9:00 a.m.: Bully Ray was driving in Nashville with someone in the passenger seat. Ray told the person that they’re in Nashville looking for TNA president Dixie Carter.
Video Package: A review of Eric Young becoming TNA champion.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay introduced the show from a half-full Impact Zone. Tenay plugged Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III, a Knockouts evening gown match, and Bro-Mans getting their Tag Title re-match against The Wolves in a ladder match.
In-ring: Eric Young was introduced to the ring to start the show. In the ring, Young said they have encountered his first hiccup during his World Title reign, as he does not have an opponent tonight. Young issued an Open Challenge to anyone in the back. “He’s crazy!” Taz declared.
Bobby Roode’s music interrupted to bring out Young’s opponent last week. Roode was dressed to wrestle to counter Young’s street clothes. Roode looked up and down Young, then noted Young wants to defend the title every single week. Well, here’s his chance. Roode said the fact is that there will be a title match tonight. And Young will defend against him tonight.
Young reminded Roode that he was number one contender … last week. He said he might be a bit messed up in the head, but what he does know is when the ref counted one, two, and three, Roode’s shoulders were down. Roode told “smartass” Young that he remembers Young beating him last week, but he came “that close” and he had to go to war with Gunner, who he beat. Roode told Young that if he wants to be a true champion, then be a man tonight and defend the belt against him tonight.
Roode calmed down, then went back through their history going back 17 years ago. They signed their first deals with TNA together, won the Tag Titles together, and are some of the remaining TNA Originals. He said they go to war one more time for the only reason why they got into this business – to be World Hvt. champion. “You and me. One more time,” he said. Roode said if Young is able to beat him again, he will give his word that he will never, ever ask for this again.
Young said they have a lot of history and one thing Roode absolutely is one of the best pro wrestlers in the world. So, tonight, they have one more match. For the World Hvt. Title. Young’s music played and they shook on the title match.
Up Next: Evening Gown match featuring the Knockouts.
[Commercial Break at 9:13]
MVP’s Office: Eric Young sat down with MVP, who sold being a little distant from EY. Young asked if there’s a problem. MVP said there is no problem, since Young is a fighting champion and not a paper champion. But, he had something cool planned for Young and Young booked himself in a match. He called off the match against Roode tonight, which Young did not like the sound of. Young said he just wants to wrestle tonight. MVP raised his voice that Young needs to calm down and bask in the title glory. MVP started showing heel tendencies by telling Young to relax until Slammiversary, as he’ll call in a really good opponent that Young has never faced before. Young reluctantly agreed and shook hands with MVP, who smirked after Young walked off.
1 — KO champion ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY vs. MADISON RAYNE & BRITTANY — Evening Gown tag match
The Beautiful People were introduced first as Tenay tried to play this up as a serious elimination tag match, where both opponents must be stripped to lose. To make clear face and heel distinctions, the BP were in black dresses and Rayne & Brittany were in white dresses. Of note, referee Stiffler was given the match assignment. No word on whether his actions at Sacrifice have been subject to an internal review after he was conveniently distracted during the KO Title match that gave Angelina the title win. Before a mid-match commercial, Velvet “eliminated” Brittany to create a handicap match.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
[Q3] Back from break, Madison prepared to square off against the BP by herself, just like at Sacrifice. Madison eventually got the best of Velvet and “eliminated” her to create a true Sacrifice re-match. Madison dominated once it was one-on-one, but just like at Sacrifice, ref Stiffler was conveniently distracted by Velvet’s state of undress, allowing Angelina to “eliminate” Madison.
WINNERS: Beautiful People at 11:38. Flashback to TNA’s tawdry programming from the Vince Russo era. As for the ref, it’s obviously time to investigate if Stiffler is on the take.
TNA HQ: Dixie Carter was shown talking to Rockstar Spud. Dixie said she has a meeting on the other side of town, which Rockstar said is not on the schedule. Dixie said he doesn’t know everything and to make sure Bully Ray is not allowed in this office. Dixie headed down a back exit of the office building after giving Spud his instructions.
Video Package: Kurt Angle vs. Ethan Carter III feud.
