10/6 Moore’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: New TNA Champion, Broken Matt and Brother Nero vs. Decay in a Wolf Creek Cage Match for the TNA Tag Titles, Aron Rex vs. Baron Dax for the TNA Grand Championship, Team X Gold

Logo_TNA_dn_600By John Moore

TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped October 3, 2016 at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL

The intro video consisted of Bound for Glory highlights. It mostly contained still shots of all of the matches including the Grand Championship match, Tag Title Match, Knockouts Title Match, World Title Match, and Cody’s debut…

TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley made his way to the ring to open up Impact. Lashley was gloating and smiling on his way to the ring (which is actually significant based on how he used to not be capable of multiple facial expressions before 2016). The follow Dixie Carter graphic flashed on the screen earlier than usual. Lashley said he would hate himself too if he looked like the people in the Impact Zone. Lashley said it doesn’t matter who comes out there to the ring. No hero, no businessman, no billionaire. It doesn’t matter because Lashley said he’s the “realest” man in this entire wrestling business. The crowd booed. Lashley said he is the hero, the blue chipper, and the number one person here because he has the championship.

Lashley said he proves it over and over again that he can destroy and send anybody packing. Lashley said EC3 was just a warning. Lashley said everyone should just realize that Bobby Lashley is the greatest wrestler on this planet. Suddenly the remix to Handel’s hallelujah played as Aron Rex came out. He actually got a Dixie Carter reaction, which is a non-reaction (I’m surprised they didn’t pipe in cheers). Lashley turned his back to Aron which Josh Mathews pointed out. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary by the way…

Rex said Hi to Bobby. He congratulated Lashley on being champion. Rex said he changed the game at Bound for Glory. Rex said the World Title was “The Title” before Bound for Glory but now he has changed the game and became the first Grand Champion. Rex said he’s going to do the math and the word “Grand” means he’s the man now (I know Rex is not really a genus as he had to point out, but it’s not math, it’s etymology…ugh…). Lashley said Rex is treating this like a game which everyone else did. Lashley said the Grand Championship means nothing compared to his belt. Gail Kim’s theme started as the Knockouts Champion made her entrance.

Gail Kim wore a black dress to the ring with her belt. Kim got the biggest babyface reaction so far. Gail Kim said Lashley and Rex are arguing about who’s the man but in 2016 it was a level playing field. Gail said times are changing and they have to accept it. She is proud to be the first female TNA Hall of Famer and proud to be the Knockouts Champion. Gail Kim said they had to face the facts because “us women” are changing the business. The women in the audience cheered.

Suddenly Broken Matt Hardy’s entrance theme played which had the piano intro smashup of Matt and Jeff’s WWE Themes. Matt, Reby, and Maxel Hardy made their way to the ring. The crowd showered Matt with “Delete!” chants. Josh Mathews talked about the Great War. The crowd followed up with a huge “Maxel” chant. Matt had both tag titles around his shoulders. Matt talked to the fellow champions. Matt said Gail talked about change and Matt is change. Matt said we all live in a Broken Universe. Matt said after their groundbreaking victory at the great war he wants everyone to know that even though he is alone in the ring with Reby and Maxel he is always ready to Delete! Delete! Delete!…Delete!

DJ Z came out next with his belt. He got a mic too. He said we have a ring full of champions. He said each of them represents something different and there was nothing more different than the X Division. Zema said that tonight was going to be the debut of Team X Gold. Lashley interrupted and said he doesn’t care. He said he has a fight coming up and doesn’t want to spend his time in the ring with 2nd rate title holders/losers.

Billy Corgan made his entrance accompanied by Aiden O Shea. Corgan’s head was covered in a hood. He congratulated the champions and asked the fans to congratulate them too. Lashley thanked Billy. Billy Corgan said tonight was going to be just as memorable as Bound for Glory. Corgan said in honor of the champions they will all be in competition. Lashley said it doesn’t matter who he beats, he has beaten everyone. Lashley asked who was going to be his next victim. Corgan said all of the champions will defend their gold tonight except DJ Z who put together “Team X Gold”.

