April 12, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. from Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opens with a highlight video from last week, including the TNA World Hvt. Championship match between Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway.
In-arena: Matt Hardy’s music hits as the camera pans around the Impact Zone. Hardy comes to the ring with Reby Sky, his son, Rockstar Spud, and Tyrus. Josh Mathews welcomes back the Pope, who had a street fight with Lashley last week.
“Silence,” Hardy says to the crowd. “Silence, I said silence you nobodies who pay to see the Iconic Matt Hardy.”
[Reax: Funny that Hardy uses the “you paid to see me” line when TNA doesn’t charge admission for its television tapings. Classic heel move.]
Hardy says that Jeff Hardy is tarnishing his name and his brand. He calls Jeff the ball and chain around his ankle. Jeff emerges onto the stage with face paint. Pope says that the Hardy brothers built their names together, but the people have always flocked to Jeff, and that has eaten away at Matt Hardy.
“How dare you!” Matt said. “How dare you stain the Hardy name.” Jeff grabs a mic and says he’s proud to be a Hardy. “I’m proud of the legacy we built,” he said. “Matt, I have no problem with you doing your own thing, but I have a problem with you trying to disgrace the World Title. That title is a symbol that represents who is the very best in this business.”
Matt says that he is the best. Matt said that he has spent his years making sure that Jeff made all the flights and made all the towns. Matt said that Jeff has done nothing to help him, ever. Matt said that when Jeff interfered last week, he did so because he was selfish.
Jeff tells Matt he is worried about him, because he’s heading down a destructive path. Matt says that wrestling is his life, and it’s just something Jeff is good at. Matt demands that Jeff Hardy change his name. “I want you to leave the Hardy name to the only real Hardy, me! Matt Hardy!” he yelled.
The crowd starts to chant “Hardy! Hardy! Hardy!” and Jeff says they chant that because of all the things they have done together. Matt says that he wants a match with Jeff to show the world that there is only one Hardy.
The crowd begins to chant, “Jeff is better!” Reby grabs the mic and says of course Jeff won’t fight Matt, because he knows that Matt is the better wrestler and the better brand.
“The only thing I’m scared of is your crazy bitch genes inside of our family tree,” Jeff said to Reby. Jeff said that nobody wins if they fight, but if Matt wants a fight, he has a fight.
Still to come: ECIII vs. Mike Bennett.
Last week: James Storm’s promo and The Decay and Beer Money brawl was highlighted.
In-arena: Beer Money makes its entrance to the ramp. James Storm rides down on the Boozer Cruiser.
[Commercial Break at 9:11]
[Q2] Coming back from the break, TNA plugs “The Essential A.J. Styles Collection” DVD.
In-arena: Beer Money is waiting for their surprise opponent and the Bro-Mans come to the ring. Decay then makes their entrance, to the surprise of Mathews and Pope. Eric Young and Bram then make their entrance.
As they walk down, E.Y. cuts a short promo saying that he’s coming with Bram to win the tag titles.
1 — TNA tag champions BEER MONEY (James Storm & Bobby Roode) vs. BRO-MANS (Jessie Godderz & Robbie E.) vs. DECAY (Crazzy Steve & Abyss) vs. ERIC YOUNG & BRAM — Four-Way match for the TNA World Tag Team Titles
The match begins with all four teams brawling. On the outside, Storm takes out Bram and then rides the Boozer Cruiser around the ringside area, driving right into Bram.
Storm rolls Bram back into the ring and Roode is waiting to hit a double suplex. Beer Money does their signature pose spot while the other teams are on the outside. As Bram begins to get back up on the outside, Roode back body drops Storm over the top rope to the outside, landing him on top of Bram.
The match finally officially begins with E.Y. and Roode. Match rules are that two are in at a time, and members can tag anyone they want into the match. Roode hits an enziguri on E.Y., who falls into Crazzy Steve for a tag. Steve rushes Roode and lands quick offense.
Crazzy Steve tags in Abyss. Steve tells Abyss to chokeslam him on top of Roode, and Abyss obliges. Abyss works over Roode’s back and then sets him up in the corner for a series of right hand shots to send Roode to the mat. Abyss whips Roode into the corner but Roode hits a back elbow to get back into the match. He goes to the second rope and hits a frankensteiner. E.Y. tags himself into the match, tagging Abyss, and rushes him to cut Roode off from tagging Storm. E.Y. also knocked Storm off the apron.
