By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway: This was a much better match for “Broken” Matt Hardy after having an average one with EC3 a few weeks ago. Matt got to look better here and I like the establishing of his side effect signature move as a weapon in his arsenal. Galloway is Galloway, he can work with a lot of people from Grado to Matt Hardy. The fighting champion approach works as well.
Sienna vs. Madison Rayne: Even though I believe that Madison Rayne could mean a lot more in the Knockouts division, this was a needed win to help build up Sienna from being more than just a generic background character that EC3 joked about last week. Madison is a former champ, so her offensive flurry does make sense. This match would have been much better to help Sienna and Allie if that match that happened last week didn’t happen, which established them as background sidekicks. Another nice aspect of this segment was Allie playing the ringside manager of Sienna as well as the mouthpiece. Her position reminds me of the position that Rockstar Spud was in when he was Dixie Carter’s Chief of Staff.
Eli Drake on Mountains: Most Eli Drake segments are missable, like one we’ll get to in the section below, but the video before his talk show was actually produced pretty well and was funny. The meaning of the King of the Mountain title has been a mystery to everyone, even those who held it. I talked to PJ Black a few weeks ago and he wasn’t sure what it meant when he held it. Bobby Roode said one that that he thought the KOTM title meant “Pro Wrestling”, whatever that means, and even he forgot about the title once the World Title Series commenced and he had his run with Beer Money. I like the title actually being about being the king of physical mountains. Now I wonder if those mountains that Eli Drake is the king of are standing alongside the “Valley of the Shadows”.
Lashley and Matt Hardy Backstage: This segment lasted for about two minutes, but it’s another good example of how good Lashley has become as a character. The cap he wears really helps him out when in the past he would look like a plastic mannequin.
EC3 and Gail Kim vs. Mike Bennett and Allie: Good hype for several matches at Slammiversary. Gail Kim picks up the win, but not the dominant win that we usually see from her in handicap situations against factions. I like the post-match chair angle and would like to see what comes out of it. I hope it leads to a similar shift in Gail’s character as she did last year when she started talking less and fighting more.
Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards: This is a minor Hit in the sense that you can never really put stake into TNA reviving the X Division, but this is one of those many positive steps that they would take on occasion before they move back to weekly multi-man gimmick matches. Even with all of the run-ins, at least the run-ins had purpose. The past few X-Division matches have fallen into that pattern or meaninglessness between three or four of the same guys. Another minor flaw is the presentation of champion Trevor Lee. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sienna and Allie joke that EC3 gave last week would feel more appropriate for Lee and Andrew Everett. All of that said, this was a positive in that it broke out of the stale pattern.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Eli Drake’s Fact of Life: Eli Drake comes off as Miz-lite (circa 2010) at so many levels. Miz said that his character around 2010 was inspired by The Rock. Drake seems derivative of that making him seem like a derivative of a derivative. Decay was fine here, but they still feel out of place feuding with BroMans. BroMans. It’s what I feared with the dissolution of Beer Money and Eric Young and Bram. Perhaps there is some hope with Grado and Shera as well as The Tribunal to expand the Tag Division. Ultimately, Decay is waiting for Davey Richards to feel better.
Willow and Matt Hardy: Jeff Hardy as Willow was the best part of this since he does perform the character well. I couldn’t help but feel that the production of this segment could have been a little better. When they revealed the crowd with Willow masks, they should have turned the lighting down a bit and maybe introduce some Jeff Hardy strobe lighting. It was funny that Jeff had control over the Shadow Clones this time.