[Commercial Break at 9:36]
Locker Room: Magnus was confronted by the unidentified friend from his past from last week. The man said he sat down with MVP to work out a contract. “I’m not going anywhere,” he told Magnus. He said he already has booking power to put Magnus in a match against Willow/Jeff Hardy. Magnus asked “Bram” what’s up with him. Bram said he wants to test Magnus and see if he still has it in him. Magnus wiped his head, unsure what’s going on around here.
2 — KURT ANGLE vs. ETHAN CARTER III
Tenay said MVP will announce the main event of Slammiversary in the next segment. Carter was too aggressive early on, allowing Angle to rock him with triple German Suplexes. Angle suddenly threw himself down to the mat and sold a left knee injury. Angle recovered to his feet, but walked into a knee attack from Carter the Third.
Carter went to work on Angle’s knee, but Angle came back with an Angle Slam. He couldn’t follow up, though, as he sold the knee injury again. Ref Brian Hebner wanted to call off the match, but Angle said he wanted to continue. Carter then chopblocked the knee and covered him for a three count, with Angle kind of resisting the urge to kick out.
Post-match: Ref Hebner gave a giant X signal to sell the injury angle, but only shady ref Stiffler showed up. After a replay of the knee attack, TNA cut to a shot of Angle covering his head in pain. ECIII went from cocky and confident on the stage to selling some concern. Tenay solemnly said they will find out more about Angle’s condition on the other side of the break.
WINNER: ECIII at 3:22.
[Commercial Break at 9:50]
Moments Ago: Kurt Angle got roughed up by Ethan Carter III. Tenay said they will stay on top of this situation.
During the Break: An unidentified man to the general audience, Big John Gaburick, got TV time meeting Angle on the way out. Angle said he blew out his knee and heard it pop. Gaburick demanded Angle be taken to the trainer’s room right now.
Impact Zone: MVP was introduced to the ring. MVP said when he signed up for this job, he didn’t realize everything he was getting into. MVP said the audience is passionate and so are the wrestlers. He apologized to the audience for canceling the title match tonight, but said wrestlers are wrestlers and he is Director of Wrestling Operations. MVP said he just got off the phone with an opponent for EY at Slammiversary and it’s a blockbuster.
Bobby Roode’s music interrupted and MVP sold frustration with another interruption. Roode asked if this is some sort of joke. He asked MVP if he missed them setting up a title match earlier in the show. MVP said he has to earn a title shot. Roode gave EY’s speech asking MVP where he was when he became tag champ, became TNA champ, and over the last ten years in TNA. Roode cussed in MVP’s face, so MVP said this conversation is over.
[Q5 — second hour] MVP started to leave the ring, but Roode put his hands on him. MVP said if he does that again, it will be time to participate. Roode shoved him across the chest and the fight was on. Agents and security hit the ring to separate MVP and Roode.
Earlier Today: Bully Ray slipped into TNA Headquarters. The office secretary stammered and pretended to be nervous about Ray’s presence. Ray said he’ll find Dixie himself, then Rockstar Spud showed up. Spud told Ray that he’ll have to go through him. Ray picked up Spud and dragged him down the hallway before telling him to quiet down. Ray barged into Dixie’s office and Spud demanded he take his shoes off in this holy place. Ray went through Dixie’s pictures, then sat down in Dixie’s office chair. Ray picked up the phone and told the secretary they’re having a big, big meeting right now. “And get me a sandwich,” he added.
Backstage: Knox’s girlfriend/female assistant did a fire routine to prepare for the carnival coming to Impact. Knox brought in a cart, which was home to his co-freaks.
Up Next: TNA Tag Title ladder match.
[Commercial Break at 10:03]
Backstage: An unidentified man to the general public, Al Snow, confronted Bobby Roode, who shouted that he doesn’t want to leave the building. Snow shouted at Roode to leave because MVP said so. Roode called this b.s., then walked toward his vehicle.
In-ring: Bro-Mans were in the ring sans D.J. Zema formal ring introduction. TNA tag champs The Wolves were out next to make their first title defense. No word on why this is a ladder match.
