6/14 Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: Major technical issue delay, New TNA Hall of Famer, Lashley defends the TNA Title, Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee for the X Division Title, Eli Drake vs. Jeff Hardy for the King of the Mountain Title

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By Jason Powell

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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Aired on same day tape delay from Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

Update 1: My feed returned (for now) at 8:12 CT after going out due to a storm interfering with my satellite signal, so we will pick up with live coverage coming out of the first commercial break…

Update 2: It’s 8:22 and they have been playing a loop of the same commercials repeatedly. We saw Jeff Hardy and Eli Drake make their entrances, then back to commercials. A moment ago, Lashley entered and we went back to commercials.

Lashley stood in the ring and boasted that he said he would be TNA Champion and he did it. The feed was terrible with the audio staggered and the video behind the audio. They went back to the commercial loop.

Update 3: Dixie Carter announced at 8:50 that the show will air in full with limited commercials. No time was given. We’ll pick up the coverage when/if the show airs tonight.

Update 4: I am still alive as of 9:50 CT despite watching the same commercial loop for nearly two hours. A crawler claimed the show would air in its entirety. The crawler has since disappeared. Hey, the crawler returned and now the show appears to be starting. It’s a Mike Bennett!!!

The show opened with a recap of Lashley beating Drew Galloway to win the TNA Title… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero are on commentary…

Lashley headed to the ring with a promo. He boasted that he said he would be champion “and here I am.” Lashley said he’s the most dominant champion that TNA has ever had. He said he is better than everyone backstage, in the crowd, and watching on television. Lashley said he is better than every wrestler in the wrestling business today.

Powell’s POV: But what about sports entertainers?

EC3’s music hit and he made his entrance. He approached Lashley and said he wasn’t there to be cute or clever (good). EC3 challenged Lashley to a TNA Championship match. Lashley said nothing about EC3 is real. “I’m real,” Lashley said. Lashley said EC3 isn’t even close to being ready for him. Lashley said there would be no one left once he defeated EC3.

Drew Galloway’s music played and he walked slowly on the stage. Galloway said he might be having a difficult time, but he’s still handing and he wants his title back. Lashley said Galloway looks like garbage, and he takes pleasure in the fact that he made him that way. Galloway said he looks and feels like hell. He said Lashley might have beat him, but he did not break him.

“Yes, I did,” Lashley said. Lashley said he beat and broke Galloway. “The fact of the matter is that I am better than you,” he said. Lashley said Galloway could never beat him. Galloway said never is such a strong word and anything can happen. Galloway announced that he was using his rematch clause and would challenge Lashley for the title…

The broadcast team spoke while being shown on camera and hyped the X Division and TNA Tag Titles matches… Footage aired of Jeff Hardy and Eli Drake jawing at one another the day before, and setting up their King of the Mountain Title match… Jeff Hardy made his entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: Pop just announced that there will be an encore of this edition of Impact on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. CT. In other words, if you’re reading this live and it’s getting a little late for you, tomorrow night is an option.

Eli Drake made his entrance…

1. Eli Drake vs. Jeff Hardy for the King of the Mountain Title. Jeff sold an early shoulder block by stumbling as he got up. The broadcast team said he may not be the same after his match with Matt Hardy. Moments later, Drake connected on a big clothesline at ringside.

Later, Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind. Drake crawled to the ring apron. Pope claimed the KOTM Title has eluded Hardy and he wants to add it to his record. Hardy went for the Twist of Fate, but Drake fought out of it and performed a power slam for two. Hardy connected with the Twist of Fate and followed up with a Swanton Bomb. Matt Hardy entered the ring and bit referee Earl Hebner’s hand before he could count the pin for Jeff, which led to the DQ. Jeff threw a chair at Matt at ringside… [C]

Jeff Hardy beat Eli Drake by DQ when Matt Hardy interfered in 7:25.

Powell’s POV: I didn’t care for the Drake vs. Hardy match on paper, but after seeing it play out I came away feeling like the best way to elevate Drake is to have him work with bigger names. That said, the KOTM Title is still worthless.

