1/19 Impact: Intense main event on Pop TV

Josh Boutwell reviews TNA Impact Wrestling for 1/19/16
Impact Wrestling Final Thoughts
January 19, 2016 
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
We are less than a month into TNA’s new TV deal with POP and they went all out this week with a big angle, and honestly I thought it came off really well but there is one big problem: it wasn’t live. I can’t for the life of me figure out why in the world they wouldn’t just do that whole deal on the first show on POP, or at the very least held one more taping before going to the UK rather than cramming them all into one weekend. That would have came off so much better live especially with every irate wrestling fan that hates Matt Hardy ranting about it on social media (before they ever saw it because wrestling fans hate everything I guess). TNA just seems to always shoot themselves in the foot with that kind of thing. 
Regardless the Main Event between EC3 and Hardy was terrific and they were intense as hell for that match which made it feel important, something that is lacking from TNA’s Main Events a lot of the time. The promo between the Hardyz earlier in the show and EC3’s terrific promo before the match really helped it feel important as well. EC3’s promo was easily his best promo ever and one of the best promos I’ve ever seen on Impact. Everything about it was great: he was confident, he was intense, and he made you BELIEVE what he was saying. Despite his pure hate for anything TNA I think even Jim Cornette would have loved that match and the build up, during the show, towards it with all of the hate that Matt and EC3 were throwing at each other. 
At first I thought the double turn felt kind of forced but the more Matt made it very clear he would do anything, no matter what that was up to and including damn near attempted murder with a hammer, the more and more fans in attendance seemed to actually be turning on him. EC3 kept getting up no matter what Matt threw at him and was even pulling out big spots like the dive off the ladder (I mean if you were taking bets who would you have bet on being the one to dive off a ladder? It was a nice surprising spot). Matt’s promo after the match was effective as well and gave good reason for the turn, and they can add to Tyrus’ turn more and more in the coming weeks with him talking about how EC3 has used him just like he used Rockstar Spud in the past. 
My problem with this whole thing is where they go with EC3 from here. He was such a good heel that it really seems like they turned him prematurely, I know more and more fans seem to be taking to him but still it seemed like he had a lot more left in the tank as a heel. I’m going to hold off judgment until I see how he plays out as a babyface. 
Mike Bennett’s in-ring Impact debut was really good. He showed what he could do in the ring and really was made to look really strong. They keep teasing that he is building a “Kingdom of Miracles” which makes me think that TNA may be bringing in some of Bennett’s old partners but maybe he is just trolling us. I can’t wait to see where Mike Bennett goes. I am loving everything about his act right now. 
What the hell is the deal with Jeff Hardy’s knee? I heard a while back that he needed some form of surgery (maybe MCL surgery?) but he seemed to be moving pretty well last week, but good lord that looked gruesome the way he was messing with his knee backstage. I would assume they are getting ready to write him off TV for awhile as he has surgery, but I am expecting something between he and Matt as it seems that Matt and Reby conspired to make sure he didn’t get involved in the Main Event. 
Gail and Kong had a good match together. It was nothing near as great as some of the matches they have done in the past but it was still solid. It doesn’t make the new Dollhouse look very strong to have Kong lose on the first match out. 
Beer Money looked great in their match and they keep teasing the eventual feud with The Wolves, but I think they are going to continue Beer Money vs. Bram/EY first as well as setting something up between The Wolves and the new, yet weird, team of newly heel Crazzy Steve and Abyss. I’m just glad they are starting to finally rebuild the tag team division again. 
Kurt Angle vs. Lashley should be really fun and the segment to set it up was pretty solid despite Lashley still struggling on the microphone. He tries really hard, you can tell he is really trying, but his voice and lack of confidence just makes it really hard to buy into him when he is talking. When he gets in the ring it is very easy to buy into him but he just struggles talking. He really needs a new MVP to be his mouthpiece to be as effective as he needs to be. 
Promo/Segment of the Night: EC3’s “Pale Horse” promo
Match of the Night: EC3 vs. Hardy (***1/2)
Overall Grade: B