This was the fifth annual Write Off Jeff Hardy Before the UK Tour Show.
Jeff began the show by calling out his brother who had become the Big Bad and New Champion the previous week. The Hardy family came out, all wearing matching red—even including Maxwell Hardy, who was carried by Tyrus. Matthew has a new theme, which is basically an instrumental version of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers song. Matthew agreed to defend the title against Jeff.
Feast or Fired is next. This year the X-title shot has been replaced with a KOTM/TV-title shot.
1. Feast or Fired: “The Cowboy” James Storm vs. “The It Factor” Bobby Roode vs. “The Detective” Drew Galloway vs. Grado vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Eric Young vs. Robbie E vs. Aiden O’Shea vs. Bram vs. “Seargent” Chris Melendez vs. Eli Drake vs. “The Man” Jessie Godderz It turned out that the weird “apology beer bash” from a couple of weeks ago had thematic purpose. Roode had reminded us that he was sorry about letting his lust for the world title make him turn on Storm years prior. This week, Roode showed that he had changed, by letting Storm get the last briefcase, while Roode stood guard to prevent anyone else from getting it. This also brought some resolution to Storm’s heel arc. Storm had turned on his partner Gunner two years ago after Gunner took the last briefcase before Storm could. Winners: Grado, The Detective, Eli Drake, and James Storm
Elsewhere, “The Man” tries to psych out his bro Eli about the risk that he’s got the Fired briefcase. “The Man” Godderz speaks from experience, since last year one of the Bro-Mans girls (Velvet Sky) wound up being fired due to her taking the Fired case. During Velvet’s match later, the announcers explain that TNA management decided to rehire her within the year, because she had not been an official competitor in the match (she seemed to be acting on her boyfriend Robbie E’s behalf), so the circumstances were unusual.
Also, throughout the show, Angle’s been chatting with both Hardies about the shadiness of Matthew’s actions the prior week.
3. Awesome Kong v. Velvet Sky Winner: Awesome Kong
Mike Bennett tried to crash the FoF opening, but The Detective chased him away. Borash let the FoF winners volunteer who wanted to open theirs first. Eli Drake, psyched out by Godderz, volunteered so he could get it over with. He found out he will be getting a KOTM title shot. Good for him. The KOTM/TV title provides a lot of benefit to guys like Eli, who aren’t plausible world title winners.
4. Decay (Crazzy Steve and Abyss w/ some girl who looks like she was a second attempt to clone Daffney—first attempt was HAVOK.) v. The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) Winners: The Wolves via DQ
Then we got the rest of the FoF openings. Storm told Roode that he would give him the briefcase if there was a (world?) title shot in it. Thus, we see that Storm is no longer as selfish as he was when Gunner won. Character evolution! Storm won the Tag Title shot, so Beer Money were happy. The Detective won the world title shot, and tried to comfort Grado. Grado lastly won the Fired, and was very sad. Poor Grado.
Show begins with Ethan returning. He will speak later.
Theme from Power Rangers hits and World Champ Hardy/Reby/#1 Contender Tyrus enter. They blame Jeff for getting himself piledriven by Eric Young last week. This draws out KOTR champ EY and Bram. EY wants the world title. (Or at least to have it “go through” him.) Kurt Angle disagrees and reveals that he has a retirement tour titleshot against Matthew tonight. Beer Money (James Storm/Bobby Roode) to promise to help Kurt out by taking out Bram/EY. For some reason this brings out Decay (Crazy Steve/Abyss) and the Wolves (Eddie Edwards/Davey Richards). This sets up Beer Money and the Wolves v. Bram/EY and Decay in a hardcore fight for later tonight.
Elsewhere Detective Drew Galloway talks about winning the world title shot FoF Briefcase. The other #1 contender Tyrus tells him to not dare cashing in.
1. Aiden O’Shea v. Bobby Lashley The new Knockout, Raquel comes out during the match. Afterwards she promises him pleasure or pain. Winner: Lashley
Maria walks around background.
EC3 and Jeremy Borash are at some bar(?) prepping for Ethan's interview.
Maria implies she wants in on the Knockouts Division. Gail Kim, Knockouts Champ, comes out to patronize her. Maria patronizes back. Kim challenges her to a match, but Maria thankfully declines, since neither were dressed to compete.
Beer Money (who have the FoF tag title shot briefcase) discuss with the Wolves how they will eventually challenge them for their titles.
EC3 is still preparing for his interview.
Hardcore war. Each wrestler enters with a weapon. 2. Hardcore War: Bram/EY and Decay v. Beer Money and the Wolves Entrance order: Davey Richards (w/ chair), Crazzy Steve (w/ Chainbat), Bram (w/ turnbuckle piece… wish it were his poolballs), James Storm (w/ a keg of beer), Eric Young (w/ kendo stick), Eddie Edwards (w/ chair?), Abyss (w/Janice and the second Daphne clone), Bobby Roode (w/Canadian hockey stick) Winners: Bram/EY and Decay when Crazzy Steve used the Mist and pinned Davey.
The Detective tells Angle that he respects him.
3. “The Detective” Drew Galloway v. Tyrus Tyrus apparently has a new issue with Pope. The announcers are not sure why. Winner: Drew via DQ when “The Miracle” Mike Bennett hit the Detective with the Detective’s briefcase.
Lashley tells Kurt that he wants Kurt to win the title tonight, so that he can win it from him in England, the same place Lashley lost the title to Angle last year.
Long story short, Ethan Carter acknowledged that he had let his hunger to remain unbeaten lead him to the darkside. But, he pointed out that he had always been beatable, and now that he has finally been beaten, he is not going to let that derail him.
Normally, a villain who got turned on would not be a sympathetic babyface as a result. (See: Orton, Randy-2003.) Ethan, however, has been getting cheered over virtually everyone for the past year. And, even as a villain, he would often show honor. The main examples that come to mind are (1.) when he won FoF two years ago, he refused to take Sting's offer to give up his briefcase, even when there was a 50% chance of him getting fired. His courage was a defining trait. And, also (2.) the time when he journeyed into Willow's Cabin in the Middle of Rural North Carolina to rescue his friend Spud. Even as a heel, Ethan would never want to leave a man behind. EC3 will be a great protagonist.
I watched episode #5 as my cable company just picked up Pop this week. I like having the option to watch TNA back in my life. There is enough talent on the roster that they should be able to put out quality shows, but everything that happens feels so empty and hopeless and just thrown together. The War Games Hardcore match was a neat idea, but it was just there. Just moves being thrown together and weapons being swung. I want to like TNA, but I need something more.
I like what Mike Bennett and especially Maria are doing. Hopefully TNA doesn't beat them down and break them too.
Trevor Lee winning the X Title is hopeful.
Josh's voice really is as hilarious as everyone advertised
I was skeptical that EC3 could be as good as a face as a heel, but his first face promo was tremendous and leaves me hope. I still think he's be cast aside for a Hardy vs Hardy main event at Slamiversary.
Maria looks great and is a very good talker but can't wrestle so her feud with Gail doesn't really do much for me. Not high on Bennett, he's just a guy.
Crazzy Steve and the clown woman look good together and Steve pulls demented off well, but Abyss is still Abyss and I still don't care about him.
Lee needs to wear tights and shave his chest and Tigre Uno is fucking terrible, they need to hire a half dozen x division guys to rebuild the division.