By Jason Powell
ATTENTION APP USERS: If you are reading this on the Prowrestling.net app, our mobile website will refresh more frequently than the latest updates than the app will. CLICK HERE to see the very latest updates to this article throughout the show.
TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] Impact opened with a recap of last week’s gauntlet match that resulted in Jeff Hardy becoming number one contender to the TNA Title… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary…
Matt Hardy, Reby Hardy, Rockstar Spud, and Tyrus headed to the ring for a promo segment. Matt mocked the fans for cheering his brother and then told them that Jeff will not win the TNA Title. Matt said he wants a rematch. He claimed that he is the best TNA Champion in history. Matt demanded that Dixie Carter grant him a rematch.
Mike Bennett and Maria made their entrance. Bennett told Hardy that he’s getting a little old and he doesn’t need to keep doing this. Bennett said no one wants to see Jeff get a title shot, but he also said that nobody wants to see Matt anywhere near the TNA Title either. Bennett said TNA and the wrestling business need a miracle.
Reby interrupted Bennett’s rant to say that her husband is the greatest wrestler alive. She also told Maria that she doesn’t know who she is messing with. Matt had to hold back Reby after Maria said she’s the first lady of pro wrestling and then asked if Reby if she even knows what it’s like to be a lady.
Matt said Bennett could be his friend, but he has no respect. Matt said there’s a pecking order and Bennett is not high on it. Bennett said he used to have respect for Matt, but now he’s just old and washed up. Matt said Bennett is an insignificant nobody like EC3 and teased fighting Bennett, who challenged him to throw the first punch.
EC3 interrupted the heels as they were about to fight for God knows what reason. EC3 called Hardy an his crew Larry, Moe, and Curly. He said they are not stooges, they are his three bitches. EC3 knelt down to pray to the god of pro wrestling to find a place for Bennett once he’s done ending his career.
Bennett said EC3’s problem is that he thinks he’s funny (true!). Bennett said EC3 is just trying to cater to the idiot fans. Bennett said he decides when and where he fights, and he’s not fighting on this show. EC3 said he’s sure that Bennett has other plans like getting another four dollar haircut. EC3 said he is fighting and wasn’t leaving until he got one.
Matt Hardy stood up and challenged EC3 to him, Spud, Tyrus, and Reby. EC3 said that at least one of them has balls and accepted the challenge. Josh questioned if EC3 was really going to face the entire Matt Hardy Brand as they cut to break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I enjoyed the focussed and determined EC3 we saw at the last taping. I’m not digging comedic EC3 nearly as much. It’s not that all of his lines are bad, but many are just more cute than truly comical, and I just don’t feel like it’s time for his character to be witty. Meanwhile, it’s odd to hear Bennett calling out Matt on his age. Matt fired back by calling him a nobody, but he did so while comparing him to EC3, which is obviously good company. In other words, Hardy’s insult actually built up Bennett, whereas Bennett’s jabs just tear Hardy down.
[Q2] 1. EC3 vs. Matt Hardy, Rockstar Spud, Tyrus, and Reby Hardy. Reby wore her regular clothes and stood in the corner while Tyrus and EC3 started the match. Bennett and Maria watched from ringside. Josh said he believes EC3 realized that he would never get a fair shake against Hardy’s crew individually so he would have to face them all if he wanted to take them out. EC3 was about to finish off Spud when Bennett hit the ring and attacked EC3 for the DQ.
EC3 beat Matt Hardy, Rockstar Spud, Tyrus, and Reby Hardy in a handicap match.
After the match, the heels continued to beat on EC3. Beer Money’s music played and they hit the ring to save EC3. They cleared the heels from the ring. Beer Money delivered promos about how they like to fight. EC3 joined them in the ring. Bobby Roode said he was playing matchmaker. He said he and James Storm would team with EC3 to face three of the heels… [C]
2. James Storm Bobby Roode, and EC3 vs. Matt Hardy, Tyrus, and Mike Bennett (w/Maria). Reby and Spud were no longer at ringside.
[Q3] EC3 ended up chasing Bennett and Maria to the back, so it became a tag team match. Beer Money performed double suplexes on both opponents. Beer Money did their dance. They went for their finisher on Hardy, but Tyrus broke it up. Tyrus performed a heart punch on Roode, then Hardy performed the Twist of Fate and pinned Roode…
Matt Hardy, Tyrus, and Mike Bennett beat James Storm, Bobby Roode, and EC3.
Josh previewed the main event as backstage clips of Drew Galloway and Jeff Hardy were shown. Mathews also recapped last week’s Dollhouse battle for number one contendership…
Backstage, Jeremy Borash interviewed Gail Kim, who complained about Maria dodging her. She said she convinced TNA management to book a new number one contenders match. Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne entered the picture. Madison said there’s no issued with her and Velvet, it’s just business. Velvet said it’s about who wants it more…
Powell’s POV: Wait, we sat through that Dollhouse match and the result didn’t even matter?!? Anyway, the decision to have Beer Money lose in what basically became a standard tag match must have surprised the live crowd. Of course, it’s perfectly logical given that we later learned that Bobby Roode finished his run with the company at this set of tapings.
