Former TNA World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe was victorious on his return match with the company last Thursday, when he was part of a successful four-man tag team in a first blood match.
The 35-year-old joined current World Champion Eric Young, Bully Ray and Austin Aries, as they faced-off against the heel stable of MVP, Bobby Lashley, Kenny King and Ethan Carter III. EC3 was the first to bleed when he was struck by Ray, who had wrapped a steel chain around his fist.
Joe had not been seen in TNA since early April, when he suffered successive World Title match defeats against Magnus. The Samoan grew frustrated with the constant interventions of the Monster Abyss, as well as MVP’s inability to deliver him a fair title shot.
After refusing to take part in a ten-man gauntlet, which eventually saw EY crowned as the new World Champion, Joe had taken a near two-month hiatus from TNA. But he returned last week to save Young and Ray from a beat-down at the hands of MVP and his cohorts.
Joe started the night with a verbal tirade at MVP, explaining that having vouched for him before he arrived in TNA, he now feels extremely let down. Aries came to the ring and reasoned that he’d seen MVP for what he was all along. Unperturbed, MVP decrees that Joe and Aries will now wrestle each other – as they are both so keen for a fight. If Joe loses, MVP will refuse to reinstate his contract, if Aries loses, he’s done with TNA.
As MVP retreats to his office he finds The Wolves waiting for him. He tells them that later that night they will face a match with each other. If they refuse, they will be stripped of the World Tag Team Titles – which will instead be handed back to the Bro Mans.
Eddie Edwards defeated Davey Richards by pin-fall, but a ringside Kenny King was unimpressed with the pair’s bout, claiming that they had both been holding back. The Wolves turned and attacked King, who tells them that they won’t be keeping their belts for much longer.
The momentum swung back and forth during the Joe vs Aries, contract vs contract match – Aries surviving the Kokina Clutch and Joe breaking free of the Last Chancery. But as hinted at backstage, Young and Ray were not about to allow one of their two closest allies to depart the company.
Ray knocked out referee Brian Heber before making the challenge of a four vs four first blood match to MVP, who had come out to watch proceedings from the top of the ramp. MVP attempted to laugh off the challenge, before an over-enthusiastic King grabbed the microphone and accepted.
Aries and King started the match off, and Aries almost immediately caught King in the Last Chancery. EC3 tagged in and got dragged to the baby-face corner, where he was worked over. Bully Ray tagged in and went nose-to-nose with MVP.
They trade blows until Ray put the Director of Wrestling Operations on his back with a boot to the face. MVP came back with several knee-strikes to the ribs before tagging out to King, who is quickly attacked by Joe.
Joe and EY then worked over the tagged in Lashley, until the latter responded by back-dropping EY and tagging in MVP. Young survived a huge beating from MVP, Lashley and EC3 before belatedly tagging in Joe, who power slammed EC3.
The blows continued to be traded as Lashley came in and speared Joe, EY missile dropkicked Lashley, and EC3 attempted a Stinger Splash on Ray, who moved quickly out of reach and grabbed his chain from ringside. He then punched the unsuspecting Carter in the face and busted him open for the win.
After the match, MVP, King and Lashley attacked Carter back-stage, before Dixie Carter stepped in. She told MVP that there’s a fine line between business and personal, and MVP just crossed it. MVP responds by saying that power has never been seized without some blood being spilled… Dixie said that in that case, he better prepare to bleed.
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