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TNA Impact Report
August 11, 2016
Semi-Live in Orlando, Fla. on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Video: Impact opened with a recap video of last week’s show. The lead highlight was ECIII beating Mike Bennett to win the Bound For Glory Playoffs.
The video then shifts to James Storm being interviewed about having a World Title shot tonight. He said it’s been five years since his last title shot, and he doesn’t know when his next one might come around.
The video closes with a very UFC-like graphic with Lashley vs. Storm in big, bold, gold letters.
In-arena: Josh Mathews and Pope welcome us to the show. Pope puts over the main event of Storm vs. Lashley, calling this a history-making night.
Mathews introduces Ethan Carter III. As ECIII makes his ring entrance, Mathews runs down ECIII’s victories during the playoff series. Pope put over the number of counters in the match with Bennett last week.
ECIII plays to the crowd during “E-C-III” and “Next World Champ” chants. ECIII sits on the ring steps to begin his promo. He said he’s had a road to redemption and a long winning streak. ECIII begins walking around ringside and said the only thing missing from his TNA career is a moment of perfection.
ECIII said he is on a quest to be the best, and to be the best, you need to hold the World Hvt. Title. ECIII said that he is bound for glory.
Lashley then makes his entrance with music. He carries the X Division Title to the ring while wearing the TNA World Hvt. Title around his waist.
Wearing an American Top Team tank top, Lashley said that tonight is Impact Live and Bound For Glory is months away. Lashley said he’s the best, not ECIII, because he has the World and X Division Titles.
Lashley told ECIII that he’s not the man to beat him. ECIII told the crowd that Lashley is the best in the world. ECIII called Lashley the best athlete in “sports, entertainment, wrestling, whatever it may be.”
Lashley said he evolved and got better. Lashley rattled off a list of wrestlers he’s better than, including Kurt Angle. James Storm enters with music. He asks why his invitation to the party got lost in the mail. Storm said tonight isn’t Bound For Glory, tonight it’s about being live from Orlando.
Storm told ECIII he respects him, but tonight is his night. Storm eggs on Lashley, who leaves the ring and Storm and Lashley go face-to-face on the outside. Storm and Lashley then start swinging. A brawl breaks out on the ramp and spills backstage.
Mike Bennett comes through the crowd and tries to jump ECIII in the ring, but ECIII catches him with a double-leg and they brawl. Moose suddenly hits the ring to help Bennett take out ECIII in the ring.
Eddie Edwards’s music hits and Edwards races to the ring to even the odds with ECIII. Edwards chases off Bennett and along with ECIII, they double clothesline Moose out of the ring.
Edwards picks up a mic and tells Moose and Bennett that they have a tag match scheduled for later tonight, but why not do it right now? Edwards and ECIII then head to the outside to start brawling with Bennett and Moose as the bell rings.
[Commercial Break at 8:13] [Q2 …]
1 — ETHAN CARTER III & EDDIE EDWARDS vs. MIKE BENNETT & MOOSE
[… Q2] Back from the break at 4:30, Bennett whips ECIII into the corner. ECIII begins to comeback with chops in the corner. ECIII tags in Edwards.
Edwards continues the chops on Bennett and then tags ECIII back in for a double suplex. Mathews asks if Bennett is the Rookie of the Year in Impact? Pope says he absolutely is.
Bennet fights off Edwards and tags in Moose. After trading offense, Moose dropkicks Edwards over the top rope as Edwards was perched on the turnbuckle. Bennett tags back in and kicks Moose in the midsection. Edwards jumps to tag ECIII but Moose catches him. Edwards is able to underhook Moose into a DDT.
ECIII tags in at 8:30 and goes back and forth splashing Moose and Bennett. Moose misses an elbow and ECIII rocks him with a clothesline. ECII then flapjacks Bennett on top of Moose.
ECIII tries for a One-Percenter on Moose but he counters, sending ECIII into the corner. Edwards tags ECIII’s back. Moose charges ECIII and Edwards and ECIII pull down the ropes, sending Moose flying to the outside. Bennett goes to collect Moose and Edwards and ECIII then land a double dive to the outside.
Edwards drops Moose off the turnbuckle with a hurricanrana for a two count. Bennett whips ECIII into the steps on the outside. In the ring, Moose connects with a Go To Hell off the top rope. While they were in the corner, Bennett tags in and he makes the cover as Moose looks confused.
