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Thunder’s TNA Impact Double Dose AND BONUS: Classic Match Review By Corey Williams

Impact Wrestling 02/06/14

We see MVP and the Wolves arriving at the arena. Yes!

Next we see Abyss and Eric Young brawling backstage as they are scheduled for a monster’s ball match tonight. Exciting way to start the night with two of my favorites!

Abyss and EY brawl into the arena so their match can officially start. The match ends when EY rips off Abyss’ mask to reveal Joseph Park. Park nails EY with the black hole slam for the three count and then realizes that he’s been unmasked.

^That was one helluva brawl to start the night! It wasn’t epic or five stars or anything incredible, but damn did they battle hard! Great way to turn a storyline into a solid wrestling match to possibly end a feud.

Bobby Roode is backstage and he wants Dixie to sign a contract for him to face Magnus for the TNA World Title at Lockdown. Dixie refuses to sign it because of things changing around here. She tells Roode to defeat Samoa Joe tonight to help his argument.

^Joe vs Roode? Abso-freakin-lutely!

MVP comes to the ring to speak. He talks about change coming to TNA and says people in TNA have been doing whatever they want without consequences. Rockstar Spud interrupts him. Spud wants MVP to introduce himself to Dixie in her dressing room. MVP agrees to do that, but then informs us that he’s scheduled World Champion Magnus to face Kurt Angle in a non-title match tonight. Spud is mad.

^That was short and to the point. I like that. Nice to see a great promo guy here in TNA.

We get a very dark Bully Ray promo backstage. He talks about his casket match with Mr. Anderson next week.

^I don’t like this Bully Ray character. He’s not some dark and brooding teenager for crying out loud.

Kurt Angle’s Hall of Fame induction will take place in three weeks. He’s earned it.

Chris Sabin cuts a promo and says he won’t accept Velvet breaking his heart. He’s waiting for her to do something special.

^Not interested. I’d rather see Sabin shut up and wrestle, but I do give TNA credit for TRYING to make him more interesting as a character.

Curry Man comes to the ring. Bully Ray comes out and he’s pushing the casket. Ray tells Curry Man that he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ray beats him down and puts him in the casket before closing the lid.

^I’ve enjoyed the Anderson/Ray matches, but where else can the storyline go once they’ve had this match? I really hope it’s their final duel.

Magnus is complaining to Dixie Carter backstage about facing Kurt Angle tonight. She tells him he’ll be fine and sends him off. Spud sucks up to her and says he’s got the spread ready. Ethan Carter comes in and wants to talk to “Ant Dee” but she doesn’t have time for him. She tells him next week they’ll talk and he accepts that.

^Less is more when it comes to Dixie. This worked for me because it was fairly short. EC III has got a bright future if this company continues this turnaround.

Austin Aries comes out with the X-Division Title and gets a good pop from the crowd. Aries says the man makes the title. The BroMans interrupt him and Zema Ion jumps Aries from behind with his feast or fired briefcase. Ion cashes in for his title shot right now.

^I’ll never complain about seeing Aries wrestle, and it’s nice to be reminded that he still has his sights set on the world title.

Zema and Aries have their match while Aries is in his jeans and collared shirt. Aries with a discus forearm shot, and he wins the match with the brainbuster in less than four minutes.

^So the briefcase is wasted just like that, and the match went less than four minutes. Doesn’t seem like the best move to me for a short X match, but I’ll be hopeful that we see longer matches from Aries and Ion now that this happened.

Dixie tells Spud that MVP will be in the office anytime.

We see last week with Christy Hemme and Samuel Shaw and Christy then confronts Samuel of the footage of him obsessing on her shrine. He says he went a little overboard. She wants to know what’s with the mannequin and he doesn’t answer. She thinks he’s great but that they just need to keep their relationship professional. He says okay.

^Let’s see where they take this from here. I’d expect a positive outcome as I don’t think TNA will kill off the Christy Hemme character.

Bobby Roode and Magnus argue backstage. Magnus says Roode didn’t help him beat Sting or Jeff Hardy. He tells Roode to focus on Samoa Joe. Roode reminds Magnus that Joe made him tap out last week. Magnus says he’ll tap out anytime the title isn’t on the line because his pride isn’t bigger than his brain. Roode wishes Magnus luck with Kurt Angle tonight.

^Two potentially great matches coming up with good promo work between Roode and Magnus? Awesome!

