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TNA Impact Wrestling Report
July 28, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. at Universal Studios
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonPW), PWTorch contributor
Impact opened with the new signature video for Impact Wrestling. A recap was then shown from last week’s episode, highlighting the Bound For Glory Playoff quarterfinals. At the end of the video, Jeremy Borash said in a voice-over that the Bound For Glory Semifinal matches will take place tonight.
In-arena: Matt Hardy is making a ring entrance and he grabs a microphone in the ring. Reby Sky joins him, but she stayed on the stage.
Hardy said he has certain people in his life he cares about, including his wife, child, and Senor Benjamin. He said he used to care about Brother Nero, but he is now an obsolete mule. Matt called Jeff out from the back. Jeff’s new “obsolete” music hits and Reby screams “obsolete” at the breaks between verses, just as she did last week. Reby is really good here, getting more aggressive as the entrance plays on.
In the ring, Matt tells Jeff that he is a money-making mule, wrestling matches and selling matches, but Matt gets the money. Matt said that tonight he takes his next step in capturing the “title of the world” by beating ECIII. Matt tells Jeff that his only job tonight is to make sure Matt wins the match against ECIII.
Jeff told Matt to call in Senor Benjamin or Vanguard One. Jeff then told Matt to do it on his own. Matt said he was commanding for his solitude. Matt said his wife and son do not say no to him, and neither does Senor Benjamin. Matt said that no one says no to him. Matt said that tonight, he will win.
The lights go out and Ethan Carter III’s plays. ECIII struts to the ring. ECIII grabs a mic once he gets to the ring. Matt snarls at him and pretends to bite him. Matt tells ECIII that he will eat him.
“Broken Matt, you knew I’d come,” ECIII said, before making ridiculous faces at Matt, mocking him. ECIII said nothing will stop him from sending Matt back to the “Hardy house of whores.”
Matt began to talk but ECIII interrupted, “My promo is not OVAH.” ECIII told Jeff that he is in a difficult spot, and they’re cool, but if he gets involved in this match he would have a war with ECIII as well.
Jeff motioned that he cool with that. Matt said he would eat ECIII’s cats and ECIII was ready for a match.
[Commercial Break at 8:09]
1 — MATT HARDY (w/Reby Hardy & Brother Nero) vs. ETHAN CARTER III — Bound For Glory Playoffs semifinal match
The bell rings as Impact returns from break. Pope ran down their history but said Matt wasn’t broken then. Hardy tries to bite ECIII but he backs out of the corner. Pope said watching old tapes of his matches against Hardy would do nothing for ECIII because Hardy is now broken.
ECIII hits a dropkick off the second rope and grabs his left ankle. Mathews showed a replay but you didn’t really see much. Hardy takes advantage, attacking a grounded ECIII.
[Q2] Hardy hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a one count. Hardy kicks ECIII’s ankle. Hardy props up ECIII’s ankle on the bottom rope and begins to drop his weight on that leg.
ECIII tries to fight from underneath, launching Hardy over the top rope with his foot from the ground. ECIII hits a dive to the outside. Pope said it wasn’t smart move because his ankle is injured. ECIII rolls Hardy back into the ring.
In the ring, Hardy bites ECIII’s face. Hardy tried for a twist of fate but ECIII countered into a clothesline and then hit a jawbreaker. ECIII hits an ECIII splash and then a flapjack.
ECIII is bleeding from the bridge of his nose. Mathews speculates that is from Hardy’s bite. Hardy bites ECIII’s fingers and then lands a side effect. Reby is screaming “delete!” at ringside.
Both are standing and Hardy dives at ECIII’s leg, clipping him from behind. Hardy goes to the outside and takes off ECIII’s boot. Hardy tried to bite ECIII’s toes but ECIII rolls back into the ring. ECIII hits Hardy with a TK3.
