TNA Impact Report
June 7, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact opens with a recap of last week’s confrontation at the Hardy compound in North Carolina, where Matt Hardy put Jeff Hardy through a table.
In-ring: Matt Hardy comes to the ring as Josh Mathews welcomes us to Impact. Mathews throws to more highlights of the Matt-Jeff video as Hardy grabs a mic.
“I am here to say that once and for all, Brother Nero is out of my life forever,” Hardy said. “Jeff nearly destroyed me. His jealousy of me being the World Hvt. Champion was sickening, and he cost me that title. He tried to take everything away from me because he knew how much that mean to me. But last week, I beat Jeff so bad, that you will never see him again.”
Notably, Hardy is wearing a paisley print suit with his hair frizzed, including the white streak down the middle.
Hardy said that we won’t see Jeff at Slammiversary, and tonight, he’s focused on getting back his World Hvt. Title. Hardy then demanded that Drew Galloway come to the ring. Galloway’s music hits and he comes to the ring as Hardy leans on the rope.
“Matt,” said Galloway, “I’ve known you a long time, but I’ve never seen you like this. Mate, you’ve lost your damn mind.” Hardy said that he hasn’t he has just evolved. Hardy said that without the help of Brother Nero, he would have never become the TNA World Hvt. Champion.
Hardy said that he deserves to be added to the main event at Slammiversary because Brother Nero is gone. Galloway said that they had their fight, and it’s over. At Slammiversary, Galloway says is will be Galloway-Lashley, and he has a personal score to settle with Lashley.
Hardy said that Galloway knows he deserves the title. Galloway said that he doesn’t back down from a fight, and he has defended the TNA Title all across the world. But, Galloway again says no to adding Matt to the TNA main event.
Galloway said that if he wants to be remembered as one of the best champions of all-time, he needs to shake things up. Galloway said that tonight, he’ll defend the title against Hardy.
Mathews and Pope are shocked as Galloway’s music hits. Mathews called Galloway a true fighting champion.
Still to come: Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee
Jeremy Borash introduces Jade, who is coming to the ring. Borash then introduces Madison Rayne for her match.
[Reax: TNA did a nice job tightening up the presentation in post-production. There were only about 10 seconds between the Galloway-Hardy promo and Jade being introduced to the ring. It’s an advantage of being taped.]
[Commercial Break at 9:09]
Back from the break at 9:13, Sienna is introduced with Allie. Allie has a microphone and cuts a promo as Sienna heads to the ring. Allie says that Sienna is the biggest, strongest, fastest Knockout in the division. Allie said that Jade, who is at ringside, needs to keep her hands to herself or Madison will be disqualified. Allie says the winner of this match will face Jade for the Knockouts Title at Slammiversary on Sunday.
1 — MADISON RAYNE vs. SIENNA (w/Allie)
Sienna jumps Madison to begin the match, as Madison grabbed Allie’s hair.
[Q2] Mathews urges viewers to order Slammiversary on Sunday and then plugs a live version of Impact next week, which will be extended, so Mathews tells viewers to make sure to extend their DVRs. Mathews also said the next TNA Hall of Famer will be announced next week.
Madison cuts off Siena with a back elbow and then some chops. Pope says that he named Sienna’s finisher the AK47.
Madison goes to the top rope and connects with a cross-body, but Sienna rolled through it to avoid a pin. Madison hits a northern lights suplex, but can’t bridge up to a pin, as Pope notes she has an injured back. Sienna grabs Madison and lands an AK47 for the win.
After the match, Sienna tried to keep the attack on Madison, but Jade hits the ring and runs off Sienna.
WINNER: Sienna via pin at 2:41. Convincing win here for Sienna, but it could have been even more convincing. Sienna has been on a tear since joining the roster and Madison Rayne is not at the forefront of the division. Considering Sienna has been booked similarly to Awesome Kong, albeit less dominating, essentially a squash match here could have worked better, and it wouldn’t hurt Madison much given her placement in the division.
