Alternative Impact Recap (Matt Hardy vs. EC3)

Jan 22, 2016 - by Steve Gerweck


by Matt Storm

On a night with two championship matches, a career on the line, and a Beer Money in-ring reunion this edition of Impact Wrestling promises to be one to remember.

Earlier in the day: We’re shown the arrivals of Matt Hardy (family in tow) and TNA World Champion Ethan Carter III (along with Tyrus) arriving to the building as Josh Matthews emphasizes what both are in store for in their Last Man Standing match in tonight’s main event.

Inside the arena, we kick things off though with Jeff Hardy making his way to the ring, on the receiving end of a rousing ovation.

Jeff takes the mic and discusses how last week, Matt made EC3 an offer he obviously was unable to refuse..But there is something about that match that just doesn’t sit right with him; he’s got a bad feeling weighing on his mind. So he calls out Matt to discuss it with him. Matt obliges and is greeted with a mixed reaction. Jeff tells Matt that the two of them made their living taking risks and became famous because of a ladder. He iterates that something about tonight feels too risky and how he has a bad feeling about it.

Matt states that he completely understands Jeff’s reservations but this is of utmost importance to him. Lately he’s felt as if he’s let everyone down: The fans, Jeff, and his family. That changes by the end of the show; while his career as he speaks is at a crossroad, tonight is the perfect one to go all in. While he respects Jeff for voicing his opinion, every fiber of his being tells him this is the night he ends EC3’s title reign and undefeated streak. Jeff warns him of EC3’s vicious tactics but he insists he has it all in the bag, both physically and mentally. After thanking Jeff for the life-long support, he vows to make everybody proud.

This assuages Jeff’s concerns and the brothers seem to be back on the same page. Suddenly EC3’s theme hits but instead of the champ, out walks Tyrus with bad intentions. EC3’s muscle says it’s so sweet how the brothers Hardy mentioned dreams.They should remember that one wrong idea and one wrong move instantly turns a dream into a nightmare. Matt Hardy made his mistakes and EC3 will take care of him later. But right now, his business is with Jeff. He hasn’t forgotten how last week Jeff implied he was stupid and illiterate. Nobody does that to Tyrus so later in the show, he’s calling him out for retribution.

Not the least bit in the mood for waiting, Jeff responds they could go to war right now. A referee runs down and our opening contest starts right now!

1. Jeff Hardy vs. Tyrus

It’s noted on commentary that Matt Hardy has returned to the back leaving this a true one on one match.

Jeff executes a go behind waistlock and quickly converts it into a side headlock. Tyrus pushes him off and catches him coming off the ropes with a shoulder block. Tyrus rams Jeff’s head into the top turnbuckle then lays into him with body shots. Jeff fires back with shots to the midsection, Tyrus using his power to shove him back into the corner. Tyrus runs into a back elbow. Jeff leaps up top for a Whisper In The Wind but slips and crashes to the canvas. Pope&Josh discuss how the surgically repaired leg gave out on Jeff causing the crash and burn. Tyrus ties up the leg in the ropes and tries to bend it in half. Tyrus drops repeated elbows onto the bad leg, grinding into it after each one.

Tyrus drags Hardy to the corner and crotches him into the ring post. Not satisfied with that brutal offense, he grabs a chair from ringside. Before he can use it, the referee yanks it away and receives a hard shove for his efforts; this draws the obvious DQ.

Winner: Jeff Hardy via DQ

Post-Match: Tyrus pulls Jeff to his feet and measures him for the Asiatic Spike but Jeff boots him in the midsection for a counter. Jeff follows with a Twist of Fate into a stunner and that’s good enough to put the big man down for an escape.

Analysis: The segment setting up the match was pretty good, I liked what we saw from all involved. Matt was very good at conveying how important to him not only the title is to him but redemption as well. Tyrus still doesn’t do much for me in-ring wise but he was good on the mic and is a solid monster heel. As for the match, it was more of an angle driven affair but one that was effective in adding a layer to the aforementioned main event. I thought they also blended in Jeff;s previous injury and surgery into the match really well.

As Jeff is helped to the back, we cut to Josh and Pope as they transition into announcing the return of Feast or Fired next week.

After a brief video package to remind viewers of the stakes of the match (wrestlers competing for four briefcases containing either a World, Tag, and X-Division title shot or a pink slip), a graphic is shown announcing the participants: Rockstar Spud, Robbie E, Aiden O’Shea, Eli Drake, Jesse Godderz, Drew Galloway, Grado, Chris Melendez, Bram, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and James Storm.

