TNA Impact Wrestling Report
April 19, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. from Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Earlier today, Jeff Hardy is shown arriving at the Impact Zone for tonight’s I Quit main event against Matt Hardy. Matt Hardy is then shown arriving with Reby and Maxel.
In-arena: Gail Kim is making her ring entrance as Josh Mathews welcomes us to the show. Mathews reminds us that this will be a ladder match, with the winner gaining control of the Knockouts division.
Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky make their ring entrance together next. Marti Belle and Rebel arrive next, entering as a team to the Dollhouse music.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett is introduced as the next competitor. She walks down the aisle with both of her arms raised in the air. Knockouts champion Jade makes the final ring entrance, also to the Dollhouse theme.
1 — GAIL KIM vs. MADISON RAYNE vs. VELVET SKY vs. MARTI BELLE vs. REBEL vs. MARIA vs. KO champion JADE — ladder match for control of the Knockouts Division
As you might imagine, there is total chaos at the start of this match. After clearing house, Marti Belle and Rebel grab a ladder and try to bring it into the ring, but Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky baseball slide it into their face.
Maria grabs the ladder and tries to climb it, but Gail Kim enters the ring and chases her around. Jade grabs the ladder and starts to use it as a weapon until Gail Kim dropkicks her.
Gail now sets up the ladder and climbs, but Maria grabs her leg. Maria then tries to run to the back, but Gail catches her on the stage and she is attacked by Decay. Rosemary hits Gail with a kendo stick and then grabs her and Decay brings Gail to the back. Maria just smiles.
Meanwhile, the match continues in the ring. Jade sets up the ladder, but Marti Belle powerbombs her off the ladder. Velvet Sky climbs the ladder, but Maria hits Velvet with the kendo stick that Rosemary brought out originally. Maria then climbs the ladder and grabs the contract.
After the match, Mike Bennett runs to the ring to celebrate with his wife.
WINNER: Maria at 5:14.
Last week: Mathews shows a clip Lashley taking out TNA champion Drew Galloway.
Backstage: Galloway yells at the cameraman to get over to him. He says that the message from Lashley was received, but he’s still standing. Galloway said he’s going to the ring to call out Lashley.
[Commercial Break at 9:11]
[Q2] Coming out of the break, TNA hypes the A.J. Styles Collection DVD.
Backstage: Maria says that she is in control of the Knockouts Division and starting next week, things are going to change. The camera cuts away to show Decay carrying Gail Kim around.
In-arena: Drew Galloway comes to the ring to call out Lashley. Galloway was selling the effects of the spears he took last week. His ribs are wrapped in tape. Galloway calls out Lashley and said it’s time to finish this.
But instead of Lashley, Rockstar Spud emerges from backstage. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Spud said. “Were you expecting someone else? Drew, buddy, I look at you now and you’re all beaten up, taped up and looking a bit sore. Let’s be honest, if I wanted to right now, and we had a match, I’d make myself World Champion just like that.”
Galloway calls Spud “big man” and asks if he wants to put the theory to the test? Spud said he’s not there to fight, though. He said he’s there to tell the world that tonight is the last time anyone will see Jeff Hardy. Spud said it will all be thanks to “his man” Matt Hardy, the real World Hvt. Champion.
Galloway tells Spud to shut up, and said if Lashley isn’t coming out, he’s facing someone tonight. Spud said that it’s not going to be him, and then tells Galloway he was warned.
Tyrus’s music hits, and it appears that he will be cashing in his Feast or Fired contract. Galloway said earlier that he wasn’t cleared to compete, so Mathews wondered if this was even going to happen?
Tyrus said that he told Galloway that the World Title is a target. Tyrus says he is a patient man. He waited in the shadows and it paid off. Tyrus tells Galloway he has only been champion for a few weeks, and he can barely stand.
Tyrus said that tonight, Galloway is hiding behind a doctor’s note. Galloway said that he’s cleared next week. Tyrus said he needs Galloway’s word that no matter what, he defends the title next week? Galloway said he has his match.
