TNA returned to the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom, home to their last set of tapings that impressed everyone but maybe Spike TV executives, last night, August 5, 2014. The main focus for the evening was the Hardcore Justice special which will air on August 21st, but there were clearly matches and elements which will be used for Xplosion or another episode of Impact.
Here's what went down:
Xplosion match - Tigre Uno defeated Crazzy Steve
Impact match - Gail Kim retained her Knockouts title in a 4Way over Taryn Terrell and both members of the Beautiful People. A spot where Terrell dove to the floor onto Kim, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky inspired a "better than the Divas" chant.
- Bram beat Abyss in their "Stairway to Janice" hardcore match. Sounds like a good back and forth that made use of tacks and barbed wire in addition to the usual tables, chairs and boards. The Brit put on the crimson mask early and won after pushing the Monster off the ladder into a barbed wire-wrapped board before he could retrieve "Janice" (Abbys' name for his club with nails and wire on it). This being TNA, that wasn't enough to win the match, though, and Bram had to recover from a Black Hole Slam, kick Abyss in the family jewels, hit him with the club and then pin him.
- Ethan Carter III was still working the "how could you cheer as my Aunt D was assaulted card?", and cut a good promo where he announced he had figured out what went wrong - it was Rhino's fault. The hired gun responded by threatening EC3 and telling him stick his money up his @$$. Carter slapped and threw Rhino into the railing and eventually beat him down. EC3 also shoved Spud when he tried to calm him down. Those two left separately and they may have been teasing a split or possible Spud face turn with Dixie written off of television.
- X-Division champ Samoa Joe beat Low Ki with a Muscle Buster following what was unsurprisingly a stiff match.
- Anderson got Samuel Shaw to tap out to an armbar in their I Quit match. Gunner watched and was upset by the whole deal, and he and the Asshole got in each other's faces after the bout.
- The Hardys came out and cut a promo about having reunited for the fans but needing to do something more. Jeff called out Team 3D, giving them props for putting Dixie Carter through a table and generally putting them over for the two teams history before asking if they'd like to go into the Hall of Fame as TNA tag team champs. Hardy called out the current champs, The Wolves. Eddie Edwards said the Hardys and Bully Ray & Devon represent what they're trying to become - one of the best teams ever. Davey Richards said they'd give both teams a shot at their belts anytime, anywhere.
- MVP cut a promo before the Six Sides of Steel match to determine the #1 contender to the TNA World Title, saying that whoever wins has already lost because Bobby Lashley is at the top of the food chain. Contestants were Austin Aries, Eric Young, Gunner, Magnus, James Storm and Bobby Roode. In kayfabe, EY and Roode escaped and hit the floor at the same time resulting in an undecided finish that the referees argued about. In reality, it's said they screwed up and Young clearly hit first.
Impact (August 28)
- Gail Kim won a Last Woman Standing match against Angelina Love after she Samoan Dropped her off the top rope onto a chair. This match also featured ReverendKain's beloved ringpost figure four.
- Tajiri, as Yoshihiro Tajiri, debuted - beating Robbie E in singles action.
- Kurt Angle cut a balcony promo saying he was going to sit down with Young and Roode to determine the #1 contender situation. MLK interrupted, and MVP called out Angle for pandering to the New York crowd. He ran down the city and called Lashley the King of New York, which drew out Tommy Dreamer for a retort. Dreamer ended up catching a beatdown, but escaped to the ring with a Singapore Cane. Angle announced a NYC Streetfight against Lashley.
- That match featured lots of interference from Kenny King, who eventually was speared by the champ when Dreamer slipped from his grasp. A DDT that followed several trash can shots almost got Tommy a win, but he got caught with a spear and was pinned.
- Low Ki, Crazzy Steve and Tigre Uno beat Homicide, Manik and DJ Z. Ki pinned Manik after a Ki Krusher.
- Rhino defeated EC3 by disqualification when Carter laid him out with chair shots.
- Chris Melendez debuted in his Army dress uniform and was put over by Angle, Team 3D and fellow vet Anderson.
- The tag team triple threat was announced as the first of a series. This was supposed to be a great match with great near falls for the Hardys and Wolves before Bully & Devon won with a 3D on Eddie Edwards. For winning, they got to pick the stipulation for the next match - Tables match at the next taping.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Sound like something you'll tune in for later this month?