10/20 Impact Wrestling Review: Another strong showing for TNA, felt less like a pro wrestling show


Impact Wrestling Review
October 22, 2016
By Gerald Bocook of Wrestleview.com

This week’s Impact felt less like a pro wrestling show, and more like a documentary of people talking behind the scenes. I know Impact trends towards lots of interviews/promos/backstage segments, but it just felt like too much this episode. Lashley was creepy to everyone, Maria was a jerk to everyone, Tyrus made fun of Mahabali Shera, Eli Drake talked a lot, Ethan Carter III yelled a lot about taking an “EC2”, and we got to hear the stirring story of how Eddie Edwards and Cody had never met but were friends and neither man wanted to lose but someone was going to have a bad day and both their dreams were dreams and ending dreams and I don’t even know. Luckily, the wrestling presented on this episode succeeded at being entertaining.

Lashley vs Moose was a nice, nasty brawl. These two just beat and bashed the crap out of each other, and it was fantastic. They beat on each other, they stomped each other, Lashley mocked Moose’s choo-choo punches and then Moose showed him how to do them correctly, they Speared each other, and perhaps the highlight, Moose continued the proud recent tradition of nearly killing himself during a suicide dive. I hope to see them in the ring again with stakes just as high.

How is it that The Fact of Life gets a late-night talk show-esque set, but they use the standard microphones? It’s a nit to pick, yes, but this is the internet! Gonna pick that nit! I loved that Eli Drake finally smashed the Dummy button in defiance of Ethan Carter III. A good brawl that told a good story unfolded, and we’ll get to see what will hopefully be a fun tag team match soon. Maybe next week? It was never said. Aron Rex’s heelish antics in last Impact’s match with Jessie Godderz didn’t look like they were going to continue here, but after EC3 slugged him, all bets were off. I’m looking forward to seeing where both the Rex/Godderz and Drake/Carter feuds go from here! I just hope that EC3 stays away from poop jokes in the future. C’mon. It’s 2016.

So, back in the early days of NXT being on TV, I was fond of Sylvester Lefort and Marcus Louis. I remember having a good laugh when they lost a hair vs hair match to Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy, and Lefort bailed, leaving Louis to have his hair taken off by this crazy goop that Enzo and Cass had. And then Lefort really just kinda disappeared from NXT programming, and Louis appeared just a couple more times, mostly being creepy in the background of promos. I bring this up because I was, just a few weeks ago, wondering what happened to these guys. For some reason, it never clicked in my brain that they were The Tribunal. I guess the different looks, especially for Basile Baraka, didn’t let that connection be made. And they had a solid outing against the Hardys. I don’t know if they’re on their way out after the beatdown from the Fawkes guys, and I hope not. The Tribunal might not be ready for the gold, but they’re a damn solid utility team that always looks like they could beat you up, and then steal your booze, and make you watch them drinking it out of your girlfriend’s belly button. French people are weird, is the point here.

I was glad to see that Allie finally stood up to Maria. I hope they don’t shoehorn in an obnoxious romantic angle, especially with Braxton Sutter of all people, but the match between Allie and Laurel van Ness will at least be dumb fun to watch.
I also like that Maria hasn’t let losing her power stop her from trying to throw her weight around, and hasn’t humbled her even a tiny little bit. She’s defiant in loss, and that’s good character building!

Mahabali Shera is an impressive physical specimen. And I’m glad they’re dropping the stereotypical Indian guy gimmick from him. How many times are Indian wrestlers going to dance to the ring Bollywood-style, with lots of sitar music playing? It’s old. Let Shera be a giant monster of a man that just beats you up and not a stereotype. The match with Bennett wasn’t the outright squash I expected, and it had some fun spots of Shera getting over Bennett, and just when it looked like Shera might actually pick up a win over the beleaguered Miracle, Bennett cheats to win. Loved it. And it gives this alliance between Shera and Tyrus some legs.

The main event was certainly befitting of being the main event. They fought hard, they had some great back-and-forth, Cody got to look like a strong competitor, Eddie looked resilient and resourceful, and he has more experience as World Heavyweight Champion, which is always good. Cody and Brandi Rhodes get to continue their battles with the Bennetts, Eddie gets to look forward to another battle with Lashley, and we get to see it all!

Another strong showing for Impact Wrestling, and I’m glad that the audience grew nicely from last week’s show!