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Heavy Impact (9/02/15): Airtime Pirates


Hi everyone! I’m Marie and here is this week’s Impact Wrestling review!

We start with the GFW roster, led by the Jarretts, all in the ring. Jeff Jarrett thanks his wife for setting the wheels in motion for his now declared corporate hostile takeover of TNA, all to a chorus of boos from the TNA fans. Karen Jarrett’s mastermind status becomes even more apparent when she reveals that it was Chris Mordetzky who had done the actual attacks on Bully Ray and Drew Galloway (as if anybody will believe that she did it all by herself). Karen has been portrayed as a manipulating bitch for most of her wrestling career (I particularly remember that entire storyline with A.J. Styles and ex-husband Kurt Angle), so yeah, I can sort of, maybe, somewhat believe that.

Chris Mordetzky then brags that he is bigger and better than anyone in the TNA locker room, and predictably he challenges for a match, right there, right now. Answering his call, a very serious Bobby Lashley comes from the back.

Bobby Lashley vs Chris Mordetzky

The first half of the match is filled with grapples, tackles, locks, and slams, as befitting two heavyweights who have some technical skills. After a few minutes of off-the-ring brawl, the second half sees a back-and-forth series of powerslams and spinebusters, until a spear by Lashley takes Mordetzky out. Lashley was about to pin Mordetzky for the win when some of the GFW posse, followed by an enthusiastic Jeff, rushed into the ring and gives a severe beatdown to Bobby Lashley (who, by the way, gets the hollow victory via disqualification). Despite the interference, this was a good match to start the show.

The Wolves ran to the ring to help the ex-MMA fighter. Unfortunately, they forgot to invite more TNA wrestlers to the party (either that or they have an inflated sense of their own skills), because with six-against-three, they were immediately thrashed by the GFW gang.

After the commercial, Karen joins the GFW mob (who is still beating the hell out of a down-and-out Lashley, and The Wolves). She is carrying Magnus’ Feast or Fired briefcase, containing a contract for a Tag Team Championship Match, given to them as a show of his “friendship.” Referee Earl Hebner reluctantly refuses to let them cash in the briefcase, despite threats from the GFW mob, and even after a pushing bout between Jeff Jarrett and the plucky senior citizen. He finally gets clocked by Jeff, thrown out of the ring, and replaced by referee Brian Stiffler, who was dragged by his collar into the ring by the rest of the GFW gang. This is total anarchy, Jarrett-style.

The Wolves vs Brian Myers and Trevor Lee for the TNA Tag Team Championship

Brian Myers and Trevor Lee kept on stomping on the Wolves even after (or more likely, especially since) the reluctant Brian Stiffler signalled for start of the match. Trevor Lee, thinking that the Wolves are on the losing end, tries to pin Eddie Edwards, who kicks out at two. The Wolves tried to fight back. On one particular spot, they had Lee and Myers on double submission holds: Davey Richards doing a Texas Cloverleaf while Edwards preferred a Boston Crab. The Feast and Fired briefcase on Eddie Edwards’s skull (that the ref didn’t see, as usual), a successful pin by Trevor Lee, and GFW gets the TNA Tag Team belt!

This is really not much of match, more of an extended beatdown on The Wolves. I’m not complaining though. It is seldom that we see a storyline that encompassed more than half of show’s airtime, which is a gutsy move for TNA. Maybe it’s the threat of Impact Wrestling being cancelled, or perhaps they are mustering up fans for the Bound for Glory tour. Either way, there had been improvements in their matches, storyline, and overall booking. I am not the pessimistic type, so I hope all of these efforts are going to eventually pay off.

Bobby Roode vs P.J. Black for the King of the Mountain Championship

All this commotion made Bobby Roode uncharacteristically patriotic. He says that love him or hate him, he is a TNA original and he had helped build TNA for more than ten years. This is his house and he will kick GFW’s ass, starting with P.J. Black. This is an interesting match. It is Roode’s textbook wrestling (as described by Josh) with a lot of powerslams, clotheslines, spinebusters, and a pretty awkward crossface submission, versus Black’s mostly springboard stunts (kicks, elbows, and of course, moonsaults). Sonjay Dutt tries to help his GFW colleague via referee distraction, but Drew Galloway suddenly showed up to take Dutt out. A Roode bomb, then a count out: Bobby Roode is the new King of the Mountain Champion!

Roode’s ugly crossface aside, it was a pretty good match, particularly because of the different styles employed in the match.

The GFW mob tried to catch Roode, who wisely and quickly and nimbly made his way through the audience. Jeff Jarrett again grabs the mic for round two of his rants. But this time around, Dixie Carter shows up in the ramp for a much needed promoter-vs-promoter confrontation. So what did Dixie do? She offers him a deal: his team against her team, winner takes all. Okay, that sounds like a typical, harebrained, Dixie Carter plan, which of course, Jarrett readily accepts. Oh dear.

