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MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT
DECEMBER 8, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla. — UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
AIRED ON POPTV
ANNOUNCERS: Josh Mathews, “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero.
– Impact opened with a recap video, highlighting ECIII’s win over Eli Drake to become the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Title. Clips of Eddie Edwards comments also air, with Edwards telling ECIII he’s not champion right now. ECIII cuts in with a clip where he says he’s not afraid to turn his back on a friend to get what he wants. Edwards said ECIII will do anything for the World Title, and ECIII said he has done nothing but choke people out. Edwards said he will do anything to keep the World Title. ECIII said when the bell rings, “I’m going to choke your ass out.”
– In-arena: Moose’s music plays as he enters the arena with a wide shot of the Impact Zone shown. Moose heads to the ring with the Grand Championship. Moose has the belt on his shoulder and he grabs a mic as the crowd chants, “You deserve it!”
Moose said he devoted most of his life to team sports, and in sports, you want championships. Moose said the Grand Championship is his first major championship, and he didn’t do it alone. Everyone chanting Moose, they did it together. He dedicated the title to the fans.
“I swear I’ll be a fighting champion,” he said.
Just then, Drew Galloway’s music hit. This is the first time we’ve seen Galloway in two months, after he was injured before Bound for Glory.
Galloway stares down Moose as he slowly climbs into the ring. Once he does, he goes face-to-face with Moose.
Galloway said he and Moose are like ships in the night. Galloway asked Moose if he knew who he was? Galloway then said he wanted Moose to say his name. Moose said he knew exactly who he is … he’s the man who interrupted him, Drew Galloway.
Galloway said he wanted to tell Moose a story. He said the Grand Championship was designed with one person in mind — him.
Galloway said that everything Moose has done so far, might as well be the preseason, because nothing Moose has done counts until he faces Galloway. Galloway said that a match against him is the Super Bowl.
Galloway said that he knew, under Grand Championship rules, he and Moose could have a match of the year. Moose accepted the challenge, and goes face-to-face with Galloway.
At that point, Aron Rex’s music plays and he emerges from backstage in pink tights and he has a towel tucked into his waist. Rex mockingly welcomes back Galloway. Rex said he would love to shake Galloway’s hand, but he doesn’t want to injure him again.
Rex said he became the first, and best, Impact Grand Champion while Galloway was away. Rex said that Moose caught him off guard because he wasn’t ready. Rex demanded the crowd shut up, or he would sue them for “Rexual harassment.”
Rex said he legally has a rematch clause, and he was going to use it right now. [c]
(1) Impact Grand Champion MOOSE vs. ARON REX — Impact Grand Championship match
Rex and Moose trade some punches early. Rex goes to the outside and rolls Moose back into the ring for a two count as Pope brings up the controversy around Rex’s taped fingers. Halfway through the round, Rex is controlling Moose on the ground and then throws him to the outside. Rex hits an elbow as Moose makes a comeback for a two count.
Score: Aron Rex, 30-27
The round opens with Moose landing jabs on Rex and he goes for a Game Changer but Rex rolls to the outside. As Moose chased him, Rex raked his eyes with a towel. Mathews said something needs to be done about Rex, as he rolls Moose to the outside. Moose throws a chop on the outside but then gets kicked and rammed into the apron. Back in the ring, Rex lands a knee on a charging Moose. Rex hits an Elbow of Distinction for a two count with 30 seconds left in the round. As the round closes, Rex is raining elbows across Moose’s face.
Score: Aron Rex, 30-27
Rex opens the round with a boot to Moose. Rex goes to the turnbuckle but Moose hits a standing dropkick. Moose then hits a Game Changer for the win just 30 seconds into the round.
WINNER: Moose via pinfall to retain the Impact Grand Championship.
– After the match, Jeremy Borash is in the ring to announce the decision. The referee raises Moose’s hand as Rex rolls to the corner. Moose is selling his eye injury and he then rolls to the outside, celebrating with the fans.
