By Jason Powell
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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in June in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero checked in from ringside and hyped the main event… Drew Galloway came to the ring for a promo. He said he wasn’t there to whine, complain, and bitch. He said he should be TNA Champion and he’s not because of one man.
Galloway called out EC3, who made his entrance as the finish of the Lashley vs. Galloway match from last week was replayed. EC3 said he knows Galloway is looking for someone to blame for costing him that title match. “If that happens to be me, I’m sorry,” EC3 said. Galloway responded by saying he wasn’t looking to blame him, he was looking to fight him. Galloway said he thinks EC3 cost him the match because he felt he should have been in the title match.
EC3 said Galloway should not have been in the match because he was too injured to compete. Galloway spoke about defending the title every week while he was champion. EC3 said he did the same thing when he was champion. He said he knows how Galloway feels to lose the title, but he rescinded his apology and said Galloway deserved to lose because he put himself in an unwinnable situation. Galloway said he’s not the ass kicking machine, he’s the ass kissing machine. EC3 said he’d make him his bitch.
Just as Galloway and EC3 were about to fight, Lashley’s music interrupted them. He said he hates to see two friends fight, then he said he actually loves it in this case. He said if there’s anyone to blame, it’s EC3 for hitting Galloway with a chair. Galloway and EC3 both wanted to face each other and then the winner would get Lashley.
Lashley said he had an idea that he spoke to TNA management about. He said they could have a tag match and if EC3 and Galloway won then they would get title matches, but if they lost they would go to the back of the line. EC3 accepted the match. Lashley said that if he and his tag partner win, then his tag partner would get a title shot.
Eli Drake made his entrance and joined Lashley on the stage. Drake said EC3 and Galloway can’t get along, and made his case for teaming with Lashley. He worked in some of his “dummy, yeah” bit. Lashley agreed to the match and shook hands with Drake. They started to head to the break and Mathews said the match was coming up after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I always cringe when wrestlers stop two of their adversaries from fighting one another, but in this case at least Lashley’s character had the plan of trying to face them while they are still at odds. Drake feels out of place in this spot. Then again, I felt that way prior his match with Jeff Hardy last week and I came out of it feeling like it was a good spot for him, so we’ll see.
[Q2] 1. EC3 and Drew Galloway vs. Lashley and Eli Drake. Mathews recapped what was at stake for each man. Dixie Carter’s Twitter graphic flashed on the screen because, you know, it’s really important (to her). Late in the match, Galloway caught Drake with a Claymore Kick and EC3 performed the One Percenter. They apparently squabbled over who would pin Drake. Lashley speared EC3, then Galloway threw Lahsley out of the ring and pinned Drake…
EC3 and Drew Galloway beat Lashley and Eli Drake in 8:10.
Powell’s POV: Mathews was quick to explain that Galloway pushed EC3 because EC3 was not the legal man. Pope tried to sell it as Galloway inadvertently shoved him into a spear, but it didn’t really look like that. The Impact Zone had surprisingly good atmosphere for the last back of tapings. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for this match as the fans just kind of sat there.
The broadcast team hyped the main event… Decay delivered a backstage promo. Abyss and Crazzy Steve wanted to know who Rosemary had been talking to. Rosemary said “we” went to this person for them, and asked her to “trust us” adding that they would never do anything that wasn’t for the best. She said that if they were so impatient, they would get their answer next… [C]
[Q3] Backstage, Lashley told Galloway not to be so happy about his win. He said that he had the power to give EC3 the first title match if he wanted to, and could kick his ass any time he wanted to…
Decay headed to the ring and Rosemary called for Bram to join them. Mathews recalled Rosemary talking last week about a dark soul that needed to decay. Bram joined them in the ring. Abyss and Steve wanted to go after him. She asked them to “trust us.” She asked Bram to trust them too and said the answer is decay.
Rosemary spoke about his violence and the chaos around him. She asked how he felt when so many of his partners betrayed him. She said he lost the King of the Mountain Title because he was alone. She said they don’t want him to be alone anymore. Bram said he guesses that Rosemary is kind of sexy. He said he can be wild, but he’s no freak. “I’m Bram and I don’t need anybody,” he said. Bram said he doesn’t do makeup.
Rosemary said that’s now the answer they were looking for. Abyss pulled her away, then Steve spat mist into the face of Bram. Decay worked over Bram. Abyss and Steve held him and she said they are far from finished with him. She said that until the end he will decay, decay, decay…
Mathews hyped Jade vs. Marti Bell for after the break.. [C]
Powell’s POV: I was hoping that Bram would move up the singles ladder after dropping the worthless KOTM Title, but now I assume he will be getting a partner to feud with Decay. I’ll reserve judgement on this until we find out if that’s the case and who his partner will be.
