Date: May 24, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
It’s a big show tonight with May Mayhem, meaning things are a bit more violent than the regular shows. As you might guess, this is a show that was announced a week ago with almost no other build. The big match tonight is Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III as Carter tries to get his rematch with Mike Bennett. Let’s get to it.
The opening video focuses on everything we’re getting to see tonight.
Here’s Matt Hardy for a chat before his match with Ethan. Matt now has half black and half white hair (divided down the middle) which looks like Bozo the Clown’s. Before the match Matt talks about how he has evolved into something more dangerous. He sees this match as nothing more than a warmup for his match with Jeff at Slammiversary.
With something like a weak British accent, Matt says he has a contract for the match with his brother Nero, which brings out Rockstar Spud and Tyrus. Spud says he’s dedicated his life to Matt Hardy. Matt: “As you should.” That accent is REALLY weird and comes off like Matt trying to be all intelligent and brilliant and it’s really just creepy.
Spud blames the fans for this going too far but Tyrus really doesn’t care. Matt says it’s ok to say he looks like a psychotic lunatic. He has a deal for Nero tonight: if Nero can beat Spud and Tyrus in a ladder match, there will be a match between the brothers at Slammiversary. If Jeff loses though, there’s no match. Also if Jeff wins, Spud and Tyrus are done associating with Matt. This felt like someone shouting LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME and trying to be all interesting but coming off as a guy who is more sad than anything else. As usual, Matt is in over his head and is nowhere near as brilliant as he thinks he is.
Ethan Carter III vs. Matt Hardy
Matt pounds away in the corner as we hear about how amazing a transformation he’s undergone to become this lunatic. Carter charges into a boot to the face and gets elbowed in the jaw to keep him down. A bulldog out of the corner gets two for Matt and he whips Carter into the corner.
The slow pace continues with a legdrop until Carter comes back with a jawbreaker, only to miss a splash in the corner. Here’s Mike Bennett to watch as Matt gets two off a Side Effect. The Twist of Fate is countered into a cobra clutch but Bennett comes in for the DQ at 6:40. The stipulation said that Carter had to win by pin/submission to get his shot so Ethan gets nothing.
Rating: D+. Can we take up a collection to get rid of Matt Hardy? Like, how much would it cost for us to never have to sit through one of his speeches or matches again? His character is confusing/stupid, his promos are annoying, he gets WAY too much TV time and his matches aren’t even good. What are he and Jeff going to do at Slammiversary? Jump off something really high like they’ve done for nearly twenty years? I’m sure TNA fans will call it brilliant but this is moving into Hogan/Flair levels of sad.
Mike lays Carter out post match and says that he has failed. There will be no rematch at Slammiversary.
Post break Bennett says what he just did was art and you don’t have to explain art. A few weeks ago he had a vision for EC3’s Road to Redemption. Well now Ethan has failed because he didn’t get the job done, meaning no match at Slammiversary. This was just repeating what was said earlier.
Here’s Allie to introduce Maria for a speech. Maria talks about how she’s taking over the new future for the Knockouts and Velvet Sky is part of the past. This brings out Gail Kim, who says Maria manipulated her way to the top of the division. They argue over Velvet being fired with Maria saying she put on her boots just like Gail told her to and she attained power. Gail offers to beat her up right now but Maria threatens to have her fired. This results in Gail being put in a match with her career on the line, which brings in Sienna for a cheap shot from behind. Who is actually begging to see Gail vs. Maria in a straight match?
Grado promises Mahabali Shera that he’ll take care of Al Snow tonight. Grado has a chain wrapped around his fist while Shera eats what looks like a drumstick.
The BroMans call each other from about a foot away. Robbie thinks they need to move up a few levels while Jesse keeps stopping to talk to people. Apparently Robbie has found them a guru to take it to another level. A woman comes up to point out that they’re right next to each other and Robbie blames Jesse for not paying attention.
Gail rants about how angry she is.
We recap Al Snow vs. Grado in your standard “I’m old and grizzled and you’re not serious enough” feud. Snow claims to be a pure athlete and keeps cheating to win matches.
Al Snow vs. Grado
Street fight. Before the match, Snow asks if the fans want violence, chairs and tables. Well even if they do, they’re not going to get it because he’s a wrestler. Snow: “I’m your mom’s favorite wrestler!” Naturally he hides behind the set and jumps Grado from behind to start things off. The bell hasn’t rung yet as Snow slams Grado’s hand into the steps. They head inside for the bell with Snow slamming him down but missing the moonsault.
