5/31 Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: Drew Galloway and Lashley in Pick Your Poison matches, the build to Slammiversary continues

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By Jason Powell

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TNA Impact Wrestling on Pop TV
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

[Q1] Backstage, Dixie Carter told an unidentified man that this week’s show needs to be all about control. She said she spoke with Billy Corgan, who feels that absolute power corrupts absolutely. She said he reluctantly agreed that for one night the show would be “all yours”… A recap video aired… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero were on commentary…

“The Miracle” Mike Bennett and Maria headed to the ring for a promo. Bennett said he gave Carter his contact info, but neither he nor his wife Maria are in charge of the show this week. He called for the person in charge to come out. EC3 made his entrance and Mathews said he was in charge of the show. EC3 informed Bennett that they would be wrestling at Slammiversary.

EC3 gave Bennett the night off from wrestling while saying that he wants him to be so pristine when they wrestle that he only feels defeat. EC3 had a man named Kenny Smith wheel out a mop bucket. EC3 said it was taco Tuesday in catering, so he was going to have Bennett clean toilets.

Maria protested, but EC3 informed her that TNA management was upset with her because she put her hands on talent last week. EC3 said she would have a job evaluation with Gail Kim. He said they would determine whether she deserves the position “or, uh, spoiler alert, you’re fired.”

EC3 said he was done with them and told them to lave the ring. “No,” Bennett said. EC3 got fired up and told him to get his ass out of the ring. Bennett said he was going to leave but only because he wanted to leave. The crowd sang the goodbye song at Bennett and Maria as they headed up the stage. EC3 told him not to forget the bucket, which Bennett kicked before walking backstage.

Lashley made his entrance and said EC3 keeps sticking his nose in his business, so was returning the favor. EC3 said he relegated his power to Drew Galloway, who then made his entrance while Mathews hyped the “Pick Your Poison” theme of the show… [C]

Powell’s POV: The end the show a couple weeks back was chaotic. I’m not even sure why Dixie would give up control in order to restore control after last week’s show. Then again, I don’t understand the logic of the Dixie character more often than not and I remain convinced that we will find out years from now that multiple writing teams intentionally wrote her character to be a moron.

Bennett and EC3 were in the bathroom. Bennett was selling how disgusting it was and telling EC3 that he can’t make him clean the toilets because he’s a superstar. “This job is the… you get it,” EC3 said while looking in a bathroom stall…

Drew Galloway stood on the stage and said he was up drinking with Lashley’s opponent last night. Galloway said he picked up the tab, but the man would have kicked Lashley’s ass for free…

1. Lashley vs. Bram. Lashley had a long run of offense until Bram caught him with a running knee for a two count. Lashley fired back and went for a spear, but Bram caught him with a spinning kick for another two count. Lashley ended up grabbing a chair from ringside and jabbing it into Bram’s gut for the DQ. Lashley speared Bram afterward. He set up for another spear, but Galloway came out with a chair and ran off Lashley, who fled over the barricade and ran away from Galloway…

Bram beat Lashley in 6:20.

Eli Drake’s music played and he came out with his Feast or Fired briefcase and cashed in his contract…

2. Bram vs. Eli Drake in a King of the Mountain Title match. Drake covered Bram, who kicked out at two. Drake worked over Bram and put him down with a clothesline and got the pin…

Eli Drake defeated Bram to win the King of the Mountain Championship.

Powell’s POV: So maybe Bram should not have spent all night drinking with Galloway? Here’s hoping Bram gets away from the KOTM Title picture and instead uses heel logic to blame Galloway for losing the Little Red Toy Belt That Nobody Cares About.

Robbie E and Jessie were shown at a pool Robbie wore a furry hat and glasses for some reason. Robbie told Jessie to trust the process. Raquel showed up and told them that the real to key to winning is focus. She walked around wearing a bikini and corny music played. Jessie said he gets it. Robbie looked confused…

Backstage, Bennett told EC3 that he is a superstar and doesn’t have to clean toilets. Earl Hebner exited one of the stalls. EC3 asked Hebner is Bennett is a star. Hebner said he’s an asshole. EC3 told Hebner to learn respect for the referees. He told Hebner to get him a ref shirt…

A shot aired of the Hardy family estate in Cameron, North Carolina. Mathews said Matt invited Jeff to sign the Slammiversary contract…

Powell’s POV: The same contract that Jeff signed after winning the ladder match last week? Maybe Jeff gets to watch Matt sign it. Anyway, the Bromans skit did nothing for me and I still see them as pest heels rather than babyfaces. And EC3 sipping from his cup while standing in the bathroom was grosser than any of the lame toilet humor.

