By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in January in Manchester, England at Manchester Arena
[Q1] A recap video opened Impact… Backstage, EC3 approached Dixie Carter. EC3 said he told Dixie that Matt Hardy is a manipulator, and he announced his intention to take back the TNA Title. Dixie said he would get his rematch in a cage match on next week’s television show. EC3 said thanks and said he had something very personal to take care of… The opening video aired… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary…
EC3 made his entrance for an in-ring promo. He said he knows who he is and what he’s done. He said he walked into TNA two years ago with a chip on his shoulder. He spoke briefly about his accomplishments and said he’s only worried about Matt Hardy.
EC3 said he was friends and business partners with Tyrus. He said Tyrus made a business decision to cost him the TNA Title. He said Tyrus might be babysitting Maxel Hardy and may even be breastfeeding him, but he told him to come to the ring so they could handle it like men.
Tyrus walked onto the stage with a mic and said that EC3 doesn’t want this. EC3 said he does. Tyrus barked to look at him. Tyrus said EC3 has always had someone watch his back. He said he knows his secrets and he’s afraid to be alone. Tyrus said they were friends and business partners. The crowd gave Tyrus the “What?” treatment.
Tyrus walked to the ring as he spoke and eventually entered the ring. Tyrus told EC3 he doesn’t want this or need this. “I will end you,” Tyrus said. EC3 asked if he was done and then said he’s done. EC3 attacked Tyrus, who quickly put him down and worked over EC3. Tyrus hit EC3 with a heart punch.
EC3 rolled out of the ring and headed toward the stage. Tyrus followed EC3 to ringside and then EC3 took control of the battle until Matt Hardy ran out and attacked EC3 from behind. EC3 returned to the ring, and Hardy and Tyrus double teamed him. Tyrus held EC3 and Hardy slapped him and jawed at him. Hardy picked up a chair, but EC3 kicked him and took the chair, causing EC3 and Tyrus to flee.
Hardy took the mic and said EC3 is really tough when he has an “illegal foreign object in his hand.” Hardy said if EC3 wants revenge so bad, then he could find a partner who can actually tolerate him. There were some “Spud” chants from the live crowd… Mathews hyped the tag title match… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good opening segment. EC3 was a little cockier than I thought he might be, but he was still good and the crowd was with him.
[Q2] Eric Young and Bram stood in the ring for a pre-match promo. Young told the fans to look at his title. He said the fans are looking at a god. Young asked if there was anyone in the crowd to take the title from him. Young said there isn’t a person who could. He said he knows one person who won’t be taking it from him and that’s Jeff Hardy.
Beer Money made their entrance. Bobby Roode was up for the challenge, but Young told him to get to the back of the line. James Storm said Young has never beaten him. Storm said he came back to whoop ass and he was going to start with Young…
1. Eric Young (w/Bram) vs. James Storm (w/Bobby Roode) for the King of the Mountain Title. Bram held Storm’s leg early, but Storm fought out of it. Young eventually knocked Storm to ringside. Later, Storm was setting up for the Last Call superkick. Bram was about to interfere, but Roode cut him off. Referee Earl Hebner allowed the match to continue because there was no outside interference, but then he called for a double count-out moments later when Young and Storm fought on the floor. The teams brawled into the crowd.
Eric Young fought James Storm to a double count-out.
Powell’s POV: I honestly don’t remember the spoilers, but I assume this was done to set up a tag team cage match with the Lockdown themed episode is next week.
Backstage, Drew Galloway spoke with EC3 and said that they’ve never been best of friends, but they have a common goal. EC3 said Galloway has the briefcase and wants the TNA Title. EC3 said he wants revenge and the TNA Title. EC3 said he appreciates Galloway’s offer, but he has to stand alone. Galloway emphasized that the Feast or Fired contract gives him a shot whenever and against whomever the champion is… Mathews hyped Mike Bennett in action for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: It’s perfectly logical for Galloway to be the first wrestler to step up and offer to team with EC3. After all, Galloway is the biggest babyface on the planet. I like that they worked in the reminder that Galloway’s contract works the same way that Money in the Bank works. Since he is the world’s biggest babyface, I assume he will ultimately do “the right thing” by announcing when and where he wants his title match rather than cashing in after the champion has already wrestled.
The Beer Money brawl with Bram and Eric Young continued backstage…
[Q3] Mike Bennett and Maria made their entrance. Maria started by dubbing herself the First Lady of Professional Wrestling. She introduced Bennett as a future world champion and said he will inspire fans because he inspires her. Bennett made his entrance and held hands with his wife as they headed to the ring. Bennett spoke about being a future champion once they entered the ring. Bennett said Kurt Angle cheap shotted him and ran away. Bennett said Galloway’s Feast or Fired contract is a ticking time bomb because he is going to fail. Bennett said he wanted to wrestle one of the UK’s own. Bennett called out Mark Andrews…
2. “The Miracle” Mike Bennett (w/Maria) vs. Mark Andrews. Andrews performed his skateboard entrance, which wasn’t all that impressive due to the small ramp. Bennett told Andrews it would take a miracle for him to win. Andrews slapped him and the match was on. In the end, Bennett performed a short-arm punch and followed up with his finisher for the clean win. Bennett continued to attack Andrews afterward. Drew Galloway came out and Bennett ran off…
Mike Bennett beat Mark Andrews in 3:45.
