By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped October 2016 in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
This week’s intro video showed EC3 defeating Eli Drake to cement his position as number one contender for the TNA Heavyweight Championship. Eddie Edwards talked about understanding why EC3 calls himself the man, because EC3 was the man. Eddie said EC3 was his boy and friend but not a champ right now. EC3 said the only thing that matters to him is his success and legacy. Eddie said if EC3 wants to be the man again he has to beat Eddie honcho. They showed clips of last week’s face-to-face encounter where EC3 said he is not afraid to slit throats. Eddie said EC3 would do anything for a world title. EC3 said he has done nothing but choke people out. Eddie said that was fine because he’s going to go through anything to keep the title. EC3 said he was physically at his peak and mentally at another level. EC3 said comradery, friendship, handshakes aside when the bell rings he is going to choke Eddie’s ass out…
TNA Grand Champion Quinn Moose Ojinaka made his entrance. Josh Mathews and Pope D’Angelo Dinero checked in on commentary. Josh Mathews pimped out the TNA social media accounts and the graphics still tell us to follow the obsolete Dixie Carter for some reason (hopefully someone “deletes” that graphic soon because no one really has cared about Dixie for years). Moose was in the ring for a promo as he was showered by obligatory “you deserve it” chants. Moose said he devoted most of his life to team sports, coaches, trainers, teammates. He said they played for one goal, one prize, which was championships. Moose said this TNA Grand Championship was the first major title he’s ever won and he didn’t do it alone. Moose said every man, woman, and child in this building chanting [arm pump]. Moose said we did it and he was dedicating this title to every single one of you guys.
Moose said he swears on everything that he loves that he will be a fighting champion. Surprisingly, Drew Galloway’s entrance theme played as Drew Galloway made his entrance looking really dark and brooding. Dinero said Drew looked stoneface. Drew said he’s been gone for a while and he and Moose are like ships in the night. Galloway asked Moose if he knew who he was. Moose laughed which Drew took as him knowing. Galloway wanted Moose to say his name to acknowledge history. Moose said he knows exactly who Galloway is, he was the man who interrupted him, Drew Galloway. Drew said you’re damn right and he’s back.
Drew said he was going to tell a little story. Once upon a time they designed the Impact Grand Championship with one person in mind. One person that embodied what made it different and special. That individual rode through the tournament to win the title unpinned, unsubmitted, and got to the finals. Unfortunately he carried the load of the company on his back and he got injured. Galloway said he was going to put it in terms where Moose could understand. Galloway said everything that’s happened so far with that title does not count. Galloway said it was maybe like the preseason of the NFL which Moose should understand. Galloway said when Drew Galloway gets in the ring for the Grand Championship it will be the Super Bowl. Galloway said he doesn’t have to twist Moose’s arm due to Moose dying for a fight like him. Galloway said Moose is a big man who can go. Galloway said under these rules they can have a match of the year. Galloway asked if they should burn this bitch to the ground.
Moose said he was going to make it easy for Drew Galloway as he polled the fans if they wanted to see Moose kick Drew Galloway’s ass. They did the Moose arm pumps. Handel’s Hallelujah chorus cut in which means it was time for Aron Rex to interrupt. Rex came out in his ring gear with a smile on his face. He told everyone to cheer for Drew who was back and some of the crowd obliged. Rex said he would like to shake Drew’s hand but he doesn’t want Drew to get injured again. Rex said that was not an insult when the fans booed. Rex said while Drew was away he became the first and best Impact Grand Champion then he was robbed by Moose. Rex said he wasn’t ready and he caught Rex off guard. Rex said is three seconds really enough time to decide the winner of a match. Rex said if the fans don’t shut up he was going to sue them for harassment. Rex said he was going to invoke his rematch clause right now… [C]
John’s Thoughts: It’s good to see Drew Galloway back and the marathon tapings worked well in this case in that he was probably last seen about a week before this but with the tapings he was gone for months. I’m not sure though if they are putting him back on the babyface side but I sure hope they do so. With Rex now properly slotted as a heel, Galloway should be free to be the white meat babyface that TNA really rallied behind. Plus, Drew Galloway is probably the only person who can say he’s a fighting champion and not sound cliché.
1. Moose vs. Aron Rex for the TNA Grand Championship. Moose gave Rex shoulder blocks in the corner as well as a chop and a knee. Rex kicked his way out. A punch took Moose to the outside due to Rex’s loaded fist. Moose kicked out of two nearfalls. Rex gave Moose a headlock and said the title was his. Rex tossed Moose outside again to use the outside as a weapon. Moose quickly kicked out once in the ring as he locked in the headlock again. Moose fought out but was grounded quickly with a running elbow. Moose fired back with chops but Rex ran away to win the first round. Jeremy Borash formally announced that Aron Rex won Round 1. Rex won the round unanimously.
