SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TNA Impact Results
September 15, 2016
Taped in Orlando, Fla.
Aired on Pop TV
Report by Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor (@MikeMcMahonPW)
Impact opens with a Matt Hardy video. Highlights of #DELETEorDECAY from last week are shown. Hardy said it was a dark day. Hardy said that Senor Benjamin and Vanguard One are more than family.
Matt wheels Jeff in a wheelchair up to the pond on his property, and said that by going in the water, he will be regenerated. He calls the water the Lake of Reincarnation. Matt is trying to heal Jeff’s wounds from the shot he took last week when Abyss hit him in the gut with Janice.
Suddenly, after Matt dunked Jeff in the water, Jeff popped back up in a shirt and tie with a championship belt, saying “the champ is here.” Matt said that was not the version of Jeff Hardy he needed. He dunked Jeff again and Jeff emerged with the white contact lenses again, and Matt said that this was the Brother Nero he needed. Hardy ended the video promising to find Vanguard One.
In-arena: Bobby Lashley is walking to the ring as Josh Mathews welcomes us to the show. Highlights of the press conference from last week, where ECIII and Lashley brawled, were shown. Mathews said ECIII hasn’t been seen since that brawl.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring to interview Lashley. Lashley said he warned everyone that 2016 would be the year he takes over pro wrestling. Lashley called himself the most dominant wrestler in any company. Lashley said that after last week’s beating, there is no more match for Lashley at Bound for Glory.
Grado’s music began playing and he came out from the back to nearly no pop whatsoever. Lashley asked if this was a joke? Grado said that Lashley is the World Hvt. champ, but he can be beaten. Lashley asked, “I can be beaten?” and then attacked Grado using ground and pound before setting Grado up for a spear.
Lashley said he can kill anyone on the Impact roster and that no one can beat him. Moose’s music hit and he walked out from the back. Moose entered the ring and he goes face-to-face with Lashley. Moose and Lashley begin trading punches and Moose dropped Lashley with a shot, and the champion rolled out of the ring,
Moose grabbed a mic and said that not only will he beat Lashley, he’ll “whoop his ass.” Moose said everyone in the Impact Zone wanted to see Lashley vs. Moose. Tonight, Moose said he would drag Lashley to the ring if he had to. Moose’s music plays again as the segment ends. Lashley walks to the back with a smirk on his face.
Video: A video going over the TNA Grand Championship airs, with Jeremy Borash narrating and telling us the rules. Borash runs down the results from last week, where Drew Galloway beat Braxton Sutter and Eli Drake beat Jessie Godderz.
Backstage: Aron Rex said he wanted to come to TNA to be a part of something special. He said the TNA Grand Championship is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in pro wrestling. Rex said that Galloway has been handed so many opportunities, and Rex had to create his own. Rex said he’ll go through everyone in the tournament, and Galloway will see the difference between someone who complains, and someone who comes in adapts and evolves. Rex said he’d see Galloway soon.
Backstage: Lashley has a camera and he’s yelling about Moose. Lashley tells Moose he needs to work hard. He can’t just come to the champion and demand a title shot. Lashley said that he can make Moose famous, and that’s why Moose is coming after him. Lashley said, as for his challenge tonight, he’s a fighting man but the answer is no because fighting Lashley is bad for Moose’s health.
1 — TREVOR LEE vs. ARON REX — Grand Championship first-round match
Rex goes for two quick pin attempts but Lee kicks out. Rex grabs Lee in a headlock and takes down Lee. Back to a vertical base, Lee shoots Rex off the ropes and Rex drops him with a shoulder tackle.
With 1:30 left in the round, Rex fires a right hand that connects with Lee’s jaw. After an attack on the outside as Rex goes to get him, Lee rolls Rex back in the ring for a two count.
Lee whips Rex into the corner and drags him out by the foot for a two count. Lee controls Rex’s momentum and takes him to the mat with a chinlock. With 10 seconds left in the round, Rex breaks free and hits two clotheslines.
Scores: Aron Rex, 29-28
Rex gets hit with a back elbow to start the second round. Pope said Lee needs to use his speed and agility to score points in the second round. With 1:50 remaining in the round, Lee rolls to the ropes to avoid a pin. The referee backs Rex off and as Rex returns to a downed Lee, he kicks Rex. Lee tried for a cover but only gets two.