Corgan said out of respect to Lashley, no one can disagree with that belt. Corgan said he picked three men which Lashley could choose to defend his championship with. Corgan said Team X Gold was next… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The Lashley and Matt Hardy parts were good. The DJ Z and Gail Kim parts were just not necessary. Aron Rex is as bad as usual and Billy Corgan was actually not detrimental to this segment. And Why was Aiden o Shea/Jay Bradley there? That was just a cluster and they tried to cram too much into one opening segment. It reminded me of an overbooked WWE opening.

The puke green X Division graphic played which means it’s X Division time! Mandrews and Braxton Sutter joined DJ Z in the ring. Their opponents were Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and the debuting Marshe Rockett.

John’s Thoughts: Damn… “Team X Gold” is just another way for TNA to do a six person spotfest. Please don’t tell me that with “Cody” on the roster, they were inspired to do their own non-Dusty tag team tournament with their cruiserweights? Nah, that’s an old TNA thing! They can’t be that lame in 2016 right? I feel bad for Marshe Rockett. I also feel bad for Lee being trapped in this X Division Hell.

1. DJ Z, Mandrews, and Braxton Sutter vs. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett. Pope pointed out how Rockett was bigger than must X Division guys but he is athletic. Zema started the match with Everett. Mathews said Billy Corgan said these are tag team matches with strictly enforced rules. Andrews hit a dropkick on Everett after he tagged in. He flipped and dropkicked Everett. Andrews tossed Everett outside and hit a clunky Tope con Hilo. Rockett tagged in and towered over Andrews.

Rockett gave Andrews a boot to the face. Andrews then hit a suplex as he slowed down the action (which is opposite to what Pope was talking about). Lee tagged in and kept Andrews on his side. Lee hit a punch on Andrews. Andrews flipped out of a German and tagged in Sutter. Lee escaped and tagged in Rockett who hit Sutter with a power slam. Rockett hit an uppercut and gloated. Sutter escaped the corner and tagged in Z. Rockett no sold two clotheslines but not a third. Zema hit a few quick kicks on Rockett.

Zema used Rockett’s back as a springboard to crossbody Lee. Rockett hit a side crane kick on Z to slow down Zema. Rockett tagged in Everett who went for a moonsault but Zema got the legs up. Mark Andrews and Sutter double teamed Everett. Andrews hit the shooting star press for the victory.

DJ Z, Mandrews, and Braxton Sutter defeated Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett via pinfall in 5:30.

Josh Mathews talked about face paced and high flying things, just like he does after every X Division match. Josh then talked about the Broken Hardy Boyz vs. Decay in a “Wolf Creek Cage Match”. Eli Drake interrupted with his new “Fact of Life” set and talked about you not wanting to miss his guest next… [C]

John’s Thoughts: TNA’s X Division hurts my head sometimes. So they found a way not only to NOT do a cruiserweight division, but also how not to do a Trios division. What’s funny is they have blueprints to rip off! Why not just copy what Lucha Underground does with their Trios and what WWE did when they had a pseudo-Trios-Division with The Shield, Wyatts, Hell No, and others? Not just do what they do with the X Division? I actually have more confidence in Ring of Honor right now in how they’re going to do their random Trios division because they can’t be as bad as TNA right? Also, this probably means we’re just getting guaranteed six men spotfests every week. Oh joy…

Jeremy Borash introduced Moose as Lashley’s first option as a potential opponent. Moose said he was waiting for this match ever since he got to TNA. Moose said all these people want to see Bobby Lashley vs. Moose (with his arm pumps). Moose said there was one man on this roster that Lashley is afraid to face, and that’s Moose. Jeremy said we were going to find out later on Impact as to who Lashley will choose…

Eli Drake did his usual catchphrases and said he was Bound for Gold. Drake said his guest has a rocket so stuck up his keester, that he’s surprised that there wasn’t rocket fuel spitting through his mouth. The crowd gave him the “what?” treatment which he actually encouraged early on. Drake said the guest was the choke artist, Ethan Carter III. Drake said EC3 wants to be like Eli Drake. Drake said EC3 didn’t quite make it when he had the shot to be World Champion. Ethan tried to talk but was interrupted by Drake’s Dummy Button. EC3 covered the button and stared into Drake’s eyes.

