7/15 Powell's TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: New authority figure revealed, Tigre Uno vs. Rockstar Spud, DJ Z, and Grado for the X Division Title, Taryn Terrell vs. Brooke for the TNA Knockouts Title
By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on Destination America
Taped in June at Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] Impact opened with a recap from last week of Dixie Carter speaking to EC3... Josh Mathews and "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero were on commentary... Dixie Carter stood in the ring and the TNA wrestlers were standing around it. She spoke about how the fans cheered when she was powerbombed through a table by Bully Ray. She said she asked herself how it got to that point.
Dixie apologized to the fans. She said she is sorry for a lot of things, but she doesn't regret going through the table and breaking her back. She said she developed respect for what the wrestlers do day in and day out. She spoke about how she had to make a decision to put someone in charge of the company.
EC3's music eventually interrupted Dixie. EC3 and Tyrus stood on the stage. EC3 demanded to know who she chose. Dixie said she had to make the decision and now he was going to meet "the law."
Bully Ray made his entrance wearing street clothes. He noted that it was odd to see him and Dixie in the same ring together. He said he took her phone call and the first thing she said was that she was sorry. He asked what she was sorry for. He recalled her saying that she's sorry for letting everyone down.
Bully said he's happy to be back with what he considers to be the best locker room in the business. He said he's also angry. He said he was coming back for the fans and the wrestlers. He said he didn't like that they were standing on the floor because it made it seem like they were beneath him and Dixie. Bully had the wrestlers stand on the ring apron.
Bully spoke about how everyone in the company cares and they still care despite all of the things that Dixie put them through. "You came clean," Bully said. "It's good enough for me, but I'm not making the decision, I'm leaving the decision up to them." Bully asked the fans if they want him to come in and bring TNA back to the promised land.
Bully said he wasn't going to hug or kiss Dixie, but he would shake her hand and accept the position. He said it was time to do what TNA does best - have a great wrestling show. Bully said he didn't forget about EC3 and told him that he would defend his title tonight against the winner of a 20-man battle royal that would start immediately...
Powell's POV: I'm willing to look past the fact that Bully ran the Aces & 8's faction that wanted to take the company down not all that long ago. I like the way he said the wrestlers are not beneath them, as you definitely don't get that feeling when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are addressing talent on WWE programming. That said, who decided which 20 wrestlers would be in the battle royal?
[Q2] [C] 1. 20-man battle royal. Norv Fernum was the first match eliminated. Crazzy Steve was out next. Mark Andrews was eliminated. Shark Boy was out next. They cut to commercial at 4:45. [C]
After the break, they aired replays of some of the eliminations and Mathews noted that you never know what will happen in a battle royal and that most of the wrestlers were eliminated during the break. The match was down to Eric Young, Drew Galloway, and MVP.
Young tried to dump MVP and Galloway at the same time. MVP was eliminated, but Galloway saved himself, so the match came down to Young and Galloway.
[Q3] Galloway ended up performing a running one-legged kick on Young that sent Young over the top rope to eliminate him from the match...
Drew Galloway won a battle royal in 11:40 to earn a TNA Title shot.
Powell's POV: All of the eliminations occurring during the commercial break made this match feel like a joke.
A TNA Hall of Fame video aired. It recapped Sting being the first entrant in 2012... The broadcast team spoke in the studio about Sting being in the Hall of Fame and hyped that Dixie Carter would announce the 2015 member next week. The announcers also recapped Bram hitting Mr. Anderson with a mic and spoke about what a dangerous man he is...
The broadcast team set up Mike Tenay's interview with Mr. Anderson. Tenay said there have been a lot of rumors about Anderson's future in the wrestling business. Wait, since when? Anyway, Anderson said he's 39 years-old and feels better than he has in ten years.
Anderson spoke about how the potential of being injured at the hands of Bram. He said Bram doesn't care about his wellbeing or his children's wellbeing. Anderson said Bram is a dark individual. He said he can also go there and if he does it will be ugly. "The fact of the matter is...I don't know," Anderson said. "I don't know"...
Backstage, Rockstar Spud approached Bully Ray, who worked in a fat joke about Tommy Dreamer. Spud said he's in a different place now. He said he lost to Angle and is no longer the X Division Champion. Ray asked why he was so down on himself.
