Date: February 16, 2016
Location: MEN Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
We’re still in England and Lockdown is in a week (not that TNA has bothered to tell us that just yet of course), likely with the returning Ethan Carter III challenging Matt Hardy in one of the new champ’s first title defenses. Other than that we may have more issues between Matt and Dixie Carter over Jeff Hardy’s future. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the Tag Team Title situation with Decay stealing the Wolves’ belts and daring the champs to come get them in a Monster’s Ball this week.
Another recap shows us the ending of last week’s show with Ethan Carter III returning to chase off Matt Hardy.
Ethan comes up to Dixie in the back and says it’s now his mission to take the title back from Hardy. Dixie tells him that the rematch will be next week in Lockdown inside the steel cage. That’s fine with Ethan, but tonight he has something personal to take care of.
Here’s Ethan in the arena with something to say. He walked into this company two and a half years ago with a chip on his shoulder and he’s beaten everyone in front of him save for one name. That one man is all that matter to him right now and that is Matt Hardy. The one word that matters right now is rematch and Matt is going to be locked inside a cage with all of Ethan’s rage and vengeance.
Right now though, Ethan’s fists need to start punching someone and he can’t think of anyone better than Tyrus. Maybe Tyrus is breast feeding Maxel Hardy but get out here right now and fight. Tyrus comes out to say Ethan doesn’t want this. Ethan: “Actually I do salami tits.” However, Tyrus thinks Ethan is afraid to be alone and he got to a new level with Tyrus. They were close enough for Tyrus to call him boss, but now Tyrus knows everything about him. Ethan asks if Tyrus is done and now the brawl is on.
Tyrus takes over and punches Carter up the aisle, only to be sent into the barricade a few times. This brings out Matt for the double beatdown and it’s time for a chair. Ethan fights both of them off though and cleans house with a chair. Matt issues the challenge for the tag match later tonight.
Here are Eric Young and Bram with something to say. Young asks if there’s anyone in the crowd tough enough to take his King of the Mountain Title from him. One person who certainly won’t be doing it is Jeff Hardy, but this brings out Beer Money. OF COURSE IT BRINGS OUT BEER MONEY because we haven’t had this story go on long enough yet. Storm accepts the challenge and we’re ready to go.
King of the Mountain Title: Eric Young vs. James Storm
Young is defending and gets taken down in a hurry with Storm sending him into the corner. Storm gets sent to the floor though, allowing Eric to take over back inside. An elbow to the face gets two and a neckbreaker gets the same. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Storm fights up with some clotheslines. Roode intercepts Bram and all four guys brawl to the floor for the double countout at 4:07.
Rating: D. Sweet goodness I can’t stand Eric Young. I don’t remember being more miserable when someone comes on my TV. I get that he’s been around for a long time but this feud with Bobby Roode and now Beer Money I guess has been going on for years now. There’s no reason left for them to fight other than “well they’ve been fighting for a while now.” Find something else for them to do or stop putting them on TV because it’s been old for a long time.
All four fight into the crowd.
Drew Galloway offers to be Ethan’s partner. They have common goals but Ethan wants to stand alone tonight.
Back from a break and THEY’RE STILL FIGHTING. Just put them in the cage match like you know you’re going to next week so we can hopefully end this feud already. We cut away as the fighting continues.
Here are Mike Bennett and Maria to discuss the people that have come across Mike so far. Kurt Angle hit him from behind and then ran away. Drew Galloway is stuck with a ticking time bomb called a briefcase. Tonight though, Mike wants to face one of the UK’s own.
Mike Bennett vs. Mandrews
Mandrews takes him down with an early armdrag and we’re already at the first shooting star, only to have Mike raise his knees. We hit the early chinlock for a few moments before Mike flapjacks him for two. Mandrews comes back with a spinning DDT and a standing corkscrew moonsault for two of his own. Bennett crotches him on top and hits a hanging Diamond Cutter, followed by the Miracle in Progress for the pin at 3:46.
