Last night’s TNA Impact was a “live” edition and featured Eddie Edwards defending the TNA Championship against an unknown opponent. TNA had already promised a 10 minute run over. A lot has also happened since the last show in the Impact Zone. Last night began the Anthem Era of TNA. Let’s see what TNA has in store for the first show of 2017.
TNA Impact Recap: The Anthem Era
A video package recapped the events of the last few shows with Eddie Edwards defending against Ethan Carter III and Lashley. Josh Mathews and The Pope welcomed us to the show and said the show was presented by Anthem. Pope said Anthem was going to make TNA great again.
Eddie Edwards made his way to the ring. He said he was excited to be live from Orlando, Florida and that he was honored to be the champion. Edwards said that 2017 was going to be the year of Impact wrestling. Edwards said he had a surprise tonight for the Wolves Nation. Lashley interrupted Edwards.
Lashley said no one wanted to hear what Edwards had to say. Lashley said the only surprise was that Edwards was still the champion. Lashley said 2017 is the “year of me” and that he would be handing out ass whippings 365 days this year. Lashley said he was tired of being screwed over and wanted a rematch tonight. Ethan Carter made his entrance and leaned in to the crowd to have them celebrate on him, but none obliged. Carter pointed out the Anthem logo on the apron. The announce team joked that EC3 tweeted out “Ethan Anthem III” earlier today. Carter made a bad joke about eating carbs that fell flat on the crowd.
Carter said it was one year ago today that he won the TNA Championship. The crowd started chanting “TNA” but Carter literally asked them to chant “EC3” instead. Carter said he wanted a rematch tonight. Lashley said EC3 needed to stop putting his nose in his business. Edwards said he was the one holding the title and makes the decision and offered up a triple threat match tonight. Edwards reminded them that he still had a surprise for them tonight. The announce team hyped Moose for Mike Bennett for the Grand Championship.
Review – 6/10: Lashley seemed to ramble on for a little bit as if he forgot his lines. Carter was just not good at all. The triple threat is a good hook for the main event tonight. There was not a whole lot of reaction to Edwards “surprise” as I don’t think the crowd is expecting much to be honest.
Maria Kanellis Bennett introduced her husband The Miracle Mike Bennett. Moose made his entrance next. Moose over powered Bennett through the first minute of the first round, but Bennett was able to cut him off and take advantage. A minute later, there was a sloppy spot where it looked like Bennett was supposed to knee a running Moose, but both men kind of just stumbled around. Bennett put Moose in a sleeper as time expired in the first round. Bennett won the first round 29-28.
Bennett ran after Moose to start the second round but Moose caught him in a pump handle powerbomb then a pop up power bomb. Moose then did a running senton splash and a moonsault from the second rope. Bennett kicked out and caught Moose with a couple of super kicks and a cutter that got a good near fall. Pope said the pace was “like an X Division matchup” which could not be further from the truth. Bennett caught a couple of stiff shots to Moose. Moose was able to hit Bennett with the discuss punch but the time ran out on the second round before he could get the pin. The show went to commercial before the third round began. Back from the commercial, Jeremy Borash announced that Moose won the second round. The third round began with Bennett still selling the end of round two. Moose hit Go To Hell off the top rope that Bennett kicked out of. Moose went for a top rope moonsault but missed. Bennett picked up Moose and connected with a pile driver. Both men got to their feet and took turns delivering punches. Both Bennett and Moose were laid out as the clock ran out. When the bell rang, both men sold like they went through a 60-minute iron man match. Borash announced that Judge one scored the bout 10-9 in favor of Moose. Judge two scored the bout 10-9 in favor of Mike Bennet. Judge three scored the bout 10-9 in favor of Moose, to retain the Grand Championship.
In the back, Swoggle was looking at Vanguard 1 when the Hardy brothers showed up. Broken Matt Hardy thanked Swoggle for accepting his invitation to Total Nonstop Deletion but he had to ask if he was sent to infiltrate the compound by “your dastardly father McMahon?” Swoggle said it wasn’t real and that he wasn’t really his son, to which both Hardy brothers said “wonderful!” and walked off. Swoggle told Vanguard 1 that they are the only normal ones around here.
