TNA IMPACT Wrestling - June 21, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
A so, so start to the show. EC3, Drew Galloway and Lashley were solid on the mic. EC3 and Drew Galloway started off with good intensity, Lashley added his cool, calm, confident demeanor and then they lost me with Eli Drake. Drake brought too much comedy to an intense situation in my opinion. This is another instance where TNA’s lack of depth shows. Mike Bennett would have been a better option instead of Drake.
The tag match with Eli Drake and Lashley vs. Drew Galloway and EC3 was an entertaining match. Drake taking the pin was predictable, but he looked good in there with the other three main eventers. I'd like to see him take on a more serious approach, I think it will help fans view him on the same level as the other three.
Lashley was superb in his backstage confrontation with Galloway.
Not quite sure where the Decay and Bram story is going, but I'll give it a chance because it's Decay. Yet another example of TNA’s roster problems. There isn't another legitimate tag team on the roster for Decay to feud with. That said, Rosemary was good here, I like that she had more to say than just Decay, Decay, Decay.
Wasn't Jade a heel a month ago? Not a fan of this match. Jade isn't the best in the ring, and Marti Bell is worse. Unfortunately this isn't the last time we see this match.
The Impact crowd is dead.
The Dixie Carter, Billy Corgan, Mike Bennett and Maria segment went way too long. Dixie Carter wasn't good in her role and Corgan wasn't much better. I'm also not a fan of Bennett going after the X-Division Title.
While I liked Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bennett, I don't like Bennett holding the X-Division Title.
So now there's tension between BroMans because of Raquel? Ughh
Rockstar Spud is criminally underutilized. He's such a great heel. Great post-match beatdown of Sutter. Good segment.
Excellent video package on Sienna. TNA needs to do more of them with different talents.
Now that's a bump Jeff, wow. It looked like he over shot the table.
Really good Six Sides of Steel Match between the Hardy's. That said, every week Matt challenges Jeff to a match, and every week Matt loses. They both keep saying it ends tonight, but it never does. While I enjoy watching the Hardy's work each other, how long can a feud keep going that's this one sided?
Although there is more Bad on tonight's show than usual, I still liked it.
Galloway, EC3 and Lashley in opening segment
Galloway & EC3 vs. Lashley & Drake
Decay & Bram
Bennett vs. Edwards
Sutter vs. Spud
Sienna video package
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
Eli Drake in opening segment
TNA’s lack of roster depth
Marti Bell vs. Jade
Corgan, Carter, Bennett and Maria segment
Bennett as X-Division Champion
TNA IMPACT Wrestling - June 14, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
Good heel promo from Lashley to open the show.
Strong opening segment. Lashley was great on the mic as the new heel champion. With both EC3 and Drew Galloway coming out to challenge Lashley, it looks like we could be heading towards a Triple Threat Match at Bound for Glory for the TNA World Title. I like the dynamic of both babyfaces chasing the title. TNA also gave viewers a reason to stick around by booking Galloway vs. Lashley in the main event during the opening segment.
Eli Drake looks good getting extended offense on Jeff Hardy.
I was actually enjoying the match until Matt Hardy interfered by biting Earl Hebner. Drake looked good and there's clearly no end in sight for the Hardy brothers feud.
Nice backstage interaction between EC3 and Galloway, even with Drew over-selling his injuries a bit.
All right, Matt Hardy has won me over with the Broken character. I'm really enjoying the Hardy feud and tonight's fight was no exception. The spot with Jeff Hardy sliding down the guard rail of the stairs into the table was a cool visual.
TNA does a great job hyping the main event every week, it's a shame they don't do it with the undercard. Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards should've been made out to be a big deal. At this point TNA should repackage Trevor Lee. He's too talented to be stuck making bad facial expressions and not talking.
The BroMans are mind numbingly bad. I can't believe TNA is still trying to get this act over.
Looking at the TNA roster standing on the stage, it's striking how small it is.
Congratulations to Gail Kim.
¾ of TNA’s tag teams are comedy acts. Hopefully they're scouring the indys for more tag teams because this is embarrassing. Thank heavens Decay retained.
Dixie Carter’s slap was terrible. Come on, seriously? Did Pope just say that's the slap that's going to be heard around the world? Ughhh
Lashley needs to lose the headband. Really good match, Lashley and Galloway work well together. EC3 getting involved was predictable, but it worked. Looks like we’re headed for a Triple Threat match for the TNA World Title.