MVP joins Spud and Dixie backstage. Dixie brags about herself and Spud sucks up to her. She says she treats everyone with fairness. MVP calls it an interesting perspective but wonders if Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles and Sting would share her perspective. Dixie says he’s going to get such a great rub off working with her. MVP says they’re going to discuss the future of TNA in front of the fans in the ring. MVP says he made the match non title in all fairness as she is not happy about it. He leaves her office.

^That was too long, but I like MVP a lot more than Dixie.

Kurt Angle takes on Magnus and the belt is NOT on the line. Angle gets Magnus in an ankle lock in under three minutes and EC III interferes to cause the DQ finish.

^That was a waste of something potentially excellent, but the reason is because Angle has been having issues with his leg before the show. I’m surprised he competed here.

EC III beats Angle with a chair and Angle sells the leg injury even more as EC III continues the beatdown while the ref tries to stop him.

^Good way to write Angle out of the scene so he can heal up. That looked legitimately painful the way he was wrenching Angle’s leg. More of a segment than a match, and I suppose that’s okay given Angle’s prior injury. I find it highly ironic that WWE couldn’t utilize Derrick Bateman in any role on the main roster but yet TNA is already making him into a star. The guy has a great look and a great personality to match; I expect big things for him.

Joe cuts a backstage promo and he says Dixie Carter has started a war that she cannot win and he will stand alone if he has to.

^Nice intensity from Joe. It’s about time this guy takes the top slot on the roster.

EY says crazy is the only thing Abyss would understand and now Joseph Park knows that he’s Abyss. EY says he doesn’t know what will happen next.

^At least we got the explanation to explain it all. I enjoyed that opener more than anything else so far on the show.

Chris Sabin talks with Velvet Sky in their “special” place. He gets on one knee and she gets excited. He then pulls out and opens an empty box. He asks her to get out of his life because she has always stolen his spotlight. He wants to face her in a one on one match next week.

^That was silly. Reminds me of Marc Mero and Sable in 1998.

Samoa Joe defeats Bobby Roode in five and a half minutes with the rear naked choke. Roode taps out.

^That’s it? After getting cheated out of the Magnus/Angle match, I expected at least ten minutes of solid wrestling. Call me disappointed.

MVP takes the ring with Dixie and Spud. Dixie brags about Magnus as World Champion. Dixie says they will be successful if everyone just follows her lead. MVP tells her very soon changes will take effect and the party is over.

^Well that was less than exciting. I thought we would hear some ideas and things that will be happening, but instead he just tells her things will change. Reminds me of a certain presidential candidate a few years back telling everyone he has a plan without ever revealing the specifics. I hope this gets better.

So no Wolves on the show even though they showed up with MVP? More disappointment. Too much talking despite the entertainment. Only one match worth seeing(monster’s ball). No knockouts besides the Velvet/Sabin scene and that was TALKING. The show gets a 4 out of 10 for good matches booked and good storyline advancement, but overall I’m disappointed with the short matches and lack of wrestling.

Impact Wrestling 02/13/14

Magnus, EC III, Spud and Dixie kick off the show coming to the ring. Oh joy. Dixie runs her mouth and gets booed. Too bad people really don’t like her as a character or person. She says she won’t lose control of her company. EC III says he’s ended the career of Kurt Angle. Magnus goes to talk but gets a “you sold out” chant. That’s loud. They should just stay in Europe and make more money. Anyway, Magnus runs his mouth and gets interrupted by Samoa Joe and MVP. MVP announces that Magnus will defend the title against Joe at Lockdown. Gunner’s music hits and out he comes with his feast or fired briefcase.

Gunner apologizes for interrupting and asks for a moment. He tells Magnus that Manchester is tired of seeing a paper champion and he’s sick of carrying around the briefcase. Gunner says he’ll give Magnus seven days to prepare himself and next week he’s cashing in against Magnus.

Dixie informs Gunner that he’s in a match against EC III with his briefcase on the line. MVP says he’s cool with that and wants EC III to put his briefcase for a tag title shot on the line as well in a ladder match. Dixie accepts and MVP says he and Dixie can get along. He calls EC III C3PO and says he’ll be watching closely in case the playing field needs to be leveled.

^Magnus talked for too long, but that segment was fun once MVP hit the stage. Despite the boring champion, overall it’s a good opening scene.