Rating – 5/10: The format for the Grand Championship just does nothing for me. The competitors work a 9 minute match with a break every three minutes and they act like they are completely worn out. Plus, the judges scoring is just lost on the fans who all know that wrestling is scripted. It adds zero intrigue. Maybe if the judges were known characters and it was possible for a heel to influence them somehow, maybe it would be a little more interesting. The Hardy line about Vince McMahon was hilarious.
Back in the Impact Zone, Rockstar Spud made his entrance. Spud said he wanted Swoggle out there because no one turns their back on him. Spud said that 2017 was his year and the streak starts now. Swoggle made his entrance and the videotron said he is the King of Small Style.
Swoggle pumped up the crowd while the 5’4” Spud made fun of his height. Spud turned into a spear from Swoggle followed up by a German suplex. Swoggle hit a Celtic Cross on Spud to pin him clean. After the match, Spud got on the microphone and said “no” over and over and said that he hates the crowd and everyone at home. Spud said he lost to a one-year-old boy and to a man that looks like a one-year-old boy. Spud said the company sucks and then proclaimed the he quits TNA. The crowd chanted “good bye.”
In the back, Bennett was fuming over is loss and caught up to Moose. Bennett challenged Moose to a one on one match, no judges, no rounds, anything goes tomorrow night on the pay per view. Moose said “all you had to do was ask” and walked off. Eli Drake held up cue cards saying he is next.
Rating – 5/10: Mild intrigue where the Spud storyline is going. Spud is a good talker and can go in the ring, so it could lead to something worth watching. The Bennett and Moose match for tomorrow makes sense. Hopefully this eventually leads to the Grand Championship becoming more of a traditional second title on the show.
Eli Drake was set up in the ring for the Facts of Life. The crowd was chanting “delete” while Drake stood there. Drake said he runs the show and he told Ethan Carter that he is not done with him, but tonight he had another concern. Drake said he had a question for his guests, the Broken Hardys. Reby played the piano on stage while the brothers made their entrance. The videotron was like the setup at the Hardy Compound with Matt’s mouth as the entrance. Matt said it was time to make TNA delightful again. Drake started to talk about Total Nonstop Deletion but the crowd cut him off with “delete” chants. Drake said it was almost successful, but they were missing one thing and that was Eli Drake. Matt told Drake he had an invite but said maybe he was scared like the Day of New or the Bucks of Youth. Matt asked if that was the case and Drake played it off as if he did not know what he said. Drake said he needed a personal invitation. Jeff asked if Drake needed to be in love. Ok. Jeff said the Hardy hospitality is eternal. Drake said between the two of them, they couldn’t get enough tingle in their balls to invited him because they knew he would turn it in to Total Nonstop “dummy yeah” as he pushed the button.
Matt asked how Drake could question his magic and said it is over 2,009 years old and that any one who questions his magic is committing blasphemy. Drake asked Matt to use his inside voice before he has to put him outside, and that he still doesn’t know what Matt just said. Drake said he did not have time for magic and wonder and asked Jeff if he had the time for it. Jeff said Drake could not comprehend their magic.
Drake challenged the Hardy Brothers to a title match tomorrow night against himself and a partner of his choosing. Matt accepted and said that tomorrow he would delete. The three of them went in order of saying “delete, obsolete, yeah.” Drake went for a sloppy looking punch and Hardy pushed him off and in to a corner.
Rating – 7/10: Normally Eli Drake is too much for me but he was very good here. I laughed every time he told the crowd to shut up and got a kick out of him not understand what Matt was saying when he was talking. One would assume tomorrow’s partner will be Aron Rex but maybe they will surprise us.
The Helms Dynasty made their entrance even though Shane Helms fought with Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett at Total Nonstop Deletion. A pre taped segment showed Shane telling Lee and Everett that he does not remember anything after going in to the Lake of Reincarnation. Lee said they are together because there is no “I in unity” which drew a look from Everett.