Lashley, Galloway and EC3 in the opening segment
Eli Drake vs. Jeff Hardy
Matt and Jeff Hardy brawl
Lashley vs. Galloway
TNA’s tag team division
Dixie Carter/Maria segment
POP TV technical difficulties
TNA has done a fantastic job building to Slammiversary. Granted there are a few rematches on the card, but even those feel fresh and exciting. Creatively 2016 has been a stellar year so far for TNA, and I expect Slammiversary to deliver in a big way for the company. It’s a shame they haven’t been able to get a bigger percentage of their old fans back; which the ratings reflect, but for those that have either given the company another chance or stayed loyal, have been treated to a really good year of TV.
Drew Galloway vs. Lashley in a Knockout or Tapout Match for the TNA World Title.
The last few months have arguably been Lashley’s best work of his career. Throughout his career he’s been an average at best promo guy, but lately his promos have been great. The renewed confidence he has is noticeable and I like that he’s replaced the headband with a cap. Yeah, it’s the small things that make a big difference in presentation.
For regular readers of my TNA IMPACT Radom Thoughts and Opinions blog know I wasn’t a fan of TNA taking the title off of Matt Hardy so soon. It took a few weeks for Drew Galloway to grow into the role of TNA Champion, but now that he has, he’s been really good at playing the fighting champion.
The match stipulation of you can only win by knockout or submission obviously favors Lashley, and for that reason we will have a new TNA Champion with EC3 challenging for the title going forward.
EC3 vs. Mike Bennett.
Like Drew Galloway as TNA Champion, I wasn’t sold on Mike Bennett as a main eventer upon entering TNA. But also like Galloway, Bennett has made me a believer. While at times EC3 has overshadowed him, for the most part Bennett has stood his ground verbally against Carter.
EC3’s transition to a babyface was met with some growing pains, but he’s really come into his own in the role and looks much more comfortable. EC3 is TNA’s top babyface and they need him to be the face of the company ala John Cena in WWE. Plus, Bennett got his rub by being the first to pin him.
EC3 picks up the clean win and moves into a feud with Lashley for the title.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy in a Full Metal Mayhem Match.
This angle has been good campy fun. Is it a long-term story line, absolutely not. I understand the Broken Matt Hardy character and why the transition, but the money is in Matt’s Big Money Matt character. Matt needed to go to a dark place within himself in order to defeat his brother Jeff, and now that he has, he’s free to return to the Iconic.
One of the issues I have with the Broken character is it hasn’t been good for Tyrus or Rockstar Spud. Since the character change the two of them have been wasted in meaningless tag team matches. With the amount of talent Spud has, it’s a crime TNA can’t come up with something better for him. Therefore, by bringing back Big Money Matt, you’re bringing the band back together.
Winner: Matt Hardy
Gail Kim vs. Maria Kanellis-Bennett.
The fact that TNA put more effort into who will run the Knockouts Division than Jade and the Knockouts Title is a head scratcher. That being said, I’ve enjoyed Maria’s work since coming to TNA. If this match actually happens, I don’t expect a clean finish either way. Let’s go with Maria by DQ.
Winner: Maria Kanellis-Bennett
Eli Drake vs. Bram for the King of the Mountain Championship.
Not being an Eli Drake fan aside, it’s too soon to take the belt off of him. He serves his role well as a solid mid-card act while feuding with the likes of Shera and Grado. Bram on the other hand, is off to bigger and better things.
Winner: Eli Drake
Jade vs. Sienna for the Knockouts Championship.
Poor Jade. She deserved better as the Knockouts Champion, but unfortunately TNA found it more important to focus on who is going to be the leader of the division instead of what’s most important in any wrestling organization…the title. The amount of focus the company has put into Maria and the lack of focus on Jade tells me they’re going all in on Maria and her faction.
Trevor Lee vs. Eddie Edwards vs. DJ Z vs. Andrew Everett for the X Division Championship.
I wish TNA would spend more time developing characters and telling stories for the X Division. I don’t see this match being a mat-based classic. Expect this to lead off the PPV, and provide the crowd a high energy spotfest.
Winner: Trevor Lee
The Tribunal vs. Grado & Shera
TNA didn't do the Tribunal any favors with their less than spectacular debut. They should have at least got the pin for their team in the tag match on IMPACT. Al Snow is at the top of his game in his current run. Coach Al with the whistle is money! On the other hand, Grado and Shera are channel changing bad.
