By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
The Broken Universe: The Lake of Reincarnation and so many things about the entire Broken universe run contrary to so many things about my basic beliefs about how pro wrestling should be presented. As much as I crave a sports-like feel in pro wrestling, I am also a big believer in simply going with what works as long as it’s not a short term gain that does long term damage. The Broken Universe continues to be the most compelling aspect of TNA. It has made people who gave up on TNA give the promotion another look. It’s ridiculous, it’s absurd, yet delightfully entertaining. The feud with Decay is clicking, and the search for Senor Benjamin featuring the resurrection of Vanguard 1 was fun. I never thought I’d be happy to see a drone fly.
Lashley opening segment: Lashley continues to be a great dominant champion and jock bully heel. I was surprised to see the first real physical exchange between Lashley and Moose given away on television. I like that Moose didn’t jump from Mike Bennett’s camp to being Lashley’s sidekick. He is standing on his own as a babyface, just as he should have been from the start. I assume that what we saw late in the show with Lashley, Moose, Mike Bennett, and EC3 was done to set up a tag team main event for next week. If that’s the case, then why not simply announce that to close the show?
Maria, Allie, and Gail Kim: Maria continues to be one of the best heels in the business. Her promos are always top notch and she knows all the right buttons to push. The Kim highlight video was great. Allie made the most of her limited involvement by endorsing Kim as the best female wrestlers and trying to give her a real gift only to have Maria stomp it. I hope it wasn’t a kitten!
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Overall show: A disappointing edition of Impact with a mostly uninspired live crowd and all sorts of gimmicky. The Broken Matt segments helped make the show worth watching. Take those clips away and this would have stood out as a poor show. TNA has been far more good than bad this year, so hopefully this was just a bump in the road.
Knockouts Gauntlet: It could not have been more obvious that Gail Kim was wining the match given the angle with her and Maria from earlier in the show. And while I liked that angle, this match was lousy and served as a poor introduction of the Laurel Van Ness character.
Aron Rex vs. Trevor Lee: The thrill of Damien Sandow jumping to TNA seems to have died down significantly given the live crowd’s rather bland reaction to his entrance. Rex felt like a star when he debuted, yet he already feels rather flat just one match into his run.
Rockstar Spud vs. Braxton Sutter in an empty arena match: Man, the live crowd was dead for this match! Oh, wait. In all seriousness, this could have been better. It was just too one sided with Sutter dominating Spud. Perhaps there’s a bigger story developing, but TNA also could have done a better job of building up to this match. This should have been something they made viewers look forward to rather than just sort of throwing it out there. Spud is a gifted talker and he’s just not getting the opportunity to sell himself or his program.
Eddie Edwards vs. Mahabali Shera: Edwards carried Shera to an inoffensive match, yet there was nothing exciting or dramatic about it despite the wrestlers splitting the first two falls. I realize they have to fit Shera in somewhere, but I strongly question the logic of including him in an eight-man tournament for a new championship that is simultaneously introducing the new rounds format.
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...