WKPWP - Mailbag - Keller & Mitchell talk Shayna Baszler biting Becky Lynch, Drew McIntyre's rise, Fake Razor & Diesel, more
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
Week 2 of TNA Impact on Pop TV featured Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway as part of Angle’s Farewell Tour, plus the continuation of the TNA Title feud between ECIII and Matt Hardy.
TNA Impact Wrestling
January 12, 2016
Taped in Bethlehem, Pa.
Episode #2 on Pop TV
By Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact Wrestling opened with a highlight package from last week’s debut episode on Pop TV. Included were clips of Matt Hardy and Ethan Carter III winning in the semifinals of the World Title Series as well as ECIII winning the TNA World Hvt. Title in the main event.
Tonight, ECIII’s reign continues. The narrator touts him as, “still unpinned.” Also tonight, TNA will celebrate Kurt Angle, as he faces Drew Galloway for the first time ever as part of his farewell tour.
Backstage: Kurt Angle is shown arriving at the arena, with fans giving him an ovation and taking pictures.
The Impact Wrestling opening airs.
Backstage: ECIII is shown looking in a mirror, and then down at the TNA World TItle. Tyrus walks in and says, “Boss, it’s time.” ECIII and Tyrus walk out of the room.
Arena: Josh Mathews welcomes us to Impact, noting that they are just two hours from New York City. Mathews and Pope are once again sitting ringside. Mathews said that there will be a Beery Money “Beer Bash” tonight.
ECIII’s music hits and he makes his way into the arena along with Tyrus. Mathews said that some see ECIII as the conquering hero, others see him as the man who threatened lawsuits and broke the rules to get to the World Title Series finals. Mathews said the facts remain the same, though – ECIII defeated Lashley and Hardy to become a two-time TNA World Champion.
Tyrus hands ECIII his microphone. “This is not a time for celebration,” ECIII said. “This is a moment of vindication!”
“Here I stand, once again, unbendable steel, unbreakable, unpinned, unsubmitted, and unbeatable, and for the first time in wrestling history, a two-time undefeated champion!”
ECIII said that there is one man who never doubted him, Tyrus. ECIII tells Tyrus that what the people see on-screen is business, but backstage it’s personal. ECIII thanked Tyrus for all the blows he took for him. ECIII said he knows Tyrus earned his shot for the TNA Title, and ECIII said that he would honor that title shot, and then once again thanked Tyrus.
“Boss, I never doubted you, I believed in you,” Tyrus said, as ECIII ripped the microphone out of his hand and said, “Yeah that’s nice. On-screen, it’s business.” Tyrus looked quite mad as ECIII said tonight is about celebrating his redemption.
Jeff Hardy’s music hits and he comes to the ring wearing his ring gear. ECIII demands that Hardy’s music be cut. “There he is,” ECIII said. “The man who cost me the World Hvt. TItle. What brings you here, Jeffery?”
Hardy said that he still can’t stand the sound of ECIII’s voice, and he hates to hear him speak. Hardy said he was out there to give him something he deserves. He called ECIII a spoiled brat who needed help from everyone. But last week, he didn’t need help from anyone. Hardy said that ECIII is the World Champion, and therefore he is the best wrestler on planet earth.
“I’m sorry,” ECIII said. “My jaw just dropped. Did my ears deceive me or did you just pay homage to ECIII?” ECIII then said Matt Hardy is in the back of the line. He’s done with Matt Hardy.
“Tonight is about Jeff Hardy,” said Jeff. “Tonight, is about me. I have a little something to share with you.”
Hardy pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Tyrus. ECIII grabbed it and read it, saying it was a note from Hardy’s doctor stating he’s cleared to wrestle.
“With that being said,” Hardy said, “my first match has to be with the man, the champ. I have to go big or go home, right? So I challenge you tonight for the TNA World Title! What do you say, Ethan Carter?”
ECIII handed the belt to Tyrus.
