By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling
Taped in October at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL
This week’s intro teaser was a similar one to previous weeks where it went over the surprise victory of Eddie Edwards over Lashley after Billy Corgan gave Lashley three options as to who his title contender would be. Scenes from subsequent weeks were spliced in. Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards was hyped as the main event…
At the Impact Zone, Brandi Rhodes made her entrance to some T-Pain sounding music. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary. Brandi said she wanted to thank everyone for all of the support and people checking on her husband Cody [Rhodes]. Brandi said they went through a lot in their three years of marriage and have stuck together through thick and thin. Brandi said they had to make some tough decisions in the past few years but that was just marriage. She said they bonded together through the good times and bad which make them stronger. Brandi said Cody was supportive of her decision to come to Impact Wrestling and she hopes she is making him proud. She said she was proud in the way Cody performed in the past weeks. Brandi said Cody was “this” close to realizing his dream in being World Heavyweight Champion.
Brandi said Bobby Lashley happened. Brandi told Lashley she had some bad news for him and that her husband is a fighter. She said you may not know the blood that runs through his veins and he may not know the kind of man he is but he’s going to find out. Brandi said Cody was a fighter and even though Lashley put him down he didn’t put Cody out. Brandi said Cody will be back and this was not the last that Impact Wrestling has seen of Cody. Brandi said as for herself and her future on Impact, before she could get anything out she was interrupted by Maria who made her entrance alongside Sienna.
Maria said she was going to talk to Brandi about her future. She said in this business when you have no one you’re nothing. She said Brandi’s poor little hubby got himself hurt and Brandi was all alone. Maria mocked a southern accent. Maria said Brandi could either go home and be the good wifey to her husband or stay her and swim with the Sharks. Brandi questioned whether that was a threat. Maria said she doesn’t threaten anybody and rather gives people opportunities. She says she opens doors and sometimes shuts them in people’s faces, like Allie. This invoked an Allie chant from the Impact Zone.
Maria said Allie had a lesson to learn and she learned it. Maria said now Allie will be a better assistant and the people would stop chanting her name. The crowd chanted Allie. Maria said she sees something in Brandi even though Brandi had to cheat to beat her. She said she respects that because she would do the same thing. Maria said she is giving Brandi the opportunity of a lifetime which was to join her “lady squad” with Sienna and Laurel. Maria said she wants Brandi to become the woman she truly is and not just riding on the coattails of her husband. Maria said she was 50-50 with her husband as shown in her last name Kenellis-Bennett. Brandi said she was her own woman and makes her own decisions. Brandi said her name was “Rhodes” which means something around here and a name that carries legacy, prestige, and a name that demands respect. She said even though she doesn’t have Maria’s respect she surely doesn’t need Maria’s help for anything.
Maria asked Brandi if she was sure. Sienna approached Brandi and Brandi dominated and ground Sienna. As Brandi went for Maria, recovered Sienna blindsided Brandi. Sienna mounted the ground and pound on Brandi. Sienna then hit Brandi with the AK-47 slam. Maria and Sienna stood over the knocked out body of Brandi Rhodes and they exited the ring with smiles on their faces. Josh Mathews hyped three title matches for tonight with the Hardys vs. DCC for the tag titles, Eddie Edwards vs. Bobby Lashley for the world title, and Aron Rex vs. Jessie Godderz for the Grand Championship. By the way, they were going back to the TNA Impact on Spike theme as opposed to the one Billy Corgan wrote for them which they edited out last week too…
John’s Thoughts: Good intro segment carried by the women of Impact. Brandi is still a work in progress but at least her talking ability is much better than her wrestling ability. She does have some work to improve though part of it is she was trying to play serious yet holding a cute smile throughout. It might be from her WWE announcing days but it makes it hard not to see Ring Announcer Eden Stiles. Maria is the female Kevin Owens in that she just has to lightly antagonize people to initiate a full blown feud and she can carry multiple at the same time. I just feel bad for Sienna who is simply the female Brodus Clay/Tyrus in her jobber bodyguard role.
