Date: February 2, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
It’s Open Fight Night and that means we get to find out who wants what match from their Race for the Case briefcases. Basically, in order of 1-4, everyone can pick a match and stipulation but nothing can be repeated, meaning there can’t be four cage matches or four World Title matches. Let’s get to it.
We open with a quick explanation of Race for the Case.
Recap of the Iron Man match with Lashley regaining the World Title. I still don’t see what was so great about it.
Here are the Hardys to open things up with Jeff carrying the #1 briefcase. The Seven Deities have told Matt that the brothers must win as much tag team gold around the world as they can. Therefore, they have granted the Hardys, I kid you not, a teleportation device to send them on their International Expedition of Gold. Now they want the Bucks of Youth, the Day of New and the Family of Wyatts, all of whom must be deleted. Anyway, Jeff knows who he wants to fight.
TNA World Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Lashley
Jeff is challenging of course and Josh actually does his job by pointing out that the Tag Team Titles can’t be defended or challenged for tonight because Jeff is already wrestling. Uh, what does this have to do with Schitt’s Creek? I was promised Schitt’s Creek updates. We start after a bell with Jeff punching his way out of the corner, only to get his head taken off with a clothesline. Jeff sends him over the ropes and then into the apron, followed by another ram into the barricade. A powerbomb plants Jeff on the steps and the champ chokes with a boot.
Back with Jeff making his comeback with the usual and getting two off the Twist of Fate and Swanton. Another Swanton gets the same with Lashley putting his foot on the ropes. With the wrestling not working, Jeff sends him into the steps but misses a slingshot Swanton to the floor for an even worse than usual crash. The spear retains the title at 14:03.
Rating: B-. This felt like a main event style match but as usual it’s the same problem Impact so often has: there’s no reason for these two to be fighting other than the challenger won a qualifying match. There’s no personal issue and it’s all about the title. It’s cool to have a feud about the title but it feels like that’s the vast majority of what TNA does. Have something personal for a change and it can do you a lot of good.
Post match, Josh says no one has been able to figure Lashley, the FOUR TIME World Champion, out. Before I can explain why that makes no sense, here’s Eddie Edwards because this feud isn’t quite done yet. Eddie wants his rematch and Lashley agrees, but this is Eddie’s last shot.
Tyrus and Eli Drake are ready to shock the world with their briefcase choice.
Earlier today, Rosemary tried to get Brandi to join Decay. Brandi declined so Rosemary licked her face.
In case that wasn’t clear enough, Rosemary invites Brandi to join Decay but gets turned down again.
And now, a day in the life of Aron Rex. This involves riding around in a golf cart and Spud putting down a mat in the back.
Sienna vs. Brooke Tessmacher
Brooke starts fast and gets two off a middle rope X-Factor. A chase goes badly though, allowing Sienna to get in a cheap shot to take. Maria adds a few kicks to the back and distracts the referee so Sienna can choke for a bit. Guest commentator Madison Rayne would rather talk about how great Brooke looks so soon after having a child, continuing the tradition of absolutely worthless TNA commentary. The AK-47 is broken up and Brooke gets a bad looking Muta Lock but Maria offers a distraction, allowing the Silencer to put Brooke away at 5:39.
Rating: D+. Annoying commentary aside, this was fine as a way to set Brooke up as a foil to the Lady Squad. Unfortunately Brooke feels like a relic of the past with the entire character being based on how she looks in trunks. That’s not interesting and doesn’t exactly come off as thrilling. At least it’s a character though, unlike Gail Kim: WRESTLER.
Back to Aron Rex, who is having makeup applied. Spud reads off his appointments on various networks like FOX News and CNN. Rex doesn’t care for being called “bloody good” because he doesn’t like violence. He prefers “rexcellent”.
The DCC wants Decay in a falls count anywhere match.
DCC vs. Decay
Falls count anywhere and I guess a handicap match as well, unless Rosemary is fighting with the guys. It’s a brawl on the floor to start and we’ve already got a table ready. Steve escapes a powerbomb through said table and Abyss takes Kingston into the crowd to expand the violence a bit wider.
