By Jeremy Peeples, WrestlingObserver.com
Last week, the Hardys won the Ultimate X match to become TNA World Tag Team Champions for the first time. Also, the knockouts will reign supreme tonight as every match except for the main event will have them in it. New knockouts will debut, including the Dollhouse of Jade and Marti Belle. Eric Young faces Kurt Angle for the World title, with EY acting a bit too nice last week, but adding something resembling a dimension to his character in the process.
The show begins with a rundown of tonight’s card – a four way to determine a new number 1 contender for the knockouts title, a Knockouts title match between Kong and Taryn, and Angle-EY for the World title. Kurt comes out and says he’s here to defend the gold, but first, he needs to talk to Eric. EY comes out with his gear and his shin guard. Kurt puts over EY being a former World champion who was beloved at the time, and Kurt wants to know who he’s going to fight.
Well, EY’s dressed like a deranged fisherman – so I guess that version of him. A fan yells out ‘Super Eric”. EY said he’s been crazy, but he’s also been World Champion. EY tells a story about being told things by the wrong people and being nearly unstoppable, but Kurt helped him – he showed that he trusted Eric and Eric prevented a chairshot beating. EY says Kurt will fight the REAL Eric Young, and he wants the best man to win. Austin Aries, however, wants to talk.
He has an announcement he wants to make – no, not that he’s trying out for Tough Enough again. “The real” Eric Young is a time bomb who shouldn’t be trusted. He turned his back on Austin’s current partner, and he still holds the case that guarantees him a shot at the World Title whenever he wants it – and he wants it tonight, so EY is out of the match in his eyes. Aries says he wants to have one of the most epic World title matches ever with Kurt Angle tonight, and EY looks mildly angry. Josh says a member of the BDC will face a member of The Rising later.
Taryn cuts a fired-up backstage promo about proving that she’s the best Knockouts champion around. Gail comes out for the four way, followed by Angelina, and Brooke. Madison jumps Brooke on the ramp. A brawl breaks out for an ad break. We come back and Brooke avoids a double suplex by landing on the apron, but getting knocked down when the heels are dropkicked by Gail.
Madison throws Gail into the buckle and Love gets a Stinger splash. Madison counters the headscissors Octopus stretch with a northern lights suplex for 2. Gail is hoisted up and tossed onto the mat by the heels. Gail avoids a missile dropkick from Madison and lands some forearms shots to the jaw. Brooke pounces Gail! Well, that was unexpected – I’m glad to see that spot return.
She only gets 2 off a facebuster and runs wild with forearms on Love. A series of lariats and a flapjack hit Love, while Madison nails Brooke with a facebuster on the knee. Gail gets a crazy headscissors variant on Madison, while Love gets a Lotus hold on Gail. Brooke locks on some kind of backstabber submission to Angelina. Well, it was unique – it didn’t look good, but it was unique. Huge chants for Brooke, who gets the flying elbow while Gail nails the missile dropkick off the top.
Gail and Brooke take each other down with a crossbody block. Love gets the lifting facebuster, but Eats Defeat afterwards. Brooke schoolgirls Rayne for 2. Brooke gets a backdrop into a facebuster for the win. Brooke shined pretty brightly here and she didn’t just get a lot of cool spots, but the crowd was hyped for her.
Drew and The Rising talk about how the fans have told them how they’re standing up. Eli was fantastic here, saying they’re not afraid to bleed – and they will if need be. Josh says that Mica will represent The Rising, and we’ll find out who represents the BDC – as the match is next.
But first, some guy asks EY what his thoughts are on not fighting for the world title. EY rightfully says that he’s angry and tonight, he lost everything. The BDC comes down followed by The Rising. MVP teases that he’ll wrestle, but instead, it’s Kenny King. Kenny runs wild with some kicks, including a nice one to the chest. Drew trips him up in front of the ref, so he and Eli are tossed out. Kenny sends him to the floor where the other BDC members are. They attack, and Josh points out that the referee doesn’t see it, so he can’t eject them. I love it when logic is applied, so kudos to Josh for that.
Kenny grinds away with a chinlock, but whips his head onto the mat violently when Mica starts getting up. Mica gets a high back suplex off a headlock attempt, giving him a brief window of opportunity. He gets a Stinger splash and a Big Ending, but MVP is on the apron. Mica goes up top, but Ki grabs his leg and Kenny flying kicks him for 2. Mica elbows out of a Royal Flush, and gets a Samoan drop out of a springboard for the win. The BDC attacks, but The Rising responds in kind. Homicide comes out and hits The Rising with his baton.
The BDC focuses on Drew and Ki gets a pipe and hits him in the stomach. Well, given how badly his head was busted up by Drew, that was a welcome surprise. Great heel bit with the BDC telling them to stand up now. Josh says that in the morning, you may not remember Mica’s win, but you will remember the post-match attack. That is an odd thing to say on the show, but pretty honest.
