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TNA Impact Wrestling Report
July 21, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opened with a new graphic that just said Impact Wrestling, but it looked very crisp.
Video: Jeff Hardy is seen overlooking the dirt bike jump where he broke his leg. Audio clips of an interview aired last year where he talked about his injury are played over video of him making the jump and overlooking the hill.
As Hardy looks at the hill, Vanguard One flies into the picture and Matt Hardy walks into the shot right behind it. He tells Jeff that this point of geography was the downfall of their tag team. Matt said Jeff caused their tag team to become broken.
Matt said that Jeff is thinking about doing the jump again for redemption, but he won’t be able to because “inside his vessel, he is empty.”
Matt said he deleted everything that made Jeff who he was. Matt egged Jeff to “get on his cycle with wheels” and try to make this jump. Matt said he already knew the result, because he saw it in his premonition.
Matt called Jeff a coward, screaming at him to “do it!” Jeff finally snapped and said he would do the jump, and he would succeed.
Jeff jumped on his dirt bike and raced towards the hill … the camera cuts to black before he makes the jump.
In-arena: Bobby Lashley’s music hits and he heads to the ring. Josh Mathews shows a replay of Moose interfering in last week’s champion vs. champion match.
Mathews reminds us that tonight’s re-match will be inside six sides of steel, and it will be title vs. title.
Lashley said he beats people up on a regular basis in TNA. He said that’s why he’s the TNA World Hvt. champion. Lashley said he has a problem when someone comes into his company and sticks his nose into his business.
“Tonight, against Eddie Edwards in the cage, I will beat him up and I will win the X-Division Championship,” Lashley said. “But first, tonight, I need to deal with this Moose.
“Now, Moose, just because you call yourself a so-called athlete and you played in the NFL, you can’t stick your nose in my business.”
Lashley said he doesn’t put on a bunch of protective equipment like NFL players. He said he climbs into a ring or a cage, takes his bare hand, and knocks people out. Lashley said he destroys people. Lashley told Moose to “bring his big goofy ass out here” so he could destroy him.
Mike Bennett comes to the stage without Moose and also without Maria.
“Oh Lashley,” he said, “is it okay if I call you Bobby? It doesn’t matter whether you care or not, because I can say and do whatever the hell I want, and that’s because of that big man I brought out to beat your ass.”
Bennett said he’s sick and tired of TNA screwing him over. Bennett said that Lashley has something around his waist that belongs to him. Bennett promised that he would blow through the Bound For Glory playoff and win the World Title because he has Moose.
Moose’s music hits and he emerges onto the stage to join Bennett. “Now Mikey, are you going to step aside and let your boyfriend take this ass whooping?” Lashley said. “Come down here and we can make this happen right now.”
Moose begins to unbutton his shirt and he walks, slowly, to the ring. Bennett just shrugs his shoulder at ringside.
Edwards sprints to ringside and jumps Moose from behind. Bennett chases Edwards down and starts to fight him. Lashley jumps to the outside of the ring and starts fighting Moose. Bennett and Moose begin to double-team Lashley. Edwards rolls into the ring and dives onto all three men on the outside. Agents and security rush to ringside.
Dixie Carter appears on the screen. “Lashley, Eddie, I suggest you get your focus on your title vs. title cage match,” she said. “I can assure everyone here, there will be a winner tonight.”
Dixie said if Bennett and Moose even tried to get involved, Bennett would be fired on the spot. Bennett begins to smash things at ringside. Dixie said that Bennett is about to start off the Bound For Glory playoffs right now, and Moose is banned from ringside.
Jeff Hardy’s music hits, but Matt and Reby Hardy comes out from the back. He demands that Jeff Hardy’s music stop. Matt said that Jeff, an obsolete mule, doesn’t deserve a shot “at the title of the world,” and every time TNA uses Jeff’s image, they need his express written consent or they owe him money.
Matt said that he controls Jeff, because Jeff is his intellectual property. Matt said that because he is such a kind man, he is going to allow Brother Nero to appear “in front of you ants.”
“As a matter of fact,” Matt said, “I thought I would help him prepare for this match back in North Carolina, and I did. Let’s take a look at this lovely footage.”
