TNA Impact comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Feb. 13, 2014) from Manchester, England, on its overseas tour, featuring Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson in a casket match, one that has been building for over a month now.
Also scheduled for the show: More on MVP as the new babyface power and how that contrasts with Dixie Carter's heel authority figure role, Samoa Joe and Magnus coming face-to-face to build their pending title match, Chris Sabin vs. Velvet Sky, and much, much more.
To follow along as it all goes down come right back here at 9 p.m. ET to hang out with all your favorite folks from this neck of the woods when the show airs on Spike. Hanging out here is guaranteed to enhance your viewing experience.
Enjoy the evening, Cagesiders!
RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG
They open with a promo with the heel leadership in the ring, that being Dixie Carter, Magnus, EC3, and Rockstar Spud. Dixie cuts a promo centered on her heeling it up using her "good" looks. Lot of cheesy lines and saying a lot without saying anything. EC3 jumped in and did the same before Magnus got the mic and ran down the Manchester crowd before pumping himself up saying he's not a paper champion, just an opportunist.
A "boring" chant breaks out and stops Magnus short. Then he gets to MVP and delivers this line: "I don't know who you are or what jail cell you came from..."
That's a great line, actually.
He says he doesn't sell out as champion, which is, of course, complete bullshit. Finally, they're cut off by the lights going out and MVP making his way out to the stage with Samoa Joe, who is decked out in ring gear. Taz bothers to point this out on commentary.
MVP announces officially that Joe vs. Magnus will take place at Lockdown.
Right after, Gunner shows up with the "Feast or Fired" briefcase that guarantees him a shot at the heavyweight title. He apologizes for interrupting and cuts a promo on Magnus. Essentially, Magnus looks ready to work and he's tired of carrying around the briefcase. But he'll give the champ seven days to prepare.
So next week Gunner will take on Magnus and the winner faces Joe at Lockdown.
Dixie grabs the mic and books Gunner vs. EC3 for tonight. The briefcase will be up for grabs.
MVP says he's cool with that and calls EC3, "C3PO". MVP decides to book another match, this one with the briefcase for both the tag title match and the heavyweight title on the line. So it's a ladder match with two briefcases above the ring.
Dixie agrees and that's the end of the segment.
Oh, hey, that match is actually happening right now.
Gunner vs. EC3
Great spot early with EC3 drop-kicking a ladder into Gunner's face and shouting "OWWWW" once he hit the floor. That was fun.
You might guess that interference came within the first couple minutes of the match in the form of Magnus running out and beating down Gunner. In response, James Storm came rushing down and made the save. MVP showed up pissed off that Magnus defied his orders from like five minutes before and re-booked the match, this one a tag team affair.
Same rules apply with the briefcases on the line.
Gunner & James Storm vs. EC3 & Magnus
We're back in and this isn't your traditional tag team match, which is to say no one actually needs to tag in. It's tornado style, y'all. Chaos in the ring at all times. Isn't that how it should be when ladders are used as weapons?
So pro wrestling.
This is a really disjointed, painfully slow match. No one looks entirely sure what to do. They worked to a spot where Magnus and EC3 cleared out the ring but argued over who was going to climb the ladder to grab the briefcases. You know, because a heavyweight title shot is up there and both think it's best they grab that case.
Naturally, their arguing gives Storm and Gunner time to recover and make a big comeback. It isn't long before a botched spot -- or at least it looked that way to me -- sees Storm clothesline Magnus to the outside and end up crashing over himself, so he had to sell like it was designed that way.
Gunner ends up clearing the ring and grabs the briefcases in the most awkward way possible, grabbing the chain holding the cases and dropping down to the ring before unhooking them.
Gunner & James Storm def. EC3 & Magnus
MVP sets up a six-man in a pre-tape backstage with The Bro Mans and Zema Ion taking on The Wolves and a mystery partner, one the heels REALLY won't like.
Bro Mans & Zema Ion vs. The Wolves & Samoa Joe
Yeah, Joe's a killer, everybody.
This was actually a pretty good little match and showcased The Wolves in-ring debut in an actual match. It was Joe, however, who tapped Ion with the rear-naked choke.
The Wolves & Samoa Joe def. Bro Mans & Zema Ion
Up next, Abyss speaks for the first time since he was unmasked and revealed as Joseph Park.
He's out in his Abyss ring gear but the mask isn't on and the teeth don't appear to be in. He demands the lights be kept low and calls out Eric Young so he can "come out and see what you've done".
Young makes it way out albeit tentatively.
They have a back-and-forth that includes Young saying he was just trying to help and he proved that Abyss and Joseph Park are the same person but he loves Abyss just like everyone in the audience. That got a nice little pop, surprisingly.
"When I pulled off your mask, I showed you exactly who you are."
Abyss freaks out and asks, "Who the hell am I? Better yet, who the hell are you?" He's going off about how he's carved his body to bits and destroyed other's lives and careers. Wherever he goes, he leaves carnage. Just look at his scars; they tell the story.
"The blood, the tacks, the barbed wire... E-Y ... E-Y ... I can't be him anymore. I can't do what he did anymore with a conscious. The violence, the blood, the destruction... I can't be him anymore."
This is wild.
"What I need... I... E-Y, I need help."
Young responds, "We came this far. Let's finish this together. I can help you, man. I can help."
Abyss freaks out again. "I don't need your help! I don't want your help! You and I are done!"
Again, this is wild.
Abyss says he needs to go away. He needs to go away and fix this, Young's mistake. He needs to find somebody who truly understands him. He's going to find somebody who truly understands him and he's going to fix this.
Mic dropped, mask dropped, boos all around.
MVP vs. Rockstar Spud
This was booked during a pre-tape when MVP was protesting the booking of Velvet Sky vs. Chris Sabin and Spud stepped to him.
This was a squash that featured Spud being an awesome pro wrestling character and MVP being a dominant wrestler. Spud ran while he could, got his licks in how he could, then got popped and went down like he was shot.
MVP def. Rockstar Spud
A promo just ran for Jeff Hardy and it's the worst thing I've ever seen, ever. They're letting him run with his Willow character and it's terrifying.
Velvet Sky vs. Chris Sabin
Looks like they're going through with this and Velvet is wearing very little clothing. Sabin grabs the mic before the match and offers to give her the first shot, even closing his eyes for her.
"I don't know what I ever even saw in you. You're nothing but a skank."
She kicked him in the knee in response to this.
"Why did you kick me in the knee?"
She nut shots him.
He calls her no class for it and reveals he was wearing a cup and she's stupid. She nut shots him again, this time Ric Flair style dropping to a knee and using her arm.
Commence beat down.
It doesn't last long because a gargantuan woman shows up and rag dolls Sky with a full nelson. Sabin pins Velvet and the lady who ran in counts the pin while the referee just shrugs his shoulders.
The segment ends with Sabin riding around on the chick's shoulders.
Bobby Roode pre-tapes throughout the night have showcased him trying to run down Dixie Carter and finally doing so and snapping and tossing things everywhere.
He tells someone off camera he's lost it and he needs to go away. He's done.
Time for the casket match main event. I'm not even sure the casket is big enough to fit either guy, especially Ray.
Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
Ray is wearing a Liverpool jersey for cheap heat here in Manchester. Anderson gets the rub by ripping it off after a neckbreaker and choking Bully with it before stomping on it.
Just cheap heat all over this match. Smoke and mirrors. Stall and brawl.
This turned into a spotfest, as it was destined to. Ray put Anderson through a table with a powerbomb. That got a "this is awesome" chant from the Manchester faithful. That's awful nice of them.
Ray climbed in the casket and called for a piledriver but it was reversed into a Mic Check, also in the casket.
Anderson put the lid on -- yes, you read that right -- and won the match.
Anderson def. Ray
Unbelievably enough, the show doesn't end on that note. No, we're getting more Dixie, of course!
Carter offers MVP a buyout. She wants his shares for a "significant amount of money". He whistles after seeing how much she's offering and acts as though he's mulling it over.
She got in a few shots about wrestlers being terrible business men. Wonder who that was directed at (cough, Jeff Jarrett, cough).
MVP turns down her offer, saying he didn't come for the money.
She calls him crazy. "Well I am a professional wrestler, so maybe just a little."
He offers a match at Lockdown, his team against hers. The winner will assume control of wrestling operations within the company. They bicker back and forth for a short time before Dixie agrees and they have a deal.