MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 2/2: Open Fight Night, Jeff Hardy, Eli Drake, The D.C.C. & Trevor Lee Issue Challenges

By Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor



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McMahon’s Impact Wrestling Report
February 2, 2017
Taped in Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Aired on PopTV

Announcers: Josh Mathews & “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero

[HOUR ONE]

– Impact opened with a video package detailing tonight’s show, including highlighting that Jeff Hardy, The D.C.C., Trevor Lee and Eli Drake holding briefcases.

– Highlights from last week’s World Title match were shown, where Lashley defeated Eddie Edwards to win the TNA World Hvt. Title.

– Josh Mathews welcomes us to the show. Mathews said that tonight’s Open Fight Night will have “a twist,” and says that Anthem Sports & Entertainment is presenting the show.

– Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero come to the ring. Jeff is carrying his briefcase, or suitcase, or whatever they’re calling it. Mathews just called it a “case” so there’s that. Wait, now Pope called it a briefcase. For some reason, it’s spray painted green.

Matt takes the mic and said that the night is upon us. Matt called it the “night of open fights.” Matt said the Impact spotlight will shine on Brother Nero, but the conquest of the Hardys is merely beginning. Matt said the voices of the seven deities has shown him a never-ending wave of titles and challenges. Matt said they have been mandated to become the greatest tag team in all of space and time.

To do this, Matt said that the seven deities will supply them with a teleportation mechanism. Matt said they will go on an international expedition of gold. Matt said they will win all of the tag team gold. All of it. Matt then said there were tag teams who were too coward to show up to Total Nonstop Deletion, including the Bucks of Youth, the Day of New and the Family of Wyatts. Matt said if they won’t come to them, then the Hardys will go to them.

Now it’s Jeff’s turn to speak. He said in the briefcase, there is opportunity. Jeff said he was going to step back into the solo dimension tonight and challenge Lashley for the World Title. Matt said this was wonderful!

It wouldn’t be a wrestling promo without someone interrupting, so Lashley comes to the stage. He headed to the ring and said that he knew their paths would cross. Lashley said Jeff might be broken and obsolete, but he’s not stupid. Lashley said he’s ready for anything. Lashley said he’s ready for war, armageddon, the apocalypse, whatever.

Lashley called out Jeff for having Matt join in. Jeff then told Matt to go backstage and enjoy the show with the family, for he will do this on his own. Lashley said they should battle. Challenge accepted.

McMahon’s Analysis: For a World Title challenge, this felt a little anti-climactic. We’ll see how invested the crowd gets into this match, because where they just put the title back on Lashley last week, I don’t think anyone is expecting Jeff to win. But at the same time, they need to do something to protect him, I think. The crowd didn’t seem all that interested in the promo after Lashley emerged.

[Commercial break]

(1) LASHLEY vs. JEFF HARDY – TNA World Hvt. Title match

The match begins and Lashley quickly forces Hardy to the outside. Mathews said that because Hardy is challenging for the World Title, it means the D.C.C. cannot challenge for the Tag Titles later tonight with their case.

Lashley has Jeff down in the corner and he sets up for a spear. Lashley charges but Hardy side steps it and starts to deliver kicks and punches.

Now on the outside, Hardy whips Lashley into the ring post and barricade. The crowd starts to chant “Delete!” over and over. Hardy plays to the crowd while Lashley tries to recover on the outside. Hardy hits a twist of fate on the outside and throws Lashley into the steps, but he immediately comes back with a strong punch and elbow.

Lashley powerbombs Jeff on the steps and Hardy rolls off the steps and under the ring. Lashley throws Jeff into the steps.

[Commercial break]

Back from the break, Lashley smashes down on Hardy’s back. Mathews said that Lashley has been in control for the entire break. Jeff comes back with a twist of fate. He goes upstairs for a Swanton Bomb and he hits it but Lashley kicks out at two. Hardy hits another Swanton Bomb but Lashley gets his foot on the bottom rope.

On the outside, Jeff throws Lashley into the ringside steps. Jeff then uses the steps as a catapult, throwing himself at Lashley for a dropkick. Jeff then tries for a Swanton out of the ring, flipping over the top rope, but Lashley moved under the ring and Jeff hit the floor.

