After much anticipation, 2 weeks ago marked the debut of the Menagerie, TNA’s self-proclaimed “Greatest Show On Earth”. During their first week, the group made a huge splash, and an extremely elaborate entrance, complete with stilt walkers in tow, couldn’t outshine the group’s ringleader, Knux, however – as he dispatched of Kazarian with relative ease.
However, that is where the fun stopped. This past Thursday, it was Crazzy Steve’s turn. He certainly put on an entertaining show as well – including a top-rope splash onto his balloons – but he was ultimately disqualified when the match devolved into complete chaos and Crazzy Steve relieved referee Scott Wheeler of his pants.
While the “match” was certainly entertaining, IMPACT is about one thing: WRESTLING, and one must question if the Menagerie can adjust to life inside of professional wrestling. Knux revealed that he brought the circus to TNA in order to raise money for his family’s carnival but earning money in wrestling is all about being the best wrestler you can be. Knux certainly knows this, having been with TNA previously, but The Freak and Crazzy Steve must learn – and learn quickly, for Knux’s sake – that DQs and losses will not take them where they want to go. Plus, one has to wonder how long TNA officials will tolerate matches that turn into freak shows before sending the Menagerie packing!
Last week was all fun and games, but Knux can’t be smiling too much longer. If the Menagerie is to succeed here in IMPACT, Knux must get his act together and lead his crew to victories! Ringmasters provide direction – and direction is what the Menagerie needs!
Will Knux be able to tame Rebel, The Freak and Crazzy Steve? Tune-in to IMPACT this Thursday to see what the Menagerie does next!
"Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in." - Michael Corleone, The Godfather: Part III
Pop stars.. politicians... your favorite athletes: if today's social media-driven society has taught us anything, it's that even today's most squeaky-clean public figures have skeletons in their closet. Some are good at heart, others are not, but absolutely nobody is truly innocent.
For six years, Magnus has cultivated a sterling reputation as a clean-cut English nobleman. While often conniving, immoral and insufferably obnoxious, the former TNA World Champion at least carried himself with an air of sophistication and - dare we say - class, a demeanor that ingratiated him within the ranks of the then most exclusive "club" in pro wrestling, The Main Event Mafia. He's always been a bastard, but at least he's also always been a gentleman - if only because he's refused to truly get his hands dirty.
Or so we thought.
Several weeks back, a new face showed up in the TNA locker room to confront Magnus: a man known to us only as Bram. Since his arrival happened while IMPACT cameras were rolling, the world got to witness this seemingly uncomfortable reunion between two fellow countrymen whom clearly have a long history with one another... one that Magnus seemed reluctant to revisit.
Since that time, rumors have swirled regarding Magnus and Bram's past. As widely speculated, Impactwrestling.com has uncovered evidence that the two longtime friends (since childhood, according to several sources) collectively racked up a number of assault charges throughout their younger days in Kings Lynn, mainly via bar fights and other erratic displays of violence. These criminal records are impossible to substantiate due to red tape associated with their respective court rulings, but it certainly appears as if Magnus’ past is littered with blood, the likes of which he’s washed his hands of… until now.
While Magnus has moved beyond (and obviously hoped to hide) his rough-around-the-edges past, Bram has clearly retained his violent edge based on his vicious attack of Willow on Impact. While the former champion has been guilty of his own dastardly actions over the years, the new influence of an old mate could threaten to pull him down to a level that even he seems reluctant to revisit… especially now that Bram has somehow talked (or, more likely, intimidated) his way onto the TNA roster.
What will happen this Thursday as Magnus faces off against Willow? Will Bram’s presence lead to Magnus’ undoing, or are we in for an inevitable path of brutality from the most feared duo to ever set foot inside the pubs of Kings Lynn?
By James Guttman
A few weeks ago, when Magnus was confronted by his childhood friend Bram about his lack of "killer instinct", everyone scoffed. What could he be implying? After all, Magnus is a former World Heavyweight Champion and one of the meanest ones in TNA history. How could he lack a killer instinct?
