By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] Impact opened with a recap of last week’s main event and Drew Galloway cashing in his Feast or Fired contract and beating Matt Hardy to win the TNA Title… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary…
Drew Galloway made his entrance and took the TNA Title belt off his waist and raised it above his head on the stage. Galloway headed to the ring and played to the crowd. Galloway said last week’s show has been referred to as one of the most chaotic in history (not even close, which is a good thing).
Galloway said that no matter what you think about pro wrestling, this is real. He spoke about how long and hard he has worked and what he has been through and how it was all worth it now that he’s TNA Champion. Galloway said he wants everyone to look at the TNA Title differently. He vowed to be a fighting champion and said he will do whatever it takes “to put TNA on the damn map again.”
Powell’s POV: So TNA sucks right now? That’s what I hear when guys talk about bringing it back to prominence and putting it back on the map.
Matt Hardy’s music interrupted. Matt walked out with Reby Hardy, Rockstar Spud, and Tyrus. The Hardy crew entered the ring and Matt complained that Galloway stole his title. He said it was such a crime that he should have called the cops. Galloway said he had a raging afterparty after he won the title and the cops showed up and decided to get hammered with him.
Galloway said he saw an opportunity and made the most of it. Galloway said Hardy is a smart man who has been manipulating people, but last week he was smarter than Hardy. Matt said he will get his rematch or the entire Matt Hardy brand will eliminate Galloway. They squared off to fight.
Jeff Hardy’s music stopped everyone in their tracks. Jeff headed to ringside and said there’s a line for the first shot at the TNA Title. Jeff said he got dragged out last week, whereas Matt got beat fair and square. Jeff said he deserves the title shot. Galloway said he would give him a title shot. Matt told him to stay out of their family business.
Matt insulted Jeff’s art and music and told him to go jump his dirt bike and break the rest of his limbs. Jeff said he wasn’t going anywhere. Suddenly, Eric Young and Bram attacked Jeff from behind, and then Hardy and his crew attacked Galloway. Young was preparing to put Jeff through a table. Josh called for someone to “get out here.” They cut to break. [C]
Powell’s POV: A good opening segment with both Hardy brothers stating their case for getting the first title shot. I assume EC3 will also have something to say about that. Galloway’s promo started strong, but I still didn’t care for him saying he’s going to put the company back on the map because it needlessly downgrades the company in the eyes of viewers who don’t feel it has fallen off the map.
[Q2] The brawl continued coming out of the break with the heels beating on Galloway and Jeff Hardy inside the ring. EC3 ran out with a chair and the heels fled to ringside. EC3 took the mic and said there wouldn’t be a punch party without him.
EC3 said he would be lying if he thought Galloway was the most deserving champion. He said he lost the title twice without being pinned or submitted. He said he respects Galloway and put him over, then challenged him to a TNA Title match. Galloway indicated that he was all for it.
Mike Bennett and Maria made their entrance and delivered a promo from the ramp. Bennett said he could simplify all of the chaos with one question – who was the last person to pin the TNA Champion. Bennett said he beat Galloway and therefore he deserves the title shot. Galloway told Bennett and everyone else to shut up. Galloway said he will fight anyone. He said he would fight them all.
Dixie Carter made her entrance to very little reaction. Dixie said fans don’t want to hear the fans argue about who is going to get the title shot. No, we want to hear you, Dixie!!! Ugh. She said the fans want to see them fight for the first title shot. She announced that there would be a gauntlet match and the winner of it would get the first shot at Galloway…
Backstage, Beer Money ran through former tag champions who could accept their open challenge. They laughed at the possibility of it being Pacman Jones and Truth (Ron Killings) and said they were terrible. James Storm brought up America’s Most Wanted. Bobby Roode pointed out that Storm would have to wrestle for both teams. Storm said that would be awesome, then called for someone to hit their music… [C]
Powell’s POV: A Royal Rumble style match to determine the No. 1 contender? I hope it’s laid out intelligently and isn’t just a glorified battle royal. I also hope they are back to using Dixie Carter in small doses. They scared me last week and seeing her back on television this early in the show didn’t ease my concern, though it was brief and she served a purpose. Meanwhile, Storm may want to look up his own AMW tag partner Chris Harris if he wants to continue in the tag division.
Backstage, Mike Bennett and Maria were interviewed by Jeremy Borash. Bennett spoke briefly and then drew his gauntlet match number. Maria asked what the number was. “I got this,” Bennett said…
Beer Money headed to the ring for their open challenge of any former TNA Tag Team Champions. Robbie E walked onto the stage and said that when people think of the greatest TNA Tag Team they think of Beer Money. He said they got back together and put their differences aside and it made him think. He eventually introduced Jessie Godderz for a reunited BroMans, which got no response…
[Q3] 1. James Storm and Bobby Roode vs. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz for the TNA Tag Titles. The broadcast team said it’s been 18 months or even two years since BroMans teamed up. Late in the match, Godderz put Roode in a Boston crab, but Storm superkicked him to break it up. Roode and Storm hit DWI on Robbie and got the win…
James Storm and Bobby Roode beat Robbie E and Jessie Godderz in 5:40 to retain the TNA Tag Titles.
