Bully Ray makes his way out, and he’s noticeably limping. He says that, as long as he’s got air in his longs, he’ll keep fighting. He’s more motivated now than ever before. In fact, he’s obsessed. Six people have bullseyes on their backs. Six people he promises each one of the fans will go through one of the tables behind him. The tables each have a tarp draped over them. The first one is for Bobby Lashley, but says “LASHLY”. Second one is for EC3, third is for Kenny King, fourth is MVP, fifth is Rockstar Spud and sixth is Dixie Carter. Ray walks down to the ring and says it’s time to get crazy in the Impact Zone. He doesn’t care if it’s one, six or the entire locker room; he wants a fight right now. If someone doesn’t come out here, everyone’s asses are going through tables.
MVP comes out and says he doesn’t respond well to threats. This set-up is pretty, but it’s not happening. He doesn’t care about what the fans say, as no one is going through a table tonight. If Ray wants to fight, MVP would love to, but it would be no fun. Why do it by himself when he has friends to help? King and Lashley come out, and that’s when EC3, Spud in tow, clips Ray from behind. King, MVP and Lashley come down, and we’ve got a 5-on-1 beatdown. This crowd is not responding to anything. Spud tells EC3 to get a table, and EC3 grabs the one that says “SPUD” from the stage. LASHLY starts to set it up, then lets EC3 do it instead. EC3 starts to set Ray up, but EY, Austin Aries and the Wolves hit the ring to even the sides up. MVP and King bail, while Lashley is tossed to the floor. Spud tries to escape, but Eddie Edwards holds him back. Aries says they are obsessed, and the numbers game won’t come into play tonight. He wants a 6-man match, and he wants it right now. Ray interjects and accuses MVP of having no balls. He then tells MVP this will happen to him eventually, and that is receiving a superbomb, which Spud is on the receiving end of this time (a weak one at that).
After some commercials, this match is already underway, with the two teams brawling at ringside. The bell has rang, yet the ref has not started any kind of count, because logic. Lashley rolls Aries in, I guess making them the official legal men. Lashley whips Aries hard into the buckles, then chokes him. MVP apparently gets mad at the cameraman for catching him selling as Lashley hits kneelifts on Aries in the ring. Aries comes back with kicks to the left leg, but quickly gets shoved down out of the corner. Lashley goes for a powerslam, but Aries escapes and low-bridges him to the outside. King and Edwards are both in the ring now, trading punches. Edwards low-bridges King to the outside as MVP and Richards are now in the ring. Richards sends MVP to the floor with a low-bridge as well. The Wolves howl and hit a pair of suicide dives on King and MVP. Aries comes off the top with a double axe handle on Lashley. Commercials.
Back from the break, Richards catapults King into the corner. Aries hits King with a forearm, tags in and hits a slingshot splash for 2. Edwards in, and the Wolves hit a pair of headbutts after Richards apparently tagged in. He throws King into Edwards’ knee, and now Edwards is back in. They go for their drop-toehold/dropkick combo, but MVP knees Richards from the apron. Lashley pulls him to the outside and throws him into the steps. In the ring, King nails Edwards with a spin kick to the head, then tags in MVP, who tries to pin Edwards with one finger and fails. Lashley tags in and nails forearms int he corner before stomping Edwards down. MVP hits a cheap shot from the outside, and Lashley follows up with some corner shoulder thrusts. MVP back in, and Lashley sends Edwards into an MVP clothesline for 2. MVP nails a running boot in the corner, then follows up with an exploder suplex for 2. King tags in and nails a gut shot in the corner before applying a waistlock. Edwards tries to elbow out, but quickly gets the hold reapplied. King goes for a release German suplex, but Edwards lands on his feet and makes the tag to Aries. Aries knocks MVP off the apron with a baseball slide, then focuses on King by corner-whipping him. Lashley attacks Aries from behind, misses a corner splash, and Aries hits a corner dropkick on King. He turns to Lashley, who catches Aries and hits him with a running powerslam. MVP tags in and misses the Drive-By Kick. Aries nails him with a rolling forearm. King attacks from behind and goes for the Royal Flush. Aries nails the rolling elbow on him and drops him with the brainbuster. Richards is finally on the apron, and he asks to tag in. Aries obliges, and Richards goes up top. He rips his tape off and hits a double-stomp from the top. Lashley re-enters and cuts through him with a spear. He picks Richards up and holds him in place for the Drive-By Kick for 3.
WINNERS: Kenny King, Bobby Lashley and MVP.
Bram is in the locker room with Magnus. He’s done talking and wants the old Magnus back. He’s got a match tonight, and he wants Magnus out there to see and feel the violence.
