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Heavy Impact (6/24/15): Coming Full Circle

“Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.”

That is a Filipino saying that roughly means, “Those that doesn’t look back from where they came from will not be able to reach their destination.” And TNA—which was created to give the audience an alternative pro wrestling product—has always been a company whose people keep looking back to a past that involves WWE, a lot of times bitterly, and many times to their detriment.

But after 13 years in the business, TNA somehow became the company that some ex-employees look on with bitter remembrance. More so with Jeff Jarrett. After all, the company was his and his father’s brainchild, born out of a fateful fishing trip back in 2002. Helplessly, he watched it become the machinery that it became until it had spit him out—the founder, of all people—nine years later.

I can imagine him say “F- it, I’m going to be awesome anyway.” And he was, in many places (India, Mexico, Japan), and in many promotions (AAA, NJPW, IWA). And he even created another brainchild, TNA’s younger sibling of sorts, Global Force Wrestling.

So why is he in this week’s episode of Impact Wrestling, shaking hands with Josh and the Pope, stepping inside the six-sided ring, with a smiling but tad reluctant Karen at his side?

He explains in an emotional and heartfelt promo that while promoting the GFW Grand Slam Tour, he got a text from TNA for a King of the Mountain match at the 13th Slammiversary this Sunday. He says that while the initial reaction is to just not reply, as TNA is (as he describes it) “in the rear view mirror,” emotions and memories just came back to him, all the greats that came and went or stayed: Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Eric Young, to name a few. And simply put, TNA was his and his dad’s baby.

But Karen, by telling us a conversation with Sonjay Dutt, explains it best: “Karen, you may never understand this, but he didn’t go out the way he wanted to go out. No matter how bright our future is, or how good things are, right now, Jeff didn’t leave here on his terms. He got fired on a backstage pre-tape by Sting.” So while Karen still doesn’t understand, she says she supports his husband and on Sunday, he is going to leave the company on his terms, and make things right, the way Jeff Jarrett knows how.

“The king of the mountain is officially declaring himself in the match - one last time!”

I am divided on this one-time comeback on so many levels. On one hand, I am glad that Jeff Jarrett will have the closure that I think he deserves. On the business side of things, it will a big opportunity for them to promote GFW. But on the other hand, there are people that will be hurt by this move. Obviously, Kurt Angle will be one of them. The entire roster will also be affected, particularly by the change of focus of the upcoming Slammiversary PPV. I’m guessing that some may be none too happy that the PPV might become a just very late final farewell event for Jarrett.

But what is its effect on TNA itself? Not so good, I think. By shifting the championship matches to next week’s Bell to Bell Impact Wrestling episode, they had made the Slammiversary card (all of which are non-title matches) weak. Plus they had booked themselves into a corner; because the matches for next week’s Impact Wrestling are pre-taped, people (especially the IWC) already knew the result way too early. It sums up to TNA messing up everything, yet again.

The Return of the Comebacks

Sometimes though, looking back is beneficial. TNA had looked back in the well of the past and dug out some of their past TNA stars for this episode, and perhaps for even beyond.

Angelina Love vs Velvet Sky

The Knockouts Division has Velvet Sky versus Angelina Love for Sky’s spot in the active roster. While Love dominated in most of this match, Sky takes the win with a brilliantly sneaky stunner. Welcome back to the active roster, Velvet Sky!

The Beautiful People (RIP)

Bram vs Vader

We can always depend on Bram’s open challenge for a chance to see past TNA stars. This week we not get one, but two—Vader (who is obviously rusty, but is ready and willing), and Matt Morgan, who is looking good. The match ends for a win via DQ for Vader, which is bonkers since it was established that every Bram’s open challenge matches are no DQ matches (even Josh Matthews was dumbfounded). So anyway, we get Bram vs Matt Morgan at Slammiversary.

Bram is somewhat not sure what to do with an overly enthusiastic Vader

All the hostilities between the two culminated into a surprise, all-out brawl between The Rising (Drew Galloway, Micah, and Eli Drake) and the Beatdown Clan (MVP, Homicide, and Kenny King). Three on three, and everything is on equal footing, but wait! Out of the back came Hernandez (fresh from his vacation in Lucha Underground) who firmly establishes as a brother for the BDC with a big powerbomb to Galloway. And with that, we get a four-on-three handicap match between the BDC and The Rising.