Back in the ring, Lashley hits a huge spear and gets the win.

WINNER: Lashley retains the title in 15:00.

McMahon’s Analysis: Really good match. Surprised they gave Jeff the clean loss here, with no interference or cheating, but it’s probably good that they did. The Hardys are so hot right now, they can survive the loss and this gives Lashley something to gloat about.

After the match, Mathews shows highlights. Lashley begins to celebrate in the ring while the referee checks on Jeff.

As Lashley was about to leave the ring, Eddie Edwards’ music hit and he emerged from backstage. Edwards climbs into the ring as Mathews says that Edwards still has a rematch clause.

Edwards grabs a mic and said that he knows Lashley went through a war, and tonight is not the time to fight him. Edwards congratulates Lashley on winning and retaining the title. Lashley laughs and thanks him, and said it’s about time he realizes how great he is. Lashley said he already knows how great he is. Lashley said he took the title from Edwards, and that means he’s better than him.

Edwards kept calling Lashley Triple B … Edwards then challenged him to the rematch (didn’t he say he wasn’t going to do that?) Lashley asked what Triple B meant, and Edwards said that it stands for “bitch boy Bobby.”

Lashley said that Edwards thinks everything is a joke. Lashley said the TNA World Title is not a joke and he is not a joke. Lashley threw a fit saying that he should say no. Edwards demanded the rematch. Lashley finally said he’s a fighting champion, and he will give Edwards a title shot, but he only will give him one chance. Lashley said if Edwards loses, he can go play with the little kids again, because he doesn’t want to see him again. Edwards accepted.

McMahon’s Analysis: What the hell? Mathews said that Edwards had a rematch clause as he was coming to the ring, but the whole promo was about whether or not Lashley would accept a rematch. If there was a rematch clause, why did Edwards even have to ask for the match? And why does he have to accept the term that he can’t challenge again if he loses? That made absolutely zero sense. Also, Edwards said that he wasn’t out there to challenge Lashley because he just went through a war with Hardy, and then he proceeded to challenge Lashley to a rematch. That post-match promo was a total mess.

– Backstage: Tyrus and Eli Drake are talking about their strategy and who they are challenging. Tyrus said that they will shock the world tonight.

[Commercial break]

– Backstage: Rosemary confronts Brandi Rhodes. Brandi said that she doesn’t know why Rosemary decided to creep on her, but they’ll never be friends. Rosemary shushes her. Rosemary said they think she has a lot of potential, but she needs their guidance. Rosemary said that they are offering her one last chance. Brandi pushes her back and said she’s not interested in decaying. Rosemary said that Brandi is choosing the hard way, and that Decay decides when this is over, not her.

– Backstage: Spud is driving Aron Rex around in a golf cart. The cart has Rex’s face emblazoned all over it. Spud rolls out a carpet for Rex and he steps out of the cart.

(2) SIENNA vs. BROOKE

Madison Rayne is back on commentary for the Knockouts match. Brooke charges Sienna to begin the match. Brooke has control of the match early. Brooke chases Maria around ringside and it allows Sienna to blindside her and gain control of the match again. Maria distracts Earl Hebner, which allows Sienna to choke Brooke with something from her gear. Brooke tries for a suplex but Sienna pushes her off. Brooke slides through Sienna on a charge and applies some sort of reverse choke submission. After about one minute, Sienna gets to her feet but Brooke hits a neckbreaker. Brooke goes to the top but Maria pushes her off. Sienna hits a Silencer for the win.

WINNER: Sienna in 5:00.

McMahon’s Analysis: Simple but effective match. The formula with Maria’s group is getting a little stale, though. It’s been the same thing for more than one year. Maria interferes, and her client gets a win. This feud still feels like a replay of the Gail Kim feud, just with a different protagonist.

After the match, Maria gets into the ring and celebrates with Sienna, raising her hand. Maria taunts Brooke while she’s out cold on the mat.

– Backstage: James Storm said that everyone has a target, and people will find out in a few minutes who they challenge.

