TNA Impact CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT RESULTS 1/7: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Impact debut on Dest. America - TNA Title match, Kurt Angle announcement, new announcer, more
Jan 7, 2015 - 10:00:37 PM
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TNA Impact Results
January 7, 2014
Live from New York City
Episode #1 on Destination America
By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The first Impact of the year opened with a stylistic intro video package focusing on a man's hands. He picked up a card that welcomed him to Impact on Destination America. The video cut to various HD shots of wrestlers preparing for tonight with hip-hop music playing. Very dark lighting making it feel underground.
The video cut to shots of two buses traveling through New York to the building, which made the show feel important. James Storm and MVP talked to his group in the heel bus, while Bobby Roode talked up his group on the face bus. The wrestlers emptied out of the buses outside of the Manhattan Center for a confrontation. Roode and Bobby Lashley were at the center of the confrontation as former WWE announcer Josh Mathews introduced the show in a voice-over.
Fists started flying and a giant brawl broke out on the street, which spilled into the building. Included were Knockouts brawling into the building. The camera work was shaky and borderline amateurish, walking a fine line of trying to be an alternative to WWE's corporate TV production. Mathews and Taz narrated "bedlam" and "chaos" as the cameras tried to capture various wrestlers brawling on the floor, in the crowd, and on the second deck.
Impact GM Kurt Angle eventually walked out asking security what they're doing. Angle entered the arena, which was darkly lit almost like a Lakers game with the focus on the ringside area. Angle entered the ring and called out all of the champions, telling Low Ki that he will defend the X Division Title, Taryn Terrell will defend the Knockouts Title, James Storm & Abyss will defend the Tag Titles, and Roode will defend the TNA Title against Bobby Lashley.
Angle said he has one more important announcement to make, which brought MVP into the ring on-cue. MVP ran down Angle and New York City before telling him he's a washed-up, power-abusing general manager. MVP had to speak over a "Shut the f--- up" chant that TNA bleeped on delay. After telling Angle that he has no balls and is no longer a pro wrestler, Angle replied that he did step down from his position. He said that he made tonight's card before re-signing, was activated as a wrestler 15 minutes ago, and his last order of business is making a Street Fight. Right now. Angle threw a punch and a bell sounded despite no referee in-sight. Angle clotheslined MVP over the top rope and Impact cut to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:12]
1 -- KURT ANGLE vs. MVP -- Street Fight
Angle and MVP continued to fight in their street clothes. No announcers on the air. Angle, his shirt untucked, took a boot from MVP as referee Brian Hebner tried to restore order. Mathews eventually spoke, noting they're in the balcony. Angle came back with a belly-to-belly back, but MVP countered with an armbar. Angle sold a knee injury, giving MVP a target to beat down Angle. More bleeping was required for an "M-V-P****" chant from the crowd.
MVP continued to work on Angle's knee before going for a cover now down to a white tanktop undershirt. MVP wanted a powerbomb, but Angle rolled through and teased an anklelock targeting MVP's dress shoes. MVP countered with a neck vice, but Angle fought out as his dress shirt flew around. MVP went for a corner boot, but Angle ducked and nailed a suplex for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Angle at 11:24. Hard to take a match seriously when wrestlers are exchanging wrestling holds in their street clothes (as opposed to "athletic" street wear like Dean Ambrose). It was a problem at the end of Impact's run on Spike and it was present here again. Just have a fight, but don't ring a bell, protect the match setting. The lighting was good, though, making the "match" pop out with the Lakers Lighting putting the focus on the ring.
Backstage: TNA cut to backstage shots of the champions warming up for their title defenses later in the show.
[Commercial Break at 9:25]
Backstage: MVP yelled at Kenny King, wondering where he was for the match. King said he was with his girls, and besides, Angle only has one good leg, so he should have taken care of Angle. MVP brushed him off and went looking for Bobby Lashley to remind him why he was TNA champion in the first place.
Announcers: Mathews and Taz were shown at the commentary position formally introducing the show.
GTV Camera: TNA showed heels and faces interacting somewhere in the building, then cut to a shot of the producers producing the show.
Backstage: Ethan Carter III grabbed a camera to discuss his feud with Rockstar Spud as Brodus Clay stood over his shoulder.
