Contributor Mike McMahon covers this week’s TNA Impact, with the latest TNA Title series matches, plus a Jeff Hardy interview & injury update, and the updated TNA Title Standings.
TNA Impact Report
November 4, 2015
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Aired on Destination America
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact Wrestling opened with a video package highlighting last week’s show, including Matt Hardy’s win and the main event between Awesome Kong and Gail Kim.
Tonight: Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards and Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode in the main event. Also, Jeff Hardy will speak out for the first time since Bound for Glory.
In-arena: Josh Mathews and Pope welcome us to Impact Wrestling in the announce studio. Also on tonight’s show, it’s Madison Rayne vs. Brooke. Mathews and Pope also highlighted tonight’s main event of Roode vs. Young, as well as the interview with Jeff Hardy.
In-arena: Madison Rayne and Brooke make their ring entrances for tonight’s opening contest. Mathews said tonight is all about competing for the World Title.
In a backstage interview, Rayne said that the Knockouts started the “revolution” that’s going on now in women’s wrestling. She said they’re putting their blood, sweat, and tears into the division. Rayne said that the Knockouts have been revolutionizing women’s wrestling for a decade. She compared the Knockouts to what Ronda Rousey is doing for MMA. Madison pointed out that if she doesn’t win here, she’s probably going home. She knows that her back is up against the wall.
1 — MADISON RAYNE vs. BROOKE — World Title Series round-robin match
The match starts with a lock-up. Madison takes Brooke down with an armdrag. Mathews said that in Brooke’s match with Gail Kim, Brooke broke one of her fingers, which is why there is a splint on her hand. Brooke lands a dropkick and gets a two count.
Brooke follows up with several forearms in the corner. Madison gets back in control with some forearms of her own. Brooke takes Madison down with a vicious shoulder tackle. Very aggressive. Brooke gets another two count.
Brooke hits an elbow off the top rope for a two count. They get back up and Madison Rayne plants Brooke with a Rayne Drop for the win. Post-match: Madison Rayne helps Brooke up, raises her hand, and they hug.
WINNER: Madison Rayne via pinfall in 4:37.
[MM Reax: Remember when an elbow off the top would finish a match? Decent opening match. They worked hard. But, there were a lot of things that just didn’t seem to fit. There were a lot of forearms, for example. The elbow off the top should be a move that finishes a match, though. If you’re not going for a finish there, then don’t do that move. Not every match needs a big false finish.]
Backstage: Eric Young was acting as crazy Eric Young acts. He said everyone is out to get him, because he’s the best. Young said he’s the best, and no one is better. Young said he makes his own luck because he’s a winner and Roode won’t even make it to the main event tonight.
Still to come: Bobby Roode vs. Eric Young as well as Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards and an interview with Jeff Hardy.
Back from the break, TNA airs a video hyping the main event tonight between Roode and Eric Young. Highlights include Young costing Bobby Roode the TNA World Title.
[MM Reax: TNA has been doing this for the past few weeks, but these video packages airing throughout the night to highlight that show’s main event have been really great. WWE gets a lot of praise for its video packages, but TNA is doing some really good work from a production standpoint on these vignettes.]
Backstage: Pope and Mathews break down the main event tonight. Pope said they go all the way back to the original days of TNA. Mathews asks Pope who has the best chance of winning the World Title out of this group, and Pope picked Bobby Roode.
2 — ROCKSTAR SPUD vs. BRAM — World Title Series round-robin match
Bram shoves Spud to start the match. Spud gets back up and Bram shoves him to the ground. Bram then grabs Spud by the head, but Spud responds with a slap. Spud slaps Bram back, then Bram misses a clothesline and Spud lands some forearms to Bram’s head. Spud runs the ropes and lands forearms, but he can’t get Bram off his feet. Spud gets Bram into the corner and then fires off kicks and punches. Spud hits three running knees.
Spud grabs Bram’s thumb and bites. Bram throws him down and misses two elbow drops. Spud rolls to the outside and Bram follows. Spud gets back in and lands an elbow drop as Bram tries to roll back into the ring. Back on the outside, Spud goes for an axe handle off the apron, but Bram catches him and drops him to the floor.
Spud is holding his mouth, as Pope speculates whether he slammed his mouth on the apron. Spud is checking his teeth as Bram picks him up and rolls him back into the ring. Spud tries throwing punches at Bram’s mid-section, but Bram isn’t fazed by it. Bram grabs Spud by the mouth and he looks like he’s trying to rip his face open.
