Josh Boutwell reviews Impact Wrestling for 2/16/16
Impact Wrestling Final Thoughts
February 16, 2016 
By: Josh Boutwell of
In the final buildup to next week’s Lockdown TNA put most of the feuds heading into next week on full display. The key moments were the Monsters Ball and the Tag Team Main Event but there were several key moments in ongoing stories. During this two month strength since they started on POP Impact has been as strong as it ever has. The summer of 2014 through the end of 2014 (the end of the Spike era) is probably the best stretch of Impact in recent years but the run right now is on the verge of being even better than that.
The opening segment with EC3 and Tyrus was really good and I love this “redemption” quest that EC3 has been on even turning down help from both Drew Galloway and Spud during the show. The history between Spud and EC3 was nice for them to keep touching on and Spud made it clear he still has ill feelings towards EC3 for what went down with them last year. The tag match was built up really well with EC3 fighting and fighting, and even refusing to tag in Spud because he wanted to do it on his own, before finally relenting and tagging Spud into the match. 
EY and Storm had a decent match before the shenanigans at the end but I absolutely loved the hate filled brawl that lasted pretty much the entire show. Jim Cornette would have been proud of that brawl. I loved that every time the fight seemed to die down one of the teams would attack the other to start it all over again. 
When Grado first started this whole thing about him being unfairly fired I knew that he was going to show up in the UK, but I honestly thought he would just jump the barricade and attack Drake or something. The Odarg the Great stuff is ridiculous but it is funny and entertaining, and if you are an old school wrestling fan you probably ate it right up. We’ve seen that type of gimmick in the past with Bob Armstrong turning into “The Bullet” or Dusty Rhodes into the “Midnight Rider”, Barry Windham into “The Yellow Dog”, or even Hulk Hogan into “Mr. America.” There was no attempt to hide the identity of Grado in the match, like those other gimmicks I mentioned, and he was entertaining as hell. I have been pretty critical of Grado in the past but I have to admit that even I enjoyed that whole thing. Mahabali Shera still sucks and I was disappointed to even see him on the show. 
The Monsters Ball was the ultimate of hardcore spotfests but good lord it was fun as hell. A lot of people are turned off by that kind of wrestling and honestly if it is overdone constantly it turns me off too but both teams took some nasty bumps and had a really good brawl with some cool spots. The finish was pretty original too. I hope we get to see more of The Decay and The Wolves. Jimmy Havoc making his debut backstage was interesting too and I’d like to see where they go with that. 
Mike Bennett and Maria were great as always. I understand that TNA wants to get Bennett over as a true dominant star but man I hated to see Mandrews get jobbed out like that. The kid is ultra talented and I really want to see him get some love in TNA, and that match could be great if given time and made to be a competitive match. Maybe they will rematch down the line and we will get a real match. The feud between Bennett and Galloway is going to be great though.
Jade is so awesome and I really think that if they do a long term feud between her and Gail it could be one of the better women’s feuds of the year. The Tag Match tonight was really good, primarily because Marti was kept to a minimum and otherwise the three best Knockouts in the company were in the ring for most of the match. The first Knockouts Lethal Lockdown should be interesting next week. A match like that would have been so much better in years past when the Knockouts Division was really deep but I want to see where they go with it. 
– Promo/Segment of the Night: EC3/Tyrus and the Beer Money brawl with Bram/EY
– Match of the Night: Monsters Ball (***1/2)
– Overall Grade: B