9/22 Moore’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: “Cody” vignette, EC3 and Moose vs. Lashley and Mike Bennett, Maria holds a “public workout” session, TNA Grand Championship semi-final matches

Logo_TNA_dn_600By John Moore

TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in August in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

The opening teaser video contained an abridged version of the Delete or Decay saga. Bobby Lashley’s war with EC3 and the fallout of their press conference was also spotlighted. Moose’s association with this program was also shown…

Josh Mathews pointed out that Bound for Glory was ten nights away. Drew Galloway’s theme played which meant we were getting the next round of the TNA Grand Championship Tournament…

1. Drew Galloway vs. Eddie Edwards in a semi-final match of the TNA Grand Championship Tournament. Drew Galloway used his power to dominate Eddie early in the first round. Eddie attempted a hammerlock but ate an elbow from Galloway. Galloway tossed Eddie to the corner but Eddie showed he had some heart and escaped with a kick. Galloway managed to hit a side slam on Edwards.

Eddie flipped out of a back suplex. He managed to boot Galloway to the outside of the ring. Eddie hit a tope on Galloway but Galloway no-sold it and gave him a side slam on the apron. Galloway chopped the chest of Edwards as he was tied on the rope. Eddie Edwards managed to get many rollup variations in the middle of the ring. Drew Galloway hit the three amigo suplexes on Edwards. The round ended with Galloway in the ground and pound mount position. Drew Galloway won round 1.

Eddie Edwards kicked off the second round with a clothesline. Edwards and Galloway traded chops. Edwards gave Galloway a feint kick on the top rope. Edwards hit Drew with the Frankensteiner to lead to a pin attempt. Galloway was kicked again but this time it led to him being in the Tree of Woe. Galloway managed to hit a suplex from the woe position. Edwards reversed the Claymore with the Shining Wizard. Drew Galloway rolled to ringside. Edwards made sure to hit the tope suicida this time. Edwards put Galloway on the barricade and hit another tope. This ended round two. Eddie Edwards won this round.

Josh Mathews noted how Judge 3 has gone with Eddie both rounds. Galloway hit Edwards with several chops. He hit a clothesline in the corner and went for a top rope clothesline but missed. Galloway blocked the half crab and locked Eddie in the Iron Maiden Crossface. Edwards countered into a crossface into his own. Eddie escaped a tombstone. Eddie went for the half crab but Galloway kicked out. Eddie and Drew traded chest chops from the standing position. This took a while, like about a minute. Galloway hit the buckle bomb on Eddie next. Edwards hit a Shining Wizard and Galloway quickly hit the Future Shock DDT. Galloway sold the Wizard and couldn’t get the pinfall because he only had two seconds and Eddie kicked out anyway.

Josh Mathews yelled “Who won? Who’s Bound for Glory?” They cut to commercial… [C]

Jeremy Borash went for the judges’ scorecards. Drew Galloway won judge 1, Eddie Edwards won judge 2, Judge 3 went with Drew Galloway (I’m assuming Josh Mathews confused Judge 2 and 3 earlier since I’m pretty sure he said Judge 3 went with Eddie two times out of three).

Drew Galloway defeated Eddie Edwards via split decision in the TNA Grand Championship Tournament to advance to the finals.

Drew Galloway looked focused in the middle of the ring. Jeremy Borash asked Drew Galloway who does he want to face in the finals given his new attitude change. Drew Galloway said he was the same Drew that told the truth, spoke his mind, and did what he believes to be right. He said he’s the number one soldier on the front lines until he found out how this place works. Drew said much like US politics, TNA’s system is rigged and designed to favor certain people. Galloway said this Grand Championship is made to avoid that problem. He then said he was giving some “advice from Drew” to EC3 and Lashley. He said they are not going to follow Drew Galloway on the card.

EC3’s theme played and he walked out. EC3 told Drew to tread lightly the next time he mentions EC3’s name. Drew called Ethan a buddy and told him that things usually work out for Ethan like getting the guest referees or getting his own specialty matches. He said someone was watching out for Ethan, in Nashville. Drew said even though Ethan is on his redemption tour, he thinks Ethan will lose to Lashley. Galloway promised Ethan a title shot at the Grand Championship when he wins but claimed that Ethan would not last two rounds in this format. EC3 said Drew couldn’t even last two rounds of verbal sparring and said he could beat Drew any time, any place, any day, anywhere.

