Date: June 21, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
We’re coming off one of the most entertaining nights Impact has put on in a long time but there was a small bump in the road just afterwards as they aired their regular show. The big news coming off that: we get ANOTHER Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy match this week as they fight inside a cage. I doubt they can top the commercial marathon from last week but let’s get to it.
We open with dueling promos from Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy as they both talk about how this is the final battle. I’m so sure.
Here’s Drew Galloway for an opening chat. Galloways isn’t going to whine and complain but he wants Ethan Carter III out here right now. Carter apologizes for what happened last week but Drew wants a fight. He thinks Carter was on commentary because Carter thought he deserved the title shot instead.
Ethan says he shouldn’t have been in the title match because he was burned out. They yell about how hard both of them worked as champion but Ethan rescinds his apology and says he should be champ. Drew thinks Ethan got where he was by talking instead of fighting so it’s about to be on.
Cue Lashley to laugh about them arguing before both guys think they should have a #1 contenders match. Instead Lashley has set up a tag match where Drew and Ethan will team together. If they win they get a title shot (not clear if it’s one at a time or a triple threat) but if they lose they go to the back of the line. If Lashley’s team wins, his partner gets a title shot so here’s Eli Drake to offer to be the partner. Lashley agrees and it’s on right now.
Lashley/Eli Drake vs. Ethan Carter III/Drew Galloway
Lashley goes after Ethan to start but a standoff means a double tag. Drake gets taken into the corner as the good guys keep tagging themselves in, much to each others’ annoyances. Ethan backdrops Drake but Eli grabs a quick neckbreaker. It’s off to Lashley for a quick choke before Eli punches Ethan in the face a few times.
The bad guys keep taking turns stomping away before Eli slaps on a chinlock. A double clothesline drops Ethan and Lashley but Drake knocks Drew off the apron to break up the tag attempt. The TK3 allows the hot tag to Drew as everything breaks down. Blunt Force Trauma is broken up and the 1%er plants Eli, only to have Lashley spear Ethan down. That’s fine with Drew as he pins Drake at 8:17.
Rating: C. Well I’m glad they solved that issue in the span of twenty minutes. As usual, TNA has no idea how to let something build up because it can’t be the main event since that’s Matt and Jeff’s designated territory and the idea of waiting a week just isn’t in TNA’s lexicon. I like the story and I love the fact that these guys are being built up but let the stories progress over time, not all at once.
Decay wants to know who Rosemary has been talking to but she says to trust her. They’ll get an answer tonight.
Lashley comes up to Drew in the back and says he holds all the cards. He might give Ethan the first shot but Drew wants to step outside right now.
Here’s Decay to reveal who Rosemary has been talking to. They’re the death dealers but tonight they want to offer life to….Bram. She asks everyone to trust each other and thinks Bram is fed up with everyone trying to fix him. Bram lost the King of the Mountain Title because he was alone and they don’t want him to be like that anymore. The answer is decay. Bram: “I guess you’re kind of hot, I don’t know.” Bram declines the offer though and the beatdown is on.
Lashley congratulates Ethan on getting his title shot but it’s still on his terms. Ethan will know who gets the shot by the end of the night. As I said earlier: SLOW DOWN WITH THESE THINGS.
Marti Bell vs. Jade
Jade goes right after her to start as a fan tries to start dueling chants. Marti takes over and sends it to the floor while yelling a lot. That’s fine with Jade who picks up Marti’s baton, only to be told to put it down. You don’t argue with Earl Hebner so they head inside, sans baton. A German suplex looks to set up Jade’s package piledriver but Marti escapes and slaps her in the face. Jade faceplants her hard and Marti bails to the floor to grab that baton for a knockout shot for the pin at 5:49.
Rating: D-. The wrestling was nothing, the story was nothing, and the ending was predictable. I really don’t think anyone was looking forward to this match and I have no idea why it’s going to continue other than they have a lot of time to fill and think these two are interesting because they’ve been on TV before.
Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett will respond to Dixie slapping Maria in the ring.
Lashley laughs at Dixie about the slap so she says he’ll face both Ethan and Drew next week. That’s fine with Lashley, who is way too cool with this.
Here are Mike and Maria with something to say. Josh says they’ve gone radio silent on social media since last week. Just out of curiosity I checked both of their Twitters and couldn’t find the end of their tweets from the last 24 hours. In other words, Josh Matthews continues to have no idea what he’s talking about. Anyway, Maria says she hasn’t slept in a week and the slap last week was assault. They demand Dixie is out here right now so here she is, along with Billy Corgan.
