RAMPAGE REVIEWS IMPACT WRESTLING 1/16/15

This show was billed as the Destination America Debut for TNA.  They pick up after the reveal of MVP’s new group at the end of last week’s show.  Why did they do what they did?  Let’s find out!

Declaration of the “Beat Down Clan”
We start with MVP, Samoa Joe, Low Ki, and Kenny King in the Ring.  MVP has surrounded himself with people who have an “appetite for success”.  He calls out EY who is not a member of the BDC.  EY is mad at Roode for not calling him, they got way back and that history should count for something.  Eric Young puts out the challenge for Roode.  MVP tries to call out Lashley,  instead Kurt Angle shows up.  Joe gets in Kurts face,  and sets up for our first match of the night.

Thoughts – I hate the name “Beat Down Clan” or BDC for short.  It’s a group of people who want to win.  They don’t seem to have a unity or a central point.  This is just a new/bigger group for MVP to be the boss of.  They are all angry, but they don’t seem to have a reason to be angry…  EY who has gone from being the lovable goof to being super angry doesn’t read well.  I don’t think this transition (heel turn) was handled very well.  Also Samoa Joe came out in a red beanie with two hoodies, and a towel over his head.  It was like there was a game of how many things can you balance on Joe’s head.

Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe
This was a great back and forth match.  I loved watching Joe apply every counter we have ever seen for the ankle lock,  but Kurt countering the counters.  Joe kicks out of the Angle Slam!  Kurt counters the Muscle Buster back into the Ankle Lock.  Joe counter the ankle lock sending Kurt into the Ref.  The ref goes down,  Joe hits a low blow on Kurt and then  gets the submission win.  Post match BDC runs down and attacks Kurt, but then Roode makes the save.

Thoughts – I was happy to see Joe kick out of the Angle Slam,  I thought the match was over there and that we were seeing Joe get squashed again.  I was happy to see Joe get the win,  but not so happy it was a cheap win.  Joe is a former World Champion and deserves a better rank than hired thug.

In Ring Segment – Booby Roode 
Blah blah…  EY is full of shit….  Tonight is about Payback.  Tonight EY will pay for what he did.

Thoughts – The end of this promo would have a been a great place to drop in “It pays to be Roode.”  It’s not a current catch phrase but it would have been a nice touch.

The Hardys vs The Wolves – #1 Contender’s Match.
Great back and forth match from all four men.  There were some great spots where everyone got a chance to look good.  The Wolves even hit the Twist of Fate towards the end of the match, to a great reaction.  In the end Jeff breaks up a pinfall with The Swanton Bomb, and then Matt and Jeff get the win with a double team move.

Thoughts – The Revolution was in the crowd for this match, and they had a new member, no introduction on than a mention of the new member by Taz and Josh on Commentary.   This was a great match but I am not happy to see The Hardys as the new #1 Contenders.  TNA needs to make their own stars,  piggy backing off of their stars from the WWE makes their entire roster look weaker.  Also I was put in my place by Matt Hardy on Twitter.  I thought the high low double team move they used was the same The Ascension’s “Fall of Man” but I was wrong.

MattHardy-FallofMan

Backstage Segment – Ethan Carter III and Tyrus.
EC3 and and Tyrus take over the control room and bully Jeremy Borash.  EC3 challenge him to a match.

Thoughts – This felt a lot like DX taking over the production truck.  This whole EC3 vs Borash feud doesn’t make any sense to me.

Eric Young vs Bobby Roode – No DQ
Solid hardcore match with back and forth action.  EY wins in the end with a piledriver on the chair.

Thoughts – This match was the right amount of hardcore action and brawling so it didn’t feel gratuitous.  I was glad to see EY with the clean win here.  I am however confused with the whole past history bit.  Sure they came into TNA at the same time,  but back in the Team Canada days everyone treated EY like crap.  I think they were fishing too hard to make EY attacking Roode last week mean something.

Brooke & Taryn Terrell vs The Beautiful People
This was good back and forth match,  nothing spectacular,  but a good match.  Velvet get the win with a roll up with a handful of Brooke’s shorts.  Post Match Awesome Kong shows up,  lays out both Velvet Sky and Angelina Love.  Havok comes down to confront her, but security keeps them apart.

Thoughts – This segment had lots of things working well.  Having the Bro-Mans and DJ Zema Ion piggy back on The Beautiful People’s entrance works great to get them heat.  Ruining the views we want will go a long way to turn the crowd on Velvet and Angelina.  Brooke goes after Robbie clotheslines him off the apron.  At the end when Kong shows up Zema Ion tries to get in her face and gets destroyed with a slam.  I like that we have the ladies stepping up to go toe to toe with the guys.  Also Taryn has come a long way since she was General Manager of (WW)ECW,  glad to see her hitting her stride in the ring and kick ass and taking names.

Low Ki (w/ MVP and Samoa Joe) vs Austin Aries – X Division Title Match.
These two guys and just go in the ring,  and they did just that.  Great back and forth match.  With MVP and Joe at ring side, we didn’t get the suicide dives we normally see.  MVP and Joe get involved,  Aries takes them out.  Kenny King shows up and costs Aries the match, and X Division Title.

Thoughts – This is the BDC match I like the best.  Their presence at ring side subtlety changed the composition of the match, until the very end where they had their full effect.  I don’t think this damages Aries, and the denial of high flying moves, and taking the title off of a baby face champ gets them more heat.

Closing Segment – BDC and Lashley

MVP calls out Lashley and calls him part of the BDC.  MVP declares the Title belongs to all of them, since they all helped.  Lashley says it’s his.  They argue Lashley goes to leave,  MVP stops him.  MVP says he wouldn’t let most people walk away, blah blah blah,  insists on a hug.  BDC beats down Lashley to end the show.

Thoughts – I am still confused since we have the BDC as an obvious heel group with out a goal, and they seem to be setting up short term attacks.  I don’t even know if this is setting up MVP vs Lashley.  Also if this was supposed to generate baby face support for Lashley it fell very flat.

Presentation Thoughts

  • Lighting – Currently the crowd is much darker than the ring, to the point where you can’t see them.  This makes it seem a lot less personal to me.  Without seeing the crowd it makes it hard to rally the TV audience.  In the same way an empty arena match is harder to build momentum.  I don’t mind a contrast,  but I would like to see it a bit brighter to see the crowd but keep the focus on the ring.
  • Nashville Commentary – I like the idea of Taz and Josh being in Nashville it allows them to call the match as an observer.  There is something that is lost in having them be able to feed off a live crowd but I am interested to see how this new dynamic works.  However I don’t think we needed to keep cut to shots of them in the studio during matches.  It didn’t add anything and it seemed to take the focus off of the match itself,  even with a split screen.
  • New Camera Angles and Work – They seem to be focusing on quick actions shots, and cutting to different angles quickly.  They also seemed to have more camera shots where they were switching focus mid shot,  panning from one wrestler to another.  I think this style helps set them apart,  but it was bit rough in a few places this week.
  • Overall – I am enjoying the new look and feel of the presentation.

Closing Thoughts – Now we have two major heel factions The BDC: MVP, Kenny King, Samoa Joe, Low Ki, and Eric Young.  Sure EY isn’t a full member but close enough.  Then we have James Storm’s Revolution: Manik, Abyss, Sanada and Khoya.  (Also why did we have the segment that introduce Khoya after we showed him to the audience?)

We now have two heel groups neither one has a target or opposition so I confused to where this is going.

That being said as always TNA puts on a great wrestling show.  Their action between the ropes this week is second only to Lucha Underground.

Also we get Jeremy Borash vs EC3 next week….

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