6/17 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: Kurt Angle and EC3 contract signing for TNA Title match, Angle picks EC3's opponent, Bram calls out another opponent
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] Impact opened with a brief tribute to Dusty Rhodes... A video package focussed on Kurt Angle and EC3... Josh Mathews and "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary from the studio... Mike Tenay hosted the contract signing for the Kurt Angle vs. EC3 match for the TNA Title. EC3 and Tyrus came out first, then Angle made his entrance. EC3 ran through the nicknames of the WWE and TNA stars that Angle has defeated and said the thing they all have in common is that they have been beaten, whereas he has not.
"Kurt Angle, you can't beat me," EC3 said. He labeled the TNA Title a big red torch that will be passed to him. EC3 signed the contract. Angle asked Tenay how many of the contract signings he's been involved with. He said it's important because it shows he has been there before. He said EC3 is a spoiled brat who thinks he should be champion because he's undefeated. "You have no idea, kid," Angle said. EC3 pointed out that he's defeated Angle before. Angle said it's different because he's healthy now and is the greatest wrestler alive.
Angle said EC3 will have to look at himself in the mirror once he loses and it will haunt him for the rest of his life. Angle signed the contract. Tenay said that make the match official. He said they have mutually agreed to have "tuneup matches where you will pick each other's opponent." Angle said EC3's opponent will be Lashley. Mathews questioned how it was fair even though they agreed to it. Lashley walked onto the stage...
In the studio, Mathews said he supposes it's fair since EC3 will get to pick Angle's opponent next week. Mathews and Pope hyped The Dollhouse appearing after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: A pretty straight forward contract signing. I am looking forward to the match because it's probably the biggest match that TNA has at this point, yet it doesn't feel like a major happening either. EC3 is certainly on the rise and it may take putting the TNA Title on him to make him feel like a headliner. I am nearly certain that's the plan, but the question is whether they give him the strap on July 1 or wait for a later date.
The broadcast team hyped the Ultimate X three-way match to crown the new X Division Champion for next week...
[Q2] A video package recapped the best of five series featuring The Wolves vs. Bobby Roode and Austin Aries... The Wolves headed to the ring. Mathews said he thought it was telling that the Dirty Heels (Roode and Aries) had to go to the lengths they did last week to avoid being swept. He questioned whether they were just avoiding the inevitable. He noted that The Wolves are a win away from becoming TNA Tag Team Champions for the fourth time.
Powell's POV: The fourth time?!? That seems ridiculous given the amount of time they have been with the company, though one of those title losses was due to an injury.
Davey Richards recalled how Roode and Aries won last week. He said he and Eddie Edwards were fooled once and it won't happen a second time. Edwards took the mic and challenged Roode and Aries to have the fourth match of the series now. Roode came out and mocked The Wolves for thinking they are calling the shots. He said Aries wasn't medically cleared to wrestle following his TNA Title match with Angle last week. He said Aries was home resting for the fourth match.
Edwards didn't buy the sob story. He said that Roode could face one of them in a singles match. Roode worked up the crowd with "right here right now" teases before saying no. He asked how badly they wanted him in the ring. He said they could up the ante by having the winner of the singles match pick the stipulation for match four. Richards said he just wanted to kick the crap out of Roode and said that was fine. Edwards took the mic and said he wanted the match and said he would kick Roode's ass. "You're on," Roode responded. Mathews said the match was coming up after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Richards has come a long way on the mic, whereas Eddie has improved, yet still has a ways to go. I really enjoy it when TNA has "best of" series, but they always feel the need to add gimmick matches as the series go on. It doesn't ruin these series, but I wouldn't mind seeing a straight forward "best of" series minus any gimmick matches when it involves teams of this caliber.
1. Eddie Edwards (w/Davey Richards) vs. Bobby Roode. The TNA Tag Titles were at ringside. Edwards went on an offensive run and got a near fall.
[Q3] Roode came back with a spinebuster for a two count. Roode spat in the face of Richards, which led to Davey standing on the ring apron and being held back by the referee. Roode motioned to the back. Aries ran out and slid a chair inside the ring. Rodoe swung and Edwards ducked. Roode wound up again, but Richards took the chair from him. Edwards rolled up Roode and pinned him...
Eddie Edwards pinned Bobby Roode in 8:15 to earn the right to pick the stipulation for the fourth match of the best of five series for the vacant TNA Tag Titles.
After the match, Richards took the mic and announced that the fourth match in the best of five series will be a Full Metal Mayhem match...
Powell's POV: The Full Metal Mayhem match is usually the final match of these series, so it will be interesting to see what they have in mind if there is a fifth match.
