Impact Wrestling – October 21, 2015: Why We’re Here

Impact Wrestling
Date: October 21, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero

It’s week three of the World Title Series and that’s really all there is to say. These matches don’t have stories and it’s too early to make many predictions. Tonight we’ll probably start seeing some of the second matches for some of the people, but it’s going to be a long time before any of the eight groups start to wrap up. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the events that set up the Series (which seems like a weekly thing) and last week’s results.

The announcers recap things up to this point and preview tonight’s matches.

Group Champions predict who will go on to the next round. We saw some of this last week so they’re already repeating footage. Carter thinks his clone will advance along with him.

Group Champions: Austin Aries vs. Mr. Anderson

Feeling out process to start as Josh says that tonight’s main event is Lashley vs. Anderson. Now I’m pretty sure he meant Ethan Carter III but I’m just an internet nerd who pays attention to the rules so I’m sure that it’s just Ethan’s aforementioned clone disguised as Anderson and not Josh not being able to read the sheet in front of him properly. We go split screen to hear more from Aries as he misses a missile dropkick back in the ring.

Anderson goes after the arm with some punches to the shoulder and a quickly broken armbar. Aries comes right back with a slingshot elbow (Pope: “Shades of Austin Starr.”) and the announcers discuss Ethan not knowing what independents are. A double cross body puts both guys down and we take a break. Back with Aries flipping over Anderson’s back as we hit five minutes left.

Aries sends him to the floor for a suicide dive but Anderson comes back with the Regal Roll for two. Anderson tries another from the middle rope but gets slammed down, setting up the 450 for an even closer near fall. We see Thea getting nervous on the floor. This changes nothing whatsoever but she is in fact there. How very TNA of her.

A spinwheel kick of all things gets a near fall for Anderson and now the middle rope Regal Roll gets the same thing with less than two minutes to go. They fight over finishers for a bit until Aries connects with the discus forearm. The running dropkick staggers Anderson on the top and a super brainbuster kills Anderson dead for the pin at 14:02, eliminating Anderson from the competition.

Rating: C+. This took time to get going but picked way up by the end. That super brainbuster looked great and while Aries has almost no chance of advancing to the next round, at least we’re getting some good matches. It’s good to see someone eliminated early, but due to the format we still have to sit through his mostly meaningless matches due to the nature of the format. That’s going to get old fast.

Group Champions

Austin Aries – 4 points (1 match remaining)

Lashley – 3 points (2 matches remaining)

Ethan Carter III – 1 point (2 matches remaining)

Mr. Anderson – 0 points (1 match remaining)

We’ll see the Bound For Glory main event later. You knew this was coming sooner or later.

Video on the X-Division Title match at Bound For Glory.

Group X-Division: Tigre Uno vs. Mandrews

Tigre doesn’t have the X-Division Title with him. Mandrews rides a skateboard to the ring while wearing his hat backwards. So he’s a 90s kind of guy. Tigre quickly takes him down to start but they go to a standoff with Mandrews having to explain a fist bump to Uno. Mandrews takes him down and surfs on the champ’s back, followed by a standing moonsault for no cover. Josh talks about how someone in the X-Division basically has no chance to ever be World Champion aside from Option C. Thanks for making it clear that the match I’m watching has almost no chance of mattering.

Tigre kicks him to the floor and scores with a baseball slide as Josh breaks down the math on Group Champions while getting in the phrase “playing spoiler” as many times as he can. Back in and Mandrews knocks him to the floor for a flip dive of his own but instead of following up he takes a lap around the ring high fiving fans. Back in Mandrews misses a shooting star and gets German suplexed into the corner. A quick corkscrew splash out of the corner (similar to Starship Pain) gives Tigre the pin at 6:42.

Rating: C. This was one of the better X-Division matches in a while as they actually had a bit more time than usual. Tigre is clearly a few steps ahead of everyone else in the division and is the best guy they’ve had there in a long time, but as Josh said: he has no chance of ever moving up the card and that’s almost all there is to it.

Group X-Division

Tigre Uno – 3 points (2 matches remaining)

DJZ – 0 points (3 matches remaining)

Manik – 0 points (3 matches remaining)

Mandrews – 0 points (2 matches remaining)

Austin Aries says Thea’s smile is all the extra motivation he needs.

Pope says you don’t want a countout because you want a win. So do countout wins not get you three points? That’s never been made clear.

Here’s the main event from Bound For Glory 2015.

TNA World Title: Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III vs. Drew Galloway

Carter is defending and Jeff Hardy, Carter’s former employee, is guest referee. As usual, JB says Drew is standing when he’s kneeling. Tyrus tries to cheat thirty seconds in and gets ejected. Matt and Drew take turns punching Ethan in the corner and a clothesline puts the champ on the floor. Drew goes after Matt with some forearms to the back and a big headbutt as Ethan comes back in.

Carter knocks Matt out to the floor and stops to yell at Jeff for no apparent reason. A cravate slows Drew down but they trade cross bodies to drop both guys. Everyone gets back in but Matt and Ethan are quickly on the floor, allowing Drew to hit a big flip dive and take Hardy out. It’s table time but Drew picks Ethan up and hits a White Noise onto the steps for a big thud. Matt makes the save and puts Drew on top of Ethan (there’s no count for no apparent reason) for a double stack moonsault.

Ethan runs Jeff over by mistake and walks into the Side Effect but there’s no one to count. Carter is up first and puts Drew on the table at ringside, only to suplex Matt from the apron through Galloway in a big crash. Back in and a TKO gets two on Matt but Drew comes back in and tries to pull Matt off the top. Hardy headbutts him into the Tree of Woe but Ethan comes of to make it a superplex, only to have Drew do a sit up to add a German superplex in an impressive spot.

