By John Moore
TNA Impact Wrestling Hits
Eddie Edwards vs. EC3 vs. Lashley: A very fun main event with high energy which is good in keeping the viewers interested and glued to watching the match. EC3 is capable of having really good main events and I feel like it’s been a while since he has looked really good in a main event encounter. He looked good here. TNA continues to do a good job with Lashley by keeping him heel yet he’s still probably the strongest wrestler in all of his matches. here was a low IQ sequence in the end of this match though where Lashley threw Eddie Edwards outside for no reason after hitting him with his finisher. At least D’Angelo Dinero tried to cover that up somewhat.
Davey Richards: It was a bit cheesy in the way they set up for this one where Eddie Edwards was about to tell everyone his surprise several times only to be interrupted at the last minute, but it was fun cheesy. Since this was the first episode of a new year, there was a bit of fear that TNA would do the thing they usually do and overbook the hell out of the main event. The referee was bullied, but it wasn’t your traditional TNA “REF BUMP!” that is so tired at this point. That was the perfect moment for Davey to return. Plus, we didn’t get the overbooked heel turn on night one. I’m not saying they shouldn’t turn Davey because that can actually be a great opponent for Eddie down the road, but they should build up to that and this is a good step towards that. It’s also good to see Davey back after such a long layoff.
Allie vs. Sienna: A nice little twist with the male valet costing the female wrestler the match due to being in “peril” (I’m calling Braxton Sutter a valet in this situation. Or is he a “trainer”?). I’m going to assume that Allie has been training in wrestling (kayfabe) for the last month or so which is why she is so dominant against the presumed monster of the Knockouts division. I did point out before that Sienna should be booked stronger, but she could just say down the road that Maria was holding her back. This is a good feud and they are really doing a great job building Allie. It’s also cool to see it continue because it almost seemed like they were ending it prematurely when Allie defeated Laurel Van Ness.
Swoggle: I know a lot of people by the end of his run in WWE thought he was cringe material, he was actually a popular act at one point upon his debut as the “Little Bastard”. The only reason he became cringeworthy was because he became the payoff to every single big WWE storyline that they couldn’t find an ending to, which Matt and Jeff Hardy referenced here. Rockstar Spud was also really good in taking the loss. The only bad thing I saw about the debut of Swoggle was it had to be at Spud’s expense given that Spud may be the best promo guy in the company. At this point, I wouldn’t mind seeing TNA cut him so he can blaze a trail somewhere else.
Overall Show: It’s easy to assume that a lot of viewers were expecting a lot of change due to the new year. One of the things I personally feared was dramatic change because they have a new creative team and ownership. There was no way of knowing what TNA would be in 2017 due to the possibility of the reset button being hit company-wise every single year. This episode was more par for the course of 2016, but that’s a good thing due to 2016 being one of their best creative years ever.
TNA Impact Wrestling Misses
Moose vs. Mike Bennett: To get the positive out of the way, it’s cool to see that Mike Bennett around for at least the time being because he’s a very valuable heel and his wife is one of the best heels in professional wrestling. That said, this ultimately ended up being a filler match. For one, this was Moose’s big feud leading into Bound for Glory and we just got back to it with zero build. Also, the Grand Championship is looking like a glorified TV Title with no vision. If they were going to take the MMA approach they should have at least non-title preliminary matches to set up for a title shot. Instead, at one point we got Baron freakin’ Dax getting a title shot for no reason. They should have built up to this especially given their history. The only person so far who has been built and elevated with this format is Jesse Godderz.
Fact of Life: These things have been either good hits or solid misses. This was a solid miss this week. It wasn’t due to the players involved because everyone was fine here, but the purpose was a bit unclear? Was it to set up for the PPV today? That said, did anyone else know that there was a PPV happening this week?
Decay vs. Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett: The positive here is that it’s always cool to see Decay outside of the X Division because they deserve way more than that hell given how great their act is. The negative comes in Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett seemingly relegated to the role of X Division enhancement talent, which is what the X Division always seems to fall back to. Also, are Decay babyfaces now due to getting beat up by DCC? What the hell is DCC supposed to be now? Are they a business form of Beer Money? Business Money? Beer Business? Beer Anarchy? I don’t really care because DCC sucks and all they really do is lose to the Hardys, and they only beat Jeff in handicap matches. As for Decay’s new entrance theme, I liked the melody but it wasn’t as good as their licensed music. The new theme kinda sounds like it came from Jeff Hardy’s band.