2/23 Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: Matt Hardy vs. EC3 in a cage match for the TNA Championship, Knockouts Lethal Lockdown match, Beer Money vs. Eric Young and Bram in a cage match

Logo_TNA_dn_600By Jason Powell

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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in January in London, England at SSE Arena Wembley

[Q1] A brief video teaser aired for the main event… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary…

1. James Storm and Bobby Roode vs. Eric Young and Bram in a cage match. Beer Money entered first and then ran back to ringside to brawl with Young and Bram. Roode and Young entered the ring. Bram performed a DDT on Storm and then entered the cage. The referee shut the cage door and locked it like a dick.

The heels doubled up on Roode until Storm recovered and eventually climbed over the cage to enter the match. Roode and Storm did their Beer Money dance and then performed the DWI on Bram and pinned him to win the match…

Beer Money beat Eric Young and Bram in a cage match.

Mathews hyped the women’s Lethal Lockdown match and the TNA Title match… Footage aired of Matt Hardy arriving at the building with his wife, son, and Tyrus, then a separate clip aired of EC3 arriving. Mathews said we would hear from EC3 after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: I like the way the match was laid out with the heels having the two-on-one advantage. The referee did look like a heel for closing the cage door while Storm was at ringside, but it all worked out in the end. I’m still not sure what teaming with Young is doing for Bram, who was doing fine on his own late last year.

[Q2] Backstage, Madison Rayne was on the ground selling a knee injury. A referee ran off to get help for her…

EC3 made his entrance. He sat at ringside and delivered a promo after the fans chanted his name. EC3 spoke about Reby “spitting hepatitis Hardy all over my face.” EC3 said Matt will be alone inside the cage. “The facts are the facts and alone, you can beat me,” EC3 said.

EC3 entered the ring and called for Rockstar Spud to join him. Spud came out and EC3 recalled how they tore the house down the last time they met in the same building. EC3 said he is “maybe sorry” that she shaved Spud’s head that night. He recalled saying Spud has more heart than anyone he has ever met. EC3 said Spud has more guts than brains sometimes and thanked him for having his back.

EC3 offered his hand. The fans chanted “shake his hand.” Spud thought about it and then shook EC3’s hand. Spud took the mic and said he did what he did last week because it was the right thing to do. He said he may have more heart than brains, but he will always do what is right.

Matt Hardy’s music interrupted Spud. Matt said Spud defied him twice and he will not do it again. Matt swore that Spud’s life will never be the same if he goes anywhere near the ring during the main event. Matt said no one embarrasses him, but this will be the most embarrassing night of EC3’s career. EC3 said the cage will be hell on earth for Hardy… [C]

Powell’s POV: A very good segment with the crowd happy to see EC3 and Spud reunited. The Hardy promo was a fun heelish rant. They definitely have me looking forward to the main event.

[Q3] The British mystery man who showed up during the Decay segment last week spoke about how dangerous Rosemary is. He said they were once together and he brings that side of her out. The man said he will get her back…

2. Trevor Lee (w/Gregory Shane Helms) vs. Tigre Uno in a cage match for the X Division Title. Tigre stood near the top of the cage and kicked Lee down. Rather than escape the cage, he performed a cross body block off the top of the cage onto Lee. Both men were down and Uno covered Lee for two. Uno made a play for the cage door, but Lee stopped him. Lee caught him with a high knee and followed up with a fisherman’s buster for the win…

Trevor Lee beat Tigre Uno in a cage match to retain the X Division Title.

Powell’s POV: Uno looks like a bit of a dope for not leaving the cage when he had the chance, but the cross body off the top was a great visual. Lee sold the move and then was suddenly fine for the finishing sequence. He went back to selling the effects of the match afterward. This has to be it, right? They can’t just keep going back to this same match? It’s tough to get fans worked up about their feud when neither wrestler is talking.

Backstage, Maria spoke with Gail Kim and acted concerned about what happened to Madison Rayne leaving her shorthanded in the Lethal Lockdown match. Gail told her to put her money where her mouth is by getting her boots and joining her team… [C]

[Q4] Backstage, the British guy approached Rosemary and spoke about how she makes him a better man and how he wants that feeling back. After the man left, Crazzy Steeve showed up…

3. Knockouts Lethal Lockdown match. Jade and Gail Kim started the match for their teams. They took a break before the third entrant came out. [C] Marti Bell was the third entrant, giving Dollhouse the temporary numbers advantage. Velvet Sky was out next for the babyface team. Mathews said that would leave Maria as the last entrant for the babyfaces.

Rebel made her entrance as the last member of Dollhouse. As expected, the heel trio used the numbers advantage to work over the babyfaces. Rebel climbed the cage and pulled down one of the weapons hanging from the side of the cage. She slammed a cookie sheet over the head of Kim. Jade tried to use a kendo stick, but it slammed off the turnbuckle pad and bounced back into her face.

