TNA Impact Wrestling Report
March 22, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. from Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact Wrestling opened with a recap video of last week, including the set up of Jeff Hardy in the main event and Drew Galloway winning the TNA World Hvt. Title.
In-arena: Drew Galloway’s music hit and he came to the ring during a wide shot of the arena. Josh Mathews welcomes us to Impact, noting that we have a new World champion. The Pope, who is back after being attacked by Bobby Lashley last week, asks how good does it feel to see Galloway carrying that TNA World Championship? Mathews calls it a new day, a new era in TNA.
“Wow,” Galloway says, “Thank you. Last week’s Impact was one of the most chaotic shows in history and at the end of the night, I was standing with this.” He looks at the World Title. “This is real. Drew Galloway is the TNA World Hvt. Champion. I’ve been called the ‘Chosen One,’ and the fastest rising star since I was a kid, but I wasn’t handed anything ever. I’ve been through heartbreak but it all feels worth it standing here as champion,” he said.
“I’m going to make my proclamation right now. I want everyone to look at Impact differently. To paraphrase JFK, don’t ask what the title can do you for, ask what you can do for the title. I am going to be fighting champion. I am going to do whatever I can to put TNA back on the damn map again!”
Right on cue, Matt Hardy walks onto the stage with Reby, Rockstar Spud, and Tyrus. Hardy says that Galloway is nothing more than a spineless coward, liar, cheater, and thief.
“What you did last week to me was felony robbery,” Hardy said. “Last week I was in the main event and survived 30 minutes against two of the biggest stars in Impact Wrestling. And after I defeated them and retained my title, you came out and stole my title! It was such a crime, i should have called the cops.”
Galloway said he assumed he called the cops, because he was at a raging after party and the cops showed up to bust it. But he said he told the cops he just beat Matt Hardy for the World Title, and the cops partied with him.
Galloway said that he was just that much smarter than Hardy last week, and the future belongs to him, not Matt Hardy. Hardy said that he still runs the show and is still the master of this universe. He said that he would get his return match tonight, or else the entire Matt Hardy brand would obliterate Galloway. Galloway then put his title down and seemed ready for a fight.
Jeff Hardy’s music hit and he walked down the ramp, without face paint on. “Matt,” he said, “There is a line for that first shot at the World Title. Last week, you know who got beat? You. Last week, I got dragged out by two lunatics. So if anyone deserves the first shot, it’s me.”
Galloway said that he would give Jeff a title shot right away. Matt told Galloway to stay out of it, because it’s family business. “Go draw more draw some of that art you do,” Hardy said. “Go make more of your non-sensical music. I’ll tell you what? Do break more of your limbs on a dirt bike.”
Bram and Eric Young then attacked Jeff Hardy from behind, and the Matt Hardy Brand attacked Galloway in the ring. On the outside, Bram set up a table as E.Y. continued the assault on Hardy. In the ring, Spud took shots at Galloway.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
[Q2] Back from the break, Jeff was fighting back in the ring and so was Galloway, but the numbers again caught up with them and E.Y. and Matt Hardy took back control with their gang attack. Tyrus throat-punched Hardy and then stood on his neck in the corner.
Suddenly, Ethan Carter III’s music hit and he cleared the ring with a chair. ECIII grabbed a mic and said there isn’t going to be a punch party without ECIII.
“Drew, no doubt you are a deserving champion, but I’d be lying if I said you were the most deserving champion. I have held that title two times, and two times I have lost it without being pinned or submitted,” he said. “Drew, standing here, I respect you. But seeing that World Hvt. Title on your shoulder enrages me. That is my possession and it’s my validation for what I do and who I am. So forget the goofballs over here, sorry Jeff, sit this one out, but I am formally requesting a World Title match.”
As if there weren’t enough people involved in this segment, here came Mike Bennett and Maria. “Ethan,” Bennett said, “I keep hearing you saying that you’re blaming all of your problems on The Miracle. I believe everything happens for a reason. Call it The Miracle. Because you see, I see a lot of guys who deserve the first title shot, but I can simplify this by asking one question … who pinned the TNA World Champion last? Oh, it was me! I deserve the first shot.”
