Episode 19, Season 13: “Hardcore War”
Welcome to one of the last Friday Night Impact reviews here on TJRWrestling. If you haven’t heard the news yet, TNA is moving to Wednesday Nights as of June 3rd. A move that if you’ve been reading my reports since the beginning, I’ve said was mandatory for this company to have any chance to survive. No one watches TV on Friday Night, let alone a channel that hardly anyone gets. So that was actually some good news for the company. Last week we had a very interesting “Live Special”, which put into motion some quality storylines that we should see develop into matches for Slammiversary. So let’s get right into this week’s show.
We have a video package showcasing the Eric Young and Kurt Angle rivalry. Tonight we’re going to have a Hardcore War match between Team Angle and Team Young. According to the video, “tonight, the violence will be elevated.” Angle comes out to the ring to start the show, along with Chris Melendez. If you don’t know Melendez’s story, you should absolutely check it out. He lost his leg serving for the US Army after getting hit with an IED Missile. Melendez ended up getting hooked up with The Dudleys and they offered to train him after hearing his story. And now he’s in TNA. The Professor Mike Tenay is announcing with Josh Matthews this week, so that should be a vast improvement. I don’t think that’s permanent though.
Angle discusses Melendez’s story and asks him to be his partner as it would be an honor for Angle. Melendez accepts, and then Angle calls out The Rising, who also had his back last week. All parties shake hands and then Angle puts over The Rising’s agenda. Drew Galloway talks about how his stable isn’t all of The Rising. Angle and all the fans are The Rising, for standing up for professional wrestling. Galloway says that eventually though, he will face Angle for the TNA Title, and he will win it. Eric Young’s music hits and he starts venting immediately about how he still hasn’t gotten a fair shot at the title, and he’s still #1 contender. Angle said that joining with The BDC bit EY in the ass. EY says Angle can’t beat him 1 on 1, and he’s never going away until he’s champ. He said he’s not going to quit like 12 times. Angle says that EY gets one more opportunity, but it’s under Angle’s terms, and it’s going to be an I Quit Match. Tonight however, is Hardcore War and Angle has his partners. EY says all he cares about is his partners, and The BDC comes from behind through the crowd and attacks Team Angle.
When The BDC and EY have the edge, Lashley’s music hits and The Destroyer has returned! Lashley comes in and wrecks EY with a spear. Angle grabs a mic and tells EY to meet his last partner tonight, Lashley.
K-Tank’s Take: I’m not a fan of TNA starting their shows with promos like WWE does. Nothing really of substance in this segment until Lashley returned, which got a good reaction from the crowd. Right now it’s 6 on 4 for the main event, so EY needs two more partners I would assume. The I Quit match with Angle and EY should be good when that happens though.
Knockouts Tag Match: The Dollhouse (w/Taryn Terrell) vs. Rebel & Brooke
For the 3rd week in a row, The Dollhouse have new music, so way to go TNA for knowing what you wanted to do with them. This week’s song is done by Courtney Love’s band, Hole, so I would assume this would be the theme going forward. Much more subdued antics from them as well. Rebel of course is the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who was brought in to be a part of The Menagerie. Boy, that gimmick bombed. Josh Matthews said the group has “gone back to the circus life”, so guess that’s completely over. The Dollhouse attack their opponents before they get in the ring. I don’t think there’s ever been a tag team that had a better pair of asses than Rebel and Brooke, so they’ve got that for them. The Dollhouse work over Rebel but after a missed dropkick by Jade, Rebel gets the tag to Brooke. Jade goes for a powerbomb on Brooke, but Brooke counters it nicely with an X-Factor facebuster. Rebel then goes for a split legdrop from the 2nd rope, which she misses, and The Dollhouse then capitalize and hit a pair of double chokeslams and pin Rebel for the win.
Winner: Marti Bell & Jade
Taryn then grabs a mic and says the night is just getting started. She tells Gail Kim to pay attention, because she had some playtime recently with Gail’s family, and it’s time for the world to hear this story. So stay tuned.