“You know how long and how bad I wanted ECIII vs. Jeff Hardy?” ECIII said. “I always thought the hardcore american icon had a nice ring to it. Jeff Hardy, your request for a World Title match … has been denied.” The crowd booed.
“Hear me out!” ECIII said. “You can’t just come off the disabled list and come into a title shot, that’s not fair. … So Jeff, it seems to me that if you want to earn a World Hvt. TItle shot, you have to start at the bottom.”
ECIII then told Bob Ryder in the back to send out a “nice young talent” to wrestle Jeff Hardy. A wrestler with a mask and cape came walking down the aisle. ECIII demanded that he he have music and ECIII started singing lyrics to the song. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s some guy.”
ECIII asks for his name and he says his name is the Master of Motion, Shenron.
[Q2] ECIII and Tyrus left and said they would get an official, because Jeff needed to start from the bottom.
1 — JEFF HARDY vs. SHYNRON
An official came out and the match began with ECIII on commentary. Shynron starts with a wristlock. Mathews asks ECIII about the note, and Hardy being cleared, but ECIII deflects, wanting to talk about Shenron.
Hardy throws Shynron to the outside. Shynron hits a spinning kick on the outside as Hardy tries to throw him back into the ring. Hardy begins to make a comeback, hitting a Twist of Fate for the win.
After the match, ECIII mockingly applaudes, saying Hardy has a long way to work to get to the top.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy via pin in about 2:00.
Later: Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway. Plus Mr. Anderson will interview Matt Hardy.
Up Next: The Beautiful People vs. The Dollhouse.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash interviews Awesome Kong and the Dollhouse. But, Marti Bell interrupts, saying no one can talk to Kong, they need to go through her. Marti said they showed they were stronger than ever when everyone thought the walls were crumbling.
Kong asks if the people hate her? “Good,” she said. “This Dollhouse is my house to do what I want. Gail Kim, you have something I want, and soon, very soon … “
Velvet Sky interrupts and said that they need to worry about the Beautiful People, not Gail Kim. Velvet said she has never been friends with Kong. Madison said they don’t need to jump anyone from behind, they can do it right now.
A brawl breaks out backstage as the show goes to break.
[Commercial Break at 9:21]
2 — THE DOLLHOUSE (Awesome Kong & Jade) vs THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne) — Street Fight
Back from the break, the brawl had spilled into the arena. Mathews said they were just informed the match is a Street Fight.
On the ramp, Jade almost delivered a piledriver to Velvet Sky on the ramp, but Velvet countered into a suplex. Velvet continued to throw Jade around the outside, but Jade reversed Velvet with a whip into the steps. Jade went under the ring and grabbed trash cans, throwing them into the ring along with chairs and other weapons.
In the ring, Awesome Kong choked Madison Rayne with a kendo stick. Velvet was hurt on the outside while Kong and Jade attacked inside of the ring, attacking Madison with weapons.
Jade went for a splash in the corner, but Rayne moved. Kong was right there, though, grabbing Rayne in a chokehold. Velvet returned to the ring, landing clotheslines on Jade. Velvet Sky put a chair in the ring and bulldogged Jade onto the chair.
Marti Bell then climbed in the ring with Rebel, though, making it 4-on-2. Madison threw Velvet a kendo stick and the Beautiful People went nuts with the weapons. Madison and Velvet took Kong down with the sticks. Madison hit a missile dropkick from the second rope on Kong, but she kicked out.
Jade missed a kick, but Kong hit Rayne with a kick. Jade then hit a small package piledriver on Rayne for the win.
WINNER: Jade & Awesome Kong via pin in about 7:00.
[MM Reax: Good match and also good to see the heels go over here. They just put Kong with the Dollhouse last week, and having them lose here, where they outnumber the Beautiful People, would have been a big mistake. The only thing they didn’t explain is why Gail Kim wasn’t there to help out the Beautiful People, after she was last week and she has issues with Kong.]
