By Jeremy Peeples /WrestlingObserver.com
Last week, The Rising’s Mika and Eli Drake got formal debuts (and names). Galloway’s group won their six-man tag with the BDC, but lost the war for the evening thanks to the returning Homicide. On the Knockouts side of things, Awesome Kong beat Gail Kim to renew their rivalry, but the mysterious new Dollhouse team of Marti Bell and Jade are coming via creepy vignettes. James Storm met with Mickie, and then immediately after got mad at Manik and had his Revolution to battle to determine his partner for tonight’s tag title tournament.
Khoya won that, so he’s back in Storm’s good graces after being warned weeks ago. Sanada is gone as a result of failing too many times for reasons that weren’t explained. Finally, Kurt Angle beat Lashley and Eric Young in a triple threat match by moonsaulting Lashley. However, the prone Lashley was attacked with a figure four and Pillmanizer to his knee, so yes, the Bellator MMA fighter was put on TNA’s disabled list by Eric Young. Taz has also left the promotion, so this will be the first Impact without him on commentary (other than a vacation/family issue) since 2009.
The show opens with a recap of Eddie Edwards’ broken heel, the Wolves giving up the titles, and a quick clip of each team in the tournament. We we get a graphic for tonight’s mini-tournament leading to Khoya and James Storm coming down. Josh Mathews says that Taz is on special assignment, and the Hardys come out after clips air of the walking stick beating last week. Mathews talks about the Hardys going from being teenagers wrestling with Shane Helms and Amy Dumas to now going for the TNA World Tag titles for the first time ever.
The Hardys pose on the buckles and get beaten up for it. Jeff comes back with his flipping kick to send Storm to the floor and then get a baseball slide. Poetry in Motion in the corner to Khoya leads to a big “Hardy” chant. Khoya picks up Matt off a dive to the floor and powerslams him onto the steps – that looked pretty cool. In a neat bit, they attack Matt with a replica title that a fan has…and don’t give it back to him. Storm attacks Matt in the corner and rakes his eyes. Jeff comes in, but the referee has to hold him back and thus Matt endures more harm.
Khoya attacks briefly before tagging Storm back in. Khoya clotheslines him down and gets 2. Khoya smashes Matt’s head into Storm’s boot while Josh says that the Hardys have done more for tag team wrestling than any other team in the world. Storm jawjacks to Jeff, giving Matt a chance to make a comeback. Side Effect hits and Jeff tags in and runs wild with clotheslines and elbows before landing the double-legdrop to the gut. Storm gets a cheapshot and tags the big man back in, but it works against them as an accidental superkick from Storm to Khoya after a Twist of Fate counter leads to a Twist to each man and a Hardy win with a swanton.
Storm attacks Khoya after the match. The Hardys celebrate in the ring and then with the fans before JB interviews them. Matt talks about how they’ll be the TNA World Tag Team Champions for the first time ever while the fans chant “Hardy”, which they do again here – this was fun. Angle-EY-Lashley clips show the Lashley inury while EY yells about wanting a title shot while wearing a Kurt Angle shirt. He’s coming for his title shot, and as Josh says “THE DERANGED LUNATIC ERIC YOUNG, NEXT!”
Eric Young comes out while Josh calls him deranged a few times. He says Kurt’s been ducking him, and Kurt comes down while Josh says that Angle faced EY last week in a three-way and that EY may have lost his mind. Kurt says EY’s been calling him out on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but he should be social with him face to face. EY says Kurt can be beaten and hurt really badly. Kurt tells him he’ll give him a title shot next week, and the fans love EY because he’s crazy. What? Kurt says he wants the best Eric Young there is – he wants the old Eric Young back. Kurt gives him the opening to attack from behind, but EY just says he’ll see him next week. Kenny King and Low-Ki bully Rockstar Spud before Mr. Anderson saves him to set up their tag match next. Spring Cleaning ShopTNA sale ad.
Kenny King and Low-Ki are out representing the BDC. You’ll never guess – but they want to build a legacy and gain power in TNA by winning titles. Rockstar Spud comes out holding his X Division Championship proudly. Mr. Anderson, who still hails from Green Bay, Wisconisin does his intro. Spud gets jumped while Ken goes to the apron. Ki fishhooks his face while King lands some cheapshots. King throws a chop that not only nails Spud, but hits Ki on the apron. Punt to the gut from King to Spud. More corner double-teams lead to Josh talking about how Ultimate X defining TNA and how it’s a career-shortening match. Spud fights out of the corner on Low-Ki, but he gets taken down and King tags in to attack.
