By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped in October in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
The opening intro video recapped the moment when Matt Hardy lost his memory after defending the Tag Team Titles against the DCC. Clips of Matt in suburban wuss mode were shown. Matt talked about wanting to be known for making wonderful peach cobbler dammit! The recap finished with Matt Hardy being electrocuted by the seven deities which in turned him back into his broken brilliance…
Aron Rex made his way to the ring for a Grand Championship title match. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary and Josh Mathews reminded us of the rules of the Grand Championship matches. Aron Rex asked how everyone was doing tonight and said he was going to point out the obvious. He said the last few months he has established the Grand Championship as the number one title in the industry, world, and any kind of competition. Rex said one thing he has always given all the people is what they asked for. Rex said in the spirit of competition he would like to issue an open challenge to anyone in the back who would like to try to take his Grand Championship.
Rex waited a while and no one showed. Suddenly Moose’s entrance theme built up and Aron Rex tried to pull back and said “no! Hit Grado’s Music!”. Jeremy Borash announced Moose as Aron Rex’s opponent. Rex kept yelling to stop the music as Moose made his way to the ring wearing a generic Impact Wrestling shirt. Josh Mathews reminded the viewers to sign up for TNA’s social media accounts while the screen reminded viewers to sign up for Dixie Carter’s twitter for some reason.
John’s Thoughts: Aron Rex is back to being Damien Sandow and all is right in the world. He also seems more comfortable playing this arrogant and posh character as opposed to whatever the hell the babyface “Game Changer” Aron Rex was supposed to be.
1. Aron Rex vs. Moose for the TNA Grand Championship. Josh Mathews pointed out how Moose’s athletic background might help him in this type of match. Rex started the match by doing yoga breathing. Rex then cowered to the ropes early in the match. Pope pointed out how Rex was stalling for time. Rex teased fighting only to roll out and do his signature Sandow cartwheel. Moose pushed Rex down and Rex made a flamboyant kip up. Rex locked in the headlock and used that to rake Moose’s eyes. Rex then went for the power of the punch (the hidden brass knuckles) but Moose dodged it and gave Sandow a discus clothesline to pick up the pinfall win.
Moose defeated Aron Rex via pinfall in 1:16 to become the new TNA Grand Champion.
Jeremy Borash formally announced that Moose was the new Grand Champion. Rex was comically crying on the ground. Jeremy Borash said that Moose won the title in record time and wanted more thoughts from Moose. Moose said when he arrived in TNA his first night he shocked the world and made a huge impact. Moose said Rex was a good champion but he had no chance. Moose said if the boys in the back want to challenge him for the title he has one word for them. He then led the crowd in the Moose arm pump. Jeremy Borash attempted to get an interview from the sobbing Aron Rex. Rex said he couldn’t do this right now as he walked out embarrassed in an exaggerated way.
The backstage interviewer asked Jeff Hardy if Broken Matt Hardy was here tonight. Jeff said he wasn’t sure but he knows that Matt has prepared himself for tonight. Jeff said he hasn’t spoken to Matt but was sure he was going to be here tonight. Jeff said Matt was broken even more with his head confused. Jeff said he’s not sure what Matt Hardy we’re going to see tonight. He said the one fact is they are going to defend the titles tonight. Jeff said it was like Deja Vu, something he’s seen before. Jeff took off his glasses to show that he had an iris/pupil-less contact lens…
John’s Thoughts: The title match was short and sweet and could be a good reset switch for both Moose and Aron Rex. What’s funny is both of them were miscast on the wrong end of the face/heel spectrum in their TNA debuts and now it looks like they are correctly slotted to be most effective. Moose still might need a manager to talk for him but at least he can bring a bit more creditability to the TNA Grand Championship matches. Rex is also becoming full Damien Sandow which is great! He seems so natural now with a lot of confidence.
Josh Mathews pointed out that Rosemary would be facing Jade in the Main Event for the vacant TNA Knockouts Championship. The DCC made their way to the Impact Zone ring next. They cut to clips where Jeff Hardy essentially lost a three on one handicap match that he asked for last week. James Storm grabbed a mic and pantomimed his usual promo mannerisms with canned Apple Text-to-speech filling in the words. Storm said they are DCC and they represent the people that have been trampled on. He said they represent the people that have been passed by and have never been given an opportunity (so they’re TNA’s social outcasts?). Storm said these masks aren’t here to hide their face but to show they are free to take a stand.
