Impact Wrestling – June 15, 2016: Amateur Hours
Date: June 14, 2016
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: D’Angelo Dinero, Josh Matthews
It’s past Slammiversary and we have a new World Champion as Lashley took the title from Drew Galloway via knockout. Tonight is a special show though as we have four title matches with the World, King of the Mountain, Tag Team and X-Division Titles all on the line. Let’s get to it.
We open with…..the feed screwing up as it’s a bunch of looping commercials.
Eighteen minutes in and we see Eli Drake coming out to face Jeff Hardy for the King of the Mountain Title. And never mind as we’re back to the commercial loop.
Apparently that match ran about two minutes as Lashley comes out to the ring for a chat at 9:21. Never mind again as the loop is back on at 9:22. At 9:23 Lashley is back to say that anything can happen on live TV. Oh and the audio is screwed up and out of sync. He talks about how Drew Galloway lost the title and it’s back to the loop at 9:25.
At 9:32 (with a LIVE graphic in the corner), Ethan Carter III is in the back talking to Drew Galloway about how tough his schedule is and we’re back on the commercials in about twenty seconds.
It’s 9:45 and the only word from anyone is that Pop TV is having technical issues. Still nothing on screen or anything as the only information is coming from Twitter.
10:00 and no changes.
At 10:14 we get a crawling message saying the show will be airing in its entirety. This message airs once and doesn’t say what time the show will be starting. The graphic starts running on a loop a few minutes later and is gone by 10:20.
10:40 and the graphic is still gone with no updates in sight.
The show starts airing at 10:50 with no announcement whatsoever. It just started airing, complete with the crawler still airing.
We open with a package from Slammiversary with the footage turning to stills before the big moments actually happen.
Josh Matthews: “Tonight LIVE on Impact, witness the fallout from Slammiversary.”
Lashley comes out to open the show, meaning the very brief clips we saw earlier were out of order. Last week Lashley promised to win the title and here he is with the belt. Everyone else has run out the building to get away from him but here’s Ethan Carter III to interrupt. Lashley says Carter is a joke and doesn’t want this fight. After Lashley beats him, there’s no one left.
Cue Drew Galloway to interrupt but Lashley calls him a loser. Drew tells him to shut up but Lashley thinks he looks like garbage. Lashley says he’s flat out better than Drew and everyone knows it, including EC3. Drew doesn’t care because he’s invoking his rematch clause right here tonight.
Yesterday, Jeff Hardy challenged Eli Drake for the King of the Mountain Title.
King of the Mountain Title: Eli Drake vs. Jeff Hardy
Drake is defending. Jeff starts fast and sends Eli out to the floor for a baseball slide, only to eat a big clothesline. Hardy takes forever to get back in and eats a swinging neckbreaker for two before we hit the chinlock. A powerslam out of the corner gets two for Eli but Jeff comes back with a quick Whisper in the Wind. Eli dives into a powerbomb but grabs a second powerslam for two. Blunt Force Trauma is countered into the Twist of Fate followed by the Swanton, only to have Matt Hardy run in and bite Earl Hebner’s hands and face. Jeff goes after him for the DQ at 7:37.
Rating: D+. Mostly boring match here with Drake being much better when he can insult people on the mic though he’s passable in the ring. The worst thing here though is Matt vs. Jeff is continuing after what should have been the blowoff match. That’s the signature match between the two of them and Jeff won clean. There’s no reason for this to continue other than that’s the best TNA can come up with.
Ethan and Drew are in the back with Carter saying Drew worked himself too hard with his schedule as champion. Drew knows how to face Lashley and after he gets the belt back, Ethan is getting a title shot.
Jeff is still in the ring and says he’s sore after Sunday but he did what he had to do to get rid of his brother (Brother Moore. “If I can be Brother Nero, he can be Brother Moore”). Apparently that wasn’t enough though because Matt is still crazy. Matt pops up above the video screen to say this is where Broken Matt Hardy was born. This was where Jeff Hardy tried to end his career with no remorse for Matt, Reby or Maxill.
Matt wants Jeff to be DELETED but Jeff thinks Matt would be better off cutting a six minute promo in a hotel than this bull. Apparently Jeff has to come up and fight him or they’ll fight again next week. Jeff comes towards the stage and grabs a table but Matt says they should fight with hon-uh (his way to say honor). That’s fine with Jeff who climbs the steps and starts fighting, only to have Reby sneak up and spray him with a fire extinguisher. Matt slides Jeff down the railing and through a table.
