SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s Impact continued the TNA Title Series, plus it was announced that the semi-final rounds of the tournament will be taped in India during TNA’s December tour. Read full results…
TNA Impact Wrestling Results
November 11, 2015
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Aired on Destination America
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact Wrestling opened with a video highlighting the matches from last week. Josh Mathews and The Pope introduced the show, noting that tonight there will be matches where competitors could be eliminated with losses. Mr. Anderson is not able to advance, but will face Ethan Carter III. Also Matt Hardy vs. Eddie Edwards will happen tonight.
In-arena: Madison Rayne is making her ring entrance. She’s followed by Gail Kim. In a backstage interview, Rayne said she had a special training regimen in preparation for her match with Gail Kim. TNA then aired a very strange video package of Madison Rayne roaming around backstage pretending to be some sort of ninja, hiding behind bushes and climbing on roofs.
[MM Reax: Huh? Seriously, what was that? TNA reverted to some of its old ridiculousness with that backstage clip, but at least it was 30 seconds before a match and not a 15-minute promo or a central theme to the program. It didn’t add anything to the match, though. It actually made Madison Rayne look a lot less serious as a challenger for Gail.]
1 — MADISON RAYNE (3 points) vs. GAIL KIM (3 points) — World Title Series round-robin match
Gail and Madison start with a lockup. Some mat wrestling as they trade pinfall attempts with rolls back and forth. They reset after a jackknife pin attempt by Gail. With Gail hanging over the second rope, Madison Rayne hits a dropkick. Gail responds with some kicks to Madison’s thighs and then plants her with a clothesline.
[Commercial Break at 9:09]
Back from the break, Gail charges Madison Rayne in the corner, but Madison ducks it and sends Gail crashing through the ropes and out to the floor.
[Q2] Madison goes to the outside but Gail catches her and smashes her head on the steps. Pope says that Madison Rayne should have taken the count-out win. Gail has a dragon sleeper locked in, but Madison counters with an atomic drop. Both women are down as the referee begins his count. Madison goes for a cover, but Gail kicks out at two. Madison charges Gail in the corner with a forearm to the throat.
Madison Rayne hits a cross-body, but only gets a two count. Rayne goes for a suplex, but Gail counters into a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Gail Kim via pinfall in about 12:00.
Post-match: Gail Kim is now guaranteed to move on, while Madison Rayne is eliminated.
Later: Mr. Anderson vs. ECIII and an interview with Matt Hardy.
[Commercial Break at 9:18]
Back from the break, Mathews and Pope recap the opening match, including highlights.
In-studio: Pope says that Gail Kim is the greatest Knockout in the history of TNA. Mathews said we knew the Knockouts being in the World Title Series would be historic, and now it it is.
– Mathews welcomed Matt Hardy via satellite. Hardy said he’s ecstatic to be in the Round of 16, but he never thought that he wouldn’t qualify. He said that he’s been trendy, and he predicts he’ll sweep the entire series and win with an unblemished record. He said that’s the best way to prove he’s the true World Champion.
Hardy said no other places gives its entire roster the change to compete for a World Title. Hardy said he has no regrets giving up the World Title because a wrestling career is too short to have regrets. Hardy said that ECIII would have dragged the issue out for months or years. He said that ECIII put them in a bind. Hardy said he never felt that he wouldn’t regain the title.
Pope asked if he was taking the night off against Eddie Edwards tonight, because he’s already qualified? Hardy said of course he’s not. He said that Edwards is the future of the brand and a future TNA World Champion, but tonight he’ll be another victim of the Matt Hardy formula. Hardy said that he’d like to face ECIII in the finals of the tournament.
Later tonight: Matt Hardy vs. Eddie Edwards.
Backstage: Eli Drake said that Jessie had a lot to say to him. Eli said that Jessie has only once choice tonight, and that’s to lay down.
2 — ELI DRAKE (1 point) vs. JESSIE GODDERZ (3 points) — World Title Series round-robin match
[Q3] Drake and Godderz begin the match just staring each other down and talking before finally locking up. They start trading some headlock take downs. Drake and Godderz try to shake hands but both also try to land a kick. (During the match, Mathews plugs that full episodes of TNA Impact Wrestling are now available on the TNA YouTube channel.)
