Date: October 20, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
The main event scene has picked up in the last week as we have what seems to be a four way feud between Lashley, Cody, Moose and World Champion Eddie Edwards. Other than that there’s the start of the Hardys vs. the Tribunal and more of Maria Kanellis-Bennett and company vs. Gail Kim over the Knockouts Title. Let’s get to it.
We look at the end of last week’s show with Moose beating Carter to earn a shot against Lashley for a future title shot and Maria losing her rematch against Kim, meaning she’s out of power in the Knockouts division. As for tonight, Cody is ready to take the World Title from Eddie Edwards.
Here’s Cody to open things up. He’s a fan of country music and a song has been making him think about why he left his former employer. It wasn’t because of the money but because of the moments. Tonight he gets one of those moments when he has a chance to win the World Title. When he was fifteen he told his dad he wanted to be a wrestler. Dusty wasn’t sure but he gave his blessing, but only if Cody was the best. That means becoming World Champion so here’s Eddie to interrupt.
Eddie praises Cody for his career and says Cody has reinvented himself over and over. When Eddie is in the ring taking beating after beating, he knows who he is because of the Wolves Nation. The question is does Cody know who he is. Cody lists off parts of various characters he’s had over the years before getting in Eddie’s face. This brings out Lashley, who says the future is him hurting one of the two people in the ring. Cue Moose and our first match is after the break.
Moose vs. Lashley
The winner gets a title shot at some point in the future. They immediately start slugging away but Lashley’s suplex is no sold. The Moose punches send Lashley outside, only to have him send Moose into the post. Back in and Moose gets thrown around again but he dropkicks Lashley off the top. A very big running dive is nearly left short but is still good enough to take Lashley out.
They trade spinebusters for two each (Moose’s looked way off) before Moose no sells a superplex (that’s Lashley’s third vertical suplex in about five minutes). A spear each gives both guys another near fall. Moose’s discus lariat gets two more but the chokebomb is broken up, allowing Lashley to hit the middle rope spear for the pin at 7:35.
Rating: C+. I really wouldn’t go out of my way to point out how similar Lashley and Moose’s offenses are like they did here. On top of that, they’re really going to have Moose lose clean this soon? I mean, it’s fairly clear that he and Lashley have very similar styles (give the whole trading moves here) so they’re going to stick with the same guy that has been in the main event for well over a year now and not exactly set the world on fire? Oh yeah: this is TNA.
The Tribunal talks about wanting respect but the feed cuts out to hear from the three masked men. Chaos arrives tonight.
Here’s Fact of Life with Eli Drake. Eli is Bound For Gold and rips on the crowd a bit, which responds with a laugh track. The guest this week is Aron Rex and the “audience” isn’t thrilled. Rex loves the title and what it means so he calls it sweetheart. Drake talks his usual trash so Rex goes through various champions who don’t talk trash.
Since Rex beat Edwards for the Grand Championship, that makes him the man around here. Rex says none of them have anything on the man who is Bound For Gold. This brings Rex around to Ethan Carter III, who Drake says is bound for the dumpster. Cue Carter but Drake sends it to a break, complete with a TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES DUMMIES graphic. This segment gets better and better every week.
Back with Carter in the ring and calling Eli out for a fight. He wants to destroy that set but wants Eli to press the button so he can punch Drake (YEAH!), kick Drake (YEAH!) or choke Drake (YEAH!). Eli pushes the button over and over so Carter dives on the security and the fight is on. Rex tries to break it up but Jesse Godderz (who Rex insulted during his interview) comes out to go after Aron. Security breaks it up.
Here are the Hardys to do their catchphrases and accuse the Tribunal of trying to take food off King Maxel’s plate. Thankfully the Tribunal cuts off the DELETE chants.
Tag Team Titles: Hardys vs. Tribunal
Hardys are defending and it’s another brawl to start with the champs taking over early on. The announcers talk about the Best of Sting DVD being back in stock, which is one of the first merchandise plugs I’ve heard in a LONG time. Dax gets in a few shots on Matt but it’s quickly off to Jeff for some forearms to the head. Jeff is quickly taken down into the challengers’ corner but WAIT! We have to pause the match because Josh has an update on a new Pop television event! I could live with those a lot better if Josh knew anything about making a transition.
A legsweep gets Jeff out of trouble and it’s off to Matt for a bunch of biting. Did the Hardys ever have a face turn moment and I missed it? Or am I just supposed to cheer for them because the schmucks in the Impact Zone do? Not that it matters as we’re getting the Hardys whether we like them or not because they’re stars or something. Matt hits a quick Side Effect but gets caught in a double spinebuster for two. Back to back Twists of Fate end Baraka at 7:49.
