By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in August in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
The opening teaser video went over Lashley’s quest for all of the TNA singles Championships. His victories over Drew Galloway, Eddie Edwards, and James Storm were featured with time stamps…
Lashley walked in the backstage area and approached Billy Corgan, Dixie Carter, and Aron Rex who were having a conversation. Lashley quietly sized up Rex and simply walked away. Josh Mathews talked about tonight’s matches. Eddie Edwards was facing Moose. The Hardy Boyz were facing The Helms Dynasty, BroMans, and The Tribunal for a number one contendership of the TNA Tag Team Titles.
James Storm made his entrance in the Impact Zone with a beer in hand and dressed in street clothes. Storm said he was going to cut to the chase and wanted the referee Brian Hebner to come out to the ring. Hebner entered the ring. Storm said they were friends but last week somebody F’d up. Storm brought up beating Lashley in under 10 Seconds. Hebner said his focus was on trying to get Jeremy Borash out of the ring. Storm yelled and reiterated that he should be World Champion. Storm said he was going to give Hebner an opportunity to right the wrong and he wants a rematch with Bobby Lashley.
Suddenly Billy Corgan made his entrance. Oh gawd! He has a mic! He put his hand on Storm and Storm told Corgan not to touch him. Billy said that the decision is final and games are won in the fourth quarter not the first. Corgan was making his usual hand motions with every word. Storm said last time he checked this was pro wrestling and not football and that the fans also wanted a rematch. The crowd chanted “rematch”. Corgan said Storm was a TNA original and was begging. He said Storm lost and couldn’t win the big one. Storm went out of the ring and emptied a toolbox in the ring.
Storm grabbed a hammer and said he helped build this damn company. He said he was going to tear it apart limb by limb. Storm called Corgan a stupid rock star. Storm hit the turnbuckle with a hammer. The indy security guys showed up. Storm said rock stars need security, but the boys take care of business themselves. Storm said Corgan came into this company and didn’t know anything about Storm. Storm said AJ Styles and Bobby Roode left this company but he stayed because of these people. Storm hit the security with the beer bottle and the guards went to check on their fallen guard.
Corgan said Storm’s actions have proven his point. Storm said he beat the crap out of a lot of men, but never had a chance to beat a rock star. He said if their paths ever cross again he would be able to write that off his bucket list and “Smash” Corgan’s “Pumpkin”. Corgan started to make strange noises and said that Storm was suspended indefinitely…
Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary and Josh said that Corgan had no choice. Pope said he was excited to see what Lashley had to say as the triple champion…
Mike Bennett and Moose were getting hype backstage. Moose said he likes to beat people up. He said Eddie was good, but he has beaten up people like Ray Lewis. Bennett said he was on his way to the TNA World Title… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was a strange segment to say the least. Luckily, James Storm is beloved enough that the fans just eat up everything he is into. Corgan is strange in another way, a not so great way. Corgan seems like he’s trying to play pro wrestler, but doesn’t have the practice put in. Maybe he should tone down the hand motions and strange noises. As for Storm, he was great as usual and his greatness from a character perspective carried him in this segment, I’m just not sure about the motive because he did come off as petty in complaining about the opening ten seconds of his title match.
Storm was being escorted outside. He cursed a bit and left in his car. Back at the Zone, Eddie Edwards came out for his match against Moose. Moose finally came out to Mike Bennett’s theme, but he still pumps his arm…
John’s Thoughts: Took them long enough to move away from the babyface Moose theme! (when they are probably shifting him to being babyface soon based off of last week? Ugh).
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Moose (w/ Mike Bennett). Josh Mathews pointed out how it was odd that Moose came out to Bennett’s Theme. Eddie dominated early on with chops in the corner. Moose gave a knee to Edwards’s chest to escape. Moose owned the next segment with some strikes. Edwards tried to use his quickness to allow for some recovery. Moose was kept at bay with a boot, keeping him outside. Edwards followed up with a running double knee. Bennett distracted Edwards and Moose recovered enough to power bomb Eddie on the apron.
Eddie Edwards kicked out at two in the ring. Moose hit snake eyes on Eddie. Eddie escaped a chinlock with a jawbreaker. Moose hit his high drop kick in retaliation. Bennett told Moose to play and toy with Eddie. Moose went for a springboard crossbody, but Eddie caught him with a dropkick to the chest. Eddie Edwards dodged a few more of Moose’s power moves and staggered Moose with an enziguri. Eddie Edwards hit the Shining Wizard and the visual pinfall, but Mike Bennett distracted the referee. Moose earned himself a nearfall after a popup clothesline.