Maria screeches that Dixie needs to step down but Dixie thinks it’s crazy. Mike threatens to sue TNA for so much money that Dixie would lose everything. Eh true but small claims courts are backed up for months. Corgan suggests that Dixie take a leave of absence for about a week. Yes a week. Dixie panics but agrees before leaving. Mike wants an X-Division Title shot because Destination X is coming up soon. He can wrestle any style, no matter what the keyboard warriors think. Billy thinks Mike needs to earn that so he can have a title shot right now.
X-Division Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bennett
Eddie is defending and Josh starts things off by talking about everything Eddie has accomplished as champion. He’s held the belt NINE DAYS and has had one successful title defense. As usual, Josh Matthews continues to be stupid. Eddie snaps off a hurricanrana to start and avoids a Bennett knee drop. Maria offers a distraction as the announcers talk about bullfrogs. A quick cutter gives Mike two and we hit the chinlock on the champ. Eddie fights back and sends him outside for a pair of suicide dives.
Back in and a Blue Thunder Bomb gets two on Bennett and Eddie heads up top. Mike tries a superplex but Eddie smacks his ears to break it up. Josh: “How appropriate in an X-Division match.” Josh Matthews, stupid, you know the drill. Anyway the Miracle in Progress is broken up and Eddie tries a sunset flip, only to have Mike kneel down and hold the ropes (while Maria holds his hands) for the pin and the title at 8:32.
Rating: C-. This was your standard “it’s that time of the year so the X-Division Title means something to the main eventers” match but I really can’t get over all the stupid things Josh was saying. He got on my nerves last year when he called fans stupid for bringing up Austin Aries losing his career because they were paying too much attention and now he just says stupid stuff. I’m sure I’m just overthinking it though because wrestling fans are stupid people who overthink thinks.
Robbie E. plugs Big Brother After Dark and sees Jesse and Raquel talking about doing something behind Robbie’s back.
Braxton Sutter vs. Balam
Actually not so fast as Rockstar Spud comes out and says he’s taking Balam’s place because he’s sick of the Braxton Sutter show. Spud runs his mouth and gets punched in the face to start things off.
Braxton Sutter vs. Rockstar Spud
Sutter sends him into the corner but gets caught in a tornado DDT for two. Spud’s chinlock doesn’t go anywhere as Sutter kicks him in the face and hits a Downward Spiral for the pin at 2:40. There’s no reason for them to do so, but I’m sure these two will fight again.
Post match Spud kicks Sutter low, hits him in the back with a belt and spits on him.
Video on Sienna, talking about how hard she trains and how she wants to destroy Gail Kim. Until she mentioned Kim, this was a face promo.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Cage match with pin or submission only to win. Jeff doesn’t even waste time by throwing in tables, a ladder and a chair before Matt can even come out. Reby Hardy introduces Matt and insists that no one call him crazy. Matt brings in his own chair and somehow doesn’t notice Jeff on the top, waiting to dive on him at the bell. Matt comes back by shoving Jeff into the cage for two. Another whip sends Jeff into the cage and us to a break.
Back with Matt still in control as the announcers try to make sense of the story. Matt takes too long setting up a table though and eats a chair to the face. Poetry in Motion only hits the cage though and Matt bites the leg. A Side Effect through a chair only gets two for Matt but Jeff comes back with Whisper in the Wind to put both guys down.
Some Twists of Fate keep Matt down but the Swanton only gets two. The fans aren’t reacting to any of this. Another Twist of Fate puts Matt on a table so Jeff puts a chair on top of him. A second table is stacked on top of that before Jeff puts a ladder on the ropes for a splash through the top table but not through Matt. Not that it matters of course as it’s enough to pin Matt at 14:13.
Rating: B-. Ok now what’s next? I mean, I have no reason to believe this wraps up the feud so what are they doing next? It’s clear that these two are going to feud for months on end while the fans get quieter and quieter because they’re desensitized to these huge spots after seeing them for years. It’s a good cage match and all but the big spot is the only thing that’s going to matter.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a better show than they’ve done recently and a lot of that was due to having the Hardys contained to the last twenty or so minutes. They’re going to get in their stuff no matter what happens so just let them have their time while the rest of the show is mostly strong. It’s not a great show or anything but if they can get this pacing stuff down, everything will get better in a hurry.
Above all else though, the most frustrating thing about TNA continues to be that they clearly know how to create new stars (Sutter, Carter, Galloway etc.) but those people are typically stuck underneath the Hardys’ nonsense. It’s gotten better in recent weeks but I can’t help think that whichever Hardy comes out of this on top is next in line for the title after pushing everyone else out of the way to less of a reaction because we’ve seen that so many times.
Drew Galloway/Ethan Carter III b. Lashley/Eli Drake – 1%er to Drake
Marti Bell b. Jade – Baton to the head
Mike Bennett b. Eddie Edwards – Rollup while holding the ropes
Braxton Sutter b. Rockstar Spud – Downward Spiral
Jeff Hardy b. Matt Hardy – Swanton Bomb through a table
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