James Storm and Magnus get involved in the ladder match and it’s made into a tag team match by MVP. The match goes roughly ten minutes total and Gunner wins the match and both briefcases for himself and Storm after taking out EC III with a diving headbutt. That headbutt from the top rope may be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen Gunner do.

^I still think Gunner and Magnus are boring, but this match was awesome! You have to love MVP playing the role of Teddy Long as he made this thing into a tag team match. Hot way to start the show; I hope it stays this good!

Mr. Anderson says his match tonight is about one thing, and that is his twin kids that were just born.

^Adding a personal element like that can be good, but in this case it really isn’t needed.

The BroMans go in and see Spud in Dixie’s dressing room. They’re mad that Gunner and Storm won the briefcase. Zema Ion is with them. Spud says Dixie has everything under control and these guys are not happy. MVP comes into the room and says Dixie’s promises are worth less and less every day. MVP suggests stripping the BroMans of the titles if they want to keep complaining. He books them in a six man match against the Wolves and a mystery partner.

^YES! YES! YES! It’s time for the Wolves!

The Wolves have Samoa Joe as their mystery partner against the BroMans and Zema Ion. No shock there. The match goes just over six minutes as Joe gets the win with the rear naked choke on Zema Ion.

^It was short, but it was full of action! I’m almost happier to see the Wolves in TNA wrestling with their original names rather than being in WWE developmental forever with ridiculous new names. The Wolves will probably have the tag titles soon, and I expect that they’ll help refresh the tag team division. I like all the momentum for Joe right now; I seriously hope TNA considers putting the title on him and ending the ridiculous reign of captain boring and his fake accent.

Velvet Sky asks Dixie to call off the match with her and Chris Sabin tonight. Dixie says she’s not paid to sit on her backside and look pretty so unfortunately she needs to be in the match tonight. MVP ends up arguing with Dixie and Spud calls him washed up. MVP books Spud against himself in a match tonight.

^Good segment. Dixie is more likeable for me when she’s in conversation with people I like.

Abyss comes to the ring with a hood on but no mask. Feels like a Monday night in 2003. He calls out EY. EY comes out and won’t get in the ring. He says he just wanted to help. Abyss asks if EY is afraid of him and then he gets in the ring. They exchange words and Abyss gets intense. Then “Joseph Park” pops up and says he can’t do Abyss anymore and what he needs is help from EY. EY says he can help him and then Abyss comes back and says he is done with EY and he needs to go away and fix this. He needs to find someone who truly understands him and he is going to fix this.

^Messy, weird and intense. And I actually liked it. That was some awesome acting by Abyss. I’m curious to see where it all goes from here with the character of Abyss. I hope TNA doesn’t destroy it.

Samuel Shaw sees Christy backstage and tells her he agrees that they should keep things professional. He then sniffs his hand after shaking hers.

^Just strange. Like I said, unless they off Christy, this storyline can only end one way.

MVP takes on Rockstar Spud. MVP wins the match in less than two minutes with the ballin elbow and a huge kick to the head.

^Definitive debut for MVP. I won’t complain about the squash because I really don’t like Spud. Good quick showing by MVP.

Willow is coming. It’s Jeff Hardy.

Dixie is complaining on the phone to someone when she’s interrupted by Bobby Roode. Roode says he saved Magnus twice and he earned a title shot. She says he lost it when he lost to Joe last week. Roode flips out and says she owes him a World Title shot. She says she owes him nothing. Roode says she doesn’t want him as her enemy. She says she understands.

^THAT WAS FREAKIN AWESOME! Best Roode promo in 2014(not that he hasn’t had some before now).

Velvet Sky goes one on one with Chris Sabin. Sabin insults her before the match and she kicks him in the knee. Then she kicks him between the legs. He continues to insult her as he pulls out a cup and calls her stupid. She low blows him again without the cup and beats on him. Some bigger lady comes into the ring and and beats down Velvet. She puts Velvet in a full nelson while Sabin orders her around. She’s a mystery woman apparently. Sabin pins Velvet and the woman counts instead of the ref.

^Maybe we can finally get some knockouts action and real women’s matches now that this has started. Time for Sabin to start wrestling.

Bully Ray is shown going through Mr. Anderson’s stuff and uses his cell phone to call Anderson’s wife. Bully says this is the phone call she’s been dreading and to tell the twins that daddy says goodbye.

^Really? Taking it to that level? It’s just stupid on a wrestling show(regardless of the promotion).