Backstage, Robbie E told Jessie that they won’t go full BroMans, saying sometimes you have to bro before you man. Eli Drake entered their locker room. Eli said Jessie was riding his gravy train and now he’s getting off on the Robbie E station. Eli laughed at both of them and told them to find a dark hole, put themselves inside, and don’t come out. After Drake left, Robbie said he hates Eli and his breath stinks. Jessie said he and Robbie need to go darker. Robbie thought he meant tanning. Jessie told him to trust him…
Josh said it’s great to see BroMans back (um…) while the Knockouts made their entrance…
[Q4] 3. Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky to become No. 1 contender to the TNA Knockouts Title. Josh congratulated Angelina Love on the addition to her family, but he did not mention that Davey Richards of The Wolves is her husband and the father of the baby. The match started friendly and became more intense.
In the end, Madison avoided Velvet’s finisher and countered into a pin. Mathews questioned whether Madison or Jade is the number one contender. Velvet stopped the referee from raising Madison’s hand, then raised it herself and hugged her…
Powell’s POV: I hope this is the end of the Knockouts partners facing one another. I’m still not sure if Dollhouse is broken up after last week, but I hope so. The gimmick has run its course.
Backstage, Drew Galloway spoke about emulating Jeff Hardy’s swanton when he was younger. He said Jeff is a great guy and Matt is a real son of a bitch. Drew said Jeff is one of the best, but he has to beat him if he wants to cement his legacy as champion…
The broadcast team spoke at ringside about the main event. Mathews asked for a prediction. Pope apologized and said he had to get some things off his chest in the ring… [C]
Pope stood in the ring and spoke about how he’s gone from being happy to lucky to being bad. He said that everyone knows what bad Pope is good. He said it’s time to be the man that the fans all know he can be. Lashley’s music interrupted Pope and he made his way out with a mic in hand.
Lashley delivered his promo from ringside and said that Pope isn’t a man, he’s a commentator who turned in his man card a long time ago. Lashley said Pope stuck his nose in his business twice. He told Pope to apologize and then go back to the table before he gets in the ring and hurts him.
Pope spoke about how he and Lashley started in the industry together. He said they started at the bottom and now they are here (nah, too easy). Pope said he carries no regrets. He said he’s been in movies and on TV shows and has shared the ring with the greatest wrestlers of all-time. Pope said that as much as he loves his announcers’ chair, if he went back to it he would regret it for a lifetime.
[Q5] Pope said he was back to be the man and the Pope that the people have always known him to be. “Lashley, I’m calling you out for a fight,” Pope said. Lashley said that was ridiculous. He said Kurt Angle wanted to fight him and now you don’t see him anymore. Lashley told him to think about what he was saying because if they fight then he’s going to hurt him really bad.
Lashley entered the ring and said, “Get out of my ring before I hurt you.” Pope didn’t move. “Get out of my ring right now,” said Lashley. Pope teased leaving and then said Lashley should get out of the ring. Pope punched Lashley, who quickly recovered and performed some ground and pound on Pope until security and referees ran out.
Pope threw off security and threw punches at Lashley, who recovered and slammed Pope to the mat. When Pope stood up, Lashley went for a spear, but Pope dodged it and Lashley went through the ropes and tumbled onto the floor. Pope took out both referees and then went up to the top rope and dove onto Lahsley at ringside. They brawled again and security intervened. The pull apart brawl continued until they cut to a video package…
A recap of last week’s gauntlet main event was shown… A brief Jeff Hardy promo aired. Mathews said Galloway and Hardy have never met in a singles match… The Decay video aired… [C]
Powell’s POV: A very good angle. Something has clicked with Lashley. He is much more confident on the mic than he’s ever been in his career. he comes off mean and intimidating, and I like the way he wears his hat low, as it helps hide some of his facial expression limitations. Pope has always had the gift of gab, but I’ve never seen him really connect with fans on the mic. Maybe this will be the game changer for him. Does this mean Pope is off commentary permanently or just while he feuds with Lashley.
Backstage, Matt Hardy spoke about the Galloway vs. Jeff main event and said it was for “my world title.” Matt said that when he is involved in the equation he always wins… Jeremy Borash joined Mathews on commentary…
Eric Young and Bram were in the ring for a promo. Young raved about himself and then said they hit a bump in the road and insinuated that it was Bram’s fault. Young said he would sit back and watch Jeff Hardy win the title so that he could take it from him. Young boasted that he would do what he wants and to whomever he wants.
BroMans interrupted Young’s rant. “Angry dudes, we’re back,” Robbie said. Jessie said they can be crazy too. He said they were going to kick the asses of Bram and Young…
4. Eric Young and Bram vs. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz. Jessie took a hot tag from Robbie and got the crowd to react a bit for a corner splash and a dropkick on Bram.
[Q6] Bram held Jessie, who broke free leading to Young hitting Bram instead. A short time later, BroMans hit their Hart Attack clothesline finisher on Young and pinned him. Mathews called it a signature win…
BroMans beat Eric Young and Bram.
