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MCMAHON’S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT
JANUARY 12, 2017
AIRED ON POP TV
Announcers: Josh Mathews & “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero
— Impact begins with a recap video of last week’s show.
— Josh Mathews welcomes us to the show, again saying the show is brought to us by Anthem Sports and Entertainment. Mathews said we’d see the return of a former three-time knockouts champion tonight.
— Backstage: Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy are talking about The Wolves. Matt said that the Wolves are one of the greatest teams in history, and the seven deities mandated the Hardys to prove they are the greatest tag team in all of space and time, so they must defeat and delete the Wolves.
— In-arena: ECIII’s music plays and he heads to the ring with a chair. Mathews called the chair a smoking gun. Mathews shows highlights of last week’s triple threat match for the TNA World Title as well as highlights from the One Night Only match between ECIII and Edwards for the World Title.
ECIII said he would bring the conversation to the people, jumped out of the ring and sat at ringside in the chair he brought to the ring with him. ECIII said he only requested one clean title match, but it wasn’t clean because Davey Richards showed up as a surprise. ECIII said that’s fair, but the next night at One Night Only, all he wanted was a clean title match and instead he had Lashley interfere with a spear and a Davey Richards chair shot to his back.
ECIII said the Wolves are a couple of good guys, but they aren’t what they seem. ECIII said it doesn’t take Wikileaks to see there is collusion. ECIII said he has an ax to grind, and he’s going to grind it right now. He said he’s coming after the Wolves, and he’s coming for Wolves Nation. ECIII called out the Wolves.
Instead of the Wolves, Lashley came to the stage.
“Ethan!” Lashley said. “How does it feel, man? How does it feel to be interrupted?”
Lashley kept asking that question, saying that ECIII interrupted him last week when he wanted a rematch. The crowd chanted “shut your mouth!” at Lashley. Lashley said that he handed ECIII a chair last week, but his pride got in the way and he didn’t use it. Lashley said he would have taken Edwards’ head off. Lashley said he wants a rematch too, and to get it, he needs to take out ECIII and eliminate him. Lashley proposes a last man standing match tonight. Winner gets Edwards and a shot at the TNA World Title.
“Last man standing match?” asked ECIII. “I don’t know if you have the authority to make that match, but I’ll ask the Anthem owl if that’s OK?”
ECIII then asked the middle turnbuckle if that was OK. Lashley got impatient and said he doesn’t have time to play. ECIII said he doesn’t want the match later tonight, he wants it right now.
ECIII then charged Lashley on the stage and security ran out from the back to pull them apart as the show goes to a break.
1 — ECIII vs. LASHLEY – last man standing match to determine the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Title
ECIII was on the stage when the bell rang and he charged the ring. The match quickly spilled to the outside and Lashley tossed ECIII into the railing. The match then spills into the crowd before Lashley flips him back over the barricade. Lashley hits a powerslam on the outside and rolls ECIII back into the ring. ECIII is able to get in some offense before clotheslining Lashley to the outside.
Brian Hebner begins to count but Lashley gets to his feet. ECIII hits a snap suplex on the outside of the ring, again starting a count. ECIII pulls out and sets up two tables on the ramp as the show again goes to a commercial break five minutes into the match.
Back from the break, ECIII hits a flapjack in the middle of the ring. Lashley goes for a spear but misses and drives his shoulder into the ring post. ECIII hits a german suplex and Hebner starts his count. Lashley gets up and ECIII sets him up for a superplex off the top. Hebner begins a count on both Lashley and ECIII. Lashley got up first and set up ECIII for a top-rope superplex. Pope noted that the superplex took them halfway across the ring. Hebner again counts. Both men get up at once and Lashley hits a spear. Lashley tells Hebner to count and he sets up in the corner for another spear. As ECIII gets up, Lashley charges for a second spear. Hebner again counts as Lashley leaves the ring, going under the ring to get a weapon. ECIII begins to stir at seven and gets up at nine. Lashley, meanwhile, shoves a table into the ring and sets it up in the corner. Lashley picks up ECIII but he fires back with chops. Lashley comes back with a spinebuster to the mat. Lashley lays ECIII on the table in the corner and goes for a third spear but ECIII sidesteps. Lashley puts on the brakes but ECIII hits a One Percenter and then drives Lashley through the table with a spear.
ECIII and Lashley are both out in the corner, covered in bits of a table, as the referee counts both men. ECIII stirs at seven, ECIII gets up at eight and Lashley rolled out of the ring, landing on his feet at nine. ECIII takes the chair and goes to the outside, wrapping it around the post trying for a head shot that Lashley ducked. ECIII starts to twist the chair over Lashley’s back, however. ECIII hits six chair shots to Lashley’s back and sits down in the same chair as Hebner counts. Lashley gets to his knees at six and uses the stairs to get to his feet at eight.
Lashley crawls up the steps and onto the apron. ECIII follows him slowly and locks in a rear naked choke on the apron. Lashley tosses himself, and ECIII, off the apron and through the two tables that ECIII set up at ringside earlier in the match. Hebner counts, Lashley gets up at nine and ECIII doesn’t make the count.
