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Impact Wrestling -February 27, 2015

by Samoa Rowe

-From Manchester, England. Our hosts are Josh Mathews and Taz. Word on the street is this event drew 3,500 fans, but with the lighting issues, it looks like the same 1,500 that were in Glasgow. Still, great crowd by TNA standards.

-Kurt Angle comes to the ring to talk. He calls TNA Champion Bobby Lashley to the ring for yet another confrontation. Angle tells Lashley that he worked to come back from injury so he could have one last run with the title. Kurt wants to face Lashley and is irritated that MVP is the one getting a shot tonight. Angle is sore that Lashley didn’t help him when the BDC screwed him last week, so he’s not going to help Lashley later. Angle’s motivations were all over the place in this one. Angle departs, and the BDC arrives. Samoa Joe does most of the talking, reminding Lashley that he’s only champion because the BDC helped him. MVP insults the U.K. crowd and vows to win the TNA title. Despite the numbers advantage, the BDC don’t try any funny business, while Lashley mocks them for yacking so much. This felt like a Raw opening segment, and that’s not a compliment.

Ethan Carter III and Tyrus vs. Mr. Anderson and Rockstar Spud

During his entrance, EC3 has a fun moment when a bald fan pretends to let him shave him. Anderson fails to catch his microphone at first but does his prematch shtick without hesitation, and Spud sneaks his name in as well (to a great response from the fans). Tyrus is reluctant to remove his skull cap, after getting shaved by Spud last week. Tyrus quickly turns the table on Anderson but misses a charge in the corner. Tyrus suffers turnbuckle punches from Anderson and then Spud. Tyrus puts Spud down with the World’s Strongest Slam, and makes the tag to EC3 for a haircut attempt. The ref removes the razor and Spud counters with an enziguri. Anderson and Tyrus tag in while the fans chant “We want Spud.” Tyrus absorbs some shots before taking control with a shoulder tackle. Anderson gets cut off for a bit until Spud gets a crowd-pleasing hot tag. Spud keeps Tyrus off his feet with quick attacks and nails Sliced Bread #2. EC3 ambushes Spud, but Anderson nails a low blow on Tyrus. Mic Check on Tyrus sets him up for Spud’s pinfall win at 7:08. Nothing fancy, but way more fun than I was expecting, **¼.
Winners: Mr. Anderson and Rockstar Spud

-Video recap of Bobby Lashley joining forces with MVP and Kenny King in 2014. Fast forward to some months later when MVP on crutches helped Lashley defeat Eric Young for the World title. This “old” footage contains better lighting and camera work and kind of makes me depressed for the current state of TNA.

-Ethan Carter III rants and raves about what just happened.

-TNA Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell comes to the ring to talk. She loves being champion but addresses how all the other women are gunning for her, including Awesome Kong, who she calls out. Instead, Gail Kim joins her in the ring. Gail puts over Taryn, but warns her that Kong is the toughest woman in professional wrestling. Gail adds that fighting Kong took years off her career. Taryn is unfazed, saying she needs to fight Kong. I guess if you say Kong’s name too many times, she appears, as the lights go out and she attacks Terrell. Taryn holds her own with some drop-kicks before running into an avalanche. Kong finishes Taryn with the Implant Buster for the second week in a row. Pretty solid segment here, light years above when Russo had the women having cat-fights and calling each other “slut.”

-The BDC have a club meeting backstage. MVP is about to unveil the strategy when they spot the roaming camera and slam the door shut. Whoa, logic in wrestling! Meanwhile on Raw, Triple H and Stephanie are laughing about how easy it is to manipulate the good guys on camera.

-Video recap from last month when Lashley regained the TNA title from Bobby Roode, as a result of interference from the BDC and Eric Young. Fast forward to Lashley breaking off from the group when MVP wanted the title to represent all of them, and the resulting beat down. I appreciate the attempt to make tonight’s title match a big deal.

-The roaming camera wants to know what Austin Aries thinks about the main event. Aries teases a Feast or Fired cash-in as per usual.

Robbie E and Angelina Love (with Jessie Godderz and DJ Z) vs. Brooke Tessmacher and Sgt. Chris Melendez

DJ Z tries to get a pre-match promo routine over, which comes across as a miserable failure at this juncture. I suppose this match is meant to continue the part-time feud between Brooke and Robbie over what happened on The Amazing Race. Robbie disrespects Brooke, prompting Melendez to hold her back. Melendez scores a flurry of offense, including a snap suplex. Brooke gets a tag and Robbie amusingly hides from her in the ropes before a tag to Angelina. Robbie lures Brooke into a hair-pulling trap from Love, who takes control of the match. Love misses a charge and Brooke rallies. Melendez knocks DJ Z off the apron, but Robbie shoves Brooke off the top rope to score the pinfall at 3:32. All around awkward match advancing a bad feud, ¾*.
Winners: Robbie E and Angelina Love

-EC3 corners Spud in his dressing room and turns the razor on. After a commercial break, Mr. Anderson rushes in for the save. They clip a shred of hair off Carter but Tyrus arrives just in time to bail him out.

