This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling show opens with Dixie Carter stepping out of a limo. She tells AI she has a lot to say, just not right now.
We have a 10-man gauntlet to determine a new #1 contender for the title later tonight. This segues to MVP talking about the World title and recapping last week’s main event. He says that, unfortunately, Samoa Joe will not be one of the 10 in the gauntlet. He informed TNA he’s not available, but he has a replacement. The winner faces Magnus for the title at the Sacrifice PPV on 4/27. The time for talking is done, because the gauntlet starts now.
MATCH 1-10-Man TNA Gauntlet, with the winner becoming the new #1 contender for the World Championship; Participants: James Storm, Gunner, Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, Ethan Carter III, Bobby Lashley, Abyss, World X-Division Champion Sanada, Eric Young and Willow
James Storm is the first participant out. Big surprise, Gunner is entrant #2. They brawl on the entrance ramp, then around ringside. Gunner dominates after slamming Storm’s face into the ring steps twice, then rolls him inside. He continues the attack with rights and a back elbow. More rights, and Gunner tries to throw Storm out. He lands on the apron, hits an apron kick, then comes off the middle with a cross-body. Gunner catches him and hits a fall-away slam. He tries to throw Storm out again, but Storm hangs on by raking Gunner’s eyes. Gunner reverses a corner whip and hits a corner clothesline, knocking Storm to the mat. He stomps Storm down, then tries to eliminate him once more. Storm fights Gunner off, then nails him with an uppercut. He throws Gunner to the corner, but Gunner no-sells it before hitting a back elbow.
[adinserter block=”1″]Bobby Roode is entrant #3. Gunner nails him with rights, but Roode comes back with punches and chops, followed by a clothesline out of the corner. He and Storm stare each other down, then begin double-teaming Gunner, stomping him on the bottom rope. Gunner gets thrown to the corner, and Storm holds him up for a punch by Roode. They go for a double corner whip, and Storm then whips Roode into Gunner. Storm then hits a clothesline and a snapmare. Roode follows up with a jumping knee. The former Beer Money partners try to eliminate Gunner and get him to the outside, but he lands on the apron. They continue kicking him, but he holds on.
Bully Ray is entrant #4. He goes after both Storm and Roode with rights in adjacent corners. They come back and hit a double suplex. Ray no-sells it and hits a double clothesline. Gunner and Ray hit a pair of corner clotheslines. Roode gets a double corner whip as Storm is slumped in another corner, and Ray sends Gunner into Roode with a clothesline. Ray hits a bodyslam on Roode, then tells Gunner to go up top for the Whassup. Gunner obliges, but Storm stops Ray before he can come down.
EC3 is entrant #5, and he keeps looking over his shoulder as he makes his way down to the ring. He hits the ring and immediately attacks Ray in the corner. Gunner tries to grab him, but EC3 fights him off as well. Ray gets back to his feet and hits a chop on EC3 in the corner. Roode rakes Ray’s eyes, and now he’s double-teaming Ray with EC3 in the corner. Ray no-sells a chop from EC3, then hits one of his own, followed by another. He then hits Storm with one. He misses one on Roode in the corner, and now Roode is beating him down as EC3 attacks Gunner. Storm and EC3 try to eliminate Gunner, but he hangs on as Roode tries to throw Ray out on the opposite side.
Bobby Lashley is #6, and he goes right for EC3, hitting him with a clothesline. Storm receives a bodyslam, and Roode gets a running shoulder in the corner, followed by a suplex. He beals EC3 across the ring, and Ray nails EC3 with a clothesline. He holds EC3 up for a Lashley boot before Lashley nails a second one, followed by a neckbreaker. He tries to throw EC3 out as Ray tries to do the same to Storm. Both men hang on.
Abyss is #7. No eliminations thus far. Abyss nails Ray, then does the same to Gunner. He grabs Lashley by the throat and assaults him in the corner before knocking both Gunner and Storm down. He taunts the crowd, so Ray tries to dump him from behind, with Lashley helping him. Magnus makes his way onto the stage at this point, apparently joining Taz and Tenay on commentary. Commercials.
Back from the break, Sanada has joined the match as #8. Eric Young is out as #9. Still no eliminations. EY immediately goes after Abyss, then throws Sanada into him. He tries to eliminate Abyss, and Ray joins him. Abyss kicks EY away before getting hit with an elbow by Ray. Ey goes after Roode now, but Roode fights off elimination. Ray is trying to dump EC3. EC3 lands on the apron, then nails a low blow.