He said at Bound for Glory he lost, he said for one year he trained with passion and desire to be world champion. EC3 said at Bound for Glory that passion died and it now has been replaced with anger, angst, and vengeance. The ability to scorch this earth to get what he wants. He complained about being on this dumb ass show. He said Drake was bound for gold and Drake should worry about being World Champion. EC3 said if Drake presses that button one more time he will eviscerate, end, and rip apart Drake piece by piece. He will then beat Drake with those pieces. Set him on fire and piss on Drake’s ashes. This popped the crowd. EC3 said he was begging for Drake to press the button like his mother would beg. He said to press the button so he can kick Drake’s ass.

Drake hesitated and pushed the button aside. Drake said his problem with EC3 was when he was brought in to this place he was brought in to be the third man in the team of losers known as the rising behind mush mouth Drew Galloway and some guy named Micah (Camacho) who’s not here anymore. Drake said he was standing here now bound for gold. He said on social media people are saying that Drake is not in EC3’s league. Drake talked about how people put EC3 on the elevator straight to the top when he entered the company while he has had to scratch, claw, and cheat his way to get to where he is. He said EC3 is top of the food chain and Drake was way below. Drake said that EC3 was not in his league as to the effort he put in to scratch and claw. Drake told them to cut EC3’s mic as he walked off the set…

Maria was berating Allie backstage with Laurel Van Ness and Sienna at her side. Allie said she only talked about Maria’s hand being okay because she was taught to be honest. Maria said the conversation she had with her doctor was supposed to be private. Maria said Allie should be sued for breaking doctor-patient confidentiality. Maria then teased firing Allie which caused Allie to beg her not to. Laurel said she shouldn’t fire Allie because she needs someone to hold her bag. Sienna said Allie has a chance to redeem herself and get Maria her championship back. Sienna threatened Allie to not mess this up… [C]

John’s Thoughts: I never really look forward to Fact of Life segments, but that might have been the best one yet. Not necessarily the segment, but it was the performances of EC3 and Drake. I know! It’s shocking that I’m giving credit to Drake. EC3 almost went to Dolph Ziggler levels of annoying sap, but the guy’s such a great talker that he made it all work. Plus, it was one of EC3’s better promos in his babyface run. I totally expected Drake to just walk away like a chickenshit heel but he came back with some fire and cut probably his best promo in TNA. It was his Miz-Talking Smack promo in a way.

McKenzie Mitchell introduced Eddie Edwards as Lashley’s 2nd option. Eddie said it keeps him up at night knowing that he was this close to being TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Eddie Edwards said Lashley probably looks at Eddie as the easy option and he likes that. Eddie said he was begging Lashley to pick him because he and Wolves Nation knows that Eddie Edwards can beat Bobby Lashley. Josh Mathews then cut to highlights from Gail Kim’s Hall of Fame induction…

Sienna came out to the ring next who dragged along a reluctant Allie. Josh Mathews welcomed Madison Rayne (his wife) to the commentary table who was now going to provide analysis to the Knockouts. Gail Kim was her opponent for the Knockouts Championship. Jeremy Borash announced Gail Kim as champion and Hall of Famer.

2. Gail Kim vs. Sienna (w/Allie) for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Sienna threw Allie at Gail Kim during Gail’s entrance which prompted Earl Hebner to call for the bell. Sienna slammed Gail’s back against the ringpost. Sienna took the action back into the ring who dominated.