WINNER: Lashley in 17:00 to become the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Hvt. Title.
— After the match, Lashley rolls into the ring to get his hand raised as ECIII sits up against the barricade. Mathews shows highlights. ECIII is helped to the back by security as Lashley collapses in the corner after getting his hand raised.
— Backstage, we see a hand hovering over jewelry on a table. Whoever it is puts on a ring as the show goes to a break.
(McMahon’s Analysis — That was two heavyweights who just beat the holy hell out of each other. This match easily could have been the main event on any episode of Impact, given the stipulation and the star power involved. The margin of victory was so narrow for Lashley, this isn’t the end of ECIII in the title picture. Lashley might get the shot right now, but there isn’t a big personal issue that would take ECIII out of the title picture, so this is likely just a bump in the road for him.)
— Back from the break, Mathews explains next week begins Race for the Case, which is a concept that has to do with Open Fight Night.
— Backstage, Eli Drake and Tyrus interrupt producers backstage. Drake demands the producer read a message.
“Let me talk to you, dummy yeah. That’s not an insult, that’s the last time you will hear those words. Impact Wrestling fans don’t appreciate what is in front of them.”
Drake’s message had to do with the fans cheering him losing his voice. So, he said, through that message, that he is taking his voice away from the fans, telling the fans that they did this do themselves. Drake then beats up the producer backstage as crew run in to break it up.
– In the ring, Rockstar Spud is introducing “the sultan of showmanship, the prince of pageantry, the alchemist of entertainment and the sole reason God himself gifted us with eyesight.”
Aron Rex them emerged from backstage. Rex looks very flamboyant in a white fur robe, wearing rings an some makeup. Spud is dressed in a light blue suit.
Spud said that Aron Rex’s name cannot be spoken, it can only be sang.
Rex said he had an epiphany a few months ago. Rex said he realized that for years, the fans have watched him on TV and have paid good money to see him. But not a single fan has ever paid to see him compete in this ring or to see him wrestle. Rex said people have watched and paid to see him only. Not to see him wrestle, but just to see him.
Pope said, “Lady Gaga, eat your heart out.”
Rex made a Mariah Carey joke and took off his robe.
Robbie E then came to the stage with a microphone. He said that this is wild. Robbie E asked what the hell he was looking at? Rex said he is the single greatest entity in the history of humanity. Robbie E pointed out that Spud lost to a baby, and Swoggle, as well as quitting last week. But RObbie E said it’s a new beginning for Impact. Robbie said it’s a new era, but Aron is the same old jackass.
Spud and Rex then attacked Robbie E, stomping him over and over in the corner. Rex then threw multiple elbows in the corner. Spud picks up Robbie E with a fishhook and Rex throws a huge knockout punch. Spud gave Rex his coat and helped him put it back on. Rex said that violence is never the answer.
(McMahon’s Analysis — First impression wasn’t a good one for Rex’s new gimmick. Apparently, he had pitched this to WWE a few times, and after the first look, I can see why they passed. They did, at least, try to explain the new direction in character, with Rex explaining that he realized people came to see him, etc.
— Backstage: The DCC cuts a promo. James Storm said it’s a new beginning of Impact, but there are some memories you never forget. Bram asked how he could forget about Decay, who left him for dead? Kingston said he has 15 years of memories paying dues and 15 years of office people telling him he’s too violent and he’s too street. Storm said that’s what the DCC is all about. Storm said the devil whispered in his ear that he couldn’t handle the storm, so he whispered in the devil’s ear that he is the storm. That’s why they are the Death Crew Council.
— Back from a commercial, Allie is backstage on her phone. Maria asks what she is doing? Allie said she is watching a video Braxton sent her. Maria said she gave Allie a list of things to do, and she’s sitting there? Maria told Allie she will never be a wrestler, and she thought Sienna taught her that lesson. Maria said since Allie won’t end this thing with Braxton, Bennett will.
2 — DECAY (w/Rosemary) vs. THE DCC
The match begins and we see that Storm will watch from the outside. It will be Kingston and Bram vs. Decay.
Bram drops Abyss with a kick but Abyss tosses Bram over the top. Back in the ring, Kingston and Crazzy Steve are fighting as Abyss and Bram roll to the outside.
With Abyss down on the outside, Bram and Kingston double-team Steve in the ring, including a double alabama slam.
Kingston and Bram tag in and out, beating up Crazzy Steve as Abyss looks on helplessly from his corner.
Bram set up Steve for a powerbomb, but he revered into a hurricanrana. Steve makes the tag and Abyss hits a double clothesline on Bram and Kingston, followed by a double splash in the corner.
Abyss was about to chokeslam Bram but Storm got on the apron, so Abyss dropped him instead, fighting him on the outside. Steve dives off the top onto Bram and Kingston. Storm hit Abyss with a water bottle as the bell rings.
WINNER: Apparent no-contest at the five-minute mark.
After the match, the bell continues to ring as the teams brawl on the outside.