[Q3] Announcers: Back to Taz and Mathews, who put the spotlight on the announce team by talking about changes to the line-up. Mathews fed to Mike Tenay standing by backstage holding a mic to plug his "Impact: Unlocked" series debuting next Saturday.
Earlier Today: Tenay talked to James Storm in the balcony about forming the Revolution. Storm said he blinded everyone with the creation of his group. Storm talked about "management" giving him things and knocking it out of the park each time. But, management did not uphold their end of the bargain. Too much "inside baseball" on the show thus far. Tenay asked Storm about lining up his faction. Storm said everyone on-board sees his vision for taking over. He refused to tell Tenay the long-term plan, though. He said he's not here to wrestle matches or entertain, but to get blood. Bray Wyatt, er, Storm said the devil should have warned Tenay about him.
In-ring: James Storm's music played to bring out Storm and Abyss to defend the Tag Titles. They were joined by Sanada and T.J. Perkins Puma Manik. The Wolves's music played next to bring out Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards for the title shot.
2 -- TNA tag champs JAMES STORM & ABYSS vs. THE WOLVES (DAVEY RICHARDS & EDDIE EDWARDS) -- TNA Tag Title match
Just as the bell was going to sound, Jeff Hardy's music played. Out came Matt and Jeff Hardy dressed in street clothes. Which, apparently does not disqualify them from wrestling. Mathews sent the show to break with a teaser for why the Hardys came out here.
[Commercial Break at 9:38]
On the other side of the break, the bell sounded for the match. The Wolves quickly took the champs to the floor, then delivered four consecutive suicide dives. Davey and Eddie, who were sporting cat-claw bodypaint on their chests, howled toward the crowd before going to work on Storm back in the ring. Storm eventually took control on Davey as TNA cut to a ringside shot of the Hardys watching the action.
[Q4] Eddie hot-tagged into the match, but Abyss cut him off from behind. Davey got another tag and combined with Eddie for a foot stomp to Storm's exposed chest for a two count. The extra heels ran interference from the outside, then randomly wandered into the ring, so the Hardys hit the ring to take out Manik and Sanada. With the ref distracted, Jeff got into a tug-of-war with Abyss over a cowbell. Jeff lost his balance and smacked into Eddie. Storm capitalized with Last Call to Eddie for the pin and the win.
Post-match, Jeff was so concerned about inadvertently costing The Wolves the Tag Titles that he smiled and hugged a fan ringside. Davey sold frustration in the ring while glaring toward the Hardys.
WINNERS: Storm & Abyss at 6:14 to retain the Tag Titles. The usual Impact booking where the ref loses control and outside involvement determines the outcome of the match.
Still to come: Roode vs. Lashley for the TNA title.
Up Next: ECIII has some unfinished business to take care of.
[Commercial Break at 9:51]
Earlier Tonight: There was a brawl outside of the building that spilled into the arena.
Backstage: A camera eavesdropped on MVP yelling at Bobby Lashley, saying he brought him to TNA and he would not have been World champion without him. Lashley had enough of MVP and shoved him against the wall. He said this isn't about MVP, but about him getting his title back. Kenny King stood in the background sad to see these developments. MVP told King to follow him before sarcastically wishing Lashley good luck getting his title back.
In-ring: Jeremy Borash was standing in the ring to reflect on TNA's journey arriving at the first show on Destination America. Before JB could introduce a "very special gentleman," Ethan Carter III's music interrupted. Out came ECIII in a slick-looking suit. ECIII began to talk, but his mic was not up. Carter said what he says is gospel, so when he says he's very good, it's fact.
Carter rattled off more "facts" before entering the ring to confront Borash. He then turned his attention to ending Rockstar Spud's career. He called out Spud to receive what's coming to him. No sign of Spud. Carter claimed to have the resources to bring out Spud with the simple snap of his finger, then Spud emerged in the darkness of the stage platform area. Spud was flat on his stomach after apparently taking a beating from Brodus Clay backstage.
