Impact Wrestling Review
August 27, 2016
By: Gerald Bocook
TNA is weird to watch, sometimes. They have these moments of brilliance, and then they have moments that just make you sit there and go … huh. I’m also not fond of how they seem to just let things amble on with no real direction, which means that sometimes the audience is left to figure out things for themselves.
Take the opening match on this week’s Impact, a Battle Royal where the winner would receive a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. They even had Lashley open the show and head out to commentary to talk about how the winner was just going to be a loser anyway. Not until much later after the match had been won did they reveal that the winner of the Battle Royal would face Lashley on the next episode of Impact. That’s something that they could’ve established ten seconds in and that they didn’t just was puzzling.
The Knockouts Championship match was also a bit of befuddling communication. In the promo, Billy Corgan basically laid out that he was going to do everything he could to take the belt away from Maria’s crew and that there was nothing she could do to stop it. But the way the promo was set up was… poorly conceived. I think most of it was Corgan’s fault. He had his back to the camera and he didn’t exactly seem like he was confident in the delivery of his mandate. He stammered and it made him seem ineffective and petty.
The in-ring action was nothing to sneeze at, however, and that’s the really important part. The Battle Royal was fun, I loved the spin Eli Drake had on the “skin the cat” spot and Mike Bennett being a weasel to win was perfect. This led to some solid backstage segments with Bennett, Moose and Lashley. This could be intriguing going forward with Lashley trying to sew seeds of discontent.
The aforementioned Knockouts Championship match was… ridiculous. Pure and simple. And it was great for that. They didn’t need anything fancy and I liked Sienna trying to keep Allie out of harm’s way, but also being annoyed at her insistence of trying to help; a good dynamic. The win was silly, especially because the referee didn’t seem to know if he should go for the pin, but it all worked out in the end and we have a new Knockouts Champion that has no idea the kind of trouble she’s in. Allie might be annoying in that grating kind of way, but the look on her face when asked what Maria was going to say about her Championship win was, frankly, priceless.
Abyss vs Brother Nero was… umm… a thing that happened. Kind of. I don’t know if it’s Hardy or Abyss that was out-of-sorts, but the match was slow, clunky, and for as short as it was turned into a finisher-fest quickly. And it was not fun to watch. Which is a shame, because as Abyss mentioned, their history had a lot to stand on. I still fondly remember the original insane matches between them… but that was forever ago, so… the whole thing with Matt attacking Crazzy Steve and trying to eat him was funny, but by the time the match itself was over and The Decay were celebrating, it seemed to just have fake blood on Steve’s cheek and Matt’s mouth and it looked… poor. I’m hoping that the eventual meeting between The Decay and the once-Hardyz will be entertaining, but it might be a long stretch between now and then.
Eli Drake’s “Fact of Life” is a segment I’m just not sure about. But, it happened. I guess there’s the potential for comedy here, but it just dragged on and on.
And the main event was good! I think certainly a good first meeting between the two, as I don’t see this going away anytime soon. Carter and Galloway beating the hell out of each other could be fun for everyone, and hopefully will be handled delicately over the next year or so when they’ll tangle for the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of a big PPV. Otherwise, it’ll just be another one of “those” feuds that fizzles out due to overexposure.
The most notable thing about Aron Rex as the special guest referee for the main event was that there was nothing notable about it. He did the job of a referee so successfully that I completely forgot to talk about it originally, and the commentators only talked about it to say that there was nothing to say. They had Galloway argue with him over counts, but that always happens anyway. So, great job as a referee, Aron!
That is, until the end. Drew Galloway, upset with how the match ended up for him, decided to take it out on the referee. And, it was a pretty nice beatdown. Rex was smashed up, thrown around, and beaten into stairs. The only thing I didn’t like was that, before smashing Rex’s head into the stairs, Galloway said something to him and I couldn’t quite make it out, even after repeated viewings.
This is a good direction, though. It gives Aron Rex a nice, high-profile feud with a former TNA World Heavyweight Champion and doesn’t hot-shot him into the title picture – something that TNA became infamous for years ago. It also gives Galloway a twist on his “proud warrior” character, showing him to be just as petty and spiteful as everyone else, and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. It also keeps Galloway separate from Ethan Carter III so that he and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion can have a proper feud leading into Bound for Glory. I could almost see that turning into a fatal four-way, with Bennett defeating Lashley, and then Bennett defending the title against Carter, Lashley, and Galloway at BFG… but luckily the inclusion of Rex muddles that up and gives me hope that things will end up the way they should.
Overall, a good show. Thumbs up. Solid. Could lead to interesting things in the future, but only if they book smartly, and only time will tell if this really could be a Turning Point.