February 23, 2017
Orlando, FL (Impact Zone)
Commentary: Josh Matthews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero
Recap by: Gerald Bocook of Wrestleview.com
We begin with an In Memoriam for George “The Animal” Steele, Chavo Guerrero, Ivan Koloff and Nicole Bass.
We are at the Hardy Compound, where Matt Hardy is feeding carrots to his giraffe, George Washington. He said he has been told that he needs to return to his roots at the demand of the Seven Deities and wants Washington’s help. He receives the advice of George Washington and is grateful. We cut to the Dome of Deletion and Matt tells Vanguard 1 that he is worried about his drinking. Jeff arrives and asks what’s going on. Matt says that he is going to be taken somewhere and will complete his transformation into the King of Gold, but asks Nero if he can house his abilities in Nero’s vessel. Nero agrees, and the transfer begins. Matt says he knows not where the Deities will send him, and Nero has a premoneetion that Matt will be sent to Egypt. Matt grabs Vanguard 1 and teleports away.
Tonight, we are all welcomed to the marriage of Laurel van Ness and Braxton Sutter, produced by the first lady of professional wrestling, Maria.
In the Impact Zone, Cody and Brandi Rhodes are heading to the ring. We see Moose and Mini-Moose taking on Crazzy Steve and Rosemary from last Impact. Cody says his experience here was cut short by Bobby Lashley. And he knows that Lashley is huffing and puffing and sweating him, but Cody isn’t here for Lashley. He’s here for Brandi Rhodes, who he hears is referred to in some circles as “Mini-Moose”. Cody invites the man who helped save Brandi from Decay to the ring, Moose.
Moose comes to the Impact Zone, and Cody cracks up as Brandi does the Moose-Choo arm pump, and he holds the ropes open for Moose. Dueling “Moose!”/”Brandi!” chants start. Cody thanks Moose on behalf of all the Rhodes and says he is one of them. Moose tells Cody that they have his number and if they ever need anything, Moose has their back. Cody pauses. He asks Brandi, “You, uh… you have his number?” Moose goes to say that Cody has it wrong, but Cody shuts him down. Cody says it’s Wrestling Business Relationship 101; they’re together on the show, the same place, and what’s next? They gonna sleep together? Moose says they’re just friends. Cody says that Moose is a slut. Brandi says that Cody’s gotta be joking. She knows that her husband wouldn’t come and embarrass her in public, at her new job. Cody stalls, waits, and says he’s joking. He says it was in bad taste. He kisses Brandi and shakes Moose’s hand– low blow!! Cody takes off his jacket and attacks Moose, punching and stomping at him! Brandi yells at Cody and Cody responds by pulling Moose up and delivering Crossrhodes! Brandi checks on Moose and Cody points the Bullet Club gun at Moose before yelling at him. He tells Brandi to get out of the ring, and they walk up the ramp as referees come down to check on Moose.
Gerald’s Thoughts: Wow, they pulled the trigger on that jealousy heel turn quick, didn’t they? Cody goes from a guy that loves and adores his wife and worships the ground she walks on to a jealous little baby that becomes possessive and abusive at the drop of a hat. Huh. Pretty crappy, man. I think they should’ve let that brew a bit longer than a week. Even a heel turn can have a catharsis, and this just literally went from Cody thanking Moose to Cody kicking Moose in the jewels. Just sudden, is all.
Moments ago, the Cody turn on Moose! In the back, interviewer asks him what happened back there. Cody yells to get away from his wife.
In the back, Drake is talking about Tyrus, how he dropped the ball. Tyrus says he’s never been a fan of Drake. Drake says he had to learn the hard way that if you don’t get right, you get left, and he’s gonna chop that dummy down. Tyrus says he’s gonna beat Drake like Drake owes him money, because he does.
Eli Drake makes his way to the ring as Tyrus is already inside. Eli cuts his music and has a mic. He wants to remind Tyrus that no matter how many times he shows up on Fox, he’s not the star of the show; Eli Drake is. He says that Tyrus has to think about is that right now, Eli’s gonna run Tyrus and that’s just a fact of life.