Josh Mathews quickly pointed out that at the beginning of the second round, Rex was whipping his hands with what we expect is a tainted/poisoned towel. Moose did his signature punches. Rex retreated to the ropes and blinded Moose with the substance. Moose kicked out of the pin attempt. Josh Mathews said the referee has to check Rex’s knuckles. Rex used the outside to gain the advantage which allowed him to lock in a headlock back in the ring. Moose tried to mount an offense but ran into the knee of Rex who continued to mount a methodical attack. Rex hit Moose with the Elbow of Disdain leading to another nearfall. Rex maintained dominance with elbows as the round ended. Jeremy Borash formally announced that Rex won round three which the judges voted unanimously again.
Rex kept a fast pace to start off the match. Rex was caught off the top rope with Moose high agility Dropkick. Moose quickly hit Rex with the Gamebreaker to pick up the pinfall victory.
Moose defeated Aron Rex via pinfall with 2:31 left in Round 3 to retain the TNA Grand Championship.
Josh Mathews recapped all of the moments in the match where he noticed Aron Rex was cheating like the loaded knuckles as well as the tainted towel. Jeremy Borash announced that Moose was the Grand Champion…
Eddie Edwards said it is here where people like to say that there is fate and luck that gave him the opportunity to win this title. Eddie Edwards said what brought it home was him never giving up, never stop believing that he was a world champion in his heart. Edwards said it was Bobby Lashley overlooking and underestimating him. Eddie said he has the world title on his shoulder along with a chip. Eddie Edwards said he knows that people think that he was lucky to win the belt. Edwards said that EC3 has come this close time and time again but his fate stepped in. Edwards said tonight his fate will leave him with this world title because anything is possible. Josh Mathews hyped the main event leading to the commercial… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Rex the babyface didn’t really stand out in the ring but Rex the heel is really unique especially since he’s going back to the Damien Sandow playbook as far as in ring work is concerned. Rex is not 100% Damien Sandow. He’s cowardly, overconfident, effeminate, and arrogant. I like to think of him as the true Damien Mizdow. Not as a stunt double, but as a Miz-Sandow hybrid character and he’s pulling it off really well right now. The one nitpick about the Grand Championship thing is the coaches look like idiots since they’ve witnessed Sandow obviously cheating week after week which Josh Mathews clearly pointed out but they keep giving him rounds. Props to Josh though for helping Rex’s heel character by pointing out the cheating.
The generic backstage interview guy asked Drew Galloway about getting passed over for a title match. Drew said he could pin this on an individual but Rex did what any individual would do and the fault lies with the company. Drew said this company wouldn’t hold back the tournament when he got hurt. Drew said this company put him in the back of the line when he came back. Drew said he broke himself for this place and could fly off the handle but he’s not. Drew said he’s still a leader and a captain who knows what’s best for this place even though they don’t. Drew said he was going to win gold very soon and you could count on that…
John’s Thoughts: I’m guessing they might be sticking to their guns about Galloway as a heel, but let’s see where they go with the new creative team.
Mandrews made his entrance next looking really apathetic walking to the ring. He tossed his skateboard on the ground. Andrews shook his head while pacing around the ring. His opponent was Billy Corgan’s enforcer, Aiden O’Shea who still comes out to generic Irish music. Josh Mathews called Andrews an emo kid. O’Shea was wrestling in his business attire.
John’s Thoughts: I’m wondering what Billy Corgan “directors cut segments” were cut out from the last two segments as it really does seem like they are trimming down the show with him out of the company. I also just remember how well Corgan came off when he was offering encouragement to Allie in this set of tapings.
2. Aiden O’Shea vs. Mandrews. Mark Andrews was shoved by O’Shea. Andrews dodged the overhead strikes from O’Shea. O’Shea caught him mid crossbody and planted him with a running powerslam. O’Shea called him a mutt. Andrews turned the tide with a rake to the eyes. O’Shea blocked an Irish Whip and cornered Andrews. O’Shea head tossed Andrews and continued to call Andrews a mutt. O’Shea punched Andrews on the apron and accidently punched the apron to hurt himself. O’Shea no-sold an Andrews Baseball Slide. O’Shea dodged a baseball slide and KO’d Andrews with a right hand.
