Impact Wrestling – January 7, 2015

Impact
Wrestling
Date:
January 7, 2015
Location:
Manhattan Center, New York City, New York
Commentators:
Taz, Josh Mathews
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It’s
a new era in TNA as they’re off SpikeTV and onto Destination America,
meaning they’ll be lucky to have half the audience they had before.
However, they seem to actually be trying to have a new beginning,
which may help them a lot in the long run. The main story here is
Roode vs. Lashley III for the title, which should be a solid main
event. Let’s get to it.

Before we get started, remember that next week the show moves to its regular time slot on Friday at 9pm EST.
We
open with a very cool video showing the roster coming to the arena
and looking over New York City. Roode, Storm and MVP give the roster
pep talks before we get a Lashley vs. Roode staredown. Kenny King
throws a punch at Roode and the brawl is on outside the arena. I
mean the entire roster is brawling and being recorded by handheld
cameras. They head into the arena and it’s just a massive war.
After about five minutes, TNA boss Kurt Angle comes out and asks the
fans if they want this fight to continue. He asks where all the
champions are and says all titles are on the line tonight.
Angle
has one more announcement to make but MVP gets in the ring and cuts
him off. The fans tell MVP to shut the F up and the censoring is
just a big off. MVP turns his back on Angle to offer him a free shot
but Angle just spits. This isn’t the same Angle who used to make
people tap out and threw people everywhere, because his in ring
career is over. Angle says he’s stepped down as executive director,
but he’s been reactivated as a wrestler, meaning it’s him vs. MVP
tonight in a street fight. Starting NOW, even though both guys are
in street clothes.
Kurt
Angle vs. MVP
Both
guys are in street The bell rings and Kurt knocks him to the floor as
we go to a break eight seconds in. I really wish they would cut that
out and just start the match after the break. Back with MVP kicking
Angle in the face and no commentary. Kurt rolls some Germans but
gets caught in something like Lesnar’s Kimura.
Angle
counters with a headscissors and grabs more Germans, only to have MVP
go after the knee that put Angle on the shelf for so many months.
The commentary here is light years better than with Tenay and Taz as
there aren’t any lame jokes and they’re actually focusing on the
match. It’s nothing great but I’ll take average over whatever TNA
had before any day. Back in again and Angle grabs the ankle lock,
only to be pulled down into a side choke. MVP is wrestling a
submission styles here and it’s only kind of working. Kurt counters
into the ankle lock again but MVP gets up, only to take the Angle
Slam for the pin at 11:20.
Rating:
D+. This was quick and didn’t
need to be a street fight. I
understand the idea of bringing Angle back in but I really hope he
wraps up his in ring career soon. He just gets hurt way too easily
and I really don’t want to see him get hurt even worse next time.
The match was too short though and the stipulation wasn’t necessary.
MVP
rants to Kenny King after a break and wants to talk to Lashley.
Taz
and new commentator Josh Mathews welcome us to the show. The new
idea is there are cameras everywhere and they’re pulling the curtain
back. I can hear Cornette’s rants from here.
Ethan
Carter III (with Tyrus) doesn’t like not being on the show yet. He’s
a man of honor and doesn’t break commitments he made. His first
commitment: to take Rockstar Spud apart piece by piece, starting
tonight. Tyrus is sent to secure the target.
Matthews
is glad to be here and throws it to Tenay, who is hosting a new show
called Impact Wrestling Unlocked, which sounds like Impact with stats
and facts etc.
Tenay
had an interview with James Storm about the Revolution and how
surprising it’s been to him. Storm says that was the idea, because
he’s knocked everything this company has given him out of the park.
The group’s members just flock to Storm because he’s preaching the
truth to them. Tenay loved the Feast or Fired cash in but wants to
know about the future. Storm gets in his face and talks about the
devil being less scary than he is before whistling a lot. I still
really like this idea and I want to see where it goes.
Tag
Team Titles: James Storm/Abyss vs. Wolves
The
Revolution took the titles from the Wolves back in late 2014 using a
Feast or Fired contract (TNA’s version of Money in the Bank).
Actually we’re not done though as the Hardys come out in street
clothes as we go to a break before the bell. The match starts with
the Hardys just on the floor as spectators as Edwards backdrops Storm
onto Abyss, setting up stereo suicide dives. They work so well that
the Wolves hit them three more times in a row as the rest of the
Revolution (Manik and Sanada) just stand around watching.
