It’s Monday and, of course, that means it’s your weekly McImpact Review. Yes, after staying up until 5am Sunday morning, watching the WWE Hall of Fame, and 5am Monday morning watching WrestleMania, I’m back to slumming it with the best Nashville has to offer: it’s Impact Wrestling. Just how many tears do you think Dixie Carter shed when she saw her boy Sting walk out in front of that crowd last night? 76, 976, I bet. All right, it probably wasn’t quite that big of an attendance, but it certainly wasn’t the Impact Zone. I digress, the barrio of pro-wrestling awaits!
The show opens with a recap video of The Revolution versus The Hardys in a steel cage a few months back that ended up with Jeff Hardy getting MURKED by James Storm at the end. This is all to build up HARDY’S REVENGE (aka Jeff Hardy couldn’t get in the UK with his record, so we had to write him out of the show for a bit). In fact, the show is titled HARDY’S REVENGE, just in case we were in any doubt.
And TNA have returned to the Impact Zone in Orlando after their merry jaunt to Europe. Given the level of this company’s production values, they’re better off in the Impact Zone – it doesn’t look too bad at all.
James Storm and Khoya of The Revolution make their way down the ramp to start the show. There are SIX SIDES OF STEEL around the ring. Storm gets on the mic’ and says that tonight is supposed to be Jeff Hardy’s night of revenge, but he’s got some bad news – Jeff Hardy isn’t here. Storm says he crippled Jeff Hardy. He says that, last week, he did exactly what he said he was going to do, he put out Matt Hardy. He says The Revolution isn’t here to play games – either you’re with The Revolution, or you’re getting hurt by them. He says Jeff is known for death defying dives off of cages, just like the one here tonight. Storm says he gave the fans what they wanted, he had Hardy dive off the top of the cage and now he’s lying in a hospital.
The crowd chants for Jeff Hardy and Storm says he’s about to give them Jeff Hardy. He throws a WATERMELON off the top of the cage and it splats down below. Poor watermelon. Storm says that, as lovely as it is to have the cage here tonight, it’s going to be great watching the ring crew taking it down – just as he did our hero, Jeff Hardy.
BUT SWERVE! JEFF HARDY IS ACTUALLY HERE. This must be the first time a heel said someone wasn’t there that was, in fact, actually there. Heart palpitations, here.
Out walks Jeff, the fans love it. Now he gets on the mic and tells Storm that he did something nobody has ever done, hit him with a cowbell, etc, etc. He says he still doesn’t walk right, but walks well enough to kick Storm’s ass. He says there was a famous match he once had and a famous line he’s known for, “I’m still standing!” He says that, with the support of his family and the fans, he’s REALLY standing. Simply ROCKIN’ standing, in fact.
Jeff says Storm hurt Matt, tried to hurt him, and that’s why he asked TNA to set the cage up. The time to end The Revolution is now. Storm tells him to wait, distracting him long enough for Manik to nail Jeff from behind. Storm says The Revolution is all around, and there’s always room for one more. Storm tells Manik to break Jeff’s arm and Manik tries to do so, but Jeff fights back and takes Manik out. Next out is Abyss, who sends Jeff into the cage, the numbers game working for The Revolution here.
Storm continues to taunt Hardy on the mic’ as Jeff gets the upper hand on Abyss, nailing him a few times with a chair. Jeff gets back on the mic’, says Manik and Abyss and Khoya aren’t going to help Storm. Jeff tells the “controller” to lower the roof of the cage so he can end The Revolution.
The roof comes down. There are trashcans and stuff attached to the roof. Storm tells Hardy that, in this story, the hero BLEEP! OMFG, can’t believe he said the word BLEEP. Hardy says, no, it’s about Hardy’s revenge and tries to get the crowd chanting along with, “Hardy’s Revenge.”
So, that was that segment, now we get a recap of Austin Aries versus Joe from last week and Spud running down to cash in his Not A Money In The Bank Briefcase and winning the X Division title from Low-Ki.
Backstage, the BDC are annoyed. Kenny King tells Low-Ki how bad it was to lose to Spud and to lose the belt. MVP says it was a tragedy, but they have to make a statement.
When we come back, James Storm is backstage kicking stuff about. He tells Khoya that Manik and Abyss have failed him and that Khoya needs to go find Jeff Hardy and destroy him. It was intense, Storm told Khoya that, if he fails, he will dispose of him.
