MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REVIEW 10/20: Eddie Edwards defends TNA Title vs. Cody Rhodes, Moose vs. Lashley to determine No. 1 contender


OCTOBER 20, 2016

ANNOUNCERS: Josh Mathews, “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero

ADVERTISED: TNA World Hvt. champion Eddie Edwards defends vs. Cody Rhodes; Moose vs. Lashley to determine No. 1 contender for the TNA World Hvt. Title;


-Impact opened with a highlight video, recapping last week’s show. Highlights were also shown of Eddie Edwards winning the TNA World Hvt. Title two weeks ago on Impact. Cody Rhodes interview clips are shown, talking about Edwards living his dream. Edwards said he is never giving up, while Cody said it’s sad that it’s his job now to take away Edwards’ dream.

-Cody’s music hits over a dark arena and he makes his ring entrance without Brandi Rhodes.

Cody said he’s from a small town in Georgia and he’s a fan of country music. Cody talked about a Hank Williams song and said that he left his former employer not because of the money, but because of the moments. Cody said tonight is one of those moments, because he’ll compete for the World Hvt. Championship.

“Let me tell you a little story about 15-year-old me,” he said. “I’m riding with my hero in life, I’m riding with my most favorite person, my father, the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.”

Cody starts to get emotional as he talks about his dad.

Cody said he’s about to break the news to Dusty that he wants to be a pro wrestler.

“He got quiet, and it got so tense and so scary and then he leaned over to me and he said, ‘OK, but only if you’re the best.’ … And I don’t care if it’s a four-sided ring or a six-sided ring, being the best means being the World Hvt. champion. So tonight, I make this promise to you, I will become the World Hvt. champion!”

Eddie Edwards’ music plays and he heads to the ring, raising the TNA World Title over his head on the stage.

Edwards said that everyone here in TNA respects Cody.

“You have always found a way to reinvent yourself,” Edwards said. “Now you’re who you want to be, right here in Impact Wrestling. That’s the great thing about this place, they embrace you for who you are.”

Edwards talked about how, when he’s down and out, the crowd chanting for him allows him to take things to another level. Edwards asked Cody if he knew who he was?

Cody said he was the formerly dashing, Impact crashing, Cody …” and he takes the mic away before he says “Rhodes” in Edwards face.

Edwards said he is TNA Champion for a reason, and it’s because he beat the man they said who couldn’t be beat, Lashley. Edwards said he knows some people think it’s luck, but he’s here to prove tonight that luck had nothing to do with it. Edwards said, like Cody, he was born to be a pro wrestling. Edwards said that if beating Cody helps prove that, then he’s going to lose. Edwards then dropped his mic and goes face-to-face with Cody as Lashley’s music hits and it appears he’s going to join them in the ring.

Lashley said that whoever wins the match tonight will get destroyed by him, because neither of them are “real fighters.” Lashley said whoever stands in his way will get hurt.

And then, of course, Moose joins the group. Mathews said the Lashley-Moose match is next, as the show goes to a break. [c]

(McMahon’s Analysis: Cody making the “promise” to win the World Title was an interesting move, especially if he’s not winning it. Good promo from him to open the show, though. The emotion when he talked about Dusty wasn’t fake, and real emotion is always good emotion in pro wrestling. Look at the Goldberg promo on Monday’s Raw as a prime example. … Edwards’ promos still don’t do it for me. He seems like a cool guy, and someone I’d like to hang out with, but he doesn’t come across as a main-event player in his promo. He absolutely does in the ring, but the promos just aren’t there yet. The interplay between Cody and Edwards, two babyfaces, was good. They didn’t make either come across as a heel and this is just a match where two guys the fans like will wrestle to see who is the best.)

(1) MOOSE vs. LASHLEY – No. 1 contender match for the TNA World Hvt. Title

Lashley and Moose tie up to start the match and Lashley hits a big suplex, but Moose no-sells it and pops right back up. Lashley gets caught with a huge dropkick off the ropes. The match spills to the outside and Lashley whips Moose into the barricade as well as throwing him into the ringside steps.

