SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TNA Impact Report
Sepember 1, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla. on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact opens with a video of Reby Hardy playing the piano. She starts to sing Jeff Hardy’s “Obsolete” song. She’s later joined by Jeff, Matt Hardy, and Senor Benjamin. Matt said Reby’s a master of ivory keys. Matt then told Maxel to play on his toy piano. Matt said Maxel’s song gave Matt a premonition that the first great battle between the Hardy brothers and Decay will take place at their compound.
Matt told Senor Benjamin and Vanguard One to protect the grounds and his family while he goes “to the zone of Impact” with Jeff. Reby emerges from the house with either a scepter or sword, it’s hard to tell, and says she believes they’ll be all right.
In-arena: Mike Bennett and Maria head to the ring. The announcers pay no attention to the video that just aired, instead throwing to a replay of Bennett eliminating Moose in a battle royal last week.
Bennett said he’s been asking the people for a year if they believed, and they replied that they do. Bennett said that the people believe in the “miracle movement” and tonight he’ll complete the mission when he becomes the TNA World Hvt. champion.
Bennett said he would become the world champion because he’s “the best damn wrestler on the planet” and he surrounds himself with successful people. Bennett pointed out Maria as a perfect example of that. Bennett said he also surrounds himself with the most destructive force in pro wrestling, Moose.
Bennett said the question is obviously, where’s Moose? Bennett said Lashley is trying to drive a wedge between him and Moose, so he asked Moose to come to the ring and clarify that they are still on the same page.
However, instead of Moose, Bobby Lashley’s music hit and he came to the ring with a mixed reaction at worst, and what sounded like a small babyface reaction. Lashley told Bennett that Moose wants nothing to do with him.
“This whole little confidence game is out the window,” Lashley said. “Look at you, and look at me. I don’t have to fake confidence. I am sure I am going to beat you, just like I beat Kurt, Drew Galloway, James Storm, D.J. Z. We can throw all the rules out the window, because I am sure I will destroy you tonight.”
Bennett said Lashley’s issue is that he’s too cocky. Lashley suggested that tonight’s main event should be no disqualification, because the only way Bennett has a chance to win is if he has Moose, and he doesn’t anymore.
Bennett said that Lashley was jealous of Moose. Bennett said Moose was bigger, badder and just better. Bennett told Lashley that he doesn’t believe Moose went to dinner with Moose.
Lashley said that the evidence points to the fact that he did, because if he didn’t, where is he? Lashley said he smartened Moose up, and told him Bennett would do nothing but use him. Lashley said that maybe he promised Moose a title shot in the future? Or maybe Moose just hates Bennett’s guts.
Bennett said he knows Moose is on his side, and tonight he will win the TNA World Championship. Lashley said he is confident he’d beat Bennett, and there is no one that can stop him.
Suddenly, Moose’s music plays. The camera cuts to the entrance where Moose walks out from the backstage area very slowly and then slowly makes his way to the ring with a blank look on his face. Moose begins to lick his lips as he walks to the ring.
The crowd chants along with Moose’s theme and Lashley laughs at Bennett, saying they would hear what he had to say. Moose grabs a microphone in the ring.
“It’s real funny,” Moose said, “how everyone is talking about me. In fact, you have the whole Impact Zone chanting ‘Moose!’
“Ever since I came here to TNA, I let my actions do the talking. Whoever got in my way, I knocked them straight on their ass. (Bennett) you know this, and Bobby, I know that you know this, too.” Moose said that last week, he didn’t meet Lashley anywhere.
Bennett gloated that this was “his Moose.” Moose stares down Lashley as Bennett said “we” would win the TNA World Title. Moose cut off Bennett and said he didn’t forget what happened last week, and tonight he will decide who walks out the TNA World Champion in the main event.
Moose’s music plays as Josh Mathews wonders how Moose will determine who wins the title tonight?
Up Next: Broken Matt Hardy vs. Crazzy Steve.
[Commercial Break at 8:12]
[…Q2] Back from the break, Mathews shows a replay of Drew Galloway beating down Aron Rex after last week’s main event. Mathews said we would hear from Galloway later tonight.
In-arena: Crazzy Steve is in the middle of his ring entrance. Decay is not with him. Matt Hardy with Brother Nero are out next.
