By John Moore
Impact Wrestling Hits
Jeff Hardy vs. Smokin’ Joe Frazier: Yes, my first hit goes to Jeff Hardy vs. the Kangaroo. Why? Because there weren’t too many Hits from this show and I’m at that reaching point again. That said, even though this may be a bit redundant with the Hardys going back to Matt’s Zoo, it followed up from last week’s MCW trip where we got so see some of that Cameron, North Carolina charm again. Even though it made no sense, at least they wrote them out with Decay somehow deleting them inside of purgatory which wrote them out of television.
Rachel Ellering vs. Sienna: From an in-ring perspective, this was one of the better knockouts matches we’ve seen in a while from people not named Rosemary or Jade. Even though Ellering took the loss I feel like she was presented as an enhancement wrestler, complete with generic music and video wall. Another part of this Hit, Sienna finally hit “The Pounce” correctly. Now all she has to do is get hyped after the move like good ol’ Monty Brown. That’ll surely remind people of when TNA was “Great”! ugh. Speaking of “ugh” moments, The bad part of this match was Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash’s bickering going into overdrive which was the story of the night.
D’Angelo Dinero: He gets the Hit even though the three-man commentary booth was extremely horrid tonight. More on that in a bit. Dinero did a solid job doing both color and play-by-play to cover up the moments where Josh and Jeremy would just go at it for no productive reason. Dinero did this last week too when he no-sold Josh’s comments while focusing on the action in the ring as much to not duel with Josh. I also commend him for challenging Josh and Borash at points to try to bring them back on task.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Josh Mathews and Jeremy Borash: This was the story of the night, and an extremely horrid tale. Even though Pope took a concerted effort to try to be the reliable voice on the commentary, Josh and Jeremy were bad tonight. Borash wasn’t bad in terms of commentating; he just sold every single insult that Josh threw at him to the point where during huge segments of the show they would completely ignore what’s happening in the ring and just yell at each other. They yelled to no end! Dutch talked about trying to bring back the fans. Let’s just say some old fans were watching. If they didn’t change the channel after seeing bad TNA nostalgia moments, they surely would have just to shut up Josh and JB. This was channel change worthy! Mathews is trying his best to impersonate heel Michael Cole and he’s actually taking it to another level. Not a good level.
Bobby Lashley vs. Alberto El Patron: This was a near 20-minute match that didn’t feel that long; it was pretty good up to about 14 minutes or so. Where this match started to go off the rails was the “first” ref bump. Which led to a “second” ref bump. Not only that, we got belts, referees running out, agents, essentially an overbooked finish. Prichard said TNA was dead. I thought I saw the undead version of TNA tonight. TNA isn’t only a cockroach they are a zombie cockroach!
X Division four way: Damn… Damn… TNA was starting to get things right the past few weeks with an actual singles feud and actual singles matches. Believe it or not, Andrew Everett was actually starting to get over as a really fun babyface for the fans to get behind and you could tell that they were getting behind him. This week we’re back to the X Division being homogenous spot monkeys that do flips and assisted acrobatics. The story with Braxton Sutter and Allie was done somewhat well, especially with Allie doing such a good job acting like a rookie when she’s a seasoned vet; but the problem lies in you could have told the same story and done more for Sutter by just having him beat Marshe Rockett in a singles match rather than bury him in these multi-man matches. As I have mentioned in the past, if TNA wants to know how to push one of their own stars, look at how WWE did more for the career of Mark Andrews in one match and a video package than TNA did during his entire run in the homogenous X Division.
Reno Scum vs. DCC: This miss isn’t because the DCC faction sucks. The act sucks, but this Miss goes back to the announcing again and it really hurt the debut of Reno Scum. Luckily for me, I actually got to see Reno Scum perform for the first time a few weeks ago in All Pro Wrestling and they were pretty good, Luster in particular was fun to watch. The problem here was Josh Mathews’ yelling overshadowed this match and ruined the debut of new wrestlers to Impact. This match was more about the announcers and Reno Scum was an afterthought. It doesn’t help that beating DCC means nothing because they suck and lose to Jessie Godderz single handedly regularly. The positive from this segment was hopefully DCC bickering at the ends means DCC isn’t long for this world.
Overall Show: I’m going to combine the Bruce Prichard and Dutch Mantell segments into this Miss because of the overall message of the show which was to “Make Impact Great” by reverting to what the current creative minds thought worked about ten years ago. The overall show was built around this concept. To be completely honest, “That” TNA caused me to stop watching weekly. “That” TNA turned Samoa Joe and Okada into Green Hornet and Kato. “That” TNA made AJ Styles a Ric Flair impersonator. “That” TNA turned Bobby Roode and Abyss face and heel up to five times in one year (I actually researched that one). “That” TNA slowly drove viewers away with overbooked finishes and contrived classics like “Feast or Fired” or “King of the Mountain”. It would be tough for “That” TNA to survive in the current environment with ROH, FloSlam, NXT, Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and other more assessable alternatives to WWE Raw and Smackdown. They also talked about making TNA Great Again! TNA was great last year! Are they saying that the solution is to rehire Billy Corgan, Dave Lagana, and Matt Conway? Because I’d take that given that TNA Impact Wrestling was actually a great wrestling show to watch in 2017. The only thing that was in turmoil last year was what was happening financially and leadership-wise which are meta concepts that casual viewers don’t care about.