Maybe it’s the built-in team dynamics, maybe it’s the talent in the division, or maybe it’s the lack of dedication in other promotions, but TNA tends to stand out when it focuses on its tag team division. Friday’s episode of Impact was a good example of that dynamic. A series of four matches gave teams a chance to qualify for an Ultimate X match with the Tag Team Titles on the line. The five matches tied the show together and turned out to be much more good than bad.
Ultimate X Tournament
Hardys def. The Revolution
Due to his win last week, Khoya got a chance to team with his stable leader. Storm ordered him around during the match, but when Jeff ducked a Last Call Superkick, storm inadvertently hit his partner. Matt followed it with a Twist of Fate on Storm, Jeff hit a Swanton and the Hardys advanced. After the match, Storm shouted abuse at Khoya and blamed him for the loss that was ultimately Storm’s fault. It was an appropriately cult-like behavior by Storm, although it once again makes me wonder what he was doing saving Mickie James from Bram a few weeks ago.
Kenny King and Low Ki def. Mr. Anderson and Rockstar Spud
The heel team had no trouble dominating Spud for most of the match. At last, Anderson tagged in and threw his own partner across the ring to get him in range of a tag. Anderson hit a rolling senton to Low Ki on top of King. Low Ki placed a chair at Anderson’s feet to distract the referee while Spud hit the Underdog. With the referee still looking away, Low Ki hit the Warrior’s Way and King got the pin.
The Dirty Heels def. BroMans
The winking inside joke of a name that Austin Aries and Bobby Roode selected for their team made me roll my eyes and think that TNA is more interested in Vince Russo shenanigans than in-ring action. Aries easily won the match with a 450 Splash on Jessie Godderz. After the pin, the BroMans clashed until Godderz and Robbie E came to blows. Call me crazy, but I think Godderz could work as a babyface with a personality makeover.
EC3 and Bram def. Jay Rios and Tigre Uno
The eight-team format stretched the tag division thin, which was obvious in these pairings. Bram and EC3 made for a strange team, and Jay Rios is a complete non-entity in the promotion. The heels got the win after EC3 used his arm brace as a weapon and Bram hit the Brighter Side of Suffering DDT. EC3 blindly tagged himself in to get the pin and celebrated wildly. His character does not match with Bram, but EC3 once again showed how much depth he has as a heel.
Hardys def. EC3 and Bram, The Dirty Heels, and Kenny King and Low Ki to Become TNA Tag Team Champions in an Ultimate X Match
All four teams took big bumps throughout the match, both in the ring and out. Eventually, the match came down to the BDC team and the Hardys in the ring, vying for the belts. Matt hit a Twist of Fate off of the ladder on King, but Low Ki springboarded across the ring onto the ladder to block Jeff. Instead, Jeff climbed along the scaffolding to get to the belts and scuffled with Low Ki. He eventually fought Low Ki off of the scaffolding and retrieved the belts for his team. It is the first TNA Tag Team Title for the Hardys. They make a great face of the division and elevate the belts due to their history and continued excellence in the ring.
-Despite a litany of recent losses, Eric Young asserted that he deserves a shot at Kurt Angle’s TNA Title. Angle accepted the challenge and said that he wants the old version of EY. Young had a chance to hit Angle from behind and another chance to hit him with a chair after MVP attacked. He turned down both opportunities.
Young’s challenge is a lazy, short-sighted storyline. First, he lost every match to Bobby Roode in their program until the submission match at the end, then lost in an undeserved triple threat title match last week. More importantly, Young made an unnecessary heel turn only three months ago. If Young is going to turn face after three months and one disappointing rivalry, then it was a poor reason to devalue his credibility.
-Next week’s Impact will focus on the Knockouts division. Taryn Terrell welcomed Awesome Kong’s Title challenge and said it will be a good opportunity to prove herself. Additionally, another Dollhouse vignette promised the debut of Jade and Marti Bell, which could help add some depth to the division.