Date: November 25, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
It’s the final night of group play as we’re finally going to know the final sixteen people who could become the new World Champion. That means the matches almost all have meaning for a change, which should mix things up a good bit. There’s no word on what happens after this but the finals should be coming soon. Let’s get to it.
We open with the standard recap and preview.
Group X-Division: DJZ vs. Manik vs. Tigre Uno
This is a playoff after these three tied in points. It’s a two fall match with the winner of the first fall getting to leave and then the second winner advancing as well. They all go after each other to start with Tigre sending both guys to the floor and hitting a huge moonsault off the top to take them both out. Back in and Manik and Uno trade arm holds until DJZ comes back in to break it up, only to be sent to the floor. Manik puts Tigre in a Gory Special and adds a reverse Boston crab to DJZ at the same time. Back up and DJZ grabs a quick double DDT to advance to the round of sixteen.
Tigre starts fast with a reverse suplex into a Stunner for two (cool move) but gets caught in a cross armbreaker. That sends Tigre to the ropes so Manik tries a belly to back superplex, only to get elbowed down. A split legged corkscrew moonsault sends Tigre to the next round at 7:57.
Rating: C. This is becoming my standard rating for an X-Division match. It didn’t have much time to go anywhere, the high spots were fun and the title meant nothing. I’m really not sure what they see in DJZ going forward after the changes to Manik but why bother with potential when you can go with comedy?
Drew Galloway was in Glasgow and talks about being married to this business because it’s all you have time for as a wrestler. This is the longest time he’s been home in ten years and he can’t wait to come back here with his perfect partner: the World Heavyweight Championship.
Group UK: Rockstar Spud vs. Drew Galloway
Feeling out process to start until Drew unleashes the power with a gorilla press. They head outside with Drew sending him back first into the apron, only to miss a charge and go head first into the steps. Drew barely beats the count back in and misses a charge into the post to make things even worse. Some running dropkicks and an enziguri mean it’s time for Spud to take off the bowtie. The Underdog is broken up but Drew can’t bring himself to take a cheap shot, allowing Spud to grab a jumping DDT for two. Not that it matters as the Claymore (running boot, to the chest in this case) puts Spud away at 7:17.
Rating: B-. Better than I was expecting here as Spud has found that perfect formula to make you believe that he could pull off a huge upset like this without it being ridiculous. Galloway is going to make a deep run in this thing and it’s cool to see him have to sweat a bit against someone who is fun to watch in Spud. Good match here and better than I was hoping for.
Drew Galloway – 9 points (0 matches remaining)
Bram – 3 points (1 match remaining)
Rockstar Spud – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Grado – 0 points (1 match remaining)
Group UK: Grado vs. Bram
If Bram wins, he advances to the round of sixteen. If Grado wins, there’s a three way playoff with Spud, Bram and Grado later tonight. Grado dances a lot and gets rolled up in four seconds. They had to get seven matches in tonight so this almost had to happen at some point.
Drew Galloway – 9 points (0 matches remaining)
Bram – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Rockstar Spud – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Grado – 0 points (0 matches remaining)
Group Future Four: Micah vs. Jesse Godderz
Winner advances. Micah gets sent to the floor to start as Pope talks about getting the job done no matter what he was doing. Well he certainly did a lot of jobs so he’s got something there. Back in and Jesse slowly pounds away until Micah makes his comeback to indifference. A Samoan drop puts Jesse down but he avoids a top rope headbutt, setting up the Adonis Crab to advance Jesse at 4:29.
Rating: D. Is there a reason Micah has a job? He’s generic in the ring, no one cares about him, and I don’t remember a single thing about him. Jesse is starting to turn a very weak corner and it’s always good to have a heel that you want to see get punched in the face. At least they kept this quick as this group has been death since it started.
Group Future Four
Eli Drake – 7 points (0 matches remaining)
Jesse Godderz – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Micah – 4 points (0 matches remaining)
Crimson – 0 points (0 matches remaining)
Recap of Group Tag Team.
Kurt Angle has been in the UK to hype up the Maximum Impact tour. He officially announced his retirement tour and says his run is over, possibly after this tour.
Group Tag Team Specialists: Robbie E. vs. Davey Richards
Winner advances. They trade armdrags to start and it’s an early standoff. Robbie’s armbar doesn’t work and Davey sends him to the floor, only to have Robbie switch places for a flip dives off the apron. Back in and Davey takes over with a clothesline and inverted Indian deathlock. Robbie fights up with some clotheslines to set up the Boom Drop for a close two, more or less sealing his fate. They trade rollups until Davey stomps onto Robbie’s chest for two more. Creeping Death advances Davey at 7:15.
Rating: C+. Gah I can’t stand Davey Richards. He’s fun when he’s out there with Edwards but when he gets into that martial arts and LET ME SHOW YOU NINTEEN DIFFERENT WAYS I CAN KICK YOU stuff, he’s one of the most annoying guys I’ve ever seen. Robbie would have been a fun story but we’ll go with dull and overrated instead.