Galloway screamed at everyone to shut up and he tells them he’ll fight them all. And then here comes Dixie Carter … she must be the last person left in the backstage area, as everyone else is in the ring.
Dixie says everyone was part of the chaos in last week’s main event. Dixie recaps what everyone just said, and then said the fans don’t want to see people argue. They want to see people fight. She calls Matt Hardy a child, and she says that everyone will fight for the title shot the right way, in a gauntlet match. The man who survives that will be the one to get the first shot at Galloway and the title.
[Reax: Could they have enough people in that opening segment? Although as much as it had the potential to be a convoluted mess, it was somewhat well mapped out. However, Galloway wasn’t given much time to really shine in this segment, despite it being his first with the World Title. It was more about who will challenge him than the champion himself.]
Backstage: Beer Money is walking backstage wondering who was going to answer their open challenge for the TNA World Tag Team Titles, including bringing up Pacman Jones and R-Truth.
[Commercial Break at 9:22]
Backstage: Mike Bennett was on a set with Jeremy Borash to draw his gauntlet match number. He said that tonight, he’s going to kill two birds with one miracle. He’s going to run through the best TNA has to offer, and will become the World Hvt. Champion. Bennett did not show his number, but said, “I got this,” while looking a bit worried.
In-arena: Beer Money made their entrance. Mathews says that any former World Tag Team Champions can challenge them tonight. Out comes Robbie E. He says when anyone thinks of the greatest teams in TNA history, two words come to mind: Beer Money.
He said that since Beer Money got back together, it’s been proven that teams can put differences aside. He said two guys who used to tan together, who are former two-time former tag champs, should challenge, and Jessie Godderz emerges as his partner.
1 — TNA World Tag Team champions BEER MONEY (Bobby Roode & James Storm) vs. BRO-MANS (Robbie E. & Jessie Godderz) — TNA Tag Team Title match
[Q3] Bobby Roode and Robbie E. begin the match. After some lock-ups, Godderz and Storm tag in. Godderz lands a big bodyslam on James Storm. Godderz leans on the neck of Storm, which Pope called a nerve hold.
Storm works his way back up and both men are down after a double clothesline. Two tags and Roode clotheslines Robbie E. twice and then hits a cross-body. Roode with a neckbreaker on Godderz. Robbie E. comes off the top, but Roode catches him for a two count.
Storm comes in to cut off Godderz. Roode joins him and then they go for a double suplex, but Robbie E catches Godderz and sets him down. Robbie E. with a Boom Drop on Storm, but he gets caught with a spinebuster from Roode. Godderz sends Roode down with a huge dropkick.
Godderz locks up Roode with an Adonis Lock, but Storm breaks it up with a superkick. Storm follows with a backstabber on Robbie, then Beer Money hits the DWI for the win.
WINNERS: Beer Money at 5:41 to retain the TNA Tag Titles.
Backstage: Rosemary and Decay are cutting a promo. Abyss says that they are together for reasons most of us will never understand. Abyss says that Davey Richards got caught in the bear trap of life, and Eddie Edwards will be no more as well if he dares to fight one of them. “How about No DQ?” Abyss asks. Rosemary asks, “What if Steve bites his face off? … Either way, it ends in Decay … Decay … DECAY!”
[Commercial Break at 9:38]
Backstage: Eric Young and Bram are choosing a number in the gauntlet match. Behind the curtain, you can see Willow. E.Y. goes nuts, “There he is again!” Again, we don’t see what numbers they draw.
[Reax: What is the point of these backstage segments drawing numbers if we don’t see the numbers they draw?]
2 — EDDIE EDWARDS vs. CRAZZY STEVE
Prior to the match, Edwards grabbed a mic and said he didn’t care who from Decay he fought, but it was time for a fight. Eddie Edwards charges Crazzy Steve on the ramp to start the match. Back near the ring, Edwards goes to the top and leaps onto Steve on the outside.