O’Shea took off his dress shirt as Josh Mathews ran a fite TV app plug. O’Shea continued to dominate Andrews with calculated strikes. The ref forced O’Shea to use open strikes. Andrews tried to fight form behind but was thwarted with a body slam. Andrews managed to get an overhead kick. Andrews dodged an incoming O’Shea and started to work on the hamstrings of O’Shea with low kicks. Andrews almost took O’Shea off his feet with an enziguri. Andrews was caught midair but O’Shea fell to the outside. Andrews grounded O’Shea outside with a Tope Con Hilo.
Andrews grounded O’Shea with a seated Senton. Andrews hit O’Shea with the shooting Star Press to pick up the pinfall victory over O’Shea.
Mark Andrews defeated Aiden O’Shea via pinfall in 5:47.
Andrews gloated in front of the camera after his win and quickly went up the ramp… [C]
John’s Thoughts: A nice twist in a sense that anything that’s not a generic X Division match is refreshing for that demolished division. I was also afraid that they were going to put Aiden O’Shea over and thus cementing the cruiserweights in TNA as mediocre. Again, but optimism is still guarded especially with a new creative staff, but at least they didn’t stink up the joint with Team X Gold this week!
Jessie Godderz was chatting with “The Fixer” Tyrus backstage for some reason. Josh Mathews credited Tyrus for being the newest contributor on Fox News.
John’s Thoughts: Well… Tyrus isn’t exactly the newest contributor since he’s been a contributor on Fox News for years. The guy is actually a well-educated dude and a damn good speaker. It’s a shame he never found a way to parlay that to his in ring persona and instead he just settled to being the guy who loses for people higher on the card than him.
Damn! Is Shera and Tribunal time… ugh…
3. Al Snow and Mahabali Shera vs. Baron Dax and Basille Baraka in a Strap Match. Josh Mathews reminded us of the rules of a strap match with tornado rules. Josh said both men must touch all six corners of the six sided ring in succession while uninterrupted. The Tribunal were about to walk out but then got beat down by Shera and Snow. A small patch of fans wanted Head. Dax intercepted Shera in the ring and Bassile did the same to Snow. Dax was strapped to Shera while Baraka was strapped to Snow. The Tribunal slowly tried to tap the corners but were stopped by Shera and snow.
John’s Thoughts: The strap rules are usually lame but this was made lamer without the indicator lights. I know they probably don’t have it in their budget but it still looks a bit weird.
The tribunal choked their respective opponents with the strap. Snow stopped Baraka from slapping the corners. Baraka and Dax whipped their opponents with the straps. Shera tried to sell but it was still too much. The Tribunal took their time in slapping the corners. Baraka slapped his but Dax took too long to wait for Shera to recover. Snow and Shera turned the tide and whipped their opponents. This lasted a while. Josh Mathews made sure to point out the red backs. The Tribunal tried to stop their opponents but were tossed to the outside. Snow and Shera slapped their last corners eventually.
Al Snow and Mahabali Shera defeated The Tribunal in 5:19.
Snow and Shera hugged each other. This thing is over right?
Johnny’s Apathy: TNA really couldn’t have signed Sonjay Dutt, The Bollywood guys, or Jinder Mahal? That was 5:19 of my life that I’ll never get back. Thank you Shera and Snow!
Broken Matt Hardy was dreaming of things and he had a premonition. This caused him to moan in pleasure. Matt said “Apocalypto!” several times. Matt then started to moan again… [C]
EC3 said he doesn’t believe in luck. EC3 said luck didn’t make Eddie Edwards champion or give himself the contendership. EC3 said he believes in Fate. EC3 said fate is why this company is theirs. EC3 said Fate will dictate that the World Heavyweight Title is his. Suddenly the silent Eli Drake walked on set breathing. EC3 said Drake had a ton of things he was dying to say. Drake did a choke sign. EC3 said Drake’s choking put him in this position and the choke will give EC3 the world Heavyweight Champion. Drake scowled at EC3 as he walked away.
Broken Matt Hardy and Broken Brother Nero/Jeff went to the ring. Reby Sky and King Maxel Hardy were also heading to the ring with the Tag Team Champions. The crowd gave Maxel a good ovation. Matt said tonight was a special night. He said you all have heard the hype. Matt encouraged the Maxel chants and said King Maxel was excited as well about the buzz. Matt said he was here to confirm the rumors and that in seven days he will be presenting the most extraordinary event ever known to mankind. Matt said he will promote and present the most extraordinary wrestling event ever seen in this industry. An event so massive that Dixie Carter could not promote it and neither could Meekmahan (McMahon) and Hay-man (Paul Heyman).
