Impact Wrestling Final Thoughts
June 15, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com
TNA simply cannot catch a break it seems like and tonight damn sure adds to that argument. After a mostly positive “Slammiversary” on Sunday, that I have seen more positivity to that negativity, the negativity began to rain down on Monday when reports started to surface that the PPV almost didn’t happen when TNA had issues coming up with the funding to pay for the production trucks, and reports that Billy Corgan ended up paying for it and may have ended up buying a minority stake in TNA in the process. Tonight was supposed to be a live episode of Impact but due to a severe weather storm in Georgia, that knocked out Pop TV’s “Master Control,” Impact was delayed for nearly two hours. It is something that I have never witnessed in my 25 years of watching wrestling. For two hours we were forced to watch the same four POP ads over and over while POP promised to be fixing the issue “soon.” It was a disaster that I don’t think TNA could really afford to suffer, even if it was through no fault of their own.
Through the negativity and the delay tonight TNA put on a fast paced (extremely fast paced considering POP made it commercial free after the first 20 minutes or so of the show), entertaining episode of Impact. The pacing was thrown off a bit with the lack of commercials (but it was so much enjoyable to watch without having to sit through the commercials) but fun nonetheless.
Hardy and Drake had a pretty good match with Drake dominating the majority of it, with Jeff selling the Full Metal Mayhem Match, until the finish with Matt keeping Jeff from winning. Jeff’s half of the promos tonight were really good as I really like the intensity he is bringing to these promos. Matt was weird again but he was less weird during their promo in the arena and the segment came off pretty well. Matt’s promo backstage, however, was awful and I have no idea what the deal with him chomping at the camera was. The Cage Match should be intense though.
I begged and pleaded for months for TNA to give the X-Division guys more time and at Slammiversary they did that. Those guys responded by putting on a hell of a match but TNA went right back to giving them less than five minutes. It is so unbelievably frustrating especially considering we all know how awesome Trevor Lee and Eddie could have made that match had they been given at least ten minutes. Instead they got about 4 minutes and tried to cram ten minutes worth of action into that short span. Eddie got a solid win but I don’t want to see Trevor fade into oblivion now like Tigre Uno did when he lost the title. If they want to bring in someone else to feud with Eddie for a while I am fine with that but if they do that Helms Dynasty needs to move into a tag team feud with either Decay or The Tribunal. They need to have more than one program going in these divisions so they can cycle guys/girls in and out each week.
All of Lashley’s promos were solid tonight and he really seems to finally be feeling confident in what he is saying. This confident mind game playing Lashley is great and the shit talking just adds to it. EC3 is a great shit talker too so the seeds they sewed for an eventual showdown between them was great too.
Decay and BroMans had a great match at Slammiversary so I would have much rather have seen a rematch of that match than the convoluted 4-Way we got. There was just way too much going on in that match and Shera stinks anything he is involved in up. We need to see The Tribunal in a tag match with a competent team for more than a few minutes to see what those two have which was hard to do in that match.
The stuff with Maria and Dixie was weird and I really, really hope they don’t do Dixie vs. Billy Corgan. Please, for the love of God can we not have another Power Struggle in TNA. I don’t know if I can handle another one. Bennett is coming off way too whiny for my liking too. He needs to get back to being the confident, loudmouth asshole rather than the whiny loudmouth asshole.
The Main Event was absolutely excellent. It wasn’t as good as their match at Slammiversary but it was completely different. They told a different story this time around with Drew selling the injuries from Slammiversary and Lashley attacking them throughout the match, but also Lashley being a bit too cocky and it almost biting him in the ass on multiple occasions. They did a hell of a match, especially considering how brutal the match they just had a couple of days ago was. I really hope this feud continues on and if they add EC3 into it as a 3-Way feud it could be even better.
Finally, Gail Kim as the next entrant in the Hall of Fame is excellent and I have no issues with it. I said in the Impact recap how important she was not just to TNA but to women’s wrestling in general. When she exploded in TNA it was during a time when Women’s wrestling was an all time low and mostly known as being a time in a show when fans would use as a “piss break.” She was more than just eye candy and proved that women could be draws as well as the Knockouts regularly had the highest rated segments in TNA during her first run with the company. Her feud with Awesome Kong in the early days of the Knockouts was a thing of beauty as was her feud with Taryn Terrell a couple of years ago. Congratulations to her and it is well deserved.
– Promo/Segment of the Night: Drew/Lashley/EC3
– Match of the Night: Lashley vs. Drew (***1/2)
– Overall Grade: B