Another lock-up and now a test of strength. Drake gets control with a knee to the mid-section, but Jessie comes back with a knee of his own. Godderz hits a suplex and tries for a pin out of a bridge, but Drake gets a shoulder up. Godderz hits a press slam but he has apparently hurt his left knee while trying for the slam.
Drake is now like a shark seeing blood going after Godderz’s left knee. Drake continues assaulting Godderz’s left knee, landing several kicks and wrenching it side to side. Godderz starts to make a comeback with some elbows.
Godderz hits a standing enziguri, though, then lands a clothesline and Drake rolls to the apron, hitting a shoulder to the mid-section of Godderz on the outside. Drake regains control, setting up Godderz on the top turnbuckle. Meanwhile, Mathews teases big announcements for later tonight.
Godderz goes for a move off the top, but Drake breaks it up. Godderz rolls off the turnbuckle and Drake goes for a pin, getting the victory with his feet on the ropes.
WINNER: Eli Drake via pinfall in about 8:00.
[MM Reax: For as green as Drake and Godderz appear at times, this was a very good match. You can tell that TNA’s agents are getting through to the younger talent in particular. They effectively pulled off the heel vs. heel match, and kept the audience engaged with the Godderz injury angle. Giving the audience a reason to care when it’s two heels can always be challenging, but they did a nice job. There was nothing to reinforce Godderz as a heel after the match, though. Drake tortured his injured knee and then won with his feet on the ropes. Godderz came off as the babyface, which is fine if they’re going to go in that direction. But something as simple as Godderz attacking the referee could have reinforced that he’s also a heel.]
Mathews threw to a video of Ethan Carter III, who was at TNA’s offices earlier this week. ECIII said he was fined for his actions at Bound for Glory, and he’s there to pay up his fine in-person.
[Commercial Break at 9:40]
Back from the break, Eli Drake is backstage saying that tonight it happened exactly as he thought it would play out.
[Q4] In-studio: Mathews and Pope hand out some World Title Series awards, to this point. Pope picked Matt Hardy for MVP of the World Title Series. Pope chose Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards for Match of the Series, and then Mahabali Shera for the Most Improved as well as James Storm as being the Biggest Disappointment.
[MM Reax: Funny, I wonder if James Storm signing with WWE/NXT had anything to do with TNA making him the “biggest disappointment” of the World Title Series. Seems petty if so, but it’s also not something WCW or WWE wouldn’t have done in the mid-’90s.]
3 — MATT HARDY (6 points) vs. EDDIE EDWARDS (1 point)
The match begins with a handshake. Good mat wrestling to start the match. Hardy drops an elbow on Edwards off the second rope.
[Commercial Break at 9:51]
Back from the break, Edwards and Hardy are on the outside after Edwards goes for a suicide dive on the outside. Edwards lands some chops to Hardy’s chest. He goes for a third chop, but Hardy ducks and Edwards chops the post; Edwards has hurt his hand. Hardy slams Edwards’s hand off the steps and Hardy rolls him back onto the apron. Hardy tries for a side effect off the ring apron, but Edwards holds onto the rope and then hits a DDT on Hardy off the apron. Pope notes that the apron is the hardest part of the ring.
Now back in the ring, Hardy and Edwards are exchanging right hands before a double clothesline. Back to their feet, Hardy hits a right uppercut. Hardy has a sleeperhold that he turns into a sleeper slam, but he only gets a two count. Hardy goes to the top but Edwards connects with an enziguri.
Hardy is down and Edwards goes to the top. He lands on his feet after Hardy moves. Hardy goes for a Twist of Fate, but Edwards reverses it into a schoolboy only for a two count.
[Q5 — second hour] Hardy is down and Edwards again goes up top, but he’s cut off by Hardy, who tries for a superplex, but Edwards throws him off the turnbuckle. Hardy is back up and he hits a Twist of Fate off the top turnbuckle for the win.
WINNER: Matt Hardy via pinfall in about 12:00.