Steve dives onto all three members of the DCC for two on Storm. It’s time for the barbed wire board and Abyss rips off Kingston’s shirt. That earns Abyss a low blow but Rosemary mists Kingston, setting up a chokeslam onto some tacks for two. Some beer bottles to Abyss’ head set up a Last Call to put him into the barbed wire. A spike piledriver puts Steve through the table for the pin at 6:34.
Rating: C+. I find this to be false advertising as this was another iteration of the Monster’s Ball instead of a falls count anywhere match. I’ve seen worse versions of this same match and they kept it short, which is a good idea when we’ve seen the same stuff over and over again, especially with Abyss in the matches every single time.
Maria and Mike Bennett come up to Braxton Sutter in the back to talk about the date with Laurel Van Ness. Braxton is glad it’s over but Maria hears wedding bells over the chance of what might happen to Allie if he doesn’t.
Here’s Drew Galloway to say he’s a fighting Grand Champion and will defend against anyone. Cue Moose to ask for a title shot but Galloway has something else in mind.
Grand Championship: Drew Galloway vs. Rob Ryzin
Galloway is defending and kicks Rob’s head off thirty seconds in. This turns into an ad for Rudy, which is airing after the show. An overhead belly to belly has Ryzin in even more trouble and his comeback is cut off by a piledriver. Futureshock retains the title at 2:14.
Trevor Lee wants the injured X-Division Champion DJZ in a ladder match.
X-Division Title: DJZ vs. Trevor Lee
Ladder match with DJZ defending. Trevor gets backdropped to the floor to start and DJZ hits a dive but makes his leg even worse. It’s so banged up that he has to stop Lee from getting the title, earning himself a ladder shot to the leg. Lee crushes the leg in the ladder but gets caught in a ZDT off the ladder. Shane Helms throws in a chair and the leg gets crushed one more time but Lee is smart enough to keep it inside the chair and put the ladder on top, giving us a new champion at 7:30.
Rating: C. Now this one made sense and is a great example of how to use the case to your advantage. Also, it’s long past the point of getting the title off DJZ as the division has died all over again. This wasn’t a great ladder match (the time didn’t do it any favors) but it made sense and that means a lot.
Tyrus wants Drake to have some quiet time to prepare.
Robbie E. interrupts Rex and gets a match next week.
Drake wants Ethan Carter III with his extremely bruised hip/rib.
Eli Drake vs. Ethan Carter III
Carter gets taken down to start with Drake hammering in right hands as we take an early break. Back with Drake sending Carter face first into the apron but missing a baseball bat shot. Drake forearms him in the back/hip and says YEAH a lot. One heck of a clothesline puts Carter down but Drake takes a bit too long following up, allowing Carter to grab a jackknife rollup for the pin at 10:47.
Rating: C-. Nothing special to see here but Carter and Drake have had a good enough feud. It’s one of the few that isn’t about a title and that makes things all the better. Unfortunately TNA didn’t do the best job of explaining how Carter got hurt but the match was fine and the talking has been better so I can’t complain too much.
Post match Drake unloads on Carter with the ball bat, only to have the DCC show up and stomp on Carter’s nearly unconscious body. Drake smiles but the DCC beats down he and Tyrus as well. Carter takes a spike piledriver on the chair to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling wasn’t the best here but I liked the concept a lot more than I was expecting to. They used a formula that made sense here and helped push some feuds here, which is a little better than doing the same thing over and over again. I was never big on Open Fight Night in the first place but that probably had something to do with holding it once a month. Or maybe Hogan. Yeah probably him. Anyway, not a bad show this week and that’s high praise around here.
Lashley b. Jeff Hardy – Spear
Sienna b. Brooke Tessmacher – Silencer
Drew Galloway b. Rob Ryzin – Futureshock
Trevor Lee b. DJZ – Lee pulled down the title
Ethan Carter III b. Eli Drake – Jackknife rollup
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