11/24 Moore’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: The Thanksgiving Episode, EC3 vs. Eli Drake in a title shot vs. voice match, Reby Hardy tries to jog Matt Hardy’s memory, the return of the TNA Turkey Bowl, Jeff Hardy vs. Bram in a No DQ match

Logo_TNA_dn_600By John Moore

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

The DCC’s assault on Eddie Edwards and Jeff Hardy was featured in the introductory teaser video. The video was mostly the three on two handicap match where James Storm picked up the win after nailing Jeff Hardy with the Last Call Superkick…

Jeff Hardy made his entrance to begin Impact where he sung his own entrance theme while interacting with the Impact Zone fans. Jeff had both Tag Team Titles hanging off his shoulders. Jeff Hardy said tonight was a night of gathering; sharing thoughts about what you’re thankful for. He said he’s thankful for his family but he’s here alone tonight. Jeff said he’s thankful for his beautiful wife and the Hardy girls whom he really misses. Jeff said it was okay though because the Creatures (fans) count as family and he’s thankful for all of them. Jeff was showered in a “Thank You Jeff” chant.

Jeff said he’s not thankful for the three goofballs that took his brother out. Jeff said they broke his mind more than his vessel. Jeff said he had a premonition, he meant, a vision. That he had to come out here tonight and fight whoever wants to fight. Jeff said his brother Matt has been along his side throughout his career. Through the ladder matches, Jeff said Matt was the architect. Jeff said the Final Deletion has changed the game thanks to the broken brilliance of Matt Hardy. Jeff said he talked to the seven deities, he meant, God and and God told Jeff to come out and do some bad things to invade Matt’s memory to snap Matt out of what he is right now. Jeff yelled for James Storm, Bram, and “that other goofball” to pick one of them to fight Jeff Hardy tonight.

The DCC sound effects and video effects happened and we saw the usual feed from wherever the DCC film their videos. Storm (I think) said Thanksgiving was a sacred night by many. He said it was a night that represents breaking bread with family. Storm said Jeff knows the security and comfort of family and right now Jeff wants to reach out and make a connection. Storm said there was no one by Jeff’s side tonight. He said Matt was not here to help Jeff. Storm said the creatures may chant his name but it doesn’t matter, they are not one, they are many. Storm said they will destroy the broken and obsolete. They agreed to a no disqualification tonight, but the fight for Jeff’s survival begins now. Jeff said he digs it.

The DCC’s entrance upbeat entrance music played. The DCC made their way slowly to the ring as Jeff waited. Storm entered the ring first only to eat a Twist of Fate. Kingston and Bram had the numbers advantage and beat down Jeff with punches. Jeff managed to fight both of them off and grounded them with the Whisper of the Wind. Storm went for the last call but Jeff rolled out of the ring to lead the crowd in obsolete and delete chants. Jeff’s entrance Music played as Jeff went up the ramp. James Storm pointed at Jeff while Jeff continued to lead Delete chants…

John’s Thoughts: Jeff’s intro promo was good. He was in full on Jeff Hardy mode, which is an automatic pop wherever he goes. The DCC just aren’t clicking at the moment. They are just James Storm’s latest faction, and the problem with the last James Storm faction was that his minions just served as cannon fodder for him, and Bram and Kingston haven’t gained any credibility in getting beat up by the Hardys and barely defeating Jeff and Edwards in a handicap match.

Its Cameron, North Carolina time with forgetful Matt Hardy. Matt was carrying around a cooking pot and said it was a lovely Fall day. Matt had a complementary chat with Senor Benjamin as he was enjoying a Playboy Magazine outdoors. Matt said that Mr. Benjamin has already dipped into his peppermint bonbons. We saw a spoon in a bucket labeled peppermint bonbon. Matt said to be careful since it’s addictive. Senor Benjamin said it could use some lemon zest. Matt complemented Benjamin on his refined palette. Matt saw Benjamin’s “little friend” the gizmo Vanguard 1 who was sipping on lemonade with his camera. Matt talked about making tangerine custard and said that Vanguard 1 would love it. Matt thanked Senor Benjamin for overseeing the Matt Hardy Thanksgiving Ice Cream Social. Matt said the old Thanksgiving process is old and antiquated.