Matt said only the broken brilliance of Matt Hardy could promote this event. Matt said in seven days he was presenting to all of Impact, emanating from the Hardy Compound from Cameron, North Carolina. Matt said all of your favorite Impact Wrestling Stars will be on the card. Matt said they’ll be Knockout matches. He said Senor Benjamin would be there, Vanguard 1, and King Maxel will be there too. The Crowd gave Maxel a chant. Matt talked to Maxel and told him that he will be making his Impact in-ring debut. Maxel stood in the ring and clapped for this. Maxel went back to his mom as the crowd chanted his name.
Matt said the main event of that evening was going to be the most massive tag team deletion. The Tag Team apocalypto. Matt said he and Brother Nero were defending their tag team titles of the world in an open challenge. He told people to throw away their contracts for one night only for this. He said any legendary tag team from all space and time should show up so he can Delete. Matt said on this evening in one week it will be “Total Nonstop DELETION!”.
Shane Helms made his return to the Impact Zone. Helms told Matt to wait a minute and if something was going on in North Carolina, Shane Helms was going to be in it and he was accepting the invitation. Matt interrupted and said he accepted Helms’s offer and he was excited to see the obsolete “3 Count” in action. Matt then assumed Helms was going to bring a robust superhero friend. Helms confirmed he was bringing Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett. Matt said they will be deleted.
Decay made their entrance behind Shane Helms. Rosemary called the Hardys silly. She said they didn’t forget what the Hardys did to them at the Great War. Rosemary said they may have had to call a tactical retreat but now they can strike at them from a place of strength. Rosemary said Decay now has the TNA Knockouts championship and it is possessed by a demon. Rosemary said they forced Gail Kim into retirement and destroyed her handpicked warrior of light, Jade. Abyss asked Matthew and Jeffrey if they forgot that they were the Death Dealers. He said not to make them come back to beautiful Cameron to take what was theirs. Steve laughed and said if the Hardy’s haven’t realized it by now, Decay was a never-ending nightmare. He said they took Matt’s child the last time for fun but the next time they will take everything. Matt said all Decay had to do was accept the invite but since Decay were demons they weren’t intelligent. Matt Hardy said with open arms he was inviting Decay to go to TND next week. He then started a TND chant. Matt then led Delete chants. Matt Hardy gave the Twist of Fate to Shane Helms in the ring…
The DCC sounder happened as DCC did their usual sit-down promo. Storm (I assume) said their mission continues and their agenda is clear. Control through chaos. He said they were intrigued by Total Nonstop Deletion and they were going to bring the chaos to Matt’s apocalypse. You have been warned…
John’s Thoughts: That was a basic hype segment for the TND show coming up next week but a solid one in that it served its purpose in hyping what should be a really entertaining show. What wasn’t too great was so far we could only expect the regular TNA tag teams in it like the Helms guys, Decay, and the mediocre DCC. Hopefully they found a way to get The Bucks or if there are some free agent tag teams I’m forgetting. Anyways, it should still be fun.
4. Laurel Van Ness (w/ Maria Kenellis-Bennett) vs. Allie. Madison Rayne joined the commentary booth with Pope and her husband. Maria said Allie can’t wrestle. Allie said she’s been training and she can wrestle. Allie revealed Braxton Sutter trained her and he made his entrance. Laurel Van Ness yelled at Braxton until the bell rang. Laurel started the match off with an armdrag. Allie came back with an armdrag of her own leading to an armbar. Allie fought out of a corner with boots. Laurel caught Allie’s boot and tripped her. Laurel rubbed Allie’s face into the mat. Allie was staggered with a headbutt. Braxton Sutter coached Allie when Hebner gave her some room to breathe.
Allie turned the tide with a right hand and started an offensive rally topped off with a Suplex. Allie and Laurel took each other out with a clothesline. Braxton Sutter was tripped from the ring apron by Mike Bennett. Bennett overpowered Sutter on the ramp until Sutter managed to sneak in a push. Sutter and Bennett fought their way to the back. Allie was distracted by her coach being gone.
Laurel gave Allie a facebuster. Allie dodged the Curb Stomp. Allie planted Laurel with a reverse DDT to pick up the victory.
Allie defeated Laurel Van Ness via pinfall in 5:11.
Allie sold shock in the ring while Maria was crying on the outside. Maria entered the ring but ducked away when Allie teased giving her a right hand. An EC3 vs. Eddie Edwards video package aired, the same one in the intro… [C]
John’s Thoughts: One of TNA’s flaws in what has been a year of minimal flaws is that they have the tendency to rush through feuds when there is still room for development. I felt like they could have gotten more out of Allie training because it just seems like she went from knowing nothing to being decent at wrestling in the kayfabe sense. That said, this was still a solid payoff for her feud with Laurel and there is still a match with Maria down the road (maybe they’re rushing this one due to Maria possibly not being with the company next year?). Also, TNA sure has a lot of husband and wife feuds going on around Bennett and Maria.