Tyrus extends his hand and shakes hands with Galloway. As Tyrus walks away, Galloway said the people were tired of seeing them talk. Spud then attacks and Tyrus joins in. They pull the tape off Galloway’s ribs and Tyrus drops all of his weight on Galloway’s ribs. Spud drills his ribs with elbows. Tyrus then stands up and drops two splashes on Galloway.
Outside the ring, Spud grabs a chair. He puts the chair on top of Galloway’s ribs. Tyrus goes up to the second rope and drops the Vader Bomb splash on Galloway. Tyrus then grabbed the World Title and posed with it.
[Reax: It still wasn’t explained why Tyrus, who teased cashing in last week, didn’t do so immediately after Galloway was the victim of three spears from Lashley and was left in a heap.
This was a good promo setting up the main event — we assume — for next week. It has been a while since Tyrus really had a chance to shine on the mic and he looked and sounded believable here. He seemed very comfortable and natural.]
Backstage: “Hardy Brand Cam” is being controlled by Reby as she films Matt Hardy getting ready for tonight’s I Quit match. She said that Matt gave her a baby, and Jeff hasn’t given anyone anything. Matt says that Jeff thinks he is not a quitter, but tonight he will learn differently. Hardy said he’ll do what he does tonight for his family and himself.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
Back from the break, Decay has a knocked out Gail Kim in the back. Rosemary says that Decay is what Gail is. She says now that Gail is with them, they will get what they want and they will silence two birds with one stone. Rosemary calls Gail the Decay’s pawn to get what they want.
2 — X Division champion TREVOR LEE vs. EDDIE EDWARDS vs. D.J. ZEMA — X Division Title match
[Q3] A second multi-competitor match on the show starts with another frantic pace. Edwards goes for a schoolboy cover on Lee, who quickly kicks out.
Edwards gets tossed to the outside and Lee works on D.J. Z. As they spill to the outside, Edwards rolls in the ring and dives on Lee and D.J. on the outside. Lee boots Edwards in the face out of the corner.
D.J. Zema sets up Edwards on the top rope. Lee pulls him off and distracts the referee as Helms pulls Z to the outside and clotheslines him. Back in the ring, Lee goes up top to grab Edwards and tries for a superplex but Edwards blocks it.
Andrew Everett then charges the ring out of nowhere and connects on Edwards with a knee to the face, which sets up Lee for the pinfall.
After the match, Lee and Everett celebrate with Helms as Mathews notes that he’s also from North Carolina. After tossing D.J. Z out of the ring, Everett lands a 630-degree senton on Edwards.
WINNER: Trevor Lee retains at 4:56.
[Reax: Andrew Everett is a very good addition to not only the X Division, but also the stable with Helms and Lee. There is a natural fit there, and Everett can do some things, athletically, that most wrestling fans on a national scale just aren’t used to seeing. That senton on Edwards was very impressive. Everett also brings depth to a division that sorely needs it.]
Backstage: Eric Young says he’s coming to the ring right now.
[Commercial Break at 9:38]
Back from the break, Mathews plugs Hardy vs. Hardy for later tonight.
Backstage: Shane Helms said he told us that he would spark the X Division. He said that TNA tried to stack the deck by putting Lee in a triple threat, but you don’t outsmart Shane Helms. He said that with his guys — the Helms Dynasty — the X Division will never be the same.
[Q4] In-arena: Eric Young and Bram are in the ring. E.Y. says that he hates everyone in the building. “I hate all of you idiots, and everyone in the back. You’re looking at the most dangerous man in pro wrestling, with the most dangerous hold in pro wrestling. You’re looking at the king of wrestling, and here’s my proof.”
E.Y. holds up the King of the Mountain Title while saying that no one can beat him. E.Y. tells TNA if they want to “suck up to punks like ECIII and cater to has-beens like Jeff Hardy,” this is the last time we’ll see Eric Young.