Backstage, EC3 asked Galloway whether it was too soon for him to use his rematch clause. Galloway said he knows Lashley feels the same way he does, and he also knows his weakness. EC3 suggested pushing it back a week or so. Galloway said guys like them have one direction and that’s straight ahead. Galloway winced as he stood up and then limped away with EC3 saying, “Go get him”…

Jeff Hardy delivered a promo in the ring and said he wanted to finish his issues with “Brother Moore” tonight. Matt stood on the platform that Jeff leapt from during their I Quit match. Matt said doctors claimed he would never return, but he came back more powerful. Matt said Jeff had no remorse for him, his wife, or his newborn son. Matt said Jeff won a battle at Slammiversary, but the war is far from over.

Jeff acknowledged that Matt was standing where he leapt from, and said he’s not afraid to do it again. Matt said he will continue to fulfill his revenge next week. Jeff said he was going to end it now, then ran toward Matt, who said, “Come to me.” Jeff went to set up a table on the floor. Matt told him to put it down and fight him with honor. Jeff went up the steps and started punching Jeff. Reby Hardy showed up and sprayed Jeff with a fire extinguisher. Matt slid Jeff down the handrail and then stood tall at the top of the steps…

Mathews hyped the X Division Title match… Backstage, Matt said he would erase Brother Nero’s existence forever inside Six Sides of Steel (cage match)…

Powell’s POV: So much for my hope that Big Money Matt would return tonight. Broken Matt is more broken than ever. Forgive the brief commentary tonight. The lack of full commercial breaks is making it difficult at times.

2. Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee (w/Gregory Shane Helms) for the X Division Championship. Lee caught Edwards with a kick from the apron before the bell, and then jumped off to the quick start. At 3:25, Edwards caught Lee in a small package for a two count as the broadcast team recalled him using the same move to beat Lee at Slammiversary. Edwards followed up with a suicide dive that took out Helms, then he hit the Boston Knee Party and pinned Lee clean…

Eddie Edwards defeated Trevor Lee in 4:00 to retain the X Division Title.

Powell’s POV: A disappointing match in that it was only four minutes in length and did nothing to protected Lee. Even if TNA officials don’t see much in Lee for some odd reason, it’s not like they have a deep roster of X Division wrestlers. In other words, they should be getting as much out of this program as possible.

Footage aired of Sting, Kurt Angle, Team 3D, Jeff Jarrett, and Earl Hebner being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Mathews said they would announce the 2016 inductee later in the show…

Backstage, Jessie Godderz somehow hooked up his tablet to see various camera feeds from inside the building. He hyped Big Brother After Dark coming to Pop. Godderz showed Robbie E a feed that showed Raquel getting undressed in her dressing room. Robbie was excited, but Jessie told him “tag team titles only” and left the tablet behind…

Footage aired of Galloway saying he would face Lashley for the TNA Title… Backstage, Lashley accused EC3 of playing games, saying he tried to weasel his way into a title shot and then trying to get into the head of Galloway. EC3 said he doesn’t care whether it’s Galloway or Lashley, he’s coming after the TNA Title. Lashley said he likes the bravado in EC3. He told him to watch what he does to Galloway because the same thing will happen to him. “Hey, champ,” EC3 called out after Lashley started to walk away. “I’m coming”…

Powell’s POV: Lashley continues to be so much more believable in his role. He is much more confidence and he and EC3 showed good chemistry.

The wrestlers stood on the stage and then Dixie Carter walked to the ring. She said establishing the Hall of Fame has been a very proud thing. She said she reflects on everyone who came before and thanked everyone who came and went and helped build the company. She pointed to the wrestlers on the stage and said they are crazy talented, and thanked them all. Dixie said the new inductee came to TNA for an opportunity and found a family. She said this person raised the bar and changed the way the sport is looked at today.

Gail Kim was introduced as the first Knockout to be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Gail walked to the ring and looked genuinely touched. Once she was there, Dixie pointed her to the screen and a video package aired. In the ring, Dixie congratulated Kim and said they would be honoring her at Bound For Glory.

Gail responded to some “Thank you, Gail” chants by saying, “No, thank you.” She said she is appreciative of Dixie and company for letting her do what she does best, which is performing in the ring. She said she got into the business because she loves wrestling, and she’s been lucky to be doing it for 15 years. She thanked TNA, Dixie, and everyone she has worked with in the ring, saying she couldn’t be there without all of them. Gail hugged Dixie, who held up Gail’s arm while the fans and wrestlers applauded…

Powell’s POV: Kim is an excellent choice even though she’s not one that I really considered. She is the pioneer of the Knockouts Division, a tremendous talent, and she has been around long enough that the HOF tag doesn’t feel out of place. I would still like to see TNA honor Jerry Lynn one of these years, but I have zero complaints about Gail Kim getting the nod.

