Saturday, January 31, 2015

Impact Wrestling Report 1/30/15

Impact kicked off with the arrival of Bobby Roode. Interestingly, he still had possession of the TNA World Title that he found outside last week. He talked about how much it means to him before he called out Lashley to return it to him. He claims that they are the only two men that belong in the World Title conversation. There are even split chants as the crowd prefers Roode. He hands the title over to Lashley and mentions his rematch, which he wants tonight. The crowd is all about this possibility and Lashley accepted. Before anything could happen though, Austin Aries makes an appearance. He brings up his Feast or Fired Title shot and debates on cashing in to join the match or doing so when one is drained after their match. I truly love that Aries is getting involved in this. He needs to be the World Champion again, the man is just too good. MVP now makes his way out and makes his claim for a shot. Lashley, being the fighting Champion says all three guys will get shots tonight. Speaking of titles being on the line, our opening contest sees Taryn defend the Knockouts Championship against Gail Kim and Madison Rayne in a Triple Threat match. I've never been big on Taryn, but Madison and Gail are my two favorite Knockouts. Commentary does a good job pointing out the similarities between a match like this and Fatal Four Way for the TNA Title tonight. They go for about seven minuets and really impressed me. We saw innovative moves, multiple near falls and a "Better than the Divas" chant. Taryn retained in a really good match. TNA is off to a great start.

Next week will be Lockdown. Already announced are Team Angle vs. The BDC in Lethal Lockdown. Revolution vs. the Hardys for the Tag Titles and Awesome Kong vs. Havok! We get clips of Rockstar Spud and Mark Andrews from earlier today in New York. It's funny as they keep thinking they can find the White House and stuff here. Tommy Dreamer makes his way out to the ring. Interestingly, he calls out Eric Young. It turns out that Tommy, EY and Bobby Roode used to kick it consistently and Tommy doesn't want to see Young turn on his friends. EY calls Tommy a fat loser. Tommy tries to be the voice of reason but eats a piledriver from Young, who then lays out the time keeper and gets a steel chair. Bobby Roode appears to run him off. Jeff Hardy cuts a short promo about the Monster's Ball match tonight. Kurt Angle recruits Gunner for Team Angle. No clue why as Gunner has been irrelevant since the Destination America debut. We now go to see Magnus and Bram meeting up in a bar. Things have been rocky between them since Magnus captured a briefcase in Feast or Fired last week. I had no clue that Bram was married to NXT's Charlotte in real life. Anyway, they have a heated discussion in the bar over the possibility of them working together to get the Tag Team Title shot that Magnus earned. Bram is disappointed that he didn't get to retrieve the briefcase. This is all a trap as Bram ends up beating the hell out of Magnus. I get that this leads to a feud but I wonder where this leaves the Tag Team Title shot and who Magnus will choose as a partner. I expected them to get the shot and then Bram would make the turn on him. I realize that the photo I used here is irrelevant to this Impact episode but I couldn't find any that were and decided to focus on TNA's newest signing, Drew Galloway! I look forward to seeing him around.

We move to the Monster's Ball match between Jeff Hardy and Abyss. I feel that this was a great way to build the TNA World Tag Team Title match at Lockdown. Jeff Hardy is a very marketable name, has good chemistry with Abyss and the Monster's Ball match is a TNA staple that is almost always fun. Josh Matthews continues to shine on commentary, pointing out that Jeff sits out on his Twist of Fate while Matt lays out and that Abyss has been in 95% of the televised Monster's Ball matches. The Revolution comes out but get taken out by Matt Hardy and the Wolves before we get a creative finish to this fun match. Jeff nails a sunset flip powerbomb into thumbtacks and then a Swanton Bomb onto Abyss on the tacks. Post match, James Storm argues with Abyss. Austin Aries is interviewed about how he appreciates that Lashley is a fighting Champion because he was just granted a title shot without having to cashing in his shot. Rockstar Spud and Mandrews come out because they've challenged EC3 and Tyrus. Rockstar Spud's bowtie is the stuff of legend. EC3 and Tyrus come out to say that their request for a match has been denied. They found suitable replacements in the BroMans! They are still a ton of fun, and I'm not really against Angelina Love in a short skirt. This was short and a shooting star press from Mandrews wins it. After the match, Tyrus lays them out with heart punches like he's Crush or something. EC3 says that Spud and Mandrews can face Tyrus inside a cage at Lockdown because they'll never get a match with him..

After some Lockdown hype, it's time for the main event. I'm not sure when TNA began to implement their Ranking System but they discussed it a few times tonight and would show someone's ranking as he came out if he was ranked. I think this is a great idea if done right. It can make wins and losses mean more. I mean, Roode has lost twice recently, but he is the number one contender because he gets his rematch. Pretty cool idea. The match itself didn't disappoint. All four guys worked hard and we saw some cool spots for sure. I love when Roode busts out the Crippler Crossface. Roode looks close to winning after a Tower of Doom bomb but Eric Young comes down and attacks him. Lashley is able to retain and he pins Aries, which upset me. MVP could have eaten the pin, but I guess he'll probably get a one on one shot soon. The BDC come down and beat down on all three challengers until Kurt Angle and Gunner make the save. I still can't get behind Gunner. After a commercial, Roode challenges Young to a match at Lockdown which is accepted. Angle gets Aries to join his team but Lashley declines because he wants nothing to do with either team.

So TNA has been on Destination America for about a month so far and all four shows were pretty solid. Nothing ridiculously dumb has happened and I appreciate that as it is a step in the right direction for TNA. This episode did a great job in building towards Lockdown and featured four fun matches. The two title matches were really good, the Monster's Ball was an exciting brawl and even the short tag was enjoyable. 8/10.