By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in January in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at Sands Event Center
[Q1] Footage aired from “earlier today” of Jeff Hardy arriving at the building and being asked about his brother’s actions. Jeff said he’s been trying to call Matt Hardy all week. He said there are definitely things that need to be said to the new world champion… A video recapped Matt Hardy winning the title last week… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary…
Jeff Hardy made his entrance wearing face paint and street clothes. Jeff shook hands with fans at ringside before entering the ring for a promo. Jeff said he was shocked when he saw what Matt did last week. Jeff called for his brother to join him in the ring.
Matt Hardy’s new entrance video that opened with him saying “I Am Iconic.” When Matt didn’t come out, Jeff called for Big Money Matt. Eventually, Matt walked out dressed in a suit and holding his wife’s hand as Tyrus walked behind them holding baby Maxel. Jeff said he wanted to talk to his brother alone. Reby said Jeff abandoned him because he was too busy playing “the redneck Evel Knievel” when he got hurt. Reby said they don’t need Jeff or anyone else.
Jeff said he’s not talking to this “sister-bitch-in-law.” Matt told Jeff to apologize and said he’s treading on dangerous water. Jeff said he’s talking to his brother who is acting like a big douche. Jeff led the crowd in a “why, Matt, why?” chant. Matt said Jeff isn’t used to being in his shadow. Matt said he’s done what’s right his entire life and all he’s done is spin his wheels. Matt said his wife’s advice to stop giving and start taking paid off.
Matt said Jeff is walking around like a cripple and he’s now “the other Hardy.” Jeff said he couldn’t understand what was going through Matt’s big head. Matt said they’ve come to the fork in the road where they go separate ways. Matt said Jeff could hang out with the underlings while he becomes the greatest champion in the history of the industry. The fans chanted EC3. Jeff said he agreed with the fans and EC3 is the best wrestler on earth because he won it fairly. He acknowledged it was strange being on EC3’s side.
Jeff said there’s only one way to settle it. He said he’s medically cleared and healthy. Jeff challenged Matt to make his first TNA Title defense against him tonight. Matt asked Jeff if he wanted this. Matt said he loves Jeff, but as of this moment he was wiping his hand of all guilt regardless of what happened on this show…
Mathews hyped Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy as the main event, then spoke about the Feast or Fired match. Jose stressed that the wrestlers in the match volunteered.
[Q2] The broadcast team set up a video package with the participants discussing the match… Beer Money made their entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: Matt and Reby look the part, and Tyrus carrying the baby is downright hysterical. The heel Hardy act is off to a great start after the tremendous turn that developed over the last few weeks. Jeff held up his end nicely as well. They are really rushing into the match, but I don’t think it’s actually going to happen (I honestly have no recollection of the spoilers).
Mathews said the TNA Title match is official for later in the show… The Feature of Fired ring entrances continued…
1. James Storm vs. Bobby Roode vs. Drew Galloway vs. Grado vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Eric Young vs. Robbie E vs. Aiden O’Shea vs. Bram vs. Chris Melendez vs. Eli Drake vs. Jessie Godderz in the Feast or Fired match. Grado pulled down the first briefcase (after some fiddling) and then headed backstage as they went to break. [C]
[Q3] Drew Galloway pulled down the second briefcase and headed backstage. Eli Drake took the third briefcase. Eric Young put Rockstar Spud down with a piledriver late in the match. Beer Money brawled with Young and Bram. Rather than climb up and grab a briefcase, Beer Money did their dance. Yes, really. A short time later, Beer Money were the last men standing. Roode stood guard while Storm took the briefcase down…
Grado, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, and James Storm won briefcases in the Feast or Fired match in 16:00.
Backstage, Kurt Angle approached Jeff Hardy as he was touching up his face paint. Angle said he wanted to check on Jeff after what happened. Jeff said things haven’t been the same since Reby showed up. Kurt said he’s doing the last thing by facing his brother. Angle said he has Jeff’s back… Mathews hyped the TNA Title match and the opening of the briefcases for later in the show… [C]
Powell’s POV: The match itself is an uneventful mess. There’s really no reason for the fans to cheer when a wrestler gets a briefcase because it could mean that wrestler is being fired. The drama is in the opening of the briefcases, not the train wreck match. Thankfully, they are doing that tonight as well unlike the one year where viewers suffered through the match and had to wait for a future episode to find out the fate of the briefcase winners.