The commentators hype up the Six Sides of Steel main event. Also, the new World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle is coming up later. And, right now, it’s an X Division Championship match.
Out first, it’s Low-Ki, rocking his standard BDC beanie. He’s closely followed by OUR X DIVISION CHAMPION, Rockstar Spud.
The crowd are well behind Spud before the match starts and I just remembered, most of this crowd are corralled tourists, right? I remember why I hated the Impact Zone now! Ah, well.
They have a fine little match, the very definition of a TV match, I suppose. There is a lot of chopping. Low-Ki gurns, like, a LOT. It comes to an end when MVP runs in and distracts the referee, allowing Low-Ki to take control. But then Drew Galloway, who as we know has issues with the BDC, comes through the crowd and draws MVP away. This gives Spud a chance to roll-up Low-Ki and retain his title. Spud and Galloway celebrate together as we go to a break.
When we come back, the BDC are still in the ring and they are PISSED. MVP is on the mic’ and says that Drew wants to come out here talk about his lame campaign about fairness and doing things the right way. MVP asks if Drew was doing the right thing by getting involved in his title match with Lashley, or when he attacked Low-Ki with a pipe. MVP doesn’t think that’s fair at all. He tells Drew that it’s time for him to understand that the BDC isn’t about games and that when Drew is in the hospital, with his skull fractured and a nurse changing his nappy, that the BDC are not about the games. He calls the fans losers, flatscans, morons and suggests that Drew comes into the ring or the BDC will go out into the crowd and start slapping people about.
Drew comes out, because he can’t let MVP slap around fans with MVP’s criminal history – he’d get in a lot of trouble. Drew says that he knows MVP is thinking that either Drew Galloway is either dumb or tough. Drew says he’s a little bit of both. He says he had a choice when Low-Ki hit him in the head with a pipe, he could have laid down and given up. But he didn’t, he decided to stand up! Now he’s going to see who’s willing to stand up with him tonight. Drew says he’s not the voice of professional wrestling, the fans are. IT’S SURVEY TIME. Drew asks the fans, do they love professional wrestling? Fans say they do. He asks if the fans are sick of the BDC, the fans say yes. He asks if the fans want competitive wrestling matches, and they do. Drew says the Impact Zone is willing to stand up with him and that something special is going on right now, a movement, a rising.
Kenny King gets on the mic and asks drew if he’s MENTAL. King says there’s nobody here who will stand with Drew. He asks Drew if he thinks he’s William Wallace, if he thinks one man can stand up against the BDC army. SPOILER ALERT: No, says King. He tells Drew to stop running and come and get the beat down before they bring the beat down to Drew. He says Drew is going to find it hard to stand up after they break his legs.
Drew doubts that Kenny King has watched Braveheart in its entirety. He says that, like William Wallace, he is willing to suffer for his cause and that in the end, Wallace won – just like Drew is going to win. Then they all scream at each other a bit before it ends up with Drew and Low-Ki agreeing to fight each other. Drew gets in the ring and he’s joined by… some guys. They’re all wearing the same t-shirt as Drew – ones that says THE RISING on them. The commentators don’t seem to know who these guys are, either.
But Drew and his unknown friends send the BDC running and Drew gets back on the mic’ and says THIS IS THE RISING.
Next up it’s a hype video for Awesome Kong. TNA LOVE hype videos. That takes us into a commercial break.
When we come back, the commentators recap WHAT JUST HAPPENED between Drew and the BDC. Wrestling for amnesiacs, here.
Backstage, the BDC are freaking out about it all before MVP tells Low-Ki and King to relax. He says who plays the numbers game better than the BDC? He says he’s going to make a call.
Back in the Impact Zone, it’s a Knockouts match and Brooke makes her way down to the ring. The commentators speculate that Brooke might be trending worldwide on Twitter, which I don’t find credible. Her opponent is Awesome Kong. I fear for Brooke.
They have a match that mainly consists of Brooke getting a little offensive in before Kong just swats her aside. It’s pretty much all Kong, apart from a couple of minutes, and the match ends when Kong hits Brooke with the Implant Buster.
After the bell, Kong gives Brooke another Implant Buster, just for fun, and heads outside and under the ring, pulling out a table. She sets it up on the outside as Josh Matthews complains that the company needs more security and officials to stop things like this from happening. Which is funny because TNA probably can’t afford any more hires. As Kong drags Brooke out of the ring and over to the table to, I assume, put her through it, Taryn Terell runs down and attacks Kong, saving Brooke. The two fight into the ring and Brooke gives Kong a couple of dropkicks, including one off the top. They then fight back outside where Kong sends Terell into the steps and then puts her through the table that was meant for Brooke. That’ll teach her.
