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Impact Wrestling -February 20, 2015

by Samoa Rowe

-From Glasgow, Scotland. Our hosts are Josh Mathews and Taz.

-Kurt Angle cuts a short promo for the live crowd, vowing to win tonight’s 20 man over-the-top-rope gauntlet match to earn a shot at Bobby Lashley next week.

-TNA Champion Bobby Lashley responds to Angle backstage, saying that Kurt talks a lot, so they’re going to have a chat.

Matt Hardy and the Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) vs. The Revolution (James Storm, Abyss, and Manik, with Khoya and The Great Sanada)

The match starts in the aisle with a brawl. The match settles into a normal wrestling contest, with Manik getting caught by the good guys. Manik breaks a cardinal rule of the heel wrestler playbook when he outsmarts Hardy by hanging in the ropes, luring him into a gang beating on the floor. The Revolution cut Hardy off for a short while. Matt counters Manik with a Side Effect and both Wolves seem to get the hot tag. I love blatant rule breaking by babyfaces. The Wolves plow through the completion while Mathews brings up their ROH history. The Wolves toss Storm into Abyss and land a super kick, forcing Abyss to DDT his partner. The Wolves take down the entire Revolution with suicide dives! Hardy and Edwards hit Manik with a DDT/Double stomp combo, and Davey finishes with his own flying stomp at 6:25. The Wolves looked unstoppable here, **½.
Winners: Matt Hardy and the Wolves

-TNA borrows a page from WWE’s 50/50 playbook by having The Revolution lay out Hardy and the Wolves. Abyss then turns his rage on Manik, putting him down with a Black Hole Slam. That’s what TJ Perkins gets for defending TNA on Twitter recently.

-Ethan Carter III and Tyrus come to the ring to complain about Mr. Anderson’s attack last week. EC3 issues a public warning, prompting Mr. Anderson to make interrupt on the stage. Anderson summons the microphone and even though it’s over, I can’t help but find his mic routine to be tired. This guy has made a career out of using his hometown and name as a catchphrase, so maybe he’s smarter than I think. Anderson sticks up for Rockstar Spud and threatens to take away EC3’s dignity by shaving off Carter’s stupid haircut. Tyrus cuts Anderson off, but doesn’t see Rockstar Spud and Mandrews sneak in to attack EC3. A brawl breaks out, and Tyrus manages to save Carter from an unwanted haircut. Tyrus eats a Mic Check from Anderson and gets taped to the ropes so they can shave off his Mohawk. Spud informs EC3 that he’s next and tries to get a “Scalp” chant going to little avail.

-The BDC have a club meeting in the stairway. They agree that one of them will win the Gauntlet match.

-Mickie James is spotted outside the arena. She tells the camera that she’s here to talk about her husband, Magnus.

Al Snow vs. Grado

Grado dancing to the ring to his pop music entrance theme is actually pretty amusing. Snow cuts the party short with an ambush attack. Snow unwraps his wrists and chokes with the tape. Grado backs Al into the corner for a flurry, but Snow easily swats him down for some stomps. The Snowplow connects, but a slow cover only gets a 2 count. Grado is dazed but still slaps Snow across the face. Snow slams Grado into place for a moonsault for only 2. A loud “Grado” chant breaks out. Snow’s second moonsault misses the mark, and Grado pulls the straps down for a big boot. Grado nails a running cannonball and Dusty jabs. Snow misses a Head shot, Grado hits a big boot for the win at 4:29. The crowd LOVES THIS. I didn’t like this, but I can’t really argue with a hot crowd, *.
Winner: Grado

-Snow pouts for a moment before raising Grado’s arm to put him over. The celebration comes to an abrupt end when the BDC runs in to beat them both up. A late save is made by Drew Galloway, who breaks up the BDC with a lead pipe. The fans give Galloway a hero’s welcome. I’ve seen worse TNA debuts.

-The Bro-mans and Angelina love take a group selfie (or an “Ussie” as they call it). Love gets a chance to become a 7-time Knockouts Champion next.

TNA Knockouts Championship:
Taryn Terrell © vs. Angelina Love (with Jessie Godderz, Robbie E, and DJ Z)

I wonder how Terrell feels about her ex-husband, Galloway, joining TNA. Anyways, Love ambushes Taryn during her entrance and they exchange head smashes around the ring. Love lands a Fallaway Slam on the floor. Terrell slams Love off the top rope and dishes out some clotheslines. Spinning neck breaker by Taryn and a snap suplex only get a 2 count. The Taryn Cutter finishes it at 2:37. More or less a squash match by the champion, *.
Winner and still Knockouts Champion: Taryn Terrell

-Taryn’s celebration can hardly get started when the lights go out and Awesome Kong appears in the ring. Taryn isn’t intimidated and starts throwing hammers, but Kong knocks her off her feet. The Implant Buster leaves Terrell down and out. Gail Kim joins the party, rekindling her feud with Kong with a staredown.