Moose missed Eddie Edwards in the corner and ate come kicks while placed on the top rope. Eddie hit a frankensteiner. Eddie Edwards hit Bennett with a tope. Eddie went to the top rope to attack moose but was dragged into the Sky High to earn Moose the Victory.
Moose defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 6:09.
Mike Bennett’s theme played. Josh Mathews dubbed Moose’s Sky High as the Go to Hell…
Backstage Maria was talking to Jade about facing Gail Kim. Jade said what if she doesn’t play by Maria’s rules. Maria said that Jade would then never get a title shot ever again. Jade said she wanted to whoop Maria’s ass and Maria told her to save it for Gail Kim… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That was a productive match from several fronts. Moose doesn’t gain much from an in ring perspective since that was mostly Eddie Edwards doing a lot of the work. Without Davey Richards around, Eddie Edwards is really starting to put together a string of good matches to build credibility. For starters, TNA has pulled him out of X-Division Hell (poor Spud and Braxton Sutter). They also gave Edwards the visual pinfall over Moose this time with Moose only winning because of Bennett. It looks like they are also building to an eventual breakup between Moose and Bennett because Bennett’s ego has now caused him to cover up Moose’s theme with his own.
A backstage Gail Kim interview segment played as she made her entrance. Gail Kim said that Jade was the future of the Knockouts Division but Gail has to get through Jade to get to the KOs title. She said the title was not as important to her as getting her hands on Maria. Gail said she would go through the entire KOs roster to get to Maria. Jade made her entrance and Josh Mathews talked about how Jade coming out about being abused via domestic violence…
2. Gail Kim vs. Jade. Gail Kim won the initial lockup with an armdrag. Jade won the next with a power push. Pope said this was a battle between Gail’s speed against Jade’s power. Jade grounded Gail Kim with a huracanrana. Jade hit a few chops in the corner on Gail. They traded chops in the corner. Jade hit a few calculated strikes on Gail. Pope said that Gail and Jade were like Ninjas.
John’s Thoughts: Maybe it’s because part of my ethnicity is Asian, but please don’t tell me I’m the only one who gets annoyed when TNA calls all Asian performers “ninjas” regardless of nationality.
Gail Kim tossed Jade outside to allow for some recovery. Gail Kim hit a tiger feint kick on Jade with the turnbuckle. Jade came back with a gutbuster on the outside. Josh Mathews noted how Jade might have got the worse out of that exchange due to it being on the ground. Gail Kim hit jade with a back body drop. Gail Kim mounted an offensive flurry leading to a nearfall after a running senton. Gail Kim missed a crossbody. Jade missed the lionsault. After Gail blocked a Samoan Drop, they rolled up on Earl Hebner to prevent Earl from counting the pin. (at least he didn’t bump, Good job TNA!). Gail Kim hit Eat D-Feet but Sienna ran in to give Gail the DQ win?
Gail Kim defeated Jade via DQ in 5:22.
Sienna hit the AK-47 on Gail Kim on the outside. Sienna then hit Jade with the “Silencer” (which Jade actually sold better than anyone else had. It actually looked somewhat devastating). Maria walked out and called Gail Kim a failure. She said Gail Kim was never going to have an opportunity to win the KOs championship. Josh Mathews said that doesn’t make sense…
John’s Thoughts: I got used to this last year when Josh Mathews and Taz had to cover up storyline holes and I think we got one here. Gail Kim won the match and it looked like they were trying to do the same story that they did with EC3 and Mike Bennett, but Gail Kim didn’t have the condition that all her wins had to be via pinfall or submission? Well, Gail Kim shouldn’t care since she already said that she would rather face Maria than get the title before the match.
