7/12 Impact Wrestling Review: Moose looked impressive as hell, Matt Hardy stuff was just awful tonight

Impact Wrestling Review
July 12, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com

Tonight was surely action packed and it really felt like there was a ton going on all night long. Not all of it was good however but there was enough good that I think TNA’s momentum is continuing to go up. Thankfully TNA actually pushed the new night next week fairly hard this week and POP showed several commercials regarding the move during the show (hopefully they continue to air those commercials all week). Probably the biggest bit of news from this week was the long rumored debut of ROH’s Moose at the end of the show. The guy is massive and a freak athlete who has vastly improved over the last year or two in ROH. He still lacks in the talking aspect but that hasn’t hampered Lashley too much. Teaming him with Bennett and Maria seems a bit forced but it gives him a mouthpiece from the start as both Maria and Bennett can do the talking for him. Bennett and Moose were in ROH together but didn’t have much interaction on screen that I can remember so I’m not sure how they are going to be able to reason why they came together (outside of working at ROH at the same time). Still Moose looked impressive as hell and they made him look dominating. The fans got with the “Moose” chant pretty quick too.

The Ladder Match was exciting as hell, like Ultimate X last week, and you know that I’m super excited to see the X-Division getting so much love tonight. They really did do an excellent job all night of making the X-Division seem special from Eddie wearing his X-Division themed tights, to talking about the X-Division being the “heart” of TNA and Zema looking so strong all night. Zema getting the win over Bennett, after being in a crazy Ladder Match earlier, was great and he has really been on fire all year so I would love to see him get a run with the title again. I loved the X-Division coming out and causing Bennett to have to go back and fight Zema. Even the heels came out there but they didn’t celebrate with Zema after the match or pal around with the babyfaces which was a nice touch.

All of the Decay stuff is just bizarre and I really can’t speak on whether it’s good or not yet because I truly have no idea where they are going with this. I just can’t see how you would possibly want to split them up this early but I don’t see where the end game with Bram could be either other than him joining their group.

The Knockouts match was fine while it lasted but there were a few sloppy moments as well, and I was afraid that Jade seriously injured her knee on a high spot (I think it was just good selling on her part though). They just all seem to be running in place right now though.

The fight between EC3 and Galloway was excellent and those two have such great intensity that I think this babyface-babyface feud could actually work without having to turn each one.

The BFG Playoff seems like a shortened version of the BFG Series which I’m fine with. They still have to do a better job of explaining things because they really didn’t explain it at all. I’m assuming it is a straight forward 8-person single elimination tournament but I have no idea if that is for sure at this point. I have a feeling Moose is going to have something to say about that tournament too.

All of the Matt Hardy stuff was just awful tonight. I’m sorry but it was just bad. I enjoyed The Final Deletion for what it was last week but they just drew everything out so long over like five or six different segments tonight. That should have been the end of this Hardyz stuff. It really feels like this feud is going to never end. All of the movie style vignettes are already feeling played out to me. Part of it is that WWE has already stolen it with the New Day-Wyatt Family crap so I guess it kind of cheapened it for me. I said last week I would like to see stuff like that on occasion, not every single week. I understand it got buzz for TNA last week but it did because we had never seen anything like that before. If you do it to death over and over every week they will wear off quickly.

The Main Event was an excellent match all the way until the end. They did botch one spot pretty bad when Lashley fell off the top rope, and then when they went back to the spot Lashley still kind of hesitated for some reason. That hurt the match a bit for me but they still told a great story and Eddie’s office came off extremely believable considering who he was in the ring with. Pretty much all of Eddie’s offense was either strikes, high spots, or quick moves. He didn’t try to do anything ridiculous like Powerbomb Lashley or anything, and Lashley looked like a monster throughout. The nearfall at the end, after The Wolves hit Chasing The Dragon, was terrific and the fans bought it completely. I kind of expected a draw or no contest to happen with both titles on the line which sucks, but if you are going to go that route debuting a potential future superstar is a damn fine way to do it.

They have booked themselves into a corner a bit here next week going with the rematch, in a cage, and pretty much guaranteeing a winner will happen. I like that we are getting the rematch, so they aren’t cheating us out of a real finish, but I just don’t see Lashley losing to Zema Ion or Mandrews down the line. Unless Eddie was to win the X-Division Title back down the road, but then if he pins Lashley for that title he would deserve another World Title shot right? If Eddie wins that would be huge and you can’t say that he is a more farfetched champion than Chris Sabin a few years ago can you? Would they be willing to do a short title reign with Eddie just to see how it goes? I don’t really know and I think with Davey’s return right around the corner they probably have plans for a Wolves reunion too (and the Helms Dynasty really needs to get into the thick of things in the tag division soon). One thing I can say is they have me interesting and looking forward to seeing what they do next week which is a really good sign.

– Promo/Segment of the Night: Moose’s debut/EC3-Galloway fight
– Match of the Night: Lashley vs. Eddie (***)
– Overall Grade: B+