We start off with a look back at the first round of the Bound For Glory Playoffs last week, and this week is the semifinals, as Ethan Carter III takes on Matt Hardy, and Mike Bennett faces Drew Galloway!
Matt Hardy comes to the ring and says that he trusted his obsolete mule until he betrayed him, and he summons him to the ring right now. Brother Nero does the walk to the ring with Reby yellintg OBSOLETE at him the whole way down. Matt says he is everything Hardy, and Brother Nero is just there to earn money for him, and tonight he’ll advance to the finals by defeating the hated EC3, and Brother Nero’s only role here will be to make that happen. Nero tells him to call Senor Benjamin or Vanguard-1 instead, but Matt says he owns what is left of Brother Nero, and asks why he always denies him. Regardless of what Brother Nero thinks, he will win tonight.
Ethan Carter III comes out to confront Matt, who makes faces at him, but EC3 tells Brother Matt that he knew he’d come, and he makes faces back at him. He doesn’t care what Matt has planned, even if it’s Senor Benjamin coming in with an axe or Vanguard-1 air bombing him, he’s sending him back to the Hardy House Of Horrors. Matt starts to talk, but EC3 says his promo’s not OVAH! This is not Brother Nero standing next to them, it’s Jeff Hardy, and he’s cool with Jeff, but he will take him out if he gets involved in their match tonight. Matt says he will eat EC3’s cats, and EC3 says he better not touch Skunk and Clover, and demands a referee get down to the ring, and we go right into our opening match…
Bound For Glory Playoffs – Semifinals: Matt Hardy vs Ethan Carter III
EC3 gets the early advantage, but appears to tweak his knee coming off the second rope with a dropkick, and Matt is on him. Matt viciously works the leg over, but EC3 uses his good leg to elevate Matt over the top rope to the floor, then takes him out with a dive. Reby grabs EC3’s leg as he comes back into the ring to slow him down, and Matt catches him with a DDT for 2. EC3 blocks a Twist of Fate, hits a couple of clotheslines, and the Stinger Splash. Flapjack by EC3, but Matt bites EC3’s hand to block the 1% and hits the Side Effect for 2. Reby is at ringside yelling “DELETE! DELETE DELETE!” as Matt escapes a TK3 attempt and clips the knee. Matt pulls EC3 into the corner with the post between his legs, takes his boot off, and tries to bite his foot. EC3 scurries back into the ring, Matt goes after him, and EC3 catches him coming in and hits the TK3. Reby is on the apron, EC3 shoves the ref into her and knocks her off the apron, and Matt and EC3 take each other out with a double clothesline. Jeff throws Reby’s hammer into the ring, Matt goes for it, but EC3 steps on the hammer to stop him. Matt bites EC3’s leg and gets the hammer, the ref sees and takes it away, and EC3 nails Matt with his boot and hits the 1% for the win.
Winner: Ethan Carter III
Great match, not that you’d expect anything less from these two. EC3 is in the finals, Reby is still down on the floor, and we go to the locker room where Allie tells Madison Rayne that Maria will see her now. Maria says Madison really caught her eye last week, and thanks her for stepping up. Madison says she didn’t do it for her, she’s the Queen B of the Knockouts, and she’s been pushed aside by Maria so her beast of a champion and chipmunk assistant can be star players. She wants to know what Maria will do for her when she beats Gail Kim, but Maria says they’ll see IF she beats Gail Kim.
Brother Nero is hobbling through the parking lot when Matt comes up to him and says he ruined everything, and he must be punished. Nero asks him what could possibly be worse than deletion, and Matt smiles and says it’s a breaking point, because everything one loves eventually dies, then you learn to love something new.
We look back at last week when Madison Rayne laid Gail Kim out, then we go right into our next match…
Gail Kim vs Madison Rayne
Madison tries to shake Gail’s hand, but Gail’s not going for it, so they start trading shots instead, and Gail hits a side suplex for 2. Gail with a leaping clothesline in the corner, but Madison gets a slick sliding sunset flip (say that five times fast) for 2. Gail unloads with more kicks, but Madison gets a knee to the midsection and a boot to the face for 2. Gail with a back elbow, but Madison dodges a springboard crossbody and hits a leaping enziguiri for 2. Madison dodges yet another charge and Gail goes shoulder first into the ringpost. Madison drags Gail back in and covers for 2, then hits a sliding clothesline, but misses a running boot to the head, and Gail rolls Madison up for 2. Madison takes Gail right back down with a clothesline, Gail lays her out, but comes off the second rope and Madison gets the boot up, then hits a sitout powerbomb for another 2. Madison goes for a short clothesline, but Gail counters to Eat DaFeet for the win.
