This transitioned to a cartoon segment detailing the Decay/Manor Hardy feud.
Match 1: TNA X-Division Championship Trevor Lee versus "DJ Z" Zema Ion (c)
This was not announced ahead of time, but was a fitting matchup for the show. Trevor Lee was the most dominant longterm X Champion of the year, and with all of the Edwards/Bennett/Lashley shenanigans he hasn’t gotten the rematch he deserved until now. DJ Z is in his second reign, which has been long awaited. After winning the title, Z gave a great promo contrasting his current babyface reign versus his first cocky reign years before. Retaining tonight gave him a big win considering the roll that Lee was on.
For whatever reason neither Gregory Shane Helms nor Andrew Everett were present. I suppose that budget cuts can justify not flying heel wrestlers to the area, thus saving money and making cleaner finishes.
Winner: and still X Champion, DJ Z
Next up, Drew Galloway did an interview explaining how he wanted to wrestle tonight despite his injury, but he was not allowed to. Drew wanted to wrestle anyway. A strong babyface promo for the most part, despite Drew turning heel last month.
Match 2: Gauntlet for Gold II for a future title shot: 10-man over the top rope gauntlet match with entrants every 90 seconds: “The Man” Jessie Godderz v. “Rockstar” Spud v. “No B.S.” Braxton Sutter v. “King of Actual Mountains” Eli Drake v. Robbie E. v. Baron Dax v. Grado v. Basil Baracka v. “The Fixer” Tyrus v. Mahabali Shera
Lot of storylines here. Spud and Sutter have been in a bloodfeud after Sutter smashed Spud’s teeth requiring Spud to get braces. Godderz and Robbie are the BroMans tag team (their guru Raquel was not at ringside). Dax and Baracka are The Tribunal. Their manager Al Snow has not been at ringside for their matches since he was put through a table by Jeff a month or two ago. Snow would make a video appearance later tonight as part of Kim’s hall of fame induction. Eli Drake tried to hire the money hungry hired thug Tyrus to be his backup during the match, but Tyrus seems to make the Gauntlet for Gold his one exception from his money-focused vision: he wants to win for the second year in a row. Grado was eliminated as soon as he entered the match, thus he was not present when his partner Shera arrived. The one ignored storyline was his Drake and Godderz used to be a team.
Ultimately, Drake prevailed. That is a fine way to go, as the crowd is very into his heel act, and Drake has been calling out Lashley for a while—he is angry at Bobby for Bobby having TNA eliminate Drake’s beloved King of the Mountain (aka Legends aka Global aka Television) championship. Drake has also had issues with EC3.
Winner: Eli Drake
As the winner of the Gauntlet for Gold, Drake can get a titleshot at any time—so long as he gives One Week’s Prior Notice.
Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine (Gail’s husband) was being interviewed, before Bennett and Maria crashed his segment.
Match 3: MOOSE (w/ some football team) vs. “The Miracle” Mike Bennett
Bennett brought MOOSE into TNA as part of his plan to win Lashley’s world title. They failed. Lashley then turned MOOSE against Bennett, by pointing out how Bennett was using MOOSE much like MVP used to use Lashley. Bobby Lashley has Batista’s genre savvy. MOOSE has quickly become a strong babyface with an arm pumping gesture that the arena follows along with. MOOSE now has two goals. 1. Beat Bennett. 2. Beat Lashley. Tonight he completed the first.
Aron Rex was interviewed about how he felt regarding Eddie Edwards replacing the injured Drew Galloway in the finals match of the tournament to crown the first TNA Grand Champion. Rex was okay with it. Edwards had lost to Drew in the finals, so with Drew injured, he was next in line.
Match 4: Tournament finals: Grand Division Rules (Special Event Variation): To determine the first TNA Grand Champion: Eddie Edwards versus Aron Rex
Rex used to wrestle in WWE as Damien Sandow, I think. He plays a ripoff of Drew’s boring rah-rah babyface character now. Drew (who was feuding with Rex until Drew got injured) likes to remind everyone of how much of a ripoff Aron is.
Edwards spent the last few years dominating the tag division with Davey Richards as the Wolves. With Richards injured he has transitioned to being an X-Division Champion, and is now trying his luck in the new Grand Division.
The Grand Division and the new Grand Championship replace the retired Legends/Global/Television/King of the Mountain Championship as the tertiary men’s single’s title. The retired title was often criticized for having no clear identity. The Grand Championship is to be defended in three round matches. Each round is 3 minutes long, except at special events when the rounds are 5 minutes each. Judges score each round on the basis of Aggressiveness, Controling the Flow, and Physicality of moves. Basically it is meant to serve as the heavyweight brawling style belt. Tonight was the first time the result came down to the judges’ decision.
Winner: and the FIRST Grand Champion, via split decision, Aron Rex
TNA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Christy Hemme returned to join Chairman Dixie Carter in inducting Gail. They were joined by ~!~~Teryn Terrell~~~!! This marks her first appearance this year, as she disappeared in the middle of her run as the villainous leader of the Dollhouse. She was known for having a legendary series of matches with Gail a few years ago. Terrell is currently pregnant.
They were also joined by AWESOME KONG. Kong was last seen earlier this year, when she disappeared in the middle of her reign as the second villainous leader of the Dollhouse. Kong was in a sequined dress, had her hair down, and gave a non-gimmicked speech in honor of her long time epic rival Gail.