Snow’s powder is thrown back into his face as Shera brings in a trashcan full of weapons. Grado spanks him with a cookie sheet and it’s time for the drumstick (as in a bone with meat on it) for a low blow. A chain punch hits Grado in the jaw but here are two newcomers (NXT’s Marcus Louis and Sylvester LeFort) to pull the referee out. The distraction lets Snow hit the Snow Plow for the pin at 3:39.
Rating: D-. Yes this is continuing and Snow is going to have a stable. This really does feel like it’s 1999 but for some reason we’re getting an Al Snow win instead of any…..you know what? I don’t care. We’re reaching the point with TNA where I can’t even get mad about it anymore. This is what we’re stuck with because of all the people they have on their roster, it’s best to have Al Snow do this instead of ANYONE else.
I’m so sorry that TNA has no money because no one watches their shows and they’re stuck on a third rate network with no audience but it’s the kind of nonsense like pushing Matt Hardy as some psycho genius for the “real” main event of Slammiversary against his brother because Darlin Dixie is too thickheaded to realize that this nonsense doesn’t draw a thing anymore. This match and this show are such a waste of time anymore and they have no one to blame but themselves.
Matt Hardy (of course) is sitting in the dark when Reby comes in to ask what’s wrong. We get another monologue about how Matt needs to get rid of Nero for his life to continue. Reby talks about how he’s alienating everyone but Matt doesn’t care because it’s all about Nero.
Jeremy Borash is in the ring to talk about the end of last week’s show when Lashley interrupts. Lashley rants about how many fights he’s had without twenty idiots interrupting but here’s Drew Galloway to cut him off. Drew says Lashley can lay claim to being the only real fighter on the roster but he’ll stick to the title of World Heavyweight Champion. Last week he saw fear in Lashley’s eyes but Lashley doesn’t want to hear it.
Drew comes to the ring for a fight but Dixie Carter comes out to say this is ridiculous. Yeah we need to cut out this action on a wrestling show. I for one would love another Matt Hardy monologue right about now. Dixie makes the rematch for Slammiversary with only submissions or knockouts for the win. If I’m Drew, I’d be rather ticked off by that but of course he’s fine with everything.
Lashley calls him out and the fight is on again with Drew hitting a Claymore and pounding away. Security’s intervention only slows Drew down, allowing Lashley to get in a spear and hammer away. A referee gets speared and Lashley chokes Drew out with a belt. Lashley isn’t done yet and takes off his shirt but does nothing.
X-Division Title: Andrew Everett vs. Eddie Edwards vs. DJZ vs. Trevor Lee
Lee is defending and this is Ultimate X with the belt hung at the intersection of two cables. The first person to climb up and pull it down is champion. We come back from a break after Eddie’s entrance with the rest of the entrances because we haven’t wasted enough time on this show yet. Shane helms is out with Lee and Everett, who are introduced as a team. Eddie dives over the top to take out Everett before the bell rings.
It’s a huge brawl to start of course until Everett dropkicks everyone down and goes for the belt, only to have Lee pull him down and swear a bit. Helms tells his boys to calm down and Everett lets Lee get on his shoulders to help him get tot he belt. Eddie and DJZ come in for the save (why this isn’t a tag match and non-title is beyond me) with DJZ elbowing both heels in the jaw.
Edwards hurricanranas both of them down at the same time but Lee knees him in the face. DJZ pops up and rolls forward into a DDT on Trevor to knock the champ silly. Eddie goes up and pulls down the title, only to have Shane distract the referee so Trevor can steal the belt to retain at 5:59.
Rating: D. I mean, why wait and have the big gimmick match at Slammiversary when you can have it here in a nothing match that doesn’t even last six minutes and somehow includes a false finish? It’s nice of them to throw a bone to the X-Division but the title is still having the same issues that everything else does: not enough focus because other big stories get the time, stories that just keep going because there’s nothing else going on, and of course and older guy who is treated as being above the current stars.
Maria has chosen Sienna to take out Gail Kim by ripping out her heart.
Ethan talks about playing rigged games all his life. There is no honor in what Bennett did but the rematch is going to happen no matter what. Ethan is about to make a phone call he’s going to regret. Bennett was comparing himself to artists but those people had a life’s work. After Ethan is done, Mike isn’t even going to have a life. As usual, really good stuff here from Ethan as he kept it simple and responded to everything Mike said while advancing the story.
