Date: March 2, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
We’re in a weird spot here as this is the final taping before the promotion is completely overhauled into Jeff Jarrett’s new vision. It’s also the final show for a lot of talent, including the Hardys who have publicly stated they’ve left the company. Other than that we have Lashley defending the World Title against Josh Barnett. Let’s get to it.
Knockouts Title: Jade vs. Rosemary
No intro and Madison Rayne is on commentary. Jade is challenging and this is Last Knockout Standing. They start brawling in the aisle with Jade grabbing some German suplexes inside. Madison: “I think Jade knows it’s going to take more than some German suplexes to keep Rosemary down.” That’s the kind of commentary that people mock Madison for but I’m sure Josh will say she’s the best female commentator ever.
The weapons are brought in and Rosemary chokes Jade over the ropes. A short range Coast to Coast drives a garbage can into Jade’s face for a seven but Jade swings away with a kendo stick. Madison keeps prattling on until Pope cuts her off as Jade powerbombs Rosemary onto the can.
Jade comes off the top and dives into the mist and a Red Wedding (F5) for another near fall. Back up and Jade is knocked to the floor and another Red Wedding outside gets nine. Rosemary gets posted and Jade washes her eyes out before powerbombing the champion onto the steps. That’s still not enough to finish things off so Rosemary mists her again. A third Red Wedding on the stage retains the title at 11:09.
Rating: C. Jade hit a big move, Rosemary hit a big move, Jade hit another big move, Rosemary used the mist, Madison got really annoying every time she talked. This was entertaining while it lasted but it was also a very formula based match and a result we’ve seen so many times already. Rosemary really needs a new opponent and if it’s not Allie, I have no idea what they’re going for.
Moose wants Cody.
Matt Hardy has brought the family to his zoo for a day of togetherness. On top of that though, Matt wants to see how Jeff can handle his new found powers.
Moose calls Cody out for a fight and he doesn’t care what club he’s a part of. Cody comes in from behind as Josh rips on Moose for getting involved in Rhodes Family business. Moose fights back and powerbombs some production guys before getting into it with Cody again on the ramp. Wrestlers try to break it up and here’s Brandi to yell at Cody to stop. Cody agrees but beats up Josh Matthews instead. Well I’m a fan.
James Storm vs. Jesse Godderz
Josh is back on commentary and talking about his dedication to the job to be back. Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross would be out of action for months you see. Oh….joy. Storm jumps Jesse to start and grabs a belly to belly. It’s off to the Adonis Lock but here’s Kingston for a distraction so James can take out the knee. Josh: “I could have used someone like Kingston earlier when Cody was out here!”
We hit a quickly broken leglock as Josh is now insulting Jeremy Borash. Jesse fights up with a clothesline and gets two off a Blockbuster. Now we get to hear about Josh’s in-ring career (He was undefeated. Like a certain other heel commentator at Wrestlemania perhaps?) as Kingston gets inside. Jesse suplexes him and grabs another Adonis Lock to make Storm tap behind the referee’s back. Cue Bram to chair Jesse, setting up the Last Call for the pin at 6:30.
Rating: D. So you have two problems here and I’ll let you pick which is worse. First up, we have Matthews running his mouth non-stop and becoming the heel character who will be on the show for two hours straight every single week. Second, we have the DCC needing three weeks and cheating to beat Jesse Godderz, which is supposed to be a big deal. I really, really hope they make a change to commentary because Pope as the lead face and Josh as a heel isn’t going to work.
X-Division Title: Trevor Lee vs. Andrew Everett
Lee is defending. Everett doesn’t waste time and gets in an early Pele to send Lee outside for a big flip dive. Another big flip dive takes Lee down again and a top rope Asai Moonsault has Lee reeling. Back in and Lee does his running C4 and hammers away but the announcers are arguing about something changing next week.
Lee stomps away in the corner and gets two off a clothesline as Josh tells Pope to cut out the comedy. A springboard missile dropkick puts Lee down but Everett can’t follow up. The hurricanrana driver plants Lee but Gregory Helms grabs the referee at two. Everett chases Gregory off and tries the shooting star which hits raised knees. Lee grabs a rollup with trunks for the pin to retain at 7:11.
Rating: C-. Everett was a good looking flipper and that’s about it. The Helms thing feels like an X-Division version of Ric Flair and HHH which isn’t the most interesting thing in the world. At least we had some entertaining stuff here but the division is in need of (another) overhaul and I don’t know if I believe TNA is going to do it.