Eli Drake vs. Tyrus
Tie-up and Tyrus shoves Drake across the ring. Drake charges and is shoulder tackled down. Eli escapes the ring and grabs a mic. He says, let’s think about this a second. Here’s what we’re gonna do. Let’s re-think things. They’re businessmen. He says that Tyrus knows what the right thing to do is, and he pokes Tyrus in the chest. Tyrus looks at him like he’s stupid. Tyrus pokes Eli in the chest. Drake says he pays Tyrus to lay down and they can put this all behind them. Eli says fine, they’ll do it Tyrus’ way. Eli circles and punches the referee! Drake laughs about it and Tyrus grabs him by the throat, and Drake says he’ll give Tyrus a raise as the bell rings. Tyrus asks if Drake really thinks a raise’ll make it all better. He won’t shake Drake’s hand, but he’ll give Drake a hug. Drake leaps up and they embrace in the center of the ring.
Winner: No Contest?
Gerald’s Thoughts: I have no idea what’s been going on with Eli Drake and Tyrus, but this was handled weird. It took me a moment to realize what was going on, and that Tyrus wasn’t going to plant Drake like a tree on Arbor Day. Maybe they’ll stick together and run for the tag belts? I can’t really see Tyrus being the heavy for another World Championship contender. I’m also not sure what the official result for the match was, not that it matters. The look that Brian Hebner gave Drake when he was coming down to check on his dad was brutal, though.
In the back, Maria is getting ready for the wedding along with Sienna. Laurel wants to show off her new dress and Maria says she’s proud of Laurel for being so tall and beautiful. Just wait until she sees the rings. Maria asks where Allie is, because she’s going to be the ring bearer. Maria can’t wait.
In Cameron, we pick up where we left off; Matt teleporting to Egypt. Moments later, a golden boat appears. Nero says that his brother has been turned into a boat, but Matt suddenly appears, cloaked in gold. He says he has regain the knowledge of his first vessel from 7 A.D.. He says Skarsgård is now a golden ark. He will house every world Tag Team Championship they win until the Seven Deities proclaim them the greatest tag team in all of space and time. They are teleported off to their next destination.
Gerald’s Thoughts: So, Matt Hardy was Egyptian royalty in a past life, eh? Sure, why not. And Skarsgård is a badass gold boat now? I can work with that. Matt transferring his broken brilliance to Brother Nero (didn’t he reclaim the Jeff Hardy name after Apocalypto? Or did I hallucinate that?) made for some funny bits – Nero doing all the over-the-top mannerisms and voices, the pattern of speech, etc. – but shouldn’t Matt have lost all of that? Continuity, man.
In the Impact Zone, Jade stands in the ring and grabs a mic. She says that the war between Rosemary and her is far from over. She says she’s going to take the division back from Rosemary, and tells her to get her ass out here. Rosemary obliges, laughing in the ring. She says Jade is so valiant warrior of light, but she should be trying to save herself. The entire division is waiting for their opportunity, and she’s finished with Jade. Jade says she’s not finished with Rosemary. Jade says that after everything, they’re both still standing. Jade asks if Rosemary wants to get rid of Jade. Rosemary says yes. Jade challenges her to a Last Knockout Standing match. Rosemary says she’s got it. Jade says the Championship is coming home with her.
Gerald’s Thoughts: So, all the crazy matches that Jade has had against Rosemary and come up short, and she still wants to stake some claim to the Knockouts Championship? She’s ballsy, I’ll give her that. She’s just maybe taken one too many blows to the head (and is likely gonna take a lot more during the Last Knockout Standing match next week.) Still, the previous encounters were good and I have no reason to think that this upcoming one won’t be as well.
And later tonight, Laurel and Braxton. That’ll go off without a hitch.
In the back, Braxton is debating calling someone. Mike Bennett comes up and asks Braxton if he’s ready for the big day. Braxton says no. Bennett says that marriage is a process. Even if she doesn’t admit when she’s wrong or share. Braxton says this has to do with Allie. Mike says that Maria said she’d take care of Allie. Bennett says that when things get tough for him, he hits the sauce. It’ll probably work for Braxton, too.
In the Impact Zone, the DCC makes their way to the ring.
Bram (w/ Kingston) vs. Jessie Godderz
Bram yells at Godderz. Kingston up on the apron and Godderz knocks him down, Bram tries to take advantage, but Godderz gets him down.
Kingston grabs Godderz’ leg as he goes to springboard in and smashes him on the apron. Godderz is up and Bram elbows him in the back of the head, knocking him to the floor. Bram goes to work on Godderz on the outside, slamming him into the stairs before sliding him in and covering; one, two– kickout.
