By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in August in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Jeremy Borash was in the middle of the ring and said we were on the road to Bound for Glory. Borash said that we were getting a main event with Bound for Glory implications. It’s Lethal Lockdown to choose the stipulation for the EC3 vs. Lashley match on Sunday. Borash called down the two team captains, EC3 and Lashley who made their way to the ring with their entrances. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary and Josh told us that we were on the “Road to Glory”…
Borash reiterated what he talked about earlier on and wanted to find out about the teams that Lashley and EC3 chose. Lashley said his first team member was Drew Galloway. EC3 choose Aron Rex. Lashley choose Mike Bennett. EC3 choose Moose which the crowd figured out before EC3 said it. Lashley choose Maria. EC3 I guess picks Gail Kim. He did. Lashley said EC3 was bringing his boys to the slaughter tonight and once he wins tonight EC3 will not have a chance to beat him. EC3 said that Lashley does not intimidate him or bully him. He said you won’t talk down to EC3. EC3 says he sees the most dominant TNA Champion of all time and EC3 is not Lashley.
EC3 said he’s the guy you call when the most dominant champion needs his ass kicked. EC3 said Lashley was a dragon and everything he touches turns to smoke and fire. EC3 says he has to slay this Dragon, call me sir Ethan Freakin’ Carter III. EC3 said he needs to, must, and have to win. Lashley told EC3 to hold on. He said EC3 has fought many guys to get to this point and he beat them. Lashley said he was different from the other guys because he can really hurt EC3 and possibly end EC3’s career. He told EC3 to think about that before EC3 faces him. EC3 said he already thought about it and will come with everything he has because he has to win. Lashley said to just bring it and he walked away.
EC3 said before Lashley goes he has a challenge. He said when the cage drops he wants Lashley to be the first person in it with him. Lashley said to be careful what you wish for because he’s in. Josh and Pope hyped DJ Z vs. Eddie Edwards for later on…
John’s Thoughts: Strong opening segment. Lashley is the most improved promo in pro wrestling in 2016 and when EC3 brings it he’s gold. We’ve seen better from EC3 as a heel but he was good here at making sure to put over Lashley while also putting over his quest. Lashley is the amazing bully that shows zero fear as a heel, you can almost say that he is Cero Miedo in TNA. One thing that got a chuckle out of me was how scripted the teams were. I wanted to know what would have happened if Lashley drafted Maria and EC3 drafted Matt Hardy or somebody? Also, even though she’s champ, why would you draft non-wrestler Maria?
It’s X Division time because we’re getting that puke green intro video! Eddie Edwards was out first and DJ Z the champ came out next. Josh Mathews did his usual talk about how the X Division is a cornerstone of TNA and all the X Division things he usually says…
1. DJ Zema Ion vs. Eddie Edwards for the TNA X Division Championship. Zema and Edwards slapped hands in respect to start. The wrestlers had the traditional babyface stalemate chain wrestling sequence. Josh and Pope are talking about other things that don’t involve this match. Edwards dominated until Zema hit a huracanrana followed up by a springboard armdrag. Zema did his BroMan chant.
Zema sent Edwards to the outside and hit him with a Tope Con Hilo. Josh Mathews did some PopTV plugs as Z did his annoying BroMan thing. The Dixie Carter Twitter thing flashed on the screen. Edwards turned the tide and hit his quick tope on DJ . Z was caught on the top rope with a kick and nailed with the backpack stunner. Edwards earned a nearfall. Zema went for the ZDT but was caught by Edwards. Zema converted his body into a west coast pop rana. Zema jumped into a blue thunder bomb by Edwards. Josh Mathews talked about how Zema and Edwards hang out and do everything together (just like the rest of the X Division?)
Edwards went to the top rope for a stomp but Zema rolled out of the way. Edwards teased going for the Shining Wizard but ran into a ZDT which earned Zema Ion the victory…
DJ Z defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 5:33 to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
Josh Mathews said Eddie Edwards might have cost himself the match when he took down the kneepad to hit the Shining Wizard. Zema and Edwards hugged afterward. Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee ran in and beat down the babyfaces. They threw DJ Z into the ringpost and put the boots Eddie Edwards. They hit a double team move on Edwards which was a drop toehold into Trevor Lee’s knee. I hope that isn’t a fallen tooth I see next to Edwards’ head? The crowd gave then a minimal boo reaction….
