By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling
Aired December 17, 2015 on Destination America
This week’s intro video said that this week’s episode of Impact was going to be built around recaps on each of the four WTS finalists’ quest for the World Title. We were also getting a few “all-star” matches on this show to keep it from just being a clip show….
Josh Mathews’s voice opened the show as he introduced the Matt Hardy video. They replayed the Matt Hardy vs Davey Richards match. Matt talked afterwards on a throne (?). He gave props to Bobby Roode for being the longest reigning World Champ in TNA. He also gave Jessie Godderz credit for surprising him and legitimizing himself. Hardy said the Hardy train wasn’t stopping and he was going to win the TNA World title. Josh Mathews teased a Kurt Angle interview later on…[C]
John’s Thoughts: That was easy to cover. It looks like they are really stretching their material as the well for fresh content runs thin. Hardy is starting to get overexposed a bit due to him being interviewed on most of the episodes of the WTS. He wasn’t bad by any means, but we’ve heard the “Matt Hardy Train” speech almost every week and the only new material was adding Jessie Godderz to that speech. I do personally agree with Matt as Jessie Godderz really hung with Matt Hardy at a main event level last week for doing the basics very well.
Awww shoot it’s Crimson. He was joined by Eli Drake, Micah, and Jessie Godderz. Pope D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary for the first time this night. The crowd looked like they could care less. Group X Division came out next. Both teams came out to generic, royalty free music. It was a bit funny hearing Man-drews followed by Man-ik…
1. Group Future 4 (Crimson, Eli Drake, Micah, and Jessie Godderz) vs. Group X Division (DJ Zema Ion, Tigre Uno, Mark Andrews, and Manik). Josh Mathews pointed out how the mix of agendas in this match show that these teams aren’t teams so there might be some disputes. Eli Drake did a flip before tagging in his old Rising partner Micah to fight Zema Ion. Zema kept the pace fast and grounded Micah with an armdrag. Andrews tagged in and was quickly overpowered.
Jessie Godderz tagged in and started to gloat about his toned core. This allowed Andrews to recover and get a few kicks in on his core. Godderz recovered on his end and dominated a bit. Andrews tried to steal a win with a rollup. Manik was tagged in and grounded The Man with a dropkick. Tigre Uno quickly tagged in and continued working on Godderz. The X Division guys isolated Godderz with their quick offense. The teams joined each other in the ring to try a combined suplex on each other.
Zema took out Drake and Crimson with a tope con hilo. Josh Mathews reminded viewers that TNA is now playing the early NWA-TNA episodes every Thursday on YouTube. They are on episode 3 I believe and there is much Jeff Jarret and Ken Shamrock right now. Godderz teased a tope but ate up the boos instead. Manik sent Godderz outside and crossbody’d everybody. The future 4 guys dominated back in the ring.
Godderz and Crimson used some team work to get Andrews up for a chokeslam. Mathews pointed out how Eli Drake keeps trying to steal the victories for his group and the rift was put on display when Drake tried to take advantage of the Crimson chokeslam. Tigre Uno and the X guys managed to get a little rally on Drake. Drake turned the tide with a back drop. Jessie, Crimson, and Micah all walked out on Drake. Drake tried to walk out with them, but they pushed Drake back in the ring to eat moves from all the X guys. Andrews topped it all off with a Shooting Star press for the victory.
Group X Division defeated Group Future Four via pinfall in 10:12.
Josh Mathews pointed out that the only true loser of this match was Eli Drake for having an Ego. Mathews also said that after the break we were getting our Lashley spotlight.
John’s Thoughts: This was a filler match in general. Decent for XPlosion and not bad here due to the focus being put on the WTS Finalists. Jessie Godderz and Eli Drake were the only ones to stand out from their group during the series and those two did the same tonight. Hopefully TNA sees this and utilizes both of them as different but strong heel characters.
Lashley spotlight time. They replayed the Lashley vs. Austin Aries match. Josh Mathews and Pope did a sitdown hype package by themselves about Bobby Lashley. The 2nd all-star match was hyped for after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That was a decent hype package but also a bit strange. I commend TNA for keeping the mic out of Lashley’s hand during the interview segment, but it was a bit strange that they gave the production values to Pope and Mathews in a sitdown interview setting. It would have been better if they had more TNA stars and knockouts in that interview room to offer their thoughts.
EC3 Hype video time! Carter was shown heading to a gym in Nashville. He said there were no Robbie E’s at this gym because it was hardcore. They played hip hop music to Ethan Carter III working out in the gym. He called the situation, World Title BullS**T. He blamed Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan for putting him in this situation. He also thought Dixie might have been vengeful for the GFW situation. Ethan put over escaping the “Group of Death”, Group Champions. He said all he does is win. Carter said he wasn’t handed the one percenter title, he earned it…
Rockstar Spud came out first for his match. Josh Mathews directed people towards Spud’s twitter account for his work with the Starlight Children’s foundation. As an aside, I totally endorse Spud picking this organization as I’ve worked with them in the past and they are like Make-A-Wish, but they do a little more to help improve Children’s mood and lifestyle during terminally ill status. Cool and legit charity!
