Date: March 1, 2016
Location: Wembley Arena, London, England
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
We’re getting close to the end of the UK tour and we have one more week before Kurt Angle’s farewell match. The big story here is Rockstar Spud turning on Ethan Carter III last week, costing Carter the TNA World Title against Matt Hardy. Tonight is going to be about Ethan’s revenge against Spud. Let’s get to it.
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
Angle starts in with armdrags and works on Roode’s wrist early on. Back up and a knee to the ribs drops Angle for a pair of two’s as they’re clearly going with a main event style formula here. Roode’s front suplex gets two more but Angle suplexes out of a chinlock. We hit the rolling Germans for a bit before the ankle lock goes on for the first time.
Roode kicks away because no one taps out to the first ankle lock and sends Angle into the post to set up the Crossface. Kurt reverses into the ankle lock which is countered into another Crossface, which is countered into the Angle Slam for two. The Roode Bomb gets the same but a second attempt is countered into the ankle lock to make Roode tap out at 8:38.
Rating: B-. Kurt’s Greatest Hits tour continues as he beats someone else who could mean something for TNA because Angle needs this extra dose of praise. That’s been the problem with this whole thing: it’s been about making sure Angle looks as amazing as he can, which is one of the worst things you can do when TNA is in the shape it’s in at the moment. But hey, it’s not like Angle has enough accolades already right? At least the match was good, albeit almost all finishing moves.
Post break, Roode praises Angle and James Storm comes out to do the same. Beer Money gets out the beer but give Angle (and his DUIs) a half gallon of milk instead. They had me worried there for a bit. Angle isn’t done yet either because he wants to see Beer Money vs. the Wolves. Cue the Wolves to praise Angle before accepting the match against Beer Money next week. Storm says polish those belts up.
Here are Matt Hardy and company because this show was actually entertaining for a little bit. Hardy brags about beating Ethan last week and promises that Ethan will never get another shot at the title. Tyrus is just laughably huge behind Matt here. Matt welcomes out Rockstar Spud, now in a leather jacket because he’s a villain and villains wear leather jackets.
Spud doesn’t like the idea of his English fans cheering for Carter and asks for a show of hands of the people there for him when he needed help. We get some praise for Matt, who is the champion this company needs and deserves. Spud says they’ve gotten rid of the cancer but here’s Carter to interrupt. House is quickly cleaned and Spud is left alone with Ethan. The villains runs off but Carter challenges Spud to a fight tonight.
Gail Kim is going to call out Maria.
Post break Dixie Carter yells at Matt and company (that needs a name and I’m sure TNA has 14 of them ready since they haven’t had a heel stable in long enough) and refuses to sanction Ethan vs. Spud for later. They’ll still have the match but it’s going to be unsanctioned. Oh dang they’re fighting without TNA approval. That’s like, scary.
Abyss vs. Jimmy Havoc
No DQ. Havoc goes right after Abyss to start and knocks him to the floor, only to have a trashcan pelted at his head. Abyss sends him into the apron and busts out the cheese grater but Havoc gets his hands up just in time. A table takes too long to set up though and Havoc gets in three trashcan shots to the head for a near fall.
Rosemary offers a distraction though and Abyss throws a chair at Havoc, knocking him off the top and through a table at ringside. The Janice shot misses and Havoc dropkicks Abyss through the table for two. Jimmy brings in the barbed wire board but charges into the Black Hole Slam onto it for the pin at 6:02.
Rating: C-. “Hey! We signed this awesome British wrestler for this tour and we’ve got him in Abyss’ signature match. Let’s put Abyss over!” Such is life in TNA where they manage to make all of the British wrestlers either a heel or a loser because they think people still want to see Abyss doing his hardcore stuff. I’m so sick of these hardcore matches and now they’re not even getting enough time to go anywhere. Bad match and annoying result.
Mike Bennett promises to take care of Drew Galloway tonight.
Carter is going to destroy Spud later.
Here’s Gail Kim to call out Maria. We get the exact same speech about THIS IS WRESTLING and WRESTLING IS SERIOUS that has bored fans every single time over the years but they keep having Gail say the same thing because Gail has no character and is one of the least interesting wrestlers of all time. Anyway she calls out Maria who won’t get in the ring because she has something to say.
