3/2 Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: Lashley vs. Josh Barnett for the TNA Title, Rosemary vs. Jade in a Last Woman Standing match for the Knockouts Championship, end of an era

By Jason Powell

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

[Q1] Impact opened with a shot of Lashley walking backstage, then a shot aired of Josh Barnett doing the same. Josh Mathews, who was joined on commentary by “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero, hyped Lashley vs. Barnett for the TNA Title for later in the show…

1. Rosemary vs. Jade in the Last Woman Standing match for the Knockouts Title. Madison Rayne sat in on commentary for the women’s match. Rosemary and Jade brawled at ringside to start. They battle inside the ring. Rosemary ended up back at ringside and pulled out a trash can filled with weapons from underneath the ring. Rosemary struck Jade with the can several times and then placed it between her legs as she was seated in a corner. Rosemary went to the top rope and performed a Van Terminator (shorter distance in the six-sided ring).

Jade came right back and used the kendo stick as a weapon. She picked up Rosemary and powerbomed her onto the trash can. Jade went to the top rope and leapt toward Rosemary, who sprayed mist into her face. Mathews claimed they were trending worldwide on Twitter (even though the show was taped). Rosemary performed a Red Wedding. Jade got back to her feet at nine. Jade continued to sell the mist. Rosemary followed her to ringside and performed the Red Wedding on the floor. Jade got back to her feet again.

Rosemary charged Jade, who moved, causing Rosemary to crash into the ring post. Jade grabbed a water bottle to rinse her eyes, then powerbomed Jade off the apron and onto the ring steps. Rosemary beat the count. They fought to the stage and Jade went for a powerbomb, but Rosemary sprayed her in the face with mist again. Rosemary performed a third Red Wedding on the stage. Rosemary beat referee Earl Hebner’s count by standing up at nine, while Jade remained down…

Rosemary defeated Jade in a Last Woman Standing match in roughly 12:00 to retain the Knockouts Championship.

Backstage, Moose spoke about how Cody let his anger and jealousy get the best of him. He said Cody picked the wrong person to start a fight with. Moose said he was heading to the ring and he had some choice words for him… Mathews hyped the main event, and said the latest Hardys Expedition For Gold segment was coming up next…

Powell’s POV: Good effort from the ladies. I enjoyed their Monster’s Ball match more, but this was still entertaining. It’s a good thing they went with Rosemary winning the match, as the word is out that Jade did not re-sign with the company. She’s one of the better wrestlers in the division and was just starting to come into her own as a character, so that’s a significant loss for the division. For those wondering, this is not the show that was taped tonight in Orlando. This is the final show from the last set of tapings. We will have spoilers from tonight’s available on the main page, and the new tapings will begin airing next week. However, you don’t have to worry about me spoiling anything from those tapings in this report.

[Q2] [C] Broken Matt, Jeff Hardy, Reby Hardy, Maxel, and Senor Benjamin spoke at Matt’s personal zoo. Matt said that now that Jeff’s vessel houses his abilities, he wanted to test their strength. He said Vincent Van Gogh now lives in an obsolete mule. Matt told Jeff to seek him out and communicate…

Moose stood in the ring and said he doesn’t care what club Cody is with or that he’s the grandson of a plumber or that he calls himself American Nightmare. Moose said he should put a bag over his head because he’s a big ol’ ugly bitch. Cody attacked Moose from behind. Security intervened, but both men worked them over and then went back to brawling. More security, agents, wrestlers, and referees ran out and eventually separated Cody and Moose. Brandi showed up and yelled, “We’re done, done, done.” She told Cody to stop. Cody calmed down and said he would leave on his own. Cody grabbed Mathews and hip tossed him. Moose returned the ring and then dove over the top rope and onto a bunch of wrestlers and Cody on the floor… [C]

Powell’s POV: Isn’t hip-tossing Josh a babyface move these days? Anyway, a good followup segment to last week’s angle. Brandi did a good job of looking emotionally distraught. I don’t think she was yelling “we’re done” in reference to their characters breaking up, but rather it seemed to be her trying to get Cody to calm down.

Mathews was back on commentary as James Storm made his entrance. Mathews put himself over by saying that any other announcer in history would have been out for the rest of the show, but he’s good to go. Jessie Godderz made his entrance…

[Q3] 2. Jessie Godderz vs. James Storm. Godderz spoke about how he and Cody are friends and they text all the time. Pope wasn’t buying it. Mathews ignored the match and asked Pope for an update on the changes he spoke about last week. Pope said changes are coming. Mathews said people would like to see Don West back in Pope’s chair, then plugged a West special as a graphic appeared on the screen.

