Just when you think the rumors are over about WWE purchasing TNA, they start up all over again. Prior to Bound for Glory on October 2nd, there was a large group of people who assumed that if WWE didn’t bite the bullet and buy out TNA, the BFG PPV would have to be cancelled. Obviously, neither of those things ended up happening. Now, the rumor is that WWE is looking to buy out TNA’s video library. It’s said that it may be about to happen or has already happened and simply hasn’t been announced yet.
It’s no secret that Impact Wrestling has seen quite a few ups and downs over the years. It seems that the threat of running out of money and, to quote Matt Hardy, becoming obsolete is always hanging over their heads. It doesn’t help that Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe are a big part of NXT right now, involved in major storylines. Eric Young will be debuting soon, Austin Aries has been having stellar matches for months, and AJ Styles is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Those were five big names in TNA who are now wrestling with the enemy.
On the flipside of that, you could argue that TNA has been able to pick up some of WWE’s talent as well, which wouldn’t happen if they were truly circling the drain. WWE’s Brodus Clay made the jump to TNA after his release, debuting as Tyrus and being featured alongside Ethan Carter III as a bodyguard. He’s now solo and in a new gimmick as The Fixer. Damien Sandow was released after creating comedy gold as The Miz’s stunt double. He debuted on TNA as Aron Rex and is now the current and inaugural Impact Grand Champion. Cody Rhodes requested his release from WWE after growing tired of the Stardust gimmick, and his wife Brandi Rhodes (ring announcer Eden Stiles) followed suit. Now known as simply “Cody,” he made his TNA debut at Bound For Glory alongside his wife by confronting Mike Bennett and wife Maria to begin a feud between the couples.
TNA also currently has one of the most successful factions and greatest stories currently going on in any company. Jeff Hardy threw his brother Matt from a staircase in the Impact Zone and “broke” him. Matt returned as Broken Matt Hardy, a blond streak in his now frizzy hair, an insane accent, and aspirations to DELETE DELETE DELETE! We got The Final Deletion, Delete or Decay, and The Great War; three battles that are beyond epic, overly dramatic, and definite masterpieces. WWE has tried to capitalize on the success of the Broken Hardys by enlisting Bray Wyatt and company. They tried to recreate their version of The Final Deletion by pitting The Wyatt Family against The New Day in an outdoor brawl. Now they have Bray Wyatt torturing Randy Orton, who he is calling “damaged.” Try as they might, they can’t match the broken brilliance of the Hardys.
One thing that hurts TNA is their need to tape multiple shows within a very short period of time, then show those tapings over weeks or months. TNA reportedly has already finished filming enough to carry them to the end of the year. Thanks to the internet, I already know about a major title change, and I wasn’t even searching for anything related to that. There are us fans who avoid spoilers like the plague, and then there are those fans who adore being the first to know and try to share their “knowledge” with anyone who will listen. I’m still going to be tuning in every week, but I can understand how a casual fan would just say to hell with watching after finding out about this title change.
2017 could be TNA’s year though. With Billy Corgan edging out Dixie Carter as TNA President, big changes are in store. If WWE does buy out the library, that would give Corgan more money to use for improvements; new talent, more live tapings, and more opportunity to travel and play to different cities. There is also the idea of Corgan changing the company’s name, rebranding and starting fresh. No more TNA, no more Impact Zone. A name is just a name, but because “TNA” carries so much negativity to so many people (not to mention makes people think “tits and ass” instead of wrestling), a name change brings about a new beginning.
Even if you’re not a fan of TNA wrestling, preferring the company of others, its existence is important. WWE is top dog, but it doesn’t thrive without TNA, NJPW, ROH, AAA, the companies that were left in the past and those that will come in the future. Your favorite wrestlers don’t get to where they are now without the independent circuits, trials and failures in other companies, and competition. TNA needs these other companies, but they also need TNA. All rumors aside, I am cheering for TNA to succeed, and if you’re a true wrestling fan, then you should be too.
Article by Mrs Jamie Baker
Tonight we witness the fallout four days removed from Bound For Glory. The champion Bobby Lashley kicks off the show fresh off his successful title defense Sunday. He says it doesn’t matter who comes out from the locker room, everybody needs to realize he is the realest man in the business. He calls himself the hero and the blue chipper. Aron Rex interrupts him which seems like an odd story to just start out of nowhere. Not sure about random storylines, but I’ll give TNA the benefit of the doubt and we’ll see where this goes. Rex says at BFG he changed the game and makes a big deal of his Grand Championship. Lashley says the Grand title means nothing against the World title. Then they are both interrupted by….Gail Kim? Say what?
Gail says with all the talk about titles and “Who’s the man?”, it’s 2016 and she says women are changing the business. Just then Broken Matt Hardy comes out with Reby and Maxell (but not Jeff), with both tag belts draped around his neck. The crowd starts chanting for Maxell. Matt says, “Yes. Fellow champeens. You speak of change? I am change!” Hardy says he is always ready to delete, delete, delete. X-Division Champion DJ Z interrupts and now we have every TNA champ in the ring. DJ Z says we have a ring full of champions. Lashley says there is only one champ in the ring. He says he has a fight to prepare for and he is taking a few weeks off and let the second-rate champions stay behind.
Billy Corgan comes out wearing a fur coat. Um, what? Corgan says all titles will be on the line tonight except X-Division because something called “Team X-Gold” is premiering tonight. Corgan says he picked three men and out of respect to Lashley, the champ gets to pick his opponent. Team X-Gold is next as we head to commercial. Very bizarre opening, but once again something new and different from TNA. They take risks every single week.
Braxton Sutter, Mandrews and DJ Z are all on a team. Their opponents are Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, and Marshe Rockett. Exciting, high-octane match with lots of moves. Rockett seems out of place in this environment with both his skillset and his size. Huge powerbomb by Sutter on Trevor Lee and than Mandrews hits a beautiful shooting star press off the top rope after a tag. He covers and picks up the pinfall victory for his team. Not sure where Team X-Gold is leading, but again, it’s something new so we’ll give it a shot. That was a fun match so can’t really complain about it at all. Enjoyed it quite a bit.
After a commercial. Moose is introduced as a potential opponent for Lashley tonight. Crowd starts a Moose chant. Eli Drake has a nice late show setup and he starts a Fact of Life segment. He says his guest for the night is known as “The Choke Artist” and he brings out Ethan Carter III. Drake antagonizes EC3 with the Dummy! Yeah! button until EC3 stops him. He says he is going to kill Drake, rip off his limbs, set him on fire and piss on the ashes. He dares Eli Drake to press the button so he can kick his ass. Well, that escalated quickly. Drake stands up and gets in EC3’s face. He cuts a fantastic promo. Wow. He lays into EC3. That was amazing. Gave me goosebumps. That’s how heels work a mic. Possibly the worst tag lashing EC3 has taken since he came to TNA.
Eddie Edwards is introduced as another option for Lashley to wrestle tonight. Sienna comes out to face Gail Kim. As Gail poses on the apron, Sienna throws Allie into her, knocking her to the floor. Sienna picks her up and throws her into the steel post after the bell rings. Sienna gets Gail in the ring and dominates her for several moments. Out of no where, Gail rolls up Sienna for the pinfall win. Lousy match with a funky ending. Not really feelings that one. After the match Sienna and Laurel Van Ness assault Gail Kim. Maria Kanellis-Bennett gets on the mic and says she gets her rematch and that it’s going to be a no DQ match. She orders Allie to slap Gail, but she refuses and Maria shoves Allie to the floor.
