Maybe it’s because I’m still new to TNA, but content they put out keeps me hooked for the most part. This is officially my second review of Impact, and it already has me looking forward to next week.
Honestly, it was Final Deletion that brought me to TNA, so I’ll openly admit that I can’t get enough of the feud. I’m sure some hardcore TNA fans might be getting annoyed with the story, but I think it’s innovative and a good break from the regular show. Plus, there’s currently no stronger character in pro wrestling than Broken Matt Hardy.
Bobby Lashley Promo
For those of you that thought Roman Reigns was bad on the mic, you should hear Lashley. I don’t mean to make comparisons, but I can see parallels between the two. He’s too talented in the ring to have his promos drag him down, and I don’t understand why he doesn’t have a mouth piece. I know MVP used to play that role for him, although I don’t understand why he wasn’t replaced. His promo simply lacked urgency.
Mike Bennett deserves all the credit for carrying this promo and giving it meaning. Considering how Lashley wanted to get his hands on Moose, I thought the brawl was a terrible idea. Having those two getting into a physical altercation could have easily been saved for a larger moment.
Jeff Hardy vs Mike Bennett (Bound for Glory Playoffs)
Matt now controls Jeff, and he also has his number, it’s perfect. I’m curious to see how far TNA can take this storyline, because it’s now beginning to take over the show. Also, I couldn’t contain my laughter over the Jeff Hardy entrance.
The whole theme of Hardy’s loss in Final Deletion was that he lost his “mojo”, and they showcased that perfectly in this match. I didn’t expect Bennett to win as fast as he did, but it added to the story.
I wish they had shown the brackets for the Bound for Glory playoffs. That would have given the fans a better idea of where each wrestler stands.
James Storm vs Matt Hardy
Between Lashley’s opening promo and this match, we weren’t given much of a break. I thought a backstage promo/interview would have been helpful. Regardless, I still had a blast watching Matt Hardy compete. Not only has his character changed, but he’s changed his in ring style to fit that “broken” personality.
Storm is still a solid upper mid card act for the company, so I was glad that he was able to put up a fight against Hardy. It only made sense that Hardy won, as it fits his narrative. Like most fans, I’m curious to see how far he can make it in the Bound for Glory playoffs with his heel tactics.
EC3/Drew Galloway/Eli Drake Promo
I’ve seen some EC3 promos before, but this one felt generic compared to his other ones. Galloway delivered more in terms of context, but what was going on with his mic? I took a few minutes for them to fix that, although it effected the overall quality of this segment.
Eli Drake was a much needed, and his presence alone helped bring life to this promo.
Eli Drake vs EC3
Unlike his promo, I was thrilled by what Carter was able to deliver in the ring. He has an undeniable charisma, and it was unfortunate that he fell victim to a bland promo beforehand.
I believe if EC3 and Galloway weren’t involved in a promo earlier on, this match would have been far less predictable. The tempo of this contest showed that Drake had just as good of a chance to win as EC3 (even though we all knew he wouldn’t). Based on how Eli was being presented, the mark in me was cheering for him. Regardless of character representation, I loved this match. The two had an amazing back and forth, while showing how much the playoffs meant to them.
State of the Knockouts Division
Why is Maria the leader of the knockouts division? Shouldn’t the knockouts champion be the leader? Calling her the leader made Sienna seem worthless. I feel like the title of commissioner or GM would be more fitting. Overall, the promo was too crowded. They could have easily accomplished this with Maria and the babyface knockouts (which lead to Rayne attacking Kim)
Bram vs Drew Galloway
The announce team did a brilliant job at building up the match up between these two. Both are large competitors, so it should feel like a big fight. Along with that, I kept wondering whether Rosemary would make her way out during this match.
For match that involved to larger wrestlers, I thought these two did a good job at putting on a show. It was hard hitting, and I wouldn’t want anything less. Yes, it was a tad bit slow, but these aren’t cruiserweights.
While many of the opening round matches were predictable, I don’t think we can say the same for the second round. That particular round looks stacked and includes several different narratives. I applaud TNA on this type of booking, because that’s the main reason I’ll be tuning in next week.
Eddy Edwards vs Lashley
These two had me hooked from the very start. I was fine with it not starting in the ring. If anything, that gave the match more intensity. It showed me that these two were serious about the titles that were involved.
Based on the sheer size advantage, I liked how Lashley had control majority of the time. Edwards was clearly the underdog, and that’s exactly why his comeback moments meant a lot. It gave the viewer more of reason to care for Edwards. From an in ring psychology perspective, these two did a swell job. There’s no denying that the spot of the match was the hurricanrana from Eddy. The near falls after that also made my heart jump.
Lashley winning this match was already a good enough way to end the show, and they didn’t need the other playoff participants to interfere. I understand that’s what they’re promoting for next week, but it didn’t add much in my opinion.
For my second review of Impact, I must say I had a ton of fun. TNA’s clearly putting time into creating meaningful stories and it’s translating on screen. Along with that, their in ring product remains strong .The low point of the show was the knockouts promo, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode of Impact a 7/10.