TNA Impact MCMAHON'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/7: TNA Title Series kicks off, Bound for Glory fall-out, more; Overall Reax
Oct 7, 2015 - 10:42:56 PM
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TNA Impact Wrestling
Oct. 7, 2015
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opened with a video recap, mainly with still shots, recapping the main event at Bound for Glory, showing Jeff Hardy hitting Ethan Carter III with the chair, costing him the TNA World Hvt. Title. The still-shots transitioned to video after Hardy won the title and clips were shown of his celebration.
In-studio: Josh Mathews and The Pope were in a new announce studio that looks really sharp. It appears to be just a green screen with a graphic on the back, but it looks similar to some aspects of the new SportsCenter set.
Mathews threw to clips of the videos that have aired on TNA's website over the past few days, including ECIII going ballistic backstage, ECIII leaving his attorney’s office revealing the injunction filed on TNA and Matt Hardy, Hardy relinquishing the TNA World Title, and Dixie Carter announcing the World Title Series.
Back in the studio, Pope and Mathews run down the events of the last few days. Pope said he knows how tough of a decision it was Hardy, because he’s been in the ring.
Mathews broke down the round-robin rules, similar to the World Cup if you’re a soccer fan. He also noted the matches will have 15-minute time limits.
Mathews unveils the first four groups of the TNA World Title Series:
Group U.K.: Bram, Rockstar Spud, Grado, and Drew Galloway
Group Wildcard: Mahabali Shera, Aidan O’Shea, Kenny King, Crazzy Steve
Group Knockouts: Awesome Kong, Madison Rayne, Brooke, Gail Kim
Group Champions: Bobby Lashley, Austin Aries, Mr. Anderson, ECIII
Mathews also announces ECIII vs. Austin Aries will happen tonight, as will Gail Kim vs. Brooke. Drew Galloway vs. Bram is up next to kick off the series.
Backstage: Drew Galloway said that BFG was the biggest night of his career. He said on that night, Matt Hardy was the best man, and he gives all the credit in the world for him the way he has handled the situation. Galloway said he knows everything about the World Cup and he’s not letting anything slip through his fingers. He said he’s steamrolling everyone in his group, and he said the TNA World Hvt. Title was his destiny.
[Reax: I believe the World Title Series is an excellent idea, and could dramatically change the way TNA is presented for the next several weeks. First, from a booking standpoint, it makes perfect sense. TNA was taping a lot of television in advance, and this way all they needed to do was focus on taping matches.
The tournament should mean that TNA focuses mainly on wrestling matches for the foreseeable future, with backstage interviews and roundtables pieced in throughout the show. But the in-ring promos and over-the-top stories will be on hold. This is a great move for TNA and should provide some interesting matches moving forward. It’s also an easy concept to understand. Wrestling matches with meaning. Perfect. This could be really good for TNA.]
[Commercial Break at 9:14]
[Q2] Back from the break, Bram is in the ring ready to take on Drew Galloway. Speaking of Galloway, here he comes down the aisle.
1 -- BRAM vs. DREW GALLOWAY -- World Title Series round-robin match
Bram and Galloway go nose-to-nose before locking up. After Galloway was about to take control in the corner, Bram bailed to the outside of the ring. Galloway gives chase and they begin brawling on the outside.
Galloway is back in to break the 10 count, but Bram keeps goading him to go to the outside. Once Galloway had his eyes off Bram for a split second, Bram delivered a shot and took control.
During the commentary, Mathews said we’d learn of the other 16 competitors next week.
Bram begins to deliver right hands, but Galloway stands and takes it. They then start to trade shots. Now Galloway has control and fires massive right hands on Bram in the corner, forcing him to cover up. Galloway hits a scoop slam out of the corner. Bram again bails to the outside, but Galloway gives chase. Galloway hits a running boot for the pinfall.
WINNER: Drew Galloway in about 8:00. Galloway secures three points in Group U.K.
[Reax: Solid opener for the tournament. Both were very aggressive and physical in this match and they gave them some time.]
Still to come: Rockstar Spud vs. Grado.
Backstage: Gail Kim is interviewed and said TNA has always been the place for women to come and succeed. She said that she has the chance to be World Hvt. Champion and there is no other place where that could happen.
Next: Gail Kim vs. Brooke.
