TNA Impact Report
February 16, 2016
Taped in Manchester, U.K.
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact opened with a video hyping The Wolves vs. The Decay in Monster’s Ball tonight. The package then cut to recap the return of Ethan Carter III last week, including running off Matt Hardy, who was demanding his firing.
ECIII is shown walking backstage. He approaches Dixie Carter. ECIII said last week was about the World Hvt. Title and last week Matt Hardy showed his true colors. Dixie said that she knows ECIII gets a re-match for the World Title, and he is going to get it next week, in London, at Lockdown. ECIII thanked her and said that was next week, though. And this week, he had something personal to take care of and he had to do it right now. Then he walked off.
The TNA opening video then aired.
In-arena: ECIII’s music hit and he walked to the ring as a graphic showed that the show was emanating from Manchester, U.K. Pope says that ECIII is in the ring for a purpose.
“I know who I am, and I know what I’ve done,” he said. “I walked into TNA wrestling with a giant chip on my shoulder. I’ve defeated legends, but the only thing I’m worried about right now is the TNA World Hvt. Champion, Matt Hardy. Matt Hardy, in one week, I have one word for you: re-match. It’s a rematch inside a steel cage and you’ll be in a steel cage with my wrath, my fury and my vengeance.”
ECIII said he had another issue and his fists needed to be punching. He called out Tyrus next. “We were business partners, we were friends, you made a business decision costing me the World Hvt. Championship. You’re in the back, maybe babysitting Maxel Hardy, maybe you’re breastfeeding the kid, but why don’t you get out here right now and let’s finish this like men.”
Tyrus emerges from backstage. He’s standing on the stage and tells ECIII he doesn’t want him. “Yes, I do,” ECIII replied. Tyrus answered: “ECIII, you’re by yourself. You’ve always had someone watching your back. I know you’re afraid. I know your secrets. You’re afraid to be alone. Whether it was Spud or Dixie, and then me we took it to the next level. … We were business partners. I respected you so much I called you boss.”
Tyrus said again that ECIII doesn’t want him. He said ECIII doesn’t need this. Tyrus said he will end ECIII. “You done?” ECIII asked. Then he smashed the microphone off Tyrus’s head and a brawl breaks out in the ring. Tyrus hits ECIII with the microphone. Tyrus hits a heart punch that forces ECIII to roll out of the ring. ECIII is now retreating up the ramp. Tyrus follows and ECIII kicks him in the mid-section before throwing him into the rail.
The brawl continues on the aisle and Matt Hardy runs down to attack ECIII from behind. It’s now a two-on-one. Tyrus slams ECIII in the ring. Tyrus holds ECIII while Matt Hardy slaps him and screams something at him. Tyrus yells that ECIII is nothing without him and drops an elbow on him.
Hardy goes under the ring and grabs a chair. ECIII breaks free of Tyrus’s grip and grabs the chair, running off Tyrus and Hardy. Now it’s Hardy retreating up the ramp with Tyrus as ECIII stands in the ring with a chair.
“Oh yeah?” Hardy asked. “You’re real tough with an illegal foreign object in the ring. … You want revenge? How about you do it against use. There’s two of us, and one of you. If you can find a partner who can stand your guts, we’ll take you on in that ring.” Hardy’s music hits as he and Tyrus leave.
Tonight: Decay vs. The Wolves in Monster’s Ball.
[Commercial Break at 9:11]
Back from the break, Eric Young is in the ring. “Look at my title,” he screamed. “If you’re a wrestling fan, or a wrestler, you’re looking at the king. Now you’re looking at God. Is there anybody in the crowd tough enough to take this from me? You know what? There’s not a person here. You know who I know won’t be taking this from me? Jeff Hardy!”
[Q2] Beer Money’s music hits. “You’re looking for somebody tough enough?” Roode asked. “Look at these two guys right here. In case you didn’t know, we’re Beer Money, and we’re ready and willing to come down to that ring at any given time and kick both of your asses.”
Eric Young calls Roode a nobody and said he’s already beaten him. Storm grabs the mic and said that Young has never beaten him, and he’s ready to get in there right now.
1 – TNA King of the Mountain champion ERIC YOUNG (w/Bram) vs. JAMES STORM (w/Bobby Roode) — King of the Mountain Title match
E.Y. and Storm brawl all over the ring to start the match. Storm rolls to the outside and is double-teamed as Roode tries to get over to help out, but referee Earl Hebner keeps Bobby Roode back. Back in the ring, E.Y. puts the boots to Storm.
