Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Tuesday, May 24
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Matt Hardy opened the show with his wacky hair and his goofy voice, he talked a little about his road to revenge match vs. EC3 and how he had a contract for a Full Metal Mayhem match with Jeff Hardy at Slammiversary. I try not to condemn somebody for trying something new but Matt needs to go back to the drawing board with this one. Spud and Tyrus came out and Spud began talking about how the current Matt Hardy isn’t the same person he sided with a few months ago. Spud and Tyrus tried to talk Matt out of wrestling Jeff again, so Matt proposed a ladder match where if Spud and Tyrus beat Jeff Hardy he won’t wrestle Jeff at Slammiversary but if Jeff wins the Full Metal Mayhem match is on. I like how people can call their own shots and book their own matches on Impact now.
Ethan Carter III def. Matt Hardy
Hardy controlled much of the early stages but as EC3 was making his comeback Mike Bennett strolled down the ramp allowing Hardy to hit a Side Effect. They exchanged finisher attempts before Bennett attacked EC3 for the DQ win. EC3 had to win by pinfall or submission to get Bennett at Slammiversary. Bennett laid EC3 out with the Miracle in Progress. The idea being Bennett made EC3 go through a cage match with Spud and a Last Man Standing match with Tyrus only to pull the rug out from under him, making all that for naught. Bennett cut a good promo after the match rubbing that fact in EC3’s face. The match itself wasn’t up to much. It ended as they were picking up steam. **
Allie (the former Cherry Bomb in her new role as Maria’s apprentice) introduced Maria. The crowd chanted about wanting Velvet Sky, so Maria taunted them because she fired Velvet. Maria said she wants to eliminate the Knockouts division of the past and focus on the future. Gail Kim wasn’t best pleased with Maria’s rhetoric. Kim challenged Maria to a match but Maria declined and booked Kim in a match where if she loses she’s fired. A match with Gail Kim’s career on the line should be something more heavily promoted. As I said before I like the core idea behind the Kim vs. Maria programme but I don’t care for the authority figure framing device at all.
Al Snow def. Grado
There’s a fun potential idea in here with Grado and Shera representing Snow’s past failures – how he had to resort to running around with a mannequin head to get attention – and that he’s taking out those failures on Grado. But they haven’t really explored those ideas bar some passing mentions. Grado hit Snow with some weapons before Marcus Louis and Sylvester Lefort (going by Baron Dax and Basile Baraka respectively) made their Impact debut attacking Grado giving Snow the win. Snow, Louis and Lefort are a strange grouping of people. *
Bobby Lashley was upset that a bunch of people brawling cost him his World title shot last week. World champion Drew Galloway came out. Galloway said he saw fear in Lashley last week. Lashley said he would have knocked Drew out or choked him out had their match come to a conclusion. Drew was about to get in the ring with Lashley before Dixie Carter interjected. Dixie booked Lashley vs. Galloway at Slammiversary for the World title in a match where you can only win by Knockout or Tapout. An interesting stipulation though I’d prefer a straight up match between the two. The match might be a way to protect Galloway in defeat with the stipulation being more in Lashley’s wheelhouse. Lashley called Drew a bitch so they brawled before security pulled Drew off allowing Lashley to hit a Spear. Lashley then Speared Brian Stifler and choked Galloway out. Simple angle to put Lashley over as an utter monster. Lashley and Galloway are two of the stronger parts of this show lately so I’m looking forward to their match.
TNA X-Division Championship – Ultimate X
Trevor Lee© def. Eddie Edwards, DJ Z, and Andrew Everett
This is continuing the trend of Ultimate X matches being thrown out with little rhyme or reason. The match started fast with dives and a rana from the cables by DJ Z. Everett and Lee were having some issues but Shane Helms insisted they work together instead. Edwards hit both Lee and Everett with a frankensteiner at the same time. Everett took DJ Z off the cables with a springboard dropkick. Everett tried to do the same to Edwards but Edwards booted Everett out of midair. Helms distracted the referee as Edwards pulled down the belt. Lee then grabbed the belt and was crowned the winner when the ref turned around. Like most modern Ultimate X matches, this was too short to amount to anything more than a fun TV match but it was really fun while it lasted. The finish would seem to set up a Lee/Edwards singles match. ***
Gail Kim def. Sienna
Sienna dominated Kim before Kim took Sienna over the top with a hurricanrana. A distraction gave Sienna control again but Kim came back with a reverse DDT. Kim reversed Sienna’s facebuster into a roll up for the win. A fun little match that served as a glimpse of what a more longform match would look like. Maria attacked Kim after the match. **1/2
Jeff Hardy def. Tyrus and Rockstar Spud
Under/Over on the number of silly things Jeff Hardy does in this match? Spud’s entrance music is a Smashing Pumpkins song now. Tyrus and Spud wailed on Jeff for ages. Tyrus tried to climb the ladder and the rung broke prompting the crowd to chant “you’re too fat” at him. Hardy hit Spud with a Twist of Fate on top of a ladder and pulled down a contract for the win. If you said zero for the number of silly things Jeff would do then surprisingly you’d be a winner. Hardy vs. Hardy in Full Metal Mayhem at Slammiversary is official. Fairly tame by ladder match standards, particularly with Jeff involved but Jeff has taken more than enough risks lately and will no doubt take some more at Slammiversary. *1/2
This was not a particularly good show. The Lashley/Galloway brawl was strong, Bennett and EC3 cut some good promos, and both the Kim vs. Sienna and Ultimate X matches were pretty good (though both would have been stronger with more time) and the rest was really just there. At least the Slammiversary card is beginning to take shape with Galloway vs. Lashley and Hardy vs. Hardy now official.