TNA Impact opened with a backstage shot of Ethan Carter III, Rockstar Spud, and TNA tag champs Bro-Mans on a march to find the person who cost them everything at Lockdown. They found Bobby Roode, who deflected blame to Dixie Carter and Bully Ray. Roode vowed to confront Bully the minute he walks through the door.
In the building, MVP’s music played to begin the show. MVP came out dressed in a fancy suit as “MVP” flashed on the videoboard. MVP entered the ring to loud “MVP” chants before announcing that Dixieland is officially closed. MVP said they will now move forward in proper fashion.
But, before they move on, there’s Bully Ray. MVP said he doesn’t know what motivated Ray on Sunday, so he will give him time to speak his mind later in the show. MVP said Ray will also be allowed to compete in TNA on equal footing to everyone else.
Next up, a discussion of how he will run the show. Motivate. Validate. Participate. MVP said he will “motivate” talent to do what’s right, “validate” their beefs by giving them matches, and he will “participate” in any disciplinary action required. MVP was then interrupted by TNA World champ Magnus.
Magnus entered the ring and introduced himself, then called the “MVP Principle” the most ridiculous thing he’s ever heard. “More ridiculous than your title run?” MVP retorted. Magnus shot him a look, then paused for a “You Suck” chant.
Magnus continued that while Dixie Carter was fumbling the ball trying to retain control of wrestling operations, he was busy remaining TNA World champion and continuing the “reign of Magnus.” Magnus said he is more powerful than ever and he will show MVP why. He then introduced his own insurance policy and brand-new associate.
Abyss’s music played to bring out Abyss dressed in a goofy-looking outfit. Taz laughed to himself and said Abyss has had a make-over. Abyss entered the ring and flashed a goofy smile to the hard camera. Magnus said this is the Monster Abyss, but unlike the Jim Mitchells and Eric Youngs who have seen this man as a freak, he sees him as part monster and part machine. He said this man has received a big-time upgrade and is not only motivated by devastation, but is motivated by money. Magnus called themselves a stronger force than anything MVP has ever dealt with. Magnus got in MVP’s face and said they share a common desire for power and money.
MVP said the way he sees it, at Lockdown, Magnus was getting his English ass kicked all over the ring until he miraculously pulled a monster out from under the ring. MVP said he thinks this conversation should not continue until he gets one more man in this mix. So, the #1 contender needs to come out here. Pause waiting for Joe’s music to play. “I need Samoa Joe,” he said as the music finally played.
Joe walked out clutching his left arm and selling stomach pain. MVP said the reason why Joe is standing here calm and collected because he believes in the MVP principle. For example, he will have Magnus defend the title against Joe next week. In addition to that, he is going to give Joe an opportunity to participate right now…against Abyss. Ring the bell.
1 — SAMOA JOE vs. ABYSS
The bell sounded, Joe tackled the goofy-looking monster across from him, and Joe sold pain from the attack as Impact cut to break with Mike Tenay encouraging the audience to stick around.
[Q2] [Commercial Break at 9:15]
Back from break, Abyss landed a right hand jab to Joe’s gut. It was difficult to take his offense seriously considering his new look. Joe made a comeback, then Abyss cut him off with a boot to the gut. Abyss kind of walked around the ring, then continued the attack on Joe. Meanwhile, Taz plugged the Impact debut of Brittany up next. Joe made his comeback and back-splashed Abyss, then clutched his mid-section to continue selling pain.
Abyss cut off Joe and kind of windmill clubbed Joe across the back like a small child. Abyss bounced the ropes, then walked into a powerslam from Joe. Joe tried a Musclebuster, but the pain was too much. Abyss then chokeslammed Joe. But, instead of making a cover, Abyss looked around the arena, then left the ring. Abyss went under the ring and retrieved his Janice barbed wire board.
Abyss slid himself and the board into the ring, but a random tourist hit the ring. The camera only showed his back, then TNA cut to another shot of the man identified as Eric Young coming off the top in a baseball cap, jeans, and an orange t-shirt. EY dropkicked Joe, prompting the bell to sound. EY then cleared Abyss from the ring. TNA quickly cut backstage to more important items.
