SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TNA Impact Results
September 8, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact opened with Senor Benjamin telling us not to try what we were about to see at home.
Video: A recap of last week’s episode of Impact airs, including Rosemary’s attempted abduction of King Maxel and Reby Sky telling Senor Benjamin to prepare the battlefield.
From there, scenes of Senor Benjamin preparing the battlefield are shown, while Reby plays Jeff Hardy’s “obsolete” theme on the piano and a male voice is singing the song.
Overhead shots of the Hardy compound are shown. Matt Hardy said that he invited the camera crew there in order to properly document what would happen. He then ordered Senor Benjamin to prepare the personal zoo for visitation.
In-arena: Mike Bennett and Maria head to the ring. Maria has her new Knockouts Championship over her shoulder and Bennett looks upset about the results from last week, where Moose cost him the TNA World Title.
Bennett told the crowd that he should be standing in front of them as the new TNA World Hvt. champion, but he’s not. Bennett said he’s not champion because of just one man, and that one man is Moose. Bennett called Moose an ungrateful man, saying that he brought Moose in to TNA. Bennett claimed that he paid Moose to come to TNA.
Bennett said that while he brought Moose into TNA, he also got rid of him. Bennett said he texted Moose today and fired him. Dixie Carter appeared from the backstage area. She asked Bennett if he was done and said the fans were there to watch Impact Wrestling, not “As the Miracle Turns.”
Bennett said that since day one, no one appreciated him or his wife. Bennett said Maria should be running TNA, and he should be champion. Dixie said that she questioned a lot of Bennett’s decisions. But the good news is that she has made a decision, and it’s very good for TNA. Dixie said that her decision involves Bennett.
Bennett began to accept Dixie’s offer to wrestle for the TNA Title at Bound for Glory, even though she never said that. Dixie said that she signed Moose earlier today, and at Bound for Glory, it will be Mike Bennett vs. Moose.
Moose emerged from backstage wearing an Impact shirt. Josh Mathews said that Moose is officially part of the Impact roster. Moose walked to the ring and went face-to-face with Bennett before grabbing him by the neck. He was going to try for a Go to Hell but Maria smacked him in the back with the Knockouts Title. That allowed Bennett time to scramble out of the ring.
Later: The Hardys try to defend their compound from Decay.
In-arena: Gail Kim is making her ring entrance for a tag team match.
[Commercial Break at 8:11]
Backstage: Dixie Carter tells Maria that what she did to win the Knockouts Title last week was not fair whatsoever. Dixie said that she met with Billy Corgan, and they feel it’s a conflict of interest for her to have the title and be in charge of the division. So until she drops the title, Maria will have no decision-making power. Dixie also said that at Bound for Glory, Maria will defend the title, and they will announce her opponent next week.
In-arena: Jade is introduced as Gail Kim’s partner.
1 — GAIL KIM & JADE vs. SIENNA & ALLIE
Sienna had to drag Allie to the ring as Mathews questioned how this would work. Mathews said everyone still feels for Allie and how she had to lay down and essentially relinquish the Knockouts Title last week.
Sienna and Gail Kim begin the match. Allie tagged in after some back and forth and Sienna yelled at her for tagging in, telling her that she’s not a wrestler, and Sienna then tagged herself back into the match.
The crowd began a “We want Allie!” chant. Sienna stomps Gail Kim in the corner. Allie came in and tried to double-team but Sienna pushed her aside. Sienna charged Gail and hit a splash for a two count.
Sienna goes to the corner and fakes a tag to Allie. The crowd again comes alive, chanting for Allie. Sienna drops Gail with a Samoan drop. Gail comes back with a neckbreaker for a double-down that creates some suspense as Gail tries to make the tag in the corner. Sienna grabs Gail’s ankles but she escapes and tags in Jade.
Jade comes in the ring on fire, hitting multiple forearms and then a dropkick. Allie makes a tag as Sienna was whipped to the rope. She climbs up to the top rope and tries to hit an ax handle on Jade, but she hit Sienna by mistake as Jade moved.
Sienna gets up and she’s unhappy. Sienna charges Allie and hits her with a silencer. That allows Jade to make the cover for the win.
After the match, Jade and Gail Kim check on Allie to make sure she’s okay as Sienna just leaves. Allie gets up slowly.
WINNERS: Jade & Gail Kim at 4:58.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash asks Billy Corgan what his big announcement is tonight? Corgan said he knew Borash for a long time, but he couldn’t tell him what the announcement was. Corgan said he was going to the ring and he was about to change professional wrestling.
