National Indoor Arena – Birmingham, England – Friday, May 9, 2014
Mike Tenay and Taz are on commentary. Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme will be handling the random drawing to pair up partners and select opponents. The winners of six tag team matches will be entered into a gauntlet match in the main event.
MATCH #1: Chris Sabin & Gunner vs. Magnus & Doug Williams
Magnus and Williams are former TNA Tag Team Champions, so they clearly have an advantage in this random-draw tag team match. Sabin and Williams start the match with some mat wrestling. If you know anything about Doug Williams, you know who has the advantage there. Sabin gets dumped to the floor and he tries running away but Williams easily outsmarts him. Gunner tags himself in and does significantly better for himself. Magnus tags in and works a side headlock. Gunner powers back and several tags are made on both sides as both teams try to establish dominance. Sabin and Gunner are able to isolate Williams and wear him down in their half of the ring. Williams fires back with a short-arm clothesline on Sabin but he can’t quite make the tag yet. Gunner comes in and tries to keep Williams down, but the feisty former X Division and TV Champion is able to get his boot up on a charge in the corner, and he heads to the second rope to hit a diving European Uppercut. Tags are made on both sides and Magnus is a house afire. Gunner drags Sabin over to his own corner and tags himself in. HE puts Magnus in the Gun Rack, and Sabin returns the favor by tagging himself in. Sabin goes for the cover but only gets two. He accidentally hits Gunner with a forearm to knock him off the apron. Williams catches Sabin with a flying knee in the corner, and he snap mares Sabin right in perfect position for Magnus to hit the diving elbow drop. That’s enough for Williams to get the pin at 8:32. That was fun to see Magnus and Williams together again, and Sabin’s antics were entertaining as well.
MATCH #2: Christopher Daniels & Robbie E vs. Bad Bones & Samoa Joe
Bad Bones is representing Germany, and I know nothing else about him. Neither does Taz, which is ridiculous because it’s his job to provide color commentary and not mine. This is Bones’ TNA debut. Joe and Daniels start the match with some degree of caution, as they have faced each other so many times in the past. They do their usual back and forth and Joe takes the first advantage. Joe delivers the Face Wash and Daniels takes a powder. Back in the ring Daniels makes the tag, and it’s E’s turn to try facing the Samoan Submission Machine. That doesn’t go well for E, and Joe makes the tag. Bones comes in and throws E around a bit. E fights back with a knee to the gut and makes the tag. Daniels comes in and Bones goes right on offense with a flurry of strikes. E and Daniels try to work together but Bones hits them with a simultaneous clothesline. The smaller Daniels and E are finally able to sustain some control and keep Bones on the ground. It doesn’t last long as E misses a charge in the corner. Tags are made and Joe is a house afire. Bones takes care of E with a spear, and Joe flattens Daniels with the STJoe. One Muscle Buster later and Joe gets the pin at 7:12. That was certainly brief but it was fun while it lasted. Joe and Bones make an interesting team. They could have done more shenanigans or antics with Daniels and E on the same team, but instead they did almost nothing.
MATCH #3: Rockstar Spud & Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson & Austin Aries
The crowd actually loves Spud because it’s his home country. Everyone stalls a bit in the early going, and we end up starting the match with Aries and Spud. Of course Aries controls, but Spud is determined to prove his mettle. Ray tries to help coach Spud, but it just devolves into “comedy.” I used the quotes purposefully. The alleged comedy continues, and even referee Earl Hebner gets involved, delivering a bodyslam to the diminutive Spud. Aries and Anderson seem to be taking the match somewhat seriously, but their opponents would rather be goofy. Tenay and Taz chortling like it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen just makes this all the more irritating. Ray tells Spud to get the tables, and Spud can’t even lift a folding table. Even Anderson sympathizes with Ray at this point, but then quickly decides to slam him down instead. Anderson hits a Finlay Roll and goes up top but Spud shoves him down. Aries knocks Spud to the floor and then hits Ray with an IED. He goes for the Brainbuster but Spud sneaks in from behind and gets a rollup with a handful of tights to get the pin at 11:50. That was painfully unfunny and felt twice as long as it was. I have no interest in Rockstar Spud in any fashion.