Ray said Spud lost to Angle and said "we all have" lost to Angle. He said Spud should be happy that he hung with Angle. He said he knew that Spud had "it" the first time he saw him. Ray booked Spud in an X Division Title match. Spud hugged Ray and then ran off excitedly... [C]
Powell's POV: TNA is trying to tell the story that Anderson is questioning his future in the industry because of Bram's actions. I like the way Anderson established that Bram is a psycho who doesn't care about anyone else. That said, I could do without the cornball music they play. It's sounds like something they borrowed from Tough Enough, which probably borrowed it from TNA Gut Check.
A Hall of Fame video package focussed on Kurt Angle's induction in 2013... The broadcast team recapped the battle royal that opened the show...
The backstage interviewer asked Galloway what's going through his mind heading into his TNA Title match. Galloway spoke about how this is his destiny and he's going to be the TNA Champion. Eli Drake approached him and said he's on a roll and then told him to go out there and make history... [C]
Powell's POV: A former faction member wishing his former leader well? I think we all know where this is going.
The brief X Division video aired and then Christy Hemme handled the introductions for the X Division Title match...
[Q4] 2. Tigre Uno vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Grado vs. DJ Z in a four-way for the X Division Championship. There was a comedy spot with Spud and Grado throwing punches at Z. They stopped and did big windups, then acted like they thought they thought the other man was going to hit the big blow. The crowd didn't seem all that amused.
Uno took control and performed a dive over the top rope and onto Spud and Z at ringside. Uno followed up with a corkscrew moonsault(?) onto the knee of Grado and pinned him to win the match...
Tigre Uno defeated Rockstar Spud, Grado, and DJ Z in 4:05 to retain the X Division Championship.
A Doll Houe and Gail Kim video aired... [C]
Powell's POV: We always hear TNA officials talk about how they want to get the X Division back on track. A four-minute four-way match with comedy is not the answer. It's really not that difficult. Focus on developing individual, non-comedy personalities and then build up to one-on-one title matches. Uno vs. Spud should mean a lot more than it did when they faced off in yet another throw away multi-person match. Is Grado losing the match a sign that creative has figured out that his comedy just isn't clicking?
The Knockouts video with the annoying theme music played, and then Christy Hemme introduced the title match participants. Yes, Brooke bent over and shook her ass again when she was introduced...
Powell's POV: I assure you, TNA creative, straight male viewers are going to notice that Brooke has a nice ass even if you don't have her bend over and shake it. Portray her as an athlete and trust the horny male demographic figure it out for themselves.
[Q5] 3. Taryn Terrell (w/Marti, Jade) vs. Brooke. Marti and Jade roughed up Brooke at ringside while the referee was tangled up with Taryn inside the ring. At 4:45, Taryn performed a high cross body block for a two count. Marti and Jade got involved again and shoved Brooke off the top rope.
The lights went out and Gail Kim appeared in an all black outfit when the lights were turned on. Gail roughed up Marti and Jade at ringside briefly. The lights went out and Gail disappeared. Brooke performed a clunky facebuster, which she calls the butter face maker, and then pinned Taryn to win the title. Mathews noted that Brooke's 238-day title reign is over...
Brooke defeated Taryn Terrell in 7:35 to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
Backstage, Kurt Angle seemed in favor of Bully Ray being in charge because they are both world class wrestlers. He said he went to Ray with an idea and he liked it, but someone else would not like it when he makes it after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: This was an anticlimactic end to Taryn's title reign. The match wasn't positioned as a major showdown, but rather something that occurred mid-show with the same hype as any other non main event match on the show. Granted, it sends a message that anything can happen, but I'd prefer to see them build this up as a big moment. Gail's new character feels like it came out of nowhere. Sure, there were video teasers, but I think many of us assumed that those vignettes were for a debuting wrestler. Maybe it will make more sense once Gail explains her darker role in a promo.
Kurt Angle made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Angle said he's not ashamed to admit that he lost in the middle of the ring to EC3. "The kid is good, he's got a lot of talent, championship caliber," Angle said. However, Angle said he had a problem with EC3 getting himself disqualified during his rematch.
[Q6] Angle said he went to Bully Ray. He said they don't see eye to eye, but Ray respects him enough to hear him out. Angle said Ray told him the rematch never happened and Angle will get another rematch when he wants it.
Angle said he went to the doctor over the weekend and was diagnosed with a tumor in his neck. Angle said he would be having surgery and would be out for a little while. Angle said he has his title match to look forward to once he gets back. Angle thanked Ray for the title shot and said he loves him. Angle thanked the fans for supporting his quest to win the title again.
Before Angle could leave, Eric Young made his entrance. Once in the ring, Young told Angle that he would have to start telling the truth. Young said EC3 didn't beat Angle, he did. Young spoke about how many times he pile drove Angle, then asked how many piledrivers does his neck have left.