Easy. Sure, the British Bluechipper embraced his dark side when he betrayed the fans to join Dixie Carter's army. But through the chants of "paper champion" and title defenses that resembled gang beatings more than one on one contests, Mag never expressed a desire to get his hands dirty. His entire persona seemed to imply that he was above it all. Why bother when he had friends willing to do it for him?
It's that high life thinking that had infuriated fans and, apparently, his friends. Being ruthless doesn't necessarily mean you're vicious. A person who's ruthless will foreclose on a family's home right before Christmas. A person who's vicious will foreclose on a family's home right before Christmas and then strangle each one of them with their stockings. There's a big difference.
Bram is the guys who would strangle you and your loved ones with a stocking. He'd probably beat you with the tree too. That's why he's here and, if you listen to him, his buddy from back in the day shares his vicious streak. There's a madness in Magnus. It's lying there dormant. He's just forgotten. Bram is here to awaken it.
Can you blame Magnus, though? What he had been doing had been working for him. He's had no need to engage in primal battle for some time. Up until he lost his World Heavyweight Championship, there was no reason to. He had everything he needed. His game was survival. As the old saying goes, "Being the man and staying the man are two very different things."
Now he doesn't have that prize and the path back to the top doesn't look like it'll be a direct ride on the Dixie Land Express this time. If he's going to get there, he's going to have to claw his way back through men like Jeff Hardy's twisted alter-ego Willow. This week on Impact, Magnus faces the maniacal masked man in a falls count anywhere match. It's the perfect test of his true grit and a window into the soul of a man who needs to channel is inner rage more now than ever.
The choice, though, is ultimate up to Magnus. It's not about Dixie Carter. It's not about us. It's not even about Bram. Because if there's really a vicious killer instinct inside the former champion, it's going to come out.
If Bram can't make it happen, maybe - this Thursday - Willow can.
All-new TNA Xplosion will be the FIRST ever TNA programming designed for a family audience
TX: Every Saturday at 9am
Challenge and TNA Entertainment have joined forces for a historic announcement – teaming up to deliver TNA’s first ever wrestling programming specifically designed for a family audience.
An all-new version of TNA Xplosion will air weekly on Challenge from Saturday May 31 at 9am. The show has been reformatted with families in mind and to purposely differentiate itself from TNA’s flagship post-watershed programme IMPACT WRESTLING.
Xplosion – which is hosted by Jeremy Borash and features a mix of new matches, classic bouts and the hilarious ‘Spin Cycle’ panel debates – will also continue to be shown in its current late night timeslot of 11pm on Wednesday evenings. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING is broadcast every Sunday at 9pm.
Challenge can be viewed across the UK and Ireland on Sky (145), Freeview (46), Virgin Media (139) and Freesat (145).
TNA President Dixie Carter said: “Xplosion moving to Saturday morning on Challenge is a strategic and natural evolution of TNA programming, as our product resonates with fans of all ages.
“Families with young children are always strongly represented during TNA’s annual MAXIMUM IMPACT Tour. I am confident with the new format and time slot of Xplosion we will continue to attract new fans, particularly kids.
“Ask any TNA Superstar and they will tell you, there is no greater feeling than seeing the eyes of a child light up when he sees his favourite wrestler in action.
“Through TNA’s flagship IMPACT WRESTLING programme and the all-new Xplosion, combined with innovative and engaging content delivered daily through our digital and social channels, there are more ways than ever to engage fans with the TNA brand.”
Stephen Ladlow, Director of Challenge, commented: “As the exclusive home of TNA in the UK and Ireland, it’s great to be able to bring TNA to a whole new audience with our new family friendly show.
“We know that the TNA UK Tour attracts fans of all ages, so it seems fitting that Challenge can now cater for them whether young or old with this new Saturday morning Xplosion show.”
Jeremy Borash added: “TNA's awesome fans across the UK and Ireland can expect Xplosion to showcase their favourite TNA Superstars each week, with an emphasis on two of the most popular types of matches, X-Division and the Knockouts.
