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Heavy Impact (7/23/15): But Why?




Hello again folks! Marie here to dish out some thoughts on this week’s TNA Impact Wrestling.
First up, I was on vacation and I was late in submitting my review of last week’s episode. My bad. So here’s a brief overview of last week’s show:
Bully Ray as the new head of Impact Wrestling: I can live with the idea. For one, there’s nothing that says you had a life-changing revelation than put in charge the man who disagreed with you so violently that he slammed you through a table and broke your back. Second, he is imposing enough for us to believe that he can cut through EC3’s bullshit. And third, he has enough believable clout to keep the entire roster in check. They just need to give him a good office (and not some dusty space in a bodega) and he’s set to go.
20-Man Battle Royale for a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: In reality though, the Battle Royal is inexplicably one man less (I rewound the tape three times so I’m quite sure). I thought that it would have been better if it was given more time than was assigned. Drew Galloway (who eventually won) and Eric Young should have had more time as the last two standing. There shouldn't have been a commercial in the middle of the match, and it would also have been great if we were able to see everyone’s elimination spot, rather than see them in a small rewind window. There were good wrestling, but the poor time management and allotment made the match seemed undervalued.
Taryn Tarrell (with the Dollhouse) vs Brooke Tessmacher for the Knockout Championship: It was a decent match, despite the interference from Gail Kim (who seemed to have found the remote control for the studio lights). Brooke won, which is unsurprising, as Taryn is rumored to be on her way out of TNA. Sexist remarks from the commentary (for example, when the Pope said that Brooke has no right to say anything considering she’s also wearing something like a lingerie herself) made me want to go to fly Florida and punch the lights out from the Pope.
Mr. Anderson’s Promo: This is one of the most engaging spots in the entire episode. With just a few minutes and a few sentences, we were told the story of a man in the twilight of his career, and who is more afraid of the darkness in himself than in his impending feud with a brute younger and possibly more powerful than him. It’s times like this when I realize that beyond the gimmick, Mr. Anderson has some pretty awesome mic skills.
Tigre Uno vs Rockstar Spud vs Grado vs DJ-Z for the X-Division Championship: The match is decent, but nothing new, as we had seen parts of it in different Tigre Uno defense matches these past weeks. I’m still questioning why Grado is in it in the first place, since he has neither the speed nor agility of an X-Division wrestler. If they want to use the X-Division as a place for new wrestlers to hone their skills regardless of their weight, why not just transform it into a Junior Division instead? That is more beneficial for the young wrestlers (for example, Sgt. Melendez, who is another newbie in limbo), and it will most likely result in a more varied, and exciting combinations of feuds and matches.
Kurt Angle’s Announcement: While it was expected, it was still such sad news. Kurt Angle being out of Impact Wrestling indefinitely is a big deal. He is the general of the troops, highly respected and admired. Not that I’m saying he shouldn't be taking the time off—he should, as every wrestler’s health should be his topmost priority. What I’m saying is that if they’re really banking on Bully Ray to be that general to replace Kurt Angle, well then, they must make sure Bully Ray is up for that difficult task.
Ethan Carter III vs. Drew Galloway for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship:  I approve of matching Drew Galloway against Ethan Carter III. There is something natural about putting the up-and-coming babyface of the roster against the top heel of the company. Being taller than EC3 and just as physically imposing, Drew looks like a real threat to the title. And fresh, credible rivals are what EC3 needs at the moment. But with this week’s episode, I guess TNA didn't see it that way, and Drew in a major feud with the champ is not going to happen in the near future.
*****
This week’s show opened with a Jeff Jarrett vignette and with Dixie Carter announcing his induction to the TNA Hall of Fame. Considering the big role Jarrett is most likely going to play in the months ahead, I can see this as a backstage political maneuver. And I’m still disappointed that there’s still no TNA original that had been inducted in their slightly laughable Hall of Fame.

So on with this hodgepodge of an Impact Wrestling episode. A lot of whys are going to be asked, so I’m going to post Ryan Reynolds here as my general reaction to the entire show.



Bram vs. Magnus in a Street Fight

Why are they revisiting a feud that was supposedly closed six months ago? Is their beef still that big that a Street Fight stipulation is deemed necessary? Bram won via a bump to the referee, then a low blow to Magnus, and then a pin. The wrestling by itself was decent, and Bram was delightfully creepy with his weird laugh, but it feels like a random filler match. And the ref bump was quite unnecessary and lazy.
Bram cosplaying Oscar the Grouch
After the match, James Storm strolls into the ring and hits Magnus with a cowbell, in anticipation of his announcement later on tonight. No reaction from the audience though, which sets the tone for most of tonight’s show.

Eli Drake and Drew Galloway brawl

Eli Drake walks to the ring with his crutch on hand. He, Eli Drake (pronounced as slowly as possible, as if that will wake up the still-dead audience), says he’s sick of Drew Galloway and his #StandUp rants.
Can we expect a tables, ladders, and crutches match between these two? 