A really good Eddie Edwards video package aired where it went over Eddie’s life as a child leading to his wrestling training. It was narrated by Josh Mathews and it ended with one of the many injuries to the Wolves, this was the first one with Eddie getting injured…
Jessie Godderz came out to his BroMan theme and even acted a bit like a BroMan. Aron Rex was out next. Josh Mathews continued his focus on the ring fingers of Aron Rex as he brought up how Rex had those two big rings on Fact of Life and how they might lead
John’s Thoughts: I really like the serious amateur wrestler Jessie Godderz act. Why is TNA never willing to let go of BroMans?
1. Aron Rex vs. Jessie Godderz for the TNA Grand Championship. Jessie Godderz got the first takedown of the match but Rex quickly recovered. Godderz locked in a side headlock which Rex escaped. Godderz dominated rex and slammed his head into several turnbuckles. Rex was grounded by a dropkick. Godderz gained a nearfall. Rex tried to escape the Adonis crab but Godderz didn’t let go. Godderz slingshot Rex into the buckle. Godderz gained a nearfall after a side suplex. Rex fought out of being cornered against the ropes. Rex Godderz fought right back with a running crossbody. Godderz initiated an armbar which allowed him to put Rex in a predicament. Rex tried to turn it into a pin attempt but Godderz held strong. Rex retreated to holding the ropes as Round 1 ended. Jessie Godderz won round 1 unanimously.
Rex grounded Jessie on the onset of the second round and had a headlock locked in. Jessie tried to gain a bit of momentum but was halted with a knee to the gut. Rex maintained control with a rear chinlock. Jessie Godderz tried to elbow his way out but Rex maintained control. Godderz attempted several rollup pin attempts. Rex slowed down Godderz with a few headbutts. Godderz gained some breathing room leading to a clothesline sequence and powerslam. The round ended with Godderz locking in the Adonis Crab. Jessie Godderz won round 2 via split decision as Impact went to commercial. [C]
Godderz maintained control in the third round until Rex raked the eyes of Godderz. Godderz sold the eye rake in more of an exaggerated way than most people signifying that Rex might have did something more nefarious than most heels. Godderz sold being blind. Rex did another eye rake and defeated Godderz via pinfall after a power of the punch.
Aron Rex defeated Jessie Godderz via pinfall with 2:04 seconds left in Round 3 to retain the TNA Grand Championship.
Rex was showered by boos which is quite honestly the largest reaction he’s received since he debuted in TNA, so good for him. Josh Mathews analyzed the replay just like he did last week and came to two conclusions. One was backing up what he postulated last week in that he is hiding rings under his finger tape. Next, Rex was wiping his hands with a towel in an odd way to make it look like he was slathering his hand with some sort of foreign substance to induce temporary blindness on Godderz, who was still selling blindness and couldn’t find the ref during the victory ceremony. Rex rushed things along and grabbed a mic. Rex said to give a hand to Jessie Godderz for a real hard fought loss. Josh Mathews wasn’t buying Rex’s ruse and neither did Godderz…
Josh Mathews told us we were going to see a video about the no limits style of the X Division. Team Go For Broke (DJ Z, Braxton Sutter, and Mark Andrews) were chatting backstage in green mood lighting and music. Zema said it was cool to have guys watching his back because as X Division Champ everybody was gunning for him and he was on his own. Sutter said he feels good now that they have this unit. He said if Zema crashes and burns he can have Zema’s back. Andrews said their hybrid of skills cover each others’ weaknesses. Andrews said he feels stronger as this unit. Sutter said the three of them were put together for a reason. Andrews said they were friends so the chemistry shows in the ring. Rather than write down more of what they were saying they were just having a masturbatory complement session. They said “Go for Broke” a lot and we still don’t know what Team X Gold really is…[C]
John’s Thoughts: As I said in my report, Rex might have received his biggest crowd reaction since his debut which shows that being heel was the way to go with him. Rex also seems more natural on the microphone as a heel which backs up that point as well. When I saw Godderz face Matt Hardy in the World Title Series last year I saw that he could take it to the next level as a more calculating and technical wrestler, but I never knew he could be so good as a serious babyface. Honestly, I thought Robbie E would be the one to break out as the potential main eventer first with Godderz having more future upside. Godderz continues to impress me every time I’ve seen him wrestle since the beginning of 2015 and he’s doing well as this serious amateur wrestler. Now if only TNA would let him ditch the BroMan stuff but as we’ve seen with DJ Z and Robbie E, TNA has some strange obsession with BroMans.
Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett were out first for Team X Gold, whatever the hell that is supposed to be. Mathews said it has something to do with trios. Rockstar Spud came out to his non-Smashing Pumpkins babyface entrance theme and he was followed by Decay members Abyss and Crazzy Steve. Go for Broke were out last…
John’s Thoughts: Damn… Abyss and Steve go from a really hot program with the Hardy Boyz to being trapped in the sad abyss known as the TNA X Division. I am glad that Rosemary found a way not to follow Steve and Abyss to this state of peril in TNA.
2. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett vs. Rockstar Spud, Abyss, and Crazzy Steve vs. DJ Z, Braxton Sutter, and Mark Andrews in a triple threat match. Josh Mathews reminded us that Team X Gold was the brainchild of DJ Z and Billy Corgan. Zema, Steve, and Lee started the match off and the heels double teamed Zema. Zema threw Lee into Steve and hit both of them with a double armdrag. He also took both of them out with a Tope Con Hilo. Andrews tagged in and the faces double teamed Lee. Andrews hit a double footstomp on Steve. Lee blocked a huracanrana and hit Andrews with a buckle bomb. Steve hit Andrews with a cannon ball. The heels double teamed Andrews now with boots in the corner. Steve bit the head of Andrews while the Helms guys put the boots to Andrews. Spud tagged in put the boots to Andrews. Marshe Rockett stood up to Spud next which caused Spud to retreat.
Spud tagged in Abyss and gave the middle finger to Rockett (I’m sure somewhere, Darren Gutteridge is pissed at another British wrestler putting up the middle finger as I’ve found out through his Progress Pro reviews). Abyss and Rockett traded power shots as Josh Mathews called this “The New X Division” with “no limits”. Abyss and Rockett couldn’t take each other down until Andrews came in with a double front dropkick. Sutter made the hot tag and cleaned house. This was until Abyss nailed him with the chokeslam on Sutter. Abyss hit the Black Hole slam on Everett. Abyss then chokeslammed Steve onto Everett. For some reason this caused the referee to eject Decay? (Why Spud wasn’t ejected, we will never know).
Josh Mathews thought this was a good call for some reason. Sutter hit the paydirt on Spud to pick up the victory.
Team Go For Broke defeated Rockstar Spud and Decay and Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett via pinfall in 5:17.
Who knew Sutter had entrance music! Spud sold more jaw injuries. They showed highlights of the high spots. Sutter swung the flag with the golden X…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Yup! Team X Gold is just some odd translation to have up to nine people in a pointless X Division spotfest. We’re getting discarded heavyweights in the division too! I also wonder, are they just fighting over a giant flag with a golden X or am I missing something? Also, they talk about enforcing the rules but a few weeks ago Josh Mathews said that disqualifications were going to be enforced more yet we saw a “partial” ejection? This calling of the rules is more wonky than the last two weeks of Lucha Underground main events.