Ethan Carter III is introduced as the third option for Lashley tonight. Wolf Creek Cage Match up next with “tools of torture” hanging from the walls of the cage. Spoiler: it’s pretty much Lethal Lockdown. Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy are played out to Reby on piano, set to defend their TNA Tag Team Championships against Decay. Rosemary doesn’t come out and Matt immediately sends Reby to go look after King Maxell. Jeff and Matt work well in tandem, double teaming Crazzy Steve but Abyss helps take them down. Steve and Abyss get weapons down. Steve chokes Matt with a grappling hook. Abyss beats Jeff with a wooden stick. Steve hits Jeff with a trash can and Abyss turns the stick on Matt. The Hardy’s fight back with the same weapons and then double suplex Steve. Matt gets the chainsaw down off the cage. Before he can start it, Steve knocks him to the mat. Abyss chokeslams him, but then takes a Twist of Fate by Jeff. Jeff climbs towards the top of the cage. When he gets there, Rosemary comes down and runs up, spitting mist in his face. Reby attacks Rosemary with a rabbit head staff. Our cable feed skips ahead three minutes into the middle of a commercial for some reason and we didn’t get to see the finish. The Hardy’s retained, and from what we gathered on Twitter, Reby smeared blood on her face. Mad that I missed the ending to this one. Thanks, POP-TV.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes come down to the ring. They finally give him a mic. I for one thought it was odd not to have him speak at Bound For Glory. Cody says, “I didn’t wait to be kicked out of my former house. I left on my own,” which garners a TNA chant from the crowd. He says he came there for one thing, and it’s not to wrestle a guy on his list, Mike Bennett. He wants the world heavyweight championship; at which point Mike Bennett interrupts. Mike tries to start speaking but the crowd cuts him off chanting Cody’s name. Mike starts to speak but he says the word “fight” and Cody immediately interrupts saying, “We should fight!” and then he attacks Mike. Cody gets on the mic and says he wants his first match next week to be against The Miracle.
Grand Championship bout next with Aron Rex defending against Baron Dax. First round starts off with Rex being aggressive. Dax fights back and hits a neck breaker. He goes for a quick cover, but Rex kicks out at two. For the next two minutes Dax dominates Rex with unrelenting attack. The first round ends with Dax mounting Rex and bashing him with punches. The judges give round one unanimously to Dax. He continues going after Rex at the start of the second round. Rex reverses a neck breaker and locks in the Royal Arch submission and 40 seconds into round two Rex wins via submission! Aron Rex retains his title. Brief but hearty match. I enjoyed that a lot, to be honest.
Lashley comes to the ring and his three opponents come out to the top of the ramp. Lashley picks what he calls the easiest of the three and gives Eddie Edwards a title shot. The bell rings and Lashley sprints at Eddie. He ducks and throws Lashley shoulder first into the post. Lashley isn’t taken down and he tosses Eddie. Lashley pins him against the ropes and punches him. Suplex by Lashley and a cover, but Eddie kicks out. Powerbomb by Lashley and Eddie just can’t find any offense. Powerslam by Lashley and this thing is looking one-sided. Lashley sets up for the spear and Eddie ducks and spills him outside the ring. Eddie dives out after him, the two colliding with the steel guard rail.
Eddie leaps out again, connecting with his opponent. Eddie tries for a third time but Lashley moves and Eddie goes flying into the steel guard rail. Back in the ring, Eddie Edwards hits Boston Tea Party finisher and pins Bobby Lashley! Holy shit! Eddie Edwards is the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion! That was very unexpected. What!? That was just another blockbuster episode of TNA, again beating out Raw and Smackdown both this week. Billy Corgan and Company continue to raise the bar, take risks, and push the boundaries of their promotion. Gets better every week and I can’t wait to see what they do next!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
True TNA fans have been looking forward to this all week long. It’s the culmination of many hard-working people in the pro-wrestling business. It’s TNA’s big event of the year, Bound For Glory. This year looks to be quite a whopper. The rumors still run rampant through the internet of Vince McMahon aggressively going after TNA. But we aren’t worried about that tonight. We just want to watch some great wrestling and a high-quality program. Without further ado, TNA’s 2016 Bound For Glory.
Editor’s Note: We predicted yesterday that Aron Rex would win the Grand Championship over Drew Galloway. Unfortunately after an epic Lethal Lockdown on Thursday’s Impact on POP episode, Galloway is out with a legit injury. Instead Aron Rex will face Eddie Edwards on tonight’s show.
The show kicks off with Broken Matt Hardy playing piano with his son, King Maxell. There is a cool storytelling graphic and Matt tells Maxell a story about his Broken Brilliance and the journey thus far. A packed arena greets the opening of the program as Pope and Josh Mathews are ringside for commentary. Our first bout is an impromptu X-Division Championship. This wasn’t on the official card and is a surprise for most fans. DJ Z defends his belt against the aggressive Trevor Lee. The bell rings and Lee tries going after DJ Z, but he can’t get a leg up as DJ Z has a counter for every move. Trevor Lee rolls out of the ring to regroup.
He rolls back in the ring and DJ Z continues the attack. Crowd is lively in Orlando. Arm drag take down by DJ Z and he covers, but Trevor Lee kicks out at two. Minor grappling here in the early goings. Neither man has taken to the skies yet. DJ Z knocks Lee out of the ring and then baseball slide dropkicks him to the floor. He gets him back in the ring, tries a springboard but Lee counters kicking him off the apron. He gets on the apron and penalty kicks DJ Z to the floor with a vicious boot. Great execution on that and well sold by DJ Z. Lee gets DJ Z back in the ring and covers, but kickout at two. Lee goes off the top rope but DJ Z hits him with a flapjack.
DJ Z sets Lee up on the top rope and and hits him with a hurricanrana, throwing him to the mat. DJ Z goes on the attack, but Lee rolls out of the ring. DJ Z flips over the top rope and takes his opponent down. Trevor Lee hops up, runs in the ring and does a suicide dive onto DJ Z. Z gets in the ring, and dives out onto Trevor Lee! Awesome action. This crowd is really great so far, adding a lot of energy to the match. DJ Z hits him with a reverse hurricanrana, then tries a ZDT but it’s blocked. Huge suplex into a bridge by Lee and he covers DJ Z. Kick out at two. Crowd starts a “This Is Awesome!” chant.
The pair trade offense until Trevor Lee hits a double stomp, planting DJ Z. He kicks DJ Z in the side of the head and covers. DJ Z kicks out at two. In anger, Trevor Lee grabs the ref. He raises a fist but doesn’t strike him. DJ Z hits some sort of flipping suplex/powerbomb into a ZDT and steals the show right out of the gate! He covers and retains via pinfall victory. What an excellent match. That got the show off to a super strong start. Nice job to both men.
Jessie Godderz comes down as the first entrant in the 10-Man Gauntlet Bound For Gold Match. Last man standing in this one gets a world title shot. Rockstar Spud comes down next, looking angry. Godderz dominates Spud most of the opening minutes that is until Spud low-blows him. Braxton Sutter is the next entrant and he goes right at Spud. No love lost between these two. Sutter and Godderz double team Spud, stomping him in the corner. Eli Drake comes out next and damn near gets eliminated as soon as he steps into the ring. He recovers and eliminates Braxton Sutter! Robbie E is next up and he comes in and takes down both Rockstar Spud and Eli Drake. The Bro Mans plant Spud and then Robbie E tries to eliminate Godderz. Jessie dropkicks Robbie. Baron Dax comes out next as the crowd starts a chant for Rockstar Spud.
Grado comes out next, fanny pack in tow. Grado dances into the ring, across it, and then gets eliminated. He keeps dancing and walks back up the ramp to the back. HaHa. The Bro Mans work in tandem again, trying to eliminated Eli Drake. Basile Baraka runs in and works with his tag partner Dax to go after everybody. Robbie E and Baraka fight on the apron and knock each other out of the match. Tyrus comes out as Dax is eliminated by Godderz. Spud tries to get Tyrus to work with him but instead Tyrus easily tosses him over the top rope. Mahabali Shera comes out and squares up to Tyrus. He chops Shera and then splashes on him in the corner. Shera picks Tyrus up to slam him but Eli Drake stops him and then eliminates him. Godderz attacks Drake from behind and tries to eliminate him but Drake catches the bottom rope with his feet and hangs on. Tyrus plants Godderz with a slam. Godderz tries to spill Tyrus over the top rope. Eli Drake sneaks in and eliminates both Tyrus and Godderz at the same time!
After a brief segment with Gail Kim’s husband, Robert Irvine, Mike Bennett comes to the ring, solo. The Miracle is set to take on Moose in singles action. A bunch of uniformed football players bring Moose out. The bell rings and Bennett runs out of the ring. Moose chases him around and into the ring. Bennett slams Moose into a chair on the outside and tries to leap off the apron onto him. But Moose catches him and throws him into the corner post. Bennett drops Moose on his back on the steel steps. Back in the ring, Bennett chops Moose in the corner. Moose counters and chops Bennett. He runs at The Miracle, but Bennett counters, taking Moose out at the knee.
