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TNA wrapped up their run in Bethlehem, Pa. with a fifth TV/PPV taping in five nights on Saturday with more developments for upcoming Pop TV episodes.
TNA Impact TV Taping Report
January 9, 2016
Report by Randy Boone of Kunkletown, Pa.
This was the last night of tapings at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem. This was advertised as a One Night Only taping, but everything was actually taped for Impact (nothing for Xplosion, even). I’d estimate the crowd at about 250.
Jeremy Borash was introduced, followed by Christy Hemme, Josh Matthews, and The Pope. It sounded like JB said tonight’s show would air next Tuesday, but they said the same thing at Wednesday’s tapings, so who knows. Tonight’s show was much more classic TNA than the shows I saw Tuesday and Wednesday nights – i.e., more talking segments, more storyline-driven matches, more general booking chaos, etc.
Of note, throughout the entire night, there was no mention of or appearance by Ethan Carter III, other than chants by the fans, after events at Friday’s TV taping.
(1) Tigre Uno beat Mandrews and D.J. Zema in a three-way match to retain the X Division Title. This was a good, high energy match. Tigre Uno won via pinfall in about 8 minutes. Shane Helms then came out to confront Tigre Uno. He issued a challenge for “next week.”
Sam Roberts and Robert Irvine were introduced in the crowd.
Jeff Hardy came out and called out Matt Hardy for his despicable title-winning actions on the previous night. Jeff requested a match with Matt “later tonight.”
Next up: I got to witness first-hand a Feast or Fired match. Yay. The briefcases contained contracts for the King of the Mountain Title, World Title, Tag Titles, and a pink slip. (None of the results were revealed tonight.) The participants were Beer Money, Grado, Eli Drake, Robbie E., Chris Melendez, Jessie Godderz, Rockstar Spud, Aiden O’Shea, Drew Galloway, Eric Young, and Bram.
(2) Feast or Fired match. The match was your basic battle royal style clustermess. Ultimately, the four briefcases went to Grado, Drew Galloway, Eli Drake, and James Storm. For the last case, Beer Money both had a clear shot to the case, but Roode gallantly and unselfishly ceded it to Storm.
Christy Hemme then interviewed Bobby Lashley in the crowd. A mystery woman came up and said Lashley would see her later.
Next up was the Wolves vs Crazzy Steve, who called out Abyss as his partner. They had a crazy clown valet, which I believe was Christina Von Eerie. The back-story was that Crazzy Steve and a mystery person (Abyss) beat down The Wolves backstage and took the tag belts.
(3) The Wolves beat Crazzy Steve via DQ. The match ended with Steve getting DQ’ed for spitting mist in Davey Richards’s face.
Next up, Jeff Hardy was supposed to challenge Matt Hardy (with Tyrus and Reby Sky) for the World Title. Before the match started, E.Y. (with Bram) interrupted. E.Y. and Bram beat down Jeff Hardy. Beer Money made the save. That brought out Crazzy Steve and Abyss. That brought out Kurt Angle… but Tyrus knocked out Angle. Matt added a belt shot to Angle for good measure. Then, E.Y. piledrove Jeff off the apron, through a table, onto the floor. It looked brutal, and everything stopped for about 20 minutes while people attended to Jeff and he was stretchered out of the arena as part of the injury angle.
Next up: Awesome Kong vs. Velvet Sky.
(4) Awesome Kong beat Velvet Sky. Kong won via implantbuster and pin. Kong continued to beat on Sky after the match, which brought out Madison Rayne. That brought out the rest of The Dollhouse. The segment ended with Jade giving Madison a package piledriver, and Kong giving Velvet a splash off the second rope, leaving the BPs fallen in the ring.
Next up: Aiden O’Shea vs. Bobby Lashley. The mystery lady from before came out to watch Lashley.
(5) Bobby Lashley beat Aiden O’Shea. After a short match, Lashley won via a spear and pin. The mystery lady interrupted Lashley’s celebration to seduce him. Lashley acted dumbfounded.
Matt Hardy then came out with Reby and Tyrus. E.Y. (with Bram) interrupted and challenged Matt. Kurt Angle then came out in his wrestling gear. This set up Matt Hardy vs. Angle for later in the night.
Next up: Another X Division title match. Tigre Uno came out, followed by Shane Helms in street clothes. Helms says his earlier challenge wasn’t to face him, but rather to face his charge… Trevor Lee.
(6) Trevor Lee pinned Tigre Uno after about six minutes to win the X Division title.
(7) Drew Galloway vs. Tyrus went about five clunky minutes before the lights went out and… Mike Bennett ran in and bonked Galloway with the FOF briefcase he’d brought with him to the ring. If this sets up a Galloway-Bennett feud, I’m all for it.
Next up: Hardcore War match. This was an eight-man tag match starting with two in the ring and then another coming in every 60 seconds or so. Each entrant brought along a weapon.
(8) Crazzy Steve won a “Hardcore War” match. The match started with Davey Richards and Crazzy Steve, and then, in order, were Bram, James Storm (who brought a keg), E.Y. Eddie Edwards, Abyss (who brought Janice, which never got used), and finally Bobby Roode. This match got a hearty “This is awesome” chant, but it was really about what you would imagine. In the end, Crazzy Steve pinned Davey Richards for the heel win.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett was out next, alone. She talked about how women’s wrestling needs a leader, which should be her. This brought out Gail Kim. They scrapped a bit, but Maria backed out and walked away. It definitely set them up wrestling down the line, though, hopefully not in a tag match with Robert Irvine (as much as I love him).
Last up: Kurt Angle vs. Matt Hardy (with Tyrus and Reby) for the World Title. The lights went out a few minutes into this match, but it was just a technical glitch. Pretty funny, after it had happened to bring out Bennett about a half-hour earlier.
(9) TNA Hvt. champion Matt Hardy beat Kurt Angle to retain the TNA Hvt. Title. Angle did three sequences of the German suplexes throughout the match (of three, five, and three suplexes). After maybe nine minutes, Reby grabbed Kurt’s leg as he was climbing the turnbuckle, which led to Matt hitting Twist of Fate from up top for the pin and win.
All in all, a fun night. Tonight was much more focused on talking segments and storylines than the other nights I attended, which were more wrestling-heavy. The whole crew worked hard all three nights.
I’m curious to see how all this airs and if some things tonight were taped to replace segments taped with ECIII earlier in the week.
No matches really stood out tonight, but the crowd loved the Hardcore War. It wasn’t really hardcore or a war, but people ate it up.