Backstage: Angle was shown walking around the locker room. He stopped to hug Dixie Carter.
Tonight: Kurt Angle vs. Drew Galloway.
[Commercial Break at 9:30]
[Q3] Back from the break, a vignette aired for Raquel, who is coming soon to the Knockouts division.
UPDATE: This is Gabi from the most-recent season of Tough Enough.
Arena: Christy Hemme welcomes us back to Impact and introduces Beer Money. Bobby Roode and James Storm entered the arena.
In the ring, there is a table set up with a bunch of beer. Storm and Roode played to the crowd, then Storm said they’ll be here all night because the people want to have a good time.
Storm welcomes everyone to the first annual “Beer Money Drunk and Ready Episode.” Storm said that on January 5, he had to make a tough decision, and that’s make a living for himself and his family. He said what came of it was something the fans wanted, the reformation of Beer Money.
Roode said he needed to admit something, but the crowd overtook them with a “welcome back” chant. Roode said he gets emotional when he drinks. He said what tore them apart is the same thing that brought them together, and that was a need to be the best. Roode said he wanted to apologize to Storm for the issues that tore them apart. They hugged it out in the ring.
Storm said he was sorry as well. He was sorry for kicking Roode in his face. “Fair enough,” Roode said. “I’m sorry I smashed a beer bottle over your head.”
Storm said he was sorry he left Roode with all the bar tabs. Roode came back with: “I’m sorry I puked in your cowboy hat and blamed your dog.” Storm and Roode got a few more sorries out of themselves and carried on.
Storm said Roode is the greatest partner he’s ever had. Roode and Storm then toasted each other and the fans. Storm and Roode said something wasn’t right, though. They weren’t loud enough. Roode and Storm then posed, but were interrupted by Eric Young and Bram.
“You make me sick!” E.Y. screamed. “Out here, sucking up to these morons. Toasting each other like you’re going to get married. James Storm, I hurt you in the World Title Series and then you quit. But then you made a mistake, you came back and put your nose in my business!”
Young said that Roode took the World Title from him, so he took the World Title from Roode, and it was the best day of his life. E.Y. said he doesn’t need or have friends. E.Y. said he doesn’t even like Bram, but he likes the way he operates and thinks.
E.Y. said that they both hate Beer Money’s guts. Storm replied: “Well you just hurt my feelings.” E.Y. said it had nothing to do with Storm. E.Y. said he would never forget what Roode did to him, and he would take from him for the rest of his life. E.Y. said that Roode has the King of the Mountain Title, and he wants it, and he wants it now.
[Q4] Roode said that last week E.Y. stuck his nose in Roode’s business. Roode said he would put the KOTM Title on the line, but he wanted to do it right here, right now.
[MM Reax: Seeing the Beer Money reunion was fun. Storm and Roode definitely seem natural with each other. The best line of the segment was when E.Y. said, “I don’t even like Bram.”]
[Commercial Break at 9:46]
3 — KOTM champion BOBBY ROODE (w/James Storm) vs. ERIC YOUNG (w/Bram) — King of the Mountain Title Match
E.Y. begins the match in control. E.Y. delivers some elbows to Roode in the corner and then goes for a whip, but Roode reverses it. Mathews points out that both Roode and E.Y. were once a part of Team Canada.
Eric Young hit a neckbreaker in the center of the ring, but Roode kicks out. E.Y. cranks on Roode with a rear-chinlock. Roode tries to gain control with another reversal, but E.Y. gets the offense back with another neckbreaker. E.Y. smashes Roode’s face off the ropes.
Roode is on the mat and E.Y. climbs to the second rope, but Roode counters. Roode now bringing the offense. He hits a suplex as Storm is shown cheering him on at ringside. Roode goes for the Roode Bomb, but E.Y. grabs his eyes and hits a belly-to-belly suplex, but Roode kicks out.