Bennett locks up Moose’s leg in a submission. He punches Moose in the knee. Moose crawls to the bottom rope for the break. Huge clothesline for Moose but he only gets a two count on Bennett. Bennett rakes Moose’s eyes and hits a DDT and a pile driver. He covers, but Moose narrowly kicks out. Bennett turns the Moose Crossing into a diamond cutter and covers. Near fall for Moose, but he manages to kick out. Moose hits a spinning clothesline Knockout Shot and covers for the pinfall victory over his former friend. Solid match, but didn’t wow me to be honest.
Eddie Edwards going head to head with Aron Rex up next for the Grand Championship. For this “special event” tournament the matches will be five minutes instead of three. Rex comes out of the gate aggressive, but Eddie slows things down. This one spills outside the ring and Eddie takes out Rex right near a judge. He tries to flip out on him, but Rex grabs him and slams him into the steel barricade. Missile dropkick by Eddie and he covers. Rex kicks out at two. The bell rings and we go to the judges. They award the first match to Eddie Edwards.
Aron Rex is much more aggressive to start the second match. He hits lots of offense and tries for a couple of pinfalls. About halfway through the match Aron Rex gets Edwards in a leglock submission. The lights go out. Apparently there is an electrical issue. The two get a spotlight and keep fighting as Eddie breaks the hold. The lights come back up and the crowd goes wild. Eddie leaps off the top rope but Rex counters it into another unique submission. The bell rings and the judges give round two to Aron Rex.
Eddie Edwards gets a near fall at the start of the third match. He keeps clutching at his knee though, and Aron Rex takes control. The third round is pretty evenly split. Both men are winded and they continue to hold on. Eddie tries a moonsault off the top rope, but Rex moves. He goes for a Revelator, but Eddie counters with a clothesline. He hits a Shining Wizard and both men are down with 10 seconds left. On their knees, both guys trade punches. The bell rings and the ref has to try and separate them because they won’t stop fighting. The judges give it to Aron Rex via split decision. He is the first ever Grand Champion. Crowd actually boos. And I sort of agree. Aron Rex shouldn’t have just walked in for only his second match and win a brand new title. Should have gone to someone who has been in TNA for awhile. Seems like a poor decision. Really solid three rounds of wrestling, but I question the final outcome.
Christy Hemme comes to the ring. She brings out Taryn Terrell. Both ladies praise Gail Kim. They bring out Awesome Kong, who says she is so proud of Gail Kim. Christy brings out Dixie Carter. The air goes out of the room a little bit. She praises the work and career of Gail Kim and then brings out the 2016 Hall of Fame inductee. Awesome promo package for Gail Kim’s epic career. Gail gives a speech saying her job is not a job. She loves what she does. She said wrestling is her passion. She thanks dozens of people and her husband. And she thanks the fans. Dixie Carter then gives her a retirement watch. And I just about died laughing on my couch. A retirement watch! HaHaHa!
The Great War is up next between Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy and Decay. Reby is at the top of the ramp in a red gown, sitting in front of a grand piano. She plays Broken Matt Hardy out. The crowd starts a delete chant. Crowd in a frenzy as Broken Jeff Hardy comes out. He starts singing his obsolete theme song and the crowd finishes it with a shout of “Obsolete!” Matt and Jeff get in the ring and chant delete along with the crowd. Decay creeps out to the ring. All three members of Decay spit mist into the eyes of Reby after the bell rings. That’s unfortunate. Reby is helped out of the arena by a ref. The first weapon is a trash can wielded by Crazzy Steve as he smashes it against Matt Hardy. Steve holds the can against his face and Rosemary leaps across the ring and dropkicks it into his face. Steve bites the forehead of Matt.
Abyss has a staple gun he is trying to use against Jeff Hardy in the ring. Jeff tries to flip him over but Abyss blocks it and shoots a staple into Jeff’s forehead. Matt and Abyss fight up beside the ramp and behind the curtain to the back. Abyss throws Matt into a bunch of chairs. This part is hard to see because the light is limited. Abyss puts Matt into a trash can. Abyss hits the ref and knocks him out. Jeff and Steve are off fighting somewhere else in the back. Steve throws a ladder into Jeff’s face and then bites his finger. Then he clobbers him with a music stand. Abyss and Matt are now outside in front of the Universal Orlando sign. Steve throws water on Jeff from Matt’s Lake of Reincarnation. He gets the ref to cover, but Jeff has magically vanished. Pumpkins start being thrown at Steve. Matt and Abyss are outside near a parking lot. Jeff is some new character. He throws watermelon at the ref. He throws Steve against a wall. Matt and Abyss fight onto someone’s car who starts honking at them. What in the hell is going on?
Rosemary attacks Jeff and gets him off Steve. She turns around and Jeff puts a pumpkin on her head. She spits mist in his face and then Steve attacks him. Steve sends Rosemary to help Abyss. Matt is punching Abyss on the back of the head yelling delete, delete, delete. Abyss tosses him against a U-Haul truck. He starts choking Matt, Rosemary comes up with Janis. A truck pulls up and a guy gets out. It’s the guy Decay carjacked a few weeks ago. He tries to attack Abyss, but he gets thrown into a bunch of bushes. Jeff transforms into Willow and attacks Steve. Matt Hardy has fireballs in his hands. He throws one at Abyss and Janis catches on fire. Matt and Abyss fight on the back of a moving truck as Rosemary drives. The truck pulls over and Vanguard shoots mist at Rosemary. Willow throws Steve against a ladder and covers. The ref only gets to two before he kicks out.
Willow and Steve fight back out into the arena and the crowd starts a TNA chant. Willow gets a big ladder. Steve throws Willow into the steel steps. Then hits him with a cannonball against the steel step. Abyss and Matt arrive back at the arena and they fight back into the crowd. Abyss suplexes Matt against the entrance ramp. Willow goes under the ring and comes back out at Jeff Hardy. Abyss gets a bag of thumbtacks out. Twist of Fate on Abyss by Matt and then a swanton by Jeff. Abyss kicks out. He takes down both Hardy’s and throws Steve onto Matt. He covers, but Jeff breaks it up. Abyss gets out a board with barbed wire on it. He gets another and both boards are in the ring. Matt pours the thumbtacks on one of the boards. He slide slams Abyss onto the board. He lifts the other board up and puts it barb-wired face-first on Abyss. Matt jumps off the top rope and drops an elbow on the board. He covers, but Rosemary breaks it up.
Matt goes after Rosemary on the apron. She looks ready to spit mist on him, but Reby runs in and plants Rosemary right into a table! Jeff puts a chair on Steve’s neck and slams him into the turnbuckle. Matt hits him with a neckbreaker, with the chair still on his neck! Crowd starts a “This Is Awesome!” chant. Matt sets up two tables. He gets on the mic and tells Jeff to indulge in his spot-monkey addiction. Jeff sets up a ladder. Matt puts Steve on a table. Jeff flips over the ladder and hits a swanton on Steve breaking both tables. He covers and Matt and Jeff Hardy are the new TNA Tag Team Champions! Wow! What a match! This match was worth the $50 just for that match. I enjoyed every minute of that. I can’t wait to see what Matt and Jeff are going to do next.
Christy Hemme brings out Gail Kim set to take on Maria Kanellis-Bennett for the Knockouts Championship. Maria comes out with Allie. She says the doctor said her hand is broken and she can’t compete. Allie grabs the mic and says she misunderstood and the doctor said she is clear. Maria refuses to get in the ring. Gail gets out to get her and Maria slaps her in the face. The ref rings the bell as Gail chases her. Allie gets in the way by accident and Maria takes advantage. She gets Gail in the ring and beats her down. Mike Bennett comes out and throws Maria her brace. He distracts the ref as Maria hits Gail with the brace. Maria covers, but Gail kicks out on a long two. Allie gets the brace and Maria screams to give it to her. The crowd chants no.