[Q3] [C] Backstage, Eli Drake celebrated his title win by acting like he was going to give champagne to various crew members. He ended up entering a room and telling the cameraman that it was a private party…

Matt Hardy struck the crucifix pose outside his home. He said he invited Brother Nero (Jeff Hardy) to his personal armageddon…

3. Robbie E and Jessie (w/Raquel) vs. Rockstar Spud and Tyrus for a TNA Tag Title shot at Slammiversary. Mike Bennett was the special referee. Raquel distracted Tyrus. Jessie threw Spud onto Tryus, but he caught him. Robbie dove onto Spud’s back and knocked them down. BroMans hit the Hart Attack clothesline and then Jessie put Spud in a Boston Crab. Spud tapped out and Bennett reluctantly called for the bell…

Robbie E and Jessie beat Rockstar Spud and Tyrus to earn a tag title shot at Slammiversary.

Backstage, Maria vented on the phone to Billy Corgan about EC3 humiliating her husband. EC3 showed up, took the phone, and said she would have to call him back. Maria said Gail Kim attacked her and questioned whether she would be fired or suspended. EC3 said he would have them both come to the ring and then mediate the scenario after the break…

Powell’s POV: You can tell the EC3 character is related to the Dixie Carter character. He just gave two of the men he hates most a chance to earn a tag title shot even though they have very little experience as a team. Decay is going to kill BroMans, right? They can’t ask Decay to go out there and take part in bad comedy spots.

[Q4] [C] Jeff Hardy was shown driving his dirt bike on his way to Matt’s house…

Maria, Allie, and Sienna headed to the ring where EC3 was waiting. EC3 dismissed Sienna and Allie from the ring. Maria said she was just doing what she felt was right as the leader of the division. He asked if she’s doing a good job. She said she is doing a wonderful job. EC3 said he disagrees and called out his friend Gail Kim.

EC3 mentioned that Maria put her hands on Gail, which is grounds for dismissal. EC3 said that since Gail and Robert Irvine are friends of his, he wanted to know what she wanted. Gail said she wants a match against Maria at Slammiversary. Maria said she is Kim’s leader. EC3 said she is being evaluated. He announced Maria vs. Gail Kim.

Maria said Slammiversary will be the worst night of Kim’s life. She said she would submit herself into the wrestling hall of fame when she kicks Kim’s ass. EC3 pointed to Allie and Sienna and said he has no idea who Maria’s entourage is, but they were dressed to compete and so is Kim. He introduced Jade as Kim’s partner… [C]

Powell’s POV: There was way too much talking and way too much EC3 cute humor during the first hour. I think very highly of EC3, but he’s being overexposed in this role. Last week’s show had a rough first hour and they made up for it with a strong second hour, so hopefully that turns out to be the case with this show.

[Q5] 4. Gail Kim and Jade vs. Sienna and Allie. EC3 watched the match from ringside. Allie wore street clothes and tried to tag out right way, but Kim stopped her and worked her over. Allie eventually rolled away from Kim and tagged in Sienna, who worked over Kim. Jade checked in and threw kicks and then a missile dropkick at Sienna and had her pinned, but Allie broke it up. In the end, Jade performed her finisher on Allie and pinned her…

Gail Kim and Jade beat Sienna and Allie.

Powell’s POV: Sienna lost her monster mojo, and they rushed into Allie’s first Impact match. They really should have kept her out of the ring longer and built up to it in a more meaningful way.

Jeff Hardy arrived at Matt’s house just as Reby was leaving with the baby. She yelled that Matt lost his mind and she’s done with both of them. Jeff entered the house where Matt was playing piano. Matt said Brother Nero wants him to sign the contract badly. Jeff yelled at him to sign it and asked him what he was so afraid of. Matt said it was not the appropriate place and told Jeff it must end where it all began…

Mathews said Maria refused to leave ringside. Mike Bennett ranted in the ring about how he is a superstar. He said he’s not a referee or a janitor. Bennett said his wife isn’t a wrestler. Bennett said he is a wrestler and he is the best damn wrestler in the world. Bennett said it’s over. EC3 brought up giving Bennett the night off and then said he’s a pathological liar. He said it would be a miracle if Bennett’s opponent showed up sober. James Storm made his entrance and chased Maria while driving the Boozer Cruiser…

[Q6] [C] 5. James Storm vs. Mike Bennett (w/Maria). The match was joined in progress and Bennett worked in his ring jacket, jeans, and gold shoes. Late in the match, Storm got a two count off of the Eye of the Storm. He followed up with a Codebreaker. Maria climbed onto the apron with a beer bottle. Storm took it from her. She slapped him. Bennett rolled up Storm for the win. Pope reminded viewers that Bennett is still undefeated…

Mike Bennett beat James Storm.

EC3 stood on the stage and said the games are over. He said Bennett calls himself God, and he is his devil. EC3 said he is coming to “your church, God” and said he will punch him in the mouth, and burn that bitch down. “But I leave you with this,” EC3 said. “A kick to the face.” Bennett turned and ate a Last Call superkick from Storm… [C]

Powell’s POV: A lame finish with Storm looking pretty dopey for falling for Maria’s distraction, but it was logical for Bennett to go over given that he is in one of the bigger Slammiversary matches. The post match kick let Storm get the last laugh.