E.Y. goes for a piledriver, but Roode reverses it and tries for a Sharpshooter. He has it locked in. E.Y. is trying to crawl to the ropes. Roode drops down and locks in a crossface, but E.Y. reverses and gets back up. E.Y. hits the ropes and Roode hits a spinebuster. E.Y. kicks out at two.
Both men are on the second rope. Young suddenly Roode in the face. Roode gets back up and grabs E.Y. into a Roode Bomb, but E.Y. gets pulled out from under Roode by Bram. Bram and Storm enter the ring. No call for the bell, though. E.Y. then hits a piledriver and wins the KOTM Title.
After the match, E.Y. celebrated with Bram as they went up the ramp.
WINNER: Eric Young via pin in about 8:00 to win the KOTM Title.
[MM Reax: Did they make this a No DQ match and I missed it? Good match, as most of their matches have been. TNA still needs to give the KOTM Title some more meaning. Mathews did a good job of trying to explain it last week, but what does it represent?]
[Commercial Break at 9:57]
Backstage: Mike Bennett welcomes ECIII, who walks in, and congratulates him on beating Matt Hardy. Bennett said he’ll make his in-ring debut next week. ECIII said he heard what Bennett said last week, “and they were definitely words.”
[Q5 — second hour] Bennett said he’s a hero, and shouldn’t be blown off. ECIII said he’s a miracle, but ECIII is the champion. Bennett said the belt looks good on ECIII … for now.
Video Package: Highlights from the Bound For Glory main event, Hardy dropping the title, and the World Title Series are shown.
Arena: Mr. Anderson comes to the ring with weird music. This is the debut of his new talk show, “Huh?”
It starts as his regular music, but breaks into what sounds like elevator music. Anderson then does his regular announce before waltzing to the ring. In the ring is a couch and coffee table.
Anderson welcomes us to the new segment. Anderson said that a lot of people accused him of things. Anderson said that his first guest will be escorted by his son and wife, Matt Hardy.
Hardy comes to the ring with Reby Sky and his baby. Anderson said he has something special for him, and takes out a steel chair for Hardy to sit in, despite the couch being there. Anderson then sits on the couch.
Anderson said they’ve known each other for a long time. Anderson said that Hardy was World Hvt. Champion, and then he lost it. Anderson said that Hardy choked last week. “Choked?” Hardy asked. “Did I choke when I won the World Title at Bound for Glory?”
Hardy said he thought he had ECIII beat last week. Hardy said that the only reason he didn’t win was E.Y. gave him a piledriver on the concrete. Anderson said that sounds like an excuse. Hardy said he doesn’t make excuses. Hardy said he’s not a failure, because he won’t stop until he fulfils his destiny and becomes the TNA World Champion.
Anderson asks about Jeff Hardy looking for the World Title shot, and Matt said that Jeff isn’t doing his dirty work. Hardy said he loves his wife and his son. Hardy said that tonight, he’ll make ECIII an offer he can’t refuse. Hardy said he needs one more match with ECIII, because he’s the guy who has ECIII’s number.
Hardy said he’s the guy who will beat ECIII. He said Matt Hardy will not die, then he left the ring. Anderson asked them to come back, but they walked off. Anderson said he gets it – Reby initiated Hardy leaving. As they got to the top of the ramp, Reby handed Matt the baby and glared at Anderson for a moment before walking off into the back. Anderson then went to the back.
[MM Reax: What an awkward segment. Anderson is entertaining on the mic, but this interview with Hardy came across as clunky and uncomfortable. They’re beginning to tease Reby as a heel. Last week she also gave an evil look at the top of the ramp following the title match.]
Backstage: Kurt Angle greeted people in the locker room and began to get ready for his match with Drew Galloway.