Rating: D+. I’m not wild on the Miracle gimmick but at least he looked more dominant for a change. Bennett could go somewhere, assuming he can actually outlive Matt Hardy’s World Title reign. Not much to see here but it’s always fun to watch a pest like Mandrews get beaten down for a bit.
Post match Bennett keeps pounding on Mandrews until Drew Galloway makes the save.
Rosemary talks about leaving the Wolves lying in a pool of their own blood with nothing to wear. Abyss promises that she’ll be the most beautiful woman at the ball. The Decay is in a cage when someone comes up to say he remembers Rosemary. He blows a kiss and says he’ll see them soon. Apparently that would be British wrestler Jimmy Havoc.
Post break and Bennett beats down Galloway and Mandrews in the back.
Odarg the Great (notice the spelling) is coming.
Matt Hardy and Tyrus threaten Rockstar Spud to not be Ethan’s partner later.
We look back at Angle vs. Lashley from last year.
Tag Team Titles: Wolves vs. Decay
Monster’s Ball (street fight) with the Wolves defending. They brawl in the aisle to start and the weapons are quickly brought in as we take an early break. Such a stupid WWE move. Back with the Wolves in control and grabbing a ladder. Abyss’ ankle gets caught in the ladder but Rosemary mists Davey to break up the top rope double stomp, allowing Abyss to pelt a chair at Eddie, knocking him down through a table.
Abyss pulls out Janice and before I can type “and he swings it, only to get it caught in the turnbuckle pad because HE ALWAYS GETS IT CAUGHT IN THE TURNBUCKLE PAD”, he swings it, only to get it caught in the turnbuckle pad because HE ALWAYS GETS IT CAUGHT IN THE TURNBUCKLE PAD. That means more violence as Abyss piles up chairs until Eddie gets up for the save, setting up sunset bomb onto the chairs.
Steve and Davey get back in and the champs hit the clown in the back with a chair, setting up a top rope double stomp. Abyss starts cleaning house and brings out the bag of tacks. Pope: “We always think it’s the tacks but you never know!” Yeah Pope we do know, because it’s always the tacks. Eddie kicks Abyss out to the floor, allowing Davey to suicide dive the monster into the barbed wire board. Steve blasts Eddie with a chair off camera and puts his head inside a chair.
Rosemary gets in the ring to break up something like a Conchairto though as she pours the tacks (yeah they were tacks, because they’re always tacks) onto Eddie’s head first. The Conchairto misses though because of course it does, allowing Eddie to use Janice to knock a chair into Steve’s face. Richards kisses Rosemary (there’s some sexual assault for you) but it’s a trick to suck the mist out of her mouth. I’m not sure if that’s brilliant or ridiculous. Whatever they call Chasing the Dragon onto the chairs puts Steve away at 14:33.
Rating: C+. Much like almost everything else on this show, I’ve seen this so many times before. Like I said a few times here, you knew it was going to be tacks because it’s always tacks. You knew Abyss was going into the barbed wire board because he always goes into the barbed wire board. Finally you knew Janice wasn’t hitting anyone because it never does. The match is still entertaining, but they haven’t changed the formula in so long that it’s beyond stale. Oh and thanks for coming Decay. Can we just release Steve now?
Spud offers to be Ethan’s partner but Ethan still wants to do it alone.
Gail Kim/Madison Rayne vs. Jade/Marti Bell
Speaking of things we’ve seen time after time. It’s a brawl to start with Marti scoring off a Samoan Drop to Kim, followed by a running flip neckbreaker for two. Gail gets beaten down a little more until Jade runs into a boot in the corner. The hot tag brings in Madison as everything breaks down. Jade’s dive is broken up by Gail’s forearm, allowing Madison to roll Marti up for the pin at 4:00.
Rating: D. So? The feud is just going to continue because the Dollhouse has the numbers advantage and for some reason they’ll beat everyone down and re-establish dominance that they lose again the next week because they almost never win anything. I’m sure a former Beautiful People member will make the save and set up a six Knockout cage match that only TNA’s hardest of hardcore fans will find interesting because that’s how the Knockouts work.