K-Tank’s Take: This was a showcase for The Dollhouse. I really like Taryn as the ringleader of the group, but 3 weeks in a row, they’ve changed the presentation of the group, so I still don’t know what in the hell they’re supposed to be, and that’s an issue for me. We’ll see where the Gail Kim stuff leads to.
We go backstage to Eric Young with MVP, Kenny King, & Low Ki. They discuss that Homicide won’t be here & MVP’s backup plan has apparently fallen through. EY says he’s got a guy in mind, and he’s even crazier than EY is. EY goes to make sure he’s in.
EC3 Promo/Tyrus vs. Mr. Anderson
Josh Matthews and Mike Tenay argue about why EC3 isn’t Kurt Angle’s #1 contender over Eric Young, and then when EC3 goes to speak, he brings up how the Top 5 list isn’t fair to him. EY lost last week and EC3 won, so EC3 should be #1 contender. EC3 says it’s a conspiracy. EC3 says he wants answers, even if he has to call Obama, but then Mr. Anderson’s music hits and he comes to the ring with a steel chair in hand. EC3 says he’s done with Anderson, but Anderson counters that he’s already got it cleared that he faces Tyrus this week and if he wins, he gets EC3 one on one. EC3 says no again, and then Anderson resorts to calling Tyrus a bitch about 10 times, so Tyrus accepts the match.
Earl Hebner comes to the ring and the match is underway. Anderson aggressively goes after Tyrus, but Tyrus catches him and hits a front slam, followed by an elbow drop and then a modified senton splash. They then promote the wrong Stone Cold podcast that Dixie Carter is on, which is mindblowing. You can’t even get the right promotion for Stone Cold Steve Austin. Back to the match and Anderson is back in control, but a Mic Check was blocked and then Tyrus hits a big powerbomb that gets a two-count. EC3 gets into the ring with the chair, but Hebner immediately kicks him out of the ringside area. Anderson is doing his best Eddie Guerrero impression while Tyrus and Hebner are dealing with EC3, and then when Tyrus picks up Anderson, he walks right into a Mic Check and Anderson gets the win.
Winner: Mr. Anderson
K-Tank’s Take: Since The Angle/EY feud is going on at least a couple more weeks, they have to keep EC3 occupied until he’s read to start working with Angle. Nothing wrong with that. Solid work again from both he and Mr. Anderson, but that’s no surprise. The funniest part about this whole segment is how profusely EC3 was sweating. I think he may have ruined his tie.
We get a screen shot of the Hardcore War match to take place tonight, and apparently it will be 5 on 5. Eli Drake was not cool enough for this match it would seem.
We get a recap of last week’s great segment between James Storm, Magnus, & Mickie James.
Magnus/The Revolution Promo
Magnus comes to the ring, ready for a match, and grabs a mic to talk about what he did to Storm last week. He says he will never apologize for what he did, because Storm is a sick son of a bitch and Storm deserved it. Everyone knows that Storm is full of crap, and so since he’s ready to fight, he wants Storm to come out so they can fight. The Revolution’s music hits, but it’s Abyss that comes out. Abyss says there will be consequences for what Magnus did to Storm, and he charges Magnus and we have a fight on the outside. Both men battle back and forth, but Abyss grabs a cookie sheet that was set up outside for another show on Destination America called BBQ Pitmasters, and then goes on the attack. He throws all the set up in the ring and beats on Magnus with it. Magnus manages to go back on the advantage, but then Manik shows up. Manik is disposed of quickly though, but here comes Khoya and he nails Magnus with his big walking stick and now it’s a 3 on 1 attack. They leave Magnus laying and pose over him.
K-Tank’s Take: The story here is that Storm never showed up, but this was obviously his bidding. The beauty of this storyline though is that Storm can come out and say he never ordered that hit on Magnus, as Storm has actually been playing the good guy in this angle. So this was a nice little tease for what’s more to come for sure.
We go to a video package showing what’s happened with the Tag Titles lately, with both The Wolves and Hardys relinquishing the titles. This leads us to Match #1 in our Best of Five series between The Wolves and The Dirty Heels. Let’s Do This!