Willow is out as #10, and we have all the entrants. He goes after pretty much everyone, then focuses on EC3. They trade punches until Willow hits a sit-out Twist of Fate. EC3 backdrops him to the outside, but he lands on his feet on the apron as Rockstar Spud rolls himself down to the ring. As Willow tries to suplex EC3 from the ring, Spud gets out of his chair and pulls Willow to the floor.
Willow is eliminated.
Willow gets to his feet and chases Spud to the back. In the ring, Sanada nails EC3 and Abyss with enziguries before running into an Abyss chokeslam. Abyss then tosses Sanada to the floor.
Sanada is eliminated.
Abyss turns around into a spear by Lashley. EC3 hits a forearm to Lashley’s back, but Lashley no-sells it and hits a bodyslam. Storm hits him with a weak Last Call, and Roode dumps Lashley to the floor from his shoulders.
Bobby Lashley is eliminated.
Roode avoids a Ray boot and charges in. Ray tosses him over the top, Roode lands on the apron, and Ray knocks him to the floor.
Bobby Roode is eliminated.
Roode grabs Ray by the arm and pulls him down as EC3 dumps him from behind.
Bully Ray is eliminated.
EC3 nails an elbow on Gunner and throws him face-first into the buckles. Gunner no-sells it, like always, then tees off on EC3 before hitting a high knee. He goes for Hangar 18, but Storm breaks it by nailing him with a Last Call. Storm then tosses Gunner to the floor.
Gunner is eliminated.
We’re down to Storm, EC3, Abyss and EY. EC3 tells Storm and Abyss that they need to team up to focus on EY. Abyss and Storm take turns nailing rights to the head. EC3 tries, but that’s when EY fights back, taking all three on. EC3 nails him from behind and tries to toss him. EY hangs on and pulls EC3 to the floor with a headscissors.
Ethan Carter III is eliminated.
Storm nails EY with a dropkick, and Abyss hits a big splash. Storm sets EY in the corner and whips Abyss into him. EY blocks it with a back elbow, then hits Storm with a boot and a back suplex. He nails another boot on Abyss, knocking him down. Up top, EY hits a flying elbow. Storm nails him with a backcracker from behind, and EY rolls to the apron. From there, Storm hits a suspended DDT. He signals for the Last Call, but EY ducks and throws Storm over the top. Storm tries to skin the cat, but EY dropkicks him to the floor.
James Storm is eliminated.
From behind, Abyss nails EY with the Shock Treatment as we are down to the final two. Abyss signals for the chokeslam, goozles EY and shoves him to the outside, EY lands on the apron, and Abyss knocks him down. EY hangs on, hits a shoulder from the outside, slides back into the ring and goes for a corner whip. Abyss reverses, EY does a Flair Flop, then comes off the top on the other side with a seated missile dropkick. EY clotheslines Abyss to the floor, the momentum taking him over as well. However, he lands on the apron as Abyss hits the floor.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: Eric Young.
Christy Hemme congratulates EY on his win, and he says he has one thing to say: MVP, your #1 contender has a request. He then calls MVP to come down to the ring. Commercials.
After the break, MVP has not yet come out. He reminds MVP he’s got a request, and once again tells him to come out. MVP finally obliges, applauding EY as he comes out. He stops on the stage and wants to know what’s up. EY compliments him on a job well-done. He says his arm is messed up, but this is live TV, and anything can happen. What we just saw was him become the #1 contender at Sacrifice. But you know what, MVP? He’s feeling crazy tonight. He’s already won once. Everything is going his way, and he’s waited long enough. He’s waited 10 years, and he wants his shot at the title tonight. We see that Magnus likes the idea as MVP is thinking about it. MVP wants to make sure he heard EY correctly. The fans cheer, and MVP says he respects EY’s fighting spirit. He doesn’t remember paying Magnus to commentate, but he does remember paying Magnus to wrestle, so Magnus needs to go to his private dressing room and get suited up for his title match later tonight. Magnus says that’s fine. We all know it’s Magnus’ Rules, and those rules always win out in the end. MVP says we’re going to switch things up tonight. Magnus’ Rules will not be in effect tonight. If Magnus gets counted out or DQ’ed tonight, he’ll lose the title. As for Abyss, he hasn’t forgotten Abyss’ actions in recent weeks, so Abyss is banned from ringside. And, if anyone else should come from the back and interfere in this match, they will be fired on the spot. It will be Magnus one-on-one with EY, no excuses.