Video: Earlier today, Maria and Mike Bennett were interviewed backstage. Maria said that tonight, everyone will see Gail Kim at her prime one more night, because at Slammiversary, Maria says she will end Gail Kim’s career. Bennett called himself the best wrestler on the planet. Bennett said that he’ll never forget ECIII making him clean toilets. Bennett said that maybe he’ll end ECIII tonight.
Later: ECIII & Gail Kim vs. Maria & Mike Bennett.
Later: Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway for the TNA World Title.
[Commercial Break at 9:20]
Back from the break at 9:25, a video airs with new KOTM champion Eli Drake. Drake is, not-so-ironically, standing atop mountains. He tells Bram that he’ll have his chance for a re-match Sunday at Slammiversary.
Facts of Life Segment
In-ring: Eli Drake heads to the ring for his Facts of Life segment. “Let me talk to you,” he said. Drake brings out his first guest … himself.
Drake sets up the KOTM Title in a briefcase in order to display it. Drake said that even when he’s the hunted, he’s always on the hunt. Drake said people have been asking him if he thinks he can beat Bram, and he knows he can.
Drake wants to bring out some champions and recognize them. First, he invites The Decay. Rosemary leads Abyss and Crazzy Steve to the ring. Mathews reminds us that Decay will defend the TNA Tag Titles at Slammiversary against The Bro-Mans.
[Q3] “I can’t deny that you are some freaks, and I mean that in the nicest way possible,” Drake said. Drake said that Decay had methodical insanity. He asked how they would beat The Bro-Mans?
Rosemary said they believe in everything the puppets pretend doesn’t exist. Crazzy Steve said that they believe madness is inside all of us, they just choose to embrace it. Abyss said that they believe the Bro-Mans are quite handsome, but not beautiful.
The Bro-Mans come onto the stage with Raquel, their “guru,” and they’re headed to the ring. Drake looks less than pleased. Jessie Godderz said that Slammiversary, “The Bro-Mans will beat Decay’s asses and become three-time Tag Team Champions.”
Rosemary asked who said anything about Slammiversary? “Right now, there are four of us, and only three of you,” Rosemary said. But Raquel cut her off, and said that they had friends.
You would assume this is the spot where Bram comes out … but instead it’s Grado and Mahabali Shera. Drake begins to hit his dummy button for Grado. He tells Grado that he should be concerned Al Snow and The Tribunal, as well as Eli Drake.
Drake said he was in control because this was his show. Grado said that Drake had no control. As he and Shera headed to the ring, The Tribunal attacked Grado and Shera as Al Snow ran out behind them with a whistle, dressed like a football coach.
A brawl breaks out at ringside between the teams while Drake remained in the ring. All of a sudden, Drake turned around and Bram was in the ring. Bram chased Drake to the outside.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
Back from the break, Mathews said we’re having an impromptu 10-man tag match after the brawl from the last segment.
2 — KOTM champion ELI DRAKE & TNA tag champs THE DECAY (ABYSS & CRAZZY STEVE w/Rosemary) & THE TRIBUNAL (w/Al Snow) vs. BRO-MANS (ROBBIE E. & JESSIE) & BRAM & GRADO & MAHABALI SHERA – 10-Man tag match
Drake and Shera begin the match. After some tags, it’s Baron Dax vs. Robbie E in the ring. Al Snow is blowing his whistle on the outside. Dax tags in Baracca, who locks in a Cobra Clutch on Robbie E. Robbie tries to break out of it, but Baracca takes him to the mat for a quick two count.
Dax tags back in and he applies an unnamed submission, locking Robbie E.’s arms and trapping his neck with his legs. Baracca tags back in and whips Robbie E. off the ropes. Robbie ducks a clothesline and dives to tag in Godderz.
Godderz press slams Baracca and dropkicks Dax. After a Bro-Down, Dax is in a Boston Crab, but Abyss chokeslams Godderz to break it up. Shera clotheslines Abyss out of the ring.
Robbie E. goes to the top rope and takes out Decay and a few others on the outside.
[Q4] In the ring, The Tribunal double-teams Shera. They turn around, though, and Bram hits a double clothesline and then boots Dax out of the ring and clotheslines Baracca. Drake back in the ring, drops Bram over the top.