The crowd cheers at that line. E.Y. said he’s taking his talent and the KOTM Title and he’s leaving. “Take a good hard look, TNA, we’re out of here,” he said. “We quit!”
Bram looks confused. He stands in the ring while E.Y. tells him to “come on.” “I’m not going anywhere, E.Y.” Bram said. E.Y. gets back in the ring and asks Bram what he said. Bram again says that he’s not going anywhere. He said he’s sick and tired of being E.Y.’s bully and playing second fiddle.
E.Y. calls Bram a loser and tells him to stay here by himself. Bram said that E.Y. isn’t going anywhere, though. He said that the KOTM Title would look better around the waist of a “real man.” Bram tells E.Y.: “I don’t think you have the balls.” E.Y. then gave Bram a low blow and a piledriver. “You’re a loser!” E.Y. yelled. “I’m the king!”
E.Y. then leaves the ring. He grabs a pair of scissors on the outside and comes back in the ring and yells that Bram only grew a beard because of him and he’s the only man allowed to have a beard in pro wrestling. He then takes the scissors and cuts off Bram’s beard.
Up Next: Mike Bennett and Maria are headed to the ring.
[Commercial Break at 9:51]
Still to come: Hardy vs. Hardy
Backstage: Jeff Hardy is shown painting his face. He said that he and Matt are complete opposites. He said he’s not looking forward to this match tonight, but he needs to do what he needs to do. Jeff said that tonight, he will lay it all on the line and he will not quit.
In-ring: Mike Bennett has a microphone. He tells everyone to focus on him. It’s hard to focus on Bennett, though, because he’s wearing bright gold shoes.
Bennett said once upon a time there was a prince named ECIII. He had all the money, all the gold, and all the friends in the world. Then one day a white knight arrived by the name of The Miracle, and on that fateful day, Prince Ethan began to spiral out of control.
The lights then go out, and ECIII emerges from the back. Mathews showed a replay last week of ECIII exploding on Bennett with a chair after Maria interfered in the match last week. ECIII enters the ring and grabs another microphone.
[Q5 — second hour] “Let the record show that Mike Bennett defeated ECIII by disqualification, but let the video show that ECIII beat Mike Bennett’s ass.”
ECIII said there are a lot of similarities between them, but Bennett said that all he has seen since he arrived in TNA was a pathetic little boy who blames all of his problems on him. Bennett said he will never wrestle ECIII again because he won, he is through with him.
ECIII said that’s fair, but he will stalk him until he decides to fight him and when he decides to fight him, ECIII says he will win. Bennett said that guys like them are destined to talk forever, but the outcome will always be the same.
ECIII says that Bennett has the opportunity to be a made man because no one has pinned or submitted ECIII. ECIII says if Bennett wants to be “the man” in TNA, all Bennett has to do is beat him. ECIII challenged Bennett for Sacrifice next week in a No DQ match. That way, someone will be pinned or someone will submit. Maria whispers something to Bennett and he then accepts. ECIII said it will take a miracle to defeat him.
Backstage: Gail Kim wakes up, but she’s tied up to something. She calls Decay insane. Rosemary said they’re the ones trying to stop the insanity, and they’ll happily let Gail go when they get what they want.
[Reax: WWE has fallen into this trap with Undertaker in the past, but angles like this never work in pro wrestling. The viewer can suspend disbelief to a point, but this takes it too far. According to Josh Mathews, no one in the building knows where Decay took Gail, except the cameraman, of course. He’s there. There’s also the small detail that Decay is currently committing a felony, kidnapping another human being and then holding her hostage.]
[Commercial Break at 10:06]
In-arena: Al Snow is in the ring and he’s ripping apart the fans. He says he’s never met a bunch of people like wrestling fans in his life. Everyone is always “on the Internet” complaining about it. Snow says the fans are ruining wrestling today. Snow said that they used to protect the business. He said he’s about to give everyone a lesson in what wrestling should be and he calls out Mahabali Shera.
