Usually during WWE heavy weeks, Impact starts to feel like a treat when I finally watch it. I’m not saying the WWE delivers bad shows, but Impact just feels like a breath of fresh air. This show in particular maintained freshness, while building on all the current feuds.
One of the greatest elements about both Final Deletions were the the aftermath videos that followed. Now that Matt has Brother Nero on his side, I feel like the two can do much more with these types of vignettes. Also, these two cracked me up when Matt realized the first reincarnation of Jeff wasn’t the one he wanted.
I thought Lashley did a magnificent job at recovering from that terrible press conference we saw last week. He spoke with confidence, and I bought into his new found hate for EC3. It also helped that Grado interrupted him, as that gave this promo some more depth beyond the press conference. The decision to have Moose come out as well was a smart one. I believe Lashley needed some sort of comeuppance, and there was nothing better than having him confronted by one of the other heavyweights.
Aron Rex vs Trevor Lee
Who exactly are the judges for these matches? I didn’t recognize any of them. Are they supposed to be acclaimed pro wrestling critics?
Apparently Rex told Josh Matthews that he found the six sided ring to be weird, but it was even weirder to see him stand in one. Ever since I’ve started this blog, I’m used to seeing him as Damien Sandow. However, I put that aside, because this is a new chapter for him.
The action in this match was quite entertaining. They were able to keep the pace consistent, while giving Rex a chance to showcase himself to the Impact audience.
Van Guard 1 Video Package
I never thought a scene with a drone would make me feel something. The fact that Matt was able to create an emotional moment out of this is just another indication of how great he’s been.
Maria/Gail Kim Promo
Now that their feud is becoming more intense, this was an excellent promo to build some momentum for their inevitable match. Maria especially was amazing, as she hit all the key notes any heel should in promos like these.
Rock Star Spud vs Braxton Sutter
When was the last time we’ve seen an empty arena match? I recall TNA doing one back in 2009 between Angle and Sting, but since then I’m not sure if any of the major promotions have explored this stipulation. I guess that only means this match was a breath of fresh air from the regular programming.
When matches like this are booked, the best way to get the most out of them is by making them heated. These two have an intense feud, and they did a great job at conveying that. They used the emptiness of the arena to their advantage by making sure their voices were well projected. Spud was definitely the stand out simply by the way he screamed in pain after being hit. That truly gave this a feel of realism.
On paper, this promo was just riddled with camp, however, the performers involved found a way to make it serious. These two teams have some of the best chemistry I’ve ever seen in a tag team feud, and I’m more excited for their Bound For Glory match than any other. They naturally feel like the main event program in TNA.
Based on the knockouts segment from earlier in the show, the flow of this match was extremely predictable. The story was going to be all about Gail, so I don’t understand why she didn’t start the gauntlet as the first competitor. The action itself only picked up once Kim made her way out, and that’s because she was the focal point.
Two other women that stood out to me (based on their run in) were Raquel and Madison Rayne. Those two did a great job at bringing in spurts of excitement to this match. Apart from that, this was quite dull. As I mentioned, the outcome was too predictable, and there wasn’t anything done to suspend my disbelief.
Mahabali Shera vs Eddy Edwards
Ever since Eddy Edwards took that big loss to Lashley, he’s become quite lost on in this roster. For someone that had a ton of momentum, he certainly fizzled out quite fast. Shera’s also someone that’s been lost, so this match was an opportunity for both of them to make an impression. They went two and half rounds, which genuinely shocked me (not in a bad way). I believe both men looed strong. I also loved how they played to the size difference.
Moose vs Lashley
I’m not going to lie, I was surprised how these two were set to wrestle in the main event. Well, once I looked at how much time was left in the show, I figured this wasn’t going to be an actual match. Lashley’s proposition was intriguing to say the least, because they want the audience to believe that Moose will take EC3’s spot at Bound For Glory. I don’t think he actually will, but it’ll be interesting to see how they dodge that.
In this main event segment, we witnessed the Bennett-Moose feud spill into the title picture, and I thought it was done well. It keeps them close to the championship, but it doesn’t directly overcrowd the Lashley-EC3 feud. TNA’s ability to intertwine their programs has been done seamlessly, and that’s what makes Impact such a compelling show.
In terms of creating excitement for Bound For Glory, this show was a success, and we still have two episodes of Impact left. With most feuds being well presented, TNA has a lot of work ahead of them to keep the momentum going. However, something tells me they won’t be taking the foot off the gas pedal any time soon. The low point of the show was the knockouts gauntlet, while the high point was the Hardys/Decay promo. Overall, I give this show an 8/10.