By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Lashley and EC3 verbal exchange: A good show opening segment that set the stage for the Lethal Lockdown main event. The champion was confident in telling EC3 that he’s different than the other men that EC3 has faced in that he can hurt him. The challenger came off hungry to win the championship, and equally confident when he encouraged Lashley to join him in being the first man in the Lethal Lockdown match. As much as I am looking forward to the match, it doesn’t feel like EC3 has reached his babyface peak as I hoped he would. And it felt that way even before the main event finish. More on that later.
DJ Z vs. Eddie Edwards: A solid, yet brief match. It’s still odd they didn’t build up to this match and give them some time on Bound For Glory. My guess is that they are going with some type of “get all the X Division guys on the show” spot-fests. I want to like DJ Z because I enjoyed him as the heel Zema Ion so much, but I’m still not feeling his babyface persona. The attack by the heels was fine. Are they building up to Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett vs. The Wolves at some point? If so, here’s hoping they do more to establish Lee and Everett.
Mike Bennett and Moose: A good sit-down interview with Moose coming off better in this setting than he has with other promos. His explanation of how he’s been annoyed by blowhards throughout his NFL days and now in his pro wrestling days was simple and effective. Bennett continues to shine on the mic. It will be interesting to see how they work together in the ring.
Reby Hardy vs. Rosemary: The live crowd just didn’t know what to make of this match. Reby played to the fans and was the babyface, but she had a hard time getting much of a reaction from the fans. It’s tough to like her character because she played the role of she-devil so well when she was driving a wedge between Matt and Jeff, and she’s become more of a babyface by association. Fortunately, the match was kept brief and it was simply a setup for one big brawl between Decay and the Broken Family. The theatrical backstage exchange was more Broken fun with Matt being electrocuted. We’ve seen greatness from the Broken Universe in the matches filmed in Cameron, but it will be interesting to see what they can pull off on Sunday.
Overall show: A good go-home edition for Bound For Glory with nearly everything on the show designed to add final hype to the various feuds heading into the company’s biggest show of the year. It’s a shame that the ownership drama has overshadowed the fact that this has been a very good build, and BFG looks like a good show on paper.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
EC3, Moose, Aron Rex, and Gail Kim vs. Lashley, Mike Bennett, Drew Galloway, and Maria: As much as I liked EC3 putting out the challenge to Lashley to be the first entrants in the match, I like that the champion accepted only to back out. I have no idea why the women would be included in the match from a storyline standpoint. It was bizarre when Lashley picked Maria for his team without explanation. Surely they could have come up with another spot on the card for Gail Kim to chase Maria to the back. I also thought it was very strange to have the challenger pass out to the champion’s submission hold. I mentioned earlier that it doesn’t seem like EC3 is peaking heading into the show as you’d want him to be, but this really made him look weak. Sure, it will make an interesting story if EC3 wins the championship, but don’t you want the fans to be excited by the possibility of seeing a new champion?
Aron Rex and Drew Galloway: Rex continues to feel miscast as a babyface. Galloway is doing fine as a heel, but I continue to wish that they would pull back on the turn and returning him to the role of white meat babyface that he played so effectively. Rex seemed to be trying to incorporate more elements of Damien Sandow into his promo, but it resulted in the crowd openly groaning at one of his cheeseball lines. I really want to like Rex, but this is not clicking. With Galloway considered doubtful for BFG due to injury, perhaps we
Laurel Van Ness vs. Madison Rayne: The match was all about Allie being forced to introduce Van Ness and then announce her as the winner afterward. And Allie was great. Her eye rolling and pouting were perfect. Unfortunately, the match itself failed in terms of making Van Ness come off well. Her privileged childhood persona feels very generic. It can work if they play it up outside the ring as the did with EC3, but so far she comes off like just another wrestler in the Knockouts Division.
Tyrus and Eli Drake: We’ve seen infomercials for Tyrus’s Problem Solver character for what countless weeks. He finally has someone take him up on his wrestler for hire gimmick, yet he turns it down because he wants to fight Drake for reasons that were never made clear. Strange.
The Best of The Boom features Tony Schiavone joining Jason Powell in this May 30, 2018 discussion in which he looks back on when he went to Ric Flair's house for his first pro wrestling assignment, his year with WWE, his one appearance for TNA Impact Wrestling, and more...