Winner: Gail Kim
Good match, this is the best Madison has looked in a long time, and I liked how it was laid out so she dominated the entire match, it made her look as good as he credentials sound.
We go backstage where Mike Bennett introduces the newest, most dominant foce in wrestling, and the Miracle, the man who is here to save Impact Wrestling. He doesn’t know what Dixie Carter has against him, but he’s going to the finals after beating a man he’s already beaten in Drew Galloway, and he wants Bobby Lashley to keep that TNA World Title real warm because he’s coming for it, just like Moose is coming for Lashley. Moose doesn’t care who’s in his way, because they’ll get taken out by the Gangbreaker.
We go to the woods where Bram and Rosemary meet up, and he says she could have called him on the cell phone, but Rosemary hushes him and says this is the place of secrets where they began, and she wanted to look in his eyes, if she can find the courage, that she grew up on this farm. She was happy, innocent, and naive because the world was so far away, but she had a cat that one day got so sick, and she took her to her mother for tending. Mom said everything would be okay and the cat would recover, so she went out to the porch to study, but couldn’t concentrate because she loved Fifi the cat so much. She went for a walk as she often did while daydreaming, but she opened the garbage and…FIFI was inside. The beautiful and perfect world died in an instant, and she couldn’t believe what her mother did because it’s like she stripped her skinn off her body. She climbed a tree to think about it, but fell out and landed on the ground, and when she woke up, she was hearing voices. Actually, the tree she fell out of was talking to her, and she decided it’s her little brother. She told her brother tree (whose name is Montgomery, by the way) about the cat, and he told her the secrets of the forest. Bram says he’s a little bit confused because she’s talking about imaginary brothers, dead cats, and talking to trees, and he’s not sure what to make of it. She says she didn’t bring him out here to tell him about them, she brought him here to tell him about what happened…IN THERE. (she points at the barn)
Back to the arena for our next match…
Moose vs David Starr
Moose overwhelms Starr right off the bat, hammering him with shots, then sitting him on the top rope and dropkicking him to the floor. Moose dumps Starr back in the ring, Starr catches Moose with a couple of dropkicks when he tries to follor him in, but he tries a dive, gets caught, and Moose powerbombs him on the ring apron. Well, that was a bad idea. Moose brings them back in and hits the Gamebreaker, takes his time, and covers for the win.
Great debut for Moose. Bennett says we witnessed the debut of the baddest man in professional wrestling, but he’s interrupted by the World/X Division Champion Bobby Lashley, who comes down the ramp…and we go to commercial.
Okay, we’re back from commercial, and Lashley and Moose are face to face as Bennett is trying to calm everything down and asks Moose to back off a bit. Bennett asks if this is a matchup everyone wants to see right here and right now, then says it’s not going to happen right now because he has a Bound For Glory Playoff match, and he needs Moose to watch his back, so they’ll worry about Lashley later. Moose steps out of the ring and Bennett leads him to the back, and Lashley says one of these days, Moose’s mommy will let him come out and play, but until then he can keep wlaking away like a little bitch. Moose tries to come back, but Bennett backs him off again. Lashley says everyone wants what he has: the TNA World Title and X Division Title. He wants to win all the golds, and that’s how to dominate. If there’s a singles title out there, he wants it because he’s here to destroy the entire roster. DJ Z comes out to the ring and tells Lashley that he’s not out here to try and stop him, but he is out here to fight him. He’s been in the X Division for over 5 years, and Lashley’s the most dominant wrestler on the planet, but he’s not exactly an X Division wrestler, so he’s here to take the title from him. He’s the #1 contender, and he’s challenging Lashley right now. Lashley asks if everyone really think he can’t do what DJ Z does, but he knows DJ Z can’t do what he does, so he wants DJ Z to pick whatever match he wants, and he’ll whoop his ass right now. DJ Z thinks about it for a minute, then says he wants a ladder match for the X Division Title. Lashley says if that’s what he wants, then let’s do it. A stagehand brings a couple of ladders out, and a chain to hold the belt (that just happens to have been hung above the ring) drops down as we prepare for our next match…
Ladder/X Division Title Match: Bobby Lashley vs DJ Z
DJ Z goes right out to the floor to throw a ladder into the ring, but Lashley just dumps it right back out and starts throwing DJ Z around like he’s nothing. DJ Z dodges a charge and catches Lashley with a back elbow out of the corner, then throws another ladder in, and Lashley tosses it right back out. Lashley goes out after him, but DJ Z quickly slides back in and wipes Lashley out with a dive. DJ Z jumps off the announce table and takes Lashley out with another dive as we go to commercial.