[Q5 -- second hour] Spud tried to fight back against Clay as ECIII noted that this man is Tyrus and he has delivered the goods. Tyrus chucked Spud into the ring at ECIII's feet, then Carter called for a scalping. JB tried to stand up to Carter, but Carter shouted in his face to stand down. Instead, Borash slapped ECIII. So, Carter had Tyrus take out JB, including a corner splash. Spud tried to stand up for JB, but Tyrus held him down. ECIII then pulled out an electric razor and cut up JB's hair. Spud fell on top of Borash to cover up his friend, then ECIII left the ring with Tyrus.
Backstage: Kenny King yelled at MVP. More like yelled with him about also being fed up with Lashley. MVP said it's time to go back to their roots. The camera continued to follow MVP talking about a plan, then MVP pulled out a cell phone to indicate he was going to make a call.
[Commercial Break at 10:04]
Moments Ago: ECIII gave Jeremy Borash $2 worth of a $10 haircut.
Video Package: Bobby Roode vs. Bobby Lashley.
In-ring: Low Ki's music played as Christy Hemme picked up announcing duties for Borash. Ki emerged in an outfit from the Golden St. Warriors's short-sleeve jersey top collection. TNA ran a general video package on the "X Division," talking about the group collectively performing, instead of focusing on an individual issue or feud. Ki talked about "representing" the X Division. Austin Aries was introduced as Ki's opponent with no back-story established for why the match is happening.
3 -- X Division champion LOW KI vs. AUSTIN ARIES -- X Division Title match
As the wrestlers felt each other out, Mathews and Taz offered the generalized talking points about the X Division being about "no limits." Mathews then mixed in a Ring of Honor and WWE reference in back-to-back sentences, noting Aries's ROH Title reigns and Taz interviewing WWE Hall of Famer Edge on his first podcast. Since there was no issue in-play, the announcers settled for "evaluating" the match as the wrestlers exchanged control.
[Q6] Aries teased a brainbuster, but Ki slipped out onto Aries's back and slapped on a standing submission. Aries fell to the mat, then reached out for the bottom rope to get a break. Mathews introduced the WWE word "abeyance" in reference to the X Division Title being held up last year when Aries gave up the title to go after the TNA Title. Ki went for a top-rope move, but Aries crotched him and delivered a brainbuster for the pin and the win. Mathews sounded like he was calling the end of a filler WWE Superstars with little excitement for the title change.
WINNER: Aries at 7:09 to capture the X Division Title. Could have meant so much more if they established a back-story to the match, had Aries talk about the importance of the title beforehand, and gone with a new marketing approach to wrestlers in the X Division instead of the same marketing approach lumping X Division wrestlers together as interchangeable "flippy-floppy guys."
Backstage: Taryn Terrell was shown warming up backstage. She faces Gail Kim, Havok, Rebel, and perhaps others in a Knockouts Battle Royal with the title on the line.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
In-ring: Various Knockouts were in and out of the ring back from break, with Madison Rayne added to the pre-match warm-up line-up. Next out were the Beautiful People, who were joined by Jessie and D.J. Zema. Zema made DJ noises on the mic as Velvet Sky and Angelina Love made their ring entrances. In the ring, Zema introduced "reality TV star" Robbie E. Out came Robbie to talk about not winning "Amazing Race," but only because of his loser girlfriend, Brooke. Taryn Terrell's music played to bring out the KO champion wearing a new "championship," as called by Mathews. Taz said you can say belt on this show. Mathews said it will take him a little while to get used to not having someone telling him what to say in his ear.
4 -- KNOCKOUTS BATTLE ROYAL -- Knockouts Title match
Quick eliminations, then Jessie hopped on the ring apron to try to help out the Beautiful People, but he got knocked off the ring apron. The BP were eliminated, then it came down to Taryn and Havok. Taryn eliminated the former KO champion, then celebrated with the title belt.
But, Havok jumped her from behind and beat down the champ. Suddenly, the lights went out and Amazing/Awesome Kong (Kharma in WWE) was standing in the ring. Kong and Havok went face-to-face as the crowd popped. Refs jumped in the ring to separate the two giants of the Knockouts division. Kong suddenly took out one of the refs before posing for the crowd. Will there be any consequences for Kong's actions attacking a ref? Of course, Angle resigned his post, so there is currently not an authority figure.
WINNER: Taryn at 5:04 to retain the KO Title.
Backstage: Bobby Roode was shown walking down the hallway. He defends the TNA Title next.