WINNERS: Mike Bennett & Moose at 11:19.
After the match, Moose looks slightly agitated at Bennett for tagging in and getting the pin, but he shakes hands with Bennett.
[Reax: Prior to the match, Lashley again sold that he beat Kurt Angle in his promo. It’s good to see TNA trying to capitalize on that win as much as possible. Remember, that match happened seven months ago. But a good heel brags a win like that into the ground, and Lashley is doing that. Moreover, it was a big win for Lashley.
This was a very good tag match as well. ECIII and Edwards have great chemistry and TNA planted the seed for a Moose turn with Bennett stealing the win. Turning him so early in his run could be problematic, but the crowd was chanting for Moose in this match. Also, if he’s going to face Lashley, he needs to go into that match as the babyface.]
Video: Next on Impact, we will find out Impact’s newest free-agent signee.
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
[Q3] Video: Back from the break, a promo airs for Bound For Glory. It features Matt Hardy playing a piano, wondering who will be deleted at Bound For Glory.
Video: A video airs on James Storm beating Kurt Angle to win the TNA World Title in 2011. Storm is interviewed, reflecting on that match. He said it changed his life. Storm said it’s been five years since he had a World Title shot, and these opportunities don’t come around a lot for someone like him. He said the only people who think he is worthy of the World Title are the fans. Storm begins to choke up and said that this is his shot. He doesn’t know when he’ll have this shot at a title again. He said he’s doing this for everyone who has believed in him. He said he’s doing this for the people who believed in him, no matter what.
Tonight: James Storm vs. Bobby Lashley for all the titles.
In-arena: Hallelujah begins to play. The arena goes dark and then more contemporary music plays. Spotlights illuminate the arena and Damien Sandow (Aron Rex, as TNA has dubbed him), comes to the ring. Mathews acknowledges names on the market like Cody Rhodes, Stu Bennett, and Ryan Reeves. Pope calls Rex a star.
Rex stands alone in the ring as the crowd chants “TNA!” Rex said Impact Wrestling has done what a few people were scared to do, give him a microphone on live TV. Rex tells the crowd to “let it out” as they chant “TNA!” again.
“I’m not going to stand out here to talk about glass ceilings and brass rings, or any other cliche,” he said. “I’m going to come out here to tell the truth. I’m going to speak with full disclosure. And for those that used to employ me, don’t worry because this is not about you.
“This is about something near and dear to my heart. Something that I have always put first and foremost in my career. The paying customer, the supporter of professional wrestling, the fans. And over the course of the last five years, me having this philosophy, some people have labeled me too entertaining to receive opportunities to compete for world titles.
“But remember this, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, no matter what any majority shareholder, CEO, or authority figure wants you to believe, anyone who has ever set foot in any ring has always worked directly for all [the fans].
“So, Impact, here we are. Let’s talk about opportunity. There are some who are pre-ordained to receive opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. In the process, your intelligence is insulted and your opinion is thrown out the window. There are others who on an even playing field, seize opportunity. This is a proving ground where talent can succeed or not succeed based on talent alone.
“Do we really need proof? I’ll give you proof. ECIII. Drew Galloway. Bobby Lashley. I mean, there’s even a guy called Brother Nero I hear everyone talking about, but I haven’t met him.
“When I first came here, there was a graphic that said I was going it my way, and this is my way. Even playing field. Take and seize opportunity. Realize my full potential.
(Crowd chants, “You’re a genius!”)
“Actually, I never tested my IQ, that was just an act, but thank you very much.
“Mark my words, my way isn’t simply proving it here. My way will not only change the landscape, but it will change the very template of our industry. And for those of you who know be personally, you know I’m telling the truth. I’ve been called many names over the years. My name is Aron, and as of this second, Aron Rex’s new home is Impact Wrestling.”
Rex throws down the microphone and greets fans at ringside.
[Reax: Very strong promo by Rex. There were plenty of shoot elements there, and given some of his interviews on the podcast circuit after his release, most of those elements were unexpected, at least by me. This wasn’t just a bash WWE promo, though. He clearly stated his goal. This was a really good introductory promo. The crowd knows who he is, and after the story was given to Rolling Stone, we knew Rex was headed to TNA.]
Backstage: Maria is asking Allie for a coffee. Gail asks why Allie lets Maria talk to her like that. Maria said Gail needs to be worried about her legacy.