[Q5] Maria made her entrance and entered the cage. She teased climbing through the ropes only to shake her head no. Maria left the cage and locked the door behind her, leaving the babyface duo with a permanent numbers disadvantage. The heels dominated for a bit.

The babyfaces started to comeback and Kim had Rebel pinned until Jade broke it up with a kendo stick shot. Jake performed a cradle piledriver onto a chair and pinned Kim. Mathews said the war is far from over…

Jade, Marti Bell, and Rebel beat Gail Kim and Velvet Sky in a Lethal Lockdown match.

Powell’s POV: It looks like Jade is being positioned as the strongest member of Dollhouse, which is a good move. One can only assume that she will be Gail Kim’s next challenger for the Knockouts Title. I am curious to see if Maria wrestles frequently or if they save her for key matches.

Backstage, Kurt Angle told EC3 that this is his farewell tour, but EC3 is the guy and he will be the face of the company. Angle said people will look to him for direction. Angle said he’s proud of EC3, who said one of the reasons he entered the business is that he grew up watching Angle. He said he learned from Angle how to take care of business and that’s what he’s going to do in the main event…

A cool Decay video aired with the Marilyn Manson song playing…

Powell’s POV: The video was great and looked like something right out of a Manson video. You know it’s good production work when they found a way to make Abyss look cool!

Kurt Angle delivered an in-ring promo about this being his farewell tour. Angle said he couldn’t be happier having it in the UK. He said some of his best moments have occurred there and he spoke of beating Lashley to win the TNA Title last year.

Lashley made his entrance and joined Angle in the ring. He said Angle beat him last year and got into his head for a full year. Lashley recalled vowing revenge. He said the fans want Angle to be the same Angle he’s always been. “I look into your eyes and you’re not,” Lashley said. “I can beat you on your best day.”

Angle said he came out to talk to the fans, but now Lashley pissed him off. Angle said they don’t have to wait for their match. Lashley started to remove the jacket he was wearing, but he stopped and left the ring instead. The fans booed. Mathews questioned whether Lashley was inside the head of Angle, then hyped Angle vs. Lashley for two weeks from now…

[Q6] Mathews hyped Hardy vs. EC3 as the main event…

Powell’s POV: A strong segment and the best hype yet for the Angle vs. Lashley match. Angle was good during his time with the fans, and Lashley delivered his key lines effectively. I like the fire that Angle showed after Lashley said he’s not the same guy, just as I liked Lashley smiling and leaving the ring rather than getting physical.

Eli Drake stood in the ring and delivered a promo while Jessie Godderz stood at ringside. Drake said Grado was fired because of the Feast or Fired gimmick, while he earned a title match. He said he was going to take the mask off of Odarg’s face and then Grado will be gone for good…

4. Odarg The Great vs. Eli Drake in a cage match. Mathews pointed out the obvious about Odarg removing his own mask last week while Pope countered with nonsense. Early in the match, Odarg stood on the top rope, reached up, and hung from the top of the cage. Was he trying to do a pull-up?

Later, Odarg set up for the bionic elbow, but Drake kicked him below the belt. Drake tried to climb the cage later in the match, but Grado put him in the electric chair. They both made plays for the cage door. Godderz pulled on the arms of Drake to help him, while Odarg pulled his tights to expose Drake’s (censored) ass. Mahabali Shera ran out and attacked Godderz.

The match continued with Drake wrestling with his ass exposed. Odarg performed a cannonball and then climbed the cage. Drake recovered and tried to stop him. Odarg kicked him away. Drake ran over again and climbed the cage. Drake grabbed Odarg’s mask. Odarg fell to the mat minus his mask. He stood up and celebrated, then looked up and noticed that Drake has his mask. Grado pulled up his tights to cover his chest, then grabbed a towel and covered his head before running backstage…

Odarg beat Eli Drake.

[Q7] Backstage, Abyss asked the British guy if he knows who he is messing with. The British guy said Rosemary is his partner. He mocked Abyss for being hardcore and Steve for being crazy. He said Rosemary made him great, but she’s useless with the two of them. “You don’t know her like I do,” the man said. Abyss attacked the man and then Steve followed up while Rosemary rested her head on Steve’s shoulder…

Powell’s POV: Just because Mathews acknowledges the stupidity of the Grado storyline doesn’t mean it gets a pass. This was better than last week with Grado’s comedy bits clicking a bit more. That’s two weeks in a row that his face has been exposed and the Feast or Fired concept has been made to seem even sillier than usual.