Arena: Christy Hemme welcomes Drew Galloway on an interview set that appeared to be set up in the crowd. Galloway said his dream was to wrestle Kurt Angle. Galloway said tonight he’s making guarantees. He said he’s guaranteeing a spectacle tonight. Galloway said he’s at his peak, and Angle has been at his peak his whole life.
[Q6] Galloway said that Angle needs to win to prove he’s the best, and Galloway needs to win for the same reason. Galloway said that tonight’s must-win, and people should expect everything.
[Commercial Break at 10:16]
Back from the break, Mathews showed highlights of E.Y. winning the KOTM Title after beating Bobby Roode.
Backstage: E.Y. asked Bram who is crazy enough to stop them? E.Y. said they’ll do whatever they want, whenever they want. Bram said Beer Money hasn’t been relevant since 2006.
4 — X Division champion TIGRE UNO & TNA Tag Team Champions THE WOLVES (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. ELI DRAKE & JESSIE GODDERZ & D.J. ZEMA — six-man tag match
Only Tigre and The Wolves got entrances. D.J. Z and Tigre, whose shoulder was bandaged quite a bit, started the match. On the outside, Jessie Godderz flexed and Eli Drake was not paying attention.
Richards tagged in and took care of D.J. Zema while Mathews noted that D.J. is being hung out to dry, just as Godderz tagged himself into the match. Edwards also tagged in and he hit a dropkick on Godderz. The Wolves double-teamed Godderz with dual splashes in the corner. Richards then picked up Tigre and drove him into Godderz.
Godderz hit a dropkick on Edwards, then picked him up and dropped him with a gorilla press. Drake tagged himself in and landed a pop-up powerslam. Eli Drake went for a cover, but only got two.
After the heels worked on Eddie, he came back with a double huracanrana on Drake and Godderz. Edwards looked for a tag and he made the hot tag to Richards. Dropkick on Godderz. Richards went to the top rope, but Godderz moved on the stomp. Godderz got caught in the Indian Deathlock.
After it was broken up, there was action everywhere. Godderz caught Richards with an elbow. Godderz then took out D.J. Z by accident with a clothesline. Edwards tagged in.
Edwards tried to get Godderz up for a powerbomb, but Godderz fought it off. Godderz reversed into the Adonis Crab, but D.J. Z took out his tag partner with a kick. Richards and Edwards hit their finisher for the win.
WINNERS: Tigre Uno & The Wolves in about 10:00.
[MM Reax: There was no follow-up with D.J. Z, who cost his team the match by turning on Godderz. D.J. Z elevated himself in the World Title Series, as did Robbie E, I thought. It was good follow-up with D.J. Z here, having him be a central focus of the match, but I wish there was some follow-up after the angle itself, where D.J. Z kicked Godderz to cost him the match. He wasn’t even shown on-camera, only The Wolves with Tigre Uno celebrating.]
[Commercial Break at 10:29]
[Q7] Backstage: Jeff Hardy told Matt to snap out of it. Jeff said he has to start at the bottom, but Matt is at the top level. Matt said that Reby and his baby believe in him. Tonight, Matt said that he’ll make ECIII an offer he can’t refuse. Reby stormed in and said she needed to talk to Matt, and they walked off. Jeff looked confused.
Arena: ECIII enters the ring with the World Title. He was alone, no Tyrus. “Matt Hardy, you have an offer, let’s hear it,” he said. Hardy’s music hit and he came into the arena, also alone. Hardy and ECIII went face-to-face.
ECIII said he has everything Hardy wants, and Hardy has nothing ECIII wants. Hardy said he came from nothing in wrestling and worked his way up the ladder. Every penny in his name he earned through his blood, sweat, and tears. ECIII had an open door because his last name’s Carter. He called ECIII a trust-fund baby.
Hardy said he uses “fate” quite often. Hardy said he would give ECIII the opportunity to control Hardy’s fate. Hardy said he can’t offer ECIII and material possession. Hardy said he would give ECIII the chance to control Hardy’s destiny. Hardy said if he can’t beat ECIII in one more match, he’ll leave Impact forever. Hardy said it would be time for him to go home if he can’t beat ECIII.