Backstage, Decay delivered a promo about how “the wolf stands alone.” Abyss said Davey Richards got caught in the bear trap of life and now he is no more. He said Eddie Edwards is no more either. He asked if Edwards dares to fight any of them in a no DQ match. Rosemary said they could devour a soul and spit it into the darkness… [C]
Powell’s POV: I would have been more excited to see Pacman Jones and Ron Killings reunite. Has it really been that long since BroMans teamed together? It feels like it was just months ago. It didn’t seem like the plan was to keep them together, so this may have been a one off. Fingers crossed.
[Q4] Backstage, Eric Young and Bram interrupted Jeremy Borash. Young told fans that they are looking at the most dangerous man in pro wrestling. He said Bram knows his spot and it’s by his side. Young told Bram to choose his number for the gauntlet match. Bram wasn’t happy, but Young was with his number. Young spotted Willow spinning his umbrella and tried to point it out to Bram… Mathews hyped the gauntlet match for later in the show… [C]
Eddie Edwards made his entrance and called out a member of Decay for a fight. Crazzy Steve and Rosemary came out. Edwards met him on the ramp and attacked him. Steve came back off a Rosemary distraction and rolled Edwards into the ring. Edwards came right back with a dive over the top rope.
2. Eddie Edwards vs. Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) in a No DQ match. Steve threw a bunch of chairs inside the ring and set one up. Edwards cut him off, but then Steve performed a drop toe hold onto the chair. Steve wedged chairs in all six corners, but Edwards came back and ran him into each chair.
Edwards had Steve pinned, but Rosemary pulled the referee out of the ring. Edwards grabbed Rosemary and teased hitting her. Steve charged and Edwards ducked, causing Steve to run into Rosemary. Edwards rolled up Steve and pinned him…
Eddie Edwards defeated Crazzy Steve in a No DQ match.
Backstage, Maria cut a promo directed at Gail Kim and boasted about pinning her last week. Maria said she is what a real first lady of pro wrestling looks like. Maria said the action she is going to take while change the Knockouts forever… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Edwards vs. Steve match left me with mixed feelings. I’m happy they are doing something with Edwards while Davey Richards is sidelined, but I’m also disappointed that a Decay member lost another match.
Backstage, Dixie Carter told Lashley he was lucky that he didn’t get fined for what he did to Josh Mathews last week. She said that he has made a lot of enemies in a short time. “But if you want this, you’ve got it,” Lashley said. Lashley told her that none “of these guys are ready for me”…
Mathews hyped the main event…
[Q5] Backstage, Borash interviewed Jeff Hardy. EC3 showed up and spoke about how the main event last week was a real kerfuffle. He said the cavalry cost them both. He said that if Mike Bennett wants to make a name off him that’s fine, but he hopes their numbers match up so he can punch in the face with the power of a thousand suns. They drew their numbers. EC3 drew his number and said he’s number one without looking at the number. Jeff watched him walk away and then said “Sounds good and looks good.” Huh?…
Ring introductions for a Gail Kim vs. Maria match took place. Maria took the mic and said that she loves wrestling and that’s why she is the first lady of wrestling. Maria said that if she beats Gail again it wouldn’t change anything. She said she went to the office with a request that was granted.
Maria introduced Dollhouse. She praised Dollhouse and spoke about how they have gone through so many leaders. She said they should break up Dollhouse and become women. Marti Bell questioned why they would listen to her when they trust each other. Maria said they don’t have to listen, but they have to respect her.
Maria said she went to TNA management and offered to give up her title shot to one of them. She set up a three-way match between the Dollhouse members and called for the bell. Mathews questioned whether the Dollhouse members would fight one another after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I’m all for Dollhouse breaking up. They have had too many leaders and the act has run its course. Furthermore, Jade feels wasted in a sidekick role. By the way, TNA has aired an AJ Styles DVD commercial twice already tonight.
3. Jade vs. Marti Bell vs. Rebel for a shot at the TNA Knockouts Title. Maria sat in on commentary. The Dollhouse members bickered as they fought. The crowd sat on their hands with no idea who they were supposed to cheer. Rebel threw a lousy double clothesline and Marti and Jade, then performed a cross body block onto both of them.