Lee tries for a Fisherman’s buster but Rex blocks it and hits a spinning punch for the pinfall win.
After the match, Rex goes to several turnbuckles to celebrate with the crowd. The referee grabs both competitors in the middle of the ring and raises Rex’s hand as Borash announces the winner. Rex rolls out of the ring and stares as the Grand Championship before heading to the back.
WINNER: Aron Rex via pin 1:55 of the second round.
[Reax: This was a good showing for Rex in his first match with the company. Lee looked good in spurts and was able to get in some offense, but Rex won the first round and then won the round round via pin. He had most of the offense in the match and the result was never really in doubt.]
Backstage: Jeremy Borash brings in Maria for an interview. Maria just takes the microphone away and says that tonight, she’ll find out who she will face at Bound for Glory. Maria said she doesn’t want her Bound for Glory win to overshadow Gail Kim’s Hall of Fame induction, so they’ll just get that out of the way tonight.
Video: Matt Hardy is walking through the woods searching for Vanguard 1. He said he needs him there to help him find Senor Benjamin. Hardy finds Vanguard One trapped in a tree. Hardy is devastated and begins crying, telling Vanguard 1 not to do this to him.
The video pulls back with Hardy hugging Vanguard One on the ground. Matt asks the seven deities to give Vanguard 1 what he deleted from Brother Nero. Vanguard 1’s screen appears and it appears that it is regenerating. Hardy said there is life within him, and he tells Vanguard 1 to go and find Senor Benjamin.
In-arena: Maria is in the ring. Maria said she is the Knockouts Champion, but everyone wants to keep talking about someone else. Maria said it’s not Allie. She’s stupid and common like everyone in the arena. Allie is standing next to Maria.
Maria says she is going to screw up Bound for Glory because Billy Corgan and Dixie Carter are screwing with her leadership of the Knockouts Division. Maria calls out Gail Kim for her induction. Mathews said that this isn’t fair that Gail needs to be rushed with her induction into the “prestigious” TNA Hall of Fame.
Gail seems mad. She asks Maria who she thinks she is? Maria said she is doing Gail a favor because she would be overshadowed by Maria at Bound for Glory. Maria throws to a highlight package she put together of all of Gail’s finest moments. The highlights all show Maria beating on Gail Kim throughout the past year, often using weapons.
Maria gave a mock speech and then presented Gail with her Hall of Fame gift. Maria yelled at Allie to open the bag. Inside it was a picture of Maria with the Knockouts Title belt. Maria snapped as Allie tried to interrupt. Allie said she went out and got Gail a present because Gail is the best female wrestler ever. Maria lost it, grabbed the gift from Allie and smashed it, screaming that she is the best female wrestler ever.
Dixie Carter joins the festivities. Dixie said that as long as Maria holds the Knockouts Title, it’s a conflict of interest for her to have any power in the division, so Maria has no power.
Dixie said that Gail Kim is going to be inducted at Bound for Glory with a ceremony she deserves. Dixie said Gail deserves one more thing, and that’s a shot at the TNA Knockouts Title.
Dixie told Gail that later tonight, she’ll be in the Knockouts Gauntlet match and if she wins, she’ll challenge Maria at Bound for Glory.
Video: Highlights of Rockstar Spud and Braxton Sutter brawling last week are shown, after Spud attacked Sutter from behind following his match against Galloway. Mathews said that tonight, Spud and Sutter will fight in an empty-arena match with exposed turnbuckles.
Back from the break, Rockstar Spud and Braxton Sutter are introduced by Jeremy Borash, with no music.
2 — ROCKSTAR SPUD vs. BRAXTON SUTTER — empty-arena match with exposed turnbuckles
Spud charges Sutter on the stage and the brawl is underway. Sutter tosses Spud over the rail and they are brawling in near the grandstand.
Mathews said that this is in an empty arena in order to guarantee safety of the fans with them brawling all over the arena. Mathews also said they had to empty the arena, insinuating that the crowd was in the building and left during the commercial break.
Sutter whips Spud into the chairs set up near the railing. Sutter starts throwing numerous chairs on top of Spud. Sutter takes off his belt and whips Spud across the back. Spud starts to climb up the metal bleachers. The bleachers are black, which can hide empty seats if there are any. That’s an old production trick.
