Date: November 10, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
It’s another big night here in TNA as the World Title is on the line again. This time it’s Eli Drake challenging as he cashes in his Bound for Gold title shot for a chance at Eddie Edwards’ World Title. Other than that we’ll likely get an update on Broken Matt Hardy, who might have amnesia. Let’s get to it.
We look back at last week’s main event.
Josh previews the show, which will feature the start of some competition to crown a new #1 contender.
Here’s Eddie to open the show. Over his career, he’s had a lot of support but there’s also been a lot of negativity. He’s developed a never say die attitude and is ready for anything, but here’s Drake to interrupt. Drake is Bound For Gold and is ready to lighten Eddie’s load a bit. This brings out Ethan Carter III to say he’ll be #1 contender no matter what. He can see it in Eli’s eyes: Drake isn’t ready to be champion. Now it’s Mike Bennett and Maria coming out to laugh at Ethan for betting on Eddie, just like when he bet and lost his streak. The fight is on but here’s Moose to join in as we take a break.
Mike Bennett vs. Moose
This is the first in a series of qualifying matches for a #1 contenders match. Moose throws him around to start so Maria pulls her husband to the floor, earning an ejection, followed by a lot of screaming. Back in and a chop block slows Moose down and we slow down into a standard “keep the power guy on the mat” match. Moose makes his comeback with headbutts to the arm but can’t do his running charge into the corner.
Instead it’s a Pop Up Powerbomb and a backsplash (becoming WAY too common a move in wrestling) for two, only to have Bennett kick out the leg again. A piledriver gets two because piledrivers are only devastating sometimes. The Game Changer is broken up with even more superkicks but Bennett no sells a pump kick, setting up a cutter for two. They head outside with Moose going head first into the steps, drawing a countout to give Bennett the win at 8:32.
Rating: D+. Standard Bennett match here, meaning nothing all that interesting. I’m glad they didn’t have Moose lose clean here and Bennett is more interesting going forward towards the title, especially if Lashley is involved in this competition. You don’t need two big power guys in the same match so Bennett going forward makes more sense.
Al Snow is here for a surprise from the Tribunal.
We go to the Hardy Compound where Jeff shows up to check on his brother. Apparently Matt has been acting differently since his injury, including wearing sweaters and showing an interest in home improvement. That means building a dining room, but he doesn’t recognize Jeff at the moment. Jeff tries to impersonate Broken Matt, who doesn’t even remember that they’re wrestlers. He’s an engineer now but Reby has an idea.
Here’s the Tribunal for a statement. They quickly bring Snow out and get right to the point: they don’t need him and never did. The beatdown is on and it’s Mahabali Shera for the save. The Tribunal easily beats up the dancer and stand tall.
Jesse Godderz wants to get his hands on Aron Rex and it’s not about the title.
Abyss vs. Ethan Carter III
Qualifying match. Carter misses an early charge but has to fight out of a chokeslam attempt. Abyss takes it outside and chokeslams Ethan onto the apron (which the announcers don’t point out as the hardest part of the ring). Back in and a hard shot to the face drops Carter again before a comeback is cut off by a chokeslam for two. A chair doesn’t work and Ethan grabs a sleeper for a tap out (Huh?) at 6:36.
Rating: D. A sleeper for a submission? I guess it was supposed to be a rear naked choke but when the announcers call it a sleeper, that’s what I’m going with. Maybe Carter couldn’t get him in the 1%er or something but that’s quite the weird ending. At least we had a fresh match for a change and that’s a good thing.
Eli is ready to take the title.
Back to the Hardy Compound where Reby plays the theme song while Matt eats lobster. A family sing-a-long breaks out but Matt has no idea what to do. To be fair they ask him to remember Jeff’s line. Jeff offers to take him on a ride on the dirtbike. Jeff: “ISN’T THAT EXCITING???” Matt: “No.”
JB is in the ring to bring out Gail Kim, who has an announcement. Gail comes out and says Borash is like family to him. Interesting but not much of an announcement. She asks Jade to come out here and calls Jade the future of the division. Gail sounds like she’s about to retire when Rosemary and Decay cut her off. It’s mist for Gail and Jade gets dropped, leaving Rosemary to choke Gail out. Rosemary isn’t done as she goes coast to coast to drive a garbage can into Jade’s face.