Backstage shots aired of the champion and the challenger heading into the main event… [C]

Backstage, Grado was pleading with Billy Corgan to let him explain. Corgan said he was fired. Eli Drake showed up and said Grado has to go because he was fired. Drake said he is going to be the King of the Mountain. Corgan said it is the right thing to do. The Harris Twins (TNA security) showed up and escorted Grado from the building while Drake taunted him…

Mathews hyped Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode, and Drew Galloway vs. Mike Bennett for next week… A Mike Bennett and Maria video package aired. Bennett spoke about how TNA needs a miracle and his match with Galloway, and they cut to Maria saying “yes, we do” and other affirmative lines about his status as The Miracle…

EC3 made his entrance for the main event. Matt Hardy was shown walking down a hallway with Tyrus walking behind him. Hardy said he was going to finish EC3 and be finished with him tonight. The fans sang along to EC3’s theme. Hardy made his entrance with Tyrus. Mathews said they were taking their final break and the main event would air bell to bell in its entirety… [C]

Powell’s POV: I really like little things like they just did by showing the champion backstage. It helps make the main event feel like a big deal.

[Q8] 5. Matt Hardy (w/Tyrus) vs. EC3 in a cage match for the TNA Championship. Hardy threw a couple chops early. EC3 spun him around and threw several chops and went on the offensive. Hardy regained control and Tyrus threw a chair inside the ring. Hardy struck EC3 with it. Tyrus threw another chair inside the ring.

Tyrus talked smack at EC3 through the cage as Hardy wedged a chair between the ropes. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but EC3 avoided it and shoved Hardy head-first into the chair set up in the corner. Hardy came back with a Side Effect and got a two count.

Hardy set up a chair in the middle of the ring and then performed a Side Effect that resulted in EC3 bending half the seat. Hardy tried to escape the cage, but EC3 caught him. Tyrus passed a steel chain from the cage door to Hardy. EC3 performed the TK3 before Hardy could use the chain.

EC3 tried to leave through the door, but Tyrus stood in his way. EC3 was censored as he flipped him off and motioned for him to enter. Tyrus entered the cage and EC3 took him down with a clothesline. Pope reminded viewers that this is legal and that it was EC3 who invited Tyrus into the ring. Tyrus recovered and slammed EC3.

Tyrus picked up the chain from the cage door and tried to lock him to the top rope, but EC3 slipped away and Tyrus was locked to the corner. EC3 picked up a chair and smiled at Tyrus before striking him with it a few times. Hardy recovered and performed a Twist of Fate and got a near fall. Hardy tried to leave the cage, but EC3 caught him from behind and performed a Russian leg sweep (well, minus the leg sweep) that sent both men crashing into the middle of the ring.

Hardy performed a low blow on EC3. He wrapped his head in a chair and performed a Twist of Fate. Hardy smiled as he covered EC3, who kicked out at the last moment. Hardy acted stunned. Hardy wound up for a chair shot, but EC3 kicked him low.

EC3 crawled toward the cage door. Reby Hardy walked out carrying the hammer that her husband brought into the match when he won the TNA Title. Rockstar Spud ran out and stopped Reby and knocked the hammer out of her hand. Spud motioned for EC3 to get out of the cage, but then he slammed the door on EC3’s head. Josh called Spud “an ungrateful son of a bitch.” Spud held the door open while Matt Hardy crawled out of the cage to the floor.

Matt Hardy beat EC3 in a cage match to retain the TNA Title.

After the match, Hardy and Spud shook hands. Mathews questioned how many more ways can EC3 be screwed out of the title. Hardy told Spud that he deserves this. He told him to punish EC3 for his sins against him. Spud stood over EC3. Matt yelled to kill the cancer. Spud slammed the chair down on EC3’s head (ring steps). Spud looked down at EC3 and said, “I always do the right thing.” Spud spat at EC3, who was lying motionless in the cage door area. Referees checked on EC3 as Matt, Reby, and Spud headed up the stage. Josh called Spud “a rotten bastard” and then said Hardy was still the TNA Champion…

Powell’s POV: A good main event with a strong turn by Spud. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of Spud turning again, but it’s not like it isn’t a logical move for his character given how heated his feud with EC3 was when the roles were reversed. And it’s for that reason that I had a hard time with Mathews being so aggressive in his call regarding Spud. I usually praise Mathews for being outraged by the antics of the heels, but it’s a little different in this case for regular viewers who followed that feud. EC3 did some horrible things to the Spud character, so it’s more like EC3’s past sins coming back to haunt him than Spud being a rotten bastard.

Overall, TNA got back on track after last week’s show, which just didn’t do much for me. They built up this week’s main event consistently throughout the show and it lived up to the hype and left EC3 fans waiting to see him get his revenge on Hardy and now Spud. A strong effort.


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