[Commercial Break at 10:38]
Next week on Impact, it will be Hardys vs. Wolves in tag action.
In-ring: Bobby Lashley was introduced first for the TNA Title main event. Lashley was sporting a cap and a t-shirt with "FUTURE LEGEND" text. Lashley posed in the ring before Bobby Roode was introduced as his opponent. No formal ring introductions for the title match. Roode hit the ring and the match immediately started.
5 -- TNA World Hvt. champion BOBBY ROODE vs. BOBBY LASHLEY -- TNA World Title match
Back-and-forth early on as the wrestlers battled for control. TNA took focus off the match to cut to an inset video of MVP and Kenny King returning to the building. They were joined by two men in masks to hide their identities. A lone security guy said they're not allowed in the building, so MVP and Co. beat the man down and they entered the building. Impact cut to break with Mathews wondering who the men are.
[Commercial Break at 10:48]
Back from break, Lashley was standing over Roode on the floor. Lashley then brought Roode back into the ring to wear him down. Lashley went for Ten Punches in the corner, but Roode came back with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Lashley responded with Roode's own Roode Bomb finisher, but Roode kicked out.
Lashley wanted a spear, but Roode moved and Lashley ate the corner turnbuckle pad. Roode nailed Lashley's own spear finisher, but Lashley kicked out again. Suddenly, the ringside cameraman turned around to face the entrance ramp right in front of the hard camera. On-cue, MVP, King, and the two masked man walked down to ringside. In the ring, Roode went for the Roode Bomb and connected. Roode covered, but Lashley kicked out. The crowd was distracted by the extra men at ringside, but re-engaged for Roode applying a cross-face submission on Lashley.
Suddenly, King yanked the ref out of the ring and roughed him up. No DQ was rendered (as pointed out by Michael Cupach). And, since the timekeeper has power to ring the bell without a ref, as established in the opening "match," there should have been a bell. Kurt Angle then ran down to ringside to fight King, but he was beat down by MVP, King, and the masked men. Meanwhile, a match was going on.
Suddenly, Low Ki and Samoa Joe unmasked as MVP's hired goons. Eric Young hit the ring with a chair and chased off the heels. But, he turned around to jab Roode in the gut and bash the chair over Roode's back. Mathews noted EY's friendship with Roode is apparently out the window. EY chucked the ref back into the ring, Lashley came to his feet, and Lashley delivered a spear to Roode. Lashley pinned Roode for the win.
Post-match, Joe celebrated with MVP as EY kind of freaked out. Apparently he went off the deep-end with his storyline wife, ODB, going to ROH? Joe posed on the ring steps as text flashed on the bottom of the screen noting "this program was recorded live and broadcast with a delay." The show closed with a shot of Lashley looking around trying to process events. Mathews wondered aloud what's going to happen next Friday night.
WINNER: Lashley at 19:58 to capture the TNA World Title. The title match and title change was secondary to what TNA wanted to do at the end of the match with the multiple heel turns and new MVP stable.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really disappointed by the content and execution on this show with a chance for a fresh start. It's that feeling you get sometimes watching Impact wondering if they're doing a parody of a wrestling show. Guys "wrestling" in dress shirts and undershirts, giving away a wrestler the caliber of Kurt Angle's first match back in several months without notice (and not even in a real match), outside participants running into the ring during a match, a title change for the sake of a title change in the X Division, announcers getting their head shaved, referees getting attacked, masked men showing up backstage as if they were hired by Stephan Bonnar to taunt Tito Ortiz, and three heel turns at the end of a show. Then, you remember it's the same Creative/management team from the Spike TV era whose backgrounds as Monday Night Wars and WWE, setting up a Xerox of a Xerox of what happened 15 years ago. So, yes, the intro video package was cool, the ring lighting looked good, and there was a freshness to the TV presentation, but it's the same tired product carried over from Spike TV. A lot of empty talk from TNA in interviews leading up to tonight's show. It's the same problem from both U.S. wrestling promotions taking shortcuts, throwing everything at the wall, living off the past, and not advancing the genre forward, while promoting "progress" and "change" with sizzle TV elements.
If you watch Impact, we're looking for your Reax, 0-10 Score, and Best/Worst Match sent to firstname.lastname@example.org after the show.
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