[Commercial Break at 9:29]
[Q3] Backstage: Galloway is interviewed backstage. He said he and Bram are both aggressive. He didn’t think Bram had a gameplan because he was just so aggressive. He said Bram’s downfall was going to the outside.
[Reax: That was an awesome 30-second interview. Treating the match like a sporting event, where Galloway reacted and analyzed what happened. That was great. More of that, please.]
2 -- BROOKE vs. GAIL KIM -- World Title Series round-robin match
Back-and-forth action early. Mathews points out that this match is not for the Knockouts Title. Gail goes for the tilt-a-whirl headscissors, but Brooke holds on and prevents Gail from following through. Brooke with a clothesline and then hits a huracanrana. Brooke clearly is in control early.
Gail rolls to the outside and looks frustrated. Brooke and Gail trade forearms in the corner. Brooke locks in a submission, but releases after about 30 seconds. She asked the ref if Gail tapped. Gail then locks in a submission on the mat, pulling Brooke’s right leg up over her head and twisting her ankle. That’s a new maneuver.
Gail lets go of the hold and tries to lock in Eat Defeat, but Brooke pushes off her. Gail off the rope and Brooke lands a clothesline. Brooke hits a facebuster from the second rope. Brooke climbs to the top rope and goes for an elbow, but Gail Kim moves. Brooke runs to the corner, but Gail hits an elbow. Gail drops Brooke and drags her to the corner. Gail then goes to the outside and locks on a ringpost figure-four, breaking as the referee’s count hits four.
Back in the ring, Gail looks like she is going to go for a figure-four, but Brooke rolls her into an inside cradle for the pinfall.
WINNER: Brooke in about 6:00.
[Reax: Surprising upset. It could be to add interest to the eventual Knockouts Title re-match. I’m still expecting Gail Kim and Awesome Kong to come out of this group.]
Backstage: ECIII said this should be called the ECIII Memorial Screwjob Series, because he is the one, true, real TNA World Hvt. Champion. ECIII said he is the real World Champion and he got robbed. He said he was the first real organic creation of TNA, and he can’t believe he was treated this way. ECIII sarcastically welcomed back Austin Aries and said tonight he would defeat him in record time. ECIII said the World Title Series is not over until he wins.
Still to come: ECIII vs. Austin Aries
[Commercial Break at 9:45]
[Q4] In-studio: Mathews asked Pope recap what has happened so far, including talking Galloway’s win.
3 -- ROCKSTAR SPUD vs. GRADO -- World Title Series round-robin match
Grado charges Spud right off the bat. Spud gets back up and shoves him. In the roundtable interview, Grado sort of played the heel against Spud.
Spud is down in the corner and Grado goes for a splash but Spud moves. Spud climbs back up. Grado charges the corner again but Spud moves, again. Now Spud hits a pair of splashes before running back and charging the corner with a dropkick.
Grado intercepts Spud and hits a pedigree, but Spud kicks out. Grado lowers his straps and tries to figure out an anklelock, but Spud rolls out of it. Spud hits an ECIII splash and a bulldog. Spud goes for a bodyslam, but Grado drops an axe handle on his back. Spud is down and Grado is running the ropes, going for a People’s Elbow, but he’s getting winded and slowing down. Grado finally drops the elbow, but Spud kicks out.
Grado lifts Spud and tries to go for a Styles Clash, I think? But, Spud gets out of it. Spud gets up, puts his arm in the air like Kane and hits a chokeslam. Grado kicks out. Spud now does the “you can’t see me” motion and tries to get Grado on his shoulders, but Grado is too heavy. Mathews then says he’s going to steal some lines from J.R. and calls this a slobberknocker. Spud hits a stunner and an underdog for the win.
WINNER: Rockstar Spud in about 7:00.
[Reax: It was a comedy match, and those usually aren’t funny, but this was actually pretty good. Moving forward in the group, I think TNA could treat Spud a little more seriously, even with his size. However, I’m fully expecting Galloway and Bram to come out of that group.]
Still to come: ECIII vs. Austin Aries. Mathews said he’ll discuss how Aries got into this series after the break.
[Commercial Break at 9:57]
[Q5 -- second hour] Back from the break in the studio, Mathews asks Pope for a bold prediction, and he instead just runs down who is in the Champions Group. But, he finally does make a bold prediction, saying that ECIII will be pinned in this tournament.