Drew is backstage with his crew and says that next week, it’s Hardcore Justice (well, that’s new) and he wants Low-Ki in a match with a pipe. This was abrupt. The Dollhouse comes out, with Marti wrestling Laura Dennis. The Dollhouse bullies Christy into saying “The Dawlhouse” and then they prance a bit. They’ve really nailed a creepy vibe with this, and then Josh says that if everyone wanted Christy to say things correctly, they’d be here all night. Josh says that Laura is known as Cherry Bomb, probably since that got a chant to start the match off.
Laura gets 2 off a crucifix, and her gear is covered in cherries and says “Cherry Bomb”, so why even bother giving her a new name? Jade tosses her down and chokes away in the mount. Running kick hits from Jade while yet another “Cherry Bomb” chant breaks out. Fallaway slam by Jade hits while Marti talks about how she loves it. Jade gets a running dropkick and gets some mounted punches on Laura. Marti licks a jawbreaker and Josh says that it’s pretty unsanitary. Laura gets a lariat, but Marti trips her and the referee sees it and throws her out.
I love seeing the referees have power. It would be nice to not have it in back to back matches, but they changed it up here by having Marti attack the ref and attack Laura. Christy announces that Laura is the winner by DQ, so they trap her at ringside and toss her into the steps and then Jade hits a dropkick into them. This is a perfect use of Christy – if she’s going to get physical, this lets her do it without taking needless risks. They put the giant jawbreaker in Christy’s mouth as a calling card and leave skipping and spinning around. This wasn’t much of a match, but they accidentally got a new star with Laura Dennis and got over the creepy act of The Dollhouse while also building up Christy for something too – so it was a very efficient use of a handful of minutes on the show.
Backstage, Kurt tells EY that he’s sorry about what happened tonight. EY says he respects him, but he doesn’t know if he wants to be here anymore. Magnus is mid-ring and says that tonight isn’t about him, it’s about his fiance – one of the best female wrestlers of all time. Josh talks about how retirement has been brought up. She comes out in a nice floral dress. A big “Mickie” chant breaks out. She says she came back to help Magnus and has had a great career, but it’s time to be a mom. She cries saying that she loved doing what she loved, and gets a huge “Thank You Mickie” chant in return. James Storm comes down and says he loves cold beer, hot women, and fast cars and that Mickie is basically the female version of him.
She’ll stand up for what she believes in and do what she wants. Storm says that when you get to the Go position, your blood should start pumping, and the fans start chanting “Mickie, Mickie”, it means that they don’t want to see her go. Man is it good to see Storm as a fired-up babyface again. Magnus says he appreciates Storm being here, but this is a hard decision. Storm says if a decision is difficult, it shouldn’t be made. The fans don’t want her to go, and she’s one of the best entertainers on Earth – not just in the ring, but on-stage. Holy crap is Storm ever fantastic here. Storm is upset, and I like the idea of this being that Magnus is seemingly taking his friend away from him, and it’s not a romance deal just yet.
Storm says it’s great that she loves her son and Nick, and he doesn’t want her to do a full-time schedule, just one more match. The crowd chants for it and Josh points out that this doesn’t seem like the Storm we’ve seen, and it seems like he’s two different people. Well, he’s completely right about that. Mickie says ONE MORE TIME and Storm tells Keith Mitchell to hit the music and Storm starts singing and dancing. This was slightly odd, but damned entertaining. Storm as a babyface, even if it’s as seemingly a false one right now, is so much better than him leading the Redneck Revolution. Right now, they’ve got a character that has a plausible reason for everything he’s doing. Sure, he’s violating his heel character – but this is being sold as a long-time friendship that would transcend anything else. The subtext to it is that he feels she’s his soulmate.
Magnus and Mickie talk backstage and he says that they talked about it, but she says it’s only one more match and he’s okay with it. Davey tells Magnus that Storm is the devil and he just wants to warn him so that his family isn’t torn apart like the Wolves were. This plays nicely into a very brief storyline, and thus makes that feel more important. It also plays into this match because Davey’s facing Manik next.
Manik rarely gets a chance to look good, so this is a good one. Great headlock>counter exchange starts things off. Davey sends him out and nails a running boot that flips Manik head over heels. Josh talks about the next TV tapings and how the May 8 show will be live. Manik goes for the cross armbreaker, but Davey clasps his hands. By the time Manik gets it in, Davey’s in the ropes. A punch and kick exchange breaks out on the apron. A dueling chant breaks out while Storm talks to Abyss and Khoya backstage.
Manik gets a snapmare and dropkick to the neck. Josh says that’s the Storm we know and not the one we saw earlier – setting up him being a false idol for Mickie here. Manik gets a suplex and turns it into a hammerlock back suplex for 2. Manik spins around gets a kneeling armbar/chinlock combination. Davey goes for an Irish whip, but Manik counters just by tugging at the arm. Over the rope armbar from Manik leads to a springboard, but Davey catches him with a kick.