WINNER: Abyss at 9:33? No official word on the decision, prompting the same question from last week – does it even matter in TNA?
Backstage: JB was standing by looking for Bully Ray. Suddenly, he was distracted by the arrival of someone else. It was Angelina Love, who walked into the shot, then asked JB if he missed her. Love walked off.
[Commercial Break at 9:25]
Backstage: JB was still waiting for Bully Ray’s arrival. Suddenly, there were noises in the background. It was Willow/Jeff Hardy crying and shrieking.
[Q3] In-ring: Christy Hemme was standing by to introduce the next match. Out first was Brittany, the former Santana Garrett, making her Impact debut. Tenay rolled a video feature on Brittany before her opponent was introduced. Back in the Impact Zone, Gail Kim was introduced to the ring. Gail sold being annoyed since she is not Knockouts champion after losing to Madison Rayne at Lockdown.
2 — BRITTANY vs. GAIL KIM (w/Lei’D Tapa)
The bell sounded and Gail kicked Brittany right in the face. Gail continued the assault, displaying her anger over what happened at Lockdown. Gail continued to attack Brittany, but she became over-zealous, allowing Brittany to score a quick three count for the win.
Post-match, Gail took out her anger on Tapa. Tapa had enough and shoved down Gail, who responded by slapping her insubordinate enforcer. Tapa really had enough and attacked Gail until they separated from the ring.
WINNER: Brittany at 2:05.
Backstage: Bully Ray was shown arriving at the building. Rockstar Spud approached him and vowed to make him pay. Ray ignored him, but a group of hooligans attacked Bully. ECIII, Robbie E., Jessie, and DJ Zema pulled Ray down to the ground, then ECIII got in Ray’s face to tell him that he embarrassed everyone at Lockdown. Spud then wrapped a chain around Bully’s throat as Roode came over to yell in his face. Ray sold choking as Roode vowed to make him realize that it pays to be rude. Roode then grabbed a nearby sign and smacked it over Bully’s face. “You don’t screw with me!” Roode shouted in Ray’s face.
[Commercial Break at 9:37]
Back on Impact, the camera focused on D.J. Zema at his D.J. Booth. Zema then introduced the TNA tag champions Robbie E. and Jessie. Taz made some loud noises over the loud noises in the intro theme, then the tag champs hit the ring before X Division champion Sanada was introduced, along with Tigre Uno. Sanada took a victory lap before TNA cut to a pre-taped locker room video of Great Muta talking up Sanada. Muta gave Sanada encouragement because he is representing the Japanese wrestling industry. “No pressure,” Taz noted back on commentary.
2 — TNA tag champs ROBBIE E. & JESSIE vs. X Division champion SANADA & TIGRE UNO — non-title match
Loud horn noises early on as the tag champs controlled Tigre Uno. Sanada then tagged in and double-teamed Jessie with Tigre. More high-flying from Sanada and Tigre, who flew over the top rope with a big splash to the tag champs on the floor.
[Q4] Back in the ring, the tag champs took double missile dropkicks. Sanada was left alone in the ring with Robbie, who took a top-rope moonsault from Sanada. It was good for the pin and the win. Sanada and Tigre then posed for an appreciative crowd to close the match segment.
WINNERS: Sanada & Tigre at 2:46. That was like an alarm clock waking up the in-ring action on Impact.
Backstage: Bully Ray was shown collecting himself and picking up the chain used to attack him. Ray caught his breath, then walked away.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
KO Locker Room: Velvet Sky and KO champion Madison Rayne talked each other up while getting ready in the locker room. Madison then wondered if they should address the situation. What situation? Angelina Love is back. Sky dropped her make-up, not aware of her return.
Locker Room: TNA tag champs Robbie E. and Jessie tried to figure out what went wrong out there. Bully Ray then walked in and beat them down. He then found D.J. Zema and threw him into a locker. Bully surveyed the damage and walked off.
Backstage: Sam Shaw was shown talking to himself. Shaw thanked someone for helping him, as an artist. Shaw talked up his victory over Mr. Anderson at Lockdown, then requested Christy Hemme’s presence ringside tonight. Shaw vowed to end Mr. Anderson tonight. Shaw then spotted a camera watching him and asked if he has a problem. Apparently Shaw was practicing his promo in a mirror.