Allie throws it over Maria’s head and Gail catches it. She offers it to Maria. When she goes to grab it, she tosses it out of the ring. Gail ties Maria up in a figure-four leglock off the ring post. She has to break at five. She flips Maria off with both birds, hits Eat the Feet and covers. Gail Kim wins her sixth Knockouts Championship! Predictable, but still the right call. Hopefully Maria can just fade away into background noise now. Mike Bennett checks on his wife as the crowd chants for Allie. Mike gets on the mic and says, “It wasn’t supposed to happen like this!” Mike says he is shutting the show down. He says there isn’t a damn person who can stop him. The lights go out. Cody and Brandi Rhodes appear at the top of the ramp. Crowd goes wild. He squares off with Mike as the crowd chants his name. Maria gets in her face. Brandi steps up. Maria slaps her. Brandi knees her out of the ring. Cody goes after Mike and hits Beautiful Disaster. Welcome to the Impact Zone, Baby Rhodes!
Time for tonight’s main event! Ethan Carter III comes to the ring to challenge Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Championship. This match is no holds barred. As Jeremy Borash is introducing EC3, Lashley Spears him out of the ring. He then makes Borash introduce him. Lashley stands alone in the ring with his arms raised. EC3 is down outside the ring against the barricade. EC3 screams, “Ring the fucking bell!” And the match begins. Lashley goes right after him in the corner. He lifts EC3 up and dumps him out of the ring. Lashley clotheslines EC3 to the mat and then stands, flexing his biceps. Lashley hits a devastating suplex. EC3 recovers with some forearms and he spins Lashley over the top rope. EC3 hits a suicide dive outside the ring, taking Lashley down. EC3 suplexs Lashley on the floor outside the ring.
EC3 chops Lashley against the barricade. EC3 throws Lashley into the steel steps. But Lashley hits a massive spinebuster on the entrance ramp! Ouch! Lashley gets EC3 back in the ring and continues running the table. EC3 dropkicks Lashley and then hits a neckbreaker. EC3 covers, but Lashley kicks out. Lashley explodes out of the corner with another spear. He covers, but EC3 kicks out. Lashley attempts a torture rack, but EC3 pulls him down and tries a triangle hold. But Lashley stands up and suplexes him. Goodness. EC3 tries a One Per-center, but Lashley counters into a super slam. Lashley rolls out of the ring and gets the world title. Lashley misses with the title and EC3 hits a TK3. Both men down and the ref starts a ten count.
They recover and this time EC3 hits Lashley with a spear. EC3 calls Lashley a piece of shit right before hitting TK3 on the steel steps, but Lashley falls awkwardly and unfortunately it’s a botch. EC3 gets Lashley in the ring. EC3 hits a frog splash off the top rope. He covers, but Lashley kicks out. EC3 misses with a splash in the corner and Lashley makes him pay for it with another spear. Kickout at two by EC3. Lashley gets a steel chair. He hits EC3 on the back three times. Then hits him in the gut and on the back again. Five more chair shots to the back. Lashley slams EC3 and then puts him in a headlock, but unlike last Thursday EC3 does not pass out. He fights back and hits Lashley with three suplexes. EC3 hits One Per-center and the crowd thinks it’s over, but Lashley kicks out! EC3 gets the chair and hits Lashley with it. EC3 gets Lashley up on the top rope. He chops him but Lashley knocks him off and then spears EC3 from the top rope. He covers and that’s all she wrote. Lashley retains!
That was a hell of a main event. There wasn’t a flat match on the card tonight. Although Maria was sloppy and kept screwing up moves while facing Gail Kim. But each bout held a story and each finish completed a chapter. I felt that was $50 well spent. I hope TNA doesn’t go under. Drew Galloway might have dropped a tease earlier in the night when he mentioned Billy Corgan buying the company. If that works out, we will hopefully get many more years of TNA. I look forward to this Thursday’s episode on Pop. What did you all think about tonight’s broadcast? What was your favorite match? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to checkout the King of the Mountain Podcast as I’m sure they will be doing a massive review of the pay-per-view. Thanks for reading. See you all tomorrow for Monday Night Raw.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Bound For Glory will be held in the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida and is the 12th TNA PPV under this name. Gail Kim will be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, and we will see the debut of Cody [Rhodes]. If you are in the area, the VIP package costs a meager $129 per person, which is only slightly more than we paid for WWE PPV tickets; no VIP, second tier seats. Click HERE for a recap of the go-home episode this past Thursday. Let’s take a look at the BFG match card and make some predictions.
Moose vs Mike Bennett – Singles Match
Moose came into TNA as Mike Bennett’s muscle, but quickly got tired of Bennett’s underhanded tactics, lies, and selfish attitude. Now the two former friends will be facing off to put this beef to rest. We’re all but guaranteed to see Moose battle Lashley down the road, but he has to get through The Miracle first. Bennett broke EC3’s streak by pinning him for the first time, and is confident going into this match. He will likely try some underhanded tactics to get it done, but he won’t be able to outmuscle Moose.
F2H Prediction – Mike Bennett
Aron Rex vs Eddie Edwards – Inaugural Impact Grand Championship Match
Billy Corgan retired the King of the Mountain Championship and replaced it with the Impact Grand Championship. A tournament was held to determine the two final competitors, with judges scoring the matches and determining a winner unless one competitor gets a pinfall or submission. The title will be defended in matches with the same scoring system used in the tournament, which is an interesting departure from the norm. Aron Rex is my new favorite Impact guy, and I can’t wait to see him compete. Unfortunately, Drew Galloway was injured and had to forfeit his spot, but Eddie Edwards will be stepping up to take his place.
F2H Prediction – Aron Rex
Tyrus vs Robbie E vs Baron Dax vs Jesse Godderz vs Grado vs Rockstar Spud vs Mahabali Shera vs Braxton Sutter vs Basile Baraka vs Eli Drake – 10-Man Bound For Gold Gauntlet Match
The winner of this match will get a future title shot of their choosing. Last year, Tyrus won, but thanks to a conflict of interest, was not able to take full advantage. Cody was rumored online as a possible entrant, but I’m not sure if this would be the best option for Cody’s debut, competing with nine other men. This is a nice mix of athletes; different sizes and strengths, different tactics and alliances. It should be a good one to watch.
F2H Prediction – Braxton Sutter
Maria (c) vs Gail Kim – TNA Knockout Championship Match
After ordering Allie to lie down in the middle of the ring, Maria became our Knockouts champion. She did what I thought was impossible and made me sympathetic towards the shrill Allie. Gail Kim is my favorite female wrestler in TNA currently, and well deserving of another title run. Her induction into the Hall of Fame should tell you a great deal of how amazing she is. I’m excited to see her shut Maria up. Whether she wins or loses, she needs to put “the first lady of professional wrestling” in her place.
F2H Prediction – Gail Kim
Decay (c) vs The Broken Hardys – The Great War Match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
I’m unsure exactly what is in store for us with this match. The Final Deletion and Delete Or Decay were both brilliant. Broken Matt Hardy started out as almost a joke for me, but it turned into wrestling gold. Now, with his broken brother and wife, he is battling Decay and trying to keep his son safe. I heard that most or all of this is pretaped, which is good for the at-home audience, but a shame for the live audience. I also heard that they will be doing a combination of pretaped and live action, which would be perfect. Either way, this match alone is worth the price of the PPV.
F2H Prediction – The Broken Hardys
Lashley (c) vs Ethan Carter III – No Holds Barred TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Lashley held the World, KOTM, and X Division titles at one point before throwing away the other two and agreeing to defend the World title at Bound for Glory. EC3 earned the right to challenge Lashley, but didn’t win the right to pick the stipulation. Naturally, Lashley picked no holds barred so he can wail on his opponent with no penalty. Thanks to the internet, I knew that EC3 would be facing Lashley well before it aired on POP, but it was still exciting to watch his journey. Lashley has a Bellator fight on October 21st, free on Spike TV, so he’s probably extra amped up for this fight with EC3 thanks to the MMA training. I can’t wait to see this main event!
F2H Prediction – Ethan Carter III
Bound for Glory will run you $50 on PPV. The preshow will begin at 7:30 pm EST with the main show kicking off at 8. @FaceToHeel will be live tweeting and providing instant feedback after the show, so be sure to follow us on Twitter for Bound for Glory news, contests, and other exciting content. The card is not very stacked so we are assuming there will be some surprises and a few impromptu bouts. Live tweet with us and we’ll see you tomorrow!
