Date: March 27, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're finally back in America after a pretty awesome UK tour and the main story is Kurt Angle defeating Lashley to win the World Title. As for tonight, the big story is the return of Jeff Hardy from his annual “I can't go to Europe” leave for a showdown inside a cage against James Storm. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of Storm shoving Hardy off the cage a few weeks ago to put him out of action.
Here are Storm and Khoya for a chat to get things going. Storm says tonight is supposed to be about Hardy's revenge but Hardy isn't here. A few weeks back, Storm did exactly what he said he was going to do when he put out Jeff and then last week he did the same to Matt. Jeff Hardy is known for diving off cages so Storm just tried to help him. The fans chant for Hardy so Storm pulls out a watermelon and says this is Hardy before throwing it over the cage and out to the floor.
This brings out Jeff who says Storm did what no one else could do and put him out for a bit, but Jeff is still standing. He wants to start now, but here's Manik to get in a cheap shot and lay Hardy out. Storm orders Manik to break his arm but Jeff hits a twisting Stunner to put Manik down. This brings out Abyss to send Jeff into the cage but Hardy takes the chair away from Abyss and lays him out. Jeff asks someone to lower the roof of the cage, which happens to be full of weapons. The match is later tonight.
We look at Austin Aries getting his Feast or Fired briefcase back, allowing Spud to win the X-Division Title.
The BDC says they can't replace someone (meaning Joe) but MVP says it's time for Low Ki to get the X-Division Title back tonight.
Ad for the Sting DVD set. How long has it been since they had a DVD release?
Storm sends Khoya to get rid of Jeff Hardy.
X-Division Title: Low Ki vs. Rockstar Spud
Rematch from last week's “match”. I'm not the biggest Low Ki fan so hopefully this doesn't end Spud's hot streak. It's a slow start until Ki takes him down to the mat for a hard kick to the ribs. Spud's chops have no effect but some right hands do. That's the extent of his offense though as Spud gets dropped again and keeps shaking his head. A double stomp knocks Spud silly and he has to beat a ten count back up.
Back up and Spud snaps off some left hands followed by a dropkick as he tries to speed things up. He plants Ki with a running DDT and takes off the bowtie. Cue MVP and King for distractions to break up the Underdog, but Drew Galloway distracts them, allowing Spud to small Low Ki for the pin at 5:11.
Rating: D. Spud got beaten up for most of the match here before a fluke ending. I've never been a fan of booking that makes the champion look weak and that's exactly how Spud came off. He doesn't have the highest stature in the first place and this isn't the best way for him to look stronger. Drew vs. the BDC isn't the most interesting feud in the world either.
Post break the BDC is still in the ring (oh joy) to rant about Galloway and threaten to send him to the hospital. MVP wants Drew out here right now and that's exactly what he gets. Drew admits that he's both dumb and crazy because he's still here after King hit him with a pipe. He wants to know who will stand up with him tonight and asks the fans if they're tired of the BDC.
Drew says they have a rising going on right now but King turns it into a Braveheart analogy. Ki wants Low Ki right now and it's on, with two guys (the recently released Camacho and indy wrestler Shaun Ricker) jumping in from the crowd for a three on three brawl. The newly named Rising clear the ring. Great. ANOTHER faction.
Video on Kong wanting to take Taryn Terrell's Knockout Title.
The BDC is ready to call someone to replace Joe.
Brooke vs. Awesome Kong
Let the squashing begin. Brooke fires off kicks to the leg but gets run over by a standing clothesline. A front slam drops Brooke again before King stands on her hair. Brooke even tries to fight back from the mat but her forearms have no effect. Kong shrugs off some clotheslines but the Awesome Bomb is countered (Kidman!) into a faceplant. A top rope elbow gets two on Kong but she comes back with a chokeslam and the Implant Buster for the pin at 4:15.
Rating: D+. I'm glad that they're back to having Brooke just be eye candy instead of having her do WACKY COMEDY with Robbie E. At least this match made Kong look dominant instead of having her lose in a triple threat, even though that's the calling card of the Knockouts division.
Kong hits another Implant Buster and gets a table from under the ring. Taryn comes in to hammer on Kong, eventually putting her down with a missile dropkick and low bridging her to the floor. Kong shrugs all that off though and powerbombs Terrell through the table.
Video on Lashley vs. Angle from last week.
Aries implies he's cashing in tonight.
Jeff Hardy is talking about the match tonight when Khoya comes in. Hardy fights him off and finds a conveniently placed ladder to get in even more damage. Khoya tries to get up so Jeff breaks bottles over his face. That's a bit excessive.
Here's Kurt Angle for his championship celebration. He says this is title #14 (it's still a huge stretch Kurt) but this one is different. Kurt talks about having to work this much harder to get here and it's his proudest moment thus far. Cue Ethan Carter III (FINALLY) to talk about how Angle has inspired everyone in the back, even him.
Angle did the impossible last week when he beat Lashley, but it seems impossible to go 18 months undefeated and beat every TNA Hall of Famer (minus D-Von but who cares about him anyway). Angle doesn't buy it but here's Roode to interrupt as well. He wants his rematch for the title and Angle doesn't seem opposed to the idea. Angle deserves this moment but it's just a moment.
