TNA Wednesday Night Impact – June 3rd, 2015
Impact Wrestling takes its showcase of superstars to a new spot on a new day, and it appears we may be welcoming a new era!
This week’s episode begins with a celebration announcing Ethan Carter III as #1 Contender, but the situation is more complicated than Mr EC3 thinks. The Wolves try and clinch a 3-0 sweep of their Best of Five Series with the Dirty Heels for the Tag Team Championships. Velvet Sky ruffles more Knockout feathers with her recent resurgence. Clan warfare erupts between the BDC and the Rising. Eric Young reignites his feud with Bobby Lashley and company. All this and much more!
- Show opens with Ethan Carter III celebration. Kurt Angle reminds EC3 of Rockstar Spud’s opportunity to challenge next week.
- Lashley vs Eric Young: Chris Melendez distracts Young, Lashley hits spear for the win.
- backstage: Taryn Terrell gossips to Dollhouse about Gail Kim beat-down, announces she will give Awesome Kong a title shot.
- backstage: Chris Melendez is steaming; he wants a match with Eric Young.
- backstage: Austin Aries advises Rockstar Spud not to trade X-Division belt for a chance at the Heavyweight Championship.
- Jade (with Marti Bell) vs Brooke: Jade accidentally hits Marti Bell, Brooke hits finisher for the three-count.
- backstage: Rebel congratulates Brooke on victory. Dollhouse viciously attacks Rebel.
- Six-man Tag Team Match – BDC vs the Rising: Rising hits Doomsday Device on Low Ki, Galloway gets the pin-fall.
- Mickie James in Nashville: she goes to meet music execs, but finds only James Storm.
- Rockstar Spud in ring: initially wants more time to decide whether to forfeit title for a shot at Kurt Angle – the time is now to decide. Angle comes out, warns Spud about fighting him. EC3 comes out, offers Spud a chief of staff position if he keeps his X-Division title. Spud tells off EC3 and cashes in “Option C”. EC3 cheap-shots Spud, Angle challenges he and Tyrus to a tag match in the main event.
- backstage: Aries and Roode discuss tactics.
- Nashville: Storm wants Mickie James to join the Revolution. She refuses, Storm apologizes, and offers to walk her out.
- Match Three in Best of Five Series – the Dirty Heels vs the Wolves: Wolves dominate majority of match. Aries distracts ref as Roode hits low blow and chair shot for the three count. Series now 2-1.
- Nashville: Storm takes Mickie’s cell phone, pushes her off train station platform on to tracks, walks away as train is pulling in.
- Madison Rayne in the ring: cuts legit shoot promo on Velvet Sky taking up TV time when she’s not even on the roster. Sky confronts Rayne, hits spear and stunner. Angelina Love sends security to arrest Sky. Love slaps and punches Sky while hand-cuffed, ends up getting taken away by house security for assaulting audience member.
- Ethan Carter III & Tyrus vs Rockstar Spud & Kurt Angle (c): Angle hits Angle Slam on Tyrus, Spud covers for the win. Austin Aries interrupts celebration, announces he is cashing in Feast or Fired contract and will challenge the winner of Rockstar Spud vs Kurt Angle next week.
- The opening celebration with EC3 was golden – especially the barbershop group performing his entrance music and the balloons dropping from the ceiling. It was cheesy and indulgent, exactly what you expect from both a heel and a politician. The main event scene is going to benefit so much from EC3 being involved. Before we can get to the eventual showdown of Angle and Carter, however, Rockstar Spud faces a tough choice. I liked this segment, except for the part where Angle assaults one of the singers. Was that necessary? Seems like a dick move to me, coming from a man who takes pride in representing his country in the Olympics and all.
- Eric Young, no longer salivating over the prospect of the heavyweight championship, must tie up the loose ends he has unraveled in recent weeks. First comes Lashley, who owes him for an attack on his ankle. The match was solid, if not exactly charged with any particular heat or animosity. It didn’t feel like a grudge match, at least on Lashley’s side. As far as Young goes, he’s so intense every match feels like a grudge match. Chris Melendez distracting Young cheapened Lashley’s win. Lashley is a former champ, a legitimate fighter, a top tier superstar, he doesn’t need to take a victory that way. But, if he in fact is such an opportunist, why would he prevent Melendez from attacking Young further after the bell? Character-wise, Lashley seemed to lack motivation in this segment and was merely playing a part. Melendez, on the other hand, seems quite fired up and his eventual meeting with Young should be very charged.