3 — TNA tag champions THE WOLVES vs. BRO-MANS (ROBBIE E. & JESSIE w/D.J. Zema) — TNA Tag Title ladder match
As The Wolves made their entrance, D.J. Zema pushed over a ladder toward the champs, distracting them. Wolves chased after D.J., but Bro-Mans knocked them down from behind. Eddie and Davey got on all fours to allow Bro-Mans to drop a ladder across their backs. They sold pain, then Bro-Mans hit the ring and the bell sounded to officially begin the match. On commentary, Tenay said MVP still plans to announce Young’s Slammiversary opponent later in the show.
The match returned to the ring, where both teams teased climbing ladders to retrieve the title belts hanging above the ring. Jessie impressively dropkicked the Wolves off a ladder, but Eddie responded with a suplex that took both men over the top rope to the floor.
[Q6] Back in the ring, the Wolves eventually regrouped and tried climbing the ladder, but D.J. Zema showed up. Zema climbed the ladders, but Wolves cut him off and press-slammed D.J. over the top rope onto the Wolves down below. Wolves then climbed the ladder and eventually retrieved botht ag belts to win and retain.
WINNERS: The Wolves at 7:01 to retain the TNA Tag Titles. The Wolves have enough good offense to be compelling, but they continue to come across like they’re *acting* like a national TV tag team. Like they’re trying to do the facial reactions, play to the hard camera, and sell to the top row of the building, but it looks unnatural and forced.
Backstage: Knox and his girl, Rebel, talked about the contents of the crate. Out came a giant man in a scary mask and someone moving too quickly for the camera to keep up with. Rebel wasn’t so sure about this, while Knux got giddy like a kid on Christmas.
[Commercial Break at 10:19]
Earlier Today: Rockstar Spud returned to Dixie Carter’s office to present Bully Ray with his tea, but Bully was gone. The office secretary noted Bully called a staff meeting and Spud took off running.
Impact Zone: Kazarian was introduced to the ring for the next match. No Christopher Daniels, who is gone from TNA. Kaz did a basic ring entrance, then The Menagerie was introduced for their TV debut. Out came Rebel, then Crazy Steve, then the giant, freakish man known as Freak. Taz said they must have some good gyms at the old circus. Knux then came out to face Kaz. Full ring entrance for the group as people spilled in and out of the ring. Very long ring entrance before the ring cleared out.
4 — KNUX (w/The Menagerie) vs. KAZARIAN
Kaz attacked Knux from behind and the bell sounded. Knux then knocked Kaz over the top rope to the floor. On the outside, Kaz cussed out Crazy Steve, then turned around and stared down The Freak, who could pass for Rob Terry under a mask. Kaz was scared back into the ring, where Knux ran him over with a clothesline. Meanwhile, the announcers noted Knux has returned to TV to raise money for his failing carnival business back home. Knux then nailed a sit-out slam for the pin and the win. The Menagerie re-entered the ring to celebrate with Knux and taunt Kaz.
WINNER: Knux at 2:09. For someone who is trying to send money back home to support the local carny show, Knux is not a very sympathetic figure. Much like WWE’s Adam Rose, it’s unclear how the audience is supposed to feel about the character.
[Q7] TNA Office: Rockstar Spud approached a door at 11:00 a.m. Everyone was inside a conference room sitting quietly staring at their computers. Spud did not see Bully Ray, who snuck up behind him. Spud took his cue to leave, then Bully asked the employees what the company’s new motto is. “Bully Fears Dixie,” they repeated like robots. Bully laughed to himself and said they have some work to do.
[Commercial Break at 10:31]
Last Thursday: James Storm accidentally cost Mr. Anderson a title shot when he kicked Anderson instead of Gunner. As a result, next week will feature Mr. Anderson vs. James Storm.
Backstage: Mr. Anderson and Gunner were shown talking in the locker room. Gunner bad-mouthed Storm as a liar, then told Anderson to remember he’s a dangerous man. The conversation moved to Sam Shaw. They agreed he’s crazy, but Gunner wondered what trauma made him that way. Time to bring in the BAU. Anderson walked off.
