TNA Friday Night Impact – May 15, 2015
It is Hardcore War on Impact (not Hardcore Justice, that was a couple of weeks ago), as the heated rivalry between World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle and Eric Young goes to the battlefield.
The BDC join Young as The Rising side with Angle, as the main event sees a no holds barred gauntlet match which proves to be full of surprises. Also on this week’s program, the first of a best of 5 series for the World tag Team Championships between The Dirty Heels and The Wolves. The Dollhouse is also in action, along with their spiteful leader Taryn Terrell. Plus: The Bromans implode, Magnus calls out James Storm, and Mr Anderson takes on Tyrus.
- Josh Matthews is joined at the commentary desk by “The Professor” Mike Tenay, which means Matthews can be a heel tonight. And he is.
- Angle opens the show by bringing out “a true American hero”, one-legged veteran Sgt Chris Melendez and The Rising, to thank them for their support last week. He invites them to join his team for Hardcore War. Galloway pays respects to the champ. Eric Young interrupts, brings out the BDC, beatdown ensues until Lashley returns to save the day.
- Backstage: camera catches Brooke and Rebel in sexy stretching poses.
- The Dollhouse (with Taryn Terrell) vs Brooke and Rebel: Marti Bell and Jade hit a tandem pick-up slam on Rebel for the pin. Terrell cuts teaser promo on Gail Kim.
- Backstage: Homicide can’t join in Hardcore War, Eric Young promises to replace him.
- Ethan Carter III with Tyrus in the ring: EC3 calls it a conspiracy he is not #1 Contender. Mr Anderson comes out and challenges, but EC3 refuses. Anderson challenges Tyrus, and if successful he gets EC3. EC3 refuses, but Tyrus takes challenge after being called a bitch.
- Tyrus vs Mr Anderson: Tyrus hits powerbomb for near fall, EC3 tries getting involved but is ejected. Anderson plays possum, and ducks a spike to hit Mic Check on Tyrus for the three-count.
- Magnus in the ring: challenges James Storm to come down. Abyss comes instead. Brawl ensues. Manik and Koya get involved, triple team on Magnus to stand tall.
- Match One in Best of Five Series – The Dirty Heels vs The Wolves: fast-paced action, lots of tags, back and forth, ends when Richards gets the surprise pin with a sunset flip on Bobby Roode.
- Backstage: Galloway tells Eli Drake he is sitting out Hardcore War. Angle thanks everyone again.
- Terrell gossips with the Dollhouse at a slumber party (?)
- Backstage: Storm is furious at the Revolution members for attacking Magnus without his asking.
- Terrell and Dollhouse come back to the ring. Terrell reveals awkward selfies of her and Gail Kim’s daughters, and shows off pretty pink lingerie she intends on wearing for Kim’s husband. Gail Kim comes down, they tongue lash for a bit before Kim lays out all three heels to stand tall.
- Jessie Godderz vs Robbie E: Robbie gets quick pin, Godderz asks for restart. Robbie gets another quick pin, another restart. Bit of back and forth before third pin by Robbie. Godderz attacks Robbie viciously.
- Hardcore War Gauntlet Match – Low Ki begins with Drew Galloway, then enter Kenny King, Mica, Eric Young, Kurt Angle, Chris Melendez, Bram (surprise entry) and Lashley: Eric Young hits piledriver on Chris Melendez, gets the three. Post-match, Young rips off prosthetic leg, uses it to hit and choke Angle.
- Angle is being very generous in giving Eric Young another rematch for the title, especially after all the unsportsman-like behaviour he’s exhibited. Involving the Rising opened the line of challenge from Galloway, who currently ranks fourth as contender. Having Hardcore “War” so close behind “Justice” makes me think the creative department is taking a nap when it comes to naming their showcases. The return of Lashley was warmly received by the crowd, and no doubt he will pursue a feud with Young (and possibly the BDC) for injuring him and costing him the title, which will free up Angle to take on new challengers.
- Dollhouse came out to Hole’s “Doll Parts”, which was a nice bit of nineties throwback that unfortunately killed the crowd. Taryn’s new grungy look compliments her heel turn, but her co-horts are not working to regain any of the dark edginess they had in spades in their first appearance. If I could recommend anything to Marti Bell and Jade, it’s this: watch old segments and matches from Doink the Clown when he first came on as a heel in WWF. He smiled and laughed and played it light-hearted, but like Heath Ledger’s Joker, there was an edgey severity which could switch on in a heartbeat. As it is, they look flimsy and flakey, not dangerous.