Bobby Lashley walked and talked with the random X Division guys (Mark Andrews, DJ Z, and Braxton Sutter). Lashley was gloating. Sutter told Lashley not to be a prick. Lashley said he knows that there is going to be a multi man X Division match tonight (ughhhh), but he had a big announcement to affect the X Division tonight. DJ Z said he wasn’t afraid of Lashley because he fought Lashley and took him to his limit. Zema said one of the X Division guys would defeat Lashley someday. Lashley said to stay tuned… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Wow! That looked like a Saturday morning children’s show where the bully walks into the playground. It also made the X Division guys look like scrubs. I said that Lashley as X Champion could work, but only if they stopped doing multi-man spotfests and individualize the X Wrestlers. Instead we’re getting a pointless spotfest match tonight and the X guys are just a band of jumping jabrones (to use an Eli Drake-ism).
Josh Mathews said the Tag Team contender match was the Main Event. DJ Z made his entrance first and did his dumb babababa thing several times. He was the only X guy who got a televised entrance. Rockstar Spud, Mandrews, and Braxton Stutter were already in the ring. DJ Z was also the only one of the three to wear white pants since it seems like it’s en vogue in the X Division these days to wear long black pants.
3. Rockstar Spud vs. DJ Z vs. Braxton Sutter vs. Mandrews in some kind of Multi-Man spotfest. Spud annoyed the guys. The X guys then put the boots to Spud. Mandrews tried to get a rollup. All of them tried to get rollups. Josh clarified that this was a fatal four way and NOT an elimination style (at least Josh is in on the joke). DJ Z hit a tope con hilo on Mandrews and Z. Spud teased a tope and stopped. Zema hit a huracanrana and made his dumb BroMan noise.
Zema blocked a standing shooting star with his knees to Mandrews. Mathews pointed out how Mandrews may try to be too flashy at times. Sutter caught Mandrews with a knee. Sutter went high risk but was tripped by Spud. Spud kept pointing to his broken teeth. Spud raked Sutter’s teeth on the 2nd rope and tried to curb stomp him on it. DJ Z ended that and hit a rally of his own. Z caught Mandrew and Sutter with a DDT and picked up the win.
DJ Z defeated Mandrews, Braxton Sutter, and Rockstar Spud via pinfall in 4:32.
John’s Thoughts: Ugh… I believe that match did more continual damage to the X Division by just existing. In fact, the X Division would be better off if this was relegated to being just an Xplosion match. They just don’t get it! Josh Mathews even took a while to figure out which one of the roulette of multi-man matches this was.
EC3 walked backstage and said he was going to give Drew Galloway an answer to the challenge made last week right after the break… [C]
Dixie Carter chased Billy Corgan and asked about what happened with Storm? Corgan said Storm attacked an employee and threatened him. Carter said that Lashley with the titles has everyone on edge (huh?). There was an awkward pause. Dixie said they had to do this now…
EC3 was back in the ring and thanked the crowd for the chant. He said that Drew Galloway made a bold challenge last week and he called Drew out for an answer. Drew walked slowly to the ring while keeping his eyes locked on Ethan Carter III. EC3 said “Hi!”. EC3 said his answer will surprise Drew. Drew said it wouldn’t because it would be “no”. Drew said it was no because EC3 doesn’t think he could beat Drew but more importantly EC3 thinks that he did nothing wrong. Drew Galloway pointed out that EC3 cost him three specific times. Drew Galloway said all he wants is what’s fair. EC3 said the challenge was accepted.
The lights went out and we heard Handel’s Hallelujah followed by wrestling music which means Aron Rex was coming out. Aron said he wanted to let them in on a secret. Aron said the entire “universe” was watching Impact because Galloway and EC3 were making noise and changing the game. He said that’s why he was here. He said this was the stuff we grew up watching. Aron said he was talking opportunity last time and EC3 and Galloway sought to seize the opportunity. He said he was excited to see this upcoming match. Aron said he talked to management and wanted to see a clear cut winner. He said that he was going to be the guest referee…
John’s Thoughts: The EC3 and Drew part was fine and better than most of their meandering feud. Aron Rex is getting a bit confusing and falling into the same pitfalls that Drew did early in his TNA run. He’s getting a bit to meta with talking about the type of creative that he likes to watch. I wonder if this would work somewhere outside of the Impact Zone?
Eli Drake cut a promo backstage and said that James Storm fumbled an opportunity and lost his KOTM title. He said it was the Eli Drake title. Lashley came in and mocked Drake. He said he doesn’t need a catchphrase because he’s the champ and dominates everyone on Impact. He said he was going to deal with Eli Drake soon based on what Drake said a few weeks ago. Drake said he was going to take all of the titles from Lashley and challenged Lashley. Lashley told Drake to take a back seat because he has bigger fish to fry. Lashley walked and toughed Sienna’s Knockouts title. He told Sienna to get easy….
