By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped earlier this month in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
[Q1] A shot aired of Lashley walking backstage, then another shot showed Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards walking backstage as Josh Mathews hyped the 30-minute Iron Man match main event for the TNA Title… Mathews was joined on commentary by D’Angelo Dinero…
Reby Hardy played the piano entrance while Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy made their way to the ring. Jeff had his green briefcase with him. Matt spoke about being the greatest team in space and time, and he noted that Jeff would be able to choose his match on Open Fight Night next week due to drawing the No. 1 briefcase.
Jeff said he is number one and it might be time for him to be TNA Champion again. Jeff asked Matt if the seven deities offered him more information. Matt said he had a premonition in which he saw team after team and title after title, a never ending wave of challengers. He said they would start a tag team evolution and revolution that had never been seen before.
Matt said he must revert to his Egyptian roots and become the king in gold and they must change tag team wrestling forever. Matt said they must go out and acquire every piece of gold there is. The DCC entrance music interrupted and the trio headed to the ring.
Powell’s POV: The idea is for Matt and Jeff Hardy to work independent matches where they will challenge for various tag title belts.
James Storm said he knows about revolutions, but the only one the Hardys needed to worry about are the DCC. Storm pointed out that they had their own briefcase and they can call out anyone they want next week. Storm said they could show them why they are the Death Crew Council.
Decay’s new music played and Abyss, Crazzy Steve, and Rosemary headed out. Steve said DCC seeks payback, whereas Decay seeks opportunity. Steve suggested they kill two birds with one stone. He suggested letting hell rain down on the Impact Zone and the only team that survives can call themselves champions. Storm said DCC was in. Broken Matt, whose voice was really strained, accepted and started a brief brawl that resulted in the Hardy Brothers standing tall heading into the break. [C]
Powell’s POV: A decent opening segment, but it’s still pretty flat by 2016 Broken Matt Hardy standards. Where are the fun and creative videos from the Hardy Compound? By the way, if TNA wants viewers to think that Open Fight Night is a special night, then how about laying out entire lineups on other shows ahead of time rather than scripting them to be impromptu like this one?
[Q2] 1. Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy vs. Abyss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) vs. Bram and Kingston (w/James Storm) for the TNA Tag Titles. The match either started before the break or was joined in progress. Mathews noted that Don West is back doing brown bag specials on the TNA website.
Powell’s POV: Does every brown bag special come with a Dixie Carter action figure? Remember that ridiculous “Where’s Dixie?” campaign? I’m still paying the proctologist for the removal charges.
Matt hit a Side Effect on Kingston and had him covered, but Steve broke it up. Matt went for a Twist of Fate on Kingston, but Bram broke it up. Abyss went after Bram, but took a kick. Matt cleared Bram from the ring. A short time later, Steve sprayed mist into the eyes of Kingston, and then Matt took advantage of it and hit the Twist of Fate on Kingston and pinned him…
Backstage, Drew Galloway looked into the camera and said he wouldn’t give viewers phase two of his plan until he goes to the ring. He gave a teaser by saying the TNA Grand Championship would be defended tonight… [C]
Powell’s POV: A fine three-way tag match with plenty of action. The DCC continue to come off as scrubs, and hopefully there’s a plan to heat up Decay again.
Mathews hyped the main event… Footage aired of Laurel Van Ness and Braxton Sutter at a restaurant. She took a selfie with him and he wasn’t all that happy to be there. She said she’d only been to the restaurant once “with a friend of a friend of daddy’s.” She said the guy was a loser. Then she barked at the staff to bring her wine…
Impact Grand Champion Drew Galloway headed to the ring as highlights aired of his title win over Moose.
[Q3] Galloway said fans don’t have to like what he does or says, he’ll be the martyr. He said what he does is for the greater good of the company. He said he wanted to be the Grand Champion to make it mean more than any other title. Galloway said he is the personification of professional wrestling, and “your chosen one.” Galloway said next week might be Open Fight Night, but tonight is his own. “Who wants a shot at the champ?” Galloway asked.
Moose walked onto the stage with a mic and said he would tell Galloway exactly what he would do. It resulted in him saying he would get his Grand Championship back. Mathews said the match would take place after the break… [C]
2. Drew Galloway vs. Moose for the Impact Grand Championship. Moose connected with a big boot at one point. They fought to ringside and brawled. Moose picked up Galloway and powerbombed him on the edge of the ring, then walked away and returned to the ring as the bell rang to end the first round. The judges gave the round to Moose via split decision (should have been unanimous).
