Date: March 22, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
It’s a new era in TNA (yes another one) as Drew Galloway won the World Title last week from Matt Hardy. Other than that we’re near the beginning of the final taping cycle for Eric Young and Bobby Roode so it should be interesting to see what happens to them before they leave. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the events that led to the new World Champion last week.
Here’s Drew for his first speech as World Champion. He’s worked a long time to get here and now he wants to be the kind of champion who brings this company back to where it once was. Drew doesn’t care what it takes because he’ll use this title to bring honor back to TNA. Cue Matt Hardy with Rockstar Spud and Reby to call Drew a cheating thief. Drew talks about being at a great after party last week after winning the title. He didn’t steal a thing because he took the title by capitalizing on the chaos.
Matt promises that the Matt Hardy Brand (Is that the stable name?) will destroy Drew. The champ is ready to fight so here is Jeff to say he’s at the front of the line for the first title shot. That’s just fine with Drew who says Jeff can have a title shot if he’d like one. Matt wants Jeff to get back on his dirt bike and break the rest of his limbs. Cue Eric Young and Bram (because of course) to beat Jeff down. The Matt Hardy Brand (yes that’s the official name it seems) works on Drew. A table is loaded up and we take a break.
Back with the villains still in control and beating on the good guys until Ethan Carter III makes the save with a chair. Carter says we’re not having a punch party without inviting EC3. Drew gets up and Carter says he’s definitely a deserving champion, but he (Ethan) was never pinned for it. The challenge is laid out and Drew immediately accepts. This brings out Mike Bennett and Maria with Bennett saying he pinned Drew last week and deserves the shot. Drew is willing to fight them all so here’s Dixie to announce a gauntlet match between the Hardys, Bennett, Carter and presumably Young.
Been Money lists off various former teams who might be answering their open challenge tonight. The shots at Pacman Jones are kind of funny.
It’s time to draw for the gauntlet match order. Bennett goes first and promises to beat the best TNA has to offer to become World Champion. He seems happy with his number.
Here’s Beer Money to issue an open challenge for the Tag Team Titles with a surprise team answering.
Tag Team Titles: Beer Money vs. BroMans
Sure why not. Robbie runs Roode over to start but it’s quickly off to Storm as the announcers talk about the BroMans by mentioning the World Title Series. Jesse comes in for some lockups with Storm as the challengers (and heels I guess) take over on James in the corner. A clothesline is enough to bring in Roode for the house cleaning, including a spinning Rock Bottom for two as everything breaks down. The Bro Attack (formerly known as the BroDown) gets two on Roode but a Last Call into the DWI is enough for the pin on Robbie to retain at 5:38.
Rating: C. Match was fine but it’s very telling that with the Wolves out and Decay defeated for the time being, it’s already time to start putting old teams back together. This division hasn’t actually been a division for years now and it’s getting clearer and clearer every single month. Hopefully this lasts more than one week.
Decay says……something about hurting Davey Richards.
Eric Young says Bram’s spot is by his side and both guys seem happy about their numbers. Young again thinks someone is stalking him.
Eddie Edwards vs. Crazzy Steve
No DQ. It’s a brawl in the aisle to start with Eddie getting the better of it until Abyss offers a distraction so Steve can get in a few shots from behind. A running Cannonball against the steps crushes Eddie again and it’s time to actually head inside. Rosemary sends in a bunch of chairs for a Raven drop toehold into the steel. More chairs are wedged into the corners but Steve is sent head first into several of them. Rosemary finally pulls the referee out at two so Eddie sends Steve into her, setting up a rollup for the pin at 6:49.
Rating: D+. I get the idea behind the Decay but they really don’t do much for me. Yeah they’re the latest creepy stable and that’s fine but it’s really nothing I’m going to get excited about. Eddie needs to move on to the X-Division to breathe some life into it so hopefully this Decay feud doesn’t go anywhere.
Maria talks about how Gail Kim as Knockouts Champion hasn’t changed a thing. A revelation is promised.
Dixie Carter seems to put Lashley in the gauntlet match.
Jeff Hardy is ready to draw when Ethan comes in. Ethan draws #1 but we don’t see what Jeff’s number is.
Knockouts Title: Maria vs. Gail Kim
Maria is challenging but before the bell she talks about how she’s been granted something by TNA management. Before that’s announced though, she has some special guests: the Dollhouse. Maria talks about how the Dollhouse has had a bunch of leaders over the months but nothing special has ever come of it. That means it’s time for the Dollhouse to split up because only little girls play with dolls. Marti Belle gets in her face and says no way but Maria offers a title shot to the winner of a triple threat between the Dollhouse. Gail is fine with this and just leaves.
