TNA TV taping in London (spoilers): Gleed’s report on the taping for the February 23 edition (spoilers)

TNA Impact Wrestling TV taping
London, England at SSE Arena Wembley
Report by Dot Net staffer Haydn Gleed

Unlike the NXT event last month, one side of the arena was blocked off. The areas that were available were filled up nicely with an expectant crowd.

Jeremy Borash came out to a good ovation and high fives the fans at ringside. He geared up the crowd well. He announced that EC3 would get his rematch tonight, and they showed a video of EC3 talking from home. He said he realizes that sometimes he’s been a piece of shit. He said he’s done all that because he’s addicted to wrestling. I’m guessing this is the video that will air this week on Impact. The crowd got restless during it and started woooo’ing which was a shame as it was a good promo.

1. James Storm and Bobby Roode beat Eric Young and Bram in a cage match. Storm came down on a motorized beer cart (nice). The action started outside the ring outside the cage and continued like that for a good five minutes. Eventually with Storm selling a Bram DDT on the outside, Bram and Young had Roode alone in the cage with the door shut. There were some nice near falls during the match before Beer Money got the victory. Despite some sloppy spots, lots of crowd pleasing moments and got the tapings off to a good start…

EC3 came out next to a mixed reaction, but was certainly playing a babyface by high-fiving the fans at ringside. He sat on the ring steps with a microphone. He said what better place to fight than in London. He said the steel structure separates the man from the boys. He took some fun verbal shots at Reby before promoting the title match later tonight. He stood mid-ring and called out Rockstar Spud, who came out wearing an awesome multicolored suit.

Once in the ring EC3 talked about their match last year and reminded him that he told him he had the biggest heart in the world. He offered Spud his hand. With the crowd cheering, Spud accepted. Spud said he did what he did last week because it’s the right thing. He said Matt Hardy is rotten to the core and he had the nerve to tell him what to do. He screamed that no one tells him what to do. He was infuriated by Hardy.

Matt Hardy screamed that the ring and the arena is his. The crowd were trying to be smart arses by chanting “We Want Jeff” so I couldn’t hear most of his promo. He concluded by telling EC3 that he will beat him tonight. Great stuff from all three men and it turned the crowd completley in favor of EC3…

2. Trevor Lee (w/Shane Helms) beat Tigre Uno in a cage match to retain the X Division Title. Tigre came out with heavy strapping on his shoulder. Helms introduced himself as the star power and Trevor Lee as the horsepower. He has the worst intro music I’ve ever heard. Lee busted open up his mouth early in the match. Tigre Uno came off the top of the cage with a crossbody, which caused someone behind me to scream just escape. Sure enough, Lee came back and won the match…

After the previous match, they brought out all kinds of weapons and hung them up on the cage for the first ever Knockouts Lethal Lockdown. I didn’t have high hopes for this. JB announced that Madison Rayne had been taken out by the dollhouse, so Gail Kim and Velvet sky would have to find a third partner. Jade from the Dollhouse made her entrance to no reaction followed by Gail Kim to a great reaction…

3. Jade, Marti Bell, and Rebel beat Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, and Maria in a Lethal Lockdown match. Jade went for a weapon first but was cut off. Some idiot obnoxious fans behind me shouted kiss. Marti Bell came out as the next entrant. She beat down Kim for a while. Pretty quickly Velvet Sky was introduced as the next entrant and gained the advantage on both heels. No weapons used so far. Rebel entered and knocked down both Kim and Sky. Rebel grabbed the baking tray ad smashed Kim in the head (Kim did get her hand up to block).

The surprise entrant for Kim and Sky was Maria, who ran to the ring teased climbing in the ring. However, with a smile she locked the door and mocked Kim. The Dollhouse chocked out Kim and Sky before hitting them with kendo sticks. The heels beat down the babyfaces but Kim and Sky came back and managed to get the upper hand. The crowd chanted this awesome, I couldn’t disagree with them more. The ending of the match came when Jade hit a pretty neat pile driver type maneuver. That was the only positive I can say for the match, which brutal and not in a good way despite the obvious effort put in by the five women. As Velvet walked up and he ramp, it looked like some fan pissed off Sky as she started jawing at an area of the crowd…

Kurt Angle came out to a thunderous and standing ovation. It was a stunning moment. He climbed in the ring and looked genuinely touched. He said this is his farewell tour, and he couldn’t be happier to have it anywhere than in the UK. He mentioned the match last year against Lashley, which brought the man himself out. Lashley climbed in the ring and said he can’t believe he is out here bragging about beating him, but like he told him he’s going to get revenge. He said he did that to motivate him and they would have one more match and he would get the revenge that he wants. Angle said he came out to talk to the fans but now he’s pissed off. He challenged him to a match on the spot. Lashley said carry on talking to your fans, our time will come, and with that he walked out of the ring. A surprisingly good promo by Lashley…

4. Odarg beat Eli Drake in a cage match. Drake grabbed a microphone and said Grado was fired so why is he running around with a mask calling himself Odarg. With that “Like a Prayer” played and the crowd exploded. Odarg climbed in the ring and was attacked by Eli Drake. Odarg tried to climb out of the ring but couldn’t reach the top and moved when Drake went for a punch. Eventually, Drake low blowed him. This led to Drake throwing Odarg around and against the steel cage. The end of the match came when Eli’s trunks where pulled slightly down exposing his rear end and Odarg hit a running somersault in the corner. Odarg climbed the cage and both men fought on top. Odarg went to drop down but as he did Drake grabbed his mask exposing him as Grado. Odarg ran to the back with a towel over his head. Fun but slightly silly match…

They announced that TNA is opening a wrestling school in London…

5. Matt Hardy (w/Tyrus) beat EC3 in a cage match to retain the TNA Title. EC3 came out to another great reaction, the fans have accepted the turn. The singing of his theme song has been the loudest thing on this taping outside of Angle. Hardy came out with Tyrus but without Reby. Matt climbed on the apron and jawed at EC3 and shared some words with Tyrus. The cage door closed and both men stood facing each other. They exchanged punches but Hardy got the early advantage. EC3 came back with multiple chops. Tyrus threw a chair in the ring, which Matt used to his advantage and had full control of the match until EC3 threw Matt head first into a chair setup in the corner.

At one point in the match, EC3 tried to walk out the door but Tyrus blocked his path. He called Tyrus in the ring and beat him down. Tyrus though eventually came back and knocked EC3 to the mat. He picked up a chain and chained EC3 to the ropes, however EC3 reversed it and got Tyrus chained in the ropes. With this distraction, Hardy snuck up from behind and hit a Twist of Fate for a near near near fall. Matt attempted to climb the cage but EC3 suplexed him off the cage.

Late in the match, EC3 low blowed Hardy, and the crowd got behind the former champion. Reby came down to the ring with a hammer, but Rockstar Spud ran down and took the hammer and threw it away. He opened the door for EC3 but then slammed it in his head. He helped Matt climb out of the cage to retain the title. The crowd chanted you sold out at Spud as he stood over EC3 with a chair and hit him in the head. Spud, Matt and Reby celebrated to finish the taping for the first show.



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