Here are the results from yesterday’s (Thurs. February 23, 2017) episode of TNA Impact Wrestling (courtesy of Wrestling Inc.):
The words In Memoriam appear on a blank screen. The names of George “The Animal” Steele, Chavo Guerrero Sr., Ivan Koloff and Nicole Bass are then shown.
The show then opens with a video hyping tonight’s upcoming events. It starts with Matt Hardy at his compound. He is seeking guidance from his giraffe “George Washington”. Which he refers to as his great confidante. He then confers with Vanguard One. He tells VG1 about his conversation with “George Washington”. Matt tells Vanguard that George is worried about his drinking issues. As Matt proceeds to tell VG1 what the seven deities have told him about his next journey. Brother Nero arrives. Matt tells Nero that he is going to be transported and start to make the transformation from “Broken Matt Hardy” to the “King In Gold”. He warns Jeff that he may lose his abilities during this, and asks if he can house his abilities into Nero’s vessel. Matt than uses the 7 deities to give Nero his abilities. Matt asks his brother to keep his abilities safe, while he goes on an unknown odyssey. Nero starts feeling the effects of his brother’s transformation and has a “premoneetion”. He tells Matt that he is going to Egypt. Matt then grabs a hold of VG1 and disappears.
The next part of the open is a video invitation from Maria for tonight’s wedding between Braxton Sutter and Laurel Van Ness. Maria will be the host and she calls Braxton and Laurel’s partnership and love, an endless black hole that will never end.
We are now in The Impact Zone and Cody and Brandi Rhodes make their way to the ring. A highlight is shown from Moose and Brandi’s mixed tag team victory over Decay last week on Impact. On commentary, Josh Mathews makes mention of Cody’s new moniker “The American Nightmare” and his recent exploits in Japan. The opening five minutes of Impact are in the video below.
Cody takes the mic and talks about all the places he has been in the last year. He mentions AT&T Stadium, The Tokyo Dome and The Hammerstein Ballroom. Cody mentions how he is now back in Impact Wrestling. He talks about how his last stay in Impact was cut short by Bobby Lashley. Who attacked and laid him out backstage last year. Cody tells Lashley to not be nervous tonight because he isn’t here for him. He is instead here for his wife. Cody calls Brandi lovely and exquisite but also refers to her as now being known as “Mini Moose”. Brandi nervously does the moose chant symbol. Cody then tells Brandi, how proud he is of her. Brandi thanks Cody. She tells him that she has been spending all her time chasing after her husband and trying to be like him. Brandi calls coming to Impact Wrestling a dream come true for her. She says that a lot of people didn’t know that she has always wanted to wrestle. Brandi thanks Cody for inspiring her and she also thanks Moose for helping her beat The Decay last week. Something, she never thought that she’d be able to do. Brandi says that she is looking to improve. Cody responds by telling Brandi that he knows the pressure that comes with having his last name. Cody tells Brandi that she doesn’t need to improve because she is already perfect. Cody asks for Moose to come down to the ring to greet him and Brandi.
Moose enters the ring and Cody thanks him for helping Brandi. He says that his entire family thanks him and that Moose is one of them. Moose tells Cody that Brandi has his number and that if they ever need his help. He will be there. Cody takes exception to Brandi having Moose’s number. He says that it goes against the rules of wrestling relationships. Cody says that if Moose and Brandi wrestle and train together. That it means that they will end up sleeping together eventually. Moose tells Cody that he is taking this the wrong way. Moose mentions that Cody is working around the world and that Moose was here to help Brandi while Cody was away. Cody doesn’t accept Moose’s explanation and calls him a “perfidious slut”. Brandi tries to put a stop to Cody’s anger and asks him if he is joking. She is upset that Cody would be embarrassing her this way at her new job….. Cody pauses and gives a fake laugh and says that he is just joking. Cody says that his comments may have been in bad taste and then kisses his wife. He then goes to shake Moose’s hand and then gives him a low blow, and starts stomping on him. Brandi starts yelling at Cody to stop. He grabs Moose and hits the “Cross Rhodes”. Cody then does the bullet club signal. He then scolds Brandi, grabs her arm and makes her leave the ring with him.
Back from the break. Highlights are shown what just transpired between Cody and Moose. Cody is now shown in the back area with Brandi. He is grabbing her by the arm and she is being rushed out of the arena. The camera man tries to ask Cody about what he just did. Cody pushes the camera man away and demands that he get away from his wife.