[Commercial break]

– Back from the break, Rex is getting makeup put on backstage. Spud starts to yell at the makeup lady while Rex covers his ears, because he doesn’t like confrontation, he said. Spud said Rex looks marvelous and enchanting. Rex asked if he looked “Rexcellent.”

McMahon’s Analysis: Wow, that was painful.

– In the ring, James Storm and the rest of the D.C.C. are cutting a promo. Storm said they’re in the “ass-kicking business” and “business is booming.” Storm then called out Decay for a falls count anywhere match.

(3) THE D.C.C. vs. DECAY – falls count anywhere match

D.C.C. charges Decay on the ramp and a brawl begins. It appears that it’s going to be 3-on-2? All members of Decay are fighting. Bram and Kingston pickup Crazzy Steve and put him on James Storm’s shoulders. Storm is about to powerbomb him through a table but Steve bites his face and Storm dropped him.

[HOUR TWO]

Out with the crowd, Abyss gets tossed into garbage before hitting a double clothesline on Storm and Bram. Steve is up in the stands and he jumps off onto all three members of the D.C.C. Steve covers Storm for a two count.

Abyss goes under the ring and takes out a bag of thumbtacks while Steve grabs a barbed wire board and throws it into the ring. Abyss rips off Kingston’s shirt, presumably so he feels the tacks more, but Kingston kicks him. Rosemary spits mist into Kingston’s face and then Abyss chokeslams him into the tacks. Steve covers Kingston but Storm breaks up the pin.

Storm drops Steve but Abyss catches him. He’s about to chokeslam Storm onto the barbed wire but Storm kicks him. Bram hits Abyss with a beer bottle and Storm superkicks him, which forces Abyss to fall on the board. Steve hits Bram with a chair in the face. Bram falls on a table set up on teh outside. Steve is about to dive on Bram but Storm breaks it up. Bram and Storm then spike piledrive Steve through the table to the floor and Bram pins him for the win.

WINNER: THE D.C.C. in 7:00.

McMahon’s Analysis: Fun brawl with some good weapon spots, if you’re into that. The piledriver through the table on the outside looked scary, but Bram did a really great job making sure Steve was kept safe. The tacks and barbed wire have been done, and done again, but this was a fun brawl and a good change of pace.

[Commercial break]

– Backstage: Braxton Sutter is met by Maria and Mike Bennett. Maria congratulated Sutter on “things moving along” in his relationship with Laurel. Braxton basically said he had an awful time. Maria told Braxton to propose to Laurel. Braxton said no, but Maria said that if he doesn’t, he knows what will happen to Allie.

– In the ring, Drew Galloway is introduced. Galloway said that not everyone sold on the Grand Championship yet. He said people weren’t sold because Galloway got hurt, but he’s back now and he’s going to put the title on the map. Galloway said that everywhere he goes, he elevates.

Moose joined him in the Impact Zone. Both men are in their gear, so it appears we’re set for a third match in three weeks? Moose said that Galloway “kicked him in the nuts” when he won the title. Moose then said the second time they wrestled, he “deliberately kicked me in the nuts,” and that earned Galloway an ass-whooping, according to Moose.

Moose charged the ring and Galloway bailed. Galloway said that they need something new for this title, but Galloway vs. Moose part 73. Galloway said he has an opponent already. Galloway said that he is in the business of giving opportunities and he brought out Rob Rizen.

(4) DREW GALLOWAY vs. ROB RYZIN – Impact Grand Championship match

Round 1

Galloway slaps Ryzin to open the first round. Ryzin comes back with a flurry of punches but Galloway hits a huge Claymore Kick and then throws punches and elbows. Mathews then goes on a diatribe about Rudy, and plugs that the movie is next on Pop. Smooth. Galloway tosses Ryzin to the mat. Ryzin tries to fight back but Galloway plants him with a Future Shock DDT for the win.

WINNER: Drew Galloway retains via pin with 0:48 left in the first round.

After the match, Galloway gets his hand raised.

– Backstage: Shane Helms said that tonight is the biggest show of the year for Impact, and tonight, Trevor Lee will make his challenge.