Video: The video that aired to start the show airs again. Matt taunts Jeff to make the jump, saying he wants to see Jeff fail again, and again, and again.
Jeff gets on the bike and races towards the hill as Matt smiles. As Jeff hits the jump, the bike goes flying out from underneath him and Jeff is sent flying several feet, crashing into the dirt on the side of the hill.
Matt can be heard laughing. “I knew you’d fail!” he screamed. “It looks like beloved motorcycle is broken, and now you are too.” Matt told Jeff to “come!” because Matt has a World Title to win.
In-arena: Back in the arena, Matt said that the unfortunate event we just saw on video nearly left Jeff crippled. But, Brother Nero will be here tonight to compete, and as a matter of fact, Vanguard One and Matt have composed an exquisite piece of music for his entrance.
The music begins with what sounds like Jeff singing, “I’ll fade away and classify myself as obsolete.” Jeff emerges from backstage as that line just plays over and over. Every time the line finishes, Reby yells “obsolete” into a microphone, right in Jeff’s face.
1 — MIKE BENNETT vs. JEFF HARDY (w/Matt Hardy & Reby Hardy) — Bound For Glory Playoffs Quarterfinal match
Hardy tries to begin the match with a lockup but Bennett catches him with a right hand. Bennett continues to punch Hardy into the corner and then turns to boots.
Jeff tried to whip Bennett into the corner, but he clutched his rib and arm while falling to the mat, selling his injury from the dirt bike crash.
Bennett pulls Hardy up by his hair and tries to whip him into the corner. Jeff tried to stop himself on the ropes but again sells the rib and arm injuries and falls to the mat. Bennett locks Jeff in an arm triangle, and Jeff screams in pain. He makes it to the ropes after a few moments to break the hold.
Mathews said that Matt Hardy told TNA it will be a $5,000 fine every time they use the Jeff Hardy intellectual property without consulting him.
Jeff climbs up the ropes and Bennett is waiting for him, hitting a cutter for the pinfall.
After the match, Bennett gets his hand raised. Mathews said Jeff never stood a chance in this match. Pope said Jeff was too injured and never should have been in the match. Bennett walks past Matt and smiles.
WINNER: Mike Bennett in 2:13. There’s a good story here that’s transitioning from the Hardy’s backyard to the arena and inside the ring. Jeff really sold his injuries from the dirt bike crash well and it was the story of the match. Jeff was never competitive because of those injuries. I can’t tell if Matt Hardy wanting to charge TNA for using Jeff’s name, as it’s his intellectual property, is a jab at WWE or not, but it could be.
Matt Hardy Promo: Hardy walks into the ring with a microphone and calls Jeff a weak, pitiful obsolete mule. Matt tells Jeff to get out of his ring and said that Jeff is beneath him.
Matt said that Jeff is a vessel of flesh that is pitiful, damaged and empty. Matt said he is going to break Jeff’s back, and then told him to “be gone.”
Jeff walks up the ramp. Matt said he would now show all of these ants what the true face of Hardy looks like as he begins to become the new TNA World Champion. Matt said he would delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete his opponent tonight.
Out comes James Storm for a Bound For Glory playoff match against Matt. Storm comes to the ring on the boozer cruiser.
2 — JAMES STORM vs. MATT HARDY (w/Reby Hardy) — Bound For Glory Playoffs Quarterfinal match
The bell rings and they begin with a lockup. After the referee separates them in the corner, Matt takes control with some punches to the gut and then drives his shoulder into Storm.
Storm fires back with some clotheslines and an atomic drop. Storm goes for a superkick, but Hardy rolls to the outside. Storm chases him, whipping Hardy into the ringside steps. Storm jumps on the boozer cruiser and drives it into Hardy’s crotch as he was prone at ringside.
Back from the break, they’re in the ring and Hardy rakes Storm’s eyes. Hardy bites Storm’s face and then throws rapid right hands before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count.
Hardy locks on a sleeper hold after whipping Storm off the ropes. Storm powers out with some elbows. Hardy hits a side effect on the ring apron and falls to the outside.