The continuation of the Eddie Edwards video package was shown where it showed that Eddie Edwards married the love of his life Alissa during his serious injury. Another injury to the wolves, this time to Davey caused Eddie to handle the singles load and become X Division Champion. Josh Mathews said this was the start of Edwards’ path to the World Championship…
The Broken Hardy Boyz came out Reby’s mashup of their entrance themes again (It would be cool if they saved this entrance for special moments as opposed to every title match). Jeff didn’t look very broken tonight but he did tell us that “They’ll fade away and classify themselves as obsolete… obsolete!”. Matt said the Obsolete and Delete chants were tantalizing. Matt said last week on Impact Wrestling there were three mysterious masked businessmen that came to the ring after they were victorious over the tribunal and they wanted to point at the greatest tag team in all of time and space. Matt said that was the broken brilliance of Matt Hardy and the nefarious Brother Nero. Matt asked the masked businessmen to come and face them as opposed to just pointing at the Hardys. Matt said he was summoning them now. The DCC teleported in the ring like the Wyatt Family as Matt Hardy said he knew they would come.
There was no referee so I guess this wasn’t a match. Two of the guys dominated the Hardy brothers as one of the men picked his spots. They laid out the Hardy Brothers and slowly made their way out through the crowd. Jeff asked them to get their asses back in the ring if they want to fight. The Businessmen came back and the bell rang…
3. The Broken Hardys vs. The DCC in a Tag Team Title Match. Earl Hebner was in the ring so the match was on. Josh Mathews said Bedlam as he usually does. Matt was beat up by two of the businessmen. The follow Dixie Carter on Twitter graphic appeared at this point. Matt fought against one of the businessmen. He grounded him with a headlock slam. Jeff tagged in and took both of them out. They blocked a twist of fate from Jeff. Jeff took both of them down with a clothesline. The third guy interfered so Earl Hebner called for the bell.
The Broken Hardys vs. DCC ended in no contest or DQ?
The Hardys and DCC took the action to the back so we could get some cinematic fighting. One of the guys put a foot on Earl Hebner’s throat in the middle of the ring. Cheesy music played as we were shown backstage cameras who were in on the brawl. Matt had the slight advantage but had to fight both of the masked men. Matt managed to get one against one. I think we saw a Harris twin in the window? Jeff fought with another guy as the music got a bit more epic. McKenzie Mitchell was interviewing Grado as Jeff Hardy’s brawl interfered. Grado wanted a selfie with Jeff as he said obsolete and delete.
The masked businessman gave Jeff a low blow which caused him to yell “not again!”. Matt took out the guy from behind. Matt found some of his reincarnation water and threw it at Jeff to cure his balls I assume. Jeff transformed into the “Antichrist of Pro Wrestling” Immortal World Champion Jeff. Jeff slammed his custom world title on the masked guy as he took a smoke from his cigarette. He pressed the cigar on the mask. Matt forced a backstage guy to chase the masked man with a forklift. Matt slammed the guy’s head on a wooden pallet. The guy gained the advantage and put Jeff in a box and slammed the box against some steps. Matt fought one guy on the top of the raised forklift. Jeff escaped and yelled “Jeff in the Box!”. Jeff hit the guy with a twist of fate. Matt took off the guy’s mask to reveal another mask (reminds me of when Kakashi’s mask was removed). Matt liked this. The masked guy pushed Matt off the high forklift and he was knocked out. Jeff went to check on Matt. Matt said he was okay but showed that he was suffering from amnesia…
Ethan Carter III said he was going through dark times since Bound for Glory and he’s been struggling with Eli Drake. He said he was going to call out Eli Drake in the ring. Cut to commercial…[C]
John’s Thoughts: More Broken Hardy brilliance which always finds a way to freshen itself up every week. The act still isn’t old yet. Not sure if these masked guys are over though as they just look like the Jabberwokeez dance troupe. I’m sure the Matt Hardy amnesia angle is going to lead to some fun things with his family in more cinematics. Maybe Vanguard 1 will find a way to undelete his memories.