With Storm unavailable, Roode tags in Jessie Godderz. Godderz looks great here, hitting a springboard forearm on Abyss. BroMans hit a BroDown on E.Y., but Abyss breaks up the submission.
After tagging in, Bram holds Storm for E.Y. to deliver a punch, but Storm ducks and E.Y. hits Bram. Storm then delivers a superkick for the win. After the match, Storm rolls to the outside to celebrate with Roode.
WINNERS: Beer Money retains via pin at 6:23.
[Reax: Not a huge fan of these types of matches. It never really makes sense when someone tags in a member of another team, taking themselves out of the equation to score the win.
That being said, this was okay. Jessie Godderz looked great here, showing off an athletic side that we haven’t seen the chiseled Godderz get to do that often. He was the highlight of the match. The BroMans in general fired up really good when they had their brief spot in the match.]
Backstage: Matt Hardy tells Jeff Hardy that management has made it official. Matt vs. Jeff will take place next week. Tyrus said that Jeff needs to go, and he needs to be out of TNA permanently. Matt said he’s going to beat Jeff so bad, he’s going to quit. In fact, Matt says that’s what he wants the match to be. He wants an I Quit Match. Jeff said let’s make it interesting. He’s going to find a tag team partner to wrestle Matt and Tyrus. If Matt wins, he’ll get the I Quit match. If Jeff wins, it will be Full Metal Mayhem.
Backstage: Maria says last week, Gail Kim got just what she deserved, and tonight Maria is going to go to the ring to get what the “First lady of Wrestling” deserves.
[Commercial Break at 9:27]
[Q3] Backstage: Eddie Edwards has been attacked. He’s saying that his shoulder is injured. Mathews notes that Edwards is supposed to fight Trevor Lee for the X Division Title later tonight.
In-arena: Maria comes to the stage. “My name is Maria Kanellis Bennett, and I am the first lady of professional wrestling. And tonight, is the genesis of the new Knockouts Division. Tonight, I have made the Knockouts great. So much so that Donald Trump has asked me how to make America great again, and of course I helped him. So tonight is a night of celebration, so let me bring out my new Knockouts Champion, Jade!”
Jade comes to the ring using the Dollhouse music. “Jade,” Maria said, “I have done so much for the Knockout Division. Now, they know your name. Without me, you were nothing. So because you owe me so much, give me my title.” Jade looks perplexed by the request.
Maria again demands “her” title. Jade said that she’s not giving Maria the title. “Maria, I earned this title last week,” Jade said. “It’s not my fault you’re too afraid to get in the ring and do some work. As far as I am concerned, it’s the champ who calls the shots.”
Gail Kim walks to the ring and Mathews says that she’s on a mission. “Maria,” said Gail. “Even I thought that you would never stoop so low, but you did. You want all the power but you want to do zero work. You think you know what this division needs and wants? Maria, just because you’re the dog that barks the loudest, doesn’t make you the boss. It just makes you the loudest b—-.”
Maria said, “Oh! There you go being trashy again! I am a lady. And you two are just dumb wrestlers.” She calls the Knockouts sheep. Rebel and Marti Bell come down the aisle now. Marti says that she’s not sheep. The Dollhouse was a family that Maria broke up. Marti said that the Dollhouse got Jade to where she was.
Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne now enter. Velvet says that the Dollhouse will always be known as the doghouse. Madison says that Maria isn’t the boss. Madison said that she’s the “queen bee” of this division. Velvet looks offended, and questions that. Maria is smiling, almost as if she’s getting what she wants.
Now Billy Corgan emerges from backstage, with very generic music. Maria says that Corgan is a rock god, and that Corgan should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Corgan says that, as someone who works for TNA in an executive capacity, they are aware of her machinations.
“Jade, champ, you’re not handing that title to anybody, you’re defending it tonight against Madison Rayne,” Corgan said. “As far as who runs things, Maria, I thought we made it clear, it’s in-ring action that determines what goes on around here. SO ladies, with due respect, if you want to run things, if you want to be ‘the boss’ it’s simple. One match, one leader.”
Maria said that it doesn’t matter who wins, she will be their boss. Jade tries to throw a punch but Maria ducks and rolls out of the ring as Jade’s errant punch hits Madison Rayne. The Knockouts brawl.
[Reax: What a cluster … Maria’s line calling the Knockouts “dumb wrestlers” was dumb, especially considering she manages her “dumb wrestler” husband on the same show. There were better ways to get heat without that line.
