By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in October 2016 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
This week’s intro teaser video showed clips of Lashley destroying everyone on the TNA roster. It then transitioned to a highlight package of last week’s episode where Lashley had the choice of three wrestlers, leading to Eddie Edwards pulling the surprise victory over Bobby Lashley to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion…
TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards entered the Impact Zone ring for a promo. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary. Eddie Edwards said standing here in front of the people, Wolves Nation, he said it doesn’t feel real to him holding this belt in his hand. Eddie said this is a moment is a moment he’s imagined his whole life. The crowd showered him in a mild “you deserve it” chant. Eddie said the one word he has to say to his family and supporters, was “Thank You”. Eddie said he looks back at everything, the past 14 years, that took him to this moment.
Eddie Edwards said he is now the man on top of Impact Wrestling. Eddie said he faced Lashley two times before but this time something was different. Eddie said he felt it in his heart that he could beat Lashley and he did just that. Eddie said he’s not the biggest or most athletic guy, but he doesn’t give up. Not for one second did Eddie give up on his dream. Eddie said he wasn’t walking away from fights. He will not run and will not hide and Eddie said he would be killed to lose the title. Eddie said he proved Lashley could be beaten and that he will prove that he could beat Lashley and it wasn’t a fluke.
Lashley ‘s theme played and Lashley marched to the ring. Lashley did a double leg takedown and choked Eddie Edwards with his bare hands. Lashley stomped around the ring and grabbed the world title. Eddie tried to hit Lashley with some strikes but got tossed by Lashley. Lashley hit Eddie with a spear on his way up. Lashley talked in a maniacal voice and said if Eddie wasn’t going to hide he was going to punish Eddie and take his title. Lashley demanded a ref come out to give him his rematch. Ethan Carter III and Moose ran out to save Eddie Edwards (at least it wasn’t the X Division this time). Lashley walked away holding a steel chair. Josh Mathews went over a few matches later on tonight like Gail Kim vs. Maria, Cody’s debut, and Aron Rex vs. Jessie Godderz. Aron Rex made his entrance before the commercial break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The crowd still seems to be adjusting to Eddie Edwards as world champion but that would come with time. The crowd seemed willing to absorb his celebratory promo which was a plus. Eddie started off a bit generic and all babyface champions seem to be “fighting champions” these days, but as the promo went along Eddie Edwards gained more confidence and started to adjust his style to more of a main event style. He’s not there yet, but hopefully he’ll get there. I have more confidence in him doing it than Aron freakin’ Rex. As for Lashley, he’s great as usual but he continues to evolve. I’m liking the evolution of Lashley and EC3 after their losses and TNA is making loses matter. Both Lashley and EC3(last week) sold that that these losses affected them and caused them to change. EC3 towards self-improvement and Lashley towards the sadistic.
Basille Baraka and Baron Dax, The Tribunal, wanted to speak to Billy Corgan but only got Aiden O’Shea backstage. Aiden said he was Corgan’s “employee” and recommended to the Tribunal that they make an appointment. They said they don’t need appointments because they are the Tribunal. O’Shea said he was Joan of Arc. O’Shea said that the Tribunal hasn’t been impressive recently and that’s from the boss. O’Shea said that they were on the bubble and he suggests that they do something impressive. Dax had some angry French words and Baraka held him back…
John’s Thoughts: It’s only started, but I actually like O’Shea in so far as the assistant to Billy Corgan. Corgan was getting absurdly overexposed at the last couple of tapings whereas now he has someone who can “represent” him while making his appearances have actual impact.
Jeremy Borash interviewed Billy Corgan about the opening segment and wondered if Lashley was getting his rematch tonight. Corgan was in his fur and hoodie. Corgan said he had a real problem in Bobby Lashley attacking Eddie Edwards earlier on. He said as president Lashley’s automatic title shot was gone. He said as long as he’s in charge Lashley is going to do things Corgan’s way and Lashley would have to earn a title shot by facing the winner of tonight’s main event. JB wanted to know what the main event would be and Corgan said he was going to figure that out right now. Corgan and O’Shea walked off…
Aron Rex was in the ring surrounded by the unnamed judges. Jessie Godderz came out to his babyface BroMan club music. Josh Mathews said Godderz has been impressive and is friends with William Shatner. He also pointed out that Godderz had tape on his hamstring from an injury suffered at Bound for Gold.
