11/5 Powell's TNA Impact live coverage review: Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Low Ki in the tag team tournament finals, new TNA Champion Bobby Roode and Lashley confrontation, Havok vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Knockouts Title
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Live Coverage
Taped in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
[Q1] A video package recapped Bobby Roode beating Lashley to win the TNA Title... Mike Tenay and Taz were on commentary... Kurt Angle stood in the ring and introduced Bobby Roode as the new champion. Roode said wrestlers dream of the moment. He said he loves pro wrestling and the title means he is the best.
Roode played to the fans by saying he's happy he can share the moment with them and every pro wrestling fan around the world. "I am proud to be your TNA World Heavyweight Champion," Roode said. Lashley's music played and he walked to the ring with MVP and Kenny King.
MVP accused Roode of manipulating the system to get a title shot he doesn't deserve and conspiring with Angle. "I have to ask, who are the bad guys, here?" MVP said. "Who are the cheaters?" MVP said Roode couldn't beat the unbeatable without help. MVP said Lashley only stepped in for him because he suffered a knee injury, so he deserves a title match. "Defend your title against me," MVP said.
Angle asked Roode if he would mind putting the title up against MVP. Roode agreed. MVP said that means he becomes the TNA Champion. Lashley didn't look pleased by this development, and Taz assumed that Lashley was furious... A video package touted the tag tournament finals...
Backstage, Low Ki and Samoa Joe spoke about the finals of the tournament. Joe said he can't believe people doubt them as a unit and think they can't get along. Joe spoke highly of the Hardy Boys. "All great things must crumble and the sledgehammer has just arrived," Joe said. Tenay chimed in to say the tournament final was up next...
Powell's POV: A solid opening segment. I like that it didn't overstay it's welcome. Roode was laying it on pretty thick with the fans. Angle was odd in asking Roode if he minded defending the title. It came across like he actually is on Roode's side and I don't think that's what they were going for. I like the idea of MVP moving away from Lashley to become his own man again, but I fear where that leaves Lashley, who works best when he doesn't talk.
[Q2] [C] A commercial aired for the One Night Only pay-per-view "Knockout Knockdown 2014" that premieres on Friday...
1. Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Low Ki in the tag team tournament finals. Joe and Low Ki isolated Hardy and had him down heading into a commercial break. [C]
[Q3] Joe applied the rear naked choke on Matt, but Jeff broke it up by performing a swanton onto him. A short time later, Jeff hit a Swanton on Low Ki. Matt performed a moonsault onto Low Ki and pinned him while Jeff took out Joe by diving onto him at ringside...
Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy defeated Samoa Joe and Low Ki in 14:40 to become No. 1 contenders to the TNA Tag Titles.
Powell's POV: A strong match. The tag tournament did nothing for me, though. It felt unnecessary since the Hardys won it. Couldn't they just ask for a tag title match? I know they had the three-way series, but the tournament approach would have worked better for me if the goal was to establish a new tag team.
Backstage, James Storm told Davey Richards he wished he has someone that would have spoke the truth to him. He gave him one week to give him an answer...
Inside a locker room, Roode spoke about how MVP suspended him to keep him away from the TNA Championship. Roode said he went through every obstacle to win the title. Roode said he would give Lashley his "well deserved rematch," but he had no problem letting MVP cut in line because he took away professional wrestling from him... [C]
Powell's POV: I don't know if you guys know this, but Bobby Roode likes professional wrestling. Anyway, a good promo that started with Roode speaking in a normal voice and built to him raising his voice and peaking at the end. Storm courting Richards isn't clicking. Storm is a good talker and Richards is doing a nice job of selling that he's conflicted via his facial expressions, but I have a hard time buying Richards bailing on his tag champ partner and to join Storm's Redneck Job Squad.
A video package recapped the Gunner, Samuel Shaw, and Brittany... Shaw and Brittany came to the ring for a promo. After Shaw spoke, Brittany said Gunner can't do the things that she can do for him. They made out and fell to the mat together. Gunner's music interrupted the make out session.