The Maria storyline works well, but this segment felt like a mess with way too many faces on the screen. I’m also not sure where they’re going with it. Corgan said that in-ring action dictates who is in charge, so I assume that means the champion runs the division? Or wins and losses matter? But then he books a match for next week that will apparently include the entire Knockouts division, and the winner gets to run the division? If that’s the direction, man, this is going to get more confusing before it gets more clear. Also, we’re 45 minutes into the show, and we’ve had a total of six minutes of actual wrestling.]
Backstage: ECIII says that Mike Bennett is a great wrestler, but he’s not a miracle. ECIII says that he mastered the game. “I’m accountable for everything I’ve done and I apologize for none of it,” ECIII said. “Tonight, Michael, there is a lesson for you. It’s not going to make you a star, it’s a lesson in ass kicking. Tonight, Michael Bennett, you get your ass kicked, courtesy of ECIII.”
[Commercial Break at 9:42]
[Q4] Back from the break, Trevor Lee is in the ring. He’s supposed to face Eddie Edwards, but Edwards is apparently injured from earlier tonight.
“I had Lee prepared to face Edwards tonight,” Helms said. “But last I heard, Edwards is on the floor begging for consciousness. So where does that leave Trevor Lee?” Helms said no one has the courage to face Lee. Helms said that if there is, come out there and prove him wrong. That brings out D.J. Zema, who is wearing a mask with headphone combo.
2 — TNA X Division champion TREVOR LEE vs. D.J. Z — non-title match
D.J. Z charges the ring and there is a fast pace to the start of the match. Mathews notes right away it’s non-title, and that if D.J. Z wins, it should set him up for a future title shot. Mathews says that D.J. Z has been taking Lucha Libre classes.
D.J. Z controls the match early. Helms distracts D.J., allowing Lee to get back in control. The match spills to the outside. Helms is shouting instructions to Lee.
Lee rolls D.J. Z into the ring and begins to hit numerous kicks. Lee tries to set up D.J., but D.J. runs Lee into the corner. Zema with a flying back elbow and then a springboard huracanrana off the second rope. D.J. with a big DDT.
D.J. has the cover, but Helms distracts the referee. Lee hits a flying forearm as D.J. Z was yelling at Helms on the outside. Lee picks up D.J., but Zema rolls him up with an inside cradle for the win.
After the match, Helms enters the ring and attacks D.J. Z from behind. Helms is about to hit a DDT on D.J. Zema, but Edwards runs down and clears the ring.
WINNER: D.J. Z at 2:53 via pin.
[Reax: Who attacked Edwards? Helms and Lee? It was never really explained, but the audience can be left to assume, I guess. Good showing from D.J. Z here, who looked completely in his element as part of a match like this. D.J. Z’s new ring gear was really sleek-looking as well.]
Backstage: Mike Bennett said that ECIII claims he’s just like him, but he’s nothing like ECIII. Bennett said that ECIII evolved, but Mike Bennett doesn’t need to evolve. He writes his own history, and he’s been writing ECIII’s history since he debuted. He said that tonight, he will kick ECIII’s ass.
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Backstage: Jeff Hardy said the thing between him and Matt is beyond personal. He asid that he needs to win tonight, and he has locked in the perfect partner. In walks Drew Galloway. “He had my back last week,” Galloway said. “Tonight, I’ve got his.”
In-arena: Maria is back on the stage, helping to introduce Mike Bennett. ECIII charges down on his introduction and attacks Bennett.
3 — ETHAN CARTER III vs. MIKE BENNETT
[Q5 — second hour] They’re on fire to start the match. ECIII kicks Bennett in the corner. Mathews notes that Bennett cost ECIII the TNA World Title a few week sago.
ECIII with a chop sends Bennett down. ECIII hits a back body drop and then clotheslines Bennett to the outside. On the entrance ramp, ECIII suplexes Bennett.
ECIII rolls Bennett back into the ring to avoid the count out. He charges Bennett but he counters with a spinebuster. Bennett chokes ECIII in the corner of the ring. Mathews notes that ECIII still hasn’t been pinned or submitted, and Maria rakes ECIII’s eyes.
Bennett whips ECIII to the turnbuckle. Bennett follows up with another hard whip, sending ECIII to the mat after he hits the corner. Bennett hits a knee to ECIII’s gut but ECIII comes back with two clotheslines and then an ECIII splash in the corner and a flapjack as Bennett emerges from the corner.