- Tyrus owned a bit of spotlight tonight and it was nice to watch him work. The fact that EC3 was fine with walking away from every challenge, but Tyrus needed to defend his pride played true to their characters and made the segment interesting. Also the fact that EC3 essentially provided the distraction which caused Tyrus to lose plants seeds for possible dissension later on. The match was good, both men were booked strong and it served the purpose of setting up another match between Anderson and Carter.
- The brawl between Abyss and Magnus was a creative bit of cross promotion that reeked of contrivance – but hey, at least they aren’t posing with Mountain Dews during interviews.
- Magnus looked strong here, as it took a blow from behind from Revolution’s third member to finally keep him down. Storm’s anger at his followers later on shows that he has a definite plan and Magnus being brutalized was not a part of it. No doubt we will see him next week apologizing to Mickie James – and maybe even Magnus himself. His game seems to be to turn himself into the nice guy, the victim who suffers at the hands of a wrathful Magnus. It makes sense why it wouldn’t serve him to attack the face.
- A great opener to the Best of Five Series. It was fast-paced, full of frequent tags and a few nice tandem spots. The Wolves displayed a lot of flare, speed and cohesive effort, and The Heels did their best to show that they had the skills to match. The finish came out of nowhere and felt a bit cheap, but with more matches to go the wrestlers are obviously keeping a lot in the tank for later. This was a sample of things to come, and it was the best match of the night, which tells me this series will be every bit as good as I hope.
- Terrell parading around in lingerie that is not more skimpy or racy than her regular ring attire did little to knock the audience dead. The people did not seem impressed or interested in the least. In fact, she was barely able to get over her threats and taunting directed at Kim because the chorus of boos from the crowd were drowning her out. To her credit, she was not phased. Terrell has proved to be the best KnockOut on the roster, at least on the mic. She came off as endearing and heroic as a baby-face, and vindictive and vain as a heel, and spectacularly at that. She’s also quite possibly the best worker in the ring, with the exception of Gail Kim and possibly Angelina Love. Gail Kim herself looked super strong in this segment, due to fact that she is fighting for her family’s honour – but is this the best way to build up the newest heel stable? If the Dollhouse didn’t look flimsy before, this segment made them look like tissue paper. If they had booked this segment immediately following the match with Brooke and Rebel, she could have rallied the recently vanquished to help her take out the heels – but no, she’s Gail Kim and she doesn’t need any help in a three-on-one. Dollhouse is in trouble.
- This was a nice segment between the former Bromans, simply for the fact that the whole “restart the match” angle isn’t done often. It played to Godderz’s character, and gave Robbie the push as a face he needs for a future singles career. I’m not sure what kind of push this gives Godderz, though. Yes, he appears dangerous due to his post-match attack. He seems unstable and vain, and seems to have an inferiority complex – which would play into his Adonis Syndrome-sculpted physique. However, the fact that he snapped because he was beaten three times in a row quite easily does little to make him a formidable opponent. Perhaps they can get over the fact that Robbie E knows him so well and knows his weaknesses due to their teaming together. We shall see. Either way, this feud is far from over.
- The Hardcore Gauntlet Match was an interesting spin on a regular street fight, and it resulted in incremental, structured chaos instead of a massive cluster-hump from bell to bell. Once again, the weapons played a comparatively small role in the match, and in fact it appeared that no spots were planned around the weapons at all. They were simply accessories. The ending of this match was the big talk, though. The whole match was building toward one massive spot: Eric Young piledriving the war vet, and then removing his leg to use as a weapon. When Angle was chewing out Young initially for his stunt, you almost got a sense that Young was feeling ashamed of himself, that he was rethinking the whole thing. But nope – wham with the fake leg! Great heel heat, really sold by Josh Matthews (who closed the show by calling Young “a disgusting son of a bitch”) and a great plug for next week’s showdown, as Young choked Angle and screamed at the champ to say “I quit.”
- Whenever I see someone on a wrestling show with a prosthetic limb, I always wonder if they’ll go for it and use it in the show. Most of the time I figure, “Nah, they won’t go there.” I am always pleasantly surprised when I’m proved wrong.
Photos copyright IMPACTWRESTLING.com