Back
in and the Wolves start double teaming Storm until Abyss pulls
Richards to the floor and chokeslams him onto the apron. I love
stuff onto the apron. Richards is in trouble for a good twenty
seconds before he rolls over and tags in Edwards to fight off both
champions. Storm misses a charge into the corner but gets kicked in
the head and caught in a backpack Stunner for two. They’re keeping a
very fast pace here and it’s working quite well. The Wolves’ painted
claw marks on their chests are working as well.
Abyss
tries a double chokeslam but the Wolves backflip out for a cool
counter before a top rope double stomp gets two on Storm. Richards
is pulled to the floor and Abyss catapults Edwards into a Storm DDT
for two. Sanada and Manik try to come in but the Hardys make a save
to prevent the DQ. Jeff and Abyss get in a tug of war over Storm’s
noose and the distraction lets Storm superkick Edwards to retain at
6:13.
Rating:
C. Nice fast paced match here
but it didn’t have the time to go anywhere. I’m not sure why we
needed the Hardys out there and I really don’t care to see them in
the tag division. Storm has something here with the Revolution but
does he need to be stuck in another tag team? Let him go after
something on his own for a change.
Package
on Roode vs. Lashley I.
Carter
tells a camera to come with him.
Back
from a break with MVP yelling at Lashley about not having his
priorities straight. He takes credit for all of Lashley’s success
and says he leads this team. Lashley pins him up against the wall
and says this is about getting the title back. This calms MVP down a
bit.
Jeremy
Borash tries to bring out
someone for an interview but gets cut off by Ethan Carter III. He
brags about his accomplishments and does Tyson’s Kidd’s FACT bit.
Carter does one up him a bit though by going to some fans with a mic
to do the dueling chant lines. Carter apologizes for slapping JB a
few weeks back and asks Spud to get out here right now. Tyrus
drags Spud through the entrance and throws him into the ring, where
Carter says it’s time to cut the rest of Spud’s hair. His SCALP
chant doesn’t quite get off the ground.
JB
tries to intervene and actually slaps Carter, earning him a splash
from Tyrus. Spud tries to cover him up, but Carter has another idea.
It’s going to be Borash getting his hair cut and Carter busts out
the clippers to shave off a big chunk of JB’s hair. Spud
freaks out but this didn’t have the emotion they were going for.
King
talks to MVP in the back but the audio is so low I can’t make out
what they’re saying. MVP holds up his phone and that’s enough for
King.
Video
on Lashley vs. Roode II with Roode taking the title.
Package
on the history of the X-Division and the sound quality is lacking
again. The voiceover is barely audible unless I turn the volume up
far higher than it needs to be on the rest of the show. The video
turns into a focus on Low Ki, who has been in the division since it
started.
X-Division
Title: Austin Aries vs. Low Ki
Ki
is defending. Feeling out process to start as Mathews mentions Low
Ki being the first ROH Champion and plugging WWE Hall of Famer Edge
being on Taz’s debut podcast in the span of ten seconds. They trade
headscissors as Taz lists off some Brooklyn landmarks. Aries kicks
Ki to the floor but charges into a kick to the head for a nice
counter. Back up and Aries fires off forearms to send Ki to the
floor for a suicide dive. That’s a move they need to tone down as
it’s the fifth use of it in less than an hour.
The
missile dropkick looks to set up the brainbuster but Ki counters into
a kind of dragon sleeper. Aries grabs the ropes and heads up top,
only to get kicked in the head again. Not to be outdone, Aries kicks
Ki down from the top and plants him with a brainbuster to win the
title for a sixth time at 6:18.
Rating:
C+. Good but not great match
here and I’m not wild on Aries getting the title back. Again, it’s
something we’ve seen before and nothing I really need to see
repeated. The matches are going to be entertaining, but they need
some fresh talent in that division. Swap some of the roster around
and give Aries some fresh competition, because they can only do the
same matches so many times.
Knockouts
Title: Battle Royal
Angelina
Love, Velvet Sky, Taryn Terrell, Madison Rayne, Gail Kim, Havok,
Rebel
Taryn
Terrell is defending. Before the match, Robbie E. is welcomed back
to TNA after competing on the Amazing Race. He didn’t win a million
dollars due to his horrible partner, but at least he still looks like
a million dollars. Robbie rips on Brooke a bit more until Taryn’s
entrance cuts him off. Gail goes after Havok to start before the
Beautiful People put Rebel out. Madison saves herself on the apron
but get dumped by Havok.