Godderz punches his way up, elbows to Bram, he hits the roeps and charges and Bram tosses him over, and Kingston attacks Jessie before tossing him back in. Bram covers; one, two– kickout.
Bram punches Godderz down repeatedly, kicking at his head, hits the ropes. Powerslam from Godderz, follows up with a back suplex. Bram charges Jessie but Jessie gets al elbow up, hops up on the middle rope, blockbuster! Jessie with a double leg takedown, he pulls Bram into the Adonislock! Bram tries to make it to the ropes but Jessie pulls him back to the middle of the ring! Kingston up on the apron and Jessie turns him over and slingshots Bram into Kingston! Godderz rolls Bram up; one, two, three!
Winner by pinfall: Jessie Godderz via victory roll
Jessie sidesteps and tosses Bram out, and then fends off Kingston with an enzuigiri before bailing out of the ring!
Gerald’s Thoughts: What happened to the DCC? They had promise. And then they unmasked, started coming out to country music, kept the masks, and it just all fell apart. They seem dead in the water right now, and it’s gotta be bad if they’re losing to “Mr. Pec-tacular” when they have the numbers advantage. And on that note, did Bro-Mans stop tagging together, too?
The Hardys arrive in a dressing room. They demand to know where their champions are. Two men, called the Mid-Atlantic Outlaws, challenge the Hardys to a #1 Contender’s match, but one of the men in the back convinces them otherwise, that the current Champions haven’t been defeated in twelve years. Matt says they will delete their tag team champions.
In the back, the girls are getting drunk when Allie shows up. Maria yells at her, and says that being here isn’t an option. Laurel taunts Allie. Allie says this is horrible and leaves. Laurel taunts her as she leaves.
She walks out and runs into Braxton. Allie asks him if this is what he really wants, and Braxton says she doesn’t understand, and that he has to.
Back in Mid-Atlantic, the Hardys run into the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions and incite a brawl. They agree to meet in the ring.
Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship Match
The Hardys vs. Mathis & Rage (c’s)
We get a truncated match and just the highlights of the Hardys beating these two fellas up and getting very little offense in. Matt Hardy makes a hot tag and cleans house, gets a near fall, Nero has one of the guys in a garbage trolly and rolls him down a flight of stairs! Nero returns to the ring and they double team the remaining member and after a combination of the Twist of Fate and the Swanton Bomb pick up the victory!
Winners and NEW Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions: The Hardys via pinfall (Finisher Combination)
They return to Cameron and add the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team to Skarsgård, and the once-dilapidated boat sets them aflame. Nero wonders if they’re any closer to becoming the greatest tag team in all of time and space.
Gerald’s Thoughts: The Broken Hardys found their way to some school gymnasium to wrestle two guys that hadn’t been defeated in twelve years yet looked to be in their mid-20’s, so, they must’ve been gigantic badasses to have been tag team champions since before puberty. I don’t know why we couldn’t have gotten the whole match instead of some weird music video thing, but, whatev’s. The Hardies are gonna go collect a bunch of belts and do a wacky thing. Just gonna roll with it.
Josh Barnett does a camera interview and says he hasn’t been impressed with Lashley.
Back in the Impact Zone, Bad Bones waits in the ring for his opponent. It’s Lashley! He walks to the ring and takes a seat at the commentary table, but not before shaking the hand of Bad Bones. Josh Barnett comes to the ring for his match.
Bad Bones vs. “The Warmaster” Josh Barnett
Barnett kicks at Bones’ legs, and then leads in with a punching flurry. Single-leg takedown to Bones, who makes it to the ropes. They focus on the commentary table so when we come back, Bones is in control, getting Barnett into the corner and chopping Barnett but Barnett with a striking flurry before a front facelock tosses Bones out of the ring! Bones back in and Barnett takes Barnett down, pressing the advantage and choking Barnett in the ropes. Bones looking for a suplex but Barnett blocks it, gutwrench suplex! Barnett with a kick and a knee, standing headscissors, JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB! Bad Bones looks out on his feet! Barnett with a northern lights suplex and floats over into a key lock, and Bones taps!
Winner by submission: Josh Barnett (Key Lock)
Barnett and Lashley stare each other down.
