TNA IMPACT Wrestling
Location: New York, NY
Date: July 24, 2014
Commentators: Mike Tenay and Taz
Impact opened with Christy Hemme introducing a Falls Count Anywhere match to start the show. Out came Bobby Roode in babyface mode playing to the crowd, then MVP’s music played to bring out Roode’s opponent. However, Mike Tenay said something is happening in the backstage area.
Backstage, MVP told Kurt Angle that he’s not wrestling because he has an injured knee. Angle told him to get in the ring. Suddenly, video and audio cut to Bobby Roode in the ring leading to Roode leaving the ring to attack MVP backstage. Tenay and Taz said it’s Falls Count Anywhere, so this is all legal.
The fight spilled through the backstage area into the crowd, where people cleared out for Roode to continue beating up MVP. Roode lost focus for a moment, allowing MVP to jab him, then throw a liquid substance into Roode’s face, temporarily blinding him. MVP then measured Roode for a running boot, but MVP crotched himself on the guardrail. Roode shook the rail up and down to maximize punishment, and then Roode hopped the rail to take a low blow from MVP.
Suddenly, MVP covered Roode on the floor and a two count was rendered by a referee. Was there an opening bell? Kenny King then hit ringside to attack Roode, which drew out Eric Young to attack King and chase him off. The fight then spilled into the ring, where MVP used a chair to jab Roode in the gut. Chair across the back, then MVP taunted the crowd. Roode stole the chair moments later and jabbed MVP with it, then sat down on a Sharpshooter. MVP was in too much pain due to his knee condition and he was forced to tap out. The referee called for a closing bell to conclude the fight.
Up Next: A limping Jeff Hardy has something to say.
[Commercial Break at 9:13] […Q2]
[Q2…] Dixie’s Office: A roving cameraman asked Dixie Carter why she is here tonight. Carter said she’s here tonight to support Ethan Carter in his six-man tag match against Team Bully Ray. She also vowed to stand over Bully Ray by the end of the night.
In-ring: Jeff Hardy’s music played to bring out Hardy dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Hardy limped through a victory lap selling the effects of last week’s TNA Title match against Lashley.
Once in the ring, Jeff Hardy said the people wanted Jeff Hardy back, so he’s back. But, people have not seen the end of Willow. Some boos and groans. Hardy smiled, then said he will put on a mask, dive off the Swanton Bomb, and try to win … to entertain the crowd. Uh. Hardy said he wants to talk about the future, though. He said he brought someone with him tonight because this person will be part of TNA’s future. Out came Matt Hardy declaring that he is back.
Matt greeted Jeff in the ring, and then Matt posed for the hard camera. “Welcome Back” chant from the crowd. Matt thanked the “crazy and passionate” New York City fans, and then thanked Jeff for inviting him here. He said this moment isn’t just about getting the Hardyz back together, but getting brothers back together. Matt noted they were multiple-time Tag Champs, but for the last few years, he had to go away to get healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. Matt said he felt like he let down Jeff and the wrestling fans.
Matt said he could come out here and apologize to Jeff and everyone, but he is done apologizing because actions speak louder than words. And, he thinks it’s time for the Hardyz to be on the marquee and be tag champs one more time. Hardy said he thinks the right time for that is at Destination X next week. Which would require them to go through The Wolves, who he invited to join them in the ring.
Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards walked out to the ring sporting dress clothes. Davey looked out of place wearing a white dress shirt, skinny black tie, and dress slacks. In the ring, Eddie said they have nothing but respect for the Hardyz. And, The Wolves want to prove they are the best tag team of all-time. So, they need to beat the Hardyz. Davey spoke next that they want to fight, not talk. He booked the Tag Title match for next week, which the Hardyz agreed on. Handshakes all-around to close the segment.
Still to come: Will Austin Aries cash in the X Title for a TNA World Title shot?
Backstage: Austin Aries was asked if he’s made his decision. Aries said he has, but he wants to change the equation of his Option C creation.
[Commercial Break at 9:28] [Q3…]
[Q3…] Back from break, men in colorful attire were in the ring. The men were identified as Robbie E., Jessie, and D.J. Zema. Robbie, returning from being on “Amazing Race,” said they are bigger and stronger than ever. Jessie spoke next that Robbie E. is no longer afraid of clowns. Bro. And, a huge congrats for traveling all over the world on a reality show. D.J. Zema spoke next about being better than everyone in the X Division. More importantly, better than everyone in New York City. He said Destination X will be his time to shine next week. Suddenly, Low Ki returned to TV with no advanced notice. He was dressed in a full-body suit to face Zema in singles action.
1 — LOW KI vs. D.J. ZEMA ION
A good portion of TNA’s viewing audience was probably wondering who Low Ki is after TNA skipped a pre-match refresher. Tenay and Taz tried to fill in the gap on who Ki is as he worked over Zema. Ki then finished off D.J. with a cradle driver for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Low Ki at 2:20.
Fine to re-establish Ki, but it will be forgettable by the end of the night based on how little set-up there was.