A video package aired for The Tribunal (former NXT wrestlers Marcus Louis and Sylvester Lefort)…

Al Snow stood in the ring and said he knew the fans were thankful for what he was doing for pro wrestling. After heeling it up, he introduced introduced Basile Baraka (Lefort) and Baron Dax (Louis) as his Tribunal.

[Q7] Snow said he was taking the steering wheel away from fans and putting it back in the hands of quality athletes like The Tribunal. Dax said they fight for Snow. Baraka said they will bring a true reign of terror. Some fans gave them the What? treatment. Snow said they don’t need to rely on weapons or gimmicks “unlike Grado that big bag of suck.” Snow said it took one wrestling move to beat Grado, then had the finish of the match replayed on the screen.

Grado and Mahabali Shera made his entrance. Grado said Snow is a liar for claiming he didn’t use any weapons last week. Grado said he’s honest and admits he uses weapons. He had the additional match footage shown that included The Tribunal interfering and Snow using a trashcan lid before performing his finisher on Grado.

Snow accused Grado of lying and said the tape was doctored. “You’re a liar, your parents are liars,” Snow said. Snow said Grado’s mom loves him. Grado and Shera ran to the ring and fought with the Tribunal. Snow struck Grado and Shera from behind with a chair. The Tribunal worked over Grado and Shera…

Mathews hyped the remainder of the Hardy footage, and Galloway’s opponent to be selected by Lashley…

Powell’s POV: Snow is so entertaining in his old school heel gimmick with lines about doctoring the tapes that it almost makes up for the rest of it.

Footage aired of Braxton Sutter arriving at the Impact Zone and then telling the story that he got his first break late in the game. He said the day he was offered his TNA contract was one of the best days of his life. They showed pictures of him from his independent days as he spoke about how he didn’t work this hard to get to TNA to be mediocre. He said he wants to be champion and now the real work begins… Mathews hyped the Slammiversary matches…

Footage aired of Matt taking his brother Jeff to the giant shed behind his home. Matt stood in a ring and said it was the ring that it started in and would end in…

Powell’s POV: As down as I am on the Broken Matt persona as a long term act, I am enjoying the Lucha Underground inspired saga with his brother Jeff tonight. Meanwhile, Sutter wrestled as Pepper Parks and has appeared on Impact before. He’s also the husband of Allie, which has not been acknowledged on television thus far. I like the name change and the aging veteran wrestler getting a late shot a glory story thus far.

Drew Galloway made his entrance for the main event. Lashley walked onto the stage and asked if Galloway was ready to get his ass kicked. Lashley introduced Decay as Lashley’s opponent. Mathews played it well by asking “who from Decay.” Pope said he assumed it would be Abyss. Mathews pointed out that Lashley said Decay and then questioned whether Galloway would have to face them all…

[Q8] [C] 6. Drew Galloway vs. Abyss, Crazzy Steve, and Rosemary. Mathews questioned whether Lashley outsmarted TNA officials by picking a tag team as Galloway’s opponents. Galloway dumped Steve over the guardrail and it looked like Steve landed awkwardly.

Abyss ran Galloway into the ring post. Later, Abyss caught Galloway going for a Claymore Kick and chokeslammed him for two. Rosemary pulled out the stupid weapon Janice. Lashley ran out and tried to spear Galloway, who moved, causing Lashley to spear Abyss. Galloway clotheslined Lashley to ringside. Galloway caught Steve with a Claymore Kick and then the Future Shock DDT and pinned him…

Drew Galloway defeated Abyss, Crazzy Steve, and Rosemary in a handicap match.

They went back to the Hardy drama. Matt brought the contract to a table that was set up next to the ring and signed the contract. Jeff invited Matt to finish it where it started by having their match in the ring rather than waiting for Slammiversary. Reby entered the barn and threw the baby at Jeff, who caught it only to figure out that it was a doll. Matt used the distraction to slam a bottle over the back of Jeff’s head. Matt told Jeff that he told him it was over. Matt slammed Jeff off the ring apron and through the table they used for the contract signing. Matt stood up and said, “Brother Nero, is over, done”…

Powell’s POV: I would ask where EC3 was to overturn the entire Decay trio facing Galloway, but we saw too much of him already on this show. I’m not a fan of having one man, even the TNA Champion, defeat the entire Decay trio all by himself. It didn’t do much for Galloway, but it made Decay look much weaker than they were going into the match. The Hardy drama was Lucha Underground inspired campiness, which is actually a compliment. It’s not something I want to see a lot of in TNA, but it was unique enough within the TNA world that it provided a nice hook for viewers to keep watching throughout the show to see where it was going. Overall, Impact was all over the place with way too much talking and creative forcing way too much into one episode. I’ve enjoyed most TNA shows in 2016 more than this one, so hopefully it’s just a bump in the road.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I think Lashley accidentally spearing Abyss makes Galloway beating them, easier to believe and doesn’t take away that much from them. If Galloway had been all “Super Cena” there would be a problem, but the Lashley interference helped make it believable.

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