10/31 Shore's TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage: Halloween themed edition, Announcement cornering AJ Styles and the TNA Championship, Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
By Chris Shore
TNA Impact Wrestling on SpikeTV
Taped on 10/24 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
[Q1] The opening video aired and Mike Tenay and Taz checked in on commentary. Dixie Carter made her entrance and cut a promo on AJ Styles. She said she tried to give him the world on a silver platter and he just threw it in her face. She said nobody walks out on Dixie. She said he no longer exists to her and he is not the champion anymore.
She told him to just keep her world title and car because as of tonight he was just like millions of boys who were dressing up in costumes tonight. She said she needed a new champion and announced an eight man tournament to crown the new champion. She announced seven participants: James Storm, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, and Chris Sabin. After she said each name, a very quick video hyped each guy and their previous title wins.
She started to say more but Bully Ray's music cut her off. He came to the ring and before he could speak, she finished announcing that there would be a gauntlet match to determine the final participant. Ray asked how he was supposed to win the title back if he wasn't in the tournament. He did his "Do you know who I am?" gimmick and Dixie said he was the guy to lose to AJ twice and caused all the problem they have. He blamed Earl Hebner for the first loss and Mr. Anderson for the second. The lights went out and Anderson ran to the ring. He attacked Ray into the break…[C]
Shore's Slant: The videos were added in after the fact and they had to do some hard cuts to make it work. It didn't look terrible, but it did stand out. I like the logic of Dixie not putting Ray in the match since he "caused the problem." Between that and Anderson he gets transitioned away from the title picture instead of just dropping off the map.
A video recapped what happened before the break and then Ray attacked Anderson from behind with the chain while he was being dragged out in handcuffs. For some reason, they digitized Anderson out. Weird…IQG asked Garett Bischoff about what happened and he said club business was club business, but then started to answer the question. Knux came up and told him he needed him so they left… Christie Hemme was dressed up as the Mad Hatter and handled ring introductions for the tag title match…
1. James Storm and Gunner vs. Bro-Mans for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Gunner and Storm attacked the champs on the ramp to start the match. Storm beat the crap out of both guys in the ring and tagged in Gunner who did more of the same. Storm tagged in and hot Eye of the Storm and covered but Robbie broke it up. Gunner ran in and got dumped to the floor. Storm hit Closing Time and setup for Last Call. Jesse ran and Storm grabbed him on the apron. He suplexed Jesse in but Robbie grabbed the foot and that allowed Jesse to fall on top for the pin…
Bro-Mans retained the TNA Tag Team Championships at 4:14.
Backstage, Sting joined Dixie in her office. Dixie said everyone was complaining about Sting not being able to challenge for the title and she wanted to lift it just this once and put him in the gauntlet match first so he could prove he still had it. Sting said he had earned everything he had ever had and didn’t have a sense of entitlement. He stormed off and Dixie asked if that was a yes…
Shore's Slant: Still don’t understand why Bro-Mans are the champs. And I hate the oblivious version of Dixie.
[Q3] A video recapped how Abyss returned. Backstage, Bad Influence was in Sherlock Homes getup and spoke in bad English accents about finding Abyss and the Television Title…EC III made his entrance and Taz put him over big. Norv Furnum was out next. Oh boy, a rematch…
2. Ethan Carter III vs. Norv Turnum. Norv hit a high cross body for two, but EC III hit his finisher, The 1 percenter, for the win…
EC III defeated Norv Turnum at 3:05.
Backstage, Bobby Roode showed the TNA doctor a video and asked him to make sure Kurt Angle was medically cleared to compete…Sting was shown walking backstage…[C]
Shore's Slant: Squash matches are great, but we're going to need more character development from EC II before he catches hold.
Backstage, ODB cut a promo about her rematch with Gail Kim for the title and said she would take out Kim and Lei'D Tapa if necessary. Bad Influence walked up and continued their stupid accents. They asked her what she knew about Abyss and ODB said she knew he dropped them at BFG. Eric Young ran up and shooed them away. Daniels broke the accent and told EY to keep his hands to himself. Young said he had a present for them later and that it was the monster's favorite holiday…
[Q4] 3. A Gantlet match for the final spot in the TNA Championship tournament. Sting and Kazarian started. Knux was out at the two minute mark…[C] EY joined the match after the break and took down both heels. Daniels was the next guy out. EY tried to eliminate Kaz but Daniels caught him and saved him before taking out EY with a hangman. They turned to Sting and tried to double team them but he hit a double suplex on them instead…[C]
[Q5] Manik made his entrance and took out Bad Influence for just a moment but they shut him down quickly. Magnus was out last and Tenay tried to set it up as him teaming with Sting. Knux hit his crossbody on Magnus to stop his offensive flurry. Knux, Manik, and EY were eliminated quickly after that leaving two teams (in theory). The MEM destroyed Bad Influence. Magnus tossed Daniels. Sting was trying to toss Kaz and Magnus ran over and eliminated them both to win the match…
Magnus won a gauntlet match and earned the final spot in the TNA Championship tournament at 19:35.