Edwards rolls Steve into the ring and hits a running kick. Steve pops up and clotheslines Edwards over the top rope to the outside. Now on the outside, Steve throws a chair into the ring. Steve swings some kicks near the rail. Edwards hits a back elbow and goes to the top of the steps, but Rosemary grabs his foot. Steve then trips up Edwards, forcing his back on the steel steps.
Still on the outside, Steve kicks Edwards and then begins to choke him. With Edwards perched on the steps, Steve lays in more punches. Steve then pulls off and begins throwing several chairs into the ring. There are four chairs in the ring when Steve comes back in with Edwards.
Crazzy Steve slams a chair off Edwards’s back as Rosemary continues to throw more chairs into the ring. Edwards fights back with a chop but Crazzy Steve lands a drop toehold on Edwards, sending his face into a chair.
[Q4] Steve jams two chairs into opposite corners. After some strikes on Edwards, he sets up two more chairs in two more corners. Steve throws a chair at Edwards and then completes the six sides, with a steel chair jammed into every corner. He tries to force Edwards into the chair, but Edwards blocks it. Edwards ducks a charging and sends him into the corner with the chair. Edwards then goes around and throws Steve into every corner with every chair around the ring.
After all that, Edwards was about to get a three count, but Rosemary pulled him out of the ring. Edwards reached over the ropes and grabbed Rosemary by the hair. Crazzy Steve charges Edwards and he sidesteps him, sending him crashing into Rosemary to knock her off the apron. He then rolls up Crazzy Steve for the win.
WINNER: Eddie Edwards at 6:43
Backstage: Maria says that Gail Kim thinks she is all talk and no action, but she pinned Gail last week. She said that she is the real first lady of professional wrestling. She said that Gail is champion, but she has changed nothing in the Knockouts division.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
Backstage: Dixie is shown talking to Lashley. She said he is lucky to only get fined last week. She said that Lashley has made a lot of enemies, but if he wants it, he’s got it. We’re not sure exactly what he wanted, but Lashley said, “Nnot one of these guys is ready for me,” leading us to believe he was just inserted into the gauntlet match.
[Reax: I feel like I ask this a lot, but what is the logic here? Lashley attacked announcers and referees. Dixie said he was fined — not suspended — then the next week he asks for a title shot and she says yes? Am I missing something here?]
Backstage: Jeff Hardy is ready to draw his gauntlet number. He said every time he is close to the World Title, someone takes him out. ECIII comes into the shot and begins to get on Mike Bennett for taking him out last week.
[Q5 — second hour] ECIII draws his number first and Hardy goes second. And again, no one reveals their number, so I’m not sure the point of these segments.
In-arena: Gail Kim is making her entrance to defend the Knockouts Title against Maria.
Before the match, Maria has a mic and says that when she talks, everyone has to listen. She said that when she acts, things change. Maria said she loves wrestling and everything about it, and that’s why she is the first lady of professional wrestling.
Maria said if she beats Gail again, it wouldn’t change anything. She said she went to TNA management and asked them to give her something, and they gave it to her. Maria then brought out her “special guests” The Dollhouse.
Maria says she sees so much potential in the Dollhouse, but they have had so many leaders. She said none of the leaders did anything special, and that’s because they didn’t have a leader like Maria.
“I want you to be unique,” Maria said. “I want you to be individuals. They say only little girls play with dolls, so how about you break up this Dollhouse and become women.” Marti Bell says that she is crazy, and asks why they should trust her.
“I don’t need you to trust me,” Maria said. “I need you to respect me, and respect the things that I have done. Like I said, I see potential in you, and that’s why I asked TNA if I could give my title shot to one of the Dollhouse members. It’s going to have to be death of the Dollhouse, and fight. Not only will you receive my title shot, but I will lead you to become a star. And that fight happens, right now.” The Dollhouse argues as the show goes to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:07]
3 — MARTI BELL vs. REBEL vs. JADE — Knockouts Title No. 1 contender match
Maria is on commentary for this match. She says that this is to make every member of the Dollhouse better. In the ring, Marti and Jade discuss what to do. Rebel charges and Marti and Rebel jump her with a clothesline. Marti and Jade team up on Rebel to start things off. Marti and Jade go for a double pin, but Earl Hebner tells them only one can make a pin.
