Kurt Angle def. Eric Young and Bobby Roode to Become #1 Contender
Angle and Roode dominated for good stretches of a solid main event match, including a series of ten German Suplexes on Eric Young. Angle tried to take advantage of the incapacitated Young with an Ankle Lock, but Young got to the ropes. He used the same move on Roode, and when Roode escaped, it forced Angle to knock the referee over.
With the referee down, Eric Young brought a chair onto the apron and hit Roode with it in the face. Angle never saw the chair shot and proceeded to knock Young to the floor and hit Roode with an Angle Slam to get the pin. This match was a microcosm for TNA- it was full of talented workers, but they tried so hard to create a cute or unpredictable finish that they got in the way of an otherwise good match.
Drew Galloway def. Kenny King
Galloway spoke for the first time since his debut in Impact. With the Beat Down Clan in the ring, he walked through the crowd and said that he wanted to give them a voice in wrestling. He said that the BDC undermines fans by cheating and creating unclean finishes to matches.
Galloway went on to face Kenny King in a competitive match, albeit one in which they both wrestled in street clothes. King disrupted Galloway’s momentum and hit a springboard neckbreaker for a near fall. He tried a backslide with his feet on the ropes, but Galloway escaped. Galloway answered with a double-underhook Future Shock DDT to pin King. He ran for the hills as the BDC tried to come after him.
While I remain very high on Galloway, I need to see more before I can buy into the character he portrayed on Friday. To me, he came off as sanctimonious and self-righteous, not to mention the fact that his criticisms seemed aimed at TNA as a company rather than a group of wrestlers within the company (see the #1 Contenders Match and the Tag Title Match on this episode). Nonetheless, he has great talent, and I will not rush to judgment before I see what he does with it.
The Wolves def. The Revolution to Become Tag Team Champions
The Tag Team Title match was full of all of the outside interference and non-wrestling that Drew Galloway blamed on the BDC. While Sanada and Manik interfered on behalf of the Revolution, Matt Hardy evened the odds as he backed up the Wolves. Hardy hit Abyss when he tried to use James Storm’s bullrope and Eddie Edwards followed that with a double foot stomp to Abyss. Davey Richards went to the top rope and hit another stomp on Abyss to get the win and take the Tag Team Titles. Given the great work that Storm has done with his character, I was surprised to see his team lose their titles so quickly.
Bram def. Matt Hardy
It was a breath of fresh air to see Bram wrestle a match that was not a bloody, weaponized spot fest. Hardy came close to a win with a Side Effect and a moonsault, but only got a two count each time. Bram slid behind the referee’s back to hit Hardy with a low blow and followed it with a leaping DDT called The Brighter Side of Suffering (which does not roll off the tongue). In this case, a simpler match was better for two wrestlers who have tried to do too much at times.
After the loss, Magnus came back to confront Bram for the latter’s attack a few weeks ago. He repeatedly said that the rivalry between them is personal, and used every trick in the book to get the UK crowd to cheer for him (invoking his family, putting over the fans, vowing revenge). The promo came off as insincere. If Magnus cared so much about revenge, he would not have stood 20 feet from Bram to tell him he wants to beat him up- he would have fought him.
-EC3 accepted Rockstar Spud’s challenge for a Hair vs. Hair match. As usual, EC3 was extremely entertaining on the mic. Spud joined him with some serious fire in response. Even with a week of good promos, these two are so mismatched that it is going to be an uphill battle to create a meaningful payoff.
-Awesome Kong had no trouble with Taryn Terrell in their singles match, but got herself disqualified when Taryn started to mount some offense. She shoved the referee to the ground and continued with an assault on Taryn that took her outside of the ring. After she threw Taryn into the steps, she set up for an Implant Buster on the floor, but Gail Kim stopped her and challenged her to a match. Kong’s dominance remains very impressive. As much as her history with Gail means in TNA, it would mean a lot of Taryn to look good against her as the current champion.