We’re back, and Lashley is beating the piss out of DJ Z with a ladder on the floor, then puts the ladder on top of DJ Z and stands on it before stomping straight down onto DJ Z’s chest. Lashley tosses the ladder back into the ring, drills DJ Z with a big right hand, and menaces Pope for a minute before rolling DJ Z back inside. DJ Z baseball slides the ladder into Lashley’s chest, but it barely registers before Lashley see-saws the ladder up into DJ Z’s chest. Lashley is pissed now, and he comes in and flattens him with a series of hard forearms, then plants him into the mat with a Dominator. Lashley skee-balls DJ Z to the floor, then sets the ladder up and starts climbing. DJ Z knocks Lashley off the ladder and to the floor with a missile dropkick, but instead of going for the belt, DJ Z moves the ladder into the corner, climbs up, and takes Lashley out with another dive. DJ Z is back in the ring and starts climbing for the belt, but Lashley is up, goes under the ladder, and literally carries the ladder with DJ Z on it across the ring and dumps him on the top rope. Lashley then flattens DJ Z with a spinebuster, but DJ Z kicks Lashley in the ding ding and then hits a big leaping DDT, and Lashley’s down. DJ Z sets the ladder up and starts climbing again, but Lashley climbs up the opposite side of the ladder and they trade blows until Lashley picks DJ Z up and literally press slams him off the ladder, then casually reaches up and grabs the belt.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Excellent match, and definitely not what we’re used to seeing out of Lashley, but it came together really, really well. These guys have great chemistry, I had my doubts, but I want to see them go at it again.
Ethan Carter III finds Drew Galloway backstage and they have a nice heart to heart about how they may laugh about this one day, but as long as the World Title’s in the picture, they’re no longer friends. His primary concern is Mike Bennett and Moose, but EC3 says he’s here to say he’ll make sure Moose doesn’t get involved. Drew says he remembers the last few times EC3 tried to help, and doesn’t want to see him again until the finals.
We go back to Rosemary’s farm, and she’s never told anyone these things and she’s scared, but Bram says not to be. She says it doesn’t matter, and leads him toward the barn. We then see a flashback of Montgomery the Brother Tree telling her about some boy named Johnny who would show up and fall in love with her, but he never came, so she wrote him a love letter, and wrote it so hard that she started bleeding on the paper. She was so upset that she began casting every spell she could think of while telling herself that Johnny would be there tomorrow. He finally appeared and she told him she loved him, but he didn’t turn out to be the man he was supposed to be, because as soon as she let her guard down, he…she can’t tell him. Bram said it doesn’t matter whether she tells him or not, because he’s here for her right now. She’ll tell him, and will take him to the exact spot. She leads him into the barn as we watch with a sense of foreboding.
It’s time for Fact of Life with Eli Drake, who heard Bobby Lashley’s giant Ninja Turtle head say he’s beaten everyone here in TNA. If that’s what he heard, then he’s gonna talk to us, because he’s looking at the King of the Mountain Champion and the namer of dummies. Lashley’s looking to go around collecting titles like it’s Pokemon Go, but Eli Drake ain’t playing any games, and he likes the idea of Lashley putting his two titles against one, and he likes the idea of holding all three of those titles at the same time because nobody’s ever done it before, and nobody has the tingle in their loins to do it like he does. Drake is interrupted by James Storm and asks Drake what he said about hitting that button. Drake says he was calling for contenders, not a drunk. Storm doesn’t mind being a drunk because if he was sober, Drake wouldn’t like him because he’d be whipping his ass. He’s here to give credit where it’s due since they’re both on the outside looking in at the Playoffs. But Drake has that golden ticket, because the man who holds that title is the first in line for a World Title shot. Drake did his best to get disqualified last time they met, so he brought Drake another beer, but Drake takes out a gallon of water and says he drinks the nectar of life. Storm takes his water and punts it to the floor, then says water sucks just like Eli does. Storm says Drake is a hell of an athlete and he has everything it takes to be a World Champion, but he’d prefer to sit behind a button. Lashley doesn’t sit behind a button, and he doesn’t look like he works for Thunder From Down Under with his sleeves cut off like Drake does. Storm wants one more chance, and Drake thinks it over for a moment, then says Storm doesn’t deserve another chance, and he doesn’t deserve to be the King of the Mountain Champion, but he deserves to take his beer and go to the back. Storm says that’s fine, because if his dad wants to make those potatoes, Storm’s dad has Drake’s mom out back pounding her potatoes. Drake hits the button a few times, then says he’ll make a deal with Storm: he doesn’t want to hear Storm’s song, see his beer, or watch him riding his cooler around, so if he promises to never have to do any of that again, he’ll give him one more shot. Storm downs both beers and says they got it, then they shake hands. Drake says he’d like to wish Storm luck because he’s going to need it. Drake tries to cheapshot Storm with the belt, but Storm sees it coming and goes after him. Drake hits Storm in the ding ding, then hits Blunt Force Trauma, hits the button a few more times, and tells Storm that if he wants a taste, he just got it.
