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Impact Wrestling - January 23, 2015
by Samoa Rowe
-From New York, NY. Our hosts are Josh Mathews and Taz. Tonight will feature the return of the Feast or Fired match, which Mathews hilariously puts over as TNA’s version of The Hunger Games.
Feast or Fired:
Gunner vs. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Bram vs. Magnus vs. Austin Aries vs. Crazy Steve vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Robbie E vs. Jesse Godderz vs. DJ Z vs. Samuel Shaw
If you don’t know, there are four briefcases hanging on poles above the turnbuckles. Three cases have contracts for title shots, and one has a pink slip. What sort of credible wrestling company fires someone for winning a match? And are title shots in TNA so hard to come by that it’s worth risking your job? Anyways, the majority of the TNA roster is involved in a brawl. Velvet Sky helps Robbie E get a briefcase and they hightail it. Spud almost gets a case, but he’s too short (lawlz) and he gets knocked down by Jesse G. A series of fortunate events leaves Spud alone in the ring, but Samuel Shaw cuts him off with a hip toss. Gunner crotches Shaw on the turnbuckles, but Aries ambushes with a drop-kick. Aries gets tossed, and Spud climbs over Shaw to gain a briefcase! Angelina Love gives Jesse a kiss for luck, and he walks into super kicks from the Wolves. Love shields Jesse from the Wolves’ dive, but they hip toss DJ Z onto the field. Aries teases a follow up dive, but opts for a briefcase again, and THEN hits the dive! Gunner and Bram duke it out (as I marvel over how horrible the camera work is) and Magnus power bombs them both off a turnbuckle. Magnus gets the final case at 7:40. Anticlimatic ending and ridiculous stipulation aside, this was a boat load of fun, **½.
Winners: Robbie E, Rockstar Spud, Austin Aries, and Magnus
-TNA Champion Bobby Lashley arrives at the building (dressed far more casually than last week, perhaps signaling that he is indeed a baby face now). He blows off a reporter, saying he’s heading to the ring to get his title back.
-Magnus is asked for his thoughts about winning Feast or Fired. Magnus feels good, but good buddy, Bram, confronts him about screwing him out of the match. Magnus tells Bram it was every man for himself so grow up. I like this trend in TNA of the baby faces saying exactly what they should when confronted by the heels.
-Bobby Lashley makes his way to the ring. He’s sporting a bandage on his forehead from the beating he took from the BDC last week. He calls out the BDC, but only Kenny King answers. King maintains the company line that Lashley only became champion because of the BDC’s help. King will face Lashley, but he’s joined by his BDC stablemates, including MVP wielding the TNA title.
Bobby Lashley vs. Kenny King (with the BDC)
King uses his speed advantage to gain the upper hand early on (doesn’t help that the BDC are lurking at ringside). Again, I have to complain about the camera, it feels like I’m watching fan-cam footage of ECW or something. Lashley tosses King to the floor drags him back in for a delayed vertical suplex. King counters with a spin kick to the head and snaps Lashley’s neck on the ropes. Lashley sidesteps a springboard attempt and nails the spear. The BDC rush the ring for the save to end the match via DQ at 2:37. Lashley was more or less squashing King up until the sudden end.
Winner via DQ: Bobby Lashley
-The BDC holds Lashley in place for MVP to issue a unique challenge: MVP will be waiting in the streets of NYC for Lashley to come and try to take the title away from him. After a commercial, we see footage of Lashley limping through the backstage area.
Havok vs. Gail Kim
They meet in the aisle for a fight and Gail kicks Havok down. Gail scores a cross body off the apron. Bell rings as they enter the ring and Gail nails another cross body off the top rope. Gail goes for a splash in the corner, but Havok catches her for some sort of gut buster. Havok is firmly in the driver’s seat and slows the pace down. Havok ruthlessly chokes Gail with her cape and nails a bear hug slam. Gail shows signs of life, but Havok knees her right in the eye. The referee warns Havok to ease up and she shoves him down for the DQ at 4:08. This wasn’t pretty, but it successfully put Havok over.
Winner via DQ: Gail Kim
-Havok continues her assault on Gail Kim, but once again the lights flicker for the arrival of Awesome Kong. This time they size each other out and Kong clotheslines Havok over the ropes. I’m loving the build for the inevitable Kong/Havok match.
Tigre Uno vs. Khoya (with the Revolution)
Khoya misses a clothesline and Tigre Uno manages some token kicks. James Storm hops on the apron to slap some sense into Khoya, who turns around to catch Uno with a fall away slam. Khoya misses a head of steam and Uno hits a springboard drop-kick. Khoya bounces back with a Sky High Powerbomb for the win at 1:03. Total squash.
-The Revolution stick around for James Storm to talk some smack about the Hardy Boyz. Storm says he’s deadlier than any of the other demons that Jeff Hardy had to overcome. Storm adds that there’s always room for one more in the Revolution. Side note, was “Revolution” the best name that they could come up with for this group? I’m almost surprised they just didn’t call them “Stable” or “Heel Faction.”
-Bobby Roode visits Kurt Angle backstage. They have a tag match against Young and Low Ki later on. Roode wants a singles match to properly get revenge on Young and asks Kurt to step aside. Kurt refuses and warns Roode not to go it alone.