We see Spud hiding in Dixie Carter’s office, which is decorated with balloons and streamers. Spud surprises Dixie as she comes in. She says he’s overdoing things, that it’s been less than a month. Spud says she hasn’t returned any of his texts or tweets. She says Spud sold her down the river as soon as he started working for MVP. He says she’s got it all wrong. Dixie ignores him and tells him to clean this mess up. He starts to go after her, but Willow is on the other side of the exit, and he begins throwing Spud all over the room.
MATCH 2-4-Way to determine a new #1 contender for the Knockouts Championship: ODB vs. Brittany vs. Gail Kim vs. Angelina Love (w/Velvet Sky)
Kim and Brittany pair off as Love and ODB do the same. Brittany trips Kim into the middle rope, then assaults her with forearms and kicks. ODB slaps Love on the ass, then boots her to the floor. She turns to Brittany and dares Brittany to hit her. They trade forearms, then hit simultanous clotheslines. Love tosses ODB outside as Kim attacks Brittany in the corner. Love joins her, then throws Kim back before hitting a snapmare on Brittany. Kim hits a low seated dropkick for 2. Love breaks it up and gets her own 2 as Kim does the same. Love shoves her down, and Brittany begins hitting both of them with forearms and headbutts. Kim is sent to the corner, followed by Love. Brittany hits a handspring elbow on Kim, then gets hit with a Love clothesline. Love follows up with a sidewalk slam on Brittany for 2 as ODB breaks up the pin. Kim crashes into Love in the corner, and ODB then whips her into Love. She hits an avalanche on Love, then catches Kim with a fall-away slam. She hits a bronco buster on Love, then drags her to the middle. Kim pulls ODB down by her hair, then gets kicked in the face. Brittany hits a handspring moonsault on ODB before Love hits her with the Lights Out. Kim nails a couple kicks on Love, followed by a clothesline and a backbreaker. She goes for Eat Defeat, but Love blocks it. Kim rolls her up for 2, and as she’s kicked off, Sky sprays her in the face with hairspray. Kim turns around into a Botox Injection by Love, leading to the easy 3.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: Angelina Love.
MVP is on his phone in his office when Dixie enters. He says she has about 10 seconds before he has security drag her out. She reminds him she’s still the president, then calls his “exhibition” with Kenny King last week a joke. She then accuses him of abusing his power, and she’s going to have him fired once she goes to the board of directors. She came here to take care of one wrestler, then asks him to be at ringside when she chews said wrestler up and spits him out in the ring later. She’s going to deal with him now, and MVP is next.
We see the Wolves enter MVP’s office, where’s with Jesse and DJ Z. Apparently, Robbie E is sick this week. MVP says his flight was actually canceled, and he just got confirmation. Jesse says they could have beat the Wolves last week, they could do it this week, and they will definitely do it next week. MVP asks Jesse why he has both of the title belts, since E is not here. Jesse says it’s because he’s the captain of the team, and the captain always carries both belts around. He and Z have a party to go to now, so they’re going to leave. Before that can happen, MVP cuts them off and says he’s getting tired of them taking his kindness for weakness, then lists off all their excuses for not defending the titles recently. He has a solution to this problem: E has until bell time to get here, because there will be a title match. If E doesn’t show up, Z is standing in for him, and the titles will still be on the line.
AI is in the back with Magnus, asking about the title match. He says EY made a tactical error, challenging for the title tonight after winning the gauntlet. That’s fine by Magnus.
