Continuing our weekly coverage of Impact Wrestling, Erik Vasquez fires up his DVR and gives you a recap of the most recent edition of Impact Live on Spike TV.
written by: Erik Vasquez
Samoa Joe Confronts Kurt Angle
We kickoff the show with the Impact set totally decked out in red, white, and blue for 4th of July. New “Executive Director” of TNA Wrestling Kurt Angle. Angle welcomes everyone to his “Red, White, and Blue Throwdown.” He then calls out former referee Earl Hebner who was fired weeks before. Kurt Angle then reinstates Hebner and calls him the greatest referee ever. He then announces the first match of the night being EC3 vs. Bully Ray in a Tables Match. Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the TNA Tag Team Titles with Champions The Wolves putting their titles on the line vs. Jesse Godderz and DJ Z vs. Knux and The Freak of The Menagerie. Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love for the TNA Knockouts Championship and Eric Young gets his rematch against Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Title so it looks like we have a full night of action folks. Just before Angle exits the ring the music of Samoa Joe hits. Joe says Angle coming to save TNA is a bunch of BS. He says he’s no different from his predecessors and knowing Kurt, the one thing that he covets most is the TNA World Heavyweight Title. Joe then questions if Angle will use his power to book himself into a title match once his knee is healed up. Angle says that he and Joe have been going through the same troubles for the past eight years to which Joe disagrees. Joe says Angle was “bought and brought” to TNA while Joe fought his way in. Angle then says Joe has had plenty of opportunities his issue his he comes in somedays kicking ass and other days half-ass. Joe definitely takes offense to Angle questioning his dedication to pro wrestling. Samoa Joe proclaims he is pro wrestling to which Angle says that’s the Joe everyone wants to see. Before Joe exits the ring he tells Kurt, “Be careful what you wish for.
Backstage MVP is shown talking on his phone to someone. Yay more mystery people! He’s then confronted by Bobby Roode and the two brawl. Kenny King jumps Roode from behind. Roode is left laying as MVP talks trash and walks off with King. We go to commercial.
We return to Roode telling Angle he got jumped. Kurt apologizes but Roode says it’s not necessary. Kurt asks if he needs to go hospital but Roode insists he isn’t going. He wants a match with MVP and the two go off looking for MVP and Kenny King.
Knux and The Freak vs. DJ Z and Jesse Godderz vs. The Wolves for the TNA Tag Team Championship
The action starts off hot with DJ Z and Godderz depositing The Wolves to the outside but Knux and The Freak send DJ Z flying to the moon with a hip toss to the outside. The Freak, who’s name certainly fits, hits both of The Wolves with a suplex. Godderz tags himself in. After Edwards gets the Hot tag to Richards, Davey cleans house of both teams. Wolves hit a pop up kick combo and score the victory. Can’t say the match was either bad or good, was way too quick especially for a title match on TV.
Backstage Roode and Angle confront MVP and Kenny King. Angle books MVP in a match vs. Roode but obviously MVP is in no condition to fight. Therefore tonight we will see Bobby Roode vs. Kenny King. We go to commercial.
Bobby Roode vs. Kenny King in a Street Fight
Back from commercial with Bobby Roode making his way down to the ring for his street fight with Kenny King. Roode cuts a promo about being reinstated in TNA and then he calls out Kenny King. King questions if Roode really wants this match then claims he’s ready to break his neck. Angle’s music hits and he gives MVP the boot from ringside. Roode attacks King on the stage area and we are under way. The two fight all the way to the tech area. Roode sends King to the floor from a higher balcony an gets the upper hand as they brawl through the crowd. Both men make it back to the ring area after Roode back body drops King over the guard rail. Roode has a steel chair in hand and King hits him with a variation of a Van Terminator. Apparently now this is when the bell rings. Is this still a street fight? After some action in the ring King goes to land what looks to be an F-5 onto a steel chair but Roode counters and hits a death valley driver onto the chair instead. And with that Roode gets the win.
Backstage we get EC3’s thoughts on his upcoming Tables Match with Bully Ray. The self proclaimed “Hardcore American Icon” vows Bully Ray will never put him or his Aunt Dixie through a table. Brittany is shown walking down to the ring before we head to commercial.
Back from commercial we get Bobby Roode’s thoughts on being reinstated and his victory over Kenny King. He promises to take down MVP and defeat Bobby Lashley for the World Title. Cut to Austin Aries asking for Angle’s help getting a rematch vs. Senada for the X-Division. Angle knows the only reason Aries wants the title is to use Option C, cashing in the X Division Title for a World Title shot.