Maria talks about Gail wanting to be famous because she married a celebrity chef and had the wedding televised. We hear about Maria being famous for being on Celebrity Apprentice, being in Playboy and working with Donald Trump. However she’s a lady so there won’t be a fight here tonight. Gail goes after her but gets jumped by Jade.
Bram and Eric Young are here for Young’s King of the Mountain Title defense but first of all they have to insult the British fans because none of them know how to fight. Young issues an open challenge.
King of the Mountain Title: Big Damo vs. Eric Young
Damo is a huge hairy man who looks like a cross between Rusev and a lumberjack while weighing well over 300lbs. A running dropkick puts Young on the floor (Josh: “People are already making memes about it!”) and Damo drops an elbow back inside. Back up and Young shrugs off some right hands, only to get slammed down for a backsplash. A powerbomb and another elbow get two on Young, followed by a cross body to crush him again. Damo tries another backsplash but hits knees, setting up the piledriver to retain the title at 3:40.
Rating: D+. Damo looked good but are you impressed with Young yet? I mean he’s crazy and he has a piledriver so that makes him an interesting wrestler and character for sure. As usual, let’s make sure the person who might be a future star for TNA gets beaten by the guy who has been around forever because that will keep the British crowds hot.
Drew promises to make Bennett tap tonight.
Drew Galloway vs. Mike Bennett
Galloway stomps him down in the corner to start but Maria offers a distraction. That goes nowhere though as Mike gets kicked in the face and sent outside for a throat first drop across the barricade. Bennett is sent into the post again but he gets in a shot to Drew’s taped up knee. The more wrestling I watch the more I agree with the “don’t tape it up” announcers because it really is too obvious.
Back in and Drew gets kicked in the face for two and we hit the cross arm choke. Even more kicks to the head have Drew in trouble but he Hulks Up and punches Bennett down. A middle rope clothesline looks to set up the Future Shock but Drew settles for a spinebuster instead. Mike gets in a cutter for two but the Miracle in Progress is countered into the Celtic Cross. There’s the Claymore followed by the Iron Maiden (Drew’s crossface) but Maria breaks it up. Mike grabs a rollup and a handful of trunks at 7:56.
Rating: C. Well at least the right guy won (I think). Bennett could be something interesting but I’m not sure if they should be getting there by having him beat Drew Galloway. Much like WWE, they can’t quite get this whole PUSH SOMEONE NEW right because they knock someone off to get someone else over. TNA is a bit easier to accept though as they barely have anyone left on their roster.
Matt gives Spud a pep talk.
Grado promises proof that he was screwed.
We look back at Angle vs. Lashley I.
Preview for next week’s show.
Rockstar Spud vs. Ethan Carter III
Street fight, meaning our second anything goes match of the night. We see Carter coming to the ring from the back when Tyrus jumps him. Carter beats him back down but Matt runs in as well, only to have Carter shove them into the back of a truck and lock the door. This is joined in progress after a break with Ethan knocking him down the aisle and throwing him into the barricade.
They get inside for the first time with Spud choking with his shirt but Carter kicks him in the shoulder for a comeback. Back to the floor now and Spud tries a running chair shot to the face but Carter stops him with a raised boot. Carter hits the TK3 and loads up a table. Spud can’t crawl away in time and has to settle for a low blow. Some left hands don’t do much for Spud as Carter grabs the hand and powerbombs him through the table. A cobra clutch with a bodyscissors has Spud tapping until he taps out. Referees come out to break it up to end the show as this is a no contest (remember not an actual match) at about 9:00.
Rating: D+. This was as entertaining as Carter squashing Spud for nine minutes was going to be. As usual, the problem here is TNA turning someone heel to advance a storyline and making them a lackey for whoever the big heel is at the moment. Yeah Spud is a heel now and he just got crushed but at least Matt is still World Champion, minus an opponent of course.
Overall Rating: C. Not their best effort tonight but at least it’s a big step up over the previous few weeks. The problem here is the same one they’ve had in a long time now: it seems to be more about setting up either a feud we’ve seen before or about praising the old guard who are either leaving or barely around anymore. Unfortunately, I have no real reason to believe TNA will keep things going as they have almost no ability to maintain momentum.
Kurt Angle b. Bobby Roode – Ankle lock
Abyss b. Jimmy Havoc – Black Hole Slam onto a barbed wire board
Eric Young b. Big Damo – Piledriver
Mike Bennett b. Drew Galloway – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Ethan Carter III vs. Rockstar Spud went to a no contest
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