Impact Wrestling – November 4, 2015: Groundhog Day

Impact Wrestling
Date: November 4, 2015
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero

It’s Week 5 of the World Title Series and things are starting to come together. You can see a lot of the people who are going to move forward and most of the people who aren’t making it into the field of sixteen. In addition to this, we’re also getting a special interview with Jeff Hardy. Let’s get to it.

We open with a quick recap of last week and a preview of tonight’s major matches.

The announcers preview the matches as well.

Preview of the Hardy interview where he talks about breaking his leg.

Group Knockouts: Madison Rayne vs. Brooke

Before the match, Madison talks about how the Knockouts started the revolution nearly ten years ago. Madison goes on to give every must win cliché that you’ve ever heard of because there’s nothing personal in almost any of these matches. It’s a feeling out process to start until Brooke takes over with a dropkick and shoulders. A clothesline out of the corner gets two but Brooke might have hurt her hand. Brooke’s top rope elbow gets two but the Rayne Drop gives Madison the pin at 3:23.

Rating: D+. Decent enough match but which of them am I supposed to want to see win? There’s no reason to boo or cheer either of them because there’s no personal issue here. We have a tied series now so it’s basically a mini elimination tournament, which is probably going to happen in multiple groups, just like everything else does.

Group Knockouts

Brooke – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Gail Kim – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Awesome Kong – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Madison Rayne – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Eric Young says he’s the real original and Roode might not make it to the main event.

Video on Roode vs. Young to set up their match later tonight.

The announcers preview Roode vs. Young.

Group UK: Bram vs. Rockstar Spud

They stand there and look at each other for a bit to start. The fans are entirely behind Spud of course. Some forearms and right hands have Bram in the corner, followed by a couple running forearms. Bram grabs him by the throat but Spud bites him on the hand. Spud knocks him back to the floor but gets caught diving off the apron. Bram starts fish hooking Spud’s mouth before stomping on the ribs back inside. That’s quite the downgrade in offense. A quick enziguri staggers Bram and a rollup gets two. Not that it matters as the Brighter Side of Suffering puts Spud away at 5:38.

Rating: C-. Not bad here but I was hoping Spud would win so we could wrap the division up instead of letting the drama continue. It would be really nice to have some names advance to the round of sixteen so it might feel like we’re getting closer to actually wrapping this thing up. A little light at the end of the tunnel would be nice for a change.

Group UK

Drew Galloway – 6 points (1 match remaining)

Rockstar Spud – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Bram – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Grado – 0 points (1 match remaining)

Roode is ready for Young and is going to end the year as a double champion.

Another preview for the interview, this time talking about Matt winning the title. Good grief can they do anything but fill in time on these shows?

Group X-Division: Mandrews vs. Manik

This would be the weekly “these guys have no chance of winning but here’s a match between them anyway.” Manik takes him to the mat to start but Mandrews gets back up and springs from an armdrag into a twisting cradle for two. An armbar doesn’t get Mandrews anywhere so Manik takes him down and works on the leg.

Back up and Mandrews dropkicks the leg as Josh calls this a classic. A quick hurricanrana takes Manik down and a tornado DDT does the same. Mandrews takes his time looking at the crowd and his standing moonsault hits knees. He takes FOREVER going up top though and his shooting star hits knees, allowing Manik to hit his GTS into a kick for the pin at 7:09.

Rating: C-. Classic? This? All I saw was two guys doing basic high flying moves to each other for a few minutes. As have been the case with most of the matches in the Series, this was little more than ok. They didn’t do anything all that interesting and I have little reason to believe that either guy is going to mean anything going forward.

Group X-Division

Manik – 6 points (1 match remaining)

Tigre Uno – 3 points (1 match remaining)

DJZ – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Mandrews – 0 points (1 match remaining)

Clip of the Wolves getting the Tag Team Titles back recently.

The Wolves say they’ve fought before and they’ll do it again tonight. Hugs all around.

Young promises to do something to Roode tonight and he’s biding his time.

It’s finally time for the Hardy interview. First up he talks about falling off the cage to knock him onto the stairs (read as: the annual injury angle because he can’t go to Europe). This led to Hardy’s Revenge against James Storm in the cage where he completely changed form. After winning the Tag Team Titles with Matt, he broke his leg in the motorcycle accident. We see a clip of the crash and Jeff barely remembers anything about it because of the pain from breaking his leg. We’ll see part two later. Thank goodness because this was a lot of nothing.

Group Tag Team Specialists: Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards

They come out together as partners. Slow feeling out process to start as the grab a test of strength and monkey flip each other over before going to the mat for near falls. They both raise one arm, then they both raise the other arm, then they both raise both arms. I knew that before it happened because I’ve seen that same sequence multiple times over the years. Both guys have kicks to the ribs caught because they’re mirroring each other the entire way.