Update: Apparently, Low-Ki tweeted about his release from TNA this morning. With Hernandez in the BDC, it’s cool with me how this evens the playing field out with BDC’s feud with The Rising, especially on their match next week.

Matt Hardy vs Kurt Angle

And finally, we get two relics from the WWE, new dad Matt Hardy versus Kurt Angle for a non-title match in the main event. Josh and the Pope says that these two haven’t had a one-on-one match ever, something I can hardly believe.

It was a fairly decent match, with Hardy and Angle on even footing, until Angle gets him to tap out from a grapevined ankle lock. After the match, EC3 and Tyrus invited themselves into the party and tried to mess up Kurt Angle. Hardy tried to help Angle, but gets punched out by Tyrus. Angle then suplexes Tyrus (which impressed me a lot), and then puts EC3 on an ankle lock, from which EC3 futilely taps out. This sets the tone for their match at next week’s Bell to Bell episode of Impact Wrestling (and not, surprisingly and disappointingly, on this Sunday’s Slammiversary).

Something New (or at least the not so old)

Low-Ki vs Grado vs Tigre Uno for the X Division Championship

Not everything on the episode is old stuff. The first match of the night was a Three-way Elimination Match for the X Division Championship between Low-Ki, Tigre Uno and Grado. It was a decent to good match. While I like Grado, I’m glad he gets to be eliminated first, as I believe he was placed in this competition in the first place merely for comic relief. Sad for Grado I know, but he still has lots of room for improvement, and time enough to flesh out his character than just the class clown. The excitement and pace amped up a notch when it went down at Low-Ki and Tigre Uno. A Sabretooth Splash, and Tigre Uno gets the win and the belt!

Sgt. Chris Melendez vs Eric Young

The second to the last match of the night is basically a beatdown by Eric Young on Sgt. Chris Melendez, with a pin and a win by Young. There’s not so much to say about this match (which is essentially a squash) except that Melendez has taken the beat down like a man, and I would like to see him in a more... equal match.

A nasty piledriver to the sarge by Eric Young

The Wolves vs Dirty Heels: Match Four for the Tag Team Championship

I will give the match of the night to the Wolves versus the Dirty Heels, in a Full Metal Mayhem match! It’s the fourth match of their Best of Five series for the Tag Team Championship. There’s a lot of synchronized wrestling in it, as well as a big dose of suicide dives, some tables and chairs, a couple of ladders, garbage can, and a healthy link of steel chain wrapped in Davey Richard’s boot.  Simply put, the match is awesome! A low blow by Roode to Edwards, then a pin by Aries, one two three, and the Dirty Heels for the win! I can’t wait for their final match in next week’s Bell to Bell episode!

Aries in the can, Edwards with the chair. Mayhem ensues!

And Everything in Between

For the past two episodes there had been a cryptic promo with fire and scale and a lady saying about “a world on a razor edge… playtime is over.” Playtime… maybe pertaining to the Dollhouse? In that case, it’s probably a veteran TNA Knockout out to get them. I’m not really too excited (I would rather like to see new blood in the Knockout division) but we’ll see.

So the match list for this Sunday’s Slammiversary is the following: Magnus vs James Storm. Jessie Godderz vs Robbie E, The Dollhouse and Taryn Tarrell vs Awesome Kong and Brooke Tessmacher, Bram vs Matt Morgan, Lashey and Mr. Anderson vs Tyrus and EC3, and finally, Jeff Jarrett’s King of the Mountain match.

Then next week’s Bell to Bell Impact Wrestling episode will have The Rising vs BDC, Taryn Tarrell vs Awesome Kong vs Brooke Tessmacher for the Knockout Championship, match 5 between the Wolves and the Dirty Heels, and EC3 vs Kurt Angle for the heavyweight championship. Honestly, I feel somewhat guilty that I am more excited for this episode than  Slammiversary. With such high stakes matches, it is potentially at least at par, or even better than the PPV. Isn’t it awful that their TV episodes seems to be much better than their pay-per-view events? For everybody’s sake, I really hope I will be proven wrong this Sunday.

Did you see this week's Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? Should Jeff Jarrett be back for King of the Mountain? Let us know in the comments!

Main page thumbnail photo from Noticias de Wrestling Express


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