Kurt Angle def. Lashley and Eric Young to Remain the TNA World Champion
The inclusion of the non-wrestler Young changed the feel between Angle and Lashley from the last couple of weeks. It also felt like overkill to have the same two wrestlers in the main event for three straight weeks, even though those two work extremely well together.
Even so, Angle looked years younger once again. He and Young both worked on Lashley’s leg throughout the match. He finally took out Young with an Angle Slam to isolate himself against Lashley, who he hit with another Angle Slam. From there, he climbed to the top rope and delivered a picture-perfect moonsault to Lashley to get the pin. It was his third straight decisive victory over Lashley, all with different moves to finish the job. It makes me wonder what TNA has planned for Lashley, if anything.
Drew Galloway and Beat Down Clan Gear Up for a Fight
Drew Galloway introduced a couple of new teammates to help him in his fight with the Beat Down Clan, and both men share a history with him. Micah (formerly Camacho, son of Haku) and Eli Drake (formerly Shaun Ricker) echoed Galloway’s stated goal to return the focus to professional wrestling. Collectively, they named themselves The Rising, but didn’t pay for the Bruce Springsteen entrance song to match.
Later in the show, the new stable took on the BDC in a six-man tag. Micah hit a plancha to the whole BDC on the floor, but as his teammates looked on, a masked Homicide jumped The Rising from behind. The BDC proceeded to beat down the three-man team with their numbers advantage.
Homicide makes plenty of sense as a Samoa Joe replacement in the BDC due to his historical ties to Low Ki and his attitude. I also maintain that Micah has a chance to get to another level in the right circumstances. On the other hand, the BDC-Rising rivalry feels uninspired. I’m not sure why they’re fighting- The Rising seems more concerned with vague allusions to the WWE, but they have more ties to the company than their adversaries. The timing has also been sloppy, with Galloway rushed onto TV ahead of schedule to appear on the UK tapings. They don’t have a clear purpose or a clear motivation, which makes me doubt that the story will be especially compelling.
Awesome Kong def. Gail Kim in a Knockouts #1 Contender Match
Gail Kim and Awesome Kong rekindled their classic rivalry and Gail struggled with Kong’s power. She nearly won with a schoolgirl and with Eat Defeat, but Kong kicked out both times. Finally, Kong turned the tide when she grabbed Gail by the throat for a chokeslam, lifted her to the top turnbuckle, and downed Gail with a powerbomb to win.
The Gail-Kong matchup is a good way for TNA to split the difference in the Knockouts Division. Taryn Terrell has done good work as champion and deserves to be the centerpiece of her own program, but was overshadowed by the history between Gail and Kong when the appeared together. This match allowed Gail and Kong to rekindle that chemistry and still make Taryn feel like a relevant champion. Now, Taryn gets a chance to sink or swim as champion against possibly the most accomplished women in company history.
-James Storm pitted Abyss, Khoya, and Manik against one another for the right to serve as his tag team partner. Khoya nailed both opponents with a wooden staff and pinned Manik after a sit-down powerbomb. This cult-leader version of Storm is much better than the good Samaritan who randomly saved Mickie James last week. After a fair amount of fanfare at his introduction, this will be Khoya’s first real chance to distinguish himself.
-Several tag teams asserted their claim to the vacated Tag Team Titles, including EC3 and Tyrus and Mr. Anderson and Rockstar Spud. The headlining team was Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. The inclusion of the two big starsmakes the Tag Titles look more prestigious. Also, Roode has been in a rut and Aries has hardly been on TV, so it’s not like they have sacrificed much to join the fray.
-With Eddie Edwards on the shelf, Davey Richards got a singles win against DJ Z. After he missed a double-foot stomp, he nailed DJ Z with a spinning kick to the head. Richards is as good in the ring as he is bad on the mic, but I never particularly want to see DJ Z do anything.
-A vignette introduced Jade (Mia Yim) and Marti Bell as a stable called the Doll House. Yim is highly regarded on the indy circuit, so I look forward to seeing what she can do on the larger stage.