Reby slides a hammer to Jeff Hardy. Reby distracts the referee and ECIII and Hardy are both out after a double clothesline. Jeff throws the hammer into the middle of the ring. Matt goes for the hammer and bites ECIII’s toes.
Matt tries to use the hammer but the referee takes it away. While he tries to throw the hammer to the outside, ECIII hits Hardy with the boot Hardy removed and then landed a One Percenter for the win.
WINNER: Ethan Carter III via pin at 7:49.
[Reax: Really good match and this had a different feel from their other matches. Pope was good on commentary, mentioning that ECIII studying tape of their previous matches wouldn’t have helped him here. The spot with the boot being removed, and then used as a weapon to win the match, isn’t something we see all the time. Good match that told a good story, and there will be surely be fall-out on Brother Nero for Matt not winning here.]
Backstage: Allie tells Madison Rayne that Maria will see her now. Maria tells Madison that she really caught her eye last week. She thanked Madison for taking out Gail Kim. Madison said that she didn’t do it for Maria. Madison said she has been pushed aside since Maria showed up. Madison wanted to know what Maria was going to do for her once she beat Gail Kim. Maria said they would have to wait and see.
[Commercial Break at 8:22]
Backstage: Jeff Hardy is walking out of the arena when Matt approaches him from behind. Matt asked Jeff if he realized what he did? Matt said Jeff ruined anything and this would not go unpunished. Jeff screamed for Matt to punish him, because nothing is worse than deletion. Matt said his breaking point was orgasmic. Matt said that Jeff, and everyone, would learn that everything they love will one day die, and then they’ll learn to love something new.
In-arena: Mathews shows highlights of Madison Rayne taking out Gail Kim last week.
2 — MADISON RAYNE vs. GAIL KIM
Gail and Madison argue at ringside to start the match. They trade forearms and Gail gains control early. Gail hits a splash in the corner.
Madison hits a snap suplex and covers for a one count. Gail comes back with some elbows and forearms. Gail misses a crossbody off the top rope. Madison hits an enziguri for a two count.
[Q3] Madison misses a splash in the corner. Madison drags Gail to the middle of the ring for some knees and then hits a sliding clothesline as she ducks the rope to the outside.
Back in the ring, Madison hits a Rayne Check for a two count. Madison argues with Earl Hebner, which allows Gail to hit Eat Defeat for the win.
WINNER: Gail Kim via pin at 4:39.
Backstage: Mike Bennett introduces Moose, who will be making his TNA in-ring debut tonight. Bennett joins the picture and said that he promised to save TNA Wrestling, and he has done just that.
Bennett said that Dixie Carter wants him to quit. Bennett said he has beaten ECIII, he has beaten Jeff Hardy, and now the only man standing in his way to the finals is Drew Galloway.
Bennett then addressed Lashley, and told him to keep the World Hvt. Title nice and warm for him, because he’s coming for it, just like Moose is coming for him. Moose said it doesn’t matter who gets in his way, he will squash and crush him.
[Commercial Break at 8:35]
Video: Rosemary is shown somewhere in the woods, and she isn’t wearing much face make-up. Bram approaches her. Rosemary said they are in the place of secrets, where they began. Rosemary said she wanted to look into his eyes when she told him … if she can find the courage.
A vignette airs showing Rosemary’s childhood. She said she grew up on this farm. She talked about her cat, who one day got sick. The cat was named Fifi. She said she was trying to study and went for a walk. She opened a trash can and found a dead Fifi, presumably, where her mom put the dead cat.
Rosemary climbed a tree she was so upset and said her mom stripped her skin from her body, and it was in that moment of incredible loss, that she fell out of a tree.
As Rosemary wakes up, slowly, apparently the tree was talking to her. Rosemary said the tree told her she had a little brother she never met. Video of Rosemary telling the tree about Fifi is shown. She said the tree, named Montgomery, told her how to listen to the voices.
Back in today, Bram said he is confused. Rosemary said she didn’t bring him out there to tell him about the cat and the tree, she brought him out there to tell him what happened in there … pointing at a barn off in the distance.