Galloway walked up the ramp a bit, then turned back and returned to the ring for the second round. Moose caught Galloway on the ropes and performed a sit-out chokeslam(?) for a two count. Moose performed a discus clothesline, but Galloway’s foot caught him below the belt when he fell to the mat. The referee called for a point to be taken away from Galloway, who caught Moose with a Claymore kick for a two count. Moose shoved Galloway, who bumped the referee. Galloway low blowed Moose and then hit the Future Shock DDT for the win…
Drew Galloway defeated Moose in round two to retain the Impact Grand Championship.
Powell’s POV: Galloway continues to be miscast as the heel. He’ll do a fine job, but the fans clearly want to cheer him. They rooted for him throughout his promo and still cheered when he held up the belt despite winning the match due to a low blow.
[Q4] At the restaurant, Van Ness talked Sutter’s ear off. She asked what else she could tell him about herself. He said he was sure she’d think of something, then he took a big swig from the wine bottle… Mathews hyped Rosemary vs. Jade in a Monster’s Ball for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: That’s all the hype they’re giving Rosemary vs. Jade tonight? Weak. I didn’t think anything could compete with the James Ellsworth and Carmella shopping spree for campiest moment of the week, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t giving the Smackdown segment a run for its money. The talent are telling the story they are being asked to tell, but restaurant set looks cable access quality, and Saxton wearing his hat at what they want us to believe is a fancy restaurant is pretty ridiculous.
3. Rosemary vs. Jade in a Monster’s Ball for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Madison Rayne sat in on commentary for the match. Jade came out with a trashcan filled with weapons. Rosemary made her entrance and then Jade dove onto her at ringside to start the match. Rosemary regained control and struck Jade with a kendo stick back inside the ring.
At 2:20, Rosemary reached under the ring and pulled out a back of thumbtacks, which she poured inside the ring. Mathews said she’s been under the tutelage of Abyss. Rosemary tried to suplex Jade onto the tacks, but Jade fought her off and dropkicked her. Jade whipped Rosemary with a belt, then struck her with the kendo stick over the back and played to the crowd, which responded favorably. She turned and Rosemary hit her with the trashcan.
Rosemary went to the ropes. Jade threw the can at her to knock her off, then performed a German suplex onto the tacks and covered Rosemary for a two count. Rosemary tried to spray mist, but Jade blocked it with the trash can lid, threw the lid at her, then kicked the lid at her and covered her for a two count.
Rosemary bounced back and grabbed a barbwire board that was leaning against one of the ring posts. Jade came back and slammed Rosemary onto the board and covered her for a two count. Jade placed the board over Rosemary and then performed a springboard moonsault onto the board.
At 9:20, Jade set up a table in the ring and placed Rosemary on top of it. Jade went to the ropes, but Rosemary cut her off and they fought for position. Rosemary superplexed Jade through the table and covered her for a three count…
Rosemary defeated Jade in 10:05 in a Monster’s Ball to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
After the match, Gail Kim ran out and checked on Jade while Rosemary celebrated with the title belt. As Gail was helping Jade up, Rosemary sprayed mist in Gail’s face and then laughed maniacally…
Powell’s POV: Great effort from both women. Women’s hardcore matches will never be my thing, but they did an excellent job. It’s just a shame this match didn’t get more hype. They spent some time building it up two weeks ago, but I don’t recall much from last week and we didn’t hear from either woman before the match this week. That said, 2016 was not a great year for the Knockouts in the ring, but they developed some really good characters and hopefully this match is a sign that there will be more focus on the in-ring work now that the characters have been established.
At the restaurant, Laurel invited Saxton back to her place. She said they could go to his, but her place is probably nicer. Saxton said “this has been something.” He said he was going to get the check and get out. Laurel called Maria and told her that it was going great and Sutter was paying for the bill. Laurel said what she wants, she gets, and she wants Sutter “for now anyways”…
A Caleb Konley video package aired. He spoke about how his father was a roadie for various country bands. He said he was conceived when his father was working for David Allan Coe when he was on the Great American Bash tour. He said all the sacrifices have been worth it, and he’s going to win the X Division Title…
[Q6] 4. DJZ vs. Caleb Konley vs. Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett vs. Marsche Rockett in a five-way match for the X Division Championship. Shane Helms was at ringside for Lee and Everett. Only Z and Conley received televised entrances. Z did something to his hair that can’t really be put into words. There was diving, lots and lots of diving from the ring onto various opponents on the floor.
Lee and Everett ended up shoving one another. Conley performed a nice supelx on Lee. Everett broke it up with a springboard move, then Z hit a DDT on Everett and pinned him. After the match, Lee attacked Z. Mathews said that’s not what the division is all about. Lee put Z’s leg in a chair and then slammed another one on it repeatedly. Mathews noted that Lee has a briefcase and could use it to cash in for an X Title shot next week…
DJZ beat Caleb Konley, Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marsche Rockett in 4:05 to retain the X Division Championship.
