SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TNA Impact Wrestling Report
June 28, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opened with clips of ECIII, Drew Galloway, and Lashley entering the Impact Zone “earlier today.” Josh Mathews voiced over the clips, hyping the World Title triple threat match in tonight’s main event.
From there, a video airs highlighting last week’s Impact, including the Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy cage match and Galloway & ECIII earning their World Title shots as well as Mike Bennett & Maria asking for Dixie Carter to resign and the subsequent match where Bennett won the X Division Title over Eddie Edwards.
— In-arena: Mike Bennett and Maria are in the ring. Bennett is on a turnbuckle raising the X Division Title. Mathews says that Bennett only wants the X Division Title so he can cash-in the belt for a World Title shot in two weeks at Destination X.
Maria said that tonight was her show after Dixie Carter slapped her. Bennett said that he has a golden ticket to the World Title with Destination X order the corner. Bennett said he would use his Option C and cash-in the X Title for a shot at the World Title.
Bennett told Lashley that he’s carrying something he wants. Bennett said that Lashley might be big and bad, but he’ll never be him. Bennett said that Lashley isn’t half the man he is, because he is The Miracle.
Of course, that brought out Bobby Lashley. He walked to the ring in an American Top Team tank top and the World Title around his waist. “See Mike, you awoke the sleeping giant,” Lashley said. “I was minding my own damn business and I hear my name come out of your mouth, and that’s a bad, bad thing.”
Lashley said he won’t call Bennett a Miracle. Lashley said it appears that Bennett is half the man he is. Bennett said Lashley has big muscles, but he won’t be intimidated. Lashley pointed out that he destroyed Angle and Galloway, and tonight he’ll add ECIII to that list. He called Bennett an afterthought.
Bennett told Lashley he hopes that the three men tonight tear each other apart. He said he doesn’t care who it is, but at Destination X, he’s cashing in the X Division Title and he’s taking the World Title.
Lashley said he doesn’t want to do that, just as the lights go out and ECIII comes to the ring. ECIII stays on the outside of the ring at first and climbs the steps as he begins his promo. ECIII said that everything is about the World Hvt. Title. ECIII said that everyone wants it, but Lashley has it. ECIII said he will take back the World Hvt. Title tonight.
ECIII said Bennett cheated to win the World Title. Billy Corgan came to the stage. He said that TNA is in this situation, without Dixie Carter in charge, because of her own actions.
ECIII suggested that everyone in the X Division should have a chance to main-event Destination X, and he suggested that happen tonight. Bennett goes crazy in the ring that he shouldn’t have to have another match until Destination X.
Corgan said Bennett isn’t going to talk himself into the main event at Destination X. Corgan said the X Division Title has a legacy and should be defended tonight. Corgan said that Bennett will defend the TNA X Division Title against the winner of an X Division Battle Royal.
At that point a brawl breaks out between the three men in the ring. Drew Galloway runs down to join in the brawl. Galloway goes to Claymore Kick Lashley but Lashley ducked and he kicked ECIII.
[Commercial Break at 9:13] [Q2…]
Back from the break, Mathews ran down what we just saw moments ago, where Corgan set up Bennett defending the X Division Title later tonight after a Battle Royal.
— Backstage: ECIII tells Galloway he delivered a nice shot with that kick. ECIII said he doesn’t feel like it was an accident and a big argument breaks out that gets broken up by people in the back.
— In-arena: Gail Kim is introduced for her Knockouts Title match. Sienna is out next with Allie, who cuts a promo as Sienna walks to the ring. Allie says that Kim has been wrestling for a “very, very long time!” She congratulated her on being inducted into the Hall of Fame and said that her next step should be retirement. Allie told Sienna to do what she does best, “silence her!”
1 — TNA Knockouts champion SIENNA (w/Allie) vs. GAIL KIM — Knockouts Title match
Gail Kim starts the match catching Sienna in a waistlock and takes Sienna down with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Gail Kim hits a clothesline for a two count.
Sienna chokes Gail with her boot and Earl Hebner breaks it up. While Sienna is arguing with Earl, Allie comes over and grabs Gail, choking her on the bottom rope.
Sienna sets up Kim on the top rope, but Kim fights her off with a forearm and hits a bulldog off the top. Suddenly, Jade runs down the aisle and attacks Allie. As she tries for a package powerbomb on Allie, Marti Bell takes out Jade with a baton.
In the ring, Sienna hits The Silencer on Gail Kim for the win.