Backstage: The Wolves are present to discuss the reunion of Beer Money. Eddie Edwards goes over their own history in TNA since they arrived two and a half years ago: numerous Tag Team Championships and victories over some of the finest tag teams to walk through TNA’s door. Duos like Team 3D, The Dirty Heels, among others. Davey Richards adds that maybe it’s time they try and add Beer Money to their conquests. Suddenly Crazzy Steve wanders in and starts cackling like a loon. As The Wolves look at him dumbfounded, an unseen giant ambushes them causing a massive camera shake. Through the fuzz we see The Wolves down and out on the ground.

2. TNA Knockouts Championship Match

Gail Kim (c) vs. Awesome Kong (w/The Dollhouse)

Jade,Marti Belle, and Rebel each take a seat as the action gets underway.

Kong arrogantly bumps up on Kim twice in an effort to impose her will early on. Kim doesn’t back down though and shoves Kong back. Kong sends her flying with a violent shove in return. Kong puts Kim into the corner and lays into her with chops then lands a forearm smash to the side of the head. She sends Kim across the ring and follows in with an avalanche. As Kim stumbles out the corner, Kong applies a sleeper hold and swings her around like a rag doll. Kong sits on Kim’ s back to further weaken it before sending her into the corner. Kong sends Kim back into the corner but Kim manages to get onto the apron to avoid a second avalanche. Kong decks Kim off the apron and she lands at the feet of The Dollhouse who doesn’t hesitate to taunt her. Once she returns to the ring, Kim rocks Kong with two forearm smashes to the jaw. Kong absorbs them and takes Kim down with one forearm.

Kong stands on Kim’s throat, breaking at the count of four. Kong delivers a hard chop but misses a splash coming off the ropes. Kim does a La’,Magistral into a modified Rings of Saturn; Kong attempts to roll out of it but her shoulders are leveraged to the mat for a nearfall. Kong recovers to deliver a hard clothesline and returns Kim to the corner right after. Kong chokes Kim and backs up, measuring her for another avalanche. Kim catches her with a boot to the face then a back elbow. Kim hits a Tornado DDT from the middle rope, her first big offensive move of the match.

Rather than make a cover, Kim heads up top when Jade springs out of her seat to pull her down to the floor. Kim immediately blasts her with a forearm smash. Rebel tries a sneak attack but receives a boot to the midsection and her head smashed into Marti’s for her efforts. Kim wipes out the Dolls with a crossbody off the top rope. Back in the ring, Kim nails Kong with more forearms. Kong goes for a clothesline, Kim ducks and connects with a neckbreaker for a nearfall.

Jade is on the apron forcing the referee’s attention onto her; this allows Rebel to grab Kim on the other side of the ring. Before any damage can be done, The Beautiful People arrive to save the day.Velvet and Madison batter Rebel and Marti to the back. In the ring, Jade holds Kim for a Kong spinning backfist; Kim moves but Kong is able to stop from hitting Jade instead. Kim plants a boot to the midsection and takes Kong out with Eat Defeat. Jade is up top but Kim is there to press slam her right onto Kong. Kim executes a Jackknife Cradle for the pinfall.

Winner:Gail Kim to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship

Analysis: Good match, much better than some of the ones they had in 2015. Kong may be limited these days but there’s no wasted motion with her. She can still deliver the goods when it counts. Kim is always great when up against someone she has chemistry with; Kong fits that bill perfectly. There was some obligatory extra curricular activity but at least it made sense for the BP’s to come to Kim’s rescue. Still unexplained is why Kim was absent from doing the same for them last week,,

We see a recap of the Jeff Hardy vs. Tyrus opener and the issues Jeff had with his surgically repaired leg. Josh speculates on what it could all mean as far as his involvement in tonight’s main event is concerned.

Beer Money’s music hits and out comes Bobby Roode and James Storm to a strong ovation.

Once in the ring, Storm waste little time getting the talking started. He says it’s been five long years since Beer Money competed in a ring together. Is everyone ready because that will no longer be the case! It’s going down TONIGHT. Roode further polls the crowd to gauge enthusiasm for it and each time, it is an overwhelmingly positive response. He says people want to see them kick some ass and it just so happens they’ve selected Eric Young and Bram as the recipients. So boys, get your asses down here and let’s fight. The crowd loudly chants “Beer Money” as the pair pace awaiting their challenge to be answered.

And answered it is,only it’s by Eli Drake and Jesse Godderz. Drake points out the obvious; they’re clearly not who Beer Money are looking for. Bram and EY are probably in the beck checking their calendars like the rest of the world. It’s no longer 2006, it’s 2016. And 2016 and beyond is the era of E..Li.. Drake. Beer Money’s time has come and gone so when he looks at them, he thinks only of them as Midlife Crisis.