[Reax: … What? While a little campy, I’m genuinely interested in what Rosemary has to say next.]
In-arena: Mike Bennett accompanies Moose to the ring for his match.
3 — MOOSE (w/Mike Bennett) vs. DAVID STARR
[Q4] The match begins and Moose rushes Starr, charging him into the corner and throwing shoulders into his gut. Bennett tells Moose to “kill him.”
Moose misses a clothesline and Starr chops Moose in the corner. Moose responds by grabbing his neck, setting him up on the top and then dropkicking Starr off the top, to the outside of the ring.
Moose rolls Starr back into the ring. Starr hits a dropkick but Moose no-sells it. Starr hits another dropkick and Moose shakes it off. Starr gets caught on a suicide dive and Moose powerbombs him onto the ring apron. Moose hits The Game Breaker for the win.
WINNER: Moose via pin at 2:21.
[Reax: Moose mostly no-sold Starr’s offense, but why give Starr any offense at all? Moose is coming into TNA as this monstrous killer. No offense to David Starr, but Moose should have been booked to steamroll this guy. It’s not like Starr made Moose look vulnerable, but I just don’t see the point in giving a non-roster guy, who is there to do a job and get Moose over, any real offense. The idea of getting Moose over as someone who is hard to beat, which is what that dropkick spot and the chops were supposed to do, I think, could have been done in his next match against someone maybe on the lower-tier of the TNA roster. I am a big fan of squash matches, but this should have looked more like the Braun Strowman squash match from Raw on Monday night.]
After the match, Bennett grabbed a mic and called Moose the baddest man in professional wrestling. Bobby Lashley then emerged from backstage.
[Commercial Break at 8:48]
Back from the break, Moose and Lashley are nose-to-nose. Bennett said they needed to breathe. Bennett separates them. Bennett asked the crowd if they want to see Lashley vs. Moose? Bennett tells Moose this match isn’t going to happen now, because Bennett has a match to get ready for, and said right now they need to focus on Bennett’s match.
Moose leaves the ring and walks back with Bennett, who said they needed to focus. “One of these days your mommy will let you come out and play,” Lashley said. Moose gets irritated and Bennett had to talk him down again. Lashley told Moose he didn’t want a piece of him.
Lashley said a lot of guys want his TNA Title and his X Division Title. Lashley said, to dominate, he wants to win all of the gold in TNA. Lashley said he was here to destroy the entire roster.
D.J. Z’s music hits. Mathews said he is the No. 1 contender for the X Division Title. D.J. Z said he is not out there to stop Lashley, because no one can stop Lashley. But he is out there to fight Lashley. D.J. Z said Lashley isn’t an X Division wrestler, and he is out there to take the title away from him. D.J. Z challenged Lashley “right now.”
Lashley laughed that people think he can’t do what the X Division guys do. Lashley said that D.J. Z can’t do what he can do. Lashley told D.J. Z to pick the match, any match.
D.J. Z thought about it for a moment and then decided he wanted Lashley in a ladder match for the X Division Title. Lashley chuckled and then said, “let’s do it.”
4 — TNA World & X Division champion BOBBY LASHLEY vs. D.J. Z — ladder match for the X Division Title
The bell rings and D.J. Z slides to the outside to grab the ladder. Back in the ring, Lashley tries for a gut-wrench, but D.J. Z flipped through it. Lashley finally planted D.J. Z with a flapjack and then toyed with crowd.
D.J. Z tries for a second time to throw the ladder into the ring and Lashley again catches it and throws it out.
[Q5 — second hour] With Lashley on the outside, D.J. Z hits a dive to the outside. D.J. Z climbs up on the announce table and hits a swanton dive onto Lashley.
[Commercial Break at 9:01]
Back from the break, a video airs for the World Cup of Wrestling One Night Only pay-per-view.
