By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
The Hardys: Even though they stretched these segments a bit longer than they should have (which got worse with another segment on the show) it was cool to see the Hardys back in cinematic mode. The cinematics that they were in made them seem like a huge phenomenon and it sure beats them spinning their wheels on the weekly Impact. We’re also getting Vanguard 1 which is always a treat! But it was a bit odd not to see Senor Benjamin especially since he speaks Spanish. What was cool to see was Konnan “back from the dead” after Lucha Underground killed his character off. I still think that he could be a real asset to the TNA creative team if they bring him on board.
Eli Drake: I’m really trying to reach for positives in this show, and this was probably the only other positive. I’m not sold yet on what they are trying to do with Drake and Tyrus. The positive was Drake showing that he hasn’t missed a step on the microphone after talking again. Even though it wasn’t like this great thing that he was talking again, he still showed that he can carry feuds with just his talking skills.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards: I can’t tell if TNA is either trying too hard or not trying hard enough to write a story here. On one hand, they feel the need to build this around couples and Soap Opera drama. On the other hand, this story seems really similar to the birth of the Broken Hardy universe, just not as good and overly rushed. Angelina Love seems to be playing the same role as Reby Sky did as the agitator and Davey’s MO is just like Matt’s in that he grew jealous of Eddie’s singles career. Eddie Edwards might as well be calling himself Brother Nero. The one positive I see from this was Davey’s show ending attack
Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy vs. Psicosis and Super Crazy: I was actually looking forward to this match between The Hardys and the team formerly known as the Mexicools. Sadly, all we got was some clips after all of the build. What’s worse was I couldn’t even watch the match because Marty “the censor blur” Elias was so distracting. In fact, I almost gave this match a Hit because of how hilariously absurd the censored referee was. Even though I brought up the idea of the lucha brothers Fenix and Pentagon Jr getting involved in TNA, we might have gotten the Hardys vs. two censor blurs due to Lucha Underground contracts.
Braxton Sutter and Allie: This might be the first week that I’ve ever given a Miss to this storyline. Not because any of the players in the skits were bad, but they really tried to stretch the skit so much throughout the show this time that it was just overkill. Mike Bennett was particularly funny to start off with his frat boy act but they just kept trying to run the joke into the ground to the point where it got simply annoying. Another problem with these skits was how the production seemed to be reduced because the Maria and Allie portions were particularly poorly mic’d and they overdid “The Office” zoom out and in effect. This got to the point where it was “bad TNA” comedy skits that carried the show.
Moose and Brandi Rhodes vs. Decay: This match didn’t really do anything to help anyone involved. Brandi Rhodes continues to be put in positions that she’s not ready to be in as far as wrestling is concerned. Brandi is really, really green to the point where she obviously should be picking up the basics in a wrestling school. Moose isn’t really benefiting at all. They want to call Brandi “mini-Moose” for some reason? On the other end of the ring, Decay continues to be treated as glorified enhancement talent after being built so well in 2016 prior to the Hardy angle. Rosemary is also stuck working with someone who’s not ready to be in any sort of feud with the Knockouts champion.
Kingston vs. Jessie Godderz: DCC still sucks! What makes matters worse is not only do they still lose on one-on-one situations, but this time their three on one trick failed when Jessie outsmarted all three of them and left the ring unscathed. Godderz has potential to be a breakout babyface or heel and TNA looked like they stumbled onto something when they gave him a random MMA master gimmick which worked surprisingly, but it seems like this current creative team without Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana doesn’t quite know what to do with him yet. DCC… Well… They’re worse than James Storm’s Revolution faction, but may they be more terrible than Galloway’s Rising faction?
Josh Barnett and Lashley: Flat reaction for TNA’s latest former UFC champion to join their roster. To their credit, Barnett does have a pro wrestling background and is a decent talker. The problem with this segment seemed like it was extremely forced. They just put the MMA guy against the other MMA guy. The lack of a real reaction didn’t help either but you can attribute that to the current state of the Impact Zone crowd. How many Universal Studio tourists actually watch UFC or are fight fans? I could be wrong with that statement but it’s clear that I’m not!
Overall show: Hopefully next week’s show gets better, but I had the feeling that TNA started to run out of good material to use on TV and relied heavily on the Mike Bennett skits and Hardy footage (which they couldn’t even use fully because they had the unique moment of having to censor blur a referee, which was comical). Those Bennett/Sutter/Maria skits got bad as the night went along. The Hardy stuff was solid but it paled in comparison to the work they put on in 2016. Oh, and here’s another negative of the show, nostalgia bad TNA vibes with the Dale Oliver classic generic music for Jessie Godderz, Davey Richards, and Josh Barnett.