On the outside, Hardy tries to powerbomb Storm but Storm backdrops him over the guardrail. Matt gets up and bites Storm’s fingers. Matt plays to the crowd for a moment. Storm climbed the ring steps and jumped over the rail onto Hardy in the crowd.
Storm flips Hardy back over the rail and rolls him into the ring. Storm signals for the last call. The camera shows that Reby has a hammer. As Storm went to the corner to set up his last call super kick, Reby smacked Storm with the hammer in the ankle, allowing Matt to hit a Twist of Fate for the win.
After the match, Matt looks like a psychotic, staring into the crowd as they chant “We Want Jeff!”
WINNER: Matt Hardy in 9:31. This was one of Storm’s better showings on Impact since Bobby Roode jumped to NXT. Since Beer Money dissolved, Storm has been lost in the shuffle but he looked great here and was about to get a legitimate win over a strong character in Hardy before Reby cost him the match. Given his role as a true TNA original, there is more that TNA should be doing with Storm in a singles role. He’s a fun-loving babyface, but within the match itself, he showed a good serious side.
Earlier tonight: Mike Bennett, Moose, Lashley and Eddie Edwards brawl at ringside as Dixie announces that if Bennett and Moose interfere in tonight’s main event, Bennett would be immediately fired.
Backstage: The cameraman asks Edwards what he thinks about Moose from last week. Edwards said he knows that Moose is a great athlete and he knows that he played in the NFL. Edwards said that Lashley, Bennett and Moose tried to crush his dream. Edwards said that tonight it’s 1-on-1, and he thanked Dixie. Edwards promised that tonight there would be a winner.
Video: Mathews threw to a video on ECIII. Highlights are shown of ECIII beating legends over the last two years, including Sting, Kurt Angle, and others.
ECIII is shown working out. He said he’s earned everything he’s had. ECIII called Lashley the most dominant World Champion TNA has had. He said that he can bring down Lashley.
Backstage: Bennett and Moose are pacing backstage. Bennett said that Dixie thinks she can mess with them, but she doesn’t know who Bennett is. Bennett said that he controls history and he will write his own destiny. Bennett said he is two wins away from going to Bound For Glory. Bennett said that Maria is going to the ring to give her state of the knockouts address, and after that, they’re going to take a week off, and let things settle down.
Moose then yelled at Bennett and got in his face a little bit, catching Bennett off guard, saying that what they needed to do was make an impact. Moose said Dixie wasn’t going to tell him what to do. Moose said if Bobby wants a fight, he’s going to give Bobby a fight and he doesn’t care about some cage.
Bennett told Moose he couldn’t do that because he’d be fired. Bennett chases Moose down the hallway.
In-arena: ECIII is in the ring with his music playing, ready for his Bound For Glory Playoffs match. He grabs a mic and cuts a pre-match promo. ECIII goes to the outside and sits on the ringside steps.
Carter said a lot of people ask him why he’s in TNA. ECIII said he is here because he has passion, desire, and drive to be the best. ECIII said in TNA, you have to hold the possession that signifies you’re the best, and that’s the TNA World Title.
ECIII said here they are in the Bound For Glory Playoffs … he then does his best Jim Mora impression, the old coach of the Indianapolis Colts. “Playoffs? Playoffs?! Playoffs?!?!”
ECIII said he has been to the top of the mountain. ECIII said he was going to go all the way to Bound For Glory, and at Bound For Glory, ECIII would become champion. Drew Galloway’s music hits.
Galloway walks slowly to the ring, staring at ECIII. Pope said the rivalry between these two is so heated, he doesn’t think it will get better. Galloway enters the ring and he and ECIII go face to face.
Galloway tells ECIII he’s a passionate man. Galloway said there is one thing they will never agree on, and that’s who is better. Galloway said they should look at the facts. ECIII is a two-time champion and he’s an ass-kicking machine, but his last name is Carter.
Galloway said that companies hire Drew Galloway to grow. Galloway said that TNA came to him, not the other way around. Galloway said that since he has been in TNA, he has main-evented every pay-per-view.
ECIII said he is happy to have Galloway here. But history is written by the winners, and if he wasn’t pulled off Galloway in a brawl last week, ECIII would have won.