We go to a HYPE VIDEO recapping Kurt Angle winning the TNA title last week and the commentators build up Angle’s appearance, next.
But before that, it’s Austin Aries who says he enjoyed last week’s World title match. He says Kurt deserves a celebration tonight. But, he wonders, what if we had two celebrations tonight? He holds his title shot briefcase up, hinting that he may cash in later. Adverts!
When we come back, Jeff Hardy is backstage and he says that tonight is tonight, the time is now, Impact Wrestling will never be the same. He says he’s going to keep standing until The Revolution ends. But he’s attacked from behind by Khoya! Jeff isn’t fazed, though. He takes control and pretty much just beats the crap out of Khoya. James Storm isn’t going to be pleased. Jeff tells him to stay down, but he won’t. So Jeff hits him with a beer bottle! Seems a bit much. But Khoya still won’t stay down, so this time Jeff hits him with two beer bottles at once! Who was drinking all this beer?! This time Khoya stays down as Jeff walks off.
Back in the Impact Zone, Kurt Angle’s music hits and out comes the NEW TNA World Champion. He gets in the ring and thanks all those that have supported him throughout his career. He says that that support alone is the main reason that he’s standing there as the champion. He says he’s been to the mountaintop 13 other times. There’s a big USA! USA! USA! chant. Kurt says that this time is a little different as it’s been three and a half years since he last won the title. He says it’s taken a heavy toll on his body, mentally and physically, and that he had to refocus his whole life. He says that it’s the proudest moment of his career so far to be standing there after all he’s gone through. He goes on, but he’s interrupted by ECIII’s music, who walks down to the ring accompanied by Tyrus.
ECIII tells Kurt he’s inspiring. He says that Kurt is a king once again and that he did the impossible in beating Bobby Lashley. He says there’s something else that’s seemingly impossible – ECIII’s undefeated streak. He mentions having beaten Angle. He says that, two weeks ago, he put the entire industry on notice and now he’s putting Kurt on notice – this is regicide. He tells Kurt that he’s going to beat him for the belt and there’s nothing Kurt can do about it.
Kurt is INCREDULOUS. And he goes on, but he’s interrupted again as here comes Bobby Roode down to the ring. Roode has a mic’ and says that any discussion about the title needs to involve him, because he’s owed a fair, one-on-one, rematch for the belt. ECIII tells Bobby to give him a break. Roode tells ECIII to shut up or he’s going to be physically harmed. Roode tells Kurt that he has nothing but respect for him. He says some of his greatest matches were with Kurt. But he tells Kurt that Kurt knows there isn’t anyone else who deserves a shot at the belt more than him.
Of course, someone else disagrees and Eric Young brings himself out. EY says that he’s the one that stole the belt from Roode – because he can! Because he’s better than Roode! Because he’s always been better than Roode! EY says Roode is a loser. Roode says HE IS NOT A LOSER! And that he beat EY. EY tells Roode that, as long as he’s there, Roode will never hold the belt again. And then Austin Aries makes his way down to the ring. Is there just a box of microphones backstage of something?
Aries chastises everyone. He says this is supposed to be Angle’s celebration. Aries makes fun of ECIII for being the only one in the ring not to have held the belt. He tells Kurt that he’s got something for him in the briefcase – champagne. He asks Kurt what should they celebrate? Kurt’s win or his? Kurt tells Aries that he should cash in the briefcase if he wants to. He tells the rest of them that, if they want a shot, they should name the place and time. Kurt Angle is a FIGHTING CHAMPION. Kurt leaves and walks up the ramp but from behind comes Bobby Lashley. He doesn’t have a microphone, surprisingly. But he tells Kurt that the rest of those dudes don’t deserve a title shot, he does. Kurt tells Lashley they can have a rematch right now! But a bunch of referees and security rush out and get between them, which makes you wonder where they were when Awesome Kong was being a dick.
Meanwhile, in the ring, everyone goes at it. The heels get the better of the faces until Mr Anderson runs in for the save and they all brawl into the break. This was long.
When we return, the brawl continues. But it’s now a match, I guess. Six-man tag – Roode, Aries and Anderson versus Tyrus, ECIII and Eric Young.