John’s Thoughts: To me, only because those DCC masks have a DCC logo in the top left corner, it looks like those masks are there so they can sell merch.
Storm said they are not here to delete anyone. Storm said they are not here to make anyone obsolete. He said the Hardys have found out when you stand in their way they will be erased. Storm said the more bodies that fall the more they rise. Storm said they are the DCC. Jeff Hardy made his entrance while singing his entrance theme with the fans. Jeff was about to cut a promo but allowed the crowd to chant “Obsolete” and “Delete”. Jeff said the DCC think they’re a virus and think they’re spreading.
Jeff said the Hardys are the World Tag Team Champions and the DCC are getting their title match tonight. Jeff said they would be fighting two men who survived the Great War. They would be fighting two men who survived the Final Deletion and got stronger. Jeff said the Final Deletion transformed him obsolete. Jeff said he was one with it and the DCC’s fate was worse than Obsolete. Jeff said their movement ends with the press of one button and that was “Delete!”. Kingston took off his mask and chuckled. Kingston said that was cute and where was Matt. Jeff punched Kingston in the gut and gave him a Twist of Fate. Bram and Storm dominated Jeff with the numbers advantage. Storm hit Jeff twice with the Tag Title and continued to put the beatdown on Jeff. The DCC sounder suddenly turned off the lights and Matt Hardy instantly transmitted in the ring. Matt gave Bram the Side Effect and then tossed Storm to the outside.
Jeff said “Brother Moore! I knew you’d come”. Matt said the tag team titles of the world belong to his broken brilliance and Brother Nero. Matt said to not fret because his memories have been restored more vivid than evahhhhh. Matt said tonight the DCC get the fight they so desire for the Tag Team Titles of the World against Jeff and himself. Matt said he was changing the acronym of the DCC (do we even know what DCC stands for?). Matt said DCC stands for Deletion Coming Cowards. Matt said they will “Delete. Delete…. Delete”. The Hardys piano mashup theme played as Matt led the crowd in Delete chants.
Team Go for Broke talked about how facing each other in an X Division Championship match was this tough journey or something. Wait? Don’t they usually face each other every week for the X Division Championship? Oh Gawd! Cut to commercial…[C}
John’s Thoughts: The DCC still don’t really serve a purpose other than being another James Storm faction. I honestly have no clue why Bram’s there. Storm was good in his pantomime promo since he showed that body language is a huge part of promo ability. Too bad it did nothing for DCC. Jeff was good tonight. Putting Matt on the shelf was good for the TV audience as it made his return seem like a big deal. Matt is a superstar in this company and a superstar in professional wrestling in general.
Josh Mathews recapped clips from Moose’s Title win. They then cut to the puke green intro graphic for the X Division. It was X Division time…
2. DJZ vs. Mandrews vs. Braxton Sutter for the TNA X Division Championship. DJ Z started the match off by yelling his babababa thing at the crowd. Josh Mathews pointed out how Zema was a two time champ while Andrews and Sutter have never won the belt. The three tried quick pin attempts to start. They then did the stalemate pose. Andrews managed to do a few armdrags on Sutter. Sutter recovered and went for a sunset flip. Andrews flipped out and hit a dropkick on Sutter. Andrews hit a northern lights suplex and standing shooting star on Zema to pick up a nearfall.
Sutter recovered and gave Andrews a shoulder block. Sutter planted Andrews with a powerslam. Andrews tossed Sutter to Zema who sent him outside. Andrews knocked Zema off the apron. Andrews went to the steel steps and did a moonsault. Andrews grabbed his skateboard and rode it down the ramp. That was dumb since it allowed Zema to hit him with an elbow. Zema then did his babababa thing again. Zema flipped over Sutter in the ring but sold a knee injury. Sutter pushed Andrews aside to let Zema recover. Andrews rolled up Sutter to start a fight sequence between him and Sutter.
