By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Delete or Decay: A good sequel recaptures the spirit of the original while continuing the story or telling a new story involving the main characters. There’s typically a fine line when it comes to including throwback moments to the original. Viewers will enjoy a certain amount of this, but it’s easy to go too far and leave the viewer feel like he/she is watching a glorified remake of the original. Delete or Decay is not a major motion picture, but it found the right sequel balance. As if Broken Matt and Brother Nero sparring with a kangaroo wasn’t enough, the spot monkey whisperer joke with the monkeys being named after X Division wrestlers stole the entire show for me. Much like the original, this installment was campy, strange, and a whole lot of fun. If you hated Final Deletion then you surely hated its sequel. It’s not for everyone, but the simple truth is that the original drew more attention to TNA than six months of quality booking did. It put TNA back on the map for some disenchanted viewers. “Delete” replaced some variation of “F— TNA” as the most common TNA related chant at independent shows. Love it or hate it, Broken Matt Hardy is the best thing to happen to TNA in years.
Mike Bennett and Dixie Carter: A Hit for all the wrong reasons. I laughed out loud when Dixie walked out with her usual blank expression only to have the broadcast team say she didn’t look happy. I laughed even harder when Dixie actually said fans were there to watch wrestling, and then she proceeded to engage in a verbal exchange with Bennett. I have no idea why Dixie is even on the show at this point, but I actually hope she continues provide unintentional humor. All of that said, the company did a nice of setting up the Bennett vs. Moose match at Bound For Glory, and Bennett did a good job of selling his unhappiness over being forced to face the big man. It was also good to see Bennett escape before Moose could get his hands on him, as that should be saved for Bound For Glory.
Lashley and EC3 press conference brawl: I am big on the press conference approach in that it helps create a big fight vibe. The brawl that followed was risky in that fights in front of dozens of fans rather than a full venue don’t always come off well, but that was not a problem in this case. Lashley and EC3 had a good, intense brawl that served as the best hype to date for their Bound For Glory main event.
Gail Kim and Jade vs. Allie and Sienna: The latest example of Maria and Sienna bullying Allie. Josh Mathews summed it up nicely simply asking “What did she do to them?” Although Jade wasn’t the focus of the match, the live crowd seemed to be more invested in her offense than usual. She’s a good wrestler and hopefully this is a sign that she’s finally starting to connect with the fans. Meanwhile, Sienna’s version of Monty Brown’s Pounce looked softer than ever.
Eli Drake vs. Jessie Godderz: This was the better of the two Grand Championship tournament matches. They did a better job of using the fall format than the first match, and it didn’t feel like the outcome of this match was nearly as predictable. Godderz worked much better as a straight forward babyface than he has as the posing BroMans tag wrestler, and he also came off well in the introductory video package.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Knockouts Logic: t’s absurd that the TNA board of directors took issue with Maria having a conflict of interest now that she’s champion, yet they apparently had no problem with her being a tyrant (RIP to the FX show) while she was in storyline control of the division. It’s also silly that everyone has to act like they forgot that Gail Kim was told she would get a Knockouts Title shot if she beat every Knockout on the TNA roster. Am I forgetting a loss or will they conveniently remember this again next week?
Grand Championship introduction: It started with a flub. Jeremy Borash was begging Billy Corgan to give him the scoop on his major announcement. Moments later, we heard a Borash narrated video package that explained the Grand Championship format. Should we assume this was a mistake or that Borash knew about the Grand Championship and didn’t think it lived up to Corgan’s hype? Anyway, I didn’t care for the way the introduction was more about Drew Galloway and Aron Rex than the actual concept. If they were foreshadowing the finals of the tournament then they went too far. There was no explanation as to why the eight wrestlers in the tournament were chosen over others. It is truly bizarre that Mahabali Shera is one of the eight wrestlers in the tournament.
Drew Galloway vs. Braxton Sutter: This wasn’t a great introduction to the new format. Who were the ringside judges and how are the qualified? Is TNA going to dim the lights and look low budget whenever they have one of these matches? TNA should consider not revealing the actual scoring after each round. How about listing D’Angelo Dinero’s unofficial scorecard so that you get a little more mystery when a match comes down to the actual judging. Granted, you can tell a bit of a story by knowing the scores after each round, but it seems like you can get the same effect by going with Pope’s unofficial scores. The first match didn’t wow me, but these matches should get better as the wrestlers and agents get more creative in terms of working with the new format.