TNA Impact Wrestling Report
July 12, 2016
Semi-live in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opened with a video showing what happened the day after The Final Deletion match between Matt and Jeff Hardy.
In the video, Jeff awakens from a nightmare. Matt is then shown walking a trash bag out to the dilapidated boat. Matt told the boat that it deserved a name for shielding him from the fireworks last week. Matt asked the boat if he could indulge in its usage while they buried Brother Nero.
Matt paddled out to the middle of a pond. Vanguard 1 then appeared, carrying a Jeff Hardy shirt, the one he was wearing during The Final Deletion. Matt thanked Vanguard 1. Matt said it was time to bury the material remains of Brother Nero, and dropped the bag into the pond.
— In-arena —
Josh Mathews welcomes us to the show with live shots of the crowd. In the ring, we see some wrestlers ready for an X Division ladder match. Pope says the winner of the ladder match will be the No. 1 contender for the X Division Title.
1 — BRAXTON SUTTER vs. MANDREWS vs. ROCKSTAR SPUD vs. D.J. Z vs. TREVOR LEE (w/Shane Helms) vs. ANDREW EVERETT (w/Shane Helms) — ladder match to determine the No. 1 contender for the X Division Title
There is a green X hanging above the ring. The winner of the match needs to grab that X. Mandrews hits a moonsault off the ringside steps, so the match begins on the outside after D.J. Z hit a dive.
D.J. Z hits an impressive corkscrew. D.J. Z and Sutter climb the ladder and trade punches at the top of the steps. Sutter catches a kick from Spud and tosses him aside. Most of the wrestlers are in the ring now.
There are two ladders set up in the ring and Lee is at the top of them with one foot on each. Sutter and Mandrews pulls the ladder apart forcing Lee into a split and D.J. Z then dropkicked him.
Spud runs towards D.J. Z with a chair and D.J. Z kicks it back in Spud’s face.
The action is fast and furious now. Lee flies in with a forearm on Sutter. Spud hits a low blow on Sutter and tries to whip him with his belt but D.J. Z comes in and breaks it up.
D.J. Z again climbs the ladder but Helms is in the ring, grabbing D.J. Z’s foot to slow him down. D.J. Z hits a hurricanrana on Helms. Everett goes up the ladder, but D.J. Z and Lee hold him up. D.J. Z takes out Lee with a DDT and then dumps Everett off the ladder.
D.J. Z grabs the ladder and climbs up, grabbing the X to become the No. 1 contender.
WINNER: D.J. Z at 5:53. This is absolutely the right move. D.J. Z has looked especially impressive within the X Division since TNA’s debut on Pop earlier this year. He’s become a more central part of the show, including being one of a few to get an entrance in this match. He’s someone TNA can build around in that division, and is talented enough to work good wrestling matches, not just high-flying stunt showcases.
After the match, Mathews congratulates D.J. Zema. Mathews then plugs the title vs. title, Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards, main event. D.J. Z carries the X to the outside of the ring and Jeremy Borash is there to interview him at ringside.
D.J. Z said he has been in the X Division for six years, and he’s working the hardest he ever has in 2016. D.J. Z was about to say he’d become the next X Division champion. Suddenly, Mike Bennett ran down and blindsided him.
Bennett, last week, said he would ruin Destination X. Bennett grabbed a mic and walked over to a slumped D.J. Z. “I promised to ruin Destination X, this is just the beginning, because tonight I am going to burn TNA to the ground.” Bennett drops the mic.
Backstage: ECIII said he was there in his Tuesday night worst, not his Sunday best. ECIII said that he has spilled the same blood as Drew Galloway, and they want the exact same thing. ECIII said the time for talking is done, and tonight they would just fight.
[Commercial Break at 9:13] [Q2 …]
Backstage: McKenzie Mitchell brings in Dixie Carter for an interview. Dixie says that TNA is moving back home to its Thursday night slot at 8:00 p.m. EST next week. Dixie said that Impact will start next week with the Bound For Glory Playoff, and we’ll learn the eight wrestlers who have a chance to become the No. 1 contender for a title match at Bound For Glory.
In-ring: Jeremy Borash welcomes Eddie Edwards and Bobby Lashley for an interview. Borash reiterates that it’s title vs. title tonight. He tried to ask Edwards a question but Lashley stole the microphone.
