25 January 2015

Ringside: Impact Wrestling Review - Jan 23, 2015

This week's Impact was all about two things, Feast or Fired & the BDC's next move. Who would retrieve the briefcases? who would be fired? who would get what title shot? and what would the BDC do now they had the World Title belt hostage? all of these questions were being asked going into Impact, and in the two hour slot all of them were answered.

We got right into the action to kick of the show with the much anticipated return of Feast or Fired. I liked how they built this match because of one thing, every participant volunteered. Just by the announcers pushing the fact everyone willingly asked to be apart of the match made everything more important, it made all three of the title shot cases seem huge in there own right, because the fact was everyone was willing to risk their job in order to get a title shot that they could control, and that tied with the fact that somebody was getting fired had me very interested in this match. The case winners were all interesting, because there could have been an argument made for all 4 winners to end up with the pink slip. There has been some (mostly made up) speculation around Aries & Magnus' futures in TNA, and there could have been storylines made from either Spud or Robbie getting fired (Spud's departure would have added even more to the underdogs vs Carter's feud, while Robbie's "firing" could have been a way to split him from the BroMans & then bring him back as a face for the singles push that was rumoured).

I said it a while ago, and since its now happened I'll repeat it, for me Lashley needs a mouthpiece now that doesn't have MVP as his spokesman. His promo was short, but unfortunately he didn't really deliver it with any passion or anger that would have made fans anticipate him going on the warpath. Kenny King came out and got under Lashley's skin a little which lead to the two having a match, with the rest of the BDC at ringside. Short but decent match between the two, more a physical style shown here and it was good to see that King was allowed to hang with Lashley offence wise until the spear out of nowhere. The BDC got involved as soon as they thought their man was in trouble, giving Lashley a quick beatdown then laying out the challenge to take the belt from MVP on the street, further emphasising this thug mentality the group has adopted.

We got another physical match on the show from Gail Kim & Havok. The point of this match was to re-establish the dominance of Havok in the wake of Kong's return, and boy did they achieve that. The knee to Gail's face looked brutal, it came across great when it happened but even better in the replays. Havok was looking to destroy Gail until Kong arrived, getting the upper hand and making it clear she's back to re-claim the title of TNA's most dominant Knockout. When this match does happen, I think we're going to have something special on our hands and a clash of titans like the KO division or women's wrestling has ever seen before, and I for one can't wait. We saw the in-ring debut of the Revolution's Khoya where he defeated Tigre Uno in very quick time. Khoya looks pretty green so for me I think he should be kept out of the ring for a while & used as muscle to back up the rest of the Revolution when required.

We got a pretty enjoyable tag match with Angle & Roode taking on EY & Low Ki. I must say this, Low Ki was already one of the most believable when it comes to his strikes, but since the BDC formed he's looked even more vicious and increased the physicality he brings. A small distraction from the BDC opens the door for EY to hit Roode with a chair, allowing Ki to get the win to further build the EY/Roode rivalry as well as the BDC as a power group. In news that shouldn't surprise anyone, EC3 is still hilarious, the introduction's and commentary made me lol. I chuckled a little when I saw JB come out with his game face on, but once he got in the ring it was no laughing matter, he was pissed and wasn't playing a timid announcer, he was a man who had his dignity taken away from him and wanted to kick EC3's ass. JB got a cheap shot in and tried his best, but there was never real doubt that EC3 would get the upper hand. Spud got involved until Tyrus neutralised him, followed by British Bootcamp 2 winner Mark Andrews coming in to help his fellow countryman and put EC3 & Tyrus on the back foot. It was good to see Andrews get involved here to try and even the sides out in this feud, it's also good that he get's him own debut spotlighted instead of it being surrounded by the other 5 Bootcamp finalists on the UK tour.

Competitive match between Matt Hardy & James Storm to get the Hardy's vs Revolution tag feud going. Matt gets the win from nowhere with an inside cradle, but its Storm walks out better off after distracting Matt long enough for Abyss to hit the ring and lay him out. Abyss almost uses Janice on Matt until Jeff arrives and runs off the Revolution. Next week we get Abyss vs Jeff in Monsters Ball, and if history tells us anything, we're in for a lot of brutality when these two lock horns this Friday. 

We got the reveal of the Feast or Fired cases and some interesting results indeed. Spud received the X Division title shot, so it looks like at some point in the year we're going to see Spud in the X Division, which could be very interesting depending on who he feuds with. Magnus won the Tag Title shot, but may have lost his partner in the process when he and Bram had to be pulled apart after Magnus won the case. Whether the contents of the briefcase will change Bram's view on things is unknown, but one would think now we know what was inside the case, Bram won't be bothered by his friend getting it instead of him, because they can still reap the rewards of it as a unit. Austin Aries won the World Title shot, which excites me because A Double is back in the World Title picture and could be a big player now that he has a title shot when he wants at his disposal. And last off, Robbie E laid clam to the title of "smartest man in wrestling" after calling Velvet on her retrieving the briefcase and forcing its contents on to her, which we found out was a pinkslip. We'd heard rumours about Velvets future so this was a smart and big way to write her off TV and announce her departure.

We closed the show with MVP and Lashley brawling on the street. This was a pretty unique segment and you have to give everyone involved credit for braving the freezing cold temperatures in NYC to fill this segment. The BDC & EY arrive and attack Lashley *awesome looking jump from Low Ki over the guardrail onto Lashley BTW* beating him down on the street until Roode & Angle run them off. We fade out with Booby Roode holding the World Title & staring at Lashley, another week where the show ends with the Champion not having possession of his title, we now have to ask what Roode is going to do, will he give back the title or will he hold on to it until he gets his rematch.

Favorite Moment - I really enjoyed the brawl on the street, it was well done and really emphasised the thug mentality of the BDC as well as how much Lashley wants his belt back, while he's a professional, he's a fighter, whether that be in a ring, a cage or on the street.

Least Favorite Moment - The Khoya vs Tigre Uno match was the low point of the show. You could tell Khoya was pretty green and there wasn't a lot Uno could do to cover it up. Fortunately the match was very short so it could have been a lot worse.

MVP of the Night - While a strong case could be made for the BDC, this week the honour goes to Austin Aries. Aries took the biggest risk and walked away with the biggest reward, a World Title shot whenever he wants in the next year.

Grade - Another enjoyable Impact this week in my eyes. A drop off from last weeks show but not much by any means. Some good action, some good drama and storyline progression on several fronts earned this weeks Impact an A- grade from yours truly.

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