MVP, Eric Young, and Bobby Roode Explained Themselves
The second episode of Impact on Destination America opened with some background to explain the surprise ending from week one. MVP said that he enlisted Samoa Joe and Low Ki to join him in the Beat Down Clan because they had a preexisting relationship from their time in independent wrestling and because they have a similar competitive spirit to dominate the sport. It was a good promo that almost made me forgive the pointlessness of the three-man turn the week before.
Unfortunately, MVP handed the mic to Young, who quickly reminded me how forced his storyline was. He said that he turned on Roode because Roode’s first title defense was against Lashley, in his required rematch, rather than him. It was a very stupid explanation that made me less interested in Young’s storyline.
Later in the show, Roode took his turn to respond to Young. He showed good passion and intensity in the feelings of betrayal. Even if Young’s narrative does not make sense, Roode is good enough to keep the program afloat, especially since they can always wrestle good matches.
Through all of these promos ran the undercurrent that Lashley was nowhere to be found. He did not enter when MVP tried to introduce him and he was not in his locker room when the cameras looked for him. Of all of the confusion on the main event level, the subtle tension between MVP and Lashley was the most compelling.
That tension came to the forefront at the end of the show with more over-anxious storytelling. Lashley chafed at MVP’s suggestion that everyone in the BDC shares in his title win. MVP briefly made it sound like he could accept Lashley’s logic, then left him with a kiss of death before the rest of the BDC annihilated Lashley.
In one sense, it figures that Lashley would turn face after most of the other faces in TNA turned heel last week. On the other hand, the wholesale reversals are precisely the kind of inconsistency that make TNA so hard to invest in emotionally. On top of that, Lashley is now without the mouthpiece that covered his greatest weakness.
Samoa Joe def. Kurt Angle
Joe took exception when Angle said that his new role as an active wrestler would not allow him to book matches, but it would allow him to make every member of the BDC tap out. They rekindled their old magic very quickly for an entertaining match to open the show. Joe worked Angle’s bad knee with a version of a figure four early in the match. Angle recovered with a series of German Suplexes, but even that offense was hard on his bad knee. Joe went for a Muscle Buster and Angle slid down to counter into an ankle lock. Joe was able to escape and bump the referee to stun him momentarily. He used the opportunity to kick Angle in the groin and put him in a rear naked choke. It was enough to win the match and the rest of the BDC came to the ring to beat on him until Roode made the save.
The Hardys def. The Wolves to Become #1 Contenders to the Tag Team Titles
Reminiscent of their series of matches with Team 3D late last year, the Hardys and the Wolves wrestled easily the best match on the show. It was a high-octane tag match with lots of double-team moves and swings in momentum. The Wolves looked good early on with a series of dropkicks in alternating corners and a high-low move to take out Matt. The Hardys rallied with a Side Effect, a Whisper in the Wind, and a springboard DDT on the floor by Matt. Jeff followed up with an innovative spot where he ran along the top rope and splashed the Wolves on the floor. He tried a Swanton, but Eddie Edwards got his knees up and then blocked Matt’s attempt at a Twist of Fate. Davey Richards nailed a double foot stop and Jeff broke up the pin with a successful Swanton. Matt and Jeff managed a double team version of a Twist of Fate and the Hardys got the pin to earn a shot at the Revolution’s Tag Team Titles.
Low Ki def. Austin Aries to Win the X-Division Title
Aries came out on fire in the rematch for the X-Division Title. A running clothesline allowed him to briefly lock in the Last Chancery. Twice, he threw Low Ki to the floor, but he could not follow up because the BDC guarded Low Ki outside the ring. After a rally by Low Ki, the referee missed Low Ki tapping out to the Lance Chancery because he was distracted by the BDC on the apron. Aries went after the rest of the BDC and Kenny King shoved him off of the top rope. Low Ki hit the Key Crusher to get the cheap win and earn the belt back. I thought the match was decent, but there was no reason for Low Ki to drop the title last week if he was going to cheaply win it back this week.
Eric Young def. Bobby Roode in a No DQ Match
Young showed some instability in his personality through this match to reinforce the anger he explained as a reason for turning his back on Roode. They went back and forth around the outside of the ring. Roode lifted Young for the Roode Bomb, but Young gouged his eyes to force himself free. He threw Roode into a chair perched in the corner and followed it with a piledriver on a steel chair to get the pin. Given the profile for of Young’s turn on Roode, it was a surprisingly short match and fairly disappointing. Roode-Young should have built to a main event after Young cost Roode the title.
The Beautiful People def. Taryn Terrell and Brooke Tessmacher
This was a short, simple match designed to advance the tension between Brooke and her ex-boyfriend, Robbie E. Brooke was in control until Robbie got on the apron and she slapped him. Velvet Skye rolled her up from behind and got the pin. After the bell, the lights went out and Awesome Kong appeared with the Beautiful People. She gave Angelina Love an Implant Buster and Havok came to the ring for another staredown with Kong.