Lashley’s theme played as he came out next. Mike Bennett used that as a distraction and blindsided EC3. Bennett threw EC3 into a spear. Moose’s theme played which prompted Josh Mathews to say “…and here comes Moose”. Moose laid some punches on Bennett and even threw Lashley outside of the ring. Moose went for the gamebreaker but ate a kick in the middle of it from Bennett and then hit by the Spear from Lashley. Lashley and Bennett slapped hands afterward…

Allie was on the phone backstage as Maria walked up to her. Allie was setting up Maria’s “Public Workout”. Maria called Allie stupid. Allie said Maria would look amazing at the workout. Maria said she doesn’t want to look amazing but she wants to send a message to Gail Kim. She wanted Allie to confirm that she was the greatest knockout not Gail Kim. Allie reluctantly agreed…

An Eli Drake and Aron Rex interview video package aired. Rex said it was not about winning the title, it was changing the industry. Drake said he was going to win the championship, yeah! Rex said his opponents had an advantage in this match due to them wrestling in a six sided ring more than him. Drake said his usual Drake things. Rex put over Trevor Lee. Drake called Jessie Godderz a good athlete and a dummy. Aron Rex said he would like to verbally spar with Drake. Drake said Rex better make the most of his opportunity facing Drake since it’s not going to last long… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That was a good opening match between Galloway and Edwards and they had to get one of those decisions down on paper before Bound for Glory. One limit to the format of this Grand Championship is that we won’t get any matches that go over ten minutes, but what that should do is force the producers and wrestlers to make the most of the ten minutes that they are given.

Mike Bennett was sucking up to Lashley backstage. Bennett wondered if they were best friends now. Lashley said they were not friends. Lashley tried to talk and was cut off by Bennett who talked about Lashley likely beating EC3 at Bound for Glory while he takes care of Moose. Bennett wanted a title shot after Bound for Glory. Lashley intimidated Bennett and then walked away…

Drake and Rex made their entrances. Josh Mathews said this match format suits Aron Rex as well as Eli Drake (did it suit Mahabali Shera?). Drake called Rex a Dummy, yeah! He then ran through a few of his catchphrases. Rex grabbed a mic. Rex said he could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap out better insults than Drake just did. Rex said no one likes Drake, but making fun of Drake would be like making fun of a small child. Rex said he was going to tell the tale of Eli Drake. Rex called Drake the result of a Chippendale dancer and a muppet. Rex said that Drake wears too much baby oil and buys his kneepads from the boys volleyball section of Wal-Mart. Drake stopped Rex… [C]

John’s Thoughts: There’s the Damien Sandow people have grown to love. Less of the metta insider pro wrestling garbage and more of the Sandow insults that he made himself famous over.

2. Eli Drake vs. Aron Rex in a semi-final match of the TNA Grand Championship Tournament. Drake had the early headlock which Rex fought out of. Drake hit a snapmare but missed an elbow. Drake managed to earn a takedown off the headlock. Drake fought out of the corner and hit a right arm. Sandow got a headlock of his own and turned to the striking game a bit. Rex managed to hit a knee to Drake’s gut. Rex earned a two count after a knee drop. Rex went for the Elbow of Distain but Drake rolled out. Josh Mathews put over Rex having knockout power based on his finisher from last week. Rex hit an atomic drop into a Texas Cloverleaf, but he had to stop immediately because of the first round clock. Aron Rex won round 1 by unanimous decision.

Rex went for the cloverleaf again but was pushed away. Drake mounted the ground and pound on Rex. Rex kicked out of the pin attempt at 1. Rex hit a guillotine leg drop on the ropes to Rex’s head. Drake locked in the headlock in the middle of the ring. Drake hit a neckbreaker on Rex. Rex broke the pin with a rope break. Drake kicked out of a rollup. Drake came back with another pin of his own. Drake’s BFT was blocked but he managed to land a body drop. Drake hit an elbow drop and got a two count. Drake dominated by the end of the round. Eli Drake won round 2 by split decision.

Drake kept with the punches on top of Rex. Drake did his name catchphrase. Aron Rex hit his discus punch to earn the victory.