— Backstage, The Wolves are talking about being reunited for a shot at the tag titles tonight. Edwards said this feels like a career-defining moment. Richards apologized for last week. He said he’s a hot head, but he’s proud of Eddie. Richards said he’s feeling naked, so Edwards said they should change that and win the tag titles.
— Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell welcomes back Brooke.
Brooke said she is so excited to be back in her home. Brooke said she left last October to start a family and she had a baby last Sept. 3, but she’s ready to resume her professional career. Brooke said she would read the interviews when she was younger about the adrenaline rush of the crowd, and she has missed it, so that’s why she’s back full time.
Brooke said there is a lot of new faces, and she’s looking forward to wrestling all of them and she plans on getting a title shot soon, and that her return in the ring would be next week.
— In-arena: Maria is on the stage to introduce Mike Bennett. Braxton Sutter was out next.
3 — MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. BRAXTON SUTTER
The bell rings and they lock up. Sutter has control of the match early before Bennett lands a kick, dropping Sutter off the apron and to the outside. Sutter catches Bennett with a spinebuster for a two count. Sutter hits a diving cutter off the second rope. Maria grabs Sutter’s ankle, causing a distraction that allowed Bennett to land a kick and an MIP. Maria screamed for Bennett to “finish him!” and Bennett picked up Sutter for a piledriver. Maria gets on the apron and kisses Bennett, telling Bennett to piledrive Sutter one more time. Allie came out from the back and began going after Maria on the stage. Maria grabbed Allie’s face so she had to watch, but Sutter flipped over Bennett and jackknife pinned him for a win.
WINNER: Braxton Sutter in six minutes.
After the match, Maria screams at Allie and talks to Bennett, who looks shocked.
— Backstage, Bennett said 2017 was supposed to be their year and it’s not happening because of Allie. Maria said she hates Allie and her bunny face. Bennett said that he hates Allie, and Maria said she hates her too. Bennett told Maria that she owns Allie, and Maria said he’s right. She said she knows what she will do to Allie, and they will both enjoy it.
— In-arena: Rosemary walks to the ring with the Knockouts Title.
Rosemary said that darkness has consumed the Knockouts division. Rosemary said their decay spreads with each passing day, and every last knockout will feel, taste and become the darkness. She said every last one of them will decay, decay, decay!
Jade came to the stage and entered the ring, demanding a rematch for her title. Jade said Rosemary is only champion because of the mist Rosemary spit. Rosemary said that she wouldn’t deny Jade the punishment, but she had to accept her invitation to a monster’s ball!
Jade said Rosemary is sick and twisted, but so is she. Jade said Rosemary hasn’t seen her sick and twisted side, but she will, at the monster’s ball. Jade told Rosemary to prepare for war.
As Jade went to leave the ring, Rosemary attacked but Jade saw her and they begin brawling in the ring. Jade throws quick kicks and punches before going for a package piledriver, but Rosemary rolled away.
McMahon’s Analysis — What is going on with Decay? They were babyfaces earlier in the show (I assume) against the DCC, and then later in the show Rosemary is a heel against Jade. They have lost a real sharp definition of what they are as characters.
4 — THE WOLVES vs. THE HARDYS — TNA Tag Team Title match
The bell rings and Matt begins the match with Edwards. Early in the match, Pope and Mathews talk about whether or not Richards will experience ring rust. Mathews pointed out that he spoke to Richards earlier, and he said he has been training in a ring, but it hasn’t been a six-sided ring.
Matt has Edwards in the corner and smashes him face-first into the turnbuckle about a dozen times. Edwards comes back with chops before Hardy bites Edwards’ hand and the show goes to a break.
Back from the break, Jeff hits a clothesline on Edwards. Pope and Mathews talk about the differences for Edwards, wrestling in a tag-team match again after being a singles wrestler for the past year.
Richards tags in and tries to double pin both Hardys but only gets a two count. Richards locks a figure four on Matt. Jeff tried to break it up, but Richards grabs an ankle lock on Jeff. Matt gets to the rope to break the hold.
Matt hits a twist of fate on Richards followed by a Jeff swanton bomb but Richards kicks out a two.
Edwards dives on Matt on the outside. Inside, Richards tries to go over and say something to Edwards on the outside. Edwards gets caught by Matt with a rollup for the win.
WINNER: Matt and Jeff retain the TNA Tag Titles in 16 minutes.
After the match, Richards looks angry at Edwards as the Hardys get their hands raised.
I thought this was a pretty good show. As far as the whole who is the heel and who is the babyface, that line was blurred years ago. I have been watching wrestling for decades and the one thing that I enjoy about most of today’s wrestling is not everyone cheers for the “face.” When I was a kid I rarely cheered for the face, mostly because everyone else was cheering for him. For that reason I cheered Bundy, not Hogan and cheered Flair not Dusty Rhodes. There were a few exceptions, but some of us don’t like being told who to cheer.
I liked the new gimmick of Aaron Rex so far, but I am not sure why Spud is still there. I thought he quit? If he quit and then was rehired by Rex they should have at least given him a couple weeks minimum off air. Quitting one week and being on the next week sorta takes the sting out of quitting.