[MM Reax: A really good match between Edwards and Hardy. TNA seems intent on keeping Hardy strong having him go undefeated in the round-robin round. They could go for a surprise, but it would be shocking if Hardy didn’t make it to the World Title Series final.]
Post-match: Mathews said Hardy could be the next TNA World Champion. With the loss, Edwards is eliminated from the Round of 16.
Video package: Mathews throws to a video of the Bound for Glory main event, including Jeff Hardy’s involvement costing ECIII the TNA World Title and then ECIII assaulting John Gaburick backstage after the match.
Video package: ECIII is shown walking through the TNA office, saying he’s there to personally deliver his fine. ECIII walks into Dixie Carter’s office and said that if he’s going to be robbed, he wants to look in the face of the person doing it. Dixie said that she loves Ethan, but he’s done this to himself. ECIII said he’s grown to be a big, huge victory machine and he will be TNA World Champion again, and then he left.
[MM Reax: A little flavor to break up the format of match-interview-match-interview. That’s fine here. It didn’t really forward much but it also wasn’t terrible, like that ninja-training video, or whatever that was.]
Still to come: ECIII vs. Mr. Anderson
[Commercial Break at 10:05]
Back from the break, Mathews shows some replays of the Hardy-Edwards match.
Backstage: Hardy said Edwards is old-school and scares him. He said that Edwards earned his respect in the match.
4 — D.J. Z (3 points) vs. MANDREWS (0 points) — World Title Series round-robin match
Fast start to the match with Mandrews and D.J. Z. trading the typical fast-paced X Division spots. D.J. Z. ends up on the outside after a body scissors and an armdrag by Mandrews. Mandrews hits a moonsault off the steps. Mandrews shows off to the crowd and D.J. takes him down with a modified monkey flip and they’re back on the inside.
In the ring, D.J. hits a springboard back elbow off the second rope and then quickly follows that with a flying kick off the ropes. Mandrews recovers enough to land a quick enziguri for a two count. Mandrews sets up D.J. on the top rope, but Z. shoves him off the rope. Mandrews comes back with a kick and then a Frankensteiner off the top. Mandrews hits a standing Shooting Star Press in the ring for a two count.
D.J. Z. hits a Hostile Makeover for a two count. Mandrews gets caught in a cradle after going for a Shooting Star Press, but D.J. Z. got his knees up to give him the win.
WINNER: D.J. Zema via pinfall in about 5:00.
[MM Reax: D.J. looked really good here, but it’s time to drop the D.J. gimmick now that he’s no longer with Robbie E. and Jessie. He’s better going back to the very entertaining Xema Ion character.]
Video: Mahabali Shera is shown working out and preparing for his next match with the theme being that he’s “putting in the work” for the World Title Series.
In-studio: Pope and Mathews talk about upcoming match scenarios with various win-or-go-homes in play. The “very disappointing” James Storm and Eric Young are both on the bubble and will meet next week.
Video: Eric Young is talking about his match with James Storm and he says that he’s desperate. Young said he beat Bobby Roode fair and square on his own ability and skill and he put down Roode. Young said that Storm is a shadow of his former self. He said earlier in his career he would have been scared or worried about wrestling James Storm, but he’s not now. He said he was going to break Storm’s neck and take those points in the World Title Series.
After the video, Pope picks Eric Young to win next week.
5 — CRIMSON (0 points) vs. MICAH (1 point) — World Title Series round-robin match
TNA doesn’t air this full match. They air the replay of Drake beating Jessie Godderz earlier in the show and then show highlights of Micah hitting a Samoan Drop to beat Crimson, giving him four points and eliminating Crimson.
WINNER: Micah via pinfall.
After the match, Josh Mathews announces that the semi-finals of the World Title Series will take place in India this December. ECIII cuts a promo and says that Mr. Anderson will not spoil his run, not now, not in the U.S., and not in India.
Video: Drew Galloway is sitting in what looks like his house. He said he was unsuccessful at BFG for reasons he won’t get into. He said in the World Title Series he would run through the competition. Galloway said that right now he’s in Scotland. He said if we thought he was motivated before, imagine him now that he’s re-focused from being home in Scotland.