Article by Mrs. Jamie Baker
It’s the go-home episode before this Sunday’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view. Before we get into tonight’s broadcast, let’s catch up on the week. It was rumored online that Vince McMahon and WWE are interested in purchasing the “desperate” TNA. And earlier today we discussed the epic saga of Broken Matt Hardy and how it’s currently one the best things in all of professional wrestling.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring and he brings out team captain Ethan Carter III. Crowd goes wild. Borash brings out the other team captain, current TNA World Champion, Bobby Lashley. JB asks them who their team members are for tonight’s Lethal Lockdown Match. Lashley chooses Drew Galloway as his first pick. EC3 chooses Aron Rex. Naturally, Lashley chooses The Miracle, Mike Bennett. EC3 listens to the crowd chant for Moose and that’s his next pick. Lashley’s third pick is Maria Kanellis-Bennett. EC3 picks Gail Kim. The two trade verbal barbs and Lashley cuts a really nice promo. EC3 challenges him to step in the lockdown cage one on one to start the match and Lashley agrees. First commercial break.
After the break, DJ Z is ready to defend his X-Division Championship against Eddie Edwards. Grappling to start the turns into Eddie chopping DJ Z against the ropes. Hurricanrana by DJ Z. ZDT attempt but Eddie blocks it and kicks him out of the ring. Eddie bounds off the ropes and dives out over the second rope to take DJ Z down. Both men on the ground outside the ring. Lots of offense by both men with a couple of near falls. Eddie removes his knee pad and runs to the ropes, but bounces off and heads towards DJ Z, but he counters and hits the ZDT for the pinfall! After the match the two shake hands and hug. From behind The Helms Dynasty run in and beat them both down. DJ Z is thrown shoulder first into the corner post and then they double team Eddie, planting him on the mat.
Backstage segment with Maria, Laurel and Allie. Maria makes Allie apologize for last week, then calls her stupid and loans her services out to Laurel. Commercial break. When we return, previously recorded segment with Josh Mathews interviewing Moose and Mike Bennett. Bennett says after Bound For Glory nobody will be doing Moose’s chant anymore. Moose says he’s going to get Bennett a one-way ticket to hell. Not really a strong segment for either guy. Anything pre-recorded like that, where you can re-shoot or edit to make it look good, should be on point and that was not.
Madison Rayne comes to the ring. Allie comes out and introduces Laurel Van Ness. Before the match starts, Laurel tries to get Madison to kiss her hand. Madison instead dropkicks her out of the ring. Laurel goes to Allie and has her powder her face. She gets back in the ring and Madison whips her into the corner. Laurel elbows Madison off the apron. She hops out and rolls her back in and suddenly Laurel is running the show. She pulls out some nice maneuvers. Madison rolls her up into a near fall. Bridge pin by Madison, but Laurel kicks out again. Laurel stomps Madison on the back of the neck, driving her to the mat. She rolls her over and covers. Pinfall victory for the newcomer, Laurel. Allie announces her the winner but calls her “Laurel Vaness” and Laurel ducks out of the ring and yells at her and she does it again with the proper pronunciation.
Lashley backstage with his team. He says if the team goes in and wins the match, he will give Bennett or Galloway a title shot. But they have to earn it by taking out EC3. And we head to commercial. When we return, Drew Galloway is in the ring with the Grand Championship on a pedestal. He calls out Aron Rex. Galloway says when he first came to Impact, they needed a savior. He tells everyone, “You’re welcome.” Aron immediately cuts in and tells Galloway to get his own tagline. He calls Galloway a piece of steaming crap. Galloway says Rex would make a very good stuntman, once again alluding to his time with WWE. The two play tug-of-war with the title and Galloway plants Aron Rex.
Reby Hardy takes on Rosemary next and the two just attack each other out of the gate. The two just wail on each other for several minutes as Matt and Jeff get the crowd to chant DELETE. Rosemary spits green mist into Reby’s eyes and the ref calls for a disqualification. Then everything just goes off the rails. Abyss and Matt attack each other, Jeff and Steve fight, Reby and Rosemary battle. Jeff chases Crazzy Steve up the stairs that Matt fell off to become broken. He throws a chair repeatedly against Steve’s back. Reby sets up a table but Rosemary counters and hits a Side Effect, driving Reby through the table on the outside. Rosemary gets on the mic and laughs as she says DECAY over and over. Before the commercial break, Mathews teases that the Hardy’s are still brawling and we’ll follow that after. Coin toss between Lashley and EC3. Lashley picks heads, and it goes heads-first. Lashley’s team gets the advantage for Lethal Lockdown.
On the return, we see Jeff Hardy and Crazzy Steve fighting backstage. Steve hits him with a chair and then gouges his eyes. We cut to Matt Hardy hitting Abyss with a ladder over and over again, each time yelling DELETE. Then Matt bites Abyss on the ear. Cut back to Jeff being beaten with a steel chair. Crazzy Steve puts it around Jeff’s neck and then rams him into a pole. Meanwhile, Abyss pulls a live wire from the wall and electrocutes Matt. Steve licks Jeff’s forehead and we get a split screen of all three Decay members. Same Cody (Rhodes) promo we saw last week after the Decay/Delete segment. Lots of backstage segments after this. Maria and Gail in pre-recorded interview. They are ready for their fight. Eli Drake tries to recreate Tyrus to no avail. EC3 firing up his team and they show unity.
The main event starts at 9:20 tonight. Ethan Carter III comes to the Lethal Lockdown cage, waiting to see who his opponent is. Should be Lashley, but we’ll see if the Destroyer is a man of his word. Naturally, Lashley doesn’t come down. Instead it’s Mike Bennett. EC3 stomps Bennett down. Terrific action for the first two competitors. The next entrant comes out and it’s Team Lashley. Drew Galloway runs in and he gets with Bennett to double team EC3. Galloway hits some vicious chops and we go to commercial. Aron Rex runs in after the break. He and EC3 beat Galloway and Miracle down in tandem for a few moments before Lashley runs in. He comes in and drops Rex, then EC3. He tells Galloway and Bennett to help him out. Galloway goes after Rex and Lashley and Bennett double team EC3. No weapons yet in the Lethal Lockdown, but plenty hang from the cage.
Moose’s turn to enter. He headbutts Galloway and Bennett and then punches Lashley to the mat. He splashes off the ropes and plants Bennett and Galloway. He squares up with Lashley and strikes him down again. Maria comes down but she doesn’t get in the cage. Bennett waves her in but she says she isn’t ready. Crowd starts a sloppy “Get in the ring!” chant. The war continues inside the ring. Bennett goes after Moose, EC3 goes after Lashley, Rex goes after Galloway. Things slow down as all six guys are visibly winded. EC3 chops Galloway to the mat and the final competitor comes down. Gail Kim chases Maria around the ring. She grabs her and tosses her in the cage. Gail follows and the cage is locked shut! Now we can go to pinfall or submission. Maria exits and runs out, Gail follows and they disappear into the back. The first weapon, a kendo stick, comes down from the cage and we go to commercial.
We return to Team Lashley beating the holy hell out of EC3 and comapny with kendo sticks, trash cans and chairs. Lashley, Bennett and Galloway surround EC3. He flips off Lashley and the trio start wailing on him with weapons. Aron Rex throws Galloway headfirst into a trash can. Moose takes down Lashley and now he has a steel chair. He hits Lashley in the guy as Aron Rex whacks him with a kendo stick. Team EC3 has rallied. Aron Rex gives EC3 a steel pipe. He goes to hit Lashley with it but Bennett counters it with a diamond cutter. Moose dropkicks a chair into Bennett’s face. Galloway turns him into a Futureshock DDT. Aron Rex hits Galloway with a chair, then Lashley spears Aron Rex. Too much action!
Everyone is down except EC3 and Lashley. They go after one another and EC3 hits a couple of clotheslines before throwing Lashley into the cage over and over. He lifts Lashley up and throws him over the top rope all the way down the cage. He picks up a kendo stick as Lashley is trapped in the ropes. He hits Lashley multiples times and the crowd is in a frenzy. Lashley recovers and puts EC3 in a submission. EC3 reaches the ropes but it doesn’t matter. Ref can’t break it in this type of match. Instead, EC3 passes out after his face turns red. Ref calls for the bell and Team Lashley wins via TKO. Bobby Lashley now gets to decide the stipulation at Bound For Glory. Lashley gets on the mic and says the stipulation is No Holds Barred and we fade out to Lashley’s music.