Rebel fights back, but Marti and Jade again team up to put her down. Marti and Jade argue over who will pin Rebel, so Rebel charges and again gets dropped by Jade and Marti. Marti yells at Jade to back off. Rebel comes in with a double clothesline and then goes to the top rope, landing a double cross-body. Rebel drops Marti and lands a kick on Jade.
[Q6] The announcers are talking to Maria, and have not paid a attention to a single second of this match. Marti goes for a cover on Rebel, but she kicks out at two. Meanwhile, Mathews begins to call the pin attempts and more of the match.
Jade with a stiff kick on Rebel and snaps her down. Jade kicks Rebel in the back and then hits a running knee. On commentary, it gets really awkward as Pope gets all giddy about having Maria’s Playboy issue. Josh asks if Maria will get the Dollhouse on The Apprentice. This is getting weird. Pope interrupts as Rebel hits an Electric Chair off the top rope.
Marti clotheslines Jade. Rebel rolls up Marti, but Jade breaks it up with a kick. Jade lands a series of dropkicks, then she takes out Marti and Rebel for the win.
WINNER: Jade at 6:37 to become #1 contender.
[Reax: Jade dropped Marti Bell on top of Rebel. Rebel’s shoulders were pinned, but not Marti’s, so shouldn’t Marti have won the match? The announcers seemed to be too busy fawning over Maria to make note.]
Backstage: Matt Hardy is ready to draw his number. Guessing we won’t see his number, either. Hardy says that this is all a conspiracy against him and he draws his number. Tyrus and Spud draw numbers as well. Surprise, but we don’t know which number anyone picked.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
Backstage: Grado and Mahabali Shera are talking backstage, and you can barely understand a word. Something about Chicago? And they’re going to party next week.
In-arena: Drew Galloway enters the arena to watch the gauntlet match to determine the No. 1 contender for his title. Galloway grabs a mic in the ring.
“That was a crazy start to the show,” he said. “Don’t you think that was a lot of talking about? Everybody doesn’t shut up around here. With Drew Galloway as champion you’ll see a lot more action, so let’s get this gauntlet match started.”
Bobby Lashley emerges first. He grabs a mic, because right after the champion says we’re going to get more action, we get more talking. The crowd begins to chant, “No more talking!”
Galloway says that the fans want him to shut up. He says that he doesn’t respect Lashley at all, the way he has been acting lately. He said that he told Dixie to put him in the gauntlet match, because no one is as dominating as him. “All right,” Galloway said. “I know how bad you are, I remember what you did to Kurt Angle and I remember that spear, but I think it’s time we fight and Bobby Lashley shut up.”
[Q6] At that moment, the lights go out and ECIII’s music hits. Galloway wants to fight a lot, and the poor guy hasn’t gotten a chance to on this show.
[Commercial Break at 10:31]
4 — Gauntlet match to determine #1 contender to the TNA World Title
Back from the break, Mathews says that a new entrant will come in every two minutes, and each wrestler will be eliminated when thrown over the top with both feet touching the floor.
ECIII and Lashley brawl for the opening two minutes of the match. ECIII throws a shoulder tackle into Lashley and then charges Lashley in the corner with a splash. ECIII climbs the turnbuckle and throws 10 punches to Lashley.
Rockstar Spud enters the match at #3. Spud rushes ECIII and they brawl, but Lashley soon joins the assault. Lashley lays it on ECIII in the corner, choking him. Spud chokes ECIII as well.
Mike Bennett enters the match at #4. Lashley stares down Bennett as he makes his entrance. ECIII then tackles Bennett, but Lashley and Spud pull him off before a three-on-one attack begins. Spud seemed to arrange an attack as Bennett was coming down to the ring. All three men beat down ECIII in the corner.
Interestingly, at no point did any of the three try to eliminate ECIII by lifting him over the top. You would think at three-on-one, this would be quite simple.