Trevor Lee vs. Rockstar Spud vs. DJZ
Thankfully it’s not a title match but rather another qualifying match. It’s a chase to start with Lee kicking DJZ in the chest but Spud can’t get a cover. Back in Lee throws DJZ around again but gets knocked outside, leaving Spud to take out DJZ’s leg. A springboard legdrop gets two but Lee muscles Spud up and sends him flying with a release German suplex. Spud comes back in for a low blow on DJZ but gets kneed in the face. The fishmerman’s buster gives Lee the pin on Spud at 4:22.
Rating: C-. This was every X-Division match you’ve seen in the last few years and there was no mention of the champion losing or of Lee earning a potential future title shot after winning a match involving the champ. At least DJZ didn’t lose though and he still has that stupid flag to carry around in Team X Gold which doesn’t actually involve gold.
Aiden O’Shea puts Grado and Robbie E. together as a team against Lashley. The happiness quickly ends.
Brandi Rhodes tries to give Allie a pep talk to no avail.
Lashley vs. Grado/Robbie E.
Qualifying match and the team doesn’t get an entrance. Tags are required here as Josh tries to say the team should be favored. Robbie is driven into the corner to start before it’s off to Grado for a top rope ax handle. Robbie’s middle rope clothesline actually puts Lashley down and Grado does his dancing punches. A double suplex just seems to tick Lashley off and it’s time to get serious. Grado’s spine is busted and the spear ends Robbie at 2:56.
We look back at Rex defending the title last week and knocking Godderz out with one punch.
Rex arrives while polishing the belt. Jesse is waiting on him (Rex: “Someone had too much Creatine.”) and we go to a break. Back with Rex saying he’s not interested in this and getting beaten up anyway. The beating continues until Rex gets back into the car and leaves.
Back to the Hardy Compound where Matt is terrified to be on the bike. They go to the lake where Matt is very confused about the idea of talking to a boat. Matt on what’s going on in his head: “It’s just so hard to describe!” Cue the Scribe to confuse Matt even more. Jeff suggests getting in the water but Matt says it’s freezing. Matt won’t do it so Jeff says he’ll go fight by himself. As his brother leaves, Matt suggests counseling.
TNA World Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Eli Drake
Drake is challenging and we get Big Match Intros. Feeling out process to start until Drake takes over with a hard clothesline. The champ gets beaten down a few more times and a powerslam gets two. Eddie’s comeback sees him throw Drake over the top but a little skinning the cat….doesn’t work as Drake is clotheslined out to the floor.
The suicide dive is overshot as Eddie crashes into the crowd and Drake comes up holding his arm. Back in and a quick Blunt Force Trauma gets two, followed by a quick belly to back suplex for the same. Not that it matters as the Boston Knee Party is enough for the pin to retain the title at 10:21.
Rating: C. The best thing about this match is the time. There’s no reason whatsoever for Eddie to need more than about ten minutes to dispatch Drake and that’s what happened here. Drake is similar to the Miz: mainly talk, but he’s so good at it that he can hang above his in ring levels. This gets rid of Bound For Gold but Drake did well enough that he could be back here someday.
Post match here’s the DCC to go after Eddie. The champ is laid out and the masks come off to reveal someone unnamed (Eddie Kingston), Bram and James Storm, the latter of whom seems to be the leader.
Overall Rating: C-. The show was fine enough but as usual there’s almost nothing to get connected to. Everything in TNA (save for the Hardys) is always so structured with people winning a tournament or a competition or something like that to get a title shot. You never have someone get over on sheer popularity and become a contender because everything has to be earned. I like the sentiment and it’s good for a change but as usual, it’s not a good idea to have everything be the same. I need more emotion and something to connect to as most of the time I’m just watching things happen instead of getting interested in them.
Mike Bennett b. Moose via countout
Ethan Carter III b. Abyss – Sleeper
Trevor Lee b. Rockstar Spud and DJZ – Fisherman’s buster to Spud
Lashley b. Robbie E./Grado – Spear to Robbie
Eddie Edwards b. Eli Drake – Boston Knee Party