Sutter spits on Spud. Spud begins to crawl back to the ring. Sutter smashes Spud with a right hand that sends Spud back over the railing. As Sutter charges Spud, he is cut off as Spud throws a kick. Spud rolls Sutter into the ring for the first time at 3:25.
Spud tries to whip Sutter into the exposed turnbuckles but Sutter catches himself. Spud again, like last week, tries to pry open Sutter’s mouth and make him bite the turnbuckle so he can “break his teeth.”
Sutter whips Spud into the exposed turnbuckle and then whips him back across the ring into the other exposed turnbuckle. Sutter grabs Spud by the face and screams, “you’ll remember me!” before throwing him into the exposed turnbuckle face first and covering Spud for the win.
After the match, Sutter gets his arm raised as Spud is shown on the mat, spitting up blood.
WINNER: Braxton Sutter at 5:14.
[Reax: Between the Hardy videos and matches like this, TNA is doing a good job of incorporating content on every episode that can’t be spoiled before the show. You can’t run an empty arena mach every week or it kills the concept, but they’re finding different ways to make sure they run some content that can’t be spoiled prior to its original airing. That’s smart, although it isn’t impacting the ratings immediately, it seems.
It was clunky trying to believe Mathews when he said the crowd was emptied out of the arena “for their safety.” It’s not as if Sutter and Spud endangered a fan prior to this. They should have had a plant fan get injured in their brawl last week, which would have helped better explain why this was an empty-arena match. I also would have preferred they just admit that it was taped earlier in the day and not try to convince the crowd that they emptied an entire arena during a commercial break, and there wasn’t one bag of popcorn or one soda cup left in the aisles. … They had no problem admitting the Lashley-ECIII press conference last week was held earlier in the day.]
Video: Vanguard 1 is searching for Senor Benjamin and locates him in a shed. Senor Benjamin calls Vanguard 1 a bucket of bolts, and asks what took so long as he is tied up inside with “Decay” written across his forehead.
Matt Hardy tells Senor Benjamin to go home and rest. He also tells Senor Benjamin to amass the greatest arsenal of weapons, because at Bound for Glory, a great war will be happening.
Backstage: A roving reporter finds Moose and asks him about Lashley saying that fighting him was bad for his health? Moose said that’s funny, because his first night here, he knocked Lashley on his ass. Moose said he’s challenging Lashley to a fight tonight.
Video: Highlights of last week’s fight between the Hardys and Decay are shown.
In-arena: Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Reby are in the ring. Matt said that last week, they were involved in an apocalyptic war against Decay. Hardy said that this has become more than just a fight. Hardy said that Decay took this to another level when they tried to abduct his son, King Maxel. For that, Hardy said, Decay must be subject to deletion.
At Bound for Glory, Hardy said that they will take the tag team titles of the world, and Hardy will personally delete them. Decay’s music plays and Hardy looks crazed. Decay doesn’t appear on the ramp. Rosemary is shown up on the deck where the cameras are.
Rosemary said that Maxel deserves a family that isn’t broken. Rosemary said Maxel needs to embrace his true decay. Rosemary said they will never get their hands on the tag titles. Rosemary said when Decay gets what they want, they keep it. That’s why Bram is gone. She said he did not want to decay, so he needed to be destroyed.
Abyss appears on the stage and said the tag titles are beautiful, and they belong to Decay. Crazzy Steve appears in the crowd and said the obsession with their gold is mind boggling. Steve said they offer them their own destruction and their own decay.
Hardy said that death is not the end. He said one day their vessels may perish but their souls will live for eternity. Hardy begged Decay to bring their pain, because they can only grow stronger.
Jeff grabs the mic and said they tried to take his nephew and failed and tried to change their way of living, and also failed. Jeff said that will go to war and he will render all three of them obsolete.
Matt said this battle cannot be contained in a wrestling match. Hardy challenged Decay to use the whole world as a battlefield. He challenged Decay to “the great war!”
Abyss said Decay thrives on wars. Abyss asks if they can fight into the depths of hell? Can they fight to the top of the heavens? Abyss said they’re on. The crowd chants, “War! War! War! War!”
Rosemary laughs and said that after Bound for Glory, it will be the Hardy family that decays and Maxel will be free to join his true family, not his obsolete uncle, not his broken father and not his pathetic unfit mother.
Reby spears Rosemary and the fight is on. Crazzy Steve and Abyss hit the ring and it’s a six-person brawl. Hardy and Brother Nero run off Abyss and Steve and Reby tosses Rosemary to the outside as the crowd chants, “delete!”