For the third week in a row, TNA beats Raw, Smackdown, and NXT just on sheer creativity, excitement and overall booking. Another excellent episode by them and just a fantastic go-home pay-per-view show. Despite the rumors, financial and otherwise, TNA remains a strong product. If you aren’t watching, I’d have to wager you aren’t a real fan of professional wrestling. For those that tuned in, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know in the comments below. See you on Sunday for Bound For Glory!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Earlier this year, Matt Hardy turned heel, winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Ethan Carter III in January. What started as a subtle, typical pro-wrestling story, evolved into an ever expanding universe of strange weirdness. After being injured (in kayfabe) by his brother Jeff in an I Quit Match soon after claiming the title, Matt was taken to the hospital. When Matt returned in May he at first was merely a Willow imposter, attacking Jeff from behind. This would crescendo into Matt Hardy becoming “broken” at the hands of his brother, and giving wrestling fans some of the most delightfully bizarre television we have ever seen.
As we reported back in July, the Broken Matt Hardy angle was one of the best things TNA has ever done. Period. Matt crept out of the gate with an odd accent and a white streak in his hair. It was weird and not well received by fans as they questioned just what in the hell Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan were thinking, or if they even were. But where WWE might have cut their losses and abandoned the gimmick, TNA battened down the hatches and ran with it, refusing to give up on Matt’s creation until it was completely exhausted. And things at TNA have been all the better because of it. Matt continued to groom and nurture the Broken gimmick, battling Jeff in every possible way until finally defeating him at his Cameron, North Carolina home in what was called The Final Deletion and awarded Broken Matt with the sole custodianship of “the Hardy Brand.”
The Final Deletion was glorious and that was even after the previous weeks featuring vignettes, Full Metal Mayhem, and Six Sides of Steel in the Impact Zone. It featured an outdoor match with a ring in the middle of the forest, Tiki-torches, fireworks (being shot at human beings) and things being set on fire. What we assumed was the apex of the entire Broken Matt Hardy saga, ended up being just the beginning! Soon after, Brother Nero became Obsolete Jeff. Then in an amazing twist, Matt caused Jeff to snap and now he too was broken!
Jeff began to come out to a new obsolete theme song, wearing solid white contact lenses and giving up his bread-and-butter “spotfest monkey” moves that were his claim to fame throughout his career. All the while, Broken Matt Hardy refined his gimmick coming up with new and clever accents, vignettes, and pre-taped video packages that helped strengthen and solidify TNA’s ratings. Every time it seems like the Broken Matt Hardy angle has worn out its welcome, he surprises everyone with something even more over the top and hilarious than he has ever done before.
Matt was recently on the Talk is Jericho podcast and said it was important for Impact Wrestling to find their own way and identity, claiming: “My broken universe is something different that has never been seen anywhere else before.” Even going so far as to say Vince McMahon would be scared of it and would never let Matt attempt it. He certainly has caught the attention of everyone across the pro-wrestling landscape, including Bray Wyatt. It’s now rumored that WWE is interested in signing Matt once his TNA contract is up in February. But why would he want to leave? TNA’s ratings are strong and he would never have this level of creative freedom on Monday Night Raw.
It just goes to show that if you commit to a concept and give everything you have towards it, people will embrace it. One could argue that Matt and Jeff are in the twilight of their careers and might be close to retirement. But then along comes this Broken Matt Hardy idea and they are now the most talked about segment, not just on Thursday nights but in all of pro-wrestling. Matt has to be commended for putting his entire being into this role, come hell or high water, and really helping to single-handedly put TNA back on the map. There’s even rumors of WWE buying them out now.
Featuring self-aware drones, mischievous gardeners, explosions, divine mystical beings in the lakes and woods, under water costume changes, pool fights, child abduction, a car-jacking, and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink, Matt Hardy’s Broken Saga has been truly groundbreaking. With even Billy Corgan teasing that perhaps this will all culminate with a Broken Matt Hardy movie. With Delete or Decay coming up at Bound For Glory, TNA has a real chance to continue building on the non-stop train that is Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy. If they can somehow defeat Decay and become Impact Wrestling’s Tag Team Champions, the story will once again evolve in another direction and give us yet another reason to tune into TNA’s product.
Tonight is the final show before Bound For Glory. Be sure to tune into #ImpactOnPOP and see what new antics Broken Matt has for us as we head into this weekend’s pay-per-view. And be sure to check out our friends over at the King of the Mountain podcast for complete TNA coverage.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Forbes reported earlier today that among the potential buyers of TNA’s Impact Wrestling (to include Billy Corgan and Sinclair Broadcasting) WWE has shown interest in purchasing the company, not to keep it afloat but mainly for its library of footage.
This wouldn’t be another WCW Invasion storyline. Vince would buy out TNA, bury it and then add their footage to the WWE Network. He wouldn’t be buying TNA to help keep it on the air. So don’t expect any last minute saves, here. If Sinclair Broadcasting could purchase it, that could be very interesting as they own Ring of Honor and if the two promotions could somehow merge and get a bigger TV deal, now we’re talking genuine competition with WWE and incentive to sign new independent wrestlers. Not really sure about Billy Corgan’s net worth, but it would seem unlikely The Smashing Pumpkins album sales gave him a fat enough bank account to make any significant bid or company restructuring.
As always, any rumor pitted towards TNA needs to be taken with a grain of salt as the roller coaster speculation reaches every end of the spectrum. Disgruntled former employees say TNA is always two seconds from going bust and owe them buckets of money. Current employees say there are no problems and they get their paychecks on time and love working there. It seems every ‘smart-mark’ with a webpage has an opinion for either side or claims to hold some secret “insider knowledge” for a company they have never worked for. Nobody really knows what is going on financially backstage with TNA except their own people. Yes, we’re calling you out Dave Metlzer.
It’s hard to take any seriousness with the idea of TNA being moments away from bankruptcy when they keep signing talent like Moose, Aron Rex, and Cody (he of the Rhodes fame); plus the addition of a completely new title belt and keeping a major name like Bobby Lashley on the roster when his talents could easily be utilized elsewhere. The loyalty of Ethan Carter III, Drew Galloway, and The Hardy’s suggests that things aren’t as bad as people make them out to be. I mean, these guys aren’t working for free. It’s hard to tell the difference between the real truth, glorified exaggerations, and flat out lies.
That being said, TNA’s ratings do remain fairly strong, especially in comparison to Ring of Honor or Lucha Underground. They are far and wide WWE’s biggest direct competition. And considering the amount of former TNA talent WWE keeps signing, it can be said for certain that Vince McMahon or at least his front office keeps an eye on all things TNA. Impact Wrestling isn’t a bad product. In fact, some weeks it puts out a better show than either Raw or Smackdown. They have talent, their ratings aren’t in decline, and they have the balls to let Creative take risks. All and all that makes for something I really like to watch. Face To Heel definitely hopes TNA doesn’t fold, go under, or worse: become yet another causality in the ego-driven empire of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
There is a place in pro-wrestling for TNA, their staff, writing and especially their roster. They are a great company that unfortunately has made some poor decisions over the years. For all intents and purposes, 2016 seems to be the year they have been trying to really right the ship and seek their own identity. We just have to hope it’s not too little, too late.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
— We kicked off the week shooting around some scenarios with John Cena’s future as a part-timer, retiring The Undertaker, and moving the WWE into a younger generation. We learned that Shelton Benjamin was injured and his WWE future is questionable at this particular point in time. He will most likely need surgery and may be on the injured list for several months.
— Monday Night Raw gave us the go home show leading up to tonight’s pay-per-view. We saw a women’s tag match, Rusev taking on Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns versus Kevin Owens in a steel cage! Plus, the introduction of the Cruiserweights. All this and more in our full review of RAW.
— Smackdown Live came at us on Tuesday and featured The Usos can full dark side, American Alpha’s return, The Miz forced to defend his Intercontinental Championship, and The Viper, Randy Orton, in action. The main event was John Cena against Dean Ambrose in singles competition. Read all about it HERE.