WINNER: Sienna retains the Knockouts Title at 3:13. The run-in with Jade seemed to be a little strange. It was unexplained why she would run down and just attack Allie. It seemed to be there just to allow for Marti Bell to attack. Aside from that, this seemed like a preview for what should be a longer match between Sienna and Gail Kim down the road.
— Backstage: Matt Hardy is being wheeled into the arena by Reby Sky in a wheelchair. Hardy says he is broken. He said that “Brother Nero” has confined him to this chair. Hardy said it’s not over … ever.
[Commercial Break at 9:27] [Q3…]
— Backstage: Bennett walks up to Drew Galloway. Galloway says that Bennett can’t help but run his mouth. Bennett said he’s the greatest X Division champ, and he said that tonight he’ll wrestle “just some X Division wrestler.” Bennett said he can beat every wrestler in the X Division if you line them up. Galloway said he doesn’t think it will be that easy.
— In-arena: Eli Drake is set up for his “Fact of Life” segment. Drake introduces himself using a ’70s gameshow announcer voice.
Drake plays with the crowd for a bit to start and said that he notices dummies everywhere he goes. Drake tells a story about his dad and making mashed potatoes. Drake said that he sees a lot of veterans upset that he’s doing things like winning the King of the Mountain Title, so he wanted to bring out a veteran to talk about that, and he invites James Storm.
Storm comes to the ring with his music. Mathews said that he doesn’t usually see Drake with other talent in the back, he’s usually by himself with a water jug. Storm takes a sip of his beer as Drake tells him he’s glad he walked and didn’t “ride his stupid cooler to the ring.”
Drake said Storm is a TNA Original. Drake said Storm has held every championship in TNA, but lately he’s been in a drought. He asked Storm what he thought of Drake as KOTM Champion. Storm said Drake has put up a good resume as “Eli Dork.”
Drake hit the dummy button a few times, and Storm suggested they make it a drinking game. He pulled out an extra bottle of beer and put it on Drake’s table. Storm said every time Drake hits that button, they should drink. Drake looks disgusted at the beer bottle and instead pulls out a gallon of water and the people boo.
“You’re going to boo water?” Drake asked. Drake hits the dummy button a few more times and Storm drinks every time. Drake is getting heated. Drake said he’s the greatest television host in the history of television.
Drake asked Storm where his title was? Storm said his title is the guy who has been here since the first day of TNA. Drake ran down Storm making fun of his look. Storm said they should change the drinking game up. “You hit that button and every time you do, I’ll slap the piss out of you.”
Drake tells Storm to walk back up the ramp because they’re done. Storm said he’ll walk away, but some day their paths will meet. As Storm goes to leave, Drake throws a beer at him. Drake then turns his back to complain about Storm, and while he was turned around, Storm set up and then hit Drake with a Last Call.
— Backstage: Jeff Hardy is asked if he has spoken to Matt. Jeff said he assumed Matt would be here tonight. Jeff said that he’ll meet Matt face-to-face tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:44] [Q4…]
— Mathews shows highlights from something that happened earlier tonight, before the show went on the air. Bram was competing on Xplosion, when he was taken out by The Decay.
— Backstage: Bram is trying to take his gear off when Rosemary sits next to him. She said everything comes to Decay, and while some come willingly, others need to be forced. She tells Bram to let Decay happen.
— In-arena: Matt Hardy comes to the ring in a wheelchair, being brought to the ring by Reby.
Matt is being wheeled around the ringside area. He said he wants the fans to see what Brother Nero had done. Matt said he detests the “creatures” and calls them sickening. Hardy blamed the fans for “being confined to this chair with wheels.”
Matt points out all the places around the arena where he was broken Jeff. Matt said he needs Jeff to come down to the ring so he can talk to him face-to-face.
[Commercial Break at 9:54]
— Back from the break, Jeff Hardy’s music hits while Matt is still at ringside with Reby. Jeff is limping to the ring as Mathews reminds us that he dove off the top of the cage last week through two tables and Matt.
“What do you want?” Jeff asked. “I want this to be over, but you are a very resilient creature,” Matt said. “I will dog your dreams, I will never, ever, stop pursuing you until I get what I need.”
Jeff said that the fans fuel him every night to beat people like Matt. Jeff asked what Matt needed to end this feud? Matt said he needs one more match. Matt said he needs to win. Matt said he needs redemption and salvation.
Matt said he needs six weeks to recuperate from his “life-threatening injuries.” Matt said he wants to raise the stakes in this final match. Matt said that the winner of this final match will control the name “Hardy.”
[Q5 — Second Hour] Matt told Jeff to look him in the eye and asked if he agreed to this match. Jeff got right down in his face and said yes.