Galloway said that they won’t get into that now. Galloway said that the only time they have the opportunity to fight in the Bound For Glory Playoffs would be in the finals, according to the bracket.
ECIII asked if he was predicting that they would face in the finals? ECIII said he would be most happy to oblige to that final match, after something was bleeped out.
Galloway suggested they give people a preview of the finals right now. They’re about to fight but Eli Drake comes to the ring with the King of the Mountain Championship around his shoulder.
Drake told the crowd that they aren’t talking about deletions or one percenters, they need to be talking about Eli Drake. “Yeah.” He said he was looking at two dummies. Drake said that he has ECIII in the first round. He told Drew to get out of the way, because ECIII is about to see him in the first round, right now.
3 — ETHAN CARTER III vs. King of the Mountain champion ELI DRAKE — Bound For Glory Playoffs Quarterfinal match
ECIII and Eli Drake square off and circle to begin the match. Drake looks annoyed by the fans chanting for him, there is a smattering of “Let’s go Eli!” chant.
ECIII and Drake lock up and trade wrist locks. Drake takes ECIII down with a tackle but ECIII pops up and takes Drake down with an arm drag. Drake hits an elbow off the rope and follows up with a bodyslam. Pope said both are feeling each other out early in the match.
ECIII drops an elbow on Drake and again grabs Drake’s arm. Drake hits a neckbreaker out of the corner for a two count. Drake keeps ECIII tight to the corner, dropping a knee after rolling him to the mat.
Drake tries to drop a knee on ECIII but ECIII moves. ECIII launches Drake with a back body drop. ECIII charges Drake in the corner and then flapjacks him. Pope pointed out that Drake tried to turn out of it but landed on his side, which probably hurt worse.
ECII charges Drake in the corner and Drake gets his boots up. Drake tries for a jackknife pin and puts his boots on the rope but Brian Hebner catches that and breaks the count.
Drake went for what looked like a reverse atomic drop but followed all the way through and dropped ECIII on his face for a two count. Drake misses a neckbreaker, which allowed ECIII to drop Drake with a Side Russian Legsweep into the corner.
ECIII climbs to the top rope and hits a cross-body, but Drake rolled through it and got a two count. Pope said that ECIII might be desperate here, because he doesn’t usually go to the top rope.
Drake argues with the referee after the two count. ECIII tried for a One Percenter, which was reversed and Drake tried to hit Blunt Force Trauma, but ECIII rotated over it and rolled up Drake for the pin.
After the match, ECIII rolls to the outside to catch his breath on the stage
WINNER: Ethan Carter III in 7:47. The match was slow to develop but showcased Drake really well. ECIII has been built as a true main eventer for TNA and Drake went toe-to-toe with him in this match. It was interesting that they didn’t have Drake lose to ECIII’s finisher.
Backstage: Matt Hardy is telling Jeff to follow him. “Follow me mule!” he yelled over and over. They walk up to Vanguard One, and Matt said his day has just gotten so much better.
“Hello Vanguard One, by beloved friend,” he said. “How are you today? I haven’t had an opportunity to watch Impact Wrestling. Please show me who I will be deleting next week?”
Vanguard One’s hologram pops up and a highlight of ECIII beating Eli Drake is shown. “Oh the bad man,” Matt said. “The third Carter. Brother Nero Ethan. Vanguard One, please type the keys to victory.”
Words show up in the hologram and Matt freaks out that we can’t see what Vanguard One is saying, and he demands that the camera cut away.
Maria’s dressing room: Allie tells Maria that all of the Knockouts have been informed about Maria’s State of the Knockouts address. Maria said that Dixie is forcing Maria to give this speech. Maria said that she doesn’t want to answer questions. She calls herself the leader of the Knockouts Division. Allie said Maria was the best leader. Maria snapped at Allie to focus.
Video: A vignette aired for Tyrus, who is now calling himself “The Fixer.” It’s basically a short infomercial. Tyrus said he can solve any problem. Detention? Someone owes you money? Call the fixer. The ad shows a number for 407-906-1965. If you call that number, it sends you to an actual Google Voicemail box for “The Fixer,” where you can leave your name and your problem.
