TNA’s new owner MVP has sanctioned a World Heavyweight Title rematch between Samoa Joe and Magnus, which will take place on next week’s edition of IMPACT.
Magnus initially defeated Joe at Lockdown, after interference from his newest cohort, the Monster Abyss, left the Samoan out cold and allowed him to retain his championship belt.
But with MVP having taken control of wrestling operations away from company president Dixie Carter, after victory in the Lethal Lockdown match in Miami, his first order of business has been to hand the number one contender a second chance.
Samoa Joe had been on top in his steel cage match with Magnus at Lockdown, until Abyss emerged from underneath the ring and attacked with his iconic weapon – Janice.
The World Tag Team title belt will also be up for grabs, in a three-way match between defending title holders the Bro Mans, the Wolves, and the team of Sanada and Tigre Uno.
Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards, who played a key role in helping MVP to Lethal Lockdown victory as part of his four-man team, won the titles at the start of the month, but held them for just a week before losing them in a rematch staged in Japan.
X Division title holder Sanada, part of the Japanese Wrestle 1 promotion, and his partner – TNA newcomer Tigre Uno – defeated the Bro Mans in spectacular fashion last week, with Sanada pinning Robbie E. As a result, MVP has decreed that both teams will enter into a match to challenge for the title belts.
Elsewhere last week, Bully Ray offered up an explanation to his role at Lockdown, where he clinched the match for Team MVP by putting Bobby Roode through a table. He told the crowd that he was trying to save Roode from himself, because TNA did not need another Dixie Carter. Ray then put a furious Roode through a table for the second time, completing his revenge against the heel stable that had attacked him backstage. He had already chased down Ethan Carter III and the Bro Mans in their respective dressing rooms.
Mr Anderson was also on the look-out for revenge when he took on Samuel Shaw in an anything goes street fight – a rematch of their escape the cage match at Lockdown. Shaw won the original match in controversial circumstances after he dragged Christy Hemme into the ring.
This time around, Shaw came to the ring accompanied by a Hemme mannequin doll, which he cradled at every opportunity. Anderson was quick to take advantage of this, bringing Shaw to his knees as he threatened to do harm to the love of his deranged opponent. Anderson kissed the dummy once on the lips, before pinning a sobbing Shaw.
Samoa Joe challenged Abyss to a match, but struggled to cope with the Monster as he clutched at his injuries. Abyss pulled off a choke slam on Joe, and pulled out Janice ready to do more damage, before Eric Young came to the Samoan’s rescue – landing a missile drop kick. After the match, EY revealed that he planned to chain himself to Abyss next week, in order to prevent any interference in the World Title match. He claimed that it was something he needed to do, as he felt he was to blame for Abyss’ latest evil streak.
Willow – the so called alter-ego of the returned Jeff Hardy – effectively beat up Rockstar Spud in their ‘match’. Spud, who pushed Hardy off the top of a ladder in his World Title match with Magnus in December, was on the end of a thrashing from the TNA ‘newcomer’, with Willow eventually disqualified for his repeated use of an umbrella as a weapon. Willow also continued to attack after the bell, pulling off the ‘Twist of Fate’ move on the referee before using a chair and ladder combo to punish Spud.
It was a bad night all round for Spud, who’s ‘Tribute to Dixie Carter’ was interrupted by Bobby Lashley. MVP accompanied Lashley to the ring, and informed EC3 – who had been alongside Spud – that he had signed the former MMA star and that the pair would be fighting next week.
Angelina Love also returned to TNA, telling Velvet Sky that she wants to re-join the ‘Beautiful People’ collaboration. A hesitant Velvet told Love that she had moved on, but would consider it if she was allowed more time to think about the offer.
Meanwhile, Gail Kim and Lei’d Tapa’s alliance seems to have reached its end. Kim was not shy in airing her grievances with Tapa ahead of her match with TNA newcomer Brittany last week, and when her companion’s intervention ended up costing her the match, the pair aggressively came face to face.
So a reminder that in what promises to be another pivotal IMPACT episode next week, the World Heavyweight Title and World Tag Team Title will both be on the line, while TNA fans can look forward to seeing both Lashley and Love back in action for the first time since their respective returns.
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