Decay delivered a promo from inside a caged area. They still had the TNA Tag Titles with them. Rosemary spoke about how The Wolves would be going to the dance with nothing to wear. Abyss said she will be the most beautiful woman at the ball. A British man showed up, called Rosemary sweetheart, and said he hasn’t forgotten about her. He said it has nothing to do with Abyss or Crazzy Steve, it has to do with him and Rosemary. The man said he would see her soon… Mathews asked who the man was and then hyped Monster’s Ball… [C]
[Q4] Galloway and Andrews were talking with the anonymous camera guy when Bennett attacked them from behind. Maria also showed up and caused a brief distraction. Bennett ran Galloway into a garage door and left him lying… A vignette aired for Odarg the Great and said he is coming…
Powell’s POV: Spell Odarg backwards.
Backstage, Tyrus sat Rockstar Spud down in a chair. Matt Hardy told Spud that it’s not in his best interest to meddle in their affairs. Hardy said that’s why Tyrus hit him, but he guaranteed it wouldn’t happen again if he stayed out of their affairs. Hardy told Spud that EC3 is not a good guy and you are the sum of the company you keep. Hardy slapped his chest and told him “good talk” before he and Tyrus left the room…
Mathews hyped Lashley vs. Kurt Angle in Angle’s final Impact match for three weeks from now… A video package recapped Angle beating Lashley in their first match…
3. The Wolves vs. Aybss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) in a Monster’s Ball for the TNA Tag Titles. Abyss and Steve had the early advantage and pulled out weapons from around the ring as they cut to an early break. [C]
[Q5] Rosemary spat mist in the eyes of Davey Richards, then Abyss threw a chair at the head (ugh) of Edwards and knocked him off the ropes and through a table on the floor. Abyss pulled out the stupid weapon that he never connects with because he would kill opponents. Sure enough, one of the Wolves avoided the weapon named after Dixie Carter’s mother and it stuck to the turnbuckle pad. Edwards recovered and returned to the match and performed a sunset flip powerbomb that drove the back of Abyss’s head onto a trash can.
Richards cleaned his eyes with water to get the mist out. Richards hit his opponents with a kendo stick. Steve low-blowed him, but the Wolves teamed up on him. Abyss pulled out the thumbtacks, but he was cleared from the ring. Richards performed a suicide dive that drive Abyss into a barbwire table.
Decay recovered and placed Eddie’s head through a chair and then Rosemary entered the ring and poured thumbtacks on him. He screamed in agony even though it didn’t look like it would hurt more than anything else done in the match. In a shocking twist, Edwards avoided a Janice shot. Edwards grabbed the weapon and swung it together with Steve’s chair swing.
Edwards grabbed Rosemary. Richards forced a kiss on her and ended up taking the mist packet out of her mouth, then sprayed it into her face.
The Wolves defeated Decay in a Monster’s Ball match in 15:45 to retain the TNA Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: The head blows were unnecessary. One can only hope that Abyss didn’t intentionally take that powerbomb and have his head land on the back of the trashcan intentionally. That said, this was a crazy match. It’s not what I like to see from The Wolves, but it is cool that they are versatile enough to work the hardcore style. I could do without seeing Janice ever again. I was disappointed to see Decay lose clean. I don’t think they lost a lot, but it feels like they had too much momentum to have them lose in Abyss’s signature match at this early stage of their run.
Backstage, Rockstar Spud told EC3 to let him talk. He said he was trying to do the right thing and he agrees that EC3 shouldn’t be fired without due cause. He said they have some good history and some really fricking bad. EC3 said Spud looks out for others a little too much. EC3 told him that his match tonight is for him and him alone. EC3 walked away… Mathews hyped upcoming matches…
4. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Marti Bell and Jade (w/Rebel). The Dollhouse members attacked the babyface duo to start the match.
[Q6] Jade went for her cradle piledriver finisher, but Kim avoided it and clotheslined her. Late in the match, Gail took out Jade, then Madison reversed a pin on Marti and got the win…
Gail Kim and Madison Rayne beat Marti Bell and Jade.