(McMahon’s Analysis: Rex is a really good old-school heel. His tactics are really simple but effective because those old-school heel elements have been missing from wrestling for some time. The loaded punches, raking the eyes, even down to the pink tights, he’s a classic old-school arrogant heel and it’s working well.)
– Backstage: Eddie Edwards said that people are saying it’s fate and luck that he won the World Title. Edwards said that it was his heart. Edwards said that he has a chip on his shoulder, too, because he knows people think he was lucky when he won it. Edwards said ECIII has been close time and time again, but fate stepped in, and tonight, his fate will lead him to retaining the World Title.
– Later: Eddie Edwards vs. ECIII for the TNA World Title. [c]
– Backstage: Galloway asked how he felt about being passed over for the Grand Championship? Galloway put the blame on TNA. He said TNA put him in the back of the line. Galloway said he’s still the leader and he’s still the captain of the roster, and he would have gold very soon.
– Mandrews was introduced for a match against Aiden O’Shea.
(2) AIDEN O’SHEA vs. MANDREWS
Mathews said Mandrews went from pop music to being an emo kid overnight, as highlights were shown of him turning on D.J. Z last week. O’Shea, who is wearing dress pants and a dress shirt, shoved Mandrews face. Mandrews uses his speed to get around some of O’Shea’s offense early. O’Shea slammed Mandrews with a powerslam. Mandrews raked O’Shea’s eyes. O’Shea starts to work over Mandrews with his power. He misses a punch on the outside, punching the apron, and Mandrews catches O’Shea with a sliding kick through the ropes. O’Shea then decked Mandrews with a right hand. Mandrews takes off the dress shirt and yells at Mandrews before throwing an elbow at his chest and then teeing off with jabs as the referee warns him about punches, so O’Shea open-hand strikes Mandrews. Mandrews lands a kick on the back of O’Shea’s head but gets caught off the top. O’Shea spills to the outside as Mandrews pulls down the top rope, and he follows that up with a dive onto O’Shea. Mandrews hits a shooting star press for the win.
WINNER: Mandrews in 6:00.
– After the match, Mathews wondered if this was considered an upset? Mandrews celebrated as he walked up the rmap.
(McMahon’s Analysis: Really strange booking in this match. Isn’t O’Shea a heel? Mandrews being booked against another heel one week after his heel turn was a really odd choice. O’Shea hasn’t been wrestling on Impact since the World Title Series almost one year ago, so why re-introduce him now? And why in a match where he loses to someone literally half of his size? Strange booking all around. Mandrews looked good, but it was hard to tell if he was a babyface or a heel. He attacked the babyface X Division champion last week, but even the announcing here, while acknowledging he “had a new attitude,” didn’t really talk about him as if he were a full-blown heel.)
(3) MAHABALI SHERA & AL SNOW vs. THE TRIBUNAL — double strap tag-team match
Mathews explains that both men must touch all six sides of the ring in order to win the match. Shera and Snow rush The Tribunal on the ramp and the fight begins, although the match doesn’t officially begin until the referee can get then strapped together.
There’s a lot of brawling in the first few minutes of the match before The Tribunal gets the upper hand and begins to whip Snow and Shera with the straps.
After several whips, Dax and Baraka begin touching corners. Baraka hits all six and Dax gets to five before Shera pulls him back and hits a clothesline. Shera and Snow now get the chance to whip Dax and Baraka. Snow and Shera each get to five turnbuckles before The Tribunal pull back. Shera and Snow each yank the straps to pull Dax and Baraka over the top rope, and then they tag the sixth turnbuckle at the same time for the win.
WINNER: Al Snow & Mahabali Shera in 6:00.
(McMahon’s Analysis: In an era where there are gimmick matches often for the sake of having gimmick matches, kudos to TNA for booking something that makes sense. This wasn’t a strap match because it’s some strap-themed pay-per-view, this was a strap match because The Tribunal whipped the crap out of Shera and Snow. It felt special in that we don’t see strap matches much, and the team component also added a cool twist.
