Impact Wrestling Final Thoughts
June 1, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
Impact has gone from one of the most consistent things in wrestling all year, in my opinion, to being very, very inconsistent again. The last month or so has been up and down for Impact and part of tonight’s problem was just the volume of things they were throwing out there all at once along with the dumb story of EC3 running the show which is where we will start here.
EC3 running Impact makes absolutely no sense whatsoever other than the fact that he is Dixie’s nephew. That would be all fine and well if EC3 was a heel and he used his pull with a family member to do something like that. Not so much for a babyface. Also, it really is making me think they are heading towards yet another “power struggle” angle , this time with Billy Corgan and Dixie Carter. I am begging you TNA do not do this. It wouldn’t just be a blatant rip off of the Stephanie vs. Shane thing WWE is doing but it would be probably the fourth or fifth time TNA has done that type of power struggle story in the last several years and I am so sick of it. I really hope I’m wrong but it seems that Corgan is oddly aligning himself with Maria/Bennett while Dixie is bucking his alliances.
The “Pick your Poison” stuff was pretty good as Lashley vs. Bram was a pretty good match between two big, intense, hard hitting guys. That could make for an interesting dynamite down the line too between them. Bram isn’t as athletic or charismatic as Drew but he is every bit as intense and possibly even more of a bull strength wise. I hate handicap matches because it always makes the team look like crap when they get beat by one person but they did a good job with the Main Event tonight. The Decay got protected in the loss with the Lashley interference backfiring, though the Tag Champions losing to one person is never a good thing, and they pulled off some cool spots during the match.
Speaking of tag teams how weak is TNA’s Tag Team Division right now? I mean it is absolutely pathetic. Bro-Mans face Tyrus/Spud in a #1 Contenders Match despite Spud and Tyrus having teamed together a total of one time…and it was a loss…in a Handicap Match to one opponent…last week. My God that is some flat out AWFUL booking. I mean that is WCW 2000 levels of awful. At least The Tribunal will give them another team to work with, but they are in desperate need of another babyface tag team until The Wolves come back.
Speaking of The Tribunal I liked their little entrance vignette and Al Snow as their manager would be pretty nice to see and I like that they played off of Snow’s Training School in the UK as the reason Snow scouted them and brought them in. I have absolutely no desire to see a feud between them and Grado/Shera however (that is damn sure not the babyface tag team I was talking about TNA needing).
The Braxton Sutter/Pepper Parks vignette was a nice little character profile that they really don’t do that much more of these days. He’s a solid veteran but I honestly don’t know what he will add to the roster right now other than being a solid veteran the X-Division guys can work with.
The Hardy’s stuff was really annoying all the way up to the finish of it. The way they shot it, like a movie, just made it seem really hoky and corny to me though I did like the swerve with Reby helping Matt lay Jeff out. They had set the motions with that for weeks with Reby saying that Matt was going crazy and pleading with Jeff and others so that part was nicely done, and also using their OMEGA ring as a part of it was cool to it.
After two weeks of X-Division action we go right back to having no mention whatsoever of anyone in the division (unless you count Braxton). I am so sick of complaining about this that I almost want to give it up because it doesn’t seem like anything is going to change. Yes, TNA is doing a good job building their Main Event feuds but they are doing so while also neglecting something that helped put eyes on TNA in the first place more than a decade ago. I mean they seem to be able to find room for the Knockouts, Tag Teams, and even Grado and freaking Shera every week but not the X-Division.
The Knockouts Match was fine but maddening with the way Allie/Cherry Bomb is being used. She is far too talented of a wrestler to be playing a role where she runs around acting like she is clueless in the ring. I cannot stand that and I would much rather see Jade defending her title at Slammiversary in a 4-Way against Allie, Sienna, and Gail with Maria in the corner or something rather than Maria facing Gail. That match will not be good and there will likely be a ton of interference.
The stuff with Bennett being “forced” to clean bathrooms and play referee was just dumb to me and had no redeeming qualities. The match with Storm was pretty solid but just do that instead of all of the other stuff. Why wouldn’t Bennett have just left the arena rather than be humiliated like that? EC3 obviously wants the rematch so bad that there is no way he would get fired for it (kayfabe), it just makes him look stupid. Speaking of looking stupid, how dumb did James Storm look in the finish of that match? I am so sick of distraction rollups (not just in TNA but elsewhere as well) that if I see another one I’m probably going to slam my head into a door. Not to mention how dumb Storm looked leading up to the finish. Why the hell would you even touch the beer that Maria offered you let alone stand there for like 10 seconds and allow her to slap you?
I’m hoping Slammiversary will be good and the build to Lashley-Galloway and Bennett-EC3 (until tonight) has been really good. Jeff-Matt has been very odd and inconsistent while the undercard is very jumbled right now.
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Matt’s attack on Jeff
– Match of the Night: Bram vs. Lashley (**)
– Overall Grade: D