Backstage: Gunner was sitting down talking to Samuel Shaw, who said he’s working hard to get better. Mr. Anderson then walked into the shot to note to Gunner that they have a match tonight. He told Shaw to not even friggin’ think about getting involved. Shaw said he knows Anderson has no reason to trust him, but some day he will. “Nah,” Anderson said.
[Commercial Break at 9:39]
Backstage: Rhyno, Ethan Carter III, and Rockstar Spud were shown sitting around waiting for Dixie Carter. Dixie then walked with another random return, MMA fighter King Mo, as a guest of Dixie’s. Mo vowed to take out Bully Ray tonight. Rhyno, Carter, and Spud then walked off, fired up about Mo’s presence.
[Q4] In-ring: Mr. Anderson and Gunner were introduced for the next match. Magnus and Bram were already in the ring to face the duo.
2 — MR. ANDERSON and GUNNER vs. MAGNUS and BRAM
The match built to Anderson getting a hot tag to clean house on the heels. Anderson stuck his gut out to call for the Mic Check, but Magnus elbowed out. Anderson tried to chase him around ringside, but Bram posted Anderson. Bram then rolled Anderson back into the ring, where Magnus delivered a lift-up slam finisher for the pin and the win.
Post-match: The action continued with Gunner involved in the proceedings. Bram then low-blowed Gunner before leaving the ring to grab a weapon. But, Sam Shaw entered the ring to stand in-between Bram and Gunner. Bram paused, and then adjusted his attack to take out Shaw. Gunner retaliated by taking down Bram, but Magnus cut him off. The post-match extended to the length of the match, prompting Taz to tell viewers that the match is indeed over. Abyss’s music then played and Abyss walked to the ring to battle Bram. Abyss won the battle by clotheslining Bram over the top rope, and then Abyss’s music played to end the segment.
WINNERS: Magnus and Bram at 2:45; Abyss at 3:00 in the post-match.
Up Next: Austin Aries makes his decision.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Backstage: Bully Ray talked to Brother Devon and Tommy Dreamer about losing sleep over his desire to put Dixie Carter through a table. Bully said he never thought he would see the three of them ride together again, and then Dreamer told Bully to relax because it’s going to happen.
[Q5 — second hour]
Austin Aries’s Decision
In-ring: Kurt Angle’s music played to bring out a suited Angle. In the ring, Angle hyped next week’s Destination X show. He then invited X Division champion Austin Aries down to the ring. Angle noted to Aries that what he has in his hands in a winning lottery ticket. So, all he has to do is hand in the title right now to get a TNA World Title shot next week against Bobby Lashley.
Aries said it seems like a no-brainer. Suddenly, Lashley’s music interrupted to bring out the TNA World champ in a suit flanked by MVP, who was out of his ring gear into a suit. At the top of the show, TNA hyped Bobby Roode finally getting his revenge on MVP after three months, and MVP returned to TV one hour later. In the ring, MVP told Aries that Lashley is what a world heavyweight champion looks like. He said Lashley will be champ as long as he wants to be. MVP then noted to Aries that he’s a pretty good wrestler and a smart man, but winning the title is not going to happen.
Aries told MVP to get to the point. So, MVP told Aries to keep the X Title and keep flipping around the ring like he’s good at. He told Aries that he will not catch lightning in a bottle twice on Option C. Aries said what he knows is taking things, touching them, and making them great. He also knows what it takes to be the world heavyweight champion … unlike MVP. And that’s why MVP sat him home while he was in charge.
Aries flashed back to two years ago when he created Option C because he believes in the X Division, which he said was created to have no limits and get wrestlers noticed. Aries said this sets TNA apart. He said he can do things in the ring that MVP can’t do with four good legs. Aries added that he has some unfinished business with the TNA Title, then noted Lashley is bigger and stronger than him, but he’s not tougher than him. Aries passionately talked about toughness, then handed over the X Title to Angle. Aries said next week, it will be Lashley vs. Aries for the TNA World Title.
Aries added that he plans to create Option D when he becomes TNA champ by allowing the X Division champion to get a TNA Title shot anytime he wants, not just once a year. Lashley leaned over to MVP’s mic and reminded everyone that he has a voice by saying Aries just made the biggest mistake of his life. Angle separated everyone, and then made the match official.
Video Package: Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell. The third match in their series is next.
[Commercial Break at 10:11]
[Q6] Next Week: Wolves vs. Hardyz for the TNA Tag Titles.
3 – TNA Knockouts Title match: TNA Knockouts champion GAIL KIM vs. TARYN TERRELL
Taryn was out first, followed by Gail. Clean start to establish a clean match early on, then Taryn took control trying to get an early win against the more experienced champ. Gail made a comeback, then they went back and forth exchanging near falls. Taryn climbed to the top turnbuckle for a high-impact move, but the Beautiful People shoved her off the top rope and took out both Knockouts. Velvet Sky and Angelina Love celebrated their handiwork ending the match on the way out.