Bobby Roode is interviewed backstage and he says it’s over and he just needs some time to think and figure something out for next week. Security comes in and says he’s got to go becaues of Dixie’s orders.

^I find this storyline interesting. Props to TNA.

Bully Ray takes on Mr. Anderson in a casket match. The match goes roughly ten minutes when Anderson lands the mic check on Bully Ray and closes him in the casket.

^That was excellent. The crowd loved it, I loved it, and anyone who saw it should’ve loved it. One helluva story told here and the ending to one helluva feud. Time for these two to move on, but great match with the brutality and story told.

MVP and Dixie talk backstage. Dixie wants to buy MVP’s shares in TNA. She offers him to sign it for a significant amount of money. MVP says he came here to make TNA a better company and he’s not even close to being done. He crumples up the contract and declines her offer. MVP offers her a four on four match at Lethal Lockdown with full control of the wrestling part of the company on the line. She accepts in not so many words. And the show is over.

^I enjoyed that ending. I enjoyed most of the show. I’ll give it a solid 7 out of 10 for quality. I wish the Wolves had wrestled longer, but at least they had more than just a cameo appearance on the program.

Thanks for reading!

Now, we have a special treat from the newest member of our team, Corey Williams!

Jake “The Snake” vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat June 27, 1986 Boston Garden

Before I begin my review of this match, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Corey Williams and I am a wrestling nerd. I have been watching since around 1989 and became a die-hard fan around 96. My favorite wrestler of all time is The Sensational Destroyer followed closely by Stan “The Lariat” Hansen. I tend to be rather cynical about today’s wrestling because I believe that it’s watered down and insults the fans even though my favorite match of all time is Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels from WM 25. Now that that introduction is over it’s time to get to the Main Event, the match at hand: Jake the Snake vs. Ricky the Dragon.

I have heard about this feud but never really watched. There is obviously bad, bad blood between the two. Jake is a bona fide Psychological Mastermind and I believe that will ultimately be his legacy, that and the move that he blessed us with, The DDT. Steamboat is another guy that really needs no introduction. He has put on countless Legendary matches with the likes of Flair and Savage and in my opinion is quite possibly the greatest American All-Rounder ever. He wasn’t the flashiest but he was effective. A great scientific wrestler who for a guy his size could fly and if need be brawl with the best of them.