- Jade, as a performer, is a lot more effective and convincing than Marti Bell. Her style is stiff, her expressions are quite scary, and her tantrums are unsettling. Brooke as a super-face works well in countering the disconnected nature of Dollhouse, and this match – although short – was a great showcase from the Knockouts. Even more than the in-ring action, the backstage attack on Rebel was a revival of the malevolence and fury that was exhibited upon Dollhouse’s debut which has since gotten the volume turned down. Marti Bell and Jade have the opportunity to be a dominant faction, and segments like this gain them much credibility.
- The six-man tag match seemed a tad rushed, as though there were parts missing. Micha saw very little in-ring action, as Eli Drake was isolated for the majority of the contest before hitting the hot tag to Galloway, who enjoyed a brief rally before chaos ensued and a finisher was hit on Low Ki. The BDC/Rising feud has lost a lot of its heat, perhaps becoming side-lined by Homicide’s injury or perhaps simply suffering from a lack of direction. Either way, if they expect the audience to care at all about a blow up to the rivalry (assuming this match was not it), they have to work harder to stay relevant.
- The segment surrounding Rockstar Spud’s big decision was emotionally charged and played with conviction by the diminutive champion. There was nothing vague or muddled here, his motivations were very clear, both for why he hesitated and ultimately why he made his decision. This was great character work from everyone, with Angle being the only cardboard link in the steel chain. Setting up a tag match for the main event reeks of Teddy Long, but it made sense – and at least it didn’t come in the opening segment.
- The Wolves and Heels give another stellar match, but Roode and Aries appeared dead in the water for much of the exchange, which made the action flat at times. Knowing these men are capable of more made one frustrated they were not able to mount any kind of offense, but it played into their characters being phased by two consecutive losses. The Wolves were on top of their game but could not put the Heels away. The finish got the plot across – “The Dirty Heels are back!” as Roode declared into the camera – although the insertion of the chair was a bit heavy-handed and clunky. I had a big problem with the referee in this match, he seemed absolutely unconcerned at all about maintaining order, particularly when it came to keeping only legal men in the ring. It was actually quite infuriating, and to have Josh Matthews say something to the effect of the ref “letting these two teams go at it” is ridiculous. With so much at stake, why would any self-respecting official allow blatant breaking of the rules, especially when it might directly affect the outcome? For shame, little Hebner.
- The segments between Storm and Mickie James were well acted, as the entirety of their interactions have been. It is a shame that this pivotal moment in the plot occurred away from the live studio audience, as ninety percent of the story has been told up to this point, but I can see no other way this type of swerve could be done otherwise. James Storm finally reveals his desire: to have Mickie join him in the Revolution. Upon her refusal, he resorts to plan B: eliminate her. Where will he go from here? Was this whole plan to just win her over, or does little Donovan play a more central role in Storm’s evil plan?
- Madison Rayne’s shoot promo was right on the money in so many ways. It was actually quite brilliant, right down to calling attention to how easy it is for a common fan to simply walk through the retaining barricade and enter the ring unmolested. Rayne’s gripe about non-roster personalities getting more screen-time than active Knockouts was legitimate as well, and would be completely justified if Velvet Sky wasn’t so over – a fact to which she also drew attention. I found myself on Rayne’s side for the first part of the segment. Then Angelina Love came down and conjured massive heat with her shrill chattering. The segment was threatening to drag at the end, until the swerve: Angelina Love arrested for assaulting an audience member. Brilliantly conceived. I am hoping that next week we see the two foes sharing a cell together at the precinct and the crazy antics that ensue. Wah wah.
- The main event was a great show of Rockstar Spud’s gusto, his determination and grit in the face of intimidating odds. Angle, comparatively, played a very small and ineffectual role in the match with the exception of one spot. Granted, that one spot was quite impressive and ended up sealing the fate for the heal team, but Spud was the real focus and Angle was generous in giving it to him. EC3 played the cry-baby to a T – he is so consistent in his work. The last-minute inclusion of Austin Aries in next week’s main event raises questions for me. While the announce team was already hyping the excitement surrounding two Heavyweight Championships on the same night, I was left wondering if Aries, as the Feast or Fired contract holder, has the authority to sanction when, where and how a championship match will take place. This is where Dixie Carter or some higher authoritarian body’s visual presence is sorely needed – to explain the rules to people like me.
- So, it looks like TNA is really stacking the deck for next week’s program, perhaps as a way of enticing viewers to their new time slot which is already rife with competition.
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