Backstage, Lashley told EC3 that he has control and would decide whether he or Galloway get the first shot. EC3 said that for being the toughest guy around, Lashley was a coward sometimes. Lashley said he would tell EC3 and Galloway which one of them would face him next week. “But wait, just wait,” Lashley said before walking away…
[Q4] 2. Jade vs. Marti Bell. Jade entered second and went right after Marti, who ran to ringside. Jade followed and then Marti attacked Jade once she followed her back inside the ring. They fought back to ringside and Marti slammed Jade’s head into the mat at ringside. Jade came back and then pulled out a baton. Referee Earl Hebner threatened to disqualify her, so she dropped it.
Back inside the ring, Jade hit a nice running dropkick. Marti came back with a kick of her own and then threw punches at Jade. Marti teased slapping Hebner, but stopped. Later, Jade set up for a suicide dive, but Marti picked up the baton and struck her with it and stole the pin…
Marti Bell defeated Jade in 6:20.
Mike Bennett and Maria were shown walking backstage. Bennett said Maria was assaulted in the ring. He said they were going to the scene of the crime and Dixie Carter better be there or else…
Powell’s POV: I still have no idea which woman is the babyface in this feud. I’m guessing it’s Jade based on the finish.
Backstage, Dixie approached Lashley. He asked if she was going to hit him. She told him not to go there, then said he didn’t have control over the decision of which man he would defend the title against next week. She informed him that he would defend the TNA Title against EC3 and Galloway in a Triple Threat. Lashley told her no problem and walked away…
Mike Bennett and Maria headed to the ring for a promo. Bennett said most people in their pathetic lives will never truly understand what it means to be in love. He said he found a woman who completes him. He said he was heartbroken when Maria was slapped across the face. He labeled it an assault.
Maria said she hasn’t slept in a week because of the “unprovoked” assault. She said she didn’t deserve it and doesn’t understand why it happened. She called for Dixie Carter to come out to explain herself.
[Q5] Dixie made her entrance and was accompanied by Billy Corgan just in case the situation called for a musical number or something. Dixie claimed anyone in her position would have done the same thing. Maria said she’s been to three different doctors who can’t find out what’s wrong with her. Maria demanded an apology. Maria demanded an apology. Dixie said she regretted letting Maria get to her. Maria said she wanted Dixie to step down as the president of TNA Wrestling.
Powell’s POV: Maria For President in 2016.
Bennett said his father is a lawyer so he doesn’t have to pay any legal fees. He said he could sue her for so much money that everything she is trying to accomplish would come to a screeching halt. Great legal mind Billy Corgan said they had some good points. He said he’s tried to remain neutral, but she’s put them in a difficult situation. Dixie asked if Corgan was siding with them. He said he was trying to diffuse the situation. He told her to take a leave of absence for about a week.
Powell’s POV: Why stop there? Let’s call it a lifetime leave of absence. It’s only fair.
Dixie admitted that she made an error in judgement. “But, Billy, realize this changes everything…everything,” she said intensely. Dixie left the ring. No one cared. Maria thanked Corgan and said she feels so much better in her place of work. Bennett said he deserves a title shot. Corgan said they already have their main event next week.
Bennett said Destination X is coming up and he wants that title. He brought up Option C, saying he wants to cash in the X Division Title and then go on to become the world champion. Bennett said the idiots would get on their keyboards and write that he’s not an X Division wrestler.
Powell’s POV: I hate those damn keyboard experts. Hey, wait…
Corgan said he believes everyone has to earn their spots. Corgan told him he has to earn Destination X. “You’ve gotta win,” Corgan said. “Last I remember, you were losing in here.” Corgan said they could make headlines, not internet headlines, but trending. What? Corgan booked Bennett in an immediate match against Eddie Edwards. Edwards must have been hanging out ready to wrestle just in case because he made his entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: Always remember and never forget, the internet is to blame for all of TNA’s woes. Trending is where it’s at! Is Corgan appearing on Impact because: (a) the writers are kissing his ass now that he’s an investor (b) they are marking out for his rock star status (c) he actually makes Dixie seem like a competent performer in comparison? You are better than this, Billy. Get off television.
3. Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bennett (w/Maria). Bennett tried to leap over the top rope at one point and tripped. Mathews said the X Division has a style and Bennett was trying to prove that he can compete.
