TNA Impact: May Mayhem – May 29th, 2015
TNA comes to Friday night for the final time (they move to their new slot on Wednesday night June 3rd) with May Mayhem!
The main event features an “I Quit” Match for the TNA Heavyweight Championship as Kurt Angle once again collides with the deranged Eric Young. KnockOuts battle over the title belt and more personal matters as Gail Kim challenges Taryn Terrell inside a steel cage. The X-Division Championship is up for grabs in a gauntlet match, and the Dirty Heels and the Wolves continue their best of five series for the tag titles. Let’s get to all that and the rest of the program with our run-down.
- Kurt Angle and Eric Young brawl on the Universal Studios back-lot earlier in the day.
- Steel Cage Match for the KnockOut Championship – Gail Kim vs Taryn Terrell (c): Kim climbs the cage but Marti Bell of the Dollhouse shoves her to the canvas, Terrell hits the Cutter for the win. Post-match, Dollhouse attacks ref Hebner, locks the cage and beats down Kim. Terrell takes Kim’s wedding ring and breaks her finger while Awesome Kong beats on the cage door.
- Mickie James cuts promo in-ring. James Storm reveals he’s been talking to music biz shakers about Mickie, and Mickie goes for it.
- X-Division Championship Gauntlet Match – Manik vs Rockstar Spud vs DJ Z vs Mandrews vs Argos vs Crazzy Steve vs Tigre Uno vs Kenny King (c): everyone eliminated over the top rope until it’s down to Spud and King. Spud gets a surprise roll-up on King for the win – new X-Division Champion.
- Match Two in Best of Five Series – the Dirty Heels vs the Wolves: Wolves hit powerbomb into back-stabber on Austin Aries for the pin-fall victory. Wolves are up 2-0.
- Angelina Love cuts live promo directed at Velvet Sky who is in with the crowd. She introduces her security team and dares Sky to do something. Sky attacks Love and is removed by security.
- Ethan Carter III (with Tyrus) vs Mr Anderson: Anderson gets Tyrus into a shark cage after hitting him with a chair. Match ends with EC3 getting the pin after hitting the One Percenter.
- backstage: Rockstar Spud is elated after winning belt for the second time, and contemplates exercising “Option 3”.
- “I Quit” Match for TNA Heavyweight Championship – Eric Young vs Kurt Angle (c): Young attempts second pilderiver, Angle turns into an ankle lock. Young says “I quit” and Angle wins.
- Gail Kim’s aggression sold the personal nature this feud has taken on in recent weeks, even if it doesn’t seem to make any sense. The television audience needs to see at least some interaction between Terrell and Kim’s celebrity chef husband in order for them to buy an adultery angle, otherwise it’s nothing more than Terrell spreading childish rumours with no foundation of truth. Perhaps this is more of a “I’m jealous of the life you have and I’m going to steal it for myself” -type angle? I don’t know, the whole Dollhouse gimmick is getting watery for me. Regardless, Terrell is still a solid in-ring performer and is becoming a master heel to work off of Kim, and the two put on a good (not a great_ cage match. Once again, the steel cage did nothing to prevent outside interference – another classic wrestling cliche perpetrated.
- Awesome Kong’s presence was superfluous and actually detracted from the segment. I kept expecting her to use her incredible strength to rip the door off it’s hinges or break the chain to gain entry, but instead she just whacked at it with a chair for a while before giving up. It looked strange and it built to nothing. Have her get into the cage and chase off the Dollhouse, or have the Dollhouse attack her and lay her out with Kim, otherwise there’s no pay-off for the crowd at all.
- I think the angle between Terrell and Kim has potential, and both performers definitely have what it takes to make it compelling – on their own. The Dollhouse/Kong angle needs to be its own separate program, otherwise it will crowd the feud with too much peripheral business.
- To end on a positive note: it is great to see extreme rules matches employed in the KnockOut division! Hopefully this trend will continue and gain ground in other promotions.
