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TNA Impact Wrestling Report
May 3, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact Wrestling opened with a video of Bobby Lashley driving in his car earlier today. He arrives at a gym and says we’re about to find out of Drew Galloway is really ready to fight.
Inside the gym, Galloway is doing an interview and Lashley runs up and attacks him from behind. Lashley drags Galloway around the gym before Galloway begins to fight back. They brawl into an MMA area of the gym where Lashley gets Galloway inside of a cage, locks the door, and climbs in over the top.
“Now you’re in my world,” he said. Lashley straps on MMA gloves and connects with a right hand on Galloway’s chin. Galloway gets back up and charges Lashley into the cage, but Lashley recovers with an armbar. Galloway gets Lashley up for a slam and other members of the Impact roster rush into the cage to break up the fight.
In-arena: Mathews welcomes us to Impact and reminds us that last week, Galloway called out Lashley for a fight tonight, but Lashley wanted to fight earlier today while Galloway was conducting an interview at the gym.
Video: The opening video airs, recapping Mike Bennett’s win over Ethan Carter III last week, becoming the first man to pin ECIII. The video closes with Bennett saying that “The Miracle has taken …. everything.”
In-arena: Maria is on the stage and she introduces Bennett for his ring entrance. Bennett is wearing a gold ring jacket and is in his gear, including black tights with a blue and gold logo down the leg. In the ring, Maria hands Bennett the microphone.
“Listen,” he said. “For weeks, I’ve been saying I am the Miracle and that I am going to change this place. Everyone has been asking me how … well let me think, I did what Sting, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, and Bobby Lashley couldn’t do. I pinned E-C-III.”
Bennett said he’s something special. Bennett said that people told him he has a God complex, but he says he doesn’t have a God complex, he’s just God. “There isn’t a man in the back who can beat me,” he said. “ECIII, the unbeatable? I beat him. I even beat the World Hvt. Champion Drew Galloway. That makes me the only person who deserves to be World Champion.”
Bennett said that when he becomes World Champion, everyone will agree that they believe in miracles. Jeff Hardy’s music hits and he enters on the stage. Hardy comes to the ring in full ring gear, including face paint. Hardy enters the ring and grabs a mic as he pauses to soak up the crowd.
“Creatures!” he began. “Did this guy just call himself God?” Maria interrupted and told Jeff that he should hang on every word the Miracle says. Maria told Bennett to slow it down, so Hardy would understand what he was saying. “Jeffrey Hardy,” he said. “I … am … GOD”
Hardy called Bennett a joke, with prompted a chant from the crowd of, “you’re a joke!” Bennett said that he respects what Hardy has done, and what he did to Matt Hardy was impressive. Bennett said that swanton bomb on Matt was awesome, but what was great was when Bennett beat ECIII. Bennett said that Jeff’s “creatures” have become “Mike’s Miracles.”
Hardy said that Bennett still needed to beat him. Bennett claimed that Hardy was just trying to ride his coattails. But Bennett said he would go back and talk to Dixie Carter, and she if she would main the main event Bennett vs. Hardy tonight. Hardy said they didn’t need Dixie, they could do it right now, and he then attacked Bennett. After some quick strikes, Bennett bailed under the ropes and retreated up the aisle. “You want to do this right now?” he said. “Get me a damn ref, we’ll do this right now!”
[Commercial Break at 9:14] [Q2 …]
[… Q2] Before going to live action, TNA aired a commercial for the A.J. Styles DVD.
1 — MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. JEFF HARDY
Back from the break, they’re in the middle of Hardy-Bennett. The match began during the commercial break. Bennett hits a suplex for a two count.
Bennett grabs a sleeperhold and has Hardy on the mat. Hardy keeps his arm raised on the third check from the referee and powers back. Hardy hits an inverted atomic drop and then a dropkick for a two count. Bennett counters a Twist of Fate and sets up Bennett on the top rope. All of a sudden, Lashley runs down to ringside and spears Hardy out of nowhere.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy via DQ in 1:55 of television time.
After the match, Bennett smiles and pats Lashley on the head. As Bennett turns away, Lashley speared him as well. “I’m going to continue to make an example of this entire locker room until I get what I want,” Lashley said. “Dixie Carter, get out here right now and give me what I want. Give me a World Hvt. Title match. I’m not going anywhere until I get it.”
Dixie comes out to the stage and asks if he’s serious? Lashley says he is. Dixie says that she is the boss around here, and this is not the way to go about things. Dixie said she doesn’t hand out World Title shots, they are earned in the ring. Dixie said that the people want to see a huge main event tonight.
Dixie books Jeff Hardy vs. Mike Bennett vs. Lashley for later tonight, and the winner of that match will get a shot at a World Title against Drew Galloway. Lashley thanks Dixie, but she says not to thank her yet. To make sure things work out fairly, she makes Galloway the special guest referee.
