Last night was the first episode of TNA Impact Wrestling under the new regime of Jeff Jarrett, Dutch Mantell and Scott D’Amore. They promoted the episode on Twitter, posting:
— IMPACT WRESTLING (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 9, 2017
Not celebrate the last three years, though, as both Mantell and Bruce Prichard buried former TNA owner Dixie Carter’s regime during in-ring promos on the show. Considering how far TNA fell in 2016, though – with the promotion coming very close to closing multiple times – it’s probably a good thing to sweep that under the ring apron, now the company appears to be under far more stable management in 2017.
This didn’t go down too well with a few of the wrestlers backstage, though – the exact ones who wrestled for the company in those buried ‘tough’ years.
PWInsider are reporting that a number of Impact stars were upset about the frequent knocking of the ‘old’ TNA, feeling like it insulted members of the current roster too. “Eli Drake became upset and confronted Jeff Jarrett about it and the two had a discussion” but “it was never described to me as getting ugly.”
In the main event, as we already know from last week’s TV taping live reports, the debuting Alberto El Patron beat Bobby Lashley to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. The finish was disputed, with multiple ref bumps, leading Impact to tweet:
Wait, there seems to be some controversy over the win. Do we have a new Champ? More to come… pic.twitter.com/5utpucYs3s
— IMPACT WRESTLING (@IMPACTWRESTLING) March 10, 2017
And the company also confirmed their next big pay-per-view, Slammiversary 2017, will take place live on July 2nd. Impact have come a long way since last year’s Slammiversary, where then Chief Financial Officer Dean Broadhead posted on his personal Facebook page how he had to secure “interim financing” with just 12 hours to spare for the “production trucks to roll” on the show.
But how did last night’s Impact get around the fact their tag team champions are no longer with the promotion?
Matt and Jeff Hardy failed to resign with Impact Wrestling last Monday when negotiations broke down, and have since shown up in Ring of Honor.
The Broken one himself was curious, tweeting before the episode:
— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 9, 2017
This isn’t quite what happened. Instead, Impact showed an already filmed segment of Jeff Hardy boxing with a kangaroo – because wrestling – and when they were meant to teleport to their next match, the evil Decay somehow hacked into the signal and stole the tag team title belts, writing the Hardys off TV.
Broken Matt pointed out the obvious logic hole in that angle:
What is this CHICANERY?
— #BROKEN Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 10, 2017
TMZ have since caught up with Hardy, where they asked him about a possible WWE return:
“When you are dealing with Broken Matt Hardy and the Brother Nero, and the Broken Hardys, anything is possible…I have spoken with people from Meekmahan’s show, [that’s what he calls Vince McMahon] I have spoken with people from New Japan Wrestling, I have spoken with people in Mexico…Meekmahan, you are on Vanguard One’s radar. We are watching you very, very closely, I have Vanguard One monitoring you 24/7. Meekmahan, if you ever try anything shady on my broken brilliance, I would be the first man to delete you!”