This match begins with Jake the Snake rushing into the ring only to get cut off by Steamboat who gains the early advantage with a punch to The Snake’s head and a Signature Ricky Steamboat karate chop. Steamboat doesn’t seem too concerned with putting on a technical clinic but rather to gain a measure of retribution against The Snake. The Snake slithers to another corner to gain some composure and The Dragon fires up the crowd. Steamboat follows up with more strikes and works Roberts in corner. A wild punch from Roberts is ducked by Steamboat who follows up with more punches and chops. Snake hits the ground belly first and Steamboat climbs to the middle turnbuckle and drops a fist to the back of Jake the Snake’s head/neck or the external occipital protuberance area as so eloquently described by Gorilla Monsoon. The Dragon follows that up with a flying chop to the downed Roberts and is in complete control of this match, so far. The Dragon with more strikes and a knee drop that keeps The Snake reeling. Roberts tries to get to his feet but is so dazed he falls into the ropes and gets his arms caught between them. A Measured chop from The Dragon and the ref tried to restrain the Dragon who obviously isn’t trying to hear that. He slides through the ref’s legs and punches The Snake in the face again. But, Roberts is free from the ropes. An Irish whip attempt from The Dragon is reversed by Roberts. The Dragon slides through Jake the Snakes legs but is met with a momentum changing punch from Roberts. The Snake takes a couple of seconds to regain his composure and goes on the attack. AWESOME reverse Atomic Drop from The Snake. 10 years prior that would have been a finisher. The Snake takes a few more seconds to regain his wind. He gets to his feet and Irish whips Steamboat and follows up with a clothesline. The Snake plays to the crowd a bit and methodically stalks Steamboat. The ref asks Steamboat if he wants to keep going and Steamboat waves him off. The Snake executes his signature, and one of my favorite moves, Slingshot Clothesline. Steamboat is reeling and Jake the Snake taunts him daring The Dragon to hit him. Punches and slaps to Steamboat. Steamboat gets a gut shot in but the ever wily Jake the Snake thumbs The Dragon in the eye. Roberts with more punches to Steamboat and Steamboat pushes The Snake into the corner to try to gain a moment to breathe. Another eye poke from The Snake and Roberts throws Steamboat over the top rope. Ricky Steamboat is able to just barely hold on and stop himself from hitting the ground. Steamboat with a shoulder thrust as The Snake is approaching and follows that up with a Sunset Flip attempt but Roberts holds the rope and punches Steamboat in the face. The Snake applies a Sleeper Hold in the center of the ring. Very smart if you ask me. The ref misses a blatant choke and Robert’s foot on the ropes. The ref checks on Steamboat raises his arm once, twice but The Dragon is able to hold on before his arm fell the third time. Steamboat gets to his feet and delivers his own Reverse Atomic Drop. Even though it seemed to have hurt Jake the Snake he is quickly back on his feet and delivers a Body Slam to the Dragon. Roberts mounts Steamboat and begins to wail away with punches. The ref steps in and physically pulls The Snake off of Steamboat much to the dismay of the announcers, Mean Gene and Gorilla Monsoon. The Snake blows snot out of his nostrils and is in no hurry to finish the Dragon off. As the Dragon gets to his feet Roberts hits another big body slam. The Snake obviously wants to feed Steamboat to Damien so he goes to the bag and tries to untie it. The ref is counting because I guess this is illegal. He gets to 4 the first time and The Snake can’t get the bag open. The ref gets to 4 a second time and Roberts still can’t get the bag open. A third time same thing. I don’t know if this spot was planned or what not but it’s just odd. Meanwhile, Steamboat has had a minute or two to recover. Roberts finally says, “Forget it”, and goes for a running knee to the back of Steamboat but its gets reversed sending The Snake head first into the turnbuckle. Roberts is hurt. Steamboat has recovered and his adrenaline is pumping. He grabs The Snake by the back of his Trunks and hits some chops. A wild wing by Roberts is ducked by Steamboat who hits another strike to Jake the Snake’s head. Reverse Neck breaker from Steamboat and another. Steamboat follows up with a flying fist but the Snake gets his knees up and Steamboat crashes into them. Both men are down but Jake is up first. A running knee lift sends The Dragon out the ring. Roberts removes the tape from around his wrists. Steamboat pulls himself back onto the apron but Roberts knocks him back off with a punch to the head. The Snake exits the ring and goes after Steamboat. A side headlock attempt his reversed by Steamboat sending The Snake into the ring post head first. More punches from Steamboat and the Snake slithers back into the ring. Steamboat follows after him but the ref calls for the bell. Steamboat climbs the turnbuckle as the ref raises The Snake’s arm in victory. The ref counted Steamboat out and The Dragon is livid. A high knee from The Snake and the brawl is on. The Snake sends The Dragon out the ring and attempts a DDT but is reversed when Steamboat pushes The Snake into the side of the ring. The Dragon then rams The Snake into the barricade head first busting him open. Punches from Steamboat and he rolls The Snake back into the ring. Steamboat climbs the turnbuckle and executes a flying chop to the forehead of The Snake. Steamboat with more punches to Roberts and the ref finally tries to pull The Dragon off. The Dragon threatens to beat the ref up a few times but decides against it and goes back after The Snake. More Punches from Steamboat and the ref tries to pull him off again and almost gets clobbered by Steamboat. Jake the Snake uses this opportunity to gather his pet snake and make his exit with the win in tow.

One thing I must say about this match is that the communication between Roberts and Steamboat is impeccable. They seem to know each other very well. Not a lot of talking is needed between the two instead small gestures seem to indicate to the other what is next. I haven’t seen many Jake the Snake matches but I have seen enough to know that he is more effective with less than most guys with robust move sets…eat your heart out Cena critics. I feel this was a lesser showing from Steamboat. His intensity is the same but it wasn’t a technical masterpiece from Steamboat. Not a lot of pin falls nor rest holds. It seemed more like Steamboat was trying to beat The Snake at his own game which is brawling. Could be an aspect of the storyline but I feel like Steamboat has a lot more to offer than what was shown here. One gripe I have is the REF. He sucked. I feel like the REF restricted this match so much with incompetence. But whatever, it’s juts the ref.

Not a definitive match between the two but a solid grudge match to build upon. The ending was decent as I’m sure this feud kept burning well after this match. The crowd was very into it and the chemistry between the two wrestlers while not Great was good enough to get the job done. Their communication was Awesome and I’m sure only helped future bigger matched between the two.All in All I give this match a solid B. Above average but not anything to knock your socks off.

Thanks for reading!

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