By Jason Powell
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Champions Opening: A minor Hit for establishing who the champions were coming out of the Bound For Glory pay-per-view. It was also good to see Billy Corgan the rock star rather than suit wearing Billy Corgan. I just hope the addition of Aiden O’Shea to his act isn’t a sign that Corgan is a heel authority figure. Yes, there’s interest in the real ownership situation. No, TNA doesn’t need another invasion angle with on-air battle for power. The big negative of the segment was Lashley badmouthing the Grand Championship. Sure, it’s logical that his character would talk smack about the new championship, but this should have been avoided because it was damaging to the championship, which was already off to a rocky start.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes: A good introductory promo from Cody, who endorsed TNA while also establishing that he made the call to leave WWE. Cody showed good fire in discussing his desire to be champion and the live crowd was with him throughout his promo. It feels like there needs to be an on-air explanation for Brandi becoming a wrestler. We saw her work as a ring announcer in WWE, but we never saw her wrestle. She was a very good ring announcer, but there’s no telling where she’s at as a promo. Whether she puts it in her own words or Cody does it for her, we need to hear why she made the switch and what her aspirations are. At this early point, she seems like a silent cheerleader for her husband. TNA got TMZ love for announcing the signing of Brandi as a Knockout, but they may have been better served making it seem like she’s a not a wrestler. It could have felt like a big deal when her non-wrestling character agreed to wrestle for the first time, and the expectations of fans would have been lower.
Fact of Life: It’s awesome to see the return of the out-of-ring talkshow set. It’s something I begged for many times in past editorials, but I gave up on the idea because WWE seemed content with having their talkshow segments in the ring. And as WWE goes, so goes the rest of the pro wrestling industry usually. TNA has the right host in Drake. As rough as his early talkshows were, he has improved via trial and error. Drake has breakout star potential if TNA creative plays it right and he continues to improve in the ring and find his persona. “We will watch your career with great interest.” – Senator Palpatine.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Eddie Edwards beats Lashley to win the TNA Title: As nice as it is to see hard working nice guy Eddie Edwards get the gold, I’m just not a fan of the move. I praised TNA on Sunday night for recognizing that it wasn’t EC3’s time at Bound For Glory. I thought it showed discipline to avoid the temptation of ending the biggest show of the year on a high note with the babyface standing tall. I thought TNA creative recognized that they needed to find the right wrestler and the right moment for someone beat Lashley. Edwards winning the title out of the blue on Impact does not qualify. Edwards entered this match with zero momentum. He lost a semifinal Grand Championship tournament match to Aron Rex, then lost an X Division Title match to DJ Z, and then lost again to Rex again in the tournament finals. We’ll see what they have in mind, but if it’s pure shock value then I don’t think it was worth cashing in the equity they built up in Lashley.
Broken Matt and Brother Nero vs. Decay in a Wolf Creek Cage Match: TNA booked a cage match named after a good horror movie that has spawned its own spinoff television series on Pop. I get the idea of playing nice with the network, but the setup for the match was almost nonexistent. I rolled my eyes when I spotted the chainsaw and a grappling hook on the cage. I want pro wrestling to feel realistic. The Broken Universe is an exception and I actually would have been fine if the chainsaw had come into play during a Cameron, North Carolina shoot because the idea is that it’s mayhem that the company has no control over. We all have our own line when it comes to suspending disbelief. TNA crossed mine by making it seem as if the company was endorsing the idea of one of the wrestlers using a chainsaw or a grappling hook as a weapon by attaching them to the side of the ring.
Gail Kim vs. Sienna: The match didn’t do much for me. Sienna was the powerhouse of the division, but now it seems like she’s just another Knockout. I like the idea of bringing in one of the women to serve as a Knockouts color commentator. Unfortunately, week one for Madison was rough. She is soft spoken and I really had to strain to hear her. The heel beatdown of Gail Kim after her win was logical, yet it also felt repetitive in that we’ve been seeing Maria’s crew rough her up for months.
Aron Rex vs. Baron Dax: Cody is the game changer, while Rex and the Grand Championship are apparently changing the game. If this isn’t a designed deal to build to an issue between the two of them, then someone needs to change their line. The fans continue to cool on Rex. Here’s hoping he turns heel soon.
Team X Gold: I had to rewind the six-man spot fest three times to find out what was happening. Even then, I watched an online video that TNA released that was entitled “What is Team X Gold All About?” The video showed the closing seconds of this match and offered no explanation. The only thing I really took from the explanation offered on Impact is that this is the brainchild of Billy Corgan and DJ Z, and the rules will be strictly enforced. Is this leading to six-man tag titles? I really hope not. Focus on making the X Division matter again and getting the Grand Championship over.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...