(Note from John Canton: We’re going to try out Eric as our TNA Impact reviewer. He did a good job with his first effort and will be back next. After that, we’ll re-evaluate. Let him know how he did!)
Impact Wrestling was back once again in Bethlehem, PA from the Sands Casino Resort.
Backstage in a shot from earlier today, we saw Matt Hardy along with his wife Reby Sky arrive. As well as Ethan Carter III and Tyrus walk into the building.
A video package on EC3 and Matt’s feud.
Jeff Hardy came down to the ring. Jeff said he had a bad vibe tonight and needed to talk to Matt about it and he called him down to the ring. Matt Hardy came down to the ring. Matt said he understands why Jeff feels that way, as he is putting everything on the line tonight. Matt said he is going to bet it all tonight and gamble, but he knows he will win the World Title and end EC3’s undefeated streak. Matt said he would show the world who Matt Hardy is tonight. Matt said tonight he will make everyone proud. Jeff said he believes it and if he believes it the creatures will believe it. Jeff said by the end of the night everyone will be chanting “Hardy”. Tyrus came out to the stage. Tyrus said dreams become nightmares, as he walked down to the ring. Tyrus said EC3 would finish Matt tonight. Tyrus said he is here for Jeff’s mistake. Tyrus said it’s personal between him and Jeff as Jeff said he couldn’t read and that he was stupid. Tyrus said he wanted to face Jeff later tonight. Jeff said he was worried Tyrus couldn’t tell time so they should have the match right now.
Through Eric’s Eyes: I thought it was a good opening segment. It didn’t go on forever and it made its point. I liked how it helped build towards the main event as well as setup a match between Jeff and Tyrus.
Jeff Hardy vs Tyrus. Referee Brian Stiffler.
Matt Hardy was not ringside which the commentators noted. Jeff went to the top rope, but slipped and fell down. The commentators wondered if Jeff reinjured his leg. Tyrus then targeted Jeff’s leg. Tyrus pulled Jeff groin first into the ring post. Tyrus got a steel chair but Stiffler went to stop him. Tyrus shoved down Stiffler.
Winner: Jeff Hardy by DQ
After the match, Tyrus went after Jeff, but Jeff avoided the ICU spike and hit a Twist of Fate on Tyrus.
Through Eric’s Eyes: It was a decent match which did its job to setup Jeff’s injured leg and that Tyrus was trying to take Jeff out. I liked it.
Josh and Pope ringside talked about Feast or Fired match returning next week.
Video Package: Feast or Fired Match over the years.
Graphic showing who was in the Feast of Fired Match next week: Rockstar Spud, Robbie E, Aiden O’Shea, Eli Drake, Jessie Godderz, Bram, Chris Melendez, Grado, Drew Galloway, Eric Young, James Storm, & Bobby Roode.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Feast of Fired is always an interesting match. The match in 2016 is happening about the same time in happened in 2015. I’m excited for the match.
Backstage, the TNA Tag Team Champions, The Wolves, spoke to the camera. Davey Richards mentioned teams they have beaten over the past two years. He said that Beer Money was the only team left they haven’t faced. Crazzy Steve with new face paint entered the picture laughing. Davey told him that it was there time not his. Suddenly, Abyss laid out the Wolves from behind. Steve kept on laughing as the Wolves lay on the floor.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Surprising fun way to setup a feud between the Wolves & Abyss/Steve. I didn’t see this coming at all.
We saw The Dollhouse come down to the ring, followed by Gail Kim.
TNA Knockout Championship Match: Gail Kim© vs Awesome Kong w/Dollhouse. Referee Earl Hebner.
Jade, Marti Bell & Rebel of The Dollhouse sat in chairs ringside. When Gail Kim was tossed out of the ring and laid at their feet, they just yelled at her and didn’t attack her. Josh plugged a game show that airs on Pop TV. When Gail had Kong in a submission hold, Jade started to stand up from her chair. Kong motioned to her “No, No” and Jade sat back down. Gail went to the top rope, but Jade grabbed her leg. Gail hit a crossbody to the outside taking down Jade, Marti, & Rebel. Gail gave Kong a neckbreaker but Jade got on the apron distracting Earl who stopped counting after two. Marti & Rebel attempted to attack Gail, but Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky ran down to ringside and fought Marti & Rebel to the back. Gail hit Kong with Eat Defeat, but Gail saw Jade climbing to the top rope. Gail ran over and threw Jade off the top rope where she crashed down on top of Kong, which allowed Gail to pin her to win.
Winner: Gail Kim
Through Eric’s Eyes: It was a good match that I liked. I enjoyed the story with Kong controlling the Dollhouse. I liked the Beautiful People coming down and fighting Marti & Rebel to the back if it equals a match between the teams. The ending was well done – it was a creative and unique way to end the match.
We saw a graphic stating Beer Money was next.
