May 8, 2015
The Live (two hour tape delayed) episode of IMPACT opened with the special guest referee tonight being revealed. Dixie promised it would be a former TNA World Champion that wasn't on the current roster. When you eliminate people with TNA and WWE, there were only a few choices. Personally, I was hoping for a Mick Foley appearance since I hadn't seen him in awhile.
What we ended up getting was Bully Ray. After the show, it was reported that this seemed like a one-off appearance for Bully. TNA was just trying to add some buzz for the show and part of me liked this approach. Bully didn't really impact the main event. As for him, he appeared to have gained weight since last year which is very sad. I guess he will go back "home" to the WWE as Bubba Ray.
*EC3 vs Mr. Anderson was an interesting way to kick off the show. The two options were an Arm Wrestling contest or a Falls Count Anywhere Match. It was pretty clear which stip was going to win. The two had a solid brawl that went around the ring. Tyrus was heavily involved during the match and ended up hitting his finisher allowing EC3 to win. Does this mean Anderson moves onto Tyrus while EC3 does other things or is this feud far from over? We will see.
On a side note, Anderson came off as really annoying tonight. There are weeks where he is likeable and then there are weeks where he isn't, this was the latter.
*The BDC's new masks are badass. MVP's promo felt long and at times felt off-topic. It appears someone attacked Homicide as a way to explain his shoulder surgery. I wonder if it will lead to something down the line. Its unfortunate as TNA has presented Homicide really well in the past few weeks.
The MVP vs Drew Galloway match was solid but this feud is starting to feel repetitive. Promo, interruption, match and then post-match brawl/attack. My guess is that this is building towards a major elimination match, possibly at Slammiversary.
Eric Young's attack on the Rising was a good nod to the beginning of the year when the two forces were aligned. It could also be a good way to transition EY out of the World Title picture.
*I continue to really enjoy the stuff between James Storm and Magnus. The gifts to the family were a sneaky way to play Magnus against Mickie James. Storm giving Magnus the gladiator helmet (from his TNA arrival in 2009) was hilarious. It is the perfect gift to piss of Magnus. The gift to Magnus' son set him over the top. I like how Storm is manipulating the situation to make him come off as a good guy while Magnus seems like a villain.
*The Dollhouse vs Gail Kim and Awesome Kong was okay. I felt The Dollhouse was presented better last week. They had that uneasy and creepy vibe last week while this week I didn't see it. Taryn screwing with Gail by getting close to Robert Irvine is a good way to make the rivalry personal.
*I feel bad for Matt Hardy. Weeks ago, he and Jeff finally accomplished something they had never done and then it is all taken away from them. I don't know if TNA was teasing resentment from Matt towards Jeff. I think the Hardys tandem has a lot of life in it so I hope they don't end it early.
The silver lining is that we will be getting a Best of 5 Series between two awesome teams. The Dirty Heels (with new intro theme and video) will battle against returning Wolves (with Eddie Edwards healed from his injury). While the injuries in the tag division suck, at least we will get an excellent series of matches between two teams which will likely culminate at Slammiversary.
*Josh Mathews did well by himself. I guess Al Snow didn't work out. Josh was ringside this week which opens commentary up to having special guests. I personally would have Josh run solo from now on with special guests every so often. Have Mike Tenay, Jeremy Borash or wrestlers join him for extra analysis.
*I knew when Angelina Love was in the ring running her mouth that Velvet Sky would be returning. Velvet has a fresh but more stoic look. She has every right to be pissed as Angelina sold her out when she was fired earlier this year. My guess is that Bully's involvement got Velvet back into the company. I don't like TNA's approach of forgiving people so quickly who have trashed the company. It should be an interesting feud between Velvet and Angelina that should have been done back in 2011.
*The World Title Match had a lot of stuff going on. Bully Ray didn't play much of a role. The BDC and The Rising got involved as well. This will likely transition into something else while Angle moves on. Chris Melendez was out of place but with Bully being back, you could see it happening. The match was okay.