Godderz drops his robe and flexes as he speaks. He declares they’ll not only defeat Beer Money but he personally sees himself breaking them. Storm paraphrases the late Roddy Piper “Bubblegum” quote from They Live and tells the cocky punks that he’s going to finish the beer in his hand and then they’re getting an ass kicking.

Beer Money takes to the floor and a brawl is on. On one side, Roode sends Drake into the security wall while on the other Godderz bounces Storm’s head off it. Storm smashes a beer bottle over Godderz head as Roode stomps away at Drake. A referee runs down and this leads to..

3. Beer Money (James Storm&Robert Roode) vs.Eli Drake& Jesse Godderz

Storm and Godderz wind up in the ring, Storm taking control with a swinging neckbreaker. Godderz reverses a whip allowing Drake to trip up Storm and pull him onto the floor. Storm is sent into the ring steps then rolled back into the ring. Godderz punishes him with stomps before tagging in Drake. Drake with right hands, traps Storm in a front facelock and tags Godderz back in. With Storm being held wide open, Godderz delivers shots to the ribs. Godderz rakes his boot in the eyes.

Godderz follows with a pair of left hands and a short-arm clothesline. A second short-arm clothesline connects. Before delivering a third, Godderz pauses to kiss his bicep’; that moment of egotism costs him and allows Storm to block it. Storm lands a Russian Legsweep putting both men down on the mat, in need of a tag.

Roode and Drake are tagged at the same time. Roode unloads with two clotheslines, then sends Drake into the ropes for a high back bodydrop. Godderz is in and his attempt of a left hook is blocked, Roode landing one of his own. Roode hits several short distance knees to the midsection as he sends Drake into the ropes. Roode sends Godderz flying with an Exploder Suplex.

Drake catches Roode off guard with a knee to the midsection and rams his head into the top turnbuckle. Roode reverses a whip into the corner, sending Godderz right into a kick to the back of the head from Storm. Beer Money hit a modified Heart Attack on Drake just as he returns to his feet. Roode catches a kick attempt from Godderz, executes a back heel trip. Roode slingshots Godderz into a Storm DDT. Drake takes a double suplex. Beer Money take a moment to do their trademark pose/chant combination then hit the DWI on Godderz; Storm covers and gets the pinfall.

Winners:Beer Money

Analysis: Fun match with good action. Beer Money are the best act in TNA right now I believe. I was initially disappointed Storm didn’t stick around NXT but three weeks in and I am thrilled he wound up back together with Roode. It feels as if they had never stopped teaming. Drake&Godderz have a lot of promise as team I believe. They can talk and work well as two self-absorbed primadonnas who happen to get along with only each other. Clearly Young&Bram are next for Beer Money with the seeds planted earlier for a Tag Title showdown with The Wolves.

Backstage: Via split-screen we see Matt Hardy and EC3 from earlier, prepping for their big World Title match later on.

In present time, Matt and Reby are walking down a hallway, Reby telling Matt, “You’ve got to take care of this”. Their destination is the trainer’s room where Jeff is, ice applied to the leg Tyrus damaged at the top of the show. Matt is very insistent Jeff go to the hospital and have the leg looked at. He just got back and can’t afford to be sidelined so soon. Jeff protests, wanting to be there for his brother later. Reby invokes the family card, telling Jeff he has to think of his and get taken care of. Matt again assures him, he’s go matters at hands and Jeff relents. Jeff limps out of the room and the camera fades on Matt and Reby.

Analysis: This definitely furthers suspicion Matt has something up his sleeve.

Week 2 of Kurt Angle’s Farewell Tour:

Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring as we’re shown a video package of his win over handpicked opponent Drew Galloway in last week’s main event.

Angle soaks up the cheers and chants, smiling from ear to ear. He says every time he walks down that ramp, it feels like it’s the very first time. The reactions he receives make everything he’s put into professional wrestling worth it. Regarding last week, Drew Galloway took him to the maximum limit; he’s a really talented kid. Their main event match last week was a five star classic. That;s the type of match he wants to have for the duration of his Farewell Tour but the question remains: Who will be next? Picking someone will be of great difficulty..

Sirens blare throughout the arena indicating one wrestler doesn’t want to wait for that decision. It’s former TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley, looking quite dapper. Mic in hand, Lashley tells Angle he respects him more than anybody in the wrestling business.Many people are unaware of the influence he’s had on his career. 14 years ago, Angle found him at an Olympic Training Center looking to qualify. But Angle steered him into wrestling and the rest was history. On that day, Angle also told Lashley they’d meet ina match eventually.