Back ringside we have Brittany in the ring. She calls out Madison Rayne. Seeing as how I have just restarted watching Impact I have no clue as to why these ladies are bickering. Brittany apologizes and says she looked up to and wanted to be Madison. Madison accepts her apology and says she will will be there for Brittany. The two embrace and Brittany says the real lesson she’s learned is never meet your heroes because they only disappoint. She hits Madison with a clothesline then sends her crashing to the outside. She then hits her with a reverse DDT on the outside.
Backstage Bully Ray cuts a promo on EC3. We go to commercial.
Backstage MVP is with Lashley who he predicts will be the most dominant champion in TNA history. He blames Angle for what happens tonight in the ring to EY.
EC3 vs. Bully Ray in a Tables Match
Overall I thought this was an okay match but nothing special. Throughout the entire match only one table was used. The rules of a Tables Match state that in order for there to be a winner you have to put your opponent through a table using a maneuver on offense. The reason I say this is because a way to build up this match in the ring is to execute a false style finish where one man looks to have the victory in hand but ends up going through due to a counter. Have this happen once throughout the match for each man and you’ve built up a Tables Match with a climatic finish, neither of which happened in this match.
With that said the ending of the match pulled off one of the best swerves to come out of TNA in recent memory. Bully Ray looks like he has the match won when Spud jumps in and low blows Bully Ray. The music of ECW original Rhino hits and he goes full sprint to the ring. He goes to gore Spud but stops just shy of breaking him in half. He then turns and gores Bully Ray! EC3 hits a standing spine-buster through the table for the victory. Again, I honestly didn’t see that coming.
Back from commercial and the camera catches up with Rhino who says he owes no one an explanation for his actions, he just does what he wants.
Backstage Bobby Roode and Eric Young talk backstage. EY sounds hesitant to Roode and says the facts show he can’t beat Lashley. Roode says those are facts for EY but the facts for Eric Young say he was never supposed to champion in the first place and he proved them wrong. We go to commercial.
We get a vignette of Sam Shaw in a straight jacket in a white padded room. They recap his weird obsession with Christy Hemme and Gunner’s even weird obsession to want to help Shaw who is now under his care and supervision. Backstage Gunner convinces Shaw to apologize to Ken Anderson who’s having none of it. After some convincing all three men visit Hemme who instantly is freak. The guys explain that according to Gunner Shaw has changed who offers what seems to be a sincere apology to Hemme and asks for forgiveness. He walks off before even getting a reply. Gotta say this has me somewhat interested. Sam Shaw is an innovative gimmick but TNA hasn’t always hit home runs with the Shaw gimmick, in fact many times not even a single, but the character is so different that there is room for growth.
Another backstage segment this time with the Beautiful People. Something to do with a ref. Nope. Don’t care. Not one bit. Furthermore a backstage segment directly after a LONG backstage segment with Shaw and co. runs the risk of having the viewer completely check out mentally. Remember, wrestling fans have the attention span of an ant.
Back from commercial and more backstage segments this time Angle informing the ref he’s been replaced.
Gail Kim vs Angelina Love for the Knockouts Championship
Solid match. Decent flow to it. Gail Kim is so good. Ridiculously good. She reminds me a bit like Eddie Guerrero is the sense that she has the footwork of a gazelle. Watch her come off the ropes, simply graceful. She connects with Eat Defeat to become the new TNA Knockouts Champion.
Eric Young vs. Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Title
Before the match begins Bobby Roode comes down to the ring to even the odds for EY. Quickly both he and MVP get involved and are subsequently ejected from ring side for their actions. From then on the action is pretty back and forth until Lashley sends EY crashing to the outside from the top rope. The fall causes EY’s leg to get caught on the turnbuckle and he tweaks his ankle. Lashley smartly zones in on the hurt leg and goes to work. Lashley makes quick work of EY from then on and hits him with a spear to pick up the win and retain the World Title. Solid straight to the point match. Finally no weird run in shenanigans and overbooked finishes during the main event. The show ends with Lashley celebrating.
Final Thoughts: So much backstage talk. Entirely way too much talking. Cut 10 minutes of backstage segments and you can spread that to the actual ring work. Other than all of the jaw jacking I thought this was a decent show ring wise. All of the matches had a good pace to them.
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