John’s Thoughts: I don’t want to talk bad about Rayne too much on her commentary debut, but she’s actually making Pope seem like an amazing announcer.

Sienna went for AK-47 but Gail Kim escaped and hit a neckbreaker on Sienna. Sienna caught Gail Kim off of the headscissors and backtossed Gail Kim. Sienna went for and missed “The Pounce” (and Josh called it that). Gail Kim rolled up Sienna for the surprise victory.

Gail Kim defeated Sienna via pinfall in 3:04 to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.

Sienna ran at Gail Kim with a knee after the match. Laurel Van Ness followed up with some hair pulling. Gail Kim ended up getting hit by the Silencer/pounce. Maria said she was getting her rematch which was going to be no-DQ. Maria demanded Allie to slap Gail. Maria pushed Allie aside and slapped Gail. Sienna and Laurel continued the beatdown. The referees slowly got them off of Gail… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The parts involving Maria and Allie before and after the match were good! The match didn’t do much other than reduce Sienna to being just a regular henchwoman. Also, Madison Rayne reminded me of bad Al Snow commentary from last year. I wonder who’s writing the show tonight because they are trying to be a bit too cute with things like a third commentator or a cruiserweight trios division.

JB interviewed Lashley’s third option, EC3, next. EC3 said he’s not going to say he deserves a title shot. He also said he doesn’t think Lashley will choose him. EC3 said you’re damn right he’s going to accept Lashley’s offer if he chooses EC3. Lashley said if you want a fight, EC3’s ready…

Josh Mathews introduced the Wolf Creek Cage Match as a match where the cage replicates the lair of Austrailia’s most feared serial killer, Mick Taylor. The Hardys made their entrance followed by Decay for the Tag Title Match. Reby handled the piano for Matt and Jeff again. Jeff looked a bit more regular tonight. Abyss and Steve were without Rosemary.

3. Brother Nero and Broken Matt Hardy (w/ Reby Sky) vs. Abyss and Crazzy Steve for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Matt noticed that Rosemary was gone so he sent Reby to go check on King Maxel. Matt paired off with Abyss while Jeff handled Steve. The Hardy’s hit poetry in motion on Abyss and double leg drops on Steve. Abyss went for the staples on Jeff who countered with a sunset flip. Jeff managed to staple Abyss. Steve blocked the Twist of Fate. Steve fended off both Hardy brothers. Abyss beat on Jeff with a stick and trash lid.

Steve found a grappling hook and dragged Matt’s mouth with it. Steve and Abyss dominated with weapons. Josh Mathews pointed out how this was Abyss’s signature type of match. Matt tried to fight back with a stapler but Abyss came back with his stick/pipe. Abyss was distracted by the crowd which caused Matt to land punches on Abyss. Matt grounded Abyss. Jeff hit a trash can over the head and back of Crazzy Steve. The crowd chanted “Obsolete!”. Matt and Jeff hit a double suplex on Steve. The fans wanted the chainsaw to be used which Matt Hardy went for.

Hardy tried to rev it up but was tripped by Crazzy Steve. Matt fought back with a Side Effect. Abyss hit Matt with a chokeslam. Jeff hit the Twist of Fate on Abyss. Rosemary ran to Jeff at the cage who spit mist into Jeff to send him to the mat. Reby had a staff and took down Rosemary. Madness ensued in the ring.

[Technical Difficulties…]

The staff had a rabbit head. Decay tried to handcuff Jeff who handcuffed Abyss instead. Matt hit the twist of fate on Steve after Steve low blowed Jeff. Matt went to try to escape the cage. Steve and Matt fought on the top rope. Matt tossed Steve down and escaped the cage.

The Broken Hardy Brothers defeated Decay in about 8 minutes to retain the TNA Tag Team Championships.