Matt said killing turkeys was wrong since they are living creatures. Matt said instead we should live off the earth with tangerines, lemons, and ice cream. Matt said he was going to set up the tables and welcomed Benjamin’s advice. Senor Benjamin smiled while Vanguard 1 told Benjamin that Benjamin would be in big trouble once Matt remembers. Vanguard 1 then lowered his “camera” in sorrow and thought the sad though of “IF” he remembers…

John’s Thoughts: So Matt goes from engineer, to deleting emails, to being a vegetarian chef. This Matt Hardy side story is still fun but I wonder how much steam we can get out of these cinematic skits. What kept things fresh was the quirky Vanguard 1. The drone and Senor Benjamin are like Matt Hardy’s C3PO and R2D2. Vanguard 1 gets an extra point for emoting sadness through a camera moment and subtitles when he showed despair in thinking that Matt Hardy’s amnesia might be permanent.

Oh, damn, Jeremy Borash announced that it was Team X Gold time… It’s the same three teams now. TNA has found a way to beat WWE in homogenizing their crusiserweight division by making them clusters of meaningless trios, and I feel bad for Decay for having to be relegated to the X Division fresh off working with the Hardy Boyz. Josh Mathews told us that this match has stakes to it. The winners of this match would get an X Division Title shot. Pope D’Angelo Dinero correctly wondered if that meant they would all face DJ Z in some sort of multi-person match.

John’s Thoughts: They are fighting for a title shot to a title where every other week all those guys in the ring get a title shot in some multi-person spotfest. I just can’t stop laughing at that, I’m sorry! I give up trying to think about this!

1. Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett vs. Rockstar Spud, Crazzy Steve, and Abyss vs. DJ Z, Mandrews, and Braxton Sutter in a Team X Gold elimination match for X Division Title Shots. Josh Mathews said if Team Go For Broke wins DJ Z will give his guys title shots. Pope logically pointed out that the specific rule favors DJ Z which means he would have one less person to face in his multi-man match. Pope is actually on fire tonight bringing the out the logic that Josh Mathews is trying to decipher.

Andrews, Everett, and Steve worked together first. Everett hit Steve with a stunner and Everett ate a dropkick from Andrews. Andrews hit body scissor moves on both Everett and Steve. Everyone gave Spud a body slam next. Spud tried to send Abyss after everyone else, but Abyss gave Spud a body slam too because Spud called him an idiot. Abyss gave Everett the Black Hole Slam. Andrews gave Abyss a missile dropkick to send him outside. Abyss pulled Andrews away and hit him with a chair which got him ejected from the match.

Crazzy Steve made Andrews tap out with the Rear Naked Choke. Steve and Sutter teamed up on the heavyweight Marshe Rockett. Sutter broke the alliance with punches. Steve locked in the sleeper on Sutter. Andrew Everett hit Steve with a moonsault to lead to his elimination. DJ Zema caught Everett during his celebration with the ZDT to eliminate him. Trevor Lee had a German Suplex blocked and went for the rollup. Sutter kicked Zema out and hit Lee with the Paydirt to eliminate Lee. Rockett gave Sutter a powerslam. Spud took advantage of that to attack the teeth of Sutter.

Sutter and Rockett put the boots to Sutter. Rockett got tired of getting ordered around by Spud who forgot that Decay was eliminated. Spud went for the handshake but ate a crane kick and Rock Bottom from Rockett to get eliminated. Sutter blocked the Rock Bottom but missed the corner splash. Sutter hit Marshe Rockett with the paydirt to eliminate Rockett.

Team Go For Broke defeat Rockstar Spud and Decay, and The Helms Dynasty w/ Marshe Rockett in 8:02 to win X Division Title shots.