Marti Belle vs. Jade vs. Rebel
The match starts after a break with Maria on commentary. Rebel gets double teamed in slow motion before getting kicked down in a High/Low. As expected the other two get in a fight over who gets the fall before putting on a double half crab. Maria continues her borderline creepy talk about reaching potential as Rebel gets knocked down again, allowing Jade and Marti to take over. Marti electric chairs Jade off the top and all three are down. Then, in something we haven’t seen yet, Rebel gets laid out so the other two can fight. Jade Rock Bottoms Marti onto Rebel for the pin at 6:29, though that should be Marti pinning Rebel.
Rating: D. This felt like it went on forever though it did a good job at making Maria look like the most interesting Knockout in years. There’s something about her that just gets your attention and that’s exactly what the division has been lacking. Gail really isn’t interesting and it’s LONG past time for something fresh.
The Matt Hardy Brand draws their numbers as Matt claims conspiracy. He winds up with the best number though.
We recap Grado winning the ladder match last week.
Grado is excited about a party next week but Mahabali Shera is annoyed that Odarg left without paying him back $50. Grado accidentally pulls out an Odarg mask but Shera is too stupid to notice.
Before the match, Drew says there’s too much talking tonight. A-freaking men brother but what do you mean tonight? With him as champion, you can expect a lot more action because he’s heading to the back so we can have this match. This brings out Lashley to congratulate Drew, drawing a NO MORE TALKING chant. Lashley is in the gauntlet match because he wants that title shot too. Ethan Carter III finally cuts them off as entrant #2.
This is basically a mini Royal Rumble with over the top eliminations which at least saves us from some bad falls. Feeling out process to start with neither being able to get a hiptoss so Carter nails a running shoulder. There’s the Stinger Splash in the corner and Carter hammers away until Spud comes in at #3. The heels start double teaming Carter for a few minutes until Bennett comes in at #4 (complete with Maria back in the same dress she was in earlier and not the pink outfit she was in during the match).
Carter goes right after Bennett but gets taken out by Spud as Eric Young is in at #5. There are still no eliminations as they mostly stand around and do little shots to each other. Tyrus is in at #6 to give us five heels at once. Unfortunately he takes so long getting to the ring that Spud gets tossed by Carter as we take a break.
Back with Bram in as well and Lashley spearing Bennett down to be the only man left standing. Tyrus is tossed to clear the ring a bit, followed by Bram kneeing Young by mistake to get rid of him. Lashley spears Bram and throws him out, leaving Lashley, Carter and Bennett in the ring. This brings Pope off commentary to throw Lashley out, which of course counts. Carter saves Pope from Lashley and clotheslines him over the top for a more legitimate elimination. That allows Pope to fight Lashley up the ramp until Matt Hardy is in at #8.
Bennett and Hardy start double teaming Carter until Jeff Hardy comes in at #9. The fans chant for Hardy, which may or may not be a very sudden shift in support for Matt. These are the final four, which we’re told a few moments into the fight because there was no indication that Jeff was the final entrant. Carter backdrops Bennett out but Bennett grabs his hand, allowing Matt to get the elimination.
We’re down to Hardy vs. Hardy with Matt taking over and dropping a bunch of legdrops. The Side Effect has Jeff in more trouble but he comes back with a whip into the corner and the slingshot dropkick. Matt gets in a Twist of Fate but can’t send Jeff to the floor, allowing Jeff to backdrop him out for the title shot at 23:50.
Rating: C+. This match is a microcosm of TNA in a nutshell: they have all these interesting stories and ideas with potential to do something new but it’s all about the Hardys. Whether you like it or not, it has been determined that you’re getting Matt vs. Jeff and that’s all there is to it. Not a bad match or anything but Matt vs. Jeff really isn’t interesting and I can’t imagine that’s the last we’ll be seeing of it.
Drew applauds Jeff to wrap things up.
Overall Rating: C. Not the worst show in the world here but the key is the potential. Drew Galloway and Maria Kanellis seem like the real deal but that’s been the case far too many times in the past for me to get my hopes up. The other problem is of course TNA’s taping cycle and how they’re going to replace all this departing talent. They need some new signings in a hurry or this could get a lot worse very fast. Good building show this week, but those Hardys need to be kept apart.
Beer Money b. BroMans – DWI to Robbie
Eddie Edwards b. Crazzy Steve – Rollup
Jade b. Marti Belle and Rebel – Rock Bottom to Marti
Jeff Hardy won a gauntlet match last eliminating Matt Hardy
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