Lashley told Edwards he got a lucky shot last week. Lashley tells Edwards that the only thing he managed to do last week was piss him off. Edwards said that Lashley doesn’t understand the type of guy he is. Edwards said he has never backed down from a fight, and he wasn’t starting tonight.
“Last week, you said you were pissed off,” Edwards said. “Well, just wait until tonight, when I leave here the new World Hvt. champion.”
Lashley asked Edwards if he really believed he was going to win? Lashley said the underdog doesn’t win. That’s something that only happens in movies. Lashley said he was going to take both titles, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
Edwards said he understands this isn’t a movie. This is real-life. Edwards said the X Division Title is his life, the TNA ring is his life. Lashley then went on the attack, taking out Edwards and battering him in the corner.
Lashley drops Edwards with a running powerslam and then grabbed a chair from ringside. Lashley went to use the chair, but Davey Richards ran in and grabbed the chair, smacking Lashley in the back and sending him out of the ring.
Lashley and Richards celebrated in the ring. Richards took Lashley’s World Title and strapped it around Edwards’s waist. Lashley rolled Borash in the ring and told him to go get his belt.
[Reax: Lashley was really good on the mic here. He struggles at times with his promos, but there are also times like this where it feels like he’s finally getting into his groove. This felt a lot like the banter before a big UFC fight at a press conference or at a weigh-in. It was good hype for the main event and also re-introduced Richards, throwing a wrinkle and a wild card into the match.]
Backstage: Crazzy Steve is trying to find Rosemary. He’s freaking out. Abyss said he’ll take care of Bram tonight and Rosemary would be home.
[Commercial Break at 9:25]
Back from the break, it’s another video from the Hardy house.
[Q3] Matt and a group of people are gathered in the movie theatre inside his house. Matt was showing an airing of The Final Deletion along with video of Maxel’s birthday.
Reby and Maxel slid down a fireman’s pole into the room. Maxel is shown playing with the xylophone while the video aired. There is applause after it’s shown. Matt told everyone to hail King Maxel, and then led a “Delete! Delete! Delete!” chant.
— In-arena —
Abyss and Crazzy Steve head to the ring.
2 — ABYSS (w/Crazzy Steve) vs. BRAM
Crazzy Steve ran up on the ropes as the match began, distracting Bram and allowing Abyss to get control of the match early on.
Mathews and Pope talk about The Final Deletion and how Matt Hardy has gone crazy. Mathews said a video would be coming up showing Matt and something that happened during dinner last night that was crazy. Mathews also plugged that Impact was moving back to Thursday next week.
Abyss throws Bram to the outside and Steve attacks, ripping out a chunk of Bram’s hair. Abyss tries for a chokeslam, but Bram blocks it and elbows himself out of the hold. Bram hits the ropes and lands three running forearms and a knee.
Abyss charges Bram in the corner but Bram hits an elbow. Bram dropped Abyss with a kick. He tries for Brighter Side of Suffering but Abyss blocked it. Bram then gets planted with a chokeslam.
Rosemary then walks to the ring looking … strange. She looks briefly at Steve and walks by him. She goes into the ring and grabs Bram’s face and looked like she said something. Bram knees Abyss and schoolboys him for the win.
WINNER: Bram at 4:05. To say this is all strange would be putting it mildly. Decay seems to be getting mixed reviews, but generally they’ve been doing some good stuff the last six months. It’s given Abyss new life and has given Crazzy Steve a second chance and has made him a legitimate character on Impact, not just some gimmicked enhancement talent. If this is leading to a breakup angle, it feels like it’s too soon, so hopefully this is leading to the next evolution of Decay, and not the end of it.
After the match, Bram rolls to the outside and Rosemary runs her fingers along his chest. Bram just stares at her as Rosemary stares a hole in Bram. Bram walks to the back quickly as Steve and Abyss look on confused. Rosemary stars as Bram walks back but her head snaps to the ring when Abyss yells for her.
[Commercial Break at 9:38]
3 — TNA Knockouts champion SIENNA (w/Allie) vs. GAIL KIM vs. JADE vs. MARTI BELLE — four-way match for the Knockouts Title
The match starts on the ramp and brawling on the outside. In the ring, Sienna charges Marti Belle in the corner.
[Q4] Sienna stomps Marti Belle in the corner while Jade and Gail Kim are still recovering on the outside from the brawl to begin the match.