Eric Young enters the match at #5. Lashley holds up ECIII for Bennett to land a kick. Eric Young enters the ring and attacks Spud and Mike Bennett, to the surprise of Mathews. Finally, Spud and Lashley team up trying to eliminate ECIII.
Tyrus enters the match at #6. And, ECIII tosses Spud over the top rope as Tyrus makes his entrance.
***Rockstar Spud eliminated at 7:42***
[Commercial Break at 10:44]
[Q8] Back from the break, Lashley spears Mike Bennett and Lashley has pretty much taken out everyone in the ring. Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem anyone entered the match during the commercial break.
***Tyrus eliminated at 13:39***
Bram eliminated Eric Young, then Lashley eliminates Bram in rapid-fire order.
***Bram eliminated at 13:55***
***Eric Young eliminated at 14:05***
The Pope drops his headset and rushes the ring, tossing Lashley to the outside to eliminate him. Pope then attacks Lashley all the way up the ramp before security breaks them up.
***Lashley eliminated at 14:40***
Matt Hardy enters next. Mike Bennett and ECIII are still in the ring as well. ECIII drops Hardy and begins to put the boots to him. Hardy his a running bulldog on ECIII. Bennett hits a dropkick, then lands a boot to ECIII’s face to put him down again.
Jeff Hardy enters next at 17:21. Hardy goes right after Matt. After turning away for a second to check on Bennett, Matt Hardy chops at Jeff’s knee, taking him down. Bennett and Hardy are in control over ECIII and Jeff Hardy. After shooting him off the ropes, ECIII hits a double clothesline on Bennett and Matt.
Bennett hits a cutter on ECIII, then charges ECIII, but Carter ducks and eliminated Bennett by sending him flying over the top. Bennett grabs on to ECIII’s arm, and Hardy comes from behind to toss him over.
***Mike Bennett eliminated at 18:35***
***ECIII eliminated at 18:51***
Matt and Jeff Hardy are the last two, and they’re trading punches. Jeff goes up top and Matt nearly throws him out of the ring, but instead Jeff falls on the ropes.
Matt lands two leg drops and then drops a fist on Jeff Hardy. Matt hits a side effect at the 20:50 mark and Matt applies a sleeper hold. Jeff powers out.
Jeff tries to toss Matt over the top rope, but Matt hangs on. Jeff tries for a suplex but Matt pokes his eyes. Jeff misses a clothesline and Matt hits a Twist of Fate. Matt picks Jeff up off the canvas and throws him over the top, but Jeff hangs on.
Jeff tries to shoot himself back into the ring, but Matt catches him, looking for a DDT off the second rope. Instead, Jeff Hardy reverses into a back drop over the top.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy at 23:24 to become the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Hvt. Title.
Galloway is shown on the ramp applauding Hardy as Hardy points at him on the ramp. Mathews notes that the title match will take place next week as the show goes off the air.
Final Thoughts: Last week’s main event ended in chaos, and TNA needed to do something to pull out of that and give the show some order again. The opening promo segment didn’t do that at all, in fact, it made it more confusing. But, the main event tightened up storylines and sent a bunch of people off in different directions. We now know we’ll see Drew Galloway vs. Jeff Hardy for the World Title, but it’s very clear that Matt vs. Jeff isn’t settled yet. In the meantime, Mike Bennett and ECIII are definitely primed for a match.
Also, it looks like TNA is going to go with Pope vs. Lashley. That’s the match I have the most problems with. TNA is trying to get Lashley over as their Brock Lesnar. The difference being that he could be more “feared” because he’s still active in MMA. TNA has this monster they want to push as a badass who will destroy anything in his path. They literally call him “the destroyer,” and yet they book him to be eliminated and then beat up by an announcer who is no longer an active wrestler. That’s no way to get over a monster.
Matt Hardy had a strong showing on the mic and in the ring despite losing the title last week and his title shot tonight. That was the one big worry coming out of last week’s episode. Hardy has been so good as a heel during this run, it would have a shame to see him fall by the wayside. That doesn’t seem to be happening.