1 — TNA tag champion CRAZZY STEVE vs. BROKEN MATT HARDY (w/Brother Nero)
Steve drools to start the match, literally drooling all over himself. Hardy makes noises with his mouth wide open. Steve proposes they start with a test of strength and Hardy immediately bites Steve’s arm. Steve comes back by biting Hardy’s arm. Mathews calls it a “taste of strength.”
On the outside, Brother Nero puts his boot on his hand and punches Steve several times. Matt yells “delete!” from inside the ring. Hardy hits a twist of fate for the win.
WINNER: Matt Hardy at 4:27.
After the match, Hardy and Brother Nero are leaving as Steve grabs a mic and he’s laughing. He tells Hardy that he’s blind to what goes on around him. He said he might be alone, but Decay is everywhere, including the Hardy estate.
Steve said that King Maxel no longer belongs to him and Reby. For now, he’s Rosemary’s baby. Hardy freaks out on the ramp and runs to the back with Brother Nero.
[MM Reax: I have a strict “no kidnapping babies” policy when it comes to pro wrestling. That said, while this whole angle and these characters are so campy, I think they’re creating a new campy category, I’m digging the whole thing. The Final Deletion garnered a lot of buzz for TNA, and it sounds like they’re headed down that same road here with Decay and the Broken Hardys. They’ll have to do a lot to top the first match. It’s not as if that first Final Deletion is going to win match of the year, but it generated a lot of buzz for the company and that might be more important for TNA right now. People need to learn that they exist again, and like it or not, this Hardy storyline and Matt Hardy in particular, is getting people talking.]
Video: TNA runs a package on the X Division with several X Division wrestlers talking about what it means to be the X Division Champion and what the X Division stands for. Rockstar Spud said that X Division built TNA.
[Commercial Break at 8:26]
[…Q3] Backstage: Hardy told Brother Nero that he fears Steve isn’t bluffing, and then tried to Facetime Reby. Reby didn’t answer her phone, and Hardy told Vanguard One to scan the grounds, for there is an imminent threat. There is a shot inside the Hardy compound of Maxel in a playpen. In the distance, we see Rosemary.
[MM Reax: Totally off topic, but kind of not, where’s Bram?]
2 — TREVOR LEE vs. D.J. Z vs. ANDREW EVERETT vs. BRAXTON SUTTER vs. ROCKSTAR SPUD vs. MANDREWS — Ultimate X gauntlet match for the X Division championship
Trevor Lee is introduced first, followed by D.J. Z. The match begins with these two in the ring. Every few minutes, another wrestler will be added but Mathews points out that the match can end even before everyone is introduced, if someone grabbed the title.
D.J. Z and Trevor Lee trade offense. Mathews said if Andrew Everett comes out next, the Helms Dynasty could work together. Mathews said the next wrestler in will be determined by a blind draw. D.J. Z climbs the turnbuckle and tries to climb to the center, but Lee cuts him off.
At the 2:35 mark, Andrew Everett enters the match. The Helms Dynasty begins to double-team D.J. Z, including a big kick on the apron by Lee. After getting D.J. Z down, Lee and Everett appear to argue about who should climb and go after the title. Lee goes for the belt and Everett is helping him, but Mandrews enters the match at the 4:50 mark and takes out both Everett and Lee.
[Commercial Break at 8:39]
Back from the break, at the 10:50 mark of the match, Mathews said that Braxton Sutter entered the match. Rockstar Spud, the last entrant, comes in only a few seconds after returning from commercial.
[Q4] With everyone down, Spud goes directly to the corner and tries to climb across for the title but Sutter cuts him off. Sutter hits a powerslam. D.J. Z takes out everyone on the outside with a dive but after thinking about going for the belt, he gets cut off by Lee and powerbombed onto the ringside steps.
In the ring, Lee hits a double stomp on Mandrews. Lee then goes after Sutter but Sutter clotheslines him over the top rope. Lee then gets back in the ring and hits a huge german suplex on Sutter, but Sutter is back up and hits a huge frankensteiner. Sutter then began climbing for the title but Spud cut him off with a chair shot to the hip. Spud then smashed the chair over a fallen Sutter several times.
Mandrews springboards in and dropkicks the chair into Spud’s face. Lee and Everett climb for the belt and both get there at the same time. As Everett and Lee argue over who is going to win the title, D.J. Z flies in and grabs the belt to win the match. After the match, D.J. Z celebrates with the fans around ringside.