Maria blamed Allie for messing everything up backstage. She said Bound for Glory needs to be perfect and demanded an apology. Allie apologized and Maria kept making her do it louder. Laurel Van Ness (Chelsea Green) walked in and Maria gave her air kisses. Maria told Allie that Laurel was beautiful, intelligent, and tall while Allie was just stupid. Allie said she want’s Allie to go out and introduce Laurel as well as do everything she needs. Allie pouted and said “ohhh…”… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The match wasn’t bad it was just disappointing for an X Division title match, just like most weekly X Division title matches. You can’t blame the wrestlers because they were only allocated around five minutes while also being buried by the writers. For some reason, I expect the Bound for Glory match to be some sort of multi-man match involving DJ Z, Trevor Lee, Eddie Edwards, and Andrew Everett. Maybe they throw Mandrews and Spud in there for good measure.
Josh Mathews hosted a sit-down interview with both Mike Bennett and Moose. Josh wanted to know about the beginning stages of Bennett’s friendship with Moose. Bennett said it started with a thing called teamwork. Bennett said he paid Moose a lot of money to do one job and Moose couldn’t do that. Moose stared into the air and chuckled. Josh said Moose was brought to TNA by Mike Bennett and how does he feel now facing him. Moose said he has played all levels of football from High School to the NFL. Moose said there was one constant which was egotistical bastards like Mike Bennett. Moose said they run their mouth all day long. He said you throw their asses in the cold tub. You tie them to the goal post. You teach them a lesson.
Mike Bennett said this wasn’t football and Moose wasn’t in the NFL. Bennett said Moose was jealous that Mike Bennett was better than him. Bennett said after he beats Moose he will guarantee that people won’t do Moose’s stupid chant. Moose said he’s aware that this wasn’t football and will teach Bennett a lesson. Moose said he was giving Bennett a one way ticket to hell. Bennett told Moose to look into his eyes and that he’s the toughest man to pin in pro wrestling. He said he pinned EC3. Bennett said he wasn’t afraid. Moose said when he’s done kicking Bennett’s ass around the ring the crowd will chant “Moose” while doing the arm thing…
John’s Thoughts: It was a basic segment but productive in hyping the Moose vs. Mike Bennett matchup. We didn’t learn anything new, but at least it keeps it in the minds of viewers. Moose is a work in progress though on the microphone and it would probably help if he had a manager or valet to talk for him. Where’s Veda Scott when you need her?
Madison Rayne came out first followed by Allie. Allie handled the ring introductions for Laurel Van Ness who handed Allie her water bottle. Josh Mathews said that Laurel was wearing Gucci tonight…
2. Laurel Van Ness vs. Madison Rayne. Laurel wanted Madison Rayne to kiss her hand but then took some strikes from Madison. Madison rolled to ringside and wanted Allie to powder her face. Josh was joking around which led to him hyping TNA live tapings. Madison Rayne gained the advantage. Laurel poked Madison’s eyes and sent Madison to ringside. Laurel rolled Madison in the ring and went for a pin attempt. Laurel walked up to Madison and chopped her.
Laurel went on a methodical attack. Madison managed to get several roll up attempts. Madison hit a northern lights suplex which led to another two count. Laurel was taken down with forearms. Laurel raked Madison’s eyes again and hit the Rollins curb stomp on Madison Rayne for the victory…
Laurel Van Ness defeated Madison Rayne via pinfall 4:00.
Jeremy Borash tried to announce the winner but Allie interrupted because or Maria’s orders. Laurel walked outside and told Allie to do it correctly which caused her to say it again…
Lashley was coaching Team Lashley backstage. He said this was a big match and he’s a man of his word. Lashley said if they go out there and win one of them will get a shot at the World Championship. Bennett wanted to know who gets the shot. Lashley said the one who earns it by taking out Ethan…
John’s Thoughts: I had higher hopes for Chelsea since she was trained by Lance Storm, but like her namesake she’s very green and is in dire need for a developmental system to develop her attitude and character. Rayne tried her best and was green like this at one point but you can definitely see the skill gap between the two. Plus, this is a bit odd. I thought they were logically building to an Allie vs. Sienna matchup at Bound for Glory and now they are wasting time introducing a new experimental character?
