Date: September 22, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
There are two weeks left before Bound For Glory and a lot of the card has been filled in. Tonight we have the two semifinal matches in the Grand Championship tournament and more of the build towards Ethan Carter III vs. Lashley for the TNA World Title. We’re to the point where everything is about setting up the pay per view so let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Lashley and Moose brawling to end last week’s show until Ethan Carter III came out for the save.
Grand Championship Title Tournament Semifinals: Drew Galloway vs. Eddie Edwards
Josh tries to get “Scottish Dragon” over as Drew’s latest nickname. It’s better than the Leonidas of TNA. Drew chops away to start but Eddie backflips out of a suplex and kicks Drew out to the floor. The suicide dive connects, only to have Drew pop back up with a tilt-a-whirl slam onto the apron. Drew rolls some suplexes for two before getting in some right hands to “break down the guard” to end the first round.
Drew wins the first round so Eddie scores with a running clothesline to start the second round. A super hurricanrana gets two on Galloway and Eddie ties him in the Tree of Woe, only to have Drew sit up into a belly to belly superplex. The Boston Knee Party sends Drew outside and back to back suicide dives has Eddie in full control to end the second round.
Eddie wins the second round to tie it up and starts fast by going after the knee. That’s reversed into the Iron Maiden but Eddie reverses into one of his own. Eddie shifts over into some leg holds so Drew kicks him in the face. That’s one way to do it. They chop it out with Drew getting the better of it and hitting a Razor’s Edge buckle bomb. Eddie gets an enziguri but walks into the Futureshock for two as time expires at 10:17.
Rating: B-. And that’s why I don’t like this tournament structure. This was one of the better matches TNA had put on in a few weeks if not months but the stupid rounds and time limit made sure that they couldn’t keep going because we need to end this match at nine minutes. To be fair though, how else are we going to get in more vignettes of Vanguard I and Senor Benjamin playing chess?
The judges give it to Drew on a split decision. Again, the points aren’t actually mentioned and they would have the same result if they just had the judges vote on a winner instead of giving numbers. But hey, why do what makes sense when you can make it more complicated?
Post match Drew says his match will be the real main event of Bound For Glory because nothing can follow him. This brings out Ethan Carter III, who doesn’t like Drew suggesting that he’s the better man. Drew thinks it’s interesting how Ethan comes out on his feet all the time and offers him a Grand Championship shot. As Drew leaves, Ethan says he can beat Drew anywhere anytime but here’s Lashley to interrupt. Mike Bennett runs in from behind to beat on Drew and it’s a double beatdown. Cue Moose but the good guys are left laying.
Allie is trying to find people to help with Maria Kanellis’ public workout but Maria comes up to yell at her again.
Aron Rex and Eli Drake are ready for their semifinal match.
Bennett asks Lashley if they’re friends but Lashley says he has no friends. Mike thinks he can get a title shot by beating Moose but Lashley stares him down.
Grand Championship Title Tournament Semifinals: Aron Rex vs. Eli Drake
Before the bell, Drake tells Rex to stay off the mic because he can’t hang at this level. Rex laughs off the insults and says he’s going to tell the tale of Eli Drake. Eli is the offspring of an out of work Chippendale dancer and a Muppet and has bad taste in knee pads. That’s a little rude but not exactly Drake was probably more insulting. Rex needs to stick with being smart and not trying to be a Rock knockoff.
They trade headlocks to start as it’s a very simple first minute. Rex’s Russian legsweep looks to set up the Wind-Up Elbow but Drew bails to the floor. A sideslam looks to set up the Edgecator on Drake but the first round wraps up. Round one goes to Rex but he still can’t get the Edgecator to start the second.
Drake pops him in the jaw a few times and grabs a chinlock, which really isn’t the best idea in a match this short. A jumping neckbreaker gets two on Aron and Drake pounds him down to end the second round. Drake wins the second and Rex is in trouble to start the final round. Not that it matters as Rex hits his discus punch (the Revelator) for the pin at 8:43.
Rating: C. This wasn’t too bad and yet again the time limit really hurt things. We’ve spent the better part of a month setting up a final that’s going to have a nine minute time limit for a big fight between people who want to hurt each other. Drake deserves a bit better than this but at least they’re giving a rub to someone with potential.
Decay promises to destroy the Hardys in the Great War but they catch Vanguard I spying on them. A Senor Benjamin hologram pops up to laugh at them as Vanguard I flies away.
Rex is talking about his win when Galloway pops up to say he’ll win, though Aron disagrees.