[Reax: TNA is doing a really nice job building sympathy for Allie, and it’s clearly working. There were some legitimate chants for Allie during the match (it didn’t seem heavily post-produced).
As for Corgan’s upcoming announcement after the break, nothing says “an announcement that is about to change pro wrestling” like an announcement thrown in the middle of the first hour.]
[Commercial Break at 8:25]
Back from the break, Matt Hardy has Senor Benjamin, Reby, Maxel, and Jeff Hardy out at his personal zoo. He said he was there to get in touch with his primal instincts. Matt said his animals have amazing souls, and his soul can communicate with them.
Matt said to the mere mortal, they will see only an African giraffe, but it’s actually George Washington reincarnated. “George! I knew you’d come,” Matt said. “It’s always great to see you and bounce ideas off one another.”
George Washington, the giraffe, told Matt to arrange a sparring match for Jeff to get him ready. So, Matt arranged a match between Jeff and Joe Frazier … who was a kangaroo. Matt and Jeff then wrestled the kangaroo.
Matt then brings them over to a cage where his “spot monkeys” are. He named them D.J. Z, Mandrews, Andrew Everett, and Nick and Matt, the Bucks of Youth. Matt then brings the group over to Genghis Khan, who was a tiger. Khan told Matt that Decay is coming, and they would battle tonight.
[Reax: That was a terrific segment. It’s clearly not for everyone, but if you have been enjoying the campy storytelling, it doesn’t get any better than this. Very rarely is pro wrestling comedy actually funny, but this segment had several laugh-out-loud moments. Wrestling with the kangaroo, talking to George Washington, who is a giraffe. It’s all whacky stuff, but just when you think they can’t get any crazier, they do.]
In-arena: Billy Corgan is in the ring. He announced that effective immediately, the TNA King of the Mountain Championship is retired, and the TNA Grand Championship is born.
Out walked Drew Galloway. Mathews said this moment was not about Drew Galloway. As Galloway walks to the ring, Mathews said that Galloway should have been suspended. Galloway said there is a new title with new types of matches? So TNA is looking for an innovator? Galloway suggested himself, of course. Corgan said the Grand Championship wasn’t about politics, it was about a new match.
TNA cut to a video where Jeremy Borash introduced the new title. First, the champion will be crowned in a tournament. Matches for this title will consist of three rounds (three minutes per round) and will be judged on a 10-point system. The match can end via pinfall or submission, however. They’ll go to the judges’s scorecards after three rounds.
Back in the arena, Corgan announced that the new champion would be crowned at Bound for Glory. Aron Rex emerged from backstage and said that their whole issue began with a title. Rex said that he is about to send Galloway back to Scotland in a medical helicopter.
Corgan announced that the first Grand Championship Tournament would take place next, and Galloway would be in it. Corgan also said that Rex’s in-ring debut would happen during this tournament.
[Reax: Very cool concept. We’ll see how the rounds translates to television. British promotions have used the tactic in the past, but this gives the new Grand Championship some meaning. It separates it from just a random mid-card title.
There is a lot of unique storytelling that TNA could do with the rounds and judges coming into play. If you’re an MMA fan, you see controversial decisions and it usually makes for some hyped re-matches.]
[Commercial Break at 8:39]
Out of the break, Josh Mathews said “that’s what a championship should look like” when the Grand Championship is shown. Is that a knock at the Universal Title?
2 — DREW GALLOWAY vs. BRAXTON SUTTER – Grand Championship first-round match
The match begins and the judges are shown at ringside. The lights are darker for this match and the clock is shown on the screen, counting down the round. Drew Galloway drops Sutter to the mat with a suplex. Mathews said the scoring system is based on aggressiveness, controlling the action, and physicality.
Galloway hits another suplex and tries for a cover but Sutter kicks out. Galloway chops Sutter in the corner. Sutter fired back with some chops but Galloway kicks him in the face for a two count.
Galloway chops Sutter in the corner over and over again. Probably a dozen or so chops. The judges don’t appear to be anyone we’ve seen on television before.
Sutter begins to make a comeback with some forearms but Galloway snaps him with a suplex. With 10 seconds left, there is a clap to let the fighters know and the bell sounds.
Between rounds, they just reset in the corner. We see the judges’s scorecards and they all scored the round 10-9 for Galloway.
Galloway continues to control the action. Pope has a different approach on commentary here, talking about his boxing background in terms of strategy inside the rounds.
