By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Ethan Carter III and Mike Bennett Feud: This was spaced well throughout the night and I like how TNA is running multiple main event storylines without any of them feeling less than a main event storyline. Josh said it from a storyline perspective, but EC3 losing the streak might actually be the best thing for EC3 and Bennett. Only if the creative team can do it right and they have actually done it thus far. Another good facet of this story is Bennett’s God complex which allows him to make this “quest” for EC3 where he forces him to fight past demons, all the while he is doing what Maria Kanellis did so greatly in ducking out of EC3 encounters at every turn. Another good aspect of this EC3 facing demons is that it keeps him away from the world title, allowing Drew Galloway and Lashley to have a prolonged feud without the need for rushing it.
Al Snow and Grado: Remember when TNA did this exact storyline in Grado’s debut and blew through it in two weeks with Snow being evil one week and then kind the next after losing to Grado? They are telling the exact storyline but taking their time and doing a great slow burn. It’s a bit strange to see Snow being built up as a full-time wrestler in 2016, but at least he’s doing a good job at being an old-time heel. Shera still sucks in the ring, but at least he’s not in the main event like they teased at the end of 2015. Grado vs. Snow could be fun and it’s cool to see storylines all across the board being slowly paced out.
Hardy vs. Willows: Willow always cracks me up, but this storyline is intriguing still. It’s another main event program that’s not for the TNA Title. The reason this is still main event is because it’s a bit obvious that Matt Hardy is the one behind at least one of the Willow masks and all of the announcer clues and Matt’s dark promo last week foreshadow it. I’m always a fan of the Shadow Clone Jutsu from Naruto being introduced in storylines, and we got the Willow shadow clones here as well. I wonder if the other Willows are a few of the other dudes from North Carolina that Shane Helms is leading?
Drew Galloway vs. Eli Drake: This was a toss-up between being a Hit or a Miss. Why the hell would Eli Drake deserve a title shot? It’s acceptable this week because Drew Galloway is a “fighting champion” archetype. Hopefully they slow down with the title matches going forward. I’m confident they can do that since Lashley is next in line for the title. The pre match promo between Lashley and Galloway was the real highlight of this segment since Lashley is strangely becoming one of the best talkers in TNA and it’s not by doing anything fancy. In a way, it looks like Lashley has finally found a way to emit a believable character, which might be his own personality. He’s doing it differently than Batista did a few years ago, but it’s similar in how it looked like he had no chance to ever be great on the mic, yet it turns out that Lashley is great after all.
Jade vs. Gail Kim: A minor Hit due to the lack of build to the actual match, but it looks like they have bigger fish to fry in building a division as opposed to building matches at the moment, something that the X Division could use. Slow builds? I wonder if this is a Billy Corgan thing. If so, he should be the one to have the final say to things rather than Dixie Carter? This was a title match, yet not actually one given the way it played out. It was a way to build up Sienna, who is looking great so far. Another benefit is we are getting some of the better in-ring workers rather than some of the green Knockouts.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Ethan Carter III vs. Rockstar Spud: This wasn’t necessarily a bad match, it was just a squash match and it just felt like it could have been more. I’m not speaking hyperbole when I say that Rockstar Spud is one of the best pro wrestlers in the industry due in part to his mic work, and Spud always ends up in an underplayed position when the guy’s talent deserves more. The EC3 vs. Tyrus match that is sure to come up with Tyrus being billed as a past demon will probably be a bit better since Tyrus might be allowed to gain more offense on EC3. Spud got a bit of offense, but the match mostly consisted of him trying to run out of the cage.
Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...