Beer Money came down to the ring and they were in their ring gear. Josh said to call your friends and let them know you are watching Beer Money on Pop. Referee Brian Hebner was already standing in the ring. James Storm said the last time Beer Money wrestled on Impact was 5 years ago. James said tonight it’s going down. Bobby Roode called out Eric Young & Bram. Instead of them, Eli Drake’s music and video played. Eli & Jessie Godderz in their ring gear came out to the stage. Eli said it’s not 2006 and Beer Money’s time has come and gone. Eli said it’s 2016 which is Eli’s time, which will go on forever. Eli said Beer Money should be renamed “Midlife Crisis.” Jessie said he will not only defeat Beer Money, he will break them. James quoted “Rowdy” Roddy Piper about chewing bubblegum amd kicking ass. James finished his beer and said it’s time to whoop ass. The four started brawling ringside and led into the ring.
Beer Money vs Jessie Godderz & Eli Drake. Referee Brian Hebner.
Josh plugged the game show on Pop for a second time. Josh explained that Beer Money’s finisher is called DWI, which stood for “Driving While Investing”. Beer Money won after the DWI on Jessie.
Through Eric’s Eyes: It was a decent match. I enjoyed the segment that led up to the match. The match was here to showcase Beer Money reunited and it did its job.
Backstage, we saw Matt Hardy as well as Ethan Carter III warming up.
We saw a video from earlier in the night of Brian Stiffler helping a limping Jeff Hardy to the back.
Backstage, we saw Matt Hardy and wife Reby Hardy walking. Reby told Matt he had to do it now. Matt & Reby entered Jeff’s locker room. Jeff was icing his leg, which was red and swollen. Matt & Reby told Jeff he needs to think about his family and go to the hospital. Jeff said he would go to the hospital. Jeff wished Matt luck. Jeff walked away, as Matt stared at Reby.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Interesting development with Reby again leading Matt and telling him what to do. Why did Reby have Matt send Jeff away?
We saw a video package of Kurt Angle facing Drew Galloway last week.
Kurt Angle in street clothes came down to the ring. Kurt said he has been wrestling for 20 years and his match last week with Drew Galloway was a phenomenal 5 star match. Kurt said he wants more matches like that in his farewell tour. Kurt said it would be difficult to pick who he faces next. Lashley came down to the ring in a suit. Lashley talked about meeting Kurt 14 years ago which brought him into wrestling. Lashley said he takes his hat off for Kurt doing that for him. (Lashley was wearing a baseball hat and didn’t take it off).
Lashley quoted Ric Flair by saying to be the man you’ve got to beat the man. Lashley said he always wanted to face Kurt Angle and he got to do that last year. Lashley said it was the greatest moment of his career, but also the worst moment of his career. Lashley said he lost to Kurt, and he lost his championship to Kurt. Lashley said he’s never been the same since that night. Lashley said every single day he rewatches that match and it’s driving him crazy. Lashley said he needed Kurt to give him another match against him. Kurt said he didn’t know if he could still beat Lashley, but he never backs down from someone. Kurt said if Lashley wanted to face the greatest wrestler in history, he’s got it. They stared at each other. Lashley’s facial expression changed to an angry one. Lashley told Kurt he was going to beat his ass. Lashley left the ring, but kept staring at Kurt the entire time.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Wow what an awesome segment! I loved it. It was an awesome way to build to their next match. It also showed that Lashley has anger in him over losing to Kurt Angle last time. I loved the segment and loved how Lashley left without taking his eyes off Kurt. Only negative would be Lashley saying he takes his hat off for Kurt when he didn’t take his hat off his head. Haha.
Backstage, we saw Mike Bennett warming up with Maria.
During the break, Lashley was interviewed by the cameraman backstage. Lashley said he hated losing. Suddenly a woman walked up to Lashley & circled around him. It was Raquel (Tough Enough’s Gabi). Raquel spoke in another language, then told Lashley that he should watch her, and “Your pain is my pleasure”. Raquel walked away, as Lashley watched her leave.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Interesting segment. What does Raquel have in store for Lashley?
Mike Bennett w/ Maria vs Pepper Parks. Referee Earl Hebner.
Maria wore a dress and did an introduction for Mike on the stage before he came out. Pepper didn’t get an entrance or an in ring introduction. Josh mentioned if you watch TNA’s One Night Only PPVs you knew who Pepper was. Josh mentioned Mike already made his TNA debut two weeks ago on a TNA One Night Only PPV, but tonight he makes his Impact in ring debut. Josh plugged the game show on Pop for a third time tonight. Josh also plugged Impact’s YouTube channel. Mike punched Pepper in the face and said it’s over. Mike won with Divine Intervention (a Samoan Driver).
