TNA Friday Night Impact – April 24th, 2015
From Orlando, Florida comes a very special edition of Impact: “A Night of Knockouts”! The female talent will take center stage tonight… but the male talent will still be featured like every other week.
The number one contender for the KO Championship will be determined in a four-way dance, and the champion herself, Taryn Terrell, defends against current contender Awesome Kong. Two new KnockOuts also debut, and Mickie James makes an announcement. The men’s world heavyweight championship still gets top billing, as Kurt Angle defends against Eric Young… or does he?
- World Champion Kurt Angle opens the show and invites Eric Young to the ring. They talk about their main event match but are interrupted by Austin Aries who cashes in his briefcase to fight Angle instead of Young.
- Backstage: Taryn Terrell cuts an impassioned promo.
- Four-Way #1 Contender Match – Gail Kim vs Angelina Love vs Brooke vs Madison Rayne: series of signature moves is hit, with Brooke coming out on top, pinning Rayne.
- Backstage: The Rising cut a promo. One member will face a member of BDC.
- Mica (The Rising) vs Kenny King (BDC): spring-board leap gets turned into a Samoan drop, Mica wins. BDC with Homicide beat down Rising members.
- Dollhouse debut – Jade vs Laura “Cherry Bomb” Dennis: Dollhouse is disqualified, they attack the referee, Dennis, and ring announcer Christy Hemme.
- Backstage: Angle speaks with Young. Young is fed up.
- Magnus introduces Mickie James, who announces retirement. James Storm comes out, convinces James to stay for one more match.
- Manik vs Davey Richards: Creeping Death connects, Richards wins. Revolution members attack Richards, The Hardys come to help.
- Ethan Carter III announces his campaign to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Mr Anderson talks trash, brief brawl ensues before EC3 leaves.
- No Holds Barred KnockOut Championship Match – Taryn Terrell (c) vs Awesome Kong: Dollhouse attacks Kong with kendo sticks, helps Terrell put her through table. Terrell wins.
- World Heavyweight Championship Match – Kurt Angle (c) vs Austin Aries: before match starts, Eric Young piledrives Aries on floor, then on ring steps. Angle comes down, Young attacks Angle’s knee.
- I’m not trying to say that Kurt Angle should be a bit more like John Cena here, but before just getting right into his title match with Eric Young, would it kill the guy to take a moment and maybe welcome the crowd to Friday Night Impact? Maybe get over how tonight is a night dedicated to the KnockOuts? I’m not sure about the rules of “Feast of Fire” and if there is a precedent for this occurrence, but wouldn’t Aries cashing it in when Young and Angle were already scheduled for a match simply turn the match into a three-way? Why would Young be bumped from the card?
- The four-way KnockOut match was nicely paced with lots of spots, and every wrestler got equal time. Brooke spent a lot of time on the outside, being kept at bay by the heels while they focused on Gail Kim and each other. This fed the underdog angle, as Matthews on commentary (still lonely) pointed out that Brooke was the only one to never hold a championship. The highlight of the match was the four-way submission, which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. Cheers. The finish was well conceived, if a bit sloppy. Everyone’s signature moves looked to miss the mark by a hair, which took away from their impact. Brooke winning was the right move and a feel good ending.
- Mica is bland on the microphone, but technically proficient and a solid worker. King, likewise, has skills. So the match itself was entertaining, especially the spring-board to Samoan drop at the finish. The problem I had with the match was Drew Galloway, who interfered in the match within the first couple of minutes, getting himself ejected. Not a very face move, and the crowd responded as such. Galloway is trying to come off as the white knight battling for truth and justice in professional wrestling – you pull heel moves and you lose all that credibility. After the match, Galloway challenges to a “Steel Pipe on a Pole Match” next Friday.
- The Dollhouse have an effective gimmick that I think played very well. From the moment they intimidated Christi Hemme to say their names right, through the screaming and tantrums during the match, to the shocking assaults which capped off the segment, they came off as dangerous and unstable individuals. If it weren’t for the attacks on the referee and Hemme, they might just be seen as off-kilter or eccentric, but they made themselves into credible threats by going that extra mile. The boos and chants of “You suck!” from the crowd after the Hemme attack were enormous.
- The Mickie/Magnus/Storm segment was touching, but I still find myself put off by the bi-polar nature of Storm’s character. Is he the leader of a pseudo-religious cult, or does he like cold beer, fast cars and country music? My hope is that the story will lead to Storm’s intentions being finally revealed to be darker than he lets on and this smiling redneck act is just for show, otherwise this comes off as really confusing. So Mickie James is staying for “one more time”, but would that be for the title? Is she even ranked? There was no mention of what “one more time” actually meant.
- Davey Richards once again put on the best singles match of the night. Manik was super over with the crowd, which detracted a bit from Richards’ singles push – they seem to be edging him towards an X-Division Championship run. The two had a stellar contest filled with spots, only a couple of which landed a bit off. The brawl after the bell implied a six-man tag match between Richards and The Hardys versus The Revolution, which would be nice to see.
- Ethan Carter III took an interesting approach, that of the politician campaigning for a World Championship reign. It makes a commentary on the business side of pro wrestling: that champions are decided upon by the promoters or the people, and not decided by simply men beating other men in matches. It was a fascinating angle, and one that got Carter such heat from the crowd it was palpable. It seems strange that a man who is ranked #2, and is so close to legitimately getting a title shot, would campaign. It seems like this is a tactic from someone who is nowhere close to such a position. But it’s got the crowd hot, and that’s what matters. Carter is great at working the heat, too. A super-face like Mr Anderson is a good feud to have at this time as well, he’s also a fantastic talker and the two can have matches or debates depending on how they want to spin this angle.
- Taryn Terrell grabs the mic before the match begins and makes it a No DQ contest. Can she do that? Is there a commissioner or governing body who can sanction that? Nobody is answering these things. At any rate, the stipulation added a bit of messy business to the match, which plodded in its pace thanks to Kong. The finish was an intriguing bit of swerve, Matthews doing everything in his power to get over a change of tone, manner and personality in the champ when Dollhouse came in. Terrell is no longer the sparkling, genuine and grateful fighting champ. She’s dangerous.
- Paying attention to the fact there was only five minutes left in the show heading into the main event, I knew the match wouldn’t happen. However, I didn’t expect a piledriver on the floor and another one on the steps. That’s intense. Young’s attack appeared to obliterate all the work done by Angle in the past weeks to get through to the man, who has launched himself firmly off the deep end. The question remains: what will happen to the championship picture from here?