Mathews hyped Grado’s celebration for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The crowd didn’t react much to Young’s solid pre-match promo, so it’s hard to tell whether they weren’t very excited by BroMans or if they were just flat at this point. I’m having a hard time liking BroMans as babyfaces. It could only help if they abandoned their ridiculous name.
Mathews narrated highlights of Grado winning a TNA contract two weeks ago… Backstage, Grado celebrated with Mahabali Shera. Al Snow showed up and said he was there for both of them. Snow attacked both men and then focussed on Grado. He slammed a steel rod over Grado’s arm. Grado cried out in agony. Snow told Grado, “You don’t belong here.” Mathews said Snow is a legend who is supposed to help train and mold the future…
Trevor Lee and Gregory Shane Helms stood in the ring. Helms said he didn’t come to TNA on a whim, he came with an agenda. He said the company was built on the X Division, and he came to make people talk about it. He labeled Lee “the technical savage.” Helms said his agenda is much bigger than that. He invited Eddie Edwards out for “a public conversation.”
Edwards made his entrance and entered the ring. Helms said what he was saying publicly what he’s already told Edwards privately. He said he doesn’t care about the era or the company, The Wolves are one of the greatest tag teams period. Edwards thanked him and said it means a lot.
Edwards said he and Davey Richards have strived to prove to the bosses, the fans, and themselves that they are the greatest tag team in wrestling. Edwards noted that Richards was injured. He said that Richards carried on as a singles wrestler when he broke his heel, so he is going to do the same now that Richards is hurt.
[Q7] Helms said his in-ring debut in TNA is imminent and he plans to make it very special. Helms said he knows Edwards can’t see him teaming with anyone else. Helms noted that he’s been a tag champ with multiple partners and has been a champion everywhere he’s ever been. Helms proposed the two of them team together and beat Beer Money to become TNA Tag Champions. Helms told him he would give him a week to think about it and then he expects him to make the smart decision. Edwards and Helms shook hands…
Powell’s POV: I assume this leads to Edwards passing on the offer and then ending up in a feud with Lee, who just sort of stood in the background and looked mean in this segment.
Backstage, Pope cut a promo saying he wants a match with Lashley next week. Lashley said he might not be as big, bad, or strong as Lashley, but he is bad and he will show him next week…
Jeff Hardy made his entrance for the main event… [C] Mathews hyped TNA’s partnership with the Fight Network “forming a global partnership to distribute TNA Wrestling content like never before”… Drew Galloway made his entrance…
5. Drew Galloway vs. Jeff Hardy for the TNA Title. Galloway pushed Hardy to the ropes following the initial lockup, then backed up to allow Hardy to go back to the center of the ring. Mathews said that now that Galloway is champion the doors are open for him to prove he is best in the world. Huh? Galloway was on the offensive early, but Hardy sent Galloway to ringside and caught him with a kick and then dove onto him at ringside before they cut to break.
[Q8] [C] Hardy caught Galloway with a Twist of Fate and then went up top. Hardy never got his balance and Galloway pulled him down and then superplexed him for a two count. Hardy came back by countering a Galloway move off the ropes. Hardy performed the Twist of Fate and followed up with a Swanton for a two count. Galloway rolled to ringside. Hardy flipped over the top rope and landed on Galloway on the floor.
Later, Hardy positioned Galloway on top of the ring steps and then went for a Swanton, but Galloway put up his knees. Back inside the ring, Galloway performed the Future Shock DDT and pinned Hardy.
Drew Galloway beat Jeff Hardy to retain the TNA Title.
Afterward, Hardy applauded Galloway, who raised the title belt. Matt Hardy’s music played and he walked onto the stage with a mic in his hand. Matt promised everyone that he will get exactly what he deserves. Matt said he was hoping Jeff would win so he could beat him to win the title because he likes watching the creatures cry.
Matt said he is left with Galloway. He said next week’s show is called Revenge and he gets his rematch for the TNA Title. Matt said he can’t wait to stand over Galloway’s emotionless carcass. Galloway said he and Jeff just killed each other for the title, but he and Matt could go right now. Borash put over Galloway as a fighting champion.
Eric Young and Bram ran out and attacked Jeff Hardy. Galloway and Matt started fighting, but Bram attacked Galloway from behind. Matt threw punches at Jeff inside the ring while Young and Bram worked over Galloway, who came back with a kick that took both men out. Jeff hit the Twist of Fate on Matt.
Jeff took the mic and said Big Money Matt’s time is coming and he’s going to twist his fate. Jeff said he would face Eric Young in a six sides of steel match next week. Jeff said their feud ends next week…
Powell’s POV: I assumed someone would interfere in this match, so the clean finish was a nice surprise. This was a good match with both men working hardy and Hardy performing his usual big spots. The post match angle was a mixed bag. Jeff’s promo on Young set the stage nicely for next week, but it was odd to see next week’s TNA Title challenger Matt get bounced around by his brother rather than ending the night with heat. Still, those are two good matches for next week so they closed the show in a way that left me looking forward to the next episode.