Anybody else still watch TNA? No? ... Didn't think so.
This is my first time tuning in in awhile, I'll admit. I'm glad to see that the annoying pseudo-nWo with bikers has gone the way of the dinosaur, and about time. I can't even remember what they were called, only that they were stinking up the show for quite some time.
Also, I came in about halfway through, so this will be a sketchy recap at best. Eric Young has apparently had more luck with his title reign than poor Daniel Bryan ... if one of these two guys had to have neck problems, I'd rather it be the guy on the show I rarely watch. Anyways, he's running a gauntlet tonight against MVP's stable (creatively called 'MVP'), and if he wins 2/3 falls, he gets to set the stipulation for his title match against MVP at Slammerversary. Before I tuned in, EY lost a match to Bobby Lashley, and supposedly injured his back on a bump to the pads outside the ring. They worked it way too much throughout the night for it to be a legit injury, though.
I started with the 2nd match of the gauntlet, against Kenny King. EY sold the back injury decently enough but ignored it when convenient. King dominated late in the match but spent too much time showboating and missed a high risk move off the top, then got planted with a Tombstone piledriver. EY went to 1-1 and would face MVP in the main event for control of the stipulation.
After that was a pretty damn good Div-er, I mean, Knockouts match between Gail Kim, Brittney and Madison Rayne. Kim is the only one out of the three I'm familiar with, mostly from her WWE days, and I'm glad to see her in a promotion that seems to let the ladies wrestle a lot more than Vince does. The Beautiful People came out to look hot, do guest commentary and eventually interfere. Brittney and Madison played up some kind of storyline drama between them that I really didn't follow much, but it was still a solid and entertaining ladies' match. The BP tried to set Brittney up to win after putting over her outfit on commentary, but the blast of hairspray hit her instead. Kim then pulled a kick finisher that is apparently called Eat Defeat (groan) and scored a title shot at the PPV.
MVP versus EY was our main event, and it was pretty much a total clusterfuck. Lashley and King came out to attack EY before the bell rang, targeting the lower back almost exclusively and then tossing him into the ring for MVP to pound on further. MVP brought a chair into the ring, and sat down first to try and talk EY into giving up. He refused, so MVP folded the chair up and slapped him across the back with it, earning himself a disqualification. Since Young technically won the match, he got to set the stipulation; he and MVP will face off in a cage match, where MVP's cronies can't interfere.
What I saw wasn't bad; I'm pleased that the Knockouts seem to be given more time to put on a good show than the Divas generally are, and unlike WWE, TNA hasn't stocked their roster with models and reality show 'stars' who can't wrestle their way out of a wet paper bag. I have trouble seeing EY as anything except a poor man's Daniel Bryan, though. I also have no idea what they're doing with Jeff Hardy, who is even weirder now than he was a few months ago, when he was painting a second pair of eyes over his eyelids. Now he's calling himself 'Willow' and teaming with Abyss. At least Bully Ray isn't rehashing the nWo anymore.
I do still watch TNA (I haven't missed an episode in years), I just rarely feel like commenting on it, and certainly don't feel like recapping it. Slammiversary is this Sunday, and while I usually put up a TNA prediction thread for the PPV's, I think I'll pass this time due to the general lack of interest in TNA.
I do like MVP's faction in TNA, although MVP's heel turn was nonsensical. I think TNA's problem has a lot to do with Dixie Carter's on screen presence. Her storylines are generally awful.
To answer some of your (indirect) questions, the bikers were Aces & 8's and they've been gone for a long time. TNA did run that into the ground. Willow is Jeff Hardy's character from long ago, and bringing him back now was his idea as far as I know. They've openly acknowledged it's Hardy since his first appearance.
Some things TNA has done that I like is the Sam Shaw character, I think he's done a good job, but unfortunately was left to feud with Mr. Anderson. His act has seemed stale for quite some time. The Knockouts division is usually good, with talented female wrestlers, although I always thought Angelina Love looked too emaciated.
I used to watch on a nearly weekly basis but I lost interest a year and a half or so ago. I have never had a harder time buying into a guy as a main eventer as I have with a Eric Young and I'm not the only one as the ratings have cratered since he became champion. He's pretty much TNA's Santino and he won the title out of nowhere. With Styles and Bad Influence gone which were my fav acts I have no real interest in watching. No idea why TNA let Bad Influence go. They were consistently TNA's most entertaining act and had great matches and should have been feuding with the Wolves. Those tag matches and rivalry would rival the MCMG-Beer Money feud as well as the Triple X-AMW feud for best tag matches in company history. Styles being gone is shocking. I know he's never was and never will be on Sting's level, but TNA without Styles would be like WCW without Sting. The roster is weaker than it's been since the early days of TNA and I think I'll check out Jarrett's new promotion before I give TNA another shot.
MVP's villain run so far reminds me a lot of Hardy's Nero phase. It's a huge shame that MVP got injured right before he (probably) would have won the title. TNA's been doing a great job of setting up hot matches for MVP with virtually every significant name on the roster (Aries, Roode, Joe, Young, Ray, King, and of course stealth hero ECIII). That has the potential to make the BFG series this year wide open for plausible winners.
Brooke making a cameo this week was a pleasant surprise. I was hoping Brooke would reveal that the baby was actually the other Brooke's.
As maybe the only person in the world (other than Christopher Daniels) who still clings to the delusion that the Television title still exists, I hope that Bram attempts to grab it from Abyss.
This was a really strong show that was much stronger then last months PPV that had much better build. It is sad that such a strong PPV got little build and felt more like a placeholder than any other PPV this company this PPV has put on.