By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Allie and Maria: An excellent exchange with heel Maria and the loveably dim Allie character. Sure, the championship is now on a woman who rarely wrestles in TNA, but she’s also the most over heel female in the company. And before anyone complains about the title losing credibility, it’s not like the Knockouts Title was in a great place before this. Meanwhile, the fans finally seem to be invested in the Allie character. Maria is great in her heel role, and Allie is doing a tremendous job of playing a role similar to the one that Maria played earlier in her career before WWE made her just another Diva.
Broken Matt vs. Crazzy Steve: A good weekly dose of Broken Matt fun. Matt going over was logical, and I enjoyed the way Steve laughed into the mic moments after losing and then revealed that the absent Rosemary was going to kidnap Matt’s son Maxel. How can you not like the “Rosemary’s baby” line? Of course, anything involving Señor Benjamin is Hit-worthy, especially once he’s instructed to prepare the battlefield for massacre. A big welcome back to the Maxel imposter doll. I was worried that the Broken routine had jumped the shark when Matt put a fan in a trance, but this got them back on track in a big way, and next week’s war on the battlefield with Decay is can’t miss TV.
Lashley vs. Mike Bennett: It was an interesting twist with heel Lashley playing mind games with heel Bennett in the opening segment by teasing him with the notion that Moose no longer has his back. I was actually surprised when Moose’s music hit because I was hoping they would keep the intrigue going throughout the show by not having him appear until the main event. In fairness, this may have been more of a hook for some viewers than it was for me. While they did that by having Moose say he would decide who wins, it lessened my interest in the main event because it sent the message that it would be a cheap finish, while also creating the question of why TNA management wouldn’t step in and ban Moose from ringside since he was basically threatening to interfere in the match. By the way, after hearing Moose talk, I now understand why ROH used Stokely Hathaway as his mouthpiece. I’d limit him to sit-down interviews until he improves. All of that said, the angle played out well. We know Moose isn’t aligned with Bennett, but they did it in a way where we don’t know where he stands with Lashley. My guess is that he’s his own man.
EC3 vs. Eli Drake: A minor Hit with a good win for EC3 as he heads into his Bound For Glory title match. However, I’m not sure why Eli Drake is losing so often. There’s no shame in losing to the EC3 character, but surely they could have protected Drake by having EC3 beat someone else.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Drew Galloway and Aron Rex: I am still not sold on the idea of turning Galloway. I have no doubt that he will be a fine heel, but he was a terrific white meat babyface in an era where it’s difficult to pull that off. Galloway was essentially playing the John Cena role for TNA. He walked the line brilliantly in terms of being the rah-rah company guy without losing the fans by becoming too cheesy in that role. Quite frankly, it’s easier to find a good heel than it is to find a babyface who actually clicks the way Galloway did. Meanwhile, the fans like Aron Rex because he’s the underutilized former WWE wrestler who just crossed over to TNA. As much as I enjoyed Damien Sandow’s antics, I just don’t think he will be as effective as Galloway was in his new main event level babyface position. I can’t applaud this move until Rex proves me wrong or we find out that TNA took this approach because they don’t believe Galloway intends to re-sign when his contract expires. By the way, Billy Corgan is so quirky in his TNA authority figure role that they shouldn’t send him out to confront the heels because he comes off more unlikable than they do.
Ultimate X gauntlet for the X Division Title: I’m just not on the same page as TNA creative when it comes to their vision for the X Division. They seem to see it as a big train wreck with multi person spot-fest matches. I would put my personal tastes aside if there was some sign that this approach worked. I still believe the key to the division is singles matches involving well defined characters who are not made to look inferior by losing matches to the heavyweights. The TNA approach leads to fans cheering spots more than individuals. This felt like every other X Division spot fest with the usual cast of characters. It would have been easier to be excited by DJ Z winning the championship if they taken the time to tell the story of him battling health problems and other issues prior to the match rather than having him discuss it afterward. And why in the world does Z continue to mimic the awful BroMans sound effect now that he’s a babyface?!?
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...