It took some time and patience but they finally locked up last year. For Lashley, it was simultaneously the best time in his career and the worst. That night Angle defeated him for the TNA World Title and he hasn’t been the same since. He’s a different man from the one Kurt met 14 years ago and he’s been watching their first encounter repeatedly, pained by seeing himself raise Kurt’s hand in victory. There’s only one solution to his obsession; Angle has o grant him one more opportunity to face him.

Angle responds telling Lashley he’s the most dominant force he’s ever gone up against. He’s not even sure he can beat him again. And that’s is why he’s accepting the challenge; he’s an Olympic gold medalist and he backs down from no one. Get ready Lashley, it’s going to be real.. DAMN REAL.

Angle’s theme plays as the two staredown one another. The music dies down and Lashley, quietly but with dead seriousness, tells Angle he’s going to beat his ass. Lashley heads to the back to end the segment.

Analysis: Really strong segment. It was the best I’ve ever heard Lashley on the mic as he was completely genuine and passionate about what he was saying. A great piece of storytelling there, using their past both in and out of TNA to arrive at the return match. The one issue I took is a personal pet peeve of mine; I hate it when wrestlers invoke “Five Star Classic” into the conversation. I appreciate Angle putting Galloway over as he did but that phrase takes the viewer out of the moment. Wrestlers compete for wins and titles, not to earn five starts. It was a weird choice of words since Lashley outlined his own match with Kurt perfectly. He got over the fact the loss has been eating at him and he NEEDED the chance to set that straight. Overall, I am excited to see Round II between them.

Coming out of a commercial break, we’re shown footage of Lashley giving his reaction to getting Angle one more time. As he speaks, a mysterious woman approaches him. Looked to me it was the second week of newly arrived Raquel.

In the arena: Maria Kanellis is out to introduce everyone’s “miracle” Mike Bennett. Great entrance presentation.

4. “Miracle” Mike Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. Pepper Parks

Bennett takes an early advantage with a well executed armdrag. They lock up, Bennett powering Parks back into the corner. He offers a clean break but not without arrogantly patting Parks on the chest first. Parks gets fired up and lays into Bennett with rapid fire punches to the head. Bennett recovers and lands a superkick, then pounds on Parks with fists of his own.

Bennett fires Parks into the corner and follows in with an avalanche. Bennett comes off the top rope, managing to block Parks when he gets a boot up, only for Parks to catch him in the head with the other foot. Parka catches Bennett with a knee to the face and runs off the ropes right into a spinebuster. Bennett lands a roaring forearm smash, follows with Divine Intervention for the pinfall.

Post-Match: Bennett gets on the microphone and says what everyone just witnessed was a honest to goodness, real life miracle. Do they need one? It’s okay if so because Parks certainly needed one. He’s building a Kingdom of Miracles and throughout it, all will be shouting “Yes We Do”.

Analysis: Good showcase match for Bennett who is easily standing out among the roster. The way he’s carried himself in his first three weeks screams Future World Champion in my opinion. It’s crazy to think Ring of Honor failed to re-sign him but that has turned out to be TNA’a gain.

We cut to the back where the camera gets a closeup of EC3’s face. EC3 tells Matt Hardy what they’re about to endure isn’t something he wanted; Hardy volunteered for this war. That act contains nobility but in the end it is futile; Hardy CAN’T beat him. And there is honor io being a family man, Matt has a lovely family of his own. But the Champ, he has his family by his side too (camera reveals Tyrus). Matt Hardy won’t die? Neither will Ethan Carter III. The TNA World Title is his world and there are no depths he won’t go to in order to keep it. The camera pans out and we see they’re sitting in an ambulance. EC3 vows that Matt will be sent home in one for good. He finishes with the famous quote ” Behold the pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him”

5. Last Man Standing Match for the TNA World Title. If Matt Hardy loses, he must leave TNA

Ethan Carter III (c) vs. Matt Hardy

As Matt makes his entrance, he stops by ringside where Reby is and gets a pre-match good luck kiss. EC3 is solo with Josh stating it’s because he wants to retain the title without the help of Tyrus, which is how he regained it on January 5.

Big match introductions from Jeremy Borash. He always does a great job with them.

As JB intros EC3, Matt’s not waiting for a bell and he catches him off guard with fists of fury. Matt beats EC3 down in the corner and goes onto the floor. EC3 recovers, gives chase, and catches Hardy with a pair of chops. EC3 crotches Hardy on the security railing and knocks him to the floor with a body shot. Hardy is sent into the ring steps, returning to his feet at the count of four.

