Date: February 9, 2016
Location: MEN Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
We’re out of Pennsylvania for a change as the annual Maximum Impact tour begins. That means the return of Ethan Carter III as he goes after Matt Hardy and the World Title, along with the continuation of the Kurt Angle farewell tour. The UK shows are always energetic so let’s get to it.
We open with a quick video on the UK tour.
Here are Matt Hardy and company with the champ saying the Matt Hardy brand is far more valuable than the TNA brand. He’s the one who the people should be cheering because he’s taken this company to new heights. Tyrus goes on a rant about how Carter reached the title because of his bodyguard’s efforts. Reby talks about how awesome her husband is because he’s talented, sexy and rich.
That brings us back to Matt who talks about his greatness due to beating Carter, his brother Jeff and Kurt Angle. In that whole time though, there hasn’t been a word from Dixie Carter. Therefore, Matt isn’t leaving this ring until Dixie comes out here to face him. That’s not it though as he wants the cancer known as Ethan Carter fired and that’s what Dixie will do if she wants to keep her mega star happy.
The lighting is rather dim again even though the crowd doesn’t seem that bad.
Lashley vs. Bram
We miss the opening bell because we needed to hear Eric Young bragging about ending Jeff Hardy’s career. They slug it out to start and quickly go outside with Bram getting the better of it, only to have Pope talk about Dumb and Dumber. Back in and Lashley’s leapfrog is telegraphed, allowing Bram to kick him in the ribs for two.
We hit a quick chinlock before Lashley fights up and catches him in a running powerslam (nice touch in England). The spear misses though and Lashley goes into the buckle, setting up the Brighter Side of Suffering. That’s not enough for Young though as he gets inside with the King of the Mountain Title, only to hit Bram by mistake. The spear gives Lashley the pin at 5:52.
Rating: C. I liked this better than I was expecting to but as usual the big story here continues to be how horribly Bram is used. The guy has a good look, can go in the ring and has a solid character. The solution: pair him with Eric Young, who gets all of the focus for whatever reason.
Tyrus gives Matt Hardy security to deal with Carter tonight.
Here’s Kurt Angle with something to say. He talks about being in TNA for ten years (and still being remembered as that guy who used to be awesome in WWE) and is going to be facing Lashley in his final match but here’s Maria to cut him off. After her usual speech, here’s Mike Bennett with something to say.
Bennett grew up watching Angle and beat up his brother with Kurt’s offense. Kurt wants Bennett out of his ring so Bennett says he wants to fight, which earns him a quick dispatch. Angle talks about not wanting to fight anyone that he doesn’t respect, which is why he’s fighting Drew Galloway. This brings out Galloway to point at Angle.
Bobby Roode gives James Storm the Boozer Cruiser back. They might be cashing in the Tag Team Title briefcase tonight.
X-Division Title: Trevor Lee vs. Tigre Uno
Lee is defending and has Gregory Shane Helms in his corner. Tigre sends him outside really quickly for a big flip dive, followed by a tornado DDT back inside. The champ takes over for the first time and stomps on Tigre’s bad shoulder. Some knees to the back keep Tigre in trouble but he pulls Lee to the floor and snaps off a hurricanrana off the apron. Back in and Helms trips Tigre, allowing Lee to knee him in the face and grab the fisherman’s buster to retain at 5:17.
Rating: C. See, I can live with Tigre losing here after Trevor already showed that he can beat Uno clean last week. It isn’t damaging Uno as he’s just not good enough to beat Lee no matter what, which is likely why we’ll see these guys fight two or three more times. Helms as a mentor is interesting but he needs to get in the ring at some point.
Beer Money comes out and says they want to cash in their briefcase but they get the Decay instead of the Wolves. Rosemary talks about her toys (the titles) and speaks in her rhyming style. Roode wants to fight instead of talk so let’s get a referee out here.
Decay vs. Beer Money
It’s a brawl in the aisle to start until Roode drops a knee on Steve’s ribs. Abyss breaks up a Sharpshooter and slowly pounds on Roode, only to have the chokeslam countered into a spinebuster. A double tag brings in Storm to beat on Steve and Roode throws in a Blockbuster. There’s the double suplex for both Decay villains and it’s time to SHOUT THEIR NAMES. DWI plants Steve but Abyss pulls the referee out for the DQ at 5:25.
Rating: D+. I’m really not feeling Decay as they’re really just a team that goes out there and plays the standard “we’re freaky” team role. It doesn’t help that Steve was a comedy guy who hasn’t change enough to make up for his worthless performances and Abyss is the same guy he’s been forever. Nothing to see here and Decay continues to look worthless.