Aron Rex defeated Eli Drake via pinfall in 7:11 to advance to the finals of the TNA Grand Championship Tournament.

Josh Mathews put over that Rex’s finisher was now called “The Revelator”. He also hyped Rex facing Galloway at Bound for Glory…

John’s Thoughts: Sadly, that was a very boring match. They just set a very low pace with all of the headlocks. Headlocks are usually made to kill time in longer matches, but in this match where there is a nine minute time limit they shouldn’t rely too much on stalling tricks. Jessie Godderz integrating the amateur wrestling last week was a much better usage of the time.

Backstage at the lair of Decay Abyss was talking to his teammates. Abyss said at BFG, the Great War would signify the destruction of everything the Hardy’s stood for. Vanguard 1 flew in “Stealth Mode”. Rosemary said Reby exposed her true weakness and the first shot of the great war was fired. Abyss noticed that Vanguard 1 was flying around. Vanguard 1 projected an image of Señor Benjamin holding a shovel with the word “Delete” written on it. Benjamin then laughed at Decay. Abyss couldn’t catch Vanguard as Vanguard 1 flew back home… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I wish I could have a drone that projects a laughing Señor Benjamin in front of my enemies!

Aron Rex was interviewed. He said he would breathe easy after the tournament. Drew Galloway snuck up on him in a hoodie and said to relax. Drew said facing Rex and making history was like looking in a mirror but at BFG there could only be one winner and that’s Drew Galloway. Rex said Yeah, the man that spends the night in the hospital…

John’s Thoughts: Did Rex just agree that even though Drew was going to spend the night in a hospital, Drew was going to win? Oh Aron Rex!

A Cody Rhodes vignette aired. He said you don’t know a man before you walk in his shoes. He said he learns more about himself every day, every mile. He said his story is being written one step at a time. he said his future is decided by the roads he takes. He said where he’s going there is gold, there is glory. Cody said all roads lead to “Bound for Glory”. Josh Mathews yelled that “Cody” was coming to TNA at Bound For Glory…

Decay made their entrance. Rosemary sounded unstable like she usually does. She called out the Hardy family. She said you don’t know what you’ve done. She said we were not afraid of you and sick of the games. Rosemary said the Great War transcends earthly needs, wants, and possession. She said it will be the end of every last hardy forever. The crowd chanted “delete”. Abyss called the crowd “silly zombie sheep” and led them in the Delete chant. He told them to shut up. Abyss said Decay will destroy what’s left of the Hardy legacy which will be beautiful. The crowd chanted Obsolete. Steve said that sending their mechanical animal was a welcome invitation. Steve said they don’t fear the great war, they embrace it and welcome it with open arms. Steve said the zombie sheep and Matt’s broken brilliance will belong to Decay…Decay(abyss)…Decay(Rosemary)… They all laughed.

Matt was in the crowd and chanted with Decay. He said Decay now exists in a broken universe that contains magic. He said Vanguard 1 and Skarsgard, the dilapidated boat were Magic. Matt said they must go to battle at the Great War. Matt said the entire world was their battlefield where he can bludgeon Decay “a-geen, a-geen…. and a-geen”. He said he will delete Decay’s tag team title reign. The crowd chanted “Delete”.

Jeff Hardy/Brother Nero said he has embraced his fate of being broken. Jeff made noises. He said at the great war they will twist decay’s fate. Abyss will no longer be beautiful. Steve will no longer be Crazzy. And Rosemary will no longer be rosy anymore. He said rather than broken, they will be obsolete. He said Decay will fade away and classify themselves as obsolete. He sung his theme music directed at Decay. Rosemary said they fear nothing because they are the Death Dealers. Jeff laughed. Rosemary said the Hardy’s were tempting fate because of the three on two advantage. Rosemary said it will be the Hardy’s that are Bound for Decay. Matt called that a delightful threat. Matt said the seven deities said that Decay was bound for glory.