[Reax: All the more reason why, a few weeks back, the Lashley-Pope short feud never should have happened. They’re booking Lashley as this unstoppable monster. He’s TNA’s Brock Lesnar, in a lot of ways. But they booked him in a feud with an announcer, and gave that announcer some decent offense in the matches and brawls. Lashley would have been better served in just a series of squash matches against mid-card talent, getting him over as a badass with some convincing, one-sided wins. Or, if they went with Lashley-Pope, Lashley should have beaten up and hurt Pope. It should have been Kane beating up Jim Ross. If they were looking for a reason to get Pope involved in a storyline, fine. But there were other options outside of Lashley. It doesn’t seem far enough removed from that to be back to Lashley the monster.]
Backstage: Rosemary says that change is upon us. “We destroyed Beer Money and we got the gold,” she said. “The evolution of change continues tonight, for everyone.” Rosemary asks Crazzy Steve and Abyss if they fear change? Rosemary then asks Steve if he’s ready for his transformation? She walks up to Crazzy Steve slowly and then spits the mist into his mouth. Steve begins to gag on it and choke. Rosemary tells Abyss to take of his mask and he does. She grabs him and spits the mist into his face as well. Abyss reacts in pain, grabbing his eyes.
[Commercial Break at 9:26]
[Q3] In-ring: Rosemary leads Abyss and Crazzy Steve to the ring. Steve and Abyss both have black towels over their heads after getting Rosemary’s mist spit at them backstage prior to the break. The ring walk is interesting. Rosemary has one end of both belts in one hand, with Steve and Abyss holding one end each as Rosemary almost uses the titles as a leash to lead them to the ring.
In the ring, Rosemary sets up Abyss in two separate corners. “We have wandered the valley of shadows,” she said. “We have fought to survive. We have destroyed your heroes. We are the death dealers. Two of us come before you changed men, not only tag team champions, but evolved. Steve, the man without a voice, is silent no longer.”
Steve grabs the mic. “Rosemary,” he said. “Rosemary gave us a voice and our monster gave us purpose. As far as the rest of you, our concern, your pain, your suffering, is our pleasure.” Rosemary takes the mic back and looks to Abyss.
“So many have sought to control you,” she said. “We want only to set you free, and show you your scars.” Rosemary pulls back Abyss’s towel and the mask is gone, replaced with Decay facepaint. “Now I am free from my pain,” he said. “I am free from my pain and I am beautiful. I take joy in my beauty, I take joy in Decay!”
Rosemary said that their destruction will not stop. They banished half of Beer Money and they will not stop. She said anyone who gets in their path will suffer. James Storm comes out on the stage to Beer Money’s music as Steve yells and demands to shut it off. Abyss says Beer Money is dead.
“You see, you may have had something to do with Beer Money not being around,” Storm said, “But you left me standing. Let me refresh your mind with who I am …” Storm says that usually he would let Decay choose who he fights, but since all three are in the ring, “let’s party.” Storm charges the ring and clears out all three members, throwing them to the outside.
“Like I said, I am the Cowboy, James ‘Mother F’in’ Storm,” he said. Storm calls out Abyss to get back into the ring as Decay regroups on the stage.
[Reax: TNA probably wasn’t getting the reaction it wanted from the crowd, with some audible laughs being heard on the broadcast during Abyss’s talk, especially.]
[Commercial Break at 9:40]
2 — TNA tag champion ABYSS (w/Rosemary and Crazzy Steve) vs. JAMES STORM
The match starts with Storm and Abyss fighting on the outside. Storm twice throws Abyss face-first into the ringside steps as Mathews says Storm needs to keep an eye on Decay. On cue, Rosemary smacks Storm across the back and Abyss gains control as Storm slowly talked Rosemary on the ramp.
In the right, Storm tries for a clothesline and it rocks Abyss. He goes for a second clothesline and Abyss sidesteps it and tosses Storm to the outside. On the outside, Steve attacks Storm … apparently Earl Hebner didn’t see that? They don’t really explain why it wasn’t a disqualification.
Storm hits a series of two clotheslines, rocking Abyss, and then on the third time hits a flying forearm to drop Abyss. Back up, Storm hits a bulldog for a two count.
Storm kicks Abyss to the back of the head but Abyss recovers quickly for a chokeslam, but he gets only two on the cover. Abyss misses a splash in the corner and Storm comes back with a clothesline.
Storm drops an elbow off the top rope for a two count. Steve gets up on the apron and Storm knocks him off with a kick. As Storm turns around, Abyss spits mist in his face and hits a Black Hole Slam for the win. Jeremy Borash handles the ring announcing after Abyss’s win.
WINNER: Abyss at 5:57.
