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TNA Impact Results, Review, & Video (July 21, 2016): Don’t talk about playoffs

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TNA Impact returned last night (July 21, 2016) from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida for their first show after their move back to Thursdays. Let’s get right to it.

Bobby Lashley is in the ring. He says he has a problem when someone comes into his company and sticks their nose in his business claiming he should currently be the X Division championship (after Moose and Mike Bennett caused the DQ last weeik. He says he'll beat Eddie Edwards tonight in the steel cage and win that title. But he wants to deal with Moose now.

Lashley gets the Miracle instead. Mike Bennett says he's sick and tired of TNA screwing him over and Lashley has something around his waste that belongs to him. He will win the Bound for Glory (BFG) Playoffs and then win the TNA title because of this man: Moose's music plays and he comes out. He slowly makes his way to the ring... but Eddie Edwards runs down and attacks him from behind.

The turns into a 2 on 2 brawl between Moose/Bennett and Lashley/Edwards. Refs eventually break it up and Dixie Carter appears on the Titantron. She tells Edwards and Lashley to go focus on their cage match later on because she assures there will be a winner. If Moose or Bennett gets involved, the Miracle is fired on the spot. Bennett has his BFG Playoff match against Jeff Hardy now and Moose is barred from ringside.

The Miracle is great because he’s a douche to everyone, which would be in character for such a cocky arse. He’s going to rub both heels and faces the wrong way. I’ve applauded TNA for making their stories a bit more interconnected than just focusing on the one on one match and they did that again here. It’s a reminder that after this match tonight, there’s plenty of things lurking for the champ.

On the other side of that same coin, that has a downside because it detracted just slightly from the importance of title match tonight. This title vs. title match should be a huge deal and perhaps with the title just hours away, that that should be the main focus and less focus on Bennett. Not that it was any real detriment. But it does feel like this title vs. title match has felt like a bit more of an afterthought than it should.


Jeff Hardy's music plays, but Broken Matt walks out instead, saying the broken mule doesn't deserve to compete in the series. However, because he is a kind man, he'll allow Brother Nero to appear.

They cut to the footage of Matt Hardy and Jeff in Cameron where Jeff broke his leg performing a bike jump. Matt challenges him to do it again and when Jeff goes for the jump he immediately falls off the bike. Matt laughs at him, telling him he knew he couldn't do it.

Back in the Impact Zone, Jeff limps out to his new music. It's a poor quality song all about him being obsolete. And it’s brilliant.

Mike Bennett defeats Jeff Hardy easily to advance in the BFG Playoff

So it sounds like Matt owning the Hardy name means he owns Jeff Hardy and is paid every time TNA uses Jeff or his image. I still like to think that TNA management was just like "Whatever you say, Matt" when Broken Matt went and informed TNA of all of these rules. They don’t want to deal with the lunatic more than they have to.

While we got another video this week, it didn’t feel like overkill like it did last week. They played the brief video of the bike jump, which is a big part of the prior story between the two. Matt had to relinquish the tag titles because of that injury and then next time Jeff was cleared to wrestle was when Matt was about to become Big Money Matt. While this video had some fun, crazy Matt Hardy, it fit the canon nicely.

Using a faux bike accident was a good way to get Mike Bennett an easy win over Jeff Hardy and then act like he actually earned it.


Matt Hardy then makes the Obsolete Mule leave the ring and show the world what a Hardy looks like for his BFG match.

Matt Hardy defeats James Storm to advance in the BFG Playoff

Backstage, Matt Hardy has Vanguard One brief him on his next opponent.

This match ended up being pretty fun. Matt’s broken offense has a lot of biting, but that fits his absolute craziness. There was a spot where James Storm used the ring steps to jump the guard rail to attack Hardy in the crowd. But honestly, the show stealer was Matt meeting up with his good friend Vanguard One alongside the Broken Mule. Even Jeff was impressed with VG1’s graphics.

James Storm feels a bit out of place in the current landscape of TNA. Last year, I would have said the same thing about Matt Hardy, but then in 2016 he’s completely reinvented himself and has become one of the reasons to watch TNA. Not that Storm needs to go to the extreme of Broken Matt, but maybe he can find something like Abyss did. Last year, Abyss and Matt Hardy were two guys that seemed super stale in TNA and now I’m big fans of what they are both doing.

Hopefully they’ll find something for him to freshen his character up because Beer Lovin’ Cowboy doesn’t connect with me like it did in 2011 when he was screwed by Bobby Roode.


EC3 comes out to the ring prior to his BFG Playoff match. He says he's often asked why he is there. He says it's the same reason everyone in the back is - to be the best. And to be the best, he needs to hold the World Heavyweight title. And he'll win the playoffs (he’d say "Playoffs?" Jim Mora style) to become champion.

Drew Galloway interrupts. He says that there's one thing that he and Carter won't agree on: Which is better. Drew hints implies Carter’s success is tied to his last night. He says that EC3 needed TNA as a last chance to succeed and to his credit he did. But TNA came to Drew Galloway because they needed him for them to grow.

Drew says they'll probably meet in the finals but maybe they should just fight now. EC3 is OK with that until Eli Drakes music plays. He rants about how there are two dummies in the ring. He tells Drew Galloway to beat it so he can have his match.

EC3 defeats Eli Drake to advance in the BFG Series.