[Q4] Gunner said he wanted to be Shaw's friend, but crazy attracts crazy. He said Shaw didn't want to be like him, he wanted to be him. Gunner called them a couple of "creepy bastards." Shaw barked, "Don't ever call us that." Three people in the crowd picked up the chant briefly. Gunner and Shaw fought. Gunner got the better of it until Brittany climbed onto his back and Shaw low-blowed him. Shaw put Gunner in his chokehold...
Tenay hyped a hardcore tag match for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: The creepy bastards line is too close for comfort with the "creepy little bastard" line that was directed at Christian in WWE. Be original.
A video package aired on Mahabali Shera. The backstory is that Kurt Angle discovered him. Angle said he believes Shera can be a TNA Champion someday. Shera spoke about competing with the best...
Backstage, MVP interrupted a conversation Angle was having. MVP accused Angle of thinking it's all about him. MVP said it's all about him too. "Oh, I got it," Angle said. "I think after tonight everybody else got it too." Tenay chimed in on commentary so say that he believes Lashley got it too...
2. Tommy Dreamer and Devon vs. Bram and Magnus in a hardcore match. Dreamer and Devon attacked the heels from behind to start the match. The two teams fought around the building a bit before taking the match to the ring.
[Q5] Chairs, trash cans, and cookie sheets were used in the match. Dreamer was tripped onto a chair and held his eye. Magnus hit him with a trash can. The heel duo continued to work over Dreamer. A brief "Tommy" chant could be heard. The fans pepped up a bit when Devon returned to the ring and used weapons, and they got excited about the use of tables when Devon teased it.
Devon set up a table on the floor. After a brief back and forth in the ring, Bram took a bump through the table. Magnus struck Devon with a kendo stick shot, then hit Dreamer with another. Dreamer came back and ended up pinning Magnus. Taz said he felt that Bram and Magnus were the tougher and better men...
Tommy Dreamer and Devon defeated Bram and Magnus in a hardcore match.
Powell's POV: It was like a morgue in the building for the first part of the match. I can't really take away anything from that as far as how over the wrestlers are because it's a small crowd and I'm not sure how much wrestling they sat through at the marathon tapings. I like that Taz put over Bram and Mangus on commentary. Dreamer and Devon should have done the same.
Backstage, Gail Kim delivered a promo about her Knockouts Title match with Havok... [C]
Rockstar Spud made his entrance for an in-ring interview with Jeremy Borash. Spud said he doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for him because he's been forced to do things that he's not proud of. He recalled Dixie Carter asking him to be her chief of staff. He said he loved the Carters and would have done anything for them and his best friend EC3.
Spud said that changed when EC3 turned into a "complete and utter wanker." He recalled EC3 saying that his suits repulse him. Spud said they are his suits, he likes them, and the people like them (Jonny Fairplay doesn't like him wearing them).
[Q6] Borash said Spud won British Bootcamp because he slowly but surely won everyone over. He said the same thing seemed to be happening again. Borash said he's with Spud and hugged him. Ethan Carter III's music interrupted and he made his entrance along with Tyrus. The fans chanted "he's a wanker" at EC3.
EC3 took exception to Borash siding with Spud. He called him TNA's most loyal employee and said he owes everything to the Carter family, just as Spud owes everything he is and will be to him. EC3 and Tyrus entered the ring. EC3 said he would give Spud a chance to apologize. "Rockstar Spud, apologize," EC3 said twice.
"No!" Spud responded. Tyrus grabbed Spud from behind. EC3 told him to apologize. "I'm sorry you're a big-nosed douchebag," Spud said. Borash stuck his hand in when EC3 got in Spud's face. EC3 told Borash that was the biggest mistake he's ever made and then struck him. Spud broke free and went after EC3, but Tyrus grabbed him again. Eric Young's music played and he headed to the ring with a chair, which led to the heels fleeing to ringside...
