By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped October 2016 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling teaser featured Eddie Edwards vs. Lashley from last week which showed Eddie Edwards overcoming the power of the TNA Ref Bump. Josh Mathews mentioned that Eddie Edwards was facing Eli Drake in the main event of this show. Josh also talked about a tournament for the TNA World Title number one contendership…
Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary and the first person to enter the Impact Zone was TNA World Champion. Josh Mathews did the social media plugs and TNA still wants us to follow Dixie Carter on twitter for some reason (damn… Based on recent events, neither Dixie Carter nor her twitter are going away are they?). Eddie said throughout his career he had a lot of support from his friends, family, to “Wolves Nation”. Eddie said there has been a lot of negativity in his career that bet against him and bet that he won’t stand here tonight with the world title on his shoulder. Eddie said he learned years ago to take that negativity and use it as motivation. Eddie said with the support and a never-say-die attitude he beat the most dominant champion in the history of this company, Bobby Lashley. Eddie said Lashley says he was screwed but he’s not hiding from Lashley…
Eddie Edwards was interrupted by Eli Drake and his theme music. Eli Drake shut up the crowd and said that he gave Eddie Edwards some time to lick his wounds and make sure he’s in shape. Eli Drake said Edwards said he felt like he hit a truck last week but this week he’s feeling like he is laying on train tracks as he gets run over by a train. Eli Drake said he bets Bobby Lashley is happy backstage that he doesn’t have to face Eli Drake. Eli Drake mocked Eddie Edwards thanking his friends and family and said he, Eli Drake, was bound for gold. Eli Drake said he was coming out tonight as World Champion and that was a Fact of Life.
Ethan Carter III came out next to join in on the opening promo party. EC3 said he commends Eli Drake for finally cashing in his Bound for Gold tonight. EC3 said the fact is weather Eli wins or Eddie retains, that there must be a new number one contender. EC3 said he would choke anybody in the back, in this company, this entire planet to get what he wants. EC3 said looking at Eli Drake, he sees Drake is not ready to be champion. EC3 said the fact is he is betting on Eddie Edwards tonight. Eli Drake said EC3’s problem was not betting for Eli Drake. EC3 said he was betting the whole damn house against Eli Drake.
Mike Bennett and Maria joined the verbal fray. Bennett said this was a sight with the champion and two people who wants to be champion. Mike Bennett compared EC3 betting the house to EC3 betting his streak and losing to Mike Bennett. Mike said the way he sees it is if you want to hop on the road to the world champion, there was a roadblock/detour in the way and that detour was in the way taking him to highway miracle and Mike Bennett would be standing there. Bennett told EC3 to get in the back in the line because it doesn’t matter which dummy is world champ because he is going to win and save this company once and for all. Drake called Bennett a Dummy Yeah. Bennett talked down everyone and confronted EC3. Mike Bennett took the cheap shot on EC3 which allowed Eli Drake to put the boots to a distracted Eddie Edwards. Moose’s entrance music played which signaled Mike Bennett and Eli Drake to leave the ring. Josh Mathews said this means that Moose is going to have a match against Mike Bennett after the break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That was a solid segment, but ultimately it was a bit routine. They all were saying the same thing trying to hype themselves up and I think EC3 did that thing the best of the three. Edwards is still not over with the crowd yet (which is understandable given how this is probably actually their third actual day of seeing Eddie as champ). Eli Drake is good but still tries hard at times. Bennett is solid but he is interjecting himself back in the main event after the Cody detour. It was all find but EC3 was the best. Also, it’s funny that these segments usually lead to some sort of Moose match and that it seems that TNA is not confident in Moose’s promo ability yet.
1. Moose vs. Mike Bennett in a World Title Qualifying Match. Moose dominated early on with the chops. Bennett caught Moose with two fists. Moose came back with a dropkick. Moose went for the gamebreaker but Maria pulled Mike Bennett out of the ring when Moose turned his back for the move. Earl Hebner ejected Maria for interfering. Bennett gained the upper hand in the ring with a boot and chop block to Moose. Mike Bennett then targeted the left leg of moose for a stretch. Bennett quickly stopped Moose’s temporary momentum by dropkicking his knee. Bennett continued his onslaught on the left knee of Moose.