Up next: Knockouts gauntlet.
Backstage: Mike Bennett comes up to Lashley and said not to let Moose talk to him like that. Bennett said he wants to fight Moose, but he can’t until Bound for Glory.
Bennett tries to stir up Lashley. Lashley said he can tell why he was friends with Moose, because they both run their mouth. Lashley tells Bennett that he’s going to whoop Moose’s ass tonight, and he might come find Bennett later.
3 — Over-the-top-rope-gauntlet match to determine the No. 1 contender for the Knockouts Title
As Allie is introduced, Maria stops Allie and says she’s not a wrestler, so she found someone better than Allie. Maria then introduces Laurel Van Ness. She walks by Maria and they share a smile.
After about one minute, Sienna is introduced next to the match. Sienna and Van Ness seem to be teaming up on Jade. Gail Kim enters the match next and evens the odds, taking out Van Ness from the top rope as she enters the ring. Gail drops Sienna with a clothesline and hits a follow-up neckbreaker on Van Ness.
Marti Bell is the next entrant. She immediately goes after Gail Kim. Van Ness and Bell team up, sort of, kicking Jade in the corner. They are arguing over who gets to kick Jade.
On the other side, Sienna is stomping Gail Kim in the corner. Raquel enters the match at the 4:26 mark. Five minutes into the match, still no one has been eliminated. At the 5:20 mark, Madison Rayne is entered into the match.
Back from the break, Jade takes out Van Ness with a kick but Marti Bell takes out Jade right after and Madison Rayne then takes out Marti Bell. At the 11:06 mark, Laurel Van Ness eliminates Madison Rayne.
At 11:31, Marti Belle eliminates Jade and then at 11:39, Belle is eliminated by Van Ness.
In the ring, Raquel has a sleeper on Sienna and Van Ness is stomping Gail Kim in the corner. Sienna is able to toss Raquel out of the match at the 12:09 mark.
Maria climbs on the apron and is trying to instruct Sienna on something. Van Ness tries to eliminate Gail who;e Maria has Allie holding the rope down, but Gail reverses it and she eliminates Van Ness.
Now that it’s down to Sienna and Gail Kim, the referee jumps in the ring and it’s a regular wrestling match at the 12:56 mark. Sienna tries for a powerbomb but Gail gets caught in the ropes. Sienna tries for an AK-47 but Gail reverses into a sunset flip for a two count. Sienna tries for a silencer, but Gail reverses it into Eat Defeat for the pin.
After the match, Maria looks afraid on the ramp as she clutches the Knockouts Title.
WINNER: Gail Kim at 14:48 to become the No. 1 contender for the Knockouts Title.
Later: Moose vs. Lashley? We’ll find out if they fight later tonight.
4 — EDDIE EDWARDS vs. MAHABALI SHERA — Grand Championship first-round match
Edwards and Shera lock-up. Pope says the only chance Shera has in this tournament is to use his strength. Shera throws a big punch that drops Edwards. With 1:30 left in the round, Edwards slides out of the way of Shera and begins to lay in some chops.
Shera gets thrown to the outside and Edwards follows up with a dive. Edwards clutches his ribs after that dive and Mathews and Pope point it out.
Back in the ring, Edwards lands a kick but he’s still grabbing his ribs. Edwards lands a Boston Knee Party, but it’s only good for a two count. The first round closes out as Edwards was looking for a submission.
Scores: Eddie Edwards, 30-27.
Mathews said Shera needs to get back into this match. Shera locks up to start the second round and knees Edwards in the ribs to slow him down and gain control of the early part of the round.
Shera scoops up Edwards on his shoulders and drops to his knees, forcing pressure on Edwards’s ribs. On the mat with 1:00 left in the round, Shera has a bear hug on Edwards to really put pressure on his ribs.
Shera hits a shoulder tackle for a two count. Pope criticizes Shera for not covering Edwards quickly enough.
Scores: Mahabali Shera, 29-28.
The match is tied heading into the final round. Edwards attacks right away, throwing forearms at Shera. Pope points out that Edwards knows he needs offense to win the round, and he’s trying to get it in early because he’s hurt.
Shera misses a splash in the corner and Edwards tries to roll him up. Edwards can’t get Shera over, but he does lock on a single leg Boston crab for the submission win.