Back with the guys actually doing something on their own with Davey missing a charge in the corner and getting kneed in the head. We’re under five minutes now and Eddie slaps on a chinlock. They get back up and Eddie scores with a running kick in the corner. He takes too much time going up top though and gets caught with a running spinwheel kick, setting up a superplex from Davey.

We hit two minutes left and Eddie kicks Davey in the head again but Davey escapes the Backpack Stunner. Richards misses a top rope double stomp and we have a minute to go. A pinfall reversal sequence gets us nowhere and they strike it out until the clock runs out for a draw at 15:00.

Rating: C-. I never want to see these two fight again. I’m well aware that there’s an audience for the performance style stuff they had before the break, but that kind of stuff is the least realistic style of wrestling that I’ve ever seen. I understand the idea is that they know each other perfectly well, but it’s basically saying “yeah they’re working together”. The second half was much better, though still not great.

Group Tag Team Specialists

Matt Hardy – 6 points (1 match remaining)

Robbie E. – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Eddie Edwards – 1 points (1 match remaining)

Davey Richards – 1 points (1 match remaining)

The draw means Matt Hardy has advanced to the round of sixteen.

The Wolves think they have something special and will be friends forever.

Part two of Jeff’s interview starts with a discussion of Jeff being broken up by having to watch Matt vacate the Tag Team Titles. This led to Matt challenging for the World Title and Ethan turning it into a way to take Jeff’s dignity away. He doesn’t regret betting on his brother but he didn’t like having to wake Ethan up for his workout and making sure Tyrus watched Sesame Street. It was a great feeling to see Matt win a title and be in the solo dimension. When Matt wins the title back, Jeff will be the loudest cheerer of all. This was a bit better but the interview was more like Jeff’s year in review.

Roode tells Young to hit him now but Young says he’s already inside Roode’s head.

Pope makes some predictions with the swiping game.

Group Wild Card: Mahabali Shera vs. Kenny King

Kenny says if Mahabali wants to be Shera, he’ll be He-Man and that ring is his Eternia. Wouldn’t that be gimmick infringement on Eli Drake? Shera shoulders him down a few times to start but gets taken down into a headlock. King sends Shera to the floor for a big corkscrew dive with a forearm hitting Shera in the head. Back in and we hit the chinlock followed by an enziguri for two. Shera comes back with a suplex and pulls King out of the air with the Sky High for the pin at 5:52.

Rating: C. Face it: Shera is getting this monster push for the India tapings and that’s all there is to it. He’s a bit better now, but dear goodness hearing about that stupid dance while they’re over in India is going to be tough to take. As usual, TNA feels the need to appeal to the live audience instead of the people at home and this is the result. Decent enough match but as usual, just moves until someone gets a pin.

Group Wild Card

Mahabali Shera – 6 points (1 match remaining)

Kenny King – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Aiden O’Shea – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Crazzy Steve – 0 points (1 match remaining)

We recap the night.

Quick video on Roode vs. Young.

Group TNA Originals: Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode

We start after a break and Young is quickly sent to the floor, only to snap Roode’s throat over the top rope. Young stays on the throat with a catapult into the middle rope and we hit the neck crank. A quick neckbreaker gets two on Roode but he comes back with an enziguri for a delayed fall. Roode grabs a spinebuster for two and counters the piledriver into a jackknife cover for two. Back up and Young grabs the referee for a distraction, setting up the piledriver for the pin at 6:50.

Rating: C. Decent enough match but these videos designed to make these regular matches feel like some big showdown between epic rivals really aren’t working. Young and Roode are the likely winners of the group as Storm seems to be gone but Abyss is always a possibility. Good enough here as Roode at least stayed on the neck for a story.

Group TNA Originals

Bobby Roode – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Abyss – 3 points (1 point remaining)

James Storm – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Eric Young – 3 points (1 match remaining)

Overall Rating: D+. The show was WAY better than last week but that doesn’t mean the major problems have gone. This is the fifth week in a row where they’ve followed the same formula: a few nothing matches, a ton of analysis from Josh and Pope, then a TNA Greatest Hits main event. Thankfully we can FINALLY see some light at the end of a very long tunnel as all of the groups other than Future Four have had two matches each and we even have one person in the final sixteen. The Series continues to be very well structured and executed but the wrestling mostly ranges from average to boring and that’s not good.

Results

Madison Rayne b. Brooke – Rayne Drop

Bram b. Rockstar Spud – Brighter Side of Suffering

Manik b. Mandrews – Kick to the head

Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards went to a time limit draw

Mahabali Shera b. Kenny King – Sky High

Eric Young b. Bobby Roode – Piledriver

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