By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy: Drew Galloway is building up his credibility as World Champion while also getting over a compilation of moves that he uses to take people out. This week he got to utilize the Iron Maiden Crossface to defeat Matt and even got the visual pinfall earlier on with the Future Shock. Hardy is holding his end of the bargain very well by looking credible in the ring while also using his “Matt Hardy Brand” stable to the best of their abilities. Tyrus on the other hand, I’ll get into it in the Miss section.
Jeff Hardy vs. Eric Young: This was a really good cage match that wouldn’t feel out of place on a PPV. The match starting off as a handicap situation with Buh-Ram (as Josh Mathews pronounces it) stacking the odds against Jeff who works best conquering the odds. Speaking of odd, Jeff Hardy was putting out there earlier in the year that he might be out most of 2016 and is currently competing with an actual handicap with a knee brace. Jeff Hardy looks like the same ol’ Jeff Hardy and is still doing the Jeff Hardy things we all know and love including the high risk moves. Props to Jeff and props to his opponents Eric Young and Drew Galloway for guiding him correctly in the big drops. We had the return of the huge holes in the cage, but it didn’t suck this time because they were mostly ignored by the wrestlers.
Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway segment: The first Hit of this segment comes from the return of the best heel baby professional wrestling, Maxel Hardy, who Matt says is the product of “procreating like a champion.” Even though this was after the opening match, it still served the slot of the usual 10-15 minute promo, but it hasn’t gotten old in TNA yet. Drew Galloway is still in his grove as arguably the world’s biggest babyface with his allusions to his childhood and wrestling fanboyism. Matt Hardy in 2016 TNA is what Seth Rollins was to WWE in 2015, the person that the company can count on to carry the show, and he continued that here as well. Let’s hope the Matt Hardy Brand’s run doesn’t end any time soon. Some fear was to be had when they prematurely took the belt off Hardy, but he doing a good job so far without the belt.
Lashley vs. D’Angelo Dinero: This match reminded me a lot of Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar that we saw recently and that’s the best way that they could have booked this match. There’s no reason that it shouldn’t have been more than a one-sided encounter with Pope only getting a few shots in with the “equalizers”. This was a good angle, so good that I didn’t mind Lashley wearing the sweatband again since it made since with the pre-match beatdown with Dinero also having his athletic tape dangling the entire match. This segment also had a smooth transition to the next segment with Mike Bennett and Ethan Carter III.
Mike Bennett and EC3 Segment: Mike Bennett was pretty damn good in this segment and has been the most inspired than he’s ever been since debuting in TNA. That was some amazing fire he showed and he just kept going and going, it was great. Ethan Carter III had one of his better babyface moments as well. It reminds me of Drew Galloway’s build in that sometimes he can go too far with the act, but when he tones it down it benefits him. EC3’s goal is to stay away from going full-on Derrick Bateman, and maybe at most 50 percent Derrick as far as comedy is concerned. Another Hit with this segment was the parking lot brawl with the unique camera shots.
Gail Kim vs. Jade vs. Madison Rayne: This match is what that awful Triple Threat from two weeks ago wishes it could have been – good. Madison Rayne rarely gets a chance to show off her in ring work in the last two years, but when she gets a chance she shines. Gail Kim is as great as usual and Jade isn’t bad as well. Gail loses nothing because she was hit by the title, and hopefully they do something with Jade because this can be a step towards building this division again. The first thing they should do with Jade is change her entrance music since you can tell she didn’t know what to do with the new character but maintain the old Dollhouse theme.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Tyrus: Tyrus showed a lot of promise on the microphone during his NXT days and he came off as a great talker in his segment on Fox News as a political commentator, but every other time Brodus Clay/Tyrus has been missing something. It didn’t help that he had to work with confusing material throughout the night with yet another (?) Money in the Bank knockoff that they were trying to promote throughout the night. It almost makes it seem like TNA is more enamored with the Money in the Bank than WWE is.