After a break, Matt wants to face Jeff next week in Six Sides of Steel. Matt does this weird biting thing as he talks.
X-Division Title: Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee
Lee is challenging and his manager Shane Helms jumps Eddie from behind to give Trevor an early advantage. Trevor starts firing off some right hands but charges into a boot in the corner. Eddie can’t hit his Backpack Stunner and another Helms distraction lets Lee get in a jumping knee to the jaw for two. Eddie dives through the ropes to take out Shane before a running knee to the chest (The Boston Knee Party. Seriously.) takes out Lee for the pin to retain at 4:00.
Rating: C. This was fine and hopefully wraps up the Lee vs. Edwards feud. I’m sure we’ll be seeing Shane vs. Edwards now though because that’s what the fans want to see: a guy in his 40s who was a big deal like ten years ago facing a guy who has the X-Division Title because his partner got injured.
Video on the Hall of Fame.
The BroMans spy on Raquel as a way to plug a Big Brother show.
We see a clip of Ethan and Lashley talking “during the break”, despite the fact that this version is being aired with no breaks due to the technical issues. Ethan says he doesn’t care who the champion is because he’s coming for the title. That sounds fine with Lashley because he’d love to take Ethan out.
Dixie Carter is in the ring to announce the new Hall of Famer as the roster is on the stage. After a quick speech about what this means, the newest inductee is announced as Gail Kim, which was pretty easily guessed months ago. Gail comes to the ring in tears and we go to a package on her, including the fact that she’s a five time Knockouts Champion with 232 days as champion. I have no idea where they got that number from as according to Wikipedia, her last reign alone was 232 days and she’s held it for over 700 days combined. They can’t even get their HALL OF FAME packages right?
Dixie praises Gail for creating the greatest female divisions in the world and thinks she’ll go down as the greatest in the world. The official induction is at Bound For Glory. Gail talks about how great her career has been because of this company and how important it’s been to her. She thanks everyone she’s ever worked with and is so grateful to be here.
Decay says they feel the presence of someone’s darkness.
We see Marti Bell costing Jade the Knockouts Title on Sunday.
Marti rants about how screwed up the Dollhouse was but through it all, she and Jade stood by each other. Once Jade became champion though, that title was her new best friend. Cue Jade for a brawl.
Tag Team Titles: Decay vs. BroMans vs. Mahabali Shera/Grado vs. Tribunal
Decay is defending and this is one fall to a finish. You would think Shera and Grado losing to the Tribunal would prevent them from getting a title shot immediately but things rarely go as they should around here. Baron Dax and Shera get things going and work on a wristlock each. It’s off to Robbie vs. Abyss with the latter easily destroying E. until Baraka comes in to steal a two count. A chinlock keeps Robbie down but he comes back with a Boom Drop and the tag off to Jesse as house is cleaned.
Jesse springboards in to dropkick Abyss to the floor before a quick BroDown sets up the Adonis Lock on Steve. Abyss makes the save though and chokeslams Jesse, only to have Shera come off the top to take Abyss down. Everything breaks down with Grado working on Steve in the ring until Snow shoves Grado off the top. Abyss chokeslams Steve onto Grado for the pin to retain at 6:46.
Rating: D+. This was your usual “here are a bunch of people running around like crazy” mess, which makes for a match that is too hard to keep track of with no one being able to stand out. Decay continues to impress though and lives WAY beyond what you would expect them to be able to do.
Maria tells Allie to leave her and Mike Bennett alone. She is FURIOUS that Gail is going into the Hall of Fame because no one appreciates them. Mike is ready to leave right now but Maria says they need to go to the ring and get everything they want.
Jeff Hardy accepts Matt’s challenge for next week.
Here are Mike (in a shirt covered in pineapples) and Maria with something to say. Mike says TNA needs a hero like him but the people have rejected him. Maria screeches that the loss on Sunday was a conspiracy from TNA management and they want it stripped from the record books.
They demand Dixie get out here right now but get Billy Corgan instead. Mike says he’s disappointed so here’s Dixie to back Billy up. Maria yells at her a lot but Dixie reminds her that we are LIVE tonight. Dixie says there’s too much talking and not enough wrestling here, especially from Maria who hasn’t had a single one on one match yet. If Maria has issues she should set up a meeting about it but Maria says the finger of blame should be pointed at Dixie because she’s the problem.
