By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Lashley vs. Jeff Hardy for the TNA Title: This match was a bit clunky at points, but I truly believe that this was due to them working a show opening world title match as opposed to a main event title match. That aside, this was a good match in making Lashley gain a credible win over a credible performer. I may have thought that Hardy’s injuries were finally creeping up on him but then he took bumps on the stairs and performed senton planchas on the outside. That’s probably because Jeff is a master of minimizing the impact of bumps. A good match that was wrongfully placed in the opener.
DJZ vs. Trevor Lee for the X Division Title: This match probably went much longer than they needed to. It seemed like TNA went too hard in trying to protect DJZ when he was already protected due to the ankle injury. The Hit goes to this being a singles match, a match that told a story, and Trevor Lee winning. This is Take-2 as far as Lee being champion is concerned. While I’m hopeful regarding this move my expectations are not high due to the X Division being dead for almost a decade (even when we are teased with the annual revival). They’ve also been presenting Trevor Lee as a southern idiot in the past few weeks by saying he can’t understand things or even open an unlocked briefcase. While WWE’s 205 division isn’t the best, TNA could learn from WWE’s presentation of wrestlers like Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher, Brian Kendrick, and Neville in that there is an attempt to make you care about stories rather than high spots. Hell, WWE did a better job flushing out Mark Andrews with one match and a one minute video package than TNA did with him in a year. Let’s hope they try to do something with Lee.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Open Fight Night: How do you make a lame concept like Feast or Fired even worse? You integrate it into another lame concept known as Open Fight Night, which was never clearly defined as different from a regular fight night. They could have made it better by positioning it so the briefcase holders submitted their fight requests beforehand, which would have allowed them to properly put the world title in the main event and the lowly X Title in the opener.
The Grand Championship Title Picture: This is odd, but I’ll start with that segment. Drew Galloway was good, a bit too good. So good that his speech about becoming a fighting champion around the world really resonated with the crowd in a babyface way. It almost seemed as if TNA caught on to this wrong reaction and they muted the crowd audio at the end of his promo (and I also got that feeling due to the “Moose” chants after that promo also accidentally muted). Moose isn’t doing anything wrong on his end. Galloway’s just such a good babyface. The Grand Championship also sucks so much that Josh Mathews had to point out how the judges scoring is a little wonky in that it doesn’t match the set rubric nor match the action in the ring (Josh referenced how Drew Galloway won two rounds in a row visually a few weeks ago, yet the judges gave the second round to Moose for no other reason than to stretch the match out).
Sienna vs. Brooke: This match was a bit sloppy, but I’ll just attribute that to Brooke having a bit of ring rust after such a long layoff. Deonna Purrazzo was a bit better at putting together a match to hide that ring rust but Sienna wasn’t as successful. This is where a developmental system would help and maybe TNA could strike up some sort of deal with a place like OVW again. That said, I still have hopes for a good Brooke vs. Maria feud, as Brooke is really capable of being a solid babyface of the division if they drop the female Mr. Ass type character.
DCC: I’ll combine both segments they were in as one Miss because this latest James Storm faction is going nowhere. In fact, this faction may be more pathetic than Storm’s Revolution faction. They don’t win matches unless they have at least a man advantage, and even then if it’s against the Hardys they can’t win. What’s odd is it looks like they are going to push them higher on the card by pitting them against EC3, Tyrus, and Eli Drake.
Eli Drake vs. Ethan Carter III: This was a good match up to the point where Eli Drake lost. They had the perfect excuse to give Drake a win here. EC3 had that purple “infection” on his side and he was selling an injury throughout the match. EC3 has also taken a handful of pinfall and submission losses as a babyface so there was no need to protect him so much. Eli Drake didn’t lose too much, but they did show that EC3 is still way better even when injured. Another Miss comes in the odd booking towards a clash with DCC.