Velvet
eats defeat and Taryn knocks Angelina out as this is a very lame
battle royal. Like even lamer than most battle royals. We’re down
to Havok, Terrell, Kim and Sky with Havok taking a double dropkick.
Brooke comes in through the crowd and jumps Robbie. Terrell and Kim
dump Velvet before Havok throws out Gail, only to get thrown out by
Terrell to retain at 4:58.
Rating:
D-. This was REALLY dull stuff
and just there to get to the ending. I know they’re trying to make
Havok out to be a monster, but I don’t think she’s had ten matches in
TNA so far. How dominant of a monster can she be with such a short
resume? I mean, it’s not like she’s Kong or anything.
Post
match Havok jumps Terrell and puts her in a bearhug but the lights go
out. They come back up…..and KONG IS BACK! She stares Havok down
and chokeslams a referee for old times’ sake.
TNA
World Title: Lashley vs. Bobby Roode
Roode
is defending and starts
fast, only to be driven into the corner for some hard shoulders to
the ribs. A delayed
vertical suplex gets two on the champ but he comes back with the
Crossface to send Lashley to the ropes. I hope they’re not going
with the idea of using the same hold over and over again until the
other guy taps out. Mix things up a bit and build to a finisher
instead of just starting it at first.
They
head outside with Roode being sent into the barricade but coming back
with a hard clothesline. We get an inset camera shot of MVP and King
in the back with two masked men. Security won’t let the masked men
come in so the security guy gets beaten down as we go to a break.
Back with Roode in a chinlock followed by a bearhug. Taz and Mathews
actually explain how Lashley is softening up the midsection for the
spear later on. I haven’t heard actual analysis from TNA since I
don’t remember when.
Roode
fights out and they stare each other down for a cool visual. The
champ takes over with a clothesline and a big spinebuster for two,
only to jump into a Davey Boy powerslam (to go with the delayed
vertical suplex from earlier. Nothing
but good can come from watching British Bulldog matches)
for the same. Lashley
hammers away in the corner but gets powerbombed down for another near
fall. Now we get to something new as they hit each others’
finishers for two each.
Cue
MVP, King and the masked men as Roode grabs the Crossface. Lashley
just stands up for the break, only to walk into the Roode Bomb for
two. Back to the Crossface (cross forehead actually) but King pulls
the referee out and decks him with a right hand. Angle
comes out to brawl with him but gets beaten down. The masked men
unveil themselves as Low Ki and Samoa Joe. Eric Young comes in with
a chair….and turns on Roode with a bunch of chair shots. Lashley
spears Roode down for the pin and the title at 20:00.
Rating:
B-. I liked the match utnil the
ending, which feels like yet another heel stable. Eric Young as a
potential big bad drives me insane because…..how do I put
this…..NO ONE CARES ABOUT ERIC FREAKING YOUNG! The match was good
and I’m assuming this sets up Lethal Lockdown with Team Roode vs.
Team MVP or Lashley. Not the worst idea but I’m terrified of another
heel stable, especially if there’s going to be a leader with
authority.
Overall
Rating:
C+. I’m torn on this
one as I really liked the energy and some of the tweaks they made
(commentary was WAY better tonight), but it feels like they’re
resetting a lot of what they did back in December. Aries is
X-Division Champion again and Lashley has the World Title back? So
why put it on Roode in the first place other than to just give it a
feel good moment?
The
ending…..erg. This is the frustrating part about TNA: they can’t
help but go back to the same ideas that we’ve seen so many times
before to diminishing results each time. The idea might work for
awhile at first, but then it overstays its welcome and turns into the
same idea they’ve always had. Hopefully that’s not where they’re
going with this, but TNA doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
The
rest of the show worked pretty well though as they focused on the
wrestling and advanced stories where they needed to. The Revolution
is still awesome and Storm is nailing the cult leader character,
especially with that creepy whistling. They
also did a good job of introducing a lot of the new people. I’d call
this a good first effort on a new channel, but the ending makes me
nervous.
Results
Kurt
Angle b. MVP – Angle Slam
James
Storm/Abyss b. Wolves – Last Call to Edwards
Austin
Aries b. Low Ki – Brainbuster
Taryn
Terrell won a battle royal last eliminating Havok
Lashley
b. Bobby Roode – Spear
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