Date: September 15, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
Things are starting to pick up with just three weeks to go before Bound For Glory. Last week saw more build towards Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III and the announcement of a tournament for the inaugural TNA Grand Championship. Of course none of that matters compared to Final Deletion II. Let’s get to it.
We open with Matt Hardy talking about everything that happened last week in Final Deletion II. Senor Benjamin has been kidnapped and Jeff is badly injured so Matt puts him into the Lake of Reincarnation. Jeff is thrown into the water and comes out as the Immortal Jeff, complete with belt, from 2010. Matt shouts NEVER and throws him back in to have him come back out as the Jeff he’s been in recent weeks. Next up: Matt has to go find Vanguard I. So the big answer to what happened to Jeff last week: eh forget it.
Here’s Lashley for an in ring chat with Jeremy Borash. Lashley says this is going to be the year that he dominates wrestling because no one else in any promotion is as dominant as he is. Since he beat up EC3 last week, he needs an opponent for Bound For Glory. It might as well be JB because it would be just as dominant either way. This brings out Grado, who says JB is a much bigger joke than he’ll ever be. Grado calls Lashley a coward and it’s a quick beatdown capped off by a spear. Another callout brings Moose to the ring and the champ is actually knocked out to the floor. Moose issues what sounds like a challenge.
Aron Rex says Drew Galloway has been handed all kinds of opportunities while he’s had to take everything he can get. Rex promises to see Drew soon.
Lashley says he’ll make Moose famous but not tonight.
Grand Championship Title Tournament First Round: Trevor Lee vs. Aron Rex
Three rounds of three minutes each. They trade headlocks to start until Rex is sent out to the floor. A big boot sets up a chinlock as I keep trying to figure out why they turn the lights down for these matches. Rex fights up with some clotheslines for some last second points to end the round because Heaven forbid Rex goes full speed ahead the full match. Rex somehow wins the first round so Lee forearms him for two to start the second round. That earns him a Russian legsweep and Wind-Up Elbow, followed by a running discus punch to pin Lee at 5:33.
Rating: D+. I still don’t like this concept and this didn’t do it any favors. Ignoring the MMA feel the matches have (why they think wrestling fans want to see MMA still isn’t clear), I don’t like the flurry of offense at the end of the rounds. If they can do that at the sound of the ten second warning (another non-wrestling thing), why can’t they fight up the rest of the time?
Maria is going to hold Gail Kim’s Hall of Fame ceremony tonight so it doesn’t overshadow the Knockouts Title match at Bound For Glory.
Matt finds the destroyed Vanguard I and cries at its death…..but it’s reincarnated as well so never mind.
Here are Allie and Maria to hold Gail’s Hall of Fame induction. Maria is tired of no one talking about her title win because everyone is talking about Gail Kim. We see a highlight video of Maria beating Gail up and Maria does Gail’s speech for her. The official gift is a picture of Maria with the title but Allie has her own present for the best female wrestler ever.
Maria freaks out again and stomps on whatever the present is but here’s Dixie Carter. Dixie says Maria has a conflict of interests and no longer has any authority. Gail never lost the title (yes she did) so she’s going to be in the Knockout gauntlet tonight to crown a new #1 contender.
Braxton Sutter vs. Rockstar Spud
This is an empty arena with all turnbuckles exposed “for the safety of the fans”. Apparently Sutter hit Spud in the face and the injury made him require braces. Spud jumps him on the ramp and the fight is on. Josh: “The arena is empty because there are no fans in it.” It’s not even a match as they just beat each other around the empty arena and throw each other into metal objects. Spud kicks him low and they finally get in the ring with Sutter kicking him low to retaliate. A few whips into the buckle sets up a ram into the buckle to give Sutter the pin at 5:13.
Rating: D. To recap: this show has had a UFC style fight, an empty arena match and Matt Hardy resurrecting a drone. Oh and Gail Kim, who is A WRESTLER. They’re really not making this easy to sit through and Matthews telling me that the arena is empty because there are no fans in it was the icing on all this. Would it kill them to let these two have a regular match and then set up the gimmick version? Ah right: TNA is EVOLVING THE BUSINESS, which means doing stuff that was done in Memphis over thirty years ago and hoping people don’t remember it.
And now, here’s more Matt Hardy, who sends Vanguard I to find Senor Benjamin in a barn. Matt tells Benjamin to stockpile more weapons than ever because a great war is coming at Bound For Glory. THEY’RE ALREADY DOING FINAL DELETION III??????
Recap of last week’s Final Deletion.
Here’s House Hardy (the new name for the group) to challenge Decay. The champs appear in the crowd and say that Maxill deserves a better home. The Hardys are offered their own decay so Jeff promises to delete them for good at Bound For Glory. Fans: “OBSOLETE! OBSOLETE!” Matt wants to fight them in the insanity of the Great War and Rosemary accepts so Maxill can join his real family. The fight is on and House Hardy stands tall.