The lights turned off. When they came back on Steve and Abyss were “bound” by straps to the ring post which allowed Reby to attack Rosemary. Rosemary escaped the Twist of Fate. Reby said the worst thing Rosemary could do was mess with a mother and her child. She said after next week Rosemary’s mother will be left without a baby…

Moose talked about whooping ass with EC3. He said he was going to beat up the Miracle and knock out his teeth. EC3 said tonight Lashley as his. Moose said he beats up whoever he wants, whenever he wants… [C]

John’s Thoughts: More good stuff between Decay and the Hardy’s and the Hardy’s are setting themselves as some of the strangest, yet most over babyfaces in pro wrestling.

Damn… It’s X Division time since we got their intro graphic. DJ Zema Ion made his entrance. Jeremy Borash announced that this was an X Division Title match. Oh gawd! Zema grabbed a mic and said it means a lot to him to be the X Division Champion. He said some people may remember his first title reign where he was young and disrespectful. He said he was immature and cocky. He said he grew up and will be the champion that everyone deserves. He said he was going to be a fighting champion and he made an open challenge. Trevor Lee took Z up on that offer…

3. DJ Z vs. Trevor Lee (w/ Andrew Everett). Lee and Z quickly traded blows. Lee landed a dropkick with the help of an Everett distraction. Lee locked in a headlock in the middle of the ring and kept Zema grounded. Josh Mathews and Pope kept talking about the X Division. Zema and Lee traded palmstrikes. Zema blocked Lee’s punt and tripped him on the apron. Zema hit a Tope con Hilo on Lee and Everett. Zema hit a missile dropkick on Lee. Z dominated and hit a jawbreaker on Lee.

Everett ended Z’s rally by grabbing the leg. Lee went to the top rope but ate a forearm from Zema. Z hit a nice frankensteiner on Lee. DJ Z hit the ZDT on Lee to pick up the victory.

DJ Z defeated Trevor Lee via pinfall in about 4:49 to retain the TNA X Division Championship.

Andrew Everett beat up Z afterward. Trevor Lee joined in on the beatdown. Eddie Edwards’s theme played and he ran in for the save. Edwards scared the heels off. Eddie Edwards talked about being boys with Z and how they hang out and party together (isn’t that what most of the X Division does anyway? They do everything together). Edwards said Z was the definition of an X Division and what the X Division is all about.

He said if Z was a fighting champion that they should have a one on one title match on Impact next week. Z went over everyone in the crowd and at home wanting to see that match. He said he accepts.

John’s Thoughts: Eh! The match was worked well as usual, but the X Division is still damaged beyond quick fixes. The positive, we got a one on one match. The negative, we didn’t know this title match was happening into JB told us in the Zema’s ring intro. Also, wouldn’t it have made more sense for Eddie Edwards to challenge Z to a match at Bound for Glory in ten days and use next week’s episode to help build to the match? For some reason, I’m hoping Eddie Edwards becomes champion because he seems above the status of the crew Matt Hardy dubbed “spot monkeys”. I can’t blame Z and crew, TNA just treats the X Division like a joke.

Maria was practicing her jabs with Allie. Maria said she hopes Allie doesn’t mess this up like her coffee or hair appointment. Allie said she didn’t mess up in giving her the title. Maria said it was not in Allie’s job title to get credit for anything and that Allie was stupid. Maria said at the “public workout” everyone will see how great she is… [C]

A Tyrus Fixer commercial aired. Maria made her entrance accompanied by Sienna and Allie. Allie announced the public workout. Maria berated Allie for taking too long with the introduction and told Allie to stand aside. Maria said that Sienna deserves a title shot but that would come later. She then did her usual introduction and called herself the best knockouts champion ever. The crowd chanted for Allie. Maria turned Allie away from the hard camera which actually drew cheer from the hard camera crowd. Maria put Allie in the corner turnbuckle. Maria told “stupid” to bring out Maria’s opponent. The “Toughest, Biggest” Opponent came out in ring gear.

John’s Thoughts: Okay, the jobber female actually doesn’t look that much like a jobber, but she looks like the Dragonball Z fusion of Naomi, Dana Brooke, and Alexa Bliss all rolled into one. Is it wrong for me to say that?

4. Maria vs. a local competitor. Maria and Sienna beat up the random person in ring gear. Maria picked up the pinfall victory.

Maria defeated the enhancement wrestler.

Maria wanted another opponent and Allie revealed that Maria ordered her to find the easiest and smallest opponent. Maria teased facing Allie. Suddenly some borderline racist Chinese music played as a lady in a black morphsuit walked out.