Kingston headed to ringside to be in Storm’s corner. Mathews said Pope gets a B or a C and said he would be lost if Pope would be lost if he didn’t have him to work with. Pope said people argue that Jeremy Borash is the voice of Impact Wrestling. He said that’s another story for another day. Mathews said he doesn’t know if anyone would make that argument. They went back to calling the action. Kingston got involved by choking Godderz over the rope while Storm briefly distracted the referee.

Godderz performed a Blockbuster on Storm and got a two count. Mathews said Godderz moving around the ring reminded him of himself. Mathews said he’s undefeated in his career. Pope was skeptical. Godderz catapulted Storm into the corner. Kingston ran in and tried to hit Godderz, who ducked it and got a shot in. Godderz applied his Adonis Crab finisher, but the ref was still distracted by Kingston. Bram ran in and hit Godderz with a chair. Storm hit the Last Call superkick and got the pin…

James Storm pinned Jessie Godderz in 6:25.

Mathews hyped Trevor Lee defending the X Division Championship against Andrew Everett for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The feud between DCC and Godderz continues to feel like time filler. So it was actually the perfect time for the broadcast team to bicker. They are clearly setting up a change of some kind. It’s interesting that Pope gave the big hype to Borash.

3. Trevor Lee (w/Gregory Shane Helms) vs. Andrew Everett for the X Division Championship. Everett caught Lee with a nice Pele kick during the opening minute. He followed up with a flip over the top rope and onto Lee on the floor. Everett also performed a springboard moonsault onto Lee on the floor. Mathews once again stated that Everett reminds him of himself when he was an in-ring competitor.

[Q4] Lee took offensive control. Pope announced that the new owners of the company would be in the building next week. Mathews questioned how he knew that. Pope said he got it through his headset. Mathews questioned why they would tell Pope and not him. Late in the match, Everett performed a Frankensteiner. Helms grabbed the referee. Everett chased Helms up the ramp. Everett returned to the ring and performed a shooting star press, but Lee put his knees up and then pinned him…

Trevor Lee defeated Andrew Everett in 7:10 to retain the X Division Championship.

At Hardy’s zoo, Jeff searched for Vincent Van Gogh. Jeff acted like a mule told him to find a pet shark and keep him in a saltwater pool. Jeff had a premonition. He said they will be outnumbered and the whole platoon must go now. They teleported using Vanguard 1… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice X Division Title match. Here’s hoping new management will continue the streak of going with singles matches, and they do a much better job of making the X Division Title matches feel important. This one was announced mid-match during Storm vs. Godderz and neither man received any mic time.

The Hardys teleported to a flea market. Jeff said there must be a pro wrestling match close. Matt said at least the seven deities didn’t land them in a bingo hall. They exited the flea market and a crowd of wrestling fans was lined up for the show. The Hardys led them in chanting delete…

Separate shots aired of Lashley and Barnett warming up for their match…

[Q5] [C] At the wrestling event, Matt told what was apparently the promoter that they were there to procure gold. Two men were shown talking backstage when Benjamin approached them. He ended up using a taser on both men because they were the No. 1 contenders. Another man told the promoter that the challengers couldn’t compete. Matt assumed they could have the tag title shot. The promoter said he didn’t have the budget to pay them. Jeff said money is for marks. The promoter gave them the match.

Powell’s POV: Money is for marks, and title belts are where it’s at? These Hardy characters are every promoter’s dream.

Backstage, the Hardys confronted the tag champions, former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck’s Ecktourage. Jeff’s “Obsolete” song played as footage from the match was shown. Two wrestlers (one had Cousin Clay on the back of his shirt) brought Jeff into the flea market area where no one was located and hit him with weapons. Matt was getting worked over in the ring. Jeff and Benjamin chased them out of the building with roman candles.

In the ring, Matt was being double teamed when Jeff returned and worked over both opponents. Jeff ended up hitting both men with the Swanton and pinned them both to win the match and the MCW Tag Titles. Reby, Maxel, and Benjamin joined them in the ring for the post match celebration. They cut to a press conference. The Hardys teleported away in front of the press, and one of the press members freaked out and wanted to run away…

A trainer was tending to Moose when Drew Galloway showed up. Galloway said he came in peace. Galloway said he listened to fans who thought he was ducking him. Galloway said he wanted to make the title better than any title in the world. Galloway told Moose he would give him a shot. He said he wouldn’t make Moose right him immediately, instead he gave him 5-10 minutes to get ready…

Mathews hyped a look back at last week’s wedding angle for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The Hardy footage from MCW was much better than what we saw last week and even better than the choppy footage from Mexico.