Next week: Brooke vs. Awesome Kong, Eric Young vs. James Storm, and Bobby Roode vs. Abyss.
A video airs on ECIII and Mr. Anderson. As part of the video, ECIII says he’s campaigning for the World Title and Anderson said that you don’t politic to win championships, and it took him 11 years to win the World Title. Highlights from their Falls Count Anywhere match from earlier this summer air.
6 — ETHAN CARTER III (4 points) vs. MR. ANDERSON (0 points) — World Title Series round-robin match
ECIII has Tyrus at ringside. Anderson sends ECIII into the corner and starts the match with some hard chops. Anderson throws ECIII across the ring to the other turnbuckle and charges but ECIII gets an elbow up to block him and take control of the match. ECIII lands chops, but Anderson reverses. ECIII gets whipped into the ropes but ducks to the outside to recover.
Back from the break, Anderson is chopping ECIII on the floor. Tyrus comes over to distract Anderson and it allows ECIII the chance to roll back into the ring. Back in the ring, Anderson still is in control and is on top of ECIII throwing right hands.
Anderson hits a clothesline on ECIII, but ECIII sends Anderson to the outside. Tyrus gets involved, knocking Anderson off the ring apron and to the outside. ECIII grabs Anderson and hits a suplex but only gets a two count.
Both men are down after a double clothesline. After they recover, they’re both on their feet trading right hands. Anderson hits a neckbreaker and then follows it with Green Bay Plunge and a swanton bomb off the top rope, but ECIII kicks out at two-and-a-half.
At ringside, Earl Hebner is yelling at Tyrus. Anderson goes to the outside and grabs a chair to go after Tyrus, hitting him repeatedly in the midsection. Back in the ring after he’s done with Tyrus, ECIII hits a low blow on Anderson, but Hebner didn’t see it getting the chair out of the ring. Anderson goes for another Mic Check, but ECIII reverses it into a jackknife pin for the win just as time was set to expire.
WINNER: Ethan Carter via pinfall in 14:52.
Post-match: ECIII and Tyrus celebrate at ringside as ECIII is now guaranteed to go on to the Round of 16.
[MM Final Thoughts: Another good World Title Series episode, despite some ill-advised backstage segments that fell more flat than anything. The Madison Rayne ninja video and ECIII going to Nashville to pay his fine didn’t really add anything to the show. The ECIII in Nashville video wasn’t terrible, but was just filler.
TNA is pushing its product more similarly to mixed martial arts than any pro wrestling product ever has on a major cable network ever has. It’s a complete reversal from the often cartoonish and gimmicky storylines that has plagued the show for the last several years.
There’s no telling where TNA goes after the World Title Series ends, but sticking to a similar format, where the stories are told in the ring and through interviews, where the focus of the interviews are the matches, should be a winning formula for TNA. If nothing else, it differentiates its product from WWE instead of trying to become nothing more than a WWE-lite version of pro wrestling.
Right now, with the World Title Series, TNA has found a nice sweet spot between the soap opera of WWE and the pure sport of Ring of Honor. In stumbling upon this format almost by accident it seems like, it could be a formula that moving forward helps establish the show long term on whichever network TNA lands on after this Destination America run is over.]
Current World Title Series Standings
The top two finishers from each group advance. Bold means a wrestler has locked in to advance. Italic means a wrestler cannot advance.
1 — Ethan Carter III (7)
1 — Austin Aries (4)
3 — Bobby Lashley (3)
4 — Mr. Anderson (0)
1 — Drew Galloway (6)
2 — Rockstar Spud (3)
2 — Bram (3)
4 — Grado (0)
1 — Gail Kim (6)
2 — Awesome Kong (3)
2 — Brooke (3)
2 — 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 (9)
2 — Robbie E. (3)
3 — Davey Richards (1)
3 — Eddie Edwards (1)
Group X Division
1 — Manik (6)
1 — D.J. Z (6)
3 — Tigre Uno (3)
4 — Mandrews (0)
Group Future 4
1 — Eli Drake (4)
1 — Micah (4)
3 — Jessie Godderz (3)
4 — Crimson (0)