Date: January 19, 2016
Location: Sands Bethlehem Events Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
It’s another big night as we have the final showdown between Ethan Carter III and Matt Hardy for the TNA World Title. This time it’s a last man standing match with Carter defending his title and Hardy putting his TNA career on the line. Other than that we might find out the latest name on Kurt Angle’s farewell tour as he approaches his final match at the end of the month. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Matt Hardy’s rise through the World Title Series, only to slip up in the finals against Carter. This set up their latest match for the title with Hardy offering to put his career on the line.
Here’s Jeff Hardy (of course) to call out his brother (of course) for a chat. Jeff talks about how they became famous by being risk takers and diving off ladders. He may be the artist in the family but he would never be where he was without Matt. Tonight feels off though and Matt thinks it’s because his career is on the line. Matt talks about how he’s let everyone down but tonight is the night to gamble. Wrestling is like a game of chess and tonight Matt knows he can checkmate Carter.
Tonight the dream comes true but here’s Tyrus to interrupt. A dream can turn into a nightmare with a single change. Matt will be taken out by Carter tonight but no one has dealt with Jeff yet. Tyrus has done everything in this company for business, but tonight he wants to settle a personal issue with Jeff. Let’s do it right now.
Jeff Hardy vs. Tyrus
Tyrus throws him into the corner to start but Jeff botches something off the top, sending him down and tweaking his knee. The big guy slowly starts working on the knee by wrapping it around the ropes and post. The referee tries to make the save but gets shoved down to DQ Tyrus at 2:58.
Jeff gives Tyrus a Twisting Stunner post match.
Feast or Fired video as this year’s edition is next week. This year the X-Division Title seems to have been replaced by the King of the Mountain Title.
The Wolves have beaten everyone but now they want Beer Money. Crazzy Steve comes in and grabs Davey’s belt but Abyss jumps the Wolves from behind. So now it’s Steve/Abyss as a team? Uh, sure why not.
Knockouts Title: Awesome Kong vs. Gail Kim
Kim is defending as we’re flashing back to Bound For Glory. Oh wait it’s ok because Kong has backup now. Kong runs her over to start and grabs a sleeper for a spinning throw. That’s a new one. We hit the neck crank (that’s not a new one) for a bit before Kong headbutts her into the corner. A running splash misses though and Kim puts on something like a Black Widow on the mat, followed by a rollup for two.
Kim drops the giant with a tornado DDT but Jade pulls her out to the floor. Gail gets back in but dives onto the Dollhouse instead of going after Kong but a neckbreaker gets two. Jade breaks it up with a distraction though, which draws out the Beautiful People to go after the Dollhouse. Kong almost hits Jade by mistake and it’s Eat Defeat, followed by launching Jade onto Kong, to retain Gail’s title at 5:45.
Rating: D. So we have Gail Kim, the Wolves, Carter and the Hardys on top. As usual, it feels like these people have been the champions or near the top of the card for the better part of ever. Kim is still entertaining in the ring and as polished as any performer in the history of the division but there’s nothing left for her to do. Nothing. We’ve covered all of this and I really have no interest in seeing Kim vs. Kong all over again, no matter how awesome it was eight and half years ago.
We look back at Jeff getting injured earlier in case you have a really short attention span.
Here’s Beer Money to call out Bram/Eric Young for a fight. Instead they get Eli Drake/Jesse Godderz who say it’s not 2006 and Beer Money’s time is done. Storm semi-quotes Roddy Piper (“I’m all out of beer.”) and the brawl is on.
Beer Money vs. Eli Drake/Jesse Godderz
They slug it out on the floor to start until it’s Drake beating on James in the ring. That goes nowhere as the hot tag brings in Roode to clean house, including a Hart Attack on Drake and a catapult into a DDT on Godderz. The double suplex on Drake sets up the name shouting, followed by DWI to put Godderz away at 4:00.
Rating: C-. Yeah fine. This whole thing is about setting up Beer Money vs. the Wolves and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s going to be a big match and probably really good once it happens but the winners (likely the Wolves) are going to need a fresh set of challengers. If the best they’ve got is Abyss/Crazzy Steve, they’re in big trouble.
