Date: March 15, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
This is a special live(ish) episode with some major matches taking place. We have Jeff Hardy returning (as he does every single year after the company gets back from the UK) to go after Eric Young but not for the King of the Mountain Title, as well as Matt Hardy defending his World Title against Ethan Carter III (again). Let’s get to it.
Eric Young vs. Jeff Hardy
Non-title but before the match, Young finds Dixie Carter in the back and yells about how he’s going to destroy the golden boy tonight. The fight starts fast with Jeff trying an early Twist of Fate but Eric bails to the floor. Dixie cuts off the match and says the winner of this is going on to the main event for the World Title. The fans get behind Jeff as Eric pounds away and shoves Jeff off the top for a big crash.
Back in and Eric stomps Hardy in the corner before crotching him again to break up a Whisper in the Wind attempt. A choke out of the corner and a neckbreaker give Eric a near fall but he dives into a raised boot to give Jeff a breather. Another Twist of Fate is broken up as Eric gets crotched, only to shove Eric down and hit the Swanton for the pin at 10:02.
Rating: C-. Just a basic match here but that announcement sealed the ending. You knew they were going to try to get Jeff into the title hunt as soon as possible as they really don’t have anyone else to thrown out there. The match was nothing interesting either but that’s to be expected with these two.
Post match here are Matt Hardy and company with something to say. After the break, Matt says he would have been there to help Jeff but he had to take care of his family. Reby thinks that Jeff is Maxell’s second favorite wrestler and lets him hold the baby. Matt offers his brother a long build towards a Bound For Glory match but Jeff doesn’t buy it. He’ll take that match tonight and counters a Twist of Fate attempt into one on the champ to stand tall.
Earlier today, Eddie Edwards was attacked by the Decay.
Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis promise to destroy Gail Kim and Drew Galloway.
Eddie Edwards says he’s ready to fight Beer Money on his own but they’re willing to join forces with him to fight Decay tonight.
Mike Bennett/Maria Kanellis vs. Gail Kim/Drew Galloway
The women start but Maria bails to the corner for a tag before anything can happen. Drew comes in and kicks Mike in the face before bringing Gail back in for a few shots of his own. Back to Drew as the announcers talk about the sitcoms airing on POP. Drew tells Bennett to bring it so Maria slaps him in the face.
That just makes Drew chop Mike even faster but he gets pulled off the top for a crash. Maria comes in and tries to keep Drew away from Gail, which goes about as well as you would expect. The tag brings in Gail for Eat Defeat to Bennett followed by a Claymore but Maria grabs a rollup on Gail with a handful of trunks for the pin at 5:07.
Rating: D+. This was a way to get Maria in the ring and at least Gail lost for a change. Of course that doesn’t mean anything because she’s always going to wind up getting the title back for a long reign because TNA thinks she’s the most amazing thing on the planet. The fact that everything Maria says is accurate doesn’t help things either. This division really needs a breath of air and Gail near the top isn’t going to do that any good.
We look back at Lashley turning heel to end last week’s show.
Here’s Lashley in the ring for an interview about his actions last week. He waited a long time to fight Angle because he’s the best and strongest around this company, which he proved last week. So why does he get overlooked for the Drew Galloways and the Jeff Hardys? Politics maybe? Not that it matters as Lashley came after Kurt to prove he belonged here. Lashley has no friends and wants no friends because he needs no friends. However, Josh Matthews is in his ring right now, so Lashley throws him into the corner. Dang I thought they wanted him to be a heel. Pope comes in for the save and gets beaten down as well, which the fans actually don’t like.
That’s their best idea to make him a heel? Have him beat up the most annoying announcer this side of Cole as a Miz fan? As usual, anytime Lashley talks, things go badly for him as there’s no charisma or any kind of an intimidating voice. The idea here is good but the execution was a disaster of course.
The Decay welcomes us to their black hole and promises a third person to fight against Beer Money and Edwards.
Jeremy Borash has replaced Pope on commentary.
Ethan Carter III congratulates Jeff Hardy for getting into the World Title match but Jeff says he’s winning the title for the Creatures.
Decay vs. Eddie Edwards/Beer Money
The partner is Rosemary, which should make for some interesting action. Steve jumps Storm from behind to start but it’s quickly off to Roode for two off a release gordbuster. Abyss comes in to start cleaning house by slamming Roode down, allowing him to chokeslam Steve onto Roode’s body for two. Rosemary gets the tag and hammers away for a bit before Roode avoids a Cannonball from Steve. The hot tag brings in Storm for his chance to clean house but Steve pulls Rosemary away from the double suplex. Instead Rosemary mists Edwards, allowing Steve to get the pin at 7:17.