Belle charges Sienna in the corner and splashes her for a two count. Gail Kim is back in the ring and she’s giving Sienna and Bell forearms before dropping both with a double clothesline. Kim mounts Sienna and throws hammer punches. Belle tosses Kim to the outside and it’s back to Sienna-Belle one-on-one.
Jade and Kim climb to the turnbuckles and take out Sienna and Belle. Jade and Kim trade forearms in the ring, then Kim hits a kick and a knee. Kim tried for a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, but Jade counters into a German Suplex for a two count.
Kim and Jade are tied up on the turnbuckle. Sienna gets Kim on her shoulders and Jade takes out both with a dropkick. Very LOD’ish move. Belle plants Jade with a pedigree. Kim back in the ring and she drops Belle with Eat Defeat for a two count after Allie puts Belle’s foot on the bottom rope.
Sienna charges in the ring and hits a Silencer for the win to retain the title. After the match, Allie presents Sienna with her title as Mathews and Pope throw to some replays.
WINNER: Sienna pins Gail Kim at 4:30. This could have been Sienna defending one-on-one and it would have been just as good. This felt a lot like the X-Division opener with so many people in the ring, but it was a good TV match.
Dinner with the Hardys
Maxel is in his high chair while Matt and Reby are eating shrimp cocktail. Matt talks to the waitress in Spanish, but she says she’s Romanian.
Matt asks Maxel to pass green beans. Matt was told there were no green beans and he demanded them because they are his delicacy. He also said he despises mustard, so do not bring mustard.
Matt said that tonight, on Impact, when the public deletion occurs, he will make sure every essence of Brother Nero is deleted forever. Matt said as of tomorrow (meaning tonight), Brother Nero will be deleted forever.
[Reax: This vignettes couldn’t get any weirder, and they’re great. Matt Hardy is firing on all cylinders right now. It’s very campy and it’s very strange, but it’s a car wreck that you can’t look away from.]
[Commercial Break at 9:53]
Back from the break, Mathews shows highlights of Davey Richards’s return earlier tonight.
Backstage: Lashley said he has a choice. He could have ripped Davey Richards in half earlier, but he likes the hunt. Lashley said he wants Davey at ringside, so he can watch his partner get destroyed.
[Reax: So they’re teasing a Davey Richards heel turn later? It certainly feels that way.]
Highlights of last week’s Final Deletion are shown, including Matt getting the pin.
In-arena: Matt Hardy’s music plays as he comes to the ring for the public deletion of Jeff Hardy.
Reby is out first. She has Maxel strapped to her back. Reby tells us to enjoy the broken brilliance of Matt Hardy. Matt walks to the ring as Reby and Maxel head backstage. Matt enters the ring and looks for a microphone.
“Go ahead and boo me you, ants, your hatred only makes me stronger!” Matt said. “Last week, I won the greatest match in professional wrestling history. The Final Deletion.” A loud “We Want Jeff!” chant breaks out.
“That name no longer exists. When I deleted Brother Nero I deleted everything that made him special. I deleted it all. And I am such a kind being, that I have decided to bring him out here one last time for all of you ants to see the pitiful, pathetic weak Nero.” Matt then told Reby to bring out Brother Nero without any music or fanfare.
Reby introduced Jeff as coming from places even more desolate than Parts Unknown. Jeff walks out on stage wearing a pink hooded sweatshirt. He’s walking to the ring as Reby screams “obsolete” in his face. Matt is shown smiling widely in the ring. Reby continues to scream “obsolete!” at Jeff.
“Brother Nero,” said Matt. “I knew you’d come.”
“I, and I alone, have decided that the punishment for you considering your crimes against me. I have determined that your Impact Wrestling contract is terminated! It’s ovah! Now be gone. Be gone. Be gone.”
Jeff turns and walks back up the ramp. The crowd is chanting for Jeff, but he shrugs his shoulders.
“Brother Nero stop and turn around,” Matt said. “I have to make sure that you find no joy in the afterlife, but I know you and I know you will adopt pseudonym and you would go to work for that megalomaniac in New York, Mr. Mc-Ma-han. I am going to keep you here in Impact Wrestling, and I will keep you as my mule.”
“I may be broken,” Matt said, “But I will never be broke. Brother Nero, you will soon learn that deletion is a worse punishment than death. Be gone! Out! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete! Delete!”