[Q6] Time stood still as Rebel did the splits into a leg drop and Marti rolled out of the way long before she actually started the drop. Meanwhile, Maria made her case on commentary for being the leader of the Knockouts. Inside the ring, the women did a tower of doom spot. Maria claimed they were fighting for her and only she can inspire that. In the end, Jade pinned both women…
Jade beat Marti Bell and Rebel in 6:30 to earn a TNA Knockouts Title match.
Powell’s POV: Wow, that was was so bad that Eva Marie is blushing.
Backstage, Matt Hardy, Spud, and Tyrus drew their numbers. Hardy wasn’t happy with his number. He took Spud’s and boasted that he drew an excellent number. Spud said Hardy is going to be the new champion. Tyrus declined to say what number he drew when Borash asked him… Mathews hyped the main event… [C]
Mathews recapped Grado winning last week’s ladder match to regain his job… A Grado and Mahabali Shera video aired. Grado said they would have the biggest party next week…
Drew Galloway made his entrance and sat on the top rope for a promo. He told the fans they can expect the type of action they saw earlier with him as champion. He said there’s been too much talking, so he was going backstage so they could get the gauntlet match started.
Lashley made his entrance before Galloway could leave. Lashley congratulated Galloway on winning the title. A group of fans chanted “No More Talking.” Funny. Galloway acknowledged it and asked Lashley why he doesn’t just shut up. Lashley spoke about taking the title away from Galloway.
[Q7] EC3 made his entrance heading into the break. [C]
Powell’s POV: In the interest of full disclosure, my dog had enough of the talking and sat on my remote, which caused the channel to change. I mention this because I missed about 30 seconds of the Lashley and Galloway exchange. All I know is that it’s ridiculous to talk about how much talking there has been only to go right back to more talking.
4. Gauntlet Match for a TNA Title Shot. The match started with Lashley and EC3. Mathews said Dixie gave Lashley the opportunity to compete in the gauntlet match. The wrestlers are entering every two minutes. Rockstar Spud was the third entrant and he went right after EC3. Mike Bennett was the fourth entrant.
Spud directed traffic by having Lashley and Bennett go after EC3, and he snuck in some kicks as well. EC3 showed some signs of life by throwing punches at Bennett. Spud jumped on EC3’s back only to be flung off. Lashley immediately put EC3 back down with a clothesline.
Eric Young was the fifth entrant. Tyrus was the sixth entrant and he may have set a new record for slowest walk to the ring. Spud was the first man eliminated when EC3 tossed him over the top rope in front of Tyrus and just before the break.
[Q8] [C] Lashley eliminated Tyrus, then Bram eliminated Young. Lashley quickly eliminated Bram. The Pope left the broadcast table and entered the ring and eliminated Lashley as payback for last week. Lashley returend to the ring to go after Pope, but EC3 cut off Lashley and clotheslined him to ringside. Pope leapt off the apron and onto Lashley, then punched him repeatedly. Pope punched Lashley as they headed up the ramp and security came out and got between them.
Matt Hardy was the seventh entrant and he entered the match with EC3 and Bennett. Hardy and Bennett tried to one up one another with their moves on EC3 until Jeff Hardy’s music played and he came out as the eighth entrant.
Bennett charged at EC3, who ducked and pulled down the top rope, causing Bennett’s elimination. Bennett reached in and grabbed EC3’s hand and then Hardy helped eliminate EC3. The match came down to Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy.
Matt put Jeff down with a Side Effect and then applied a sleeper. Jeff broke it with a jawbreaker and then performed the move again. Jeff dropkicked Matt and then worked him over with another kick in the corner. The fans chanted “Hardy” even though, well, you know. Matt ended up on the ring apron and poked his brother’s eye.
Matt performed a Twist of Fate on Jeff. Matt tossed Jeff over the top rope, but Jeff skinned the cat. Matt spotted him and sent for a hangman’s DDT, but Jeff blocked it and then backdropped Matt over the top rope to eliminate him and win the match…
Jeff Hardy won a gauntlet match to become No. 1 contender to the TNA Title.
After the match, Drew Galloway walked onto the stage and clapped for Jeff’s win. Galloway raised the title belt and then Jeff stood on the ropes for a long distance exchange to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The gauntlet match was decent at best. I’m guessing we’ll get a storyline or two coming out of the match, but it never felt dramatic and there was really no reason to root for anyone in particular. It’s something that should have been hyped a week ahead of time rather than just developing on this show. By the way, shouldn’t Matt have a rematch clause? Will he use it to make Jeff’s title match a Triple Threat? Overall, this was a flat followup to last week’s newsworthy show.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features guest Eli Drake talking about signing with the NWA, his departure from Impact Wrestling, rejecting an intergender match with Tessa Blanchard, his WWE developmental run, and much more...