Match 1 in Best of 5 Series: The Dirty Heels vs. The Wolves
This should be absolutely phenomenal. I would expect each match to outdo the last, so let’s see how they kick this off. The Wolves have been my favorite tag team in all of pro wrestling for years now, but it doesn’t get much better than Aries and Roode teaming up. Davey and Roode feel each other out, and then Eddie Edwards tags in. Both team trade offense and quick tags early. The Wolves work over Aries, and then double team Roode who tries to even the odds. No ring rust for Eddie, which is to be expected from a pro like him. Aries gets the upper hand and then hits a big chop to the outside from the top rope on Eddie, who then gets fed to Roode on the inside who claims there was a tag. Great work already by both teams. The Heels keep Eddie in their corner and work him over. Eddie makes a tag that the ref didn’t see, and The Dirty Heels are definitely living up to their name. Eddie gets whipped into the corner, but manages to fight out of it and finally gets the hot tag to Davey Richards. Great move where Davey throws Roode into Aries gut, and then he dropkicks Aries who ends up DDT’ing his partner. Davey goes for Creeping Death, but Aries ducks and hits a Roaring Elbow. Roode ends up pulling Davey onto the floor after The Wolves hit a double team move on Aries, and then Aries sends Eddie to the floor, which he follows up with a low bridge suicide dive onto both Wolves. This is fast paced and fantastic. Roode throws Davey into the ring and Aries hits a missile dropkick. Aries whips Davey into Roode, which Davey counters into a sunset flip and he gets the pinfall out of nowhere!
Winner: The Wolves (Wolves lead the series 1-0)
K-Tank’s Take: Great opening match in this series. Only went about 9 minutes, but I fully expect some 15-20 minute classics from these two near the end of the series. Can’t wait for the rest of this.
The Rising are backstage and Drew discusses they’ve only been offered two spots on his team, so Drew makes the difficult decision to pick Mica over Eli. Eli doesn’t look happy, but he accepts it. Angle and Melendez show up to rally the troops.
We then go to The Dollhouse who doing some pillow talk on a bed, while all in lingerie. Taryn tells the girls that she spent some quality time with Gail Kim’s step-daughters. But what’s more interesting than that is what she plans on wearing for Gail’s husband Robert. Taryn says she’s coming out now to show the world what she’s wearing for him.
After a commercial, we come back to a recap of The Revolution’s beat down of Magnus. We then go backstage and Storm is yelling at The Revolution for what they did. Storm says he did not ask for what they did. He says this is strictly about him and Mickie James, so they better not let it happen again. Storm sends them on their way and is not happy at all.
K-Tank’s Take: Dissension in The Rising already? It definitely seems odd that Eli was left out of the match, but it could be nothing. I said earlier that they could play off that Storm didn’t call for the hit, and that’s exactly what happened. Another great layer added to the story. As for The Dollhouse, whatever gives reason for Taryn to show up in lingerie, I’m all for it.
The Dollhouse Promo
Marti and Jade are still in their lingerie and Taryn has a robe on. Taryn says The Dollhouse create fantasies. They’re more than just wrestlers like Gail Kim. They’re creating something special. She then shows some photos of her with Gail’s Step-Daughters who don’t look willing in the photos. Taryn then reveals her mighty nice lingerie outfit that she’s wearing for Gail’s husband Robert. Gail Kim then shows up and storms the ring. Gail says that Taryn has made this personal. Marti interrupts and tells Gail she’s interrupted play time and they’re just playing around. Gail tells her to shut up and tells Taryn to defends her title like a real woman. Taryn says Gail Kim is nothing compared to her, and even Gail’s husband knows that. Gail absolutely unloads on Taryn, and then goes after all three members and clears the ring.
K-Tank’s Take: Great fire shown by Gail in this segment, as she absolutely destroyed Taryn with that initial shot. Taryn was great in her role here, and looked even better. More of that please.
Jessie Godderz vs. Robbie E
The BroMans broke up. That’s all you need to know. Robbie has some horrible techno theme music now. Robbie wins with a rollup in less than a minute. Jessie grabs a mic and says they need to restart. Robbie agrees for some reason. Robbie wins again with a rollup in less than a minute. Jessie grabs a mic again says he wasn’t ready and they need to do it again. The crowd starts counting how long the match will take. Apparently they came from a Baron Corbin match. This match goes a few seconds longer, but Robbie gets a crucifix pin and is now 3-0 in about 3 minutes. Jessie grabs a mic once more and says he’s tired of this and then decks Robbie with the Mic. He then press slams him to the outside. He wraps a steel chair around Robbie’s neck and sends him into the turnpost.