Grado runs in and lays some punches on Drake. Grado goes to the top and hits a splash for a two count on Drake. Baracca distracts the referee, allowing Drake to hit a low blow and then a clothesline for the win.
WINNERS: Eli Drake, The Tribunal & Decay when Drake pinned Grado at 6:54. Not a fan of debuting The Tribunal here if you weren’t going to give one of them the pinfall win. It’s really hard to have a 10-man match with limited television time. A good general rule is that matches should last at least as long, in minutes, as the number of competitors in the match.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash brings in ECIII and Gail Kim for an interview. Gail said she can’t believe the day has come for Maria to get into the ring. Gail said that tonight, she gets to shut Maria’s pretty little mouth up. … ECIII said that last week, being in charge, it was a little chuckle. But ECIII said the games are over, and they are about to meet on the field of battle. ECIII said it’s not about hatred, this battle is about who is the best. ECIII said Bennett will be breathing nothing but the air of defeat.
Up Next: ECIII & Gail Kim vs. Maria & Mike Bennett.
[Commercial Break at 9:49]
In-ring: Maria announced that tonight, in her mixed tag-team, Allie will do her dirty work and she’ll see Gali Kim on Sunday at Slammiversary.
3 — GAIL KIM & ETHAN CARTER III vs. MIKE BENNETT & ALLIE (w/Maria)
[Q5 — second hour] ECIII and Bennett begin the match with a staredown. After some circling, Bennett quickly tags in Allie. She’s screeching in the ring. Mathews points out that ECIII needs to tag in Gail.
ECIII is screaming at Allie to shut up to avoid her voice. ECIII tags in Gail Kim. Bennett tries to hype up Allie in the corner, but she turns around to a Gail Kim forearm. Gail throws more forearms at Allie. Maria distracts Gail, which allows for some Allie offense.
Allie chokes Gail in the ropes and slaps her. Allie goes for a third slap, but Gail blocks it and lands some kicks. Gail and Allie are both down after a double hairdrag.
ECIII is in the corner looking for the hot tag. Bennett and ECIII both tagged. ECIII hits a pair of clotheslines and an elbow. ECIII charges Bennett in the corner and plants Bennett with a flapjack. ECIII tries the One-Percenter, but Bennett throws him off.
Bennett charges ECIII and ECIII dumps him over the top. Allie comes up and throws forearms at ECIII’s back. He turns around and stares at her. ECIII walks over and tags in Gail Kim, which sends Allie retreating to the outside.
Gail Kim dives off the top rope onto Allie. Bennett then sneaks in and tries to hit ECIII with a chair but ECIII turns around and chases Bennett to the back.
Meanwhile, Gail Kim pins Allie with a small package.
After the match, Maria and Allie distract Gail while Sienna runs in, hitting Gail with a monstrous clothesline. Sienna wraps a chair around Gail Kim’s left knee. Maria tells Allie to get her another chair. Maria slams the chairs together, crushing Gail’s knee. Gail is writhing in pain as Allie, Maria, and Sienna stand over her.
WINNERS: Gail Kim & ECIII at 4:55. Good match. Glad to see TNA keep Maria out of this match, allowing her first match to be on PPV this Sunday. It also makes it easy for Allie to take the fall here, so no one is hurt heading into the PPV. Interesting, though, that Sienna attacked Gail, but Jade was nowhere to be found for the save, especially after Jade ran off Sienna earlier in the show.
Mathews tries to plug Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards up next, but the video distorts and a quick image of Willow is shown.
[Commercial break at 10:07]
Backstage: Mathews talks up Braxton Sutter, who will debut later tonight.
4 — TNA X Division champion TREVOR LEE (w/Shane Helms) vs. EDDIE EDWARDS — X Division Title match
Edwards jumps Lee on the apron before the bell. Lee and Edwards are brawling on the outside as the bell rings. Edwards chops Lee up against the rail as Helms looks on.