Storm starts to fire back with some right hands. E.Y. hits a neckbreaker and covers for a two count. E.Y. is cranking on Storm’s neck. Storm is up to one knee and is clapping trying to get the crowd involved. Storm elbows his way out and then hits a clothesline.
Storm lands a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. E.Y. is getting up slowly in the corner. Bram charges in but Roode cuts him off and clotheslines him to the outside. Mathews points out that there was no interference to warrant a bell because Roode cut him off before contact was made. Storm and E.Y. brawl all over the outside and Hebner calls for the bell.
Post-match, the brawl continues all around ringside and then into the crowd. Roode and E.Y. continue brawling in the aisles of the arena.
WINNER: The match ends in an apparent double-count out at 4:17; Young retained the KOTM Title.
Backstage: Drew Galloway enters ECIII’s locker room and says they need to talk. “Ethan, we’re not the best of friends. But the reality is tonight you need a tag team partner, and we both have a common goal.”
ECIII says that’s true. They both want the TNA World Hvt. Title. “I sincerely appreciate your offer and I thank you for it,” ECIII said, “but tonight I have to stand alone.” Galloway said he respects that, and that’s his choice. Galloway then grabs his briefcase and says that it’s his choice. Whenever. Wherever. Against whoever.
Up Next: Mike Bennett and Maria.
[Commercial Break at 9:25]
[Q3] Backstage, the brawl between Beer Money and Bram & E.Y. continues in the locker room area. E.Y. throws Roode into a washing machine. Roode punches back and tosses E.Y. into the wall.
In-arena: Maria welcomes us to her place of worship. “Tonight, I will introduce you to a future World Hvt. Champion. He will inspire you, because he inspires me. Do you believe in The Miracle?”
Mike Bennett emerges from backstage and joins Maria on the ramp. Pope says that everything Bennett has said since joining TNA, he has backed up in the ring.
“Maria is right,” Bennett said. “I am going to be the future World Champion. I said it the minute I walked into this place, and every single wrestler in the back took notice. Kurt Angle took notice. He took notice and that’s why he had to cheap shot me and run away from me. And Drew, that brings me to you. You’re walking around with that briefcase, but all that’s just a ticking time bomb. Because you’re going to lose and prove to everyone you’re a failure. Tonight, I’m dressed, and Kurt Angle ducked me, so tonight I want to wrestle one of the U.K.’s own. Mark Andrews, come on down.”
Mandrews emerges with his skateboard, and he rolls his way to the ring. “Listen, I chose you for a reason, I’ve seen what you do and I’m very impressed. But all it takes is one look at you and one look at me, and you can tell it will take a miracle for you to win.” Mandrews replies, “I think you should shut the hell up,” and then slaps Bennett and the match begins.
2 – MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. MANDREWS
A series of armdrags begins the match. Bennett misses a clothesline, but hits a spinebuster. Bennett mounts Mandrews and rains down right hands on him before proclaiming that he’s the best.
Bennett lands splashes in the corner and then hits a running boot. Mathews points out that Mandrews wants this match to get to the air. Bennett grabs a rear chinlock. Mandrews tries to elbow his way out of it, but he can’t. Bennett hits a dropkick and a two count.
Bennett slaps Mandrews a few times which seems to charge him up. Mandrews lands some elbows in the corner, but Bennett shoves him practically across the entire ring. Swinging DDT landed by Mandrews and a standing moonsault for a two count.
Mandrews lands a kick out of the corner and goes to the top rope. Bennett catches him and drops him on the turnbuckle. Bennett drops him off the top rope, a modified cutter. Bennett then hits a right hand. Bennett picks up Mandrews for a Miracle in Progress, getting the win.
Post-match, Bennett puts the boots to Mandrews. He picks up Mandrews for another Miracle in Progress, but Drew Galloway charges the ring to make the save. Bennett immediately bails and heads to the back.
WINNER: Mike Bennett at 3:35.
[Reax: TNA continues to do a nice job building up Mike Bennett. It’s the opposite of how they have handled some bigger names in the past, bringing him along slowly, at least in terms of opponents, rather than throwing him into a major match right away. It seems as if they’re heading towards a Bennett-Galloway match down the road, and that should be Bennett’s first big TNA match. Bennett is the one new face to TNA, and they’re smart in not burning through all of his potential opponents in short order.]
Backstage: Rosemary said she’s going to the dance with nothing to wear. The Wolves will be laying in a pool of their own blood with nothing to wear. Abyss says the Rosemary will be the most beautiful woman at the ball. Abyss says that every time they meet, they leave the Wolves in a puddle of their own decay. Suddenly, someone comes into the screen and says that he hasn’t forgotten about Rosemary, calling her sweetheart. She hisses at him. He says he’ll see her soon and blows a kiss. Josh wonders who that was?