[Q6] Footage of the extended Braxton Sutter, Laurel Van Ness, Allie, and Maria saga aired… McKenzie Mitchell found Van Ness backstage. She was a drunken mess and was still wearing her wedding gown while chugging down wine. She said she hates Sutter and Allie. She said she’s fine, then cried some more…

Powell’s POV: If Billy Corgan hadn’t left the company, I would have assumed they brought in his buddy Courtney Love to stand in for Van Ness during that segment.

4. Drew Galloway vs. Moose for the Impact Grand Championship. Mathews said the judges rule based on aggressiveness, controlling the action, and physicality. Galloway caught Moose with a kick to start the match. slammed Moose onto the ring steps. Moose was down at ringside at the end of round one. Round one was awarded to Galloway via split decision. [C]

[Q7] Moose caught Galloway with a kick to start round two. Moose powerbombed Galloway and then hit a moonsault off the middle rope for a two count. Galloway rested at ringside. Mathews complained that he should be counted out and Moose should be the new champion. Moose went after him. Galloway performed a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron. Moose came back with a powerbomb on the apron. Both men were down at ringside at the end of the round. Moose was named the winner of the second round via split decision.

They started the third round by simultaneously catching one another with big boots. Galloway took offensive control and performed a Tombstone piledriver for a two count. Mathews said Moose needed to suck it up like he did earlier. Pope said Mathews would be doing a lot of sucking up starting next week. Galloway caught Moose with a Claymore Kick, but Moose got right up and performed a discus clothesline at the bell. Moose was named the winner via split decision. Mathews complained that Galloway was robbed and he had it scored 30-28 for Galloway. Pope said he felt the judges got it right…

Moose defeated Drew Galloway via split decision to win the Impact Wrestling Grand Championship.

Powell’s POV: The lack of selling for some of the bigger moves down the stretch was a bit much, but they worked hard and the judging was fairly dramatic. I doubt this move would have happened if Galloway had re-signed prior to this taping. Instead, he’s leaving the company after announcing earlier this week that the company didn’t make their offer in time. Heel Mathews was damaging here. I realize he’s in heel mode, but it still felt awkward to not have both broadcast team member endorse Moose as the new champion. If nothing else, I’m happy they held off until this show before having Mathews go into all out heel mode, as a month or more of it would have been way too much. By the way, the spoilers for tonight’s taping are now available on the main page.

A video package focussed on Lashley and Josh Barnett. It featured footage and Barnett talking about how he was going to make Lashley prove that he’s worthy of holding the championship… Separate shots aired of both men preparing for the match backstage… [C]

[Q8] Ring entrances for the main event took place. Mathews said Barnett was the youngest UFC Champion in history. He added that Barnett competed for Pride and “Pancreas”…

5. Lashley vs. Josh Barnett for the Impact Wrestling Championship. Mathews complained about having to listen to Jeremy Borash deliver in-ring introductions for the title match. Barnett received a light mix of boos and cheers and did nothing to play to the crowd. Lashley received more boos than cheers. The match started and Mathews pimped the Don West specials on the company’s website. Lashley slammed Barnett to the mat and covered him for two. Lashley threw punches at Barnett while Mathews said they were wrestling the way he did. [C]

Lashley went for a spear, but Barnett rolled through. Barnett threw punches and then went for a Cross Arm Breaker, but Lashley avoided it. Barnett threw kicks at Lashley, who came back with a clothesline and a spear. Lashley covered Barnett and scored an awkward three count (Barnett kicked out)…

Lashley defeated Josh Barnett to retain the Impact Wrestling Championship.

Pope hyped new ownership arriving next week. Mathews said he couldn’t wait for them to be there. “Yeah, right,” Pope said. Mathews hyped Moose, EC3, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake, Decay, “the daredevil X Division Stars,” and the “lovely and lethal Knockouts” for next week…

Powell’s POV: A dull main event. The fans have no connection to Barnett and neither he nor the company did anything to change that. There was actually a lot more to this match when it was taped. They had multiple restarts, which we didn’t see here. I believe the idea was to film multiple finishes and then pick a direction. They picked the right one by having Lashley retain. It doesn’t mean Barnett can’t get over, but it was a mistake to rush into this match. I’ll be back with my member exclusive audio review. Remember, the spoilers for tonight’s Impact Wrestling tapings are available on the main page.


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