By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in October 2016 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
In this week’s Impact intro teaser, last week’s developments were spotlighted. Moose defeated EC3 to earn a match against Bobby Lashley. Maria lost leadership of the Knockouts division. Eddie Edwards talked about his dreams about being World Champion. Cody [Rhodes] talked about it being his job to take away Eddie’s dream…
Cody [Rhodes] made his way to the ring. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary. Cody said he was from a town called Marietta, Georgia. He said he was a fan of Country Music and thought of this song “The Night Hank Williams Came to Town” and he was thinking about it because tonight is something significant. He said he left his former employer not because of money but for moments and tonight was a moment where he would be able to compete to become World Heavyweight Champion. He talked about himself at 15 years old. He said he was riding with his hero in life, the most favorite person he could ever have, his father the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
Cody said he told Dusty that he wanted to give Dusty the news about wanting to be a wrestler. He said once he delivered the news Dusty got tense and scary. Cody then said Dusty said okay, but only if Cody will be the best. Cody said he doesn’t care about the number of sides of the ring, being the best means being world champion. Cody said tonight he makes a promise and he will become World Heavyweight Champion. Eddie Edwards made his entrance and way to the ring next. Eddie Edwards grabbed a mic and said he respects Cody. He said everyone respects him, his journey, and choices that Cody made to get here.
Edwards said Cody was who he wanted to be, here in Impact Wrestling. He said they embrace Cody for who he is and embrace him (Eddie) for who he is. Eddie said when he gets his ass kicked he hears wolves nation chant Eddie. Eddie then asked Cody if he truly knows who he is. Cody said he was the Brandi Rhodes thrilling, Giant Killing, moustashing, formerly dashing, Impact Crashing, “Cody Rhodes” (he said “Rhodes” off-mic). Cody said he can pontificate longer, but you’ll know exactly who he is when he wins the world title tonight. Eddie said he says “if” because he’s the world champion, the man who beat Lashley, and he knows that some people including Cody thinks it’s because of luck. He said he was going to prove that luck has nothing to do with it. He said just like Cody he was born to be a professional wrestler and truly believed it because it was his calling and he will prove it with skill.
He said he was going to prove he was a worthy world champion. He said that if beating Cody would help prove that he was sorry that Cody was going to lose. Bobby Lashley made his entrance to the Impact Zone. Lashley said he saw the future, the future headliner. Lashley said the future was Lashley beating whoever comes out the match as world champion. He said whoever got out that match was just going to get beat by Lashley because neither of them were real or a real fighter. Lashley said whoever stands in his way will get hurt. Moose made his entrance next. Josh Mathews said that Moose vs. Lashley will happen after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A good promo from Cody and good response from Eddie Edwards. Cody’s best promos are usually when he references Dusty and family and he’s just simply good at that because it sounds like we are being let into the life of the son of Dusty Rhodes. Eddie Edwards does play the generic respectful babyface, but I have a feeling it can work as long as they don’t try to do too much with him.
1. Bobby Lashley vs. Moose. Lashley initiated the opening salvo, topping off his strikes with a Suplex. Moose quickly recovered and hit Lashley with his signature arm pump punches. Lashley escaped for a little bit but ate a high dropkick. Lashley took the action outside and dominated Moose starting with sending Moose into the ringpost. Lashley eventually took the action in the ring where he dominated with right hands. Lashley tried to go high risk but Moose dropkicked him off the top rope. Moose then followed up with an awkward Tope con Hilo (?) but that’s fine since he’s a heavyweight doing the move.
Moose took the action in the ring and hit a spinebuster followed by a running senton. Lashley kicked out of the pin at two. Lashley countered the gamebreaker with a spinebuster to get a two count on his end. Lashley put Moose on the top rope and went for a superplex. Lashley hit the superplex but Moose no-sold it and hit a spear on Lashley. Josh Mathews called the pin attempt like he had Vince McMahon in his headsets because he said “Moose is going to be number one contender” in the worse timed and least enthusiastic way.