Bennett went for a suplex but had it blocked. Bennett settled to kicking Moose’s knee. Moose Moose’d up but Bennett stopped it with a rake to the eyes. Moose countered with several headbutts. Moose tried to rush Bennett but sold the effects of Bennett’s attack to the left knee. Moose managed to adjust and hit Bennett with a popup powerbomb and running senton. Moose missed the gamebreaker and Bennett grounded Moose again with the key to the left knee. Bennett hit Moose with a piledriver to pick up a nearfall on Moose. Bennett had his cutter blocked and hit his Moose punches. Moose went for the gamebreaker but Bennett kicked him as he turned his back again. Moose hit Bennett with a kick but Bennett fought through with a running cutter. Moose rolled to the apron to recover. Bennett continued to target the left leg.
Moose caught Bennett midair and tossed him into the steel steps. Moose then knocked himself out by running into the steps. Mike Bennett rolled into the ring to beat Earl Hebner’s ten count. Moose was counted out.
Mike Bennett defeated Moose via pinfall in 6:55 to qualify for a shot at the TNA Title.
Mike Bennett sold excitement while making his way to his feet. Moose was still selling the shoulder ram and knee in pain. Josh Mathews recapped last week’s Tag Title encounter between the Hardys and DCC which led to Matt Hardy developing amnesia…
Al Snow was discovered by the interviewer backstage. Snow said he was back and stronger than ever. Snow said he was back from the worst injury of his career from what the Hardys did to him. Snow was excited to celebrate with The Tribunal in the ring and he said the Tribunal loves him… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Both Mike Bennett have had hits and misses as matches in TNA. This was one of their better matches. I liked Bennett’s targeting of a single body part where he still fought dirty yet it wasn’t in your typical chickenshit heel way. Moose put together a better overall match and did a good job selling the knee injury. The one thing I would change with Moose’s moveset is he should go with the “Go To Hell” powerbomb rather than the Gamebreaker. I believe he’s trying to do a modified Okada Rainmaker, but he looks like a dope when his opponents escape the short arm move after he turns his back on them.
It was Cameron, North Carolina time! Jeff Hardy was making his way over to the Matt Hardy compound on his dirt bike. Jeff was checking up on Matt. Reby said Matt has been talking different, looking different, and dressing different since the fall. Reby said she wasn’t sure if it was amnesia or just forgetting who he is. She told Jeff to see for himself. Matt was doing come carpentry. Señor Benjamin said he was laid back, (en espanol) “With my mind on my money and my money on my mind”… Wait a sec!…(Ok that cracked me up!). In fact, Señor Benjamin said that while sippin on Gin and Juice.
Matt Hardy was wearing a knit sweater and said that home improvement was liberating. He wondered what “Mr. Benjamin” thought and Señor Benjamin said that he did it wrong and should nail higher (en espanol). Matt said he doesn’t speak Spanish and Benjamin said it in English. Reby said that Matt wants to build another dining room even though they already have a dining room. Jeff wondered what the hell Matt was doing and Matt said it was obvious that he’s making a new dining room which will be marvelous. He said this in a pretty good west coast accent. Jeff asked Matt if he recognizes him and Matt said his memory escapes him. Jeff told Matt to think of a violin as he reenacted the lead-in to the Final Deletion match. Matt wondered what the hell Jeff was doing and if Jeff was okay.
Jeff said they were the world tag team champions. Matt wondered if that was from the wrestling on the TV. Jeff agreed. Matt said that sounded violent and he’s not a violent person. Jeff said they have been doing it for 24/25 years! Matt said he doesn’t think so because he’s an engineer. He said even though he wears a white collar he’s a blue collar man as evident in the work he’s done with the new dining room. Reby recommended she had something that would jog his memory inside of the house. Señor Benjamin acted like he was working on the dining room lightly…
John’s Thoughts: You would think that this is going to get old someday, but Matt Hardy and crew continue to find new things to freshen this act up. Now we are introduced to Suburban Civil Engineer Matt! Matt actually had a better west cost accent than his first few weeks with the Broken Matt accent. My personal favorite was when Señor Benjamin channeled Snoop Dogg and was actually sippin’ on Gin and Juice. Laid back… With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.
The Tribunal came out next for a promo segment. Baraka said the Tribunal is here tonight to make a statement. He said it was a statement that the world will take notice of. Baron Dax said Basille Baraka was brutal while he was the Judge Baron Dax. Dax said they wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for one man. He said the crowd should stand up, shut up, and welcome Coach Al Snow. Al Snow made his return to the Impact Zone with all smiles.