Braxton Sutter waived his Team X Gold Flag like he usually does…

Allie was playing with cutout figures backstage cut like pilgrims and native Americans. Allie talked about having many vegetarian foods until Maria interrupted. Maria said it was stupid and said that one of the characters looked like Braxton. Allie said she didn’t have a big family growing up and this is how she celebrates it. Laurel Van Ness said she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laurel said Braxton doesn’t want girls who cry, he wants women like Laurel. Maria said they were going to celebrate Thanksgiving. This excited Allie who thought they were all going to have a Thanksgiving dinner like a family. Maria said the dinner will only include Laurel and Maria with Allie serving them on the double date. Maria said Allie will dress up like the cutout and then be happy, like a pilgrim. Allie did her pouty face. Laurel Van Ness said playtime is over… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The X Division match could be summed up as, decent in ring action, but ultimately pointless. As for Maria and Allie, they continue to be a highlight of the Impact shows. Allie is just so damn sympathetic. Laurel is starting to grow into the mean girl role and it helps having Maria around. I do wonder, does every mean girl these days have to say “Playtime is over”? I mean, Doll House did, Dana Brooke and Emma did, and now Laurel?

Chef Matthew was mixing something together as Senor Benjamin stopped Matt and told him that he needs more eggs. Matt thanked Mr. Benjamin and said it could have been a culinary catastrophe. He said Benjamin was the best and Benjamin gave the thumbs up. Vanguard 1 shook his camera in disappointment. Matt said his tangerine custard sorbet is going to put the other chefs to shame and will make the culinary brilliance of Robert Irvine seem “Obsolete”. This caused Matt to hear Jeff Hardy’s Obsolete theme in his head.

The Final Deletion referee drove up in a very familiar way. Matt said he was happy that the ref could make it to the Thanksgiving Ice Cream Social. Matt asked if the guy was a “licensed official”. The referee took this as Matt getting his memory back. Matt said it wasn’t back and he just knew the referee because he recently watch the Final Deletion. The referee said that he goes back ten to twelve years with Matt and Reby sent him there to help Matt get his memory back with videos. The referee gave a sigh. Senor Benjamin said that Vanguard 1 drinks too much. Vanguard 1 responded by saying “don’t judge me bro”…

Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Mike Bennett, and Laurel Van Ness made their entrance to the ring where a Thanksgiving dinner was set up. Mike Bennett wore his usual pineapple shirt. Maria told everyone Happy Thanksgiving from The Miracle, Laurel, and the first lady of professional wrestling. Maria said to start the dinner she would like to bring out a real Pilgrim, Allie. Allie came out with Turkey sound effects as entrance music while wearing a Pilgrim cosplay. Maria said under the lights and costume Allie must be sweating like a pig. Laurel said she wishes Braxton was out here to see this. Laurel mentioned that she invited Braxton which disappointed Allie.

Braxton Sutter came out with his entrance theme. Maria told Allie not to look at Braxton. Maria said she wants everyone to sit down except Allie and for everyone to tell her what they are thankful for. Maria said she was thankful for The Miracle, Laurel, and how she’s the first lady or professional wrestling. Mike Bennett said there was so much to be thankful for. He told the fans to shut up because they were chanting for Allie. Bennett said he was thankful for food, for the great Tom Brady, and for the first lady of professional wrestling. Laurel was thankful for Maria and for her date Braxton Sutter. Allie wanted to say what she’s thankful for. Allie said she was thankful for the Impact Zone fans. Maria cut her off and said that no one cares what she is thankful for.

Maria ordered Allie to serve them the meal. Laurel had a microphone and asked Braxton Sutter what he wanted to do later. Laurel said she had ideas and in College they called her Laurel Van “Yes!” (wasn’t that about the same line Stephanie McMahon used to try to insinuate that Daniel Bryan had an affair with Laurel Van Ness?). Allie had enough and called Laurel a big meanie. She said there was nothing vegan at the table! Laurel continued to bully Allie until Allie took a cream pie and slammed it in Maria’s face which made Braxton Sutter do some cartoony facial expressions. The crowd gave Allie the “Yes!” chant as Maria exploded in yelling. Mike Bennett creeped over and started to taste and try to lick the cream on Maria’s face…

An EC3 and Eli Drake video package aired where EC3 and Drake were hyping up their Voice vs. Title Shot Luchas de Apuestas. EC3 called Eli Drake a choker. Eli Drake said his usual Eli Drake things, probably for the last time… [C]

John’s Thoughts: That segment was starting to drag a bit and some of the part were a bit odd. For one, Sutter played the role of generic man meat. It was also odd to have microphones to talk about things around a dinner table. Which is why these things usually happen backstage as much as I don’t like these holiday campy skits. Allie and Maria continue to do a stellar job at their roles though so there’s that. Also, as strange as it was the way Mike Bennett played trying to lick the cream off of Maria really made me crack up for some reason.