— Taped from Full Sail, NXT arrived on the WWE Network on Wednesday. Samoa Joe gave William Regal a very stern ultimatum about Shinsuke Nakamura and the rest of the locker room. Cruiserweight Classic Tournament competitor, Cedric Alexander, made his NXT in-ring debut. And Austin Aries called out Hideo Itami. Read all about the latest taping right HERE.
— Dixie Carter won the week with yet another fantastic episode of TNA’s Impact Wrestling. The stage is slowly being set for Bound For Glory. We saw the Grand Championship tournament finals lock in their last two, Maria Kanellis-Bennett public training, an X-Division Championship match, and a four-man tag team match for the main event featuring Lashley, EC3, Moose, and The Miracle. Read about the entire stellar broadcast HERE.
— The last NJPW before Wrestle Kingdom came to us from AXSTV on Friday, featuring a CMLL World Welterweight Championship title defense, and a tag match between four warring competitors. The main event was Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata taking on Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii, and boy did they go to war. Read the full play-by-play HERE.
— And of course, tonight is WWE’s Clash of Champions PPV live from Indianapolis, IN. Face To Heel will be live from the arena! We will try to Tweet, get lots of photos, and soak in every wonderful moment. Read all about our full match predictions HERE and be sure to follow our site and our writers on twitter: @FaceToHeel, @OhhhTweener, @MrNotWell. Enjoy the show everybody and we’ll see you tomorrow for Monday Night Raw!
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
Catch up on last week’s episode HERE. This week’s show opens with a Grand Championship tournament match between Drew Galloway and Eddie Edwards. The winner goes on to fight for the title at Bound For Glory. Both men very aggressive in the first match, and the fight goes on both in and outside the ring. A whole lot of action for a three minute bout. Match goes to no contest and we go to the judges. Galloway goes up one after 29-28 voting. The two trade chops to start the second match. This one goes to no contest again. Eddie Edwards wins it 29-28 so it’s all tied up at one.
In the first minute, Galloway locks in the Iron Maiden submission. Edwards reverses it. Then the two trade hard chops again. Future Shock DDT plants Edwards and Galloway barely covers him, but he’s a second too late. Just as the ref is about to hit the three count the bell rings signalling the end of the three minute round. The judges give it to Drew Galloway and he advances to Bound for Glory. Those three rounds were the best matches we’ve seen so far in this tournament. Hats off to both guys. Great way for TNA to open the show. After the match Jeremy Borash interviews Galloway and asks him if there is any one person he wants to face at BFG. Instead, he gives a heated speech speaking out against TNA and their “system.” and how it is designed for certain people but not him. He calls out Ethan Carter III. EC3 comes to the ring and tells Galloway to tread lightly.
Galloway says somebody is looking out for Carter and things always find a way of working out for him. Maybe it’s a friendly ref or some family in Nashville. He says EC3 couldn’t go two rounds with him and walks out. Bobby Lashley’s music hits and as he is coming down the ramp, Mike Bennett runs in behind EC3 and takes him out at the legs. Lashley hops in the ring and the pair double team EC3, stomping him in the corner. The Miracle holds him up and Lashley spears him to the mat. Just then Moose’s music hits and he runs in. He takes down Bennett. Lashley pulls him off but Moose turns and throws him out of the ring. EC3 rolls out and Moose goes to attack Bennett, but he counters and Lashley scrambles in the ring and spears Moose. Both EC3 and Moose are writhing on the mat. Three paragraphs from me for the opening segment, TNA. Nicely done. Won’t see that for WWE anywhere. The show got off to a hot start. Hopefully it keeps going.
After the commercial, The Miracle is buzzing around Lashley in the back. He asks if he and Lashley are friends. Lashley shuts that down real fast saying they aren’t friends and there is no “we.” Bennett says maybe after Bound For Glory, Lashley will give him a title shot. Another Grand Championship tournament match up next with Eli Drake set to take on Aron Rex. Before the match the two trade verbal barbs in the ring, which is very funny. Headlock take down by Drake to start, followed by some minor grappling. Aron Rex quickly takes control and leads for most of the rest of the match which ends in no contest. Judges give it unanimously to Aron Rex.
Drake is much more aggressive to start the second match. He nearly gets a pinfall but Rex manages to grab the bottom rope. No contest again. This one seems obvious to go for Drake. The judges score it 2-1 to Drake. All tied up heading into the third match. Drake continues with violent aggression to start the final three minutes. He throws Rex off the ropes, but he spins and hits The Revelator, dropping Drake to the mat. He covers and gets the pinfall. Shitty, abrupt end to an otherwise good series of matches. Aron Rex advances and he will face Drew Galloway at Bound For Glory and one of them will be the first ever TNA Grand Champion.
Backstage segment with Decay talking about the great war coming at Bound For Glory. Vanguard 1 interrupts and we see a red hologram of Senor Benjamin holding the DELETE shovel and he laughs at them. Vanguard flies away as Abyss chases it down the hall. Aron Rex interviewed, asked how it feels to be in the tournament finals. Galloway comes up behind him and says he will be the one to win. Then a teaser vignette for Cody freaking Rhodes! Yes! He will be coming to Bound For Glory! So freaking excited!
Decay comes to the ring and Rosemary, Abyss and Crazzy Steve all act stranger than usual. They cryptically speak to The Hardy’s and all their fans. Matt Hardy appears in the crowd and they go wild. He says Decay exists in a Broken Universe. He says he is going to DELETE Decay’s Tag Team Championship reign. Jeff Hardy appears and says Decay will no longer be beautiful, Steve will no longer be crazy, and Rosemary just won’t be rosy anymore.
“You’ll wish you were broken, instead you’ll be obliterated!” says Jeff. Rosemary says there is three of them and only two Hardy’s. She says Matt and Jeff are Bound For Decay. The lights go out. When they come back up, Abyss and Steve are tied to the ring posts and Rosemary stands alone. Reby is behind her. Rosemary turns and takes a spear. Reby takes it to her. Rosemary rolls out of the ring as Matt and Jeff antagonize Steve and Abyss. Reby says after next week it will be Rosemary’s mother who will be without a child. Crowd chants delete as the camera pans out. The segment started off weak, but The Hardy’s warmed me to it.
X-Division Championship match up next. DJ Z defending the belt against Trevor Lee. Fast action to start as DJ Z looks amazing. He is a true X-Division champ. He has a great skill set, work rate, and is exciting to watch. Action is too fast paced to keep up with while typing. DJ Z hits his ZDT finisher and pins Trevor Lee to retain his title. Andrew Everett attacks DJ Z from behind. As he and Lee try to double team Z, Eddie Edwards runs in. Trevor and Andrew hightail it up the ramp. Edwards gets on the mic and politely asks DJ Z for a title shot next week. DJ Z accepts and says he can’t think of anyone more deserving.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett comes down to the ring, accompanied by Allie and Sienna. Maria drones on and on. This is some sort of “public workout” for Maria to prepare for Bound For Glory. Allie calls out some jobber who takes a beating from Maria after Sienna chokes her out when the ref is distracted. Maria wins the match via pinfall and retains her Knockouts Championship. Her second opponent comes out covered in black cloth from head to toe. She walks out to Asian music and doing a bunch of mocked karate moves. The opponent takes her hood off and it’s Gail Kim. She goes after Maria, but Sienna stops her. Gail hits Eat the Feet on Sienna as Maria makes her escape.
Tonight’s main event is The Miracle, Mike Bennett, teaming up with Bobby Lashley to take on Moose and Ethan Carter III in tag action. As soon as the bell rings, Bennett rolls out of the ring. EC3 and Moose double team Lashley. Bennett reaches in and pulls a downed Lashley out of the ring and we head to commercial break. When we return, Bennett is beating down EC3. He tags in Lashley and he attacks EC3’s taped midsection. EC3 gets Moose the hot tag and he makes easy work of Bennett. Lashley tags in and EC3 clotheslines him out of the ring. Bennett goes to slam EC3 but he reverses it into a quick rollup for the pinfall. Bennett rolls out of the ring and Moose attacks him. They fight up the ramp and into the back.