Rating: D+. This did nothing for me as it was just two teams doing moves to each other for a few minutes until the ending. Decay is an idea but it’s something we’ve seen enough times before that it’s a bit hard to get behind. They’re definitely entertaining and freaky enough to get noticed but losing that title shot a few weeks back crippled their push.
Billy Corgan (You know him. I mean, you all read the internet so you know he has power here. It’s not like we ever need to TELL YOU THAT or anything.) tells Grado that TNA has come to a decision and will let him know the fate of the Feast or Fired case in the ring.
Matt and Reby accuse Dixie of adding Jeff to the match because she’s jealous. This earns them a new stipulation for the title match: no countout and no DQ. Aren’t all triple threats like that already?
We recap the King of the Mountain Title briefcase issue with TNA finally showing the footage of Eli Drake switching the briefcases. This was released on TNA’s Youtube page so of course TNA assumed we had all seen it. Corgan comes out and says it’s Drake’s case but Grado gets a new contract. Oh but it’s going to be above the ring in a ladder match after the break. BUILD THIS STUFF UP!
Eli Drake vs. Grado
The announcers try to figure out what’s on the line here as Drake hits Grado in the back with the ladder. A hard whip sends Eli into the ladder and Grado starts his comeback, only to have Jesse Godderz come out for the save. Cue Mahabali Shera for a save but the heels hit him in the back with the briefcase. Grado goes up the ladder but dives onto the pile for an unnecessary chance. Another attempt at the case is stopped by Drake so Grado takes him down with a huge electric chair, which is enough for Grado to pull down the contract at 7:07.
Rating: C. Ok and now what? Grado is back on the roster after never really being off and they blew off the thing in a ladder match on five minutes notice. This is the kind of stuff that gets on my nerves about TNA: they have all these matches and stories and they blow them off on the live shows to pop ratings but then they go to eternal rematches afterwards because they have nothing left to air. That’s way too hasty and it gets them in trouble a lot of the time.
Eric Young tells Bram that everyone is out to get him so they have to work together.
TNA World Title: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III
Matt is defending and we don’t even get big match intros. The challengers beat Matt down to start but it’s Ethan grabbing a rollup for two on Jeff. Carter drops both Hardys and sends them both to the floor as we take a break. Back with Ethan down on the floor after a Side Effect and but Jeff blocks a Twist of Fate. The Swanton is loaded up but here are Bram and Eric Young to pull Jeff down and piledrive him on the concrete. Jeff is taken out as Carter gets back in and hits his Stinger Splash, drawing out Spud and Tyrus for another save.
They’re quickly dispatched though, allowing Matt to kick Ethan low. The Twist of Fate is countered into the 1%er but Mike Bennett comes in (ENOUGH ALREADY!) to chair Carter in the back. That’s only good for two and the Twist of Fate gets the same. Bennett throws Carter to the floor and fights into the crowd with Bennett getting in another chair shot. Matt is ready to leave and shouts at the fans that he’s leaving as champion…..but here’s Galloway to cash in his briefcase as the triple threat is a no contest at 18:30.
Rating: D+. The run-ins were driving me insane here as they took away anything this could have gotten going. The major bright spot here though is that Carter didn’t get pinned. That should be a major moment and wasting it in a triple threat would have been a big waste. I’m really not a big fan of having people added to matches to make them a triple threat but TNA is in love with the idea and that’s what we were stuck with here.
TNA World Title: Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy
The Claymore and Future Shock give Drew the title at 18 seconds.
Drew celebrates with the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This is TNA’s major TV problem showing its head again: there’s WAY too much being burned off in a single show and not enough over the coming weeks. You could have had Grado vs. Drake announced for next week, Jeff vs. Young go on last (assuming Jeff is healthy enough to compete) and the World Title match at a later date. Instead they threw all that together and didn’t even get a good show out of it. It’s not bad but WAY too much in a single night, which isn’t a good thing.
Jeff Hardy b. Eric Young – Swanton Bomb
Maria Kanellis/Mike Bennett b. Drew Galloway/Gail Kim – Rollup with a handful of trunks
Decay b. Eddie Edwards/Beer Money – Steve pinned Edwards after mist from Rosemary
Grado b. Eli Drake – Grado pulled down the contract
Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III vs. Jeff Hardy went to a no contest
Drew Galloway b. Matt Hardy – Future Shock
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