Josh Boutwell reviews Impact Wrestling for 2/9/16
Impact Wrestling Final Thoughts
February 9, 2016 
By: Josh Boutwell of
Week one from England on TNA’ Maximum Impact Tour definitely had a much better feel and atmosphere from the Pennsylvania crowd the last few weeks. TNA always seems so much bigger, and with a bigger atmosphere, on this UK Tours. If they could only import the enthusiasm the UK crowds have to the states it would help a lot each week, but then again part of it has to do with the fact that TNA only comes there once a year so the fans can’t be burned out by TNA. Regardless they kicked off the tour with an excellent opening show with some awesome in-ring action and the return of a much more straight forward babyface EC3. 
The opening segment with Matt Hardy was fine to set up for what would happen later. Matt Hardy’s work as a heel has been excellent so far. He is playing the chicken shit coward heel to perfection right now. 
The opening match between Lashley and Bram was decent and did a nice job to further show how Bram and EY care more about hurting others and keeping others from winning than winning themselves. Pope has been calling them the “Terror Twins” the last few weeks which is a decent name I guess but I just want them to get a name, period. 
Angle’s promo with Maria and Bennett was great and made me want to see that match which sucks because I know that match isn’t coming. It looks like they are just using to further the tension between Bennett and Galloway which I think is going to be a great feud. 
Tigre-Lee had another decent match but they just aren’t receiving enough time to really have the match that they COULD have. If TNA is serious about revamping the X-Division, like they seem to be doing with the Tag Teams, then they need to give them more time in their matches and more time outside of the ring to give these characters more depth. Give me a reason to hate Trevor Lee and a reason to like Tigre Uno more (and the other X-Division guys). 
Madison-Jade was good and I think that, outside of Gail, Jade is by far the best in-ring performer in the Knockouts division. Gail vs. Jade should be a great feud. I’m not going to go into the Awesome Kong situation because honestly I’m tired of it. TNA has moved on and at this point it is time to do that. You cannot keep someone around that wants to do the things that Kong has done, and they were relying on Gail vs. Kong too much over the last year anyway. It is time for some new blood and right now the only Knockouts that even deserve to be on TV is Gail, Jade, Madison, and Angelina (when she is not pregnant). Rosemary (Courtney Rush on the Indies) is good and I think she will eventually add another shot in the arm to the Knockouts when she begins to get in the ring, but it is time for TNA to part ways with Rebel, Marti, and Velvet because they just aren’t good. There is far too many unbelievably talented female wrestlers out there for TNA to be wasting roster space on those that are not good and either aren’t getting better (Rebel and Marti) or are getting worse (Velvet). Maria is not the answer there, in my opinion, as an in-ring wrestler but I think they can play up this thing with her claiming to be the “Miracle” for the Knockouts by her bringing in new blood for the division to manage. 
What can I say about Drew-Angle? It was even better than the first match and those two painted a beautiful piece of art inside the ring in that match. The story they told was as simple as simple gets with Drew being the young stud dead set on proving he is the future, the present while the veteran is determined to go out on top. Both refused to stay down and both men pulled out absolutely everything in their bag of tricks to try and keep down the other. The visual of Kurt spitting out blood after that second or third Claymore and Drew pretty much choking him out with the Crossface was just amazing. I cannot express how much I truly respect Kurt Angle and the things he does in that ring, and on a week when we as wrestling fans have also had to say goodbye to Daniel Bryan it is very bitter sweet knowing these last few matches in the next four weeks are the last time, at least for now, that we will get to see possibly the greatest in-ring wrestler in the history of the business do what he does best. 
Beer Money-Decay was a good match and I’m still just loving this Decay team. Monsters Ball should be a hell of a fight. 
EC3’s return was nice and the fans were really into it. They are going with an “ass kicker” type of babyface for EC3 which I think will be the best way to go for him as long as they aren’t trying to go too overboard with it. EC3 doesn’t need to try and be Stone Cold, but having him come out and be the kissing babies cookie cutter babyface damn sure wasn’t going to work. It will be interesting to see where this character goes from here in the coming weeks and months. 
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Maria/Angle/Bennett and EC3’s return
– Match of the Night: Angle vs. Galloway (****1/2)
– Overall Grade: A