Lashley rolls Moose back in the ring and starts to ground-and-pound with some elbows. Moose gets back to his feet and fights back with chops. Lashley quickly gains control again. Lashley sits on the turnbuckle and Moose throws a dropkick, which drops Lashley to the outside. Moose they then hits the ropes and dives over the top rope on Lashley, who was standing on the outside.

Back in the ring, Moose hits a splash in the corner and a pop-up power bomb. Moose lands a senton for a two count. Lashley comes back with a dominator for a two count.

Lashley delivers a clothesline in the corner and sets up Moose on top of the turnbuckle, throwing more punches, landing a superplex off the top. Moose again no-sells it, though, popping right back up and hitting a spear for a two count.

Pope talks about how Moose is getting through these moves because of adrenaline. Both men are standing and wobbly, trading punches at center ring. Lashley hits the rope and hits a spear for a two count.

Lashley sets up for another spear, but Moose moves, throwing Lashley into the corner. Moose hits a game changer clothesline for a two count.

Moose throws a series of headsbutts and sets up Lashley on the turnbuckle, looking for a Go to Hell, but Lashley fires back with punches, knocking Moose away from him and then hitting a torpedo spear for the win.

WINNER: Lashley in 8:00

(McMahon’s Analysis: Is that their version of “protecting” Moose? Have him no-sell a much of moves, kick out of some finishers and lose the match? This was a mess. From Moose’s standpoint, they’ve done a great job building this guy as a monster and he’s getting over with the crowd (listen to the reaction on his entrance, and watch the entire Impact Zone pump their arms with his music). If you weren’t going to give Moose the win here, don’t book the match. It doesn’t matter that they had him no-sell and kick out of a bunch of moves, he lost. CLEAN. He lost clean. Lashley didn’t even cheat! You want to make Moose look legit? Have the guy who has been dominating everyone in the company resort to putting his feet on the ropes, or something, because he knew it was the only way to beat Moose, and then have the announcers play that up. Sure, he looked good kicking out of things, but he lost clean.)

-Backstage: The Tribunal is being interviewed by Jeremy Borash. He asks why they attacked Matt Hardy and Brother Nero last week? The Tribunal said that the Great War is over and they asked if Billy Corgan was impressed now?

The interviewed is hacked by the Anonymous-themed group. They said that they will soon be there, and everyone has been warned, but chaos arrives tonight. [c]

-Back from the break, another Tyrus “Fixer” vignette aired.

-Eli Drake is up next with another “Fact of Life” segment. TNA is using piped in crowd noise and a laugh track on Drake’s jokes and high points. Unlike last week, this sound editing is supposed to sound poorly edited. Drake talked about how he was Bound for Gold and then finally brought out his guest, Aron Rex, who was met with a boo track.

Rex walked on set and held his title about his head. He asked the crowd what they thought of the Impact Grand Title, and then he said the title means more to him than he can even say, telling the crowd that he stares at it every morning. Rex said he loves what they’re going to create.

Drake said that he didn’t like Rex at first, but lately, he likes the way he won the title and then he did whatever it took against Jessie Godderz last week. Rex said he would dumb it down so Godderz would understand him … “Bro, are you serious?” he said.

Re asked Drake where he gets a dummy button. Rex said that he was going to flip the script and ask Drake a question … “if you’re bound for gold, where does that leave ECIII?”

Drake said it leaves ECIII bound for the toilet and the dumpster. Drake said that he looks at ECIII, and he sees a giant piece of trash.

ECIII walks into the arena and said if he hears the button again, he’s going to rip his head off. Drake screams to go to break, and they play 1980’s talkshow music as the show crashes to a break while security holds back ECIII. [c]

(McMahon’s Analysis: The laugh track was funny at first, but it grew to be distracting and by the end of the segment, it was just annoying. Rex again came across as a heel, and there are enough seeds planted that it would appear they’re headed in that direction. He was getting along just fine with Drake, a heel, and made the comment about Godderz.)