“With exciting competition in the ring and the popular ‘Spin Cycle’ panel, the new Xplosion will be must-see Saturday morning TV!”
TNA also have a special Family Package for all those wanting to attend the MAXIMUM IMPACT 7 Tour, which comes to Glasgow, Manchester and London in January 2015. Anyone buying four tickets together (maximum of two adults) can enjoy a 20 per cent discount on the standard ticket price.
Full details on the TNA UK Tour – including dates, venues, roster and ticket prices – can be found by visiting www.impactwrestling.com/uktour
Bully Ray’s recent invasion of TNA Headquarters and even President Dixie Carter’s home proved to be much more than he had bargained for. After putting Spud through a table at a TNA conference room, Bully was able to get Dixie’s home address (… and she was majorly ticked off) [Video: Dixie’s Elevator fight with Spud] Last night on IMPACT, what Bully was hoping for was the chance to put Carter through a table at her own abode, but what he didn’t know was that she had called in reinforcements in the form of her loyal nephew, EC3.
Inspired by Bully Ray’s invasion at Dixie Carter’s house, we have taken a look back on some of TNA’s most notable home invasions.
EC3 and Rockstar Spud are attacked in Willow’s eerie, deserted barn
Jeff Hardy’s alter ego, Willow, has been one of the most spoken about wrestlers since his first appearance on IMPACT in February of 2014. His startling appearance and creepy voice paired with his mind-boggling riddles leaves fans begging the question, “Who exactly is Willow and where the heck did he come from?”
When Ethan Carter III and Rockstar Spud set out to get revenge on Willow for beating them in the IMPACT Zone, fans got an inside look at where Willow grew up in the backwoods of North Carolina. EC3 and Spud were hoping to surprise attack Willow on his home turf, but what they got was a surprise of their own.
Mr. Anderson surprises Samuel Shaw in his mother’s house
TNA fans have known since his first appearance in January that something about Samuel Shaw was a little off. After Shaw’s infatuation with Christy Hemme grew to a dangerously violent level, Mr. Anderson came to the aid of the damsel in distress. In an effort to learn more about Shaw’s past, Anderson visits his childhood home. Samuel’s welcoming Mother greets him, but soon enough Anderson realizes that The Shaw’s are not the typical All American family.
Rockstar Spud breaks into AJ Styles home in Georgia
One way or another, Spud always seems to get himself into hot water on behalf of the Carters. When AJ Styles beat Bully Ray to win the TNA Heavyweight Title at Bound For Glory last year, he took the belt on the road to defend the title in Mexico and Japan. In President Dixie Carter eyes, AJ had “stolen” the belt and she was determined to get it back. Carter sent her minion Spud on a covert mission to break into Style’s house and retrieve the belt.
In the summer of 2012, the biker gang known as the Aces & Eights began its quest of a takeover at TNA with the group running roughshod for over a year on the collective talent and TNA management. Some thought the destruction and chaos caused by this biker gang would never end and Aces & Eights’ power within the company would only increase.
But all good things come to an end. The group was forcefully disbursed and since then most former members fled in all different directions. This group consisting of dominant wrestlers such as Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson and D-Lo Brown have now moved on to bigger and better things, so we take a brief look at the current status of a few former Aces & Eights members.
In his time as a professional wrestler, Bully Ray has been known to cause a few confrontations. Since his time ended as President of Aces & Eights, Bully Ray has moved onto picking fights with other presidents. Currently, Bully is at war with President of IMPACT WRESTLING Dixie Carter, so much so that he has recently invaded TNA Headquarters in Nashville, TN in order to gain the upper hand with this ongoing confrontation.
As of recently, this former Aces & Eights enforcer made his IMPACT WRESTLING debut with a carnival-like stable called The Menagerie. After visiting his hometown and seeing the devastating effects of a rampant flood, Knux decided it was time to return to the IMPACT Zone with a group of castoffs and misfits. And for his return, Knux, with the help of The Menagerie, devastated and destroyed Kazarian in his first match back.