- Once again, the slow burn technique employed in this Storm/James/Magnus triangle is paying off. By not rushing things, the crowd is constantly in a state of confusion (and thus, tension) over who to root for and how to feel. Storm came off as completely on the level and genuinely kind in this segment, and there’s nothing in his manner or words to indicate an ulterior motive. This makes James’s conflict very real and sympathetic. Very little was actually done in this spot, but much was accomplished.
- The Gauntlet match was a spot-fest that felt a tad crowded and poorly organized. Argos hit his head on a springboard hurricanrana and had to lay low to recover for a while. Tigre Uno entered and was eliminated during a commercial break. Josh Mathews was actually losing track of who was in and out of the match, and Al Snow couldn’t tell the enamascaradas apart. This whole shmoz-fest was just a way to have a rematch between Kenny King and Rockstar Spud, and I suppose the gauntlet nature of the match built up Spud’s resilience and determination. If that’s the case, they could have pushed it a bit further, perhaps by having Spud chalk up the majority of eliminations or eat the lion’s share of big shot punishment. In the end, King looked like the strongest performer in the bunch, and Spud got over his underdog gimmick.
- Once again, the Heels and the Wolves give the show-stopper of the night. This was some of the best tag team wrestling I’ve ever seen, and it’s becoming a sure thing whenever these teams get together. A best of five series really challenges the performers to keep things fresh even after multiple outings together, and so far these four stars have not disappointed. The Wolves took a heel role in the match – perhaps because they were ahead 1-0 in the series – and controlled the majority of the action. The Heels battled back and the action built to a variety of high-impact spots, tandem moves, combos and near falls. The crowd was loving every minute of it and rose to a deserving “This is awesome” chant before the wrestlers took them home. Now that the Heels are down 2-0, we may see a more aggressive approach from them in the next match. Whatever happens, it will be great to see how these two teams can top themselves.
- Angelina Love continues to get over as obnoxious and vain, while Velvet Sky gets over as stern and determined. She has yet to utter a word on television since her return, and as yet she is still fired from the company and thus cannot compete. With no authoritarian presence to re-instate Sky, this rivalry is at risk of stagnating very quickly, unless they can come up with more ways that Sky can complicate Love’s life and career – which doesn’t seem focused on anything other than Sky right now.
- Eliminating Tyrus from the match threatened to be clunky and contrived, but in the end it was a great move. With nobody around to help him, Ethan Carter III was forced to fight his own battle, and he did just that – in decisive manner. He looked like a strong competitor, a tough character able to go the distance. Such was expressed by Mr Anderson himself after the match, when he made the huge gesture of extending his hand to the victor. This was an important moment. Even though Carter swatted the gesture away, continuing to embrace his heel tendencies and his arrogant persona, it planted the idea in the audience that there is more to the man’s character and integrity than he might typically show. It opens the possibility of an EC3 face turn at some point in the future. Regardless of such a turn’s likelihood, EC3 is definitely headed to the top of the company, and is no doubt being groomed for a shot at the big title.
- The “I Quit” match for the Heavyweight Championship was, in and of itself, a great match. Unfortunately, wrestling programming does not exist inside a vacuum. Less than two weeks ago, John Cena and Rusev battled a similarly gimmicked match for a lesser title than the World Heavyweight Championship, and absolutely brought the house down. Kurt Angle and Eric Young’s feud has been building in intensity for months now, and a match of this sort is typically a blow out, a way to settle things once and for all. With these two elements in mind – the Cena/Rusev bout and a blow out mindset – the expectations were high for this main event contest, and I just didn’t feel like it delivered. Was it a great match between seasoned pros? No question. Did it seem like a blow out to the feud? No. Did it feel like a main event for the biggest prize in the land? No. It felt like a rehash of matches we’ve already seen, and with the way things are going will continue to see until new life is added to the championship picture.
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