Tenay hyped Roode vs. MVP, and Taz said the Knockouts Title match was up next... [C]
Powell's POV: This was the best segment of the night thus far. The live crowd was with Spud. He's shown great versatility by going from the top pest heel in TNA to becoming the underdog babyface. EC3's attire screamed rich boy. I'd like to see his character become a man and a money player at the same time, but maybe that should wait until after this feud.
Ring entrances for the Knockouts Title match took place. Gail Kim attacked Havok as she was making her entrance. The broadcast team agreed that Kim didn't appear to be 100 percent as she was making her entrance. The duo fought at ringside. Kim put up a fight, but Havok got the better of the brawl and ran Kim's head into the ring post. Havok dragged Kim by her hair to the stage. The broadcast team noted that the match never officially started because they never entered the ring.
[Q7] Havok threw Kim off the stage and she fell to the concrete below and came up holding her shoulder. Referees, EMTs, and agent Pat Kenney (Simon Diamond) ran out to check on her. Tenay questioned whether they would even have a match... [C] After the break, Borash tried to announce that the match would not take place. Kim took the mic from Borash and said the match would continue...
3. Havok vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Knockouts Title. The match officially got underway. Kim went after Havok, who immediately targeted Kim's bad shoulder. Kim came back with a dropkick and then a running splash in the corner. Havok remained on her feet.
Kim ended up at ringside. Havok dove at her and Kim moved, causing Havok to hit the ring steps. Havok came right back and dropped Kim on the ring steps. The referee started to count out Kim, but Havok cut him off at nine. Back in the ring, Kim caught Havok in a head scissors submission hold, but Havok slammed her down to break it.
Kim came back and hit the Eat Defeat finisher, but Havok kicked out of her pin attempt. Kim went up top and jumped, but Havok caught her and slammed her down and then covered her for the win...
Havok defeated Gail Kim in 6:30 to retain the TNA Knockouts Title.
Powell's POV: A strong ringside brawl followed by a match that made Havok look like a beast while Kim showed great fighting spirit. That's tough to pull off, but they made it look easy. My only critique is that the match went longer than it needed to. Kim had the injury and they could have gotten the same effect, made Havok look like more of a badass, and left viewers wanting more if they had cut it off a couple minutes earlier.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of Mahabali Shera in catering. People in TNA are dicks because no one invited him to sit down. Manik approached him and buddied up to him. "So, tell me a little bit more about yourself..." Manik said to end the segment...
Backstage, Lashley was packing his bag and heading out. MVP said he couldn't believe Lashley was upset. "I've got a world title match in a minute," he said. "you're not going to be down for me." Lashley left the room without saying a word... Tenay said Roode vs. MVP was up next...
Powell's POV: Wait, so Manik was recently won over by James Storm's cult leader tactics, yet he already understand the game enough to gather info about the new Indian wrestler? I suppose the idea could be that Storm just told him to find out information and left it at that, but Manik seemed to be playing the role you would expect Storm to play rather than acting brainwashed. Meanwhile, I liked the brief segment with Lashley walking out on MVP.
[Q8] [C] 4. Bobby Roode vs. MVP for the TNA Title. MVP jumped out to the early advantage. Roode came back and played to the crowd, which was responsive. MVP cut off Roode with elbows to the head. Roode went for a neckbreaker off the ropes, but MVP avoided it. Late in the match, Roode caught MVP with a Roode Bomb and pinned him...
Bobby Roode defeated MVP in 7:00 to retain the TNA Title.
After the match, Lashley showed up and attacked Roode from behind. MVP held up his hand for Lashley, who just walked past him and headed backstage... A video package hyped Lashley vs. Austin Aries, and The Wolves vs. The Hardy Boys for the TNA Tag Titles for next week's show...
Powell's POV: Well, that did nothing to make MVP look like a player after basically serving as a mouthpiece throughout Lashley's run as champion. There were no dramatic near falls and it never felt like Roode was at risk of losing the title. The best part of the match was Lashley's attack and the way he blew off MVP afterward. Overall, an entertaining two hours, yet I can't help but question whether any of this matters since they only have two more weeks of television in the can for the remainder of the year and no tapings scheduled.
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