Reby interrupted and started screaming at Jeff. She called him a pandering ass. Reby said that he broke Matt and he needs to deal with this. Jeff told Reby to jump on her broom and fly away. Jeff said he’d take care of his nephew. Reby says that this is going to end, and while she has him distracted, Matt gets up out of the wheelchair and attacks Jeff from behind. Matt throws Jeff into the ringside steps.
Reby grabs a steel chair and brings it over, sliding it into the ring. Matt, who looks just fine, rolls Jeff into the ring. Matt grabs the chair and begins slamming it over Matt’s back. Matt wraps the chair around Jeff’s head and neck — Jeff’s head is positioned between the seat and the chair back — and he hits a Twist of Fate.
Matt said he hopes Jeff can hear this music. Matt said their armageddon isn’t happening in six weeks, it’s happening in one week.
Matt said the match will not happen in the Impact Zone. Matt said they must go to the sanctuary of their genesis. Matt said this final battle will happen at their home in North Carolina. Matt called the match “The Final Deletion” over and over again.
— Ringside: Mathews and Pope recap what they just saw and also reset the show. The X Division Battle Royal will be next with the winner facing Mike Bennett later tonight. Mike Bennett is coming to ringside to commentate during the Battle Royal.
[Commercial Break at 10:07]
— Back from the break, D.J. Z is making his ring entrance as most of the division is already in the ring. D.J. Z, Mandrews, Rockstar Spud, Braxton Sutter, Trevor Lee, and Andrew Everett are all in the ring. Eddie Edwards is out next.
2 — Battle Royal for a shot at the X Division Title
[Q6] Mathews said that this match will use traditional rules, where someone is eliminated by going over the top rope. Mathews also said that the winner will receive an immediate X Division Title shot.
— Rockstar Spud eliminated at 0:52 —
The wrestlers are all paired up. Lee charges Mandrews in the corner. Lee hits a flying forearm on Mandrews and eliminates him.
— Mandrews eliminated at 1:50 —
Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee team up to knock out Eddie Edwards, hitting a combined drop toehold and knee to the face. D.J. Z hits a cutter on Everett but gets tossed out when going for a top-rope move.
— D.J. Z eliminated at 2:49 —
Sutter out of the corner hits a powerslam on Lee and some elbows. Sutter tries to eliminate Lee but he’s holding on to the top rope.
Bennett leaves the announce table but hasn’t come into view yet of the cameras. Edwards and Lee are trading shots on the apron. Bennett distracts Edwards and Lee takes him out.
— Eddie Edwards eliminated at 3:52–
Everett and Lee team up on Sutter. Lee tries to take out Sutter but he ducks and Lee takes out Everett.
— Andrew Everett eliminated at 4:48 —
Immediately after, Sutter clotheslines Lee over the top.
WINNER: Braxton Sutter wins at 4:50.
After the match, Shane Helms attacks Sutter from behind. He’s left laying on the mat as Bennett gets up from commentary and said he has some business to attend to. Sutter is knocked out and Bennett grabs a mic, saying the title match needed to start right now. He told Brian Hebner he had to ring the bell.
3 — X Division champion MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. BRAXTON SUTTER — X Division Title match
Bennett makes Hebner hold up the belt to show it’s a title match. Bennett takes his time taking off his jacket and getting ready. Sutter is struggling to move on the canvas.
Bennett goes to pick up Sutter and Sutter rolled him into a small package, but Bennett kicks out at two. Bennett then hit an MIP for the win.
WINNER: Mike Bennett retains at 1:12. Sutter showed some fight despite just being attacked and wrestling a match. This should set up a Sutter-Bennett one-on-one match down the road. It’s a built-in story and it’s right there for use.
— Backstage: Mahabali Shera and Grado are talking about how they are only two, and The Tribunal and Al Snow are three people. Then it seems as though they are arguing about money but it’s hard to understand.
Grado said he and and Shera hired someone to be their third man in a match against Tribunal and Al Snow tonight.
[Commercial Break at 10:24]
— In-arena: The Tribunal, with Al Snow, are coming to the ring. It’s a six-man, with Shera and Grado having a mystery partner. Grado and Shera dance to the ring. Grado said having one less man is a big problem, but they have a big problem fixer.
[Q7] Snow and The Tribunal jump Grado & Shera. As they’re doing this, Tyrus comes to the ring.