Decay made their entrance with different entrance music, which is a knock off of the Marilyn Manson theme they used. The four men squared off and all fought inside the ring. Abyss was knocked outside while the Dynasty took over on Crazzy Steve. A short time later, Abyss made a tag and cleared the ring. Helms go in the ring and attempted a chokeslam on Abyss but Abyss fought him off. Rosemary sprayed the green mist in Helms’ face, which knocked him outside. Abyss performed a top rope chokeslam on Everett for the pinfall.
As Decay stood in the ring, the DCC countdown clock went off and the arena went black for what felt like a full 30 seconds. When the lights came back, DCC was standing behind Decay. Rosemary told Decay to turn around, but they didn’t listen and DCC hit them over the head with beer bottles. DCC stood over Decay. In the back, Maria asked Allie if she thought she was a wrestler now because she won her match. Maria told Allie to get her boots and kneepads on because she had something for her in the ring.
Rating – 5/10: The tag match was forgettable. The attack after was nothing special either, but it is interesting that DCC would attack a heel team. Are they trying to turn Decay or are people supposed to cheer the guys who sneak attack people? Everett and Lee deserve better.
Maria stood in the ring with Sienna and Laurel Van Ness. Maria said she was excited for 2017 but had to take care of one little bug and called Allie out. Allie slowly made her way out. Maria challenged Allie to fight Sienna which Allie put on her best mean face and accepted.
Allie charged at Sienna to start the match, but Sienna quickly took over. Sienna went for a splash but Allie moved and took over with a couple of kicks and a running drop kick. Braxton Sutter ran down to cheer on Allie and the announce team put over that he had been training her. Outside of the ring, Laurel Van Ness kept getting closer and closer to Sutter. Allie noticed and got distracted, which let Sienna take advantage. A moment later, Allie avoided another splash in the corner and body slammed Sienna, which the announce team sold out for. Once again, Van Ness was hugging on Sutter again which stupidly distracted Allie once more. When Allie turned around, Sienna put her down with the Silencer for the victory. After the match, Sutter looked very disappointed.
Rating – 5/10: Allie was much better in the ring here than we’ve recently seen her. Her mic work and facials still need a lot of work, but I was pleasantly surprised by her in ring action here. She did come across as stupid by getting distracted three or four times by the same tactic on the outside, however.
Ethan Carter III, Lashley and Eddie Edwards made their entrances for the triple threat main event for the TNA Championship.
Lashley quickly took over and punished both men with shoulder tackles. Lashley went for a splash, but Carter moved. Edwards and Carter worked together to attempt a double suplex, but Lashley reversed it and suplexed both men. The action briefly spilled outside and made its way back in. Every time Lashley tried to get involved, Edwards and Carter would knock him out of the ring. Just as Edwards and Carter were squaring off, the show went to commercial.
Back from the break, Edwards locked in a couple of rest holds. Carter got up and set Edwards up for a German suplex, but Lashley got behind him and performed a double German, which threw Edwards across the ring. Lashley took over and worked over both men. Lashley ripped off the turnbuckle cover and tried to throw Edwards in to the exposed turnbuckle. Edwards avoided and drop kicked Lashley. Carter recovered and the two put Lashley down with a double suplex.
After some back and forth, the trio did the usual tower of doom spot with a power bomb and superplex combination. Lashley set up Carter for a spear, but Carter blocked it. Carter took control over both men and set up for the One Percenter. Edwards ran in to cut it off and received a back body drop. Carter hit the TK3 on Lashley for a near fall. Carter locked Edwards in a sleeper hold and Lashley speared both men, pushing in to the exposed turnbuckle. Lashley performed a spear outside of the ring on Carter. Edwards went after Lashley and got him back on the ring. Lashley was able to hit a spear, but Edwards rolled out of the ring. Lashley grabbed the World Championship and was about to hit Edwards with it when Davey Richards ran out and grabbed the title from Lashley. Lashley turned in to the Boston Knee Party, which got the victory for Edwards.
Rating – 6/10: Pretty standard triple threat match. It was good to see Richards back. Will be interesting to see if they stick Edwards and Richards together or if they’re setting the two of them up for a feud. It’s clear that after the pay per view tomorrow, Carter will go into a program with Eli Drake. Maybe Richards will end up costing Edwards the title. Plenty of things can happen in 2017 with TNA and the new direction they are going. It will be interesting to see.