I’m not a big fan of six-man tag matches (unless they involve The Shield and The Wyatts), and this was no exception. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very good, aside from a couple of spots, and I don’t understand how a six-man tag just “breaks out” (as the commentators put it). I guess I should stop looking for reason in my wrestling booking, it only makes things difficult.
ANYWAY, a match happened. Before I get to the finish, can I just say how much I hate TNA’s camera work? Zooming in and out, shaking all about – it just makes me feel queasy.
The match ended when Aries missed his 450 splash and EY was able to get him in the Figure Four and Austin Aries tapped. The heels walk off triumphantly.
Next, Bram makes his way down to the ring. Matthews and Tazz talk about how Magnus messed Bram up last week and they show a quick recap of the powerbomb Magnus gave him on the stage.
Bram gets on the mic and calls Magnus a coward three times, saying there are a million ways to describe Magnus, but coward fits best. He says Magnus is a coward because he hides behind his family. Bram says Magnus is pathetic because he had Mickie James out there doing his dirty work and says Mickie is more of a man than Magnus will ever be. He mentions Magnus’ precious, little baby boy – I assume his child. Magnus comes out with Mickie and tells Bram to STFU about his kid. He says that he got Bram his job in TNA and then Bram turned his back on him. But to make matters worse, Bram put his hands on Mickie. Magnus says Bram talks too much. Bram tells Magnus to get in the ring and fight him. Magnus says he will, but not just in the ring. On the ramp, backstage, in the parking lot. Everywhere. Bram is up for it and says all he cares about is seeing Mickie cry after he’s kicked Magnus’ head in. Mickie gets on the mic’ and tells Bram those tears will be tears of joy when Magnus whips Bram all over the Impact Zone. Bram says he’s sorry Mickie is upset because she’s going home to an empty house because he’s going to mess Magnus up. But, he says, his door is always open. And that annoys Magnus, who runs down to the ring and attacks Bram. Bram gets the upper hand with a low-blow, downing Magnus.
Bram heads to the outside and grabs a metal turnbuckle post. He drags Mickie into the ring and tells her to kiss his boot. Bram changes his mind, though, and tells Mickie to kiss him.
Magnus grabs Bram from behind and hits him with a German suplex and then goes to town on Bram’s head with punches before grabbing the turnbuckle pole and beating Bram with it. Magnus goes to leave but Mickie jumps in the ring, wanting to hit Bram with a few shots of her own. Magnus has to jump back in and hold Mickie back and Bram escapes up the ramp.
Next they play a Jeff Hardy hype video, building the main event. It’s basically a collection of shots of Jeff Hardy jumping off high stuff.
After that, there’s a video of Mike Tenay talking to Drew Galloway about his time in WWE. Drew says it was his lifelong dream and that he’s happy he got to be Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champion. He says they tried to make the best of being in 3MB and talks about still having lots to give at his age. This was weird, although I will say he came across as a nice guy. TNA actually do these Tenay things quite well, it’s something different, which is always good.
It’s your MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING. James Storm is out first, cowbell around his neck. The cage is around the ring, with the trashcans and all. Next out is Jeff Hardy. When he gets to the ring, Storm hits him with a trashcan, which is the beginning of the match.
It was fun enough. TNA main events have been quite good the past few weeks and this was no exception. A number of very cool little spots, worth checking out. The match ended when Hardy hits Storm with the cowbell and Twist Of Fate, scales the cage and shimmies over to the middle of the roof. He swings back and forth, building momentum, and hits Storm with a big splash and gets the pin. Jeff Hardy celebrating his win is how we end this week’s Impact Wrestling.
This wasn’t on the Challenge version of the show, but I understand TNA closed Impact Wrestling with a graphic in memory of el Hijo del Perro Aguayo, who sadly died just over a week ago.
This wasn’t WrestleMania by any means, but this was a fun show – and that’s all weekly wrestling TV has to be. I’m not going to drone on about the production values again, it’s clear as day for anyone who watches the show. There’s very little other than that to complain about. TNA are quietly plugging away every week, producing decent shows with decent matches and decent, simple storylines. In my first review, I complained that TNA were missing some sort of X-Factor (n. early-2000s stable led by X-Pac) but, in all honesty, what they’re doing works fine and they should continue to do it.
Review by David McGuinness. Impact Wrestling airs in the US on Destination America on Fridays at 9pm ET, and in the UK on Challenge on Sundays at 9pm.