Gerald’s Thoughts: I know that some people are upset about Josh Barnett coming into Impact from the MMA world and getting a shot at the World Championship. I’m upset that anybody from outside Impact Wrestling is gonna come in and get a shot at the World Championship. Roster depth can’t possibly be so bad that Impact can’t build up a couple of solid contenders quickly, so I have to wonder what the heck is happening with this. Mike Bennett, Aron Rex, Moose, Cody Rhodes, Eli Drake, James Storm, are all guys that could use this opportunity more. Barnett’s performance was rough, which isn’t surprising since he hasn’t wrestled regularly in a couple years. And I have no problem with Josh Barnett. I just have a problem with regular members of the roster being passed over for someone that might not be at that next set of tapings.
Next, we’ll see DJZ challenge the X-Division Champion Trevor Lee, and later, the Wedding.
In the Impact Zone, DJZ is on his way to the ring challenging for the X-Division Championship. As Lee heads to the ring, they show what happened to Andrew Everett. As Helms and Lee talk outside the ring, DJZ charges and leaps over the ropes with a plancha and takes Lee out! DJZ smashes Lee into the guard rail and then rolls him into the ring!
X-Division Championship Match
DJZ vs. (c) Trevor Lee
Lee kicks DJZ off the apron and hits the apron, looking to kick DJZ but Z grabs the leg and slams Lee into the apron. Lee off the apron, DJZ on, and DJZ with a hurricanrana from the apron! Both men back in the ring, and DJZ on offense, bouncing back-and-forth and taking the fight to Lee! DJZ leapfrogs Lee and goes to springboard off the middle rope but Lee catches him and hits a sick German release suplex! Lee covers one, two– kickout!
Lee with elbows to DJZ, before starting to work on the ankle of DJZ, twisting it and snapping it as DJZ is grounded. DJZ tries to fight back, Lee lariats him down. Lee covers; one, two– kickout!
Lee picks DJZ up and DJZ punches away at Lee, Lee catches a kick but DJZ with an enzuigiri but Lee ducks it, DJZ on the mat and Lee with a deadlift German, but DJZ rolls him up instead; one, two– kickout!
DJZ with the springboard, reverse hurricanrana spikes Trevor Lee on the dome! DJZ looking to set up the ZDT, but Helms grabs the ankle of DJZ and serves as a distraction! DJZ goes for the ZDT anyway but Lee side-steps and rolls DJZ up with a handful of tights; one, two, three!
Winner and STILL X-Division Champion via pinfall: Trevor Lee (school boy)
DJZ attacks Helms from behind as he celebrates with Lee, but a high jumping knee connects with DJZ’ jaw and Helms tosses Lee a chair. He folds it around DJZ’ ankle and looks to shatter DJZ’ ankle when Andrew Everett makes the save! Everett with a dropkick from the ropes connects with both Lee and Helms! Everett with a shooting star press on Lee! The Impact Zone is going nuts for Everett! Helms and Lee are in full retreat!
Gerald’s Thoughts: The X-Division Championship match was pretty much what I expected, and it’s good to see a cowardly cheating heel get away with it. I liked the post-match attack from DJZ, and how quickly it turned around on him, and the save by Andrew Everett was solid, and the crowd loved it.
In the back, Maria asks Braxton is he’s ready, or if he’s having second toughts. Maria is here to remind Braxton why his is happening. Braxton says this needs to stop. Maria says it will stop as soon as Braxton marries Laurel. Does she make herself clear? Braxton says yes.
In the Impact Zone, the ropes are gone and the ring is decked out with a red carpet and a trellis. Braxton makes his way to the ring with Miracle, who is double-fisting the bubbly stuff (and isn’t handling the walk down the ramp too well.) Once in the ring, Bennett offers the justice of the peace a sip, but he refuses.
Rockstar Spud and Aron Rex are serving as the flower girl – well, Spud is, anyway. Rex is just enjoying fur coats and flower petals. I can’t.
Maria and Sienna are next down, walking to the ring in blue dresses and holding flowers. Miracle is shown again to be hitting the sauce.