Maria thinks she could run this place better than Dixie and Billy must agree with her. She and Mike should be in the Hall of Fame but Dixie calls her self absorbed and thinks Maria shouldn’t be running the Knockouts division. Maria goes on and on about how awesome she is and how she’s a self made woman, only to have Dixie slap her in the face. Lame slap of course but did you expect anything else?
TNA World Title: Drew Galloway vs. Lashley
Drew, with heavily taped ribs, is challenging and Ethan Carter III is on commentary. They immediately fight on the floor with Drew taking over early and making sure to slide back in to break up the count. Lashley goes after the ribs and steps on the taped up part before dropping him on the apron with a side slam. They get inside for the first time with Lashley throwing Drew over the top and down to the floor for a big crash. Lashley is in full control but stops to stare at Ethan, allowing Drew to come back with some chops.
Back in and Lashley misses the spear and gets caught in something like a Kimura. Lashley escapes and grabs a Crossface, only to have Drew reverse into a Tombstone but Lashley reverses that as well, only to get caught in a piledriver for two. Drew’s super Celtic Cross gets two but the Claymore takes out the referee. Lashley hits a pair of spears and grabs a chair, only to have Ethan take the chair away. Carter hits Drew by mistake (nice Summerslam 1997 ending) and Lashley side chokes Drew for the knockout win at 10:18.
Rating: C. I wasn’t really feeling this one but Ethan vs. Drew could be one heck of a feud for the #1 contendership, though I do wonder where that leaves Lashley. They really weren’t hiding the ending they had set up and that almost always draws away some of the attention. Still though, decent enough match with the time they had to work with.
Overall Rating: C-. So let’s recap here (ignoring the technical issues at the moment): all title matches, no title changes, and what looks like the start of Dixie vs. Maria. This felt like a way to long way to sit around and wait for next week to really go anywhere. It’s not the worst show by any stretch but almost nothing got me interested here and that’s a bad sign on a night when a lot of people should have been watching.
That brings us to the small room that couldn’t contain the elephant that was around tonight. This was one of the worst examples of production, behind the scenes work and handling a major issue that I’ve ever seen. Sure a lot of it is probably Pop TV’s fault but of course TNA is going to find a way to blame ANYONE but themselves. That’s one of the things that drives me insane about TNA: they almost never seem to accept any responsibility. The show was taped and there didn’t seem to be any issues with the show that aired before Impact. What a coincidence that TNA’s show for the week isn’t working right.
What bothers me the most though is the lack of anything resembling communication between TNA and their fans. All they would say was “Pop TV is having an issue and we’ll be back in a bit.” Nothing about the time, nothing about when the show would air and very little about thanking the fans for their patience and sticking with TNA. It was a bunch of sitting around waiting on this show which wasn’t even that great in the first place.
Sure a lot of that is on Pop, but how much blame do you think Vince would get if this happened on Monday Night Raw? If nothing else they would have had SOMETHING on screen instead of what we were getting. Air an old match, put up a graphic, put up ANYTHING other than the same commercials over and over.
Yeah TNA put up a video on their Facebook but nothing on their website or Twitter and that’s not something they could blame on Pop. The whole thing was a mess and again, it’s always something with TNA. It comes off as amateurish and that doesn’t help a lot of their major issues, but I’m sure I’m just being a WWE fanboy and not giving them the respect they deserve, whatever that’s supposed to be.
Why do I say they don’t deserve a ton of respect? That Gail Kim graphic. TNA likes to treat their Hall of Fame as something special and to be fair they do a solid job with it, but they can’t even have someone look over this package and say “Hey, that’s wrong.” Do you know how I knew it was wrong? Very simple: I’ve watched TNA long enough to know that Gail has held the title way longer than that.
I get that they probably didn’t have someone from TNA put that together but is it really too much to ask someone to proofread something before it goes out over international television? As usual it comes off as TNA looking amateurish and not paying attention. Of course no one is expecting WWE levels of production and research, but a simple bit of math (or checking Wikipedia) is really not asking too much. If TNA stops doing stupid things like this, people will start treating them like something worthwhile. When these mistakes keep happening over and over again however, they earn the treatment they get.
Jeff Hardy b. Eli Drake via DQ when Matt Hardy interfered
Eddie Edwards b. Trevor Lee – Boston Knee Party
Decay b. BroMans, Tribunal and Mahabali Shera/Grado – Abyss chokeslammed Steve onto Grado
Lashley b. Drew Galloway – Side Choke
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