Davey kicks away some more since his arm is limp, including a nice kick series in the corner. Cro Cop high kick leads to a bridging German for 2. Josh says that we’ll have Low-Ki vs. Drew in a pipe on a pole match. Well, that sounds stupid. Manik avoids a double stomp, but Davey counters the facebuster/Codebreaker into a cradle and hits the Creeping Death buzzsaw for the win. Josh tells him to compete for the X Division title, and then Khoya and Abyss come out to attack. Abyss chokeslams him onto the apron and going for one on the steps before the Hardys save him. They toss Abyss into the post and move onto Khoya. Jeff gets a twisto stunner before they debut Check Fate – a kneeling Big Ending/Twist of Fate combination. Jeff is wearing a Willow shirt. EC3 and Tyrus are backstage, with Tyrus dressed up like Abraham Lincoln and holding balloons. This is almost as bizarre as him being a dancing dinosaur – but much funnier.
Josh says that EC3 has spent over a week talking about #ec32015. He has? Why wasn’t it covered on last week’s show? EC3 quotes various presidents and says tonight, he unites those who chant “you can’t wrestle” and those who chant “yes you can”. He declares himself to be the next TNA World Heavyweight Champion, and EC3 2015 is the year and soon, the man will make the title. EC3 says he’s had 20 months of perfection while Tyrus holds a sign we aren’t shown. EC3 says he’s beaten every Hall of Famer and he’ll take the company into the future for eight more years. An EC3 For Champ graphic airs and the red, white, and blue will now be all-gold for EC3. Now we see the sign, and EC3 says he’ll defend the title on the moon and Mars. “MARTIANS TAKE NOTICE – I’M COMING FOR YA!” This was fantastic. Then Mr. Anderson came out and EC3 asks him to kindly depart.
Anderson tells a slew of bad jokes, which pisses Tyrus off. Good Tyrus – attack this annoying man. Ken says that he fought for 11 years to win a World title, and broke his freakin face to do it. Well, that’s a good point. A brawl broke out and EC3 bails before Ken can hit the mic check. Everything with just EC3 and Tyrus was fantastic, while things got a lot worse when Anderson came out. Taryn’s journey to the gold is chronicled, while Kong’s path of destruction is highlighted as well. This was excellent – Kong comes off like a monster, while Taryn seems way out of her league.
JB handles the intros and does an incredible job just announcing “Awesommmeee KOOONNNNGGG!” Josh says that Taryn has been champion for 181 days – nearing Gail’s record. Well, that’s accurate if you don’t count the company going dark for two months. Taryn says she wants this to be a no DQ match to give the fans what they deserve. Josh is surprised by this since it takes the championship advantage away from her. Logically, it opens the door for weapon use though – which can work in her favor.
Taryn runs into Kong on the floor and Kong lands a giant swing into the barricade. Kong grabs kendo sticks and makes a cool-looking X with them before attacking. Kong goes for an Awesome bomb on the steps, but Taryn counters with a face stomp. Kong regains control, but misses a splash. Taryn runs wiild with lariats and a dropkick before getting 2 off a high crossbody off the top. Basement dropkick to the back of Kong.
The crowd wants tables, so she obliges. Josh says that Kong has put her through a table, so this is risky. Taryn grabs a kendo stick as insurance and charges at her in the corner. The Dollhouse comes down while Taryn sets up the table. Taryn goes for a cutter, but Kong counters. Kong goes up top, but the Dollhouse attacks her and they all hit a triple powerbomb on her through the table for the win! Taryn says that no one can beat her and messing with her means you’re messing with her friends – and they don’t play nice. Jade and Marti play ring around the rosy around Taryn. This was really fun, and Taryn’s new heel character is already a lot of fun.
Aries says that tonight, he needs to win the title and not have any bullshit cloud things. EY is quite pissed, and given that all of this is happening at the one hour and 49 minute mark, I doubt we’re getting an actual match here. We return to Josh in the TNA offices – the most echoey part of the building apparently. Backstage, Magnus talks to the crew while a black and white cam shows him asking the crew to follow her around for a while.
At 10:55, Aries comes down and then gets jumped by EY. EY beats him up with the case and then piledrives him on the floor before delivering a second one on the steps. Well, this is really good. I don’t like the bait and switch by promising a title match and not delivering, but at least a good angle was put in its place. Kurt comes down and gets beaten down. He takes Kurt’s brace off and attacks Kurt with a chair. Kurt is split open and then locked in the figure four.
The show ends with a really nice highlight reel for next week’s Hardcore Justice show where they used a scanline filter on a lot of the footage and warned viewers about violent content. I’m not a fan of the gimmick show coming out of nowhere, but at least they did a fine job in the last minute of this show building it up. Overall, this was a really good show. Like Lucha Underground, it wasn’t a great one section by section, but they did a fantastic job building to the future with The Dollhouse, EY’s rampage, Davey possibly going for the X Title with the Hardys as his allies, and the whole Storm-Mickie-Magnus not-quite-love triangle.
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