On the outside, Lashley is smashing the ladder into D.J. Z’s chest. Lashley slides the ladder into the ring and takes out D.J. Z with a big punch. A lady at ringside yells that Lashley is afraid of heights.
D.J. Z hits a baseball slide coming out of the ring. Lashley gets back in control, smashing the ladder into D.J. Z and then he begins to drop D.J. Z with kicks and huge forearms.
Lashley throws D.J. Z to the outside and he crashes hard to the floor. Lashley climbs the ladder but D.J. Z cuts him off with a dropkick off the top rope as Lashley was climbing the ladder.
Lashley falls to the outside. D.J. Z climbs the ladder in the ring and dives off the top of the ladder to the outside, landing on Lashley. D.J. Z slides back into the ring and climbs the ladder. Lashley staggers in and lifts the ladder from underneath, launching D.J. Z off and into the ropes. Lashley then picked up D.J. Z and hit a spinebuster.
D.J. Z hits a low blow on Lashley and then follows that with a DDT. Pope screams that now is the time for D.J. Z. He climbs the ladder, but Lashley climbs the other side. They are trading punches on top of the ladder. Lashley then gorilla presses D.J. Z off the top of the ladder to the mat.
Lashley then reaches up and retains the title.
WINNER: Lashley at 12:43.
[Reax: Wow! That was a really good match and the underdog story they told was awesome. This was a star-making moment for D.J. Z, who even in defeat looked like a stud here. The dives, the big bump at the end, even the gear on his entrance, D.J. Z looked great tonight.]
Backstage: ECIII approaches Drew Galloway in the back. Galloway said one day, down the line, they may laugh about all of this, but as long as the World Title is between them, they are no longer friends.
Galloway said his primary concern tonight is Moose. ECIII said that’s why he’s here. ECIII said he wants to settle this with Galloway and he is about to say that he has Galloway’s back but Galloway cut him off and said he didn’t want his help. Galloway said he’d meet ECIII in the finals.
Later: Drew Galloway vs. Mike Bennett.
[Commercial Break at 9:13] [Q6 …]
[… Q6] Back from the break, we’re in the woods again with Bram and Rosemary. Bram said he was there for Rosemary. Rosemary said she has never told anyone these things, and she was scared. Rosemary said it didn’t matter.
We’re back into the past, and Rosemary is talking to the tree. The tree tells her that “love will come.” Rosemary said she never thought she would love someone until Johnny. Rosemary said that Johnny wouldn’t come to her, so she wrote him a love letter that she signed in her own blood.
But still, Johnny wouldn’t come to her. Rosemary said she began casting every spell on Johnny that she knew. Eventually, Johnny came and Rosemary told him she loved him. But then, Johnny wasn’t the boy she thought he was. Rosemary said that, at the moment she let her guard down, he …
And we’re back in the present. Rosemary said she can’t tell Bram. But Bram said no matter what, he is there for her. Rosemary said that she needed to take him to the exact spot, so the ghost could help her tell the story. A graphic aired of Rosemary’s bloody love letter to Johnny, and “to be continued” was across the bottom.
In-arena: Eli Drake is hosting a Fact of Life segment. Drake said that he has something on his mind. He asked if Lashley’s “ninja turtle head” said that he beat everyone in TNA? Drake said that Lashley is looking to collect titles like Pokemon Go, what Lashley needs to realize is that Drake isn’t playing any games.
Drake said if Lashley wants to put up two titles against one, he’ll go for it, because he likes the idea of being all three champions at once. Instead of Lashley, James Storm comes out from the back. Storm said that every time Drake hits the dummy button, he is going to “slap the piss” out of him.
Drake called Storm a drunk, and Storm said he likes being a drunk, and if he was sober, he’d be kicking Drake’s ass. Storm said Drake as a golden ticket, the KOTM Title. Storm said that the man who holds the KOTM Title is the first in line for a World Title shot.