ECIII tries for a One-Percenter but Bennett gets to the ropes to break up the count. Back elbow by Bennett but ECIII hits a DDT for a two count as he grabs the bottom rope to break Earl Hebner’s count.
Bennett is on the apron and pulls ECIII’s neck down on the rope to get back in control, but he doesn’t last long. Back in the ring ECIII hits a TK3 and goes for a pin but Maria grabs Bennett’s leg and pulls it under the rope to break up the pin.
Things reset at the 6:00 mark. ECIII chases Maria around ringside. Maria rolls into the ring and Bennett hits a cutter as ECIII rolled in. Bennett goes to the outside as Pope wonders why he’s not going for the cover. Bennett brings a chair into the ring but misses.
ECIII locks in a modified sleeper/choke. Bennett is tapping out like crazy as Maria distracts Hebner. Maria is holding a chair and ECIII grabs it, smashing Bennett with it over the back. Mathews says that ECIII has reached his boiling point.
WINNER: Mike Bennett via disqualification at 7:42.
After the match, ECIII continues to smash Bennett over the back with the chair. Mathews notes that ECIII won the match on three different occasions and Maria distracted the referee.
Video: Highlights of Al Snow attacking Grado and Mahabali Shera is shown from two weeks ago.
Backstage: Al Snow says that two weeks ago, he took actions that were uncharacteristic and that he was suspended without pay for a week and he understands what he did was wrong. He said that he’s going to go to the ring, and ask Shera for the opportunity to publicly apologize.
[Commercial Break at 10:10]
[Q6] Another ad for “The Essential A.J. Styles Collection” airs.
Back from the break, Mathews shows highlights of Bennett-ECIII, noting that ECIII had the match won on multiple occasions.
In-ring: Al Snow has a mic and says that a couple of weeks ago, he did something wrong. He said he was making sure that some young talent “paid dues,” and he was told by management to apologize, and it’s the right thing to do.
Mahabali Shera comes to the ring in street clothes. He’s alone, no Grado. Shera runs into the ring and grabs Snow by the shirt, saying that he hurt Grado and put Grado in the hospital.
Shera goes to hit Snow, but Snow stops him and asks to let him explain. Snow begs for the chance to explain. Snow said that he has been wrestling since he was 18 and he’s 53 now. He said it’s his whole world. Snow said people keep saying that wrestling has passed Snow by. Snow says that when he got into wrestling, you had to fight, claw, and scratch just to get in.
The crowd applauds and Snow tells them to stop. He said they don’t understand it the terrible physical things people did to earn their way into the ring. He tells a story of Chris Irwin beating him in the back of his head so his left eye went blind when he was in St. Louis. Snow says sorry, because he did to him what so many other people did to him.
Snow said maybe he did it because he was angry or jealous, and he was sorry. Snow said he’s paying for Grado’s medical bills and he wants to do better than that. He said he wants to build guys like Shera up, not tear them down. He said he wants to help the young guys live their dream.
Snow begs for the chance to help them. Shera said that Snow has to respect the younger people. Snow said he’ll do everything he can to help him and extends his hand for a handshake. Shera accepts and Snow goes him for a small hug.
Shera and Snow leave the ring and as they do, Snow tosses Shera into the steps and beats down Shera. He repeatedly smashes Shera’s face into the steps. Shera is left laying on the outside mat. The crowd chants “you still got it!” at Snow.
[Reax: We’ve always heard these backstage stories about veterans taking liberties with younger guys. JBL and the Dudley Boyz had a long reputation for being like that. It’s been part of wrestling for a while, with certain guys. This is taking that story and presenting it on the screen. Some will groan because of Snow’s age, but let’s see where this goes. It’s just the beginning.]
Backstage: Galloway is texting someone as Tyrus approaches, asking if he realizes what he’s doing tonight. Galloway said he’s perfectly aware. He said he has a responsibility as champion. Galloway said that he doesn’t hide behind bodyguards. Tyrus said that maybe he should have someone watching his back. Tyrus said that bad things happen to good people all the time, and Galloway is a good person. Tyrus said that he has a title shot any time wants, and that makes him a dangerous person.