Team Dixie consists of Drew Galloway, Bobby Lashley, and the Wolves, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. This means that Team Jarrett will consist of Sonjay Dutt, Chris Mordetzky, Brian Myers, and Trevor Lee. There’s no doubt that this will be an exciting match, with a lot of very good wrestling. But I feel frustrated about how predictable this supposedly momentous match feels: it seems like glaringly shallow booking. I’m disappointed that they took the safest route of picking all babyfaces for Team TNA. I half expected Bobby Roode to be part of the team, with his loyalty speech before his match and all. A mixture of heels and faces as Team TNA, temporarily uniting to vanquish a bigger threat, would have given texture to the whole endeavour. Meanwhile, each one of the GFW roster can portray themselves as one-dimensional evil invaders, for all I care. This is Impact Wrestling, TNA’s house, and all stories created in this house should be focused solely on its inhabitants.

Kenny King vs Bram

Kenny King had apparently turned face after the breakdown of the Beat Down Clan. He then foolishly invokes Open Fight Night, which summons the self-styled human hate machine, Bram. There were some nice moves by King that showed his X-Division training. I am not surprised though, to see Bram win (via Brighter Side of Suffering) by sheer brutality.

There’s not much to say about this squash match. As with many younger wrestler in the active roster, Kenny King still remained aimless and in limbo. I am intrigued though that TNA decided to include this Bram match in this week’s show, despite his current situation with the felony charges and resulting indefinite suspension. They could have just left his character wrapped up temporarily after his feud with Mr. Anderson; now in the same limbo character-wise as Kenny King is right now. But then again, I rather think there are a lot more important of things in Bram’s mind right to bother with that.

The Beautiful People back again!

 Velvet Sky is in the ring, and is pissed at the beat down she got from the Dollhouse minions last week. She calls out Taryn Terrell, who shows up on the screens yet again. Taryn dishes out threats of her own. Right on cue, her Dollhouse minions—Marti Bell, Jade, and Rebel—surround Taryn on the ring. Surprise, surprise: out goes Angelina Love and Madison Rayne, to have Velvet Sky’s back. A brawl starts and Love, Rayne, and Sky throw the Dollhouse minions out of the ring. Angelina Love finalizes it all by saying that the Dollhouse just met the edgy, badass, new and improved, Beautiful People! Oh, how the fans cheered for that! To which I say, good for them, and good for TNA. The Dollhouse’s feud with Gail Kim is over, so they need the new rival to further the storyline. I just hope that this time around, we get to see a more equal feud between the two clans, and that we can have a more fleshed out rivalry and characters than just mean pseudo-edgy girls versus creepy pabebe girls.

Ethan Carter III (with Tyrus) vs Matt Hardy (with Jeff Hardy) for the TNA Heavyweight Championship

There is a lot of great in-ring action in this main event. EC3 brings it on, as usual, while Matt Hardy, despite the noticeable beer gut, wrestles quite adequately. We see the return of Tyrus’s shenanigans by the second half of the match. I’m a bit sad to see clean-matches EC3 go, but I guess it’s probably for the best, since people are starting to think that EC3 isn’t so heelish after all. The Hardys tried to counteract their opponent’s dirty tricks (with Jeff even managing to clock out Tyrus), but EC3 sneaks up a low blow to Matt Hardy, and then rolling him up for the win! EC3 retains, but what’s more, Jeff Hardy becomes his new personal assistant, who reluctantly raises up a gloating EC3’s arm in victory!

While this is a decent main event, I think this Matt Hardy/EC3 feud had already ran its course. It should have culminated in the very good Full Metal Mayhem match a few weeks ago. With the EC3 momentum going on full speed, and with Matt Hardy obviously past his prime, I don’t think anyone can believe that Matt will nor have what it takes to eventually wrestle the championship out of EC3’s brawny hands. Put EC3 in a feud with a more believable rival. Perhaps it could be Bobby Lashley, who can convincingly dominate EC3 with respect to physicality and strength. Or it could be Drew Galloway, who has youth and enthusiasm on his side. Or my personal bet, Bobby Roode, with skills and experience on hand, an egotistical champion versus egotistical champion feud.

More importantly, I find it strange that EC3 didn’t acknowledge, even just a bit, the GFW takeover that happened two-thirds of the show. Not even for altruistic reason; he should realize that as a Carter, he also has kayfabe stakes in what is happening to TNA. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll tackle this in next week’s Impact Wrestling.

Did you see this week’s Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? What do you think about the GFW’s hostile takeover? Was it effective? How about the winner-takes-all mega match between Team TNA and Team GFW? Let us know in the comments!

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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.

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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