Al Snow said it was great to be back and liked the favorable reaction. He actually got a decent reaction by Impact Zone standards. Snow thanked the Tribunal for avenging him against the horrible Hardys. Baraka said it wasn’t for Al Snow. He said all they ever did was never for Al Snow because they never needed Snow. Snow yelled at Baraka and said they wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. Dax tried to calm down Snow and said Snow was hanging on to them. Snow said they hung on his coattails. Baraka blindsided Al Snow and the Tribunal beat down Al Snow. They kicked Snow in the balls. This prompted Mahabali Shera to slowly walk to the ring for some reason. He tried to fight but then got his balls kicked eventually. The crowd barely even cared about this segment by the end of it…
John’s Thoughts: I like the Tribunal’s new look and Al Snow was still comically great as usual but ultimately this segment was a miss all around. The Tribunal are still just French jobber heels and Mahabali Shera still sucks. Well, It was at least fun to see Shera get beat up for some reason. On a serious note, I think the crowd would have been more hot if that were Grado as opposed to Mahabali Shera. Random thought! Since India is one of their only big television deals left, I honestly pray that they don’t give Shera another main event push like they were teasing last year before their tour of India got derailed.
Jessie Godderz was waiting for Aron Rex to show up to the building. He pointed out the dirty tactics that Rex employed. Godderz said this wasn’t about a title now. It was about him kicking Rex’s ass…
2. Abyss vs. Ethan Carter III in a World Title Qualifying match. Abyss dominated the match early on. EC3 fought back with some punches. Abyss staggered with the jawbreaker. Abyss blocked the one percenter and gave EC3 a splash in the corner. EC3 turned the tables with chops on the outside of the ring. Abyss countered with a chokeslam to the ring apron. Abyss dominated for stretch of the match.
EC3 managed to start his offense after drop kicking the leg of Abyss. After the stinger splash, EC3 gave Abyss a missile dropkick. Abyss hit a chokeslam on EC3 after blocking the One Percenter. Abyss brought a chair in the ring. EC3 dodged and locked din the rear naked choke on Abyss. Abyss tapped out.
Ethan Carter III defeated Abyss via submission in 6:34 to qualify for a shot at the World Title.
EC3 marched quickly to the back. The camera cut to Gail Kim backstage ready to give a monumental announcement after the commercial break… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Fine win for EC3 and at least Abyss got himself out of X Division hell for at least one week, but the match wasn’t that good. Mostly due to Abyss just being methodical in the ring and him having no credibility at this point.
After some recaps it was back to Cameron, North Carolina. Reby thought that Music would be what heals Matt of his memory loss. Suburban Matt came downstairs after putting together a pot of lobster bisque. Jeff said to save the bisque for later and to sing a song. They sung Jeff’s current obsolete theme and wanted Matt to fill in on the “Obsolete” part. He just looked around confused and even said the song sounded ironic. Jeff wanted to bring Matt out on a ride. Matt wondered to his wife “Debbie” if Jeff was trustworthy to ride with. Reby yelled at Matt and corrected him on her name.
Matt wondered where Brother “Hero’s” car was. Jeff said he doesn’t have a car he has two wheels and the bike they were riding was the bike that broke Jeff Hardy’s legs. Matt said that wasn’t exciting…
Jeremy Borash said he was in the ring right now as a friend. He talked about meeting Gail Kim eleven years ago. Borash said he even got to travel together with her and became best friends with her husband. Borash called her a world class athlete and professional. Borash said he came out here to conduct this interview personally and introduced Gail Kim to the Impact Zone.
Borash said Gail was here tonight as not only a TNA Hall of Famer, she was here as the six time TNA Knockouts Champion. Borash said Gail has fought for all those victories but there was something that was heavy on her heart that she had to announce tonight. Gail Kim said Jeremy Borash wasn’t only a friend he was family. Gail Kim said this business has made her a better friend, coworker, and wife. She said it gave her everything and she was thanking everyone. The crowd thanked her back. Gail said all she could hope for was be Knockouts Champion and would like to inspire others. Gail Kim called out Jade. Josh Mathews said that people like Pope said that Jade reminds people of Gail Kim.
Gail Kim thanked Jade and said that it’s no secret that Gail thinks Jade is the future of the division. Gail said when she looks at Jade she sees the same woman who walked in this company ten years ago who had the drive, the passion, and desire to succeed in every way. Gail Kim started to crack up in emotion. Gail Kim said she wanted to let her know that she believes in her. Gail Kim said Jade was the future of women’s wrestling. Gail Kim said it was important to have Jade, the fans, her friends out here. She said she was thinking about something for the last while that was hard for her to say. Decay’s entrance theme interrupted Gail Kim as Decay made their entrance.