The end of Brooke with Aces & Eights began at Turning Point 2013. While carefully watching her number one man Bully Ray at ringside during a match, Brooke inadvertently overthrew a hammer right into the hands of Mr. Anderson. Mr. Anderson bashed the hammer over Bully’s skull, converted a Mic-Check and defeated Bully and thereby, ended the reign of terror by the Aces & Eights. Stay tuned for Brooke’s long-awaited return to TNA!
Mr. Anderson, the former Vice President of the Aces & Eights, continues to ruffle a few feathers with wrestlers at TNA, most notably Samuel Shaw. With Shaw stalking ring announcer Christy Hemme for months now, Mr. Anderson decided it was time to step in and make his presence felt. At the Sacrifice 2014 Pay-Per-View event, he defeated Samuel Shaw in a Committed Match, placed him in a van and sent him away to a psychiatric unit.
Get Aces & Eights gear and apparel at ShopTNA.com!
X marks the spot, and the 30 men who have stood in the center of the ring with their arm raised as Champion since the X-Division began 14 years ago are among the most elite athletes to ever step foot in the squared circle.
With the announcement during the most recent IMPACT Wrestling broadcast that the Ultimate X will return this summer, IMPACTWrestling.com is counting down the top five X-Division Champions in TNA history.
#5 Petey Williams
This grappler known as “The Canadian Destroyer,” is a two-time X-Division Champion, having first won the title just six months after his TNA debut. His second reign came four years later in 2008.
Number of reigns: 2
Combined days as champ: 310
#4 Chris Sabin
With the most X-Division title reigns and the highest number of days as champion, this Michigan native was a mainstay of the division for more than a decade.
Number of reigns: 8
Combined days as champ: 433
#3 AJ Styles
This TNA original became the inaugural winner of the X-Division title after winning a four-way double-elimination match in 2002. Known as one of the most skilled and uninhibited wrestlers in TNA history, Styles went on to become one of the most beloved TNA World Heavyweight Champions of all time.
Number of reigns: 6
Combined days as champ: 272
#2 Samoa Joe
In a division filled with light and mid-weight competitors, the Samoan Submission Machine changed the game when he first became the X-Division Champion in 2005 just six months after making his TNA debut. The intensity and agility of this larger than life Samoan thrilled fans and stunned other X-Division competitors.
Number of reigns: 4
Combined days as champ: 265
#1 Austin Aries
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived is also the greatest X-Division Champ to ever reign. Beyond his in-ring capabilities and athleticism, AA is a master of the mic, psyching out his opponents long before stepping into the squared circle. Second only to Sabin as the TNA Superstar to hold the X-Division title the longest, he accomplished the feat with half the reigns. Plus, as a passionate vegan, the intellectual and dedicated Aries keep his body and his mind in tip-top shape to take on any competitor.
Number of reigns: 4
Combined days as champ: 366
On Thursday's IMPACT WRESTLING broadcast on SpikeTV, footage aired of Bully Ray's home invasion at the Carter Estate in Nashville, as nothing would stop Bully as he attempted to confront and get revenge on the TNA President! What happened when Bully Ray finally came face-to-face with Dixie in her home? Watch all the videos below - and tune in next Thursday for the fallout on IMPACT on SpikeTV at 9/8c!
It was an Impact that should have made history for featuring MVP vs. Eric Young in a World Heavyweight Championship match before they lock horns at Slammiversary. It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg. With Bully Ray's table-themed invasion of Dixie Carter's home, the wrestling debuts of Bram and Crazzy Steve, and more, we thought we'd seen it all. But no one expected the jaw-dropping final moments that shook TNA to its core.
By James Guttman
- Willow defeated Magnus and Bram
- Gail Kim defeated Velvet Sky
- Kazarian defeated Crazzy Steve via disqualifcation
- James Storm defeated Mr. Ken Anderson
- X-Division Champion Sanada defeated DJ Zema and Tigre Uno
- Bully Ray confronted Dixie Carter at her home but was attacked by EC3
- World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young defeated MVP by disqualifcation when Kenny King attacked him. After the bell, Bobby Lashley ran out and he too attacked Young. The night ended with MVP, Lashley, and King standing together as an apparent alliance.