WINNER: D.J. Z captures the title at 16:31 to become the new X Division champion.
[MM Reax: These matches have the potential to be total clusters, but the pace here was very good and they did a nice job spacing out the spots and giving everyone a bit of a moment to shine. The tease of dissension in the Helms Dynasty also feels long overdue. It’s time for TNA to begin elevating Lee beyond just “standard X Division wrestler.”
D.J. Z is the perfect choice to carry that X Division torch right now, too. They should book him similar to the way WWE booked John Cena with the U.S. Title last year. That’s not to say D.J. Z should have an open challenge, but there is the potential for some very good one-on-one matches here, including maybe bringing in some outside talent for one-off matches? Why not? Can you imagine D.J. Z vs. A.R. Fox, for instance? It’s going to take a lot to rebuild the X Division, but of everyone on the roster right now, D.J. Z is the guy to build around as a babyface.]
Backstage: ECIII said last week’s match with Galloway was a fight for his life. He said that what happened after the match between Galloway and Rex wasn’t his business. He said his business was winning the World Title.
Eli Drake ran into the interview and said that when he beats ECIII tonight, he’ll be the No. 1 contender when ECIII wins the title. ECIII said he would kick Drake’s ass tonight and Drake struggled to come back with something.
Tonight: ECIII vs. Eli Drake.
Backstage: A cameraman runs up and catches Drew Galloway, who said he supposes they want to know what happened. Galloway said this isn’t the place and the cameraman isn’t the person, but he’s going to go out to the place where it all happened last week and he would tell everyone what’s going on inside his head.
[Commercial Break at 8:53]
Back from the break, Mathews touted 50,000 views on YouTube after Allie won the Knockouts Title last week. Still to come, there will be a championship celebration.
In-arena: Drew Galloway makes his entrance to explain his actions from last week, when he brutally attacked Aron Rex after the main event.
[Q5 — second hour] There’s a difference in his attire, as he’s wearing a black hoodie with his hair over his face. The arena remains dimly lit as Galloway begins. He said you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, or until it breaks or snaps.
“Why, when I first came in, did I stand up for this place?” Galloway said. “When I won the World Title we partied together and we partied for a week. … Then when I lost the title and ECIII screwed me over, you chanted his name.”
Galloway said that after last week’s match, he looked around and saw the crowd clapping their hands and while he was appreciating the thanks for a great match, he noticed the fans were cheering for the referee and not him. He told the fans that they are responsible for last week, not Rex or ECIII. It’s the fans who turned their back on Galloway.
“You’re trying to be the next me,” Galloway said, “and in that respect I am your Messiah. If I see you again I will put you in the bloody hospital.”
Billy Corgan’s music plays and the TNA president walks out from backstage wearing a suit and shades. “Mr. Galloway,” he said. “It goes without saying that your actions were reprehensible.” Corgan said Galloway has a case of Scottish paranoia.
“I have considered suspending you without pay,” Corgan said. “But then a little bird got in my ear and talked me out of it.” Galloway said he was disappointed in Corgan. For someone who was such a rebel, Galloway said that Corgan has become the establishment. He called Corgan “Dixie Carter’s little b—-.”
“Real cute, Mr. Galloway,” Corgan said. “It wasn’t Mrs. Carter …” Rex came out from backstage and said it was him. “I don’t need you suspended, princess,” Rex said.
Rex then ran towards the ring and they start brawling around ringside. Rex throws Galloway into the steel steps twice and then grabs a chair, he goes for a headshot but security runs between them.
Galloway charges through security and attacks Rex. The brawl continues on the ramp. Finally, they are pulled apart but Galloway and Rex both fight free and meet again on the ramp, brawling on the ground, rolling and trading punches.
Backstage: Moose is shown backstage and Mathews said that Moose said earlier he would decide who wins the World Title tonight.
[Commercial Break at 9:07]
3 — ETHAN CARTER III vs. ELI DRAKE
The match spills to the outside early. Drake chops ECIII on the railing and ECIII chops back.
[Q6] The match goes back into the ring. Drake sets up ECIII on the ropes and begins to choke him with his leg.Drake hits a suplex for a two count. ECIII comes back with a sunset flip for a two count.
