Date: February 9, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
I have come here to watch wrestling and open briefcases and TNA is all out of briefcases. So we’re past Open Fight Night and now it’s time to move on to some fresh material. It’s hard to say what that might mean as we’re still waiting on the next taping cycle with the new creative direction to start up. Let’s get to it.
We open with the Hardy Family arriving. After Matt asks Maxel why he’s eating carbohydrates instead of protein (Jeff: “He is undefeated.”), it is announced that the Seven Deities will reveal all tonight.
Recap of the four briefcase matches from last week.
Here’s the DCC with something to say. James Storm talks about how they always keep their promises and lists off some names they’ve taken out. Cue Eli Drake and Tyrus to call them out with Tyrus asking if Kingston is his Mini Me. The fight is on with all five heading to the floor and we go to a break.
DCC vs. Tyrus/Eli Drake
Joined in progress with Tyrus in control before handing it off to Drake, who gets caught in the wrong corner. That doesn’t last long either though as Bram can’t keep the advantage, allowing Drake and Tyrus to take turns working him over. Drake ducks the Last Call and brings Tyrus back in, only to walk away on the big man. Storm mocks the Brodus Clay dance and the trio takes Tyrus down, finishing him with the Last Call at 6:23.
Rating: C-. Nothing much to see here but at least the DCC won. I’m worried about their future as they’ve hit a firm wall and TNA is hardly the kind of company that helps push someone like them along. They just barely beat Tyrus and that should be one of the biggest layups around.
Clip of Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards in a cage. Their final showdown is tonight.
Brandi Rhodes is going to call out Rosemary.
Braxton Sutter and Allie run into each other in the back. Maria comes in and yells at Allie for wasting time and sends her away. We hear about some wedding plans and Braxton has an hour to propose to Laurel Van Ness.
Here’s Brandi for a chat. She gets right to the point and calls Rosemary out, which isn’t exactly the biggest surprise. Cue Decay and Rosemary with the latter saying Brandi could have been amazing with them but she made the wrong decision. Brandi is quickly choked down but Moose of all people makes the save.
Aron Rex doesn’t think much of Robbie E. because violence isn’t the answer. Rex will make an exception tonight though.
Brandi and Moose want a mixed tag next week.
Aron Rex vs. Robbie E.
Before the match, Aron fails to get the audience to sing his name. Rex slaps him in the face to start and of course hides on the apron as a result. Back in and Robbie throws some right hands, which seem to tick Rex off. Robbie is thrown outside so Spud can choke with his coat. That fires Robbie up and Spud is pulled inside, allowing the loaded punch to knock Robbie cold for the pin at 4:54.
Rating: D. Rex is the definition of beating you over the head with a character but it’s already a major improvement over Aron as just a guy in trunks. This wasn’t exactly high concept stuff though and that makes for a dull match. I’m not sure who Rex faces next though but at least this is better than what we had.
The Hardys are ready for an announcement.
Clip of Edwards winning the World Title.
The Wolves and their wives (Angelina Love and Alisha) are ready.
Mike Bennett gloats over the idea of Sutter marrying Laurel because it’s going to make them family. Sutter leaves to do anything else.
Here are the Hardys for a chat. Matt talks about having a pre-mo-nition of the Expedition of Gold. That’s why Vanguard 1 can now teleport them around the world to win Tag Team Titles wherever they want. Matt teases going to Ring of Honor (which he actually says) and WWE (stop) to win all the gold they can find. It’s time to go so they touch the drone and disappear. We cut to….Tijuana, Mexico for the first attempt at winning new titles.
Grand Championship: Mahabali Shera vs. Drew Galloway
Drew is defending. An early Futureshock is broken up and Drew bails to the corner. That means a lot of stalling before Galloway slips out of what looked like a fireman’s carry and goes after the leg. Some chops on the floor wrap up the round but Shera hits the Sky High just a second after the bell. Shera wins Round One but charges into a boot to the face to start Round Two. Drew chops the skin off Shera’s chest, followed by the Claymore and the Futureshock to retain at 6:13.
Rating: D+. The match was fine enough but, as I say every week because it’s still true: there’s no point to the round system because it doesn’t add a thing. It’s little more than a way to extend the matches and make them feel different without really needing to in the slightest. Galloway is a great talent but he needs something less convoluted to really make this work. It’s not a good sign when you could cut the gimmick out and have the same matches but that’s what we have here.
Sutter drops a water bottle cap and goes to pick it up, which Laurel interprets as a proposal. Braxton: “That is the exact opposite of what I wanted to happen.”
Here’s the Helms Dynasty with something to say. The key to a strong dynasty is to acknowledge the weak link and that has to be Andrew Everett. Andrew takes the mic and says Helms is the weak link, earning himself a double beatdown. At least that’s a somewhat better way to turn someone face and it’s not like taking a beating while down 2-1 makes him look horrible.
Lashley is ready.
Matt and Jeff meet fans in Tijuana and next week, the first challenge takes place.
TNA World Title: Lashley vs. Eddie Edwards
Eddie is challenging and this is his last match. Davey Richards and Eddie’s wives are in the front row, meaning shenanigans are likely afoot. Eddie starts fast by knocking Lashley to the floor for a suicide dive. That earns him a spinebuster though and we take a break. Back with the champ still in control but getting knocked outside again for another suicide dive.
Lashley grabs the belt but here’s Davey to take it away, allowing Eddie to get in a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. A quick Boston Knee Party should have the title won but Davey pulls the referee out. Angelina Love slaps Alisha and the distraction is enough to allow the spear to retain Lashley’s title at 13:53.
Rating: C+. This was entertaining enough but I’m pretty tired of seeing these two fight. That being said, the match was little more than a backdrop while Davey did the heel turn and there’s nothing wrong with that. Lashley is really needing some fresh competition though and I’m not sure who that is at the moment.
Davey and Angelina beat down Eddie and Alisha to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. The wrestling hasn’t been the best but I can get behind some of these stories. They’re getting to the point where you can see some of the culminations to them and that’s a good thing. The show isn’t getting on my nerves as badly lately and it certainly seems a bit more focused. I can live with slightly weaker wrestling in exchange for an upgrade in storytelling and that’s what we’re getting lately.
DCC b. Tyrus/Eli Drake – Last Call to Tyrus
Aron Rex b. Robbie E. – Loaded punch
Drew Galloway b. Mahabali Shera – Futureshock
Lashley b. Eddie Edwards – Spear
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