FULL RESULTS ON THE NEXT PAGES >
Impact begins with our World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young and he's pretty far from okay. Reeling from MVP's betrayal last week, E.Y. makes a promise to the TNA audience. He won't let this corner office bullying to continue and he refuses to allow anyone to take his championship away. Oh, and in case you didn't know, Eric's crazy. He's always been crazy. Come to the ring now, Chief, and he'll show you some crazy.
MVP arrives...via video screen. The Most Villainous Pretender reveals that everything he's done is part of a master plan. He's wanted the World Heavyweight Championship from the start. Office work? Paper pushing? Nah. That's not MVP's scene. He's been in it for the gold since day one. It's the whole point.
Oh, you want the Championship, Envy P? Fine. You don't have to wait for Slammiversary. You can have it tonight. That's right. MVP vs. Eric Young for the World Heavyweight Championship. Tonight. Sound good?
Nope. It does not. MVP turns the beardo hero down and leaves no choice but to come and get him somewhere in the backstage area. That seems to be Eric's understanding. See you later, boss. The champ is coming to get you.
There's no question that Magnus has been through many changes in the past year, but his old friend Bram would like nothing more than for him to change back. The unstable brawler was quite insistent on seeing the former World Champion return to his less glitzy approach and hoped their handicap match against Willow would achieve that goal. It didn't. Instead, it was Jeff Hardy's alter ego that shocked both men with his maniacal strategy. When Mag turned his nose up at using a steel prybar as a weapon for fear of being disqualified only to find himself rolled up for a surprise pin, Bram was irate. After losing their first official match together, they exchanged some heated words. Forget being on the same page. These two aren't even reading the same book.
Last week, Bully Ray stormed TNA Offices in Nashville and managed to look up Dixie Carter's home address. So, Carter assumed he might show up. In case there was any doubt, the tables strewn about her front lawn when she, Rockstar Spud, and our cameraman arrived at her home verified it. There's a Bully in there. Documenting the terror was one thing, confronting it was another. She sent Spud in to clear the area while she paced on the patio.
The Beautiful People may be the Mean Girls of TNA, but Gail Kim can be pretty mean when she wants to be. Case in point - her bout against Velvet Sky. While Sky has been riding a wave of momentum since rejoining Angelina Love, it wasn't enough to overcome Gail's furious offense. Despite a few close calls, it wasn't long before Velvet ate defeat and ended up on the losing end of a three count. The celebration didn't last long as the Beauties quickly attacked and left the victorious Knockout knocked out.
It takes a lot to be the craziest member of The Menagerie, but it's a spot that has Crazzy Steve's name all over it. The facepainted hornhonker was having trouble even getting into the ring, so many assumed he bit off more than he can chew against Kazarian. Turns out that none of that mattered. Steve never seemed to have any focus from the start. Rather than target his rage on any old opponent, the maniacal clown instead attacked a handful of balloons. The music played, the circus raged on, and the referee had his pants pulled down. The act of embarrassment earned the Menagerie one of professional wrestling's first ever disqualification losses for taking off an offiical's trousers. Losing the match didn't damper the mood as Knux's one ring circus partied on anyway. In fact, Crazzy Steve never even seem to realize he had been in a match at all. But he's Crazzy Steve, so yeah. That's why.
Unhappy with MVP's negative response to his challenge tonight, Eric Young vowed to take the fight to him and that's what he did. The brawl started backstage and it spilled into the arena with some of the most sadistic brutality you'll see. In fact, it seemed like TNA's newly evil boss had a game plan from the start. The plan - take out the champion's arm. He was relentless in his attack and when security finally rushed the ring, the damage had been done. But just to make sure, MVP ordered the guards to leave, landed one more arm-breaking maneuver, and then - yes - he finally accepted the match for later tonight. See you later tonight, One-Arm. Bring the World Heavyweight Championship with you. The boss is taking it home.