Matt tells Jeff to feed a donkey named Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent tells him to get a shark and keep it in a salt water pool. Jeff has a pre-mo-nition that says they’ll be outnumbered in an upcoming fight. Everyone grabs Vanguard I and it’s time for the next trip on the Expedition of Gold.
Back from a break and the Hardys arrive at an undisclosed arena.
After a look at Lashley and Barnett warming up, the Hardys are backstage and demanding a shot at the National Tag Team Titles of the World. Senor Benjamin asks the #1 contenders (apparently named the Appalachian Outlaws, who won a sixty four team tournament) for their autographs and then electrocutes them. The Hardys offer to replace them and agree to work without being paid.
The match is made and turns into a hardcore brawl in the back with Matt being left alone. Jeff is stuck in the back getting beaten down by the Outlaws but Jeff and Benjamin bust out the fireworks. The Outlaws bail and Jeff comes back to the ring for the win and the titles, setting up a big celebration.
Drew Galloway comes up to Moose in the back and offers him a shot tonight.
Long recap of last week’s wedding.
Laurel is in the back, crying and screaming, still wearing the wedding dress and holding the champagne.
Global Title: Moose vs. Drew Galloway
Galloway is defending and kicks Moose in the face to start before it quickly goes outside. Drew gets the better of it and sends Moose into the steps, setting up the Celtic Cross onto said steps for a near countout. The bell saves Moose but he still loses the first round. The second round begins after a break with Moose kicking Drew in the face and running him over as a bonus. A moonsault gets two on the champ so he bails up the ramp, only to get caught like you would expect.
Something like an AA (not a Death Valley Driver) onto the apron drops Moose again but he powerbombs Drew onto the apron as well. Again it’s nearly a countout but this time Moose wins to tie the score. To continue the theme, they kick each other in the face to start the round. Moose is back up with the Game Changer for two but Galloway hits a Claymore and a Tombstone for the same. They slug it out with Moose getting the better of it and no selling another Claymore. A second Game Changer takes us to the end of the match at 15:13. Moose wins on a split decision and Josh starts complaining.
Rating: B-. This is mainly due to Galloway leaving and needing to get the title off of him in time. Now in theory that should have been done with the Hardys as well but you can’t expect TNA to get something right twice in a night. Anyway, they beat the heck out of each other here and Moose winning is the right idea, especially with a good performance like that. I’m not wild on Drew leaving but you have to get the title off of him here and that’s exactly what they did.
Drew throws a chair.
We get the same Barnett video from last week.
TNA World Title: Lashley vs. Josh Barnett
Lashley is defending and gets kicked in the head for his efforts. More kicks have Josh in control but Lashley takes him to the mat as we go to a break. Back with Lashley taking a jumping knee to the chest but grabbing an armbar to slow things down. The spear is countered into a cross armbreaker attempt but Lashley is in the ropes. Barnett’s keylock is countered and a spear gives Lashley the pin at 9:21.
Rating: D+. That’s an edited ending as there was originally a screwy finish with Barnett getting the pin but having it reversed a few moments later. As it is, this was little more than Lashley’s latest uninteresting test as Barnett doesn’t have much standing in TNA and his debut promo was weak at best. Just a match really and not a very interesting one, as is often the case with MMA style wrestling matches.
A preview of next week’s show with a list of names appearing (nothing out of the ordinary) takes us out.
Overall Rating: D+. And that’s it for this version of TNA. The big development here seems to be Josh Matthews doing his best Michael Cole impression. That character got old fast and Cole is FAR more enjoyable to hate than Matthews so I give this a good week before he’s the most annoying person in wrestling. Unfortunately it’s not in the good way but rather the “I’m not going to watch the show anymore because he’s driving me crazy” way that I’m sure a lot of fans will reach soon.
As for something resembling a season finale, it was fine enough with the Grand Championship changing hands and a main event with some resolution. I liked the show well enough, even though it’s not a show that is really going to mean anything going forward. When so much of the roster is gone and there’s a good chance a lot of it will be adjusted, there isn’t much of a point to this one. Still though, not horrible and that’s fine for what this was supposed to be.
Rosemary b. Jade – Red Wedding on the stage
James Storm b. Jesse Godderz – Last Call
Trevor Lee b. Andrew Everett – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Moose b. Drew Galloway via split decision
Lashley b. Josh Barnett – Spear
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