By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Matt and Jeff Hardy Opening Segment: In what is becoming a weekly Hit, the Matt Hardy extended opening promo hasn’t gotten old yet and this one included the added intensity of the family drama. There was a lot of yelling between Matt and Jeff but it was a good sort of fire between the two brothers. A lot of Matt’s insults were actually pretty funny since they connected so close to home with Jeff Hardy like his mocking of his creativity and his art. Reby Sky also added her two cents which are good to stir the pot and agitate Jeff’s character enough to get him off his game. Baby Maxel was Baby Maxel, and that’s all he has to be.
Jeff Hardy and Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy and Tyrus: Not a clean victory, but a victory nonetheless. The thing we feared with Matt Hardy once he lost the title was him being pushed aside even though he was doing a good job as the top guy. He’s still the top guy who’s carrying a bulk of the segments even without the belt. The Lashley beatdown was a solid beatdown afterwards and it looks like we might be getting a Lashley vs. Galloway feud. This can be a fun one just as long as they don’t rush through taking Lashley down.
Ethan Carter III vs. Mike Bennett: Even though it would have been better if Mike Bennett could have pulled off a pin or count-out victory, at least he was able to pull off a win somehow with EC3 reaching his boiling point. What makes this inconclusive finish effective is the feud can now continue. On EC3’s end, he’s coming off more as badass than Derrick Bateman cute, which is what the main event babyface should be coming off as.
Al Snow: This Hit goes to the performance of Al Snow in building up his feud with Grado. The guy deserves a lot of credit for being able to play off of Mahabali Shera, who doesn’t give you much to work with. Al Snow was so good that we got our second Shera fail moment in the fans chanting “You still got it” to Snow (The first fail moment was Shera’s dance backfiring at BFG). Snow’s old-man wrestling purist character has the potential to work well with Grado and it replicates their “real-life” feud on British Bootcamp well. I did fear the line of Snow saying that Shera was a future world champion as they were giving him a random main event push last year. I hope that doesn’t happen, isn’t Jinder Mahal floating around somewhere to help appease the Indian television network?
Jade vs. Madison Rayne: A solid Knockouts match with the new Jade being able to pick up a win. Jade is a heel, right? And as a heel, it didn’t hurt for her to pick up a clean win, more on that later with Trevor Lee. Madison Rayne doesn’t get spotlighted enough in the Knockouts division enough and she held up her end of the match with lots of energy and providing movement throughout the match to not create any dull moments.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Beer Money Invitational: This wasn’t necessarily a bad match, but it just flew by so quickly that no actual developments happened here. Maybe it was a Beer Money showcase, but it hurts that we all know that Beer Money has a time limit set for their demise due to Bobby Roode leaving the company. It’s also shocking to see the ravage of the “Tag Team Title Curse” spotlighted in this match with the tag champs having to pass along the titles soon, EY and Bram in a similar situation, and the Wolves being out of action. The tag division will have BroMans and Decay, that’s just about it. Oh, and one of those teams is BroMans!
The Knockouts Division segment: I’m usually down on the Gail Kim beatdowns of everyone, but this segment needed a Gail Kim beatdown since there was just too much talking that went nowhere. I get Maria talking about being the “leader of the Knockouts division” since she’s self-centered and delusional, but the fact that everyone else fed into it was just odd. What made things worse was Billy Corgan appearing to create the “leader of the Knockouts” match, which is vintage TNA in that there’s another random match with some type of prize that’s more contrived than effective. At least things are better than some of the trashy eras we’ve seen in the past, but who is writing the Knockouts to be simply odd?
DJ Zema Ion vs. Trevor Lee: While I get it, Trevor Lee is supposed to be a heel, but not all heels should be of the chickenshit variety. What makes matters worse is they had Lee lose to one the guys who have been defined down due to the presentation of the X Division. This win for Zema could have worked if they did a segment where Lee got a chance to underestimate Zema, like a promo segment, but even then, it would have been more effective to treat Trevor Lee like the sensation that he has the reputation for being by letting him dominate the division. The only people that matter in the division are Eddie Edwards and Gregory Helms, and one of those guys is currently a manager. Lee means less now since he needs to cheat to beat guys like Zema Ion or Mandrews.