Winner: The Tribunal
Decay vs. BroMans
BroMans just isn't working as a babyface tag team, and don't even get me started with Raquel. The best option for TNA is to repackage BroMans or split them up. As far as Decay goes, they are one of the best acts currently going on IMPACT. It would be a huge mistake for TNA to take the belts off of them, so in my opinion this match is the easiest to predict. Next up for Decay is a feud with the Wolves.
Enjoy the show!
TNA IMPACT - June 7, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
Solid opening segment. Drew Galloway came out of the segment looking good by taking the match against Matt Hardy in tonight's main event. He plays the fighting champion character very well. I was down on Galloway's initial run as TNA Champion because I thought it was too soon for TNA to take the title off of Matt Hardy, but he's done a great job with it.
I was also slow to come around on the Broken Matt Hardy character, and while I fully expect him to go back to the Big Money Matt character after Slammiversary, I've enjoyed the campiness of the angle with Jeff.
Allie is just phenomenal. Smart booking putting Sienna over strong. I didn't like the way TNA handled her the last few weeks. This was a good reset, I'd like to see her win the title at Slammiversary.
TNA does a nice job hyping their matches throughout the show.
Still not a fan of Eli Drake’s Fact of Life. I don't like TNA putting Decay in the same segment with Shera and Grado. The whole segment made a serious act like Decay look ridiculous standing out there with comedy characters. And I'm sorry, no one takes BroMans seriously either.
Coach Al Snow is money! The 10 man tag match was just a cluster f@ck.
Good intensity from Lashley in his backstage confrontation with Matt Hardy.
Really liked the pre-taped weigh in between EC3 and Mike Bennett. It gives their match a big fight feel. I'd like to see TNA do more of those video packages.
The mixed tag match was good fun. Great heel move by Maria taking herself out of the match. I think it made Gail Kim look weak by beating Allie with a roll-up.
Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee was a good match. Edwards doesn't lose anything because of the interference from Andrew Everett and Helms. Here's hoping TNA refocuses on the X Division and starts telling stories instead of the spot fest matches we’re accustomed to seeing.
Great use of Lashley tonight in the backstage segments with both Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway.
Excellent debut for Braxton Sutter. His offense looked strong and his post match interview was spot on. Hopefully TNA takes their time with Sutter and keeps him strong while building his credibility. Good start.
There was no way TNA was going to give us a finish to the Hardy vs. Galloway main event so the Lashley run-in made sense. The match itself was good with both guys looking strong.
While my preference is for the Willow character to disappear for good, I understand using him here.
TNA did a great job tonight making the final push before Slammiversary. While I didn't like every segment of the show, they all made sense and served a purpose as it relates to Sunday's PPV. Yes, there are a lot of rematches on Sunday's show, but TNA has done a fantastic job making them feel fresh.
It's a strong card for Slammiversary and I'm looking forward to the PPV.
Matt Hardy & Drew Galloway opening segment
Sienna vs. Madison Rayne
Mixed tag match
Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee
Braxton Sutter vs. Bill Kalas
Matt Hardy vs. Drew Galloway
Fact of Life segment
10 man tag match
TNA IMPACT - May 31, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
EC3 as the person Dixie Carter was talking to at the start the show was predictable, but intriguing. Will it be a long night for the heels?
I wish TNA would have come up with a more creative way to get to Mike Bennett vs. EC3 at Slammiversary. EC3 just making the match for himself because he's in charge for the night was taking the easy way out. That said, I'm interested to see how EC3 plays it tonight.
Come on, does anyone think Bram has a shot at beating Lashley? I didn't think so.
Eli Drake winning the King of the Mountain Title makes sense considering TNA did nothing with Bram since he won it from Eric Young. While I'm not a fan of Eli Drake, I'm willing to give this a chance.
The BroMans vignettes are embarrassingly bad.
OK, I probably shouldn't admit this, but Earl Hebner coming out of the bathroom stall made me laugh.
Seriously, what did TNA see in Gabi when she was in Tough Enough to make them think she was worth hiring? I just don't see it. Furthermore, TNA makes Rockstar Spud and Tyrus jobbers to the BroMans when there are only three tag teams currently in the company. Spud and Tyrus deserve better.
We’re an hour into the show and we’ve only seen two matches so far.
I almost forgot Jade was the Knockouts Champion because; you know, apparently none of the other Knockouts care to be champion. By the way, Allie is fantastic at her role.
Well at least Sienna didn't take the pin, that's about all I have to say about the women’s tag match.
