Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Tuesday, June 7
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Matt Hardy opened the show, silly accent and all. He said we’ll never see Jeff Hardy again after what Matt did to him at their house last week. Hardy then challenged Drew Galloway to a World title match. The current state of Matt confused Drew but Drew accepted the challenge nonetheless for the main event.
Sienna (w/ Allie) def. Madison Rayne
Allie (with her deliberately painful voice) announced before the match that the winner would get a title shot vs. Jade at Slammiversary. This was a quick squash with Sienna winning with the AK-47 (her facebuster off the shoulders). Sienna attacked Rayne after the match but Jade ran her off. Jade vs. Sienna could be fun if they get time. *
Eli Drake came out for a champions edition of his talk show Fact of Life. Before the match he cut a promo on top of a literal mountain, stating that Bram won’t be able to knock him off. Get it, the King of the Mountain champion on top of an actual mountain? TNA appear to have rented a drone and gone nuts. That was a very elaborate shot for a quick promo. Some cool shots in there though. Drake introduced Decay and extolled their virtues. Decay spouted some mystical babble while discussing their Slammiversary title match vs. The BroMans. This brought out The BroMans, Grado and Shera, The Tribunal, and Bram and a 10 man tag team match was on.
Eli Drake, The Tribunal (Baron Dax and Basile Baraka w/ Al Snow), and Decay (Abyss and Crazy Steve w/ Rosemary) def. The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz w/ Raquel), Mahabali Shera, Grado, and Bram
This match featured quite a large wacky collection of people. They got the heat of Robbie before Jessie made a comeback. Jessie Godderz has a really good babyface comeback in him. Everybody had a little moment to shine including a Robbie E dive to the floor. Drake put Grado away with a low blow followed by his new knee lift/clothesline combo finish. Formula ten man tag in pretty much every way but that formula still works and this was good fun. This was a perfectly fine way to get all of Slammiversary’s mid card matches some air time on a go home show. ***
Gail Kim and Ethan Carter III def. Mike Bennett and
Maria Kanellis-Bennett Allie
Maria subbed out for Allie before the match. They aired highlights of an official weigh in for the EC3/Bennett match before this. They ended up brawling of course. EC3 weighed 230 pounds while Bennett weighed 218 pounds. I’m not sure the point of a weigh in for a match without weight limits is but all power to them. If they were going to do this I’d have preferred them to air all of it rather than highlights. EC3 and Bennett brawled to the back and Gail Kim overcame a kick to the vagina to beat Allie with a roll up. Sienna, Jade and Allie attacked Kim after the match, placed a chair on her knee and struck it with another chair. A perfectly decent angle to allow Maria to be on more even standing on Sunday but it lacked Kim vowing to overcome the injury and still beat Maria. An attack or injury angle is only ever as good as it’s revenge promo and way too often they don’t even bother with it. *1/2
TNA X-Division Championship
Trevor Lee© (w/ Shane Helms) def. Eddie Edwards
Lee controlled and dominated Edwards before Edwards made a comeback with a couple of dives. Lee escaped a backpack stunner into a big German for two. Edwards scored a near fall of his own off a Blue Thunder Driver. Edwards went up top but Andrew Everett pushed him off right into Lee’s knee but Edwards kicked out. DJ Z took out Everett but Helms waffled DJ Z. Helms then smashed Edwards with the X-Division title to give Lee the win. Fun little match that was just getting going as the extracurricular stuff kicked in. Lee, Everett, Edwards and DJ Z will clash in a four way at Slammiversary. **1/2
Braxton Sutter def. Bill Callous
I have no idea who Bill Callous is. Sutter is of course the former Pepper Parks. Sutter hit Callous with a few knees and put him away with a Paydirt. Weird match in that it wasn’t really 100% a squash. Sutter promised to be at Slammiversary after the match. His promos are doing a good job of portraying him as down to earth and likeable. *
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Drew Galloway© def. Matt Hardy by Disqualification
World title matches shouldn’t be booking crutches like this. They should be meaningful and special. There was no real reason for this match to be a World title match. They did disappointingly little to try and hard sell Lashley vs. Galloway on this show bar a single solid video package before this match. That should be a pretty easy match to sell and on paper it’s the best match on the PPV. Galloway powerslammed Hardy on the apron but Hardy fired back with a Side Effect on the steps (which went much better than when Hardy and EC3 tried that earlier this year). Matt Hardy locked on the Icepick but Galloway escaped and fired up. Galloway reversed an axe handle attempt into a Celtic Cross for two. Drew hit his tree of woe belly to belly and looked for the Claymore but Lashley ran out and attacked Galloway to cause the DQ. Galloway brawled to the back. Match was nothing special. **1/4
After the match the lights went out and when they came back on everybody in the crowd was wearing a Willow mask. Willow had appeared a number of times throughout the show. Willow’s music hit and a number of different Willow’s appeared. Willow said that Slammiversary would be Hardy’s Slarmageddon. He then proceeded to explain that piece of wordplay. Jeff Hardy’s music hit and regular old Jeff Hardy came out. Matt and Jeff brawled as the show went off the air. This was a fittingly wacky final segment in the ridiculous marvelous build to the Matt and Jeff Full Metal Mayhem match.
This show, and the build to Slammiversary in general, fell into the “what” not “why” trap of building to big shows. This show did a pretty good job of telling you what you’ll be seeing on Sundays supershow but not why. EC3 and Mike Bennett are two sides of the same coin. Bennett is basically what EC3 was two years ago – and now they’re two people competing for the same air. That’s why they naturally dislike each other and the fact that Bennett was the first and only person to pin EC3 only compounded that. Maria and Gail Kim are a similar story. One is an entertainer who feels getting her own hands dirty and actually wrestling is a last resort. The other is a wrestler who stands for tradition and respect and in many ways represents the legacy of the Knockouts division in general. Lashley and Galloway is the timeless case of the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. Two heavyweight goliaths running at each other until something finally gives – either by tap out or knockout. Matt and Jeff Hardy are battling with some weird mystical powers or something. Even Grado and Shera are fighting for their very right to call themselves wrestlers. Those are all solid stories and really good reasons to want to watch a match but none of those stories were driven home on this show in a way that would make you desperate to see any of those matches. This was a solid enjoyable show that nailed down the what of Slammiversary but didn’t even scratch the surface of the why.