Rating: B-. This was every bit of the tag team formula and it actually worked well. The Hardys can still do a basic match very well but that doesn’t mean I want two Hardy themed specials airing at Christmastime. That’s one of TNA’s major issues: they have no idea when to slow down on something.
Post match the three masked men appear and lay out the Tribunal. So we have masked men who appear after a series of weird visuals and attack people. And the response from the TNA fans who got annoyed at Final Deletion being copied will be……?
Allie is getting ready to stand up to Maria when Braxton Sutter comes up. That goes nowhere as Laurel Van Ness comes in to say Maria has something to say to Allie. Laurel hits on Braxton a bit too.
The masked men say no one is safe because they’re here to stay.
Lashley talks to Cody about destroying various saviors. Cody doesn’t think the good luck wishes are genuine and says it’s not bragging if you can back it up. Lashley says their paths will cross sooner or later.
We look back at the end of Gail vs. Maria from last week.
Here are Maria, Allie and Laurel with something to say but their entrance is drowned out by Josh going on and on about the reign of terror being over. Maria may not be in charge anymore but she’s still the greatest Knockout of all time. Of all the people she can blame though, it’s all Allie’s fault. Maria demands an apology but Allie finally stands up to her and says Maria is the one to blame. The beatdown is on and Allie is left laying with Maria saying it’s Allie vs. Laurel next week.
Lashley tries to play mind games with Eddie but the champ isn’t buying it.
Tyrus tells Mahabali Shera to not dance because he’s going to fight tonight.
Ethan Carter III and Jesse Godderz want to face Aron Rex and Eli Drake next week.
Mahabali Shera vs. Mike Bennett
Bennett’s music is restored this week. Shera poses to start so Mike knocks him into the corner, only to have his chops no sold. Bennett sends him into the corner and beats on Shera for a bit, only to get caught with slams and a bearhug. Since this isn’t 1984, none of that has any effect and Bennett rakes the eyes to set up the MIP for the pin at 2:57.
Video on Eddie vs. Cody.
DJZ says himself, Mandrews and Braxton Sutter are the beat Team X Gold team around. Cue Rockstar Spud (who gets a TATER TOT chant) to ask why he hasn’t been asked to participate. DJZ: “Nobody likes you.” Spud says he has his own team who will be here next week and they’re better than X, Y and Z. Do they really think they have room for Trios Titles around here? That’s what they think is the best use of their time?
TNA World Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Cody
Cody is challenging and has Brandi Rhodes in his corner. Feeling out process to start and a double dropkick gives us a standoff. Back from a break with Cody getting kicked down to the mat, only to have him chop Eddie into an armbar. Eddie fights up again but eats the Beautiful Disaster, followed by a springboard dive to the floor.
A slam on the ramp sets up a modified Muscle Buster on the champ for another near fall and Cody is getting frustrated. The champ is loaded up for a superplex but reverses into a small package (looked horrible as Cody was laying on the mat and then raised up to get to the pin) to retain at 13:05.
Rating: C+. This was fine but it’s just another title match being handed to an ex-WWE guy who hasn’t proven a thing in this company yet. At least Rex had to win a tournament to get his title. Cody on the other hand was literally handed a World Title match the day he arrived and that’s not a good look for TNA.
They shake hands and Eddie lets Cody pose (Why? He hasn’t actually done anything yet.), allowing Maria to come out and attack Brandi as the show ends.
Overall Rating: C. Horribly choreographed ending aside, this was a mostly watchable show. However, there’s a big problem that TNA has had for a very long time now and this week showcased it more than they’ve done in a long time: there’s no one to connect with for most fans. Here are some of the characters on this show:
A MMA/professional wrestler
A former NFL player
The freakshow with magical powers
A loudmouth with a model wife who was treated like a huge deal on arrival
A guy who likes to dance and hired a fixer to do his fighting for him
The son of a legend who was literally given a World Title shot without winning a single match
There are a few relatable characters (Allie, maybe Eddie) but they’re very few and far between. They might do cool stuff every now and then and the wrestling can be good but the characters aren’t people I’m going to have a connection with. Look at Daniel Bryan: the everyman held down by the system who kept fighting until he won. It’s something people can connect to, which isn’t the case in TNA the majority of the time. Give us someone we care about instead of someone fun to watch. It can make a world of difference.
Lashley b. Moose – Middle rope spear
Hardys b. Tribunal – Twist of Fate to Baraka
Mike Bennett b. Mahabali Shera – MIP
Eddie Edwards b. Cody – Small package
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