TNA Friday Night Impact Live! – May 8th, 2015
Live from Orlando, Florida, Impact Wrestling goes live on Friday night!… Live!
With a special guest referee teased in the main event, Eric Young goes head to head with World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle after picking up a massive win in a stretcher match on Hardcore Justice. Gail Kim helps her new ally Awesome Kong get a measure of revenge on Taryn Terrell and The Dollhouse. The Rising and The BDC go head to head to bring their feud to an acme. It’s a night of settling scores, and it’s LIVE!
- Eric Young, in the ring, demands to know who the special guest referee will be for the main event title match. It is revealed to be a returning Bully Ray. Ray asks Young if he knows who he is.
- Falls Count Anywhere Match – Ethan Carter III vs Mr Anderson: vote is revealed in favour of Anderson’s match. Tyrus interferes and hits Anderson with a thumb spike, Carter covers for the win.
- Backstage: Angle talks with Bully Ray, wants to know if he will call the match fairly. Bully Ray asks if he knows who he is.
- Backstage: Gail Kim wants to know if Kong is on her side, Kong says nothing.
- BDC in the ring, MVP cuts promo on the US government, The Rising, and accuses Galloway of being behind an attack on Homicide. The Rising comes out, Galloway denies involvement. Promo goes on, finally Galloway and MVP agree on a match.
- Drew Galloway vs MVP: Galloway’s arm is punished for a while, Future Shock is hit out of nowhere and pins MVP. Beatdown ensues, Eric Young comes down and attacks Galloway with a chair.
- Backstage: James Storm has a present for a “special friend.”
- In the ring, James Storm with giant present in hand introduces Mickie James. He presents her with a customized guitar as a thank you. They pose for photographs and Storm hams it up until Magnus comes out and confronts him. Storm mocks Magnus, mentions “little Donovan” and Magnus smashes guitar over Storm’s head.
- The Dollhouse vs Gail Kim & Awesome Kong: the match devolves into a shmoz, in the confusion Terrell schoolboys Kim for the win. Post-match Marti Bell is battered by the faces and Dollhouse retreats.
- Backstage: Mickie James and Magnus both feel disrespected. Marital dissension!
- Matt Hardy in the ring, expresses regret and disappointment and vacates the tag team championships due to his brother Jeff’s motorcycle injury. The Dirty Heels come to the ring, claim rights to titles. Davey Richards comes down, introduces Eddie Edwards. The challenge is set and accepted: a best of five series for the championships.
- Backstage: Drew Galloway has words with a departing Matt Hardy, tries to appeal to his fighting spirit.
- Angelina Love in the ring boasts her ability and beauty. Velvet Sky enters through the crowd, confronts Love. Sky attacks Love, security pulls them apart.
- Eric Young vs Kurt Angle (c) – with special referee Bully Ray: BDC interferes, Young low blows Ray, Angle is beat down. The Rising and other superstars come down to clear the BDC from ringside. Young attempts to piledrive Ray, it is reversed. Angle slam gets near fall on Young. Piledriver gets near fall on Angle. Ankle lock applied, Young taps out. Angle retains.
- The inclusion of Bully Ray into the championship bout added a sense of excitement, but in principle alone. The star power of the former champ and big-time player makes it feel like a celebrity has come to officiate – one without a clear bias one way or another. Ray played things so neutral all night: he didn’t indulge in wordy promos or raise heat with either competitor, and it really felt like he was just there to do a guest spot with no hidden agenda in mind. But would the big man swerve in the end? Hmmm…
- EC3 is fantastic on the mic – I can’t get enough of this guy. He is poised, confident, and can read the temperature of a crowd and play off what is being given to him with absolute confidence. When you add to the mix Mr Anderson’s frenetic, fast-paced, super-over humour and intensity, these two are so enjoyable together.
- The match itself was good, but I felt the interference from Tyrus came too soon, too frequently, and detracted from EC3 rather than served him. The smart move would be for Anderson to smack the big man with one of the multitude of chairs brought out from under the ring, removing him from the action for a while so the two could work the match. The difficulty of having a heavy glued to the side of a man who is physically impressive himself is that it threatens to discredit that man’s ability.
- The gimmick of this match was lost and proved inconsequential. For starters, it didn’t make sense. Anderson wanting a falls count anywhere match seemed needlessly specific for reasons that never came into play. To call it a no-holds-barred match or a street fight would be more accurate and would serve the purpose of adding brutality. The pin fall which ended the match occurred inside the ring, and unlike many other FCA matches, the action was confined to the ringside area and the aisle. If you have a gimmick match, use the gimmick. This was akin to Galloway’s steel pipe on a pole match last week where the pipe was never actually used.