A Lashley video package... Mathews hyped EC3 vs. Lashley for later in the show...
Backstage, Jeremy Borash said he was scheduled to interview Bram's opponent, but there was no one around. Joseph Mark entered the picture and said he'd gone through hard times. He said he stumbled onto his new nickname. Park said he lost his law firm and his teeth. He said he's in between jobs. He said a match with Bram is his chance to be a guy on top. Borash corrected him and said a top guy... A shot of Bram watching backstage. He charged the camera... [C]
Powell's POV: Joseph Park entertains me more than the tired Abyss act, so I'm happy to see him back even if it is a bit odd now that he figured out that he and Abyss are the same person.
A Drew Galloway vignette aired. He spoke about living in a world of negativity and said that it affects pro wrestling, which is his passion. He encouraged the fans to show their Impact...
Powell's POV: I like Galloway and think he has a lot to offer, but I have no idea what the hell the #ShowYourImpact thing even means. I was hoping he would move away from this rah-rah act, but I suspect the uncertainty with Destination America will lead to him laying it on even thicker.
[Q4] 2. Bram vs. Joseph Park. Park cut a brief promo before the match that Bram interrupted by attacking him to start the match. Bram grabbed a chair and tried to use it, but Park cut him off. Park tried to use it, but Bram cut him off. Bram pulled a kendo stick and a table out from underneath the ring. In the end, Bram speared Park through the table once it was set up in the corner and then pinned him...
Bram defeated Joseph Park in 3:45.
Powell's POV: Does that mean it's one and done for Park? I hope creative has a real plan for Bram beyond just beating former TNA roster members.
Taryn Terrell cut a promo from the porn set, er, bedroom set. She said that if Brooke and Awesome Kong beat The Dolls then they both get title shots, but if they lose they never get title shots again... Mathews hyped the Knockouts tag match for after the break... A vignette with a female narrator said the world is burning, seconds are ticking by, injustice must be extinguished, and playtime is over for the wicked... [C]
Footage aired from of the Kurt Angle and EC3 contract signing from earlier in the show... Mathews and Pope spoke about Angle and EC3 picking opponents for one another... The Knockouts video aired... Ring entrances for the Knockouts tag match took place. The Dollhouse attacked Brooke before Kong made her entrance. Kong came out and helped Brooke and then referee Earl Hebner started the match...
[Q5] 3. Awesome Kong and Brooke vs. Marti and Jade (w/Taryn Terrell). Mathews noted that Taryn would tie Gail Kim for the longest running Knockouts Title reign at 211 days at midnight. Marti and Jade worked over Brooke and isolated her in their corner. Brooke dodged a moonsault by Jade and then both women tagged out.
Kong threw clotheslines at Marti and bodyslammed her. Kong set up for her finisher, but Jade ran in and broke it up. Kong suplexed both opponents. Brooke speared Jade. Kong ran into a boot from Marti, who then jumped into a chokeslam from Kong. Kong tagged Brooke and had her stand on her shoulders. Brooke dove off and performed an elbow drop on Marti and got the pin...
Awesome Kong and Brooke defeated Marti and Jade in 6:30.
Powell's POV: A straight forward match. They could have had more fun with this creatively since they played up the question of whether Kong and Brooke could work together only to have them work together without any issues whatsoever.
A video package on the Eric Young and Chris Melendez feud aired... Mathews hyped that Melendez is declaring war on Young and would be inside the ring after the break... [C] Mathews recapped the Edwards vs. Roode match and hyped the Full Metal Mayhem match...
Ring announcer Christy Hemme introduced Chris Melendez, who came to the ring for a promo. Melendez called out Eric Young, who made his entrance.
[Q6] Young said he's trying to do Melendez a favor. He said Melendez is a hero who paid the price for his country. Young said he doesn't care. He recalled removing Melendez's prosthetic leg and said he did that on the fly, so imagine what he would do if had time to think about it. Young said he's at the top of the industry and Melandez is a nobody. He asked if he really wanted this. Melandez said he would see him in the ring next week... [C]
Powell's POV: Mathews was there to make sense of this by saying that Melendez wasn't falling for Young's mind games. Will TNA hire Michael Hayes (not the Freebird) from the Tough Enough special since he is also a one-legged wrestler who lost his leg while serving his country? Sure, you could hurt the novelty by having a pair of one-legged wrestlers on the same roster, but maybe they could click as a tag team more than Melendez has as a singles act thus far.
4. Jessie Godderz vs. DJ Z. Z attacked Godderz to start the match. Godderz cut him off and then used a nice power move by lifting him up by one arm and throwing him into the corner. Godderz applied a Boston crab for the win.