Dixie comes out, trying so hard to look like a tough bitch and failing. She says she has unfinished business with Bully Ray. Ray makes his way down to the ring, limping a bit, and it appears his leg is partially taped up. A “We don’t like you” chant breaks out, directed at Dixie as Ray eggs the crowd on. He’s gives her credit. He’s shocked she’s out here because the last time she wanted to talk to him, she didn’t show up. Dixie calls him dumb. He got conned into coming to her office, only for Bobby Roode to take him out. Then, last week, Roode put the “master of the tables” through a table himself. No, actually it was two tables. No wait, it was three tables. And if her memory serves her correctly, he’s never gone through three tables in one night in his career. Ray says she’s right. He can appreciate being conned. She’s also right about the tables. But, Dixie didn’t get the job done. Roode didn’t get the job done, and he’s still standing. She asks why he double-crossed her at Lockdown, costing her control of wrestling operations in TNA, her company. Ray calls her the most selfish woman he’s ever met. This is not her company, nor has it ever been. It’s the fans’ company. This company is for every TNA fan around the world. This company is for every wrestler in the locker room who breaks his back. Dixie cuts him off and says he’s no better than her. Ray says he’s not a spokesperson or an advocate. Whether someone hates or likes him, everyone respects him. No one respects her. She says she built this company with her dollars. Speaking of dollars, she paid Ray to do a job, and he didn’t do it, so she wants her money back. Ray tells her not to trust anyone. It was a lot of money. He bought a car, then spent the rest at Rick’s Cabaret in NYC. Enough of this. He’s sick of her games. Before he can spew his catchphrase, Dixie knocks the mic out of his hand and says it herself. She’s from Dallas, and is still president of this company. She’s in control of every check that comes out of this company, and she’s still his boss. She then slaps him across his face. Ray starts to corner her, but Roode comes from out of nowhere and nails him from behind. He stomps Ray down as Dixie orders him to get a table. Roode pulls one from under the ring and sets it up near the corner. He pulls Ray toward it, but Ray fights back, nails a big boot and goes for a powerbomb. Roode escapes and heads to the floor. Ray looks at Dixie, then looks at the table. The show goes to commercial before anything else can happen.
Magnus comes across Dixie in the back and wants to know what’s going on. She arrived here and didn’t even bother to say hi. She says her visit doesn’t pertain to him. He says he’s the champion, so everything pertains to him. She couldn’t even wish him luck. She says he doesn’t need luck, as he’s got a plan. She’s got one too, and it involves drinking a bunch of wine before going home. He calls her a typical woman. She calls him ungrateful, and that he’s forgotten who brought him to the dance. She remembers him telling EC3 he doesn’t need her anymore, since he has his insurance policy. She then storms off as Magnus says, “#WrathofDixie, my ass.”
MATCH 3-World Tag Team Championship: The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards vs. World Tag Team Co-Champion Jesse and DJ Z (defending for Robbie E)
Jesse and Edwards start the match. Edwards hits a chop. Jesse applies a side headlock. Richards makes a blind tag, and they hit their drop toehold/dropkick combo. Z comes in, and he gets a toehold/elbow combo. Z grabs Richards by the foot off an Irish whip, then hits a hotshot. Jesse capitalizes with a dropkick before tagging in Z. Jesse and Z go for a double suplex, but Edwards comes in, puts a stop to it, and the Wolves low-bridge the champs to the floor before hitting a pair of suicide dives. Back in the ring, Edwards tags in, and the Wolves hit a pair of kicks to the chest. Edwards hits a chop, then gets nailed from the apron by Jesse, allowing Z to hit a flapjack. Jesse tags in, and the champs go for a double back suplex. Edwards flips out and hits a double hurricanrana. Richards makes the hot tag and fires off some kicks on Jesse before hitting a Tidal Crush. Z receives an exploder suplex that sends him to the floor. He nails a running forearm in the corner on Jesse, then comes off the top with a seated missile dropkick for 2. Z tries to break up the pin, but misses and lands on Jesse before getting sent to the floor. Edwards is back in the ring, and he throws Jesse in the air for an Alarm Clock by Richards. Richards goes for the pin, but E shows up out of nowhere and drags referee Brian Hebner to the floor, leading to the DQ.
WINNERS VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Wolves, however the Bromans keep the titles.
AI is in the back with Christy Hemme. She has some things to say tonight, and they might be shocking. She’s gone through some things with Samuel Shaw, and wants him in the ring later tonight to talk about commitment.