Backstage: Tyrus, who has a title shot after BFG, is being interviewed by a cameraman, saying he shocked the world. He said as far as the World Title Series goes, he’s just going to sit back and watch what happens. He said if ECIII wins the series, things will get really interesting.
Mathews breaks down why Aries is back in TNA after losing a match earlier this summer that banned him from TNA. Mathews said Aries apparently worked his way into the group being a former champion. They didn’t really explain it well.
4 -- ETHAN CARTER III (w/Tyrus) vs. AUSTIN ARIES (w/Thea Trinidad)
ECIII and Aries begin with wrestling holds. ECIII hits a tackle and they reset. Aries is clearly the babyface. He said in a clip from the roundtable that ECIII is always tough because he has “200 pounds of Tyrus” behind him.
ECIII bails to the outside after Aries hits a couple of dropkicks. Aries chases him and hits a forearm and elbow on the outside. Aries slams ECIII’s face into the ring apron. Now on the steps, Aries fires away with left hands. He rolls ECIII back into the ring and climbs to the top rope, but he dives to the outside after noticing Tyrus closing in on him.
Aries goes to climb back into the ring, but ECIII knocks him off the apron and to the outside.
[Commercial Break at 10:09]
Back from the break, the match is in the ring and ECIII is still in control. ECIII drops a couple of elbows and goes for a pin, but Aries kicks out. Mathews notes that there is just five minutes remaining in the time limit before the match is ruled a draw, and each wrestler receives one point.
[Q6] Aries is back in control running ECIII from turnbuckle to turnbuckle. A neckbreaker by Aries knocks ECIII to the outside and then he follows up with a suicide dive. Aries rolls ECIII back into the ring and hits a missile dropkick. ECIII charges in the corner, but ECIII lifts a boot to counter.
ECIII off the ropes and Aries hits a discus elbow for a two count. Aries goes to the top, but ECIII cuts him off and hits a TKO after lifting Aries from the top. Cover and only a two count. ECIII goes for an ECIII splash, but Aries moves. Aries hits a running dropkick and goes for a brainbuster, but ECIII overpowers him and drives his shoulder into Aries’s gut in the corner.
Aries and ECIII are now perched on the top rope. Aries smacks ECIII in the ears and Aries hits a 450 from the top, but ECIII manages to kick out at two. Aries and ECIII are trading right hands. Aries goes to the ropes and Tyrus picks the ankle to trip him. ECIII hits a powerbomb, but Aries kicks out at two. Aries with a schoolboy for two.
Christy Hemme announces there is one minute left. Aries looks for a brainbuster, but ECIII reverses into a set up for the One-Percenter. Aries reverses and goes for a brainbuster. ECIII reverses and goes for a One-Percenter, but Aries again reverses. The bell then rings.
WINNER: Time Limit draw in 15:00.
Post-match: Aries and ECIII continue to go at it, and Aries hits a brainbuster.
[Reax: Really great match. The spots near the end with the back-and-forth reversals were especially great. The draw keeps ECIII’s kinda-undefeated streak intact without having to pin Aries, who was technically making his “return” to the company.]
In-studio: Pope and Mathews continue to rundown the World Title Series and show standings.
Backstage: Mr. Anderson said he’s in the toughest group and he loves it. He said if he wants to be World Champion he needs to go through all of these guys and it starts tonight with Bobby Lashley. He told Lashley, through the camera, that he’s all in.
Next: Awesome Kong vs. Madison Rayne.
[Commercial Break at 10:25]
[Q7] Backstage: Aries is interviewed about ECIII. He said tonight, he couldn’t beat Aries. Aries said that he heard the fans who wanted five more minutes, but ECIII wanted none of it.
5 -- AWESOME KONG vs. MADISON RAYNE -- World Title Series round-robin match
Rayne is stuck in the corner early and Kong is leveling her with huge right forearms. Kong tosses Rayne across the ring by her hair. Rayne is trying to chop down Kong, but Kong again tosses Rayne to the mat.
Rayne applies a sleeperhold. Kong gets out and is treating Rayne like a ragdoll again. She lifts Rayne up for a torture rack and then tosses her back to the mat. Kong misses a splash off the rope. Rayne hits a crossbody but Kong has the rope to break the count. Kong is back up but wobbly. Rayne goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick but Kong kicks out.