Backstage: The cameraman asks Lashley about the brawl from earlier. Lashley said people in TNA are getting too comfortable. Lashley said that all he needs is a ring and a ref. Lashley told Edwards he was going to take his title and beat him up tonight.
Lashley told Moose that if he wants some, to come get some.
In-arena: Allie is standing in the ring with some members of the Knockouts Division. She tells Gail Kim, Jade, Sienne, Madison Rayne and Marti Bell that they are here for a state of the Knockouts Division address by their leader, Maria.
Maria walks to the ring. “Ladies,” she began, “I have heard that some people believe I have gone too far in my leadership. If I have made anyone feel insecure or small, I’m sorry. At this time, I want to allow any of you to tell me your grievances.”
Jade, Madison, Gail Kim, and Allie raise their hands. Maria calls on Allie first. Allie asid her question is more like a statement, and she tells “Ms. Maria” that she’s an inspiration. The crowd chants “shut her up!”
Allie asks how they could be more like Maria. Maria said that was an excellent question. She told the knockouts they just needed to look deep down in their hearts and believe in her vision. Jade steps up and gets in Maria’s face. She asks why she hasn’t received her 1-on-1 rematch for the Knockouts Title.
“Why haven’t I received my re-match since that b—- (Marti Bell) screwed me!?!” she yelled. Marti got all worked up and said that Jade screwed herself.
Gail stole the microphone and said that as long as Maria is in charge, Jade isn’t going to get a rematch, just like she isn’t going to get a re-match. Gail said that Maria’s hand is somehow still broken. And next week it might be her ankle or her back, basically she would need making excuses because she was scared of Gail.
Gail said that Maria’s hand seemed just fine last week. Sienna told Gail to not question Maria’s integrity. Maria said that she sees what is happening here. She told Gail that she is going into the Hall of Fame, and that’s great, but she has lost to Sienna twice so she is now out of the picture. She called Gail selfish for wanting another title shot. Gail said she has respect for every girl in the locker room … except for Maria and Allie.
Gail said that she wants her title shot, and if she has to beat every girl in the locker room, that’s fine with her. Maria said that was a great idea. Gail will face every knockout and if she loses once, she won’t get her title shot. Gail said that the person who beats Gail will be rewarded handsomely.
Jade said she doesn’t follow rules and she’s out. Marti said that was just like Jade to run away and Jade and Marti began to brawl at ringside. Gail she said she would do whatever it takes and Maria said she would as well.
Madison Rayne then took out Gail from behind. She stood over Gail and said it was nothing personal, but it’s time they all start looking out for themselves.
Backstage: Bram is getting ready for his match with Drew Galloway tonight. Rosemary said this was all exciting and terrifying. She told Bram she is changing and she wants Bram to feel that change, too. Bram said there is one thing he wants, and that’s to be World Champion. Rosemary asked if he wanted her help tonight and Bram said he didn’t know. They then begin to make out.
Interview Set: A cameraman asks Mahabali Shera what he thinks of the Bound For Glory Playoffs, but before he can answer, The Tribunal attacks him from behind and spit on him as they walk away.
In-arena: Bram makes his ring entrance for his Bound For Glory Playoff match against Drew Galloway. Bram comes to the ring alone, without Rosemary.
4 — BRAM vs. DREW GALLOWAY — Bound For Glory Playoffs Quarterfinal match
The bell sounds and Bram and Galloway circle before locking up in the middle of the ring. Bram drops Galloway with a shoulder tackle but misses a clothesline which allowed Galloway to drop Bram with a shoulder tackle of his own.
Bram and Galloway begin to trade punches in the center of the ring. Galloway hits a big kick to Bram and follows that up with a chop in the corner. Galloway clotheslines Bram to the outside and chases Bram, who lands a spinning heel kick on the outside.
Galloway whips Bram into the steps. Back in the ring, Galloway goes to the top but Bram cuts him off. Bram climbs as well and they trade punches on the second turnbuckle. Galloway and Bram fall off at the same time, with Bram calling to the mat and Galloway landing on the top rope.