The broadcast team spoke about Kim and the TNA Title match while Kim was shown hugging a number of people on the stage. She waved to the fans and said, “Thank you so much”…

Backstage, Decay delivered a promo about their four-way tag title match…

Footage aired from “earlier today” of Jeremy Borash setting up an interview with Marti Bell. Footage aired of Marti interfering and costing Jade the TNA Knockouts Title at Slammiversary. Marti was seated next to Borash. She said she didn’t want to talk about the Dollhouse, then spoke about the Dollhouse and how it was about her and Jade. She said Jade threw away their nine-year friendship over a title. She said the title became Jade’s new best friend. Marti said she was leaving Jade’s ass behind.

Jade showed up and attacked Jade and threw her into a row of chairs that were located just off the set. She had a wrench in her hand and approached Marti, but agent Simon Diamond (Pat Kenney) showed up and pulled her away…

Powell’s POV: I have no idea which woman we’re supposed to like in this angle.

3. Abyss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) vs. Grado and Mahabali Shera vs. Basile Baraka and Baron Dax (w/Al Snow) vs. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz (w/Raquel) in a four-way for the TNA Tag Titles. Godderz press slammed Baraka and threw him onto Dax at one point. Later, BroMans hit the Hart Attack Clothesline and Godderz locked Steve in the Boston Crab. Abyss broke it up with a chokeslam. Late in the match, Grado had Steve down and went up top, but Snow pushed him down. Abyss chokeslammed Steve onto Grado and then Steve got the win…

Decay defeated Grado and Mahabali Shera, The Tribunal, and BroMans in a four-way to retain the TNA Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: Davey Richards can’t get healthy soon enough so that Decay has a team to feud with.

Backstage, Allie was protesting with Maria and a dejected Mike Bennett. Maria told her to leave, and Allie pouted as she walked away. Maria was unhappy about Gail Kim being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. Bennett said they don’t understand what they have in them. He said he packed their bags and they could go. Maria said she had a better idea, they could go to the ring an unload everything. “Everything?” Bennett asked. Maria confirmed everything…

Powell’s POV: Who knew The Messiah wears pineapple t-shirts?

Backstage, Jeff Hardy said if Matt wants crazy, he’ll give him crazy. Jeff said the cage match will be Matt’s nightmare…

Mike Bennett and Maria headed to the ring for a promo as footage aired of EC3 defeating Bennett at Slammiversary. Bennett said the fans don’t get it. He said the company was in desperate need of a hero and he was that hero. He said he was never appreciated. Bennett said he has been a “damn celebrity, I am a damn star” everywhere he has ever been.

Maria said her husband was destined to be a superstar from the moment he first stepped in the ring, just as she was destined to become the first lady of pro wrestling. She said they came to TNA to save it. She said her husband was the victim of a conspiracy by TNA management.

Bennett called for Dixie Carter to come out and erase his loss from the record books. Billy Corgan walked out instead to very little reaction. Maria commended Corgan on his suit. Corgan said he loves “MKB” and The Miracle. He said they are the future of the company, but they are not doing business this way. He said they could schedule a meeting.

Bennett said he doesn’t do meetings. He said he is a star. He said he’s not mad at Corgan, but he is disappointed. Maria said that if Dixie has a problem she could come out and solve it. Dixie’s music played and she walked to the ring. “Finally, the president arrives,” Maria said. She asked what too Dixie so long and questioned whether everyone was backstage kissing her butt. Maria said she wasn’t going to do that.

Dixie took the mic and said, “Maria, please shut up.” Dixie said they are live and Maria is wasting precious moments when there could be wrestling. She said that’s why they brought Maria to TNA in the first place. Dixie brought up Maria’s arm injury and her lack of matches. She also told her they could meet about this in private.

Maria said Dixie is the problem and she could run her wrestling program better than she does. Maria said she talks with Corgan all the time. She said that Corgan, Bennett, and her come up with amazing things all the time. Maria said Dixie just wants to shut her up. Maria claimed she and Bennett should have been in the TNA Hall of Fame.