After the match, Godderz dubbed himself the man and said the only time he's ever felt like the fans and "this loser" is when he was part of BroMans. He said he's the reason BroMans won the tag titles twice. He pressed Z, but Robbie E ran out and attacked Godderz and eventually ran him off...
Jessie Godderz defeated DJ Z in 1:45.
[Q7] A video recapped James Storm shoving Mickie James in front of a train. Mathews said Magnus demanded mic time and would be up next... [C]
Powell's POV: Godderz mocked the BroMans sound effect that Z used, which made him a babyface in my mind. Why is Zema Ion still going by the name of DJ Z? Godderz promo went way too long. He's still a work in progress in that regard and less is more with him right now. The live crowd wasn't exactly hot for Robbie's attack, but Universal Studios just isn't a great barometer because the crowd is flat for so many things. I'm looking forward to seeing whether Robbie can deliver a strong babyface promo and make people forget his d-bag heel image. A babyface version of the d-bag character is not the answer.
A Slammiversary commercial aired for the June 28 event...
Magnus came to the ring without entrance music. He said he was going to start cracking heads until James Storm came out to face him. He said he wasn't leaving the ring, building, or state until Storm showed his face. Three security guards headed to the ring. Magnus said he would break them all in half if they put their hands on him.
Magnus called out to TNA executives. He said he would not forget what Storm did. James Storm's music played and he walked onto the stage. He said Magnus tried to tell Mickie and the people that he was the bad guy when it was actually Magnus who was jealous and looked like the bad guy.
Storm said it was Magnus who hired a television camera to follow his fiancee around. "What do you think she was doing when those cameras were not there?" Storm asked. Magnus tried to escape security. Storm rolled a stroller onto the stage and said Magnus should be careful about who he lets watch his son.
Storm said he would never lay a hand on a child, but it was an insurance policy to make sure Magnus didn't do anything crazy. Storm said he gave Mickie a chance, but he now sees why she and Magnus are together since they are both sorry excuses. Magnus fought through security and attacked Storm on the ramp. Storm kicked the stroller off the stage. Magnus rushed over and found a doll rather than his child...
In the studio, Mathews and Pope hyped next week's show... Ring entrances for the main event took place... [C]
Powell's POV: We went from an angle that teased a child being pushed off the stage into TNA's upbeat music and the broadcast team quickly shifting the focus to hyping next week's show. I am not a fan of that angle, but if you're going to do it then at least let it breathe before changing the tone so quickly.
[Q8] 5. Lashley vs. EC3 (w/Tyrus). Late in the match, Lashley scored a near fall and followed up with a spinebuster. He played to the crowd and a handful of women cheered. Ouch. Tough crowd. Lashley went for a spear, but he ran into a chair that was placed between the ropes in the corner. EC3 covered him for a two count.
EC3 went for his finisher, but Lashley shoved him off and it led to a ref bump. Lashley speared EC3 and went for a cover, but the referee was at ringside. Tyrus hit the ring and dropped an elbow on Tyrus. A second referee ran out and counted (apparently not caring that Tyrus interfered), but Lashley kicked out.
The second referee was knocked out. Tyrus performed another power move on Lashley and called for another ref. Sure enough, a third referee ran out and counted, but Lashley kicked out. Tyrus attacked the third referee. Lashley speared Tyrus. EC3 ran in and hit Lashley with a chair and then put him down with the One Percenter finisher. EC3 covered Tyrus and the first referee woke up and counted the pin...
EC3 defeated Lashley in 9:20.
A video for next week's show questioned who EC3 would select as Angle's opponent and hyped the fourth match of the best of five series between The Wolves and The Dirty Heels...
Powell's POV: Yuck. Where's the logic in having referees run out and make pin counts after Tyrus interfered and even attacked referees? This did nothing to make me want to see Angle vs. EC3. Maybe someone out there wants to see Angle get his hands on EC3, but I don't like that he's coming off like a pest heel rather than a legitimate contender. He might be undefeated but so many of those wins have been tainted. Here's hoping that changes when/if EC3 wins the championship. The last thing TNA needs is another pest heel champion who wins due to outside interference.
It would have been nice to hear from Rockstar Spud this week given that he cashed in his X Division Title for a failed shot at the TNA Title. Sure, they could play it up like he's been away because he's distraught or something, but it would have been better to hear from him last week or this week when the match is fresher in the minds of viewers. Meanwhile, TNA seems to have thrown in the towel on Slammiversary. I believe there was one spot that aired tonight and that's it. I know they were saddled with an awkward taping schedule due to Impact changing nights, but I can't remember a pay-per-view that felt so meaningless with only the go-home show remaining.
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