Jeff Hardy looks broken now! Matt asked Jeff if he was fantasizing about jumping off Ladder. Jeff said he was using his body as a weapon. Matt said to not because he had a premonition and if Jeff flies the match will end with a ladder on top of Jeff and someone else would win. Matt said Jeff must manage his addiction. He said ladders are obsolete. Matt pushed down a bunch of ladders with Jeff yelling “obsolete”. Matt said Jeff would handle the fighting in the ring while he will delete ladders from the outside. Jeff said he would fade away and classify himself as obsolete. Matt and Jeff then did their strange broken laughs… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The Matt and Jeff stuff continues to be the primary reason to tune in to Impact. I would have criticized this if they only introduced the Broken Hardy Boyz after a week or two but this has built up for an entire summer and TNA has managed to keep this story involving two brothers from getting stale. They also managed to bring the Tag Division to the main event. If only Lashley could have did that for the X Division…
Eli Drake got a favorable reaction before his in-ring promo. Drake said he seems a bit hot tonight because he wasn’t on Impact last week. He made fun of Storm’s vignettes last week. He said Storm should have lost to Eli Drake instead of Lashley. He said he saw Lashley recently and said they had to talk about the KOTM title. Drake said that if Lashley has an announcement, it should be that he doesn’t have the tingle in his loins to face Eli Drake. Suddenly Mahabali Shera came out. Drake said he didn’t ask for a cross eyed halfwit. Shera grabbed the mic and said he was here to tell “you to shut up you and fight with me you dummy yeah”.
4. Eli Drake vs. Mahabali Shera. For some reason, that was enough to start a match. Shera did a few of his power moves. The crowd was actually really behind Drake at this point. Shera didn’t properly do a whip and backdropped Drake. Eli Drake kicked out of a pin attempt. Shera tossed Drake from the top rope. Shera missed a corner splash and ate a cutter. Drake hit a body slam. Shera dodged an elbow. Shera hit some axe handles and a flapjack. Shera botched a toss. Drake hit BFT for the victory.
Eli Drake defeated Mahabali Shera via pinfall in about 2:30.
Josh Mathews hyped the Tag Team Contenders main event…
Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan wanted to know about Lashley’s announcement and asked him. Lashley said all of the titles were won by him and he doesn’t have to run anything by Corgan and Carter. He said he acts and they react and everyone would be watching.
John’s Thoughts: At least Shera doesn’t injure people, but he still very green. He’s been green for years and is in dire need of a developmental system. Rob Terry got decent at one point due to having teachers. Drake might be finally turning a corner because the crowd was really into him tonight. That might also be because we have a good Impact Zone tonight as well that got into a lot. As for Lashley, how did this guy become such a great talker and character all of a sudden? This is the Lashley that Vince McMahon dreamed of when he put Lashley in the WrestleMania featured event with Donald Trump.
Lashley was in the ring and told everyone to look at him. He said this was a moment. Lashley said he was fighting his entire life and in pro wrestling for 13 years. Lashley said that the best of the best hold golds and he had all of the golds. He said when he set out to collect the golds he had one mission. Lashley demanded that Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan come out. CSO/Chairman Dixie Carter and “President” Billy Corgan came out and their new titles were in the visual nameplate.
Lashley said they have no idea what Lashley is going to do. He said he holds all of the power. He said he wasn’t a dumb wrestler, he was a businessman. He said he was making them richer. Lashley said the announcement he was making was going to change the company. Dixie Carter said that Lashley was the top guy in the promotion. Corgan said Lashley was the best of the best in their division and styles, what else did Lashley want? Lashley said since Lashley holds all of the golds he was unifying them all. He said the King of the Mountain Title was going away (thank gawd!) and the X Division Title was going away. Lashley said he was the undisputed champion of pro wrestling.
Dixie said Lashley has no right to make that decision. Lashley said he beat Eddie Edwards and James Storm and was the man who makes the rules. Billy Corgan said he makes the decision because he is the president and calls the shots now, Corgan said Lashley should defend the titles differently. Lashley asked the same question that we all ask, What the hell is the King of the Mountain Title? Lashley postulated that it was garbage. Lashley said he makes it something and now it means nothing, he then tossed it down on the ground. Lashley then picked up his X title and said he tore the heart out of the X Division and no one from that division can beat him. Lashley tossed the title on the ground.