1. Aron Rex vs. Jessie Godderz for the TNA Grand Championship. Godderz dominated early on with a double leg takedown. Rex retreated to the ropes. Godderz came back with a side leg takedown to continue with the control of the match. Godderz converted a half nelson to a chinlock. Rex escaped with an armdrag and snapmare takedown. Godderz rolled over Rex to get some pin attempts. Godderz turned the tables and locked in a headlock on Rex. Godderz dodged another strike and went for pins on Rex. Rex got a pin attempt after a wristlock takedown. Godderz dominated with the chain wrestling by converting his hold to many unique wristlocks. Rex went for the armdrag again but got caught by the armbar.
Jessie Godderz won round 1 unanimously as Rex sold frustration in his corner. Josh Mathews pointed out Godderz’s amateur background. Godderz stopped Rex at every corner and locked in the headlock with a wide base. Rex got the hammerlock in and a pin attempt. Rex escaped Godderz as Godderz tried to lock in the Adonis Crab. Rex continued to stop Rex at every corner. Godderz locked in the Adonis Crab. Rex made it to the ropes for the rope break. Rex escaped a wristlock and got an armbar for himself. Godderz powered through but ate a forearm from Rex. Godderz fought back with a stronger forearm. Round 2 ended. Jessie Godderz won Round 2 unanimously as they cut to commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I have always been really high on Godderz’s athletic ability and improvement in the ring, but wow! He’s doing a great job so far as a technical specialist!
Rex fought out of the rear waist lock but was dominated by chain wrestling again. Jessie Godderz sent Rex outside with a high dropkick. Rex sold frustration outside as the clock was ticking. Godderz held open the ropes for Rex and let him reset things honorably. Rex hit Godderz with the forearm to send Godderz outside. Rex held open the ropes to return the favor. Rex wasn’t honorable and hit Godderz with a cheap shot kick and then hit Godderz with the revelator to earn the pinfall victory on Godderz.
Aron Rex defeated Jessie Godderz via pinfall with 1:11 left in round 3 to retain the TNA Grand Championship.
Rex was showered by mild boos. The ref held up Rex’s hand in victory with drew more of a mixed reaction. Jessie Godderz walked away dejected…
Lashley left Corgan’s office and O’Shea wondered what the meeting was all about. He said he should be pissed off but there was a compromise. Lashley said two guys were in for a surprise tonight. O’Shea said something I couldn’t really understand. Lashley walked away and said yeah…
Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy(Jeff’s looking less broken than usual) were backstage. Matt said at the Great War he and Brother Nero won the most epic battle ever known to mankind and now Impact Wrestling lives in the “Broken Era”. Jeff said over a year ago he broke his leg and broke Matt which created the Broken Hardys, the World Tag Team Champions. Jeff said he has repaid his broken brother. Matt said even though he doesn’t want Jeff on these obsolete ladders, when Jeff hit the Swanton Bomb on “Loco Steve” it was tantalizing. Jeff wanted to try to climb the ladder again but was ordered and slapped down by Matt. Matt said Jeff could only indulge in his addiction for one night only. Matt told the audience to watch as they usher in the Broken Era… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That Grand Championship match was interesting and I feel safe in saying that Jessie Godderz is the MVP so far in utilizing the MMA-like format of the Grand Championship. He does still have a hill to conquer as he is associated with that awful BroMan’s gimmick but hopefully he can because the guy has shown a lot of upside and versatility. As for Rex, things are looking better as it looks like the creative team is willing to try him out as a heel which is more natural to the artist formerly known as Damien Sandow.
Maria was talking with Allie and wondered where Sienna and Laurel were. Allie said that herself, Sienna, and Laurel were banned from ringside. Maria blamed Allie. Allie said Maria could win the title on her own. Maria yelled at Allie and called her stupid. Allie shrunk backwards and pouted…
For some reason Moose was telling EC3 how he was tired of watching Syracuse Football games. Lashley walked up to EC3 and Moose who were chillin’ backstage. Lashley was all smiles. EC3 wondered if Lashley was happy about losing his rematch clause. Lashley said he talked with Billy and realized that he could beat anyone. He said he’s going to beat Eddie and beat whoever he has to fight next week. Lashley said the two guys perfect for the main event were the two best friends, Ethan and Moose. Lashley told them good luck…
Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero made their way to the ring with their tag belts. Matt said “yahhhhhhsssss”. He said tonight was a celebration and an evening of revelry and they will delete together. He said he sent his brother Nero on an odyssey to regain the tag team titles of the world and at the Great War Brother Nero repaid his debt to him. The crowd did a “Brother Nero” chant which Matt called delightful. Matt said the Broken Brilliance of Matt hardy and personalities of the nefarious Brother Nero have proven that they are the greatest tag team of all space and time. He said that includes all false champions like the “Bucks of Youth” or the “Day of the New”. Matt said the Broken Hardys rule the world and as champions they will defend the titles A-geen, a-geen…. and A-geen. Matt said this was a celebration for the deletion of the tag title reign of the demonic Decay.