He tosses Spud into the buckle, but misses a charge and that opens the door for an Anderson tag that is stopped with another kick to the stomach. A huge “Let’s Go Spud!” chant breaks out, but avails him nothing as Low-Ki lands a Mongolian chop to the back during a front chancery by King. Ki grinds away with an abdominal stretch while Anderson gets a big “Spud” chant going. A power drive elbow to the back sets up a sick PRIDE-style kick to the back of the head from Ki. King comes in and gets cradled, but an Anderson-Ki argument disctracts the ref. Spud gets an enzuigiri, but Ki attacks. Ken can’t take any more and comes in to attack them and then does the the old Rock and Roll Express trick of tossing the babyface in peril to their corner for an easier tag.
Anderson lands the Finlay roll to Ki and drops him on King in the process. Anderson picks up Spud for an atomic whip rana to Ki sends him to the floor. A chair is brought in that Ken tries to get rid of, but the ref catches him and it allows Ki to hit the Warrior’s Way to the back of Spud after he covered King post-Underdog. The heels emerge victorious, so the BDC is one step closer to taking over TNA by holding gold. Bram walks backstage while EC3 talks about whetting his appetite for gold by winning the tag team titles. While Tyrus is good, Bram is a better choice and tonight, Tigre Uno and “his partner” will notice how good he is. Bram says he’s unstoppable and says he’ll rip Uno’s mask off and force it down his throat. EC3 says “GOOD…but make sure we win first!”. EC3 is so great and this group has potential since he’s got charisma, Bram great overall with a psychotic tinge to him, and Tyrus is good at looking big and scary. He’s glad that Bram’s losing his mind because he’s reaping the rewards – and their tag match is next.
We come back to clips of the BDC’s win and hear from the BDC backstage. MVP is proud of his crew, but he wants Homicide to beat down Kurt Angle. Tigre Uno comes down with Jay Rios, who is in white and gold gear and isn’t identified or put over in any way. EC3 and Tyrus are out with the former in silver and bronze gear that looks really good. Josh says that Bram has been pegged as a future world champion by many and that this team represents everything TNA is all about. A makeshift team going for a tag title they don’t deserve? No – they’re young and have moxie.
Rios armdrags EC3 down and the Lucha Reptiles double dropkick EC3 and send him to the floor. Tyrus takes Uno out on the floor by catching him on a dive and slamming him down ala Mark Henry. EC3 gets 2 off of that before tagging Bram in. He attacks and Josh says you should buy his stock before he tags EC3 back in. EC3 grabs the leg, but Uno kicks him off right into a Bram tag. Bram gets foiled and Rios comes in and gets a tilt a whirl headscissors to Bram. Nice springboard dropkick lands and Rios gets a kick to the leg before nailing a springboard cutter for 2. I wonder if Jay Rios is secretly Juan Cena? EC3 hits him with the brace and Bram gets the Impaler DDT for the win. Jokes aside, Rios wasn’t given much here – no highlight reels or even major moves being named, and he still shined nicely. Hopefully, he’s used more in the future because he’s quite talented. All of the Knockouts stand around backstage while Josh says a big Knockouts announcement is coming next.
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The camera guy asks Kurt Angle what’s going on and he says that Eric Young is one of the most talented men in the history of this business and Homicide is just crazy. Christy Hemme is mid-ring and says that the Knockouts separate TNA from everyone else. Taryn and Brooke are up front while Madison and Angelina are behind them and Gail’s in there somewhere. Josh says that you can put this roster against anyone and they’ll deliver. Roster? There are five people here. Hemme says that next week’s show is TKO – a night of Knockouts. Angelina says the night should be about her while Gail tells her to shut up. Madison buries Angelina for losing the title a record-setting number of times, while Gail’s too concerned with being real and none of them are the queen bee like she is.
Hemme says that next week, there will be a four-way for a title shot with everyone who isn’t Taryn in the ring in it. Brooke cuts the happiest promo since Up With People about getting a chance to be a three-time Knockouts champion. Hemme says there will be new Knockouts and Taryn will defend her title against Awesome Kong. Taryn says Kong has power, but she has passion. Kong’s theme plays and she comes out while we see her beating Gail last week. The heels hold Kong back while the faces hold Taryan back, but a brawl breaks out anyway. Taryn jumps onto the pile with a flying crossbody off the top to the floor. This was productive, but also very annoying due to the promos being cut.
Recap of the Hardys beating the Revolution and the BDC’s win. Roode and Aries face the BroMans, who tease dissension in the back. Roode and Aries meet with Robbie while Aries puts over Robbie’s great hair. Roode tells him he could be the world champion and he’s the better BroMan. They go to talk to Jesse to further the problems with the BroMans.
