Thanks to WrestlingINC.com reader Nathan Topping for sending in these detailed results from Friday's TNA Impact Wrestling taping in Manchester. He also sent the photo above, which was taken as he was entering the arena about 35 minutes before the show started. The place filled up a lot more before the show started, but it gives you an idea of the size of the audience.
February 13th episode:
- The show opened with the Dixie heel faction in the ring. They had huge heat, Magnus especially. Magnus cut a promo talking himself up, and then turned his attention to MVP. He said that MVP needed setting straight about the pecking order in TNA, with Magnus at the top and MVP right at the bottom. He told MVP that there's no way that MVP could buy him, as he's not a paper champion and doesn't sell out. MVP then came out to the stage with Samoa Joe (MVP's TNA theme is great by the way - a few people in our section of the crowd tended to break out dancing whenever it was playing), and told Magnus that if he couldn't be bought then he must have bought Dixie instead, and he hoped he'd got a discount due to all the mileage and excessive wear and tear on her. He announced that Magnus would defend his World Title against the number one contender, Joe, at Lockdown. Gunner then came out and announced that he'd be cashing in his Feast or Fired briefcase next week and intended to be the one to face Joe at Lockdown instead. Dixie said that before that could happen Gunner would be defending his Feast or Fired briefcase against EC3 tonight. MVP upped the stakes and announced a ladder match for both Gunner's briefcase and EC3's one (for a tag title shot) - winner take all - and warned the faction that if there was any interference he'd come back out and level the playing field.
- EC3 vs Gunner in a Ladder Match for the Feast or Fired briefcases. This was a decent match (apart from the briefcases being way too low. Gunner gained the upper hand after a short time and Magnus ran out to beat him down. Storm then came out to help Gunner, and MVP returned to announce that as Magnus hadn't heeded his warning the match would now be a 2v2, to give Storm and Gunner the advantage as they're actually a team rather than just forced acquaintances as EC3 and Magnus are. The match continued, there were a few really nice looking spots with the ladder. Magnus and EC3 had it won at one point but got into a heated argument with each other over who should climb the ladder and get the briefcases (it wasn't overly clear why - at the time I imagined it might mean that if Magnus got them, he'd have possession of them so that no-one had the title shot, but since Storm collected the briefcases but Gunner kept the title shot I wasn't really sure why), which allowed the faces to make a comeback and win the match.
- Samoa Joe & The Wolves vs BroMans & Zema Ion. This was a really good match, probably the best of the night. The Wolves looked really good together (could see why they were so highly rated free agents), and Joe was utterly dominant when he got the tag. The crowd were into Joe in a huge way too throughout. Joe got the win via submission (rear naked choke) whilst the other four were brawling on the outside.
- Abyss came to the ring to talk for the first time following the revelation that he is indeed Joseph Park. He was wearing his usual Abyss garb but without the mask, which he carried with him instead. He called out Eric Young, telling him to come and face what he'd done. When Young came out, Abyss ripped Young for making him Abyss again, how he couldn't stand being the monster because of all the things he's done as the monster, and how Young never should have got into his business. Young said he was only trying to help him find his brother, as Park had asked him to do, and that he'd been successful. Abyss said he couldn't be "him" anymore, and that he needed someone who understood him, referencing the scars all over his arms and body (assumedly he meant the tack marks on his arms following the Monster's Ball match in Glasgow), and the segment closed with Abyss leaving saying he was going to "fix this", which came off very much as 'get rid of Abyss again'. Young was left alone in the ring shaking his head looking disappointed.
- MVP vs Rockstar Spud. MVP was totally dominant (and very over with the crowd) - a squash match if there ever was one. I doubt it even lasted two minutes. Felt quite sorry for Spud being used this way, as he's such an entertaining character, He's so good in the role though that it's hard to argue with it. We didn't see a backstage segment or anything setting this one up, so I assumed one would be inserted before airing.
- Chris Sabin vs Velvet Sky. Velvet was very over, and Sabin very unpopular here. Sabin started by taunting and insulting Velvet in the ring, and offered to give her a free shot at him to start the match. Velvet refused until he ripped at her some more, before hitting him with a low blow. Sabin laughed and pulled a cup out, mocking her for not thinking he'd have taken precautions. With the cup out, Velvet hit him with the low blow again (to much greater effect) and started wailing away at him. A large, heavily built woman (debuting I assume) then ran down and proceeded to assault Velvet, leaving her laid out in the ring. She then mounted Sabin on her shoulders allowing him to celebrate in the ring, before carrying him to the back as if they were a couple. Velvet was then helped to the back by officials.
- Mr Anderson vs Bully Ray in a Casket (well, wooden coffin at least) Match. This was a good match. Bully started things off by removing his hoodie to reveal a Liverpool shirt (to garner MASSIVE heat from the Manchester crowd). Anderson beat him down, stripped the shirt, used it to choke him, then stamped on it and degraded it a bit to make him the easy fan favourite. They brawled outside the ring a bit and Anderson failed to get Bully in the coffin (resulting in "He's too fat" chants which amused the crowd), before they got back in the ring. A steel chair came into play a bit before the crowd started demanding tables, which Anderson obliged in setting up in the ring before pushing the coffin into the ring too. Bully made a comeback and got Anderson in the coffin, but couldn't get the lid on due to Anderson's resistance. Bully was pretty dominant at this point despite this brief resistance though, and ended up powerbombing Anderson through the table (much to the crowd's pleasure). He was all positioned to put Anderson back in the coffin again for the win when Anderson countered and hit the Mic Check into the coffin. He then threw the Liverpool shirt into the coffin with Bully, grabbed the lid (which had bits falling off it, making it look a bit cheap) and forced it on top for the win. After Anderson left Bully roused himself and argued with the ref, demanding his hand be raised. Looked like he believed he'd won the match, not understanding what had happened.