Back on their feet, they trade punches in the ring. Galloway hits a northern lights suplex for a two count. Bram counters a future shock DDT for a two count of his own. Off the rope, Galloway hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
Galloway signals for the Claymore Kick, but Bram counters into a powerbomb for a two count. Bram sets up Galloway on the top turnbuckle. Galloway kicks Bram and hits a futureshock DDT off the top for the pin. After the match, Galloway gets his hand raised and he stares into the camera.
WINNER: Drew Galloway in 6:55. No appearance from Rosemary, which is a bit odd considering the pre-match segment in the back. It could lead to a storyline in future episodes, though. The futureshock DDT from Galloway off the top rope was really impressive. It will be interesting to see how they get through the semifinal matches next week if they are actually going to go with Galloway and ECIII in the finals. It would require giving two strong characters — Mike Bennett and Matt Hardy — losses.
Next: Eddie Edwards vs. Lashley
Coming out of the break, Mathews previewed the Bound For Glory Playoffs semifinals next week.
Backstage: Galloway is asked about the playoffs. Galloway said he wants a conclusion to Galloway vs. ECIII. Mike Bennett walks into the shot and said that he’s being overlooked. Bennett said the odds are in his favor, because his odds are “6-foot-4 and a big pissed off Moose.”
Galloway said that if he were Bennett, he’d be worried, because Moose is a loose cannon and if he interferes tonight, Bennett will be fired and they won’t even have a match next week.
In-arena: A wide shot of the six sides of steel is shown as Jeremy Borash introduces Edwards and Lashley. Edwards is out to the ring first, followed by Lashley. Neither man came to the ring with their titles, as they were set on a table at ringside.
5 — TNA X Division champion EDDIE EDWARDS vs. TNA World Hvt. champion LASHLEY — Match for the TNA World Hvt. Title and the TNA X Division Title
The match begins with Edwards diving through the door as Lashley was climbing the steps and a brawl happens on the outside. Brian Hebner demands that they get into the ring as Edwards chops Lashley on the outside. Lashley scoops up Edwards and tosses him over his shoulder to the floor.
Lashley chokes Edwards on the outside with his boot and then picks him up and chokes him up against the cage. Lashley throws Edwards’s face into the steps and throws a swirling forearm. Edwards fires back with one chop and Lashley again chokes Edwards up against the steps.
Lashley flips Edwards back through the door and into the ring. The door is closed and the bell officially rings after a little more than two minutes of brawling on the outside.
Lashley stomps Edwards in the corner and chokes him with his boot. Lashley picks up Edwards and drops him with a neckbreaker. Lashley goes for a delayed vertical suplex but Edwards gets out of it with some knees to Lashley’s head. Lashley comes back with a clothesline.
Lashley sets up Edwards in the corner and charges with shoulders. Edwards comes back with a boot and tries for a hurricanrana but Lashley catches him and powerbombs him into the cage.
At 8:27, back from the break, Lashley has a sleeper on Edwards. Pope said that Lashley was using ground and pound during the break. Lashley hits a scoop slam for a two count.
Mathews said that they have taken their final commercial break. Lashley is choking Edwards on the rope. Back in the corner, Lashley is forcing his booth into Edwards’s throat and kicks him in the gut.
Lashley hits a snap suplex for a two count and then a clothesline for another two count. Lashley then applies chinlock, trying to choke out Edwards. Edwards powers out with punches but runs into a reverse elbow by Lashley. Lashley lands a huge right hand and is warned by the referee about a closed fist. Lashley plays to the crowd and is wasting a lot of time.
Edwards fights his way out of a torture rack and throws a series of chops at Lashley. Edwards hits the ropes but Lashley catches him with a huge spinebuster. Lashley measures Edwards for a spear, but Edwards moves and Lashley goes crashing into the cage. Edwards dropkicks Lashley twice up against the cage.
At 13:45, Edwards hits the ropes for another dropkick but Lashley pops up and turns Edwards inside out with a huge clothesline. Lashley picks up Edwards and tries for a German suplex, but Edwards flips through it and lands on his feet. Edwards then tosses Lashley into the cage three times in a row and hits an enziguri kick to the back of Lashley’s head.