Matt had blood in his mouth again. He put some of the red stuff on Reby. They also focused on Reby’s rabbit head staff. Josh Mathews pointed out how it was a close battle because Steve almost escaped the cage at the same time as Matt escaped… [C]

John’s Thoughts: There were actually a huge chunk of the match cut out and you have to see the ending of the match on YouTube. Unfortunate. Aside from that it was an okay match. More TNA Trying to be a bit too cute but this was essentially just a Monsters Ball Cage Match which Josh and Pope even pointed out at one point during the match. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. What helped this match though was how over the Hardy Brothers are these days. The crowd was into the action fully mostly due to how Matt and company have built an amazing broken universe in 2016.

After the technical issues, Cody was in the Impact Zone with Brandi. Cody grabbed a mic and was surrounded by people chanting his name. Cody said “Game Changer” was the word used to describe his arrival to Impact Wrestling. He said it was flattering but a more accurate description was simply the game changing in general. He talked about a TNA Knockout being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame for the first time ever in TNA. Cody said there was nothing like the Great War in the 40 years that his family was in pro wrestling. The crowd gave Cody “Delete!” chats.

Cody said he’s probably a game changer because he didn’t wait until he was kicked out of his house he left on his own. He said his guiding light in the darkness was sitting in his pocket, “the list”. He said he found himself standing toe to toe with “The Miracle” Mike Bennett. Cody said to guess what? Brandi whispered something to him when he took out the list. Cody pointed out how Brandi was Brandi Rhodes. Cody said Brandi told him maybe Bennett shouldn’t be on the list and it should be the TNA World Champion. Cody said Impact has given him a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Cody said that was the Queen’s Jewels, the Master Sword, the Oscar. Cody said he wants to be World Heavyweight Champion and it was the honor and privilege to have the opportunity of a lifetime.

Mike Bennett and Maria came out next. Bennett was showered by Cody chants. He waited til they were done. They kept going as he yelled at them to stop. He mocked Cody and Brandi Rhodes for being in the ring. He said he was just returning the favor from last night (Sunday? I forget if they are supposed to treat it like Thursday or actual taping time). Bennett said he told everyone that he deserves a title shot and the backstage told him that’s not how TNA works. Bennett said he had to earn title shots. When Cody heard the word fight he said that he and Bennett should fight. Bennett tried to continue talking but met a right arm from Bennett. Bennett hit a superkick. Cody went for Cross Rhodes but Bennett escaped up the ramp. Josh Mathews talked about Aron Rex defending the Grand Championship against Baron Dax next… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That segment was okay, I guess, but it still seems like a bit of a disappointment that Cody is choosing to push a battle of the pro wrestling couples between his family and Mike Bennett’s. Cody also was almost getting to Aron Rex levels of bad pandering promo but he comes off a bit better as a babyface than Damien Sandow. Brandi also doesn’t really serve a purpose other than allowing TNA to say “…and Brandi Rhodes” after Cody. She’s literally a walking last name! Here’s something that’s a bit odd. The former WWE guys Derrick Bateman, Damien Sandow, and Cody Rhodes are all coming off as a bit entitled tonight. It’s odd that people like Mike Bennett or Eli Drake are looking like the sympathetic ones when they are supposed to be the cowardly heels.

Cody said he wanted his first match in TNA to be against Mike Bennett which would happen next week. Cody announced this during the break…

Aiden O’ Shea was guarding Billy Corgan’s office as Maria walked up to him. He called her toots. Maria said she had to talk to Billy. They argued. Aiden delivered news to Maria and said “the boss” thinks that the leader of the knockouts should be better than Maria is. O’Shea said that if Maria wins she becomes champ and if Gail Kim wins Maria is no longer the leader of the knockouts…

4. Aron Rex vs. Baron Dax for the TNA Grand Championship. Josh Mathews noted that on Impact they were following the three minute rule while at “Special Events” the rounds would be five minutes. Rex dominated early on with a headlock. Baron Dax fought back with several neckbreakers. Rex kicked out of a pin attempts. Rex tried to fight back but ran into a choke push from Dax. Dax is the Marcus Louis guy by the way. Dax staggered Rex and clubbed him in the back. Dax said some French things and dominated. The round ended with Baron Dax getting a unanimous advantage in round one.

