By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Opening Segment: Aside from the random Billy Corgan appearance, Mike Bennett, Bobby Lashley, Drew Galloway, and EC3 were all effective in keeping the main event scene in TNA hot. Lashley continues to shine on the microphone. A great line of his was where he told Bennett to look at himself and look at Lashley to see a man who’s twice the man that Bennett is. EC3 was witty in his humor. Galloway hitting the Claymore accidentally also forwards his heat with EC3. An effective segment.
Fact of Life: This was probably the most over Eli Drake’s material has ever been mostly due to James Storm propping it up. If ample time can be allocated towards this feud from a promo side, this could be one of the stepping stones towards finally making the Eli Drake act work. Drake always looks like he tries too hard. Storm is a puppet master on the microphone as a babyface or a heel and makes it look effortless, like he barely has to try at all to get his material over which is the antithesis to Eli Drake’s act. This was a good start to things for Drake with Storm pulling the fans to start chanting “Yeah” and “Dummy” to Drake’s material. This feud could be good for Storm who has had nothing to do since beer money disappeared. Drake wasn’t bad on his end too and the funniest line I think he’s ever delivered was when he pointed out that the crowd had just booed water.
Mike Bennett vs. Braxton Sutter: This was not much of a match, but it was good in playing to Bennett’s cheating and opportunistic character. It was odd that Braxton (then known as Pepper Parks) was also Bennett’s opponent when Bennett debuted in TNA. In a strange way, this was the type of match and attention to the X Division Title that I had wished they had given to Trevor Lee when he was champion. The X Division could actually use cheap finishes, one on one matches, storylines, and all of the other things that make the main event programs worth watching. Sadly, once Destination X passes, I totally expect the X Title to go back to being defended in multi-man spotfests because TNA hasn’t known how to do otherwise since Jeff Jarrett left the booking committee.
Mahabali Shera wanting his money: Somehow, I just wanted this backstage segment to be a parody of TNA’s paychecks not arriving on time.
“The Fixer” Tyrus: They were doing these vignettes throughout the night that looked like PopTV 1-800 commercials. Little did we know, they were introducing a soft reboot of the Tyrus character. It reminded me of how Lucha Underground reintroduced the character of Famous B earlier in the year with commercials like this. The first positive step in building Tyrus was him doing something that he’s rarely done in TNA – win a match. They also allowed him to essentially beat the Tribunal members three on one. The match he was in was an afterthought aside from Al Snow keeping the whistle in his mouth throughout. The one thing that could totally mess up this reintroduction of Tyrus would be if they made him a dancing dinosaur again. Please don’t make him a dancing dinosaur!
Lashley vs. EC3 vs. Drew Galloway: TNA needs to be careful and not to have these three guys have matches against each other every single week, or else these matches will stop having their luster. This feud has started to develop that loss in luster so hopefully TNA could mix things up a little, maybe by getting Jeff and Matt off of that island they are on. What made this a bit fresh was Lashley feeding off the egos of Galloway and Ethan Carter III clashing. There might have been a flub in that match with Lashley being a bit late in breaking up the pin after Galloway hit the Future Shock DDT and EC3 was forced to sell it minimally. That’s just a personal nitpick since TNA has done a good job establishing Drew’s DDT as his definitive finisher. Also, was EC3’s second ever loss by pinfall supposed to be a big deal? They didn’t treat it as such since the guy never gets pinned.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy: These two seem to be stuck on an island trying to milk a feud that got some online buzz a bit too much. I have to say that the Broken Hardy character did win me over after that hilarious Lucha Underground-esque segment from Cameron, North Carolina, but with Jeff winning so much this is starting to jump the shark. Either Matt or TNA seems a bit too proud of the “Brother Nero” thing and the online memes. Matt is usually good at evolution, but what we’re starting to see here is him becoming stale. They have great matches, great matches that Matt never wins. At the same time, it keeps Matt and Jeff away from the world title picture to make that picture seem a bit stale. This is probably a fault of the lack of depth in the TNA roster too.
Allie vs. Gail Kim: This wasn’t a terrible match, it was just disappointing. The first thing that was odd was the lack of build for this match. They didn’t even allow for build in the show because it was the first match. Jade vs. Marti Bell seems to be meandering so much that it meandered into this match. Sienna looks good in the ring and I like the name of her finisher being The Silencer. The problem with the move is how lame it looks. The move looks like it should be called “The Run and Push” because all she did to finish Gail was run toward her and then push her.
The X Division Contender Battle Royal: I like the thought behind the match, but I don’t like how it exposes the biggest problem with the X Division which is to present one type of match that’s the same as every other X Division match. The action between the ropes was easy to appreciate, but we’ve seen it so many times that this match is a literal miss, in that if you missed the match, you didn’t really miss anything important. The one story forwarding segment of the match was Mike Bennett costing Eddie Edwards the title shot. I also hope that the Spud vs. Braxton Sutter feud isn’t over because I’m still wishing that Spud would be actually used in a real program.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...