[Q6] At 5:40, Edwards performed a suicide dive on Bennett, then rolled him back inside the ring. Edwards hit a really nice Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Later, Bennett went for his Miracle in Progress finisher, but Edwards delivered knees to break the hold. Edwards tried to roll up Bennett, who put his knees down and held the ropes. Bennett scored the pin while holding the ropes and while Maria was holding his hands on the ropes…
Mike Bennett defeated Eddie Edwards in 7:15 to win the X Division Title.
Mathews hyped the cage match main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: Bennett doesn’t have to worry about people saying he’s not an X Division wrestler given that he and Edwards are roughly the same size. The match was fine, but the crowd just isn’t lively tonight for whatever reason and it’s hurt the match. By the way, I am surprised we haven’t heard from Matt or Jeff Hardy about the cage main event so far tonight.
Backstage, Robbie E found the tablet that Jessie Godderz had rigged to get a bunch of different camera feeds in the Impact Zone. He focussed on one that showed Raquel telling Jessie that Robbie can’t know about something. Jessie was apprehensive. Robbie wasn’t happy and left the room once Jessie arrived…
Braxton Sutter came to the ring to face a masked wrestler named Balam when Rockstar Spud interrupted with a promo. Spud said this is not the Braxton Sutter show despite how it may have seemed the last two weeks. He complained about sitting in catering while Sutter gets a match. Spud ordered Balam to leave the ring and go get his $50. After Balam left, Spud said he is what a professional wrestler should look like. He said it probably bothers a guy like Sutter that a guy like him has been in Impact for three years, while Sutter hasn’t done anything. Apparently, it did bother Sutter, who shoved Spud, which led to the match starting…
[Q7] 4. Braxton Sutter vs. Rockstar Spud. Pope said you never hear Sutter complain or moan, he just wants to be in TNA and move forward. Sutter performed a Flatliner and pinned Spud clean. Afterward, Spud yelled that Sutter belongs in TNA and then shook his hand. Spud then kicked Sutter in the balls. Spud took off his studded belt and whipped Sutter with it…
Braxton Sutter defeated Rockstar Spud in 2:35.
Mathews hyped the main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: It’s good to see that Spud is finally being put to good use. He can shine in a feud like this and help Sutter get over in the process.
A Sienna video package aired. She said she’s been wrestling for seven years and has been all over the world and has worked in front of ten people and 10,000 people. She said she has wrestled the best and has left them laid out in her path. She was shown working out as she spoke about training and competing in MMA. She said she is the Knockouts Champion and her next goal is to destroy Gail Kim. “And I will because I am bigger, faster, stronger”…
Mathews hyped Sienna vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Knockouts Championship, and Lashley vs. EC3 vs. Galloway for the TNA Title for next week…
Powell’s POV: A good video package on Sienna. The only issues is that she may have come across too likable for being a heel champion.
Jeff Hardy made her entrance for the main event and side tables inside the cage. Reby Hardy came out with her baby. She said don’t call Matt crazy just because you can’t understand his brilliance. Matt came out carrying a chair while Mathews said Matt is certifiably crazy…
5. Broken Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy in a cage match. Jeff attacked Matt to start. There were tables, ladders, and chairs inside the cage as the match got underway. Matt quickly took offensive control and they went to commercial.
[Q8] [C] Matt had a run of offense that Jeff stopped with a couple of low blows. Jeff followed up with a pair of Twist of Fates and then performed a Swanton Bomb for a two count. The broadcast team put over Matt for being able to kick out despite all the punishment he’s taken. Jeff worked over Matt with a chair, then Mathews marveled at how Matt managed to stand up again.
Jeff gave Matt another Twist of Fate. Matt fell back onto the table. Jeff placed a couple of chairs over Matt that covered his face, chest, and abdomen, then set up another table over him. Jeff set up a ladder in the corner that was a few inches higher than the cage. Jeff leapt off the ladder and through the tables. Jeff leapt onto Matt and covered him for the pin…
Jeff Hardy pinned Matt Hardy in a cage match.
Powell’s POV: Jeff has dominated the feud, but the broadcast team did a nice job of putting over Matt’s toughness and drive. Jeff overshot the leap and landed on the side of his face and shoulder. I assume it was partially by design so that his entire weight didn’t come down on his brother, but I’m not sure. It was quite the stunt and fortunately Jeff didn’t seem to be any worse for wear afterward.
The main event was entertaining and I liked other aspects of the show such as the build to next week’s TNA Title match. I’m happy to see Bennett and Maria showcased, but the segments are painful due to the involvement of Dixie and the terrible acting of Corgan. Maybe he will improve as Carter has over time, but I’m not sure what the company is really getting out of having him on television. The atmosphere in the Impact Zone throughout a good portion of the show was dreadful. Hopefully that improves as we see the rest of the shows from this batch of tapings.
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)...