Moose and Lashley struggled to get to their feet where they traded fatigued strikes. Moose gave Lashley a boot. Lashley countered with a spear. For some reason, Josh Mathews seems off tonight because he called that one with low enthusiasm too. Moose dodged the next spear and hit Lashley with the gamebreaker. Lashley kicked out at two. Pope called it the “Game Changer” (he must have Aron Rex on the mind). Moose told Lashley to “Go to Hell” as Lashley escaped the Go to Hell. Lashley hit Moose with a spear from the second rope. Lashley defeated Moose cleanly.
Bobby Lashley defeated Moose via pinfall in 7:33 to become the number one contender to the TNA World Championship.
Lashley rolled to the outside and rolled on the ramp with a smile on his face. Lashley recovered and told everyone to get ready!
Jeremy Borash interviewed Baron Dax and Basille Baraka, the Tribunal. Baraka acted like he was talking to Billy Corgan and said that he wanted them to get his attention. He wondered if they had it. Dax said they were done waiting, the great war was over, the Hardys were weak and… The feed was interrupted by another DCC video. The guy said tick, tick, tick, and chaos arrives tonight. Josh Mathews then took us to Fact of Life.
John’s Thoughts: That wasn’t a bad match. It was better than EC3 vs. Moose at least. But it wasn’t too great either. That match rellied too much on kicking out of finishers rather than telling any story in the ring. Moose hasn’t been established yet so a lot of his nearfalls weren’t clicking. Even though he beat EC3 TNA didn’t have time to sell that. Plus, Josh Mathews seemed very off on commentary as he sounded like Michael Cole on the WWE Video Game.
Eli Drake introduced his show and said his usual Eli Drake things. He also had piped in TV Audience cheers for comedic effect. Eli Drake introduced his guest, Aron Rex who came onto the set to piped-in boos. Rex said it took him a long time to get an opportunity to compete for a world title and the grand championship means more to him than everything he could say. He said what it means to him is he love it, he loves the opportunity, and loves what they are going to create together. Eli Drake told Rex that he didn’t like Rex at first. Drake said that Rex came in guns a blazing and rubbed him the wrong way. He said there was no shame in keeping the title in the way he did against Jessie Godderz.
Rex said he reluctantly agrees with Drake. Rex said he left Drew Galloway in his rear view mirror and called him inferior. Rex also said he beat World Champion Eddie Edwards for the Grand Championship which makes him the man around here. Rex then did a bad New Jersey impersonation joke on Jessie Godderz. Drake laughed. He said now that Drake is carrying the title a lot of guys are gunning for the title. Drake named a few guys and hit the dummy button. He said not one of them have anything on the man with a guarantee to become World Champion who was E-li-Drake. Rex said if Drake was bound for gold then what was EC3. Drake said EC3 was bound for the toilet, the dumpster, and as wasted potential. Drake said he looks at EC3 and can say giant piece of trash. EC3 was in the Impact Zone and tried to invade Drake’s set due to his button pressing. They cut to commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I like that Rex is now properly slotted as a heel, but his lines are still plain bad. They aren’t either funny or heat generating. They just suck and that’s something given how many stinkers the man across from him laid, Eli Drake. Speaking of off, Rex has been off for a while. He was better as the random rapper character that he played on UpUpDownDown for the last year before TNA. As for Drake, he was back to his usual comedy routine which is hit or miss but nothing special. Drake was great in his last two encounters with EC3 so I hope that EC3 after the break will bring out some of that genuine Eli Drake that showed up the last two weeks.