Bram chases Spud into the corner, but Spud lands a boot and then hits more running knees into the corner. Bram falls to the mat on the third running knee and then Spud hits a running dropkick. Drop toehold by Spud. Spud goes for an underdog but Bram powers out of it. Bram goes for a suplex, but Spud bites his hand again. Bram is able to under hook Spud again and hits a lifting DDT for the win.
WINNER: Bram via pinfall at 5:37.
[MM Reax: Spud might be one of the most under-rated wrestlers on the TNA roster. His matches look different with him being so undersized, but his matches always tell a good story. Here, it was the mouth injury, along with Spud gaining control at times by biting Bram. Simple, yet really effective.]
Backstage: Roode is shown arriving. He said he doesn’t care about what Eric Young says, referring to Young saying he won’t make it to the main event tonight. Roode said that he’s in charge of his own destiny and he will close out 2015 as a double champion.
Still to come: Roode vs. Eric Young.
Back from the break, Pope and Mathews talk about Matt Hardy winning the World Title.
3 — MANDREWS vs. MANIK — World Title Series round-robin match
Good mat wrestling to start the match. Both Mandrews and Manik work arms in the early part of the match. Mathews says that Mandrews is in trouble within this group if he doesn’t get a win here. Manik moves to Mandrews’s legs, trapping him in a surfboard-style submission for a few seconds before letting go.
Mandrews and Manik are locked together and doing a lot of rolling around the mat. More mat wrestling – there hasn’t been a single punch thrown in this match. With Mandrews down, Manik finally lands a few strikes with kicks. Mandrews is prone in the corner but pops up with a shoulder. Mandrews takes out Manik’s legs with a dropkick. Huracanrana by Mandrews followed by a springboard DDT. Mandrews rolls through on a body scissors and hits a standing moonsault. Manik moves and locks in a cross armbreaker.
Mandrews plays with the fans before hitting a standing corkscrew moonsault. Now Mandrews goes to the top rope, but is met with Manik’s knees, which leads to Manik getting the win.
WINNER: Manik via pinfall in 7:07.
[MM Reax: The first few minutes of this match felt very rehearsed. It was a slower version of what the X Division used to be. Honestly, it looked like an A.J. Styles-Christopher Daniels match, only at about half-speed. By the way, that speed makes a big difference.]
Backstage: Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards were interviewed together. Edwards said the better man will win tonight, and Richards said it won’t be the last time they probably face. They shook hands.]
Back from the break, Eric Young is backstage. The cameraman asks him if he’s looking for Bobby Roode. Young said he’s waiting to attack at the right time, not right away. He’s waiting for when Roode doesn’t expect it. Young said he has promised something, so it’s not about if, it’s about when. Young said he’d see Roode soon.
[MM Reax: Well, Young said he’s going to take out Bobby Roode. Unless he’s battling short-term memory loss, Roode should expect it for at least this two-hour television window.]
– Mathews throws to the Jeff Hardy interview.
Hardy is somewhere backstage or in front of a backdrop. Hardy said he had a bad concussion after falling off the cage vs. the Revolution and landing on the steps. Hardy said he proved to himself he could be just as good coming back from that injury. Hardy talked about the Ultimate X Match where the Hardys became the TNA World Tag Team Champions, and how they wanted that badly.
Hardy then addressed the dirt bike injury. He said he’s been riding dirt bikes since he was nine-years-old. Hardy said it took him two years to build up the nerve to do one of the jumps he built. Hardy said they just won the Tag Team Titles and he had been looking at this jump for two years and wanted to finally try it. Hardy said that the fear got the best of him, and he didn’t hit the jump hard enough, and he also said he was insane for not designing the landing spot to be safer.
Hardy said he woke up on the ground and he couldn’t get up. Hardy said the injury was heartbreaking. Hardy said he knew in the air that he wasn’t going to make it. End of Part 1.
In-arena: The Wolves’s music played. Richards and Edwards made their ring entrances together, despite wrestling in the same match. The Wolves walked to the ring as a team.
4 – TNA World Tag Team champion DAVEY RICHARDS vs. TNA World Tag Team champion EDDIE EDWARDS – World Title Series round-robin match
Pope said someone needs to get on the board in this match, and he expects it to get intense at some point. Edwards and Richards lock up. Richards drops down and flips Edwards, who flips Richards right back. Both wrestlers are almost mirror imaging each other with their attacks.
Very good mat wrestling to start this match. Arm drag by Edwards but Richards rolls right back up. Edwards and Richards each have the other’s leg, and agree to let go at the same time.
Back from the break, neither Wolf has taken control. Richards snaps Edwards through a suplex, but Edwards kicks out at one on the pin attempt. Richards solidly in control now, working Edwards’s legs. Edwards starts to gain some momentum back. Edwards hits an elbow after shooting Edwards off the rope. Mathews said we were approaching the five-minute warning in the match, and then on queue, Christie Hemme announced the five-minute warning.