The Final Deletion referee was trying to help Matt remember. The referee showed Matt Hardy defeating Ethan Carter III at Bound for Glory 2015 in Cameron, North Carolina alongside his entire family in the ring. Matt said he still has no knowledge of this. The ref showed Matt’s heel turn in 2016 where he beat EC3 again. This astonished Matt because he saw how good EC3 is on TV. Matt said he treated EC3 like his bitch which was cool to Matt. Matt thought the Twist of Fate to EC3 and Drew Galloway was violent and that shocked Matt. The ref said Matt has done this for 20 years. Matt said he was afraid of ladders since he only uses them for electrical work. The ref said the dinosaur guy was Tyrus. Matt asked about the little guy was, and the ref told Matt his name was Spud. Matt asked if that meant if he was a po-ta-to. The ref was disappointed that nothing was getting through and he confirmed that to Reby who didn’t like it…

2. Eli Drake vs. Ethan Carter III in a Title Shot vs. Voice match. EC3 and Drake traded punches to begin the match. Josh Mathews clarified that Eli Drake will lose his voice for only the rest of the year. Eli Drake gained an early advantage. EC3 turned the tide and mounted punches on Eli Drake. Eli Drake came right back with punches of his own. EC3 gave Drake a running dropkick. They brawled until the commercial break. [C]

EC3 and Drake traded chops at ringside. EC3 whipped Drake against the steps several times. Eli Drake got some “you can’t wrestle” chants. Drake went for a front suplex which EC3 blocked but instead got tripped to the outside. Drake gave EC3 a back suplex on the steps. Drake went back in the ring to wait for a countout but EC3 recovered. EC3 was welcomed to the ring with boots and a chinlock. EC3 fought out but Drake caught EC3 with a scoop slam. Eli Drake gave EC3 a jumping elbow drop. Drake ran into a few elbows from EC3. Drake came right back and hit EC3 with a leaping Superplex when EC3 went for a high risk move.

Drake grabbed a microphone and talked about Thanksgiving. He said there was one man with a voice that was a hit and that was E-li Drake. He then slapped EC3 while calling him a Dummy. Yeah! He also told us that his victory was a Fact of Life. EC3 stopped Drake’s promo with a TKO. EC3 fired up with his signature offense like his jawbreaker and corner splash. EC3 hit the flapjack on Drake to set up for the One percenter. Eli Drake blocked it and turned the argentine backbreaker into a neckbreaker. Drake went for a cutter but EC3 countered temporarily into a sleeper. EC3 gave Drake a boot and went high risk. Drake couldn’t muster the Superplex this time. EC3 hit Drake with the frogsplash.

EC3 missed the splash this time and ate a neckbreaker. Eli Drake did an atomic drop slam to get a nearfall. Eli Drake went for BFT but EC3 countered. Both men struggled to get to their feet. They traded punches but were even for the most part. Eli Drake hit his BFT finisher and Josh Mathews ruined the moment by doing the classic Vince McMahon call. Eli Drake went for the one percenter but fell on his face. EC3 fell on his face as well because Drake fought out. EC3 kicked Drake to set up the One Percenter and nailed it the next attempt. Eli Drake actually kicked out! And Josh Mathews didn’t ruin that nearfall. Nice!

EC3 attempted his rear naked choke but Eli Drake escaped. Eli Drake tried to hit the BFT again but EC3 ducked it into the Rear Naked Choke. Eli Drake tapped out.

Ethan Carter III defeated Eli Drake via submission in 13:30 to make Eli Drake silent for the month of December (as Josh Mathews was trying to clarify?).