Dixie said she doesn’t know if Maria is serious or delusional, but she doesn’t belong in a position of authority. Maria said Dixie is intimidated by her. Maria said she is more than a wrestler and has done more in this business than Dixie ever will. “I am a self made woman,” Maria said. She boasted that she is the first lady, and Dixie is second best. Maria poked Dixie in the chest. Dixie responded with a slap, which Maria sold by falling down to the mat and holding her face. The broadcast team acted shocked as Dixie headed backstage…

Powell’s POV: I like Maria and Bennett. I don’t need to see them feuding for power with Dixie. I certainly do not need to see Dixie all over the show. One of the many positives of Impact in 2016 is that Carter had taken a reduced role. She belonged in the Hall of Fame announcement, but her role in this segment and that slap were just embarrassing. Is Bennett now playing second fiddle to Maria’s storyline with Dixie?

Footage from the previous angle was replayed… Ring entrances for the main event took place…

4. Lashley vs. Drew Galloway for the TNA Title. EC3 sat in on commentary. Galloway had his ribs taped. Galloway went for the Claymore Kick to start the match just as he did at Slammiversary, but this time Lashley avoided it. They fought to ringside and Lashley dropped Galloway over the barricade. Lashley had a prolonged stretch of offense once they returned to the ring and he stopped to mug and flex for the crowd in between performing moves on Galloway.

Lashley tossed Galloway over the top rope and down to the floor. Lashley followed and ended up shadow boxing EC3, who stood up at the broadcast table and smiled at hime. Galloway took advantage of the distraction briefly, but Lashley came right back and whipped Galloway into the ring post before throwing him back inside the ring.

Lashley removed the wrap that Galloway had over his ribs and then set up for the spear, but Galloway countered into an arm bar. Lashley reached out and grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. A short time later, Galloway went for a move off the top rope, but Lashley caught him and applied a Crossface briefly. Lashley went for a takedown, but Galloway turned it into a quick piledriver for a two count.

Galloway and Lashley battled on the ropes, which led to Galloway performing the Celtic Cross off the middle rope for a good near fall. Pope said the match might be over if Galloway had enough left to hook the leg. EC3 praised the intensity of both men and said it doesn’t matter which man he faces, he just wants his title shot.

Galloway went for the Claymore Kick. Lashley avoided it. Galloway went for another kick that Lashley avoided, but this time Galloway took out the referee. Lashley speared Galloway, but the referee was down. Lashley picked up Galloway and smiled while jawing briefly, then he speared Galloway again.

Lashley went to ringside and grabbed a cheir. EC3 entered the ring and took the chair away from Lashley. After some jawing, EC3 clotheslined Lashley, who briefly cleared him from the ring. Lashley went back to Galloway. EC3 returned with a chair and accidentally struck Galloway when Lashley moved. Lashley speared EC3, and ended up putting Galloway in a triangle and winning the match when a second referee ran in and called for the bell…

Lashley defeated Drew Galloway to retain the TNA Title.

Powell’s POV: Pope said Galloway was out from the chairshot, presumably to explain why the referee called for the bell even though Galloway had both arms up and wasn’t selling it like he was out. The ref bump brought back some bad memories from TNA’s past, but the closing angle worked in that it seemed to set up a Triple Threat or possibly even a Galloway vs. EC3 match in addition to the obvious Lashley vs. EC3 match.

Overall, this was a long night with nearly two hours of technical difficulties, and then the nearly commercial-free broadcast once the show finally aired. I like the main event picture a lot. I also like Bennett and Maria, though I fear this is more about Maria vs. Dixie than anything. And please tell me they weren’t foreshadowing a Billy Corgan heel turn. Nothing against the guy as he is a legitimate rock icon, but do wrestling fans really care if the turns heel? And I don’t even want to hear that it would get mainstream attention. After all, he appears on television regularly and no one seems to care. And it’s not like the attention that he brought the company by going to work for them made any noticeable difference. I hope I’m just being paranoid when it comes to Dixie and Corgan. Keep the focus on the wrestlers and spare us another fight for power.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Mister Saint Laurent, who offers passionate words about what MLW delivers that pro wrestling has been missing, addresses criticism of MLW's contracts, straying from the path that his family paved for him, discusses the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view event that will be held on November 2 in Chicago, and more (62:44)...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I’m putting all of the blame on Pat McNeill.

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