Dax continued his methodical attack. Rex came back with a leg sweep. Rex locked in a modified sharpshooter to pick up the submission win…

Aron Rex defeated Baron Dax via submission in round 2 to retain the TNA Grand Championship.

The crowd wasn’t too hype but they eventually chanted “You tapped out” to Dax. Rex had his hand held high. Jeremy Borash went to the ring to interview Aron Rex. Rex circled JB and said he didn’t expect that but it proves that they are changing the game. Rex said this title represented opportunity that he seized and an opportunity to show who’s the best. Rex said he showed that tonight… [C]

John’s Thoughts: So Rex proved he was the best because he beat the guy that Grado beats regularly. I really hope that TNA isn’t in denial about this push because Aron Rex the babyface just isn’t working. The guy gets a mild reaction at best and says a bunch of things that don’t make sense.

Bobby Lashley headed to the ring looking confident. Jeremy Borash awaited Lashley’s choice. JB called out the potential opponents. Moose was the first one out. Eddie Edwards was out next. Last was EC3. Borash said the Decision was Lashley’s. The crowd chanted “Moose”. Lashley talked about all three opponents. He said he whooped EC3 and has given EC3 a lot of chances. He then pointed out Moose who Lashley said was big, slow, and dumb. He then pointed out “Eddie”, he said he beat him many times too. He picked Eddie since he said it would be easy… [C]

5. Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Lashley went for a quick spear but Edwards dodged and made a quick rollup attempt. Lashley tossed Edwards overhead. Lashley punched Edwards as his head was draped over the 2nd rope. Lashley pressured Edwards against the turnbuckles. Lashley planted Eddie with his delayed vertical suplex. Lashley smiled showing a bit of cockiness. Josh Mathews said this is Lashley’s usual overconfidence that he’s shown in all of his championship defenses.

Eddie fought out of the corner and went for a huracanrana but jumped into a powerbomb. Lashley locked in a headlock next. Lashley mocked Edwards with soft slaps who dared Lashley to attack him. Eddie managed to kick Lashley on the top rope. Eddie hit the frankensteiner on Lashley. Lashley ended Eddie’s momentum with a clothesline. Lashley planted Edwards with the dominator powerslam. Eddie Edwards dodged a spear to send Lashley outside. Edwards hit Lashley with a tope suicida. Lashley followed up with a second tope. Edwards missed the third tope after Lashley dodged.

Lashley showed his overconfidence again in the middle of the ring as he waited to hit the Spear on Edwards. Eddie Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party to pick up the surprise victory over Lashley…

Eddie Edwards defeated Bobby Lashley via pinfall in 7:45 to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

Josh and Pope sold excitement over the surprise victory. Josh Matthews plugged Wolf Creek for after this show (Oh that’s why they had that match). Impact ended…

John’s Thoughts: That was a solid world title match with a good ending. The crowd wasn’t quite ready for it though because it looked like they wanted Moose to fight in the main event and had to adjust their likes towards the new challenger Eddie Edwards. The flaw here is that this world title change would have worked a lot better if they had Lashley decided who he was picking in the main event segment and built up to it for next week. TNA made it look like they were going for the “anything can happen” feel, but that’s tough to do when you have a show taped on Monday airing four days later.

As for Eddie as Champion, let’s wait and see on that one. I like the guy’s talent and love the push he’s getting which may even be by luck since it looked like he was bound for X Division hell until Drew Galloway got injured. I hope this isn’t a “Chris Sabin run” where Lashley and everyone else are more important while Eddie serves as just a guy keeping the belt warm.

It’s tough to rate this show. Through the law of averages this was a middling show. There was some good, and there was some bad, and both forces brought each other to the middle. I’ll be handling the TNA Audio Review for Dot Net Members and we’ll see where I end up at the end of that one.



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