Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Tuesday, April 12
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

The Pope is back on commentary as usual. If he’s there full time from here, I’m not entirely sure what the Lashley programme was designed to achieve.

Matt Hardy and company came out to give out about Jeff Hardy. Matt and Jeff argued over who was better before Matt demanded that Jeff stop using the name Hardy. Matt challenged Jeff to a match for the right to use the Hardy name. Jeff agreed and the match will take place next week. Hardy vs. Hardy for the right to use the Hardy name will take place on one weeks’ notice. Matt feels like a parody of a pro wrestling heel at this stage rather than a real character. And as usual in TNA it feels like they’ve rushed straight to the destination, skipping out on the majority of the journey.

TNA World Tag Team Championships
Beer Money© def. The BroMans, Eric Young and Bram, and Decay

Josh Mathews referred to Decay as the Suicide Squad which I’m relatively certain they legally cannot do. Storm rode the Boozer Cruiser around the ring and ran over Bram with it. A hit and run with the Boozer Cruiser. That was made even better by the Boozer Cruiser having a camera on the front. Beer Money hit the Beer Money suplex on Bram followed by a Storm dive. Everybody worked over Roode before he made the tag to Jessie Godderz. Godderz looked pretty good running wild, hit the Bro Down but Abyss made the save. Godderz hit a springboard forearm and Robbie took everybody out with a dive. Young accidentally punched Bram and Storm followed with the Last Call on Young to score the win. This was a fun sprint and also the best Jessie Godderz has ever looked in TNA. With Roode on the way out, The BroMans are the best bet to grow into the role of carrying the division. ***

Maria came to the ring and introduced Jade, demanding Jade hand over the Knockouts championship. Jade refused leading to Gail Kim coming out. Kim was upset over how Maria has been acting. Rebel and Marti Belle then came out, giving out about The Dollhouse being broken up. And finally Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne, who said they know how to lead. Billy Corgan then came out, continuing his slow and steady seep onto Impact as a character.  Corgan booked Rayne vs. Jade for the title later in the show. Billy then booked a match for next week to determine who the leader on the Knockouts will be. Why does the Knockouts division need a “leader”? Within the logic of the division where there’s a champion and bunch of wrestlers wanting to be the challenger, why does there need to be a leader?  This is one of those stories that just needs to go away, because no doubt it will end in a tired heel authority figure angle rather than real storylines and character growth.

DJ Z def. Trevor Lee (w/ Shane Helms)

Eddie Edwards was supposed to challenge Trevor Lee for the X-Division title in a match that was never announced before we found out it wasn’t happening because Edwards was jumped backstage. DJ Z answered something of an open challenge. DJ Z ran wild, Lee cut him off, DJ Z made a comeback and won after reversing the Small Package Driver into a roll up. Helms jumped DJ Z after the match but Edwards made the save. This is one of those Impact matches that really annoy me for the lost potential. Lee and DJ Z could have a killer match, both guys are great and both could help make the X-Division relevant again. But here they are, having a perfectly enjoyable but meaningless three minute match instead of something more substantial. There is so much more so many people on this show could be doing. It’s like they go out of their way to produce inoffensively bland content at times. **1/4

Mike Bennett def. EC3 by Disqualification

Somehow Josh Mathews’ EC3 cheerleading is even more annoying as a babyface. A little nuance and subtly would go a long way. EC3 controlled the early stages of the match including a suplex on the entrance ramp before Bennett cut him off. EC3 made a comeback, hit a TKO but Maria put Bennett leg on the ropes. Bennett grabbed a chair but missed. EC3 locked on a Million Dollar Dream and Bennett submitted but referee Earl Hebner was distracted. EC3 then decided to waffle Bennett with the chair for the DQ. Bennett really badly needs a statement match in TNA. Everything he’s done has been perfectly fine but that’s the problem. He needs more than perfectly fine. He needs to be a step above. It doesn’t help that he’s being booked as the same old cowardly heel devoid of credibility. **

Al Snow was in the ring because Billy Corgan instructed him to publicly apologise to Grado and Mahabali Shera for attacking them a few weeks ago. Shera was upset that Snow put Grado in the hospital. Snow was upset that modern wrestlers don’t pay their dues anymore. He did a babyface promo about what he was put through when he was breaking into the business and how he was sorry which naturally led to a swerve with Snow attacking Shera. Snow’s delivery was good but the set up was trite. The swerve in this kind of segment these days would be the lack of a swerve. The crowd chanted you still got it at Snow as he attacked Shera, so clearly the angle worked a treat.

TNA Knockouts Championship
Jade© def. Madison Rayne

They had a fun little match that Jade won with an STO after Madison missed a top rope crossbody. I don’t know why Jade stopped using the Package Piledriver as her finish but the STO has nowhere near as much impact. Titles matches should mean more than this. **

Matt Hardy & Tyrus def. Jeff Hardy & Drew Galloway

It was decided earlier in the show that the winner determined the stipulation for next week’s Hardy vs. Hardy match. If Jeff won it would be Full Metal Mayhem, if Matt won it would be I Quit. Jeff and Galloway did some plays on classic Hardy Boyz spots before Matt and Tyrus cut off Drew. Tyrus missed a Vader Bomb and Drew made the tag to Jeff. Drew took out Tyrus with a Claymore but Reby handed Matt a hammer, who then proceeded to hit Jeff with it (which must have brought back horrible Aces and 8s flashbacks for Jeff) for the win. Nothing tag match. **

Lashley attacked Drew after the match and Speared him twice. Lashley went to leave but instead snuck around outside of Drew’s eyeline and Speared him into the ring steps. Considering Lashley had already taken out Drew I had no idea why he needed to sneak, but the image of stealth Lashley was hilarious.

Final Thoughts: Impact has been in a weird place lately because the show feels lower stakes than ever when the stakes have never been higher. TNA have been quietly sitting in their own little corner of wrestling producing affably inessential television that comes and goes without much consequence. The shows are fine, perfectly solid, but only that. The problems holding back the show have been the same for 15 months now and have yet to be addressed. The show lacks consistent high end content, the pacing is still too frenetic, and stories play out in a way that undercuts what should be important character moments. Nothing matters, nothing feels important or special, and nothing feels like it’s building to something bigger than what came before.