MATCH #4: 2013 Joker’s Wild Gauntlet Match, One Night Only: Joker’s Wild, 5.3.13
We’re joined in progress as #8 is out and it’s Mr. Anderson. Godderz wants to work together with Anderson since they were partners earlier, but Anderson feeds him to Park instead. Park eliminates Godderz to a nice pop. Christopher Daniels is the #9 entrant. We make it to #10 and it’s Samoa Joe, who immediately goes after Daniels. Joe also goes after everyone else, just because he’s awesome and he can. The massive Robbie T is #11 and he quickly gets rid of York and Daniels. Anderson tries to eliminate T but has no luck and gets thrown out himself. Matt Morgan got the plum #12 draw and he’s ready to square off with T. Morgan gets rid of Park pretty fast, and then sidesteps a charging Joe to eliminate him. T is the next to go courtesy of “The Blueprint.” Morgan goes after Storm but can’t eliminate him, missing a big boot and getting hung up on the top rope. Storm then knocks him to the floor for a big elimination. Knux sneaks in from the crowd and pulls Roode to the floor through the middle rope. That leaves Storm and Devon in the ring, with Knux lurking at ringside. Knux grabs Storm for a charging Devon, but Storm moves and clotheslines Devon to the floor! Roode rightfully gets back in the ring and tries to throw Storm out, but Storm skins the cat. Storm hits Roode with the Closing Time to knock him to the apron, and then hits the Last Call to knock him all the way to the floor for the win at 24:00. It was a fairly standard battle royal / gauntlet type of match, with lots of brawling and a few “big” spots. It was fun enough given the participants and the crowd was into it, so it was a fine way to end the show.
MATCH #5: The Wolves vs. Bobby Roode & James Storm
Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are pretty lucky to have gotten drawn together, since they are the reigning TNA World Tag Team Champions. Roode and Storm are former four-time TNA Tag Team Champions as Beer Money, Inc., so this is a bit of a tag team dream match we’re lucky to get here. Storm won this tournament last year, so his chomping at the bit to repeat. Roode and Richards start the match. The Wolves have the early advantage on either opponent, using their tag team expertise and striking ability to keep the former Beer Money off their game. Storm and Roode persevere and are able to take control on Richards, isolating him in their half of the ring. Richards comes back and makes the tag, and Edwards comes in a house afire. Storm tries to cut Edwards off, but the fresh Wolf has too much going to be denied. Edwards hits Storm with the Chin Checker for a near-fall. The Wolves hit an assisted Alarm Clock on Storm, and then Roode comes in to make the save. The referee has lost control as all four men are in the ring. Storm and Roode hit the double suplex and it’s BEER! MONEY! time. They can’t maintain the momentum though and the Wolves send them both to the floor and follow them out with stereo dives. Back in the ring Edwards hits Storm with a double stomp to the back from the top rope, and Richards follows with a traditional double stomp from the top rope to get the pin and advance to the gauntlet at 11:00. Call me selfish but I was expecting a little more out of that. It was certainly good, but I really thought they’d go a little crazier given that this match likely wouldn’t happen again for quite some time. Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.
MATCH #6: Kazarian & Curry Man vs. Ethan Carter III & Eric Young
This was taped well in advance, but by the time it aired Young was actually the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. All four men start off in a brawl, but Young and Man get confused about who their partners are. The referee explains to them that they are opponents so they throw a few punches, then they hug it out. They continue on like this and apparently everyone wants to switch partners? This is just stupid. Finally things settle to where they need to be, and EC3 works over Man. More confusion abounds as Young continues trying to be funny. EC3 and Man clothesline each other at the same time, and then tags are made. Kazarian and Young do a lengthy criss-cross spot. Finally Young lands a flying forearm and then a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Kazarian fights back and works with Man on some double-team moves. Man takes EC3 out on the floor with a dive, and Young traps Kazarian in an O’Connor Roll of all things to get the pin at 8:03. Well that was just hot garbage all around. Keep in mind, that TNA actually decided to put their top title on Eric Young.