Rayne tries to suplex Kong, but she can’t get her up. Kong comes back with an implant buster for the win.
WINNER: Awesome Kong in about 4:00.
After the match, Kong tries to continue the assault on Rayne, but she keeps getting backed off by Earl Hebner.
Backstage: Lashley says the World Title Series will be great. He said that he’s been in tournaments his entire life. He said his group is the best that TNA has to offer, and he said he’d dominate anyone brought to him.
Up next: An exclusive interview with Matt Hardy.
[Commercial Break at 10:37]
Backstage: Jeremy Borash is interviewing Matt Hardy, who said that winning the TNA World Hvt. Championship was the best experience of his life. He said it was perfect. Hardy said that ECIII handcuffed everyone with his injunction, and the only thing Hardy could do in order for TNA to remain on TV every week was to relinquish the title.
[Reax: Just listening to Matt Hardy’s interview, it made me wonder if this was TNA’s plan if they had been dropped by Destination America by now. The storyline for the show not airing could have been ECIII filed an injunction. Obviously they are on the air now until at least the end of the year, so the story is Matt dropped the title and they’ll air the World Title Series.]
[Q8] In-studio: Pope and Mathews recap the World Title Series thus far.
6 -- BOBBY LASHLEY vs. MR. ANDERSON -- World Title Series round-robin match
Lashley and Anderson shake hands to start the match. Waist lock by Lashley into a takedown.
[Commercial Break at 10:48]
Back from the break, Lashley hits an underhook suplex. Anderson back up and hits a right hand. During the roundtable, Lashley and Anderson both said that they thought the other could advance in the group, if forced to pick someone other than themselves.
Lashley charges the corner, but Anderson moves. He rolls Lashley up, but only gets a two count. Lashley is down on the mat and Anderson is laying in punches to Lashley’s back. Anderson is focusing most of his attack on Lashley’s left shoulder. Anderson hits a shoulder tackle. Off the ropes, Lashley reads the move and jumps for a leap frog, but Anderson holds up and hits a dropkick.
Lashley back to the mat and Anderson back on the attack, wrenching Lashley’s arm behind his head to pressure the shoulder again.
Anderson goes to the top, but Lashley runs and cuts him off. Anderson climbs down and snaps Lashley over the ropes. Anderson back into the ring and pries Lashley’s shoulder before dropping him to the mat with what appeared to be a modified DDT. Anderson goes right back to work on Lashley’s shoulder. Lashley counters and escapes with a slam out of a fireman’s carry.
Anderson charges Lashley in the corner, but Lashley counters with an elbow. Lashley now in control, hitting a splash in the corner. Lashley gets Anderson up in some sort of torture rack but Anderson punches his way out. Lashley hits a killer spinebuster.
Lashley measures Anderson for a spear, but Anderson avoids it. About five minutes to go, according to the clock. Anderson has Lashley on his shoulders, but Lashley powers out. Anderson has Lashley back up and hits a Green Bay Plunge.
Anderson tries for the Mic Check, but Lashley fights free with some elbows. Anderson charges Lashley in the corner, but Lashley comes out of nowhere and hits a spear for the win.
WINNER: Bobby Lashley in about 12:00.
[Reax: Old-school main event with Anderson focusing on working Lashley’s shoulder. Good match that kept Anderson strong despite the loss after being in control for much of it. Only drawback was that Anderson worked Lashley’s shoulder nicely, and it would have been nice for Anderson if Lashley sold it more, especially after the match. Perhaps only raise one hand instead of two, really making it appear as if his shoulder was completely fine.]
After the match, standings are shown of the World Title Series as Lashley is shown celebrating.
[Final Thoughts: Solid show. The focus was on the wrestling and that will be the case moving forward. As long as they deliver on match quality, and they did so tonight, the World Title Series should make for some intriguing matches and overall, is a very good idea.
It’s likely that TNA had two roads they could take with this angle. First, if they were booted off Destination America, there is the storyline reason why. ECIII filed an injunction. Turn a negative into a positive by putting the heat in that situation on its biggest heel.
That’s not the case, they’re still on the air. So the second option was to run the tournament with the matches they taped at the previous set of television tapings. The end result is a show that, for the next several weeks, if not months, will focus almost entirely on wrestling matches that have a clear consequence and meaning. That’s a positive step for TNA.]
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