ECIII said he doesn’t respect Hardy, his legacy, or his family name. ECIII said he has beaten Hardy time after time. ECIII said if they do it, they do it on his own terms. He said it would be the last time they dance.
Hardy said, “Sure, let’s do this.” ECIII and Hardy stared each other down. ECIII said he doesn’t want to pin or make Hardy submit. He said he wants to stand above Hardy as he’s broken and humiliated. ECIII told Hardy that, next week, for the World Title, he wants Hardy in a last man standing match.
“We have a deal?” ECIII asked. Hardy responded, “Deal.” Hardy then walked out.
[MM Reax: It looked like last week might have been the last meeting between Hardy and ECIII, but we’ll get one more. The “win or retire” match usually is a downer, because the retirement stipulation hardly ever sticks, but this was more to let the crowd know that this is supposed to be the final time ECIII and Hardy meet. Considering the feud has been ongoing since the summer, it’s fine here. When it’s done too early is when it’s the worst.]
[Commercial Break at 10:38]
Back from the break, Christy Hemme introduced the main event…
5 — KURT ANGLE vs. DREW GALLOWAY
Angle takes control early with a rear-chinlock. Galloway comes back with a couple of clotheslines and both men are down early in the match.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Back from the break, Galloway and Angle are trading some strikes. Mathews says it was a stalemate during the break. Galloway has control now and he’s pummeling Angle in the corner. Galloway goes up top and hits a flying clothesline.
Angle comes back with a series of German Suplexes. Galloway comes back with a submission attempt, with what looks like a crossface modified. He has his arm underhooked and Pope says that is actually more effective.
Angle reverses into the Anklelock. Angle is pumping away on the Anklelock, really turning it. Galloway reverses by tossing Angle to the outside of the ring.
Galloway is clutching at his ankle after being locked in the hold. Angle is recovering on the outside as Galloway slides out to meet him. Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex on the outside, tossing Galloway into the railing. Angle rolls Galloway back into the ring. He covers Galloway but only gets a two count.
Galloway drives Angle’s chin into his shoulder back in the ring. Galloway hits the rope and lands a Claymore kick, but Angle kicks out a two-and-a-half. Pope says if Galloway pulls off this win, he’ll be all over the news.
Galloway is calling for the Claymore again and he hits it for a second time, but Angle kicks out again. Galloway picks up Angle and sets him up on the top rope. He starts chopping at Angle’s chest. Galloway has Angle up for a superplex of some kind, but Angle starts to fire back with right hands. Galloway falls down the turnbuckle but his feet are tied at the top. Galloway then sits back up and hits an impressive suplex on Angle.
Angle and Galloway are training punches in the ring. Angle hits an Angle Slam, but Galloway kicks out. Mathews said that this match could go on all night.
Galloway hits a headbutt on Angle. Galloway goes to the top rope, but Angle cuts him off with right hands. Angle goes to the second rope with Galloway on top. They’re trading more shots and Angle hits an Angle Slam off the top rope for the win.
After the match, Angle checks on Galloway and helps him up to his feet and they hug.
WINNER: Kurt Angle via pin in about 19:00.
Next week: ECIII vs. Matt Hardy in a Last Man Standing Match for the TNA World Hvt. Title. Kurt Angle’s farewell tour will continue as well.
[MM Reax: Very good main event between Angle and Galloway. It would be nice if, at some point, matches didn’t need to rely on multiple finishers being kicked out of, though.
There were elements of this show that were excellent, including basically a squash match to start things off, allowing Jeff Hardy to showcase his stuff in his return without really being in trouble.
Connecting the shows is also important. It’s one element that TNA does much better than WWE. Last week TNA advertised Angle-Galloway before going off the air, and this week TNA has set up ECIII-Hardy in another re-match.]