Out from the back comes Drew Galloway (which woke up the fans more effectively that Eli Drake or even the first match ever did), who said that the reason why he got Eli Drake for The Rising is because of his killer instinct. He says that little did he know that he would be the one who will kill The Rising, a statement that made my eyebrows rise. As I remember it, The Rising was disbanded because they lost to The Beatdown Clan in a match with a losing-faction-disbands stipulation.
Josh Matthews quickly realizes Drew’s blunder and tried to clean up the mess with a revelation that apparently Eli Drake faked his injury, and that’s the reason why The Rising lost to the BDC (which is a lot of blame placed on just one guy in a team of three). Drew and Eli then proceed to beat each other down until Eli sensibly escapes. That means we’ll see more of this Eli Drake versus Drew Galloway feud in later shows.
Honestly, I was banking on Drew Galloway reforming The Rising under a new name, but with Eli Drake’s turn, I guess that means the faction is permanently dead. I guess that’s fine, considering their rival, the BDC, is dead too, with MVP’s departure from TNA as a result of the Hernandez fiasco. One of the sad result of the ongoing talent exodus from TNA is that it’s putting the story lines and the remaining wrestlers in limbo. While I would like for Galloway to feud with EC3, he needs to wrap up this storyline not just because of Eli Drake, but also for the sake of his other The Rising buddy, Micah, and even for the sake of former BDC members who are still in TNA, Kenny King and Homicide.

Taryn Tarrell tries to stage a strike

Christy Hemme started to do a BBQ Pitmaster promo when Taryn came screaming from the back and pushes the BBQ grill off the platform. She orders the Dollhouse into the ring (that has a cage down), and says that unless she gets her title she will forcibly put Impact Wrestling to a halt.
Out comes Brooke Tessmacher, mocking Taryn’s temper tantrum, and calls Marti Bell and Jade… dollhoes? Wow, that’s terrible. She says that if Taryn want the title back, she should come and get it. So out goes Taryn, and the the lights shuts down again (I guess TNA is so financially strapped right now that they resorted into buying crappy light bulbs). When the maintenance crew fixed the lights a few seconds later, we see Gail Kim in the cage (now locked) dismantling the Dollhouse, while Brooke stalks the still screaming Taryn around the ringside. So what did we get from this spot? A Knockout match next week between Taryn and Gail Kim next week most likely, but aside from that, not much.
"Hey Brooke, I couldn't find the damn key, let me out will ya?"
We then get a full airing of the King of the Mountain match from this year’s Slammiversary, with Jeff Jarret, Drew, Galloway, Eric Young,  Bobby Roode, and Matt Hardy, from which Jarrett won. 
Then we get a weird Tigre Uno promo where he challenged Donald Trump to show up on Impact Wrestling next week to discuss Trump’s controversial rants on Mexican immigrants. As I said, this is an odd hodgepodge show we have tonight.

James Storm introduces his tag team partner

The Revolution (Khoya, Manik, Abyss, and James Storm) comes out to the ring. James Storm says that he had given Mickie James the chance to join The Revolution and be saved, but he should have realized that Mickie is a lost cause. But here is someone that appreciates the opportunity, someone that was once Mickie James’ protégé, and who will be his partner in his match with Mickie and Magnus, Serena (Deeb). No reaction from the audience, which is expected because Serena had wrestled in TNA just a handful of times. She said that after Mickie left her behind, she was lost, until James Storm found her.
"I'm a real man with a real woman." I don't know what that means exactly, but okay.
James Storm closes the spot by saying that when Donovan (Mickie and Magnus’ son, because the mark of a true heel is mentioning someone’s kid by name) grows up, he’ll remember that this was when his parents made the biggest mistake of their lives. All in all, a decent set-up for next week’s tag match.

Eric Young vs Rockstar Spud in a Chain Match

Nice piledriver, sorry Rockstar Spud
Is there any particular reason why these two guys that are not feuding and have no real issues with each other are in this match? I’m not saying is a bad match. Rockstar Spud was doing his fine-tuned underdog gimmick, and Eric Young was in the zone as a crazy-ass heel. But really, why? And why a chain match, a stipulation that is usually used for wrestlers who've had serious beef with each other or as a finale after a long feud? And yet more galling is the use of a referee bump (again!) which enabled Young to put a piledriver on Spud, and then win the match. Eric Young did not really need that referee distraction to win, so why in the world was it used? This episode is full of glaring lazy booking.

Bobby Roode vs Matt Hardy in a Tables Match to be the #1 Contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Another stipulation match, yet again. Josh Matthews explains that as charted by Bully Ray, Bobby Roode is number two in the Impact Top Five, while Matt Hardy is number one in the Top Five. Again a decent match, Bobby Roode dominated the match most of the time. Roode hits a low blow (again!) on Matt Hardy, but Hardy fortunately avoids getting dropped on a table. Matt Hardy eventually won by back-flipping Roode over the top rope and onto the table that was set up outside the ring. Meaning, Matt Hardy will face EC3 in the next week or so for the World Heavyweight Championship belt.
Bobby Roode forgot about the table he had set up on the outside
This week’s Impact Wrestling is an appalling show of jumbled booking and incoherent matches. It seems to be a filler episode, something that they put on just to have something on TV. All the matches have stipulations they do not need, competitors without any reason to fight each other or an in-ring storyline, referee bumps and distractions that are quite unnecessary, and unclean endings. The bookers are so lazy that the most exciting match in the whole episode is a re-airing of a match from a PPV from last month. All in all, I give this show a C-, and will hope to see a better Impact Wrestling next week.
Did you see this week's Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? What do you think about Serena being James Storm’s tag team partner? Is Matt Hardy a good choice as the number one contender for the championship? Let us know in the comments!
*****

Marie Ricana (@cris_ricana) is an IT specialist and a network/system administrator. While an engineer by profession, she dreams of becoming the next Roland Barthes or The Masked Man. One of these days, she’ll publish the most insightful book on pro wrestling in the Philippines. But for now, she is mostly writing reviews about the two wrestling shows in Destination America, Impact Wrestling and ROH.

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