Matt’s music begins to play as he walks back up the aisle with Reby.
[Reax: Matt Hardy continues to hit home runs with these promos. The accents are tremendous and mentioning Vince was a nice use of passive-aggressiveness. It seems this story isn’t yet over, and that’s great because it’s been highly entertaining.]
Backstage: Bennett is running backstage with Maria. He said he is going to make sure Edwards can’t challenge for the title later. D.J. Z rushed into the screen and demanded a match for getting jumped earlier, and Bennett said he’d see him in the ring.
[Commercial Break at 10:10]
In-arena: Maria Kanellis Bennett is on the stage to introduce Mike Bennett, who then makes his ring entrance. After Bennett’s entrance, the X Division video plays and D.J. Z gets a full ring introduction.
4 — MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria Kanellis Bennett) vs. D.J. Z
Bennett slides into the ropes as D.J. Z charges him to start the match. With the referee’s back turned, he attacks D.J. Z with booths to gain control.
D.J. Z comes back with punches but Bennett drops him with a clothesline and more booths. D.J. Z hits a dropkick and then an elbow off the top. D.J. Z drops more elbows in the corner. Bennett charges D.J. Z in the corner, but D.J. Z leapfrogs him. Bennett hits a spinebuster for a two count.
Mathews again plugs the move to Thursdays. D.J. Z flips Bennett with a hurricanrana on the outside and then takes out Bennett with a dive to the outside after rolling back in the ring.
D.J. Z takes Bennett down with another hurricanrana on the outside. D.J. Z climbs up top but Bennett starts to walk back up the ramp. Suddenly, Braxton Sutter, Mandrews, and The Helms Dynasty all come out to block Bennett. Mathews says Bennett has insulted the X Division too many times. Bennett rolls in the ring and D.J. Z catches him for a pin.
WINNER: D.J. Z via pinfall at 5:31. What a night for D.J. Z. He’s been getting some shine for a while, but TNA has used this semi-live episode of Impact to make him a focal point.
After the match, Sutter and Mandrews celebrate with D.J. Z. Bennett grabs a mic.
“No!” he screams. “No! That’s not the way it was supposed to go down. I promised to ruin Destination X! And dammit, I’m going to ruin it. I’m going to burn this company to the ground! … And I’m not going to do it, alone.”
Backstage: Drew Galloway is shown walking backstage. Galloway called ECIII a passionate man. Galloway said TNA won’t sanction a match between them, so they’re just going to walk to the ring and fight.
[Commercial Break at 10:24]
Bennett is on the phone asking if “you’re here.” Bennett was screaming that the person needed to get there tonight and they would get people talking, and they would burn down TNA together.
In-arena: Mathews wonders who Bennett was talking to?
Meanwhile, Drew Galloway comes to the ring. “ECIII,” he begins. “We go way back, but the one thing we can’t see eye-to-eye on is the World Title. Since TNA won’t sanction a wrestling match on this, there is no choice but a good, old-fashioned fight. Get your ass out here right now so I can kick it!”
[Q6] ECIII comes out and agrees that he and Galloway keep getting in each other’s way. ECIII charges Galloway in the ring and they brawl. Galloway suplexes Galloway on the outside.
Galloway grabs a chair but ECIII kicks Galloway and then throws the chair off Galloway’s head. Galloway picks up ECIII and throws him into the turnbuckle post. Galloway grabs the chair and smashes it over ECIII’s back. Galloway and ECIII continue to brawl as the fight heads backstage. They’re now on the interview set. Wrestlers and agents run in to try to separate Galloway and ECIII.
– Backstage: Edwards is getting his wrist taped by Richards, who asks if he wants the knockout tape job or the submission tape job. Edwards said tonight was going to be a Boston Knee party.
Richards said they always had each other’s back. Richards said they were best friends and now they are family. Richards said he will be there in spirit tonight. Richards said when one of them goes to war, they all go to war.
[Reax: This really feels like Edwards will be about to win the title in the main event and Richards will cost him, jealous over what Edwards has done “alone.”]
[Commercial Break at 10:36]
Back from the break, Mathews plugs the BFG Playoffs, which will begin next week.
In-arena: Borash introduces tonight’s Impact main event. Eddie Edwards is out first, following by Lashley. Both titles are sitting on a table at ringside.