Matt wanted Jeff to sing a eulogy or a dirge. Jeff sung that “They will fade away and classify themselves as obsolete…. Obsolete!”. Matt Hardy had a premonition. Matt said the next challenger of the tag titles of the world would be chosen tonight. Matt said regardless of who they are they will suffer the most lethal one two punch in pro wrestling, Obsolete and Delete which invoked the chant. The Tribunal ran in and beat on the Broken Hardys. They wore all black. They dominated Matt and gave Jeff a kick to the balls. The heels left and Matt bit the bottom rope…
Mike Bennett said Bound for Glory was supposed to be his night but Cody decided to come in on the Miracle’s time. He said Cody was now entering the Miracle’s ring. Cody said he was surprised that Mike was surprised because Mike Bennett was on his list. Cody said he did cherry pick the moment but didn’t cheap shot Bennett. Cody said Bennett acted like a little bitch. Bennett said Cody is only getting a title shot because of his heritage. Cody said Bennett is blaming Cody’s title shot on nepotism. Cody said nepotism did play a small role in getting his foot in the door but he started off as a referee and worked his way to break that door down. Cody said the Bennett might be riding his wife’s coattails. Bennett said it not only takes a miracle but Cody would have to beat the miracle.
Cody said that the concept of “The Miracle” was just hyperbole and more just smoke and mirrors. Mike Bennett said that all roads lead nowhere when he encounters the Miracle. Cody said Mike can speak about what’s going to happen but we’ll see what happens when they meet in the ring…
John’s Thoughts: Matt and Jeff are extremely over, it’s a bit astonishing. I’m a bit disappointed that I won’t be able to make an indie show this weekend in SF where Broken Matt will be wrestling, but I’m just too busy and got my fill of Obsolete! and Delete! Chants at No Mercy and Raw. The Broken Hardys are TNA’s biggest draw, it’s amazing! As for the Tribunal, they still suck, but I do like their new look a bit more. They are going for more badass and less generic French guys.
Maria handled Mike Bennett’s ring introduction as they made their way to the ring. Cody and Brandi Rhodes came out after.
2. Mike Bennett (w/ Maria Kanellis-Bennett) vs. Cody (w/ Brandi Rhodes). Cody and Bennett had a staredown to start off the match. Bennett landed a hip toss but Cody came back with a body slam. They had an opening minute stalemate. Cody locked in the hammerlock which Bennett elbowed out of. Cody attempted a pin with a sunset flip. Bennett rolled out and dodged a beautiful disaster kick. Cody flew at Bennett when Bennett was yelling at Brandi. Bennett tossed Cody over the barricade and kicked him when he tried to get back in. Bennett hit Cody with a hanging DDT. Cody struggled but got in the ring and was met by boots form Mike Bennett.
Bennett locked in a chinlock on Cody. Cody escaped and stomped on Bennett’s foot. Bennett grounded Cody with a dropkick. Bennett punched Cody while at ringside which allowed him to lock in the chinlock again. Cody managed to turn the tide and hit Bennett with the Alabama Slam. Cody hit Bennett with the Beautiful Disaster. Bennett shoved Cody to the corner for some breathing room. Cody fought back and missed a moonsault. Bennett hit Cody with the pedigree and earned a two count. Pope called it head games. Bennett was staggered on the top rope. Cody hit the Superplex on Mike Bennett. Cody went for his new “American Nightmare” submission but was distracted by Maria.
Bennett and Cody traded punches. Cody went for and hit Cross Rhodes to pick up the pinfall victory over Mike Bennett.
Cody [Rhodes] defeated Mike Bennett via pinfall in 8:41.
