Date: January 12, 2017
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Angelo Dinero
It’s the second show of the Anthem Era and that means more talking about how Anthem is helping keep the show going. Eddie Edwards is still the World Champion after Davey Richards returned last week to help him retain the title in a triple threat match over Lashley and Ethan Carter III. Let’s get to it.
Josh and Pope welcome us to the show and run down tonight’s card.
The Hardys are ready for the Wolves tonight as the Tag Team Titles will be on the line. With less than one week’s build too.
Here’s Ethan Carter III to talk about Davey Richards costing him his World Title match at last week’s One Night Only Live pay per view. All he wanted was one clean title shot but Richards and a chair kept that from happening. Now he wants to invade Wolves Nation like Liam Neeson in the Gray.
Cue Lashley instead and he’s not pleased with Carter. If it were him last week, he would have caved in Eddie Edwards’ head with a chair and be out here with the title right now. Lashley suggests a last man standing match for the title tonight (assuming he means for the #1 contendership) so Carter asks the Anthem Owl on the turnbuckle. Carter wants the match right now and the fight is on in the aisle but it’s quickly broken up.
Lashley vs. Ethan Carter III
Last man standing with the winner getting the shot at Edwards at some point in the future. They brawl on the floor to start with Lashley hitting a powerslam on the concrete for seven, only to get slammed off the top, followed by a cutter. A suplex on the floor keeps Lashley down long enough for Ethan to set up two tables as we take a break.
Back with Lashley being sent into the corner and getting German suplexed out of it for four. A superplex doesn’t keep Lashley down either so he superplexes Carter for a long count. The spear gets seven on Carter so Lashley spears him again. The count last long enough that Lashley can set up a table in the corner.
Carter avoids a third spear and hits one of his own to put Lashley through the table but both are up at nine. Ethan just unloads on him with a chair but that’s still not enough. With nothing else working, Ethan grabs his rear naked choke but gets dropped off the apron through both tables. Both guys are down and only Lashley can beat the count for the win at 17:15.
Rating: B-. Good brawl but my goodness I’m bored seeing these two and Eddie fighting over the title. Lashley has been in the same spot for well over a year now and that’s not something I want to keep watching over and over again. It’s nice to have a good brawl like this instead of the same match but can we PLEASE get some fresh blood in the title picture?
Next week it’s Race for the Case (Feast or Fired) with the winners getting four matches the following week at Open Fight Night. So they’re having a gimmick match to set up a gimmick show in the span of two weeks.
Eli Drake has Tyrus grab a backstage worker and force him to read a prepared statement since the fans were glad that Eli wasn’t allowed to speak. Drake is going to get his revenge, starting by winning Race for the Case next week. He beats the guy up for not having enough emotion and Tyrus gets rid of the cameras.
Here’s Rockstar Spud in powder blue to introduce Aron Rex, who is now in a white fur coat in something like a Liberace gimmick (which Rex pitched to WWE for years but was never allowed to go through with it). Spud introduces him again once he’s in the ring so Rex can say everyone has paid to see him for years but they should never pay for him to do something as barbaric as fighting. The coat comes off and Rex now has flesh colored trunks so here’s Robbie E. to interrupt. The fight is quickly on and Rex uses the big rings to knock Robbie down. Rex puts the coat back on and says violence is never the answer.
The DCC is ready to take out Decay tonight. Kingston has fifteen years of memories of being told he’s too violent for this business but he knew his time had come when James Storm called him. Storm says DCC is for Death Crew Council.
Allie is in the back when Maria comes up to yell at her. Maria isn’t happy that Allie is still talking to Braxton Sutter but Allie says she’s done everything Maria has told her to do. Haven’t these two broken up like a million times now?
Decay vs. DCC
Storm is the odd man out here. It’s a big brawl to start (as it should be) with the DCC taking over off an Alabama Slam to Steve. Bram comes in for a clothesline as Josh runs through all the advertisements he can squeeze into a single match. The hot tag brings in Abyss and everything breaks down again with Steve diving onto Bram and Kingston. The match is thrown out for a double DQ at 5:11.