In the ring, Lashley attacks EC3 from behind. They start trading blows and a handful of security guards runs in to separate them. Lashley and EC3 start fighting the security and they clear the ring. EC3 takes down Lashley. The roster runs down and it takes a bunch of wrestlers to try and get them apart. Billy Corgan comes out. He says next week EC3 and Moose vs Lashley and Bennett will face off in Lethal Lockdown. The winner chooses the stipulation at Bound For Glory for the title match between EC3 and Lashley.
That was a really strong episode from TNA. They are in good shape heading into their biggest pay-per-view of the year. The matches set up so far and the addition of new talent makes the 2017 fiscal year for TNA look like it should provide a big upswing. Now more than ever I am proud to call myself a fan of TNA’s Impact Wrestling.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
The show starts with Matt Hardy trying to heal his brother with the help of the Seven Deities in the lake outside his compound. Matt yells, “Regenerate!” Along with some more nonsense. Matt throws Jeff in the water. He comes up wearing a tie and smoking a cigarette holding a funky blue belt. Matt dunks him again and he comes back as Broken Jeff. He yells, “Obsolete! Delete!” Matt goes off to try and track down the whereabouts of Vanguard 1.
Bobby Lashley comes to the ring. He says there will be no main event at Bound For Glory because of what he did to Ethan Carter III last week. He said the roster is a joke and anybody daring to come out and challenge Lashley would be a joke. Speaking of, Grado interrupts. He wants to prove to Lashley that he’s not a joke. He says Lashley attacked EC3 because he’s a coward. This obviously doesn’t sit well with Lashley. He elbows Grado in the head and then spears him in the corner. Another spear in the middle of the ring. Lashley says no one at Impact Wrestling can beat him. Moose’s music hits and he walks out. He enters the ring slowly. The two square off and Moose hits Lashley with a clothesline. Lashley rolls out of the ring. Moose says he’s going to whoop his ass. Aron Rex backstage promo. He says he will go through every man in the tournament to get at Drew Galloway.
Aron Rex having his debut match up next against Trevor Lee. This is in the Grand Championship Tournament. Aron Rex looks good in the first match, dominating Lee most of the way. First round is a no contest. We go to the judges. They give it to Aron Rex. After about two minutes in the second match, Aron Rex spins and elbows Lee in the face. He covers and we get a pinfall victory for the new guy. He advances. They have got to change his ring gear. It looks like he is just wearing a pair of whitey-tighteys.
Matt Hardy is in the woods screaming for Vanguard 1. He finds the little drone hanging in a tree. Matt starts to scream and cry as sad piano music plays. He says, “Don’t you do this to me! Don’t you dare!” He prays to the Seven Deities again and Vanguard 1’s memory sequence initiates showing footage of him helping Senor Benjmain with landscaping and playing chess against him. Matt watches as his propellers fire up and Vanguard 1 lifts off into the sky. It’s a miracle! He sends Vanguard 1 to find Senor Benjamin.
Maria Kanellis-Bennett wants to have Gail Kim’s Hall of Fame ceremony tonight instead of Bound For Glory, so that’s our next segment. She says she wants to mess with Bound For Glory. Allie is in the ring with her holding a gift bag. Maria calls out Gail, who comes to the ring. Maria has a “highlight package” for Gail Kim. It’s a video of all the times Maria has attacked Gail. She has Allie give her the present which is a framed photo of Maria holding the Knockouts Championship. Just when this segment can’t get any longer, Dixie Carter comes out. She says as long as Maria has the Knockouts title, it’s a conflict of interest for her to be the leader of the Knockouts division. As such, she has no decision making power. Dixie says Gail will get a proper ceremony at Bound For Glory. Dixie says Gail is in the Knockouts Gauntlet match later tonight for a shot at the title at Bound For Glory. I am so done with Maria. She isn’t a good heel, she’s just obnoxious.
After the break we have an Exposed Turnbuckle, Empty Arena match. Rockstar Spud is introduced and he comes out to no music. Braxton Sutter comes down and Spud meets him on the ramp. The bell rings as they start to brawl. Spud is thrown over the barricade. Sutter chokes him with his t-shirt. Sutter tosses Spud into a huge pile of chairs. Then he starts whipping him with a leather strap. They fight up into the bleachers. Sutter throws Spud against the fence. Spud spits on Sutter, who throws him after the barricade. Spud low-blows Sutter and then tosses him in the ring. Spud rams Sutter’s face on the exposed turnbuckle. Sutter mule-kicks Spud in the junk and then clocks him in the jaw. He whips Spud into a turnbuckle. Sutter throws Spud face first into the turnbuckles and Spud starts bleeding from the mouth. Sutter covers for the victory. Spud starts spitting out blood. Cool match, if a little one-sided.
Vanguard 1 is flying high above the tree line searching for his target, Senor Benjamin. He finds Senor Benjamin tied up in a barn with DECAY written on his face. He leads Matt to Benjamin. He sends Senor Benjamin home to prepare for war. Matt and Jeff are in the ring with Reby. Jeff has “obsolete” painted on his face. Matt says they will delete Decay at Bound For Glory. Decay’s music hits and the cameras search to find Rosemary out in the crowd. She says King Maxell needs a new family where he can embrace his decay. She says Decay will keep the tag titles. Abyss and Crazzy Steve speak as well, and Matt says he does not fear death. He challenges Decay to The Great War. Abyss accepts and Rosemary says after Bound For Glory it will be The Hardy’s that decay and Maxell will be able to join his real family. She calls Reby an unfit mother and she attacks Rosemary. All six people attack each other. Twist of Fates by everyone, even Reby on Rosemary! The crowd starts chanting, “Delete! Delete! Delete!”
Knockouts Gauntlet match next. Jade comes out first. Allie comes out but Maria stops her. Instead she introduces a new Knockout, Laurel Vanness. Crowd starts an “Allie is better!” chant as the bell rings. After a few minutes of limited action, Sienna comes down. Laurel and Sienna double team Jade. Gail Kim enters to even things up. She goes after Sienna as Jade and Laurel fight. Marty Bell is next. She goes right for Gail. Raquel comes down as the next entrant. Marty and Laurel go at her, but Raquel puts them both down. Madison Rayne comes down next. I feel like the entries are coming a little too fast for this. Feels rushed. No one has been eliminated yet as Rayne delivers several kicks to Sienna, as we head to a commercial break. Jade and Marty Bell are taken out and continue fighting outside the ring. Raquel is thrown out by Sienna. Gail Kim eliminates Laurel. We get a ref now as there are two ladies left, Gail and Sienna. Gail hits Eat The Feet and pins Sienna to head to face Maria at Bound For Glory.
Another first round Grand Championship tournament match up next. Mahabali Shera taking on Eddie Edwards. The two are pretty evenly matched to start. No contest for the first match. The judges score it in Eddie Edwards’ favor. Shera completely dominates the second match as Eddie clutches his ribs and writhes in pain. The judges give the second match to Shera. In the third round, Eddie gets more aggressive. He drops Shera into a submission and makes him tap. Eddie advances.
Moose comes to the ring. Lashley comes out and makes fun of Moose and says he isn’t going to fight him. Lashley says he will fight Moose at Bound For Glory because that’s where the money is. Moose says he isn’t waiting. Moose violently attacks Lashley and they trade blows outside of the ring. Lashley takes Moose down and then spears him into the corner twice. He tries for a third time and Moose uppercuts him. He picks him up and puts Lashley on the top rope. The Miracle runs out and attacks Moose from behind. Moose makes easy work of him until Miracle rakes his eyes. He turns around and Lashley spears him. The Miracle and Lashley stomp Moose. EC3’s music hits. He runs in and clotheslines The Miracle and then goes right for Lashley. Miracle gets him off Lashley. Miracle and Lashley try to tag team him but EC3 double clotheslines them and that’s the end of the broadcast.
An okay episode of TNA. The Hardy stuff was great and I’m really excited to see Lashley and Moose. But the Grand Championship matches are kind of weird and too fast to really get into. The entire tournament seems hastily thrown together. Also, how obvious is it that Gail Kim is going to win the Knockouts Championship the same night she gets in the Hall of Fame? I felt like creatively TNA can do better than this. The low points tonight weren’t terribly low, but there was a lot of boring television in their two hour broadcast. Also that ending was abrupt and sort of weird. What did you think of the show? Let us know in the comments below.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker