We’re a day late on the Impact review thanks to video games and exhaustion. I was excited to watch on Tuesday, as the match builds have been pretty intense. This week’s episode begins with another backstage brawl between Drew Galloway and Bobby Lashley, who will compete in tonight’s main event. After the two men are separated, we cut to the ring where “Willow” enters the arena. The creation of Jeff Hardy was hijacked last week by a mystery man. Tonight’s Willow is wearing a black bodysuit to hide his identity and has his voice disguised; he sounds like a chipmunk. “Willow” says a few words on the mic before Jeff Hardy interrupts. Jeff states that there is only one Willow in the world, and he lives inside of Jeff Hardy. Hardy asks “do you love, do you hate, do you die forever late in Willow’s way” before attacking the Willow impostor. A ref comes out to the ring to make this match official. Hardy hits a Twist of Fate to quickly win this match. As Jeff goes to unmask “Willow,” a second, more robust Willow” appears and the pair begin attacking Hardy. A third “Willow” comes to the ring from backstage; his voice is also disguised as he taunts Jeff Hardy. All three are now attacking Jeff as we go to commercial. This is bizarre to say the least.
As we return from commercial, the trio of Willow’s are in the ring. Willow #3 unmasks to reveal that he is Matt Hardy. Matt looks like he just returned from a month long bender. Matt proceeds to blame Jeff for every problem in his life, telling Jeff that he used Willow to show Jeff his fatal mistake, which was not finishing him off when he had the chance. It’s not a shock at all to learn that Matt is behind the Willow attacks, but this is painfully awkward and is made even moreso every time Matt’s voice cracks like a teenage boy. As Matt looks on, Willow #1 and #2 continue to beat on Jeff. Matt dismisses the other 2 Willows and chokes out Matt in the middle of the ring. Matt leaves with the words “everything ends, even the indestructible Jeff Hardy. Matt looks like Sweeney Todd discovered crystal meth, but it’s something different which is nice. I’m honestly interested to see where this goes.
We move backstage to see Velvet Sky talking to Ally, Maria Kanellis Bennett’s assistant. She is a giggly bubbly blond mess of a woman, and she sets up a match between Velvet and Sienna. The catch is that if Velvet loses tonight, she’s fired. Obviously, we already know that Velvet is losing, as her contract has expired and she has already released a statement about her departure from Impact. After the commercial, Dixie Carter addresses the match between Galloway and Lashley; specifically addressing the personal issues between the two men. She will be making the World Title match a Lumberjack match in order to keep the competitors in the ring. Back in the ring, Velvet is playing to the crowd as she prepares for her match against Sienna. She is Maria’s enforcer, and I’m excited to see more from her. Velvet goes for a couple quick pins but is unsuccessful. Sienna gains control quickly, delivering kicks to Velvet’s face and throwing her around the ring with ease. Velvet tries for another quick roll-up, but Sienna kicks free. The two move outside of the ring where Velvet throws Sienna into the steel steps. Velvet gets Sienna back into the ring and hits a neckbreaker, but is still unable to pin her opponent. But we know how this ends; Sienna wins the match after pinning Velvet, takes a bow, and Velvet’s career is officially over.
Were you curious to see what Maria and Mike Bennett do on their off time? Then you’re in luck, as we see some “fascinating” footage of the couple poolside. The Miracle discusses EC3’s Road to Redemption as well as his own title aspirations. After the commercial break, Maria and The Miracle are in the ring. Mike Bennett claims that we don’t believe in him because we don’t yet believe in ourselves. He moves on to address Ethan Carter III, stating that he would have beaten him in any scenario. Bennett says EC3 needs this road to redemption to overcome his demons, and if he fails, he will not get his rematch at Slammiversary. Bennett then calls Earl Hebner to the ring to challenge him to a match. Earl wants no part of this, but Bennett keeps yelling “fight me, old man!” The bell rings and Bennett immediately knocks Hebner on his back. Hebner is pinned and the ref reluctantly begins the count, but Hebner kicks out at two! As Bennett argues with the ref, Hebner hits a low blow. Maria gets involved and Hebner angrily tears his shirt off and throws it at her. This gives Bennett time to recover, knock Hebner out, and win the match. Now Bennett can say he has beaten a TNA Hall of Famer. To add insult to injury, Bennett goes back to attack Hebner after the match is called, but thankfully EC3 comes to the ring to save him from further harm. Bennett takes this opportunity to announce EC3’s next challenge; his former ally Tyrus.
The match between EC3 and Tyrus began during the commercial break, so we return to see the big man holding EC3 down by his shoulders. Tyrus exits the ring and begins collecting chairs. There are no disqualifications in this Last Man Standing match. EC3 is thrown onto a chair, and Tyrus sets one up on the turnbuckle, but EC3 is able to counter and throw Tyrus into that chair instead. EC3 hits Tyrus with a cross-body and leaves the ring to grab a table. He attacks Tyrus with a chair and the ref begins the count. At the last second, Tyrus gets to his feet, counters, and throws EC3 into two steel chairs, which begins another count. EC3 gets back up, but Tyrus gets him in a choke hold to get him down onto the mat. Tyrus lays EC3 down on the table and gets on the second rope, but EC3 counters and puts the big man through the table! This is the most physical match I’ve seen Tyrus in, both in Impact and WWE. Tyrus doesn’t stay down long and immediately regains control, suplexing EC3 across the ring. Tyrus hits the ICU and EC3 is down. The match moves up the ramp; Tyrus slams his opponent to the ground and at this point, both men look exhausted. EC3 barely gets to his feet in time to beat the count. Tyrus grabs a guard rail and sets it up on the ring apron. EC3 isn’t having it though; he gives Tyrus both middle fingers and somehow manages to pick up Tyrus and throw him into the guard rail. Huge show of strength! EC3 puts the steel steps over Tyrus and then begins hitting him with a steel chair. There is no way the big man is getting up from this. The ref hits the 10 count and EC3 is our winner! The Miracle comes out to silently acknowledge the victory.
Jeff Hardy is backstage to address the “three Willows” and he promises to end it at Slammiversary. Andrew Everett and X-Division champion Trevor Lee are up next for a tag match against Eddie Edwards and DJ Z. The match starts off as an even bout until Lee hits DJ Z with a kick outside of the ring, giving his team the upper hand. Lee and Everett are quickly tagging in and out, not allowing DJ Z to catch his breath. DJ Z finally lands a kick and tags in Edwards who quickly takes control of the match. DJ Z tags himself in and immediately dives out of the ring to take Lee down. Lee is able to counter moments later and get DJ Z down. Everett goes to the top to end the match, but DJ Z gets his feet up to counter, put him down, and get the win. A solid, fast-paced tag match.
Eli Drake is up now to host his talk show, Fact of Life. I dislike this more than I dislike Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel. The Dummy button is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve come across in recent history. My husband loves it, of course. Drake calls out Bram, our King of the Mountain champion. Bram tells Drake that his briefcase and contract are dangerous for him. Drake counters, saying that he is the most dangerous man in Bram’s life right now. He offers to save Bram the humiliation of a brutal defeat and just hand over his belt. Of course, Bram doesn’t go for that, so Drake ends his show and leaves the ring. Bram screams at Drake to get back into the ring. There is a lot of talk about Drake’s testicles. Bram throws Drake into the ring and the two go at it briefly before Drake slips away and grabs his briefcase. He will cash in, but it isn’t happening tonight.
Backstage, The Miracle and Maria are speaking to EC3 about their future rematch. EC3 wants it tonight, but Bennett says that EC3 has one more obstacle to overcome. He has to face Matt Hardy next week and win via pinfall or submission to “maybe” get his rematch. The Lumberjack match between Lashley and Galloway is up now, and most of the locker room is now out surrounding the ring. The set up for this match has been constant, with the two fighting every time they get near each other. The lumberjacks are doing their fair share of taunting as Lashley destroys Galloway. Our champ looks defeated already while Lashley is barely breaking a sweat. Galloway finally gets Lashley down, delivering a flying clothesline. Lashley aggressively slams Galloway to the mat, adjusts his headband, and looks to finish things, but Galloway is able to hit a Celtic Cross and put him down again. As Galloway is preparing to put Lashley away, the lumberjacks pull him out of the ring and the ref calls the match.
Everyone is fighting everyone else at this point, with Robbie E and DJ Z jumping from the top ropes and getting the crowd riled up. Lashley is able to return to the ring and is taken down by Bram. Eli Drake looks to be cashing in, but Jeff Hardy hits Drake with a Twist of Fate. Matt Hardy takes this opportunity to attack his brother as Mike
Bennett throws Drake from the ring. EC3 steps up to confront Bennett, but he escapes before EC3 can get his hands on him. Lashley takes out EC3, and Galloway returns to take out Lashley. This is a mess. Galloway does a flip from the top rope, knocks down the men outside the ring, and lands on his feet to end the broadcast. This final match
seemed to be less about the World title and more about setting up every other future match. Slammiversary will be here June 12th, so we should expect the next few weeks to continue this trend of hyping up the fans for these matches. Overall, this was a solid broadcast; the Knockouts Division is clearly changing, EC3 is more determined than ever before to regain control of his career, and the Hardy story has become dynamic and interesting. I will be watching “live” next week for sure.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker