Previously on Impact Wrestling
Eric Young is a FIGHTING CHAMPION. And that means he defends his TNA World title each and every week on Impact. And since the man in charge of Wrestling Operations didn't book him a match, he took it upon himself to issue an open challenge.
That challenge was accepted by his old Team Canada partner, and his opponent from the week before, Bobby Roode. But Montel Vontavious Porter, the aforementioned head of Wrestling Ops, wasn't down with that plan. He gave EY the night off, a move that the FIGHTING CHAMPION didn't fight too much, and promised to break the news to Roode himself.
Velvet Sky got naked and flashed the referee so that Knockouts champ Angelina Love could spray hairspray in Madison Rayne's eyes and strip her dress off of her. No one involved in TNA can ever give any other wrestling company any grief about how they book women.
Everybody knows you can't just attack the President of a company at their home - at least, not without getting their address first! Bully Ray's trip to Nashville, with a camera man he borrowed from Anderson's trip to Christy Shaw's house, I think, features a corporate headquarters invasion. At least it involved a lot of Spud being Spud. Unfortunately for Dixie Carter, her chief of staff ended up powerbombed through a table. And that allowed Bully to steal his phone and get her home address. At least the TNA staff had a good reason to get drunk in the morning, beyond just their usual "we're not sure if we're getting paid today" reason.
The long awaited blow off of Kurt Angle and Ethan Carter III's feud ended, but with a blown knee for the Olympic gold medalist. Kurt's off for more surgery. Not sure what's next for EC3, but it won't be his old nemesis Willow. Jeff Hardy's alter ego started a program against Magnus and his sadistic buddy Bram. The first volley in that battle ended when the newly signed star handcuffed Willow to the ropes and left him beaten down in the ring.
The Menagerie is here! Unfortunately, the stilt people don't wrestle, and The Freak is definitely Rob Terry. On the plus side, Knux won, Steve is crazzy and Rebel really knows how to wear some shorts.
The Wolves retained their tag titles, but only because all those darn ladders got in Robbie E's way. Meanwhile, Gunner and Anderson commiserated over what a no good creep that James Storm is.
MVP did not like The It Factor disrespecting him any more than Roode liked Porter pulling him from his latest title shot. Their confrontation ended in fisticuffs (and now a suspension for Bobby), and the man in charge's big announcement of EY's Slammiversary challenger ended with a beatdown of Young when the freshly turned MVP revealed that he was coming for the belt at the next pay-per-view (PPV).
This episode was filmed a couple of weeks ago in Orlando. Previews are spoiler-free, but if you're interested, they're here (with longer term ones here).
We're sure to hear from Eric Young, as a FIGHTING CHAMPION will not take MVP's devious tactics laying down! The build to June 15th's Slammiversary starts now!
Hopefully, Dixie was watching her own show last week and is prepared for Bully to come crashing into her house looking to put her through a table.
The master of the handicap match, the bizarre Willow, seeks revenge on the Brits who left him lying last week when he faces Bram and Magnus in a handicap match! Speaking of revenge, Anderson will be gunning for Storm after The Cowboy cost The Asshole in the gauntlet to determine a number one contender two weeks back.
And the X-Division gets some television time, as Sanada will defend his title in a three-way dance with Tigre Uno and DJZ (who you may have known as former X-Division champ Zema Ion) of The Bro-Mans!
Expect to pop for:
Bram. I hope the dude got whatever it was that got him charged for drunkenly assaulting a police officer under control, because he's been handed a pretty cool character (and an amazing second chance) here on Impact.
He's also a godsend for Magnus, who had booked to look like an absolute chump as World champ. This gimmick of a dark stranger from his violent past is right in the sweet spot of what TNA has been trying to do with their new acts. It's a different kind of character that would seem at home in some other genres. But unlike Psycho stalker Samuel Shaw or even the madcap fun of The Menagerie, it makes perfect sense how this works as a pro wrestling angle - right from the word go.
For whatever reason, the former Kenneth Cameron seems right at home in the role, too. He's got a real edge to him that makes you a little nervous for his opponent, and his friend Magnus, whenever he's on the screen.
This should be fun. And it should be able to make a couple of stars by launching Bram and salvaging Magnus.
The heat is on:
Sanada and Tigre Uno. Through no fault of his own mind you, but if TNA is going to stock the X-Division with high-level workrate guys that don't cut promos, we're going to need more than one hype video from the build to a PPV. And if the appeal of these guys is that they can go, let them go!
It's bad enough that I didn't feel any conflict or have a rooting interest in Sanada and Tigre Uno's best two-out-of-three series. But there matches didn't even get much time to deliver on what we're supposed to be able to get excited for without much conflict or a rooting interest.
Hopefully the injection of a real heel into their program tonight will provide the spark that TNA has been unwilling to give these guys time to spark up until this point.
Impact now features twice the villainous authority figures as it did last week at this time - will that get you or keep you excited to tune in to Spike TV on Thursday nights?
Catch the show with your fellow Cagesiders in the live blog. And even if you miss the show, be sure to listen to The General and The Reverend on Cageside Live right after it goes off the air!