Magnus retained the World Heavyweight Championship for a second time against Samoa Joe, despite the presence of TNA’s director of wrestling operations, MVP, at ringside.
MVP was attempting to counter the threat of the Monster, Abyss, who revealed himself as Magnus’ new ally in spectacular fashion at Lockdown, when he emerged from beneath the ring to take out Joe.
Due to the injuries sustained by the Samoan in his first encounter with Magnus, particularly the damage done by Abyss’ iconic weapon – Janice – Joe was clearly struggling to match his usual high standards of wrestling. This was particularly apparent when he failed to follow up a snap slam, as he instead fell against the ring ropes clutching his side.
After several failed attempts at pinning the champion, Joe opted for his most favoured form of attack – the rear naked choke. But as he attempted to apply it, a stray arm struck referee Brian Hebner.
In the distraction Abyss, who had thus far been handcuffed to MVP, attempted to break free of his captor, pulling free a bag of tacks from underneath his jacket. MVP managed to knock the weapon away from the Monster, but due to his own restraint attaching him to Abyss, he could not reach the bag again to get them clear of the ring.
Unfortunately for Joe, MVP made the decision to release himself from Abyss so that he could get the bag of tacks clear of the ring. The Monster pounced on the opportunity, attacking his former captor with a steel chair before launching his new weapon at a diving Joe, who had been attempting to come to MVP’s aid. Magnus was then free to land with a top rope elbow on his opponent, and get the three-count from a revived Hebner.
The Bro Mans also retained their World Tag Team titles last week, as they won a three-way match up against The Wolves and the pair of TNA newcomers Sanada and Tigre Uno.
Early on, the opposing quartet teamed up against the defending champions, eager to pay them back for their disrespectful attitude – they asked Sanada and Uno to lie down and submit to a pin so they could leave early.
However, the title holders fought back and came close to getting the decisive pin when Robbie E got a two count of Uno. The Wolves’ Davey Richards also came close to pinning the Mexican, but had his attempt broken by the Bro Mans.
A dominant Wolves team attempted to follow up their attack, with both Richards and his partner Eddie Edwards ready to pounce on Uno from opposite corners of the ring. But the controversial Robbie, and his partner Jesse Godderz, always appear to have a cheap trick at the ready.
Their associate Zema Ion came down from the ramp and stole Sanada’s X Division title belt, causing him to leave the action and chase down Zema. The Bro Mans hauled the Wolves down from their positions on the ropes and now had a helpless Uno at their mercy. They pulled off their finisher – the Bro Down – and Uno was pinned by Jesse.
Elsewhere, James Storm gained revenge for his Lockdown defeat by Gunner, with a savage attack on his former tag team partner’s father, who had been watching the night’s action at ringside. The Cowboy handcuffed Gunner to the ring ropes and, after pulling Gunner’s father over the railings to ringside, smashed a beer bottle over his head. Storm and Gunner will clash again in next week’s edition of IMPACT, in an ‘Unlocked’ match – no disqualification, no count-out and falls count anywhere.
Bobby Lashley also came close to ending the unbeaten run of Ethan Carter III. Lashley dominated their match on his second debut within TNA, but he had his chances of success blown by Willow, whose attack on Carter inadvertently handed victory to EC3 via disqualification. Willow – the alter ego of Jeff Hardy – continued his quest for revenge against the people that had turned on him during his World Title match with Magnus last year.
Having already taken out Rockstar Spud last week, Willow launched the same kind of beat-down against Carter, trapping his inside of a fold-up chair and bashing it repeatedly. Carter was at least able to crawl away as Willow prepared to launch himself off a ladder to land the final blow, as he did to Spud.
After the match, Carter angrily confronted Magnus – accusing him of failing to come to his aid in his moment of need. The Brit laughed off Carter’s accusations, and informed him that their ‘business relationship’ was over – Abyss was the only ‘security’ he needed.
Despite his actions, MVP approached Willow to ask him whether he would be willing to be chained to Abyss during the World Title match, telling him that it would be the ideal opportunity to gain revenge over the third person that had done him wrong – Magnus. Willow turned down the offer, telling him MVP he would gain revenge in his own time, and did not want to get involved in politics. Eric Young was originally supposed to be chained to Abyss, but he was taken out by the Monster at the start of the show – being choked out on the ring ropes after the fight had initially started backstage.
There were several other back-room confrontations last week. Bobby Roode was shown attacking Bully Ray in Nashville, after deceiving Ray into believing he was intending a face to face meeting with Dixie Carter – who has not been seen since her team, led by Roode, lost the Lethal Lockdown match to Team MVP.
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