Young said he wanted to take credit for Angle's neck tumor, but it's actually nature telling him that it's time for him to pack it in. Young said maybe the next time he pile drives Angle he never comes back.
Young said Angle's absence isn't going to be enough, he wants him gone for good. Young punched Angle and then attempted to give him a piledriver, but Angle fought him off. They fought to ringside. Young set up for the move again, but Chris Melendez came out and Young backed off.
When Melendez turned his attention to Angle, Young attacked him. Young gave Melendez a piledriver on the floor. Young came up bleeding around the eye from what seemed to be a minor cut... Pope hyped EC3 vs. Galloway for later in the show, and Mathews hyped footage of Magnus vs. James Storm in an unsanctioned match from Slammiversary... [C]
The broadcast team set up the James Storm vs. Magnus match from Slammiversary. The ring entrances were shown and then the match began.
[Q7] The conclusion of the Storm vs. Magnus match aired a couple of minutes into this quarter-hour... Footage aired of a Mickie James promo from two weeks ago, and then Storm talking about about how there's always room for one more in his faction while Khoya stood behind him. Storm said his tag partner is someone very close to Mickie. He took a phone call from this person and answered, "Hello, beautiful." Mathews hyped the tag match with Storm and his partner vs. Magnus and Mickie for two weeks from now...
Powell's POV: It initially struck me as odd that they opted to air a match with two wrestlers who are no longer under contract, but I forgot they have the mixed tag match in the can. No spoilers on Storm's partner, but I will say that it struck me as a good fit when I read the spoiler report. I wouldn't be surprised to see Storm continue to work for the company even though he's no longer under contract, but Magnus made it seem like he doesn't intend to work for TNA barring a significant change in their financial offer. You can listen to my 30-minute interview with a very open Nick "Magnus" Aldis at Blogtalkradio.com/prowrestlingdotnet.
Backstage, EC3 told Bully Ray that he wanted to work with him. He said he's the TNA Champion and that's a great responsibility. EC3 said he defended the title three times last week and that was very exhausting. He said he feels they should push his title match with Galloway back a week.
Bully said he values his opinion and would take it under advisement, then told him the answer is no. Bully said EC3 is the champion and needs to act like one. He told him to stop complaining and find a way to get the job done... The broadcast team hyped the match... [C]
Ring entrances for the main event took place...
[Q8] 4. EC3 (w/Tyrus) vs. Drew Galloway for the TNA Championship. Galloway got the better of EC3 early and they fought at ringside. Galloway slammed EC3 on the ring apron, but Tyrus clotheslined Galloway. Eli Drake headed to ringside on crutches. Mathews said Drake evened the odds. [C]
EC3 was in control coming out of the break. Galloway chopped him and the announcers noted that EC3's chest was flaring up from the chops. EC3 quickly regained control. Galloway fought back, but EC3 put him down with a heel trip and got a two count.
Galloway made his comeback and performed a clothesline off the ropes for a two count. He followed up by picking up EC3 and dropping him on the top rope, then kicking him. They traded punches and then Galloway performed a power slam for a two count.
Mathews noted that The Rising was forced to disband, but it doesn't prevent Drake from supporting Galloway in this manner. Galloway went to the corner and set up for a move. Tyrus grabbed his foot momentarily to distract him, then EC3 performed chops that Galloway no-sold. Galloway spun EC3 around and chopped and punched him.
It wouldn't be a TNA Title match without a ref bump. This time, Galloway accidentally caught the referee with an elbow. EC3 low blowed Galloway. Tyrus entered the ring. Drake came in and hopped on one foot while keeping Tyrus back with a crutch.
Eventually, Drake struck Galloway with the crutch and then showed that there was nothing wrong with his knee. Once Drake left the ring, EC3 performed the One Percenter for the win...
EC3 defeated Drew Galloway in 14:50 to retain the TNA Title.
Powell's POV: My conspiracy theory that TNA is somehow contractually obligated to have a ref bump in every TNA Title match is still in play. The match between EC3 and Galloway was entertaining. The Drake turn didn't pack much of a punch. I don't think anyone expected Galloway to win the match simply because EC3 just won the championship, and Drake just hasn't been established enough to make viewers care about his betrayal. Meanwhile, EC3 got himself DQ'd last week, and now he won this match due to outside interference. We're two shows in and he feels like a flukey pest heel champion rather than a strong heel champion who could draw money. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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