TNA Impact comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 17, 2014) from the Manhattan Center in New York City, featuring the return of the six-sided ring and a loaded show in front of a super hot crowd.
Scheduled for the show: Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Lashley for the heavyweight championship, Bully Ray & Tommy Dreamer vs. Rhino & EC3, Eric Young & Bobby Roode vs. MVP & Kenny King, X Division title gauntlet match, and 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!
IMPACT RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG
- They had Taz in the stands cutting a promo putting over Kurt Angle as the leader of TNA because he understands wrestling. Naturally, he wasted little time bringing up his time in ECW, talking about turning the corner with that promotion. He remembers what it was like then, and he sees the same thing with everyone in the TNA locker room now.
- Bully Ray was out next with Tommy Dreamer. They played to the crowd in the aisle before getting to the ring. Bully had a Yankees hat on and kicked off his promo by calling New York City the "greatest wrestling city on the planet". He said they would "grab the wrestling world by the balls and rip 'em off" tonight. That sounds terrifying. Dreamer got the mic and started talking about love and wrestling and damn near started crying. Finally, EC3 and Rhino interrupted. Carter went in on the crowd and Rhino demanded they respect him lest he beat them up. They chanted "you can't wrestle", so EC3 responded with "I disagree". Finally, the heels hit the ring and Dreamer told them it's not a "PG product, kid" and then said, I shit you not, he wants to see less talking and more action in wrestling. Then the faces attacked and the brawl was on.
- The match was on coming back from commercial. Commentary told us the babyfaces were in control. The six-sided ring looked odd after the promotion used four sides for so long. They got the heat on EC3 before Dreamer made the tag to Bully, who cleaned house. Rockstar Spud had made his way out, however, and once Dreamer was back in, Spud distracted him and that allowed EC3 to score a roll up.
- Kurt Angle told Austin Aries backstage that he was going to have to defend the X Division title in an 8-man Gauntlet match. Aries saying he wasn't upset and, in fact, was looking forward to proving himself. Angle wished him luck, then called him "one tough kid" under his breath as Aries walked away.
- Sanada ran into James Storm backstage. Storm called him "lucky, smart, driven, strong, fast, and disciplined". Then he smacked Sanada across the face and laughed at him, saying if he keeps listening to his mentor, Great Muta, he'll end up a loser and a choke artist. He closed by saying, "Be careful who you listen to."
- The 8-man X Division Gauntlet title match was next. Remember, the Gauntlet match in TNA is basically a Royal Rumble until there are only two men remaining, at which point it becomes a straight singles match. Aries started with Eddie Edwards. Manik was the third guy in. Some good action but no eliminations until the next entrant, Davey Richards. With both The Wolves in, they took over by teaming up on Aries and Manik. Zema Ion was the next entrant. Still no eliminations at this point. That changed when Zema and Manik eliminated each other. Then a commercial. When they came back, we were told Tigre Uno and Crazzy Steve joined during the break. They add wrestlers every 90 seconds, so that means the commercial break was three minutes long? Okay. Out next was Sanada, the last guy in. Crazzy Steve used silly string to eliminated Uno. He was promptly taken out by The Wolves right after and the crowd wasn't happy. Steve was over with this audience. Sanada then eliminated both The Wolves, leaving just Sanada and Aries.
- The first spot they did once it switched to a singles match was Aries getting dumped over the top rope to the outside. Taz quickly reminded everyone that didn't matter, even though Christy Hemme had just announced it was a singles match with one fall or submission to a finish. They teased Sanada regaining the title but Aries got the Brainbuster for the pin to retain. Really strong match once they went one-on-one. Aries picked Sanada up and shook his hand after the match.
- Bobby Roode and Eric Young were talking in a dimly lit area backstage. Roode talked about being upset at MVP for suspending him and sending him home. Young jumped in and talked about having the heavyweight championship taken from him thanks to MVP's tyrannical reign. They agreed they'll beat down MVP and Kenny King tonight.
- Sanada was walking through the back after losing to Aries and Storm was there to greet him, first calling him a loser and then laying him out while screaming about Muta being a fraud.