Edwards tries to climb the cage. Pope reminds us that there are no cage escapes to win this match. Lashley chases Edwards and has him prone near the top of the cage. Edwards tries to hang on as Lashley tries to powerbomb Edwards off the top of the cage, but Edwards reverses it into a hurricanrana off the top of the cage (Lashley was sprung off the top rope).
Edwards hits the Boston Knee Party for a two count.
Edwards is selling a left knee injury. Lashley gets up and dumps Edwards with a throw. Lashley tries for a spear but Edwards counters with a back elbow. Edwards goes up top but Lashley catches him and press slams him into the cage, knocking the side of the cage open.
Edwards is prone near the ropes and Lashley spears him off the apron, down the ring steps and out to the floor. At 17:40, Lashley heads to the outside after Edwards. He has to drag Edwards back into the ring. Lashley looks on as the referee tends to Edwards.
Lashley grabs the TNA World Hvt. Title and brings it into the ring. Mathews said that Lashley has 16 pounds of gold in his hand.
Lashley tries to hit Edwards with the title, but Edwards landed another Boston Knee Party and Lashley barely kicked out at two.
Edwards goes to the top of the cage as Lashley is down. As Edwards gets to the top, Lashley hits the cage wall that knocks Edwards down on the top of the cage. Lashley climbs the cage and hits a superplex off the top of the cage and then follows that up with a spear.
But, Lashley doesn’t go for the cover. He sets up for another spear and hits a second one in a row for the pin. After the match, Lashley looks exhausted as Edwards doesn’t move on the mat. Lashley grabs both titles and raises them in the middle of the ring.
WINNER: Lashley at 20:14 to retain the TNA World Hvt. Title and win the TNA X Division Title. Great match and Edwards looks like a bonafide main-eventer coming out of this, even in the loss. He was close to beating Lashley twice in this match and came back from an incredible beating early on while Lashley was getting heat. The hot start to the match really hammered home the point that Edwards was willing to sacrifice anything to win the World Title. The superplex off the top of the cage was crazy.
Post-match, Lashley walks over to Edwards and tells the referee to back off. He lifts up Edwards and gets him to his feet. He shoves Edwards into the corner and tries to hit another spear, but ECIII runs to the ring and cuts him off.
ECIII and Lashley brawl in the corner. Matt Hardy hits the ring next and jumps ECIII from behind. Then comes Drew Galloway, Mike Benett and Moose and it’s a full-fledged slobberknocker in the middle of the ring as the show goes off the air.
Final Thoughts: This show had less talking and more wrestling, which seems to vary week-to-week with TNA. The formula is somewhat predictable at this point, with a wrestling match followed by a promo segment and so forth, but the matches on this episode were really strong and all had consequences to them, either in regards to the Bound For Glory Playoffs or the title vs. title match.
It was a little interesting to see two feuds developing. You have two heels between Lashley and Moose and then two babyfaces between ECIII and Galloway. It’s okay to book matches like this once in a while. If TNA is going for a feel that’s more like pro sport, sometimes you’ll have two guys fight that you want to see both lose. That happens in MMA, and that certainly happens in team sports. It’s not wise to book matches like that all the time, but a heel-heel Lashley vs. Moose match is intriguing. Bringing Moose in purely as Bennett’s muscle seems like a waste.
TNA has planted seeds for a Galloway-ECIII final in the BFG Playoffs, which means they’ll need to find ways to give Matt Hardy and Bennett losses next week that don’t hurt them too much. My fear is that both guys lose through interference, with Lashley costing Bennett to further that feud with Moose and then Jeff Hardy probably costing Matt.
Jeff interfering in Matt’s match makes sense but at least one of those semifinal matches needs to have a clean finish. Then again, it could be that both ECIII and Galloway lose, which sets up the story for them to continue their feud outside of the BFG Playoffs. Or one of them wins the BFG Playoffs and then the World Title, and they feud over the belt.
There are a lot of possibilities, and it’s going to be interesting to see where TNA goes because almost all of these guys – the four remaining in the playoffs and Lashley – are talent TNA should be focusing and building around.