-Rockstar Spud reacts to his Feast or Fired victory. This could be the biggest moment of his life, but if it isn’t, he’ll have all the freedom to go right up to ECIII and punch him in the face.
Eric Young and X Division Champion Low Ki vs. Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode
Angle starts against Low Ki in a spirited exchange. Angle plays nice with Roode, setting Ki up for a vertical suplex. Roode gets an opportunity to knock Young around, dishing out a back body drop. Low Ki saves Young from more punishment, allowing Young to plant Roode with a DDT. Roode becomes the Face in Peril as the commentators speculate whether or not Young is on his way to becoming a full fledged BDC member. Roode saves himself with a superplex on Young. Angle gets the hot tag and cleans house, throwing German suplexes left and right. Angle Slam on Low Ki, but Young prevents an Ankle Lock. Roode dispatches Young and applies a crossface on Low Ki. Angle takes a chair away from Young, and MVP and Samoa Joe show up in the aisle. Young cracks the chair over Roode, allowing Low Ki to gain the pinfall at 5:11. They’re still putting the heat on the heels, but I’m getting worried that Roode is losing too much. **
Winners: Low Ki and Eric Young
-MVP is hanging out on 34th St. with the TNA title belt. He cuts a promo, promising that if Lashley shows up, there won’t be any shenanigans from the BDC.
Ethan Carter III (with Tyrus) vs. Jeremy Borash (with Rockstar Spud)
ECIII does the ring introductions since Borash is his opponent. Borash amusingly comes to the ring in a hoodie, walking like an MMA fighter. The bell rings, but ECIII stalls, as he wants to do color commentary as well. Carter does a lame announcer impression until Borash takes the mic away. Borash says that not only can Carter not wrestle, but he can’t announce either, and clocks him with the mic. Borash actually scores a flurry of punches before ECIII turns it around. Carter takes a break to spit on Rockstar Spud, prompting him to rush the ring and attack. Tyrus makes the save, and the British Bootcamp winner, Mark Andrews, has their back. Andrews and Spud dump Tyrus to the floor, where Spud hits a dive and Andrews finishes with a Shooting Star Press! This was more of an angle than a match, especially considering there was no decision or closing bell, but it’s turning into a fun underdog story.
-Taz and Josh Mathews react to the ongoings of tonight’s show. They look like they’re producing Glenn Beck’s radio show or something from the studio. It’s a little painful how bush league the production values of this show have become.
James Storm vs. Matt Hardy
Hardy punches his way to an early advantage. Storm blocks the Twist of Fate and retreats to ringside, but Hardy pursues him. Storm eats a hip toss on the floor and Hardy bats him into the ring steps. Back to the ring, Storm counters a headlock and nails a lung blower. Matt bounces back with the Side Effect for a 2 count. They trade punches but Storm counters into a Code Breaker. Storm misses the Last Call but Hardy counters back with an inside cradle for the win at 5:07. This was fine, **.
Winner: Matt Hardy
-James Storm keeps Matt Hardy distracted long enough for Abyss to ambush from behind. Abyss props Hardy up for the Last Call. Abyss fetches Janice from under the ring and prepares to kill Matt. Jeff Hardy runs in with a chair for the save. Abyss blocks the chair, but Jeff hits the Twist of Fate to send him fleeing. Jeff challenges Abyss to a Monster’s Ball match.
-Samoa Joe visits MVP outside the Manhattan Center. Joe wants to know what the real plan is, but apparently MVP is serious about wanting to face Lashley by himself.
-Christy Hemme hosts the Feast or Fired reveal ceremony in an office setting. Robbie E interrupts to brag that he has “lady luck” on his side, courtesy of Velvet Sky. Rockstar Spud is shy to open his case first but ends up finding the X Division title shot contract. They cut to Spud reacting, and he’s overcome with emotion, because the X title built this company. Magnus opens his case and discovers the Tag Team title shot, which he’s content with. Robbie E and Velvet Sky start to panic as the odds are closing in on them and are forced to wait until after a commercial to find out what’s inside. Back from the break, Robbie E is having a nervous breakdown while Austin Aries is completely cool and collected. Robbie realizes that since Velvet grabbed the case for him, she should have to open it and face the consequences. As awesome as it would be to see Velvet Sky challenge for the World title, she gets the pink slip instead. Robbie E makes an awesome ass of himself jumping up and down because Velvet is fired in his place. Velvet breaks down into tears as Aries opens his case to find the World title contract. This segment made the best out of a ridiculous situation.
-Bobby Lashley and MVP finally meet outside the Manhattan Center. They exchange punches and brawl their way into the building. Lashley throws a piece of guard rail at him but Low Ki, Eric Young, and Samoa Joe rush in for the attack. They drag Lashley back to the street and put the boots to him. Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode chase off the BDC. Roode finds the TNA title in trash can and gazes at it, very reluctant to hand it over to Lashley. The look between Roode and Lashley as the show ends is quite the dramatic moment.
Final Thoughts: I want to give TNA all the credit in the world for thinking outside the box and building this show around a climatic fight in the streets of NYC. The closing moment with Roode and Lashley will stick out in my mind for a good long while. This episode was bogged down a bit by a slew of disqualifications and was a bit on the overbooked side. Still, thumbs up for taking some chance.
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