MATCH #7: Jessie Godderz & DJ Z vs. Abyss & Samuel Shaw
Godderz and Z are regular partners so they should have an advantage, but Shaw and Abyss are a pretty formidable if unorthodox team. Abyss and Z start the match, and while Z seems game to give it a shot, nothing he does fan faze the Monster. Shaw tags himself in and Z quickly gets over to the corner and tags Mr. Pectacular. Abyss and Shaw have no real teamwork to speak of, but their sheer power and craziness is enough to keep them in control of the match. After several minutes the BroMans duo is able to take control on Shaw and they isolate him in their half of the ring. Z misses a moonsault and tags are made. Abyss comes in all fired up, just squashing everyone in sight. He hits Z with the Shock Treatment. Godderz takes Abyss down with a clothesline, and then he rolls to the floor. Shaw gets distracted by Christy Hemme and goes after her, while Jeremy Borash and referee Earl Hebner do nothing to help her. Abyss comes to the rescue and the partners come to blows. The Monster clotheslines Shaw to the floor, and then sends Z out to the floor as well. Z grabs Abyss’ leg from the floor and Godderz dropkicks the big man out. Shaw traps Godderz in the Kata-gatame to get the win at 9:50. That was at least a different kind of match than what had been presented so far, and the actual team couldn’t overcome the sheer size and oddness of the Abyss/Shaw team, so that was cool.
MATCH #8: Knockouts Elimination Match – Gail Kim, Lei’D Tapa & Alpha Female vs. ODB, Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky
Alpha Female, like Bad Bones, hails from Germany. Sky and Tapa start the match, and Tapa quickly dominates with her power. Kim and Rayne tag in and Rayne takes control so Kim bails. Rayne follows her to the floor and when she gets back in the ring she runs into Tapa, who takes her down with a Khali Chokeslam. Female tags in and she is a powerhouse much like Tapa. She misses a splash and Sky gets the tag. Sky takes Female off her feet with a neckbreaker. Things get chaotic, as Rayne and Kim brawl to the floor and Sky hits Female with a bulldog. For some reason Chris Sabin comes out to distract the referee and prevent the pinfall, so Sky drags him into the ring and slaps him. Sky then low bridges the top rope to send Sabin crashing to the floor. Female comes back in the ring and Sky hits her with In Yo’ Face to score the first elimination at 4:47. Kim sneaks in and rolls Sky up to eliminate her at 4:56. Sabin is still out there distracting the referee. Tapa hits Rayne with a fireman’s carry stunner to eliminate her at 5:25. ODB is alone against Kim and Tapa now. Kim wants Tapa to do all the work and let her take all the glory. She gets frustrated and slaps her own partner in the face. ODB rolls Kim up to eliminate her at 6:49 Tapa goes for the fireman’s carry stunner again, but Kim boots her in the face. ODB then hits Bam to get the pin and win the match at 7:11. That was rushed and sloppy and not particularly good.
MATCH #9: Joker$ Wild Gauntlet Match
Davey Richards draws #1, and his partner Eddie Edwards has #2. The Wolves explode! They waste no time locking up with each other, ready to do battle with $100,000 on the line. After some back and forth battling Samuel Shaw comes out at #3. The Wolves wisely decide to work together on Shaw. Next man out at #4 is Rockstar Spud. Typical battle royal stuff ensues, with Spud trying to be funny and the idiot commentators cackling about who knows what. I’ve tuned them out long ago. Douglas Williams is entrant #5. Spud spends a lot of time just clinging to the ropes and avoiding Shaw in particular. Abyss is #6 and he starts cleaning house. He dumps Edwards first, and Richards is next. He dumps Williams out and then comes face to face with Shaw, his partner earlier. Abyss hits Shaw with the Black Hole Slam and then hurls him to the floor. That leaves Spud alone with Abyss, and Spud actually tries to dump him over the top rope. The next entrant is Bully Ray at #7. Abyss switches focus and faces off with the Bully. Spud interjects himself with some more “comedy.” I know it’s his home country and all, but I’ve seen more than enough Rockstar Spud for one night. Abyss hits Ray with a Chokeslam, and Ray no-sells it for some reason. “Showtime” Eric Young is #8. Remember, this comedy goof was their World Champion at this time. Stuff happens and then Ethan Carter III comes out at #9. Bad Bones is #10 and he actually allows himself to be knocked down by Spud. Sigh. Nothing of note happens at Samoa Joe makes his way out at #11. Joe is all fired up and he takes on everybody. He dumps his partner Bones to the floor. Spud actually eliminates Bully Ray, which the crowd appreciates. The final entrant at #12 is Magnus, who quickly eliminates Joe. EC3, Young, Magnus, and Spud work together to eliminate Abyss, and we’ve got our final four, and it’s basically three-on-one for Young. Showtime is able to eliminate Spud. Magnus dumps Young to the floor, and then EC3 eliminates Magnus to win the whole deal at 23:15. That was just a standard battle royal with no real memorable spots or anything to set it apart from anything else.
Tags: Ethan Carter III, Joker's Wild, magnus, One Night Only, TNA