Rating: D+. That’s the right call as there’s only so much you can have these teams do before it gets out of hand. I’m glad the DCC didn’t lose here as they have potential, even though they’ve already lost a lot of their steam. But hey, at least they could be in Tag Team Apocalypto for a joke appearance, which is exactly the point of a team like them.
They keep brawling out of the arena.
The Wolves say tonight is special because they can get their titles back.
Brooke is back and thrilled to get back in the ring.
Mike Bennett vs. Braxton Sutter
Mike kicks him in the face to start and a Maria distraction keeps Bennett in control. Sutter makes an early comeback as we get a weak “we want Allie” chant. Maria grabs Sutter’s leg though and the Miracle in Progress connects. Before the cover though, Maria wants a kiss so here’s Allie to cut her off, allowing Sutter to grab a rollup for the pin at 5:04.
Rating: D. This was all about the storyline and there’s nothing wrong with that, save for the fact that Maria vs. Allie should have ended a long time ago but it’s still going. Sutter could be something interesting but I’m not sure if this is going to mean anything going forward, which is one of TNA’s biggest issues.
Post break, Maria yells about Allie screwing things up. Mike says Allie works for Maria so Maria can destroy her.
Rosemary comes out and says the Knockouts will all become part of the darkness but here’s Jade, now with short hair, to say they’re just getting started. She wants her rematch and Rosemary is very pleased. The match is accepted, as long as it can be Monster’s Ball. Jade agrees and stops an attack from behind. I’ll take Jade as a challenger, but I don’t believe for a second that it’s not just filler until Gail Kim comes back for another title run.
Tag Team Titles: Wolves vs. Hardys
The Hardys are defending. Matt and Davey get things going before it’s quickly off to Jeff for a dropkick. That goes nowhere so the World Champ comes in and gets double teamed to the mat as we take an early break. Back with Eddie getting in a neckbreaker but not being able to make the hot tag.
Instead it’s back to Matt who gives up the hot tag and gets caught in a Richards Figure Four. Jeff’s save is countered into an ankle lock at the same time before Davey cranks on Matt’s knee even more. The Wolves take over on Matt for a bit with some alternating stomps, only to have Jeff come in for another reset (Josh’s words).
A double Whisper in the Wind puts the Wolves down but Jeff gets caught in Chasing the Dragon for two. Davey misses the top rope double stomp and it’s the Twist into the Swanton for two with Richards making a save. Eddie dives onto Matt so there’s no one for whatever Davey wanted to set up, allowing Jeff to roll Richards up for the pin at 16:33.
Rating: B-. The match was fine but it’s the same problem TNA has been having with its booking for so long now: there’s no reason for this match to be happening other than they’re both great teams. There’s no animosity, no major story and nothing more than the Hardys saying DELETE DELETE DELETE over and over again to set it up. I’m sure if you look back to when the Wolves were around full time there might be a story but that has nothing to do with whatever else you can watch on Pop TV so Josh isn’t going to tell us about it. I’ve never been a fan of this booking style and it’s one of TNA’s favorites.
The Wolves argue to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This show was all over the place and that’s not really a good thing. So many of these stories feel like they’ve been going on for months now (because they’ve been going on for months now) and that makes for some very tedious shows as the angles rarely advance. So now we’re getting Lashley vs. Edwards again because that’s something fresh and new. When you keep hyping up Anthem as the new owners and partners or whatever they’re billed as, it might be a nice idea to actually present something fresh instead of the Wolves reunion and Aron Rex as Liberace.
Lashley b. Ethan Carter III – Carter was driven through two tables
DCC vs. Decay went to a Double DQ when all four brawled on the floor
Braxton Sutter b. Mike Bennett – Rollup
Hardys b. Wolves – Rollup to Richards
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