We look at Jeff injuring his knee for the third time in forty minutes.
Matt tells Jeff to go to the hospital so the knee doesn’t get hurt even worse.
Here’s Kurt Angle to address his farewell tour. Last week he had a five star match with Drew Galloway (not really but it was good). Now he’s not sure who to face next because there’s a lot of great talent in the back. This brings out Lashley, who talks about Kurt getting him into professional wrestling because he saw something special in Lashley.
They finally had their big showdown last year and it was a great match. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times for Lashley because he was in the ring with Kurt Angle but he lost. Now Lashley needs one more match to get this out of his system. That’s fine with Angle, who says it’s going to be real. This was fine.
Post break a woman comes up to Lashley and whispers that his pain is her pleasure.
Mike Bennett vs. Pepper Parks
This is Bennett’s debut on Impact and Parks gets a jobber entrance. They slowly walk around a bit until Parks shoves him into the corner. Bennett superkicks him down and hammers away as Maria seems to approve. A pair of suplexes puts Parks down again and Divine Intervention (Samoan Driver) gives Mike the pin at 2:59.
Post match Bennett talks about building a kingdom of miracles where everyone says “yes we do.”
Ethan says this ends tonight. Matt has his wife and son but Ethan has his family in Tyrus. This week, Matt Hardy goes home in this, and the camera zooms out to show that they’re sitting in an ambulance.
TNA World Title: Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III
Carter is defending and this is last man standing. Matt jumps him during the big match intros but Carter spears him right back and hammers away. Hardy is quickly on the floor (some hero) and Ethan drives him into various objects for an early four. A suplex onto the ramp allows Ethan to set up a pair of tables. Matt puts Ethan on both of them but gets caught on the top with a right hand. Instead Matt suplexes him back inside and we take a break.
Back with a ladder in the ring and Matt scoring with the Side Effect. Matt gets another table but takes way too long setting up the ladder, allowing Carter to grab a Russian legsweep. The fans are split on who to cheer for her as Ethan goes up and splashes Matt through the table. Matt gets up and hits a quick Twist of Fate for about seven, followed by a low blow. Now the fans are booing Hardy and Matt isn’t pleased.
Ethan is up at seven so Matt gives him another Twist of Fate through one of the tables at ringside. That’s only good for a nine though so Matt puts a chair around Ethan’s neck for another Twist of Fate. Carter is bleeding from the mouth but gets up at nine again, only to fall at ten.
With nothing else working, Matt goes to his wife and gets a hammer out of her bag. Ethan ducks the death shot and hits Matt low, setting up a 1%er. Cue Tyrus to turn on Carter with a Big Ending, which gives Matt another nine count. Ok you’ve done the big heel spot and you did the turn. Just change the stupid title already. Ethan goes after Tyrus but Matt blasts him with the belt, finally giving him the win at 19:45.
Rating: C+. It’s a good brawl but yeah, you’re supposed to get hyped about a power alliance between a heel nostalgia act and the former Brodus Clay. I have no idea who they think this is supposed to appeal to but at the end of the day, this is their big idea to get people to watch. Is it any wonder why their audience has shrunk so much?
Post break, Matt says he beat the unbeatable for himself. He came back here to help but he’s done listening to all these people because none of them matter. All that matters is the title and his wife because this is the era of Big Money Matt. With Carter still down (that was one heck of a belt shot), Matt gives him a Conchairto to close the show.
Overall Rating: D+. The future of this company looks less and less interesting every week. So now I have to watch the usual suspects go after Matt Hardy before we get the HUGE, yes HUGE I SAY, showdown between Matt and Jeff, likely all the way at Bound For Glory? The rest of the show was good enough but they’re running through a lot of material in a really short amount of time again and that’s often a problem in wrestling promotions. Decent show, but good night their future looks like a mess.
Jeff Hardy b. Tyrus via DQ when Tyrus shoved the referee
Gail Kim b. Awesome – Pin after throwing Jade onto Kongo
Beer Money b. Eli Drake/Jesse Godderz – DWI to Godderz
Mike Bennett b. Pepper Parks – Divine Intervention
Matt Hardy b. Ethan Carter III – Carter couldn’t answer the ten count
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