By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in January in Manchester, England at Manchester Arena
[Q1] Impact opened with a video package focussed on recent storylines and the show being in England… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary…
Matt Hardy made his entrance along with Reby Hardy, Tyrus, and baby Maxel, who makes his triumphant return after taking off last week. Matt told the crowd that he didn’t have to sell out because he was already filthy rich. He said they could boo all they wanted, he wasn’t there for any of them. He said the Matt Hardy brand would teach the Impact Wrestling brand how to do good business. Matt said his brand is worth more than the Impact Wrestling brand.
Tyrus asked the fans if they want to see EC3. He told the English fans there’s a better chance of Winston Churchill’s fat ass showing up. Tyrus said he kept EC3 undefeated. He said Matt doesn’t need him to watch his back, they are together because they are family. Reby said EC3 is a loser like all of the fans. Reby said Matt is the sexiest man alive and the fans are just jealous.
Matt said he beat EC3 and he never broke a rule in the Last Man Standing match. Matt said EC3, Kurt Angle, and Jeff Hardy have all become his victims. The fans chanted “we want Jeff.” Matt told them that Jeff won’t be there because Eric Young ended his career. Matt said he wants to speak to Dixie Carter. He said there’s a cancer in TNA, and if Dixie wants to keep her top guy happy then she will fire EC3. Josh vented on commentary about how detestable the TNA Champion is…
Lashley made his entrance for a match against Bram… [C]
Powell’s POV: The most heelish thing Matt Hardy could do is give Dixie Carter a reason to appear on television. Jokes aside, this was another good segment for Matt and company. Here’s hoping Matt also insists that Dixie sign Maxel to a six-figure contract.
[Q2] Wake the neighbors, Dixie Carter was shown arriving backstage… Backstage in an echoey area, Bram told Eric Young that he’s going to destroy Lashley…
1. Lashley vs. Bram (w/Eric Young). Lashley wore is silly headband. Josh questioned what the relationship is between Bram and Young. Pope said one man is delusional and the other is delirious, then said it’s like dumb and dumber. Ugh. Bram had an offensive run, but Lashley came back with a power slam. Lashley went for a spear, but Bram avoided it and performed a DDT. Young entered the ring with his Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About and tried to hit Lashley, who moved and, well, you know the rest. Lashley speared Bram and pinned him…
Lashley beat Bram in 5:45.
In another echoey backstage area, Reby scoffed at the notion that EC3 would show up. Tyrus agreed, but said he was prepared if he did. Tyrus had security enter the room, then told them to come with him… Mathews hyped the return of EC3, and Angle vs. Galloway for later in the show… [C]
Powell’s POV: Here’s hoping the belt to the head leads to Young and Bram going separate ways. Bram just doesn’t strike me as a sidekick. I also hope that the poor sound quality in the backstage segments isn’t going to be a consistent problem throughout the shows taped in England. It’s annoying enough that the show isn’t offered in HD (at least on satellite), but adding bad sound quality really makes it feel like a cheap production.
Kurt Angle made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Angle said the crowd’s reception makes it difficult to say farewell. He continued to play to the crowd. He noted that he will be wrestling Lashley and Bobby Roode soon. He said tonight is special. Maria interrupted Angle before he could mention Drew Galloway. Maria said what Angle is saying is manufactured and fake. “What these people really need is The Miracle Mike Bennett,” she said.
[Q3] Bennett made his entrance and joined Maria on the stage and then they both headed to the ring. Bennett said Angle had a hell of a career. He said that when he was growing up in New England, “the better more advanced England,” he studied Angle and saw him have amazing match after amazing match. Bennett claimed he told his mother that one day he would grow up and beat Angle.
“I’m warning you right now, get the hell out of my face,” Angle said. Bennett hyped up the idea of facing Angle for the first and only time. Angle told Maria she is beautiful, but she has horrible taste in men. Angle said Bennett needs a miracle, then clotheslined him, and Bennett went to ringside. Angle said he doesn’t wrestle guys he doesn’t respect. Angle said he will face a man he respects, Drew Galloway, who walked onto the stage with his Feast or Fired briefcase and pointed at Angle…
Backstage, James Storm and Bobby Roode stood outside their locker room. Storm was hoping Roode had pyro, but he was told it wasn’t in the budget. No luck on his hope for strippers either. Storm opened the door and found his “boozer cruiser” (cooler on wheels)… [C]
Powell’s POV: Beer Money have quickly become the TNA version of DX. I wish it were DX at their peak, but it’s more like Hunter and Shawn trying too hard to be funny. Meanwhile, one can only hope that Bennett will get some measure of revenge on Angle. I honestly don’t remember the spoilers, but hopefully this leads to a match.