Sutter was sent outside. Zema blocked a tope with a trip. Andrews kicked Zema who was on the top rope. Zema had a frankensteiner blocked by Zema. Sutter went for a superplex but it was blocked by Zema. Zema hit both men with a flying crossbody. Zema hit a double cutter on Andrews and Sutter. Sutter blocked the ZDT with a boot. Sutter hit Zema with the paydirt. Andrews hit Sutter with a stunner. Andrews hit Sutter with the shooting star press. Zema Ion rolled Andrews off of Sutter and pinned Andrews for the three count.
DJZ defeated Mark Andrews and Braxton Sutter via pinfall in 5:55 to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
The camera panned to mildly amused fans. Zema held up his title high. Braxton high fived Zema and called Andrews over to celebrate with their tag team partner. Team Go For Broke held Zema’s hand up high. Suddenly Andrews kicked Zema in his injured knee which surprised Braxton Sutter. Andrews sold being pissed about having the title win stolen from him. Andrews talked about working hard for that belt as he retreated up the ramp…
Backstage Laurel Van Ness was taunting Allie for being disappointed that Braxton Sutter didn’t win. Laurel said she has to cheer up Braxton tonight. Allie asked why she never sees Laurel and Braxton together. Laurel said it was called keeping it on the down low. Laurel said Braxton feels bad for Allie. Allie said Braxton doesn’t say that to her. Laurel said Braxton is just being nice but she doesn’t have to act nice to Allie since Allie works for Maria. Laurel said she knows Allie tried to hit her with the pie last week. Laurel said Allie will never have a man like Braxton and after tonight Allie will not have a job. Allie did her pouty face…
John’s Thoughts: Same old X Division stuff with the same old X Division guys. I’d like to say that I’m a little bit intrigued at the possible Mark Andrews heel turn since all these guys need some sort of identity or character; but I’ll hold my judgement on that because honestly we’ve been teased with X Division revivals for years and the X Division only ends up back at the bottom where TNA seems to think they deserve to be.
Maria and Laurel Van Ness made their way to the Impact ring. The crowd chanted “pie face” at her. Maria said it is the holiday season and she is a very charitable person. Maria said she has given so much to everyone here and have given them a role model. Maria said some people don’t seem to appreciate that. She yelled for Allie to make her way to the ring right now. Allie made her entrance and Josh Mathews assumed it was going to be a time for public humiliation. Maria yelled that nobody loves Allie and asked what does Allie has to say for herself. Allie said she was sorry she hit Maria in the face with a pumpkin pie last week. Maria said she knows that Allie wasn’t trying to hit Maria in the face and was trying to hit Laurel.
Maria said Allie was jealous with Laurel’s relationship with Braxton. Allie said that was not true. Maria said she had a few questions for Allie. She asked why did Allie lie to everyone about Maria’s hand being healed at Bound for Glory. Allie said she believes that Honesty was the best policy. Maria said honestly Allie was the worst assistant she’s ever had. Maria said she gets along just fine with Laurel. Laurel said she has a question and wondered what Allie thinks about Braxton Sutter going on a hot date with her last night. She talked about dancing and whispering sweet nothings. Laurel then whispered into Allie’s ear and Allie said Braxton would never say that! Maria pulled Laurel back and called Allie a loser.
Maria said Allie doesn’t know how to fight or how to do anything right. Maria said Allie messes up everything since she’s not a wrestler. Maria said Allie is just a stupid bitch. Allie had her pouty face locked in and gave Maria a slap. Josh Mathews said Maria has crossed the line. Maria said that was a mistake. Laurel blindsided Allie with a forearm and put the beatdown on her. Maria pulled Laurel and they retreated to the back…
Rosemary was in her decay lair or something. She cut a promo about getting stronger when decay happens and talked about the title match…
The DCC made their entrance for their Tag Team Title shot tonight. Storm wore a suit, Bram wore his hoodie, and Kingston wore a bulletproof vest for some reason. The Hardys were out next for the tag title match.