Moose was yelling backstage. He said he has busted his ass to become champion. Four years of high school, four years of college, and seven years pro. Moose said tonight he started his journey to become TNA World Champion. He said Lashley is trying to stir the pot. Moose said even though he’s friends with EC3 it goes out the window tonight. Moose said if he has to hit EC3 with the gamebreaker, that’s what he’s going to do…
John’s Thoughts: That was a solid match from Cody but they gave Cody the definitive win which was odd when this feud was just starting. They also worked more of an end-of-feud match as opposed to an initial encounter match. It was good, just a bit strange. At the same time Maria plays the role ringside very well which makes Brandi stand out as very green by comparison. Brandi hasn’t really established an identity for herself other than being a walking last name for Cody. Her name might as well be “… and Brandi Rhodes”
It’s X Divison time because we’re getting that graphic again! Marshe Rockett was out first. Josh Mathews pointed out how Rockett was awarded a title match and people are saying he doesn’t deserve a title match. Pope said Rockett had a good showing last week (didn’t he lose and not do much?). They cut to a video package on Rockett. Rockett said he is the future of the X Division at 6’4′ and 250 pounds. He said there were no limits in the X Divsion but soon people are going to wish there was a limit. Rockett said the Helms Dynasty came to him because they knew how brutal, fast, and strong he is. He said the X Division has no idea of the storm he’s bringing. He said he’s the future and it was going to be one hell of a ride. DJ Z made his entrance next…
John’s Thoughts: Now they just have to give Trevor Lee, DJ Z, Andrew Everett, Sutter got one but it was forgotten, and Mandrews video packages. That was cool and the X Division needs more characters defined as opposed to being what Matt Hardy would call literal spot monkeys.
3. DJ Z vs. Marshe Rockett for the TNA X Division Championship. Josh Mathews said Rockett might have got a title shot due to knowing Corgan for a long time in Chicago. The follow Dixie Carter graphic appeared, that is still a thing! Rockett tossed around Z like a ragdoll. Pope pointed out how this was not a cruiserweight division. Rockett slowed down Zema with a kick to the gut. Zema rolled into a dropkick to send Rockett in the corner. Zema went to the top rope for a high crossbody. Rockett tossed Zema over the top rope to get a breather. Zema was suplexed on the apron. Rockett mocked Zema’s dumb BroMan chant (good for you Marshe!).
Rockett landed a backbreaker on Zema to earn a nearfall. Zema went for a crossbody but ate a dropkick from Rockett. Zema hit Rockett with a Tope Con Hilo. Zema fought with some strikes but was caught by Rockett. Zema fought out and hit a springboard clothesline on Rockett. Rockett fought out of the ZDT and hit Zema with a side crane kick. Rockett missed a corner splash and was hit with the ZDT by DJ Z. DJ Z picked up the victory.
DJ Z defeated Marshe Rockett via pinfall in 4:46 to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
Zema held up his title and celebrated his win…
Mike Bennett was backstage and complained about Cody again. He said he had Maria’s back and would make sure Maria wins. Allie cut in and said she didn’t get a chance to read the rest of the email and Mike Bennett was banned from ringside. Maria had a mini-tantrum. Bennett said he believed in Maria and that she has this… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The match was okay. There was both good and bad in the commentary. I commend TNA for trying to explain the reason Marshe Rockett was getting a random title shot and saying that it was because he was friends with Billy Corgan. What was weird was Pope and Josh really trying to put over Rockett as an athletic marvel when all we’ve seen from him is standard heavyweight moves. He less Luke Harper and more Erick Rowan as far as moveset is concerned based off of what we seen. All that said, I’m a bit glad we’re not getting Team X Gold every week but I have a bad feeling we’re getting it next week.
Maria made her entrance as she filled the ring with weapons. Madison Rayne was brought in to be the Knockouts analysis again. She said that Maria has to lose power. Gail Kim was out next as Maria had a trash lid as a shield.
4. Gail Kim vs. Maria in a no-DQ match for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Maria decided to run up the ramp but was caught by Gail and nailed with a clothesline. Gail Kim grabbed a service bucket and put Maria in it. Gail Kim rolled it to the turnbuckle. Gail Kim found a cooking sheet which was under the ring for some reason. Maria fought back with a trash lid and slammed Gail on the cookie sheet. Maria hit Gail with a blockbuster and got a two count. Maria used the sheet as a weapon. Maria dominated for a sequence.
