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Heavy Impact (9/23/15): Hit the Road, Jack

Hello folks! Marie here to give you the latest in Impact Wrestling.

It’s the week after the GFW invasion storyline. More importantly, it’s the week after we learned that the news about the three month lease on life that TNA has, before Destination America pulls out Impact Wrestling. But life (and the show) must go on. This is the time, late as it may be, to do some critical reassessments on what is truly essential and what is not.

There were attempts at simplifying things in this week's episode. The show began with a loyalty check, with Dixie Carter and her five knights in the ring. If you haven’t seen them in last episode’s Lethal Lockdown, they are Bram, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, Bobby Lashley, and team captain Drew “Leonidas” Galloway (that nickname came from Pope). The rest of the roster is at ringside. Or declarations of their loyalty, such as Abyss' rare speech during the Revolution segment.

Some had seemingly decided to leave. Some with a temporary excuse, giving them a chance to work for part-time in other promotions, while others are possibly leaving for good. These  instances are noticeable because of the appearance of an “exit clause” (that is, a convenient excuse for closure) in their current storyline. Some of these “exit doors” were hinted weeks, or even months prior, but there are a few that read like they had been hastily been drawn up together just these past few weeks.

Jack #1: Eric Young

Curiously though, when threatened with the consequences of his actions during the GFW invasion arc, turncoat Eric Young called upon his so-called ironclad contract with Impact Wrestling. He reminds everyone that it protects him from being fired, even by Dixie Carter herself. That, to me, is Young's subtle declaration of fidelity, that he will not leave on his own volition, even if his fellow wrestlers doesn't want him in the company. Yet he was provided with his own “exit door” (the eventual fallout from his poorly decided GFW alignment). It all points to a temporary leave of absence from Impact Wrestling. Nothing wrong with that, except to point out that three months is a relatively short period of time too. If he truly cares for the company (and I think he does), he probably won’t take a leave longer than a month.

Dixie dealt with the traitor Eric Young by having him compete with stubborn ex-marine, Chris Melendez for the nth time. What made this match remarkable is not because it is a lumberjack match, or even the fact that Melendez won (and not to mention cleanly), but that Chris Melendez freakin’ wrestled from start to finish on one leg! I didn't even realize that he didn't have prosthetics until almost half of the match, and I had to rewind the video to see how he can move that naturally. In fact, he seems to be more awkward when he wrestles with his prosthetic leg on. The best spots in the match was his Samoan drop against Eric Young (imagine the strength of that one leg considering he was lifting a 200-plus-pound man), and of course, the finishing maneuver, a single leg missile dropkick from the top rope! I’ve been writing since last month about how I doubt if the Melendez can go beyond his sympathetic ex-soldier hero gimmick, and if has the ability to be a true professional wrestler. I believe I’ve been answered. The question now is that if his skills are sustainable with other wrestlers of different calibers and techniques.

Jack #2: The Revolution

The destructon of The Revolution came sooner than I thought it would be. Mahabali Shera empowered James Storm's other acolytes to break free from the cult leader. Abyss, with his own declaration of loyalty, says that he is a TNA Original, and for the past 13 years, he had helped build this company with his own blood sweat, tears, and scars. He has made himself, not James Storm, and if Storm ever lays his hand on him again, he's going to kick his ass back to Tennessee (legit made me laugh out loud).

By forsaking James Storm, each acolyte got something back that was their own. Mahabali Shera got his name back by forsaking his Revolution name, Khoya. With the end of his silence, Abyss got his monstrosity back. And for Manik, it is by removing his mask did he got back to the man he was, that is, T.J. Perkins. And the crowd fondly remembers him too, judging from the loud chants of “TJP!”  Underrated and underutilized, TNA must put Perkins somewhere where he can have the most impact: the stale X Division. More on that later.

While I’m sure the Revolution members are probably glad to be given the opportunity to revive their singles careers again, I am bothered about the death of the last stable outside of the Knockouts division. It indicates the unstable situation of the company. Just like how molecules naturally form together from free atoms in a steady universe (yes, I'm a science geek, get over it), stables (and tag teams) naturally form for easier booking, but only if the wrestlers are assured that the said booking will be long-term. I guess we will have to wait for TNA to survive beyond this year before things can go back to normal.