Allie was super excited about her win and chatting with Braxton Sutter. Sutter said she could do anything she wants. She gave him a nervous kiss on the mouth and slowly waddled away. A Total Nonstop Deletion trailer aired…
EC3 and Eddie Edwards made their way to the ring for the main event match. Jeremy Borash handled the formal championship ring introductions.
5. Eddie Edwards vs. Ethan Carter III for the TNA Championship. Josh Mathews talked about doing a ritual with Ethan Carter III before championship matches. Eddie and EC3 were even to start. They were trading headlocks, armlocks, and hammerlocks. They even had the stalemate stance. There were sections of fans trying to start dueling chants but the majority wouldn’t bite on the chants, they seemed a bit tired at this point (?). I also wonder if TNA has some audience plants trying to start chants that just aren’t working out today.
Eddie Edwards managed to lock in an armbar after an armdrag. Eddie kicked EC3 twice to set up for the Shining Wizard. This earned him only a one count. Eddie gave EC3 chops in the corner and then gave him some kicks. Josh Mathews explained the fans’ silence as they were expecting a long match (and Josh may be right based on how much time is left in the show. EC3 managed to catch Eddie Edwards on the apron and suplexed him inside. Cut to commercial.[C]
EC3 gained the advantage after an exploder suplex. EC3 slowed things down with chops in the corner. Eddie came back with a few chops of his own. Mathews noted that this was going at a methodical pace which is EC3’s wheelhouse. EC3 went for a TKO from the top rope but Edwards reversed with the Frankensteiner. Eddie Edwards delivered chops to back Ethan Carter III into the corner. Edwards hit a few axehandles on EC3 followed by more chops. EC3 fought through with his signature offense. Eddie Edwards sidestepped EC3 and followed up with his quick tope. Eddie actually missed wide left and EC3 had to reign him in.
Eddie Edwards hit EC3 with a codebreaker to get a solid nearfall. EC3 went for a rollup and converted it to a powerbomb to pick up another nearfall. Eddie Edwards kicked out of the sit-out powerbomb. Eddie Edwards escaped the TKO. Eddie Edwards hit EC3 with the Blue Thunder Bomb. About 5-6 fans were doing dueling chants. The crowd is honestly dead. Eddie Edwards was crotched on the top rope. EC3 planted Eddie with a superplex which Eddie Edwards managed to convert to his own pin which had EC3 kicking out. Eddie and EC3 took each other out with a clothesline. Ethan Carter III and Eddie Edwards went back to the chopping. EC3 went for the rear naked choke but Eddie Edwards escaped. EC3 hit Eddie with a facebuster TKO but Eddie no sold it and hit EC3 with the Boston Knee Party. EC3 rolled out to ringside to recover.
EC3 caught Edwards out of a plancha to nail him with the TKO on the outside. EC3 pointed to call for the One Percenter. Eddie rolled up EC3 to faint a pinfall into the half crab. EC3 powered his way to the ropes for the rope break. EC3 and Edwards traded overhead kicks. Edwards hit EC3 with the backpack stunner but that position put EC3 in prime position to lock in his new finisher the rear naked choke. Eddie Edwards lowered EC3’s shoulders to pick up the win? Eddie Edwards did tap the mat while in the submission
Eddie Edwards vs EC3 ended in a no contest in 16:10 to allow Eddie Edwards to retain the TNA Championship.
A section of fans either chanted that EC3 kicked out or Eddie tapped out. Jeremy Borash announced that since the pinfall and the tapout occurred at the same time the match was a no contest. Eddie and EC3 argued a bit until EC3 walked out and Eddie held up his title. The Total Nonstop Deletion trailer aired to close out the show…
John’s Thoughts: The match was okay at points but it dragged a bit too long due to the time they allocated for it. The crowd was also extremely disinterested probably due to this being the tail end of the taping. The slow pace also hurt this match. To give the Impact Zone some credit, they weren’t given much to cheer for. This was a slow paced babyface vs. babyface match with minimal build. It also doesn’t help that Eddie Edwards is still struggling to gain crowd pops and the last time we saw him James Storm was gaining more of a pop than him. All negatives aside, I think there was enough good to say that this was a good show, but the bad points might just bring it down it to about average. Check out Jason Powell’s TNA Hit List and member exclusive audio review coming soon.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...