The opening segment was great, as Bully Ray was revealed as the special guest referee for the World Championship match between Kurt Angle and Eric Young tonight. Bully Ray is such a fantastic talent – it’s too bad the WWE didn’t sign him to help the prospects on NXT like they did Rhyno and The Brian Kendrick.
EC3 is out, hoping the fans will select a gentleman’s contest of arm wrestling for his match against Ken Anderson tonight. Naturally, Falls Count Anywhere wins 85% of the vote. What a shocker.
EC3 (with Tyrus) versus Ken Anderson
This match was short but sweet, although it didn’t really play up to the stipulation. Tyrus interferes and hits Anderson with a Heart Punch (a simple but nasty move). EC3 covers him for the pinfall, and remains undefeated! I wish they did more with the stipulation, especially since Hardcore Justice wasn’t hardcore enough for my taste, but it got the job done. Tyrus more or less won the match himself while EC3 keeps his streak intact.
Winner – EC3
The Beat Down Clan come out to address Homicide’s at-home assault (and ensuing injury). MVP suggests the Rising were behind the attack, and asks the fans to stand up. MVP says the fans support politicians and shame them, and call them thugs, which is really code for “n*gger.” MVP reacts to the fans and says, ‘yeah, he said it’, and The Rising comes out. Drew Galloway says he doesn’t play around in the streets. For the record, I don’t like bringing politics from outside the industry to the ring. It’s a great way to generate cheap heat, but this is entertainment, and should gear itself to take the fans away from the trouble outside. Drew says his playground is in the ring, and a match between Galloway and MVP begins.
Drew Galloway versus MVP
The match is in progress after commercial, and ends after some brief back and forth action with a Drew Galloway Future Shock. What a letdown. EY is out immediately after the match and assaults Galloway with a chair before the BDC joins in.
Winner – Drew Galloway
James Storm walks to the ring with some gifts, and welcomes Mickie James to the ring. He says he knows she’s transitioning to a post wrestling career, and that motherhood is important to her, but she’s a great wrestler, and her career and music are really important to her too. Storm asks her to open his gift and she reveals a guitar. She thanks him and they take a few photos together. Magnus walks out and Storm jokes around and hands him his old gladiator helmet, but Magnus isn’t laughing and shoves Storm back. Magnus leaves with Mickie, but Storm says he had one more gift for their son, and holds up a teddy bear. He says it’s from Uncle James, then Magnus runs back in and smashes the guitar over Storm’s head, and leaves. Like I’ve said the last few weeks, I love what they’re doing with this feud. There are reasons to boo and cheer Magnus, and the same goes for Storm. It’s a very interesting angle that hopefully will continue to dominate the midcard.
Awesome Kong & Gail Kim versus The Dollhouse
All I can say is “meh.” I’m not fully behind Marti and Jade, Gail is a bit stale for my taste and, while I like Kong and Taryn, this storyline seems too muddled. Kong and Kim hate each other, and I think Taryn’s turn may have happened a bit too fast. Taryn pins Gail after a roll-up in a match with no decent spots to speak of.
Winners – The Dollhouse
Matt Hardy is out to vacate the Tag Team Titles. Man, are those straps cursed. Austin Aries comes out to stake his claim with Bobby Roode for the belts, but soon after The Wolves come out ready to compete again and say they want their titles back! A Best-of-Five series is proposed, with the winners getting the belts.
Angelina Love comes to the ring and says all she’s heard about is the BroMans breaking up and the Knockouts, but it’s time for her! She says she’s the only Beautiful person here, then Velvet Sky shows up in the crowd and Angelina asks why she is there. After an eternity of silence from Velvet, Angelina screams at her to say something. Velvet spears her and hits her a few times before choking her out. Welcome back!
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle versus Eric Young
Angle and Young fight back and forth before Angle gets sent outside. Young smiles as he sees the BDC walk to the ramp. Special referee Bully Ray calls for them to get back in as we go to a break – we get back to see Young applying a headlock. Angle fights back and they trade punches, then Angle hits a few German suplexes and calls for an Angle Slam. Young counters but Angle rolls through into an ankle lock. Young makes it to the ropes after MVP pushes them closer. Young kicks Angle to the floor and Bully Ray warns the BDC, but Eric hits him with a low blow.
The BDC attacks Angle until Chris Melendez and The Rising make the save, and they fight the BDC to the back. Young calls for the end and sets up Bully Ray for a piledriver, but Bully Ray backdrops him and Angle hits an Angle Slam for… two! Angle goes for another Angle Slam but Young blocks and rolls through, then blocks an ankle lock and hits a piledriver. Angle kicks out of that, so Young heads up top and hits a crossbody but Kurt rolls through and makes him tap to the ankle lock to retain. Angle and Young have good chemistry together, but there was too much going on in this match for it to be enjoyable.
Winner – Kurt Angle
Tonight was a dud for Impact Wrestling. The matches weren’t that great, and storylines were either scrambled or given marginal progression.
Grade – C
(Impact Wrestling airs in the US on Destination America on Fridays at 9pm ET, and in the UK on Challenge on Sundays at 9pm)