A couple minutes later, Hemme is in the ring, and she asks Shaw to come down to the ring. Shaw comes down, mic in-hand. She says this thing with them is complicated, but she’s had a change of heart. She thinks he’s just misunderstood. Shaw is happy she’s finally seen the light. Don’t worry about what these ordinary cretins say. He’s none of the things they call him; he’s simply the love of her life. She knows that, then asks if he trusts her. She then rubs his face and asks if he’d do anything she’d ask him. He nods yes. She asks if he’d go anywhere she asks, then pulls his glove off with her teeth. She closes his eyes and tells him to feel her as she circles him with her hand on his shoulder. On the big screen, a white van that says “Psychiatric Services” pulls up in the back. Mr. Anderson comes out of the back and heads to the ring as Hemme keeps Shaw distracted. She tells Shaw to turn around, then tells him to open his eyes. He does, and runs right into a Mic Check. Anderson, who has the douchey blonde look again, tells Shaw the commitment Hemme talked about is Shaw’s commitment to the funny farm. He’s going to take a ride. Anderson throws Shaw to the floor, and Shaw begins crawling up the ramp as Hemme eggs him on. Anderson kicks him in the ribs, then drags him to the back and out to the van. Shaw gets thrown in the back, and Anderson tries to lock him in. Shaw fights his way out and runs to the parking lot.
We get a promo from Willow. He challenges Rockstar Spud and EC3 to a handicap match next week. That’s all I’m giving you, because I can’t stand listening to this jackass speak and want to save you the trouble of reading his crap.
MATCH 4-World Championship; All TNA employees are banned from ringside, and the title can change hands on a count-out or DQ: Eric Young vs. Magnus (Champion)
I already know what happens here, as I’m sure most of you do by now. Needless to say, TNA has no original ideas to speak of. Anyway, let’s get on with this. The two go nose-to-nose, and Magnus starts up with the trash-talk. They trade punches until Magnus hits a knee to the gut. He nails a right in the corner, then throws EY to the adjacent corner, then does it again. He nails another right, then sends EY across the ring. EY avoids impact, slides under Magnus’ legs and pops up with a dropkick. Magnus reverses a corner whip, EY does the Flair Flop, slides under Magnus’ legs and goes for a belly-to-belly. Magnus boxes the ears to break it, then nails EY in his bad arm. In the corner, EY blocks a charge and comes back with a right. He goes up top, missing a moonsault. Magnus knocks him to the floor with a horrible running knee, causing EY to land on his bad arm. Magnus heads outside and stomps him down before slamming him face-first into the apron. He rams EY back-first into it, then rolls him in the ring for 2. He applies a reverse bearhug, but EY manages to break free by sending him to the floor. EY goes for a suicide dive, but Magnus meets him outside with a European uppercut in mid-air. EY gets thrown intot he steps, and now Magnus is stomping him down. Commercials.
[adinserter block=”2″]Back from the break, Magnus is still in control, kicking EY in the back in the ring. He comes off the ropes with a power-drive elbow for 2. A gutwrench suplex gets another 2. EY comes back with some rights before running into a sleeper. EY fights and breaks the hold with a jawbreaker. Off the ropes, Magnus catches him with a back body drop, then goes into a camel clutch. EY counters into an electric chair. How many times can Tenay and Taz say “full-court press” in one broadcast. Do either of them even know what that phrase means? I’m guessing no. Both men are back up, and EY is hitting some rights. They crisscross until EY nails a flying forearm. He hits a clothesline, then goes for a German suplex. Magnus elbows out and goes for a waistlock. EY reverses and hits the Showstopper. He comes off the top with a flying elbow and goes for a pin, only getting 2. Magnus comes back with the misdirection clothesline, turning EY inside-out. He hits the MDD and gets 2. Magnus is frustrated, and he rolls to the floor. He grabs the belt and slides in, looking for a belt shot. Brian Hebner grabs the belt and goes to set it in the corner. Behind his back, Magnus escapes a fireman’s carry from EY and hits him with a low blow. He goes for the pin, but it’s still only good for 2. Magnus comes off the ropes, and EY blocks a clothesline and hits a crucifix for 2. He hits a piledriver off a back body drop attempt and gets 3.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Eric Young.
End of show.
Don’t get me wrong: EY is a decent performer. I’m not a fan of his gimmick, but he does well with what he’s given, and he’s a solid worker. Having said that, he has not been within sniffing distance of the World title during his entire nearly 12 years with TNA, and is given the title after roughly 2 weeks worth of build as a threat. TNA is trying so hard to make him their version of Daniel Bryan, but the problem is Bryan A) was made into a top-level performer after over a year in WWE, and his recent title win comes after a near 8-month build. There’s no comparison.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
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