5 –TNA World Hvt. champion BOBBY LASHLEY vs. TNA X Division champion EDDIE EDWARDS (w/Davey Richards) — match for the World Hvt. and X Division titles
Lashley snatches Edwards and tosses him aside to start the match. Edwards back up but he gets clotheslined. Lashley stomps on Edwards in the corner.
Lashley rams Edwards with shoulders in the corner three times and then drops him over his back to the mat. Lashley tries for a vertical suplex but Edwards counters into a sleeper and then dropkicks Lashley to the outside.
Edwards tries for a dive but Lashley catches him. Edwards slips out and takes Lashley down with a hurricanrana on the floor. Lashley catches Edwards on the ramp and tosses Edwards with a belly-to-belly.
[Q8] Lashley spears Edwards on the outside.
[Commercial Break at 10:45]
Back from the break, Lashley has control in the corner. Mathews says they have taken their final commercial break.
Edwards kicks out after a Lashley neckbreaker. Lashley applies a rear-naked choke but Edwards, who is wearing X Division tights, powers out with elbows. Lashley drops Edwards with an elbow after Edwards powers out and hits the ropes.
Lashley lands a huge right hand, dropping Edwards back to the canvas. Lashley drops elbows on Edwards shoulder. Lashley misses a right and Edwards fights back with chops.
Edwards hits the ropes and Lashley catches him, but Edwards swings through it for a DDT. Both men are down.
They get to their feet about the same time and Lashley charges for a spear but Edwards ducks and pulls the rope down, sending Lashley to the outside. Edwards hits three suicide dives on Lashley on the outside, in a row.
Edwards rolls Lashley back into the ring. Lashley catches Edwards with an elbow but Edwards comes back with a sitdown spinebuster for a two count.
Edwards hits a running forearm and tries for another, but Lashley hits him with a boot. Lashley goes to the top turnbuckle but Edwards kicks him to tie him up on the top rope.
Lashley and Edwards trade forearms. Edwards kicks Lashley again as Lashley tried to go to the top. Edwards flips Lashley off the top with a hurricanrana.
Edwards sets up in the corner for the Boston Knee Party. Lashley catches Edwards with a powerslam. The referee is down, getting kicked by Edwards feet as Lashley swung him around on the powerslam.
Lashley goes to the outside and grabs the World Title. Richards tries to wake up Brian Hebner, but then runs in to interrupt Lashley using the belt. Edwards covers Lashley, the ref wakes up, and he counts two only. Mike Bennett then charges the ring and punches the referee.
WINNER: No Contest.
Post-match, Bennett calls out someone from the back. Out comes Moose! Lashley and Edwards are staring at Bennett.
Moose runs through Richards at ringside. Edwards tries to dive on Moose, but Moose catches him and powerbombs him on the ring apron.
Moose takes off his shirt and goes into the ring. He goes face-to-face with Lashley. Bennett runs up from behind and low-blows Lashley, which allows Moose to take out Lashley with a huge clothesline.
Backstage: McKenzie Mitchell asks Dixie Carter what she thinks about what she just saw. Dixie said the fans deserve a winner, and next Thursday, Lashley and Edwards will fight once again … title vs. title … inside six sides of steel.
Final Thoughts: Well, this was a newsworthy Impact. The big story is the debut of Moose, but there were other big stories here including Davey Richards return – and thankfully, he didn’t turn heel on Edwards – as well as the emergence of D.J. Z, who had a breakout performance on this show.
The general reaction from ROH people is that TNA should be able to do something with Moose, instead of having him flutter around like he was doing in ROH. It’s apropos that he’s brought in by Bennett, who you could argue has made a similar step since joining TNA in January, going from an upper-mid card player in ROH to someone who is one of the top players in TNA on a weekly basis.
Hopefully D.J. Z’s night won’t get lost with Moose’s debut. This could be the night we look back on a year from now as the night D.J. Z really became a player for TNA. A year from now, at Destination X 2017 (assuming TNA makes it there), TNA could have D.J. Z ready for Option C. If they build him slowly, they could have him ready as a legitimate contender a year from now. That should be the goal, to elevate him beyond just that of an X Division wrestler. He has the ability, clearly, but there’s a charisma and character there that has been hidden behind that D.J. gimmick for some time.