Ethan Carter III was in the ring for a promo. He said tonight’s main event for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was Bobby Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards. He said that was a spot he wants and failed to get. He said he would do anything to get it back. He said he was here because there was a silver tongued son of a bitch that runs his mouth about EC3 nonstop. EC3 called out Eli Drake to talk a little junk. Eli Drake came out. Eli Drake had a mic and said that EC3 was just waiting to hate and was just making noise. He said he was going to put Ethan’s keister outside. EC3 said this was a parlay so they can discuss things in the ring. Drake predicted that there was going to be a predictable fight in the ring and he was cool standing at the ramp. EC3 said when they were on Drake’s tin can set Drake said that since he’s been here he earned everything while EC3 was handed everything.
Drake reiterated what he said on Fact of Life a few weeks ago. Eli Drake said that EC3 wasn’t in his league. Ethan said Drake was half right. He said he was given a name and an opportunity but EC3 has earned everything else. He said he earned being undefeated for a long in this company. He said he earned the opportunity to run with the ball through good times and bad and that this company was synonomous with him. EC3 said he earned the fact that he was the damn man around here. The crowd chanted for EC3. EC3 said he wasn’t finished. He said he looks like a star while Drake is showing off chest pubes in his tank top. EC3 talked about Drake having a golden ticket yet he’s too afraid to cash it in. EC3 said that Drake wants so bad to have what EC3 has and has earned. He told Drake to earn it.
Drake said he doesn’t need what EC3 earned. Drake said he could bypass EC3 because of being bound for gold. Drake said people say Drake’s bound for gold and has a chance for gold, yet Drake said he is gold. EC3 said Drake was golden but Drake also has no stones. EC3 said he’s giving Drake the opportunity to be the face of this franchise. EC3 said Drake should show the people that he deserves it. EC3 asked Drake to put the bound for gold shot on the line. Drake told the dummies to be quiet and that he was going to pass the savings and not deliver a keister kicking to Ethan’s front porch. He said he would be a dummy to take that offer. EC3 said that was fair but there was a caveat to that offer. He said if Drake puts his title shot on the line and EC3 wins, Ethan will become number one contender. Ethan Carter said if Drake wins you won’t see him in the main event again and he’ll become Ethan Mid-Carder the third. EC3 said he will never challenge for a world title ever again. He said you could bypass EC3 for a career with one match. Drake polled the crowd who chanted “Yes!”. Drake said we were going to make history because we were getting Eli Drake vs. the world champion because he was cashing in. Drake said EC3 will never be champion again because he won’t let EC3. Drake then walked out…
Jeremy Borash was backstage interviewing Lashley and wondered why Lashley attacked Cody. Lashley said “Cody who?” and said Cody was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lashley said this was serious business and Eddie tried to stir Lashley up and get in his head. Lashley said Cody will never be back and Brandi will announce his retirement. Lashley said that was a warmup and this was going to be a slaughter tonight. Lashley said Eddie’s wife and kids will watch Eddie’s dreams die and watch Lashley stand in front of Eddie as World Champion…
The continuation of the Eddie Edwards documentary continued featuring the death of one of Eddie’s mentors during his recent singles run. Josh talked about this being a huge loss for the Boston area. Josh said that only added to Eddie’s troubles with Davey being injured and Lashley defeating him. This led to Eddie picking up the title in the good ending to the tale… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Yet another good encounter from Eli Drake and Ethan Carter III. Drake is really benefiting with his recent string of feuds and is growing to upper midcard status. EC3 also continues to evolve into the franchise babyface that TNA needs after Drew Galloway was taken away from that spot. Good from both men. What’s even better than that program tonight, is the Eddie Edwards documentary. Eddie Edwards is getting some much needed exposition tonight and this video package is giving us more of a reason to care about Eddie.
Jeremy Borash handled the ring introductions for the main event.