2. Trevor Lee (w/Gregory Shane Helms) vs. Tigre Uno for the X Division Championship. Uno applied an early submission hold. He tried to follow up, but he ran into a big clothesline.
[Q4] Tigre came back with a kick that Lee comically over sold by staggering to the floor. Uno followed and performed a nice huracanrana. Lee came right back by whipping Uno into the ring steps. Back inside the ring, Helms reached in and held Uno’s leg at one point, then Lee followed up with a fisherman’s buster suplex for the win…
Trevor Lee defeated Tigre Uno in 5:20 to retain the X Division Championship.
They had a quick cut to Mathews hyping up coming matches, then Beer Money made their entrance complete with Storm riding the Boozer Cruiser down the ramp…
Powell’s POV: The live crowd was pretty flat for the X Division Title match. It’s hard to blame them, though, since this is the first time that Helms did something heelish. It’s going to take time to establish the current X Division wrestlers.
James Storm and Bobby Roode called for The Wolves to come to the ring. Roode said Beer Money was about to become five-time tag champions. Crazzy Steve, Abyss, and Rosemary walked out with the TNA Tag Titles. Rosemary cut a promo about how everything pretty eventually dies. Roode said they are not the tag champions, but since they were both there, they should fight…
3. James Storm and Bobby Roode vs. Crazzy Steve and Abyss (w/Rosemary). Abyss and Steve isolated Roode and worked him over in their corner. The broadcast team spoke about the transformation of Steve. Roode eventually performed a spinebuster on Abyss and then tagged in Storm. After Storm worked over the heels, he and Roode did the Beer Money dance. They performed the DWI finisher on Steve and had him pinned, but Abyss pulled the referee to the floor. The referee called for the bell.
Beer Money beat Crazzy Steve and Abyss by DQ in 5:45.
[Q5] After the match, Rosemary entered the ring with a tag title and distracted Roode until Steve caught him with a low blow. Abyss brought out Janice, the stupid weapon he can’t hit anyone with because they will die. The Wolves ran out with chairs. Rosemary stood in front of her team and pointed to her chin encouraging The Wolves to hit her. Decay left the ring together.
Richards took the mic and said Decay has something that belongs to Wolves Nation (is that the U.S. or England?), the TNA Tag Titles. Eddie Edwards said they want their titles back, but they are willing to give Decay a chance to win them. Abyss took the mic (noooo!) and said they could do it next week in a Monster’s Ball match…
Separate backstage shots aired of Angle and Galloway preparing for their match… Backstage, Reby approached Dixie backstage and said that Matt didn’t know she was talking with her. Reby said Matt just wants to help Dixie with the company. Reby said it’s cutthroat backstage, but Dixie has made her family feel at home. She asked Dixie to keep in mind that they want what’s best for family. As Reby walked away, she rolled her eyes in disgust… Mathews hyped a Knockouts match for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I really like the Decay act, but why can’t he be Zombie Abyss so that he never speaks? Let Rosemary do all the talking since her voice doesn’t trigger horrible memories from TNA’s past like Abyss’s voice does. They have mentioned EC3’s return a few times tonight, but they haven’t made me feel like he’s a major star, which is a problem.
Grado entered through the crowd wearing his ring gear. The broadcast team noted that he was fired and was trespassing. Grado motioned for the mic and Jeremy Borash gave it to him. This fired man entered the ring and cut a promo about being fired. He claimed he was screwed and said he has proof of it.
Eli Drake came out with security behind him. Drake said no one cares (he’s right about that). Drake said security was there to escort Grado from the building. The security members entered the ring and Grado avoided them. Pope asked the obvious question of where security was when Grado hopped the rail. Grado avoided security and ran away holding up his evidence…
Powell’s POV: This likely explains that weird and creepy segment where Jessie Godderz encouraged Drake to open the Feast or Fired briefcase. It would seem that Eli somehow switched briefcases once he found out that he was going to be fired. Let’s call it a tie. They don’t have to fire them, but they could move this feud to Xplosion.
Backstage, Drew Galloway said tonight the future becomes the present when he beats Kurt Angle…
[Q6] 4. Madison Rayne vs. Jade (w/Rebel, Marti Bell). Madison dove onto all three women on the floor around 30 seconds into the match. However, Rebel grabbed her foot on the way back in Jade was able to take control. In the end, yet another distraction led to Jade performing her finsiher and getting the pin. Afterward, the Dollhouse members beat up Madison until Gail Kim made the save and cleared all three women from the ring…
Jade pinned Madison Rayne in 4:20.
