TNA Impact Hit List: Will Ospreay vs. Josh Alexander, Nic Nemeth’s first promo, Xia Brookside vs. Tasha Steelz, Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

TNA Impact Hits

Will Ospreay vs. Josh Alexander: Another game from Ospreay and Alexander. It was good to see Alexander get his win back given that this is likely to be Ospreay’s final TNA match. Speaking of which, it’s a shame that we won’t be treated to a rubber match, but I thoroughly enjoyed the two matches we got from these two. There was something that felt right about Mr. Impact picking up a huge win on the first episode of the rebranded television show.

Nic Nemeth: A good mission statement style promo. I was not a fan of Nemeth’s WWE mic work. He spent too much time talking about stealing shows. He also griped about not getting opportunities he deserved, which felt too insider because it never meshed with all of the losses that he took on WWE television. Nemeth ditched those tired lines and also avoided some of the high-pitched screaming of his key promo lines. This was a down to earth and relatable Nemeth. He came off really well as a big fish in a smaller pond and I could see him growing into the face of the company main event player role if he is going to be around long term. Either way, I am really looking forward to seeing how he does outside WWE now that he’s shown up in both TNA and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Steve Maclin interrupting Nemeth to set up a future match was nicely done.

Jake Something vs. El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Mike Bailey vs. Kushida vs. Trey Miguel vs. Laredo Kid in a scramble match for a shot at the X Division Title: A Hit for a strong six-way match. The broadcast team framed this as the perfect way to kick off the new TNA era. As much as the X Division has been a staple of the company, this is actually the type of match that drove me nuts about the original TNA. They had a great cast of X Division wrestlers and they often booked them in random spot-fest matches. I will always wonder how different things could have been for the original TNA had those same wrestlers been supported with better storylines and featured in prominent singles feuds ahead of some of the garbage that went on in the main event slots. They even capped this match off with Something winning and the usual nonsense about how the X Division isn’t about weight limits, it’s about no limits. Whatever. I get that they are going to pay lip service to the old TNA as part of this rebrand, but I don’t get the warm fuzzies for TNA nostalgia, so they can’t move forward quickly enough as far as I’m concerned.

“The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian: I’ve never been a fan of the Grizzled Young Veterans team name and yet I could not have been happier to see it again. NXT wasted a portion of Gibson and Drake’s careers by saddling them with the awful Dyad gimmick and sticking with it long after it was obvious that it and the bad cult simply was not working. Gibson and Drake are a terrific team and it was good to see them get a meaningful win over two of TNA’s longest tenured veterans in their first match on Impact. The post match angle with Kazarian turning on Young caught me by surprise and sets up what should be a good feud.

Xia Brookside vs. Tasha Steelz: A good spotlight match for Brookside. It doesn’t mean as much as it should to beat Steelz, but the broadcast team did their best to emphasize that Brookside beat a former Knockouts Champion.

Ash by Elegance: I hope fans who somehow convinced themselves that Dana Brooke’s new persona is a ripoff of “Timeless” Toni Storm have come back to reality. It’s still too early to tell whether this gimmick will be successful, but I continue to applaud Brooke for taking a chance on playing a fresh character as opposed to sticking with her forgettable WWE persona.

Overall Show: As much as I dislike the TNA name for the obvious reasons, the company has done a very good job of making its rebranding feel like a big deal. The first television show back under the new banner was top notch. For those who haven’t been watching the product, this is nothing new. The company has produced some of the most consistently entertaining pro wrestling television shows for a long time now. It is a shame that some regulars may have missed out on this episode. I have the show set to record weekly on my DVR, but it was lost due to the name change. I noticed this in time to record the usual replay following the New Japan Pro Wrestling show on AXS-TV, but unfortunately there was not a replay last night. I looked ahead to next week and there’s no replay advertised again, so it appears that AXS will be going with just one showing of Impact and the NJPW going forward. Fortunately, I was able to see this show on the new TNA+ app. The app functions well, but as someone with poor hearing, I definitely missed the closed captioning that I get on AXS-TV.

TNA Impact Misses

The System: Perhaps the new faction will grow on me, but it feels like a collection of TNA mainstays who were just thrown together despite not having much actual chemistry. Moose regaining the world championship continues to strike me as a questionable move. It’s possible he’s just a transitional champion and they intend to move the belt to Nic Nemeth, but I would have been more excited about Nemeth chasing Alex Shelley.

PCO vs. Jai Vidal: A soft Miss. I guess they wanted to show off the PCO entrance they used at Hard To Kill. There wasn’t much to this.


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