Kurt Angle def. Eric Young to Remain TNA World Champion
As pointless as most of Young’s pursuit of the TNA World Title felt to me, he and Angle made the most out of the situation and had a fun main event match. The matchup also marked the return of Bully Ray to TNA, who served as the special referee. Angle dominated the early part of the match with traditional wrestling. Young turned the momentum as the action moved outside the ring. Meanwhile, the Beat Down Clan came to ringside to show their support for Young against their common enemy, Angle.
A series of German Suplexes allowed Angle to apply the Ankle Lock, but Young reached the ropes. The BDC finally got involved with an attack on Bully Ray that he did not see as grounds for a disqualification. Instead, Chris Melendez and The Rising came to the ring to neutralize the BDC and allow the match to get back on track. For some reason, Young tried to piledrive Bully Ray, but Angle intervened and hit an Angle Slam for a two count. Young recovered and hit a piledriver on Angle for his own near fall. He tried for a cross-body, but Angle rolled through it and applied the Ankle Lock to force Young to tap out.
For once, the long-term path in TNA actually seems reasonably clear. This match marks the end of Angle’s transitional rivalry with Young. Bully Ray now has a reason to fight with Bully Ray and Angle will likely move into an overdue program with EC3 to lead to Slammiversary.
EC3 def. Mr. Anderson in a No Holds Barred Match
EC3’s preferred stipulation of an arm wrestling match received only 15% of the votes on Twitter, so Anderson’s submission easily carried the day. EC3 hit a backdrop on Anderson on the entrance ramp and spit on him while he laid prone and injured. As the match moved into the ring, Tyrus got involved on EC3’s behalf. He squashed Anderson and delivered a t-bone suplex. EC3 slowly crawled to cover Anderson and get the pin.
The finish was sloppy and made Anderson look bad- both for the fact that he stupidly chose a stipulation that allowed his opponent to get a cheap win and because it took so long for EC3 to cover him. Nonetheless, the win helps EC3’s campaign to challenge for the title.
-MVP’s race-based promo was intense and heartfelt, but it was hard to tell what it had to do with The Rising. He and Drew Galloway had the start of a match that was quickly disrupted by Eric Young with a chair. Every part of this segment had me asking myself what was happening and why.
-James Storm continued to bait Magnus with overly kind behavior toward Mickie James. He gave her a personalized guitar and took a series of pictures with her to bait Magnus and eventually jumped him backstage. I love Storm, but three weeks into this story, I do not understand his motivation.
-As Storm has deemphasized the cult leader part of his character, Taryn Terrell has done a great job of adapting that to her heel persona to give herself some originality and depth. The Dollhouse teamed against Gail Kim and Awesome Kong, who had a hard time getting along. Gail finally tagged Kong to set up an Implant Buster, but the numbers of the Dollhouse broke it up. Gail tried Eat Defeat on Marti Belle and Taryn rolled her up with a school girl to steal the win. Kong and Gail beat up Marti after the finish to get some heat back. The finish was very good- it left fans with plenty of reasons to want to see another confrontation, including the question of whether Kong and Gail can get along enough to succeed.
-Jeff Hardy’s broken leg led to yet another vacated Tag Team Title. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode asserted their claim to the belts. Davey Richards said that the Wolves should get the first shot and introduced the now healthy Eddie Edwards. Although the Hardy injury is a big letdown for one of TNA’s biggest stars, the best-of-five series between these teams will keep tag team wrestling in a good position on the show.
-Velvet Sky returned with an icy glare for her former friend Angelina Love. She did not talk, but jumped Angelina and had to be separated from her. It is probably not a coincidence that the real life couple of Velvet and Bully Ray returned on the same night.