1/30/15 Impact Review – Lashley Defends Title Against the World

Bobby Lashley def. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and MVP to Retain the TNA World Title

Bobby Roode opened Impact with a normally straightforward and effective promo about how he deserves the TNA World Title, but that he wants to earn it in a rematch with Lashley. Lashley accepted the challenge and offered to wrestle Roode for the title later in the show. Austin Aries and MVP joined them in the ring and issued their own challenges. The defiant Lashley told all three to bring it on and a World Title fourway was set for the main event.

The four wrestlers took turns in control of the match. Lashley hit an impressive slam on Aries when he threw him in the air off of his shoulder. Roode put a Crossface on MVP and Lashley broke it up to keep the match going. Roode stayed in a strong position when he executed a tower of doom on Lashley and Aries. He count not capitalize because Eric Young ran to the ring and ambushed him with a chair.


Down to three wrestlers, Aries countered a spear into the Last Chancery. MVP broke up the hold and Aries turned his attention to him. When Aries tried to do a suicide dive, Lashley cut him off with a spear to get the pin and retain his title.


The bell did not end the mayhem because the Beat Down Clan came to the ring to help MVP and annihilate Lashley once again. Kurt Angle and Gunner evened the odds. Roode challenged Young to a match at Lethal Lockdown. Likewise, Angle vowed to assemble a four-man team to take on the BDC at the show. Gunner and Aries offered to join, but Lashley turned Angle down to leave one slot open on the team.


Lashley will almost certainly end up on Angle’s team. With or without him, the eight-man tag does not feel like a major event because the BDC storyline is still so new. That angle still has some potential, unlike some of the mid-card mess that happened through the rest of the show. In fact, other than the Knockouts Title match, there was not much to like on this episode.


Taryn Terrell def. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne to Retain the Knockouts Title

TNA embraced Taryn’s outside work before the match when they highlighted her participation in a Will Ferrell gag that had her get hit in the face with a basketball while posing as a cheerleader at an NBA game. She pulled Gail over with a pair of snap mares using her hair for leverage. Madison took control with a back elbow and a throw overhead. Gail fought back into the ring and Madison hit both opponents with a DDT/neckbreaker combo. Taryn broke up Gail’s leg submission on Madison with a dragon sleeper. Madison dumped both adversaries to the floor and slammed them both onto the steps.


Back in the ring, Madison hit Taryn with a lifting DDT. Gail broke up the pin, and Taryn hit Madison with a cutter to get the pin and retain her title. It was an excellent women’s match and deserved the extended TV time it got. It was a shame that many of the idiot fans spent much of it chanting “we want puppies.”


Jeff Hardy def. Abyss in a Monster’s Ball Match

It is notable that Hardy and Abyss engaged in such a big ticket stipulation match purely in anticipation of their upcoming tag team title match. I was not crazy about the non-start to the match as they brawled from a hallway into the arena. The match certainly built some momentum when Hardy jumped from a chair in the ring to the floor, missed Abyss, and crashed through a table. Hardy recovered to use a cheese grater on Abyss’s groin- a move that tests the limits of suspending disbelief. Abyss went from one absurd weapon to another as he retrieved Janice from under the ring. Hardy dodged a swing of the spiked bat and hit a Twist of Fate.


Before he could go for the Swanton, all of James Storm’s Revolution came to the aide of Abyss. Matt Hardy tried to help his brother, but the numbers overwhelmed him. The Wolves joined as the brawl continued. The ring cleared out and Abyss covered the mat with tacks. The move predictably backfired when Hardy nailed Abyss with a sunset flip powrbomb and a Swanton onto the tacks. As weapons matches go, it was decent. Nonetheless, this degree of gore in a mid-feud match and not even the show’s main event devalues the spectacle. The gratuitous violence means more when used sparingly.


Rockstar Spud and Mark Andrews def. The Bromans

Spud and Andrews fought from underneath for most of a bland match until Spud turned the tide with the second crotch grab of the night. Spud hit a version of Sliced Bread and Andrews hit a shooting star press to get the upset win. Tyrus annihilated the small wrestlers after the match and EC3 challenged them to a handicap match with Tyrus in a cage at Lethal Lockdown. I find the Bromans, Spud, and Andrews hard to watch, so this was not an enjoyable segment for me.


Tommy Dreamer Lectures Eric Young

As a respected veteran, Dreamer took it upon himself to chastise Young for turning on his friend, Bobby Roode. Young responded that being a good guy and doing the right thing are counterproductive in wrestling. Young lashed out at Dreamer and hit him with a piledriver. He threatened Dreamer with a chair and Roode made the save. If the best thing TNA has to do for Young after his turn is to squander whatever heat he got out of it on Dreamer, then it reinforces the short-sightedness of that move.


Bram Turns on Magnus

After a painfully long heart-to-heart in a makeshift bar, Bram jumped Magnus in a hallway and beat him to the ground. It was yet another pointless, scattershot swerve by TNA. There was so little to the relationship between Magnus and Bram that their separation does not resonate. Magnus has also waffled between face and heel status enough in the last year that it is hard to care much one way or the other.