Drew Galloway was in the ring next to the TNA Grand Championship. Galloway said his match with Aron Rex will be the true main event of Bound for Glory and he wants to talk to Aron right now. Aron Rex made his entrance. Galloway said not to pay attention to the fans but to look at him. Galloway said to look to the future we have to look at the past. Drew said when he first came here there were cracks in the foundation and negative feelings about Impact Wrestling. He said Impact needed a hero/savior which was him. Drew said he changed Impact’s in ring style and traveled the world telling everyone how good Impact has evolved.
Drew said to all the guys in the back and the fans, you’re welcome. Drew mocked Sandow’s holding of the mic in stemware formation. Aron said he was interrupting this delusional rant in the name of common sense. He asked Drew to get his own tagline. He questioned whether Drew was the reason Impact was changing the game and the best show on television. Drew said yes which actually drew “Yes!” chants (lol… that backfired!). Rex said that Drew just Galloway’d up? This oddly drew “ohhh”(s) from the crowd. Drew was as confused as I was. Aron said he was using Galloway as a verb and will now use it as a noun which is a person, place, or thing. Rex said that thing was a greasy haired piece of steaming crap.
Drew said Aron has proven nothing. He said he won titles around the world. Drew said he was TNA champion ranking with the best wrestlers in the world. Drew said he has gone to underground companies where big guys don’t usually work but he went there because he’s that damn good. Drew said if Aron Rex is going to address him is should be as sir. Aron Rex told Drew to look into his eyes and said at Bound for Glory it’s not going to go to the judges because Rex was going to beat Galloway here, Sir greasy haired steaming piece of crap. Drew called Rex funny and said that Rex did make one hell of a stunt guy. He said Drew comes here with his hallelujah but no body remembers the guy who comes after the son of God. Drew said on Sunday there will be only one and that one is Drew Galloway. Rex wanted to play light tug of war with the title. The generic security ran out to try to keep them apart. Drew snuck in a pile driver on Rex. Galloway stared at the title like it was his precious and held it high in the middle of the ring…
A Decay cinematic appeared. Rosemary said Decay was the most dominant force in the world and the next world. Abyss said there were consequence which will come to fruition at Bound for Glory. Abyss said the Great War was going to be beautiful. Rosemary talked about losing her cat, Johnny abusing her, and losing her brother. Rosemary said Bram learned, Senor Benjamin learned, and the Hardy’s will learn that their own cruel twist of fate will come at the hands of Decay. Crazzy Steve said he wanted to shatter the Hardy brothers. Rosemary said not even Reby could put them together. He said when they were done with Reby, Maxel wouldn’t recognize her. Decay…Decay…Decay… Josh Mathews hyped Reby vs. Rosemary next… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Drew Galloway was good! Aron Rex was not! I like how Rex is starting to revert back to his Damien Sandow persona as oppose to the meta Drew Galloway knockoff. What was strange in that last segment was the crowd actually gravitated more to Drew Galloway. I know the Impact Zone isn’t the best crowd sometimes but that had to say something. Rex is trying too hard to do stuff he’s not good at, so much that his jokes are bombing more than Eli Drake catchphrases. I truly wonder. Are we going to see a double turn come this Sunday because Drew Galloway is so much better of a babyface than Sandow right now?
A Broken Hardy Brothers vs. Decay video package aired which chronicled the events around Delete or Decay. The Obsolete song from Jeff Hardy’s band played in the background. It was actually a good video package.
3. Rosemary (w/ Abyss and Crazzy Steve) vs. Reby Sky (w/ Broken Matt and Brother Nero). Both trios stood at opposite sides. Reby started off with the ground and pound. Reby slammed Rosemary on the turnbuckles. Rosemary blocked a turnbuckle and came back with a clothesline to gain the upper hand. Rosemary landed forearms on Reby. Josh Mathews told Pope that this wasn’t a wrestling match and was more hatred from Reby.
Rosemary licked Reby. Abyss and Steve taunted Reby at ringside. Reby dodged Rosemary and hit a back kick. Reby rolled into a kick and led the crowd in Delete Chants. Reby went back to the methodical ground and pound. Matt and Jeff taunted Rosemary. Reby hit the twist of fate. Steve distracted the ref and Pope said that should be a three count. Rosemary hit the mist for the DQ.
Reby Sky defeated Rosemary via DQ in 3:11.