Earlier Today: Bully Ray was leading the office in a keg party. Rockstar Spud walked in and freaked out. Spud cut off the music and said they’re trying to run a business here. Ray said they’re talking house shows, live events, and TV. Spud broke down and pleaded with Bully to leave. Ray said he will leave if Spud tells him where Dixie is. Spud pleaded with Bully that he doesn’t know where she is. Bully took his word for it, then Bully proposed one drink, he leaves, and everyone goes back to work.
Ray poured Spud a beer, then Spud took a drink. Suddenly, Ray grabbed him and put him through a gimmicked table with a powerbomb. Ray then reached into Spud’s pocket and pulled out his phone. Ray found Dixie’s home address, then asked the employees what the new company motto is. “Tables,” they chanted.
Somewhere back in Orlando: Jeff Hardy/Willow talked in random phrases. Dixieland. Nearfalls. A war. ECIII. Dixie Carter fades. Jeff Hardy comes so close. The reign of Magnus begins. Hardy said he does not fear Magnus’s reign. That’s easy to say when Magnus is no longer champion. Willow cackled to himself ahead of the default main event.
[Commercial Break at 10:40]
In-ring: Magnus was introduced first for the main event. He was joined by Bram, who Tenay said has an iron-clad contract. Taz called him very ambitious in his short time in TNA. Willow/Jeff Hardy was out next for the main event as Taz continued to try to figure out how Bram arrived as such power when he hasn’t wrestled a match in TNA.
5 — JEFF HARDY/WILLOW vs. MAGNUS (w/Bram)
As Hardy completed his entrance, Magnus blasted him with a short-arm clothesline on the outside. Magnus then rolled Hardy back into the ring for the match to officially start. Magnus beat up Hardy, then tossed him to the floor. On the outside, Bram smashed Hardy into the ring steps, causing a DQ. Will Bram repay Magnus for lost earnings getting the loser’s purse?
Post-match: Bram beat up Hardy in the ring as Magnus leaned back in the corner trying to figure out what his former buddy was doing. Bram then pulled out handcuffs and cuffed Hardy to the ringpost. Magnus continued to sell uncomfortableness as Bram smashed Hardy with a weapon. Hardy kind of cried like a boy in his Willow voice. Magnus sold uncomfortableness and bailed from the ring as Bram shouted and yelled.
WINNER: Hardy via DQ at 2:19.
Locker Room: Eric Young laced up his boots, then MVP told him he’ll announce his PPV title opponent up next. Young sold uncomfortableness.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Exam Room: Kurt Angle’s knee has no stability. The doctor said Angle’s ACL is clearly torn and he’s going to have to have surgery. Big John was in the room and lightly rubbed Angle on the shoulder to try to sympathize with him.
In-ring: Five minutes before the top of the hour, MVP was in the ring. MVP waited out “MVP, MVP” chants, then asked Eric Young to come join him in the ring right now. Young entered the ring with TNA Title belt in-hand as Tenay tried to guess who Young might face at Slammiversary. MVP said he is proud of Young and his accomplishments.
MVP got down to business that Young is an inspiration to everyone. He said if everyone on the roster had Young’s tenacity, spirit, and attitude, there is nothing “this brand” cannot accomplish. MVP said Young made it clear he wants to face the toughest competition out there. So, that is what he has done.
MVP presented the man who will face Eric Young at Slammiversary – the #1 contender for Young’s title … pause as Young turned to look toward the entrance. No one came out. MVP asked if the person is late. Young questioned what the deal is. MVP said they didn’t play his music, so he’ll break it to Young this way. MVP punched Young in the face and loud piped-in boos played on the audio track.
Taz and Tenay sold shock as MVP removed his jacket and pounded Young. As MVP stood over Young, Tenay said MVP is beating the heck out of Eric Young. Tenay demanded an explanation. MVP then told Young he’ll see him at Slammiversary. Taz asked if this is a joke, while Tenay said this is abuse of power. Taz called it an ego-driven move as Impact went to break.
So, is the explanation that MVP is gold-hungry and set up Young to become champion so he could conquer an easy TNA champion? Overall, it’s another one of those pessimistic TNA stories where all “good guys” eventually turn evil, hurting the audience’s connection with the product when no one seems to be trustworthy on the roster.
(Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com)