Finally a good match on this show. James Storm vs. Mike Bennett was a good match. Storm hasn’t been seen much, hopefully they something planned for him going forward.
I can watch Al Snow’s Tribunal destroy Grado and Mahabali Shera every week. In fact, I don't care who it is, as long Grado and Shera get destroyed every week.
Good backstage interview with Braxton Sutter, but next time lose the gum.
Being a big fan of Decay, I didn't like seeing Drew Galloway beat them. In fact, I don't like it when promotions book handicap matches. It takes me out of the moment because one person shouldn't be able to beat two or three other competitors. I enjoyed the match all the way up until the end. I also think it was very poor booking for TNA to have their tag team champions, and most over tag team lose here. I would think they would want to keep Decay strong heading into Slammiversary.
The Matt and Jeff Hardy story intertwined throughout the show was entertaining. I'm on board with Matt Hardy’s character as long as it's only for his feud with Jeff. It makes sense that he would have to go to a dark place within himself in order to end his brother. After Slammiversary I hope he goes back to The Iconic Matt Hardy.
If you look, the good outweighs the bad on tonight’s show, but I thought this was just an average show. For those that read my TNA IMPACT Random Thoughts and Opinions regularly know I’m an advocate of the product, unfortunately the booking and some of the vignettes left me scratching my head.
Eli Drake winning KOTM Title
Sienna & Allie vs. Jade & Gail Kim
James Storm vs. Mike Bennett
Al Snow’s Tribunal
Matt & Jeff Hardy
Rockstar Spud & Tyrus vs. BroMans
Decay vs. Drew Galloway
TNA IMPACT - May 26, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
I liked the opening segment with Matt Hardy, Tyrus and Rockstar Spud. Rockstar Spud showing concern for Matt plus the added stipulation in their ladder match against Jeff Hardy worked. I get the feeling Matt Hardy is using TNA to play every character he's ever thought of. The new, darker Matt Hardy is such a departure from the Iconic that I didn't like it at first. After this segment I’m willing to give it a chance.
I like that they booked Spud and Tyrus against Jeff Hardy in a ladder match for later in the show. It gives the viewer something big to look forward to. That said, there's no way Jeff loses the match because his Full Metal Mayhem Match against Matt at Slammiversary is too big a match not to happen.
Mike Bennett interfering in EC3’s match against Matt Hardy causing him to miss out on his rematch makes sense. It was a great heel move by Bennett and it continues EC3’s quest to get the match he wants.
Wow, we want Velvet chants at Maria.
Maria is great on the mic and I like her growing faction of Sienna as her enforcer and Allie as her assistant. Allie’s facial expressions are perfect.
The backstage promos with Grado and Shera and then the BroMans were terrible.
“And you can boo me all you want, but we all know I'm your mom’s favorite wrestler.” - Al Snow
Great heel promo from Snow. He's been fantastic in his feud with Grado.
Al Snow’s over the top celebration is classic.
Hold on, Dixie Carter puts Drew Galloway in a match with Lashley with the stipulation that the win can only come by knockout or submission makes absolutely no sense. Why would the advantage be given to the known MMA fighter? To make this segment even worse was Dixie Carter allowing Lashley to destroy Galloway after she was just out on the stage. We just saw them wrestle last week, there was no reason for them getting physical so soon. Why wouldn't Carter want to protect her main event match at Slammiversary?
I didn't expect to see a new X Division Champion come out of the Ultimate X Match. As always the athleticism was good, but the match was too short. I'd like to see individual promos from each of the competitors telling us who they are and why the title is important to them.
I get they couldn't have Gail Kim lose the match considering her career was on the line, but I don't like Sienna losing so early in her run. At least Maria got her back after the match.
The BroMans skit with Raquel was embarrassingly bad. I am not entertained by the BroMans in any way, and Raquel was awkward delivering her lines.
The outcome of the main event was never in doubt, but I enjoyed the match. I wish Spud was used better, just because he's good at taking beatings doesn't mean he should be taking them every week.
While I don't agree with all of the creative decisions, TNA is doing a fantastic job of building towards Slammiversary.
Matt Hardy vs. EC3 for the Bennett interference
Maria & Gail Kim
Al Snow vs. Grado
Gail Kim vs. Sienna for Maria's beat down after the match
Grado & Shera promo
The BroMans promo
Lashley destroying Galloway
Ultimate X Match
The BroMans & Raquel
Dixie Carter and her match stipulation
TNA IMPACT - May 17, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
Holy hell, this Willow vs. Jeff Hardy story is awful. Was the reveal of Matt Hardy as Willow meant to be a surprise? Regardless, it's not good. Please bring back The Iconic.