EC3 meets Dixie Carter in the back. He tells her everything that happened at the top of the show, ending with Spud going through a table. Dixie says she has important business with MVP tonight. She’s going to finish this, and she wants EC3 by her side.
MATCH 2: Tigre Uno vs. Bram (w/Magnus)
Bram’s “entrance video” is sweet. It’s a still of his name written in a pointy font. And that’s it. Uno ducks a clothesline, then another, then a kick, then hits a backflip kick. He goes for a hurricanrana, but Bram counters into a powerbomb. Bram hits a right, then lands a back elbow off the ropes. Bram grinds Uno’s face into the mat as I wonder if Uno is happy about becoming a TNA jobber in such a short period of time. Bram nails a trio of knees to the gut, then picks Uno up in a double choke. Uno escapes and hits a spinning back kick before running into a clothesline. Bram hits an implant DDT and gets 3.
WINNER: Bram, who did not stop screaming the entire match.
Afterwards, Bram grabs a turnbuckle hook from under the ring. Magnus grabs a mic and wants to know what’s wrong with Bram. Uno is a world-class athlete, but he’s half Bram’s size. Bram says he doesn’t care, and the old Magnus would have ripped Uno’s mask off and kicked the hell out of him. Magnus says Bram needs a bigger test. Since he’s a former World Champion, maybe Magnus needs to learn from the master. At the same time, maybe Bram needs to prove himself to a better opponent, like Willow. As Bram continues his growling/screaming crap, you really notice his f*cked up his teeth are.
Gunner enters Mr. Anderson’s locker room, as they are apparently teaming tonight. Anderson doesn’t look happy, and Gunner wants to know what’s going on. Anderson asks if he’s out of his mind with this Samuel Shaw business. Gunner tries to explain himself, and Anderson pulls one of the dumbest “insider” jokes I’ve ever heard with, “Oh, thank you Dr. Phil…Shatter.” Gunner says both he and Anderson served in the armed forces, and that leads to Anderson talking about Shaw living in his mom’s basement.
Brittany enters Madison Rayne’s locker room and asks Rayne to be her partner tonight. Rayne says Brittany isn’t ready for the Beautiful People. They are going to embarrass Brittany yet again, and she wants Brittany to promise she won’t go through with the match. Brittany says “fine”.
MATCH 3: The Bromans (Jesse and Robbie E, w/DJ Z) vs. Gunner and Mr. Anderson
As Anderson and Gunner enter the ring, Z starts hollering at them, which allows the Bromans to attack from behind. They double-team Gunner as the ref gets Anderson to his corner. Jesse shoves Gunner in the corner, then hits a forearm. Gunner comes back with a clothesline and goes for a tag, but Jesse cuts him off by grabbing the leg. He hits a series of knees in the corner while E nails rights from the apron. Gunner fights out of the corner, then runs into a dropkick. E tags in, and the Bromans hit a pair of knees from the apron. E stomps Gunner’s left arm, then hits a back elbow off the ropes for a pin, but Anderson breaks it up. E goes to the middle rope, missing a splash. Gunner looks for a tag, but Jesse nails Anderson. The Bromans pull Gunner to their corner for some stomps. Gunner comes back with a sloppy fall-away slam on E. Anderson in, and he knocks Jesse off the apron. Now he fights off both members of the Bromans, then hits E with a swinging neckbreaker. He goes for a rolling fireman’s carry on Jesse, but E breaks that up. Gunner makes a blind tag off a double Irish whip, Jesse gets tossed, and E gets hit with the Mic Check. Gunner comes off the top with a diving headbutt and gets 3.
WINNERS: Gunner and Mr. Anderson.
As E is recovering with the help of Jesse and Z, the Menagerie come out. G*ddammit. They get a long-ass introduction, and Rebel comes out, swinging glow sticks. Honestly, this gimmick alone is making me wonder how much longer I can do these recaps. Seriously. It’s that bad. Knux is now dressed like a ringmaster. He’s still fat as holy hell. They circle the Bromans and Z in the ring, all the while their stupid entrance music is still playing. This crowd is a damn graveyard. The Freak goozles Z as the Bromans bail. He then hits Z with a pancake. Way to earn your money, Rob.
EC3 and Dixie are headed to the ring.
Brittany approaches Gail Kim in the back. She looks up to Kim and knows Kim won’t run from a fight. She wants Kim’s help in getting even with the Beautiful People tonight. Kim’s on-board.
