By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Drew Galloway vs. Bobby Lashley: Another good encounter between these two top wrestlers in a match that didn’t need to get out of first gear. In fact, it was stopped by the lumberjacks just when it was about to kick into another gear in order to preserve this feud even longer. Right now, the feeling is that this will be the showdown match at Slammiversary, and a solidly built one at that. TNA has done two good things regarding this main event feud. One is they find a way to give the feud non-stop promotion through the weeks and through the show. Two, TNA has found a way not to damage both Lashley or Drew by having them take loses and this was a fine way to get out of a final encounter. The brawl with the entire TNA roster fighting each other was a nice distraction for this as well.
Mike Bennett vs. Earl Hebner: When you look at this match on paper, you will probably overlook it due to it being a wrestler vs a referee. Everyone here played their roles well and this turned out to be a fun segment. The crowd was hot for Hebner kicking out of the nearfall as well as him ripping off the shirt. Bennett drew great heat on his end for putting Hebner in this position and every week Bennett continues to grow on the microphone. This false quest that he’s putting EC3 on is a great one as well as it stretches out a feud while also giving Bennett a great cowardly excuse to duck out of matches with Carter. At the same time, Bennett telegraphing an encounter with EC3 at Slammiversary helps build up a great pay-per-view match, which is something pretty foreign to TNA most of the time.
Ethan Carter III vs. Tyrus: Tyrus has his second good showing in a row while EC3 gets to pick up yet another win on his quest to face his demons. It’s a shame that Tyrus wasn’t built up as an unstoppable monster as it would have made this match mean more. They did manage to get a good spot with EC3 giving Tyrus that huge Samoan Drop. One more Matt Hardy Brand member to go and it will be interesting to see how they get out of this one with Hardy debuting a new character while EC3 needs the win to get to Mike Bennett.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Matt Hardy’s Willow Segment: A minor Miss. On one hand the performances here were nice with Jeff Hardy explaining exactly what Willow is (to WWE fan’s it’s essentially Finn Balor’s demon mode). “Broken” Matt Hardy worked on the onset. The Miss comes from the rushed execution as it felt like we breezed through two weeks of story in one segment. Another Miss comes from the drastic shift in character that Matt Hardy underwent, meaning we’re not getting the Big Money Matt character that he was so good at playing for the time being. This reminds me of when Bully Ray became dark and gothic for no reason against Mr. Anderson and that went nowhere. Hopefully this turns out better and I have more confidence in Matt since his last two character portrayals have been stellar.
Eddie Edwards and DJ Z vs. Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett: Even though one of the regular X Division guys was in this match, it still felt like a throwaway X Division spotfest match when everything was said and done. What sucks is the only person who stands out from all of this is Eddie Edwards who is just killing time until Davey Richards returns. Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett just seem like henchmen for Shane Helms, who doesn’t wrestle in TNA. It’s not his fault, it TNA’s continual neglect for the X Division as nothing more than spotfest filler.
Fact of Life: This thing continues to bomb and its strange that TNA feels obligated to have a talkshow just to be on par with all of the gimmicks that WWE runs on a regular basis. It looks like he inherited the time that Mr. Anderson would have gotten with his “huh?” segment. While Eli Drake is confident on the microphone, his current act is not getting over. A huge example of that was him going for the Miz reaction of getting the crowd to stay his catchphrases. Drake tried to get them to quote “fact of life” but no one bit on his audio cue. Hopefully they abort this thing and try to go back to the drawing board on Drake.