Group Tag Team Specialists
Matt Hardy – 9 points (0 matches remaining)
Davey Richards – 4 point (0 matches remaining)
Robbie E. – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Eddie Edwards – 1 point (0 matches remaining)
Group Wild Card: Crazzy Steve vs. Kenny King
If Steve wins we have another playoff but if King wins, he advances. They start fast and trade armdrags to continue a popular trend tonight. Josh recaps the Menagerie until King elbows Steve in the face to take over. Steve goes up top and honks his horn before a springboard hurricanrana gets two. What appeared to be a Codebreaker is countered into the Royal Flush to advance King, who I don’t think is with the promotion anymore, at 4:29.
Rating: F. This is your weekly WHY AM I WATCHING THIS match as Steve is an unfunny comedy guy who is still around for reasons I’ll never understand. The only good thing here is the lack of having to watch Aiden O’Shea and Steve again in a playoff. This was the worst division by about a mile and one of the few I actually dreaded.
Group Wild Card
Mahabali Shera – 9 points (0 matches remaining)
Kenny King – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Aiden O’Shea – 3 points (0 matches remaining)
Crazzy Steve – 0 points (0 matches remaining)
Aries says Lashley will have to be at his best to win.
Pope gives out more awards:
Move of the Tournament – Sky High to Kenny King
Upset of the Tournament – Brooke b. Gail Kim
Turkey of the Tournament – Grado vs. Rockstar Spud
Group Champions: Lashley vs. Austin Aries
Winner advances. Aries bounces off Lashley to start until a missile dropkick staggers Lashley a bit. That’s fine with Lashley as he throws Aries away and starts driving shoulders in the corner. Aries knees his way out of a delayed vertical suplex by knocking Lashley down to a knee but Lashley stands back up and suplexes him anyway. That is SCARY power.
Back from a break with Aries elbowing out of Lashley’s grip but getting caught in a belly to belly. The spear hits the post though and Aries follows up with a missile dropkick. Lashley slaps him out of the corner though and dead lifts him into a powerslam. I repeat my scary power line. The Last Chancery doesn’t get Aries anywhere so he goes with discus forearms. Lashley again powers out of the brainbuster and throws Aries over his head with a release German.
Aries avoids the spear but Lashley sidesteps the suicide dive. The match comes to a screeching halt as Aries is holding his arm with ninety seconds to go. Lashley finally clotheslines him down again as this thing JUST WON’T END. Aries grabs the Lash Chancery but Lashley makes the rope. Instead of standing around for the last thirty seconds, Aries tries a 450 but eats a spear to send Lashley on at 15:05.
Rating: B. At least it went out on a good match, even though Aries got stupid at the end after being smart most of the time. Lashley is the smart choice here since he actually works for TNA, but Aries was a nice surprise. I mean, I’m stupid for realizing he’s a surprise according to Josh but he’s a lot smarter than me after all.
Ethan Carter III – 7 points (0 matches remaining)
Lashley – 6 points (0 matches remaining)
Austin Aries – 4 points (0 matches remaining)
Mr. Anderson – 0 points (0 matches remaining)
We recap the night because just announcing the brackets isn’t interesting enough.
Here are the official round of sixteen brackets:
Ethan Carter III
That could be worse, but they’ve handed Carter a spot in the semifinals.
Ethan Carter III is thrilled with his draw.
DJZ is ready…..for the three women he’s brought home.
Davey Richards is of course respectful about Bram.
Eli Drake is a smarmy jerk and says he won’t be dancing with Shera. I like him more and more every time I hear him talk.
Eric Young IS GOD.
Jesse Godderz isn’t worried about any man, woman or Kong.
Bobby Roode says his toughest test is coming.
Matt Hardy thinks no one is stopping him.
Overall Rating: C-. THANK GOODNESS! I am so incredibly sick of this tournament and listening to Josh talk about how IT’S SUDDEN DEATH IN THIS GROUP and having Pope call everyone daddy every ten seconds. I understand that there has been a lot of action in this and some of it has been really good. However, so much of it has been stuff like Jesse vs. Micah or King vs. Steve.
The good is indeed good but this concept going on for two straight months with NOTHING else would drive anyone crazy. If you want to have a tournament then fine, but don’t drag it out this long. The good is completely overshadowed by the bad and uninteresting, leaving you with two months of watchable wrestling that is completely wasted because it’s the same idea over and over and over. At least it’s over now and we can get on to……the actual tournament.
Tigre Uno and DJZ b. Manik – Split legged corkscrew moonsault
Drew Galloway b. Rockstar Spud – Claymore
Bram b. Grado – Rollup
Jesse Godderz b. Micah – Adonis crab
Davey Richards b. Robbie E. – Creeping Death
Kenny King b. Crazzy Steve – Royal Flush
Lashley b. Austin Aries – Spear
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