4. Eddie Edwards vs. Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Lashley dominated early on with a wristlock which Eddie quickly countered into a side headlock. Lashley flapjacked Eddie. Eddie came right back with chops to the chest of Lashley. Lashley fought Eddie to the corner. Eddie ran right back at Lashley with a clothesline and atomic drop. Lashley ended Eddie’s momentum with a calculated elbow. Eddie flipped out of a suplex but Lashley rammed Eddie with a shoulder block. Lashley tossed Eddie out to get a breather. They switched places which allowed Eddie to hit Lashley with a plancha. Edwards chopped Lashley on the barricade. Lashley tossed Edwards around with a belly to belly suplex.
Lashley initiated offense on the outside. He hit another belly to belly on Edwards. Lashley threw Edwards into the crowd while also showboating in the ring to stop the ref’s ten count. Edwards was kept down with some atomic elbows while also making sure to break up ten counts early. Lashley took off his wristband to choke Edwards while the ref’s view was obstructed. Cut to commercial.[C]
Lashley had the advantage back from the break as he tried to lock in the Kesa Gatame. Edwards made it to a vertical base but Lashley slammed Edwards back down while flexing his muscles. Lashley continued to toy with Edwards with right hands. Lashley was acting cocky with Brian Hebner by giving him a slap and high five. Edwards turned the tide by giving Lashley a boot as he was incoming. Lashley almost earned a surprise victory with a running crossbody. Lashley continued toying with Eddie with slow methodical strikes with showboating. Edwards flipped out of the delayed vertical suplex into a Blue Thunder Bonb.
Edwards couldn’t lock in the pin. Lashley was prepared for the boot this time but Edwards countered with some knife edged chops. Eddie sent Bobby to the outside. Edwards hit his signature horizontal tope. Edwards hit the Shining Wizard to earn a nearfall on Lashley. Lashley planted Edwards with a front slam off of the Gory Special. Lashley fell to the outside after eating an overhead kick from Eddie. Edwards hit another solid Tope on Lashley. Lashley recovered in the ring and planted Edwards with an aggressive spinebuster. Edwards was put into superplex position but Eddie turned it into a front superplex. Edwards then missed a footstomp. Eddie accidently tackled Brian Hebner. REF BUMP!!!
Lashley hit the Spear but the ref bump hurt the heel this time. Lashley was calling for a ref. Lashley got the random ref to run out but Eddie kicked out at two. Lashley beat up the random ref in front of Brian Hebner (and there was no DQ just like that Johnny Mundo vs. Sexy Star match from a few weeks ago with bad overbooked ref bumps). In better logic than Lucha Underground, Hebner tried to call for the bell but Lashley protested highly to stop him. Eddie Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party for the victory.
Eddie Edwards defeated Bobby Lashley via pinfall in about 14:18 of TV Time to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Eddie Edwards got a decent reaction from the crowd (but I couldn’t help but notice one audience member who couldn’t give a damn because he was looking at his cell phone). Josh Mathews recapped the closing minutes and ref bumps. Eddie Edwards held up his title to close Impact…
John’s Thoughts: That was a really good World Title match and in my opinion better than their last two encounters. The two big flaws was the commercial break and the ref bumps. The ref bumps weren’t too detrimental but it invokes bad memories of bad TNA (almost like the thought of Dixie Carter having some sort of power still… ha!). Eddie got to look a bit more credible here and less fluky while Lashley was still his wonderful confident self.
Ref bumps and pointless X Division spotfests aside, this was a solid episode of Impact. The main event was solid and the entire show served the purpose of forwarding storylines, except Team X Gold which I’m still not fully sure of what it is yet. The best part of Impact was the Eddie Edwards mini-documentary. Eddie Edwards needed some exposition aside from being the X Division guy that just lost to DJ Z and Aron Rex. That was a good piece of work all night. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s hit list and audio review coming soon…
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Brian Fritz of Sporting News and Between The Ropes discussing WrestleMania 36, WWE television from the empty WWE Performance Center, his own travel woes, NFL free agency, and more...