A video package airs now with Tyrus and Eli Drake talking about the end of their business relationship. We now cut back to The Impact Zone and Tyrus is already in the ring awaiting Eli Drake. Drake grabs a mic on the stage. Drake tells Tyrus that despite being on Fox News. He is not the star that Eli Drake is. He calls Tyrus a dummy and says that he tried to ruin his Fact of Life show. Drake promises to ruin Tyrus.
Eli Drake Vs. Tyrus
Tyrus overpowers Drake early on in the match. Drake takes a powder to the outside and grabs a mic. He asks Tyrus to re-think things and talk business. Drake suggests that Tyrus do the right thing here. He asks him to take the fall for him. Tyrus suggests that Drake do it instead. Drake’s negotiation doesn’t work and he says that he will do things Tyrus’s way instead. Seconds later, Drake intentionally knocks out referee Earl Hebner. Tyrus grabs Drake by the throat. Eli still has the mic and offers to give Tyrus a raise. Tyrus takes the mic from him. He teases not shaking Drake’s hand but then ends up hugging Eli and accepting the raise. Tyrus and Drake then hug and pose together. Reforming their business relationship.
Eli Drake and Tyrus ends in a no contest?
Maria, Sienna and Laurel Van Ness are now shown backstage prepping for the wedding. Laurel reveals her special wedding dress that was shipped by her father. Sienna makes a comment about Laurel’s dress being “so white”. Maria tells Laurel that she is so proud of Laurel for being tall and beautiful. She then talks about the rings for the wedding and starts to question where the designated ring girl Allie is. Sienna promises to find her.
Back to The Hardy’s in Cameron, NC. Matt is transported back from Egypt in his “King In Gold” attire. Well first a gold boat appears and Nero assumes that Matt has been turned into it before Matt appears a second later. The boat is actually “Skarsguard” who made the journey to Egypt as well. Skarsguard is no longer a dilapidated boat but a golden arc. Matt says that his Egyptian name is Anunnaki and that he lived many years ago. Matt now knows everything that they need to do during the “expedition of gold”. That they must win all the tag team titles from around the world. Matt and Nero grab a hold of VG1 and chant “Procure” as they are transported to the next phase of their expedition of gold.
Back in The Impact Zone, The former Knockouts Champ Jade is in the ring. She calls out Rosemary and says that the red vs blue feud is not over yet. Rosemary tells Jade that instead of trying to save the Knockout division from the darkness. That she should just save herself. Jade grabs the mic away from Rosemary and tells her that she is not done with her yet. That she risked it all in their cage match against each other, and now she is prepared to risk it all again, in a last knockouts standing match. Rosemary accepts Jade’s challenge. She offers to give her one more dance with the demon.
After the break, The Miracle is backstage with Braxton Sutter. Braxton is drinking champagne from the bottle. Mike Bennett tries to give Sutter marriage advice. He tries to cheer him up, even though he brings up all the problems he has with Maria. Bennett then tries to cheer up Sutter by telling him to imagine Laurel Van Ness taking her wedding dress off. Sutter says he doesn’t care for that. He only cares about Allie. Bennett tells Sutter not to worry that Maria has something special planned for Allie.
Jessie Godderz Vs. Bram w/Eddie Kingston
Godderz has the early advantage in this one until Kingston gets involved and interferes in the match. Bram throws Godderz over the top rope and Eddie Kingston beats up on him and throws him back into the ring. Bram stays in control for the next few minutes. Godderz eventually battles back with a suplex. He then hits a blockbuster from the top rope. He follows that up with The Adonis Crab submission. Bram tries to escape but can’t. He is about to tap out when Eddie Kingston gets on the apron. Jessie sees this and slingshots Bram into Kingston. He then rolls up Bram and pins him.
Jessie Godderz defeats Bram by pinfall
After the match. Godderz is able to fight off the two DCC members and escape.
