Source: JSO of TNAsylum.com
Kurt Angle came out and announced the matches for the Champions’ Showcase. Angle called out Willow to the ring and ran down Jeff Hardy’s transformation into Willow. Angle wanted the top wrestlers to compete in the battle royal and asked Jeff Hardy to return tonight. Angle said Willow doesn’t have to go away forever, but he needs Jeff Hardy tonight. Willow shook Angle’s hand to end the segment.
Reaction: Just like last week, Kurt is very efficient at setting the tone for the evening. The Champions’ Showcase is a nice theme to reward the hot Bethlehem crowd. Good decision to bring back Jeff Hardy as well. Willow is basically a vigilante, not a World Title contender.
Backstage, Austin Aries talked about his X Division Title match tonight. Aries said he’s going to regain the belt and cash in Option C for a shot at the World Title.
World Tag Team Championship
The Wolves vs. Bram and Magnus
Richards knocked down Bram off the apron to start the match. The Wolves double-teamed Bram and Magnus individually in the corner. The Wolves used quick tags and strikes to take the fight to the challengers. Magnus clotheslined Richards from the apron to turn the tide. Magnus attacked Edwards on the outside and slammed him on the floor. Richards was unable to tag Edwards, and Bram capitalized with a slam for a two count.
Richards tried to fight back, but Bram and Magnus isolated him in their corner. Richards knocked down Magnus, and both guys tagged out to their partners. Edwards cleaned house on Bram and hit a top rope hurricanrana for a two count. Bram and Magnus tried to double suplex Edwards, but Richards pulled him down and the Wolves hit a double suicide dive on the outside. Richards did a backslide on Bram, and then Edwards rolled in to pin Bram for the win. After the match, Bram and Magnus laid out the Wolves.
Reaction: Awesome back and forth action. The Wolves continue to look impressive as the tag champs, and both guys showed more aggression and energy against tougher opponents. I want to see this turn into an actual feud or program down the line.
Backstage, Bobby Roode arrived at the arena and said he is calling out MVP tonight.
Bobby Roode came out and talked about being suspended by MVP a few months ago. Roode said MVP views him as a threat. Roode called out MVP and gave him until the count of 10 to come out to the ring or he’s going to go after him backstage. MVP came out in a wheelchair and blamed Roode for attacking him and aggravating his knee injury. Roode said he didn’t care and went after MVP on the stage. Kenny King tried to attack Roode from behind but was knocked down instead. Roode pushed over MVP’ s wheelchair, and then King attacked Roode with a chair. King and MVP double-teamed Roode, but Eric Young made the save. Lashley came out and speared EY as the heels stood tall.
Reaction: Solid progression in the Roode/MVP feud. Roode has his sights set on revenge, but the heels got the upper hand this week. It looks like we’re getting a tag match out of this in the coming weeks.
Backstage, James Storm talked up the pressure of Sanada’s title defense tonight. Storm told Sanada not to choke and then left.
Backstage, Kurt Angle reiterated that he needs the best competitors in the battle royal tonight and acted confident that he got the message through to Jeff Hardy/Willow.
X Division Championship
Sanada vs. Austin Aries
Chain wrestling to start. Aries rolled up Sanada for a two count and went for the Last Chancery, but Sanada made it to the ropes. Sanada did his rolling cradle for a two count. Aries knocked down Sanada to the outside and followed up with a double ax handle. Aries went for a crossbody, but Sanada countered with a dropkick in mid-air. Sanada hit a hurricanrana followed by a springboard chop. Sanada went for the moonsault, but Aries knocked him down. Both men hit their respective finishers for a near fall. Aries hit the 450 Splash for the win and regained the X Division Title.
Reaction: Holy cow, what an exciting match! Both guys went all-out from the start and never slowed down. I didn’t expect them to kick out of their respective finishers, so that was a cool surprise. Not happy that Sanada lost as I’m a huge fan of the guy, but it is what it is.
Bully Ray came out and talked about Rhino’s betrayal last week. Bully said Rhino let himself get brainwashed by the Carters, and that Rhino is responsible for his own career. EC3 said Rhino has a family to support, so he paid Rhino to do what he did last week. Bully went after EC3, but Rhino hit the gore out of nowhere. The trio beat down Bully until Tommy Dreamer made the save with a kendo stick. The crowd chanted “ECW” as Dreamer posed in the ring.
Reaction: Unfortunately, I had some technical difficulties so I only caught the tail end of the promo. I’ll have to go back and watch the whole thing later, but the part that I did watch made sense and progressed the feud nicely heading into NYC.
Backstage, the Beautiful People complained about wasting their time with Brain Stiffler and that the title match tonight is a four-way. Angelina said she is going to break her own record and become a 7-time Knockouts Champion.
Backstage, Knux tried to pump up Crazzy Steve and the Freak for the battle royal tonight. Rebel said if they win tonight, they would get a lot of money coming their way.
Gail Kim vs. Angelnia Love vs. Madison Rayne vs. Brittany
Brittany attacked Madison as the latter made her entrance. Gail and Madison took out Angelina and Brittany. The faces squared off for a bit before the heels got back in and took them down. Brittany and Angelina exchanged strikes before Gail knocked them both down with a missile dropkick. Gail hit the crossbody on Brittany for a two count. Brittany did the handspring into a moonsault, but Madison broke the pin and took her down. Angelina took out Madison with the Botox Injection, and then Gail hit the Eat Defeat on Angelina for the pin.
Reaction: Fun match. All four ladies worked hard and hit some nice spots, with the usual finisher sequence at the end. Gail had a successful first title defense and that’s what counts.
Backstage, Austin Aries talked about his X Division Title win and looked ahead to Destination X.
A vignette aired of Lashley training as MVP hyped him up in the background.
20-Man Battle Royal
All 20 guys fought in the ring at the same time. Crazzy Steve was eliminated first, followed by Jessie and DJ Z. Bram and Magnus eliminated Knux and The Freak. Sanada and Tigre Uno were eliminated shortly thereafter. Storm tossed out Anderson and Gunner. During the match, Abyss came out and fought with Bram to the back. King eliminated Manik as the match cut to commercial break.
Back from the break, Roode eliminated Storm. EC3 and Spud double-teamed Bully in the corner. Bully fought back and tossed Spud out of the ring. EC3 tried to clothesline Bully, but Bully ended up eliminating himself and EC3 over the top rope. The final four were Roode, King, Hardy, and EY. MVP used his crutch to hit Roode in the gut, and then King eliminated Roode. As King started to showboat, EY came up from behind and eliminated King. The match came down to Hardy and EY. Hardy dropkicked EY off the apron for the win.
After the match, Jeremy Borash interviewed Jeff Hardy in the ring. Hardy said Lashley is extremely tough, but he’s going to regain the World Title next week on IMPACT. Lashley came out and had a staredown with Hardy to end the show.
Reaction: Good stuff. They managed to tie in most of the eliminations to the current storylines and put on a fun melee in the process. I also liked that they did the classic staredown to hype the main event next week. Kudos to TNA for an awesome set of tapings from Pennsylvania.