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Heavy Impact (8/26/15): Championship Struggles

Hello, folks! Marie here and I am ready to dish out this week’s Impact Wrestling review!

Tonight’s show is once again a special episode, where we see three championships defended in the card: the Knockouts championship, the X-Division championship, and the Tag Team championship.

But first, we start with the Hardys.

Hardy Boyz promo

After apologizing for breaking his leg, Jeff Hardy once again sells the idea of #matt4champ to the TNA crowd. EC3 (with the quiet Tyrus by his side) interrupts the brothers, saying that while he was a fan of the Hardy Boyz back in the 1990s, he couldn’t be more disappointed now that he got to share the ring with them. The best burn of the night was when he described the brothers as a “groveller and a gimp,” and that Jeff Hardy is just a daredevil who couldn’t stick a landing (makes me laugh out loud even after watching the episode).

After much toying with the Hardys, EC3 granted Matt a rematch for next week, with the stipulation that if he loses, Jeff Hardy will become his personal assistant.

Jeff Hardy accepts the stipulation, saying that there’s no way that his brother is going to lose. To which I say: yeah right. Even if I haven’t seen spoilers, I know there’s no way Matt Hardy will win the rematch, since this just the beginning of a feud between the two. (Technically, it’s the Full Metal Mayhem Ladder match a few weeks ago that started their feud, but you know what I mean). The stipulation is likely there so that TNA can use Jeff Hardy without making him wrestle, as he should get all the time he needs to recover.

Eric Young vs Chris Melendez

Sergeant Chris Melendez’s prosthetic leg is on the line in this match. Yes, it’s as tasteless and crass but there is something riveting in it: it’s a lot like watching car crash scenes on TV. It’s longer than their usual squash matches, but no surprises in the end: Young defeating Melendez, but this time with some rope assistance. At the end of the match, Chris Melendez is forced to throw his prosthetic leg to Eric Young, who acts like he won the World Cup or something.

While I applaud Eric Young for his support of young Chris Melendez, I have to admit that I am skeptical about the ex-marine’s future in pro wrestling. Melendez has drive and enthusiasm in droves, let’s give him that: but I am sad to note that he might not be physically up to par with the rigorous demands of pro wrestling. While he can do most of the usual wrestling techniques (neckbreakers, clotheslines, powerslams, to name a few), he’s a bit slow and awkward to be a technical wrestler or a high-flier. He also cannot be a powerhouse because of the uncertainty of his vertical base. So what can he be? Just a generic wrestler? Sooner or later, the fuel that is his patriotic gimmick will run out, and he will be forced to depend primarily on his in-ring ability. If it’s all average, he will never get far, especially with wrestlers who are more skilful and are also as equally hungry for opportunities. Unless of course, Melendez can prove me wrong somehow, and I really do hope so.

Tigre Uno vs DJZ vs Sonjay Dutt [GFW] for the X-Division Championship

Tonight’s card is full of very good matches, and this is one of them. It is fast, furious, and full of spots, equally divided between the three competitors. Tigre Uno eventually retains his belt with an impressive springboard Frog Splash on DJZ.

This match shows what exactly is the problem with tonight’s card, and my beef with TNA championship booking: there’s no booking at all. Take the last match, for example: despite how Chris Melendez does not match Eric Young’s physical prowess and in-ring ability, at least they have a story to tell. I cannot say the same thing with these three X-Division competitors. Where is the storyline in this match? Sonjay Dutt lost his match against Tigre Uno two weeks ago, while DJZ was annihilated by Jessie Godderz last month, and was just floating around afterwards. In a promotion where they had qualifying matches to become an X-Division championship contender (as what they did in Destination X a couple of months ago), what qualifications did DJZ and Sonjay Dutt have that they get a shot for the X-Division championship all of a sudden?

By pitting champions against challengers who did nothing to earn their title shots, you take away a lot of the championship’s prestige. Like a MacGuffin, people are unsure of its value, but still fight for it anyway if they’re not doing anything better. What’s the value of a championship belt when anyone can get a shot at it?

The Revolution (Manik and Abyss) vs The Wolves for the Tag Team Championship

Prior to the match, James Storm declared to his two followers that Shera isn’t part of The Revolution anymore, and that if they associate with him , he will cut them down where they stand. Ooh, strong words, and with predictive powers too (as most warnings have in pro wrestling). When James Storm ran in for an assist to his acolyte with an attempt to take out Davey Richards, Mahabali Shera forces him back to the locker room area. Free of Storm’s interference, the Wolves hit Force of Nature on Manik, enabling them to get the win.

This is also a good match: but as with the previous one, there’s no build up or an explanation why The Revolution gets a chance for the championship. The only possible reason I can think of is that it’s because they are the only other group in the entire TNA roster (there’s the Dollhouse, but as with WWE, I don’t think we’ll every see an intergender match in TNA anytime soon). It’s a nice surprise that the Wolves swapped their roles for this match: it’s Davey Richards who is the face-in-peril, and it’s Eddie Edwards who gets the hot tag. It means that the Wolves doesn’t always do their stick-in-the-mud routine, and does mix it up now and again when they feel like it.