Storm told Drake that he brought him another beer, even though last time he wouldn’t drink with him. Drake pulls out his gallon of water and Storm punted it. “Water sucks,” Storm said, “just like you, Eli.”
Storm said Drake had what it takes to be a world champion, but he only wants to sit behind some stupid button. Storm asks for another KOTM Title match and Drake says no, because he doesn’t deserve it. Storm tells Drake to go make smashed potatoes with his dad, “because while you and your dad are making those smashed potatoes, my dad is out in the back smashing your mom’s potatoes.”
Drake gets worked up and said he doesn’t want to see Storm drink beer or ride the cooler ever again. Storm said as long as he doesn’t hear Storm’s entrance song again, and Storm doesn’t drink beer or ride the cooler again, then maybe they can have another match.
Storm chugs the two beers that are in the ring and said, “you got it.” They shake hands, and Drake said Storm will need good luck. Drake tries to attack Storm from behind but Storm ducks it. Drake ends up hitting a low blow and then a Blunt Force Trauma on Storm.
Video: A vignette for “The Fixer,” Tyrus, airs.
Backstage: Grado and Mahabali Shera are in the locker room. Grado is on the phone with Tyrus. Grado hangs up the phone and said they can’t get his help unless they pay. Shera goes nuts and says they don’t need Tyrus’ help. Next week, Shera said they’ll show The Tribunal that they are not a joke.
[Q7] Backstage: Decay and The BroMans are starting a brawl backstage. Mathews said their Monster’s Ball match for the TNA Tag Titles is up next.
[Commercial Break at 9:31]
5 — TNA Tag Team champions DECAY (Abyss & Crazzy Steve) vs. THE BROMANS (Robbie E & Jessie Godderz) (w/Raquel) — Monster’s Ball match for the TNA Tag Titles
Back from the break, the match is in the ring and Crazzy Steve is slamming Robbie E with a Singapore cane. Steve rolls to the outside and brings a black bag into the ring, dumping out thumbtacks. Steve bites Robbie E as Abyss slams Godderz in the ring.
Abyss smashes as chair over Godderz’s back. Abyss tosses Godderz to the outside. Robbie E ducks a double clothesline and Godderz follows up with a springboard dive to put both Steve and Abyss down.
The BroMans are making a comeback with chairs. The BroMans double-team Steve with a pair of elbows. Godderz chokes Crazzy Steve with a twisted cookie sheet. Godderz throws a chair at Abyss, who catches it, but Godderz then nails a dropkick. Robbie E hits a boom drop on Steve, onto a chair.
BroMans play to the crowd and Abyss charges, clotheslining both. After Robbie ducks a clothesline, Godderz and Robbie E charge Abyss, sending him crashing into a barbed-wire board.
Steve rushes then but Godderz catches Steve, and the BroMans hit a Bro Down on the thumbtacks. Godderz locks Steve into a Boston Crab, on top of the tacks. Steve is screaming, but he won’t tap. Abyss is back up and tries for a chokeslam but Godderz fights free.
Godderz goes to the top and Abyss hits a knockout punch, sending Godderz crashing through a table at ringside. Abyss goes under the ring and grabs another barbed-wire board and Janice.
Abyss goes to use Janice on Robbie E but Raquel runs in and hits a low blow. Pope notes that Rosemary is not here. Robbie E grabs Janice. Crazzy Steve distracts Robbie E which allows Abyss to hit a chokeslam onto the barbed-wire board for the win.
After the match, Steve rolls over to the tacks and begins to eat them.
WINNERS: Decay in about 6:55 of television time.
[Reax: The finish was really good here. It was believable that BroMans were about to win the Tag Titles, especially after Raquel’s interference. This match helped the BroMans add some edge to an otherwise goofy act.]
Next: Mike Bennett vs. Drew Galloway.