Post match Decay beats on Beer Money until the Wolves come out to save Roode from Janice. The Wolves say they want their belts back so Abyss challenges them to a Monster’s Ball match next week. The champs agree of course.
Reby and Dixie Carter talk about how proud Matt is.
We’re ready for a Knockouts match but here’s Grado, recently fired, to interrupt. He has proof that he was screwed in Feast or Fired but here’s Eli Drake, flanked by security, to interrupt. Security is an inept as ever and Grado gets away while holding an envelope.
Drew Galloway says tonight is about making himself the present by beating Kurt Angle.
Jade vs. Madison Rayne
Time for more faction wars despite the factions barely being a thing at this point. Rayne spears her to the floor to start and dives onto the Dollhouse. Back in and Madison gets a quick rollup for two but Jade kicks her in the face for the same. The heel choking begins but an enziguri breaks up Jade’s double underhook. Madison scores with a running clothesline but Jade knees her in the head. The Package Piledriver puts Madison away at 4:24.
Rating: D. Is there a point coming to these matches ANYTIME soon? These teams have been feuding for weeks and now that Kong is gone, I’m not sure what else these women are supposed to do? They have no real story until Angelina Love likely returns for one more reunion of a team that was a big deal eight years ago.
Gail Kim runs in to save Madison from an attack with a chair.
Grado rants to Billy Corgan about how he was screwed. Corgan says he can’t understand a word Grado says and here’s security to drag Grado off.
Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway
Rematch from a few weeks back where Kurt won. Drew cranks on an armbar to start but Angle suplexes him down with ease. Off to a chinlock from Kurt as Pope thinks Angle could have been Knockouts Champion if he wanted to. Back up and a double clothesline puts both guys down and we take a break.
We come back with Drew getting out of the ankle lock and getting two off a Future Shock. They head outside with Drew walking into an Angle Slam onto the steps for two, only to have Galloway grab a reverse Alabama Slam (not Jam Pope) for the same. Drew takes him up for a super Celtic Cross for two more but he has to escape the Angle Slam. A pair of Claymores drop Kurt but he avoids a middle rope Claymore, setting up the rolling Germans.
The top rope splash gets two on Galloway, who comes right back with the third Claymore for two (so much for that move). There’s a Crossface (with Drew wrapping Kurt’s arm around his neck instead of between his legs) but as you would expect, Kurt reverses into an ankle lock, only to have Drew kick him in the knee. The crossface goes on again and Kurt taps at 15:16.
Rating: B. This is what they needed to do as Galloway can use this win a lot more than Angle. They were totally into the trading finishers style here and it worked well, mainly due to the time they were given. Angle tapping is the right ending and Galloway looks awesome (unlike the Claymore at this point), which is exactly what it needed to be.
Post match Drew bows to Kurt.
Here are Matt and company to demand Ethan’s firing. Dixie comes out but Matt cuts her off and says they’re having this discussion here. If anyone knows how to make this a success, it’s Matt Hardy, because he’s the superstar and the World Champion. The one thing he wants is Ethan Carter III gone because Ethan is the source of every problem around here. Then Matt won the title at Bound For Glory and caused the World Title Series to start up.
This brings out Rockstar Spud who is immediately the victim of short jokes. Matt still wants someone fired but Spud cuts him off to demand that Matt not disrespect Dixie like that. Hardy just wants Ethan fired but Spud won’t insult Ethan to Dixie. As bad as Ethan is, he backs up what he says. Spud thinks Matt is scared so Tyrus lays him out as Matt looks on. Matt screams at Dixie to fire Ethan but here he is for his big return. House is quickly cleaned and we’re really supposed to care about Carter vs. Tyrus.
Overall Rating: C+. It’s a good show, but the last ten minutes are built around Matt Hardy vs. Dixie Carter with Ethan Carter III vs. Tyrus as the bonus. I know Matt is doing a lot better than people were expecting him to, but it’s Matt Hardy. I really can’t get around that no matter how much I try. At the end of the day, it’s Matt Hardy getting this push that so many others could do just as well. We’ve seen the matches (they’re ok) and we’ve heard the promos (they’re not that ok) and I have no desire to see Matt Hardy in this spot. The rest of the show was good, but Matt Hardy as the centerpiece needs to wrap up soon.
Lashley b. Bram – Spear
Trevor Lee b. Tigre Uno – Fisherman’s Buster
Beer Money b. Decay via DQ when Abyss pulled the referee to the floor
Jade b. Madison Rayne – Package Piledriver
Drew Galloway b. Kurt Angle – Crossface
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