[Commercial Break at 10:24]
Backstage: Al Snow is leaving and was asked to explain his actions by the roving reporter, and he said he didn’t have to explain it. He said he didn’t need to apologize to “some punk kid” who just walked into his world. He said things don’t need to change. He says if someone wants his respect, come face him in the ring.
[Reax: Very passionate promo from Snow. One of the better shorter promos we’ve seen on Impact in a while. There is something very genuine about Snow’s message.]
4 — TNA Knockouts champion JADE vs. MADISON RAYNE — Knockouts Title match
[Q7] Mathews notes that next week’s match with all of the Knockouts will be a ladder match, and the first Knockout to grab the contract, runs the division. So there’s that.
Jade has control of this match early on. Mathews says that Jade reminds him of Ronda Rousey (LOL!). Pope says that Jade is a hybrid of Rousey and Gail Kim (LOL!)
Jade lands a kick to Madison’s back. Jade with a forearm, and Madison fires back with a forearm of her own. Madison with a chop, Jade with a kick and Madison with a clothesline. Madison misses a cross-body. Jade lands a running dropkick and covers for the win.
WINNER: Jade retains via pin at 5:15.
After the match, Jade celebrates in the ring. Mathews says that’s how you start a title reign.
[Commercial Break at 10:37]
Back from the break, Matt Hardy and Tyrus are entering the arena.
5 — MATT HARDY & TYRUS vs. JEFF HARDY & TNA Hvt. champion DREW GALLOWAY
Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy go to start the match, but Matt runs over and tags Tyrus.
Galloway tags in and splashes Tyrus in the corner, jumping off Hardy’s back.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Back from the break, Tyrus drops an elbow on Galloway. Matt Hardy tags in and starts to deliver knees to Galloway’s head. Hardy throws wild punches at Galloway in the corner. Galloway hits a chop, but Hardy follows up with an elbow.
Tyrus tags back in and splashes Galloway in the corner. Tyrus steps on Galloway’s hand. Tyrus hits a heart punch on Galloway for a two count.
Tyrus sits on Galloway in a camel clutch and hooks the inside of his mouth. Galloway chops at Tyrus and shoves him into the corner before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count.
Tyrus sets up Galloway for what looked like a Vader Bomb, but Galloway moves. Matt and Jeff both tag in at the same time. Matt whips Jeff into the ropes, but Jeff hits an atomic drop.
Jeff covers for a two count. Matt misses a clothesline and Jeff hits a Russian leg sweep. Jeff rolls Matt into a jackknife pin but gets only two. Jeff climbs up to the top rope and tries for a swanton bomb but Matt rolls out of the way. Matt misses another clothesline and Jeff hits a twist of fate. Jeff again goes to the top rope, but Tyrus stands in the way. Jeff tries to hit a cross-body on Tyrus, but Tyrus catches him.
Galloway hits Tyrus with a Claymore. Reby runs down and hands Matt a hammer. Matt hits Jeff on the chin with the hammer. Brian Hebner looks confused about why Jeff is down. Matt Hardy picks up Jeff and hits a Twist of Fate for the three count.
WINNER: Matt Hardy & Tyrus at 12:01.
After the match, Matt and Tyrus celebrate on the entrance ramp. Mathews says next week, it will be Matt vs. Jeff in an I Quit match.
Galloway helps up Jeff, but Bobby Lashley rushes the ring and spears Galloway, standing over him. Lashley picks up Galloway and hits a second spear. Galloway rolls to ringside and Lashley hits a third spear, sending Galloway into the steps. Lashley poses with the TNA World Hvt. Title as the show goes off the air. Mathews says that the target on Galloway’s back gets bigger and bigger.
Before the final credits, TNA teases Jeff hitting a swanton bomb from something seriously high up next week, showing the shadow of him delivering the move.
[Final Thoughts: It’s weird that Tyrus, before the match, teased that he can cash-in a World Title shot any time he wants, and then as Lashley leaves Galloway laying after three spears, Tyrus was nowhere to be found. It just seemed like an odd spot where Tyrus teased cashing in, and that would have been the perfect time for it.
The main event itself was a good match. Galloway really took a beating here, though. He was selling most of the match giving Jeff the hot tag and then was beaten down by Lashley after the match. That was a little too much selling for the World Champion. The match seemed to be a machine to not only set up Jeff vs. Matt, but also Lashley vs. Galloway. Still, there was a bit too much selling for Galloway here. He was an auxiliary piece to the Matt-Jeff feud, and the champion should be an auxiliary piece any time.]