Back in the Impact Zone, “Here Comes the Bride” plays as Laurel van Ness makes her way to the ring. Spud throws more flower petals, and sort-of helps Laurel up the stairs. Maria has a mic. She says she is Maria Kanellis-Bennett, and she is the first lady of professional wrestling. Tonight, she brings you the greatest wedding – except for hers – of all time. But first, she needs her ring bearer. Allie, come out to the ring, right now. Allie comes out in her blue dress, and Braxton is slack-jawed. Maria says it’s the ugliest dress she’s ever seen. It’s also the same exact dress that Maria and Sienna are wearing. Maria tells Allie to stand there and watch everything. Maria tells the Justice to being. Blah, blah, joining of two hearts. The crowd is chanting “We object!” Rex is crying crocodile tears. Maria admonishes the Justice for making this all about him and not about Laurel (and maybe Braxton, too, or whatever,) and not getting right to the “I Dos”.
Laurel goes to read her vows. The crowd is chanting “Just say ‘no’!” Laurel says some obnoxious things about being a spoiled rich brat. All that matters is that one of them has a lot of 0’s in their bank account, after all. Big “Delete!” chant. Braxton looks unmoved by Laurel’s vows. Braxton says he forgot his vows. When the justice asks if anyone objects, the crowd erupts into another “We object!” chant. Maria shuts the crowd down and says that her stupid assistant Allie must’ve forgotten to omit that part from the script. She tells Allie to deliver the rings and Sienna trips her, and Maria loses her mind yelling at Allie. The ceremony continues. Laurel takes Braxton to have and to hold, etc. When asked, Braxton stalls and Laurel urges him on. Braxton says he’s sorry, but he doesn’t. Allie smiles, Rex looks scandalized. Braxton says he can’t stand being around Laurel. Some guy out there will love being made miserable by her. But that’s just not him. Besides, he’s in love with someone else. Please let it be Aron Rex. Oh, nevermind. He says he’s in love with Allie.
Maria freaks out and asks if Braxton has lost his mind. Braxton says that Maria blackmailed him into this relationship with Laurel by threatening Allie’s job, and Braxton has had enough. Maria says someone put their big boy pants on today. Maria says there IS something she can do about it. She turns around and fires Allie. Allie grabs the mic and says she can’t fire Allie; she quits. They go nose-to-nose and Sienna grabs Allie, Maria is about to slap her and Braxton stops her, but Miracle grabs Braxton and catches an elbow! Braxton is on top of Miracle and Allie spears Maria to the ground! Sienna tries to grab Allie but Brooke is down to the ring to fend Sienna off! Robbie E is there to take care of Miracle! In the center of the ring, Braxton and Allie stand, and approach, and Braxton dips Allie and lays it on her! Brooke and Robbie E celebrate for them as Laurel hits the booze!
Gerald’s Overall Thoughts: You’d think by now, everybody in wrestling would think to themselves before wanting to have an in-ring wedding, “Hey, this kind of thing has only gone right once ever. Maybe I don’t want to do this.” But, no. Instead, we got all these vignettes throughout the night until, a painfully long time into the ceremony, Braxton Sutter finally put his big boy pants on and put an end to the charade. There were a lot of great parts about this ordeal, though. Mike Bennett getting sloshed before the ceremony even started, staggering to the ring with a bottle of booze in each hand and drinking throughout was great. Maria yelling at Allie for wearing an ugly dress, which was the same dress she was wearing, was pure Maria. The crowd was also great, and Maria played them expertly.
Hoo, boy. Been awhile since I’ve done one of these. TL;DR, I moved at the beginning of the year and the city I moved to has awful cable service. For instance, it took nearly two months to get my service set-up, and they didn’t even give me a DVR box! (which is why the write-up was so truncated compared to my usual.) And, buddy, did I pick quite a weird episode to return with. It was… meh. The wrestling we got was nothing to write home about. The Hardys stuff was wacky, but I have no idea where the payoff for this whole “greatest tag team in all of time and space” thing is gonna end – I just can’t piece together what the end goal actually means for me as a viewer, so it’s hard to get invested when we just see Matt and Nero beating job guys. The wedding was a pro wrestling wedding, so it was expected to be a mess. I just felt blah watching most of the show. A shrug of an episode.
Quick Match Results:
1) Eli Drake vs Tyrus was ruled a no contest.
2) Jessie Godderz def. Bram
3) The Broken Hardies def. Mathis and Rage to become Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions
4) Josh Barnett def. Bad Bones
5) Trevor Lee def. DJZ to retain X-Division Championship
– Rosemary defends the Knockouts Championship against Jade in a Last Knockout Standing Match
– Josh Barnett challenges Lashley for the World Championship