[Reax: Interesting match and finish. There is an evolution to this Decay group, which has been intriguing to date. Aside from the kidnapping Gail Kim angle, they’ve done a lot of good things as a group and it will be interesting to see where they go from here, as they begin to establish Rosemary as the leader of the group, which is unique on its own as a female lead of a group that only consists of other men.]
Tonight: Jeff Hardy vs. Mike Bennett vs. Bobby Lashley for a World Title shot.
Backstage: Maria demands a backstage worker to show some papers to Dixie Carter. She then turns to the camera and says she has already made a huge impact as the leader of the Knockouts Division. Maria said she hopes that Jade is a lot smarter than Gail Kim.
[Commercial Break at 9:52]
Backstage: Jeff Hardy is in his locker room when approached by a cameraman. “Every part of my body hurts but I’m focused,” he said. “It’s been three years since I’ve been World Champion. … If I want to get what I want, I need to beat both (Lashley and Bennett).” Hardy said he treats every match like it’s his last and this match tonight will be for “the creatures.” Hardy spoke briefly about the Swanton a few weeks back, claiming it was 32 feet. He said that move changed everything, including Matt.
Maria calls out Jade
In-ring: Maria is in the ring with the lights down (the same lighting as Bennett’s entrance). Maria said what she is planning for the Knockouts is remarkable. Maria then calls out Jade. Jade never appears. Maria is getting frustrated and demands that she come out now. On the second try, Jade appears with the Knockouts Title and comes to the ring.
[Q5 — second hour] Maria said that she wants Jade to see her vision. “I see your star so bright shining,” Maria said to Jade. “I would hate for that star to fade and die. … I need you to help me, stand by me and admit your mistake.”
Maria said she thinks that Jade is a “scared little girl.” Maria said she isn’t going to ask Jade to hand over her Knockouts Title, but she told Jade she has to get down on the mat right now. Maria calls for a referee. Maria says she is the First Lady of Wrestling and she deserves that title.
Jade said she lays down for nobody. Maria said that’s fine if Jade doesn’t want to see Maria’s vision, because she has someone who does, and Jade doesn’t need to get ready for a match, because she’s just going to have to fight. The debuting Sienna comes to the ring. Pope says it looks like Sienna “packs a punch.”
Jade charges Sienna but Sienna quickly gets in control, tossing Jade around the ring by her hair and then dropping Jade with a chokeslam. Jade slaps Sienna with a right hand, but Sienna recovers for a big boot on Jade.
Sienna and Jade keep brawling on the outside, going up the ramp where Sienna hits a backdrop on the aisle. Jade fights back with some chops on the aisle and then tries to whip Sienna into the steps but Sienna reverses it.
Back in the ring, Maria screams for Sienna to bring Jade to her. Sienna attacks with a stiff left. Maria tells Sienna to “finish her” and Sienna drops Jade again. Maria calls Sienna, “the woman in my vision.”
Backstage: Bram is getting dressed. He said he has been called a lot of things over his career, including a “follower.” Bram said that E.Y. is gone now and they have an unforgettable run, but he’s not a follower and he’s ready to fight.
In-studio: Jeremy Borash is discussing ECIII’s loss to Bennett last week. Borash said that up next, ECIII will be there for an exclusive interview.
[Commercial Break at 10:08]
Back from the break, Borash said they were scheduled to talk to ECIII about his loss to Mike Bennett, but ECIII has not yet arrived. Bennett then walks into the set and asked why Borash was talking to the loser. Bennett said that ECIII is a coward. Bennett said if he needs to beat two guys for a shot at the title, he will. He reminds Borash that he beat ECIII, so he can do anything.
3 — King of the Mountain champion BRAM vs. ELI DRAKE vs. JESSIE GODDERZ vs. ROBBIE E. vs. TREVOR LEE vs. ANDREW EVERETT vs. EDDIE EDWARDS — King of the Mountain match for the King of the Mountain championship
Prior to the match, Matthews reminds us what a KOTM match is.
[Q6] Very fast pace to begin the match. Edwards has a single leg Boston crab on Drake but it’s broken up. Bram grabs a ladder and sets it up. He slides to the outside and grabs the KOTM title, trying to secure it at the top of the ladder, but Godderz dropkicks the ladder as Bram climbs up.
Drake and Godderz feature in the ring now. Drake drops Godderz and goes to pick up a ladder btu Bram charges at Drake and then both go flipping to the outside after a huge clothesline by Godderz. Edwards is out of the penalty box and goes right after Andrew Everett.
Godderz is kicking Bram. Godderz sets up the ladder and was close to the top but Drake dropkicks the ladder. Drake hits Godderz with the briefcase. Drake grabs the belt and climbs the ladder, but Bram sneaks onto the top rope and hits a missile dropkick on Drake, taking out him and the ladder.