– Video: Matt Hardy is shown asleep, as we see inside his dreams. Matt suddenly wakes up and begins making a weird gagging noise. He starts yelling, “apocalypto!” [c]
– Backstage, ECIII is talking about tonight’s main event when Eli Drake interrupts him. ECIII pokes fun at Drake for not being able to talk. ECIII said that Drake choked, which is what put him in this position, and tonight, ECIII’s choke hold is going to win him a World Title.
– Brother Nero and Matt Hardy come to the ring. Hardy and Reby also bring out King Maxel, and Matt raises Maxel to the crowd. Matt has the microphone first and says that tonight is a special night.
Hardy said that in seven days, he will promote and present the most extraordinary wrestling event ever seen in this industry. He said it’s so massive Dixie Carter couldn’t promote it, and so great that not MeekMahan could promote it. Hardy said not even Hey Man could promote it. Hardy said next week the entire show would come from the Hardy compound. He said it would be extraordinary. Hardy said there will he Knockout matches, Senor Benjamin, Vanguard 1, other Impact wrestlers, and King Maxel will make his wrestling debut.
Hardy said the main event will be a tag team apocalypto. Hardy said that they invited all the tag teams in all of space and time to show up and they will defend their titles. Hardy said the episode will be Total Nonstop Deletion.
Shane Helms comes to the stage. Matt is smiling at him. Helms said if something is going on in North Carolina, then Shane Helms will be “up in it.” Helms said he was the first to accept the invitation. Hardy said he accepts Helms offer, and he’s excited to see the obsolete Three Count back in action. Hardy asked if he was going to bring one of his robust superhero friends with him? Helms said he was bringing the Helms Dynasty, and they would be there. Matt replied with, “and they will be deleted!”
Crazzy Steve and Abyss, with Rosemary, come to the stage next. Rosemary called them the silly little Hardys. Rosemary said they have not forgotten the great war. She said they called a tactical retreat, but now they will strike with a place of strength. Rosemary held up her Knockouts Title, and said that title is now in the clutches of a demon. Rosemary said she forced Gail Kim into retirement and destroyed her hand-picked warrior of light, Jade.
Hardy said all they needed to do was accept the invite.
“We didn’t need all that drama, but you are demons, so you’re not that intelligent,” he said.
Matt started a TND chant … Total Nonstop Deletion. Hardy then dropped Helms with a Twist of Fate.
– Back from a break, The DCC is cutting a pre-taped promo. They said their mission continues and their agenda is to control through chaos. They said they are intrigued by Total Nonstop Deletion, and they will bring their chaos to their apocalypse.
– Allie comes to the ring in dress clothes, while wearing boots and knee pads. Maria has a microphone and laughed at her gear. Allie said she has been training. Maria laughed and asked who has been training her? Allie revealed that Braxton Sutter has been training Allie. Van Ness looks livid and begins screaming at Sutter when he comes out.
(4) LAUREL VAN NESS (w/Maria) vs. ALLIE
Madison Rayne is on commentary.
Van Ness takes Allie down with an arm drag to open the match. Allie takes Van Ness down with an arm drag. Van Ness begins stretching Allie over the ropes. Sutter give Allie some advice after the referee breaks the hold. Allie and Van Ness are both down after a double clothesline. Sutter is cheering on Allie and Mike Bennett runs down to attack Sutter. Bennett and Sutter are brawling on the outside of the ring. Sutter and Bennett brawl to the back. Allie is distraught that Sutter is gone and Van Ness attacks Allie from behind. Allie counters a curb stomp into a reverse DDT for the win.
WINNER: Allie via pinfall in 5:00.
– After the match, Maria went to attack Allie from behind and Allie turned quick and cocked her fist to throw a punch, forcing Maria to duck out of the ring.
(McMahon’s Analysis: Allie has been built really well as a babyface on Impact, and the live crowd is genuinely into her and behind her as a character. When Allie finally gets her hands on Maria, the crowd is going to explode. It’s been nearly one year in the making.)