[Commercial Break at 9:41]
Backstage: The roving reporter asks Drew Galloway why he got involved in Bennett’s business. Galloway said that Bennett runs his mouth real good, but where is he when it comes time to fight? Bennett runs in and attacks Galloway and Mandrews from behind. Bennett throws Galloway into the steel garage door. “How’s that for a fight?” he asked a knocked out Galloway. “Nighty night, Drew.”
[Q4] Video: TNA airs a vignette for Oarg The Great, who they say is coming.
Backstage: Tyrus and Matt Hardy approach Rockstar Spud. Hardy said he didn’t mean to surprise Spud. Hardy said that it’s not in Spud’s best interest to meddle in their affairs, like they did last week. Hardy said Spud cannot stick his nose in their business, ever. “Do we understand each other?” Hardy asked. “Good! Great talk.” Hardy then walked off.
Mathews promotes that Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Lashley in Angle’s final Impact match will happen in three weeks. A video package then airs to hype Angle vs. Lashley, including clips from the first time they met.
[ Reax: TNA continues to do good things as far as advanced booking goes. There are always big matches advertised for the next week’s episode, at bare minimum. TNA is holding this Lashley-Angle match for three weeks, giving ample time to promote it and really make it feel like a big match. That’s something WWE has a hard time doing, both because of their impatience and because it’s difficult with so many hours of television to fill on a weekly basis. ]
3 – TNA tag champions THE WOLVES (Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards) vs. THE DECAY (Abyss & Crazzy Steve w/Rosemary) – Monster’s Ball match for the TNA Tag Team Titles
The bell rings and there are weapons everywhere to start the match. The teams are brawling at ringside. Steve throws Richards into the barricade.
[Commercial Break at 9:52]
Back from the break, there are weapons all over the ring and The Wolves are in control of the match. They set the ladder up between Steve’s legs and slam the chairs into it. Rosemary is acting all creepy on the outside. Richards climbs up the top, but Rosemary trips him. Decay is back in control. Richards is in the corner and Abyss has Janice but Richards ducks.
Meanwhile, Eddie Edwards gets tossed through a table on the outside. Abyss grabs Richards and chokeslams him. Abyss grabs a chair and throws it at Richards. Edwards is still down. Abyss slams a barrel on Richards in the ring.
Edwards tries to get back into the ring and kicks Abyss from the outside. Edwards goes up top and gets cut off by Abyss. Richards is trying to get up. Abyss climbs to the second rope and grabs Edwards. It looks like Abyss is trying for a suplex, but Edwards defends it well with headbutts.
Edwards is able to sunset flip Abyss and power bomb him onto the trash barrel. Edwards has a kendo stick and he’s assaulting Steve with it. Steve cuts him down with a low blow.
Steve gets caught by the Wolves with a series of kicks. Richards grabs a chair and nails Steve on the back. He holds the chair there and Edwards lands a double stomp on the chair, which was on Steve’s back. Abyss gets back in and hits a double clothesline on the Wolves.
[Q5 — second hour] Abyss goes under the ring and grabs a bag of thumbtacks. Edwards lands a kick before Abyss can dump the tacks. There is a board wrapped in barbed wire on the outside. Edwards dives to put Abyss through the board, but Abyss stands strong and keeps his balance.
Abyss grabs Edwards to chokeslam him through the board, but Richards dives through the ropes, putting Abyss through the board. Back in the ring, Steve takes out Edwards. Steve sets Edwards up on a chair. Steve goes to smash Edwards with a chair but Rosemary climbs in and stops him. She grabs the bag of tacks.
Edwards is tied up in the chair. Rosemary dumps the tacks over Edwards’s head. Steve goes for a chair shot but Edwards moves out of the way. Rosemary tries to spray mist in Edwards’s face, but he grabs her face to stop him. Richards then kisses her, which confuses Edwards. However he spits the mist into Rosemary’s face afterwards. “He sucked the mist out of her mouth!” Matthews yelled. Edwards then plants Steve through a chair for the win.
WINNERS: The Wolves at 14:54.
[ Reax: Well, that was interesting. Richards sucking the mist out of Rosemary’s mouth — I can’t believe I just wrote that — was unique, at least? We can safely say we’ve never seen that before. That aside, this was a really good match with non-stop action. There were some insane spots in this match, and everyone was showcased well. No one was hurt here, even Decay, despite taking the loss. ]
Backstage: Spud approaches ECIII. “Let me be the person to talk first for once,” he said. “Last week I was trying to do the right thing. You shouldn’t be fired without due cause. You’ve done a lot, I’ve done a lot too. We have a lot of history. Some good, some really bad.”