WINNER: No Contest at 4:15; Gail retains the KO Title.
Backstage: A man in a full gladiator costume was shown walking the hallway. Tenay excitedly introduced the man as Great Muta returning to U.S. TV.
[Commercial Break at 10:23]
Dixie’s Office: Dixie Carter told someone on the other end to wait in the car for her call. King Mo then walked in and pounded his fists.
In-ring: Jeremy Borash was standing by to formally introduce wrestling legend Great Muta, representing Wrestle-1. Tenay hyped Muta’s credentials before the announcers transitioned to wondering what Muta thinks about Sanada’s work in TNA.
[Q7] Suddenly, the Bro-Mans’s music interrupted. Out came Robbie E. for his second appearance of the night. Robbie complained about Low Ki’s (non-existent) grand entrance, and now Muta’s entrance. Robbie said he wants Muta in a match right now. Muta removed his gladiator gear and the bell sounded to begin the match.
4 — GREAT MUTA vs. ROBBIE E.
Robbie knocked Muta to the corner and Muta no-sold Robbie’s strikes. Robbie then angrily knocked down ref Earl Hebner, giving Muta an opening to spew green mist in Robbie’s face. Muta offered vintage offense, and then delivered a Shining Wizard to Robbie’s face for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Muta at 0:56.
Post-match: Muta’s music played to James Storm‘s music. Muta remained bent over posing after his victory, and then he fixed his eyes on Storm, who said he’s not too impressed by Muta. Storm ran down Muta as the Great Fraud, calling him a joke, washed up, and a has-been. He said Muta is trying to re-live his glory years, but he is the legend of this company. Storm took a swig of beer, and then spewed it in Muta’s face, insulting Muta. Muta’s helper tried to make the save, but Storm beat him down.
Sanada then hit the ring with chair in-hand. Storm left the ring as Sanada clutched the chair, then Sanada leaned over to check on Muta, who sold being frail and sympathetic. Storm started to leave, and then he turned around to give Sanada the signal. Suddenly, Sanada bashed Muta across the back with a chair. Sanada then misted Muta’s helper before nodding toward Storm. Sanada followed with a top-rope moonsault to Muta, and then he left the ring to bow to Storm.
Up Next: Spud, ECIII, and Rhyno vs. Team 3D in a Street Fight.
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
Next Week: Lashley vs. Aries for the TNA Title, Wolves vs. Hardyz for the Tag Titles, and qualifying matches to determine a new X Division champion on “Destination X” Impact.
Balcony: Dixie Carter and King Mo were standing by with Jeremy Borash, who wanted to know what’s going on here. Dixie said Mo is her good friend and he has her back tonight. Dixie said they are tired of Bully Ray’s posse and those little letters. Dixie went back to two years ago when she made a bad decision in a moment of weakness giving Dreamer and his washed-up has-beens another moment in the sun. Now he’ll be taken out. King Mo backed up Dixie’s words and intimidated Borash.
In-ring: ECIII’s music played to bring out Carter sporting taped ribs. Meanwhile, Spud struggled to carry a trashcan full of weapons down to ringside. Out first for the other team was Tommy Dreamer, followed by Team 3D.
5 — BULLY RAY , BROTHER DEVON and TOMMY DREAMER vs. ETHAN CARTER III, RHYNO and ROCKSTAR SPUD — six-man New York City Street Fight
The ECW nostalgia match started with a weapon shot across the head from Dreamer to Rhyno. Dixie’s trio bailed to the floor to regroup heading to an early break.
[Commercial Break at 10:47]
Team 3D continued to dominate back from break. Suddenly, a man in a hooded jacket attacked Bully at ringside. Taz wondered if it was a fan, then security pulled him down. Back in the ring, Dreamer delivered a piledriver to Spud, and then hit ECIII with repeated chair shots. But, a second hooded man entered the ring and dropped Dreamer before removing his hood to reveal Ezekiel Jackson. Taz said he’s the man who used to go by Ezekiel. Dreamer then took a pin from ECIII.
WINNERS: Team Carter at 11:25.
Post-match: The first hooded man was revealed as Gene Snitsky now with a different look of beard and no hair. Tenay and Taz described Snitsky and Ezekiel as “two massive men in other organizations in the past” before they took out Team 3D. Dixie stood in the middle of the ring with King Mo, ECIII, Ezekiel, Rhyno, and Snitsky, fulfilling her vow to stand tall over Bully Ray. Tenay said the Carters have “unlimited resources” to provide additional protection for Dixie Carter. The show went off the air with Team Dixie standing tall.
FINAL THOUGHTS: What is TNA’s roster? Or, identity? It’s one thing to have one or two additions/returns that are spotlighted, but this was a parade of seemingly random returns/debuts/appearances thrown against the wall to see what stuck. Matt Hardy, Low Ki, Great Muta, King Mo, Ezekiel, Snitsky, and Robbie E. were too much on one show, especially one week after the faux reset. The audience can’t be expected to process what’s important at this pace.