21, 2015 at 9:51 PM

    Yeah but how long can that last? Also I'd like to see them make some money so they can start to get back to where they were.

  35. raw in 94 was even being taped for shows after the ppv like the first raw after ss was actually recorded 2 weeks prior.

  36. destination america isn't getting rid of TNA anytime soon they're drawing more viewers then most of the programming

  37. tna is still having ppvs this year besides the one night onlys and they are also having house shows soon. They needed time to get things back in order after the move to a network stop overreacting

  38. they're doing better without the stupid ppvs which never made them money anyways or the house shows. They're still having slammiversary and bfg

  39. you're not living in reality when it comes to these kind of promotions you think everything should be like wwe or wcw as far as presentation goes not the way its going to be.

  40. WWE taped weeks ahead, not 2 months. They would tape 3 Superstars episodes one night, 3 Challenge episodes the next night, and by the time they got to airing the third show, the footage would be approximately 30 days old.
    For Raw, the last episode would typically be about 21 days old by the time it was shown.

  41. Amazing how good of an announcer Josh Matthews is without any senile old men yelling in his ears.

  42. I sure would like to tell KB how that coin flip turned out-Brad Wesley Storm #WarRoadHouse

  43. I was talking about earlier. They would literally have one guy show up for a PPV with a belt, and be recognized as the Champion. But the match where he LOST the belt had been taped weeks before, but was only set to air AFTER the PPV.

  44. That actually only happened one time (Kerry Von Erich having the IC title at Survivor Series 1990 even though the match where he lost it had been taped but had not yet aired). In 1995, when the In Your House shows began, WWE stopped doing the "taped prior to the PPV, aired after it" tapings.
    They did, however, with the Ultimate Warrior's first IC title win and Virgil's Million $ title win, have them get the belt at the start of a taping in a dark match, appear for squash matches with the belt, then have the decision reversed so HTM/DiBiase would have the belt again going into the PPV.


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