ECIII said he has a match tonight, and he wanted to let Spud know that tonight it had to be him against Hardy and Tyrus alone.
[Commercial Break at 10:07]
Back from the break, the Dollhouse in the ring after making their ring entrance. Madison Rayne and Gail Kim come to the ring next.
4 — KO champion GAIL KIM & MADISON RAYNE vs. THE DOLLHOUSE (Jade & Marti Bell w/Rebel)
The match begins with The Dollhouse attacking before the bell. After the dust settles, it’s Marti Bell and Gail Kim who start off. Marti Bell drops Gail with a very awkward and sloppy Samoan drop. Gail Kim kicks out at two.
Jade tags in and hits Gail with a series of kicks to the chest. Out of the corner, Gail Kim tries for a submission Jade but Jade, who was standing, drops Kim to the mat. Marti Bell tags back in. Meanwhile, Matthews promotes next week’s special episode of Impact with the Lockdown theme.
[Q6] Marti Bell puts the boots to Gail in the corner. Jade kicks Madison Rayne off the apron as she gets tagged in. Jade goes for a cradle piledriver but Gail blocks it.
Gail is trying to get to Madison Rayne and she does for the hot tag. Madison Rayne is chopping Marti Bell and hits an enziguri. Marti Bell misses a clothesline and Madison Rayne rolls her up for the win.
WINNER: Madison Rayne & Gail Kim at 4:04.
After the match, The Dollhouse attacks Madison and Gail from behind. Velvet Sky’s music hits and she charges the ring to make the save, clearing the ring of The Dollhouse. Velvet grabs a microphone.
“Oh, where are you going, Doghouse?” she said. “I didn’t fly all the way over here for you to run off to your kennels. You’ve been poking those ugly noses where they don’t below for far too long. Why don’t we make some history. For the first time ever for the knockouts, where there is no escape, and all weapons are legal, the three of you versus the three of us … Lethal Lockdown.” Mathews confirms that next week it will be The Dollhouse vs. Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, and Velvet Sky in Lethal Lockdown.
Backstage: Mahabali Shera is here. He has a new mustache. He said tonight he has a new tag partner, Odarg the Great. In comes Grado in a mask. He said he does good things to good people and he’s a good guy.
[ Reax: Well, now that the tour of India was scrapped, we see just where Mahabali Shera slots in. Shera has been virtually invisible since the debut on Pop TV. He went from being positioned as a potential finalist in the World Title Series — if the matches were taped India — and is now teaming with Grado, er, Odarg The Great. ]
[Commercial Break at 10:21]
Backstage: The brawl between Beer Money and Eric Young & Bram continues. E.Y. smashes a rubber barrel off Roode. Bram and Roode and trading elbows. Storm tries to choke E.Y. with some wires. Mathews wonders where security is as Bram tries for a chair shot. Pope said they’ll get tired after a while, they have to. Eric Young assaults Roode with a steel chair. Roode talks to the cameraman as Bram and E.Y. walk off. Roode said next week, Beer Money wants Young and Bram in a Lockdown match.
5 – JESSIE GODDERZ & ELI DRAKE vs. MAHABALI SHERA & ODARG THE GREAT
Odarg is booked as being from “parts unknown.” Eli Drake seems legitimately upset, for some reason. Drake appears nervous about something.
[Q7] The match begins with Drake and Shera locking up. Drake hits a shoulder tackle. Godderz tags in. Shera hits a bodyslam. Shera whips Godderz to the turnbuckle and hits a splash. Shera snaps Godderz to the mat and grabs his hands, essentially making him do that Shera dance. Is that some type of submission now?
Godderz goes back on the attack. Godderz hits a some kicks to the midsection. Drake tags in and hits an elbow, as Godderz held him. Drake bodyslams Shera and hits an elbow from a standing position. Drake tries for a power bomb but Shera flips Drake with a back body drop.
Odarg tags in and fires off quick jabs on Drake, who falls into a tag with Jessie. Odarg with more jabs. He drops his straps and lands a human cannonball on Drake but Godderz makes the save.
Drake gets planted with a Sky High by Shera, who isn’t legal. Drake tries to pull Odarg’s mask off but he can’t. Odarg then takes off his own mask and rolls up Drake, staring at Drake as he pins him for the three count. After the match, Odarg rolls under the ring to put his mask back on.
WINNER: Odarg the Great & Mahabali Shera at 4:47.