With 1:30 left in the round, Sutter hits a superplex for a two count. Sutter followed that up with chops. Less than one minute left in the round, Sutter gets into a mount position and throws multiple punches.
Sutter hits a scoop slam for a two count and is again aggressively following that up. With 10 seconds left, Sutter again gained mount and Sutter just poured punches on him as the bell sounds.
Scorecards: Two judges have the round 10-9 for Sutter and one judge has it 10-9 for Galloway. Mathews said the split decision in the round means we’re all tied up.
It appears, unlike MMA, they’re scoring the three rounds individually, as Mathews said the match was tied despite one judge having the match 20-18 for Galloway through two rounds.
Galloway is able to lock in an Iron Maiden early in the round to earn the win.
WINNER: Drew Galloway via submission in the third round.
[Reax: They could have done a better job explaining the scoring. I really like the concept, but the scoring was confusing. It appears that they’re scoring the rounds with three judges, and the majority wins that round for the wrestler. So in the second round, where two judges had the round 10-9 Sutter, and one had it 10-9 Galloway, then the round went to Sutter and tied the match after Galloway won the first round unanimously.
That’s different than MMA and boxing, where judges score the entire fight individually. In MMA, for example, two judges would have the fight 19-19 after two rounds, and one judge would have had it 20-18 Galloway.
I’m not a fan of announcing the judges’s scorecards between rounds, either. It’s possible that eliminates some of the suspense if a match goes to decision. If one wrestler wins the first two rounds, and we already know that, then there is no suspense if the fight goes the distance, because that third round literally would not matter if there is no finish. That’s the only real complaint. The scoring would be easier to understand if it was exactly like boxing and MMA, and also if the scores were secret until the end of the match.
That would make for a lot more suspense both in terms of reading results but also, announcers could speculate that someone needs a finish in the third round to win, without actually knowing. I guess in this situation, someone would know that they needed to finish, but I think it’s more intriguing the way MMA and boxing do it.]
[Commercial Break at 8:54]
Back from the break, video is shown of Rockstar Spud attacking Sutter after the match. Spud gave Sutter a curb stomp on the exposed turnbuckle in an attempt to crush his teeth.
Video: Someone is shown leaving a store. He gets in his car and a Smashing Pumpkins song comes on. He turns it off and on some old country.
The man in the car sees Rosemary wandering the road. He asks if she needs a ride. Suddenly, Crazzy Steve and Abyss appear. They carjack the truck and leave the man laying in the middle of the road with his pants down (for some reason).
[Reax: Did we just witness a carjacking, assault, and potentially a murder? Also, I’m not even going to speculate why the man’s pants were down around his ankles.]
Video: Josh Mathews introduces Billy Corgan, Ethan Carter III, and Lashley during a press conference held “earlier today.”
Corgan thanks everyone for being there. Corgan said there would be great changes under his leadership, but one thing fans can count on is main events like this. He called this a main event for the ages, with two men in their prime. He said that in 20 years, people will remember this main event.
Corgan gave ECIII the mic first. ECIII called Lashley the most dominant TNA champion of all time, but he said he also sees a coward and a bully. He said that it was a “dick move” disrespecting the X Division the way he did. ECIII said that they have been doing this dance since the U.K., when they were going nose-to-nose over Kurt Angle’s body. Lashley quipped, “I did that.” Lashley responded saying he doesn’t do any dances.
Lashley said that TNA’s company is under fire from other wrestling companies and even MMA guys coming after them. Lashley said in pro wrestling, they need to eliminate the weak. Lashley said he has been wrestling for several years, and he doesn’t want to step in there with anyone who is weak.
Lashley said he can defend TNA against any other sport, organization, or fighter. He asked ECIII if he could defend it? ECIII agreed that defending TNA was the job of the champion. ECIII said he is the guy you call when you need the most dominant champion’s ass kicked.
ECIII swore to everyone that he becomes an EC-III time TNA World Hvt. champion at Bound for Glory. Lashley said we have a bodybuilder over there, and a fighter right here. Lashley ran down the list of people who said they would beat him and they haven’t. ECIII stood up and yelled that he wasn’t those guys.
Lashley said that they agreed to keep it calm, but ECIII could keep hyping up the people and getting cheers, and he doesn’t care about any of that. Lashley said he was going to train his ass off, and on Oct. 2, people will see a bigger and badder ECIII and he will be ready to “kill this guy.” Lashley said ECIII has never fought anyone close to his caliber.
ECIII and Lashley then did a face-to-face for a photo opportunity. Lashley flipped off ECIII and then a brawl broke out. Lashley and ECIII brawled up into the grandstand. Lashley tossed ECIII from the last row down to the front row.