Now back to The Hardy’s. They have transported to a locker room in The Madison Civic Center. Matt calls it a decrepit erection. Jeff asks where the tag team champions of this promotion are. Jeff says that they are procure gold from The Mid-Atantic Tag Team champions. The wrestlers direct The Hardy’s to the other locker room. Two men wearing cowboy hats and blue jackets approach The Hardy’s. Matt asks them if they are the champions of “this territory”. The Mid Atlantic Outlaws, “Matt and Louis” say that they are not but that they are the #1 contenders for The Mid-Atlantic Tag Titles. While The Hardy’s argue with “Matt and Louis”. Another wrestler wearing a black flag shirt approaches them. He says that the champs “Mathis and Rage” have not been beaten in 12 years and suggests that The Hardy’s can be the team to finally do it. He implores the outlaws to let The Hardy’s try. The Outlaws agree to take a back seat for The Hardys’. They then all walk down the hallway doing the delete gesture.
When the show returns, Maria, Sienna and Laurel are sipping champagne in their dressing room. A dejected Allie finally shows up. Maria gives her a hard time about it. Allie tells Maria that she doesn’t want to be here. Laurel mocks Allie and says that she is sad because Sutter chose her instead. Allie goes to leave the room. Maria tells her to not be too far away. As Allie is leaving, Laurel reminds her to book the hotel suite for her and Sutter, where she plans to consummate the marriage…. Allie is then shown leaving in the hallway and bumps into Braxton Sutter. She asks him if he loves Laurel and if he really wants to do this. Braxton gets tongue tied. He tells Allie he is sorry and that he has to do this. Allie just walks away.
Back to The Hardy’s. They have been taken to “The Villains”. The Mid-Atlantic Tag Champs “Mathis and Rage”. The Hardy’s challenge is accepted as they stare each other down. An all out brawl takes place between all the wrestlers in the locker room.
Rage & Mathis are then shown preparing to make their way to the ring for their match with The Hardy’s. Rage asks Mathis what they are going to do about them. Mathis says that tonight “it’s a shoot”. The Hardy’s are then shown in their locker room. Jeff and Matt psyche each other up to procure the Mid-Atlantic tag team championships…. We then cut to The Madison Civic Center for their match.
Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship Match
The Broken Hardy’s Vs. Mathis & Rage (c)
Highlights are shown of the match. The Hardy’s get a great response from the crowd. They make their way to the ring with Vanguard One. No blurred refs this week. Marty Elias didn’t make the trip. Unlike last week, The Hardy’s opponents are shown getting in a lot more offense during this highlight package. Mathis actually hits a nice looking powerslam on Jeff Hardy. The highlights package includes the Hardy’s two decades of signature tandem spots. Jeff gets in trouble and double teamed towards the end of the highlights. He rallies and makes the hot tag to Matt. Matt comes in on fire and takes on both Mathis and Rage. He then gets out a chair and attacks the both of them on the outside. Jeff and Matt take complete control of the match. Jeff puts Rage in a dumpster and wheels him down a flight of stairs backstage. He returns to ringside and helps aid his brother Matt in finishing off Mathis. They hit the twist of fate/swanton combo and then Matt pins Mathis. The entire crowd and The Hardy’s celebrate and do the delete chant together.
The Hardy’s defeat Mathis & Rage to become The Mid Atlantic Tag Team Champions
While everyone is celebrating with The Hardy’s. Matt and Nero use VG1 to disappear and transport back to Cameron.
The Hardy’s put their newly won titles into The Golden Arc and a fireworks display follows.
A video package of Josh Barnett airs. He talks about his ring name being The Warmaster. Barnett talks about his background in Mixed Martial Arts and in wrestling. He was trained by Billy Robinson and has wrestled and fought in Japan. He’s also a former UFC champion. He talks about his catch wrestling style. Barnett says that he has a history with Bobby Lashley. He has been in his corner for his MMA fights in the past. Barnett states that he has been disappointed in how Lashley has carried himself as a champion. To be a real champ, Barnett states that Lashley is going to have to prove himself to him.
* Correction from earlier. I was under the assumption that Lashley would be facing Josh Barnett tonight. I was mistaken. That isn’t scheduled for this week.
‘The Warmaster’ Josh Barnett Vs. Bad Bones
Before this match starts. Bobby Lashley makes his way to the ring and joins the commentary team. I try to stay away from opinions during these recaps but Barnett is a better commentator than Mathews and The Pope, and does a great job with Jim Ross for AXS TV doing NJPW broadcasts. Maybe Anthem will have a place for him one day at the broadcast table.