Drake puts the boots to ECIII on the mat. He lifts ECIII back up and ECIII starts to fire back with some quick shots. ECIII hits a TK3 and then drops Drake with a huge clothesline. ECIII lands an ECIII splash and then follows it up with his signature flapjack. ECIII nails the One-Percenter for the win.
After the match, ECIII celebrates as Mathews pumps that he’ll challenge the TNA World Champion at Bound For Glory.
WINNER: ECIII at 5:52.
[MM Reax: Solid match and ECIII looked good. It made sense to keep him strong ahead of his title shot next month. However it was a nice addition for TNA to add the stipulation that Drake would become No. 1 contender against ECIII if he won the match and ECIII became champion. It was a little confusing at first, but it gave the match some consequence and some meaning, rather than just presenting a match for the sake of a match.]
Backstage: Jeremy Borash brings in Allie for an interview. She’s carrying balloons. Allie said Maria gave her a detailed list for her celebration, and she has all of the decorations. Allie said this was going to be the best moment of her life.
[Commercial Break at 9:22]
Video: Matt Hardy calls Reby and tells her that Rosemary is in their house. She tells Matt to get back there and that she would go get Maxel right now. Reby holds Maxel as the doorknob turns. It’s Senor Benjamin. Reby gives Maxel to Senor Benjamin, and said she would “get this b—- myself.”
Backstage: D.J. Z is asked about winning the X Division Title. He said that 2016 has been his year and he’s working harder than ever. He said for a long time, he was doing just enough to get by, but he rededicated himself. He said hard work pays off. He said it’s hard to get back to the title, and it’s even harder to keep it, but he’s ready for the challenge.
In-arena: Jeremy Borash introduced Allie for her celebration. Mathews shows replays of Allie’s win from last week. Allie is alone in the ring. She said tonight is a celebration of her, the new Knockouts Champion.
[Q7] Allie said she never thought this day would come in a million, trillion years. She thanked the fans for chanting her name last week. Allie said that none of this would be possible if not for the one person who has always believed in her … Allie was about to introduce Maria, but Sienna stormed to the ring. Maria was chasing Sienna from the back.
Sienna backed Allie into the corner, screaming that she wasn’t going to do this to her. Maria said that this was Gail Kim’s fault. Maria told Siena to go to the back, and then said to trust her.
Maria said that Allie was a little confused about the celebration. Allie said she was honored. Maria laughed and said Allie believed the celebration is for her? She laughed and said no one would ever celebrate Allie, she’s just an assistant.
Maria told Allie she was worthless. Maria told Allie she messed up her division. Maria screamed at Allie to shut up as Allie began crying. Maria said the celebration wasn’t for her, it was for opponent.
Allie said Maria gave the rest of the Knockouts the night off, so who is her opponent? Maria then ordered Allie to lay down and she brought out a referee. Allie said she doesn’t want to lay down. Maria asked if Allie wanted her job, and said she was nothing before her.
Allie dropped to her knees. She thought about laying down and Maria kicked her. She told the referee to ring the bell.
4 –TNA Knockouts Champion ALLIE vs. MARIA — singles match for the TNA Knockouts Championship
Maria covered Allie for the win.
WINNER: Maria in 0:03 to become the new Knockouts Champion.
Post-match, Maria demanded that Allie announce her as the new champion. Allie did as she was told, through tears. Maria then said the celebration could begin. Mathews called this an atrocity. Maria gloated as she walked back up the ramp. Allie looks devastated in the ring.
Backstage: Mike Bennett approached Moose. Bennett said all of their problems were Lashley’s fault. Bennett told Moose not to believe what he reads on social media. Bennett compared him and Moose to Tom Brady and deflated footballs, and said Brady doesn’t listen to people on Twitter. Bennett said tonight was their Super Bowl. Bennett said you can’t win the game without the right equipment, and he handed Moose a pipe, saying he knows Moose would do what was right for them.
Up Next: Moose vs. Lashley for the TNA World Title.
[Commercial Break at 9:37]
Video: Reby is walking through the halls of her house with a flashlight. She pulls out her sword and Rosemary appears. Reby chases her, but Rosemary appears to fly away. Reby runs outside and yells for Rosemary, who appears on the balcony. She asked Reby how much does she love her baby, and appears to throw him off the balcony, but it’s a fake baby.
