TNA was back in Orlando this week, this time with Mike Tenay as Josh Matthews co-announcer. The main event was a huge Hardcore War between a team lead by Kurt Angle and a team lead by Eric Young. That was the main story tonight so let's start with that.
The show opens with Kurt Angle and Chris Melendez. Angle verbally puts over Melendez and the Sarge agrees to be on Kurt's team. Angle calls the Rising out and he puts them over too as a the defenders of wrestling and thanks them for being on his team. Then Drew puts over Angle. Every one puts over everyone else! Drew then makes the claim that he will eventually come for the title.
Eric Young comes out and interrupts saying the deck was stacked against him last week in their World Title match. Angle says that EY still does deserve a rematch and it will be an I Quit Match. EY reveals his team, which is the BDC who attack Angle's team from behind. Lashley makes his redebut and he goes right after Young. Lashley is revealed to be the last member of team Angle.
Throughout the night, backstage, the BDC discuss who their 5th man will be since Homicide is unavailable. Young says he has the guy, who is revealed in the main event to be Bram
Team Young defeat Team Angle when Eric Young pins Chris Melendez after delivering his pile driver.
After the match, Eric Young takes Melendez's prosthetic leg off. When Angle tries to stop him, Eric Young uses the leg to attack Angle as the show closes.
To be honest, the beginning of these gauntlet style matches, whether it be something like this, a Lethal Lockdown, or a War Games, is repetitive. There's always a team with the man advantage so we end up spending 10 minutes of the match with teams alternating in ring beatings.
While the formula stayed the same, this match did not suffer for it. For one thing, they still whipped out some good spots during the alternating entrances. This included an awesome corner spot where Drew sat up from a Tree of Woe to toss Eric Young who is tossing Micah at the same time. Also, the commercial break for this match was during the entrances, which is a good place for it.
In the end of it all, this match ended up being a hell of a good time. Low Ki and Drew opened up both with lead pipes and had a brutal affair. These men have really good chemistry together. After everyone was in the match, there was a bunch of fun spots, mixing some regular wrestling with some high flying parts and some hardcore stuff. These types of matches can really easily become a big mess but this one did not.
It's great to see both Lashley and Bram back in the fold. The time away makes both feel fresh and hopefully both are worked into programs going forward (I would not mind a brief Bram vs Drew feud.)
Young's use of Melendez's leg is really cheap heat but it worked here. And while I'm still not excited about another Young vs Angle match, tonight's fun has me less salty about giving it one more go.
The Doll House (Jade and Marti Bell) defeat Brooke Tessmacher and Rebel.
After the match, Taryn Terrell gets on the mic and tells Gail Kim she had "playtime" with Kim's family. Whatever that means.
Later on the Doll House had a "pillow talk" segment where they act like they're at a slumber party and whisper secrets. Taryn said she's spent time with Gail's step daughters and then tells the other two that she has a special outfit to show Gail's husband later.
Right after the backstage segment, the Doll House comes back to the ring. Taryn reveals a picture of her hanging out with Gail's less than enthusiastic step daughters. She then continues to imply that she's going to sleep with Gail's husband and then shows us all the lingerie she'll be wearing. Thankfully, Gail interrupts her to tell her she's crossed the line. After Taryn once again implies she's sleeping with Gail's husband. Gail goes wild on all 3 members of the Doll House and clears the ring.
The whole night left me wondering: Who are the Doll House ? Are they just mean girls? Are they crazy? Are they attempted home wreckers? Is there even a motive? Maybe that's all coming in our future, but it feels more that TNA decided to dress these girls like school girls and told them to go act weird and overly sexual. And that's not a winning formula.
My instinct is just to slam a story that involves one women talking about trying to have sex with the other's husband. Maybe I'm spoiled from NXT who run programs over women fighting over being the best and being extremely successful doing so. But this just feels cheap. Taryn is clearly a heel and heels do play mind games and it would make sense that's what TNA is going for. Because of that, I haven't completely closed the door on this story or the Doll House gimmick, despite my instinct to do so. But TNA really need to start clearing up what the Doll House really is for any of this to work.
The match itself was OK. When Rebel was in the ring, it felt clunky. However, Brooke has become much more crisp in the ring than I remember her being in the past. Plus the fans love her. While Gail is clearly the story here, it would be a shame if Brooke finds herself completely on the back burner in the up coming weeks.
By the way, apparently, the Menagerie have gone back to circus life, according to Matthews and Tenay. So maybe you'll get to see them the next time Barnum and Bailey rolls into your town.
Ethan Carter III complains about the Top 5 list that has him in the #2 spot and Eric Young still at #1. Anderson comes down and EC3 says that he's done with him. Anderson says he'll face Tyrus if winning means he gets EC3 one on one. EC3 turns that down. Ken Anderson calls Tyrus a b*tch enough times that it convinces Tyrus to accept it.
Tyrus uses his size to dominate most of the match. But when EC3 tried to get in the ring with a chair and then gets ejected, Anderson sits up briefly and then decides to lay back down and play possum. When Tyrus turns back to Anderson and picks him up for his thumb spike finisher, Anderson quickly hits his mic check for the win.
After the match, Anderson makes sure he calls Tyrus a b*tch one more time.
These reviews are going to start getting repetitive regarding EC3, but I'm a mark. His conspiracy theory promo was well done, demanding Obama pick up the red phone to answer EC3. (Pick it up, Obama!) Even better, denying Anderson's stipulation that could lead to another match with Ken was a great heel move. Why should EC3 even take the risk to face Anderson again?
Anderson on the mic is the same old story. You either like him or don't. I don't find him shouting a lot and saying the word "b*tch" as many times as he could edgy or anything. As Sean would say, your mileage may vary.
The match itself though wasn't bad. It's not a match I'm going to go back and rewatch, but it told the story it should tell. Tyrus is a big dude and to his credit, played that up well here. He hit his power moves and Anderson played the resilient face kicking out. And in the end, Anderson had to outsmart the big guy by playing possum because he knew he wasn't going to be able to out power him. And that all worked well.
All in all, I'm not upset that Anderson and EC3 have another match in their future given how disappointing the ending of last week's match between them was. If EC3 is to be #1 Contender, he needs a semi-clean win over a credible opponent to do so. It's been a long time since he's been feuding with the likes of Sting, Angle, and Bully Ray.
Josh Matthews started to get grating during this match, playing the heel and supporting EC3 at times (after he was so incredulous about Carter's cheating last week) but then would side with Anderson. I'm unsure if he and Tenay are still trying to suss out their roles out not but it came off as annoying.
Pros of the Show:
- Really fun main event
- Exciting tag team bout
- The beginning of face Robbie E did well
- Lashley and Bram return
Cons of the Show:
- The Doll House's identity crisis
- An entire segment devoted to Magnus and the Revolution just brawling
- Three losses in a night does not help Jessie going forward