[Commercial Break at 9:10]
Back from the break, the brawl continues. ECIII tosses Lashley into trash cans in the back. Lashley tosses ECIII onto a table. Lashley grabs a poster with his face on it and tried to choke ECIII with it. Lashley throws ECIII into a garage door and then demanded the door be opened.
Lashley then walked outside, opened the waiting ambulance that was there for precautionary reasons, and began assaulting ECIII again. He tossed ECIII into a pile of wood, it looked like a crate or a pallet, and EMTs began to check on him.
Video: Jessie Godderz talked about his training. He talked about his background.
[Commercial break at 9:20]
2 — ELI DRAKE vs. JESSIE GODDERZ — Grand Championship first-round match
In the opening minute of the round, Godderz is more aggressive and controls the pace with a chinlock. Halfway through the round, Mathews asked Pope who was winning the round and Pope said it was even, despite Drake not mounting a single offensive maneuver.
With one minute left in the match, Godderz still controls the match on the mat. With 10 seconds left, Godderz nearly scored a pin with an inside cradle.
Judges score the first round 10-9, 9-10, 10-9 for Godderz. Mathews says the first round goes to Godderz, 29-28.
Godderz again tried to control the early portions of with some holds, but Eli Drake reverses and comes back with some strikes. Drake bounces off the ropes and Godderz caught him with a sleeper but Drake shakes him off.
With one minute left in the round, Godderz hit a springboard flying fist and then forearms to drop Drake into the corner, setting him up for a splash. Godderz then threw Drake halfway across the ring.
Godderz tried for an Adonis Lock but Drake powers out. Godderz tries again for an Adonis Lock with 10 seconds left in the round, and Drake is saved by the bell.
Judges score the second round 9-10, 10-9, 10-9 for Godderz.
Entering the final round, Mathews said that Drake knows he needs a pin or a submission to win. Pope said he has no idea how anyone saw that last round for Drake, and I agree. Drake hits a side suplex for a two count.
Drake takes his time to get more offense on Godderz and Mathews calls out how dumb that is with a clock ticking.
Drake tried for a submission but Godderz reversed it into an Adonis Lock. Drake gets to the bottom rope to break the hold.
There’s 1:30 left in the match. Godderz hits a suplex for a two count. Pope points out that Godderz should just be staying away from Drake.
With under one minute left, Drake hits Blunt Force Trauma and scores a pin to win the match.
WINNER: Eli Drake via pinfall in Round 3.
Pope and Mathews talk about how Godderz had the match won on points, but Drake scored the pin to steal a victory. After the match, the wrestlers go to the middle with the referee and he raises the hand of the winner.
Up Next: Delete or Decay.
[Commercial Break at 9:35]
Backstage: Aron Rex is approached by a reporter. He was asked what’s going through his mind? Rex said it took half the locker room to pull him off of Galloway. He asked what the reporter thought was going through his head? Rex said that he has been known to talk and perform, but here is the issue … Rex said he isn’t thinking.
Next week: Aron Rex vs. Trevor Lee.
Delete or Decay: Senor Benjamin again gives us the “don’t try this at home” warning, in Spanish.
In the darkness, Decay ascends onto the compound as Senor Benjamin is digging their graves. Decay walks up to the house and Rosemary says, “home sweet home.”
Decay looks inside a window, watching Reby tend to Maxel inside the house. Rosemary sees a spider and sticks out her tongue. Crazzy Steve said they would never see them coming. Matt was suddenly outside and yelled, “Decay! I knew you’d come!”
[Commercial Break at 9:45]
Back from the break, Decay begins to chase Matt Hardy. Matt, Jeff, and Reby are waiting around the corner, and then light fireworks and shoot them at Decay. Abyss said that this is not beautiful.
There are fireworks everywhere. Smoke is filling up the screen and Decay is retreating. Finally, the madness stops. Matt tells Reby to return to “the abode” to protect Maxel. Matt said he and Jeff would continue to delete Decay.
Matt and Jeff fire off more pyro and Decay hides under the dilapidated boat. Abyss picks up the boat and tells Rosemary to get to the house. Jeff dropkicks the boat and Abyss falls into the water. Matt chases down Rosemary and tells her to come into the light.
Senor Benjamin begins to move the boat. He pulls out a cell phone. As he dials something, out from the water comes Joseph Park. He asks if Senor Benjamin has seen his brother, Chris?