Post match, the Dollhouse beats down Gail and Madison until Velvet Sky makes the save. Velvet wants Lethal Lockdown next week.
Mahabali Shera is back and has a new friend in Odarg the Great, who says he’s a good guy. It’s clearly Grado as the mask is similar to Vader’s old style.
Eric Young/Bram and Beer Money are still fighting in the back. Pope: “They’ll get tired in a while.” The villains finally start walking away but Beer Money tells the cameraman that they want a cage match next week. So I’m supposed to care about a ten minute match after they just fought for over an hour?
Jesse Godderz/Eli Drake vs. Mahabali Shera/Odarg the Great
Well he was coming an hour ago, then he appeared and now he’s having a match. He even comes out to Grado’s music and doing Grado’s strut, though he’s billed from Parts Unknown. Pope even gets in a Midnight Rider reference as the match begins without a bell that I could hear. Shera drop toeholds Drake down and ties Eli’s arms up to make him do the dance.
Jesse has some better luck by taking Shera to the mat and setting up something like a Demolition Decapitator. Back up and the hot tag brings in Odarg to clean house as everything breaks down. A Sky High gets two on Jesse as Drake goes after the mask. Odarg pulls it off instead and rolls Drake up (looking him right in the face) for the pin at 5:00.
Rating: D+. Maybe it’s how much I’ve disliked this show but I had a good time with this. I can go with comedy much easier when everyone is in on the joke and they’re just having fun with it. I mean, it’s not like the Feast or Fired briefcase has had strict rules before so this is hardly a stretch. If nothing else it’s the most I’ve ever been entertained by Grado and it gives the talented Drake something to do.
Drake’s shocked look post match is great.
Post break Eli wants Grado at Lockdown but Odarg comes up to say he’ll be Drake’s opponent.
Matt Hardy/Tyrus vs. Ethan Carter III
Handicap to start. The fans are doing this awkward wave to Carter’s music and it’s really not working. Tyrus starts for the team but gets knocked back into the corner for an early beating. A t-bone suplex sends Carter flying though and we take a break. Back with Matt dropping a middle rope elbow to Ethan but Rockstar Spud comes out to be Carter’s partner. Ethan scores with a clothesline but stays in to fight Matt as the fans want Spud. A dropkick puts Matt down and the hot tag brings in Spud who actually doesn’t turn on Carter.
There goes the bowtie but Spud beats on Tyrus instead, allowing Matt to take him down with something like Big Show’s Final Cut. The Heart Punch puts Spud down but Tyrus misses a charge in the corner, allowing Spud to grab an Underdog. The real hot tag brings in Carter to face Hardy as everything breaks down. Ethan dives at both guys but they fail to catch him, leaving Carter to crash in an ugly looking landing. Back in and the Side Effect gets two on Ethan, followed by a Twist of Fate to Spud. The 1%er puts Matt away at 12:54.
Rating: C. Just a main event tag match here but I don’t buy the idea of Spud being fine with Carter less than a year after everything that happened. If there’s one thing TNA does well, it’s remember continuity like that so, as predictable as it might be, I’m kind of hoping Spud turns on Carter next week.
Overall Rating: D. This show got better in the second hour but the first hour was one of the least interesting (which is far different than worst) offerings from TNA that I’ve seen in a long time. It showcased so many of their problems: acting like WWE, setting up someone like Decay and then having them lose in their first big match and above all else, a bunch of stuff that we’ve seen before. That’s where TNA loses me: I really have no interest in seeing the same tropes that they’ve covered just a year or so ago. This got better later on, but it really had nowhere to go but up.
James Storm vs. Eric Young went to a double countout
Mike Bennett b. Mandrews – Miracle in Progress
Wolves b. Decay – Brainbuster onto a chair to Steve
Odarg the Great/Mahabali Shera b. Eli Drake/Jesse Godderz – Rollup to Drake
Ethan Carter III/Rockstar Spud b. Tyrus/Matt Hardy – 1%er to Hardy
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