Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Tuesday, March 15
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Jeff Hardy def. Eric Young
This is the first time these two have ever faced on TV and only the second time ever in general (the only other being a TNA live event ten years ago). They wrestled for a little bit before Dixie Carter came out and said the winner would be added to the EC3 vs. Matt Hardy World title main event. Hardy dominated and went for a slingshot but ate nothing but knees. Young missed a middle rope splash and Hardy made a comeback. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate but Young placed him up top. Young went for a superplex but Hardy pushed him to the mat and followed with a Swanton for the win. This was a solid enough match. Hardy looked pretty good in his first real match back from injury, a little rusty in places but that’s to be expected. No wrestlers change in style has been more disappointing to me than Eric Young’s. He’s essentially removed nearly everything interesting about himself in ring to transform into a bland brawer. Even when he was a heel back in his Team Canada days he was a big bumping, cowardly heel which was considerably better than what he is now. He is better than what he does these days. After the match Matt Hardy came out and asked Jeff to give up his spot in the main event. Hardy declined, Matt went for a Twist of Fate but Jeff reversed into a Twist of Fate of his own and left. **1/2
Maria and Mike Bennett def. Gail Kim and Drew Galloway
Maria refused to wrestle Kim on equal footing. Drew mostly dominated Bennett. Just as Kim was going to get her hands on Maria, Bennett distracted her long enough for Maria to roll Kim up for the win. Not too much of a match, mostly built around Maria avoiding Kim. **1/4
Josh Mathews interviewed Bobby Lashley in the ring about why Lashley attacked Angle after their match last week. Lashley said he didn’t get the respect he deserved even though he’s the toughest wrestler in the business. Lashley then went to Spear Mathews but Pope intervened. Pope got Speared for his troubles. I don’t hate Pope as an announcer; he’s mostly just white noise to me at this stage though. He’d be better off in ring. Jeremy Borash replaced him for the rest of the show and he could easily fill that role full time. Or they could bring back Mike Tenay. They should bring back Mike Tenay. Lashley seemed to get lost once or twice but he was mostly calm and assured throughout here. He’s the closest thing TNA have to a true main event heel at the moment and he should be protected as such. Especially because with his size and background he has an inherent credibility.
Decay def. Beer Money and Eddie Edwards
Decay worked over Roode before Steve missed a cannonball to the corner allowing Roode to make the tag to Storm. Edwards hit Steve with a backpack stunner for two. Edwards took out Abyss with a dive before Beer Money hit the Beer Money suplex on Steve. Rosemary blew mist in Roode’s eyes and Steve hit Edwards with a low blow to roll him up for the win. A basic match to give Decay a win after some recent losses. **1/4
Eli Drake came to the ring and asked Billy Corgan, who’s a television character now apparently, to return his Feast or Fired case. Grado had footage of Drake switching the cases. Drake wasn’t exactly discreet in doing it either, a master criminal he is not. Corgan demanded Grado return the King of the Mountain title briefcase. Corgan then made a ladder match between Grado and Drake for Grado’s TNA contract.
Ladder Match for Grado’s TNA Contract
Grado def. Eli Drake
Grado whipped Drake into a ladder and followed with a cannonball. As Grado went to climb Jessie Godderz ran out and pushed Grado off. Mahabali Shera came out to run off Godderz. Grado took everybody out with a crossbody off a ladder to the floor. Grado took Drake out with an electric chair drop off a ladder. Both men climbed a side of the ladder, Grado knocked Drake off and grabbed his contract to keep his spot on the TNA roster. This was actually surprisingly fun for what it was. Considering Grado is comic relief and the story coming in was fairly goofy they actually worked really hard. ***
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Matt Hardy© vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III
Matt tried to get Jeff to work with him but Jeff refused. EC3 hit Jeff Hardy with a powerslam off the top rope. Matt hit EC3 with a Side Effect on the apron during a break leaving Matt and Jeff to exchange blows. And then the TNA World title match formula kicked it. Jeff hit Matt with a Swanton before Bram and Eric Young ran out and took out Jeff with a piledriver on the floor. EC3 ran wild on Matt Hardy before Spud and Tyrus ran out. EC3 took out Spud with a clothesline and Tyrus with an impressive TKO before press slamming Spud onto Tyrus. EC3 hit the One Percenter but Mike Bennett ran out and attacked EC3 with a chair. Hardy still couldn’t put EC3 away, even after a Twist of Fate. Bennett then took EC3 out into the crowd and wailed on him with a chair. Hardy looked to leave with his title but Drew Galloway came out, cashing in his Feast or Fired World title shot. There’s only so many ways I can say I’m sick of the same old TNA main event formula. The work of the wrestlers is always undermined by it. **1/2
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Drew Galloway def. Matt Hardy©
Galloway hit the Claymore followed by the Future Shock to become new TNA World Heavyweight champion. Galloway celebrated in the crowd to close the show. *
Final Thoughts: Drew Galloway is the World champion TNA needs right now; if he’s the World champion they really want. He’s the perfect person to begin to rebuild the credibility of the World title and by extension the whole company. With natural fresh challengers in both Hardys, Lashley, EC3, Bennett, Storm, Bram, Roode and Young there is plenty for him to do. Simply book him in big title matches every one to two months and put him in the best position possible to deliver something special with them. Make those matches mean something, let them be as special as possible when they happen and build around them. Banish the old formula to 2002 once and for all and create a new one. Give Galloway the ball and let him run with it. While there was nothing special this was a fairly solid show with a noteworthy main event. TNA have been trying the same thing for 15 months now since leaving Spike to little avail. It’s time for them to try something new with Drew Galloway at the forefront.