The broadcast team hyped the return of EC3 and the Angle vs. Galloway match… [C]
Powell’s POV: Gail continues to be too dominant. They need to build up heel challengers, not have her clear three potential challengers from the ring with ease.
Backstage, Billy Corgan was talking about the tour when Grado approached him and complained about how he was screwed. Corgan told him he didn’t understand what he was saying and requested he say it in English. Grado slowed down his speech, but security showed up and grabbed him. Grado said “that’s the guy.” Drake told him to can whatever he thinks he knows, then punched him out…
5. Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway. They shook hands before the match. They hit simultaneous clotheslines heading into the break.
[Q7] [C] Angle set up for a suplex, but Galloway blocked it, took the same position, and performed a nice DDT. Angle came back with the Angle Slam at ringside onto the ring steps. Back inside the ring, Galloway performed a reverse Alabama Slam. Later, Angle performed a German suplex, but Galloway came back with a Claymore kick. Galloway went to the corner and stomped his foot, then performed another Claymore kick and got a two count. Pope put over Angle kicking out of the kick.
Galloway went for a missile dropkick from the second rope, but Angle avoided it. Angle performed three German suplexes and the crowd applauded. Angle performed the Angle Slam and then went to the top rope and performed a splash that resulted in a two count. Angle applied the ankle lock. Galloway kicked him off. Angle charged and Galloway avoided it and shoved him into the post, then connected with another Claymore kick for yet another two count. Angle came up bleeding from the mouth.
Galloway applied the crossface. Angle escaped and reapplied the ankle lock. Galloway rolled over and kicked himself free, then reapplied the crossface and got the submission win. Afterward, Galloway celebrated, then dropped to his knees and applauded Angle. They hugged and then Angle raised Galloway’s hand…
Drew Galloway defeated Kurt Angle in 15:20.
Powell’s POV: Another good match with Angle doing the right thing by putting over Galloway on his way out. Angle doing the right thing is no surprise, but it certainly should be acknowledged. Galloway has become an excellent babyface. Sure, I got annoyed by how many times he gushed over wrestling Angle, but he is very good in the ring and has the potential to be the face of TNA. It would have been easy for anyone to become completely demoralized after the 3MB mess in WWE, but Galloway has reinvented himself and is joining EC3 in making WWE look ridiculous for their misuse of both men. TNA creative also deserves credit for not treating Galloway and EC3 like nobodies just because WWE did.
[Q8] [C] Matt Hardy, Reby Sky, and Tyrus stood in the ring and Matt called out Dixie Carter. Once Dixie made her entrance, Matt demanded that she fire EC3. “Dixie, do not be a flakey bimbo, look into the camera and fire his ass now,” Hardy demanded. Matt got in Dixie’s face and repeated his demand. Rockstar Spud made his entrance wearing a suit that that “Pop” on the back.
Spud said he hasn’t said this in a long time. “I’ve got this madam,” Spud told Dixie. Spud said this isn’t Hardy, he used to be someone he looked up to. “You will always look up to me, boy,” Hardy said. Hardy called EC3 garbage. Spud said EC3 has done some terrible things, most of them to him. “Fire EC3 now,” Hardy said. “He’s inconsequential, he means nothing,” Hardy ordered. Spud told Hardy to leave Dixie alone and to shut up. Hardy ordered Spud to go tell Dixie to fire EC3.
Spud said no. He said Hardy is running from EC3 like a little bitch. Hardy nodded and Tyrus took out Spud with a clothesline from behind. Hardy backed Dixie into a corner and demanded that she fire EC3 now. EC3’s music played and he he came out wearing a suit. He ditched the jacket and shirt on the ring and walked to the ring. The security that Tyrus hired tried to stop EC3, but he threw them aside with ease. Tyrus got in his way, but EC3 got through him as well.
EC3 stood on the floor and looked up at Hardy. Dixie and Spud were sitting in the corner together. EC3 entered the ring and Hardy ducked out to ringside without ever making contact with EC3. Spud and Dixie left the ring. EC3 joined them at ringside and looked at both of them, then held up his hand symbol and headed to the back. Pope said it was a different EC3 that we were were seeing. Josh said the ass kicking machine is here on Impact Wrestling and his name is EC3…
Powell’s POV: Another show stealing performance from Matt Hardy. The way he manically bullied Carter while attempting to make her fire EC3 was excellent. It also made EC3 seem like a big deal since Hardy’s character was obviously worried about him returning. Spud was also very good here as he always is when he’s given a microphone. I like that EC3 got physical at ringside, yet never got his hands on Hardy and never actually spoke. That’s a nice hook for next week. Overall, a good show with a nice main event match between Galloway and Angle, and more excellent heel work from Matt Hardy throughout the show.