3 — AL SNOW vs. MAHABALI SHERA
As soon as Shera enters the ring, Snow attacks. Snow grabs a mic in the middle of the match. He keeps kicking Shera. He invites fans to come into the ring and teach him something about pro wrestling. Snow throws Shera into the turnbuckle. Snow chops Shera with some forearms and that fires up Shera.
[Q6] Shera with a huge clothesline on Snow. Shera hiptosses Snow out of the corner and then clotheslines him over the top rope out to the floor.
Snow climbs under the ring and Shera can’t find Snow. He emerges on the other side of the ring, rolls in and blindsides Shera again. Snow smashes Shera on the ringpost and then rolls Shera back into the ring. Al Snow delivers stiff punches to Shera’s face. Earl Hebner tries to tell him no closed punches.
Shera fires back with clotheslines and two suplexes. Shera throws huge righthand haymakers. The third one knocks Snow to the canvas. Snow goes into his tights and grabs what looks like taped brass knuckles, punching Shera without Hebner noticing. Shera is out cold. Snow rolls Shera over and gets a three count. After the match, Snow mock celebrated.
WINNER: Al Snow at 6:33.
[Reax: Well, at least Shera wasn’t dancing to the ring. … Al Snow looked great in this match. I know he still wrestles in the independent circuit, but he didn’t look out of place at all. He’s still in excellent shape.]
Backstage: Abyss is carrying Gail Kim around while Rosemary says not everyone gets a happy ending, sometimes people get sacrificed. Rosemary said if Decay doesn’t get what they want, Gail will be sacrificed.
[Commercial Break at 10:20]
Backstage: Eli Drake goes into the production truck. He said next week, “Fact of Life” will debut.
In-arena: Decay brings Gail Kim to the ring. Rosemary has the microphone in the ring. She calls the audience pawns on the giant chessboard. Rosemary tells the audience that they are all puppets. Rosemary said they’ll let Gail go if they get what they want. But if they don’t, Rosemary said that maybe Decay will just “cut off her pretty little head.”
Abyss said that the only thing that can save Gail now is Beer Money. Abyss calls out Beer Money. Their music hits and Roode and James Storm come to the ring.
Roode has a mic yelling at Decay to let Gail go. Abyss asked what would happen if he ordered Rosemary to snap Gail’s neck. Abyss said he wants what they deserve, a shot at the TNA Tag Titles.
Abyss said they don’t want a regular match, though. They want a match with no rules, no regulations. Abyss said that they want a match with carnage, pain, and suffering. So therefore, Abyss tells Beer Money that they want a Monster’s Ball match. Roode said they’ll wrestle in any match Decay wants.
[Reax: Really? For a TNA Tag Team Title match, Decay committed first degree kidnapping and threatened to behead Gail Kim? Probably not the best choice of words.]
In-arena: Jeff Hardy is making his way to the ring.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Back from the break, Matt Hardy makes his ring entrance as Jeremy Borash handles introductions.
4 — JEFF HARDY vs. MATT HARDY — I Quit match
The bell rings and Matt takes the early control. The Hardy brothers trade some offense early. Mathews marvels at how well they know each other. Jeff locks Matt in a Figure-Four. Mathew notes that even if Matt gets to the ropes, Jeff doesn’t have to break the hold. Matt rolls it over, putting pressure on Jeff, but Jeff rolls him back over into the Figure-Four away.
At that point, Rockstar Spud runs down and attacks Jeff Hardy. Mathews notes there are no DQs in this match. Matt smashes Jeff onto the ring steps. Matt tries for a twist of fate on the outside, but Jeff counters.
Still on the outside, Jeff goes to leap on Matt but Matt grabs a chair from the crowd and throws it at a charging Jeff heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:43]
[Q8] Back from the break, Jeff has somehow recovered from that chair to the face. Jeff grabs Matt’s arms and pulls them through the guardrail, pulling and stretching out his joints.
