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

Cody Rhodes started the show talking his World title main event vs. Eddie Edwards. Cody talked a little about when he told his dad when he wanted to be a wrestler and how he promised he’d be the best, and to be the best he had to beat Eddie Edwards. Edwards interrupted him, which prompted a portion of the crowd to boo him. It would have been a better choice to have Cody invite Eddie to the ring to present them less as direct adversaries. Cody and Eddie jibber jabbered for a while before Lashley came out. Lashley said it didn’t matter who won their match because he’d just beat them anyway. Moose followed leading to the opening match. There were strong performances across the board here.

Bobby Lashley def. Moose

These two basically worked a sprint with both guys just throwing bombs. That’s the perfect sort of match for these two. Moose hit an absolutely gigantic dive.

Moose hit Lashley with a Spear but Lashley kicked out. Lashley ducked the Game Breaker and followed with the Spear but Moose kicked out. Moose hit the Game Breaker for another near fall. Lashley finished off Moose with a middle rope Spear. Bar losing a little steam at the end this was exactly what you’d want out of these two working a this sort of match. ***1/4

Eli Drake hosted the latest edition of Fact of Life. They added forced applause and laughter to further satirise a talk show, which undermined the segment a little for me. The content itself was more than compelling enough without the silly sound effects. Aron Rex, who waxed lyrical about the Impact Grand Championship, was the guest. Rex is now doing a play on Mickie James’ 2013 disingenuous babyface heel act where he panders to the audience in a way that’s transparent and then his actions don’t match his words. Drake and Rex got along swimmingly before EC3 interrupted proceedings. He was all fired up and wanted to trash the Fact of Life set. A brawl broke out before Rex and Drake double teamed EC3. Godderz made the save. EC3 and Drake make for a fun little dynamic, Drake is a really good foil for EC3. And this is a nice programme for him to raise his game.

TNA World Tag Team Championships
The Hardys (Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero) © def. The Tribunal (Basile Baraka and Baron Dax)

In all the silliness and over the topness and the fun of the Broken Hardys act, you’d forget that Matt and Jeff are still a really great tag team. The Tribunal have been as bland as bland gets since their debut and The Hardys helped carry them to their best match in the company to date. Nothing special or anything but this was a fun little midcard tag team match. The Hardys won after hitting a pair of Twists of Fate. DCC, TNA’s latest anonymous heel trio, attack The Tribunal after the match, sending a message to Matt and Jeff. ***

Maria made her way to the ring with Allie and Laurel Van Ness. Maria complained about her loss of power in the Knockouts division before pivoting to blaming Allie for everything. Allie finally stood up to Maria and the crowd went nuts. Maria had Van Ness attack Allie before booking Allie vs. Van Ness for next week. Allie is one of the best characters TNA has introduced this year. The story is simple but extremely effective. Allie performances have been consistently tremendous, coming across as extremely likable within a heel group, and the crowd has thoroughly embraced her as an underdog.

Mike Bennett def. Mahabali Shera

Tyrus is now trying to “fix” Shera. After back to back losses to Cody and Moose, this was a simple rebuilding win for Bennett to try and reestablish him as a threat. Squash. *1/4

DJZ was interviewed by McKenzie Mitchell about the Team X-Gold concept. Basically a six man X-Division spin off without any titles. Spud was upset that he didn’t have a team in Team X-Gold. Spud promised to bring a team of his own next week. It was nice that some X-Division folks got to actually open their mouths for once.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Eddie Edwards © def. Cody (Rhodes)

They aired a really good hype video earlier in the show. They had an extended feeling out stage before Edwards picked up the pace with a dive. Cody hit the Beautiful Disaster followed by a springboard dive.

Cody hit a Muscle Buster (which Pope to his credit actually called) for a near fall. Cody hit a superplex but Edwards grabbed Cody in a small package for the win. Considering they may look to do a rematch in the future the finish makes sense, Cody got caught and there’s plenty of room for more between these two. This was lots of fun and it really feels like there’s an extra level there for them in the future if they come back to it. Maria attacked Brandi Rhodes at ringside to close the show. ***1/2

Final Thoughts:

It’s a real shame that so much of the talk that surrounds TNA at the moment is about their protracted financial and ownership woes because this was a damn fine wrestling show. Good wrestling, great characters and engaging stories – what more could you ask for?