– A video package on the journey to tonight’s main event airs.
– Backstage: Allie is telling Sutter about her win. She is very excited and Sutter said she can do anything she wants. Allie then lunges forward and kisses Sutter before clumsily walking away.
– A video previewing next week’s tag team apocalypto airs, with what appears to be some clips of the episode.
– In-arena: Eddie Edwards and ECIII make their ring entrances for tonight’s main event. Jeremy Borash makes the introductions and the show goes to a break just before the match begins.
(5) TNA World Hvt. Champion EDDIE EDWARDS vs. ETHAN CARTER III — TNA World Hvt. Title match
ECIII and Edwards lock up to begin the match. Edwards and ECIII trade holds in the opening few minutes, while Pope and Mathews talk about what their strategy would be for each man.
Edwards gets in some offense early with chops and headbutts in the corner. ECIII comes back with a running knee and Edwards rolls to the outside. [c]
Back from a break, Edwards is chopping ECIII in the corner. ECIII comes back with some explosive clotheslines. ECIII hits an ECIII splash in the corner and charges Edwards near the ropes but he sidesteps and hits a dive after ECIII goes through the ropes.
Edwards rolls ECIII back into the ring. ECIII gets to his feet first but he’s met with an elbow. Edwards hits a diving knee off the second rope for a two count.
Edwards misses a double stomp and ECIII rolls him up into a powerbomb for a two count. ECIII hits a sit-out powerbomb for another two count.
ECIII tries for a TK3 but Edwards slides out. Edwards lands on his feet after a german suplex attempt.
Edwards goes to the top but he’s knock off the turnbuckle by ECIII. Now seated on the turnbuckle, ECIII superplexes Edwards off the top but Edwards hooks ECIII’s legs for a two count.
ECIII hits a running knee. Kick by Edwards. Clothesline by ECIII.
Both men get up at an eight count, and ECIII and Edwards both fire chops. ECIII tried for a sleeper but Edwards slips free. TK3 by ECIII but Edwards then immediately hits a Boston Knee Party. ECIII rolls to the outside before Edwards could pin him, however.
Edwards dives over the top onto Edwards. ECIII hangs on and picks up Edwards, getting up on his shoulder and hitting a TK3 on the floor.
ECIII gets up and looks exhausted. He rolls Edwards back into the ring and signals for the One Percenter. Edwards counters it into a roll-up and then rolls out of a pin into a single leg Boston crab.
ECIII is trying to get to the rope and he does, forcing Edwards to break the hold. ECIII lands a kick to Edwards’ head. Edwards comes back with a kick of his own. ECIII snatches a rear-naked choke out of nowhere. Brian Hebner counts one, two … suddenly he calls for the bell as Edwards was tapping and he hit a three count.
Mathews said ECIII’s shoulders were down, and he was pinned despite having Edwards in a sleeper.
Hebner ruled that a three count and Edwards’ tapping out happened at the same time, so the match would be ruled a no contest.
WINNER: A no-contest was declared in 21:00.
(McMahon’s Analysis: It clearly sets up a return match, which is OK considering this was the first match in what could be a multi-match series. Still, it feels somewhat cheap as a viewer investing 21 minutes into a main event title match only to get a non-finish. It’s the same feeling you get watching a five-round MMA title fight only for it to end in a draw. ECIII teased a little bit of a heel turn after the match. Hopefully they don’t go in that direction, because it’s really too soon for his character to turn after just turning babyface earlier this year.)
After the match, ECIII is livid and said Edwards tapped out. Edwards and ECIII get heated in the ring as Edwards holds his title up high.
Edwards goes to the ramp and howls as the show goes off the air with a preview of next week’s Total Nonstop Deletion.
Final Thoughts: There was a heavier focus on the in-ring product on this show, with really only two promos. For most of this year, TNA has followed a format that included match-promo-match-promo, etc. But this week strayed from that a bit, with more wrestling filling up the show.