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TNA Impact preview (July 24, 2014): Hardcore state of mind

Previously on Impact Wrestling

Six-sides, six-sides, six-sides, six-sides, six-sides, six-sides of ring returned as TNA opened their three live show/six-seven taped show set from The Manattan Ballroom.  Executive Director Kurt Angle evoked his time with a certain Philadelphia-based 90s promotion, and then Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer came out to make sure nobody misunderstood what he was talking about.

The two veterans promised shows that would make New York City proud - and to put Dixie Carter through a table.  Ethan Carter III arrived with his new hire Rhino to tell them there was no way that was happening.  An actual match ensued, and with the help of a little Spud distraction and a handful of tights, EC3 pinned the Innovator of Violence.

Austin Aries has the X-Division title, which means he has a World championship shot at Destination X if he can hold it until then.  He managed to do that in a dope gauntlet match that ended when he hit a BRAINBUSTA on Sanada for the second straight week.  James Storm continues to taunt/recruit the Japanese star, focusing on his mentor, The Great Muta.  When things get physical, Sanada still refuses to engage...

Former authority figure Montell Vontavious Porter is still hobbling around with crutches, whether he needs them or not.  Angle's not buying it, so he booked MVP in a tag match with Kenny King against the men his faction have been tormenting, Bobby Roode and Eric Young.  The good guys technically got a win via disqualification, but Porter, King and the crutches won out in the end via beatdown.

Speaking of disqualifications, Brittany and Madison Rayne took their feud to a No DQ, No Countout match...and then had a bout that didn't really use those stipulations.  It was okay anyway, and Rayne won with a Barbie Crusher.

His alter ego in check, Jeff Hardy tried to bring the TNA World title home for the creatures of the night.  But when a Twist of Fate and an in-ring Swanton Bomb don't result in a three count, the Charismatic Enigma tried one after setting up Bobby Lashley across the ring steps on the floor.  That didn't exactly work, and lead to a spear from the champ - allowing the belt to stay with MLK.

Finally, Dixie got time to heel it up, running down NYC, Bully and Dreamer and calling herself hardcore based on the number of times she has put Ray through tables.  The ECW stars come out and try to fulfill their promise, but EC3, Spud and Rhino run interference and allow Aunt D to escape.  Unfortunately for the Carters, a returning Devon evened things up for the legends and Ethan ended up taking a flying head butt in the nether regions and getting put through a table.


The second of the ballyhooed New York City shows.  Previews don't spoil, but full results of this week's show are available here.  It doesn't take spoilers to see that this is a LOADED episode, however.

Matt Hardy returns at the request of his brother Jeff...what will the Boyz be doing on Impact?  Could it have anything to do with The Wolves tag belts?  The Great Muta will not only appear, but will wrestling in New York for the first time in his storied career!

A-Double will announce his decision about "Option C" and either keep his X-Division strap or hand it to Angle in exchange for a match against Lashley.  Gail Kim will defend her Knockouts title against her recent ally and longtime rival Taryn Terrell.

Recently announced for the Hall of Fame, Team 3D reunites and will fight EC3, Spud and Rhino in six-man tag action, alongside Tommy Dreamer.  And the It Factor gets another shot at revenge against the man who suspended him when he faces MVP in a Falls Count Anywhere match!

Spike TV.  9PM Eastern.

Expect to pop for:

Your latest reminder that Jeff Hardy is a crazy person comes around the three minutes into that clip.  While I've never been the biggest Hardys mark (I was always an Edge and Christian guy, myself), the do put themselves at risk for our entertainment more than almost anyone else in the history of the business, so it should be fun to see them do it on Impact against some new and/or old foes.

And Bobby Lashley has put together a string of solid matches in his return.  Le's give him some props for that, and hope his mixed martial arts distraction opportunity doesn't effect that negatively.

The heat is on:

Oh, this angle.  Bully's a hot, if sometimes uncomfortable (love Dreamer's reactions when he talks about "ripping the balls off" the wresting world) promo, but this whole angle feels pretty dated.  Put me in the camp of fans who would rather see Impact trying to innovate rather sell nostalgia.  Is devoting this much time to Dreamer, Rhino and Devon much better than doing the same thing with Hulk Hogan and the Nasty Boys?

And why is EC3 not more over?  He's done a lot of winning (often through nefarious means, but he is a heel) and he's solid on the mic with occasional flashes of brilliance (check his response to the "You Can't Wrestle" chants at the 4:30 mark).  Using the stars of the 1990s works if it gets him over...but is he getting over in this angle or is just Bully Ray?

Think that over while you GET THE TABLES, or chairs, remote control and snacks, for tonight's episode of Impact.

And while you're watching and munching, join your Cageside pals in the live blog!

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