Previously on Impact Wrestling
Bully Ray has a "to be put through a table" list, and it has six names on it. He opened last week's show by calling any or all of them out to the ring, and all but one of them eventually heads out. While Montell Vontavious Porter, Bobby Lashley and Kenny King approached him, Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud attacked from behind. Ray makes it out okay, because TNA World Champion Eric Young, tag champs The Wolves and Austin Aries saved him from being put through a table, and helped him put Spud through one.
That lead to the inevitable tag team match (playa), featuring Team MVP vs. Team ROH. The heels were triumphant, as Lashley speared Davey Richards right in his still-aching ribs and let Porter get the pin.
Bram tried to draw out the old Magnus by beating up Tigre Uno with Mr. Turnbuckle after their match. The former TNA champ told his childhood chum that he needed to see him take out a bigger fish, and proposed a match against Willow. Bram maniacally agreed.
They may have a disagreement about how best to handle Samuel Shaw (Gunner thinks he just needs to talk; Mr. Anderson would just rather leave him to rot), but they work well enough as a team to defeat The Bro-Mans. Not only will the former tag champs be without their main bro for a while, they also just got beat up by a bunch of freaks. Or, The Freak, at least, as Jessie Godderz escaped The Menagerie's wrath before DJZ ate it.
New Knockout Brittany thought she was ready for The Beautiful People, even though Madison Rayne warned that she wasn't. She ended up making an overzealous tag and costing her and tag partner Gail Kim the match. Afterwards, she made a scene about not being accepted by Rayne, who was weirded out by the obsessive and possibly lesbian situation. That prompted the champ, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky to make their way back out to observe that Madison's rejection of Brittany was like the old, BP-version of The Queen Bee. The only response to that, of course, if "watch your title" - and Rayne did just that by announcing her intention to cash in her rematch for Love's belt.
Dixie Carter again proposed an allegiance with MVP, but the baller still didn't see the need. Sharing a segment did let the two of them book a match between their nemeses EY and Bully, and goad Ray into accepting it (Young didn't need any convincing - he's a FIGHTING CHAMP).
If the faces didn't know it was a set-up, the presence of special referee EC3 made it clear. And it wasn't long before the screwjob was in and the beatdown was on. But, hey, remember that Samoa Joe guy? He's back, and he's siding with the champ and Bully against the villainous stables...as far as we know, anyway.
Taped sometime before tonight, but we don't read spoilers, so anything you read on here is from last week, on TNA's website or pure speculation!
Joe will speak, hopefully on where he's been, why he's back and what he plans to do now that he's here. If he could also explain that time he got abducted by a van full of ninjas, that would be awesome.
With one name crossed off his table list, who will be the next to eat wood at the hands of Bully Ray?
The match that Magnus booked for Bram against Jeff Hardy's alter ego Willow will happen tonight. If that love triangle isn't enough for you, keep your eyes on the Knockouts title match and see if Brittany gets involved in her hero/crush Madison Rayne's shot at reclaiming the belt from Angelina Love.
All that, plus The Cowboy, Mr. Anderson, Knux, Crazzy Steve and more on the road to Slammiversary XII!
Expect to pop for:
Bully Ray. My word - that man can talk!
I don't even particularly care for his current storyline (I'm on record as being uncomfortable with his whole "I can't wait to assault Dixie Carter" thing, and the home invasion from a couple of weeks back did nothing to change that). I likewise don't think he needs to be in the main event mix right now, particularly, as it's getting crowded in there with Joe back, and this with Bobby Roode out of the picture.
But I'll be damned if he doesn't suck me in every time he's on the microphone. Ray just knows how to cut a pro wrestling promo, and his doing that helps me look past bad angles and elevate shows of which he's a part.
I'd go so far as to say that he may be the most valuable member of the TNA roster right now. It should be a blast to see New York crowds react to him later this summer.
Now get on your Twittah masheens and tell your friends to watch Impact.
The heat is on:
Brittany. I'm glad the Knockouts have a story line or two going around the newcomer, and that they don't involve fighting over a man. I'm not appalled that the Brittany character might be gay, either. At this point in my life, I don't find pretend homosexual women that titillating, but I know it sells and if the performers are game, go for it.
My concern is that the gimmick might be a career killer for the former Santana Garrett. Mickie James overcame a very similar schtick, but that's Mickie James, one of the most talented female pro wrestlers of the last twenty years.
Hopefully she's a better worker than the little I've seen of her on the indies or on Impact, and she can do the same. Otherwise, I'm just glad that the small crowds that attend SHINE and SHIMMER events don't seem to be too verbally harassing, or I could see a future of derogatory crowd chants after this angle runs its course and TNA releases her back to that circuit.
Cagesiders! Get the tables! And possibly some tissues.
If you're tuning in tonight, watch the show with all your friends and fellows in our live blog!