Mike Bennett tries to get in Lashley’s head about Moose.
This is basically a Royal Rumble with over the top eliminations but it turns into a regular match with pins or submissions when they get down to two. Jade is in at #1 and Allie is in at #2 but Maria says not so fast because she’s found someone better. Instead, a newcomer named Laurel Van Ness (indy wrestler Chelsea Green) is in at #2. Jade kicks away to start until Sienna is in at #3.
We get a double teaming on Jade until Gail Kim is in at #4. The minute intervals continue with Marti Bell coming in at #5. The heels keep control until Raquel is in at #6. There’s almost nothing going on in between these entrances. Madison Rayne rounds out the field at #7 and we’re not even six minutes into the match. I’m sure just a regular battle royal was out of the question.
Back from a break with no eliminations but Madison is knocked out in a hurry. Jade is kicked out as well but stays around at ringside. Marti gets sent over the top and is caught by Jade, who rams her into the post and then drops her to the mat for the elimination. Allie screws up AGAIN and causes Van Ness to be eliminated as well. The referee comes in as we’re down to Sienna vs. Gail. A sunset flip gets two for Gail before Eat Defeat sends her to Bound For Glory at 14:13. The one on one part wasn’t even two minutes long.
Rating: D. Not only is the entire division save for the non-wrestler champion involved in one match but HEY LOOK IT’S GAIL KIM! I still don’t know why I’m supposed to be interested over Gail Kim getting all fired up to fight Maria in what is likely going to be a squash because Maria is barely a wrestler. The division is almost nothing anymore and so much of that is due to Gail being put so far ahead of anyone else. Why should I be interested in anyone when Gail is just going to take the title back a few months later? This isn’t Memphis and Gail isn’t Jerry Lawler but TNA thinks she should get the title as many times.
Grand Championship Title Tournament First Round: Eddie Edwards vs. Mahabali Shera
Neither gets an entrance. Feeling out process to start with Eddie firing off chops and sending Shera to the floor for a suicide dive. Back in and the Boston Knee Party gets two (that move might have set a record for fastest time being turned into nothing) and the first round ends.
Eddie wins the first round in a clean sweep so Shera stomps away in the corner to start round two. Some miscommunication gives us an awkward looking sequence in the corner with Shera just stopping in front of Eddie. An over the shoulder rib breaker gets two on Eddie and Shera throws him into the air for a big crash. They fight over a suplex to end round two, which goes to Shera in a split decision despite Eddie not hitting anything. Eddie is aggressive to start the third round and kicks Shera in the ribs, setting up a half crab for the submission at 8:45.
Rating: C. This actually had some time to set something up but the short time limit and the scoring system is still rubbing me the wrong way. Shera is pretty clearly just there to appeal to the India market but that doesn’t mean he’s a good idea for the American fans. The guy really isn’t interesting and it’s getting worse every week.
Lashley and Moose come to the ring for the closing segment with Lashley offering Moose the title shot at Bound For Glory. Moose seems to agree but doesn’t want to wait that long. Moose beats him up around the ring until Lashley gets in a few shoulders in the corner. Mike Bennett comes out for the double team on Moose but Ethan Carter III runs out for the show closing brawl. Matthews: “EC3 IS BACK!” HE WAS HERE LAST WEEK YOU STUPID STUPID MAN!
Overall Rating: D. This show got a little bit better after Slammiversary but it’s right back to doing the same things that drove me crazy before. Above all else though, it’s the Hardys. A few months ago they did Final Deletion and it was entertaining and different. Then last week they did Final Deletion II and it was a lot of the same stuff with more people involved. Now we’re getting the third one in two and a half weeks and I’m finding it really hard to care about, especially when that’s the top story. Matt and Jeff got more time than anything else tonight, save for maybe the Knockouts match which was all about Gail.
The first half of this show was awful in all kinds of new ways. We had another MMA knockoff match, an empty arena match for whatever stupid reason TNA can come up with this time and more Matt and Jeff zaniness with Matt basically erasing everything that happened last week. More than once tonight I looked at my TV and asked what I was watching. That happens every now and then with most wrestling shows but with TNA it’s every few segments.
I know Corgan is all about new ideas and thinking, but TNA needs to remember that it’s a wrestling company and stop trying all these wacky ideas to force people to care about them again. Yeah Matt being all insane and saying things that people quote online a lot is amusing but it’s rapidly running out of steam. Bound For Glory is coming up in a few weeks and I’m really not looking forward to it. Maybe TNA is passing me by or something but most of the time it’s not entertaining me. They have a talented roster and I like watching their regular matches but those are getting less and less frequent and that’s not good.
Aron Rex b. Trevor Lee – Running discus punch
Braxton Sutter b. Rockstar Spud – Ram into the exposed turnbuckle
Gail Kim won a gauntlet match last eliminating Sienna – Eat Defeat
Eddie Edwards b. Mahabali Shera – Half crab
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