By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Ethan Carter III and Mike Bennett: This was simple storytelling, but this was a effective way to allow the babyface EC3 to get his revenge over Mike Bennett who has gotten the upper hand in past weeks. EC3 is finding a way to tell his jokes in a not-so heavy handed way and he’s developing into that top babyface that they want him to be. The janitor material was actually pretty good too and Earl Hebner has the potential to be the next Ron Simmons’ “Damn” with his “You’re an asshole” line, but I hope they don’t turn that into a thing. The best part of this feud is that both EC3 and Bennett are allowing themselves to grow. Lashley also continues to make segments good with his newfound promo ability and he was simple and effective in his interjection. It would be nice if they took away his headband and allow him to come out in his cap instead. Maybe even give the guy a towel if sweat is an issue.
Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy Contract Signing: Last week, Matt Hardy’s performance was questionable and the “Broken” Matt Hardy character was a bit less than expected based on his excellent portrayal of Big Money Matt. This week, Matt come off more like Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies and these cheesy Telenovela-esque segments were extremely hilarious. I felt like I was watching Lucha Underground with a lower budget, and that served for great comedy. It’s not quite main event and it might get there someday, but it was great unintentional (?) comedy. Maybe it is intentional because it seems like Matt Hardy is trying to make a project out of this. Jeff played his part well too as he acted like he was totally aware that he was in a bad movie with cheesy music. Jeff’s lines of telling Reby that this was an obvious trap and calling Matt sarcastic gave that away. Reby was good too with her throwing the Maxel Hardy dummy at Jeff, whose reaction afterward was priceless.
Lashley vs. Bram: A pretty good match and the finish worked in a way that didn’t make Lashley look weak. Lashley had the upper hand, but Bram didn’t want to quit. Lashley then just wanted to end the match so he wouldn’t break a sweat. Bram has potential to be a top wrestler and it’s good that they got the useless toy belt away from him.
BroMans vs. Rockstar Spud and Tyrus: BroMans as a babyface act are not clicking as a babyface team outside of the ring, but inside of the ring so far they are a putting on good matches. That was similar to their forgotten feud with The Wolves a few years back where people only remember the bad characterization of the Bros. Spud and Tyrus have the potential to be a good tag team and it’s a shame that TNA is wasting time relaunching the BroMans. My favorite part of this match was Mike Bennett being the heel ref.
Gail Kim and Jade vs. Allie and Sienna: This was a minor Hit for some intelligent booking and the introduction of Allie as a wrestling character. Allie reminds me of Ling from Kung Pow Enter the Fist where she just squeals and sounds like the adults form Snoopy cartoons. Allie had a great introduction and didn’t give much away since she was portrayed as a non-wrestler being forced to wrestle. Even though it was intelligent to not have Sienna take the loss, she is starting to fade into the background and just be Maria’s lackey, which EC3 pointed out for humor.
Al Snow and Grado: Snow is on fire playing the old man of the TNA locker room. Ultimately what’s effective from his end in invoking heat from the crowd. I would prefer that Snow handle the talking because Dax and Baraka did not have a good promo tonight. Dax in particular to reference what Corey Graves said about Marcus Louis, when he does a mean face he looks like he’s yawning. Grado seems to go from good to bad every week and this was a good week for Grado. He even got a good week out of Mahabali Shera (who is fine as long as he doesn’t wrestle). Shera had a great line about not understanding Grado “but 100 percent sir!” and how he loves his mom. Snow’s comeback to that was amazing too and old-age Al Snow is one of the most entertaining undercard acts on TNA television.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
BroMans: TNA seems to be relaunching BroMans in a similar way that they did for the launch of Decay by giving them weekly vignettes to develop their characters. What’s disappointing is there is nothing really appealing to the babyface BroMans act. Last week they got a Hit due to being a bit funny and I was glad that Raquel is no longer associated with Lashley. Right now it seems like Raquel is just there for eye candy and she’s several years away from being a TV-ready wrestler. Raquel, based on what we’ve seen from her on Tough Enough, reminds me of another Rebel and that’s what I expect from her when she starts wrestling.
Gail Kim and Maria in ring segment: This segment dragged on a bit and it was a strange way to set up a match between Gail Kim and Maria. Gail is a good talker, but she tells more of a story with her silence. This is what made her so effective as a babyface in 2015. This segment would have been better if she just went straight to the beatdown when she entered the ring, as opposed to talking about Maria. While she didn’t do it this week, she also references the history of the Knockouts a bit too much when that should be the job of Josh Mathews and D’Angelo Dinero.
Drew Galloway vs. Decay: Drew looked really good here, a bit too good and it was at the expense of the TNA Tag Champions. I’m not sure why wrestling companies feel the need to feed their tag champs to the babyface champ in handicap situations and it’s is extenuated when TNA is in need of repairing their tag division. Matthews was bad in his opening call of thinking that it was a singles match, but he redeemed himself when he questioned why it was limited to being a tag match versus being tornado style. That and the continued use of the Janice nail bat served as bad recollections of bad TNA.