John’s Thoughts: The Ethan Carter III hype package was the best of the night so far, but that’s also because they seem to have access to him to produce the videos. The cheesy workout video was funny and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it, but not too much as to go overboard.
2. Rockstar Spud vs. Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Eddie Edwards. This was one of those matches where you had to tag in to compete. Eddie Edwards wanted to start but Bobby Roode tagged in to start off against Rockstar Spud. Mathews recapped Rockstar Spud’s feud earlier this year against the Dirty Heels. It’s a shame that feud was aborted. Mathews also hyped the full episodes of Impact on their YouTube channel. Spud managed to whip Roode allowing Eddie Edwards to tag in and plant Roode with an atomic drop. [C]
Spud tried to steal the win with a rollup on Edwards. Spud tried to howl like a wolf but Eddie wasn’t having any of it. Spud sent Eddie to the outside to join Roode. Spud then tried to appeal with Ken Anderson in the ring with the microphone pose which got on Anderson’s nerves a bit. Spud managed to send Anderson to the outside and hit all of the wrestlers with a Tope Con Hilo. Eddie Edwards blocked the underdog and eliminated Spud with the backslide.
Eddie Edwards took down Roode and Anderson with headscissors and had a rally full of kicks and holds. Eddie planted Roode with a backpack stunner and earned a nearfall off it. Eddie missed the double stomp, and blocked a Roode Bomb. Roode locked in the Crossface. And like any competent man would, Anderson didn’t break it up. Roode was angered at Anderson anyway. Roode was sent to the outside. Anderson hit the Mic Check on Eddie Edwards to eliminate him.
Roode gained the advantage after his signature spinebuster. Roode then locked in the Crossface. Anderson turned it into a pin attempt that Roode kicked out of. Anderson teased a Lambeau Leap. Roode was punched on the top rope. Anderson hit a standing Lambeau Leap to earn a nearfall. Anderson went for the mic check, Roode went for the Roode bomb, Anderson got a rollup attempt, and Roode turned it into a crossface which earned him the victory for not letting go.
Bobby Roode defeated Rockstar Spud, Eddie Edwards, and Mr. Anderson.
Kurt Angle gave his thoughts on the world title series. He said he faced all of them this past year and whoever wants it the most will win it. Angle said Eric Young has proved he is one of the best in the business and has a great chance to win. Angle said Lashley was the favorite because the guy steps up and wins when he has to. Angle brought up Matt Hardy being hungry due to having the title taken from him after Bound for Glory. Angle finished off by saying that EC3 gets better every week and might be ready to win the series due to his level of improvement… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The match was filler, but good filler once it got down to Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson. As for the Angle interview, he had good things to say about everyone. This would have worked in that strange Pope and Mathews hype for Lashley but then again, stretching content.
Eric Young was hyped next. They showed his match against Roode in the series after he recapped his feud with Roode. Ethan Carter III vs. Mr. Anderson was shown afterwards…
EC3 was in his car after his gym session and went to his own “Casa de Carter”. He did some workouts and meditation. They played serene music this time during his training montage. He yelled at his poolboy most of the montage. The interview ended with Carter in his personal bar… [C]
Josh Mathews interviewed the finalists in an empty Impact Zone for a roundtable. He asked Lashley’s opinion. He said he was going to beat up EC3 and his friend (Tyrus). Lashley told EC3 to fight him by himself. EC3 called Lashley a destroyer who destroys things. He said he shouldn’t have to face Lashley against since he beat him in round robin round. EC3 said he outsmarted Lashley. Matt Hardy called EC3 delusional.
Matt Hardy was interviewed next on his match against Eric Young. He called Young tough and crazy. He said EY had a Twist of Fate in his future. Mathews asked for EY’s thoughts on Matt Hardy sweeping his group. Young mocked Hardy for beating a weak Tag Team group while his was the group of death, the Originals group. Mathews brought up how the Champions group might be considered that group of death. Young brought up winning every title in TNA. Matt Hardy defended himself and talked about the Matt Hardy Train again.
Hardy was asked for his thoughts on the EC3 vs. Lashley match. He gave Lashley credit in a one on one encounter. Lashley was asked the same for the other side of the bracket. Lashley liked Matt Hardy. Lashley acted strangely giddy. EC3 wanted to face EY now in the finals. Young called Carter a winner. Lashley said something? Young said Hardy wasn’t advancing due to EY in his way. Young said Hardy was never coming back. He then went crazy like he usually does. Hardy said Young wasn’t breaking him. Mathews ended the segment to end the show…
John’s Thoughts: This roundtable was good in concept. I don’t think it was executed the best. Like I said earlier, Lashley is awesome when you keep the mic away from him, but with a mic he loses himself. On the other side of the coin, Hardy continues to say the same thing about his train. Young was okay and EC3 was solid. Where this could have worked a bit better is having both sides of the bracket sit alone face to face to keep it from developing into an unorganized cluster. It also allows for Lashley to be produced a bit better as he might come off better.
This was a filler episode overall and totally missable. I can’t really see a reason to watch it aside from those funny Ethan Carter III segments of him traveling around Nashville. TNA teased a best of episode next (whenever that’s going to show) so this is officially the last “new” episode of Impact of the year and the end of the Destination America Era.