1/23/15 Impact Review – Austin Aries Earns Title Shot in Feast or Fired

Austin Aries Wins Big Prize in Feast or Fired

Let me begin by saying that I do not like the Feast or Fired match. I understand that TNA wanted its version of WWE’s Money in the Bank without blatantly ripping off the concept. The setup for the match would be better if they had caved in and gone with the obvious ripoff. As it stands, the idea that “winning” the match could lead to losing one’s job makes very little sense. A simple shot at a title is not worth being fired, so it makes no sense for the wrestlers to even participate in the match.

Of course, there were wrestlers in the match and they worked out some fun spots in the frenzied match. Robbie E got the first briefcase. Spud got one briefcase when he climbed over the back of Sam Shaw, who was weakened on the top turnbuckle. Austin Aries faked a suicide dive, but got the case instead. Finally, Magnus and Bram combined for a tower of doom and Magnus nabbed the last briefcase.

Later in the show, the wrestlers opened their briefcases and got exactly the contracts one would expect based on their storylines. The only exception was Robbie E, who forced Velvet Skye to open his briefcase because she helped him retrieve it. For some reason, he was giddily happy that she received the briefcase that said she was fired. Other than her, Spud got an X Division Title Shot, Magnus got a Tag Title shot, and Aries got the World Title shot.

Beat Down Clan Makes its Presence Known

Two weeks after he lost his TNA World Title, Bobby Roode found himself ratcheted down a couple of positions on the card. The demotion put him in a position to succeed nonetheless, with three fantastic wrestlers. Roode and Kurt Angle worked well together through the match and established a big advantage. Roode locked Low Ki in a crossface and looked to have him beat. Angle and Eric Young scuffled outside the ring and distracted the referee so he could not see if Low Ki tapped. When Samoa Joe and MVP on the ramp further distracted the referee, Young hit Roode with a chair and Low Ki got the pin by a rollup.

As critical as I have been of the Beat Down Clan storyline, the redeeming quality is that the group is made up out of outstanding wrestlers. As long as Joe, Low Ki, and Young are involved in high profile matches, it will keep their storylines strong. If their characters break TNA’s trend and establish some credibility through consistency, they will really be onto something.

At the end of the show, MVP was slated to face Lashley in a street fight outside the arena. The BDC ganged up on Lashley and beat him mercilessly. At last, Roode and Angle came to his rescue. They chased the BDC away, but Roode found Lashley’s title belt and stared at it longingly. I like the idea of a tenuously alliance between Roode and Lashley, who have every reason to remain adversarial.

Other Notes

-James Storm and Abyss had Matt Hardy pinned down and Abyss retrieved Janice, his spiked bat. Jeff Hardy hit the ring just in time to save his brother and issue a challenge to Abyss for a Monster’s Ball match next week. It was a bit odd that Jeff was not already at ringside to protect his outnumbered brother. On the other hand, it is for the best that there is some tension between the Hardys and Revolution before they finally face off for the tag titles.

-Jeremy Borash was supposed to wrestle Tyrus in a singles match. Rockstar Spud came to his aid and British Boot Camp 2 winner Mark Andrews helped provide a double team advantage on Tyrus. Spud hit a somersault plancha and chased Tyrus away to finally get the upper hand on his adversary. A partner for Spud helps to partially level the playing field, but Andrews’s size maintains the David vs. Goliath dynamic.

-Havok was scheduled for a match with Gail Kim, but was more interested in breaking the rules to destroy Gail than actually wrestling. When the annihilation continued, the lights went out and Awesome Kong appeared in the ring. For the first time in three weeks, they were able to square off. Kong clotheslined Havok to the floor and chased her away. TNA has done a good job building suspense for the eventual showdown between these two. I am a bit worried that it might be too slow of a match to live up to the build.

-Khoya easily dispatched Tigre Uno with a Sky High in his first official match. The track record for Indian wrestlers in the U.S. has not been strong, though Khoya has size and athleticism to go with the support of the great James Storm on the mic.