Rosemary stopped Steve and Abyss from entering the ring. Rosemary gave Gail Kim the mist. Rosemary hit an F5 on Jade. Abyss manhandled Jeremy Borash as Rosemary locked in the guillotine choke on Gail Kim. Crazzy Steve was restraining and taunting Jade against the turnbuckle. Rosemary turned her attack on Jade with Steve restraining her. Abyss set up a trash can which allowed Rosemary to hit the Van-Terminator on Jade. Josh Mathews talked about Rosemary anointing Jade until her “monumental announcement” was interrupted…
John’s Thoughts: Were they going for a faux (or actual) retirement angle? It was a decent retirement-esque speech but they didn’t do enough with Jade to make us see her as the future of the TNA Women’s division. What I am really excited to see is Rosemary being inserted into the women’s division because she’s the complete package when it comes to women wrestlers not named Gail Kim at the moment in TNA. One hidden gem this year in one of Rosemary’s few women’s matches, was Gail Kim vs. Rosemary. Gail Kim has good matches with about everyone but Rosemary was one of the few people in the current division to have a smooth match with her.
It’s X Division Time, but this time it’s for a shot at the TNA Title…
3. Trevor Lee vs. DJ Z vs. Rockstar Spud in a World Title Qualifying Match. Spud ducked out early. Trevor Lee took advantage of the Spud distraction to give a punt kick to Zema on the outside. Lee and Spud eventually bickered on the outside which Zema took advantage of with a springboard senton. Zema hit a unique armdrag on Lee on the inside of the ring. Spud was thrown off the top rope. Trevor Lee then gave Zema a body slam on top of spud and hit Spud with a gutwrench suplex.
Trevor Lee tossed around Zema easily. Rockstar Spud tossed Lee out to try to steal the pinfall on Zema but Zema kicked out. Spud mounted the ground and pound and a methodical offense. He then did a tightrope legdrop on Zema. Trevor Lee lifted Spud with the gutwrench suplex. Lee battled with Z a bit. Zema gave Spud and lee elbows. Zema grounded Lee with a back elbow. Lee Blocked the ZDT. Spud tried to steal the win with a low blow. Trevor Lee gave Spud the fishermen’s buster to pick up the pinfall victory on him.
Trevor Lee defeated Rockstar Spud and DJ Z via pinfall in 4:19 to qualify for a world title shot.
Josh Mathews told us that this match was bedlam as he went over the high spots and highlights…
Robbie E and Grado were chatting with Billy Corgan’s security guard Aiden O’ Shea. He said they had a match with each other as a team. They were hyped up until they found out their opponent. They thought they had the advantage until they found out it was a two on one match against Bobby Lashley. Grado had a frown and said they could try at least… [C]
John’s Thoughts: As bad as most multi-men X Division spotfests have become, TNA has set the bar so low with things like random Ultimate X’s and Team X Gold, that the standard three way is still unnecessary but not as bad at the low bar set. I’d like to think that TNA is finally getting behind their sole internet darling Trevor Lee, but they truly don’t know how to utilize the gem that they have in their possession.
Brandi Rhodes walked in on Allie watching Braxton Sutter matches on her tablet and commented that she thinks they’d make a good couple (they’re a real life couple… fyi). Brandi said she though Allie held her own against Laurel. Brandi said she needed help against Sienna and Maria since they were kicking her butt. Allie said she can’t help since Maria pays her bills. Brandi said Allie has to stand up for herself. Allie refused with a sad face…
4. Bobby Lashley vs. Grado and Robbie E in a handicap World Title Qualifying match. Grado went for a German Suplex but to no avail. Robbie E tagged in and took a delayed vertical suplex as Lashley no sold Grado’s strikes. Lashley put the boots to Robbie E in the corner. Josh Mathews pointed out that this was not tornado rules and tags still had to be made. Grado tagged in and gave his team a little advantage with an axe handle. Robbie E tagged in and gave Lashley a flying axehandle of his own. The team managed to land a double suplex on Lashley. Grado was left with Lashley.
Grado gained a little advantage with an eye poke. Lashley ended any momentum of Grado with a spinebuster. Robbie almost did something but instead ran into a spear from Lashley.
Bobby Lashley defeated Robbie E and Grado in 2:58 via pinfall to qualify for a world title shot.