Matt and Drew slug it out so Ethan gives them both the 1%er at the same time for two each. The fans aren’t even reacting to these near falls and Jeff has barely been a factor so far. Ethan realizes that Jeff needs to get involved so he shoves the referee and demands a DQ. It’s No DQ though so Ethan grabs a chair, only to have Jeff take it away. Ethan slaps him again so Jeff lays Carter out with a Twisting Stunner. Drew adds a running boot and Matt hits the Twist of Fate on Drew for the pin and the title at 20:01.

Rating: C-. THEY ACTUALLY DID IT! They took the stupidest possible outcome of the three and actually went with it because TNA really is that stupid. Matt Hardy lost his two title shots, didn’t get the pin to get into this match, and then wins the title at 41 years old with help from his more popular brother when you have Drew at 30 and Ethan at 32 right there. Instead though, OLD GUYS RULE!

The Hardy Family celebrates while Ethan goes to the back to yell at Dixie.

Now, that last half hour? None of it matters because the title was vacated less than two days later so forget all this.

Ethan says he’s winning the title back for himself and he’s going to be lethal against Lashley tonight. It’s not over until he wins.

The announcers talk about Group Wild Card.

We get a thirty second clip of Jesse Godderz making Crimson tap out to the Adonis Lock. Yeah they’re so strapped for material that they’re airing old matches, but to be fair, it’s probably better than watching the whole thing.

Group Future Four

Jesse Godderz – 3 points (2 matches remaining)

Micah – 0 points (3 matches remaining)

Eli Drake – 0 points (3 matches remaining)

Crimson – 0 points (2 matches remaining)

Jesse gives us a top five list of reasons why he’s going to win the World Title Series with #1 being “look at me.”

Clips of Micah vs. Eli Drake going to a double countout for 1 point apiece.

Group Future Four

Jesse Godderz – 3 points (2 matches remaining)

Micah – 1 point (2 matches remaining)

Eli Drake – 1 point (2 matches remaining)

Crimson – 0 points (2 matches remaining)

The hosts do their swipe right/swipe left game for a few names.

Group X-Division: Manik vs. DJZ

The announcers cover the mask being back by saying Manik wants better peripheral vision. Manik works on the arm to start but gets armdragged down a few times. A nice dropkick knocks Manik down again but the announcers would rather talk about Shane Helms (the greatest cruiserweight of all time according to Josh and Pope).

Manik cranks back on the arm again and stomps away before rolling some suplexes. Josh calls Pope referring to a suplex as a souffle the stupidest thing he’s ever heard in wrestling. I’d actually think that was calling your fans a bunch of internet nerds but what do I know. A quick backbreaker gets two for DJZ but he dives into two boots to the ribs. Manik misses a frog splash but comes right back with something like a GTS but with a kick instead of knee for the pin at 6:49.

Rating: C-. Nothing much to see here but that’s the case for so many X-Division matches these days. Both guys are fine in the ring, which is something I never thought I’d say about DJZ. Manik is a guy who could be something interesting if they would just let him be himself, but that might come too close to a personality in the division and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Group X-Division

Tigre Uno – 3 points (2 matches remaining)

Manik – 3 points (2 matches remaining)

DJZ – 0 points (2 matches remaining)

Mandrews – 0 points (2 matches remaining)

Clip of Carter vs. Lashley from over the summer.

Group Champions: Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III

Carter hides in the corner and then on the floor for the first two minutes. Lashley finally gets his hands on him and scores with some running shoulders to the ribs. A clothesline puts Carter on the floor and we take a break. Back with Lashley following Carter to the floor, only to get clubbed in the back and sent into the steps.

Carter dives into a spinebuster on the floor but Tyrus posts Lashley to keep his boss in it. They get back inside but Carter sends Lashley right back to the floor for a slam from Tyrus. We’re under five minutes to go as Carter puts on a camel clutch. That goes nowhere and they’re both down again. An eye rake gets Carter out of a torture rack so Lashley powerslams him down and grabs a rear naked choke. Tyrus helps out again for the save and it’s a Stinger Splash from Carter.

We’ve got two minutes to go as Lashley scores with a powerbomb, followed by the spear. Tyrus pulls Lashley to the floor though, giving Ethan time to kick out. This time Tyrus just gets in the ring but gets speared down, allowing Carter to grab a chair (just like he did over the summer). Lashley blocks it but gets kicked low, setting up the 1%er for the pin on Lashley at 15:40.

Rating: C+. Another nice match here to close out the show which is always a nice bonus. Carter winning makes sense and is likely letting him move on to the next round. Odds are Lashley beats Aries whenever they finally get around to that match, setting up the two winners for the group. Tyrus got a bit annoying here but that’s his job. Well that and being #1 contender for reasons I don’t want to understand.

Group Champions

Austin Aries – 4 points (1 match remaining)

Ethan Carter III – 4 point (1 match remaining)

Lashley – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Mr. Anderson – 0 points (1 match remaining)

Overall Rating: C. The show was again fine but again nothing I needed to see. The big lesson I’ve gotten from the first three weeks and just over 1/3 of the qualifying matches is that this really needed to be a field of just sixteen. There are so many people in it that are just there to fill in spots and you can tell who is most likely to advance out of each group pretty easily.

I’m glad they’re starting to just air clips of some of them though as it’s going to make this a lot easier to sit through. The Series has been far better than I was expecting, but it’s still not the most interesting thing in the world when this whole thing is a big qualifier for another tournament with no stories going on during the eight to ten weeks of the pool play. This show had some of the bigger names though and it definitely made things more entertaining, at least for a night.

Results

Austin Aries b. Mr. Anderson – Super brainbuster

Tigre Uno b. Mandrews – Corkscrew splash

Manik b. DJZ – Kick to the head

Ethan Carter III b. Lashley – 1%er

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