Josh Mathews said EC3 has silenced Eli Drake once and for all and Drake is silent for “the rest of the year”…

Back at Cameron, North Carolina, Reby Sky hired a hypnotist to try to get Matt Hardy his memories back. Matt thought he was a jewelry salesman because he held a pendulum. The doctor swung the pendulum and made Matt fall asleep. He then snapped his fingers to return Broken Matt Hardy. Reby was excited as Matt talked about leaving Vince Meekmahan and eventually becoming Broken. Matt Hardy said it was now time for him to “Save the World!”. The doctor said when he snaps his fingers Matt will be his one true self. Matt went back to being Ice Cream Matthew. Reby gave a sigh… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Was that Eli Drake’s best match to date? At least it was his most memorable with the added stipulation. The match started off as formula but it picked up with Eli Drake kicking out of a finisher that I feel is pretty protected. Plus, it should dispatch mid-carders, so Eli Drake gains from kicking out, more than someone like Drew Galloway or Lashley would. What sucked was how it looks like they are already pulling back on their stipulation by saying that Eli Drake loses his voice for the rest of the year? That’s a month which includes a Hardy Special and maybe recap episodes. And in the TNA taping world, Eli Drake technically only loses his voice for about a day!

3. Al Snow and Mahabali Shera vs. Baron Dax and Basille Baraka. Al Snow dominated Baraka to start off. He gave Baraka headbutts to the chest and a shortarm clothesline. Earl Hebner stopped Snow from kicking Baraka in the balls. Snow tagged in Shera who did his slow Shera things in the ring. There were some wristlocks too. Snow tagged in and took a double shoulder block. Baraka gave Snow an eye rake. The crowd chanted “you’ve still got it”. Shera tagged in as well as Dax. Dax was knocked down and Snow did the Shera dance with Shera.

Shera went back to the wristlocks. For a while. Baraka and Dax then walked into Shera’s bodyslams. Al Snow tagged in and gave Baraka a kick. Baraka caught Snow from behind. Snow managed to fight of both of them to tag in Shera. Shera hit Sky High but Dax kicked out. Shera went back to the arm and wristlocks. Dax escaped and put the boots to Shera. Baraka joined him. Baraka yelled “oui” and missed an elbow. Snow tagged in and hit shoulder blocks. Snow called for and hit the Snow Plow. Dax broke up the pin. Baraka kicked Snow in the balls. Shera put the boots to Dax. The Tribunal got disqualified for hitting Shera with the soft part of their belt wrapped around their hands.

Al Snow and Mahabali Shera defeated The Tribunal via Disqualification

Robbie E and Grado were complaining again in front of Billy Corgan’s “office”. Aiden O’Shea called them mutts, and said they were going to get a match. Robbie thought it was going to be something like Ultimate X. Aiden O’Shea informed them that they were bringing back the TNA Turkey Bowl. Robbie E went into heel comedy Bro Man mode from a few years ago and they did bad comedy…

Josh Mathews talked about how great of a tradition this was. He actually sounded very sarcastic in talking about all the greats that wore the Turkey suit like AJ Styles or Eric young…

4. Robbie E vs. Grado in a Turkey Suit match with Aiden O’Shea as the enforcer. Grado danced away from Robbie E. Comedy ensued. Robbie E fought out of the corner and more comedy ensued. They had a chop battle. Grado went for the bionic elbow. Robbie E hit a titty twister on Grado. Grado did the same to Robbie E. Robbie E tried to steal the win with the ropes. Grado tripped Robbie and tried to do the same but Aiden O’Shea was there to enforce the rules. Robbie E’s trunks were pulled revealing a thong. He sat on Grado to win.

Robbie E won.

Grado was forced to wear the TNA Turkey Bowl suit. He ended up liking it as Robbie E and he danced…

John’s Thoughts: Is this Dixie Carter who is so indulgent over some of the bad historic parts of TNA?