John’s Thoughts: I’m part Chinese on my mother’s side. I feel like I have the right to call generic Chinese music as disrespectful to my culture. Similar to how TNA sometimes generalizes Gail Kim as an Asian wrestler.

The morphsuit lady acted like a jobber and did a crane stance. Maria was scared of the crane kick. Maria locked in a waist lock but tripped over the back of the lady. Maria yelled at Allie. The lady took off the morph mask to reveal Gail Kim. Sienna attacked Gail but ate D-Feet… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That was actually a fun segment. Maria is such a great heel that she turns segments that look bad on paper into really entertaining segments by putting over all of the other people she’s involved with. Well, Sienna gains nothing but Allie is getting over…

The “Cody” vignette from earlier aired. Josh Mathews said next week was being dubbed as “Road to Glory”. He then ran through the Bound for Glory card and talked about “Cody” debuting…

5. Mike Bennett and Bobby Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III and Moose. Once the bell rang, Bennett ran away from the ring. Lashley tried to fight EC3 and Moose two on one. EC3 and Moos did some double team moves on Lashley. Bennett rolled Lashley to ringside to coach him… [C]

Bennett hit a cutter on EC3. Lashley tagged in and hit EC3 with shoulder blows to the gut. Lashley and Bennett isolated EC3 in their corner. Bennett targeted EC3’s taped up ribs. EC3 tried to escape with a stunner but it let to him getting hit by a spinebuster. Bennett took EC3 to his corner to continue the isolation. Mike Bennett accidently punched Lashley.

EC3 tagged in Moose for the hot tag. Moose hit the stinger splash on Bennett and followed up with one of his impressive springboard crossbody blocks. Lashley was in and sent Moose outside. EC3 sent moose out. Bennett tried to hit MIP on EC3 but EC3 picked up the win via rollup.

Ethan Carter III and Moose defeated Lashley and Mike Bennett via pinfall in 4:11.

Moose dragged Bennett outside and the two traded blows up the ramp. Lashley blindsided EC3 and mounted him with punches. EC3 turned the tide a bit. “Security” came out to no avail and got beat up by Lashley and EC3. Damn… The X Division ran out! Wow, They are the glorified indie security jobbers! Simon Diamond joined the fray. Suddenly Billy Corgan came out with a microphone and said we’re not going down like this. Billy Corgan said he thinks of himself as a smart businessman and this is not what the fans want. Corgan said that next week on the special Impact and BFG was happening early. Corgan said each of them would lead a team in a match to choose the stipulation at Bound for Glory. Corgan also said six sides of steel, Lethal Lockdown. This was the end of Impact with Lashley and EC3 still being held back by the X Division (I feel that TNA is being held back by the X Division sometimes so that’s a fitting analogy). Somehow, Eli Drake was there and was just listening to what Billy Corgan had to say…

John’s Thoughts: I have to recollect myself after the hilarity. What the hell TNA! The match was short and harmless. I actually liked the quick victory as pro wrestling needs a few matches that don’t end in finishers or submission. Also, that’s Mike Bennett’s purpose as everyone else couldn’t eat a loss and he can absorb them no problem. The pull apart brawl was fine, but nothing we’ve haven’t seen before. Then the X Division ran out and all bad TNA hell broke loose. We got Simon Diamond and Eli Drake walking out leisurely for some reason. We then got Billy Corgan overbooking the hell out of TNA main events! They should have ended the show with the brawl because that was fine.

Hilarious pull-aparts involving the X Division aside, this was an above average episode of Impact overall. We got the semi-finals of the Grand Championship thing as well as progression on all active storylines. Maria’s heel antics continue to stand out and make Allie the next big babyface of TNA. Aron Rex cut a good Damien Sandow like promo even though he had a bad match. Matt Hardy and family continue to make these shows worth watching and I think the best part of the Hardy story this week was the Senor Benjamin hologram. Impact, no, the world needs more Senor Benjamin holograms. Makes sure to check up Jason Powell’s Hit List as well as his member exclusive audio review of the show.

Feedback is always appreciated and feel free to contact me via twitter @liljohnm to tweet and discuss pro wrestling stuff. You can also comment and discuss TNA directly with me via email: jmoore3.net@gmail.com.



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