- Even so, Carter got over and he continues his campaign for World Heavyweight Champion.
- MVP’s promo was way too long, way too involved, and way too scattered. MVP is a great wrestler and great talker, and he adds such organic believability to everything he says, but I felt he needed more focus in his monologue. He talked about Homicide getting jumped and needing shoulder surgery, then eluded to Galloway having a part in it. He then changed gears entirely and compared the BDC’s villainous ways to the government’s taking of Iraq, exposing the American people’s double standard. This seemed really out of nowhere. Then he drops the “N” bomb. Why? Because Impact is “LIVE” and he wants to shake things up. When Galloway came out the talking continued for way longer than anyone wanted and you could feel the crowd losing interest.
- This was touted to be a blow-out match between stables, but it turned into a one-on-one match between team captains. Disappointing, yes, but that being said it was a very good match. MVP is a great worker, a real pro, and he and Galloway told a really good story between the ropes. Galloway’s sudden victory pulled from the jaws of defeat was typical John Cena hero booking, after MVP had spent the previous minutes punishing Galloway’s arm relentlessly. The feud feels a long way from over, and Galloway’s appeal to Matt Hardy may see at least one more wrestler added to the fray as things continue. Eric Young’s involvement came off as random at first, but was later revealed to be a stroke of strategic genius on the part of the number one contender.
- James Storm, Mickie James and Magnus continue to tell a compelling and complex story in their interactions, and we as viewers are continually pulled in conflicting directions as to who to cheer for and why. The crowd wants to support the hero, Magnus, and the sanctity of his relationship with Mickie, but wants to boo him for being a killjoy. The crowd wants to cheer for Mickie and her “last match”, and can’t help but go along with Storm’s enthusiasm over her as a performer, but they also don’t trust him or his overly smiley ways. This situation is progressing at a nice pace: not escalating too quickly but not too slowly either. Hopefully the pay off lands well, when the time comes.
- The Dollhouse lost much of the dangerous edge they exhibited very effectively on the night of their debut. They need to decide whether these women are going to go over as a force to be reckoned with and feared, or a group of cowardly opportunists stealing victories. They had the opportunity to make a real statement with the top babyfaces in the company, and instead of coming out looking strong, they barely got out alive and in so doing lost all the intimidation factor they built up going in. There were other things they could have done to play up their dangerous streak, including making reference to their attacks on the referee and on Christy Hemme (for which, I guess, they received no fines or penalization at all). The Dollhouse has a shot to bill themselves as a dominant heel stable, but right now they are not behaving as one.
- The Hardys vacating the titles is unfortunate, but it appears it worked out for the best (for me, at least). I love the Dirty Heels, and a best of five series with the Wolves is a nice bit of old-school booking that not only plays the in-ring strength of both teams and promises a real show for the wrestling fans (and the wrasslin’ fans). I feel like they might be pushing Edwards to action too soon, but we’ll see how much they protect him when the first match of the series comes to pass.
- Angelina Love is a great talker, but her promo skills are severely hampered by the atrophy in her face. I’m sorry to point it out, but it takes me out of a performance when an individual’s words do not match her facial expressions, and I find it difficult to connect with Love despite all the good things she is doing. The confrontation with Velvet Sky worked well and Sky’s stone-facing was effective – but again, I was lost as to what I was supposed to feel from Sky’s face. Fortunately, she kicked it up a notch with physicality, and I await these two to square off. It is nice to see a feud between wrestlers in the KnockOut division which isn’t centered around the championship, and I hope it is given it’s own time on the future cards.
- Eric Young and Kurt Angle put on a great show this week. I’m not sure what exactly changed from the stretcher match, but the intensity was higher and the excitement was much more palpable. The crowd was hanging on every move by the end, it was really something. Despite this, the match suffered from confused booking. Why Eric Young would potentially disqualify himself and blow a shot at winning his precious title is beyond me. If this had been a no DQ match, BDC’s interference would have worked in his favour, and his appeal to them would make sense. But it wasn’t. As it was, the only thing their involvement did was potentially lose Young the match, something that he almost guaranteed by low-blowing Bully Ray. If Ray had really been following his job description as ref, he would have awarded the win to Angle. I know Young is supposed to be a loose cannon, but he is also a crafty tactician, and he was doing things in this match that simply did not make sense.
- Will Bully Ray continue to be a presence in TNA as the weeks unfold? Stay tuned.
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