I like that they added Allie as Maria's assistant. A detail like this can really enhance Maria's character.
Wow, Sienna is impressive. Really like her finishing move. Velvet Sky losing came as no surprise considering she is leaving TNA.
The video package of Bennett and Maria proves Mike Bennett just wins at life.
I was enjoying Mike Bennett’s promo until it took a strange twist with him calling Earl Hebner to the ring. This just makes no sense. Why would another referee agree to ring the bell and put one of their own in harm's way? And why wouldn't Brian Hebner come to his dad's rescue? That was ridiculous. If that was a way just to get ECIII to the ring, they could've gone a different route.
I do like Bennett making Carter face all the ghosts of his past before getting his rematch.
Good match between ECIII and Tyrus. Both guys worked hard and looked good. Carter is really coming into his own as a babyface. I'm looking forward to Carter's match against Bennett at Slammiversary.
Good match between Everett & Lee vs. Edwards & DJ Z. Fast paced with a lot of action. That said, The Helms Dynasty isn't clicking with me yet. I'd like to learn more about Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett because right now they're just Helm’s sidekicks to me right now.
The video packages of Lashley and Galloway are really well done. TNA is doing a great job of promoting the main event throughout the show and making it feel special.
The Fact of Life talk show with Eli Drake is terrible. I just don't get what everyone sees in Drake. Throw in the fact Bram isn't clicking as a babyface and this segment is DOA.
Good match between Lashley and Galloway. It had a big match feel which helps. I wish there was a finish to the match called, but that was a really strong ending to the show. I assume we’ll see a rematch between Lashley and Galloway at Slammiversary. TNA has done a great job setting up the PPV.
This was yet another good episode of IMPACT.
Velvet Sky vs. Sienna
ECIII vs. Tyrus
DJZ & Eddie Edwards vs. (The Helms Dynasty) Trevor Lee & Andrew Everett
Lashley vs. Drew Galloway
Willow and Jeff Hardy opening segment
Mike Bennett vs. Earl Hebner
The Fact of Life talk show with Eli Drake
IMPACT Wrestling - May, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
Due to some scheduling conflicts over the past couple of weeks I haven't been able to post my weekly IMPACT Wrestling column. Well, I'm finally caught up on the show, so let's get to it.
Let me begin by saying IMPACT continues t be a very good show since coming to Pop. The fact that the ratings are not showing improvement is troubling though. Hopefully it's a just a matter of time before more fans find the network on their cable/satellite providers. I have heard that some providers don't carry Pop in HD, which could turn some people off. In any event, IMPACT deserves another chance from fans that have stopped watching.
I wish TNA would have given Bobby Roode a better send off. Roode taking the pin in a garbage match doesn't seem worthy enough when you factor in everything he's done in TNA, in addition to his tenure with the company.
I like Decay as TNA Tag Team Champions. Now if only the company would invest in the division and bring in new teams for Decay to feud with. Rosemary is all in on her character. She has a ton of potential and is really good on the mic. In fact, I'd like to see her handle the main talking for the group. Good move by Abyss losing the mask.
Mike Bennett is growing on me. He's leaps and bounds better now than he was when he first came to TNA, but he might have the worst haircut in all of professional wrestling.
Lashley as the #1 contender for the TNA title makes sense. He's been giving the best promos of his career. I'm looking forward to his match with Galloway.
Matt Hardy seems to be all over the show right now. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but audiences are just going to assume it's him behind the Willows and also the person who paid Decay. With the recently departed talents from WWE it would be great if one or more of them showed up on IMPACT as the person(s) pulling the strings.
Rockstar Spud is fantastic. I wish he was featured more.
Sienna is impressive. TNA has to keep building the Knockouts Division and emphasize that the title is what's most important to the women.
I'm enjoying Al Snow's current run. Although, Mahabali Shera is still a long way away from being average in the ring. Snow's match with Grado, when it happens, should be good.
I'm curious to see how James Storm is going to be used going forward. I liked his pairing with Jeff Hardy for his mandatory rematch against Decay. The tag division needs more teams so I'd hate to see him go off as a singles act.
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy build
ECIII vs. Mike Bennett build
Lashley vs. Drew Galloway build
Al Snow vs. Grado build
The use of Rockstar Spud
The Feast or Fired briefcase
The direction of the X Division
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