[ Reax: This was supposed to be funny, but the problem is it wasn’t. Why was Drake worried about Grado being back in TNA? Is it only because he switched the briefcases and Drake is afraid of that evidence? It has to be, because Grado barely won a match during his first TNA run. It doesn’t fit the narrative … unless he is afraid of Grado’s “evidence” that he shouldn’t have been fired. Shera doesn’t even get the win here, Grado does. That really shows you where Shera stands. He was being over-pushed before, really only because of the India tour and TNA has dialed back on his push big time. ]
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
Backstage: Drake is ranting about Grado. Jessie Godderz is laughing and Drake says it’s not funny. In walks Grado, who says Grado won’t be a Lockdown, but Eli Drake can fight Odarg the Great.
Mathews runs down the matches for Lockdown:
- Beer Money vs. Bram & Eric Young
- The Dollhouse vs. Madison Rayne & Gail Kim & Velvet Sky in Lethal Lockdown
- Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III for the TNA World Title
In-arena: Matt Hardy and Tyrus enter the ring for tonight’s main event. ECIII is out next. Mathews points out that ECIII has opted to fight Hardy and Tyrus on his own.
6 — ETHAN CARTER III vs. TNA Hvt. champion MATT HARDY & TYRUS — handicap match
[Q8] Tyrus starts out against ECIII. After some right hands, ECIII gets up on the second rope and hammers away on Tyrus before following up with a huge chop. Tyrus lands a kick and ECIII gets whipped into the corner. Tyrus tosses ECIII with a fallaway slam.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Back from the break, Mathews says it has been all Hardy and Tyrus during the commercial break. Hardy is setting up a Twist of Fate, and out comes Rockstar Spud. Spud gets up in ECIII’s corner and extends his hand, looking for a tag.
ECIII has a surge of energy and hits rapid-fire punches. Hardy grabs a sleeper and turns it into a DDT for a two count. Hardy chops ECIII in the corner. ECIII returns the chop. Hardy whips ECIII into the opposite corner and follows with a clothesline.
Hardy tries for a Twist of Fate, but ECIII counters into a dropkick. Spud is screaming for a tag. ECIII makes the tag. Spud fires up on Hardy with jabs and then puts the boots to Hardy in the corner. Spud goes to attack Tyrus as he enters the ring. This allows Hardy to attack Spud from behind.
Tyrus tags in and he clubs Spud over the back with his huge fist. The size difference between Tyrus and Spud is enormous, as Spud gets hit with a heart punch. Tyrus drops all of his weight on Spud with an elbow. ECIII is getting antsy on the outside, wanting a tag. Spud hits an Underdog on Tyrus.
Hardy tags in, so does ECIII. Clotheslines by ECIII and then an ECIII splash. ECIII fires up and sets up the One Percenter, but Tyrus runs in with a clothesline. Tyrus tries to clothesline ECIII over the top, but ECIII ducks and pulls the rope down, sending Tyrus to the outside.
ECIII climbs to the top rope and splashes down on Tyrus and Hardy on the outside, taking out both. ECIII rolls Hardy back in. Tyrus climbs on the apron and grabs Hardy, dropping him over the rope. Side Effect by Hardy but ECIII kicks out.
Tyrus tags in. He sets up the spike but Spud rolls in, hitting a low blow. Hardy hits a twist of fate on Spud. ECIII back up and lands a One Percenter on Matt Hardy for the win.
WINNER(S): ECIII & Rockstar Spud at 12:57.
Post-match, Mathews screams that ECIII has pinned the World Champion just seven nights before Lockdown next week. Spud crawls up in the corner and walks over to ECIII. They stare at each other and Spud rolls out as the show goes off the air.
TNA closes with a video hyping next week’s Lockdown episode, including Beer Money vs. Bram & Eric Young, the Knockouts Lethal Lockdown match, and ECIII vs. Matt Hardy for the World Title.
[ Final Thoughts: This felt like a good pay-per-view lead-in show, and ultimately that’s how TNA was treating it. Most of what happened here set up what we’ll see at Lockdown next week. If you consider this episode of Impact within that context, this was a good show.
TNA is in a bit of a tough spot with Hardy and ECIII. They are both freshly turned, and it’s too early in either of their new runs to take a loss, really. This feels like some even-steven booking, with ECIII getting a win on this show, assuming he takes the loss next week at Lockdown.
TNA has done a nice job of advanced booking. There are a few matches that we know we’ll get down the road, including Angle-Lashley, Hardy-ECIII, Jeff Hardy-Eric Young, Hardy-Hardy, ECIII-Tyrus one-on-one, and Galloway-Bennett. ]