MMA styled wrestling match here. Some early striking by both men. A lot of stiff action. Bad Bones actually makes a good showing for himself. During one exchange, He takes advantage of a ref break to launch himself at Barnett through the ropes. Bones has the advantage for a spell until Barnett catches him and hits a gut wrench suplex. Josh then hits a sick looking power bomb on Bad Bones. Where his head lands on the mat badly. Barnett then hits a northern lights suplex on a loop Bones and clamps on an armbar to make him tap out. Barnett looks directly at Lashley while he applies the submission.
Josh Barnett defeats Bad Bones by submission
X Division Championship Match
Trevor Lee (c) Vs. DJZ
DJ Z attacks Lee outside early on. Z is still selling the injury he suffered a few weeks back at the hands of Trevor Lee. These two have wrestled each other so many times on Impact in the last year or so. Each of their matches tend to look the same. So the selling of an injury by Z actually gives the match a different feel than their previous encounters. DJ has the momentum throughout the first part of this match until Trevor hits a german suplex on Z that has him land poorly on his ankle. Trevor takes control. Z rallies yet again with a flurry of offensive moves that he caps off with a nice looking reverse rana. As Z sets up to hit the ZDT, Shane Helms slows Z’s momentum by grabbing his foot. This enable Trevor Lee to counter and roll up Z with a handful of tights for the victory.
Trevor Lee defeats DJZ by pinfall to retain The X Division Championship
After the match. Lee and Helms try to use a steel chair to further injure DJZ. Former Helms Dynasty member Andrew Everett comes to the save. He knocks down Lee and Helms, and then hits a shooting star press on Trevor Lee.
Lashley vs Josh Barnett is hyped for next week’s Impact. Not this week’s.
Maria is backstage with Braxton Sutter. She reminds Sutter why he has to marry Laurel. She wants him to never have to think of Allie again.
“The Laurel & Braxton Wedding”
The ring is now gone in The Impact Zone. The entire arena has been decorated for this wedding. The groom Braxton Sutter makes his way to the altar with his “best man” Mike Bennett. The Miracle is downing two bottles of champagne on his way to the ramp.
The Flower girls Aron Rex and Spud make their entrance providing the flower pedals. They are followed by the bridesmaids in Maria Kanellis Bennett and Sienna.
Back from the break. The bride to be Laurel Van Ness makes her way to the altar. Maria takes the mic and calls this greatest wedding ever that isn’t hers. She then says that they can’t proceed until the ring bearer Allie shows up. Allie arrives with a bridesmaids dress on. Braxton sells the way Allie looks.
The ceremony begins and the fans are booing right through it. Maria wants the minister to rush and get to the “i do’s part. Laurel reads her vows to Braxton. She mentions her trust fund and clothing. She doesn’t care that Sutter isn’t rich because she is. She promises to buy Sutter a whole new wardrobe. Change him out of is “middle class clothes”. When it comes time for Sutter to read his vows. Braxton says that he forgot his and asks that they get this over with quickly. The minister asks if anyone here objects to this matrimony. Speak now of forever hold their peace. The crowd all objects. Maria takes the mic and says that they are skipping over this part. Maria then pushes Allie down to the ground and makes her hand over the rings. Laurel then says I do. Sutter hesitates and can’t say it. Laurel starts egging him on to say I do. The crowd chants just say no. Braxton tells Laurel that he is really sorry but “I don’t”. Braxton says that he doesn’t take Laurel to be his anything. That there is a guy out there that Laurel will make completely miserable one day. Sutter says that he can’t marry Laurel because he is love with someone else. Sutter then tells Allie that he loves her. Maria, Laurel and Sienna snap. Sutter reveals that Maria is the one who forced him to stop seeing Allie and to marry Laurel. That Allie would be fired if he didn’t go through with Maria’s wishes. Maria laughs at Sutter for manning up and then turns and fires Allie. Allie grabs the mic and says that Maria can’t fire her. Allie quits. Sienna grabs her from behind. Maria takes off her shoe to hit Allie. Braxton stops her and then knocks down Bennett who tries to intervene. Allie then spears Maria. Brooke comes out to help aid Allie. Robbie E comes out and goes after Mike Bennett. Laurel is laying on the ground sulking while this happens. Allie and Braxton them meet in the center of the ring and kiss. Laurel cries and drinks champage to drown her sorrows. As the show comes to an end.