Or not – as the match is up now. BroMans are out first followed by Roode and then Aries. Austin starts with a double sledge off the apron and Roode gets a slingshot backbreaker leading to Aries springbing in for a pendulum elbow. Roode kicks away on Robbie. Robbie hits a running elbow while Josh plugs the next round of Impact tapings, including a “live” show on May 8. Robbie gets a second rope Hart Attack for 2. Jessie begs for a tag and gets it. Jessie tosses Robbie into the corner, leading to a kick to Robbie and a neckbreaker to Jessie.
Aries runs wild on both on the apron in a super-fun sequence. Corner dropkick to Robbie, but he can’t go for the dive due to Jessie stopping him. Gorilla press from Jessie takes him down. Roode prevents a BroDown/Hart Attack, and Aries gets the discus elbow and a suicide dive to the BroMans on the floor. Roode spinebuster sets up Jessie for the 450 and a win. This was a really fun tag match, even if it did further a split of the BroMans for whatever reason – they’re much stronger as a duo than they are on their own. Robbie pie-faces him and then a fight breaks out. Can any team in TNA get along? DJZ tries to place peacemaker while Josh talks about this being the end of a legendary team that has been around since day one together. Homicide is backstage beating up Kurt Angle. Josh says that “Homicide is lethal!” Well, he’s factually correct about that. Homicide throws him into things before they go to the Gorilla position and throw to a break.
We come back to them brawling around ringside for a long time. In the ring, Homicide gets the brawl in this street fight with a cutter. Kurt goes for a German suplex while Homicide undoes his boot, but gets low blowed. Kurt ducks the boot shot and gets a German before doing the ankle lock. BDC attacks and MVP hits the Blackout kick. After a several minute-long beating, The Rising has seen just about enough and makes the save for Kurt. They chase away the non-MVP members of the BDC, but EY prevents MVP from hitting Kurt in the head with a chair. MVP agrees to not attack Kurt and drops the chair before EY grabs it and drops it in front of Kurt. Josh says that someone has finally gotten through to EY. Well, they did at least do something to build this character beyond “he’s a crazy guy and he dresses like Travis Bickle”. Ultimate X highlights set up the main event, including Daniels landing on his head after a move on the cables.
Another skit with the Dollhouse – they’ll debut on TKO, The night of Knockouts. Josh talks in the main studio about TKO and EY facing Kurt Angle next week for the World Heavyweight title. TKO is highlighted with the debut the Dollhouse, the future of Mickie James, and two knockouts matches. The Hardys come down for Ultimate X before the BDC gets their full intro and comes down. EC3 and Bram come out with Tyrus, and the Dirty Heels close out the intros. We’re getting a lot of filler here for a main event match that isn’t even starting until the 1 hour and 46 minute mark on the show.
Josh asks anyone to find a main event with more star power than this match. Really? A match with Kenny King is one you choose to use for that? Poetry in Motion to Aries, but Roode clotheslines Jeff. Roode helps Aries with a suicide dive and they go to a break. We come back and King punches Roode down while a huge Hardy chant gets going. Ki attacks Matt in the corner. EC3 and Bram brawl with the BDC leading to a great EC3-Ki chop exchange. Now that would be a really fun singles match.
Tyrus takes the BDC guys out while Bram orders EC3 up the cables. Since he can’t climb, he grabs a ladder – which is yet another time they’ve done this and broken the original stipulation of not using a ladder to win the match. Luckily, this at least fits the Hardys, who attack EC3 and Roode with the ladder. Matt and Jeff climb up and battle Ki and King on the structure, but Tyrus shakes it and everyone falls. Well, that was different and really puts Tyrus over as a monster.
EC3 climbs onto Tyrus in a doomsday device position to grab the titles, but Aries dropkicks Tyrus and sends them down. Bram attacks Aries in the corner, but Roode makes a save and gets a Blockbuster. Roode tosses Aries into a corner dropkick and gets a spinebuster. In one night, the reunited Dirty Heels have shined quite a bit. Roode walks across the cable on Austin’s shoulders, but Homicide takes them out and puts the ladder in place for King. Side Effect takes him out. Matt gets a sloppy Twist of Fate off the ladder to King.
Matt climbs the ladder, but Ki does the Shelton jump onto the ladder while Jeff climbs the structure and grabs the title once Matt puts the ladder beneath him. I’m glad to see them make a big deal about this being the first time a legendary team has held the TNA World Tag Team titles, because that’s something they should’ve done last year during the Wolves-3D-Hardys series and didn’t. It’s also a great redemption story for Matt Hardy, who has overcome a lot in the last few years. Next week’s show is hyped up without a single spoiler in it, so kudos to either TNA or Destination America for not doing that for at least one show.
If you’d like to see every screen taken for the show, here’s the gallery.