Edwards has Richards locked in a headlock. Edwards hits a running dropkick as the match starts to pick up speed. Edwards goes to the top rope, but he’s caught by a spinning heel kick from Richards. Edwards is prone on the top and Richards climbs the turnbuckle and hits a superplex off the top rope. Both men landed hard, as Mathews speculates who had a worse fall.
Edwards and Richards are trading forearm punches in the middle of the ring. Edwards gets a two count after countering Richards off the ropes. Two minutes left.
Edwards hits a big shot to Richards as he’s sitting on the top rope. Now Richards counters a move by Edwards. Big German suplex by Richards and he holds onto the bridge, but Edwards kicks out. One minute remaining.
Sunset flip, but a kick-out. Some rapid pin attempts by both here, and kick-offs all over. Richards bridges out of a pin attempt and slides him into a backslide. Kickout. The clock is ticking as Edwards hits a chop and Richards lands a kick. Both men are chopping as the clock ticks down from 10 seconds.
Richards and Edwards are standing toe-to-toe as the clock hits zero.
WINNER: Time-limit draw.
[MM Reax: Very good match, as you’d expect. The finish was also somewhat expected, but who cares? They started slow and then really picked up the pace. The final few minutes were exceptional and it was fun to watch the match end with both men standing and trading, instead of a last-second pin attempt. It was also a nice wrinkle to see them get introduced and walk to the ring together. But, a very good match, as you’d expect from two of the best wrestlers in the entire company.]
Post-match: Edwards and Richards get up and look at each other from across the ring. They get on one knee and shake hands.
In-studio: Mathews said that the draw doesn’t help either wrestler, they each only get one point and still trail Robbie E. by two points for the last advancing spot in the pool. Pope said Matt Hardy and Robbie E. are the biggest winners out of that draw, as it locks Matt Hardy into advancing.
Backstage: Richards tells Edwards that he chopped his claw mark off his chest. Edwards said the match didn’t end any differently than expected, they just know each other so well. Edwards said he would have liked the win, but it happens. Edwards said it’s not about Eddie or Davey, it’s about the Wolves. Richards said they have lightning in a bottle, and it feels special.
– Mathews throws to more of the Hardy interview.
Hardy said that watching Matt give up the TNA Tag Titles while sitting at home was a terrible experience. He called it one of the worst experiences of his professional career. Hardy said he felt like he let Matt down and let all of the fans down.
Jeff said that as down as that was, it was great watching Matt go after the TNA World Title. Jeff said that ECIII takes advantage of every situation, all the time. He called ECIII shady and sketchy. Jeff said he only made the bet with ECIII because he believed in Matt.
Hardy said he didn’t regret believing in Matt Hardy, but he did regret the night and days spent with ECIII and Tyrus. “Washing their stinky gear and wearing their stupid suits,” Hardy said. “Waking them up in the morning so ECIII could get his workout in and Tyrus could watch Sesame Street …”
Hardy said it could have been worse, though. He said at Bound for Glory, he doesn’t think he went too far, especially when someone slaps him. Hardy said that ECIII pushed him to the limit. He said that moment of seeing Matt become World Champion was the best. Jeff called it very fulfilling and he was thrilled to see Matt finally get his moment to shine.
Hardy said looking back, he can see how it was unfair to ECIII. He said Matt made a very brave and honorable decision by giving up the World Title and he’s rooting Matt on to reclaim the TNA World Title. Jeff said that because of what happened at BFG, he’s banned from the entire World Title Series and can’t participate in it. Jeff said when this is all said and done, when Matt becomes the World Champion again, he’ll be the loudest person cheering.
Backstage: Roode was searching for Eric Young. Roode spots Young near a trailer and Roode is yelling at Young to jump him. Young said he’s already hit him because he’s in his head. Roode is screaming at Young to hit him, and Young just again repeated that he’s already in Roode’s head.
Still to come: Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode.
In-studio: Mathews and Pope broke down more matches tonight. Pope picks Mahabali Shera to beat Kenny King and Pope picked Davey Richards to win his next match against Robbie E. He also picked Bobby Roode to beat Eric Young later tonight in the main event.
5 — KENNY KING vs. MAHABALI SHERA — World Title Series round-robin match
Prior to the match, King said that he doesn’t want to talk about the pain Shera has caused him. King said that tonight is the tournament for it all. King said he has personal business with Shera, but tonight it’s about the TNA World Title, and it’s about business.