This ended up being a really enjoyable match. While EC3, a top star in TNA, got the win, Eli Drake hung with him the entire time. The is the second match recently that Drake went up against someone who was above him on the card, looked like a champ, but came up just short. (In his match against Jeff Hardy about a month back, Jeff was going to win until Matt interfered.)

I continue to be impressed with Eli Drake weekly. His brief prematch promo was a strong one fitting of an extremely arrogant man like himself. Though I don’t know why he wouldn’t wait for Carter and Galloway to fight a bit before coming down for his match in order to face a weakened opponent.


All the Knockouts are in the ring for Maria Kanellis’ State of the Knockouts Address. Maria says anyone in the ring can air their grievances or ask any questions.

Jade wants to know why she hasn't gotten her one on one title match rematch yet. Gail says she still wants her match with Maria but Maria is coward who keeps ducking her. Sienna steps in and tells Gail that she shouldn't dare question Maria's integrity. Maria tells Gail that she's lost twice to Sienna so she should step back and let the other girls shine and stop being so selfish.

This angers Gail, who says if she can't have her match with Maria, then she wants a title shot no matter what it takes. Maria tells her that she needs to face everyone woman in the ring and win to get her shot. And whoever is the Knockout to defeat her will be rewarded handsomely. Jade says she's not being a part of that. When she tries to leave, Marti Bell steps in front and those two brawl to the outside.

As Gail is telling Maria again she'll do whatever it takes, Madison Rayne takes her out from behind and tells her it's not personal. It's just time they all look out for themselves.

Seeing all the Knockouts in the ring highlighted how thin that division really is. We’re talking SmackDown or Raw post-draft women’s roster thin. And that handcuffs the division when it comes to expanding storyline. Hell, of the seven women in the ring (that’s how small this division is now) more have been champion than haven’t. And two of those women have debuted this year.

That’s why they’re treading back to another Gail Kim fighting for the title story (that and the timing of the Hall of Fame induction). I’m a Gail Kim fan, but I’m not sure I really want to see that story again.

In fact, I feel Gail and Madison Rayne are in that boat with James Storm where they’ve been around so long in TNA that there aren’t many stories involving their characters as they are now that really excite me. Hopefully, Madison Rayne opting to look out for herself more is just the start of some changes in her character that will freshen her up to help her character and help the division.


Prior to Bram’s match with Drew Galloway, Rosemary asks him if he wants her help in it. He says he doesn’t know. They then make out.

Drew Galloway defeats Bram to advance in the BFG Playoffs.

These are two big, athletic guys and they had a strong match tonight. Much like how even in size they are, they were just as even in this match, going back and forth with a couple of close near falls. It ended up taking a Future Shock DDT from the top rope to net Galloway the win.

It was interesting that Rosemary opted not to interfere. Not that I’m complaining. This was a really fun match and I would hate for it to turn into some muddled finish. It’s just an interesting wrinkle in the story and despite this direction for the Decay that I am not a fan of, she’s still a very intriguing character.

In fact, if the Decay hadn’t just recently been established as a magneto trio different than much of what’s out there, I probably wouldn’t have such an issue with the story. But they’re too new and exciting to start throwing those cracks in them already and playing the high school drama story.


Bobby Lashley defeats Eddie Edwards in Six Sides of Steel to retain his TNA championship and win the X Division championship.

After that match, it looks like he’s going to help Eddie up as a sign of respect. Instead he shoves Edwards and sets up for a spear. Before he could deliver it, EC3 runs down and start brawling with Lashley. This leads to Matt Hardy, Drew Galloway, and Mike Bennett & Moose running down to brawl as well.

The match started when before Lashley could even get into the ring, Eddie Edwards vaulted the top rope and the two men fought on the outside. It was a wise gamble but ultimately not one that paid off for Eddie. He is a high flyer so it made sense to use those tools to try to get the advantage. Unfortunately, Lashley turned it around and used the outside to his advantage before taking the fight back into the cage.

This was a cage match where they couldn’t win by escaping the cage. It’s always a sigh of relief when that stipulation is removed. The escape the cage stip always requires a ton of suspended disbelief for all those times someone could leave the cage but opts not to.

While we all knew Lashley wouldn’t lose the title here, they told a good story and gave you a moment where you thought "Maybe...?" At one point, after surviving one Boston Knee Party, which is Edwards flying knee finish, Lashley ended up with the title belt looking to nail the challenger with it. Instead, Edwards delivers a second Knee Party, driving the title into the face of the champ but again only scoring a very near fall.

Despite losing, Edwards looks like a bigger deal hanging with the champ Lashley, who is booked as a dominator. Soon the ring filled with all the men who could soon be challenging Lashley for that belt. While a closing brawl is a wrestling cliche, it didn’t detract from the match that happened because that had already finished with a clean ending. And it serves as a reminder that TNA has plenty of places it can go from here with their top prize.

The last piece of all of this is Lashley is the X Division champion now and there’s not a huge glimmer of hope that anyone is going to be able to take it back any time soon. That will allow them to continue to build Lashley as a dominant heel who has his foot on the throat of the division and tell a broader story with the Destroyer.


Pros of the Show:

  • Main event match was fun and helped elevated Eddie Edwards
  • Eli Drake and EC3 was a really good match
  • As was Bram/Galloway!

Cons of the Show:

  • The characters of Gail Kim and James Storm feel stale and could use a refreshing


Overall, this was a fun wrestling show. I’ll admit I feel fatigued after 4 straight nights of wrestling, but that’s not the fault of this single wrestling show.

Grade: B

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