Jack #3: Jeff Hardy

It’s not Jeff Hardy's exit that surprised me, it’s more that I was expecting that it will happen at the end of this year. The rumor is that his brother will show up in an EC3 promo in a Bigfoot costume (most likely to promote one of Destination America's shows) and “rescue” his brother, who is currently engaged as Ethan Carter III's personal assistant. This rumor was such a fodder for a lot of smarks’ derision that I’m glad it was scrapped (see folks, that's why we should treat rumours with the proverbial grain of salt; not everything that was in their taping will end up in the final edits). The eventual resolution is better because it is logical, but as with any departure, it also saddened me a bit. I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of Jeff Hardy's TNA work because for its sloppiness, and his unprofessional behavior. Good for him that he managed to get clean up after his last accident. I had written all that I can say about my thoughts of him exiting last week (mostly on him going back to WWE), and as always, it will still be his decision to leave TNA or not.

Ethan Carter III’s status in the TNA is such a mystery for me. There's no news whatsoever that reveals his reaction to the rumor of WWE wooing him to go back to the fold. All indications point to him as being firmly behind TNA for the foreseeable future. Yet storywise, he had managed to hold the entire TNA-GFW power struggles at arm’s length, when I was expecting otherwise – heel or not, he was still a kayfabe Carter, and should have had more than a bit of interest in his dear aunt’s company. It's like EC3 is in a vacuum, shielded from all the talk of instabilities. With his impending conflict with Drew Galloway, I am expecting that he wil be forced to address all of these issues, most likely via some sort of declaration of loyalty, or not. After all, he will be facing the captain of Team TNA, Dixie’s golden boy, the guy who only expects loyalty to their mother company. On the other hand, EC3 is the disappointing nephew, a Carter by name only, the guy who dislikes being involved in fights not his own. Such difference in temperament and personality makes me look forward to their feud. At the very least, I am anticipating EC3 will probably do such brilliant promos easily around the dour Galloway, and Drew needs to level up his game to match up to EC3's antics.

Odds and Ends

For all the improved storylines dished out in Impact Wrestling this past few months, it is annoying that they still can’t improve the bookings of their other divisions and championships. Case in point, the X Division. Tigre Uno’s match with Kenny King in this episode was easily the most boring match in the card. Let's start with the match itself. A string of spots, no matter how impressive each one is, doesn't make a good match. The in-ring action should tell a story, and must build it up, until the big reveal. Spots shouldn’t be included just because the wrestlers can do it; it numbs people to such maneuvers, making them seem ordinary.

On to the second issue, and that is what on earth did Kenny King do to deserve a shot for the X Division title? Championship matches, even if its only for the champ to retain his or her title, needs to be booked, or at the very least be provided with even a slim of a reason as to why your audience ought to anticipate the said match. Without this set up, people will find the match boring (as I did) and your champion stale (which Tigre Uno had sadly become). Perhaps the X Division needs new and newly revived blood. I suggest having TJ Perkins do a series of friendly competition with Tigre Uno for the championship, to shake the cobwebs off the division.

As with the X Division, I cannot also comprehend why Jade was given a chance for the Knockouts championship. Fortunately for us though, the match was pretty decent. If there is anyone in the Dollhouse that can move on to a singles career, that person is probably Jade. They had also provided set ups for two feuds slated for Bound for Glory, the Dollhouse vs the Beautiful People (I do want to see the new and improved, or as they call it, the edgier Beautiful People in action), and Gail Kim vs Awesome Kong (sort of a been-there-done-that thing for me, but let’s see if we can see something new with this).

The Number One Contenders Elimination match between Dixie’s five knights was a very good main event. Bram was unusually behaved since the Lethal Lockdown match last week (probably because of his ongoing criminal case), and Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards were a cohesive tag team, until they made the big mistake trying to take on each other.

(Okay, I need to say this in case someone from TNA is reading my article (maybe, and I wish!). For the love of God, PLEASE tell the Pope to STOP pronouncing “suplex” as “souffle”. It is not cute, and it is goddam annoying! So please, just stop, okay?)

Bobby Lashley versus Drew Galloway as the last remaining men were powerhouses equal in strength and determination. I believe that Drew Galloway rightfully deserves the number one contender slot, and it would be quite interesting how he fares with the savvy Ethan Carter III.

Did you see this week's Impact Wrestling? What did you think of the episode? What do you think about Jeff Hardy leaving TNA? How do you feel about EC3 versus Drew Galloway? How about the disbandment of the Revolution? Let us know in the comments!

Photos taken from


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 wrestli

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