Gail Kim gave a speech and included shoutouts to many of the women’s wrestlers who had helped her over the years. MOLLY HOLLY got a special shoutout.
There was a video package in Kim’s honor. It had some nice kayfabe tidbits focusing on her win/loss record of 84(?)% over the years. Win/loss records matter! Also, we got a speech honoring Gail from Jade, another former villainous member of the Dollhouse. (Rebel and Marti Bell did not speak.) Madison Rayne too. Surprisingly no Angelina Love.
Reby played piano to summon the Hardy brothers. Brother Nero then sang his entrance song, with the audience filling in the “Obsolete” part. Matt has a hand gesture for Delete, and Jeff does the opposite gesture for Obsolete. Very catchy. Sadly, neither Senor Benjamin nor Skarsgard the Dilapidated Boat, Scribe, Senor(a) Rita, nor Bram showed up. The longer Bram doesn’t make an appearance, the more it appears as if Decay really did kill Bram and buried him in the farm house next to Johnny Havoc.
The match began with all three decay members misting Reby. Eventually they brawled backstage. There Steve poured water from the lake of resurrection onto Brother Nero to see which of his past gimmicks would emerge. As we learned a couple of weeks ago, whenever one falls into the waters of the lake of resurrection, one’s previous gimmick resurrects itself. This has led to past returns of Willow and Joseph Park, Esquire. And it briefly allowed the Antichrist of Professional Wrestling, the Immortal Champion, Jeffery Nero Hardy to take control of Jeff’s body. (https://youtu.be/YbugMrlUAVE?t=61). As to why Steve would risk unlocking one of Jeff’s dangerous alteregos… well, as Rebel noted, Crazzy Steve is Crazzy! He unlocked …Wolverine? I think? A past Omega gimmick of Jeff involving talking in hip hop and throwing pumpkins. Eventually he put a pumpkin over Rosemary’s head. Then she misted him. More of the water of resurrection must have been around, because he then transformed into Willow.
Meanwhile, out back Abyss was beating Matt down until some guy pulled up in a truck. Bram??? No, it was that random guy who Decay stole the car from on their road to Delete or Decay. Rosemary knocks him out and tosses him into the bushes.
Abyss has Janice prepared for use, but Broken Matt uses his powers to shoot fireballs out of his fiery hands. This sets Janice on fire, so Abyss has to drop it. Abyss and Rosemary try to drive off in a truck, but Broken Matt jumps on board and brawls with Abyss as Rosemary drives.
Eventually they stop, and VANGAURD 1.0 flies over to confront Rosemary. Vangaurd gets vengeance for her spraying it, by using its own mist on her. “Money shot. Boo-yah.” The drone remarked. Vangaurd was brought back to life previously when Matt used magic and filled it with Jeff’s essence. The Boo-yah might imply that Bull Buchannan’s essence lives within it as well.
Finally, the wrestlers brawl back into the arena, and Matt finally lets Jeff use a ladder for the first time in months. Jeff climbs up a giant ladder, swantons Steve through two tables, and pins him to win back the titles.
Winners: AND THE NEW TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD, Brother Nero and Broken Matt, the Hardy Boyz!
The Great War was the main event of the show, but much like Hogan/Sting 2011 and Hogan/Rock 2002, we have a couple of more matches to follow.
Maria has been feuding with Gail since the beginning of the year. She’s almost always avoided physical contact, and has ducked out of every match she has been supposed to compete in. For example, she skipped her Slammiversary match with Gail due to a broken arm.
Maria claimed that she could not wrestle tonight either. Arm still broken. Allie is all like, no the doctor said you’re good to go. Kim chases Maria to the ring. Finally we get her in a match. Mike Bennett and Allie try to help Maria but fail. Kim finally gets vengeance and her title back.
Winner: and the NEW TNA Knockouts Champion, Gail Kim
Gail ties Angelina with the record of 6 reigns.
Afterwards Mike Bennett and Maria complain in the ring. Cody Rhodes and his wife Brandy Rhodes debut and chase them off after a brief brawl. Smoke and mirrors have arrived!
Ethan got this match by winning the Bound for Glory playoffs. Lashley got to pick the stipulation for tonight because his team beat Ethan’s team in the Lethal Lockdown match this Thursday. He picked No Holds Barred because he wants Ethan to know he can hurt him. During Lethal Lockdown, Lashley became the first person to win a match via choking Ethan out. Will Lashley go for the first submission win against Ethan?
Lashley speared Ethan during in-ring introductions. Lashley then had Jeremy Borash introduce him.
Ultimately, the Destroyer speared Ethan from the top rope. An EC-3 time champ, Ethan is not.
Winner: and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion, The Destroyer, Bobby Lashley
Fantastically built show. Well worth the purchase of a replay.
Lashley continuing his reign is the right move. This summer Lashley as world champ also won the X and the KOTM titles, and vacated them when TNA refused to merge them both into a permanent Triple Crown title. Drake of the KOTM division and DJ Z of the X division have both promised to extract vengeance upon Lashley for his besmirching their divisions. Plus, MOOSE and Aron Rex have declared they want Lashley. Also, Lashley might go on another gold mining expedition and set his sights on the new Grand Championship, or for the Broken Universe’s Tag Team gold.
I really want to see The Great War. I also like the idea that all roads lead through Lashley as he has been great. I don't like Eli Drake or Aron Rex so hopefully he just mows through them. EC3 is way too gassed up right now, I don't know what he is doing. Moose vs Lashley sounds like the way to go.