After the match, Dollhouse attacked the babyface duo. Pope said they don’t handle defeat well and it reminded him of Cam Newon. Velvet Sky came out and worked over the Dollhouse members. Velvet took the mic and challenged Dollhouse to the first ever Knockouts Lethal Lockdown match against her, Kim, and Rayne…
Backstage, Mahabali Shera said he doesn’t like Jessie Godderz and Eli Drake, but he likes his friend from India, Odarg the Great. Grado showed up wearing a mask that showed off his face and spoke in a bad Indian accent… On commentary, Josh asked, “Seriously?” and then plugged the main event… [C]
Backstage, Beer Money attacked Young and Bram again. Thank goodness for editing because the mop that Storm wanted to use as a weapon got caught underneath a door. Young and Bram knocked Beer Money down and left the area. Roode looked into the camera. There was a bad cut from Storm standing up and calling for them to him standing with his head down next to Roode, then Roode yelled that they wanted them in a Lockdown match. Storm had to sneak in the damn luck line…
Powell’s POV: Between this ongoing brawl and Monster’s Ball, I’ve reached hardcore overload for one week. Oh, and I’m just pretending like I didn’t see that whole Shera and Grado thing. Shit, wait, what is this. No, I thought this was next week…
[Q7] 5. Mahabali Shera and Odarg the Great vs. Eli Drake and Jessie Godderz. Drake didn’t know who Shera’s partner was. Odarg made his entrance to a favorable reaction from his fellow countrymen. Shera bent Godderz arms into position and made him do a version of his dance.
Later, Odarg tagged in and hit bionic elbows on both opponents, then performed a cannonball on Drake. He went for a cover, but Godderz broke it up. Shera hit Godderz with Sky-Hi. Drake made a play for the mask. Odarg ended up ripping it off for him and then tripping him and rolling him up for the pin. Mathews said Grado proved he could pin Drake. Grado rolled under the ring and put his mask on again…
Mahabali Shera and Odarg the Great beat Eli Drake and Jessie Godderz in 4:30.
Mathews hyped the main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: What a mess. Here’s my compromise. If Shera and Grado are popular in their respective home countries and the Xplosion show is available in both countries, then how about TNA limit their appearances to that show since it’s not available in the United States and thus I never have to watch it?
Backstage, Drake was venting about losing when Godderz started laughing at him. Odarg showed up and told Drake that he would be facing him at Lockdown. Godderz laughed. Drake asked what the hell is going on…
The broadcast team hyped Beer Money vs. Young and Bram, Dollhouse vs. Kim, Sky, and Rayne, and Matt Hardy vs. EC3 for the TNA Title in cage matches… Ring entrances for the main event took place. EC3 got a strong reaction…
[Q8] 6. EC3 vs. Matt Hardy and Tyrus. Hardy had Tyrus start the match. They cut to an early break with Tyrus getting the better of EC3. [C] After the break, Hardy was working over EC3. Rockstar Spud came out and took his place in EC3’s corner and held his hand out for a tag. EC3 had a chance to tag him in, but he didn’t take it. There was a brief “We Want Spud” chant.
EC3 eventually made the hot tag to Spud, who worked over Hardy with punches and then stomped him in the corner. Spud played to the crowd before taking off his bowtie. The crowd was pretty lame and just kinda sat there. Spud should have left the tie on because he was roughed up by Hardy and Tyrus right after he removed it.
Tyrus performed a heart punch on Spud and then did a push-up splash on him. Spud avoided a splash in the corner and then performed a Diamond Cutter off the ropes. EC3 tagged in and was going for his finisher on Hardy before Tyrus cut it off. EC3 cleared Tyrus from the ring. EC3 went up top and dove onto, er, through both heels. EC3 hit the ground hard and both heels sold, and he got right back to his feet.
Back in the ring, Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on EC3 for a two count. Tyrus set up for a heart punch and then waited until Spud finally low blowed him. Hardy hit Spud with a Twist of Fate. EC3 performed a One Percenter on Hardy and pinned him to win the match.
EC3 and Rockstar Spud beat Matt Hardy and Tyrus in 12:55.
Mathews made a fuss over EC3 pinning the TNA Champion heading into their Lockdown match next week. EC3 approached Spud afterward. Spud gave a quick bow and then left the ring, leaving EC3 to soak up the suddenly lively crowd’s cheers… A teaser aired for the Lockdown show with all cage matches…
Powell’s POV: A solid main event to a disappointing show. It had its moments and it was better than a lot of what we saw from TNA last year, but it didn’t live up to the higher standards of what we’ve seen from the company since they moved to Pop TV to start the new year. The backstage brawl with Young, Bram, and Beer Money reached a point of silliness, and TNA tried too hard for comedy with the Grado nonsense. It didn’t help that we barely heard from Matt Hardy and we didn’t get his family on this show, but it’s understandable to avoid running a hot act into the ground. EC3 was treated like a star by the live crowd and that’s the biggest plus of this episode with an honorable mention to Spud finally returning to some level of prominence. John Moore will be by on Wednesday with his TNA Hit List, and I will be by with an audio review of this show with more thoughts for Dot Net Members.