Winner: Robbie E x 3
K-Tank’s Take: That was TNA’s first wasted segment in quite a few weeks. I guess Robbie is the face and Jessie is the heel now. Regardless, it was all dumb.
Before our main event, we go to Mr. Anderson, who is with someone who is building a cage strictly for Tyrus so that it ensures his next match with EC3 is one one.
Hardcore War: Team Angle vs. Team Young
This is fought under War Games rules, just no cage. Each man will come out with his own weapon too. Low Ki and Drew Galloway start and each have a metal pipe. They go quickly to the outside and Galloway lays into Low Ki with a couple of chops and then sends him into the barricade. As is the norm, the heel team gets the man advantage, so Kenny King is the 2nd man out. King comes out with a golf club, but Galloway knocks it out of his hand. The BDC get the 2 on 1 advantage though. These intervals are barely two minutes, if that, so after BDC beat on Galloway on the outside, Mica comes out with a nightstick to even the odds. I thought he was Haku’s son, not The Big Bossman. The Rising are all over The BDC, but Eric Young comes out with a trash can lid to regain the advantage. EY lays out Mica with the lid. Great move by The Rising though, as Galloway was in the tree of woe, and EY went to Superplex Mica in the same corner, but Galloway German Suplexes EY as EY superplexes Mica, who then lands on King and Low Ki. That was cool. Kurt Angle now comes out to make it 3 on 3 and goes straight for EY as they go to their last break.
As we come back, it’s now 4 on 4 as MVP and Melendez have shown up for their respective teams. All 8 men are paired up throughout the ringside area, and now Team Young’s mystery teammate has shown up and it’s TNA’s hidden gem, Bram. Bram is out with a kendo stick and starts laying out Team Angle. Team Young disposes of everyone, until Lashley’s music hits and now all 10 men are in and it becomes first pinfall or submission to win. Lashely goes after Bram, but Young goes after him and eats a second spear of the night. MVP goes after Lashley with a kendo stick but Lashley takes it away. MVP ends up hitting a big boot to Lashley that gets a two count. MVP goes for The Playmaker, but ends up eating a spear of his own. Bram is back in the ring and destroys Lashley with a kendo stick shot and then hits him with his Impaler DDT, The Brighter Side of Suffering. Mica comes in and hits Big Ending on Bram. Kenny King then hits a springboard Blockbuster on Mica. Now Galloway hits the running big boot to King. Galloway now dives clear over the top rope with a somersault senton onto Team Young on the outside. Great sequence right there. Now Kurt Angle goes to the top rope and dives onto everyone himself. Now it’s just EY and Melendez in the ring. Melendez has the advantage, but walks right into a piledriver from EY, who goes for the pin and he gets the win for his team.
Winners: Team Young
After the match, EY goes for Melendez’s prosthetic leg, and decks the ref. EY pulls the leg off and Angle gets into the ring and yells at EY for what he’s done. EY ends up hitting Angle in the head with the leg and then chokes Angle with it! Wow, that’s pretty sick. The show ends with EY telling Angle to quit as the announcers say what a sick SOB that EY has become.
K-Tank’s Take: That was a fun brawl. The gauntlet match gimmick didn’t really add to the match considering the intervals were so condensed. That’s a pretty old school heel tactic by EY to go after Melendez’s leg and then use it on Angle. I like that EY will go to any lengths for the title. The World Title should be that important to everyone. Obviously he’s not going to beat Angle, but he’ll cement himself as a top heel with continued performances like this.
There wasn’t any progression for Slammiversary, but the seeds are at least being planted. Minus the BroMans segment, this was a real solid show from top to bottom in terms of progressing storylines. Not much to wrap up for this week’s show, so until next week, follow me on Twitter @FriscoKTank, and we’ll see you again here on TJRWrestling for more Impact Reviews. Thanks for reading!