- Gail Kim vs Madison Rain in a non-title Street Fight. I was left a bit disappointed from this, as I was expecting something on the scale of the epic battles Kim had with Taryn Terryl, but it really wasn't anywhere near that standard. Kim had the upper hand for most of the match, and Madison kept being put back down whenever she tried to rally against the momentum. Bar a few hits on Madison with a kendo stick, and some damage being taken by Kim via a baking tray, there wasn't too much "street fight" about the match. Kim eventually got the win after laying Madison out with the Knockout's Title whilst Tapa distracted the ref.
February 20th episode
- The second show kicked off with Magnus and Dixie hitting the ring to huge heat again. Magnus called out MVP so that he could tell him something very important. MVP hit the ring - Magnus told him that he wasn't impressed by MVP having spent 9 years in jail, and promised that if he ever got in his way those 9 years would be nothing compared to 9 minutes with Magnus. MVP replied mocking Magnus for running around shouting "hey, look at me! I'm the champion!", and told him that a real champion doesn't need to do that - that people see a real champion and say to themselves "there's the champion" rather than "there's the paper champion". MVP told Magnus that the crowd hated him, and that he was about as popular as David Moyes (Manchester United manager who's doing very badly). He said though that he wasn't here to exchange insults, and challenged Magnus and Dixie to a 4v4 Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown for complete control of TNA. Magnus accepted, but said that he regretted being unable to be a part of the match as team captain as he'd be defending his title against Joe instead. MVP put over Gunner as a and said he wouldn't be so easy to get past tonight, to which Magnus replied that he didn't care about war heroes or "some cheap 50 Cent knockoff" and that he'd make MVP his b---h if he got involved. MVP laid into Magnus and EC3 came out to turn the tables. Gunner came out to help, and the heels retreated - but only as far as the stage where The Wolves had come out to block their escape. Magnus literally threw EC3 to the Wolves and made his escape. EC3 was left laid out on the stage as the faces celebrated.
- We saw a backstage promo of Roode and Storm backstage. Roode was basically teasing his retirement, and saying he took all the blame for Beer Money breaking up how it did. Storm told him that they both knew what the business was like when they came in, and that he shouldn't quit. He said you can't change the past, but you can change the future. It came across very much as them teasing a reunion.
- Samoa Joe came out and challenged any member of Dixieland in the back to a match tonight, as he wanted a fight. The BroMans and Zema Ion hit the ring, and Joe told them that instead of just one of them he'd take them all on at once. Joe looked very strong again, before the triple team started to wear him down a bit. He made a big comeback though, laying out the BroMans and nailing Ion with the Musclebuster. He then got the win via submission with a rear naked choke on Ion. Yet again the crowd was all over Joe in this match - by far the fan favourite of the evening.
- Bobby Roode came out as a follow up to his backstage segment with Storm earlier. He cut a promo about how he was done with TNA and was leaving. He basically said his goodbyes and thanked the fans, and ripped on Dixie a bit for not keeping promises regarding title shots when he helped Magnus lately. Dixie then came out and told him he couldn't leave because he was under contract. She said that she needed a team captain for the Lethal Lockdown match, and told him that that if Roode led her to victory she'd give him 10% of the company. Roode questioned why he should trust her until she told him that if he got his lawyers to draw up the papers she'd sign them without question (guessing he may add a title match clause in there somewhere and she won't notice). Roode accepted. The fans were hugely pro Roode in this segment despite him being a heel, and very vocal about him not accepting Dixie's offer. This was really the only part of the night where the fans broke kayfabe and didn't boo the heel.
- The Wolves vs Bad Influence. Can't tell you much about this one I'm afraid, as I had to go get a drink before I passed out and missed the main event :) I got back in time to see the Wolves win with the same finisher they used on Rockstar Spud at the live Glasgow show, but that's all.
- Main Event - Magnus vs Gunner for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. This was a really good and entertaining match, and would have easily been match of the night if not for the six man tag early on. The crowd had been getting a little tired I felt over the last couple of segments, but roared back to life for this to mostly cheer Gunner on. It started off very back and forth, and after a short while Magnus motioned to the back for help to come out and help beat down Gunner. Instead, The Wolves and Storm came out and made it clear that they'd be preventing any interference. The continued to fight back and forth, until EC3 and the BroMans came through the crowd to help out Magnus. The faces brawled with them, and they all fought their way up the ramp and to the back. Back in the ring Magnus was on top at this point and hit Gunner with a Big Elbow which Gunner kicked out of. Gunner then reversed the momentum and hit Magnus with a big suplex, but Rockstar Spud came through the crowd and put Magnus' foot on the bottom rope to save the title. Storm then came back out from the back and chased Spud around the ring, before the two of them ended up in the ring and Storm laid out Spud, tossing him to the outside. Gunner was still well on top in the meantime, and it looked like Magnus was all but beaten. Spud got back up on the outside and desperately tried to distract the ref whilst Gunner went for his finisher from the top rope. But whilst he was on his way down Storm turned on him and laid him out with a Superkick. The ref turned back and seemed to realise what had happened, yelling at Storm, but reluctantly got down and counted the three to have Magnus retain the TNA World Heavyweight Title. The show finished with Storm standing over Gunner, and Magnus and Spud celebrating the title defense.