Dixie said “how dare you” about Lashley’s disrespect. Lashley said since they wanted to ruin his announcement, he was going to see them at Bound for Glory. Billy Corgan grabbed the mic and said what Lashley did was a turning point in his relationship with the company. Dixie said that Lashley doesn’t dictate the wins and whys and was defending the title before Bound for Glory. Corgan said there was going to be an open invitational battle royal for a chance to face Lashley next week… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Did TNA just abort the Lashley triple crown storyline? Ugh. A lot of the things Lashley said made a lot of sense and I hope this is the true end of the Booker T red toy belt. I also hope that the newly painted X Title is gone too and the division gets rebooted, but that multiman pointless match earlier didn’t give me hope. The only thing good about that last segment was Lashley’s confidence on the mic. Corgan and Carter continue to be awkward. I hope they aren’t trying to mimic the Commissioner/GM dynamic on Raw and Smackdown.
Billy Corgan had the belts and said that Lashley just vacated the belts (he did?). Billy Corgan said they were going to find a new X Division Champion soon even though Lashley made some good points…
Bro Mans came out first with some new clubbing music. Josh Mathews dubbed this match Ascension to Hell. The Tribunal came out next without Al Snow. Mathews said this was due to Jeff Hardy last week. Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett came out next without Hurricane Helms. Pope said that TNA management banned Helms from the ring. Matt Hardy had his moonlight sonata theme while Jeff came out to his Obsolete theme. The crowd took over for Reby in saying “obsolete”… [C]
5. Robbie E and Jessie Godderz vs. Basile Baraka and Baron Dax vs. Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy in a ladder match for number one contendership of the TNA Tag Team Championship. Jeff wore contacts to take out his iris in the left eye. The Tribunal focused on Jeff and slammed him on a ladder. Matt helped Jeff when the Tribunal fought outside. BroMans and the Helms Dynasty fought inside the ring. Jeff hit a top rope clothesline on Baraka. Matt Hardy kept the ladders from entering the ring.
Matt bit Trevor Lee’s and Andrew Everett’s hand when they tried to bring ladders in the ring. Matt bit BroMans next. Matt bit Raquel’s hair. BroMans put the fists to Matt. BroMans then hit some tandem offense on Matt. The Tribunal stopped BroMans from climbing to the top. BroMans returned the favor. Pope pointed out how the Tribunal were afraid of heights. Dax got hit with the Hart Attack. Matt continued to bite the Helms Dynasty outside of the ring. Matt’s moans were picked up on the mic.
Matt bounced Dax’s head on the ring apron. BroMans tried to hit the Hart Attack on Everett, but Lee blocked it. Trevor Lee hit Godderz with a power bomb into the ladder. Jeff hit a running splash on Baraka on the outside. Matt Hardy hit a jaw breaker on Trevor Lee followed by a Side Effect on the side of the ladder. Everett hit a drop kick on Matt and went for the contract. Jeff hit a flying punch on Everett. Matt climbed the ladder on top of Jeff and grabbed the contract.
Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero defeated The Helms Dynasty, BroMans, and The Tribunal in about 13:00 to become number one contenders for the TNA Tag Team Championship.
Matt and Jeff were happy about their win. Jeff started to kick a ladder to get it out of the ring. Matt said “we won!”. Jeff said “Yay!”. Jeff gave Matt a glare as Matt did his facial expressions outside of the ring.
John’s Thoughts: First of all, I’m happy for the Helms Dynasty guys becasue they were out of X Division Hell for at least one week. Also, when you add four guys from North Carolina in the tag division, suddenly you have a decent division and it was a good showcase here. Dax and Baraka still need some work, but hopefully they find something other than being French. Matt and Jeff are the television draws to Impact and they drew attention and importance to the tag division. That’s good usage of all of the equity built in the long Matt and Jeff feud and it takes them off of the island they were fighting on.
There were a few flaws here and there, but this episode of Impact did a good job progressing things. Most of the bad stuff involved Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan. The tag team division got a boost. The Knockouts got some progression. Mike Bennett and Moose got some development as well. It wasn’t a must-see Impact by any means but a good one nonetheless.