-Back from the break, ECIII is in the ring. He is yelling up at the “Fact of Life” set, and said he would take an EC-deuce right on his set. Rex just sat in the guest chair looking amused. ECIII said he would nuke Drake’s set. ECIII challenged Drake to a fight, telling him to prove himself and fight a champion. ECIII said if Drake didn’t want to accept the fight, all he had to do was press the button again and ECIII would bring the fight to him. ECIII then screamed at Drake to “press the button!”

Drake slammed on the button over and over. ECIII smiled in the ring as Rex played along with the “Dummy, yeah!” sound effect. ECIII stormed through Drake’s security and they begin brawling on the set. Aron Rex jumps down and begins to help Drake beat down ECIII. Jessie Godderz runs out from the back and attacks Rex. Security pulls Drake and ECIII apart. Rex retreated back to the set to take his Grand Championship while Mathews said that Drake might file assault charges.

-Up next: Matt Hardy & Brother Nero vs. The Tribunal for the TNA Tag Team Championship

-Reby is on the stage, playing the entrance music for Matt Hardy and Brother Nero. Matt Hardy walks onto the stage and pretends to be a conductor. Brother Nero’s “obsolete” theme is played by Reby, and Brother Nero walks out. Matt asks Brother Nero what the fate of The Tribunal will be? Jeff begins to sing the “obsolete” theme.

Matt said that The Tribunal was told to make an impression. Matt begins a “delete!” chant and The Tribunal’s music interrupted it. [c]


(2) MATT HARDY & BROTHER NERO (w/Reby) vs. THE TRIBUNAL — TNA Tag Team Title match

The bell rings as soon as we return from the break. Brother rNero and Dax start in the ring and Hardy and Baraka brawl on the outside. Jeff tags in Matt and he cranks on Dax’s arm. Dax lands a boot and is able to tag in Baraka. The Tribunal begins to double-team Matt in the corner.

Dax misses an elbow and Matt is able to scramble to the corner to tag Jeff into the match. Jeff lands a series of kicks and a DDT. After a brief 4-on-4 brawl, The Tribunal is back in control with Dax kicking Jeff in the corner. Dax tags in Baraka. Dax and Baraka continue to make quick tags, keeping Jeff in their corner. Pope talks about how this is a good strategy.

With Dax in the ring, Jeff lands a leg sweep, and he tries to crawl to Matt for the hot tag. He tags Matt just as Dax tags Baraka, and they trade punches. Matt bites Baraka’s hand and foot as Reby dances in approval on the outside. Matt connects with a bulldog for a two count. Matt then hits a side effect, which also goes for a two count. Matt looks for a twist of fate, but Dax runs in and takes out Matt with a clothesline. Baraka covers but Jeff breaks it up at two.

Baraka works on Matt as Dax gets taken out by Jeff with a Twist of Fate. Matt and Jeff then both land Twists of Fate on Baraka for the win.

WINNERS: Matt Hardy & Brother Nero retain in 8:00

(McMahon’s Analysis: Well, I guess Billy Corgan won’t be impressed with The Tribunal’s statement. They were fodder for Matt and Jeff, and that’s perfectly fine given the pushes both teams have received lately.)

-After the match, Matt leads the crowd in a “delete!” chant. As Matt and Jeff are leaving, a countdown interrupts “3 … 2 … 1” and the arena goes black. Matt and Jeff look on from the stage as the three masked men attack The Tribunal and point at Matt and Jeff.

-Backstage: Allie is practicing how she wants to talk to Maria about being mistreated. Braxton Sutter walks in and says he doesn’t think Allie is to blame for anything. Laurel Van Ness walks in the picture and begins to hit on Sutter in front of Allie, before sending Allie off to go see Maria. [c]

-Mathews was showing replays of the last match when the masked group of three has another video that hacks into the Impact feed. They said that they are about control and chaos. They said that no one is safe, and they are here to stay.