The bad blood between James Storm and Mr. Ken Anderson may have started with an accidental hit, but everything since has been done on purpose. Now, as the animosity grows, both men were set for a heated battle on Impact. Storm tried every dirty trick in the book and kept finding himself rebuked by Anderson. When he finally retrieved a beer bottle from beneath the ring, everyone assumed the plan was the crack it over Anderson's head. It wasn't. Instead he spit the beer into his eyes and landed a brainscrambling superkick that made counting three a mere formality.
Much like the man in the top spot, Sanada has been a fighting a champion since winning the X-DIvision Championship. His challenge from both DJ Zema and Tigre Uno is the perfect example of this. Against two of TNA's top X-Division stars, the Champion was in a tough spot. He didn't need to lose the match to lose his championship and his fate wasn't necessarily in his own hands. Talent is fate's great equalizer, though. The Champion used his impressive wrestling skills to trap DJZ in German Suplex. A bridge of the back earned three raps of the mat and kept the X-Division title around the Japanese star's waist.
Until today, the hashtag had been #BullyFearsDixie. But it was Dixie Carter who was trembling when she entered her house to confront Bully Ray. Her trembling turns to pure fright when she sees Rockstar Spud, who she sent in ahead of her, laying on the ground in pain. Her fright turns to terror when Bully himself appears from behind an opened door. When the former World Heavyweight Champion steps out, he makes one simple demand. Admit it, Carter. Admit that you fear him. The TNA President begins to comply by saying "I fear..."
Wham! A forearm to the back of Bully's head sends him falling to the ground like a box of rocks. The forearm belongs to Dixie's nephew, EC3, and it looks like another impossible situation that Madame Dixie has planned her way out of...for now.
When the main event finally came around Eric Young looked all but defeated before the bell rung. MVP was merciless in his attack on the World Heavyweight Champion and it was hard not to expect a new titleholder to be crowned. However, Young is known for overcoming insurmountable odds. Despite the pain of his arm being twisted in every direction, E.Y. held on and kept returning fire with shots of his own. Shocking fans in attendance, Young came back in a big way and looked ready to land his flying elbow drop. That's when Kenny King, MVP's enemy as recently as last week, showed up and attacked the Champ causing a disqualification.
Eric fell, the ref called for the bell, and that's when everything went to hell. The former enemies were working together and Young was the object of their rage. They tore into him until Bobby Lashley, surely here to help Eric Young, came running to the ring. That's when we learned that "surely" doesn't mean definitely.
Shockingly, Lashley speared the World Heavyweight Champion and joined King and MVP as the apparent third member of the alliance. The boss has some new friends and the champ has some new headaches as Impact comes to a close.
Preview tonight;s huge IMPACT WRESTLING broadcast on SpikeTV at 9/8c as the road to the June "Slammiversary" epic event continues! If you can't watch it Thursday, make sure to set your DVR!
- After this past week, can anyone stop the new alliance of MVP, Bobby Lashley and Kenny King in TNA Wrestling? MVP is more powerful than ever now that he has major backup in the form of Lashley and King! After their beatdown on Eric Young, are EY's days numbered as the World Heavyweight Champion? How will Young respond to this new triple threat from MVP, Lashley and King? Don't miss Thursday's broadcast!
- Plus, we've received word that due to the recent actions by MVP and his abuse of power, TNA President Dixie Carter will make her return to IMPACT on Thursday night to address the situation! What will Dixie say about the recent events involving MVP and his new alliance? Is this powder keg about to explode on IMPACT?
- Also this Thursday, TNA Knockouts champion Angelina Love has issued an Open Challenge for anyone to face her for the title! Who will step up and answer Angelina for a shot at the gold? Tune in and find out!
- Plus, the rivalry between Magnus and Jeff Hardy's alter-ego WILLOW continues on Thursday as they meet in a Falls Count Anywhere Match! Will Bram finally get inside Magnus's head and unleash a more aggressive Magnus on TNA Wrestling?
All this and much more on Thursday's IMPACT WRESTLING broadcast on SpikeTV at 9/8c!