-Video montage of various TNA stars making their case for why they’ll win the 20 man gauntlet.

-Tommy Dreamer comes to the ring to call out Eric Young for a match. Young’s music plays, but he’s nowhere to be seen. Dreamer loses his patience and storms to the back. Eric was waiting behind the curtain for an ambush and they brawl back to the ring. Dreamer calls for a referee, tosses some chairs into the ring, and sprays mist into Eric’s face. Young crotches Dreamer on the barricade (right in front of a few kids) and Dreamer has been busted open.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Eric Young

Eric rolls into the ring to signal the opening bell and baseball slides a table into Dreamer’s chest. Tommy reverses a piledriver, but Eric sweeps him onto a chair. Young sets up a table and they both go crashing through it in a superplex spot. They stumble to their feet and Dreamer gets vicious with a series of punches. Dreamer plants Eric on the chair, but the Dreamer Driver is blocked. Young sends Dreamer into a propped chair and finishes with a Piledriver at 4:28. This was like a video montage of Hardcore Wrestling’s greatest hits, and failed to get me invested to any significant degree, *¼.
Winner: Eric Young

-Mickie James comes to the ring. As happy as I am to see Mickie, I could have lived without ever hearing her “Hardcore Country” theme song again. She gets a star reaction from the live crowd, and she works hard to maintain her composure. She’s here to talk about what Bram did to her fiancé, Magnus. She calls Bram a coward for leaving his supposed best friend for dead in an alley. Bram joins her in the ring, and James continues to poke the bear. It’s hard to hear Bram over the “We want Magnus” chants, but he’s blaming Mickie for ruining Magnus through domestication. Mickie says Bram is half the man Magnus is and calls him a little bitch. Bram backs her into the corner, where she defends herself with a slap to the face. A pack of officials rush in to prevent any man-on-woman violence. Mickie did alright for someone who’d never had to carry such a long talking segment before.

-Bobby Lashley and Kurt Angle have their conversation. Their entire conflict is based around Kurt wanting the title and thinking he’s better than Lashley.

20 Man Gauntlet Match:

This is basically a 20 man Royal Rumble, with over-the-top-rope eliminations. The winner gets a shot at Bobby Lashley’s TNA title next week. #1 is Kenny King, #2 is Austin Aries and they square off in an abbreviated version of what their typical singles encounter would be. Crazy Steve is #3 and interrupts King with some corner attacks. Steve thinks he and Aries should be friends, but Aries nails his back suplex. Jessie Godderz is #4 and goes right after Aries. Austin tosses Jessie, who skins the cat to save himself. #5 is Bram, who gets a non-reaction despite the previous segment. Khoya is #6, and it seems we’re getting new entrants every 30 seconds now. Khoya backdrops Crazy Steve for the first elimination. Chris Melendez is #7 and he goes right for Kenny King with a Bubba Bomb. In case you don’t know, Melendez is a one-legged wrestler who lost his limb in the War in Iraq. Mr. Anderson is #8 and he backs up Melendez. After a commercial break, Tyrus joins the match. We see a replay of Bram eliminating Melendez during the break. DJ Z and Samuel Shaw had joined the match off camera too, so I’ve lost track of match participants, which kind of sucks. Rockstar Spud enters and quickly gets eliminated by Tyrus. Robbie E is the next entrant, but the attention turns to Sanada spraying mist in Tyrus’ face, allowing Anderson to eliminate him. Gunner is out next and takes the fight to Bram. The final five entrants are based on the Top 5 rankings in TNA, so Ethan Carter III is next. Robbie E gets dumped by someone, but I sort of missed it due to typing and the lousy camera work. Bram and Carter get unceremoniously dumped by Aries (I think). Samoa Joe is next and beats Anderson into a heap. Low Ki enters and attacks anyone not named Joe or King. Anderson gets tossed by Joe while MVP makes his entrance. The BDC work together to dominate the field and Gunner gets thrown out. The last participant is none other than Kurt Angle, who rushes in for German suplexes on King and Low Ki. During another commercial, Austin Aries is tossed out, leaving Angle alone against the BDC. Bobby Lashley shows up to watch the show as Angle gets quadruple teamed. Kurt ducks and pulls the ropes to eliminate a charging Joe. A big back drop sends Low Ki crashing to the floor. Another backdrop sends Kenny King crashing and burning. Kurt and MVP have a mini-match until King grabs Angle’s leg for a distraction. MVP dumps Angle with the Yakuza Kick for the win at 23:02 (shown). Holy cow, this was almost as bad as the actual Royal Rumble this year. No standout eliminations or stories told, and incredibly hard to follow, **.
Winner: MVP

Final Thoughts: I feel like I wasted the last two hours of my life. Thumbs down.

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