So again I only watched the second hour, but that's usually when the best matches happen anyway. This seemed to be almost an ECW reunion show, between Tommy Dreamer beating the crap out of EC3 and the Monster's Ball match with Abyss and Willow. Willow's way of speaking is as freakish as his appearance, and Abyss looks somehow more intimidating with his missing teeth.
They face off in a match against Magnus and Bram, with boards covered in barbed wire and trashcans full of weapons scattered about ringside. Considering the heels are both shirtless and the heroes aren't, I have a feeling I know who's going through those barbed wire boards. For awhile Willow's in big trouble as Abyss gets handcuffed outside, then Abyss shatters the handcuffs and turns the tables in their favor. Magnus eats a chokeslam onto a bunch of tacks, which of course are sticking out of him, and Bram gets busted open with a vicious shot from Willow with a trashcan.
Willow ends up eating a thrown chair to the face and then falling onto a board covered in barbed wire, and he's not moving. Earlier on in the match Abyss tried using his dreaded 'Janice', a board covered in two-inch-long nails that honestly looks more like a murder weapon than something that could be used in wrestling. That's the problem with weapons like Mjolnir and Janice, if you actually swung that thing with intend to injure, you're more likely to outright kill your opponent. Anyway, it spends most of the match stuck in the top turnbuckle, but eventually the heels wrestle it out and manage to hit Abyss across his (no doubt well armored) stomach, winning the match.
After WWE's terrible 'PG' antics, it's good to see a promotion going hardcore again, using blade jobs and barbed wire and lots and lots of weapons. That Janice thing is just too ridiculous to be used without VERY heavy padding, though, and since Magnus and Bram showed up in nothing except tights, I knew neither of them was going to be getting hit with that thing. Or would be eating the barbed wire for that matter. It was a good concept match that got telegraphed by bad planning, M&B should at least have been dressed in their merchandizing or some generic TNA shirts so the possibility existed of them having a roll in barbed wire. Or at least one of them should have, wearing a shirt would have made the thumbtack chokeslam a bit less impressive. Abyss always could have just torn it off though.
After all that chaos, we get introduced to the new boss in TNA, and it's none other than Kurt Angle! He announces that he's accomplished all his goals in wrestling and he's ready to be everyone's boss now. MVP has a bone to pick with this idea, and they try to intimidate Angle to no success. Angle will fire the lot of them if they lay a hand on him, and he overacts to prove it. He books Lashley in a title rematch against Eric Young and announces the reinstatement of Bobby Roode, both of whom appear at the entrance and run down to do battle with MVP's cronies while the man himself bails. We have a good old-fashioned brawl to see us out.
I enjoyed the hardcore match, and wouldn't mind seeing more of these kinds of matches. There's a definite yearning these days to get away from the overly-sanitized 'PG' bullshit that Vince has been peddling lately, and if TNA keeps it up they may actually get a few people to start watching again. Maybe when the 6-sided ring comes back they can start devoting some actual attention towards the X Division, which is what put them on the map in the first place.
The Dreamer/EC3 brawl was okay. Way too much use of the Rubbermaid trashcan for my liking. EC3 is great. It is too bad he is stuck in Dixie's orbit.
I didn't realize Abyss was missing teeth, that sucks for him. Janice is a ridiculous weapon.
Magnus took the thumb tacks like a champ.
I still love everything Jeff Hardy does and am glad he has become the modern day Sabu who just dies for us every time out. I don't know if that barbed wire was real or fake, but that was a nasty looking fall with only half inch plywood breaking it.
The WWE might have missed something with MVP. He's a great mouth piece, but that ending segment was dumb garbage. Typical TNA.
I'm disappointed that they are dropping the MVP Regime plotline. MVP was doing fantastic as the evil mastermind for the past couple of months.
The Gunner/Shaw segments in the psychiatric ward continue to be heartwarming. Gunner reaching out to Shaw like this is finally giving Gunner some credibility as a likeable babyface. They never followed up on Shaw having ESP though, so I guess Shaw was bluffing about that. It will be interesting to see Christy's reaction to Gunner befriending her ex.
Angle has been looking more normal lately, which pleases me. I didn't like the zoned out wrestling machine look he'd been doing for the past few years.
I originally thought the Board of Directors' attorney was Sting sans facepaint.
Super happy to see Storm beat Anderson cleanly. I wonder if Storm's heel turn will be ending early. His bitterness towards Sanada was funny.
If we're going to have Lashley as our world champion, I hope they bring Lashley's wife back. She was fun.
Manik hanging out backstage without his mask makes him one of the worst luchadores ever.
Hardcore and bladejobs should probably be kept at a minimum for the health of the performers, even if they are entertaining. What I don't understand is having such a massive piece of mayhem happen with no hype in the middle of the show when you JUST had a PPV where it could've been something special. Mind-boggling.
Lashley's 'wife' won't be back. She was just his gf RL and they aren't together anymore. At least he has MVP to talk for him. His angry eight year old's voice completely undermines him.
Bobby Roode as a face is a good idea, but should've happened a while ago when Magnus was champion. But they decided to flush Magnus down the midcard toilet.
Kurt Angle is a fine authority figure. Just stop wrestling before it cripples you, Kurt. Seriously.
"Never piss off a hawk with a blowgun" - Conan O'Brien
After the buzz generated by the high overrun rating for Kane's unmasking, this week's Raw rating drops back down to a 3.6. I'll be interested to see what the main event/overrun gets after the big angle closing the show last week.