3. Broken Matt Hardy and “Brother Nero” Jeff Hardy vs. Bram and Kingston (w/James Storm) for the TNA Tag Team Championships. It appeared as if Bram and Kingston were the ones participating in the match. Jeff took on Bram while Matt fought Kingston. Matt slammed Kingston’s head against several turnbuckles. Matt did the same to Bram when he came in the ring. The Hardys gave Bram a double suplex. They did the same to Kingston. Jeff gave Bram a snapmare and a dropkick. Matt tagged in and gave Bram an elbow which lead to a nearfall.
Matt maintained momentum with a drop toehold to the corner as he tagged in Jeff. Bram escaped with a jawbreaker. The Hardys maintained the advantage over Kingston and Bram. Jeff hit both of them with poetry in motion…
Kingston and Bram isolated Matt Hardy in their corner back from the break. Matt escaped the corner a bit but Kingston and Bram kept him maintained. Matt did a sweep to Bram and tagged in Jeff. Jeff did his signature offensive sequence with the legdrops and stuff. Jeff went high risk but was kicked off by James Storm who was distracted. Kingston took advantage with a chinlock. He then went for a pin attempt. Bram and Kingston then isolated Jeff in their corner. Jeff went for a twist of fate but Bram managed to initiate a clothesline which caused Jeff to counter with the same.
Jeff made the hot tag to Matt who went to work on Kingston. Matt bit Kingston’s and Bram’s fingers. Matt gave Kingston a clothesline and Bram a bulldog. Matt earned a two count over Kingston. Bram saved Kingston from a Twist of Fate. Matt sent Bram outside and hit he and James Storm with a plancha. Kingston went for a nearfall Matt which Josh Mathews ruined by doing the Vince McMahon call. Matt gave Kingston a jawbreaker to allow both he and Jeff to nail Kingston with the Twist of Fate. Matt Hardy picked up the clean win over Kingston
The Broken Hardys defeated DCC via pinfall in 11:08 of TV time to retain the TNA Tag Team Championships.
James Storm stared down the Hardys from the outside. Pope said this was not the end of the DCC vs. the Hardys.
John’s Thoughts: Well… The match was a decent tag team match but nothing really special. The DCC were dispatched easily by the Hardys yet again. These guys, the DCC, are probably not as effective as James Storm’s “Revolution” faction, and that faction sucked. One little piece of advice. Bram should go back to his clean shaven look for this since it worked for him when he was in The Ascension. Why is Bram even here when he was supposed to be dead or something from Decay.
A Rosemary vs. Jade video package aired where they showed Jade training in boxing…
EC3 approached Eli Drake who was forced to be silent. EC3 said last week Eli Drake proved he should be in the main event and is a contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. EC3 said he gets his title shot next week and if he wins it all Eli Drake has to do is say the word. EC3 mocked Drake by asking him to say the word. He then walked up with Eli Drake looking a bit pissed… [C]
It’s Al Snow and Mahabali Shera time. Snow showed the interviewer his and Shera’s back and he called the Tribunal egg sucking dogs that owe him everything. Snow called them nothing and said he got them in TNA. Snow said now he was going to take it away. Snow said now you’re going to see what an animal is. Snow said he’s going to strap them, whip them, and tear the hide of them. Snow said they owe him and he said he and Shera always pay their debts. Shera said “we are coming”…
Ethan Carter III made his entrance in the Impact Zone and was there for a promo. EC3 said the support means a lot to him especially with the year he’s had. EC3 said at Bound for Glory he experienced the biggest defeat of his career but he stands here once again the perennial number one contender for the world heavyweight championship. EC3 said he’s said a lot of words in his time in Impact Wrestling but he does have a few words for current champion Eddie Edwards.
EC3 said Eddie has had an incredible run as champion and he could only commend him for his victory against Bobby Lashley. EC3 said he failed to beat Lashley with the strength of a broadsword. EC3 said Eddie brought a dagger and stabbed the beast in the heart. EC3 said the championship has changed people’s perception on Eddie. Eddie agreed and said he hasn’t changed and is still the guy who parties with EC3 after shows. HE said he leaves everything he has in the ring each and every time no matter what. EC3 said that’s why the industry respects him so much. He said friendship aside they are competitors. EC3 said he failed twice to get the title and he swears he won’t fail a third time. Eddie Edwards said to bring that fight and emotion. He said EC3 was so close at Bound for Glory but it wasn’t his night. Eddie said now he’s holding the title and EC3 should know that it’s going to take somebody truly special to take it from him. Eddie said it doesn’t matter who he is or his family name, it only matters who is wearing the world title.
