Kurt Angle def. Eric Young in an I Quit Match to Remain World Champion
The final episode of Impact before the show moves to Wednesday nights was billed as a special event called May Mayhem. How did TNA make the event stand out and feel special? It put Angle and Young across the ring from one another for the eighth straight week (including six matches and four singles matches). I’m all for long-term rivalries, but not if it means simply wrestling the same matches week after week. That sentiment is especially true if the rivalry is one-sided from the beginning, and ESPECIALLY true when the wrestler on the bottom came into the feud on a losing streak.
As he has done before, Angle dominated Young early with a series of German Suplexes. Each wrestler tried to force the other to quit using a figure four leglock to no avail. Angle forced Young to tap out to an Ankle Lock, but Young never said “I Quit” and hit Angle with a low blow when he mistakenly broke the hold. When he hit a piledriver on Angle and urged him to give up, Angle shouted “kiss my ass.”
As Young went for a second piledriver, Angle rolled through and locked in another Ankle Lock. Young finally declared that he quit. The decisive conclusion will hopefully close the book on this rivalry and allow Angle to move on to a challenger with whom he can develop some real heat.
Taryn Terrell def. Gail Kim in a Six Sides of Steel Match to Remain Knockouts Champion
The storyline between Taryn and Gail has been simple, effective, and creative. For several weeks, Taryn has jealously expressed her desire to show that she is better than the mainstay Gail in every way. She has included Gail’s celebrity husband, Robert Irvine, in the attack and promised Gail that she would take him away from her.
This cage match was sensible booking because it kept The Dollhouse away from Taryn and forced her to wrestle Gail. She struggled to do so early, but when Gail climbed the cage for an aerial move, Jade and Marti Bell climbed the other side and threw her to the mat. Taryn recovered and hit a cutter to pick up an undeserved, heelish win.
The post-match was full of additional story development. The Dollhouse entered the cage and ganged up on Gail. Awesome Kong tried to rescue her, but they locked her out of the cage and continued to beat her. Taryn stomped on her ring finger and symbolically stole her wedding ring. It’s a deed I don’t recall seeing in wrestling and one that clearly makes the issue more personal. Kudos to TNA and these women for developing such an engaging women’s angle at a time when women’s wrestling has received a great deal of negative attention.
The Wolves def. The Dirty Heels to go up 2-0 in the Tag Title Best of Five Series
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode flipped the script on their more experienced opponents and used teamwork to control he offense early in the match. Davey Richards repeatedly had to rescue Eddie Edwards from potential pins until they turned the momentum with double-teams of their own. They nearly won with an inverted figure four followed by a roll-through German Suplex by Edwards.
Al Snow spent a second consecutive week on commentary with Josh Matthews and said more stupid than insightful things, which was particularly distracting in this match. When Roode finally reached his partner, Aries cleaned house and put Richards in the Last Chancery. Richards blocked a brainbuster and hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Roode came to his partner’s aid and hit a spinebuster to set up for a 450 splash, only for Richards to save Edwards again.
Aries put the Last Chancery on Edwards for a second time and Richards broke it with a stomp from the top rope. They hit a powerbomb-backcracker combination and got the pin. It was a very good athletic display, but the frenetic pace and lack of emotional build made it fall short of the all-time great status that Matthews gave it.
-Tyrus refused to enter the ringside cage that Mr. Anderson built for him for his match with EC3 until Anderson forced him into it with a chair. Anderson and EC3 traded big moves and near falls until EC3 countered the Mic Check with the One Percenter. The clean win makes EC3’s claim to a title shot even stronger.
-James Storm continued to drive a wedge between Mickie James and Magnus as he flattered Mickie with meetings with some of his country music friends. Storm is so good on the mic that it almost made me forget that this story happened between Miz and the Usos a few months ago and that there is still no explanation for why he has a problem with Magnus.
-The Royal Rumble-style X Division Title match would have been more interesting with better wrestlers. Instead, it was a who’s-who of a panoply of the worst TNA has to offer. Kenny King entered last and systematically eliminated every wrestler until Rockstar Spud. The last fall had to come by pinfall or submission, and Spud beat King with a small package. Spud’s character does not connect with fans and this uninspired match devalues the title.
-After Angelina Love provoked Velvet Sky, Velvet fought through Angelina’s personal security force to beat her up until the security team had Velvet removed. This program feels contrived and redundant, which is why it has not resonated yet.