Rosemary pulled out a table as Decay and the Hardy Brothers brawled. Jeff and Steve fought to the “production area”. Jeff threw chairs at Steve’s back. Rosemary stood and fought Reby on the ring apron over a table. Rosemary hit a Side Effect on Reby through the table. Rosemary said Decay…Decay…Decay… Josh Mathews called Rosemary sick and sadistic. He then said the cameras were recording Decay vs. the Hardy Brothers backstage but they had to cut to Jeremy Borash talking to EC3 and Lashley. It was a coin toss that Lashley won to give him the team advantage… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Even though the match wasn’t great, just like the Moose and Bennett segment from earlier, this made sure to keep the Hardy vs. Decay feud running. Rosemary and Reby even tried hard to work around Reby’s limitations in the ring. It helps that the Delete chants are so over. What was even better was the video package and Decay interview before the match…
Crazzy Steve threw a chair at Jeff shoulder. He then raked Jeff’s eyes. Jeff raked Steve’s in return. Matt kicked Abyss in the balls in a studio area. Matt then pummeled Abyss’s balls (I think) with a ladder as he yelled Delete. Matt asked Abyss if he could hear the symphony in Matt’s head. Matt said it might sound eerie. Matt bit Abyss’s ear. Classical music played and we were in cinematic mode. Steve dominated Jeff when we cut back to them. Jeff had his head stuck in a chair as Steve tossed him around. Cut back to Abyss who found an exposed power cord. Matt Hardy was electrocuted. Abyss and Steve said “Decay” over Matt. Rosemary said Decay with blood in her mouth…
John’s Thoughts: Did Rosemary eat Reby? I watch too much Lucha Underground…
The same Cody (Rhodes) vignette aired from last week. Makenzie Mitchell had a sit-down interview with Maria and Gail Kim. Maria did her usual introduction. Gail Kim said it drives her insane. Gail Kim called Maria a bully, a manipulator, and evil. Makenzie wanted to know what the match means to them. Gail Kim said the title is important but what’s important is getting her hands on Maria after nine long months. Maria said this wasn’t a wrestling company. She said TNA was an entertainment company and she was in the star making business. Maria said no matter what happens Maria was winning. Maria said Gail will go into the Hall of Fame as second best. Gail Kim said Maria will have nowhere to hide. Maria said she was kicking Gail’s ass…
Tyrus was interviewed about competing for the Bound for Gold. He tried to talk but was interrupted by Eli Drake. Eli Drake wanted to know if Tyrus could fix things for a price. He proposed teaming up because of the way he helped Matt and EC3. Tyrus mocked the “yeah!” catchphrase. Tyrus said that the problem he’s solving which is Eli Drake and that ass whooping was on the house. Yeah!!![C]
An EC3 vs. Lashley vignette aired before the Lethal Lockdown main event. As he mentioned earlier, EC3 was the first member of his team to enter Lethal Lockdown (Lethal Lockdown is TNA’s War games)… [C]
Lashley teased coming out for his team since he agreed with Ethan Carter III earlier on that they would start the match opposite of each other. Lashley then summoned Mike Bennett to take his place…
4. Team EC3 vs. Team Lashley in a Lethal Lockdown Match. Bennett and EC3 traded right hands to start off. Ethan put the boots to Bennett in the corner as he dominated a sequence. Bennett came right back with some shoulder tackles in the corner. EC3 quickly shot back with a second rope missile dropkick. After a suplex, Ethan hit Bennett with a running elbow drop. EC3 took his time chopping Bennett. Bennett dodged the Stinger splash which allowed him to rest a bit. Bennett hit EC3 with several basement dropkicks to the head of Ethan.
Bennett took some time with a chinlock until EC3 punched his way out. Mike Bennett came right back with an aggressive spinebuster. EC3 fought out of the corner with a clothesline and jawbreaker. EC3 landed the Stinger splash this time followed by a flapjack on Mike Bennett. Mike Bennett escaped the one percenter but was nailed by a TKO. The clock appeared on screen as Drew Galloway entered the cage to nailed EC3 with a boot. Bennett held EC3 for some chops. Josh Mathews sent us to commercial with some hype for a PopTV show… [C]
The clock was on screen as the heels dominated Ethan. Hallelujah played as Aron Rex ran to the cage. He dominated the heels with kicks and punches. After a Russian legsweep, Rex hit the elbow of distain on Mike Bennett. Galloway and Rex then brawled on the ground with Rex coming out on top. EC3 and Rex threw Galloway into Bennett. The ten count popped up on screen again as Bobby Lashley ran out which Josh Mathews pointed out was good strategy.