EC3 was marching around in the ring and wanted to get past Drake’s security. He said the first thing he’ll do when he gets to the set is going to destroy the set piece by piece. He said he was going to assume the position on the desk and lay an E-C-#2 on Drake’s face. He said he was going to get plutonium and uranium to nuke the set. Drake complained about EC3 not being invited. EC3 wanted a fight and dared Drake to fight a champion like EC3. He then dared Drake to press the button so he can punch, kick, mane, and leave Drake for dead. Drake then pressed the button and wondered what EC3 was going to do about it. EC3 got out of the ring and gave the security guards a crossbody. EC3 and Drake had a pull apart brawl. This is usually the time that Josh says the word “bedlam”. Aron Rex got involved and ultimately sided with Drake to double team EC3. Jessie Godderz joined the party to beat up Rex. The security guards got up and separated them all. Yes, Josh Mathews said the word “bedlam”. Josh then hyped Eddie Edwards vs. Cody for the TNA Championship as well as the Hardys vs. The Tribunal for the TNA Tag Team Championships…
Reby Sky was at the top of the ramp where she did her piano mash-up of Matt and Jeff’s WWE/TNA Themes. Jeff Hardy sung about the Tribunal and said “They’ll fade away and classify themselves as obsolete… Obsolete!”. Matt said there are many things in life of perspective. He said the tribunal were told to make an impact and impression and they did that by attacking Matt Hardy and Brother Nero. Matt said he viewed that as two men trying to take food off of King Maxel’s plate. He said he viewed it as two men trying to take the food off of the plate of Jeff’s two daughters. Matt said since they committed those acts he sentenced them for deletion… Delete! Delete! Delete!…Delete! Dax and Baraka made their entrance next… [C]
2. Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero vs. Baron Dax and Basille Baraka for the TNA Tag Team Championships. Matt and Jeff dominated early with the crowd chanting “Delete!”. Jeff and Matt double teamed Baron Dax with Matt settling into his offense. Dax escaped the ropes and took down Dax with an elbow. Dax and Baraka then isolated Matt in their corner. Dax missed an elbow drop which allowed Matt to tag in Jeff. Jeff did his signature offense on Dax. Dax blocked the Twist of Fate but Jeff converted his focus toward executing a DDT. Dax blocked Poetry in Motion and the heels isolated Jeff Hardy in their corner this time.
Dax was yelling in French like he usually does while slamming Jeff. They continued to isolate Jeff in their corner. Baraka earned a nearfall after a crossbody. Dax tagged in and did double team moves on Jeff. Jeff escaped with a side Russian Legsweep. It was enough for him to tag in Matt for the hot tag. Matt bit Baraka’s hand, leg, and head. Matt had blood (?) in his mouth and earned a two count on Baraka. Matt hit Baraka with the side effect. Dax stopped Matt from hitting the Twist of Fate and nailed him with a double chokeslam. Jeff broke up the pin and gave Dax the twist of fate. Matt sent Baraka to Jeff for the Twist of Fate and hit a Twist of Fate of his own. Matt Hardy picked up the victory.
The Broken Hardys defeated The Tribunal via pinfall in 7:51 to retain the TNA Tag Team Championship.
Matt and Jeff celebrated with their titles as the crowd chanted Delete. As the Hardys went up the ramp sounds played and there was distortion. Suddenly the Jabbawockeez!…er… I mean… The DCC guys were in the ring and they put the boots to the Tribunal. One of the guys wasn’t fighting and titled his head at Matt. Matt was pleased…
Backstage Allie was practicing standing up to Maria in a mirror. Braxton Sutter talked to Allie and said that Allie wasn’t to blame about this. Laurel Van Ness walked in and said people like them should feel sorry about people like Allie. She then said they should work out sometime to Sutter… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Not sure what the purpose of building up the Tribunal for one week only to have them job out to the Hardys a week after. Those guys still look like developmental prospects but at least they found a better look for them. It didn’t help that they’ve been established as Al Snows useless henchmen. As for the DCC guys, I’m not a huge fan yet. It’s a bit funny that they just look like the Jabbawockeez dance troupe as opposed to anonymous which is what I think they are going for? I also hope this stays isolated in the tag team division and hopefully we aren’t getting our annual bad TNA “invasion” angle.
Back from the break the DCC video distortion happened. They said this attack was just the start and they won’t stop. They said no one is safe. They said it’s about control and chaos. You won’t know when or where but they are here to stay…
John’s Thoughts: Dammit! This is an invasion angle, isn’t it?
Lashley approached Cody backstage. He said there was lots of pressure on Cody and Eddie. He said Rex was supposed to be the savior but poof, Lashley destroyed him (wait? When did Lashley destroy Rex?). Lashley said he doesn’t see it but he still wishes Cody luck. Cody said he didn’t think it was genuine and neither he nor Eddie Edwards needed that luck. Lashley said Cody hasn’t been paying attention and Eddie was going to get what he deserves, and if Cody keeps running his mouth he might not make it out to his title match tonight. Cody asked Lashley to stop running his mouth unless he can back it up. Lashley said he may or may not see Cody next week but they will cross paths sooner or later. Most of last week’s Knockouts Title Match between Maria and Gail Kim was shown…
Maria, Allie, and Laurel Van Ness made their way to the ring for a segment. Maria tried to handle her own introduction but stopped due to not being the leader of the Knockouts. she said there was a conspiracy and that was because TNA can’t handle the truth (and neither can Dixie Carter…. Zing!). Maria said there were so many people to blame like Gail or Billy Corgan but the only person who deserves the blame for her troubles was Allie. Maria then yelled and berated Allie. Laurel grabbed the mic and said that people like Allie serve people like her and Maria. Maria then ordered Allie to apologize and say she’s the one to blame. Allie stood up for herself and yelled at Maria and said she was the one to blame. Maria blew up and said Allie had to be taught a lesson. Laurel then beat up Allie. Laurel topped it off with a back stomp. Maria then booked Allie vs. Laurel Van Ness for next week (wait? didn’t she lose booking power?).
Lashley approached Eddie Edwards who was ready for a fight. Lashley was calm and called Edwards a feel good story. He said it could all end tonight. Lashley said the story goes where there’s the shocking upset and the next match has the guy lose. Eddie said the smart bet is probably on that happening but Lashley underestimated him last time and dared Lashley to bet against him. He said he beat Lashley and is now the World Heavyweight Champion. Eddie said he was not afraid of Lashley. Lashley said Eddie and Cody better be afraid of him. Lashley said everybody should be afraid of him. Lashley walked off.
Tyrus was fixing things for Mahabali Shera. He said the first thing to fix was to stop dancing. He said guilty feet have no rhythm. He said he could fish for Shera but he’s going to teach Shera to fish. He said Shera is going to listen to him. Tyrus said that if Shera follows his path he will be a champion and be a top guy. Tyrus liked Shera sucking up to him. He said he picked a top superstar from Impact to face Shera. Shera wondered if he was fighting Tyrus. Tyrus laughed and said he liked the ass kissing. He said that this was one of the greatest that Impact has to offer and will see if Shera believes. Shera walked away and Tyrus said that Shera needs a miracle…
3. Mahabali Shera vs. Mike Bennett (w/Maria). Bennett chopped Shera which Shera no sold. Shera then sold the rest of Bennett’s shots. Shera fought back with a body slam. Bennett used the ropes to turn the tables and put the boots to Shera. Shera was beaten down in the corner. Shera fought out of a wristhold and hit a body slam. He hit several other body slams. Shera got a bear hug which Bennett fought out with an eye rake. Bennett hit the Miracle in Progress for the victory.
Mike Bennett defeated Mahabali Shera via pinfall in 2:57.