Bram then gets up first, climbs the ladder next, and secures the belt, winning the match to retain his title. After the match, Bram celebrates on top of the ladder, but Drake kicks out the ladder, dropping Bram about eight feet. Drake was about to cash-in his KOTM Title shot from Feast or Fired, but Bram recovered quickly and Drake decided against it.
WINNER: Bram at 7:19.
Backstage: A cameraman asked Galloway about being referee tonight for the #1 contender match. Galloway said that it’s been a weird day today, including being the World Champion in the main event, and he’s not wrestling. Galloway said that tonight, his next opponent is in his hands. He said if anyone puts their hands on the referee, he will gladly fight back.
[Commercial Break at 10:26]
[Q7] Back from the break, Mathews shows highlights of Jeff Hardy landing a Swanton Bomb on Matt Hardy off the staging two weeks ago.
Backstage: Matt Hardy is talking to a lone camera. He said that Jeff Hardy tried to end him without guilt. Matt is wearing a hooded sweatshirt and it’s relatively dark. Matt said that doctors said he should never wrestle again. Matt said that his brother cut his heart out.
In-ring: Bennett makes his ring entrance for the World Title first. After Bennett gets into the ring, ECIII walks to ringside in a suit and then climbs the steps and then gets into the ring and grabs a mic.
ECIII said he appreciates that Bennett did what he said he would do, he pinned ECIII. But ECIII said everyone that came down the ramp, he would beat. He said he was not one of those men, he deserves the loss and he accepts it. Bennett said the loss changed him last week, but this moment now defines Bennett. ECIII said he hopes Bennett wins tonight, just so he knows how much pride it is to be the World Champion.
“Know that feeling, because it’s the feeling you took from me, and I’m going ot take it from you.”” ECIII said he will fight Bennett again … and ECIII said Bennett’s win over ECIII has already defeated him. ECIII said that win will help him become the best wrestler on the planet. Mathews wonders if beating ECIII was the first thing Bennett ever did.
As ECIII walks to the back, Lashley walks to the ring with his music.
[Commercial Break at 10:37]
Back from the break, Hardy is making his ring entrance for the main event.
4 – JEFF HARDY vs. MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. BOBBY LASHLEY — triple threat match TNA World Title shot – TNA World Hvt. champion Drew Galloway special referee
Galloway instructs the trio before the match and then calls for the bell. Lashley and Bennett fight early over who will get to kick Hardy in the gut. Lashley and Bennett seem to be working together, at least here at the start, isolating Hardy.
Lashley hits a clothesline on a running Hardy. Bennett goes for a cover, but Lashley pulls him off at two. Lashley works over Hardy’s back. Mathews said that Bennett told Lashley they should “get rid” of Hardy and then they could just fight.
[Q8] Hardy tosses Lashley to the outside and then back-drops Bennett over the top rope to the outside. Hardy climbs up to the top rope and does a moonsault off the top rope onto Bennett and Lashley heading to break.
[Commercial Break at 10:46]
Back from the break, Hardy hits Swanton Bomb on Bennett and goes for a cover, but Lashley catches Hardy for a powerslam. Lashley snatches Bennett for a delayed vertical suplex.
Lashley goes to hit Bennett with a spear, but Bennett sidesteps and Lashley spears Galloway, KO’ing the referee. Hardy takes out Bennett and hits a Twist of Fate on Lashley. Hardy hits a Swanton Bomb on Lashley and goes to cover, but Galloway is still out after taking the spear.
Hardy immediately gets up and goes back to work on Bennett, keeping him incapacitated if someone were to walk in. At ringside, Hardy clotheslines Bennett on top of the steps. Hardy climbs back onto the apron and to the top rope, where he hits a Swanton Bomb from the top rope on top of E.Y., who was perched on the steps.
All of a sudden, Crazzy Steve attacks Hardy. Abyss and Rosemary run down as well, attacking Hardy. Steve drives Hardy into the ring apron. Abyss chokeslams Hardy on top of the steel steps on the outside.
Pope says that Hardy is trying to will himself up. Lashley is shown lurking around the corner. As Hardy stands up on top of the steps, spears Hardy off the steps and into the ring post in the corner. Galloway starts to stir and he’s back up. In the ring, Lashley rolls in and is waiting to spear Hardy. Lashley hits another spear for the win.
WINNER: Bobby Lashley in 14:27 to become the new No. 1 contender for Galloway’s World Title.
After the match, Galloway checks on Hardy. Lashley steps up to Galloway, demanding that Galloway raise his hand in victory. Galloway refuses, so Lashley shoves him. Galloway grabs Lashley’s arm and reluctantly raises his arm.
Galloway ducked a haymaker from Lashley during that hand-raising, and an all-out brawl is taking place as Mathews screams, “we’re out of time!” and the show goes off the air.