Maria said tonight, Gail will have a one-on-one opponent, and it’s no disqualification. Gail said that’s fine with her, and she’s immediately attacked from behind by Marti Bell.
[Commercial Break at 8:41]
Backstage: Edwards yells at Bennett to stop celebrating the win in the tag match. Bennett pushes Moose in front of him. Bennett wants to know why he’s always blamed for things that go wrong for people? Edwards said he wants a match against Bennett, one-on-one, next week. Bennett said how about Moose? Edwards said he’d take what he can get.
[Q4] In-arena: Marti Bell heads to the ring for his match against Gail Kim, carrying her baton.
2 — MARTI BELL vs. GAIL KIM — no disqualification match
Marti charges Gail on the ramp. Allie and Maria come down the ramp as they brawl at ringside. The bell still hasn’t sounded. Bell attacks Gail from behind and rolls her into the ring.
Marti flips Gail over with two suplexes. Marti stomps Gail in the corner. Gail ducks out of a charge from Marti.
Gail hits a clothesline and follows it up with a forearm and then a back elbow. Gail goes to the top rope and Maria climbs up on the apron, throwing Gail to the mat.
Maria then grabs Allie’s baton and screams at her to get in there and attack Gail. Allie looks scared to do it. Allie tries to use the baton but Gail catches her and throws the baton, and Allie, into a charging Marti Bell to pick up the win.
WINNER: Gail Kim at 4:18.
After the match, Marti is back up and attacks Gail from behind. Allie and Maria hit the ring. Jade then runs down from backstage and attacks Marti. Allie tried to attack Jade but Jade throws her down with an elbow. Maria just runs to the back. Maria grabs a mic and said next week it will be Jade vs. Gail Kim.
Video: Matt Hardy thanks a mystery person for driving because he is tired today. He said he would like to go to his obsolete mule.
They drive up to Jeff who is drawing outside. Matt gets out of the car and then walks over to the driver’s side, where he opens the door and Vanguard 1 flies out. Matt asks Jeff what he is doing “by this watering hole.”
Matt said he had a premonition. He said Rosemary is preparing to abduct King Maxel. He told Jeff that Vanguard 1 will protect Reby and King Maxel. Matt told Jeff it’s time to go to the zone of Impact, so Jeff can win his next match.
[Commercial Break at 8:55]
Video: More of the James Storm video airs. Storm said he was poor growing up in a trailer park with a single mom. He said the night he won the TNA World Title, there were a lot of emotions. Storm said he wished his dad and grandmother were there the night he won the first World Title as well. He said this shot is for everyone in his family who has believed in him over the last 20 years.
Next week: The BroMans, Helms Dynasty, The Hardys, and The Tribunal will all compete in a No. 1 contender ladder match.
In-arena: Matt Hardy makes his Broken entrance with the piano music. Mathews called Matt a “magical lunatic.”
[Q5 — second hour] Matt said he warned “people with feet” to stand back. Matt said if people question his broken condition, he will eat them and then delete them.
Matt said he is setting his “obsolete mule” on a path to secure the TNA Tag Titles for him. Matt said that last night he had a premonition, and in that premonition, Decay attempted to abduct King Maxel. Matt said he ordered Reby, Maxel, Vanguard 1 and Senor Benjamin to remain in North Carolina, and protect Maxel with their lives. Matt brings out Brother Nero, who he says will “procure him the Tag Titles.”
Hardy comes to the ring with his obsolete music playing. Jeff asked Matt why he bit a man’s face off last week? Jeff said he can’t win the Tag Titles on his own, he needs Matt to work. Matt said he couldn’t do it on his own either when Jeff broke his legs, so now Jeff must pay back that debt.
Jeff said he’s sorry, but it’s over. Jeff said the people don’t want to see Broken Matt and Brother Nero. Jeff said that the people want to see The Hardys kicking ass like they used to. Matt said they can never go back.
Al Snow brings out his Tribunal. Snow told Matt to go find real talent if he wants to win the Tag Titles. Jeff said if he is a mule, The Tribunal and Matt are miniature donkeys, Jeff then calls for a ref and he attacks Tribunal.
3 — JEFF HARDY & MATT HARDY vs. THE TRIBUNAL (Baron Dax & Basile Baraka) (w/Al Snow)
The Tribunal quickly gains control after Jeff’s attack to begin the match and the show then crashes to a break.