-Backstage: Cody is getting ready for his title match when Lashley walks by. He tells Cody there is a lot of pressure on him tonight. Lashley said Rex was supposed to be TNA’s big savior, and “poof,” he destroyed him. Lashley said he doesn’t even see what Cody is all about. Lashley wishes Cody good luck, and Cody said that his good luck isn’t genuine. Lashley said Eddie will get what he deserves, and if Cody wants to keep running his mouth, he won’t make it out for his title match. Cody said it’s not running your mouth if you can back it up. Lashley promised Cody that their paths will cross sooner than later before walking off.

-Highlights of last week’s match between Maria and Gail Kim are shown.

-Maria, Allie and Laurel Van Ness head to the ring. Mathews said that Maria is going to put a lot of spin on her loss from last week.

Maria began her promo the way she usually does, but when she gets to the “leader of the knockouts division” she stops, and says that there is a conspiracy in TNA. Maria said that TNA can’t handle the truth, and she called herself the greatest champion in the history of the Knockouts Division. Maria said she could blame a lot of people, but the only person who deserves the blame is Allie.

Maria told Allie to say that she was to blame. Maria said that, maybe, she should just get rid of her. Laurel told Maria not to get rid of her, because who would carry their bags? Laurel then told Allie to say she was to blame.

Maria said she wanted something better than that. Maria told Allie she wants her to apologize. Allie snatched the microphone and screamed, “No! I’m not to blame, you’re to blame!”

The crowd started chanting for Allie as Maria snapped, screaming, “What did you just say to me?!?! You need to be taught a lesson!” Maria then backed off so that Laurel Van Ness could attack Allie from behind. Maria then said that next week, Allie would have a match with Laurel Van Ness. Mathews then admits Maria has no power, but was using “whatever little power she had left” to force Allie into a match.

(McMahon’s Analysis: How can Maria make a match? She has no authority anymore. Mathews even seemed to acknowledge that, and then said “she’s using what little power she has left.” What power?)

-Backstage: Lashley walks in on Edwards getting ready for the title match. Lashley said that it was a shocking upset, but usually in those fights, the guy loses a rematch. Edwards said that Lashley underestimated him. Edwards begged Lashley to bet against him. Edwards said he knows Lashley is next in line, but he is not afraid of Lashley. Lashley then said that everybody better be afraid of him as Edwards seemed right to fight right now.

-Backstage: Tyrus is with Mahabali Shera. Tyrus said that Shera is paying him to fix him. Tyrus said that he could fight for Shera, but he’s going to teach him how to fish. Tyrus said that he has picked one of the greatest stars in Impact for Shera tonight, to see if he has what it takes to be a top guy. Tyrus said that Shera’s opponent is one of the greatest TNA has to offer, and he will truly make him believe … Shera walks off pumped for his match as Tyrus says, “he’s going to need a miracle.” [c]

-Backstage: ECIII and Jessie Godderz challenge Eli Drake and Aron Rex to a match for next week.

-Mahabali Shera makes his entrance, and he’s not dancing, just as Tyrus told him not to do. Mike Bennett is out next.


As the match starts, they come face-to-face as Bennett calls Shera a joke. Bennett starts with some kicks and chops. Shera is hulking up in the corner as Bennett fires chops. Shera hits a spinebuster. Bennett rolls to the outside and snaps Shera’s neck over the top rope from the outside.

Back in the ring, Bennett choke Shera in the corner with his booth. The crowd starts chanting, “Thank you Bennett!”

Mathews asked Pope to make a prediction for tonight’s main event, and all Pope would say si that Edwards will have a fight on his hands.

In the ring, Shera is body slamming Bennett a few times and then hits a splash in the corner.

Shera locks a bearhug on Bennett and Bennett raked Shera’s eyes to break the hold. Bennett then hits a Miracle in Progress for the win.