Velvet Sky vs Brooke Tessmacher for the Knockouts Championship

This a short match. Velvet Sky still looks like the pro wrestling version of Avril Lavigne, while Brooke is like a cheerleader. Despite what they look like, they do wrestle quite decently, particularly Brooke who did a nice springboard, seemingly while tiptoeing. All of a sudden, Marti Bell and Jade ran in to attack Brooke, causing the match to be stopped (and giving Brooke the win via disqualification). While the champ is outside the ring unconscious, the Dollhouse members focused their attention at their main target: Velvet Sky. Then Taryn showed herself in the big screen, looking fine despite the supposedly vicious attack last week, saying that Velvet Sky made a big mistake in helping Gail Kim, and now she’s going to pay the price.

Marti Bell and Jade started stomping on Velvet Sky, when Rebel came in for the save. (While watching this episode, I couldn’t quite remember who she is, so I had to Google her for a second. When I saw her face, then I remember exactly who this lady is: she’s that not-so-good wrestler who had been a guest in “Dog Whisperer,” the one with one of the silliest finishers I’ve ever seen.) A surprise kick in Velvet Sky’s back revealed the truth: that she is the newest member of the Dollhouse. Rebel did her ridiculous finisher on Sky, which renders Velvet down and out, as Josh Matthews called it (I totally laughed at this). Finisher aside, I will reserve my judgement on Rebel until I see her in action. Maybe she had improved her skills during her off-TV break, right? I’m going to be sad for the Dollhouse if that is not the case.

Mr. Anderson vs James Storm vs Bobby Roode vs Bobby Lashley in a Fatal Four Way Match for the King of the Montain Contendership

This match is worthy to be called the main event. All four former TNA champs tried to upstage and outwrestle each other, making this such a fun and exciting match. Alliance between the faces Lashley and Mr. Anderson against Roode and Storm naturally formed. I like how after high fives and a handshake, Mr. Anderson immediately turned on Lashley when it’s just the two of them left. It just goes to show that even if Mr. Anderson is now a babyface, he will never be a bland one. There was a bit of a scare in the middle of the match, when Mr. Anderson attempted a Kenton bomb from the top rope and missed, falling badly on the back of his head. He wisely rolled out of the ring after that near-botch, and was probably told to lay it easy for the rest of the match.

So it’s Roode and Storm against Lashley. Yes, there’s a mini-Beer Money reunion going on in this match, and the crowd (and I) are marking out. Amidst the loud chant of “Beer Money” from the audience, Roode and Storm hits their double suplex on Lashley, putting him out. The two did their Beer Money taunt (you know, the one with the hands), but then Storm tried to burst the bubble with a Last Call attempt on Roode. Roode dodges the attack, and then hits Storm with the Roode Bomb for the pin!

As I said, that was a very good main event, and I think the right person won it too. Mr. Anderson best works with the younger wrestlers, and Lashley is better suited aiming for the TNA Heavyweight Championship. A one-on-one against P.J. Black for the King of the Mountain belt outside a King of the Mountain match doesn’t make any sense (that is, if one considers the name of the title is supposedly to be attached to the match where it’s supposedly to be defended on). I’m thinking that they are going to rename it back to one of its old names: my bet is on it going back to being called the TNA Television Championship.

The Big Reveal

Dixie Carter is about to say yes to Jeff Jarrett’s not-so-romantic proposal on him being in-charge of Impact Wrestling permanently, when Inspector Drew Galloway interrupts them. Inspector Galloway (who actually has a Criminology degree!) did some detective work by himself, and proves that the attacks were done by—dun dun dunnn—Jeff Jarrett!

Jarrett calls him a long drink of Scotland water and vehemently denies involvement in the attacks.  But before they can bicker further, out goes Karen Jarrett, who confesses to the murder crime! *gasps* She said that she did it for her family, GFW, and most of all for Jeff. After a few seconds of everybody looking at each other, Jeff hits a low blow on Inspector Galloway’s jewels! Drew folds over, Karen calls for reinforcement, Dixie scrambles out of the way, and Jeff ruefully says that sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do. Out from the back comes the entire GFW roster, dismantling Inspector Galloway. Some TNA wrestlers also ran out into the ring, a brawl ensued, but were quickly subdued by the GFW wrestlers. The show ends with the Jarretts and the rest of the GFW army standing tall in the ring.

After weeks of vignettes and backstage promos and dramas, here is the actual GFW invasion, the Greeks getting out of their wooden horse and slaughtering the Trojans. And what do you know: I found it enjoyable, as long as you don’t take it too seriously. The mystery is laughable of course, but I think they knew that, hence half tongue-in-cheek way of doing it all. The end of the show will probably give fuel to naysayers who say that GFW took more out of their partnership with TNA. I think that a premature opinion: this is just the beginning of this inter-promotion rivalry. What we all should do for now is to sit back and enjoy the show.

Did you see this week’s Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? What do you think about the GFW invasion? How do you feel about the big reveal? What do you think EC3 will do about this? 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 of TNA Impact Wrestling for Smark Henry.

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