4 — THE TRIBUNAL (Baron Dax & Basile Baraka) & AL SNOW vs. GRADO& MAHABALI SHERA & TYRUS – six-man tag match
Tyrus throws Baraka to the outside and tosses Dax to the outside as well. Al Snow retreats as Tyrus slowly chases him around ringside. Tyrus grabs Barak and rolls him into the ring as the bell officially rings. Grado takes out Dax with an elbow for a one count.
Snow tags in and starts tagging Grado with jabs and kicks. Suplex by Snow on Grado. Baraka hits a clothesline for a one count. Dax hits a sidewalk slam on Grado for another one count.
Tyrus tags in and takes out both members of The Tribunal. Snow tries to attack Tyrus from behind, but Tyrus just stares back and throws Snow into the corner, delivering punches. Baraka is back in the ring from behind.
Tyrus slams him and pins Baraka for the win. After the match, Shera and Grado applaud Tyrus and thank him.
WINNERS: Tyrus & Grado & Mahabali Shera at 3:02.
— Backstage: Lashley warms up for the main event. Clips of Galloway and ECIII are shown as well.
[Commercial Break at 10:35]
— Highlights of Bennett beating Sutter earlier tonight are shown.
Backstage: Bennett said the X Division is about five-star matches, and he just had a 10-star match against Sutter. Bennett said next week, at 9:00, he’s calling out Billy Corgan and cashing in his Option C and he said he will become the new TNA World champion.
— In-arena: ECIII comes to the ring for tonight’s main event. He’s followed by Drew Galloway and then the champion, Lashley.
[Commercial Break at 10:44] [Q8…]
Mathews says they have taken their final commercial break as the bell rings immediately following the commercial.
5 — TNA World Hvt. champion LASHLEY vs. ETHAN CARTER III vs. DREW GALLOWAY — TNA World Hvt. Title match
Lashley bails out of the ring as Galloway and ECIII argue. ECIII and Galloway go to the outside forcing Lashley back into the ring.
Galloway and ECIII take turns putting the boots to Lashley in the corner before they pause to argue about something. ECIII charges Lashley in the corner and Galloway follows that with a running forearm.
Lashley begins to fight back on ECIII, who is prone in the corner. Lashley tries to whip Galloway into ECIII but Galloway blocks it into a headbutt.
Galloway charges Lashley in the corner but Lashley moves and Galloway’s shoulder crashes into the post. Lashley goes for a cover on ECIII, but he kicks out at two.
ECIII tries for a cross-body off the second rope, but Lashley catches him. Galloway suddenly runs in and hits a german suplex on Lashley, who is holding ECIII.
Lashley hits a powerslam on Galloway off the ropes for a two count. Galloway hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Lashley. ECIII back in the ring, he and Galloway hit a double delayed vertical suplex on Lashley.
Lashley gets tossed to the outside by Galloway. Galloway then flips off the apron onto Lashley. ECIII climbs to the top rope and takes out Lashley with a dive to the outside. Galloway rolls back into the ring and he signals for ECIII to come back into the ring as well.
They come together in the middle and start trading punches. Galloway and ECIII trade chops. Mathews calls this a brawl as they trade punches again. Galloway hits a boot on ECIII but ECIII follows that with a kick. ECIII’s chest is bleeding as Galloway delivers more chops but ECIII flapjacks him.
ECIII tries for a One-Percenter, but Galloway reverses it into a Future Shock DDT for a two count. Lashley hits a spinebuster on Galloway for a two count.
Lashley hits a vertical suplex on ECIII and then tries for a spear but ECIII connects with a knee. ECIII hits a TK3 on Lashley. ECIII tries for a One-Percenter, but Galloway hits a Claymore Kick on him. Lashley then spears Galloway and spears ECIII for the win.
WINNER: Lashley retains the TNA World Hvt. Title at 9:12.
After the match Lashley celebrates as Mathews comments on how smart Lashley was. Pope said Lashley was being calculated as highlights are shown. Lashley poses with the World Title as the show goes off the air.
FINAL THOUGHTS: TNA crammed a lot into this two-hour Impact. Destination X is being set up well with Bennett challenging for the World Title against Lashley, we can presume at this point.
Hardy vs. Hardy (again) happens next week and this could be the final chapter, or maybe not. This will be interesting in that it was filmed at the Hardy compound, so there haven’t been any spoilers.
This show was very storyline-driven. There was only three minutes of actual wrestling in the first 65 minutes of the show, but we were still seeing things that resulted in consequences, which made the show another good episode to watch. Say what you want about TNA’s business decisions, but creatively, the show has been very good consistently since the Pop debut.
Not enough wrestling. Good for a nap tho.