Backstage, Davey Richards was firing up Eddie Edwards about being in his corner and beating Lashley. Edwards told him he needed to do it on his own and pleaded with him to understand. Davey said he understood and then hugged him, then showed he was not very pleased once Edwards was out of the camera shot… [C]
Powell’s POV: Well, we know the X Division is not about post match attacks. We still don’t know what it’s actually about, but we’re a step closer after all these years. You know the drill. Good athleticism from the talent, but these four-way, five-way, six-way, etc. matches aren’t doing anyone any good. Meanwhile, they have made it painfully obvious that Richards is turning over the last two weeks.
Highlights aired of Jeff Hardy opening the No. 1 briefcase on Eli Drake’s talkshow… Backstage, Broken Matt had Vanguard 1 run through Jeff Hardy’s Open Fight Night Options. Jeff deleted DJZ, Rosemary, Ricky Morton, and then Edwards appeared and Jeff said maybe it’s time for him to become champion again. Matt said he had a premonition and saw who Jeff would select as his opponent…
Introductions for the TNA Championship match took place…
5. Eddie Edwards vs. Lashley in a 30-minute Iron Man match for the TNA Championship. Lashley clotheslined Edwards and then performed a vertical suplex. Lashley went for a spear, but Edwards avoided it. Edwards sent Lashley to the floor and then performed a suicide dive.
[Q7] Edwards worked over Lashley on the floor briefly before rolling him back inside the ring, where Lashley came back with a sidewalk slam and got a one count heading into a break. [C] Lashely controlled the offense coming out of the commercial break and caught Edwards with a spear and pinned him to take a 1-0 lead. Edwards came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Edwards performed a Codebreaker off the second rope and ended up applying a single leg crab.
Lashley escaped it and performed an over the head belly-to-belly suplex that sent Edwards crashing to the floor. Edwards sold a left knee injury from the bump to the floor. Lashley brought Edwards up the ramp and powerbombed him on it. Lashley won the second fall via count-out and jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Edwards struggled to get to his feet. The referee nine counted him, but Lashley struck Edwards on the floor to break the referee’s count for reasons that even Pope couldn’t explain, though he tried to cover by saying he assumed Lashley didn’t know where the ref’s count was at the time he attacked. Edwards climbed onto the apron, but Lashley knocked him off with a running knee heading into a break.
[Q8] [C] Lashley remained in control coming out of the break. Mathews noted that Lashley removed two of the turnbuckle pads during the break. Edwards avoided a charging Lashley, who hit one of the exposed turnbuckles. Edwards rolled up Lashley and pinned him to make it 2-1 in favor of Lashley.
Edwards tied up the match at 2-2 with a pin off a Boston Knee Party. Ring announcer Jeremy Borash announced that there were five minutes remaining in the match. Edwards remained on the offensive with a suicide dive to the floor. With Lashley back in the ring, Edwards went to the ropes, but Lashley cut him off. They fought for position and Edwards fought him off, then dove at Lashley, who moved.
Lashley took control and speared Edwards for a two count. Edwards came right back with the Boston Knee Party and covered Lashley for a two count of his own. Edwards went to the seond rope and leapt into Lashley, who caught him and ended up powerbombing him before applying a submission hold, so Lashley went up 3-2 with less than three minutes remaining. The broadcast team played up the idea of Edwards using strategy by tapping out so quickly so that he would have more time to even things up.
Lashley walked to ringside and stalled. Lashley told the broadcast team to announce him as the winner. Pope stood up and told him that he wanted the match and he should go win it rather than wasting time. Edwards dove onto Lashley and then rolled him back inside the ring. Edwards went for the Boston Knee Party, but Lashley caught him and slammed him with 1:20 remaining.
Lashley speared Edwards with a minute remaining. Edwards applied a chokehold off the spear. Lashley held on and did not tap out before the time limit expired…
Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards in a 30-minute Iron Man match to win the TNA Championship.
Powell’s POV: A really good iron man match with the right guy going over. Edwards just didn’t click as TNA Champion, but perhaps his run will make him mean more as a singles wrestler going forward. The match was laid out nicely and I like the way Edwards had Lashley in a submission hold at the end, as it sent the message that Edwards was that close to tying things up. In other words, Edwards comes out of his title loss looking good, and now the right guy has the belt again. Overall, the show featured two strong matches with the main event and the women’s title match. There were some clunker moments, but the quality wrestling made up for them in terms of making this a good show overall. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. I’ll be back with a member exclusive audio review, and John Moore will be by on Friday with his TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...