Somewhere: Willow was lurking a la Sting.
Somewhere else: Rockstar Spud consulted with ECIII on a photo he made for Dixie Carter.
[Commercial Break at 9:55]
Impact returned with a shot of Samoa Joe looking for Eric Young. “EY!” he shouted. Joe found Young and said he needs to talk to him. Joe said he understands that EY needs his revenge on Abyss, but his revenge is crossing into his business. He said he’ll give EY a pass tonight, but if he gets in his business again, there will be a problem. EY took that as a threat. He said Abyss is his problem and he has to deal with it. “Have at it,” Joe said. EY said he definitely will. Young said he gets Abyss next week and he will be chained to him.
[Q5 -- second hour] In the arena, Rockstar Spud’s music played to bring out Spud and ECIII holding a blown-up photo of smilin’ Dixie Carter. In the ring, Spud and ECIII put the photo on an easel in the ring as Taz talked about Dixie’s life’s work blowing up on one night.
“Dixie’s lapdog,” the crowd shouted at both men before Spud solemnly introduced the segment. He said they are here to mourn the loss of Dixie Carter’s control of wrestling operations. Spud said he, the crowd, and Ethan are collectively mourning because – pause for “boring” chant – wrestling operations is now in control of an ex-con by the name of MVP. More “boring” chants. ECIII asked the crowd to calm down because it makes Spud want to cry.
Spud said that woman picked him up from obscurity, cradled him in her arms, and made him mature as a man. Which is why he is the great man – the big man – that he is today. Spud sold tears and said he would just like to say… “Thank you, Dixie.” Spud then rolled a heel propaganda video on Dixie Carter. And then on a cold, dark Sunday in Miami, it was all taken away.
Back in the arena, the crowd booed the tribute video. Spud then said he has a reading. He put on reading glasses and read a poem about Dixieland. MVP’s music interrupted to bring out MVP with a scowl on his face. MVP said they need to put an end to this. He said this is over. MVP then said Spud was kind of grown on him as of late… like a fungus or rash. In fact, he has seen such loyalty from Spud that he would like to invite him to stick around. What he needs from him is to fulfill his contractual obligations…as a wrestler.
Spud reasoned that he cannot be a wrestler, as everyone in the locker room is bigger than him, even some of the Knockouts. MVP managed to motivate Spud, talk him up, and get him to participate. Spud said he’s ready for some young rookie. MVP said he’s actually making his Impact debut … Willow. Tenay said it’s Hardy’s alternative persona.
ECIII laughed at Spud’s bad fortune, then MVP told him he gets a match next week against this man … Bobby Lashley’s music played to bring out Lashley making his TV return. Lashley hit the ring and posed in front of a scared Spud and upset ECIII. ECIII said Lashley is not on the roster, so he cannot participate against Lashley. MVP said that’s a good point, so he signed Bobby Lashley.
Spud then pointed his finger at Lashley’s chest, upsetting the gentle giant. Lashley noticed a nice photo of Dixie Carter nearby and popped it over Spud’s head, but it didn’t break, so the photo just kind of fell to the mat. Spud saved the bit by grabbing the photo and stroking Dixie’s hair in the photo. Lashley then came face-to-face with ECIII, who backed away before Lashley could end his night. Suddenly, ref Earl Hebner entered the ring to look at the photo.
Backstage: JB caught up with ECIII coming through the curtain. Carter vowed to tear Lashley’s knee to shreds, just like he did to Kurt Angle. Suddenly, Bully Ray attacked Carter and beat him down. Ray smashed the sign that Roode used on him over ECIII, then stared down at him.
Up Next: Sam Shaw vs. Mr. Anderson in a Street Fight.
[Q6] [Commercial Break at 10:15]
In-ring: Jeremy Borash, instead of Christy Hemme, was standing by to introduce the next match. Sam Shaw walked out, then walked back through the curtain to retrieve a red-hair mannequin. Shaw brought the mannequin into the ring and stroked the doll’s red hair. Shaw looked longingly toward the mannequin before Mr. Anderson’s music played. Anderson stood on-stage and took the mic, but Shaw was suddenly on the stage. Shaw attacked Anderson, then the bell sounded.