Senor Benjamin then uses a taser on Park and carries him away in a construction vehicle. Elsewhere on the property, Jeff Hardy and Crazzy Steve are battling near Matt’s pool. Jeff hits a suplex into the water after Steve tried to shove Jeff’s face into a pit of fire.
Matt continues to hunt down Rosemary, slowly. Rosemary is shown near the woods and she turns around. Senor Benjamin drops Joseph Park into a grave using the Bobcat machine.
Back at the pool, Jeff and Steve are fighting under water. Jeff locks on a sleeper hold and appears to put Crazzy Steve asleep under water. Steve is floating lifeless in the pool, face down, as Jeff comes out. However, suddenly, Steve pulls Jeff back into the water.
Senor Benjamin is then shown shoveling the dirt on Abyss/Park grave. As he finishes, Abyss breaks down the dirt and chokes Benjamin. Back at the pool, Crazzy Steve’s paint regenerates, and he chases Jeff away.
In the woods, Matt comes up on Rosemary. They snarl at each other. Matt yells Delete. Abyss then nearly kills Matt with Janice. He tells Rosemary to go get her baby. Abyss swung Janice like a baseball bat at Matt, but Jeff pushes Matt away and Jeff gets hit in the gut. He drops. Matt said that was so unselfish.
Steve and Abyss corner Matt but Vanguard 1 enters the scene, firing missiles at Decay. A fire is lit in the ground, igniting into the Jeff Hardy symbol. Decay is trapped inside the ring of fire.
Inside the house, Reby is shown injured on the floor and Rosemary walks out the front door with Maxel. Vanguard 1 stops her at the steps though. Vanguard 1 tells Rosemary to put the baby down and she said, “gladly.” Vanguard 1 tells Maxel to run before it gets taken out.
After destroying Vanguard 1, Rosemary looks for Maxel. Matt enters and said she has crossed the line of no return. Rosemary spit green mist into Matt’s face, but Matt inhaled it. Rosemary looked confused, and Matt spit it back in her face and she writhed in paid.
Matt picked up Maxel and Reby came outside. They hugged as Jeff was shown slowly dying, I guess, from the Janice shot. Senor Benjamin was then shown with Crazzy Steve laughing over his body. A truck is then shown leaving the property. We assume, inside of it, is Decay.
[Reax: If you liked the Final Deletion, you liked Delete or Decay. If you hated Final Deletion, you hated Delete or Decay.
There’s really no in between, it seems. Personally, I’m in the group that liked it. You can’t do things like this all the time, but for one part of your show, it works. There really can’t be anything more different than the Hardy-Decay storyline and the introduction of the new Grand Championship. One makes the product feel very much like a pro sport, while the other makes it feel like a movie production. You could say that TNA is trying to serve too many masters and should stick to one narrative, but I’d disagree. If they stick to a sports presentation, they’re ROH. If they go purely entertainment, they’re WWE.
For years, Vince McMahon tried to claim that his show was a variety show. Well, TNA is really pro wrestling’s ultimate variety show. There’s a little bit there for every type of fan. If you want true wrestling, you liked the Grand Championship matches and the ECIII-Lashley press conference. That felt like sport. If you like the over-the-top entertainment stuff, you probably really dug Delete or Decay.
TNA is trying to be a melting pot for all of these different types of pro wrestling. It’s how they think they’ll grow their fanbase.
Given that no one has touched the WWE in terms of analytical data for almost two decades now, why not try something different? Remember, the last time they did this, WWE ripped them off with a segment using The New Day and The Wyatt Family.
Whether you liked it or hated it, the truth will be in the numbers. If it helps TNA draw more viewers and if it helps sell pay-per-views for Bound for Glory, where I assume we’ll see them fight for the TNA Tag Titles, then it was a good thing. Given this is the first week TNA has to run against the NFL, it was smart to position this segment on this show. The Final Deletion had people buzzing and something like that or Delete or Decay is something TNA can run that isn’t spoiled in spoiler reports. It’s something I believe we’ll see them go back to again.]
Except it slightly increases TNA’s ratings for one week, then they drop back down to mediocre levels.
As for the Universal Championship, there is no valid reason to complain about how it looks. It is literally the SAME as the WWE Championship, but with a red strap instead of a black strap.
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode of Impact. The rules/scoring for the Grand championship seem a little muddy, but it is different in a good way, and the two matches were phenomenal. And count me in the number of those who enjoyed the Final Deletion and the sequel. I’m a little concerned with TNA going back to it so soon, but it worked in my opinion.