The Feast or Fired briefcase holders were shown standing with their briefcases backstage…
[Q4] 2. Tigre Uno vs. Mandrews vs. DJ Z for the X Division Championship. At one point, Mandrews grabbed his skateborad and went to the top of the ramp. He rode the skateboard down the ramp and jumped off to perform a move on Z at ringside. Oh, boy. A short time later, Tigre performed a top rope flip while holding onto and then landing on top of Mandrews for the pin.
Tigre Uno defeated Mandrews and DJ Z to retain the X Division Championship.
After the match, confetti fell (yes, for Uno beating the same two guys). Gregory “Shane” Helms made his entrance complete with music and took a mic. Helms said TNA was defined by the X Division for years. He said the company was built on the back of the division. Helms said the return of the X Division to prominence is at hand. Helms challenged Uno to defend the X Division Championship next week “for the last time.” Uno nodded in approval. Helms said Uno’s time as X Division Champion is over…
Backstage, Awesome Kong addressed the rest of Dollhouse and said they will help her get the Knockouts Title someday, but tonight she’s facing Velvet Sky. She said she can’t have anyone at ringside, but it’s okay because Velvet won’t be walking out of the ring. Kong’s lesson for the group that “a beating is fundamental.” Then the rest of the women did some goofy “whose house?” and “Kong’s house” dance… [C]
Powell’s POV: The usual good athleticism from the X Division wrestlers and the usual flat reaction from the live crowd for the match. These are three talented guys, but the two challengers really need character makeovers. One is a wrestling deejay for the love of God, and the other calls himself Mandrews. I’m honestly not sure which is worse. I just know that Zema Ion showed a ton of charisma before he started clowning around. Helms entering the division gives it a dose of star power, but it’s going to take a lot more than one wrestler.
[Q5] Backstage, Jessie Godderz tried to talk Eli Drake into opening his briefcase. He said knowing his half the battle and once you do, you choose the man that you are with the power that you now know. After Godderz walked away, Drake thought about opening the briefcase… Mathews hyped the main event…
Backstage, Angle approached Matt Hardy and Tyrus, who were seated on a couch. Tyrus stood up and blocked Angle, but Matt told him it was okay. Angle told Hardy that he’s tarnishing his family name. Matt said he doesn’t destroy things, he builds things. He said he’s going to make TNA great again. Hardy said he is building his own brand.
Angle told hm he’s nothing but a selfish jerk. Angle said he was the first TNA Champion and he helped build something special. Angle said Hardy’s brand is tearing it down. Hardy told him not to take that tone with him. Hardy said Angle is one of two people in the company he respects and one of the only two men on his level. He said that if Angle gets in his family business he will be broken…
3. Awesome Kong vs. Velvet Sky. None of the sidekicks were allowed at ringside. Mathews looked back on Velvet Sky being fired because of Feast or Fired in a mess of a storyline that was best left forgotten. Kong had Velvet pinned after a slam and a splash, but she picked her up before the ref could count to three and gave her an Implant Buster before pinning her.
After the match, Kong was roughing up Velvet, so Madison ran out to help Sky. The other Dollhouse members ran out attacked Madison. Marti, Jade, and Rebel held Madison and forced her to watch while Kong performed a second rope splash on Velvet…
Awesome Kong beat Velvet Sky.
Backstage, The Wolves cut a promo about being attacked last week by Crazy Steve and the mystery man who sounded just like Abyss. Davey Richards said they will fight Beer Money with honor. Eddie Edwards referred to Steve and his friend as “freaks” and said they would be facing them tonight.
Inside a poorly lit room, Jeremy Borash gathered the briefcase winners while some crappy background music played. Borash said they would be opening the briefcases after the break…
Powell’s POV: A good win for Kong coming off her loss to Gail Kim. I’m not sure where they go with the Beautiful People from here. Everything with Matt Hardy and Kurt Angle has been good this year, so it’s no surprise that their verbal exchange was also very good.
[Q6] In the horribly lit room and with bad sound, Borash hosted the briefcase opening ceremony (or whatever the hell you want to call it) with James Storm, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, and Grado. Mike Bennett and Maria showed up. Bennett talked about how one of those wrestlers needed a miracle. He said things have always come easy to him and he didn’t need something like this, but he enjoyed a good train wreck so he was going to watch it unfold.
Galloway stood and talked about how Bennett hasn’t proven anything yet, and how they at least took a chance. Bennett and Maria ended up leaving with Bennett saying that Galloway would need a miracle to survive if he ever disrespected him or his wife again. Drake opened his briefcase first and it’s a King of the Mountain title shot. Borash played up the fates of the other wrestlers and then they went to another break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Poor Drake got the worst of the briefcase options. Sure, they say the pink slip is the worst, but nothing is worse than the Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About. Think about how silly this concept is. TNA boasts that they signed Storm as a hot free agent and now they are willing to risk him being fired if he opens the wrong briefcase.