EC3 with a suplex onto the floor. As the ref administers his count, EC2 pulls a table from underneath the ring and props it up. Seeing Hardy back on his feet, he drills him with a clothesline. A second table is brought out and put right next to the other one. Hardy drills EC3 with a right hook then sends him into the ring post.

EC3 is placed on the tables and Hardy goes up top. EC3 rolls off them and knocks Hardy back down with a right hand. From the apron, EC3 goes from a suplex but it’s blocked. Hardy suplexes the Champ back into the ring, following with three straight leg drops off the ropes.

Following a commercial break, we see a ladder has been introduced into the match. Hardy rams it into EC3’s forehead. EC3 is sent into the ropes, Hardy catching him with a back elbow. Hardy hits a Side Effect then goes back onto the floor to pull out a third table. He slides it into the ring, setting both it and the ladder up to do some major damage. Hardy boots EC3 in the midsection but Twist of Fate is blocked. EC3 delivers a modified STO.

EC3 puts Hardy on the table and splashes him through it from the top of the ladder. Hardy struggles but is up on his feet to beat the 10 count. EC3 goes for a TKO, Hardy slips out to hit a Twist of Fate. As soon as EC3 is up at the count of six, Hardy kicks him low.

EC3 rolls onto the apron but there is no safety there; Hardy hits another Twist of Fate putting him through the pair of tables on the floor. EC3 barely gets to his feet at the count of 9 then immediately collapses. He rolls into the ring as Hardy is on the floor grabbing a chair. Hardy wraps the chair around EC3’s neck and hits a sick looking Twist of Fate. Blood pouring out of his mouth, EC3 is up at 9 and 7/8 to everyone’s surprise.

A visibly frustrated Hardy goes to the floor and over to Reby at ringside. She reaches into her diaper bg and produces a HAMMER. Hardy takes a swing with it but EC3 ducks and repays the low blow from earlier with one of his own. EC3 connects with the One Percenter. Tyrus makes his way out and into the ring. However rather than go after Hardy, he stands over EC3 who makes it up onto his knees. Out of nowhere Tyrus scoops up his boss and lays him out with The Big Ending.

Even more shocking, he strolls over to Hardy, back on his feet, and they embrace. EC3 is up at the count of nine and in an act of defiance, calls for his now former bodyguard to give him his best shot. Tyrus misses a charge in the corner. EC3 avoids hardy and unloads with fists on Tyrus. Hardy cracks EC3 with the title and that is good enough to keep him down for the win.

Winner: Matt Hardy to capture the TNA World Title


After a commercial break, we see the new TNA World Champion celebrating with Reby and new associate Tyrus. He takes the microphone and declares everything he just did, he did it for HIMSELF. He beat the unbeatable, he ended the streak, and won the TNA World Title for Matt Hardy. When he returned to TNA, it was with the best of intentions; he wanted to help in any way he could. Now? He doesn’t listen to anyone in the audience because they are like gnats, so beneath him that they don’t matter. He’s a self-made winner with a life jealous people only dream of. Who does matter is his lovely wife Reby; two weeks ago when she whispered in his ear, she told him it was time to stop giving and start taking. From now on, he’s only listening to her and she is who matters most for as long as he’s champion. As for Tyrus, clearly he had more to offer him than EC3. The big man made the right decision to join his side. This is now the Era of Big Money Matt.. The ICONIC Matt Hardy.

To cement this new era, Matt delivers one last fatal blow to EC3: A one man conchairto. The show fades to black as the treacherous trio celebrate at the top of the ramp.

Analysis: Great match with a great story. Everything made sense once you put all the pieces of the puzzle together, almost a rarity in any wrestling company in today’s era. I had some reservations about whether they’d be successful in getting EC3 cheered but it was pulled off. Half the crowd was cheering for him during the match and by the time the double turn was complete, Hardy was completely hated. Plus EC3 was just awesome in the final moments showing off strong fighting spirit despite the betrayal.

Most intriguing is that by his own words, he can’t even get a rematch as this was billed as the last match between them ever. It sets up the story of him fighting to get that revenge. Also in play is how Jeff Hardy will react to all this. I’m very interested in seeing how this all plays out.

Final Thoughts:

Another very solid edition of Impact. The main event was great. Bennett was showcased strong. Kim vs. Kong was good. Beer Money was a ton of fun as always and their match with Drake&Godderz was fun. The Angle-Lashley segment has me excited for their rematch. Well worth checking this out if you missed it.

Comments? Questions? I can be reached on Twitter (@RandomStormGuy) and

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