Wrestleview.com’s Darragh O’Connor sent this live report in.
Live Recap & Thoughts – TNA Manchester – 30-01-15
Straight off the bat, the arena looks a lot better than it did this time last year. Everything is closer to the action and the crowd is more into the action from the get go. Speaking of which the crowd is bigger and more enthused to be there.
The new Impact Wrestling stage looks great live and the six sided ring is something that was really the missing factor for this show. It’s hard to explain; things just feel more unique with that ring at the centre of the action. TNA seem to understand what they need to be now.
The pre-show meet and greet from the cast of British Bootcamp was a neat little touch from TNA Creative. It was a great way for fans to get into the product and building interest for the show before things even started.
Xplosion Match #1
Mark Andrews vs. Dave Mastiff – Andrews via pin
We kicked off with a fast paced Xplosion match between the two Brits Andrews and Mastiff. Mastiff was super over and clearly the fan favourite. This was a slow and brutal affair; Mastiff took control for the most part until a failed cannonball spot allowed Andrews to take control with an outside Pele kick into a top rope moonsault for the win.
Rating: 3 Stars
Impact Show #1
1. Matt Hardy & The Wolves vs. The Revolution (Abyss, Tigre Uno and Abyss) – Matt Hardy & The Wolves via pin
Big control spots from the heels. With hardy playing a great bad face in peril role. Eddie worked the best in the match and were the most over in the match. Big diving through the ropes spot by The Wolves. Hardy hits the Twist of Faith to set up the double footstomp for The Wolves to get the win.
Rating: 4 Stars
Post-Match heel beatdown by the Revolution. Abyss punished Tigre Uno for taking the pin.
Angle, Lashley and Beatdown Crew promo
Angle looked a lot better than he did in 2014; Roode and Angle could be an interesting feud. However, Lashley can’t cut a promo. He is awful.
2. EC3 & Tyrus vs. Spud & Mr. Anderson – Spud & Mr. Anderson via pin
Anderson was a highlight of this match. Spud has become a huge fan favourite and seems to be better suited as a face. After a quick match Spud & Mr. Anderson pick up the win.
Rating: 2 Stars
Taryn Terrell promo – Awesome Kong destroys her
This promo was dire. Kim did her best to make the best of the material but the best part of this segment was Kong coming out and destroying Taryn.
3. Robbie E & Angelina Love vs. Brooke & Chris Melendez – Robbie E & Angelina Love win via pin.
The Bromans with DJ Z are excellent heels. The addition of the “selfie sticks” makes them the perfect douchebags. DJ Z is underused but still is a great talent. After a great build to it. The match was fairly poor. Robbie E & Angelina Love picked up the cheap win. The crowd was super into this match for some reason.
At this point we got some really odd technically issues. The music was cutting in and out at a lot of points during the rest of show.
Rating: 1 Star
Austin Aries Promo – Sets up match with Joe
Aries is one of the top guys in TNA; he has everything. This promo made me more into the Lashley/MVP match that it had any right to do so. He teased a cash in but gave us an impromptu match with Joe.
4. Aries vs. Samoa Joe – Aries wins via a 450 into a pin
Bell rang for this one twice which confused everyone. Crowd hated Joe. This was a very physical match and a lot of the action happened outside the ring.
This was not their best match but got really good at the end. Aries looked set to win until he failed to hit the Brainbuster. There was a failed Musclebuster attempt and a botched rollup for a two count. The BDC run out and provide the distraction. Aries overcomes this and eventually hits an amazing 450 Splash for the win.
The BDC beat the hell out of him after the match. Ringing the bell during a spot like this is silly and really needs to be phased out.
Rating: 4 Stars
Xplosion Match #2
5. Rampage Brown vs. Noam Dar – No Contest – Bram comes out and beats up everyone so he can call out Magnus. Grado answers and gets beaten up.
This was more of an angle that anything else. Bram killed both of these guys two minutes into the match. Bram called out Magnus but Grado came out and got destroyed. The fans love this guy and he will be a star for TNA.
Rating: 0 Stars
6. Main Event: TNA World Heavyweight Title
Bobby Lashley vs. MVP – Lashley retains thanks to Drew Galloway.
This match was dire. Both men were terrible and this match contained many botched spots. It was horrible. There were run ins and other nonsense. Don’t watch it.
It was saved by the appearance of Drew.
Rating: 1 Star
The first of the shows was a mixed bag. It had things that I liked and other stuff that went over like in a fart in Church. Overall, the Aries/Joe match and the appearance of Drew won me over.
Impact Show #2
1. TNA Knockouts Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell – Taryn wins via DQ
Another angle rather than a match. Kong got herself DQ’d after pushing the referee. It was silly.
Rating: 0 Stars
Kong destroyed Taryn after the match and I guess that was fun. Gail would make the save and would battle Kong to the back.
2. Bram vs. Matt Hardy – Bram wins via low blow and pin
Hardy looked like great; the fans loved him and he put together a good match with Bram. Bram won after a low blow into a DDT combo. The crowd hated this! Decent match.
Rating: 2 Stars
Pointless Bram/Magnus Promo
And an even more pointless Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle Promo
3. TNA Tag Team Titles: The Wolves vs. The Revolution – The Wolves are your new champions.
This was a treat to see. The Wolves were on fire and put everything that they could into stealing the show. Matt Hardy would appear again to help the lads win the match.
Spot of the night goes to the string of dives to the outside by The Wolves on all the members of The Revolution.
Rating: 5 Stars
Beatdown Crew Promo calling out Drew Galloway
Drew comes through the crowd and cuts an outstanding promo. He calls out “Sports Entertainment” and stresses that he is in TNA to wrestle not “sports entertain”. Drew looked like a star here and TNA have made an awesome move grabbing him.
Not even Drew falling off a chair could ruin this promo for him.
4. Drew Galloway vs. Kenny King – Drew wins via pin
Drew and King had a match from this promo. King was great but Drew went over quickly with a DDT. And Drew left through the crowd. It was awesome!
Rating: 2 Stars
5. Main Event: The Number Contender Three Way Dance
Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode vs. Eric Young – Angle wins with the pin on Roode.
Boring match. And it was like every Angle match to date in TNA.
Rating: 1 Stars
The question that everyone is asking me: “So, was it better than last year?” Yes, by a country mile. Those shows last year were dire for TNA. 2014 nearly killed that company; finally it seems that TNA understand what they are and what they need to be going forward.
Yes, the pacing of the shows was a little weird and the crowd was dead after the Drew promo. They were burned out but they seemed to want to cheer Angle.
Lashley can’t talk; he’s the worst thing in TNA. But giving the belt to Angle is a poor move on TNA’s behalf. Who does it push? What does it do? Nothing! This show proved who the real stars are or at least can be: Drew, Bram, Aries, Roode, Hardy, Grado, EC3 and The Wolves.
TNA are in a much way state than after their run with Russo, Bubba and Hogan at the helm. I am hopefully. The shows weren’t great but for TNA they were great. At this rate, TNA could become everything they deserve to be. I just hope they understand why everyone at the Phone4U Arena was so happy after the show.