[Commercial break]

– Back from the break, Trevor Lee is walking to the ring and calls out D.J. Z for an X Division Title match. Lee said that D.J. Z can’t walk because the Helms Dynasty took care of that last week. Helms then said it wouldn’t be just any match, it would be a ladder match. D.J. Z then limped to the ring.

(5) D.J. Z vs. TREVOR LEE – ladder match for the X Division Title

D.J. Z has control of the match early, flipping Lee to the outside. D.J. Z brings the ladder into the ring but Lee wrestles it away from him. D.J. Z hits a dive on the outside and he grabs at his ankle right away. D.J. Z rolls the ladder back into the ring but Lee grabs his ankle from the outside and slams it onto the apron. Lee climbs the ladder but D.J. Z pushes it over.

Helms jumps up and distracts D.J. Z, who was about to climb. Lee then comes up with a punch to D.J. Z, dropping him to the mat. Lee goes to slam the ladder on D.J. Z’s ankle, but he kicks Lee away. D.J. Z sets up the ladder and starts to climb but Lee runs up the ladder and they trade punches at the top of the ladder. D.J. Z punches Lee off the ladder and he tries to climb but Lee grabs him. D.J. Z converts it into a ZZT off the ladder.

D.J. Z begins to climb again but Helms slides Lee a chair, and he busts it over D.J. Z’s ankle. Lee then traps D.J. Z’s ankle into the chair and he traps it on top of the ladder. That allows Lee to climb the ladder and secure the belt for the win.

WINNER: Trevor Lee wins the X Division Title in 7:00.

After the match, D.J. Z looks like he’s crying as Mathews said the belt was stolen from D.J. Z.

– Backstage: Tyrus and Drake are again talking about what they’re going to do tonight. The cameraman asked who they would be challenging? Tyrus said they had the greatest surprise challenge match in the history of wrestling.

[Commercial break]

– Backstage: Spud introduces Rex … again. Rex demands he do it over and over. Finally, Robbie E comes in and interrupts them. Robbie E said that they have unfinished business. Robbie E challenged Rex to a match right now. Rex said that next week, they can have a date. Rex said he needs time to prepare. Robbie E said that sounds perfect.

McMahon’s Analysis: Make it stop. Please, make it stop.

– In the ring, Eli Drake and Tyrus are in the ring and we’re about to see who they are going to challenge. Mathews said that the case technically belongs to only Drake, but let’s see what they have in store.

Tyrus said that the crowd won’t hear from Drake tonight. Tyrus said that Drake is going to love this. Tyrus told Drake that it wasn’t what they talked about before, but tonight it will be Drake vs. ECIII.

The lights go out and ECIII comes to the ring in street clothes. Tyrus taunted ECIII as he walked to the ring. Tyrus told ECIII to show the ladies his abs, and when ECIII removed his shirt, his whole abdomen is purple.

(6) ELI DRAKE vs. ECIII

Drake jumps ECIII from behind and the bell rings. Drake knees ECIII in the ribs.

[Commercial break]

Back from the break, Drake is hammering ECIII’s back with forearms. Drake grabs a baseball bat from under the ring but ECIII kicks him before he can use it.

Drake starts to attack ECIII as soon as he jumps back into the ring. Drake has clear control of the match. Drake whips ECIII into the turnbuckle and follows that up with some swift kicks. ECIII bounces off the rope and hits a clothesline, to give him a chance. Mathews said ECIII has finally shown signs of life.

ECIII hits a jawkbreaker and fires up in the corner but Drake comes out and hits a clothesline. ECIII rolls Drake up with a jacknife cover, out of nowhere, for the win.

WINNER: ECIII in 10:00.

After the match, Tyrus and Eli Drake argue on the outside. Drake grabs the bat and hits the ring, nailing ECIII in the ribs. Drake hits an inverted stunner and Drake takes the bat and again punishes ECIII’s ribs. The lights go out, and when they come back on, D.C.C. is in the ring. They pull off their masks and then start beating on ECIII. Mathews wonders why? D.C.C. then takes out Tyrus and Drake. D.C.C. takes a chair into the ring. They pick up ECIII and spike piledrive him onto the chair. D.C.C. stands over ECIII as the show goes off the air.

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