Sienna vs. Gail Kim
Allie and Maria are at ringside and Gail’s career is on the line. Sienna jumps Gail from behind but gets knocked away, allowing Gail to hit a quick high cross body for two. A hurricanrana takes both of them outside but Maria helps Sienna up, allowing her to send Gail into the barricade. Back in and a Samoan drop gets two for Sienna but Gail comes back with a reverse DDT. Maria shoves Gail off the ropes, only to have her reverse the spinning faceplant into a sunset flip to pin Sienna at 4:13.
Rating: C-. That’s about as good as a four minute match with two people interfering is going to get. I know the end game of this is Gail vs. Maria but how is that going to be anything other than a squash or Gail having to slow things WAY down to make the match work? The story makes sense here but it’s asking us to be interested in Gail Kim which just isn’t going to happen.
Sienna drops Gail post match and Maria pounds away.
Rockstar Spud begs Tyrus to win tonight for Matt’s sake. Reby comes in and says do it for her sake because Matt is insane over this Jeff stuff. Spud says having Matt back to normal is worth anything.
The BroMans go to meet their guru and it’s….actually a woman, who has purple hair and is in great shape. Her name is Raquel (Gabi from last year’s Tough Enough) and apparently she’s the guru they’ve been looking for. After a hard workout, she says she’ll see them in the pool.
Lashley and Drew Galloway will pick each other’s opponents next week.
Rockstar Spud/Tyrus vs. Jeff Hardy
Ladder match. If Jeff wins, he faces Matt at Slammiversary in a Full Metal Mayhem match and Spud/Tyrus are done associating with Matt. If Jeff loses, there’s no match and Matt is happy anyway. Jeff hands out what looks like CDs during his entrance, which is actually not a horrible idea. Spud jumps Jeff before the bell (because we haven’t seen that tonight) but Tyrus posts himself and gets a chair thrown at his back. Jeff throws in a ladder and we go to a break without the match actually starting.
The match is joined in progress with Tyrus pulling a ladder to send Jeff throat first into the ropes. A legdrop between Jeff’s legs should allow Tyrus to just sit on him so Spud can climb but instead Tyrus picks him up. Spud drops a top rope elbow and goes to get a ladder as Tyrus lifts Jeff up again.
Tyrus splashes Spud by mistake but Jeff can’t follow up. Spud is sent out to the floor and Tyrus tries to climb, only to be too heavy and break the rungs. Jeff laughs at him as Spud comes back in, only to have Tyrus get knocked outside. Spud goes up but gets caught in a Twist of Fate onto the top of the ladder, allowing Jeff to pull down the contract at 5:10.
Rating: F. A five minute ladder match with Tyrus being entirely stupid (just sit on him man) and an obvious ending.
Overall Rating: D-. If Slammiversary isn’t an upgrade (read as the Hardys don’t main event for one thing), I’m taking a break from this company. I’ve sat through years of this place’s nonsense but it’s never been so much of an effort to stick with them. This company has just never learned and it’s the same problem time after time: too much of a focus on stories with only short term value and far less importance being placed on things that could help them.
In other words, I’ve had it with Matt vs. Jeff. This feud has gone on forever (dating back to their WWE days) and TNA doesn’t understand that there is nothing to gain from these two fighting each other. They’ve taken over the show and pushed things like the World Title and the legitimately great Carter vs. Bennett feud (one of the only reasons I’m sticking around) so Matt can be a crazy genius or whatever moniker he’s giving himself this week.
TNA is never going to get entirely better but the least I can ask is for them to be watchable. I’ve given TNA my patience, my time and my money but I’ve had enough. This show had less than twenty six minutes of wrestling in two hours and nearly twelve of those were Matt and Jeff matches. If that’s what TNA cares about, I’m not going to be around to watch them screw this place up even more. I’m not flat out quitting but if Slammiversary isn’t at least a decent show (and I’ll be flexible with that), I’m done.
Ethan Carter III b. Matt Hardy via DQ when Mike Bennett interfered
Al Snow b. Grado – Snow Plow
Trevor Lee b. Eddie Edwards, Andrew Everett and DJZ – Lee pulled down the title
Gail Kim b. Sienna – Sunset flip
Jeff Hardy b. Tyrus/Rockstar Spud – Jeff pulled down the contract
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