WINNER: Mike Bennett in 3:00

(McMahon’s Analysis: Not against using Shera to help Bennett get some of his heat back after some television losses. It was also a nice touch to give the match some story with Tyrus now being hired by Shera. That’s better than it just being run as a random match with a mid-card guy against someone TNA has used in main events on television.)

-A highlight video airs of Eddie Edwards winning the TNA Title. In the video, Edwards is talking about his dream coming true. Cody interview clips are shown as well, talking about how this isn’t easy because he likes Eddie Edwards. Eddie said that he is living proof that anything is possible.

-A highlight video airs of Eddie Edwards winning the TNA Title. In the video, Edwards is talking about his dream coming true. Cody interview clips are shown as well, talking about how this isn’t easy because he likes Eddie Edwards. Eddie said that he is living proof that anything is possible. [c]

(McMahon’s Analysis: These promo videos have been really well done. They’d only had the one-week build, but they’re building this match really well throughout the episode. On a night where a lot of creative decisions seem to be all over the place, this match is being built right.)

-McKenzie Mitchell is interviewing D.J. Z at ringside. She asks him to explain Team X Gold. D.J. Z said it’s about bringing together three wrestlers with different styles and backgrounds to see who is the best. D.J. Z said that his team, with Mandrews and Braxton Sutter, will set the standard.

Rockstar Spud walks down and said that he likes the Team X Gold concept D.J. Z has created. Spud asked why a former two-time X Division and a future World Champion, him, hasn’t been asked to participate. D.J. Z said that no one likes Spud.

“You think you’re funny?” Spud said. “Seeing as you’ve done this behind my back, I’ve assembled a team of my own behind your back, and they’ll be here next week.”

Spud said that his team is better than X, Y and better than Z. Spud told D.J. Z that he’ll be seeing him.

(4) EDDIE EDWARDS vs. CODY (w/Brandi Rhodes) — TNA World Hvt. Title match

Edwards and Cody shake hands to start the match.

After the referee breaks them up along the ropes, forcing them to break a hold, there are dueling “Let’s go Cody!” and “Let’s go Eddie!” chants.

Very fast-paced few seconds until a double dropkick results in a standoff. [c]

Back from the break, Mathews and Pope said the match is still a stalemate, with both Cody and Edwards feeling out their opponent.

Edwards chops Cody at center ring. Cody comes back with a kick to the face to get some offense in. Cody tries for an arm bar on Edwards. Cody then tried for a Cross Rhodes but Edwards had it scouted and countered with a snap mare.

Cody ends up down on the outside of the ring, and Mathews said that’s the last place Cody wants to be. Edwards hits the Rhodes and takes out Cody with a dive through the ropes.

Edwards rolls Cody into the ring. Edwards rolls to the outside and Cody leaps off the top rope onto Edwards on the outside.

Cody and Edwards begin to fight on the ramp. Cody sees the official has kept his count, so Cody brings Edwards back to the ring and rolls him in.

Cody tried to hit a springboard move back into the ring but Edwards ducked. Edwards hits a Chin Checker for a two count.

Cody gets Edwards up for a muscle buster, but Edwards kicks out at two.

Eddie counters out of an American Nightmare. Cody throws right hands, yelling at Eddie to “come on!”

Edwards and Cody trade punches and chops before Eddie fires off six in a row. Cody picks up Edwards and puts him on the top turnbuckle. Cody hits a top-rope superplex but as Cody went to move his legs to get up, Edwards reached his legs back and trapped Cody in a small package for the win.

WINNER: Eddie Edwards retains in 14:00

After the match, Edwards and Cody go face-to-face before shaking hands and Cody raises Edwards’ hand.

Cody soaks up the fans’ admiration and has his back turned to the entrance ramp. Maria runs down and attacks Brandi, throwing her into the steps. Cody runs to check on her as Maria and Bennett stand at the top of the stage, calling themselves the “real power couple.”

(McMahon’s Analysis: Good match between Edwards and Cody, and the angle at the end gives Cody another match to move into quickly, which is good considering his short run with TNA. They’re going to get the most out of him.)

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