Rosemary disappears. Senor Benjamin runs out holding Maxel and we see a quick clip of Rosemary running off. Senor Benjamin says it’s okay, she’s gone. Reby tells Senor Benjamin to prepare the battlefield for massacre.
In-arena: Maria introduced Mike Bennett for tonight’s main event. Lashley is out next. Moose does not enter with either competitor.
5 — TNA World Hvt. champion LASHLEY vs. MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) — singles match for the TNA World Hvt. Championship
[Q8] The bell rings and Mathews says we are 30 nights away from Bound For Glory. Lashley goes on the attack at first, cornering Bennett and throwing punches and kicks.
Bennett throws a punch at Lashley, but he no-sells it. Lashley then drops Bennett with a clothesline. Lashley plants Bennett with a delayed vertical suplex. Lashley is already setting up for a spear, but Moose walks down the ramp.
[Commercial Break at 9:47]
Back from the break, Bennett is in control. Before the break, Lashley was setting up for a spear. We’re not sure how Bennett suddenly controls the match out of the break and no one tells us.
Moose is shown holding the pipe at ringside. Mathews said we’ll see what Moose’s intentions are, so apparently Moose didn’t help Bennett gain control of the match. Lashley picks up Bennett and Maria runs in, hitting Lashley in the back with her wrist brace. Lashley drops Bennett and stares at Maria, but Bennett flies in with a running back elbow to gain control again.
Bennett rolls Lashley to the outside. The crowd is chanting “Let’s go Lashley!” Maria smashes the Knockouts Title on Lashley’s temple, putting him down. Maria then yells for Moose and Moose rolls Lashley back into the ring. Bennett covers Lashley for a two count.
Bennett drops Lashley with a huge right hand. Bennett picks up lashley for the MIP but Lashley powers out and hits a side slam and a running clothesline. Lashley picks up Bennett into a torture rack. Bennett is trying to power out with punches and elbows and he does. Bennett hits the ropes but Lashley catches him. Maria distracted Lashley as he went for a spear and Bennett hit a cutter for a very close two count.
Bennett looks towards Moose and asks for the pipe. Moose went to hand Bennett the pipe but then pulled it back. Moose smiled as Bennett looked furious. Lashley is back up on the other side of the ring and nearly cuts Bennett in half with a spear after he turns around.
WINNER: Lashley retains at 11:08.
After the match, Moose is smiling on the ramp while Lashley celebrates his win. Lashley walks past Moose. Bennett grabs a mic and calls Moose a big, stupid animal. Bennett called for Moose to get into the ring.
Bennett said he can’t breathe, selling the spear. Bennett asked Moose who he thought he was? He called Moose a failed football player. Bennett said Moose was nothing without him. Bennett said Moose does what he says, when he says it. Bennett said if Moose ever did that again, he would make sure Moose never wrestles again.
Bennett then slapped Moose, screaming for Moose to listen to him. Moose turned around and clotheslined Bennett’s head clean off his shoulders.
Video: Highlights are shown of what appears to be a battle on the compound next week. Delete or Decay is advertised.
[Final Thoughts: Bound for Glory is starting to come into focus. It looks like we’ll see the following matches:
- Bobby Lashley vs. ECIII for the TNA Title
- Maria vs. Gail Kim or Allie for the KO Title
- Aron Rex vs. Drew Galloway
- Mike Bennett vs. Moose
- D.J. Z defending the X Title against someone
- Decay vs. The Broken Hardys for the TNA Tag Titles
Right now, Lashley is a tweener. He was a babyface in this title match, but will almost certainly be the heel against ECIII. I’m not sure if he’s a tweener as much as he’s just a badass. He’s a fighter, and he doesn’t care if people boo him or cheer him. He’s just himself. No gimmick necessary.
There was a lot of very good focus on this show. Almost every segment focused on some sort of championship, although you almost forget that Decay vs. The Hardys is involving the tag titles.
Moose cemented himself as a babyface, and it’s pretty clear he’s going to get a TNA Title shot at some point. He’ll have to get through Bennett first, and that will be a good feud for him to get his feet wet in TNA. Bennett should be able to get him over really well, playing off the amount of success Bennett has had this year in TNA. Overall, a fun show that had a really good pace and everything felt like it meant something. There wasn’t a single moment of filler.]