John’s Thoughts: It may be good strategy? But wasn’t the other option to throw Maria Kanellis in there? When you think about it, unless it was a prerequisite that a Knockout be involved in the match it’s odd for Lashley to choose Maria as a teammate. Even if he was forced to wouldn’t you pick Sienna?
Lashley took down Rex and beat up EC3 with punches and a Suplex. Lashley called together Galloway and Bennett to isolate the two babyfaces in separate turnbuckles. Galloway put the boots to Rex while Bennett joined Lashley in putting the boots to EC3. The clock popped up again as Moose made his way to help out his team. Moose knocked down all three of Lashley’s team. He hit Galloway and Bennett with a stinger splash and followed up with a tightrope crossbody. Moose hit telegraphed punches on Lashley until Galloway was able to end Moose’s onslaught. Josh Mathews said “Bedlam” again since he always does.
Slow madness ensued. Maria was the last one out for her team and said she wasn’t ready for the ring. There was an even and basic brawl in the ring. Mike Bennett waived Maria off to stay out of the ring. Yup… It was pretty even until the clock popped up again. Gail Kim chased Maria and threw Maria in the ring to make the match official. Maria ran out of the cage and Gail Kim ran out too but Josh said that was enough to make the match official as he sent it to commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: So what was the point of putting the women in the cage? I think putting Maria and Allie in would have told a better story.
Team Lashley had weapons back from the break which gave them the advantage. Lashley called his team together to strategize. EC3 tried to fight back but was met with chairshots to his back from Mike Bennett. Drew Galloway hit Ethan with a kendo stick. Rex reversed Galloway and threw him into a trash can. Moose knocked down Bennett. Rex and Moose worked on Lashley with a chair and kendo stick. Rex gave EC3 the stick to attack Lashley but Bennett snuck in with a cutter. Bennett actually managed to outwit all three babyfaces. Moose stopped Bennett’s attach by dropkicking him off the top rope. Moose went for the gamebreaker but Galloway hit him with the Future Shock DDT. Rex hit Galloway with a (hopefully protected) chairshot to the face.
Lashley speared Rex. The crowd gave them a “This is awesome” chant at this point. EC3 broke Lashley’s pin attempt. EC3 showed that anger was brewing as he yelled at Lashley to come on. EC3 dominated the next sequence. Lashley was thrown into the cage several times. Lashley was tossed between the ropes and the cage. EC3 grabbed a kendo stick and hit Lashley who was trapped in the ropes. EC3 went for a TKO but settled for a stunner. Lashley countered into the kesa gatame. EC3 went for the rope break but there are no rope breaks. EC3 passed out from the Kesa Gatame.
Team Lashley defeated Team EC3 via knockout in 20:10 of TV time to allow Bobby Lashley to choose the stipulation for the Bound for Glory main event.
Lashley grabbed a mic and said that he told EC3 that his team would dominate EC3’s team. Lashley said EC3 fought people that could beat him but not people that could hurt him. Lashley said he was choosing a no holds barred stipulation. Lashley’s theme played as Josh Mathews hyped the Bound for Glory main event to close out Impact…
John’s Thoughts: Aside from Maria and Gail being pointless in that match, that was a very good three on three War Games style match. All three heels looked really good at different parts of the match and the babyfaces didn’t really lose anything on their end as well. Rex didn’t show much but he wasn’t much to begin with. Bennett had that cool sequence where he outwitted all of the babyfaces, Galloway used his power to get his big spots in, and Lashley earned the knockout victory by using his signature judo hold. EC3 had a fiery sequence while Moose got to finally showcase a bit of his big man agility. This was fun and the crowd was hot for it. When you get the Impact Zone crowd to have a reaction you must be doing something right.
This wasn’t a wrestling heavy show, nor was it a groundbreaking show. This show didn’t have to be that. Its purpose was to lead into Bound for Glory and it did a decent job doing that. TNA was really efficient with their time tonight aside from the disappointing X Division Match. They even managed to sneak in a little plug for the Bound for Gold match that Tyrus won last year. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List as well as his member exclusive audio review coming up later today. Also make sure to follow along with Jason for his full coverage of TNA Bound for Glory on Sunday, assuming Bound for Glory takes place given the current TNA sale situation.