Winner: Mike Bennett
After the match, Bennett was joined in the ring by Maria. Mike said everyone just saw a real life miracle. Mike said he is building a Kingdom of Miracles. Mike said everyone will yell “Yes we do”.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Decent match to showcase Bennett. It was shorter than his match on the TNA One Night Only PPV, but his post match promo was exactly the same as on the PPV.
Backstage, Ethan Carter III spoke the camera. EC3 said tonight Matt Hardy’s career ends and Matt asked for it. EC3 said Matt can’t beat him. EC3 said Matt has his family which is Reby and his son. EC3 said he had a family of his own. The camera zoomed out to show Tyrus sitting behind EC3. EC3 said his family is his World Championship. Tyrus stared at EC3. EC3 said the World Title was the most important thing to him. The camera zoomed out even further to show EC3 and Tyrus were sitting inside an ambulance. EC3 said Matt would ride home in this tonight.
Through Eric’s Eyes: Good segment. I enjoyed the production style of it.
Christy Hemme was in the crowd and said the main event was next.
Last Man Standing Match for the TNA World Championship: Ethan Carter III© vs Matt Hardy. Referee Brian Hebner.
Reby Hardy was in the front row and Matt kissed her on his way down to the ring. EC3 was without Tyrus. As Jeremy Borash did the in ring introductions, Matt attacked EC3 to start the match. Josh said this was not going to be a wrestling match but a fight. Josh reminded the viewers Matt sent Jeff to the hospital to be checked out. Pope and Josh wondered where Tyrus was. EC3 set up tables at ringside.
Josh mentioned during the commercials, Matt struck EC3 with a ladder multiple times. Matt had set up another table inside the ring. EC3 placed Matt on the table and hit a splash off a ladder putting Matt through the table. Matt got to his feet at 9. We saw Reby nervously watching the match in the crowd. Matt gave EC3 a low blow which caused some fans to jeer. EC3 got to his feet at 8. Matt grabbed Hebner and shook him while he yelled at him. More fans jeered. Matt gave EC3 a Twist of Fate off the apron through a table ringside. EC3 got to his feet at 9. Matt put chairs into the ring. Matt placed a chair around EC3’s throat and hit the Twist of Fate. EC3 was bleeding from the mouth, but got up at 9 again. Pope & Josh noticed this was a different side of Matt. Matt went over to Reby who handed Matt a hammer out of her purse. Matt went to hit EC3 with the hammer, but EC3 hit Matt with a low blow, both fell down to the mat. Tyrus walked down to the ring. Tyrus stood over EC3, EC3 laughed and stared up at him. Tyrus picked up EC3 and slammed him down. Tyrus hugged Matt. Josh called Tyrus a SOB. Reby jumped over the guardrail & was clutching the World Title. Reby handed Matt the World Title and Matt struck EC3 with it. Josh said “There’s the Killshot!”. As Hebner counted to 10, Matt raised the World Title in the air in victory.
Winner & New TNA World Champion: Matt Hardy.
Post match, Reby entered the ring & raised Matt’s hand, as Tyrus stared at EC3. Josh said “We can’t end like this, we will hear from Matt Hardy next!”
The fans were jeering Matt and chanting “Hardy sucks.” Matt said tonight he beat the undefeatable EC3 for himself. Matt said he became World Champion for himself. Matt said the fans are nots & he will never listen to them every again. Matt said everyone wishes they were him. Matt said Reby’s voice is the only one that matters in his life. Matt said two weeks ago Reby whispered in his ear that he needed to stop giving and start taking. Matt said the era of “Big Money Matt” has begun. EC3 was still KO’d in the ring. Matt placed a chair under EC3’s head. Matt said “I won” and struck EC3 in the back of the head with a chair. Reby spat onto EC3’s head. Matt, Reby & Tyrus posed on the stage.
Through Eric’s Eyes: It was an awesome match that told an awesome story. I really enjoyed it. The past two weeks stories played up into this match. Great storytelling. I enjoyed the twist and turns of the match. I enjoyed how in the beginning of the show everyone was cheering for Matt, but by the end of the night everyone was jeering him. Awesome heel turn. I liked Matt’s post match promo, especially explaining what Reby said to him two weeks ago. My only negative would be, at Bound For Glory Tyrus won next in line for the World Title? So is he going to face Matt? Something to look forward to, I guess.
(End Of Show)
Should you watch the replay on PopTV.com?
Yes! I highly recommend it! It was a great episode of Impact. Much better than the past year’s episodes of Impact. Good storylines throughout the show. Everything was building and everything had a reason to be on the show. It was a fun entertaining show. I hope Impact stays this enjoyable in the coming weeks. In 2015, Impact started strong and as the year went on it fizzled out, so hopefully that is not the case again this year. If you were short on time I would skip Bennett/Pepper as well as the tag match. I would watch the segment that led up to the tag match. You have to go out of your way to watch all the Matt/EC3 segments throughout the show and the main event.