Josh Mathews wondered if Lashley was being punished by Billy Corgan. They then replayed clips of Lashley’s dominance in this match…
John’s Thoughts: Some people would complain about Lashley having to sell to two comedy wrestlers but Josh Mathews did a good job here pointing out how two men should beat one but Lashley was Lashley. He had to sell a bit but he was still able to dispatch of the cannon fodder tag team.
Aron Rex was admiring his face in his championship while being driven in his car. Rex said his reflection made him one with the title. Rex then said that Jessie Godderz wanted to see him and that he might want to congratulate him for beating him. Rex then said Jessie Godderz look like he had a bit too much creatine as he saw him out the windshield. Rex got out of the car and Jessie Godderz complained about last week and said he was going to kick Rex’s ass. Rex said his only shenanigans were “winning”. Godderz then surprised Rex with a beatdown in the studio area.
It was Hardy compound time. Jeff gave Suburban Matt a ride on his dirtbike to the lake of reincarnation. Matt looked freaked out. Jeff tried to get Matt to talk to Skarsgard the dilapidated boat. Matt said he couldn’t talk to a boat and was not magical. Jeff said Matt was magical and wanted to know what was happening in Matt’s head. Matt said it was hard to de”scribe”. This summoned Matt’s scribe who wanted to scribe for Matt. Well… Matt is still a wizard! Jeff tried to get Matt to go in the lake but Matt thought the water was to cold and gross. Jeff tried to push Matt in but Matt refused to submerge himself. Jeff said he didn’t need Matt and was going to fight DCC himself. Matt said that fighting was barbaric. He recommended Jeff that communication is the answer…
Back on Impact is was time for the Impact main event. Jeremy Borash handled the formal ring introductions.
5. Eddie Edwards vs. Eli Drake for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Eli Drake locked in the early hammer lock with Edwards quickly turning the tables. Drake pushed off Eddie Edwards off to reset things a bit. Edwards popped out of Drakes moves until he hit a shoulder tackle on Edwards. Edwards took down Drake with the side headlock. Drake escaped and hit calculated strikes on the world champion. Drake dodged a tope. Edwards changed his game up a bit by hitting a huracanrana on Drake. Eli Drake gave Edwards a backtoss which made his back target the apron.
Drake went back to his calculated strikes within the ring. Drake hit a popup body slam on Eddie Edwards leading to a nearfall. Edwards gained some breathing room after tripping Drake off the top rope. Eddie Edwards connected with a superplex. Drake and Edwards sold the superplex with fatigue. Drake skinned the cat but ran into a clothesline from Eddie. Eddie Edwards barely hit his signature tope and launched himself into the audience.
Drake dodged a corner splash. Edwards hit Drake with a codebreaker leading to a nearfall. Drake rolled away from the double footstomp and hit his finisher the BFT Blunt force trauma. This wasn’t the finish because Josh Mathews called it like Vince was in the headsets. Edwards hit an overhead kick on Drake. Drake escaped the backpack stunner. Drake reversed into a swinging side slam to pick up another nearfall. Josh did his “we have a new champ” WWE thing again. Eli Drake went high risk and missed a flying clothesline and Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party for the pinfall victory.
Eddie Edwards defeated Eli Drake via pinfall in 10:21 to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
The DCC made their Wyatt Family teleportation surprise entrance. They dominated Eddie Edwards. There was a mild chant in favor of DCC. Edwards was laid out and they placed the title on the chest of Edwards. The right guy revealed himself to be Eddie Kingston, but the broadcast team acted like they had no idea who he was. Bram was in fact not dead nor eaten in that he was the left guy. The middle guy revealed himself to be James Storm, which popped the crowd in his favor. The crowd chanted “Welcome Back” to Storm as Impact ended.
John’s Thoughts: Decent main event. The only flaw being that Drake hasn’t built up any in-ring credibility while Edwards is still a work in progress as world champion. Mathews didn’t do Drake any favors by killing his nearfalls with a tame version of the Classic Vince McMahon call. The DCC attack was a nice recovery for the DCC after having to sell the Broken Hardy comedy. The problem with that is that they got a huge babyface reaction since Storm is a more established babyface than Edwards at this point and it didn’t help their cause in trying to get Eddie over with the Impact zone in the span of a few days. Plus, Storm looks like he is the leader of yet another Wyatt Family derivative. At least these are the businessmen version of the Wyatts.
This was a solid episode of Impact with minor flaws here and there. Again, the thing that held the show together was the hook of the Matt Hardy madness from Cameron, North Carolina. Check out the TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List later today, and I’ll be by soon with a member exclusive audio review.