A Cody vs. Eddie Edwards video package played. Cody said this would be easy if he doesn’t like Edwards but he likes Eddie. Eddie said just like Kevin Garnett said, anything is possible and he was Mr. Anything is possible. Cody said anybody who laced up their boots wants to be World Champion and he wants to beat Eddie Edwards to be world champion. Eddie said he will not give up because of the world title. Eddie said Cody won’t stop his dream because he won’t give up ever… [C]
McKenzie Mitchell was interviewing DJ Z about Team X Gold. Zema said the X Division has always been forward thinking and innovative. He said Team X Gold was bringing different people with different styles together to show which team of three can say who is the best. He said he’s speaking for his team of Himself, Braxton Sutter, and Mandrews that they were going to set the standard to what Team X Gold was all about. Rockstar came out and said he likes Team X Gold but wondered why he, a former two time X Champ and future World champion, not asked to participate. Zema said no one like Spud. Spud said he put together a team behind Zema’s back and they would debut next week. He said Zema’s guys always talk about the letter X. While his team is better than X, Y, and Z. He said he’ll be seeing Zema next week…
John’s Thoughts: So what is Team X Gold again?
Cody came out first accompanied by Brandi. Eddie Edwards was out after.
4. Eddie Edwards vs. Cody (w/ Brandi Rhodes) for the TNA Championship. Cody and Eddie shook hands to start. Eddie Edwards dominated the initial tie up. Cody turned a wristlock to a side headlock. Edwards was grounded with a shoulder block. Eddie came back with a shoulder block of his own. Cody went for some quick pin attempts after leg sweeps. They then had a stalemate stance… [C]
Cody had a hammerlock locked in. Eddie escaped and hit some kicks on Cody. Edwards hit the shining wizard to earn a nearfall. Cody hit his drop down kick and chopped Eddie in the corner. Eddie turned the tide a bit but Cody locked in the armbar. Eddie reached the bottom rope with his foot for the rope break. Edwards and Cody were even next. Edwards escaped the Cross Rhodes and kicked Cody to the outside. Edwards nailed Cody with the tope. Cody barely hit the Beautiful Disaster kick on Edwards to keep him outside and followed with a high risk axehandle. Cody brought Edwards back to the ring to break the ref’s count.
Edwards kicked Eddie on the top rope and hit him with the backpack stunner for a nearfall. Edwards went to the top rope but Cody quickly recovered. Cody went for and hit Edwards with the Kinniku Buster. Edwards kicked out at two because Josh Mathews told us we had a new champion. Cody went for his figure four but Edwards didn’t allow it. They traded forearms from a standing position followed up by chops. Cody put Eddie on the top rope for a superplex. Cody hit the Superplex. Eddie Edwards managed to hook the legs though and pull out the surprise victory.
Eddie Edwards defeated Cody Rhodes via pinfall in 8:42 to retain the TNA Championship.
Cody sold the surprise as Eddie Edwards stood tall with his world title. Cody started to go head to head with Eddie but then they shook hands and Cody held Eddie’s hand up in victory. As Eddie left, Cody soaked up cheers in the middle of the ring. Brandi went to the apron but was tripped by Maria. Maria threw Brandi into the steps. Mike Bennett gave Maria a hug and said that they were the power couple. Josh Mathews called Mike Bennett a bastard. Impact ended… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That was a good match that obviously wasn’t a final match. The finish continued the story they were telling all night with the whole “Anything can happen” theme. It does seem like they are accelerating Cody through his matches and I’m assuming it’s because he isn’t under contract. It may seem odd that Maria is attacking Brandi while also feuding with Allie and maybe Gail Kim but that’s no problem as I call her the Kevin Owens of TNA where she can hold multiple interesting feuds with anyone she antagonizes.
This was an okay edition of Impact. Last week’s show was better but this wasn’t bad. We didn’t get any Billy Corgan tonight, which is odd, but perhaps he simply wasn’t scheduled for this episode. This was a good show. Lashley carried it with his good work backstage. We had a few good matches. And Mahabali Shera was there, I guess. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling audio review later today.
Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...