We see a man walking to his car and talking about his past being behind. He gets in his car and the reveal is Cody Rhodes (just Cody here), who will debut at Bound For Glory.
Here’s Decay with a message for the Hardys. Rosemary says the Great War will be the end of every last Hardy. More destruction is promised until Matt Hardy appears in the crowd to say this is a world of magic. The battlefield for the Great War will be the entire world so Matt can delete the title reign. Jeff shows up to say they’ll twist Decay’s fate and Abyss will no longer be beautiful, Steve won’t be crazy and Rosemary won’t be rosy anymore. The lights go out and come back up to reveal Steve and Abyss tied to the ropes. Reby shows up to spear Rosemary but she can’t get a Twist of Fate. Reby promises to take care of her soon.
Ethan Carter III and Moose fire each other up.
X-Division Champion DJZ comes out and issues an open challenge for a title match.
X-Division Title: DJZ vs. Trevor Lee
Lee is challenging and starts fast with a slam to work on DJZ’s back. The champ fights back and sends Lee outside for a big flip dive to take out Lee and Andrew Everett. Back in and a middle rope back elbow to the jaw rocks Lee, followed by a springboard hurricanrana. The ZDT retains the title at 3:45.
Rating: C-. So much for the X-Division being revitalized. This was just like most X-Division matches you’ve seen in the last few years: no reason for it to happen other than “let’s have a match”, nothing special for wrestling, almost no time and the same people fighting for the title that have been fighting for it since I can remember. It’s not a bad match or anything but it’s really lazy storytelling.
Post match Everett and Lee (they’re still the Helms Dynasty despite Helms not being around in months) beat on DJZ until Eddie Edwards makes the save. Edwards asks for a title match next week and DJZ says it’s on.
Maria yells at Allie for being stupid like Gail Kim. Allie is crushed, again.
Here are Maria, Allie and Sienna for Maria’s public workout. Maria yells at Allie and tells her to get out of the camera shot because no one wants to see her. Sienna deserves a title shot but isn’t going to get one tonight. An unnamed opponent comes out and gets beaten up by Sienna, allowing Maria to get the first pin in about thirty seconds. Allie doesn’t have a second opponent because she already found the easiest opponent she could. Maria berates her again so here’s a woman in all black, including a mask. Yeah I think you know where this one is going.
The masked woman easily takes Maria to the mat and reveals herself as Gail Kim. Sienna comes in for the save but Gail beats her down too and sends the other heels running. There’s an interesting story here, assuming you completely remove Gail from the match. Every part of this looks to be setting up Allie taking the title from Maria but no, let’s have Gail Kim get the title shot instead. Maybe Maria retains anyway and loses to Allie down the road but that should be at the pay per view, not some TV match later on.
Same Cody vignette from earlier. They really couldn’t film two of these?
We run down the Bound For Glory card.
Ethan Carter III/Moose vs. Lashley/Mike Bennett
Bennett drops to the floor at the opening bell so Lashley gets beaten down by both opponents. We take a break about a minute in and come back with Bennett hitting a cutter for two on Carter. Bennett sends Carter into the corner but punches Lashley by mistake. The hot tag brings in Moose and everything breaks down. Carter grabs a quick rollup to pin Bennett at 8:35.
Rating: D. What the heck was that? Most of this was in the commercial and the ending felt like it was out of nowhere. Carter vs. Lashley and Bennett vs. Moose don’t feel like big matches and that’s a really bad sign for two of the top three matches at the biggest show of the year. Not good here and not a good way to set things up.
Post match Lashley and Carter brawl with wrestlers and referees barely able to hold them back. Cue Billy Corgan to say that’s not how this is going down. Next week we’re starting Bound For Glory early with Team Lashley vs. Team Carter with the winning team getting to pick the stipulations for the title match. Oh and let’s just make it Lethal Lockdown. You know, because THE BIGGEST GIMMICK MATCH TNA HAS SHOULD BE USED TO SET UP ANOTHER MATCH.
Overall Rating: C. This show did its job of helping to build a lot of stuff at Bound For Glory but it’s still not the most interesting stuff in the world. Nothing on the card feels like a must see match and that’s not how you want the biggest show of the year to go. Lashley vs. Carter has been done before and I’m really not excited about seeing them fight again. It’s better than what they’ve done in recent years but this is really not doing much for me right now.
Drew Galloway b. Eddie Edwards via judges’ decision
Aron Rex b. Eli Drake – Revelator
DJZ b. Trevor Lee – ZDT
Ethan Carter III/Moose b. Lashley/Mike Bennett – Rollup to Bennett
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