[Commercial Break at 9:09]
Video: The Matt Hardy Bound For Glory promo airs as the show returns from break.
Back from the break at the 4:30 mark of the match, Hardy is on the outside of the ring. Snow kicks Hardy as Dax comes from around the corner to roll Hardy back in. Matt is on the outside. He’s not on the apron and not willing to tag in, just like last week.
Jeff drops Dax and tries to make a tag to Matt, but he’s on the outside. Mathews says this is not a tag team match. Dax from behind attacks Hardy.
[Q6] On the outside, Matt is shown yelling at fans who have Broken Matt Hardy signs. Baraka is the legal man for Tribunal and gets a two count on Jeff. Matt is shown getting in the face of a fan at ringside who is holding a “Jeff Hardy is not obsolete” sign. Suddenly the fan looks hypnotized and rips up his sign. He begins to chant “delete.”
Snow walks over and Matt bites his hand. On the outside, Dax gets thrown into the steps. Matt takes off his boot, puts it on his hand, and starts to pummel Dax’s head with his boot. In the ring, Jeff hits a dropkick on Baraka and then connects with a Twist of Fate for the pin.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy at 8:41.
Hardy’s “obsolete” music plays. Matt comes into the ring with a microphone. “Mule!” he yelled. “For a mule who has an empty vessel that I have deleted, you showed a little bit of passion.”
Matt smiles. Jeff asks if he has no passion and no fire? Jeff said if he wants to see passion and desire, watch this. He then drops Baraka with two more Twist of Fates.
Dax enters the ring and Jeff drops him with a Twist of Fate. Snow comes in the ring and he gets dropped with a Twist of Fate. Matt, meanwhile, is making some odd moaning sound.
Jeff goes to the outside and grabs a table from under the ring. Jeff sets up the table at ringside and he goes under the ring for a second table, setting that one up at ringside as well.
Jeff asks Matt if he’s proud? Jeff then grabs Snow and throws him to the outside. Hardy props Snow on the table and goes back up on the apron. Matt said he’s watching him. Jeff slingshots himself over the top rope and through Snow, who was set up on the table.
Jeff said the only person in the world who punishes him is himself. Jeff then goes to the top turnbuckle and swantons himself through the table at ringside. Matt moans and laughs in his face. Jeff screams that he is Brother Nero. Matt gets right in Jeff’s face and yells that he is broken.
[Reax: Well, that just happened. Broken Matt Hardy will be joined by Broken Brother Nero for a whole big broken family tag team thingy. Honestly, as campy as this whole angle has been, it’s been entertaining. The whole thing is getting weirder, but it started weird so it’s going to an appropriate place.]
Backstage: Lashley is confronted by Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan. Lashley said he knows Dixie and James are close, but he’s sick of seeing all the James Storm videos. Corgan said they made Lashley the same offer, through his people, but they turned it down. Lashley said after tonight, he’ll have all the titles, all the cards, and all the power.
[Commercial Break at 9:23]
Backstage: Rosemary said the lesson to Bram is that no one is every in control of Decay. Abyss and Crazzy Steve tell Rosemary they could never say no to her. Abyss said Decay makes him beautiful. Steve says Abyss has a gift, and a gift would be a future full of Decay. Rosemary tells Bram that his destruction was a lesson to all the other fools who dare challenge them.
In-arena: Drew Galloway’s music hits and he wants to the ring. Mathews introduces him as a former World Champion.
Galloway said he hasn’t been on Impact in a couple of weeks, and the reason is really simple. Galloway said if he acts on how he has felt, he wouldn’t be welcome back to TNA, and he would also have gone straight to jail.
Galloway said 16 years ago, he began his journey to become World Champion. Galloway then threw to highlights of ECIII hitting him with an inadvertent kendo stick, costing him his match against Bennett in the playoffs.
[Q7] Galloway said he figured out ECIII while he was at home. He called ECIII a snake in the grass. He called ECIII The Hulk, saying he is green with envy and he’s trying to sabotage his career. Galloway called out ECIII and said he has a proposal for him. Galloway said he deserves a match, Galloway vs. ECIII, the winner main events Bound For Glory. He then drops the mic and his music hits.
[Reax: It’s hard to tell if that was Galloway turning heel or not? The announce team didn’t sell it as a heel turn, despite Galloway calling out a babyface No. 1 contender.]
