June 24, 2015
What a show! I will immediately say that this was the most exciting show TNA has done this year. In many ways it felt like January 4, 2010 with the amount of moments and excellent action we got. While I didn't like everything on the show, TNA deserves kudos for making this show memorable.
There were a few visual changes with this show. First, TNA changed the match graphics to give them a white background. It looked different and it looked professional. They also utilized banner on the opposite side of the ring. There were covers for the guardrails, making them look better. Finally, the announce table looked much more professional. If TNA is staying in Orlando for the foreseeable future, they are going to make things look as nice as possible.
On top of that, the crowd was excellent tonight. The studio looked full and the fans were rowdy and reacted well. While it won't last, I am happy it was like that tonight.
*EC3 and Kurt Angle went at it on the mic to start the show. Eventually, EC3 announced Kurt Angle's opponent as Matt Hardy. When his music hit, I was excited because I thought it was Jeff Hardy making his return. This didn't feel like a major moment. This honestly was my least favorite part of the show. TNA really needs to move away from promos opening the show every week.
*Tigre Uno won the X Division Title in an elimination 3-Way. Grado was pinned early putting to rest the concerns of those who feared him winning the title. While Tigre had a sloppy moment here and there, he was able to get the job done. Out of the three, Tigre was the best candidate to win the title. Grado doesn't fit the X Division and we already had Low Ki as champion for awhile and it would have been old news.
TNA has some work to do with the division now that Low Ki is gone from TNA. I would suggest building up Manik as a major nemesis of Tigre as those two could have some interesting matches.
*Tonight was probably Velvet Sky's best match in TNA. It looks like she had been working when she was off because she looked improved in the ring. She busted out a few new moves like that kick combination. She also had a new rocker theme and video. Clearly, she beat Angelina tonight. We will see where they go from here.
*That Full Metal Mayhem Match was excellent. Top to bottom, straight kick-ass action. I loved the spots of Roode/Aries sitting in the chairs. There were some innovative new spots including what looked to be the finish with the Wolves trying to hit the Force of Nature on Aries (who was in a trashcan). A low blow from Roode got The Dirty Heels the victory. MATCH OF THE YEAR CONTENDER!
Aries and Edwards will wrestle in a match at Slammiversary with the winner determining the stipulation for Bell to Bell. Apparently, both men already decided on the same thing since TNA's website is advertising that match as a 30-minute Ironman Match. Ugh!
*In the shocker of the night, Jeff and Karen Jarrett walked to the ring. Jeff delivered a passionate promo (hyping Global Force Wrestling in the process and name-dropping people left and right) about leaving TNA the right way. He announced that TNA reached out to him to be a part of King of the Mountain on Sunday. Jarrett called the KOTM his match. Jeff got teary-eyed at one point and then handed off the mic to Karen. At this point, the promo just kept going. Honestly, Karen added nothing to the promo. She took away from it.
According to rumors, the original plan was to get AJ Styles in for Slammiversary and a Hall of Fame announcement. AJ turned them down. This looks to be Plan B. It makes sense to reach out to Jeff, get a match out of him and put him in the Hall of Fame. Its a nice hook for Slammiversary, allows Jeff to advertise him project and gives both companies a bit of closure. While the name-dropping was excessive, I think this could be a good move from both sides.
There is talk that TNA could be partnering with GFW in some form but I don't want to speculate at this point. We can discuss it more if something more substantial is announced.
Jeff Jarrett is the first entrant announced for King of the Mountain. My guess is that it will be some sort of celebratory match for TNA's anniversary and will include other long-time TNA wrestlers. I am willing to bet that it will include Eric Young, Kurt Angle, Abyss and Bobby Roode. Could be a fun match to give fans something to talk about.
*I wasn't a fan of most of Bram's open invitational for a few reasons. A) Vader (while a legend) isn't really a memorable past IMPACT star, B) Despite TNA announcing last week that all invitational matches would be No DQ, this ended in a DQ, and C) Vader got way to much offense on Bram.
With that said, I was happy to see Matt Morgan returning tonight. My guess is that this is a one-time thing with Morgan and Bram going at it at Slammiversary. Morgan could be a top TNA player for years to come. Unfortunately, he has left wrestling for the most part. It was a cool moment though.
*Eric Young defeating Chris Melendez was an okay little match. I don't think Melendez belongs in this feud so having EY run through him was the best result. Melendez showed some nice fire though.
*A segment that got cut from the show had Magnus and James Storm in Orlando earlier in the day. Security separated them with the threat of hauling them to jail if they couldn't keep their hands to themselves. Its disappointing that this didn't make it to the show as it showed the hate between Magnus and Storm and would have been a good preview for Slammiversary.
*The BDC and The Rising had a brawl right before the main event. The Rising were getting the upper-hand when Hernandez showed up and turned the tides. What is interesting is that Hernandez appeared on Lucha Underground earlier in the night. Does this mean he is done with the promotion.
Hernandez isn't an addition that excites me. Lucha Underground did a good job presenting him but in TNA, he had his issues. I guess this comes at a perfect time though with Low Ki leaving. After the show, we got a video of The Rising challenging BDC to an Elimination Match at Bell to Bell with the losing team disbanding. This is a match I had been proposing for weeks on this column.
*The main event was solid between Kurt and Matt Hardy. EC3 went after Kurt after the match but with the help of Hardy, he fought off EC3 and Tyrus. Kurt forced EC3 to tap the mat with the Ankle Lock.
*From here we look towards Slammiversary on Sunday and Bell to Bell next week. Slammiversary is a show that has no title matches whatsoever and really is self-contained. You will buy/not buy it based off of the card and not the impact it will have on storylines.
King of the Mountain Match featuring Jeff Jarrett
Magnus vs James Storm in an Unsanctioned Match
Austin Aries vs Eddie Edwards (winner picks Match 5 stipulation)
Mr. Anderson and Lashley vs EC3 and Tyrus.
Bram vs Matt Morgan.
Jessie vs Robbie E.
Awesome Kong and Brooke vs The Dollhouse in a Handicap Match.
Likely Hall of Fame announcement.
At Bell to Bell
Kurt Angle vs EC3 for the World Title.
The Wolves vs The Dirty Heels in Match 5. (Advertised as a 30-Minute Ironman Match)
Taryn Terrell vs Brooke vs Awesome Kong for the Knockouts Title.
The Rising vs The BDC in an Elimination Match (losing team disbands)