Date: June 28, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
Things are getting interesting around here as there are only two more weeks until Smackdown moves to Tuesday nights, leaving Impact with an hour against a live WWE show with top names appearing every week. There has been no word on a time slot change or any major plans for what TNA might to do counteract this but I wouldn’t like their chances going head to head. Maybe we can get more Matt vs. Jeff out of this. Let’s get to it.
The opening recap looks at last week’s major events.
Mike Bennett and Maria are in the ring to open things up. Maria gloats that Dixie Carter is gone this week so she’s running the show. This brings us to the new X-Division Champion with Bennett saying he has a golden ticket. In two weeks, he gets to prove that he’s the best X-Division Champion of all time. Cue Lashley to say Bennett is half the man that he is and doesn’t want to go here. Bennett cuts a really good promo about how it doesn’t matter who he’s facing because he’s taking the title.
This brings out Ethan Carter III to say he’s ready to go tonight and thinks Bennett got where he is by sucking up to a rock star. A fight is ready to break out until Billy Corgan comes out to say he’s an icon elsewhere but he’s here to be a fair judicial observer. Carter says there’s an infinite amount of sadness (Smashing Pumpkins album) in this situation so Corgan makes an X-Division battle royal for tonight with the winner facing Bennett for the title later tonight. The brawl is on but Drew Galloway comes out for the save, only to hit the Claymore on Carter by mistake.
I really hate Destination X. The X Title isn’t mentioned by any main eventer all year and gets no time. Then some main eventer goes and wins it without much effort, uses it at the show and then drops the title back into obscurity for another eleven months. I don’t even consider this exposure for the title and the division because it really does come off like the main eventers are slumming with the belt and could take it anytime. How does that strengthen the division or the title?
Drew and Ethan argue over whether or not that kick was intentional.
Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Sienna
Sienna is defending and Allie says it’s time to force Gail into retirement. Gail ducks a charge to start and gets two off a clothesline out of the corner. Sienna uses a Samoan Drop to break up a crucifix attempt and we hit the chinlock. Cue Jade to go after Allie but Jade comes out with her baton to knock Jade out. Sienna hits a Pounce (the Silencer) to retain at 3:15.
Rating: D. This was your weekly Gail Kim praise period as most of the match was about how awesome she is for going into the Hall of Fame. Kurt Angle wasn’t praised this much and it’s getting a little annoying to hear every single week. I’m sure she’ll get the belt back at Bound For Glory in the big feel good moment because she’s a pioneer (who is still here) and we can’t let the division go on without her.
Matt is wheeled in (in a chair with wheels as he calls it) and says, in what sounds like a thicker accent, that he’s broken but the war with Brother Nero will never end. I’m sure it won’t, but that won’t stop TNA from billing every match as the biggest one yet and possibly the last every single time.
Bennett and Galloway run into each other in the back with Mike saying he can beat the entire X-Division one after another. Drew says be careful what you say because those guys are great. They compare who has beaten who with Drew saying he’s actually won the World Title.
It’s time for Fact of Life with Eli Drake with Eli popping up from behind his podium. Drake: “When I say dummy, you say yeah. Dummy!” Crowd: “YEAH!” Drake: “I wasn’t talking to you!” He talks about going home for a dinner with his father and some friends. Apparently the Drakes are famous for their mashed potatoes and the beatings they give people and Eli does them both better than anyone.
Tonight’s guest is James Storm, who actually walks to the ring for once. Storm calls him Eli Dork and starts an ELI DRAKE DUMMY chant. Drake hits the button a lot so Storm says let’s make it a drinking game. That’s fine with Drake who pulls out a jug of water, earning himself a round of boos. Drake: “You’re gonna boo WATER?” This is the greatest talk show host ever and Drake wants to know where Storm’s title is.
Storm thinks we should change this game to him slapping Drake every time he hits the button. That’s enough for Drake who cuts the interview short and tells Storm to take his stupid beer with him. Drake wraps it up and eats the Last Call. This went a bit long but Drake was great as usual and Storm as a challenger is fine.
Jeff Hardy will meet his brother in the ring tonight face to face. They can’t go a single week without these two doing something???
We get a graphic labeled “earlier tonight” of a beatdown from last week with Decay destroying Bram.
Rosemary sits on Bram’s lap and says everyone comes to decay eventually so just let it happen.
Here’s Matt in his wheelchair with Reby pushing him around. He wants to be wheeled around the ring so he can look into the eyes of everyone that has put him in this place. The fans want Jeff so Matt yells about how he’s been broken all over this place. He wants Jeff out here to look him in the face and that’s exactly what he gets after a break. Matt says he wants this to be over but promises to never stop pursuing Jeff until he gets what he needs, which is one win.