The Carters make their way down to the ring. Dixie started a conversation with MVP last week, and she wants to finish it tonight. How does TNA not see the problem with two heel factions feuding over “ownership” of the company? MVP comes out, flanked by King and Lashley. Dixie tells him we can do this the easy way, or the Dixie Carter way. She doesn’t care which it is. She rambles about Bully Ray, then says MVP might need her. MVP doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her. He’s in charge, his boys have the power, people actually respect them, and he faces EY for the World title at Slammiversary. Safe to say, they have everything in hand. So, how could she possibly be of any use to him? Dixie says she could mind her own business and go to Nashville, or she could get on her jet, head to Dallas, take a meeting with their Board of Directors and show them the abuse of power the new Director of Wrestling Operations is displaying tonight. MVP says she’s sexy when she’s angry, and I’m choking on my own bile. Dixie says this is reality, so they can do this the easy way, or the Dixie Carter way. MVP says reality is about perspective. They each have a different vision. While he has money, he has access to more money than she knows. He has a lot of money at his disposal. She calls it dirty money. He doesn’t care. Money is power, and he’s got access to a lot of both. So, if she wants to play a game of chicken and see who blinks first, let the games begin.
EY and Bully Ray come out, with EY carrying a pipe and Ray carrying a chain. EY says they’re into the finer things in life, and nothing would be finer than seeing everyone in the ring go through tables. MVP says EY is supposedly crazy and talks about it all the time. Anyone who is that cognizant of his own craziness really isn’t that crazy. EY has a lot of heart, but not enough to beat MVP. At Slammiversary, he’ll take the title, and he can dismiss EY to go back to something he’s good at, like fishing. EY charges the ring, but Ray holds him back, saying there’s a time and place for everything. MVP agrees and says a bully intimidates people that are scared of him. He’s not scared of Ray. He’s known a lot of badasses in his life. Ray is just another New Yorker with a loud mouth. EY now holds Ray back. MVP says their time and place is tonight, so they’ll face each other later tonight. And, to make sure it’s a real match, EC3 will be the special referee. Ray says they aren’t doing it. MVP disagrees and threatens to fire Ray. Ray tells him to go ahead and fire him. Dixie interjects and tells Ray he can walk away because she has overpaid him since he came to TNA. If he does walk away, who will pick up the pieces and fight both her and MVP. It won’t be EY. He has the fighting spirit, but not the ego or stomach to get in the gutter where this war will be fought. I didn’t know wars were fought in gutters? As for Ray, she didn’t think New Yorkers quit. Ray says he’ll never quit until he puts her through a table. Unlike her, fans want Ray here. People would love to see her at her ugly home in Nashville, never stepping foot in here again. He lists off their names and says he’ll make good on his promise. One way or another, each one of them will go through a table.
AI is with the Beautiful People, asking about their match tonight. They ramble about how sexy they are. That’s pretty much it.
We get a video from Kurt Angle. He’s recovering from his knee surgery. He’s progressing slowly, but things are improving. He thanks the fans for their support, and the fans always give him support. They pretty much have to, since he’s out getting surgery every couple months or so.
MATCH 5: The Beautiful People (Knockouts Champion Angelina Love and Velvet Sky) vs. Brittany and Gail Kim
It’s awesome that lyrics that can’t be deciphered were added to the BP’s super-generic entrance theme. Brittany is super-excited about Kim coming out, basically feeling her up mid-entrance. Is Brittany supposed to be TNA’s version of “stalker” Mickie James now? Brittany and Love start, and Love hits a boot, followed by a couple of forearms. She hits a shoulder off the ropes, and Brittany comes back with some forearms. She hits a dropkick that’s barely above knee-level and follows up with a low kick off the ropes. As she celebrates, Love trips her and drags her to the corner for a tag to Sky. Sky flirts with the ref as Love chokes Brittany behind his back. Sky foot-chokes Brittany in the corner, then knee-chokes her over the middle rope. Sky hits a snapmare, a kick to the spine and a seated dropkick for 2. She nails a couple of forearms, but Brittany comes back with a jackknife for 2 after sliding between Sky’s legs. In the corner, Brittany hits a handspring elbow, but then gets distracted by Kim for some reason. Sky snaps her down by the hair and tags in Love, who chokes Brittany over the middle rope. The BP double-team Brittany, pulling her through the ropes. Love nails her in the back with a seated dropkick for 2, then tags in Sky, who hits a double axe handle from the middle rope. Brittany comes back with a side-Russian legsweep and goes for a tag. She kicks Sky away and tag sout to Kim, who nails a couple of forearms and a shoulder before knocking Love off the apron. Sky misses a charge in the corner, and Kim hits her with a running dropkick. Kim hits a middle rope cross-body for 2, then goes up top. Brittany tags herself in and misses a handspring moonsault. As the ref is getting Kim out of the ring, Love knocks Brittany out with the Botox Injection, allowing Sky to get the 3.
WINNERS: The Beautiful People.
EY walks up to Bully Ray in the back and says he wishes there was another way. Ray says EY deserves to be champion, but if Ray beats him tonight, he’s the new #1 contender to the title. When did this get announced?