[Q6] Mathews said he blogged that he thought Edwards could be a future World Champion. Meanwhile, Lee uppercuts Edwards. Edwards begins to get some offense back with a headbutt. Lee whips Edwards to the ropes and Edwards ducks under to the outside. Edwards sweeps Lee’s feet out from under him on the apron.
Helms teases going after Edwards, which distracts referee Earl Hebner. Back in the ring, Lee clotheslines Edwards and kicks him. Lee drops a knee to Edwards’s face. Lee tosses Edwards into the corner, then grabs his chin and headbutts him in the mouth.
Lee charges Edwards in the corner, but he gets a boot up. Edwards drops Lee with an atomic drop. Lee kicks Edwards and dives to the outside. Lee chases, Edwards runs back into the ring and dives out onto Lee. Edwards then rushes back into the ring and hits a suicide dive onto Lee.
Edwards rolls Lee back into the ring and charges him, but Lee gets a boot up. Lee hits a german suplex for a two count. Lee tries for a Fisherman’s Buster but Edwards counters, rushing him into the corner.
Edwards goes to the top with Lee down. Mathews says he took too much time. Helms distracts Hebner while Edwards was on the top and Andrew Everett tosses him off the top. Lee pins Edwards, who kicks out barely at two.
Suddenly, D.J. Z attacks Andrew Everett on the outside, but Helms clotheslines him.
Back in the ring, Edwards rolls up Lee for a two count. On the kick-out, Lee kicked Edwards toward the ropes, where Helms hit him with the X Division Title, allowing Lee to roll up Edwards (with a handful of tights) for the win.
WINNER: Trevor Lee retains at 7:07. Really good match until the cheap finish. Lee avoids the typical car-crash X Division match being more mat-based. It’s a refreshing look for the X Division and they did a nice job telling the story of contrasting styles in this match.
Backstage: Lashley walks into Galloway’s locker room. Galloway stands up ready for a fight. Lashley said he hopes Galloway wins tonight, because that means it will be 1-on-1 this Sunday. Galloway said that Lashley is so confident, he doesn’t need to worry. Galloway said that he tapped out Kurt Angle, what makes Lashley think he can’t tap out him? Lashley smirked as he walked out of the room.
Heading into a commercial break, it looks like Pop aired a network-produced ad for the live Impact next week.
[Commercial Break at 10:22]
Backstage: Gail Kim is being seen by doctors. She says she can’t move her knee.
5 — BRAXTON SUTTER vs. BILL KALAS
Braxton Sutter (the former Pepper Parks) is making his Impact debut. Kalas throws some punches early before Sutter gains control with some vicious chops.
Sutter whips Kalas, but gets caught with a booth. Sutter back in control with a flurry of clotheslines, though.
[Q7] Sutter powerslams Kalas and then charges him in the corner. Sutter lands a huge kick in the corner and then hits another kick after missing a pump kick. Sutter hits a flatliner for the win. Sutter celebrates and thanks the crowd after the match.
After the match, Sutter is interviewed at ringside by Jeremy Borash. Sutter said he is humbled by this experience. Sutter said he worked for a long time, and very hard to be here. He thanks the fans at home and in the arena. Sutter said he’s not here to just take part, he’s here to take over. Sutter said he’s not missing out on Slammiversary.
WINNER: Braxton Sutter at 2:06. Really good debut for Sutter. He got in some impressive kicks and picked up an easy win. That’s a nice way to showcase a talent. All things considered, this was a much better debut than The Tribunal earlier in the episode. At least on the onset, Sutter playing the old-school babyface role seems like it might work. He’s humble but also not gullible or goofy as a babyface. If TNA can keep him strong, he could be a good throwback babyface. The risk you run with the humble babyface is the fans turning on him, but Sutter has enough respect from the fans during his long run on the independents, that the character will work in TNA.
Backstage: Willow – the real Willow, Jeff Hardy – says the future is here and the surprises are unknown.
Up Next: Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy for the TNA Title.
[Commercial Break at 10:33]
Back from the break, ECIII walks up to a camera. He said that for two years, he has been unbeatable, and he’s ready for Slammiversary on Sunday.