Gail Kim kicked the trash lid into Maria and hit her in the back with the lid. Gail Kim grounded Maria with a clothesline. Gail Kim missed a crossbody which allowed Maria to get a kendo stick. Maria wailed on Gail with the stick. Gail Kim hit Eat D-Feet on Maria with help from the stick. Gail Kim pulled Maria up after two. Gail Kim hit Eat D-Feet on the trash lid to Maria to pick up the pinfall victory.
Gail Kim defeated Maria via pinfall in 4:57 to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship and revoke Maria’s leadership of the Knockouts Division.
Josh Mathews said the reign of terror from Maria was over. Madison Rayne said this was a win for all of the knockouts tonight. The crowd gave Gail Kim “Delete!” chants…
EC3 said he had to go through Moose to get to the championship. Eli Drake interrupted EC3’s backstage promo and said that EC3 must not feel good with Eddie Edwards doing what EC3 couldn’t. EC3 dared Eli Drake to push the button again. Eli Drake said that rather than worry about his button he should be worrying about not choking against Moose…
John’s Thoughts: The match was one-sided but Maria is presented as a non-wrestler so it only made sense. I’m sure this will lead to some good segments between Maria and Allie. The negative was Madison Rayne on commentary. Josh tried to help out his wife but she was just too robotic. As for the EC3 interview, I’m buying more and more into Eli Drake. He was subtle for once and him telling EC3 to worry about Moose was his most natural character moment that we’ve seen from him.
Cody [Rhodes] talked with Eddie Edwards backstage while he was being checked on by trainers. Edwards said he respects Cody and respects that Cody wants to be world champion. Eddie Edwards said he was a fighting champion. Cody said that Eddie proved that anything can happen and he should just know that anything can happen on any night. They shook hands out of respect. Josh Mathews said that Cody was facing Eddie Edwards on Impact next week…
The broadcast feed was interrupted by three dudes who I assume were anonymous. The letters “DCC” flashed on the screen. The guy spoke in macspeak and said that their detractors would think of them as another form of anti-establishmentarianism, but for the illuminated they will realize that they will bring clarity and order to Impact Wrestling. They said the mask are not there to hid their faces but to show that they are here to take a stand. A Martin Luther King quote flashed on the screen for a second…
Moose made his entrance. EC3 was out after… [C]
4. Moose vs. Ethan Carter III. Moose had EC3 cornered back from the break. He led the crowd in Moose chants. EC3 locked in a headlock. Moose came back with a shoulder block. EC3 and Moose had a chop battle. EC3 hit Moose with a low dropkick. Moose came back with a high dropkick. Moose went for a plancha but EC3 dodged and pulled Moose down. EC3 gave Moose clubbing blows on the apron. EC3 locked in a half nelson in the middle of the ring. Moose escaped but was halted by an elbow from EC3. EC3 hit an exploder suplex on Moose. Moose rolled to the outside and managed to hit a death valley driver on EC3 on the apron.
EC3 sold a rib injury in the ring which Pope attributed to Lashley. EC3 ate a dropkick while on the top rope but came right back with a Missile Dropkick to Moose. They had another chop battle which became an uppercut battle. EC3 and Moose then traded telegraphed punches. EC3 blocked the clothesline with a thrust kick to the gut. Moose hit EC3 with a powerbomb and running senton. EC3 kicked out at two. Moose went for the gamebreaker but got hit by the TKO which didn’t get him off his feet. EC3 then hit a few of his signature spots, the stinger splash to the flapjack.
Moose blocked the One Percenter. Moose hit the Go To Hell Spinebuster on EC3. EC3 dodged the gamebreaker and made a pin attempt. Moose blocked the one percenter and hit the gamebreaker to the back of the head to pick up the pinfall victory over EC3.
Moose defeated EC3 via pinfall in 7:34.
Josh Mathews said this was a signature marquee victory for Moose. Lashley’s theme interrupted Moose’s as he made his way to the ring to confront Moose. Josh Mathews hyped Lashley vs. Moose for next week as Impact ended…
John’s Thoughts: There was something a bit off about that match. The wrestlers seemed to be moving at half speed and there was no chemistry there. Moose can have some good matches which I’ve seen in Ring of Honor and EC3 has had great matches in TNA but this match really dragged for some reason. I’ll just attribute it to these two having a bad night.
Overall, this was a solid episode of Impact that even though the main event wasn’t that great, the show did a good job progressing all of the active storylines of the promotion. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s member exclusive audio review and TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List coming later today.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...