MVP and Samoa Joe def. Lashley and Kurt Angle
At the start of the show, MVP led the Beat Down Clan to the ramp to say that his group will continue to go after Lashley whenever they want in spite of the results at Lethal Lockdown. Lashley responded with an offer of a tag match between himself and Angle and any two members of the BDC.
The match took place in the main event slot and was pretty entertaining. MVP and Joe each had long stretches in which they dominated the action and looked very good doing so. As the match built toward a finish, the action started to get more hectic. Angle and Joe got involved even though MVP and Lashley were the legal men. Angle had Joe in an Ankle Lock. Joe tried to kick Angle away and Lashley had to jump to avoid getting hit by Angle. The distraction allowed MVP to roll him up and pin him with a handful of tights. Lashley was angry at Angle for his involvement and the show ended with tension between the two.
In isolation, the show made sense to advance the feud between Lashley and the BDC with Angle on the periphery. Unfortunately, TNA already rushed to the finish of the feud last week on Lockdown. This show could have worked because the tension between Lashley and Angle would make fans wonder whether they would get along well enough to give the BDC their comeuppance. Since TNA already gave away that endgame prematurely to get a cheap pop in the cage match, that concern has no teeth.
Bobby Roode def. Austin Aries
No matter how frustrating TNA can be to watch at time, there is always the redeeming value of elite wrestlers like Aries and Roode going one-on-one in matches like this one. This was a strong back-and-forth match that made both wrestlers look good. Roode dominated the early part of the match and Aries put together a strong rally. Roode lifted Aries on his shoulder to set up for the Roode bomb and Aries countered into a sunset flip pin. Roode fought his way out and turned the pin into a crossface. Aries tried to roll through the crossface, but Roode kept it locked in and forced a submission by Aries. With the Feast or Fired briefcase in hand, Aries remains dangerous and relevant, but the win by Roode properly returns him to the main event picture for ROH.
The only drawback in the match was that it had a nonsensical stipulation that I’m not sure I fully understand. The result had something to do with a gauntlet battle royal next week and the order the wrestlers will enter. The final five entrants will be the top five in Mike Tenay’s rankings, which were related to this match in an unclear way. I appreciate the desire to create higher stakes, but this attempt was too convoluted.
-After a simple and straightforward win over the team of Rockstar Spud, Mandrews, and Jeremy Borash, EC3 learned his lesson about corded razors and tried to shave Rockstar Spud’s head with a cordless one. Before he could finish his attack, the lights went out and Ken Anderson appeared in defense of Spud. He fought off EC3 and downed Tyrus with a low blow. I don’t remember the last time a feud centered on hair lasted this long. Why couldn’t this be the program that TNA would hot shot to a premature finish?
-James Storm continued his outstanding work as a cult leader in a promo with Matt Hardy. He gave Hardy the option to join his Revolution stable or to suffer a beating similar to the one his brother Jeff got the week before. Hardy tried to fight back, but Manik helped Storm and put Hardy in an armbreaker. The Wolves came to Hardy’s aid and chased the Revolution to the back. Once again, Storm was a bright spot on a show that had some serious flaws.
-Bram got an easy win over Crazzy Steve with an impaler DDT. I don’t mind the largely inconsequential match because sometimes mid-card wrestlers need wins over lower-card wrestlers to remind fans that they are still dangerous.
-Awesome Kong beat Madison Rayne with the Implant Buster in about a minute. While I understand the rationale for making Kong look like an unstoppable monster, I think it would have made more sense to do it to a lesser opponent who was not in an intense match for the Knockouts Title in the last couple of weeks.
-A wrestler named Grado from British Boot Camp 2 appeared in front of the Glasgow crowd and took some verbal abuse from Al Snow. He insulted Grado’s mother in the crowd and Grado jumped him to lead to the Snow-Grado match that the world has been waiting for.