Ethan said that Eddie Edwards was missing the point. He said in the ring his family and friends don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. EC3 said to hear him clear and there was a difference between winning the championship and maintaining the status of champion. EC3 said he referenced a dagger and he has one himself. EC3 said he isn’t afraid to stab a friend in the back. He said he isn’t afraid to slit a throat to get what he wants and to do what is necessary. EC3 said he was leaving this, “Kill them all and let God sort them out, that’s a champion’s mentality”. EC3 left the ring at this point… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was a simple and formula segment, but formula isn’t always bad. This was good. Eddie could do a better job being more than just a standard/respectful white meat babyface but at least his confidence is growing by the day. EC3 is good most of the time so there was nothing to worry about on his end. The best thing TNA did is something they did all year which was book a match in advance and provide good hype for it a week prior.
Gail Kim was out first with her Knockouts title that she was vacating. Josh Mathews said the rumors are that Gail Kim is nearing retirement. Josh’s wife, Madison Rayne, joined he and Dinero on commentary. Rosemary came out next followed by Jade.
4. Jade vs. Rosemary in six sides of steel for the vacant TNA Knockouts Championship. Rosemary brought the action to the outside and Josh pointed out how this match must be won by pinfall or submission. Rosemary dominated on the outside and brought a trash can back in the ring. Jade gave a series of kick to Rosemary. Jade initiated the ground and pound. Jade planted Rosemary with a gutwrench suplex… [C]
Jade gave Rosemary a huracanrana back from the break. Rosemary teased mist but it faked Jade out to give Rosemary the advantage where she mounted a ground and pound attack. Rosemary kept her momentum with a clothesline. Jade fought back with kicks but Rosemary countered with a knife edge chop. Rosemary ended Jade’s rally with a clothesline. Rosemary dragged Jade’s head on the cage. Rosemary licked Jade’s head and dragged her head on the cage again.
Jade fought back with kicks. Madison Rayne said she hasn’t faced anyone in the ring as strong as Jade (wasn’t Rayne in the ring with Awesome Kong?). Rosemary back-tossed Jade against the cage. Jade blocked the van terminator and threw the trash can at Jade. Jade gave Rosemary the frankensteiner. Jade mounted a kick rally. Jade threw Rosemary against the different sides of the cage. Rosemary kicked out of the pin after the sitout spinebuster. Josh Mathews did the dumb Vince McMahon nearfall call again. Rosemary escaped the double underhook and gave Jade a German Suplex. Jade climbed to the top and gave Rosemary a crossbody from the top of the cage that was almost as good as Io Shirai’s leap from Dario Cueto’s office from this week’s Lucha Underground.
Josh Mathews was super hype about calling for a replay. Rosemary kicked out of the pin attempt for a solid nearfall. Jade went for the 450 but Rosemary gave Jade the mist. Rosemary then hit Jade with the F5 and picked up the victory.
Rosemary defeated Jade via pinfall in 9:50 to become the new TNA Knockouts Champion.
Gail Kim sold disappointment at ringside. Rosemary licked the title right in front of Gail Kim who stared a whole into Rosemary. Rosemary did crawled around the cage as Impact ended…
John’s Thoughts: We’ve seen better matches from Knockouts in the past but this had a compelling ending at least. The spot everyone will remember is Jade leaping from the top of the cage which will give the announcers something to talk about in future rematches between the two. What hurt the match though was the lack of build, but that was due to the unfortunate circumstance of Gail Kim’s injury. Rosemary might be their best overall wrestler though and she really is someone they can build a division around. Jade is just not really defined yet but there was a good first step in that video package where she was boxing.
As usual in 2016 this was a good episode of Impact. The DCC aren’t clicking but at least the Hardys are super over. We have hype for next week with the EC3 vs. Eddie Edwards main event title match. We got the near-full return of Damien Sandow. We got a good Allie and Maria segment. This was a good episode. Make sure to check out Jason Powell’s Hit List as well as his member exclusive audio review later today.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...