The match starts with a lock-up and a quick break by the referee after they landed on the ropes. Another lock-up and Shera tosses King aside. The crowd appears to be cheering “Kenny! Kenny!” … Shera powers King down. Both men run the ropes and King takes down Shera’s legs and then grabs a side headlock.
Shera on the outside. King leaps off the apron and hits a forearm to Shera’s face. King goes for the cover, but Shera kicks out. King hits a running clothesline and then grabs a rear chinlock. King hits a kick to the back of Shera’s neck, but Shera again kicks out at two. Shera is in the corner and he’s struggling to stay up.
King goes for a running double knee, but Shera moves. Now Shera begins to take control of the match again, hitting some tackles. He throws King to the ropes and hits a clothesline. Shera picks up King and hits a standing vertical suplex. Shera charges – slowly – but King hits an elbow. King goes up top and tries to hit a dive, but Shera catches him and hits a Sky High for the win.
WINNER: Mahabali Shera via pinfall in 6:57.
Back from the break, Mathews and Pope break down what else we’ve seen tonight on the show before kicking it to the arena for the main event.
TNA then aired another video hyping tonight’s main event and highlighting the long-time feud between Roode and Eric Young.
Young entered the arena and cut a promo, telling the crowd that he’s a world-class pro wrestler and man.
6 — TNA KOTM champion BOBBY ROODE vs. ERIC YOUNG — World Title Series round-robin match
The match starts quickly with a clothesline from Bobby Roode. After Roode takes control very early in the match, Young rolls to the outside. Back in the ring, Young goes for a dive off the top but Roode catches him. Roode picks up Young on his shoulders and Young powers out of it, starting to take control of the match.
Young has Roode locked in a rear chinlock. Roode starts to make a comeback with some elbows to the gut, then Roode nails a dropkick after hitting the ropes. Roode shoots Young into the ropes, but Young counters with a neckbreaker. Roode kicks out at two. Young gives Roode some boots on the mat, then he drops an axe handle across the back.
Young is paying too much attention to the crowd and Roode catches him. Both men are on the mat and slow to get back up. Roode is getting up first and throws a right hand. Young responds with a right. Now they’re trading right hands in the middle of the ring. Young slaps Roode across the face. Young hits the ropes but Roode comes back with a spinebuster for a two count.
Some mat wrestling and Roode rolls into a jackknife cover, but it’s only for a two count. Young charges Roode in the corner, but Roode gets a boot up. Roode comes off the top but Young pulled Earl Hebner in the way, forcing Roode to come up short.
Young then grabs Roode and hits a piledriver for the win.
WINNER: Eric Young via pinfall.
MM Final Thoughts: Another pretty solid show from TNA. The formula has been really simple and it’s resulted in some of the best episodes they’ve had on Destination America, that’s for sure.
There’s a main event, a good build to that main event, and then just solid wrestling underneath it while all night promoting the big match at the end of the show. It’s a simple and winning formula. They’ve abandoned the soap opera storylines, and it’s immensely improved the TNA product.
There are still some holes. Some of the names in the 32-man tournament don’t really belong in a tournament to crown a new World Champion, but that’s what you get when you lack roster depth and have cut budgets.
The Richards-Edwards match and the main event were both very good. Some of the undercard, with a lack of name value, feels like it’s forgettable at times, but the bigger matches carried this show, and most other Impact episodes since the World Title Series began.
Current World Title Series Standings
Top two finishers from each group advance. Bold means a wrestler has locked in to advance. Italic means a wrestler cannot advance.
1 — Austin Aries (4)
1 — Ethan Carter III (4)
3 — Bobby Lashley (3)
4 — Mr. Anderson (0)
1 — Drew Galloway (6)
2 — Rockstar Spud (3)
2 — Bram (3)
4 — Grado (0)
1 — Awesome Kong (3)
1 — Brooke (3)
1 — Gail Kim (3)
1 — Madison Rayne (3)
1 — Mahabali Shera (6)
2 — Kenny King (3)
2 — Aiden O’Shea (3)
4 — Crazzy Steve (0)
Group TNA Originals
1 — Eric Young (6)
2 — Abyss (3)
2 — Bobby Roode (3)
2 — James Storm (3)
Group Tag Team Specialists
1 — Matt Hardy (6)
2 — Robbie E. (3)
3 — Davey Richards (1)
3 — Eddie Edwards (1)
Group X Division
1 — Manik (6)
2 — Tigre Uno (3)
2 — D.J. Z (3)
4 — Mandrews (0)
Group Future 4
1 — Jessie Godderz (3)
2 — Eli Drake (1)
2 — Micah (1)
4 — Crimson (0)