After the match, the referee officially raises Edwards’s hand as the winner. Shera shakes Edwards’s hand.
WINNER: Eddie Edwards via submission.
[Reax: Good storytelling here. It seems odd that in the four first-round matches, none of them went to decision. I would have figured TNA would use at least one decision to set up the idea that decisions are possible.
The semifinals will now feature Aron Rex, Eli Drake, Eddie Edwards, and Drew Galloway, as they seem to be headed towards a Rex-Galloway match in the final at Bound for Glory.]
Up Next: Moose vs. Lashley in a fight.
Back from the break, Moose is coming to the ring. He’s not in ring gear, but Mathews said he’s just looking for a fight. Lashley comes out next. He’s not carrying the TNA World Title, but he does have a microphone.
“Moose,” Lashley said. “I’m sure you’re out here because you want to fight, right? Well I’m a fighter and I know the people here want to see this fight right now.
“But that ain’t gonna happen. Listen! I have proven myself to be the baddest man in Impact and the baddest man on the planet. But I’m also a businessman. I fight in big venues, for big money, in front of big crowds.”
Lashley said he sent ECIII to the hospital, so he has no Bound for Glory opponent. Lashley then offered Moose a fight at Bound for Glory, for the big money at the big show. Moose said Lashley was right. Oct. 2, Bound for Glory, it should be Lashley vs. Moose.
Lashley said Moose was smart. But Moose interrupts and said he can’t wait that long, then attacks Lashley. Moose and Lashley brawl all over ringside. Lashley is beating up Moose near the steps and throws him into the apron before rolling him back into the ring.
Lashley climbs into the ring slowly and Moose greets him with a dropkick. Moose picks up Lashley but Lashley reverses into a spinebuster. As Moose returns to his feet, Lashley spears Moose in the corner twice but Moose stays on his feet. Lashley goes for a third spear but Moose throws a european uppercut. Moose grabs Lashley’s throat and places him on the top.
Mike Bennett runs in and tries to attach Moose, but Moose immediately after Bennett. Lashley recovers and takes out Moose with a spear.
With Moose down, Bennett and Lashley take turns kicking Moose. ECIII’s music hits and he comes to the ring with his ribs heavily taped. ECIII takes out Bennett and goes right after Lashley.
Bennett runs back and tries to prevent ECIII from getting to the ring but ECIII tosses him aside. ECIII then hits the ring and goes right after Lashley.
ECIII has Lashley buried in the corner. Bennett returns to the ring and helps Lashley fight off ECIII, but ECIII starts to gain the upper hand as the show goes off the air.
Reax: It seems likely that TNA sticks with the Lashley-ECIII and Bennett-Moose matches at Bound for Glory, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see them book a tag-team main event for Impact either Sept. 22 or Sept. 29, ahead of the pay-per-view on Oct. 2. ECIII was, for the most part, held off this show. He was referenced and coming back from the beating he took last week showed some good resilience.
The Lashley-Moose heat has been building for a while, but it seemed somewhat odd that the boiling point came tonight. It just felt out of nowhere. Moose and Lashley crossed paths when Moose first came into the company, and they had some backstage interactions a few weeks ago when Lashley tried to lure Moose away from Bennett, but to all of sudden pick this show as the one where Moose wanted to fight Lashley seemed to come out of nowhere.
Bound for Glory is really starting to come together at this point. The card projects to look something like this:
– Lashley vs. ECIII for the World Title
– Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. Decay for the Tag Titles
– Aron Rex vs. Drew Galloway for the Grand Championship
– Maria vs. Gail Kim for the Knockouts Title
– D.J. Z defending the X Division Title?
– Rockstar Spud vs. Braxton Sutter in a gimmick match?
Elsewhere on the show, after building up the X Division a few weeks ago and featuring D.J. Z winning the X Division Title, this marks the second week in a row the division isn’t seen on Impact.
Despite taking some good steps in this episode, TNA has two more weeks to hype its biggest pay-per-view of the year, and they should do it making Bound for Glory feel like a bigger show. It runs the risk of feeling like an episode of Impact you have to pay money for, especially with the event taking place in Orlando. If TNA is only running two pay-per-views, major storylines need to be paid off here. This can’t just be a show to forward stories. Certain things need to end at Bound for Glory. With only two pay-per-views, Bound for Glory needs to be a night where several things culminate.