The Wolves made their entrance. A female goth clown (or something) came out and talked about decay. Crazzy Steve came out, then Abyss’s music played and he joined them on the stage. Josh had to act shocked to see Abyss even though it was painfully obvious that it was him last week… [C]
[Q7] 4. The Wolves vs. Abyss and Crazzy Steve. Evil goth clown chick was not at ringside during the match. Late in the match, the Wolves set up for top rope moves, but then evil clown goth chick showed up on the stage holding the TNA Tag Titles and distracted them. Steve blew mist at Richards for the DQ, then the woman came to ringside and also blew mist at Richards. Steve applied a chicken wing and clown chick bit Richards. Abyss and Steve held up the tag titles afterward…
The Wolves beat Abyss and Crazzy Steve by DQ.
Bobby Roode entered the Feast or Fired room. He clapped his hand and Grado jumped. Roode told him to relax… Mathews hyped the main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: The evil clown duo have potential and they have fitting theme music, but heel turn No. 7,523 for Abyss does nothing for me. Wait, he was a babyface recently, wasn’t he? I can’t keep track anymore. He’s the Big Show of TNA. Oh, and Crazzy Steve really needs a new name. Is Billy Corgan’s buddy Raven going to show up as the leader of the freaks?
Inside the horribly lit and mic’d room, Storm told Roode he would give him the TNA Title shot if he won it. He said it was fun while it lasted if it was a pink slip. Storm acted like it was bad news. Roode looked and did the same. Storm and Roode then celebrated while showing that Storm won them a tag title shot. They left the room. Galloway opened the briefcase and told Grado it was bittersweet that he won the TNA Title shot. Grado was happy for him and then he figured out that he had the pink slip.
[Q8] Borash had Grado open the briefcase anyway, and he did have the “Fired!” briefcase. Borash said Grado had ten minutes to grab his things and then security would escort him from the building…
Powell’s POV: I should be talking about how horrible it makes TNA look to give the guy ten minutes to gather his belongings before security shows up, but the whole thing is so damn absurd that I can’t help but laugh at the silliness. Plus, TNA made themselves look legitimately worse with the A.J. Styles situation on Friday than they did with this silly gimmick.
Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C] Jeremy Borash handled the in-ring introductions for the TNA Title match…
5. Matt Hardy (w/Reby, Tyrus) vs. Jeff Hardy for the TNA Title. The bell rang to start the match. Before the wrestlers locked up, Eric Young yelled “wait” repeatedly and then complained over the house mic that Jeff isn’t the number one contender. Young said he is the number one contender. Bram jumped Jeff Hardy from behind. Young joined Bram in the ring in attacking Jeff Hardy while Matt Hardy just stood by and eventually went to ringside and watched from there.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy never got started.
Young set up a table on the floor. Beer Money ran out to help Jeff Hardy. Abyss and Crazzy Steve ran out and attacked Beer Money. However, Beer Money fought back and eventually fought Steve and Abyss up the stage and to the back. Matt Hardy and Tyrus entered the ring. Kurt Angle’s music played and he came out.
Angle went to confront Matt, but Tyrus struck him from behind. Matt ran the TNA Title belt into the head of Angle. Matt, Tyrus, and Reby left the ring and headed up the ramp. Matt held up the title belt in celebration. Jeff held his leg as he fought Young and Bram. Young got the better of Jeff and ended up piledriving him off the ring apron and through a table that was set up no the floor…
Powell’s POV: There are three things certain in life these days. Death, taxes, and a Jeff Hardy injury angle prior to a TNA UK tour. I thought they would put the heat on Matt and Tyrus by having them cause Jeff’s injury. Instead, they stood and watched it, which makes Matt look bad for watching his brother be put through a table, while also setting up Jeff with a distraction program with Young and Bram once he returns.
The Matt Hardy followup to last week’s big turn was strong, and I like that Angle got involved. I wish there would have been more talk about where EC3 goes from here, but I’m guessing the lack of talk about EC3 was by design. Most of the show was a mess because of the Feast or Fired gimmick. I can’t believe how low budget the briefcase unveiling segments were. I’m happy the Feast or Fired nonsense is finished for the year and this show is behind TNA. They did some good things this months, so I’m not going to let that bad annual concept sway me from thinking that the overall product has improved, but here’s hoping next week is a stronger show.