Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Thursday, September 15
Impact Zone
Soundstage 20, Universal Studios
Orlando, FL

Broken Matt Hardy began the show attempting the heal Jeff in the Lake of Reincarnation in preparation of The Great War with Decay at Bound For Glory. Jeff was resurrected as the Anti-Christ of Professional Wrestling, his 2010 heel character. Matt was not satisfied with this result so he dunked Jeff in the lake again. You know, 2010 Jeff Hardy once put Mr Anderson on the shelf for two months with a concussion as a result of a sloppy chair shot so clearly he is at least an effective fighter in that form. On the second dip, Jeff emerged as “the nefarious Brother Nero.” Matt spent the show reassembling with family. He tracked down and revived Vanguard 1 (which featured an utterly delightful montage of Vanguard 1’s landscaping memories with Senor Benjamin). Vanguard 1 then helped track down Senor Benjamin who was kidnapped by Decay and held hostage in the same barn where Willow attacked Spud and EC3 two years ago.

Jeremy Borash was in the ring questioning Bobby Lashley about how he destroyed EC3 last week. Lashley gloated about how much of a badass he is before Grado came out. Lashley was not even remotely amused by Grado’s tremendous put down of JB. Grado stood up to Lashley, so Lashley utterly destroyed him. After disposing of Grado, Lashley declared himself unbeatable only to be confronted by Moose. After a prolonged stare down, they came to blows. Moose dropped Lashley with a clothesline before Lashley bailed. Moose said he and Lashley would fight later in the show. Moose vs. Lashley feels like a big match and they’ve done a great job of building it up and teasing it over the last couple of months.

Impact Grand Championship – Quarter Final
Aron Rex def. Trevor Lee by Pinfall

Aron Rex won Round 1 on a split decision after a back and forth round. Rex picked up the win with a Discuss Forearm with 1:05 remaining of Round 2. These two didn’t do as good a job with the rules as the two matches did last week. Rex could have done with a more traditional debut match before this. *1/2

Maria was in the ring with Allie demanding that Gail Kim’s Hall of Fame Induction be moved forward. Maria took a moment to deride Allie first. They should take a second to properly explain why Allie hasn’t rebelled against Maria yet. Something as simple as a you should never meet your heroes deal would suffice. After Gail Kim joined her, Maria showed a highlight package of her attacking Kim. Allie got Gail a present because she thinks Gail Kim is the best female wrestler ever, but Maria destroyed Allie gift in a fit of rage. Dixie Carter put an end to Maria’s nonsense by stating that Kim’s Hall of Fame induction will occur at Bound For Glory, while also putting Kim into a number one contenders Gauntlet match later in the show.

Empty Arena No Turnbuckles Metal Exposed Match
Braxton Sutter def. Rockstar Spud

This is the third empty arena match in TNA history. Kurt Angle vs. Sting was the first. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Generation Me was the second. You can read an excellent history of empty arena matches by the wonderful Rich Kraetsch here. This was to follow up on Spud curb stomping Sutter onto an exposed turnbuckle last week. No fans were present. All the turnbuckle pads were removed. Sutter threw Spud into a pile of chairs and whipped him with a belt. Sutter bounced Spud off the turnbuckles a number of times and scored the win as Spud was coughing up blood. Basically a one sided ass whooping but they did a great job selling the intensity of the fight. **1/4 

The now fully babyface Broken Hardys were in the ring. Pretty much for the first time since The Final Deletion both Hardys are playing for cheers opposite Decay. The Hardys and Decay will face off at Bound For Glory on October 2nd in The Great War. Matt promised to win the tag team titles and leave Decay broken. Decay disagreed. A mild skirmish broke out before Matt, Jeff and Reby ran off Decay with a trio of Twist of Fates. I’m not entirely certain what The Great War will consist of but I’m fairly sure that it will resemble an actual wrestling match more than Delete or Decay did.

Number One Contenders Gauntlet
Gail Kim def. Laurel Vanness, Jade, Sienna, Marti Bell, Raquel, and Madison Rayne

Vanness is the former Chelsea Green of Tough Enough and Daniel Bryan’s physical therapist fame (she also had a very enjoyable match vs. Jade on Xpolsion earlier this year). Vanness and Jade started proceedings. Sienna was next followed by Gail Kim and then Marti Bell. Raquel was the first wrestler to bring a touch of energy to the match. Otherwise there was a lot of nonchalant brawling. Madison Rayne rounded things out. Everybody hit their move before Vanness eliminated Rayne with a shoulder block. Jade was eliminated by Bell in spite of exiting the ring between the bottom and middle ropes.

Vanness eliminated a Bell. Sienna dumped Raquel straight to the floor. Kim eliminated Vanness leaving it to come down to Kim and Sienna. Kim beat Sienna with Eat Defeat to earn a shot at Maria at Bound For Glory. They’ve been building to Kim vs. Maria since like March so it’s about time they actually do the match. Not a remarkable match in any way. *1/4

Impact Grand Championship – Quarter Final
Eddie Edwards def. Mahabali Shera by Pinfall

Edwards totally dominated and won Round 1. Edwards injured his ribs in Round 1 which opened the door for Shera to turn the tide and take Round 2. As a result of losing Round 2, Edwards came flying out of the blocks in Round 3. Edwards submitted Shera with a half crab with 2:07 of Round 3 remaining. Graded on the scale of Mahabali Shera matches this was above average, on a regular scale though it was only okay. *1/2

Moose and Lashley fought for a little while before Bennett interrupted and attacked Moose. EC3, with his ribs taped, made the save and stood tall as the show went off the air. Josh Mathews went into hyperbole overload when EC3 arrived. The Moose/Lashley exchange was a fun tease of what’s to come when they wrestle.

Final Thoughts:

This was one of the more skippable episodes of Impact in recent memory. While it kept the main stories ticking over and locked a few in place, there was little on the show that was essential viewing in any regard.