Mathews runs down the rest of the Slammiversary card as highlights are shown of various feuds. Mathews then throws to a video on Drew Galloway as TNA World Hvt. Champion.
In-ring: Matt Hardy is introduced for tonight’s main event, followed by Galloway.
[Commercial Break at 10:43] [Q8 …]
6 — TNA World Hvt. champion DREW GALLOWAY vs. MATT HARDY — TNA World Hvt. Title match
Galloway grins as the bell rings. Hardy and Galloway lock up to begin the match. Hardy drives Galloway into the corner and throws punches. Galloway grabs Hardy and reverses position, throwing strikes of his own.
Hardy whips Galloway into the ropes and then throws a punch to the gut. Galloway eats a kick from Hardy, but charges Hardy in the corner. Galloway goes to the top rope and drops Hardy with a flying clothesline.
The match spills to the outside, where Galloway chops Hardy against the railing. Galloway chops Hardy again and Hardy comes back with a right hand.
Galloway slams Hardy with a backbreaker on the ring apron. Galloway climbs the steps with Hardy, but Hardy gets a second wind and throws a punch to the gut, followed by a Side Effect on top of the steps. Hardy throws rapid-fire punches on the outside and rolls Galloway back into the ring.
Back in the ring, Hardy chokes Galloway near the rope. Hardy drops an elbow on Hardy from a standing position and throws a neckbreaker for a two count. Galloway tries to fire up with punches to Hardy’s gut, but Hardy hits an enziguri for another two count.
Hardy picks up Galloway and bites Galloway’s face. Hardy stomps Galloway in the corner and applies what looks like a guillotine choke. Galloway is able to posture up and counters with a belly-to-belly suplex.
Galloway and Hardy trade punches. Galloway gains the upper hand with 10 chops in a row and then a clothesline. Pope says Galloway has a second wind.
Hardy greets Galloway with a back elbow as Galloway charges him in the corner. Galloway comes back with a Celtic Cross for a two count. Galloway then picks up Hardy and positions him on the top rope. Galloway chops Hardy again and then climbs to the top rope, but Hardy sweeps his legs away and headbutts him, which ties up Galloway in the tree of woe.
Galloway uses tremendous core strength to power up and snap Hardy over his head to the mat from the top rope. Galloway goes for the Claymore, but Lashley rushes the ring and attacks, causing the DQ.
WINNER: Drew Galloway via DQ at 8:17; Galloway retains the TNA Title. Predictable finish with the Lashley interference, but TNA needed a way out of this match without a finish heading into Sunday. Give TNA credit for not just booking a six-man main event, like WWE seems so content doing.
After the match, Lashley continues the assault and tries for a spear, but Galloway sidesteps him and Lashley goes flying to the outside. Galloway goes out to the apron and jumps off on top of Lashley. Galloway and Lashley brawl all the way to the backstage area.
Back in the ring, Hardy is screaming that he should be champion. The lights go out and when they turn back on, everyone in the Impact Zone are wearing Willow masks. The lights go down again and Willow – Jeff Hardy – walks out from the back, along with another Willow.
On the video board, the real Jeff Hardy Willow says Matt is a joke. Willow says it will all end at Slammiversary. “Jeff Hardy is free,” Willow said,” and you will always live in his shadow.”
Matt looks confused in the ring as Jeff Hardy’s music hits and Jeff emerges out on the stage. Jeff charges the ring and they come together throwing rapid punches, brawling to the mat as the show goes off the air.
Final Thoughts: Not the strongest lead-in show for Slammiversary, but TNA did reinforce its major storyline points heading into the pay-per-view on Sunday.
As it turns out, Slammiversary is shaping up to be a strong card. Remember, TNA’s top-three matches are all re-matches from what we’ve seen on Impact in recent months, but TNA has done a real nice job making these matches feel fresh and adding another layer to the rivalries heading into the pay-per-view.
The Hardy video last week was different, but it generated a lot of buzz for TNA. Why not try some new things? What does TNA have to lose at this point? Overall, by comparison, TNA has built to Slammiversary much better than it built to Bound for Glory last October.