March 20, 2015, @wrestlerosters
Kurt Angle def. Bobby Lashley to Become TNA Champion
Appropriately, the entire episode of Impact revolved around the burgeoning rivalry between Angle and Lashley. Vignettes showed how much the TNA Title means to both, particularly Angle, who was portrayed as somewhat maniacal in his quest to regain the TNA Title. Even Josh Matthews helped add to the atmosphere when he outlined the amateur bona fides of both wrestlers.
Angle and Lashley started the match with holds and counter-holds on the mat. It did not take long for the match to dial up to higher impact moves. Angle caught Lashley with an overhead throw and a trio of German Suplexes. He briefly locked Lashley in the Ankle Lock and followed it with a clothesline to the floor when Lashley escaped. On the floor, Lashley had more luck. He smashed Angle into the barricade and grounded Angle with a big elbow.
A vertical suplex and a variety of strikes helped Lashley square the damage that Angle inflicted on him at the start of the bout. He continued to punish Angle until Angle ducked a clothesline for another trio of Germans. In spite of the damage, Lashley avoided an Angle Slam and hit a spinebuster for the first near fall of the match.
Angle dodged a spear and answered with a sequence of four Germans. He reapplied the Ankle Lock and Lashley used his legs to power out. Lashley hoisted Angle onto his shoulder for a running powerslam.
Coming out of the commercial, Angle turned a schoolboy into another Ankle Lock. When Lashley freed himself again, he hit the Angle Slam for a two count. Lashley turned the tide again and delivered a delayed vertical suplex. On his third attempt, he finally hit his spear, but Angle kicked out just before the three count.
The increasingly desperate Lashley climbed to the top rope and missed a frog splash. Angle answered with a cross body from the top rope, only for Lashley to roll through and apply an Ankle Lock on Angle. Once he reached the ropes, Angle hit another Angle Slam, but Lashley regrouped and applied a cross-armbreaker. Angle freed himself sunk in a deep Ankle Lock with Lashley’s leg grapevined. After some tense moments, Lashley tapped out to give Angle the win and the title.
For a company without major PPVs at the moment, this episode had the feel of a “big show.” Although I think it would have made sense to tell the story of this main event over more time, it definitely featured the skill and star power to carry a major card. Up and down the card, there were matches that felt more important than those on an average Impact. My only complaint about the match is that it sometimes felt like the momentum swung back and forth for no obvious reason, but it was a minor complaint in what was almost certainly the best TNA match of the year so far.
-The show opened with an Ultimate X match for the Tag Team Titles between the Wolves, the Bromans, and the Revolution. Eddie Edwards realized he could not make it to the belts and instead hit a hurricanrana on Sanada from the scaffolding. Davey Richards hit a stomp on Sanada and both Wolves crawled to the belts to retain their titles.
-Taryn Terrell finally got Awesome Kong in the ring in a three way Knockouts Title match that also included Gail Kim. Taryn came very close to winning time after time, but Kong always found a way to kick out. Gail took out Kong with a cross-body to the floor and almost won with a sunset flip powerbomb for two. Taryn kicked out and countered Eat Defeat into a schoolgirl rollup to get the win. It was the second best match on the show- very good work by Taryn to insert herself in such an established rivalry.
-Austin Aries beat Samoa Joe in what would prove to be Joe’s final TNA match. It took Aries a long time to get Joe off his feet. When he finally did it with a suicide dive, Low Ki ran to the ring and jumped Aries to cause a DQ. Low Ki tried to hit Aries with the Feast or Fired briefcase, but accidentally hit Joe.
With Low Ki knocked out from Aries, the bald Rockstar Spud cashed in his Feast or Fired briefcase, hit his running bulldog, and won the X Division Title. The whole segment felt like an overly-elaborate way to achieve the pointless goal of getting Spud the title. If there is a silver lining, it’s that Spud did not legitimately beat a real wrestler.
-After Magnus jumped Bram and laid him out, Mickie James ran to the ring and joined in the beat down. The segment ended with Magnus powerbomibng Bram on the entrance ramp. I’m still not sure why Bram and Magnus are feuding. I’m also not sure where the program is going since they beat each other senseless every week anyway.
-James Storm won a hard-hitting no DQ match over Matt Hardy. He got an assist from Sanada and Abyss before he finished Hardy with a cowbell shot and a pair of Last Call superkicks. After the finish, he once again offered to bring Hardy into his stable. After the huge spot on Jeff a few weeks ago, I’m looking forward to his return next week.