[Commercial Break at 9:43] [Q8 …]
Back from the break, Maria brings out Mike Bennett. Prior to the match, Moose attacks Drew Galloway as he was making his entrance. Moose powerbombed Galloway on the apron. Moose then backed up as Bennett told him to roll Galloway into the ring.
6 — “The Miracle” MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. DREW GALLOWAY — Bound For Glory Playoffs semifinal match
As soon as the bell rings, Bennett tried for three pins and Galloway kicks out all three times. Bennett kicks Galloway in the corner and then moves to punches mid-ring.
Galloway tries to come back with chops but Bennett kicks Galloway. Pope notes that Galloway needs to get his arms up to block those kicks. Bennett hits a splash in the corner. Galloway hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, out of nowhere.
Galloway charges Bennett in the corner with a forearm. Galloway goes up top but Bennett hits a cutter. Bennett throws Galloway to the outside of the ring. Bennett throws Galloway into the barricade. Bennett throws up the ring apron. Bennett grabbed Galloway but Galloway countered, sliding Bennett under the ring and then hitting a slingshot into the steel crossbeam.
Reset at 4:30, Galloway and Bennett trade shots back in the ring. Galloway chops Bennett but Bennett hits a boot in the corner. Galloway plants Bennett with a reverse Alabama Slam.
Galloway grabs Bennett for a Future Shock DDT, spinning him around first, but Bennett counters out of the move. Galloway ducks a clothesline and Bennett takes out referee Brian Hebner. Galloway hits a Future Shock DDT, but there is no referee to make the count.
Moose runs down the ramp and hits Galloway with a clothesline. Moose charges Galloway in the corner, but Galloway gets a boot up. Moose then hits a Sky High powerbomb on Galloway.
Bennett rolls over Galloway and Hebner slowly counts, but Galloway kicks out at two. Moose jumps on the apron. ECIII runs down and pulls him off the apron. Moose throws ECIII into the steps and tries for a spear, but ECIII moved and Moose throws himself into the steps.
Bennett tries to use a kendo stick but ECIII grabs it. ECIII goes to hit Bennett with the kendo stick but Bennett ducks and ECIII hits Galloway.
Moose grabs ECIII and takes him to the outside, hitting a Game Breaker. In the ring, Bennett picks up Galloway for a Miracle in Progress, earning the win.
WINNER: Mike Bennett at 8:03.
After the match, Moose gets back in the ring. Mathews said that next week, Bennett will face ECIII in the finals as the show goes off the air.
[Final Thoughts: There were pockets of things on this show I wasn’t a fan of, but overall this was, yet again, another fun two-hour episode of pro wrestling.
Despite its roster not being very deep, TNA is getting all it can out of a hard-working group. D.J. Z continues to climb the ladder and looked credible in his match against Lashley. The BroMans added some edge to their characters in a Monster’s Ball match and Moose dominated a jobber before getting some licks in on ECIII and Drew Galloway in the main event.
The Rosemary segment won’t get as much publicity as the Final Deletion, is my guess, but it was still interesting, for lack of a better term. There are some good things and some bad things about these vignettes for TNA. The good thing is that it’s adding some layers to Rosemary’s story and the pre-taped videos are not something we can read about in spoiler reports. So there is an element of the show that we don’t know about, even if the matches are pre-taped.
The bad could be that the fanbase gags on too much movie production. I thought the Final Deletion was very good, but this Rosemary video felt a lot more over the top. There were flashback scenes, where Rosemary was playing her younger self. These videos took the movie-style production to another level, in that sense. In order to suspend disbelief, we need to believe that Rosemary hasn’t aged in years and has always had a camera on her. Or, we need to believe that this deranged woman was okay re-enacting these scenes for TNA cameras.
The story it told was interesting, and where we didn’t get the conclusion on this episode, I’m actually intrigued by where this goes next, but the execution could have been done differently.
I hope that TNA isn’t becoming infatuated with this type of production. The Final Deletion was critically acclaimed, for the most part, and my fear is that they beat this into the ground until they become a punchline for it.]