-Gunner visits Kurt Angle, confused over why Angle won’t help Lashley against the BDC. Gunner is worried that all hell will break loose if MVP wins the title. Gunner wants Angle to be like the guy he watched growing up (you mean a complete goofball?). Gunner motivates with a slap to the face and leaves.

-Austin Aries comes to the ring to talk. He puts over his Feast or Fired briefcase as giving him all the power in TNA. Austin riles up the crowd by teasing a cash-in later. He’s interrupted by Samoa Joe, who is dressed to wrestle. Joe gets the most heel heat of this entire BDC run when the fans chant “You sold out!” Joe threatens to snap his fingers and summon assassins to beat Aries to a pulp. Aries wants to know what happened to the Samoa Joe of old (good question). Joe gets belligerent and decides to snap Aries’ neck instead. Aries surprises with a suicide dive to set up a match.

Mr. Feast or Fired Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe

Bell rings and Austin Aries gets a hot start, getting a 2 count on a leaping elbow drop. Snapmare by Aries sets up a drop-kick to the head. Joe blocks a suplex and kicks Aries off the apron. Aries gets driven into the ring steps and runs into a knee lift. Joe head butts the kidney area, but Aries throws desperate hammers, but Joe cuts him off with a running boot and back senton. Cue the Bear Hug! Aries ducks to send Joe crashing to the floor, setting up a flying axe handle. Missile drop-kick by Austin sets up a running drop-kick. Joe blocks the Brainbuster but Aries blocks a Full Nelson suplex. Aries blocks the Muscle Buster and throws some discus elbows. Austin applies the Last Chancery, but Kenny King runs in to steal the briefcase. Joe goes for a Rear Naked Choke, but Aries thrusts him into King and the briefcase. Aries nails the 450 splash for the win at 8:04. This was the abbreviated version of the great matches these two are capable of, **¾.
Winner: Austin Aries

-The BDC swarms Austin Aries, looking to prevent him from cashing in Feast or Fired later. They set Aries on a table for Low Ki’s double stomp, and the table doesn’t break! Joe expertly follows with a back senton to break the table in half. I hope Aries earned a good check for this.

-The cameraman asks Bobby Lashley about his chance in the main event. Lashley is sick of MVP claiming that he made Lashley. He adds that he doesn’t need Kurt Angle’s help.

-Eric Young visits MVP, who congratulates him on getting even with Bobby Roode. Eric says he has 15 years of revenge that he needs to dish out, so he’s not even close to being finished with Roode. MVP reminds Eric that it was Lashley who put him in the hospital in the first place (back when Eric’s grievance was that Roode didn’t visit him). MVP lobbies for Eric’s help. I don’t agree with this strategy of building up a title match by how much outside interference is guaranteed to happen.

-MVP congratulates his fellow BDC brothers on taking Aries out and stealing his briefcase.

Rampage Brown vs. Noam Dar

No clue who either of these guys are, but they were on British Bootcamp. The match hardly gets started when Bram shows up and attacks both youngsters for the no contest finish at 0:53. Obvious DUD.
No Contest -Bram grabs a microphone and calls out Magnus. Instead, Grado struts his way to the ring. Grado is almost as over in Manchester as he was in Glasgow, which is somewhat scary. He looks like Colt Cabana if he totally let himself go. Grado attacks with some jabs, but Bram is bigger and scarier and easily overtakes him. I guess I can look forward to more Grado. Am I totally off base with my Grado hate? Hit me up @SamoaRowe if you think so.

TNA World Championship (No Disqualifications):
Bobby Lashley © vs. MVP (with The BDC)

Well, they’ve already established that either guy needs help to win the match, but here we go. They exchange shots and Lashley is first to knock MVP off his feet. Lashley shows off with a leap frog over MVP to set up another clothesline. Vertical suplex by Lashley sends MVP retreating. Lashley pursues, setting up an ambush from Low Ki, prompting the referee to kick him out. The damage is done anyway as MVP ambushes Lashley to gain control. Lashley absorbs a boat load of methodical punishment and breaks a Key Lock. They both go down after a collision and stumble up for a slug-fest. Spinebuster by Lashley gets a 2 count. Kenny King grabs Bobby’s ankle, allowing MVP to hit the Yakuza Kick. Exploder suplex by MVP, but Lashley bounces back with a spear. Eric Young runs in with a chair and unloads on Lashley. Eric prepares a piledriver, but Bobby Roode runs in for a brawl. Lashley wakes up and nails the Jackhammer, but Low Ki returns to pull the referee out. Samoa Joe attacks Lashley, but Gunner runs in to remove him. Kenny King dives into Lashley’s arms and gets hung up on the ropes. MVP plants Lashley, but the replacement referee is late for the cover. MVP grabs a chair, but Drew Galloway runs in to neutralize him. Spear by Lashley finally ends it at 11:37 (shown). This was an enjoyable match, but they couldn’t help themselves with that run-in festival. Not sure how Gunner and Galloway fit into this, but Roode’s return was a welcome development, **½.
Winner and still TNA World Champion: Bobby Lashley

Final Thoughts: Not a “good “ show or anything, but it went by quickly and I had a few laughs along the way. That makes for a Thumbs in the Middle.

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