Give him six weeks and he’ll be ready for their final battle. Matt wants to raise the stakes and make it for the Hardy name. Didn’t we do this one already? Reby freaks out for no apparent reason so Jeff tells her to get on her broom and fly away. More screeching ensues so Matt jumps out of the chair and destroys Jeff, because selling injuries off a big cage match isn’t a thing around here. Matt hits him with a chair and wraps it around Jeff’s neck for a Twist of Hate. The final match is in one week…..at Matt’s house. Matt keeps saying it will be the final deletion.
Eddie Edwards, Braxton Sutter, Trevor Lee, Rockstar Spud, Andrew Everett, DJZ, Mandrews
The winner gets a title shot tonight with Mike Bennett and Maria on commentary. Only Edwards gets an entrance so it’s kind of hard to tell who all is in this. Spud is eliminated early and Mandrews eats a forearm from Lee, allowing Everett to put him out. Eddie hurricanranas Lee and Everett at the same time as Bennett lists off some luchadors that trained him, such as El Flippy.
DJZ is sent out and we’re down to four with Sutter, Everett, Edwards and Lee. Everett and Edwards wind up on the apron as Bennett gets off commentary. Bennett grabs Eddie’s foot so Lee can knock him out. We get some heel miscommunication and Sutter knocks both of them out for the title shot at 4:55.
Rating: D. I’ve never been a fan of these nothing battle royals with almost no one involved as they make the division look so worthless. This was a bunch of people who are lucky to get a match every few weeks with a guy who has had all of three matches in the company getting the win. Have a regular match or something but find a way to make them more entertaining.
Post match the Helms Dynasty beats Sutter down and Bennett is ready to go.
X-Division Title: Mike Bennett vs. Braxton Sutter
Bennett is defending and walks around for about a minute to start. A small package gives Braxton two but the Miracle in Progress retains Bennett’s title at 1:12.
Grado and Mahabali Shera have a third man to face Al Snow and Tribunal. It’s like that match in 1996 where people are wondering who the third man is.
Al Snow/Tribunal vs. Mahabali Shera/Grado/???
Can anyone tell me why the Tribunal is two people and Al Snow is a separate entity? Grado and Shera get jumped before the third man comes out and it’s…..Tyrus. Eh I’ve heard of worse ideas. Shera slams Baraka to start before it’s off to Snow, with the whistle, to pound on Grado. The beating doesn’t last long as Tyrus comes in to clean house. Baraka dives at him and gets caught in a World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 2:57. The Tribunal had some promise at first and now they’re about where I expected them to wind up.
Bennett says that was a ten star match and he’s cashing in next week before anything else can happen.
TNA World Title: Ethan Carter III vs. Drew Galloway vs. Lashley
Lashley is defending. We start after a break because adding another four minutes to the match time tonight is out of the question. Lashley tells them both to bring it to start but Drew and Ethan get in an argument after taking him down. It breaks down into your regular triple threat with Lashley cleaning house until the challengers start double teaming him.
A double suplex is almost broken up through pure power so they just throw Lashley down instead. Lashley is knocked outside so the other two can chop it out with Carter getting the better of it. The 1%er is countered into the Future Shock but Lashley runs in for the save at two. A spinebuster gets two on Galloway but Ethan can’t hit the TK3 on the champ. The Claymore hits Ethan by mistake, setting up back to back spears to retain Lashley’s title at 9:03.
Rating: C+. I’m so glad they gave this the time it deserved after all the build it received in that whole week they gave it to set up. The match was entertaining enough while it lasted, but those last three words are the key. They didn’t even get ten minutes for a major title match like this and for what? So Al Snow could have a few minutes in the ring? Really? I’m curious to see where they’re going with Lashley now, other than presumably Bennett and then the likely showdown with Jeff Hardy.
Overall Rating: D. This was TNA in a nutshell: less than twenty two minutes of wrestling in two hours, ANOTHER Matt vs. Jeff match was made, the X-Division was patted on the head and told “aw you’re cute, now let the big boys have your title” and Al Snow gets a match because there was no one else around to give that character to. Oh and let’s praise Gail Kim because we haven’t this week.
I couldn’t stand this show and it’s going to get even better when they have Dixie Carter come back to talk about how serious everything is next week. There’s some good stuff around here but there are SO many problems dragging the rest of the show down and next week it’s back to Hardyville for whatever Matt’s latest genius idea will be.
Sienna b. Gail Kim – Silencer
Braxton Sutter won a battle royal last eliminating Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee
Mike Bennett b. Braxton Sutter – Miracle in Progress
Grado/Mahabali Shera/Tyrus b. Al Snow/Tribunal – World’s Strongest Slam to Baraka
Lashley b. Drew Galloway and Ethan Carter III – Spear to Carter
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