Brittany is still in the ring, and she apparently needs to talk to Madison Rayne. Rayne obliges and Brittany wants to know why Rayne refused to be her partner tonight. Rayne says this is getting weird for her. She tried to tell her the issues with the BP have been going on for years. There are some issues that run really deeply that only the three of them know about. Those things need to be handled by those three, and she won’t be responsible for getting Brittany involved. Brittany says she’ll take full responsibility for what happens. She’s a big girl, and she wants to be with Rayne, resulting in about the only crowd reaction of the night. Rayne says this just went a little too far. Brittany needs to keep her distance. Brittany says she’s done nothing but good things for Rayne. Why doesn’t Rayne like her? Everyone else does. She just wants Rayne’s acceptance. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Her words, BTW.
The BP come out, mocking them from the stage. Brittany just saw the real Madison Rayne that only they know about. They made her that way. Rayne is sorry she was ever like them. The crowd has already turned on this segment, with a “Boring” chant breaking out. And this is the Impact Zone! The crowd that loves every stupid thing TNA does! I guess even they have their boiling point. Rayne reminds Love that she still has a rematch for the title, and she’s cashing in next week. Next Thursday night, the belt is coming back to its rightful owner.
EC3 is getting suited up when MVP and his boys approach him. EC3 wants no part of the conflict between MVP and Dixie. MVP understands, and just because he doesn’t get along with Diixe, doesn’t mean he can’t get along with EC3. EC3 agrees, and Kenny King tells him good luck tonight. They’ve got his back, and they’ll be a whole lot closer than he even knows.
Christy Hemme begins to introduce Bully Ray for the main event, but King interrupts her and tells her her services are no longer needed. Apparently, he’s going to do the ring announcing here. He proves his brilliance when he introduces EY as the “The current and I don’t have a whole lot of time left on that championship belt”. Apparently, that’s supposed to be an insult. EC3 gets top billing over both these guys in this match. After he comes out, Bobby Lashley is announced as the special guest enforcer. He then announces the special timekeeper is MVP. You know…I get the feeling Evolution did this exact same thing a couple of weeks ago on RAW. Yeah. They did. Total ripoff of what TNA is doing tonight.
MATCH 6: Bully Ray vs. World Champion Eric Young (non-title); special referee: Ethan Carter III
Even though he’s the timekeeper, MVP is standing at ringside. If you’re going to pull this stupid gimmick, at least know where you’re supposed to stand. Same for King. And Lashley is carrying the World title belt. Jesus. Anyway, Ray and EY lock up, with Ray hitting an armdrag. They lock up again, and Ray hiptosses EY. Ray looks for a test of strength, and it gets changed into a lock-up, with Ray hitting a bodyslam. EY comes back witha pair of armdrags and a dropkick that sends Ray to the floor, where MVP and King jump on him. EY heads outside to get in MVP’s face, then pulls Ray back to his feet. Taz actually shows some semblance of intelligence by saying, “If MVP’s the guest timekeeper, he should be at the timekeeper’s table.” Back in the ring, we go to commercials.
Back from the break, MVP is now carrying the title around. The two lock up once again, going to the corner. EY avoids a corner whip, then runs into a shoulder. He rolls to the outside, and MVP pops him in the back of the head. Ray comes out and goes nose-to-nose with MVP, allowing EY to get back in the ring. Ray is back in as well, and this is one of the slowest-moving main events I can ever recall. EY applies a waistlock. Ray counters into a back suplex. EY lands on his feet and hits a flying forearm. He does the Flair Flip in the corner off a whip, and now the two trade punches on the apron until Ray slingshots EY in. Ray snaps off some jabs and goes for the Flip, Flop and Fly. EC3 blocks it, saying no elbows are allowed in the match. Ray responds with a big boot to his face. Lashley, King and MVP enter the ring, and I’m going to assume this match is over.
WINNER: No contest.
MVP’s crew continue the attack on EY and Ray when Samoa Joe’s music hits. Joe hits the ring and takes on all three men. Lashley gets booted to the floor. King misses a somersault plancha as Joe just walks away. He picks King up and hits him with the Muscle Buster.
TNA does its thing where an announcer talks about what’s on next week’s show. This would be fine…if we weren’t also seeing clips of next week’s show, officially killing the idea that TNA is live. We all know it’s not, but TNA still promotes the show like it is. They can’t do that anymore.
As for Joe returning, while it’s nice to see him back, it’s basically just putting a Band-Aid on an open, gaping wound. Not only was it a lackluster return, but with as badly as Joe has been misused ever since losing the World title about 7 years ago, I have absolutely zero faith in TNA putting any serious stock in him every again. Why he re-signed again, I’ll never understand.
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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