Going through the crowd, Matt Hardy grabs something off the production table and nails Jeff in the head. Matt picks up some sort of metal pipe — Mathews said it’s steel — but misses wildly. Jeff hits Matt with the ring bell. Matt Hardy has a production light and starts to hit Jeff in the legs. Matt finds a chair begins to choke Jeff with it.
Matt continues with the chair, driving it into Jeff’s midsection. Matt continues to drive the chair into Jeff’s gut, but Jeff refuses to quit. Matt wraps the chair around Jeff’s neck and goes for a DDT, but Jeff counters by biting Matt’s hand. Jeff takes the chair off his head and slams Matt’s back with it. Another chair shot by Jeff Hardy.
With Matt down, Jeff climbs a staircase and slides down the railing, driving the chair into Matt’s head. Jeff throws the chair at Matt. Jeff grabs a section of guardrail and positions one crossing two others, building a makeshift table.
Jeff grabs a ladder and sets it up. They’re wrestling near the back of the Impact Zone, away from the crowd but nowhere near the ring. Matt is set up on the guardrail. Jeff climbs the ladder but Matt gets up and cuts him off with punches. Brawling on a platform of some time, Matt gives Jeff a side effect through the guardrail. Mathews points out how twisted the metal is on the guardrail.
Matt tosses computer monitors off a table. Matt lays Jeff across the table. Matt lays two more punches on Jeff, but Jeff sneaks in a sleeperhold from behind while laying on the table. Jeff squeezes the hold while screaming for Matt to quit. Matt is out cold from the hold.
Brian Hebner tells Jeff that Matt is out, but Jeff said it’s not over until he quits. Jeff Hardy goes up the ladder but points at an elevated platform. Jeff walks over to the steps and climbs up to what looks like the second floor of the Impact Zone. Mathews speculates that Jeff is 35 feet off the ground.
Jeff blesses himself and delivers a huge swanton from that platform. Pope says he has never seen anything like that before. Mathews says it was a swanton from the heavens.
Paramedics and staff immediately rush to Matt and Jeff. TNA shows crowd shots as they are in disbelief. Jeff is shown sitting up as TNA shows several replay angles.
Paramedics bring out a backboard for Matt Hardy. Reby is screaming at the medics as they try to get Matt on a backboard. The medics get Matt on the board and carry him to a waiting stretcher, where they wheel him to the back as the show fades to black with no commentary from Mathews or Pope for the final few minutes.
WINNER: The match ends an in apparent no-contest.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Promo segments are necessary, but there was way too much talking on this episode of Impact. The problem is that most of the promo segments were long and drawn out, and could have easily been condensed allowing for perhaps even another full television match. At one point in the first hour, after the X Division match, there was about 40 minutes between matches, with back-to-back talking segments featuring Eric Young/Bram and then Mike BennettECIII. Both of those segments at least had a purpose, they set up matches for next week, but back-to-back like that definitely took some energy out of the program.
Also, the Decay storyline where they kidnapped and then threatened to murder Gail Kim? Enough of that. That was one of the most cringe-inducing things TNA has done in a while. Man, that was bad. That’s one of those things that make the casual fan laugh at pro wrestling. There was no way to suspend disbelief. What a terrible idea.
The main event was a solid match. Brawling near that production table felt different and gave us some views of the Impact Zone we haven’t seen before. Jeff Hardy’s dive off the elevated platform was a good visual and seemed to be done in a safe manner.
Tyrus had one of the best showings of the night on the mic in his segment opposite Drew Galloway. It was an effective segment getting Tyrus over as a threat but also establishing a new layer to his TNA character. He’s good on the mic, very natural, and she be utilized more in that role moving forward.
Finally, I have praised TNA’s restraint in keeping some acts off television on a weekly basis. But the decision to keep Lashley off TV after he laid out the World Champion last week was not a wise choice. They mistreated Galloway last week having him take the beating in the tag match main event and then get beaten down in the post-match by Lashley. This week Lashley was missing, and Galloway again was beaten down.