3 — MR. ANDERSON vs. SAM SHAW — Street Fight
Shaw whipped Anderson into the steel steps at ringside, then Shaw slithered into the ring to get near the mannequin. The match moved into the ring, where Anderson and Shaw traded punches. Anderson built some momentum with clotheslines, then delivered a rolling plunge. Suddenly, Shaw begged off. So, Anderson went over to the mannequin and threatened to punch it. Or do something else with/to it.
Anderson kissed the mannequin, then tossed it to Shaw, who freaked out. Anderson then hit the Mic Check for the pin and the win. Post-match, Anderson stood victorious in the ring and announced himself to the crowd. “Anderson!” he declared over Shaw’s fallen body.
WINNER: Anderson at 3:54, getting his win back from Lockdown.
Backstage: A roving cameraman asked Angelina Love why she is back. Love said it’s one simple reason and one simple person. She vowed to let everyone in on her secret. Winter isn’t on the roster anymore, right?
[Commercial Break at 10:26]
In-ring: Rockstar Spud was in the ring back from break. TNA then introduced “Jeff Hardy’s alter-ego, Willow,” to the ring. Willow kind of stumbled around the ring before throwing himself down in the ring. Willow removed his ring jacket, then chased Spud out of the ring. Hardy eventually tackled Spud and the hyper camera filter cut off to a normal video screen for the match to begin.
4 — JEFF HARDY/WILLOW vs. ROCKSTAR SPUD
Tenay tried to put a serious spin on this match that Spud cost Hardy the TNA Title months ago. Hardy dominated as the announcers tried to find adjectives to describe what was going on here with Hardy. Hardy then retrieved his umbrella and brought it into the ring. Hardy smashed Spud with it, causing the bell to sound.
Suddenly, Hardy kicked the ref and gave him the Twist of Fate. Hardy then grabbed a ladder from under the ring as Tenay announced a DQ decision. Hardy then grappled Spud and suplexed him into the mat. Hardy followed up by smashing Spud’s ankle inside a steel chair. Spud writhed in pain, then Hardy climbed to the top of the ladder and splashed Spud, causing him to cry out in pain. Hardy then dizzily left the ring.
WINNER: Spud via DQ at 2:25. It was like Michael Cole beating Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania.
Post-attack, Bully Ray’s music played. Bully walked past Willow, then walked down to the ring. Tenay said they hope to get answers after the break.
[Commercial Break at 10:51]
Impact returned five minutes before the top of the hour with Bully Ray in the ring. Bully channeled Angelina Love saying he never thought he would hear the crowd chanting his name. “Bully, Bully” chant. Ray said they say that when you die, your life flashes before you. Ray said that when Mr. Anderson Mic-Checked him into a coffin a few weeks ago, his life did that. He said that he intended to have a really good reason for what he did at Lockdown tonight, but ECIII, Bro-Mans, and Rockstar Spud attacked him tonight.
Bully said he tried to save Bobby Roode from himself. Because if Roode won, then he would have turned into another Dixie Carter. Ray said the last thing the wrestling business needs is another Dixie Carter. Ray said he doesn’t want to talk anymore, as he wants to fight Roode right now. Bully put down the mic, then Roode’s music played.
Bobby Roode walked down to the ramp in street clothes, but stopped before hitting the ring. Roode eventually mustered the courage to enter the ring, where Ray met him with right hand blows. Ray then took his time setting up for a big elbow, forcing Roode to awkwardly wait to get hit by the elbow. Ray then went under the ring to retrieve a table.
Ray set up the table in the ring, but Roode dropped him with a spinebuster. Roode then measured Bully for a Roode Bomb, but Bully elbowed out. Ray then hit a cutter in front of the table. Ray vowed to put Roode through the table, Roode did not escape to delay the table spot, and Ray sent Roode through the table. Ray stood over Roode as Tenay hyped a TNA Title match next week on Impact to close the show.
MUST SEE: Photos of Angelina Love’s TNA Return….