Backstage, the doctor was shown talking to Angle. Angle walked away and said the doctor advised him to take the night off but he was medically cleared… The women were shown heading toward the ring…[C]
Shore's Slant: Magnus sold some regret for eliminating Sting but ultimately played to the crowd. I'm still not digging the heel turn teases (nor the expected turn) but this was at least logical. Half the show is gone and once again we have a show that hasn't been bad, but very flat. The Ray attack on Anderson was the only moment with any real emotion. Even Magnus's win seemed like a foregone conclusion once it came down to the last four men.
Backstage, Dixie said she was going to announce the tournament pairings by using "The Wheel of Dixie." God help us all…
[Q6] 4. ODB vs. Gail Kim (w/Lei'D Tapa) for the Knockouts Championship. The first minute happened last quarter. ODB started fast and slapped her crotch. Taz said she had "a clicker in that thing." Took all I had to not turn the TV off. Kim rolled to the floor and ODB followed to hit a fall away slam. Tapa walked over to ODB and the ref stood between them. That allowed Kim to hit a dropkick to take control.
Kim rolled ODB in the ring and hooked her figure four on around the ring rope. Then she attacked the head for reasons unclear. She locked on a head scissor and ODB maneuvered out into a single leg crab. Kim made the ropes for the break. ODB tried to pin Kim but Tapa distracted the ref. ODB went after Tapa and Kim rolled ODB up and grabbed the rope to win…
Gail Kim retained the Knockouts Championship at 6:22.
Bad Influence put their detective gear back on and said they were heading to the ring to reveal what they knew about Abyss…
Shore's Slant: Ho hum women's match that didn't further any storyline. Other than the world title picture this Impact has been meaningless.
Bad Influence stood in the ring and did more of their English gimmick. The crowd went to sleep and Taz said, "This segment is starting out perfectly. I got a good feeling about this."
Shore's Slant: Either Taz is laying it on thick for sarcastic effect or he's completely lost touch.
Daniels pulled a jack-o-lantern out from under the ring and said it had more brains than Abyss. EY's music hit and Taz said he was never so happy to see Eric Young.
Shore's Slant: Laying it on thick. Gotcha.
EY said even though Halloween wasn't a real holiday, the monster loved it and he wanted EY to give the monster's two favorite wrestlers a present. He attacked Bad Influence and they immediately beat him down.
[Q7] Abyss's music hit and he came to the ring. He hit a double clothesline on Bad Influence (Kaz immediately grabbed his ear too) and then a Black Hole Slam on each man. He helped EY to his feet to close the segment…Angle was shown walking backstage…[C]
Shore's Slant: Well, at least that's over and we should get a good match to close the show.
The pairings for the title tournament were show. They are: Hardy vs. Sabin, Roode vs. Storm, Angle vs. Aries, and Magnus vs. Joe. Sabin and Hardy stood in Dixie's office backstage and the Wheel of Dixie was full of gimmick matches. Dixie spun the wheel and Sabin vs. Hardy is a Full Metal Mayhem match for next week. Dixie said Jeff was one step closer and Sabin said he was too. Hardy wished him luck and walked off…
Shore's Slant: OK, I misunderstood what the Wheel of Dixie was That said, she spun the wheel and the camera turned away from it so we couldn’t see it finish. That's why I hate these wheel gimmicks. It’s always so obviously planned. Not to mention a title tournament doesn’t need a gimmick for every match. It’s for the title. That should be enough, but they just can't help themselves.
5. Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode. Both men went for submissions quickly and both men made the ropes to break. Roode hit strikes on Angle next and Angle hit a flurry of offense, finishing with a belly-to-belly and Roode went to the floor. Angle followed and Roode drove his back into the apron to take control…
[Q8][C] A video showed Roode hitting a suplex on Angle during the break. Angle came right back with six German suplexes in a row and Roode kicked out. Roode came right back with the spinebuster for two. Roode lifted Angle and Angle slipped out into the ankle lock. Roode kicked away and hooked a crossface. Angle grabbed the foot and twisted back into the ankle lock, but Roode flipped him back into the crossface.
Angle made his feet in the hold and turned it into an Angle slam for two. They went back to the submission holds again and Angle finally grapevined the leg. Roode made the ropes to cause the break. Angle put Roode on the top and went for an Angle slam, but Roode knocked him down. Before he could do more, Angle ran up and hit a throw. He crawled over and draped his arm over Roode for a near fall.
The ref started a 10 count for both men and Angle started seizing a little. Roode made his feet to break the count, but the ref ruled Angle unable to continue and called for the bell…
Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle at 16:16.
Post-match, Angle rolled over and sold some sort of head injury as the refs checked on him/ Roode left the ring without doing anything and Tenay told the fans to check the website for Angle updates…
Shore's Slant: A slightly better than average match with a shitty ending. I don't mind the bad injury angle so much, but it was very anti-climactic. Angle sold it like he had the mother of all concussions and couldn't control his body, a point Taz belabored to make. I don't know where they are going with this, but I'm guessing it's how Austin Aries advances over Angle in the tournament. Jason Powell and Will Pruett will have more tomorrow. Thanks for watching along tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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