This brings out Eric Young (of freaking course) to say he took the title from Bobby Roode because he's always been better than Bobby. Young says the title goes through him but Austin Aries comes out carrying the briefcase. After pointing out that Carter hasn't won the title, he opens the briefcase and reveals a bottle of champagne. The question is who the toast is for. Angle says he'll fight anyone anywhere anytime. As he goes to leave, Lashley comes out to say it's his rematch time. That's fine with Angle but a huge brawl breaks out with all the people in the ring. We're still not done because Mr. Anderson comes out to join in.
Austin Aries/Mr. Anderson/Bobby Roode vs. Ethan Carter III/Eric Young/Tyrus
Joined in progress after a break with Carter in trouble. Roode catapults Carter into a forearm from Aries for two before it's off to Anderson to stay on the arm. Off to Tyrus vs. Roode with the big man suplexing Bobby down. Off to Carter to choke on the ropes before putting on a chinlock. Young can't get the piledriver as Roode counters with a backdrop and makes the hot tag to Aries.
Everything breaks down with Tyrus nailing Aries with a clothesline but Anderson takes out the big man. Aries forearms Carter to the floor and hits the suicide dive but Young posts Anderson. Back in and Roode spinebusters Young down, setting up the 450 but Aries only hits mat. He also bangs up his knee, allowing Young to slap on a Figure Four for the submission at 7:26.
Rating: C-. This match was a good example of a lot of TNA's problems in a single match: too many people involved in a story and stuff happening WAY too fast. Set this up for next week's main event instead of just throwing everything together at once. I like the idea of everyone wanting the belt as it's what wrestling is built on, but let things breathe a bit and build the anticipation.
Here's Bram to call Magnus a coward over and over. Magnus has been sending his old lady out here to fight his battles, but it makes sense as she's more of a man than he'll ever be. A mention of Magnus' son is enough to bring Magnus himself out to say this is about to become more than anyone can handle. Bram promises to make Mickie cry, but she says they'll be tears of joy when Bram is beaten all around the Impact Zone.
That's what Bram wanted to hear, because he thinks Mickie will have to go back to an empty house. Don't worry though because his door is always open. It's on now but a low blow puts Magnus down. Bram grabs Mickie and tries to make her kiss his boot before just trying to kiss her instead.
Magnus gets back up and suplexes him down before beating Bram with that wrench Bram carries. They go to leave but Mickie has to get in some shots of her own. This is still an awesome story and the promos are on fire. It also helps that it's something relatable. Instead of a cult leader messing with a psychedelic daredevil, it's a man defending his family.
Angle says he beat Lashley once but beating him again will be tough. He won't be intimidated though.
James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy
Inside the cage with weapons and Storm blasts him with a trashcan before the bell. Hardy quickly fights back and sends him into some buckles. Poetry in Motion with a chair connects once but misses the second time to give Storm control again. Back with Matthews telling us which guy is which and recapping the events that set this up in about ten seconds. I miss basic announcing like that and it's so refreshing to hear it again. Storm tells the fans to shut up and gets taken down by a running clothesline. The Swanton hits knees though and the Eye of the Storm gets two.
Closing Time into a Backstabber sets up the Last Call but Storm wants the cowbell. Hardy takes it away and hits Storm with it, setting up the Swanton for two. Back up and Storm goes up top so Jeff grabs the top of the cage for some dropkicks into a hurricanrana for another near fall. They're just going spot to spot at this point. Some trashcan lid shots to the head and a cowbell shot look to set up the Swanton but Jeff monkey bars across the top into a swinging Vader Bomb (minus the pumping) for the pin at 14:55.
Rating: C+. Fun match but there are some issues here, starting with the weapons. A single moment a few weeks ago really doesn't warrant a gimmick cage match in the first match back for Jeff. Where is this feud supposed to go? That's one of TNA's long running issues: knowing how to end a feud. This is probably going to continue for weeks after the big match happened early on. Still though, it was a fun match, assuming you can ignore the parts that didn't need to be there.
After a preview for next week, we get a nice In Memory Of graphic for Perro Aguayo Jr. WWE didn't do that.
Overall Rating: C. This show was a great example of one of TNA's major problems flaring up again: they don't know how to calm down and let things breathe. Look at earlier: we have three stables, a gimmick cage match, a falls count anywhere match next week, and a World Title match next week. That kind of stuff should fill up six weeks, not two shows. Let the show take its time instead of firing off everything at once and see how much better the builds are. It's a good show this week with Magnus and Bram as the highlights, but these shows wear me out more often than not and that's more like Raw than anything else.
Rockstar Spud b. Low Ki – Small package
Awesome Kong b. Brooke – Implant Buster
Eric Young/Ethan Carter III/Tyrus vs. Bobby Roode/Austin Aries/Mr. Anderson – Figure four to Aries
Jeff Hardy b. James Storm – Swinging splash from the roof of the cage
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