Rosemary cut a backstage promo where she called Jade Gail Kim’s chosen one. Rosemary said Jade wants to be the light in the darkness and wants to make history. She said Decay makes history everytime they make somebody decay. She said they survived the Great War and thrive in environments where they should have decay. She said they were like Nature’s cockroach that cannot be destroyed (like TNA?), but Jade can. She said the whole world would be watching and the hive watching over Decay. She said they will end Jade’s pathetic career as well as Gail Kim’s silly crusade for a chosen one. Decay. Decay… Decay…

Bram was wearing a Randy Orton Wyatt esque hooded jacket which means he was the one chosen for the no-dq match tonight.

5. Bram (w/ James Storm and Kingston) vs. Jeff Hardy. Bram started off his offense with a kick to the gut followed by subsequent strikes. Jeff locked in a resthold to regain his strength leading to a dropkick. Bram was tossed outside and Jeff followed up with a plancha. Jeff Hardy ended up distracted by James Storm heading into the break.[C]

James Storm was beating up Jeff with a chair back from the commercial. Bram stomped into Jeff as Kingston mocked the Hardy chants. Jeff managed to fight back in the ring. Josh Mathews questioned Jeff Hardy’s thinking for agreeing to a singles no-dq match that doesn’t make sense. Bram tossed Jeff outside to Kingston. Kingston threw Jeff into the barricade and steps. Bram took the action back in the ring when Kingston took a seat. Storm kicked Jeff in the back of the head when Jeff tried to mount an offense.

Storm kicked Jeff again from the top rope. Jeff quickly came back with a few of his signature spots and he managed to keep Kingston in check. Jeff couldn’t stop Storm. Jeff ran to the corner and hit Storm with whisper of the wind. Jeff then toss the chair a several times into Bram. Jeff gave Bram the Twist of Fate but Bram kicked out. Jeff hit another and went for a Swanton. This took enough time which allowed James Storm to trip Jeff off the top rope. Storm gave Jeff a Last Call while Bram followed up with the Impaler DDT to pick up the victory.

Bram defeated Jeff Hardy via pinfall in 7:22.

Kingston and Bram took a belt each while James Storm put on the mask…

Cut to the Hardy Compound where Matt Hardy was poking at a clock. Reby complained to Matt about all of the things Jeff and Her are trying to do to help Matt. Matt said she didn’t know what it is like to be Matt. Matt said people say he’s an engineer, a pro wrestler, but he wants to be a cook because it’s his passion. Jeff said Matt has to remember. Matt said people said he deletes, eats, and renders people obsolete and he’s trying to remember. He talked about the nine deities and Reby corrected him that they were seven. Matt marched out and said he doesn’t want to be known as the person who eats or deletes people. He wants to be known as the person who makes wonderful peach cobbler dammit. Matt said the delete chants were disgusting. He then called for the nine deities to give him a signs. He then corrected himself and the seven deities shot him with a lightning bolt. Matt was electrocuted. Reby went to check on Matt and Matt said he was back to being “Broken!”.

John’s Thoughts: Not a great match. This episode was a lot like 2015 TNA where Josh Mathews is forced to cover up a lot of the logic holes that TNA tends to fall through. DCC gains nothing in beating Jeff in a three on one match and Jeff just looks like a dope for agreeing two weeks in a row to handicap matches and this one had legal cheating. The DCC are also an enigma in a bad way too. Storm does have a cool aura about him. Kingston is strange. And Bram just looks like he doesn’t want to be there (and we aren’t going to get an explanation of what Decay did to him when they made it like they killed him?) This was a below average episode of Impact that was saved by a solid EC3 vs. Eli Drake match and the Broken Matt Hardy recovery saga. Check out Jason Powell’s TNA Hit List later today.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Mike McMahon of PWTorch.com discussing his background and podcast work, plus a long chat regarding Impact Wrestling coming out of Slammiversary, including a breakdown of the notable additions to the roster, and more...


Readers Comments (1)

  1. So glad I’m not the only one who thinks the good guys look like idiots for fighting the heels without help.

    The “don’t judge me,bro” line was the only thing to make me laugh during the whole Hardy stuff.

    Maybe they could have it to where Decay brought Bram to James Storm’s cabin? You know the one where he tortured Manik? …too much? lol

    They are using Rockstar Spud badly.

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