Tyrus is backstage and asks if people are getting you down and causing you a problem, it’s no problem for him because he’s…THE FIXER, and he only accepts cash!
Grado and Mahabali Scherer are backstage, and Grado’s trying to get Tyrus to help out again, but they don’t have any money, so Tyrus hangs up. Mahabali is angry because everyone’s been taking his money, and now they can’t pay.
Wait, something’s going on backstage…Decay and the Bromans are going at it, and the title’s on the line in Monster’s Ball after this commercial break!
Monster’s Ball/World Tag Team Title Match: Decay vs The Bromans
We join the match in progress, and Decay is beating the crap out of the Bromans with Singapore canes, then Abyss sets up a barbed wire board in the corner as Crazzzzzzzzzzzzy Stteve dumps a bag full of thumbtacks on the mat. Jessie finally takes out both of Decay with a sudden fireup, and Robbie starts working Steve over with a trash can while Jessie hammers Abyss with a chair. Jessie chokes Steve with a cookie tin, then dropkicks a chair into Abyss’ face as Robbie gives Steve Hertz Donut onto a chair. Abyss takes both Bromans out with a double clothesline, but then they both spear him into the barbed wire board, then give Steve a BroDown into the tacks. Jessie puts Steve in the Adonis Lock on the tacks, and Steve’s face is grinding into the tacks, but Abyss breaks it up and goes for a chokeslam. Jessie fights out and goes to the top rope, but Abyss knocks him off and he goes through a table at ringside. Abyss goes under the ring and gets Janice, and I bet he’s going to take a wild sing and bury it in the top turnbuckle. Raquel suddenly runs into the ring and low blows Abyss, then Robbie gets ahold of Janice, goes after Steve with it, but Steve moves and Abyss chokeslams Robbie onto the barbed wire board. Steve scurries in to make a cover, and the champs retain.
Great brawl, and now that sicko Steve is on the mat licking the thumbtacks.
Drew Galloway and Mike Bennett are backstage, and they’re…WALKING! They face off in the main event after this commercial break!
It’s main event time!
Bound For Glory Playoffs – Semifinals: Mike Bennett vs Drew Galloway
Moose runs out from the back and nails Drew from behind during his entrance, then powerbombs him on the ring apron. Bennett rolls Drew into the ring and tells the ref to ring the bell to start the match, and quickly goes for a series of quick pin attempts, but Drew keeps kicking out, so Bennett starts unloading with right hands and a pair of big boots to the skull. Bennett with another cover for 2, then unloads on Drew in the corner, and Drew starts trying to fight back, but Bennett with another boot to the face for 2. Bennett with a running clothesline in the corner, but Drew grabs a waistlock and launches Bennett across the ring with an overhead release suplex. Drew hits a charging forearm in the corner and goes to the top, but takes too long and Bennett catches him with an Ace Crusher on the way down, and Bennett covers for 2. Bennett dumps Galloway to the floor and pulls the ring apron off the side of the ring, but Drew nails Bennett and gives Bennett a catapult into the underside of the ring. I have NEVER seen that before! Bennett obviously didn’t see it coming either, but Drew’s still happy to capitalize by rolling Bennett into the ring and covering for 2. They trade right hands, Drew gets the advantage, and Drew hits an inverted Alabama Slam (Ayr Slam?), then does a double underhook swing. Bennett escapes a Future Shock attempt and goes for a big right hand, but Drew ducks and Bennett knocks the ref out instead. Drew hits the Future Shock, but no ref to make the count. Moose runs in, hits a clothesline on Drew, and plants Drew in the middle of the ring with a Sky High, then shakes Bennett awake on his way out of the ring. Bennett crawls over and makes a cover, but Galloway gets the shoulder up at 2. Moose is back on the ring apron, but EC3 comes out and drags Moose to the floor. Moose goes for a spear, but EC3 moves and Moose hits the steps. EC3 goes in the ring and grabs a Singapore cane out of Bennett’s hand before he is able to use it, and he takes a swing a Bennett, but…you guessed it, Bennett ducks and he hits Drew instead. EC3 can’t believe he screwed up again, but he doesn’t have time to think asbout it before Moose drags him to the floor and lays him out with the Gamebreaker. Meanwhile in the ring, Bennett hits the MIP on Galloway and covers him for the win.
Winner: Mike Bennett
They told a great story with that match, and I liked the ending too. This entire episode was great from both a in-ring and storytelling perspectives!