Video: Another installment of the Storm video airs. He said he’s going to beat Lashley for the World Title.
Backstage: A split-screen of Lashley and Storm walking to the ring are shown.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
Mathews welcomes us back to the show, hyping next week’s show, including Edwards vs. Moose, Jade vs. Gail Kim and the ladder match to determine a No. 1 contender for the TNA Tag Titles.
In-arena: James Storm makes his ring entrance. Lashley is out next. Jeremy Borash makes the ring introductions. Lashley attacks Storm right after Borash introduces Storm.
4 –TNA World Hvt. champion and TNA X Division champion BOBBY LASHLEY vs. TNA King of the Mountain champion JAMES STORM — singles match to unify all three titles
After the bell rings, Storm hits a Last Call. Brian Hebner was trying to help Borash out of the ring, so he was late on the call and Lashley kicks out at two.
Storm is fired up, yelling at Hebner. Storm clotheslines Lashley over the top rope and drops an ax handle off the apron before throwing Lashley into the railing on the outside.
[Q8] Lashley tries to clothesline Storm but he catches his foot and Storm then floors Lashley with a clothesline. Storm continues to attack Lashley on the outside while periodically rolling in the ring to break up the 10 count.
[Commercial Break at 9:46]
Back from the break at the 7:50 mark of the match, Lashley is in total control inside the ring. Pope said that Lashley dropped Storm onto the railing outside during the break and has been in control ever since. Storm tries to make a comeback, but Lashley catches Storm with a tilt-a-whirl bodyslam. Lashley covers Storm for a one count.
Lashley sets up Storm on the second rope and begins to throw hooks across his face. Lashley drops Storm to the mat with a neck breaker and goes for a cover but Storm kicks out at two.
Lashley hits a series of spears to Storm in the corner. Mathews said ECIII must be watching this match closely because he’ll challenge the champion at Bound For Glory. Mathews then catches himself, and says that’s only if he doesn’t take Galloway up on his challenge for a match.
Storm is in the corner and Lashley sets up for a spear, but Storm moves out of the way and and comes back with a sling blade. Storm kicks Lashley in the head and bounces off the rope but Lashley hits a crossbody out of nowhere.
Storm hits a backcracker and tries to set up an Eye of the Storm and he finally does, but Lashley kicks out at two. Lashley and Storm tie up in the corner. Storm rolls out of the corner and in the process, the turnbuckle pad gets ripped off. As Lashley kicks out, Storm’s head goes into the exposed turnbuckle.
Back on his feet, Lashley hits a spear but Storm somehow kicks out at two. Lashley begins to pick up Storm and he’s yelling at him to stay down. Lashley yells “this is it!” Out of nowhere, Storm kicks Lashley with a Last Call. Lashley bounces off the rope and Storm connects with a second in a row. Storm goes for the cover but Lashley kicks out at two. The crowd legitimately goes nuts at that near fall, chanting “that was three!”
Storm hits a Closing Time and Lashley bounces up, off the rope and hits a spear for the win.
WINNER: Bobby Lashley retains the TNA World Hvt. Title, TNA X Division Title, and win the TNA King of the Mountain Title at 15:44.
After the match, Aron Rex walks out on the stage. He’s looking down at Lashley and has a slight smirk. The show goes off the air with Lashley holding all three titles, signaling at Rex to come to the ring.
[Reax: They had me sold on the near-fall with the two Last Calls. The crowd bought in to Storm winning the World Title on that spot, which means they hit home well.
Rex coming out on the stage at the end sets the stage for him challenging, maybe, for the World Title at some point. There seems to be too many challengers for Lashley right now, though. Lashley is set to face ECIII at Bound For Glory, at some point they need to follow up on the Moose thing, now there’s Rex and Drew Galloway is still a hanging chad along with Eddie Edwards and maybe even D.J. Z.
That could begin to sort itself out over the next several weeks and months, though. It’s unlikely that TNA unifies all three titles into one title, so at some point Lashley – or someone – will begin to singularly win those titles back. Either that, or something will happen to separate them. There are ways to do that logically. We see it in boxing a lot, where a weight class will have its titles unified only for one sanctioning body to strip a champion of their title for not facing a mandatory challenger, or something. It’s dumb political play, but it happens. With so many potential challengers, the road needs to begin to be cleared as we get closer to Bound For Glory, but that event is still two months away.]