- They aired an interview with Jeff Hardy backstage. They asked what motivated him to return to being Hardy. He said Willow was just to deal with all the darkness but Hardy is back and he'll win the title.
- Meanwhile, you could hear MVP's music playing and they cut to the ring where he was on his crutches and running down the city of New York while they booed the hell out of him. Kenny King said he could beat both Eric Young and Bobby Roode by himself before MVP took the mic and said he would work the match but only do so under protest. That brought out the babyfaces for the match.
- Young & Roode vs. King & MVP: They were always going to lean on King here because MVP was legitimately hurt during these tapings. So the babyfaces beat him down early while MVP was on the outside shouting instructions and only tagging in when their opponents were laid out. Then, because he's a good heel, taunted whoever wasn't in the ring. They actually built to Roode getting his hands on MVP for the finish, and he locked on a crossface. Before MVP could tap, King made the save. This led to MVP grabbing a crutch and getting disqualified. Then the heels beat the babyfaces down with both crutches.
- Brittany vs. Madison Rayne was next. They told us it was a no disqualification, no count out math and that there "must be a winner". Madison attacked right away.The two worked hard but the crowd couldn't care less about anything they did. Madison did a crossbody to the outside that got a decent enough pop but not much else. Brittany was in control for much of the match but Rayne made the late comeback and got the win with her finish.
- Lashley vs. Jeff Hardy for the heavyweight championship was the main event. Well, they've been promoting Dixie Carter appearing and outside of a backstage interview, she hasn't yet. So maybe this match, then Dixie closing the show. Before this, Austin Aries cut a promo backstage about Destination X next week and cashing in on "Option C". Anyway, in the ring, the crowd was hot for Hardy, who wasn't wearing any face paint. His beard was stylized but by all other appearances, he just looked like a normal dude. They were working hard, and hardcore Jeff was back. They did a spot on the outside with Lashley taking Hardy's legs out from under him and Hardy landing HARD on the steel steps on his shoulder. Crowd loved this. In fact, they were treating this like a big, big match. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate twice in a row, then hit the Senton Bomb while Lashley was still rolling into position. That only got a two count. Hardy took him to the outside and banged his head on the steps a few times, setting him up on it. Then he went up for another Senton Bomb. Lashley moved out of the way and Hardy went flat back on the steps. They clearly had some extra padding on the top but that was still a nuts spot. Back in the ring, Lashley hit the Spear and got the pin to retain the title.
- Kurt Angle was backstage and Dixie Carter went walking by. Well, she tried to but Angle grabbed her arm up and stopped her. She told him never to do such a thing and that she was going out no matter what. Angle acted concerned for her safety, like Bully would show up and put her through a table. She said she was going out to talk to her people.
- Backstage, they ran a pre-tape of Kurt Angle rushing up and telling MVP he'll be in a match with Bobby Roode next week and Kenny King and Lashley aren't allowed to interfere.
- The real main event was next: Rockstar Spud introduced Dixie Carter, with Rhino and EC3 on each arm, to a ton of boos. Dixie was heeling on the crowd. "I thought that you's guys was the best wrestlahs in the world?" She tripped over her words when calling the crowd angry, foul mouthed people who live in a dump like New York City. So what did the production team do? They cut to a shot of a guy in the audience dressed like Bray Wyatt. She ran down Bully Ray, saying he has no star qualities. It's why he comes out and always asks if everyone knows who he is. That's not a bad line. She threatened to put him through table after table until he gets it through his head that she runs the show. This brought Ray out, along with Dreamer, and they had a table with Dixie's name written on it. Bully and Dreamer got in the ring and tossed Rhino and EC3 out, clearing a path to Dixie. Spud ran up to Ray to protect her but he was knocked out too. That left Dixie alone with the two giant guys in the ring while the crowd egged them on. They set up for the table spot but EC3 ran in with a low blow. Dixie made her escape through the crowd. Suddenly, Devon returned and he sent EC3 into the ring. They did the old 3D spots. Ray counted down so the crowd could demand the tables, at which point Devon did what he always does and they hit the cutter on the table on EC3. They showed Dixie in the crowd crying. Team 3D celebrated as they faded to black.